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Himachal Pradesh: A Holy Himalayan Land of India
Special Contribution
By Shalini Asrani

India is known for its multi cultured society, Himachal state is also one of them where Indian and Tibetan people live together with peace. Himachal Pradesh is called a divine place of India i.e. "Dev Bhumi," which means land of God.

But its name Himachal Pradesh literally means "Snow-land" that comes from Sanskrit words i.e. him means "snow" and achal means "mountain," was coined by Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, one of the state's most eminent Sanskrit scholars. It is located in Northern India, bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab and Chandigarh on the west, Haryana on the south-west, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east.

Himachal Pradesh is famous for its natural beauty, hill stations and temples. It is located in the western Himalayas, surrounded by majestic mountains, out of which some still challenge mankind to conquer them; the beauty of the land is beyond imagination.
Shimla, one of the most captivating hill stations, is the capital of the state and Dharamsala is the second capital in winter.

Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India

It is a mountainous state. Most of the state lies on the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range. Here is full of nature, peace of mind and clear environment as God’s gift to India. The environmental protection and tourism development has been a prime motive of the state government aided by a ban on the use of polyethylene bags and proper litter management.

Here people are very simple, loving and hardworking. You don’t need alarm clocks; sound of birds wakes you up in the morning. You can see different layer of colors of flowers all over the state in summer, where as in winter it changes to white color specially the mountain peaks which gets covered by a thick white blanket of snow.

While Hindi is the official language of Himachal Pradesh and is spoken by the majority of the population, the Pahari language is used in everyday conversation. English is given the status of an additional official language. Hinduism is the main religion in Himachal Pradesh, which ranks first in India in terms of the proportion of Hindus population (95%) in the state. Other religions that form a small percentage are Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism.

Rohtang Pass, connecting Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh in India, is one of the world's most dangerous mountain passes.
Himachal Pradesh is inhabitant to around 463 bird species, 77 mammalian, 44 reptile and 80 fish species. In addition to a Great Himalayan National Park, the state also has a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pin Valley National Park, 30 wildlife sanctuaries and three conservation reserves. Famous places of Himachal Pradesh are:

Shimla is the right mix of Indian glory with British sophistication. it is consecrated stunning landscape and fresh climate all through the year.

Dharamsala is famous not only because of its climate but also you get to see how multicultural Indian community lives in harmony with the Indo Tibetan community. Tushita is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition located in the forested hills above the town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala – the seat in exile of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Kullu Manali is one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh is Kullu and Manali. If you are on a lookout for fresh air and green mountains amidst the snow covered ranges then Kullu Manali, indeed should be on the top of your list.

Kasauli is a perfect getaway from the hustle bustle of the city, and is one of the most serene places to visit in Himachal in June. Almost on the outskirts of Punjab and Haryana it is well connected by roadways.

If you’re an adventure seeker, Bir Billing is the mecca for adventure sports and it has to be on your list of places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Bir is a small village which is located in the western side of Himachal Pradesh and is blessed with some refreshing climate.

Looking for digital detox, then Malana is the place you must visit in Himachal Pradesh in August. Situated near the Kullu Valley, Malana provides spellbinding views of the Deo Tiba and Chandrakhani crests.

Dalhousie is yet another hill station in Himachal Pradesh which is ideal for de-stressing in the serene, tranquil troposphere. Away from the hustle-bustle of the city life, sit back and enjoy the nature in Dalhousie.

Spiti Valley is one of the most attractive hidden gems of North India. Straddling the river Spiti, it is home to numerous of the divinest of Buddhist destinations as well as some of the most widespread tourist destinations.

A scene of Kasol in Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, Indial
Kasol, known as the little Israel of India in Himachal Pradesh, based in the Parvati Valley is this beautiful hill station called Kasol. It’s just on the way to the holy town of Manikaran.

Khajjiar is located in the Chamba district. This gorgeous valley is one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Its indeed a great place to relax and unwind in the beautiful and refreshing environment.

Solan is known as the "Mushroom City of India" because of the vast mushroom farming in the area as well as the Directorate of Mushroom Research (DMR) situated at Chambaghat. It is also crowned as the "City of Red Gold," in reference to the bulk production of tomatoes in the area and Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry has earned a unique distinction not only in the country but also in whole of Asia is situated in Solan.

Palampur town is situated at 1200 meter height from sea level, in the foothills of Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra valley. Palampur is surrounded by pine trees and Tea gardens. A pleasant view of snow clad peaks of Dhauladhar is visible from Palampur.

The place enjoys a year-round pleasant climate and the pine scented air make the climate more pleasant and calm. Lush green tea gardens and small streams add more contrast in the beauty. The combination of greenery and numerous streams flowing from the mountains gives Palampur a distinctive look.

Palampur is called the tea capital of northwest India. CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University (CSK HPKV) is also playing an important role to impart teaching, research and extension education in Agriculture, Veterinary and allied disciplines with Himalayan perspective.

The pleasant climatic environment of the town has been attracting thousands of national and international students to study in this university. Its milestones in teaching, research and extension education have strengthened the path of sustainable development of the state.

The above writer, Dr. Shalini Asrani serves as assistant professor at the Department of Home Science Extension and Communication Management of CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya in Palampur Himachal Pradesh, India. He can be reached at
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