UTTARAKHAND - A Solo Rider
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Uttarakhand

UTTARAKHAND

The 27th state of Republic of India, Devbhoomi Uttarakhand that was formed in the year 2000 after being separated from the large state of Uttar Pradesh, is a destination to explore the riches of Indian culture, history, and natural beauty. The state that borders Tibet to the north; Nepal to the east; the state of Uttar Pradesh to the south; and Himachal Pradesh to the west and north-west, is divided into regions, Garhwal and Kumaon, which further break into 13 districts. Earlier, the state was named Uttaranchal by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led central government and Uttar Pradesh State Government when they started a fresh round of state reorganisation in 1998. However, in 2006, Union Cabinet of India to the agreed to the demands of the Uttaranchal Legislative Assembly and leading members of the Uttarakhand Statehood Movement and renamed Uttaranchal as Uttarakhand. The state also finds its mention in history as a part of the Kuru and the Panchal kingdoms (mahajanpads) during the Vedic age. In Hindu mythology also, Uttarakhand has been recognized as a part of the famed Kedarkhand (Now Garhwal) and Manaskhand (Kumaon). It is also believed the famous sage Vyas composed the epic of Mahabharata in Uttarakhand. The signs of the practise of Shaivism in ancient times along with Buddhism and Folk Shamanic religion was also found in the state.

Uttarakhand-ReligionA major section of the people in Uttarakhand are Hindus. However, the state maintains a secular ambience with significant number of people belonging to other faiths like Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Christianity. According to the census conducted in 2011, there were Hinduism about 82.97% of the total population of Uttarakhand, whereas people following Islam were 13.95% and those following Sikhism were 2.34%, Christianity (0.37%), Buddhism (0.15%), 

 

Culture-of-UttarakhandCulture and people are very closely associated with each other. The term ‘culture’ refers to the complex collection of knowledge, folklore, language, rules, rituals, habits, lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, and customs that link and give a common identity to a particular group of people at a specific point in time. All social units develop a culture. Thus it is the inhabitants of a specific region that collectively contribute to form that extraordinary cornucopia of life we call culture.In case of Uttarakhand, the Land of Gods, natural diversity and the element of the Himalaya’s unparalleled beauty and sanctity add a new dimension to the word ‘culture’. The people of the state are as diverse as the landscape. Uttarakhand is blessed with a whole multiplicity of culture greatly influenced and inspired by its geo-social factors. The ancient cultural traditions of Uttarakhand are deep rooted primarily in religion. Music, dance and arts are a manifest for the firm religious bonds of the people with the awe-inspiring Himalayas.

 

 

Uttarakhand-LifestylesThe lifestyle in Uttarakhand is heterogenous and one can mark the difference between the urban and rural life in the state. Since Uttarakhand comprises of both hilly and plain terrains that eventually demarcate the lifestyle in the state, and then there are areas in the hill that are remote and difficult to access, where obviously the way of life is entirely different. The urban areas like Dehradun, Nainital, Haldwani, Haridwar etc. enjoy access to most of the modern facilities.

 

Uttarakhand-LiteracyAverage literacy rate of Uttarakhand is 78.82 percent. Male literacy rate in Uttarakhand is 87.40 percent. Female literacy rate in Uttarakhand is 70.01 percent. Total literates in Uttarakhand are 6,880,953 people. Male literates in Uttarakhand are 3,863,708. Female literates in Uttarakhand are 3,017,245.

 

Costume-of-UttarakhandClothing of Uttarakhand depicts the lifestyle, tradition and religion of the ethnic communities (Kumaoni and Garhwalis) of the northern state of India. Uttarakhand is bordering with the neighboring states Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. So, the people have adopted the traditional and lifestyle of these states as well. There are many Bengalis, Punjabis, Tibetan and Nepalis have settled in Uttarakhand. Garhwal hills have their own pattern of wearing costumes as per their cold climate. Wool obtained from sheep or goat for manufacturing warm clothes. There is a long skirt known as Ghagri which is worn with a choli and Orni. Both Kumaoni and Garhwali women wear this dress. The customary bridal dress of the locals is Ghaghra Lehenga and choli, and Pichora Ghaghra. Pichora or Rangwali is designed with silver and gold tatting.

 

Economy-of-UttarakhandUttarakhand is largely dependent on its agriculture for the revenue. Basmati rice, wheat, soybeans, groundnuts, coarse cereals, pulses, and oil seeds are the most widely grown crops in the state. There are also fruits like apples, oranges, pears, peaches, litchis, and plums that are widely grown in the state and bring a good amount of revenue. Other key industries for the source of economy include tourism and hydropower, and recently development in IT, ITES, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and automobile industries can also be seen in the state.

 

DISTRICTS OF UTTARAKHAND

KUMAUN REGION DISTRICTS

GARWAL REGION DISTRICTS

POPULAR FOOD

Uttrakhand-Food

Kafuli, Bhang ki Chutney, Kumauni Raita, Garwal ka Fannah, Phanu, Baadi, Kandalee ka Saag, Chainsoo, Dubuk, Jhangora ki Kheer, Gulgula, Arsa, Singori, Aloo ka Jhol, Aloo Gutook etc.

LOCAL DANCE

Choliya-Dance-Uttarakhand

Choliya Dance, Jagars, Jhora, Langvir Dance, Langvir Nritya, Pandav Nritya, Ramola, Chhopati, Chounphula, Jhumeila, Basanti, Mangal Barada Nati, Bhotiya Dance, Chancheri, Chhapeli, Shotiya Tribal Folk Dances, Thali-Jadda, and Jhainta.

LOCAL MUSIC

Uttarakhand-Music

Traditional musical instruments used in Uttarakhandi music include the dhol, damaun, turri, ransingha, dholki, daur, thali, bhankora and mashakbaja. Tabla and harmonium are also sometimes used.

LOCAL FAIRS

Naina-Devi-Fesival

Kumbh Mela, Devidhura Mela, Uttarayani Mela, Gauchar Mela, Nanda Devi Mela, Purnagiri Mela, Nanda Devi Rath Yatra etc.

LOCAL FESTIVAL

Festival-of-Uttarakhand

Harela, Diwali, Basant Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Ganga Dasseera, Bitauli, Holi, Navratri.

ART & CRAFT

Craft-of-Uttarakhand

Pine Tree Craft Work, Wood Carving, Stone Art Work, Aipan, Patta, Rangwali, Bar Bund etc.

BEST TIME TO VISIT UTTARAKHAND

Due to the diversity of topography in Uttarakhand, it remains accessible to tourists throughout the year. However, seasons of summer and winter are the most favourable. The summer season makes it an ideal time to find respite from the heat in other parts of the country and relish activities like trekking. On the other side, winters in Uttarakhand are perfect to enjoy the beauty of the state all blanketed by the snow.

DURING SUMMER

Summer
The weather during summer season remains moderate in some places, whereas some towns and villages in the upper realm stay untouched from the heat of the sun. The temperature in summer in Uttarakhand ranges 20°C to 40°C (in Terai Region of the state) and April to June are the months of summer. It is during this time, a lot of devotees also perform the pilgrimage. The season is also ideal for trekking.

DURING MONSOON

Monsoon
During the period of July to September, the monsoon season marks the state of Uttarakhand. The temperature of Uttarakhand in monsoon ranges between 15°C and 25°C and the place receives heavy rainfall during this time. Thus, it is advisable to check the weather forecast before planning a trip.

DURING WINTER

Winter
During the winter season, Uttarakhand looks most scenic as it snows at several places in the state. The temperature usually ranges between 0°C and 15°C. Additionally, October to March is considered as the months of winters in Uttarakhand. The weather during these months is chilly and snowfall is quite obvious.

HOW TO REACH UTTARAKHAND

Sharing its boundary with Nepal and China, Uttarakhand is set at the edge of the Himalayas. Uttarakhand houses the most sacred temples of the Hindus- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. This is not all! The place has a lot more to it. Uttarakhand has top hill stations of the country including Mussoorie, Nainital, Auli, Uttarkashi and Chamoli. Reaching Uttarakhand is easy and this is because of its connectivity with other cities of the country via air, rail and road.

AIR

There are two domestic airports near Uttarakhand. These include the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and Pantnagar Airport near Nainital. While there are regular flights to Dehradun from major cities of the country, Pantnagar Airport gets limited flights. So, make sure that you check with the flights before planning your trip to Uttarakhand.

RAIL

Rail network offers convenient travelling to places in Uttarakhand. Some important junctions of the place include Haridwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Kathgodam, and Udham Singh Nagar. All these station are well connected to other cities of the country such as Delhi, Varanasi and Lucknow. Express and passenger trains run to the place from different parts of the country.

ROAD

Roadways offers the best connectivity in the state. There are well-connected highways like NH 108, NH 109, NH 119, NH 121, NH 123 and NH 72A that connect the state with other parts of the country. With an efficient bus unit, Uttarakhand offers excellent accessibility. Taxis are also available to most of the destinations in the state, and thus, is the best mode of transport.

UTTARAKHAND AT A GLANCE

Local Languages

  • Hindi
  • Kumauni
  • Garwali
  • Jaunsari
  • Bhotia

Religion

  • Hindu
  • Sikhs
  • Christians
  • Muslim
  • Buddhist

Religious Faith

  • Shivaism
  • Shaktism
  • Vaishnavism

Religious Attractions

  • Kedarnath
  • Badrinath
  • Gangotri
  • Yanunotri
  • Panch Kedar
  • Garjiya
  • Naina Devi

Popular Destinations

  • Dehradun
  • Nainital
  • Mussoorie
  • Haridwar
  • Rishikesh
  • Ranikhet
  • Kausani

Popular Sanctuaries

  • Corbett National Park
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere
  • Valley of Flowers
  • Gangotri National Park
  • Rajaji National Park
  • Askot Wild Life Sanctuary
  • Govind National Park