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Location in India
|Coordinates (Shimla): Coordinates:|
|Established||25 January 1971†|
|• Governor||Acharya Dev Vrat|
|• Chief Justice||Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir|
|• Chief Minister||Virbhadra Singh (INC)|
|• Legislature||Unicameral (68 seats)|
|• Parliamentary constituency||4|
|• Total||55,673 km2 (21,495 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,319 m (7,608 ft)|
|• Density||123/km2 (320/sq mi)|
|• Official(s)||Hindi, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-HP|
|HDI rank||3rd (2011)|
|† It was elevated to the status of State by the State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970|
Himachal Pradesh ([ɦɪmaːtʃəl prəd̪eːʃ] ( listen); literally "Snow-laden Region") is a state in North India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. Its area is 21,495 sq mi (55,670 km2), 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.
The history of the area that now constitutes Himachal Pradesh dates back to the time when the Indus valley civilisation flourished between 2250 and 1750 BCE. Tribes such as the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars, and Kirats inhabited the region from the prehistoric era. During the Vedic period, several small republics known as "Janapada" existed which were later conquered by the Gupta Empire. After a brief period of supremacy by King Harshavardhana, the region was once again divided into several local powers headed by chieftains, including some Rajput principalities. These kingdoms enjoyed a large degree of independence and were invaded by Delhi Sultanate a number of times. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th century. Timur and Sikander Lodi also marched through the lower hills of the state and captured a number of forts and fought many battles. Several hill states acknowledged Mughal suzerainty and paid regular tribute to the Mughals.
The Gurkhas, a martial tribe, came to power in Nepal in the year 1768. They consolidated their military power and began to expand their territory. Gradually, the Gorkhas annexed Sirmour and Shimla. Under the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkhas laid siege to Kangra. They managed to defeat Sansar Chand Katoch, the ruler of Kangra, in 1806 with the help of many provincial chiefs. However, Gurkhas could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1809. After the defeat, the Gurkhas began to expand towards the south of the state. However, Raja Ram Singh, Raja of Siba State managed to capture the fort of Siba from the remnants of Lahore Darbar in Samvat 1846, during the First Anglo-Sikh War. They came into direct conflict with the British along the tarai belt after which the British expelled them from the provinces of the Satluj. The British gradually emerged as the paramount power. In the revolt of 1857, or first Indian war of independence, arising from a number of grievances against the British, the people of the hill states were not as politically active as were those in other parts of the country. They and their rulers, with the exception of Bushahr, remained more or less inactive. Some, including the rulers of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami, rendered help to the British government during the revolt.
The British territories came under the British Crown after Queen Victoria's proclamation of 1858. The states of Chamba, Mandi and Bilaspur made good progress in many fields during the British rule. During World War I, virtually all rulers of the hill states remained loyal and contributed to the British war effort, both in the form of men and materials. Among these were the states of Kangra, Jaswan, Datarpur, Guler, Nurpur, Chamba, Suket, Mandi, and Bilaspur.
After independence, the Chief Commissioner's Province of H.P. came into being on 15 April 1948 as a result of integration of 28 petty princely states (including feudal princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya, known in full as the Simla Hills States and four Punjab southern hill states by issue of the Himachal Pradesh (Administration) Order, 1948 under Sections 3 and 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947 (later renamed as the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 vide A.O. of 1950). The State of Bilaspur was merged into Himachal Pradesh on 1 April 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lieutenant Governor was appointed. The Legislative Assembly was elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became a union territory on 1 November 1956. Some areas of Punjab State—namely Simla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Kanungo circle of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur District—were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966 on enactment of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 by the Parliament. On 18 December 1970, the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament, and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged as the 18th state of the Indian Union.
Geography and climate
Himachal is in the western Himalayas. Covering an area of 55,673 square kilometres (21,495 sq mi), it is a mountainous state. Most of the state lies on the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. At 6,816 m Reo Purgyil is the highest mountain peak in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej, and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.
Due to extreme variation in elevation, great variation occurs in the climatic conditions of Himachal . The climate varies from hot and subhumid tropical in the southern tracts to, with more elevation, cold, alpine, and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges. The state has areas like Dharamsala that receive very heavy rainfall, as well as those like Lahaul and Spiti that are cold and almost rainless. Broadly, Himachal experiences three seasons: summer, winter, and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid-April till the end of June and most parts become very hot (except in the alpine zone which experiences a mild summer) with the average temperature ranging from 28 to 32 °C (82 to 90 °F). Winter lasts from late November till mid March. Snowfall is common in alpine tracts (generally above 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) i.e. in the higher and trans-Himalayan region).
Flora and fauna
According to 2003 Forest Survey of India report, legally defined forest areas constitute 66.52% of the area of Himachal Pradesh. Vegetation in the state is dictated by elevation and precipitation. The state endows with a high diversity of medicinal and aromatic plants. Lahaul-Spiti region of the state being a cold desert area support quite unique medicinal plants, including Ferula jaeschkeana, Hyoscyamus Niger, Lancea tibetica, and Saussurea bracteata.
Himachal is also said to be the fruit bowl of the country, with orchards being widespread. Meadows and pastures are also seen clinging to steep slopes. After the winter season, the hillsides and orchards bloom with wild flowers, while gladiolas, carnations, marigolds, roses, chrysanthemums, tulips and lilies are carefully cultivated. The state government is gearing up to make Himachal Pradesh as the flower basket of the world.
Himachal Pradesh has around 463 bird and 359 animal species.
The Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh has no pre-Constitution history. The State itself is a post-Independence creation. It came into being as a centrally administered territory on 15 April 1948 from the integration of thirty erstwhile princely states.
Himachal Pradesh is governed through a parliamentary system of representative democracy, a feature the state shares with other Indian states. Universal suffrage is granted to residents. The legislature consists of elected members and special office bearers such as the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker who are elected by the members. Assembly meetings are presided over by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker's absence. The judiciary is composed of the Himachal Pradesh High Court and a system of lower courts. Executive authority is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister, although the titular head of government is the Governor. The Governor is the head of state appointed by the President of India. The leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor, and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers reports to the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly is unicameral with 68 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Terms of office run for 5 years, unless the Assembly is dissolved prior to the completion of the term. Auxiliary authorities known as panchayats, for which local body elections are regularly held, govern local affairs.
In the assembly elections held in November 2012, the Congress secured an absolute majority. The Congress won 36 of the 68 seats while the BJP won only 26 of the 68 seats. Virbhadra Singh was sworn-in as Himachal Pradesh's Chief Minister for a record sixth term in Shimla on 25 December 2012. Virbhadra Singh who has held the top office in Himachal five times in the past, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Urmila Singh at an open ceremony at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla.
Land husbandry initiatives such as the Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project, which includes the Himachal Pradesh Reforestation Project (HPRP), the world's largest clean development mechanism (CDM) undertaking, have improved agricultural yields and productivity, and raised rural household incomes.
|Year||Gross State Domestic Product|
The era of planning in Himachal Pradesh started in 1948 along with the rest of India. The first five-year plan allocated ₹52.7 million to Himachal. More than 50% of this expenditure was incurred on road construction since it was felt that without proper transport facilities, the process of planning and development could not be carried to the people, who mostly lived an isolated existence in faraway areas. Himachal now ranks fourth in per capita income among the states of the Indian Union.
Agriculture contributes over 45% to the net state domestic product. It is the main source of income and employment in Himachal. Over 93% of the population in Himachal depends directly upon agriculture, which provides direct employment to 71% of its people. The main cereals grown are wheat, maize, rice and barley.[better source needed]
Hydropower is also one of the major sources of income generation for the state. The identified Hydroelectric Potential for the state is 23,000.43 MW in five river basins.[better source needed]
As per the current prices, the total GDP was estimated at ₹ 254 billion as against ₹ 230 billion in the year 2004–05, showing an increase of 10.5%.
- Bhuntar Airport is in Kullu district, around 10 kilometres (6 mi) from district headquarters.
- Gaggal Airport is in Kangra district, which is around 10 kilometres from Kangra
- Shimla Airport is around 21 kilometres (13 mi) west of the city.
Himachal is famous for its narrow-gauge railways. One is the Kalka-Shimla Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and another is the Pathankot–Jogindernagar. The total length of these two tracks is 259 kilometres (161 mi). The Kalka-Shimla Railway passes through many tunnels, while the Pathankot–Jogindernagar meanders through a maze of hills and valleys. It also has standard-gauge railway track, which connects Amb (Una district) to Delhi. A survey is being conducted to extend this railway line to Kangra (via Nadaun). Other proposed railways in the state are Baddi-Bilaspur, Dharamsala-Palampur and Bilaspur-Manali-Leh.
Roads are the major mode of transport in the hilly terrains. The state has road network of 28,208 kilometres (17,528 mi), including eight National Highways (NH) that constitute 1,234 kilometres (767 mi) and 19 State Highways with a total length of 1,625 kilometres (1,010 mi). Some roads get closed during winter and monsoon seasons due to snow and landslides. Hamirpur has the highest road density in the state.
|Source:Census of India 2011|
|Source:Census of India 2011|
Himachal Pradesh has a total population of 6,856,509 including 3,473,892 males and 3,382,617 females as per the provisional results of the Census of India 2011. This is only 0.57 per cent of India's total population, recording a growth of 12.81 per cent. The total fertility rate (TFR) per woman is 1.8, one of lowest in India.
In the census, the state is placed 21st on the population chart, followed by Tripura at 22nd place. Kangra district was top ranked with a population strength of 1,507,223 (21.98%), Mandi district 999,518 (14.58%), Shimla district 813,384 (11.86%), Solan district 576,670 (8.41%), Sirmaur district 530,164 (7.73%), Una district 521,057 (7.60%), Chamba district 518,844 (7.57%), Hamirpur district 454,293 (6.63%), Kullu district 437,474 (6.38%), Bilaspur district 382,056 (5.57%), Kinnaur district 84,298 (1.23%) and Lahaul Spiti 31,528 (0.46%).
The life expectancy at birth in Himachal Pradesh is 62.8 years (higher than the national average of 57.7 years) for 1986–1990. The infant mortality rate stood at 40 in 2010, and the crude birth rate has declined from 37.3 in 1971 to 16.9 in 2010, below the national average of 26.5 in 1998. The crude death rate was 6.9 in 2010. Himachal Pradesh's literacy rate almost doubled between 1981 and 2011 (see table to right).
Hindi is both the official language and the lingua franca of Himachal Pradesh. However, most of the population speaks Pahari in everyday conversation, which includes nearly all Western Pahari dialects. There are a total of 32 languages in Himachal. English also has official status for government work. Hindi is spoken by 89% of the population while Punjabi is spoken by 6% of the population.
Hinduism is the main religion in Himachal Pradesh, which ranks first in India in terms of the proportion of Hindus present within it. More than 95% of the total population belongs to the Hindu faith, the distribution of which is evenly spread throughout the state. Himachal Pradesh thus has the one of the highest proportions of Hindu population in India (95.17%).
Other religions that form a small percentage are Buddhism and Sikhism. The Lahaulis of Lahaul and Spiti region are mainly Buddhists. Sikhs mostly live in towns and cities and constitute 1.16% of the state population. For example, they form 10% of the population in Una District adjoining the state of Punjab and 17% in Shimla, the state capital. The Buddhists, who constitute 1.15%, are mainly natives and tribals from Lahaul and Spiti, where they form a majority of 60%, and Kinnaur, where they form 40%. However, the bulk are refugees from Tibet.
There are tribal populations in the state that are mainly made up of Gaddis, Gujjars, Kinnars, Lahaulis, and Pangawals. Many people of Himachal Pradesh live a very simple traditional 'Pahari' lifestyle.[better source needed]
Prominent people associated with Himachal include:
- The Great Khali, professional wrestler
- Dev Anand, an Indian actor studied here.
- Anupam Kher, an Indian actor
- Amrish Puri (who studied here),
- Prem Chopra (brought up here),
- Mohit Chauhan, an Indian singer
- Anand Sharma (member of Rajya Sabha and former Union Cabinet Minister for Commerce and Industry of the Government of India),
- Mehr Chand Mahajan Third Supreme Court Chief-Justice and former chief Minister of Kashmir in 1947,
- Shahid Javed Burki economist and former vice-president of World Bank,
- Pritam Singh, is the brand ambassador of the state
- Preity Zinta, Bollywood actress
- Kangana Ranaut, Bollywood actress,
- Yami Gautam, (Pahari Punjabi Family,Mother From Bilaspur(H.P.)), Bollywood actress,
- Siddharth Chauhan, Independent Filmmaker
- Namrata Singh Gujral, an American actress
- Satyananda Stokes who introduced apples to the region,
- Idries Shah writer, Sufi teacher and sage,
- Allan Octavian Hume ornithologist had his home here,
- Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq former general of Pakistan who studied here,
- Hamid Karzai president of Afghanistan who studied here,
- Vijay Kumar won silver medal in 25m shooting in 2012 Summer Olympics,
- Ms. Suman Rawat Mehta,Arjuna Awardee.Won a bronze medal in the 1986 Asian Games in 3000m race.
- Major Som Nath Sharma, PVC (1923–1947) was the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra,
- Captain Vikram Batra PVC (9 September 1974 – 7 July 1999) posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra,
- Captain Saurabh Kalia (1976–1999) posthumously awarded with the Maha Vir Chakra
- Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar , PVC ( 3 March 1976) is an Indian Army soldier, a Junior Commissioned Officer and recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military award.
- Shyam Saran Negi, named as the first voter of independent India.
- Ram Kumar, abstract artist.
Hamirpur District is among the top districts in the country for literacy. Education rates among women are quite encouraging in the state. The standard of education in the state has reached a considerably high level as compared to other states in India with several reputed educational institutes for higher studies.
The Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Himachal Pradesh University Shimla, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT, CSIR Lab), Palampur, the National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Una the Central University Dharamshala, AP Goyal (Alakh Prakash Goyal) Shimla University, The Bahra University (Waknaghat, Solan) the Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technologies Baddi, IEC University, Shoolini University Of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Solan, Manav Bharti University Solan, the Jaypee University of Information Technology Waknaghat, Eternal University, Sirmaur & Chitkara University Solan are some of the pioneer universities in the state. CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalya Palampur is one of the most renowned hill agriculture institutes in world. Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry has earned a unique distinction in India for imparting teaching, research and extension education in horticulture, forestry and allied disciplines. Further, state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Government Engineering College started in 2006 at Sundernagar.
There are over 10,000 primary schools, 1,000 secondary schools and more than 1,300 high schools in Himachal. The state government has decided to start three major nursing colleges to develop the health system in the state. In meeting the constitutional obligation to make primary education compulsory, Himachal has become the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child.
The state has Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Kumarhatti. Besides that there is Himachal Dental College which is the state's first recognised dental institute.
|Animal||Snow leopard बर्फीला तेंदुआ|
Source: Department of Information and Public Relations.
|Scheduled Caste population||1,729,252|
|Scheduled Tribe population||392,126|
|Urban local bodies||49|
|Motorable roads||33,722 km|
|Identified hydroelectric potential||23,000.43 MW in five rivers basins i.e. (Yamuna, Satluj, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Himurja)|
|Potential harnessed||9,000 MW (approximate)|
|Food grain production||1579,000 tonnes|
|Vegetable production||900,000 tonnes|
|Fruit production||1,027,000 tonnes|
|Per capita income||104,943 (2014–15 expected)|
|Social Security pensions||237,250 persons, annual expenditure: over ₹ 600 million|
|Investment in industrial areas||₹ 273.80 billion, employment opportunities: Over 337,391|
|Employment generated in government sector||80,000|
Largest District (km²) (1) Lahul and Spiti 13841 (2) Chamba 6522 (3) Kinnaur 6401 (4) Kangra 5739 (5) Kullu 5503
Percentage of Child (1) Chamba 13.55% (2) Sirmaur 13.14% (3) Solan 11.74% (4) Kullu 11.52% (5) Una 11.36%
High Density (1) Hamirpur 407 (2) Una 338 (3) Bilaspur 327 (4) Solan 300 (5) Kangra 263
Top Population Growth (1) Una 16.26% (2) Solan 15.93% (3) Sirmaur 15.54% (4) Kullu 14.76% (5) Kangra 12.77%
High Literacy (1) Hamirpur 89.01% (2) Una 87.23% (3) Kangra 86.49% (4) Blaspur 85.87% (5) Solan 85.02%
High Sex Ratio (1) Hamirpur 1095 (2) Kangra 1012 (3) Mandi 1007 (4) Chamba 986 (5) Bilaspur 981
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- Bittu Bhaizee
- Geography of Himachal Pradesh
- Index of India-related articles
- List of districts of Himachal Pradesh
- Outline of India
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Himachal Pradesh.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Himachal Pradesh.|
||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Punjab||Tibet Autonomous Region, China|