Interesting Facts about Uttarakhand

Facts about Uttarakhand – Uttarakhand, earlier known as Uttaranchal, referred to the “Land of the Gods”. Uttarakhand is a great pilgrimage centre and it is a major destination for Hindu Temples. It came into existence 9th November 2000. Its Official Languages are Hindi and Sanskrit whereas Garhwali, Kumaoni also can be heard in Uttarakhand. Its Capital City is Dehradun. Its largest city is also Dehradun. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the State has international boundaries with China (Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east. On its north-west lies Himachal Pradesh while on the south is Uttar Pradesh.

Uttarakhand’s name is derived from the Sanskrit words Uttara (उत्तर) meaning ‘north’, and khaṇḍa (खण्ड) meaning ‘land’, altogether simply meaning ‘Northern Land’. The name finds mention in early Hindu scriptures as the combined region of “Kedarkhand” (present day Garhwal) and “Manaskhand” (present-day Kumaon).

There are 13 districts in Uttarakhand which are grouped into two divisions, Kumaon and Garhwal. Four new districts named Didihat, Ranikhet, Kotdwar, and Yamunotri were declared by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhriyal, on 15 August 2011 but yet to be officially formed.

Kumaon Division

  • Almora
  • Bageshwardownload
  • Champawat
  • Nainital
  • Pithoragarh
  • Udham Singh Nagar

Garhwal Division

  • Dehradun
  • Haridwar
  • Tehri Garhwal (commonly known as Tehri)
  • Uttarkashi
  • Chamoli
  • Pauri Garhwal (commonly known as Pauri)
  • Rudraprayag

Historical Facts

Uttarakhand finds mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as Kedarkhand, Manaskhand and Himavant. The Kushanas, Kunindas, Kanishka, Samudra Gupta, the Pauravas, Katuris, Palas, the Chandra and Panwars and the British have ruled it in turns. It is often the Land of Gods (Dev Bhoomi) because of its various holy places and abundant shrines. The hilly regions of Uttarakhand offer pristine landscapes to the tourists.

The State of Uttarakhand was earlier a part of the United Province of Agra and Awad which came into existence in 1902. In 1935, the name of the state was shortened of the United Province. In January 1950, the United Province was renamed as Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal remained a part of Uttar Pradesh before it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh on 09 November 2000. It is incepted as the 27th State of India.

State Symbols of Uttarakhand

Animal Alpine Musk Deer
Bird Himalayan Monal
Flower Brahma Kamal
Tree Burans

Wildlife Sanctuaries in Uttarakhand

  • Askot Musk Deer Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Mussoorie Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary

National Parks in Uttarakhand

  • Corbett National Park
  • Gangotri National Parkimages
  • Govind National Park
  • Nanda Devi National Park
  • Rajaji National Park
  • Valley of Flowers National Park

Rivers of Uttarakhand

  • Alaknanda River
  • Asan Barrage
  • Baur River
  • Bhagirathi River
  • Bhilangna River
  • Darma River
  • Gola River
  • Gori Ganga
  • Jahnavi River
  • River Pushpawati
  • Saraswati River (Uttarakhand)
  • Sharda River
  • Song river (Dehradun)
  • Tons River
  • Vasukiganga River
  • Yamuna

Famous places in Uttarakhand

Dehradun – Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, is situated at Himalayan foothills. The geographical location of Dehradun is picturesque with Himalayan ranges in view and River Ganges and River Yamuna on either side of the city. Natural beauty apart, the place is famous for the splendid architectural display by some of the ancient constructions. Some of the leading attractions of Dehradun include:

  • Sahastradhara
  • Robber’s Caveimages (1)
  • Tapovan
  • Rajaji National Park
  • Malsi Deer Park
  • Asan Barrage Water Sport Resort
  • Mindrolling Monastery
  • Tiger Falls
  • Tapkeshawar Temple
  • Forest Research Institute


Famously referred to as the ‘Lake District of India’, Nainital, at 1938 meters above sea level, is a scenic delight that would be irresistible to any tourist. It is located around the famous Naini Lake in a valley. With mountains on all sides, Nainital is where you need to be for a rendezvous with nature. Some of the most important tourist attractions in Nainital include:

  • Naini Lake
  • Eco Cave Gardensnainital-lake1
  • Naina Peak
  • Thandi Sadak
  • Nainital Zoo
  • Himalayan View Point
  • Snow View
  • Horse Riding
  • Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
  • Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Lands End
  • Tiffin Top

Mussoorie – Located at an altitude of 6000 feet, Mussoorie, the ‘Queen of Hills’, is beauty personified. With snow-covered Himalayan peaks on view, the land abundant in natural beauty has an excellent climate too. The winters are chilling and the summers are pleasant. The beauty of the place mesmerized Captain Young of the British army who made this place his residence in the year 1820. Mussoorie has seen countless footprints ever since the discovery, the list of excited tourists to enjoy the immense beauty of the place is growing. Here are the popular tourist attractions in Mussoorie.

  • Mussoorie Adventure Park
  • Camel’s Back Road
  • Jharipani Fallsmussoorie
  • Mussoorie Lake
  • Bhatta Falls
  • Children’s Lodge
  • Lal Tibba
  • Cloud’s End
  • Happy Valley
  • Company Garden
  • Kempty Falls
  • Benog Hill
  • Gun Hill
  • Christ Church
  • Sir George Everest’s House
  • Jwalaji Temple
  • The Mall (Mall Road)

Rishikesh – Rishikesh is a blend of tranquillity and adventure. Its location at the confluence of River Ganges and River Chandrabhaga and views of spectacular hills and various adventurous activities such as trekking, rafting and camping captivate nature lovers; the tranquillity of the place with the importance attached to it as a pilgrim center touches the soul of pilgrims. Rishikesh is called the Yoga Capital of the world. Some of the most important tourist destinations in Rishikesh include:

  • Triveni Ghat
  • Laxman Jhula
  • Swarg Ashramrishikesh
  • Ram Jhula
  • Bharat Mandir
  • Kriya Yoga Ashram
  • Paddle India
  • Jumpin Heights
  • Gita Bhavan
  • The Beatles Ashram
  • Neelkantha Mahadev Temple
  • Shivpuri
  • Parmarth Niketan
  • Narendra Nagar
  • Kaudiyala

Haridwar – Haridwar is also called as the ‘Gateway to the Lord’ thanks to a great number of temples and ashrams located here. The city is considered holy and hence pilgrims from various parts of the world travel to the place to offer their prayers. It is also famous for the Kumbh Mela, a festival, which is held once in twelve years. Given below are some of the leading attractions in Haridwar:

  • Har Ki Pauri
  • Chandi Devi Temple
  • Shanti Gunj
  • Maya Devi Temple
  • Mansa Devi Temple
  • Vaishno Devi Temple
  • Pavan Dham
  • Vishnu Ghat

Kedarnath a small town located in Garhwal Himalayan Ranges is considered one of the holiest pilgrimages for those who follow Hinduism. It houses the famous Kedarnath temple. Kedarnath is located amidst majestic mountains.

Badrinath is yet another popular pilgrim centre in Uttarakhand. This town is located between Nar and Narayana, the mountain ranges. Located at an altitude of 3133 meters and shadowed by Nilkantha Peak, you are sure to grope for words to describe its immense beauty. Badrinath Temple is the main attraction here.

Famous personalities of Uttarakhand

  • Govind Ballabh Pant, recipient of Bharat Ratna India’s highest civilian award, Pantnagar University on his name.
  • Anushka Sharma, Film actress
  • Ruskin Bond, English writer
  • Abhinav Bindra – Shooter and won Olympic gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event in 2008.
  • Bachendri Pal – Mountaineer who in 1984 became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni-Indian Cricketer

Other Facts

  • The only state where forest cover is increasing. It is mainly due to the huge success of Chipko (to stick) movement. People, in response to the reckless deforestation, would hug the trees, not allowing them to be cut
  • The legends of man-eaters of Uttarakhand are world famous. A leopard of Kumaun killed 125 people before Jim Corbett killed him. A female Bengal tiger, called Champawat tiger killed around 450 people. Jim Corbett has written a bestseller – Man-eaters of Kumaon, covering all the major man-eaters.
  • It is home to Valley of Flowers – UNESCO world heritage site. It is a place with a diverse variety of exotic and endangered flowers.
  • It is home to Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The whole area is home to incredible flora and fauna, along with some major glaciers.
  • World’s highest (altitude) road, the Mana Pass is in Uttarakhand. Though civilians are not allowed.
  • Uttarakhand has the highest percentage of the total state population in Indian army than any other Indian state.
  • Indian Military Academy (where Indian army officer recruits are trained) is in Dehradun.

Click this button to Download the E-Book

Check out our latest videos on youtube