History : After Indian Independence, a Union Territory of Hill states was created. It primarily consituted of hill states around Shimla. On November 1, 1966 Punjab Hill areas were merged into Himachal as part of reorganization of Punjab. Himachal Pradesh became a full fledged state of the Republic of India on January 25, 1971. The area of Himachal is
55673 sq. km Population 5.2 million, Literacy 64% Average rain fall 1400 mm.
People : Most of the people in Himachal depend on agriculture for livelihood. Many people derive their income from sheep, goats, and other cattle. Ninety percent of the people live in villages and small towns. Villages usually have terraced fileds and small two storey houses with sloping roof. The villages are mostly self-contained with a few shops to take care of basic necessities of life.
Religion : Most of the people in Himachal are Hindus. There is a sizable number of Buddhists who live in Himachal. Most villages have a temple, where people congregate for worship. On Dussehra the largest congregation of village Gods takes place at Kullu. Most of the people of Himachal who live in the areas that border with China are
Buddhist. There are many beautiful Buddhist temples and pagodas in Himachal.
Himachal is situated in the heart of western himalayas. The state is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir in the North, and Uttar Pradesh in the South-East. Haryana is in the South and Punjab is in the West. Himachal is located between 30"22' and 30"12' north latitude and between 75"47' and 79"4' east longitude. It is a mountainous state with altitudes ranging from 350 to 7000 meters (1050 ft. to 21000 ft.) above the sea level. Shimla, a beautiful city, is the state capital.
They remain immersed in the annual rounds of fairs and festivals, full of music, song and dance. For the visitor there are superb locations for relaxing and sight seeing. There are also great opportunities for trekking, mountaineering, fishing, river-rafting, skiing and para-glidinsg. Himachal is a travellers paradise-mighty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valley, misty woods, fast flowing rivers, enchanting lakes and flower filled meadows.