Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is a region of outstanding natural beauty. Most of the northern parts of the state are part of Greater Himalaya ranges, covered by the high Himalayan peaks and glaciers. Two of India's mightiest rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna take birth in the glaciers of Uttarakhand, and are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and streams in the region.

Weather
Uttarakhand has two distinct climatic regions: the predominant hilly terrain and the smaller plain region. The climatic condition of the plains is very similar to its counterpart in the Gangetic plain. Summers are extremely hot with temperatures going over the 40°C mark and a lot of humidity. Winters can be chilly with temperatures going below 5°C at times.

Tourism
Indian National Parks in Uttarakhand include the Jim Corbett National Park (the oldest national park of India) at Ramnagar in Nainital District, Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli District, Rajaji National Park in Haridwar District, and Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi District. Berinag and Chaukori are tiny, pristine hill stations with spectacular views of the Himalaya peaks.

Places of Tourist Interest
Almora : Almora is cultural centre of Kumaon and a picturesque mountain resort. Sunrise offers a particularly beautiful view of the greater Himalayas. Almora is also called a town of temples. Situated in the center of the town is the temple of Goddess Nanda Devi. Situated at an elevation of 5400 ft, in the Kumaon Hills, Almora is known for its healthy climate. Almora is a horseshoe shaped town spred on a 5 km long mountain range.

Badrinath & Kedarnath :
The temples of Shiva and Vishnu at Kedarnath and Badrinath have been the destination of pilgrims for centuries. The route to the two sources begins at Rishikesh and passes ancient temples and Valleys along the way. Badrinath is one of the four Dhams; a devout Hindu has to visit in his lifetime to attain salvation. One of Hinduism's holiest sites, it was founded by Sri Shankaracharya, in the ninth century. The temple, also known as Badri Narayan, is dedicated to Vishnu, who is said to have done penance in the mythical Brindavan that once covered the mountains of Uttarakhand.

Corbett National Park :
Corbett National Park lies in two districts Nainital and Pauri in the hill state of Uttaranchal in northern India. It covers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighbouring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve over 1288 sq. km. Corbett has been a haunt for tourists and wildlife lovers for a long time. Tourism is allowed in selected areas of Corbett Tiger Reserve so that people get an opportunity to see its splendid landscape and the diverse wildlife living here.

Dehradun :
Nestled in the mountain ranges of the Himalaya, Dehradun is one of the oldest cities of India and is recently declared as the Provisional Capital of newly created Uttarakhand State in the month of Nov'2000. The city has many beautiful rest houses and good hotels to provide accommodation to the tourist. For many years, it has been one of the best known educational centres in northern India. Dehra Dun is well linked by rail and road with Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Lucknow and Varanasi.

Festivals & Events
The people of Uttarakhand celebrate almost all the major Indian festivals including Basant Panchami, Bhitauli, Harela, Phooldei, Batsavitri, Ganga Dusshera, Dikar Puja, Olgi or Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Ghuian Ekadashi and Ghughutia. Kumbha (Kumbha means pot) Mela is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage takes place at Haridwar where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas. Haridwar is one of the four locations where pilgrimage occurs once at each locations every twelve years.

When to Go
The best time to visit Uttarakhand is during the summer, when the weather is very pleasant. Some parts of the hills will be inaccessible in winter. The plains region is best visited in winter, when the weather is milder.

Interesting Fact
During the period of their stay in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, Beatles, the famous pop group wrote forty eight songs.

Capital : Dehradun
Largest city : Dehradun
Population (2001) : 8,479,562
Density : 159/kmē
Area : 53,566 kmē
Districts : 13
Time zone : IST (UTC+5:30)
Official language(s) : Hindi, Garhwali, Kumaoni