Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide

Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide.
Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide.

Introduction: Hello Friends!! Today’s post will give you a deep insight of Himachal Pradesh travel and  into the beautiful hill stations and landscapes to visit in Himachal Pradesh, which is considered to be the most popular and easily accessible hill state of India. The word Himachal means “Abode of Snow”. Himachal Pradesh is referred to as Deva Bhoomi or Land of Gods and is the most celebrated tourism destination of India. With spectacular landscapes, flowery meadows, numerous scenic hill stations and vast snow-covered mountainous area consisting of lofty ranges, lush valleys, deep gorges, beautiful waterfalls, rivers, serene lakes, Himachal Pradesh is attracting many travelers, nature lovers, and adventurers not only from different parts of India but also from different parts of the world. Khajjiar in Chamba is known as ‘ Mini Switzerland of India’ because of its noticeable similarity in the landscape. Apart from these scenic destinations, Himachal Pradesh also has several ancient temples, magnificent monasteries, numerous forts, palaces that depict the history and culture of the state. The Tabo Monastery in Lahual and Spiti is known as ‘Ajanta of the north’.

A guide to Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide-Tourist Attractions, Best Time to Visit, Travel, Accommodation

The colorful culture of the state can also be witnessed in its fairs and festivals, handicrafts, dance, music, the cuisine, etc. This beautiful state also offers numerous adventure activities such as trekking, paragliding, skiing, river rafting, ice skating, mountain biking, etc. The state is well known for its quaint villages, cheerful, friendly, honest, simple, hardworking and hospitable local people. Himachal Pradesh is covered with abundant apple farms and is also called as “State of Apples” as it records the massive production of apples in the country. The state is said to have invited many to settle on its lands since Indus Valley Civilization. Snowfall is commonly seen in different parts of the state as it is mountainous with high altitudes ranging from 460 to 6600 meters. Himachal Pradesh is a picture-perfect state having UNESCO World Heritage sites like Kalka-Shimla Railway and Great Himalayan National Park in Kullu.

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Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh.
Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh.

Best Time to Visit Himachal Pradesh

A trip to Himachal Pradesh can be done anytime throughout the year depending on the wish and will of the tourists. But summer is an ideal time to visit and the state receives a maximum number of tourists in this season. The temperatures in Summer (March to June) vary from 25-35 degrees Celsius making it the most appropriate destination to escape the scorching summer heat. It is the best season for trekking, paragliding, camping, hot air ballooning, and water sports. Monsoons (July to September) in the state are extremely beautiful and best for river rafting. But it is better to avoid visiting a few areas which are prone to landslides in this season. Trekking, hiking, and other adventure opportunities are stopped at this time and the state receives fewer tourists in this season. The winter season (October to February) is an ideal time to experience snow (at places located on higher altitudes). The temperature drops down below zero and places like Shimla and Manali have snowfall mostly during January and February making it best for adventure activities like skiing and heli-skiing. This is the off-season and some parts of the state lose connectivity as the roads are packed with snow.

How to reach Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a tourist destination where you can travel through airways, railways, and roadways.

By Air

Despite being a major tourist destination in India, Himachal is still not well connected with other parts of India by air. Himachal has three domestic airports namely, the Jubbarhatti Airport in Kullu, the Gaggal Airport in Kangra and the Bhuntar Airport in Shimla and is connected by flights to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chandigarh. Buses, Taxi services and also car hiring services provide easy connectivity from these airports to our destinations or hotels within the state.

By Train

Himachal Pradesh has a couple of narrow-gauge railway lines that connect the hilly state with other major cities. They are one connecting Kalka with Shimla and the other one connecting Pathankot to Kangra. Being a mountainous area, surrounded by lofty hills Himachal Pradesh has limited railway networks. For tourists opting to travel by train, the best option to reach Himachal is the Kalka Railway Station. There are trains to Kalka from several major cities in the country. The Kalka Mail is considered as the oldest train in India and it runs from Howrah in West Bengal to Delhi and then to Kalka. The Kalka line extends up to Shimla with a narrow-gauge toy-train which is one of the major attractions for tourists. Taxi services operate from Kalka that will take you to your destination.

By Road

Himachal Pradesh has robust and reliable road connectivity with major cities in India. Buses frequently run from Punjab, Delhi, and Haryana for places like Shimla, Manali, and Dharamshala. Although it is a predominantly hilly region, the roadways are tough and well-maintained. Bus services provided by the State Government are affordable and connect to important cities like Kashmir, Delhi, Haryana, and Chandigarh. There are a total of 9 National Highways and about 19 States covering all the major districts in the states and also connecting them to places like Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Leh-Ladakh, etc. There are about 45 major district roads that allow for travel to even the remote places in the state. Bus services, taxi services and car rentals to all the major destinations are available throughout the state.

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Famous Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh

During British rule, Himachal Pradesh tourism is limited to a few hill stations and spiritual areas. Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, has British railways and colonial-era churches and was considered as ‘The Summer Capital of India’ during their reign. Today, Shimla is a popular skiing attraction for tourists. Hill stations such as Manali, kinnuar, kasol, Parvati valley, kullu, kinnarkalesh, Kasauli are the must-visit spots in the bucket list of tourists. Dharamsala and Mcleodganj, home of 14th Dalai Lama, have Tibetan monasteries and several Buddhist temples and it greatly contributes to the tourism in Himachal Pradesh. Besides, for those who are planning for a trip to Himachal for the first time, here comes the list of top 10 important places to visit.

Kullu-Manali of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Kullu is one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations, situated on the banks of Beas River in Kullu Valley at an altitude of around 1230 meters. Kullu valley is also called as ‘Valley of Gods’. Kullu is famous for its beautiful nature, Great Himalayan Ranges and ancient temples. The major attractions of this place are BijliMahadev temple, Raghunath Temple, Sultanpur Palace, Parvati Valley, Great Himalayan National Park, Kasol, Manikaran, Brigu Lake, etc. Kullu also offers several adventurous sports such as trekking, skiing, white water rafting, paragliding, mountaineering, etc. It is often heard with Manali, which is another famous tourist spot situated 40km away. Manali is a beautiful hill station located at an altitude of 2050 meters near the northern end of Kullu valley. It is famous for the snow-capped mountains, Buddhist monasteries, nature, and adventurous sports. Major attractions of Manali are Hidimba Devi Temple, Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Manu temple, Vashist temple, etc. Kullu -Manali is one of the most popular Himachal Pradesh tourism destinations. April to June and October to December is the best time to visit Kullu-Manali.

Shimla of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Shimla, the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, is the most popular and mesmerizing hill station of Northern India due to its colonial architecture, viewpoints and historic railway. Shimla is often called ‘Queen of Hills’ and it welcomes tourists throughout the year with well-developed facilities, easy accessibility, and numerous attractions. It is the ultimate summer retreat for tourists and history buffs. ‘The Ridge’ in Shimla is a large road and the center of most cultural activities of Shimla. Other leading destinations in Shimla are Jakhoo Hill, Mall Road, Kalka-Shimla Railway, The Christ Church, Annandale, Kufri, Summer Hill, Shimla State Museum, Chail, Solan, Daranghati Sanctuary, Naldehra and Shaily Peak and Arki Fort. The best time to visit is in May, June, July, and November to January for snowfall.

Dharamshala of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Dharamshala is a hill station located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and it is often called ‘Gateway to the Kangra Valley’. Dharamshala has many ancient temples, gompas, churches, monasteries, fascinating museums and is a starting point to several trekking trails. Popular destinations in Dharamshala include Namgyal Monastery, Marsur, Kareri Lake, Gyuto Monastery, Kangra Fort and Museum, Naddi village, etc. The best time to visit Dharamshala is from April to June and September to October.

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McLeod Ganj of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Upper Dharamshala, also called McLeodGanj is the most popular and a must-visit place also known as Little Lhasa or Dhasa, as it has a large population of Tibetans and Buddhist Monasteries. Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama’s official residence ‘Tsuglagkhang Complex’, and the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration are located here. It is also popular for its culture, art, and crafts. Major attractions are Dharamkot, Bhagsu, Triund, Dal Lake, Gaggal, Lower Dharamshala, etc. It also offers the tourists several major shopping centers famous for souvenirs like Tibetan handicrafts, carpets, garments, wooden masks, beads, etc. It also has various trekking expeditions that cover Kangra and Chamba Valleys and Dhauladhar ranges. McLeod Ganj can be visited round the year and it is best to avoid winter between December and January.

Kasauli of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Kasauli is one of the most serene places in Himachal famous for its viewpoints, lush green, attractive mountainous surroundings, tourist-friendly locals. Kasauli Brewery is the highest brewery and distillery in the world. Christ Church and Baptist Church reflect the classical Gothic architecture and British colonial era. Monkey Point, Sunset Point, The Mall, Sanawar, Sabathu Fort, Barog, Gurkha Fort, Shri Baba BalakNath Temple, Gilbert Nature Trail are some of the major attractions in Kasauli. It also offers activities like trekking, paragliding, and camping for adventurous enthusiasts. The best time to visit Kasauli is from November to March. snowfall is seen in December and January.

Dalhousie of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Dalhousie is a scenic hill station located in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas. It is a popular summer getaway in Himachal Pradesh and one of them must include places in Himachal tour packages. The hill station is famous for snow-peaked mountains, meadows, and valleys. It was named after Lord Dalhousie, the British governor in the 19th century who established this town as a summer retreat in 1854. It is spread across five hills, known as Katalagh, Potreyn, Bakrota, Terah, and Bhangora. This town retains the colonial look with its Scottish and Victorian architecture in bungalows and churches. Chamba valley is a lesser-explored area where tourists can discover ancient folklore, temples, and tribes. Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary, Khajjiar, GanjiPahadi, Dainkund Peak NoorwoodParamdham, Rang Mahal, Bara Pathar Temple, Hariraya Temple, St. Francis Church, Bakrota Hills, Satdhara Falls, Village Lohali, SubhashBaoli, Chamera Lake, etc are the leading destinations in Dalhousie. The town also offers a lot of activities for nature lovers and adventurers, for example, GaramSadak, Jhandrighat, Motitibba, and Sach pass are the ideal places for the trekking enthusiasts. The ideal time to visit is from March to June and October to December.

Bir- Billing of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Bir is located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and is considered as one of the best spots for paragliding. The paraglider is launched from Billing, which is 18 km north of Bir, and the Landing Site is at Bir. Hence the two places are used together as Bir Billing. It is also known as the Paragliding capital of the world. Bir is famous for its Tibetan monasteries, tea gardens, spiritual studies, and meditation. The peak paragliding season runs from March to May and October to November. Bir also offers Camping, Trekking, Hang Gliding, Mountain Biking. Bir Bazaar, Bir River, Bangoru Waterfall, Deer Park Institute, Palampur Tea Cooperative, Buddhism monasteries in Bhattu, Choggan and ChauntraBhattu colony, etc are other major attractions.

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Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Spiti Valley is a remote village, bordered on all sides by the Himalayas, Although it is one of the coldest places in the country and is fairly isolated, it is attracting plenty of spiritual and adventure travelers with its long winding roads, beautiful valleys showing glimpses of cold deserts and snow-crowned mountains, with intermittent greenery, many Buddhist monasteries and adventure activities such as trekking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and wildlife spotting. It is surrounded by several high-altitude villages, like Tabo, Kaza, Dhankar, Kibber, Komic, and Langza, which are also worth exploring. Chandratal Lake, Key Monastery, Kunzum Pass are other major attractions. Mid May to Mid October is the best time to visit.

Khajjiar of Himachal Pradesh Travel

Khajjiar is a small, beautiful hill station in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh nestled amidst the Himalayas near Dalhousie and is nicknamed as ‘mini-Switzerland of India’. The place is famous for its unique combination of forests, lakes, picturesque landscape and pastures. Major attractions include the fascinating flora and exotic wildlife at the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, silver jewelry, adventure activities, such as forest trekking, zorbing, horse riding and paragliding at the Khajjiar Lake. A must-visit spot here is the 12th-century Khaji Nag temple, dedicated to Lord of Serpents (Khaji Nag), and is an example of architectural excellence and a concoction of Hindu and Muslim styles. One can plan to visit this town anytime throughout the year. 

Kasol of Himachal Pradesh Travel

It is a hamlet in the kullu district of Himachal Pradesh located along the banks of the river Parvati. Nowadays Kasol has become a popular tourist attraction for trekkers, backpackers and nature lovers with its scenic beauty, the landscape of snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, waterfalls, and undisturbed trekking routes. It is also referred to as the ‘Little Israel of India’ as it is a favorite destination especially for Israel tourists and in-habitation of Israelis in this region. It is also popularly known as ‘Amsterdam of India’. Also, it is worth exploring nearby places such as Kheerganga, Chalal, Malana, Rasol, and Tosh. Parvati Peaking and Magica Festival are two of the biggest events of this place. October to June is the best time to visit.

Along with the above-listed places, others such as Mashobra, Kufri, Chitkul, Tirthan Valley, Narkanda, Mandi, Kaza, Nahan, Barot, Bhuntar, Bilaspur, Kalpa, Tattapani, Shoja are also considered as the popular and favorite tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh.

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Cuisines to Taste in Himachal Pradesh

The staple meal of the state would consist of Dals, rice, broth, roti, and sabzi similar to that of the other North- Indian states. Himachal cuisine is complete and wholesome and is greatly influenced by Punjabi and Tibetan cuisines, giving the tourists a unique blend to relish. Non-vegetarian cuisine is mostly preferred in the state compared to other north Indian states. Himachal cuisine includes traditional delicacies such as Dham, snack dishes such as Sidu (a preparation of wheat), Patrode(a local version of pancakes), Cheele and Babru, other special dishes such as Manee, Mandra or Madra, AlooPalda, Redu, Chouck, Bhagjery, AuriyaKadoo (a preparation of pumpkin), chutney of tilTudkiyaBhath, Bhey or Spicy Lotus Stems, ChhaGosht, etc. Steamed momos and noodles are also easily available in the state facilitating travelers from other countries. Himachal is also known for several fresh varieties of fruits.

Things to do in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is like a paradise where tourists can be thrilled, awed, can meditate and have epic journeys. There are a lot of exciting things to do in Himachal Pradesh such as the Toy train journey from Kalka to Shimla, watching a Tibetan opera in Dharamsala, enjoying the sunset over pirpanjal range in Dalhousie, etc. All kinds of thrilling adventure activities are available in various parts of the state and the most popular among them are Angling in River Beas at Kangra Valley, Heli skiing at Hanuman Tibba, Camping in Shoghi in Shimla, Skiing at Solang Valley, Trekking to Kheerganga Valley of Tosh or Triund in Dharamshala, Paragliding at Bir Billing, Rock climbing at Vashisht, Mountain biking in Spiti and River Rafting at Manali.

Places to stay in Himachal Pradesh

There are a lot of resorts, inns, hotels, and hostels available in Himachal where tourists can have a comfortable stay at affordable prices. Radisson Jass Shimla, Hotel Landmark, Snow Valley Resorts Shimla, and Hotel Willow Banks are known as the best hotels in Himachal. The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) plays an important role in the promotion of domestic and international tourism in Himachal Pradesh. It has a wide network of accommodation comprising Hotels, Restaurants, and Cafeterias serving varied cuisine, including traditional Himachali delicacies. The HPTDC hotels are of three categories: Premium – Heritage, Deluxe and Budget Hotels which can be booked online. HPTDC hotels are located in the major tourist spots of the state and also operates several buses to facilitate the visitors to travel within and outside the state. If you are planning to Himacha Pradesh, you can consider Credt Cards for Travel Benefits, Offers, Rewards.


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