Top 15 Offbeat Destinations in Uttarakhand for long weekends

Uttarakhand is one of the most beautiful places in India. Bestowed with a beauty that can only be described as divine, “Dev Bhoomi” has a number of places quite popular among travelers, while many are offbeat destinations. If you believe a holiday means escaping to a place where it’s only you and nature, Uttarakhand has many enjoyable options. If you are thinking of going offbeat, here is where you should be. Spend soul-soothing vacations, revitalizing your souls.

Here is the list of the best offbeat destinations in Uttarakhand for long weekends.

1. Lansdowne

One of the mesmerizing places in Uttarakhand, Lansdowne is a cantonment town established during the British Raj. One of the top offbeat destinations in Uttarakhand, you can easily enjoy a wonderful vacation during the weekend. This town mostly enjoys soothing weather throughout the year, but it’s the amazing vistas provide unforgettable experiences. A treasure trove of romance, Lansdowne offers popular activities, which include trekking, boating, bird watching, camping, etc.

  • Best time to visit: April to June
  • How to reach: Kotdwar is the nearest railway station, while the closest airport is in Dehradun.
  • Things to do in Lansdowne: Enjoy nature walks, discover the nearby towns, museums, viewpoints, etc.

 [ Enjoy a vacation in Lansdowne with this package ]

2. Dodital

A freshwater lake in Uttarakhand, Dodital, perched at 3085 meters, is a feast for the eyes. One of the most beautiful lakes in the Himalayas, it is one of the best offbeat destinations to holiday in Uttarakhand. Legend has it that Lord Ganesha chose this place as his abode, and there is a temple dedicated to him here.

  • Best time to visit: September to June
  • How to reach: Uttarkashi is the nearest town, which is well connected by road to various places in the state. Dehradun is the closest airport, while Rishikesh is the nearest railway station.
  • Things to do in Dodital: Trek to Darwa Pass, camp on the shores of the lake, photograph, etc.

3. Jageshwar

Settled at an elevation of 1870 m in the lap of Kumaon hills amid the Deodar forest with the sacred Jata Ganga, Jageshwar is a holy town in Dev Bhoomi. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are almost 124 temples and hundreds of statues. This offbeat destination in Uttarakhand creates holidays that are divinely blessed.

  • Best time to visit: April to June and September to November
  • How to reach: The closest town is Almora, which has frequent connectivity by road. Pant Nagar is the nearest airport, while Kathgodam is the closest railway station.
  • Things to do in Jageshwar: Pay a visit to the holy ‘Mrityunjaya Temple’ and the other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, and attend the Jageshwar Monsoon Festival, held from 15 July to 15 August.

4. Hemkund and the Valley of Flowers

Next on our list is one of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand, Hemkund Sahib, and the Valley of Flowers. Hemkund Sahib is the highest Gurdwara in India and one of the holiest places in Sikhism. The Valley Of Flowers is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its unique ecology and mountain flowers, around 400 species of every color bloom only during rains.

  • Best time to visit: July to September
  • How to reach: These places are accessible only after a delightful trek starting from Govindghat. Jolly Grant is the nearest airport, while the closest railway station is Rishikesh.
  • Things to do: Hike through the Valley Of Flowers, trek, camping, and go to Hemkund shrine.

5. Binsar

Unexplored and charming, Binsar is next on our list of top destinations for offbeat holidays in Uttarakhand. Located amidst a wildlife sanctuary, settled at 2,400 m, the town is blessed with beauty and bliss. Enjoy the majestic views of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Kedarnath, and Chaukhambha. Like many places in Dev Bhoomi, Binsar too is known for many myths.

  • Best time to visit: April to June and October & November
  • How to reach: The nearest airport is Pant Nagar, 143 km away, while Kathgodam, at a distance of 110 km, is the nearest railway station.
  • Things to do in Binsar: Sightseeing, photography, lazing around, trekking, and safaris to the wildlife sanctuary.

6. Abbott Mount

Abbott Mount is beauty in Uttarakhand, off the tourist tracks. Snuggled at an altitude of 7000 feet, it enjoys the spectacular view of snowcapped cliffs of the mighty Himalayas in their full glory. Named after an English man, who made his retreat here in the early 20th century, Abbott Mount retains its charm. The hill resort has a pictorial ambiance, with some thrilling adventures and expeditions. A world of its own, it is a beautiful escape from cities. Escape to the offbeat destination in Uttarakhand for weekend getaways.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
  • How to reach: Lohaghat is the closest well-connect town. Tanakpur offers train connections, whereas Pant Nagar airport offers the closest air connectivity.
  • Things to do in Abbott Mount: Trekking, fishing, picnics, photography, bird watching

7. Lohaghat

Nestled along the Lohawati River, Lohagad is one of Uttarakhand’s blessed, lesser-known destinations. Known for its history and myths, the town is a pleasant getaway in addition to the verdant landscape of lush deodar forests. It is blessed with lovely weather throughout the year. Mayawati/Advait Ashram, Banasur ka Qila, Devidhura temples, and Pancheswar temple are some delights of the town.

  • Best time to visit: February to June and October to November.
  • How to reach: Tanakpur, at a distance of 60 km, offer train connections, whereas Pant Nagar airport, 160 km, offers the closest air connectivity.
  • Things to do in Lohaghat: Explore the scenic environs, marvel at the historical delights, and enjoy a relaxing time.

8. Naukuchiatal

The lake town, Naukuchiatal, is one of the offbeat weekend destinations in Uttarakhand. The nine-cornered lake stretching for a kilometer highlights the verdant town. Rare butterflies and Himalayan birds inhabit this natural marvel of Kumaon. This beautiful place also offers challenges like boating, paragliding, angling, fishing, and parasailing. It is a peaceful summer retreat away from cities.

  • Best time to visit: April to June and September to November.
  • How to reach: Nainital is the closest town with accessible modes of transport. Kathgodam is the nearest railway station, while Pant Nagar the nearest town with air connections.
  • Things to do in Naukuchiatal: Boating, bird watching, trekking, and adventure activities.

Also Read: Top 15 Places in India that are perfect for a Summer Holiday

9. Landour

Landour is one of the best unseen places in Uttarakhand. The small cantonment town is the epitome of the charm of the mountains in Uttarakhand. Explore the buildings of the colonial era, there are beautiful churches of the time. Explore the pictorial trekking trails taking you to beautiful pathways. Watch the gorgeous sunset from one of the lookouts. Also, pay a visit to Ruskin Bond, the author synonymous with the mountains.

  • Best time to visit: October to June
  • How to reach: Landour is easily accessible by road. Arrive in Dehradun by train or flight from where you can proceed by road.
  • Things to do in Landour: Visit the British Raj-era churches, explore the trekking trails and relax.

10. Chaukori

Settled in the lap of the Himalayas, Chaukori is a dreamy town. At the height of 2,010 m, it’s not just another hill station but one of the best offbeat destinations in Uttarakhand. The breathtaking town in Kumaon enjoys views of the Nanda Devi and Panchachuli peaks. Enjoy a peaceful break from the cities in unknown tourist places in Uttarakhand.

  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to November.
  • How to reach: Almora is the nearest easily accessible town to get to Chaukori. Pant Nagar Airport is situated at a distance of 205 km, while the nearest railway station is at a distance of 180 km.
  • Things to do in Chaukori: Nature walks, capture awe-inspiring views, and experience a rustic, peaceful life in the hills.

11. Bhimtal

Settled along the picturesque Bhimtal Lake in Uttarakhand, Bhimtal is a scenic town named after the legendary Pandav, Bhima of Mahabharata. Charming and offbeat, the town offers visitors a peaceful holiday. The town’s highlights are the Bhimeshwara Mahadev temple and the island in the middle of the lake. Boating and other water sports add excitement. You can escape for a weekend to this amazing offbeat town in Uttarakhand.

  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to November
  • How to reach: Nainital is the closest popular town from where you can proceed by road. Pant Nagar Airport has the nearest air connection, while Kathgodam is the closest railway station.
  • Things to do in Bhimtal: Boating, fishing, visiting temples, nature walks, camping and stargazing.

12. Munsyari

One of the most beautiful offbeat destinations in Uttarakhand, Munsyari settled in Pithoragarh district, is a beautiful vacation getaway. Blessed with splendid vistas of beauty, the town is home to various birds and animals. The unexplored beauty invites visitors for amazing treks to the glaciers and scenic trails and to indulge in adventures like skiing, trekking, hiking, mountaineering, etc.

  • Best time to visit: November to June
  • How to reach: The nearest airport is the Pant Nagar airport, 249 away, while the closest railroad is at Kathgodam, 169 km.
  • Things to do in Munsyari: Trekking to the nearby glaciers, skiing in winters, bird watching, marveling at sunsets and sunrises from the hill points.

13. Kausani

Breathtaking beautiful, Kausani had been named ‘Switzerland in India’ by Mahatma Gandhi. The town is ethereal, offering a panoramic view of the massive Himalayan peaks such as Trishul Nanda Devi and the mighty Panchachuli peaks. The blissful ambiance is therapeutic for your senses. Pay a visit to temples and ashrams in the town. An ideal holiday destination, Kausani is one of the best places in Uttarakhand for long weekends.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
  • How to reach: Kausani is easily accessible by road. Kathgodam is the nearest railway station at a distance of 132 km, while the closest airport, Pant Nagar, is 162 km away.
  • Things to do in Kausani: Birding, photography, village walks, and other adventurous exploits.

14. Almora

Almora is one of the best offbeat places in Uttarakhand, especially on long weekends. Settled at an altitude of 1650 m, resembling a horse shoe, Almora is the cultural hub of Kumaon. Unlike the other cantonment towns of Uttarakhand, Almora has been developed by the Kumauni people. It preserves the legacy of the mountain people in addition to providing unrivaled views.

  • Best time to visit: Anytime throughout the years except for monsoons.
  • How to reach: The nearest airport is Pantnagar, at a distance of 116 km away from Almora and the nearest railway station is Kathgodam, 90 km away.
  • Things to do in Almora: Shop for handicraft products, enjoy the natural setting, go trekking, etc.

15. Chopta

Chopta is a scenic hill station in Uttarakhand. As compared to the tourist crowded towns, Chopta is relatively unknown. It is a perfect spot to take a break from city life. Enjoy the thrilling view. If you are keen on adventure, leave for a trek to Tungnath temple and the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary. You can also trek to Chandrashila peak. Enjoy a memorable weekend getaway in the offbeat destination of Uttarakhand in Chopta.

Best time to visit: Winter months of December, January, and February.

How to reach:

  • The nearest airport to get to Chopta is Jolly Grant, at a distance of 221 km.
  • The nearest railhead is Rishikesh, at a distance of 202 km.

Things to do in Chopta: Trekking, camping, relaxing, and photography.

For more options on weekends, getaways, family vacations, adventures,s or romantic escapes, browse Uttarakhand tour packages.

16. Jeolikot

If you are looking for a serene and tranquil place nestled in the Himalayas, Jeolikot is the place to go! This town in Uttarakhand is hidden from the touristy radar, so it is obvious Jeolikot is unspoiled. This beautiful town is situated in the Kumaon region and is known for its crystal clear lagoons and scenic viewpoints.

There is a Zero Point trek that boasts one of the most amazing sunset views – (if you are interested). From butterfly sightseeing to delving into floriculture, Jeolikot is a must-visit long weekend spot in Uttarakhand. Did we mention Jeolikot was once the meditation playground of popular philosophers Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda?

  • Best time to visit Jeolikot: March-June, October-February
  • Nearest airport to Jeolikot: Pantnagar airport – 120 km (approx.)
  • Nearest railway station to Jeolikot: Kathgodam – 20 km (approx.)
  • Ideal duration to visit Jeolikot: 2-4 days

Places to visit in Jeolikot

  • Kaladhungi
  • Mukteshwar
  • Kilbury Bird Sanctuary

Things to do in Jeolikot

  • Enjoy shopping
  • Go for trekking
  • Capture the colorful butterflies
  • Challenge your endurance by trekking

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A travel writer by profession and self-professed addict to literature, momos, dancing, music and travelling, Debasree Chakraborty has all interesting things to share. Go through her penned down travel experiences and collected intelligence in her write ups. Read on!

Comments ( 6 )
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  • Gogol

    I have read your blog and i found very informative to plan a tour for Uttarakhand. Thanks for sharing us a information

    • Debasree

      Hey Gogol,

      Thank you for your kind words. Follow our blog for more such interesting posts.

      • Hitesh

        Hi Debashree.. you can even plan a trip to JALNA..this is a virgin destination in Almora district..You can enjoy a pleasant stay with your family and explore nature in the nearby vicinity.

        • Debasree

          Hey Hitesh,

          Thank you for your input. I would certainly check out the place. Till then, keep following our blog for more information on India travel & tourism.

  • Tina

    Thank you very much for sharing a piece of great information. I appreciate your time and effort in your work. Keep posting

    • Tusharika

      Hi Tina,

      Thank you for your kind words! Keep on following our blogs for more such posts in the future.