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If you are someone who loves cold climate, tranquility, a little adventure and a whole lot of fun, then a visit to the hill stations in North India is a must. Make a list of places to visit in Himachal Pradesh where overwhelming landscapes and peaceful views greet you. The place is surely a nature lover’s delight! There is no better way to explore the majestic mountains, evergreen forests, remote villages, and mesmerizing lakes at its best than taking a trip to “The Land of Snow” which is what Himachal means.

So Let’s Take You Through Some Of The Best Tourist Destinations Of Himachal.

•   Manali

•   Shimla

•   Dalhousie

•   Dharamshala

•   Tirthan Valley

•   Sangla

•   Chitkul

 

1. Manali

Located in Kullu district, at an altitude of 2,050 meters, Manali captivates you with its snow-capped mountains and impressive views, on your Himachal Holiday package. Bring out your adventurous side by indulging in the sports activities as you give yourselves a visual treat. The visually pleasant atmosphere makes it one of the top tourist places in Himachal Pradesh.

There Are A Number Of Places To Visit On Your Sightseeing Trip In Manali, To Name Some:

•   The ancient Hadimba Devi Temple

•   The Solang Valley

•   Rohtang Pass

•   The great Himalayan Nature Park

•   Manu Temple

•   Old Manali

•   Van Vihar Manali

•   Nehru Kund

•   The Gayatri Temple

•   Siyali Mahadev Temple

•   Manali Sanctuary and so on,

One doesn’t even realize how the time flies by while visiting all these awesome sites and takes back memories that last a lifetime.

When we talk of things to do in Manali, there is so much for everyone that to have a heart full of fun.

•   Paragliding in the Solang Valley

•   Treks, there are a number of designated trekking routes that you can choose from:

(i)   The Chandratal Baralacha Trek

(ii)   Hampta Pass Trek

(iii)   Bara Bhangal Trek etc.

•   River Rafting on the Beas

•   Skiing

•   Hot water Bathing at Vashisht or Manikaran

How To Reach

By Air

The nearest airport serving this beautiful hill station is situated at Bhuntar. Known as Kullu Manali Airport, it is at a distance of approximately 50 km and 10 km from Manali and Kullu, respectively. Once you reach the airport, you can hire prepaid taxis to reach Manali.

By Road

If you truly like to enjoy the views as you travel, opt for the road since there are some spellbinding picturesque views en route to be enjoyed. The destination has a good connectivity by road with cities like Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh and Shimla serving as pivotal points. A number of bus services including private services like the very comfortable Volvo ply frequently from Delhi to Manali. Besides, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) also offers services from New Delhi to Manali.

By Train

The closest railway station is Chandigarh (315 km) or Pathankot (290 km). You can make your travel bookings till either of these two cities and then take a prepaid bus or a cab till Manali. Both the railway stations are well connected with major Indian cities via extensive rail network.

Best Time To Visit

October to February

Also Read: The India Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) - An Architect Marvel

2. Shimla

Come for a holiday and get an opportunity to spend quality time close to Mother Nature and make your trip most relaxing, on your Himachal honeymoon tour package. What more you can expect from your holiday trip. Shimla is such a trip, especially for those who have a passion of exploring natural beauty and serene environment, nothing can be compared with such amazing places and environs. If you are also one of them, then truly a visit to Shimla would make your dream come true, when you are on your Himachal travel package. Talking about Shimla, the Queen of Hills is situated at an altitude of 2215 meter above the sesa level. Being one of the largest hill stations/cities in India, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, where honeymooners, couples, nature tour lovers and those who look for serenity and tranquility come to enjoy their holidays

Some Of The Most Popular And Famous Places To Visit On Your Shimla Trip

• The Jakhu Temple

• The Mall

• Indian Institute of Advanced Studies

•  Viceregal Lodge

•  The Ridge

•  The Scandal Point

• Jakhoo Hill

• The Kali Bari Temple

• Tara Devi Temple

• Annandale Ground

• Green Valley

• Kufri

• Tattapani

• Mashobra

• Naldehra

• Bantony Castle

• Gaiety Heritage Cultural Hall

• Himalayan Bird Park, etc.

For the enthusiasts wanting to indulge in the activities that can be done in Shimla, here is a brief list

•   Revisit the British era with Viceregal Lodge

•   Horse Riding

•   Enjoy a ride on the Shimla- Kalka Toy train

•   Skiing in Kufri

•   Explore the Annandale Museum

•   Watch the Sun Set at the Scandal Point

•   River Rafting at Tattapani

•   Golfing in Naldehra

•   A  walk through the Pine Forest

•   A trek up to the Jakhu Temple

•   Bird Watching at Shimla Water catchment Sanctuary

•   Ice-Skating in Asia’s only open-air ice-skating rink

•   Trekking at Shailey Peak

•   Bathe in Chadwick waterfall

•   Camping at Camp Chrysalid

How To Reach

By Air

There is one airport Jubbor Hatti in Shimla which is around 23KM from Shimla city.

By Rail

The nearest broad gauge head is at Kalka - a four-hour journey from Delhi. After that, take the mountain train from Kalka to Shimla. This railway track has recently been granted the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The view is stunning, with the line passing through an amazing 103 tunnels.

By Road

You can drive up to Shimla in your own vehicle or take a private taxi after arrival at Chandigarh and from there you could further go by bus or take a private taxi. There is regular connectivity from Delhi to Shimla by bus, both by the HRTC as well as the Himachal Tourism buses, which run the luxury coaches. It is about 378 kms. from Delhi and 115 Km from Chandigarh. All types of private transportation are available between Delhi and Shimla.

Best Time To Visit

Depending on your preferred timing and choice, you can visit Shimla in any season as every season has its own importance and pleasure. However, during the winter season, you should go with woolen clothes. On the other hand, spring and summer time is the best time to explore Shimla.

Moreover, walking at Shimla Mall Road in autumn season is memorable experience. In Monsoon season, you should avoid visiting it because it rains heavily and sometimes for several days. Temperature also downs to extreme chill level.

In addition, humidity also increases to some great level. If you want to see the real picture of Shimla tourism, then exploring it during the months of March to June is the best time when weather conditions are extremely pleasant and keep one spellbound for more time.

Also Read: Hidimba Temple - The Tribute to Devi Hidimba

3. Dalhousie

True to its name, Dalhousie exudes a colonial feeling and is renowned for its heritage buildings that go way back to the early 19th century. The colonial feel is good for a walk down memory lane and hence is one of the best tourist places, to visit on your Himachal trip package, in Himachal Pradesh. This hill station is spread across five hills and is a sanctuary for wildlife lovers and landscape photographers as it holds some of the most intriguing flora and fauna.

Some Of The Most Alluring Places To Visit In And Around Dalhousie

•   Khajjiar – The Mini Switzerland Of India

•   Dainkund Peak – The Tale Of Three Rivers

•   Kalatop Wildlife Reserve – Home Of The Wild

•   St. Francis Catholic Church – A Paradigm Of Art And Architecture

•   Panchpula – The Lifeline Of Dalhousie

•   Ganji Pahari – The Stunning Panoramas

•   Satdhara Falls – The Water That Heals

•   Rang Mahal – The Fusion Of Mughal & British Influences

•   Chamera Lake – Scenic Beauty Plus Water Conservation

•   Mall Road – Glorious Vistas Of The Pir Panjal

•   Sach Pass – The Trekker’s Paradise

•   Tibetan Market – Handicrafts And Souvenirs

•   Bakrota Hills – Sightseeing

•   Subhash Baoli – Picnic

•   St.John’s Church – Religious place

•   Chamunda Devi Temple – Idol of Chamunda Devi

•   Rock Garden – Ideal place for nature lovers

•   Garam Sadak – Take A Stroll

•   Dalhousie Community Garden – Take A Walk

•   Norwood Paramdham – Watch The Sunset

For the activity enthusiasts below are some of the activities that you can indulge in and have a lifetime experience

•   Boating in the glistening Chamera Lake

•   Go for a picnic to Khajjiar

•   Trekking at the Dainkund Hill

•   Paragliding

•   Horse Riding in Dalhousie

•   Upper Bakrota Loop Walk

•   Site camping in Dalhousie

How To Reach:

By Air

The airport closest to Dalhousie is Gaggal Airport, which is around 130 km away. Carriers including Air India Regional, Jagson Airlines and SpiceJet provide regular flights rom Delhi and Chandigarh for Gaggal. From outside the airport, travellers can hire a private taxi or cab or take a bus to reach Dalhousie.

By Road

Roads leading to Dalhousie might be long but are worth travelling on. Several private and state buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) provide their services from nearby cities. From New Delhi, it takes around 11 hours via NH 1 to reach Dalhousie, covering a distance of about 565 km. Besides, the destination is also well connected with other major places of the region like Chamba (45 km), Amritsar (200 km) and Shimla (365 km).

By Train

About 80 km away, Pathankot railway station is the nearest railhead to Dalhousie. It is directly connected to prime cities of the country, including Delhi, Jammu, Bhatinda, Jaipur, etc. via superfast express and mail trains. You can either hire a private taxi or take a shared cab from outside the railway station to reach Dalhousie, a journey of about 3 hours.

Best Time To Visit 

March to May

Also Read: Chitkul- The Last Village of Himachal

4. Dharamshala

Not long after arriving in Mcleodganj, a suburb in Dharamsala, you realize that the comparisons drawn between it and Little Lhasa are hardly exaggerated. It is only to be expected though, as it is the abode of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Dharamshala is blessed with the same beauty as other parts of the state, but what sets it apart is its strong Tibetan character. You see fluttering Tibetan prayer flags, monasteries at regular intervals and monks attired in bright saffron robes.

It is also characterized by having the highest cricket field in the world, the beauty of which is to be seen to be belived on your complete Himachal tour package.  There are tourist spots in plenty, but mostly, Dharamsala is about unwinding and enjoying the serenity that is found here in abundance

Places To Visit In And Around Dharamshala

•   MacleodGanj

•   Bhagsunag waterfalls and Temple

•   Namgyal Monastery

•   Sherling Monastry

•   Gyuto Monastery

•   St. John’s Church in Wilderness

•   Triund

•   War Memorial

•   Dharamkot

•   Kunal Pathri Temple

•   Jwalamukhi Temple

•   Chamunda Devi Temple

•   Maa Bajreshwari Temple, etc.

For the activity enthusiasts to Dharamshala has a lot they can dwell in

•    Experience Peace at Namgyal Monastery

•    Take a Memorable Trek to Kareri Lake 

•    Visit the Norbulingka Institute

•    Admire the Beauty of Masrur 

•    Kangra Fort 

•    A Trip to Naddi Village 

•    Shop for Souvenirs 

•    Enjoy a Quiet Afternoon at Dharamkot village           

•    Stroll Through Tea Plantations 

•    Explore St. John’s Church

•    Trek to Triund

•    Paragliding

•    Camping

•    Tibetan Cuisine

•    Gyuto Monastery

•   Yoga Lessons

•    Dal Lake

•    Bhagsu Falls

How To Reach:

By Air

The nearest airport is at Gaggal, about 13 kilometers away from Dharamshala. Gaggal airport connects Dharamshala to Delhi via Air India and Spice Jet flights. Tourists from other parts of India would find it easier to take a flight till Chandigarh and book a taxi for their onward journey to Dharamshala, which is about 275 kilometers away.

By Bus

Dharamshala is well-connected to Delhi and other parts of North India via a network of state-operated buses as well as private tour operators. The journey is almost 520 kilometers from Delhi.

Most buses stop at the main bus terminal in Lower Dharamshala, but there are also some public Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses that go all the way to the main square of McLeod Ganj. An overnight journey from Delhi takes about 13 hours. You can book HRTC tickets online.

By Train

An overnight train journey is a good option to reach Dharamshala. The nearest major railway station is at Pathankot, 85 kilometers away. There are numerous trains that go to Jammu and Kashmir that stop by in Pathankot. You can take a taxi or bus from Pathankot to reach Dharamshala.

Best Time To Visit

March to June; December to February

Also Read: Chandra Tal Lake

5. Tirthan Valley

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Emerson

Called 'Himachal's Best Kept Secret', Tirthan Valley perched at an altitude of 1600 metres above sea level is the perfect getaway destination blessed with a wealth of nature's treasure, to be cherished, and the only ease way out for you to do this is to go on a Himachal adventure tour package.  It is the perfect placed to be if you are tired from the hustle & bustle of the everyday metro life full of noise and pollution.

Named after the pristine Tirthan river, the valley opens the doors to the newly recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site - The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), spread over an area of 1100 sq kilometers. It is a paradise for trekkers, offering one of the finest trekking opportunities in the world. Not to forget for bird lovers as well who spend days camping in the heart of this park. For not only an escape from the overcrowded city life, but also an escape from the more-crowded Himachali getaways, it doesn’t get much better than Tirthan.

As already made known that this is a very offbeat destination, least frequented ad ideal for the solitude seekers, hardcore adventurers, and those who just want to do nothing and just be around. Not a very talked-about destination so the only way to express the charms of the nature here is through images that will tempt you to just go for it.

Things To Do

River Crossing

River crossing in the Tirthan Valley is an adventure sport for people who are looking for some adrenaline rush in the quiet valley. A person is tied to a safety harness and slides from one point to the other, with the turbulent River Tirthan gushing underneath. The icy cold spray of the river while taking on the sport, sure is a motivating factor for enthusiasts

Trekking In The Great Himalayan National Park

The Great Himalayan National Park is a blessing in disguise for nature lovers. From lush green forests to blooming flowers and meandering streams, this place also houses various well laid out trek paths.

Depending on the difficulty level, one has an option to choose from half day, full day, overnight or multiple day camping. Whatever you may opt for, this place does promise a wonderful experience and equally amazing trip.

Serloskar Lake

Serloskar Lake, another major attraction of the village is located about 5 km from Jalori Pass. The lake has clear water which remains so despite of several leaves falling in to it.

The place is better known for its temple devoted to Goddess Budhi Nagin. It is believed that the Goddess has hundred sons and acts as a guardian of the place. The walk to the lake is equally enchanting from Jalori pass, with thick cover of oak trees.

Jalori Pass

Nestled in the peaks of northern Himalayas lies the Jalori mountain pass, an undiscovered beauty located between the prominent towns of Kullu and Shimla. Perhaps one would recognise it better as the snow-covered summit in the Bollywood film "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", where actors Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone are seen trekking through the mountainside. With scenic views of the snow-capped Himalayan landscape and the fresh mountain air to surround you, the hike through Jalori Pass has much to offer with exquisite flowers, birds and the environment for a surreal experience.

At a height of 10,800 feet above sea level, the trail through this mountain pass is relatively untouched as a tourist attraction, possibly due to the hype surrounding the roads to reach this pass. And it is completely justified.

Great Himalayan National Park

Great Himalayan National Park is one of India's national parks, located in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded on all the three sides by the Himalayan Mountains, the park is home to diverse wildlife species, is a must on your Himachal tour package itinerary.

The Great Himalayan National Park received the status of a national park in 1999. At present, it is home to more than 375 species of fauna, 31 species of mammals, and 181 species of birds. This beautiful location of the national park becomes all the more attractive due to the Deodar and Oak trees.

The secluded location of the park has made sure that the villages inside the park have a culture of their own. Every village inside has a deity of its own. There are also some fairs organized here during April, May, August, and September. The Great Himalayan National Park is an amazing place to relax and unwind away from the fast life of the city. It is a must-visit for all the nature lovers out there.

Trout Fishing

There couldn't be a more ideal place for fishing than the crystal clear Tirthan River, a tributary of Beas. Filled with brown and rainbow trouts, this river has over the year become a favorite place among the tourists as an angler spot.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is another adventure sport that is undertaken by a lot of travelers while visiting the valley. Many operators have specialized staff who train and assist adventure enthusiasts who are interested in partaking of the sport.

How To Reach

By Air

The nearest airport to reach Tirthan Valley is the Kullu-Manali airport which is the hub for most Himachal destinations. From the airport, you can hire a private vehicle to reach Tirthan Valley. It will take close to 90 minutes.

By Road

Tirthan is located near Kullu. To reach Tirthan by road, you need to take the Chandigarh-Manali highway and turn off at Aut. Tirthan Valley is at a distance of 513 km from New Delhi.

Also Read: Narkanda – The Town of Apple Orchards

6. Sangla

One of the most charming valleys in the whole Kinnaur District, Sangla Valley is a perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of the swarming cities. It is named after a beautiful village by the same name.

Bounded by strapping mountain slopes, sprawling evergreen forests, and snow-covered peaks, the valley is set apart from others by its red apple orchard and luscious cherry trees, which you can experience firsthand when visiting on your Himachal adventure tour package. Baspa River also makes its way through the place, meandering and gurgling, famous for trout fishing. The place is dotted with several attractions from the temple and fort to nearby villages making it an amazing holiday destination.

Why Sangla

•    Sangla is a riverside valley overlooking stunning Himalayan views.

•    Sangla is best visited for a nature centric experience, walks, trekking, trout fishing etc.

•    Guests to Sangla can stay riverside and explore the area on foot.

•    Chitkul village is few kilometers away from Sangla is where the views get even bigger and better and is the last point before Tibetan border.

•    Sangla area is full of apple orchards and April-Sept is best time to arrive here and explore.

•    Overnight trekking options around the area are good and the hills around are much more unexplored and pristine as compared to other known and explored trekking routes.

•    Sangla is also where you can pick up famous Kinnauri shawls, woolen socks, tweeds and silver jewelry studded with Tibetan pearls

•    Sangla is recommended for Glacier trekking in March and April

Sangla Meadow

Lush green meadows spotted with mud patches and a magnificent backdrop of snow-covered Himalayan Mountains. What else could you ask for, to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

Also referred to as Sangla Kanda, it is one of the most favored attractions in the area. This place should not be missed at any cost.

Bering Nag Temple

An architectural wonder, this place is a must-visit. It is considered as one of the most important temples for Hindus. This temple is devoted to Lord Jagas.

If you are traveling between the months of August and September, do not miss the famous Fulaich fair celebrated every year.

Also Read: Spiti - The Land of Lamas

7. Chitkul

Chitkul is said to be the last inhabited village within the Indian boundaries on the old Indo-Tibetan Road. Situated at the height of 3450 meters, the village is located at a distance of 28 km from Sangla, about 600 kilometers from Delhi in the Kinnaur Valley. It is like a doorway that opens into an exquisite landscape of breathtaking beauty and a serene environment.

There are orchids, mountains, meadows, huge rocks, rivers, jungle, and grasslands in the village with the help of which it has made a unique identity for itself. A drive to the Chitkul village is pleasant. One can go for trekking in the forest as well and a wildlife sanctuary for all the wildlife as well as nature lovers out there.

The journey to Chitkul is an altogether different experience in itself. It is sparsely populated with as many as 600 locals who are warm, loving and extremely hospitable towards the tourists. While traveling to the valley, you will see River Baspa on your right and on the way you will also pass through the Rakcham village which is commonly known as the model village of the region. Numerous campsites are situated within the apple gardens by the side of the Baspa River.

 

This little village is a must-visit place, and one should stay for at least a day here as the landscape keeps you magnetized all the time. It is a perfect place to spend some time off from the busy lives and the monotonous routines in the realm of natural beauty.

Tibetan Wood Carving Center

A paradise for shopaholics, this place is famous for its Tibetan products made of wood carvings. Once again famous among tourists, the Tibetan Wood carving center has good both on display as well as sale.

How To Reach

By Air

Nearest airport to Sangla is Jubbarhatti Airport at Shimla at a distance of about 238 km. Taxis and cabs for Sangla are easily available outside the airport at reasonable price. Bhuntar Airport is the second nearest with a drive of nearly three and half hours to Sangla. This air base is widely connected to many major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dharamshala, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Shimla.

By Road

If you are planning to travel by road, the HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) runs regular buses from Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Private as well as state buses from Chandigarh for Sangla are also easily available.

By Train

There is no railway station at Sangla. The closest railway station is Kalka Railway Station in Shimla. You can travel by train up to there and then shift to a bus or taxi to reach Sangla.

Best Time To Visit 

March to June, September to December

The above are some of the getaways for an awesome holiday in Himachal which are essentially a must-visit on your Himachal tour packages no matter what category.

This article is originally published in Indian Travel Store