Uttarakhand is a state located in the northern part of India. It was carved out of Himalayan and adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh on 9 November 2000, becoming the 27th state of the Republic of India. It borders Tibet on the north, Nepal on the east, the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south, Haryana on the west and Himachal Pradesh on the north west.
The region is traditionally referred to as Uttarakhanda in Hindu scriptures and old literature, a term which derives from Sanskrit uttara meaning north, and khaṇḍa meaning country or part of a country. It has an area of 20,682 sq mi (53,566 km²).
In January 2007, the name of the state was officially changed from Uttaranchal, its interim name, to Uttarakhand. The provisional capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun 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 Dehradun to remain provisional capital. The High Court of the state is in Nainital.
Recent developments in the region include initiatives by the state government to capitalise on handloom and handicrafts, the burgeoning tourist trade as well as tax incentives to lure high-tech industry to the state. The state also has big-dam projects, controversial and often criticised in India, such as the very large Tehri dam on the Bhagirathi-Bhilangana rivers, conceived in 1953 and about to reach completion. Uttarakhand is also well known as the birthplace of the Chipko environmental movement, and a myriad other social movements including the mass agitation in the 1990s that led to its formation.