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Himachal Pradesh Information

Himachal Pradesh is the land of snows.  It abounds in beautiful valleys green hill slopes, snow covered peaks and fiercely flowing rivers.  It is sparsely populated and mostly a rural place in our country.  It suits those who wish to spend a quiet and cool holiday.  Tourists from all over the world gather in Manali around the year particularly in this season.  The road to Leh from Manali is the highest attitude in the world.  Manali tourists may have a walk along this road.  Dussehra festival is a great attraction of Kulu Valley.  It attracts huge number of tourists.  The flowers make the whole valley colorful in spring time.  Fruits are available in plenty.  Colorful migratory birds and their chirping sooths the mind.  

The people of this state are simple and life moves at a slow pace far from the travails of the modern age.  The state reverberates with the echoes of the music and dance during the festival season.  It offers enough opportunities for trekking, tracking, mountaineering, river rafting, parasailing and angling.

Himachal Pradesh is accessible by road from Pathankot in the west, Chandigarh in the South and Dehradun in the East.  It is linked by rail from Kalka to Shimla.  There is also a rail link between Pathankot and Joginder Nagar.  Air service is regular between Delhi and Shimla and Delhi and Kulu.

Pilgrim centers

Himachal Pradesh was once known as God’s own abode.  Lord Shiva, Goddess Kali and Lord Buddha were held in high esteem and worshipped.  The state has some 6000 temples and people live through a cycle of rituals and ceremonies.  This state has mostly Hindus but Buddhism also has an influence.  The arrival of his holiness the Dalailama in Dharmasala has made the state a second home for the Buddhists from Tibet.  Tribes like Gaddis, Gujars, Kinnaurs, Lahaulis and Pangwalas are living in the state.

Location

This state has Tibet and Uttar Pradesh in the east, Punjab in the west, Haryana in the South and Jammu Kashmir in the north.

Area

 The area of this land is about 55,673 Sq.km.

Density

The density of this land is about 109 per sq. km.

Capital

The capital of Himachal Pradesh is Shimla.

Language

The principal language spoken by the people are Hindi and Pahari.

Airports

Bhuntas in Kullu Valley, Gaggal in Kangra and Jubbarhatti in Shimla are present.  A number of Helipad is also there.

Himachal Pradesh Tourism

Baba Balak Nath

Baba Balak Nath is a cave shrine.  It can be reached by air from Chandigarh.  It is about 220 Km.  We can take train from Nangal which is about 100 Km.

Baijanth

It is 150 km from Kulu by air and 5km from paprola by train.  It was supposed to have been built by the Pandavas.  The temple has a Jyothirlinga.

Chamba

It has Katsan Devi temple and Laxmi Narayanan temple.  The place is 240km from Jammu by rail from Pathanhot.

Chamunda Devi Temple

It has Goddess Chamunda Devi.  It is 200 km away from Jammu by air and 12km from Nagrota by train.

Jwalamukhi

A shining flame of this temple greets visitors.  It is 225km from Chandigarh by air and 24 km from Ranital by train.

Kulu

It has Ragunath temple which is visited by thousands of people, including foreigners.  We can reach there by air and rail also.

Naina Devi

This temple displays the eyes of Goddess.  It is about 100 km from Chandigarh by air and 30 km from Kirat pur.

Tarna temple, Mandi

It is temple of Kali.  This place is 70 km from Bhuntar by air and 60km from Joginder Nagar by rail.

Poantha Sahib

This place is associated with Guru Gobindh Singh.  It can be reached by rail from Dehradun at a distance of 4km.

Trikolnath

It has a marble figure of Bodhistava Avalkiteshwara in Pattan Valley.  We can reach there from Key long.

History

The earliest inhabitants of this state are Aryans whom the slaves were assimilated with them.  Later the region came under the Mauryans the Kushans and the Guptas.  Invasion of foreigners also took place.  Mahumad Gajini, Tughlakhs and Moghals turn by turn enslaved the rulers of the region.  It was under Maharaja Ranjit Singh at one time.  Finally, it fell into the hands of Britishers who defeated Gorkhas.  Himachal Pradesh came into being on April 13, 1948 and comprised 30 former hill states.  The hill states of Bilaspur were merged with it in 1954.  The original six districts were Mahasu, Sirmur, Mandi, chamba , Bilaspur and Kinnanur.  Under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, on November 1 1966, certain parts of the state of Punjab were transferred to Himachal Pradesh.  They were the districts of Shimla, Kulu, Kangra and Lahaus and Spiti, Parts of Hoshiarpur and Ambala districts.  The state got full state hood on January 25, 1971 as the 18th state of the union. 

Economy

The main economy of this state is agriculture and horticulture.  More than 75% of the population of the state is occupied in producing fruits and the cash crops like seed, vegetable seeds, apples, potatoes and ginger.  The major food crops of this state are wheat, rice and maize.  Apples beside plums, apricots and peaches are also grown here.

This state is rich in minerals, rock salts, slate, gypsum, barites, limestone, pyrites and dolomites are the minerals found in this state.  Some industries like agro- horticulture produce wool, sericulturte and electronics have also come up.  The state has the biggest fruit processing plant in Asia at Parwanoo.  There are two cement plants and brewery at Solan.  Some power plants are also coming up.

Fairs and Festivals

February

Basant Panchami: The festival denotes the onset of Spring.  On that day the sky is full of colorful.

 Winter Carnival

The festival is celebrated when the skiing season is at full swing.

March: Holi

Thousands throng the shrine of Paonta Sahib to observe the festival of color and gaiety.

April

A seasonal festival with colorful fairs, dancing, wrestling and archery contests.  At Paonta Sahib, devotees sing hymns.  At lakes people have holy dips on the auspicious occasion.

May

The summer festival at Shimla, Dharmasala and Dalhousie include folk dances, mushairs, fairs, sport events, gold and flower shows.  The river festival at Kullu and the hang gliding at Billing near Kangra are keenly awaited by the people.

October

The Dussehra festival of Kullu is very famous, even among foreigners.  It is celebrated with music and color.  All India water sports Regatta is also celebrated at the Pong Dam at this tiome of the year.  Other fairs are held at the Jwalamuki Temple in Kangra, at Kilar in Chamba, The Phool Yatra and Dehant Nag worship.

December

Shimla is the venue of ice skating carnivals.  During the festivals, fancy dress and other competitions are held and they are winded up with a torch light procession.

Christmas

It is also celebrated in December with Churches in Shimla and Dalhousie resounding with the chines of Church bells.