In the recent few years, tourism in India has developed enormously. People have started to travel and explore more as compared over the past. The growth in the field of internet and transportation has helped in the cause. But owing to this, most of the famous touristy places have become very crowded and one can hardly spend some peaceful time at these places. Personally, I don’t like such crowded places and hence I have started to look out for places that are still unexplored yet beautiful. One such town is Gwaldam Uttarakhand.
Deep forest cover in route to Gwaldam
So Abhi!! How do you come to know about these places? While planning a trip to a particular state, I look out for all the places on Gmaps which are in between the routes of major towns. Hitchhiking and using public transport also helps me a lot to find a new place. Similar was the story for Gwaldam. I was looking at the route between Kausani and Karnaprayag and found out this beauty.
Beautiful landscape as seen from Gwaldam
Located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Gwaldam is a bit lazy hill station perched at an altitude of around 1650 meters. It is a pitstop for trekkers who are heading towards the base camp of Roopkund, Kauri Pass, and Nanda Devi Raj Jat treks. Set amidst dense jungle and apple orchards, the town provides a fascinating view of the Himalayan peaks. The town is perfect for nature lovers who are looking to spend some peaceful days.
How to reach Gwaldam
The cheapest and most convenient way to reach Gwaldam is via railways. The nearest railway stations to Gwaldam is Kathgodam (165 kms) and Haldwani (172 kms). These 2 stations are well connected to major parts of countries via railway. From Haldwani/Kathgodam, there is only one direct bus for Gwaldam which starts a very early morning, so it’s better to reach the town in break journeys. From Haldwani/Kathgodam you can opt for bus/shared taxi till Almora/Kausani/ Garur and another shared taxi from these places to reach Gwaldam.
My journey to Gwaldam
After exploring the beautiful Auli Hill station, next on my list was Kausani. While searching for the transport options from Auli to Kausani, I came to know about Gwaldam which lies in-route. I searched for more info on the town over the internet. The pictures of this town amazed me so much that I made up my mind to give it a visit.
I took the following route to reach Gwaldam: Auli Joshimat – Karnaprayag (Bus – INR 120), Karnaprayag to Tharali(Bus – INR 70) and Tharali to Gwaldam(shared taxi – INR 50). The route from Tharali to Gwaldam passes through one of the most beautiful forest covers of Deodar trees with breathtaking landscapes of lower Himalayas in the vicinity.
The Himalayas as seen from the town
As such there is nothing special to visit in Gwaldam. It may lack ingredients which can delight a tourist visiting it, but the town will definitely please a traveler. It’s a perfect place to be at for someone who doesn’t want to run to every possible location and just want to sit back and relax amidst the beautiful nature. The town serves as the base camp of the trek route to popular Roopkund lake, Kauri Pass, and Nanda Devi yatra.
Market at Gwaldam
On a clear day, one can enjoy the panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, and Chaukhamba. The scintillating river Pindari making its way through the lush forests adds beauty to the town.
View of Himalayas from Gwaldam
There are monasteries, temples, and few other spots which are worth a visit; Angora Farm, Buddhist Khamba Temple, Bandhangarhi Temple, Gwalnaag, Macchi Tal to name a few. Don’t miss trekking to Bandhangarhi temple, a trek amidst the apple orchards.
Stay and food options as Gwaldam
Being an unpopular town among the tourist, there are very few budgets stay options available in Gwaldam. The few I saw over there are GMVN (01363274244), Hotel Chandan, Hotel Nature’s and Hotel Trishul. GMVM has a dormitory option and I would highly recommend staying over there. You can also opt to stay at Kausani which is just 40 kms from the town and has lots of stay options.
There are no high-end restaurants available in the town. You may find some local restro and roadside stalls serving north Indian cuisine. Gahat Dal, Aloo k Gutke, Kappa, Sisunak Saag and Chainsoo are few regional dishes and you should definitely give them a try.
Best time to visit Gwaldam
The town has a pleasant climate throughout the year. Since Himalayan view from the town is the prime attraction, one should visit the town in months of October to December to have a glimpse of the same when the weather is clear. Apple orchards are in full bloom in months of August and September while the months of November and December is the best time to see ripe oranges.
If you thinking of escaping this world for a while and want to surrender yourself completely in nature, this can be the perfect destination for you.
Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my post on What’s in my Backpack.
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