Uttarakhand

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The Uttarakhand political crisis, 18 Mar- 11 May 2016; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, May 11, 2016
The Uttarakhand political crisis, April 7- April 21, 2016; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, April 22, 2016

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Contents

The source of this article

INDIA 2012

A REFERENCE ANNUAL

Compiled by

RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION

PUBLICATIONS DIVISION

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

Uttarakhand

Area : 53,484 sq km

Population : 84,89,349 (Census 2001)

Capital : Dehradun

Principal Languages : Hindi, English, Garhwali, Kumauni

HISTORY

Uttarakhand finds mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as Kedarkhand, Manaskhand and Himavant. The Kushanas, Kunindas, Kanishka, Samudra Gupta, the Pauravas, Katuris, Palas, the Chandras and Panwars and the British have ruled it in turns. It is often called the Land of the 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 Awadh which came into existence in 1902. In 1935, the name of State was shortened to 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 9 November 2000. It is incepted as the 27th State of India.

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.

AGRICULTURE

About 90 per cent of the population of Uttarakhand depends on agriculture. The total cultivated area in the State is 7,67,571 hectare.

Agriculture, horticulture

Subodh Varma, Why HP farmers are better off than tillers in U'khand, Feb 13, 2017: The Times of India

Food grain output and area under horticulture, Uttarakhand, 2000-15; Subodh Varma, Why HP farmers are better off than tillers in U'khand, Feb 13, 2017: The Times of India

A striking feature of the poll campaign in Uttara khand is that neither of the two major political parties have any concrete strategy for a crisis that's haunting nearly half the state's population.Since 2000, when the state was created, foodgrain production has gone down by 6% and land under cultivation by 11%. In neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, with similar mountainous terrain, foodgrain output increased by 29% while the country averaged a 28%. “Life as we knew it is finished,“ says Pravin Kandari, an elderly farmer from Agrakhal village, not far from the Tehri dam. “There's no water, no seeds or fertilisers, nobody to buy the anaaj, nowhere to take it to sell. My sons now work in a hotel in Rudrapur.“

The state's average foodgrain figures hide a bigger tragedy . Included in this is the output from the plains comprising Rudrapur, Udham Singh Nagar and Haridwar districts and Dehradun and Nainital districts. This makes up a stunning 60% of the state's total foodgrain output. The remaining 11 hill districts, with roughly half the population -and half the assembly seats -produce the remaining 40%, including millets and pulses.

Dinesh Pratap, professor at Dehradun's DAV College, told TOI that mountain agriculture was always a low level subsistence economy just about able to support the much smaller local population. “With no jobs in rural areas, people have migrated in large numbers to cities like Dehradun, even Delhi. This has put agriculture in terminal decline. There's no-one to tend the fields or livestock.Wild animals freely destroy whatever is sown,“ he says.

But Uttarakhand has been showing a growth rate of over 10% for several years. This is due to the secondary sector, especially construction and manufacturing that have been galloping. Agriculture's share in the state's domestic product has halved from about 22% in 2004-05 to 11% in 2015-16. And, since most manufacturing is in the plains, those in the mountains don't benefit.

Conceding the difficulty , BK Joshi, former vice chancellor of Kumaon University , said the state's governments have lacked “vision“. “It's possible to introduce highvalue fruits and vegetables, aromatic and medicinal plants, etc. to boost returns.But this needs extensive planning, hard work. That's why in the polls, you don't see solutions on offer,“ he told TOI.A comparison with Himachal confirms the policy failure.With just 2% more area under horticulture, HP produces a jaw dropping 37% more fruits, vegetables, flowers, medicinal plants etc. Small wonder that farmers in HP are not in the same abyss as in Uttarakhand.

ECONOMY

Please see graphic

Uttarakhand, economic and demographic facts; The Times of India, Jan 27, 2017

INDUSTRY AND MINERALS

The State is rich in mineral deposits like limestone, marble, rock phosphate, dolomite, magnesite, copper greyphyte, gypsum, etc. The number of small-scale industries is 34,231 providing employment to 1,77,677 persons, with an investment of Rs. 14,965.67 crore.

IRRIGATION AND ENERGY

Agricultural land under irrigation is 5,49,381 hectare. The State has excellent potential for hydropower generation. There are a number of hydroelectric projects on the rivers Yamuna, Bhagirathi, Bhilangana, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Saryu Gauri, Kosi and Kali generating electricity. Total hydropower potential approx. 25,450 MW. Projects allotted to various agencies 13,667 MW. Out of 15,761 villages, 15,241 villages have been electrified.

TRANSPORT

Roads : The total length of metalled roads in Uttarakhand is 29,939 km. The length of PWD roads is 22,623 km. The length of roads built by local bodies is 15,041 km.

Railways: The main railway stations are Dehradun, Hardwar, Roorkee, Kotdwar, Kashipur, Udhamsingh Nagar, Haldwani, Ramnagar and Kathgodam.

Aviation: There are air strips at Jolly Grant (Dehradun), and Pantnagar (Udham Singh Nagar). Air strips at Naini-Seni (Pithoragarh), Gauchar (Chamoli) and Chinyalisaur (Uttarkashi) are under construction. From this year Pawan Hans Ltd., has started helicopter service from Rudraprayag to Kedarnath for pilgrims.

FESTIVALS

The world-famous Kumbh Mela/Ardh Kumbh Mela is held at Hardwar at every twelfth/sixth year interval. Other prominent fairs/festivals are : Devidhura Mela (Champawat), Purnagiri Mela (Champawat), Nanda Devi Mela (Almora), Gauchar Mela (Chamoli), Baisakhi (Uttarkashi), Magha Mela (Uttarkashi), Uttaraini Mela (Bageshwar), Vishu Mela (Jaunsar Bhabar), Peerane-Kaliyar (Roorkee), and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra held every twelfth year.

TOURIST CENTRES

Prominent places of pilgrimage/tourist interests are Gangotri, Yamunotri. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hardwar, Rishikesh, Hemkund Sahib, Nanakmatta, etc. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra can be performed through Kumaon region. The world-famous Valley of Flowers, Pindari Glacier, Roop Kund, Dayara Bugyal, Auli, and hill stations like Mussoorie, Dehradun, Chakrata, Nainital, Ranikhet, Bageshwar, Bhimtal, Kausani, Lansdowne etc. are the other tourist destinations.

Beaches along the Ganga

33 beaches safe

The Times of India, Aug 04 2016

Seema Sharma

33 of 56 beaches fit for camping: U'khand to NGT 

The Uttarakhand government informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that 33 beaches in the Rishikesh-Kaudiyala belt were suitable for beach camping. The state's submission came in reply to a July NGT directive asking the government to identify beaches where camping could be allowed. The beaches were declared off-limits for camping by the NGT last year on account of the activity's adverse impact on the local ecology as well as the river Ganga.

In a report submitted to the NGT, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had identified 18 of 56 beaches along the stretch as unsuitable for beach camping. Five more were found unsuitable by the state government.

Counsel Rahul Chaudhary , appearing for petitioner Social Action for Forest & Environment (Safe), had called for more studies on 15 of the 33 beaches, where the WII had found “direct and indirect signs“ of animal movement after studying the area for 10 days in winter. “If frequent wildlife activity is happening on any of these beaches, beach camping should be banned here as well,“ he said. Amit Anand, counsel for the state government, told TOI, “The WII and the NGT-appointed committee, which has framed comprehensive regulations regarding beach camping, have decided not to accept Safe's contentions and not to exclude any of the 15 beaches from the list of 33 found fit for camping activities.“



GOVERNMENT

Governor : Shri Krishna Kant Paul

Chief Secretary : Shri Shatrughna Singh

Chief Minister : Shri Harish Rawat

Jurisdiction of High Court

Uttarakhand

Government servants

90-minute Friday namaz break

The Times of India, Dec 19 2016

Men from Uttarakhand' hold top posts in security establishments


Lt Gen Bipin Rawat and Anil Dhasmana, appointed as the Army chief and the RAW boss respectively , have joined the long list of men from Uttarakhand occupying the topmost positions in the security establishments of the country .Both Rawat and Dhasmana hail from Pauri Garhwal district of the state.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval is a native of Ghiri Banelsyun village in Pauri Garhwal, while Coast Guard chief Rajendra Singh hails from Chakrata near Dehradun. Recently appointed director general of military operations (DGMO) Anil Bhatt too has his roots in Tehri Garhwal.

The presence of so many people from the state -regarded as `dev bhoomi' (land of gods) as well as `veer bhoomi'(land of the brave) -in decision-making positions regarding the country's safety is both a matter of pride as well as a reflection of the trust reposed in them, says Major General BC Khanduri (Retired), former CM, Army veteran and senior BJP member. “It is a fortuitous thing that people from the state are simultaneously occupying the top echelons of the country's security establishments. They are all highly competent officers and I hope that they do good work which makes the country and the state proud of them.“

The trend of men from the hills getting positions of responsibility regarding the country's security started with the Modi government appointing retired IPS officer Ajit Doval, formerly the director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), as the National Security Adviser in 2014. In the past one year, more appointments have followed starting with Rajendra Singh being named the Coast Guard chief in February .Singh, hailing from Chakrata, attended school in Mussoorie and graduated from the HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal.

In November, Lt General Anil Bhatt took over as the DGMO to oversee all crucial operations being conducted by the Army , a post deemed to be of great responsibility especially in the aftermath of the surgical strikes conduc ted in September. Bhatt, an alumnus of St George's Col lege, Mussoorie, is a native of Khatwar in Tehri Garhwal.

The simultaneous anno uncement of the appoint ment of two more Uttarak handis -Lt Gen Rawat and Dhasmana -to head the Ar my and RAW respectively on Saturday has been the icing on the cake, say observers.

Brig RS Rawat (Retired), who as an instructor at the Dehradun-based Indian Military Academy (IMA) in the late 1970s taught the newly-named Army chief, says that it is no coinciden ce that people from the hills of Uttarakhand are being entrusted with such respon sibilities.

“Uttarakhand has had a glorious tradition of contributing many men to the country's security forces. People here have a genuine desire to join the Army and other agencies where they can serve the country . Their temperament and physical toughness also make them valuable assets. For instance, Bipin Rawat, whom I remember as a disciplined and extremely hardworking student, displayed all these qualities which I think will make him a great Army chief,“ he said.

Top ranking officers from Uttarakhand

2016

The Times of India,Dec 19 2016

Men from Uttarakhand' hold top posts in security establishments

Lt Gen Bipin Rawat and Anil Dhasmana, appointed as the Army chief and the RAW boss respectively , have joined the long list of men from Uttarakhand occupying the topmost positions in the security establishments of the country .Both Rawat and Dhasmana hail from Pauri Garhwal district of the state. National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval is a native of Ghiri Banelsyun village in Pauri Garhwal, while Coast Guard chief Rajendra Singh hails from Chakrata near Dehradun. Recentlyappointed director general of military operations (DGMO) Anil Bhatt too has his roots in Tehri Garhwal.

The presence of so many people from the state -regarded as `dev bhoomi' (land of gods) as well as `veer bhoomi'(land of the brave) -in decision-making positions regarding the country's safety is both a matter of pride as well as a reflection of the trust reposed in them, says Major General BC Khanduri (Retired), former CM, Army veteran and senior BJP member.

The trend of men from the hills getting positions of responsibility regarding the country's security started with the Modi government appointing retired IPS officer Ajit Doval, formerly the director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), as the National Security Adviser in 2014. In the past one year, more appointments have followed starting with Rajendra Singh being named the Coast Guard chief in February .Singh, hailing from Chakrata, attended school in Mussoorie and graduated from the HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal.

In November, Lt General Anil Bhatt took over as the DGMO to oversee all crucial operations being conducted by the Army , a post deemed to be of great responsibility especially in the aftermath of the surgical strikes conduc ted in September. Bhatt, an alumnus of St George's Col lege, Mussoorie, is a native of Khatwar in Tehri Garhwal.

The simultaneous anno uncement of the appoint ment of two more Uttarak handis -Lt Gen Rawat and Dhasmana -to head the Ar my and RAW respectively on Saturday in Dec 2016 has been the icing on the cake, say observers.

AREA, POPULATION AND HEADQUARTERS OF DISTRICTS

S. No. District Area (sq km) Population Headquarters

1. Uttarkashi 8,016 2,95,013 Uttarkashi

2. Chamoli 7,520 3,70,359 Gopeshwar

3. Rudra Prayag 2,439 2,27,439 Rudra Prayag

4. Tehri Garhwal 3,796 6,04,747 New Tehri

5. Dehradun 3,088 12,82,143 Dehradun

6. Pauri Garhwal 5,329 6,97,078 Pauri

7. Pithoragarh 7,169 4,62,289 Pithoragarh

8. Champawat 2,004 2,24,542 Champawat

9. Almora 3,689 6,30,567 Almora

10. Bageshwar 1,696 2,49,462 Bageshwar

11. Nainital 3,422 7,62,909 Nainital

12. Udhamsingh Nagar 3,055 12,35,614 Udhamsingh Ngr. (Rudrapur)

13. Hardwar 2,360 14,47,187 Hardwar

Seismic profile

Uttarakhand is sensitive

Seema Sharma, Geologists find Uttarakhand quite sensitive for earthquakes, Feb 7, 2017: The Times of India


Experts have been talking about a massive earthquake that is due in the Himalayan region for many years. Are the series of small quakes that the region has been experiencing simply a run-up to the "Big One"? Geologists have warned that the Himalayan temblor could be of magnitude 8 and above. The precipitating factor could be a 700-km-long "central seismic gap" on the Himalayan front spanning the Uttarakhand region. The gap has not ruptured in a major earthquake in 200-500 years and it's a matter of time before this pent-up energy is released, say experts.

Sushil Kumar, scientist on earth quake in Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) while agreeing with this theory said, "Four major earthquakes happened in Himalayan belt which include one in Assam in 1897, Kangra in 1905, Bihar -Nepal belt in 1934 and then in Assam 1950, all above 8 magnitude at Richter scale. So in a way pent up energy is releasing gradually for all these eyars but we don't' know if this pattern will continue to be this way or a major earthquake of high intensity running several hundred km will hit the humanity. There is a need for more advance research to answer these questions."

He said, WIHG has installed 10 seismograph broadband across Himalayan states, in Bhatwari, Garur Ganga, Haridwar, Munisyari and Tehri in Uttarakhand over past one year. Twenty more -10 seismograph broadband and 10 accelerograph broadband- will be installed in other regions for daily seismic recordings." According to AK Gupta, director WIHG, nobody can predict the quake infuture. "Himalaya is an active mountain chain because Indian plate which is fractured and incoherent is dynamic and moving. Sedimentary and fractured formation under the ground in lesser Himalayan zones is responsible for the collective energy to be emitting through these fissures and giving rise to earthquakes. In Uttarakhand, such tremors of 4 to 4.5 magnitude have become common occurrences every year. But no geologist can predict if a major earthquake is round the corner or not."

He said, there are some areas such as main thrust area in Ghuttu ahead of Dhanolti and Tehri in Garhwal and Pitoragarh, Dharchula belt in Kumaon which is quite sensitive for earthquake. WIHG has its observatory in Ghuttu in Tehri district.

Sushil Kumar says that these plates under the earth are moving at the rate of 40-55 meter every year creating immense pressure which releases in the form of seismic vibrations or earthquake. He said the entire Himalayan belt is quite vulnerable. Uttarakhand falls in seismic sensitive zone from Bihar to Nepal.

Temples

A 2019 overview

KAUTILYA SINGH, May 23, 2019: The Times of India

This temple in Netwar village is dedicated to Karna, the Pandavas’ half-brother and Duryodhana’s confidant. Below, an engraving at the temple
From: KAUTILYA SINGH, May 23, 2019: The Times of India
Engraving at the temple in Netwar village is dedicated to Karna
From: KAUTILYA SINGH, May 23, 2019: The Times of India
The Duryodhana temple (above) is named for the villain in the Mahabharata, but some locals refuse to acknowledge its Kaurava link
From: KAUTILYA SINGH, May 23, 2019: The Times of India
The Kamleshwar temple attracts childless couples with the promise that the right rituals will bless them with children
From: KAUTILYA SINGH, May 23, 2019: The Times of India
Shrouded in secrecy, the Latu Devta shrine only opens once a year
From: KAUTILYA SINGH, May 23, 2019: The Times of India


It’s known as ‘Devbhoomi’ — land of gods — but Uttarakhand is also the land of unique temples that add to the intrigue and mystique of the hills. Take for instance the Latu Devta temple in Chamoli, which opens for only one day a year on Baisakh Purnima. Devotees are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Even the priest enters the shrine blindfolded. The belief is that Nagraj, the king of snakes, remains inside the temple with his ‘mani’, or jewel and one is not supposed to look at the snake king with naked eyes. Therefore, the portals of the shrine are opened for the smallest of windows, and great care and secrecy is maintained regarding its interiors.


In Vaan village, home to the Latu Devta shrine, the owner of a small ration shop, Heera Bugyali, told TOI some of the stories surrounding the temple. “It is commonly believed that Latu is the brother of mountain goddess Nanda Devi. He was once going towards Kailash Parvat to meet her, and halted his journey at Vaan village. Feeling thirsty, he asked a local woman for water. She said that water was kept in one of the three earthen pots inside the house. However, he inadvertently drank liquor kept in one of the pots and his tongue fell to the ground. Nanda Devi subsequently appeared and said his place of worship will be in this village. Since then, Latu Devta is worshiped here.” Incidentally, Vaan village is also a halting spot on the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, Uttarakhand’s longest pilgrimage that is undertaken on foot and held every 12 years.

Another unique temple in the Uttarakhand hills is dedicated to someone many regard as the villain of the epic ‘Mahabharata.’ The Duryodhana temple at Jakhol village in Uttarkashi is probably the only one of its kind in the country dedicated to the eldest of the 100 Kaurava brothers. Interestingly, while local historians say that the temple’s deity is Duryodhana, many villagers refuse to acknowledge it as a Kaurava shrine, instead claiming that the temple is dedicated to Lord Someshwar, a manifestation of Shiva.

Historian Prahalad Singh Rawat, who has co-authored a book on the history, culture and society of Uttarakhand, said that during excavations, a strong link to Pandavas and Kauravas has been found in the region. “It is believed that while the Kauravas stayed in areas near Jakhol, the Pandavas occupied the area of present-day Himachal Pradesh bordering Uttarakhand.” He added: “Since a negative image is associated with Duryodhana, many locals shy away from admitting that the temple is dedicated to him.”

Not very far from Jakhol is another shrine situated in Netwar village that’s dedicated to Karna, the Pandavas’ half-brother and Duryodhana’s confidant. “Karna was a mighty warrior who was known for being extremely benevolent and generous. People of the area recognise the shrine as one dedicated to him and also perform pooja there regularly,” said Rawat.

Another unique shrine is that of Lokpal, situated near Hemkund in the Garhwal Himalayas close to Badrinath. The uniqueness of this temple is that it is dedicated to Lakshman, the younger brother of Ram who is depicted here without either Ram or Sita. Lakshman is believed to have meditated on the banks of the frozen lake here after the battle of Lanka. Another belief is that this was the spot where Lakshman was brought after he was grievously injured in the battle with Ravana’s son Meghnad, and he was eventually revived on the banks of the frozen Lokpal lake.

Among the thousands of other shrines scattered across the Himalayan state, a few also stand out for the beliefs associated with them. Like the Kamleshwar Mahadev temple near Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal. The shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracts childless couples from across the world, since the belief is that those who perform rituals here with sincerity are blessed with progeny.

Providing details, Devendra Bhatt, who is a member of the temple committee, said, “During Baikunth Chaturdashi, the temple organises a three-day fair and, on the last day, the couples coming here have to hold lit earthen diyas overnight inside the temple premises. They have to thereafter take a bath in Alaknanda river, which flows nearby. There have been hundreds and thousands of couples whose prayers have been answered and they have come back to thank Lord Shiva for His blessings.” The maximum number of registration of couples for a single night was 350 in 2015 while on an average the number ranges from 200 to 250 each year.

The mythological story behind the temple is that Lord Ram had pledged to offer 1,000 flowers to Shiva at Kamleshwar but he fell short of one flower. “In order to fulfill his pledge, Ram chopped off one of his fingers. Since then, it is believed that all requests and prayers that are made sincerely here are accepted by the deity,” Bhatt said.

Wildlife parks and sanctuaries: India

CHILLA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

This wildlife sanctuary provides for a rich Sal forest. Chilla wildlife sanctuary is hardly 6 km from the holy city of Haridwar and provides an ideal opportunity for a day's visit besides enjoying one's stay along the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar.

Chilla is a part of wider wildlife area in Rajaji in the Tarai region of Shivaliks. You can be sure of seeing Wild Elephant, Chital, Sambar, Ghoral, and Spotted Deer. Sighting Leopards are an occasional possibility.

Location: 6 kms from Hardiwar

Access

By Rail/Road Haridwar (6 km)

CORBETT NATIONAL PARK

Its unique location provides this national park with a vast diversity of fauna. Though it is widely accepted as a tiger refuge, but in the real sense, it is a paradise for bird watchers. More than 600 species of birds have been recorded. The river Ramganga is the main source of water. The river meanders through the undulating terrain presenting a wonderful scenic beauty for the visitors.

Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Sloth bear, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, are some of the major species seen. Goral and Himalayan Black Bear are known to come into the park during winters. Due to the typical Himalayan foothills terrain, flash floods during monsoon leaves nothing behind in the name of roads and hence the park is closed between 15 June to 15 November.

The Ramganga sustains Mahashir (Himalayan carp) and has a good population of Otters, Crocodiles, and Gharials.

Location: Pauri, Garhwal and Nainital districts

Best time to visit: November to mid June

Habitat: Dense sal forests and tall green meadows

Area: 520.82 sq.kms

Access

Nearest Airport Pantnagar (110 kms) Nearest Railway Station Ramnagar (51 km) By Road Dhikala connected by road to Dhangarthi and further to Ramnagar, the nearest town

Accommodation

Forest Rest House at Dhikala, Khinanauli, Sarpdauli, Giral, Sultan, Bijrani, Malani, Kanda, Dhela, Jhima.

Contact

Field Director, Project Tiger or Wildlife Warden Corbett National Park, Ramnagar Distt. Nainital, Uttar Pradesh 224 715

DUDHWA NATIONAL PARK

Dudhwa is located in Tarai region adjoining Nepal. It represents one of the finest pure Sal forests in this country, with grasslands, large lakes and swampy bogs that provide shelter to a vast diversity of fauna and flora. It is the home for the soft ground Barasingha or Swamp deer, besides Tiger, Elephant, Sambar, Chital, Barking deer, Hog deer, Blue bull, Sloth bear, and Otters which are found in good numbers. Dudhwa was home to the Great Indian Rhinoceros but the same was eliminated in the recent past. Reintroduction of this unique species has added additional importance to this beautiful park. One can get an opportunity to know about "Tharu", a local community who live in harmony with nature. Dudhwa can also be considered a bird watcher's paradise with a possibility of sighting more than 400 species of birds.

Location: North LakhimpurKheri

Best time to visit: November to May

Habitat: Sal, marshes and grasslands

Area: 498.29 sq.kms

Access

Airport/Railway Station Lucknow/Dudhwa By Road UPSRTC buses connect Dudhwa with Palia, Lakhimpur, Kheri and neighbouring places

Accommodation

Forest Rest House at Dudhwa, Sathiana, Bankatti, Sonaripur, Kila

Contact

Field Director, Project Tiger Dudhwa National Park, LakhimpurKheri, Uttar Pradesh 262 701

RAJAJI NATIONAL PARK

Its ideal location on the tourist circuit can make this an important sanctuary. The Sanctuary is divided by the Ganges river. The smaller portion on the eastern side of the river is known as Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rajaji is interspersed with moist deciduous forest with Sal as the predominant species. Sambar, Chital, Barking deer, Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Leopard Cat, Monkeys, and Goral (mountain goat) are important species. All along the river course, a number of turtle species can also be seen.

Location

Dehradun valley

Best time to visit: November to June

Habitat: Scenic surroundings, pleasant climate, beautiful setting

Area: 830 sq.kms

Access

Nearest Airport Jolly Grant Nearest Railway Stations Dehradun and Hardwar By Road Delhi (220kms), Lucknow (510kms)

Accommodation

5 Forest Rest House, 10 suites

Contact

Director, Rajaji National Park, Dehradun. Tel== 24225. Tourist Lodge,

Hardwar

VALLEY OF FLOWERS

The valley of flowers is nature's wonder. This high altitude region is governed by the extreme cold climate and remains snowbound for nearly five months.

In fact the valley of flowers is an alpine meadow but is guarded by towering Himalayan ridges and peaks thus creating its own climatic conditions and protection against dry cold winter monsoons.

The importance of this valley was understood by old sages who used to spend their time here for meditation. But the common tourist was unaware of its existence. A trip to this valley requires special efforts and an avid trekker will enjoy this trip.

The valley of flowers can be termed as a botanist's paradise as the beauty of flowers is always irresistible to any individual. There are nearly 3000 species of plants found in this small area. The flowers invite a diversity of insects and birds and hence the faunal diversity is also good. Musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, Snow leopard, Black bear, Brown bear, are some of the important mammals found here. The colourful majestic Monal and few other Pheasants add beauty.

The months of July and August are the ideal period. Rest house facility at Govind Dham is available with prior permission from the U.P. Wildlife authorities. A visit to Hemkunt Sahib an important pilgrimage site for Sikhs is close by and will add to your experience.

Location

Bhyundia Ganga of Chamoli district of Garhwal

Best time to visit: July to October

Habitat: Natural garden blooming with wild flowers

Area: 90 sq. kms

Access

Nearest Airport Jolly grant Nearest Railway Station Rishikesh By Road Off the RishikeshBadrinath road. 16 kms from Govindghat and Badrinath (24kms)

Accommodation

Tourist Rest House, Ghangari, Forest Rest House at Ghangari and Govindghat

Contact

Deputy Conservator of Forests, Nanda Devi National Park, Joshimath, Dist.Chamoli.

LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY

MAJOR BASE POINT

Garhwal and Kumaon

GETTING THERE

By Air The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

By Rail Convenient overnight trains from Delhi connect Haridwar the nearest railhead into Garhwal. The Shatabdi Express serves Haridwar along with trains from Mumbai and Calcutta.

By Road Bus services connect Haridwar with other towns in North India. It is a 5 hour drive from Dellhi and just 22 km from Rishikesh.

TIME TO VISIT

There are two seasons for trekking in MayJune and end August end October.

PLACES OPEN IN RESTRICTED/PROTECTED AREA

VISIT PERMITTED TO

Nanda Devi Sanctuary, Niti Ghatti and Kalindi Khal in Chamoli, Uttar Kashi districts Adjoining areas of Milam Glacier

AUTHORITY MHA Government of U.P. DM/SDM concerned ITBP

REMARKS

Individual tourists not permitted.

TREKKING

Gangotri

The trek to the source of the river Ganga will prove a memorable experience and is comparatively easy. From the roadhead at Gangotri one follows a fairly level trail alongside the river for 19 km till the snout of the glacier is reached. The river rises from an ice cave and the surroundings, especially if one proceeds another 5 km along the glacier to Tapovan, are among the most sublime in the world. This grassy meadow called Tapovan at a height of 4,400 m is surrounded by spectacular peaks like Meru which has the mythological merit of being the centre of the Universe; other peaks are the Shivling, Bhagirathi group etc.

Curzon

This is another fabulous trek over Kuari Pass at 12,000 feet. The trek begins at Joshimath and after reaching Tapovan, carries one over Kuari Pass affording a panoramic view of the Nandadevi Sanctuary mountains. This trail can start from Gwaldam or halfway along at Ghat. The full trek takes ten days. Many find it preferable to do it in reverse from Tapovan to Ghat, for the climb to the pass is not too steep from the north.

A favourite of those who love flowers is HarikiDun in western Garhwal. A lovely meadows at Bedni is an offshoot on the Curzon Trail. This lies above the tree line en route to the great mystery lake, Rupkund, where legend has it an army lies buried in snow. The trek to the Valley of Flowers with its phenomenal one thousand varities of plants is only 4 kms away from Ghangaria.

KumaonGarhwal High Altitude

This is the classic route from the Kumaon roadhead at Munisiari in the Goriganga valley. Skirting the eastern flank of the Nanda Devi sanctuary, the trail continues to Milam and over the Unta Dhura pass entering the Girthi Ganga valley of Garhwal at Malari, roadhead for the trade routes with Tibet, using the Niti Pass and Bara Hoti.

The Gori Glacier

Reaching Munsiari from Almora by road which extends to Lilam (1800 m), the trek does a 4day run up to the shout of the Goriganga (3500 m) glacier, 5 km from the historic Milan village (3000 m).

Dodotal

For those who enjoy angling, there is the easy threeday trek to Dodital near Uttarkashi where a licence can be obtained for fishing trout.

Pindari

October is the time to visit the lovely hills of Kumaon. The twelveday trek to Pindari glacier is considered one of the classics and for the adventurous there are innumerable sideglaciers to explore.

Another exciting trek is to Milan glacier in Pithoragarh district.

MOUNTAINEERING

At the traditional source of the Ganges one can find the best mountaineering area in the world. A few kilometres above the ice cave from which the river takes birth are the meadows of Tapovan and Nandanvan, spread at the base of the most magnificent panorama of peaks. These are mainly over the 20,000 ft mark and still have unclimbed faces.

These are the peaks of Shivling, Meru Bhagirathi and Kedarnath. An easy glacial and moraine walking allows climbers to make quick ascents and this area has been called "the alpine playground".

In the far west of Garhwal, HarikiDun provides a spectacularly beautiful base for attempts on the Bandar Poonch group and the approach along the Tons valley is one of the unspoiled areas of the Himalayas. Eastwards, now that the Nandadevi Sanctuary cirque has been closed, climbers have to approach Trisul by the more formidable south face. This involves a ten day trek up the Mandakini valley to each base.

Further eastwards, Kumaon provides fairly easy access to the Sunderdhunga glacier. The jagged five Panch Chuli peaks are closed to foreigners and Indians need to obtain special permission for climbing them.

SKIING

Joshimath

Joshimath, traditionally a pilgrim town, has now also been developed as a skiing resort for Garhwal. A ropeway is under construction to take visitors from the town at 6,000 ft to the slopes of Auli and Gorsain near the Kuari Pass at 12,000 ft. Already a popular winter destination allowing for long distance, cross country skiing. Auli is being planned as a major wintersports resort. An annual championship is a highlight following several training programmes held over a three month long period when skiing is possible.

Auli

Auli's slopes, located 16 km from Joshimath, draws skiing enthusiasts from all over. The wind velocity are kept minimum by magnificent coniferous and oak forests surrounding Auli. Long and clean stretches of snows extend to 1020 km offers ideal opportunities for crosscountry, slalom and downhill skiing events. A 3 km long slope ranging from a height of 2,519 mtrs to 3,040 mtrs is the chief draw here having a 500 mts long ski lift for carrying skiers back to the slope top. It is known for hosting a number of skiing festivals and national championships. It has a 500 mts long ski lift for carrying skiers back to the slope top. It hosts a number of skiing festivals and national championships. A grand view of the Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi (7,817 mts), Kamet (7,756 mts), Mana Parvat (7,273 mts) and Dunagiri (7,066 mts) can be viewed from Auli.

WATER SPORTS

Kaundiyala near Rishikesh has established itself on the white water sports in the country. A river rafting championships is also held here every year.

The Indian rivers have the potential of having some of the most exciting stretches of river running in the world. The most popular river running routes in India are the Ganga (Grade IIIV), the Bhagirathi, (Grade IIIIV), the Alaknanda (Grade IIIIV). River rafting opportunities are provided by almost all the eternal rivers of India. The most popular run for amateurs includes Devprayag to Rishikesh on the river Ganges, while professionals initiate their run in upward stretches.

The Lucknow Water Sports Club has been revitalised on the banks of the River Gomti. The state tourism department has started the Ganga Water Rally from Allahabad to Varanasi.

AERO SPORTS

The snowcapped Himalayas are best suited for hang gliding / para sailing. There are several sights in India which have been highly rated and those in the lower reaches of the Himalayas are considered the best in the world. Paragliding is undertaken at Bhimtal in Kumaon. It will shortly be started at Kainjar in Banda district in Bundelkhand.

SAFARIS

Wildlife safaris are organised at the various national parks and sanctuaries.

Dog/Monkey bite: compensation

The Times of India Apr 11 2015

Bitten by dog or monkey? In U'khand, you can claim Rs 2L

Vineet Upadhyay

In an unprecedented order, the Uttarakhand high court directed that any victim of a dog bite be given Rs 2 lakh as compensation. It also mandated that the compensation amount, which is to be equally shared by the respective municipal corporation of a district and the state government, should be paid within a week of the person being bitten.

The order, delivered by a division bench of justices Alok Singh and Sarvesh Kumar Gupta, included those bitten by monkeys and apes in its ambit as well. For persons injured by stray cattle, the court ordered a compensation of Rs 1 lakh in case of simple injury , and Rs 2 lakh if the person was seriously injured.

Incidentally, the court had in January 2015 taken note of reports of over 4,000 cases of dog bites being recorded in the last three years in Nainital town alone. It had then asked the state and the municipality “to take appropriate steps immediately for the construction of dog shelters, wherein stray dogs can be kept to avoid cases of dog biting which are increasing day by day .“ It had asked civic authorities “to come up with a proposal to rein in monkeys and gibbons.“ Interestingly , five people, including the wife of a senior judiciary member, fell victim to stray dog bites on the day the HC order was delivered.

No relief in dog, monkey bites: SC

The Times of India, Apr 22 2015

The Supreme Court stayed an Uttarakhand HC order directing the Nainital Municipal Corporation and the state government to pay compensation of Rs 2 lakh to each person who suffered dog or monkey bites. The HC had aslo ordered compensations for injuries by stray cows and bulls in Nainital.

Relief for dog bites: SC

The Times of India, Dec 01 2015

AmitAnand Choudhary

SC raps govt bodies on stray dog menace 

Expressing concern over the rising incidents of children being bitten by stray dogs, the Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre on how to control the menace and provide free treatment and anti-rabies medicine to the victims. Abench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said the state governments and local municipal bodies should be held accountable for not controlling stray dogs, and that they should compensate the victims. The order came on a PIL filed by Kerala-based child rights NGO Aluva Janaseva.

The NGO's counsel told the bench that every year, over one lakh incidents of stray dogs biting people are reported across the country , and 11 people died due to ra bies in the first six months of 2015. He said children need to be protected from stray dogs as they are easy targets.

The bench said the government needed to frame a policy to protect children from stray dogs and directed the Centre and Kerala government to file their response within four weeks.

It also sought their response on how to implement effective vaccination and sterilisation for stray dogs to control their numbers.

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