A place tucked in the realms of nature away from the busy materialistic world is just the place where I would like to spend some quiet contemplative time. Netala is one such place where time stops and the sweet lullaby of nature sets in. Located in the remote area of Uttarakhand, Netala does not have the special attractions and fanciness of a hill station. Infact, the beauty of the place lies in its simplicity.
Netala has a unique charm of its own. Here, the river flows in its own rhythm. The villagers live in perfect harmony with the nature. And crisp, unpolluted mountain air surrounds the place. Netala is situated about 85 km from Gangotri that is said to be the source of the mighty River Ganga. The river flows here with all her mirth and gaiety. The little village is disconnected from the whole world, both literally and figuratively. With no mobile networks, no proper guide maps, Netala is hard to reach, but once you are there, you will get an experience of lifetime there.
The village is small. Only about one thousand people inhabit the place along with their domestic animals and herds. The Sivananda Kutir stands on the banks of the River Ganga against the backdrop of the spectacular snow clad mountains. These are the only signs of settlement that you will see at Netala. During the daytime, the Siror Bridge over the river is full of people travelling either way. You can see women with huge baskets on their back carrying grass bundles, wood or other things crossing the bridge. Men with their ponies and little children going to school can also be seen on the bridge. Siror bridge is important, it joins the two regions together.
Across the Siror Bridge is the settlement of the few village households. Here the people know each other by their names. And they will warmly welcome you in their fold. Their knowledge of the mountains and the trails will also surprise you. They will take you around the mountain terrains. You can also simply sit with them with a warm cup of tea and get to know about their humble life stories.
Things to do at Netala
Enjoy pure, unadulterated nature
There is a sense of rare purity in the air. Netala is a place where you can simply sit, relax and enjoy the nature at her best. Waking up everyday to such exceptional environment would definitely make me a poet someday. While watching the river flowing and the mountains all around me, I would often think about writing a few verses praising her beauty. You might as well feel so.
Go for an early morning walk or short hikes
Wake up early in the morning to the beauty around you. Go for a walk along the river and get an all-encompassing view of the surrounding place. And as you walk around the place, you can hear the chirping of the Himalayan birds.
Later in the day, walk around the village and interact with the humble villagers. As I said earlier, they will be simply happy to include you in their life and discussions.
You can also go around for short hikes. Ask any of the villagers. They will be happy to help you as well as accompany you.
Visit Gangotri and Yamunotri
Gangotri is only 85 km from Netala. After your stay at Netala, you can visit Gangotri and Yamunotri, both highly revered pilgrimage sites.
How to reach Netala:
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. From here you can travel by car to Netala (8 hours). Alternatively, fly into Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. From here, take another train to Haridwar and then by road to Netala.
The nearest railway station is Haridwar Junction. Haridwar is well connected with most of the cities of India.
From Haridwar to Netala By Bus: There is a Bus Terminal opposite the Station in Haridwar. There are approximately three buses a day to Uttarkashi (7 hours travel). From Uttarkashi it is a further 8 km to Netala.
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