States of India
Uttaranchal became the 27th state of the Republic of India on the 9th of November 2000. The State is carved out of Uttar Pradesh. It occupies 17.3% of India's total land area with 51,125 sq. km. It has a population of about 6.0 million at 94.4 per sq. km. It borders Tibet, Nepal, Himachal Pradesh.
Uttaranchal also has the largest number of tourist destinations - this state is the source of the sacred Ganga river, high in the mountains, and the spiritual and physical life source of India. The mighty Himalayas straddle the state, on its northern borders, and are widely believed to be throne of Gods. The Gangetic Plains forms three fourth of the state. Along with the holy places of Hinduism, this region has also distinctively shapedthe development of Buddhism and Islam. For a traveller, a simple division would be the Hills and the Plains.
The state has two distinct climatic regions: the predominant hilly terrain and the small plain region. The climatic condition of the plains is very similar to its counterpart in the Gangetic plain-that is, tropical. Summers are unbearable with temperature going over the 40°C mark and a lot of humidity. Winters can be chilly with temperatures going below 5°C at times.
The Himalayan region has Alpine conditions characterized by cold winters with snowfall for quite a long time, good rainfall in the monsoon, and mild summers. This climate also provides the state with its only livelihood, i.e. tourism.
By Air : Jolly Grant near Dehradun is the only airport. There are regular flights to Delhi by Indian Airlines. Otherwise, one has the option to travel to Delhi by road or rail and then take the air route to various destinations.
By Rail : Dehradun, Haridwar, and Kathgodam are the major railway stations connected to almost all parts of the country with regular trains. Not many places in the state are connected by rail because of tough terrains. For those visiting places in the higher altitudes, trekking and road routes are the only options available.
By Road : All-weather metalled roads connect almost all the important places in the state. Many places in the higher altitudes may still remain off for a period in the year due to landslides and snowfall. National Highways such as 58, 73, 74, and 87 connect places in the state to other parts of the country.
Regular bus services connect Delhi and other major centres in North India with Dehradun. The road distances of some prominent destinations from Dehradun are as follows: Musoorie, 35 km; Delhi, 255 km; Mumbai, 1927 km; Chennai, 2488 km; Haridwar, 54 km; Rishikesh, 43 km; Shimla, 221 km; Nainital, 485 km; Kedarnath, 270 km; Badrinath, 344 km; Gangotri, 301 km; Yamunotri, 265 km; Chakrata, 92 km; Corbett National Park, 236 km; Har-Ki-dun, 187 km; Valley of Flowers and Hemkund, 342 km.