On the foothills of Himalayas, there is an enchanting land named Uttarakhand, which adds five stars to the beauty of Northern India. Politically Uttarakhand state was formed on 9 November 2000, when it was carved out from Uttar Pradesh to form the 27th state of India known as Uttaranchal but later the name was changed to Uttarakhand to give tribute to those who those who fought for this state in the name of Uttarakhand Andolan.
Here are the quick facts about Uttarakhand which will change your views how you look at Uttarakhand
- Uttarakhand is divided into two regions that are Garhwal and Kumaon. In the medieval era, the Garhwal region was known as Kedarkhand and Manaskhand as Kumaon.
- Uttarakhand is best known for its rivers as it is the origin of some of the most sacred rivers of India like Ganga and Yamuna. These rivers are the lifeline of India, fed up by hundreds of small and big tributaries emerges from the glaciers of Uttarakhand. You can enjoy the marine drive in any corner of Uttarakhand. On November 4, 2008, Prime Minister of India declared holy Ganga as the National River of India.
- Uttarakhand is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites i.e Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park. Both are encircled by the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (223,674 ha). These dreamlands sheltered rare and endangered spices of flora and fauna. The exotic and serene vistas of Valley of flowers aka Bhyundar Valley attracts thousands of tourists and botanists from worldwide every year.
- With an astonishing height of 7816 meters or 25,643 feet, Nanda Devi peak is the second highest peak in India and the highest peak located entirely within India. It featured two peaks massifs forming a 2-kilometre-long high ridge.
- Tucked in the western Himalayas, Uttarakhand is bejeweled by culturally rich heritage. Uttarakhand’s diverse ethnicities is a cluster of Rung, Bhotiya, Garhwali, Kumaoni, Jaunsari, Shuka and other communities. They all have their unique dialects, attires, tradition, culture and festivals.
- Established in 1936, Jim Corbett National Park is the first and the oldest National Park of India which is situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The name of the park was named after Jim Corbett who played a vital role in the establishment of park to save endangered Bengal tiger, earlier it was known as Hailey National Park.
- According to the latest census, Uttarakhand becomes the second State in the country after Karnataka with the highest number of tigers. Since last census, the numbers of tigers in Uttarakhand has risen from 227 to 340.
- Uttarakhand is the only state of India with Sanskrit as its Official language.
- Population density wise Uttarakhand has the highest number of soldiers in Indian army than any other Indian state. Not only this, Uttarakhand produces most numbers of Army officers to this country since last 10 years and keeping the position under top 3 every year. As a small Himalayan state, the contribution of Uttarakhand in Indian army is just mind blowing.
- Referred as ‘Devbhumi’ Uttarakhand is a divine land holding lots of importance in Hindu religion. It features a unique cluster of Panch Badri (Group of five temples of lord Vishu) , Panch Kedar(Shiva temple) , and Panch Prayag (five holy confluences). Apart from this Uttarakhand also featured Chota Char Dham circuit of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Among which Badrinath is also a part of India’s Char Dham and Kedarnath a part of 12 Holy Jyotirlinga of Shiva.
- Tungnath temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world with an altitude of 12,000 ft and with the astonishing height of 15200 ft. Hemkunt Sahib is the highest Gurudwara and place of worship in the world. (with respect to proper building and priests).
- The famous man eater Tiger of Champawat is listed in Guinness Book of Word Record as the highest number of fatalities from a tiger. This tigress was responsible for the death of more than 436 people alone in Kumaon and Nepal region. Later she was shot by Jim Corbett in 1907. You can also find story of this female Bengal tiger in a famous book written by Jim Corbett i.e Maneaters of Kumaon (1944).