Himachal Pradesh is famous for its abundant natural beauty. After the war between Nepal and Britain, also known as the Anglo-Gorkha War (1814-1816), the British colonial government came into power. In 1950 Himachal was declared a union territory, but after the State of Himachal Pradesh Act 1971, Himachal emerged as the 18th state of the Republic of India. Hima means snow in Sanskrit, and the literal meaning of the state's name is In the lap of Himalayas. It was named by one of the great Sanskrit scholars of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma.
|Area||55,673 sq km|
Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over 21,495 sq mi (55,670 km2), and is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east.
(dholru) Is The First Month Of The Lunar Year And The First Day Of The Month Is Cellebrated With A Belief To Bring Hapiness And Prosperity. This Festival Is Known As Chatrali In Kullu And Dholru In Bharmaur Area Of Chamba District. In District Kangra, Hamirpur And Bilaspur, First Day Of Chet Month Hold Special Importance.
Navratri Are Celebrated With Great Interest In Himachal Pradesh. Durga Ashtami Is Of Great Importance All Over The State. People Visit Nearest Durga Temple To Offer Prayer During Navratri.
It Is Knows As Bisowa In Kangra, Bissue In Shimla Hills And Lisshoo In Pangi-chamba. This Festival Is Generally Celebrated On 13th Of April. Preparation For The Festival Starts Much Early. The Houses Are White Washed. People Take Holy Dip At Haridwar, Tattapani Near Shimla, Banganga Near Kangra, Markanda Near Bilaspur. During Day Time, Baisakhi Fair Is Held At Many Places With Traditional Gaiety And Attraction. Women's Participation In Large Number Add Special Color To The Festive Mood Of The People.
It Is Also Known As Shegtsum In Lahaul, Dhakhrain In Jubbal And Kinnaur. This Festival Is Celebrated On The Ist Sawan - 16th July. Few Days Before The Festival, Seeds Of Five To Seven Kinds Of Grains Are Sown Together In Small Basket Full Of Earth By Any Member Of The Family Near The Place Of The Household Deities. Stems Are Offered To Household Deities And Are Also Placed On The Upper Frame Of The Door. Farmers Do Not Yoke Oxen On This Day. Blood Sucking Insects Like Lice, Bugs, Flees Etc. Are Burnt With Cowdung Balls. People In Kinnaur District Garland Village Deity With Wild Flowers. Dancing And Singing Is A Common Practice During The Festival.
Rakhi Is One Of The Major Festivals Celebrated All Over India. It Is Known As Rakhrunya In Mandi District, Salunnu In Sirmaur District And Rakhpunya In Shimla District. It Is Well Known As 'rakhri' In Most Of The Himachal Pradesh. It Is Celebrated On The Moon Full In Shrawan, When Sister Ties Sacred Thread Round The Wrist Of Her Brother And Seeks Protection And Affection In Exchange. Brother Too Give Her, Either Money Or Some Other Gift With Sweets.
It Is Also Known As Prithvi Pooja In Some Places. It Is Celebrated On The Ist Of Bhadon - Middle Of August. This Continues For Full One Month. The Farmers Do Not Yoke Oxen During This Month. In Kullu, This Festival Is Known As Badranjo. In Chamba, It Is Called Pathroru. It Is A Festival Of Flowers Here. This Is An Occasion Of Great Celebration, Particularly For Girls Who Dance On This Day.
It Is A Rite Offered To Any Village Deitiy. This Is Commemorated Each Year On The Fourth Day Of The Month Of September. Mahasu Devta (deity) Is Worshipped In Upper Shimla Hills, Kinnaur And Sirmaur Regions Of The State. Singing And Dancing Is The Common Feature Of The Festival.
Celebrated Only In Kinnaur Region In The Month Of Bhadon Or In The Beginning Of Asauj. People From Each Household Proceed Towards Hilltops To Collect Flowers, Which Are Offered To Village Deity And Afterwards These Flower Garlands Are Distributed Among The People. Priest Makes Forecasts About Crops And Changes In Seasons Etc. Priest's Words Are Taken For Granted By Local People.
It Is Celebrated In The Month Of September In New Himachal. This Is A Bara-din (big Day) Of The Hillmen. Rich Food Is Prepaired On The First Day Of The Month And People Worship Their Local Deity For Prosperous Future.
Celebrations Of Dushehra Are Same In All The Places Of India. It Is Celebrated On The Month Of Spetember Or October. On Dashmi - 10th Day Of Celebration, People Make A Bonfire Of Effigies Of Ravna, Kumbhkarna And Meghnatha. It Symbolises Victory Of Good Over Evil. Dushehra Of Kullu Is Famous All Over The World.
In Some Areas, It Is Also Known As Maghi Or Saza. It Is Celebrated On The Ist Of Magh - Mid January. People Celebrate It More As A Continuation Of The Season Of Festivals. After Finishing Agricultural Activities, They Feast And Celebrate And Avail Themselves Of The Time To Meet Their Relatives. This Festival Continues For 8 Days. On 8th Day, People Make Get Together And Show Social Solidarity. Dance And Music Goes On For The Whole Night.
This Festival Is Celebrated In The Entire Tribal Belt Of Himachal Pradesh And In The Tibetan Colonies At Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala, Solan And Baijnath. The Old Buddhist Shrine, Celebrating Padamsambhava's Marriage With A Local Princess At Rewalser In Mandi District Also Emerges As A Pivotal Attraction For These Religious Celebrations. This Festival Means A Beginning Of A New Year And Is Held In The Last Week Of February.one Can Witness A Chham Dance, Various Mask Dances And Dramas Remniscent Of The Post Buddhist Culture With Traditional Orchestra.
This Festival Is Given The Greatest Importance Even In Temples. Some People Keep Fast On This Day. Images Of Lord Shiva And Parvati Are Made From Cowdung Or Earth Soil For Worshipping. Songs In Praise Of Shiva And Parvati Are Sung. This Is The Festival Of Great Significance In The Life Of Hill People. Shivratri Of Mandi Ranks Above All In Western Himalayas. Mandi Town Is Tastefully Decorated And Thousands Of Hill Fork Arrived In Their Traditional Dresses Participate In The Fair.
It Is Celebrated Especially By The People Of Chandra And Bhaga Valleys In December Or January In Lahaul And Spiti District. It Is Like A Diwali Festival For Them. Though It Is A Festival Of Light, No Lamps Or Candles Are Lighted Except That Two Or Three Persons From Every Household Carry Burning Sticks Of Pencil, Thin Cedar In Their Hands To Be Piled Together To Make A Bonfire And Later To Be Ceremoniously Thrown Towards The Villages Of Gushal And Kardang.
India Is A Land Built On Foundation Of Diversity, And Himachal Pradesh Is No Exception. While The Majority Of The Population Is Of Aryan Stock And Are Devoteed Hindus, Their Is Ample Represention Of Buddhism, Especially In The North, And Islam. The People Of Lahaul Spiti Are Mangol Stock, And Display The Facial Features Associated With The East. Life In The Hill State Is Essentially Rural, With Only A Silver Of The Population Living In Urban Settlements. Farming And Livestock Are The Main Occupations. Asides These Common Traits, There Is Plenty To Differentiate The People Of Different Regions From Each Other. Each Area Has Its Own Style Of Dressing, Its Own Customs And Rituals. And Not Least, Its Own Gods.
Cooked Only By A Special Category Of Brahmans, Dham Is A Meal Whose Preparation Begins One Night Before The Actual Lunch Is To Be Served On Traditional Leaf Plates. In Chamba, The Characteristic List Of Options For A Dham Would Begin With Rice, Moong Dal (green Lentil Broth) And Rajma (red Kidney Beans) Prepared. This Merriment Makes Way For The Boor Ki Kari And A Dark Lentil (mash Dal). Completed By Khatta (sweet And Sour Sauce) Prepared With Gur (jaggery) And Tamarind, The Dham Punctuates Itself With A Mittha (dessert) - Sweet Rice, Generously Mixed With Dry Fruits.
Himachal During The High Time Of Its Festivals Prepares Itself To Enjoy The Savor Brought With The Ankalos, Which Are Traditionally Cooked With The Gram Flour. Patande, A Type Of Warm Cake Dish Is Famous In The Sirmour District Of Himachal Pradesh And Is Known For Its Rich Taste.
Popular In The Sirmour Distrcit, Patande Is Yet Another Feisty Dish For The Residents Of Himachal Pradesh. Popularly Known As Indian Pan Cake, Patande Is The Made Out Of Wheat Flour And Are Cooked And Resembles The Traditional Pan Cake.
The Various Kinds Of Handicrafts Available In Himachal Pradesh Include Woodwork, Leather Embroidery, Metal Wares, Carpets, Painting And Woolen Textiles. The Range Of Handicrafts Found In Himachal Is Unique To The State. The Crafts Of This State Are Vast And Portray The Artistic Skill Of The Craftsmen. Thangka Is An Intricate And Brightly Colored Painting Done On Cloth a Very Famous Art Of Tibetan Artisans. These Paintings Mostly Depict Buddha As Well As Other Gods And Goddess. This Art Is Very Popular Especially With Foreign Tourists Himachal Also Specializes In Making Fine Shawls. Moreover, Accessories, Embroidery, Woolen Garments And Leather Craft Of Himachal Is Extremely Precious And Popular. Wood Carving : Being Rich In Forests, Wood Is Abundant In Himachal Pradesh And So Woodcarving Is Still A Living Tradition Of The State. Earlier This Craft Was Mostly Used In Building Temples And Palaces. However, At Present Artisans Creates Intricate Designs Used In Building Houses, And Also For Making Other Things Like Low Benches, Spinning Wheels, Smoking Pipe, Cradles, Low Settees, Boxes, Serving Spoon, Rolling Pins, Wooden Utensils, And Much More. Moreover, Other Interesting Things Like Fruit Bowls, Beer Mugs, Wooden Jewellery, Decorative Boxes And Carved Images Can Also Be Found Carved Out Of Wood.
Like Most Other States In India, Himachal Pradesh Is Also Rich In Traditional Paintings. You Can See The Miniature Paintings In Art Galleries And Museums In Himachal, But The True Picture Of The Traditional Paintings Can Be Seen In Most Village Houses. The Women Of The House Paint Their Floors And Walls. Moreover, They Draw Illustrative Designs Called Yantras On The Doorstep On Ceremonial Occasions. The Floors Are Decorated With A White Paste Made Of Rice, Whereas The Walls Are Painted With Colors, Which They Collect From Daily Used Things Such As Turmeric Powder, Red Clay, Kumkum (a Liquid Used For Make Up) And So On.
Thangkas Are Brightly Coloured Cloth Paintings, Which Are Mostly Used As Ritual Paintings Exhibited During Some Buddhist Festivals. International Tourists Love These Paintings. They Generally Depict Lord Buddha And Other Deities As Well As The Wheel Of Life.
Rugs, Carpets Are Significant Part Of Furnishing In Himachal Pradesh. Available In Brilliant Colors And Traditional Motifs These Items Look Amazingly Beautiful In Appearance. Moreover, Blankets Made With Wool Weaved Out Of Sheep And Goats Are Also Available In Plenty.
Used By People Of Himachal Are Very Colorful. Their Traditional Attire Is Bedecked With Delicate Embroidery With Circular And Linear Patterns. They Are Also Fond Of All Sorts Of Accessories Like Colorful Scarves, Bangles, Rings, Hand Knit Woollen Socks, Gloves, Mufflers, Caps And Grass Shoes.
Women In Himachal Like To Pass Their Time In The Afternoon By Working On Embroidery Work With Needle And Thread. They Make Beautiful Pieces Of Clothing Like Scarves, Coverlets, Handfans, Caps, Cholis (bodices), Gaumukhi (prayer Gloves) And So On. The Richly Embroidered Colorful Silk Rumals (scarves) Of Chamba Have Traditionally Been Made Since The Last 1000 Years. Himachali Women Use These Small Shawls As Head Coverings.
Shawls Like Kashmir, Himachal Also Produces Fine And Precious Shawls, Which Are In High Demand By Tourists From All Over The World. These Shawls Are Weaved In The Cottage Industries Of Himachal And Are Available In Plain And Patterned.
Leather Craft Is Another Significant Craft Of The State. The Traditional Chappals (slippers) Of Chamba Are Not Only Beautiful But Very Comfortable As Well. They Are Embroidered With Colorful Threads And At Times With Zari (golden Thread). You Will Also Find A Range Of Shoes, Sandals, Socks And Belts.
The Metals Used In Metalwork Or Metal Carving Are Brass, Copper, Iron, Tin And Bell Metal. These Are Used To Make Exquisite Statuettes, Lamps, Incense Burners, Low Settees Of Silver Or Brass, Vessels And Musical Instruments Mostly Used In Temples. Moreover, Some Objects Are Also Made For Daily Use At Home.
Stone Carving Is Another Such Craft, Which Was Mostly Used For Temples In The Early Days. You Can See Splendid Samples Of The Stone Carving In Various Temples In Himachal.