1 July, 2021 | Reccy Guide
Sometimes, things with a dimmer light end up shining brighter than the ones with the most glowing light. The same goes for Kathgodam, a lazy hill station that travelers often pass on without flinching on their way to Nainital. Maybe that is why the beauty of Kathgodam is unique, as it is the final destination of a road 'less traveled by. ' Untouched by the cacophony of ultra-modern life, this idyllic hill station lies at the foothills of the Himalayas, offering stunning scenic beauty and the warm embrace of hospitality. At 554 meters above sea level, it is a sister town of Haldwani and stands as an independent destination searching for travelers with great taste. The town is the gateway to many a Himalayan adventures including the Roopkund Trek or the Pindari Glacier Trek.
As the name suggests, Kathgodam is an essential commercial hub in Nainital, known for trading timber. The Gaula river nourishes this beautiful village on its banks, with many stunning attractions and pristine, unblemished natural beauty. It has a pleasant and enjoyable climate throughout the year, with Summer temperatures reaching 28 degrees Celsius and Winter Temperatures falling to 0 degrees Celsius. That is why the best time to visit here is in the summer months- from late March to May. Kathgodam receives ample rainfall during the Monsoon season, which nourishes the blooming greenery around, but can be pretty challenging to handle while traveling.
This immaculate little town remains untarnished by excessive tourists and remains a hidden gem surrounded by several significant attractions nearby. You can travel to various other destinations like Nainital, Almora, and Ranikhet by car or bus as they are situated quite close. If you wish to go to a place where very few foreign footsteps have left their marks, Kathgodam is the right choice for you.
How to reach?
Kathgodam acts as the central hub for several North-Indian adventures and activities in Uttarakhand. It is located just 24 kilometers away from the lake city of Nainital, and it is well-connected to major cities in Uttarakhand, thus serving as an important hub.
Kathgodam is one of the important railheads of the Kumaon region that connects the area through a rail network and is considered the Gateway to the Kumaon. The Kathgodam railway station is situated just 1 kilometer away from the main city and encounters frequent trains from all major North-Indian cities like New Delhi (via the Ranikhet Express or the Uttar Sampark Kranti Express) and Dehradun (via the Doon Express). You can take a train to New Delhi or Dehradun from any Indian city and reach Kathgodam via the connecting trains.
Pantnagar Airport lies the nearest to Kathgodam. It is located at a distance of 32 kilometers from the hub. The airport encounters four round flights from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, every week. You can travel from any Indian city by air and reach the New Delhi airport, from where you can take a flight to Pantnagar. You can hire a cab from Pantnagar airport to reach Kathgodam.
Since Kathgodam is the Gateway to the Kumaon, it has excellent roadway connectivity to the rest of Uttarakhand and North India cities. You will get regular state transport and privately-operated buses from ISBT Anand Vihar station, Delhi, that reach Haldwani- the twin town of Kathgodam, in the morning. From Haldwani, you can take another connecting bus or hire a cab/rent a taxi to reach Kathgodam. The road journey from Haldwani to Kathgodam does not take more than eight hours.
Where to stay?
Being the Gateway to the Kumaon, Kathgodam encounters several tourists and adventure enthusiasts who would travel to various parts of Uttarakhand and North India. Therefore, there are several accommodation options, including budget and pocket-friendly homestays, guest houses, backpackers' hostels, etc. These charge significantly less, starting from USD 8-10 per night (INR 600-750). But they only offer very basic amenities. On the other hand, there are luxurious accommodation options like villas, boutique hotels with spas, etc., that start from USD 50 (INR 3750) and continue to USD 175 (INR 13500) and above per night. But you have to keep in mind that the accommodation prices depend primarily upon the amenities and the add-ons you choose. Such accommodation prices are expected to soar during the peak tourist seasons. However, pre-booking via tour operators, travel agencies, and notable booking apps and websites will cut down on such costs.
As Kathgodam is situated quite close to Nainital, you can easily visit the Mall Road in Nainital if you want to go shopping. You can also visit the Walkaway Mall, which has several shops selling clothes, utilities, jewelry, and others. This mall is classic and modern, with a cinema hall for tourists and residents. Anything that you might need for your home, you can find in this impressive mall.
When you are in Kathgodam, it is best to go to Nainital for a shopping adventure. Even though both these places are located relatively close, Nainital offers more choices in terms of stores and items. One of the unique items that you can buy from Kathgodam and Nainital is stylish, fancy candles. The people residing here take immense pride in their candle art, and aptly so. Incense sticks and scented candles are also something that you will yearn to take back home if you visit Kathgodam. You can also opt for offbeat pine cone crafts, along with Woolen clothing. Nainital is known for its Woolen items, which are not only affordable but also quite durable.
At Kathgodam, you can always opt for traditional handicrafts and jewelry, as the craftsmen here excel in these arts. All of the items sold here are made of premium quality materials and are profoundly beautiful in their ways. These traditional jewelry and handicrafts reflect the innate culture of this quiet and austere town.
Kathgodam has mesmerizing scenic beauty, amplified by a spiritual presence. Even though there aren't too many attractions here, the Sheetla Devi Temple and the Kalichaud Temple are two of the most popular places at Kathgodam. These two beautiful temples attract thousands of devotees each year, especially during the time of the festivals. But if you are not a spiritual person, then there are some great places for you too. The Sat Tal is one of the most pristine lakes here, surrounded by vivid greenery and filled with hundreds of migratory birds every year. The immaculate beauty of this lake attracts people from all over the world. But the natural beauty of the lake resides in the peace that overwhelms you when you visit this place. The amity surrounding this lake washes over people with unprecedented tranquility, calling out to the sleeping poets in them. Just 23 km from Kathgodam, this majestic yet plain lake is a must-visit for every traveler.
Located 75 km from Kathgodam, Ranikhet is another location to check out while you are here. The natural beauty around Ranikhet brings out a sense of calmness in everyone. If you are not in the mood to travel far from here, you can visit the Gaula Dam, one of the most popular tourist spots at Kathgodam.
When it comes to leisure activities, you can go on nature trails all around Kathgodam. People often engage in picnics around various famous tourist spots, like the Gaula Dam. If you seek a soul-stirring adventure, you can also embark on an adrenaline-rushing activity like the Roopkund Trek or the Pindari Glacier Trek from here. You can even check out the crystal-clear blue waters of the famous Nainital Lake, which is located only 34.6 km from Kathgodam. Another detour could be via the Bhowali-Bhimtal-Haldwani road from Kathgodam, by which you reach the Bhimtal Lake and enjoy its solitude. Overall, even though the number of attractions at Kathgodam is lesser than the surrounding areas, the beautiful destinations nearby make this a fantastic place to visit.
The Roopkund trek is one of the most popular hikes within the Uttarakhand state in India. The ecosystem diversity, challenging climb, and view of Skeleton Lake hav…...
13 June, 2021 | Reccy Guide