The combined region of Kumaon and Garhwal has been known as Uttarakhand since the time of the Puranas, the ancient Hindu scriptures.

Uttarakhand, the 27th state of India, is often referred as the Land of Gods. It is a place blessed with the beauty of heaven and the grace of Gods. This is the place where the rivers passing through the huge rocks and wind passing through large pine trees produces a natural melody by itself. It was carved out of the state of Uttar Pradesh on November 9, 2000. It is one of the most beautiful state in the Indian union. Apart from the beautiful views of Himalayas, it is also home of the point of origin of Ganga and Yamuna. Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath are some of the places regarded sacred by Hindus.

Uttarakhand borders China in the north and Nepal to the east, while its neighbour states are Himachal Pradesh to the west and Uttar in the south. The region is traditionally referred to as Uttarakhand in old literature and scriptures which derives from the Sanskrit for North Country. The provisional capital of Uttarakhand is Dehra Dun which is also a rail-head and the largest city in the region. The small hamlet of Gairsen has been mooted as the future capital owing to its geographic centrality but controversies and lack of resources have led Dehra Dun to be the provisional capital. The High Court of Uttarakhand is situated in Nainital though most of the litigation is in Dehra Dun or Haridwar.

Uttarakhand is a region of outstanding natural beauty. Most of the northern parts of the state are part of Greater Himalaya ranges, covered by the high Himalayan peaks and glaciers, while the lower foothills were densely forested till denuded by the British log merchants and forest contractors after independence. Recent efforts in forestation, however, have been sucessful in restoring the situation to some extent. The unique Himalayan ecosystem plays host to a large number of animals (including bharal, snow leopards, leopards and tigers), plants and rare herbs. Two of India's mightiest rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna take birth in the glaciers of Uttarakhand, and are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and streams in the region.

The tourism industry is a major contributor to the economy of Uttarakhand, with the Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve and the nearby hill-stations of Nainital and Bhimtal and several other hill-stations like Mussoorie, Almora and Ranikhet being among the most frequented destinations of India. To this region also belong some of the holiest Hindu shrines, and for almost 2000 years now, pilgrims have been visiting the temples at Haridwar, Badrinath, Kedarnath and Jageshwar in the hope of salvation and purification from sin. Rishikesh near Haridwar has the major spiritual and yoga centers of India. Gangotri and Yamnotri, the sources of the Ganges and Yamuna also fall in this region and are revered by many. Besides these most popular pilgrim centers, the state has an abundance of temples and shrines, references to most of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends. The architecture of most of these temples is typical of the region and slightly different from other parts of India, the ancient temples at Jageshwar being the most popular for their architectural importance.

Uttarakhand is comprised of two regions, the western half known as Garhwal and the eastern region going by the name of Kumaon, the two having different chieftains in history and different lingual and cultural influences due to proximity and neighbourhood of different cultures. Inseparable and complementary nature of their geography, economy, culture, language and traditions, however, have formed strong bondages between the two regions.
Recent developments in the region include initiatives by the state government to capitalize on the burgeoning tourist trade as well as tax incentives to lure high-tech industry to the state. The state also has big-dam projects, controversial and often criticised in India, such as the very large Tehri dam on the Bhagirathi-Bhilangana rivers, conceived in 1953 and about to to reach completion.

People

The native people call themselves Garhwali/Kumaoni and more than 90% of them are Hindus. Many also colloquially call themselves Pahari meaning "hill person" to distinguish themselves from Desis of the rest of India. Most of them identify themselves in the upper castes. Other ethnic communities in the region include Nepali who have arrived over the past century from the neighbouring country of Nepal, and the Tibatan migrants settled called as the Jadh, Marcha and Shauka on the Indo-Tibetan frontier, collectively known as the Bhotiya, and nomadic cattle herders known as Gujjar in the southern Terai region. Many Punjabis after the partition of India, Bengalis, and Tibetans of Eastern Tibet region (KHAMPA) have also settled in the southern plains part of the state.

The Tharu and Buksha can also be found in the hilly Terai region, although these areas are now heavily populated by a mixed population from Punjab and the adjoining plains.
Kumaoni and Garhwali dialects are spoken is Kumaon and Garhwal region respectively. Jaunsari and Bhotia is also spoken in the region by some Tribal Communities. In various regions a mixture of both Kumaoni and Garhwali is also spoken. The city population however converse mostly in Hindi.

Male Literacy Rate(%) 84
Monthly Per Capita Expenditure(Rs.‘000) 23
Rural Market Size (Rs. Billion, in 2004) 141
Average Number of Births Per Women 3.6
Girls Per Thousand Boys(0-6 year) 906
Work Participation Rate(%) 37
Female Literacy Rate(%) 61
Pupil Teacher Ratio(Elementary Education) 35
Urban Market Size (Rs. Billion, in 2004) 68
Lok Sabha MPs 5
Rajya Sabha MPs 3

Geography

Uttarakhand lies on the south slope of the mighty Himalaya range, and the climate and vegetation vary greatly with elevation, from glaciers at the highest elevations to tropical forests at the lower elevations. The highest elevations are covered by ice and bare rock. The Western Himalayan Alpine Shrub and Meadows ecoregion lies between 3000-3500 and 5000 meters elevation; tundra and alpine meadows cover the highest elevations, transitioning to Rhododendron-dominated shrublands below. The Western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests lie just below the tree line; at 3000-2600 meters elevation they transition to the Western Himalayan broadleaf forests, which lie in a belt from 2,600 to 1,500 meters elevation. Below 1500 meters elevation lies western end of the drier Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands belt, and the Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests. This belt is locally known as Bhabhar.These lowland forests have mostly been cleared for agriculture, but a few pockets remain.
Indian National Parks in Uttarakhand include the Jim Corbett National Park at Ramnagar in Nainital District, Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli District, Rajaji National Park in Haridwar District, and Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi District.

Statistics

Total Geographical area: 51,125 km² Hill Area: 92.57% Plain Area: 7.43% Area Covered By Forest: 63%
Location : Longitude 77° 34' 27" East to 81° 02' 22" E Latitude 28° 53' 24" North to 31° 27' 50" N
• Total Population: 7,050,634 (Male : Female = 1000 : 976) Male: % 51.91 Female: % 48.81 Rural Population: 76.90 % Urban Population: 23.10 %
Other Minorities: 2.0 %(approx)
Literacy Rate: 72%
Villages: 15620
Cities and Urban Areas: 81
Railway Stations: Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Haldwani, Lalkuan, Kathgodam, Tanakpur
Airports: Pant Nagar, Nainisaine, Jolly Grant
Major Peaks (height in m above sea level): Gauri Parvat (6590), Gangotri (6614), Panch Chhuli( 6910), Nanda Devi (7816), Nanda Kot (6861), Kamet( 7756), Badrinath (7140), Trishul (7120), Chaukhamba (7138), Dunagiri (7066)
• Major Passes: Mana (5450), Nitipass (5070), Lipulekh( 5122), LumpiaDhura (5650)
Industry: Tourism, Dairy, Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture, Sugar and other small scale industries
• Festivals : Uttarani, Nanda Devi Mela, Holi, Diwali, Dasara, Kandali, Hilljatra, Bikhoti, Bagwal, Harela, Ghugutee
• Events: Sardotasv, Basantotsav, Nanda Devi Raj Jat, Chipla Kedar Jaat, Kedarnath Yatra, Badrinath Yatra, Kumbh Mela, Ardh Kumbh Mela, Ramleela
• Trade Centers: Haldwani, Rudrapur, Roorkee, Tanakpur, Dehradun, Haridwar, Kotdwar, Rishikesh

 

Districts of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is divided into 13 districts: Almora, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Champawat, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Pauri (Pauri Garhwal), Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Tehri (Tehri Garhwal), Udham Singh Nagar, and Uttarkashi. These districts form two divisions; Garhwal division includes Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, Tehri, and Uttarkashi districts, and Kumaon division includes Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar.


" He who thinks of the Himalayas, tough he should not behold them, is greater than he who performs all the worships in Kashi."
Skanda Purana
The Himalayas are one of the youngest mountains of the world. It is a semi- circular arc of mountains crowning the Indian peninsula presenting spectacular system of peaks, rivers, valleys and flora & fauna. Its linear distance is about 3000 Km and width varies from 325 Km to 425 Km. It is shed for many river systems such as Sindhu, Gangetic, Brahmputra etc. and can be divided into sub-divisions:-

- Kashmir Himalayas
- Himachal Himalayas
- Uttarakhand Himalayas
- Nepal and Bhutan Himalayas
- Aruanchal Himalayas

Uttarakhand HIMALAYAS It Is the most fascinating and beautiful part of the Himalayas and provide water shed for Gangetic River System spanning 300 Km from Satluj in the west to Kali river in the east. It is considered abode of Devetas, Yakashyas, Kinners, Fairies and Sages . They all are present here on glittering peaks, roaring rivers , beautiful hills slopes and valleys in one or another form.

From time immemorial Uttarakhand has been the destination of sages and intellectuals seeking spiritual attainment. Holy shrines, mountains, glaciers, rivers, meadows and colorful valleys are always visited and admired alike by thousand of pilgrims , tourists and trekkers, thinkers and philosophers, poets and artist et all.It is the Land of Gods ( Devbhumi ) blessed with splendid natural beauty, diverse mixture of races and cultures and rich flora & fauna. It has to offer something for everyone. Of course it has to be seen and felt.

 

 

UTTARAKHAND THE 27 STATE OF INDIA

Some Facts About Uttarakhand

The State is carved out of Uttar Pradesh. It occupies 17.3% of India’s total land area with 51,125 sq. km. It has a population of about 6.0 million at 94.4 per sq. km. International borders touched by the border of state are Tibet, Nepal Neighbor states are Himachal Pradesh and Utter Pradesh

Adventure Sports


Uttarakhand is also a major destination for adventure sports lovers. Many national and international competitions of Sking, Water rafting, Mountaineering, Rock climbing etc. are held every year. Many adventure sports places are here.

Resources

Nature Rivers, Lakes, Tourist, Religious Places and Wild Life
Forest Pine, Deodar, Sal, Khair, Sesham, Babul & Medicinal Plants etc. Resin derived from Pine are the most important item.
Live Stock Sheep, Dogs, Horses, Bees, Cattles
Manpower Honest, Hardworking & Intelligent


Prominent Institutes

G.B. Pant Agriculture University, Pantnagar
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
Kumoun University, Nainital
H.N. Bahuguna University, Srinagar
Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Mukteshwar,
Engineering College, Dwarahat
Engineering College, Pauri
Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun
Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar
Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi
G.B. Pant Institute Of Himalayan Environment and Development, Katarmal (Almora)

KEDARNATH : THE ABODE OF SHIV -  By Biju Negi - Traveller, Writer and Photographer

The trek to Kedarnath begins at Gaurikund. Ahead lie 14 km over a steadily rising mountain terrain. I look forward to the next five-seven hours. There are other people too on the train. Many are on foot, some on ponies and a few – infants, the old and the infirm – are being carried in kandi (a cut basket – as backpack) and daandi (a sort of palanquin). I’m not in any particular hurry, and walk with slow, measured steps. I know how easy it can be to break into a brisk walk at the beginning of the journey, or after short rests. But walking in the mountains is best done in a slow, rhythmic, almost monotonous motion. I have to last out fourteen kilometres and do not wish to unnecessary over-exert and tire myself.

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