Solan District came into existence at the time of the reorganization of the districts of the State on 1st September 1972. The District was carved out of Solan and Arki tehsils of the then Mahasu district and tehsils of Kandaghat and Nalagarh of the then Shimla District. The District is bounded by Shimla district in the North and by Ropar District of Punjab and Ambala district of Harayana in the south, by Sirmaur District in the east and by Bilaspur district in the west.
The total area of Solan is 1936 sq. km.
The total population of this district is 5,80,320
The Sex ratio is Male 308754, Female 271566.
The people of Solan mainly earn their livelihood through agriculture. Solan is an industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh. It is also known for the Pharmaceutical industry.
Tehsils: Arki, Kandaghat, Nalagarh, Solan, Baddi, Ramshehar, and Kasauli.
Sub Tehsil: Darlaghat, Kishangarh, Kunihar, Mamligh and Panjhera.
Gram Panchayat: 211
Development Block: Dharampur, Kandaghat, Nalagarh, Solan, and Kunihar
Literacy Rate: 85.02%
Parliamentary Constituency: Shimla
Language: Hindi, Punjabi, Pahari.
Main River: Satluj, Yamuna and Ghagghar.
- The district in its present form comprises of the erstwhile princely states of Bhagal, Bhagat, Kunihar, Kuthar, Mangal, Beja, Mahlog, Nalagarh, and parts of Keonthal and Kothi and hilly areas of composite Punjab State which were merged in Himachal Pradesh on the 1st November 1966. The merging was on a linguistic basis.
- Solan district sprang up on the administrative map of the State by merging Solan and Arki tehsils of erstwhile district of Mahasu, Kandaghat, and Nalagarh tehsils of then Shimla district.
- Solan District derives its name from Solan town which came into existence after the construction of the Cantonment at that place around the last quarter of the 19th century.
- Bhagat: Its old princely state Bhagat derived its name from Bau or Bhau said to be a hilly word meaning many and ghat meaning a pass. The state headquarters of the Bhagat state was initially located at Bhoch in the Bhuchali Pargana but it was shifted to Solan after the construction of cantonment at that place.
- The founder of the ruling family is said to be “Basant Pal” or ‘Hari Chand Pal; a Panwar Rajput from Dharnagiri in Deccan. He settled at a place which the named Basantpur and at present, it is called “Bassi” near the temple “Jiaonaji”.
- Basant Pal found the country in the hands of Mawis and laid the foundation of the state by taking Keonthal pargana from its Mawi by force of arm. His son, Bakhsh Pal annexed the parganas of Basal, Bhuchali, and Gharoli.
- In the 16th generation, Rana Inder Pal added the Parganas of Basal, Ghar, and Taksal. The State was named Bhagat in his time.
- Bhagal: Baghal was founded by “Aje De” a Panwar Rajput who came from Ujjain. He came and settled in village Sairi. The earlier of state was Damras which was later on shifted by his son Nand Dev from Damras to Darla. The capital of the princely State was Arki and a larger part of the state is formed by the basin of one of the tributaries of the Gambhar river.
- Kunihar: The state was founded by Abhoj Deo who had come form Akhnur in Jammu and acquired the state by conquest about the year 1154 A.D. Most of his descendents were keen Warrier and they assisted Nalagarh and Bilaspur rulers in their various wars mainly against Kullu.
- Kuthar: Surat Chand, the founder of the ruling family is said to have come from Kishtwar in Kashmir and is said to have acquired the state by conquest. At the time of Gorkha invasion, Rana Gopal Chand was the ruler. The state was restored by the Britishers. The state was merged with Himachal Pardesh in April, 1948 and remained part of the then Mahasu district till August, 1972.
- Mangal: Mangal was the most inaccessible of all the hill states. Originally, it was a tributory to Bilaspur and was declared independent at the end of the Gorkha war. The ruling family is said to have come from marwar and belonged to Atri Tribe of the Rajpur Community.
- Beja: The ruling family of the state was belonging to the Rajput of Tunar Got and is said to have hailed from somewhere in the neighborhood of Delhi. Bishan Chand was the chief at the time of Gorkha invasion. The state was restored to him under the title of Thakur.
- Mahlog: The ruling family of the state traces its origin to Bir Chand, Raja of Ajudhia who visited Mansrover Lake on the directions from Lord Shiva in a dream.
- During the time of Ajit Chand, Raja of Kangra annexed 9 or 10 pargana of Mahlog state and handed over the same to Bhagat and thenceforth the Mahlog Chief was known as Rana instead of Raja.
- The state was restored to Ajit Chand by the Britishers after the Gorkha war.
- The later rulers were Sansar Chand, Raghunath Chand, and Durga Chand, etc.
- The state was merged with Himachal Pradesh in 1948 and formed a part of Solan tehsil of the then Mahasu District.
- Hindur (Nalagarh): Ajay Chad was the first ruler of Hindur. Raja Bikram Chand who built Nalagarh fort in 1421 was the Raja of Nalagarh during 1421 – 1435.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Solan Town: Solan is the headquarters of Solan district.
- The Mohan Meakins brewery was set up after the establishment of the cantonment here. The brewery was set up in the year 1855.
- The town has been headquarters of the princely Baghat State.
- The Urban local body i.e. M.C. Solan came into existence around 1950.
- Chail: The Chail Palace is well known for its architecture, the palace was built as a summer retreat by the Maharaja of Patiala during the British Raj. Chail is connected with Solan as well as with Shimla District Headquarters.
- The Lawrence School – Sanawar: It was established in 1847, is the fruit of the vision of Sir Henry Lawrence, and his wife Lady Honoria. Sanawar is a co-educational boarding school, affiliated to CBSE.
- Jatoli Temple: Jatoli Temple is a very famous Shiv temple in Solan. Its 8 km from Solan on Rajgarh road. This temple is one of the oldest and religious temples of the Solan district. This is Asia’s highest temple of Lord Shiva’s.
- Mohan National Heritage Park: Mohan Shakti Heritage Park is an upcoming heritage park aimed at studying the Vedic Sciences and educate the younger generation about the findings of the Vedas and ancient Indian Culture. National Heritage Park is located at Shakti Sthal on NH 22 between Kalka and Shimla.
- Other Places are: Arki Fort, Nalagarh Fort, Kasauli, Dagshai Cantonment Board, Kasauli Cantonment Board, etc.
FAIR AND FESTIVALS
In the district, a number of fairs are held throughout the year. A few of these are elucidated below:
Sharad Purnima Fair:
- This fair is held at Unchagaon (Kunihar) in a ground surrounding the tank for two days in the month of January-February.
- It starts from ‘Puranmashi’ and lasts until the next day.
- It is held in the honour of ‘Sharad Purnima’ and ‘Devta Dano dev’ whose temple is on the bank of the tank.
- Worship is done on ‘Puranmashi’ and ‘Sankrant’ by a Brahmin.
Dev Bara Fair:
- It is held at Mangal Kandar for three days from 21st March to 23rd March.
- This place is about 81 km. from Shimla.
- The fair is held in the honour of ‘Devta Baru’.
- The deity is brought to Mangal Kandar on the 20th of March.
- The idols of the deity are adorned with ornaments and cloth pieces.
- It is cooked and distributed among those present.
- On the 21st March, prayer is held.
- After this, the deity is carried on the shoulders by two persons, and a dance is held.
- This continues for three days.
- On 23rd March Devta Baru is taken back.
- Bani fair is held on the 8th May at Hardev Pura Shankli which is 3 km. from Kunihar.
- Wrestling bouts (Chhinj) are the main features of this fair.
- The fair is held for a day at Baili adjoining Kunihar on ‘Sankrant’ in September.
- A cattle show is arranged and the owners of best animals are given prizes.
- This fair is also held at Arki for two days.
- A wrestling bout is also held during the fair.
- Koti fair is held at Koti village in Solan tahsil in the month of May/June for a day and a night.
- The fair is held in the honor of ‘Mira Devi’ whose temple is situated here.
- Sometimes a baby show is also arranged in the fair and the children who are healthy and in a good physique are given gifts.
Solan Fair aka Shoolini Mela:
- Solan fair is held in the honor of Shoolini Devi whose temple is situated in the southern end of Solan.
- The fair is celebrated every year on the 2nd Sunday of June for four days.
- Wrestling is a prominent feature of the Solan fair.
- Solan has been declared the Mushroom district of Himachal Pradesh.
- Solan has five milk chilling plants namely Khandagaht, Nalagarh, Kunihar, Darlaghat, and Maryog.
- The first industrial estate was set up in the year 1961-62 at Solan.
- The second Industrial estate was set up at Barotiwala in 1964-65.
- Among all the districts of Himachal Pradesh, Solan district has the largest number of large, medium and small scale industries units.
- The maximum concentration of electronic units is in “Chambaghat” and “Jubbar Hatti”.
- Parwanoo: It is also an Industrial town where 80% of the local population engaged with the industries in one way or other. It is home to the largest processing unit of HPMC and the HP Agro Industries have a cattle feed unit. It also has a large Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital.
- Baddi: Companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Cadilla Healthcare, Nectar Lifesciences, Torrent Pharmaceuticals etc. have recently set up large plants in Baddi. There is a dental college in the Bhud area. Baddi is also fast emerging into one of the best educational centres in Himachal Pradesh.
- Nalagarh: Nalagarh is a city and a municipal committee in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. At present Nalagarh is an emerging Town for Industries as it hosts Production units for leather, steel, chemicals, thread mills, and breweries. Yet it belongs to Himachal Pradesh, the spoken common language is Punjabi.
Solan, which has a strong industrial base, has the highest domestic product and contributes about 24.67 per cent, followed by Kangra district at 13.76 per cent, Shimla 13.74 per cent and Mandi 10.15 per cent. The area of these districts put together is 30 per cent of the total area of the state. Per capita income is another major indicator of economic well being of an area or its people. As far as the district wise per capita income for the year 2015-16 is concerned, Solan again tops the list as it has the highest per capita income of Rs 3,94,102, followed by Kinnaur at Rs 2,17,993 and Rs 1,19,231 for Lahaul Spiti.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM SOLAN
Ruskin Bond: Ruskin Bond, a rhetoric writer, was born in the Kasauli region (Solan District) of Himachal Pradesh on 19th May 1934. Ruskin Bond did his schooling from one of the famous and oldest boarding schools in Asia that is Bishop Cotton School. He has been awarded the prestigious awards such as the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writings and Padam Shree (1999) and Padam Bhushan (2014).
Ajay Thakur: Ajay Thakur (born 1 May 1986) is an Indian professional Kabaddi player and the former captain of India national kabaddi team. He was part of the national teams which won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and gold medal at 2014 Asian Games. He was awarded the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award in 2019. He is a member of the Himachal Pradesh Police Service cadre.
FACTS & TRIVIA
- The Solan Hills stand on the water – parting between the Sutlej and the Giri, a tributary of the Yamuna.
- Kasauli has The Central Research Institute (CRI), set up in 1905, is the oldest in India. The institute manufactures vaccines, antisera, dead emulsion, bacterial diagnostic reagents, and normal horse serum and blood
- Salwar suit is the main ethnic wear all over Solan District, other common dresses are also worn by ladies, whereas men here have no specific traditional dress. Ghaghra suit is a traditional dress in Solan.
- A historical dance called Thoda dance here is performed during shoolini mela every year in the month of June, the Thodo dance is basically a dance performed based on archery, bows and arrows are used in this dance.
- Askaali is a traditional stone made utensil used to make Askalu in District solan. It is made from wheat, rice flour with little baking soda, the batter is put into a special utensil made from stone called askali which contains several small molds in it.
- Solan Planning area contains Chil, Deodar, Ban, and Kail, mainly deodar and pine trees in the city. Oak forests are also at higher elevations around moist locations. Places like Chail is the most predominant one for different species of vegetation.
- Besides the Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Nauni, other places of interest in Solan include the Maa Shoolini temple, the Jatoli Shiv temple, and the Bon Monastery, Dolanji, which is approximately 3 km from Oachghat.
- HRTC Solan Himachal Road Transport Corporation Solan Depot came into existence on 1 November 1990 after shifting from Parwanoo.
- Salogra waste recycling plant (in solan) has the distinction of being the first in HP It is till date being maintained by a non-government organization (NGO) known by the name of “Jan Seva Ashram” which has its head office in New Delhi.
- Motilal Nehru Central State Library, Motilal Nehru Central state library is situated on The Mall, Solan. Established on 29 June 1959, it is the only Central State Library in Himachal Pradesh.
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