Uttarakhand is a well-known pilgrimage center in India due to the presence of numerous Hindu temples.. Also known as “Deva Bhumi” or the Land of Gods – this region is equally popular for preserving the leaflets of history. There are some popular monuments in Uttarakhand that remain the region’s special attractions for visitors as well as travellers from all categories – be it a business, solo or family trip.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) lists as many as 44 historical monuments in Uttarakhand that can be visited for a ‘knowhow’ of the glorious past of the region. Steeped in the rich heritage dating back to prehistoric times, the natural environment of this state makes it an attractive tourist destination for domestic and international travelers. Read on to find out the 9 top monuments in Uttarakhand which you must visit during your lifetime.
Top 16 Monuments In Uttarakhand
Mentioned below are some of the best monuments of Uttarakhand one should definitely make a plan to visit. Do add the most prominent ones to your list:
- Badrinath – Amongst The Famous Ones
- Katarmal Sun Temple – Almora’s Pride
- Baijnath Temple – Popular Throughout The Year
- Rudranath Temple – Involves An Amazing Trek
- Jagatram – A Historical Site Of Rituals
- Sitabani – Sita’s Abode In Corbett
- Patal Bhuvaneshwar – Walk Through The Narrow Cave
- Mahasu Devta Temple – A Wonder Near Tons River
- Baleshwar Temple – Witness The Architectural Brilliance
- Jageshwar Temples – Observe The Caves
- Lakhamandal – Mythology That’ll Surprise You
- Pandukeshwar Group of Temples – Stories From The Epic
- Adi Badri Group Of Temples – Lord Vishnu’s Residence
- Gangolihat Temples And Caves – A Fascinating Offering
1. Badrinath – Amongst The Famous Ones
Perched in the Himalayan region at about 11,000 feet above ground level, Badrinath is the most visited heritage monument in Uttarakhand. The place is one of the quartets of the famed Char Dham or the four shrines. Named after Lord Vishnu—the Preserver, Badrinath is also home to traditional and astonishing Garhwali wooden architecture. This is obviously one of the most famous monuments in Uttarakhand.
The main temple is set against the backdrop of a hillock and presents a picturesque view for the connoisseurs while offering bliss and peace for the devotees. Since Badrinath is located at a high altitude in a comparatively colder region, it is open only for six months in a year i.e. from April to November. It makes for a truly spiritual destination to re-energize your spiritual leanings. Apart from being an amazing religious site, it is also one of the best historical monuments in Uttarakhand.
Key attractions: The main temple is subdivided into three main areas, namely Garbhagriha (Sanctum Sanctorium), Darshan Mandap (worship hall), and Sabha Mandap (Meeting hall)
How to Reach: Rishikesh is the nearest railhead. Visitors can ride for around 300 km to Badrinath via Joshimath town either by bus or in the shared or private cars. The nearest airport is located in Dehradun, merely 20 km away from Rishikesh. Buses and cab services also ply from the airport to Badrinath.
Places to Stay: Joshimath town has several lodging and boarding places which provide dining facilities and are quite affordable & decent
Best time to visit: Warm and moist weather with average day temperature during April to November hovering around 18 to 26 Degree Celsius make for pleasant stays.
Built-In: 7th century
Built By: Adi Shankara
2. Katarmal Sun Temple – Almora’s Pride
This 800-year old place of worship is the 2nd biggest Sun Temple in the country flocked by devotees throughout the year. Katarmal Sun Temple Uttarakhand is hemmed in by a host of smaller temples numbering 45, therefore, it can also be denoted as one of the holiest sites in the region. The temple owing to its prowess is by default the most famous monuments in Uttarakhand.
This temple is a living example of architectural integrity and the richness of the bygone era. Its glimpse is still witnessed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each day and throughout the year. Apart from the idols of the Sun God, the deities of Lord Siva, Parvathi, and Vishnu are also worshipped by the devotees at Katarmal Sun Temple Uttarakhand.
Key attractions: Idyllic viewpoints like the Zero Point in the thick of the wildlife sanctuary is a major piece of attraction. The place provides a 300 km stretch view of Kedarnath, Shivling, and Nanda Devi. Jageshwar is another place known to be one of the Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is obviously popular with the worshippers of Shiva.
How to Reach: Being a hill station, no Railway or Airways route is available. Pantnagar Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 115 km. A good network of private and public bus transport services are available here that keeps this area well connected to other places.
Places to Stay: Reasonably good quality hotels in the price range of Rs 1500 to Rs 4000 per night per person are available here.
Best time to visit: Best period to visit here is between March to May. Mean day temperatures are between 23 and 31 degrees Celsius.
Built In: 9th-13th century
Built By: King Katarmalla
3. Baijnath Temple – Popular Throughout The Year
Situated on the banks of the Gomti River, Baijnath is one of the many famous monuments in Uttarakhand echoing spirituality and religious environment. Baijnath temple is among the important religious places in Bageshwar district of the State. One of the select few monuments that appeal to a large chunk of domestic and international visitors, Baijnath is famous as a historical monument of national importance. This famous pilgrimage centre for the devotees of Lord Siva witnesses people flocking every day and throughout the year except during the months of winter.
Key attractions: The temple of Brahmri Devi, at a distance of about 2 km from here happens to be a famous monument in Uttarakhand. Aadi Guru Shankaracharya was known to have rested at this temple on his way to Badrinath.
How to Reach: Kathgodam Railway Station is located at a distance of approximately 144 km from here. Likewise, Pantnagar Airport, situated 175 km away links this region with other parts of the country through Airways. Regular bus services are available here from various nearby areas.
Places to Stay: Budget hotels are available in plenty, though the facilities are very basic. The nearest town of Kausani offers better accommodation options to travellers looking for a genuine and affordable stay.
Best time to visit: Months of May and September are the best times to visit Baijnath. Day temperatures vary between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius.
Built In: 1204 AD
Built By: Manyuka and Ahuka
Suggested Read: 15 Places To Visit In Uttarakhand This Winter 2020-21
4. Rudranath Temple – Involves An Amazing Trek
Rudranath is one of the five Kedar pilgrimage temples located in the peaceful Garhwal area of the Himalayas and one of the top monuments in Uttarakhand. Rudranath is home to the highly worshipped Siva temple of the country. This celestial place of worship is ensconced amid the dense forests and alpine meadows. The trek to this temple is the most exhilarating part of the journey as it takes the visitors through wild woods and steep rocks.
Key attractions: The wonderful Nandikund Lake is a major draw for the tourists. It is located at about 4,500 metres above sea level.
How to Reach: This place is a trekker’s paradise. It takes about 3 days of trekking from Sagar village. It is located about 260 km away from Dehradun airport and 241 km away from the nearest railway station in Rishikesh.
Places to Stay: As the temple is located at a high altitude, accommodation availability is limited. Although, a few home-stay options are available but most pilgrims usually carry tents and sleeping bags to rest.
Best time to visit: Best time to visit this place is between May to November.
Built In: 8th century
Built By: The Pandavas
5. Jagatram – A Historical Site Of Rituals
Jagatram is located near Dehradun in the Garhwal region, it is a fascinating and one of the most top monuments in Uttarakhand. It is historically significant and is replete with its rich heritage dating back to the 1st Century AD. That is why, it remains to this date, one of the most popular heritage monuments, renowned for an ancient horse sacrificing ritual.
History has it that one of the ruling kings of the Verman Clan performed Ashwamedha Yaga or the sacrifice of horses, to attain mystical powers at the four sites in this area. Currently, 3 out of 4 sites were founded and maintained by the ASI.
Key attractions: Being only 30 km away from Dehradun, several natural edifices and caves like Robbers Cave, Asan Barrage, Sahastradhara or thousand-fold spring are in the vicinity.
How to Reach: Dehradun Airport is just 65 km away while Dehradun Railway Station is located at a distance of 8 km only. Being close to Dehradun, many State and Private Transport buses operate from neighbouring states as well.
Places to Stay: Budgeted 5-star hotels and resorts are abundantly available for accommodation purposes. Costs could vary from Rs 800 to Rs 7,000 per night per person, depending on one’s budget.
Best time to visit: Dehradun is a hill resort; therefore, its weather is ideal to visit any part of the year.
Built In: 1st-5th century
Built By: Sil Verman
Suggested Read: 13 Fabulous Places To Visit In Pauri Uttarakhand In 2021
6. Sitabani – Sita’s Abode In Corbett
This is one of the most prominent temples located in Uttarakhand and as the name suggests it has been built in devotion to Goddess Sita. As a part of Corbett National Park, not only is this temple admired for its spiritual aspects but its location too is worth admiring. There are a number of myths attached to this temple, making it one of the most mystical sites in Corbett. The very location makes it one of the top monuments in Uttarakhand.
Key attractions: The architecture of this temple will leave you mesmerised, the views around this temple are worth looking at
How to Reach: Since Jim Corbett is connected to various major cities of North India, it is not difficult to reach this temple
Places to Stay: Aahana the Corbett Wilderness, Taj Corbett Resort & Spa, The Riverview Retreat by Leisure Hotels
Best time to visit: November to February
Built In: NA
Built By: NA
7. Patal Bhuvaneshwar – Walk Through The Narrow Cave
This is one of the most mystical pilgrimages in the state of Uttarakhand and is admired for its spiritual aspects. Established at an altitude of 1,350 meters above the sea level, this temple is essentially devoted to Lord Shiva and innumerable believers come here to pay their reverence.
Key attractions: To reach the temple, you’ll have to go through a 13-kilometer long and narrow limestone cave, the meditative environment here will make your visit memorable, formations of various deities
How to Reach: the nearest airport from Patal Buvaneshwar is Pantnagar Airport while the nearest station is Tanakpur. It is quite easy for you reach the destination from there via taxi or bus
Places to Stay: Parwati Resort, Oaks Nature Camp, Haridarshan Resort, Sailasha Resort
Best time to visit: January to February, April to June, and October to December
Built In: 12th century AD
Built By: Chand and Katyuri rulers
8. Mahasu Devta Temple – A Wonder Near Tons River
This is one of the best monuments of Uttarakhand and is located in Hanol. Hanol is considered amongst the most popular villages of Uttarakhand and is established around Tons River. Many devotees from distant places pay a visit to this temple to seek blessings. Located in Chakrata, the temple is also admired for the various views around it.
Key attractions: There’s a festival as well as fair organised here every year in the month of May where numerous ceremonies are conducted, there are a lot of mythological stories of the demon, Mandarth that are associated with this temple
How to Reach: Reaching Chakrata is not a hassle, as it is well connected to the main cities of North India.
Places to Stay: Deodar Dream Resort, Hill Knights, Himalayan Eco Lodges Viraatkhai, GMVN Hanol – Tourist Bungalow
Best time to visit: March to November
Built In: 9th century
Built By: King Duryodhana
Suggested Read: Top 44 Amazing Places To Visit In Uttarakhand In 2021
9. Baleshwar Temple – Witness The Architectural Brilliance
This temple is considered to be one of the most famous monuments of Uttarakhand, as there is a lot to witness here. Located in Champawat, this temple holds a rich history that is worth knowing. The temple was established by the Chand Dynasty rulers. According to archaeologists, the temple was built somewhere between the 10th and 12th century A.D.
Key attractions: The architecture of this temple is quite amazing owing to the beautiful stone carvings
How to Reach: You can easily reach Champawat thorough car or bus
Places to Stay: KMVN Tourist Rest House, Khetikhan KMVN Tourist Guest House
Best time to visit: January to June, October to December
Built In: 10th – 12th century AD
Built By: Chand Dynasty
10. Jageshwar Temples – Observe The Caves
Jageshwar is a hub of nearly 125 temples that makes it another holy place for one to visit at least once. It is one of the few monuments in Uttarakhand that keeps you at peace, religiously. From the oldest Mrutyunjaya Temple to the biggest Dandeshwar Temple, the city of Jageshwar reverberates during the two popular festivals of the year in March and August. The temples of Chandika, Nanda Devi, Kuber and Surya are known for their exquisite sculptures and architectural richness which make them worth visiting for ultimate exploration.
Key attractions: Apart from several historical and mythological temples, the caves of Airavat or Airavat Gufa is a major tourist attraction around this place.
How to Reach: Kathgodam Railway Station is located at a distance of just 125 km from here. Pantnagar Airport is 150 km away and connects this area with other destinations through Airways. Buses ply from various routes regularly.
Places to stay: Numerous guest houses with decent facilities are available and so are the many home-stay inns around the vicinity.
Best time to visit: Sombre weather throughout the year barring the winter period of December to March makes it a great place to explore.
Built In: 7th -11th century
Built By: Katyuri Kings
11. Lakhamandal – Mythology That’ll Surprise You
Lakhamandal, out of all the monuments, stands out due to its sheer antiquity and rich mythological significance. Located in the Chakrata region of Uttarakhand, this monument is believed to be a place where Duryodhana of Mahabharata fame tried to burn the Pandavas in their wax house.
The main temple here has the deity of Lord Siva. Uniqueness of this temple is the appealing Shivling made up of graphite, which shines when water is poured on it.
Key attractions: The place is popular for steep peaks and enthralling waterfalls.
How to Reach: Lakhamandal is about 100 km away from Chakrata while Dehradun Railway Station is located at a distance of nearly 107 km. The Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is located at a distance of 130 km connecting it with the rest of the destinations by Airways.
Places to Stay: Lodges, hotels, and dream resorts in Chakrata provide decent and convenient accommodations at affordable rates. Prices range from Rs. 600 to Rs. 2,000 per night per person..
Best time to visit: Barring the months of December to February, this place is ideal to visit in the remaining months. An average day time temperature of 20 degrees Celsius usually surrounds the place.
Built In: NA
Built By: NA
12. Pandukeshwar Group of Temples – Stories From The Epic
Pandukeshwar is known to be one of the holiest places in Uttarakhand that lies on the way to Badrinath and is 18 kilometers away from Joshimath. According to the mythological beliefs, this is where the father of Pandavas, King Pandu used to come to worship Lord Shiva. It is home to two prominent temples.
Key attractions: the two temples – Sapta Badri and Lord Vasudev Temple are quite awe-striking sites here
How to Reach: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport from here and the nearest railway station is in Badrinath. Reaching here from these two points is quite easy via road
Places to Stay: Snow Crest, Badri Ville, Narayan Palace, Sarovar Portico
Best time to visit: April to June and September to November
Built In: NA
Built By: Pandavas
13. Adi Badri Group Of Temples – Lord Vishnu’s Residence
The Adi Badri group of 16 temples are part of the famous Panch Badri of Uttarakhand. The Narayan temple within them has a black stone idol of Lord Vishnu which is three feet high and enshrined. The temples belong to the Gupta dynasty and are believed to be Lord Vishnu’s residence in Satya, Treta and Dwapara yugas.
Key attractions: The magnificent architecture of Lord Vishnu’s temple and the beautiful confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Pindar
How to Reach: The best way to reach the Adi Badi group of temples is via road from Rishikesh. You can reach Rishikesh via trains that ply from New Delhi on a regular basis.
Places to Stay: The Tattva Resort, The Meadows Chopta, Blue Bells Cottage,
Best time to visit: February to November
Built In: 5th to 8th century
Built By: Adi Shankaracharya
14. Gangolihat Temples And Caves – A Fascinating Offering
Located in the Pithoragarh district, the Shakti Peethas of Hat Kalika of Goddess Kali are the prime attractions. Other amazing monuments in the vicinity include the underground caves, Chamunda Mandir, Vaishnavi Mandir, Ambika Dewaal, etc. The temple has a lot to offer not just in terms of spirituality but also adventure.
Key attractions: The group of temples, Shakti Peethas and panoramic views of the Himalayas from the Shail Parvat
How to Reach: The best way to reach Gangolighat is via roads from Kathgodam which is the nearest railway station to Gangolighat, 200 km away.
Places to Stay: Summit Parwati Resort, Oaks Nature Home Stay Resort, B.N Resort, KMVN Tourist Rest House
Best time to visit: February to November
Built In: NA
Built By: Adi Shankaracharya
Suggested Read: 16 Rivers In Uttarakhand: Enjoy These Gorgeous Beauties In 2021
15. Dwarahat – Enveloped Within Kumaon Mountains
Dwarahat is home to some of the most impressive historical monuments in Uttarakhand. Steeped in the middle of the Kumaon Mountains, Dwarahat serves as an ideal retreat spot in the district of Almora. More than 50 ancient temples adorn this medieval town reflecting the region’s past and its magnificent architecture. Glorious views of popular Himalayan peaks, especially Manasarovar enthralls every visitor. It is one of the few hill stations that provides you with a very laid-back environment and remains an ideal location for full rejuvenation.
Key attractions: The nearby town of Ranikhet has several idyllic and serene spots which include the following:
– Chaubatia Orchards (renowned for Apples, Peaches, Plums etc)
– 9-hole Golf Course (the 2nd largest in the country)
– Jhula Devi Temple
– Majhkali (an ideal gateway to catch the glorious Himalayan Mountains)
How to Reach: This place is well connected with the Airways, Railways and Roadways. While the nearest airport at Pant Nagar is nearly 6 hours by road, Kathgodam Railway Station is about 150 km away from Dwarahat. Public and private buses are also available from various parts of the state and are available at regular intervals.
Places to Stay: Being a remote place, a solitary Ashram is available for tourists to find decent accommodation. The nearest town of Ranikhet which is 37 km away has several accommodations at reasonable rates.
Best time to visit: Ideal time to visit Dwarahat is from March to July when the weather is relatively tolerable with the day temperatures ranging between 24 to 29 Degrees Celsius.
16. Narendranagar – Amazing Abode Of History
This place is one of the most popular destinations in Uttarakhand. Located in Tehri Garhwal, people come here to witness some of the best sites that not only please one’s eyes but also are admired for their historical as well as mythological aspects. From a spa resort that holds historical richness to awe-striking temples, this place is full of amazing sites that will take you back in time.
Key attractions: Viceregal Palace which is home to Ananda Spa Resort is one of the most visited destinations that depict historical and spiritual aspects, Radha Krishna Mandir was established in the year 1960
How to Reach: The nearest airport from this place is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and the nearest railway station is in Rishikesh. You can easily reach the destination via road. So you can either take a bus or taxi for the same
Places to stay: Ananda In The Himalayas, Rishikesh Valley Resort, Anjali Home Stay
Best time to visit: June to August
Uttarakhand is a heavenly land. The land where divinity meets tourism. If you are looking for peace, then there can be no better sites than the monuments in Uttarakhand. There is something for every traveler there. Looking for a break? Pack your bags for the Uttarakhand trip today as there can be no better time than now. There is a very unique diversity that can be culturally divine to experience, the amalgamation of culinary and traditional hues from all around India is the reason. If there is someplace you can experience India, it is here.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Monuments In Uttarakhand
Is it safe to visit Uttarakhand in the upcoming months?
Yes, it is safe to visit any destination in the state of Uttarakhand given that you are traveling solo or in a small group while following all the government advisories. Please ensure that you may have to carry a Covid-19 test result along with you at airports. Please check the state-wise regulation before your departure.
Which part of the year is best to visit the monuments in Uttarakhand?
Being a predominantly hilly area, Uttarakhand is ideal to visit during the bright summer months. Best to avoid during the rainy season as landslides are common during that period.
Are the monuments well connected with the conveyance facilities?
All the monuments of Uttarakhand are well serviced by rail and road routes. The nearest airports to most of these areas are mere a few hours.
Is accommodation available abundantly?
Every monument has accommodation in the maximum vicinity of 50 km. The best way to ensure that you don not have to commute much is by booking with a hotel located in the central region from where every monument is easily accessible.
Are tourist guides available at the sites of the monuments?
Most of the monuments of Uttarakhand are maintained by the ASI that has tied up with the tourist guides and have their package tours in collaboration with the travel agents.
What artifacts or souvenirs can we buy at the monuments?
As most of the monuments are religious, images and pictures of gods and goddesses are ideal souvenirs to buy.
How many monuments are there in Uttarakhand?
There are around 44 monuments in Uttarakhand which are of national importance. The city is popular for the many cultural relics the state has to offer and tourists come from all around the world to indulge in their religious and cultural history.
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