Welcome to the "Gateways of Garhwal Himalayas"
WIth the bifurcation of Uttar Pradesh, a new state, "Uttarakhand" has been created in Nov 2000. Presently, this state is one of the prime pilgrim & tourist centre. You will feel like a paradise in Uttarakhand with the amazing beauty and peace of it. While planning a trip to some place, you got confused on the basis of either beauty, spirituality or adventure but what if you find all these things in only one place? Got elated? Uttarakhand unfolds as a prestigious tourist destination. It is the preferred destination for people of every age group. Many tourists came here for thrilling adventure activities like trekking, rafting, and so on. Thousands of adorer came here to find peace in the lap of God. Some come here to explore the culture and beauty of the Uttarakhand. There is not only one or few but a wide range of point of interest in Uttarakhand.
The Devbhumi - Uttarakhand
Moving towards the northern part of the vast and bountiful expanse of India there lies "Uttarakhand - Land of Gods". This 27th state of the Republic of India is cradled by the calm Himalayas, sacred & gushing rivers, pilgrims, variegated flora & fauna, alpine meadows, wildlife, heritage and scores of adventure activities. The geography of Uttarakhand divides it into two regions; Garhwal (Western half) & Kumaon (Eastern half). It is surrounded by Himachal Pradesh in the north-west, Uttar Pradesh in the south and shares its international borders with Nepal and China. Uttarakhand has 13 districts with Dehradun as its capital. Garhwali, Kumaoni, Jaunsari and Hindi are the languages spoken here. It is also one of the largest hotspots for animals, plants and rare herbs. The state is quite rich in natural resources.
Because History Reveals A Lot
On being separated from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand came out with the name "Uttaranchal" as the 27th state of the Republic of India on November 9, 2000. Later, in January 2007, the name of the state was changed to "Uttarakhand". Not only our history textbooks depicts about this state, but the holy books of the medieval era also reveal a lot of information about it. From the prehistoric times, this state is in existence with different names. In Hindu scriptures, the name mention as "Kedarkhand" (present day Garhwal) and "Manaskhand" (present day Kumaon). It is also believed that Hindu epic, "Mahabharata" was scripted by sage Vyasa in this state.
Uttarakhand is also known as "Khasdesh" before Christ was born. As per the chronological cycle, this state was ruled by; Khasias, Katuria Empire, Chand Dynasty, The Rohillas, The Gurkhas and after 1857 war of Independence, this region became the part of British Empire.
Heart & Soul of the person is the residence of its nation's culture
The people of Uttarakhand are generally known as, "Paharis" (People from hills). It is a multi ethnic populated state with the member of the native Garhwali, Kumaoni and Sikh community in a large number. The Jaunsaries, The Bhotias, The Tharus, The Bokshas, The Rajis, and Gujjar are among the prominent ethnic group in Uttarakhand. People here are known to be warm & welcoming.
The word "Devbhumi" itself depicts the rich culture of this land with the glorious panorama of nature. The culture of Uttarakhand is enriched by its people, languages, history, religion, dance & music, cuisine, fairs & festivals, art & crafts, temples & monuments, and traditions. Music and dance are an integral part of Uttarakhand. The impression of this mountainous region is so much that it has been inspiring musicians to write wonderful tunes. No doubt, Uttarakhand's culture is quite attractive and secular.
Exploring art and craft of a place is a way to get to know about it
The northern Indian state of Uttarakhand witnesses some of the exquisite art which provides a remarkable insight into the life, culture & traditions of the people who inhabited the region before the advent of modernity. The incredible sceneries, lush green surroundings, beryl sky and the snow filled mountains of Uttarakhand have the power to inspire an artistic skill in almost everyone. Though the state highlights a wide range of artistic activities, one craft that is most prominent here is Wood Carving . The temples and palaces of Uttarakhand depict the wood carving skills of native people. Miniature Paintings, Aipan, Peeth, jewelry making, candle making and decorative temples are some other key forms of art and craft here apart from wood carvings. On a tour to Uttarakhand, you must explore the art and craft items of such a wonderful place. Also, you can plan to have a look into the craftsmanship.
Fairs & Festivals are the epitome of culture and tradition
Fairs & Festivals have always been an Indiscernible part of Indians. Uttarakhand is the land of cultural and geographical diversities where you can enjoy and experience a variety of fairs and festivals. It is the state where you get embraced by a new cultural identity and enjoy its diverse beliefs and heritage. The enhancing hills of Kumaon & Garhwal play host to your festive spirit as the people step into the musically festive rhythm and celebrate its wondrous majesty. Here, fairs & festivals are celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervor.
Basant Panchami, Bhitauli, Harela, Batsavitri, Ganga Dusshera or Dasar, Dikar Puja, Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Chhipla Jaat, Janopunya, Kumaon Holi, and Makar Sankranti are some of the renowned festivals of Uttarakhand.
There are also many fairs in Uttarakhand like Ardh Kumbh Mela, Nandadevi Fair, Kavand Mela, Jhanda Mela, Vasant Panchmi Mela, and Devidhura Fair.
Flora & Fauna increase charm of a state
Endowed with the unique and diverse range of biodiversity, Uttarakhand possesses a wide diversity of flora & fauna. It has a 34,666 km2 of recorded forest area which constitutes nearly 65% of the total geographical area of the state. Uttarakhand is the residence to many rare species of flora and fauna. Approximately 4048 species of Angiosperms and Gymnosperms belonging to 1198 genera under 192 families habitat in Uttarakhand. Around 161 species of flora found in Uttarakhand which is categorized as rare or threatened. The forests of Uttarakhand is the suitable habitat for many endangered species like Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Tiger, Asian Elephant, Himalayan Monal, King Cobra etc.
The Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is the first National Park of the Asian mainland. The Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve has the honour of being Uttarakhand’s only and the country’s second Biosphere Reserve. The Valley of Flowers is famous for its meadow of endemic alpine flowers.
Rivers & Lakes are the Heritage of our state
What is River? The river is a drifting or watery stream that goes from one place to another, tells the people how to be calm like it and whatever good or bad things are, leave behind it and keep moving towards our destination. Rivers have been playing the most important role in the survival and affluence of human civilization. Uttarakhand is blessed with many rivers, gushes from the Himalayas into narrow gorges and widening into plains. Among many renowned rivers in Uttarakhand, the most prominent are river Ganga, which is known to remove people's sins. Others famous rivers in this region are the Yamuna, the Bhagirathi, Tons, Alaknanda, Pindar, Kosi, and Mandakini.
Uttarakhand is also famous as the land of lakes. Here, you can find some of the most picturesque and amazing lakes. It acts as a point of interaction for tourists. Famous lakes here are Bheemtal, Devaria tal, Dodi tal, Govind ghat, Hemkund, Kedar Tal, Naukuchia tal, Naini Lake, Nachiketa Tal and much more.
Mountains & Glaciers are the beauty of Uttarakhand
Mountains are the landforms which rise prominently many feets above its surrounding surface. Uttarakhand is a mountainous region having a topography that offers a wide range of landforms like hills, peaks or mountains. This beautiful hilly state contains many famous cloud kissing & sky scraping peaks. Many of them are also referred in the historical literature indicating that great saints, kings & travellers visited this part of the Himalayas, mainly for penance. Nanda Devi, Kamet, Abi Gamin, Trisul and Satopanth are some of the renowned mountains of Uttarakhand.
Another important feature of Uttarakhand 's topography is glaciers. Glaciers are excessively spectacular frozen form of water. They feed the perennial rivers originating from the Himalayas. Uttarakhand is a residence to many glaciers, 7 major ones are in the Kumaon region & 9 major ones are in the Garhwal region. The Ganga & The Yamuna, biggest river of India originated from the glacier of Uttarakhand. Some of the glaciers here are; Gomukh, Bandarpuunch, Pindari, Milam and Gangotri.
Cuisine is an art, not everyone can do it better
The traditional cuisine of such an amazing state Uttarakhand serves quite delicious, simple and nutritious food. This state is divided into two regions, namely Garhwal & Kumaon, so simply you will get two distinctive taste. The food habits of the people also change according to the seasons as Mathir, Til Ladoos or Mandua are preferable in winters; and Dubkas with Chholia Rotis are preferable in summers. Kafuli, Garhwal ka Fannah, Phaanu, Chainsoo, Kumaoni Raita, Kulath ki Dal, Jhangora Ki Kheer & Gulgula are some of the palatable & famous Cuisines of Uttarakhand. These Pahari cuisines help to keep the stomach in order. You will find lots of delicacies in Uttarakhand to satiate the hunger in you. In the village region of Uttarakhand, mostly food items are cooked over burning wood or coal which increases the relish of the dish.