History and Geography
Uttarakhand finds mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as Kedarkhand, Manaskhand and Himavant. The Kushanas, Kunindas, Kanishka, Samudra Gupta, the Pauravas, Katuris, Palas, the Chandras and Pawaras and the British have ruled it in turns. It is often called the Land of the Gods (Dev Bhoomi), because of its various holy places and abundant shrines. The hilly regions of Uttarakhand offer unspoilt landscapes to the tourist-pilgrim. The present State of Uttarakhand was earlier a part of the United Province of Agra and Awadh, which came into existence in 1902. In 1935, the name of the State was shortened to the United Province. In January 1950, the United Province was renamed as Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand remained a part of Uttar Pradesh before it came into being on 9 November, 2000, the 27th State of India. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the State has international boundaries with China (Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east. On its north-west lies Himachal Pradesh, while on the south is Uttar Pradesh.
The world-famous Kumbh Mela/Ardh Kumbh Mela is held in Hardwar at an interval of every twelfth/sixth year. Other prominent fairs/festivals are: Devidhura Mela (Champawat), Purnagiri Mela (Champawat), Nanda Devi Mela (Almora), Gauchar Mela (Chamoli), Baisakhi (Uttarkashi), Magha Mela (Uttarkashi), Uttaraini Mela (Bageshwar), Vishu Mela (Jaunsar Vavar), Peerane-Kaliyar (Roorkee), and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, held every twelfth year.
Prominent places of pilgrimage/tourist interests are Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hardwar, Rishikesh, Hemkund Sahib, Nanakmatta, etc. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra can be performed through Kumaon region. The world-famous Valley of Flowers, Pindari Glacier, Roop Kund, Dayara Bugyal, Auli, and hill stations like Mussoorie, Dehradun, Chakrata, Nainital, Ranikhet, Bageshwar, Bhimtal, Kausani are the important places of tourist interest.
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