Uttar Pradesh abbreviated U.P., is a state located in northern India. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and Kanpur is the economic and industrial capital of Uttar Pradesh while the state high court is in Allahabad. On 9 November 2000, a new state, Uttarakhand, was carved from the mountainous Himalayan region of Uttar Pradesh.
Agriculture is the leading occupation in Uttar Pradesh. Wheat is the state's principal food crop and sugarcane is the main commercial crop. About 70% of India's sugar comes from Uttar Pradesh. State industries are localised in the Kanpur region, the fertile purvanchal lands and the Noida region. The Mughalsarai is home to a number of major locomotive plants. Major manufacturing products include engineering products, electronics, electrical equipment, cables, steel, leather, textiles, jewellery, frigates, automobiles, railway coaches, and wagons. More small-scale industrial units are situated in Uttar Pradesh than in any other state, with 12 percent of over 2.3 million units.
The Uttar Pradesh Financial Corporation (UPFC) was established in the year 1954 under the SFCs Act of 1951 mainly to develop small and medium scale industries in the state. UPFC provides financial assistance to new and existing units undergoing diversification, modernization, expansion, or acquisition of fixed assets such as land, buildings, and machinery. The UPFC also provides working capital to existing units with a sound track record and to new units under a single window scheme.
Fairs and festivals:
Diwali (celebrated between mid-October and mid-December) and Rama Navami are popular festivals in Uttar Pradesh. Kumbh Mela, organized in the month of Maagha (Feb-March), is a major festival held every three years in rotation at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik on the river Ganges. Lath mar Holi is a local celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi. It takes place well before the actual Holi in the town of Barsana near Mathura.
Taj Mahotsav, held annually at Agra, is a colorful display of the culture of the Braj area. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, is a major Hindu and Buddhist festival, while Christmas is celebrated by the minority Christian population. Other festivals are Vijayadashami, Makar Sankranti, Vasant Panchami, Ayudha Puja, Ganga Mahotsava, Janmashtami, Sardhana Christian Fair, Maha Shivaratri, Mahavir Jayanti, Moharram, Bārah Wafāṭ, Eid, Bakreed, Chhath puja, Lucknow Mahotsav, Kabob and Hanuman Jayanti.
Music and dance:
Uttar Pradesh has produced musicians, including Anup Jalota, Baba Sehgal, Girija Devi, Gopal Shankar Misra, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Kishan Maharaj, Naushad Ali, Ravi Shankar, Shubha Mudgal, Siddheshwari Devi, Talat Mehmood, and Ustad Bismillah Khan. The Ghazal singer Begum Akhtar was a native of Uttar Pradesh. The region's folk heritage includes songs called rasiya (especially popular in Braj), which celebrate the divine love of Radha and Shri Krishna. Other forms of music are kajari, sohar, qawwali, rasiya, thumri, birha, chaiti, and sawani. Traditional dance and musical styles are taught at the Bhatkhande Music Institute University in Lucknow, named after the musician Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande.
Uttar Pradesh ranks first in domestic tourist arrivals with more than 71 million, owing to its rich and varied topography, vibrant culture, festivals, monuments, ancient places of worship, and viharas. Thousands gather at Allahabad to take part in the Magh Mela festival on the banks of the Ganges. This festival is organised on a larger scale every 12th year and is called the Kumbha Mela, where over 10 million Hindu pilgrims congregate in one of the largest gatherings of people in the World.
The historically important towns of Sarnath and Kushinagar are located not far from Varanasi. Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon after his enlightenment at Sarnath and died at Kushinagar; both are important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. Also at Sarnath are the Pillars of Ashoka and the Lion Capital of Ashoka, both important archaeological artifacts with national significance. At a distance of 80 km from Varanasi, Ghazipur is famous not only for its Ganges Ghats but also for the tomb of the British potentate Lord Cornwallis, maintained by the Archeological Survey of India.
Popular sports in Uttar Pradesh can be divided into two groups: traditional sports and modern sports of mainly European origin. Athletes from the state have included the field hockey player Dhyan Chand, Olympic shooter Nawab Mian, volleyball player Sanjiv Balian, and the wrestler Anuj. Traditional sports, now played mostly as a pastime, include wrestling, swimming, kabaddi, and track- or water-sports played according to local traditional rules and without modern equipment.
Recently, cricket has become more popular than field hockey. Uttar Pradesh won its first Ranji Trophy tournament in February 2006, beating Bengal in the final. It can also boast of routinely having 3 or 4 players on the national side. Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, the only internationally recognised cricket stadium in the state, has witnessed some of India's most famous victories. Faizabad Sports Complex is another sports venue in Uttar Pradesh which includes Faizabad International Sports Stadium. Greater Noida Cricket Stadium is another newly built international cricket stadium.
Flora and fauna:
The state has an abundance of natural resources. As of 2011, recorded forest area in the state is 16,583 km2 (6,403 sq mi) which is about 6.88% of the state's geographical area. In spite of rapid deforestation and poaching of wildlife, a diverse flora and fauna continue to exist in the state. Several species of trees, large and small mammals, reptiles, and insects are found in the belt of temperate upper mountainous forests.
Medicinal plants are found in the wild and are also grown in plantations. Uttar Pradesh is known for its extensive avifauna. The most common birds which are found in the state are doves, peacocks, junglefowl, black partridge, house sparrows, songbirds, blue jays, parakeets, quails, bulbuls, comb ducks, kingfishers, woodpeckers, snipes, and parrots. Bird sanctuaries in the state include Bakhira Sanctuary, National Chambal Sanctuary, Chandra Prabha Sanctuary, Hastinapur Sanctuary, Kaimoor Sanctuary, and Okhla Sanctuary.