State (pop., 2001: 166,197,921), north-central India. It is bordered by Nepal, the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttaranchal, and Delhi national capital territory and covers an area of 93,933 sq mi (243,286 sq km); its capital is Lucknow. The state, the most populous in the country, lies largely in the plains formed by the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. The region was the setting of two great Sanskrit epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and the scene of the rise of Buddhism after the 6th century BC. It was ruled by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in the mid-3rd century BC, the Gupta dynasty (circa AD 320–circa 415), and King Harsa (606–647). The Mughals gained control in the 16th century, at which time the city of Agra became a chief centre. The British arrived in the late 18th century; by the 1830s they held sway and eventually formed the North-Western Provinces, to which Oudh was later annexed. The area was the main scene of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The current province was formed in 1902 and became a state of India in 1947. In 2000 the northern portion of it was made into the state of Uttaranchal. Uttar Pradesh is a major silica-producing state, yet agriculture is its most important economic sector. Its noted tourist meccas are Agra and Varanasi.
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State (pop., 2001: 60,348,023), central India. It is bordered by the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Occupying an area of 119,016 sq mi (308,252 sq km), it is India's second largest state. Its capital is Bhopal. It is the source of some of the most important rivers of India, including the Narmada, the Taptir, the Mahanadi, and the Wainganga. It was part of the Mauryan empire of the 4th–3rd centuries BC and was ruled by numerous other dynasties. Under Islamic control from the 11th century AD, it was annexed by the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. It was under Maratha rule by 1760 and passed to the British early in the 19th century. The state was formed after India gained its independence in 1947; its boundaries were altered in 1956. In 2000 the eastern portion of the state was made into the state of Chhattisgarh. Though Madhya Pradesh is rich in mineral resources, its economic mainstay is agriculture.
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State (pop., 2001: 6,077,900), northern India. Located in the western Himalayas, it is bordered by Tibet (China) and the states of Uttaranchal, Haryana, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir and covers an area of 21,495 sq mi (55,673 sq km); its capital is Shimla. The area's history dates to the Vedic period; later the Aryans assimilated the indigenous peoples. It was exposed to successive invasions through the centuries, ending with British domination in the 19th century. Between 1948 and the achievement of statehood in 1971, the state underwent various changes in size and administrative status. It is one of the least urbanized states in India, and most of the people are subsistence-level farmers.
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State (pop., 2001: 1,097,968), extreme northeastern India. Bordered by Bhutan, Tibet (China), and Myanmar and Nagaland and Assam states, it occupies 32,333 sq mi (83,743 sq km); its capital is Itanagar. A portion of the region was annexed by the Ahom rulers of Assam in the 16th century. By 1826 the British had made Assam part of British India. Later called the North East Frontier Agency, the region became Arunachal Pradesh union territory in 1972 and was granted statehood in 1987. China does not recognize the boundary (the McMahon Line) between it and Arunachal Pradesh. The state incorporates major ranges of the Himalaya foothills and has a rugged terrain. The population consists of many ethnic groups who speak dialects of the Tibeto-Burman linguistic family.
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State (pop., 2001: 76,210,007), southeastern India. Located on the Bay of Bengal, it is bordered by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa states. Covering 106,204 sq mi (275,068 sq km), it was created in 1953 and achieved its present-day form in 1960; its capital is Hyderabad. Its name derives from the Telugu-speaking Andhra people, who have long inhabited the area. Many dynasties have flourished here, dating to the 3rd century BC. The area came under British influence in the 17th century; in the 19th century the Andhras played a decisive role in the rise of Indian nationalism. The state's economy, once primarily agricultural, has become one of the most industrialized in India.
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It is also borne as the names of two former states of India:
The adjective form, or equivalent of provincial is pradeshik.