Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over 21,495 sq mi (55,673 km²)and is bordered by the Indian states of 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 literal meaning of Himachal Pradesh is Region of snowy mountains. Himachal Pradesh was anciently known as Dev Bhumi (The Abode of Gods) and is known to be abundant in natural beauty 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. Himachal has many prestigious boarding schools. Himachal means snow in Sanskrit. It was named by one of the great Sanskrit scholars of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma. Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest per capita incomes of any state in India. Due to the abundance of perennial rivers, Himachal also sells hydro electricity to other states such as Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan. The economy of the state is highly dependent on three sources: hydroelectric power, tourism and agriculture. Hindus make up 95% of the state population, making it the most Hindu state (proportionally), in India. According to a 2005 Transparency International survey, Himachal Pradesh is ranked the second-least corrupt state in the country after Kerala.
Himachal Pradesh, popularly known as the land of Gods has a glorious history, which dates back to around two million years. Initially the first inhabitants of the Himachal Pradesh occupied the foothills of the state. Later after the establishment of the Indus Valley Civilization in Himachal Pradesh, they were forced to shift their base from foothills to the upper areas of the hills. Dasas, Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Khasas and Kinnars, the local tribes of Himachal Pradesh inhabited this land since the ancient times. Later many other clans, tribes and dynasties occupied the land of Himachal Pradesh.
The Aryans established their rule over Himachal Pradesh during the period before Rig Veda. The Aryans were very clever and through their strategies they defeated the local tribes and became the permanent inhabitants of Himachal Pradesh. During this period several small Janapadas or Republics were also established in the present Himachal Pradesh. Later, the Mauryans arrived and ruled by conquering most of the small republics. Ashoka was a famous king of this dynasty who after the a terrible war took faith in Buddhism and propagated the Buddhist philosophy to help people become truly happy.
After the decline of the Mauryans, the entire land of Himachal Pradesh came under the control of small local chieftains known as the thakurs or ranas. Later in the seventh century, the Harsh became dominant and became the rulers of all the small kingdoms.
The middle of the seventh century saw the rise of the Rajputs and they established small principalities in Himachal Pradesh. Then the foreign invaders made their presence felt by conquering several forts of Himachal Pradesh. Then came the turn of the Mughals who were defeated by the hill rulers.
The Britishers who wanted to rule over India joined hands with the hill rulers and started to establish their rule in Himachal Pradesh. Initially the hill rulers supported the British. After 1914, the states of Himachal Pradesh started participating in the revolt against Britishers and finally in 1947 India became independent after an arduous struggle against the Britishers.
Geography and climate
Himachal is situated in the western Himalayas. Covering an area of 55,673 kilometres (34,594 mi) Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous state with elevation ranging from about 350 metres (1,148 ft) to 7,000 metres (22,966 ft) above the sea level.
Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.
The drainage system of...