All About Himachal Pradesh - History Geography Culture Food

History of Himachal Pradesh
History of Himachal Pradesh dates back from Indus Valley Civilization. Some of the tribes inhabited in this region from pre-historic era. King Harshavardhana was once the supreme power of this region. After his downfall many local powers ruled this region. Delhi Sultanate and The Gurkhas invaded this region several times. Himachal became a part C state on 26th January 1950 which later became Union Territory on 1St November 1956. After merging few districts from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh finally became fully fledged state on 25th January 1971.

Geography of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is located on the western Himalayas and northern part of India. It is surrounded by Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Tibet Autonomous Region. It is spread in 55673 sq km making it the 17th largest state in the country. With the extreme variation in elevation, there is great variation in the climatic conditions of the state. Himachal Pradesh provides water to the Indus and Ganges basins.

Government and Administration of Himachal Pradesh
For administration purpose Himachal Pradesh is divided into twelve districts. Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Congress are the major political parties in the state. Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly consists of 68 seats. Himachal Pradesh contributes four members to the Indian Assembly in which one is reserved for Scheduled Castes. According to 2005 Transparency International survey, Himachal Pradesh is ranked the second-least corrupt state in India.

Language and Culture of Himachal Pradesh
Beautiful caps of Kullu, designer shawls of Kinnaur and broidered handkerchiefs of Chamba are the famous handicrafts of the state. Nati Folk Dance is the famous dance form of the state. Laman, Samskara, Ainchaliyan and Chamba-Pangi are the famous music forms of the state. Himachal Pradesh people believe that a guest should never leave their home without eating something. Himachal Pradesh cuisine is mainly influenced by Tibet and Punjab cuisines. Batt, Mitha Saloona, Bhujju, Saag, are some of the famous cuisines in the state. Shimla is home to Asia's only natural ice skating rink. Hindi and English are the official languages of Himachal Pradesh. They are totally 32 languages spoken in the state. Pahari, Mandeali Kangri, Mandyali, Dogri, Gojri and Kinnauri are some of the widely spoken languages in the state.

Educational Status of Himachal Pradesh
Literacy rate of the state is approximately 84%. Hamirpur District in the state is among the top districts in the country for literacy. Himachal Pradesh was the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child. Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital and Himachal Dental College take care of medical education in the state. CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalya Palampur is one of the most renowned hill agriculture institutes in world. IIT, IIIT, NIT, IEC University are some of the prominent colleges in the state.

Economy of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh’s economy is currently the third fastest growing economy in India. Himachal Pradesh has been ranked fourth in highest per capita incomes among Indian states. Himachal Pradesh is one of the wealthiest places in South Asia. Himachal Pradesh economy mainly depends on hydroelectric power, tourism and agriculture. Agriculture contributes 45% of GSDP and it is the main source of income and employment. Wheat, rice, maize and barley are the main crops of the state. Himachal Pradesh is the first state in India to achieve the goal of having a bank account for every family.

Tourism in Himachal Pradesh
Rohtang Pass is at an altitude more than 4000 meters from sea level, which makes you feel that you are on top of the world. Chamba is gifted with unparallel landscapes and fine carved temples. Kangra is famous for its ancient temples and heaven for nature lovers and adventure sports freaks. Shimla is a popular hill station from the British time. It has numerous old buildings which gives an old world flavor to the modern city of today. Kullu is one of the finest valleys that the Great Himalayas have presented us. Dalhousie is situated at an altitude of six thousands to nine thousands feet from sea level. Dalhousie is al hill station with the eminence of Scottish and Victorian architectures.

Festivals Celebrated in Himachal Pradesh
Angling Festival is celebrated in the Pabbar valley in Shimla. Angling is a fish catching festivals using hooks or angles. Ashiwin Navratra Mela is celebrated for nine days during Navaratri. Bird Watching Festival is held in the month of January to watch many rare species of birds. Cheshu Mela Rewalser is celebrated in the month of February and March to showcase the culture of Himachal Pradesh. Great Himalayan Marathon is conducted in the month of September/October.

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