Uttar Pradesh(Hindi: उत्तर प्रदेश, Urdu: اتر پردیش, IPA: [ʊt̪ːər prəd̪eːʃ] (help·info), translation: Northern Province), [often referred to as U.P.], located in central-south Asia and northern India, is the most populous and fifth largest state in the Republic of India. With a population exceeding that of France, Germany, and the Netherlands combined, it is the most populous sub-national division in the world. U.P. is also possibly the state with the largest number of million-plus cities.
Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the highly fertile and densely populated upper Gangetic Plain. It shares an international border with Nepal and is bounded by the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The administrative and legislative capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow, and the financial and industrial capital is Kanpur. The state's high court is based at Allahabad. Other notable cities in Uttar Pradesh include Bijnor, Jhansi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Agra, Varanasi (Banaras), Allahabad, Faizabad, Azamgarh, Bareilly, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Saharanpur, Mathura and Noida.
The area now known collquially and officially as UP has undergone several different definitions and demarcations since the early 19th century. In 1833 the then Bengal Presidency was divided into two parts, one of wihich became Presidency of Agra. In 1836 the Agra area was named North-Western Provinces and placed under a Lieutenant-Governor. In 1877 the two provinces of Agra and Oudh were placed under one administrator, who was called Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces and Chief Commissioner of Oudh. In 1902 the name was changed to United Provinces of Agra and Oudh with Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh as administrator, in 1921 Lieutenant Governorship was elevated to Governorship when once again the province was renamed as United Provinces of British India. In 1937 the name was shortened to United Provinces. On independence in 1947, the states of Rampur, Benares and Tehri-Garwal were merged into the United Provinces. In 1950 the name of United Provinces was changed to Uttar Pradesh. In 1999 the separate state of Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand) was carved out of Uttar Pradesh.