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Overview of Uttarkashi
Uttarkashi or Kashi of the North is built on the shores of Bhagirathi River. It is quite a sacred place in the state of Uttarakhand and bears a striking resemblance to the holy town of Kasi or Varanasi, which explains the name of this place. This is an important pilgrimage spot in North India, as there are quite a few ashrams and temples in the state. Situated at a height of 1352m above sea level, Uttarkashi has some of the most sacred rivers of India like Ganges, Yamuna and Brahmaputra flowing through it, making it a truly special place. The Nehru Mountaineering Institute is located in this place.
It is believed that Uttarkashi was named thus because it has many features that bore a strong resemblance to the features of Kasi. The proximity to the Varun Parvat Hill, intersection of Varuna and Asi rivers, banks of Ganges where the town is located and Kashi Vishwanath Temple at the centre of the town are some of the factors that are common between Kashi and Uttarkashi.
The sections of Rawain tehsil of Tehri Garhwal district united to form Uttarkashi district on 24th February 1960. This was a holy town and became popular among Hindu devotees due to the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the earlier days, this place used to be a hub for learning the ancient Vedas and Upanishads. This was a section of the Garhwal kingdom during the 15th century. During 18th century, this place came under the rule of Ghorkha clan of Nepal, after which the British rulers fought for control. Subsequently, the Ghorkha rulers were defeated and Uttarkashi became a part of the British rule. Post- Independence, this place was united with the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Situated in Uttarakhand district, Uttarkashi stands tall at 1352m above sea level on the shores of Bhagirathi River. This is home to a challenging hilly terrain and sacred rivers like Yamuna and Brahmaputra. Uttarkashi is located at 30.73 degrees towards the North and 78.45 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air – Jolly Grant Airport, at a distance of 160km, is the closest to Uttarkashi.
Rail – Rishikesh Railway Station, at a distance of 143km, is the nearest to Uttarkashi.
Road – All the major cities of Uttarakhand are well connected to Uttarkashi by buses and taxis on a daily basis.
Local transport – Local buses ply between the various parts of Uttarkashi for the benefit of tourists.
Tourist attractions and things to do
Nehru Mountaineering Institute, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kuteti Devi Temple, Kandar Devi Temple, Dodital fresh water lake, Banks of River Ganges, the hub of ashrams – Ujeli, Bhali and Maneri Dams, Power Plant at Tiloth, ancient suburban towns of Gyansoo and Palla Gyansoo, Joshiyara Village, Kaleshwar Mandir and battalions at Matli and Mahidanda are few tourist attractions around Uttarkashi. Trekking, holy dips in the sacred rivers and participating in climbing expeditions organised by the Nehru Mountaineering Institute are some of the activities that can keep tourists hooked, in Uttarkashi.
Places to eat and local cuisine
Shangri La and Brijawasi are some of the great places to dine in Uttarkashi. International cuisine is also served here to cater to the needs of foreign tourists who come here in large numbers frequently. Indian breads made out of Maida flour and gravy made from boiled channa dal are the local specialities here.
Places to stay
Shivparivar Resort, Shivlinga Tourist Complex and Shikhar Nature Camp are some of the best accommodation options available in Uttarkashi. These are not too costly and offer great value for money for the tourists.
STD, PIN code and emergency contact numbers
The STD and PIN codes of Uttarkashi are 01374 and 249193 respectively. The direct police services can be sought by ringing 01374 222140 apart from the regular help line numbers for Police (100), Fire (101) and Ambulance (102) services.
Banks, hospitals and tourist office
Bank of Baroda,
Mahima Nand Building, Bhatwari, Gangotri Road, Uttarkashi district,
Uttarakhand – 249193, Ph: 09997866028
Near Vishwanath temple, Dunda, Uttarkashi – 249151, Ph: 01371 222103
District Tourism Development Office,
Mr. Kushal Singh Negi, District Adventure Sports Officer, Uttarkashi district
Ph: 01374 223130