Himachal Pradesh, the land of eternal
snow peaks abounds in exotic valleys, glorious green hill-slopes,
snowcapped mountains, gushing streams and the hills of Himalayas
welcome the tourists from all over the world. In this mountain
wonderland, the pace of life is measured and tranquil. Himachal
Pradesh is full of hill resorts, pilgrimages, adventure sports
destinations, and wildlife that attracts a wide range of tourist
traffic. Today, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most important
tourist destinations in India. It also has excellent trekking.
Main tourist complexes are Shimla, Palampur, Dharamsala,
Kulu-Manali, Chamba-Dalhousie. Temple at Bhima Kali, Sarahan,
Hatkoti, Jwalajee, Chamunda Devi, Chintpurni, Renuka and Rewalsar,
Deoth Siddh and Naina Devi are major attractions for pilgrims.
Tourist complexes are also being set up at Keylong, Kaza, Sangla,
Shoja, Kalpa, Khadrala, Kharapathar, Chindi, Bharmour, Chansal and
Naggar castle. Hang-gliding competitions are held in Kangra
valley. Solang Nallah slopes are getting popular for winter
sports. There is an art gallery in Naggar and museums in Chamba,
Shimla and Dharamasala. The beautiful tourist resort of Khajjair
in Chamba district has been christened as the Switzerland of
The region of Himachal Pradesh was called
'Dev Bhoomi ' (the land of the gods). From the early period of its
history it was inhabited by tribes like the Koilis, Halis, Dagis,
Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars and Kirats. The Aryan influence in
this area of India dates to the period before the Rigveda. Sankar
Varma, the king of Kashmir exercised his influence over regions of
Himachal Pradesh in about 883 AD. This region witnessed the
invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1009AD, who during that period
invaded and looted the wealth from the temples in the North of
India. In about 1043AD the Rajputs ruled over this territory.
Known for its vibrant and exquisite natural scenery it received
the royal patronage of the Mughal rulers who erected several works
of art as an appreciation of this land. In 1773 AD the Rajputs
under Sansar Chand possessed this region, till the attack by
Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1804 which crushed the Rajput power here.
The Gurkhas who migrated from Nepal captured this area and
devastated it. In about the early 19th century the British
exercised their influence and annexed the areas of Shimla after
the Gurkha War of 1815-16. It became a centrally administered
territory in 1948 with the integration of 31 hill states and
received additional regions added to it in 1966.