For a country bursting with population, both human and vehicular, surprisingly India also has a lot of quite and peaceful spots, away from the usual hustle-bustle of the city, away from the smoke and pollution, away from the noise and disturbance of all sorts. One such place in northern India in the state of Uttarakhand is Syalsaur. Syalsaur is basically a small hamlet, hard to find on a map, especially a tourist map. The place is situated on the banks of the river Mandakini, and for the most part the only noise you will hear is that of birds chirping, the river flowing and the like.
For people who want to just sit back, relax and ponder over life, who don’t want to rush around all over the place visiting all the ‘tourist’ spots and decorating their Instagram. Syalsaur is for those who know how to lean back and soak in the beauty and everything else that nature has to offer. Surrounded by snow capped peaks. Sit by the river, in the company of a good book, wake up to sound of chirping birds. The sunrise at the Chaukhambha peak is one of the biggest highlights of this place. Syalsaur is also home to many migratory birds, so how about honing those bird watching skills!
Syalsaur is commonly a small stopover on the way to Badrinath as part of the Chaar Dhaam yatra in Uttarakhand. By itself Syalsaur doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of things to do, so often visitors venture out to explore the places around or just have it as a stopover as part of a bigger trip. The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) tourist bungalows are the best option for accommodation. They have an in-house restaurant that offers good, fresh food. The guest house is located right by the river, with bungalows made from bamboo giving it a rustic feel. During the night time, the temperature drops significantly in all seasons, so pack accordingly.
Mandakini river passes right by Syalsaur. Mandakini literally means, she who flows calmly. Mandakini is generally a calm river, but in the monsoons it tends to get quite violent with its flooding. It is a tributary of the Alaknanda, which is another river flows through this state. For the adventure-junkies, you can even kayak through the Mandakini when it is calm and peaceful. Avoid kayaking in the monsoons at all costs.
Less than 50 km from syalsaur is Chopta, and the journey makes for a really beautiful drive. Chopta is rightly called as ‘Mini Switzerland of India”. The place is a part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. In winters the entire place gets covered in snow, while for the rest of the year, it is all green meadow filled with colourful flowers. You can also visit the Chandrashila peak, Tungnath, Deoria Taal, and Rudraprayag in the vicinity of Syalsaur.
Where is it?
Syalsaur is 160km from Haridwar and is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Syalsaur is just about 20 km from Rudraprayag. Rudraprayag is the spot of confluence of the river Alaknanda and Mandakini. Syalsaur has an altitude of 820m above sea level. The place is accessible throughout the year.
How to Reach?
By Road: Syalsaur is well connected by road and you can get buses from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, etc in Uttarakhand.
By Train: Haridwar is the nearest railway station located about 160km away.
By Air: The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun, 190km away.