The pious land of gods and sages, Uttarakhand is called devhbhoomi – the place where gods reside. The state is land of the snow laden mountains and the source of two mighty rivers – Ganga & Yamuna. Uttarakhand is a popular destination among pilgrims and is equally loved by adventure enthusiasts. Uttarakhand came into being on November 1, 2005 as the 27th state of India. The region was earlier part of Uttar Pradesh, one of the largest states in the country. The state was initially named Uttaranchal and later the name was changed to Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand has Tibet (China) to the north, Nepal on the eastern side while Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to the west and south respectively. - hide more about Uttarakhand
Since a large number of places in Uttarakhand are associated with gods and goddesses, the state is often called ‘land of gods’ or ‘devbhoomi’. The state is home to Chardhams, which makes for a popular pilgrimage circuit. Uttarakhand is also the land of the majestic mountains and glacial rivers. The state is part of the Great Himalayas range with average heights of mountains up to 3000 – 5000 meters.
Uttarakhand is the birth place to the two important rivers– the Ganga and Yamuna, which are spiritual lifelines of India. Uttarakhand is an exciting place for tourists. In fact tourism is one of the mainstays of the state. Uttarakhand attracts all kinds of tourists. The state is a favourite haunt among adventure seekers and those looking for peace and solace. One can raft down the Ganga or trek the Himalayas in the upper reaches of the state.
The state also draws large number of pilgrims. The Chardham Yatra to the holy shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath is a popular pilgrimage in the state. The Corbett National Park is among the most popular places of tourist interest in Uttarkhand as are Mussoorie, Nainital, Auli, Binsar and Munisyari.
The state of Uttarakhand has been divided into 13 districts. Uttarakhand may broadly be categorized into three regions Garhwal, Kumaon and Terai. The Garhwal region has six districts namely Chamoli, Dehradun, Rudraprayag, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal and Uttarkashi. Kumaon has five districts namely Almora, Nainital, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh and Champawat. Udham Singh Nagar comes in the terai area while Haridwar is the plains. Haridwar besides being a popular pilgrimage site of the Hindus is also gateway to the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.
Highlights of the state
Hill Stations: Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet, Mukteshwar
Wildlife: Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary
Pilgrimage: Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gangotri, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri
Adventure: Auli (Skiing), Rishikesh (Rafting)