Chamoli “Abode of Gods”
Chamoli is the pride of Uttarakhand. It is the second largest district of Uttarakhand. The district shares its border with the Tibet region to the north. And with Pithoragarh and Bageshwar districts to the east. Almora district to the south, Garhwal to the southwest, Rudraprayag to the west. And lastly Uttarkashi to the northwest. Several important rivers and their tributaries also cross the district. The mighty river Alaknanda traverses at a distance of 229 km. After that, it merges with Bhagirathi at Devprayag, constituting river Ganga.
People know this beauteous district to offer spiritual and adventurous expeditions. Places such as, Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib, Joshimath, Valley of Flowers, and Auli are nestled here. The district has scenic surroundings, lush valleys, and ancient shrines. Rich flora-fauna and the calm climatic also attract many tourists to visit here.
Interesting Fact about Chamoli:
Chamoli is the birthplace of “Chipko Movement” which was started at Gopeshwar. A brave local woman, Gaura Devi initiated this. The movement took a rapid momentum. Many women and locals actively participated in this. The aim was to save the forest cover of Uttarakhand. Later, the great environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt led the movement.
The district’s amazing natural beauty is a treat to the visitors. Several Himalayan peaks are here. The tiny villages are scattered around. International Border with Tibet is also a centre of attraction for the mountain lovers. One can also see the amalgamation of culture. Because the district is inhabited by the Bhotia tribe who thrives here.
The verdant hills of Chamoli is a paradise for trekking, climbing and hiking. Many adventure bugs visit Auli for skiing and Rudranath for trekking. Rudranath (2,286 metres) is the most exciting trek of Panchkedar. One can complete this 22 km long trek in two days.
History of Chamoli:
Initially, Chamoli district was a part of Pauri Garhwal. After that, it came under Kumaon. However, in 1960, government carved out Chamoli as a separate revenue district. It lies in the Central Himalayas and constitutes a part of the “Kedar Kshetra”.
Handicraft in Chamoli district:
Indo-Tibetan people inhibited in the High Himalayas. Such as Mana and Niti valleys of Upper Chamoli. Now known as “Bhotiyas”, they have ruled the handicraft bazaar in Chamoli. The Bhotiya tribe, since ancient times had good trade relations with Tibet. And they accepted woollen industry as an essential part of their lifestyle. Bhotiya women for centuries have been moving their small “pithachan” (Loin-loom). They prepare very artistically. Examples are:
- Gudma etc.
One can buy the rich handicraft items. These are crafted in the entire mountain belt. For instance, from the Western Himalayas to the Northeast frontier region. Bhotiyas produce a wide range of woollen articles.
Chamoli district experiences a great climate. The district ranges from 800 metres to 8,000 metres above sea level. The winter season is from mid-November to March. Most of the region is situated on the southern slopes of the outer Himalayas. Monsoon currents can enter through the valley. The rainfall is the heaviest between the monsoon months of June to September.
Fairs and Festivals:
People celebrate festivals in Chamoli with great joy. For instance,
- Ram Navmi
- Naag Panchami
- Makar Sankranti
The district also sees an array of fairs such as Bishwat Sanskranti. This is a grand fair. It is mentioned in the Pandukeshwar inscription of Lalitashuradeva. This was issued in the 22nd regnal year. It also takes place at:
- Ming (14 April)
- Aser (15 April)
- Hans Koti (16 April)
- Kulsari and Adbadri (17 April).
Gaucher Mela is another important fair of this district. It takes place in Karnaprayag in the month of November every year. There are also many other regional festivals. For example:
- Nautha at Adbadri
- Naumi at Hariyali
- Nanda Devi at Bedni
- Dattatreya Pooranmasi at Ansuya temple
- Nagnath at Dewar Walla
Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra is a unique festival celebrated in Chamoli. The ‘doli’ or palanquin of Nanda Devi is taken in a grand procession. A four-horned ram loaded with offerings guides the procession from Nauti till it reaches Hemkund. It is near the base of Nanda Ghunti. The pilgrims rest every night near the Nauti umbrella of the goddess. At Hemkund, the ram bids goodbye to the pilgrims leaving tears in their eyes. The ram then makes its sojourn towards the mountains, laden with offerings for goddess Nanda Devi.
Places to Visit in Chamoli:
- Valley of Flowers
- Vasudhara Waterfall
- Gopinath Temple
- Brahmatal Trek
- Hemkund Sahib
- Vyas Gufa
- Ganesh Gufa
- Mana Village
|The Geographical area||:||37,624 km2 (2,944 sq. mi)|
|Coordinates||:||30.2937° N, 79.5603° E|
|Total Population in 2011||:||3,91,605|
|Altitude||:||1,400 m (4,600 ft)|
|Best time||:||Throughout the year|
|Assembly Constituencies||:||Badrinath, Tharali, Kanraprayag|
|Summer temperature||:||30°C to 22°C|
|Winter temperature||:||20°C to 0°C|
Snowfall in Chamoli:
During winters, many places in Chamoli district witness a decent amount of snowfall. Auli, Badrinath, Valley of Flowers, Gopeshwar and Vasudhara waterfalls are some places which receive snowfall. Snowfall starts from the month of December and remain till January. From February onward snow starts to melt and weather becomes pleasant.
How to Reach Chamoli District:
Chamoli is well connected with major destinations of Uttarakhand. Buses to the nearest cities Rishikesh and also Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Further buses and taxis are available from major destinations of Uttarakhand. For example, Rishikesh, Pauri, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Gopeshwar etc. It lies on NH58 making it easily accessible.
Haridwar is the nearest railway station to Chamoli. Additionally, trains run frequently to Haridwar. Chamoli is also well connected by roads with Haridwar. Taxis and buses are also available from Haridwar, Srinagar and Rudraprayag. Transportation is also available from other destinations to Chamoli, such as Dehradun.
Jolly Grant airport is the nearest airport to Chamoli. It is at a distance of 132 km. Additionally, it is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Chamoli is linked by roads with Jolly Grant airport. Taxis are also easily available from Jolly Grant airport to Chamoli.