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 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.
The land of Celestial Beauty Blessed with magnificent glaciers, majestic snow-clad mountains, gigantic and ecstatic peaks, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests, this Abode of Gods includes many shrines and places of pilgrimage.
Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples:
Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in the Mighty Mountains. A picturesque state, with a breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas, Uttaranchal promises its tourists a visit full of fun and unforgettable moments.
Uttaranchal is ideally located at the foothills of Shivalik. There are immense opportunities for tourism in Uttaranchal. Nature, wildlife, adventure, and pilgrimage tourism are at their best in Uttaranchal. For everyone who seeks a calm and tranquillity Uttaranchal is the perfect destination to head towards. For the spiritually inclined Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri are must visit destinations in Uttaranchal.
By Air - Jolly Grant near Dehradun is the only airport. There are regular flights to Delhi by Indian
Airlines. Otherwise, one has the option to travel to Delhi by road or rail and then take the air route to various destinations.
By Rail -Dehradun, Haridwar, and Kathgodam are the major railway stations connected to almost all parts of f the country with regular trains. Not many places in the state are connected by rail because of tough terrains. For those visiting places in the higher altitudes, trekking and road routes are the only options available.
By Road - Almost all the important places in the state are connected by all-weather metalled roads. Many places in the higher altitudes may still remain off for a period in the year due to landslides and snowfall. National Highways such as 58, 73, 74, and 87 connect places in the state to other parts of the country. Regular bus services connect Delhi and other major centers in North India with Dehradun. The road distances of some prominent destinations from Dehradun are as follows:
Mussoorie- 35 km; Delhi-255 km; Haridwar, 54 km; Rishikesh-43 km; Shimla- 221 km; Nainital- 485 km; Kedarnath-270 km; Badrinath- 344 km; Gangotri-301 km; Yamunotri- 265 km; Chakrata- 92 km; Corbett National Park- 236 km; Valley of Flowers and Hemkund- 342 km.
History of Uttaranchal
Garhwal was formed in the 15th century, when king Ajai Pal merged the 52 separate principalities, each with its own fortress. For 300 years, Garhwal remained one kingdom, with its capital at Srinagar (not to be confused with the capital of Kashmir). The early medieval history of Kumaon is the history of the Katyuri dynasty. The Katyuri kings ruled from the 7th-11th century over large areas of Kumaon, Garhwal, and western Nepal. Temple building flourished under the Katyuris with their main architectural innovation being the replacement of bricks with hewn stone.
Tourist Places in Uttaranchal
Be it nature, wildlife, adventure, and pilgrimage tourism; the Uttaranchal tour has immense opportunities for the tourists. The major tourist destinations in the state are Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Almora, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Jim Corbett National Park, Nainital, Ranikhet, and Pithoragarh.
The name of the town Badrinath was derived from the Badri Van, where the lush green Badri trees grow heavily. One of the Char Dham pilgrim centers for the Hindus; millions of tourists throng Badrinath every year.
Corbett National Park
The Corbett National Park set up in 1936 is India's first national park. The great hunter Jim Corbett established the Corbett National Park. The park spans across some 920.9 square km at an altitude of 600 to 1100 metres about the foothills of the western Himalayas in the districts of Nainital and Pauri Garhwal in the state of Uttaranchal (formerly part of Uttar Pradesh). It includes the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of its 1,319 sq km of reserved forest area.
Gangotri is an ideal location to satiate your spiritual as well as adventurous motives. Gangotri, the origin of the sacred river Ganges, attracts numerous tourists with its mystical aura that India is quite famous for.
The Garhwal Himalayas nestle one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites - Yamunotri. One of the Char Dhams according to Hindu mythology, Yamunotri is the origin of the sacred river Yamuna and is famous for its thermal springs and glaciers.
Haridwar or 'the Gateway to the Gods' is one of the seven holiest places according to Hindu mythology. Referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar and Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics; Haridwar has always remained a major pilgrimage for the Hindus in INdia.
The Garhwal region of north India is speckled with some of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimage sites and Rishikesh is one such major tourist attractions. Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is also an attraction for the ones in search of adventure and passion.
Art and Culture
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, and songs accompanied by local musical instruments like murli, bina, and hurka. The dancer known as "hurkiyari," who is usually his wife or daughter, accompanies the hurka, played by the "jurkiya". They go from place to place narrating folklores, singing the praise of their gods and goddesses. During fairs and festivals and at harvest time, the Kumaonese often dance the Jharva, Chandhur Chhapalior, and many other forms of folk dances. The popular folk songs are Malushahi, Bair, and Hurkiya Bol.