Uttarakhand Known as Uttaranchal as of 2007, the Himalayan north of India is a stunningly beautiful state. It is broken into a western part, named “Garhwal”, and an eastern part named “Kumaon”. Uttaranchal in the Himalayan region is one of the most captivating states in the country and has many tourist destinations ranging from hill stations to popular cities to pilgrimage sites.
Each region has its own distinct culture and language.
The local languages are Kumaoni and Garhwali, but except for the remote villages of North and East Kumaon, everyone also speaks Hindi. English is not so common, but is well understood and spoken, especially in Kumaon.
Dehradun – The capital, known as “Oxford of India”, is known for boarding schools. Important government agencies like Indian Military Academy, Survey of India and ONGC are headquartered here. Forest Research Institute, Rajaji National Park and many other beautiful picnic spots and many government institutes / educational institutions.
Almora – a hill station, cultural city
Chamba – Near Mussoorie, provides a spectacular view of the Chamba Valley and the Bhagirathi River (Ganges). It is a paradise for nature lovers, as it is surrounded by alpine forests. It is a proximity to Dehradun, Rishikesh and Tehri Dam.
Haridwar – the holy city on the Ganges and one of the sites of Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest festival
Mukteshwar, famous for hill station gardens
Mussoorie – Hill Station, also known as the “Queen of the Hills”. It offers panoramic views of both the Himalayas and the Doon Valley.
Nainital – Popular hill station in the Himalayas; Excellent connectivity and bird’s eye view from the surrounding hills; the lake District.
Pithoragarh, Hill Station, Kailash-Mansarovar
Rishikesh – The yoga capital of the world, the largest group of ashrams, meditation centers and temples.
The dances of the region are associated with life and human existence and display innumerable human emotions. Langvir Nritya is a dance form for men that resembles gymnastic movements. Barda Nati folk dance is another dance of Jaunsar-Bawar, which is performed during some religious festivals. Other famous dances includeHuraka Baul, Jhora-Chanchari, Chapeli, Thayda, Jhumela, Pandava, Chaupula and Chholia.Music is an integral part of Uttarakhandi culture. Popular types of folk songs include Mangal, Basanti, Khudar and Chopati. These folk songs are played on instruments including Dhol, Damau, Turai, Ranasingha, Dholki, Daur, Thali, Bhankora, Mandan and Mashabkaja. “Bedu Paco Baro Masa” is a popular folk song from Uttarakhand, with international fame and mythological status within the state. It serves as the cultural anthem of Uttarakhandi people all over the world. Music is also used as a medium through which to invoke the gods. Jagar is a form of soul worship in which the singer, or Jagariya, sings a saga of deities with great epics such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, describing the exploits and exploits of the call of God. Basanti Devi Bisht, Chander Singh Rahi, Girish Tiwari ‘Girda’, Gopal Babu Goswami, Heera Singh Rana, Meena Rana, Narendra Singh Negi and Pritam are popular folk singers and musicians from the state of India.
There is a high excise duty on beer and liquor in Uttarakhand: A bottle of beer can cost between Rs 80-90, almost double the price of some other states in India. Some holy cities including Haridwar and Rishikesh are officially dry. Cannabis is illegal, but is widely used anyway, especially in Kumaon.
Kumaoni food is very simple but very nutritious, perfectly suitable for the difficult environment of the Himalayas. Roses are included in various preparations like Ras-Bhat, Zanjeer, Phanda and Thatwani. All make unique preparations from the same lentils. Jholi or curry masala with curd.
Bal Methai is a brown chocolate-like fudge made with roasted khoya, coated with white sugar shells.
Dube is a simple dish made from various lentils. These are frozen and the dish is made from frozen lentils and paneer along with some local spices available in the Kumaon hills like Jambo and Zakhia. Usually made in an iron pan and eaten with rice.
Chen is a preparation of whole urad which is first roasted then ground and then mixed in soup.
A carp is a dish prepared from spinach leaves that is crushed to a paste and the spices cooked.
Zhai is a curry made with curd and curry leaves.
Bhatt’s churani is a soup in which Bhat’s lentils eaten with rice are prepared.
Saag is a fried dish of green vegetables. Spinach (spinach), lai, fenugreek and so on can be made from any of the green vegetables.
Aaloo gutuk and Pinalu Gutuk are fried potatoes or pinalu, which are cooked with spices.
Roads are a bit tricky, and taxi rides in the hills can look dangerous, but otherwise Uttarakhand is a very safe place for tourists. However, tourists are known to face problems in urban centers and plains districts like Haridwar.
One can take trekking tours for a walk in Chopta, Tungnath, Deoria Tal and Chandrashila. Such tours are fun trekking packages along with travel tour packages to Chopta, Tungnath, Chandrashela and Deoria Tal. Visit very spectacular sites with a crystal clear view of the Himalayan range. The beauty of mirror-like reflections of the Himalayas from Deoria Tal. Feel the sound of the Himalayan mountains at 4000 feet high Chandrashila. Enjoy the warmth of the Tungnath Temple on the way to Chopta. Or, just dive into the natural park of Burans – a destination considered to be Switzerland of India. The package includes sweat tents, terrific Himalayan food, photography sessions and a one-night stay in support of professional climbers. The package is ideal for a group of friends looking out for fun-packed adventure quest trekking trips.
Whitewater rafting on the Ganges can be an exciting experience. Apart from the Ganges, the Tons River and the Kali River are also good for rafting. There are many other rivers in Uttarakhand. There are many operators offering rafting day trips on the Ganges in Rishikesh.