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Uttarakhand: The Northern Land

Home to the adventure capital of the country, Uttarakhand is a perfect combination of spirituality, serenity, natural beauty and thrill of many recreational activities. The steep slopes of Himalayas are adorned with silver firs, rhododendrons, oaks and birches.

Uttarakhand is not only a very popular pilgrimage destination but also a very famous summer relief destination. Known among youths as the site for rafting and camping, Uttarakhand’s beauty exists simplistically in harmony with nature. If you are a spiritual person by heart or an adventure enthusiast or plainly a nature lover, this is the place to be visited at least once in your lifetime.

Decode Uttarakhand with #OUTDOORKEEDA and be prepared to enjoy a fun-filled vacation among the nature’s wilderness.

Uttarakhand

Unveil the beauty of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand was formed by the separating the northwestern districts of Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Himalayas. This nature’s beauty is divided between two divisions- the Garhwal and Kumaon. The state contains 13 districts. Dehradun is the largest city of the state and also the state capital.

With 65% of its area covered in forest and 86% by mountains, hilltops and glaciers mostly occupy the northern part of Uttarakhand. The deciduous forests of Upper Gangetic Plains lie along the Uttar Pradesh border and are locally known as Bhabar. The Ganga and Yamuna both have blessed this destination by originating from here.

The Char Dhams, a very important pilgrimage circuit for the Hindus, lies here. The sacred Dhams include—Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Uttarakhand is a proud home to the Valley of Flowers, a UNESCO Word Heritage site. The site is known for the varied diversity of flowers present there.

The climate and vegetation of Uttarakhand differ with terrain (elevation). Terrace farming is the major method of agriculture adapted by the locals here. The Nanda Devi peak is the highest of Uttarakhand and second highest of India.

Worth visiting spots in Uttarakhand

The Jim Corbett National Park, which is home to the Bengal Tiger, is present in Uttarakhand. Snow leopards, tigers, bharal and leopards along with rare herbs inhabit the dense Himalayan domain.

Rishikesh, Haridwar, Shastra Dhara, Naina Lake, Tiffin Top and Lakshman Jhoola are immensely admired and most visited spots here. Some of the popular hill stations residing in Uttarakhand are—Nainital, Dhanaulti, Mussoorie, Almora, Ranikhet, Bhimtal, Kausani, Lansdowne and Sattal.

Uttarakhand

Summers are the best……but winters are superlative!!!!!

As majority of India comes under the range of scorching heat, most of the hill stations are favored and crowded in summers. The summer temperature of Uttarakhand comes inside the orbit of 200C to 350 C. The balmy weather provides the tourists with a chilling relief from the sun. The summer season lasts from March until June.

The monsoon spans from July until September and is the season when whole of the state is painted with green. Like in any hilly area, there is a risk of landslides and floods. The chilly winters bring out the true beauty of Uttarakhand. The temperature can drop down to a minimum of 30C during the months of October to February. All the major hill stations along with the Valley of Flowers are worth visiting during this time of the year.

Adventure Lovers—this one is for you

Uttarakhand is a very popular adventure sports destination. With nature supporting every ounce of adrenaline you could pump, there are manyrecreational activities practices here.

  • Trekking: the major treks of Uttarakhand include—Deorital-Chandrashila, Naag Tibba, Roopkund, Hemkund-Valley of Flowers, Budni Begyal, Kauri Pass and Har Ki Dun. Streaming your way through densely populated forest, snow-capped peaks and streams of water has its own charm. Take our advice try it for once.
  • Bungee Jumping: At 83 feet, the Jumpin Heights is the highest you could bungee jump in India. The crane is located in Mohan Chatti, Rishikesh.
  • Camping—with so much beauty around, who would like to stay indoors. Camping is one off the most favorite recreational activity in Uttarakhand. Rewind yourself in the lap of nature and uplift yourself mentally as well as spiritually. Rishikesh, Dhanouti, Deoria Tal, Chopta and Birsar National Sanctuary are some of the many destinations popular for camping.
  • Skiing: Auli proves to be the ideal spot for skiing in Uttarakhand. Not to worry if you are not a pro, you can take 7-14 days ski class and master the art.
  • Elephant Safari: the Rajaji National Park and the Jim Corbett National park, both welcome you warmly to give you a ride of this mighty beast. The tickets for these safaris are available on a first come first serve basis. Feel like a king, while riding the friendly mammal.
  • Paragliding: Ranikhet and Mukteswar provide you with this opportunity to soar through the sky in Uttarakhand. Even if you have no knowledge about the sport, trained experts here will guide your way to the clouds and land you safely back on land.
Uttarakhand

The Garhwalis and the Kumaonis

Although Uttarakhand is a mixture of seven different cultures, the Garhwalis and Kumaonis dominate the bigger portions if its pie chart. Apart from them, the other ethnic groups include the Tharus, the Bokshas, the Bhotias, the Janusaries and the Rajis.

People who follow both— Buddhism and Hinduism inhabit the predominant part of the state. They are commonly known as heterodox. The language spoken in bulk here is Pahariya but Hindi is equally spoken and understood in Uttarakhand.

The Garhwali artbears close resemblance to Mughal style and the Kumaoni art is generally found to be geometrical. Other famous handicrafts include woolen shawls, rugs and scarves. The basket weaving of Garhwal is unique in its nature.

When happy the people of Uttarakhand dance their hearts out. It is the right way to celebrate any joy with others. The various dance forms of this state are—Dhurang, Hurka Baul, Pandav Nritya, Chholiya and Langvir Nritya.

While the men mostly like to sport Dhoti-Kurta or Kurta-Pajama, the women wear Ghagri along with an Odhni.

The Kitchen of Uttarakhand

The local herbs and spices energize the go to food of Uttarakhand. Most of the restaurants, shacks and eateries here are vegetarian, being a pilgrimage prone area. The Garhwali and Kumaoni cuisines differ in style but are very similar in the base products.

The following dishes can be relished, on your trip to Uttarakhand—Kafuli, Bhang ki Chutney, Phannu, Badi Palau and Rus. For those having a sweet tooth Uttarakhand offers these delicacies—Til Laddu, Bal Mithai, Gulgula and Arsa.You will get a distinct flavor of charcoal and ample portions of ghee in the local dishes.

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