District Profile

Lying in the upper Himalayas, Uttarkashi contains within itself varying geographic environments ranging from snow free valleys and outer hills to the high peaks with perpetual snow and glaciers. The terrain runs into series of ridges and valleys. Each ridge leads to another coiling up in seemingly unending chains. Most of the terrain is mountainous consisting of high rise ridges, hills and plateaus and flat pieces of land are rare. The land in these areas is now in fertility due to large content of out crops of boulders and gravels. Made-up of alluvial soil, valley is a stream bed. Generally forests occur on the upper ridges that bound the valleys. On their sloping hill sides lie a chain of sparsely populated settlements interspersed with terrace cultivation.

Agriculture in these areas suffer from many constraints. The availability of cultivable land itself is the greatest restricting factor on the development of agriculture. It can be seen from the fact that as much as 88% of the area is either covered by forests or is barren and uncultivable. The land is low in fertility except in the valleys and even land is too few and far between. Shorter agricultural season, low temperature, high altitude, smallness of land holding, perpetual problem of soil erosion due to steep gradients etc. are other inhibiting factors effecting agriculture. The agriculture, therefore, does not offer too much hope for bringing about well being to the people of the area. Sheep rearing for production of wool and meat, orchard raising, spinning and weaving of wool and other cottage industries etc. offer much scope and their potential be exploited to the fullest extent. The cultivation in these areas are carried on largely by making terraces on the sloping hillsides.

Some cultivation is done on steep hills also where terracing and tilling cannot be done and the place is cleared by burning scrubs and bushes. The seeds are sown with the help of a hoe. This practice of cultivation is known as `Katil'. Both Rabi as well as Kharif crops are harvested. The main Kharif crops are paddy, small millets and potato and chief Rabi crops are wheat and barley. These crops account for over 80 percent of the total cropped area. Horticulture is another field that can boost up the economy of the district. However, it has not made much headway due to difficulties in marketing the produce, due to poor communications and remoteness of areas.

Animal husbandry is an important source of supplementing income of the rural population. Of the total live-stock, bovine population and that of sheep accounted for almost one third each. The production of milk per milch animal is very low. Efforts are under way for introducing high yielding strain. Sheep rearing is an important industry in the district. Yet it does not provide full time employment and it is only avocation for those who are engaged in its pursuit.

District Uttarkashi : At a Glance

S.N. Item Unit Period Details
1 Geographical Area Sq. Kms 2011 7951
2 Population
Male In Thousand 2011 168.34
Female In Thousand 2011 161.35
Total In Thousand 2011 329.69
Rural In Thousand 2011 305.47
Urban In Thousand 2011 24.22
Density Per Square Km. 2011 41
Proportion to Uttarakhand Population In Percentage 2011 3.26
3 Literates
Total In Thousand 2011 216.32
Male In Thousand 2011 129.29
Female In Thousand 2011 87.03
4 Constituencies
Lok Sabha No. 1
Vidhan Sabha No. 3
Tehsils No. 6
Blocks No. 6
Nyay Panchayats No. 36
Gram Panchayats No. 427
5 Villages
Inhabited Villages No. 665
UnInhabited Villages No. 4
Total Villages No. 673
Towns /Cities No. 673
Nagar Palika Parishad No. 1
Nagar Panchayat No. 2