The literal meaning of the state Himachal Pradesh is the 'Region of snowy mountains' and it is also known as Deva Bhumi, the land of Gods. Influence of Aryans on the state has a history that dates back before the Rig vedic period. Himachal Pradesh was officially declared as a Union Territory in 1950 but later under the Himachal Pradesh Act of 1971 it became a part of the Indian Union as the 18th state. Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma the famous Sanskrit scholar of Himachal Pradesh gave the state its name. In Sanskrit 'Hima' means snow.

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Himachal Pradesh Geography

Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous region which is rich with wide range of resources covers an area of 55,673 km2 shares its borders with Tibet in the East, Jammu and Kashmir at North, Haryana in the South and Uttarakhand in the South East.

The state lies at an altitude of 450 meters to 6500 meters from the sea level. Himachal Pradesh is divided into four major physiographical divisions namely; The Outer Himalayas ie, Shivalik Hills; The Lesser Himalayas which is the Central Zone and the Great Himalayan ranges that is in the Northern Zone.

The Shivalik range situated in the outer Himalayas lies at an altitude of 600m above sea level. The Lesser Himalayan region of the state consists of the Dauladhar(meaning The White Peak) and the Pir Panjal ranges. The Northern zone that is The Great Himalayan Ranges lies at an altitude of 5000 to 6000 meters. The zone is famous for its passes like Bara Lacha that lies 4512m above sea level, Parang lying at an altitude of 5548m, and pin Parbati that lies at a height of 4802 m.

The state of Himachal Pradesh consists of a rich variety of flora and fauna. Of the total area of the state 38% is covered by forest. Himachal Pradesh as a state consists of 49 cities and towns. Among them Naina Devi is the smallest and Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is the largest. The major part of the state's population resides in the rural areas.

Himachal Pradesh Climate

Himachal Pradesh faces a huge variation in the climate since the altitude varies from 450-6500 meters. In the southern low tracts it lies at a height ranging from 450-900mtrs and has a climatic condition diverging from sub-humid tropical to hot. At a height of 900-1800mtrs, temperate and warm climate is experienced. In the high mountain ranges of north and east, weather varies from temperate and chilly (1900-2400mtrs), cool frosty and alpine(2400-4800mtrs).Frosty days and nights begins by October. Snow falls up to a height of about 3000m.

Himachal Pradesh Tourism

The North Indian state Himachal Pradesh attracts tourists with its scenic landscapes of Himalayas and the popular Hill-stations. The outstanding tourist attractions of Himachal tourism are Mountain Biking , ice skating, Paragliding, rock climbing and heli-skating. The main tourist sites of Himachal Pradesh are :-

Shimla that is the state capital is the popular site among the tourists. The UNESCO as a heritage to the world recognizes the mountainous Shimla railway. Skiing is the other famous attraction of the Shimla state. It has numerous places that can be seen reaching by foot since vehicles are not suited to those roads. It also attaracts the tourists with its variety in architectural style .

Dalhousie an another important attraction of the tourist is named after the British Governor Lord Dalhousie during the 19th century. This hill station holds a colonial charm that lingers the echoes of Raj. The varying altitude of the town colors it with a plant life that includes the Pine grooves, Oaks, Deodars and flowered rhododendrons. It also attracts the tourists with its rich variety of colonial styles that consist of beautiful churches like ST. John church which is the oldest one built on 1863, ST.Francis [1863], ST. Andrew [1903] and ST. Patric[1909].

Dharmashala a hill station as well as the headquarters of Kangra district is the birth place of Dalai Lama which is equally important among the tourists by the major attractions like Buddhist temples and Tibetan monasteries. Dharmashala is covered with woods of oak, conifer trees and the snowy mountains that registers Dharmashala in its three sides while the valley constitutes the front. By 1905 Dharmashala the attractive tourist site struck with an earthquake that leveled its mountains and was reconstructed as a health resort which is divided into 2 distinctive parts Lower Dharmashala and Upper Dharmashala.

Manali situated in the Beas river valley is one among the prominent hill station of the North Indian state Himachal Pradesh. Manali being a great significance to the Indian culture and heritage is called to be as the home of Saptarshi or home of seven sages. The state offers a cool atmosphere in contrast to the hot summer in India. Manali became famous with its exciting activities like hiking, Climbing the mountains, rafting, paragliding, Kayaking, trekking, biking through the mountains and so on. It is featured as the 'Best of Asia' by the Time Magazine.

Lahul and Spiti are the Himalayan valleys of the state Himachal which lies in the remote area of Indo-Tibet border. These border provides the tourists with a strange, exciting and primitive splendor with their snowy peaks and rocky ranges. Lahul is a place which gives us the beauty of fascinating Buddhist art and culture. The two valleys Lahul and Spiti shares a unique feature which make them ideal for tourists and treckers enabled by the monsoon.

These are some of the prominent tourist sites of Himachal Pradesh. The state also includes numerous other attractive tourist sites too.

Himachal Pradesh Basic Information

Given below are some basic general information about the state of Himachal Pradesh which will help you understand the state at a glance.

Himachal Pradesh Land Area 55673 Sq.Kms
Capital of Himachal Pradesh Shimla
Number of Districts in Himachal Pradesh 13
Population of Himachal Pradesh 60, 77, 900
Official Language of Himachal Hindi
State Animal Musk Deer
State Bird Tragopan
State Tree Deodar
State Flower Rhododendron
Literacy Rate 77.13%
Major Tourism Attraction of Himachal Pradesh Hiking, Trekking, Skiing, Mountaineering etc...
Major Tourist Destinations in Himachal Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Lahul And Spiti, Dharmashala etc...

Himachal Pradesh India

Himachal Pradesh is famous for its scenic landscapes and some of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Know more about the state of Himachal Pradesh including Himachal Pradesh Geography, Climate, Himachal Tourism etc...