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Haryana

CAPITAL CHANDIGARH
AREA IN Sq. km 44,000
PRINCIPAL LANGUAGE HINDI

Haryana  is the 16th largest state in area and population. This state has a very fertile land and is called as the “Green Land of India”. The state is bounded by Uttar Pradesh in east, Punjab in west, Himachal Pradesh in north and Rajasthan in south. Union Territory of Delhi is landlocked on 3 sides by Haryana.

Haryana can be divided into two natural area sub-Himalayan Terai and Indo-Gangetic plain. The plain is fertile and slopes from north to south with a height above the sea level, averaging between 700 and 900 ft. South-west of Haryana is dry, sandy and barren. Haryana has no perennial river. The only river which flows through Haryana is the Ghaggar, which passes through northern fringes of the state. For most of the year, climate of Haryana is of a pronounced character-very hot in summer and markedly cold in winter; temperatures can reach 47° C (117° F), and cold in winter. Winter temperatures range from 5° to 9° C (41° to 48° F), occasionally dropping to freezing.


Haryana has a single-chamber legislature with 90 seats. The state sends 15 members to the Indian national parliament: five to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and ten to the Lok Sabha (Lower House). Local government is based on 16 districts. Chandigarh is the shared capital of Haryana and Punjab.

History

The region now known as Haryana--the Madhyama Dis (middle region) of the Later Vedic Period (c. 800-500 BC)--was the birthplace of the Hindu religion. It was in this area that the first hymns of the so-called Aryans were sung and the most ancient manuscripts were written. Urban settlements in Ghaggar Valley date from before 3000 BC. From about 1500 BC, Aryan tribes became the first of many groups to invade the region. The area was the home of the legendary Bharata dynasty, which gave India its Hindi name, Bharat. The epic battle between the Kauravas and Pandavas, recorded in the Indian epic poem, the Mahabharata, took place at Kurukshetra. In the 3rd century BC, the area was incorporated into the Mauryan Empire. It later became an important power base for the Mughals; the battle of Panipat in 1526 established Mughal rule in India. The area was ceded to British in 1803. In 1832 it was transferred to the then North-Western Provinces, and in 1858 Haryana became a part of Punjab, remaining as such after the partition of India in 1947. The demand for a Haryana state, however, was raised even before India's independence in 1947. Lala Lajpat Rai and Asaf Ali, prominent figures in the national movement, advocated a separate state of Haryana. Sri Ram Sharma, a veteran freedom fighter, headed a Haryana Development Committee to focus attention on the concept of an autonomous state. The demand for unilingual states by Sikhs and Hindus gained momentum in the early 1960s. In 1966, with the passage of the Punjab Reorganization Act (and in accordance with the earlier recommendations of the States Reorganization Commission), Haryana became India's 17th state.

Society and Culture

Hindus constitute about 90 percent of Haryana's population. Most of the state's Sikh population is located in the northeast and northwest; Muslims are concentrated in the southeastern districts adjoining Delhi. Jats (a peasant caste) form the backbone of Haryana's agricultural economy and, like the Sikhs of the Punjab, are prominent in India's armed forces. Although roughly 75 percent of the population is rural, cities have been growing rapidly as commercial, industrial, and agricultural marketing centres.

Haryanvis are simple, straight-forward, enterprising and hard-working. Preserving their old religious and social traditions, they celebrate festivals traditional fervour. The region has its popular folklores, folksongs and musical instruments. The women are devoted and diligent and assist their men-folk on the farms. The people have simple food habits. They are known for their love for cattle and the abundance of milk and curd in their diet.

The boisterous spring festival of Holi is celebrated by people showering coloured powder (or coloured powder mixed with water) on each other, irrespective of age or social status. Janmastami, the birthday of Krishna, is of special religious importance in Haryana because it was on a battlefield at Kurukshetra that Krishna is said to have delivered to the warrior Arjuna the teachings contained in the Bhagavadgita.

The solar eclipse bathing festival at Kurukshetra attracts more than half a million pilgrims from various parts of India. Among numerous ancient pilgrimage centres in the state are Agroha (near Hisar) and Pehowa. The latter, situated on the bank of the sacred Sarasvati River (identified in the Vedas with Sarasvati, a Hindu goddess of learning and the arts), is considered the premier place for performing propitiatory rites (sraddha pinda) for ancestors. Fairs in honour of various deities and saints are an important element of Haryana culture. Cattle fairs are also held at several locations.

Economy and Infrastructure

Most of the land in Haryana is suitable for agriculture and 60 percent is irrigated. More than three-fourths of the population is employed in agriculture. The state is a major producer of wheat and rice. Other important crops include oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton, potatoes, pulses (edible seeds gathered from pea and bean crops), barley, millet, and maize. Production has been stimulated by Haryana's closeness to the markets of New Delhi and (Old) Delhi, good road and rail links, and the use of fertilizers and improved seeds. Haryana is renowned for its prizewinning steers and dairy cattle. The state has an extensive rail system. Delhi, on Haryana's eastern boundary, serves as the main air traffic hub.

The state also has a very sound industrial base. Major industries include cotton and woolen textiles, scientific instruments, glass, cement, paper and sugar milling, automobiles, tires, bicycles, and electronic equipment. Haryana is India's largest producer of automobile spare parts. Haryana produces the largest number of tractors in the country. It is well known for its handloom products. Panipat has earned the reputation of being the "weaver's city" of India for its exquisite hand- tufted woolen carpets and colourful handloom products.

Haryana is a beneficiary of the multi-purpose project on Setluj with Beas, where it shares benefit with Punjab and Rajasthan. Major irrigation projects are Western Yamuna Canal, Bhakra Canal System and Gurgaon Canal. The state has completed Jui Loharu and Sewani lift irrigation schemes. Jawaharlal Nehru irrigation scheme, the biggest of its kind shall be completed soon. Haryana is well connected by rail, air and road network. With a total road network of 23106 kms, it has airports at Pinjore, Karnal, Hisar, Bhiwani and Narnaul.

Tourist centres

Haryana has network of 44 tourist complex in the state and caters to about 70 lakh tourists every year. Some of the important tourist complexes are: