Blessed with magnificent glaciers, majestic snow-clad mountains, gigantic and ecstatic peaks, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests, this Abode of Gods includes many shrines and places of pilgrimage. Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri
are nestled in the Mighty Mountains. A picturesque region, with a breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas, Garhwal promises its tourists a visit full of fun and unforgettable moments. Garhwal, the region that is known according to Hindu legends as Devbhoomi (land of the gods)
Garhwal in Uttaranchal is a part of the Western Himalayan ranges starting from the Shivalik foothills to Greater Himalayas with Tibet as its northeastern border. In the northwestern corner of the state is Himachal Pradesh, while Haryana celebrates its union with the newly formed state with a gentle kiss.
Opportunities for tourism are immense in this area, be it nature, wildlife, adventure, and pilgrimage tourism. The major destinations are Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri.
Worship of Lord Shiva is pre-dominant in this region. In earliest times, Garhwal was known as Kedarkhand, or the region of Kedarnath. Scriptural texts mention a number of tribes that inhabited the region, such as the Sakas, the Nagas, Khasas, Hunas and Kiratas. The Nagas were a mysterious race whose traces are still to be found in the Hills. The hooded snake was sacred to them, hence their name. (Naga-Snake)
The Khasas were the dominant race in the Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayas till the coming of the Rajputs and Brahmins from the plains.
According to one version, Garhwal derives its name from the fifty two forts, ‘garhs,’ that had come together to form a loose confederacy.
The major fairs and festivals of the Garhwal region are Hatkalika Fair, Tapkeshwar Fair, Surkhanda Devi Mela, Kunjapuri Fair, Lakhawar Village Fair, and Mata Murti Ka Mela.