Cycling in Uttarakhand: 18-Days Across Kumaon Himalayas
The Route: Cycling in Uttarakhand: Our 18 Cycling in Uttarakhand, the adventure took us through all the districts of Kumaon, covering a diverse range of landscapes and attractions. The journey was as follows:
Day 1 – Haldwani to Bhimtal to Sattal:
Our first day led us to Sattal, a haven for nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers, and adventure seekers, renowned for its seven stunning lakes.
Day 2 – Sattal to Mornola:
On the second day, we reached Mornola, a place where Swami Vivekananda once stayed during his Kumaon trip. The route was lined with oak, pine, and other magnificent trees, and we were fortunate to catch a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas.
Day 3 – Mornola to Champawat:
Day three brought us to Champawat, the district headquarters of the eponymous district. Along the way, we passed through Devidhura, famous for its Bagwal festival, and encountered the beautiful valley of Khetikhan, an ideal place for a peaceful stay.
Day 4 – Champawat to Pithoragarh:
On the fourth day, we visited the serene Mayawati Ashram, surrounded by lush forests and tranquility. We then pedaled on to Pithoragarh, arriving late at night and receiving a warm welcome at the cozy KMVN guest house.
Day 5 – Pithoragarh to Didihat:
Day five took us to Didihat through a scenic, pine-lined route that passed through Kanalachhina and Ogla, both with their unique charm and history.
Day 6 – Didihat to Dharchula:
The sixth day brought us to Dharchula, the last major town before reaching the Indo-Tibet border. The mesmerizing route took us through Ascot and Jauljibi, where the Gori Ganga and Kali rivers converge.
Day 7 & 8 – Dharchula to Narayan Ashram:
On the seventh day, we reached Narayan Ashram, a popular attraction for spiritual and nature enthusiasts. The tough off-roading during the last 25 km before the ashram led us to decide to stay an extra day and explore the area.
Day 9 – Narayan Ashram to Dugtu:
On the ninth day, we moved to Dugtu, a small, charming village. Much of the route was off-road and challenged us with glacial streams, making it one of the most demanding days of our journey. The night’s stay in KMVN huts at Dugtu was an unforgettable experience.
Day 10 – Dugtu to Panchachuli Base Camp:
Day ten took us to the beautiful Panchachuli base camp before returning to Dharchula, where we arrived around 9 p.m. The trek to the base camp started from the village of Dar, 40 km ahead of Dharchula, offering a suitable route for cycling.
Day 11 – Dharchula to Munsiyari:
The next day, we began our return journey and arrived at Munsiyari, one of Uttarakhand’s most beautiful hill stations. We took a day to rest and trekked to Khaliya Top, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
Day 12, 13 & 14 – Munsiyari to Chaukori:
After a day of rest, we reached Chaukori via Nachni and Thal, experiencing the charm of this hill station. On the 14th day, we cycled through the holy towns of Bageshwar and Baijnath to reach Kausani, known as the jewel of the Kumaon Himalayas.
Day 15, 16 & 17 – Kausani to Almora:
The following day, we reached Almora, the cultural capital of Kumaon, renowned for its history, culture, and unmatched beauty. We explored the Kasar Devi temple and Almora’s marketplace before heading to our final destination, Nainital, on the 17th day.
Day 18 – Nainital to Haldwani:
On the 18th and final day, we returned to Haldwani, cherishing the unforgettable memories of our adventurous and once-in-a-lifetime road journey. Over the course of our 1,000-kilometer journey, we managed our budget wisely, with an expenditure of approximately INR 10,000. Our accommodations were primarily in KMVN guest houses, known for their affordability and cleanliness, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to the KMVN staff for their hospitality.
Our 18-day Cycling in Uttarakhand across Kumaon was a remarkable exploration of the region’s natural beauty, cultural heritage, and spiritual sanctuaries. This adventure left us with indelible memories and a deep appreciation for the enchanting landscapes of Kumaon. We hope our journey inspires others to explore this captivating region on two wheels.