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Solan District

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Solan district is one of the 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh. It occupies a geographical area of 1,936 square kilometers, divided into five administrative divisions or tehsils: Arki, Kandaghat, Kasauli, Nalagarh and Solan. It lies at an altitude of 1,350 meters above sea level, as characteristic of the topography of the region. Like most of the districts of Himachal Pradesh, Solan lies cradles near a mountain range, in this case the Shivalik Ranges.

The district is bounded by the district of Shimla in the north, Sirmaur district in the east and the district of Bilaspur to the west. Two districts from two other states bound it in the south: the Ropar district of Punjab and the Ambala district of Haryana. The northeast is touched by the district of Mandi. According to the 2001 Indian Census, the total population of Solan is 500,557, with a large part of it living in the rural areas. The population density of the whole district is 258 people per square kilometers. Hindu is the predominant religion as well as culture, and the predominant language is Hindi. The district’s administrative headquarters is the town of Solan.

The district’s name comes from its administrative headquarters Solan town, which itself was named after the goddess Soloni Devi, whose temple is located in the town’s southern end, and which came into existence after the construction of the cantonment in the area around the last quarter of the 19th century. The district was comprised of the princely states of Bhagal, Kunihar, Kuthar, Bhagat, Mangal, Nalagarh, Mahlog, Beja and Keonthal and Kothi, as well as the hilly areas of the composite Punjab state when it was merged with Himachal Pradesh on November 1, 1966 during the Punjab reorganization on the basis of linguistic matters. These states were mostly small both in population and area and before the independence of India, they were under the rule of the superintendent of the Shimla Hill States. When Himachal Pradesh came into being on April 15, 1948 as the Chief Commissioner’s Province of H.P., the states of Bhagat, Baghal, Kuthar, Kunihar, Beja, Mangal, Koti and Keonthal formed a part of what was then Mahasu district. The remaining state of Nalagarh was merged with Patiala after the independence. The East Punjab State Union later formed a part of Punjab during the state reorganization in 1956 and the other districts became part of Himachal Pradesh on November 1, 1972. Solan eventually became a separate district of the new state.

Solan’s claim to fame is the famous Mohan Meakin Brewery which was established in 1855, and is Asia’s first brewery. Coupled with sprawling horticulture, forest universities and pleasant climate all year round, Solan district has become a favorite stopover by tourists regardless of season. There are also several important and interesting places tourists can visit, such as Kasauli, a quaint hill station 1,795 meters above mean sea level, which still retains its 19th century ambiance, and the Bon Monastery, which is said to be the second oldest monastery in the world. All in all, Solan district is a place that is worthy of a peek by any traveler to India.


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