The beautiful Uttarakhand situated in the northern part of India is known for its mixed natural environment of Himalaya, Bhabar and Terai regions. It is also often referred to as “Devbhoomi” (literally “Land of the Gods”) due to its religious importance and the many Hindu temples and pilgrimage centers found throughout the state. Devbhoomi Uttarakhand formed in the year 2000 after being separated from the large state of Uttar Pradesh. The state borders China’s Tibet Autonomous Region to the north, Nepal’s Sudurpashim Province to the east, Uttar Pradesh to the south, and Himachal Pradesh to the northwest. The state is divided into two divisions, Garhwal and Kumaon, with a total of 13 districts.
The native inhabitants of the state are usually called Uttarakhand’s, or more specifically either Garhwali or Kumaoni from their region of origin. According to the 2011 Census of India, Uttarakhand has a population of 10,086,292, making it the 20th most populous state in India.
The state also finds mention in history as a part of the Kuru and Panchala kingdoms (Mahajanapadas) during the Vedic age. In Hindu mythology also, Uttarakhand is recognized as part of the famous Kedarkhand (now Garhwal) and Manaskhand (Kumaon). It is also believed that the famous sage Vyasa composed the epic of Mahabharata in Uttarakhand.