Himachal Pradesh
The Land of Snows

Welcome to Himachal Pradesh

A window to the majestic Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is a land of sheer natural beauty and adventure. With magnificent mountain peaks and spectacular river valleys, Himachal is a bit hit with adventure lovers. From mountain climbing to paragliding, trekking, skiing and rafting, you can enjoy it all in the mountains here. A complex topography of mountain chains makes Himachal a great destination to be explored by motorbike, jeep and car or on foot. As you move from one valley to another you will find yourself into a different world with its own unique beauty, geography and culture. Quaint villages meticulously balanced on slopes reflecting picture-perfect architecture and the smiling faces of their people. Spirituality is in the air of Himachal. Visit Dharamshala, the Dalai Lama’s home and many other monasteries in the state that beautifully reflects the richness of Buddhist culture practiced here for centuries. You might even feel as if you have arrived in Tibet!

Himachal Pradesh Attractions

Himachal Pradesh is a paradise for adventure lovers. Its diverse topography and difficult terrain offers great opportunities for adventure activities like trekking, paragliding, angling, skiing, biking, heli-skiing, water rafting, boating, rock climbing, camping, mountaineering, motor-cycling etc. Himachal Pradesh is rightly called the ‘Paragliding capital of India’ and the destination such as Billing and Bir are famous for it. Manali is known for heli-skiing and Kinnaur for rock-climbing. Each destination here has something or the other to offer in terms of adventure.

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Adventure in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a paradise for adventure lovers. Its diverse topography and difficult terrain offers great opportunities for adventure activities like trekking, paragliding, angling, skiing, biking, heli-skiing, water rafting, boating, rock climbing, camping, mountaineering, motor-cycling etc. Himachal Pradesh is rightly called the ‘Paragliding capital of India’ and the destination such as Billing and Bir are famous for it. Manali is known for heli-skiing and Kinnaur for rock-climbing. Each destination here has something or the other to offer in terms of adventure.

Mountain Passes in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal is a land of mountains and passes and some of the most enchanting mountain passes of India are located in this state.

Rohtang Pass

This pass connects the lovely Kullu valley with rustic Lahaul and Spiti. It is located on Manali-Leh highway at an altitude of 3,978 m and any traveler visiting Manali do visit this pass. This pass is so beautiful and covered in snow that tourists come here from far and wide. It attracts around 25 lakhs tourists every year. It is open for tourists from April to October. In winter the routes here are completely covered in snow and hence visitors are not allowed here. In months like May one can even enjoy adventure activities like paragliding, skating, snow scooter ride and skiing at this pass.

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Bara Lacha Pass

It is located at an altitude of 4,890 m in Zanskar range. It connects Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. This pass is very close to the Suraj Taal lake which is the originating place of Bhaga river, a tributary of Chenab river. It is a natural divide between the Bhaga and Yunam River. It is also a starting point for various treks. Rudyard Kipling had also mentioned this Pass in his book Kim. It remains open for tourists from April to October.

Saach Pass

This pass is located at an altitude of 4,220 m in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It connects Chamba valley to Pangi valley of Chamba district. It remains open from July to October.

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Culture of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal is a land of rich cultural heritage which can be beautifully seen in its fairs and festivals, food, handicrafts, languages spoken, pilgrimages and dance and music. The colourful attires of Himachali people are a treat to eyes. The people here are simple and warm which definitely attracts the travelers who come here from across the globe. Hinduism and Buddhism are followed by the majority of the people of this state. The local language spoken here is Pahadi. And most of the population of the state is involved in agriculture profession.

Cuisine of Himachal Pradesh

The cuisine of Himachal is quite similar to the cuisine of other places in north India but Tibetan culinary delights can be best enjoyed here. Go anywhere in this state and you will find momos (steamed or fried dumplings), thukpa and thenthuk (noodle soup) which are very common here. Non vegetarian dishes are more popular here in comparison to other parts of north India. From the road vendors to authentic restaurants, you will find many options here.

Madra from Chamba district, Dhaam (complete food consisting of dal, rajma, rice, curd, boor ki Kadi and gur (jaggery) from Manali and Chamba, Tudkiya Bhath from Chamba, Bhey (lotus stems), Chha Gosht from Chamba, Sidu from Kullu, Babru (kachori) from Shimla, Akhtori (pancake) from Lahaul-Spiti and Mittha (sweetened rice) are the popular dishes of Himachal Pradesh.

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Wildlife in Himachal Pradesh

The rich topography and landscape of Himachal Pradesh makes it a home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Its climate and greenery supports the wildlife. Its tropical forest is a habitat for around 5,721 species of fauna and 3,295 species of flora. The famous wildlife destinations of Himachal Pradesh are Manali sanctuary, Churdhar sanctuary,  Nature Park Gopalpur, Nature Park Manali, Great Himalayan National Park , Pin Valley National park, Nature Park Kufri and Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary. The state also boasts of several rivers, lakes and streams where migratory birds come during summer.

Shopping in Himachal Pradesh

Shopping is a great fun in Himachal Pradesh. The best destinations for shopping are Shimla and Manali. The traditional handicrafts entail woolen clothes, jewellery, pashmina shawls, wood craft, Thangkas and wall paintings, carpets and rugs, metal and stone work, traditional caps and much more. Walking sticks, Himachali caps, shawls and paintings are a must-buy when you visit Himachal. The dry fruits of this state are also famous.

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Himachal Pradesh Destinations

Shimla

The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is one of the most popular hill stations of India. It is full of life with natural beauty, wonderful Raj architecture, lovely cafes & restaurants and bustling markets. Its spectacular mountain tracts and steep forested hillsides make it a picturesque hill station. Once the summer capital of British India, it boasts of several mansions which were built by then Viceroys and Maharajas. Its historic charm also reflects in its Gothic churches and grand public buildings. Walking in the central part of this town, where the bazaars and other great architectural marvels are located is a joy as traffic is banned here. Some of the must-see attractions of Shimla are the Mall Road, Jakhu temple, Viceregal Lodge, Gorton Castle, Gaiety Theatre, The Ridge, Christ Church and Himachal State Museum.

Dharamsala & McLeodganj

Synonymous with everything Buddhist, Dharamshala is popularly known as the home of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader. Dharamshala is divided into lower and upper Dharamshala (known as McLeod Ganj. Many Tibetan exiles live here and don’t be surprised if you feel as if you are in Tibet. It is a perfect destination for enjoying natural beauty, relish local food, engage in adventure activities, and explore spirituality and much more. Visit the major attractions of Dharamshala- Tsuglagkhang Complex, Men-Tsee-Khang, Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, Norbuilingka Institute, Central Tibetan Secretariat, Bhagsu Waterfall and Tibet Museum.

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Manali

Popular with adventure lovers and honeymooners, Manali is a destination of snow-capped mountains, gurgling streams, lovely valleys, forests, stone homes and adventure trails. Ideally located on the Beas River, it is a famous holiday destination of India. It serves as a base for several interesting treks. It is also on the road to Ladakh through the mesmerizing valley of Lahaul and Spiti and the Rotang Pass (a famous attraction near Manali). Some of the must-see attractions of Manali are Rotang Pass, Hadimba Temple, Kalath Hot Water Springs, Jogini Falls, Manikaran Gurudwara and Solang Valley. You can also indulge in adventure activities like paragliding, river rafting, hiking, rock-climbing and trekking.

Dalhousie

The valleys with gorgeous pine trees, pristine views of the mountains and salubrious climate make Dalhousie a popular tourist destination located in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It is another summer retreat built by the British on and above 5 hills. Its history dates back to the 1850s when it was founded by the British Governor General The Earl of Dalhousie. Today it is a famous destination where adventure lovers and honeymooners come in large number. The town is dotted with fabulous Victorian and Scottish architecture which reflects in the churches and bungalows here. Some of the must-see attractions of Dalhousie are Daikund Peak, Ganji Pahari, St. Francis Church, Panchpula and Chamera Lake.

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Kasauli

A visit to this amazing destination is like travelling back in time when you would visit your grandparents in summer holidays. Here you can enjoy the pleasure of listening to the chirping of birds, visiting old stone churches, strolling along forest pathways, climbing up the hill to capture bird’s eye view of the hill station and much more. It is a cantonment town and hence you will not find much private construction here. The sights of age-old bungalows with sloping roofs and colourful gardens give a feeling of travelling into another time. Its colonial charm and attractions like Monkey Point, Sunset Point and Lover’s Lane, Gurudwara, Baptist Church, Trekking tours, Gilbert Trail and many more.

Chail

The beautiful hill station Chail boasts of gorgeous deodar forests, pleasant climate, lush greenery and serenity in plenty. The joy of taking a stroll or playing in the School Play Ground – The highest cricket ground in the world in Chail and watching birds at dawn are beyond words. This small village was transformed into a summer capital by the then Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh. Sadhupul Lake, Chail Palace (a heritage hotel now), Kali Temple, Chail Gurudwara and Chail Wildlife Sanctuary are the other attractions of Chail.

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Lahaul and Spiti

These are the two isolated tracts of Himachal Pradesh which abounds in sheer natural beauty and offer great opportunities for adventure. These are sparsely populated regions where Hinduism and Buddhism are the dominant religions. Seeing the beauty of Spiti, Rudyard Kipling in the praise of Spiti said, “A World within a World" and "A Place Where the Gods Live." Both have their own unique charm like Spiti attracts travelers with its arresting trek routes, lovely valleys and popular monasteries like Tabo Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site) while Lahaul is greener and boasts of beautiful rivers like Chandra and Bhaga. Some of the famous attractions of Lahaul and Spiti are Chandra Tal Lake, Dashir Lake, Suraj Tal Lake, Pin Valley National Park and adventure activities like trekking, river-rafting and skiing.

Kinnaur

The breathtaking district of Kinnaur sprawling upto the Tibetan border in southeastern Himachal is a land of unparalleled natural beauty, majestic mountains and arresting valleys. It has its own unique culture that is a blend of Aryan Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist. The Sangla valley, the Nako village and the Chitkul village are the most popular destinations of Kinnaur. The beauty of magnificent Kinnaur Kailash peaks is beyond words.  

 

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Best Time to Visit Himachal Pradesh

Generally the climate of Himachal is pleasant throughout the year except for few places which face extreme weather conditions in winter and rainy season. Most of the tourists come here in summer to relax in its pristine beauty and indulge in adventure activities like trekking, camping, paragliding, hot air ballooning and water sports. You can visit most of the places in winter (October to February) also, except a few ones.

How to reach Himachal Pradesh

By Air: Bhuntar Airport in Shimla, Jubbarhatti Airport in Kullu and Gaggal Airport in Kangra connects Himachal Pradesh to the major cities of India like Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bangalore by regular flights.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kalka Railway Station located in Haryana (90 km from Shimla). From here you can even take a toy train ride from Kalka to Shimla which gives an opportunity to enjoy the views of picture-perfect hilly regions.
By Road: Himachal Pradesh is well connected to the major cities of India such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ambala, etc., by road.

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