Major Tourist Attractions in Uttarakhand: Almora, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi etc.
Uttaranchal became the 27th state of the Republic of India on the 9th of November 2000. The State is carved out of Uttar Pradesh. It occupies 17.3% of India's total land area with 51,125 sq. km.
It has a population of about 6.0 million at 94.4 per sq. km. It borders Tibet, Nepal, Himachal Pradesh.
Uttaranchal also has the largest number of tourist destinations - this state is the source of the sacred Ganga river, high in the mountains, and the spiritual and physical life source of India. The mighty Himalayas straddle the state, on its northern borders, and are widely believed to be throne of Gods.
The Gangetic Plains forms three fourth of the state. Along with the holy places of Hinduism, this region has also distinctively shapedthe development of Buddhism and Islam. For a traveller, a simple division would be the Hills and the Plains.
Jim Corbett National Park India's first National Park is cradled in the foothills of the Himalayas and spreads over an area of 520 sq. kms., along the bankds of the Ramganga river. The dense Sal forests of the Himalayan foothils and the tall grassy neadows make it one of the richest areas of northern India for the habitation of the big mammals. Situated in the hilly districts of Pauri Garhwal and Nainital, the park was first establishd in 1936 by the then Governor Sir Malcolm Hailey and was named Hailey National park. After independence, the park was renamed Corbett national park in honour of the late Jim Corbett, who helped in demarcating the park's boundaries and stting it up.
Among the reptiles, the long snouted, fish-eating gharial and mugger could be seen basking in the sun on the sand banks. Sporting fish such as the mahseer and malee thrive in the lake and in the river, offering grea fishing to the anglers. The tiger is the biggest attraction of this park. Other carnivores include the leopard, elephant, bear, hog, sambar deer, muntac and fox. The park has more than 300 species of birds.
Nanda Devi National Park The Nanda Devi National Park, spread over 630 sq. kms. of area in the vicinity of nanda Devi Peak (25, 675 ft./7816 mts), India's second highest mountain has a unique combination of flora and fauna. The park was established in 1980 and inclues some of the hightest mountain peaks of the western Himalayas. The faunal species here include snow leopard, brown and Himalayan black bear, bharal, Himalayan thahr, nonal and chir pheasants.
Rajaji National Park Spread over an area of 820 sq. kms., the park with its magnificent ecosystem, is nestled in the shivalik ranges. It represents the flora of several zones of the forest, reverine, broad leaf mixed forest, chrpined forest, scrub land and grassy pasture lands. There are 23 species of mammal and 3185 of avi- fauna here. The Rajaji National park is named after late shri C. Rajgopalachai, popularly known as Rajaji.
The state has two distinct climatic regions: the predominant hilly terrain and the small plain region. The climatic condition of the plains is very similar to its counterpart in the Gangetic plain-that is, tropical. Summers are unbearable with temperature going over the 40°C mark and a lot of humidity. Winters can be chilly with temperatures going below 5°C at times.
The Himalayan region has Alpine conditions characterized by cold winters with snowfall for quite a long time, good rainfall in the monsoon, and mild summers. This climate also provides the state with its only livelihood, i.e. tourism.
How to reach Uttarakhand?
By Air - Jolly Grant near Dehradun is the only airport. There are regular flights to Delhi by Indian Airlines. Otherwise, one has the option to travel to Delhi by road or rail and then take the air route to various destinations.
By Rail - Dehradun, Haridwar, and Kathgodam are the major railway stations connected to almost all parts of the country with regular trains. Not many places in the state are connected by rail because of tough terrains. For those visiting places in the higher altitudes, trekking and road routes are the only options available.
By Road - All-weather metalled roads connect almost all the important places in the state. Many places in the higher altitudes may still remain off for a period in the year due to landslides and snowfall. National Highways such as 58, 73, 74, and 87 connect places in the state to other parts of the country.
Regular bus services connect Delhi and other major centres in North India with Dehradun. The road distances of some prominent destinations from Dehradun are as follows: Musoorie, 35 km; Delhi, 255 km; Mumbai, 1927 km; Chennai, 2488 km; Haridwar, 54 km; Rishikesh, 43 km; Shimla, 221 km; Nainital, 485 km; Kedarnath, 270 km; Badrinath, 344 km; Gangotri, 301 km; Yamunotri, 265 km; Chakrata, 92 km; Corbett National Park, 236 km; Har-Ki-dun, 187 km; Valley of Flowers and Hemkund, 342 km.