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Himachal Pradesh India

Himachal Pradesh is an Indian state situated in the northern part of the sub-continent. It is situated on the western part of the majestic Himalayan Mountain range in India and has an extreme landscape with several peaks and extensive river systems (patterns formed on the land by rivers flowing across the state). Being a land of snow-capped mountains, green valleys, scenic vistas, tranquil environment, and fresh air, Himachal Pradesh is also known as the ‘Honeymoon Capital’ and the State for Adventure Activities.

Himachal Pradesh Language and Population

Hindi is the main language of Himachal Pradesh and is spoken by most of the population. Besides this, Sanskrit is an additional official language of the state, though it is mostly only used in context of educational and symbolic (literature) purposes. Apart from this, some dialects known as Pahari languages which are different in different regions of Himachal are also spoken.

Himachal Pradesh has a population of 68.6 lakhs or 6.86 million (as of 2020) of which more than 90% are Hindus, and the rest constitute of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains .

Himachal Pradesh History

The mountainous region that the present-day Himachal Pradesh occupies has reportedly been inhabited since pre-historic times. In medieval period, the region was mostly ruled by various local kingdoms, until before 17th century. During the British Empire’s rule between 19th century and 20th century, this area also included the hilly regions of Punjab Province (a province that was part of British India at the time).

After independence from the British rule, many of the hilly territories were grouped together to form the Chief Commissioner's province of Himachal Pradesh and it later became a union territory. In 1966, hilly areas of neighboring state of Punjab were merged into this province and it achieved complete statehood in 1971, finally becoming the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Culture of Himachal Pradesha

Himachal Pradesh has a population of 68.6 lakhs or 6.86 million (as of 2020) of which more than 90% are Hindus, and the rest constitute of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. Buddhist and Tibetan culture are predominant in many areas in the state such as Dharamshala and Shimla.

Himachal has many pilgrimage sites and is also known as Dev Bhoomi (translating to “Abode of Gods”).

Tourist Places in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal is known as “Mini Switzerland” or “The Switzerland of India” for its popular Himalayan hill station towns that people frequent for their snowy weather, incredible views and adventurous activities like skiing, fishing, paragliding, and so on. Apart from these, Himachal has various pilgrimage sites and beautiful Tibetan monasteries, and some ancient forts.Some places worth visiting and experiencing in Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Hill stations like Manali, Kasauli, Kullu
  • Khajjiar Lake
  • Kangra Fort
  • Dharamshala
  • Bir, Billing
  • The Tibetan Opera
  • Naggar Castle
  • The Kalka Shimla Railway
  • Baijnath Temple
  • Chokling Monastery
Adventure Activities in Himachal

Himachal is a place full of exciting adventure sports for the adventure lovers and people who want to have a taste of adventure or something interesting to do. Here are some of the top places for adventurous and fun things to do in HP –

  • Trekking and Hiking (from Kinnaur to Kailash, Spiti to Garwal, Bar to Bhangal or Bharmour to Padum)
  • Paragliding (at Bir Billing, Manali)
  • Rock Climbing (at Manali - Patalsu Peak, Pir Panjal - Friendship Peak, Mount DeoTibba, or Shitidharmountain)
  • River Rafting (at Kullu Manali, River Beas)
  • Camping (at Lahaul, Spiti, Dalhousie, Kinnaur, Manali)
  • Mountain Biking (bicycling) at many places like Leh-Manali highway, Manali-Damp Hug, Kaza-Losar, Tabo-Kaza, Shimla-Rampur.
  • Fishing and Angling (at many places including Kuru Village, ChambaOattan, Dehra, Sari Marog and Pong Dam Reservoir)
  • Skiing and Heli-skiing (during winters in Pir Panjal, Shivalik, Rohtang Pass, Hanuman Tibba, etc.)
  • Rappelling (i.e., climbing down a cliff with the help of a rope; popular at places like Kasol, Kothi, Dalhousie, Shuru, Aleo, Chhatru, Tirthan Valley)
Historical Places in Himachal

Himachal has many ancient monuments and temples that history buffs and architecture enthusiasts will love. Here are some of the best historic places to check out in Himachal Pradesh –

  • Kangra Fort, Kangra
  • Hadimba Devi Temple, Manali
  • Tabo Monastery, Tabo
  • Rashtrapati Niwas Palace, Shimla
  • Champavati Temple, Chamba
  • Nurpur Fort, Nurpur (a historical fort that is around 900 years old!)
  • Jaitak Fort, Nahan
  • Rock Cut Temple (An 8th Century Monument)
  • Naggar Castle, Kullu
  • Kuthar Fort, Solan district
  • Baijnath Temple, Kangra district
  • Chokling Monastery, Bir
Famous Food

Himachali cuisine is mostly dominated by red meat and wheat flatbreads.

Himachali Dham is a platter of traditional food served on festivals, weddings or other special occasions and this includes most delicacies of Himachal cuisine like: TudkiyaBhaath (a slow cooked rice dish), Rajma Madra (a kidney beans dish), Kadhi, Roti (unleavened Wheat dough flatbread) and some traditional sweets. Some of the traditional and popular foods of Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Siddu– Made from wheat flour to compliment main course meals
  • Madra– Made from soaked chickpeas and spices
  • Babru– Stuffed wheat dough balls with potato or lentil based filling and fried.
  • TudkiyaBhath– Slow cooked rice
  • Bhey or Spicy Lotus Stems – Lotus stems sauteed with spices and ginger, onion, garlic mixture to compliment flatbreads
  • Aktori – Pancakes made with buckwheat leaves which are cooked in wheat flour using milk, sugar, water, and baking soda.
  • Chha Gosht – Made with marinated lamb cooked in gravy of gram flour and curd.
How to Reach Himachal Pradesh
  • By Air: Three domestic airports connect Himachal to the rest of the country which are in Kullu-Manali, Dharamshala, and Shimla. Cabs and local transportation are available from outside the airport.
  • By Train: There is only one train that operates from Pathankot in Punjab to Himachal. There is a toy train which runs within the city and connects Himachal to Kalka.
  • By Road: Himachal Pradesh is very well connected with major neighboring cities via well maintained roads and public and private buses.
Himachal Pradesh

The Land of Gods endowed with a breathtaking landscape and serene ambiance, bask in the scenic views of Himachal Pradesh with snow-capped mountains kissed by the sunlight, religious aura permeating in the air, and pine trees surrounding the vista and engulfing the soul in pure bliss.

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