Himachal Pradesh Geographical Information

Himachal is situated in the heart of western himalayas. The state is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir in the North, and Uttar Pradesh in the South-East. Haryana is in the South and Punjab is in the West. Himachal is located between 30"22' and 30"12' north latitude and between 75"47' and 79"4' east longitude. It is a mountainous state with altitudes ranging from 350 to 7000 meters (1050 ft. to 21000 ft.) above the sea level. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh, which has been the summer capital of the government of India during English rule.

Climate & Restricted Area

The climate of Himachal Pradesh, depending on the altitude, varies at different places from semi tropical to semi arctic. Winters (October to February) are very severe and heavy snowfall is recorded during this season. April to June is delightful and comfortable at the higher altitudes, though on the lower hills, this season can have more humidity than usual. July to September is the time for rainfall and the entire region becomes green and fresh with streams swelling and springs replenished.

Himachal has border with Ladakh and Tibet and some area like Spiti valleys as well as Kinnaur district which was restricted for foreigner until 1991 but now foreign tourists can visit these area with permission from District Magistrates at Shimla,(Kinnaur at Kalpa), Lahaul & Spiti at Keylong, Kullu and Chamba. It had broadly been decided that the inner line would run 40km to the west of the Tibet border Kaza the principal city of Spiti, would be treatedas out side the inner circle.

Out of the total area of Himachal Pradesh, 63.8% is under forest cover. The major flora of the state include deodar, kail, chil, spur, oak, etc. Due to its unique geographical location and divergent climatic conditions, the state has a wide variety of fauna species available. According to some estimates, there are around 359 species of mammals, 1,200 species of birds, and more than 20,000 species of insects in the state. To save the unique wildlife of the state from extinction, the government has established two national parks and a few wildlife sanctuaries in the state.

Shimla

Shimla is the capital of the mountain state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla was one a string of hill stations that the British established to escape from the scorching heat of the plains. The 12-kms, crescent shaped ridge on which it is located was first occupied by the British troops, in the early part of the 19th century, during the Anglo-Gurkha War. The little village of Shymala, a retreat for British officers, soon grew to become the glamorous summer capital of the British, in India.

Manali

Situated at the northern end of the kullu valley, Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.

Dharamsala

Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive. A busy bazaar town, Dharamsala has established itself as the travellers base camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar provides the entire colour and characteristic of a small town, which is mixed with the simple life style.

Lahaul Spiti

The Lahaul plateau nourished by the Chandra and Bhaga rivers and the Spiti valley linked to it by a high pass the Kunzam la, are together a district in Himachal Pradesh - another region where nature can be seen at its wildest. Lahaul is glacier country and some of its most dramatic glaciers include the Bara Shigri, Chota Shigri, Samundari and Sonapani glaciers.

The capital Shimla, has the distinction of serving as the summer capital of India in the days of the British viceroys. It was the British who turned this stopover, on way to the temple of hill goddess Shimla, into the summer capital of a sub-continent. Shimla with its turrets and quaint bungalows is the inspiration for many an author's creation. In fact Shimla forms the backdrop of some of Rudyard Kipling's "Plain Tales From The Hills". For those who are fond of nature walks and architecture this hill station is perfect. Laden with oak trees and rhodendron forests, the town's Viceregal Lodge, Grand Hotel, the Police Headquarters and St Michael's Cathedral offer glimpses of the architectural delights that dot the hill station. The tour also includes a visit to Pragpur and Dharamsala. Secure in the protective shadow of the mighty Dhauladhar mountains, Pragpur is India's first certified heritage village.

It was established by the Kuthiala Soods in the memory of Princess Prag of the Jaswan royal family. In fact the Kuthiala Soods' 300 year old ancestral home is definitely worth seeing. Dharamsala is where the Dalai Lama resides. The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso has made it his home since the 1960s. Apart from its obvious spiritual appeal the natural beauty of the region is also quite mesmerising. It provides ample walking opportunities and is also culturally rich. The town has a number of important temples and is famous for its miniature paintings.Snow Valley Resorts is one of the best hotels in Himachal Pradesh. Visit today to feel the difference.

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