Introduction: I remember my college days when we would collect our pocket money only to go on a trip to the mountains. It was the New Year of 2021 when I first went to Mussoorie for a ‘trip.’ Though it drained all the pocket money that I’d been collecting for months, it was a great experience. It was the time when I realised the need to discover some budget-friendly destinations in Uttarakhand. The destinations that could save our money and offer wonderful experiences.
I feel happy that after three years of my travelling- I have discovered the best places in Uttarakhand for college students. Let us have a quick look at these destinations.
Sitting in the lap of mother nature, Champawat is a hill station full of unparalleled beauty. The hill station lies in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, close to the Nepal border. The distance of Champawat from Delhi is around 400 km, and you can reach here overnight. You can easily catch a bus to Champawat from Anand Vihar ISBT in Delhi.
What makes Champawat amongst the best places in Uttarakhand for college students is the budget-friendly pricing. A decent hotel room at Champawat will cost you somewhere between INR 400-500/night. It means that around three people can stay in one room while spending less than INR 500/night! The place is best suited for people looking to find peaceful destinations, away from the city rush!
It was the year 2019 when I went to Pithoragarh for the first time. I was on a tight budget and was looking for some economical (and quality) stay. To my surprise, Pithoragarh had a variety of stay options that could fill the criteria.
The city sits in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, around 500km from Delhi and 75kms from Champawat. What I liked most about Pithoragarh & Champawat is that both the cities are close to Nepal. You can be back from Nepal just in a day. And, the best part about Nepal is that anything you buy from here is very budget-friendly and economical.
To reach Pithoragarh, you can take the direct bus from Delhi or Dehradun. Interestingly, the city has a small airport called ‘Naini Saini Airport.’ You can take a flight from Ghaziabad/Dehradun to reach here.
I was on the journey to the Char-Dhams of Uttarakhand when I came to know about Chopta. The small-hill station, which has started getting more attention now, lies near Kedarnath. Also, Chopta is the trekking point of Tungnath Temple, the world’s highest Shiva Temple.
Chopta is best suited for people who want to enjoy the Himalayan views. You can also trek up to Chandrashila, one of the best spots in the Kedarnath & Chopta valley to get the Himalayan views. The hill station also houses numerous small & big bugyal (meadows) to keep you engaged. Chopta is an emerging hill station and is growing at a rapid pace.
I visited Chopta back in August 2021, immediately after the Covid lockdown. I remember my time as I ‘worked from the mountains’ while staying at one of the hotels in Chopta. The stay was beautiful and very economical while offering mesmerising views. I would suggest you confirm the availability of the hotels beforehand as the tiny hill station has a few of them. Yet, I would say Chopta is one of the best places in Uttarakhand for college students.
People often get surprised when I suggest Rishikesh as one of the budget-friendly destinations in Uttarakhand. I have noticed that most people have the perception that Rishikesh is an expensive city. I used to think the same before the year 2017.
I would say that Rishikesh is not an expensive city if you know where to stay and where to eat. The city has several hostels opened up these days. Hostels are a kind of co-sharing arrangement where you share your room with other people. The rooms have a proper facility to keep your luggage and also lockers somewhere.
The pricing of the hostel bed starts at INR 300/person/day in Rishikesh. It excludes the meals and, you can pay for the meals on an a-la-carte basis. You can easily spend a day within INR 600/day in Rishikesh provided that you are not visiting any expensive cafe at dinner.
If you have just started learning about Uttarakhand, you might not be familiar with this place. Sattal is a beautiful lake located in the Kumaon belt of Uttarakhand. The lake lies close to the world-famous hill-station Nainital. Unlike Nainital, Sattal is sparsely populated and witnesses only the footfall of people looking for some peace.
Sattal is one of the destinations suited best for families, couples and college students. The hill station sits between a beautiful lake. You must try your hands at boating around the lake if you are here. Additionally, the lakeside Dhabas offer some delectable meals that you will enjoy. Do not forget to eat the famous kadi-chawal here.
Sattal consists of stay options ranging from highly-priced to low ones. As this article is about the best places in Uttarakhand for college students, I would suggest you to stay somewhere near the Mehragaon area. It is the area where you will get rooms/ stays at economical prices. Most of the stays here are run by the locals and depict the pahadi culture in every bit of your stay.
Gone are the days when travelling was considered a luxury. I often tell my friends that travelling is my oxygen. Truly, I’ve learnt a lot during my explorations, more than what I could have learnt in any textbook. In such cases, finding a budget-friendly stay always helps, especially for the college-going buddies!