Perched in the Himalaya mountains, Garhwal & Kumaon in India are best regions for various thrilling adventure activities.
Garhwal Kumaon, Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayan Region, Garhwal & Kumaon in India Himalayas
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Garhwal & Kumaon

Meru Peak, GarhwalGarhwal
Garhwal is smack in the middle of the Himalayas, with Himachal Pradesh in the West and North-West; Tibet in the North; the plains of Western Uttar Pradesh in the South and Kumaon in the East.

History of Garhwal
The history of Garhwal is older than that of the Ramayan and Maha- bharata. It is a land of popular myths, like that of Lord Shiva appearing as Kirat, of Urvashi, Shakuntala and the Kauravas and

Pandavas. Worship of Lord Shiva is pre-dominant in this region.

Historically, it has been described in the ancient text of Kedarkhand to extend from Gangadwar (modern day Hardwar) in the South to the high mountains in the North, and from the Tamsa (Tons) river in the in the West to Buddhachal (probably the Nanda Devi group of peaks between Garhwal and Kumaon) in the East.

Today Garhwal Himalaya is an administrative division of the raising state of Uttaranchal, comprising the districts of Chamoli, Dehradun, Pauri, Tehri and Uttarkashi.

Places of interest in Garhwal

Char Dham
With the majestic and mystifying Himalayas as the backdrop, the four most holy pilgrimages of India never cease to amaze travelers and visitors. Char Dham, or the four pilgrimage centers, comprising of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are frequented by the religious minded as well as those intrigued by the remnants of bygone years.
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Surrounded by lush green forests and hills, Dehradun has always been a favourite with the tourists. Dehradun, the district headquarter is located at an altitude of 2,200 feet above sea level in the picturesque Doon valley. It is endowed with a pleasant, moderate climate & is well connected with other important places.

Mussoorie or the "Queen of Hills", as it is Popularly known is located in the Garhwal hills. Due to its immense natural beauty, Mussoorie is known as the queen of hill stations. In 1820 Captain Young from the British army was influenced by the beauty of this place and made this place his residence. This marked the foundation of a hill station called Mussoorie. The name, Mussoorie, is derived from plants of 'Mussoorie' which were found in abundance here. After its discovery, this hill station gradually developed as a center of education, business, tourism and beauty.

Kumaon, like neighboring Garhwal, lies right on the main axis of the Great Himalaya range. From the eastern ramparts of Nanda Devi, 25,645 feet, on through Nanda Kot and the Panchchuli group, both twenty two thousanders, finally meeting up with the Nepalese Api group along the gorge of the Mahakali, the Great Himalaya rises in a gentle sweep from the plains of Uttar Pradesh.

Kumaon is a land of fairs and festivals, legends and mythology snow capped mountains and glaciers, valleys and glades, verdant forests and alpine meadows, lakes and gushing streams, birds and animals, butterflies and flowers, all combine to make a sum of delight unsurpassed elsewhere.

A Peep into the History of Kumaon
The people of Kumaon Himalaya are said to have been the original inhabitants of the Kols (also related to the Mund, ethnic group). One of their groups migrated to Kumaon after they had been defeated by the Dravidians. The Shilpkars of Kumaon are said to be the descendants of the Kols. The Kirats are believed to have been the ancestors of the tribes which are today known as Shaukas, Banrajis. Tharus and Boksas. While the Shaukas were active from the Tarai region to Tibet, the Tharus and Boksas confined themselves to the Tarai, and the Banrajis had always lived in 'splendid' isolation.

Later on, the Khasas came from West Asia and settled down in many parts of Himalaya. A major portion of the population of Kumaon is said to have descended from the Khasas.

Places of Interest in Kumaon Himalaya

Naini, a word that almost brings the cool air with it is a secret hide out of the tourists each year. Situated at an altitude of 1,938mtrs, this dreamland town with its beauteous splendor is one of the most popular tourist resorts of the country. The nucleus of Naini Tal's exquisite beauty is her lake which is a haven for water sports like Yachting, Kayaking, Canoeing and Boating.

Perched on a hillock at an elevation of 1,646m, Almora appears like a large horse shoe, Sitoli forming the front arm and the bazaar the other. In the 16th century, the capital of the Chand rulers was shifted from Champawat to Almora. It is the district head quarter and the Vivekanand Hill Agricultural Laboratory, as well as the defence agricultural research laboratory are housed there.

Pithoragarh (1,645m) is strategically important. On the north it is bound by Tibet and on the east by Nepal. Located in the midst of the extensive Sor valley, Pithoragarh is serenely beautiful. The famous international pilgrimage of Kailash Mansarovar passes through this region. The famous Adi Kailash as well so the glaciers, Milan, Ralam and Namik are located in this district. Pithoragarh is famous for its leather, woollen, wooden and cane goods.

Adventure Sports in Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayan Region
Garhwal Kumaon region provides a number of adventure opportunities, which are:

River Rafting

Ganges River has always remains a mystery for explorers and full of surprises for the rafters. Ganga near Rishikesh in Uttaranchal is a popular spot for white water rafting. The whitewater river rafting stretch of the Ganges is from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh where the river has 12 major rapids over 36-kms long, most of which are easily negotiable and some require our expertise.
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Pithoragarh in the Kumaon Himalaya hills
The easternmost hill district of Uttar Pradesh, bordering Nepal in the east and Tibet in the north, Pithoragarh, is often called 'Miniature Kashmir'. Nestling amongst the spectacular Kumaon Himalayas, at a height of 5412 ft., in a small valley, barely 5 km long and 2 km wide, Pithoragarh was an important centre, of the Chand kings of Kumaon. Apart from the excellent skiing slopes, Pithoragarh and its environs, are known for their profuse natural beauty, and fine temples.

Auli, (Garhwal)
Snow capped slopes of Auli are flanked by all, dense deodar forest which cuts wind velocity to the minimum 16-kms from Joshimath on the Badrinath route, Auli offers a 180 panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like the Nanda Devi (7,817m) Kamet (7,756m) Mana Parvat (7,273) and Dunagiri (7,066m) seemingly only a snow ball thrown away. Seasonal skiers have a clean stretch of 10.20-kms of absolutely virgin slopes to sport on. These slopes provide excellent opportunities for cross country and downhill skiing events.

Dayara Bugyal, (Garhwal)
During winter Dayara Bugyal provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 sq. kms. Dayara bugyal affords a panoramic view of the breathtakingly beautiful Himalayas. There is a small lake in the area that provides an excellent camping site.

Munsiyari, (Kumaon)
Munsyari is situated at a distance of 66 kms. from Jauljibi and 127 kms. from Pithoragarh via Thal. Munsyari is the center as well as the gateway of the Johar region. Munsyari is the base of treks to Milam, Namik and Ralam glaciers. Khalia Top and Betulidhar are two high altitude places that offer excellent condirions for skiing.
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Mountain Biking

Terai Region of Uttaranchal
One can make a beginning in an area, which does not initially require much exertion. The Terai forests along the foothills of Nainital give one an introduction to the pleasures of cycling and yet do not unduly tax your physical capabilities. One can start from Thakurdwara and cycle on to Ramnagar on the outskirts of Corbett Park.
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Camping in Nainital
Among the Indian wilds and forest regions there are various places where one can enjoy wildlife camping. Among the northern regions is Chitrauli, situated near to the hill station of Nainital in Uttaranchal and is considered to be a prime camping paradise in this region, where nature lovers can witness panoramic views of the Himalayas and the Ratighat Valley with the Ghuna River in between.

Camping in Chitrauli
Chitrauli is situated in the north-western part of Nainital on the Alma Hill range. This area is primarily a trekker's paradise. This is the place from where one gets a panoramic view of the Himalayas and the Ratighat Valley with the Ghuna River in between. The valley and slopes around Chitrauli abound in beautiful flora and fauna offering ample opportunities to Naturalists, Trekkers, Painters and Bird watchers. The walk to Chitrauli Wild camps takes us out of the tourist's Nainital with its inevitable mall, picnic spots, tourist touts and noise. Few lazy turns of the track and we are amidst Oaks, Deodars and patches of stately Pines. The entire area is set off by a single burst of the deep welcoming red Rhododendrons with the fallen flowers gently colouring the moist ground.
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Jungle Safari

Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is 115-km from Nainital, via Kaladhungi. The pride of Corbett National Park is the distinction of being the first national park of India. It sprawls over an area of 1,200-sq-kms and was established in the year 1935 as the Hailey National Park, after Sir William Malcohm Hailey, an enthusiastic conservationist who was at that time governor of united provinces
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The auli heli skiing expeditions involve helicopters, which are going to drop keen skiers onto peaks as high as 6,500m. The high peaks reduce the wind speed at lower levels where one skis, resulting in consistent, light and powdery snow. Powder skiing is easier to learn with the new thick kind of skis, especially if you are new to skiing.

Pithoragarh in the Kumaon hills
The easternmost hill district of Uttar Pradesh, bordering Nepal in the east and Tibet in the north, Pithoragarh, is often called 'Miniature Kashmir'. Nestling amongst the spectacular Kumaon Himalayas, at a height of 5412 ft., in a small valley, barely 5 km long and 2 km wide, Pithoragarh was an important centre, of the Chand kings of Kumaon. Apart from the excellent Heli skiing slopes, Pithoragarh and its environs, are known for their profuse natural beauty, and fine temples.

So plan a Garhwal Kumaon trip and enjoy the nature at its best along with exciting adventures and sports.

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