The state of Uttaranchal is mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures as
Kedarkhand, Manakhand and Himavat. Succeeding the Macedonian march across the
Himalayan foothills, an imperialist tradition was instituted around 330 .AD, by
the Gupta's. This was followed by the Vardhanas in the fifth century AD. The
ultimate downfall of the Vardhana empire saw the emergence of a number of small
principalities controlled by petty chiefs. Whoever was in power added to the
tradition of meditation and worship in these unspoiled mountain enclaves. The
Kushanas, Kudinas, Kanishka, Samudra, Gupta, the Pauravas, Katuris, Palas, the
Chandras and Pawaras and the British have ruled in turns.
The saint Adi Shankaracharya was almost entirely responsible for the revival of Hinduism in the early ninth century. At that time, Uttarakhand was a medley of mystic cults, naga worship, tantric rites and animistic faith. He established a series of dhams and maths - seats of Hindu religion - at elevated sites in the Himalayas. At Jyotirmath, now Joshimath, he set up an institution of Hindu learning and instruction, a tradition that remains till this day. The present state of Uttaranchal was earlier as part of the United Province of Agra and Awadh which came into existence in 1902. In 1935, the name of the state was shortened to the United Province. In January 1950, the United Province was renamed as Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal remained a part of Uttar Pradesh before it came into being on 9 November 2000, the 27th state of India.