UTTARAKHAND – A PARADISE FOR TOURISTS Lying in the north of the vast and beautiful expanse of India, cradled in the awesome beauty and calm serenity of the Stately Himalayas, Uttarakhand, the Devbhumi (Land of Gods) has attracted toursists and pilgrims from world over since time immemorial. Sacred pilgrimages of different religions including Haridwar and the world famous Char Dham or the four Hindu Pilgrimage destinations of Shri Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri the sacred Sikh pilgrimage of Hemkund, Lokpal, Nanakmatta and Meetha, Reetha Sahib and Piran Kaliyar have drawn pilgrims and seekers for spiritual fulfillment to Uttarakhand. The holy river Ganga and Yamuna have their sources in the hills within this State. The rich cultural traditions, the rare natural beauty and the cool and invigorating climate of this land of origin of the holy Ganga and Yamuna rivers have been its main attractions.
Culturally, Uttarakhand has a rich and vibrant heritage. There are several local fairs and festivals like Jhanda Mela (Dehradun), Surkanda Devi Mela (Tehri Garhwal), Magh Mela (Uttarkashi), Nanda Devi Mela (Nainital), Chaiti Mela (Udham Singh Nagar), Purnagiri Mela (Champawat), Piran Kaliyar Mela (Haridwar), Joljivi Mela (Pithoragarh) and Uttarayani Mela (Bageshwar), indicative of the immense possiblitites for cultural tourism in Uttarakhand.
The Queen of Hills, Mussoorie, the Lake District of India – Nainital, Kausani, Pauri, Lansdowne, Ranikhet, Almora, Pithoragarh, Munsyari and many more attractive tourists destinations are part of Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand is a paradise for adventure sports. The sheer variety ranging from mountaineering (Bhagirathi, Chowkhamba, Nanda Devi, Kamet, Pindari, Sahastrataal, Milam, Kafni, Khatling, Gaumukh), trekking, skiing (Auli, Dayara, Bugyal, Munsyari, Mundali), Skating, water sports (in all the lakes and rivers including the Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand) to aero sports like hang gliding, paragliding (Pithoragarh, Jolly Grant, Pauri) make Uttarakhand one of the most attractive destinations for adventure sports not only in India but the world over.
Along with the world-famous Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand has several breath taking destinations for Wildlife Tourism. These are the Rajaji National Park, Govind Pashu Vihar, Asan Barrage, Chilla and Saptarishi Ashram, the last four being a delight for bird watchers.
Uttarakhand has a flora and fauna which is diverse as well as rare. This make Uttarakhand an ideal location for eco-tourism. Eco-tourism includes jungle safaris, trekking on forest trails, nature walks, catch and release of Mahaseer and other fish species (at Pancheshwar). However, the utmost priority in all these activites is given to retaining the ecological fragility of the region.
A clean, fresh and invigorating environment makes Uttarakhand apreferred destination to relax and unwind. From the most modern facilities at Mussoorie and Nanital to the untouched, pristine beauty of its snow-clad peaks, rivers and mountains, Uttarakhand provides all that a tourist could possibly seek for amusement and leisure.