About Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Garhwal valley possesses stunning perfection in terms of natural beauty. Surrounded by snowy, cloud bedecked mountains, the valley stands sharply against the blue sky, the waterfalls flashing white against the mountainsides. As far as the eye can see, down the length of the valley, up the lower mountain slopes, there are flowers and flowers, and still more flowers. More than a thousand Himalayan varieties of flowers, ferns and herbs are massed in the valley in all their frail beauty and scented sweetness. The Garhwal Himalayas are remote and mountainous, filled with oak forests and alpine meadows. The forests are home to a number of endangered animal species and have historically been managed by local community institutions. In recent years, however, overgrazing and overharvesting in government-controlled forestlands has begun to threaten the area's biodiversity. The districts of Garhwal are Dehradun, Haridwar, Tehri, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Pauri.

Festivals

The Spirit of people of Garhwal can be seen in fair and festivals celebrated there. The festival brings to the fore the gaiety and merriment of the people living in the lap of the Himalayas. Some of the major festivals celebrated in Garhwal are:

Makar Shankranti
Also called 'Uttarayni' in Garhwal, its celebrated as 'Khichriya Shankranti' in which 'Khichri' of 'Urad Dal' is prepared and Rice & 'Urad Dal' is donated to the Brahmins. On this day, 'Gindi' fairs are organized in different places like Dadamandi, Thalnadi etc. of the district.
Kunjapuri Fair
Kunjapuri fair is held in October every year during Navrataras at Narendra Nagar. Over fifty thousand people gather here to participate in various activities. Display of skill and strength by the youth, handicrafts and handmade articles are main attractions of this fair.
Surkhanda Devi Fair
Surkhanda Devi Fair is held on the Ganga dussehra day at Surkhanda Devi temple, located at a distance of 33 kms. from Mussoorie. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is an important pilgrimage center. It can be reached by trekking about 2 kms. from Kaddukhal via Dhanolti on the road to Chamba. The worship of the Goddess is the main attraction of this fair. Besides folk music and dance, the traditional handicrafts are also on display.
Magh Mela
Magh mela takes places on the occasion of Makar Sankranti (January) in Uttarkashi every year. It is an important event of the district from religious, cultural and commercial point of view. A large number of local people and tourist participate in the mela, with many pouring in from different parts of Kumaon, Garhwal and other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Tapakeshwar Fair
Tapakeshwar is a legendary place located on the eastern bank of the river Tons. Lord Shiva is the reigning deity of the ancient temple located here in a cave. In the Skandapurana, the place has been referred to as Deveshwara. It is believed that during Dwaparyuga this place was abode of Guru Dronacharya who livd here with his family. Since then, the cave was known as Drona Gufa. One of the famous heroes of Mahabharata and son of Guru Drona, ashwathama, was born here. When Ashwathama was very young, the poor father could not find any milk for him. The Guru was too poor to afford a cow. It was a matter of worry to the great master. One day, when young Ashwathama was crying for milk the helpless Guru advised him to pray and worship Lord Shiva who would bless him with milk. Ashwathama did so. Pleased with the young boy's tough penance, Lord Shiva appeared before him in the garb of Brahmin and enquired about his wish.
Siddha Fair
Lakshman Siddha is one of the four Siddhpeeths around Dehradun. It has immense religious importance. It is about 10 kms away on Dehradun-Rishikesh Road. It can be easily approached by city bus or three-wheelers and is located about 1 km off the road inside jungle. It is mainly a local religious fair held every Sunday, but last Sunday of April has a special significance, when people turn up in very large number and congregation of 20 to 25 thousand people can be seen offering obeisance to the samadhi here.

Cuisines

Snuggled in the foot hills of the majestic Himalayas. Kumaon and Garhwal are located in Uttarakhand in the northern province of India. Although all types of National and International food is available in Uttarakhand however without taste of regional cuisine your travel is incomplete. Kumaon & Garhwal have their own distinct and impressive traditions festivals and culture . Their people are brave hard working and honest. And their Cuisine is high on taste and nutrition. The food habits of the people change according to the changing seasons. So if in winters Mathir and Til Laddus or Madua Rotis are preferred in summer Dubukas with Choila Rotis are savoured. To actually enjoy a calm cool and enchanting trip to Garhwal and Kumaon tourists should also taste its enchanting culture and exguisite Cuisine. Important Dishes

Education

As far as Education is concerned in Garhwal, Srinagar is most suitable place to study. H.N.B.Garhwal University, Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University (formerly known as the Garhwal University) or HNBGU is headquartered at Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal. The University was established in 1973 under the UP State Act. The H.N.B. Garhwal University has now been upgraded as a Central University from 15 January 2009 by Central Universities Act, 2009. It has two other teaching campuses at Pauri and Tehri Garhwal. It is a residential cum affiliating institution of higher learning with more than 180 affiliated colleges and is considered to be among the top ten large universities in the country. Faculties: Arts, Science & Pharmacy, Agriculture, Commerce (including Management), Law, Education, Engineering.

Academic Courses

Besides a whole range of conventional Arts and Science courses, it offers specialized courses such as - Tourism, Military Science, History and Archeology, Pharmacy, Management and technology (Btech in Computers, Electronics and Communication, Mechanical Engg and Instrumentation Engg.).

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