Himachal Pradesh is the 18th state of Indian Union. It is also known as ‘Dev Bhoomi -The abode of Gods’ as it is the home of several Deities. Himachal is situated in the lap of Himalayas. The name ‘Himachal’ is derived from Him (Himalayas) and Anchal (lap).
Himachal Pradesh has abundance of natural beauty which makes it favorite holiday destination for people of India as well those other countries of the world. There are many hill stations which makes it a perfect holiday destination. Some of famous Tourist destinations are Manali, Shimla, Mcleodganj, Dalhousie, Chamba, Kinnaur, Spiti valley, Khajjiar etc. Himachal Pradesh also offers many Adventure Sports to the adventure lovers.
Geography and Climate of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal is spread over an area of 55,673 sq kms, 30o 22' 40" N to 33o 12' 40" N and 75o 45' 55" E to 79o 04' 20" E. The state is located at altitudes ranging from 450 meters (1,476 ft) to 6,500 meters (21,325 ft) above sea level. Most part of the state is hilly, but some parts of Solan, Una and Kangra Districts are plains.
Rivers and Lakes in Himachal PradeshThe Rivers flowing through the mountains has become the nerve of the state Economy as these rivers provide the best conditions for the Hydropower projects. The river system of Himachal includes Sutlej, Beas, Parbati, Ravi, Chenab, Chandra Bhaga, Giri and Yamuna rivers mainly.
Rewalser Lake, Parashar Lake,Kamrunag Lake in Mandi, Chandartal Lake in Lahaul Valley, Manimahesh Lake in Chamba, Renuka Lake in Sirmaur are some natural lakes in Himachal where as Gobind Sagar Lake on Sutlej river in Bilaspur and Pong Dam Lake on Beas river in Kangra are the Man-made lakes in Himachal Pradesh.
Mountain Ranges and Peaks in Himachal PradeshHimachal Pradesh is a mountainous state. Shivalik range include the lower parts (outer Himalayas) of the state while Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal covers the parts of the state in Lesser Himalaya. A number of glaciers exist and several passes lie across the Pir Panjal. The Rohtang Pass (3,978 m) is one of these. The Zansker range in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley is the part of Greater Himalaya (5,000 to 6,000 meters). Some of the famous passes in this range are Kangla(5,248 m), BaraLacha (4,512 m), Parang (5,548 m) and Pin Parbati (4,802 m).
Mountains Peak in Himachal Pradesh ranges up to 6500 meters. Some of the famous Peaks are:
» Pir Panjal (Height - 5792 metres)
» Dhauladhar (Height - 4500 metres)
» Kinner Kailash (Height - 6500 metres)
» Shipki (Height -6608 metres)
» Shri Khand (Height - 5182 metres)
» Divibokri (Height - 6400 metres)
» Manimahesh Kailash (Height - 5575 metres)
» Deo Tibaba (Height - 6100 metres)
» Solanng (Height - 5975 metres)
» Chur-dhar (Height - 3647 metres)
» Muragla (Height - 5060 metres)
» Barlacha (Height - 4890 metres)
climate of Himachal: Himachal experiences a cool and pleasant climate through out the year. The weather of Himachal alters with the change of altitude. The temperature is low in upper regions of the state as compared to the lower regions. During winter higher mountains remained snow covered. Parts of Shimla, Kullu, Mandi experiences periodic snowfall while Lahaul Spiti and some parts of Kinnaur and Chamba remains cut from the other parts of the country because of heavy snowfall. Waves coming from the mountain ranges cools the lower regions of the state.
Himachal Pradesh has a total population of 6,856,509 including 3,473,892 males and 3,382,617 females according to the Census of India 2011. This constitutes the 0.57 per cent of India's total population, recording a growth of 12.81 per cent. Population Density of Himachal Pradesh is 123 per square km. Himachal Pradesh has a literacy rate of 83.78 per cent and gender ratio at 974/1000, according to the 2011 Census figures.
Kangra district was top ranked with a population of 1,507,223 (21.98%) followed by Mandi 999,518 (14.58%), Shimla 813,384 (11.86%), Solan 576,670 (8.41%), Sirmaur 530,164 (7.73%), Una 521,057 (7.60%), Chamba 518,844 (7.57%), Hamirpur 454,293 (6.63%), Kullu 437,474 (6.38%), Bilaspur 382,056 (5.57%), Kinnaur 84,298 (1.23%) and Lahaul And Spiti 31,528 (0.46%). Himachal Pradesh has the one of the highest percentage of Hindu population in India (95%). The main communities in the state are Rajputs, Rathis, Brahmins and Ghirth. Himachal has a sizeable population of Tibetans as the Mcleodganj is the capital of Tibetan Govt. in exile. Other religions that form a small percentage are Buddhism and Sikhism.
Main Occupation of People in Himachal Pradesh
As the most of the population lives in the rural areas in Himachal Pradesh, Agriculture is the main occupations in the state. Agriculture contributes nearly 45% to the net State Domestic Product. It is the main source of income as well as employment in Himachal. About 93% of the state population depends directly upon Agriculture. Agriculture provides employment to around 71% of the working population of the state.
Agriculture in Himachal Pradesh
The main cereals grown in the state are wheat, maize, rice. Kangra and Mandi are the major producers of these cereals. Along with these traditional crops some cash crops like potato, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, chicory seeds, hops, olives and fig are also produced in the state. Kullu, Lahaul & Spiti and, Shimla are the chief producers of potato.
Horticulture in Himachal PradeshThe agro-climatic conditions of Himachal Pradesh are extremely suitable for growing different varieties of Fruits. The State has a great potential of horticulture and has emerged as the prime producer of different varieties of fruits from tropical to temperate, which has made it the fruit bowl of the country. It has helped in the economic growth of rural population and has also generated employment to many. The total area under fruit in HP is about 2.07 Lac hectares with a production of about 5.00 Lac MTs of all kinds of fruits. Apple is the major fruit accounting for more than 40% of total area under fruits and about 88% of total fruit production.
Fruit Production in Himachal PradeshThe state is growing fruits such as apple, pear, peach, plum, citrus, mango, raisin grapes etc. There has been tremendous progress in fruit growing during the last three decades. Apple has the highest share of fruit production. It has a rich collection of as many as 450 cultivars of apples collected from all over the World. Himachal Pradesh currently accounts for over 4 lac tones of apple production annually. It has been recognized as the Apple State of India.
Himachal is also known for tea production. Tea gardens in the Palampur of Kangra valley recognized the city as tea capital of North India.