Friday, 20 September 2013

Himachal Pradesh tourist places

Referred to as dev bhoomi or "place of God", Himachal Pradesh is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the North, Punjab on the West, Uttar Pradesh on the South and Uttaranchal on the East. The word "Hima" means snow when translated to Sanskrit, and the meaning of the term stands out to be an area that sits on the laps of the mountains. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and the total area of the state is roughly 55000 square km. The state is covered with immense natural beauty and is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. A majority of the area is mountainous, and lofty ranges, deep valleys, swaying waterfalls and lush greenery symbolise the state. The climate varies extremely from one place to the other, providing heavy rainfalls to some area and no rainfall to others. Being high in altitude, snowfall is a common sight in most of the parts of the state. There are 12 districts in the state which are further subdivided into blocks and towns and villages for administrative convenience. Himachal Pradesh is known to be the second least corrupted state in the country. Owing to the huge production of apples, the Himachal Pradesh is known as the State of apples.

 
Himachal Pradesh


About The Himachal Pradesh

 
Himachal Pradesh

Undoubtedly Himachal Pradesh is the best place to visit for the tourists due to its vast geo-topographical diversities. The snow-topped mountains, the hailing hills, the green forests or the red apple orchards, and the freshness of pure air-the state has everything that attracts people from all over the world. Shimla, Manali, Chamba, etc are those places which draw most of the honeymoon couples all through the year. Otherwise, tourists loving mountain adventures, may also enjoy river rafting, trekking, ice skating, para gliding and skiing, apart from spending a peaceful vacation here. There are temples, churches, monasteries, rivers, hill stations, architectural masterpieces and markets which will surely be a traveler's delight.

Dharamshala is one of the coldest hill stations where one can witness snow covered valleys at a stretch, lush flora and fauna and freshness that Mother Nature offers to humans. When in Shimla, tourists can enjoy the Jankhoo Hills, the ridge, the lakkar bazaar, St. Michael's cathedral, state museum, or simply roam around the mall road. Mashorba, Kufri, Fagu, are few suburbs which gives enchanting scenery of the beautiful state to a nature lover. Kullu, Chail, Kasauli, Manikaran, Dalhousie, etc are also places worth visiting in Himachal Pradesh. Nagar, Paharpur and Rukkhala offer rural heritage and charm to the urban visitors. 

History

The history of the area that now constitutes Himachal Pradesh, dates back to the time when the Indus valley civilisation flourished between 2250 and 1750 BCE. Tribes such as the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars and Kirats inhabited the region from pre-historic era. During the Vedic period, several small republics known as "Janapada" existed which were later conquered by the Gupta Empire. After a brief period of supremacy by King Harshavardhana, the region was once again divided into several local powers headed by chieftains, including some Rajput principalities. These kingdoms that enjoyed a large degree of independence and were invaded by Delhi Sultanate a number of times. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th century. Timur and Sikander Lodi also marched through the lower hills of the state and captured a number of forts and fought many battles. Several hill states acknowledged Mughal suzerainty and paid regular tribute to the Mughals.

The Gurkhas, a martial tribe came to power in Nepal in the year 1768.They consolidated their military power and began to expand their territory. Gradually the Gorkhas annexed Sirmour and Shimla. With the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkhas laid siege to Kangra. They managed to defeat Sansar Chand Katoch, the ruler of Kangra, in 1806 with the help of many provincial chiefs. However Gorkhas could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1809. After the defeat the Gorkhas began to expand towards the south of the state. However, Raja Ram Singh, Raja of Siba State managed to capture the fort of Siba from the remnants of Lahore Darbar in Samvat 1846,during the First Anglo-Sikh War. They came into direct conflict with the British along the tarai belt after which the British expelled them from the provinces of the Satluj. The British gradually emerged as the paramount power. In the revolt of 1857, or first Indian war of independence, arising from a number of grievances against the British, the people of the hill states were not as politically active as were those in other parts of the country.They and their rulers, with the exception of Bushahr, remained more or less inactive. Some, including the rulers of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami, rendered help to the British government during the revolt.

The British territories came under the British Crown after Queen Victoria's proclamation of 1858. The states of Chamba, Mandi and Bilaspur made good progress in many fields during the British rule.During World War I, virtually all rulers of the hill states remained loyal and contributed to the British war effort, both in the form of men and materials. Among these were the states of Kangra, Jaswan, Datarpur, Guler, Nurpur, Chamba, Suket, Mandi and Bilaspur.
After independence the Chief Commissioner's Province of H.P. came into being on 15 April 1948 as a result of integration of 28 petty princely states (including feudatory princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya, known in full as the Simla Hills States & four Punjab southern hill States by issue of the Himachal Pradesh (Administration) Order, 1948 under Sections 3 & 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947 (later renamed as the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 vide A.O. of 1950). The State of Bilaspur was merged in the Himachal Pradesh on 1 April 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lt. Governor was appointed. Legislative Assembly was elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory on 1 November 1956. Following area of Punjab State namely Simla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Kanungo circle of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur District; were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966 on enactment of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 by the Parliament. On 18 December 1970, the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged as the eighteenth state of the Indian Union.

Geography and climate

Himachal Pradesh

 
The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins.The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.
There is great variation in the climatic conditions of Himachal due to extreme variation in elevation. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern tracts to cold, alpine and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges with more elevation. The state has areas like Dharamsala that receive very heavy rainfall, as well as those like Lahaul and Spiti that are cold and almost rainless. Broadly, Himachal experiences three seasons; hot weather season, cold weather season and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid April till the end of June and most parts become very hot (except in alpine zone which experiences a mild summer) with the average temperature ranging from 28 °C (82 °F) to 32 °C (90 °F). Winter lasts from late November till mid March. Snowfall is common in alpine tracts (generally above 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) i.e. in the Higher and Trans-Himalayan region).
Summers stay from April-June with a comfortable climate whereas winters are chilly and sometimes unpleasant due to heavy snowfalls. Rainy season enhances the beauty of the place and continues from July to September. Rivers and streams get refilled and a lustrous beauty of the green vegetation is visible all throughout. Major rivers of the area are the Chandra Bhaga, the Beas, the Chenab, the Sutlej and the Ravi. These rivers flow all throughout the year and are mainly fed by the glaciers of the mountains. Bara Shigri, Bhaga, Chandra are the few glaciers of Himachal Pradesh. 


Education

Himachal Pradesh was the Summer Capital of British India and hence the standard of elementary as well as higher education here is up to the mark with the rest of the country. Literacy rates of the state are one of the highest among all the Indian states especially Hamirpur, which is one of the districts with a top ranking literacy rate. There are thousands of schools which offer primary as well as secondary education to kids, being affiliated to the CBSE and the ICSE. The government is working hard to make the state the new "educational hub" of the country. In fact, Himachal Pradesh is the first state in the country that has made elementary education possible as well as accessible for every child.

There are roughly 8 universities, 4 engineering colleges, and 2 medical colleges that offer several professional courses for aspiring candidates. Apart from that, here are roughly 7 general degree colleges that help the students to pursue their basic higher education from the state itself. Other than that, there are few NGO operated educational institutions running successfully in the state. They conduct seminars and various welfare programs for the society for the betterment of the students and their families.

Economy

Himachal Pradesh is one state that has transformed itself from being the most backward state to one of the majorly advanced states in the in the country. When it comes to per capita income, Himachal Pradesh stands at the fourth position. Around 50% of the economy of the state comes from agriculture, which is also the primary source of income as well as employment among the inhabitants. Rice, wheat, barley and maize are a few crops that are mainly grown all across the state. Being situated in the lap of the Himalayas, Himachal has been blessed with acres of fertile lands suitable for the cultivation of fruits, which is a boon for the state. Apple is one of the fruits whose cultivation earns around 300 crores for the state annually. Other fruits that can be cultivated here would be figs, olives, hops, nuts, mushrooms, saffron and sarda melons. Ancillary Horticulture produces honey, and flowers for the state as well. Tourism is also a source of income for the localities which adds much to the economic growth of the state. The abundant availability of electricity has encouraged the establishment of several small scale industries. The pollution-free climate of the state has helped to develop several electronic complexes in the state which also is a reason why rapid economic growth of the state has become a reality today.

Caste and Culture

.Himachal Pradesh is one of those states with the highest Hindu population, almost 95%. Among them, the main communities are the Rajputs who had come to this place long back and settled here since. The Brahmins and the Rathis also form a major part of the population of the state. The Ghirth community or the Choudhury community is mainly found in the Kangra district, they are usually the landowners who rent their lands to poor farmers for cultivation and earn revenue from them in return. The other communities that stay here are the Kannets, Kolis, Gaddis, Gujjars, Lahaulis and Pangawals.

There is a strong caste system that prevails in the rural part of the state but as people are moving out of the traditional drawbacks, the system has lost its supremacy over commoners. Himachal Pradesh has a good number of Tibetans staying there and hence Buddhism is the next religion that is followed strongly after Hinduism. They, being refugees from Tibet, stay at the Lahaul and Kinnaur districts mainly en masse. Since the state shares a common boundary with Punjab, several people from the Sikh community are found to stay in the towns and the cities. Muslims are the minority community in the state and constitute 2% of the entire population.

 Himachal Pradesh is a multilingual and a multicultural state of India. Since many races have come and settled here from earlier times, the culture of the state is diverse, colorful and rich in heritage. It is exhibited by the Himachalis through their colorful clothes, musical melodies, festive celebrations, rhythmic dances and a simple yet rich lifestyle. Arts and handicrafts, made by the localities, form an integral part of their culture. They specialize in preparing pashmina shawl which is exported to foreign countries at a regular basis. Other than that wooden potteries, metal jewelleries, utensils, vessels and many more are prepared by the locals. Music and dance are an integral and essential part of life for the Himachalis. Folk songs are preferred during rituals and they are mainly sung to invoke the deities. No traces of classical music are found till date to be patronized by the Himachalis, but a special type of songs known as samskara songs, which are based on Indian Ragas, are popular among the people. Some exclusive dance forms of the state are Shona, Gee, Burah, Losar, Naati etc. Festivals are celebrated with great zeal and grandeur. The international Himalayan Festival gets celebrated annually at Dharamshala. Local festivals like Cheeshu and Lahaul for the Lahaulis, and Haryali at the Kangra district are celebrated with pomp and vividness. Sikh festival like Lohri and Baisakhi are celebrated widely whereas Diwali and Christmas too mean a lot for the people of Himachal Pradesh.

What To Do

Sight Seeing


 Himachal Pradesh is the Promised Land for every traveler who wishes to explore this land of unrivalled natural beauty. Dotted with numerous picturesque views such as the scenic snow-covered mountains, lush greenery, deep down valleys, pristine hill-stations and so on, the land is the best place for a sojourn. One can come across an array of tourist places in Himachal Pradesh that embraces serenity & tranquility. Shimla, Chail, Kangra, Dharamshala, Khajjiar, Kullu, Lahaul & Spiti and Dalhousie are some of the famous Tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh. Apart from the natural beauty, these places are the best to enjoy some thrilling escapades such as trekking, river rafting, ice skating, mountaineering, paragliding, etc. So visit this paradise and explore the notable Tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh. :

Shimla

Shimla

 
Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travellers paradise -lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golf, Himachal has it all...Come Explore Himachal with himachaltourist...
A quaint little hill train chugs up into the Shivalik foothills, over dramatic loops and high arched bridges to the hill resort of Shimla (2130 m) - the capital of the mountain state of Himachal.
Shimla was one a string of hill stations that the British established to escape from the scorching heat of the plains. The 12 km, crescentshaped ridge on which it is located was first occupied by the British troops, in the early part of the 19th century, during the Anglo-Gurkha War.

The little village of Shymala, a retreat for British officers, soon grew to become the glamorous summer capital of the British, in India.
Shimla's salubrious climate, easy accessibility and numerous attractions have made it one of the most popular hill stations in northern India. The splendid views of the show-clad ranges of the Himalayas, fine walks through oak and flowering rhododendron, enchanting resorts within easy reach, golf Naldehra and skiing at Kufri and Narkanda make Shimala an attractive destination throughout the year.

Places to see in Shimla

The Mall : All visitors to Shimla inevitably walk down the Mall, the main promenade that runs along the top of the ridge-a busy shopping area with old colonial buildings, souvenir shops and restaurants. At the top end of the Mall is Scandal Point, a large open square with a view of the town-a favourite rendezvous for visitors and the local people. Overlooking it is the elegant Christ Church with its fine stained glass windows. The labyrinth of Shimla's bazaars spill over the edge of the Mall.

Viceregal lodge : Housed in the Gothic splendor of the Viceregal Lodge is the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, India's premier academy for higher research.

Himachal State Museum : Very close to the Institute, in a colonial building set in spacious lawns, is the museum. It has collections of Pahariminiatures, stone sculpture, local handicrafts, textiles and embroidery.

Jakhoo Hill : Hill, Shiml's highest point, is rewarding for there are superb views of the town and its surroundings. At the top is an old Hanuman temple.(2Km).

Annandale : Hill, Shiml's highest point, is rewarding for there are superb views of the town and its surroundings. At the top is an old Hanuman temple.(2Km).

Glen : A pretty picnic spot beyond Annandale is located in the thickly Wooded Glen , beside a sparkling stream.(4 Km).

Summer Hill : The quiett and lovely suburb of summer Hill has secluded, shady walks and charming views. It was here that Gandhiji stayed on his visits to Shimla, in the elegant Georgian mansion that belonged to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. Summer Hill is located on the Shimla - Kalka railway line.(5 Km).

Chadwick Falls : Just beyond Summer Hill is the 67 m waterfall, cascading into a deep gorge. The Falls are best seen after the monsoon.(7 Km).

Prospect Hill : A 15 minute climb from Boileauganj, Prospect Hill is another favourite walk and vantage point with breath taking views. There is a little temple to Kamna Devi on the top of the hill.(5 Km ).

Sanjauli : A serene location with delightful walks, Sanjauli is ideal for a tranquil weekend. There are fine vistas and the lights of Shimla and Chail can be seen twinkling at night. On the other side, Mashobra and Naldehra are visible. (3 Km)

Temples : Among the little temples dotted around Shimla is the ancient temple of Bihargaon - a splendid example of traditional Himachal architecture.

Just short of Shimla are the temples of Tara Devi and Sankat Mochanb. (8 Km)

Daranghati Sanctuary : This sanctuary located in the upper area of the Shimla district has an undisturbed forest area with plenty of wildlife-monal, tragopan, koklas and khalij pheaseants and musk deer, ghoral and thar. There is a network of bridle paths in the sanctuary. Visitors are advised to seek assistance from the forest staff posted at Dofda and Sarahan. The area is ideal for those who love to trek.

Around Shimla

Mashobra (2,149 m):Noted for its apple orchards and thick woods of oak and pine. Mashobra is a sylvan retreat with pretty walks and pIcnic spots. A little track leads down to Sipur a grassy glade with a stream wandering through it. Excursions are possible to Shali Peak - the highest point in the area or to Craignano (3 km) with its elegant guest house set in a delightful flower-filled garden. (9.6 km) 

Kufri (2,622 m):Kufri is a noted summer and winter resort with its glorious views of forested slopes and tall ranges iced in a covering of perpetual snow. A fine ski resort, Kufri has a winter season that extends from January to March. A sparkling winter sports festival is held each year in February. (16 km)

Fagu (2,509 m) :Just 6 km from Kufri, Fagu is a vantage point with panoramic views of the ranges and valleys. Picturesquely located amid forests and orchards, Fagu has a rest house and tourist bungalow overlooking the Giri Valley. 

Naldehra:The scenic, nine hole golf course with its springly turf and crown of deodar was laid out at the instance of the Viceroy, Lord Curzon. So enamoured was he by the beauty of the spot, that he named his youngest daughter Alexandra Naldera. (23 km) 

Tattapani:Tattapani is just 28 km from Naldehra, along a road winding through the scenic country side. The hot sulphur springs here, are hoted for their invigorating and curative powers. (51 km)

Narkanda (2,708 m) :A hill road with superb views links Narkanda with Shimla Narkanda, located amidst fragrant pine forests is a ski resort in winter. It has a choice of slopes ranging from a beginners run and a slalom slope, to sharper descents for the experienced skier. (64 km) 

Hattu Peak (3,300 m):Rising above forests of spruce, the Hattu Peak is a vantage point with spectacular views. (8 km). The pretty orchard country of Thanedar and Kotgarh - beautiful in spring - are not far away. Khadrala and Beghi with their dense forests and Kumarsain with an interesting wooden palace are also within easy reach of Narkanda.

Hatkati (1,100 m):In the picturesque valley of the River Pabbar, about 104 km from Shimla, is noted for its historic temple dedicated to Durga. Enroute to Hatkoti is the village of Kotkhai, splendidly located among apple orchards - a village with fine traditional architecture. Jabbal, once the capital of a princely state with its impressive palace is also on the way.

Beyond Hatkoti, 11 km away, is Rohru (1,149 m) on the River Pabbar - an excellent spot for angling, with fishing pools teeming with trout. The trout hatchery at Chirgaon, (15 km) upstream, ensures a well stocked river.
 
Rampur:Rampur was once the capital of the princely state of Bushair and a major centre on the old trade route into Tibet. The annual Lavi Fair, held in the second week of November, is still an important event for the inhabitants of the region. They gather to buy, sell and barter their produce - homespun blankets, shawls, wool and dry fruits - and to celebrate the event with music and dance. 

Rampur, on the banks of the Sutlej is on the N.H. 22 - the old Hindustan-Tibet Road that goes from Shimla into Kinnaur. The scenic village of Sarahan with its fascinating Bhimkali Temple is on this road beyound Rampur. (140 km).

Getting There & Away

Air:Linked by air to Delhi, Chandigarh, Kangra and Kullu. The airport at Jubbarhati is 23 km from Shimla.

Rail:It is linked by a narrow gauge line to Kalka which is connected to Delhi, Calcutta and Amritsar by broad gauge. Kalka-Shimla in 96 km and 6 hours by train but only 4 hours by a quaint rail car. 

Road:Shimla is well connected by road to most towns within the state and to all major towns in Punjab and Haryana. It is linked by bus and coach to Delhi and Chandigarh as well. Delhi is 370 km away, Chandigarh 117 km, Kalka 90 km and Ambala 166 km. Within the state, Narakanda is 64 km away, Mandi 156 km, Kullu 240 km, Manali 280 km and Dharmashala 280 km. 

Bus Service:HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) has coaches to all major towns in the area besides Chandigarh and Delhi.

Manali 

Manali

 
Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travellers paradise -lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golf, Himachal has it all...Come Explore Himachal with himachaltourist...

The valley of gods, as the Kullu valley has come to be known, is perhaps the most delightful region in the western Himalayas. The ancient Hindus regarded it as the furthest limit of human habitation - Kulantapitha, and its original name finds mention in the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well as Vishnu Purana.

Like a slender delicate-hued fern glistening in the morning dew, the valley spreads out its charm on either side of the upper reaches of the river Beas. Running north to south, the main river valley is only 80 km long and 2 km at its broadest, yet a fairly wide area is open to the visitors to enjoy the spectacle of variegated mountain scenery.

In the spring Kullu is at its most colourful with pink blossoms and white flowers while the higher slopes are aglow with gorgeous rhododendrons. With utumn, clear blue skies return and fields and forests alike show wonderful tints of crimson and ochre. By December, there is no greenery except the majestic pines and cedars in the forests. In winter the hillsides are flanked in white.

Situated on the banks of the Beas, Kullu, the headquarters of the district, serves as a nerve centre of the valley and is the starting place for a number of treks. The deodar-fringed grassy maidan, Dhalpur, is a stage for many colourful fairs.

Places to see in Manali

Kothi:12 km. A quiet but picturesque spot. The Rest House overlooks the narrow valley and commands views of the mountains. Below Kothi, for more than a kilometre the river Beas flows through a deep gorge, almost a subterranean passage, 30 metres or more in depth, and the cliffs which flank both sides of the canyon are a favourite haunt for rock pigeons. The site of the bridge provides an interesting historical episode in the early annals of Kullu.

Solang Valley:13 km. A splendid valley between Manali and Kothi which offers views of the glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks. The plateau is frequently used for holding camps by the trekking parties. Good skiing slopes of the Mountaineering Institute. Venue of annual winter carnival from February 10-14. Bus service upto Palchan village (10 km) and then by jeep or on foot.

Rahla Falls:2 km from Kothi. Here the river Beas hurtles down from a height of about 50 metres. Charming spot for picnics.

Manali Sanctuary:A bridle path from the Manali log huts goes past the Dhoongri Temple and wanders into the dense deodar, kail, horse chestnut, walnut and maple forest which is a part of this sanctuary. Camping overnight in tents at Lambadug or Galiani Thatch is possible.

Lush green alpine pastures and glaciers lie beyond Galiani Thatch. Musk deer, monal and brown bear are often spotted. For those who venture still further into the glacier zone in summer, there are herds of ibex.

Around Manali

Rohtang Pass:51 km. At an altitude of 4,112 metres on the highway to Keylong, the pass affords a wide-spread panorama of mountain scenery. In place of the pinnacled hills, sheltered valleys and cultivated tracts, the eye meets a range of precipitous cliffs, huge glaciers and piled Moraine, and deep ravines. Almost directly opposite is the well defined Sonepani glacier, slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypang, jagged pyramids of rock, snow streaked and snow crowned.

The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. The pass normally opens for traffic after mid-June and officially closes in November. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the little lake of Sarkund (Dashair) visited by a number of people, the general belief being that a bath in these waters effects a cure of all bodily ailments-real or imaginary. 10 km before Rohtang is the barren-landscape of Marhi which hums with activity during summer and autumn months because almost everyone stops here for refreshments.

Keylong:117 km. A fair sized village amidst green fields of barley and buckwheat, Keylong is the headquarters of the Lahaul and Spiti district, surrounded with brown hills and snowy heights. Karding Monastery overlooks Keylong and is 3.5 km across the Chandra river while Shashur Monastery is about 1 km. HPTDC Tourist Bungalow.

Triloknath and Udeypur:These are two important places of pilgrimage in Pattan Valley. At Triloknath is a six armed image in white marble of Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattava. Visitors will enjoy crossing the Chandra-Bhaga river and the trek of 3 km to reach the destination. The temple of Marikula at Udeypur is highly remarkable for its wood carvings. Udeypur is 166 km from Manali.

 Kullu
  The most charming and beautiful Kulu valley spreads out its charm on either side of river Beas. The valley runs north to south of this river and is 80kms. long and about 2kms. at its broadest. Yet with awe inspiring glens and mossy meadows encircled by the rushing streams and meandering brooks, flung east & west, a fairly wide area is open to the tourists, the trekkers, the mountaineers, the artists and to anyone who wishes to escape the heat & dust of the plains to breathe the exhilarating air of the Himalaya and enjoy the spectacle of the variegated mountain scenery. The valley is also famous for its exquisitely woven colourful hand made shawls and kullu caps.

Places to see in Kullu

Raghunathji Templ:1 km. In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh installed here an idol of Lord Raghunathji, which he brought from Ayodhya. As a mark of his penance he placed the idol on his throne and it became the presidind deity of the valley.

Vaishno Devi:4 km. A small cave enshrine an image of goddess Vaishno.Other temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Rama and Krishna.

Jagannathi Temple:3 km. A stiff climb leads one to the shrine from where one gets a panoramic view of Kullu town.

Bijli Mahadev Temple:11 km. The Bijli Mahadev temple one of the most striking temple is set on a spur, and is famous for its 60 ft high staff which periodically attracts lightning that shatters the Shivalinga. Each time this happens, it is pieced together by the temple priest.

The Great Himalayan National Park:Located in the beautiful district of Kullu, the 620 sq. km. area has temperate forests - some of the virgin coniferous forests of the state. Vast areas of alpine pasture and glaciers cap this park. Among the animals found in this part of the western Himalayas are musk deer, ghoral, thar, bharal, sewor, brown bear, leopard and snow leopard. Bird life includes a variety of colourful pheasants - monal, khalij, cheer and tragopan. A trek through the park to Rekte-Sar, the origin of the Sainj River and camping amid alpine pastures is a memorable experience.

Kanawar Sanctuary:This sasnctuary located in the Parvati Valley of the Kullu District is the habitat of the Himalayan thar. This big goat is often seen on high mountainous precipices.
 A splendid trek is possible along the Garahan Nalla from Kasol through dense deodar and fir forests. The rest house at Kasol is convernient and the Range Officer, Wildlife, Kasol, can offer information and assistance.

Around Kullu

Kaishdhar:16 km. A delightful spot (2,300 metres) for a quiet holiday where one can commune with nature. Many walks in the neighbourhood. Forest Rest House provides accommodation.

Bajeshwar Mahadev Temple (Bajaura):15 km. The pyramidical temple (9th century AD) is embellished with wonderful carvings in stone and sculptural decorations. The three large image slabs on the exterior are all of a high order of sculpture in the Indian classical (Shikara) style.

Kasol:42 km. Situated on the banks of Parvati river, Kasol in the Parvati valley makes a good holiday destination. Charmingly located in an open space which slopes down to a broad expanse of clear white sand at the edge of the river. The place is known for trout fishing.

Manikaran:45 km. On the trekking route to Pulga and Pin Parvati pass, Manikaran is famous for its hot springs. Thousands of people take a dip in its hot waters. The water is so hot that dal (pulses), rice etc. can be boiled in it. It is also a well known pilgrimage centre and there is an ancient Hindu temple and a gurdwara here. According to a legend, Manikaran is also associated with Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parvati, who lost and recovered her ear-ring here.

Larji:34 km. South of Kullu at an elevation of 957 metres, this is a small hamlet providing excellent trout fishing. A Rest House is located in a stunning position, at an angle between the foaming torrents of the rivers Sainj and Tirthan, before they join the Beas a few hundred anglers.

Pulga and Khirganga:16 km. A stiff march takes one to the restful solitude of the Forest Rest House whose immediate environment affords a sylvan and peaceful retreat for body and mind. The Tos nullah, which branches off from the main Paravati valley is well worth exploration by those who favour the wilder aspects of natural scenery and are prepared to camp out. 10 km from Pulga lies Khirganga which is well-known for its hot springs.

Banjar:58 km. an excellent spot (1,534 metres) for trout fishing in Tirthan river. the famous temple of Shringa Rishi is located here in whose honour a fair is held every year in May.
Accommodation is available at a PWD Rest House.

Shoja:13 km from the Banjar PWD Rest House (2,650 metres) on the Kullu side of the Jalori pass, it is located in a setting of marvellous scenic surroundings.

Raison:16 km. On the way to Manali, it is an ideal site at an elevation 1,433 metres for spending a quiet holiday in solitary splendour and for holding youth camps and rallies. On the gurgling banks of the Beas there are 14 wooden huts of HPTDC.

Katrain:20 km. The central and the widest part of the valley on the way to Manali and at a height of 1,463 metres. Apple orchards, a Fruit Research Station and a trout hatchery lend prominence to the place. HPTDC's Hotel Apple Blossom and Tourist Cottage.

Naggar:28 km. On the left bank of the Beas and about three hundred metres above the river, Naggar is delightfully situated on a wooded slope and commands an extensive view, especially of the north west of the valley. It is an excellent place for a longer stay. Naggar was the capital of the Kullu Rajas for about 1,400 years. There are a large number of famous temples in and around Naggar. Artist Nicholas Roerich's art gallery is also worth a visit. Cars and jeeps can easily go up to the Naggar Castle which is now Himachal Tourism's well furnished Hotel Castle.

Malana:28 km. up to Naggar by bus and then 20 km. on foot. A little ahead off the beautiful Chandrakhani pass lies the tiny village of Malana, famous for the temple of Jamlu and its distinct social and cultural life. Reputed to be the oldest democracy in the world in existence where all the inhabitants of the village take part in managing its affairs. An exciting place for trekking.

Manikaran

Manikaran

 
Manikaran (1700 m), 45kms. from Kulu and just 3kms. from Kasol, is famous for its hot springs. Thousands of people take a holy dip in hot waters here. The water is so hot that dal, rice & vegetables etc. can be cooked in it. It is also a well known pilgrimage place for both Hindus & Sikhs. Ramchandra and Shivaji temples besides a Gurudwara are there. According to an old legend, Manikaran is connected with Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parvati, who lost her ear rings here, which gave birth to hot waters on the bank of Parvati river. Hearing this religious myth from the priests will be more rewarding and interesting.

Kasol

Kasol
 
Situated on the bank of Paravati river, Kasol makes a good holiday destination. 42kms. from Kulu, charmingly located on an open space which slopes down to the broad expanse of clear white sand at the Parvati river. The place is well known for trout fishing.


Rohtang Pass

Rohtang pass
 
Rohtang Pass, 51 kms from Manali. Located at a height of 3980 m, the Pass once served as a crucial trade route, and still remains the gateway to the districts of Lahaul and Spiti.The Pass is open from June to November each year, and provides wonderful views of the entire surroundings. Just beyond the Pass is the Sonapani Glacier and the twin peak of Gaypan. The Beas Kund, the source of the Beas river, a holy site for Hindus, as the sage Vyas is said to have meditated at this spot, is also accessible from the Rohtang Pass.

 

Solang Valley

Solang Valley
 
Solang Nullah is in a side valley at the top of the Kullu valley. It is the site of Manali’s ski school and, once the snow has gone, all the local paragliding 'schools'. Phatru is a steep, rocky face above Solang Nullah, facing roughly east. Take-off is about one hour’s climb above the ski school. There is no top landing, but good bottom landing near the school or in the fields above Solang village on the opposite side of the river. From 10am until 1pm or so there are many excellent thermal sources. In the afternoon the sun is often hidden by cloud forming on the higher mountains behind and it can get rough as soon as it is out of direct sun. In a picturesque setting this has good ski sloped and picnic spots. HPTDC organises ski packages during winter. Around 14 kms from Manali, is the Solang valley, that boasts of the glacier nearest to the resort. Replete with terrific picnic - spots, the amazing ski slopes here are full of hectic activity, come January - February.

 

Bilaspur

Bilaspur

 
Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travellers paradise -lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golf, Himachal has it all...Come Explore Himachal with himachaltourist...
Bilaspur is a place where the echoes of the past mingle with the tomorrow. The new town, on the bank of the Gobindsagar Lake of the Bhakra Dam is 64-km from Kiratpur on the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway No-21.
In the dim past, many centuries ago, Rishi Vyas came to the bank of the Satluj river to do penance in the verdant and fertile district abounding in low hills, forests, grazing lands, rivulets and streams. In the Vyas Gufa, which draws a continuous host of tourists and pilgrims, the Rishi who penned the Mahabharata, lived as he prepared himself for the arduous task, which he was about to perform latter in another Gufa in the Uttrakhand way up in the celestial heights of the mighty Himalayas.
The ancient Lakshmi Narayan and Radheyshyam temples, along with the Vyas Gufa, escaped being submerged by the swirling water of the dam as modern man's monument to nature clashed with the old. The Satluj, which rises in the snows of the Tibet, after crossing the Dhauladhar in the lower regions of the Himalayas above Rampur, create wide terraces, in the highly developed and populated town of Bilaspur. The 225m high Bhakra dam is the highest in the world. A link with the past is still provided by Nalwari, the most important fair of Bilaspur, which is held every year in the third week of March.
Bilaspur, formerly the seat of the ruler of the State is now submerged in the Gabind Sagar, it was situated on the south east side of the Satluj. Bilaspur Township is situated just above the old town of Bilaspur at a height of 6,70m above in sea level. The new Bilaspur Township can be truely described as the first planned hill town of the country. The pleasure of a visit will be enhanced manifold when a motor launch is preferred as the means of travel, gliding through cool and enchanting waters of the lake.

Places To See in Bilaspur
The New Town: The ultimate effects of the colossal construction were to generate many thousands KW of electric energy, which combined with a canalization of the waters has extended irrigation over ten million acres, to help in feeding the teeming millions. The Gobindsagar reservoir behind the dam is 80-km long on whose banks has sprung the new township of Bilaspur. Two big generating stations have been built just below the Bhakra Dam, each with a capacity of 600 millions watts.

Deoli: Asia's biggest mirror carp hatchery is situated here, at a distance of 13-km from the town. Kandror Bridge: While the town is situated on the lake created by the highest bridge in India, Kindror Bridge is the second highest bridge in the world and is 22-km from Bilaspur.

Markand:
Himachal has always been the favourite stamping grounds of the ancient Rishis or Sage. Here they performed penances and sought cures for mankind in their orisons or prayers. Markand is 25-km from Bilaspur, is where Maharishi Markand performed the strictest austerities on his body to delve into the secrets unknown to man. A dip in the sacred waters over here is a sure cure, it is believed, for infant diseases and sterility. There is also a famous shrine about 20-km from Bilaspur, in tehsil Sadar named after renowned Rishi Markandeya, who lived and worshiped there. According to a legend, a tunnel connected Markand and Vyas cave and the two rishis, Vyas and Markand used to visit each other through this sub-terrain path. In addition to a shrine there is also a water spring of ancient fame where a night fair is held annually on Baisakhi day.

Bahadurpur Fort: On the top of a hill known as Bahadurpur the highest point (1,980m) in the district near Tepra Village in Paragana Bahadurpur, after covering a distance of about 40-km from Bilaspur. The beautiful woods of deodar and ban trees embellish this range. It is just 6-km above Namhol, from this high place the Ratanpur Fort, Swarghat, the Fatehpur Fort, the Naina Devi hill, plains near Ropar and the mountains of Shimla can be seen. This Fort was built prior to 1835, but now is in its ruins.

Shri Naina Devi Ji: A notable place of worship in the district is the temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji, situated on the hill top which rises some 9,15m above the sacred town of Anandpur Sahib in Ropar. The temple stands on the very summit of the hill above a small bazar and is reached by a long flight of stone steps or by a cable car. Sariun Fort: To the eastern side of the Tiun range, on the lifty range and peak of Sariun like this stronghold at an elevation of about 1,500m above M.S.L and is about 58-km.from Bilaspur. Tradition holds that the fort was originally built by the same Raja of the erstwhile Suket State and was subsequently wrested by the ruler of Bilaspur, the local people entertain a superstition according to which, the stones once forming part of the Fort are not used in any residential building.

Tiun Fort: Relics of this fort is situated on the top of a hill known as the Tiun range, at distance of about 55-Km.from Bilaspur, on the Ali Khad crossing Ghumarwin-Ladraur motorable road and about 10-km from Ghumarwin. Vyas Cave: The name of sage Vyas is well known in this part. Situated at the foot of the new township, the belief is that Vyas Rishi meditated in this cave. The origin of the town, Vyaspur is believed to have been derived from this cave. Lying on the left bank of river Satluj, this place is famous as a pilgrimage too.

Swarghat: Swarghat is ideally situated about 40-km.off Bilaspur on the Bilaspur-Chandigarh road. Perched at an elevation of about 1,220m from sea level, Naina Devi temple and Bhakra Dam, are also approachable from here. There is also a temple dedicated to Lakshmi Narayan.

Bhakra Dam: Situated at Bhakra village of Bilaspur, about 13-km upstream from Nangal township, it is one of the highest straight gravity dams in the world. The lake is about 90-km long, covering an area of about 168-sq-km of which 90% is in Bilaspur and 10% in Una district. The dam was dedicated to nation by late Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru on November 20th, 1963. The view of vast dam and green jungles around is fascinating indeed.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: Chandigarh and Bhuntar are the nearest airports, located at 135-km and 131-km from Bilaspur.

Rail: The nearest broad gauge railway station is at Kiratpur Sahib and nearest narrow gauge railway station is at Shimla, which are connected by regular bus services.

Road: Bilaspur is approachable by road from Shimla and Chandigarh.

WHERE TO STAY
Accommodation options in and around Bilaspur vary from luxurious hotels such as HTPDC's Hotel at Swarghat to reasonable budget hotels.

CLIMATE
Situated in the hot temperature zone the climate of Bilaspur ranges from high temperature to sub tropical and snow rarely falls over here.

FAIRS & FESTIVALS
The Nalwari or Annual cattle fair is held at Bilaspur for four or five days in March / April months, the occasion is marked by wrestling and other amusements. Cattle are brought from Nalagarh and neighboring parts of Punjab to sell over here.

Mandi

Mandi

 
The historic town of Mandi (800 m) is built along the banks of the river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre and the sage Mandva is said to have meditated here. This one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing town that still retains much of its original charm and character. Today, it is a district headquarters. Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving, it is often called the 'Varanasi of the Hills'. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of 'colonial' architecture. The temples of Bhutnath, Trilokinath, Panchvaktra and Shyamakali are among the more famous ones. The week long international Shivratri fair, Mandi is the major attraction of the area every year. In the year 2010 the fair was celebrated from 13th -19th February. In the fair the activities like cultural programmes in the evenings, exhibitions, sports etc. are the major attractions for the tourists as well as locals.


 Kangra Valley

Kanghra Valley
 
The Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys of lower Himalayas. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature of places to be visited. Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air whereas ancient Hindu Temples like Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji dot the country side.

The history of Kangra valley dates back to the Vedic times more than 3500 years ago. The area was exposed to successive invasions, the last being the British domination of the princes of many small the hill states. Despite the onslaughts and political upheavals, the arts and crafts of the region continued to develop and found lyrical expressions. Crafts like the exquisitely designed shawls and miniature paintings of this region are internationally appreciated. 

Taragarh

Taraghar Himachal Pradesh

 
Low rolling hills criss-crossed by narrow fast-flowing streams, scores of tiny hamlets, lush tea gardens and paddy fields with the backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhar mountains - all combine to make Kangra one of Himachal's most beautiful tracts. Here, built in 1931, by the 27-year old ruler of Bahawalpur, Nawab Sadiq Mohammed Khan Bahadur is Al Hilal (literally the Land of the crescent moon), now called Taragarh after Maharani Tara Devi, of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, who became its subsequent owner. Now a heritage hotel, this is a splendid art-deco mansion set amidst large grounds. Memorabilia of past adorn its elegantly appointed rooms while the grounds host a 'jungle camp'.

Palampur

Palampur
 
The town of Palampur (1219 m) is situated in a idyllic valley priding itself with tea gardens, and hills covered with pine trees. The place enjoys a year-round pleasant climate and the pine scented air is said to have curative properties. The scenery presents a sublime and beautiful contrast- the valleys presents a picture of rural innocence and repose, while the hills are majestic. Overlooking this town are the majestic Dhauladhars, whose tops remain covered with snow for most of the year. This place is thronged tourists and is now being developed as a large tourist centre. A ropeway and an amusement park is also on proposed to be constructed. An Agricultural University and a Cenral Scientific Research Institute’s IHBT are pride of the town. Some tea factories are also coming up here.

While in town one could go for one of the several pleasant walks around the town. A short walk from here takes one to the awe inspiring Bundla Chasm which has a fall of over 100 meters to the Bundla stream. The stream is a thin streak running over stony ground far below the cliff. During the monsoon season, it swells and rages madly over the entire width of the chasm taking stones and boulders along with it making thunder like loud roaring noise.

Saurabh Van Vihar: In order to enable the visitors to enjoy the nature & make them aware of the importance of nature & environment, a nature park namely "Saurabh Van Vihar" at Palampur over 13 hactare area has been established. It is located on the right bank of Neugal Khad near Kandi bridge in the lap of Dhauladhar ranges, in village Kwat, 4 km from Palampur town. Saurabh Van Vihar is developed in the memory of Martyr Lt. Saurabh Kalia, who sacrificed his life during Kargil operation on 9th June, 1999. This tourist park is bounded by majestic and picturesque Dhauladhar mountain ranges in the north and north-east. It is being managed by H.P. Forest Department through a registered society called "Saurabh Van Vihar Management Society, Palampur".


Kufri:

An enjoyable drive through forests and small villages leads to this small but popular station. The Nature Park here is a great attraction. A short trek leads to the Mahasu Peak with breathtaking view.

Sadhupul:

 en-route to Kandaghat and Chail is this village and bridge astride the Ashwani stream. A good picnic spot


Chail:

Chail Himachal Pradesh
 
 
When Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala was expelled from Shimla - The Summer Capital of the British India, he decided to create his own capital for the warm months. The little village of Chail was perfect. It lay surrounded by magnificent deodar forests, Shimla was in direct vision and most importantly, Chail at 2226 m was somewhat higher than British controlled Shimla. Today, the Maharaja's creation can be experienced by everyone. The owner of the gracious mansion, every visitor is a Royalty. Chail also has the world's highest cricket pitch and polo ground.
Access: Chail is connected by road. From Shimla via Kufri the distance is 45 km and via Kandaghat is 61 km. Kalka is 86 km. Regular buses for Chail leave from Shimla, Chandigarh and Delhi. The closest airports are at Chandigarh (120 km) and Shimla (63 km).
Climate: In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. In summer the climate is mild and light woolens/cottons are recommendable
Places Of Interest 
Sidh Baba Temple (1.5 km) : Maharaja Bhupinder Singh originally began building his palace at this site. It is said that a Sidh-saintly person - appeared before the Maharaja in dream and declared that this was the place where he had this temple built. 
Cricket Ground (3 km): Built in 1893, after leveling top of a hill, it stands at 2444m and is the highest cricket pitch and polo ground in the world.

Solan:


Himachal Pradesh
 
Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travelers paradise -lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golf, Himachal has it all...Come Explore Himachal with himachaltourist...


Fagu

Fagu Himachal Pradesh
 
Fagu is a tiny village aside a saddle-like mountain along Hindustan Tibet Road. A rare range of views is visible from here, which include vivid dales and snow clad peaks. The picturesque countryside is dotted with clusters of villages, fruit gardens and nearby terraced fields. Fog characterizes the hillside landscape endowed with romantic ambience. Most of the area is covered with conifers of Himalayan cedar and spruce. Located at an altitude of 2,450 m, Fagu, perhaps have derived its name from the fog itself.
ACCESS : The closest airport is at Jubbar-Hatti, 45 km away. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Shimla, 22 km away. By road Chandigarh is 139 km and Delhi is at a distance of 392 km.

Narkanda


Narkanda Himachal Pradesh
 
On the Hindustan Tibet road, Narkanda offers a spectacular view of higher snow ranges. An uphill trek (8 km) through deodar woods leads beholder to Hatu Peak famous for ancient Hatu Mata Temple (3475 m) which is now connected with a motorable road. During winter, under the aegis of HPTDC, skiing is also conducted here. Kotgarh and Thanedhar, Himachal's Apple heartland famous for delicious apples are located in vicinity. HPTDC runs Hotel Hatu at Narkanda.


Mashobra

Mashobra Himachal Pradesh
 
A place of unique beauty is the oak and pine retreat of Mashobra, 9.6km from gaiety at an altitude of 2,149 metres (7,700 ft.), it is unbeatable for an ideal interlude beneath oak and pine. To dream the night away and enjoy the sylvan surroundings, is the equally beautiful rest house of Craignano and the Circuit House of Fair Lawns. On the top of the hill, for the naturalists, it is considered to be among the most beautiful rest houses in Shimla Hills.

Just 3km from Mashobra, Craignano is at an height of 2,279 metres (7,800 ft.). A winding path leads through the forest of pines up a gentle incline to the breath taking beautiful gardens filled with an abundance of flowers, amidst clumps of trees, in the spacious lawns, are stone benches and lovely secluded picnic spots. The area adjoining to Mashobra is famous for apples orchards.

Nalagarh

Nalagarh Himachal Pradesh
 
Nalagarh is located at 31.05° N 76.72° E.[1] It has an average elevation of 372 metres (1220 feet). Nalagarh is a Semi Hilly Area . While the summers are hot and dry Winters are Dry and wet .Summers temperature does reach 45 degrees celsius, also it could be Humid , Which Make "Feel Temperature" at 50 degrees celsius .During rainy season strong winds are experienced . Yet Nalagarh Physically belongs to Himachal Pradesh but but the culture and others are like Punjab .
Nalagarh is the capital of the Kingdom of Hindur founded by Raja Ajai Chand in 1100 A.D.It was ruled by the Chandela Rajputs who originate from Chanderi in the Bundelkhand region of Central India. The famous Khajuraho Temples were built by the Chandela Kings of yore.The Fort was built during the region of Raja Bikram Chand in 1421. The present Raja of Nalagarh & his relatives extend a Royal Welcome.

Parwanoo

Parwanoo Himachal Pradesh

A small hill station of Himachal Pradesh, Parwanoo is situated near the border that the state shares with Haryana. It is located along the National Highway No. 22. Once a small village, Parvanoo has now evolved into a thriving industrial town that is known for its food processing and pharmaceutical industries. The natural beauty of the hill resort makes it important from the tourism point of view. Parwanu also serves as the base station to the nearby attractions, such as Renuka Lake, Subathu cantonment area, Dagshai, Pinjore Gardens, Kasauli, etc.

The drive to Parwanoo is full of beautiful views of twisting and turning roads and soaring peaks, quite characteristic of this hilly region. Many hotels, restaurants and lodges have sprung up to fulfill the need of the tourists and visitors who travel to the city. People are warm and friendly and there are lots of long drive possibilities that the town has to offer. Apart from its own tourist attractions, Parwanoo also boasts of a number of excursions, where tourists can go and enjoy themselves.

Kasauli

Kasauli Himachal Pradesh
 
The scenic beauty and serenity of Kasauli along with its warm and friendly people make it a charming hill station. Kasauli retains an old-world-charm reminding one of the by-gone British era. This quiet little place with its gabled houses, cobbled pathways, quaint shops and manicured gardens provides magnificent views in a very subtle way to its visitors.

Narrow winding roads of Kasauli offers gorgeous views of plains of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh at night and the silver lining of River Satluj flowing through them. One can see Choor Chandni peak from here, the 'Mountain of the Silver Bangles' where snow shines in the moonlight as a bangle moving down the hill. The Upper and Lower Malls run through Kasauli's length. It is 20 km from Barog and 60 km from Chandigarh.


Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travellers paradise -lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golf, Himachal has it all...Come Explore Himachal with himachaltourist...

This is a mountainous area that is located between Ladakh and Tibet in the north and the Kullu valley in the south. Lahaul begins 51km north of Manali, right after crossing the 3978m (13,127 ft) Rohtang Pass. You go through this area when you travel north from Manali to Leh. Many of the peaks here are over 6000m, the highest being Mulkila at 6,500m. It is basically a dry barren mountainous area with some green areas. It has some interesting Buddhist gompas and secluded villages. There are some good treks in this area.To reach here from Manali you have to travel over the Rohtang Pass, which is closed a good part of the year because of heavy snow. You can also get to this area coming from Shimla going through the Spiti Valley.

It is approached from Zanskar by going over the Shinga La Pass and from Ladakh by going over the Baralacha La Pass (4,870m).About half the people in Lahaul are Buddhist and the other half are Hindu. The main local language is Bhoti, which is similar to Tibetan. A good word to know is "jule," which means hello, thank you and goodbye.PermitsYou only need a permit if you are going between Tabo and Rekong Peo, the capital of Kinnaur. You can get a seven-day permit at the Home Affairs Office in Delhi, the Senior District Magistrate Office in Rekong Peo, Kaza or Keylong or the Deputy Commissioner in Shimla or Kullu. Rekong Peo and Kaza are the best places to apply, so as not to waste any of the seven-day permit. In Kaza you are supposed to apply with a group of four, but this is often waived. You need three passport size photos, which you should have before going to Kaza or Rekong Peo, as you may not be able to get any photos taken in these places.There are conditions listed on the permit in reference to where you can stay and how you have to travel, which for the most part are not enforced.




Kinnaur

 
Kinnaur Apples garden
 
Kinnaur is the south eastern district of Himachal Pradesh and lies at an altitude ranging between 2320 - 6816 m. It is situated on the National Highway No - 22 which is popularly known as the Hindustan Tibet Road. Shimla, the state capital is around 250 km away. The district is basically a mountanious region with a temperate climate. Vegetation in areas on higher elevation is sparse while at lower elevation temeperate trees like oak, chestnut, maple, birch, alder, magnolia, apple and apricot can be spotted.

Kalpa


Kalpa Himachal Pradesh
 
Kalpa is a little known town situated in the lap of the mighty 19965 feet Kinner Kailash peak, around 240kms from Shimla. Situated at an altitude of 9711 feet, Kalpa is surrounded by snowy peak for almost the whole year. One gets a clear view of the sacred Kinner Kailash peak as well as its sister peaks. You can get a chance to bike to this place, band in the middle of winters!
Kalpa used be to a favourite haunt of Lord Dalhousie, who used to visit this place by travelling next to the Sutluj River in those days.. But nowadays you can easily drive down, although the road is quite tough! From Delhi, Shimla is a comfortable 9hour drive (355kms via Ambala and then NH22). From Shimla, things get interesting. Carry on the NH22 to Narkanda (64kms, an easy 2hr drive), then Rampur (another 73kms, 2 hours). From here on, for a while roads are good but mostly, turn into a bad shape with work going on (the hydro electric power station). But the views make up for it. From Rampur, you pass thru Jeori (23kms), Wangtu (37kms) and finally Karcham (20kms). The road from Wangtu to Karcham is in a bad state and occasionally the road is blocked for a couple of hours due to landslide.
At Karcham, a right goes to Sangla valley, take a left towards Recong Peo/Kalpa (35kms). At Recong Peo, there are two options, a longer 13kms or a shorter steeper 7km route. You can take another shorter 7km route, riding between apple orchads, narrow roads, in complete isolation. And if you are here between Dec and Feb, you will be greeted with atleast 5-6 frozen waterfalls by the road between Peo and Kalpa. If you are driving youself, taking a nights stop at Narkanda, around 420kms, 11 hours from delhi. Stay at Himachal Tourism's hotel , Hotel Hattu. 180 degree view of the 18000-20000 feet peaks from Kalpa will keep you occupied for days. If you are into trekking, discover places around Kalpa by asking the locals around. - hide more about Kalpa

Sangla

Sangla Himachal Pradesh
 
This valley starts 57 km short of Kalpa which has been named after a beautiful & populous village Sangla. Sangla is situated on the right bank of Baspa river 17 kms. from Karcham. Journey from Karcham onwards is enjoyable and adventurous throughout the valley. The natural scenery all around and the eternal snow view are picturesque and charming. It is also known as Baspa Valley since Baspa river flows through this area. This is the most charming valley in the entire District of Kinnaur. A temple dedicated to Nages god is worth a visit & other places are Sapni, Rackchham, Kilba, Kamru Fort which can also be visited. There are post offices, banks, rest houses for the convenience of the visitors.

Nahan

Nahan Himachal Pradesh
 
Nahan is situated on an isolated ridge in the Shiwalik hills, overlooking greenfields. Nahan is a well laid-out picturesque town, known for its cleanliness and dust free streets. Saint and princes are linked with the origin of Nahan. The city was founded as a capital by Raja Karan Prakash in 1621. Another version recalls a saint who lived with a companionable Nahar on the site where the Nahan palace now stands "Nahar" means a Lion and probably the town takes its name from this saint. Nahan situated at an altitude of 932 meters, is a good base for visits to the surrounding areas viz. Renuka, Paonta Sahib, Trilokpur temple and the Suketi Fossil Park. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year and is watered by man made lake and decorated with temples and gardens. It is the headquarter of Sirmaur district.

Renukaji

Renuka lake is situated at a height of 672 m and lies in Sirmour district. It is 123 km from Parwanoo, 60 km from Paonta Sahib via Sataun and 38 km from Nahan via Dadahu. With a circumference of 3214m, Renukaji is the largest natural lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this is regarded as the embodiment of the goddess Renuka. Near the lake's feet is another lake held sacred by Hindus, and is associated to a legend surrounding her son, the legendary sage Parshurama. Both have temples built around them and the main temple dedicated to Goddess Renuka is regarded to have been built overnight in 18th century. The lake lies in a long valley and surrounding slopes are covered with thick woods. The lake is full of colourful fish and other acquatic animals. The lake is surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary and a few other temples. Boating facility is available at the lake.



Hidden Himachal Prades

The main Tourism circuits in Himachal Pradesh are fairly well known and even remote districts like Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur are now coming into the tourist mainstream. Himachal has however many undiscovered spots with unspoilt charm that are worth a visit for a quiet rewarding holiday - spent amidst the splendor of nature, away from the crowds.

Bharmaur
 
 
Haharmur Himachal Pradesh
 
Bharmaur is linked by road to Chamba and is about 65 km away. Surrounded by alpine pastures, this is the summer home of the nomadic Gaddis. Bharmaur, once known as Brahampur, was between the 6th and 10th centuries, the capital of princely state of Chamba. It is renowned for its cluster of temples - collectively known as the 'Chaurasi'. Though of varying architectural designs, these temples are noted for their fine workmanship. From Bharmaur, the Kugti and Chobia passes and trek routes they offer can be approached. Other interesting places at hand are the temples of Bani Mata and picturesque Khundel. 
                  
Bhandal Valley

Bhandal Valley Himachal Pradesh
 
Bhandal Valley is linked to Salooni (22 km) in the Chamba valley by road. The beautiful Bhandal Valley with its wealth of wildlife is at the western extremity of Himachal Pradesh. Approachable from Chamba, it is the base for a trek routes that connect Chamba to the Kishtwar region of Jammu and Kashmir over the Dagni Dhar. The route begins along the right bank of the river Ravi, goes past Pukhri, down to the Siyul stream, then rises to Salooni on the Prithvi Jor ridge to finally arrive above the valley. From Bhandal via Langhera one reaches Kishtwar. The highest point on the trek is the Padri Gali at 3049 m.

 Manimahesh
Manimahesh is accessible from Bharmaur, about 35 kms. away. This place is sacred to Lord Shiva and his divine consort Parvati. Past Gaddi villages and wide meadows that give way to bare rock and snow fields, this place is reached after a three day trek from Bharmaur - via Hadsar and Dhanchha. The deep blue waters of the lake, rest at the feet of the Manimahesh Kailash Peak - which is one of the mythological abodes of Lord Shiva. 

                
Pangi Valley

Locked between the greater Himalyan and Pir Panjal ranges, the wild and beautiful Pangi Valley is 173 km from Chamba. Its subdivision headquarters at Killar is located in the deep and narrow gorge of the river Chanderbhaga (Chenab). The foaming river, the high crags of the gorge and the difficult terrain are a challenge for intrepid trekkers. The Sach Pass (4428 m) opens the way to several trek routes. Thick forest the habitat of varied wild life surround the Pangi Valley and the numerous side valleys - Saichu, Hunam, Sural Nallah, that are also endowed with remarkable natural beauty. The temple of Mindhal Basan Devi in Pangi is an important shrine. Appropriately, the people of Pangi are as attractive as the tract they inhabit.

 





Aut
Water Reservoir in Himachal Pradesh
 


Aut on the Mandi-Manali highway is the entry point to the Kullu Valley where the road enters the Mandi - Largi gorge. Aut, the entire reservoir of the Pandoh Dam and Largi are excellent for angling. The rapids between Shamshi and Aut are splendid for river running. 


                         

Inner and Outer Seraj
Inner and Outer Seraj are accessible from Kullu and Shimla by road. The Jalori and Basil passes stand as markers between the
Inner and Outer Seraj regions of Kullu. Outer Seraj faces Shimla district and reaches out to touch the river Sutlej and Inner Seraj turns towards Kullu. Anni near Sutlej provides the access point to Outer Seraj from Shimla. Some of the beautiful unspoilt spots in this area include Change, a wide meadow surrounded by thick forests and Takara and Pane which have fine rest houses. Within Outer Seraj is Normandy known for its exquisite wood and stone temples. The 5155 m Shrikhand Mahadev Peak is a part of Outer Seraj. Beyond the Jalori Pass the scenic splendor of the Inner Seraj area unfolds. This area has variety of trek routes.
Jalori Pass
Jalori pass Himachal Pradesh
 


                  The Jalori Pass which links Inner and Outer Seraj is 76 km from Kullu. Its crest offers panoramic views of the area. The new pass is a man made one and was carved out of the mountain range in the early part of the twentieth century. This is about 150 m lower than the old Jalori Pass. Surrounded by majestic forests, this area is home to the Himalyan brown bear and certain varieties of pheasant - including the Mona and Tarpon. The Shangri Rich Temple is close-by, and 5 km from the Pass is the jewel like Sloes Lake.

                  

Shoja

Shoja in Inner Seraj is close to the Jalori Pass. A charming unspoilt location of exceptional beauty overlooking lush meadows and tall snow-capped ranges, Shoji is 69 km from Kullu via Aut. The Raghupur Fort and Dough Thatch, a lovely grassy meadow very close to Shoja are worth visiting.

 

                                                
 
Jhantigri
Jhantigri is about 12 km from Joginder Nagar. This enchanting spot on the top of the hill is surrounded by a thick forest of deodar trees. The remains of the summer palace of the former rulers of Mandi are located here. The spot unfolds breathtaking visats of the valleys below.
                  
Barot

Barot Himachal Pradesh
 


                  Just 40 km by road from Joginder Nagar and 12 km by haulage trolley, Barot packs an enormous range of outdoor activities. The reservoir of the Joginder Nagar Hydel Power Project is located here. A trout breeding centre, makes it a wonderful place for angling. Across the river Uhl is the Nargu wildlife Sanctuary - home to the ghoral, Himalyan black bear and a variety of pheasants. A trek route through thick forests links Barot to Kullu. 

                  

Shikari Devi

Shikari Devi Himachal Pradesh
 


                  The trek to Shikari Devi from Janjheli and Karsog is possible. Through woods of assorted trees and shrubs - which include several medicinal herbs - two separate trek routes lead up to this ancient shrine which crowns the top of a hill. One approach is from Janjehli and the other from Karsog. Hunters in the area once prayed to the Goddess for success in their hunt - and here, perhaps, lies the origin of the name 'Shikari Devi'. The Goddess is worshipped in the form of a stone image. Interestingly, the temple which is said to have been in existence since the time of the Pandavas, has no roof - for local legend has it, that all attempts to build one have been unsuccessful.
                  

Tattapani

On the bank of the river Sutlej, Tattapani is approachable from Mandi via Karsog. It is also approachable via Shimla. Resting deep in a scenic valley and surrounded by high hills, Tattapani is famous for its hot sulpher springs- noted for their therapeutic powers.                   

Prashar Lake
 

Prasharlake Himachal Pradesh
 


                  An interesting 14 km. trek is possible along a steep track from Kataula, which is easily accessible from Mandi. The beautiful Prashar Lake is located high in the mountains, 40 km north of Mandi. It is here that sage Prashar is said to have meditated. On the lake's edge is a three-storeyed pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage. Capped with a roof of slate tiles, the temple has a wealth of wood carving. It is said to have been built by Raja Ban Sen of Mandi in the 14th centuary. An entire panorama of snowy mountain ranges is visible from this location.

 


                        
 
Masrur
Masrur Himachal Pradesh
 

                  Fifteen richly carved, monolithic, rock temples, dating back to the 8th century, are to be found at Masrur, just 22 km from Ranital Railway Station, 40 kms from Kangra and 42 kms. from Dharamshala. Located on a hillock that rises above a well watered and fertile tract of considerable natural beauty - they are framed by the snow-clad peaks of Dhauldhar mountains. These shrines similar to the rock-cut temples at Ellora and Mahabalipuram, are the only monuments of this style in northern India. With rich ornamentation executed over staggering proportions, the Masrur temples brings to mind the remark that Indian temple builders "conceived like giants and had the finish of jewelers". Images of Lord Rama, Laxmana and Sita are installed in the central shrine.                  


Maharana Pratap Sagar                 
Maharana Pratap Sagar, Himachal Pradesh

The Maharana Pratap Sagar can be approached from Pathankot via Jassur, from Chandigarh via Talwara and from Dharamshala via Dehra. The shimmering waters of the Pong Dam reservoir are clearly visible from the heights of Dharamshala. A man-made wetland over the River Beas, the lake, is the habitat of a variety of migratory birds from Siberia and Central Asia. Over 220 species of birds have been sighted here. It is also an excellent place to go fishing for mahaseer, there are numerous spots for the angler.
 

Bir and Billing

Just 16 km from Joginder Nagar and 19 km from Baijnath, Bir is located amidst verdant fields and tea gardens. There is large Tibetan community and beautiful monastery here. Facing Bir is the fort of Ahju to which a trek can be made. Surrounded by an amphitheater of low hills Bir is an ideal landing ground for hang/paragliders. The road to Billing goes past Bir and climbs through thick woods. Billing, 14 km from Bir with its arena of 200 km or more for high altitude and cross country flying is an exceptional site for aero sports. An annual hang gliding festival is held at Billing.





Bahadurpur
Close to the town of Bilaspur (40 km), Bahadurpur range towers over lesser hills of the area. A small forest of deodar and Himalayan oak that spreads over it considerably enhances its beauty. The crest offers panoramic view and the Ratanpur Fort, Swarghat, the Fatehpur Fort, Naina Devi, the plains near Ropar and even the Shimla hills can be seen from here. The Bahadurpur Hill is crowned by the remains of a circular fort which was built by Raja Keshab Chand in the 17th century.

Swarghat

Swarghat is 40 km from Bilaspur on Chandigarh- Bilaspur road and 22 km from Nalagarh. It is surrounded by low rolling hills that are draped by forests of pine. It is an attractive picnic spot, and forms an interesting excursion. The shrine of Naina Devi and the Bhakra Dam are approachable from here. The link road for Nalaragh and Pinjor turns off from the National Highway at Swarghat.

Kot Kehlur

The square structure of the fortress of Kot Kehlur is 3 km from Ganguwal, close to boundary with Punjab. This impressive fort, over 30 m high, has effectively withstood the ravages of time, and is said to have been built by Raja Bir Chand. Legend has it that at the site of the fort, a goat staved off an attack by a lion to protect its new-born kid. This was taken as an auspicious sign and the fort was constructed at the site of the struggle.



Rajgarh
Just 30 km from Solan, Rajgarh blessed with considerable natural beauty, is an unspoilt retreat set amidst apple orchards. Its entry into the tourist circuit is relatively recent. A rest house and eating places made it convenient for a holiday.

Shillai

Approachable by road from Paonta Sahib and Sataun and surrounded by woods, Shillai lies close to the River Tons. It is closely allied with the worship of local deities Shirgul and Gugga and is an important centre of folk culture. A trek to the 3647 m peak of Choor Chandni also called the Churdhar, loosely translated as the 'mountain of the silver bangle', can be made from here via Haripur Dhar. A trek to Chakrata in Uttar Pradesh is also possible from Shillai.








Arki Just 52 km from Shimla, once the capital of the princely state of Baghal. The elegant palace at Arki, picturesquely located against a wooded hillside, is famous for its Ast Bayaka frescoes, executed in the Arki Kalam style. Refurbished now, the palace is a Heritage Hotel. The Jakholi Temple, at Arki, is a remarkable archetectural specimen of the shikhara style. Other temples include those dedicated to Lutuur Mahadeva, the Shakni Mahadeva, Bhairon and Durga Mata.                        





Sarahan
Sarahan Himachal Pradesh
 

Sarahan is situated about 171 kms from Shimla. The gorgeous spectacle of the Himalayan ranges with the unspoilt pastoral loveliness of an unpretentious village, Sarahan is truly a haven tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas. Situated in the Sutlej Valley, on way to district of Kinnaur, Sarahan was the old capital of Rampur Bushair, one of the biggest princely states in Shimla hills. The major attraction in Sarahan is centuries-old Bhimkali Temple and Raja Bushair Palace. Steeped in legend, the temple complex is a resplendent example of hill architecture. Sarahan is also the gateway to Kinnaur.
Chanshal
Chanshal is the high pass that is closed in October and reopened only in April. This pass hides the fascinating tract of Dodra-Kwar, where time seems to have stood still for several centuries. From here one can descend to the Rupin River. One can also trek on via Natwar and Panog to Haripur Dhar, include the Churdhar and loop around to Chaupal.

Chopal

The little town of Chopal, 100 km from Shimla, has an authentic flavor of the Himachal hills, With wood and slate houses surrounded by forest of deodar tress, with high snow covered peaks in sight, Chopal has a perfect picturesque setting. This is one of the starting points of the trek to the churdhar Peak. Above Chaupal is an old temple dedicated to Lankra Bir (Bhairon), and at Sarain, there is the Bijjat Temple.



Manimahesh Lake in Himachal Pradesh
 





The various lakes in Himachal Pradesh are Renuka Lake, Rewalsar Lake, Khajjiar Lake, Chamera Lake, Dashir Lake, Seruvalsar Lake, Prashar Lake, Bhrigu Lake, Manimahesh Lake, Nako Lake, Suraj Tal Lake, Chandra Tal Lake, Gobind Sagar Lake, Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake and Dal lake.





Renuka Lake
Renuka lake lies in Sirmour district. It is 45 kms. from Nahan. With a circumference of 3214 m, Renukaji is the largest natural lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this is regarded as the embodiment of the goddess Renuka. Near the lake's feet is another lake held sacred to her son, Parshurama. Both have temples built around them and the main temple to Renuka is regarded to have been built overnight in eighteen century. The lake lies in a long valley and surrounding slopes are covered with thick woods. Boating facility is available at the lake.
Rewalsar Lake
Rewalsar Lake is situated at an altitude of 1360 m in Mandi district, 25 kms. from Mandi town. It is square shaped with a shoreline of 735 m, this dark jewel rests on a mountain spur and is protected by a dense vegetation. The spot is held sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike. Legend has it that the great teacher Guru Rimpoche used his enormous power to take fight to Tibet from Rewalsar. It was under his influence that Mahayana Buddhism took root in Tibet at Rewalsar, his spirit is said to reside in the tiny island of floating reed that drifts over the water. There are three Buddhist monasteries at Rewalsar. Rewalsar has three Hindu temples which are dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and to the sage Lomas. A small zoo is maintained near the lake.

Khajjiar Lake

Khajjiar Lake is situated at an altitude of 1900 meters in Chamba district, 23 kms. from Dalhousue and 25 kms. from Chamba. Fed by tiny streams, this small lake lies at in the centre of large Khajjiar glade. The glade and the lake are held sacred to Khajjinag- after whom the place is named. Khajjiar has thick forest of the Kalatope sanctuary surrounding its soft green grass.
Chamera Lake
In Chamba district, the Chamera dam is built over the river Ravi. Phase-I of the project generates 540 MW of electricity. Phase-II which is under way will add another 300 MW. The lake offers a variety of water sports.
Dashir Lake
Dashir Lake is situated at an altitude of 4270 meters near the Rohtang pass that connects district Kullu and Lahaul. Also known as Dashaur and Sarkund this attractive lake has a depth of 3 meters.



 
Seruvalsar Lake
Seruvalsar Lake is situated at an altitude of 3100 meters in Kullu district, about 20 kms. from Ani in the direction of the Jalori pass. This lake has a picturesque setting amidst pine forest.


Prashar Lake
Prashar Lake is situated at an altitude of 2730 meters in Mandi district, about 40 kms. from Mandi town. The deep blue water at this beautiful lake is held sacred to the sage Prashar. A three tiered Pagoda-li


Bhrigu Lake
Bhrigu Lake is situated at an altitude of 4235 meters in Kullu district. This lake lies east of the Rohtang Pass and is about 6 kms. from the village of Gulaba. The shores of this clear water lake are devoid of human habitation, yet it is visited regularly by the people of the area and is held sacred to 'Rishi' Brighu. It also lies on several trek routes of the region.                  

Manimahesh Lake 
Manimahesh Lake is situated at an altitude of 4080 meters in Chamba district, 35 kms. from Bharmaur. This lake is held sacred to Lord Shiva. This lake in the Bundhil valley at the foot of Manimahesh ranges. The peaks of Manimahesh Kailash is regarded as one of the mythical abodes of Shiva. This is the venue of annual Manimahesh Yatra.                  

Nako Lake

Nako Lake is located at an altitude of 3662 meters in the Pooh sub-division of Kinnaur district. The lake is surrounded by willow and poplar trees and the village seems to be half buried by the lake's borders. On the northern side, are four Buddhist temples with stucco image impressions ascribed to saint Padmasambhava.




 
Suraj Tal Lake
Suraj Tal Lake is situated at an altitude of 4950 meters below the summit of the Baralacha pass in the Lahaul division of district Lahaul and Spiti. The Baralacha connects Mandi and Lahaul to Ladakh and the lake which draws a considerable number of visitors, especially in summer, lies by its head. This is the source of river Bhaga.


Chandra Tal Lake
Chandra Tal Lake is situated at an altitude of 4300 meters and 6 kms. from the Kunzum Pass in Lahaul and Spiti district that connects Spiti and Lahaul areas. Surrounded by snows and acres of scree, this deep blue-water lake has a circumference of 2.5 km. This is the source of the river Chandra. According to some believers, this is the spot from where the god Indra's chariot took the eldest Pandava brother, Yudhishtra to 'Swarga' (heaven) in his mortal form.



 

Gobind Sagar
Gobind Sagar Lake is the vast reservoir in the Bilaspur and Una. The Gobind Sagar Lake on river Sutlej, has been created by the huge hydel dam at Bhakra and is named in honour of Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru. One of the world's highest gravity dams, the Bhakra rises 225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Under the supervision of the famous American dam-builder, Harvey Slocum, work began in 1955 and was completed in 1962. Incidentally, Slocum had no formal training as an engineer, but his conceptions and designs have proven successful. To maintain the level of water, the flow of river Beas was also channeled to Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej link which was completed in 1976. Today, this dam feeds electricity and water to a large area the Gobind Sagar reservoir is 90 km. long and encompasses an area of approximately 170 square km. There are provisions for water sports, speed boats and ferry rides. In October and November, when the water level of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also organized by the department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water scooter racing are popular water sports activities during this period.

Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake
Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake is located in Kangra district, about 110 kms. from the district headquarters Dharamshala. The lake was named in honour of great patriot Maharana Pratap (1572 - 97 AD). Maharana Pratap Sagar was once known as Pong Dam Reservoir. Its reservoir has an area of 45,000 hectares at maximum flooding, the level varies with every season and average around 30,000 hectares. The settlements of Nagrota Suriyan and Jawalaji are located on the Sagar’s periphery. Over 200 villages with a population of 85,000 people are scattered along the wetland. In 1983, the Sagar was declared a wildlife sanctuary and over 220 species of birds belonging to 54 families have been sighted over the waters like black headed gulls, plovers, terns, ducks and 27 Species and sub species of fish belonging to six families. The land portion of the sanctuary has barking dear, sambar, wild boar, leopard. There is a branch of Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at the Sagar and various activities include swimming, water skiing, surfing, rowing and sailing. The Directorate of Tourism and Civil Aviation provides various equipment at the Sagar like sail boats, paddle boats, speed aero boats. Various courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced are also conducted at the Sagar.
                  
Dal Lake

Dal Lake is situated at an altitude of 1775 meters in Kangra district, about 11 kms. from Dharamshala. This lake is surrounded by deodar trees. This sacred lake has a small Shiva temple on its banks. The banks of the lake are enlivened during September by a fair attended by a large number of Gaddi folk.




 

Hindu Pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh



Temples


Temples in Himachal Pradesh
 
Himachal was known since the earliest of times as "Devabhoomi", the abode of the Gods. The splendid heights of the Himalayan ranges, with its great scenic beauty and aura of spiritual calm seem the natural home of the Gods. Two thousands or more temples all over the State, reiterate this fact. Being a State full of isolated valleys and high ranges, several different styles of temple architecture developed and there are temples with carved stone Shikharas, pagoda style shrines, temples that look like Buddhist Gompas or Sikh Gurudwaras etc. Several of them are important places of pilgrimage and each year attract thousands of devotees from all over the country.

Jwalamukhi Temple
The Jwalamukhi temple is perched on a ridge called Kali dhar. The shrine has a gilt dome and soaring pinnacles. Inside is a square pit, three feet deep with a pathway all around. The rock in the middle has a crack, through which a gas is emitted, and on lighting it the gas bursts out into a huge flame, the priest keeps applying the flame to the gas - which is seen as a blessing of the deity. The shrine has no idol as such, the emanation of the gas is believed to be a manifestation of the goddess Jwalaji. The nine flames have been named after goddesses - Mahakali, Unpurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi. Jwalamukhi is said to be the spot where the half-burnt tongue of Sati fell, hence the burning flames or 'tongues' of fire. During the Mughal period, a fervent devotee from Delhi, Dhianu Bhagat visited the temple, alongwith several others. Emperor Akbar, his curiousity aroused at such an exodus from his capital, followed Bhagat. He tried to put the flames out but failed. Later Akbar visited the temple with Jodha Bai and presented a solid gold umbrella to the shrine, which can be seen even to this day. The King of Nepal presented a magnificent bell, which adorns the front hall. Milk and water is offered to the flames, the 'puja' going on for the whole day.

Brajeshwari Temple
 The Brajeshwari Devi temple, located in the old Kangra township, is said to have been built over the charred breasts of Sati. This shrine, once renown for its great wealth, has been plundered relentlessly over the ages. The first of the plunderers was Mahmud of Ghazni, who looted it in 1009. A mosque was built on the ruins and a garrison was left behind. 35 years later, the local king regained its possession. The shrine was repaired and a replica of the idol was enshrined. The temple was filled with gold, silver and diamonds only to be ransacked again in 1360 by Firoz Tughlaq. Later Emperor Akbar visited the shrine with his dewan, Todar Mal and restored it to its former grandeur. The temple was razed to the ground by an earthquake in 1905, but a new one came up the very same year, thanks to the Kangra Restoration Committee.


Nalana Devi Temple
 The Naina Devi temple is located atop a hill, commanding an awesome view of the Punjab plains on one side and the Gobind Sagar lake on the other. This is the spot where Sati's eyes - nain - are believed to have fallen. Some devotees cover the last few miles of the climb up crawling, this method is called 'sashtang dandvata'. The puja is performed by thirty priests. The temple is also frequented by Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh is believed to have spent some days here.

The Chintpurni temple stands on the spot where the charred feet of Sati fell. The 'Pindi' or the stone hall symbolises her feet. The Chintpurni 'mantra' is very popular with devotees. In recent years the temple has been renovated with the help of major donations from devotees all over the country.

 


 
Baijnath
Baijnath is close to Palampur and Kangra. The ancient Baijnath temple is particularly beautiful. Built of stone in the 9th century AD, in the shikhara style, it is a fine blend of sculpture and architecture. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

Chamunda Devi Temple
Chamunda Devi Temple is located in Dharamshala (Kangra). It is an enchanting spot with glorious views of the mountains, the Baner Khud, Pathiar and Lahla forest.                  


Lakshmi Narayan Temple
The Lakshminarayan group of temples in the town of Chamba are of great archaeological importance. Six stone temples dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu with tall shikaras, finely carved, date from the 8th century AD. The Lakshminarayan Temple is the oldest in this group. Other temples around Chamba town include, those dedicated to Hari Rai, Champavati, Bansigopal, Ram Chandra, Brijeshwari, Chamunda, Narsingh, and Yogi Charpat Nath.                  

Chaurasi Temples

The 9th century temples at Bharmaur are among the most important early Hindu temples in the Chamba Valley. According to legend, 84 (chaurasi) yogi's visited Bharmaur, capital of King Sahil Varma. They were so pleased with the king's humility and hospitality that they blessed him with ten sons and a daughter, Champavati. A cluster of shrines commemorates that visit. The temple square is the Centre of all activities in the little town of Bharmaur and the Lakshmi, Ganesh, Manimahesh and Narsing temples, the main shrines, are splendidly set off by the dramatic mountainscape.
Chattari Temples

Not far from Bharmaur (Chamba) is the Chattari Temple with early examples of carved wood and an 8th century brass image of Shakti.

Mani Mahesh

The Manimahesh Lake, high up in the mountains near Bharmaur, is an important place of pilgrimage. The solitary Manimahesh Kailash Peak- the legendary abode of Shiva, is reflected in its still waters. A little temple in the shikhara style with an exquisite brass image of Lakshmi Devi as Mahishasuramardini stands near-by. Every year, following Janmashtami, the annual Manimahesh Yatra is undertaken. The pilgrimage starts from Chamba from the Lakshaminarayan Temple and devotees wend their way up the arduous track from Bharmaur to take a sacred dip in the waters of the lake.

Mandi

Mandi has a picturesque group of ancient stone temples with tall vimanas, splendidly located below the town on the banks of the foaming river. The Tarna Devi Temple (Mandi), a new shrine up on a hill, overlooks the town and valley.

Rewalsar

In Rewalsar, around a natural lake with a floating island are a Shiva temple - the Lomesh Rishi Temple, Guru Govind Singh's gurdwara and a Buddhist monastery founded by Guru Padmasambhava. This place is visited by people of three faiths.

Prashar Temple

Prashar Temple, built in the 14th century, is a shrine where the rulers of Mandionce worshipped. The pagoda-style temple stands in the little green hollow around the Prashar lake, above the town of Pandoh. The views of the mountains are spectacular.

Shikari Devi

It is possible to trek up to Shikari Devi from Janjheli and Karsog (Mandi). Through the forests of assorted trees and shrubs - which include several medicinal herbs - two separate trek routes lead up to this ancient shrine located at the crown of the hill. Hunters in the area once prayed to the Goddess for success in their hunt - and here, perhaps, lies the origin of the name 'Shikari Devi'. The Goddess is worshipped in the form of a stone image. Interestingly, the temple which is said to have been in existence since the time of the Pandavas, has no roof - for local legend has it, that all attempts to build one have been unsuccessful.

Raghunathji Temple

Raghunathji Temple was built in 1651 by the Raja of Kullu. The temple has an image of Raghunathji that was brought from Ayodhya. During the Kullu Dussehra, all the temples in the area send their deities to pay homage to Raghunathji at Kullu.

Bijli Mahadev Temple

Bijli Mahadev Temple is an unusual temple dedicated to Shiva, the Lord of lightning. This temple is located on a height overlooking the Kullu and Parvati valleys. A 60 feet staff above the temple attracts divine blessing in the form of lightning and breaks the stone linga in the sanctum.

Dhoongri Temple

Dhoongri Temple or Hadimba Temple stands sheltered in grove of tall deodar at Manali (Kullu). This four tiered pagoda temple, is embellished in finely carved wood. It is dedicated to Hadimba Devi, wife of the Pandava, Bhim.

Bhimkali Temple

Bhimkali Temple is a marvelous example of hill architecture. The temple complex at Sarahan is set against the incredibly beautiful backdrop of high ranges and forested slopes. Built in a mixture of the Hindu and Budhists styles, it was the temple of Bushair rulers of Rampur (Shimla). The palaces of the royal family are adjacent to the temple. From Sarahan there is a view of the Srikhand Peak, revered as the home of goddess Lakshmi.

Hatkoti

Along the River Pabbar, in Hatkoti, about 104 km from Shimla, is the temple dedicated to Durga and Shiva. The gods are said to have fought a pitched battled at this spot.

Jakhu and Sankat Mochan

Jakhu and Sankat Mochan temples, which are close to Shimla offers a commanding views of the hills.

Naina Devi Temple

Naina Devi Temple is located on a hill, close to Bilaspur and Kiratpur (34 km). A colourful fair, the Shravana Astami Mela is held in July-August.

Chintpurni

A popular place of pilgrimage, Chintpurni is about 75 km from the town of Una and 100 km from Jalandhar. A winding road goes up to the temple dedicated to Bhagwati Chinmastika or Chinpurni - the goddess who grants all wishes.

Renuka

The Renuka temple, dedicated to the immortal Renuka, stands near the picturesque Renuka Lake in Sirmour.

Trilokpur

About 25 km from Nurpur (Kangra), at the confluence of the Bohar and Bhali streams, is another sacred spot popular with pilgrims of various faiths. There is a Hindu temple, a Buddhist monastery, a gurdwara and a mosque at Trilokpur.

Baba Balak Nath Temple

Baba Balak Nath Temple is a cave temple located in Deothsidth, in the Dhaulagiri Hills of Hamirpur. This is a noted place of pilgrimage. People come here to seek the blessing of Baba Balak Nath whose image is located in the cave.  

Shiva Temple, Patlian
What is fascinating about this shrine is, that the linga enclosed within the sanctum is said to be steadily increasing in size.
Bhootnath Temple : It is as old as the town Mandi itself and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For and entire week the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.
Syamakall Temple : Also called the temple of Tarna Devi, this is high on Tarna hill which rises above the town. In the 17th century this was built by Raja Syama Sen after a perticularly tring time when the goddess gave him success.
It is set on a spur that offers some spectacular views. The temple is famous for its high staff that periodically draws lightning which shatters the Shivlinga and scorches the building. Using only butter as adhesive, the linga is then carefully pieced together by the temple pundit.
Ram temple : This is located near the Yamuna bridge. With exquisite marble work,
this was built in 1889 in memory of raja Partap Chand of Kangra by his wife who originally belonged to Sirmour
Shiva Temple : Surrounded by fields and sal trees, the linga in this temple is supposed to be steadily increasing in size.
 Katasan Devi Temple : Also known as Uttam Wala Bara Ban, this is on the Paonta Sahib - Nahan road. This shrine is revered by local people. At this spot, the forces of sirmour defeated the maruding armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan Rohiolla.




Sikh Pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh


Sikh in Himachal Pradesh
 

 The Sikhs came to the Shivalik Hills, in Himachal Pradesh in 1695, at the invitation of the ruler of Sirmaur, to help him fight the Mughals. Guru Gobind Singh with his army, settled in Paonta Sahib in the foothills. During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, at the end of the 18th century, many of the western hill states also came under Sikh sovereignty.



 

Paonta Sahib
Paonta Sahib is the main centre of Sikh pilgrimage in Himachal. The gurdwara picturesquely located on the banks of the River Yamuna in district Sirmour, is venerated due to its association with Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru. In March, an important fair is held and the holy Granth Sahib is taken out in procession.




Rewalsar
The Gurudwara at Rewalsar, near Mandi, is located on the periphery of a lake sacred to both the Hindus and Buddhists as well.

Manikaran

The serene location and the seemingly mysterious hot springs made Manikaran in Kullu, a place of pilgrimage in earlier times. Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs, visited this place to spend time in meditation. A Gurudwara that was built to commemorate his visit, is now a place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs.                  

The remote valleys of Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur have strong Buddhist traditions. Splendid gompas, Buddhist monasteries, built along mountains seem to be a part of the rugged terrain. These are the repositories of a wealth of Buddhist art and culture. The dim, cool interiors of ancient monasteries glow with the brilliance of painted murals, stuccos and elaborate thangkas framed with rich borders of silk. Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama has settled in exile, is a marvelous Tibetan township where an entire cultural tradition is being nurtured. It is a centre that attracts scholars, pilgrims and tourists.

Buddhist Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh
 





Kye Monastery
Kye Monastery is situated 12 kms. north of Kaza in Lahaul and Spiti district and serves the western population of Spiti. It is the oldest and biggest monastery of the valley and located above Kye village. It houses beautiful scriptures and paintings of Buddha and other goddesses. Lamas practice dance, sing and play on pipes and horns. Relegious training to Lama's is imparted here. It has murals and books of high value.



Rewalsar
Rewalsar is the most sacred spot for Buddhists in Himachal Pradesh, about 20 km south west of Mandi. According to legend, Guru Padmasambhava departed for Tibet from this beautiful spot, to spread the 'dharma'. A pagoda-style monastery stands along the edge of the lake.



Guru Ghantal Monastery
Guru Ghantal Monastery is situated on the right bank of Chandra river about 4 kms. above Tandi and is believed to be the oldest Gompa of Lahaul having wooden structure with pyramidal roofs, wood carving, preserving the idols of Padmasambhava and Brajeshwari Devi. On the full moon night in mid-June a festival called "GHANTAL" is celebrated by Lamas and Thakurs together.

Khardong Monastery

Khardong Monastery is about 5 kms. from Keylong across Bhaga river. It is believed to be built in 12th century. This monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti.

Shashur Monastery

Shashur Monastery is situated on a hill about 3 kms from Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district towards north. During June/ July this monastery attracts a large number of visitors when Lamas perform the devil dance. It was founded in the 17th century AD. It belongs to red hat sect and is located among the blue pines. The paintings represent the history of 84 Buddhas.

Tayul Gompa

Tayul Gompa is 6 kms. from Keylong in the Lahaul and Spiti district and is one of the oldest monasteries of the valley having a huge statue of Guru Padmasamhava about 5 m high and houses library of Kangyur having 101 volumes. In Tibetan language Ta-Yul means the chosen place. 

Thang Yug Gompa
Thang Yug Gompa is located 13 kms. above Kaza in Lahaul and Spiti serving western part of central Spiti. Situated in a secluded place in the narrow gauge of Kaza Nallah, it generally has a Lama from Tibet. Above this there is a long plateau which leads to Shilla peak.

Kungri Gompa

Kungri Gompa is situated in the Pin valley about 10 kms. from Attargo where Spiti river has to be crossed to enter Pin valley. It serves the population of Pin valley.

Dhankar Monastery

Dhankar Monastery is situated about 25 kms. east of Kaza and serves eastern part of central Spiti. Dhankar is a big village and erstwhile capital of Spiti King. On top of a hill there is a fort which used to be a prison in olden times. The Monastery has about 100 Lamas and is in position of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti language. Principal figure is a Statue of "Vairochana" (Dhayan Buddha) consisting of 4 complete figures seated back to back. It has relics in the shape of paintings and sculptures.

Tabo Monastery

Tabo Monastery is another large gompa serving the population of eastern side. It has its origin in the tenth century old and is located 50 kms. from Kaza in Lahaul and Spiti district. In fame it is next to Tholing Gompa in Tibet. It has about 60 Lamas and houses a large collection of Scriptures, wall paintings etc. Murals of this gompa have similarity to that of the Ajanta paintings.

Nako

The legendary footprints of the Guru Padamsambhava are enshrined at the Lotsabaage Monastery at Nako. This high altitude village in Kinnaur is located near a limpid lake.

Tashigang Gompa

Tashigang Gompa can be visited by taking diversion from Khab to Namgya and then trekking to the Gompa.

Tilasangh Monastery

Tilasangh Monastery is 12 km. short of Yangthang, about 1 km. trek from Ka.


 Christian Pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh

Chrischiyanity Himachal Pradesh
 
 Christianity made a late appearance in Himachal Pradesh, after the arrival of the British. The churches here are not more than 150 years old. Tall churches-the relics of the Raj, are found mainly in the small hill stations that the British created as summer retreats.
Kasauli

Still unspoiled and very much as the British left it fifty years ago, Kasauli (Solan) has a fine old church. The Christ Church, is a typically Anglican structure of the period. Its foundation stone was laid in 1844. Well proportioned, its spires, buttresses and gothic arches are framed against the stately deodars.

Shimla

The Christ Church, with its tall spire dominates the ridge in Shimla. This imposing structure is visible from as far away as Tara Devi, 8 km away. It was built in 1844, when Shimla was slowly coming into its own as the premier hill station of India. The Christ Church was designed to accommodate the entire Shimla congregation. Various memorials and stained glass windows fill the somber interior with colour and light. The first Catholic edifice of Shimla, St. Michael's Church, was built in 1850, at the western end of the Lower Bazaar. Later additions have made it an unusual piece of architecture. Inside the church are five marble altars, all brought from Italy in 1855 and fine stained glass windows.

Dharamshala

The stone church of St. John lies on a motorable road between Mcleodganj and Forsyteganj, about 8 kms. from Lower Dharamshala (Kangra). It has a monument of Lord Elgin, one of the viceroys of India, who died in Dharamshala and was buried here.

Dalhousie

Dalhousie is another hill station with a number of old churches. The church near the G.P.O. looks untouched by time. It has an angular roof of inter-leafed hexagonal slates. The Catholic church of St. Francis, built in 1894, is set against a backdrop of tall pines overlooking the Subash Chowk.





Forts of Himachal Pradesh

Forts in Himachal Pradesh
 
Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful state of India, full of historical and mythological legends that speak volumes of its royal past. The state boasts a number of heritage forts and monuments that have stood their ground against enemies and witnessed the tumultuous times. Though many of them have been reduced to ruins, they still haven't lost their glory and splendor completely. In the following lines, we have provided information on the important forts of Himachal Pradesh.

Arki Fort
Situated at a distance of approximately 40 km from Shimla, Arki is a small town in the Solan district that was once the capital of the princely state of Baghal. Gurkhas trying to invade the city used Arki Fort as their stronghold during the Gurkha Wars that went on till 1815-16.

Kamru Fort
 Kamru fort is 229 km from Shimla and 2 km from the beautiful Sangla Valley. The fort is set in a picturesque location and is entered through a series of gates. At the main gate of the Kamru Fort, a stunning image of Lord Buddha greets youThe Kamru fort is a silent sentinel, situated at a fearsome altitude of 2,600m above the sea level. This place is at a distance of 229-km from Shimla, and is a dense cluster of houses, surrounded by fields and orchards..

Kangra Fort
Kangra Fort was once the stronghold and seat of power of Katoch rulers, who ruled the land for over 2000 years. Today, it stands in ruins because of the devastating earthquake that hit the area in 1905. The location of the fort is such that it is inaccessible from three sides.

Nurpur Fort
Located 66 km from Dharamsala and 24 km from Pathankot, Nurpur Fort was constructed by Raja Basu more than one thousand years ago. Initially, it was known as Dhameri. However, Jehangir, the grandson of Mughal Emperor Akbar, later renamed it as 'Nurpur', in the honor of his beloved wife 'Noor Jehan'.

Sujanpur Fort
Situated in the Hamirpur district, Sujanpur Fort stands tall on the banks of River Beas. This fort, being perched on top of a hill, is popularly known as 'Tira' and was built by Raja Abhaya Chand in 1758. Raja Sansar Chand, known for his love and patronage of Kangra and Pahari School of miniature paintings, lived here in the early nineteenth century.

Gondla Fort
Perched at an altitude of 3160 m above sea level, Gondla Fort dates back to the year 1700. The fort is located in Tupchiling village, at a distance of 18 km from Keylong, and comes under Lahaul-Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. It used to serve as the residence of the Thakur of Gondhla. Gondhla castle has eight stories and stands tall on the right bank of River Chandra. The massive fort houses the residence of the royalty in the village. It is one of the most magnificent monuments in the entire Lahaul valley and is definitely worth visiting.
Viceregal Lodge

On the Observatory Hills is located Viceregal Lodge which is also called Rashtrapati Niwas. This magnificent building was the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin. The palatial building was the venue for many important decisions which changed fate of the sub-continent. This lodge was completed in 1888. It is said that every brick for the building was carried by mules. This is a six storey building is surrounded by well maintained gardens and lawns. A cafe is also there. The lodge has now been converted into Institute of Advanced study. The lodge is further 2 kms from state museum.




War Memorial

Location - Dharamsala
Located at the very start of the town amidst landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths filling a pine grove, is the memorial raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh.

Maharaja's Palace

The Maharaja of Chail built the Palace in Chail in 1891. The Maharaja's palace was converted into a heritage hotel when it was purchased by Himachal Tourism in 1972. It covers a wide area of 75 acres with a regal setting that offers spectacular views. You can have a perfect holiday at this majestic hill station in the luxurious and spacious rooms.

Arki Fort

Once the capital of the princely state of Baghal, Arki has witnessed a good measure of turbulence in this area. Arki became the stronghold of an invading force of Gurkhas during the 'Gurkha Wars' that ended in 1815-16. The highlight of the fort are its muralled interiors, executed in1850 under Raja Kishen Chand.

Sujanpur Fort

Close to the district border of Kangra, is the fort of Sujanpur. Built by Raja Abhaya Chand of Kangra in 1758, in the early nineteenth century, it was the home of the famous Raja Sansar Chand – renowned patron of the Kangra School of miniature paintings. The fort has a ‘Baradari Hall', where Sansar Chand used to hold court. There are also some shrines and excellent wall paintings within the fort.

Rang Mahal

In Chamba, situated the beautiful Rang Mahal palace, which was built by Raja Umed Singh in the mid 18th century. An interesting mix of colonial and Sarcenic architure styles, this palace is now counted among the heritage palace hotels of Himachal Pradesh. Exquisite examples of wall paintings in the Punjab Hills style, depicting the life and times of Lord Krishna embellish the walls of the palace. May be this is the reson why Rang Mahal is populalry known as "The Painted Palace".

Kangra Fort

The most important fort of the region, it is enclosed by high ramparts and its walls have a circumference of approximately 4 km. It was built about 1,000 years ago on the confluence of the Banganga and Manjhi rivers. Its various gates, shrines and remains of the old palaces are noteworthy.

Kuthar Fort

Within a short driving distance of Arki, and barely an hour away from the Jubbarhatti (Shimla) airport, is the fort of Kuthar. Its oldest sections are 800 years old while the most recent structures are barely eight decades old. Close-by are several scenic attractions like Kunihar, the Gurkha fort of Subathu and the hill station of Kasauli.


 
 
Monuments in Himachal Pradesh

War Memorial Himachal Pradesh
 

There are a number of monuments in Himachal Pradesh, comprising of colonial buildings, palaces and castles of the former rulers, memorial sites and Buddhist monasteries. Viceregal Lodge in Shimla, also known as 'Rashtrapati Niwas' deserves to be mentioned at the top of the list of such monuments. It houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies today. Other famous monuments in Himachal Pradesh are Norbulinka Institute of Tibetan Culture, Lord Elgin's Memorial Maharaja Palace of Chail, Rang Mahal of Chamba, Padam Palace of Rampur, Gurkha castles and forts, etc.

War Memorial
One of the major attractions of Dharamsala, the War Memorial reminds us of the post independence war heroes of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. These martyrs lost their lives in the Indo-China war of 1962, the Indo-Pak wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971 as well as the UN peace operations. Situated amidst lush green forests, the war memorial stands surrounded with narrow winding pathways and beautiful lawns.

Gurkha Castles
In the history of Himachal Pradesh, one finds a mention of the Gurkha rulers also. Gurkhas gained control over some princely states of Himachal and ruled them until 1815, when British drove them away from the region.

Viceregal Lodge
One of the most famous landmarks of Shimla, the Viceregal Lodge situated on the Observatory Hill and also known as the Rashtrapati Niwas now. The building lies at a distance of just 2 km from the Himachal State Museum.

Tabo Monastery
Tabo Monastery is situated in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. The great teacher and translator Rinchen Zangpo founded the monastery in 996 AD and till today, it holds the distinction of being the largest monastic complex in the Spiti region.

Rang Mahal
Built by Raja Umed Singh in the mid-18th century, Rang Mahal is also known as the 'Painted Palace'. It is situated at Chamba and was meant to serve as the residence of the royal women. The influence of Mughal, Colonial and Saracenic architectural style can be seen in its construction.

Padam Palace
Situated at a distance of approximately 125 km from Shimla is Padam Palace, one of the major attractions of Rampur. It once served as the Winter Capital of the former princely state of Bushair. Raja Padam Singh laid the foundation the palace on the left bank of River Satluj in the year 1919.

Norbulingka Institute
Situated at a distance of 4 km from Dharamsala, Norbulinka Institute has a mission to preserve and promote. It is a picture of old rural Tibet with all its shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams and tiny water falls, along with wooden carvings, Tibetan Thangka paintings, Tibetan handicrafts and arts.

Chail Palace
Situated at an altitude of 2250 m, Chail is a very small but delightful hill resort. One of its major attractions is the Chail Palace, constructed by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala in 1891, as his residence.

Namgyal Monastery
Sonam Gyatso, the third Dalai Lama, founded Namgyal Monastery in the year 1575. During that time, it was situated at the Potala Palace in Tibet. Its purpose was to assist the Dalai Lama in his spiritual duties and public religious activities.




Museums In Himachal Pradesh




Museum Himachal Pradesh
 
Museums of Himachal Pradesh offer us an insight into the history and the cultural heritage of the state. They take us back to the royal times and throw light on the lifestyle that was prevalent then. Some of the best-known museums of Himachal Pradesh are the Bhuri Singh Museum at Chamba, Roerich Art Gallery and Uruswati Himalayan Folk Art Museum at Naggar, Kangra Art Museum, Shimla State Museum, etc. In this article, we have provided information on almost all these museums.

Bhuri Singh Museum
Bhuri Singh Museum was inaugurated on 14th September 1908, during the reign of Raja Bhuri Singh. Infact, the museum has been named after the king only. Situated close to Chaugan town of Chamba, it was initially started with the paintings donated by Raja Bhuri Singh.

Kangra Art Museum
Situated in Kotwali Bazaar of Dharamsala, Kangra Art Gallery was inaugurated in 1990. It houses an impressive collection of arts, crafts, artifacts, costumes and other treasures, which can be traced to as far back as 5th century.

Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) is situated at McLeodganj town of Dharamsala. It was founded by the 14th Dalai Lama and serves as an institution to preserve and promote Tibetan culture.

Roerich Art Gallery
Nicholas Roerich was a Russian who settled down in the beautiful hills of the Himalayas after the revolution of 1917. He was a gifted painter, who dreamt of unifying the world through art. Roerich Art Gallery is set amidst well-tended gardens and has the perfect setting for the display of art.

Shimla State Museum
Shimla State Museum is set on top of a hill, above the Chaura Maidan at Shimla. It is housed in a colonial building, known as Inverarm. One has to hike about 1500 m to reach the colonial mansion housing the museum, but the rich collection exhibited here definitely makes it worth the effort.

Uruswati Himalayan Folk Art Museum
Situated in Naggar, within the premises of the Roerich estate, Uruswati Himalayan Folk Art Museum is just 100 m uphill from the Nicholas K. Roerich Art Gallery. Professor and Madame Nicholas Roerich set it up in 1928, as the Research Institute of Naggar.

 Shimla State Museum (Shimla) The State museum has a good collection of statues, coins, photos and other items from around Himachal Pradesh. There is also a useful Library, full of historical books.


Kangra Art Museum (Kangra)

Located just above the Kotwali Bazaar, the gallery houses a collection of of Kangra's famous miniature paintings, a range of sculpture, ancient pottery, tapestries and anthropological items that date back to the 5th century.


Bhuri Singh Museum (Chamba)

Named after Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba, the museum displays old copper plate grants and title deed, miniature paintings, bronzes, embroidered textiles, jewellery, coins, arms and armour, decorative objects and carved doors from the old palaces are also on display.

Nicholas Roerich Museum (Kullu)

Paintings of Nicholas Roerich, a Russian emigre who settled in Naggar after the Revolution of 1917, are on display at this gallery.

Gurkha Castles



Gurkha Castle


In the history of Himachal Pradesh, one finds a mention of the Gurkha rulers also. Gurkhas gained control over some princely states of Himachal and ruled them until 1815, when British drove them away from the region. Gurkha forts and castles are reminiscent of their regime and form an important part of the architectural heritage of the state. One can still find these monuments, some still standing strong and some in ruins, in Bilaspur, Shimla, Sirmour and Solan districts, as evidences of Gurkha presence in the region.

Dhar Mountain Fort
Situated on top of Dhar Mountain, at an altitude of about 7000 ft above the sea level, Dhar Mountain Fort now stands mostly in ruins. It is about 200 years old and was built to commemorate the victory of Gurkhas over the state of Bhagat. The main entrance of the fort faces east and leads to a gallery-like hall, with a water tank in the center. The upper storey has a very low ceiling, which was meant to allow the soldiers to fight the enemies in a crawling position while being protected against them. To the east of the third hall is a dark oval shaped room.

Malaon Castle
Malaon Castle, built by Amar Singh Thapa, is situated near Nalagarh, in Solan district. He built it as he advanced to expand his territory into the western hill states. In 1915, his Major General, Bhakti Thapa, was killed and defeated at the hands of the British Army, led by Major General David Ochterlony. The Major then forced Amar Singh Thapa to leave Ramgarh Fort and find a sanctuary at Malaon Castle.

Gurkha Fort of Banasar
Another Gurkha Fort is situated near the village of Banasar, situated at a distance of 22 km from the Kalka-Shimla National Highway. The Gurkha Fort of Banasar is more than 150 years old.

Gurkha Fort of Subathu
Gurkha Fort of Subathu is approximately 70 km from Malaon. One of its most popular attractions comprise of the cannons that were once used at Malaon Fort. These cannons are more than 180 years old and are now used by the 14 Gurkha Training Center of the Indian Army.


 Activities in Himachal Pradesh









Exploring

Exploring some of the finest places and major attractions in India has been a common phenomenon among tour enthusiasts. In fact, 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.

Right from hill stations to pilgrimage sites, adventures sports destinations, rich culture and heritage, festivals, celebrations and wildlife sanctuaries, the state has a lot to explore. Some of the most amazing places and attractions to explore in Himachal Pradesh are:

Chail
Chail, an awesome hill station in Himachal bewitches you with its temples, palaces, natural beauty and landscape and a number of tourist attractions such as the renowned Chail Cricket Ground, the highest cricket ground in the world, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir, Maharaja’s Palace, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, etc. that together make it a worth visiting place...
Chail, the most amazing and picturesque hill stations in Himachal Pradesh has been the ever shining star in India tourism. Located at the distance of around 45 km from Shimla, the beautiful tourist destination attracts tourists from all over the country and worldwide.

This beautiful hill station that once used to be a simple and serene village today stands as a paradigm of beauty and serenity. The region is drenched in the most colorful hues of tranquility and material peace that go hand in hand. Chail is what calls every one a true paradise for travelers. The hill-station is nothing less than the Promised Land that every voyager longs for and wishes to visit.
Tourist Places in Chail
As far as tourist attraction and tourist places in Chail are concerned, they are abundant in number. Some of the picturesque places include Sidhi Baba kaMandir, Maharaja’s Palace, Chail wildlife sanctuary and cricket grounds are names a few that are famous to visit in hill station. It was the summer capital of king of Patiala named Maharaja Bhupendra Singh Ji. Later, the British Army Commander-in-Chief, Lord Kitchener sent Maharaja in Chail as his exile in the year of 1891.
Just like most of the famous attractions, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir is another highlight of Chail that every traveler must visit once. Another famous attraction here is the cricket ground that stands at a height of 2144 meter above sea level. The region is also home to some of the most varied species of flora & fauna like Ghoral, Khalij, Sambhar, Jungle Fowl, Cheer Pheasants and so on. The region is outnumbered with numerous trees and lush greenery that offers the most pleasant sight to every traveler.

How To Reah Chail By Air, Rail and Road
Shimla is very close to Chail at the distance of 45 kms. The capital city of Himachal Pradesh – Shimla has a domestic airport where there are regular flights from Delhi and other cities. Chandigarh is also another main airport at the distance of 120 km from Chail. You can take taxi from Shimla or other cities of Himachal Pradesh along with Chandigarh, Ambala and Delhi. Regular buses are also run by Himachal Roadways to Chail from Shimla, Dharmshala, Solan and other cities.





Chamba
Chamba’s charm is gets enriched with the lively River Ravi and Chamba’s art, culture, museums, temples as well as natural attractions are more than enough to let you glued to it. One can behold the arresting Dhgauladhar Ranges or can visit the Chaurasi Temple Complex or the famous Champavati Temple. People fond of historical findings can head towards the Bhuri Singh Museum...Mother Nature has gifted some parts of India with her true beauty that lies in everything. Himachal Pradesh – the home of snow, sky-touching mountain ranges, deep dense valleys, greenery and crystal clear water rivers, is also one of them. The small yet beautiful hill state in Northern Part of India is blessed with natural beauty that lies in Pine, Deodar, Apple and different other orchards and forest ranges, deep valleys, snow-capped mountain ranges, monasteries, rivers and a lot more. As far as Himachal Pradesh is concerned, it is a home to different world-famous hill stations. Among all the beautiful hill stations, the popularity graph of Chamba tourism is always found on ever increasing. Having been on the forefront in Himachal tourism map, Chamba Sightseeing is sure to attract honeymooners, nature tour lovers, adventure tour enthusiasts and those who want to spend some days in serenity. 

Chamba is one of the beautiful hill stations in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of around 1000 meter above sea level. The beautiful town and hill station is located on the South Bank of River Ravi. From every point like crest of mountains, from the bank river and other places, you will visit amazing beauty and the real image of Chamba tourism. In addition, there are also a number of tourist places in Chamba that draw the attention of tourists and persuade them to visit the attractions again and again. According to historical records available, it was an ancient Pahari capital that was established by King SahilVerma of Chamba in 920 A.D.

King gave the small town or capital name – Chamba on the name of her daughter Champawati. Moreover, he also built a temple after her daughter’s name. Still, you will see her statue in the temple. In other words, she is worshipped in the temple as Goddess Chamba where devotees from different parts of Himahcal Pradesh come to pay homage to her. Talking about places to visit in Chamba, they are in abundant and give enough reasons to stay for more days. In the real way, Chamba Sightseeing is showing you the real image of Chamba tourism.

Tourists Places in Chamba

Dhauladhar Range, PirPanjal Range, Zanskar Range are the main three mountain ranges that give a pleasing and amazing view to the hill station and add more spark in Chamba Sightseeing. Bhuri Singh Museum is one of the ancient museums in Himachal Pradesh that shows you the ancient artifacts. In addition, Minjar Fair is also famous to explore in Chamba. Chamba Devi temple is a must see tourist place in Chamba. Moreover, Chaurasi Temple is also another popular temple that is dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Goddess Lakshmi Devi. Bharmour town is also another popular place to visit in and around Chamba. 

How to Reach?
The beautiful hill station is at the distance of 116 km from Pathankot in Punjab, which is a main Railway junction. Delhi is at the distance of 580 km from Chamba for tourists who come by air. Gaggal airport in Kangra is also another main airport where there are regular flights from Delhi.
        


Dalhousie
Dalhouse appears to be extremely charming due to the existence of Kathlog, Balun, Porteyn, Moti Tibba and Bakrota hills. The hill station is ideal for honeymooners, who can explore it by visiting the spots such as the Laxmi Narayan Temple, Satdhara Springs, various churches, picnic spot named as Dalhousie Panchpula, Kalatop, etc. and add an extra glitter to their honeymoon and holidays.
Getting bored due to hectic schedule at workstation? Looking for some rehabilitation activities to rejuvenate your mind and body? Or do you want to spend time in the environment where no one comes between you and serenity? Well, in India you have a plenty of options, but choosing the right one matters a lot. If you are on the verge of choosing which place is perfect for you, then here the name of Dalhousie would be the right one. Being one of the picturesque hill stations in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie tourism has a magical charisma that is for sure to keep tourists spell bound. There are a number of places to visit in Dalhousie that will fill your life with new hopes, new energy and positiveness.

As far as Dalhousie Sightseeing is concerned, it will keep you spell bound. Just stand on the crest of any hill or explore the panoramic view from chopper or plane, you will be speechless. Greenery and dotted small houses, deep dense forest ranges, snow-capped mountain ranges and western edge of Dhauladhar mountain range of Himalayas will persuade you to visit tourist places in Dalhousie again and again. Located at different altitudes (6000 to 9000 feet or 2700 meter) above sea level, it is an ever-rising star in the Himachal tourism map where Mother Nature never sleeps.

Talking about the tourist places in Dalhousie, they are abundant in number. Panchpula waters, for instance is one fo the fascinating lake here that is perfect for water sports. On the other hand, the beauty of mesmerizing scenic landscape, area of karelanu and the natural springs of Karelanu will take you to the land of greenery and picturesque beauty.

In addition, some of the amazing and naturally rich tourist places to visit in Dalhousie include Bakrota Hills, Village Lohali, Gandhi Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Panchpula, Tibetan Market, Khajjar and the list goes on. Small and sloppy streets, roads, deep dense valleys, and the panoramic view with the presence of serenity also add more spark in the popularity of Dalhousie tourism and make it a must see hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh. If you stay for a few more days (two or three days or more), then visit other popular tourist places in Dalhousie that include Kalatop, DakshinaMurti, Shivkul, Norwood Paramdham, Laxmi Narayan Temple, St. Francis Church, Radha Swami SatsangBhawan, St john's Church, and the list goes on. Handicraft centers also make Dalhousie tourism shine on the global tourism map. For handmade chapels, woolen clothes, dolls, shawls and mats, it is the only destination in Himachal Pradesh.

Needless to say, Dalhousie sightseeing will keep you mesmerized for a long time and persuades you to visit the hill station again and again. Access to the beautiful hill station is also easy as it is very close to Pathankot that is the main railway junction in the state of Punjab. Chandigarh, Ambala, Shimla, etc are also the nearest cities and tourist destinations to visit Dalhousie sightseeing. So what you are waiting for, pack your bags to take a flight or train to visit tourist places in Dalhousie.    


Dharamshala
Dharamshala presents you with all the amazing charm of a hill resort. Dotted with awesome spots such as the St. John’s Church, Dal Lake, Kangra Art Museum, Namgyal Monastery, Nurpur Fort, Maharana Pratap wildlife Sanctuary, Chamund Devi Temple, etc., Dharamshal is there to fascinate you completely. No tourist can afford to miss out on exploring Dharamshala.Your planning for the next holidays is on cards; but confused where to go. Grand wedding celebration is over, now, it’s time to book the tickets for honeymoon or get an affordable yet luxurious honeymoon package for a place where you, your darling and the serenity come close to each other. You want to feel the presence of Mother Nature, but still not decided which place would be suitable for you. Such questions often come in mind and sometimes confuse you, when you plan to spend out the time in luxury for the rejuvenation of your body. But, you search ends here; you have a better place full of natural beauty to explore the true beauty of Mother Nature. The Northern Indian State – Himachal Pradesh is filled with hill stations that are globally famous and develop a unique image of Himachal Tourism on the global tourism map. Dharamshala tourism is also one of them.

Being an indispensable part of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala Sightseeing is sure to keep tourists, especially honeymooners, nature tour lovers and adventure tour enthusiasts spell bound. Surrounded by lush greenery, cool climate, deep dense forest ranges, snow-capped mountain ranges, monasteries, and crystal clear water sources like springs, fountains, rivers and lakes, Dharamshala tourism brings new energy, new hopes and pleasing experience to your life. The beautiful hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh is on different altitudes ranging from 1300 meter to 1700 meter. McLeodGanj is the main town that adds more spark in the popularity of Dharamshala tourism. A picturesque and eye-catching slope spread in an area of 8 km is Dharamshala that is also counted as the main hub of Tibet culture and Buddhism. There are a number of places to visit in Dharamshala that will keep nature tour enthusiasts and honeymooners spell bound.

Tourist Places in Dharamshala
Book Dharamshala tours for some more days as the entire hill station and its surrounding areas are full of natural beauty, golf courses, cricket stadium (the only one International cricket stadium in Himachal Pradesh) and a numebr of prehistoric to contemporary monuments. Chamunda Devi temple, Norbulinka institute, Nurpur Fort, St John's Church in Wilderness Dall Lake, e and MaharanaPratapSagar or Wild life sanctuary, are names a few that will be perfect time-spending destinations in the hill station. In addition, Kangra Art Museum, war memorial and Namgyal monastery are also must see tourist places in Dharamshala to explore.

How To Reah

Visiting tourist places in Dharamshala is without any doubt the right option of coming close to Mother Nature. Reaching to the popular hill station in Himachal Pradesh is also easy as it is at the distance of 95 km from Pathankot that is nearest rail junction to Dharamshala in the state of Punjab. Another narrow gauge line that joins Jogindernagar to Pathankot is also the right option of enjoying natural beauty of the valley. The narrow gauge line goes to Kangra from where Dharamshala is at the distance of around 17 km. Chandigarh, Jammu, Shimla and New Delhi are different airports to reach to the beautiful hill station. 
     


Kangra
Kangra is marked with the stunning views of the Dhauladhar Hills and the picturesque Kangra Valley. The place is marked with an array of attractions including the Jwalaji Temple surprising you with the natural flames emerging from the rocks, Brajesshwari devi Temple, etc. Adventure freaks can enjoy sports like rock climbing, fishing, trekking, mountaineering, etc., giving you a thrilling experience..One of the most beautiful hill stations of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra is renowned in history for being the capital city of the Chand dynasty. Being one of the most scenic valleys of the lower Himalayas, sheltered by the moving Dhauldhar hills, Kangra offers various adventure sports like trekking, rock climbing, mountaineering and fishing to the fun seekers.

Kangra is very famous for an historic temple namely Jwalaji Temple. Located 34 kms in the south of Kangra, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Jwalaji. A miracle in itself, it is perhaps the only temple in India where natural flames come out from nine different rocks in the temple.

Abundant historical evidences state the importance of this temple dating back to the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The emperor under the influence of his royalty tried to test the prowess of the Goddess. He tried enormous ways to extinguish the flames but in vain. At the end, bowing to the Goddess, he tried to please her with a Golden Chhatra. But the Goddess did not accept it and the Chhatra fell on the ground turning into a colossal metal, the compositions of which are yet unknown.

Brajeshwari Devi Temple is another tourist attraction at Kangra. This Temple is a witness to the devastation by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1009. In 1905, Kangra was destroyed by an earthquake. Rebuilt in 1920, Kangra still is a legendary pilgrimage centre of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra also has a legendry fort belonging to King Kotch. The fort is situated at a considerable height overlooking Ganga and Manjhi rivers.

How To Reach

Kangra is easily accessible from rest of the country. It is well connected by rail, road and air. The nearest airport is Gaggal airport which is at 13 kms from Kangra. Other important airports of major cities like Jammu 200 kms, Amritsar 208 kms and Chandigarh 255 kms are well connected from Kangra.

The nearest broad gauge railhead is at Pathankot which is 90 km from Kangra. A narrow gauge railway line between Pathankot and Jogindernagar passes via Kangra, 17 kms from Dharamshala.

Apart from rail and air, Kangra is also well connected by road. This town is easily accessible from major cities of the region. 

.Lahaul & Spiti

Lahul and Spiti showcase a number of heritage spots and primitive places. Here, you come across monasteries, lakes, valleys, rivers, gorges, mountains, temples, etc. that make the place completely arresting. One can explore the royal heritages of Gondla or can have the sacred essence of the Guru Ghantal Monastery. This makes Lahul and Spiti one of the best Himachal Pradesh tourist spots
Earlier Lahaul and Spiti were two different districts of the State of Himachal Pradesh, Kardang was the capital of Lahul and Dankar the capital of Spiti. Finally the two districts were merged and found status of a district in 1960.

The district is popular for its heritages and ancient places. Snow covered peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, speedy flowing rivers, attracting mountain lakes, striking temples and monasteries are the main tourist attractions in Lahaul and Spiti. This district also can be visited for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golfing.

Tibetan antelope, Tibetan argali, Kiangs, musk deer, and snow leopards are the rare animals which can be viewed in Lahaul and Spiti. Popular as the oldest monastery in the Lahaul valley, Guru Ghantal monastery is a wooden structure with pyramidal roof. The annual festival of Ghantal is celebrated in mid June with high spirit.

Keylong is a one of the most tourist attractions in Lahaul and Spiti. This place is a district headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti. Gondla is another tourist attraction near Lahaul and Spiti. This region offers some royal heritages. In Gondla, the eight storeyed house of the thakur of Gondla is a popular heritage to visit. This monument called the Gondla Castle or fort was constructed in the 17th century.

Hoe To Reach to Lahaul & Spiti Valleys

Lahaul and Spiti is well connected through rail, road and air network. Lahaul and Spiti is well connected from major cities of state like Manali, Pangi & Leh and so on. From here, buses and taxis are available to reach Lahaul and Spiti.

Lahaul and Spiti can be reached from shimla via Kinnaur because; Shimla is well connected through rail, road and air from rest of the state. Lahaul and Spiti can also be reached by Manali via Rohtang Pass because; Manali is connected by rail, road and air.
Palampur
Palampur is rich with its tea gardens and has the beauty of the Dhauladhar Hills. Here, you find valleys, mountains, lush greenery and attractions including Mata Bundla Temple, Newgal Park, Saurab Kaliya Ban Vihar, St. John’s Church, Neugal Khad, etc., that together form the wonders to be explored in Palampur.....Entire Himachal Pradesh is full of lush green forest ranges, valleys, snow covered mountain ranges and rich flora and fauna. Palampur is also one of those beautiful places that attract people from all parts of the country and even from other parts of the world. Every year, thousands of honeymooners, nature lovers and couples prefer to explore the rich beauty of the small hill station yet beautiful city. Deriving the beautiful name from the popular word “Palum” that means plenty of water or abundant water. The most amazing city is located at the altitude of 1220 meters near Dhauladhar range just 35 km from Dharamshala.

As far as the history of Palampur is concerned, it was unknown until the superintendent of biotechnological gardens, Mr Dr. Jameson who are also known to be the revolution person of Tea Plantation from Almpra in the year of 1849. According to history, this tea plantation was also considered as the main point that attracted European Tea Estate owners. And since then the place is known to be the tea capital of North India that is surrounded by tea gardens. In addition to the tea plantation, the estate and Palampur is also famous for ancient architectural wonders. And it is due to the fact of the influx of tourist and tea estate owners from Europe who developed their residential and commercial buildings.

Before the arrival of Europeans, it was the kingdom of Sikhs, the most stunning hill stations of Jalandhar. Today, Palampur has become the major tourist attraction and hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Today, the place and its surrounding area is full of major attractions that keep tourists mesmerized for a long time and persuade them to come here again and again. Talking about attractions in Palampur deeply, then Newgal Park is one of the main places to explore in Palampur that comes in the way of Mata Bundla Temple. In addition to this, Neugal Khad or Small River and Sourab Kaliya Ban Vihar are also worthwhile to explore in the city and hill station. In addition to this, St John Church is also an attractive place in Palampur. It was rebuilt in 1929 that is very close to the Government College.

How To Reach
 The popular hill station of Palampur is very close to all the major hill stations and cities of Himachal Pradesh. Palampur is also very close to Gaggal airport in Kangra that is only 37 m from Palampur. However, it is well connected via rail and road to all the major cities of the country. Phathankot is the very close railway station to the hill station of Palampur. Moreover, Moranda is only four km from the hill station of Palampur. Moreover, Palampur is also well connected to Dharamshala ( 40 kms), Kangra (40 kms) Kullu (165 kms), Mandi (96 kms) and Shimla (259 kms).

In addition to this, there are also a number of hotels, resorts, lodges and other accommodation options here. There are also a number of restaurants and other local Dhabas where you can enjoy the best food of Himachal Pradesh. So what you are waiting for, come to Palampur and enjoy the natural beauty here. 

Kasauli

Kasauli is filled with the natural serenity, lush greenery and bunches of flowers. People visiting Kasauli can enjoy the chance of exploring the tourist places of Himachal Pradesh such as Monkey Point, Dharampur, Dagshai, Sabathu, Sanawar, etc., that take you amidst the tranquility and beauty of Nature. One just can’t remain bereaved of exploring it...If describe the beauty and presence of Mother Nature in words in the Northern Indian state Himachal Pradesh, words would be short. The entire state with its borders to Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and International border to Tibet and Nepal, the snow-capped state is home to lush greenery, natural beauty, deep dense forest ranges, apple orchards, ancient temples, churches, prehistoric monuments and above all springs, fountains and crystal clear rivers. Not forget to mention the names of snow-capped mountain ranges of Himalaya, lakes, sloppy mountains, adventure tour spots. Hill stations of the state are also must see destination that make the entire state an ideal place to visit. Amid abundant options to explore, the name of Kasauli tourism cannot be forgotten. Being one of the picturesque places to explore, Kasauli sight seeinghas something magical that leave one speechless and spellbound. 

The beautiful hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh has something for every tour enthusiast. Whether you are planning your honeymoon, a trip with your darling, family holidays, weekend holidays, rejuvenation trip or want to come close to Mother Nature, Kasauli sightseeing will fulfill your requirements in the most effective way. Located at an altitude of around 1950 meter above sea level, the beautiful hill station is very close to the well-planned city of Chandigarh. 

However, journey from Delhi also take around five hours to explore tourist places in Kasauli. The town and the hill station also hold the title of highest brewery and distillery in the world. Places to visit in Kasauliare quite a lot, in which the names of Sanawar, Dharmpur, Monkey Point, Sabathu, Dagshai comes on top. Among all the must see tourist places in Kasauli, the name of Monkey Point draw the attention of tourist to a great level. Being a foot shape peak, it is one of the highest points in the hill station that endows with the panoramic view of distant plains of Chandigarh and River Sutlej. Visiting the plains in night will make you feel as if you are above the sky and stars are on earth. Monkey Point has a religious significance as well.

It is believed that Lord Hanuman touched to hill point for the duration of returning from Himalayas after getting Sanjeevani Booty (as it is described in the Epic Ramayana that Hanuman brought Sanjeevani Booty (life-saving herb) from Haimalaya). Not forget to mention the name of Dharmpur, it is an ideal destination known for the healthy and cool breeze that passes from Pine trees. Sanawar is another quite popular place that is known for having the best schools of India. Tourist places in Kasauli are for sure to keep you mesmerized and will persuade you to come here again and again. Interestingly, it is very close to Chandigarh and other major hill stations of Himachal Pradesh. In this way, you can reach their as per your choice and easily. So what you are waiting for, pack your bags right now and be the part of luxury and greenery of Kasauli that attract couples and nature lovers from all over the country and worldwide.
              


Khajjiar
Khajjiar appears more than appealing with its Pine and Deodar trees and its scenic beauty and attractions make it ‘Mini Switzerland’. One can visit the Khajjiar Temple or can behold the lively adventure of Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary. Or else, one can bask in the beauty of the stunning Dhauladhar Ranges.
Your wedding is on the cards or you have decided to spend a few days in a romantic ambiance where you and your sweetheart will enjoy the presence of Mother Nature along with serenity. Well, you have a plenty of options to choose the right one. Simply book your tour to Khajjar Sightseeing – the place in the snowy state of Himachal Pradesh that is known for serenity, tranquility, divinity and ambiance that is pleasing with romantic feelings. Being one of the picturesque hill stations in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Khajjar tourism is known for the serene ambiance that keep one spell bound. A paradise for honeymooners, couples, adventure tour enthusiasts and nature tour lovers, the beautiful hill station take you to the land of spirituality and greenery where nothing comes between you and Mother Nature.

Blessed with true beauty of Mother Nature,tourist places in Khajjar are so amazing that it persuaded people of ancient time to call it the Mini Switzerland in India. Being the small and charismatic plateau nestled in the foothills of Dhauladhar Range (in Western Himalayas), the beautiful hill station or the mini Switzerland in India is located at an altitude of around 6500 ft. above sea level. It is the only town and hill station that endows nature tour lovers with the true beauty of snow-capped mountain ranges of Himalaya. And this is what that adds more spark in the popularity graph of Khajjar tourism. Located at the midway of Chamba – Dalhousie, it is surrounded by the dense forest ranges, deep valleys, greenery, serenity and cool climate. As far as tourist places to visit in Khajjar are concerned, they are limited to a few places only. What attracts tourists here is the natural beauty and picturesque environment.

However, some of the amazing and must see tourist places in Khajjar include the Khajjar temple and the wildlife sanctuary. Khajjar Lake that is located at an altitude of 1900 meter is also another beautiful place to explore during Khajjar sightseeing tours. Lake is fed by the melting snow from the peaks of Himalayas; while the greenery in the surrounding areas makes it an ideal destination to spend some more hours. For those who are on the way to Dalhousie to Chamba or from Chamba to Dalhousie, a halt of a few hours to visit tourist places in Khajjarwould be an added advantage. There are also a plenty of small restaurants and food courts where you can enjoy the real Himachal foods. Wildlife sanctuary is also another must see place.

Overnight stay and you will be very close to the endangered to commonly found species of different animals, wild beasts, reptiles and birds.
How To Reach
 It is also very easy to reach to the mini Switzerland in India. It is at the distance of around 134 km from Gaggal Airport in Kangra from where you can either take a taxi or go through buses. Pathankot is the nearest broad gauge railway line to reach to Khajjar.
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Kinnaur
Kinnaur enchants you with vineyards, valleys, orchards, snow covered mountain and their peaks, as well as various fruits such as apples, apricots, pine nuts, almonds, etc. Rivers such as Spiti, Baspa and Satluj add to the richness of Kinnaur and make it serene. One can visit the Recong Peo temple or can forget oneself amidst the Oak, Chestnut, Mangolia, Alder as well as Birch forests...In fact, entire sate of Himachal Pradesh has been gifted with natural beauty, snow-covered mountain ranges and lush green forest ranges. But the attraction and the charisma of Kinnaur are unexplainable. Kinnaur is one o the most beautiful hill stations and district of himacal Pradesh that is known for lush green valleys, orchards, vineyards, snow capped peaks and cold desert mountains and all those you have wished to have at a beautiful and naturally rich place.

Located at the distance of 250 kms from the state capital Shimla and well connected via national highway number 22, Kinnaur is also a rich region in the state that is known as the land for growing fruits like Apple, almonds, peaches, pine nut, apricots and the list goes on.

Kinnaur is also famous for local wine named Anguri that is formulated by fruits and certain grains. Naturally rich and full of lush green forest ranges of Oak, Chestnut, Maple, Birch, Alder, Mangolia, etc., Kinnaur is all time favorite hill station among honeymooners and those who love to explore the real natural beauty in their own way. In addition to this, there are also a number of adventure tour spots where tourists, especially adventure tour enthusiasts can enjoy the adventure sports in their own way.

Rivers are also the main attractions here that make it a one stop destination for river rafting. Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa River, etc, are some of the main rivers that covered the Kinaaur area and make it most rich region for fruits and crops in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Sutlej River also divides Kinnaur in two parts. On the other hand, the Spiti River is the second most important river of the Region that is also the main water sources of the country.

Talking about the attractions in Kinnaur, the entire state is full of attractions like temples. One of the most visited temples in Kinnaur is Recong Peo that is renowned for its Gompa, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama accomplished a 'Kalchakra' ceremony in 1992. Positioned at an altitude of 1,899 meters, another popular attraction is Karchham that is famous tourist spot for its picturesque view that also is a convergence point of the Satluj and Baspa rivers.

Needless to say, it is one of the most beautiful places to explore in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Now, there are also a number of luxury hotels, resorts and a number of other accommodation options here. In this way, accommodating here is not a major issue. Moreover, there are also a number of restaurants and other food options in Kinnaur where you will also get an opportunity to enjoy local foods. So what you are waiting for, come and explore the real beauty of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh.


         


Kufri
Kufri is also well known for its snow draped peaks and Mahasu Peak and Mahasu Ridge are some of the most splendid attractions of Kufri. People can try out the sports such as toboganning, trekking, skiing or can behold the amazing sight of valleys as well as vast forests. Truly, this hill station is enough to make you awestruck..Kufri is a famous hill station just 16 kms from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh well known for its ski slopes. Kufri Tourism gives paranomic view of the deep valleys, dense forests and lofty mountains. National Snow Statue Competition is held at Kufri every year in January.

Kufri along with Shimla and Chail forms the Golden Triangle of Himachal Pradesh. Tourists are fascinated by the breathtaking views of Kufri, Shimla and Chail along with the luxurious resorts like Toshali Royal View available for the tour to Shimla, Kufri and Chail.

Standing at an altitude of 2510 meters above sea level at Southern Himachal, Kufri was discovered in 1918 by the British people.

A small hill station of Himachal Pradesh, Kufri is 19-kms from Shimla connecting by national highway no. 22. Popular for its hiking and skiing trails in Himachal Pradesh, Kufri is at its natural best during winters. Skiing and tobogganing can be enjoyed along snow-capped slopes.

Skiing buffs and adventure seekers look forward to the annual winter sports festival held in February at Kufri to participate in it.

The Himalayan Nature Park is one of the major tourist Places in Kufri. This Park offers numerous endangered birds and animals such as goral, serow, musk deer, leopard, black bears and so on.

A walk through Mahasu Peak, crowned by a small temple, can be an ideal option for fun lovers as they have to cross a forest of spruce and deodar on the way. The Mahasu Ridge avails good slopes for skiing.

How to Reach  Kufri

Kufri is well connected through rail, road and air. A better way to reach Kufri is via Shimla. This town is 19 kms from Kufri and well connected from rail, road and air network.

Another option to reach Kufri is through road. Shimla, Narkanda and Rampur avails regular buses to reach Kufri. One can also hire taxis from Shimla to visit Kufri.

Narrow guage is also another option to reach Kufri. Toy Trains are available up to Shimla, from here buses and taxis can be availed to reach Kufri.

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Kullu
Kully is a heavenly valley that is considered to be one of the best destinations for tourists. The hill station is marked with the splendid River Beas as well as a series of attractions such as Bijli Mahadev Temple, Jagannathi Devi Temple, various wildlife sanctuaries, Raghunath Temple, etc. The place is also an amazing spot for trekkers and adventure lovers..Like other popular hill stations, Kullu is also one of the popular hill stations in the state of Himachal Pradesh that has been a popular destination for adventure tour aficionados for trekking, skiing, snow-trekking and the list goes on. Commonly referred to as “The End of The Habitable World” Kullu is one of the major hill stations in the state where people come all round the year, especially in the months of October and November (at the time of Dussehra).

Located at the distance of 40 km from Manali, Kullu is also known as the Valley of Gods where a grand festival is organized for seven days during the festival of Dussehra with great eagerness. Full of Tourist Places in Kullu. Especially for honeymooners and those who want to enjoy the lonely environment amid natural beauty, it is one of the best places to explore for them. As far as the tourist attractions of the popular hill station of Kullu Tourism are concerned, there are a number of hill stations like Jagannathi Devi Temple, Raghunath Temple, Bijli Mahadev Temple and the list goes on.

However, the main attraction is here trekking points and places for various adventure sports. In addition to this, the Kullu Sightseeing areas of the hill station are also popular for wildlife sanctuaries where wildlife lovers come from all parts of the world. Kullu is known as the valley of gods that is renowned for unique festivals and fairs. Kulantapitha is an ancient times that is in importance from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Located at the hill station of Beas it offers mouth-watering red, royal and golden yummy apples that are also the main agricultural property of the valley. In addition to this, clean air, cold winds, roundabout narrow roads, captivating panorama and tall deodars with a brilliant sun shine are some of the picturesque quality of this beautiful place named Kullu.

Bajaura temple is also one of the popular places on the bank of Beas River that is only two km from Kulli Mandi road at Hatta. This popular Hindu temple has a colossal Pyramid structure adorned with the images of Durga, Vishnu and Ganesh where devotees from all parts of the country come to pay homage to their gods. Manikaran is also a popular place of attraction for both Hindus and Sikhs known for Gurudwara where devotes take a holy dip in hot waters. It is said that is hot enough to cook rice and vegetables.
How To Reach
 If you want to enjoy picnic there, Raison will be the best place for you that is only 13 km from Kullu. Tourists who come to enjoy their holidays in Manali also prefer to go to Kullu that is very popular. 
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Manali
Manali is an amazing destination for mountain lovers and especially the snow capped mountains. People can have fun over the snow blanket of the Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass or can visit the holy Hadimba Temple or the Vashisht Temple. The place is marked with the bliss of paradise.
In the list of Shimla, Dharamshala, etc, Manali is also major hill station and city in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the picturesque hill stations that have always been a hot favorite place among honeymooners, couples and those who have a deep desire in naturally rich flora and fauna. Located on an altitude of 1220 meters above sea level very close to Kullu, Manali is known for snow-capped mountain peaks and rich flora and fauna. Manali endows you with a spectacular view of mountain peaks. As far as the tourist attractions in Manali are concerned, there are countless tourist Places in and around Manali Tourism. ManiKaran, for instance is the best place to explore for hot water spring. The holy water spring is very hot enough where you can also boil rice and vegetables. There is a myth about hot water that Goddess Paravati lost her ear-ring here.

In addition to this, Hadimba Temple is also a major attraction that is known for Pagoda Shape roof. Moreover, Arjun Gufa, Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass are also most famous tourist attractions in Manali. Well connected to Chandigarh and Delhi via road, Manali has also a number of adventure tour spots where people, especially adventure tour aficionados can enjoy adventure sports to great level.

Talking about more attractions, then Kullu is one of the most amazing attractions in Manali Sightseeing. Even the place is so popular that it is popular among tourists by the name of Kullu & Manali. Located on 40 km from Manali, it is also one of the major tourist attractions in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Kullu has been a hot favorite tourist place for beautiful and breathtaking landscapes, snow capped peaks and lush green forest ranges of Deodar and Pine trees.

Entitled as the Switzerland of India, Manali is one of the most amazing tourist places in Kullu Valley where honeymooners and adventure tour enthusiasts come to explore the real beauty of Himachal Pradesh. In other words, Manali is nestled in the northern part of Kullu valley along the river Beas.

Needless to say, there is an attraction in the environment of Manali that speak all about the rich legacy of Himachal Pradesh. The major hill station is also known for ancient temples and its unique traditions and cultures. Hidimba Temple is the perfect evidence of the shrines that is only of its kind in India. Manali is also a perfect place to enjoy shopping in Tibetan Market that is across the Mall at Manali. Even, there is also a mountaineering institute where you will learn trekking, mountaineering and skiing facilities.
How To Raech
 When it comes to reach to Manali, it is easy as the nearest airport is Bhunter Airport that is only 49 km from the town. On the other hand, it is only 280 km from Chandigarh. In this way, you can also reach there by bus or road from the capital of India, New Delhi.

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Shimla
Shimla is one of the best refuges during vacations and a perfect destination for honeymoon. Dotted with various tourist attractions, Shimla appeals to your fancy with its Mall Road, Kali Bari Temple, Christ Church, Summer Hill, Shimla Ridge, etc. The place is a wonderful abode for nature lovers who feel like exploring all the tourist places in Himachal Pradesh..
In fact, the entire state of Himachal Pradesh is attraction in itself that has a lot to explore. But everything like tourist attractions, natural beauty, vibrant lifestyle, hill stations, traditional to contemporary malls, and beauty takes a long brake in the state at a place that is known as Shimla. The state capital of Himachal Pradesh that was summer capital of India in British Raj is without any doubt the queen of hill stations where all the attractions of the state of Himachal Pradesh becomes lively.

Located on the North-West Himalayas at the altitude of 2205 meters, the capital city Shimla is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India where honeymooners, couple and adventure tour lovers as well as nature lovers. The entire city and valley is draped in pine, oak, rhododendron, etc with snow covered mountain ranges, it is one of the finest place in India where cool breeze in summer and snow fall in winters make it an ideal place to explore. Shimla tourism got its name after the name of Goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of Hindu Goddess Kali. Only 100 km from the most beautiful city Chandigarh, Shimla has a lot to explore.

As far as the main attractions in the state of Himachal Pradesh are concerned, There is number of Tourist Places in Shimla. Some of the most amazing places to explore in Shimla Sightseeing are:

The Mall Road: Your Tour to Shimla is considered as incomplete without exploring Shimla. The Mall Road is centrally located that is a home to beautiful shops, hotels, and busiest commercial areas of the city. It was developed by British during their colonial in India.

Shimla Ridge: Located in the heart of the city, it is one of the most amazing tourist attractions in Shimla that it located along the Mall Road. It is a famous shopping centre in Shimla. However, Lakkar Bazaar, The Scandal point, Jakhoo Hills, are also connected via this place.

Christ Church, Shimla: According to records, it is the second oldest house of worship in North India that is located on the Ridge.

Tara Devi Temple: Located only a few km from bus terminal, it is the oldest temple in Shimla.

Kali Bari Temple: It is the temple of Goddess Shyamla Devi.

Summer Hill: It is only five km from the Ridge that will take you to the township called Summer Hills. It is at the elevation of 6500 ft where the University of Himachal Pradesh is also situated.

In addition to this, state museum and art gallery, viceroy lodge, etc are also some of the most beautiful places to explore.

When it comes to accommodate in Shimla, there are a number of attractive Places here. Toshali Royal Views is also one of them where you will feel a complete home even away from home. It is the finest place to accommodate that also houses restaurant and a number of other world-class facilities. In this way, it will be beneficial for you in a number of ways to accommodate here.

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Fairs and festivals in Himachal Pradesh
Chet is the first month of the lunar year and the first day of the month is celebrated with a belief to bring happiness and prosperity. This festival is known as Chatrali in Kullu and Dholru in Bharmaur area of Chamba district. In district Kangra, Hamirpur and Bilaspur, first day of Chet month hold special importance.

Navratras
Navratras are celebrated with great interest in Himachal Pradesh. Durga Ashtami is of great importance all over the state. People visit nearest Durga temple to offer prayer during Navratras

Baisakhi
It is known as Bisowa in Kangra, Bissue in Shimla hills and Lisshoo in Pangi-Chamba. This festival is generally celebrated on 13th of April. Preparation for the festival starts much early. The houses are white washed. People take holy dip at Haridwar, Tattapani near Shimla, Banganga near Kangra and Markanda near Bilaspur. During day time, Baisakhi fair is held at many places with traditional gaiety and attraction. Women's participation in large number add special color to the festive mood of the people.

Dushehra
Celebrations of Dushehra are same in all the places of India. It is celebrated on the month of September or October. On Dashmi - 10th day of celebration, people make a bonfire of effigies of Ravna, Kumbhkarna and Meghnatha. It symbolises victory of good over evil. Dushehra of Kullu is famous all over the world.

Diwali
Diwali is the most famous festival of India. It is the festival related to returning of Lord Rama to home after killing Ravna. It is celebrated in the month of October or November. The festival is locally known as 'Diali. Preparation for the festival starts much early. The houses are white washed. People buy new clothes and new toys for their children. People exchange sweets and other things with each other. Almost all the bazaars are overcrowded on this day and there are celebrations in the air. At night people perform Lakhshami Pooja and after that whole state comes to a new life when children and young ones indulge in Fireworks.

Lohari
In some areas, it is also known as Maghi or Saza. It is celebrated on the 1st of Magh - mid January. People celebrate it more as a continuation of the season of festivals. After finishing agricultural activities, they feast and celebrate and avail themselves of the time to meet their relatives. This festival continues for 8 days. On 8th day, people make get together and show social solidarity. Dance and music goes on for the whole night.

 
Himachal Pradesh Culture

Cultural and traditionally rich state of Himachal Pradesh is not only known for rich flora and fauna, snow-covered mountain ranges, waterfalls, valleys and other natural attractions, but also for dances in Himachal Pradesh. The hill state has been a home to a number of cultural and traditional activities that can be seen in dances in Himachal Pradesh.

As the state holds a lot of communities, it has holds varieties of dances that are en expression of joy and festive sprit. One of the interesting fact about the culture and traditions of the state is that all the festivals and events are celebrated with dances in Himachal Pradesh. Dulshol, Dharveshi, Drodi, Dev Naritya, Rakshas Nritya, Dangi, Lasa, Nati and Nagas, etc are some of the popular forms of dances that are celebrated and performed by different communities of the state in a grand way.

Losar Shona Chuksam or dances in Kinnaur are very much popular that keep one enticed for a long time and persuade for a unique culture. Losar Shona Chuksam is an agricultural festival dance performed by the Kinnauris wherein the actions demonstrate all behavior from sowing to reaping barley and phaphar. Local residents of Kinnaur celebrate it to the extreme level. In addition to this Dangi is also a popular dance in Himachal Pradesh that is also one of the liveliest dances among women.

During your tour to the state, you will get more and more chances to enjoy dances in Himachal Pradesh. In addition to this, they are also performed in different celebration organized in hotels and other places. So don’t miss the chance of dances in Himachal Pradesh during your tour to this beautiful state.
Shopping in Himachal Pradesh
Exploring the major attractions of the state are considered as baseless and at the same time as incomplete without enjoy shopping in Himachal Pradesh that is globally renowned for woolen clothes, wood craft, handicraft and the fruits. The hilly region of Northern Part of India has however free from major industries, but there are a number of handicraft centers out here that produce unique and eye-catching products that are not only used in day to day life, but at the same add more glory to one’s home interior decoration.
Adorned by traditional motifs the Rugs and Carpets are symbolic of the culture of Himachal. Various varieties in Carpets including Garuda perched on a flowering tree, Flutes and lotus flower in full bloom. Soft blankets are prepared from fleecy sheep reared in hills of Himachal Pradesh. Rugs prepared from beaten wool are of high quality and has a high market value. Your Shopping in Himachal Pradesh would undoubtedly include Rugs and Carpets.
Painting
Your shopping list would invariably include Thangkas. These are brightly tinged cloth painting displaying various Buddhist Fairs and Festival. They also include some poses of Lord Buddha. They are very popular among the foreign tourists. Shopping in Himachal Pradesh would be incomplete without Thangkas. Painting in Himachal includes Kangra Style of Panting which is said to be most poetic and lyrical. Here motifs like idealization of women are generally selected, so this topic is commonly found in Kangra Style of painting. It would be an important addition in your shopping spree.
Garments and Accessories
Embroidered Kurtas and colorful accessories are most in demand at Himachal Pradesh for their qualities. They are assets that would forever remind you of your visit to Himachal. While shopping in Himachal do not forget to put them in your own basket.
Keylong have excellent outlets to purchase the Carpets & local pure wool made Kullu shawls, Lois, Baby Shawls, Mufflers, Stoles, Ponchoos, Local Tweeds, Caps & other Kullu handloom/handicraft readymade garments in Merino wool, Angoora & Pashmina also Pullas (grass made bedroom slippers), Woolen jackets also Silver Jewellery etc. The items can be purchased from the below outlets. The exclusive handicrafts which can be purchased are Gudmas, Leather Chappals, Namdas. You can do shopping at Tibetan Market, Tibetan Handicrafts Centre and Himachal Hand loom and Crafts Centre in Dalhousie. Kotwali Bazaar in Dharamshala, Himachal Handicrafts, Tibetan Handicrafts and Bhutico in Manali. Himachal Khadi Emporium and Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan in Kullu.
Himachal Arts and Crafts
Travel to Himachal which represents its highland culture through it arts and crafts, making it an inevitable destination. Due to its topographical distinction from the rest of the country,Himachal Pradesh in India has developed a unique tradition of handicrafts. Look for statues made out of stone and metal, or enjoy buying some handmade wooden dolls. For all those who are interested in accessories, in Himachal you can see the celebrated jewellery and there are woolen garments and the ubiquitous Himachal caps and shawls. Those who think Kashmir is the only destination for carpets and rugs it’s not true. Himachal too has its own collection to flaunt. Leather craft, embroidery and paintings are some famous handicrafts items that you should see in Himachal Pradesh.
Shawls and caps
Take up tours of Himachal Pradesh to see the various arts and crafts of Himachal Pradesh where you cannot miss the famous shawls and caps of the state. Wool is considered to be a pious accessory in Himachal. This fact is well proven by the fact that woolen shawls are used during weddings to wrap the bride and groom in the shawls, in order to protect them from evil eyes. The most celebrated craft of the state and also the most important shopping items can be seen in the Himachal caps. These caps, that are omnipresent on the heads of the Himachal people, is a sign of their pride. Notice the intricately embroidered motifs and the hand spun yarns that emboss Himalayan textiles and Tibetan art.
The most celebrated craft of the state can be seen in the Himachal caps. These caps, that are omnipresent on the heads of the Himachal people, is a sign of their pride.
Metal and Stone Work in Himachal
Among the famous art and craft of Himachal Pradesh, the metals that are extensively utilized to embellish this art practice are brass, copper, iron, tin and bell metal. This antediluvian craft of the mountainous Himachal and Tibetan artwork incorporates the eminence of veneration in various convoluted pieces of art, divine statues in metal and stone craft.
Enjoy your Himachal Pradesh vacation by visiting these incredible master pieces of art. Satisfying the religious needs of the people, it becomes an indisputable certainty that the best place where you can see the metal and stone marvels will be in the temples. However, apart from the exquisite statues, other metal crafts include objects like bells with artistically designed handles, lamps, incense burners, low settees of silver or brass, vessels and ornate musical instruments. A unique metal art comprise Mohras, which are metal patches representing a deity and can be found in Kullu and Chamba and is centered on Lord Shiva. You should notice the head which is carved in dauntless relief, while the neck and shoulders are more summarily fumed.
Jewellery and Garments
Chunky and Eccentric are the words that describe the jewellery made in Himachal Pradesh. With metal and beads dominating the ingredients of this art, there are amulets, pendants, necklaces, daggers and rings. All the same there are options of fine jewellery as well that are crafted out of gold and silver. The best place to see ancient and ethnic designs of these famous artifacts are the once Rajput kingdoms of Kangra, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu. Famous for their enameling skills they recherché pieces of anklets, solid iron-headed bangles, hair ornaments, leaf shaped forehead ornaments, necklaces known as chandanhaars and pendants with motifs of the mother goddess, should be seen. The most famous contemporary accessory is the coin necklace that is popular among the Pahari women. Other common embellishments are Chokers, Heavy anklets, bangles and silver bracelets. For jewellery with Tibetan influence go to Lahaul and Spiti, where you will find ornaments studded with semi precious stones like coral, turquoise, amber and mother-of-pearl. As far as garments are concerned the major highlight are the dyed and printed fabrics that are made by Farahada and Chhiba people.

The beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh offers a wide range of lip smacking and savory food items. The cuisine of Himachal Pradesh has a significant influence of the Punjabi and Tibetan style of food. The people of Himachal Pradesh prefer very spicy food items. However in their daily and regular routine most of the citizens have north Indian dishes that are easy to make and very tasty to eat.

One of the most important food items of the people of Himachal Pradesh is Dal and Chawal or plain rice and pulses which is a very common food item of the north Indians. The simple preparation of rice and pulses provides a complete diet of carbohydrates and proteins, the two important components that helps in building healthy body.
Another delicious food of the region is Roti Sabzi or flat pancake like bread made up of wheat and vegetable curry. This item is also a famous food item of North India. 
Cooked from flour of wheat and savored with ghee or butter, Sidu is an well known cuisine of the state. Sidu is offered to most of the guests who are overwhelmed at the heavenly taste of the indigenous cuisine.

Patande is another important food item of the people of Himachal Pradesh. The Patande is well known dish in the Sirmour district of the state. Made from wheat, Patande is like a pancake and so is popularly known as the Indian Pancake of Himachal Pradesh.
Meat is a very common food item among the non- vegetarian people of the state. The raw meat is cooked with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, red chillies and coriander leaves. The aroma of the cooked meat is enough to satisfy the appetite of the people.
Himachal Pradesh celebrates the Food festival of Dham, which attracts several tourist from far and wide. The variety of food items reflect the vibrant and dynamic yet simple life of the people of Himachal Pradesh.

There are plenty of resturants present in alover Himachal Pradesh serves all variety of delicious food .Some of them are listed below,
McLlo Restaurant :Crowded nightly and justifiably popular, this big place above the noisy bus stand area serves a mind-boggling menu of Indian, Chinese and international fare, including pizzas and pasta. It’s also one of the best places to enjoy an icy cold beer (Rs100), and it has cider and wines.
 Pizza Olive :The aromas wafting from the pizza oven give this place an authentic Italian feel and the pizzas and pasta dishes don’t disappoint. You can eat indoors or out in the garden.
Little Italy: Pizzas and pasta dishes are better than average at this 1st-floor restaurant, and you can get a cold beer.
Taste of India :This tiny place has just five tables and is often full with diners savouring North Indian veg and nonveg curries and tandoori chicken.
Oogo’s Cafe Italiano :This cute hole-in-the-wall place serves up mainly Italian fare, but with a few surprises – waffles, baked potatoes, intriguing pasta dishes like ‘chicken vodka’ and even grilled lamb chops. The atmosphere is warm and busy and there are tempting desserts, as well as a bookshelf full of reading material.
Dylan’s Toasted & Roasted:Manali’s mellowest hang-out, this hole-in-the-wall cabin-style coffeeshop in Old Manali serves the best espresso coffee in town, cinnamon tea, hearty breakfasts, garlic cheese toast and wicked desserts like chocolate-chip cookies and ‘Hello to the Queen’. DVD movies are shown in an adjoining room.
Cecil Restaurant :For a formal night out, look no further than the colonial elegance of the Cecil Restaurant. An √† la carte menu is available but there are sumptuous buffets for breakfast and dinner. Book ahead. There’s also a casual garden restaurant, or you can opt for a drink in the atrium lobby bar.
Chopsticks:The most popular traveller choice along the Mall in Manali town, this intimate Tibetan-Chinese-Japanese place is always busy. Naturally there are Indian dishes here, too, along with local trout. Cold beers and fruit wines are also served. Arrive early to secure a table in the evening.
Mayur :Locals rate Mayur highly for its well-prepared North and South Indian specialities. Downstairs is traditional Indian, while the contemporary upstairs bistro serves dishes such as croquettes, chicken stroganoff and, oddly, Marmite toast.
Peace Cafe This cosy 1st-floor Tibetan-run restaurant near the post office, serves possibly Manali’s biggest range of global food, from momos to Japanese noodles, and local river trout to Hong Kong lamb. Friendly and efficient service.


How To Reach

 By plane

Shimla, Kullu (for Manali) and Kangra or Pathankot (for Dharamsala) have small airports, with services largely limited to Delhi. Flights are frequently cancelled or delayed by adverse weather. In addition the airport in Pathankot (Punjab) can be a convenient connection for Dharamsala and Dalhousie. If you are on a tight budget you might want to skip this option as it is way more costly than other mode of transportation. Airfare on this route is one of the highest in world for a given unit distance. Airport in Shimla is at Jubbal Hatti which is around 40 km away from main Shimla City.

 By train

Given the difficult geographical position of State there is very little penetration of railway network. Little rail network available give access to peripheral districts and capital Shimla. Nevertheless it is an amazing experience going from Kalka to Shimla. Kalka-Shimla railway track is also UNESCO world heritage site. Few points in Himachal are easily accessible by train, but there are narrow-gauge railways from Pathankot (Punjab) to Kangra and Kalka (Haryana) to Shimla. This will take you through beautiful rural Himalayan regions. The ride beyond Kangra is amazing. You ride along the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas via Palampur and Baijnath to Joginder Nagar. The region is criss crossed by rivers and streams.

By bus

Bus is the only practical means of getting to many points in Himachal. All cities of interest have direct services to Delhi. There are three different entry routes to Himachal if you are coming from Delhi.
  • Delhi-Chandigarh-Shimla-Kaza route.
  • Delhi-Chandigarh-Bilaspur-Mandi-Manali-Keylong-Leh
  • Delhi-Chandigarh-Kangra-Dharamsala or Delhi-Chandigarh-Kangra-Chamba
all three routes are interconnected within Himachal. It is cheapest means to travel in and around Himachal. There are Volvo buses operated by Himachal State Transport Corporation on these routes.

 Get around

You need inner line permit to visit some part of kinnaur and spiti district.

 By bus


Travel by bus can be done throughout for very little (15 hour bus rides are rarely more than a few hundred rupees) on the public buses, and though uncomfortable, are a great way to meet people. Though be careful, as riding an Indian bus is already a hair-raising experience, and riding an Indian bus on steep mountain roads is even more intimidating!

 By motorcycle

Enfield motorcycles can be rented here for less than 5 dollars a day, with no verification of a motorcycle license. Note that the area may not be the best place to learn how to ride.



 

After booking your preferred tour package, you have packed your bags and started your journey to the state of snow or adobe of snow. But before arriving in the state, it is also vital for you to keep some essential points in mind and avoid mistakes. Here is a short description on Himachal travel tips that will surely be very helpful for you.

Weather conditions: First and foremost thing to keep in mind is the weather conditions. If you want to enjoy the pleasant weather, then the time between April to October will be the best time. If you want to explore the snow, especially powdery snow, then the time between December to February will be best for you.

Select the right Vehicle: Hiring a taxi or preferring buses from Himachal Pradesh State Transport Corporation or private operators will be the best option. If you are going by your own vehicle, then you must ensure whether the driver is expert in driving in hilly areas. Apart from this, you should also prefer sturdy vehicle like gypsy, Jeep or sport utility vehicle.

Collect information about the locality where you are going to explore: It is also a vital point to follow because you should collect information of the surrounding areas of the attractions. You should also carry the map of Himachal Pradesh along with you.

Do shopping carefully: Entire state is full of attractions. Moreover, most of the part of the state is hilly therefore carrying goods is somewhat difficult there. Therefore, thing could be a bit costlier there. On the other hand, you should also avoid shopping from hawkers because they sell duplicate products at at very high prices.

Things to carry; while camping or going on adventure tour: It is also vital to keep the first aid box always with you. Apart from this, carrying woollen clothings, sturdy shoes, sun-screen lotions, etc is also vital.

Avoid local foods and water: You should prefer boiled water or mineral water and always take food in a fine restaurant after ensuring the cleanness of the restaurant.

Advance booking of hotel: You should also make an advance booking of hotel because most of the time, the entire state is full of tourists; thus you may feel some problems in getting hotel quickly.

If you are going to any shrine, you should follow the traditions strictly.

Getting help of local guide will be beneficial in a number of ways.

If you are going to any wildlife sanctuary or national park, you should avoid plastic goods and avoid smoking there as it is strictly prohibited there.

If you are camping, you should avoid huge bonfires.

These Himachal travel tips are vital in a number of ways to make your tour to Himachal Pradesh memorable one.

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