The heart of the western Himalaya, the Himachal Pradesh. Also called "Dev Bhumi" or “Abode of Gods and Goddesses”, ‘State of all seasons’, ‘Fruit bowl of India’, ‘Apple State’, ‘Mountain State’ etc because of so many emerging varieties and specialities in the town. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh.
It is the first state of North as per location, after the status of Jammu and Kashmir changing into Union territory. The state is rich in temple culture, stone carving, wealthy traditions, trekking and natural wonders, customs and practices, and the snow-laden peaks of various mountain ranges. The terrains or topographical features of the state are highly luring with almost every range of segregations including valleys, glaciers, pines, rivers, mountains, forests, wildlife sanctuaries, fertile lands, plains. All these allow the booming of exquisite flora and fauna of the region. The state is one of the best tourist destinations in the country, offering value for pilgrimage centres, peaceful aura and adventure sports at the same place.
The state mainly has 4 districts, Mandi, Chamba, Mahasu, and Sirmour. The making of the state territory was a continuous affair, with various mergers and disintegration with the neighbouring border states. Finally, on December 18, 1970, the new state of Himachal Pradesh was formed.
The region of the state Ranges between the Shivalik, a mountainous region. The highest peak of Himachal Pradesh is Reo Purgyil. The state has several perennial snow-fed rivers and streams, also with the main water sources or the lifelines of the state. The important rivers of the state are Sutlej, Chenab (Chandra-Bhaga), Ravi, and Beas. Some major sports which can be played in the area are rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, ice-skating, trekking, rafting, and heli-skiing and others. The state is known for its quality production of apples, the best in India and the largest. The apple orchards are spread to various acres of land and thus have also become a tourist spot. The state has many popular hill stations and thus is referred to as the area of Himalayan landscapes.
Some of the hill stations world recognised are Shimla, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Kullu, Manali, Chamba, etc. One of the Byproducts or speciality of the region is the Pashmina Shawl is the speciality of the region which allows one to enjoy the winters easily. They are made out of goat hair and encompasses warmth unmatchable to any type of other outfit or attire.
The principal language spoken is Hindi and Pahari. Dharamshala is the winter capital of the state. The religious composition of the state is Hinduism 95.19%, Muslim 2.18%, Christian 0.18, Sikh 1.16%, Buddhist 1.15%, Jainism 0.03%, Others 0.13% according to the data of census 2011.