HILLSTATIONS 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 Great
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
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
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.