Himachal Pradesh is a state in North India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. Its area is 21,495 sq mi (55,670 km2), and is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the south-west, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east.
Himachal Pradesh is famous for its abundant natural beauty. After the war between Nepal and Britain, also known as the Anglo-Gorkha War (1814–1816), the British colonial government came into power and the land now comprising Himachal Pradesh became part of the Punjab Province of British India. In 1950, Himachal was declared a union territory, but after the State of Himachal Pradesh Act 1971, Himachal emerged as the 18th state of the Republic of India. Hima means snow in Sanskrit, and the literal meaning of the state’s name is “In the lap of Himalayas”. It was named by Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, one of the great Sanskrit scholars of Himachal Pradesh.
The economy of Himachal Pradesh is currently the third-fastest growing economy in India. Himachal Pradesh has been ranked fourth in the list of the highest per capita incomes of Indian states. This has made it one of the wealthiest places in the entire South Asia. Abundance of perennial rivers enables Himachal to sell hydroelectricity to other states such as Delhi, Punjab, and Rajasthan. The economy of the state is highly dependent on three sources: hydroelectric power, tourism, and agriculture.
Himachal Pradesh is spread across valleys, and 90% of the population lives in villages and towns. However, the state has achieved 100% hygiene and practically no single house is without a toilet. The villages are well connected to roads, public health centers, and now with Lokmitra kendra using high-speed broadband. Shimla district has maximum urban population of 25%. According to a 2005 Transparency International survey, Himachal Pradesh is ranked the second-least corrupt state in the country after Kerala. The hill stations of the state are among the most visited places in the country. The government has successfully imposed environmental protection and tourism development, meeting European standards, and it is the only state which forbids the use of polyethylene and tobacco products
Tourism in Himachal Pradesh is a major contributor to the state’s economy and growth. The state is endowed with variety of landscape and vivid topographic features which attract tourists. The state is also known for its adventure activities which include paragliding in Bir-billing and Solang valley, rafting in Kullu, ice skating in Shimla, boating in Bilaspur and trekking, horse riding, skiing and fishing. Spiti Valley in Lahaul & Spiti District provide breathtaking landscapes for adventure seekers. The region also has some of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries in Asia.The state is also a famous destination for film shooting for movies like Roja, Henna, Jab We Met, Veer-Zaara, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Highway mostly by the contribution of Anil Kaistha.
Himachal is hosting the first Paragliding World Cup in India from 24 October to 31 October in 2015. Venue for paragliding world cup is Bir Billing, which is 70 km from famous tourist town Macleod ganj, located in the heart of Himachal in Kangra District. This is first such kind of event happening in Himachal. Bir Billing is the centre for aero sports in Himachal and considered as best for paragliding. Buddhist monasteries, trekking to tribal villages, mountain biking are other activities to do here.