View of Nanda Devi massif and Nanda Devi East from near Almora.
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.
Trayambakeshwar Temple, Lakshman Jhula.
Meadows & Clouds at Chopta.
Camps at Har Ki Dun Valley,Uttarkashi.
Highest Shiva Temple,Tungnath/Chopta, built by Pandavs/Adi Shankaracharya.
Pauri at dawn, Himalayas as the last upper ridge in the background.
Dunagiri. Experience Serenity, Divinity, Eternity.
Panwali Bugyal, enroute Gangotri-Kedarnath.
Himalayas near Ukhimath,Rudraprayag.
Kedarnath & Neelkanth peaks from Ukhimath, Rudraprayag.
Chamba Town & Valley, near Mussoorie.
- Dehradun - the capital, called "Oxford of India" known for boarding schools - Doon School, Welhams and St. Joseph's Academy. Important government agencies like Indian Military Academy, Survey of India and ONGC are headquartered here. Forest Research Institute, Rajaji National Park & lots of other beautiful picnic places & many Govt./ Educational Institutions.
- Almora - a hill station
- Chamba - near to Mussoorie, provides a great view of Chamba Valley & the Bhagirathi River (The Ganga). It's a paradise for nature lovers, as it's surrounded by Alpine forests. It's proximity to Dehradun, Rishikesh & Tehri Dam is a great plus.
- Haridwar - holy city on the Ganges and one of the sites of Kumbh Mela, the world's largest festival
- Mussoorie - hill station, also known as "The Queen of Hills". It provides panoramic views of both the Himalayas & Doon valley.
- Nainital - hill station; The Lake District
- Rishikesh - the Yoga capital of the world, the biggest agglomeration of ashrams, meditation centers and temples. It is famous for its lakshman and ram jhula also.Sachcha Dham, ashram of Sachcha Baba is near lakshman jhula. Also there is Neelkanth Mahadev temple few kms from Rishikesh.
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.
The local languages are Kumaoni and Garhwali, but everyone also speaks Hindi. English is not so common, but well-understood and spoken in some parts.
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 UK. In Garhwal, Pauri and Gwaldam there are very peaceful & scenic places. In the Kumaon region if 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 is situated at a distance of 11kms, from Nainital, at an altitude of 1706 mts, from the level of sea. 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.
Very few places are left on our planet 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, it is rather the serene and spiritual atmosphere of this place that strikes the mind and brings peace to the soul. Known by various names such as Drongiri, Dronagiri and Doonagiri - a visit to Dunagiri is a holiday like no other; it is a journey into the innermost recesses of the soul, a re-discovery of the essence of being.
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
- Roopkund Trek - Bedni Bugyal, Chamoli District - one of the most popular treks. Roop kund also known as Mystery Lake is a clear water Himalayan lake. Roopkund starts from Debal. This beautiful lake is surrounded by majestic Himalayan peaks covered with snow and glaciers.
- Panwali Bugyal Trek, Tehri District - it leads to Triguninarayan, a place where the eternal flame of Shiva & Sati's (Parvati's previous incarnation) marriage is still kindling
- Gangotri Glacier Trek - Tapovan (meditation ground of Gods), Gaumukh (source of Ganga)& Shivling Mountain
- Satopanth Swargarohini Trek - near Badrinath, one of the most pristine treks. Satopanth tal is a lake at an altitude of 4600m.
- Pindari glacier trip
- Chandrashila Trek, Chopta - Chandrashila commands the most beautiful view of the Himalayas in the whole region, especially Chaukhamba & Nanda Devi. There's one of the Panch Kedars - Tungnath's temple - the highest temple of Shiva
- Madmaheshwar Trek, near Ukhimath, Rudraprayag - one of the most beautiful treks leading to a Panch Kedar, it's at the base of Chaukhamba Peak (7300 m/23,950 ft).
- Kuari Pass Trek - near Auli, quite popular with foreign tourists
- Khatling Glacier, near Gangotri
- Valley of Flowers Trek, near Badrinath - the most beautiful valley
- Har ki doon - very scenic trek, near to Swargrohini peak, from where Pandavas went to the heaven.
- Trekking inside Nanda Devi Sanctuary
- Sunder dhunga trek
- Thailisan - Binsar Trek in Pauri, an uplifting trek, providing panoramic view of Himalayas
- Milam glacier trek
- Kafni glacier trek
- Kalindni Pass Trek - Gangotri to Badrinath - a lifetime dream for many an adventurer.
- Deoriatal Trek- Deoriatal Trek is one of the famous trekking destinations in Uttarakhand. One can drive up to the Sari village near Ukhimath, from where it is a short 4 kms walk to the lake. Trekking can be done for entire year in Deoriatal.
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. Chudkan
- Bal Mithai is a brown chocolate-like fudge, made with roasted khoya, coated with white sugar balls.
- Dubka is a simple dish made from various lentils. These are grounded and a curry like dish is prepared from the grounded lentils andmade with few local spices available in the Kumaon hills like jamboo and jakhiya.Its usually made in an iron wok and eaten with rice.
- Chains is a preparation of whole urad which are first roasted then ground and then seasoned into a soup.
- Kaap is a dish prepared with spinach leaves crushed into a paste and cooked withother condiments.
- Jhoi is a curry seasoned with curd and curry leaves.
- Bhatt ki Churkani is a soup like preparation of bhatt pulses eaten with rice.
- Saag is a fried dish of green vegetables. Can be made from any of the various green vegetables like palak (spinach), lai, methi and so on.
- Aaloo gutuk and Pinalu Gutuk are fried potaoe or pinalu , seasoned with spices.
Pretty much all kinds of food are available here.
In the tourists centers such as Badrinath, Gujarati, Marwari, and other regional cuisines are available for the hordes of religious pilgrims that descend on the holy sites every summer.
It is believed that the divine and powerful sages are living in the unchartered areas of Utharkhand. In some canes or dens lot of sages are abiding with their disciples. But is very hard to get there.
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 Chandrasheela. 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 Chandrasheela. 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.
To get deeper experience of this sport, one can consider the Ganga rafting expedition . There is a whitewater kayak school on the Ganges, where one can learn whitewater kayaking or do kayaking trips.