Uttarakhand

Overview

Uttarakhand can be described as the land of many ‘greats’! Authors, environmentalists, social activists, tiger redeemers and many more! The list has alluring and eminent names like Ruskin Bond, Jim Corbett, Vandana Shiva & Allen Sealy. The British reminiscence lives in strongly in the hills of Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand in old colonial bungalows, long established private schools and ghost stories that linger romantically in the hill stations! The state is also known for reputed organisations like the Indian Military Academy, Wildlife Institute of India & the Forest Research Institute. Uttarakhand is one of the prominent gateways to the Himalayas and also a pilgrimage place with towns like Haridwar and Rishikesh. A variety of tourists visit to soak themselves in the land of mild mannered and innocent hill people – activities like trekking & rafting suit some, while the others come here to find peace in the ashrams by the Ganga. With the lofty Himalayas on one side and the milder hills setting the landscape for most of the state, this is one of the best North Indian destinations of the country. Enjoy the leechies, basmati rice and the warm hospitality of the state!

Location

The state is located in North India in the lap of the Himalayas. It shares a border with Haryana, UP, Tibet and Nepal

History

Mention of Uttarakhand is found in ancient Hindu scriptures. It is often called "Land of the Gods" because it is where hallowed centers like Haridwar, Rishikesh and the Char Dham are found. Uttarakhand has been ruled by many dynasties like the Pauravas, Kushanas, Guptas and the British. Uttarakhand’s original settlers were the Kols and later Khas tribes arrived. It is believed that the epic Mahabharata was penned here. In 2nd century BC, the Kunindas practiced Shaivism her and even traded with WesternTibet. Emperor Ashoka’s edicts show that Buddhism had arrived here. Modern day Uttarakhand was created in 1994, when it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh and given the status of a state.

Ideal time to visit

As this is the state with most of North India’s most popular hill stations, it is packed during summers. So people who want some quiet time should avoid the months of May-July. In winters, snow falls in many places and maked Uttarakhand very beautiful.

Festivals

Naintal’s Nanda Devi Mela involves a procession carrying the palquin of the goddess. It is held in September at the Nanda Devi temple of Almora. Phooldeyi is usually celebrated on 14th March when young girls put spring’s first flowers at the entrance of every house in the village. On the first of the holy Navaratras (nine day fasting period) women sow seven types of grains. In Corbett, no regional festivals exist as it is a national park. But special holiday packages during Christmas, Diwali, Holi, New Year and other major holidays are common.

Cuisine

Here, big fast food chains co-exist alongside small restaurants. One can find everything from pizzas to mughlai food to home-cooked delicacies. The state is renowned for its fresh and juicy fruits.

Language

The locals mostly speak Nepali and Hindi, which are very similar to each other. English is spoken by many people. Read more
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