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Tourist Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh
Set among against the jagged hills of the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh paves the way for some rather interesting holiday options. From the ski resort of Kufri to the deep spirituality of Dalhousie, Himachal provides travellers with an absolute pleasure of a vacation. Some of the hill stations that add to its allure and make for this list of great tourist places to visit in Himachal Pradesh are described below.
Set against the music of the River Beas, Manali offers the stunning beauty of lush green meadows and tall coniferous trees. The cool climate provides some respite from the overall raw heat of the North Indian summer and adds to the charm of the place. Adventure sports like paragliding, skiing, trekking and mountain biking are common among the snow- capped slopes and mountains. A few attractions of Kullu Manali include The Great Himalayan National Park, Brighu Lake, Bijli Mahadev Temple and the celebration of the Dusshera Festival.
Retaining the aura of its erstwhile position as the summer capital of the British Raj, Shimla offers beautiful colonial architecture including quaint iron lamp-posts and Victorian and neo-gothic structures. "Mall Road", which is the main commercial strip of Shimla offers plenty of scope for shopping and is dotted with tiny, quaint eateries. There are some beautiful Picnic spots around Shimla, and one can also go on some lovely walks in and around town.
Kufri is a small little hill station in Himachal Pradesh. It is located 18 km away from the massively popular Shimla. Situated at an altitude of 9000 feet, Kufri can be safely called the most popular tourist destination for a get-away from Shimla. It is very famous for skiing, hiking, wonderful scenery and weather. The best time to visit Kufri is summer, months from April to June. The skiing season though, touches peaks from November to February. Kufri is also well known for its breathtaking panoramas of the Himalayas.
Located about 77kms away from Shimla, Kasauli too has retained the cobble-stone beauty of the British Raj. Kausali is dotted with magnificent little cottages, neatly trimmed gardens and lovely fruit orchards. The beauty of this quiet little town is reinforced by its avenues of Himalayan Oaks, Chir Pines, Horse Chestnut trees and the odd Juniper, which run along the edges of the two main roads. An Arts Centre has been set up at Ivy Cottage by the nephew of the celebrated Indian artist Amrita Shergill. You can also find wool of the finest quality if you visit some of the Tibetan stalls that are found here.
A hill station of the Dhauladhar Range, nestled against the banks of the Ravi River, Dalhousie offers adventure enthusiasts the thrill of some great treks and white waters for rafting. The prime attraction here is the Jandhri Ghat, a palace shrouded by tall pine trees.
Around 17 km from the Kangra Valley with the Dhauladhar range as a backdrop, Dharamsala really has more to offer than its overt spirituality. Tall regal conifers, hefty oaks and a caressing, salubrious climate make Dharamsala an ideal getaway for nature lovers, and people looking for some introspection and alone time. Here, you can tour the Kangra Art Museum, War Memorial and the Kunal Pathri Temple. It is also the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
McLeodGanj is a district of Dharamshala. It is a spiritual place, mostly Buddhist in nature. The biggest draws for McLeodGanj are its Tibetan culture and crafts, study of Buddhism, and meditation. The town is also known for its Tibetan handicrafts, carpets, garments, and of course the Monks who have come to symbolize the ethos of this little town.
Rohtang Pass is the famous road that joins the ruggedly beautiful Leh-Ladakh to the rest of the country. It is a 51 km stretch from Manali to Leh, with many travellers coming here for a peaceful getaway. Each year the pass is only open between the months of June and October. It is quite easy here to abandon yourself in the solitude of glaciers, the bubbling of Chandra River and the pure expanse of white snowfields on either sides of the highway.
A moon-scaped valley that is said to be the most sparsely inhabited place in India, Spiti has come up on the travellers' radar very recently. With its cold white deserts and tall mountains surrounding the settlement, Spiti has become the go-to place on lists of adventurers as well as dervish-wanderers and back-packers. From river rafting to yak rides and camping under the stars, Spiti offers too much to miss.
Often refeered in tow with Manali, Kull is the lower valley in Himachal's Garhwal region. In words of an ancient monk, Kullu is a fertile land surrounded by many mountain peaks. With the Beas river making its way through the land and apps orchards filling the air with the sweet heady scents, a visit to Kullu is bound to make you exuberant. There is much to do here, from paragliding to over rafting and trekking to shopping for woollens. Summer makes for the ideal time to visit.
Once Chail was the summer capital of Patiala, and it still continues to retain its royal natural charm. Known for its hillocks — Rajgarh, Sadh Tiba and Pandewa, this little hamlet overlooks the Satluj river. Literally a child’s watercolour painting, Chail is best explored for hikes in its deodar forests, adventure sports and a relaxing holiday in the lap of the mountains. Along with Kasauli and Shimla, Chail makes the Golden Triangle of Himachal, best explored through the majority summer months — May to September. But other months are also pleasant.
Lying in the famed Pravati Valley, Kasol is a prime holiday spot for most coming to Himachal, especially the solo travellers and backpackers. This is a quaint place, welcoming tourists as travellers into its warm folds. Kasol is a trekker’s paradise, and you can also enjoy rafting, camping, sightseeing, yoga and wild parties. Kheerganga treks, Rhododendron meadows, Malana’s gateway into the magical valley — it all begins in Kasol!
Located on the foothills of Dhauladhar Mountains, Kangra is another great hill destination to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Dating back to 4th Century CE, Kangra has been ruled by various dynasties — from Mughals to Sikhs to Gurkhas. That is why, here you will find not only natural hikes and forests but also ancient forts, temples, museums of paintings and art and wells.
Of pinecone forests and deodar trails, Naggar is an enchantment in itself. Snow capped peaks are visible from almost anywhere in this town, and the Beas gallops down the mountainside. This town developed during the British raj, and continued to evolve until it became today’s holiday destination. With its castles, forts, monasteries and temples, most made of timbre, Naggar is India’s own fairytale town. Go for hikes, trek, enjoy the local pahari culture and eat everything from Himachali to Punjabi to Italian here!
Palampur is one of the best places to visit for tea lovers. Again, a tangle of deodar forests, this city also boasts of tea gardens that were enjoyed by the English officers back in the day. Along with these gradens there are also castles and mansions built in Victorian style. Adventure sports like mountain trekking, paragliding, river rafting and skydiving are renowned here. For sightseeing, you can visit temples, monasteries and museums.
Solan, named after the deity Shoolini Devi, lies on the road from Chandigarh to Shimla. It is one of the leading exporters of tomatoes and hence is called the city of red gold. With its white-washed hills in the background, populated by deodar trees and pines, Solan is a beauty of heritage and culture. Visit the Mohan National Heritage Park, Arki Fort, Mohan Meakin Brewery and Nalagarh Palace when here. Summers here are partially rainy, so winters are preferred for a holiday.
A little village in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Bir is home to nature’s delightful bounty. Be it the snowcapped hills or the rolling meadows, be it temples or parks, Bir is a unique anomaly in the otherwise standard hill stations around. Since Bir hosts the Tibetan community, it is home to their culture and Buddhist teachings too. Activities like mountain biking, paragliding, hand gliding and trekking are usually undertaken here. There are lake walks, shopping sprees, cafes, monasteries and more for the non-adventurous lot.
Songs have been written about this place. Chamba kitni dur…
This district is located at the cross-point of Zanskar and Dhauladhar mountains. It has been called the most beautiful scenic town of Himachal Pradesh, and why not? It makes for the border town of Jammu & Kashmir, after all! Rivers sparkle, lakes glint here, streams look like white foam and the meadows remain emerald green through sunny summers. When you have soaked up enough of this beauty, do visit places like the Laxmi Narayan Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple and Bhuri Singh Museum. Chamba is highly coveted among the backpacking groups, especially in the months of summer as festivities abide. Sui Mela in April, Minjar Fair in July and Chhatradi Jatar in September.
Locally known as Rohtang La, this hamlet is located in the Rohtang Pass near Kullu-Manali. One of the highest passes in the state, Rohtang Pass offers you some of the best Himalayan views. The sheer scenic beauty of this pass is so refreshing that it has been used for filming some great movies like Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Jab We Met. Things to enjoy in Rohtang town include Treks, mountain biking, sledge riding (during winters), skiing, photography and tyre drops. Sightseeing tours include those of Vashisht Hot Water Springs, Nehru Kund, Hadimba Temple, Marhi etc.
Pin Valley National Park
Pin Valley National Park falls in the calm vicinity of Spiti and Lahaul, on a landscape that is all cold white desert and chunky mountainous terrain. This is a drastic contrast from the other parts of Himachal Pradesh and a refreshing one at that. The browns of this region become white in snow by winter, attracting visitors for the views, Buddhist monasteries, and unique wildlife like the Siberian Fox, weasels, Himalayan Chough and Snow Leopard. Camping, hiking, snow activities and cave explorations are highly coveted adventures here.
1600 m above sea level, Tirthan Valley is an idyllic delight of a place. With scenic landscapes, rivers, lush pine forests and lakes the valley beckons wanderers and travels. From trekking to bird watching and fishing, from high-endurance actives to homesteads in villages, Tirthan Valley is perfect for a getaway with your soulmate. March onwards is a great time to visit, until the onset of June. Some great places to visit here are Parashar Lake, Riverside rustic cottages, Rolla Village hike and the Chehni Kothi castle.