New Delhi: The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday banned the commercial use of elephants, including joyrides and jungle safaris, and restricted the number of Gypsys, hired by tourists for safari in Corbett and Rajaji tiger reserves, to not more than 100 per day. It also directed the chief wildlife warden to take possession of private elephants within 24 hours.
Even as environmentalists and wildlife activists welcomed the move, the order comes as a setback to gypsy owners, who currently deploy over 200 vehicles inside the protected area every day, and to private resort owners near Corbett who organise elephant safaris.
On June 22, the Uttarakhand high court also banned paragliding, white water rafting and other water sports until the administration puts in place a policy to regulate them in a move aimed at safeguarding both the environment and people engaging in these activities.
Seeing the enchanting views of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand is on the list of every tourist in India. Surrounded with mountains, ‘Dev Bhoomi’ is a land of inspiring natural beauty with it’s flora and fauna and tranquil mysticism with abundance of wonderful adventures. Be it in God, in the powers of nature, adventures or simplicity of it’s people, Uttarakhand is the perfect destination to explore the mountains.
So, wondering what to do in Uttarakhand when almost everything exciting is banned. Worry not! We have got you covered. Here are 11 other adventures to do in Uttarakhand:
Bungee jumping in Rishikesh interests adventure enthusiasts adrenaline rush lovers in huge numbers. At Mohanchatti a cantilever platform is built over an iron cliff. Jump with rubber cords tied to your ankles and feel the adrenaline rush like never before. One of the few bungee jumps in India.
Best time to visit: March to June, October and November.
Camping is possibly the finest way to enjoy the serenity of nature. The best way to relax in the bliss of mountains, green valleys, gurgling streams and open blue skies with majestic views of the snowcapped peaks.
Popular places: Rishikesh, Kanatal, Dhanaulti, Chopta, Tons valley, Roopkund, Dayara Bugyal, etc.
Best time to visit:The summer months, March to June and October to November.
Visit to Valley of Flowers National Park
The Valley of Flowers National park is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Situated at an altitude of 3,858m, the valley is covered in millions of species of wild flowers such as lilies, poppy, calendular, daisies, geranium, petunia, etc. It is also home for several species of butterflies and insects too.
Best time to visit: The valley is open for the tourists only from May to October.
Yoga in Rishikesh
Rishikesh is known as the birth place of Yoga. The primeval source of spirituality has a variety of ashrams. Yoga in Rishikesh can be learnt and practiced by both beginners and experts alike. There are also lessons conducted by private instructors as well.
Parmath Niketan is a renowned yoga center located in Rishikesh on the banks of the Ganges River. Sivanadanda Ashram, Sanskriti Yogpeeth, Swami Dayananda Ashram and Osho Ganga Dham Ashram are other names.
Best time to visit: International Yoga festival held in first week of March.
Cable Car Ride
Cable car rides are perfect for the tourist who would love to indulge in breathtaking views of the panorama without much hassles. The rope lines easily connect mountains and high point where you can be seated in comfort and enjoy the scenery. In the safe cable cars, travel from one point in the mountains to the other in matter of few minutes. Nainital cable car takes to the very top of the mountain where majestic views of Nanda Devi can be seen.
Popular places: Auli has a pretty impressive cable car ride where you can enjoy the exhilarating ride of the longest cable car in Asia that covers a distance of 4km.
Evening Aarti in Haridwar
Haridwar’s famous attraction has been the evening Aarti ceremony at the legendary Har ki Pauri Ghat. At the dusk hour, the river gets transformed into a bed of floating lamps. The auspicious ambiance is amplified with chants of hymns and mesmerising smell of flowers and incense sticks that will make you will feel the connection with the divine.
Robber’s Cave Dehradun
Robber’s Cave Dehradun is one of the must visit sightseeing spots in Uttarakhand. The 600 meters long cave has a fort like structure, ten meters high. Robber’s cave is famous for a strange natural occurrence. A stream of water suddenly appears and then disappears underground, only to appear again a few yards away.
Zip line activities in Uttarakhand let you admire stunning views as you fly down harnessed securely to ultra-strong steel zip lines, propelled simply by gravity. Zip line is safe and thrilling.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year except monsoon.
Popular places: Zip Line at Rishikesh.
The Himalayan range here is abundant in natural beauty, making it the perfect place to explore the mountains by Trekking. The breathtaking views, flora and fauna attract the adventure enthusiast.
Best time to visit: April to June and October and November.
Popular Trekking Routes in Uttarakhand: Auden Col, Chopta-Chandrashila, Dodital-Bamsaru-Khal, Gomukh Tapovan, Har Ki Dun, Kedartal, Nanda Devi Sanctuary, Nagtibba, Roopkund, Satopanth Lake, Kuari Pass, Valley of Flower, Pindari Glacier, Milam Glacier & Nanda Devi East BC, Kedarnath Vasuki Tal, Kedar Kantha, Bedni-Bugyal, Panch Kedar.
Mountain biking is a thrilling adventure sport to explore the secrets of the Himalayan landscape in Uttarakhand. Bike through the rugged landscape and steep slopes.
Best time to visit: October and December.
Popular Routes in Mountain biking: Thakurdwara to Ramnagar on the outskirts of Corbett Park, From Rudraprayag – Augustmuni – Ukhimath – Chopta – Gopeshwar, Srinagar – Pauri – Khirsu – Pawbo – Satpuli – Lansdown – Kotdar route, Haridwar – Dhaulkhand – Mohand – Dehradun route, Nainital – Bhawali – Ramgarh – Mukteshwar route, The Nainital – Bhawali – Sattal – Bhimtal – Naukuchiatal route.
Rappelling in Uttarakhand is a newfound adventure in which a person uses a controlled technique to climb down a steep and dangerous rock.There are many rocks in the mountain state you can rappel down. Some even has fresh waterfalls adjacent to it.
Best time to visit: March to October except the monsoon season.
Popular places: Rishikesh is the most popular place to go rappelling.