Uttarakhand is a place of myth and mountains. Hindus think of it as Dev Bhoomi – the Land of Gods – and the dramatic terrain is covered with holy peaks, lakes and rivers. Twisting roads and high-altitude hiking trails lead to spectacular pilgrimage sites where tales from Hindu epics are set. Though the presence of Shiva and Parvati (in a few of her forms) tower over the state, the imprint of the British is equally apparent: the legend of Jim Corbett lives on in the famed tiger reserve that bears his name; popular holiday towns were once Raj-era hill stations; and the Beatles turned Rishikesh into a magnet for spiritual seekers and yoga practitioners worldwide.
Uttarakhand may seem like a silver medallist: it’s the state with the second-highest tiger population (after Karnataka) and boasts India’s second-highest peak (Nanda Devi); but its diversity of activities and sheer natural beauty are pure travellers' gold.