Uttrakhand is the 27th state of India. It came into existence on 9th November 2000, when it was formally separated from the parent state of Uttar Pradesh. This charming hilly state consists of the two regions, Garhwal in the west and Kumaon in the east. Both the regions are blessed with unlimited natural beauty, flora & fauna and are studded with a stunning snow-covered mountain peaks, which rank among the most beautiful mountains of the inner Himalayan range.
Skiing in Uttaranchal
One can feel the adrenaline levels rising as one negotiates the challenges of the steep gradients and traverses unimaginable distances. Quite truly, the thrill of skiing remains unparalleled as the elements are defeated exhilaration swells up in skiing, the use of only the simplest forms of implements adds to the adventure.
With their wide-open spaces above the snowline, Garhwal and Kumaon offer yet another exciting possibility – ski touring amongst the glaciers, for the avid skier, cross – country runs of 10-20 km are now available, with the added advantage. Of fresh powder snow, away from crisscrossing streams of skiers that overtake the slopes of the European Alps . because of their height and spread, Garwhal, and Kumaon, like other sectors of the Himalayas, is in a position to offer the thrills of exploratory long distance skiing the year.
Skiing at Auli:
Auli, 16km from Joshimath is an ideal winter resort. The natural advantages of auli ‘s slopes, coupled with state – of the -art facilities provided by gmvn have made it comparable to the best in the world. The snow-capped slopes of Auli are flanked by stately coniferous and oak forests which cut wind velocity to the minimum.
Auli offers a panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi (7817 mts.), Kamet (7756 mts), Mana Parvat (7273 mts.) and Dunagiri (7066 mts.) Seemingly only a snowballs throw away, Auli offers perfect skiing conditions. Seasonal skiers have clean stretches of absolutely virgin slopes to sport on. These slopes provide excellent opportunities for cross country, slalom, and downhill skiing events. Winter skiing in Garhwal is now being professionally run at the Auli slopes.
A 3 km. long slope ranging from a height of 2519 mts. to 3049 mts. is a major attraction. The Auli resort has snow beaters which beat the snow to keep the slopes fit for skiing at all times. A 500 mts. long ski-lift carries skiers back to the slope top, thus saving them the trouble and time to bridge up wearing long skis. Apart from annual skiing festivals,
Altitude: 2915 mts. to 3049 mts. expandable to Gorson 3400 mts.
Area: 5 Sq. km.
Temperature: Summer-Ranges between 13° C and 29° C Winter- Ranges between 9° C and 2° C
Rainfall: 180 cms.
Average yearly Clothing Summer-Light woolen Winter- Heavy woolen
Simple hotel accommodation and tourist Rest House available at Joshimath and Auli.
- A 3.9 km. long cable car linking Joshimath ( 1906.3 mts.) with the upper slopes at Gorson ( 3016.3 mts.)
- 16 km. motorable road from Joshimath to Auli.
- A 500 mts. long ski-lift and 800 mts. long chair-lift linking the lower slopes with upper slopes.
- Two snow beaters imported from Germany.
- Ski equipment available on hire.
- Assistance of ski instructors and skiiers from Garhwal Mandal vikas Nigam ( GMVN).
- Efficient communication available in Auli.
- Easy accessibility of medical assistance from Army and civil hospitals including emergency rescue.
End of December to March.
Equipment: provides modern ski equipment. Participants are advised to bring heavy woolen clothing like caps, socks, gloves, mufflers, pullovers, trousers, windproof jackets, dark glasses, gum/snow boots and a torch for personal use.
Road: local transport union and state transport buses operate regularly between Joshimath to Rishikesh (253kms), Haridwar (277kms. ) Dehradun (298kms) and Delhi (500kms)
Rail: The nearest railhead is Haridwar (299 km)which is 24 km.frim Rishikesh. Connecting trains Howrah-Dehradun, Delhi-Dehradun, and Bombay -Dehradun Air: jolly grant airport ( Dehradun ) is 270 km. from Joshimath and 17 km. from Rishikesh.
Nainital is referred to in the ‘Manas Khand’ of the ‘Skanda Purana’ as the Tri-Rishi-Sarovar, the lake of the three sages , Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha who were reputed to have arrived here on a penitential pilgrimage, and, finding no water to quench their thirst dug a hole and siphoned water into it from Mansarovar the sacred lake in Tibet.
The Second important mythological reference to Nainital is as one of 64 ‘Shakti Peeths’.These centers were created wherever parts of the charred body of Sati fell , when Lord Shiva was carrying around her corpse in grief.
It is said that the left eye (Nain) of Sati fell here and this gave rise to the patron deity of town Nainital. It is said that the lake is formed in the emerald eye shape. Naina Devi temple is located at the northern end of the lake. Thus the name of Nainital derivated from Naina and the tal (Lake).
Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalayan necklace, blessed with scenic natural splendor and varied natural resources. Dotted with lakes , Nainital has earned the epithet of ‘Lake District’ of India . The most prominent of the lakes is Naini lake ringed by hills . Nainital has a varied topography. Some of the important places in the district are Nainital , Haldwani , Kaladhungi , Ramnagar , Bhowali, Ramgarh, Mukteshwar, Bhimtal , Sattal and Naukuchiatal . Nainital’s unending expense of scenic beauty is nothing short of a romance with awe-inspiring and pristine Mother nature.
Excursions in Nainital: Bhowali, Ghorakhal, Sattal, Bhimtal, Naukuchiyatal, Kainchi Dham, Mukteshwar, Ranikhet, Kausani.
Mussoorie offers a wonderful view of the Himalayan snow ranges to the north-east and the Doon Valley., Roorkee, Saharanpur and Haridwar to the South, creating an almost serene atmosphere for the tourists. Mussoorie was discovered by Captain Young, an adventurous military officer in 1827. He was lured by the extraordinarily beautiful ridge and laid the foundation of it. Mussoorie is also a Gateway to the “Gangotri” and the “Yamunotri” shrines
Mussoorie, the queen of hill stations, is famous for its scenic beauty, gay social life, and entertainment. The excellent climate makes it an attractive holiday resort. Thronged by holidayers, it vibrates with gaiety and merrymaking during the summer season. There are no steep inclines and the more adventurous can undertake enjoyable excursions to various beauty spots in the vicinity. Mussoorie affords glorious views of the mighty Himalayan peaks. Kempty falls which are about 11 km. from the town attract hundreds of people every day. The Bhatta falls are also famous for scenic beauty.
Though the tourist here is smaller than that of Kempty yet it is a picnic spot near to the town. Yet another place of interest in the town is Depot Hill, popularly known as ‘Lal Tibba’. It is the highest point in Mussoorie and the beautiful Himalayan panorama is visible on all clear days from this spot. The Badrinath, Kedarnath, Bandar-Poonch, Sri Kantha and Nanda Devi peaks can be seen from here. Camel’s back hill can be reached by electric trolly. The top commands a very beautiful view both of the hills as well as the valley. On clear days, one can see even the Ganga and the Yamuna from here. Mussoorie is well connected by roads with Dehra Dun, Delhi, Roorkee, and Saharanpur. There are some good hotels, recreation clubs, and restaurants to cater to the needs of the tourist.
Mussoorie, with its green hills and varied flora & fauna, is a fascinating hill resort. Commanding a wonderful view of extensive Himalayan snow ranges to the north-east, and glittering views of the Doon Valley, Roorkee, Saharanpur and Haridwar to the south, the town presents a fairyland atmosphere to the tourists.
Its history dates back to 1827 when Captain Young, an adventurous military officer, explored the present site and laid the foundation of this holiday resort which now has few rivals.
Mussoorie is famous for its scenic beauty and hectic social life. It provides all kinds of amusement and every facility for domestic and foreign tourists. Mussoorie is conveniently connected by road to Delhi and other major cities and is the “Gateway” to Yamunotri and Gangotri shrines of Northern India.
Places of Interest in Mussoorie: Camel’s Back Road, Gun Hill, Mussoorie Lake, Vinog Mountain Quail Sanctuary, Kempty Fall, Dhanolti, Nagtibba, Surkanda Devi, Bhadraj Temple, Municipal Garden, Yamuna Bridge. More
Trekking in Mussoorie: Nagtibba offers a panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks. One can return via Panthwari Nainbagh and Kempty covering a total distance of 62 km. More
By Rail: Nearest Railhead is Dehradun 35 km. Connected with Delhi, Varanasi, Howrah, Amritsar, Saharanpur, Rishikesh and Haridwar. For transport to Mussoorie taxies and buses are available outside the Railway station.
Mukteshwar this beautiful place is 2286 mts in altitude and 51 Kms. from Nainital. Surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forest it was developed by the Britishers as research and education institute (IVRI) in 1893. It is the celebrated scenic spot overlooking long ranges of Himalaya. An old temple of Lord Shiva exists on the top of a rock.
Surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forest, it provides a majestic view of the Himalayas and the Almora town below in glittering moonlit nights.
The famous Indian Veterinary Research Institute is also located here.
Round the year
Joshimath the name Joshimath is a corruption of the Sanskrit word ‘Jyotirmath’ the place of Jyotirlinga of Shiva. Shankracharya founded one of the four piths “Centres’ for sanyasis here. It is a halting-place for the pilgrims bound for Badrinath. It is considered to be one of the most sacred places by Hindus who believe that Badrinath (The God Vishnu) resides here in winter.
Joshimath has a temple dedicated to Narshimsha, an incarnation of Vishnu, an arm of the idol of this deity (which is installed in the temple) is said to be thinning daily and it is believed that when it breaks off the road to Badrinath will be close by a landslip.
To the south of the big square in front of the temple, there is a roofed building housing a stone cistern with two brass spouts known as Danddhara and Narshimha Dhara between which there are brass idols of Rama and Sita.
There are several temples here, each dedicated to Hanuman, Ganesha, Surya, Gaurishankar and Naudevi respectively. These temples surround that of Vasudeva the black stone idol install in it, which is two meters high and stand on a lotus pedestal, being of fine craftsmanship and being flanked by standing figures of Sridevi and Bhudevi. In the temple are also the idols of the ten avatars of Vishnu. At a short distance in front of the temple, there is a brass idol of Garud, Vishnu’s vehicle.
The revered shrine of Gangotri, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mts. about sea-level amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindu.
Visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year, this 18th-century temple constructed by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa is near the spot where the goddess Ganga is said to have first descended on earth from heaven, in answer to the prayers of King Bhagirathi.
Lord Shiva received her into his matted locks to break the great force of her fall. From there it emerged into many streams and the one which started from Gangotri was called Bhagirathi.
The Pandavas, it is said, came here to perform the great ‘Deva Yajna’ to atone for the death of their kinsmen in the epic battle of Mahabharat. The temple itself is situated on the right bank of the Bhagirathi. There are a number of ashrams locked on the other side of the Bhagirathi, many of which provide accommodation facilities to the travelers.
Places of Religious Interest
These include a trip to theGaumukh glaciers(18 km.) – the source of the Bhagirathi for a dip in its icy waters is a dip in almost a must for pilgrims; and to the temple of Bhairavanth at Bhaironghati, (10 km.). GMVN Tourist Bungalow is located at Bhojbasa, about 14 km., from Gangotri, on the road to Uttarkashi, at thle confluence of the Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers. Pilgrims also trek to Nandanvan (6km) and Kedartal (18km) from Gangotri.
It constitutes one of the four most important pilgrimages, collectively called ‘Char Dham’ of the Garhwal Himalayas. The revered shrine of Yamunotri, source of the shadow of the 6,315 mts. high Bandarpunchh mountain.
Legend has it that a sage, Asit Muni,used to reside at this secluded spot in ancient times. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Jankichatti (7km. Away).
The source of the Yamuna lies a further km. Ahead at an altitude of approximately 4421 mts. Since the approach is extremely difficult, pilgrims usually offer obeisance at the temple itself. The present temple was constructed by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the nineteenth century.
For reaching Yamunotri, one has to undertake a 220 km journey from Rishikesh to Hanumanchatti, where the motorable road ends. The remaining 13 km journey has to be covered on foot or on ponies, the rates of which are fixed before the start of every Yatra season.
The temple of shri badrinathji on the bank of the alaknanda river , dates back to the alaknanda river , dates back to the vedic times , situated at an altitude of 3,133 mts . , the present temple is believed to have been built by adi guru shankaracharya – an 8th century ‘s philosopher -saint , who also established a math here . also known as vishal badri , badrinath is one of the panch badris.
Cradled in the twin montain ranges of nar and narayan is the holiest of the four main shrines , badrinath along the lift bank of the river alaknanda . With the backdrop, it is an important destination on the sacred itinerary of every devout hindu . Once the spot was carpeted with ‘badris ‘ or wild berries and hence was famous as ‘badri van’.’
The revered shrine is still alive with myriad legends from mythology . its sanctity is emphasised in the ancient scriptures as “there are many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heavens , earth and the nether world ,but there has been none equal to badri , nor shall there be ” Legend has it when the ganga was requested to descend to earth to help the suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of its descent . therefore the mighty ganga was split into twelve holy channesl . alanknanda was one of lord vishnu or badrinath.The temple remains closed duriing the winter season and is open from april – may to octobr – november.
A scenic spot situated against the backdrop of the majestic kedarnath range at an altitude of 3,581 mts. the kedarnath shrine, a 14 km. Trek from gaurikund, is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of lord shiva.
Associated with guru govind singh , the tenth guru of the sikhsA it is situated at an altitude of 4,320 mts. Aabove sea level on the bank of lake Hemkund.
Situated on the slopes above the confluence of alknanda and dhauliganga rivers is the winter home of the lord of badrinath , jushimath has many important temples incloding the temple of ugra narsimha devoted to the half-lion half-man incarnation of lord vishnu.
Haridwar has very rich ancient religious and cultural heritage. In the ancient scriptures of India, this place is well known by the name of Mayapur. This city is also well known for many other things apart from the holy river Ganges. Haridwar has privilege of having IIT at Roorkee, formerly known as University of Roorkee, founded in 1847 as a first technical institute of India.
The city has one of the “navratna PSUs of India” i.e BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals India Ltd.). The tomb Piran Kaliar of Shabir Shahib in Roorkee is a living example of religious harmony in India which is visited by the people of all religious sects from all over the world. There is another University in the city called Gurukul Kangri Vishva Vidyalaya apart from the head quarter of Uttaranchal State Public Service Commission also being established at Haridwar. Besides this, Kumbh fair is organized at the interval of every 12 years in this city in which about 1 crore pilgrims from all over the world participate.
“Among the many pilgrimages that dot the length of the Ganga, Haridwar ranks among the most holy in the land ” Accroding to Hindu mythology Haridwar was known as Kapilsthan.
Lagend has it that the ancestors of Raja Bhagirath, were consumed by fire at this spot following a cused of rishi Kapil. For their salvation Raja Bhhagirath requested the ganga to descend on Earth.
Haridwar is also famous by the names of gangadwar, Mokshadwar, Tapovan and Mayapuri. It is at Haridwar that the Ganga finaly energes into the northern plains.
The Kumbh and the Ardh Kumbh melas also take place here every 12 th & 6th year.
Places of Religious Interest:
- The Chandi Devi Temple
- Maya Devi Temple
- Har- Ki- Pauri the Sacred Bathing Ghat
- Vilvkeshwar Mahadev
- Doodhadhari Temple
- Vaishnav Devi Temple
- Sapt Sarovar
- Shahi Gurudwara
- Mansa Devi Temple
- Daksha Mahadev temple
- Bhimgoda Tank
- Pawan Dham
- Sureshwari Devi Temple
- Seraal Ashrams form excellent religious excursion sites..
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 42 km from Haridwar. Northern Railways Broad & metre gauge lines connect Haridwar to major centres in the country. Haridwar, on state Highway No. 45 is well connected to all major centres in the region
The upper reaches of Garhwal are connected by bus services of Garhwal Motor Operators Union, Tehri Garhwal Yatayat service etc.
Dehradun in one of the odlest cities of India. Also known as the Abode of Drona , Dehradun has always been an important centre of the Garhwal rulers which was captured by the British . the headuarters of many National Institute like ONGC , Servey of India , I.I.P. etc. are located in the city . Dehradun has a string of premier educational institutes like the forest Research Institute, Rashtriya Indian Military College and the Indian Milirary Academy.
It is favoured tourist destination as it attracts tourists, piligrims and enthusiasts From various walks of life to its serene environs. Add to this the abundance of special Basmati rice, tea and leechi gardens which contribute in turning the city into a paradise.
Places of Interest in Dehradun: Malsi Deer Park, Tepkeshwar Temple, Kalinga Monument, Laxman Siddh, Chandrabani, Sai Darbar, Robber’s Cave, Forest Research Institiue, Tapovan. More
Dehradun Excursions: Mussoorie 38 kms. from Deharadun is Murroorie with its green hills and varied flora and fauna, is a fascinating hill station. It offers a wonderful view of the Himalayan snow ranges to the north-east and the Doon valley, Roorkee, Saharanpur and Haridwar to the South, creating an almost serene atmosphere for the tourists.
Corbett Wildlife Tourism
Corbett is regarded as one of the true bird parks of the world. Out of the 2,060 species and subspecies of birds recorded in the Indian subcontinent, over 600 species/subspecies of birds have been recorded from Corbett at one time or another. This number is greater than the total number of bird species found in Europe and represents around one fourth of the available diversity found in India. Out of the 69 species of raptors found in India, 49 can be seen in Corbett making it a striking element of the local avifauna. The reserve, which covers 520 sq. kms. is not less than a paradise for bird-watchers. European bird-watchers are some of the keenest visitors to the reserve during winters when the bird diversity is at its peak.
India’s first and finest park spread over 520 sq. kms. along the banks of the Ramganga river, just 300 kms. northeast of Delhi in the foothills of the Himalayas is the Corbett National Park. Established initially as Hailey National Park on August 8, 1936, in honour of Sir Malcolm Hailey, then governor of the United Provinces, the name was changed to Ramganga National Park in 1952. In 1957, it was finally named as Corbett National Park in honour and memory of the latc Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter, naturalist-turned-author and photographer who had helped in setting up the park and demarcating its boundaries.
Birds which can be spotted at the banks of River Ramganga on the outskirts of Corbett Park include Brown Fish Owl, Himalayan Kingfisher, Brown Dipper and Plumbeous/White-Capped Redstarts. One can also see Little/Staty backed Forktails and Mountain/Rufousbellied Hawk-Eagles here. Inside Corbett Park, Blue Whistling Thrush and Red Jungle Fowl are immediate possibilities. But with some efforts one can spot Oriental White-eye, Jungle Owlet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Himalayan Swiftlet, Lesser Fish-Eagle or even Great Thick-knee, Stork-billed Kingfisher and many more. Mammals include Tiger, Indian Elephant, Chital, Sambhar, Muntjack (Barking Deer), Hog Deer and Common Langur. A trip to these magnificent Sanctuaries will also take you through Jaipur (Pink City) and Agra (City of Taj) which will add the experience of Indian culture, heritage, history and hospitality to your memories.
With elevations in the Park ranging from 400m to 1210m there is a rich diversity in habitat. Animals of the Himalayas and those of peninsular India can both be seen here and over 50 mammal and 25 reptile species have been recorded at Corbett. Among the predators are the tiger, leopard, diverse species of lesser cats and the dhole – the wild dog.
There are antelopes (nilgai and ghoral) varieties of deer (hog deer, sambhar, chital or spotted deer and barking deer), the primates (rhesus and langur) and other animals like jackals, foxes, civets, wild boar, sloth bear, black bear and a range of reptiles including the cobra, python and two species of crocodile. The rare fish eating, long snouted gharial and the more robust mugger can be seen basking along the sand banks and pools of the Ramganga. The river which is also noted for its sporting fish, the mighty mahaseer and the malee is popular with anglers.
Corbett is the home of 580 species of birds including water fowl, 17 types of woodpecker, raptors like the Pallas fishing eagle, harriers and kites, peafowl, kalij pheasant, the rare chir pheasant, red jungle fowl, minivets, shrikes, cuckoos, drongos and barbets. A fine reservoir on the river formed with the building of a dam at Kalagarh now attracts diverse species of water birds – both local and migratory. With its avian variety Corbett is a marvellous location for bird watchers also.
Chamoli, the abode of Gods, reputed for its shrines and temples, birth place of ‘Chipko Movement ‘ with its strategic significance is one of the hill district of Uttaranchal, India. Chamoli proved itself ” the most spectacular in its natural assets ; be it maintain scenery , valley aspects, water-edges, floristic varieties, dramatic landform or the climatic cardinalities.
In the arms of the heavenly Himalayas lies the enchanting land of Chamoli, which seems to be a benediction of earth. A blessed spot the place seems to have been particularly dear to Lord Shiva. There are hundreds of shrines dedicated to Lord shiva , the most important of all being the shrine of Badrinath.
The other shrines of religeous importance are Hemkund Saheb, three out of five Panch Kedar and Panch Badri, which are spread over the hills of Chamoli. During the monsoons, thousand brilliant blooms bursts forth in the fascinating ” Valley of flowers” .
The place reverberates with spirituality and is associated with a number of legends. It is said that Hanuman found the Sanjeevani herb here to revivie the unconsccious laxman. It is blieved that Ved Vyas composed his immortal epic, the Mahabharata here.
Guru Gobind singh is also believed to have meditated here. Surrounded by Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi, Rudrapryag., Ptihoragarh, Almora and pauri Garhawa districts and with Tibet lying to its north, Chamoli attracts tourists and invites trekking inthusiasts from all over the world to discvover the fulles potential of their body & mind. Chamoli , a hill district of U.P., has immense geographical, historical, religious and cultural importance.
Chamoli lies in the arms of the heavenly Himalayas and is full of natural beauty. This land has inspiered the inaginations of great poets like kalidas. These mountain ranges, rivers and valleys are associated wit several Gods & Goddesses.
he celebrated shrine of Badrinath, a famous pilgirmage of Hindus, the well known ” Valley of Flower” and Auli Bugyal are situated here. Today, this snow clad peaks which are a delight for adventure loving tourists. Gopeshwar is the district headquarter of chamoli and is situated at a height of 1308 mts .