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Uttarkashi :: City Information

Best Travel Duration

September to November

About Uttarkashi

Uttarkashi district was created on February 24, 1960 out of what then constituted the parganas of Rawain and Uttarkashi of Rawain tahsil of erstwhile Tehri Garhwal district. It sprawls in the extreme north-west corner of the state over an area of 8016 sq. kms. in the rugged terrain of the mystic Himalayas. On its north lie Himachal Pradesh State and the territory of Tibet and the district of Chamoli in the east. The district is named after its headquarters town Uttarkashi, an ancient place with rich cultural heritage and as the name suggests is the Kashi of north (Uttara) held almost as high a veneration as Kashi of the plain (Varanasi). Both the Kashi of the plain (Varanasi) as well as the Kashi of north are situated on the banks of the river Ganga (Bhagirathi). The area which is held sacred and known as Uttarkashi, lies between the rivers Syalam Gad also known as the Varuna and Kaligad also known as the Asi. The Varuna and the Asi are also the names of the rivers between which the Kashi of the plain lies. One of the holiest Ghats in Uttarkashi is Manikarnika so is the one by the same name in Varanasi. Both have temples dedicated to Vishwanath.

The terrain and climate of Uttarkashi district provide uncongenial physical environment for human settlement. Yet undaunted by hazards and hardships this land was inhabited by hill tribes since ancient times bringing out the best in man his adaptive talents. The hill tribes namely Kiratas, Uttara Kurus, Khasas, Tanganas, Kunindas and Pratanganas find references in the Upayana Parva of Mahabharata. The land of Uttarkashi district has been held sacred by Indians since ages where the seers and sages had found solace and spiritual aspirations and performed penances and where devas performed their sacrifices and Vedic language was better known and spoken than elsewhere. People came here for learning Vedic language and speach. According to an account given in the Mahabharata, Jada Bharatha a great sage performed penances at Uttarkashi. the Kedar Khand of Skanda Purna refers Uttarkashi and the rivers Bhagirathi, Jahanavi and Bheel Ganga.

The district of Uttarkashi was part of Gharwal Kingdom ruled by Garhwal dynasty that carried the cognomen `Pal' which was changed to Sah during 15th century conferred by Sultan of Delhi perhaps Bahlul Lodi. In 1803 Gorkhas of Nepal invaded Garhwal and Amar Singh Thapa was made Governor of this region. The Gorkhas came into contact with the British power in 1814 as their frontiers in Gharwal became determinous with those of the British. The border troubles prompted the Britishers to invade Garhwal. In April, 1815 Gorkhas were ousted from Garhwal region and Garhwal was annexed as British district and was split up into eastern and western Garhwal. The eastern Garhwal was retained by the British Government. The western Garhwal, lying to the west of the Alaknanda river with the exception of the Dun was made over to the heir of Garhwal dynasty Sudarshan Sah. This state came to be known as Tehri Garhwal and it was merged with the state of Uttar Pradesh in 1949 after India attained independence in 1947.

Places to Visit

Nachiketa Tal

Description: Nachiketa Tal

A drive through the terraced fields takes one to Chaurangi Khal, a place 29 Kms. from Uttarkashi. From there a 3 Kms. track through lush green forests takes one to Nachiketa Tal, a tranquil spot.

There is greenery all around and a small temple at the bank of the lake gives a serene look to an otherwise beautiful surroundings. Nachiketa, the devout son of saint Uddalak, is said to have created this lake hence the name.There is no accommodation facility and visitors have either to come back to Uttarkashi or stay at the PWD Inspection House at Chaurangi Khal.



On way to Gangotri at a distance of about 13 kms. from Uttarkashi, Maneri has lately emerged as a place of tourist interest as a result of the construction of a dam across the Bhagirathi river, from where the water is fed to the turbines through an 8 kms. long tunnel at Tiloth in Uttarkashi. The resultant lake at Maneri has added to the charm of the place.



Further up on way to Gangotri about 37 kms. from Maneri, is the hot water spring at Gangnani where one can have a refreshing bath.


Description: Dodital

The road from Uttarkashi to Gangotri, bifurcates at 4 kms. from Uttarkashi and vehicles can go upto Kalyani, 7 kms. further up, from where, Agoda is 5 kms. away at an altitude of 2288 meters. The trek from there ascends gradually through thick forest and beautiful mountainous scenery.

Dodital is 16 kms. further situated at an elevation of 3307 meters. The lake is sparkling and crystal clear, surrounded by forests. The famous Himalayan trouts are found in abundance in the lake. Permit for fishing can be had from the Divisional Forest Officer, Uttarkashi.

Dayara Bugyal

Description: Dayara Bugyal

Bugyal in the local language means "high altitude meadow". The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari a place on Uttarkashi - Gangotri road about 32 kms. from Uttarkashi. Vehicles can go up to the village of Barsu from where one has to trek a distance of about 8 kms. to reach

Dayara. Situated at an elevation of about 10,000 feet above sea-level this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty. During winter it provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 sq.kms. The panoramic view of the Himalayas from here is breathe taking. There is a small lake also in the area, and to camp by its side would be a memorable event.


Description: Harsil

The Bhagirathi valley is most enchanting and preserves many colourful spots in its lap. Situated at a distance of 72 kms. from Uttarkashi on the main highway to Gangotri at an elevation of 2623 meters, this sylvan hamlet is famous for its natural beauty and delicious apples. Tourist Bungalow, PWD and Forest Rest Houses exist here for the travelers.



Sat-Tal meaning seven lakes, is situated just above Dharali, 2 kms. beyond Harsil. The trek of about 7 kms. is rewarding as this group of lakes is situated amid beautiful natural surroundings. It also provides lovely camp sites.

How To Get To Uttarkashi

By Air:


Nearest airport Jollygrant, 162 kms.  



By Rail:


Nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 145 kms.



By Road:


Uttarkashi is well connected by motor able road to Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and other major towns of the state and region.