Himachal Pradesh is located in the Northern region of India. The state was formed in 1971 with Shimla as its capital. It borders the four Indian states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir. It is the third fastest developing state in India in terms of economy. The region is adequately populated with an average density of 123 people per square kilometer and ranks 21st in the country in terms of population. Area-wise, the region stands 17th biggest in the nation.
The state is located in the western part of Himalayas. You can find mountainous ranges in abundance here as most of the area is covered with elevations ranging between 350-7000 meters above the MSL (Mean Sea Level). The state is a wonderful piece of natural beauty. The prime rivers here include Chenab, Beas, Yamuna, Ravi, and Sutlej. Beautiful dense cover of vegetation around the rivers adds to the splendor.
A few major forest covers in the area are tropical and subtropical dry broad-leaf forests, Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests, tropical and subtropical moist broad-leaf forests, Himalayan subtropical pine forests, northwestern thorn scrub forests, Western Himalayan sub-alpine conifer forests, Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows, Western Himalayan broad-leaf forests, and Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. The most important trees commonly found in the region are Shisham, Chir Pine, Sal, Blue Pine, and Deodar.
Best time for tourism
Climate in the region is virtually divided into three basic seasons as summer, winter, and rainy season. The winter season is experienced between November and March while the summer season starts from mid-April and lasts till June. Rains are expected generally between July and November. Weather conditions keep varying considerably across the state. Area like Dharamsala receive heavy to very heavy rains while the region of Lahaul and Spiti receive very scarce rainfall. The areas under alpine cover experience heavy snowfall. Summer season is ideal for tourism and the average temperature is 27-32 degree Celsius.
More than 95% of the overall population belongs to Hindu religion. People from other religions like Buddhism and Sikhism are also found in small numbers. The main languages spoken here are Punjabi and Hindi. The region has a fairly good literacy rate of around 83%. The three main pillars of the state economy are hydroelectric power, agriculture, and tourism.
Major tourist attractions
The state government here is striving hard to make the area a 'Flower Basket' of the world. End of the winter season is the best time to see the floral beauty. You can find spectacular blanket of the flowers like lily, tulip, marigold, chrysanthemums, and roses in different parts of the state.
The noted national parks here are the Great Himalayan National Park and Pin Valley National Park. Some of the prime sanctuaries here are Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary, Kibber Sanctuary, Rupi-Bhabha Wildlife Sanctuary, Shri Nainadevi Wildlife Sanctuary, Govind Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Rakchham-Chhitkul Sanctuary, Dhauladhar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, and Pongdam Lake Sanctuary.
There are as many as 359 species of animals and 1200 species of birds found in Himachal Pradesh. Snow leopard, ghoral, leopard, musk deer, and Western Tragopan are the prominent animals found here.
The area is a well-developed handicraft industry. You can find a unique variety of pashima shawls, metal ware, embroidered chappals, carpets, silver ware, wood crafts, Gompa and Kangra form of paintings, and horse-hair bangles.
Shimla is one of the most celebrated tourist spots in India. It is surrounded by the seven hills of Jakhoo, Prospect, Observatory, Bantony, Elysium, Summer, and Invererarm. Other places worth seeing in the city are the Mall, Annandale, Chadwick Falls, Viceregal Lodge and Botanical Gardens, Jakhoo Temple, Himachal State Museum and Library, Sankat Mochan, Tara Devi, Christ Church and St. Michael's Cathedral, and Kali Bari. It is the only Indian city with natural ice-skating rink.
Kullu, also called as the Valley of Gods, is another major point favorite among the visitors. The area has a startling cover of pine forest. Raghunath Temple is an important religious center of Hindus. The structure was erected in 1660 and is dedicated to Lord Rama. Bijli Mahadev Temple and Jagannath Devi Temple should not be missed out on the tour. Kullu shawls, mufflers, and caps are popular worldwide for their distinct traditional pattern and outstanding quality.
Manali is a splendid location covered with lush green dense forests and grassy meadows. It is very popular among trekkers and adventure-sport lovers. Some of the places that may interest you are Hadimba Temple, Jagatsukh, Beas Kund, Vashisht Springs, Arjun Gufa, Kothi, Rohtang Pass, and Solang Valley. Rohtang Pass is a favorite spot for skiing and trekking.
Dharamshala is famous for temples and Buddhist monasteries. The places you must visit here are Tsuglagkhang, Triund, Kareri, Mcleod Ganj, Bhagsunath, Dharamkot, and Naddi.
Dalhousie is a famous hill-station situated on the five hills of Balun, Tehra, Kathlog, Bakrota, and Patreyn. The place is famous for churches and public schools. Subhash Baoli, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, and Panchpula are the prime places of interest.
Chamba is another sightseeing point famous for Champavati Temple, Rangmahal, and Bhuri Singh Museum. Kangra is a major mountaineering and trekking point and includes spots like Brajeshwari Devi Temple, Chintapurni, and Nagarkot Fort. Palampur is significantly admired for its natural charm and tea plantations. The regions of Khajjiar and Kasauli are also well-liked by visitors.
Himachal Pradesh is a spectacular illustration of nature's elegance in the Northern part of India. A unique combination of dense woods and snow-covered hills will definitely give you an incredible experience.