Where is Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh is in the northern part of India. The mountain state is known for its landscape, mountain peaks, and rivers. Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh surround it to the north, Punjab to the west, Haryana to the southwest, and Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to the south. The state also shares borders with the autonomous region of Tibet to the east. The formation of Himachal Pradesh as a state took place on January 25, 1971.
What is the Geography of Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh spreads across a total area of 55,673 sq. km (21,495 sq. mi). It ranks 17th in terms of the total area amongst the states and union territories in India. Its population was 6,864,602 (as per the 2011 census). The density of the state was 23/sq. km (320/sq. mi) (according to the 2011 census). Himachal Pradesh is in the 21st rank in terms of population in the country.
There is no shortage of rivers in the state. It has the distinction to provide water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. Apart from this, there are five drainage systems in the mountain state of Himachal, such as Ravi, Beas, Chenab, Sutlej, and Yamuna. However, Chenab is the largest river (as far as the volume of water is concerned) of the state. It forms after the amalgamation of two streams known as Chandra and Bhaga at Tandi, in Lahaul.
Himachal Pradesh has several remarkable mountains, such as- Reo Purgyil, Mountain Gya, Ninjeri, Undung Kangri, and many more. Meanwhile, Shila is the highest mountain peak in the state. Its height is 6,132 meters (20,118 ft) above sea level.
Forest land is abundant in the state. The recorded forest area in Himachal Pradesh in 2019 was 37,033 sq. km, of which 1,898 sq km is reserved forests, while 33,130 sq. km is protected forests, and 2,005 sq km is unclassified forests. Several kinds of trees are found in the state’s forest-like- Green Oak, White Oak, Blue Pine, Silver Fir, and so on.
The state divides into several physiographic regions like The outer Himalayas (Shivaliks), The lesser Himalayas (central zone), The Great Himalayas (northern zone), and Zanskar range (Shilla Peak-Kinnaur, Pangi Chamba).
It is home to several animal species such as ibex, wild yak, ghoral deer, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, brown bear, leopards. Various kinds of birds are also spotted in Himachal Pradesh like Koklass Pheasant, Kalij Pheasant, Oriental White Eye, Himalayan Bulbul, and many more.
The state tree of Himachal Pradesh is Deodar Cedar, while Rhododendron Campanulatum is the state’s flower. Besides this, the state has declared Snow Leopard as the official state animal, and Western Tragopan is the state bird of Himachal Pradesh.
What is the Climate of Himachal Pradesh?
The climate in Himachal Pradesh varies with the altitude. In the lower part of the southern region which is at an altitude of 900–1800 meters, the weather remains hot and temperate, between 1900–2400 meters it is cool and mild, while cold glaciers are at an altitude of 2400–4800 meters in the northern and eastern high elevated mountain ranges.
The average summer temperature of the state remains in the range of 72°F (22°C) to 98°F (37°C). In comparison, Himachal Pradesh experiences an average temperature in winter between 32°F (0°C) to 59°F (15°C).
The annual rainfall of Himachal Pradesh remains in the range of 2909 mm to 3800 mm. Although, several famous tourist destinations in the state receive snowfall in the shivering cold of December and January. January and June are the coldest and hottest months in the state, respectively.
What is the Economy of Himachal Pradesh?
Agriculture plays a key in the economy of the state. It is the main occupation and source of employment in Himachal Pradesh. The state has been doing remarkably well in the production of commercial crops such as off-season vegetables, potatoes, and ginger. Horticulture production in Himachal Pradesh touched 2374.57 thousand metric tonnes in 2018-19 (according to third advance estimates).
The state is the pharmaceutical industry hub of India. Several major pharmaceutical companies are operating from the state. Therefore, the state is now a major drug exporter of the country.
The tourism sector is another source to generate revenue in the state. The state had 3,066 registered hotels in 2018. The tourism sector contributes 6.6 percent in Himachal Pradesh’s GDP.
What is the Transportation System of Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh is well-connected with the entire country. The government-owned Himachal Road Transport Corporation has been providing an excellent interstate and across the state bus services.
National highways are the lifeline of the state. Prominent national highways that pass through the state are- National Highway 3, National Highway 105, National Highway 154A, and so on. There are several state highways, some of the major state highways of Himachal Pradesh are- HP SH 1, HP SH 2, HP SH 6, HP SH 8, and many more.
The state has two narrow-gauge rail tracks. The Kalka-Shimla Railway track covers 96 kilometers. A broad-gauge line exists in the state which connects Nangal Dam in Punjab to Una in Himachal Pradesh.
There are three airports in Himachal Pradesh like- Shimla Airport near Shimla, Gaggal Airport near Kangra, and Bhuntar Airport near Kullu. Due to the shorter runway, only smaller aircraft can operate from these airports.
What are the Popular Tourist Attractions in Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh is a famous hill station which entices people of all walks of life from India and abroad. It is an incredible place where tourists can enjoy and see the Himalayan landscapes, beautiful mountains, and heart touching rivers. Several outdoor activities are also available for amusement, such as- rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, ice-skating, trekking, rafting, etc.
The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a famous mountain railway, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Places like Manali, Kinnaur, Kasol, Parvati Valley, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnar Kailesh, and Kasauli are worth seeing. Dharamshala is the home of the Dalai Lama, which is famous for its Tibetan monasteries and Buddhist temples.
The state is packed with several fantastic tourist attractions such as Rohtang Pass, Devi Temples, Jakhoo Temple, Great Himalayan National Park, and many more. Himachal Pradesh is a state where tourists can enjoy a lot.