Uttarakhand is a state that exudes natural beauty and serenity. From soaring peaks to gushing rivers, and verdant forests to tranquil lakes, every nook, and corner of this land is blessed with unparalleled charm. And when it comes to cities in Uttarakhand, each one has its unique character and allure that beckons travelers from far and wide. Whether you’re seeking adventure or looking for a peaceful retreat, there’s something for everyone here.
History of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal, is a state in north-central India. The state is bordered by the Himalayas to the south and east, Himachal Pradesh to the west, and the state of Jammu and Kashmir to the north. Uttarakhand was carved out of the former Uttar Pradesh on 9 November 2000.
The region has been inhabited for at least 2,500 years and may have been part of Greater India during the Vedic period. The Rajputs emerged as a powerful dynasty in Uttarakhand in the 12th century AD. By the early 18th century, they had conquered most of present-day Uttarakhand. In 1772, the British acquired control of Uttarakhand from the Rajputs through treaties with various rulers. In 1947, when India became independent, Uttarakhand became part of India.
Uttarakhand’s economy is based largely on tourism and agriculture. The state has several tourist attractions, including Mount Kanchenjunga—the world’s third-highest peak—the Rudraprayag Temple complex, and Dehradun. Agriculture is important in Uttarakhand; crops include rice, wheat, cotton, maize, tobacco, peas, barley, and watermelons. The state has two universities—Mount Kumara Dev University in Haridwar and Rishikesh Mahavidyalaya in Rishikesh—and several medical colleges
Reasons to Visit Uttarakhand
There are many reasons to visit Uttarakhand, the natural wonderland in North India. The stunning landscapes and snow-capped peaks are a sight to behold, and there’s plenty to do in the city centers and surrounding villages. From skiing in the mountains to hiking in the forests, here are five reasons to add Uttarakhand to your travel itinerary this winter.
- Spectacular Scenery:
From towering snow-capped peaks to lush valleys, Uttarakhand’s landscape is simply stunning. Hiking trails wind through thick forests and open meadows, while lakes and rivers dot the landscape.
- Cultural Highlights:
There are plenty of cultural attractions in Uttarakhand as well, from traditional villages to religious temples and archaeological sites. Some of India’s most important Hindu shrines are located here, such as the Haridwar Temple complex and Rudraksha Hill Temple.
- Outdoor Activities:
Whether you’re a ski enthusiast or a nature lover, Uttarakhand has something for you! Skiing at resorts like Kedarnath or Almora is a popular activity, while hiking is another great way to explore the area. There are also plenty of opportunities for cycling, fishing, swimming, and yoga along the trail side, and lakeshores.
- Tremendous Variety:
Uttarakhand offers something for everyone, with dozens of attractions to explore from ancient ruins to buzzing cities like Dehradun and Haridwar. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities or cultured experiences within city limits, there’s something for everyone here.
- Incredible Wildlife:
From elephant herds to colorful birds migrating overhead, Uttarakhand is home to some of India’s most iconic wildlife habitats. From tiger reserves to national parks dotted throughout the state, visitors can take in awe-inspiring sights and sounds while enjoying nature at its finest.
Cost of Living in Uttarakhand
The cost of living in Uttarakhand is lower than the national average and some of the best places to live are in the hills. The main expenses for living here include groceries, housing, transportation, and utilities. In terms of housing, a two-bedroom apartment can cost around Rs.60,000 a year while a three-bedroom house will cost about Rs.80,000.
For groceries, you will need to budget around Rs.1,200 per month for a standard diet including items like milk, eggs, loaves of bread, and cereals. Transportation costs are relatively low in Uttarakhand as public transportation is affordable and available almost everywhere. However, utilities such as electricity and water are more expensive here than elsewhere in India.
Cities in Uttarakhand
It is the capital of Uttarakhand, and Dehradun is one of the most popular destinations in the state. With a population of over 600,000, the city offers a wide range of attractions and activities, including hillside trekking, sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Here is another popular destination in Uttarakhand is Haridwar. With a population of over 1 million people, the city is home to several palaces and temples including the Kedarnath Temple which is one of the holiest shrines for Hindus.
One of the most popular destinations in Uttarakhand, Rishikesh features some of the best natural beauty in India. The city is home to many tourists from all around India and abroad who come to enjoy Yoga and meditation classes at ashrams or visit thermal baths like Surya Mandir.
The city is known as ‘the Queen of Hill Stations’, Mussoorie is a beautiful resort town located in the Nainital district in Uttarakhand. The town has numerous gardens and lakes that make it an ideal place to spend a day or two away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Rudraprayag is one of Uttarakhand’s most popular tourist destinations. The city sits at an elevation of 3,000 meters above sea level and offers stunning views of Mount Kailash and the Himalayas. Rudraprayag also boasts some of India’s best restaurants and hotels.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the climate like in Uttarakhand?
A: The weather in Uttarakhand varies greatly depending on where you are located. In the plains, temperatures can range from 18-28 degrees Celsius during summers and 10-19 degrees Celsius during winters. In higher altitudes, temperatures can drop as low as -5 degrees Celsius in winter and reach 40 degrees Celsius in summer.
Q: Is it easy to get around in Uttarakhand?
A: The roads in Uttarakhand are generally good quality but they can be quite steep at times. Hiking trails also abound throughout the state making it easy to explore many of the area’s attractions without having to use roads. Several buses run throughout Uttarakhand making traveling around fairly simple.