(Last Updated on : 12/04/2013)
Chamoli is a district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is an outstanding spot filled with comprehensive qualities of nature that adds to its glory and splendor. The majestic panoramic view of the lofty Great Himalayan ranges, coated with white sheets of snow is just an eye soothing and awe-inspiring view. The lush green mountains, gushing rivers, holy pilgrimage centers of significant importance, and grandeur locales all these and many more add to the beauty of Chamoli. Chamoli is also adored for its shrines and temples of significant importance and this is the birthplace of the Chipko Movement.
Geography of Chamoli, Uttarakhand
Chamoli is a district of the Uttarakhand state, India. Its administrative headquarters is located in Gopeshwar. It is bounded by the Tibet region to the north and by the Uttarakhand districts of Pithoragarh and Bageshwar to the east, Almora to the south, Garhwal to the southwest, Rudraprayag to the west, and Uttarkashi to the northwest. Tibetans of the Bhotiya ethnic group who adhere to Hinduism largely populate Chamoli District.
History of Chamoli, Uttarakhand
Chamoli, land of paradise is flooded with thriving natural beauty and is of major historical significance. Chamoli was earlier a part of Pauri Garhwal but in the year 1960, it was established with its Headquarters at Gopeshwar.
Chamoli is mentioned in the Taleshwar Copper Plate Grant, which the Katyuri Dynasty brought and established during their rule that extended from 3rd century A.D. after the Gupta Dynasty to 14th century A.D. when the Chand Dynasty raised to power. One of the Copper Plate explores that the ancient capital of Brahampura had one of its administrative centers at Chamoli.
There are many legends that are popular amidst the local inhabitants, amongst which one says that Hanuman found the Sanjeevani Buti here in this place to revive the unconscious Laxman, younger brother of Lord Ram. Also, it is conceived that Ved Vyas composed the legendary mythological epic Mahabharata here. This land has granted ideas and the feelings of creativity to legendary great poet Kalidasa.
Places of Interest in and around Chamoli
Reputed for its shrines and temples and significant as the birthplace of the `Chipko Movement, Chimoli is indeed the most spectacular places laced with natural scenery, water-edges, floristic varieties and effervescent wildlife. Blessed with the entire natural splendor Chamoli is as if a benediction of earth.
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
It was set up in the year 1972, and lounges over an area of about 967sq.km. of the Garhwal Himalayas. This stretch over wide area bequeaths a magnificent sight of the high undulating mountains and valleys, thick verdure forests and grasslands.
Nanda Devi National Park
Chamoli houses Nanda Devi National Park within the Garhwal Himalayas. The entry point to this park is via Lata village, which is 25km from Joshimath Township.
Badrinath Temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and was erected by Adi Shankaracharya and later was refurbished by the rulers of Garhwal. The holy shrine can be divided into three parts viz. the Garbha, the Darshan Mandap and Sabha Mandap. The deity of this shrine is carved out of a black stone that represents meditating Lord Vishnu. Badrinath temple is a spiritual Hindu pilgrimage center and is a part of the `Char Dhams` of the state. This sacred and holy shrine is surrounded by the Nar, Narayan and Neelkanth peaks which altogether present a majestic panoramic view.
It is a hot water spring and is located in front of the temple at the bank of Alaknanda River. It has become customary amidst the pilgrims to take a dip in the holy Kund. The temple closes during the months of April-May and in the third week of November.
Hemkund also referred to as `snow lake` is perched at the height of 4329 meters. This wonderful place is enclosed by seven snow capped lofty mountains, which are altogether named as Hemkund Parvat. The sacred star shaped Gurudwara positioned nearby the lake is amongst one of the most important Sikh Pilgrim centre. Large number of Hindu and Sikh devotees visit this holy place from allover the world. It is believed that Guru Govind Singhji, Tenth Guru of the Sikhs meditated in this divine place. Legendary saints like sage Medhasa of the Markandeya Purana and Lakshman, brother of Lord Ram performed severe austerity and penances over here. Nearby this Gurudwara is located a shrine that is devoted to Lord Lakshman. The best time to visit this divine beauty is from July to October.
This is a significant temple town and an important tourist destination en route to Badrinath. This majestic place is where Adi Shankaracharya attained enlightenment. It is base for trekkers to the famous valley of flowers. During winter season, the head priest of Badrinath resides and carries on his puja here. There are tempting exotic spots and shrines located nearby namely the Narsingh and Garuda Temple, Shankaracharya Math and the Amar Kalp tree.
Auli is a world class winter games resort which is administered by Garhwal Mandai Vikas Nigam (GMVN). It is located at a distance of 16kms from Joshimath. The 3 kms long slope ranging from a height of 2519 mts. to 3049 mts. is a major attraction. There is also a 500 mts. long ski-lift which carries skiiers back to the slope top. This gaming resort provides necessary equipments as well as training for skiers. The finest time to visit this place is from last week of December to March.
This Town is filled with splendid ancient shrines and is one of the most magnificent towns of the city, which bestows oak views. The most enticing attractions in this town are the antique temples of Lord Shiva and Vaitarni Kund. One peculiar and striking thing over here is that some of the temples are without idols.
Valley of flowers
This grandeur magnificence was discovered by Frank Smythe along with R.L. Holdsworth in 1930`s. This is an enthralling spot with the largest collection of wild flower species. This valley is rich in floral wealth and is located 6kms from Bhyundar village. According to mythological legends, it is believed that Lord Hanuman visited this place for collecting Sanjeevani herb to save the life of Lakshman, brother of Lord Ram. Here there are 521 varied species of flowering plants and this place was declared as a national park in the year 1982 to preserve the bio-diversity of this valley. The Pushpawati River flows through the lush green valley surrounded by mountains at all the sides. This park houses wild life animals like Himalayan Black Bears, Musk Deer, Brown bears, Snow Leopards, Tahr, Bharal, Serow and wide variety of butterflies. This is a comprehensive spot, which is blessed with God`s grace and charm.
The nearest airport for reaching Chamoli is Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun located at a distance of 221kms.
The nearest railway station is Rishikesh sited afar at a distance of about 202kms.
Chamoli is well linked to major parts of this state and the country by road.