Uttarakhand, the 27th State of the Indian Union came into existence on 9th November 2000, when it was formally separated from the parent state of Uttar Pradesh. The charming State of Uttarakhand is also referred as ‘Dev Bhoomi’ meaning the land of the Gods, due to presence of large number of sacred shrines and pilgrim centres. Uttarakhand is divided into two regions – Garhwal in the west and Kumaon on the east. Both the regions are blessed with exceptional natural beauty and are studded with stunning snow covered peaks, glaciers, alpine meadows, crystal clear lakes, holy rivers and exotic flora and fauna.
This sacred land is the source to two holiest rivers of Hindu mythology – Ganga and Yamuna. Gangotri Glacier, the source of great river Ganga is one of the most revered spot for the Hindus. The Chardham Yatra covering Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath Temples, is one of the most pilgrim circuit of the Hindus. Every year between May and November, when the snow melts in the mountains, pilgrims and trekkers undertake the adventurous journey to visit the holy shrines and mighty peaks.
The tourist potential of this part of Uttarakhand is not fully exploited as in the case of Garhwal. It has important pilgrim centres like Jageshwar, Bageshwar and Baijnath as well as beautiful hills resorts like Nainital, Almora, Ranikhet and Kausani. The Corbett National Park, one of the best game reserves of the country is located in this region.
Main languages: Hindi, Garhwali, Kumauni, English
When to go: April to July and September to November; November to March for Corbett National Park and Rajaji National Park
Getting There & Away: How to reach Uttarakhand
Road: NH-58 links Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh with Badrinath and Mana Pass in Uttarakhand near Indo-Tibet border. 127 km long NH-108 runs only in the state and connects Dharasu and Gangotri Dham. NH-307 links Dehradun in Uttarakhand with Chhutmalpur in Uttar Pradesh. NH-507 starts from Herbertpur and ends at Barkot. NH-309A connects different towns of Uttarakhand like Rameshwar, Gangolihat, Berinag, Chaukori, Bageshwar, and Almora.
Rail: The major railway stations in Uttarakhand are Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kotdwara and Kathgodam which offers convenient travelling to places in the state. These stations are well connected by regular trains from all parts of India.
Air: There are two domestic airports in the State – Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (Garhwal) and Pantnagar Airport near Nainital (Kumaon). Dehradun Airport has regular flights from all major cities of the country, whereas, the Pantnagar Airport has limited flights.