Home | About us | Contact us | Reservation | Email   
Budget Tourism in India  
Indian States
Delhi Travel
Maharashtra Travel
Rajasthan Travel
Jammu & Kashmir Travel
Uttaranchal Travel
Himachal Pradesh Travel
Madhya Pradesh Travel
Orissa Travel
Uttar Pradesh Travel
Kerala Travel
Karnataka Travel
Tamilnadu Travel
Goa Travel

Indian Hotels
Delhi Hotels
Mumbai Hotels
Chennai Hotels
Bangalore Hotels
Kolkata Hotels
Goa Hotels
Cochin Hotels
Jaipur Hotels
Udaipur Hotels
more hotels...


Indian States

Indian States 

Uttrakhand - The most popular cities of Uttarakhand are Almora, Musoorie, Nanital, Ranikhet, Kausani, Binsar and Pithoragarh. Almora with its Koshi and Suyal rivers is nature at her best, and Mussoorie lies located 2,500 meters above sea level in the green Himalayan range, overlooking the Uttarakhand capital of Dehra-Doon that lies shimmering in the valley below. Ranikhet is a small town surrounded by mountains on three sides and once called the ‘City of 60 Lakes’. While most of these have disappeared over the years, the main attraction today is the Naini Lake around which the city is spread. Pithoragarh is the easternmost hill district of the state and is often described as a ‘Miniature Kashmir’ because of its pristine beauty and snowy splendor.

Loved for their relatively virgin beauty, their unadulterated natural freshness and their brilliant scenic landscape these sites are equally preferred by the adventurous and the religious. In a world of rushing around all day, Uttarakhand is therefore the ideal get-away to rejuvenate oneself in body, soul and mind, and to savour the beauty of the world we live in through moments spent in a land of depth and value.

 

Main Cities / Towns


Dehradun , the Capital city of Uttrakhand

 

Dehradun - is the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand. It is a well known tourist destination for a long time. Besides being a travel destination, the city is also known for public schools, IMA and other national institutes. The entire district is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas in the North, aging Shivalik Hills in the South, the River Ganga in the East and River Yamuna in the West.

The soil of the region is very fertile and most plants and trees grow quickly and bear bountiful fruits. Dehradun has a Sub-Tropical type of weather with chilly winters, humid and crisp springs, scorching summers and a strong monsoon. Dehradun has premium educational and research institutes such as Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and Indian Institute of Petroleum. Excellent schools like the Doon School, Welham School for Girls & Boys, Army School and Rashtriya Indian Military College are also present there.

Tourist attraction in Dehradun

 

Rajaji National Park -  is distinct for its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio- diversity. Rajaji National Park in the state of Uttranchal is situated along the hills and foothills of Shivalik ranges in the Himalayan foothills and exhibits the Shivalik ecosystem. Rajaji is one of northern India’s major wildlife reserves - and one of the best places to see the fauna and flora of the terai region. The park named after the great freedom fighter Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari; popularly known as "Rajaji" was created after joining the three sanctuaries in the Western UP, Shivaliks - Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla into a large protected area in the year 1983.Elephant Rides are conducted in morning and eveningIn Rajaji you will see as many as 23 species of mammals and 315 birds species.

 

Chakrata - Chakrata is a small town near Dehradun which served as an infantry base during the British rule. It is especially known for tranquil, beautiful and pollution free surroundings. The hill station is positioned between the Rivers Tons and Yamuna at an altitude of 5,500-6,500 ft.

Forest Research Institute - On the Kaulagarh Road, northwest of the city center is the Forest Research Institute. Established by the British in 1906, the institute is dedicated to the preservation of India's varied and much-threatened flora and fauna. Located in extensive grounds covered with myriad species of India's forest wealth, it is the biggest forest based product-training institute and the training school for all forest officers in India.

 

Tapkeshwar Temple - Situated in the Garhi Cantonment area, 5.5 km from the city center is the Tapkeshwar Mahadev temple. It is a cave temple, on the banks of a seasonal river, dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the only significant temple in Dehradun. Beside he river are steps that lead to a cave in which water drips from the ceiling on a shivling. It is after the dripping that the temple has derived its name 'Tapkeshwar'. Legends connect this temple to the time of the Mahabharat when, it is believed, Lord Shiva made milk flow from this cave for Ashwathama, the son of Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of both the Kauravas and Pandavas.


Tapovan -
Tapovan is a sacred site about five km from the city center on the Dehradun-Rajpur Road. The place is located in the picturesque Doon valley and according to popular belief, Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of warfare to the Kauravas and Pandavas, underwent his penance here.
 
Malsi Deer Park -  At the foothills of the Shivalik range, about 10 km from Dehradun on the road leading to Mussorie, a new tourist spot named the Malsi Deer park has been developed. The park with its deer, neelgai, and a variety of birds makes it an ideal excursion site. It also serves as a picnic spot where the tourists en route to Mussorie can take a break. A mini-zoo with a children's park and lovely natural surroundings do their bit to attract tourists of all age groups.

Tapkeshwar Temple - Dehradun is full of legends but so is the state of Uttarakhand it is situated in. The entire region was once supposed to be submerged under a lake but environmental changes made it a terrestrial heaven. There is a lot to see in the Doon Valley (as it is locally called), especially temples and the rivulet forests.

Indian Military Academy - Located in Dehradun, the Indian Military Academy is an institution that trains men who officer the Indian Army. The Indian Military Academy became functional from 1st October 1932 with batch of 40 Gentlemen Cadets. Brigadier L.P. Collins was its first commandant.

Robbers Cave -
Also known as Guchu Pani, and situated at a distance of eight km from the city center, Robbers cave is a beautiful picnic spot. On display here is one of natures strange phenomena; a stream of water goes underground here and reappears a few meters away. The cave is surrounded by hills and is a beautiful getaway for those looking for peace and quiet of the hills. Buses are available up to the nearby Anarwala village, from where the caves are only a kilometer away
 

Sahastradhara - Around 14 km from Dehradun is the cold Sulphur water spring called Sahastradhara. The spring is believed to have exceptional medicinal value and the dripping caves and a bath in the Baldi River near the spring are said to rejuvenate the body and soul. Many people come to the spring in the hope of being cured from polio and other such ailments.

 

ALMORA
 

Almora is one of the most beautiful places in Kumaon region. The glamour and glitter, which is seen in Ranikhet and Nainital, is totally absent in Almora. In this point of view Almora is very virgin hill-station and is full of scenic beauty. It appears that Mother Nature has spread and blessed this place with her pure love. Nestled in the lap of nature this region has small houses built on the slopes and splendor of this place is added colorful attire of the natives. Just besides city flow the Koshi (Kaushaki) and Suyal (Salmali) rivers. In the 9th century Almora was ruled by Katyur dynasty. By 16th century rulers from Chandravansh ruled this place. King Balo Kalyan Chand established this town in 1563. This place was then Capital City of Kumaon region. The forts, monuments and palaces built by the rulers of Chandravansh and Katyur dynasty are even today evidence of the splendor this place had in the past. In 1790 Almora passed in the hands of Nepal Gorkhas. The British’s gained control of this place from Gorkhas in 1815. Almora is situated on a hillock, which is in Horseshoe shape and is surrounded by dense forests of fur and pine trees. In the backdrop are the lovely snow-capped peaks of Himalayas.


Tourist attraction in Almora


Public Museum - Near Almora bus stand is the Govind Vallabh Pant Public Museum. This museum provides a deep insight of the development of art, culture, life style of this region. It has very rich collection items relating to Archaeological, Historic and cultural significance. This museum has unique collection of 'Apen', a folk style of painting. One can have a good view of the various aspect of this style painting. This museum is open from 10:30 in the morning to 4; 30 in the evening.

Nanda Devi Temple - This ancient temple is one of the main attractions of Almora town. This temple is hundreds of years old and carries deep faith of many people from this area. The images and statues on walls of this temple are intricately and delicately carved. They are very attractive and almost true to life depiction has been done. Every year a fair, Nanda Devi fair, is organized here. People from all over the place come and participate in this fair. Groups of young men & women dance on the pulsating music of the mountains.

Chetai Temple - The local people have much faith on this temple. The Chetai temple is located eight kms from Almora. This temple is surrounded by dense fur and pine tree forest. If you are a nature lover then you will certainly enjoy this place.

Bright & Corner - Two kms from Almora is situated Bright and Corner. This place became famous for excellent sight of sunset and sunrise. From Bright and Corner a different kind of view is obtained of dawn and dusk. The unusual calm and peacefulness during this time is rarely felt on any other hill station offering a similar view. Serene and calm circuit house very close to this point is an added attraction. Nearby is the Vivekanand library in Ramkrishna Kutir. In this library one can find many books relating to philosophy and spiritual thinking. There is also a place dedicated to Swami Vivekanand. It was at this place Vivekanand spend few days while his stay in Himalayas.
Deer Park: Deer Park is located some three kms from Almora. An evening stroll in Deer Park has its own pleasure.

Simtola- This is a picnic spot about three kms from Almora town. The whole place is covered with pine and fur trees. The calmness and peaceful environment has fun of its own kind.

 

Klamath - From Klamath one gets a good view of Almora town and the adjoining area. The sight of the nearby hills is amazing. This place is 4.5 kms from Almora. Close to Kalimath is Kasar Devi. There is temple dedicated to Kasar Devi. This temple dates back to second century. One can go on foot from Kalimath to Kasardevi, which is hardly one kms.

Martola - This lovely place with gardens and forests is located 10 kms from Almora. Martola is so scenic and picturesque that many foreigners decided to settle here. This place is a good picnic spot.

 

Koshi - Natural beauty of this place surpasses any other place. Koshi is 12 kms from Almora. The Govind Vallabh Pant Environment Research Institute is located here. There is guesthouse, which provides good and comfortable stay at Koshi.

EXCURSIONS

 

Jageshwar - Jageshwar is located 34 kms from Almora. There is an ancient Shiva temple at Jageshwar. Huge fur trees surround this temple. In fact, this temple is in the series of ancient temples, which were built in Kumaon region many centuries ago. The Jageshwar Shiva temple carries archaeological importance too. The architecture of this temple is worth giving a close examination.

Gannath - Gannath is known for natural caves and ancient Shiva temples. This place is 47 kms from Almora. It is good place for nature lovers and ideal for spending your day with surpassing beauty. Every year on Kartik Purnima day a fair is organized here.

Binsar - This place has received its name from Lord Binsar Deo or Shiva. Binsar is 30 kms from Almora. The Chandravansi King Kalyan built the Shiva temple. This temple is built at a height of 2,412 meters. The peace and calm of Binsar provides peace of mind and soul.

Bageshwar - Bageshwar is the commercial town of Kumaon region. This town is some 90 kms from Almora. It is located along the River Saryu. There is temple dedicated to Lord Bagnath from which this place derives its name. This temple was built in 1450. A little away from Bageshwar is the Pindari Glacier. At Bageshwar one has good accommodation facilities.

Baijnath - Baijnath is a place of much historical importance. This is 71 kms from Almora and 21 kms from Bageshwar. There are many ancient temples at Baijnath. These temples have historical and archaeological importance. These temples have Shiva, Ganesha, and Parvati as the presiding deities. Most of the temples are located along the Gomti River. Rulers of Katyur dynasty built these temples in 12th and 13th century.


CHAMPAWAT

 

Champawat was the capital of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon. The tradition of the present appellation of Kumaon is also associated with Champawat. It is believed that Lord Vishnu take the tortoise incarnation (Kurm Avatar) and penanced for several hundred years on a mountain in Champawat. The place where he penanced became famous as Kurmachal and Kumaon is its natural temple evolution. The mount on which the temple of Ghatku, the illustrious Ghatotkach of the Mahabharata is sited is supposed to be the Kumarchal of Skanda Purana. This term was first applied to eastern part of present Kumaon and later extended to the entire region.

 

Tourist attraction in Champawat

 

Mayawati Ashram - Mayawati Ashram is situated about 22 km from Champawat and 9 km from Lohaghat. Mayawati Ashram is the cherished dream of Swami Vivekanand. The monastery has got extensive land, and at one time it even had a small tea plantation. At Mayawati, one can clearly visualize how nature supplies to a Man’s soul spiritual sustenance. The most elevating sight in Mayawati is the magnificent snow range of Himalayas and its silvery dazzle on a moonlit night reminds of Lord Shiva sitting in a meditation posture.

Abbot Mount - Abbot Mount is situated about 25 km from Champawat and 11 km from Lohaghat. Abbot Mount is situated amidst thick forests of oak and deodar. This place was developed by Mr. Abbot in 1914, and known for its scenic grandeur and a breathtaking view of the Himalayan peaks.

 

Shyamla Tal - Shyamla Tal is situated about 30 km from Tanakpur along the route to Champawat and then 4 km on foot from Sukhidhang or on jeep. This place has some ruins dating back to the days of early Chand rulers and others which are associated with the Pandavas. Shyamla Tal is famous for its beautiful lake which is spread over an area of 1.5 km. In 1915, the Vivekanand Ashram was also established here.

Lohaghat - Lohaghat is situated about 14 km from Champawat on the banks of the Lohawati river. It is a center of historical and mythological importance. The town is situated amidst tall deodar trees and has a Degree College, two inter colleges and a Polytechnic college.

Vanasur's Fort - Vanasur’s Fort is situated about 7 km from Lohaghat and 20 km from Champawat. To reach Vanasur's Fort, you have to travel to Karnakaryat from Lohaghat for 6 km by road and from there you have to negotiate a distance of 1 km by bridle path to reach Vanasur's Fort.

 

Manch and Tamli - Manch is situated amidst thick forests towards the river Kali at distance of 40 km from Champawat. These forests are manifestations of the deep rooted local tradition of forest preservation. The dhune (sacred fire which burns continuously) of Guru Gorakhnath is situated here and the entire hill has been dedicated to him. The Tamli village is situated downhill near the river Kali. Tamli is the last village of India. 

Purnagiri - Purnagiri is situated about 20 km from Tanakpur and 92 km from Champawat. It is a famous shrine of great sanctity. Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country visit this holy place every year. It is said that Lord Shiva while carrying the dead body of Sati dropped her naval here. Nothing can surpass the beauty and variety of the scenery around Purnagiri. After the festival of Holi, a fair is also held here for 40 days.

Meetha Reetha Sahib - Meetha Reetha Sahib is situated about 72 km from Champawat. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev visited this place and had spiritual discussions with the jogis of Gorakhnath sect. The Gurudwara was built in 1960 at the confluence of Ladhiya and Ratia rivers near village Deyuri. 
 

JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK Corbett National Park is the first National Park of India that was formerly known as Hailey National Park. The park, spread in a vast expanse of 520.82 sq km is the pride of India when it comes to wildlife sanctuaries. Initial efforts were done by Major Ramsay in 1900 and in 1936 an area of 256 sq. km was marked for the park by the then Governor General of United province Sir Malcolm Hailey. All these efforts had come up as a result of few conservationists who wanted to protect the park from being cut down and animals being hunted down on regular basis. The Park was finally named Jim Corbett National Park in 1957 after Jim Corbett. He was a known man in the area, a hunter turned conservationists. He knew the place inside out and played an important role in making the park a success story. He had also hunted down several man eating tigers in the area in 1950's. The park was named after him after he died.

In 1970's when extinction of tigers in the country became a serious issue, Project Tiger was inaugurated from Corbett National Park with the aid from World Wildlife Fund. In 1991 the area of park was increased and Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary was also included in it.

The park today is a major success as a result of continuous efforts by conservationists. It is one of the best preserved forest and tiger reserves in the country.
 

Tourist attraction of Corbett National Park

Flora - Adding to the beauty of Corbett National Park is its green belt i.e. the flora here. Sal trees are here in large numbers, especially in the lower regions. The higher regions have Chir, Anauri and Bakli trees. Bamboo varieties are also found at large (though they are a cause of irritant to the jungle authorities as they spread like weeds). Falling leaves of Sal trees make a beautiful sight during summers but are cause of concern as they can cause fire. A major part of the Corbett also comprises of the grasslands, the varieties popularly known as 'Dhikhala' and 'Khinanauli'. Not very tall, these grasses are good places to catch up with herds of elephants.

Animals - There are some fifty species of mammals in the park. Of all the species here, tigers are the obvious ones which attract tourists. Apart from tigers, there are Indian elephants which one would spot easily. Other animals which you can spot here, some on your own and some with little guidance are Leopards, Jungle Cats, Fishing Cats (a rare species), Caracal Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Langur, Rhesus Monkey, Cheetah, Sambar, Pada (Hog Deer), Muntjac Bear (Barking Deer) and Ghoral (Mountain Goat). If you take a guided tour then you might even get to see Martens, Civets, Mongoose, Otters, Porcupines, Jackals, Pangolins and Macaques.

Reptiles - There are quite a number of reptiles also in Corbett National Park. Some of the common reptiles you will spot here are Gharials (fish eating crocodiles), Muggers (another species of crocodiles), Monitor Lizards, Turtles, Cobras, Pythons, Sal forest Tortoise, Russell's viper and kraits.

Birds - Surprisingly Corbett along with some ferocious beasts is also home to many species of birds. Especially the area around the Ramganga reservoir is a natural habitat of birds. According to a survey by zoological survey of India there are some 600 species of birds available in Corbett National Park. A lot of migrant birds can also be seen here.

Some of the species are Herons, Darters, Cormorants, Lapwings, Paradise Flycatchers, Munias, Weaver birds, Eagles, Black throated Payas, Mynas, Kingfishers, migrant Gulls, Kalij Pheasants, Grebes, Grey Lags, Snipes, Harriers, Ospreys, Minivets, Babblers, Hornbills, falcons and Stone Curlews.

Tiger Spotting - Most of the visitors, if not all, come with the purpose of seeing tigers in Corbett National Park. The best time to see them is April to mid June. The park authorities claim that the park has 140 tigers. However, there is no guarantee that you will spot one or not. In case you have come specially to spot a tiger then take jeep since it will help you cover more area in less time. The guides here are very well versed with the howls and cries, sounds and trails which will take you to tigers.

Elephant Rides - Enjoy the fun of sitting on the largest living mammal on land and feel the bumping ride as you go up and down on the rough terrain. There are less chances of spotting tigers this way but the fun is worth giving a try. And when you spot some animals, you actually have more time to see them then in jeep since elephants are slower, but take photographs on your own risk!

Fishing - Fishing is permitted in Corbett in Ramganga, Kosi, Mandal and Kothari rivers. But you need to take permission before you go fishing. Rods are available on hire. Resorts also arrange fishing and angling trips here. So you can catch fish, and have your own lunch here.

Treks - Walking in the park is not allowed but you can go trekking in the forest reserves around the park. Take comfortable trekking shoes and try to blend with the surroundings by wearing natural earth colours. It gets freezing in winters so be equipped for that. Don't disturb the natural habitat and make minimum noise. And most important of all do not forget your binoculars, in case you don't carry one, you will repent later.

Kids Corner In Corbett - There are special 'Earth camps' in Corbett to keep the kids hooked. Started in 2004, the camp aims to bring children closer to particular 'Biomes' to give them first hand experience of nature. The 'Biomes' are specially tailored to match with the requirements of biology curriculams of school going children.


Other attractions in Corbett

Ramnagar - Situated in the rich farm belt of Terai, on the southeastern fringes of the great forests, the busy market town of Ramnagar is the main administrative centre for Corbett National Park and  Project Tiger. Ramnagar makes a fishing base camp. At Lohachaur, 15-kms north along the River Kosi, good anglers are in with a chance of landing the legendary Mahseer, a redoubtable battling River Carp. Permits to have a go must be sought from the Project Tiger office in Ramnagar; most resorts also arrange all inclusive fishing trips.

Wildlife Viewing - Chital, Sambar, and various other Deer species find refuge in the Savannah grasslands known as the Maidan, behind the campsite to the south, and Tigers are occasionally drawn in looking for prey. Two hour elephant rides, explore this sea of grass, rarely penetrating far into the deep jungles beyond; try to convince your Mahout or Elephant driver to venture in, as they can be quite magical. Come at dusk or dawn; in the heat of the day you probably won’t come across much more than deer among the tall grass. Tiger-sightings are few and far between, but you may be rewarded with fresh pug marks.

Jeep Safari - A wonderful way to explore this vast park is through jeep safari. It is not possible to cover the entire length of the park on foot on a three to four day trip. If you are here specially for tigers then it is always advisable to take a jeep safari as you will be able to cover more area in less time. Besides the drivers are also experienced and instantly recognise the sounds and know the tracks of tigers. So it is always better to take a jeep safari.

Dhikala - at the heart of the core area is picturesquely located at the edge of a grassy plateau perched high above the Ramganga reservoir and set into a bend in the river.

This is a favourite viewing area. The Chaur and surrounding forest support the highest density of tigers in the country-about one every 5 Sq. km. Splendid herds of chital, hog deer and elephants are also to be seen here. There are viewing tower as well as elephant rides for visitors, every morning and evening. This is perhaps the best way to see wildlife for it is possible to go deep into the Park on elephants, to get close to the animals in an unobtrusive manner and to get a clear view of them.

CHAR DHAM


Sri Badarinath
 
Badarinath Dham is considered as one of the most sacred centres of pilgrimage situated in the lofty Himalayan heights in the Garhwal hill tracks (Uttarakhand). Situated at the height of 3133 m (10248 feet) above sea level. The route to Badarinath is one of the most fascinating one due to the lofty hilly terrain, curves and cliffs amidst the most scenically beautiful place on the earth.

Throughout the route to Badarinath there are numerous pilgrimage sites at Deo Prayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag; as well as Pandukeswar where king Pandu observed Tapasya with his queen Madri and where his sons Pandavas, stayed during their pilgrimage to heaven, and the site where Bhima and Hanuman (sons of Vayu) met.

At Badarinath Lord MahaVishnu is believed to have done his penance. Seeing the Lord doing his penance in the open, Goddess Mahalaxmi is believed to have assumed the form of Badari tree to provide him shelter to face the onslaught of the adverse weather conditions, therefore the name Badari Narayan. It is believed that Lord Vishnu revealed to Narad rishi that Nar & Naryans forms were his own. It is also believed that Narad rishi, who also did his penance here, is even now worshipping the supreme God with Ashtakshara mantras.

Tourist attraction in  Badrinath
 
Badrinath Temple - On the right bank of Alaknanda lies the sacred spot perched at an altitude of 3,133 metres above the sea level. Encircled by a beautiful valley, the 15mtrs. High temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of gilt bull and spire. Built by Adi Guru Shankaracharya - the philosopher-saint of the 8th century, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches. Its colourful 'Singh Dwara' or the main entrance gate gives it a new, modern look.

The temple divided into three parts - the 'garbha griba' or sanctum sanctorum, the 'darshan mandap' where the rituals are conducted and the 'sabha mandap'where devotees assemble.The complex has 15 idols. Especially attractive is the one metre high image of Badrinath, finely sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in meditative pose.

Tapt Kund - Devotees take a holy dip in the natural thermal springs on the banks of the river Alaknanda, before entering the Badrinath Temple. The water of the kund is believed to have medicinal properties.

Brahma Kapal - A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda where Hindus perform propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors.

Neelkanth - A Pyramidical-shaped snowy peak towering above Badrinath, popularly known as the 'Garhwal Queen'.

Mana Village (4 kms.) - Inhabited by Indo-Mangolian tribe, it is considered to be the last Indian village before Tibet on this route. Nearby are Vyas Gufa- the rock cave of saint Ved Vyas, the writer of Mahabharata; Bhim Pul- a natural bridge over the Saraswati river and Vasundhara Falls- a 122 mts. high waterfall- all forming and important part of the pilgrimage to Badrinath.

Mata Murti Temple (3 kms.) - On the right bank of Alaknanda stands the temple dedicated to the mother of Sri Badrinathji.

Alka Puri (15 kms.) - The source of Alaknanda river from the glacier snouts of Bhagirath- Kharak and Satopanth glaciers.

Panch Prayag - The five important confluences- Deoprayag, Nandprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag andVishuprayag, form the Panch Prayag.

Deoprayag - The confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers. Ancient stone scriptures are found here. Important pilgrim spots are Shiv Temple and Raghunath Temple.

Rudraprayag :- The confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. The temples of Rudranath and Chamunda Devi are noteworthy.

Nandprayag - The confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. The Gopalji Temple is worth a visit.

Karnaprayag - The confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar rivers with temples of Uma and Karna.

Vishnuprayag - The confluence of Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers. An ancient temple of Lord Vishnu stands here by a pool called Vishnu Kund.

 

KADARNATH
 

Lord Shiva manifested in the form of Jyotirlingam or the cosmic light. Kedarnath is highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. This ancient and magnificient temple is located in the Rudra Himalaya range. This temple, over a thousand years old is built of massive stone slabs over a large rectangular platform. Ascending through the large gray steps leading to the holy sanctums we find inscriptions in Pali on the steps. The present temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya.The inner walls of the temple sanctum are adorned with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology. The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic - Mahabharata. According to legends, the Pandavas sought the blessings of lord Shiva to atone their sin after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed, he dived into ground leaving behind his hump on the surface. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form. The temple, believed to be very ancient, has been continually renovated over the centuries. It is situated at an altitude of 3,581 mt. It is a 14 km trek from Gaurikund.

At the approach of winters in the month of November, the holy statue of Lord Shiva, is carried down from Kedarnath to Ukhimath, and is reinstated at Kedarnath, in the first week of May. It is at this time, that the doors of the temple are thrown open to pilgrims, who flock from all parts of India, for a holy pilgrimage. The shrine closes on the first day of Kartik (Oct-Nov) and reopens in Vaishakh (Apr-May) every year. During its closure the shrine is submerged in snow and worship is performed at Ukhimath.

 

Tourist attraction in Kadarnath
 

Kedarnath Temple - The present temple, built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Guru Shankaracharya lies adjacent to the site of an ancient temple built by Pandavas. The walls of the exquisitely architectured temple are embellished with figures of deities and scenes from mythology. The temple has a conical lingam - the main idol, a statue of Nandi - the celestial bull, a 'garbha grab' for worship and a 'mandap' for assemblies of piligrims and visitors. The temple is believed to be more than 1000 years old.

Shankaracharya Samadhi - Behind the Kedarnath Temple lies the samadhi or the final resting place of Adi Guru Shankaracharya. It is believed, after establishing the four dhams in India, he went for his samadhi at an early age of 32 years.

Excursions
Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar) (2 kms.)
A small lake from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas, is believed to have departed to heaven. The floating ice on the sparkling waters of the lake is a fascinating sight.

Vasuki Tal (6 kms.) - A picturesque lake, 4,135 mts. above sea level is encircled by lofty mountains and offers a commanding view of the Chaukhamba peaks.

Gaurikund (14 kms.) - The trekking base to Kedarnath. A temple dedicated to Gauri and thermal springs of medicinal value are noteworthy.

Sonprayag (20 kms.) - The confluence of Son Ganga and Mandakini rivers. The road to Triyuginarayan diverts from here.

 

GANGOTRI

One of the holiest glaciers of Uttaranchal, the Gangotri Glacier has a special significance in the history of India as well as the history of Hinduism. Famous for being the source of the River Ganges, one of the most sacred rivers of India, a tour to the Gangotri Glacier is considered to be one of the important pilgrimages that a devout Hindu should undertake. A trekker’s paradise, the Gangotri Glacier is one of the most important tourist attractions of Uttaranchal and a definite must visit while on a tour to Uttaranchal.

Located in the Garhwal Himalayas, in the district of Uttarkashi, the Gangotri Glacier is not a single valley glacier but a combination of a number of glaciers, which are fed into the main glacier and end up forming a huge chunk of ice. These glaciers include Hrigupanth (6772m), Kirti stambh (6285), Sumeru Parvat (6380) respectively and Ratavana Bamak, Chaturangi Bamak and Swachand Bamak. Easily approachable, the Gangotri Glacier is known for its smooth surface, which allows a smooth flow except in certain places where ice walls and crevices have developed over the ages.

The route which leads to the Gangotri Glacier is picturesque and culminates to reach the famous Gangotri Temple, one of the most respected temples in Uttaranchal.

 

Tourist attractioin in Gangotri

 

Nandanvan Tapovan - A tough trek alongside the Gangotri glacier takes one to the beautiful Nandanvan. It is also the base camp for the Bhagirathi peaks, and offers an excellent view of the surrounding Shivalik Peak. It also leads to Tapovan which is known for the beautiful meadows that surrounds the base of the Shivalik Peaks.

Uttarkashi - Uttarkashi is a very important pilgrimage centre, and is located at an altitude of 1,150 metres above sea level. It is situated on the bank of river Bhagirathi. A few of the very important temples located here are, the Vishwanath temple, Ekadash Rudra temple, Gyaneshwar temple and Kuteti Devi temple. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is also located close-by. Every year people visit Uttarkashi to take a holy dip in the Bhagirathi River.

Kedar Tal - Kedar Tal is a beautiful lake that is located at 4,425 metres above sea level. The magnificient Thalaiyasagar peak is the backdrop of the lake. It is accessible through a mountain trek, and it also acts as the base for trekking into the surrounding areas. However, do remember that the trek to Kedar Tal needs a local guide.

Gaumukh - Gaumukh is the source of the Bhagirathi River. Pilgrims trek up on foot all the way to take a holy dip in the ice cold water. Ponnies are also available for the trekking as well.

Dayara Bugyal - Located at a height of 3,048 metres above sea level, Dayara Bugyal is a beautiful meadow. A road connects Bhatwari with Raithal village. From this village, Dayara Bugyal is about a 6 km. long trek. The Sheshnag temple, located here is also a major attraction. It falls enroute to Dayara. From Dayara, one can trek down towards Dodi Tal as well. Ski slopes are provided at an area of 28 sq.kms. during the winters at Dayara Bugyal.

Nachiketa Tal - A beautiful trek through some of the lush green forests leads one to the Nachiketa Tal. The main attractions of the place are the beautiful surroundings and the small temple lake.

Tehri - The former capital of Tehri Garhwal Principality is also a major attraction for the tourists. Tehri is also the site of a giant hydel project - the Tehri Project.

Narendranagar - The present capital of the Tehri state, Narendranagar offers some of the most pleasant view of the Ganga valley of Rishikesh and even the plains of Haridwar.

 

Harsil - Situated 25 km from Gangotri, Harsil is a beautiful hill stations in the Garhwal Himalayas. An off-the-beaten-track destination, it still is unexplored by the tourists. Situated at an altitude of 2,620 mts above sea level, the main attraction here is the Wilson Cottage built in 1864. Sat Tal (Seven Lakes) near the village of Dharali is at a trek of 7 kms from Harsil.

Gangnani - Situated 1,855 metres above sea level, Gangnani is famous for its hot water springs called Gaurikund. Located en route to Uttarkashi, 53 km from Gangotri, Gangnani also has a 15th-century temple.

 

YAMUNOTRI

 

The first stopover for the Char Dham Yatra is the westernmost shrine of Yamunotri in the Garhwal Himalayas, which is Dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The shrine is perched atop a flank of the Bandar Poonchh peak (3235 mts. above sea level) and is situated opposite to Gangotri. It constitutes one of the four most important pilgrimages, collectively called 'Char Dham' of the Garhwal Himalayas or Uttarakhand. Yamunotri is the source of the revered river Yamuna which originates from the Champasar Glacier lying 1 km ahead of the shrine, at an altitude of 4421 mts. Pilgrims do not frequently visit the source of the river as it is not easily accessible. Yamunotri can also be visited via Mussoorie and Barkot.

Yamunotri finds a special mention in the Hindu mythology. The legend says, this lonesome hilly spot was the home of an ancient sage, Asit Muni. Among the prime attractions of Yamunotri are hot water springs nearby, which is believed to have medicinal properties. Devotees prepare rice and potatoes to offer at the shrine, by dipping them in these hot water springs, tied in muslin cloth. The trek to Yamunotri is spectacular, surrounded by a panorama of rugged peaks and thick forests.

 

Tourist attraction in Yamunotri

 

Yamunotri Temple - Built in the 19th century by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur it is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and is perched atop the Bandar Poonchh peak. Many interesting legends are related to this place. One of these says that anyone bathing in this river is spared a painful death. The temple contains a silver idol of Yamuna, decked with garlands along with an image of her brother, Yama.

Surya Kund
- It is a striking and important thermal spring some kilometers from Yamunotri devoted to the Sun God, the father of Yamuna. Temperature here is higher than the surroundings. The water is so hot that it is used to cook the Prasad. The Surya Kund is also famous for its curative properties.

Divya Shila
- The Yamunotri temple is surrounded by thermal springs and the Divya Shila, which literally means heavenly rock. It is a custom to worship this rock before entering the Yamunotri temple.

 

Temple of Goddess Yamuna - The temple was built by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the 19th century. It was destroyed twice in the present century and rebuilt again. The temple remains closed from November to May.

Lakhamandal - Pass Kempty falls 75 kms. On the Mussoorie - Yammnotri road lies Lakhamandal. Legend has is that the Kaurvas made a shelter house and conspired to bum the Pandavas alive here.

Surya Kund - One of the important thermal springs known for its very high temperature of 190 f. Pilgrims cook rice and potatoes here to offer to deity in the temple.

Divya Shila - A huge rock pillar venerated before entering the Yamunotri Temple.

Jankichatti - The theral springs here offer a spectacular sight and a refreshing bath for the pilgrims.

Hanumanchatti - The confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna river forms the starting point for the scenic Dodi Tal trek. (Rishikesh - Barkot - Hanumanchatti - Yamunotri - hanumanchatti - Darvatop - Dodital - Agora - Uttarkashi - Rishikesh). Porters. Ponies and Palanquines are available for the journey to Yamunotri. Their rates are fixed by District Magistrate before the start of every Yatra season.

Sayanachatti - A scenic spot along the bank of river yamuna that makes a lovely sight enrouted the trek up to Yamunotri.

DHANAULTI

Dhanaulti , amidst thick forests of oak, deodar, pine and rhododendron, is a perfect destination to retreat from the maddening crowds of big cities. Nestled in Garhwal Himalayas, Dhanaulti is a treat to the soul that seeks serenity and tranquility. Situated at an elevation of 2, 286 meters above the sea level, Dhanaulti lies almost midway on Mussourie-Chamba route. It is well connected by road from major cities like Delhi (325km) and Dehradun (60km). Nearest railhead is at Dehradun while Jolly Grant (82km) is the nearest airport.


There is a lot that one can do in the pristine locale of Dhanaulti . Dhanaulti is blessed with abundant natural wealth. It offers breathtaking views of snow clad higher Himalayas.
Dhanaulti is not like any other commercialized hill station of India. It is away from noise and crowd of usual hill destinations. There are a number of beautiful fruit orchards in and around Dhanaulti that one can visit either trekking or on horse back. Dhanaulti though, hasn’t got any high end hotels and restaurants; one can be rest assured of a comfortable stay at some of the rest houses like GMVN’s Tourist Bungalow and the Forest Rest House of Uttarakhand Forest Department.

Winters in Dhanaulti are severe when the entire place is clothed in sheets of snow. Heavy woolens are recommended for those visiting Dhanaulti during winter months. In summers, temperatures can rise to about 31 degrees C while drop to about 7 degrees C. Light woolens are recommended for those visiting during this season of the year.
 

 

Tourist attraction in Dhanaulti


Sarkunda Devi - Sarkunda Devi Temple is situated at a distance of hardly 7 km from Dhanaulti town. For reaching the temple, one has to undertake a trek of around 2 km, however the magnificent views one can see from up there, makes the climb worth it.

Barehipani and Joranda Falls - Barehipani and Joranda Falls are counted amongst the most popular attractions of Dhanaulti. The height of the former is around 400 m, while the latter comes cascading down from an altitude of 150 m.

Chanderi - Chanderi town, located on the hills, is known for having excellent monuments based on Rajput and Sultanate architectural styles. Amongst the most splendid monuments in Chanderi are Koshak Mahal, the Badal mahal, Victory Arch, Jama Masjid and ancient Jain temples.

Dashavatar Temple :- Dashavatar Temple, belonging to the time of the Gupta Empire, is the earliest known Panchyatan temple in North India. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple boasts of terraced basement, adorned with skillfully sculpted panels. On the doorway of the sanctum sanctorum, one finds the carvings of Ganga and Yamuna. The side-walls have 3 carved panels depicting Vaishnava mythology.

Deogarh Fort - Deogarh Fort is one of the most popular edifices in the area and dates back to the 16th century. The fort comprises of a number of striking palaces, ornamented with frescoes, and impressive Jain temples.

Jain Temples - There are as many as 31 Jain temples situated inside the Kanali fort, on the Dhanaulti Hills. The place served as a Jain center from the 6th to the 17th century and this is when the temples were built. The temples stands festooned with panels depicting scenes from Jain mythology, Tirthankara images, votive pillars, votive tablets, Jain images and pillars carved with a thousand Jain figures.

Matatila Dam - Matatila Dam is a popular picnic spot situated amidst Dhanaulti hills. The scenic views, lush gardens and water-sports options serve as the major attractions of the dam.

Pradhanpat -Pradhanpat hill is known for its exquisite beauty and a gushing waterfall, which seems cascading down with all its force.



HARIDWAR

 

Haridwar - Gateway To Lord Vishnu

Haridwar, the name literally translates to the Gateway (Dwar) to Lord Vishnu (Hari)!  In other words, it can be said that Haridwar is the place from where you can gain access to the Lord. Situated at the foot of the Himalayas, the holy city is said to have entertained the Hindu Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, in the epic times. Adding to its sanctity is the fact that it is from Haridwar that the holy Ganges enters the plains, giving it the name of ‘Ganga-Dwara’ (Gateway of Ganga). Thousands of pilgrims congregate at the city every year, to take a dip in the holy waters around ‘Har-ki-Paudi’ (a bathing ghat). With more than 300 temples within its precincts, Haridwar is considered the best place to trace the roots of Hinduism

 

Tourist attraction in Haridwar

 

Har ki Paudi - The most popular as well as the most scared of all the tourist attractions in Haridwar is the Har ki Paudi. It is basically a bathing ghat that holds as much reverence for the devotees as the Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi. As per the legends, ‘Har ki Paudi’, meaning the Steps (Paudi) of Vishnu (Har), was once visited by Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva and even served as the venue of a yagna by Lord Brahma. Taking a dip in the holy waters around the bathing ghat is one of the main reasons why pilgrims come to the city.

 

Mansa Devi Temple - A trip to Haridwar, without a visit to the Mansa Devi temple, is totally incomplete. The temple, as the name suggests, is dedicated to Mansa Devi - an incarnation of Goddess Durga. It is situated atop the Bilwa hill. Health conscious people prefer to trek their way to the temple, while the adventure enthusiasts can make use of the ropeway cable car.

 

Chandi Devi Temple - Chandi Devi Temple dates back to the year 1929, when it was built under the aegis of Suchat Singh, the King of Kashmir. It is situated atop the Neel Parvat and enshrines the idol of Chandi Devi, the Goddess who killed the demon brothers Shumbh-Nishumbh. Legends say that the idol was enshrined there by Adi Shankracharya, in 8th century.

 

Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar - It is at this place that Ganges is believed to have divided itself into seven small streams to not to disturb the Sapt (seven) Rishis meditating and worshipping here.

 

Bharat Mata Temple - The most unique and unusual temple of Haridwar is the ‘Bharat Mata Temple’. It is totally different from the typical Hindu temples and is dedicated, not to various Gods and Goddesses, but those people who have influenced the country in one way or the other. Each of the eight stories in the temple is dedicated to a different group, like spiritual leaders, freedom fighters, etc.

 

Pawan Dham Temple - Situated at a distance of around 2 km from the heart of Haridwar is the Pawan Dham Temple. Dating back to the ancient times, the magnificent temple stands ornamented with intricate glasswork on its walls. The extensively festooned idols of the temple also make it worth paying a visit.

 

Maya Devi Temple - Another temple in Haridwar that is dedicated to a goddess is the Maya Devi Temple. It enshrines the image of Goddess, as an incarnation of Power or Shakti. One of the major attractions of the temple is that it forms one of the Shaktipeeths in India. Along with that, Maya Devi Temple is believed to be the place that became the recipient of the heart & navel of Sati (wife of Lord Shiva).

 

Vaishno Devi Temple - Vaishno Devi Temple is amongst those temples in Haridwar that do not have an ancient lineage and were built sometime back only. The major attraction of the temple arises from the fact that its design is majorly based on the Vaishno Devi Temple of Jammu.

 

Sati Kund - This is the holy place where the wife of Lord Shiva, Mata Sati is believed to have done the ritual of self-immolation. The ghat here is thus famous today as Sati Kund.


Ganga Aarti in Har-ki Paur in Haridwar

 Haridwar, is one of the most religious town in Uttaranchal and it is this very holy town that hosts the famous 'Maha Aarti', every evening. The most pious ghats of Ganges in Uttaranchal is Harki Pauri, an important bathing ghat. This also the venue of the famous Kumbh Mela, that is held once in twelve years. During this festival an estimated 45 million people converge here to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges as part of a purification ritual .This scared ghat was constructed in the 1st century BC and has webs of legends associated with it. The most important is the one that claims that a person who takes dips here, is freed of all his previous life and gets moksha (Nirvana). The doted temples, shops hawking religious blings and the various clay pots floating on the rivers completes the spiritual picture of Haridwar.

Rajaji National Park / Chila Wildlife Sanctuary

The Rajaji National Park, spread over an area of 240 sq km, houses the Chila wildlife Sanctuary and is situated at a distance of 10 km from Haridwar. Situated on the banks of River Ganges, the sanctuary is a haven for a large number of animals. This biodiversity park boasts of nearly 23 mammals and about 315 fauna species. The river in the park houses large number of fishes and fauna in the water. At Chila you can have the pleasure of spotting leopard, tigers, jungle cat, herd of elephants, wild boar, stags, spotted deer, sloth bear, langur, monkeys, woodpecker, king cobra etc. During the monsoons the park remains closed and otherwise it is open after sunrise and closed after dusk.

MUSSOORIE

Mussoorie is one of the most beautiful hill stations not only in Uttarakhand, but the whole of India. It is named after Mansoor, a shrub which is indigenous to this area. Popularly known as the 'Queen of hills' in India, the place seems like a 'virtual paradise' on earth. Lush green forests and lofty mountains adorn the scenic town. With a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain ranges in the north-east, and sparkling views of the Doon Valley and Shivalik ranges in the south, the hill resort offers its visitors real scenic delights.

Mussoorie was discovered in 1827, by Captain Young, an adventurous British military officer, along with Mr. Shore, the resident Superintendent of Revenues at Dehradun. They were captivated by this extraordinarily beautiful place and jointly constructed a shooting ridge here. Today, Mussoorie has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The salubrious weather of the town is a pleasant change from the heat, humidity and dust of the plains. Mussoorie also acts as the gateway to the holy shrines of “Gangotri” and “Yamunotri”.

With cascading waterfalls, lush green forests, mystic Himalayas, grassy slopes and awe-inspiring valleys, Mussoorie offers its visitor the real experience of being in the lap of nature. The city's raw and unhampered beauty has a majestic aura about it. It seems as if nature has blessed this city with everything required for becoming a visitor's paradise. A summer tour to Mussoorie will indeed be an enchanting experience for any tourist.

The tourism sector of Mussoorie is well developed. Food, lodging and transportation are available in accordance with all kinds of budgets. The city also offers tourists spots for all kinds of tourists. From Children's lodge to ancient temples and parks to vantage points, Mussoorie has it all. Other than the local market and attractions, you can also look around Mussoorie for some wonderful excursions, like Chamba and Kanatal.

Tourist Attractions in Mussoorie

Gun Hill - The second highest peak in Mussoorie, the Gun Hill, offers panoramic views of Mussoorie town, the enchanting Doon valley, and the Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Pithwara and Gangotri group of the Himalaya Mountains. You can either reach this palce through a 30-minute uphill walk or opt for the ropeway.

Kempty Falls - The Kempty Falls, located about 15 km from Mussoorie, is one of the main tourist attractions in Mussoorie. The biggest waterfall in the region, Kempty is nestled amidst a cluster of cliffs. Here water cascades down from a height of 4,500 ft, hitting rocks on its way, and splitting further into five streams.

Municipal Garden - This is a beautiful picnic spot, located at almost a 2 km walk from Mussoorie, via Waverly Convent Road. Formerly known as Botanical Gardens, this beautiful garden is adjoined by a lake for boating.

Camel's Back Point - Named because of the life-size rock here which resembles a camel, Camel’s Back Point can be viewed from the Mussoorie Public school.

Nag Devta Temple - About 7 km from Mussoorie, this is an ancient temple on the Cart Mackenzie Road. It also offers a pleasant view of the Doon Valley and Mussoorie.

Jwalaji Temple (Elenog Hill) - About 9 km from Mussoorie, this temple is on top of the Benog Hill. Another excellent viewpoint, the temple is surrounded by thick forests. You can do the first 7 km by road, but the remaining 2 km have to be covered on foot.

Childer's Lodge - Take a horse to the highest peak of Mussoorie near Lal Tibba. Only about 5 km from Mussoorie, you could even take a leisurely walk up to the top. The breath-taking view from up here is worth the climb.

Mussoorie Lake - This is a beautiful picnic spot developed by the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority on the Dehradun-Mussoorie Road. Lying at about 6 km from Mussoorie, this lake is very popular among the tourist attractions in Mussoorie, and peddled boats are available here to explore the lake.

Mussoore Weather - Mussoorie is known for its healthy and pleasant weather. This attractive hill station has always been tourists most favored destination away from the heat of the plains. Situated at an altitude of approximately 7,000 feet above the sea level, it abounds in natural beauty and scenic splendor. The ideal period for visiting Mussoorie is either between April and May or between September and November, when the temperature is extremely pleasant and the lush green flora has covered the hill top completely. Let us get some information on the weather and climate of Mussoorie.

 

NAINITAL

 

Nainital is one of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand. It finds mention in several ancient texts such as ‘Manas Khand’ of Skandapurana. Then there is legend of Ma Sati’s charred eye falling here to form the Naini Lake, its name taken form the Hindi word Naina which means eye.

Kumaon & Garhwal areas were occupied by the British in 1815. Afterwards,E Gardiner was appointed the commissioner of Kumaun Division in 1815. Mr. G.W. Traill, the second commissioner of Kumaun, was the first European to visit Nainital.

Later, in the year 1839 a British businessman Mr. P Barron (a sugar trader) and his friend, an avid hunter, strayed into the hills while hunting. They got lost and in the process spotted this wonderful place.

Barron was so captivated by the place that he left the sugar business and built a European Colony on shores of the Naini Lake. In the year 1841, the discovery of Nainital appeared in an issue of the 'Englishman Calcutta'. The offices gradually started to shift here and a formal Nainital Municipal Corporation was formed in 1850 to provide basic facilities to the residents.

To catalyze the development of a township, the government reassigned land in Nainital to the affluent Sah community of Almora, on the clause that they would construct only accommodations on the land. In 1862, Nainital officially became the ‘Summer Seat’ of the North-Western Provinces. After that the development progressed at rapid speed. Many residential schools and colleges were established to provide education to the people.

In an extreme reversal of fortune, a massive landslide on 18th September 1880 caused by continuous rain washed away the Victoria Hotel. About 151 people were killed under the hotel’s debris. Though the military was called in for help, people could not be saved. After this incident, the area was flattened and leveled for parking.

 

Tourist Attraction in  Nainital

 

Naini Lake - According to the Hindu mythology, the deep green Naini lake is one of the emerald green eyes of Parvati, Shiva’s wife. It is said that the modern Naina Devi Temple at the northern end of the lake is the exact spot where her eye is said to have fallen, after Vishnu chopped up her body and scattered it all over the countryside to stop Shiva’s cosmic dance of destruction. The kidney shaped Naini lake with its clear water is the center of the town. The rowing and paddle boats for boating

Enthusiasts are available at the Naini lake.

Naina Peak - Naina Peak is the highest peak and the most popular picnic spot in Nainital. This peak is situated at a height of 2610 meters, about 5.5 kms. from Nainital. This peak offers a captivating view of the snow–clad Himalayan ranges and the bird's eye view of Nainital on a clear day. It is also one of the most beautiful treks with soft cool air, shades of tall trees, songs of birds and the quaint summerhouse. One can either trek or go on horse back.

Kilbury - Kilbury is situated at a height of 2528 meters and about 11 kms from the town. It an ideal place for bird watchers, nature lovers, quiet weekend holiday and picnic. Kilbury is part of a forest reserve and is rich in flora and bird life.

Hanuman Garh - Hanuman Garh is situated at a height of 1951 meters above and 3.22 kms. from Nainital. It is a place of religious interest, and also famous for spectacular view of the sunset. There is a small temple of the Lord Hanuman, the monkey god at Hanuman Garh.

Snow View - Snow View is a scenic spot and offers a panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges. The Snow View Peak, at a height of 2270 meters is a popular vantage point in Nainital, accessible by a ropeway, horse and on foot. Its like a thrill for kids and adults for the ropeway ride from Aerial Express to Snow View.

High Altitude Zoo - The High Altitude Zoo is perched at an altitude of 2075 meters and about 1.5 kms. away from the Bus Station. The zoo houses a variety of species of animals living at higher altitudes and birds. Some of the endangered species of animals are the Siberian tiger, serow, leopard and Himalayan black deer. It is very important for researchers and scientists.

Khurpatal - Khurpatal is situated about 10 kms. from Nainital on Nainital – Ramnagar road. The Khurpatal lake is a heaven for anglers, and is inhabited by a number of fishes.

Land's End - The Land's End is situated at a height of about 2218 meters and 4.08 kms. trek from Nainital. The name Land's End suggests and one also feels that the end of the land has really come. This hill offers a panoramic view of Khurpatal, terraced fields, neighboring hills and valley. It is accessible by horse also.

State Observatory - State Observatory is situated at a height of 1951 meters, and 4.4 kms. from Nainital. The State Observatory undertakes astronomical studies and optical tracking of artificial earth satellites.
Kilbur
- This beautiful picnic spot is located just 12km. ahead of Nainital at a height of 2528 metres. It is famous for its flora and fauna and bird watching. The place offers breath taking views of the great Himalayas along with a view of Tarai and Bhabhar.

Excursion from Nainital

 

Naukuchiatal - The Naukuchiatal is the nine-cornered lake and the deepest lake in the area. Naukuchiatal is a quiet hideway filled with birdsong and peace. This misty blue lake is cradled by green mountains and fed by an underwater spring, which keeps its waters high. This lake has religious significance and situated about 4 kms. from Bhimtal and 26 kms. from Nainital. This lake also harbours the biggest mahaseer fish. On the occasion of Ganga Dussehra, various people gather here. It is believed that one attains Nirvana if he manages to see all its nine corners. A huge statue of Hanuman, within the Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, is right at the entrance to Naukuchiatal.

Sattal - The Sattal is a group of seven small inter–connected lakes, set against a backdrop of oak and pine trees beyond which tower the Himalayas in Nainital. The Sattal is situated at a distance of 23 kms. from Nainital and 12 kms. from Bhimtal. The Sattal lake is the most picturesque lake in the Kumaon region hills. The most important is the jade green Garud Tal, followed by the olive green Rama Tal, Sita Tal. This place is ideal for a secluded holiday, peaceful mountain scenery and quiet walks into the hills and resorts. It is surrounded by a cover of thick forests. The holiday in Sattal can be combined with a grand taste of wildlife and adventure. Trekking through the forests and mountains, mountain biking, rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing, swimming, boating, kayaking and fishing are the various adventurous activities which can be undertaken here.

Bhowali - Bhowali is situated at a height of 1706 meters on the Ranikhet–Almora road. Bhowali is situated about 11 kms. from Nainital. Bhowali is a small town known for its Himalayan views and its scenic grandeur. Bhowali is also a beautiful health resort. The T.B. Sanatorium, named after King Edward is situated here. This sanatorium has treated luminaries like Subhash Chandra Bose and Kamala Nehru, wife of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Bhowali is a major export centre for fruits like Apples, Apricot, Plums, Pears and Peaches etc. Only 3 km from Bhowali is Ghorakhal, famous for the temple of Lord Golla, the God of Justice and Sainik School. A beautiful mosque with a hilly architecture is located nearby. Bhowali can be visited round the year.

Jeolikot - The tiny hilltop village of Jeolikot was founded by Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda. Jeolikot is known as a health centre. It is also famous for its butterflies, honey mushrooms and fruits, including strawberries and leechies, it produces. The hills encasing Jeolikot are sprinkled with shrines and colonial structures. A tiny bunglow, once the home of a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte and the house of Warwick Sahib, a retired major of the British army are some of the famous colonial buildings in the Jeolikot.

Ramgarh - Ramgarh is situated at an altitude of 1789 meters on Bhowali – Mukteshwar raod. Ramgarh is situated about 25 kms. from Nainital and 14 kms. from Bhowali. Ramnagar is situated on the banks of the Kosi river and was set up by Commissioner H. Ramsay (1856 – 1884). Ramgarh would have been known as a culture capital rather than a hotbed of horticulture, if Rabindranath Tagore had stuck to his original plan of setting up a centre of learning here. He was not only spell bounded by the orchards, forest hillsides, babbling brooks and views of snow-clad Himalayas. But, he also eventually gifted Shantiniketan to his home state, West Bengal. The famous poets Rabindranath Tagore and Mahadevi Verma have praised the serenity of this place and composed their poems ‘Geetanjali’ and ‘Sandhya Geet’ here. Ramgarh is known for a variety of Himalayan fruits and the spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges. It is also a horticultural heaven, the fruit bowl of Kumaon. Ramgarh also houses a fruit-processing factory run by the Government. In Ramnagar, one can visit the archaeological ruins of Dhikuli, the Garjia Devi temple and Sitabani. The Garjia temple is built on a huge rock in the midst of Kosi river and named after the deity Garjia Devi. The ruins of Kotabagh are situated about 10 kms. from Rangarh, which date back to the Chand rulers. Ramgarh can be visited round the year.

 

Bhimtal - Bhimtal is situated about 22 kms. from Nainital and blessed with a pristine aura. Bhimtal is one of the largest lakes in Kumaon and gets its name from the mighty Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers in Mahabharata. Bhimtal has emerged as a favourite tourist destination and facilities like boating, fishing, sailing, rowing, exploring the surrounding forests and apricot and peach orchards are available for the tourists. A restaurant at the centre of the lake offers.

PITHORAGARH
 

Pithoragarh is a city located in Uttarakhand. It was created out of the Almora district in the year 1962. It is a small town which lies to the centre of the western hall of the Soar Valley. Pithoragarh is so beautiful that it even seems to resemble the Kashmir valley on a miniature scale. It is very pretty and scattered with villages.

The view that the town provides is unmatched with the peaks of Panch Chulhi, Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot clearly visible from high spots in the town. Pithoragarh is located in a valley that is known as the "Soar" and lies in the centre of four hills - namely, Chandak, Dhwaj, Kumdar and Thal Kedar. It stretches in the southern side to Jhulaghat and to the adjoining Nepal hills. The town of Pithoragarh is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas.

Back in the year 1364, after Pithoragarh was conquered by the Rajwar of Ukko Bharatpal, it was for the rest of the 14th century, ruled by three generations from the Pal dynasty. The kingdom extended right from Pithoragarh to Askot. According to legends, Bhartichand, who was an ancestor of Gyan Chand had replaced Pala who was the ruler of Pithoragarh, after defeating them in the year 1445.

Subsequently, in the 16th century, the Chand dynasty took control over Pithoragarh town and built a new fort. After the area came under the British rule, Pithoragarh remained a Tehsil under Almora district until it was given the title of district in the year 1962.

Pithoragarh derives its name from the traditions of the Rajputs, to name the places they arrived at. It was also the capital of Prithvi Raj Chauhan, also known as Rai Pithora.

 

Tourist attraction in Pithoragarh

 

Pithoragarh sightseeing includes visiting the different places of tourist attractions, located in and around Pithoragarh. The various tourist attractions of Pithoragarh include the following:

Munsyari - Munsyari acts as the base camp for treks to Milam, Ralam and Namik Glacier, while Dharachula is the base camp for Kailas Mansarovar Yatra, Adi Kailash Yatra and Narayan Swami Ashram. It stands at an altitude of 2,135 metres above sea level and the entire region is known as Johar Valley. Situated around Munsyari are apline lakes of Maheshwari Kund and Thamri Kund.

Pithoragarh Fort - The Pithoragarh fort is located on top of a hill on the outskirts of Pithoragarh. It was built by the Gorkhas back in the year 1789.

Kapileshwar Mahadev - The Kapileshwar Mahadev cave is located about 3 kms. from Pithoragarh. The cave temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it provides a beautiful view of the Soar valley and the Himalayan peaks.

Dhwaj Temple - Dhwaj temple is a very famous shrine that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Maa Jayanti and is about 10 kms by road and 4 kms on foot from Pithoragarh. It also provides a breathtaking view of the snow capped peaks that surround it.

Nakuleshwara - Situated about 10 kms. from Pithoragarh is Nakuleshwara. Legends have it that the Nakuleshwara temple was built by Nakul and Sahdev (two brothers of Pandavas). The place is located at Athgaon Shilling area.

Askot Sanctuary - This beautiful sanctuary which is located about 54 kms from Pithoragarh nestles at a height of 5412 feet above sea level. It is very popular among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is a haven for snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, musk deers, snow cocks, tahra, bharals, chirs, koklas, pheasants and chukors. The lush sanctuary area dotted with temples is also a fine place to view the beauty of the Himalayas.

Chaukori - The small hill town of Chaukori provides a great weather and majestic views of snow capped peaks. The entire area is filled with tea gardens and orchards. It is located about 112 kms from Pithoragarh.

Gangolihat - The sacred site is famous for the Hatkalika Fair held on the ashtami of Chaitra month at the Kalika temple. Devotees visit the shrine during this time with drums and flags to pay homage to Goddess Kalika.

Jhulaghat - This small town on the Indo-Nepal border is named after a hanging bridge on the Kali River. One can enter Nepal through this bridge. The small market here deals in Nepali goods and other electronic items.

Narayan Ashram - The ashram was established by Narayan Swami in 1936, about 136 kms north of Pithoragarh and 14 kms from Tawaghat. This spiritual cum socio educational centre is set at an altitude of 2734 metres amidst scenic surroundings. It has a school for local children and imparts training to local youth. There is also a library, meditation room and samadhi sthal.

Patal Bhuvaneshwar - Patal Bhubaneshwar, which literally means the sub-terranian shrine of Lord Shiva is a cave temple located about 91 kms. from Pithoragarh and 14 kms north of Gangolihat. The way to the temple is through a tunnel which leads into a cave and through a narrow dark passage of water.

The main passage also leads to several small caves where the water oozing from limestone rocks has created various shapes arid figures. Some of them resemble various Gods and Goddesses of Hindu mythology. In fact, the cave temple complex is said to be the abode of thousands of deities and people believe that these deities were dedicated by Adi Shankracharya. Large number of pilgrims visits the shrine during the fair of Maha Shivratri every year.

 

 

RISHIKESH
 

Rishikesh is a scenic town located on the banks of river Ganga and is an important access point to the famous pilgrim spots of the Himalayas such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The various spiritual centers, yogic ashrams located here have earned this town the sobriquet “world capital of yoga”. The international tourists also drop in here in large numbers seeking spiritual enlightenment and also to enjoy the natural treasures of this place. The major highlights of this town are Lakshman Jhula, Bharat Mandir, Triveni Ghat, Rishikund, Geeta Bhawan, Swarga Ashram and Trayambakeshwar Temple. Prior knowledge about Rishikesh will be of immense help to the tourists for a satisfying tour to Rishikesh. Touristplacesinindia.com is the site providing helpful inputs about Rishikesh including fast facts, history and the ideal time to visit.


Tourist attractioin in  Rishikesh
 

Lakshman Jhula - It is one of the most prominent landmarks at Rishikesh. This is a suspended bridge and was built in the year 1929. According to the beliefs, the river at this place is said to have been crossed by Rama’s brother Lakshman using a jute rope. To savor the panoramic views of the surroundings and the cool breeze, this bridge is an ideal spot.
 
Ram Jhula - Ram Jhula is another bridge in Rishikesh, made of iron, which looks quite similar in appearance to the Lakshman Jhula. It is also known by the name of Shivanand Jhula and has been constructed to pave way between Shivanand Ashram and Swarg Ashram.

Bharat Mandir - It is an engrossing temple established by Adiguru Shankaracharya near in the 8th century AD. It is in the center of the old town on the Banks of the River Ganges. According to the ancient records, it is one of the oldest temples of Rishikesh and is among the most important places to visit in Rishikesh. In the inner sanctum, you will find an idol of lord Vishnu. Several old statues, coins, pots and other artifacts of historical importance have been found during recent excavations within the premises.

Rishikund - It is located adjacent to Triveni Ghat and is one of the most significant among the tourist attractions in Rishikesh. According to the legend, this pond was saturated by Goddess Yamuna and it mirrors the temple of Ragunath, which is devoted to lord Rama and his wife.

There are a few more tourist attractions in Rishikesh, which lie a little away from the town, like: Narendernagar, Yamunotri, Gangotri etc.

Geeta Bhawan - This is the oldest temple complex in the entire area and you can find the description of well-known Indian epic Ramayana and Mahabharata on its walls. Only peace and harmony seem to dwell at this place and it is must visit among the tourist attractions in Rishikesh.

Nilkanth Mahadeo - Situated on the outskirts of Rishikesh, around 12 km away, is a revered temple, known as ‘Nilkanth Mahadeo’. Perched on top of a hill, at a height of around 1675 m, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legends say that the venom that oozed out while the ‘Samudra Manthan’ was ingested by Lord Shiva at the place which is now known as the Nilkanth Mahadeo.

 

White Water Rafting  - Apart from pilgrims, adventure enthusiasts form the largest group of visitors to Rishikesh. Serving as a major attraction for them are the violent rivers passing around the town. These aggressive streams present the perfect opportunity for them, to go rafting down the waters. The breathtaking scenery that surrounds the rivers only adds to their attraction.

Ashrams - The ashrams strewn all over the town are indisputably the leading tourist attractions in Rishikesh. On your tour to Rishikesh, you will come across lots of them. Most of them impart spiritual studies and lessons on meditation and well-being of the mind. Some of the leading ones are Paremarth Niketan, Sivanand Ashram, Yoga Niketan, Omkaranand Ashram, Vanprastha Ashram, Shankaracharya Nagar Transcendental Meditation Centre, Vithal Ashram and Yoga Study Centre.

Find useful travel information regarding Rishikesh tourist attractions on the site touristplacesinindia.com that also offers valuable inputs on the other places of tourist interest in India.

Parmarth Niketan - One of the most renowned temple complex and ashram in the area . Known for its substantial work on Hinduism, three is a school run on traditional Indian Patterns. The ashram organizes excellent Ganga Arti and Hawan on the Parmarth Ghat every evening

Triveni Ghat  This is the main ghat of Rishikesh, where most of the pilgrims take their holy dip. Every day in the evening a large number of pilgrims attend the Ganga Arti at the Ghat.

Yoga and Meditation centers - Described by the ancient Indian scriptures as the communion of the individual soul (Jivatma) the Universal soul or God (Parmatma) Yoga the ancient Indian discipline is highly relevant to the modern day context. Today, as we enter the 21st Century, the outside world is becoming more restless and life is full of strive and tensions. Yoga provides the perfect panacea.
 

RANIKHET

 

Ranikhet is the place which wonderfully mirrors best of the heavenly Himalayas; their lush green forest, magestic mountains delicate plant life and attractive plant life. To view nature and its elements in full harmony the right place is to be is Ranikhet. According to the popular belief this place had won the heart of Rani Padmini, queen of Raja Sudhardev. She chose this scenic to be her adobe and since than it has come to be known as Ranikhet, literally QUEENS Feild. At an altitude of 1829 mtrs above sea level, this hill resort is undoubtedly a tourists paradise.

The hill station is 58 kilometres north of Nainital, and the reason you should come here is because it’s wonderfully peaceful. The kind of place that makes you want to wrap a shawl around yourself, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and simply watch the place go by. It’s great walking country. There are silken roads (near the army base), meadows with pine trees, dappled wildflowers and frequent views of the majestic snow-capped Himalayas, including the Nanda Devi peak.

 

Tourist Attraction in  Ranikhet

Mankameshwar - This temple is attached to the Narsingh Maidan. This ancient temple has been built by the Kumaon regiment. Opposite is a Gurudwara and a Shawal factory.


Majkhali - Majkhali is another Tourist Attraction in Ranikhet. Located just 13 kms from Ranikhet, Majkhali is set at a height of 26,500 feet. It is famous for enchanting views of the Himalayas.

Binsar Mahadev - Located just 19 kms from Ranikhet is the religious attraction called Binsar Mahadev. Surrounded by thick deodar forests, Binsar Mahadev is set at an altitude of 2480 meters. In the temple, you will see idol of Maheshmardini, Ganesh and Har Gauri. Eevery year an important fair is held here on the occasion of Baikunth Chaturdashi.


Chaubatia - Counted as one of the most popular Tourist Attractions in Ranikhet, Chaubatia is a home to many fruit orchards, gardens and the Government fruit Research Center. Chaubatia is famous for its enchanting views of Himalayas, Trishul, Nandaghunti, Nanda Devi and Nilkanth peaks.

Jhoola Devi Temple - Dedicated to Goddess Durga, Jhoola Devi Temple is just 7 kms from Ranikhet. This temple is famous for a cluster of bells that can be heard even from far off in Ranikhet. It lies in the vicinity of a temple dedicated to Lord Rama.

 

Sitlakhet - Sitlakhet is a scenic spot commanding a view of magestic Himalayas. The near by forest abounds in fruit orchards and herbal plants used in medicienes.Just about 10 kms from Sitlakhet is the famous temple of Syahi Devi. Nearby is the natural spring where the first water scheme for Almora initiated some seventy years ago. Just two kilometers below Sitlakhet is the village Khoont' which is the ancestral village of the late Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, the famous freedom fighter of India.

 

Chaubatia Gardens - Chaubatiya gardens are famous for their sprawling orchards of delicious apples, plums, peaches and apricots. It is result of the pioneering efforts of a British settler 150 years ago. The garden has a sale counter which you can buy fresh apple juice.

Sitla Khet - Situated between Ranikhet and Almora this picturesque place not only affords a wide view of the Himalayan peaks but is also full of fruit orchards. Scouting camps are frequently held here and there is a beautiful temple of Syahi Devi around 3 KMs away on a lovely mountainous trail. The birth place of the first chief minister of the province of Uttar Pradesh, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant is a place called Khunt situated nearby. Some years back a centenary memorial has been built at this place to commemorate the memory of this great son of the soil.


Jageshwar - Jageshwer: 3 hours from Ranikhet, Jageshwer one of the most important religious places of Hindus in Kumaun and is believed to be the abode of the one of the twelve 'Jyotirlingas'. It is even mentioned in the great epic of 'Mahabharata'. The great temple complex is situated in a narrow and beautiful valley covered with Cedar trees. Two streams Nandini and Surabhi flow down the hills and meet near the sacred spot. Dense grove of Cedar trees, perpetual verdure, and sweet murmur of the riverlets give a peculiar charm and sanctity to this place. Their are 124 temples and hundreds of magnificent statues of exquisite craftsmanship. The oldest shrine is of the 'Mrityunjaya' and the biggest shrine is of the 'Dindeshwara'. During the monsoons their is huge fair held every year at Jageshwer.

 

Excursion in  Ranikhet

 

Kausani - Kausani, situated around 50 KMs from Ranikhet, is famous for it's breathtakingly close view of the Himalayan Peaks and it's solitudes and greenery. The wide expanse of the famous Katyur Valley lies in front of it as you wake up to experience the Kausani sunrise. Kausani's beauty arrested the feet of even Mahatama Gandhi, who stayed for some time at this place. The memory that brief stay of that great man lingers behind in the Anasakti Ashrama. Another great man of India the famous Hindi poet Sumitra Nandan Pant was born here. There is small museum to earmark that sacred spot. The famous folk singer Gopidas was also inspired by the beauty of Kausani. Pinnath (10KMs), Bura Pinnath (5KMs) and Bhakot are the highest points near Kausani

 

Chaukhutia - Situated at a distance of 54 kms from Ranikhet, Chaukhutia is a hub of ancient forts and ruins of Katyuri dynasty. Visit the famous Kali and Vaishno Temple at Chaukhutia. The place is called Chaukhutia meaning four legs, as there are four ways leading out from it.

Uttaranchal Fairs & Festivals

The fairs and folk festivals of Uttaranchal are very colourful and distinctive, and are the blend of various natural, social and cultural factors. The people of Uttaranchal also celebrate all the major Indian festivals. Basant Panchami, Bhitauli, Harela, Phooldei, Batsavitri, Ganga Dusshera, Dikar Puja, Olgi or Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Ghuian Ekadashi and Ghughutia are some of the major festivals of Uttaranchal.

The daily lives of Uttaranchali women are crowded with a never-ending succession of festivals, most of them involving fasts and the preparation of special foods

Explore more about the folk festivals of Uttaranchal-

Makar Sankranti (Ghughutia) - According to the Hindu religious texts, on the day of Uttarayani, the sun enters the Zodiacal sign of 'Makar' (Capricon) from the Zodiacal sign of the Kark (Cancer), i.e. from this day onwards the sun becomes 'Uttarayan' or it starts moving to the north. It is said that from this day, which signals a change of season, the migratory birds start returning to the hills. On Makar Sankranti people give Khichadi (a mixture of pulses and rice) in charity, take ceremonial dips in holy rivers, participate in the Uttarayani fairs and celebrate the festival of Ghughutia or Kale Kauva.

Basant Panchami  - The festival of Basant Panchami celebrates the coming of the spring season. This festival, which also signals the end of winter, is generally celebrated during Magh (January - February). During this festival people worship the Goddess Saraswati, use yellow handkerchiefs or even yellow cloths and in a few places people put a yellow tilak on their foreheads.

Phool Dei - Phool Dei is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chaitra in mid March and on this day young girls conduct most of the ceremonies. In some places this festival is celebrated throughout the month with the advent of spring.

Harela and Bhitauli - On the first day of the navaratris (nine day holy period) of the month of Chaitra women fill baskets with soil and sow seven types of grains in them. The grains germinate symbolizing the future harvest. These yellow leaves, called Harela, are cut on the tenth day and people put them on their heads and behind their ears. During the month of Chaitra (March-April) brothers send presents to their sisters. These presents are called Bhitauli.

Olgia or Ghee Sankranti :- Olgia is celebrated on the first day of Bhado (middle of August), when the harvest is lush and green, vegetables are in abundance and the milch animals very productive. In ancient times sons-in-law and nephews would give presents to fathers-in-law and maternal uncles, respectively, in order to celebrate Olgia.

Nanda Devi Rajjaat Yatra - The three week long Nandadevi Rajjaat is one of the world famous festival of Uttaranchal. People from entire Garhwal-Kumaon as well as other parts of India and the world participate in Nandadevi Rajjaat Yatra.

Goddess Nanda Devi is worshipped at dozens of places in Kumaon, but the region around Mt. Nanda Devi and its sanctuary, which falls in the districts of Pithoragarh, Almora and Chamoli, is the prime area related to Nanda Devi. In Chamoli Nanda Devi Rajjaat is organized once in 12 years. The jaat starts from Nauti village near Karnprayag and goes upto the heights of Roopkund and Haemkund with a four horned sheep.

Hilljatra - The Hilljatra, which is being celebrated in some parts of Pithoragarh district, is essentially the festival of pastoralists and agriculturalists. In the developmental process, the aathon (eighth day of bhado) and Gawra Visarjan also became the part of Hilljatra. The festival, which basically came to the Sor valley from the Sorar (Mahakali) region of West Nepal, was first introduced in Kumaour village. The Jatra was also accepted by the people of Bajethi, another village near Pithoragarh town and with some modifications it was introduced in Kanalichhina and Askot regions as Hiran chital.

Kandali - In the Chaudans region of Pithoragarh district, a flower - Kandali (Strobilenthes wallichii) - blooms once every 12 years (last in 1999) and the people celebrate Kandali festival between the months of August and October. The Chaundas Valley is remote in the Dharchula tehsil of Pithoragarh. It lies between the Kali and the Dhauli rivers. In the week long festival the local people - Shaukas or the Rangs participate with gaiety and enthusiasm in different villages of the region. Some stories are associate with this festival, which express the martial tradition of the Shaukas. In the first story, it is said that by tasting the poisonous flower of the Kandali the only son of a widow died. In the second story, this flower the symbol of famine and poverty. According to the third and most popul< story, the region was once attacked while the menfolk were away for trade. Th brave women repelled the enemy, who hid in the Kandali bushes, and the attacked the bushes and destroyed the enemy. The festival commemorates thei bravery and the women therefore destroy the plant ceremonially to remind th local people of the incident and to prevent further mishaps.

Khari Holi and Baithaki Holi  - The uniqueness of the Kumaoni Holi lies in its being a musical affair, whichever may be its form, be it the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi or the Mahila Holi. The Baithki Holi and Khari Holi are unique in that the songs on which they are based have touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. No wonder then the Baithki Holi is also known as Nirvan Ki Holi. The Baithki Holi begins from the premises of temples, where Holiyars (the professional singers of Holi songs) as also the people gather to sing songs to the accompaniment of classical music.

Khatarua - Khatarua is essentially the special festival of pastoral- agricultural society and celebrated on the first day of the month of Ashwin in mid September, and signifies the beginning of the autumn. On this day people light bonfires, around which children dance, holding aloft colourful flags. People take special care of their animals and feed them fresh grass. Cucumbers are offered to the fire of Khatarua, which is said to destroy all evil influences. The victory of the king of Kumaon is also said to be one of the reasons for the celebration of Khatarua.
Bat Savitri

Ganga Dusshera or Dasar - Ganga Dusshera is celebrated on the Shukla dasami of the Jyestha (May - June). The sacred Ganga is worshipped on this day and Dusshera posters (dwarpatras or dasars), which have various geometric designs on them, are put up on the doors of houses and temples. These posters, once hand written by brahmins, are now printed. On this day people bathe in the holy rivers.

Janopunyu - The people of Kumaon celebrate Raksha Bandhan and J anopunyu, the day on which people change their janeu (sacred thread). On this day the famous Bagwal fair is held at Devidhura in district Pithoragarh.

Ardh Kumbh & Kumbh Mela - Though all the Hindu festivals are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety, it is the Ardh Kumbh & Kumbh Mela which attracts the mind of any tourist to this place.

The history of Kumbh Mela dates back to the creation of the Universe legends. Mythologicals state that the Gods and the Demons once churned the ocean to retrieve the Kumbh (pot) containing nectar of immortality (Amrit). As Dhanvantri, the divine healer appeared with the Kumbh containing nectar in her palms. A great fight followed between the Gods and the Demons to wrist the pitcher. During the fierce battle in the sky, a few drops of nector fell at four different places, Prayag, Hardwar, Nasik and Ujjain. Since then devotees converge to commemorate this divine event.

The Ardh Kumbh is held every six years and than after six years Kumbh Mela is held. It is said that a holy dip in the river Ganges during the Kumbh & Ardh Kumbh gives you Moksha or Nirvana. People gather in huge number to take the holy dip during these holy days. There are Saints, Naga Sadhus, Politicians almost every one is here. The city is overflowing with people. If going to Hardwar during the Kubh or Ardh Kumbh then avoid the over crowded ghats. Every there are reports of stampedes and the various factions or Akharas of Sadhus clash with each other. Ensure your accommodation well in advance if going during the Kumbh.


Kavand Mela - Ten days before Shivteras (during the months of Shravan & Phagun) thousands of devotees throng to Hardwar to collect holy waters of the river Ganga. Then they carry it back to their hometown & offer it at the local Shiv temple. Colourful shops spring up and Hardwar resounds to the chanting of hymns.

Maha Shivratri or Maha Shivaratri (Night of Shiva) is a Hindu festival, celebrated all over the country with much pump and enthusiasm. The festival usually falls every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu calendar. The festival is exclusively dedicated to Lord Shiva which is known by hundreds of names.

Maha Shivratri is the day to rejoice…to pray to the almighty for wellness. Almost all Hindus throughout the world offer prayers in the morning/evening and some observe fasting throughout the day. Most people visit the nearby temples of Shiva and offer prayers in large crowds. The prayers and worship continue throughout the night and the devotees offer coconut, Bilva leaves, fruits and specially prepared sacred food to Shiva and his divine consort Parvati. As this is a dark fornight, devotees light candles and diyas (a lamp made usually of clay, with wick made of cotton and dipped in ghee) throughout the night – this is a symbol of spiritual manifestation.




---- Click here for Booking ----



  Indian States

  Indian Hotels

Home | About us | Contact us | Reservation | Email

 Copyright © All Right Reserved, India Tourism Hub