Uttarakhand (), formerly known as Uttaranchal (), is a state in the northern
part of India
. It is often referred to as the "Devabhumi" (literally "Land of the Gods") due to numerous Hindu temple
s and pilgrimage centres
found throughout the state. Uttarakhand is known for the natural environment of the Himalayas
, the Bhabar
and the Terai
regions. It borders the Tibet Autonomous Region
to the north; the Sudurpashchim Pradesh
to the east; the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh
to the south and Himachal Pradesh
to the west and north-west. The state is divided into two divisions, Garhwal
with a total of 13 districts
. The winter capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun
, the largest city of the state, which is a rail head. Gairsain
, a town in Chamoli district
is the summer capital of Uttarakhand. The High Court
of the state is located in Nainital
Archaeological evidence supports the existence of humans in the region since prehistoric times
. The region formed a part of the Uttarakuru
Kingdom during the Vedic age
of Ancient India
. Among the first major dynasties of Kumaon were the Kuninda
s in the 2nd century BCE who practised an early form of Shaivism
. Ashokan edicts
at Kalsi show the early presence of Buddhism
in this region. During the medieval period, the region was consolidated under the Katyuri rulers
of Kumaon also known as 'Kurmanchal Kingdom'. After the fall of Katyuris, the region was divided into the Kumaon Kingdom
and the Garhwal Kingdom
. In 1816, most of modern Uttarakhand was ceded to the British
as part of the Treaty of Sugauli
. Although the erstwhile hill kingdoms of Garhwal and Kumaon were traditional rivals, the proximity of different neighbouring ethnic groups and the inseparable and complementary nature of their geography, economy, culture, language, and traditions created strong bonds between the two regions, which further strengthened during the Uttarakhand movement
for statehood in the 1990s.
The natives of the state are generally called Uttarakhandi, or more specifically either Garhwali or Kumaoni by their region of origin. According to the 2011 Census of India
, Uttarakhand has a population of 10,086,292, making it the 20th most populous state
Uttarakhand's name is derived from the Sanskrit
words ''uttara'' () meaning 'north', and ''khaṇḍa'' () meaning 'land', altogether simply meaning 'Northern Land'. The name finds mention in early Hindu scriptures
as the combined region of "Kedarkhand" (present day Garhwal
) and "Manaskhand" (present day Kumaon
). Uttarakhand was also the ancient Puranic
term for the central stretch of the Indian Himalayas
[Kandari, O. P., & Gusain, O. P. (Eds.). (2001). Garhwal Himalaya: Nature, Culture & Society. Srinagar, Garhwal: Transmedia.]
However, the region was given the name ''Uttaranchal'' by the Bharatiya Janata Party
led union government
and Uttarakhand state government
when they started a new round of state reorganisation in 1998. Chosen for its allegedly less separatist connotations, the name change generated enormous controversy among many activists for a separate state who saw it as a political act. The name Uttarakhand remained popular in the region, even while Uttaranchal was promulgated through official usage.
In August 2006, Union Council of Ministers
assented to the demands of the Uttaranchal Legislative Assembly
and leading members of the Uttarakhand statehood movement
to rename Uttaranchal state as Uttarakhand. Legislation to that effect was passed by the Uttaranchal Legislative Assembly in October 2006, and the Union Council of Ministers brought in the bill in the winter session of Parliament. The bill was passed by Parliament and signed into law by then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
in December 2006, and since 1 January 2007 the state has been known as Uttarakhand.
Ancient rock paintings, rock shelters, paleolithic
stone tools (hundreds of thousands of years old), and megaliths
provide evidence that the mountains of the region have been inhabited since prehistoric times. There are also archaeological remains that show the existence of early Vedic
(c. 1500 BCE) practices in the area.
s or Panwars, Mallas
and the British
have ruled Uttarakhand in turns.
It is believed that the sage Vyasa
scripted the Hindu epic ''Mahabharata
'' in the state.
Among the first major dynasties of Garhwal and Kumaon were the Kunindas in the 2nd century BCE who practised an early form of Shaivism
and traded salt with Western Tibet
. It is evident from the Ashoka
n edict at Kalsi in Western Garhwal that Buddhism
made inroads in this region. Shamanic Hindu
practices deviating from Hindu orthodoxy also persisted here. However, Garhwal and Kumaon were restored to nominal Vedic Hindu
rule due to the travels of Shankaracharya
and the arrival of migrants from the plains.
Between the 4th and 14th centuries, the Katyuri dynasty dominated lands of varying extent from the Katyur valley (modern-day Baijnath
) in Kumaon. The historically significant temples at Jageshwar
are believed to have been built by the Katyuris and later remodelled by the Chands. Other peoples of the Tibeto-Burman
group known as Kirata
are thought to have settled in the northern highlands as well as in pockets throughout the region, and are believed to be ancestors of the modern day Bhotiya
, and Banrawat
By the medieval period, the region was consolidated under the Garhwal Kingdom
in the west and the Kumaon Kingdom
in the east. During this period, learning and new forms of painting (the Pahari
school of art) developed. Modern-day Garhwal was likewise unified under the rule of Parmars who, along with many Brahmins
, also arrived from the plains. In 1791, the expanding Gorkha Empire
, the seat of the Kumaon Kingdom. It was annexed to the Kingdom of Nepal
by Amar Singh Thapa
. In 1803, the Garhwal Kingdom also fell to the Gurkhas. After the Anglo-Nepalese War
, this region was ceded to the British
as part of the Treaty of Sugauli
and the erstwhile Kumaon Kingdom along with the eastern region of Garhwal Kingdom
was merged with the Ceded and Conquered Provinces
. In 1816, the Garhwal Kingdom was re-established from a smaller region in Tehri
as a princely state
After India attained independence from the British
, the Garhwal Kingdom was merged into the state of Uttar Pradesh
, where Uttarakhand composed the Garhwal and Kumaon Divisions. Until 1998, Uttarakhand was the name most commonly used to refer to the region, as various political groups, including the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal
(Uttarakhand Revolutionary Party), began agitating for separate statehood under its banner. Although the erstwhile hill kingdoms of Garhwal and Kumaon were traditional rivals the inseparable and complementary nature of their geography, economy, culture, language, and traditions created strong bonds between the two regions. These bonds formed the basis of the new political identity of Uttarakhand, which gained significant momentum in 1994, when demand for separate statehood achieved almost unanimous acceptance among both the local populace and national political parties.
The most notable incident during this period was the Rampur Tiraha firing case
on the night of 1 October 1994, which led to a public uproar. On 24 September 1998, the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
and Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council
passed the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which began the process of forming a new state. Two years later the Parliament of India
passed the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000
and thus, on 9 November 2000, Uttarakhand became the 27th state of the Republic of India
Uttarakhand is also well known for the mass agitation of the 1970s that led to the formation of the Chipko environmental movement
and other social movements. Though primarily a livelihood
movement rather than a forest conservation movement, it went on to become a rallying point for many future environmentalists
, environmental protests, and movements the world over and created a precedent for non-violent protest. It stirred up the existing civil society in India, which began to address the issues of tribal and marginalised people. So much so that, a quarter of a century later, ''India Today
'' mentioned the people behind the "forest satyagraha" of the Chipko movement as among "100 people who shaped India".
One of Chipko's most salient features was the mass participation of female villagers. It was largely female activists that played pivotal role in the movement. Gaura Devi
was the leading activist who started this movement, other participants were Chandi Prasad Bhatt
, Sunderlal Bahuguna
, and Ghanshyam Raturi, the popular Chipko poet.
alt=Sharda Sagar Reservoir|With the elevation of above sea level, Sharda Sagar Reservoir
is the lowest land point in Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand has a total area of ,
of which 86% is mountainous and 65% is covered by forest.
Most of the northern part of the state is covered by high Himalaya
n peaks and glaciers. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the expanding development of Indian roads, railways and other physical infrastructure was giving rise to concerns over indiscriminate logging, particularly in the Himalaya
. Two of the most important rivers in Hinduism originate in the glaciers of Uttarakhand, the Ganges
and the Yamuna
. They are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and streams. These two along with Badrinath
form the Chota Char Dham
, a holy pilgrimage for the Hindus.
The state hosts the Bengal tiger
in Jim Corbett National Park
, the oldest national park of the Indian subcontinent. The Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
located in the upper expanses of Bhyundar Ganga near Joshimath
in Gharwal region, is known for the variety and rarity of its flowers and plants. One who raised this was Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
, who visited the region. As a consequence, Lord Dalhousie
issued the Indian Forest Charter in 1855, reversing the previous laissez-faire policy. The following Indian Forest Act of 1878 put Indian forestry on a solid scientific basis. A direct consequence was the founding of the Imperial Forest School at Dehradun
by Dietrich Brandis
in 1878. Renamed the 'Imperial Forest Research Institute' in 1906, it is now known as the Forest Research Institute
The model "Forest Circles" around Dehradun, used for training, demonstration and scientific measurements, had a lasting positive influence on the forests and ecology of the region. The Himalayan ecosystem provides habitat for many animals (including bharal
, snow leopard
s and tigers), plants, and rare herbs.
Uttarakhand lies on the southern slope of the Himalaya range, and the climate and vegetation vary greatly with elevation, from glaciers at the highest elevations to subtropical
forests at the lower elevations. The highest elevations are covered by ice and bare rock. Below them, between are the western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows
. The temperate western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests
grow just below the tree line. At elevation they transition to the temperate western Himalayan broadleaf forests
, which lie in a belt from elevation. Below elevation lie the Himalayan subtropical pine forests
. The Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests
and the drier Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands
cover the lowlands along the Uttar Pradesh border in a belt locally known as Bhabar
. These lowland forests have mostly been cleared for agriculture, but a few pockets remain.
In June 2013 several days of extremely heavy rain caused devastating floods
in the region, resulting in more than 5000 people missing and presumed dead. The flooding was referred to in the Indian media as a "Himalayan Tsunami".
On 7 February 2021, flood
s emerged from the Nanda Devi
mountain glaciers, devastating locations along the Rishi Ganga
, Dhauli Ganga
and Alaknanda River
s, resulting in many people reported missing or killed, yet to be numbered. The damages include Rini village
, several river dams and the Tapovan Vishnugad Hydropower Plant
The native people of Uttarakhand are generally called Uttarakhandi
and sometimes specifically either Garhwali
depending on their place of origin in either the Garhwal
region. According to the 2011 Census of India
, Uttarakhand has a population of 10,086,292 comprising 5,137,773 males and 4,948,519 females, with 69.77% of the population living in rural areas. The state is the 20th most populous state of the country having 0.83% of the population on 1.63% of the land. The population density of the state is 189 people per square kilometre having a 2001–2011 decadal growth rate of 18.81%. The gender ratio is 963 females per 1000 males.
The crude birth rate in the state is 18.6 with the total fertility rate
being 2.3. The state has an infant mortality rate
of 43, a maternal mortality rate
of 188 and a crude death rate
Uttarakhand has a multiethnic population spread across two geocultural regions: the Garhwal, and the Kumaon. A large portion of the population is Kshatriya
(various clans of erstwhile landowning rulers and their descendants), including members of the native Garhwali
, and Kumaoni
as well as a number of migrants. According to a 2007 study by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
, Uttarakhand has the highest percentage of Brahmin
s of any state in India, with approximately 20% of the population being Brahmin. 18.76% of the population belongs to the Scheduled Castes
(an official term for the indigenous aboriginal lower castes in the traditional caste system in India
such as the Jaunsari
constitute 2.89% of the population.
The official language of Uttarakhand is Hindi
which is spoken natively by % of the population (primarily concentrated in the south),
[ Figures for Jaunsari also include speakers of Jaunpuri.]
and also used throughout the state as a lingua franca.
Additionally, the classical language Sanskrit
has been declared a second official language.
The other major regional languages of Uttarakhand are Garhwali
, which is spoken by % of the population mostly in the western half of the state, Kumaoni
, spoken in the eastern half and native to %, both closely related languages of the Central Pahari
languages, and the Jaunsari
of the Western Pahari
family, whose speakers are concentrated in Dehradun district in the southwest and make up % of the state's population. There are also sizeable populations of speakers of Urdu
(%) and Punjabi
(%), both mostly found in the southern districts, Bengali
(%) and Bhojpuri
(%), both mainly present in Udham Singh Nagar district in the south-east, and Nepali
(%, found throughout the state, but most notably in Dehradun and Uttarkashi).
All the languages enumerated so far belong to the Indo-Aryan
family. Apart from a few other minority Indo-Aryan languages, like Buksa Tharu
and Rana Tharu
(of Udham Singh Nagar district in the south-east), Mahasu Pahari
(found in Uttarkashi in the north-west), and Doteli
Uttarakhand is also home to a number of indigenous Sino-Tibetan languages
, most of which are spoken in the north of the state. These include Jad
(spoken in Uttarkashi district in the north-west), Rongpo
(of Chamoli district), and several languages of Pithoragarh district in the north-east: Byangsi
. Another indigenous Sino-Tibetan language, Rangas
, became extinct by the middle of the 20th century. Additionally, two non-native Sino-Tibetan languages are also represented: Kulung
(otherwise native to Nepal) and Tibetan
More than four-fifths of Uttarakhand's residents are Hindus
s, and Jain
s make up the remaining population with the Muslims being the largest minority.
Government and politics
Following the Constitution of India
, Uttarakhand, like all Indian states, has a parliamentary system
of representative democracy
for its government.
is the constitutional and formal head of the government and is appointed for a five-year term by the President of India
on the advice of the Union government
. The present Governor of Uttarakhand
is Baby Rani Maurya
. The Chief Minister
, who holds the real executive powers, is the head of the party or coalition garnering the majority in the state elections. The current Chief Minister of Uttarakhand
is Tirath Singh Rawat
The unicameral Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly
consists of 70 members, known as Members of the Legislative Assembly
and special office bearers such as the Speaker
and Deputy Speaker, elected by the members. Assembly meetings are presided over by the Speaker, or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker's absence. The Uttarakhand Council of Ministers
is appointed by the Governor of Uttarakhand on the advice of the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and reports to the Legislative Assembly. Leader of the Opposition
leads the Official Opposition
in the Legislative Assembly. Auxiliary authorities that govern at a local level are known as gram panchayat
s in rural areas, municipalities
in urban areas and municipal corporations
in metro areas. All state and local government offices have a five-year term. The state also elects 5 members to Lok Sabha
and 3 seats to Rajya Sabha
of the Parliament of India
. The judiciary consists of the Uttarakhand High Court
, located at Nainital
, and a system of lower courts
. The incumbent Acting Chief Justice of Uttarakhand
is Justice Ravi Malimath
Politics in Uttarakhand is dominated by the Indian National Congress
and the Bharatiya Janata Party
. Since the formation of the state these two parties have ruled the state in turns. Following the hung mandate in the 2012 Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly election
, the Indian National Congress, having the maximum number of seats, formed a coalition government headed by Harish Rawat
that collapsed on 27 March 2016, following the political turmoil as about nine MLAs of INC
rebelled against the party and supported the opposition party BJP
, causing Harish Rawat government to lose the majority in assembly. However, on 21 April 2016 the High Court of Uttarakhand
quashed the President's rule
questioning its legality and maintained a status quo prior to 27 March 2016 when 9 rebel MLAs of INC
voted against the Harish Rawat
government in assembly on state's money appropriation bill. On 22 April 2016 the Supreme Court of India
stayed the order of High Court till 27 April 2016, thereby once again reviving the President's rule. In later developments regarding this matter, the Supreme Court ordered a floor test to be held on 10 May with the rebels being barred from voting. On 11 May at the opening of sealed result of the floor test, under the supervision of Supreme Court, the Harish Rawat government was revived following the victory in floor test held in Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly.
There are 13 districts in Uttarakhand
, which are grouped into three divisions, Kumaon
. Each division is administered by a divisional commissioner
. Four new districts named Didihat
, and Yamunotri
were declared by then Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhriyal
, on 15 August 2011 but yet to be officially formed.
Each district is administered by a district magistrate
. The districts are further divided into sub-divisions, which are administered by sub-divisional magistrate
s; sub-divisions comprise tehsil
s which are administered by a tehsildar
and community development block
s, each administered by a block development officer
are categorised into three types of municipalities based on their population; municipal corporations
, each administered by a municipal commissioner
, municipal councils
and, nagar panchayat
s (town councils), each of them administered by a chief executive officer
. Rural areas
comprise the three tier administration; district councils
, block panchayats
(block councils) and gram panchayat
s (village councils).
According to the 2011 census, Haridwar, Dehradun, and Udham Singh Nagar are the most populous districts, each of them having a population of over one million.
The isolated Himalayan
village of Bemni
is located here.
Architecture and crafts
Hanol Mahasu04.jpg|Mahasu Devta Temple at Hanol is notable for its traditional wooden architecture.
Architectural details of a Dharamshala, estb. 1822, Haridwar.jpg|Architectural details of a Dharamshala, established 1822, Haridwar.
Abhisarika-nayika-mola-ram.jpg|''Abhisarika Nayika'', a painting by Mola Ram.
The Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shri K.C. Pant speaking at the releasing of the Uttaranchal crafts map at the exhibition of "Artistic Crafts Maps of Jharkhand.jpg|The releasing of the Uttaranchal crafts map
Among the prominent local crafts is wood carving
, which appears most frequently in the ornately decorated temples
of Uttarakhand. Intricately carved designs of floral patterns, deities, and geometrical motifs also decorate the doors, windows, ceilings, and walls of village houses. Paintings and murals are used to decorate both houses and temples. Pahari painting
is a form of painting that flourished in the region between the 17th and 19th century. Mola Ram
started the Garhwal Branch of the Kangra school
of painting. Guler State
was known as the "cradle of Kangra paintings". Kumaoni art often is geometrical in nature, while Garhwali art is known for its closeness to nature. Other crafts of Uttarakhand include handcrafted gold jewellery
from Garhwal, woollen shawls
, and rugs
. The latter are mainly produced by the Bhotiyas of northern Uttarakhand.
Arts and literature
Uttarakhand's diverse ethnicities have created a rich literary tradition in languages including Hindi, Garhwali, Kumaoni, Jaunsari, and Tharu. Many of its traditional tales originated in the form of lyrical ballad
s and chanted by itinerant singers and are now considered classics of Hindi literature
. Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna
, Badri Datt Pandey
, Ganga Prasad Vimal
, Harikrishna Raturi, Mohan Upreti
, Naima Khan Upreti
, Prasoon Joshi
, Shailesh Matiyani
, Shekhar Joshi
, Shiv Prasad Dabral 'Charan', Taradutt Gairola
, Tom Alter
; Lalit Kala Akademi fellow
– Ranbir Singh Bisht
; Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
ees – B. M. Shah
, Narendra Singh Negi
, Prem Matiyani and Urmil Kumar Thapliyal; Sahitya Akademi Award
ees – Leeladhar Jagudi
, Manglesh Dabral
, Manohar Shyam Joshi
, Ramesh Chandra Shah
, Ruskin Bond
and Viren Dangwal
; Jnanpith Award
ee and Sahitya Akademi fellow Sumitranandan Pant
are some major literary, artistic and theatre personalities from the state. Prominent philosophers, Indian independence activists and social-environmental activists; Anil Prakash Joshi
, Anusuya Prasad Bahuguna, Basanti Devi
, Chandra Singh Garhwali, Gaura Devi
, Govind Ballabh Pant
, Chandi Prasad Bhatt
, Deep Joshi
, Hargovind Pant
, Indramani Badoni, Jayanand Bharati, Kalu Singh Mahara
, Kunwar Singh Negi
, Mukandi Lal
, Nagendra Saklani
, Sri Dev Suman
, Ram Prasad Nautiyal
, Sunderlal Bahuguna
and Vandana Shiva
are also from Uttarakhand.
The primary food of Uttarakhand is vegetables with wheat being a staple, although non-vegetarian food is also served. A distinctive characteristic of Uttarakhand cuisine is the sparing use of tomatoes, milk, and milk-based products. Coarse grain with high fibre content is very common in Uttarakhand due to the harsh terrain. Crops most commonly associated with Uttarakhand are Buckwheat
(locally called ''Kotu'' or ''Kuttu'') and the regional crops, ''Maduwa'' and ''Jhangora'', particularly in the interior regions of Kumaon and Garhwal. Generally, either Desi Ghee
or Mustard oil
is used for the purpose of cooking food. Simple recipes are made interesting with the use of hash seeds ''Jakhya
'' as spice, chutney
made of Bhang
is also a regional cuisine. Bal Mithai
is a popular fudge-like sweet. Other popular dishes include Dubuk, Chains, Kap, Bhatiya, Jaula, Phana, Paliyo, Chutkani and Sei. In sweets; Swal, Ghughut/Khajur, Arsa, Mishri
, Gatta and Gulgulas
are popular. A regional variation of Kadhi
called ''Jhoi'' or ''Jholi'' is also popular.
Dances and music
The dances of the region are connected to life and human existence and exhibit myriad human emotions. Langvir Nritya is a dance form for males that resembles gymnastic movements. Barada Nati folk dance is another dance of Jaunsar-Bawar
, which is practised during some religious festivals. Other well-known dances include Hurka Baul, Jhora-Chanchri, Chhapeli, Thadya, Jhumaila, Pandav
, Chauphula, and Chholiya
. Music is an integral part of the Uttarakhandi culture. Popular types of folk songs include Mangal, Basanti, Khuder and Chhopati. These folk songs are played on instruments including Dhol
, Turri, Ransingha
, Daur, Thali
, Mandan and Mashakbaja
. "Bedu Pako Baro Masa
" is a popular folk song of Uttarakhand with international fame and legendary status within the state. It serves as the cultural anthem of Uttarakhandi people worldwide. Music is also used as a medium through which the gods are invoked. ''Jagar
'' is a form of spirit worship in which the singer, or ''Jagariya'', sings a ballad of the gods, with allusions to great epics, like Mahabharat
, that describe the adventures and exploits of the god being invoked. B. K. Samant
, Basanti Bisht
, Chander Singh Rahi
, Girish Tiwari 'Girda'
, Gopal Babu Goswami, Heera Singh Rana, Jeet Singh Negi
, Meena Rana
, Mohan Upreti
, Narendra Singh Negi
and Pritam Bhartwan
are popular folk singers
and musicians from the state, so are Bollywood
singer Jubin Nautiyal
singer Bobby Cash
Fairs and festivals
One of the major Hindu pilgrimages
, Haridwar Kumbh Mela
, takes place in Uttarakhand. Haridwar
is one of the four places in India where this mela is organised. Haridwar most recently hosted the Purna Kumbh Mela
from Makar Sankranti
(14 January 2010) to Vaishakh Purnima Snan (28 April 2010). Hundreds of foreigners joined Indian pilgrims in the festival, which is considered the largest religious gathering in the world.
[, The Independent, 14 April 2010]
, in forms including Baithki Holi, Khari Holi, and Mahila Holi, all of which start from Vasant Panchami
, are festivals and musical affairs that can last almost a month. Ganga Dashahara
, Vasant Panchami, Makar Sankranti, Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Vat Savitri
, and Phul Dei are other major festivals. In addition, various fairs like Kanwar Yatra
, Kandali Festival
, Harela Mela
, Nauchandi Mela
, Giddi Mela, Uttarayani Mela and Nanda Devi Raj Jat
The festivals of Kumbh Mela
, the traditions of Vedic chant
ings and Yoga
are included in the list
of Intangible cultural heritage
of the UNESCO
The Uttarakhand state is the second fastest growing state in India. Its gross state domestic product (GSDP) (at constant prices) more than doubled from 24,786 crore in FY2005 to 60,898 crore in FY2012. The real GSDP grew at 13.7% (CAGR) during the FY2005–FY2012 period. The contribution of the service sector to the GSDP of Uttarakhand was just over 50% during FY 2012. Per capita income in Uttarakhand is 198738 (FY 2018–19), which is higher than the national average of 126406 (FY 2018–19). According to the Reserve Bank of India
, the total foreign direct investment in the state from April 2000 to October 2009 amounted to US$46.7 million.
Like most of India, agriculture is one of the most significant sectors of the economy of Uttarakhand. Basmati
rice, wheat, soybeans, groundnuts, coarse cereals, pulses, and oil seeds
are the most widely grown crops. Fruits like apples, oranges, pears, peaches, lychees, and plums are widely grown and important to the large food processing industry. Agricultural export zones have been set up in the state for lychees, horticulture, herbs, medicinal plants, and basmati rice. During 2010, wheat production was 831 thousand tonnes and rice production was 610 thousand tonnes, while the main cash crop of the state, sugarcane, had a production of 5058 thousand tonnes. As 86% of the state consists of hills, the yield per hectare is not very high. 86% of all croplands are in the plains while the remaining is from the hills.
The state also holds the GI tag for Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala
) or Indian bay leaf, which is known to add flavour to dishes and also possesses several medicinal properties.
Other key industries include tourism and hydropower, and there is prospective development in IT, ITES, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and automobile industries. The service sector of Uttarakhand mainly includes tourism, information technology, higher education, and banking.
During 2005–2006, the state successfully developed three Integrated Industrial Estates (IIEs) at Haridwar
, and Sitarganj
; Pharma City at Selakui; Information Technology Park at Sahastradhara (Dehradun
); and a growth centre at Sigaddi (Kotdwar
). Also in 2006, 20 industrial sectors in public private partnership mode were developed in the state.
Flora and fauna
Moschus chrysogaster.jpg|Alpine Musk Deer (''Moschus chrysogaster'')
Golden mahseer (Tor putitora) Babai River.jpg| Golden Mahseer (''Tor putitora'')
Himalayan Monal, Male (28466143101).jpg| Himalayan Monal (''Lophophorus impejanus'')
Davidraju Common peacock-shillong.jpg|West Himalayan Common Peacock (''Papilio bianor polyctor'')
Uttarakhand has a diversity of flora and fauna. It has a recorded forest area of , which constitutes 65% of the total area of the state. Uttarakhand is home to rare species of plants and animals, many of which are protected by sanctuaries and reserves. National parks
in Uttarakhand include the Jim Corbett National Park
(the oldest national park of India) in Nainital
and Pauri Garhwal District
, and Valley of Flowers National Park
& Nanda Devi National Park
in Chamoli District
, which together are a UNESCO World Heritage Site
. A number of plant species in the valley are internationally threatened, including several that have not been recorded from elsewhere in Uttarakhand.
Rajaji National Park
and Pauri Garhwal District
and Govind Pashu Vihar National Park
& Gangotri National Park
in Uttarkashi District
are some other protected areas in the state.
are found in areas that are abundant in hills but may also venture into the lowland jungles. Smaller felines include the jungle cat
, fishing cat
, and leopard cat
. Other mammals include four kinds of deer (barking
and Himalayan black bears
, Indian grey mongoose
s, yellow-throated martens
, Indian pangolin
s, and langur
monkeys. In the summer, elephants
can be seen in herd
s of several hundred. Marsh crocodile
s (''Crocodylus palustris''), gharial
s (''Gavialis gangeticus'') and other reptiles are also found in the region. Local crocodiles were saved from extinction by captive breeding programs and subsequently re-released into the Ramganga
river. Several freshwater terrapins and turtles like the Indian sawback turtle
(''Kachuga tecta''), brahminy river turtle
(''Hardella thurgii''), and Ganges softshell turtle
(''Trionyx gangeticus'') are found in the rivers. Butterflies and birds of the region include red helen
(''Papilio helenus''), the great eggfly
(''Hypolimnos bolina''), common tiger
(''Danaus genutia''), pale wanderer
(''Pareronia avatar avatar''), jungle babbler
, tawny-bellied babbler
, great slaty woodpecker
, red-breasted parakeet
, orange-breasted green pigeon
and chestnut-winged cuckoo
In 2011, a rare migratory bird, the bean goose
, was also seen in the Jim Corbett National Park
. A critically endangered bird, last seen in 1876 is the Himalayan quail endemic to the western Himalayas of the state.
, and conifers
predominate in the hills. ''sal
'' (''Shorea robusta''), silk cotton tree
(''Bombax ciliata''), ''Dalbergia sissoo
'', ''Mallotus philippensis
'', ''Acacia catechu
'', ''Bauhinia racemosa
'', and ''Bauhinia variegata
'' (camel's foot tree) are some other trees of the region. ''Albizia chinensis
'', the sweet sticky flowers of which are favoured by sloth bears, are also part of the region's flora.
A decade long study by Prof. Chandra Prakash Kala
concluded that the Valley of Flowers is endowed with 520 species of higher plants (''angiosperms
'' and ''pteridophytes
''), of these 498 are flowering plants
. The park has many species of medicinal plants including ''Dactylorhiza hatagirea
'', ''Picrorhiza kurroa
'', ''Aconitum violaceum
'', ''Polygonatum multiflorum
'', ''Fritillaria roylei
'', and ''Podophyllum hexandrum
''. In the summer season of 2016, a large portion of forests in Uttarakhand caught fires and rubbled to ashes during Uttarakhand forest fires
incident, which resulted in the damage of forest resources worth billions of rupees and death of 7 people with hundreds of wild animals died during fires. During the 2021 Uttarakhand forest fires
, there was widespread damage to the forested areas in Tehri district.
About 18,000 plant species have been recognised in the state out of which 1,800 are deemed to be of medicinal value. The government-run Herbal Research and Development Institute
carries out research and helps conserve medicinal herbs that are found in abundance in the region. Local traditional healers still use herbs, in accordance with classical Ayurvedic
texts, for diseases that are usually cured by modern medicine.
Brahmakamal Kaluvinayak Chamoli Uttarakhand 2014-08-23.jpg|Brahma Kamal (''Saussurea obvallata'')
Rhododendron in full bloom! (8620051426).jpg|Burans (''Rhododendron arboreum'')
Kafal(blackberry) 2014-06-04 08-48.jpg|Kaphal (''Myrica esculenta'')
Brännässla (Urtica Dioica).jpg|Kandali (''Urtica dioica'')
Uttarakhand has of roads, of which are national highways and are state highways.
The State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC), which has been reorganised in Uttarakhand as the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation
(UTC), is a major constituent of the transport system in the state. The Corporation began to work on 31 October 2003 and provides services on interstate and nationalised routes. As of 2012, approximately 1000 buses are being plied by the UTC on 35 nationalised routes along with many other non-nationalised routes. There are also private transport operators operating approximately 3000 buses on non-nationalised routes along with a few interstate routes in Uttarakhand and the neighbouring state of U.P. For travelling locally, the state, like most of the country, has auto rickshaw
s and cycle rickshaw
s. In addition, remote towns and villages in the hills are connected to important road junctions and bus routes by a vast network of crowded share jeeps.
The air transport network in the state is gradually improving. Jolly Grant Airport
in Dehradun, is the busiest airport in the state with six daily flights to Delhi Airport
. Pantnagar Airport
, located in Pantnagar
of the Kumaon region have 1 daily air service to delhi and return too
. There government is planning to develop Naini Saini Airport
, Bharkot Airport
in Uttarkashi district and Gauchar Airport
, Chamoli district.
There are plans to launch helipad service in Pantnagar and Jolly Grant Airports and other important tourist destinations like Ghangaria
and Hemkund Sahib.
As over 86% of Uttarakhand's terrain consists of hills, railway services are very limited in the state and are largely confined to the plains. In 2011, the total length of railway tracks was about .
Rail, being the cheapest mode of transport, is most popular. The most important railway station in Kumaun Division of Uttarakhand is at Kathgodam
, 35 kilometres away from Nainital. Kathgodam is the last terminus of the broad gauge line of North East Railways that connects Nainital with Delhi, Dehradun, and Howrah. Other notable railway stations are at Pantnagar
Dehradun railway station
is a railhead of the Northern Railways.
Haridwar station is situated on the Delhi–Dehradun and Howrah–Dehradun railway lines. One of the main railheads of the Northern Railways, Haridwar Junction Railway Station is connected by broad gauge line. Roorkee comes under Northern Railway region of Indian Railways on the main Punjab
– Mughal Sarai
trunk route and is connected to major Indian cities.
Other railheads are Rishikesh
linked to Delhi by daily trains.
Valley of flowers uttaranchal full view.JPG|Valley of Flowers National Park
Ali bugyal2.jpg|View of a Bugyal (meadow) in Uttarakhand
Rishikesh view across bridge.jpg|Rishikesh view and 13 stories Shiva temple across Lakshman Jhula bridge over the Ganges.
Kedarnath Temple - OCT 2014.jpg|Kedarnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas.
Uttarakhand has many tourist spots due to its location in the Himalayas. There are many ancient temples, forest reserves, national parks, hill stations, and mountain peaks that draw large number of tourists. There are 44 nationally protected monuments in the state. Oak Grove School
in the state is on the tentative list for World Heritage Sites. Two of the most holy rivers in Hinduism
, originate in Uttarakhand. Binsar Devta
is a popular Hindu temple in the area.
Uttarakhand has long been called "Land of the Gods"
as the state has some of the holiest Hindu
shrines, and for more than a thousand years, pilgrims have been visiting the region in the hopes of salvation and purification from sin. Gangotri
, the sources of the Ganges and Yamuna, dedicated to Ganga
respectively, fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath
(dedicated to Vishnu
) and Kedarnath
(dedicated to Shiva
) form the Chota Char Dham
, one of Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, meaning "Gateway to the God", is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar
hosts the Haridwar Kumbh Mela
every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from all parts of India and the world. Rishikesh
near Haridwar is known as the preeminent yoga
centre of India. The state has an abundance of temples and shrines, many dedicated to local deities or manifestations of Shiva and Durga
, references to many of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends. Uttarakhand is, however, a place of pilgrimage for the adherents of other religions too. Piran Kaliyar
Sharif near Roorkee
is a pilgrimage site to Muslim
s, Gurudwara Darbar Sahib
, in Dehradun
, Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib
in Chamoli district
, Gurudwara Nanakmatta Sahib
and Gurudwara Reetha Sahib
in Champawat district
are pilgrimage centres for Sikh
s. Tibetan Buddhism
has also made its presence with the reconstruction of Mindrolling Monastery
and its Buddha Stupa
, described as the world's highest at Clement Town
are well-known skiing resorts in the state.
The state has 12 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, which cover 13.8 percent of the total area of the state. They are located at different altitudes varying from 800 to 5400 metres. The oldest national park on the Indian sub-continent, Jim Corbett National Park
, is a major tourist attraction.
, near Badrinath
is a waterfall with a height of set in a backdrop of snow-clad mountains.
The state has always been a destination for mountaineering
, and rock climbing
in India. A recent development in adventure tourism
in the region has been whitewater rafting
in Rishikesh. Due to its proximity to the Himalaya ranges, the place is full of hills and mountains and is suitable for trekking, climbing, skiing, camping, rock climbing, and paragliding. Roopkund
is a trekking site, known for the mysterious skeletons found in a lake, which was featured by National Geographic Channel
in a documentary. The trek to Roopkund passes through the meadows of Bugyal
On 30 September 2010 there were 15,331 primary schools with 1,040,139 students and 22,118 working teachers in Uttarakhand. At the 2011 census the literacy rate of the state was 78.82% with 87.4% literacy for males and 70% literacy for females.
The language of instruction in the schools is either English or Hindi
. There are mainly government-run, private unaided (no government help), and private aided schools in the state. The main school affiliations are CBSE
, the state syllabus defined by the Department of Education of the Government of Uttarakhand
The high mountains and rivers of Uttarakhand attract many tourists and adventure seekers. It is also a favourite destination for adventure sports
, such as paragliding
, sky diving
and bungee jumping
More recently, golf
has also become popular with Ranikhet
being a favourite destination.
The Cricket Association of Uttarakhand
is the governing body for cricket
activities. The Uttarakhand cricket team
represents Uttarakhand in Ranji Trophy
, Vijay Hazare Trophy
and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
. Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
is the home ground of Uttarakhand cricket team.
The Uttarakhand State Football Association
is the governing body for association football
. The Uttarakhand football team
represents Uttarakhand in the Santosh Trophy
and other leagues. The Indira Gandhi International Sports Stadium
is the home ground of Uttarakhand football team.
In popular culture
A 16-minute documentary was made on the life of one native of Uttarakhand. It has won a number of awards in universities worldwide. The film was an official selection at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (2015), Kathmandu International Film Festival
(2014) and the Kendal Mountain Festival (2014).
* Outline of Uttarakhand
* Himalayan states
* Indian Himalayan Region
*''Mountain Temples and Temple Mountains
* Handa, Umachand (2002). History of Uttaranchal
'. Indus Publishing. .
* Husain, Z. (1995). ''Uttarakhand Movement: The Politics of Identity and Frustration, A Psycho-Analytical Study of the Separate State Movement, 1815–1995''. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot.
* Sharma, D. (1989). ''Tibeto-Himalayan languages of Uttarakhand''. Studies in Tibeto-Himalayan languages, 3. New Delhi, India: Mittal Publications.
* Phonia, Kedar Singh (1987). ''Uttarakhand: The Land of Jungles, Temples and Snows''. New Delhi, India: Lancer Books.
* Mukhopadhyaya, R. (1987). ''Uttarakhand Movement: A Sociological Analysis''. Centre for Himalayan Studies special lecture, 8. Raja Rammohunpur, Distt. Darjeeling: University of North Bengal.
* Thapliyal, Uma Prasad (2005). ''Uttaranchal: Historical and Cultural Perspectives''. B. R. Pub. Corp., .
* Negi, Vijaypal Singh, Jawaharnagar, P.O. Agastyamuni, Distt. Rudraprayag, ''The Great Himalayas'' 1998,
Uttarakhand Government PortalUttarakhand Tourism
; General information
Map of Uttarakhand
with places of interest and historical attractions, mountainshepherds.com.
Category:States and union territories of India
Category:States and territories established in 2000
Category:2000 establishments in India