Lying in the northern part of India, Uttaranchal is noted for its serenity and marvelous beauty. Also referred to as Devbhumi or the land of Gods, the land is home to various pilgrimage centers including Haridwar, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Shri Badrinath, and Yamunotri. The rare scenic views, the varied cultural traditions and intoxicating climate add to the appeal of Uttaranchal. Formerly referred as Uttarakhand, the place has numerous things to offer you starting from white-water rafting in the Ganges, taking yoga sessions at Rishikesh, trekking in the Himalayas to walking up to the ancient temples, offering puja at the Haridwar Ghat and enjoying at excavating tour to the various national parks.Know more about the state in Uttaranchal Travel Guide.
Best Time to Visit: April to June
By Air: Traveling by air is preferably the most convenient and fastest mode through which you can reach Uttaranchal. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant airport which has its base in Uttaranchal. Regular flights from Delhi operate to Uttaranchal.
By rail: Uttaranchal is well-connected to the major cities of India by rail.The nearest railway stations have their base in Kathgodam, Haridwar and Dehradun.
By Bus: You can also travel to Uttaranchal by road. It is connected by national highways 87, 74, 73 and 58 to the other regions of the country. You can also avail routine bus services from Delhi as well as other cities located in the northern area of the country.
Uttaranchal is home to various tourist centers including wildlife sanctuary, hill stations and pilgrimage centers. The natural paradise has its own unique charm and is noted for its rivers, lush landscapes, mountainous areas, dense forests, and green valleys. If you are planning a travel to Uttaranchal, then some of the places that are worth visiting in are Dehradun, Almora, Chopta, Mussorie and Ranikhet.
Jageshwar Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Jageshwar Temple is one of the twelve well-known Jyotirlings in India. Situated at an altitude of 1870 meters above the sea level, this ancient temple lies at a distance of 128 kilometers from the Kathgodam railway station, 38 kilometers from Almora, 120 kilometers from Haldwani, and 88 kilometers from Pithoragarh.
Baleshwar Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Baleshwar Temple also houses two other temples in the compound. The first temple is dedicated to Bhairav while the second is dedicated to Champa Devi. The Baleshwar temple is built keeping in mind the architectural designs of the South Indian temples and is noted for its stone carvings.
Buddha Stupa: One of the popular stupa of Dehradun, the Buddha Stupa is only a couple of kilometers away the ISBT. It was constructed in the year 1965 and is believed to be a replica of a Tibetan monastery.
Deogarh Fort: Constructed in the sixteenth century, Deogarh Fort is located in Dhanaulti and is believed to be the 52th garh of Uttaranchal. The fort is home to various Jain temples and ornamented palaces.
Himalayan Museum: Located in the NIM campus, the Himalayan museum is a well-known museum of Garhwal. The museum displays various artifacts including mountaineering equipment, photographs of peaks and climbers as well as evidences of different expeditions.
The Zonal Museum: Located in Dehradun, this unique museum was founded in 1971. It deals with the study of different subjects pertaining to the source, growth and nourishment of mankind . The museum remains open every day from 10 am to 5 pm excluding public holidays as well as second Sundays and Saturdays.
Nanda Devi National Park: Located close to the Nanda Devi peak, this national park is noted for its sylvan environment, impressive views, and rich biosphere. The primary vegetation out here is the juniper, rhododendron, birch, and fir. Wildlife population at Nanda Devi national park include Himalayan tahr, bharal, goral, serow, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, leopard, brown bear, Himalayan musk deer, common langur, and brown beer.
Jim Corbett National Park: One of the finest national parks of India, the prime attractions of the Jim Corbett National park is the leopard, Indian elephant and tiger. Basically a large and low valley, you will find a range of hills running through the center of this park, from east to west. The dominant tree of this moist deciduous forest is the sal tree.
Govind National Park: Also referred as Govind Pashu Vihar, this national park was formed for safeguarding the endangered species. Spread across 957.969 sq. kms and situated at an altitude of 1,300 meters to 6,323 meters above the sea level, this national park deserves a mention for its medicinal plants as well as 15 species of animals and 150 species of birds. Some of the major wildlife at Govind National Park includes Himalayan Black bear, Himalayan Snow leopard, Musk deer, Brown bear, Himalayan Tahr, Bharal, Serow and Common leopard. You will also find various birds including Koklas Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, Bulbul, Himalayan Snow Cock, Bearded Vulture, Western Tragopan, Golden Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Black Eagle, Owls, Minivets, Pigeons, Warblers, Thrush, Cuckoo and Finches.
Kumbh Mela: Kumbha Mela is a holy Hindu pilgrimage fair, which is organized at four locations namely Nasik, Ujjain, Haridwar and Prayag. The fair is celebrated four times in 12 years, each time occurring at any of the above mentioned locations.
Uttrayani fair: This fair is arranged in various places like Hanseshwar, Chitrashila, Mahadev, Sult, Rameshwar and Bageshwar. Even political and social workers use this fair as their platform to put forward their views and opinions in front of thousands of people who have gathered for the fair.
Makar Sankranti: According to legendary evidences, this is the very day when changes in season are observed. It is the same day when birds leave the place and return to the hills. On Makar Sankranti, you will find people distributing khichadi, taking ceremonial dips in sacred rivers, participating in the Uttarayani fair and celebrating Kale Kauva or Ghughutia festival.
Bat Savitri: Celebrated on the last date of Jyestha month, you will find married women worshiping Savitri and banyan tree on Bat Savitri and praying for the long life and well-being of their husbands.
Uttaranchal has been formerly known by different names including Manakhand, Kedarkhand, and Himavat. The Kudinas, Kushanas, Samudra, Kanishka, the Pauravas, Gupta, Palas, Katuris, the Chandras and Pawaras as well as the British have ruled Uttaranchal. Formerly, the state was a part of Awadh and Agra, it was declared a separate state on 27th November, 2000.
Hope this Uttaranchal Travel Guide has given you a brief about the place for planning a tour to Uttaranchal.