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Uttarakhand


Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state located in the northern part of India.

It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship.

It has an area of 53,566 km² .

Known for its natural beauty and wealth of the Himalayas, the Bhabhar and the Terai, the state was carved out of the Himalayan and adjoining north-western districts of Uttar Pradesh on 9 November 2000, becoming the 27th state of the Republic of India.

It borders the Tibet Autonomous Region on the north, Nepal on the east and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south, Haryana to the west and Himachal Pradesh to the north west.

The region is traditionally referred to as Uttarakhand in Hindu scriptures and old literature, a term which derives from Sanskrit uttara  meaning north, and Khand meaning country or part of a country.

Historically, Uttarakhand is believed to be the land where the Vedas and the Shastras were composed and the great epic, the Mahabharata, was written.

Rishikesh is widely considered the Yoga capital of the world.

Uttarakhand is also well known as the birthplace of the Chipko environmental movement, and other social movements including the mass agitation in the 1990s that led to its formation.

In January 2007, the name of the state was officially changed from Uttaranchal, its interim name, to Uttarakhand.

The provisional capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun, which is also a rail-head and the largest city in the region.

The small hamlet of Gairsain has been mooted as the future capital owing to its geographic centrality but controversies and lack of resources have led Dehradun to remain provisional capital.

The High Court of the state is in Nainital.

About 90 per cent of the population of Uttarakhand depends on agriculture.

Indian National Parks in Uttarakhand include the Jim Corbett National Park (the oldest national park of India) at Ramnagar in Nainital District, Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli District, which together are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rajaji National Park in Haridwar District, and Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi District.

The world-famous Kumbh Mela/Ardh Kumbh Mela is held at Hardwar at every twelfth/sixth year interval.

Other prominent fairs/festivals are : Devidhura Mela (Champawat), Purnagiri Mela (Champawat), Nanda Devi Mela (Almora), Gauchar Mela (Chamoli), Baisakhi (Uttarkashi), Magha Mela (Uttarkashi), Uttaraini Mela (Bageshwar), Vishu Mela (Jaunsar Bhabar), Peerane-Kaliyar (Roorkee), and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra held every twelfth year.

Uttarkhand at glance

Area 53,484 sq. km
Population 1,01,16,752
Capital Dehradun
No. of Districts 13
Principal Language Hindi, Garhwali, Kumaoni
Assembly seats 70
Lok Sabha seats 5
Rajya Sabha seats 3
State Day November 9


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