Garhwal Himalaya is a former district of British India and later of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It has been divided into the present-day districts of Chamoli, Pauri Garhwal, and Rudraprayag.The name Garhwal has been used interchangeably with the name Kumaun Himalaya, and has for the most part replaced the latter, although originally the two names described slightly different regions. The towering snow-covered mountains of this region encircle the lush Gangotri valley and its surrounding glaciers. The region is located 150 miles northeast of the city of Delhi, just west of the point where Tibet, Nepal, and India meet. Garhwal contains more than 100 summits over 20,000 feet, the highest being Nanda Devi and Kamet, both exceeding 25,000 feet.
Garhwal Himalaya is the most beautiful state of all Asia. Neither the primitive immensity of Karakoram, aloof domination of Mt. Everest, the softer Caucasian beauties of the Hindu Kush or any of the many other regions of Himachal can compare with Garhwal. Mountains and valleys, forests and Alps birds and animals, butterflies and flowers, all combine to make sum of delight unsurpassable elsewhere. The human interest is stronger than in any other mountain region of the world, for these anciently named peaks are written of in the earliest annals of the Indo-Aryan Race." Undoubtedly the center stage of the Indian Himalayas is formed by Garhwal. Garhwal, the land of many garhs, or forts, has been closely connected to the people of India since time immemorial. The Garhwal Himalayas seem to embody a mystical truth beyond the common precepts of man, a quality that has attracted sages and pilgrims alike for countless centuries. The peaks of Garhwal have not only aroused a sense of awe and eternity but also inspired great metaphysics and poetry. It is the birthplace of Hinduism's two most holy rivers - the Ganga (Ganges) and the Yamuna. Here lie the Char Dhams - the four Himalayan shrines -- which have attracted Hindu pilgrims for ages. Every stone in the Himalayas is said to have a sanctity of its own, every hill-top a divine aspect and every stream a profound holiness.