Undoubtedly, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most picturesque, serene calm and beautiful states of India. Not only is the state beautiful, it had set of its own merits. The state is the third fastest growing economy in India. Apart from this, the hill state also ranks fourth in the list of the highest per capita income in India. According to a 2005 Transparency survey, Himachal is ranked the second-least corrupt state in the country after Kerala.
As the state is celebrating Himachal Day today, we give you 20 quick facts that you should know about the Dev Bhumi – "The Land of the Gods and Goddess".
1.Himachal Pradesh has 33 Sanctuaries and two National Parks. The Great Himalaya National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site.
2.Himachal has five perennial rivers and over 20 lakes. Apart from being the lifeline of the state, most of these rivers are also used for water sports.
3. Forests in Himachal Pradesh currently cover an area of nearly 37,691 square kilometres (14,553 sq mi), which is about 38.3% of the total land area of the state. With over nine thousand species (comprises of flora and fauna), here you can find species like Barking Deer and Snow Leopard.
4.Himachal Pradesh has famous educational boarding schools, all imparting education since their establishment during the British era.
5.The mountain ranges in Himachal have huge variations (450m to 6500m). It's an ideal state for climbers, mountaineers and trekkers.
6. Himachal Pradesh has many exotic tourist destinations. Shimla to Kullu Valley, all draw thousands of tourists every year.
7.What steal your heart in Himachal are the local people of the state. Simple and welcoming, local people of the state are very helpful.
8.Kalka-Shimla Railway, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, holds record for greatest inclination of over 5816 ft (1772 metres) in its 96 kilometres stretch.
9.Himachal has a village, named Malana, which is considered to be one of the oldest democracies of the world.Natives of Malana consider themselves the successors of Akexander- the great and choose to remain isolated from the rest of the world. They consider all non-Malanis to be inferior and even untouchable.
10.In Himachal, you will find traces of Indian mythology. A temple dedicated to lord Hanuman in Shimla, known as Jakhoo Temple, Is believed to be a place where Lord Hanuman rested while he was in search for the Sanjivni Booti. The Kullu valley has many temples believed to be constructed by the Pandavas during their last year of exile.
11.Polyandry is practiced in some parts of HP! A minority in the Kinnaur, who believe themselves to be descendants of Pandavas, continues to follow the tradition engaged by Draupadi.
12.Himachal is now home to a number of adventure sports. Rock climbing, rappelling, jumaring, skiing and paragliding to name a few.
13.Himachal Pradesh is also a home to different fruits-apples, kiwis, peaches, plums. Not only this, the state also produces its own hazelnuts and chilgoza pine nuts, a rare dry fruit found only in Himachal Pradesh.14.Khajjiar, often referred as the "Mini Switzerland" of India, is a beauty to watch. In the middle of this meadow is a small lake with its own floating island!
15.Himachal offers mouth-watering delights. Siddu, a type of bread made from wheat flour is a must try!
16.The Manimahesh Kailash Peak is considered to be the Holy abode of Lord Shiva. One of the major pilgrimage sites of the state, it is high revered by the residents, especially the "Gaddi" tribe.
17.The capital state of Himachal houses a natural ice skating rink!
18.Dussehra celebrations of Kullu and shivratri celebrations of Mandi are famous events that draws lot of crowd.
19.Himachal is also the land of gods. Most village in the state have their own God and Goddesses.
20.Himachal is also home to the legendary Silk Route. Since old times this route was for trade of wool, livestock, precious and semiprecious stones between Tibet, Kashmir and Ladakh.?