Himalayas in Himachal’ or one must say Himachal in Himalayas. ‘Him’ in Hindi literally means ice or snow and ‘alaya’ means home, which makes Himalayas ‘The Home of Snow’ and from there Himachal gets its name meaning ‘Land of Snow’.
While traditionally Himachal was known as a summer destination, the Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation Government of Himachal Pradesh has taken special efforts to break the seasonality factor and has developed diversified tourism products to attract tourists in other seasons too. Now Himachal is known as “A Destination for All Seasons and All Reasons”.
In fact, the Department has laid a special emphasis on the development of activity-based tourism and opening up of new sub destinations. To promote tourism in the countryside and to unexplored areas, appropriate infrastructure is being developed within available resources. By focussing on quality tourists, the Department aims at promoting sustainable tourism and encouraging private sector to develop tourism related infrastructure in the State without disturbing the existing ecology and environment.
Himachal situated in the heart of the western Himalaya, identified as "Dev Bhumi" and is believed to be the abode of Gods and Goddesses. The entire State is punctuated with stone as well as wood temples. The shadowy valleys, rugged crags, glaciers and gigantic pines and roaring rivers and exquisite flora and fauna compose the symphony that is for ever Himachal. The State has a rich treasure of places of pilgrimage and of anthropological value. The State has also the pride of being the home to rishis like Vyas, Parashar,Vashist, Markandey and Lamas, etc.
Culture and history info
Himachal Pradesh celebrated its 50th anniversary as a full-fledged state in 2021. There is a long history of Himachal Pradesh ranging from Indus Valley civilization to the British era, till the present period. Around 2250 BC and 1750 BC, people from the Indus Valley Civilization lived in the valleys in the foothills of Himachal. The initial people who inhabited the region were the Mundas or Kols, followed by Kiratas and Bhotas, and then people from Central Asia. King Asoka introduced Buddhism in the valley. He also built many stupas. King Harsha governed the province in the early seventh century.
After his death, several Rajput leaders with their followers moved from Rajasthan to Himachal. They set up around thirteen small states like Mandi, Kangra, Sirmaur, Bushahr, and Bilaspur. Most states from this were later conquered by the Mughal rulers. It included the vital state of Kangra as well. The dynasty regained power near the end of the eighteenth century, under the leadership of Sansar Chand. It expanded in the nearby hilly areas such as Mandi, Bilaspur, and Chamba. During the nineteenth century, the Gorkhas of Nepal annexed Shimla and Sirmaur hill states. They defeated Sansar Chand in Kangra. After a few years, the Sikhs under the leadership of Ranjit Singh annexed the Kangra Fort. But both Sikhs and Gorkhas were later ousted by the British during the First Anglo-Sikh and Anglo-Gorkha war.
Following Queen Victoria's proclamation in 1858, the British territories in the region became subject to the British Crown. Then during the Indian freedom struggle, the Praja Mandal launched a protest for freedom. During this time, the congress party was active in Kangra. Some of the leaders from this era were Shivanand Ramaul, Padam Dev, Purnanand, and Dr. YS Parmar. After the independence, the state was initially a centrally administered region in April 1948. It had thirty princely states. It was designated as a Part C state in 1951. Himachal Pradesh remained independent from Punjab until 1956 when it was combined with Punjab. Then it became a Union territory. It became the state of Himachal Pradesh in December 1970. Finally, on 25th January 1971, it became the 18th state of India.
Culture of Himachal Pradesh
The culture of Himachal Pradesh sets its people distinctly apart. From their colorful Himachal Pradesh traditional dresses to their rustic and simple lives, there is much to explore about the state. The population has a mixture of tribes, Buddhist, and a majority of Hindu community makes Himachal most exciting to explore. The common Himachal Pradesh language is Hindi, followed by Pahari. Their arts and handicrafts are gaining popularity across the world. But your Himachal Pradesh tour is incomplete without shopping for the Himachali cap.