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Uttarakhand

Located in the northern part of India in the western Himalayan region, Uttarakhand is one of the most preferred tourists’ states in India. Because of having many religious places and dozens of popular temples, more often people call it “Land of the Gods”. The state shares its boundary with Himachal Pradesh to the north-west, Uttar Pradesh to the south; however, it shares its international boundary with Nepal to the south-east and with Tibet (an Autonomous region in China) to north-east.

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As per the Archaeological study, the state Uttarakhand evidenced human settlement since prehistoric periods. The state has two major regions namely Garhwal and Kumaon; in fact, these two were the two kingdoms of the state. However, by the year of 1803, the region went into the hand of Gurkha Empire of Nepal. But after a few years, British again took the command of the region under the part of the Treaty of Sugauli. After the independence, the state was the part of Uttar Pradesh but in the year 2,000, Uttarakhand separated from Uttar Pradesh and became a full fledge state of India.

The two most sacred rivers of India namely The Ganga that originates from Gangotri and the Yamuna that originates from Yamunotri flow through the religious places of Uttarakhand including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Haridwar etc. Along with the religious places scenic ecological region namely ‘Valley of Flowers’; known for varieties of flowers and other plants, it is a UNESCO World heritage Site located in Uttarakhand.

Located in the western Himalayan Region, more than 90% area of the state is covered by mountains. The percentage of forest area in the state is 64%. The state has some of the snow clad mountain peaks that remain snow covered round the year. Nanda Devi, one of the highest mountain peaks of India is located in Uttarakhand. Various places of the state are located at various altitudes hence, it has also range of climates starting from subtropical to alpine and accordingly types of vegetations and animals. The most significant animals are bharal, snow, leopards, tigers etc.

The state is also rich in terms of its traditions and cultures; however, Garhwali and Kumaoni are the two main traditions. Besides, Jaunsari and Bhotiya are also important. It is said that many of the traditional stories are originated in the form of lyrical ballads and folklore; these folklore were usually chanted by itinerant singers. Interestingly, the dances of the state are signify the life and human existence and portray the myriad of human emotions. Significant forms of dances are Langvir Nritya (performed by males) and Barada Nati (largely performed in Dehradun especially during the festivals). In addition, crafts and paintings are also the major attractions of the state.

Uttarakhand Tourism

More popularly known as “abode of the gods”, Uttarakhand is the home of various eminent religious places, sacred rivers and of course historic temples. Besides, there are various National Parks, forest reserves and local cultures and traditions; so, you can enjoy here varieties places that all are located in the scenic landscapes. Above all, the Himalayan mountain ranges and their snow clad peaks fascinate people from all around the world.

Major Tourists’ Attractions of Uttarakhand

Religious Places: Though, there are dozens of religious places and all are located in the wonderful surroundings. Surprisingly, the sacred shrines of Char Dham, holy Panch Prayag, Lord Shiva's Panch Kedar, Lord Vishnu's Panch Badri and many other distinguished temples are placed in the state Uttarakhand. Millions of devotees not only different parts of India but also from foreign countries visit Uttarakhand every month. However, major religious places are:

Badrinath: Located in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, Badrinath is one of the most sacred religious places and one of the char dhams in India. Located at the altitude of 3,133 meters on the left bank of River Alakananda, remain frozen throughout the winter season. It opens for the devotees only during a few months of summer.

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Kedarnath: Located at the altitude of 3,584 meters near the head of River Mandakini, Kedarnath is one of the char dhams in India. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Surprisingly, the temple is located in the wonderful scenic landscapes of Himalayan mountain range that remains covered with snow throughout the winter. Hence, it opens merely for a few months during summer seasons for the devotees.

Gangotri: Located at the altitude of 3,048 meters in district of Uttarakashi on the bank of Bhagirathi River, it is one of the Char dhams of Uttarakhand. Devotees worship here the natural rock Shivling which is submerged under water. The most sacred temple of Ganga is located here. Above all, the river Bhagirathi originates from Gaumukh glaciers, which is located at the distance of 18 kms from Gangotri.

Devprayag: Located in the district of Tehri Garhwal, Devprayag is the meeting place of River Bhagirathi and River Alaknanda; and, this is the place from where the most sacred river of India i.e. Ganga starts its journey and finally debouches in the Bay of Bengal.

Haridwar: Located on the bank of River Ganga, Haridwar is one of the holiest places of India. Interestingly, the literal meaning of the name ‘Haridwar’ is “Gateway to God”; so, the place remains filled with its devotees round the year. However, the best season to visit the place is between October and March. Haridwar is one of the places where the largest religious mela of India i.e. Kumbh Mela takes place after every 12 years. Har-ki-Pauri at the River Ganga is the place in Haridwar where all devotees take dip and visit the temples.

Rishikesh: Located on the bank of River Ganga, Rishikesh is not only a religious place but also one of the most preferred destinations for yoga. Thousands of devotees and other tourists from all over the world come here to worship and attend the yoga classes every year. People also love here to participate in adventure tourism i.e. river rafting.

Other Popular Religious places of Uttarakhand
Rudranath Rudraprayag Yamunotri
Adi Badri Adi Kailash Almora
Augustmuni Baijnath Dwarahat
Gangnani Gangolihat Gaurikund
Jageshwar Janki Chatti Joshimath
Kalpeshwar Karnaprayag Madmaheshwar
Guptkashi Hanuman Chatti HemkundPatal Bhuvaneshwar
GhangariaUkhimath

Hill Stations

Mussoorie: Located at the height of about 2,000 meters on the foothills of Himalayas, it is locally known as ‘Queen of the Hills’, Mussoorie is one of the most preferred hill stations in Uttarakhand. Historically, the city is established by the British officers. The place has wonderful and mesmerizing landscapes and climate. In addition, Mussoorie is also popular for the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration; here Indian Administrative Officers are trained.

Nainital: Located at the altitude of about 1,939 meters, Nainital is the home of many lakes; because of this reason, it is also known as ‘Lake District of India’. However, located in the centre of the city, Naini Lake is the most significant lake in Nainital. Nainital Zoo and Eco Cave Garden are also major attractions for the tourists.

Lansdowne: Named after the Viceroy Lord Lansdowne, Lansdowne is one of the most peaceful places in Uttarakhand. Located at the altitude of about 1,700 meters, it is a beautiful place where you can enjoy your holiday with peace.

Ranikhet: Located in Almora district of Uttarakhand, Ranikhet is wonderful place. It is located in a beautiful surrounding of Western Himalayan Range.

Dehradun: Though, it is NOT a hill station but the capital city of the state and junction of the Uttarakhand; it is linked with roadways, railways and airways; so, tourists from this place can catch buses and other mode of transportations to visit other tourists’ places of the state Uttarakhand.

Other Popular Hill Stations of Uttarakhand

Munsiyari, Almora, Uttarkashi, Abbott Mount, Bhimtal, Binsar, Chakrata, Chamba, Champawat, Chaukori, Dhanaulti, Dharchula, Gangolihat, Harsil, Kanatal, Kausani, Lohaghat, Mukteshwar, Naukuchiatal, Pangot


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National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

Jim Corbett National Park: Located in Nainital District of Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest National Park of India. Though, primarily it was named as ‘Hailey National Park’ but later on it is changed as Jim Corbett after the name of hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett; in fact, he played a key role in establishing this national park. One of the ecotourism destinations, it is protected area for the endangered Bengal Tiger. Other wild lives are elephant, chital, sambar deer, king cobra, wild boar, nilgai, hedgehog etc.

Nanda Devi National Park: Located around the Nanda Devi Mountain Peak, it is one of the most wonderful National Parks of India. The entire area of the park is located at the altitude of about 3,500 meters. Interestingly, along with Valley of Flowers, it is incorporated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Valley of Flowers: Located in the western Himalayas, Valley of Flowers is mesmerizing home of endemic alpine flowers and various other varieties of flora. In addition, various rare animals including snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, brown bear and blue sheep are also the family members of this biosphere.

Rajaji National Park: Located in the region of Shivalik, foothills of the Himalayas, Rajaji National Park is named after the name of eminent leader of India C. Rajagoplachari. The park has the highest number of elephants; other major animals are Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Striped Hyena, Goral etc.

Govind Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in the Uttarkashi District of Uttarakhand, it is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries of Uttarakhand. It is well known for “Snow Leopard Project”.

Adventure Tourism in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is one of the best points for the adventure tourism; the most popular adventure tourisms in the state are:

Trekking: Thousands of people from all around the world visit Uttarakhand especially for trekking every year. Trekking in the state gives opportunity to explore the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand. Major trekking points in the state are – Kedarnath, Munsiyari, Valley of Flowers, Yamunotri, Rudranath, Pindari Glacier, Nanda Devi National Park, Sunderdhunga Glacier, Adi Kailash etc.

Paragliding: Flying in the air is one of the most thrilling activities that you can enjoy through paragliding. There are many places in Uttarakhand where you can enjoy paragliding; significant of them are Dhanaulti Ridge, Ranikhet, Mukteshwar, Naukuchiayatal, Dayara and many others.

River Rafting: Riding with the fast moving white water of river is definitely a daredevil act. However, it is so secure adventure sport that thrills you too. Some of the important points from where you can start river rafting are Rishikesh, Haridwar etc.

Rock Climbing Tours: There are dozens of places in the state where you can experience rock climbing; however, the most significant are: Uttarkashi, Rishikesh, Chamoli, Pauri, Dharamshala etc.

Other Adventure Tourism

Biking Tours: Biking or cycling in the Himalayan region is one of the most challenging activities. But along with the challenge, biking is also an adventurous sport in Uttarakhand. Many tourists love biking in mountainous regions.

Wild Life Jungle Safari Tours

Camping Tours

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