The Chamoli district is well known for its beauty in all over the India and world as well. Chamoli district is one of the 13 districts of Uttarakhand and has its district headquarter in Gopeshwar. IT is surrounded by beautiful hills as Tibet in north, Almora in south, Rudraprayag in west, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar in east. Chamoli is also known for various pilgrimages of Uttarakhand as Badrinath and Henkund Sahib many other holiest places are here. Not only pilgrimages but Chamoli have full of tourist places like Auli and Velly of flowers.
History of Chamoli District
The history of Chamoli district is very old and cam in existence from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. In the past the region is called as Kedar Khanda. This is also believed that the Vyasa Gufa where Lord Ganesha has scripted Vedas is here in Mana village.
Among all 52 Garhas this was the strongest Garh. In the 8th Sept 1803 there was an earthquake that weakened the economic and administrative strength of Garhwal. Gorkha taken advantage of this situation and attacked to the Garhwal, under the command of Amar Singh Thapa and Hasti Dal Chanturia. From 1804 to 1815 the region was remain under Gorkhas.
With the help of British military the king Sudarshan Shah defected Gorkhas. He merged the eastern part of Mandakini and Alaknanda along with the Srinagar which was capital that time in British Garhwal. The capital was set up to Tehri instead of Srinagar then. Earlier, British ruler kept this area under Saharanpur and Dehradun but later there was a new district established named as Pauri and Chamoli became a tehsil of this district. This tehsil was upgraded to a district in 24th Feb 1960. In Oct 1997 the Rudraprayag has been separated from Chamoli district with two complete tehsil and two other blocks. Now the chamoli district has its district headquarter in Gopeshwar.
The pilgrimages, hill stations, advantageous sports spots, beautiful river banks and amazing climatic conditions makes the Chamoli as world famous and a favorite tourist destination for travelers throughout the year. The pilgrimages are full of spirituality and keep values for the different religions. The hill destinations make Chamoli tourism as perfect for the tourist not only these things but the fabulous climatic conditions make Chamoli tourism as Haven for those who likes the weather of hills.
Temples in Chamoli
- Badrinath Dham – This seat of Lord Vishnu which was established during the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya as a part of the popular All India Char Dham Yatra as well as the Chota Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand, is one of the most crucial and important centres of pilgrimage for Hindus in India. These colorful and vibrant Dham witnesses a throng of pilgrims from all over the subcontinent and abroad who complete the Dham circuit in order to attain their moksha.
- Narsingh Temple – This temple is one of the most popular destinations among pilgrims for being a part of the Sapt Badri Yatra. The presiding deity in the temple is the fourth and one of the most popular incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Narsimha Avtar. This form of lord Vishnu literally translates into half lion and half man. This temple is located in the Joshimath area of lower bazaar.
- Hemkund Sahib – This holy Sikh site is dedicated to the 10th Sikh guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh who finds his mention in Dasam Granth. Sitting at an elevation of 4,632 metres above sea level this Himalayan pilgrimage destination is one of the most visited holy site by not only Sikhs but also by people of different faiths and religions. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh used to take bath at the lake present in front of the temple during his meditation in mount Hemkund.
- Uma Devi Temple – Dedicated to the daughter of the Himalayas, Goddess Parvati, this temple is extremely unique since the idol here is considered to be ‘Swayambhu’ or self-manifested ever since anyone can remember. This holy shrine of the goddess is situated on the banks of the confluence of the holy rivers Alaknanda and Pindar making a visit here even more pious and worthwhile.
- Bhavishya Badri – Literally translating into the ‘future home of Badri’, this temple is perched at an elevation of 2,744 metres above sea level and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. this temple was built with the purpose of being the future home of Lord Vishnu when during the age of Kalyug the current Badrinath Dham will implode under massive landslides, then the Lord’s home will be transferred to this place.
- Gopinath Temple – This popular shrine which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in Gopeshwar and is visited by a huge throng of visitors and pilgrims on a daily basis. This temple was constructed during the 9th and 11th century and is also a crucial part of the Panch Kedar Shrines. The temple architecture resembles that of Kedarnath and Tungnath.
- Tungnath – Famed for being the highest Lord Shiva temple in the world, at an elevation of 11,352 feet above sea level this temple is believed to be 5,000 years old and is a crucial part of the Panch Kedar Yatra of Uttarakhand. The history of this temple is extremely rich since it is believed that this holy shrine was created by the Pandava brothers as a part of their penance which was advised by sage Vyas Rishi, to ask for forgiveness from the almighty lord.
Places to Visit in Chamoli District
- Auli – This is one of the most popular winter getaway destinations in India. Well known for its skiing activities Auli is a wholesome winter retreat for everyone who wants to spend their winter in an adventurous manner. Surrounded by picturesque, snow-laden mountains and undeniable beauty and freshness this place will definitely be one of the most unique destinations in not only Uttarakhand but also in India.
- Gopeshwar – Located at an elevation of 4,600 feet above sea level, this place is popular for its pleasant and comfortable weather conditions which prevail throughout the year. Some of the most popular places to visit in this panoramic landscape are Pt. Deen Dayal Park, Gopinath temple, telephone tower house and many more. Gopeshwar is known for being surrounded by extremely pious temples like Tungnath, Rudranath and Badrinath.
- Valley of Flowers – Located at an elevation of 3,658 metres above sea level this iconic UNESCO world heritage site is a great way to get a taste of the beauty and vibrancy that Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand holds. This one of a kind national park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Covered in rolling lush green meadows and alpine greenery, this place truly is a paradise on earth.
- Satopanth Lake – Surrounded by the mighty snow-clad peaks and sitting at an elevation of 15,100 feet above sea level, this is one of the most iconic and extremely religious lake. The calm blue glacial water is highly significant since it is believed that every fortnight the three mighty gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh come here to take a holy dip in its water.
- Roop Kund Lake – This is high altitude glacial lake is located on the lap of the Trishul massif with overlooking and towering mountain ranges. Sitting at an elevation of 16,499 feet above sea level, this lake is one of the prime choices among trekkers and people looking to experience some high altitude hiking in the Himalayas. This lake is shallow in nature and the depth is only about 2 metres and it is also surrounded by some ancient skeletal remains.
Fairs and Festivals
The Chamoli district is filled of with the Hindu population mostly so the fairs and festivals of Chamoli district are as per the Hindus. All festivals are played here with the full of joy and these been a part of people of Chamoli. Ram Navami, Naag Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami, Dussehra, Diwali, Makar Sankranti, Shivaratri and Holi are some famous festivals of Chamoli.
Nanda Devi Raj Jat is the most famous and spiritual fair of Chamoli and every year lots of followers join this event and the Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra which is originated from Nanda Devi Raj Jat.
How to Reach
The nearest domestic airport from Chamoli is Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun. The Airport is about 227 KMs from the district. The nearest International airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi.
Rishikesh (about 207 Kms), Kotdwar (about 237 Kms) and Haridwar (242 Kms) are some nearest railway stations from Chamoli district. One can easily pick taxies or buses from these railway stations to the Chamoli.
Chamoli is well connected with all districts and cities of Uttarakhand and other places of India. State transportation’s and local transportations are easily available and can be availed to visit Chamoli.
Other Information About Chamoli
- Area: 8030 Sq KM
- Altitude: 3133 m
- Population : 391,114 (2011)
- Literacy : 83.84% (2011)
- Headquarters: Gopeshwar
- Temperature in Summer : 30°C(max); 15°C(min)
- Temperature in Winter : 24°C(max); 0°C(min)
- Languages: Hindi and English
- Dialects: Garhwali, Kumauni, Pahadi, Bhotia
- STD Code: 01372
- Pin code: 246401