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Offbeat Hill Stations to Visit this Summer Part 2

  Askot

An erstwhile princely state, the Himalayan town of Askot is located in Pithoragarh district of the state of Uttarakhand. The town is popular for the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, an important site for the conservation of the musk deer.

askot

 

At an elevation of 3,629 ft, Panchuli and Chiplakot peaks form the backdrop for Askot. The town has Nepal to the east, Almora to the west, Pithoragarh to the south and Tibet to the north.

 

The spectacular natural beauty with the Kumaon range forming a stunning backdrop is bound mesmerize you completely. Do not forget to capture the scenic sunrise early in the morning.

 

The best attraction at Askot happens to be the Askot Wildlife Sanctuary known for its conservation of the musk deer. Apart from that, Himalayan leopard, black Himalayan bear, brown bear, snow tiger, goral, Himalayan tar, civet, bharal, sorrow, kakar, antler, gaur, monkey, lemur, bonnet macaques, bison, musk spotted deer, barking deer and turtles are commonly found in the sanctuary.

 

How to reach: From Ranikhet by road it is easily accessible. Distance covered is 165 kilometres

 

2Chakrata

Located 98 kilometers from Dehradun, Chakrata is definitely a hidden treasure of Uttarakhand. A small cantonment, if you are looking for a hill station that is calm and serene, Chakrata is the best possible option. Two major rivers – the Ton and the Yamuna pass through these regions and one can bask in the beauty of the same.

chakrata5

Once you step into the area, you will be completely convinced that the entire region has been blessed with absolute natural beauty; whether it is the brilliant verdure or the picturesque snow-capped mountains set against the blue sky – Chakrata is bound to sweep you across your feet.

Well-known as Uttarakhand’s Malana, Chakrata and its surrounding regions are known as Jaunsar-Bawar, belonging to the Jaunsari tribe. The Jaunsari tribe still continues to have a strong presence in the area. By 1901, Chakrata became a part of the Dehradun District and continues to remain so.

While you soak into the beauty of nature at Chakrata, if you are adventurous enough, you can definitely try some hash!

How to reach: Chakrata can be easily reached by road from Dehradun. It is advisable that you book your own cab. The journey takes around 3.5 hours.

 

CChopta-Tunganath

Situated at a height of 2,680 m above sea level, the hill town of Chopta is also known as Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand. If you want to soak up some of the most imposing views of the majestic Himalayan ranges, Chopta is just the perfect place to be. Tourists and travelers from all across visit here to enjoy views of peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba among others.

chopta 1

Go for a bush-walk, explore the town on foot, indulge in some local delicacies or simply unwind yourself, amidst the beauty of nature – Chopta is bound to have a charming effect on you. Once in Chopta, it is advisable that you take a trip uphill to Tunganath – the highest Shiva temple in the world. Only 3.5 kilometers uphill trek it’s a mesmerizing experience in itself. Do remember to offer your prayers.

How to reach: Chopta is roughly 5 hour’ drive from Rishikesh by road.

4Pangot

If you are bird lover and often indulge in bird-watching, Pangot is the best place to be. Barely 40 minutes’ drive from Nainital, Pangot is also a nature lover’s paradise. The region is completely surrounded by pine, deodar, thick oak and rhododendrons. With little streams criss-crossing through the region, makes Pangot an even more delight for travelers.

pangot

Once in Pangot, you can spot a variety of birds such as lammergeier, Himalayan griffon, blue-winged minla, spotted & slaty-backed forktail, rufous-bellied woodpecker, rufous-bellied niltava, khalij pheasant, variety of thrushes etc. Almost 150 bird species have been recorded at Pangot and the surrounding areas. Deep in the forests, mammal such as barking deer, sambhar, civets and ghorals can be spotted.

Pangot is an ideal place for those who are looking for some nature’s fresh air and a quiet place, far away from the cities’ maddening crows.

How to reach: Just 15 kilometres away from Nainital, Pangot can be easily reached by road. Buses and taxis are available from Nainital bus stop.

5Gwaldam

A sleepy little town, lying just between Garhwals and Kumaon, Gwaldam makes for an ideal weekend destination. Perched 1700 meters above sea level, the small Himalayan hamlet offers picturesque beauty with the magnificent Nanda Devi and Trishul forming a stunning backdrop.

Gwaldam with it salubrious weather and virgin serenity amidst thick woods make for an absolute little piece of heaven in the Himalayas.

gwaldam

A 3 kilometers trek through the dense woods in the company of nameless flowers, endless springs and countless birds will take you to the Badhangarhi temple, perched on a hill. Atop the hill, you can catch a panoramic view of the never before seem Himalayas.

How to reach: Gwaldam is well-connected by roadways. Bus and taxi services are available from Kathgodam railway station. The journey takes around 5.5 – 6 hours.

 

 

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