DIVINE GIFT FROM GOD
Often known as the Land of Gods, Uttarakhand is indeed a divine gift to mankind. With an unmistakable terrain that caters to the complexities of modern life, this state of Northern India is the perfect destination to unwind and relax amid the vagaries of
With a rich heritage in Ayurveda, Yoga and meditation, Uttarakhand, has lately come to be known as the Yoga Country. The ashrams, health-centres and retreats in the state have retained age-old wisdom while also catering to the needs of a dynamic, evolving society.
WELLBEING: At the heart of bubbling spirituality is the town of Rishikesh. With the vigorous Ganga flowing through it, the city provides the perfect topography to arouse one’s inner spirit. A walk down the winding roads, one would be welcomed with several institutes teaching a variety of practices such as yoga, meditation, reiki, crystal healing, Ayurvedic learning, to name a few. Rishikesh has attracted tourists from across the globe, who come to the city in search of their inner peace.
Rishikesh, with the gushing Ganga flowing through it, beckons you as the perfect destination for cleansing your system of toxins and relieving the stress of everyday life.
Travelling has quenched the thirst of never-ending human curiosity; valleys, mountains, seas and plains nurturing spaces that provide timely solace. The mountains of Uttarakhand too have attracted travellers from across the globe who have come to explore the lesser-known trails and tracks that mark the serenity of Northern India.
NELONG VALLEY: The valley which is in close proximity to the Indo-china border was closed for visitors post the 1962 Indochina war. It was reopened in 2015 to the delight of enthusiastic tourists who now flock in large numbers to witness the breathtaking beauty of the barren mountains and high peaks of Nelong. Initially, a popular Indotibet trade route, its seclusion since the 1960s has left it with little infrastructure that would complement modern civilisation. Yet, the barren lands, and virgin beauty of Nelong, have attracted tourists from far and wide.
The atmosphere is akin to a cold desert, and the absence of human invasion has allowed wildlife to thrive. Lucky travellers have been greeted by glimpses of snow leopards, the Himalayan blue sheep, and musk deer. Despite its opening, there are still certain restrictions that govern tourist activities in the area- each day there is a permissible limit of allowing six vehicles carrying four passengers each to enter. Located near Bhairon Gati, on the Gangotri Road, prior permission is required to access the Valley, which is limited only to Indian
citizens. Gypsies from Bahiron Gati are provided to assist tourists, also providing conversational insight into the tales of the region.
The breathtaking view at the end of the journey has inspired travellers to visit the magnificent Nelong Valley.
DAYARA BUGYAL: Located at a height of 3048 metres Dayara Bugyal is located in the Uttarkashi district. A 9km trek from Barsu village, this is a less consuming trail that could be availed amateurs too. At the end of the walk, trekkers are greeted with lush green alpine meadows that are a highlight of the mountains of Uttarkashi. In winters these same green meadows turn white with glistening snow.
The trek-route is complimented by dense forests with intermittent glimpses of the Himalayas instilling unsolicited calm with breaths of respite. On reaching the destination one is welcomed with lush meadows and a panoramic view of the entire range.
Barsu village is the last habitation before the final destination. Here, tourists can explore the lives of rural residents, watch them lead their day-to-day lives and even engage in discussions about their culture, and festivals.
With green meadows, rugged mountains, gushing rivers, and adventurous routes; travellers must experience the charm and diversity of the mountains of Uttarakhand.
DRONAGIRI: The village of Dronagiri is only village on the Himalayan range that is named after a peak- the Dronagiri peak. Also, Dronagiri has legendary associations as it has been recorded in the ancient Hindu epic, Ramayana. Once when Laxman was wounded, Hanuman was advised by a Herbologist to procure medicinal herbs from the Dronagiri Peak. Hanuman on reaching was unable to recognise the herb. He then
chopped off the lush top of Dronagiri to bring it back, which eventually saved Laxman’s life. From the village of Dronagiri, the top of the peak does appear to be chopped off. Furthering the myths of Hanuman, Patanjali has undertaken research to locate medicinal herbs that could be discovered atop Dronagiri, so far they claim to have gained some success.
Located at a height of 3610 metres, Dronagiri is the gateway to the Bagini glacier. The Dronagiri trek is a beautiful, rugged trek that takes travellers through the myriad of isolated hamlets tucked in the heart of the Garhwal Himalaya. The journey offers panoramic views of the Hathi Parvat, Rishi peak, Grarur and Trishuli. Aside from the mountains the rapid streams of Dhauliganga and Bagini Nala, also gush by, whispering welcoming words to passing travellers.
Uttarakhand has been rightly termed as the Abode of the Gods. The hills of the State are home to several temples of the Gods and Goddesses revered by Hindus across the country. SURKUNDA DEVI TEMPLE: Dedicated to Goddess Bhavani, an aggressive incarnation of Parvati, Surkunda Devi temple is located at a short distance from Mussoorie, at an elevation of 2757 metres. Legend has it
that as Sati’s body was mutilated her head dropped at this spot, which was later worshipped as a ‘Sidhpeeth’. Surrounded by dense forests providing a panoramic view of the mountains, the Ganga Dussehra festival is celebrated here every year between May and June, attracting several tourists.
CHANDRABADNI: Chandrabadni Devi temple located at a height of 2277 metres is delicately placed on a mountain at the border of Devaprayag and Pratapnagar. Mythically, it is believed that Sati’s torso along with several weapons landed at this very spot. Thereafter, a temple was commemorated to worship the supreme deity. Even today, one can witness several Trishuls(tridents) lying around in the temple complex. The quaint temple does not host any idols, instead, it places a stonecarved Shri-yantra which is worshipped by all. Once a year a cloth is tied over this Shri-yantra and a priest worshipping it does so blindfolded- exemplifying the vicissitudes of Hindu tradition.
KUNJAPURI: The Kunjapuri Devi temple is of immense importance in Hinduism as the burnt chest of Goddess Sati had landed here. Located at a short distance from Rishikesh, the temple is situated at a height of 1676 metres. The temple receives a large number of devotees during the months of Navratri and Dussehra. It also offers panoramic views of mountains and peaks such as Gangotri, Swarga Rohini, Banderpunch and Chaukhamba. To reach the temple a devotee must ascend 80 steps from the road. Kunjapuri temple completes the triangle of Sidhpeeths atop the Tehri-garhwal mountains—kunjapuri- Surkunda Devichandrabadni.
KALIMATH TEMPLE: The beautiful and greatly venerated Kalimath Temple is located on the banks of Saraswati River, at a height of 1800 metres in the Rudraprayag district. As legends say, after killing the demon Raktabeej, Goddess Kali had hidden underneath the ground here. The place that marks the beginning of the tunnel is demarcated by a silver plate with a Shri-yantra. This remains hidden for most of the year. This Silver plate is taken out and worshipped only on the eighth day of Navaratri by the chief priest of the temple at midnight.
Rightly known as the Land of the Gods, Uttarakhand provides a fulfilling experience to all devotees who seek to satiate their innermost prayers.
Uttarakhand provides avenues for all wandering souls to replenish their thirst and quench their souls. Whether in the laps of the mountains or in the calm of religion and spirituality, the open arms of Uttarakhand welcome all into a warm embrace.
Yoga at Rishikesh