Uttarakhand, a state in northern India crossed by the Himalayas, is known for its Hindu pilgrimage sites. Rishikesh, a major centre for yoga study, was made famous by the Beatles’ 1968 visit. The city hosts the evening Ganga Aarti, a spiritual gathering on the sacred Ganges River. The state’s forested Jim Corbett National Park shelters Bengal tigers and other native wildlife.
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.
The age-old Hindu traditions have always accorded highest esteem to the glory of the colossal and composed heights of the Himalayas which are spontaneously assumed to be the chosen consecrated residences of Gods. A whole lot of the Hindu lore sets out from this ‘Land of the Gods’.
Pilgrimages to these heights dating back to more than 1500 years are found recorded in authentic documents and Uttarakhand still attracts millions of devout people who come here with the chaste objective of spiritual emancipation and revelation.
Today, these mountains are no longer restricted to the religious or the spiritual – as a traveler one can get pleasure from mountaineering, trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing or simply strolling amongst the highest mountainous terrains in the world.
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.