Kashi of the North
Uttarkashi is a district and town in the Northern Indian state of Uttaranchal. It was created in the year 1960. It borders Himachal Pradesh state, Tibetan territory, Chamoli and Tehri Garhwal districts and Dehradun city. Uttarkashi literally means Kashi of the North. It is so called as it bares resemblance to the Kashi of the plains in Varanasi. Both are located on the banks of the river Bhagirathi, next to Varun Parvat, between the rivers Varun and Asi and have a sacred ghat called Manikarnika, with a Vishwanath Temple in its premises. There are many small temples and ashrams in Uttarkashi.
The places of interest in Uttarkashi are:
The important and ancient holy shrine of Lord Vishwanath, is placed in this temple. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva. The temple was built by the king Ganeshwar, whose warrior son Guha, made the trident, kept in the temple. The Trident is almost 9 feet tall. A temple of Goddess Shakti-strength is also present in the same courtyard, facing the Vishwanath temple.
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering
It is one of the few institutes of mountaineering in India. It undertakes mountaineering and climbing expeditions and courses. Bachendri Pal, the first woman to scale the Mount Everest, belonged to NIM.
This is a small developing village across the Bhagirathi River. Kaleshwar Mandir of Lord Shiva is a famous site in the village.
It is a popular fresh water lake in Uttarkashi. The trek to Dodital is for about 21 kilometers, beginning from Sangamchatti.
Kuteti Devi Temple
This temple is located on a small hillock across the River Bhagirathi. The deities of the temple are 3 stones with a heavenly aroma that were found in a field.
The other small temples in Uttarkashi are Bhairav Temple, Annapurna Temple, Gangotri Temple, Yamunotri Temple, Shani Temple, Pokhu Devta, Karna Devta, Duryodhan Mandir, Kapil Muni’s Ashram etc.
The main language of the region is Hindi. The population comprises of Garhwalis, Punjabis, Kumaonis and Bothiya Jadhs. The terrain of Uttarkashi is mostly rugged and hilly. Several tributaries originating from the holy river Ganga such as Bhagirathi, Asi and Jad flow in Uttarkashi, apart from River Yamuna. Uttarkashi is an important pilgrimage destination, as it is located in the Himalayan Mountains and is en route to the sources of the Rivers Ganga and Yamuna, sacred to the Hindus. Adventure sports such as White Water River rafting, trekking and mountaineering are undertaken by the tourists visiting this destination.
A bewildering variety of trees, flowers, wild animals, birds, fishes and butterflies are found in Uttarkashi, as some of its parts are yet to be inhabited by humans. The nearest city from Uttarkashi is Dehradun, 199 kilometers from the district. The cloudburst in Uttarkashi, had resulted in the overflow of its main river Bhagirathi, creating a flood situation in the district. Most of the small rivers have reached the danger mark and Uttarkashi has been declared as a backward district by the government.