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Himachal Pradesh


Himachal Pradesh is dominated by successive ridges of snow covered peaks, the outer ranger of the Himalaya themselves. Known across India for its early summers climate, its deliciously cool mountain streams and its seemingly endless supplies of temperate fruit, Himachal also has excellent trekking.

Its main cities are Shimla ,famous as a British Hill station and the capital city, Dharamshala ,the Indian home of the dalai Lama. and the Kullu and Manali have been favorite destinations for over a decade. Himachal has become the main access route to Ladakh.

The road to Leh crosses the Rohtang Pass just north of Manali and has opened up the side routes for trekking. The beautiful landscape is also the setting for a rich interweaving of Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The dominant local language is pahari, a Hindi dialect derived from Sanskrit and prakit but largely unintelligible to plains dwellers. Hindi is the medium for instructions in schools and is widely spoken.

Hill tribes such as Gaddis, gujars, kinnaurs, lahaulis and pangawals have all been assimilated into the dominant Hindu culture though the caste system is simpler and less rigid than elsewhere. The tribal people in lahul and spiti follow a form of Buddhism while Kinnauris mix Buddhism with Hinduism in their rituals. Their folklore has the common theme of heroism and legends of love and natti, the attractive folk dance of the hills is widely performed.


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