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Uttarakhand - Quick Facts

Area : 53566 sq. km.
Capital : Dehradun
Population : 10,116,752
Population Density : 189/km2
Altitude : 1,518 m (4,980 ft)
Clothing : Summer- Light cotton, Winter: Woollen
Best Time to Visit : April to June
Climate : summer,winter and mansoon.
Rainfall : 1700 cm
Highest Location : Nanda Devi
Highest Point : 25,643 ft
Language : Garhwali,Kumaoni,Hindi,Sanskrit
Religions : Hinduism,Islam,Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhism.

Uttaranchal, its beauty in diversity is simply enchanting. The mighty snow bound Himalayas, breathtaking glaciers giving birth to rivers such as Ganga & Yamuna that are almost a faith, lush green valleys and meadows, calm mountain lakes, stately forests with varied flora & fauna, heartland of vedic civilization and abode spiritualism, mythology, shrines in some of the most traditional costumes, classical music and dance and a rich culture. From times, immemorial, Uttaranchal has been the favorite haunt of tourist, pilgrims, and history lovers and adventure seekers.

Uttaranchal is a state of natural beauty and some of the untouched and untouched natural places.. Also famous for it's lakes, mountains, forests, national parks, sanctuaries and is also a favorite destination of wildlife lovers. Uttaranchal is also known as Dev Bhoomi, is situated in the north – west portion of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most popular state. Opportunities for tourism are in this state – be it nature, wildlife, adventure & pilgrimage tourism. The major destinations are Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Almora, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Jim Corbett National Park, Nainital, and Ranikhet & Pithoragarh. Uttaranchal is also a major destination for adventure sports lovers. Many national and international competitions of Skiing, Water rafting, Mountaineering, Rock climbing etc. are held every year. Many adventure sports places are here.

Uttaranchal is a region of outstanding natural beauty. Most of the northern parts of the state are art of Greater Himalaya ranges, covered by the high Himalayan peaks and glaciers, while the lower foothills were densely forested till denuded by the British log merchants and later, after independence, by forest contractors. Recent efforts in reforestation, however, have been successful in restoring the situation to some extent. The unique Himalayan ecosystem plays host to a large number of animals (including bharal, snow leopards, leopards and tigers), plants and rare herbs. Two of India's mightiest rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna take birth in the glaciers of Uttaranchal, and are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and streams in the region.

Uttaranchal lies on the south slope of the mighty Himalaya range, and the climate and vegetation vary greatly with elevation, from glaciers at the highest elevations to tropical forests at the lower elevations. The highest elevations are covered by ice and bare rock. The Western Himalayan Alpine Shrub and Meadows ecoregion lies between 3000-3500 and 5000 meters elevation; tundra and alpine meadows cover the highest elevations, transitioning to Rhododendron-dominated shrub lands below. The Western Himalayan sub alpine conifer forests lie just below the tree line; at 3000-2600 meters elevation they transition to the Western Himalayan broadleaf forests, which lie in a belt from 2,600 to 1,500 meters elevation. Below 1500 meters elevation lies western end of the drier Terai - Duar savanna and grasslands belt, and the Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests. This belt is locally known as Bhabhar. These lowland forests have mostly been cleared for agriculture, but a few pockets remain.

By Air
The nearest airport is Jolly grant (35 kms). Taxis are available by Airport.

By Rail
It is well connected to all parts of the country.

By Road
Haridwar is well connected to all parts of the country.

Uttaranchal Society and Culture contains a significant cultural divide based on the two regions of the state including the Himalayan region of Garhwal and the hilly region of Kumaon. However, the state as a whole portrays a varied cultural heritage.

Garhwal, or Gadhwal, is the administrative division of Uttaranchal and includes the districts of Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri (Pauri Garhwal), Rudraprayag, Tehri (Tehri Garhwal), and Uttarkashi. The administrative center for Garhwal division is the town of Pauri.

On the other hand, the Society and Culture of Uttarakhand's Kumaon region can said to be a blend of influences from the alternative population as well as from the immigrants that have come and settled in the region. And this is depicted in the dialects, languages, festivals, and fairs of the region.

Be it the Garhwali or Kumaoni, the people of Uttaranchal who are popularly called as "pahari", meaning the "people of the mountains", take pride in their origin.

After experiencing the magic of cool and refreshing mountain breeze and breathtaking views of Himalayas its time to indulge the taste buds The traditional cuisine of the land is highly nutritious, simple to prepare and at the same time appealing to the palate. Here you will find delicious and mouth-watering Pahari recipes from both Garhwal and Kumaon region of Uttaranchal. You are also welcome to contribute recipes.

Garhwali Recipes
Chainsoo | Kaafuli | Jholi | Phaanu | Til ki Chutney | Thechwani | Baadi | Roat | Arsa | Aloo Tamatar ka Jhol

Kumaoni Recipes
Ras | Bhaang ki Chutney | Singhal | Bhatt ki Churdkani | Shai | Badil | Thathawani.

The popular art and Crafts of Uttaranchal are similar to those typically found in hilly areas. The peace and serenity of Uttaranchal has led to the development of paintings and other important arts. Stone and wood carvings also emerged as a famous art form in Uttaranchal. Take up cultural tours of Uttaranchal and see the various forms of arts and Crafts that have been practiced in the various parts of the state, since ages.

The Himalaya is often referred to as the abode of Gods. Its serene atmosphere, snow clad peaks, swift flowing rivers and green valleys spread over vast areas are touched by a common undercurrent of spirituality. Numerous fairs & festivals are celebrated all overuttaranchal every year. The world famous Kumbh Mela/Ardh Kumbh Mela is held at Haridwar every twelfth/sixth year interval. Other prominent fairs/festivals are Devidhura Mela (Champawat), Purnagiri Mela (Champawat), Nanda Devi Mela (Almora), Gauchar Mela (Chamoli), Baisakhi (Uttarakashi), Maga Mela (Uttarkashi), Uttaraini Mela (Bageshwar), Vishu Mela (Jaunsar Vavar), Peerane-Kaliyar (Roorkee), and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra held every twelfth year.

For shop alcoholics, shopping in Uttaranchal promises to be great fun! From beautiful artifacts to designer clothes shopping in this state offers the travelers unmatched fun. The capital city of Dehradun houses some of the exquisitely designed shopping malls offering woolen clothes, traditional array of handicrafts to excellently decorated souvenirs. For those who share a special penchant for artistic designs can opt for buying intricately carved wooden statues, clay idols and artistically designed home décor items.

The sources of two rivers, Gangotri and Yamunotri are devoted to the female deities - Ganga & Yamuna. They both, along with Badrinath and Kedarnath from the Char Dham of the Uttaranchal Hills, the four most hallowed shrines in the Himalayas.

The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, around which are entwined her memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and defeats. She has been the symbol of India's age-long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever-flowing and yet ever the same Ganga. Ancient India gave countless names to the Ganga. Among them is Loknadi or River of the World. In its most pristine form, Goddess Ganga as she is reverentially known first descended to Earth from Heaven at Gangotri where Lord Shiva received her into his matted locks to counter the immense impact of her fall. From there the mighty Ganga emerged into a number of streams; the one which commenced from Yamunotri was termed Yamuna, from Gangotri - Bhagirathi, from Kedarnath - Mandakini and the one which commenced from badrinath was termed Alaknanda.

Almora | Auli | Badrinath | Dehradun | Gangotri | Haridwar | Hemkund Sahib | Kausani | Kedarnath | Mussoorie | Nainital Pithoragarh | Ranikhet | Yamunotri.

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