Himachal Pradesh

Capital – Shimla  ~>>  Area - 55.673 sq km  ~>>  Language – Hindi, Pahari-Languages, Panjabi, Nepali, Kinnauri, Kashmiri, Lahauli, Dogri, Tibetani and English

Himachal Pradesh TripMostly visited for –Shimla (summer capital of British India), Narkanda (ski slope resort), Chail (hiker's paradise known for the world’s highest cricket ground), Kullu (Great Himalayan National Park-), Manali (honeymooner’s paradise), Manikaran (Hindu and Sikh pilgrimage centre famous for springs), Rohtang Pass (roadway to Ladakh), Mandi (Adventure tourism hub famous for Rewalsar Lake, a sacred spot Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists), Janjehli (a paradise for hikers), Barot (an angling destination famous for gateway to the Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary), Kangra Valley (Chamunda Devi and Brijeswari Devi Temple Shakti Peeths), Dharamshala-McLeodganj (The Little Lhasa in India), Palampur (Chamunda Devi Temple), Dalhousie (an English style hill station) Khajjiar (mini Switzerland of India), Rajgarh (Peach Valley of Himachal Pradesh), Nahan (springs), Lahaul Spiti (known for Kye Monastery), Tabo (the oldest Buddhist monastery)
Weather - Summer: mid April to June, Monsoon: July to October, Winter: November to March. Due to heavy variation in elevation levels, the climatic conditions varies from hot and sub tropical to cold, alpine and glacial weather.

By Air – Shimla Domestic Airport, Bhuntar (Kullu) Domestic Airport, Kangra Domestic Airport.
By Rail- Kalka (90 kms away) is the most important Railway Station and the Toy Train connects it to Shimla
By Road – The state has very good road connectivity within the state and to other major cities of North India.

History, Geography and Culture of Himachal Pradesh
Tucked in the lap of western Himalayas is Himachal Pradesh. Pictured with the snow clad mountains and intense variety of tourism potentials, this hidden hinterland is a pristine paradise. The mountainous magic presents a kaleidoscopic panorama of nature’s wealth including enchanting evergreen glade, gurgling streams and waterfalls, misty pine forests, ripe apple orchards, lakes, meadows and a rich effervescent culture.

Himachal PradeshHistory states that the landscape under Himachal was the part of Indus valley civilization. The tribes like Koilis, Dhaugris, Halis, Dasa, Dagis, Kinnars Khasas, and Kirats of the region belong to the prehistoric era of this snowy land. Also, the presence of ancient trade routes defines the dominance in the history of the region. The 10th century Tibetan influence in the form of Buddhist culture is eminent with the presence of many isolated regions of Lahaul, Spiti and dozens of monasteries and ruins. The accessible Himalayan part was divided between number of kings and thakurs, creating a collage of tiny states, predominated with the presence of Kangra, Kullu and Chamba.

The other important element of history in Himachal is the entry of English colonialists who developed many accessible glades on mountains as a popular summer retreat. Shimla was one such famous hill station, continuing to be a hill station trendsetter in India. Other remnants of English aesthetics belong to Dalhousie and Dharamsala.

Geographically, hilly Himachal is bordered northwards by Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east. This mountainous state is a part of western Himalayas and offers amazing adventure sports opportunities due to its strategic geographical placement on the map. Tourists can enjoy Paragliding (Bir – Billing in Kangra, Solang Nullah in Kullu and Bundla Dhar in Bilaspur), River Rafting in the rapids of Beas, Sutlej, Chandrabhaga and Ravi rivers; Skiing in Narkanda (Shimla) Manali, Kullu; Trekking in Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, Kullu Valley, regions of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti districts. Besides all these adventures, tourists can also avail angling opportunities in Himachal at Pabbar valley Rohru, Chirgaon, Seema, Mandi, Sandasu, Tikri, Dhamvari, Baspa River, Beas River, Sarvari stream, Parbati stream, Sainj stream, Hurla stream and Trithan stream.

The major rivers flowing through the region are Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and Yamuna. The flora includes wide cover of Pine and Oak trees and Apple orchards.

Culture of Himachal Pradesh is subdued in its down to earth, spiritual and ethnic beliefs. This state is often addressed as ‘Dev Bhoomi’ or devotional land due to the coexistence of various centers of religion. There are 5 major Shakti Peeths dedicated to mother goddess in Hindu belief, gurudwaras including Manikaran Sahib, Budha Sahib in Bilaspur, Anandpur Sahib, Paunta Sahib, etc. There are many Buddhist centers in the state in the form of ancient monastic ruins and modern monastic regions like Dharamsala, Lahaul and Spiti.

Celebrations are an essential part in the social fabric of Himachal Pradesh. There are number of local festivals that are celebrated with great fervour. Some of the prominent cultural festivals are Kullu Dussehra, Shivratri Fair in Mandi, Minjar Fair in Chamba), Mani Mahesh Chhari Yatra of Chamba, Jwalamukhi Fair, Brajeshwari Fair in Kangra, Holi Fair of Sujanpur  and Naina Devi Fair (Bilaspur)
Music and dance here reflect the state’s rich and multifaceted cultural identity. Through their dance and music, they welcome and pray their gods during local festivals and other special occasions. The popular dance forms are Dangi, Losar Shona Chuksam, Gee Dance and Burah dance.

Religion – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Himachal Pradesh
Renuka Sanctuary (Sirmour)
Simbalabara Sanctuary
Pin Valley National Park
Great Himalayan National Park
Churdhar Sanctuary
Chail Sanctuary

Losar (Feb/Mar, Lahaul & Spiti)
Maha Shivratri (Feb/Mar, Mandi)
Minjar Festival (Jul/Aug, Chamba)
Manimahesh Yatra (Aug/Sep, Chamba, Bharmour)
Kullu Dussehra (Oct, Kullu)
Renuka ji Fair (Nov, Renuka, Simaur)

Eat – One must try the spicy delicacies of Himachal Pradesh in the form of Kangri Dham, Madra, Khadmod, Ankalos, Aptori, Siddu, Amdo, Patande, Sepu badi
Buy – Himachal is a craft paradise, offering visitor endless moments to collect the souvenirs in the form of wooden toys, patented shawls and caps from Kinnaur and Kullu, Bamboo items, Metalware and Kangra Paintings.
Hotels – There are a number of hotels in different regions catering to all kinds of tourists to provide a rich holiday experience to the tourists.

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