|Area||53,484 sq. km|
|Principal Languages||Hindi, Garhwali, Kumaoni|
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Uttarakhand finds mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as Kedarkhand, Manaskhand and Himavant. The Kushanas, Kunindas, Kanishka, Samudra Gupta, the Pauravas, Katuris, Palas, the Chandras and Panwars and the British have ruled it in turns. It is often called the Land of the Gods (Dev Bhoomi) because of its various holy places and abundant shrines. The hilly regions of Uttarakhand offer pristine landscapes to the tourists.
The State of Uttarakhand was earlier a part of the United Province of Agra and Awadh, which came into existence in 1902. In 1935, the name of State was shortened to the United Province. In January 1950, the United Province was renamed as Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal remained a part of Uttar Pradesh before it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh on 09 November 2000. It is incepted as the 27th State of India.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the State has international boundaries with China (Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east. On its North-West lies Himachal Pradesh, while on the south is Uttar Pradesh.
About 90 per cent of the population of Uttarakhand depends on agriculture. The total cultivated area in the State is 7, 67, 571 hectares.
Industry and Minerals
The State is rich in mineral deposits like limestone, marble, rock phosphate, dolomite, magnesite, copper graphite, gypsum, etc. The number of small-scale industries is 34,231 providing employment to 1,77,677 persons, with an investment of Rs.14,965,67 crore
Irrigation and Energy
Agricultural land under irrigation is 5, 49, 381 hectares. The State has excellent potential for hydropower generation. There are a number of hydro-electric projects on the rivers Yamuna, Bhagirathi, Bhilangana, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Saryu Gauri, Kosi and Kali generating electricity. Total hydropower potential approximately 25,450 MW. Projects allotted to various agencies 13,667 MW. Out of 15,761 villages, 15,241 villages have been electrified.
Roads: The total length of metalled roads in Uttarakhand is 29,939 km. The length of PWD roads is 22,623 km. The length of roads built by local bodies is 15,041 km.
Railways: The main railway stations are Dehradun, Hardwar, Roorkee, Kotdwar, Kashipur, Udhamsingh Nagar, Haldwani, Ramnagar and Kathgodam.
Aviation: There are air strips at Jolly Grant (Dehradun), and Pantnagar (Udham Singh Nagar). Air strips at Naini-Seni (Pithoragarh), Gauchar (Chamoli) and Chinyalisaur (Uttarkashi) are under construction. From this year Pawan Hans Ltd., has started helicopter service from Rudraprayag to Kedarnath for pilgrims.
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.
Prominent places of pilgrimage/tourist interests are Gangotri, Yamunotri. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hardwar, Rishikesh, Hemkund Sahib, Nanakmatta, etc. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra can be performed through Kumaon region. The world-famous Valley of Flowers, Pindari Glacier, Roop Kund, Dayara Bugyal, Auli, and hill stations like Mussoorie, Dehradun, Chakrata, Nainital, Ranikhet, Bageshwar, Bhimtal, Kausani, and Lansdowne etc. are the other tourist destinations.
* As per 2011 Census (Provisional Data)
Source: India Book 2012 - A Reference Annual