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Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a state/Union Territory of India.

Himachal Pradesh is a state in northwest India. It shares its borders with Tibet (China) to the east, Jammu and Kashmir to the north and northwest, Punjab to the southwest, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the south and Uttaranchal to the southeast. It was established as the 18th state of India on January 25, 1971.

The state capital is Shimla. Much of the state is mountainous with the Himalayas in the north and east and the smaller Shivalik range in the south. The main rivers are the Satlej (home of the Bhakra Nangal Dam Project) and the Beas. The bridge on the Satlej River at Kandraur, Bilaspur is one of the highest bridges in Asia.

The earliest known inhabitants of the region were tribals called Dasas. Later, Aryans came and they assimilated in the tribes. 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 15th April, 1948. With the recognition of Punjab on 1st November, 1966, certain areas belonging to it were also included in Himachal Pradesh. On 25th January, 1971, Himachal Pradesh was made a full-fledged State.

The major spoken languages are Kangri, Pahari, Punjabi, Hindi and Mandiali. Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism are the main religions. Dharmshala, in the western area of the state is the home of the Dalai Lama.

Roads are the main mode of transport. Transportation can be slow and dangerous especially during monsoon season due to the narrow and winding roads and to frequent landslides and washouts. The government-owned Himachal Road Transport Corporation runs a network of buses across the state. There are five major zones that draw the maximum visitor or act as base camps for most of Himachal - Shimla, Kullu and Manali, Dalhousie and Chamba, Kangra- Dharamshala-Palampur and Paonta-Nahan. The airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 km from Shimla city and is connected to Delhi. himla is connected by a broadgauge line up to Kalka (90 km). The journey between Kalka and Shimla takes about six hours and is one of the finest ways of enjoying the landscape. Shimla is connected by road to all major cities in north India. Taxi cabs for Shimla are available at Delhi, Chandigarh, Ambala and Kalka.