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Himachal

Himalayas in Himachal’ or one must say Himachal in Himalayas. ‘Him’ in Hindi literally means ice or snow and ‘alaya’ means home, which makes Himalayas ‘The Home of Snow’ and from there Himachal gets its name meaning ‘Land of Snow’.

 

The Himalayas affect the climate of Himachal as well. Huge variations in the elevations of mountains (from 450m to 6500m) cause big differences in climatic conditions.

Different climatic conditions according to the elevations are:

450m-950m – Hot & Sub-Humid Tropical
900m-1800m – Warm
1900m-2400m – Cool
2400m-4800m & Above – Cold Alpine & Glacial

Situated in North India, Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous state. Spread over an area of 55,673 square km. The state comprises a population of 6,864,602 as of 2011. Himachal Pradesh shares its borders with Jammu and Kashmir to the north and northwest, Punjab to the southwest, Haryana and Uttarpradesh to the south and Uttarakhand to the southeast. Shimla is the state capital and other major towns are Dharamshala, Kangra, Mandi, Kullu, Chamba, Hamirpur, Dalhousie and Manali.

History of Himachal Pradesh

The history of Himachal Pradesh dates back to ancient times and was inhabited by tribes such as Dagis, Khasas, Koilis, Halis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Kinnars and Kirats. Around 883 AD some parts of the state were under the control of the king of Kashmir, Sankar Varma. Around 1009 AD, Mahmud of Ghazni invaded the region. Rajputs exercised influence over the region in around 1043. During the time of the Mughals Empire, many kingdoms in the region accepted the authority of the Mughals. By 1804, vast regions of the state passed into the hands of Sikh emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Many regions of the state also witnessed Gorkha rule. The region finally passed into the hands of the British who ruled it till 1947 when it became a part of independent India. In the year 1950, Himachal Pradesh was declared a Union Territory of India. Later on, however, with the passing of Himachal Pradesh Act of 1971, it emerged as the eighteenth state of India. The word ‘Hima’ actually means snow in Sanskrit terminology. Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, an eminent Sanskrit Scholar from Himachal Pradesh named the state.

Economy of Himachal Pradesh

The state boasts of numerous picturesque tourist destinations. As such tourism is an important industry and is a major contributor to the economy of the state. Agriculture is also one of the most significant industry contributing to over 45% to the net state domestic product. Textiles and the burgeoning hydroelectric power export industry are the other sources of income for the state. Himachal Pradesh is among those states in India, which has a very per capita income.The state sells hydro electricity power to Punjab, Delhi and Rajasthan.

Geography

Himachal Pradesh is located in the western Himalayas with most its major part of it situatedlying in the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. Reo Purgyil, with a height of 6,816, is the highest peak. Some of the drainage river systems located in the state are Chenab, Beas, Ravi, Yamuna and the Sutlej. Forests comprise some 66.52 percent of the state. Himachal Pradesh boasts of a wide variety of fauna which include approximately 463 bird, 80 fish, 77 mammalian, and some 44 reptile species.

Administration in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is divided into 12 districts. The head of each of the districts is a Deputy Commissioner, also known as District Magistrate. For administrative purposes, the districts are further divided into sub-divisions, which are controlled by the sub-divisional magistrates. The sub-divisions are further divided into blocks. Blocks comprise panchayats that is the village councils and town municipalities. The law and order in the district is maintained by the Superintendent of Police.

The twelve Districts of Himachal Pradesh are listed as below

  • Bilaspur
  • Chamba
  • Hamirpur
  • Kangra
  • Kinnaur
  • Kullu
  • Lahul and Spiti
  • Mandi
  • Shimla
  • Sirmaur
  • Solan
  • Una

A number of pilgrimage centerscentres and Hindu temples are situated in Himachal Pradesh. There are more than two thousand Temples in Himachal Pradesh. These Himachal Pradesh Temples are also magnificent works of architecture and are. The temples are the centrers of attraction for visitors and tourists. Many of them are also associated with ancient legends.

  • Naina Devi
  • Jawalmukhi
  • Mata Chintpurni & Chamunda Devi
  • Baijnath & Laxmi Narayan Temple
  • Baba Balak Nath
  • Bijli Mahadev
  • Hadimba Temple
  • Renukaji Temples

 

Himachal Pradesh at a Glance

Area 55,673 km2 Population (Census 2011) 6864602
Females 2989960 Males 3087940
Urban Population 595581 Rural Population 5482319
Population Density 109 Sex Ratio 974
Literacy Rate 83.78 Female Literacy 68.08%
Male Literacy 86.02% Districts 12
Sub Division 52 Tehsils 75
Sub Tehsils 34 Towns 57
Developmental Block 75 Panchayats 3243
Panchayat Smities 75 Zila Parishad 12
Nagar Nigam 1 Nagar Parishad 20
Nagar Panchayats 32 Urban Local Bodies 53
Census Villages 20118 Inhabited Villages 17495
Educational Institutions 17000 Health Institutions 3835
Motorable Roads 30,000 km National Highways 8

 

Himachal Pradesh State Information

Capital Shimla
Date of formation 25/01/71
Governor Acharya Dev Vrat
Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh
Tourist attractions Shimla, Kulu, Manali, Dharamsala
Festivals Pori, Fulaich
Major dance and music forms Mala dance, Rakshas Dance
Arts and crafts. Pahari painting is done in the Basohli and Kangra styles; Kullu shawls and woollen caps are famous; the Chamba Rumal has Kangra style paintings embroidered on cloth.
Languages Hindi, Punjabi, Kinnauri, Pahari
Size 55,673 sq. km
Population 6864602
Rivers Ravi, Beas, Chenab, Sutlej, Yamuna
Forests and wildlife sanctuaries Pin Valley NP, Greater Himalayan NP, Renuka WS, Chail WS, Kalatope Khajjiar WS
State animal Snow leopard
State bird Western tragopan
State flower Pink rhododendron
State tree Deodar
Major crops Wheat, rice, maize, barley
Factoids The world’s oldest democracy is believed to be a tiny, isolated village called Malana.
Shimla was the summer capital of british India.
No. of District 12

Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh!