Uttarakhand, popularly known as ‘Dev Bhoomi’, meaning the land of Gods, echoes how rich the culture of this land is. The vibrant culture surrounded by folk dance, music, cuisine, architectural marvels( temples and monuments), traditions and arts and crafts forms one of the most dynamic states of the country. The majority of people there are Hindus. Garhwali is the most widely spoken language of the state. The Ganga, the most sacred river of India has its origin in Uttarakhand. This holy river is considered a living deity representing the spiritual facet of the culture of Uttaranchal.
Bordered by Tibet in the north, Nepal in the east, Himachal Pradesh in the west and the Gangetic plains in the south, Uttarakhand, the land of spirituality seems to be a jewel on the crown of Indian Territory. Religious tourism forms a major portion of the tourism in the state. The state of Uttarakhand is attached with many legends. Uttarakhand is famous for Char Dham Yatra, which literally means ‘journey to the four centres’. These four religious centres in Uttarakhand are represented by Badrinath (dedicated to Lord Vishnu), Kedarnath(dedicated to Lord Shiva), Gangotri (the holy origin of River Ganga)and Yamunotri (the holy origin of River Yamuna). The state of Uttarakhand has a large number of temples and other places where people place utmost faith and belief.
A wide variety of delicious culinary delights are available in Uttaranchal. Most of the people of the state are more inclined towards vegetarian food, though there is of course a minority non-vegetarian population. The primary characteristics of the Uttarakhand cuisine is that milk and milk based products is used here a lot. Coarse grain with high fibre content is very common in Uttarakhand cuisines. 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.Treat your taste buds to some of the popular dishes of Uttaranchal: Garhwal Ka Fannah, Chainsoo, Kafuli, Jholi, Paanu, Thehwani, Baadi, Ras, Arsa(dessert), black and white roti and many more.
Uttarakhand – the land of gods, the home of Himalayas and truly a paradise on earth, allures everyone from everywhere. The fresh air, the pure water, the raw snow, the alluring mountains, the scenic beauty, the small villages, the simpler people and a tougher lifestyle is what distinguishes Uttarakhand from rest of the world. Being the originating point of significant Indian rivers, Uttarakhand is the abode of some of the best hill stations in north India. While the winter season can offer you the best views of snow packed mountain ranges, the same ranges can be the comfort zones in the summer. Mussoorie, the ‘Queen of Hills’; Nainital, the ‘Lake District’; Almora, the ‘Switzerland of India’; Ranikhet, Pithoragarh, Pauri and Munsiyari are just few highlights for the nature lovers. Uttarakhand has one of the most beautiful hill stations in the world including Binsar, Auli, Chakrala, Chamba, Bhimtal, Pangot and many more.
With more than half the area of Uttarakhand under a rugged and mountainous topography, the place is ideal for adventure sports, besides the usual tourist attractions of nature and religion. From thrilling mountain climbing to relaxing leisure walk, each single activity is delightful and worthy to time spending. Being blessed by the glacial river Ganga, Uttarakhand is counted amongst the top water sport destinations in India. The region is dotted with numerous streams which flows through rocky terrains and dense forests. This makes Uttarakhand renowned for water adventure activities like white water rafting, kayaking, canoeing and water skiing.Uttarakhand is also a ‘paradise’ for nature lover’s and adventure sports like trekking, paragliding, Corbett jungle jeep safari, mountaineering (Bhagirathi, Chowkhamba, Nanda Devi Kamet, Pindari, Sahastrataal, Milam, Kafni, Khatling, Gaumukh), bungee jumping, skiing (Auli, Dayara Bugyal, Munsiyari, Mundali), skating, boating,angling,hand Gliding, paragliding (Pithoragarh, Jolly Grant, Pauri).
Haridwar Kumbh Mela (fair) is a major tourist attraction to the state. Haridwar is one of the four places in India where this takes place. Haridwar also has its big annual fair in the form of Magh mela in January–February which turns into a bigger event every 6 years in the form of Ardh Magh Mela.
Nanda Devi Mela and Nanda Devi Raj Yatra of the Goddess Nanda Devi are great festivals of Uttarakhand.
Kumaoni Holi a region variant of the Hindu festival of Holi is also very well known.