Uttarakhand is a state within the northern a part of the Republic of India. It is often referred to as the Devbhumi (literally “Land of the Gods”) due to a large number of Hindu temples and pilgrimage centers found throughout the state. It borders Tibet to the north; the Sudurpashchim Pradesh of Nepal to the east; the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south and Himachal Pradesh to the west and north-west also as Haryana on its south-western corner. The state is split into 2 divisions, Garhwal and Kumaon, with a total of 13 districts. The interim capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun, the largest city of the state, which is a railhead. The high court of the state is located in Nainital.
Gangotri and Yamunotri, the sources of the Ganges and Yamuna, devoted to Ganga and Yamuna respectively, fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath(dedicated to Vishnu) and Kedarnath (dedicated to Shiva) form the Chota Char Dham, one of Hinduism’s most divine and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, which means “Gateway to the God”, is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar hosts the Haridwar Kumbh Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part in all parts of India and the world. Rishikesh near Haridwar is known as the distinguished yoga center of India. The state has an plenty of temples and shrines, many dedicated to local deities or displays of Shiva and Durga references to many of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends. Uttarakhand is, however, a place of pilgrimage not only for Hindus. Piran Kaliyar Sharif near Roorkee is a pilgrimage site to Muslims, Gurdwara Hemkund Sahib, Gurdwara Nanakmatta Sahib, and Gurdwara Reetha Sahib are pilgrimage centers for Sikhs. Tibetan Buddhism has also created its presence with the reconstruction of Mindrolling monastery and its Buddha Stupa, described because the world’s highest at Clement town, Dehradun.
If you’re not into yoga, holistic therapy, adventure sports, spirituality, and meditation… should you bother visiting Rishikesh? Yes! Read my Rishikesh Travel post to find out how you can spend a full day at Rishikesh. My Rishikesh Travel Blog covers the top 5 Points Never Miss When You Are in Rishikesh.