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Area:55845 sq km
Language:Garhwali, Kumaoni, Hindi, English
Best Time to Visit:April to June and September to November
Capital City:Dehradun

Land of Pilgrims

The first references to the land currently known as Uttarakhand appear in the Skanda Purana and Mahabharata as Kedarkhand. Its first known kingdom was that of the Chand dynasty which started ruling in the Kumaon region mid 8’th century with initial settings in Champawat. Interrupted by domination of Katyuri dynasty during the 9’th-11’th century the Chand dynasty ruled in various forms. During this time the Shah dynasty comes into power in the Garhwal region. This continued till the 17’th century when the frequent invasions of Garhwal by Kumaon results in then Shah king (Man Shah) defeating the erstwhile Chand king (Laxmi Chand) of Kumaon and taking his capital Almora.

The Garwhal Himalaya is one of the most unspoilt regions in the state of Uttrakhand. Here we find some of the holiest sites as the Ganges emanates from this area which attracts religious pilgrims all year round. Forested foothills majestically rise upward to beautiful bugyals (high altitude meadows) carpeted with wild flowers. Beyond, the views extended to the Himalayan peaks from which glaciers descend, carving deep valleys as they make their way down to the lowlands.

The advent of independence lead to the princely state of Tehri Garhwal and others joining together to the newly formed state of Uttar Pradesh. Even though the voice of independence was led by early leaders like P.C Joshi and others, the main push for the separate state started in the 70’s when there was awareness of the impact of distant rule on the environment and region. The popularity of Chipko moment to save the forests and other natural resources was increased by the resistance to the building of Tehri dam. The lack of relief and rehabilitation by the state government to the earthquake (in the Tehri area in 1993), the extension of caste based reservation onto the hills and abuse of protestors in Muzaffarnagar in 1994 by the Uttar Pardesh state police further the moment towards a separate state. Finally in August, the new government of India announces its approval of statehood for Uttarakhand.

Magnificent Things Surrounding the Land

Blessed with magnificent glaciers, majestic snow-clad mountains, gigantic and majestic peaks, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests travel to Uttrakhand is a dream come true. A pious destination for the religious with the four most sacred and revered Hindu sites Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri (collectively known as the Char Dham Yatra ) nestled in the mighty mountains; a challenging destination for the adventure seekers with sports that are offered like River Rafting, mountaineering, skiing and trekking; and a picturesque destination for the nature lovers with breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas, and the lovely valley of flowers. Most of the famous hill stations other than the Capital of the state Dehradun, like Mussorie and Nainital are situated in Uttrakhand. The Corbett National Park and the Rajaji wildlife park famous for its Tigers and wildlife is another reason to visit the state. No part of the state lacks in the natural splendour that Mother Nature has bestowed on the state and travel to Uttrakhand certainly leaves behind the most beautiful memories.

Uttrakhand is undoubtedly India’s most beautiful canvas. The main attraction to this place is the un-spoilt and unexploited beauty and the serene calmness of Uttaranchal. The green valleys and the snow-clad peaks with wonderful panoramic view till the eyes can reach, is mesmerizing and spell binding as well. Uttaranchal has a wonderful cultural and traditional heritage that has been followed for centuries. The people of Uttaranchal are warm and smiling and trying to live through the harsh climatic conditions. The cuisine is essentially north Indian very much similar to the rest of the Northern parts of the India.