Kumaon in Uttarakhand is one of the most lovely places I travel mostly in winters. However, nothing takes away anything from its charm in spring, summers OR in rainy season too with clouds floating in the valley and dense green colors spread across in miles. Hence, I thought why not after almost five years of writing about Kashmir, Ladakh, Lahaul & Spiti and Himachal, I shall shift the focus towards Uttarakhand on DoW Travel platform.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Planning a trip to Kumaon?
I have traveled the majority of the entire circuit of Kumaon in Uttarakhand which is quite popular, thanks to my year-end travel trip to this amazingly beautiful place. You can read about recent rendezvous with Kumaon at: Munsiyari – Dharchula – Chaukori – Itinerary, Road Conditions & Updates. As far as Kumaon is placed in Uttarakhand, north of Kumaon it is all Tibet and then on east it is Nepal, Uttar Pradesh lies towards south side of Kumaon and finally, Gharwal lies on the west side of Kumaon which is the other half region of mountain state Uttarakhand.
October to March is the time when the 300 km-wide panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli are clearly visible (apart from cloudy days) from higher villages of Kumaon region, mostly beyond Almora. So, you should not go wrong with this time of the year. Summers comes with forest fire and many a times views to this Himalayan range gets blocked during that period. So, winters to spring is good bet to go for clear views with blue skies.
Most Common Itinerary of Kumaon for 8 – 10 Days
Here is the most common itinerary that I mostly suggest to readers of DoW Travel Blog covering majority of preferred locations in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
Day 1 | Delhi to Nainital / Pangot
- Start from Delhi early morning and reach either Nainital or stay at wilderness of Pangot, just ahead of it.
- You can refer the route conditions to Nainital from Delhi at: Delhi Nainital Road Conditions
- Relax the day at Nainital or Binsar
Day 2 | Nainital / Pangot – Almora – Binsar
- Start from Nainital and enjoy the drive to Binsar, an hour or so ahead of Almora.
- Before Almora, at Kakrighat, you can go inside village and enjoy by the river side on the opposite bank from road.
- Relax in the forest range of Binsar
Day 3 | Binsar – Sheraghat – Berinaag side / Raiagara – Munsiyari
- Start a bit early from Binsar as it will take about 6-7 Hrs to reach Munsiyari midst the amazingly beautiful drive through the dense forest range. You will love every bit of it if you start early.
- Enjoy lunch at Thal and DO NOT forget to top up fuel at Thal. The restaurant just aside petrol pump by the name JJ Hotel and Restaurant is quite nice.
- Stop aside Birthi fall and reach by evening at Munsiyari to witness amazingly beautiful golden glow of sunset at Panchchulli range
- Stay overnight at Munsiyari
Day 4 | Munsiyari Rest Day
- Read our detailed travel guide of Munsiyari.
- Rest day at Munsiyari
- May be trek to Thamri Kund ahead of Khaliya top. Will take about 3 Hrs to complete the trek, else enjoy relaxing day at Munsiyari
- Darkot is a heritage village 8 KMs ahead of Munsiyari. You can get yourself the Pasham (Mountain Rabbit) wool Shawls, Cardigans, Caps, crafted by hand as a heritage run by an old lady Prema ji who is the mother of a well known guide of this region named Raju guide. You can reach him at 08958687822. These are in the purest form of that woolen and crafted by hands only, so a bit costly but very very warm & pure. The white one is pure while the grey one is a mix and comes a bit cheaper.
- You can also get some local herbs from Raju at Darkot Village such as Jambo used to flavour Dal, Thoya much like Kala Jeera, Tehmur like Kali Mirch (in case you need warmth in cold, you can drink a soup having lot of Tehmur in it), Gandraini sticks though bitter in taste but good for constipation.
- Munsiyari also sells quite famous local Rajma (Kidney Beans) & potato and you can get some of them for you in case you like them.
- The road from Darkot – Madkot – Jaulijibi runs along Gori Ganga river. Also, offers views of Johar Ghati towards Milam which is surrounded by Tibet from one side and Nepal from the other if I am not wrong??
- Stay overnight at Munsiyari
Day 5 | Munsiyari – Chaukori
- Chaukori offers a much wider view of the Himalayan range wile Munsiyari offers a touching view of Panchchulli range. The view of Nanda Devi from Chaukori is purely magical and feels like as if you will touch it.
- Again, while coming back enjoy lunch at Thal and DO NOT forget to top up fuel at Thal. The restaurant just aside the petrol pump by the name JJ Hotel and Restaurant is quite nice.
- Stop aside Birthi fall in case you missed while going to Munsiyari.
- Stay overnight at Chaukori
Day 6 | Chaukori – Patal Bhuvanehwar – Chaukori
- Make a visit to Patal Bhuvaneshwar, an amazing cave of lime stone and if you have interest in Hindu mythology, well you will relate those structures in there to every sense of the story narrated by the priest when you get inside. One of those MUST SEE things in life.
- Stay overnight at Chaukori
Day 7 | Chaukori – Kausani/Gwaldam via Baijnath – Bageshwar
- From Chaukori follow the other route towards Bagehswar – Baijnath to reach Kausani or Gwaldam.
- Kausani offers a panoramic view of Himalayan range with Bageshwar valley floating below while Gwaldam offers a more touching view of Trishul peak and offers much more snow. Just for info., Gwaldam lies inside Gharwal region and is just sitting on the border of Kumaon and Gharwal, so can be done under this circuit too.
- Relaxing day and enjoy the sunset/sunrise golden glow from Kausani or Gwaldam.
Day 8 | Kausani/Gwaldam – Almora – Mukteshwar / Ramgarh OR Kausani – Ranikhet / Manila
- If you have less time and want to return home, you can do a 14 Hr drive from Kausani or Gwaldam back home to Delhi
- Else enjoy the drive at ease for a stay either at Mukteshwar / Ramgarh or move towards Ranikhet / Manila side from Kausani / Gwaldam
- In case you never heard of Manila, then well, check: Manila – Kumaon, A Lesser Known Offbeat Place in Uttarakhand near Delhi
- Relaxing day and enjoy the sunset / sunrise golden glows from Kausani or Gwaldam.
Day 9 | Rest at Mukteshwar / Ramgarh (Day trip to Sattal / Bhimtal / Naukuchiyatal) OR Ranikhet / Manila – Delhi
- You can rest at Mukteshwar or Ramgarh or maybe make a day trip to Sattal / Bhimtal / Naukuchiyataal or in case you decided to go towards Ranikhet / Manila, start for home from there. You can even start for home from Mukteshwar covering these lakes if you start early in the day. Bhimtal, in any case, will fall on the route only.
- Stay at Mukteshwar/Ramgarh or reach the sweet home.
Day 10 | Mukteshwar / Ramgarh – Delhi
- Reach the sweet home.
TIP | Stay at secluded KMVN at Birthi falls
- Thanks for the recommendation from Pankaj in comments section, one can also stay at KMVN Birthi Falls instead of Munsiyari and enjoy peace up there.
Phone Signals with Data Connectivity in Kumaon
In my last trip, I was carrying Airtel Postpaid, BSNL Postpaid and Vodafone Postpaid was with some friends. Following was the signal status:
- All three were working mostly through all the days except Dharchula.
- At Dharchula Airtel was having Nepal International Roaming. Vodafone was dead. BSNL was working as local connection.
- Only few sections of the roads were there where Airtel and Vodafone was not working. BSNL had the widest coverage among all.
- Data Connectivity was almost always available wherever the signals were present though it was mostly 2G and in some towns like Gwaldam (Gharwal border) even 3G was running :D.
I am sure the above itinerary for Kumaon region if not help you 100% with planning a trip to Uttarkhand but can certainly act as a starting point for your upcoming Kumaon trip or a trip to any of these places mentioned in the itinerary.
Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.
Do share your valuable thoughts or queries or doubts you have and we can discuss more about your upcoming Travel Plans for Kumaon either in comments below or in the Itinerary Advice section of the DoW Community. We will be happy to help you plan your trip :).