Uttarakhand is split into two administrative districts: Garhwal and Kumaon. Locals consider the region of Garhwal, covering the western part of Uttarakhand, to be the masculine half of the state due to its exceptionally burly topography. The character of the landscape – and, some say, the people – is largely defined by the four major rivers that flow from Himalayan glaciers and have carved the terrain into a rugged network of ridges and canyons.

Blessed by a landscape that's gentler and sweeter than that of Garhwal, Kumaon is said to be the feminine half of Uttarakhand. With its rolling, terraced hills and graceful Himalayan summits, as well as the strength of its goddess-worshipping culture, there's something incredibly special here that's easy to experience but impossible to define.