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A Round of Uttarakhand Holiday Tour

Uttarakhand, a state in northern India crossed by the Himalayas, is known for its Hindu pilgrimage sites.
Uttarakhand has many tourist spots due to its location in the Himalayas. There are many ancient temples, forest reserves, national parks, hill stations, and mountain peaks that draw large number of tourists. There are 44 nationally protected monuments in the state. Oak Grove School in the state is on the tentative list for World Heritage Sites. Two of the most holy rivers in Hinduism the Ganges and Yamuna, originate in Uttarakhand.
The state has 12 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, which cover 13.8 percent of the total area of the state.

Uttarakhand, a state in northern India crossed by the Himalayas, is known for its Hindu pilgrimage sites. Rishikesh, a major centre for yoga study, was made famous by the Beatles’ 1968 visit. The city hosts the evening Ganga Aarti, a spiritual gathering on the sacred Ganges River. The state’s forested Jim Corbett National Park shelters Bengal tigers and other native wildlife.

Uttarakhand has many tourist spots due to its location in the Himalayas. There are many ancient temples, forest reserves, national parks, hill stations, and mountain peaks that draw large number of tourists. There are 44 nationally protected monuments in the state. Oak Grove School in the state is on the tentative list for World Heritage Sites. Two of the most holy rivers in Hindusim the Ganges and Yamuna, originate in Uttarakhand. Binsar Devta is a popular Hindu temple in the area.

Uttarakhand has long been called “Land of the Gods” as the state has some of the holiest Hindu shrines, and for more than a thousand years, pilgrims have been visiting the region in the hopes of salvation and purification from sin. Gangotri and Yamunotri, the sources of the Ganges and Yamuna, dedicated to Ganga and Yamuna respectively, fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath (dedicated to Vishnu) and Kedarnath (dedicated to Shiva) form the Chota Char Dham, one of Hinduism’s most spiritual and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, meaning “Gateway to the God”, is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar hosts the Haridwar Kumbh Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from all parts of India and the world. Rishikesh near Haridwar is known as the preeminent yoga centre of India. The state has an abundance of temples and shrines, many dedicated to local deities or manifestations of Shiva and Durga, references to many of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends. Uttarakhand is, however, a place of pilgrimage for the adherents of other religions too. Pirn Kaliyar Sharif near Roorkee is a pilgrimage site to Muslims, Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib in Hemkund, Gurudwara Nanakmatta Sahib in Nanakmatta and Gurudwara Reetha Sahib in Champawat district are pilgrimage centres for Sikhs. Tibetan Buddhism has also made its presence with the reconstruction of Mindrolling Monastery and its Buddha Stupa, described as the world’s highest at Clement Town, Dehradun.

Auli and Munsiari are well-known skiing resorts in the state.

The state has 12 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, which cover 13.8 percent of the total area of the state. They are located at different altitudes varying from 800 to 5400 metres. The oldest national park on the Indian sub-continent, Jim Corbett National Park, is a major tourist attraction.

Vasudhara Falls, near Badrinath is a waterfall with a height of 122 metres (400 ft) set in a backdrop of snow-clad mountains. The state has always been a destination for mountaineering, hiking, and rock climbing in India. A recent development in adventure tourism in the region has been whitewater rafting in Rishikesh. Due to its proximity to the Himalaya ranges, the place is full of hills and mountains and is suitable for trekking, climbing, skiing, camping, rock climbing, and paragliding. Roopkund is a trekking site, known for the mysterious skeletons found in a lake, which was featured by National Geographic Channel in a documentary. The trek to Roopkund passes through the meadows of Bugyal.

Fairs and Festivals

One of the major Hindu pilgrimages, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, takes place in Uttarakhand. Haridwar is one of the four places in India where this mela is organised. Haridwar most recently hosted the Purna Kumbh Mela from Makar Sankranti (14 January 2010) to Vaishakh Purnima Snan (28 April 2010). Hundreds of foreigners joined Indian pilgrims in the festival, which is considered the largest religious gathering in the world.
Kumauni Holi, in forms including Baithki Holi, Khari Holi, and Mahila Holi, all of which start from Vasant Panchami, are festivals and musical affairs that can last almost a month. Ganga Dashahara, Vasant Panchami, Makar Sankranti, Ghee Sankrant, Khatarua, Vat Savitri, and Phul Dei are other major festivals. In addition, various fairs like Kanwar Yatra, Kandali Festival, Ramman, Harela mela, Kauthig, Nauchandi Mela, Giddi Mela, Uttarayani Mela and Nanda Devi Raj, Jat Mela take place.
The festivals of Kubh Mela at Haridwar, Ramlila and Ramman of Garhwal and the traditions of Vedic chantings and Yoga are included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO.

Tourism in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand has many tourist spots due to its location in the Himalayas. There are many ancient temples, forest reserves, national parks, hill stations, and mountain peaks that draw large number of tourists. There are 44 nationally protected monuments in the state. Oak Grove School in the state is on the tentative list for World Heritage Sites. Two of the most holy rivers in Hindusim the Ganges and Yamuna, originate in Uttarakhand. Binsar Devta is a popular Hindu temple in the area.
Uttarakhand has long been called “Land of the Gods” as the state has some of the holiest Hindu shrines, and for more than a thousand years, pilgrims have been visiting the region in the hopes of salvation and purification from sin. Gangotri and Yamunotri, the sources of the Ganges and Yamuna, dedicated to Ganga and Yamuna respectively, fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath (dedicated to Vishnu) and Kedarnath (dedicated to Shiva) form the Chota Char Dham, one of Hinduism’s most spiritual and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, meaning “Gateway to the God”, is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar hosts the Haridwar Kumbh Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from all parts of India and the world. Rishikesh near Haridwar is known as the preeminent yoga centre of India. The state has an abundance of temples and shrines, many dedicated to local deities or manifestations of Shiva and Durga, references to many of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends. Uttarakhand is, however, a place of pilgrimage for the adherents of other religions too. Piran Kaliyar Sharif near Roorkee is a pilgrimage site to Muslims, Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, in Dehradun, Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib in Chamoli district, Gurudwara Nanakmatta Sahib in Nanakmatta and Gurudwara Reetha Sahib in Champawat district are pilgrimage centres for Sikhs. Tibetan Buddhism has also made its presence with the reconstruction of Mindrolling Monastery and its Buddha Stupa, described as the world’s highest at Clement Town, Dehradun.
Auli and Munsiari are well-known skiing resorts in the state.
The state has 12 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, which cover 13.8 percent of the total area of the state. They are located at different altitudes varying from 800 to 5400 metres. The oldest national park on the Indian sub-continent, Jim Corbett National Park, is a major tourist attraction.
Vasudhara Falls, near Badrinath is a waterfall with a height of 122 metres (400 ft) set in a backdrop of snow-clad mountains. The state has always been a destination for mountaineering, hiking, and rock climbing in India. A recent development in adventure tourism in the region has been whitewater rafting in Rishikesh. Due to its proximity to the Himalaya ranges, the place is full of hills and mountains and is suitable for trekking, climbing, skiing, camping, rock climbing, and paragliding. Roopkund is a trekking site, known for the mysterious skeletons found in a lake, which was featured by National Geographic Channel in a documentary. The trek to Roopkund passes through the meadows of Bugyal.

Uttarakhand National Parks

  • Jim Corbett National Park
  • Nanda Devi National Park
  • Rajaji National Park
  • Valley of Flowers National Park

Best Places To Visit In Uttarakhand

Dehradun

Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, is situated at Himalayan foothills. The geographical location of Dehradun is picturesque with Himalayan ranges in view and River Ganges and River Yamuna on either side of the city. Natural beauty apart, the place is famous for the splendid architectural display by some of the ancient constructions.

Tourist Attractions of Dehradun

  • Sahastradhara
  • Tiger Falls
  • Robber’s Cave
  • Mindrolling Monastery
  • Tapkeshwar Temple
  • Forest Research Institute
  • Tapovan
  • Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
  • Lachhiwala
  • Malsi Deer Park

Nainital

Famously referred to as the ‘Lake District of India’, Nainital, at 1938 meters above sea level, is a scenic delight that would be irresistible to any tourist. It is located around the famous Naini Lake in a valley. With mountains on all sides, Nainital is where you need to be for a rendezvous with nature.

Tourist Attractions of Nainital

  • Naini Lake
  • Naina Peak
  • Tiffin Top
  • St. John in the Wilderness.
  • Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo.
  • Gurney House
  • Snow View
  • Land’s End
  • Kilbury Bird Sanctuary.
  • Eco Cave Gardens.

Mussoorie

Located at an altitude of 6000 feet, Mussoorie, the ‘Queen of Hills’, is beauty personified. With snow-covered Himalayan peaks on view, the land abundant in natural beauty has an excellent climate too. The winters are chilling and the summers are pleasant. The beauty of the place mesmerized Captain Young of the British army who made this place his residence in the year 1820. Mussoorie has seen countless footprints ever since the discovery, the list of excited tourists to enjoy the immense beauty of the place is growing.

Tourist Attractions of Mussoorie

  • Kempty Falls
  • Lal Tibba
  • Happy Valley
  • Camel’s Back Road
  • Gun Hill
  • Mussoorie Lake
  • Christ Church
  • Sir George Everest’s House
  • Jwalaji Temple
  • The Mall (Mall Road)

Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a blend of tranquility and adventure. Its location at the confluence of River Ganges and River Chandrabhaga and views of spectacular hills and various adventurous activities such as trekking, rafting and camping captivate nature lovers; the tranquility of the place with the importance attached to it as a pilgrim center touches the soul of pilgrims. Rishikesh is called as the Yoga Capital of the world.

Tourist Attractions of Rishikesh

  • Laxman Jhula
  • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
  • The Beatles Ashram
  • Swarg Ashram
  • Parmarth Niketan
  • Rajaji National Park
  • Kaudiyala
  • Shivpuri
  • Jumpin Heights
  • Shivpuri
  • Narendra Nagar

Haridwar

Haridwar is also called as the ‘Gateway to the Lord’ thanks to a great number of temples and ashrams located here. The city is considered holy and hence pilgrims from various parts of the world travel to the place to offer their prayers. It is also famous for the Kumbh Mela, a festival, which is held once in twelve years.

Tourist Attractions of Haridwar

  • Har Ki Pauri
  • Chandi Devi Temple
  • Maya Devi Temple
  • Mansa Devi Temple
  • Daksha Mahadev Temple
  • Vishnu Ghat
  • Shanti Gunj
  • Pavan Dham
  • Vaishno Devi Temple
  • Bharat Mata Mandir

Kedarnath

Kedarnath, a small town located in Gahrwal Himalayan Ranges, is considered one of the holiest pilgrimages for those who follow Hinduism. It houses the famous Kedarnath temple. Kedarnath is located amidst majestic mountains.

Visit in Kedarnath

  • Kedarnath Temple
  • Chorabari Tal
  • Vasuki Tal
  • Gauri Kund
  • Triyuginarayan Temple.

Badrinath

Badrinath is yet another popular pilgrim center in Uttarakhand. This town is located between Nar and Naryana, the mountain ranges. Located at an altitude of 3133 meters and shadowed by Nilkantha Peak, you are sure to grope for words to describe its immense beauty. Badrinath Temple is the main attraction here.

Visit in Badrinath

  • Badrinath Temple
  • Hot Springs
  • Neelkanth Peak
  • Charanpaduka
  • Valley of Flowers

Almora

Almora is heaven to nature lovers. The picturesque district is located on the eastern side of Uttarakhand. The views of Himalayas are spellbinding. It is also famous for handicrafts, cuisine and wildlife. It has a rich cultural heritage.

Tourist Attractions of Almora

  • Kasar Devi Temple
  • Katarmal Sun Temple
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum
  • Martola
  • Kalimut
  • Zero Point
  • Chitai Golu Devta Temple
  • Gobind Vallabh Pant Museum
  • Bright End Corner

Kausani

Kausani is the land you need to be if you are keen to enjoy the generosity of Mother Nature. This hill station is located at a height of 1890 meters. The place is famous for the view of 350 km stretch of the majestic Himalayas it offers.

Tourist Attractions of Kausani

  • Rudradhari Falls and Caves
  • Lakshmi Ashram
  • Anasakti Ashram
  • Sumitranandan Pant Gallery
  • Baijnath Temple
  • Kausani Tea Estate

Pithoragarh

A visit to Pithoragarh might make you wonder if every inch of the land is blessed with natural beauty. The stunning beauty of the land defies description. This district is located in the eastern most part of Uttarakhand. It offers scope for trekking as well. The place is an important halt for those who undertake Kailash Manasarovar Yatra.

Tourist Attractions of Pithoragarh

  • Chandak
  • Askot Sanctuary
  • Ralam Glacier
  • Jhulaghat
  • Pithoragarh Fort
  • Thal Kedar
  • Gangolihat
  • Dhwaj Temple

Ranikhet

Ranikhet is yet another hill station that elevates your spirits to a different plane. At an altitude of 1829 meters, the ‘Queens Land’, as Ranikhet is referred to, is the perfect place to visit to view Himalayas at its best. The amazing richness of greenery and the scenic landscape make this place a dream destination.

Tourist Attractions of Ranikhet

  • Jhula Devi Temple
  • Chaubatia Orchard
  • Upat and Kalika
  • Mankameshwar Temple
  • Haidakhan Babaji Temple
  • Shitlakhet
  • Dwarahat Temples

There are a lot more tourist places in Uttarakhand – Lansdowne, Mukteshwar, Naukuchiatal, Pauri, Munsiyari, Auli, Lohaghat and Landour are a few other popular tourist destinations. The limitless beauty of the land and its cultural and religious association make it one of the most frequented travel destinations.

Best Time to Visit Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is the place in India can be explored round the year. However, some of the destinations like Nainital and Mussoorie can be visited throughout the year, some distant valleys and higher altitudes are places are not accessible for occasional traveler. The destination like Jim Corbett National Park is located near lower Himalayan foothills and experiences heavy rainfall and mild winter. The months of March – April and September – October are ideal season for activities like trekking and paragliding.

Whether it is your honeymoon tour or spiritual journey, summers are treated as a favorable season to visit Uttarakhand. It is not advisable to plan any kind of trip during monsoon in Uttarakhand. While monsoon season is the best time to visit Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand. If you would like to enjoy abundant snowfall you may visit during winter season.

How to Reach Uttarakhand

Being located at the edge of Himalayas, Uttarakhand shares its boundary with Nepal and China. Important thing about “Dev Bhoomi” is that it houses most of the Hindus Sacred places like Badrinath, Kedartnath, Gangotari and Yamunotri. Apart from these Uttarakhand has a top hill station such as Nainital, Mussoorie, Auli, Uttarkashi and Chamoli.
Getting there is quite easy and it is only because of great connectivity with major cities of the country through airways, roadways and railways.

How to Reach Uttarakhand by Air

Uttarakhand has two domestic airports. These include the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is located 22 kilometers from main city and Pantnagar airport close to Nainital. Dehradun airport receives regular non-stop flights from cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru while Pantnagar airport gets limited flights.

How to Reach Uttarakhand by Railways

Railway is also a feasible option to reach different destination in Uttarakhand. Some major railheads include Haridwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kathgodam, Nainital, Kotdwar, Pauri and Udham Singh Nagar. All these railway stations are well connected with important cities like Delhi, Varanasi and Lucknow.

How to Reach Uttarakhand by Roadways

Entire state has very good networks of roads. The interstate roads and highways are well connected with major cities like Delhi and others. These routes and further extended to major tourist spots such as Haridwar, Rishikesh and Jim Corbett National Park. These places are accessible very easily via road. Also, state and private owned buses are ply on daily basis that takes you to the different destinations of Uttarakhand.

Tourism Place’s

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