Himachal Pradesh

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Himachal Pradesh
हिमाचल प्रदेश
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Location of Himachal Pradesh (marked in red) in India
Map of Himachal Pradesh
Map of Himachal Pradesh
Coordinates (Shimla): 31°6′12″N 77°10′20″E / 31.10333°N 77.17222°E / 31.10333; 77.17222Coordinates: 31°6′12″N 77°10′20″E / 31.10333°N 77.17222°E / 31.10333; 77.17222
Country  India
Region North India
Established 25 January 1971
Capital Shimla
Largest city Shimla
 • Governor Acharya Dev Vrat[1]
 • Chief Justice Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir
 • Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh[2] (INC)
 • Legislature Unicameral[3] (68 seats)
 • Parliamentary constituency 4
 • Total 55,673 km2 (21,495 sq mi)
Area rank 18th
Elevation 2,319 m (7,608 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 6,856,509
 • Rank 21st
 • Density 123/km2 (320/sq mi)
 • Official(s) Hindi, English[4]
 • Regional Punjabi, Nepali[4]
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-HP
HDI Increase 0.652 (medium)
HDI rank 3rd (2011)
Literacy 83.78%
Website himachal.nic.in
It was elevated to the status of State by the State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970

Himachal Pradesh ([ɦɪmaːtʃəl prəd̪eːʃ]; literally "Snow-laden Region") is a state in North India, forming part of the larger Punjab region.[5] Its area is 21,495 sq mi (55,670 km2),[6] and is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the south-west, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east.

Himachal Pradesh is famous for its abundant natural beauty.[7] After the war between Nepal and Britain, also known as the Anglo-Gorkha War (1814–1816), the British colonial government came into power and the land now comprising Himachal Pradesh became part of the Punjab Province of British India. In 1950, Himachal was declared a union territory, but after the State of Himachal Pradesh Act 1971, Himachal emerged as the 18th state of the Republic of India. Hima means snow in Sanskrit, and the literal meaning of the state's name is "In the lap of Himalayas". It was named by Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, one of the great Sanskrit scholars of Himachal Pradesh.

The economy of Himachal Pradesh is currently the third-fastest growing economy in India.[citation needed] Himachal Pradesh has been ranked fourth in the list of the highest per capita incomes of Indian states. This has made it one of the wealthiest places in the entire South Asia. Abundance of perennial rivers enables Himachal to sell hydroelectricity to other states such as Delhi, Punjab, and Rajasthan. The economy of the state is highly dependent on three sources: hydroelectric power, tourism, and agriculture.[citation needed]

Himachal Pradesh is spread across valleys, and 90% of the population lives in villages and towns. However, the state has achieved 100% hygiene and practically no single house is without a toilet. The villages are well connected to roads, public health centers, and now with Lokmitra kendra using high-speed broadband. Shimla district has maximum urban population of 25%. According to a 2005 Transparency International survey, Himachal Pradesh is ranked the second-least corrupt state in the country after Kerala.[8] The hill stations of the state are among the most visited places in the country. The government has successfully imposed environmental protection and tourism development, meeting European standards, and it is the only state which forbids the use of polyethylene and tobacco products.[citation needed]


The history of the area that now constitutes Himachal Pradesh dates back to the time when the Indus valley civilisation flourished between 2250 and 1750 BCE.[9] Tribes such as the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars, and Kirats inhabited the region from the prehistoric era. During the Vedic period, several small republics known as "Janapada" existed which were later conquered by the Gupta Empire. After a brief period of supremacy by King Harshavardhana, the region was once again divided into several local powers headed by chieftains, including some Rajput principalities. These kingdoms enjoyed a large degree of independence and were invaded by Delhi Sultanate a number of times.[9] Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th century. Timur and Sikander Lodi also marched through the lower hills of the state and captured a number of forts and fought many battles.[9] Several hill states acknowledged Mughal suzerainty and paid regular tribute to the Mughals.[10]

Sansar Chand (c. 1765–1823)

The Gurkhas, a martial tribe, came to power in Nepal in the year 1768.[9] They consolidated their military power and began to expand their territory.[9] Gradually, the Gorkhas annexed Sirmour and Shimla. With the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkhas laid siege to Kangra. They managed to defeat Sansar Chand Katoch, the ruler of Kangra, in 1806 with the help of many provincial chiefs. However, Gurkhas could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1809. After the defeat, the Gurkhas began to expand towards the south of the state. However, Raja Ram Singh, Raja of Siba State managed to capture the fort of Siba from the remnants of Lahore Darbar in Samvat 1846,[9] during the First Anglo-Sikh War. They came into direct conflict with the British along the tarai belt after which the British expelled them from the provinces of the Satluj.[9] The British gradually emerged as the paramount power.[9] In the revolt of 1857, or first Indian war of independence, arising from a number of grievances against the British,[9] the people of the hill states were not as politically active as were those in other parts of the country.[9] They and their rulers, with the exception of Bushahr, remained more or less inactive.[9] Some, including the rulers of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami, rendered help to the British government during the revolt.

Rock Cut Temple, Masroor

The British territories came under the British Crown after Queen Victoria's proclamation of 1858. The states of Chamba, Mandi and Bilaspur made good progress in many fields during the British rule.[9] During World War I, virtually all rulers of the hill states remained loyal and contributed to the British war effort, both in the form of men and materials. Among these were the states of Kangra, Jaswan, Datarpur, Guler, Nurpur, Chamba, Suket, Mandi, and Bilaspur.[9]

After independence, the Chief Commissioner's Province of H.P. came into being on 15 April 1948 as a result of integration of 28 petty princely states (including feudal princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya, known in full as the Simla Hills States and four Punjab southern hill states by issue of the Himachal Pradesh (Administration) Order, 1948 under Sections 3 and 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947 (later renamed as the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 vide A.O. of 1950). The State of Bilaspur was merged in the Himachal Pradesh on 1 April 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lt. Governor was appointed. Legislative Assembly was elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became a union territory on 1 November 1956.[9] Following area of Punjab State namely Simla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Kanungo circle of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur District; were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966 on enactment of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 by the Parliament. On 18 December 1970, the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged as the 18th state of the Indian Union.[9]

Geography and climate[edit]

The Dhauladhar Range viewed from Kangra
Key Gompa with Spiti River flowing behind
A summer view of Khajjiar
Temperature  [citation needed]
• Avg. winter 7 °C (45 °F)
• Avg. summer 28 °C (82 °F)
Precipitation 1,469 mm (57.8 in)

Himachal is in the western Himalayas. Covering an area of 55,673 square kilometres (21,495 sq mi),[6] it is a mountainous state. Most of the state lies on the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. At 6,816 m Reo Purgyil is the highest mountain peak in the state of Himachal Pradesh.[11]

The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins.[12] The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej, and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.[12]

Due to extreme variation in elevation, great variation occurs in the climatic conditions of Himachal . The climate varies from hot and subhumid tropical in the southern tracts to, with more elevation, cold, alpine, and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges.[13] The state has areas like Dharamsala that receive very heavy rainfall, as well as those like Lahaul and Spiti that are cold and almost rainless. Broadly, Himachal experiences three seasons: summer, winter, and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid-April till the end of June and most parts become very hot (except in the alpine zone which experiences a mild summer) with the average temperature ranging from 28 to 32 °C (82 to 90 °F). Winter lasts from late November till mid March. Snowfall is common in alpine tracts (generally above 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) i.e. in the higher and trans-Himalayan region).

Flora and fauna[edit]

Asian paradise flycatcher in Kullu
Himalayan monal at Birds Park in Shimla
Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus). Solan (Himachal Pradesh). 28-July-2013

According to 2003 Forest Survey of India report, legally defined forest areas constitute 66.52% of the area of Himachal Pradesh.[14] Vegetation in the state is dictated by elevation and precipitation.

The southern part of the state, at lower elevations than the north, has both tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests and tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests.[14] These are represented by northwestern thorn scrub forests along the border with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and by Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests in the far southeast. Sal and shisham are found here.

The hills contain western Himalayan broadleaf forests and Himalayan subtropical pine forests. Various deciduous and evergreen oaks live in the broadleaf forests, while chir pine dominates the pine forests. Western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests grow near treeline, with species that include East Himalayan fir, West Himalayan spruce, deodar (the state tree), and blue pine.

The uppermost elevations have western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows in the northeast and northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows in the northwest. Trees are sturdy with a vast network of roots. Alders, birches, rhododendrons and moist alpine shrubs are there as the regional vegetation. The rhododendrons can be seen along the hillsides around Shimla from March to May. The shrublands and meadows give way to rock and ice around the highest peaks.

Himachal is also said to be the fruit bowl of the country, with orchards being widespread. Meadows and pastures are also seen clinging to steep slopes. After the winter season, the hillsides and orchards bloom with wild flowers, while gladiolas, carnations, marigolds,[15] roses, chrysanthemums, tulips and lilies are carefully cultivated. The state government is gearing up to make Himachal Pradesh as the flower basket of the world.

Himachal Pradesh has around 463[16] bird and 359 animal species, including the leopard, snow leopard (the state animal), ghoral, musk deer and western tragopan.[citation needed] It has 2 major national parks and sanctuaries — the largest number in the Himalayan region. The Great Himalayan National Park in Kullu district was created to conserve the flora and fauna of the main Himalayan range, while the Pin Valley National Park to conserve the flora and fauna of the cold desert.


Himachal Pradesh is divided into 12 districts namely, Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Una, Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti, Sirmaur, Kinnaur, Kullu, Solan and Shimla. The state capital is Shimla, which was formerly British India's summer capital under the name Simla.

A district of Himachal Pradesh is an administrative geographical unit, headed by a Deputy Commissioner or District Magistrate, an officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service. The district magistrate or the deputy commissioner is assisted by a number of officers belonging to Himachal Administrative Service and other Himachal state services. Each district is subdivided into Sub-Divisions, governed by a sub-divisional magistrate, and again into Blocks. Blocks consists of panchayats (village councils) and town municipalities. A Superintendent of Police, an officer belonging to the Indian Police Service is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order and related issues of the district. He is assisted by the officers of the Himachal Police Service and other Himachal Police officials.


Town Hall in Shimla

The Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh has no pre-Constitution history. The State itself is a post-Independence creation. It came into being as a centrally administered territory on 15 April 1948 from the integration of thirty erstwhile princely states.[17]

Himachal Pradesh is governed through a parliamentary system of representative democracy, a feature the state shares with other Indian states. Universal suffrage is granted to residents. The legislature consists of elected members and special office bearers such as the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker who are elected by the members. Assembly meetings are presided over by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker's absence. The judiciary is composed of the Himachal Pradesh High Court and a system of lower courts. Executive authority is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister, although the titular head of government is the Governor. The Governor is the head of state appointed by the President of India. The leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor, and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers reports to the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly is unicameral with 68 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).[18] Terms of office run for 5 years, unless the Assembly is dissolved prior to the completion of the term. Auxiliary authorities known as panchayats, for which local body elections are regularly held, govern local affairs.

Governments have seen alternates between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC), no third front ever has become significant. In 2003, the state legislative assembly was won by the Indian National Congress and Virbhadra Singh was elected as the chief minister of the state. In the assembly elections held in December 2007, the BJP secured a landslide victory. The BJP won 41 of the 68 seats while the Congress won only 23 of the 68 seats. BJP's Prem Kumar Dhumal was sworn in as Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on 30 December 2007.

In the assembly elections held in November 2012, the Congress secured an absolute majority.[19] The Congress won 36 of the 68 seats while the BJP won only 26 of the 68 seats. Virbhadra Singh was sworn-in as Himachal Pradesh's Chief Minister for a record sixth term in Shimla on 25 December 2012. Virbhadra Singh who has held the top office in Himachal five times in the past, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Urmila Singh at an open ceremony at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla.[20]


Himalayas from Kullu Valley

Agriculture contributes nearly 45% to the net state domestic product. It is the main source of income as well as employment in Himachal. About 93% of the state population depends directly upon agriculture.

However, agriculture in the state suffers from certain limitations, especially in the production of food grains. One of these reasons is that the area under cultivation can't be extended to an appreciable extent. Also, reclamation of land on slopes is not economical and increases environmental degradation. The state can profit more by cultivating cash crops as per the agro-climatic conditions.

The main cereals grown in the state are wheat, maize, rice and barley. Kangra, Mandi and the Paonta valley of Sirmaur (to some extent) are the major producers of the first three cereals, while barley is mostly cultivated in Shimla.

Though the state is deficient in food grains, it has gained a lot in other spheres of agricultural production such as seed potato, ginger, vegetables, vegetable seeds, mushrooms, chicory seeds, hops, olives and fig. Seed potato is mostly grown in the Shimla, Kullu and Lahaul areas. Special efforts are being made to promote cultivation of crops like olives, figs, hops, mushrooms, flowers, pistachio nuts, sarda melon and saffron. Solan is the largest vegetable producing district in the state. The district of Sirmaur is also famous for growing flowers, and is the largest producer of flowers in the state.

Fruit cultivation has also proved to be an economic boon. There are huge tracts of land suitable only for growing fruits. Fruit of all cultivation does not add to the problem of soil erosion and its employment potential is more than conventional farming. The yield per acre in terms of income is also much higher. Apple farming produces the maximum income. Fruit growing in the state is fetching over 3 billion annually.

Land husbandry initiatives such as the Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project, which includes the Himachal Pradesh Reforestation Project (HPRP), the world's largest clean development mechanism (CDM) undertaking, have improved agricultural yields and productivity, and raised rural household incomes.[21]


Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla Montage - Clockwise from top: Skyline at Shimla Southern Side, Rashtrapati Niwas, Town hall, Night view of Shimla and Christ Church.
Gross State Domestic Product at Current Prices
figures in millions of Indian Rupees
Year Gross State Domestic Product
1980 7,940
1985 13,720
1990 28,150
1995 66,980
2000 135,900
2005 230,240
2007 254,350

The era of planning in Himachal Pradesh started 1948 along with the rest of India. The first five-year plan allocated 52.7 million to Himachal. More than 50% of this expenditure was incurred on road construction since it was felt that without proper transport facilities, the process of planning and development could not be carried to the people, who mostly lived an isolated existence in far away areas. Himachal now ranks fourth in respect of per capita income among the states of the Indian Union.

Agriculture contributes over 45% to the net state domestic product. It is the main source of income and employment in Himachal. Over 93% of the population in Himachal depends directly upon agriculture which provides direct employment to 71% of its people. The main cereals grown are wheat, maize, rice and barley.[22]

Hydro Power is also one of the major source of income generation for the State.[23] Identified Hydroelectric Potential for the state is 23,000.43 MW in five rivers basins.[24]

Himachal is extremely rich in hydro electric resources. The state has about 25% of the national potential in this respect. It has been estimated that about 20,300MW of hydro electric power can be generated in the State by constructing various major, medium, small and mini/micro hydel projects on the five river basins. The state is also the first state in India to achieve the goal of having a bank account for every family.[citation needed] As per the current prices, the total GDP was estimated at 254 billion as against 230 billion in the year 2004–05, showing an increase of 10.5%.[25] The recent years witnessed quick establishment of International Entrepreneurship. Luxury hotels, food and franchisees of recognised brands e.g. Mc Donalds, KFC and Pizza hut have rapidly spread.


Himachal has a rich heritage of handicrafts. These include woolen and pashmina shawls, carpets, silver and metal ware, embroidered chappals, grass shoes, Kangra and Gompa style paintings, wood work, horse-hair bangles, wooden and metal utensils and various other house hold items. These aesthetic and tasteful handicrafts declined under competition from machine made goods and also because of lack of marketing facilities. But now the demand for handicrafts has increased within and outside the country.


Kalpa as of June 2015
  • Tourism in Himachal Pradesh is a major contributor to the state's economy and growth. The state is endowed with variety of landscape and vivid topographic features which attract tourists. The state is also known for its adventure activities which include paragliding in Bir-billing and Solang valley, rafting in Kullu, ice skating in Shimla, boating in Bilaspur and trekking, horse riding, skiing and fishing. Spiti Valley in Lahaul & Spiti District provide breathtaking landscapes for adventure seekers. The region also has some of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries in Asia.

The state is also a famous destination for film shooting for movies like Roja, Henna, Jab We Met, Veer-Zaara, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Highway mostly by the contribution of Anil Kaistha.

  • Himachal is hosting the first Paragliding World Cup in India[26] from 24 October to 31 October in 2015. Venue for paragliding world cup is Bir Billing, which is 70 km from famous tourist town Macleod ganj, located in the heart of Himachal in Kangra District. This is first such kind of event happening in Himachal. Bir Billing is the centre for aero sports in Himachal and considered as best for paragliding. Buddhist monasteries, trekking to tribal villages, mountain biking are other activities to do here.


Aircraft at Shimla airport

State has three domestic airports in Shimla, Kullu and Kangra districts The air routes connect the state with Delhi and Chandigarh.

Railway Himachal is famous for its narrow gauge tracks railways, one is UNESCO World Heritage Kalka-Shimla Railway and another one is PathankotJogindernagar. Total length of these two tracks is 259 kilometres (161 mi). Kalka-Shimla Railway track passes through many tunnels, while Pathankot–Jogindernagar gently meanders through a maze of hills and valleys. It also has standard gauge railway track which connect Amb (Una district) to Delhi. A survey is being conducted to extend this railway line to Kangra (via Nadaun). Other proposed railways in the state are Baddi-Bilaspur, Dharamsala-Palampur and Bilaspur-Manali-Leh.


Roads are the major mode of transport in the hilly terrains. The state has road network of 28,208 kilometres (17,528 mi),[27] including eight National Highways (NH) that constitute 1,234 kilometres (767 mi) and 19 State Highways with total length of 1,625 kilometres (1,010 mi).[27] Some roads get closed during winter and monsoon seasons due to snow and landslides. Hamirpur has the highest road density in the state.[28]



Traditional home, Manali

Himachal Pradesh has a total population of 6,856,509 including 3,473,892 males and 3,382,617 females as per the provisional results of the Census of India 2011. This is only 0.57 per cent of India's total population, recording a growth of 12.81 per cent. Total fertility rate (TFR) per woman is 1.8 which is one of lowest in India.

Himachal Pradesh has a literacy rate of 83.78 per cent and gender ratio at 974/1000, according to the 2011 Census figures. Himachal Pradesh 108% of Tele-density which is highest after Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Per-cap Income 92K, Total village/towns - 20118, HP has 7 operators airtel, vodafone, Idea, aircel, Tata, BSNL, Reliance communication and Now Jio Infocomm is about to launch its 4G LTE services.

Census-wise, the state is placed 21st on the population chart, followed by Tripura at 22nd place. Kangra district was top ranked with a population strength of 1,507,223 (21.98%), Mandi district 999,518 (14.58%), Shimla district 813,384 (11.86%), Solan district 576,670 (8.41%), Sirmaur district 530,164 (7.73%), Una district 521,057 (7.60%), Chamba district 518,844 (7.57%), Hamirpur district 454,293 (6.63%), Kullu district 437,474 (6.38%), Bilaspur district 382,056 (5.57%), Kinnaur district 84,298 (1.23%) and Lahaul Spiti 31,528 (0.46%).

The main communities are Rajputs (Thakurs and Rana), Rathis, Brahmins and Ghirth. The Ghirth (choudhary) community is found mainly in Kangra District. Himachal has a sizeable population of Tibetans.

The life expectancy at birth in Himachal Pradesh is 62.8 years (higher than the national average of 57.7 years) for 1986–1990. The infant mortality rate stood at 40 in 2010 and crude birth rate has declined from 37.3 in 1971 to 16.9 in 2010, below the national average of 26.5 in 1998. The crude death rate was 6.9 in 2010.[29] Himachal Pradesh's literacy rate almost doubled between 1981 and 2011 (see table to right).


Hindi is both the official language and the lingua franca of Himachal Pradesh. However, most of the population speaks Pahari in everyday conversation, which includes nearly all Western Pahari dialects. There are total 32 languages in HP[30][31] English also has official status for government work. Hindi is spoken by 89% of the population while Punjabi is primarily spoken by the Hindu and Sikh immigrants from West Punjab and accounts for 6% of the population.[4]


Circle frame.svg

Religion in Himachal Pradesh (2011)[32]

  Hinduism (95.16%)
  Islam (2.18%)
  Sikhism (1.16%)
  Buddhism (1.14%)
  Christianity (0.18%)
  Jainism (0.02%)
  Other or none (0.2%)

Hinduism is the main religion in Himachal Pradesh, which ranks first in India in terms of the proportion of Hindus present within it. More than 95% of the total population belongs to the Hindu faith, the distribution of which is evenly spread throughout the state. Himachal Pradesh thushas the one of the highest proportion of Hindu population in India (95.17%).

Other religions that form a small percentage are Buddhism and Sikhism. The Lahaulis of Lahaul and Spiti region are mainly Buddhists. Sikhs mostly live in towns and cities and constitute 1.16% of the state population. For example, they form 10% of the population in Una District adjoining the state of Punjab and 17% in Shimla, the state capital. The Buddhists constitute 1.15% are mainly natives and tribals from Lahaul and Spiti, where they form majority of 60% and Kinnaur where they form 40%, however the bulk are refugees from Tibet.[33] The Muslims constitute slightly 2.18% of the population of Himachal Pradesh.

Muslims are mainly present in the Chamba and Solan districts, whilst the minority Buddhist population primarily resides in the Lahul & Sapiti and Kinnour districts. The tiny Catholic minority has its own Roman Catholic Diocese of Simla and Chandigarh, which has its cathedral see in Simla and a co-cathedral in Chandigarh.


'Kullu Dussehra festival
The village of Nako in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
Nako Village

Himachal was one of the few states that had remained largely untouched by external customs, largely due to its difficult terrain. With the technological advancements the state has changed very rapidly. It is a multireligional, multicultural as well as multilingual state like other Indian states. Some of the most commonly spoken languages includes Hindi, Pahari, Dogri, Mandeali Kangri, Mandyali, Gojri and Kinnauri. The caste communities residing in Himachal include the Khatri, Brahmins of the Hindu Faith and the Sikh Brahmin Caste Bhatra, Rajputs, Gujjars, Gaddis, Ghirth (choudhary), Kannets, Rathis and Kolis, Sood There are tribal populations in the state which mainly comprise Kinnars, Pangawals, Sulehria, and Lahaulis.The people Of Himachal Pradesh are very simple and live a traditional ´Pahari' lifestyle.[34]

The state is well known for its handicrafts. The carpets, leather works, shawls, metalware, woodwork and paintings are worth appreciating. Pashmina shawls are a product that is highly in demand in Himachal and all over the country. Himachali caps are famous art work of the people. Extreme cold winters of Himachal necessitated wool weaving. Nearly every household in Himachal owns a pit-loom. Wool is considered as pure and is used as a ritual cloth. The well-known woven object is the shawl, ranging from fine pashmina to the coarse desar. Kullu is famous for its shawls with striking patterns and vibrant colours. Kangra and Dharamshala are famous for Kangra miniature paintings.

Local music and dance reflect the cultural identity of the state. Through their dance and music, they entreat their gods during local festivals and other special occasions. Apart from the fairs and festivals that are celebrated all over India, there are number of other fairs and festivals that are of great significance to Himachal Pradesh.

Shimla, the state capital, is home to Asia's only natural ice skating rink.[35]


The day to day diet of Himachalis is though similar to the rest of north India but is unique for its taste and ingredients used. They have lentil, rice, and vegetables. The rotis (breads) are made of flours like wheat and maize. Some of the specialties of the Himachali cuisine include Madrah,Sepu badi, Maahni, Batt, Mitha Saloona, Bhujju, Saag, Palda, Redhu, chouck, bhagjery, jhoul, siddu/batooru,[36] beduan, chutney, khatti dal, etc.

Notable people[edit]

Prominent people associated with Himachal include:


Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital at Shimla
Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla

Hamirpur District is among the top districts in the country for literacy.[39] Education rates among women are quite encouraging in the state.[39] The standard of education in the state has reached a considerably high level as compared to other states in India[39] with several reputed educational institutes for higher studies.

The Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Himachal Pradesh University Shimla, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT, CSIR Lab), Palampur, the National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Una the Central University Dharamshala, AP Goyal (Alakh Prakash Goyal) Shimla University, The Bahra University (Waknaghat, Solan) the Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technologies Baddi, IEC University, Shoolini University Of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Solan, Manav Bharti University Solan, the Jaypee University of Information Technology Waknaghat, Eternal University, Sirmaur & Chitkara University Solan are some of the pioneer universities in the state. CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalya Palampur is one of the most renowned hill agriculture institutes in world. Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry has earned a unique distinction in India for imparting teaching, research and extension education in horticulture, forestry and allied disciplines. Further, state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Government Engineering College started in 2006 at Sundernagar.[39]

The state government is working constantly to prepare plans and projects to strengthen the education system. The state government decided to start three nursing colleges to develop the health system.

There are over 10,000 primary schools, 1,000 secondary schools and more than 1,300 high schools in Himachal.[40] The state government has decided to start three major nursing colleges to develop the health system in the state.[39] In meeting the constitutional obligation to make primary education compulsory, Himachal has become the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child.[41]

The state has Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Kumarhatti. Besides that there is Himachal Dental College which is the state's first recognised dental institute.[42]

Media and communication[edit]

Though situated in a remote part of the country, Himachal Pradesh has an active community of journalists and publishers. Several newspapers and magazines are published in more than one language, and their reach extends to almost all the Hindi-speaking states. Radio and TV have permeated significantly. Judging by the number of people writing to these media, there is a very large media-aware population in the state. All major English daily newspapers are available in Shimla and district headquarters. Aapka Faisla, Amar Ujala, Panjab Kesari, Divya Himachal are Hindi daily newspaper with local editions are read widely.

Doordarshan is the state-owned television broadcaster. Doordarshan Shimla also provides programs in Pahari language.Multi system operators provide a mix of Nepali, Hindi, English, and international channels via cable. All India Radio is a public radio station. Private FM stations are also available in few cities like Shimla. BSNL, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Indicom, Tata Docomo, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Airtel are available cellular phone operators. Broadband internet is available in select towns and cities and is provided by the state-run BSNL and by other private companies. Dial-up access is provided throughout the state by BSNL and other providers.

State profile[edit]

Symbols of Himachal Pradesh
Animal Snow leopard बर्फीला तेंदुआ
Bird Jujurana जुजुराणा
Flower Rhododendron बुरांस
Tree Deodar देवदार
Kalpa, a typical town in Himachal Pradesh
Sunrise in Himachal Pradesh, at Kinnaur Kailash

Source: Department of Information and Public Relations.[43]

Area 55673 km2
Total population 6,864,602[44]
Males 3,481,873[45]
Females 3,382,729[45]
Population density 123
Sex ratio 972[46]
Rural population 6,176,050[46]
Urban population 688,552[46]
Scheduled Caste population 1,729,252
Scheduled Tribe population 392,126
Literacy rate 83.78%[45]
Male literacy 90.83%[45]
Female literacy 76.60%[45]
Districts 12
Sub-divisions 55
Tehsils 82
Sub-tehsils 35
Developmental blocks 77
Towns 59
Panchayats 3,243
Panchayat smities 77
Zila parishad 12
Urban local bodies 49
Nagar nigams 1
Nagar parishads 25
Nagar panchayats 23
Census villages 20,690
Inhabited villages 17,495
Health institutions 3,866
Educational institutions 17,000
Motorable roads 33,722 km
National highways 8
Identified hydroelectric potential 23,000.43 MW in five rivers basins i.e. (Yamuna, Satluj, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Himurja)
Potential harnessed 9,000 MW (approximate)
Food grain production 1579,000 tonnes
Vegetable production 900,000 tonnes
Fruit production 1,027,000 tonnes
Per capita income 104,943 (2014–15 expected)
Social Security pensions 237,250 persons, annual expenditure: over 600 million
Investment in industrial areas 273.80 billion, employment opportunities: Over 337,391
Employment generated in government sector 80,000

Census 2015- Largest District (km²) 1 Lahul and Spiti 13841 2 Chamba 6522 3 Kinnaur 6401 4 Kangra 5739 5 Kullu 5503 Percentage of Child 1 Chamba 13.55% 2 Sirmaur 13.14% 3 Solan 11.74% 4 Kullu 11.52% 5 Una 11.36%

High Density 1 Hamirpur 407 2 Una 338 3 Bilaspur 327 4 Solan 300 5 Kangra 263 Top Population Growth 1 Una 16.26% 2 Solan 15.93% 3 Sirmaur 15.54% 4 Kullu 14.76% 5 Kangra 12.77% High Literacy 1 Bilaspur 88.59% 2 Hamirpur 87.15% 3 Una 86.53% 4 Kangra 85.67%

5 Solan 83.68% High Sex Ratio 1 Hamirpur 1095 2 Kangra 1012 3 Mandi 1007 4 Chamba 986 5 Bilaspur 981

See also[edit]


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  4. ^ a b c http://nclm.nic.in/shared/linkimages/NCLM50thReport.pdf
  5. ^ Verma, V. (1995). "14". The Emergence of Himachal Pradesh: A Survey of Constitutional Developments. New Delhi: Indus Publishing Company. p. 247. ISBN 9788173870354. 
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  7. ^ Singh 2000, p. 1.
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  10. ^ Verma 1995, pp. 28–35, Historical Perspective.
  11. ^ "Reo Purgyil, 6816 m". 
  12. ^ a b "Rivers in Himachal Pradesh". Suni Systems (P). Retrieved 28 April 2006. 
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  14. ^ a b Himachal Pradesh Forest Department. "The Forests". National Informatics Center, Himachal Pradesh. Archived from the original on 2013-05-10. Retrieved 3 April 2008. 
  15. ^ "In Himachal Pradesh Striking gold with marigold". Indianexpress. 2 July 2004. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
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  17. ^ "Himachal Pradesh (gov) Introduction". National informatics center. Computer Centre, Lok Sabha Secretariat. Retrieved 3 May 2007. 
  18. ^ "Legislative Assembly". Legislative Bodies in India. National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 28 October 2006. 
  19. ^ "Congress gets absolute majority in Himachal". The Statesman. Archived from the original on 2013-05-11. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  20. ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/virbhadra-singh-to-take-oath-as-himachal-pradesh-cm/1049981/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "$37 Million Additional Financing for Himachal Pradesh Mid Himalayan Watershed Development Project, India – 18000 Farmer Households to Benefit". Worldbank.org. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  22. ^ Economy of Himachal by Agriculture @ webindia123.com Suni System (P) Ltd. Retrieved on- 2015-07-28
  23. ^ "Independence Day-2013 Speech by Virbhadra Singh". shimlatimes.in. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Shimla Travel Guide". TripMogo.com provides a travel guide on Shimla tourism. 
  25. ^ "Current GDP". H. K. Dua, The Tribune House. Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  26. ^ "Paragliding World Cup in Himachal at Bir Billing". Paragliding world Cup. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  27. ^ a b "Himachal Pradesh: Infrastructure". Public Private Partnerships in India. Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Archived from the original on 2010-02-07. Retrieved 6 April 2008. 
  28. ^ "Hamirpur road density". Hari Jaisingh, Published from The Tribune House. Retrieved 22 May 2007. 
  29. ^ "Highlights of Himachal Pradesh HDR (2002)" (PDF). Government of Himachal Pradesh (2002), Himachal Pradesh Human Development Report 2002, Government of Himachal Pradesh, pp. 40. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2007. 
  30. ^ Masica, Colin P. (1993). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-29944-6. 
  31. ^ Itagi, N. H. (1994). Spatial Aspects of Language. Central Institute of Indian Languages. p. 70. ISBN 81-7342-009-2. 
  32. ^ "Population by religion community - 2011". Census of India, 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. 
  33. ^ "Ethnic composition" (PDF). The First Report on Religion: Census of India 2001. Archived from the original on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2007. 
  34. ^ "Culture of Himachal Pradesh". Indialine (2007). Retrieved 3 May 2007. 
  35. ^ "Ice-skating rink completes 100 sessions again". The Tribune, Chandigarh, India. Retrieved 11 February 2001. 
  36. ^ "Sidu: A Himachali Dish From the Kullu Valley". Evergreen Recipes. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  37. ^ "Minister of Commerce of India Anand Sharma to visit Finland, Embassy of Finland, Washington, Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles: Current Affairs: Ministry for Foreign Affairs News". Finland.org. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  38. ^ "Shimla boy bags award at international short film festival". http://www.hindustantimes.com/.  External link in |work= (help)
  39. ^ a b c d e "Educational Profile of Himachal Pradesh". General Overview of Education in Himachal. Archived from the original on 2008-02-02. Retrieved 16 March 2007. 
  40. ^ "Factual source on Education in Himachal". Government of India. Archived from the original on 2007-04-30. Retrieved 16 March 2007. 
  41. ^ Dua, H.K. "Educational updates- Himachal". The Tribune Trust, 2006. The Tribune House. Retrieved 16 March 2007. 
  42. ^ "IGMC-home". Igmcshimla.org. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  43. ^ "Himachal At A Glance". Himachalpr.gov.in. Archived from the original on 2013-08-16. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  44. ^ "HP Census 2011". Census 2011. 
  45. ^ a b c d e "Provisional Population Totals" (PDF). Census of India. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  46. ^ a b c census 2011


External links[edit]