With gorgeous river valleys and spectacular peaks, Himachal Pradesh is known as the most beautiful sates which is the home to several hill stations and one of the most popular state tourist destination of India.
The mountainous state is covering the area of about 55,673 square kilometres, the state is situated on the foothill of the western Himalayas. The state is bordered by international boarder of Tibet on the east, Haryana and Uttarakhand on the south-east, Jammu and Kashmir on the north and Punjab on the west and south-west. The history of Himachal Pradesh is very rich and ancient, it was associated with Indus valley civilisation.
Himachal gets its name meaning ‘Land of Snow’. The main source of water of the Indus River and Ganges has originated from Himachal Pradesh. It is located on the bank of six rivers such as the Ravi, Chenab, Yamuna and the Sutlej, These Rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. Himalayas has sacred the State with substantial natural riches as it has the various sources of the underground waters to the peak of mountains, apart from this the Valleys, Hot Springs and the Passes are also the great contribution of Himalaya.
There is vast variation in the climatic conditions of Himachal Pradesh due to extreme variation in elevation.
Fairs and Festivals in Himachal Pradesh
Although all the major festivals of India are celebrated here, but Himachal is also known for its unique celebrations which clearly reflects the culture and traditions of Himachal Pradesh.
Minjar Fair (August):-
Minjar also known as maize flowers festival is held in the month of August on second Sunday at at a place Chowgan in Chamba town. It is one week festival. It is one of the impotent state festival of Himachal.The fair is attributed to Raja Sahil Verman, who ruled the state in the 10th century.
Naina Devi Fair (August or September):-
Every year in the month of August or September this festival held at Naina Devi Temple in Blaspur district. This is an important festival of Himachal Pradesh. The festival is dedicated to Naina Devi, The temple is located at Naina hill, which is one of the most important pilgrim for Hindu. There is a myth behind this beautiful place about goddess Sati or Parvati. There is a beautiful lake is known as Naina Lake and believed that it is the two blue eyes of goddess Naina.
Kullu Dushehra (September or October)
Although Dushehra is celebrated all over the country, but the celebration of Dushehra is very unique and famous. Which shows the real essence of culture and tradition of Himachal Pradesh, during the festival you can find the all colours of the state at one place.
Basoa or Bishu (April):-
This festival is celebrated at Kinnaur On the first day of the month of Baisakh. It is also an impotent festival of the state during the festival they enrich their house with flowers and other decor items. In the evening the houses are lit up with bright lights to mark the festive mood of the occasion along with folk songs and dances.
Faguli Festival (March):-
It is another an impotent festival of Himachal Pradesh, this festival take place in spring season. It is celebrated with Basant Panchami in the month of March. During the festival there are lots of rituals with flock songs and dances are performed.
Festival of Sair in Shimla (September):-
It is one of the most famous festival of Himachal Pradesh which renowned all over the India for its enthusiasm with richness. This festival held in Shimla during the month of September every year. It is another one of the cultural festival, along with Buffalo Fight, which is the centre of attraction of this festival.
Fulaich Festival (September):-
It is another impotent festival of Himachal Pradesh. The festival held on every year in the Kinnaur valley at the month of September. It is mainly celebrated to honour to the passed away family members and relatives and to pray for their peace of soul.
Ice Skating Carnival (December- January):-
It is one of the most popular festival of Himachal Pradesh which attracts the adventure lover persons from all over the country. During the winters the snow becomes adequate for skating as the snow becomes dry and is hardened. Every year during winter Shimla attracts thousands of enthusiastic skaters.
This festival take place at Shimla and Dalhousie in the month of December or January when the whole town coved with heavy snow.
International Folk Festival (October):-
International Folk Festival is the one of the most renowned festival of the state and it is visited by lots of tourists from across the globe. This festival held at Kullu Valley in the month of October every year.
During the festival you can find the lots of verity of handicraft and folk art from all over India with major folk handicraft items of the state as well.
Another attraction of this festival is cultural programs such as folk dances, songs etc.
Kaza’s Ladarcha Fair, Lahaul and Spiti ( July):-
This is one of the most important festival of State. The festival take place in the month of July at Lahaul and Spiti. Historically it was celebrated by the people of Tibet who used to come via trade routes and exchanged goods at this festival. However, after annexation of Tibet by China it was brought to halt. However in recent times the festival is again celebrated and is the largest non-religious festival in the Spiti region.
Losar Celebration (December or January) :-
It is another popular festival of Himachal Pradesh. Losar festival is known as Ladakhi and Tibetan New Year celebration, which is held every in December or January for two weeks as per lunar calendar. The festival signifies the age old fight between good and evil, and is celebrated by chants warding off evil and fire torches.
Himachal's Winter Carnival(January):-
It is one of the most famous festival of Himachal Pradesh. The festival held in Manali at the month of January. This event is visited by lots of tourists from all over India. During the carnival you can feel the real beauty of the culture and tradition of Himachal Pradesh.
Pori Festival (November):-
This festival held in the month of November at Rampur. It is most impotent festival of state. It is a very old fair and entirely related to the sale and purchase of goods. The another attractions are 'Natti' dances and cultural shows.
It is celebrated on the 3rd Tuesday in the month of Baisakha(May) for two days at a place about 6 Kilometre from Shimla-Kotkhai road near Mahasu village. It is an old fair take place in front of the Durga Devi temple. 'Natti' dances and archery game are the main attractions of this festival.
Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh
The cuisine of Himachal Pradesh is quite similar to the rest of the north Indian states. They also use bread, rice, vegetable, broth and lentil. The people of Himachal Pradesh preferred the non-vegetation cuisine more than vegetarian. Traditionally, Himachali cuisine is dominated by red meat and wheat bread. Some of the specialities of Himachal include Madira, Pateer, Manee, Chouck, chutney of Til ,Bhagjery. Apart from this you can also find the all type Indian cuisines at the restaurants located all the major cities and towns of Himachal Pradesh.
Traditions and Culture of Himachal Pradesh
The culture and tradition of the people of Himachal Pradesh is very much enchanting and fascinate. The people are known for their rich cultural heritage where they adhere to their traditional customs and practices, which is untouched by external customs, largely due to its difficult terrain. You can find the traditions of Himachal people’s day to day life, the colourful traditional dresses along with ethnic jewelleries, warm and friendly nature, language, Himanchali folk dances and songs.
The traditional house in Himachal Pradesh is built with clay bricks and the roofs are of slate. The hilly areas have their own kind of house which is made of stone sometimes the slate roof is replaced by timber.
Himachal Pradesh is also known as a rich heritage of unique art and crafts. The state is famous for its handicrafts such as the leather work, Pashmina shawls, carpets, paintings, metalware, bamboo items and Colourful caps which is a identity of the people of Himachal.
Folk music and dance reflects the cultural identity of the state. You can find the essence of the folk stories of mountainous regions often find a mention in these music the stories belongs to romance, chivalry and changing seasons.