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Uttarakhand

Travel Guide Asia India Uttarakhand

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Introduction

Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Haridwar, Uttarakhand

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Uttarakhand (Hindi: उत्तराखण्ड or उत्तराखंड Uttar (North) Akhand (Section)), is a state located in the northern part of India. It was known as Uttaranchal prior to January 2007 and has around 9 million inhabitants.

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Geography

Uttarakhand covers around 53,500 square kilometres and borders the Tibetan Autonomous Region on the north, Nepal on the east and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south, Haryana to the west and Himachal Pradesh to the northwest. Much of it (93%!) is mountainous and almost two-thirds of the state is covered with thick forests.

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Sights and Activities

Corbett National Park

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P1050877

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Corbett National Park, or officially also called Jim Corbett National Park, is one of the most stunning parks in India, and although the fantastic Bengal Tiger can be better viewed in Kanha and Bandhavgarh national parks, the beautiful landscapes and many other animals make this national park recommended as well.

Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of the Flowers National Park

Nanda Devi National Park , established in 1982, is a national park situated around the peak of Nanda Devi (7816 metres) in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India. Along with the adjoining Valley of Flowers National Park to the northwest, it was inscribed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Nanda Devi National Park covers an area of 630.33 km2 and together with Valley of Flowers National Park is encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve totaling a protected area of 2,236.74 km2, which is surrounded by a buffer zone of 5,148.57 km2. This Reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004. The park encompasses the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ring of peaks between 6,000 metres and 7,500 metres high, and drained by the Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga Gorge, a steep, almost impassable defile. The entire park lies at an elevation of more than 3,500 metres above mean sea level.
Valley of Flowers National Park is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Birds found in the park include Himalayan monal pheasant and other high altitude birds.

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Events and Festivals

  • Holi is quite popular in the Indian sub-continent and is traditionally celebrated on the day after the full moon in the month of Phalguna (early March), according to Hindu calender. Holi is a thanksgiving festival, where people offer prayer to God for good harvest and fertility of the land. Holi is a festival of freedom from social norms and caste inhibitions are shed for a day as people indulge in fun and merry-making. Colors and 'gulal' are showered on the people dressed up for the occasion and the whole community seems to merge into one big family under the guise of colors, without any distinction whatsoever. Children with face smeared with colors run around with 'pichkaris' (big syringes to splash colored water) and play amongst themselves. People exchange good wishes, sweets and gifts. Holi is also marked by vibrant processions which are accompanied by folk songs, dances and drum beating. Parties are also organized where snacks and the traditional milk-based drink “Thandai” is served which is often intoxicated with “Bhang”. Of late, lots of foreigners have started taking interest in this festival and they even enjoy the colors and the intoxicating drink. It is advised to cover your hair with a cap and eyes with sunglasses to avoid the colors splashing the eyes and damaging the hair.
  • Republic Day - Republic Day is a national holiday in India every January 26 to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution in 1950 and the declaration of independence in 1930. The capital of New Delhi is the focus of the celebrations, including a flag raising ceremony, wreath laying, 21-gun salute, Presidential speech, and presentation of awards for selflessness and bravery. A massive military parade includes elephants ridden by children who have received national accolades.
  • Gandhi Jayanti - Gandhi Jayanti is a national public holiday commemorating the birth of the peaceful activist, Mohandas Gandhi on October 2, 1869. The celebration coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence. In India, Gandhi is remembered through statues, flower and candle offerings, prayers and singing the devotional hymn Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram. The Indian government issues special mint rupees and postage stamps bearing his picture.
  • Diwali - Diwali is the five-day festival of lights held in India in late October or early November each year. The widely celebrated Hindu event marks Lord Rama’s victory over the demon Ravan. Homes and streets are decorated with lights, candles and small clay lamps, and new clothes are worn and sweets are exchanged.

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Getting There

By Plane

Jolly Grant Airport (DED) near Dehradun has limited flights, with a few airlines serving Delhi.

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Sleep

Accommodation in Uttarakhand

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Uttarakhand searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Uttarakhand and areas nearby.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 14:51 on Dec 27, 16 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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