How To Travel in Uttarakhand is a certain question that might be bothering you if you are planning a trip to Uttarakhand on your. If that’s the case, don’t worry I’ll be guiding you on the same.
Based on my travels across Uttarakhand, I’ll clear all your doubts on how to commute within Uttarakhand if you are traveling Independently with spending a fortune. So lets get started.
How To Travel In Uttarakhand ?
I’ll be very honest, unlike Uttarakhand’s Himalayan neighbour Himachal, traveling within Uttarakhand, i.e from one place to another can be a hassle.
Now with this out of the way, let me shed a light on different ways to travel within Uttarakhand. By the way, if its your first time in Uttarakhand, here is a detailed blog on what to pack for Uttarakhand.
Hire Private Cabs to Travel within Uttarakhand
Now this is the easy way out. In case you want commute internally without much hassle and have the budget to do so, by all means just hire a private cab to travel from destination to another in Uttarakhand.
Of course, this option is viable for only families or large group of friends or family amongst whom the travel cost will get divided. For solo travelers, hiring a private cab will be too expensive.
I’ll give you an example. To travel just 10 km from Bhatwari market to Barsu village in Uttarkashi district I was quoted INR 600 for a private cab. Alternatively I traveled by shared cab and just had to pay INR 50.
So make sure you take a local bus if available or shared taxis if you are budget travelers. The only downside is that these cabs and buses are usually only available during evening.
Usually people return back to villages from work or market in the evening.
By the way if you are first time solo traveler to Uttarakhand, here super handy tips for solo travel in Uttarakhand.
Take A UTC bus To Travel in Uttarakhand
UTC also known as Uttarakhand Transport is the state owned government entity. But unlike HRTC which is Himachal’s state owned entity, UTC is in Shambles.
If there is a road wide enough HRTC make sure to runs a bus on the route. Even if its a loss-making route. Plus HRTC runs many inter-district bus services.
But that is not the case with UTC, bus services are fewer and are not even available everywhere.
For instance I wanted to travel to Chopta in Rudraprayag district from Uttarkashi town. There are no direct buses for the same. And one has to break the journey at least thrice.
So UTC is certainly not that reliable. So do not depend on it. By all means if the service is available for your intended destination travel by UTC.
But if private bus or shared cab option is available and helps you reach faster opt for them instead of UTC.
By the way, if you were wondering how safe Uttarakhand is for solo travel, here is detailed blog on the same.
Take A Private Operator Bus To Travel In Uttarakhand
From what I observed in Garwhal, there were a lot more private operator buses when compared to UTC buses. But again private operators tend to only run on profitable routes.
So traveling within Uttarakhand can also be facilitated by private operator buses as well. Connectivity of private buses is decent in the main towns of Uttarakhand along with sizeable villages.
But again not as robust as Himachal. Rural connectivity by means of private buses is also strong in Himachal.
Personally speaking I traveled multiple times in private buses and it was fine. But again those are only ordinary buses, so do not expect to any sorts of luxury.
I traveled from Uttarkashi to Purola, Jakhol to Purola in private operators bus and it was fine to be honest.
Take A Shared Cab To Travel In Uttarakhand
Apart from buses, shared cabs are another important mode of internal commute in Uttarakhand. On many routes due to fewer bus services or no bus services shared cabs come in pretty handy.
Be it major routes, remote villages, far-flung valleys shared cabs are prevalent everywhere in Uttarakhand.
The advantage of a shared cab is the help you reach your destination quicker than a bus would. But they also charge more than local buses. But of course way lesser than private cabs.
There are a couple of disadvantages though. The cabs won’t take off until full-capacity is reached and there is no more room for more people. Plus it gets very congested due to the sheer number of people to be honest.
But in certain areas you have to rely on shared cabs. For instance, I reach early morning to Rudrapryag when heading for Sari village.
I had no choice but to go in shared which took more than an hour to depart as people came in slowly. Also the next bus to Ukhimath was later in the day.
Cost of Traveling In Public Transport In Uttarakhand
Bus fares and shared cab fares are quite economical when it comes to Uttarakhand. Unlike plains where bus fares are even lesser, same is not the case when it comes to mountains.
In the plains of Uttarakhand the bus fares are lesser compared to the mountainous terrain of Uttarakhand. Generally speaking fare of buses in the mountainous region is approximately INR 2*distance .
So for instance if you travelled for 100 km, you’ll end up paying above INR 200 if you were traveling in mountainous region of Uttarakhand.
Fares of local and UTC buses are almost same. The fares of shared cabs will be a bit on the higher side the buses.
For instance Ukhimath to Chopta fare for shared cab is around INR 200 for 45 km, if there were a bus service on this route the fare would have been INR 100. Unfortunately there is none on such a popular route.
How To Travel In Uttarakhand – To Sum It Up
- Travel in private cabs if budget is not an issue and you are in a large groups
- Private and UTC buses are widely available to the major towns.
- Rural connectivity & remote areas are poorly connected by UTC or private buses
- Shared Cabs are widely used for commute within Uttarakhand and can be a good option.
- Traveling by buses and shared cabs is very cost effective for solo and budget travelers.
- Traveling by buses, shared cabs within Uttarakhand is safe.
To conclude, I hope you are now somewhat familiar with how to travel in Uttarakhand.
Public, private buses & shared cabs are the most economical way of traveling in mountainous regions Uttarakhand which is where most of the travelers and tourists go.
In case if you have any queries make sure you drop them in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help you out.