The word Uttarakhand has been derived from the Sanskrit dialect which means “northern city”. When we talk about Uttarakhand, we only picture it as ‘Dev Bhoomi’, or the ‘land of the Gods’.
This beautiful and serene state crosses the snow-peaked Himalayan mountains and is considered a major Hindu pilgrimage site. With its foundation on November 9, 2000, the state of Uttarakhand is counted as a calm and peaceful state in India.
On the occasion of its birth anniversary, let us raise the curtain for you with its history and other significant features.
Uttarakhand Foundation Day History
Uttarakhand has a long history and shares a glorious past. Emperors like the Kanishka, Kudinas, Samudragupta, Kushanas, Pawaras, Chandras, and Palas, were a part of this territory.
Uttrakhand is also referred to in many Hindu scriptures. With the amalgamation of cultures in Garhwal and Kumaon, its history can be better understood by reading about both regions.
Uttarakhand got separated from Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000 on November 9 and became the 27th state of India. It was earlier named Uttaranchal. The states that share a boundary with Uttarakhand are Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, Haryana, and Tibet. Uttaranchal was finally renamed to Uttarakhand in the year 2007.
Soothing Climate of Uttarakhand
One of the many things that people love about this state is its soothing climate which is always a highlight of Uttarakhand. Temperature variates with different seasons. It also witnesses heavy seasonal rains and the coldest month is January. The hottest month of Uttarakhand is June so try and visit here when it is more pleasant.
Floods are common during the rainy season and hilly areas even witness bouts of landslides during this time. And if you’re a snow person, you should visit the state between December and March.
The population of Varying Ethnicities
Uttarakhand is a multi-cultural state. It comprises people from Kumaon, Garhwal, Gujjar, and Rajput heritage. There are quite a lot of people from the neighboring state of Nepal.
Though the official language is Hindi, the state also has people speaking Garhwali, Kumaoni, Nepali, and Punjabi.
Uttarakhand Foundation Day Celebrations
The Uttarakhand Foundation Day generally observes a week-long celebration, called the “State Foundation Week”, which starts from November 3, where various events are organized like ‘Mera Sainik’ and ends up with ‘Bharat Bharti’ on November 9.
The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand also addresses the various ways and ideas to work towards the progress of Uttarakhand. Last year, the then CM Trivendra Singh Rawat commemorated the Mahila Shakti Sammelan, and the event was observed by Rekha Sharma, the National Commission for Women Chairman, and Bollywood celebrity like Himani Shivpuri.
Festivals of Uttarakhand
- Phooldei (Flower Solstice): Phuldei is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chait. People put flowers, goods, rice, and coconut in a wooden basket and put them at the main gate of the houses of the villagers and pray for the well-being of the house, and sing.
- Harela: It is celebrated on the first day of the month of Shravan. 10 days before that, 5 or 7 types of seeds are sown in a vessel, and on the day of the festival, the grown-up leaves are cut and offered to the deities.
- Diwali: It is also known as Bagwal. On the night of Diwali, bhaila is played by lighting the light of a fruit peel, and the cow is worshipped and given sweets on this day.
- Basant Panchami: It is usually the Hindu month of Magh or January. During this auspicious occasion, people worship Goddess Saraswati with great reverence.
- Holi: This festival of colors is celebrated for two days in Uttarakhand.
- Bikhoti: The equinox Sankranti in Uttarakhand is known as Bikhoti which is celebrated on the first day of the month of Baisakh.
- Ghee Sankranti (Ogalia): Ghee sankranti falls in the middle of September. On this day, ghee is applied to the head.
- Vat Savitri: People fast for Vat Savitri on the Amavasya of Krishna. This fast is observed by married women who pray for the long life of their husbands.
- Makar Sankranti (Ghughutia): Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the first day of the month of Magh. On this day, flour, semolina, coconut, and dry fruits are mixed and made into ghuggis and fed to a black crow.
- Bhitali: This festival of Uttarakhand is celebrated in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calendar. It falls on the very first day of Shravan and is celebrated with great fanfare all over the state.
- Khatoduwa: The festival is celebrated on the first day of the month of Ashwin in the Kumaon region. It is mainly celebrated for animals.
- Raksha Bandhan: Raksha Bandhan in Uttarakhand is also known as Janyo-Punya, which is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shravan. It symbolizes the bond of brothers and sisters.
- Chaintol: The festival is mainly celebrated in the month of Chait in the Pithoragarh district.
- Jagda: This festival is associated with the deity Mahasu.
- Ganga Dussehra: This festival is scheduled to be celebrated in May/June as per the Shukla Dashmi or English calendar. It is celebrated in the month of June. The holy River Ganga is worshipped on this special day.
- Bhirauli: The festival is celebrated for the welfare of children.