Himachal Pradesh is a state in the north-west of India. Himachal Pradesh is spread over 55,780 square kilometres (21,537 sq mi) and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on north, Punjab on west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on south, Uttarakhand on south-east and by Tibet on the east. The literal meaning of Himachal Pradesh is Land of snowy mountains.
Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest per capita incomes of any state in India. Due to the abundance of perennial rivers, Himachal also sells hydro electricity to other states such as Delhi, Punjab & Rajasthan. The economy of the state is highly dependent upon three sources i.e. Hydel power, tourism and agriculture.
The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. In fact the rivers are older than the mountain system.Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins.The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.
There is great variation in the climatic conditions of Himachal due to extreme variation in elevation. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern tracts to cold, alpine and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges with more elevation. The state has areas like Dharamsala that receive very heavy rainfall, as well as those like Lahaul and Spiti that are cold and almost rainless. Broadly Himachal experience three seasons; hot weather season, cold weather season and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid April till the end of June and most parts become very hot (except in alpine zone which experience mild summer) with the average temperature ranging from 28 °C (82 °F) to 32 °C (90 °F). Winter lasts from late November till mid March. Snowfall is common in alpine tracts (generally above 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) i.e. in the Higher and Trans-Himalayan region).
Himachal Pradesh is divided into 12 districts namely, Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Una, Chamba, Lahul and Spiti, Sirmaur, Kinnaur, Kullu, Solan and Shimla. The state capital is Shimla which was formerly British India’s summer capital under the name Simla.
Barytes, limestone, salt (rock) and shale are the important minerals produced in the state. Barytes occurs in Mahendragarh and Sirmur districts; limestone in Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra, Kulu, Mahasu, Mandi, Shimla, Sirmur and Solan districts; and rock salt in Mandi district.
Other minerals that occur in the State are antimony in Lahaul and Spiti districts; gypsum in Chamba, Sirmur and Solan districts; magnesite in Chamba district; pyrite in Shimla district; and quartz, quartzite and silica sand in Una district.