New Delhi, Nov 09||

Synopsis:
Uttarakhand was formed on 9 November, 2000 by joining several districts from the Northwestern part of Uttar Pradesh and a portion of the Himalayan Mountain range. This year 19th Uttarakhand Foundation Day is going to celebrate. Uttarakhand is famous as the Land of the Gods or “Dev Bhumi”. During the time of foundation, it was named Uttaranchal. In 2007, the name of the state was formally altered from Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand Day also referred to as Uttarakhand Divas, is celebrated as the state foundation day of Indian state Uttarakhand. It is observed annually on 9 November. On November 9, 2000, the state of Uttaranchal—the 27th state of India—was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, and in January 2007 the new state changed its name to Uttarakhand, meaning “northern region,” which was the traditional name for the area. It has an area of approx. 20,650 square miles (53,483 square km) with a total population of (2011) 10,086,292.

Uttarakhand was formed on 9 November 2000 by joining several districts from the Northwestern part of Uttar Pradesh and a portion of the Himalayan Mountain range. This year 19th Uttarakhand Foundation Day is going to celebrate. Uttarakhand is famous as the Land of the Gods or “Dev Bhumi”. During the time of foundation, it was named Uttaranchal. In 2007, the name of the state was formally altered from Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand Foundation Day: Celebrations
On the 19th State Foundation Day, the Uttarakhand government is celebrating a week-long “Foundation Week” from 3 November to 9 November. It began with the third edition of the ‘Raibaar’ programme which was first organised in November 2017 in Dehradun and this time it was organised in Tehri to reconnect with the people who migrated from Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand is located in the northwestern part of the country. It is bordered to the northwest by the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, to the northeast by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, to the southeast by Nepal, and to the south and southwest by the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Its capital is the northwestern city of Dehra Dun. High Court is situated in the Nainital.

Uttarakhand is rich in natural resources including glaciers, rivers, dense forests, and snow-clad mountain peaks. The four most sacred and revered Hindu temples of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri, also known as Char-dhams are situated in Uttarakhand and so, is known as ‘Land of the Gods’.

Kedarnath Temple

Uttarakhand has a highly varied topography, with snow-covered peaks, glaciers, deep canyons, roaring streams, beautiful lakes, and a few patches of dusty plains in the south. Some of the highest mountains in the world are found in Uttarakhand. Most notably, these include Nanda Devi (25,646 feet [7,817 metres]), which is the second-highest peak in India, Kamet (25,446 feet [7,756 metres]), and Badrinath (23,420 feet [7,138 metres]).

Auli Artificial Lake

Uttarakhand can be divided into several physiographic zones, all running parallel to each other from northwest to southeast. The northern zone, popularly known as the Himadri, contains segments of the Zaskar and the Great Himalaya ranges, with elevations ranging roughly from 10,000 to 25,000 feet (3,000 to 7,600 metres). Most of the major peaks are located in this zone. Adjacent to and south of the Great Himalayas is a zone containing the Lesser Himalayas, known popularly as the Himachal, with elevations between about 6,500 and 10,000 feet (2,000 to 3,000 metres); the zone has two linear ranges—the Mussoorie and the Nag Tibba. To the south of the Himachal is a stretch of the Siwalik Range. The entire area containing the Himadri, the Himachal, and the Siwaliks is broadly known as the Kumaun Himalayas. The southern edge of the Siwalik Range merges with a narrow bed of gravel and alluvium known as the Bhabar, which interfaces to the southeast with the marshy terrain known as the Tarai. The combined Siwalik-Bhabar-Tarai area ranges in elevation from 1,000 to 10,000 feet (300 to 3,000 metres). South of the Siwaliks are found flat-floored depressions, known locally as duns, such as the Dehra Dun.

Valley of Flowers

The state is drained by various rivers of the Ganges (Ganga) system. The westernmost watershed is formed by the Yamuna River and its major tributary, the Tons. The land to the east of this basin is drained by the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda—which join to form the Ganges at the town of Devaprayag—and the Mandakini, Pindar, and Dhauliganga, all principal tributaries of the Alaknanda. To the east again are the southward-flowing Ramganga and Kosi rivers, and draining to the southeast in the same region are the Sarju and Goriganga, both of which join the Kali at Uttarakhand’s eastern border with Nepal.

Uttarakhand has a rich array of animal life. Tigers, leopards, elephants, wild boars, and sloth bears are among the state’s large mammals. Common birds include pigeons, doves, ducks, partridges, peacocks, jays, quail, and woodpeckers. Crocodiles are found in some areas. Lions and rhinoceroses have become extinct in the region. A number of national parks and sanctuaries have been established to preserve Uttarakhand’s wildlife. The states host 6 National Parks, 8 Wild Life Sanctuaries and 1 Biosphere Reserve namely Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Gangotri National Park is the biggest national Park in Uttrakhand. The famed Jim Corbett National Park, which is also the oldest national Park In India, is located here.

Pilgrimage centres
Some of Hinduism’s holiest shrines and temples, which are also pilgrimage centres, are located in the mountains of Uttarakhand. The Yamnotri temple, in the western part of the Garhwal region, lies at an elevation of about 10,600 feet (3,200 metres). Its chief deity is Yamuna, the Hindu river goddess. The Yamuna River emerges from the Yamnotri glacier nearby. The shrine of Gangotri, in the northwestern part of the state, is situated in a cedar- and pine-wooded area at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 metres); submerged in a river at the site is the natural rock linga (phallic symbol of the god Shiva) where, according to mythology, Shiva sat when he received the Goddess Ganga in his matted locks.

At Kedarnath, somewhat to the southeast of Gangotri at an elevation approaching 12,000 feet (3,500 metres), is a stone temple to Shiva that is considered to be more than 1,000 years old; a large statue of the bull Nandi, one of Shiva’s chief attendants, stands outside the temple door. The Badrinath temple, located at an elevation of some 10,300 feet (3,100 metres) on the bank of Alaknanda River, is the abode of the god Vishnu; the temple’s idol of Vishnu, made of black granite, is said to have been installed by the 8th-century philosopher Shankara.

Hemkund Sahib

An important Sikh shrine and pilgrimage site is Hemkund Sahib. Perched at an elevation above 13,000 feet (4,000 metres) in north-central Uttarakhand, the shrine honours the 10th Guru of Sikh religion, Gobind Singh. It marks the place where the Guru spent years in meditation.
Recreation

Uttarakhand is known for its spectacular natural environment. Among the favourite destinations of residents and visitors is the Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi national parks (together designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988) in the northern Kumaun Himalayas, Rajaji National Park in the western Siwaliks, and Corbett National Park in the Himalayan foothills. Many also enjoy visiting the state’s mountain lakes and glaciers, as well as its forested valleys and bugyals (lush mountain meadows). Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet, Kausani, Almora, and Auli are popular mountain resorts, some of which offer fine slopes for skiing.

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