Himachal Pradesh is a small hill state in northwestern India and offers a lot to those who are looking to experience the Himalayas. Shimla is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh and was also the summer capital of India during British rule. It came into consideration after the separation of Haryana and Punjab. High points of Himachal are the zigzag roads and high passes which link its high mountains and valleys. The pleasing valleys of Kullu and Kangra are a blend of colours, while in marked contrast are the barren terrains of Lahaul and Spiti, which have a stunning lunar beauty.
The state of Himachal Pradesh was called 'Deva Bhoomi' or the Land of Gods. It is generally believed that large population of this region consists of those who had settled here after migrating from Central Asia and the Indian plains from time to time. Proto-Australoid was the first race to enter Himachal Pradesh, followed by Mongoloid and the Aryan. The Rig Veda states about Dasyus and Nishads living in this area and their powerful king Shambra who had 99 forts. Since the early period of its history, tribes like the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars and Kirats are believed to have occupied it.
Himachal Pradesh was made a centrally administered territory in 1948 with the integration of 31 hill states and this region further obtained additional regions in 1966. It had the status of a union territory after independence till it was approved as a state in 1971.
With its bounty in beautiful mountains, rivers and flowers, the culture of Himachal Pradesh becomes rich and traditional. Due to this rocky terrain, the culture and tradition of the Himachal Pradesh remain unscratched by foreign invasions. Its ethnicity and originality are retained. Himachal Pradesh is a `multi-religion’, `multicultural’ and ‘multilingual’ state. It is a home of major communities including Rajputs, Brahmins, Rathis , Kannets, and tribes namely Gujjars, Gaddis, Pangawals, Lahaulis and Kinnars. Thus, the culture of Himalayan Pradesh is not only exhibited in the physical attires of the Himachalis but also in their festival celebrations, musical melodies, rhythmic dance forms and simple lifestyle.
Suggested Itineraries for Himachal