Hidimba Parvat – Exploring the Natural Wonder

Hidimba Parvat

Nestled amidst the picturesque Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand, India, lies Hidimba Parvat, a verdant hillock cradling a rich tapestry of history, mythology, and environmental consciousness. Located just 5 kilometers from the idyllic town of Bhimtal, this captivating destination offers a unique blend of serene natural beauty, fascinating folklore, and a haven for wildlife.

A Connection to the Mahabharata

The name Hidimba Parvat carries an intriguing mythological significance. Hidimba, a fearsome demon from the epic Mahabharata, is mentioned as the wife of Bhima, one of the mighty Pandava brothers. Legend has it that Hidimba resided in a dense forest, encountering Bhima during their exile. After a fierce battle, Bhima emerged victorious, but impressed by Hidimba’s strength and loyalty, he took her as his wife. Their son, Ghatotkacha, played a pivotal role in the Kurukshetra war, showcasing immense valor.

While the exact historical link between Hidimba and the hillock remains unclear, the name evokes a sense of awe and power associated with the Mahabharata characters. This association adds a layer of cultural significance to Hidimba Parvat, attracting visitors interested in India’s rich mythological heritage.

A Haven of Lush Greenery and Enchanting Views

Hidimba Parvat’s verdant landscape offers a visual treat to nature enthusiasts. Dense forests teeming with diverse flora and fauna envelop the hillock, providing a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The air is crisp and invigorating, carrying the sweet fragrance of wildflowers and the earthy aroma of the forest floor. The gentle rustle of leaves and the melodious chirping of birds create a symphony of nature, lulling visitors into a state of serenity.

The hillock’s vantage point presents breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The glistening waters of Bhimtal Lake shimmer in the distance, framed by the majestic Himalayas. Rolling hills adorned with vibrant greenery and quaint villages nestled amidst the valleys complete the picturesque tableau. These captivating vistas leave a lasting impression on visitors, making Hidimba Parvat a perfect destination for photographers and nature lovers alike.

How to reach Hidimba Parvat

By Air

The closest airport to Bhimtal is Pantnagar Airport (PGH), located approximately 55 kilometers away. Several domestic airlines operate flights to Pantnagar from major cities in India. From Pantnagar, you can hire a taxi or cab to reach Bhimtal, followed by another cab ride to reach the base of Hidimba Parvat.

By Train

Kathgodam Railway Station (KGM) is the nearest major railway station, situated around 21 kilometers from Bhimtal. Regular trains connect Kathgodam to various cities across India. Taxis and cabs are easily available from Kathgodam to Bhimtal, and from there, you can proceed to Hidimba Parvat by car.

By Road

Bhimtal is well-connected by road to major cities like Delhi and Nainital. If you’re opting for a road trip, picturesque landscapes and stopovers at charming towns await you. From Bhimtal, taxis or local transportation can take you to the base of Hidimba Parvat.

Map of Hidimba Parvat

A Destination for All Seasons

Hidimba Parvat’s allure transcends the boundaries of seasons. Each season paints the hillock in a unique palette, offering a fresh perspective to visitors. Here is a glimpse into the magic of Hidimba Parvat throughout the year

  • Spring – The hillock comes alive in spring, adorned with a vibrant tapestry of blooming wildflowers. The crisp and fresh air makes it ideal for trekking and exploring the rejuvenated landscape.

  • Summer – The summer months offer a respite from the scorching plains. The verdant landscape provides a cool and refreshing escape, perfect for relaxing amidst nature.

  • Monsoon – The monsoon season transforms Hidimba Parvat into a verdant paradise. Lush greenery abounds, waterfalls come alive, and the misty atmosphere creates an ethereal ambiance.

  • Winter – Winter cloaks Hidimba Parvat in a blanket of mist, offering a serene and mystical experience. While trekking might be limited due to occasional snowfall, the hillock takes on a captivating beauty during this season.

Vankhandi Ashram

Hidimba Parvat is not merely a scenic getaway but also a wildlife sanctuary. Vankhandi Maharaj, a revered environmentalist and monk, established Vankhandi Ashram on the hillock. This sanctuary provides a haven for a variety of animals and birds, including deer, monkeys, langurs, and numerous bird species. Vankhandi Maharaj’s dedication to conservation has fostered a thriving ecosystem on Hidimba Parvat, making it a refuge for these creatures.

Visitors to Vankhandi Ashram can witness the harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife firsthand. The ashram’s commitment to sustainable practices and environmental education inspires visitors to adopt eco-friendly habits and appreciate the delicate balance of nature.

Activities and Attractions

A visit to Hidimba Parvat offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors. Trekking enthusiasts can embark on invigorating trails that wind through the lush forests, leading to breathtaking viewpoints. The gentle slopes of the hillock make it accessible for trekkers of all experience levels, offering a chance to immerse oneself in the serenity of nature.

For those seeking a more relaxed experience, boat rides on Bhimtal Lake provide a picturesque perspective of Hidimba Parvat. The crystal-clear waters of the lake reflect the verdant hillock, creating a postcard-perfect scene. Additionally, visitors can explore the charming town of Bhimtal, known for its vibrant markets and local handicrafts.

Hidimba Parvat is also a haven for birdwatchers. The diverse birdlife residing in the hillock’s forests provides ample opportunities to spot a plethora of feathered wonders. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of a kingfisher or the melodious song of a blackbird, the experience of birdwatching adds another dimension to a visit to Hidimba Parvat.

Cultural Significance and Local Delights

A trip to Hidimba Parvat is incomplete without experiencing the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Local festivals and celebrations offer a glimpse into the vibrant traditions of Uttarakhand. During these festivities, visitors can witness folk music and dance performances, partake in traditional rituals, and savor delectable local cuisine.

Speaking of cuisine, a visit to Hidimba Parvat presents a unique opportunity to indulge in the flavors of Kumaoni cuisine. This regional fare is known for its robust flavors and use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Staples like mandua roti (flatbread made from finger millet) and bhang ki chutney (cannabis chutney) are must-tries, alongside other regional delicacies.

Unveiling Hidden Gems of Hidimba Parvat

While the main attractions of Hidimba Parvat hold undeniable charm, venturing beyond the well-trodden path unveils hidden gems that enrich the visitor’s experience. Here is a glimpse into some lesser-known treasures

  • Serene Springs – Nestled amidst the dense foliage are natural springs known for their crystal-clear, rejuvenating water. Locals believe these springs possess medicinal properties, attracting visitors seeking a refreshing dip or to fill their bottles with the pure, natural elixir.

  • Village Homestay – Immersing yourself in the local Kumaoni culture is an unforgettable experience. Opting for a homestay in a nearby village allows visitors to experience firsthand the warm hospitality of the Kumaoni people. Participate in traditional cooking demonstrations, learn about local crafts, and witness the simple yet fulfilling way of life in these villages.

  • Offbeat Trails – For experienced trekkers, venturing beyond the designated trails unlocks a sense of adventure. Hidden waterfalls cascading down moss-covered rocks, secluded meadows bursting with wildflowers, and breathtaking viewpoints offering panoramic vistas of the valley below await those willing to explore the less frequented paths. However, it’s crucial to go with a local guide or experienced trekker to ensure safety and avoid getting lost.

  • Stargazing Paradise – Light pollution is minimal at Hidimba Parvat, making it an ideal spot for stargazers. On a clear night, the sky transforms into a dazzling canvas, adorned with a mesmerizing spectacle of stars, constellations, and even the Milky Way. Downloading a stargazing app or joining a guided stargazing tour can enhance the experience, allowing you to identify celestial bodies and delve deeper into the wonders of the universe.

  • Local Artisanal Markets – The charm of Kumaoni culture extends to its vibrant art and craft scene. Explore the local markets in nearby villages to discover an array of handcrafted souvenirs. From intricately woven woolen shawls and hand-carved wooden figurines to exquisite metalwork and colorful paintings, these markets offer a chance to acquire unique pieces that embody the region’s artistic heritage.

Nearby Places to Explore near Hidimba Parvat

Bhimtal, a charming town nestled in the Kumaon Hills of Uttarakhand, is the ideal base for exploring Hidimba Parvat. Here are some captivating destinations to discover near Hidimba Parvat, all within a comfortable day trip distance from Bhimtal.

Bhimtal Lake

The glistening jewel of Bhimtal, this lake offers a plethora of activities. Take a scenic boat ride, soak in the panoramic views, or simply relax on the shores amidst the serene atmosphere.

Aquarium Island Cafe

For a unique experience, visit the Aquarium Island Cafe. Accessible by boat ride, this island houses a captivating aquarium showcasing a variety of exotic fish species.

Cave Garden, Bhimtal

Cave Garden is a natural wonder that features a network of caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites. Explore the caverns, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the geological formations.


Perched atop a hill at an altitude of around 7,000 feet, Mukteshwar is a hill station renowned for its breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Visit the Mukteshwar Temple, explore the lush forests, or indulge in adventure activities like paragliding.


Often referred to as the “Queen of Hills,” Nainital is a popular hill station located around 34 kilometers from Bhimtal. Explore the Naini Lake, embark on a scenic cable car ride, or indulge in shopping at the bustling Mall Road.

Saat Tal (Seven Lakes)

A cluster of seven interconnected lakes – Sattal offers stunning landscapes and a tranquil environment. Enjoy boating, explore the surrounding forests, or simply relax amidst the scenic beauty.


Hidimba Parvat is more than just a tourist destination; it’s a tapestry woven with threads of nature, mythology, and environmental consciousness. Its verdant embrace offers a refuge from the everyday hustle, while its rich heritage unveils a window into India’s captivating past. Vankhandi Ashram’s dedication to sustainability serves as an inspiration for responsible living, reminding visitors of their role in preserving this natural gem.

FAQs About Hidimba Parvat

1. How do I reach Hidimba Parvat?

Hidimba Parvat is located 5 km from Bhimtal in Uttarakhand, India. You can reach Bhimtal by air (the nearest airport is Pantnagar) or train (the nearest station is Kathgodam). Taxis and cabs are readily available from both locations to reach Bhimtal and then Hidimba Parvat.

2. Is it possible to drive to Hidimba Parvat?

Yes, the hillock is accessible by car. However, the last stretch might involve navigating narrow village roads.

3. Are there hotels near Hidimba Parvat?

Bhimtal offers a range of accommodation options, from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Homestays in nearby villages provide a unique opportunity to experience local culture.

4. What activities can I do in Hidimba Parvat?

Hiking, birdwatching, visiting the Hidimba Devi Temple, exploring Vankhandi Ashram, and enjoying boat rides on Bhimtal Lake are some popular activities.

5. Is Hidimba Parvat suitable for trekking?

Yes, the hillock offers well-maintained trails suitable for trekkers of all experience levels. More adventurous trekkers can explore offbeat trails with a guide.

6. What is the best time to visit Hidimba Parvat?

The hillock is charming throughout the year. Spring offers vibrant blooms, summer provides a cool escape, monsoon unveils a lush green paradise, and winter paints a mystical picture (with limited trekking options).

7. Is there an entry fee for visiting Hidimba Parvat?

There is no entry fee to visit Hidimba Parvat itself. However, there might be a nominal fee for entering the Hidimba Devi Temple.

8. What should I wear while visiting Hidimba Parvat?

Comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for walking are ideal. Opt for modest attire while visiting the temple.

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