Rig Veda, the most ancient of the scriptures says, ‘there is no happiness for him who does not travel. The fortune of him who is sitting sits, it rises when he rises, it sleeps when he sleeps, it moves when he moves.
A major portion of human history has been created by travels - treatises and historical accounts are filled with stories of men who travelled to conquer, to convert, to trade, to plunder and most importantly to quench their curiosity. Every mountain and ocean stimulated human curiosity to see and know beyond the mundane. This unremitting beckoning upset his sleep and logic but invigorated his fancy. The obsession for the unknown was an indivisible element of that fancy. And men, as always, have been known to live and die for their fancies.
Uttarakhand is one of the top-tourist and holiest pilgrimage destinations in India that allures a lot of travelers and devotees from all parts of India and across the globe. The snow-capped peaks, exotic hill stations and green jungles form the major highlight of the place. Though, you can plan a trip to Uttarakhand all the year long, but the best time to visit Uttarakhand is during summers and winters.
Auli in the Indian state of Uttarakhand is renowned for the fascinating ski resorts and stunning natural vistas. Bounded by the snowy peaks of the mighty Himalayas, this hilly terrain offers the enchanting sceneries of oak fringed slopes and coniferous forests. At an average height of 2800 meters, this might be the single spot where the visitors would get the unusual opportunity of a nice promenade..
Auli proffers a credible past that dates back to the 8th century. It is believed that this pretty locale is blessed with the sacred visit of Sankaracharya. As a toddler in the tourism arena, Auli proffers an unspoiled ambiance. The harsh frosty storms, the sylvan peaks and the long stretch of snowy valleys would make idyllic surroundings for a skier. Aptly called as the haven for skiing activities, this hilly resort is turned to be the only tourist destination where skiing is the most sought after past time.
The summer capital of the erstwhile Chand kings (7th - 18th century) of Kumaon, Binsar is a picturesque, sleepy hamlet and one of the most scenic spots in the Kumaon Himalayas.Pitched at the impressive altitude of 2,420 m, 95 km from Nainital, it offers a majestic view of the snowy Himalayan peaks like the mesmerizing ranges Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nanda Devi, Shivling and Panchchuli.
Encircled by a vast wildlife sanctuary, a home to many rare animals, birds and wild flowers Binsar is a truly fascinating spot. Binsar is also a trekker's paradise. One can go on long treks in the clean air, amidst the misty mountain trails, towering Oaks and Rhododendrons. Binsar is a formation of sleepy hamlets amidst orchards, silver streams and green meadows. The blanket of green hangs all around - rocks covered with unusual moss and ferns, flowers and shrubs - foliage sprouting out of every conceivable nook and corner of the hillside. The entire area is now a sanctuary.
Uttarakhand is the heartland of the Himalayas. A wide expanse between the Himalayas in the North and the Shivalik range in the South, it offers the most breathtaking views of the mighty peaks; mist covered deep gorges and verdant valleys.
It is an excellent place to relax and enjoy and is just a drive away from the city blues. One can reach Chamba in about two hours from Rishikesh. After the submergence of old Tehri, Chamba is the fast-emerging tourist spot in Tehri Garhwal. The snow capped peaks of the Himalayas, the awe inspiring views of the green gorges and the enchanting valleys all around the river Bhagirathi will undoubtedly leave you spellbound, amidst rich apple orchards.
Guarded on either side by the two mountains Nar and Narayan, the Neelkanth Peak provides a splendid backdrop to Badrinath, one of the ‘Four Dhams’. One of the most celebrated pilgrim spots in the country, it plays host to the famous Badrinath Temple. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu came to the area, called ‘Badri Van’, or the berry garden, to meditate after Narad rebuked the Lord for being immersed in worldly pleasures. The main deity is a meditating Lord Vishnu.
It is not just shrines and pilgrimage that Badrinath offers. It proffers the awesome beauty of the snow clad mountain peaks and the surging landscapes of the Garhwal region. It is a scenic place with picture book sceneries, undulating peaks, sacred ponds and water bodies, Badrinath makes the visitor spellbound with its unparalleled gorgeousness. This majestic look of Badrinath is attributed much by the presence of the magnificent rivers Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda. Apart from the natural beauty, Badrinath presents excellent opportunity for those who love escapades and recreational activities.
The beautiful town of Lansdowne is situated at an elevation of 1780 m above sea level. It is in the south of Pauri en route Kotdwar and is surrounded by thick oak and blue pine forests offering great mountain views. It is a charming place for a quiet holiday as it is devoid of the usual hustle - bustle of other hill stations in Uttarakhand. Lansdowne was originally a popular hill station with the British.
Attracted by its healthy climate and natural beauty, they established a cantonment here. It was founded by the, then Viceroy Lord Lansdowne in 188a7 AD. Thus the place has been named after him. The famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here.
Shri Hemkunt Sahib is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Sikhs. Hemkund is the breathtaking Lokpal lake located at an altitude of 4329 m from the sea level. The picturesque natural settings make this hill region an amazing place for rejuvenating vacations. One can reach this majestic lake through a challenging but interesting and enjoyable trek from Ghangharia.
Hemkunt Sahib is nestled amidst seven snow capped peaks and marvelous snowy glaciers. The nature is reflected here with all its mighty appearance in the crystal clear alluring water. Hemkund lake is fed by the glaciers from majestic peaks known as Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks. A small stream known as Himganga originates from this imposing lake.
Even before the Himalayas rose into existence, Mount Kailash towered above them. The Kailash Range is 30 million years old and its supreme peak, the 6,675 meter high Mount Kailash was formed of shining granite with its white glacial crest, was already a huge, structure even when the Himalayas were just beginning to protrude out of the Tethys Sea. Hindus and Tibetans seem to have been aware of the uniqueness of this mountain from the most ancient times. To Hindus it is the earthy embodiment of the dominant mountain of heaven, Meru, and the residence of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. To Tibetans it is Sumeru, the cosmic centre of the universe. Consequently Mount Kailash has held a great charm for pilgrims for centuries.
One among the holiest pilgrim centers in northern India, which is situated at an altitude of 3584 meters in the lap of the majestic mountain peaks, Kedarnath in the state of Uttarakhand boast of unparallel credentials in the religious arena. This scenic locale in the Gharwal region proffers an unruffled ambiance with it’s snowy peaks, alpine forests and colourful rhodendrons.
It is not just temples and shrines that Kedarnath is famed for. This lovely land on the majestic backdrop of the lower Himalayas is naturally bestowed with some of the wonderful vistas of nature. These yet to exploit beauty spots are adorned with an aesthetic charm that provides the onlookers a mesmerizing and captivating feeling.