Information about Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh literally means Snow-laden Region and is one of the most beautiful and diverse states in India. It is a very popular destination for tourists and adventure travelers due to it’s natural beauty. Following are some basic facts about Himachal Pradesh:

Himachal Pradesh Facts

  • Latitude – 30’22’40” N to 33°12’40” NMap of Himachal Pradesh
  • Longitude – 75”‘ 45′ 55″ E to 79° 04′ 20″ E
  • Area .- 55,673 sq. km
  • Height – 350 metre to 6975 metre
  • Density (per sq. km. 2011) – 123
  • Population (2011 ) – 6856509 persons
  • State Animal – Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)
  • State Bird – Western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus)
  • State Flower – Pink Rhododendron (Rhododendron Campanulatus)
  • Average Rainfall – 1469 mm
  • State Capital: Shimla

Weather and Geography 

Himachal Pradesh lies in the western Himalayas mountain range. Total area of state is 55,673 square kilometres and a large area lies on foothills of Dhauladhar Range. Reo Purgyil is the highest mountain Peak with a height of 6816 meters.

A large number of glaciers and rivers form the drainage system of Himachal Pradesh which provide water to a number of important rivers like Ganga, Indus, Yamuna, Beas, Sutlej, Chenab among others.

Due to extreme variations in altitude in different areas, there is a large amount of variation in flora and fauna. Lahaul Spiti, the largest district is mostly a high altitude desert with very little rainfall while others like Dharmshala receive it in plenty.Summer starts from mid-April till June and most parts apart from alpine region experience warm to hot weather. Average temperature may range between 25 to 32 degree celsius. Winters last from last November till March and most of the state above 2200 meters experiences mild to high snowfall. Rainy season brings in lots of rainfall during July month.

Transport in Himachal Pradesh

Roads

Road transport is the most popular mode in hilly terrain. The total road network of state is around 28200 km and includes 8 national highways and 19 state highways of 1234 km and 1625 km lengths. Some routes like those leading to  Lahaula Spiti stay closed during winter season due to snow.

Air
Air travel is rather limited in Himachal Pradesh and it has only 3 small airports:

  1. Bhuntar airport in Kullu, 6 km from district headquarters,
  2. Shimla airport, 21 km from Shimla city.
  3. Gaggal airport in Kangra, 10 km from city

Railways

Total rail network of Himachal Pradesh is just 259 km and consists of Kalka-Shimla and Pathankot-Jogindernagar Railways. Both are narrow gauge tracks and popular with tourists for joy rides. Kalka-Shimla railway is also a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World HeritageSite. A standard gauge track connects Amb to New Delhi. There are plans to extend the network till Kangra, Baddi, Dharmshala and Bilaspur

Himachali Culture

Although most areas of Himachal Pradesh remained somewaht untouched by external customs due to difficult terrain, but with modern advancements, there are rapid changes. Different districts have different languages and some more important ones are Hindi, Pahari, Dogri, Kangri, Kinnauri etc. There are some tribal communities like Gaddis, Gujjars, Lahaulis, Kinnars and majority of population is Hindu.

Most of villages have a local deity and song and dance are an intimate part of the religious rituals and local festivals. There are also fairs which are a very popular and provide locals with opportunities to trade, meeting up with friends and have some fun.

Himachali handicrafts are very popular and a number of people are involved in making woolen clothes, paintings, woodwork, metal ornaments, shawls and various other things.

Himachali Cuisine

Some specialties of Himachali cuisines are Madeera, Pateer, Til Chutney, Siddu and Chouck among others. Non-vegetarian diet mostly consists of meat from goat, sheep and chicken and is quite popular. Yak meat is also eaten in certain areas. The cuisine resembles rest of north-Indian cuisines for most part.

Districts in Himachal Pradesh

No. Districts Population(2011) % of Population Rural Pop. Urban Pop. Area km² Density (per km²)
1 Chamba 518,844 7.57% 4,82,653 36,191 6,528 80
2 Kangra 1,507,223 21.98% 1,420,864 86,359 5,739 263
3 Lahaul and Spiti 31,528 0.46% 31,528 0 13,833 2
4 Kullu 437,474 6.38% 3,96,216 41,258 5,503 79
5 Mandi 999,518 14.58% 9,36,894 62,624 3,951 253
6 Hamirpur 454,293 6.63% 4,22,880 31,413 1,118 406
7 Una 521,057 7.60% 4,76,140 44,917 1,549 338
8 Bilaspur 382,056 5.57% 3,56,930 25,126 1,167 327
9 Solan 576,670 8.41% 4,74,592 1,02,078 1,936 298
10 Sirmaur 530,164 7.73% 4,72,926 57,238 2,825 188
11 Shimla 813,384 11.86% 6,11,884 2,01,500 5,131 159
12 Kinnaur 84,298 1.23% 84,298 0 6,401 13
Total Himachal Pradesh 6,856,509 100% 6,167,805 688,704 55,673 123