Uttarakhand and Its History
UTTARAKHAND Uttarakhand (Sanskrit: ???????????? , Uttarakhan? am ? , Hindi: ?????????? , Uttarakhan? ?), formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods (Hindi: ??? ???? , Dev bhumi ? ) due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism’s most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship.
Known for its natural beauty and wealth of theHimalayas, the Bhabhar and the Terai, the state was carved out of the Himalayan and adjoining north-western districts of Uttar Pradesh on 9 November 2000, becoming the 27th state of the Republic of India.  It borders the Tibet Autonomous Region on the north, Nepal on the east and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south, Haryana to the west and Himachal Pradesh to the north west. The region is traditionally referred to as Uttarakhand in Hindu scriptures and old literature, a term which derives from Sanskrit uttara (????? meaning north, and kha?? (????? ) meaning country or part of a country. It has an area of 20,682 sq mi (53,566 km? ). In January 2007, the name of the state was officially changed from Uttaranchal, its interim name, to Uttarakhand. The provisional capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun, which is also a rail-head and the largest city in the region. The small hamlet of Gairsain has been mooted as the future capital owing to its geographic centrality but controversies and lack of resources have led Dehradun to remain provisional capital.
The High Court of the state is in Nainital. Recent developments in the region include initiatives by the state government to capitalise on handloom and handicrafts, 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, the phase one of which has already been completed. 3] Uttarakhand is also well known as the birthplace of the Chipko environmental movement, and other social movements including the mass agitation in the 1990s that led to its formation. Main article: History of Uttarakhand Ancient History The king of mountains Himalaya is said to consist of five segments i. e. , Nepal Kurmanchal, Kedar, Kangda and Ruchir Kashmir. This Mid Himalayan region ofGarhwal and Kumaon, which is commonly known as Uttarakhand today was called by the name KEDARKHAND and MANASKHAND in the Purans. According to the famous Historian Mr.
Shiv Prasasd Dabral taking the word Uttarapad andkhand from Kedarkhand formed the term Uttaranchal. This mountain region however is the same, which was once renowned in its snow-covered form during the Vedic era and sang the saga of glorious deeds of the kings, Saints and Ascetics of the time. It was referred to as Uttarpanchal by the compilers of the Upnishads, Uttarkaushal by Valmiki and Uttarkuru by Ved Vyasa who wrote the epic Mahabharata. It is the same place that was Uattarapatti for Panini and Kautilya; Kiratmandal for Kirats, Khashadesh for the Khas, Kartipur for Katayurs.
It was Parvatkaran and Giryavali for the early historian and Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand of the present day politicians. The different parts of the Uttarakhand have been referred to asIlawarat, Brahmpur, Rudrahimalaya, Sapaldaksh, Shivalik, Kurmanchat Karajat Kamaugarh, Kamadesh, Kumaon, SarkarI and Garhwal lover the past 3000 years. The western part of this region that comprising of 52 fortresses has been referred to as Garhwal over past 500 years. Samprat, Chamoli, Pauri, Uttarkashi and Dehradun add to the pristine beauty of the Garhwal region.
The eastern region comprising of Almora, Nainital and Pithoragarh districts together known as the Kumaon region. On account of security reason the government has for the past four decades considered only Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts as Uttaranchal, but for the residents of the Uttaranchal this entire hilly region covers an area of 51,125 sq. km and comprising of 15,951 villages, 89 developmental” segments and some adjoining plains as signal geographic social and cultural Unit.
The history of Uttaranchal State can be better understood through the history of Garhwal and Kumaon divisions separately, because they maintained independent identity except the period of Nepali aggression. Garhwal The Garhwal Himalayas have nurtured civilization from the wee hours of history. It appears to have been a favorite locale for the voluminous mythology of the Puranic period. The traditionai name of Garhwal was Uttarakhand and excavations have revealed that it formed part of the Mauryan Empire.
It also finds mention in the 7th-century travelogue of Huen Tsang. However, it is with Adi Shankaracharya that the name of Garhwal will always be lhiked, for the great 8th-century spiritual reformer visited the remote, snow-laden heights of Garhwal, established a math Joshimath) and resorted some of the most sacred shrines, including Badrinath and Kedarnath. The history of Garhwal as one unified whole began in the 15th century, when king Ajai Pal merged the-52 separate principalities, each with its own garh or fortress.
For 300 years, Garhwal remained one kingdom, with its capital at Srinagar (on the left bank of Alaknanda river). Then Pauri and Dehradun were perforce ceded to the Crown as payment for British help, rendered to the Garhwalis during the Gurkha invasion, in the early 19th century. Kumaon Humankind has been around in Kumaon for a very long time. Evidences of Stone Age settlements have been found in Kumaon, particularly the rock shelter at Lakhu Udyar. The paintings here date back to the Mesolithic period. The early medieval history of Kumaon is the history of the Katyuri dynasty.
The Katyuri kings ruled from the seventh to the 11 th century, holding sway at the peak of their powers over large areas of Kumaon, Garhwal, and western Nepal. The town of Baijnath near Almora was the capital of this dynasty and a center of the arts. Temple building flourished under the Katyuris and the main architectural innovation introduced by them was the replacement of bricks with stone. On a hilltop facing east (opposite Almora), is the temple of Katarmal. This 900-year-old sun temple was built during the declining years of the Katyuri dynasty.
The intricately carved doors and panels have been removed to the National Museum in Delhi as a protective measure after the 10th-century idol of the presiding deity was stolen. After an interregnum of a couple of centuries, the Chands of Pithoragarh became the dominant dynasty. The Chand rulers built the magnificent temple complex at Jageshwar, with its cluster of a hundred and sixty-four temples, over a span of two centuries. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the evocative carvings are complemented by the beautiful deodar forest around it. Geography Main article: Geography of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand has a total geographic area of 51,125 km? , of which 93% is mountainous and 64% is covered by forest. 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 later, after independence, by forest contractors. Recent efforts in reforestation, however, have restored the situation to some extent. The 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 largest rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna originate in the glaciers of Uttarakhand, and are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and streams in the region.  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 16,000 ft) are montane grasslands and shrublands: the western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows.
Temperate coniferous forests, the 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. 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 (the oldest national park of India) at Ramnagar in Nainital District, Valley of Flowers National Park and Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli District, which together are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rajaji National Park in Haridwar District, and Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi District. [show]Population Growth According to 2001 India census, Uttarakhand had a population of approximately . 48 million. A population exceeding 10 million is expected by the next census of 2011. The native people of Uttarakhand are generally called eitherKumaoni or Garhwali depending on their place of origin in either the Garhwal or Kumaon region. Another well known category is Gujjar, they were the rulers of a kingdom with capital at Landhaura and which covered the whole of today’s Haridwar District. Gujjars King Raja Ramdayal Singh Panwar had helped the Tehri ruler against the Gorkhas and the Present MLA from Laksar in Haridwar is Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion is the descendant of that King.
Gujjar is a dominant community of Haridwar District. Kumaoni and Garhwali dialects of Central Pahari are spoken in Kumaon and Garhwal region respectively. Jaunsari andBhotiya dialects are also spoken by tribal communities in the west and north respectively. The urban population however converses mostly in Hindi. Sanskrit has also official status in the state. Hindus form the majority of the population at 85. 0%, Muslims form 10. 5%, Sikhs 2. 5% and Christians, Buddhists, Jains and others about 0. 5%. It has male-female ratio of . 964 and has a literacy rate of 72%.
The largest cities in the state include Dehradun (530,263), Haridwar (220,767), Haldwani (158,896),Roorkee (115,278) and Rudrapur (88,720). The state government recognizes 15,620 villages and 81 cities and urban areas. Historians of Kumaon and Garhwal say that in the beginning there were only three castes: Rajput, Brahmin and Shilpkar. Main occupation of Rajput wereZamindari and law enforcement. Occupation of Brahmins were to perform religious rituals in temples and religious occasions. Shilpkar were mainly working for rajputs, in their lands and were expert in handcrafts.
The famous surnames Kalakoti, Chauhan, Bisht, Bhayera, Nainwal, Rawat, Dhapola, Rautela and Negiare used by Rajputs. Bahuguna, Bhatt, Naithani are some of the famous Brahmin surname, having a university by the name of Bahuguna in Pauri district of Garhwal. According to a 2007 study, Uttarakhand has the highest percentage of brahmins of any community in India, with approximately 20% of the population being brahmin.  Government and politics The present Chief Minister of Government of Uttarakhand is Mr. Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri. He was appointed as the sixth Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.
Governor Margaret Alva administered the oath of office and secrecy to Khanduri, who returns to the top post two years after he was removed by the party after it lost all the five Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 general elections. The last state elections in Uttarakhand were held on 21 February 2007. TheBharatiya Janata Party emerged as the largest party with 34 seats in the 70-seat Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly. One seat short of forming a majority, the BJP have had to rely on support from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal and three independents to form the government.
The Indian National Congress is the official opposition, holding 21 seats. Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand ?Nityanand Swami ?Bhagat Singh Koshiyari ?Narayan Dutt Tiwari ?B C Khanduri ?Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ?B C Khanduri Districts Districts of Uttarakhand Main article: Districts of Uttarakhand There are 14 districts in Uttarakhand which are grouped into two divisions, Kumaon and Garhwal. 4 more districts namely Didihat, Ranikhet, Kotdwar and Yamunotri were declared by the then CM of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhariyal on 15 Aug 2011.
However, these districts have NOT been created yet. The Kumaon division includes Six districts. ?Almora ?Bageshwar ?Champawat ?Nainital ?Pithoragarh ?Udham Singh Nagar Proposed Districts ?Didihat to be carved out from Pithoragarh ?Ranikhet to be carved out from Almora district The Garhwal division includes Seven districts. ?Dehradun ?Haridwar ?Tehri Garhwal ?Uttarkashi ?Chamoli ?Pauri Garhwal (commonly known as Garhwal) ?Rudraprayag Proposed Districts ?Kotdwar to be carved out from Pauri district ?Yamunotri to be carved out from Uttarkashi
Four new districts were announced to be formed by the Chief Minister in his Independence Day speech, namely Kotdwar, Yamunotri, Didihat and Ranikhet. The total number of districts in the state will go up to 17. Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri is new chief minister of Uttrakhand. Khanduri take a oath on 11 september 2011. Ramesh pokhariyal resign from the post on the day 11 sept 2011. Now B. C. Khanduri is th 6th Chief minister of Uttrakhanad. Important cities CityPopulationDistrict Dehradun 7,78,593Dehradun Haridwar 3,24,372Haridwar Haldwani 2,76,942Nainital Roorkee 2,52,784Haridwar
Kashipur 1,81,208Udham Singh Nagar Kotdwara 1,16,497Kotdwara Rudrapur 119281Udham Singh Nagar Rishikesh 75,020Dehradun(Mainly in Dehradun)/(Partly in)Haridwar/Tehri/Pauri Grahwal Pithoragarh 66378Pithoragrah Manglaur 65267Haridwar Ramnagar 47099Nainital Nainital 38560Nainital Almora 30613Almora Mussoorie 26069Dehradun Pauri 25400Pauri Garhwal Srinagar 19861Pauri Garhwal Gopeshwar 19855Chamoli Ranikhet 19049Almora Uttarkashi 16220 (2001)Uttarkashi Tanakpur 15810Champawat Khatima 14378Udham Singh Nagar Vikasnagar 12485Dehradun Bageshwar 7803Bageshwar Banbasa 7138Champawat District
Karanprayag 6976Chamoli Champawat 3958Champawat Bhuwan Rudraprayag 2242Rudraprayag Devprayag 2144Pauri Garhwal Dharchula(District Pithoragarh) Economy The size of Uttarakhand’s Economy as measured by it’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2011 (Financial year ending March 2011) is estimated at 775. 8 billion in current prices. Born out of the division of Uttar Pradesh, the new state of Uttarakhand produces about 12% of the output of the old Uttar Pradesh state. Consolidated Finvest and Holdings, a S&P CNX 500 conglomerate has its corporate office in Uttarakhand.
It reported a gross income of 137 million for 2005.  In 2003, a new industrial policy for the state with generous tax benefits for investors was initiated that has led to a massive upsurge of capital investment. SIDCUL, the State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand has established seven industrial estates in the southern periphery of the state, while dozens of hydroelectric dams are being built in the upper reaches. However, hill development remains an uphill challenge as out migration of local peoples continues from the highland hinterlands. edit]Transport Uttarakhand is well connected with Rail, Road and Air modes of transport Airports ?Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun) ?Pantnagar Airport (Pantnagar) ?Naini-Saini (Pithoragarh) ?Uttarkashi ?Gochar (Chamoli) ?Agastyamuni (Heliport) (Rudraprayag) Tourism Leisure, adventure, and religious tourism play a prominent role in Uttarakhand’s economy, with theCorbett National Park and Tiger Reserve and the nearby hill-stations of Nainital, Mussoorie, Almora,Kausani, Bhimtal and Ranikhet being amongst the most frequented destinations of India.
The state also contains numerous peaks of interest to mountaineers, although Nanda Devi, the highest and best-known of these, has been off-limits since 1982. Other national wonders include the Valley of Flowers, which along with Nanda Devi National Park, form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To Uttarakhand, long called “abode of the gods” (Devbhumi), belong 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 both the Ganges andYamuna fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath (dedicated to Vishnu) andKedarnath (dedicated to Shiva) form the Char Dham, one of Hinduism’s most spiritual and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, meaning “Gateway to God” is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar hosts the Kumbha Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from all parts of the 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.  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 (a complex of 124 temples in a deodar woodland) are historically the most prominent for their distinct architectural features. Uttarakhand is, however, a place of pilgrimage not only for the Hindus.
Hemkund nested in the Himalayas is a prime pilgrimage center for the Sikhs. Tibetan Buddhism has also made itself felt with the recent reconstruction of Mindroling Monastery and its Buddha Stupa, touted as the world’s highest, southwest of Dehradun. 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 white water rafting and other adventures sports. Eco tourism, agritourism and rural tourism have also found new grounds in many villages of the state. Education
Uttarakhand is home to several important educational institutions, including the oldest engineering colleges in Asia, the Indian Institute of Technology atRoorkee and Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology in Pantnagar. Other universities and institutes of prime importance include,Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, Govind Ballabh Pant Engineering College in Pauri and Kumaon Engineering College, Dwarahat. Uttarakhand is home to several reputed and prestigious day and boarding schools including St. Joseph’s College Nainital), The Doon School (Dehradun),Welham Girls School (Dehradun), Welham Boys School (Dehradun), Marshall School (Dehradun), SelaQui International School (Dehradun), Brightlands(Dehradun), St. Joseph’s Academy (Dehradun), Woodstock School (Landour), St. George’s College (Mussoorie) Birla Vidya Mandir (Nainital), Sherwood College (Nainital), All Saints’ College (Nainital), St. Mary’s Convent (Nainital), Sainik School Ghorakhal near Bhowali and G D Birla Memorial School(Ranikhet). Several Indian luminaries have attended these schools including former prime ministers and film stars.
Historically, Uttarakhand is believed to be the land where the Vedas and the Shastras were composed and the great epic, the Mahabharata, was written. Rishikesh is widely considered the Yoga capital of the world. Universities Garhwal and Kumaun Universities were founded in 1973 as part of the upsurge of regional sentiment that led to the Uttarakhand statehood. The most famous universities of Uttarakhand are: NameLocation Indian Institute of Management Kashipur Central UniversityKashipur Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee Central UniversityRoorkee
National Institute of Technology Uttarakhand Central UniversitySrinagar Indian Institute of Remote Sensing Central UniversityDehradun All India Institute of Medical Sciences from 2012 Central UniversityRishikesh Dakpather Degree Collage HNB UniversityDakpather Indian Institute of Management from 2012Central UniversityKashipur Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology State UniversityPantnagar Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University Central UniversityTehri Garhwal, Srinagar &Pauri Govind Ballabh Pant Engineering College, Pauri Garhwal
State Government Engineer CollegePauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand Kumaon Engineering College, Dwarahat State Government Engineer CollegeDwarahat, Almora, Uttarakhand Kumaun University State UniversityNainital and Almora Uttarakhand Technical University State UniversityDehradun Doon University State UniversityDehradun University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Private UniversityDehradun Himgiri Nabh Vishwavidyalaya (University in the Sky)Private UniversityDehradun Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India(ICFAI) Private UniversityDehradun
Forest Research Institute Deemed UniversityDehradun Himalayan Institute of Hospital Trust Deemed UniversityDehradun Graphic Era UniversityDeemed UniversityDehradun Gurukul Kangri University Deemed UniversityHaridwar University of Patanjali (Patanjali Yogpeeth)Private UniversityHaridwar Dev Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya Private UniversityHaridwar Uttarakhand Open University State UniversityHaldwani Gurukul Kangri UniversityHardwar Central Deemed UniversitySeemant Institute of Technology ,Pithoragarh(Uttarakhand Technical University)Sanctioned Leading colleges doon institute of engineering and technology (shyampur , rishikesh) ? Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee ?Indian Institute of Management Kashipur ?Govind Ballabh Pant Engineering College, Pauri Garhwal ?Kumaon Engineering College ?Indian Institute of Remote Sensing ?Forest Research Institute ?Indian Military Academy ?Indian Institute of Petroleum ?Rashtriya Indian Military College – RIMC ?University of Petroleum and Energy Studies ?Dehradun Institute of Technology ?Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University Entertainment Industry
Although the entertainment industry of Uttarakhand is in its infant stage, yet there is a rapid growth in terms of audio visual entertainment. The pure folk seems to be disappearing from villages, so is the younger generation. Still there are many options one can get close to the folk music. Recently, in the honor of all who gave Bedupako Baramaasa folk tune an international fame and also to make Uttarakhand folk available all around the world 24X7, an online radio, which is one of the only and very first on-line radio of Uttarakhand available on web, was created by the name of bedupako.