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In Sanskrit the name Himalaya means 'Abode of Snow' truly characterizing the vast permanent snowfields of the region. In the heart of these majestic mountains lies the state of Uttaranchal with the Kumaon hills in its east and the Garhwal hills in the west. Uttaranchal is the 27th state of the Republic of India and was formed on 9th Nov 2000. It was carved out of Uttar Pradesh after a long struggle of the Uttaranchali people. Together Garhwal and Kumaon form a sizable wedge in the Central Himalayas, joining Himachal Pradesh in the northwest, Uttar Pradesh in the south and international borders with Nepal and China. The city of Dehradun has been declared as the interim capital of the new state. Though the debate on making Gairsain as the new capital is still on.

Once known as Uttarakhand, the 'Northern Territories' of the pre-Vedic era, this is the domain of the ascetic Lord Shiva, the destroyer and re-creator; it is a land charged with Shakti, the power and energy of goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva. The earliest historical references to the region are found in the Vedas, paeans to the purity of the Himalayas. Specific mention of the mountains exists in the Mahabharata, dated to about 1000 BC, when the protagonists of the epic, the Pandava Brothers, are said to have ended their life on earth by ascending the slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini, literally meaning the 'Ascent to Heaven'. The epic also mentions this region as the home of the Kirata, Pulinda and Tangara tribes.


Places to Visit
Almora, Auli, Badrinath & Kedarnath, Corbett, Dehradun, Gangotri & Yamunotri, Haridwar, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet, Rishikesh

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