Kumaon is part of the five geographical zones in the Himalayas. It is part of the newly formed Uttaranchal and is today best known for adventure sports like mountaineering, trekking, skiing and skating. Here are some great places to visit.
Haridwar, ‘the Gateway or door to God’, is supposedly one of the seven holiest places in Hindu mythology. The Ganges flows through here and the aarathi to the river is a spectacle to watch every evening.
Higher up the Kumaon mountain ranges, 24 kms from Haridwar, is Rishikesh, the starting point for Char Dham Yatra. The Ganges and Chandrabhaga rivers meet here, making Rishikesh the place for white water river rafting.
The ‘Queen of the Hills’, Mussoorie in Uttaranchal is a famous hill station. Located 34 kms from Dehradun, Mussoorie has pine trees, lush green hill slopes, breathtaking views of the snow-peaked Himalayas, and some quaint bungalows.
The gateway to the interiors of the Garhwal region and Mussoorie, Dehradun lies at the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a blend of hills and urban setting, and houses some premier and elite institutions.
Dhanaulti and others…
Dhanaulti welcomes you with rows of deodars and pine trees. A little over 30 kms from Mussoorie and beyond Landour, Dhanaulti is a contrast to Mussoorie and untouched by commercialization. Enjoy pony rides, treks and the sheer beauty of the snow-peaked Himalayas. Other such scenic places are Chamba, Lansdowne and Auli.
Uttaranchal’s most famous hill resort, Nainital is blessed with scenic beauty and is a famous vacationing spot. It is fringed with lakes, the most prominent being the Naini Lake.
Corbett National Park
Set up in memory of Jim Corbett, the famous hunter, author and conservationist, this park is set in the foothills of the Himalayas. A tiger reserve, the park is about 520 sq km and one of India’s best-maintained national parks.
Munsyari, Ranikhet and Almora
Better known as ‘Little Kashmir’, Munsyari is the base for trekkers to the Milam, Namik and Ralam glaciers. It is quickly developing into a ski resort for skiers from all over the world.Ranikhet is also beautiful and literally means ‘Queen’s Field’. Legend has it that Rani Padmini, the queen of local ruler Raja Sukherdev, was so enamored with the place that she wanted to settle down here. Almora is another breathtaking spot that has inspired great Indian men like Vivekananda and Nehru.
Have you been to any of these places in Uttaranchal? Are there any other must-see destinations on your list for holidays in Uttaranchal?