Uttarakhand

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Uttarakhand,

formerly

Uttaranchal,

state (2001 provisional pop. 8,479,562), 20,650 sq mi (53,483 sq km), N India. Situated in the Himalayas where many peaks top 20,000 ft (6,096 m), it is bordered by Tibet, China (NE), Nepal (SE), and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh (SW), Haryana (W), and Himachal Pradesh (NW). At 25,645 ft (7,817 m), Nanda DeviNanda Devi
, peak, 25,645 ft (7,817 m) high, Uttarakhand state, N India, in the Himalayas. Except for some peaks in Kashmir, it is the highest point in India. Hindus believe that the goddess Nanda, wife of Shiva, lives there.
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 is the state's highest point. The GangesGanges
or Ganga
, river, c.1,560 mi (2,510 km) long, rising in the Gangotri glacier in the Himalayas in Uttarakhand state, India, and flowing generally southeast through NE India across a vast plain to the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh; the most sacred river of Hindu
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 River has its source in the state's lofty mountains.

The capital is DehradunDehradun
, city (1991 pop. 270,000), capital of Uttarakhand state, N central India. It is a rail terminus from the S for Mussoorie, a summer hill resort. Tea processing is the main industry.
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; other cities include HaridwarHaridwar
or Hardwar
, city (1991 pop. 187,392), Uttarakhand state, N India, on the Ganges River. The headworks of the Ganges Canal system are located in Haridwar. Annual and duodecennial pilgrimages are associated with the town's Hindu temple and with the Ganges.
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 and Garisand. The population is dominated by upper castes, who form some 60% of the residents. It also has a large percentage of hill tribes, and significant minorities of Sikhs, Muslims, and Buddhists (including immigrant Tibetans). Hindi and a number of Pahari languages are spoken.

Uttarakhand's eastern section combines dense forests with grassy hills and jungle. The overexploitation of this region's timber resources by outside contractors resulted in the nonviolent Chipko movement of the 1970s. Today, forest products remain an important resource. In addition, the state has considerable mineral wealth, and the many rushing rivers are potential sources for hydropower. Nonetheless, many of Uttarakhand's resources are scarcely developed, and migration out of the state to more developed parts of India has been an ongoing problem. There is some farming (mainly subsistence), dairying, and wool production.

Tourism is the region's mainstay, with many opportunities for mountain climbing and hiking. There are several spectacular hill station resorts such as Mussoorie and Nainital, and the mountains are also dotted with historic Hindu temples such as BadrinathBadrinath
, peak, 23,210 ft (7,074 m) high, in the central axis of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand state, N India. The peak has several glaciers. At a height of c.10,000 ft (3,050 m), is an 9th-century monastery and a temple to the Hindu god Shiva, a popular pilgrimage center built
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 and Gangotri, which are popular pilgrimage sites. In 2013 flash floods and landslides killed some 6,000 people in the state; many of those who died were pilgrims.

Originally named Uttaranchal when it was created in 2000 from the northwest portion of Uttar PradeshUttar Pradesh
, state (2001 provisional pop. 166,052,859), 92,804 sq mi (240,363 sq km), N central India. The capital is Lucknow. Other important cities are Allahabad, Bareilly, Kanpur, and Varanasi.
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, it acquired its present name in 2006. The state is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to a bicameral legislature with one elected house and by a governor appointed by the president of India.