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10 facts everyone should know about Uttarakhand, India

Have you been visiting Uttarakhand and still have the urge to know more about it.

Something about the history, the culture and some other interesting facts that could help you understand the place better.

Here are some interesting facts about the Uttarakhand that you should know.

1. It is the land of – Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences(ARIES)

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences(ARIES)is one of the leading research Institutes which specializes in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. An autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the institute is situated at Manora Peak (6,401 ft), about 9 km from Nainital. With the creation of the State of Uttarakhand on 9 Nov 2000, this institute was re-christened as the State Observatory (SO).

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2. It is the land of -The Chipko Movement , 1970’s.

Chipko Movement, started in 1970’s, was a non violent movement aimed at protection and conservation of trees and forests from being destroyed. The villagers used to hug the trees and protect them from wood cutters from cutting them. Chipko movement was based on the Gandhian philosophy of peaceful resistance to achieve the goals.

The landmark event in this struggle took place on March 26, 1974, when a group of female peasants in Reni village, Hemwalghati, in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India, acted to prevent the cutting of trees and reclaim their traditional forest rights that were threatened by the contractor system of the state Forest Department, and transpired hundreds of such grassroots level actions, throughout the region.

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3. It is the land of – The First Agricultural University of India.

Yes, that is correct. Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology is the first agricultural university of India. Pantnagar University played a significant role in the Green Revolution . The Mexican wheat varieties, developed by Norman Borlaug , were tested in Pantnagar – The contribution of the university was recognized by Norman, who described Pantnagar as “Harbinger of Green Revolution“.

4. It is the land of – The Yoga Capital of the World.

Yoga’s origins are debated, but many historians say it may have begun nestled amid the Himalayas, along the historic Ganges in Rishikesh. For centuries, it has been considered a holy place, drawing wayward spiritualists hoping to connect with the land, philosophies and the spirit. This town of about 1,50,000 has gained fame as the place where the Beatles came in early 1968 and wrote much of “The Beatles” commonly known as “The White Album.” . Everyone from Uma Thurman to Jeremy Pivent to Bollywood stars to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall has swung through town.

When are you going next ?

5. It is the land of – The Second highest Indian Mountain – Nanda Devi.

Nanda Devi is the highest mountain in Uttarakhand (Elevation -7,816 m ), the second highest mountain in India and the highest entirely within the country (Kangchenjunga being on the border of India and Nepal); owing to this geography it was considered the highest known mountain in the world until computations on Dhaulagiri by western surveyors in 1808. It was also the highest mountain in India before Sikkim joined the Republic of India.

In acknowledgment of its religious significance and for the protection of the its fragile ecosystem, the peak as well as the circle of high mountains surrounding it—the Nanda Devi sanctuary—were closed to both locals and climbers in 1983. The surrounding Nanda Devi National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

6. It is the land of – Monal [The State Bird is also Nepal’s National Bird.]

Based on the Himalayan Monal pheasant’s strong association with local folklore, this pheasant has been declared as the national bird of Nepal and the state bird of Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh in India. This pheasant was named after Lady Impey who first kept these pheasants in captivity.

7. It is the land of – Brahma Kamal [The State Flower of Uttarakhand]

Brahma kamal is the mythical white lotus that has dominated the imagination of mythological experts from generations.

Brahma Kamal, the state flower of Uttarakhand in India is one of the most famous flowers seen in the Himalayas. This flower is the best example of the flowers and plant life in the alpine habitats at the upper reaches of the mountain ranges.

The thick curved roots of these plants are used as local medicine for paralysis of the limbs and cerebral ischemia. It is widely seen in the places like Himalayan mountain ranges of Uttarakhand and also The Valley of Flowers National Park.

8. It is the land of – The Biggest Dam of India – Tehri Dam.

Tehri Dam is located on the Bhagirathi River, Tehri Dam is the highest dam in India,With a height of 261 meters and the eighth tallest dam in the world. The high rock and earth-fill embankment dam first phase was completed in 2006 and other two phases are under construction. The Dam water reservoir use for irrigation, municipal water supply and the generation of 1,000 MW of hydroelectricity.

9. It is the land of – The Oldest National Park of India – Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment.

Corbett National Park comprises 520.8 km2 (201.1 sq mi) area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grasslands and a large lake.

10. It is the land of the Braves – First PVC (Param Veer Chakra) came from this land.

Yes, you heard that right. Major Som Nath Sharma, PVC (1923–1947) was the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, the highest Indian gallantry award. He was awarded the medal posthumously for his bravery in the Kashmir operations in November 1947. He died while evicting Pakistani infiltrators and raiders from Srinagar Airport during the Indo-Pak war of 1947-48 in Kashmir. He belonged to the 4th Kumaon Regiment.

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