Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a state situated in the northern part of India at the foothills of the western Himalayas. It is bordered by the Indian union territories of Jammu and Kashmir to the North, and the states of Punjab to the West, Haryana to the Southwest, Uttar Pradesh to the South and Uttrakhand to the Southeast, and Tibet-China to the East. Shimla is the state capital, while Dharamshala is the second capital in the winter of Himachal Pradesh. It is divided into three Divisions – Mandi Division, Kangra Division and Shimla Division. The divisions are further sub-divided into 12 Districts. It is referred as “Dev Bhoomi” translating to “Abode of Gods” due to large number of Hindu temples of Hindu deities, Monasteries and other religious places. Hindi is the most widely spoken languages and is also the official language of the state. Beside Hindi, people speaking Western Pahari or Punjabi.

After independence, Himachal came into existence on 15th April, 1948 as a province governed by the Chief Commissioner. It became a part ‘C’ state on 26th January, 1950 and became Union Territory on 1st November, 1956. After reorganization of Punjab, its hilly areas like Kangra, Una districts and other hill areas were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1st November, 1966. On 18th December, 1970, the parliament passed the state of Himachal Pradesh Act and on 25th January, 1971, Himachal became 18th State of Indian Union with Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar as first chief minister.

Himachal Pradesh is known as the “Fruit Bowl of the country” and produces a wide range of fruits including apple, peach, plum, apricot, and more. 

Snow Leopard is the state animal, Western Tragopan is the state bird and Pink Rhododendron is the state flower of Himachal Pradesh. The state has 33 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 2 National Parks, namely – Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO world Heritage site and Pin Valley National Park.

The culture of Himachal Pradesh is rich in traditions and diversity, and it is not yet affected by the western glitters, largely due to lofty terrains and challenging reach. The costumes of Himachal people are very beautiful and it is made according to the weather conditions. The traditional dress for Men is tight Churidar Pyjamas with kurta and long silk overcoat. The traditional dress for Women is Salwar- Kameez, Ghagharis and Cholis. Himachali Caps of various colour bands are well known local art work, and are treated as a symbol of the state identity.  It is also famous for its handicrafts, especially Kullu Shawls, Chamba handkerchiefs and footwear (chappal), caps.

Local music and dance also reflects the cultural identity of Himachal. The state’s most famous traditional dance forms are the Kullu Naati, Gugga Dance, Ghurehi and Losar Shona Chuksam that performed at local festivals and special occasions. Apart from national festivals, there are many regional festivals and fairs celebrated by local. Some of these festivals are Kullu Dussehra, Lavi fairs, Mandi Shivratri, Chamba Minjar fair, Baisakhi and Renuka fair. The traditional foods in Himachal are Madhra, Babru, Siddu, Chha Gosht, Akotri, Chutney of til and many more. 

Himachal Pradesh is home to lofty snow-peaked mountains, glaciers, Lush green Valleys, lakes, rivers, ancient hindu temples and monasteries that attracts tourists all over the world. Shimla, Kasauli, Manali, Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, Palampur, Dalhousie and Khajjiar are some of famous destinations in Himachal Pradesh for domestic and foreign tourists. It is also hub of adventure tourism activities such as ice-skating, river rafting, paragliding, trekking and the likes. In 2015, it hosted the first Paragliding World Cup at Bir-Billing in India. 


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