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About Himachal

There is no dearth of pleasant surprises that welcome you when you step into Himachal. Word “Him”  in Hindi means snow or ice and “ Alayas” means Home, which makes Himalayas ‘The Home of Snow’ and from there Himachal gets its name meaning ‘Land of Snow’.
Literally. “Snow – Laden Province”) is a state in North India. Its area is 55,673 km (21,495 sq mi), 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. Hima means snow in Sanskrit, and the literal meaning of the state’s name is in the lap of the Himalayas. It was named by Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, one of the most eminent Sanskrit scholars of Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh is famous for its natural beauty, hill stations and temples. Himachal Pradesh has been ranked fifteenth in the list of the day highest per capital income of Indian states and union territories for year 2013-14. There are many perennial rivers flowing in the state with hydroelectric projects set up. Himachal owing to its great hydroelectric potential produce surplus hydroelectric and even sells it to other states such as Delhi, Punjab, and Rajasthan. Hydroelectricity projects tourism, and agriculture from an important part of the state’s economy. .

State profile
Source: Department of Information and Public Relations


Area

55673 km

Total population

6,864,602

Males

3,481,873

Females

3,382,729

Population Destiny

123

Sex Ratio

972

Rural population

6,176,050

Urban population

6,88,552

Scheduled Caste population

1,729,252

Scheduled Tribe population

392,126

Literacy rate

83.78%

Male literacy

90.83%

Female literacy

76.60%

Districts

12

Sub-Divisions

62

Tehsils

82

Sub-Tehsils

35

Developmental blocks

77

Towns

59

Panchayats

3,243

Panchayat Smities

77

Zila Parishad

12

Urban local bodies

49

Nagar Nigam

2

Nagar parishads

25

Nagar panchayats

23

Census villages

20,690

Inhabited villages

17,495

Health institutions

3,866

Educational institutions

17,000

Motorable roads

33,722km

National highways

8

Identified hydroelectric potential

23,000.43 MW in five rivers basins i.e. (Yamuna, Satluj, Beas, ravi, Chenab, and Himruj

Potential harnessed

9000 MW (Approximate)

Food grain production

1,579,000 tones

Vegetable production

900,000 tones

Fruit production

1,027,00 tones

Per capita income

1,04,943 (2014-15 expected)

Social Security pensions

137,250 persons expenditure: over 600 Million

Investment in industrial areas

237,80 billon employment opportunities

Employment generated in government sector

80,000



Heritage

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 houses 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.


Tourism: Tourism in Himachal Pradesh

Tourism in Himachal Pradesh is a major contributor to the state’s economy and growth. The mountainous state with its diverse and beautiful Himalaya landscapes attracts tourist from all over the world. Hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Chamba, Dharamshala and Kullu are popular destinations for both domestic and foreign tourist. The state has many important pilgrimage centers with prominent Hindu temple like Naina Devi Temple, Vaireshwari Devi Temple, Jwala Ji Temple, Chintpurni, Chamunda Devi Temple, Baijnath Temple, Bhimakali Temple, Bijli Mahadev and Jakhoo Temple. Like Uttarakhand, the state is also referred to as “Dev Bhoomi” (literally meaning Abode of Gods) due to its mention in ancient holy text and occurrence of large number of historical temples in the state.

The state is also known for its adventure tourism activities like ice skating in Shimla, paragliding in Bir-billing and Solang valley, rafting in Kullu in Manali boating in Bilaspur and trekking, horse riding and fishing in different parts in the state. Spiti Valley in Lahaul & Spiti District situated at an altitude of over 3000 meters with its picturesque landscapes is an important destination 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. Movies like Roja, Henna, Jab We Met, Veer- Zaara, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Highway have been filmed in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal hosted the first Paragliding World Cup in India from 24 October to 31 October in 2015. Venue for Paragliding world cup was Bir Billing, which is 70 km from famous tourist town Macleodganj, located in the heart of Himachal in Kangra District. 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.

Main Tourist Spots:

Shimla: Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is known as the queen of hills. Shimla has got a scenic location, surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks. In Shimla main visiting palaces are – Chail, Kufri, Naldhera, The famous Mall Road, Scandal Point, Ridge, Town Hall, Gaiety Theater, Lakkad Bazzar, Lower Bazzar, Chora Maidan, Advance Study and Famous Jakhu Temple, Kali Bari Temple, Tara Devi.

Kullu Manali:  Kullu Manali is the famous hill station for honeymooners and backpackers.  It is a popular tourist destination and serves as the gateway to Lahaul & Spiti district as well as Leh. Manali is located in Kullu District.  This valley is also known as “Valley Of God”. In Manali you can visit Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Vashisht, Mall Road, Van Vihar, Tibetans Monastery, Hadimba Temple, and Club House.  In Kullu visit Kullu Shawl Factory, Mini Vaishno Devi Temple and in     Manikaran visit Kasol Valley, Gurudara Sahib, Ram Mandir and Shiv Temple. Manali is one of most famous place for Trekking in Himalayas. Famous Trekking routs are Hamta Pass Trek, Brigu Lake Trek, Chanderkhani Trek, and Bijli Mahadev Trek.

Kangra: Kangra valley is one of the most green and luxuriant valleys of lower Himalayas sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range. Kangra is mainly famous for its natural beauty and tea gardens. Many ancient temple are here like Chamunda Temple, Brijeshwari Temple, Jwala ji Temple, Masror Rock cut Temple, Baba Baroh, Baijnath Temple,

Kangra Fort and Maharaja Sansar Chand Museum.


Dharamshala:  Dharamshala is located in the Kangra, in the shadow of the Dauladhar Mountains. Dharamshala is also known as the “Little Lhasa.” Dharamshala is the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India.  In common Hindi usage, the word Dharamshala refers to a shelter or rest house for spiritual pilgrims. The Famous Place of Dharamshala are Mcleodganj, His Holiness Dalai Lama Temple, Tibetans Market, Bagsu Nath Temple, Dal Lake, Cricket Stadium. John's Church. Brijeshwari Devi is other pilgrim centers close to Dharamshala. Triund Hills are one of the main attractions in Dharamshala. Triund, Jewel of Dharamshala, is one day trek at the upper reaches of Mcleodganj, about 9 km from Mcleodganj.

Chamba- Chamba is the most ancient district in Himachal Pradesh. It is the land of Lord Shiva. The main attractive tourist places are Chamba Town, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Bharmor and Pangi. In Chamba you can visit Laxmi Narayan Temple, Hari Har Temple, Bhuri Singh Museum, The Chowgan and Rangmahal.

Dalhousie- Dalhousie is named after Lord Dalhousie, British Governer- General of India. It is built on and around five hills, Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora. Dalhousie has so many tourist spots: Bakrota Hills, Ghandi Chowk, Panchpulla, Subhash Boali, Kalatop, Tibetans Market, and Sadder Bazzar. There are four beautiful Churches in Dalhousie.


Khajjiar- Khajjiar is surrounded by meadows and forests. It’s a Mini Switzerland of India. Main attraction of Khajjiar is Khajjiar Lake and Dauladhar mountains.
Bharmour- Bharmour is 65 km from Chamba town. It’s famous for its ancient 84 temples.


Manimahesh Lake- It’s a high altitude lake. According to one popular legend, it is believed that Lord Shiva created Manimahesh Lake after his marriage.  The religious significance of this lake is next to that of the Lake Mansarover in Tibet.

Mandi-  Mandi is also known as “Chotti Kashi” due to its similarity with Varanasi in respect of Ghats on the bank of Beas River and temples of Lord Shiva near the Ghats.  In ancient times Mandi was not only a business centre on the old silk route to Tibet but also a centre for cultural exchange. There are many temples in Mandi Town like Triloki Nath Temple at Purani Mandi, Raja Madhav Temple in DC Office Complex,  Bhoot Nath Temple at famous Chouhata Bazar, Tarna Shayamkali Temple on Tarna Hills overlooking Mandi Town, Panchvaktra Mahadev Temple on the confluence of Suketi and Beas River, Ardhanareshwar Temple at Samkhetar Street, Bhimakali Temple at Bheuli. In addition many other temples  of archaeological and religious importance can be visited. Historical Ghantaghar, Indira Market, Victoria Bridge and Gurudwara are other famous places of interest in the Town. It is a base camp to visit tourist places such as Prashar, Barot, Joginder Nagar, Kamlah Fort, Shikari Devi, Kamrunag, etc.

Kinnaur:  It’s a beautiful valley in Himachal with amazing tourist spots.  Kinnaur, the tribal district of Himachal Pradesh, lies 250 km away from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh and is situated on the NH - 22 (Hindustan Tibet Road). The old Hindustan-Tibet Road passes through the Kinnaur valley along the bank of river Sutlej and finally enters Tibet at Shipki La pass. The apples, chilgoza and other dry fruits are grown here are world famous. The high terrain here give way to great adventures sports of all kinds. Beautiful trekking routes includes the 'Parikarma of Kinner Kailash'. Here is also the Beautiful Nako Lake, Sangla- Baspa Valley and three famous wild life sanctuaries.

Lahoul Spiti- It is clear from the name Lahaul & Spiti, the district comprises two different mountains tracts, one known as Lahaul and the other as Spiti. Hence the name of the district came into being with the formation of these two parts into a revenue district. The names, Lahaul & Spiti, have different origins. Lahoul Spitti is basically cold and desert area. Spitti Valley is also known as “Little Leh.” Snow is a common feature of Lahoul Spitti and some peaks never let it go, no matter what season it is. There are so many places to visit in Lahoul & Spitti.

Spiti Valley Chandertal Lake,  Kaza, Ki, Kibber, Taboo, Dhanker Monastery, Pin Valley, Giu Mummy are the main attraction.

Lahoul Valley you can visit Trilok Nath Temple, Udaipur Mrikula Devi Temple, Tandi Sangam, Guru Gantal Monastery, Keylong, Kardang Monastery, Shashur Monastery, Lady of Keylong, Jispa Monastery,  Suraj Tall Lake  and Baralacha Pass.


Best Time to visit: Best time to visit Lahoul & Spiti in June to Sept.

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