OF UTTAR PRADESH
Almora, a small town which is built on Kashaya
Hill, as mentioned in the Hindu scripture, the "Skanda Purana".
Unlike most hill stations, Almora wasn't empty hillside "discovered"
by the British. It was already an established town with a long history.
It is perched on a 5 km long horshoe shaped ridge, at an elevation
of 1,646 m above sea level. The town looks out over a fertile terraced
valley and four ranges of hills - Banari Devi, Kasan Devi, Shyahi
Devi and Katarmal. Beyond them is Trishul and Nanda Devi in the
It is believed that great god Vishnu dwelt here. Presently the city
is headquarters of District Almora in the state of Uttar-Pradesh
with population size of 27,000, it is also an important market town
and administrative center with an agriculture research station.
Auli is nestled in the lap of the snow-caped peaks
of Garwal Himalayas in the Chamoli district of western Uttar-Pradesh,
near the world famous religious shrine of Badrinath. At an altitude
of 2,500-3,050 metres above sea level, Auli's well-dressed slopes
are flanked by coniferous and oak forests and offer a panoramic
view of Mt. Nanda Devi, Mana Parbat, Dunagiri, Beethartoli, Nilkanth,
Hathi Parbat and Ghori Parbat. The rugged and snowy tettain of Auli
is so challenging that it used to be a training ground for India's
Para-Military Forces in the 70's.
Realising the potential of Auli as a ski-resort, the Government
of U.P. had it surveyed by French and Austrian experts who favorably
compared the slopes of Auli to the best in the world. Auli is today
a promising ski-spot and an ideal winter resort. Apart from Skiing
Festivals being held here since 1986, National Championships under
the aegis of Winter Games Federation of India have been held at
Auli with technical and other backup assistance provided by various
Government and adventure related agencies.
Auli has now become a leading tourist spot and while its slopes
beckon daring and gallant skiing enthusiasts, its pristine natural
beauty and the alpine atmosphere lure many a tourists who come here
for a variety of other reasons - for conquering their fear of heights,
for savoring nature in its purest form or just to throw snowballs
at each other.
Harsil is at a distance of 72 km from Uttarkashi
on the main highway to Gangotri at an elevation of 2,623 mts.
Uttarkashi is the administrative headquarters of the district of
the same name in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The district is best
known for the two major pilgrimage centers of Yamunotri and Gangotri.
It is situated on the banks of the river Bhagirathi at an altitude
of 1,158 m. It is an important pilgrim center and is often compared
with Kashi (Varanasi) and hence the name Uttar Kashi, meaning Kashi
of north. Several trekking companies operate from here and the Nehru
Institute of Mountaineering is also located here, just 5 km from
Uttarkashi. The Institute provides training in mountaineering to
enthusiasts from all over the country. Uttarkashi is also very famous
for it's annual Magh Mela (fair). Uttarkashi is the last major town
on way to Gangotri and Gaumukh.
This sylvan hamlet - Harsil, is famous for it's natural beauty and
delicious apples. It is 227 km from Rishikesh.
Kausani, famous for spectacular sunrise and a 300
km wide view of Himalayan ranges such as Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nanda
Kot, all of them appears to be incredibly close. It is 370 km from
Delhi, 62 km from Ranikhet, 51 km from Almora, 198 km from Pithoragarh,
174 km from Ramnagar and 117 km from Nainital, is one of the places
popularised as the Switzerland of India and is considered as nature's
gift to mankind. It is situated at an altitude of 1,890 m.
From this small settlement situated on a mountain top are views
of nearly 400 kms of snows. From west to east are the peaks of Kedarnath,
Chaukhamba, Badrinath, Nandaghunti, trishul, Nanda Devi, Panchachuli
and Api and Nampa (in Nepal). The Anashakti Yoga Ashram where
Mahatma Gandhi stayed in 1929. The Mahatma was enchanted by the
beauty of Kausani. The ashram run in true Gandhian tradition of
"plain living and high thinking", has several guesthouses in the
spacious compound and a wide, north-facing terrace where one can
spend the whole day watching the snows. Kausani also has the distinction
of having provided eminent Indians with inspirations.
"Miniature Kashmir" as referred, Pithoragarh is
the eastern most hill district of Uttar Pradesh. Nestling in a small
valley, barely 5 km long and 2 km wide, the town was an important
landmark of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon and known as Saur Valley.
It is situated at an altitude of 1,645 m. It is the district headquarter
and it's government buildings are housed in the Hill fort of Pithoragarh
at a distance of 7 km from the main town. It's population size is
22,000. It is on pilgrim road to Mt Kailash and Mansarovar Lake.
Ranikhet means 'Queen's Field' and is said to be named after the wife of the 12th-century raja, Sudhar Deve. Spread along a ridge at 1,830
mts (6,004 feet), Ranikhet is covered with pine and oak forests. On its northern side it offers fine snow views. Ranikhet is still a cantonment. The town is now the home of the Kumaon Regiment, one of the Indian army's best.