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Uttarakhand Travel Guide: The Episodes of Himalayan Foothills

Introduction

Land of Mountains and Mythologies, filled with exquisite landscapes and exhilarating adventures. The episodes of Uttarakhand welcome you to a world of diversities wrapped in a fold...

Explore the unexplored: Things to do on a trip to Uttarakhand 

A mystical land of untouched beauty, abundant wildlife, divine temples and umpteen adventure spots, Uttarakhand can turn your trip to a memorable experience. From trekking to attending the Ganga Aarti in Haridwar the land of lush green meadows and hills has no dearth of activities. So, what are you waiting for? Head to the mountains and enjoy a blissful vacay with your family and friends in Uttarakhand 

Ep 1: RishikeshThe Adventure Hub 

Be it Whitewater rafting, Bungee jumping paragliding, camping or Trekking with your friends, the state has a lot to offer the adventure enthusiasts. The snowmelt Ganga in Rishikesh provides makes rafting one of the best endeavours in India. Also, Bungee jumping is one of the oldest adventure sports in Rishikesh The state is blessed with Indias highest fixed platform for bungee jumping, offering adventursts a thrilling jump from 270 feet. Apart from this, Camping in the lap of nature calms the mind. The alpine meadows of Garhwal region favour activities like paragliding and trekking for the enthusiasts

Ep 2: Chardham YatraThe Land of Gods 

Also known as Deva Bhoomi, The Land of Gods‘, Uttarakhand is a home to various temples, welcoming devotees all year round. Among the various religious sites, The Chardham Yatra is a tour of 4 holy sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri, resting in the bowlshaped valleys of Himalayas

The highaltitude shrines remain shut for around six months every year, opening in summers (April or May) and closing with the onset of winter (October or November). It is believed that one should complete the Char Dham Yatra in a clockwise direction. Hence, the pilgrimage starts from Yamunotri, proceeds towards Gangotri, onto Kedarnathi, and finally ends at Badrinath 

Deva BhoomiThe Land of Gods 

Ep 3: The Enchanting Ganga Aarti at Har ki pauri, Haridwar 

A centre place of attraction among devotees in Haridwar Har ki pauri is believed to be the place of exit of holy river Ganga from the mountains. World famous Ganga Aarti takes place in Brahmakund area of Har ki pauri, a major landmark place and a famous ghat on the banks of river Ganga in Haridwar. Attracting tourists and devotees from all over the world, it is a ritual of light and sound where the priests perform prayers as an obeisance to Goddess Ganga, with bowls of fire and the ringing of the temple bells. Visitors float diyasand flowers, surrounded by the chanting of the mantras and the reflection of the lights off the surface of the flowing river, which is said to be blessed by the Goddess Ganga. The Ganga Aarti takes place twice a day. The largest fairs of HindusThe Kumbh Mela also takes place at Har ki pauri. It is a congregation of millions of people who assemble at the banks of the sacred Ganges to take a dip in its holy waters. Recognizing the festivals importance, UNESCO included the Kumbh Mela on its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in December 2017 

Ep 4. Wildlife Safaris at The National Parks 

Uttarakhands rich and varied wildlife never ceases to amaze the nature and wildlife enthusiasts, omithologists, botanists, and tourists and adventurers. Home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, The Jim Corbett National Park is located amidst the foothills of the Himalayas, in Nainital Jim Corbett National Park has multiple riverside resorts and is famous for its wildlife safaris. Along with this, the state has other scenic national reserves like the Govind National Park, the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and the Nanda Dhaur Wildlife Sanctuary. Home to several endangered species like bharal or blue sheep, black bear, brown bear, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan snowcock, Himalayan talr and snow leopard. A day between the vibrant wildlife of the national parks can immerse anyone in a state of tranquillity and peace away from the histlebustle of their chaotic daily life

Jeep Safaris in the Corbett Park 

Ep 5: Indulge into the Past and Epics 

Uttarakhand has a rich past and its heritage and traditions are widely read. Its a land of ancient temples and architectural buildings. To touch the walls of these old masterpieces, to appreciate the ancient beauties, The immortal past of Uttarakhand has opened its doors for architect enthusiasts. Some of the popular destinations steeped in mythology include Devalgarh Katarmal Sun temple, Pithoragarh Gartang gali and Abott Mount Church 

Ep 6: The Luscious Delicacies of the Land 

The cuisine of Uttarakhand is a blend of flavours from 2 regionsGarhwal and Kumaon. These regions offer flavoursome delicacies and one should definitely hit the taste of the local Pahadi dishes. The cuisine of Uttarakhand is a fine combo of organically grown grains and lentils and vegetable. It is simple and subtle in taste but it is rich in nutrients and proteins. The food Platter of Uttarakhand includes savoury dishes include Aloo ke Gutke, Gahat/Rasmi badi, kandali ka Saag, Kumaoni ka Raita: Desserts include Jhangore ki Kheer, Singodi Bal Mithai 

Ep 7: Yoga Capital of the Globe 

संजलि योगपी 

Uttarakhand is referred to as the Yoga Capital of The Worldand the Land of yoga and Ayurveda. The state itself is a spiritual destination which will revitalize the soul and fill one with positive energy. Uttarakhand is home to various destinations for learning Yoga and meditation. The ancient science of Yoga which was discovered by the ancient seers centuries ago traces its origin to Uttarakhand Since then, yoga and meditation in Uttarakhand has been in constant practice Yoga centres such as Patanjali Yogpeeth, Ved Niketan and Parmarth Niketan have helped the people to cherish the benefits of Yoga and meditation 

Ep 8: Cultural Colours of the Doon Valley 

Apart from the scenic beauties, the heart of Uttarakhand is painted with the beautiful vivacious colours of traditions, festivals, cultures, rites, rituals, folklore, customs and language. The simple and friendly residents of the Foothills ie, the Paharis welcome and fill the tourists with the splashes of their traditional colours. The cultures of the Garhwali and Kumaon region distinctively paint the canvas of Uttarakhand. Famous Festivals include Kumaoni Holi, Harela, Vat Savitri, Kanawar Yatra. The lives of the people of Uttarakhand are filled with a lot of music and dance Dancing is considered to form a major part of their traditions. Thus, Uttarakhand is a hub of different traditions, ethnic groups and languages brought together. This is what brings out the beauty of the state. Do plan a visit to the wondrous state and we are sure each one of you is likely to have an amazing time

Ep 10: Cascading Waterfalls 

Falling apart from the snowcapped peaks of Uttarakhand, the waterfalls rejuvenate the mind and soul, ushering the body with positivity. Surrounded by lush greenery, these waterfalls provide for excellent picnic spots, one can always look up for family or friends trip. The famous Waterfalls include Kempty Falls, Tiger Falls, Corbett Falls, Neel Garh Falls, Bhatta Falls and many more. With so many serene places around the state, the charm of waterfalls can surely not to be missed.

Ep 11: Under the Night Sky 

The heavenly land of Uttarakhand looks even much more majestic and magnificent during the night hours. Uttarakhand has many such unexploited dark places with almost zero light pollution where you can experience this beautiful sight of nature in the lap of Himalayas in these high altitudes of the state. Stargazing in Uttarakhands Bhimtal starscape is gaining popularity since the recent years, Ranikhet, Nainital, Mukteshwar, Deori Tal are other places to witness the amazing Stargazing views 

Ep 12: The Holy Shrine of the Mountains 

Surrounded by the icecaped peaks of the Himalayas, the beautiful Gurudwara of Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, is situated at a height of 4,160m, on the bank of Hemkund Lake. The holy Sikh shrine is dedicated to Guu Gobind Singh, as it is believed that he meditated on the serene and calm bank of the Hemkund Lake. The best time to visit the pilgrimage is during the summer months as it is enveloped by snow in the winter months. The gurudwaras picturesque, natural backgrounds, and trek routes make it a travel and trek destination.

Ep 13: Shopping your heart out 

The Dev Bhoomi, Uttarakhand is already an established tourist destination offering myriad experiences for its travellers and enthusiasts. Exploring the local markets of Dehra Dun and Nainital can be another option in your todo list in Uttarakhand Handicrafts, utensils, handloom, jewellery become the main core items of shopping. Dehra Dun with its famous street marketsPaltan Bazaar, Tibetan Market, Astley Hall drools the visitors with stuffs like brassware, knickknacks, artifacts, and shawls

Bamboo handicrafts by the Ringaal people of the Kumaon region is one of the famous things in the Uttarakhand markets. The bamboo stuffs are ecofriendly and beautifully crafted One would not resist buying these artistic bamboo bags or baskets.

Har ki pauri, the heart of Haridwar, is known for its gem stones, utensils, holy items to keep in temples, idols of deities, and the most special thing, bottles to store pious water of the Ganges

Woollen items such as shawis, scarves, cardigans make the local hill station markets more famous. The Tibetan Market of Nainital is bargainers paradisewhich is home to several woollen item stores Thuis, these markets, the local sellers, the artisans, the craftsmen add a lot to your trip to make it a memorable one

Ep 14: From Street shopping to Street Fooding 

So, if you are a foodie for street foods, you can explore streets of Uttarakhands towns for a variety of delicacies. From steamy hill side chilli momos to Dehraduns bun tikki, from street side bhel to suunptuous Kumaoni vade, any street food lover would drool over these

If someones a momo lover then Uttarakhands Street stalls serve as a paradise for them. One can always hit these food stalls after shopping, travelling, etc

Ep 15: The offbeat UttaranchalRural Tourism 

Take a turn to explore and unfold the charm of the offbeat Uttarakhand which lies in the rural hamlets of the state. Village tourism in Uttarakhand offers you a golden opportunity to live a refreshing and entirely new life. Here you can relax in the lap of nature, enjoying some on the ground activities 

The village tourism along with ecotourism in Uttarakhand, are developing day by day to offer tourist more opportunities to explore and relax amidst the lap of nature. The local residents of the Uttarakhand are very innocent, honest, hardworking and loyal, they always welcome their tourists with warm hearts and open arms. To enjoy a cup of tea, in this rural paradise adds on to the memory Villages such as Chamba, Tehri, Khirsu, Berinag, Bigul, Chelusain and many more are flourishing in rural tourismn. Village tourism in the rural regions of Uttarakhand not only showcases the unique and treasured heritage but also improves the economy of the region 

So, now what is stopping you to discover the spellbound beauty of Uttarakhand!! The lush green alpine meadows, the snow caped mountains, the swift flowing rivers, the orchids and the roaring valleys never fail to satisfy and please their guests. No words can ever be enough to perfectly describe the charismatic beauty of this blessed land. The incredulous variety of experiences both spirtual and sensory goes beyond any language or dialect 

Uttarakhand 

SIMPLY HEAVEN ON EARTH

Sakshi Rai

Travel Blogger and Author

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