Himachal Pradesh, an incredible ingredient of Indian Himalayas. It has massive valleys huge amount of Snowclad Mountains, rivers, limpid lakes and garrulous stream. After India’s Independence, there were number of hilly regions integrated together to form a single unit for the administration for the government of India. Himachal Pradesh was established as independent state on 15th April, 1948 with the integration of 31 small and big cities of the region. It was a Union Territory before adding the Punjab state into it. Himachal Pradesh today is amongst the most important tourist place of India that attracts thousands of trekkers in the high hilly region all across the world.
Attractive Architecture :
Himachal is decorated with the aboriginal architecture that is undeniable. It has emerged on the land with the use of local culture that fulfills the need of the local people with its own beautiful frame. Along with few changes, the tradition, culture and the building pattern still embarks its splendor. The cedar forest present here had played the most important role in the development and the evolution of Himachal Pradesh. This wood from this forest has provided the strength to construct the huge wooden structures which are several storey’s high.
Kathkuni or Kathkundi Style :
A unique style of buildings are constructed here as Kathkuni or Kathkundi style. A structure with the interlocked cedar with the raw stone was built. Due to its characteristic of elasticity, it was easy to design the stone with the seismic response. This form of architecture can be found in the district of Shimal, Kullu and Kinnaur. With the stunning and insurmountable sites, Himachal Pradesh has remarkable Temples, residence and forts. Quartzite or the fine slates are used for roofing the construction.
Cultural Heritage :
Himachal Pradesh truly believes in the tradition which is carried since ages. The right period for the construction this heritage according to the beliefs, rituals and ceremonies is in the month of Poh, Magh, Phalgun and Baisakh. Ideally, the main entrance or the door of the monument or building should be in the east or towards the rising sun. There are prayers and certain auspicious things offered while building. A stone is placed in the corner which remains as a secret keystone is set to be amongst the first line of stone before the light.
Colonial Architecture :
After the Europeans visit to the Himachal Pradesh, had been a reason to add to its glorious and rich heritage. Shimla, which is the state capital, is the most beautiful example of the British Colonial architecture. Highly inspired by the Ranaissance in England, greystone former Viceregal Lodge (Indian institute of Advanced Study), the neo Gothic structure forming huge theater and the former colonial Civil Secretariat (now known as Accountant general’s Office) were constructed in Himachal Pradesh. Apart from Shimla, the structure can be seen in the other places too specially Kasauli and Dalhousie.
This is not enough to define the architecture of Himachal Pradesh; there are many other things like huge palaces, temples, monasteries and Forts with much traditional and unique look throughout the region. Along with the well preserved village, Pragpur in Kangra is now declared as the “Heritage Village” where as a thousand year old cloister of Tabo in Spiti with its beautiful wall painting and stucco status is declared as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO.
There are so many traditional farmhouses present all over the Himachal Pradesh facilitating the accommodation on their premises. The tourists can enjoy the cuisine, lifestyle and the culture here.
Crafted in Culture :
The land of Himachal Pradesh is well known for its rich culture which is deeply emerged in art, music, songs, dance, fun and fairs annually arranges by the local people. The Shimla Hills, The Kullu-Manali Valleys and the beautiful dwelled in nature’s lap, Dalhousie are the major tourist attractions. Skiing, fishing, mountaineering, golfing and the most important trekking are the major activities that make it unique and adventurous to visit Himachal Pradesh.
Historical Know :
Group of Aryans are the one who was associated with the productive valleys all through the Vedic Period. Later the Guptas, Mughals and the Mauryans ruled over the region and took the power to control the pilgrimage and the trade in this region along with the area that lies in between India and Tibet. Right from the decline of the Mughal Empire until the early 1840’s, Lahul and Spiti were under Ladhakh’s control. British supremacy followed the wars in between Anglo – Sikh around the sub sequent 100 years. In 1948, it was declared to be an independent state after the integration of 31 princely states.
The state can easily alienate into two main regions: very hot southern part and very chilled northern region with the snowfall. Himachal Pradesh is grasped with the heavy rainfall of around 180 cms. Best period to trip to Himachal Pradesh is in the month from Mid May to Mid October.
Luscious Delicious Cuisine :
The finger licking, mouth watering and the most tempting dishes are found here in the hilly region of Himachal Pradesh when a woman spend her every minute in fill the warmth of her food in everyone’s heart. The food is prepared highly succulent with the high amount of ‘Ghee’. Very spicy Non vegetarian food is cooked with the blend of various spices like Cinnamon, Cardamom, Red Chilies and Cloves. Rice is the staple food of Himachal Pradesh. However, the daily meal has Dal-Chawal-Roti-Sabzi. Special dishes are cooked here on occasions. The other dishes include Maahni or Urad Daal that are best if we have with raw dried mangoes, the Lentils or Madra that are cooked in Yoghurt. ‘Madra’ of Chamba is so unique and delicious as it has the blend of around 20 spices and is made up of Rajma, cooked in yoghurt along with the Desi Ghee. Lunchi-Poti is favourite dish in winter season. The Makki or the flour from fresh corn of Himachal Pradesh is very luscious that gradually turns into ‘Paani Ki Gharaats’ that is eaten while having breakfast. Chacchh or the Buttermilk which proves good for the digestion is famous in the hardy mountain. ‘Sidu’ is the bread which is made from wheat flour can be consumed with ghee or butter, dal, broth also along with mutton.
Festive Food :
Ankholas made from the rice flour, ‘Aktori’ the cakes made up of leaves of buckwheat and wheat flour, Patande a kind of Pancake Dish are well famous as festive foods. The dham, a very traditional meal is cooked by botis only which is served in the leaf plates or eppattalsi. The Chamba region has boor ki kari, mash dal or dark lentil, topped with the sweet and sour sauce, made of gur and tamarind, generally ends with mittha or desert – sweet rice mixed up with dry fruits and raisins. Also, has the South – Indian Italian and Thai foods along with Chinese.
Tibetans & Japanese Cuisine :
Himachal Pradesh has remarkable influence of Japanese and Tibetans cuisine. ‘Amdo’ cuisine which has its origin from northeastern region of Tibet is a lip smacking composition dish on platter. Chicken and fish are the essential components for Non-veg Cuisine.
Suketi Fossil Park :
It is situated at the distance of 21 kilometers from Nahan at Sirmour District. It has the life-size models made up of fiberglass of the primitive animals who were found here with fossils unearth. This park is amongst the first park that had been developed in the same region where the fossils were found. It is situated on the river bank of Markanda and is easily accessible by the link road of kalka-Ambala lying at the distance of 4 kilometers from Haryana. Situated on the middle and upper Shivaliks, this park consists of clay rocks and soft stones. The park right now has 6 sets of life size module. It has the richest collection of fossils all over the world. To enhance the surrounding, a horticulture Department has been developed. The other attractions are the fossils, models, charts, paintings and museum depicting the glorious history of Shivalik ranges.
Serene Lakes :
Himachal Pradesh is engraved with the large number of beautiful lakes and manmade reservoirs. The most famous lake is Maharana Pratap Sagar lies in the Kangra District. A wildlife sanctuary is present here which is habituated with 220 species with 54 different families. Gobind Sagar, a vast reserviourlike Gobing Sagar in Bilaspur and Una district is popular for fishing of Mirror Cap, Mystus Seenghala, Tor Putitora and Labeo Dero. Dal Lafe and Renuka Lake are also famous for picturesque view. The other activities carried in Himachal Pradesh are swimming, canoeing, boating, kayaking, water-skiing, surfing, sailing and fishing.
Following are few more lakes that enhances the beauty of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has two common rivers namely Satluj and Beas. Beas River is well known for the best river drafting and many other water games and sports especially for the sport lovers. River Sutluj has the world’s largest dam, Bharkha Dam and thus craft the main reservoir of the State, Gobind Sagar.
Rich Religion :
Himachal Pradesh has divine history that makes it special. Shiva, the god of destruction, was in deep meditation until the Himalaya Putri or Parvati or a daughter of Mountain was successful in winning his heart. Himachal Pradesh is blessed with the quaint temples – temple in Shikara Style. Along with festivals, worshipping god is a part of everyday life.
Hindu religion was brought here by Rajput tribes from the 5th to 15th Century. However, it is practice in very lenient form with less preference to caste system as compared to anywhere else in India. People do follow Hindu religion here along with popular beliefs and legends associated with the Hindu Religion. We can see the blend of animism, Hinduism and Demonism.
Buddhism is also followed in Himachal Pradesh due to the presence of Dalai Lama at many Dharmashalas and nearness to the Tibet. The pasty valleys of Spiti, Lahual and Kinnaur are beautifully decorated with the Buddhist way of life. Sikhism and Christianity can also be seen in some parts of Himachal Pradesh.