Himachal Pradesh facts and information | The “land of snow”

Himachal Pradesh is a Himalayan state in northern India. The state is a major tourist attraction with many beautiful hill stations and trekking routes. Here are some amazing facts about Himachal Pradesh. Let’s read.

Basic facts about Himachal Pradesh

Area55,673 square kilometers
Area rank17
Population68,64,602 (2011 census)
Population rank20
State treeDeodar
State animalSnow leopard
Literacy rate82.80% (2011 census)
Number of districts12
State birdWestern tragopan
CapitalShimla and Dharamshala
State flowerRhododendron campanulatum
Lok Sabha seats4
Rajya Sabha seats3

Himachal Pradesh facts and information

Overview

Himachal Pradesh on the map of India

Himachal Pradesh has a population of 68,64,602 and an area of 55,673 square kilometers. The state is bordered by Ladakh in the North and Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir in the northwest, Tibet in the east, Uttarakhand in the southeast, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana in the South, and Punjab in the west and southwest.

Geography

Kee Monastery in Spiti Valley

The state is mostly mountainous. The elevation increases as we move from southwest to northeast. Himachal Pradesh has basically four regions – the Shivalik hills, the lesser Himalayas, the greater Himalayas, and the trans-Himalayan region of Spiti and surrounding ranges. The highest peak in Himachal Pradesh is Reo Purgyil (6,816 meters).

(Also read: Mountain ranges in India | subranges | destinations)

Forest cover and National parks

Great Himalayan National Park
Great Himalayan National Park

The forest cover in Himachal Pradesh as per the last survey is 15,443 square kilometers. 27.73 percent of the area in Himachal Pradesh is forest area.

There are 5 National parks in Himachal Pradesh.

  • Great Himalayan National Park – 754.4 sq km area
  • Inderkilla National Park – 104 sq km area
  • Khirganga National Park – 710 sq km area
  • Pin Valley National Park – 675 sq km area
  • Simbalbara National Park – 27.88 sq km area

Districts

There are 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh.

  1. Bilaspur
  2. Chamba
  3. Hamirpur
  4. Kangra
  5. Kinnaur
  6. Kullu
  7. Lahaul and Spiti
  8. Mandi
  9. Shimla
  10. Sirmaur
  11. Solan
  12. Una

Lahaul and Spiti district is the largest district in Himachal Pradesh by area. The district has an area of 13,833 square kilometers. Kangra district is the most populous district in Himachal Pradesh.

Capital

Himachal Pradesh has two capitals – Shimla, the summer capital, and Dharamshala, the winter capital. Dharamshala was declared the second capital of Himachal Pradesh in 2017.

Tourism in Himachal Pradesh

Being a hilly state, there are many tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh. The most visited ones are Shimla hill station, Spiti valley, Manali, Great Himalayan National Park, etc. There are many famous trekking routes in the state, most of which are religious pilgrimage routes, for instance, the Bijli Mahadev temple trek route, the Kinnaur Kailash trek route, the Manimahesh Kailash trek route, etc.

Kalka-Shimla Railway

The two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the state are –

  1. Kalka–Shimla Railways
  2. Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area

Rivers originating in Himachal Pradesh

Chenab River

Many big rivers like Beas, Chenab, Ravi, etc originate from the glaciers or lakes in Himachal Pradesh. Beas originates from the Beas Kund in Kullu district, Chenab originates near the Baralacha La Pass in Lahaul and Spiti district, Ravi originates in the Kangra district.

High literacy rate

Himachal Pradesh had a literacy rate of 82.80% during the 2011 census. It is expected to be over 85% now. Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest literacy rates in India. The state is only behind Kerala, Mizoram, Tripura, and Goa in terms of literacy.

Dharamshala cricket stadium

Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamshala is one of the highest international cricket stadiums in the world. The stadium has a capacity of 23,000 and is located at an elevation of 1,156 meters.

The famous Dhauladhar range in Himachal Pradesh

Dhauladhar range

Dhauladhar range is a subrange in the Middle (lesser) Himalayas. It rises to up to 5,982 meters. Hanuman Tibba is the highest peak in the Dhauladhar range. The famous hill station of McLeod Ganj is located in the lap of the Dhauladhar range.

Refuge of Dalai Lama and many Tibetans

The 14th Dalai Lama along with many Tibetan refugees reside in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. The Namgyal Monastery, one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in India, is also known as the “home of the Dalai Lama”.

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