Uttarakhand is formed in year 2000, a new state, by the division of former state of Uttar Pradesh. Uttarakhand consists of tow districts. the western half known as Gadwal and the eastern region going by the name of Kumaon. The inseparable and complementary nature of their geography, economy, culture, language and traditions, however, has created strong bondages between the two regions. Traditionally the resion was referred to as Uttarakhand in old literature and scriptures which derives from the Sanskrit for Northern Country.
Uttarakhand is a region of rolling forest clad hills (90%), Forest (80%), snow topped 6000 meters peaks, rivers, waterfalls, glaciers and lakes. The sacred `Ganga' river, chich rises at `Gomukh' glacier in the north, winds to pilgrimage center Gangotri, Haridwar, and Rishikesh.
Uttarakhand is relitavely unspoilt, picturesque region where elevated areas are cool and invigorating but have unforgottable scenic splendors. Most of the population is Hindu but in the hills and velleys are home to a patchwork of ethnic minorities - each with their own distinctive language and costumes.
In August 2006, the Union Cabinet assented to the demand of the state government and region's social movments to change the name of the state back to Uttarakhand. Dehra Dun is the provisional capital of Uttaranchal, which is also a rail-head and the largest city in the region. The small hamlet of Gairsen has been mooted as the future capital owing to its geographic centrality but controversies and lack of resources have led Dehra Dun to be the provisional capital. High Court of the state is in Nainital.
Uttarakhand is a region of outstanding natural beauty. Most of the northern parts of this state is the part of Greater Himalya Ranges, covered by the peaks and glaciers of Himalaya, while the lower foothills were densely forested till denuded by the British log merchants and forest contractors after independence.
The unique Himalayan ecosystem plays host to a large number of animals (including bharal, snow leopards, leopards and tigers), plants and rare herbs. Two of India's mightiest rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna take birth in the glaciers of Uttaranchal, and are fed by myriad lakes, glacial melts and streams in the region.
The britishers built hill stations in Himalayan foothills with Raj-style houses, hotels, churches, and boarding schools, which still exist. Mussoorie and Nainital have a real holiday atmosphere throughout the year. There are famous `Corbate Tiger Reserve' and `Rajiji National Park' where wild animals roam freely. The pilgrims in large numbers visits Haridwar, Rishikesh for yoga and meditation and enjoy the Indian festivals occuring at coast of river Ganga.
In Uttarakhand the most popular is `CHAR-DHAM-YATRA' i.e. to visit "Gangotri", "Jamunotri", "Kedarnath", and "Badrinath".
Since 1960, the fans of Yoga from western countries, have been journeying to Rishikesh, in foothills of Himalayas, to attend meditation and yoga classes in a relaxed and unpolluted atmosphere.
There are lots of Ashrams in Haridwar, which are unique Indian institutions that attract those on a spiritual quest.
The best time to visit the Himalayan region is the summer, when the weather is very pleasant. Parts of the hills will be inaccessible in winter. The plains region is best visited in winter, when the weather is milder.