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Information about Uttaranchal

Uttaranchal is one of the most beautiful and enchanting region of northern India. It is also one of the holiest regions of the Himalayas. Uttaranchal is the 27th state of India. It was formed on 9th Nov. 2000 and carved out of Uttar Pradesh. Uttaranchal is also known as Dev Bhoomi, the Land of gods as the nature has endowed this land with lot of beauty and spirituality. Uttaranchal lies in the northern part of India amidst the magnificent Himalayas and dense forests. The state borders Himachal Pradesh in the north-west, Uttar Pradesh in the South and shares international borders with Nepal and China. Uttaranchal constitutes the regions of Garhwal and Kumaon, named after former mountain kingdoms. Garhwal consists of the districts of Pauri, Chamoli Tehri, Dehradun and Uttarkashi; and Kumaon consists of Nainital, Almora and the well known Pithoragarh. Dehradun is the interim capital city of Uttaranchal. Uttaranchal consists of 13 districts which are Almora, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Haridwar, Champawat, Nainital, 

Uttaranchal Map, Map of Uttaranchal

Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag. These districts form two divisions which are Garhwal and Kumaon, named after former mountain kingdoms. Garhwal includes Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, Tehri, and Uttarkashi districts, and Kumaon includes Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar. Uttaranchal is famous not only for some well known hill stations like Mussoorie and Nainital, but also for Dev Bhumi, Land of the Gods, in Garhwal. Hindi, Garhwali, English are the main languages which are spoken in Uttaranchal. The best time to visit this place is between April and October.

Geography of Uttaranchal

The state of Uttaranchal can be grouped into three distinct geographical regions, the High mountain region, the Mid-mountain region and the Terai region. About 88% of the region is hilly and the remaining 12 percent falls in the plains. This magical land has such an awesome charm, splendour and enchanting beauty which cannot be seen anywhere else. Uttaranchal is blessed with magnificent glaciers, sparkling and joyful rivers, gigantic mountain peaks, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests. Pindari, Milam, Sundar Dhunga, Gangotri, Chetrangi, Khatling, Jumdar and Dukhroni are the mighty glaciers of the state. The Garhwal region in Uttaranchal has many peaks over 7,000 metres including India’s second highest peak, Nanda Devi, named after Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort. The other famous peaks are Kedarnath, Trishul, Bandarpunch and Mt. Kamet. The Ganga, Yamuna, Ramganga and Sharda are the main rivers that originate in Uttaranchal. Among these rivers, Ganga is the most holy and prominent river and represents the soul of India. Sahastratal, Kedartal, Vasukital, Sattal, Naukichiatal, Bhimtal, Bhadarsartal and Kakbushandital are the sparkling lakes. One of the most stunning panoramas in the region is the Duirital, the lake set like an emerald in the heart of the Himalayas. Dodital, the pristine and unspoiled lake is just 400 km from Dehi. Although Dodital is only about 10 acres in area, it has a rare, thriving population of brown trout. Sahasratal literally means thousand lakes. Though there are hundreds of pools here, but there are only seven lakes. The Valley of Flowers is also situated here which is at its best in July-August. This valley offers 500 species of flowers.

Economy of Uttaranchal

The state of Uttaranchal has tremendous potential of developing tourism industry due to the beautiful landscape, religious places, trekking trails, national parks, mountain peaks and historical and archeological sites. Most of the rural population is engaged in agriculture. Doon Valley, Nainital district, Udham Singh Nagar and Haridwar districts produce large quantities of food grains. The state has immense potential for the development of horticulture crops. Apple, orange, malta, pear, grapes, peach, plum, appricot, litchi, mango, guava are widely produced fruits. The region also holds good promises for developing herbal pharmaceutical industry owing to abundant medicinal plants. Due to its water resources, the state has the capacity to generate many mega watts of power. Presently, it is producing 500 MW of power. There are 17 hydro-electric projects and various power projects including Tehri Dam, which has recently been constructed in the Tehri-Garhwal region.

People of Uttaranchal
Uttaranchal People, People of Uttaranchal

The people of Uttaranchal are known as Garhwali or Kumaoni and more than 90% of them are Hindus. Many of them also call themselves as Pahari that means "hill person" to distinguish themselves from Desis of the rest of India. Other ethnic communities in the region include Nepali, and the Tibatan migrants called as the Jadh, Marcha and Shauka on the Indo-Tibetan frontier, collectively known as the Bhotiya, and nomadic cattle herders known as Gujjar in the southern Terai region. Many Punjabis after the partition of India, Bengalis, and Tibetans of Eastern Tibet region have also settled in the southern plains part of the state. The Tharu and Buksha can also be found in the hilly Terai region, although these areas are now heavily populated by a mixed population from Punjab and the adjoining plains. In 

Western Garhwal ritual as well as polyandry are practiced. The principal occupation of the villagers is agriculture and grazing. It was in Garhwal that a people’s movement “Chipko” was started by women with a view to saving its forests from greedy commercial intests. The women clung to trees willing to sacrifice their life for trees. They succeeded in the end and today, felling of trees in these mountains is banned. Kumaoni and Garhwali dialects are spoken is Kumaon and Garhwal region respectively. Jaunsari and Bhotia is also spoken in the region by some tribal communities. In various regions a mixture of both Kumaoni and Garhwali is also spoken. The city population however converse mostly in Hindi.

Fairs and Festivals of Uttaranchal

The fairs and festivals of Uttaranchal are very colourful and distinctive, and reflects the blend of various natural, social and cultural factors. The fairs of Uttaranchal are closely linked to the economic activities of the region. Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, Phool Dei, Haatkalika Fair, Kumbh Mela, Syalde Bikhauti, Somnath Fair, Punyagiri Fair, Jageshwar Fair, Bat Savitri, Ganga Dusshera, Harela and Bhitauli, Olgia or Ghee Sankranti, Janopunyu, Khatarua, Jauljibi and Thal fairs and Nandadevi Fair are some of the major fairs and festivals of Uttaranchal.

Pilgrimages in Uttaranchal

Uttaranchal, also known as the Dev Bhumi has many shrines and places of pilgrimage. The source of the Yamuna and the Ganga river has led to setting up of some of holiest shrines in Uttaranchal. Char Dham is one of the most famous pilgrimage circuit which consists of the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are the famous Hindu temples which constitute the Char Dham. These places are snow covered and situated at an altitude of some 10,000 feet above sea level. The best time to take this pilgrimage tour is from April to October. Haridwar and Rishikesh are the two other famous holy and pilgrimage shrines in Uttaranchal. This is also the land where Vedas and Shastras were composed and great Indian epic, the Mahabharata was written. The land has always been the source of inspiration for nature lovers and seekers of peace and spirituality.

Uttaranchal Pilgrimages, Pilgrimages of Uttaranchal
Adventure Sports in Uttaranchal

The terrain of Uttaranchal offers immense opportunities for adventure sports. The region abounds with a splendid combination of flora and fauna, flowing rivers and snow-capped mountains which infuse the spirit of adventure in all. Skiing, trekking, river rafting and various other water sports can be undertaken in Uttaranchal. The large slopes of Uttaranchal hills covered with snow become an ideal place for skiing in the winter months. One can feel the adrenaline levels rising as one negotiates the challenges of the steep gradients and traverses unimaginable distances. Auli is the most famous famous place in Uttaranchal for skiing. The natural advantages of Auil’s slopes, coupled with state of the art facilities have made it one of the best place in the world. The hills of Uttaranchal offer various breathtakingly adventurous trekking routes. Trekking is the best way to know the land, its people, culture and traditions.

Hill Stations in Uttaranchal

The Uttaranchal region nestles two exciting hill resorts where Indians move during summer. Mussoorie is one of the famous hill station which is also known as the Queen of Indian Hill Stations. The other hill resort is Nainital. Nainital is the summer capital of Uttar Pradesh Government. It is a popular resort in the Kumaon Hills with a sparkling lake in the center of the city. Every year during summer, Nainital has a national level regatta on its famous lake. Almora is situated about 65 kms from Nainital. Almora, the famous hill station is perched on a 5 km ridge, and offers a majestic view of the snowclad station with round bracing climate. This resort attracts the tourists throughout the year.

Wildlife Sanctuaries in Uttaranchal

Uttaranchal is very rich in terms of wild life and forest area. The thick forests and mountains houses a variety of wildlife, birds and plant species, depending on the climate of different regions. The ecological zones likely to fall in Uttaranchal are upper Himalayas called the snow-bound zones, lower Himalayas and Shivaliks. All these zones support many rare plants and animals. Tiger and elephants are found in Shivalik range, black bear, wild sheep and goats and musk deer in the Himalayan range and the snow leopard and brown bear in Himadri region. Nanda Devi National Park, Valley of flowers National Park, Rajaji National Park, Kedarnath Wildlife sanctuary and Govind Wildlife Sanctuary are the famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Uttaranchal.

States in North India
Delhi || Jammu & Kashmir || Haryana & Punjab || Himachal Pradesh || Madhya Pradesh || Rajasthan || Uttar Pradesh || Uttaranchal

Information about Uttaranchal
Introduction || Geography || Economy || People || Pilgrimage || Adventure Sports || Hill Stations || Trekking || Wildlife Sanctuaries

Cities in Uttaranchal
Almora || Champawat || Dehradun || Pithoragarh || Ranikhet

Distances from Cities in Uttaranchal
Muzzafarnagar || Saharanpur

Hill Stations in Uttaranchal
Mussoorie || Nainital

Pilgrimage Places in Uttaranchal
Badrinath || Gangotri || Haridwar || Kedarnath || Yamunotri || Other Pilgrimage Places

Festivals of Uttaranchal

Makar Sankranti || Basant Panchami || Phool Dei || Haatkalika Fair || Kumbh Mela || Syalde Bikhauti || Jageshwar Fair || Bat Savitri || Ganga Dusshera || Harela and Bhitauli || Ghee Sankranti || Janopunyu || Khatarua || Jauljibi and Thal fairs || Nandadevi Fair

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Uttaranchal

Corbett National Park || Govind Wildlife Sanctuary || Valley of Flowers National Park || Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary || Nanda Devi National Park
|| Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

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