Uttarakhand: Why go

The northern state of Uttarakhand, bordered by Tibet to the north and Nepal to the east, has almost every type of landscape apart from the sea: snow-capped Himilayan foothills and grassy plains, cold glaciers and subtropical forests, remote wooded valleys and teeming cities. Often referred to as ‘Land of the Gods’, it has long been a focus of worship and contains some of India's most venerated sites, including the source of the sacred Ganges, the Hindu pilgrimage towns of Haridwar and Jageshwar, and numerous mountain temples. These lands have inspired everyone from the great Buddha and Mahavira (founder of Jainism) to the Beatles, who stayed with the Maharishi yogi at Rishikesh, now home to countless ashrams, gurus and yogis, plus one of the world's finest spas.

You can also visit the Victorian-esque hill stations of Dehradun (the provincial capital) and Mussoorie, where you’ll find tea plantations and poignant traces of British imperialism, visit mountain villages untouched by mass tourism, and explore some of India’s largest national parks, home to elephants, tigers and elusive snow leopards.

23:19 | GMT +5.5 Hours