Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is the gateway to some famous tourist destination such as Nainital and Mussoorie, lies between the sacred rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Dehradun is the capital city of the state Uttarakhand bejeweled like a glittering jewel in the lower Himalayan range.Being the capital of Uttarakhand,it is known for number of elite boarding schools. Dehradun is also referred as the ‘Educational Hub of Uttarakhand’. Tourist seeking for calm and relaxing life, Uttarakhand is one of the ideal place for every traveler. The picturesque beauty of this land is eye-catching. Sightseeing of Uttarakhand gives tourist a majestic charm of the landscape. It is also an important landmark for ONGC, Indian Military Academy, the Wildlife Institute of India, Forest Research Institute Museum, Survey of India and others.

Tradition and Culture of Uttarakhand:

Culture is essence of every region. Uttarakhand is highly rich in culture and heritage. People residing in Uttrakhand are from different religions and different backgrounds with a unique set of culture. This region is greatly influenced by the two Culture Garhwali and Pouri Garhwali and Pouri are the main language here. Beside these they also speak Hindi, English, Punjabi, Nepali, Tibetan and Kumaoni languages. Most of the people follows Hinduism. Other prominent religion which are followed are – Sikhism, Islam and Jainism. People of Uttarakhand are loyal to their own and age-old traditions. Apart from this, agriculture is the main source of economy of Uttarakhand. Under the influence of modernism,they celebrate all traditional fairs and festivals such as Holi, Diwali,Dussera, Janmashtami with great enthusiasm. Tourist can also get the opportunity to taste the opulent cuisine of Uttarakhand.

Fairs and Festivals of Uttarakhand:

  • Basant Panchami: A famous religious festivals of Uttarakhand and celebrates the coming of the spring season. The festive season marks the end of the winters which symbolizes death and decay. It usually falls in the Hindu month of Magh or English months of January/February. During this auspicious occasion the people worship Goddess Saraswati with much veneration. 
  • Bhitauli: This festival of Uttarakhand is feted in the month of Chaitra according to the Hindu calendar. it falls on the very first day of Shravan and is celebrated with much pomp and show all over the state. It is a grand festival of sharing gifts from the brothers to their sisters. The religious rites and rituals during this festival are celebrated with much veneration.
  • Nandadevi: This is one of the most popular festivals of Uttarakhand. People from all the remotest corner of the state as well as the country come to participate in this festival in which the main deity of worship is Goddess Nanda Devi. Worship, traditional dances and the ritual of collecting Brahkamals form a main feature of this grand festival.
  • Olgia/Ghee Sankranti: A major harvest festival celebrated on the first day of the Bhado month according to the Hindu calendar. It is one of the important festival of the agriculturalists and they celebrate this festival with much zeal and enthusiasm. Various agricultural tools are exchanged on this day. People put ghee on their foreheads and also consume chapattis made of ghee and stuffed with `urad` dal. 
  • Makar Sankranti: The song "kale kale, bhol bate aile" marks the festival of Makar Sankranti in Uttarakhand. This special day marks the change of season and is considered to be very auspicious. The locals of Uttarakhand take ceremonial dips in sacred rivers, participate in the Uttarayani fairs and also celebrate the festival of Ghughutia or Kale Kauva. Numerous religious rites and rituals are observed and the festival ends with a hope that the birds would come back in the subsequent year
  • Ganga Dussehra/Dasara: This festival is celebrated on the Shukla Dasami of the Jyestha month according to the Hindu calendar or the months of May/June according to the English calendar. On this special day the sacred River Ganga is worshipped and Dussehra posters adorn the doors of houses and temples. On this auspicious day the people of Uttarakhand also bathe in the holy rivers.
  • Phool Dei: A major festival of Uttarakhand celebrated on the first day of the month of Chaitra in mid March. This special day belongs to the young girls as they are seen conducting most of the ceremonies. The festive celebrations in some regions are observed for the whole month with the advent of the spring. 
  • Hilljatra: This is one of the most popular festivals of Uttarakhand and is celebrated with much fervor in some parts of the Pithoragarh district. It can be regarded as a festival of pastoralists and agriculturalists. This festival came from the Sorar region of West Nepal to the Sor valley and was first introduced in the Kumaour village. Recitation of religious hymns and performance of circle dance also known as `Chanchari` are added attractions.
  • Bat Savitri: A major festival celebrated on the last day of the dark half of the month of Jyestha according to the Hindu calendar. On this special day the married females worship Savitri and Bat or Banyan tree to seek blessings for the welfare and the prosperity of their beloved husbands. The married women also observe a fast for the whole day in remembrance of Savitri and Satyavan and also remember how Savitri with her extreme dedication saved her husband from the scrabble of death.
  • Janopunya: This is one of the most important religious festivals of Uttarakhand and the people of Kumaon celebrate the Raksha Bandhan and the Janopunya on the same day. On this special day the people of the state exchange their local threads. The famous Bagwal fair is organized in the region of Devidhura in the district of Champavat. People from all the remotest corners of the state participate in this festival and fair with much fun and excitement.
  • Khatarua: A major festivals of Tripura celebrated by the pastoral agricultural society with much enjoyment every year in the month of Ashwin which falls in mid-September. Children dance displaying multi-hued flags around bonfire on this special day. The peasants take special care of their animals by feeding them with grass. To ward off the evil influences cucumbers are offered to the fire of Khatarua. The victory of the monarch of Kumaon is believed to be one of the major reasons for hosting the festive celebrations.
  • Chhipla Jaat: This is one of the main festivals of Chhiplakot situated in the heartland of Kali and Gori rivers. This much-awaited festival expresses different aspects of human faith. The religious rites and rituals include barefoot journey, bath, worship, traditional songs and dances, collective food and the possession of the body of Bonia by the folk God are the essential parts of this festival.
  • Kumaon Holi: A major festival of Uttarakhand and its uniqueness lies in the fact of it being a musical affair where the professional singers come together to sing traditional lyrics to the accompaniment of the classical music in the temple premises. This festival is known by two different names, Baithki Holi and the Khari Holi. The former one is celebrated with much vigor in the temple premises while the later one is celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon.
  • Kandali: A unique festival of Uttarakhand celebrated in the months of August and October every twelve years when the Kandali flower blooms. The festive celebration spreads over a week and the Shaukas or the Rangs participate in it with much zeal and enthusiasm.

Must Visiting Places In Uttarakhand:

  • Tapkeshwar Temple, Dehradun:Tapkeshwar Temple is a popular tourist attraction place in Dehradun. It is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva lies on the bank of seasonal river named Asan. This temple is known for the one of the oldest Shivling in the cave. There is a cave named Drona Cave after Guru Dronacharya. Thousands of pilgrims visit this temple to pay homage to Drona Cave. Every devotee can see water drops dripping at Shivling all the time.
  • Sahastradhara, Dehradun: It is one of the major tourist destination located in Dehradun. The name Sahastradhara means ‘Thousand fold spring’, located at a distance of 14km from Dehradun city. This place is known for Sulphur water pools which has medicinal merits and therapeutic value. There is a manmade water amusement park named ‘Joyland Water Park’ which attracts a lot of tourist from all over India. 
  • Chakrata, Dehradun:It is one of the virgin small hill station which is still untouched and unexplored. Chakrata is located at a distance of 87km from Dehradun. There are numerous ancient temples and caves which are the main tourist attraction of Chakrata. It is also an ideal place for adventure lovers, nature lovers and bird watchers. It provides ample opportunities for all travellers. People seeking for a peaceful destination, Chakrata offers you all. 
  • Mussoorie, Uttarakhand: Mussoorie is located at a distance of 35km from Dehradun. Mussoorie is a major tourist visiting places in the state of Uttarakhand. It is a wonderful hill station situated at a height of 2005mts above the sea level.Mussoorie is also known as Queen of the Hills. It attracts thousands of tourists because of its several interesting tourist places that gives you a feeling of the old-world charm. 
  • Kalsi, Uttarakhand: Kalsi is located at a distance of 48km from Dehradun located in between Chakrata and Dehradun that lies on the bank of river Yamuna.It is also known for its heritage importance. Kalsi is gifted with green pristine. It is an amazing place situated at an altitude of 780 m above sea level. It serves as the gateway to Jaunsar-Bawar tribal region which is also a meeting place of river Yamuna and Tons. It is a beautiful picnic spot which offers various recreational activities like canoeing, boating, water skiing, sailing and hovercraft to tourists.
  • Rishikesh, Uttarakhand: Rishikesh is well-known holy places in India situated in the foothills of Himalayason the banks of River Ganga. This holy is also known as ‘World Capital of Yoga’. It is located at a distance of 48km from Dehradun. It is said that many saints come here to attain peace and tranquillity here. It is the hub for Yoga, meditation and spirituality. It is an ideal place for adventure tourism that includes – rafting, camping, kayaking, trekking and so on.
  • Haridwar, Uttarakhand: Haridwar is a major attraction for the pilgrims around the world. It is a holy place for Lakhs of devotees coming from all over India and from abroad. It is around 52km from Dehradun. It is also known as the “Gateway to the Lord”, where Hari means ‘Lord’ and Dwarmeans ‘Gate’. Best place for pilgrimage tour, religious tour, spiritual tours and so on.
  • Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand: Dhanaulti is located at a distance of 25km from Chamba. It is another popular hill station because of its beautiful vistas. Many touristsget attracted by nature of this hill station. Main attraction of this place is the Eco Park. There are two Eco Parks namely – Ambar and Dhara. One can enjoy the serene landscapes of Dhanaulti. Another tourist spot is the Surkanda Devi Temple. 
  • Gangotri Temple, Gangotri: Gangotri Temple is the main tourist attraction in Gangotri in Uttarakhand. It is a prominent Hindu temple located in Uttarkashi of Uttarakhand. It holds major religious significance in the lives of the people. Gangotri is a picturesque pilgrimage tourist destination in Uttarakhand. Gangotri is a holy place where river Ganga descended from heaven. Itis one of the four Char Dham in India.
  • Jim Corbett National Park: Jim Corbett National Park is a popular tourist destination place to visit in the state of Uttarakhand. The original name of this park was ‘Hailey National Park’. It was established in 1936 to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. Later in 1957, it was renamed as Jim Corbett National Park after James Edward Corbett, who was a British- India hunter and killed the most endangered man-eater Bengal tigers.There are over 50 mammal species, 585 bird species and 25 reptiles. It is one of the best destination for ecotourism that sustain the livelihood of the local people. Tourist can experience jeep safari and explore some endangered species in the jungle.
  • Nainital, Uttarakhand: Nainital is one of the most renowned and exquisite hill station in the state of Uttarakhand. This city is surrounded by misty lakes and mountains nestled in the arms of Kumaon Hills. It is located at a distance of 150km from Jim Corbett. There are various natural tourist attractions in and around Nainital making it one of the most popular hill station in India. The city provides rejuvenating experience. Best for honeymoon tourist, nature lovers and also for professional photographers.
  • Baijnath Temple, Kausani: Baijnath is another popular tourist attraction in Kausani. It is located at a distance of 16km from Kausani. Earlier, this temple was known as ‘Kartiykapura’.  It is a venerable shrine of Uttarakhand as is said to have been built by KumaonKatyuri King in 1150 A.D. It is now a remarkable monument visited by many devotees and tourists. 
  • Almora, Uttarakhand: Almora is located at a distance of 47 km from Kausani. It is famous for its magnificent beauty and panoramic view of Himalayas. It attracts large number of tourist from all over India. This magnificent hill station has a fascinating history traced back to ancient time of Mahabharata. The tranquil atmosphere and carpets of green grass and breeze of cool offers you a respite from your busy life. Almora has many temples and is also an important business hub of Kumaon region that attracts a lot of tourist from all over India.
  • Ranikhet, Uttarakhand: Ranikhet is a well-known hill station where tourists are mesmerized by the natural beauty of Ranikhet. Literally means “Queen’s Meadow”. It is an idyllic hill station discovered and built by the British in 1869. It is located at a distance of 76km away from Ranikhet. There are many tourist attractions in Ranikhet that keeps attracting tourists from different parts of India country as well as from abroad. Some of the major attractions of Ranikhet are - Jhula Devi Temple, Nanada Devi Temple, Rani Jheel, Mankameshwar Temple, Upat, Kalika and others. 
  • Kedarnath Temple, Kedarnath: Kedarnath is an important Hindu pilgrimage circuit. The temple was constructed by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century A.D.During the calamities in 2013 thousands of people were killed at Kedarnath. According to some religious priest and scholars, they feel that the temple remains protected as the presiding deity Lord Shiva is securing the temple.It is a perfect pilgrimage tour as well as religious tour.  
  • Badrinath Temple, Badrinath:It is one of the four Char Dham pilgrimage site in India. Being a pilgrimage place, it is a popular tourist destination. It is a must visit place. As per Hindus, it a considered to have great fortune by visiting this temple once in their lifetime.It is said that the temple was once the shrine of Buddhist till the 08th century. Later it was converted to a Hindu temple.
  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttarkashi: It is one of the oldest temple in Uttarkashi. It is situated on the bank of Bhagirathi. Inside this there is another Shakti temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The main attraction is the huge and heavy trishul (trident) which is 6 meters in height which is estimated 1500 years old.

Cuisines of Uttarakhand:

The beautiful state of Uttarakhand has a very simple, yet delicious cuisine. The food is nutritious as well as tasty. The primary food of Uttarakhand includes vegetables, though non-veg food is also served and eaten by many. The primary characteristics of the Uttarakhand cuisine is that milk and milk based products is sparingly used here. Coarse grain with high fibre content is very common in Uttarakhand cuisines. Some of the famous cuisines of Dehradun are Phanu, Kafuli, Thechwani, Chainsoo, Jholi, Chutney, Roat, Baadi , Bhatt ki Churdkani, Gulgula, Mandua ki roti, Thagya roti, Kuladh ki dal, Swala, PalaU, Kandali ka saag, Jhangora ki kheer.

All Destinations in Uttarakhand