Uttarakhand (Hindi: उत्तराखण्ड) , until 2007 known as Uttaranchal, is a stunningly beautiful state in the Himalayan North of India. It is broken up into a western part, named "Garhwal", and an eastern part named "Kumaon".
Two main regions of Uttarakhand are :
Each region has its own distinct culture and language.
Uttaranchal in the Himalayan region is one of the most picturesque states of the country and has in store several tourist destinations that range from hill stations to popular towns to pilgrim destinations.
There are many ways to enter Uttrakhand. If you are interested in seeing the Garhwal region you can enter through either Haridwar or Kotdwar. Haridwar is the more popular entrance. For both options there are regular bus and train services available from New Delhi.
Nainital, Mussoorie and Ranikhet though it's better to treat these slightly overcrowded, touristy 'hill stations' as base camps to explore lots of other hidden jewels further afield. In Garhwal, Pauri and Gwaldam there are very peaceful & scenic places. In the Kumaon region if you are near Almora and want to stay in a secluded area, try Peora or Mukteshwar. Dunagiri in Almora district is a stunningly beautiful area off the beaten track. But do remember in Uttarakhand the journey itself is destination.
Bhowali: 11kms, from Nainital, at an altitude of 1706 mts. This place provides a panoramic view of the nature. This place if famous for its panoramic view as well as hill fruit mart, which was established in 1912.
Dunagiri: Few places are left where we can enjoy nature experiences in such pristine, tranquil and calm environment amidst ancient forests. A spot of stunning natural splendor, being one with nature is easy to do at Dunagiri Nature Retreat. Its greatness lies not merely in its fascinating history and captivating beauty, but also the serene and spiritual atmosphere of this place. Known by various names such as Drongiri, Dronagiri and Doonagiri.
Kuflon: Quietly nested in the heart of the Garhwal Himalayas, half an hour from Uttarkashi, Kuflon is a postcard village with a population of less than 30 people, set amid pristine terraced valleys. A place to get away from civilization (literally for there is little phone connectivity and no shops here), enjoy the grandeur of the snow-capped Himalayas and the warm hospitality of the locals. Kuflon Mountain Homestay , perched on the edge of the village and run by a friendly couple, offers unexpected indulgence and comforts at this altitude.
Rajaji National Park: Rajaji National park always attracts to wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. This place is located around 208km from Delhi and around 9 km from Haridwar. This park remains open from November to June for the tourists.
Badrinath Temple: This beautiful temple is located near to Alaknanda River, at an altitude of 3133 meters above from the sea level. This temple is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu.
Dehradun: Dehradun is the capital city of the Uttaranchal state. This is one of the oldest cities of India, located in mountain range of Himalayan. This city is also termed as the “Oxford of India”, as it is best known educational centres of India.
Uttarakhand is a great place for trekking. At the lower levels, there are forests and wildlife. At the upper reaches, you go past the tree line to snow clad mountains. There are many trip designs which can be conceived of, but there are perhaps around 20 trips which are the most popular. See also: Leave-no-trace camping and Wilderness backpacking
Uttarakhand is also a great place to learn yoga of all forms of (as it also encompasses Rishikesh, the world capital of yoga).
There are many yoga schools in Rishikesh that offer yoga teacher training certification as a part of a 200 hour program. These programs typically last a month, and include room and board, food, and days filled with instruction on the various aspects of yoga.
Kumaoni food is very simple but very nutritious completely suits the hard environment of the Himalayas.Pulses like gehet are fashioned into different preparations like ras-bhaat, chains, faanda and thatwaani all are unique preparations from the same pulse. Jholi or curry seasoned with curd.
Food available includes Garhwali, Indian, Chinese, Tibetan
In the tourists centers such as Badrinath, Gujarati, Marwari, other regional cuisines are available for the religious pilgrims that descend on the holy sites every summer.
Uttarakhand has high excise taxes on beer and alcohol: a bottle of beer can cost 80-90 rupees, nearly double the price of some other states in India. Quite a few holy towns including Haridwar and Rishikesh are officially dry. Cannabis is illegal, but widely used anyway.
The roads are a bit tricky, and taxi rides in the hills may appear dangerous, but otherwise Uttarakhand is a pretty safe place for tourists. However, tourists are known to encounter problems in the urban centers and the plains districts such as Haridwar.
One may take up one of the trekking tours to have a walk in Chopta, Tungnath, Deoria Taal and Chandrashila. Eg: Chopta Tungnath Trekking Package. Such tours are fun packed trekking package for Chopta, Tungnath, Chandrasheela and Deoria Tal by Travel Tour Packages. Visit very spectacular destinations with crystal clear view of Himalayan range. Indulge in the beauty of mirror-like reflections of Himalaya from Deoria Tal. Feel the sound of Himalyan mountains at 4000 ft high Chandrashila. Enjoy the warmth of Tungnath temple on way back to Chopta. Or, simply dive in the natural garden of Buransh - a destination considered to be the Switzerland of India. The package includes night stay in swiss tents, awesome Himalayan food, photography sessions and support of professional mountaineers. The package is ideal for group of friends looking out for fun-packed adventurous exploratory trekking trips.
Whitewater rafting on Ganges can be an exciting experience. Apart from Ganges, there are several other rivers in Uttarakhand. There are lot of operators offering Rafting day trips on the Ganges at Rishikesh.