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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. Therefore, Wander!’
Uttarakhand is a place of myth and mountains. Hindus think of it as Dev Bhoomi – the Land of Gods – and the dramatic terrain is covered with holy peaks, lakes and rivers. Twisting roads and high-altitude hiking trails lead to spectacular pilgrimage sites where tales from Hindu epics are set. Though the presence of Shiva and Parvati (in a few of her forms) towers over the state, the imprint of the British is equally apparent: the legend of Jim Corbett lives on in the famed tiger reserve that bears his name; popular holiday towns were once Raj-era hill stations; and the Beatles turned Rishikesh into a magnet for spiritual seekers and yoga practitioners worldwide.
Uttarakhand may seem like a silver medallist: it’s the state with the second-highest tiger population (after Karnataka) and boasts India’s second-highest peak (Nanda Devi); but its diversity of activities and sheer natural beauty are pure traveller’s gold.
The Uttarakhand experience might leave you stranded for words, when someone asks you to define the simple word ‘beauty’. Beauty is so inherent to almost all things Uttarakhand stands for – the magnanimous Himalayas, the holiest of the rivers, the spiritual mystery, stunning landscapes, the incessantly colorful play of nature, enchanting history carved in ancient stones, a mesmerizing floral and faunal plethora and the simplest of the people. Myths, anecdotes and stories are part of every visual that unfolds itself to the eyes of the beholder.
A description of the charismatic beauty of Uttarakhand would be incomplete without the mention of people who inhabit this blessed country – simple, willing to help and hardworking people of the state are as diversified as the elements of nature. Several indigenous tribal groups peacefully co-exist with others, simultaneously keeping their distinct cultures alive. Apart from being a unique tourism destination, Uttarakhand is a goldmine for anthropologists, historians, ornithologists, linguists, geologists … you name the discipline and the state has something on offer.
No words can ever be enough to perfectly describe this blessed land. The incredulous variety of experiences – both spiritual and sensory – goes beyond any language or dialect. The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board humbly invites you to this divinely blissful and fantastic jewel of Mother Nature’s treasure-chest with a promise that no promise would go unfulfilled.