Uttarakhand finds mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as Kedarkhand, Manaskhand and
Himavant. The Kushanas, Kunindas, Kanishka, Samudra Gupta, Pauravas, Katuris, Palas,
Chandras and Panwars and the British have ruled it in turns. It is often called the Land of the
Gods (Dev Bhoomi) because of its various holy places and abundant shrines. The hilly regions of
Uttarakhand offer pristine landscapes to the tourists. Uttarakhand was earlier a part of the United
Province of Agra and Awadh which came into existence in 1902. In 1935, the name of state was
shortened to the United Province. In January 1950, the United Province was renamed as Uttar
Pradesh and Uttaranchal remained a part of Uttar Pradesh before it was carved out in 2000. It is
incepted as the 27th state of India.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the state has international boundaries with China
(Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east. On its northwest lies Himachal Pradesh while on the
south is Uttar Pradesh.
About 90 per cent of the population depends on agriculture. The total cultivated area in the
state is 7,67,459 hectare.
Industry and Minerals
The state is rich in mineral deposits like limestone, marble, rock phosphate, dolomite,
magnesite, copper graphite, gypsum, etc.
Irrigation and Energy
Agricultural land under irrigation is 5,61,733 hectare. The state has excellent potential for
hydropower generation. There are a number of hydroelectric projects on the rivers Yamuna,
Bhagirathi, Bhilangana, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Saryu, Gauri, Kosi and Kali generating
Roads: The total length of metalled roads is 33,914 km. The length of PWD roads is 25,665 km.
The length of roads built by local bodies is 2,674 km.
Railways: The main railway stations are Dehradun, Haridwar, Roorkee, Kotdwar, Kashipur,
Udhamsingh Nagar, Haldwani, Ramnagar and Kathgodam.
Aviation: There are air strips at Jolly Grant (Dehradun) and Pantnagar (Udham Singh Nagar). Air
strips at Naini-Seni (Pithoragarh), Gauchar (Chamoli) and Chinyalisaur (Uttarkashi) are under
construction. Pawan Hans Ltd. is also operating helicopter service from Rudraprayag to
Kedarnath for pilgrims.
The world-famous Kumbh Mela/Ardh Kumbh Mela is held at Haridwar at every
twelfth/sixth year interval. Other prominent fairs/festivals are Devidhura Mela (Champawat),
Purnagiri Mela (Champawat), Nanda Devi Mela (Almora), Gauchar Mela (Chamoli), Baisakhi
(Uttarkashi), Magha Mela (Uttarkashi), Uttaraini Mela (Bageshwar), Vishu Mela (Jaunsar
Bhabar), Peerane-Kaliyar (Roorkee), and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra held every twelfth year.