History of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand was carved out of Himalayan and adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh on 9th November 2000, becoming the 27th state of the Republic of India. Originally known as Uttaranchal, the state was renamed Uttarakhand in January 2007.
Literally North Country or Section in Sanskrit, the name of Uttarakhand finds mention in the early Hindu scriptures as the combined region of Kedarkhand (present day Garhwal) and Manaskhand (present day Kumaon), the regions that are known according to Hindu legends as Devbhoomi (land of the gods). The traditional name of Garhwal was Uttarakhand and excavations have revealed that it formed part of the Mauryan Empire. It also finds mention in the 7th-century travelogue of Huen Tsang. However, it is with Adi Shankaracharya that the name of Garhwal will always be linked, for the great 8th-century spiritual reformer visited the remote, snow-laden heights of Garhwal, established a math (Joshimath) and resorted some of the most sacred shrines, including Badrinath and Kedarnath. The Garhwal Himalayas have nurtured civilization from the wee hours of history. It appears to have been a favourite locale for the voluminous mythology of the Puranic period. The discovery of rock paintings, stone tools, and megaliths throughout the state, suggest the existence of prehistoric civilisations.