Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on the foothills of Himalayas? Well, the answer to the question cane be put up in only a single word- “Heavenly”. The sub-Himalayas or the Himalayan foothills, is also known as the Shivaliks and it is considered to be one of the most beautiful foothills in the entire world. With the nature playing wonders in this foothills, this place has attained tourist attraction in the near past. The tourism department in India has identified the foothills as a possible site for tourism development. The continuous range of hills which ranges from Jammu in the north extends to the Kangra valley which further moves to the east towards the Bhabbar tracts of Garhwal and Kumaon. This Kumaon valley is further divided into the Upper Kumaon and the Lower Kumaon valley. Between the Shivaliks and the greater Himalayas lies the Duns, which is significant as the place Dehradun gets its name because it forms a part of the Duns. The duns span an area of about 25 kilometers in width and 35 kilometers in length.
The Duns in the Himalayan foothills is one of the most important place of tourist attraction. The exquisite resorts that are available in numerous places in Dehradun is a crowd-puller. But it is at a humanitarian cause that one must say that the dense pine and acacia forests that were available in the region in the 19th century are not available now due to human needs. In case you like to have some fun and adventure, then there are ample opportunities knocking your doors in Dehradun. Known for its adventurous sporting facilities, this place is one of the few places in India where you can see some world class facilities to do so. The sporting facilities include trekking, paragliding, mountain biking, camping and even skiing during the winter seasons. Seasonal skiiers’ also make use of the opportunity and show out some fancy skiing tricks.
There are numerous tours that are arranged by tourism promoters which helps the tourists to have a hassle free insight into the lush green topography of the Himalayan foothills. Starting from the Himachal Pradesh, this tour takes the tourists to the hilly country side, tasting the rural cultural heritage of India. One if the most important and gloomy part of the entire tour is the train ride to Shimla in the toy train. The rich natural beauty is noted in the slow moving train and thus this is supposed to be one of the best scenic rail routes in the entire world.
The history of the Himalayan culture, or Himachal Pradesh’s culture to be more precise, dates back to around 2000BC. It is also said that Himachal, being a part of the famous trade route known as the silk route was a place that was fought for by the conquerors. It is said that the civilisation in the Himachal has been derived from the Indus Valley civilisation. Some of the famous conquerors who have been to the Himachal and the nearby trade routes are Alexander the Great, Tmur and other Mughal warriors and emperors to name a few. The Gurkhas, who were in power in the Central Nepal were the chief occupants of the capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla. However, the 18th centuary saw the downfall of the Gurkhas, as they were overpowered by the British Raj in India. History reckons that the forces were defeated in the Kangra Fort, which usually forms a part of the tour for the tourists.
The Himalayan foothills also has some of the best flora and fauna that one can find in the entire country. Birdwatching is a famous part of the tours and it is also regarded as one of the best in the entire Asian continent. The best place to start the search for Indian animals is the Bharatpur Reserve in Rajasthan where there is an opportunity to look at some of the animals such as the Indian Elephant and the Tiger as well. With some primary knowledge about the Indian avifauna, the next best place to hit would definitely be the Jim Corbett National Park, which is located in Nainital. Migratory birds from Siberia visit this place every winter and the sight is an absolute treat to the human eye. With species like the raptors and the waterbirds, the place is a delight for the photographers. Other traditional Indian mammals such as the Spotted Deer, the Sambar etc are also found in the Himalayan foothills.
The foothills of Himalayas has the best water sporting facilities in India. With the water sources emanating from the snow caped mountains, the foothills have some water sources which are best suited for adventure water sports. Kayaking, BASE jumping into the deep waters Etc. are some of the most famous water sporting facilities that are seen here.
The foothills is also a major pilgrimage among Indians. With temples like the Kedarnath, Bathrinath, Uttar Panchim, Rudraprayag Etc., people from all over the country gather here to offer their prayers and also get some inner peace. It is a Hindu tradition which says that a visit to the holy pilgrimages washes off the sins that were committed during a man’s lifetime.