A road-trip to Uttarakhand in Monsoon

Uttarakhand and monsoons don’t go together all that well. More so since the tragic floods of 2013. Nobody seems to be willing to risk it by travelling during the monsoons. With some hope on the accuracy of the Meteorological department’s monsoon forecast and against the popular sentiment, we ventured there nonetheless.

Day 1: To Uttarkashi (from Delhi)

The mundane plains to Uttarakhand run. Heavy rain and dense mist, made it somewhat interesting. Oh yes, we also came across an interesting “thing” in Roorkee. Watch the video to know more.

To Uttarkashi (from Delhi)


Day 2:  Uttarkashi to Gangotri

The second day of our trip turned out much better than we had expected. The highway from Uttarkashi to Gangotri is breathtakingly beautiful, specially the stretch from Gangnani to Bhaironghati. Truly one of the most scenic roads to drive on, not just in Uttarakhand, but in India!

Scenic drive to Gangotri


Day 3 PART 1: Gangotri to Nelang (Nelong)

This was the highlight of our trip. The whole point why we endured all the bad weather and equally bad roads. This day made us forget all the pains.

Nelang Valley – The untouched, unspoiled raw beauty


Day 3 PART 2: Nelang to Harsil

Harsil is quaint little town on the way to Gangotri. A major hub for trekkers and for travelers alike. During the “season” it may be crowded, but we found it all to ourselves and could’t have asked for more!

Harsil – A supremely beautiful and quiet hamlet

Day 4: SatTal trek

The trek was not part of the original plan but since we were so close, what the heck! It wasn’t all hunky dory though. We cursed our decision many times during the trek. lol!

Sattal Trek from Dharali


After the trek, we headed back to Uttarkashi to reduce the distance to be covered on the last day.

Day 5: Uttarkashi to Delhi

On the final day, instead of taking the regular route through Rishikesh Haridwar, we took a detour to Mussoorie. And we are glad we did so! This is a much more scenic route with the stretch between Dharasu to Mussoorie being specially good! Even today we encountered a lot of rains and mist. At the foothills then, you cross the Rajaji National Park. Joining NH58 only after Roorkee. Details about this day also added in the Day 4 post.

To conclude

Our experience was quite pleasant during this whole trip. All the cloud cover and rains not withstanding. Devbhoomi (Adobe of Gods), as its fondly referred to, becomes a deserted place these days during the monsoons. This used to be a ‘season’ time when Yatris flocked the towns of Uttarkashi and beyond on their way to Gangotri. Not anymore. Hotels were empty, roads were empty. Very few tourists around.

This website of Indian Meteorological Department came in handy while deciding the dates of this trip

And that meant – we could explore the place in peace. I had planned this trip in July first week to be out by the time severe monsoon showers hit Uttarkashi Gangotri region. Our plan kind of worked, as soon after we were back in Delhi, we got images on Whatsapp about the Ghats at Gangotri being completely submerged! I know the weather can’t be predicted with accuracy, but the Indian Meteorological Department is doing a great job these days.


How has your experience been in the monsoon trips?  Any interesting stories, photos to share?

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