Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Himachal Pradesh is a place where you can walk on the clouds, romance the hilly terrain and enjoy the cool breeze. But there is much to talk about Himachal rather than its scenic beauty. The word ‘Himachal’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Hima’ which means ‘Snow’ and ‘Anchal’ means ‘Lap’. And hence the literal meaning of the state’s name is ‘In the lap of snow’. Himachal Day is celebrated every year on April 15 as on this day the province of Himachal Pradesh was created in 1948. Today we bring to you 10 lesser known facts about the state.
Himachal Pradesh is the second least corrupt state in India after Kerala.
On July 2, 2013, Himachal Pradesh was declared as the first smoke-free state of the country. It means smoking in the public area is strictly prohibited.
On October 2, 2009, the state government imposed a complete ban on polythene bags made of non-biodegradable materials. The ban is also imposed on its storage, production, sale and distribution.
Solan popularly known as ‘Mushroom city’ for its production of mushrooms, is one of the fastest growing city in Asia.
Himachal Pradesh is India’s second largest producer of apple after Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, the state also produces peaches, cherries, kiwis, hazelnuts and plums in abundance.
Kalka-Shimla railway has been declared as the World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It also holds the record for covering the steepest slope i.e. 5816 ft in just 96 km.
The Kalka-Shimla express passes through 103 tunnels, 806 bridges and 18 stations.
The state is home to 33 sanctuaries and 2 national parks. The Great Himalayan National Park has been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Established in 1984, the park is home to about 370 fauna species, 30+ mammals, 180 birds and 9 amphibians, among others.
Malana, an unexplored village in the state is known as ‘The village of taboos’ because of its weird rule of no outsider touching any belonging or even the wall of village. The village is also infamous as ‘weed-tourist destination’ and has won High Times magazine Cannabis Cup’s ‘Best Hashish’ award twice -in 1994 and 1996.
Himachal Pradesh has a close association to the mythological era of Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is said that Shimla’s Jakhoo temple is the same place where Lord Hanuman rested while he was in search of the Sanjeevani booti.