Rishikesh is a scenic town located on the banks of river Ganga and is an important access point to the famous pilgrim spots of the Himalayas. The various spiritual centers, yogic ashrams located here have earned this town the sobriquet “world capital of yoga”.



The history of Rishikesh goes back several centuries. There are several mythical stories associated with this place. It is this place where Raibhya Rishi, a noted saint, performed stern penance while sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganga. He got his reward when the lord appeared in front of him and gave the name of this place as Rishikesh. There is also a famous landmark called Bharat Temple and legend states that the brother of Rama, Bharat also did severe penance at this place. One of the most well-known religious leaders of contemporary times, Adi Shankaracharya, visited Rishikesh in the 9th century AD and this place thus got catapulted to the status of one of the major religious spots of north India. Rishikesh is also popular for Kailas Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham that happens to be a 120 years old institute offering courses for the traditional Vedantic Studies.


Air: Nearest airport is Jollygrant which is 18 km away from Rishikesh and is situated in Dehradun. Jollygrant airport, Dehradun is connected to Delhi airport. Taxi services are available from airport to Rishikesh and it costs about Rs 300. Delhi is the nearest international airport which is 224 km away. Delhi is well connected to all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

Rail: Rishikesh railway station is linked to all cities in India. There are regular train facilities from Rishikesh to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Dehradun and Kotdwar.

Road: Rishikesh is well connected to many cities in the region by buses. Private and public buses offer services from Rishikesh to Pauri (117 km), Haridwar, Dehradun and Kotdwar.


Of course, Rishikesh is a mainly a pilgrimage centre, but it offers plenty of opportunities for shopping as well. You can buy handicraft items made of shells, pearls and beads. In addition, you can buy sarees, kurtas, sheets, rugs and several other items. All these items are available in the Government Approved Handloom Shop, Khadi Bhandar and Garhwal Wool and Craft Shop.

Shopping in Rishikesh is a happy and rejoicing activity. One can get many items which are useful for day to day life from the small shops nearby the temple town of Rishikesh. Evenings are very busy with local people come out for shopping. Many religious and temple related articles like Rudraksha, Ganesha idols, Nataraja statues, religious books and mythological sculptures are available here in moderate rates.

Winter clothes, Kurtaz and Salwar kumeez beautifully knit are specialty of this location. Handicraft items made of shells, pearls and beads are other attractions in the shops of Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is part of the Shekhawati region, which is known across the world as the "Open Air Art Gallery". Being a part of Shekhawati, Rishikesh too therefore, basks in the glorious tradition of painting. The murals and paintings that once embellished the interiors of the havelis here are now recreated in miniature form on cloth and paper. These paintings are marvelous show pieces and are capable of making your interiors, your neighbor’s envy.

The carved wood furniture available in Rishikesh is also good buy, if you have the means to carry them back home in one piece. The local fabric and tie and die are also quite popular

The Govt. owned emporia, state handloom emporia, Khadi stores offers the best quality for the best price when it comes to shopping in Rishikesh. However, plenty more shops line the streets in Rishikesh and you are welcome to take your pick.

Rishikesh is a small town lying at the confluence of rivers Ganga and Chandrabhaga. Rishikesh see visitors of all kinds - pilgrims, people visiting for the purpose of Yoga and Ayurveda or adventure sports.

Since people visiting are for diverse purposes, Rishikesh has a market place which stocked well enough to meet all your needs. Whether it is puja essentials, ayurvedic medicines or rafting equipment, you get it all here.

Rishikesh, being en route famous pilgrimage destinations like Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedranath, proves to be a good stopover destination. On the Ghats of river Ganga, you will find small shops selling containers which people generally buy to carry back home Ganga Jal.

Also, in the markets here, you will find shops selling gems, precious and semi-precious stones, cloths, puja items and CDs of bhajans.


The Garhwal Vikas Manda Nigam's Guest House is the best place in the town and has dormitory as well as single and double rooms for the tourists. Rishikesh is a city of dharamsalas and most of the people prefer to stay in the dharamsalas. But, if you do not like to stay in dharamsalas, there are a number of good hotels for you.

Most of the hotels are situated at the centre of the town, providing good accommodation facilities. Some of the famous hotels of the town include Ananda-In the Himalayas, Explore Himalayas on the Ganges, The Glasshouse on the Ganges, Ganga Beach Resort, Hotel Ganga Kinare, Hotel Ganga View and The Camp 5 Elements.

Although Rishikesh is a tiny place, there are a good number of hotels in Rishikesh. Some hotels in Rishikesh offer world-class luxury in the lap of Himalayas.


Ananda In The Himalayas
Himalayan Hideaway


Hotel Ganga Kinare
Hotel Ganga View


Yoga and Meditation in Rishikesh
If you are interested in Yoga and Meditation, Rishikesh is the perfect place for you. Rishikesh has a number of ashrams and yoga centres where you can take lessons on these two ancient Indian disciplines. You may contact Swami Shivananda's Divine Society Ashram, which is an authentic place. It is situated on the Tourist Bungalow side of the river. You may stay here for short term study or for longer three month courses. Other popular yoga and meditation centres in Rishikesh are Ved Niketan, Yoga Study Centre, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation Centre and Yoga Niketan - Rishikesh. These centre offer a variety of courses including food and lodging.

Things to do

Yoga & Meditation
Rishikesh has been serving as an important center for yoga and meditation in India, since a long time. There are a large number of ashrams in the city, where qualified gurus teach this ancient practice, at the basic as well as professional level. Yoga Study Centre, Yoga Niketan Ashram, Swami Dayananda Ashram, Sri Ved Niketan Ashram, Sivananda Ashram, Ananda Prakash Ashram, and Rishikesh Yog Peeth are the most popular yoga ashrams in Rishikesh.

Ayurveda & Spa
When in Rishikesh, do make sure to pay a visit to the world-famous, super-luxury Ananda Spa. It is located Narendranagar, approximately 16 km from Rishikesh, in the erstwhile palace of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal. One visit to this spa resort and you will find yourself completely refreshed and rejuvenated. In fact, it is best place to get back your old energy levels.

River Rafting
Adventure seeks, not only from the corners of India, but the whole world, come to Rishikesh, to exploit the river rafting opportunities that it offers. The best time for rafting in Rishikesh is September to November and March to May. The most popular stretches here are Brahmpuri to Rishikesh, Rishikesh to Shivpuri, Devprayag to Rishikesh, Kudiyala to Rishikesh, Kaliasaur to Rishikesh, and Marine to Rishikesh.

If you like to play in water, but do not want to indulge in something as adventurous as white water rafting, don’t be disappointed. Rishikesh offers you the option of boating in the holy waters of the Ganges. You will love the experience of floating on river Ganga, while exploring the exquisite natural beauty all around.

For the trekking enthusiasts, Rishikesh offers some of the most scenic trails, which help them explore the natural beauty of the place from up close. Kauri Pass Trek, Roop Kund Trek, Devi National Park Trek, KalindiKhal Trek, and Kankul Khal Trek are the best treks in the area. Best explored between the months of February and October, these treks take you through dense forests, maundering rivers and wild mountain ranges.

Jungle Safari
Though many people are unaware of the fact, Rishikesh also provides its visitors the option of going on a jungle safari. This particular activity owes its origin to the Rajaji National Park situated nearby. The rich and varied wildlife of the parks, combined with their diverse fauna, will woo you no end.

Rock-Climbing / Mountaineering
Since Rishikesh is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, it offers the visitors opportunities of rock-climbing and mountaineering as well. These activities are usually organized at George Everest House, in Phool Chatti (situated near Rishikesh). Apart from mountaineering and rock climbing equipment, you will also get trained instructors here.

One of the best ways to commune with nature is to spend sometime in its lap. What better way to do this than by staying in camps for a day or two. In Rishikesh, you will find numerous organizations offering camping facilities along the Ganges. Then, there are many camps that start just after Rishikesh and go up to Kaudiyala and Shivpuri, along the white sand beaches of Ganga River.

Rishikesh is counted amongst the holy cities of India. Apart from situated on the banks of river Ganga, its sanctity arises from the fact that it serves as the gateway to four most revered pilgrim destinations in India, also known as the ‘Char Dhams’. Then, there is Bharat Mandir and Neelkanth Mahadev, two famous temples in Rishikesh that are worth visiting.

White Water Rafting: The main sporting activity in Rishikesh is White Water Rafting. It has grown to a popular and adventurous spot for white water rafting enthusiasts as the place offers a spectacular experience of medium to very tough and rough rapids in the regions of River Ganges. Many adventurous tourists both from India and abroad visit this place to experience the real challenges of white water rafting.

All facilities for white water rafting is available here, and there are training guides for rafting from whom a tourist can take help in this sport. September-November and March-May are ideal for rafting.

STD Code
Summer 21-30°C, Winter 5-22°C
Best time to visit
March to November



Mussoorie, popularly called the “Queen of hills”, is a hill station, perched on a horseshoe shaped ridge above the Doon Valley in the foothills of the Himalaya ranges. It provides great views of sprawling pine covered hills, velvety green valleys and snow capped Himalayan mountains in the north-east, and the enchanting views of the Doon Valley & Shivalik ranges in the south. It also acts as the gateway to the holy shrines of “Gangotri” and “Yamunotri”.

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Mussoorie was discovered in the 18th century by a British Captain Young and it soon became a popular summer retreat for the British.

The history of Mussoorie dates back to 1825 when Captain Young, an adventurous British military officer, together with a Mr. Shore, the resident Superintendent of Revenues at Dehradun explored the present site and jointly constructed a shooting lodge. This laid the foundation of this holiday resort which now has few rivals. In 1827 a sanitorium was built at Landour, which later became a large cantonment , Colonel Everest built a home here in 1832, and by 1901 its population was 6461, rising to 15,000 in the summer season. Earlier, Mussoorie was approachable by road from Saharanpur, 58 miles (93 km) away. Accessability became easier in 1900 with the railway coming to Dehradun, thus shortening the road trip to 21 miles (34 km).
The name Mussoorie is often attributed to a derivation of 'mansoor', a shrub which is indigenous to the area. The town is in fact often referred to as 'Mansoori' by locals.
The main promenade in Mussoorie is called, as in other hill stations, the Mall. In Mussoorie, the Mall stretches from Picture Palace at its eastern end to the Public Library (shortened to 'Library') at its western end. During the British Raj, signs on the Mall expressly stated: "Indians and Dogs Not Allowed"; racist signs of this type were commonplace in hill stations, which were founded 'by and for' the British. Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawahar Lal Nehru, deliberately broke this rule every day whenever he was in Mussoorie, and would pay the fine. The Nehru family, including Nehru's daughter Indira (later Indira Gandhi) were frequent visitors to Mussoorie in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. They also spent much time in nearby Dehradun, where Nehru's sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit ultimately settled full-time.
In April 1959, after fleeing Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama established the Tibetan Government of Exile in Mussoorie. The Government of Tibet in exile eventually moved to Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The first Tibetan school was established in Mussoorie in 1960. Tibetans settled mainly in Happy Valley in Mussoorie. Today, some 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.
Now, Mussoorie suffers from over-development of hotels and tourist lodges, given its relative proximity to Delhi, Ambala and Chandigarh, and has serious problems of garbage collection, water scarcity and parking shortages, especially during the summer tourist season. Landour, Jharipani and Barlowganj have fewer such problems.


Air: Nearest airport is Jollygrant, which is 60 km away from Mussoorie and is situated in Dehradun. Jollygrant airport, Dehradun is connected to Delhi airport. Taxi services are available from airport to Mussoorie and it costs about Rs 1500. Delhi is the nearest international airport, which is 270 km away. Delhi is well connected to all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

Rail: Mussoorie has no railway station of its own. So one can get down at Dehradun railway station, nearly 60 km away and from there take bus or taxi to reach Mussoorie. Taxi services are available from railhead to Mussoorie and it costs about Rs 1500. Dehradun railway station is well connected to other major cities in India with super fast trains.

Road: Mussoorie is well connected with excellent bus services of state public bus services Uttaranchal State Transport Corporation. From Dehradoon and from other major cities in India private bus services are available to Mussoorie and fare is about Rs 3 to 4 per kilometer. Mussoorie is connected with Delhi (270 km), Nainital (355 km), Dehradun (60 km) and Garwal (135 km) by deluxe tourist bus services.


Mussoorie, also called the 'Queen of Hill stations' in India, is one of the most visited hill stations and has thus developed accordingly. Mussoorie has a well stocked market place where you can shop around for just about anything you need.

The Mall road or the Mall is the hub of tourists in Mussoorie which has shops selling all kinds of products, besides a host of interesting eating joints. At all times during the year, this thriving market place at Mall road is seen crowded with shoppers.

Here you can find retail outlets of most of the famous brands - for clothes and apparels, electronics and so on. Besides, a little ahead is another busy commercial center of Kulri. Here too you can look for anything you want.

Through out these markets in Mussoorie you will frequently encounter Tibetans selling imported products at very reasonable prices. You can also find with them, fabric wall hangings and woolen clothes, Tibetan metal ware, lots of wooden items like walking sticks, trays, bowls, cane baskets, jewellery etc., all at descent prices.

Landour Bazaar: Landour Bazaar is located on a steep slope about 4 km up the hill from the Mall, and is a cantonment area. This is totally a silence zone, thanks to the handwritten signs nailed on the trees. A pollution-free zone, and with fresh pure air to breathe, recovery from any stress or disease is superbly fast here. During old times, the Britishers set up a rejuvenation center to enjoy the nature at its best.

Captain Young, who once upon a time discovered Mussoorie, used to live in this area. His house (Mullingar Estate) still stands, marking the proof of his existence, but in a bad shape.

Library Bazaar: A Victorian-style Library, built in the mid-19th century, stands proud towards the end of the Mall. This Library permits access only to members and it may not be possible to gain entry inside. Remnants of the town’s past are present in the form of a Band Stand, which used to play music all night. The entire day was spent in socializing away to glory, and all lived a life of content and leisure.

One can shop to your heart’s content in this area, with lots of shops arranged in a circle around the town. This bazaar is also referred to as Gandhi Chowk symbolic of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which stands in one corner of the bazaar.

Sisters Bazaar: Sisters Bazaar is named after the Nuns who served as nurses in the British dormitory present in this area. Contrary to the term “bazaar‿, this area is more of a residential colony with old cottages and a few shops spread across. It is a divine area, lined up with pines, oaks and deodars.

Do not forget to visit the famous confectionery shop of Sisters Bazaar — the Prakash Brothers Store. Other famous attractions are the houses owned by personalities, namely, Dev Anand, Tom Alter and Victor Banerjee. Especially impressive is the house owned by Victor Banerjee, known as The Parsonage, which has a rich history attached to it.

The Mall: The Mall is the heart of Mussoorie. A walk through the mall throws glimpses of the colonial period with the benches and lampposts lined up and is a beautiful experience. Being in the center of the city, one has to pass the Mall enroute to any place in the city.

The 1980s style video game parlors, skating rinks, the Methodist Church are all attractions in this area. The skating rinks are popular among children and adult alike, and are charged at Rs 80 per hour. Fans of Ruskin Bond seeking his autograph should not miss the opportunity to visit the Cambridge Bookstore, where he is often seen.

Things to do

If you are one of the water enthusiasts coming to Mussoorie, do not forget to explore the joys of boating in the hill resort. Mussoorie Lake, one of the most popular picnic spots in the area, offers you boating facility, with marvelous view of surrounding valleys forming the backdrop. Then, you can also go for boating in Lake Mist, a newly developed picnic spot that is situated about 5 km before the Kempty falls, on the Mussoorie-Kempty road.

Nature Walks
If you go to Mussoorie and do not indulge in nature walks, consider your trip incomplete. From the Mall area of the hill station, you will find diversions to several interesting walks, bringing you right into the lap of nature. Some of the most popular options are:
Along the road below Savoy Hotel, from the Library head to Happy Valley
From Valley view to Clouds End
Towards Kapurthala Chateau and Waverly Convent, on to Company Bagh
In the hillsides of Landour
The Barlowganj area

Want to soar high in the sky and look at earth from miles above it? If yes, then on your next trip to Mussoorie, do make sure to indulge in paragliding. Mussoorie Lake, apart from boating and picnics, offers you the opportunity to go paragliding as well (if the weather and air permit).

Roller Skating
The youngsters will love to explore the numerous skating rinks in Mussoorie. The resort Jaypee Residency Manor houses an open air skating rink. Then, there is ‘The Rink’ in Kulri Bazaar and ‘Disco Skating Rink’ behind the Tourist Office in Mussoorie.

Mussoorie serves as the base for a number of interesting treks, to the nearby areas. For instance, you can trek up to the Gangotri, Yamunotri, the Black Peak, Har-ki-Doon and other treks in the Garhwal Himalayas. Then, there is the option of explore the trekking trails in the nearby Himachal Pradesh as well. The closest place from Mussoorie, for indulging in trekking expeditions, is Barlowgunj, approximately two and a half kilometers away.

Mussoorie is the ideal place for adventure lovers and trekkers. Being surrounded by hills, there is a lot of scope for trekking in Mussoorie. You can comb the hills out through adventurous treks to various spots like Aglar river which is a trek from Lal Tibba, Park Estate, Bhadraj forest, Nag Tibba, to name a few.

The Himalayan Adventure Institute, along with various other activities like rock climbing, nature camps and river crossings, arranges the treks for those interested. Tourist bungalows or cottages can be arranged for the trekkers depending on the route taken. Try to avoid Rangan Gaon as the trek to this area could be dangerous.

Trout Fishing
If you are willing to drive to a few kilometers from Mussoorie, in the search of adventure, then Aglar River and Yamuna River would provide you with ample opportunities for trout fishing. However, you will have to take permits from the Divisional Forest Officer of Mussoorie beforehand.

Wildlife Sighting
The areas in and around Mussoorie are home to a rich and varied wildlife. If you are a nature lover, do not forget to visit Van Chetna Kendra, situated amidst pine forest and flowering shrubs, and have a look at the Ghurar, Kakar, Himalayan Peacock, Monal etc. Benog Mountain Quail Sanctuary is another place that you must visit on a trip to Mussoorie. Apart from the usual birds and animals, it also boasts of extinct bird species like Mountain Quail.

STD Code
Summer 14-30°C, Winter 0-24°C
Best time to visit
March to May and from September to November.



Haridwar, literally means "Gateway to the Gods", is a pilgrim center of Hindus, situated on the banks of river Ganga at the point where the river descends from the hills to the plains. It is considered to be blessed by the trio of lords Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva). According to Hindu mythology, Haridwar is one among the four sites (Ujjain, Haridwar, Nasik, and Allahabad )where drops of the elixir of immortality, Amrita, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher, in which it was being carried away by the celestial bird Garuda, after the Samudra manthan.


The city of Haridwar is an ancient city of India, mentioned in several Upanishads and Puranas with different names such as Gangadwara, Mayapuri and Kapilasthana. The city’s name literally meaning the ‘Doorway of / to Gods’, is equally important to both Shaivites (Shiva followers) and Vaishnavites (Vishnu followers). Hence it is known as both Hardwar and Haridwar. Every six years the Ardh Kumbh Mela is celebrated here with great fervor here.

In Ancient Literature
Haridwar has been mentioned in the Mahabharata, in the Vanaparva chapter, where Sage Dhaumya tells Yudhisthira about the ‘Tirthas’ (pilgrimages) of India, including Haridwar. The next mention is in the fable of famed King Bhagiratha, who brought Ganga down to purify the souls of his 60,000 ancestors in the Satya Yuga. After this, the first dates in regular history come to 322-185 BC, when Haridwar came under Maurya Empire and then Kushana Empire continuously.

In Middle Ages
Well-known Chinese traveler Huan Tsang mentions Haridwar as ‘Mo Yu Lo’ in his travel chronicles dated 629 AD. Next came Timur Lang, the Turkish invader, on 13th January 1399 and invaded the city. Haridwar is also talked about in the 16th century ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ (written during Akbar’s reign) as Mayapuri. The first written evidence of the name Haridwara comes by Thomas Coryant, during Jahangir’s reign.

In Modern Times
After the Britishers arrival in the 1800s, two major dams were created, notably the Bhimgoda Dam in 1840. In 1868, the 'Haridwar Union Municipality' was constituted including the then villages of Mayapur and Kankhal. The first railway track in Haridwar was laid down in 1886, which extended to Dehradun by 1900. The first example of contemporary civilization is the industrial unit of BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), also know as a ‘Navratna PSU’. Earlier in the state of Uttar Pradesh, it is now the pride of the newly formed Uttarakhand since November 2000 onwards.


By Air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is a domestic airport located at about just 20 km away from city center. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 200 km away.

By Rail: Haridwar railway station is a major station well connected to all major cities in India.

By Road: Haridwar is well connected by tourist bus services and state owned bus services. All cities in and around Haridwar are connected by state buses.


Shopping in Haridwar is also a delightful experience. The main market place is a long, winding street free of all vehicular traffic. The tiny but attractive shops on both sides of the road are full of religious items like bead necklaces, clay images of gods and goddesses, Shiva lingams, sacred texts and ritual designs. Other items include shells, pearls, bangles, chains, ear and nose rings.

Haridwar, being primarily a pilgrimage destination, has numerous shops along its streets selling all essentials that a pilgrim would need. The streets between the railway station and famous Har Ki Pauri are filled with such shops.

Haridwar, the holy city is one of the most renowned pilgrimage centers in India. Pilgrims form all over the world flock to this sacred city to take a dip in the holy waters of River Ganga.
Being a destination for pilgrimage tourism, shopping in Haridwar is not on the itinerary of the tourist.

However shops in Haridwar have some interesting things to offer to the tourist. The main shopping centers are Moti bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalapur and Kankhal. You can also check out the Government Handloom and Handicrafts Emporiums and the Gandhi Ashram. Here you will find a range of handicraft decorative pieces. If you are interested in jewellery, then you can choose from a variety of imitation ones which make good fashion accessory.

In Haridwar, you will find neatly and intricately carved stone idols, which make unique souvenirs. It is fascinating that these stones have traversed with Ganga all along and they are eventually deposited in Rishikesh as the river enters the plains. This gives the stones amazing shapes and a natural polish. Besides idols, there are kitchen set toys made from stone, which are interesting buys.

Moti Bazaar: One of the best and busiest shopping areas in Haridwar, Moti Bazaar is situated between the Har-ki-Pauri and the Upper Road. To make your trip to Haridwar worthwhile, make sure you visit Moti Bazaar and shop for religious items such as Rudraksha or sacred beads, Gangajal or water of the holy Ganges stored in a container, precious stones for prosperity, and vermillion to name a few.

Images of deities, food offerings, sacred threads, pickles, and ayurvedic medicines are among the other items that can be purchased. The numbers of tiny shops lined along the streets are best explored on foot.


Haridwar has a range of hotels to meet the demands of various kinds of tourists. The hotels in Haridwar offer packages with the best of facilites. Most of the Haridwar hotels are conveniently located near the main tourist attractions. Hotels in Haridwar provide excellent views of the picturesque and serene landscape around which infuses peace in you, making your pilgrimage to Haridwar a great spiritual experience.

Some of the prominent hotels in Haridwar are:

Three Star Hotels

Classic Residency Hotel

Government Approved Hotels

Sagar Ganga Resort


Haridwar is a holy city of India, where people come from all across the globe, to take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges (at Har ki Paudi) and get rid of their sins. Apart from that, the city is also home to the famous Mansa Devi Temple, situated atop the Bilwa Parvat, which is dedicated to Goddess Mansa, the wife of Nag Vasuki and the brainchild of Saint Kashyap. Then, there is the Chandi Devi Temple, considered to be one of the Shaktipeeths of North India. In Haridwar, pilgrims also make sure to pay obeisance at Daksha Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Kumbh Mela
The temple city of Haridwar has been the reason for people of all faiths to kowtow since ages. Travel to Haridwar, one of the most important pilgrim destinations in India. You should visit Haridwar during the famous festival of Kumbh Mela, when a unique sense of religiosity plunges the whole town. Held once in twelve years, the town is throng with thousand of devotees coming from all over the world to participate in this mega event. During Maha Kumbh Mela special facilities are provided by the Uttaranchal Tourism, watch the crowd who gather during this time to sanctify themselves by taking holy dips in the Ganges. This is one of the largest congregations of mankind in the world. Take up pilgrimage tours of Haridwar to enjoy your festive holidays in this holy town of Uttaranchal.

Udan Khatola
Udan Khatola, or ropeway, is a mode of transport to reach the hill top temples of Haridwar. Also known as the ropeway to Gods, this facility came into effect more than a decade back. You can reach the abode of God in approximately five minutes by Udan Khatola, as against the one hour steep climb/trek. The Udan Khatola is operational in the area where Chandi Devi temple is located. As you rise in the air once atop the Udan Khatola, you can enjoy the marvelous view from greater heights. The Udan Khatola ride is for the strong hearted and not for those who fear heights.

Things to do

Yoga & Meditation
Apart from pilgrimage purposes, there is one another reason why people flock to Haridwar and that is yoga and meditation. There are a number of ashrams in the city, where qualified gurus take classes in yoga and meditation. People come here from the various parts of the world, to learn yoga and lead a healthy and spiritual life. Many of them move towards Rishikesh as well, after staying in Haridwar, to deepen their knowledge of yoga and meditation, by staying in the renowned ashrams located at the Himalayan foothills.

STD Code
Summer 20-40°C, Winter 0-24°C
Best time to visit
Oct - Mar
Famous For
Kumbh Ka Mela



Dehradun, nestled in a wide and thickly forested valley of the Shivalik ranges in the South, the River Ganga in the East and River Yamuna in the West, is a well known tourist for its salubrious climate. It is also known for public schools, IMA and other national institutes. It has premium educational and research institutes such as Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and Indian Institute of Petroleum. It is also famous for aromatic long grain rice - Basmati Chawal (Rice) and delicious litchis.


According to Skanda Purana, Dun formed part of the region called Kedar Khand.

It was included in the kingdom of Ashoka by the end of the 3rd century B.C.

It is revealed by history that for centuries the region formed part of the Garhwal kingdom with some interruption from Rohillas. For about two decades till 1815 it was under the occupation of the Gorkhas. In April 1815 Gorkhas were ousted from Garhwal region and Garhwal was annexed by the British. In that year the area now comprising tehsil Dehra Dun was added to district Saharanpur. In 1825, however, it was transferred to the Kumaon Division. In 1828, Dehra Dun and Jaunsar Bhabar were placed under the charge of a separate Deputy Commissioner and in 1829, the Dehra Dun district was transferred from the Kumaon Division to the Meerut Division. In 1842, Dun was attached to Saharanpur district and placed under an officer subordinate to the Collector of the district but since 1871 it is being administered as separate district. In 1968 the district was taken out from Meerut division and included in the Garhwal Division.


By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is a domestic airport located at about 20 km away from city center. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 235 km away.

By Rail:
Dehradun is a major railway station which is connected to all cities in the country.

By Road: All nearby cities are connected to Dehradun by State owned Uttarakhand transport buses.


Any trip to a tourist destination is incomplete without some shopping activities. Dehradun is one such destination from where you can't return without buying gifts or sourvenirs for family members, relatives or friends. Among the variety of items, the traditional handicrafts is a must buy in Dehradun. In addition to handicrafts, you will find the specialties of Uttaranchal in the bazaars of Dehradun. Some of the specialties of Uttaranchal include the local paintings and ornaments, woodcrafts prepared by the local artisans, artifacts and utilities made from bamboo and cane. Apart from these, don't forget to buy woolen garments like sweaters, shawls, cardigans made by the Tibetan women which are available at the bazaar round the year. Paltan Bazaar is the main shopping centre of Dehradun, other popular shopping places are Rajpur Road and Ashley Hall areas.

Shopping in Dehradun is an amazing experience. There are no shopping malls in Dehradun, but the city is home to several markets where you will find good artifacts, shawls, and brass statues.

Visit the shops at the Sahakari Bazaar, Rajpur Road, Ashley Hall, Paltan Bazaar, and Connaught Place in Dehradun to pick up some unique articles at affordable prices.

While shopping in Dehradun, you can buy anything from woolens to gift items. The carpets weaved by the Tibetan refugees make for excellent gift items and souvenirs. Check out the utilities created out of wood, bamboo and cane. The local paintings and ornaments available in the shops of Dehradun are also worth a buy.

Astley Hall: An abundant reservoir of shopping centres, Dehradun offers a plenty of opportunities to shopping buffs, which makes shopping an enjoyable experience. With high quality shops and good restaurants, Astley Hall on Rajput road is the most desired shopping complex of Derhadun.

Astley Hall and its adjoining areas offer superb object d'art, which makes one’s shopping in Dehradun a cheerful experience. What makes shopping in Derhadun so special is the fact that the artifacts that are put on sale are not only beautiful but also inexpensive. The delicate woodcrafts, utilities and artifacts made by the local artisans out of bamboo, cane and wood are the major draw while shopping in Astley Hall. Woolen garments like stunning cardigans, shawls and sweaters, are the most sought after items which are worthy for the money one pays.

Mall Road: Though Dehradun does not offer the modern culture of shopping malls, it offers wonderful time of shopping with its tremendous set of bazaars and small shops. Shopping is the most enjoyable bustle without which a tour package would be quite incomplete. To shop in Dehradun means to wander across the city and one would get good quality articles at a moderate price.

One of the best spot to have the items on offer is the Mall Road, which lies with in the heart of the city itself. A cluster of small and large shops displays the best products like Tibetan carpets local jewelries, brass statues, wooden crafts work, Garhwali paintings and woolen items. What makes shopping in the Mall Road so interesting is the fact that the artifacts that are put on sale suits to the pocket of any type tourists.

Paltan Bazaar: A shopper’s delight, Dehradun displays it’s celebrated past in its artifacts. The glorious culture and tradition of this hilly terrain is very well imprinted on its shopping articles. The rich fragrance of the Doon Basmati rice and the gorgeousness of woolen garments present a wonderful ambiance of shopping in the Paltan Bazaar.

The streets are perfumed with the aroma of good quality spices that are so tempting that one would not spare the chance of buying something from there. While shopping in these crowded bazaar, one would get the real picture of the rustic life of this hill station since the woolen clothes reveals the local tribes customary life style.


Plenty of accommodation options are available in the town of Dehradun. You may stay in private hotels, government run guesthouses or in dharmshalas as per your requirements and budget. As Dehradun is a most visited hill stations of India, so don't forget to book your accommodation well in advance. Some of the famous hotels of Dehradun include Best Western Hotel Madhuban (4 Star), Hotel Great Value (3 Star), Hotel MJ Residency (3 Star), Hotel Aketa (3 Star), Hotel President (2 Star) and Hotel Relax (2 Star).

Things to do

The options for adventure activities in Dehradun are simply too many. For the cycling enthusiasts, the city offers the perfect tracks. You can start from Rajpur, along the Old Mussoorie highway, which has very low traffic and provides a gentle incline. About 20 km further from Old Mussoorie, the incline will start getting more and more steep, all the way to Mussoorie.

Dehradun offers its tourists the option to indulge in their favorite sport of golf as well. There is a mini golf course, called ‘The Small Putt’ in ‘The Club’. Then, there is DSOI Golf Clubhouse as well, situated on Vijay Path. Hotel Mathuban in the city also features a mini golf course.

Hot Air Ballooning
Dehradun is one of those destinations in India where you can explore the opportunity of going on a hot air balloon ride. Floating hundreds of feet above the earth’s surface, you will get to see the lush green valleys below, teeming with wildlife. There is a ballooning club in the city, which provides the service.

One of the most famous pilgrim places near Dehradun is the Tapkeshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from that, the city is also known for its Sai Darbar Temple, situated on Rajpur Road, and Santala Devi Temple, about 15 km from the city.

If you are an adventure seeker visiting Dehradun, do not miss out on the opportunity of going on an exciting trek. The city serves as the base camp for a trek to the Kempty Falls in Mussoorie. Chakrata, almost 98 km from Dehradun, is also a destination for trekkers and nature lovers

Water Springs
Guchhupani and Sahastradhara are the two water springs near Dehradun that surely merit a visit from tourists. The former is known for its freezing spring that goes underground at someplace and resurfaces a few meters away from the underground tunnel. The latter, on the other hand, is famous for its 9 m fall of water with healing properties.

Malsi Deer Park, situated on the outskirts of Dehradun, is yet another place that is a must-see for tourists, especially those with kids. A zoological garden, it is home to a large number of deer, which include the Indian antelope a.k.a. Nilgai and the two-horned deer. Then, there is a large population of brides as well, both residents and migratory.

STD Code
Summer 16-36°C, Winter 5-23°C
Best time to visit
Throughout the year



Corbett, located in the Ramganga valley, is named after the famous hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett. t is, especially, meant for those who love to connect with nature and wish to see wild life in its natural habitat. Jim Corbett National Park was declared as an almost exclusive tiger reserve on 1st April 1973, with the help of World Wildlife Fund.


Some areas of the park were formerly part of the princely state of Tehri Garhwal. The forests were cleared to make the area less vulnerable to Rohilla invaders. The Raja of Tehri formally ceded a part of his princely state to the East India Company in return for their assistance in ousting the Gurkhas from his domain. The Boksas—a tribe from the Terai—settled on the land and began growing crops, but in the early 1860s they were evicted with the advent of British rule. The British forest department established control over the land and prohibited cultivation and the operation of cattle stations. The British administration considered the possibility of creating a game reserve there in 1907 and established a reserve area known as Hailey National Park covering 323.75 km2 (125.00 sq mi) in 1936. The preserve was renamed in 1954–55 as Ramganga National Park and was again renamed in 1955–56 as Corbett National Park. The new name honours the well-known author and wildlife conservationist Jim Corbett, who played a key role in creating the reserve by using his influence to persuade the provincial government to establish it.

The reserve does not allow hunting, but does permit timber cutting for domestic purposes. Soon after the establishment of the reserve, rules prohibiting killing and capturing of mammals, reptiles and birds within its boundaries were passed. The park fared well during the 1930s under an elected administration. But during the Second World War, it suffered from excessive poaching and timber cutting. Over time the area in the reserve was increased—797.72 km2 (308.00 sq mi) were added in 1991 as a buffer for the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The 1991 additions included the entire Kalagarh forest division, assimilating the 301.18 km2 (116.29 sq mi) area of Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of the Kalagarh division. It was chosen in 1974 as the location for launching Project Tiger, an ambitious and well-known wildlife conservation project. The reserve is administered from its headquarters in the district of Nainital.

Corbett National Park is one of the thirteen protected areas covered by World Wildlife Fund under their Terai Arc Landscape Programme. The programme aims to protect three of the five terrestrial flagship species, the tiger, the Asian elephant and the Great One-horned Rhinoceros, by restoring corridors of forest to link 13 protected areas of Nepal and India to enable wildlife migration.


By Air: Patanagar airport, nearly 50 km, is the nearest airport to Corbett National Park. Nearest International airport is New Delhi, which is about 260 km.

By Rail: Ramnagar railway station is the nearest railhead which is about 60 km away.

By Road: Corbett National Park bus station connects to all nearby cities by the public transport systems in Uttarakhand state. Deluxe and semi deluxe buses can be availed from Delhi to Corbett National park.


Corbett is one of the best wild life sanctuaries in India. Shopping is not really on the itinerary of tourists heading for this tiger reserve.However for those who wish to take home souvenirs from India may stop at Delhi, which is a shopper's paradise.


Corbett National Park offers a range of accommodation, which includes three-room cabins, forest rest houses, huts, tents and log hut dormitories.

3 Star Hotels

* Claridges Corbett Hideaway
* Infinity Resort

2 Star Hotels

* Corbett Riverside Resort
* Corbett Ramganga Resort

Wildlife Resorts

* Solluna Resort (Wildlife)

Other Hotels

* Quality Inn Corbett Jungle Resort
* Tiger Camp
* Camp Fork Tail Creek

Things to do

Bird Watching
Corbett national park is home to over 580 species of birds, a treat for the birdwatchers. Most of the water birds are migrants and visit the park in winters. Some of the migrant Corbett birds are graylag, bareheaded goose, duck grepe, snipe, sandpiper, gull and wagtail. The resident birds are darters, cormorants, egrets, herons, the black-necked stork and the spur winged lapwings.

Camping & Night Stay
Tourists can haunt the Corbett Park for a complete day by staying for a night in the reserve. Camping options in Jim Corbett are provided by the forest guest houses which are located inside the national park. Tourists can also put up in Dhikala, which is located at the edge of Patli Dun valley through which the river Ramganga flows. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Corbett as it offers an uninterrupted bird’s eye view of the entire valley.

Fishing in Corbett is permitted in Ramganga, Kosi, Mandal and Kothari rivers. Seek permission from the park authorities before you go on fishing. You can hire rods which are available inside the reserve. Resorts in Corbett also arrange for fishing and angling trips.

Jungle Safari
As a tourist, if you like to move with some wild animals or to have some special view of herds of elephants or different species of deers, Corbett National Park offers you with the facilities of Jungle Safari. One can look for nature safari, to have bird watching and enjoying the precious nature.

You can also have Jeep safari through the jungles of Corbett and if lucky enough can even spot some tigers. If adventurous further or to have some memorable moments, can take up an Elephant safari, really amazing experience. Resorts in Corbett arrange the required facilities.

 Elephant Safari: Elephant safari provide a perfect opportunity to see the jungle in its full glory sitting royally on the back of an elephant. Since, the elephants walk through different terrains, crossing a village, the rider gets to see a different wildlife. One will be able to see some mammal species like wild elephants, barking deer, ghoral, sambhar, rhesus monkey, Wild boar, jackal, porcupine, langur, etc. The elephant also gives a better access to view the birds as you are stationed at a certain height.

 Jeep Safari: A jeep safari is also a great way to check out the natural wonders of Corbett National Park. In fact, jeep safari is the most popular attraction of this natural reserve. Jeeps can be taken on rent from the Tourist Lodge of KMVN, from Ramnagar or from other travel agencies. Viewing the entire range of flora and fauna on a jeep will be an unforgettable journey for the visitors. Jeep safari is most suitable for those who want to take a quick look through the reserve.

River Rafting
River Kosi invites its guests to have a rafting in the most exciting breezy and calm waters of Kosi. The Corbett catchment area have many camping facilities and resorts, they arrange the equipments and facilities for river rafting. Really an adventurous water sports, most of the visitors in Corbett National Park, undertake this wonderful passion.

Walking inside the Corbett Park is not allowed but you have the option to trek in the forest reserves around the park. Step into your trekking shoes and wear natural earth colors when you go on trekking. Be prepared for the freezing cold in winters. Don’t forget to take your binocular along. Take care not to disturb the natural habitat of the reserve and make minimum noise.

Wildlife Sighting
Sighting the exquisite wild life in Jim Corbett National park is going to be the ultimate fun. Apart from tigers, leopards and lesser cats such as leopard cat, jungle cat and fishing cat are also to be sighted in the Corbett Park. The other wild life attractions include the sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, dhole, jackal, yellow throated marten, Himalayan palm civet, Indian grey mongoose, common otter, porcupine, and black naped hare. Elephants are another major attraction and are to be seen all over the park. Four species of deer are also found which include barking deer, para, kakkar, and the spotted deer.

STD Code
Summer 15-25°C, Winter 7-18°C
Best time to visit
Nov - Jun



Nainital is an absolutely beautiful and tranquil hill station situated amongst the seven hills and one of the most popular hill stations in North India. The town is situated all around the beautiful Naini Lake, which is said to be the result of Goddess Durga’s fallen charred eye resulting in a lake. The place has been mentioned many a time in ancient Indian texts such as the Manas Khand of the Skand Purana. It is also famous for the British made residential schools which dot the entire Nainital scene.


It is believed that Nainital figures in some ancient myths of India. In the Manas Khand of the Skand Puranas, Nainital Lake is called Tri-Rishi-Sarovar, hinting at the story of three sages (or rishis), Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha, who, upon finding no water in Nainital, dug a large hole at the location of the present day lake (sarovar = lake) and filled it with water from the holy lake Manasarovar in Tibet. According to lore, a dip in Naini Lake, "the lesser Manasarovar," earns merit equal to a dip in the great lake.
It is also believed that Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal or [lake of the eye.] The goddess Shakti is worshipped at the Naina Devi Temple on the north shore of the present day lake. The temple however is a post 1885 construction, evident from the photographs of that era.


Air: Pantnagar airport is situated at a distance of 71 km away from Nainital. This is connected to Delhi International airport. Taxi services are available from airport to Nainital costing about Rs 1500. Delhi is the nearest international airport (350 km), which is well connected with other cities in India and abroad.

Rail: Kathgodam is the nearest railway station, which is 35 km away from Nainital. Lucknow, Agra and Bareilly are directly connected with Kathgodam by rail. Taxi fare from Kathgodam to Nainital is about Rs 600.

Road: Nainital is well connected to other cities by state public transport buses. Deluxe and semi deluxe luxury buses ply from Delhi (350 km), Almora (70 km), Ranikhet (60 km) and Badrinath (340 km). The bus charge varies between Rs 3 to Rs 4 per km.


Mall Road is the main shopping area in Nainital, which houses many good shops, where you can buy a range of items. Amongst the variety of items, main items you can buy here are the woollen garments, candles and decorative items made from wood. The decorative colourful candles are very popular among tourists and you will surely take back some beautiful candles. Bohtia Bazaar is famous for the woollen garments while the Mall Road and the Mallital market are good places for candles and wooden items.

Shopping in Nainital is a delightful experience. For a discerning shopper, it is impossible to return from a tour without shopping in Nainital.

Fabrics and woolen garments are the most popular items for shopping in Nainital. Most of such woolens are woven by the women of Almora. A variety of sweaters, cardigans, caps and shawls in exquisite designs and brilliant colors would arrest your eyes.

You can also pick up intricately carved cane sticks and multicolored candles in unique designs while shopping in Nainital. Like all hill stations, beautiful wood-carved utilities and objets d'art are also huge hits for shopping in Nainital.

In the fruit market in Nainital, you can buy fresh-from-the-orchard apples, peaches and cherries.

Nainital is also famous for handmade candles, home-made jams, squashes, juice concentrates and fruit preservatives. One can buy all this and more from authentic shops in Bara Bazaar, The Mall Road, Bhotia Bazaar and Mallitaal. One can also buy fresh Cherries, Apples, Strawberries, Mulberries, Peaches and Blueberries. Don’t forget to pick up some beautiful eco-friendly candlesticks and masks for your home décor.

Bara Bazaar: Mallital and Tallital are two busy areas of Nainital. A highly vibrant and happening market, the Bara Bazaar is a very famous area in Mallital and also serves as an excellent landmark. Nainital is very popular for the variety of different beautiful candles available. Do not miss to buy candles and cane sticks from Bara Bazaar. The other traditional buys include scarves, shawls, woodcrafts, cardigans and so on.

The Bara Bazaar in Mallital area also houses a lot of restaurants, which serve good food at reasonably cheaper rates. Once you have shopped enough for the variety of handicrafts and even freshly prepared jams from Bara Bazaar, you can be satisfied about having purchased the specialties of Nainital.

The Mall: The Mall road which runs along the side of the lake, is now known Govind Ballabh Pant Marg. The Mall road is a busy area lined up with shops, restaurants, travel agents, and business concerns such as banks and offices. The Mall road joins the two ends of Nainital, namely, Mallital and Tallital.

The Mall road also hosts two churches namely Methodist Church and Roman Catholic Church of St Francis. The Mall road is open to tourists interested in exploring the area on foot and takes the form of a walking street with the road closed for traffic in the evening hours during the months of May and June.

Tibetan Market: In addition to Bara Bazaar, one can shop extravagantly at the Tibetan Market. The Tibetan Market runs along the famous Naini lake of Nainital. This market is a shopper’s delight, for you can shop for a variety of items under one roof. Scarves, shawls, woolen clothing, Himalayan bags, junk jewellery, watches and much more are available in the Tibetan Market.

If you have never bargained in your life, then this is the right place for you to get a feel of bargaining. For the experts, get your bargaining skills polished. A good bargain can get you a good deal of items.


From small inns to 5-Star hotels, there is a profusion of hotels in Nainital. Equipped with all the necessary amenities, the hotels in Nainital provide you a comfortable as well as a memorable stay.

Deluxe Hotels : Alka "The Lake Side Hotel" (Mall Road), Arif Castles (Mallital), Classic (Mall Road), Balrampur House (Mallital), Swiss Hotel (Mallital), Palace Resort (Mallital), Welcome Resort (Tallital), Manu Maharani (Mallital), Royal Hotel (Mallital) and Shervani Hilltop Inn (Mallital).

Other Hotels : Hotel Krishna (Mall Road), Hotel Shalimar (Mall Road), Hotel Payal (Tallital), Hotel Savoy (Tallital), Radha Continental (Mallital) and Pratap Regency (Mall Road).

Nainital is a picturesque hill station in the state of Uttaranchal. The beauty of this Himalayan retreat is an abiding lure for those who prefer to relax and enjoy their vacation in the tranquil serenity of the mountains.

Since it is a popular tourist destination, there are a large number of hotels in Nainital. Equipped with modern facilities, the hotels in Nainital offer comfortable accommodation.

Although you would not get five star luxuries in the hotels in Nainital, but deluxe accommodation is available here.

Some of the prominent hotels in Nainital are:

The Manu Maharani
Infinity Resorts
Vikram Vintage Inn
Arif Castles

Things to do

Being a hill station, Nainital offers its visitors a large number of trekking options, amidst the scenic beauty of nature. The most popular trails include Nainital Betalghat Trek, Nainital Binayak Trek, Nainital Kainchi Trek, Nainital Kilbury Trek, Nainital Kunjkharak Trek, and Snow View Trek. The trek to Naina Peak is yet another one that is frequented by adventure lovers.

Trekking is the best way to take a tour of Nainital. All adventure enthusiasts and the exercise freaks will agree to the fact that there is nothing to beat a good walk, especially in the aura of Mother Nature. One can arrange a trek to Tiffin’s Top or Dorothy’s Seat, Naina/China Peak amongst the other hill tops present in Nainital.

A trek to the China Peak may take you around one hour depending upon your capacity to cover distances. Customized packages for trekking and camping can be arranged by the tour operators or the hotel travel desk, as per your convenience.

Boating & Yachting
Naini Lake, a natural freshwater lake in Nainital, provides the tourists opportunities of boating and yachting. A lunar-shaped lake, it is one of the four lakes in the Kumaon hills, with the others being Sattal Lake, Bhimtal Lake and Naukuchiyatal Lake. As you go boating and/ or yachting on the lake, the vistas of the three surrounding mountain peaks - Naina Peak, Tiffin Top and Snow View, simply take your breath away.

Wildlife Sighting
Located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, near Ramnagar-Kashipur highway, Jim Corbett National Park offers tourists the perfect opportunity to explore the wild creations of nature. The rich wildlife of the place includes tigers, leopards, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, dhole, jackal, yellow throated marten, Himalayan palm civet, Indian grey mongoose, common otter, porcupine, and black naped hare, elephants, spotted deer, etc.

Nature Walks
When in Nainital, do not miss out on the opportunity of going on nature walks, with your loved ones. As you take a right turn just before Tiffin Top, you will find an excellent trail along the McDonald’s Circular Road. If you are lucky, you might even spot the shy barking deer, plumaged khaleej pheasant and beautiful ‘pyura’ along the way. Other trails that are worth exploring include the one from Tiffin Top to Land’s End and the other from Land’s End to the Stables.

Horse Riding
A visit to Nainital cannot be complete unless and until you get a taste of horse riding, especially in the Mall area. Apart from that, you can also hire a horse or pony for going to Snow View Point, Tiffin Top, and Kilburi, from the Mallital area. Many people love to ride a horse to the Naina Peak as well, enjoying the views of the majestic Himalayas, covered with snow, and Nainital city, on the way.

STD Code
Summer 15-30°C, Winter 0-24°C

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, situated amidst barren ridge, is actually a historical capital city made out of twin village of Fatehpur and Sikri. Emperor Akbar established this city, to serve jointly with Agra, as the imperial capital of Mogul empire. The surviving palace and mosque are a tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site itself is a ghost town.


The History of Fatehpur Sikri dates back to the reign of Akbar, arguably one of the greatest and most charismatic rulers amongst the Great Mughals. Blessed with almost all the joys of life, the great Mughal emperor was, however, without an heir to the throne. It was this worry that led him to travel barefoot to Ajmer to seek the blessings of the great Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti, who eventually blessed the emperor with an heir to the Mughal throne in India, who was to be later known as Jahangir.

The entirety of the complex of Fatehpur Sikri was built as a kind of homage to this great Sufi saint, after whom the city was also named, an act that was a mark of gratitude shown by Akbar. According to modern historians, work on the construction of the complex began around the year 1571, a time when the prowess of the Mughals was at their peak. Once the construction of the fort was complete, the entirety of the complex of the Fatehpur Sikri began to serve as an additional capital to that of the Red Fort at Agra, which had till now been regarded as the only capital of the Mughal Rule.

The period of the Mughal rule with their capital at Fatehpur Sikri is regarded by modern historians as one of the most important periods in the annals of the History of India. It is said that many of the important administrative, financial as well as the military reforms of the Mughal era was conceptualized and implemented during this period.

It is said that the fort was abandoned at around the year of 1585, when a severe scarcity of water forced the people of the fort to look for a new settlement. Now one of the most popular tourist attractions of Uttar Pradesh, a trip to the Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh in India is a definite must include since the monument is today a part of the prestigious World Heritage Sites as declared by UNESCO.



Rail: Fatehpur Sikri has a small railway station. You can catch one of those trains from Agra Fort station that goes via Fatehpur Sikri.

Road: Fatehpur Sikri is well connected by road. Agra is the nearest major town with bus, Rail and air connectivity. Another route is through Bharatpur, the town in Rajastan famous for the UNESCO World Heritage Site bird sanctuary.


There are some local shops and stalls near the city. But, since it is an abandoned old historical city, there isnt much to be had by way of shopping. Agra, only 40 kms away has a lot more to offer.


Agra has a wide range of hotels and rest houses. UPSTDC's tourist complex, Taj Khema near the Taj Mahal offers accommodation in tents and deluxe rooms.There is a UPSTDC Tourist Bungalow as well.

STD Code
Best time to visit
October to March


Vrindavan, also known as Vraj (as it lies in the Braj region), is the site of an ancient forest, which is the region where Lord Krishna spent his childhood days. The town hosts hundreds of temples dedicated to the worship of Radha and Krishna and is considered sacred by a number of religious traditions such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Vaishnavism, and Hinduism in general. It is nicknamed "City of Widows" after the large population of abandoned widows who seek refuge here. The name 'Vrindaban' is derived from 'Vrinda', another name for the sacred tulsi (basil) plant.


Vrindavan has an ancient past, associated with Hindu history, and is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. One of its oldest surviving temples is the Govinda Deo temple, built in 1590, with the town founded earlier in the same century.

It is believed that the essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the year 1515, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendent pastimes. Lord Chaitanya wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavana in a spiritual trance of divine love. By His divine spiritual power, He was able locate all the important places of Lord Krishna's pastimes in and around Vrindavana.

In the last 250 years, the extensive forests of Vrindavan have been subjected to urbanization, first by local Rajas and in recent decades by apartment developers. The forest cover has been whittled away to only a few remaining spots, and the local wildlife, including peacocks, cows, monkeys and a variety of bird species has been eliminated or are close to it. A few peacocks and monkeys can be seen found but cows are now only found in the gosalas of the Major Ashrams of Vrindavan.


By Air: The nearest airport to Vrindavan is the Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi and is at a distance of 150 km from Vrindavan.

By Rail: Vrindavan has a small railway station in which passenger train stops. Closest major railway station to Vrindavan is at Mathura. It is about 14 km from Vrindavan.

By Road: State road transport corporation buses connect Vrindavan with neighboring cities including Mathura, Agra and Haridwar. There are few bus services from Delhi also.


Stroll along leisurely in the many narrow laned markets in Vrindavan where a row of shops selling silver ornaments, textiles, and handicraft products are showcased. These narrow lanes and Bazaars emit an old world charm which is characteristic of places like Mathura, Vrindavan, Agra and Haridwar.

Loi Bazaar is another place where you should visit while Shopping in Vrindavan. This is a treasure trove for those wanting to drool at antiques and wooden works from this region. Devotional items like the dresses of the idol or incense stick are also sold here. Brass items are reasonably cheap in both Mathura and Vrindavan.

Shopping in Vridavan is a cheerful experience. One would get a wide array of shops in an around the city. What ever be the purpose of the journey, shopping get a top priority in the itinerary of each visitor.

If you are in search of devotional items you can opt Ganga Prasada Rasbihari Lal & Sons or the Hare Krishna shop in Loi Bazar. Loi Bazar also houses other shops that sell handicrafts, fruits, incenses, good quality clothes, and so on. Most of the shops in Loi Bazaar are not so cheap, but seem to be reasonable.

From exclusive devotionals artifacts to gorgeous clothing, from silver to diamonds the shops in Vrindavan serves all type of goods according to the needs of the customers. If you are not particular in buying anything just roam in through the various shops and it is definite that you would get some thing that commemorates a trip in the blue god’s abode.

Marble Work: Vrindavan is famous for marble and alabaster products. Some objects are embossed with semi-precious stones or synthetic gems.

Glass Bangles: Heading through the network of narrow streets that start from Vishram Ghat leads to a row of bangle shops in the Radha Dhiraj Bazaar. Mathura is noted for lovely glass beads, stringing glass and wooden beads in necklaces together with Rudraksha (sacred seeds associated with Lord Shiva) and Tulsi (basil) in a variety of interesting combinations.

Milk Based-Sweets: Mathura, the land of cows, is famed for its milk-based sweetmeats. A variety of mouth-watering savouries, especially ‘peda’ are a well-known specialty of the town.


There are not many options for accommodation in Vrindavan barring some hotels and rest houses. The place does have around 200 dharamshalas where one can stay, but the services are very simple or nonexistent. There are many ashrams also that provide accommodation to the devotees.

Vrindavan does not have high quality hotels. However, it has nearly 200 dharamsalas (simple accommodation for pilgrims) that are clean and affordable. ISKCON Guesthouse and MVT are the main and best accommodation places provided by ISKCON and there are appearing new accommodations of hotel type all over Vrindavan every year.

Sri Vrinda Dham
Gandhi Marga, Vrindavan
Ph: 0565-244.2975
12 AC rooms Rs. 500 each (1 double bed)
12 Non-AC rooms Rs. 250-300 each (1double bed), incl. hot water
1 big hall for 15 people with mattresses, 2 toilets and 1 bathroom: Rs. 1500.
Location: near Hari Nikunja, about 15 min. by rickshaw from Gopinath Bhavan
For assistance you can contact Sukananda prabhu: Mob. 92.5804.7460/ 98.3711.5227

Hotel Shubham Holidays (New Hotel)
Gandhi Marg, Vrindavan.
Ph: +91-565-2456501, 2456502 645.3299
Manager: Mr. Iswariji
AC rooms Rs. 1000 (1 double bed) / AC rooms with 3 + 4 beds are also available
Pure vegetarian restaurant (no eggs, onion, garlic)
Location: near Hari Nikunja, about 15 min. by rickshaw in Gopinath Bhavan

Hotel the Shubham (Old building)
Vidyapeeth Crossing Gandhi Nagar, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh 281121
Ph: +91-565-2456025, 2443011 / 245.6025 / 645.3288 Website: http://www.shubhamhotels.in
Manager: Ashok and Ravi Kumar
AC rooms: Rs. 1000 (1 double bed) / non-AC rooms also available
Pure vegetarian restaurant (no eggs, onion, garlic)
Location: near Hari Nikunja, about 15 min. by rickshaw in Gopinath Bhavan

Thakur ji Ashram
Tel. +91 0565 244.2935 / +91 565 329.8844
2 Rooms with 4 beds: Rs.700 + AC & hot water
8 Rooms with 3 beds: Rs. 600 + AC hot water
Location: near Hari Nikunja, about 15 min. by rickshaw from Gopinath Bhavan

Giriraj Kripa Atithi Bhavan
Raman-reti Road, Vrindavan
98.37050036 / 0565-2443301
Manager: Murari Sharma
AC rooms: Rs. 400 (1 double bed) / AC rooms: Rs. 700 (2 double beds)
Location: near Hari Nikunja, about 15 min. by rickshaw from Gopinath Bhavan
For assistance you can contact Sukananda prabhu: Mob. 92.5804.7460/ 98.3711.5227

Radhe Syam Asram, Parikrama Marg, near ISKCON
Ph: 0565-254.0283 / 0565/254.0197
Manager: Ajay
AC rooms, 4 beds, kitchen and fridge + balcony Rs. 600 / AC rooms, 2 beds + fridge – Rs. 400
There is an underground parking lot and a pure vegetarian restaurant.
Location: Parikrama Road front side ISKCON, next to Lalita Asrama

Savitri Sewa Sadan
Madhuban Colony, Sunrakh Road, Vrindavan
Ph: 0565-254.0880 / Mob: 931.908.7338
Manager Dharmapal Singh & Manoj Jain
AC rooms: Rs. 400 (1 double bed) / AC rooms Rs. 700 (2 double beds)
Pure vegetarian meals available
Location: behind ISKCON Krsna Balaram Mandir, about 20 min. by rickshaw

Maheshwari Kunj Dharmashala
(Near Rangji Temple) Vrindavan
Ph: 0565-244.3516 / Mob: 931.9537.645
Manager: K.C. Biyani
3 AC rooms Rs. 400 for 4 people
10 Rooms non-AC + attached bathroom + 2 beds Rs 150
7 Common rooms, non-attached + beds Rs. 75
Location: 12-15 min. walking from Gopinath Bhavan.


Boating through the sparkling waters of Yamuna is an inevitable part of one’s pilgrimage in Vrindavan. The popular belief is that who ever utters the word Radha in the holy premises of Yamuna, would be absolved from all his sins. Perhaps this might be the reason for the gatherings near the holy banks of Yamuna. How ever a ride in the Yamuna River is full of awesome visions enriched with a devout feeling, which is sure to satisfy the picnicker and the pious alike.

The entire surroundings of Yamuna offer a divine appeal where one can feel the holiness of this legendary river. It is definite that when you venture your ride on the tranquil waters of Yamuna, you might have heard so many popular songs about the divine love of Radha and Krishna. Boating through Yamuna would be a unique experience to all which proffers some in depth feeling that could not be explained.

STD Code
Summer 32 to 45°C, Winter 15 to 28°C
Best time to visit
October to March


Mathura , the famous ‘Janambhoomi’ of Lord Krishna, is an important pilgrim place for Hindus and Krishna followers, located on the western bank of river Yamuna. The beauty of the city lies in its beautiful ghats, archways and temples stretching along the right bank of the River Yamuna. As the legend goes, Mathura was founded in the Treta era by Shatrughna, the younger brother of Lord Rama and later was under the royalty of King Kamsa, the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna.


According to the mythological history of Mathura or Brajbhoomi is famous as a birthplace of Lord Krishna. Vasudeva had carried Krishna, the eigth child of Devaki, to Vrindavan or Mathura to save him from being killed by Kansa. Historical city of Mathura and its surroundings carry interesting stories and childhood exploits of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna grew up here only to kill Kansa later.

According to the history of Mathura, it became a part of the Mauryan empire under the reign of King Ashoka. The benevolent king was an ardent follower of Buddhism. During this period, in the 3rd century BC he build beautiful Buddhist monuments and monasteries in and around Mathura. The city was an important center of art and culture between first century BC and first century AD. The wonderful carvings and sculpture of this period are referred to as the Mathura School of Art. After the decline of the Mauryan empire, Hinduism establish its stronghold in this region. Mahmud Ghazni ransacked the city in 11 th century AD destroying Buddhist and Hindu shrines. Finally, it came under the British rule in 1804.

Under the British rule the city was gifted with a cantonment. The Bhakti cult inspired the resurgence of Hindu movement. The Hindu rulers were instrumental in building up temples, river front ghats and finally revived the legend of Lord Krishna.

History of Mathura has undergone different phases, and has seen the fall and rise of many empires. Mathura has a long and fascinating history associated with mythology and tradition.


Air: Delhi International airport is the nearest one, which is 147 km away from Mathura. Delhi airport is well connected with major cities within the country and abroad. Taxis are available from Delhi and it takes about 9 hours to reach Mathura and fare is about Rs 2500.

Rail: Mathura Railway junction is an important rail head in the Mumbai – Delhi, Chennai – Delhi rail route. Pre-paid taxi services are available from Mathura to near by destinations. Regular train services are available from Mathura to Delhi and also to other cities in India.

Road: Mathura is well connected with nearby cities like Agra, Faizabad and Allahabad by state owned road transport corporation buses. Tourist Deluxe bus services are available from Delhi to Mathura, costing about Rs 500 per head.


Mathura is a religious town and has a very little or no commercial activity besides religious tourism. Even most of the shops sell items that are primarily used either to perform rituals or as offerings. The city though offers a few items to shop for.

Mathura is famed as the city of cowherds and it stands true to its reputation. Milk products are something that can be brought from here. A sweetmeat called 'Peda' made of overly boiled milk is a must. Varieties of Peda are available in Mathura, we suggest, go for 'Kesharia Peda' that have generous dose of saffron in them. Another milk product called 'Khurchan' has a craze in Mathura. These are a semi-liquid variety of 'Peda' but are not made out of synthesized milk as 'Pedas' are.

Nowhere in India will you find 'Ghee' as pure and aromatic as Mathura. Buy a small can if you want to have the 'taste of India'. Other items such as sweetmeats, cheese and cheese-spreads can also be bought.

Mathura is basically a pilgrimage town; therefore it offers lots of ritual and religious paraphernalia to the visitors. Small 'Astadhatu' busts of Hindu deities are a must buy. They are costly but a treasure worth keeping. Other items such as Rosary beads, Brass statues and utensils for worship are available at Bengali Ghats, Chatta Bazaar and Chowk.


Hotel Brij bihari (0565-250.1090)
Hotel Shyam Inn (0565-250.2097)
Mayur Lodge
Shakti Guest house


Janmashtami in Mathura
Janmashtmi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India as well as Uttar Pradesh. Although the festival is celebrated all over the Uttar Pradesh but it is the celebrations in the Mathura zone that has a special significance in this festival. The twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate the festival of Janmashtmi with great pomp and show. Mathura being the birthplace of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan being his residence has a special place in the hearts of Krishna devout.

The festival of Janmashtmi Temples is celebrated in Mathura with great enthusiasm. The main celebrations are performed at the Dwarkadhish temple in the form of Jhulanotsava and the Ghatas during the entire month of Monsoon called 'Shravan' in Hindi. The Ghatas are the most spectacular feature of the month long celebrations. During the Ghata of a particular color the whole temple including the clothes of deities are covered with decoration in the same color.

Vrindavan has a distinct style of its own. The processions heavily decorated with 'Jhankis' or tableaus, depicting various episodes of Lord Krishna's life, are brought out in the city. The most spectacular displays during the period are the gold and silver 'Jhulas' or swings that are taken out on display only during the occasion. The Raslila enactments further add to the festive spirit. Apart from that Earthen-pots of curd and butter are hung up over the streets. Young men enacting an episode from Krishna's childhood form human pyramids by climbing on each other's shoulders and try to break these up.

STD Code
Best time to visit
October to March
Famous For
birth place of Lord Krishna


Agra, situated on the west bank of River Yamuna, is heritage city most famous tourist destination, flourished during the reign of the Mughals - notably under Emperor Akbar and subsequently under Emperor Shah Jahan - from 1526 to 1658. The architectural splendor of the city is reflected in the glorious monuments of medieval India built by great Mughals who ruled India for more than 300 years.


Agra was first mentioned in the epic Mahabharata as Agrevan (translates as "The Border of the Forest").
In 1501 Sikander Lodhi of the Delhi Sultanate made it his capital. In 1526 Babur defeated the Lodhi’s and Agra came under the Mughal rule. Babur introduced Mughal gardens to Agra.

Agra flourished during Akbar’s rule and became a centre for art, culture and learning. He laid the foundation for a city here and named it Akbarabad. Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri were built during Akbar’s reign. When Shah Jahan, who had a passion for architecture, came into power he built the Taj Mahal, most of the palce buildings inside the Agra Fort and the Jama Masjid.

Shah Jahan's son, Aurangazeb, moved moved his capital from Agra to Delhi and that began the slow decline of Agra as well as the Mughal Empire. The Jats then came into power beginning the years of destruction to the city and its monuments, followed by the Maratas and then the British.


By Air: Agra’s Kheria Airport is located 8 km away from the heart of the city. Agra is connected to Varanasi, Delhi and Khajuraho by air.

By Rail: Agra is a major railway junction on routes to the south, east and west. Agra's railway station is Agra Cantonment.

By Road: Agra is on the cross roads of national highways 2, 3 and 11 and is well connected to all parts of the country. Express and air-conditioned bus services are available from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gualior and Jhansi.


The markets of Agra are full of tiny marble replicas of the Taj Mahal sold as decorative pieces. Though all of them are not of the same quality, tourists can definitely find some of the best replicas if they take a little pain in searching through the markets.

Agra is also famous for leather products. Many different items like bags, caps, jackets, wallets, sandals, shoes and decorative items are made of leather. The Zari and embroidery works of the local artisans are also among the best buys of Agra.

Shopping in Agra can be an interesting and beautiful experience. The Agra bazaars (markets) still bear the remnants of the past glory when their ethnic arts and crafts were patronised and popularized by the Mughal emperors.

Some of the items for which Agra is famous include handicrafts items like marble tabletops; soft stone lay work, semi precious stones, jewellery items and hand made leather items. The small replica of the Taj Mahal makes popular souvenir, decorated with inlay work with semi-precious and precious stones imitating the style of the pietra dura work on the grand Taj. The 'Chikan embroidery' and thread and zari work on clothing illustrate the plush art traditions that have been carried down over the generations in the family of artisans.

Sandalwood items, durries, carpets and textiles are other popular items to shop for in Agra. Some of the popular bazaars in Agra that you can visit on your shopping tour include the Kinari Bazaar, Pratap Pura, Sadar Bazaar, Munro Road, Taj Ganj and Gwalior Road. There are the modern shopping sites and complexes too especially the state emporiums where you can purchase antique souvenirs to luxury items.


Hotels in Agra are known for their hospitality. The hotels in Agra offer everything from room luxuries to sightseeing and leisure facilities.

Some of the well known hotels are located near the Taj Mahal.But for the budget traveler who can not afford this luxury, do not get disheartened because almost all the hotels in Agra are located near the Taj Mahal or arrange special trips to visit the bewitching Taj Mahal.


Taj Mahotsav
Come February and it's springtime! The time of the year when nature dawns all it's colorful splendour and Agra bursts into colorful celebrations. For 10 days there is a sheer celebration of Uttar Pradesh's rich heritage of arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, dance and music. Yes, it is Taj Mahotsav time again. There are festivities all around and Agra truly puts on the colors of joy and gets transformed into one non stop carnival. Organised by Uttar Pradesh Tourism, and held as an annual event at Shilpgram, literally next door to the Taj Mahal, the Taj Mahotsav is indeed a fitting tribute to the legendary skills of matercraftsmen and exponents of art, music and cuisine. Not only this, it is also a gentle peep into the rich heritage and extraordinary legacies of this wonderful land.

Bateswar Fair
Situated at a distance of 70 km. from Agra on the banks of river Yamuna, Bateshwar is an important spiritual and cultural centre. The place is named after the presiding deity of the region, Bateshwar Mahadeo and has 108 temples, dedicated to the gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.

During the months of October & November, a large fair is organised from Shashthi of Kartik month to Panchami of Agrahayan month. The fair holds a lot of importance for the Hindus. Devotees congregate here in large numbers to worship Lord Shiva and take holy dips in river Yamuna. A Livestock Fair is also organised and owners and buyers conduct serious business combined with the gaiety of a market place.

The marriage procession of Sri Ram called as 'Rambarat' is held every year, during Ramlila celebrations at Agra. Every year, a new locale of the town is chosen as Janakpuri, which is elaborately decorated to perform the royal wedding. The Rambarat (marriage procession) starts from Lala Channomalji Ki Baradari for Janakpuri, passing through different parts of the town. The barat is a large procession of tableaux or the 'jhankis', followed by Ram and Lakshman, mounted on elephants.

Kailash Fair
The kailash fair is held at Kailash, 12 kms from Agra during the months of August-September. It is a major fair celebrated in honour of lord shiva, who is believed to have appeared here in the form of a stone lingam.

STD Code
Summer 25 to 46°C, Winter 1 to 23°C
Best time to visit
October to March
Famous For
Taj Mahal, one of the 7 Wonders of the World