uttarakhand takes a well-deserved seventh place

October 18th, 2011

In honor of World Tourism Day, the Wall Street Journal has recently named their Top 10 Tourist Destinations in India. Many of the top picks came as no surprise, like second-ranked Uttar Pradesh, home of the Taj Mahal. Tamil Nadu, which came in at number three, is home to the Meenakshi temple, a key tourist and pilgrimage destination. Meenakshi is an Avatar to the Hindu goddess Parvati, one of the few female deities to have her very own temple.

One of our personal favorites, Uttarakhand, took a well-deserved seventh place. Known by locals as “abode of the gods,” Uttarakhand is filled with holy Hindu cities and temples, many of which are considered the most spiritual places for pilgrimage and worship. Divided into two distinct regions, Garwhal and Kumaon, Uttarakhand’s Garwhal is the better known of the two, made famous for the many yoga retreats offered throughout the year that account for a large portion of tourism to the region. Garwhal is also especially famous for the pilgrimage city of Rishikesh, where several ancient temples line the sacred Ganges River that flows through the city.

The Kumaon region, Garwhal’s lesser-known neighbor, offers spectacular views of India’s natural landscape, like the twin peaks of Nanda Devi, India’s second tallest mountain. It is also the perfect place to spot some of the many rare animals that populate the area, such as the snow leopard. Off the tourist radar, Kumaon is the perfect destination for culture-rich Hindu experiences in the midst of some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world.

Shakti offers travelers a chance to view this spectacular destination and see the local villages, ancient temples, and breathtaking vistas in person on daily private, guided walks, suitable for all ages and fitness levels with its Kumaon village experience, in season October 1 until April 30, 2012.

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