district of Tehri Garhwal stretches from the snow clad Himalayan
peaks of Thalaiya Sagar, Jonli and the Gangotri group all the way
to the foothills near Rishikesh. The gushing Bhagirathi which runs
through seems to divide the district into two, while the Bhilangna,
Alaknanda, Ganga and Yamuna rivers border it on the east and west.
Its immediate neighbouring district are Uttarkashi,
Chamoli, Pauri, Rudraprayag and
Dehradun. History has it that the king of Garhwal expressed his
gratitude to the British for liberating Garhwal from the Gorkhas,
by giving away half of his kingdom. Consequently, Pauri Garhwal,
including today's Chamoli and Rudraprayag (partly) district came
to be called British Garhwal until India's independence in 1947.
Tehri, at the meeting point of the rivers Bhagirathi and Bhilangna,
became the new Capital of Tehri Garhwal, Srinagar
having been the old capital.
Tehri town is situated at an elevation of 770 mts.and 84 kms.
from Rishikesh. Tehri is situated
at the holy confluence of Bhagirathi and Bhilangna rivers and is
the important halting station enroute to Yamunotri-Gangotri and
Altitute: 770 mts.
Climate: Cold in winter & Hot in Summer
Season: Round the year.
Clothing: Summer - Cotton & Winter - Woolen
Languages: Garhwali, Hindi & English
Surkhanda Devi Temple
Mountain - top Surkhanda Devi temple, at an altitude of 2903 mts.
and ringed by dense forest, is a sanctified spot.
People from all corners throng to this shrine and the Ganga Dussehra
Fair held every year between May and June, attracts thousands of
devotees. For reaching the temple, one has to walk 2 kms. from the
motor road at Kaddulkhal which is 22 kms. from Chamba.
This lateral glacier situtated in Tehri district is the source of
river Bhilangna. The glacier is surrounded by snow peaks of the
jogin group (6466m), Sphetic Pristwar (6905m), Barte Kauter (6579m)
Kirti Stambh (6902m) and Meru. The moraines on the side of the glaciers
look like standing walls of gravel mud.
trek which starts from Ghuttu is easily approachable by motor from
Dehradun, Tehri, Mussoorie
and the Rishikesh railhead. One has to trek about 45kms. and pass
through remote villages with thick Kharsao forest and wide open
beautiful lush grassy meadows. The entry to the bhilangna Valley
provides excellent spots for camping. Tents and adequate provisions
need to be arranged in advance from Rishikesh, Tehri and Dehradun.
Fair & Festival
This fair has a legendary background. Gautam Rishi used to go for
a sacred bath in the Ganga every morning. For him, this had become
part of his everyday life.
Once, the king of Gods - Indra asked Surya (Sun) as to who was the
most beautiful woman on the earth. The Sun parried the question
and said " Most of people are busy in their work when I shine
during the day and it is very difficult for me to judge as to who
is ugly and who is beautiful". Indra asked the same question
to Chandradev (Moon God) who said that Ahilya, the wife of Gautam
Rishi residing at the confluence of Yamuna and Tamsa was the most
beautiful woman on the earth. Hearing this, Indra was overtaken
by evil and lust and made up his mind to acquire Ahilya by hook or
Unbecoming of the king of Gods as he was, Indra entered the Ashram
(hermitage) of Gautam at midnight and mimicked the call of a cock.
Unaware of the wicked designs of Indra, Rishi Gautam set out for
bathing in Ganga as usual, mistaking as the dawn. Finding Ahilya
alone at home as soon as the sage left, Indra knocked the door and
impersonating as Gautam, tried to bluff her. Ahilya was a pious
hearted lady. She sensed the evil designs of Indra and cursed him
to be a leper with a thousand eyes.
Meanwhile, Gautam reached Ganga and entered the holy water for bath.
The river Goddess was pleased with the punctuality and devotion
of Gautam. She asked him to return home immediately as his wife
was in trouble. The Rishi turned back in a hurry, leaving his Kamandal
(sacred pot) there. Later, the Goddess Ganga herself returned the
Kamandal, filling it with holy water, which was set up in the Ashram
in the form of a sarovar (tank). She also gave a boon that the
tank's water will be equal in holiness to the actual Gangajal and
those who have a holy dip in the tank will earn the same blessing
as one who has a holy dip in the Ganga. Since then, this place,
which is about 8 kms. on Dehradun-Saharanpur Road, is a holy bathing
place of religious importance. Thousands of devotees visit the spot
in April and October, when a big fair takes place here.
Surkhanda Devi Fair is held on the Ganga Dussehra day at Surkhanda
Devi temple, located at a distance of 33kms. from Mussoorie. The
temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is an important pilgrimage
centre. It can be reached by trekking about 2kms. from Kaddukhal
via Dhanolti on the road to Chamba. The worship of the Goddess is
the main attraction of this fair. Besides folk music and dance,
the traditional handicrafts are also on display.
This fair is held in October every year during Navratras at Narendra
Nagar. Over fifty thousand people gather here to participate in
various activities. Display of skill and strength by the youth,
handicrafts and handmade articles are main attractions of this fair.
Air: Nearest airport is Jollygrant 101 kms.
Rishikesh is the nearest railway station.
Tehri is well connected by road to Dehradun, Mussoorie, Haridwar,
Pauri, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, and other parts of the region.