Kumaon (Hindi: कुमाऊं) or Kumaun is one of the two regions and administrative divisions of Uttarakhand, the beautiful mountainous state of northern India, the other region being Garhwal. It includes the districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar.
It is bounded on the north by Tibet, on the east by Nepal, on the south by the state of Uttar Pradesh, and on the west by the Garhwal region. The people of Kumaon are known as Kumaonis and speak the Kumaoni language.
The Kumaon contains some of the most stunning mountain scenery that we know of anywhere, from the perennially snow capped peaks of the Great Himalaya range in the north to the pretty hill stations of Almora and Nainital in the foothills and the stunning wilderness of Corbett National Park where the hills meet the Indo-gangetic plain in the south.
Kumaon is home to a famous Indian Army regiment, the Kumaon Regiment.
Important towns of Kumaon are Haldwani, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Rudrapur, Kashipur, Pantnagar, Mukteshwar and Ranikhet. Nainital is already a well known tourist city in north India and famous the world over.
Kumaon region consists of a large Himalayan tract up to 1850 an almost impenetrable forest, given up to wild animals; but after 1850 the numerous clearings attracted a large population from the hills, who cultivated the rich soil during the hot and cold seasons, returning to the hills in the rains. The rest of Kumaon is a maze of mountains, part of the Himalaya range, some of which are among the loftiest known. In a tract not more than 225 km in length and 65 km in breadth there are over thirty peaks rising to elevations exceeding 5500 m.
The rivers like Gori, Dhauli, and Kali rise chiefly in the southern slope of the Tibetan watershed north of the loftiest peaks, amongst which they make their way down valleys of rapid declivity and extraordinary depth. The principal are the Sharda (Kali Ganga), the Pindari and Kailganga, whose waters join the Alaknanda.
The river Sharda (Kali Ganga) forms the international boundary between India and Nepal. The pilgrim route currently used to visit Kailash-Mansarovar, goes along this river and crosses into Tibet at Lipu Lekh pass.