The Indian States that border Uttar Pradesh are Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand and National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Himalayas lies in the north of the state and the Deccan Plateau is at the south. In between them, the river Ganges, Yamuna, Ghaghra flow eastwards. Uttar Pradesh can be divided into three distinct regions, Southern hills and Gangetic plain
In 1947, when India gained independence, the state of United Provinces was renamed as Uttar Pradesh. The former princely state of Tehri Garhwal joined on 1 August 1949 and Rampur joined as a district on 1 December 1949. The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 had no major effect on status of Uttar Pradesh. On 9 November 2000, the state of Uttaranchal, now known as Uttarakhand, which consists of the districts Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Dehradun, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Udham Singh Nagar, Bageshwar, Champawat, Rudraprayag and Haridwar, was carved out of Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh is now divided into eighty districts under eighteen divisions. Districts are administered by District Magistrates, and divisions are administered by Divisional Commissioners. Lucknow, the capital of the state, constitutes the Lucknow district.Kanpur is the largest city with population of over 3 million which comes under Kanpur Metropolitan Area. Other districts are further divided into administrative units such as subdivisions and blocks, administered by SDO and BDO, respectively. The Panchayati Raj has a three-tier structure in the state. The atomic unit is called a Gram Panchayat, which is the Panchayat organization for a collection of villages. The block-level organizations are called Panchayat Samiti, and the district-level organizations are named Zilla Parishad.
A district is governed by a District Collector, who is better known as a District Magistrate (DM) in the state of Uttar Pradesh. A DM is an officer from Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and is appointed by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh. Each district is divided into subdivisions. A subdivision is governed by a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), better known as a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO). Other than urban units such as town municipalities, a subdivision contains 'community development blocks' (also known as CD blocks or blocks). A block consists of urban units such as census towns and rural units called gram panchayats. A block is administered by a Block Development Officer (BDO), who is appointed by the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
A gram panchayat, which consists of a group of villages, is administered by a village council headed by a Pradhan.
A District Superintendent of Police, better known as a Superintendent of Police, heads the District Police organization of Uttar Pradesh Police. This is as per the Police Act of 1861, which is applicable to the whole of India. The Superintendents of Police are officers of the Indian Police Service. For every subdivision, there is a Subdivision Police, headed by a Police officer of the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police. Under subdivisions, there are Police Circles, each headed by an Inspector of Police. A Police Circle consists of Police Stations, each headed by an Inspector of Police, or in case of rural areas, by a Sub-Inspector of Police.
The Allahabad High Court has the jurisdiction of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Though most of the districts have more courts other than a District Court, not every subdivision of the state has a Court.
A group of districts forms a division, which is administered by a 'Divisional Commissioner'. Uttar Pradesh is now divided in seventy five districts, grouped under eighteen divisions:
|Code||District||Headquarters||Population As of 2001[update]||Area (km2)||Density (/km2)|
|GB||Gautam Buddha Nagar||NOIDA||1,191,263||1,269||939|
|-||Kanshi Ram Nagar||Kasganj||-||-||–||–|
|RB||Rae Bareli||Rae Bareli||2,872,204||4,609||623|
|SR||Sant Ravidas Nagar||Gyanpur||1,352,056||960||1,408|