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Garhwal Region
Tehri Garhwal

The 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.

Old Tehri
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 Kedarnath-Badrinath.

General Information

Altitute:
770 mts.
Climate: Cold in winter & Hot in Summer
Season: Round the year.
Clothing: Summer - Cotton & Winter - Woolen
Languages: Garhwali, Hindi & English

Pilgrimage

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.

Nature

Khatling Glacier

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.

The 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

Chandrabadni Fair
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 crook.

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
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.

Kunjapuri Fair
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.


Accessibility

Air:
Nearest airport is Jollygrant 101 kms.

Rail: Rishikesh is the nearest railway station.

Road: Tehri is well connected by road to Dehradun, Mussoorie, Haridwar, Pauri, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, and other parts of the region.


Excursions :-
Chamba | Dhanaulti | Nagtibba | Kempty Fall | Kaudiyala | New Tehri | Narendra Nagar





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