About Uttarakhand

General Information About Uttarakhand & Its Tourism

Uttarakhand is the 27th state of the Republic of India.It is often referred to as the Devbhum(literally "Land of the Gods") due to many Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres found throughout the state. It borders Tibet to the north; the Mahakali Zone of the Far-Western Region, Nepal to the east; and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south and Himachal Pradesh to the west and north-west as well as Haryana on its south-western corner. The state is divided into two divisions, Garhwal and Kumaon, with a total of 13 districts. The interim capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun, the largest city of the state, which is a railhead. The High Court of the state is located in Nainital.

Hindi is the sole official language of Uttarakhand and is spoken by 87.95% of the population ( including the Pahari languages; Garhwali, Kumaoni and Jaunsari as variants of Hindi). Sanskrit is given the status of second official language. Many Tibeto-Burman languages are also spoken in this region, including Bhoti, Jad, Rangkas, Darmiya, Byangsi, and Chaudangsi.

More than four-fifths of UttarakhandÔÇÖs residents are Hindus. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and Jains make up the remaining population with the Muslims being the largest minority

Uttarakhand has many tourist spots due to its location in the Himalayas. There are many ancient temples, forest reserves, national parks, hill stations, and mountain peaks that draw large number of tourists. There are 44 nationally protected monuments in the state.Two of the most holy rivers in Hinduism the Ganges and Yamuna, originate in Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand has long been called "Land of the Gods" as the state has some of the holiest Hindu shrines, and for more than a thousand years, pilgrims have been visiting the region in the hopes of salvation and purification from sin. Gangotri and Yamunotri, the sources of the Ganges and Yamuna, dedicated to Ganga and Yamuna respectively, fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath (dedicated to Vishnu) and Kedarnath (dedicated to Shiva) form the Chota Char Dham, one of Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, meaning "Gateway to the God", is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar hosts the Kumbha Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from all parts of India and the world. Rishikesh near Haridwar is known as the preeminent yoga centre of India. The state has an abundance of temples and shrines, many dedicated to local deities or manifestations of Shiva and Durga, references to many of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends.Uttarakhand is, however, a place of pilgrimage not only for Hindus. Piran Kaliyar Sharif near Roorkee is a pilgrimage site to Muslims, Gurdwara Hemkund Sahib, Gurdwara Nanakmatta Sahib and Reetha Sahib are pilgrimage centers for Sikhs. Tibetan Buddhism has also made its presence with the reconstruction of Mindrolling Monastery and its Buddha Stupa, described as the world's highest at Clement Town, Dehradun

Some of the most well-known hill stations in India are in Uttarakhand. Mussoorie, Nainital, Dhanaulti, Lansdowne, Auli,Chopta,Pauri, Sattal, Almora, Kausani, Bhimtal, and Ranikhet are some popular hill stations in Uttarakhand.The state has 12 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries which cover 13.8 percent of the total area of the state. They are located at different altitudes varying from 800 to 5400 metres.

Uttarakhand has always been a destination for mountaineering, hiking, and rock climbing in India. A recent development in adventure tourism in the region has been whitewater rafting in Rishikesh. Due to its proximity to the Himalaya ranges, the place is full of hills and mountains and is suitable for trekking, climbing, skiing, camping, rock climbing, and paragliding. Roopkund,Chandrashilla,Kauri Pass,Auli,Chopta, Deoriatal,Tungnath,Nanda Devi,Hemkund Sahib,Valley of Flowers,Rudranath are the most popular trekking site in Uttarakhand.