The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is one of the most visited tourism states in India. Not only does the state attract millions of tourists every year to its hill stations and religious sites but also for mountain and adventure tourism as well as for yoga and wellness. The tourism department has developed several circuits to showcase it diverse tourism offering encompassing its religious sites, mountain and adventure tourism activities, winter sports tourism and more like Modi trail, Pandava and Mahabharata trails, as well as sites associated with the Beatles, legendary Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckergerg, Founder & CEO of Facebook, to showcase its offerings of yoga, wellness and meditation.
Hosting the buyer delegates from some 50 countries from across the world and 104 cities across India over a SATTE dinner, Satpal Singh Rawat , Tourism Minister of Uttarakhand, made a riveting showcase of his state’s tourism offerings to the buyers by highlighting the various facets of state’s tourism.
“Dev bhoomi or the abode of god, Uttarakhand is home to the famous Char Dham (The four pilgrimage sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath) that has beckoned pilgrims and tourists alike for ages. There are so many holy sites associated with Bhagwati. We also want to develop Uttarakhand as a winter destination. We want to promote Auli for winter sports like skiing. Auli is already a major hub of skiing. Besides, people enjoy winter snow from Nainital, Mussoorie to Chamoli. Uttarakhand is also rich in wildlife. Tourist can enjoy from bird watching to sighting wild animals and explore places like Ramnagar, the tiger capital of India, with the largest tiger population among all the Tiger Reserves,” Rawat said while outlining some of the state’s major tourism attractions and products.
Sharing further details on the state’s offering for pilgrim tourism, Rawat informed that under the Shakya circuit the government has identified 24 sites including 12 each from Garhwal and Kumaun regions of the state. Similarly, we will also develop Shiva Circuit. We are going to develop Vaishnav Circuit, Navagraha (Nine planets) Circuit, Golu Devta Circuit in Kumaun region, among others.
Rawat said that the many suppliers from Uttarakhand exhibiting at SATTE 2020 are already highlighting many lesser known hidden jewels of the state that is equally exciting and attractive to tourist from India and abroad.
Drawing attention to some of “hidden gems of Uttarakhand” and inviting tourist to soak in at one of the most powerful spiritual places on earth in Uttarakhand, Rawat informed, “There is a belief that there are three very spiritually powerful and charged places connected with extra-terrestrial forces on earth and they are Machu Picchu of Peru, Stonehenge in England and the third being Kasar Devi in Almora, Uttarakhand which is also believed to spiritually charged and connected to extra-terrestrial forces.” Furthermore, he also highlighted ‘Modi Trail’ tracing Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Bear Grylls’ adventure documentary shot for Man vs Wild TV show, sites associated with the Pandavas and Mahabhrata in Uttarakhand, among others.
Highlighting Uttarakhand’s destination attractiveness and offering such as Yoga, he informed that English rock band The Beatles visited the state in late 1960s, about 50 years ago. They stayed at Chaurasi Kuti (Also known as Beatles Ashram) near Rishikesh which is also known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World.’ “They came inspired by yoga and meditation and wrote their 50 best compositions for the world during their stay in Rishikesh. Similarly, people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have visited places like Kainchi Dham, ashram of Neem Karoli baba, for spiritual guidance and motivation,” he said.
The Minister also drew attention to the adventure tourism hotspots and activities like bungee jumping, river rafting, mountaineering, trekking, among lot many other such activities that Uttarakhand is vigorously promoting. “Uttarakhand is equally welcoming in summer and winter and presents different hues of nature worth experiencing in every season,” Rawat said.