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A  BRIEF ABOUT KUMAON

Enjoy the Snow

By: Kamal Karnatak


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Snow clad peaks , Loads of flowers , fruit orchards , picturesque grass fields ,breathtaking panoramic view of wild life , Dancing rivers ,clueless water sources and hard working women they all indicates to one region that is also termed as "Abode of Gods" (Dev-Bhumi) and better known as Kumaon .Kumaon is a beautiful region in the newly formed state Utteranchal . It is in the northern side of Utterpradesh . Utteranchal consists of two main regions ,they are Garwal and Kumaon . Both the regions are culture-wise similar . 
Kumaon is derived from "Kurmanchal" which meanes Land of the Kurmavtar (the tortoise incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Preserver of Mankind as per hindu religion ).Kumaon consists of six Districts Almora, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat and Udhamsingh Nagar. .Kumaon is situated in Central Himalayas .Himalaya in the north , "Kali" river in east , Garwal in the west and Plain area in south make the typial boundry of this region. This region was mainly ruled by The Katyuri and Chand dynasties . They also construct different temples in this region.Some of them are very famous and attracts lot of tourists. The early medieval history of Kumaon, is the history of the Katyuri dynasty. The Katyuri kings ruled from the 7th to the 11th century . Their kingdom was over large areas of Kumaon, Garhwal and western Nepal. The town of Baijnath near Almora was the capital of this dynasty and a center of the arts. They have started 
architectural innovation and build lot of temples in which they have used heavy stones .One of the best example is Katarmal .On a hilltop facing east, opposite Almora, is the temple of Katarmal. This 900 year old sun temple was built during the declining years of the Katyuri dynasty. 

After Katyuri kings ,the Chands of Pithoragarh became the dominant dynasty. The magnificient temple complex at Jageshwar with it's cluster of a hundred and sixty four temples, was built by the Chand rulers over a space of two centuries. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The lower Kumaon hills have a large number of tals or lakes. Nainital is of course famous, more so nowadays as a vivid example of environmental degradation. Others like Bhimtal and Sattal are in much better shape due to the absence of a major town on their periphery.

Kumaon is, or rather was, classic tiger country. Now-a-days most of Kumaon's remaining Tigers are resident in the Jim Corbett National Park, India's first National Park situated in the lower Kumaon hills (Near Ramnagar) . Jim Corbete with whom this national park shares its name was the famous tiger hunter and he described all about kumauni tigers in his book "The man eaters of kumaon" . The loss of tigers and scarcity of them shows the disruption in the natural order due to rising human and cattle population .

The weather of Kumaon is very pleasant . People come here for their treatment and for enjoying the natural beauty .However excessive tourism is deteriorating the natural balance of hills

   

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