Here is everything you need to know about Kumayun before you plan your trip.
Kumaon is a region in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand has two portions; one being Kumaon and the other is Garhwal. Kumaon has the boundary of Nepal on the eastern side and Tibet on the Northern Side. In fact, the Kailash-Mansarovar part of Western Tibet set up background towards the North. Kumaon is surrounded by majestic mountains, pristine lakes, scenic hilly areas, and beautiful hamlets. The inhabitants of this region are known as Kumaoni and so is their mother tongue. The unbelievable countryside is extraordinarily beautiful and therefore attracts a lot of tourists. This incredible destination in summer as well as a winter retreat. Kumaon has a number of temples and numerous of places nearby which are simply exquisite. Pilgrims, trekkers and travellers alike, all enjoy this place to the fullest. Traces of humankind were excavated at Lakhu Udyar which provides evidence of Stone-Age. Two more things need notable mention here. One is that the Jim Corbett National Park is in this region and the second one is a walk in the peaceful, rustic villages which will surely give you immense satisfaction and tranquillity.
Panthnagar is the nearest Airport which is around 1-hour drive from the city of Nainital domestic flights whereas the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is both for national and international flights. This airport is roughly a 5 hours drive from Nainital.
Kathgodam is the nearest Railway Station which is nearly 35 km from Nainital. There are two more railway stations which are Haldwani and Lalkuan.
Nainital is known as the ‘lake district’ of India. This beautiful hill station cradles blissfully at the emerald green foothills of the Kumaon. Nainital has a height of 1938 meters above sea level. Nainital is replete with colonial-era buildings which speak of its elaborate history. This exquisite looking hill station attracts tourists from India as well as from all over the world. The scenic beauty of this place ranks among the top of the list for the nature lovers. There are many beautiful spots in Nainital. Nainital enjoys a pleasing climate all year round. This immensely popular destination is preferred by family, honeymooners, and nature lovers.
The famous natural Naini Lake looks stunning when it glitters under the sun. It is the axis around which the whole town rotates.
Naina Devi Temple is perched on a Naina hilltop close to the Naina Lake. This is a very sacred Temple and also one of the shakti peeths.
Tiffin Top is basically a view-point which is also popular for trekking, hiking, and horse-riding. Tiffin Top provides magnificent views of the Himalayas and the snow-capped Shivalik ranges.
The name Bhimtal is kept after Bhima, the strong and powerful mythological character in Mahabharata. This is an absolutely gorgeous spot. The lake has a little island in the middle.
Naukuchiatal has the deepest lake in the entire Nainital area. Naukuchiatal means ‘nine cornered lake’. This charming hill station is perched at a height of 1220 meters above sea level. This region of Naukuchiatal Lake has profuse woods. Take a walk along the path guided by the woods and you will be met with marvellous views of the surroundings.
Pangot is a scenic hill station which is situated at a distance of 13 km from Nainital. This comely village has a very pleasing climate and an equally relaxing environ.
Sitalkhet is 24 km from Ranikhet. This idyllic destination with beautiful hills, sweet-smelling rhododendrons, and the varied flora-fauna makes this a perfect holiday destination.
The ‘queen’s meadow’ Ranikhet is placed in Almora at an altitude of 1,829 meters over sea-level. This hill station was evolved by the British. Ranikhet has many old temples, verdant forests and mesmerising hills.
Binsar used to be the summer capital of the former Chand Kings who ruled during the 17th and 18th century. This scenic sleepy village among green pastures and glittering streams is one of the most beautiful locales in the Kumaon region. It’s around 95 km from Nainital and is perched at a height of 2420 meters over sea-level. The snow-clad Himalayan Peak of spellbinding Nanda Devi, in the area, will surely cast a spell on you. Binsar also has a wildlife nature reserve which provides shelter to many uncommon species of animals and birds along with numerous floras. Trekkers, adventure seekers, campers simply love this area.
The approximate travel time to reach Munsiyari from Nainital is 5 hours. This attractive village lies in the Pithoragarh district at an altitude of 2298 meters on sea-level. When you look around you will see, majestic snow-topped mountains, and lots of snow. In fact, the word Munsiyari when literally translated means a region of snow. The main attraction of Munsiyari is the Panchachuli, an assortment of five stunning peaks which looks like chimneys. And of course, you have the striking view of Nanda Devi. This virgin place bestows on its visitors some breathtaking sceneries and a wonderful trekking route; the Namik Glacier Trek.
This falls gushes down from a height of 400 feet on sea-level. The approximate distance from Munsiyari to Birthi Falls is 35 km. A short trek will bring you to this beautiful Birthi Falls. This falls is encircled with thick forests and provides magnificent views of the Himalayas. It is truly mind-blowing to watch the colossal falls in motion. The best time to go to this place is between June to September.
Khaliya Top is a breathtaking spot very close to Munsiyari. The place is covered with extensive emerald green meadows and snow-clad summits. Khaliya Top rests at a giddy height of 3500 meters over sea-level. One can get a sweeping view of the beautiful peaks which are Nanda Kot, Panchachuli, Hardeol and Rajrambha from Khaliya Top. Trekking and hiking to this place is an ideal activity that you will simply love. The road is made of concrete and the top is easily navigable. You are recommended to hire a guide during the winters just for safety.
The meaning of Nanda Devi is truly beautiful. It means bliss-giving Goddess. This is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Nanda Devi is regarded as a highly religious peak.
This charming hilly area is in Pithoragarh. It’s nestled among the stellar peaks of the western Himalayas and the Kumaon ranges. Chakori is situated at a height of 2010 meters over sea-level and mesmerizes the visitors with outstanding views of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchachuli peaks. The bowl-shaped Chaukori has fruit orchards, verdant forests of oaks and pines, variety of flora-fauna and beautiful rhododendrons. You can indulge in serene nature walks, click a million pictures and be a part of village tourism to experience the rustic life of the place. There are very few places in Kumaon which has Tea Gardens & Chaukori is one of them.
Patal Bhubhaneshwar is a small hamlet with picturesque settings. The temple here is a highly venerated place in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in this concealed Holy site. This spot has an elevation of 1350 meters over sea-level. The limestone cave has a depth of 90 feet and a length of 160meters. Patal Bhubhaneshwar is a beautiful limestone cave which has 33 crores of Gods and Goddesses besides Lord Shiva. The pathway to this cave temple is through a narrow and lengthy tunnel. You will also get to see lots of beautiful structures made by stalactites and stalagmites.
The town of Bageshwar is located in the Kumaon region. It’s encircled by Nileshwar and Bhileshwar in the west and east. The Suraj Kund lies in the north and the Agni Kund in the south. Bageshwar has immense religious values. Bagnath Temple positioned at the meeting points of Gomati and Sarju Rivers is a very sacred and popular temple here in Bageshwar. The temple was built in the year 1450 by Kumaoni King, Lakshmi Chand. Lord Shiva is called Bageshwar in here. Apart from Bagnath Temple, Bageshwar has other temples, beautiful rivers, and a charming landscape. Bageshwar can be visited at any time of the year.
Baijnath or Vaidyanath is an avatar of Lord Shiva. He is known as a doctor or healer in this incarnation. This is one of the most popular temples in Himachal Pradesh. Designed in the Nagara style of architecture, this masterpiece is from the 13th century.
Kausani is the beautiful land where Mahatma Gandhi once stayed and even compared it to Switzerland. This peaceful hill station is set on a top of a mountain ridgeline at an elevation of 1890 meters over sea-level. A verdant growth of pine trees surrounds this beautiful hill station. Kausani overlooks the Someshwar Valley on one side. Nanda Devi, Trishul, and the Himalayan Range provide the marvellous backdrop to this place.
Sarla Behn, an apprentice of Mahatma Gandhi built this ashram. This ashram is also known as the Gandhi ashram. They work for the well-being of the Kumaoni women. The ashram houses a gallery of pictures of Gandhi in his various times. There is no-entry-fee to this place.
Mukteshwar snuggles among the Kumaon Hills and projects an extravagant vista of the Herculean Himalayas. This small quaint town takes you back to the past during the Raj period with the red-roofed houses, picket fences, and wood-panelled windows. Mukteshwar also sprinkles on its guests’ sun-kissed rolling hillocks. This graceful place also has a Holy Temple devoted to Lord Shiva which is perched on a hill-top some 2312 meters on sea-level. This place also provides quite a few adventure sports like rappelling, trekking, camping, and rock-climbing. The beauty of Mukteshwar doesn’t get tarnished in any of the seasons. Nanda Devi can be seen from the mountain tops of Mukteshwar.
Almora has a very distinct shape. This hill station is horse-shoe shaped. The legacy of the British is clearly seen in this scenic place. Two rivers namely Koshi and Suyal make their way through this idyllic city. Almora is perched at a height of 1,638 meters and spans over a 5 km ridgeline on the top of Kashyap Hill. The city is encompassed by oaks and pine trees and emits a divine vibe which pleases one and all. The culture capital of Kumaon is at its best during the months of March to November. Bal Mithai and Singauri are a must try in Almora.
Pithoragarh lies in the interiors of the Himalayas at an altitude of 1851 meters on a very picturesque valley.
Ranikhet’s pure natural beauty attracts scores of people from India and abroad. The Nanda Devi peak with its full glory can be seen from here.
This famed wildlife park is an extremely favourite holiday hotspot for millions all over. This national park has beautiful wild animals and a wide range of flora and fauna; all surrounded by emerald green grasslands. Jim Corbett National Park spans over an area of 520 square kilometres and boasts of 488 different species of herbs, 600 varieties of birds and of course numerous types of reptiles and mammals. No wonder it’s the most visited national parks in the country. The national park is a thriving animal kingdom and an ideal home for wild animals. By the way, a brief on Jim Corbett is most required. He was born on 25th July 1875 and was a world-renowned hunter, naturalist, and author.
Landsdowne is perched at a height of 1700 meters above sea level. Blue pine forests and plentiful oak trees encircle this beautiful hill station. The clutches of commercialisation could not touch this extraordinarily beautiful place. Put up at a guesthouse in this laidback location to get a feel of the real Landsdowne. These guest houses will remind you of the bygone British era and you will get magnificent views of the majestic mountain ranges from their balconies. This sparsely populated place was named after the then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne. Landsdowne has an unspoiled environment and plenty of scenic beauties. Lofty snow-crowned mountains and rich green forests surround this charming place. Landsdowne sits atop the Garhwal Hills and this small town has a lot to offer. You can indulge in boating, nature walks and lots of adventure activities. Landsdowne has very good connectivity.
By land-It is around 235 km from Delhi. Start early and hopefully it will take you approximately 6 hours if you are driving at an average speed between 40-60km/hr.
By railways- You can also take a train. The closest railway station is Kotdwar which lies at a distance of 40 km and since it’s a steep drive, it will take you around 1 hour to reach the station. So calculate your time accordingly.
By the aerial way- Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport which is situated at a distance of 150 km and is easily accessible by road.
Though it can be visited all year round, still it’s advisable to skip the months of May and June as it can get jam-packed with tourists in these months and it will be really difficult to get a room.
This place is 1.5km downwards from the main market. This lesser-known place is very interesting. There is a huge horizontal rock on a smaller vertical rock and because of this strange positioning; it gives you feeling that you are making the huge horizontal rock move when you push it.
Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple- Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple lies at a distance of 40km from the town center. The entire temple complex is encircled by huge trees. Amazingly just behind the actual temple, some tree branches look like ‘Trishul’.
You will find this church on the way to the Tip-in-Top Point. The church is quite little but it is legendary. The Church has a green gate and a lawn.
Darwan Singh Museum- This is a war Museum. It has old uniforms, photographs of war vets and army generals, original citations which were signed by the British and other items.
Santoshi Mata Temple – This is a small temple but the hills have fantastic views. Capture the sunset which is truly spectacular.
This is a man-made lake. It was made by the army. You can do boating here and watch the ducks swimming along or just enjoy the scenery.
Tip-in-Top Point- This can be called as a vantage point in Landsdowne which provides very good vistas of green valleys and lush mountains. There are a small number of log huts wherein you can spend a night or two. These are managed by the tourism department.
This Roman Catholic Church was established in the year 1936. St. John’s Church is situated on the Mall road. The historical value makes this building a remarkable one.