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State of India - Uttarakhand
 
QUICK FACTS Climate (Degree C.): Summer - Max: 35, Min: 22, Winter - Max: 25, Min: 10 | Best Season: April - June and September - November | Languages Spoken: Hindi and Kumaoni | Capital: Dehradun

Overview:
Uttarakhand also called Devbhoomi, meaning the "Land of Gods" is one of the most enchanting parts of India. Cradled by the cool and soothing Himalayas in the northern part of India, Uttarakhand is the perfect destination for people looking for a place to relax and rejuvenate. Uttarakhand is abundant with numerous tourist and pilgrimage destinations and is covered by several varieties of rich forests, glaciers, mountains, rivers and perennial lakes

Geography of Uttarakhand:
Set amidst the mighty Himalayas, the topography of Uttarakhand has a distinct range of landforms varying from hills and peaks to cliffs and crests. Ganga, Yamuna, Bhagirathi, Alakananda, Kosi, Mandakini, Pindar and Saryu are major rivers flowing through Uttarakhand. Most of them have their origin in Himalayas. This state is adjoined by Nepal in the East, China in the North, Himachal Pradesh in the west and Uttar Pradesh in the South.

History of Uttarakhand:
This is the land where Vedas and Shastras were composed and the great Indian epic - Mahabharata was written. The first inhabitants of Gharwal and Kumaon were the Kuninda in the 2nd century B.C. During the medieval period, the region was dominated in the west by the Garhwal Kingdom and in the east by the Kumaon Kingdom. The history of Uttarakhand sings the glorious past of the territory and highlights the great emperors, such as the Kushanas, Kudinas, Kanishka, Samudragupta, Katuria, Palas, Chandras, Pawaras and Britishers.

Tourist Places of Uttarakhand:
Uttarakhand is a resplendent state which encompasses bounteous beauty in the form of many hill stations like Nainital, Mussoorie which give a perfect way to endure the beauty of the state. The region has always been the source of inspiration for nature lovers and seekers of peace and spirituality. Uttarakhand is as famous for its adventure sports all over the world. Various options include skiing, trekking and river rafting. There are Snow Mountains in Auli, where one can enjoy great skiing. All the water sport lovers can go to Rishikesh to try their hands at rafting in the turbulent water of the Ganges. Wildlife tourism of Uttarakhand highlights Jim Corbett National park, Rajaji National park and Nanda Devi National Park. These sanctuaries and national parks have some of the rarest species of animals that you cannot afford to miss.

Fairs & Festivals of Uttarakhand:
Uttarakhand is also home to the world famous Kumbh Mela/Ardh Kumbh Mela which is held at Haridwar every twelfth/sixth year interval. The fairs and folk festivals of Uttaranchal are very colourful and distinctive, and are a blend of various natural, social and cultural factors. The people of Uttaranchal also celebrate the major Indian festivals which include Basant Panchami, Bhitauli, Harela, Phooldei, Batsavitri, Ganga Dusshera, Dikar Puja, Olgi or Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Ghuian Ekadashi and Ghughutia.

Cuisine in Uttarakhand:
The traditional cuisine of the land is highly nutritious, simple to prepare and at the same time appealing to the palate. You can have delicious and mouth-watering Pahari recipes from Garhwal and Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Natives of Uttaranchal mostly eat a vegetarian meal though mutton and chicken are also savored. Rice is the indispensable food for the people of Uttaranchal. In Uttarakhand, Hash seeds, locally known as 'Bhang' are used as an essential spice. One can also try the desserts like Kesar Halwa, Sei, Gulgula, Jhangora Ki Kheer and Arsa.

Shopping in Uttarakhand:
Uttarakhand is not a typically a commercial shopping destination. Like all other hilly states, Uttarakhand also has rich forestland and vegetation. Wood has traditionally served as the base for crafts fashioned out by the local artisans. Woodcarving is the main handicraft in Uttarakhand. Things you can opt to buy when you are out for shopping include hand-made candles, organic items, jewellery, religious statuettes, hand-made sweaters & cardigans, scenic paintings. Besides this Uttarakhand is also well known for its finest quality of Basmati rice, which can be added to your shopping list.