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India By State - Uttar Pradesh - State Overview

State Overview


Economic Snapshot

Capital Lucknow
Area (sq km) 243,928 km2
Language Hindi, Urdu
Population (Census 2008, million) 166.2
Literacy Rate (%) 56.3%
National Highway Length (km) 6774 km
Domestic Airports Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra, Allahabad, Gorakhpur
International Airport Varanasi and Lucknow
Key Industries IT, Agro Processing, Tourism, Mineral-based industries, Textiles, Handloom and handicrafts, Food processing, Leather-based industry, Sports goods
Monthly Per Capita GSDP(US$) 450.1
GSDP (US$ 2008-09) billion 86.68
NSDP (Billion) US$ 2008-09 76.15

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This state is located in the Northern region of India. It shares an international border with Nepal to the north along with the India state of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh to the north-west, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan on the west, Madhya Pradesh on the south.

Covering an area of 240,928 sq km, Uttar Pradesh is the fifth-largest state in India and accounts for 7.2 per cent of the total land area. The state covers a large part of the highly fertile and densely populated upper Gangetic plain.

Uttar Pradesh has two major rivers, viz., the Ganges, and the Yamuna. Other rivers in the state are the Gomti and the Ramganga.



Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state in India with 190 891 000 inhabitants.

Hindus and Muslims together constitute above 98% of the State's population. The remaining nearly 2% include Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Christians, and also the tribal population.

The Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, the highest castes in the Hindu caste system, have dominated the political and economic scene over the centuries, and are in a majority in the state.

Besides the upper castes, there are other Hindu communities, among whom a major group comprises the backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The scheduled castes and scheduled tribes live in rural areas and are mostly dependent on agriculture, forming the landless labour class. Muslims, although educationally and economically weak as compared to the upper castes, are nevertheless interspersed in all strata of the population. There is also tribal population, the weakest of all, which is largely concentrated in the hilly terai-bhabhar and Vindhya regions. The Government of India has recognised five of the tribal communities as the disadvantaged scheduled tribes, viz. Tharus, Bhoksas, Bhotias, Jaunswaris and Rajis.

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Economic Profile

Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the second largest economy in India after Maharashtra, contributing 8.17% to India's total GDP.

  • Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current prices in 2008-2009 was US$ 86.68 billion.
  • Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) of the state at current prices (2004-05) was US$ 75 billion.
  • UP has a predominantly agrarian economy, agriculture being the highest contributor to the GSDP.
  • Tertiary sector's contribution is the maximum (58.12%).
  • 28.91% of the GSDP is contributed by the primary sector which includes agriculture, cultivation, fishery, mining activities, etc.
  • Agriculture is a key contributor (66% of the primary sector) to the GSDP.

Globalisation as well as Western influence through media is impacting the Uttar Padeshi's life style. Economy is gearing itself to cater to new tastes and consumerism. A visible sign of this is seen in the elegant shopping Malls appearing in up beat localities in big cities. The Economy is also benefiting from the State's thriving tourism industry.


Flora and Fauna.

Uttar Pradesh has 12.8% land under forest cover now. In spite of alarming deforestation and poaching of wild life, a diverse flora and fauna exists.

Several species of trees, large and small mammals, reptiles and insects are found in the belt of temperate upper mountainous forests; medicinal plants are also found wild here, or are now grown on plantations. Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands support cattle. Moist deciduous trees grow in the upper Gangetic plain, including its riverbanks. In fact, this vast plain is so fertile and life supporting that any thing, which can live or grow anywhere, will do so here. Ganges and its tributaries are the habitat of a variety of large and small reptiles, amphibians, fresh-water fish and crabs. Mostly scrubs, trees like babool and animals like chinkara are found in the arid Vindhyas.

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Physical Infrastructure

The state has a large network of multimodal transportation system: -

By Airways

Uttar Pradesh is well connected to Delhi and other cities in India. Uttar Pradesh has various medium and small sized airports that have the facility to operate and host flights. Almost all the major public as well as private carriers provide their services to Uttar Pradesh. The major names are Indian (previously Indian Airlines), Sahara Airlines, Air Deccan, Kingfisher and Indigo Airlines.

Some of the major cities that are connected through Air-service are Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Jhansi, Allahabad and Agra. All these cities have domestic airports that host flights from major cities in India. Varanasi is an International Airport. It has direct flights from Bangkok and Tokyo. Among the domestic airports, Lucknow is the best in terms of connection and infrastructure. The city is well connected to almost all the major destinations in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi and Patna among others.

Cities that have nationally well connected domestic airports are Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi. Lucknow is the biggest and most important airport of the state. (An up gradation of Bareilly's Trishul Air-base into a domestic airport is also underway.)

By Railways

Almost all the major as well as smaller cities of the state are linked through railways. It has largest railway network in the country; with a total length of 8,546 km (as in 2006) and the sixth largest railway density.

By Roadways

The state has the largest road network in the country, after Maharashtra. It boasts of 42 National Highways (NH), with a total length of 6774 km (8.5% of total NH length in India). It has seventh highest road density in India and largest surfaced urban road network in the country (50,721 km, as on 2002). Cities of Kanpur, Lucknow, Bareilly, Allahabad, Varanasi, Jhansi, Gorakhpur, Agra and Ghazipur are connected to a number of National Highways. New expressways are coming up between Agra and Noida and between Noida and Ballia (near Ghazipur). The State Government's road transport company UPRPN (Uttar Pradesh Rajya Parivahan Nigam) serves nationalized routes in the state for intrastate and interstate transport.

By Waterways

A long stretch of the river Ganges - from Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) to Haldia (West Bengal) - has been declared as National Waterway (NW)-I and 600 km of the total NW-I lies in Uttar Pradesh.

Although, the state has a large and diversified transportation network, its condition and functioning need substantial improvement.

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Social Infrastructure


The region of Uttar Pradesh had a long tradition of learning, although it had remained mostly confined to the elite class and the religious establishment. Sanskrit-based education comprising the learning of Vedic-to-Gupta periods, coupled with the later Pali corpus of knowledge and a vast store of ancient-to-medieval learning in Persian/Arabic languages, had formed the edifice of Hindu-Buddhist-Muslim education, till the rise of British power. The present schools-to-university system of western education owes its inception and development here, as in the rest of the country, to foreign Christian missionaries and the British colonial administration.

The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, - set up in 1960 in Kanpur -this is the one of the famous internationally respected Indian Institutes of Technology; now known as IIT Kanpur or IITK, it is primarily focused on teaching of undergraduates and research in engineering and related sciences and technologies.

A huge investment has been made and today, Uttar Pradesh is ranked amongst the first few states which have successfully implemented "Education for All Policy".

Uttar Pradesh has 16 general universities and some world renowned institutes such as Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), Indian Institute of Management (Lucknow), National Institute of Technology (Allahabad) and Asian Academy of Film & Television.


24,650 Medical centres, 2,108 Ayurvedic centres, 253 Unani centres and 1,483 Homeopathic centres. Uttar Pradesh is known for several healing techniques other than Allopathic methods.


Uttar Pradesh attracts a large number of visitors, both national and international; with more than 71 million domestic tourists in 2003 and almost 25% of the All-India foreign tourists visiting Uttar Pradesh, it is one of the top tourist destinations in India. There are two regions in the state where a majority of the tourists go, viz. the Agra circuit and the Hindu pilgrimage circuit.

The city of Agra, gives access to three World Heritage Sites: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and the nearby Fatehpur Sikri:

  • Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."
  • Agra Fort is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city.
  • Fatehpur Sikri was the world famous 16th century capital city near Agra, built by the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great, whose mausoleum in Agra is also worth a visit.

In Agra itself, Dayal Bagh is a temple built in modern times that many visit. It is still under construction and would take an estimated one-century for completion. Its life-like sculptures in marble are unique in India. Agra's dubious modern attractions include Asia's largest Spa as well as Asia's first and only 6D theatre.

  • The pilgrimage circuit includes the holiest of the holy cities of Hindus on the banks of sacred rivers Ganga and the Yamuna: Varanasi (also considered world's oldest city), Ayodhya (birth place of Lord Rama), Mathura (birth place of Lord Krishna) and Allahabad (the confluence or 'holy-sangam' of the sacred Ganga-Yamuna rivers).

Varanasi is widely considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world. It is famous for its ghats (bathing steps along the river), that remain bustling year round with devotees from all over India and beyond, who want to take a holy dip in the sacred Ganges River.

Mathura is world-famous for its colourful celebrations of the Holi festival, which attracts many tourists. Every year, thousands gather at Allahabad to take part in the Magh Mela festival, which is held on the banks of the Ganges. The same festival is organised on a larger scale every 12th year and is called the Kumbha Mela, where over 10 million Hindu pilgrims congregate - the largest gathering of human beings in the world.

Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, also has several beautiful historical monuments such as Bara Imambara and Chhota Imambara. It has also preserved the damaged complex of the Oudh-period British Resident's quarters, which are being restored now.

Dudhwa National Park is one of the best tiger reserves in the country. Lakhimpur Kheri - home to the Tiger Reserve - and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary - the most concentrated sanctuary in India with a large population of tigers as well as leopards - situated in Bahraich and bordering Nepal is also worth a visit. Some areas require a special permit for non-Indians to visit.

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Industrial Infrastructure

Robust industrial infrastructure present in the State including 15 Industrial Areas, 12 Specialised Parks, 3 Growth Centres and 4 Industrial Infrastructure Development Centres (IIDCs)

  • 18 notified Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with world class infrastructure
  • Greater Noida Phase II has 19% land reserved for industrial use
  • 40 IT-ITes Parks (apart from IT SEZs), a Biotech Zone and a Knowledge Park have been proposed (ref: industrial area map)
  • Development of Integrated Agro/Food Processing Zones has been proposed at Hapur (200 km from Delhi) Integrated Logistics Hubs (Free Trade Warehousing Zone)have been proposed in collaboration between IL&FS, Mineral & Mining Trading Corporation and Mitsui (Japan)
  • The proposed infrastructure development which would support the industrial development in the State includes:
    • Power plant of 1,750 MW at Dadri, 740 MW gas based power plant at Dadri and 250 MW gas based power plant at Greater Noida
    • Development of feeder road/rail linkages, passenger and goods terminal, an Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) and of a greenfield airport at Greater Noida

Water supply

Average per capita supply of water in the cities of UP is 167 lpcd, higher than the desired supply of 150 lpcd.

  • All cities are fully covered by a piped water supply system
  • The Operation & Maintenance costs recovered from the water tariffs are significant in almost all the cities.

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More Information on Uttar Pradesh

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