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The Himalaya Region (Uttarakhand)

The Himalaya Region (Uttarakhand)

Cleanse your soul and terrify your body in the Indian state commonly referred to as ‘the land of the Gods’. The Himalaya Region is so awash with sacred cities, sites and temples that merely wandering around it gives a sense of osmotic purification. Submerse yourself in the water of the Ganges in Har-Ki-Pauri, Haridwar, or walk up the hill to have your wishes granted at the Mansa Devi temple. Follow the steps of the Beatles to Rishikesh, the global epicentre of meditation and yoga, and witness the Ganga Aarti (Prayer) performed at dusk at the Triveni Ghat on the edge of the Ganges.

Follow the popular pilgrim circuit Chardham and visit the holy towns of Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath and the sacred temple of Yamunotri. Relax. Unwind. Find your inner peace.

And then shatter that peace entirely with some extreme sports. There’s some of the best rafting and kayaking in India on the Ganges at Rishikesh (with rapids of grades 1 to 3) and some of the best skiing on the continent to be found on the slopes of Auli. Excellent trekking routes lead from the many and varied hill stations to the north of the region, or you can decide to Predator-it-up with a jungle expedition. And then of course there’s the Himalayas, which is quite good for mountaineering.

You might, of course, want to do all of this in the reverse order. Yes. It may well make more sense to give yourself composure and harmony after a period of sustained alarm, than to find a previously elusive peace with the world only to then shatter your nerves entirely. Do it the other way round.

The Himalaya Region City Overview

Dehradun:

Sahastra Dhara – a sulphur spring with reputed healing qualities.
Tapkeshwar Mahadev – a famous cave temple dedicated to the Indian God Shiva.
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology.

Rishikesh:

Ram Jhula Bridge
Lakshmanan Jhula Bridge
Bharat Mandir – 12th Century temple
Triveni Ghat – Where the moving Ganga Aarti (prayer ritual) takes place.
Shiva Nanda Ashram (Divine Life Society) – One of the oldest and most active ashrams, in an area teeming with old and active ashrams.

Haridwar:

Har-Ki-Pauri – one of the holiest sections of the Ganges, where the water is believed to have particularly potent healing qualities.
Mansa Devi temple – It is believed that wishes made here will always be granted.

The hill stations in the north:

Nature walks.
Trekking.
Mountaineering.

The Himalaya Region Parks and Reserves

Jim Corbett National Park – Wild elephants, langur monkeys, rhesus macaques, peacocks, a wide variety of deer, leopards, mugger crocodiles, wild boars, jackals and many more.