The Land of the Gods

Uttarakhand’s numerous temples and pilgrimage sites along the holy Ganges have earned it the epithet ‘the Land of Gods’. With its lofty location atop the mid-Himalayas and its sweeping panoramic views of peaks, notably Mt. Nandadevi, the epithet is rather apt – and Uttaranchal is thronged each year with pilgrims seeking that divine connection. Hidden away in the fold of the mountains, numerous rock paintings and shelters, and megalithic structures give evidence of human habitation since the pre-historic times. Uttarakhand’s Vedic history is etched in stone, in the numerous temples or mountaintop shrines, and still lives on through religious rituals and festive traditions. Its medieval is less easy to trace, yet the ethnic diversity implies that many narratives of history are lost to time. Its colonial history can be traced through the research, educational and legal institutions set up across the state – the ancient buildings still performing similar duties in the current political context.

Image credits: Nick Bramhall, CC-BY-SA 2.0

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