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Himachal Pradesh-At a Glance

Presentation · January 2013

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.35733.22245


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A. Balasubramanian
University of Mysore


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Himachal Pradesh - At a Glance

Welcome to the state of Himachal Pradesh

(A Video Documentary Script)

Prof. A. Balasubramanian*
Centre for Advanced Studies in Earth Science,
University of Mysore ,Mysore
*(Former Director: -Culture and Cultural Relations-Pondicherry University,
Former Director -Educational Multimedia Research Centre-University of Mysore)

India is one of the mostly preferred destinations for international tourists.

Tourism is a very promising industry in India. India is a country with a large number of
tourist spots and attractive features. India is a country known for its culture, heritage, history
and natural resources. All the states and union territories have a good number of locations
catering to the domestic and international tourists.

State Profile: location, Capital City, Population, languages.

Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. The state covers an anrea of 55,673 square
kilometers with 6,077,248 inhabitants. The state is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the
north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south,
Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east. The capital
of the Himachal Pradesh is Shimla. The official language of this state is Pahari and Hindi.
The state has the quality of life in the county with excellent physical infrastructure and it has
77.1% literacy level.

Physiography: Mountains and forest.

Himachal is also well known for its rich flora. Forests cover about 38% of the state's total
area. Himachal is a mountainous region, rich in its natural resources. Elevation ranges from
450 meters to 6,500 meters above sea level. The region extends from the Shivalik range of


The year is divided into three seasons. Cold, which is October to February, hot which is
March to June and rainy that is July to September. By October, nights and mornings are very
cold. Snowfall at elevations of about 3000mtrs is about 3mtrs and lasts from December to
March. About 4500mtrs, is perpetual snow. The main season is the spring from mid- Feb to
March-April. The air is cool and fresh. Colorful flowers adorn the valleys, forest slopes and
meadows. In the hill stations, the climate is pleasant and comfortable.

Historical Significance

In 1773 AD the Rajputs under Sansar Chand possessed this region, till the attack by Maharaja
Ranjit Singh in 1804 which crushed the Rajput power here. The Gurkhas who migrated from
Nepal captured this area and devastated it. In the early 19th century the British exercised their
influence and annexed the areas of Shimla after the Gurkha War of 1815-16. After the Anglo
Gorkha War, the British colonial government came into power. In 1950 Himachal was
declared as a union territory but after the State of Himachal Pradesh Act 1971, Himachal
emerged as the 18th state of the Republic of India.

Accessibility – Road, Railways, Airways, Sea routes

Himachal Pradesh, being the one of the most important cites of India, is well connected to
most of the other Cities of the Country, by highways, railways, airways and sea routes.

There are three airports in Himachal Pradesh. They are: Shimla Airport, Gaggal Airport and
Bhuntar Airport. The flights operate only seasonally due to extreme weather conditions,
especially during winters. All these airports have runways shorter than 4000 ft and therefore
allow the operation of only the smaller aircraft such as the 18-seater Dornier & 42 seater
ATR, which is the most common aircraft operating on these runways.


Road transport is perhaps the most efficient mode of transport in the state. Most buses in the
state are operated from Shimla, Dharamshala, Mandi and Hamirpur. The 23 bus depots in the
state take complete charge of public transportation in Himachal Pradesh. The Himachal
Regional Transport Corporation provides buses in the state for inner city, inter-city and intra-
city transport. The inner city and intra-city bus services play vital roles in transportation
within the state.


Railways hold a negligible share in transportation in Himachal Pradesh. A meter gauge

railway line connects Shimla to Kalka and other places like Una and Solan. The
computerized railway reservation counters at Shimla, Pathankot and Mandi enable tourists to
make rail reservations and rail bookings for several regions in India.

Time Zone, Currency and No Of Districts

Throughout the India, the time zone is same of all the States i.e. Indian standard Time +5:30

The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the
currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The new Indian rupee symbol
INR is derived from the Devanagari. The first series of coins with this new rupee symbol was
launched on 8 July 2011.

The modern rupee is subdivided into 100 paise though this division is now theoretical; as of
30 June 2011, coin denominations of less than 50 paise ceased to be legal tender. Bank notes
are available in nominal values of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2000 rupees. Coins of the rupee
are available in 1, 2, 5 and 10. Paise coins of the rupee have nominal values of 50, and lower
denominations have been officially withdrawn.

The state is divided into 12 districts. They are, Bilaspur, Chamba, Hamirpur, Kangra,
Kinnaur, Kullu, Lahul & Spiti, Mandi, Shimla, Sirmaur, Solan, and Una.

Historical Monuments / Architecturally Significance building/ Mansions : Tomb, Statue


Namgyal Monastery, War Memorial, Viceregal Lodge are the fascinating historical
monuments of the state.
 The third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, founded Namgyal Monastery in the year 1575.
During that time, it was situated at the Potala Palace in Tibet. Its purpose was to assist
the Dalai Lama in his spiritual duties and public religious activities.

 One of the major attractions of Dharamsala, the War Memorial reminds us of the
post-independence war heroes of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

 One of the most famous landmarks of Shimla is the Viceregal Lodge situated on the
Observatory Hill and also known as the Rashtrapati Niwas now. The building lies at a
distance of just 2 km from the Himachal State Museum.

Hill Stations

Plenty of hill stations decorate Himachal Pradesh and is the most popular spot in India. The
most famous hill stations of Himachal Pradesh are Chail, Dalhousie, Dharamsala,
Kasauli, Lahaul and Spiti.

Chail is located at a distance of 43 km from Shimla and has an abundant lush green setting.

Dalhousie is present at the western edge of the Dhauladhar range which is at the east of the
Ravi River.

Dharamsala is hanging on the high slopes of Kangra Valley

Kasauli is 77 km away from Shimla and 35 km from Kalka.

Lahaul & Spiti lies on the border of Indo-Tibet and is mostly covered with snow.

Other important hill stations are Mcleodganj, Kullu, Manali, Shimla, Kufri, Barog,
Kiarighat, Solan, Mashobra, Kangra, Khajjiar, Haripurdhar, Dharamkot,
Mukteshwar, and Palampur.


There are many exotic wildlife that has been brought up in the zoo and parks of Himachal
Pradesh and the most famous zoo of this state are Rewalsar Zoo, and Gopalpur Zoo.

The most popular inhabitants of Rewalsar Zoo are Brown beer, Tibetan wolf and barking

Gopalpur Zoo is situated at Dharamshala-Palampur road which is located in the district

Kangra. The most abundantly found species of this Zoo are Asiatic lion, Leopards, Wild
pig, Sambhar, Peacock, Deer, Vultures, Eagles and Himalayan Black Bears.

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

The most famous parks and sanctuaries of this state are The Great Himalayan National
Park, Simbalbara Sanctuary, Chail Sanctuary, Churdhar Sanctuary, Renuka
Sanctuary, Daranghati Sanctuary, and Valley National Park.
The Great Himalayan National Park covers an area of 62,000 hectares and was declared as
a National Park in the year 1984.

Simbalbara Sanctuary is situated at Paonta Valley of Sirmour District. The wildlife of this
sanctuary includes Goral, Sambhar and Chittal.

Chail Sanctuary is located at one of the districts of Shimla. This was declared as the wildlife
sanctuary in the year 1976. The common animals and birds of the sanctuary includes Sambar,
Goral, Common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Deer,
Silver-White Oak, Barking Deer, Indian Hare, Yellow Throated Marten, Indian Porcupine,
Common Giant and Kashmiri Flying Squirrel.

Churdhar Sanctuary is situated in Sirmour and Shimla District. The most abundant species
of this sanctuary are Monals, Barking Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Musk Deer, Leopards,
Common Langur and Leopards.

Renuka Sanctuary is located at Sirmour district and covers an area of 300 hectare.

Daranghati Sanctuary possesses inhabitants like Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear,
Himalayan Serow, Palm Civet, Barking Deer, and Musk Deer.

Pin Valley National Park is located in the region of Spiti. This was declared as a National
Park in the year 1987.

The other important sanctuaries are Tirthan Sanctuary, Kais Sanctuary, Majathal
Sanctuary, Kanawar Sanctuary, Manali Sanctuary, and Maharana Pratap Sagar

Palace/Forts/ Museums/Art Galleries

Himachal Pradesh is not only known for its scenic beauty but also for its priceless work of
architectures. Many wonderful forts and palaces decorate this state and are the perfect
examples of human creativity.
The most famous forts of this state are Kangra Fort, Sujanpur Fort, Kamru Fort, and
Nurpur fort.

Kangra Fort is situated at the district of Kangra and is one of the oldest fort of Himachal
Sujanpur Fort is located on the banks of the River Beas. This fort is popularly known to be
Kamru Fort is located at a distance of 229 km from Shimla.
Nurpur Fort is initially known as Dhameri and is most popular fort of Himachal Pradesh.
The most popular palaces of this state are Rang Mahal, and Maharaja’s Palace.
Rang Mahal is located in Chamba and has many beautiful works carved on this palace.
Maharaja’s Palace is located in Chail and occupies the highest point on the Rajgarh Hill.

Tourist Spot: Trekking, Boating / Spots / Race course /Golf clubs

The most popular tourist spots of Himachal Pradesh are Manali, Shimla, Khajjiar, Chail,
Dalhousie, Kullu, Chindi, Kalpa, Dharamshala, Rewalsar, Renukaji, Kasauli, Kiarighat,
Bilaspur, Chamba, Fagu, Naldehra, Jawalaji, Palampur, Bhagsu, Sarahan, and Rampur .

Trekking is one of the famous sports that is very famous in Himachal Pradesh and the most
popular destination for Trekking are Pin Parvati Pass Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Kinner Kailash

The Pin Parvati Pass Trek has an altitude of 5400 meters.

The Beas Kund Trek is located at Manali and is the most popular trekking spot in Himachal
Pradesh. Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal are the popular places that can be viewed while trekking
in this spot.

The Kinner Kailash Circuit is located at Kinnaur Valley and has an altitude of 5300 meter.

Temples/Pilgrimage Centers/ Mosques/ Churches/ Jain etc.

Himachal Pradesh was known to be ‘Devabhoomi’ which means the adobe of the Gods. More
than two thousand temples exist in the state. This state also possesses a large number of
Buddhist temples, Sikh temples and Christian temples.

The most popular Hindu Temples are Bajreshwari Temple, Jwalamukhi Temple,
Chamunda Devi Temple, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Chaurasi Temples, Chattari
Temples, and Prashar Temple.

Bajreshwari Temple is dedicated to Bajreshwari Devi and it is situated outside the town of

Jwalamukhi Temple is situated nearer to Kangra. Navratra is the popular festival celebrated
in this temple.

Chamunda Devi Temple is located nearer to Dharamsala one of a place in Kangra and it is
dedicated to Chamunda Devi.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The temple is
located at Chamba.

Chaurasi Temple is located at Bharmaur and it is considered to be the most important

temple in the Chamba Valley.

Chattari Temples is located nearer to Bharmaur which is in Chamba.

The most famous Buddhist pilgrimages are Guru Ghantal Monastery, Rewalsar, Kardang
Monastery, Shashur Monastery, Tayul Gompa, Kye Monastery, Kungri Gompa, Nako,
and Tabo monastery.

The most famous Sikh pilgrimages are Paonta Sahi, Rewalsar, and Manikaran.

The most famous Christian pilgrimages are Kasauli, Shimla, Dharamshala, and Dalhousie.

Handicraft/ Dress Materials/Whole sales products

The most popular craft works of the people of Himachal Pradesh are Wood Carving,
Painting, The Pahari Paintings of Mid-17th Century, Painters from the Mughal Court,
Kangra School of Paintings, The Kangra style of Paintings, Thangkas, Rugs & Carpets,
Garments & Accessories, Embroidery, Woollen Garments, Shawls, Leather craft,
Jewellery, Metalwork, Another Metalcraft- Mohra, and Stonework.

Wood Carving is very traditional in Himachal Pradesh. Some fine works that are made from
the wood are jalis, trelliswork or perforated reliefs that filter light. Some other beautiful
objects using woods include vedis, bedlegs, cradles, bedsteads, low settees, boxes, ladles,
churners, rolling pins, wooden utensils, charkhas and hukka nari

Painting in Himachal Pradesh reflects a rich tradition. Floors are painted with white while on
the other hand wall paintings will be colorful.

The Pahari Paintings of Mid-17th Century are in the Basholi style. These paintings will be
extremely colorful and are mixed with liveliness and emotion.

Thangkas is a kind of paintings that will be done on the cloths.

Rugs & Carpets are brilliantly colored and gives a fascinating appearance.

Garments & Accessories of Himachal Pradesh will be very colorful and the most famous
wears of this state are Kurtas, rumals and Lahaul.

Embroidery is very famous among the women of Himachal Pradesh. rumals (scarves),
coverlets, handfans, caps, cholis (bodices), gaumukhi (prayer gloves) are the most popular
items present in the homes of Himachal Pradesh. The embroidery threads that are used in the
cloths will be usually in red and orange colors.

Woolen Garments is considered to be an auspicious thing in Himachal Pradesh and is a must

garment during the festival seasons.

Shawls in Himachal Pradesh are made from the fine hair of pashmina goats and are
extremely awesome.

Leather craft of HP will be plain or embroidered. Traditional Chamba chappals (slippers) is

the popular things made out in leather and the embroidery work will be using the colors like
red, black, green, yellow, blue and imitation zari (gold thread).

The most famous Jewellery work of HP are amulets, pendants, necklaces, daggers and rings
that are made from Chunky bead and metal.
The most popular Metalwork Himachal Pradesh are fashioned teapots, smoking pipes,
carved panels, doorknobs and various other artifacts.

Celebrations/Festivals/ Dance/ Music

The festivals of the state would be very colorful and are very traditional. Almost every
festivals of India will be celebrated in this state and among which the most popular ones are
Pori Festival, Fulaich, Lohadi, Chaitti, Chaitraul, Basora or Bishu, Minjar,
Gungnaumi, Losar, Sairi, Dyali, Khogal, Gotsi or Gochi, Karwa Chauth, Khepa, Magha
Naun, Faguli and Sajo.

The most popular dances of Himachal Pradesh are Kinnaur Dance, Chamba Dance,
Sirmaur Dance, Kullu Dance, Lahaul-Spiti Dance, The Mala (garland) dance, The
Demon (Rakshasa) dance, Dalshone and Cholamba dances, and Shan and Shabu

The most popular instruments used in this state are drums, winds, and strings.

Educational hubs/ Industrial hubs

The most popular Educational Hubs of Himachal Pradesh are present in the district of
Shimla, Palampur, Sundar Nagar, Hamirpur and Baddi.

The names of the popular Universities in Himachal Pradesh are Jaypee University of
Information Technology, Himachal Pradesh University, Agricultural Univeristy, NIT
Hamirpur, Y S P University, Institute of Engineering and Emerging Technologies, and
Govt. Polytechnic College.

Hotels (Five star, Four star, three star) and facility.

Though hotels are present all across the state of Himachal Pradesh, the most popular ones are
located at Mashobra, Shimla, Manali, and Dharamsala.

Famous hotels of Himachal Pradesh are

 Wildflower Hall

 Krish Rauni Resort

 Chapslee

 Silmog Garden

 Tourist Hotel

 Pink House

 Radisson Hotel Shimla

Tourist Dept. Office / Conducted Tourist operators / Guide facility.

Many tourists operator may be handling a particular tour genre. The tour packages will also
be differing according to the tour operators and it must be chosen according to the facilities of
the tourists.

Some of the popular tour agents in Himachal Pradesh are Himachal Tour Package,
Himachal Tour Consultant, Travelhimanchal, Himachal Travel Point, Manali Package,
and Great Himalayan Travels.


Himachal Pradesh provides well equipped hospital facilities. Abundant hospitals are spread
across the state of Himachal Pradesh among which the most popular ones are located at
Solan, Mandi, Santokgarh, Kangra, Mehatpur, and Gopipur.

The most popular hospitals in Himachal Pradesh are

 District TB Hospital
 Divya Sanjeevani Ayurveda Hospital
 32 PEARLS Dental Healthcare Centre H
 Radha Soami Hospital
 Dr RP Govt. Medical College & Hospital
 AROGYAM Panchkarma Centre & Ayurvedic Hospital

Shopping Center/ Malls / Business Centers

The most famous shopping destinations of Himachal Pradesh are Shimla, Kullu, Manali,
Dalhousie, Dharamshala and McLeodganj.

Kullu Shawls, Kullu Caps, Tibetan Carpet, Metal Ware, Buddhist Paintings, Woolen
Pullovers, Jackets, Cardigans, Gloves, Mailing Postcards with Buddhist and Hindu Motifs
Apples, Pickles, Jams and Juices, Traditional Jewelry are the shopping attractions of this

Some of the popular shopping malls in Himachal Pradesh are Mall Matrix, Stadia
Supercenter, Amartex Shopper World and Kinner Kailash Jewellers.

Cinema Halls /Film Cities

Cinema Halls in Himachal Pradesh are very spacious and provides a comfortable
environment. Though plenty of Cinema halls are present all across the state the most popular
ones are located in Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Dalhousie, Dharamshala and McLeodganj.

Some of the famous cinema halls of the state are Piccadily Cinema Hall, Movie Time
Cinemas, Big Cinemas, Chitra Cinema, Roxy Cinema, Pvr Cinemas, Cinemax Cinemas, and
Fame Cinemas.

Food Habits
The best dishes of Himachal Pradesh are Indra and Siddu. Indra is prepared by Urad dal and
Bada while Siddu is prepared from Soybean or Walnut.

 Popular Non Vegetarian Dishes are Kullu Trout, Grilled Fishes, and Chicken

 Popular Vegetarian Dishes include Guchhi Mattar, Sepu Vadi and Kaddu ka Khatta.

The most popular sweets are Mittha and Nasasta which are made from Sweet Rice and

Popular drinks of HP are Tea that are made in varieties of Buttermilk. Bhatoora and Chana
Madra are very Crunchy and are very tasty one.

Safety And Precautions

There are many important features of vacation. It is not an option but a compulsory measure
that has to be taken while traveling anywhere. General safety and precautions are,

 First aid tool kid is the most important one that everyone has to carry while
 Traveling at night is unsafe.
 Keep a photocopy of your passport and all other important documents in a safe
 Don't share taxis with strangers.
 Make a note of emergency exits, stairwells, fire escapes and emergency plans at
 And always have local police and ambulance number to make emergency call.

Himachal Pradesh has plenty of such tourist locations. Each location speaks in volume almost
its uniqueness. The pride of India lies in every tourist spot.
Thank you

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