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India States - Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh, formally the Punjab Hill States, is a mostly mountainous state in northwest India. Neighbouring regions are Tibet 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. The state capital is Shimla, other major towns are Dharamsala, Kangra, Mandi, Kullu, Chamba, Hamirpur, Dalhousie and Manali. The western Himalaya lies in the north and east and the smaller Shiwalik range in the south. The Ghaggar River originates in the Shivalik range. The main rivers are the Sutlej and the Beas. The bridge on the Sutlej River at Kandraur, Bilaspur District is one of the highest in Asia.
The major spoken languages are Kangri, Pahari, Punjabi, Hindi and Mandiali. Kangri and Mandiali are believed to be twin dialects originating from Punjabi. Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism are the main religions. Dharmshala, in the western area of the state is the home of the Dalai Lama and many Tibetan refugees. Roads are the main mode of transport. Transportation can be risky especially during monsoon season due to frequent landslides and washouts. The government-owned Himachal Road Transport Corporation runs a network of buses across the state and there are private buses and taxis. Most areas have landline and cellular telephone service and Internet cafes.
Himachal Tourism is a promotional organisation for the tourism activities in the state. Its wing, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd is the pioneer in tourism and transport trade in northern India. It has a chain of 46 prime located hotel units with a bed capacity of 2,000 beds and 11 restaurants/way side cafeterias in the state. It has a transport fleet consisting of 31 AC/deluxe coaches as well as jeeps and cars for contract carriages. It has conducted tours and packages throughout the state and country.
Himachal Pradesh came under British control in the middle of the 19th century. The British annexed Kangra District, which includes present-day Kangra, Kullu, Hamirpur, and Lahul and Spiti districts, in 1846 at the conclusion of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The remainder of Himachal Pradesh was made up of a number of princely states; see Hill States. Under the British Raj, Kangra District was part of the British province of Punjab, and the princely states, then known as the Simla Hill States, were under the authority of Punjab until the early 1930's, when the Punjab States Agency was created, under the direct authority of the Governor-General of India. The Punjab Hill States Agency, which included most of the princely states in present-day Himachal Pradesh, was separated from Punjab States Agency in 1936. India became independent of the United Kingdom in 1947, and Himachal Pradesh was established as a state on April 15 1948, composed of the territory of some 30 Hill states (including feudatories) that acceded to the Government of India, while Bilaspur remained a separate state in the Indian Union till its merger with Himachal Pradesh on July 1, 1954 by an act of the Indian Parliament. Himachal Pradesh became a union territory on November 1, 1956. The state was enlarged in 1966 by the transfer of the districts of Shimla, Kangra (which included present-day districts of Kangra and Hamirpur), Kullu, Lahul and Spiti, and Una from Punjab state. It was made the 18th state of India on January 25, 1971.