Uttaranchal (Uttar Pradesh)
Uttaranchal formerly a part of Uttar Pradesh was formed on November 9th, 2000 as the 27th state of the Indian Union. It is one of the most beautiful and enchanting region of northern India. Nature has endowed this land with so much beauty and spiritual bliss that it is also known as Dev Bhoomi, the Land of Gods . Ganga, Yamuna and scores of other rivers originate in Uttaranchal. Among them Ganga is the most holy and prominent as she represents the soul of India- her rich culture, history and civilization. In Sanskrit 'Himalaya' means Abode of Snow, truly characterizing the vast permanent snow fields above the snow line.In the heart of these majestic mountains lies the state of Uttaranchal with Kumaon region in its east and Garhwal in the west.
Uttaranchal Quick facts
Uttarakhand has a total geographic area of 51,125 km of which 93% is mountainous and 64% is covered by forest. Most of the northern parts of the state are part of greater Himalaya ranges, covered by the high Himalayan peaks and glaciers. The unique Himalayan ecosystem plays host to a large number of animals, plants and rare herbs. Two of India's mightiest rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna take birth in the glaciers of Uttarakhand, and are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and streams in the region. This hilly state situated in the laps of the Himalayas experiences a cool and pleasant climate throughout the year. Heavy snowfall in peak winters and equally heavy rain from july to september are the times when the region gets isolated from the rest of the country.
Best time to visit april to june and september to november.
The capital of Uttaranchal this scenic hill station is known for its natural beauty and for the many fine institutions located here. The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun has a fascinating campus with a museum and with many rare plants in its spacious grounds. There are many historic schools in Dehradun and other public buildings that are worth the visit. caves, springs, and other sites of natural beauty abound around Dehradun.
Rishikesh: Located in the northern part of Uttar Pradesh. It is 238 km northeast of Delhi and 24 km north of Haridwar and on the right bank of the Ganges, at its confluence with the Chandrabhaga stream. Rishikesh abounds in temples. Most of the pilgrims who pass through Rishikesh on their way to the Himalayan shrines of the Char Dham pause for a holy dip and puja at triveni ghat, in the central part of the town. The neelkanth mahadev temple is believed to be the site where Lord Shiva had drunk the venom that came out during the churning of the ocean.
Metalled roads are there till Joshimath from where one has to trek to reach this place. The place is inaccessible for six months of the year and it is only in summers that treks to this region can be organised.
The nearest railhead is Rishikesh at a distance of 276 km. Rishikesh is approachable by a metalled road from Joshimath.
The nearest airport is at Jolly Grant at Dehradun at a distance of around 295 km from the Nanda Devi National Park. There are regular flights to Delhi from this airport.
Uttaranchal Festivals and culture
The world famous kumbh mela/Ardh. Kumbh Mela is held at Hardwar every twelfth/sixth year interval. Other prominent fairs/festivals are Devidhura mela (Champawat), Purnagiri mela (Champawat), Nanda Devi mela (Almora), Gauchar mela (Chamoli), Baisakhi (Uttarakashi), Maga mela (Uttarkashi), Uttaraini mela (Bageshwar), Vishu mela (Jaunsar Vavar), Peerane-Kaliyar (Roorkee), and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra held every twelfth year.
The major dance forms of the garhwal region are langvir nritya, barada nati folk dance, pandava nritya, dhurang, and dhuring. The Kumaonese are also fond of music, folk dance, The popular folk songs are malushahi, bair, and hurkiya bol.
Badrinath temple: It is one of the four pilgrimage places called Chardham which every Hindu must undertake to attain salvation. The place is called Badrinath because of the wild berries found here ('badri' means berries). The temple stands facing River Alaknanda on its banks.
Kedarnath temple: Kedarnath is also the origin of river Mandakini. Kerdarnath is among the Chardhams, or the four pilgrimages which every Hindu must take to attain salvation. Kedarnath falls in the Rudraprayag district of Uttaranchal, the adjoining Chamoli district has more then 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva but Kedarnath, among them is the most revered.
Gangotri temple: Gangotri is one of the Chardhams of the country or one amongst the four pilgrimages which every Hindu must take once in his lifetime. Gangotri is of immense importance to hindus since it is the source of the holiest of the hindu rivers, river Ganga.
Yamunotri temple: Yamunotri is the source of river Yamuna. It is the western most amongst the Chardham and is visited first on a Chardham trip. The shrine of Goddess Yamunotri is perched on the western flank of mighty Banderpunch peaks.
Uttaranchal Entertainment and Night Life
Sahastra Dhara: One of the most famous picnic spots is located 14 kilometres from Dehradun. The place is known for its beautiful surroundings and and the medicinal sulphur waterfalls. There are also bathrooms with medicinal water.
Kempty Waterfalls: Fifteen kilometres from Mussoorie is the Kempty waterfalls. The place around the Kempty falls is very commercialized offering you everything from swimming tyres to many restaurants.
Corbett Waterfalls: These waterfalls come under the Ramnagar forest division. Three kilometres from Kaladhumgi main road are these beautiful falls. Coming down from a height of twenty metres and surrounded with a forest cover, Corbett waterfalls form quite a picture. There is also quite a birdlife around the waterfalls to keep you hooked.
Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a wildlife sanctuary located at Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. The park was established on march 1, 1955, and covers about 957 square kilometres. This area include the black bear, the brown bear, common leopard, serow, golden eagle, bearded vulture, snow cock, steppe eagle and the black eagle.
The main handicraft in this region is woodcarving. Wood has traditionally served as the base for crafts fashioned out by the local artisans. The woodcrafts would make for great souvenirs for your Uttaranchal tour. Can also buy the local woolens products, which sports unique designs and variety of colors.
The most famous dish in Uttaranchal is bhatt (a variety of soya bean) and the rust brown gahat also called kulath. Among other lentils delight are large dried balls of urad dal, called badis and their smaller version prepared from moong dal called mangodi.
Valley of Flowers National park: It is an Indian national park, nestled high in west Himalaya. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The Valley of flowers is internationally important on account of its diverse alpine flora, representative of the west Himalaya biogeographic zone. The Valley of Flowers was declared a national park in 1982.
Rajaji National park: It is an Indian national park that encompasses the shivaliks, near the foothills of the Himalayas and three districts of Uttarakhand, Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. In 1983, three wildlife sanctuaries in the area namely, chilla, motichur and rajaji sanctuaries were merged into one. Rajaji National park has been named after C. Rajagopalachari.
Nanda Devi National park: It is a national park situated around the peak of Nanda Devi, in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India. It was established as national park in 1982 and was inscribed a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. The park encompasses the Nanda Devi sanctuary.
Jim Corbett National park: The park was established in 1936 as Hailey national park. Situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, the park acts as a protected area for the critically endangered Bengal tiger of India. The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. It contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna.
Gangotri National park: It is a national park located in Uttarkashi district Uttarakhand, India. The park provides majestic beauty of coniferous forests and grandeur of glacial world combined with lush green meadows.
Devaria Tal: This lake lies near Ukhimath in Uttaranchal which is a pilgrimage place.
Kedar Tal: This majestic lake is at a height of 4425 mts above the sea level. At a distance of about 18 kms from Gangotri, the lake is very clear and the reflection of Thalaiyasagar peaks comes across as a very beautiful sight.
Dodi Tal: Dodital lies close to Uttarkashi district of Uttaranchal. The water of Dodital is also said to be refreshing for skin. Adding to the beauty of this beautiful lake are the snow capped peaks and the oak, deodar and rhododendron trees.
Sahastra Tal & Masar Tal: The lakes lie on the either side of the glacier and the glacier itself is source to river Bhilanga. The best time to take this trek is from june to september.
Nachiketa Tal: The lake is located among the tranquility of green surroundings all around and a temple by the lakeside just completes the picture. One can visit this lake anytime round the year.
Bhimtal: Twenty five kilometres from Nainitral, Bhimtal is much more clearer and pristine then Nainital.
Sat Tal: These seven interconnecting lakes form one of the most picturesque scenes you will find in Uttaranchal. The best time to be here is either in the months of march or april when the trees are loaded with lemons and the aroma fills the air or in september to november when the trees start turning rustic spreading a panoramic view across the forests.
Summer season is from march to june mid. Rainy season is from mid june to mid september. Winter season mid september to february.
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