Haryana is one of the wealthier states of India and had the second highest per capita income in the country at 119158 (US$1,800) in the year 2012–13 and 132089 (US$2,000) in the year 2013–14, including the largest number of rural crorepatis in India. Haryana is also one of the most economically developed regions in South Asia, and its agricultural and manufacturing industries have experienced sustained growth since the 1970s. Since 2000, the state has emerged as the largest recipient of investment per capita in India.
It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south. The river Yamuna defines its eastern border with Uttar Pradesh. Haryana surrounds the country’s capital Delhi on three sides, forming the northern, western and southern borders of Delhi. Consequently, a large area of south Haryana is included in the National Capital Region for purposes of planning for development.
The name Haryana is found in the works of the 12th-century AD Apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar (VS 1189–1230).
The name Haryana may be derived from the Sanskrit words Hari (the Hindu god Vishnu) and ayana (home), meaning “the Abode of God”. However, scholars such as Muni Lal, Murli Chand Sharma, HA Phadke and Sukhdev Singh Chib believe that the name comes from a compound of the words Hari (Sanskrit Harit, “green”) and Aranya (forest). Budh Prakash opines that the name may be a corruption of “Abhirayana”, as its ancient inhabitants were called “Ahirs” and ruled Haryana under the Moguls.
Rakhigarhi village in the Hisar district is home to the largest and one of the oldest ancient Indus Valley Civilization sites, dated as over 5,000 years old. Evidence of paved roads, a drainage system, a large-scale rainwater collection storage system, terracotta brick and statue production, and skilled metal working (in both bronze and precious metals) have been uncovered. According to archeologists, Rakhigarhi may be the origin of Harappan civilisation, which arose in the Ghaggar basin in Haryana and gradually and slowly moved to the Indus valley. Other notable Indus Valley Civilization sites in the state are Mitathal and Banawali.
Ancient idols of Jain Tirthankara (made of bronze and stone) were found in archaeological expeditions in Badli, Bhiwani (Ranila, Charkhi Dadri, Badhara village), Dadri, Gurgaon (Ferozpur Jhirka), Hansi, Hisar (Agroha), Kasan, Nahad, Narnaul, Pehowa, Rewari, Rohad, Rohtak (Asthal-Abohar) and Sonepat in Haryana.
The area that is now Haryana has been ruled by major empires of India. Panipat is known for three seminal battles in the history of India. In the First Battle of Panipat (1526), Babur defeated the Lodis, leading to the establishment of Mughal Empire in India. In the Second Battle of Panipat (1556), his grandson Akbar defeated the Hindu king Hemu. In the Third Battle of Panipat (1761), the Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated the Marathas.
Haryana is a landlocked state in northern India. It is between 27°39′ to 30°35′ N latitude and between 74°28′ and 77°36′ E longitude. The total geographical area of the state is 4.42 m ha, which is 1.4% of the geographical area of the country. The altitude of Haryana varies between 700 to 3600 ft (200 metres to 1200 metres) above sea level. As per India State of Forest Report, FSI, 2013, the Forest Cover in the state is 1586 km2 which is 3.59% of the state’s geographical area and the Tree Cover in the state is 1282 km2 which is 2.90% of the geographical area. Thus the Forest and Tree Cover of the Haryana state is 6.49% of its geographical area.
The Yamuna flows along the state’s eastern boundary while the ancient Sarasvati River is said to have flowed from Yamuna Nagar, but has now disappeared.
Haryana’s main seasonal river, the Ghaggar rises in the outer Himalayas, between the Yamuna and the Satluj and enters the state near Pinjore in the Panchkula district. Passing through Ambala and Sirsa, it reaches Bikaner in Rajasthan and runs for 460 km (290 mi) before disappearing into the deserts of Rajasthan. Important tributaries include the Chautang and Tangri.
The seasonal Markanda River is a stream, which in ancient times was known as the Aruna. It originates from the lower Shivalik Hills and enters Haryana west of Ambala. During monsoons, this stream swells into a raging torrent notorious for its devastating power. The surplus water is carried on to the Sanisa Lake where the Markanda joins the Saraswati and later the Ghaggar.
Three other rivulets in and around the Mewat hills, the Indori, Dohan and Kasavati all flow from East to West and once were tributaries of the Drishadwati/Saraswati rivers.
Thorny, dry, deciduous forest and thorny shrubs can be found all over the state. During the monsoon, a carpet of grass covers the hills. Mulberry, eucalyptus, pine, kikar, shisham and babul are some of the trees found here. The species of fauna found in the state of Haryana include black buck, nilgai, panther, fox, mongoose, jackal and wild dog. More than 450 species of birds are found here.
The state is divided into four divisions for administrative purposes: Ambala, Rohtak, Gurgaon and Hisar. Within these there are 21 districts, 62 sub-divisions, 83 tehsils, 47 sub-tehsils and 126 blocks. Haryana has a total of 154 cities and towns and 6,841 villages.
On 28 December 2015, the Panchkula district of Haryana was awarded for being the top-performing district in the state under the Digital India campaign.The Common Service Centres (CSCs) have been upgraded in all districts and the number of e-services has now reached 105, which includes application of new water connection, sewer connection, electricity bill collection, ration card member registration, result of HBSE, admit cards for board examinations, online admission form for government colleges, long route booking of buses, admission forms for Kurukshetra University and HUDA plots status inquiry. Haryana has became the first state to implement Aadhaar-enabled birth registration in all the districts.
The economy of Haryana relies on manufacturing, business process outsourcing, agriculture and retail.
The Haryana and Delhi governments have constructed the 4.5-kilometre (2.8 mi) international standard Delhi Faridabad Skyway, the first of its kind in North India, to connect Delhi and Faridabad. The Delhi-Agra Expressway (NH-2) that passes through Faridabad is being widened to six lanes from current four lanes. It will further boost Faridabad’s connectivity with Delhi.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation connects Faridabad and Gurgaon with Delhi. Faridabad has the longest metro network in the NCR Region consisting of 9 stations and track length being 14 km.
According to the 2011 census, Hindus (87.45%) constitute the majority of the state’s population with Sikhs (4.91%), Muslims (7.03%) (mainly Meos) being the largest minorities.
Jats form the largest caste in Haryana with approximately 25% population. Out of 80 castes, 63 castes/communities have been notified either as a Scheduled Caste or Backward Class in Haryana. The reservation limit in state is 47% as of now.
Literacy rate in Haryana has seen an upward trend and is 76.64 percent as per 2011 population census. Male literacy stands at 85.38 percent, while female literacy is at 66.67 percent. In 2001, the literacy rate in Haryana stood at 67.91 percent of which male and female were 78.49 percent and 55.73 percent literate respectively. As of 2013, Gurgaon city had the highest literacy rate in Haryana at 86.30% followed by Panchkula at 81.9 per cent and Ambala at 81.7 percent. In terms of districts, as of 2012 Rewari had the highest literacy rate in Haryana at 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy was 79%, and female 67%.
Haryanvi has traditionally been the dominant mother tongue in Haryana, with Standard Hindi being spoken as a second language. Haryanvi has no official status, as it is seen as a dialect of Hindi; thus Hindi is the official language and the most commonly spoken language in the state. Since it was the Punjabi Suba movement that had led to formation of Haryana, Bansi Lal thought, “Let any language other than Punjabi be the second language of the state”. Hence, Tamil became the second state language even though there might not have been even a single Tamil native family in the state. Since 1947, Punjabi has been spoken by many people in Haryana especially by those Hindus and Sikhs who migrated from West Punjab, following the Partition of India. As such, Punjabi edged out Tamil as the secondary official language of the state, other than Hindi and English, in 2010. Punjabi speakers account for 11% of the state’s population. Haryana has second largest Punjabi speaking population in India after the state of Punjab.
There are 21 tourism hubs created by Haryana Tourism Corporation Limited, which are located in Ambala, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Fatehabad, Gurgaon, Hisar, Jhajjar, Jind, Kaithal, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Panchkula, Sirsa, Sonipat, Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Palwal and Mahendergarh.