Himachal Pradesh
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Himachal Pradesh is a state in northwest India. Neighboring regions are Tibet to the east, Jammu & Kashmir to the north and northwest, Punjab to the southwest, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the south and Uttaranchal to the southeast. It was established as the 18th state of India on January 25, 1971. The state capital is Shimla.

Bhimakali temple, SarahanMuch of the state is mountainous with the Himalayas in the north and east and the smaller Shivalik (or Shiwalik) range in the south. The Ghaggar River originates in the Shivalik range. The main rivers are the Sutluj (home of the Bhakra Nangal Dam Project) and the Beas. The bridge on Sutluj river at Kandraur, Bilaspur is one of the highest bridges in Asia.

Some of the loveliest place to travel are, Sangla Valley and Kalpa in district Kinnaur, Naldera, Narkanda and Sarahan in district Shimla, Manali and Manikaran in district Kullu, Dharamshala and Mcleod Ganj in district Kangra and Tabo in Lahaul & Spiti. The government owned Himachal Tourism has hotels in most of these places. Palampur is famous for its agricultural university and tea gardens. Himachal Pradesh is an excellent area to visit, for wildlife lovers, bird watchers and adventure tourists.

Some of the highest mountain peaks in Himachal Pradesh are: Mulkila M-4 (6517 m), Menthosa (6443 m), Papsura (6440 m), Dharamsura (6420 m), M-5 (6375 m), KR-4 (6340 m) and Kangla Tarbo-1 (6315 m).

Districts: Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Una, Chamba, Lahaul & Spiti, Sirmaur, Kinnaur, Kullu, Solan and Shimla.

Culture and religion: The major spoken languages are Kangri, Pahari, Hindi, Mandiali and Punjabi. English is also spoken and understood in many areas. Hinduism and Buddhism are the main religions. Dharamshala, in the western area of the state, is the home of the Tibetan leader, His Holiness Dalai Lama. A large number of Buddhist Tibetan refugees, who fled Tibet from the oppressive Chinese rule, are settled all over the state.

Transportation & Communication: Roads are the main mode of transport. Travel in some high altitude areas can be slow and dangerous, especially during monsoon season due to the narrow and winding roads and frequent landslides. The government-owned Himachal Road Transport Corporation runs a network of buses across the state. Most areas have telephone and mobile phone services.

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