Lush valleys, snow-capped peaks, and deep gorges cut out by rives crashing down the mighty Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is by far the country’s most popular and easily accessible hill state. A plethora of adventure activities, an abundance of scenic destinations and friendly locals are reasons enough for tourists to throng places like Shimla and Manali, which are among the best places to visit in Himachal, for a weekend break. But there’s so much more to Himachal— lesser known, but equally beautiful places, like Bir, Chail and Reckong Peo, among others.
Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, or an extended holiday, Himachal Pradesh will not disappoint you.
The predominantly mountainous region comprising the present day Himachal Pradesh has been inhabited since pre-historic times having witnessed multiple waves of human migration from other areas. Through its history, the region was mostly ruled by local kingdoms some of which accepted suzerainty of larger empires. Prior to India's independence from the British, Himachal comprised the hilly regions of Punjab Province of British India. After independence, many of the hilly territories were organised as the Chief Commissioner's province of Himachal Pradesh which later became a union territory. In 1966, hilly areas of neighbouring Punjab state were merged into Himachal and it was ultimately granted full statehood in 1971.
Himachal Pradesh is spread across valleys with many perennial rivers flowing through them. Almost 90% of the state's population lives in rural areas. Agriculture, horticulture, hydropower and tourism are important constituents of the state's economy.