Uttar Pradesh, abbr. UP, is a state located in northern India. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. Lucknow is the administrative capital of Uttar Pradesh. Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Moradabad, Aligarh, Agra, Bareilly, and Varanasi are known for their industrial importance in the state as well as in India. On 9 November 2000, a new state, Uttarakhand, was carved out from the mountainous Himalayan region of Uttar Pradesh.
The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the west, Haryana and Delhi to the northwest, Uttarakhand and the country of Nepal to the north, Bihar to the east, Jharkhand to the southeast, Chhattisgarh to the south and Madhya Pradesh to the southwest. It covers 93,933 square miles (243,290 km2), equal to 6.88% of the total area of India, and is the fourth largest Indian state by area. With over 200 million inhabitants in 2011, it is the most populous state in the country as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. Hindi is the official and most widely spoken language in its 75 districts. Uttar Pradesh is the fourth largest Indian state by economy, with a GDP of INR7080 billion (US$120 billion). Agriculture and service industries are the largest parts of the state’s economy. The service sector comprises travel and tourism, hotel industry, real estate, insurance and financial consultancies.
Uttar Pradesh was home to powerful empires of ancient and medieval India, including Magadha, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Kushan, Gupta, Gurjara, Rashtrakuta, Pala and Mughal which many say was improved by the Nawabs of Awadh. The two major rivers of the state, the Ganga and Yamuna, join at Allahabad and then flow as the Ganga further east. The state has several historical, natural, and religious tourist destinations, such as the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Piprahwa, Kaushambi, Kanpur, Ballia, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Lucknow, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Allahabad, Budaun, Meerut and Mathura.