|Currency||Indian rupee (INR)|
|Language|| Official:Hindi, Sanskrit|
Regionally Spoken:Garhwali, Kumaoni, Jaunsari
|Religion||Hinduism 85%, Islam 11.9%, Sikhism 2.9%, Other 0.6%|
|Electricity||230V/50Hz, Indian (Old British)/European plugs|
|Time Zone||UTC +5:30|
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.
- Dehradun - the capital, called "Oxford of India" known for boarding schools. 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, cultural town
- 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
- Mukteshwar, hill station famous for orchards
- Mussoorie - hill station, also known as "The Queen of Hills". It provides panoramic views of both the Himalayas & Doon valley.
- Nainital - popular hill station in the Himalayas; excellent connectivity and bird's-eye view from hills all around; The Lake District.
- Pithoragarh, hill station, en route Kailash -Mansarovar
- Rishikesh - the Yoga capital of the world, the biggest agglomeration of ashrams, meditation centers and temples.
- Auli - Ski resort
- Badrinath - temple of Vishnu
- Jageshwar-Eight Jyotirlingya of Lord Shiva
- Chakrata - Picturesque, less frequented Hill station
- Corbett National Park - The oldest National Park of India
- Dunagiri - Nature retreat
- Gangotri - The source of the holy Ganges river
- Kedarnath - temple of Shiva
- Valley of Flowers National Park
- Yamunotri - The source of the Yamuna River
- Nachiketa Taal
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 visiting the Kumauni regions you can either take a direct train from Delhi to Kathgodam or come by air from Delhi to Pantnagar, from these places you will have to go around by Taxi or Bus as in Hill regions we don't have any other transport. Nainital is very near from both of these stations and would be the first place you would like to visit. If you are interested in seeing the extreme range of Himalaya and interested in knowing local people then you can go to Munshyari via Chokori. 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 only in summers, touristy 'hill stations' as base camps to explore lots of other hidden jewels further afield. There are some peaceful places you might want to visit in Kumaun which are Chokori, Berinag, Munsyari. Although these places are little far and you might not get better facilities but they are worth visiting and local people are amazing. 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
- Roopkund The Mystery Lake - 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.
- Kedarkantha Trek ("Kedarkantha), ☎ 01145063618 ([email protected]), . Kedarkantha trek offers you the best setting for a winter trek with some amazing view of the mountain peaks and pine and maple trees in the surrounding and walking on snow covered trails edit
- Nag Tibba Trek ("NagTibbaTrek), ☎ 01145063618 ([email protected]), . There are many destinations for trekking in uttarakhand but nag tibba is a special one.Nag Tibba is a relatively easy trek near Mussoorie with a maximum altitude of 9910 ft. This trek lies in the Garhwal region of the mighty Himalayas. It is considered as a weekend getaway trek as it is short and best suited for people with limited time. edit
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.
- 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.
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.