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Physical Organisation
ClimateExpand Climate
Land Use & Cropping Pattern
 Our State
Physical Organisation

          This Pradesh, came in to being as a part’c’ State of the Indian Union on 15th April,1948 as a result of the merger of 30 Punjab and Shimla Hill States in to the Indian Union viz., Bhghat , Bhajji, Baghal, Beja, Balsan, Bushar, Chamba, Darkoti, Delath, Dhadi, Dhami,Ghund, Jubbal, Khaneti, Keonthal,Koti, Kumarsain, Kunihar, Kuthar, Mandi Madhan, Mahlog Mangal, Ratesh, Rewinigarh, Sangri, Sirmour, Suket, Tharoch, and Theog. At that time the State had four districts viz., Chamba, Mahasu, Mandi and Sirmour and its area was 27,16,850 hectares. In 1954, the neighboring 31st State of Bilaspur was integrated with Himachal Pradesh., thereby adding one more district with an area of 1,06,848 hectares. In 1966 a new border district of Kinnaur was carved out of Mahasu district on account of administrative reasons. With the re-organisation of Punjab State in 1960; four more hilly district, namely Kangra, Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti and Shimla, Nalagarh Tehsil of Ambala district, some parts of Una Tehsil of Hoshiarpur district and Dalhousie of Gurdaspur district were merged into this Pradesh, thereby increasing its area by nearly 100 percent, on 25th January, 1971, this Pradesh was given the status of full statehood . On Ist September,1972 two more districts viz, Hamirpur and Una were created out of Kangra district and Solan was also named as a district dropping Mahasu district.

          According to Surveyor General of India the State occupied 55673 square kilometers of area. But the cadastrally surveyed area was recorded only 45431 square kilometers. The State headquarters are located at Shimla, ‘The queen of hills.’The State is divided in to three divisions. The division are further divided into 12 district viz; Bilaspur , Chamba , Kangra Kinnaur Kullu, Lahaul & Spiti, Mandi , Shimla, Sirmour, Solan and Una.

          The word Himachal is derived from two Sanskrit words, ‘HIMA’ (snow) and ‘ACHALA’ (mountain) , meaning ‘snowy-mountains’ or “snowy- range’. Similarly the word Himalaya is derived from ‘HIMA’) and ‘Alaya’ (abode), meaning the ‘home’ or abode of snow’. The plains-men speak of the Shimla-Pahar and some times of the ‘snowy-range’ is the ‘Barf” (ice) ‘Pahar’.

          Himachal Pradesh is one of the most picturesque regions of the country, land of mighty rivers and snows, is situated in the lap of Himalayan ranges in extreme north-west of India, and bordered by Jammu and Kashmir in the north, Punjab in the west and south-west, Haryana in the south, Uttar Pradesh in the south-east and Tibet in the east. It is situated between 32 22’40 to 33 12, 40 north” latitude and 75 47’55 to 79 04’22” east longitude in altitudes ranging from 350m to 6,975m above the mean sea level.

Climate - Agro-Climatic Zones

          Himachal Pradesh, as its name suggests, lies in the lap of the Himalayas. Its climatic conditions flora and fauna, the life and outlook of the people are largely conditioned by that one single factor. Nature has a rugged beauty here. Rolling hills for miles and miles, interspersed with tinkling mountain streams; in season, flowers abound, and winter brings its snows, turning the entire landscape into one stretch of Shimmering white, the rivers abound in fish; lakes provide boating and fishing; and the forests harbor wild life of a large variety ibex, thar, goral bear and in certain area snow leopard.

          According to Surveyor General of India the State occupied 55673 square kilometers of area. But the cadastrally surveyed area was recorded only 45431 square kilometers. The State headquarters are located at Shimla, ‘The queen of hills.’The State is divided in to three divisions. The division are further divided into 12 district viz; Bilaspur , Chamba , Kangra Kinnaur Kullu, Lahaul & Spiti, Mandi , Shimla, Sirmour, Solan and Una.

          Five rivers flow through this Hill State viz; Beas in Kullu, Mandi and Kangra; Satluj in Kinnaur, Shimla and Bilaspur, Ravi in Chamba, Yamuna has its tributaries in Shimla and Sirmour and flows along the borders of Sirmour and finally Chenab flows through Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts.

          The terrain varies as you move from west to east the lower foot-hills, the Shivaliks, rising on more than 610 to 1220 meters. The inner ranges, are 1220 to 3660 meters high and the northern most, the pirpanjal ranges, soar upto 6710 meters, consequently, the climate also varies from mild to cold. The land area of the state can be divided into the following categories.:-


  • Valleys upto the elevation of 1,000 meters, these are very fertile and can be subjected to intensive cultivation.
  • Low Hills-These have an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 meters and are suitable for horticulture.
  • High Hills-These lie between 2,000 and 3,500 meters and are sparsely populated. They are good for raising forests.
  • Alpine Zones-above 3,5000 meters. They are good for grazing ground.
  • The Land of snows-without vegetation.
Climate - Rainfall

          The Himachal Pradesh can be divided in to three Zones for rainfall purposes, outer Himalayas, Inner Himalayas and Alpine Zone. Rainfall in the first zone varies from 150 mm, to 175mm. and the second zones from 75 mm. to 100 mm. The alpine zone remains under snow for about five to six months in the year . The climate varies from cool to cold in area under snow during winter season.

          In the State, there are four rainy seasons during the year, namely, winter season, pre-monsoon monsoon and post monsoon season, the winter season extends from January to February, pre-monsoon from March to May, monsoon season from June to September and post monsoon season extends from October to December, nearly half of the rainfall is received during the June to September (monsoon)season, while the winter and pre-monsoon rains are almost one third of the total annual rainfall . About 81 percent of the total cropped area in the State depends upon rains. Due to inadequacy of irrigation facilities the success of the crops, by and large, depends upon the rains which are often erratic.

Climate - Temprature

          The temperature in the Pradesh varies, according to elevation. By the end of February temperature increases gradually till June, which is the hottest month of the year. The summer is mild. With the on set of monsoon, there is a gradual fall in the temperature. After the withdrawal of the monsoon by the middle of the September temperature decreases gradually at first and finaly rapid after November. The period from 15th December to 15th February is the coldest period all over the Pradesh. The minimum temperature in winter even goes down to freezing point and even below.

Climate - Seasons

          There are two crop seasons in the Pradesh, viz; Kharif and Rabi. The duration of Rabi crop from sowing to harvesting is from October to May and that of kharif crop is between the months of June and September. The important Kharif crops are maize and paddy which are grown throughout the Pradesh excepting monsoon less areas of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts. A part wheat and barley, Rabi pulses are gram, peas, massor, beans and Kharif pulses are urd, Kulth, bharat etc. The apple and potato is an important kharif cash crop.

          In the tribal area like Pangi, Spiti and certain parts of Kinnaur district only one crop in a year is grown due to high altitude and cold climate.

Land Use & Cropping Pattern

          Land resources of a place are not so much dependent on the extent of geographical area as on the extent of cadastrally surveyed area. The letter category of area delineates those different classifications of the uses of land which readily appear on the records of village accountant or patwari. Again, it is this classification which gives an idea as to the extent of reliable and collaborate statistics of land utilization and is widely for agricultural planning.

          According to the surveyor General of India, the total geographical area in the State is 5567 thousand hectares, out of which 4543 thousand hectares is cadastrally surveyed and finds place in the land records. Thus, the remaining area of 1024 thousand hectares with a percentage of 18.39 cadastrally surveyed and does not find entry on revenue records. This difference is on account of the far-flung interior areas being inaccessible which remained unsurveyed, However, this is bound to narrow down as more areas are finding place in revenue records.

          The total cadastrally surveyed area in the Pradesh can be classified under nine categories:-

Sr. No. Nine Fold Classification of Land %age Area
1 Forests 24.2
2 Barren and uncultivable land 17.7
3 Land put to non-agricultural uses 7.0
4 Cultural wasteland 2.7
5 Permanent pastures and other grazing land 33.4
6 Land under miscellaneous tree crops not included in net area sown 1.3
7 Fallow land other than current fallow 0.3
8 Current fallow 1.3
9 Net area sown 12.0

Cropping Patterns in State

          Cropping pattern indicates the efficiency with which land has been put under cultivation by the farmers. By using the same piece of land for growing more than on crop during a year, the farmers utilizes his fixed resources more efficiently, and maximizes his production per unit area and per unit time. No cropping pattern will be good or bad for all the times. Cropping pattern of a particular region is governed by number of factors viz; soil, climate including temperature, irrigation, land productivity, market situation; type of demand, prices etc. Therefore, it should be evolved through a careful study of all prevailing conditions including the quantity and distribution of rainfall. A study of cropping pattern and balanced programme of crop raising in such a manner as to secure, for the people of the country, adequate food and raw material for agro-based industries.


Sr. No. Name of Crops  %age Area
1 Wheat  38.5
2 Maize  31.6
3 Paddy  8.6
4 Barley  2.7
5 Other Cereals  1.7
6 Total Cereals 83.1
7 Total Pulses 3.6
8 Total Food Grains  86.7
9 Total Vegetables  3.4
10 Total Fruit 5.6
11 Other Food-Crops 0.7
12 Total Food Crops 96.5
13 Total Non-Food-Crops 3.5
Total Cropped Area 100
Official Website of The Department of Revenue, Government of Himachal Pradesh. Tel: 91-177-2623678, Email: dlr-hp@nic.in
           National Informatics Centre, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology,HP State Centre, Sixth Floor, Armsdale Building, HP Govt. Sectt., Shimla-171002, India,