7 Day Uttarakhand Road Trip Itinerary
The Best of Uttarakhand in One Week
Uttarakhand Tourism saw a sharp rise in popularity the last couple of years. This northern state in India is a cornucopia of many hill stations and tourist attractions. There is so much to do and so much to see as Uttarakhand is blessed with natural beauty – jungles, rivers, snow-clad mountains and an inherent sense of divinity. The state is also called “Devbhumi” (“The Land of the Gods”) as it is home to many highly revered shrines like Badrinath, Kedarnath and so many others. And then there is offbeat Uttarakhand that we keep exploring whenever we can find an opportunity.
It can take a whole book to write about what are the best things to do in Uttarakhand. But that is for another day. Here is our humble attempt to create an Uttarakhand guide about what all can you do in 7 days, through this 7 Day Uttarakhand Travel Itinerary and Guide. We have tried to include destinations that you can reach within 6-7 hours of journey from each other.
How to reach Uttarakhand
The best way to reach Uttarakhand from any part of the world is by starting from Delhi. Delhi is very well-connected with Uttarakhand via road, rail and air. Though there are 5 airports in Uttarakhand, you may or may not get a direct flight. Once you are in Delhi, you can opt for road transport like a rented cab, bus or a self driven car. From our experience, Uttarakhand road trips are most convenient to reach some of the offbeat places.
- The Best of Uttarakhand in One Week
- How to reach Uttarakhand
- Day 1 – Delhi to Haridwar
- Day 2 – Haridwar to Mussoorie
- Day 3 – Mussoorie to Chakrata
- Day 4 – Chakrata to Lansdowne
- Day 5 – Lansdowne to Nainital
- Day 6 – Kausani Day Trip
- Day 7 – Nainital to Jim Corbett National Park
- Day 8 – Back to Delhi
- 7 Day Uttarakhand Road Trip Itinerary – Summary
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Day 1 – Delhi to Haridwar
Haridwar is famous for River Ganges. It is a temple town in Uttarakhand and is famous for its Ganga Aarti that is performed every morning and evening. One can cover the 200 kms odd strech from Delhi to Haridwar within 5 hours and the road condition is good. The stretch is full of eating options like dhabas, hotels and cafes. The good part is Haridwar is in the Himalayan foothills so one can expect decent weather.
Things to do in Haridwar include Ganga Aarti especially in the evening. It’s a spectacle like no other. Thousands of devotees gather around the river banks to offer prayers to Goddess Ganga. Priests with lamps in their hands chant mantras and the atmosphere looks blissful. There are myriad temples in Haridwar each with a different story. You can also visit Rishikesh from Haridwar which is barely 45 minutes drive and there are some famous temples and ashram in Rishikesh. The famous Beatles Ashram is also in Rishikesh. One can opt for hourly meditation and spa sessions in Rishikesh as well. This zone is also the most popular water rafting zone in North India.
Day 2 – Haridwar to Mussoorie
Haridwar to Mussoorie is around 85kms and is not more than a 3 hours drive. Mussoorie is also called the “Queen of Hills” and hence from Day 2 your trip is going to be mostly on high terrain. Mussoorie is immensely popular with tourists because of many reasons. For one, Mussoorie has great weather throughout the year. Further, it has access to all sorts of hotel options from basic to luxury, from family friendly places to hostels and dormitories. Thirdly, this place has fantastic connectivity to other locations in Uttarakhand.
Things to do in Mussoorie include pottering down the famous Mall Road, trekking to Char Dukan, St Paul’s Church and early morning walk to camel’s back point. While trekking, do look out for antique and cobbler shops that make handmade shoes on order. A visit to hill resort Rockby’s Manor and savouring cheese omelette at Lovely Omelette Shop are also highly recommended. You may shop for souvenirs from the Mall Road of Mussoorie. It is full of gift options for all tastes and budgets.
Day 3 – Mussoorie to Chakrata
You will drive 100kms and reach Chakrata in a span of 3 hours from Mussoorie and see a completely different side of Uttarakhand here. While Mussoorie is extremely touristy, Chakrata is quite the opposite. It is an offbeat place and you may not see many tourists here. But it is breathtakingly beautiful and has retained its tranquillity. Chakrata is less explored but there are also many things one can do here in addition to soaking in the natural beauty. The most popular activity here is to visit Tiger Falls. These falls create sounds of roaring tigers when water drops from top of the hill to the pond at the bottom. It is a perfect picnic spot and you can frolic in the water. Apart from the waterfalls one can also visit Mahsu Temple and Budher Caves.
For adventure lovers there are arrangements for water rappelling at Kimona Falls.
Day 4 – Chakrata to Lansdowne
Start the day early and within 6-7 hours of driving from Chakrata, covering around 250 kms, you will reach Lansdowne, a sleepy hill station in Uttarakhand. Lansdowne is essentially a Cantonment Town, and is home to the eilte Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army and hence you can expect peace, cleanliness and order. It is one of our most favorite places in Uttarakhand, no wonder we have visited it many times.
Things to do in Lansdowne include visiting Bulla Taal, a manmade lake which almost looks like a set from Indiana Jones movie, St Mary’s Church and trek up to Tiffin Top. We would highly recommend doing all these things by foot. All these things are under one hour trekking from each other and you will be able to absorb the beauty of Lansdowne better. Don’t forget to savour the famous chocolate burfi and Baal Mithai – the specialty desserts of this region. We bet you will get these packed for friends and family.
Day 5 – Lansdowne to Nainital
A 6-7 hour drive covering around 250 kms will take you from Lansdowne to Nainital, which is perhaps the busiest hill station in Uttarakhand. Just like Mussoorie, Nainital also gets tourists all through the year. Summer vacations are the peak season in Nainital and if you don’t like crowds you should avoid holiday months for visiting this place. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful hill station any day.
The Naini Lake surrounded by green mountains is the heart of this place. Boating in Naini Lake is just one of the things to do here. Apart from this, you can visit the Naina Devi Temple, enjoy cable car rides and visit Eco Caves Garden. The Mall Road is a perfect place for shopping. Look out for hand carved wax candles here. This is a local handicraft and the candles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We would also highly recommend breakfast and bakery items at The Sakleys, A Mountain Cafe on Mall Road.
Day 6 – Kausani Day Trip
Don’t check out from your hotel at Nainital when you start for Kausani the next morning. Kausani can be visited from Nainital and one is advised to come back the same night since there are not many lodging options in Kausani. The driving time from Nainital to Kasauni is less than 4 hours and Kausani will give you a much-needed break from the humdrum of Nainital. Start early in the morning and you can visit Neem Karouli Ashram and Katarmal Sun Temple on route to Kausani. If you love history, Katarmal Sun Temple may turn out to be a spectacular experience.
Kausani is a quaint little hamlet in Uttarakhand and would be loved by travellers who like peace and solitude. Apart from watching the valley from the binoculars from the highest point here, one must visit Gandhiji’s Anashakti Ashram in Kausani. It is a beautiful ashram cum museum displaying Gandhi memorabilia. Kausani is a perfect place to just be and not do anything. Just be one with nature and be awed by the variety of brightly coloured wild flowers. Start on your way back around sunset and you’ll be in Nainital by dinner time.
Another interesting alternative, is to head out of Nainital, and drive to Bhimtal, an hour away, and check into Fredy’s Bungalow – A Colonial style bungalow, for the night, surrounded by nature, which is perfect for disconnecting and reconnecting with nature. Among the many things that you can do, the best of the lot is to go hiking which also involves plenty of bird watching.
Day 7 – Nainital to Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park, the last destination on this 7 Day Uttarakhand Road Trip Itinerary, is barely 2 hours from Nainital and this would be your drive downhill back to the plains. Jim Corbett National Park, which also happens to be one of the Best National Parks in India, is famous for its jungle safari which happens early mornings and evenings. Most of the accommodation here are resorts, such as Aahana Resort and there are barely any standalone restaurants.
It is highly advisable to pre book your jungle safari as the better zones get full very easily. If you are lucky you may see tigers in the jungle but it highly depends on which zone are you in and which month you visit Jim Corbett. Don’t focus too much on tiger sightings and enjoy the deer, nilgai, and host of birds like kingfisher that would surely come your way. The overall safari experience is beautiful.
Apart from jungle safari, one can go for a village tour on foot or on a bicycle that your resort may provide. Since it’s your last day in Uttarakhand we would highly recommend taking it easy and Jim Corbett is a perfect place for that. The place has a very relaxed and laid-back vibe. Being forest area travellers are not advised to venture out in the night. That is the best time to chill in a pool or rejuvenate in a spa inside the resort.
Day 8 – Back to Delhi
Start after breakfast from Jim Corbett National Park and after a 5 hours drive, you will be in Delhi with your cameras full of beautiful pictures and your hearts full of amazing memories.
7 Day Uttarakhand Road Trip Itinerary – Summary
Day 1: Haridwar
Day 2: Mussoorie
Day 3: Chakrata
Day 4: Lansdowne
Day 5: Nainital
Day 6: Kausani Day Trip
Day 7: Jim Corbett
We hope you found this 7 Day Uttarakhand Travel Itinerary, to be of help to you, as a reliable Travel Resource for planning your Road Trip to Uttarakhand. Don’t forget to Pin these images, and save this One Week Uttarakhand Road Trip Itinerary, for future travel planning.
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9 thoughts on “7 Day Uttarakhand Road Trip Itinerary”
We have visited Uttarakhand a number of times. I have so many great memories of Nainital, Mussoirie, Kausani, Haridwar and others.
Uttarakhand is one of our favourite states. Its sheer natural beauty is mesmerizing. There are so many known and unknown gems that pull us to Uttarakhand time and again. Apart from places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Mussoorie, we loved visiting lesser know places like Kausani, Chaukori, and Shitalakhet among others. But there is still so much of Uttarakhand left to explore. Reading your post brought back pleasant memories of the land of the Gods.
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Oh wow! This seems to be a very ideal plan for a roadtrip Arnav! In fact, now that pandemic has changed the dynamics of travel for sometime, doing this roadtrip might just be what we need, and we’ll get to put this to good use.
This sounds like the perfect week long getaway! Now that roadtrips are going to become the new norm, this will definitely help those who would like to take on Kumaon! This route especially seems ideal for a bike ride ?
Oh wow! This seems to be a very ideal plan for a roadtrip Arnav! In fact, now that pandemic has changed the dynamics of travel for sometime, doing this roadtrip might just be what we need, and we’ll get to put this to good use! 🙂
Uttarakhand is like heaven on earth. We have visited Uttarakhand a number of times. I have so many great memories of Nainital, Mussoirie, Kausani, Haridwar and others. This is a great guide and itinerary for spending a week in Uttarakhand. I would love to go back there again!
we have visited Uttarakhand a number of time, once for Kedar-Badri, next for Gangotri-Yamunotri and last time while our trek to Roopkund. This is the place we have first fallen in love with the mountains. Reading your post, brings back so many memories
For a person living in Mumbai, this guide fits best for me ! Than you for off-beat replacements for us readers and I am reading other 7 day guides right NOW!
Great article. A good mix of Garhwal and Kumaon. We’ve been to all the places you’ve mentioned and Chakrata is our favorite in all of them. Btw, which route you took from Mussoorie to Lansdowne? You did on local transport or your own vehicle?
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