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Himachal Pradesh is arguably one of the most picturesque, serene, and gorgeous states of India. Himachal means ‘snow-laden region’. This state in northern India is renowned for its Himalayan landscapes and is a popular tourist destination for trekkers and those looking to enjoy its natural beauty.
Did you know that Himachal Pradesh is the third-fastest growing economy in India? There’s a lot of interesting information about this state that you and your kids would love to know. But, before we throw more light on this, let’s get a look into the state’s history.
History of Himachal Pradesh
The state’s historical backdrop dates back to around two million years. It has a rich and diverse history that can be divided into three distinct eras. The Mundas or Kols were believed to be the original migrants to the present-day Himachal. The second phase of migrants arrived in the form of Mongoloid people known as Kiratas or Bhotas. Later on, there emerged the third and most important wave of migrants, the Aryans, who had left their Central Asian home.
Prior to independence, most areas of Himachal Pradesh were a part of Punjab. In 1864, Shimla was declared the official summer capital under the British. Later, post-independence, parts of Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab were merged, leading to the creation of Himachal Pradesh as a union territory on 15th April 1948. However, on 25th January 1971, Himachal Pradesh was declared as a separate state.
Important Facts and Information About Himachal Pradesh for Children
Despite the fact that Himachal Pradesh is well-known among kids as well as adults, there are some intriguing facts that many may not know about this state. Let’s take a look at these facts:
- The term ‘Himachal Pradesh’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Hima’, meaning snow.
- It is said that the renowned Sanskrit scholar, Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, had christened the state in 1948.
- Dharamshala is known as the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh, while Shimla is the summer capital of the state.
- The city of Shimla, which sits atop seven hills, is popularly known as the Queen of Hills.
- Himachal Pradesh spans over an area of 55,673 square kilometres.
- Himachal Pradesh is home to Asia’s largest glacier, the ‘Shigri’ glacier, which is located in the Lahaul–Spiti area.
- Hindi and Pahari are the principal languages spoken in Himachal Pradesh.
- A majority of the local population is engaged in the agricultural sector. This sector provides direct employment to more than 65% of the state’s working population.
- Himachal Pradesh is well-known as the land of deities. Most of the villages in the state are known to have their own Gods, Goddesses, worship methods, and rituals.
- The snow leopard is the state animal.
- The Western tragopan is the state bird.
- The pink rhododendron is the state flower.
- The Himalayan cedar or Indian cedar is the state tree.
- The Shanan power house, located in Joginder Nagar in Himachal Pradesh was built in 1896 and was the first-ever power station in Asia.
- On 2nd July 2013, the state was declared India’s first smoke-free state.
- Himachal Pradesh is India’s second-largest apple producer, right after Jammu & Kashmir.
- The state is home to 2 national parks and 33 wildlife sanctuaries.
- The Losar Shona Chuksam, Gugga dance, Kullu Naati, and Ghurehi are the famous dance forms native to Himachal Pradesh.
- When it comes to literacy, the state ranks 11th in the country, with a literacy rate of 83.78%!
- The Himachali traditional cap, known as ‘Thepang’, is worn across the state, especially during special events and festivals.
- The Kalka-Shimla Railway, popularly known as the Toy Train, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Himachal Pradesh is home to about 17,000 educational institutes that include two medical colleges, three universities, and an engineering college.
- Noted among the country’s greenest states, Himachal Pradesh has an astonishing 37,033 square kilometres of forest area, which amounts to 66.52% of the total land area.
- The state’s highest mountain peak is the Reo Purgyil, which is located at 22,360 feet above sea level.
- The Chail cricket ground located in Chail is known to be the highest cricket ground in the world.
Information About Himachal Day
Himachal Day is a gazetted public holiday observed on 15th April in Himachal Pradesh. Although the province was created in 1948, this day is a celebration of the anniversary of when Himachal Pradesh first obtained statehood in the year 1971.
On this day, the national flag is hoisted. This is followed by exhibitions, multiple cultural programmes, and a march-past by contingents from the home guards, police, NSS, NCC, and Scouts and Guides in the capital city of Shimla. The different cities, towns, and villages also organise local events to mark the day.
We hope the information covered above will help you teach your kids all about Himachal Pradesh, and increase their curiosity to learn more about this beautiful state!