The hilly state of Uttarakhand is a sight to behold in every season. And if there is one thing that can compete with the stunning beauty of the state’s snow-capped peaks and tall trees, it is the humble butterfly. Vibrant and awe-inspiring, it is no secret that the state values the myriad species of butterflies that are found in abundance here, so much so that Uttarakhand is only the second state in the country to have a state butterfly (called the Common Peacock).
When the 2022 Devalsari Titli Utsav starts on June 4, there is one thing that will be front and centre - butterflies and their conservation. The third edition of Titli Utsav hopes to draw hundreds of visitors to the humble town of Devalsari, located in the Tehri Garhwal District. Organised to promote nature-based tourism in the state while promoting butterfly watching as a means to raise awareness about their species, the festival will run for three days, till June 7.
Garhwal region of the western Himalayas account for 30% of the butterfly species that have been found in India. Its rich flora of Uttarakhand is the perfect breeding ground for these insects; it is this diversity that the state is hoping to protect by promoting butterfly eco-tourism. The festival assumes greater importance owing to the discovery of a new species of butterfly for the first time in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand Forest Research Institute recorded the King Crow butterfly’s presence at Bhujiyaghat in the district of Nainital.
During the pandemic-induced lockdown as well, two rare species of butterflies and moths - Redbreast (Papilio alcmenor) and Aday-flying moth (achelura bifasciata) - made a reappearance in the hills of Uttarakhand after over a century.