Himachal Day is celebrated on April 15. With its rich culture and heritage, Himachal Pradesh became a full-fledged state on this day. Four districts of Mandi, Chamba, Mahasu and Sirmour were united with over two dozen princely states, leading to the formation of Himachal Pradesh as a Union Territory in 1948. Decades later, in 1971, Himachal Pradesh became the 18th state in India with Shimla as its capital.
Facts about Himachal Pradesh:
- The word ”Himachal” is derived from two Sanskrit words, “Hima” (snow) and “Anchal” (lap). The state, located between valleys and hills, virtually sits in the lap of the Himalayas.
- The main language spoken in the state is Hindi but there are several local dialects like Mahasu, Pahari, Mandeali, Kangri, Kullu, Bilaspuri and Kinnauri.
- The reported history of Himachal Pradesh goes back to the Maurya period, that is, 4th Century B.C.
- A large part of Himachal Pradesh is in the Alpine zone with an average altitude of 4,500 metre.
- Himachal Pradesh possesses magnificent snow-capped ranges like the Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and the Zaskar.
- Tourism and agriculture are the backbones of the economy of Himachal Pradesh.
- The state has beautiful tourist destinations like Shimla – the queen of hill stations, Bilaspur, Mandi, Chamba, Kullu, Dalhousie, Kasauli, Kangra, Palampur, Solan, Manali and Dharmshala.
- The Kalka-Shimla Railway, often called the ”toy train”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Kalka-Shimla Railway crosses the steepest slope (over 5800 ft) in roughly 95 km. The train crosses several bridges and tunnels.
- Himachal Pradesh has 33 Wildlife Sanctuaries and two National Parks.