Thursday, 31 March 2011

Uttaranchal / Uttarakhand / Devbhumi


Uttarakhand - the land of gods, the home of Himalayas and truly a paradise on earth, allures everyone from everywhere. The fresh air, the pure water, the chilling snow, the adversing mountains, the scenic beauty, the small villages, the simpler people and a tougher lifesytle is what that distinguishes Uttarakhand from rest of the world.

Also known as Dev Bhumi, Uttaranchal is a boon for the pilgrim tourists. The Maha Kumba Mela, the Char Dham Yatra and the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra give Uttaranchal an international recognisance. The major pilgrim places include Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Devprayag, Nandadevi and Purnagiri.

Naini Tal Lake
Uttaranchal is a paradise for nature lover's and adventure sports enthusiasts. Mussoorie, the 'Queen of Hills'; Nainital, the 'Lake District'; Kausani, the 'Switzerland of India'; Ranikhet, Pithoragarh, Pauri and Munsyari are just few highlights for the nature lovers. For adventure and excitement, one may choose Mountaineering (Bhagirathi, Chowkhamba, Nanda Devi, Kamet, Pindari, Sahastrataal, Milam, Kafni, Khatling, Gaumukh), Trekking, Skiing (Auli, Dayara Bugyal, Munsyari, Mundali), Skating, Water Sports like rafting, boating and angling and Aero Sports like Hand Gliding, Paragliding (Pithoragarh, Jolly Grant, Pauri).

Ranikhet
Auli
The State is also a treasure house of exotic flora and fauna and is an ideal location for eco-tourism, as well as wildlife tourism. The world-famous Jim Corbett National Park is the pride of Uttaranchal. Other important sanctuaries are, Rajaji National Park, Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, Asan Barrage, Chilla etc.


Last but not the least, the rich cultural traditions and the cool and invigorating climate of Uttaranchal sums up for a perfect holiday destination to relax and unwind.


Haridwar is located on the right bank of river Ganga and from here the holy river spreads over the northern plains. According to a mythological legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to Saint Kapila's curse. Bhagirath was blessed and the holy river descended on the earth and its water revived the sons of King Sagara. Following the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, and pray for the salvation of their ancestors.

Har ki Pauri: This most sacred Ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihari, who is said to have meditated on the banks of Ganga in Haridwar. It is also known as Brahamakund and is the site for the famous Kumbh Mela. Large number of devotees take a holy dip in Ganga over here.

The evening Ganga Aarti provides a truly enchanting experience as large lumber of ornate oil lamps (diyas) with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee are offered to Mother Ganga accompanied with devotional songs and prayers. A temple on the river bank here is said to have an imprint of Lord Hari's footprint.

Canal Centenary Bridge: It affords a panoramic view of the ghats and Ganga canal.

Maya Devi Temple: The ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar. It is regarded as one of the Siddhapeethas and according to mythology the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen over here.

Mansa Devi Temple: It is perched atop the Bilwa Parwat and can be reached by a rope-way with its brightly coloured cable cars or on foot. A statue of the Goddess here has three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms. The temple commands a fine view of Haridwar.

Daksha Mahadev Temple: This ancient Shiva (Mahadev) temple is located in the south Kankhal town. The mythological legends state that King Daksha Prajapati, the father of Sati (Lord Shiva's consort) performed a yagya here, but didn't invite Lord Shiva. Sati was offended by her father's behaviour and sacrificed her life by jumping into the fire of yagya. Infuriated Lord Shiva killed King Daksha, but later brought him back to life.

Chandi Devi Temple: It is set atop Neel Parvat on the banks of Ganga. The shrine was built by Suchat Singh, the king of Kashmir in 1929, but the main statue is said to be established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century. According to a legend Goddess Chandi killed demons Chanda - Munda, the army chief of demon kings Shumbh Nisnumbha here. The temple is 3 kms trek from Chandighat.

Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar: The legendary site is said to be the place where Saptarshis (seven sages) meditated and river Ganga, not wanting to disturb them split herself into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) around them.

Gurukul Kangri University: This old centre of herbal medicine and traditional studies is located on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road. The Ved Mandir Museum here exhibits archaeological exhibits.

Other places of interest - Kanva Rishi Ashram; Bilkeshwar Mahadev; Pawan Oham; Bhooma Niketan; Vaishnav Oevi Temple; Doodhadhari Temple; Shahi Gurudwara; Jairam Ashram.

Rajaji National Park (Chilla): The park endowed with pristine beauty and rich bio-diversity covers an area of 820 sq. kms on the edge of the Doon Valley about 10 kms from Haridwar. It was established in 1996 and has over 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. It is a safe haven for elephant, tiger, panther, bear, chital, sambar, wild boar, barking deer, python, monitor lizard etc.

Elephants are available for wildlife viewing at Chilla and Dholkand.

Har Ki Paudi
Ganga Aarti
Char Dham Yatra

According to the Hindu scriptures, the holy centres of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath - collectively called the Char Dham (meaning the four sacred spots) - are the most sacred of all the pilgrimages. Undertaking a journey to these places will not just wash away one's sins but ensure release from the cycle of birth and death. The honour conferred on these places is not surprising.

Yamunotri
Gangotri 
For one, they are all in the icy Garhwal ranges and regarded as the most sacred of all Himalayan ranges. It is also said that heaven and earth converge in these holy spots, and to be born or die here is a boon only the very fortunate have. The Chardham must be visited from left to right - beginning with Yamunotri, going on to Gangotri, Kedarnath and culminating the journey at Badrinath. This route follows the Hindu tradition of parikrama or clockwise circumambulation.

Kedarnath
Badrinath
Nanda Devi Temple, Almora
Nanda Devi is said to have been the Goddess revered by the kings of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions. She is believed to be the destroyer of evil. Fairs are held at Ranikhet, Almora and Nainital in honour of Nanda Devi and thousand of people participate.

The most popular fair that is organized in Almora is on the Ashtami of Bhadra Shukla. Two images of Nanda and Sunanda are made in a banana trunk. The fair starts on Nag Panchami according to the Calendar, on Sasthi the Priests mark Kadli trees and then a red and white cloth is tied around it, on the Saptami midst the sound of different instruments they are cut, prior to which a goat is slaughtered for the Bali (sacrifice).

On Ashtami the two idols are revered and the Bali is performed before them, on Navmi a procession is taken out in and around Almora. The day is marked with number of cultural activities taking place in the district. Fair are organized, and the people enjoy the folk dances and songs.

Nanda Devi
Mata Purnagiri Devi Temple, Tanakpur, Champawat

One of the 108 Siddha Peeths, this Devi Temple is 21 kms from Tanakpur, Tunyas is 17 kms and from there 3 km trek leads to Purnagiri Temple. Tanakpur is linked by direct bus service with Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, Dehradun, Kanpur and other Districts.

According to an ancient legend, Daksha Prajapati organised a sacrificial ceremony, for which he invited everybody except Lord Shiva. Parvati on discovering that it was her father's trick to humiliate her husband immolated herself in the sacrificial fire. While her husband carried her body, the places where the parts of her body fell were recognized as Shakti Peeth. The Shakti Peeth holds the prime position among Malikagiri, Kalikagiri, and Himlagiri Peeths.

During Navratras, in the Chaitra month of the Indian calendar, devotees in large number come here to have their wishes fulfilled. After worshipping Mata Purnagiri, people also pay their tributes to her loyal devotee Bada Sidth Nath at Brahmadev and Mahendra Nagar in Nepal.

Mata Purnagiri Devi Temple

Mussoorie is a city, about 34 km from Dehradun and in Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This hill station, situated in the foothills of the Himalaya ranges, is also known as the Queen of the Hills. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of 'greater Mussoorie', as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani.

Being at an average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft), Mussoorie, with its green hills and varied flora and fauna, is a fascinating hill resort. Commanding snow ranges to the north-east, and glittering views of the Doon Valley and Shiwalik ranges in the south, the town was once said to present a 'fairyland' atmosphere to tourists. The highest point is Lal Tibba with a height of over 2,290 metres (7,510 ft)


Gandola
Kempty Falls
Valley of Flowers
...........
http://famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. Myself big time traveler by nature and loves exploring new places & food dishes and your blog is perfect stop for people like me.Car Hire for Agra

    ReplyDelete

Backlinks to my website?