Himachal Pradesh - Elements of Nature, Culture and Civilization

Towering hills, scented air, nature’s glimpses, and rich-spicy cuisines - if one wishes to get an all-inclusive package of experience in an ideal tourist destination, then Himachal Pradesh is a place to go. A northern Indian state in the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful, enchanting and scenic locations in India. Known for its strong and distinctive adherence to Tibetan culture, this vastly expanded hilly state contains the aura and the majestic edge of the high mountains, tall, gigantic trees and the clear, blue, infinite sky enveloping the state.  Literally defined as “snow-laden-region”, Himachal Pradesh is a land of various types of flora, fauna, spices, fabrics and invaluable antiques. It was named by Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, one of the most eminent Sanskrit scholars hailing from Himachal Pradesh. With the speeding rate of civilization and an increase in cultural schemes, Himachal is gradually proceeding towards registering its name amongst one of the most successful tourist spots.  You want to enjoy yourselves fully amongst the amazing valleys and deep, dark and adventurous forests; you can explore Himachal’s landscape. What’s even interesting is the wildlife of Himachal and its variety can drive you crazy! You really cannot count on your fingers the broad spectrum of flora and fauna that it hides within its mysterious folds! One can also take note of the fact that its National animal is Snow Leopard, the national bird being Jujurana. Reflected in its Buddhist temples and Monasteries is its devotional aspect. The locals of the state indulge highly on food-items heavy on noodles and dumplings. What’s most singular about Himachal Pradesh is its flamboyance and spirit of life that is reflected through its festivals, fairs, and most popular Tibetan New Year celebrations.

However, it’s not all about festivals, events, and beauty only; formulated on 25th January 1971, Himachal Pradesh has a complex historical and cultural background that enriches its present stature. With a total of 12 districts, Shimla stands as not only the largest city of Himachal Pradesh, but it is also the capital of this mesmerizing tourists’ spots. What is splendid about this state is that if we go by the Transparency International survey, Himachal Pradesh is proudly ranked as the second least corrupt state of the country India, the first being Kerela. This fact definitely acts as one driving reason that attracts tourists from around the world. Providing hassle-free moments and an entirely energetic ambiance; Himachal Pradesh is ever ready to embrace people who want fun and vitality. 

History

The history of the area that now constitutes Himachal Pradesh dates back to the time when the Indus Valley Civilization flourished in this state. It began to expand around 2250 and continued to stretch its boundaries till 1750 BCE. Tribes such as the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars, and Kirats had been inhabiting this hilly region from the times of prehistoric civilization. Also, one significant historical fact is that multiple small republican dynasties, popularly called by the name “Janapada” used to exist mainly during the Vedic Period. But, Gupta Empire later emerged victorious over it. It has actually gone through numerous historical tumults. For instance, after King Harshwardhana had completed his shortly-spanned dominance over this state, it again faced divisions in forms of multiple local powers which were chiefly led by chieftains, primarily constituted by the Rajput’s influential figures. It has also faced usurpation by Sultanate empires as well. Most strikingly, Ghaznavi had marked its victory over Kangra at the very rise of the tenth century. The sad fate of Himachal has been such that even Sikander Lodi and mighty Timur had been successful in capturing the lowers hills of this perplexed state. Actually, as has been recorded by the historians, many of the hill states located in this region have duly acknowledged the tyrannical control of Mughals.

In the year 1768, after the consolidation of power of the martial tribe, Nepal’s Gorkhas began to exercise their dominance over Sirmour and Shimla and ruled over it ruthlessly. What was a source of relief for the Himachalis is that Gurkhas, even after desperate attempts, could not reign over Kangra Fort which used to come under the regulation of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in the year 1809? But, they were not discouraged and tried to further their control towards the South of Himachal.

Thenceforth, many great wars, conflicts, and hostilities accrue with British legislation as well. The First Anglo Sikh War was a monumental event in the history of Himachal Pradesh whose consequences were felt even after the decades. The British government at that point of historical turmoil emerged as more powerful. What also led to the inevitable struggle of the Himachalis for the longest period of time was that, except for Bushah, people of this hilly state were, by and large, inactive.

While, on the other hand, Britishers were very powerful, very concentrated and well-aware of the politics all across the globe. What is reprehensible is that some of the Indian cities such as Bilaspur and Chamba allied themselves with British forces during the revolt. Despite such a topsy-turvey historicity, Himachal still can be crowned as a harbor of peace, beauty, and calmness. Herein lie its dignity and incomparable interest-value, as far as the tourists are concerned.

Geography

In terms of geographical dimensions and expansion, Himachal Pradesh is not a modest state. Its area is precisely 21,495 sq mi, also measured in terms of the estimation - 55,673 km2. Bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the south-west, Uttrakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east, Himachal lies predominantly in the western Himalayas. The major proportion of the state is found in the foothills of a popular range called Dhauladhar. The highest and most awe-inspiring mountain peak of the Himachal Pradesh is Reo Purgyil. Its height is estimated to be around 6,816m. In order to understand the circumscribing pattern of the state, we can underline it as having Uttrakhand located in the southeast direction. China neighboring it on the east, the west being defined by Punjab and in the north of Himachal Pradesh, one can find the scenic Jammu and Kashmir. Talking about its latitudinal measurement, one notes that it stretches from the latitudes calculated as 30°22’40” from the North direction to 33°12’40” north. Its longitudes come within the range of 75 degrees to 79 degrees by approximation. It is primarily and essentially a beautiful hilly area, with sublime heights that scale from about 350 meters to around 7000 meters, mostly above the general sea-levels. The altitudes do not remain static but periodically increases from west to east and also by the same parameter, from south direction to the north. Geographically, Himachal Pradesh can be divided into three distinct regions: the outer Himalayas, popularly known as Shivalik, the inner Himalayas, also known as the middle Himalayas and the most popular alpine Zone, also called by the name of greater Himalayas. The rivers and glaciers, both together compose the parts of Himachal’s drainage system. Beautifully and amazingly, the rivers originating from the Himalayas flow through the whole of the mountains network. The Ganges as well as the Indus Basin, both get the adequate water supply from Himachal Pradesh. Some important drainage systems worth mentioning are Baes, Yamuna, Chandra Bhaga and the Ravi. Continuously flowing, these rivers keep on progressing throughout the year and get further supplementation from the rains, dew drops and snowfall. The natural vegetation of the area protects it and provides it with a secure cover.

Climate

Due to extreme variation in elevation, great disparities occur in the climatic conditions of Himachal. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern region with more elevation; it gets cold, alpine, and glacial, mostly in the northern and eastern mountain ranges. The state has a widely varied climatic condition, there are places like Dharamshala that is ever embracing heavy rainfalls, on the other hand, some unfortunate places such as Lahaul that remain dry and divested of rains almost always. Broadly, Himachal experiences three seasons: summer, winter, and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid-April mostly and continues until the end of the month of June. Most of the parts, as a result, become very hot. One exception is nonetheless the alpine Zones which get the experience of average summers. Winters are more pleasant and luckily last for a longer time period, from the latter part of the month of November till mid-march, winters rule the climate of Himachal. In the alpine tracts (especially in the trans-Himalayan region), snowfall is considered no wonder and occurs occasionally.

Best Time to Visit

From late November to mid-march, i.e. during winters, one can ideally enjoy the actual essence of Himachal Pradesh to the fullest. Though during monsoons, the weather remains pleasant and cool, but due to constant and excessive rainfalls, many of the sports and activities cannot be enjoyed and if one does not participate in any activities or sports, the visit to Himachal is absolutely futile. So, visiting it in winters could be exciting. By taking along proper woolens, one can happily enjoy the beautiful hill stations without any obstructions on climatic parameters.

Economy

Mainly resting on Tourism and Apples, the economy of Himachal is widely expanding. It is also rich in Natural Minerals that increase the productivity level of the state. Having within its regions two well-established cement-industries, Himachal caters not only to the populace of Himachal, but it also makes the people from other states its customers. Due to multiple perennial rivers that flow through this hilly area, the business of hydroelectricity is very flourishing. Despite many seasonal hindrances, the state has well-linked channels through road, air, and water. It is also worth mentioning that Himachal enjoys the benefit if having highest road density amidst all the states of India that are hilly.

The fast progressions in the infrastructure by the legislative bodies and the development of well, equipped, modern technologies of farming and agriculture among the farmers and villagers made Himachal one of the most transformed states. Also, accommodating agricultural tools and cattle’s brilliant prodigy and the business of sheep-bearing have helped Himachal to register its name amongst the advanced and modernized states of India. It is indeed appreciable that Himachal holds the fourth position with regard to the per capita income. With the annual rate of 10.2%, the GSDP of the state escalated on the parameters of collective annual growth in the year 2014-15. The economic expansion of the state does not limit itself here only. Having about 27, 436 megawatt of hydropower capacity, Himachal Pradesh contributes about 25.9% to the country’s overall hydropower demand. Having advanced techniques of arranging electrification in the rural areas, Himachal has also managed to attract investment in other significant sectors as well, primary of them being IT, Pharmaceuticals and engineering domain.

Operating under the active ‘Industrial Policy, 2013’, a wide arena of lucrative, benefits, bonus and incentives are offered by the state. The Tourism Policy, as well as IT Policy, also remains active throughout the year in Himachal. With great endeavors towards making the agriculture a dominant trade, the state has marked immense progress in the advancement of the industry of horticulture.

Mushrooms, flower, and honey are the economically-exploited products which are produced at high rates annually. If data is to be observed, one sees that in the year 2014-15, the government has attained about 3,446 hectares which is quite commendable. Himachal is definitely active on multiple economic surfaces.

One important dimension of the economy of Himachal is its 12th Five Year Plan. Under these schemes of things, issues like irrigation, electrification, water supply, infrastructure roads and highways and housing are given top preferences by the Himachal’s Government. Moreover, to fulfill the commitments towards the public, a separate department of redressal and public grievances under the direct supervision of the Chief Minister has been set up in each of the departments to make this more efficient. Himachal Pradesh is the first ever state in the entire country to come up with the program of "e-samadhi" for addressing public grievances. One does not need to boast about its economically secure stature, it is factually very glorified and it keeps on touching new levels of success as the new opportunities come up in the international market.

How to Reach

Reaching Himachal Pradesh does not pose a difficulty because there are innumerable ways and modes to travel to this hilly state. The most convenient and popular one is listed below:

By Air: Himachal Pradesh significantly has three major domestic airports that connect the state with other networks. The situation of these airports can be traced at Jubbarhatti, Gaggal, and Bhuntar. These three airports properly form a link between Himachal and its neighbor Chandigarh and Delhi. The most commonly employed airport is Jubbarhatti that is at 23 km of distance from Shimla. It also provides convenient and easy transportations from Kullu, Chandigarh as well as Delhi.

By Train: Since Himachal is located in the hilly area, it is difficult and quite improbable at times to lay the railway tracks properly. But, wonderfully so, Himachal still has quite broad, wide, narrow, steep gauge tracks. Pathankot to Joginder Nagar line smoothly links together Himachal and Punjab. There is a popular Toy train that runs regularly and helps in establishing connections from Shimla to Kalka. It also provides superlative sceneries while traveling. Kalka also links some of the major towns of the country. Solan and Una comprise two other important railway stations of Himachal Pradesh.

By Road: If one travels towards Himachal in good season through road, the long, expanded roads of this mountainous state makes for an amazing drive, offering nature’s beauty as well. There are multiple neatly laid out patterns of road transportation in Himachal. However, due to monsoons and unpredictable rainfalls, the roads of high altitudes remains barred.

Regular and efficient bus services can be availed from Chail, Dehradun, Delhi, Manali, Pathankot, Shimla, Kullu and Mandi. Taxis are always available to take the tourists to the desired destinations easily.

Wild Life

Due to sparse human population and moderate temperature throughout the year, the wildlife of Himachal Pradesh is deeply exciting and interesting. With many Sanctuaries and National Parks, the fauna of this exotically circumscribed state grows and develops in amiable surroundings. The forest of Himachal Pradesh offers the most wonderful experience of a lifetime which is simply exhilarating. One can witness the untamed and ferocious side of the threatening animals from great Himalaya in their natural habitat. The national parks of Himachal Pradesh are rightly famous amongst wildlife aficionados worldwide.

There is no better way to rejuvenate and relax than to visit some of the natural wonders of Himachal Pradesh. Thanks to Himachal Pradesh's varied geography and carefree environs, one can verily observe wild animals at great proximity. Nature literally evoked summoned all the hues of its vast canvas and employed them in splendid, extravagant extent to the Pin Valley National Park and the more famous Great Himalayan National Park.These two together are the most important National Parks of Himachal Pradesh.

The most varied species found in Himachal Pradesh include:

  • Jackal
  • Squirrel
  • Deer
  • Snowfinch Flourish
  • Snow Partridge
  • Himalayan Snowcock
  • Tragopan
  • Koklas
  • Monal
  • Bharal
  • Leopard
  • Goral
  • Musk Deer
  • Brown Bear
  • Thar
  • Snow Leopard
  • Serow
  • Kali
  • Cheer
  • Siberian Ibex
  • Chukar Partridge
  • Red Fox
  • Himalayan Black Marten
  • Goral
  • Serow
  • Langur

Some of the most popular and oft-visited Sanctuaries of Himachal are:

  • Churdhar Sanctuary
  • Majahtal Sanctuary
  • Daranghati Sanctuary
  • Renuka Sanctuary
  • Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Simbalbara Sanctuary
  • Manali Sanctuary
  • Darlaghat Sanctuary
  • Gobind Sagar Sanctuary

Tourist can also indulge in bird watching at:

  • Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Maharana Pratap Sagar Reservoir
  • Renuka Lake
  • Khajjiar Lake

Places to Visit

Cool, serene, embalming and pristine environs of Himachal Pradesh invite tourism from nooks and corners of the world. With multiple facets of snow-laden natural landscape and religiously harmonious ambiance, Himachal Pradesh is a sheer bliss for people who are carefree wanderers. The lap of nature opens itself to the universe and the beauty and the luxurious tenets are too irresistible to overlook. Kullu Manali, Kufri, Shimla, Chamba, McLeod Ganj, and Dharamshala - to name a few, are the most popular sites for sight-seeing and exploration in Himachal Pradesh. Some of the other spots for tourists navigations are:

  • Lam Dal Trek
  • Naldhera
  • Prashar Lake
  • Malana
  • Dhanker
  • Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Suraj Tal
  • Chandra Taal
  • Malana Village Trek
  • Golden Devi Temple
  • Khajji Nag Temple
  • Khajjar Lake
  • Shivkul
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple
  • St. John’s Church
  • Shri Manikaran Saheb
  • Jagatsukh
  • Karrin
  • Bijli Mahadev Temple
  • Raison
  • Sultanpur Palace
  • Maheshwar Mahadev Temple
  • Parvati Valley
  • Raghunathji Temple
  • Shoja
  • Bathad
  • Hadimba Devi Temple
  • Chandrakhani Pass
  • St. Frances Church
  • St. Andrew Church
  • Subhash Baoli Satdhara
  • Panch Padav
  • Khajjar Village
  • Jalori Pass Trek
  • Bhrigu Lake
  • Dashir Lake
  • Manimahesh Lake
  • Kalpa
  • Tabo
  • Jakhoo
  • Sankat Mochan Temple
  • Shimla State Museum
  • Moon Peak Trek

Dalhousie and Kangra also offer tourists with visual delight and sensational relief. Leading attractions therein include:

  • BaoliBakrota
  • PahariSach
  • Dainkund Peak
  • PanchpulaGanji
  • Golden SadakSubash
  • Hills and Valleys of Katalope

Besides these amazing locations, Kasauli and Hamirpur offer exciting experiences to the visitors. Chail of Himachal Pradesh needs special mention here for it is one of the most loved spots of this wonderful state. These places are especially highly esteemed by the people who want to relish the carefree monsoon and engross themselves in the color and vigor of breeze which carries with itself the traditional awe and the cultural aura. Parwanu and Solan are also extravagantly scenic manifestations of natural resplendence and vitality. They have beauty, charm, peacefulness and rejuvenating energy deeply rooted within their very existence. Indeed, one can never feel bored or lethargic in this highly energetic and vehemently exciting state. If one does not wish to get engaged in crowded places to experience the loveliness of this state, there is an option of forests/parks exploration and night-walks round the mountains always available.

Sports/Activities

Being a hilly area, with expansive land and great canopy of trees and mountains, Himachal Pradesh offers a lot of sporty activities to the adventure enthusiasts. Catering to people of all kinds, be it the water-lovers or aspirants of height, Himachal never disappoints anyone. With games of all kinds, fast and slow, risky and pretty smooth, dangerous and frivolous, Himachal enamors the tourists with the wide arena of its concerns. It always keeps itself abreast with potency and inclinations of all kind of people with different dispositions.

Some of the most interesting and agile activities one can participate in Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Helli Skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Trekking
  • Paragliding
  • Skiing
  • River Rafting
  • Mountain motorcycling
  • Jeep Safari

In addition to all these highly pulsating and invigorating sports activities, one can organize group camps and enjoy the exploration and the demystification of this hilly slant state. Ice–skating, Angling, and Fishing also never goes out of trend amongst travel-lovers and folks who enjoy the rift and the accelerating mobility of life. Moreover, Rappelling and Zorbing are also highly enjoyed by the tourists who visit Himachal Pradesh. Indubitably, Himachal’s very air promotes activities and its harmonious atmosphere adds life and joviality to them.

Culture

Himachal Pradesh, the North Indian state, was one of the few states that had remained largely untouched by external customs, largely due to its difficult terrain. With the technological advancements, the state has changed very rapidly. Himachal Pradesh is a multi-religious, multicultural as well as a multilingual state like other Indian states. Some of the most commonly spoken languages of Himachal Pradesh are Hindi, Punjabi, Pahari, Dogri, Mandeali, Kangri, and Kinnauri. The Hindu communities residing in Himachal include the Brahmins, Rajputs, Mathis, Kannets, and Kolis. There is also tribal population in the state which mainly comprises Gujjars, Gaddis, Kinnars, Lahaulis, and Pangawals.

Himachal is well known for its handicrafts. The carpets, leather works, shawls, paintings, metal-ware, woodwork, and paintings are worth appreciating. Pashmina shawl is one of the products which is highly in demand not only in Himachal but all over the country. Himachali caps are also famous artwork of the people of this locality. Local music and dance reflect the cultural identity of the state and presents its features to international tourists. Through their dance and music, they entreat their gods during local festivals and other special occasions and events. Apart from the fairs and festivals that are celebrated all over India, there is a number of other fairs and festivals, including the temple fairs in nearly every region that are of great significance to Himachal Pradesh. One observes that 96% of the population is the majority of the population of the state consists of Hindus. The major communities include Brahmins, Rajputs, Choudhary, Kannets, Mathis, and Kolis. The Gujjars that are residents tribal part of the state are generally nomadic people who keep domestic animals such as buffalo as a profession and usually follow Muslim ideology. A minor proportion is constituted also by the Tibetans. Though agriculture is understandably the most common practice of the locals of Himachal, as the modern technology and education’s possibilities are increasing, people are moving towards public sectors as well. Traditionally, dhoti, kurta, and waistcoat is the dress for men. The Rajputs distinguish themselves with churidaar pajamas and a turban. As far as housing is concerned, a typical and normal house is made up of clay bricks and slate is used to make the roofs. At times, slates can be replaced by timbers as well.

Shopping

With varieties in clothes, candles, fabrics, bags, spices, jewels, gems and god and goddess’ idols, Himachal is an absolutely delightful place for shopaholics as well as for those people who enjoy collecting souvenirs. The markets of Himachal Pradesh are usually crowded since various items are sold at a very reasonable price. Also, the quality is unparalleled; authenticity is marked by the very look of the stuff sold in these markets. Few of the most desired items of Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Organic Honey
  • Pickles of all kinds
  • Jewels
  • Trendy Outfits
  • Colorful and fragrant candles
  • Thangka
  • Handicrafts’ materials
  • Jhola-bags
  • Hot and Indigenous Spices
  • Hats and Woolen Materials
  • Embroidered Shawls
  • Embellished Bed-covers and Bed-sheets

Besides all these items, one can find various trinkets and jingle key-rings and small- pretty items for gifting purpose from the Tibetan markets. Himachalis are very adept weavers and the mats and the blankets woven by them are sold at exponential rates. The rich texture and the designs of the clothes that one gets in Himachal Pradesh is unique and the stuff with equal preciseness could not be found elsewhere.

Fairs and Festivals

Festivals add life and vitality to the boring routine of the monotonous life and Himachalis understands it pretty well. Considering the festivals as a time to forget their differences and worries and to get engaged harmoniously with their relatives and family members, Himachali people celebrate multiple Indian festivals with great vigor and enthusiasm.

Also, the government of Himachal is very active and promotes tourism at a very conscious level. And hence, multifarious events, fairs, and festivals are organized and celebrated throughout the year to attract the travel and fun-lovers from across the horizons.

Some of the other most enjoyable and ceremonious festivals celebrated in Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Kamakhya Fair
  • The Mairi Guruduwara Fair
  • Fulaich {Kinnaur Valley}
  • Holi Fair (Sujanpur)
  • Vrajeshwari Fair (Kangra)
  • Lavi Fair
  • Sirmaur
  • Minjar Fair
  • Shivratri Fair (Mandi),
  • Ice Skating Festival
  • Winter Carnival Manali
  • International Shimla Summer Festival
  • Minjar Fair
  • Kullu Dussehra
  • Shoolini Mela
  • Mani Mahesh Chhari Yatra
  • Some of the most popular fairs in Himachal are:
  • Trade Fair
  • Jwalamukhi Fair (Jwalamukhi)
  • Naina Devi Fair (Bilaspur)
  • Peeplo Fair
  • The Chintpurni Temple Fair
  • The Annual Himachal Hill Festival

International paragliding championships in Bir Billing are some of the main events organized in Himachal. World Tourism Day is also celebrated in Himachal in a big way.

Food - What to Eat

Savory glands find immediate satisfaction with extremely delicious cuisines and various food items (desserts and main course) that Himachal is predominantly famous for. Prepared from the fresh and unadulterated ingredients, Himachali food is a delight for food-lovers. Apart from being superlatively beautiful by nature, Himachal’s Pahari cuisines also add layers to its increasing craze amongst the tourists, with yogurt and cardamom being the main defining element of most of the food items. The Pahari folk also tend to use a lot of milk and its products to add deliciousness and flavor to their items.

There are a lot of restaurants that could be found all over Himachal Pradesh that serve rich, mouth-watering authentic Pahari food for tourists to indulge in, enjoy and leave long-lasting imprints on the mind and the heart of the food-lovers.

Some of the most tempting and mouth-watering delicacies of Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Chaa Gosht
  • Chana Madra
  • Sidu
  • Dham
  • Martha
  • Babru
  • Kadoo ka Khatta
  • Mash Dal

Not only the spicy, lip-smacking delicacies reign our taste buds, but one can definitely fall in eternal love for desserts of Himachal. With most of the sweets made from coconut and layered with the thick coating of sugar, Himachal Pradesh is crowned for its unbeatable richness of flavors. Some of the sweet dishes one might get one’s hand over are:

  • Mal Puda
  • Coconut Mash
  • Mitha Kadoo Dish
  • Pat Rode
  • Aloo Palda

Of course, once one starts looking for avenues of food joints, one can discover more dishes to pamper one’s taste buds. It’s a lavish state that knows that ‘food should better be good’.

Education

With a literacy rate around 83%, Himachal Pradesh stands as a promising hub for higher education in the times to come. Various institutes are already established and running successfully while there are many which are under process. Himachal Pradesh was under the direct control of the British Colonial Rule in the mid 19th century. Also, the state was the summer capital of India during the British colonial rule. Hence, the standard of education provided in the state has reached a considerably high level. The state has several highly reputed educational institutions for higher studies.
The Indian Institute of Technology Mandi and National Institute of Technology are some of the pioneer and most revered institutions located in the state. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has allocated Rs 45 million to Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) in the 10th plan which is an increase of nearly 70% over the ninth one. Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry has gained a unique distinction not only in the nation but also in the whole of Asia for imparting teaching, research and extension education in horticulture, forestry and allied disciplines.

The government is working constantly to prepare various plans to strengthen the education system of Himachal. The state government has taken a decision, to begin with, 3 major nursing colleges to develop and expand the health system and techniques in the state. This state has one of the highest literacy rates in India. Hamirpur District is known as the top district in India as far as literacy is concerned. Education rates among women are quite encouraging in the state.
Himachal Pradesh is home to many educational institutions offering a wide variety of courses. There are five universities, two medical colleges, four dental colleges and two engineering colleges in the state. There are over 10,000 primary schools, 1,000 secondary schools and more than 1,300 high schools in Himachal. In meeting the constitutional obligation to make primary education compulsory, Himachal has now become the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child in the state. Himachal Pradesh‘s government is also very keen to transform this state into an education hub. In March 2008, Government of India made an announcement stating that as part of the 11th five-year plan, an Indian Institute of Technology will be established in this state. Further, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Engineering and Technology Institute has been started at Pragatinagar, in Shimla District.

Besides, some of the most sought-after universities/colleges of Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Arni University
  • Manav Bharti University
  • Shoolini University, Solan
  • Central University of Himachal Pradesh
  • Himachal Pradesh Technical University

Also, elementary education is also gaining primary contemplation amongst the government officials which seems to ensure a strong and rigid fundamental base for the students who aspire to excel in any academic field.

Hospitals

One may fall ill, whenever, wherever, irrespective of the climate or food habits. A promising state must ideally ensure that it has sufficient medical equipment and well-trained medical staff to take serious cases in their hands. The medical proficiency of Himachal Pradesh is appreciable and it improves in its execution of favorable results by leaps and bounds. Be it diseases pertaining to internal organs i.e. cardiovascular or kidney diseases or be it a minor ailment due to irritation or infection, the medical staff in most of the hospitals in Himachal Pradesh, well-versed with a neurological branch of study, carries out the treatment successfully. Radiology and gynecology – on every parameter, the hospitals are gaining gradual excellence. Some of the most reliable and well-equipped medical institutes/hospitals of Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Sanjeevni Hospital
  • Lifeline Hospital
  • Fortis Hospital Kangra
  • Lady Willington Hospital
  • Kullu Valley Hospital
  • Indus Hospital
  • NRI Hospital Private Limited
  • Madav Hospital

The fresh and purified air of Himachal is in fact, in itself a curing tool. Nonetheless, in case of emergent and dire cases, one can believe in the dexterity of Himachal’s medical treatments.

Where to Stay

To find an accommodation in Himachal Pradesh is actually very easy. Given the fact that it is one of the most popular tourists’ spots all over the world, the government of Himachal Pradesh has taken ample care in attributing sufficient space for constructing guest houses, hotels or restaurants. Pocket-friendly deals are always attractive and if one finds all the essentials at a reasonable cost, it is indeed like an icing on the cake. Some of the best hotels where one can stay and enjoy the luxurious view of royal mountains and clear streams of Himachal are:

  • Silmog Garden
  • The Himalayan Village
  • Manuallaya
  • Hotel Snow Park Manali
  • Shingar Regency
  • Hotel Willow Banks
  • Holiday Heights Manali
  • Grand View Hotel

There are numerous other hotels that could be found fragmented in the entire hilly states. One can choose as per one’s convenience and desirability and can ensure a lovely and memorable time for oneself, living amongst the beautiful, royal mountains and flirtatiously flowing rivers.

Encompassing within its diameters the exquisitely spectacular beauty, enchantments, and mysteries of nature, Himachal Pradesh has triumphantly registered its name amongst one of the most defining terrains of India. With mesmerizing hill stations, wonderful markets, simply amazing cuisines and nerve-gripping adventurous activities to offer, Himachal invites visitors from every part of the globe. It’s unambiguously home to many herbs, many shrubs, many medicinal plants, many towering mountains and also, of one might add, to many tourists’ hearts as well.

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