Information About Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 190 million people, it is India’s most populous state, as well as the world’s most populous sub-national entity. Were it a nation in its own right, Uttar Pradesh would be the world’s sixth most populous country.
Uttar Pradesh has an important place in the culture of India; it is considered to be the birthplace of Hinduism, has been the ancient seat of Hindu religion, learning and culture, and has many important sites of Hindu pilgrimage. The State also has several sites important to Buddhism: the Chaukhandi Stupa marks the spot where Buddha met his first disciples, while the Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath commemorates Buddha’s first sermon. Also the town of Kushinagar is where Gautama Buddha died.
Throughout its history, the region of Uttar Pradesh was sometimes divided between smaller kingdoms and at other times formed an important part of larger empires that arose on its east or west, including the Magadha, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Kushan, Gupta, Gurjara, Rashtrakuta, Pala and Mughal empires.
Uttar Pradesh shares an international border with Nepal and is bounded by the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The state can be divided into two distinct hypsographical regions.
The larger Gangetic Plain region is in the north: it includes the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, the Ghaghra plains, the Ganges plains and the Terai. It has highly fertile alluvial soils and flat topography (slope 2 m/km) broken by numerous ponds, lakes and rivers. The smaller Vindhya Hills and Plateau region is in the south: it is characterised by hard rock strata and varied topography of hills, plains, valleys and plateau; limited availability of water makes the region relatively arid.
The climate of Uttar Pradesh is predominantly subtropical, but weather conditions change significantly with location and seasons:
Temperature: Depending on the elevation, the average temperatures vary from 12.5–17.5 °C (55–64 °F) in January to 27.5–32.5 °C (82–91 °F) in May and June. The highest temperature recorded in the State was 49.9 °C (121.8 °F) at Gonda on 8 May 1958.
Rainfall: Rainfall in the State ranges from 1,000–2,000 mm (39–79 in) in the east to 600–1,000 mm (24–39 in) in the west. About 90% of the rainfall occurs during the southwest Monsoon, lasting from about June to September. With most of the rainfall concentrated during this four-month period, floods are a recurring problem and cause heavy damage to crops, life, and property, particularly in the eastern part of the state, where the Himalayan-origin rivers flow with a very low north-south gradient.
Snowfall: In the Himalayan region of the State, annual snowfall averaging 3 to 5 metres (10 to 15 feet) is common between December and March.
Droughts: Periodic failure of monsoons results in drought conditions and crop failure.
The major economic activity in the state is agriculture; in 1991, 73% of the population in the state was engaged in agriculture and 46% of the state income was accounted for by agriculture. With a solid GDP of US$20 billion, Kanpur is the largest economic hub of Uttar Pradesh – followed by Lucknow – that is why it is assigned the status of economic capital of Uttar Pradesh and is the only city of the State listed in the ‘Top 10 Indian cities’. Following are some of the important industrial hubs in the state:
Kanpur is the largest shoe-manufacturing centre in the country with strong leather, engineering, chemical and other booming sector Industries. NOIDA and Lucknow are among the top IT (Information Technology) destinations of the country. Meerut, a manufacturing centre of sports goods, sharp tools like scissors and also of gold ornaments, is regularly listed among the top tax-paying cities in the country. Mirzapur and Bhadohi are manufacturing centres and worldwide exporters of carpets and cotton durries. Moradabad, a famous production centre of traditional “Moradabadi” metalware, has emerged now as a major producer and exporter of stainless steel utensils also. Aligarh is a manufacturing hub of brass, zinc, aluminium, iron door fittings and is also famous for its padlocks. These items are exported all over the world. Agra was visited by more than 8 million domestic and 825,000 foreign tourists in 2006, followed by Varanasi, Lucknow, Allahabad, Vrindaban and Mathura.Agra is also famoush for handicraft items, gold jewellery and a number of small scale industries.
Economy is gearing itself to cater to contemporary Western tastes and life style in upper class Uttar Pradeshis; elegant shopping malls are coming up in big cities to satisfy their needs. The economy also benefits from the State’s thriving tourism industry.
Flora and fauna
Uttar Pradesh has 12.8% land under forest cover now. In spite of alarming deforestation and poaching of wild life, a diverse flora and fauna exists. Several species of trees, large and small mammals, reptiles and insects are found in the belt of temperate upper mountainous forests; medicinal plants are also found wild here, or are now grown on plantations. Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands support cattle. Moist deciduous trees grow in the upper Gangetic plain, including its riverbanks. In fact, this vast plain is so fertile and life supporting that any thing, which can live or grow anywhere, will do so here. Ganges and its tributaries are the habitat of a variety of large and small reptiles, amphibians, fresh-water fish and crabs. Mostly scrubs, trees like babool and animals like chinkara are found in the arid Vindhyas. The state’s important plants and animals include the following:
Trees: pine, rhododendrons, silver fir, deodar, saal, oak, teak, sheesham, mango, neem, banyan, peepal, imli, jamun, mahua, semal, gular and dhak.
Medicinal plants: hingan, Dhak, rauwolfia, sepentina, hexandrum, podophyllum.
Large vertebrates: elephant, tiger, bear, neelgai, wild pig, deer, wolf, jackal, fox, langoor, porcupine.
Birds: peacock, gray quail, pigeon, swallow, maina, Indian parakeet, crow and duck.
Reptiles: crocodile, gharial, goh, snakes, chameleon and other lizards.
Fish: Rohu, catla, khusa, parhan, patra, moi, korouch and singhi.