Languages of Himachal Pradesh


India, the entire country is full of attractions, but the beauty and serenity offered by Himachal Pradesh is amazing and priceless. Himachal Pradesh, one of the most beautiful and hill states in India is known for picturesque hill stations, lush green forest ranges, snow-covered mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, rich flora and fauna and prehistoric monuments. And at the same time, amazing valleys, glorious green hill slopes add more spice in its beauty.

Located in the Northern part of India, Himachal Pradesh is known by different names like Home of Snow, state of hills and the list goes on. Covered with lush green mountain ranges, the state is spread over an area of more than 56019 sq km with its boundaries to Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Hariyana. It also houses an international border with Tibet in the east. The main source of income is here agriculture and tourism. The exotic valleys, green hill slopes, snow clad mountains, beautiful streams and lush greenery daunted with Sagon, Oak, Deodar, etc, has a lot to explore.

Himachal Pradesh has been a paradise for honeymooners, couples and adventure tour enthusiasts. And its impact can also be seen in the heavy influx of tourists who come from all parts of the world to explore the beauty of the hill state. The hilly state is also a paradise for pilgrimages are there are a number of shrines and pilgrimages in the state where devotees from all parts of the country come to pay homage to their gods and goddesses. In fast the mighty Himalaya is also a centre of attraction of the state.


One of the most beautiful states of Himachal Pradesh is also known for diverse languages of Himachal Pradesh. As far as the languages of Himachal Pradesh are concerned, the state hold a good command on national language Hindi and Hindi is the state language of the state. However, locales of the state prefer Pahari languages that have various sub-languages or dialects.

Hindi is the official language of India and is also the official language of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Derived from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, this language is the most spoken language in the country.

Punjabi language
Punjabi is a language that traces its roots to the Indo-Aryan languages, and is spoken mainly by the Punjabi community in India and Pakistan and all around the world. In Himachal Pradesh also Punjabi is being spoken, and the credit goes to the Punjabi speaking tribal people who went on to inhabit the central and western parts of the state.


This language has various dialects or sub-languages. Grierson in his linguistic survey had called it ‘Western Pahari’ and had demarcated its area from Jainsar Bawar in the Uttar Pradesh hills (near Dehra Dun) to Bhadarwah in Jammu and Kashmir. The various dialects of Pahari spoken in the region are Mandiali (in Mandi), Kulavi (in Kulu), Kehluri (in Bilaspur), Hinduri (in Nalagarh), Chameali (in Chamba), Sirmauri (in Sirmur), Miahasvi (in Mahasu region) and Pangwali (in Pangi). Besides, there are the dialects of Bhot orgin, the Kinnauri, the Lahauli and the Spitian. All dialects of Pahari are of Sanskritic origin. They have been written differently in different times. In earlier days they were written in ‘Tankri’ or ‘Thahau’, but later during the Muslim period they were written in the Persian script and then again in Devanagiri.

Origin of Pahadi

The origin of Pahari language and its main region where it was bred and spread to other portion of region can be traced back to the ancient time when Jammu and Kashmir was a Hindu state. As Buddhism got birth and started to spread in region, its mean preaching center turned to be Jammu and Kashmir and there, the Buddhist Priest started to search a language other than Sanskrit which was dominating and mainly was considered of Hindu religion people. So Buddhist achieved success in forum of Parahi which in fact was as one language and of one state at that time. This was the golden of Parahi as one language (something that can be dated back to 400 BC). Buddhist adapted Pahari as a language of their preaching and various scripts were introduced to write the language. With the rise of Buddhism in whole Jammu and Kashmir and its corresponding areas, Pahari was developed and preached. When King Asoka took control of Kashmir, he also said to have contributed in the development of language and introduced another script of it.

That was the climax of Parahi language. However, with the fall of Buddhism and again rise of Hinduism in Kashmir, this proved to be fall of Pahari language, as there was no one to promote and serve. Pahari language was left on the mercy of local people and its script for writing disappeared very soon. It was adapted from parents to children and so on. It was vulnerable to all other languages; that are why with the arrival of Muslims, Sikhs, etc. the region contributed to change in its words, and Parahi turned more resembling to such languages. In Pakistan–administered Kashmir, where majority of people are Pahari speaking, a team was formulated to trace the background of Pahari language and clarify whether it was dialect of Punjabi or any other language. After long studies in 1969 it was declared a separate language.