Solan is the district headquarters of Solan district (created on 1 September 1972) in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The largest Municipal Council of Himachal Pradesh, it is located 46 kilometres (29 mi) south of the state capital, Shimla. At an average elevation of 1,600 metres (5,200 ft). The place is named after the Hindu goddess Shoolini devi. Every year in the month of June, a fair celebrating the goddess is held, featuring a 3-day mela at the central Thodo grounds. Solan was the capital of the erstwhile princely state, Bhagat. It is known as the "Mushroom city of India" because of the vast mushroom farming in the area as well as the Directorate of Mushroom Research (DMR) situated at Chambaghat. Solan is crowned as the "City of Red Gold", in reference to the bulk production of tomatoes in the area. The town is situated between Chandigarh (joint capital of Punjab and Harayana) and Shimla (state capital), on the Kalka-Shimla National Highway-22. The Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge heritage railway line, built by the British passes through Solan and is a recognised World Heritage site. The history of Solan goes back to the era of Pandavas. According to local folklore, Pandavas lived here during their exile. In 1815 British won Baghat state (now Solan) from the Gurkhas, Gurkha fort or Arki Fort is still standing tall on a mountain near to Solan city and it is one of the popular historic tourist attractions of Solan. The town has been a capital of the princely Baghat State. The word Baghat is derived from Bau or Bahu, meaning "many", and Ghat meaning "pass". Initially the state headquarters of the Baghat State was located at Bhoch in the Bhuchali pargana, but the headquarters of the state was shifted to Solan after the construction of cantonment over here. The railway was set up in 1902. The evolution of Solan city can be understood in the following order or sequence: Establishment of a cantonment area at Solan by britishers. Establishing Solan brewery in 1855 due to availability of excellent quality mineral water. Shifting of the headquarters of Baghat State from Bhoch to Solan. Start of Kalka-Shimla rail line in 1902. Start transportation activity on Kalka-Solan-Shimla road. The urban local body i.e. Municipal Council Solan came into existence in 1950. Solan became an independent district on 1 September 1972, and the town of Solan became the district headquarters. Solan can be called a British town as primarily a cantonment was built here in the late 19th century by the British. Solan cantonment is still the best and the most well planned part of this area hence buildings are made in a planned manner. The church in Solan cantonment is a heritage building with beautiful wooden and stone carvings, it has elegant sloping roofs plus arches reminiscent of the British architecture. Salwar suit is the main ethnic wear all over Solan Distt, other common dresses are also worn by ladies, where as men here have no specific traditional dress. Ghaghra suit is a traditional dress in Solan. However it is not much common and it can be seen only during cultural dances etc. Where as in traditional ornaments ladies wear 9 Ladi Haar (a nine-strand necklace), Chaak (a golden ornament worn on head), gajru (heavy silver bracelets). Pahari giddha or paruhan is the traditional dance of Solan district. This dance is originally from Kunihar, a small town is Solan district, which can be called as cultural town of Solan. This dance is performed by group of ladies on fast traditional songs. A historical dance called Thodo dance here is also 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. Due to variations in altitude, there is a variety of fauna in the region. The himalayan black beer & panther are the carnivora whereas the Ghoral and the barking deer are the herbivora in and around the Solan Planning Area. Other animals include the jackal, mongoose, the Jangli billi, monkeys & langurs etc. The game birds include jungli murga, kabutar, ghughi, dhaula teetar and kolsa etc. Situated at an altitude of 1600 metres on an average, Solan can be called as a cool Hill station. Solan city is neither so cold as Shimla, nor too hot as Kalka as the temperature hardly rise more than 32 °C (90 °F). That is why it is considered as an ideal station from residential point of view. During winters Solan experience little snowfall. Temperatures typically range from -4 °C (25 °F) to 32 °C (90 °F) over the course of a year. Solan is easily accessible by road as well as train. It is 68 kilometers from Chandigarh (2 hours journey by bus) and 48 kilometers from Shimla (1 hours journey by bus). There are a total of 44 railway tunnels up to Solan. As stated earlier, traffic and transportation is the next most important aspect to be taken care of after water supply and sanitation. Solan town is said to be having highest level of vehicle ownership per person in Asia. It may be just right. Every week one can see a vehicle or two coming on the road - brand new with HP-14, HP-64 number series. Presently an area of 138 hectares is covered under this use. [Apparently there is desperate need for parking in the mall road vicinity as the number of vehicles are growing rampantly.] Himachal Road Transport Corporation Solan Depot came into existence in 1 November 1990 after shifting from Parwanoo. The depot is providing public transit facility to its passengers in the state of Himachal (rural and urban) and to the adjoining states and Union Territory like Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal. Almost each and every part of Distt. Solan is linked with roads. The HRTC Solan is running its buses covering Solan, Sirmour, Bilaspur, Shimla, Hamirpur and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh. There is huge network of HRTC to cater the needs of the commuters. Journey to various stations of Himachal has become easier than ever because the huge network of HRTC buses. The HRTC Solan is running approximately 206 single routes, with the fleet of 83 buses and operating four types of buses: There are two bus stands presently functioning in Solan city. One is the New bus stand which is below ITI Solan on the by-pass road which also is the main bus stand of the city. The other is known as the Old bus stand which is situated on The Mall and is used as the local bus stand. Solan City also has a good inter city (Mudrika) three bus services that connects the local areas of Solan city.all the interstate buses towards Chandigarh, nahan pass through it Railway: The Kalka-Shimla Railway was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the World Heritage Site Mountain Railways of India Kalka Shimla rail journey is a breathtaking experience and one should experience it.[24] on 7 July 2008. By air: The nearest airport is Shimla airport which is about 45 km from solan. The Himachal Pradesh government is setting up its first international airport at an investment of Rs.1,000 crore in Solan district of the state on a public private partnership model given the significance and pace of development that Solan has witnessed in recent times in the state of Himachal.

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