Himachal Pradesh is an almost completely mountainous state in Northern India. Culture of Himachal Pradesh is different from the other state of India. Till recently, it was one of the few states that had remained largely untouched by external customs largely due to its difficult terrain. The modern technology has changed that very rapidly. The state however still retains a lot of its old charm. Himachal Pradesh Culture is like as the village's culter. Most of the people in Himachal depend on agriculture for livelihood. Many people derive their income from sheep, goats, and other cattle. Ninety percent of the people live in villages and small towns. Villages usually have terraced fields and small two storey houses with sloping roof. The villages are mostly self-contained with a few shops to take care of basic necessities of life. Most villages have a temple, where people congregate for worship. In many parts of the Himachal the village Gods is carried on palanquins to village fairs.
Art And Architecture : The Monuments of the state of Himachal Pradesh reveal crosscurrents of cultural and stylistics exchange along with local innovation in Art. This art has mostly grown out of age-old cultural heritage and numerous religious beliefs. It represents and reveals the many faceted realities of the people living there. It is functional as well as decorative, the result of people's reaction to their natural environment and hoary civilization.
Dance and Music : The dance and music of the state is mainly religion-oriented where gods are invoked during the festivals by singing and dancing. This practice has continued since ancient times. The major dance of the state are the Rakshasa (dem0on) dance, the Kayang Dance, the Bakayang dance, the Bnayangchu dance, the Jataru Kayang dance, Chohara dance, Shand and Shabu dances, Lang-dar-ma dance, Nati dance, Jhanjhar dance, Jhoor dance, Gi dance and Rasa dance.Musical instruments like Ranasingha, Karna, Turhi, Flute, Ektara, Kindari, Jhanjh, Manjara, Chimta, Ghariyal, and Ghunghru are played to provide music for the songs and the dances.
Religion : Most of the people in Himachal are Hindus. There is a sizable number of Buddhists who live in Himachal. Hinduism practiced in the areas of Himachal that are closer to the northern plains is very similar to the Hinduism practiced in theplains.sUpper hill areas have their own distinct flavor of Hinduism. Their practice of religion combines the local legends and beliefs with the larger Hindu beliefs. The temple architecture has also been influenced by local constraints such as availability or lack of availability of certain construction materials. Most of the upper hill temples are made of wood and more similar to Pagodas in design.
ART & CRAFT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Thapada is a large embroidered shawl, which is a specialty of the handicraft of Himachal Pradesh. Other items of craft include the Kohana, a kind of a wall hanging, pillow covers, blouses and caps adorned with fine embroidery. The embroidered caps of the Kulu, Sirmair, Kinnaur and Lahaul regions are also very famous. The shawls from Kulu, woolen rugs and carpets from Lahaul, depicting the traditional Pahadi designs.
Beautiful patchwork quilts, rag dolls and elephants are also made in the area and comprise a necessary parts of bride's trousseau. The wool products are made in either the Byangi wool. Dyeing and printing of fabrics has been a traditional craft in the area. The Farahada and the Chhiba people do this work traditionally. Weaving of wool is a major cottage industry in itself. The highlanders of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur weave dresses from it for special occasions such as festivals and weddings.
The Dom tribe is well known for producing fine household articles made of bamboo. They are later painted in bright colors. They manufacture boxes, sofas, chairs, baskets, racks and several articles used in daily life. Leather craft is extremely developed and the slippers and shoes made in Chamba are in large demand. The Himachalis are adept at the art of making pots and statuettes with clay in many shapes and sizes.
These include pitchers, bowls, platters, cups, lamps and small and large pots. These are decorated with white patterns drawn with Golu clay. Toys and figures of gods and goddesses are made during festivals. The metal ware of Himachal Pradesh includes attractive utensils, ritualistic vessels, idols and silver jewellery. The local goldsmiths also craft fine gold ornaments. The jewellery by the woman of Kullu, Sirmaur, Kinnaur, Pangwati and Bharmor region is very attractive.