Uttarakhand, the Natural Paradise
Uttarakhand is a paradise of sorts with virginal and stunningly beautiful landscapes and numerous interesting tourist hotspots that include, among others, sacred pilgrimage spots, wildlife sanctuaries, enchanting valleys, meandering rivers, dense jungles and lovely hill stations. In fact, almost every thing in this wonderful Indian destination has something or the other for the discerning tourists.
Tourist Destination in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand Hill Stations
Uttarakhand is mainly famed for its many beautiful hill stations. Though it has numerous such hill stations, these are the key ones and perhaps the most visited ones as well:
The capital of Uttarakhand is a famous hill station and without a doubt one of the best known tourist hotspots of the state. Dehradun’s major attractions include, among others, the Kalinga War Memorial, Clock Tower, Mindrolling Monastery, The Gurkha Fort and Tapkeshwar Temple. This “Oxford of India” is also a key base for trekking and adventure activities.
One of the most exquisite attractions full of scenic beauty is a lovely spot for the nature lovers and those looking for serenity. It has forts, monuments and palaces. Almora’s chief attractions include, among others, Public Museum, Simtola, Chetai Temple and Nanda Devi Temple.
A popular hill station, Ranikhet is a strikingly beautiful place that has managed to preserve its virginity and unspoiled appeal. It is perhaps the best place to soak in the beautiful views of the mind blowing Himalayan ranges.
Aptly called the Queen of Hill Stations, Mussorie is famous for its cool climate and dense woods that make it a lovely hill resort. Its chief attractions include, among others, Mussoorie Lake, Lake Mist, Tibetan Temple and Municipal Gardens.
Apart from these attractive hill destinations, Uttaranchal has numerous pilgrimage destinations also that much draw the visitors, especially those inspired by religion and spiritualism. Rishikesh, Haridwar, Badrinath and Kedarnath…these are just four such destinations of Uttarakhand which is aptly called the Land of Gods and Goddess for its great spiritual and religious connection.
Last but not the least, as mentioned before, Uttarakhand has a few wildlife destinations also that add its tourist appeal. Jim Corbett National Park is one such wildlife hotspot. Much renowned for the majestic tigers, Jim Corbett National Park is a favorite place for the wildlife lovers from all over the world.
Adventure Tourism in Uttarakhand
Of all the leading destinations of India, in the context of adventure tourism, the state of Uttarakhand has an edge. The reasons are not hard to find. This hilly state boasts of an astonishing variation in its landscapes. From stiff rocky terrain to frothing & charging rivers, from verdant forests to great national parks… the state has everything. These collectively create lovely atmosphere for varied adrenaline pumping and jaw dropping adventurous sports, including, rock-climbing, trekking, bird watching, skiing, rafting, not to mention camping.
Auli, Rishikesh, Nainital and Rudraprayag are the leading destinations of the state for adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts. The many tour operators and travel agencies of India and abroad offer a plethora of attractive tour packages to those looking for adventure tourism in Uttarkhand.
Water Sports: The state offers possibly the best alternatives for river rafting facilities in the entire world. Rishikesh is regarded the leading rafting destination in India. Bhagirathi and Alaknanda boost the Ganges and make its currents here the most testing ones, in the process, offering much thrill to those looking for the same. Canoeing and Angling are the other interesting and thrilling water sports offered by the state.
Mountain Sports: Several mountain sports are also part of the many adventure options of the state. Plethora of Rock Climbing sites and trekking routes exist here. Mussorie (2000 m) treks are the most famous ones. Trekkers may embark on a trek from this spot to Dehradun, Dhantauli, besides Har Ki Dun. But then almost all hill stations of Uttarkhand offer lovely trekking options. Mountaineering can be best enjoyed around the Gangotri Glacier and the Nanda Devi Sanctuary.
Skiing: The wonderful slopes of the Kumaon and Garhwal regions are just perfect for the skiing purpose with Auli being one of the most famous spots for skiing in the state, and, in fact, the rest of India. Thanks to its remarkable height and location among Garhwal and Kumaon regions, the thick Snow Mountains in Auli offers unbelievable skiing slopes. Other famous spots for the purpose are Munsiyari, Mundali and Dayara Bugyal
Bird Watching: Rajaji National Park, Corbett National Park, besides Asag Barrage offer good alternatives for watching birds. This activity is at an all time high during the spring season in those areas which have temperate climate. Beautiful migratory birds move towards the southern or northern plains looking for comfortable nests during this time.
Business/MICE Tourism in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is a lovely place to visit with stunning landscapes, snow-clad peaks of the imposing Himalayas, charming valleys, holy shrines, fantastic wildlife spots, wonderful treks, etc. In fact, this ‘Abode of the Gods’ has everything which go on to make a destination much sought after.
Lately, Uttarkhand has also emerged as a top business/MICE destination in India -- thanks to its superb hotels/resorts, offering all related facilities and services. Striking resorts and special business hotels compete with meeting & board rooms, large & spacious convention facilities, business centres, apart from a vast range of attractive conference facilities to choose from make the destination something to look forward to by those wishing to have business meetings in the state’s sylvan surroundings.
Uttarakhand Business/MICE Destinations
These are just some of the many leading hotels and resorts of Uttarkhand which offer excellent business/MICE services and facilities:
Jaypee Residency Manor, Mussorie: It offers latest conferencing facilities for conducting highly successful and productive business events.
Honeymoon Inn, Mussoorie: It nicely takes care of the varied business needs of its corporate guests. The property has various styles of seating arrangements which can accommodate nearly 20 people. One has the choice of selecting any of these -- theatre style, banquet dining style, not to mention classroom style seating arrangements.
Best Western Hotel, Dehradun: It has an amazing business center which is just right for hosting all successful business meets. For corporate visitors interested in organizing large conferences or seminars or product launches, the hotel has as many as five Conference Halls.
Ananda in the Himalayas, Rishikesh: It offers great Conference facilities. The scenic property has three halls for power-packed meetings and conferences -- Board Room 1, Board Room 2, besides Viceregal Hall.
Chevron Fairhavens Hotel, Nainital: This hotel offers amazing banquet and conference facilities. Its banquet hall is big enough to accommodate anywhere between 30 and 60 people.
Claridges Naini Retreat, Nainital: The excellent business facilities offered here makes it a much sought after spot by the business/corporate guests.
Chevron Rosemount, Ranikhet: Its Conference Hall is just the right place for hosting successful business meetings and conferences.
Nature & Wildlife Tourism in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is an incredible Indian destination, especially when it comes to nature and wildlife tourism. No other state in India - perhaps barring Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh - is so beautifully and richly nature-endowed and has such a rich and varied wildlife. Uttarakhand has an incredible forest cover (close to 63%), and this much boosts nature and wildlife tourism in the state.
It is a place packed with the thrill of being in the virginal forest lands, where one is likely to feel as if the spot has never been explored earlier. Acres and acres of verdant green forests, hills after hills covered in green and pure air -- all this and more come naturally with the nature and wildlife tours to Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand abounds with superb wildlife resources. To protect and conserve its several species of flora & fauna and to help the travelers explore them in their natural surroundings, Uttarakhand has specially reserved forested areas, sanctuaries, not to mention national parks.
Thanks to the treasure trove of nature’s treasure houses in and around such spots, the state inspires all to visit and explore the natural wonder called Uttarakhand.
Uttarkhand Nature & Wildlife Destinations
These are just some of the many natural treasures of the state:
Corbett National Park: The country’s first and the finest national park, located along the banks of the Ramganga River, offers varied types of vegetation. About 110 species of trees, 51 species of shrubs, besides over 33 species of bamboo dominate the landscapes of the park. However, the USP of this place remain the tigers. In fact, the Corbett National Park’s claim to world fame rests on the fact that it is tigers’ chosen abode.
Rajaji National Park: The picturesque magnificence and amazing biodiversity of this national park amazes the wildlife lovers no end. This place is a great ecosystem and sited in the Shivalik Ranges and the Indo–Gangetic plains.
Govind National Park: The wonderful sanctuary is populated by numerous endangered animals and is pretty famous for its medicinal plants.
Valley of Flowers: This stunningly beautiful place houses more than 300 species of wild flowers.
Binsar Sanctuary: One of the loveliest tourist places in the entire Kumaon region, Binsar Sanctuary is a spot where one can find several varieties of high altitude living animals and birds.
Assan Barrage: This bird watchers’ paradise houses close to 53 species of water birds and 19 species of winter migrant birds.
Religious Tourism in Uttarakhand
The Abode of Gods, Uttarakhand is a ‘blessed’ land that houses some of the holiest and the most revered pilgrimage centres that one may come across in India. The ‘Dev Bhoomi’ Uttarakhand, in fact, is one of the few states in India that seriously stirs and awakens the soul of millions of devout Hindus scattered all over the world. Home to several religious spots - temples, holy places, rivers and lakes – the spiritually-rich state inspires religiously inclined travelers to visit the region, round the year, and from far off places.
This spiritual destination of India has numerous ancient temples and shrines dating thousands of years and this boosts the religious and cultural credentials of this state. No wonder, people visit Uttarkhand from practically all over the world for pilgrimage purpose, to cleanse their souls and wash off their sins, in the process, giving an edge of sorts to the concept of religious tourism there.
Actually, with its incredible number of holy shrines, Uttarakhand is the most preferred spot for every pious Indian, especially the Hindus. A religious tour to the holy places of Uttarakhand -- including the Char Dham, Haridwar and Rishikesh -- is something which is recommended to all devout Hindu. Ancient Hindu scriptures say that a visit to the Char Dham (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri) brings one closer to nirvana.
While Kedarnath is dedicated Lord Shiva, Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Similarly, while Yamunotri is dedicated to the goddess Yamuna, Gangotri is dedicated to the goddesses Ganga. Located in the lap of magnificent Himalayas, these four holy places occupy a very place in the hearts of the devout Hindus.
What proves to be a lifetime experience for the religiously inclined tourists is the presence of several hot water springs, beautiful forests, snow-clad mountains, crystal clear lakes and gushing waters of the many pious rivers, which surround the holy shrines and temples of Uttarakhand. No one remains unaffected and untouched by this spiritual land where faith is deep rooted, spirituality is indefatigable and atmosphere infectiously pure.
Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi (Haridwar), Neel Kanth Mahadev (Rishikesh), Vishwanath (Almora) and Binsar Mahadev (Near Almora) are the other places of pilgrimage of Uttarakhand – all of which add to the tremendous religious appeal of the state and significantly boost religious tourism there. Uttarkhand is a blessed state for the Sikhs also. The famous Hemkund Sahib located there is a key pilgrimage place for the followers of Sikhism.
Most of the big tour operators and travel agencies operating in India are known to offer attractive tour packages keeping in mind the special requirements of the religiously inclined tourists to the holy land of Uttarakhand.