Although Dehra Dun, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Ramnagar are accessible by train, tough old buses are the main means of travelling around Uttarakhand. Because of the popular pilgrim routes, they run to very remote areas deep in the Himalaya for most of the year. In addition, a vast network of crowded share jeeps crisscrosses the state, linking remote towns and villages in the hills to important road junctions and bus routes. They tout for customers on the highway in the direction of the next town or transport hub, but usually don’t leave until full (or at least jam-packed). They charge slightly more than the equivalent bus ride. Pay 10 times the share-taxi rate and you can hire the whole vehicle and travel in comfort.
Some of the hairpin mountain roads are frightening to travel on – especially when you’re on a bus being driven by a particularly impatient and insane driver – and are subject to landslides, especially after the monsoon. Don’t expect to cover more than 25km an hour on most roads.