One of the most popular states of our country in terms of tourism, there are many facts that make Himachal Pradesh quite a gem of a place. It is synonymous to tourism, hills stations, travelling, adventures, exploring, holidays, family vacations, and souvenirs and last but not the least, natural beauty. And the fact that it is near the capital of India, makes it a favourite holiday destination of not just people residing in NCR but also those who are visiting these areas.
Let us take you on a theoretical tour of Himachal Pradesh with some interesting facts about it and show you why and how this place never ceases to amaze us:
1. Meaningful name
The name, Himachal Pradesh, is derived from Sanskrit words – Him (which means snow) and Achal (which means lap or abode, together forming Himachal (in the lap of snow). The name justifies the beauty of this state in every way.
2. Rural majority state
Out of the total population of Himachal Pradesh, about 90% lives in rural areas.
3. And occupying around 25%, Shimla district has the largest urban population of the state.
4. As per the CMS – India Corruption Study 2017, Himachal Pradesh is the least corrupt state of India.
5. Ban on Polythene
As of October 2009, the state has imposed a complete ban on production, storage, use, sale and distribution of all types of polythene bags made of non-biodegradable material.
6. Imposing a ban on tobacco, Himachal Pradesh became the first smoke free state of India, as of July 2013.
7. Fruit bowl of India
Himachal Pradesh is called the Fruit Bowl of the country. Orchards are in abundance here, making it the second largest producer of apples in the country after J&K.
8. High literacy rate
The literacy rate of Himachal Pradesh is 83.78%, and making it occupy the 11th rank in most literate states of India.
9. Huge road network
Owing to its topography, Himachal Pradesh has a humungous road network amounting to a total of 28,208 Kms which includes eight national highways and 19 state highways.
10. Himachal Pradesh is a proud owner of two World Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO
• Toy Train (Kalka Shimla Express)
Apart from being known for its looks, this train holds the world record for being the only train to cover the steepest slope of 5816 feet in the least distance of just 96 Kms. This 2ft 6in train runs across 806 bridges, 103 tunnels and 18 stations and was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in July 2008.
• The Great Himalayan National Park
Situated in Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh, this park was established in 1984 and was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in June 2014.
11. Highest mountain peak
The highest mountain peak of Himachal Pradesh is Reo Purgyil standing tall at 6,816 meters above sea level.
12. Major provider of water
The drainage system of this state is composed of both rivers and glaciers. It is Himachal Pradesh that provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The rivers in this state are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall.
13. Abundant forest area
As per the Forest Survey of India 2003, Himachal Pradesh comprises of about 66.52% of legally defined forest areas.
14. Animal friendly state
Himachal Pradesh is home to around 463 bird, 77 mammalian, 44 reptile and 80 fish species. It has a total of 30 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 3 conservation reserves.
15. Major Producer of electricity
Himachal Pradesh houses various plants that produce surplus hydro electricity which is further sold to other states such as Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan.
16. Temples Galore – Dev Bhoomi Himachal
Himachal Pradesh has many important pilgrimage centres and a large number of historical temples such as Naina Devi Temple, Vajreshwari Temple, Jwala Ji Temple, Chintpurni, Chamunda Devi Temple, Baijnath Temple, Bhimkali Temple, Bijli Mahadev Manu Temple, Renuka Lake and Jakhoo Temple. It is also referred to as Dev Bhoomi which means Abode of Gods as it finds mention in a lot of ancient holy texts.
It is said that Lord Hanuman stopped at Jakhoo to rest while he was searching for the Sanjivni Booti.
17. Adventure hub
Himachal Pradesh is famous for adventure activities and sports. From ice skating, paragliding, fishing, rafting, skiing to trekking and horse riding, this place is full of adventures that one can explore.
18. Asia’s only natural ice skating rink is located in Lakkar Bazaar of Shimla.
19. Mini Switzerland Khajjiar
This state is home to Khajjiar, a place referred to as Mini Switzerland because of its natural beauty and scenic views.
20. Highest Cricket ground in the world
Chail Cricket ground situated in the Chail region of Himachal Pradesh is the highest cricket ground in the world located 8,018 ft above sea level. Built in 9183 the ground is surrounded by thick forests of deodar.
21. Mushroom city of India
An important ingredient to the vegan diet, this state is where most of them are produced. Solan in Himachal Pradesh is one of the largest producers of mushrooms in the country.
22. Mini Israel in India
Kasol also known as Mini Israel is a beautiful peaceful village in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. The reason behind Kasol being referred as Mini Israel is mainly because one the in-habitation of Israelis in the region.
23. One of the oldest Democracy of the world
Malana is an ancient village in Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh. This solitary village lies in Malana Nala, one side of Parvati Valley, which is an isolated location from rest of the world. Untouched by modern civilization, Malana has its own lifestyle and people here follow their customs strictly. They even consider all non-Malani to be inferior and untouchable. The locals of this place claim it to be one of the oldest democracies of the world with a well organized parliamentary system. They even consider themselves to be the descendants of Alexander the Great’s soldiers.
24. Airports in Himachal
Himachal Pradesh has three domestic airports. Bhuntar Airport in Kullu district, Gaggal Airport in Kangra district and Shimla Airport.
25. Famous people from Himachal Pradesh
Famous celebrities associated with entertainment industry are Anupam Kher, Preity Zinta, Kangna Ranaut, Mohit Chauhan, Yami Gautam, Rubina Dilaik.
Among famous sports personalities are Great Khali (WWE), Deepak Thakur (Hockey) , Vijay Kumar, (Shooting), (Shooting),Anuja Jung(Shooting), Suman Rawat (Athletics).
We bet you didn’t know most of the things about this amazing state. Apart from going on vacations to various places here, we have never really looked into the facts that make Himachal Pradesh what it is. Along with being a favourite holiday destination, it is known for many things and also is a hidden gem for some too. So next time you go on a trip to this state, you can surely boast about your knowledge and make the most of it too!