Uttarakhand known as a Devbhumi which literally means the ‘Land of the Gods’ as the state lies many pilgrimage centres along with the various significant Hindu temples in the region. The state is known for its characteristic magnificence of the Himalayas, the Terai and the Bhabhar. Formerly it was the part of Uttar Pradesh and it was framed as a 27th state of the India in 9 November 2000. Uttarakhand is segregated into two divisions Kumaon and Garhwal. Dehradun is the capital of the state also one of the largest state in Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand is one of the ancient state in India. As per the archaeological records such as antiquated rock paintings, rock covers, Palaeolithic stone instruments and stone monuments give prove that the mountains of the area have been settled since prehistoric times.
The state is covered by high Himalayan peaks, glaciers and forests which give us the breath-taking views and its pure surroundings of the nature yield the incredible feelings. Uttarakhand is the place of the origin of the two most important and religious river for Hindus that is Ganga river and Yamuna river, the Yamuna is originated at Yamunotri and the Ganges at Gangotri.
Uttarakhand is also famous for adventures activities such as Trekking, Skiing and River Rafting. It is the heaven for various types of adventure activities.
Festivals of Uttarakhand
Although all the major festivals are celebrated in Uttarakhand, but some of the significant festivals of the
Uttarakhand are such as given below:-
Maha Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh, Haridwar :-
Kumbh Mela of Haridwar is one of the largest fairs of the world and it is a month long fair and is attended by millions of pilgrims from all over India as well as the devout from the world over. It is held every three years in a rotation at Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasik as per the traditional calendar during January - February. Hence Maha Kumbh is held after a gap of twelve years in Allahabad due to rotation where as Ardha Kumbh is held in the Sixth year after Maha Kumbh.
Basant Panchami in Uttarakhand:-
It is one of the most impotent festival of Uttarakhand the festival celebrating spring season which comes accompanied by a huge variety of flowers presenting a riot of colours to the environment. This festival is devoted to Goddess Saraswati, the people of Uttarakhand welcomes the spring singing and dancing and do the worship of the goddess Saraswati. On the occasion of Basant panchmi they wear yellow clothes. It is celebrated during the month of February or March as per Hindu calendar.
Devidhura Mela in Uttarakhand :-
The fair is held every year on the auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan during August. It take place at Varahi Devi temple of Devidhura, which is located a meeting point of Almora, Nainital and Pithoragarh, districts. It is one of the most joyful festival celebrated with folk songs and dances.
Phool Dei in Uttarakhand:-
This is one of the most impotent festival of Uttarakhand, which held on the first day of Chaitra in mid-March. On this special day, the young ladies as seen directing the vast majority of the functions. The festivals in a few districts are watched for the entire month with the coming of the spring. During this festival the young girls goes to the all the houses in the locality with plates consisting of coconut, rice, jaggery, flowers and they wishes them for the prosperity of the household.
Uttaraini Mela in Uttarakhand:-
It is another significant festival of the state. This fair held on the day of Makarshankranti and it is celebrated at many places such as Bageshwar, Sult Mahadev, Hanseshwar, Rameshwar etc. Trader across the distant places such as Nepal and Tibet come to sell their products.
The Mela or fair at Bageshwar attracts mostly of local people as well as tourists.
Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra in Uttarakhand:-
It is one of the most popular festival in Uttarakhand as well as in India. It held one in every 12 years in Chamoli. Most from Uttarakhand as well as from other parts of India participates in the Yatra. This festival is devoted to goddess Nanda Devi, one of the most important goddess for Hindus. It is primarily a religious pilgrimage spanning for 280 kilometre. The trek takes about 20 days to be completed.
Nanda Devi Mela in of Uttarakhand:-
Nanda Devi Mela held at Roopkund, Munsyari, Almora, Dandidhara and Nauti in the month of September. It is one of the most popular fair In Uttarakhand. The large number of the people participates in the procession carrying the Dola or litter of Nanda Devi.
The festival take place on the Shukla Dasami of the Jyestha month as per Hindu calendar which comes during the months of May orJune. On this special day the sacred River Ganga is worshipped. The people of Uttarakhand also bathe in the holy rivers on this auspicious day.
Cuisine of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is well known for its delicious yet simple cuisine. The essential attributes of the Uttarakhand cuisine is that milk and milk based items is sparingly utilized here. Coarse grain with high fibre substance is extremely regular in Uttarakhand cooking styles.
Mandua (Buck wheat) is widely used in the interior regions of Kumaun. Most of the people of Uttarakhand used pure ghee or mustard oil while cooking. Use of tomato is minimal in the cuisines of Uttarakhand. Some of the famous cuisines are such as Phanu, Kafuli, Thechwani, Chainsoo, Jholi, Chutney, Roat etc.
Traditions and Culture of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is widely rich for its culture and traditions. The highlights of the society of Uttarakhand ought to be its history, individuals, religion and folk dance and songs. The oldest tradition and cultures of the state are deep rooted primarily in religion. Dances, songs and expressions are a show for the firm religious obligations of the individuals with the amazing Himalayas.
Uttarakhand's various ethnicities have made a rich abstract custom in languages including Kumaoni, Garhwali, Jaunsari, Bhoti and Hindi. The dances and songs of the region are connected to life and human existence and exhibit myriad human emotions. Some of the significant dances are such as Jhora-Chanchri, Jhumaila, Chauphula, Chholiya and Hurka Baul. The Popular types of folk songs are such as Khuded, Basanti, Mangal and Chhopati.
Uttarakhand also well known for its prominent local crafts that is wood carving. Most of the temples and houses in the state are decorated with wood carving, designs of floral patterns.