Introduction

Time, for our heritage seems to run directly parallel to its deterioration; rebelling to this statement, Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India came up with an initiative called "Adopt A Heritage - Apni Dharohar; Apni Pehchaan" under which the Government invites "Monument Mitras" - Entities, including Public Sector Companies, Private Sector Firms as well as Individuals to develop and maintain the heritage and tourist sites across India.

Devbhoomi - Uttarakhand is a land full of culture and history, thus making its heritage rich with diversity. Taking part in this noble initiative, Uttarakhand also invites such "Monument Mitras" for conserving the everlasting glory for some of the carefully chosen sites (on the basis of tourist footfall and visibility) that the state holds.

Development of these tourist sites could call for providing and maintaining basic amenities such as drinking water, ease of access for the differently abled and senior citizens, standardized signage, cleanliness, public conveniences and illumination, along with advanced amenities such as surveillance systems, night-viewing facilities and tourism facilitation centres, etc.

Heritage sites mean the work of nature and/or mankind, in synergy and thus earn their universal value from the historic, aesthetic, ethnological and anthropological point of view. This initiative attempts to bring people forward to believe in the fight against time; to conserve our heritage.

Sites available under this scheme

George Everest Estate – House of the first surveyor general of India

This Estate marks the importance for the first Surveyor General of India and thus receives its essence through the same.

Built in 1832, this house is known today as Sir George Everest's House and Laboratory or Park House, signifying the importance of his workplace. The house is situated in Park Estate itself, about 6 kilometers from the west end of the Mall Road in Mussoorie.

The property is also a host to some unusual objects and miniature architecture, the story to which is still a mystery. The location of this place is perfectly integrated between the panoramic views of Doon Valley and the snow covered mountains.

George Everest's most significant work was the Great Trigonometric Survey of the Indian subcontinent. This was an effort to survey the humungous country precisely with scientific research. This Survey measured the heights of the greatest Himalayan Mountains – the Mount Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga. Yet another major accomplishment of Sir Everest was the first accurate measurement of a section of an arc of a longitude.

George Everest Estate, Mussorie, Dehradun

Maa Raj Rajeshwari Devi Temple, Devalgarh

Devalgarh is a significant part of Uttarakhand’s history and Maa Raj Rajeshwari Temple was built by King Ajay Pal in the Year 1512. The temple is known to attract a large number of devotees who come here to seek blessings from the Goddess and get their wishes granted by her. (A mythological yet strong belief)

It is also significant from the Archaeological point of view - being a wonder perched at ~4000m, containing secret passage ways inside the structure which were built under the King in his time and also showcases exquisite ancient Garhwali architecture that once adorns this beautiful town.

Moreover, a large festival/fair is organized here during the harvest season, which puts Uttarakhand’s native culture on the forefront.

Maa Raj Rajeshwari Devi Temple, Devalgarh

Gartang Gali - Nelong Valley, Chamoli

With a Ladakh like landscape, Nelong Valley is not only rich with natural beauty but also houses remnants of the treacherous Indo-China trade route, whereas Gartang Gali is a 105m long skywalk situated at an altitude of 11000 ft above sea level and was also once, a part of the Indo-Tibetan trade route.

Post the Indo-China war in 1962, the bridge was declared off limits and the valley too has left the modern-world tourists in curiosity of its story. NOW, this skywalk will be opened for tourists after 55 years and has a grand potential to be developed into a adventurous gem.

The picturesque valley also, in totality holds a tremendous potential to be developed into a niche tourism destination which would attract thousands of tourists and nature enthusiasts. This site will also be intriguing for a wider demographic since the Austrian mountaineers, Heinrich Harrer (Tutor to the young Dalai Lama) and Peter Aufschnaiter are associated with Gartang (They were imprisoned by the British), who after escaping imprisonment, captured the story of this region in their famous book, “Seven Years in Tibet”.

Gartang Gali - Nelong Valley, Chamoli

Chaainsheel Bugyal, Uttarkashi

Chaainsheel falls on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and is perched at an elevation of 3600m. It’s situated in the district of Uttarkashi and is one of the most sought out destinations for tourists who travel for natural beauty; offering undulating lush green meadows with spectacular views of the magnificent Himalayan peaks including Swargarohini and Bandarpunch.

It is also an appropriate ‘natural habitat’ for Himalayan birds like Monal and Ghooghti.

Chaainsheel Bugyal is also ideal for hosting a “Winter Games”, since the region witnesses snowfall and holds an area which is larger than that at Auli (for reference – Auli Winter Games).

Chaainsheel Bugyal, Uttarkashi

Gujrugarhi, Pauri

Gujrugarhi is a place of historical importance located in (Patti Gujdu of Nainidanda region), Pauri Garhwal district. There is a whole complex of temples and historical caves which is situated on a hilltop in Deeba range at an average altitude of 2400m and was a part of Gujrugarh (Gujru Fort), one of the 52 forts in the entire Garhwal region.

The temple is centuries old dating back to the time of Garhwal Kingdom and played an important role during the Gorkha invasions because of its strategic features and location.

The caves are pre-historic and quite possibly were used as shelter by early-men. It also houses a few man-made ditches that are visible, which were probably used by warriors during Gorkha period. (Several battles were fought in the region which were supported by strategic positioning and the presence of different clans nearby)

Gujru Garhi, Pauri

Deeba Danda, Pauri

Deeba Danda is a peak in the Patti Khatli region of Pauri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand, India. It is 2520m high and is a part of the Deeba range. The area holds significance due to the Deeba Danda National Park, which attract a lot of tourists.

Deeba Danda is a flattened mountain-top with panoramic views of surrounding hills, valleys including the Himalayas. It is located at the middle of Deeba range and is at the highest point in Patti Khatli.

Extraordinary views of Yamunotri peak in the Northwest Garhwal and Trisul range in the Eastern Garhwal, along with smaller peaks of the Kumaon division and Nepal.

Deeba Danda is surrounded by dense forests of Kharsu oak, Moru oak, Anyar, Rhododendron and other broad-leaved Himalayan tree species. The forests also contain species of herbs, shrubs and creepers, many of which possess medicinal qualities.

It is also a home to numerous Birds and Mammal species.

Deeba Danda, Pauri

Crank’s Ridge (Kasar Devi), Almora

Crank’s Ridge is a pine-covered ridge located on the way to Kasar Devi temple, above the town of Almora.

The ridge got its popular name, Crank’s Ridge, ever since Timothy Leary streaked on the ridge in the 1960s, being a significant part of the Hippie trail, during the peak of Hippie Movement. It also holds the remains of Alfred Sorensen’s cave. Swami Vivekananda also marked his presence here once, when came to meditate here in the late 19th century.

The ridge has become a haunt for bohemian artists, writers and spiritual seekers, including notable western Tibetan Buddhists.

There is a Buddhist meditation center on the ridge and it is in a Buddhist Ashram (Bodh Ashram). The Center is affiliated to the Drikung Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism.

Crank’s Ridge (Kasar Devi), Almora

Pithoragarh Fort, Pithoragarh

Pithoragarh Fort is a historic architecture wonder situated on a hilltop in the outskirts of the Pithoragarh town at an elevation of 5300 ft. Due to the Fort being located on a raised mount it has a commanding view of the valley along with the urban sprawl of Pithoragarh.

A great view of Kali Kumaon from the fort can be enjoyed by the visitants. The Fort has a cultural and historical value and thus its potential is highly recognized.

The Government of Uttarakhand has implemented the Infrastructure Development Investment Program for Tourism - “Restoration, Adaptive-Reuse and Revitalization of Pithoragarh Fort”.

Pithoragarh Fort, Pithoragarh

Sati Ghat (Kankhal), Haridwar

Located in the Chowk Bazaar in Kankhal, Haridwar - Sati Ghat has attracted pilgrims and visitors for centuries.

This region in Haridwar is the host to the myth of Shiva and Parvati, where Parvati, angry over her own father’s insult to her husband, immolated herself at the spot where now, the Daksh Mandir stands in this city.

Sati Ghat is close by to the holy river Ganga - In the present context when the practice of Sati is abandoned, the ghat is used for asthivisarjan (the immersion of ashes after cremation) and thus, people from across the world come to immerse the ashes of their dear ones.

Series of Samadhis or memorials are located at the ghat, boasting architectural styles and construction materials reflecting the influence of different periods on the region.

It is also a host to the famous, Vishwakarma Temple and Mithilesh Sanatana Dharma School, both showcasing prestigious architecture.

Sati Ghat (Kankhal), Haridwar

Narayan Koti Temple, Rudraprayag

A cluster of temples can be visited in Narayan Koti, 4 kms from Guptakashi, enroute Kedarnath and thus, this cluster has the potential to be a popular tourist attraction, also encompassing the interests of the modern demographic.

The Narayan Koti Temple dates back to 9th century where 29 temples of different attributes are dedicated to Laxmi-Narayana, Virbhadra, Satnrayana and Navgraha.

It also has a Baori named Brahamakund.

Narayan Koti Temple, Rudraprayag

Featured Heritage Sites in Uttarakhand for Adoption

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