Are you finding it difficult to choose between Himachal vs Uttarakhand. Its common to have such a dilemma. After all both Himachal and Uttarakhand are popular Himalayan states amongst travelers.
Therefore, based on my extensive travels to both, I’ve come up with a Himachal vs Uttarakhand comparison post considering several aspects like ease of commuting, budget travel, internet connectivity, stay options and more.
Himachal Vs Uttarakhand – A Detailed Comparison !
Even though both Himachal and Uttarakhand are Himalayan states with similar landscapes, natural beauty and culture there are plenty of differences.
After having traveled to both the Himalayan states, I am curating this blog to help my fellow travelers decide which one to choose.
By the way, if you are looking for a lesser crowded place in Uttarakhand with immense natural beauty, here is Harshil valley Itinerary for an ultimate experience in Uttarakhand.
Himachal Vs Uttarakhand – Ease of Commuting
Himachal wins this one comfortably. From roads conditions to robust public transport, Himachal is way ahead of Uttarakhand when it comes to ease of commuting.
Be it commuting within Himachal or reaching a place of interest in Himachal, you pretty much have public transport in the form of buses. So traveling is much easier compared to UK if you rely on public transport.
Direct bus connectivity from Delhi to most of the district headquarters in seamlessly run by HRTC when it comes to Himachal Pradesh.
The same cannot be said for Uttarakhand though. Direct bus connectivity from major north Indian cities is limited to only a few places.
Most of times you have to break your journey at several places before you are able to reach your destination.
For instance if you wanted to reach Harshil, you would have to break your journey at least once if not more. While Reckong Peo in Kinnaur district of Himachal has direct bus connectivity even from Delhi.
Himachal Vs Uttarakhand – Public Transport & Internal Commute
When it comes to public transport and commute within state, Himachal is way ahead of Uttarakhand. The simple reason is HRTC. This government owned entity is the real lifeline of Himachal.
If there is a road wide enough to run a bus, HRTC will make sure that they will run at least one bus service even if that route was a loss-making one. Inter-district travel in Himachal is pretty smooth with direct buses.
For instance, there is one bus that runs all the way from Shimla, the capital of Himachal to Sural in Pangi valley of Chamba district. Plus rural bus connectivity is pretty robust in Himachal.
Public transport in Uttarakhand is in a sorry state. UTC is nowhere near as robust and capable as HRTC is. Inter-district commute can be a hassle sometimes in Uttarakhand with no direct buses.
For instance, there is no direct bus service between Uttarakashi district and Rudraprayag district in Garwhal Himalayas. One has to break the journey at Srinagar and then further.
Hopefully UTC takes a leaf out of HRTC book and becomes as robust and capable as HRTC.
Is Himachal More Beautiful OR Uttarakhand
Comparing landscapes and overall beauty of two Himalayan states is quite unfair to be honest. And to be really honest both being Himalayan states have quite similar terrain and vistas.
Both Uttarakhand and Himachal have undulating meadows, towering Deodhars, impressive looking snowy peaks, surreal rivers and rivulets.
The only real difference in landscapes is when it comes to the peaks. Uttarakhand has a lot more 7000 m peaks and 8000 m. Himachal highest peak is around
So locales and tourist spots located at vantage points usually give otherwordly views of such gargantuan peaks in Uttarakhand.
So if you were to ask me, in terms of beauty both Himachal and Uttarakhand are equally beautiful with impeccable landscapes and beauty which is not comparable.
Himachal Versus Uttarakhand – In Terms Stay Options
When it comes to varied types accommodation in the form hostels, hotels, cottages, homestays Himachal triumphs Uttarakhand.
From hostels to homestays be it remote areas or popular tourist destinations Himachal has no dearth of accommodation options as per ones budget.
Same cannot be said Uttarakhand. Apart from extremely popular hill stations & tourist spots, varied types of accommodation as per ones budget is difficult to find in Uttarakhand
Although hostels and budget homestays have now started to come in Uttarakhand. But they are not at the same level as Himachal.
Except for popular tourist hotspots hostels and budget homestays are almost hard to find in Garwhal. In Kumaon though hostels have certainly popped up in places like Kasar Devi, Muketshwar, Naintail.
For instance in Harshil valley which has risen in popularity still does not have a single hostel or even budget homestays for that matter. For a solo traveler visiting Harshil could turn out to be an expensive affair.
Himachal OR Uttarakhand – As A Backpacking Destination
Himachal gets the win when it comes to backpacking in my opinion. Parvati valley, Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, Bir Spiti valley, Manali, Jibhi are some of the most famous backpacking destinations in India.
With no dearth of hostels, hippie cafes and hiking trails backpacking and flashpacking culture has thrived in the above mentioned places in Himachal. Especially amongst Indian millennial and Gen Z travelers.
Apart from Rishikesh, I haven’t come across places in Uttarakhand which is an outright backpacking destination. Uttarakhand caters more towards religious tourism and your typical Indian hill stations.
Although things are fast changing with advent of hostels in popular tourists as well as lesser-frequented places in Uttarakhand at least in Kumaon. So expect new backpacking destinations to pop up in the next few years.
In fact, I started my backpacking journey from Parvati valley in Himachal which is your cliched backpackers destination. Of course, that was long ago and my traveling style has changed since then. But you get my point.
Himachal Vs Uttarakhand – In Terms Of Budget Traveling
After having a spent a considerable amount of time in Himachal and Uttarakhand. I personally felt that Himachal is a better destination if someone wants to travel on a budget.
In Himachal at most of the destinations you can opt for budget homestays or hostels to keep travel expenses under INR 1000. In fact in Himachal I am usually able to restrict my spendings to around INR 800 per day.
But in Uttarakhand finding budget friendly homestays was difficult. Most of the homestays Garwhal Himalayas were priced around INR 1000 to INR 1500 per day in places like Harshil Or Sari.
budget friendly option I got was in Sankri and Jakhol area in Uttarakashi district. But again
Of course, you can stay in main market towns or popular tourist resorts for budget hotels. But those are usually concrete infested areas which can sort of ruin your experience if you want to a quaint trip.
By the way, if you are budget traveler, here is a detailed blog on how to plan a cheap solo trip to Himachal which also include cheaper routes in Himachal.
Himachal Vs Uttarakhand – In Terms Of Hiking and Trekking
When it comes to hiking and trekking, Uttarakhand has an edge over Himachal. Not in terms of beauty of the trails or the trek itself but more on the lines of trails.
In Himachal, even for popular trails, you’ll hardly find a proper 6-foot wide perfectly marked trail. But in Uttarakhand those hikes or treks that are popular have perfectly marked wide trails.
For instance, on a hike a to Dayara budgyal from Barsu village, the trail was marked all the way to the top. Therefore, chances of losing the way are extremely remote.
In Himachal, even for popular trails, the absence of wide trails well-marked makes it confusing sometimes even for popular trails like for instance, Lamadugh near Manali.
But apart from that both Himachal and Uttarakhand wide variety of trails and hikes as per the level and fitness of the hiker and of course the beauty of the trail.
By the way, if you are first time solo traveler to Uttarakhand, here is a detailed blog on how safe it is to visit Uttarakhand as a solo traveler.
Which Is Better Himachal OR Uttarakhand – In Terms Of Cafes
Hippie Cafes are something what most of the millennial and Gen Z travelers look forward to when traveling to different places. And Himachal is miles ahead when it comes to Uttarakhand in this subject.
Places like Manali, Kasol, Jibhi, Shangarh, Kaza, Dharamkot, Mcleodganj, Shimla have a lot of cafes which serve scrumptious international as well as Desi and local cuisine.
But when it comes to Uttarakhand expect for Rishikesh the cafe culture is still nowhere to be seen. Especially in the Garwhal Himalays.
In my extensive travels in Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag districts, I did not see typical hippie cafes almost anywhere except for Sankri which had a few.
Although Kumaon has a few cafes especially at popular places but not as many as many Kasol or Manali.
Is Himachal Safer OR Uttarakhand ?
Both Himachal and Uttarakhand are equally safe in my opinion. I have traveled across both for months and till date haven’t had to face any untoward incident.
Be it solo travelers, couples, backpackers, families, Himachal and Uttarakhand are quite safe to be honest. Public buses, hotels, homestays, temples, cafes etc are all safe in both Himachal and Uttarakhand.
But again while traveling special care has to be taken no matter how safe the place is. Especially if you are traveling solo. Being alert and sober is one of the most crucial things if you are traveling solo anywhere.
If you are hiking and trekking, make sure you have a guide along if you are not well-versed with the Himalayan terrain. Hiking or trekking solo can have dangerous consequences if you are not an expert.
Himachal Versus Uttarakhand – In Terms Of Internet Connectivity
Himalayan states back in the day were know for their poor mobile network and internet connectivity. Well, things have drastically changed these days.
But Himachal is again miles ahead when it comes to mobile internet and connectivity when compared to Uttarakhand. Most of the regions and areas in Himachal have decent 4g connectivity.
Even the remote valleys, villages, and far-flung areas in Himachal have 4g connectivity. Like even remote valleys like Spiti, Lahaul, Sainj, Tirthan, Kinnaur have decent internet and mobile network these days
In Uttarakhand the situation is not as good as Himachal but it fast improving though. Like the whole Sankri region does not have proper internet connectivity or mobile. Even Chopta did not have proper connectivity.
Therefore, I think Himachal is a way better option if you need constant internet connectivity but also want to explore remote areas.
That all I have for this blog. I hope I was able to put forth a decent comparison between Himachal Vs Uttarakhand.
Himachal is the better state with respect to public transport, accommodation options, internet connectivity, cafes, but Uttarakhand is surely catching.
In case you have question relating to Himachal vs Uttarakhand, do let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them.