Punjab on the west, Uttar Pradesh on the southeast, China on the east, Haryana on the southeast, and Jammu and Kashmir on North border the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It extends from the latitudes 30°22’40” North to 33°12’40” North and longitudes 75°45' 55" East to 79°04' 20" East.
The entire region of Himachal Pradesh is hilly with the altitude ranging from 350 meters to 7000 meters above sea level. Forming a part of the Punjab Himalayas, the altitude increases from west to east and from south to north. Geographically, Himachal Pradesh can be divided into three distinct regions, the Shivalik or outer Himalayas, middle Himalayas or inner Himalayas, and greater Himalayas or the alpine zone.
The lower Himalayas include the districts of Hamirpur, Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, and the lower parts of Solan, Sirmaur, and Mandi commonly known as the Shivalik Hills. The altitude in this region ranges from 350 meters to 1,500 meters.
The middle Himalayas comprise the region between the altitudes of 1,500 meters and 4,500 meters. The districts under this region are parts of Sirmaur, Mandi, and the upper parts of Kangra, Shimla, and Chamba.
The greater Himalayas or the alpine zone is at an altitude of 4,500 meters and above. The region is cut across by the river Sutlej and comprises the Kinnaur and Pangi tehsils of Chamba, and some part of Lahaul and Spiti.
The climate of Himachal Pradesh, depending on the altitude, varies at different places from semi tropical to semi arctic. Winters (October to February) are very severe and heavy snowfall is recorded during this season. April to June is delightful and comfortable at the higher altitudes, though on the lower hills, this season can have more humidity than usual. July to September is the time for rainfall and the entire region becomes green and fresh with streams swelling and springs replenished.
Flora and Fauna
Out of the total area of Himachal Pradesh, 63.8% is under forest cover. The major flora of the state include deodar, kail, chil, spur, oak, etc. Due to its unique geographical location and divergent climatic conditions, the state has a wide variety of fauna species available. According to some estimates, there are around 359 species of mammals, 1,200 species of birds, and more than 20,000 species of insects in the state. To save the unique wildlife of the state from extinction, the government has established two national parks and a few wildlife sanctuaries in the state.