Uttarakhand, a beautiful state in northern India, is known for its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. It is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park. These sites attract nature lovers from all over the world with their breathtaking beauty and diverse flora and fauna.

Uttarakhand also houses India's top two mountaineering institutes. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi, established in 1965, is one of the country's most famous mountaineering schools. Another renowned institute is the Pandit Nain Singh Surveyor Mountaineering Training Institute in Munsiyari, located in the Pithoragarh district.

In addition, Uttarakhand boasts the highest Shiva temple in the world, Tungnath. This ancient temple, believed to be over a thousand years old, is linked to the legendary Pandavas from the Mahabharata.

Home to many famous hill stations in India, such as Nainital, Rishikesh, Auli, Mussoorie, etc, Uttarakhand is spectacularly scenic and picturesque. Dehradun, the capital city, is also the largest city in the state and is a hub for institutions. Uttarakhand temperature dips low during winters; therefore, visiting the state during summers when the weather is amiable is ideal. From spirituality, wellness, adventure, culture, and cuisines, get the best memories for life here. 

History of Uttarakhand  

Uttarakhand has a rich and varied history. It was originally settled by the Kol people, who spoke the Munda language. During the Vedic era, Indo-Aryan tribes moved into the region and integrated with the Kols. Legend has it that the Pandavas from the Mahabharata visited Uttarakhand, making it a favored place for sages and holy men.

The first significant dynasty to rule the Garhwal and Kumaon regions was the Kunindas in the 2nd century BC. They were followed by the Naga dynasty in the 4th century, and later the Katyuri dynasty from the 7th to the 14th century. By the medieval period, the 13th century saw the establishment of the Garhwal kingdom in the west and the Kumaon kingdom in the east. In 1791, the Nepalese Gurkha Empire conquered Kumaon, and by 1803, they had also taken over Garhwal.

The Anglo-Nepalese war in 1816 led to the reestablishment of the Garhwali kingdom in Tehri, and the Treaty of Sagauli resulted in the annexation of Kumaon by the British. After India gained independence, the state of Tehri was merged with Uttar Pradesh, incorporating both Garhwal and Kumaon regions into what is now Uttarakhand.

The push for a separate state began with the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, which gained momentum in 1994. This movement ultimately led to the creation of the new state in 2000, initially named Uttaranchal. However, in 2006, the name was officially changed to Uttarakhand. By December 2006, Uttarakhand was recognized as an independent state of India, and it has since been developing while preserving its rich heritage.

Culture of Uttarakhand  

One of the youngest states of India, Uttarakhand, is majorly home to the people who follow Hinduism. People also abide by other faiths such as Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism, yet the Hindu population dominates, with 82.97 per cent of people following it as per the census of 2011. With this distribution, people live in rural and urban areas where handicrafts and organic products contribute to the state's economy. In this beautiful hilly state, NGOs and Government aid lend a hand to the rural people in making homestays and selling organic products as well as articles made by hand. The incredibleness of the state can be witnessed through the fairs and folk dances of the country that are still enjoyed by rural communities. 

The prosperous state has a lot to unveil amongst the spectators besides traditional events and handicrafts. The famous dress worn by the women of the state is a mantle-kind dress named Sarong, which gets tightened with an Odani, Khorpi, and blouse. Ghaghra choli or Rangwali Pichora is another popular regional attire that makes the women of Uttarakhand look like damsels, whereas Nath and Galoband adore their beauty. All in all, natives and locals of Uttarakhand incredibly preserve their culture and traditions. 

Food of Uttarakhand  

Making the dreams of every food lover come true, Uttarakhand India serves lip-smacking dishes on the plate. Due to hills, the state pays homage to highly pure ingredients where adulteration has almost no place. The food that chefs serve here has a unique taste that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the country due to the unique ways in which they prepare food. Uttarakhand's traditional food is full of authenticity, and the cuisines with perfect composition do not overpower the originality ever.

Among the highly nutritious Garhwali dishes, one can count on Thenchwani, Chaunsu, Phaana, Kaafuli, and Kode Ki Roti. When it comes to savouring the taste of Kumaoni authenticity, one can satiate the taste buds by grabbing a bite of Aalo ka gutka, Bhatt ki Churkani, Dubuk, Bhaang ki Chutney, and Kumaoni Dal Bade. For people with a sweet tooth and snack love, nothing can beat the flavours of Baadi, Gulgula, Arsa, Aalo Tuk, Kumauni Raita, and Signori. It would not be wrong to say that there is magic in the hands of the local chefs.

Art and Craft of Uttarakhand  

The land that pays homage to incredible artisans, Uttarakhand is well known for wood carving. With the marvelous sceneries, Uttarakhand Tourism stirs the inner artist of every spectator. The temples and palaces of Uttarakhand give evidence of the breathtaking wood carvings. Along with this, people of the state also try their hands on jewelry making, candle making, and painting to create impressive attractions. The demonstration of the skills of natives is reflected in the Aipan murals and Garhwal paintings.

Another thing that adds magic to Uttarakhand's art and craft is the Ringaal handicraft, which is preserved by the tribal communities of Uttarakhand. Also, the Ramban handicraft, which was made with jute and hemp, gives evidence of its richness in crafting. Not merely this, but the art and craft of Uttarakhand also includes knitting woollen clothes, intricately embroidered cushion covers, curtains, and hand-woven carpets. The candle-making art of state adds glory to the handicraft culture and is abundantly dotted around the entire Nainital market. With all these practised crafts, Uttarakhand becomes home to highly remarkable arts and crafts that are a must-buy.

Places To Visit In Uttarakhand  

The state that gives shelter to Hindu pilgrims, Uttarakhand, is admired for the plethora of tourist attractions present there. Amongst such places, here is a list of some quintessential places that can fill your Tours to India with full enthusiasm and great amusements.

  • Endorse peace at Ganga Aarti in Haridwar
  • Put your steps into Corbett National Park
  • Do not miss to pay a visit to Rishikesh, the yoga city
  • Enjoy the serenity of Nainital at its lakes
  • Reach Lal Tibba, the highest peak of Mussoorie with a horse ride
  • Arrange a picnic at Mussoorie’s Kempty Falls
  • Meditate in the Kasar Devi Temple of Almora
  • Get a heavenly walk at Valley of Flowers National Park
  • Complete your Char Dham Yatra and visit Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines to seek blessings. Uttrakhand Tourism makes good arrangements for pilgrims. 
  • Delve into the beauty of white snowy hills at Auli
  • Experience challenging trek to Khalia Top at Munsiyari.
  • Enjoy the Tehri Lake Festival that is considered to be the biggest lake festival of Asia.

All these Tourist places in Uttarakhand make the state resemble the heaven where Gods and Goddesses reside and endow the local folks with innumerable blessings. The trip to the hilly state is sufficient to please the tourists with contentment and thrill that stays with them for the rest of their lives.

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