The state of Himachal Pradesh has boundaries with the Jammu and Kashmir in the North, Uttar Pradesh in the Southeast, China on east, Haryana in the South and Punjab in the West. It is located between 30"22' and 30"12' north latitude and between 75"47' and 79"4' east longitude. The mountainous state has altitudes ranging from 350 to 7000 meters (1050 ft. to 21000 ft.) above the sea level.
The altitude of Himachal Pradesh varies from 350 m to 7000 m above sea level. The physiography of Himachal Pradesh can be divided into three zones. They are the outer Himalayas or the Shivaliks, the inner or the middle Himalayas and the greater Himalayas or the Alpines. The Shivaliks include the districts of Hamirpur, Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, and the lower parts of Solan, Sirmaur and Mandi. The altitude of lower Himalayas ranges between 350 m to 1500 m and the rainfall in this zone ranges between 150 cm to 175 cm. The middle region includes the parts of Sirmaur, Mandi and parts of Kangra, Shimla and Chamba and experiences rainfall between 75 cm to 100 cm. This zone remains under snow for almost give to six months. The Alpine zone is at an altitude of 4,500 m and beyond and comprises of the Kinnnaur and Pangi tehsils of Chamba and some parts of Lahaul and Spiti.
The climate varies from semi-tropical to semi-arctic from place to place depending on the altitude of the region. The months from April to June are pleasant and comfortable at higher altitude and humid in the lower hills. The months of July to September are the month of rainfall. Himachal Pradesh experiences average annual rainfalls of about 160-cm. the entire state becomes lush green and all the springs and streams are filled again. The winter season begins from October to February and is very severe. Heavy snowfall occurs during this season.
Flora and Fauna
The 63.9 % of the total area is under the thick forest cover. The vegetation is a blend of the Ban Oak Forest, Moist Deodar Forest, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, Himalayan Alpine Pastures, and Rhododendron Scrub Forest. The lower ranges have the growth of blue pine while the higher altitudes have firs. The flora includes pine, cedar, deodar, bamboo, spur, oak etc.
There are around 1200 species of bird and 359 species of animals in Himachal Pradesh. The major species of wildlife in the state are Snow Leopard, musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Ibex, Wolf, Leopard, Rhesus macaque, Common Langur, Himalayan Black Bear, Goral, Muntjac and Serow. Two National Parks and a few Wildlife Sanctuaries have been established in Himachal Pradesh to protect the unique fauna of the state. The park has the largest remaining population of Himalayan Tahr in the Himachal Pradesh.