HIMACHAL PRADESH – THE LAND OF GODS
|No. of Wild Life Sanctuaries||:||32|
|Average Rainfall||:||1469 mm|
|State Animal||:||Snow Leopard|
|State Bird||:||Western Tragopan (Jujurana) (Tragopan melanocephalus)|
|State Flower||:||Pink Rhododendron (Rhododendron campanulatum)|
|State Language||Hindi & Local Dialects|
Himachal Pradesh has been inhabited by human beings since the dawn of civilization. It has a rich and varied history which can be divided into several distinct eras.
The Land of Himachal
Popularly known as the Devbhumi ¬– “Land of the Gods”, Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill state in India, nestles in north-west region of western Himalayas. The state is land locked with the Tibetan plateau to the east, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, and the Punjab to the west. However, the state stands apart from its neighbours in terms of its sheer topographic diversity and breath-taking pristine natural beauty. From vast tracts of high-altitude Trans-Himalayan desert to dense green deodar forests, from apple orchards to cultivated terraces, from snow-capped high Himalayan mountain ranges to snow fed lakes and gushing rivers.
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 the others. The situation largely remained the same untill 1947. After Independence, 30 princely states of the area were united and Himachal Pradesh was formed on 15th April, 1948. On 1st November, 1966, certain areas belonging to Punjab were included in Himachal Pradesh. On 25th January, 1971, Himachal Pradesh was made a full-fledged State.
The State is bordered by Jammu & Kashmir on North, Punjab on West, Haryana on South, Uttar Pradesh on South-East and China on the East.
International Kullu Dussehra
- A Week Long Fair is Held
- Listening to the Folk Music and Watching the Dances of Gaddi Shepherds who Come Down From the Hills.
- Listening to the Folk Music and Watching the Dances of Gaddi Shepherds who Come Down From the Hills During this Festival. Cultural troupes from Russia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Srilanka and various States of the country are likely to participate in the festival this year
- The Famous Procession – One of the Most Spectacular Procession in the Country as Well as the World.
Dussehra at Kullu
The festival commences on the tenth day of the rising moon, i.e. on ‘Vijay Dashmi’ day itself and continues in seven days. The birth of Dussehra in Kullu lay in royal fads and it nourished on religious, social and economic factors and ultimately came to be well established, because of the inborn love of the hill-men for fun, frolic, displayed in community singing and dancing. Numerous stalls offer a verity of local wares. This is also the time when the International Folk Festival is celebrated.
According to legend, after his return from a pilgrimage to Kailash, Maharishi Jamdagni went to his hermitage at Malana. On his head he carried a basket filled with eighteen images of different gods. Crossing through Chanderkhani pass, he came upon a fierce storm. Struggling to stay on his feet, Maharishi Jamdagni’s basket was thrown from his head, scattering the images to many distant places. Hill people, finding these images saw them take shape or form as Gods, and began to worship them. Legend has it that idol worship began in the Kullu Valley. In the 16th Century, Raja Jagat Singh ruled over the prosperous and beautiful kingdom of Kullu. As the ruler, the Raja came to know of a peasant by the name of Durgadatta who apparently possessed many beautiful pearls. The Raja thought he should have these treasured pearls, even though the only pearls Durgadatta had were pearls of Knowledge. But the Raja in his greed ordered Durgadatta to hand over his pearls or be hanged. Knowing of his inevitable fate at the hands of the king, Durgadatta threw himself on the fire and cursed the king. “Whenever you eat, your rice will appear as worms, and water will appear as blood”.