Himachal Pradesh renowned as Dev Bhoomi (Land of Gods) is a beautiful state situated in the Northern India. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and the total area of the state is around 55675 Sq. Km. The majority area is Mountainous with Lofty Ranges, Deep Valleys, Waterfalls and Lush Greenery. The state is surrounded by Jammu and Kashmir on North, Punjab on West and South West. Haryana on South, Uttar Pradesh on South East and China on the East. There are 12 districts in the State which are further subdivided into blocks, towns and villages. Himachal Pradesh is also known as the ‘State of Apples’ owing to huge production of Apples. Besides from their festivals and sacred sites, Shimla hills, Kullu, Manali, Dharamshala and Dalhousie etc. are popular tourist destinations. Skiing, golfing, fishing, trekking and Mountaineering are among the popular activities done here.
The word Himachal Pradesh comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Hima’ which means Snow, so the literal meaning of States name is in the Lap of Himalayas.
|Shimla||Formerly, the summer capital of British India, and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has got a scenic Location; it is surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era creates an aura which is very different from other hill, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings. Among them are the stately Vice regal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo- Saxon names. The Mall, with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala’s escapades, offers a view of distant snow capped peaks. Shimla is ideally located, and though there is an air service to the town, it is best reached by road that takes in the charms of the Himalayan countryside at its best.|
|Chamba||It is a beautiful hill station situated at the height of 1000 Meters on the banks of River Ravi. It is located between the beautiful Dhauladhar and Zanskar Range in the Southern part of the inner Himalayas. The town was founded by Raja Sahil Varman in 920 A.D. He named it as ‘Champa’ after his daughter ‘Champavati’. He was the most famous king of this period that extended the boundaries of the state and also built a new capital at Chamba. He has built two temples Champavati Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Chamba Palace. Chamba is famous for its handcrafted material like Chamba rumal, Chamba Chappal (sandals) and Chamba shawls. Chamba Rumal- The rumal is same on both sides with identical pictures and embroidery in Pahari style. Chamba Chappal- Chamba leather is very famous with artistic designs. For female the designs of the Chappal are different, it has embroidered designs with silk threads. Chamba Shawls- shawls are another important handicraft in Chamba. Earlier the shawls were made through local sheep wool but today Merino sheep, Angora sheep, Pashmina wool etc are used. Metal work and Wood work of Chamba is another traditional art which makes it famous.|
|Kangra||it is situated at an altitude of 610 Meters above the sea level. A land of glorious history is famous for its beautiful ancient temples and picturesque surroundings. It lies between the beautiful Dhauladhar and Shivalik Ranges. The Kanga town was founded by Katoch Kshatruja Rajput of Chandervanshi Clan. The beautiful town has been sacked many times because of the wealth assembled within the Vajreshwari temple. A famous looter Mahmud of Ghazni got attracted towards the temple and looted it in 1009 A.D. Tughlaq who was the ruler of Delhi Sultanate also looted it in 1360. Kangra is famous for Kangra painting, the pictorial art of the district is one of the finest gift to the art world.|
|Kinnaur||It is one of administrative districts in Himachal Pradesh. The administrative headquarters of Kinnaur district is at Reckong Peo. Kinnaur is surrounded by Tibet to East, Uttarakhand State from South, Shimla Kullu District from West and Lahaul Spiti from North. Kinnaur has three High Mountain Ranges namely Zanskar, Himalayas and Dhauldhar that enclose Valleys of Spiti, Satluj, Baspa and their tributaries. The slopes are covered with thick wood, orchards fields and picturesque hamlets. The much religious Shivling lies in the Kinnaur Kailash Mountains.|
|Spiti||Lahul & Spiti is a big district that shares its boundary with Tibetan Empire. It deals with the reign Maharaja Ranjit Singh Lahual & Spiti attained the status of a district. The district is one of the most picturesque valleys with large number of monasteries and natural formation. Lahaul is marked by a central mass of high mountains and massive glaciers. The two Rivers Chandra and Bhaga which rise on either side of the Baralacha La that flow through the narrow Chandra and Bhaga valley . In 1941 Spiti with Lahaul was constituted into a separate sub tehsil of Kullu Sub division which has its Headquarters at Keylong. Later on after formation of Lahaul & Spiti into a district Spiti was formed into a sub- division with its headquarters at Kaza.|
|Kullu||It is situated at an elevation of 1230 Meters above the sea level. Kullu was earlier known as Kulanthpitha meaning ‘the end point of inhabitable World’.Kullu valley is also mentioned in Ramayana, Mahabharata and Vishnu Purana. This dazzling hill station is surrounded by massive snow clad mountains and thick pinewood forests with the beautiful Beas River flowing throughout the region as its magnificent centerpiece Kullu is famous for adventure activities like trekking, River Rafting, Mountaineering, Angling and paragliding. Presence of various temples makes this holy place more attractive and attracts many.|
Many number of God and Goddesses are worshiped in Himachal and many festivals are celebrated in honor. The beauty of the culture of Himachal Pradesh lies in its simplicity. Pahadi is the most commonly spoken language by the people, though Hindi is the official language of the state. Folk music and dances are an integral part of the people of Himachal. Natti is very famous dance form of the state.