Known as the Abode of Gods, Chamoli in Uttarakhand is known for its scenic landscapes, pilgrimage centers and biodiversity hot spots. Earlier known as Kedar-Khand, Chamoli is surrounded by the district of Uttarkashi in northwest, Pithoragarh in southwest, Almora in southeast, Rudraprayag in southwest and Tehri Grahwal in the west.
Several Hindu pilgrimage sites are located in Chamoli including two of the Chota Char Dham temples: Badrinath and Kedarnath. Joshimath, the northern peetha established by Shankaracharya is also part of Chamoli. Three of the five prayags – Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag – are also in Chamoli. Needless to say, millions of pilgrims visit the district each year.
The Valley of Flowers is the most famous national park in the district. Kauri Pass and Roopkund, also known as Mystery Lake, are some of the other places known for their scenic splendor.
It is said that Kalidas wrote many of his literary masterpieces in Chamoli.
Chamoli is also known for the winter sports. Auli is among the top skiing destinations in India. People of the district have been at the forefront of efforts to save the environment.
Chamoli shot into fame as it was the birthplace of Chipko Movement, a grass root-level agitation to save the trees.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CHAMOLI
Chamoli has several options for accommodation, ranging from budget to luxury ones. Gopeshwar, Auli, Badrinath boast a good range of hotels. Lodges and dharamshalas, which offer a budget stay are also available.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN CHAMOLI
While non vegetarian food is not readily available, dhabas and restaurants serve a wide variety of lip-smacking vegetarian dishes. In-house restaurants of the larger hotels serve all types of cuisine.
Photograph courtesy: Sandip/Creative Commons