Situated in the middle of the magnificent Himalayas
and dense forests, the state of Uttaranchal is bounded by
in the north-west, Uttar Pradesh
in the South, and shares international borders with Nepal and China. It was formed by the division of Uttar Pradesh, after a long struggle by the Uttaranchali people. With an area of 53,480 sq km, Uttaranchal has a population of over 8 million.
Uttaranchal is divided into three geographical regions - the high mountain region, the mid-mountain region and the Terai region. The capital is Dehradun, situated on the Himalayan foothills in the fertile
Doon Valley. The population is dominated by upper castes, which form some 60 percent of the residents. Uttaranchal also has a large percentage of hill tribes, and significant minority groups such as Sikhs, Muslims, and Buddhists (including immigrant Tibetans).
Uttaranchal has magnificent glaciers, majestic snow-clad mountains, gigantic and ecstatic peaks, skiing slopes, and dense forests. It is home to the famous peaks of Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Bandarpunch, and
Kamet. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri are the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples. The
Ganges has its source in the state's lofty mountains. Other major rivers are the Yamuna, Ramganga and Sharda.
The rural population is mainly engaged in agriculture. Doon Valley and the districts of Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, and Haridwar produce large quantities of food grains. Apple, orange, pear, grapes peach, plum appricot, litchi, and mango are widely cultivated. Uttaranchal is blessed with considerable mineral wealth, and the many rushing rivers are potential sources of hydroelectric power. It also has several herbal pharmaceutical industries. The Indian Military Academy, the
Forest Research Institute, and the Oil and Natural Gas commission are situated in Uttaranchal.