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Know more about Himachal Pradesh

The state of Himachal Pradesh was called 'Deva Bhoomi ' or the Land of the Gods. There are evidences of the existence of the pre-historic humans in this region. It is generally believed that large inhabitants of this region had actually migrated from Central Asia and the Indian plains from time to time. The first race to enter Himachal Pradesh was Proto-Australoid followed by Mongoloid and the Aryan. The Rig Veda mentions about Dasyus and Nishads living in this region and their powerful king Shambra who had 99 forts. From the early period of its history, tribes like the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars and Kirats inhabited it.

Culture of Himachal Pradesh

Dance in Himachal PradeshEthnicity : About 90% of the population of Himachal Pradesh is Hindus. There main communities are Brahmins, Rajputs, Kannets, Rathis and Kolis. The tribal population of the state comprise of the Gaddis, Kinnars, Gujjars, Pangawals and Lahaulis. The Gaddis are the traditional shepherds who migrate from the alpine pastures to the lower regions during the winters. The Kinnars are the inhabitants of the Kinnaur region and practiced polyandry and polygamy. The Gujjars are nomads who rear buffalo herds. The Pangawals of the Pangi region of the Chamba district are both low and high caste Hindus. The Lahaulis of Lahaul and Spiti region are mainly Buddhists.

Arts and Craft : The handicraft that come out of this state and is worth appreciating are the carpets, leather works, shawls, paintings, metalware, woodwork and paintings. Pashmina shawl is the product which is highly in demand not only in Himachal but all over the country. Colourful Himachali caps are also famous art work of the people. One tribe, Dom, is expert in manufacturing bamboo items like boxes, sofas, chairs, baskets and racks. Metalware of the state include utensils, ritualistic vessels, idols, gold and silver jewelleries.

Weaving, carving , painting, or chiselling is considered to be the part of the life of Himachalis. Himachal is well known for designing shawls especially in Kullu. The architecture, objects, shops, museums, galleries and craftsmen charm with a variety perfected over time.

Women take an active part in pottery and men in carpentry. For ages, wood has been used in Himachal in the construction of temples, homes, idols etc.

Fairs and Festivals : Fairs and festivals are an integral part of the Indian way of life. The colorful state of Himachal Pradesh has many fairs and festivals to celebrate throughout the year. The National Snow Statue Competition at Kufri near Shimla begins in the New Year. The ice-skating in Shimla begins around this time. The bonfires of Lohri, a festival to mark the sowing of the Rabi crop light up the night sky on January 13 every year. The skiing competitions are held at Solang Nullah in Manali in the month of February. A fair in the memory of the sage Baba Barbhag Singh is held at around the same time at Una. It is believed that the Baba had magical powers, which were used towards altruistic ends. The little kites dapple the horizon with their color during the Basant Panchami, the arrival of the spring.

Cuisine in Himachal PradeshCuisine : There is no specific cuisine of Himachal Pradesh. The influence of a long and close association with Punjab and large-scale migration of Tibetans can be on the cuisine of the state. Some of the unique Himachali recipes include Nasasta, a sweetmeat of the Kangra region; Indra, dish made of Urad dal; Baadi / Ghaunda, and Bada/Poldu of the Shimla region. The popular dishes of the state are Pateer, Chouck, Bhagjery and chutney of Til. Non-vegetarian food is quite popular and preferred in Himachal Pradesh.

Dance and Music : The dance and music of the state is mainly religion-oriented where gods are invoked during the festivals by singing and dancing. This practice has continued since ancient times. The major dance of the state are the Rakshasa (dem0on) dance, the Kayang Dance, the Bakayang dance, the Bnayangchu dance, the Jataru Kayang dance, Chohara dance, Shand and Shabu dances, Lang-dar-ma dance, Nati dance, Jhanjhar dance, Jhoor dance, Gi dance and Rasa dance. Musical instruments like Ranasingha, Karna, Turhi, Flute, Ektara, Kindari, Jhanjh, Manjara, Chimta, Ghariyal, and Ghunghru are played to provide music for the songs and the dances.


Wildlife in Himachal PradeshCorbett National Park : Corbett National park in the north Indian state of Uttaranchal has been a haunt for tourists and wildlife lovers for a long time. Corbett National Park was the first to be authourised as a Project Tiger Reserve in 1973. Situated at a distance of 260 kms from Delhi and 128 kms from Nainital, the Corbett National Park is best known for its big cat population, especially the tigers.

Simbalbara Sanctuary : The Simbalbara sanctuary is located in the Paonta Valley of Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh on the lower hill of Shiwalik ranges in Indian Himalayas. Simbalbara wildlife Sanctuary provides shelter to animals like the Goral, Sambhar, Chittal, Spotted dear and many more distinct animals. This sanctuary is a bright example of the attempts to conserve wildlife by the Himachal Tourism Department. Forested by Sal trees and grassy glades, the sanctuary offers interestingly adventurous and picturesque trekking tracks alongside the gurgling stream.

Maharana Pratap Sagar Sanctuary : Maharana Pratap Sagar Sanctuary, nestled in the beautiful Himalayas is one of the lake sanctuaries of Himachal Pradesh. Every year, thousands of avian species from far off Siberia and other countries make the Maharana Pratap Sagar Sanctuary their nesting grounds.Nestled amidst the dense Alpine Forests with snow clad peaks on the backdrop, the Maharana Pratap Sagar Sanctuary has a beautiful lake which allures tourists from all over.

Explore the sprawling actress of greenery and also get a glimpse of the migratory ducks from Siberian region. Especially in the swamp area between Shahnahar Barrage and Pongdam the birds flock from all over. The sanctuary is fascinating as it is set amidst green valleys and the snowy Dhauladhar Range of the Himalayas in the background.


Sujanpur Fort in Himachal PradeshTake an exclusive tour of the forts and palaces of Himachal Pradesh, a state that since times immemorial have enchanted the various rulers to leave their mark on this scenic land. Enjoy a holiday in Kangra district where you cannot miss seeing the famous Kangra fort, that has created a niche for itself in Himachal Pradesh. With a circumference of 4 kms, this is the oldest fort in Himachal Pradesh and has various gates and shrines. In Kangra valley itself we have the Sujanpur fort, where you cannot miss seeing the wall paintings.

Besides the popular fort attractions of Kangra, other forts that you should visit are Kuthar fort, which is in close vicinity from Shimla. Then there is Kumru fort, located at a distance of 229 kms from Shimla and is surrounded by cluster of houses amidst fields and orchards.

The palace attractions of Himachal Pradesh includes all those colonial as well as historical mansions that have earned due respect for themselves since ages. The most important is the Viceregal Lodge in Shimla, which is better known as the heart of the city. This is a six story building which is enclosed by well maintained gardens and intricately spun legends. While on your vacations to Dharamshala, you should visit the War Memorial that is the landmark of the city.

Among the list of historical palaces, the name that soar high is Rang Mahal, located in Chamba. This palace has a Mughal influence, that today houses Himachal emporium. Another palace attractions of Himachal Pradesh is Lord Elgin's Memorial also located in Shimla. Then Himachal has the Maharaja's Palace in Chail, which is situated at the highest point of the state.

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