For a small state, Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal) packs in an incredible amount. You can be taking yoga classes at an ashram in Rishikesh and white-water rafting down the Ganges one day, trekking in the shadow of the Himalayas the next. Walk with pilgrims to ancient temples near the source of Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, or take puja (offering or prayers) with thousands of devotees on the ghats at Haridwar. Put your feet up and relax in Raj-era hill stations, or ride an elephant and take your camera on a hunt for tigers at Corbett or Rajaji National Parks. If you get your timing right, it's all possible in Uttarakhand.

This is a region where nature takes control – rolling forest-clad hills, snow-topped 6000m peaks, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and glaciers. The state is 90% hills and 80% forest. The sacred Ganges River, which rises at Gaumukh Glacier in the far north, winds its way down to the plains via the significant pilgrimage centres of Gangotri, Rishikesh and Haridwar.
The British, fleeing the oppressive heat of the plains in summer, built enduring hill stations in the Himalayan foothills with Raj-style houses, hotels, churches and boarding schools that still exist. Mussoorie and Nainital have a real holiday atmosphere year-round and distant Himalayan views. Further north, the high Himalaya attracts trekkers, mountaineers and skiers as well as pilgrims on the Char Dham and Hem Kund routes. But it's Rishikesh that draws most foreign tourists for its ashrams, yoga, meditation and all-round spirituality. Whatever your interest, square for square, this is one of India's richest regions for travellers.

People & Culture

PEOPLE: The people of Uttarakhand come from a number of different ethnic groups, mostly fairly heterogeneous- at least at first glance- but with distinctive traditions and customs of their own. The bulk of the population is rural and lives in villages which look as if they were caught in a time-warp ancient temples, slate-roofed houses, terraced fields and traditional costumes included. They are called 'paharis' or simple translated -people from the hills. Since Uttarakhand consists of Garhwal and Kumaon, you will have the Garhwali and also the Kumaonis. Among the prominent ethnic groups of the state are the Bhotias, the Jaunsaries, the Tharus, the Bokshas and the Rajis. The people of Uttarakhand are also known as Garhwali or Kumaoni; some of them are also known as Paharis, Jaunsari, Bhotia, Buksha, Tharu, Raji.
The people of Uttarakhand are simple folk and are known to be warm and welcoming.
CULTURE The culture of Uttarakhand shows a distinctive pattern, with the elements from each of the ethnic groups and sub-groups that resides in this place. It can be said that the culture of Uttarakhand is a juncture where the different cultures of the Kumaoni-Garhwal meet. Talking about the culture of Uttarakhand, we can begin with the people of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand houses seven different ethnic groups, having as many as seven different cultures.

Music is an integral part of the Uttarakhand culture. Some of the popular folk songs are Mandals, panwaras and somber khuded, thadya and jhoda. These folk songs are composed on the beats and nodes of Dhol, damoun, turri, ransingha, dholki, daur, thali, bhankora and masakbhaja. Barada Nati folk dance is another famous dance of Dehradun, which is practiced on some religious festivals are Choliya, Jhodha, Pandava, Bhothiya, Chanchi, Chhapeli, Langvir.
The beautiful state of Uttarakhand has a very simple, yet delicious cuisine. The primary characteristics of the Uttarakhand cuisine is that milk and milk based products is sparingly used here. Coarse grain with high fibre content is very common in Uttarakhand cuisines. Other food items which are famous are - mandua (Buck wheat) in the interior regions of Kumaun, linguda, which is grown on the borders of Tibet and Nepal. It is also a part of the Pahari cuisine as it helps to keep the stomach in order. Some of the famous cuisines of Uttarakhand are Phanu, Kafuli, Thechwani, Chainsoo, Jholi, Chutney, Roat, Baadi, Bhatt ki Churdkani, Gulgula, Mandua ki roti, Thagya roti, Kuladh ki dal, Swala, PalaU, Kandali ka saag, Jhangora ki kheer.
Uttarakhand Routes
  • Journey through the Land Of Celestial Beauty

    • Duration: 12 Days
    • Best Season: November - May
    • Grade: Moderate
    • Route: Delhi - Corbett National Park - Almora - Kausani - Rudraprayag - Rishkesh - Delhi
  • Valley of Flowers

    • Duration: 12 Days
    • Best Season: May - October
    • Grade: Gentle
    • Route: Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Rudraprayag - Badrinath - Govindghat - Ghangaria - Hemkund - Ghangaria - Govindghat - Joshimath - Auli - Rudraprayag - Rishikesh - Delhi
  • Traversing In The Shadow of Nanda Devi

    • Duration: 13 Days
    • Best Season: November & December & March to mid-June
    • Grade: Moderate
    • Route: Delhi - Corbett National Park - Ranikhet - Binsar - Munsiyari - Choukri - Kausani - Rudraprayag - Haridwar - Delhi
  • Gangotri - Gaumukh Trek

    • Duration: 8 Days
    • Best Season: May - June & October
    • Grade: Non - Moderate
    • Route: Delhi - Haridwar - Uttarkashi - Gangotri - Bhojbasa - Gaumukh - Chirbasa - Uttarkashi - Rishikesh - Delhi
  • Source Of The Ganges

    • Duration: 12 Days
    • Best Season: All throughout the Year
    • Grade: Moderate
    • Route: Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Rudraprayag - Gangotri - Chirbasa - Gaumauk - Tapovan - Bhojbasa - Gangotri - Uttarkashi - Near Rishikesh - Delhi
  • Tigers of Corbett & the Majestic Nanda Devi Group of Mountains

    • Duration: 13 Days
    • Best Season: February - April
    • Grade: Gentle
    • Route: Delhi - Kuchesar - Corbett National Park - Binsar - Village Home Stay - Almora - Kausani - Rudraprayag - Rishikesh - Haridwar - Delhi
  • Nanda Devi Base Camp Trek

    • Duration: 25 Days
    • Grade: Gentle
    • Route: Delhi - Haridwar - Joshimath - Badrinath - Rudraprayag - Almora - Munsiyari - Lilam - Bugdiar - Martoli - Lwanl - Naspanpatti - Nanda Devi East Base Camp - Lwanl - Milam - Burfu - Pachhu - Martoli - Bugdyar - Munsiyari - Kathgodham - Delhi
  • Nanda Devi East and Ralam Trek

    • Duration: 20 Days
    • Best Season: February - April
    • Grade: Moderate - Hard
    • Route: Delhi - Rishikesh - Gwaldam - Munsiyari - Lilam - Bogdiyar - Rilkot - Martoli - Ganghar - Nanda Devi base camp - Milam Village - Milam Glacier - Sumdo - Bogdiyar - Lilam - Munsiyari - Birthi - Binsar - Delhi
  • Kalpeswar Rudranath Tungnath Trek

    • Duration: 16 Days
    • Best Season: February - April
    • Grade: Gentle
    • Route: Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Pipalkoti - Helang - Salna Village - Kalpeswar - Base Of Pass - Dumak - Tolli - Panar - Rudranath - Panar - Sagar - Chopta - Tungnath - Chopta - Rudraprayag - Rishikesh - Haridwar - Delhi
  • Dayara Bugyal & Surya Top Trek

    • Duration: 10 Days
    • Best Season: March - June, Oct - Dec
    • Grade: Easy - Moderate
    • Route: Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Uttarkashi - Raithal - Dayara Bugyal - Dayara - Devkund - Syanri Bugyal - Surya Top - Barnala - Barsu - Rishikesh - Haridwar - Delhi

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