Uttarakhand, referred to as the “Land of God”, is spread over an area of 53,845 sq. km. It shares its borders with two states, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, and has international boundaries with China (463 km) and Nepal (303 km).
- Capital – Dehradun
- Districts -13
- Population -1,01,16,752
- Assembly seats – 71
- Lok Sabha seats – 5
- Rajya Sabha seats – 3
- Literacy rate – 79.63%
- Sex ratio – 963
- Life expectancy – 71.7 years.
- Infant mortality rate – 28
Nityanand Swami was the first Chief Minister of the state which was created on 9 November 2000. The current incumbent Trivendra Singh Rawat belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was sworn in as the state’s 8th Chief Minister on 18 March 2017. The state Governor is KK Paul. The state of Uttarakhand was carved out from Uttar Pradesh. Till 2007, the region was known as “Uttaranchal”.
- It is the only Indian state to have Sanskrit as an official language.
- The national park, Valley of Flowers, is a UNSECO World Heritage Site.
- Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest Indian National Park. It was created for the preservation of the Royal Bengal Tiger in 1936.
- Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) which specializes in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences is located in the state. It is known as the State Observatory (SO).
- Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, was the first Indian agricultural university and played a key role in the Green Revolution.
- The highest dam in India, Tehri Dam on the Bhagirathi River, has a height of 261 meters.
- Rishikesh is known as the “Yoga Capital of the World”.
- Nanda Devi, the second highest Mountain in India, is in Uttarakhand.
- Tunganath Temple is the highest Lord Shiva temple in the world.
- Hindi and Sanskrit are the state languages though other languages like Punjabi, Pahari and English are also widely spoken.
- Langvir Nritya, Jhora Chanchri and Barada Nati are some famous folk dances.
- The major rivers flowing through the state are Ganga, Yamuna, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Bhilangna, Garhwal and Kumaon.
Uttarakhand has many devotional tourist spots like Gangotri, Yamunotri, Haridwar and Rishikesh. Badrinath is one of the four “Char Dhams” in India. Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyotilingas in India. Naini Lake is one out of 64 Shakti Peeths in India. Apart from these, Hemkund Sahib and Tunganath are also popular pilgrimages.
The state has 6 National Parks – Nanda Devi National Park, Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Kedarnath Sanctuary, Gangotri National Park and Valley of Flowers.
Hill Stations like Dehradun, Nainital, Mussoorie (“Queen of Hills”) and Almora attract a large number tourists.