"Uttaranchal" State of Uttar Pradesh by tayloretc
State of Uttar Pradesh Travel Guide: 2,573 reviews and 7,792 photos
Uttaranchal was carved out of Uttar Pradesh as an independent state about 10 years ago, supposedly to boost the economic development of people who were very much left out of things. As the part with most of the major temple pilgrimages and the better known, and spectacular, trekking locations, you’d think everyone would be rolling in cash by now. Actually, once you leave the larger towns, common things start disappearing. Internet, phone service, electricity, water services, the roads themselves vanish as you work your way into the more remote villages. And there are some really remote villages – small communities 15, sometimes 20 km from the nearest roads, and even smaller communities of shepherds grazing their animals in the high meadows for 6 months of the year.
Traveling up here is not for those with a rigid timetable. That 50 km of road on the map can take hours, what with the general state of the roads and the frequent landslides – sometimes difficult to distinguish from the general state of the roads, sometimes closing a road for days. “Main” road is relative when it’s the only road, and the main roads to places like Kedarnath and Badrinath – major pilgrimage destinations – are barely wide enough for the packed buses when they aren’t crumbling into the river 1000 feet below. Traveling up here is also not for the faint of heart.
It is, however, beautiful, and mostly pristine in a way everywhere else in India isn’t.
I came up for an organized trek (through Red Chilli Adventure), but came early to do a little climbing beforehand, and to try to get used to the altitude. That brought me to the temples at Kedarnath and Tungnath, a fortuitous two-day trek through the forest, and an unplanned short trek over/around a really big landslide before my planned trek over the Kauri Pass.
Several of the places I visited don’t have entries in VT – they have been included as travelogues in the pages of the closest available town. Any tips for those places have been included under the main page of that town (sorry).
Rudraprayag, the gateway to my trek over the Kauri Pass
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