Uttarakhand (Sanskrit: उत्तराखण्डम्, Uttarākhanḍam ?, Hindi: उत्तराखण्ड, Uttarākhanḍ ?), formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods (Hindi: देव भूमि, Dēv bhūmi ?) 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 (उत्तर) meaning north, and khaṇḍ (खण्ड्) meaning country or part of a country. It has an area of 20,682 sq mi (53,566 km²). 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. 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
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...