Pre-monsoon showers in Uttarakhand have resulted in overflowing rivers, waterfalls and landslides. While the state has not issued any advisory for visitors, nevertheless, the first-hand experience of some travellers is enough to highlight the problems one might face.
“It took us more than three hours on Thursday to exit from Nainital as two major routes, Nainital–Kaladhungi and Nainital bypass were blocked. There was an overflowing waterfall and boulders blocking the way,” said Udit Ghildiyal, an avid traveller. The state government spokesperson, Madan Kaushik said Uttarakhand is a major tourist destination and the government is not in favour of creating unnecessary panic.
“Officials and rescue teams are on alert and the chief minister also reviews the place on a daily basis. Therefore, there should be no concern about the security of tourists,” said Kaushik. Here is a checklist of places to be avoided:
Chopta: This place is known for its magnificent beauty and stunning views of the Himalayas. However, the route to Chopta passes via Ukhimath and encounters heavy landslides.
Wan village: Located on a height of 8,000 feet from the sea level, Wan village in Chamoli district is the base camp for various trekking trails popular among adventure lovers. It includes sites like the Aali alpine meadow, Roopkund frozen lake, Bedni meadow and the Homkund trek. The Wan village and these treks witness routine landslides during the rainy season.
Corbett Fall: Over the years, Corbett Fall has emerged as a popular destination. The fall is close to Corbett National Park. The park remains closed during the monsoon, however, tourists keep visiting the fall. The locals advise that monsoon is not the right season to visit owing to increased water levels.
Dronagiri trek: The Dronagiri mountains in the Garhwal hills, located at 22,000 feet from the sea level is a preferred destination for adventure lovers. The Dronagiri trek was announced as the trek of the year by the state tourism department earlier this year. Heading to Dronagiri during the monsoon is not advised due to the difficult terrain, landslides and overflowing rivulets.
Dharchula: This town, close to the Indo-Nepal border, in Pithoragarh district is a tourist paradise, but reaching there during the monsoon is a risky affair. The Pithoragarh National Highway gets blocked repeatedly and there is always a risk that a boulder or debris could fall on the vehicle.