Uttarakhand (English: /ˌʊtəˈrɑːkʌnd/), officially the State
Uttarakhand (Uttarākhaṇḍ Rājya), formerly known as
Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often
referred to as the Devbhumi (literally "Land of the Gods") due to
Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres found throughout the state.
Uttarakhand is known for the natural environment of the Himalayas, the
Bhabhar and the Terai. On 9 November 2000,
Uttarakhand became the 27th
state of the Republic of India, being created from the Himalayan and
adjoining northwestern districts of Uttar Pradesh. It borders Tibet
to the north; the
Province No. 7
Province No. 7 of
Nepal to the east; and the Indian
Uttar Pradesh to the south and
Himachal Pradesh to the west
and north-west as well as
Haryana on its south-western corner. The
state is divided into two divisions, Garhwal and Kumaon, with a total
of 13 districts. The interim capital of
Uttarakhand is Dehradun, the
largest city of the state, which is a railhead. 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 Kuru and the
Panchal kingdoms (mahajanpads) during the Vedic age of Ancient India.
Among the first major dynasties of Kumaon were the Kunindas 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 Kumaon Kingdom
and 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 neighboring 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 in India.
4.1 Ethnic groups
5 Government and politics
9 Flora and fauna
13.1 Sports stadiums
14 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
Uttarakhand's name is derived from the
Sanskrit words uttara
(उत्तर) meaning 'north', and khaṇḍa (खण्ड)
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
Uttarakhand was also the ancient Puranic
(पौराणिक) term for the central stretch of the Indian
However, the region was given the name Uttaranchal by the Bharatiya
Janata Party led central government and
Uttar Pradesh 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
popular in the region, even while Uttaranchal was promulgated through
In August 2006, Union Cabinet of
India 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 Cabinet
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 January 1, 2007 the state has
been known as Uttarakhand.
History of Uttarakhand
History of Uttarakhand and
The historical temples at Jageshwar, preserved by the Archaeological
Survey of India
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 which show the existence
of early Vedic (c. 1500 BCE) practices in the area. The Pauravas,
Kushanas, Kunindas, Guptas, Gurjara-Pratihara, Katyuris, Raikas,
Palas, Chands, Parmars or Panwars, and the British have ruled
Uttarakhand in turns.
The region was originally settled by Kol people, an aboriginal people
Austro-Asiatic physical type who were later joined by the
Khasas tribe that arrived from the northwest by the Vedic
period (1700–1100 BCE). At that time, present-day
served as a habitat for
Rishis and Sadhus. It is believed that the
Vyasa scripted the
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 Ashokan edict at Kalsi
in Western Garhwal that
Buddhism made inroads in this region. Folk
shamanic practices deviating from
Hindu orthodoxy also persisted here.
However, Garhwal and Kumaon were restored to nominal
Hindu rule due to
the travails of
Shankaracharya and the arrival of migrants from the
Between the 4th and 14th centuries, the Katyuri dynasty dominated
lands of varying extent from the Katyur (modern day Baijnath) valley
in Kumaon. The historically significant temples at
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, Raji, Buksa, and Tharu people.
Princely flag of Kingdom of Garhwal
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 and Rajputs, also arrived
from the plains., the seat of the Kumaon Kingdom. The Garhwal
Kingdom was re-established from a smaller region in Tehri. It was
annexed to Kingdom of
Nepal by Amar Singh Thapa. After Anglo-Nepalese
War, it was ceded to the British as part of the Treaty of Sugauli.
Uttarakhand as a part of the United Province, 1903
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 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
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
Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council passed the Uttar
Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which began the process of creating 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.
माटू हमरू, पाणी हमरू, हमरा
ही छन यी बौण भी... पितरों न
लगाई बौण, हमुनही त बचौण भी।
Soil ours, water ours, ours are these forests. Our forefathers raised
them, it's we who must protect them.
—Old Chipko Song (Garhwali language)
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 marginalized 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
amongst "100 people who shaped India". One of Chipko's most
salient features was the mass participation of female villagers.
Both female and male activists played pivotal roles in the movement.
Gaura Devi was the main activist who started this movement other
participants were Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Sunderlal Bahuguna, and
Ghanshyam Raturi, the popular Chipko poet.
Main article: Geography of Uttarakhand
With the elevation of 7,816 metres (25,643 ft) above sea level,
Nanda Devi is the highest mountain in
Uttarakhand and the
second-highest mountain in India, following
Kangchenjunga in Sikkim.
Uttarakhand has a total area of 53,483 km2, of which 86% is
mountainous and 65% is covered by forest. Most of the northern
part of the state is covered by high Himalayan 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
Gangotri and the
Yamunotri. They are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and
streams. These two along with
Kedarnath 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 Valley of
UNESCO World Heritage Site
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 (India).
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
leopards, leopards 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 3,000 and 5,000 metres (9,800 and 16,400 ft) are the
western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. The temperate western
Himalayan subalpine conifer forests grow just below the tree line. At
3,000 to 2,600 metres (9,800 to 8,500 ft) elevation they
transition to the temperate western Himalayan broadleaf forests, which
lie in a belt from 2,600 to 1,500 metres (8,500 to 4,900 ft)
elevation. Below 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) 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
See also: Demographics of Uttarakhand, List of cities in Uttarakhand
by population, Garhwali people, and Kumaoni people
Source: Census of India
The native people of
Uttarakhand are generally called
sometimes specifically either Garhwali or Kumaoni depending on their
place of origin in either the Garhwal or Kumaon 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 of 6.6.
Uttarakhand has a multiethnic population spread across two geocultural
regions: the Garhwal, and the Kumaon. A large portion of the
Rajput (various clans of erstwhile landowning rulers and
their descendants), including members of the native Garhwali, Kumaoni
Gujjar communities, as well as a number of immigrants. According
to a 2007 study by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies,
Uttarakhand has the highest percentage of
Brahmins 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
Hindu caste system).
Scheduled Tribes such as the Tharu, Jaunsari,
Bhotiya and Raji constitute 2.89% of the population.
Hindi belonging to
Indo-Aryan languages is the sole official language
Uttarakhand and is spoken by 87.95% of the population (figure
includes Garhwali, Kumaoni and Jaunsari as variants of Hindi).
Sanskrit is given the status of second official language. Many
Tibeto-Burman languages are also spoken in this region, including
Bhoti, Jad, Rangkas, Darmiya, Byangsi, and Chaudangsi.
Other or not religious (0.13%)
More than four-fifths of Uttarakhand’s residents are Hindus.
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and Jains make up the remaining
population with the Muslims being the largest minority.
Government and politics
Main articles: Government of Uttarakhand, Legislature of Uttarakhand,
and Elections in Uttarakhand
Following the Constitution of India, Uttarakhand, like all Indian
states, has a parliamentary system of representative democracy for its
The Governor 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 the state is
Krishan Kant Paul. 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
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand is
Trivendra Singh Rawat. The unicameral
Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly
consists of has 71 elected members, known as Members of the
Legislative Assembly or MLAs, 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. A Council of Ministers is appointed by the
Governor of Uttarakhand
Governor of Uttarakhand on the advice of the Chief Minister of
Uttarakhand and reports to the Legislative Assembly. Auxiliary
authorities that govern at a local level are known as panchayats in
rural areas, municipalities in urban areas and municipal corporation
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
Rajya Sabha of the Indian Parliament. The judiciary
consists of the
Uttarakhand High Court, located at Nainital, and a
system of lower courts. The present Chief Justice of
Justice K. M. Joseph.
Uttarakhand is dominated by the Indian National Congress
and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Since the formation of the state these
parties have ruled the state in turns. Following the hung mandate in
Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly
Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly election, 2012, 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,
Harish Rawat government to lose the majority in assembly.
However, on 21 April 2016 the
High Court of Uttarakhand
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. This has been seen as a big blow to central government which is
expected to take the matter to the Supreme Court of
India to challenge
the verdict of High Court. 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
Harish Rawat government was revived following the victory
in floor test held in
Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly.
Following the 2017 Legislative Assembly election, on 18 March 2017
Trivendra Singh Rawat
Trivendra Singh Rawat sworn as the 8th Chief Minister of Uttarakhand
of Fourth Assembly (2017–22).
Districts of Uttarakhand
Administrative divisions of Uttarakhand
Administrative divisions of Uttarakhand and Districts
There are 13 districts in
Uttarakhand which are grouped into two
divisions, Kumaon and Garhwal. Four new districts named Didihat,
Kotdwar Ranikhet, and
Yamunotri were declared by then Chief Minister
of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhriyal, on 15 August 2011 but yet to be
Districts of two divisions are as follows:
Udham Singh Nagar
Tehri Garhwal (commonly known as Tehri)
Pauri Garhwal (commonly known as Pauri)
Each district is governed by a district collector or district
magistrate. The districts are further divided into sub-divisions,
which are governed by sub-divisional magistrates; sub-divisions
comprise blocks containing panchayats (village councils) and town
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.
Main article: Music of Uttarakhand
Sumitranandan Pant Museum, Kausani
Uttarakhand's diverse ethnicities have created a rich literary
tradition in languages including Hindi, Kumaoni, Garhwali, Jaunsari,
and Bhoti. Many of its traditional tales originated in the form of
lyrical ballads and chanted by itinerant singers and are now
considered classics of
Hindi literature. Ganga Prasad Vimal, Manohar
Shyam Joshi, Prasoon Joshi, Shekhar Joshi, Shailesh Matiyani, Shivani,
Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee Mohan Upreti, B. M. Shah, Sahitya
Manglesh Dabral and Jnanpith awardee Sumitranandan
Pant are some major literary figures from the region. Prominent
philosopher and environmental activist
Sundarlal Bahuguna and Vandana
Shiva are also from Uttarakhand, so is country music singer, Bobby
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, Jhumaila, 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, damau, turri, ransingha, dholki,
daur, thali, bhankora, mandan and mashakbaja. "Bedu Pako" is a popular
folk song of
Uttarakhand with international fame and legendary status
within the state. It serves as the unofficial state anthem of
Uttarakhand. 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,
Mahabharat and Ramayana, that describe the adventures and
exploits of the god being invoked.
Narendra Singh Negi and Meena Rana
are popular folk singers of the region.
Architectural details of a Dharmashala, estb. 1822, Haridwar
Abhisarika Nayika, a painting by Mola Ram
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 homes 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
handcrafted gold jewellery, basketry from Garhwal, woollen shawls,
scarves, and rugs. The latter are mainly produced by the Bhotiyas of
The primary food of
Uttarakhand is vegetables with wheat being a
staple, although non-vegetarian food is also served. A distinctive
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. Another crop
which is associated with
Buckwheat (locally called
Madua or Jhingora), particularly in the interior regions of Kumaon and
Garhwal. Generally, either Desi
Mustard oil is used for the
purpose of cooking food. Simple recipes are made interesting with the
use of hash seeds "Jakhiya" as spice.
Bal Mithai is a popular
fudge-like sweet. Other popular dishes include Dubuk, Chains, Kap,
Chutkani, Sei, and Gulgula. A regional variation of
Kadhi called Jhoi
or Jholi is also popular.
Bathing ghat on the
Ganges during Kumbh Mela, 2010, Haridwar
One of the major
Haridwar Kumbh Mela, takes place
Haridwar is one of the four places in
India where this
mela is organised.
Haridwar most recently hosted the Purna Kumbh Mela
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. Kumauni Holi, 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 Sankrant, Khatarua,
Vat Savitri, and Phul Dei are other major festivals. In addition,
various fairs like Kanwar Yatra, Kandali Festival, Ramman, Harela
Mela, Nauchandi Mela, Giddi Mela, Uttarayani Mela and
Nanda Devi Raj
Jat Mela take place.
Main article: Economy of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand state is the second fastest growing state in
India. It's 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
Uttarakhand was just over 50% during FY 2012. Per capita
Uttarakhand is ₹1,03,000 (FY 2013) which is higher than
the national average of ₹74,920 (FY2013). 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.
A lady winnowing rice, an important food crop in Uttarakhand.
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, litchis, and
plums are widely grown and important to the large food processing
industry. Agricultural export zones have been set up in the state for
leechi, 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
Economy of Uttarakhand
Economy of Uttarakhand at a Glance
figures in crores of Indian rupees
Economy at a Glance (FY-2012)
In Indian rupees
Per capita income
Other key industries include tourism and hydropower, and there is
prospective development in IT, ITES, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals
and automobile industries. The service sector of
includes tourism, information technology, higher education, and
During 2005–2006, the state successfully developed three Integrated
Industrial Estates (IIEs) at Haridwar, Pantnagar, and Sitarganj;
Pharma City at Selaqui; 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
State symbols of Uttarakhand
Alpine Musk Deer
Uttarakhand has a diversity of flora and fauna. It has a recorded
forest area of 34,666 km2 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) at Ramnagar in
Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers National Park and
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
Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park in
Haridwar District and Govind
Pashu Vihar National Park and Sanctuary and
Gangotri National Park in
Uttarkashi District are some other protected areas in the state.
Chital crossing forest path at Jim Corbett National Park
Leopards are found in areas which 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, sambar, hog and chital), sloth and Himalayan black
bears, Indian gray mongooses, otters, yellow-throated martens, bharal,
Indian pangolins, and langur and rhesus monkeys. In the summer,
elephants can be seen in herds of several hundred. Marsh crocodiles
(Crocodylus palustris), gharials (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
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.
Evergreen oaks, rhododendrons, 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
Chandra Prakash Kala concluded that the
Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers is endowed with 520 species of higher plants
(angiosperms, gymnosperms 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
Uttarakhand forest fires incident which resulted in the damage
of forest resources worth billions of rupees and death of 6 people
with hundreds of wild animals died during fires.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
Uttarakhand has 28,508 km of roads, of which 1,328 km are
national highways and 1,543 km are state highways. The State
Road Transport Corporation (SRTC), which has been reorganised in
Uttarakhand as the
Uttarakhand Transport Corporation, 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 "
Uttarakhand Transport Corporation" 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
Uttarakhand and the neighbouring state of U.P. For
travelling locally, the state, like most of the country, has auto
rickshaws and cycle rickshaws. 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
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 in Pithoragarh,
Bharkot Airport in
Uttarkashi district and
Gauchar Airport in Gauchar, Chamoli district.
There are plans to launch helipad service in
Pantnagar and Jolly Grant
Airports and other important tourist destinations like
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
345 km. 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,
Lalkuan and Haldwani.
Dehradun railway station is a railhead of the Northern Railways.
Haridwar station is situated on the Delhi–
Dehradun railway lines. One of the main railheads of the
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,
Kotdwar and Ramnagar linked to
Delhi by daily trains.
Main article: Tourism in Uttarakhand
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
Oak Grove School in the state is on the tentative list for
World Heritage Sites. Two of the most holy rivers in
Ganges and Yamuna, originate in Uttarakhand.
View of a
Bugyal (meadow) in Uttarakhand
Hemkund Sahib, an important pilgrimage site for Sikhs
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 and Yamunotri, the
sources of the
Ganges and Yamuna, dedicated to Ganga and Yamuna
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
Haridwar hosts the
Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from
all parts of
India and the world.
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
Shiva and Durga, references to many of which can be found in Hindu
scriptures and legends.
Uttarakhand is, however, a place of
pilgrimage not only for Hindus.
Piran Kaliyar Sharif near
Roorkee is a
pilgrimage site to Muslims, Gurdwara
Hemkund Sahib, Gurdwara
Nanakmatta Sahib and Gurdwara Reetha Sahib are pilgrimage centers for
Buddhism has also made its presence with the
reconstruction of Mindrolling Monastery and its
described as the world's highest at Clement Town, Dehradun.
Some of the most well-known hill stations in
India are in
Uttarakhand. Mussoorie, Nainital, Dhanaulti,
Chakrata, Tehri, Lansdowne, Pauri, Sattal, Almora, Kausani, Bhimtal,
Ranikhet are some popular hill stations in Uttarakhand.
Munsiari 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. The park has varied wildlife and Project Tiger
run by the Government of India.
Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park is known for its
elephants. In addition, the state boasts Valley of
Flowers National Park and
Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli
District, which together are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vasudhara
Badrinath is a waterfall with a height of 122 metres
(400 ft) set in a backdrop of snow-clad mountains. The state
has always been a destination for mountaineering, hiking, and rock
climbing in India. A recent development in adventure tourism in the
region has been whitewater rafting in Rishikesh. Due to its proximity
Himalaya ranges, the place is full of hills and mountains and
is suitable for trekking, climbing, skiing, camping, rock climbing,
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
through the meadows of Bugyal.
Main article: Education in Uttarakhand
See also: List of institutions of higher education in Uttarakhand
On 30 September 2010 there were 15,331 primary schools with 1,040,139
students and 22,118 working teachers. At the 2011 census
the literacy rate of the state was 79.63% with 88.33% literacy for
males and 70.40% 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,
CISCE or UBSE, the state syllabus defined by the Department of
Education of the Government of Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand is also home to a number of universities and degree
Dehradun is known as school capital of India.
The high mountains and rivers of
Uttarakhand attract many tourists and
adventure seekers. It is also a favorite destination for adventure
sports, such as paragliding, sky diving, rafting and bungee
More recently, golf has also become popular, with
Ranikhet being a
Uttarakhand Cricket Association is the governing body for cricket
activities and the
Uttarakhand Cricket Team.
Uttarakhand Football Association is the governing body for
Association Football. The
Uttarakhand football team represents
Uttarakhand in the
Santosh Trophy and other leagues.
This is a list of stadiums in Uttarakhand:
Abhimanyu Cricket Academy – Dehradun
Abhimanyu Cricket Academy, Dehradun
Ambedkar Stadium – Dehradun
Nainital Stadium (commonly known as "Flats") – Nainital
Udayraj Sports Stadium – Kashipur
Sports Stadium – Kashipur
Somnath Stadium – Ranikhet
Jeevan Chandra Upadhyaya Stadium – Pithoragarh
Mini Stadium (under construction) – Dehradun
Mini Stadium (under construction) – Kaladhungi
Indira Gandhi International Sports Complex (under construction) –
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun
Sports Stadium – Rudrapur
Stevenson Stadium – Pantnagar
Outline of Uttarakhand
List of people from Uttarakhand
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