Uttaranchal finds mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as Kedarkhand, Manakhand and Himavat. The Kushanas, Kudinas, Kanishka, Samudra, Gupta, the Pauravas, Katuris, Palas, the Chandras and Pawaras and the British have ruled in turns.
In the early 9th Century Shri Shankaracharya was almost entirely responsible for the revival of Hinduism. At the time that he set out on his reformist mission, Uttarakhand was a land of mystic cults, naga worship, tantric rites and animistic faith. He established a series of dhams and maths, seats of Hindu religion, at elevated sites in the middle of the Himalayas. At Jyotirmath, now Joshimath, he set up an institution of Hindu learning and instruction, a tradition that remains till this day. At Badrinath, he installed the image of Lord Vishnu near the source of the Alaknanda River, and at Kedarnath he chose to enshrine Lord Shiva himself. He died in 820 A.D. at Kedarnath and his samadhi (memorial) behind the temple lures thousands of pilgrims till today.