Travel-India

Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is one of the most beautiful states in India. Adorned with heavenly snow-clad mountains, magnificent glaciers, colourful flowers, dense forests, meandering rivers, lovely waterfalls, blue lakes, Uttarakhand forms perfect picture postcards.

This is the land where the Ganga, Yamuna, Alaknanda and the Mandakini rivers are born and the Himalayas appear in fascinating hues flaunting splendid grandeur.

The state is a popular and important pilgrimage destination of the country. Popularly known as Devbhoomi or the Abode of the Gods, Uttarkhand is home to the Char dhams of Hinduism, the four shrines considered holiest of all – Badrinath, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Kedarnath, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Gangotri, where the holy river Ganga originates and Yamunotri, where river Yamuna originates.

Known since long as the Land of the mystic, Uttarakhand is where the Aryans came to seek divine knowledge. The pristine environs of this heavenly state lured many spiritual souls who came here in the quest of the spirit.

  

The mighty ranges echo the memories of the Gautam Buddha who spent some time here while on a quest to attain salvation. The region also bears imprints of various ‘rishis’ and ‘munis’ who honoured & blessed it with their visits. Also Guru Charaka came here to gather his treasure of precious healing herbs.

Echoing the oneness of God, at a height of about 15000 feet above sea level is located a beautiful Gurudwara, Sri Hemkund Sahib, which is one of the most revered pilgrimages of Sikhs.

Located on the foothills are the two revered cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh. While Haridwar is considered as one of the holiest destinations amongst Hindus where believers come to take a dip in the pious Ganges and wash away their sins, the city of Rishikesh is the most prominent yoga centre and river rafting capital of India.

Today, along with religious tourism, Uttarakhand’s economy is supported by leisure as well as adventure tourism. Uttarakhand is home to the popular Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve which pull hordes of tourists craving for a glimpse of the wildlife away from the urban jungle.

The state of Uttarakhand is sprinkled with a no. of hill stations which are thronged by tourists throughout the year. The most popular hill-stations in Uttarakhand are Nainital, Mussoorie, Almora, Kausani, Bhimtal and Ranikhet.

The valley of flowers is another added tourism attraction which alongwith Nanda Devi National Park forms a UNESCO world heritage site. Uttarakhand also offers a number of adventure sports opportunities to the interested. The mighty ranges tempt the adventurous to go mountaineering, bicycling or trekking uphill.

 

Shrines and Places of Worship

Proudly known as Devabhoomi or the Abode of the Gods, Uttarakhand is home to a number of pilgrimage destinations, the most important being the Char Dhams of Hindus, which include Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath and the Sikh Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji.

While Haridwar and Rishikesh pull hordes of believers who come here to wash away their sins, the state of Uttarakhand is dotted with many other holy places which have their own holy significance and are thronged by believers who consider them holy.

 

Wildlife in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand has quite a few wildlife sanctuaries, the most popular of which are Corbett National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Valley of Flowers and Raja Ji National Park.

Few others of interest are Govind National Park, Binsar Sanctuary, Ascot sanctuary and Assan Barrage.

 

Cuisine

With a number of Hindu pilgrimages sprinkled all around the state, Uttarakhand mostly observes vegetarianism and offers vegetarian food. Infact, non-vegetarian food and alcoholic beverages are banned altogether in the town of Haridwar. Here, cereals, pulses and vegetables form the staple diet.

  

Best Time to Visit Uttarakhand

Summer is the best time to visit Uttarakhand as the weather then is amicable and pleasant. Uttarakhand sees hard winters and some regions become inaccessible during winters. Monsoons are best avoided in view of possible landslides and avalanches.

 

Fast Facts

Capital: Dehradun

Religion: Hinduism

Language: Hindi, Kumaoni, Garhwali

 

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