Lying in the north of the vast and bountiful expanse of India and cradled in the awesome beauty and calm serenity of the stately Himalayas, Uttaranchal - the "Devbhumi" that has attracted tourists and pilgrims from world over since time immemorial. Comprising of eight hill districts and an area and population that equals the state of Himachal Pardesh, Uttaranchal is an expression of divinity, austerity, meditation, penance and attainment.
Nanda Devi is the highest mountain situated completely in India, and forms part of the main axis of the Great Himalayan Range. To the North of the Himalayas, the Zanskar range forms a formidable divide between India and Tibet. To the south of the Himalayan range the main tributaries of the Ganges and the Kali River form rugged gorge country before cutting though the Shivalik range, where the peaks rarely exceed 3,000m.
The Great Himalayan Range forms the backbone of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttaranchal. In Eestern Garhwal, it includes the Swargarohini range with Swargarohini (6,252m) at the head of the Tons River, and the Bandarpunch range, including Bandarpunch (6,316m) forming the main divide between the headwaters of the Yamuna and the Bhagirathi Rivers.
The main Himalayas extends to the Gangotri region, where a huge concentration of peaks almost encloses the Gangotri glacier. The peaks include Yogeshwar (6,678m), Sri Kailash (6,932m) and Mana Parbat (6,794m) to the North; and Kedarnath (6,490), Kedar Dome (8,831m) and Bhirigupanth (6,772m) to the south. Up at the head of the glacier, the Chaukhamba range, including Chaukhamba I (7,068m), provides an impressive divide between the headwaters of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda Rivers.
To the east of Badrinath, the peaks of Nilgiri Parbat (6,474m), Ghori Parbat (6,708m) and Hathi Parbat (6,727m) are the highest of the Himalayan peaks, while to the North, Kamet (7,756m), Mana Peak (7,272m), Abl Gamin (7,355m), and Mukut (7,242m) are some of the 7,000m peaks forming the main axis of the Zanskar range.
Uttaranchal is undoubtedly India’s most beautiful canvas. Studded with green strokes, wild splashes and quaint highlights. What makes Uttaranchal a holidayer’s delight are the sketches of Kumaon and Garhwal. Enchanting, captivating in their own ways. Mesmerising, spellbinding to the last kilometre. Unspoilt, untouched and unbelievable. If Kumaon is a green table spread, Garhwal is a challenger’s delight. If Kumaon plays host to clear lakes, chirpy forests, floral rainbows, garhwal flaunts its snow-clad peaks, quaint retreats and infinite mountain rivers.