71st Foundation Day: Himachal Pradesh

15th April of every year in the state is celebrated as the foundation day for Himachal Pradesh. It may be recalled that the hill state came into existence after the merger of 30 odd princely states in 1948.

Overview of the State

Himachal Pradesh is a state in the northern part of India. Situated in the Western Himalayas, it is bordered by states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the southwest, Uttarakhand on the southeast, and Tibet on the east. At its southernmost point, it also touches the state of Uttar Pradesh. The state’s name was coined by acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, one of the state’s eminent Sanskrit scholars.

Key facts Related to Himachal Pradesh

  • Tribes such as the Koli, Hali, Dagi, Dhaugri, Dasa, Khasa, Kanaura, and Kirat inhabited the region from the prehistoric era. The Kols or Mundas are believed to be the original migrants to the hills of present day Himachal Pradesh followed by the Bhotas and Kirata.
  • The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross 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.
  • According to 2003 Forest Survey of India report, legally defined forest areas constitutes 66.52% of the area of Himachal Pradesh. The state endows with a high diversity of medicinal and aromatic plants. Lahaul-Spiti region of the state, being a cold desert, supports unique plants of medicinal value including  Ferula jaeschkeana, Hyoscyamus niger, Lancea tibetica, and Saussurea
  • Himachal is also said to be the fruit bowl of the country.
  • Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Siteand Pin Valley National Park are the national Parks located in the state. The state also has 30 wildlife sanctuaries and 3 conservation reserve.

Himachal Pradesh also ranks as the second best performing state in the country on human development indicators after Kerala. Kalka-Shimla Railway of Himachal Pradesh is known to be added in the list of mountain railways of India World Heritage Site.

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