Himachal Pradesh is bordered by Jammu & Kashmir on North, Punjab on West and South-West, Haryana on South, Uttarakhand on South-East and China on the East.
Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous state and is situated in the western Himalayas. Himalayan rivers across the entire mountain chain and provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall and are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.
The official language of the state is Hindi. However, locals speak Pahari, Punjabi, Kangri, Mandyali, Gojri and Kinnauri too. Himachal also has a large number of Tibetan population. The state has a population of 6856509 persons, as per 2011 website as mentioned on HP website.
Dass tribals are the earliest known inhabitants of the region. After them, Aryans came and in the later centuries, the hill chieftains accepted suzerainty of the Mauryan empire, the Kaushans, the Guptas and Kanuaj rulers.
During the Mughal period, the Rajas of the hill states made some mutually agreed arrangements which governed their relations. In the 19th century, Ranjit Singh annexed/subjugated many of the states.
When the British came, they defeated Gorkhas and entered into treaties with some Rajas and annexed the kingdoms of others. The situation more or less remained unchanged till 1947.
After Independence, 30 princely states of the area were united and Himachal Pradesh was formed on April 15, 1948. With the recognition of Punjab on November 01, 1966, certain areas belonging to it were also included in Himachal Pradesh.
On January 25, 1971, Himachal Pradesh was made a full-fledged State.
Himachal Pradesh is a major tourist destination and tourists throng various places like Shimla, Mandi, Dharamshala and Dalhousie.
Dalhousie is rich in colonial architecture and the town has preserved churches that date back to 1863. Shimla, the summer capital for British for over a century, has Mall road which is one of the longest stretches of pedestrian shopping in the world.
Mandi is often called as `Varanasi of the Hills` and is known for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving. Dharamshala is wooded with oak and conifer trees and snow capped mountains enfold three sides of the town while the valley stretches in front.
Himachal is famous for handicrafts, carpets, leather works, shawls, metalware and woodwork. Himachal’s Pashmina shawls are highly in demand. Because of the severe winters in the state, wool-weaving is extremely common. Considered pure, wool is used as a ritual cloth here.
The economy of the Himachal Pradesh is deemed as the third fastest growing economy in the country currently. The state has also been reportedly ranked fourth in the terms of the highest per capita incomes of Indian states.