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Uttar Pradesh/उत्तर प्रदेश

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       Uttar Pradesh/उत्तर प्रदेश

 

Uttar Pradesh (formerly:United Provinces) (Hindi: उत्तर प्रदेश, Urdu: اتر پردیش, pronounced [ˈʊt̪t̪ər prəˈd̪eːʃ] ( listen), "Northern Province"), often referred to as U.P. or Uttar Pradesh is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 199 million people,[2] 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 fifth most populous country ahead of Pakistan and even Brazil, a country forty times larger in territorial area. Uttar Pradesh is the second largest state-economy in India contributing 8.34% to India's total GDP in the financial year 2010.

With an area of 93,933 sq mi (243,290 km2), Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the highly fertile and densely populated upper Gangetic plain. It shares an international border with Nepal to the north along with the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh to the north-west, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan on the west, Madhya Pradesh on the south, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on the south east and Bihar on the east. The administrative and legislative capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow and the industrial capital is Kanpur. The state's high court is based at Allahabad with a bench in state capital Lucknow. It is home to many historical cities, including Allahabad, Varanasi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra. Lucknow is its largest city;[3] other big cities are Lucknow, Meerut, Agra, Aligarh, Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gorakhpur.

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.

The Indo-Gangetic plain, that spans most of the state, is also the birth place of the Indo-Islamic syncretic culture of the medieval period. It holds much of the heritage of the Mughal Empire, including the world famous mausoleum Taj Mahal built by Shah Jehan, the magnificent tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great in Agra and Akbar's capital-palace in Fatehpur Sikri. It was a centre of nationalism during the British colonial period and has continued to play a prominent role in Indian political and cultural movements. The state has a rich heritage of traditional crafts and cottage industries of various types that employ highly skilled craftsmen and artisans.

Hindus constitute 80% of the population in the state. Islam is practised by about 18% of the population while the remaining 2% include Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Christians, and also the tribal population.

 

The area has undergone several name changes and territorial demarcations since the early 19th century, i.e., after the British East India Company had established its supremacy in the Gangetic plains. In 1833 the then Bengal Presidency of the Company was divided into two parts, one of which became Presidency of Agra; in 1836 the Agra area was named North-Western Provinces and placed under a Lieutenant Governor by the Company. In 1877, the two provinces of Agra and Oudh (Oudh was occupied by the Company, in 1858), were placed under one Colonial administrator of the British Crown; he was called Lieutenant Governor of the North-Western Provinces and Chief Commissioner of Oudh. In 1902 the name was changed to United Provinces of Agra and Oudh with Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh as administrator; in 1921 Lieutenant Governorship was elevated to Governorship and the name of the province was changed to United Provinces of British India. In 1935, the name was shortened to United Provinces. On independence from the British colonial rule in 1947, the princely states of Rampur, Banares and Tehri-Garwal were merged into the United Provinces. In 1950, the name of United Provinces was changed to Uttar Pradesh. In 1999 a separate Himalayan state, Uttaranchal, (now named Uttarakhand), was carved out of Uttar Pradesh.

 

Archeological finds in Uttar Pradesh confirm presence of Stone Age homo sapiens hunter-gatherers in Chhatarpalia, Mahugarh, Parisdhia, Lalitpur, Nihi and Gopipur,[4][5][6][7] between 85±11 and 72±8 kyr (thousand years ago) before present (BP); Middle Paleolithic and later the Upper Paleolithic artifacts dated at 21–31 kyr BP;[8] Mesolithic/Microlithic hunter-gatherer's settlement, near Pratapgarh, around 10550–9550 CE;[9] villages, domesticated cattle, sheep or goats and evidence of plants and agriculture as early as 6000 CE – although, most dates range between c. 4000 and 1500 CE – thus initiating a sequence which extends into the Iron Age,[10][11][12] beginning from Indus Valley Civilization and Harappa Culture finds in the Saharanpur division through the Vedic period.

 

 

Ancient cities of Indian Subcontinent.

The ancient Mahajanapada era kingdom of Kosala in Ayodhya – where, according to Hindu legend, the divine king Rama of the Ramayana epic reigned – was located here. Krishna – another divine king of Hindu legend, who plays a key role in the Mahabharata epic and is revered as the eighth reincarnation (Avatar) of Hindu god Vishnu – was born in the city of Mathura. The aftermath of Mahabharata war is believed to have taken place in the area between the Doab region of Western Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, (in what was Kuru Mahajanapada), during the reign of the Pandava king Yudhishtira. The kingdom of the Kurus[13] corresponds to the Black and Red Ware and Painted Gray Ware culture and the beginning of the Iron Age in Northwestern India, around 1000 BCE. The revered Swaminarayan – mentioned in the Brahma Purana and Vishwaksena Samhita as the manifestation of God – was born in the village of Chhapaiya.

Most of the empire building invasions of North India, from the east as well as the west, passed through the vast swathe of Gangetic plains of what today is Uttar Pradesh. Control over this region was of vital importance to the power and stability of all of India's major empires, including the Mauryan (320–200 BCE), Kushan (100–250 CE) and Gupta (350–600 CE) Rajput (650–1036 CE) empires.

 

 

Mathura in Uttar Pradesh served as the capital of the Kushan Empire.

Following the Hun invasions that broke Guptas' empire, the Ganges-Yamuna Doab saw the rise of Kannauj. During the reign of Harshavardhana (590–647 CE), the Kannauj empire was at its zenith; spanning from Punjab and Gujarat to Bengal and Orissa – and parts of central India, north of the Narmada River – it encompassed the entire Indo-Gangetic plain. A patron of Buddhism and the University at Nalanda, Harsha organized theological debates and also patronised art and literature. A noted author on his own merit, he wrote three Sanskrit plays. Many communities in various parts of India boast of being descendants of migrants from Kannauj, reflecting its glory in the past.[14] Soon after Harshavardhana's death, his empire disintegrated into many kingdoms, to be invaded and ruled mostly by Rajputs, who also challenged Bengal's mighty Pala Empire's control of the region.

 

The fall of the post-Harshavardhana Rajput kings of north India came when the Turko-Afghan Muslim rulers moved into present day Uttar Pradesh. Much of the state formed part of the various Indo-Islamic empires (Sultanates) after 1000 CE and was ruled from their capital, Delhi.

Later, in Mughal times, U.P. became the heartland of their vast empire; they called the place Hindustan, which is used to this day as the name for India in several languages. Mughal rulers Babur and Humanyun had their capital in Delhi. In 1540 an Afghan, Sher Shah Suri, took the reigns of U.P. after defeating Humanyun, the Mughal king, who ran away to Kabul. Sher Shah's son, Islam Shah, ruled Uttar Pradesh from their capital at Gwalior. After the death of Islam Shah, his prime minister Hemu became the de facto ruler of U.P., Bihar, MP and western parts of Bengal. Hemu had won in all 22 battles spanning entire North India. He defeated Emperor Akbar's forces at Agra and Delhi and established Hindu Raj (which lasted one month) in U.P. on 7 October 1556. He was bestowed the title of Vikramaditya at his coronation or Rajyabhishake at Purana Quila in Delhi and was titled as Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya. Hemu died in the Second Battle of Panipat, and U.P. came under Emperor Akbar's rule. Agra and Fatehpur Sikri were the capitals of Emperor Akbar. At its zenith, the Mughal Empire covered almost the entire Indian subcontinent (including present day Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh), which was ruled at different times from Delhi, Agra and Allahabad.

When the Mughal Empire disintegrated, their last territory remained confined to the Doab region of Hindustan and Delhi. Other areas of Hindustan (U.P.) were now ruled by different rulers: Awadh was ruled by the Nawabs of Awadh, Rohilkhand by Afghans, Bundelkhand by the Marathas and Benaras by its own king, while Nepal controlled Kumaon-Garhwal as a part of Greater Nepal. The state's capital city of Lucknow was established by the Muslim Nawabs of Awadh in the 18th century.

 

Starting from Bengal in the later half of the 18th century, a series of battles for North Indian lands finally gave the British East India Company accession over this state's territories – including the territories of Bundelkhand, Kumaon and Benaras rulers – and the last Mughal territories of Doab and Delhi. When the Company included Ajmer and Jaipur kingdoms in this northern territory, they named it the "North-Western Provinces" (of Agra). Today, the area may seem large compared to several of the Republic of India's present 'mini-states' – no more than the size of earlier 'divisions' of the British era – but at the time it was one of the smallest British provinces. Its capital shifted twice between Agra and Allahabad.

 

 

Mangal Pandey

Due to dissatisfaction with British rule, a serious rebellion erupted in various parts of North India; Meerut cantonment's sepoy, Mangal Pandey, is widely credited as its starting point. It came to be known as the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After the revolt failed the British attempted to divide the most rebellious regions by reorganizing the administrative boundaries of the region, splitting the Delhi region from ‘NWFP of Agra’ and merging it with Punjab, while the Ajmer- Marwar region was merged with Rajputana and Oudh was incorporated into the state. The new state was called the 'North Western Provinces of Agra and Oudh', which in 1902 was renamed as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. It was commonly referred to as the United Provinces or its acronym UP.

 

 

United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in 1903

In 1920, the capital of the province was shifted from Allahabad to Lucknow. The high court continued to be at Allahabad, but a bench was established at Lucknow. Allahabad continues to be an important administrative base of today's Uttar Pradesh and has several administrative headquarters.

Uttar Pradesh continued to be central to Indian politics and was especially important in modern Indian history as a hotbed of both the Indian Independence Movement and the Pakistan Movement. Nationally known figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru were among the leaders of the movement in UP. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was formed at the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress on 11 April 1936 with the legendary nationalist Swami Sahajanand Saraswati elected as its first President,[15] in order to address the long standing grievances of the peasantry and mobilise them against the zamindari landlords' attacks on their occupancy rights, thus sparking the Farmers' movement in India.[16][17]

During the Quit India Movement of 1942, Ballia district overthrew the colonial authority and installed an independent administration under Chittu Pandey. Ballia became known then as Baghi Ballia (Rebel Ballia) for this significant contribution in India's freedom movement.

 

After independence, the state was renamed Uttar Pradesh ("northern province") by its first chief minister, Govind Ballabh Pant. Pant was well acquainted with and close to Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of free India) and was also popular in the Congress Party. He established such a good reputation in Lucknow that Nehru called him to Delhi, the capital and seat of Central Government of the country, to make him Home Minister of India in 27 December 1954. He was succeeded by Dr. Sampoornanand, a classicist Sanskrit scholar. Following a political crisis in Uttar Pradesh, initiated by Kamlapati Tripathi and C.B.Gupta, Sampurnanand was asked to resign as CM in 1960 and sent to Rajasthan as the Governor of Rajasthan, paving the way for Gupta and Tripathi to become Chief Ministers.

Sucheta Kripalani served as India's first woman chief minister from October 1963 until March 1967, when a two-month long strike by state employees caused her to step down. After her, Chandra Bhanu Gupta assumed the office of Chief Minister with Laxmi Raman Acharya as Finance Minister, but the government lasted for only two years due to the confusion and chaos which ended only with the defection of Charan Singh from the Congress with a small set of legislators. He set up a party called the Jana Congress, which formed the first non-Congress government in U.P. and ruled for over a year.

Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna was chief minister for Congress Party government for part of the 1970s. He was dismissed by the Central Government headed by Indira Gandhi, along with several other non-Congress chief ministers, shortly after the imposition of the widely unpopular Emergency, when Narain Dutt Tewari – later chief minister of Uttarakhand – became chief minister. The Congress Party lost heavily in 1977 elections, following the lifting of the Emergency, but romped back to power in 1980, when Mrs. Gandhi handpicked the man who would later become her son's principal opposition, V.P. Singh, to become Chief Minister.

 

Creation of the state of Uttarakhand

On 9 November 2000, the Himalayan portion of the state, comprising the Garhwal and Kumaon divisions and Haridwar district, was formed into a new state 'Uttaranchal', now called Uttarakhand, meaning the 'Northern Segment' state.

  

Economy

Tata Consultancy Services campus, LucknowHonda car manufacturing plant at Greater NoidaVendors in a busy road, Pilibhit CityUttar Pradesh is the second largest state-economy in India contributing 8.34% to India's total GDP. Between 2004 and 2009, Uttar Pradesh grew at 6.29% and is now quite close to the miracle growth norm (which is 7% by international norm).[32] Most of the part of this growth was contributed in period of 2007-09 after Mayawati took the charge of Uttar Pradesh.[citation needed] She decided to promote the Lucknow region as another IT destination after Noida. Some IT giants like TCS have already started their campus in Lucknow since 2008-09.

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. UP has retained its preeminent position in the country as a food-surplus state.[citation needed]

Uttar Pradesh is home to largest number of Small Scale industrial units in the country, with 12% of over 2.3 million units.[33] But, industrial output has been adversely affected by erratic power supply from the UP State Electricity Board and remains far below its full production capacity. Unavailability of adequate raw materials at competitive prices is another negative factor. Also, like in most parts of India, traders and middlemen make most of the profits while the labour class lives at subsistence level. Nevertheless, labour efficiency is higher in UP at 26 than the national average of 25.[33]

With a solid GDP of US$20 billion, Kanpur is the largest economic hub of Uttar Pradesh - followed by Lucknow - that is why Kanpur 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 is among the top IT (Information Technology) destinations of the country while Lucknow is an emerging one.

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.[34]

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.

Allahabad has glass, wire based industries. The main industrial area of Allahabad is Naini and Phulpur, where several public and private sector companies have their units, offices and factories. These include AREVA T&D India [2] (a division of multinational Areva Group), Bharat Pumps & Compressors (BPC)[3] which is a Miniratna now, Indian Telephone Industries Limited [ITI] was set up in Naini in the year 1971 for the manufacture of transmission equipment. The major products are optic fibre systems of both PDH and SDH and telephone instruments of various types, Reliance Industries - Allahabad Manufacturing Division, Hindustan Cables also called as HCL which has now been taken over by defence for its revival, Triveni Structurals Limited (TSL, a subsidiary of Bharat Yantra Nigam), GEEP battery factory etc. Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-Operative is in Phulpur. IFFCO's Phulpur complex has two Urea production units and once was world’s largest fertiliser complex based on naphtha as feed stock . But owing to environmental concerns, it has been switched to Natural Gas based Plant Baidyanath Ayurved has its unit in Naini, Allahabad

 

Political leadership

The state has a record of providing national leadership; eight of India's fourteen Prime Ministers were from Uttar Pradesh. They are: Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Choudhary Charan Singh, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Chandra Shekhar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who represented a UP constituency, though he was born in Gwalior.

Ch. Charan singh, Ch. Ajeet Singh, Kokab Hamid, Sompal Shastri and many of the politicians are from Baghpat Distt.

The contemporary political scene is also interesting in the national context. Heirs-apparent to the Nehru-Gandhi family have adopted U.P. as their home state. Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi represents Rae Bareli and her son Rahul Gandhi Amethi, Sultanpur. Indira Gandhi's younger daughter-in-law Maneka Gandhi is a seven time BJP Parliamentarian from Aonla, while her son Varun Gandhi has also made his debut as a BJP politician and is a member of Lok Sabha from Pilibhit. Other prominent politicians include BJP leader and past Human Resources Development minister Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, SP leader and ex-Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, BSP leader and now fourth time Chief Minister Mayawati, BJP President and ex-Chief Minister Rajnath Singh, former BJP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh and ex-Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and later of Uttarakhand, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Ex-Deputy Chief & Finance Minister Laxmi Raman Acharya, Ex-Minister for State for Environment & Forest, & also Minister for Education [Vir Sen, Khurja & Hapur], Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Ex Information & Broadcasting Minister, Govt. of India, Zafar Ali Naqvi Minister of Education, UP Govt. etc.

At the lowest tier of political pyramid the state has a large number of village councils, known as Panchayats, which are similar to those found in other states in India.

 

Administrative divisions and districts (as in 2010)

The state of Uttar Pradesh consists of seventy two districts, which are grouped into eighteen divisions:-

Agra Division, Aligarh Division, Allahabad Division, Azamgarh Division, Bareilly Division, Basti Division, Chitrakoot Division, Devipatan Division, Faizabad Division, Gorakhpur Division, Jhansi Division, Kanpur Division, Lucknow Division, Meerut Division, Mirzapur Division, Moradabad Division, Saharanpur Division and Varanasi Division.

Municipal Corporations Following are Municipal Corporations (Nagar Nigam) in UP

Agra       Aligarh                  Allahabad            Bareilly                 Ghaziabad           Gorakhpur          Jhansi                    Kanpur   Lucknow                                Meerut                                Moradabad        Saharanpur         Varanasi               Special Status    Noida

Some Big Municipal Councils                       Budaun (17)       Bulandshahr       Faizabad (16)     Farrukhabad      Firozabad (18)                                                                                   Mathura              Muzaffarnagar (15)                         Rampur (20)       Shahjahanpur (19)

South Kanpur (11)

As per Re-classification of cities/towns on the basis of 2001 Census by Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure (as of 18 November 2004), following are major cities:[23]<sss C class cities- Amroha, Auraiya, Azamgarh, Bulandshahar, Bahraich, Balrampur, Basti, Bhadohi, Bela Pratapgarh, Barabanki, Banda, Budaun, Baheri, Bisalpur, Bijnor, Baraut, Behta Hajipur, Ballia, Chandpur, Chandausi, Chhibramau, Dadri, Deoria, Deoband, Etawah, Etah, Firozabad, Faridpur, Fatehpur, Faizabad, Farrukhabad-cum-Fatehgarh, Gola Gokarannath, Ghazipur, Gangaghat, Gonda, Gangoh, Hardoi, Hathras, Hasanpur, Hapur, Jaunpur, Jhansi, Jalaun, Jahangirabad, Kasganj, Konch, Kairana, Khurja, Khatauli, Kannauj, Kiratpur, Lakhimpur, Laharpur, Lalitpur, Loni, Muzaffarnagar, Mughalsarai, Mubarakpur, Mahoba, Mathura, Mauranipur, Mawana, Modinagar, Muradnagar, Mirzapur-cum-Vindhyachal, Mainpuri, Maunath Bhanjan, Noida, Nagina, Najibabad, Orai, Obra, Pilibhit, Pilkhuwa, Rampur, Renukoot, Rae Bareli, Rath, Saharanpur, Sitapur, Sikandrabad, Sultanpur, Sambhal, Sahaswan, Shahabad, Sherkot, Shahjahanpur, Shamli, Shikohabad, Tanda, Tilhar, Ujhani, Unnao, Vrindavan.

Festivals

Religious practices are as much an integral part of everyday life, and a very public affair, as they are in the rest of India. Therefore, not surprisingly, many festivals are religious in origin, although several of them are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed.

Among the most important Hindu festivals are Diwali, Holi and Dashehra, which are also observed with equal fervour by Jains and Sikhs.Ten days of Ramlila takes place during the period of navratri and on the 10th day, epithet of Raavan is burnt with great fervour. Durga puja is also observed in many parts of the state during navratri. Bārah Wafā, Eid, Bakreed and Birthdate of Imam Ali ibn Abitalib are recognized official Muslim religious festivals. Moharram, though the day of Ashura is official holiday but Shiites consider it as a day of mourning and not a festival as some people believe. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated by Jains, Buddha Jayanti by Buddhists, Guru Nanak Jayanti by Sikhs and Christmas by the Christians.[41] Other festivals include Ram navami, Chhath puja, Krishna-janmashtami, Mahashivratri,etc.

 

 

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