Nestled in between the snow-capped slopes of the Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar ranges, Manali is one of the most popular hill stations in the country. With jaw-dropping views, lush green forests, sprawling meadows carpeted with flowers, gushing blue streams, a perpetual fairy-tale like mist lingering in the air, and a persistent fragrance of pines and freshness – Manali has been blessed with extraordinary scenic beauty. From museums to temples, from quaint little hippie villages to bustling upscale streets, river adventures to trekking trails, Manali has every reason to be the tourist magnet it is, all year round.
Clean roads, swaying eucalyptus trees, endearing little eateries, small kitschy local market places, and cafes which serve delicious local food at unbelievable prices, Old Manali is a serene, tranquil place, whose lingering silence is broken only by the twittering of the birds and the sound of the roaring waters of the Kullu River.
Solang Valley is the of the most visited places in Manali, with the drive up to Solang being as picturesque as the valley itself. Not only does Solang Valley offer some breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, but its slopes are also a very popular skiing destination, especially during the winters. In summers, the place turns into a paragliding haven. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, Solang Valley has adrenaline-pumping activities such as zorbing and horse-riding available.
With more than 25 lakh visitors every year, Rohtang Pass easily stands out as one of the most popular scenic spots to visit in Manali. Connecting the Lahaul and Kullu valleys, the Rohtang Pass is famous among nature lovers, photographers and adventure seekers alike. Mountain biking or skiing whilst surrounded by the awe-inspiring glaciers and snow-capped peaks on all sides is an exhilarating experience.
Manali is also home to a tiny slice of history, in the form of the Naggar castle. Located among the breathtaking forests in Naggar town, the Naggar Castle is a stunning historical edifice. Once used as the residence of Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu, the castle is a fine blend of traditional Himalayan and European architecture. With majestic fireplaces, beautifully built staircases, and meticulous wood and stone works, the Naggar Castle is a must-visit when you’re in Manali
Situated at a height of 2200m, Shimla is the capital and the largest city of Himachal Pradesh in India. Set amidst beautiful hills and mystical woods, Shimla has been a very popular hill-station among Indian families and honeymooners for the last 50 years.
British loved this city so much that they made Shimla their summer capital in 1864 and used to rule the sub-continent from here whenever the temperature rose in the nearby plains. Shimla still retains its old-world charm with beautiful colonial architecture, pedestrian-friendly Mall Road and beautiful churches.
The weather is pleasant for most of the months with tourists flocking especially during the summer months. The winters are cold with some days of snow from mid-December till February end. Tourists flock to the centrally located Mall Road and the Ridge, a walking-only area that is lined up with multiple shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Shimla has been the host to some of the most important meetings in the Indian history, including the Simla Conference of 1945 and the Simla Agreement of 1972 between India and Pakistan. The Old Viceroy Hall now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and is a popular tourist attraction.
Shimla is often covered with nearby towns of Kufri, a hill-station almost always covered by snow and Chail, famous for a huge palace and the highest cricket ground in the world. Tourists also visit the famous Jakhu Temple and engage in sightseeing at various viewpoints during their trip to Shimla
Shimla is well connected with many cities and is just 4 hours from the nearby city of Chandigarh. The city has an airport as well however there aren’t many daily flights from here. The railway station connects Shimla with the plans and is famous for the Kalka-Shimla train route, a UNESCO listed World Heritage site
Mcleodganj is a hill station near Dharamshala, popular among trekkers. Its culture is a beautiful blend of Tibetan with some British influence.
Also known as Little Lhasa and famous around the world for being home to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Mcleod Ganj is a beautiful town situated near the upper . Nestled amidst majestic hills and lush greenery, this town is culturally blessed by a prominent Tibetan influence owing to the major settlement of Tibetans here. Mcleodganj has one of the most mesmerizing landscapes in the entire state of Himachal Pradesh and attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year. The towns of Dharamsala, Mcleodganj, Bhagsu Nag, and Kangar are situated very close to each other and tourists must cover all these destinations while traveling here. Few of the most eminent and religiously significant monasteries in India are located here, including theand, where the spiritual leader Dalai Lama resides. Tourists must also visit the scenic Dal Lake and, which are apt for quiet picnics
The tiny tinsel town Dalhousie tucked away in the lap of Himachal Pradesh is a piece of paradise for all the travelers. It boasts of old-world charm, mesmerizing natural landscape, pine-clad valleys, flower-bedecked meadows, fast-flowing rivers, magnificent misty mountains and some of the most spectacular views in the world. The air smells of the Scottish and Victorian architecture and the ambiance reminds you of the pristine British flavors.
Dalhousie, one of the favorites among most tourists traveling to Himanchal Pradesh is famously known for its mesmerizing natural beauty and its old-world charm. This hill station was one of the most favorite summer destinations of the ruling Britishers and this is truly reflected in the majestic Victorian style mansions in this region. Situated far from the buzzing cities in the country, this quaint town transports you to a pollution-free environment in the lap of nature. Dalhousie is known for its scenic beauty has a number of mountains and river streams that tourists must visit. Among them the most famous are and the
Spiti Valley Tourism
Long winding roads and valleys that present unforgettable glimpses of cold desert and snow-crowned mountains welcome you when you set foot into Spiti Valley. Bordered on all sides by the Himalayas, Spiti Valley, located in Himachal Pradesh, has an altitude of 12,500 feet above sea level, and gets just around 250 days of sunshine in the year, making it one of the coldest places in the country. With the thick Himalayan snow cutting Spiti off from the rest of the country for around 6 months a year, the summer months are the only time Spiti is directly accessible via motorway.
The term Spiti means ‘The Middle Land’, as Spiti Valley separates India from Tibet. Scantily populated, Spiti is an adventure lover’s paradise, with a number of trekking trails that tourists can choose from. All of these treks start from Kaza (Spiti’s capital from where you make your base camp) to various peaks from where you can get panoramic views of the Himalayan mountains. An easy 1.5-kilometre trek along the Spiti River from Dhankar Monastery to Dhankar Lake promises gorgeous views of the villages below. The Dhankar Lake itself is a place where you can sit back and relax amidst the cool mountain air.
The mountain ropeway from Kibber to Chichum is also another popular tourist attraction that offers spectacular views of the gorge below, as well a bird’s eye view of the surrounding peaks
A small village in Himachal situated along the banks of the river Parvati, Kasol is a tourist attraction that is rapidly gaining fame as a very popular hub for trekkers, backpackers, and nature lovers. Commonly known as the Amsterdam of India, this quaint little village is resplendent in natural scenic beauty, and is one of the few places in the country that is yet to be ruined by urbanization and commercialization. Situated between the towns of Bhuntar and Manikaran, Kasol might seem like a plain, nondescript village from the outside, but it is one of the best places in the country to just sit back and chill in the lap of nature.
With the waters of the Parvati river gurgling along and a stunning view of the snow-capped mountains in the background, taking a stroll along the river is one of the best ways to spend a day in Kasol. With smooth boulders and clean white sand separating the green grass from the frothing sea-green waters of the river, every single bend in the river opens up to a breathtaking panorama of cliffs, pine trees, and gushing waterfalls.
Kasol is famous for its trekking trails, which include treks to Kheerganga, Yanker Pass, Sar Pass, and Pin Parbati Pass. To get a real feel of the culture in these regions, go on a visit to the village of Malana. Located a few kilometres away from Kasol, Malana is a tiny hamlet inhabited by people living in self-imposed isolation. The people of Malana claim themselves to be Aryan descendants, as a result of which they avoid interaction with outsiders. The village has plenty of scenic sights, though, and is often called ‘Little Greece’.
Kasol is inhabited by a huge number of people from Israel, which is clearly discernible from the plenteously available Israeli food, and the street signposts inscribed in Hebrew. Kasol has quite a few streetside cafes which serve delicious food, and the experience of sitting and enjoying a meal amidst the dark green forests and the awe-inspiring mountains make the meal even more enjoyable.
Dharamsala is famed as the holy residence of the Dalai Lama and houses the Tibetan monk in exile. Dharamsala is located in Kangra district at a distance of 18km from Kangra City. The city is distinctively separated as upper and lower divisions with different altitudes. The lower division is the Dharamsala town itself whereas the upper division is popularly known as
This is situated on the upper hilly stretch of land of Kangra Valley which is placed just against the picturesque scene of . Being a Tibetan hub, Dharamsala is considered to be one of the best places to learn and explore Buddhism and Tibetan Culture
Tirthan Valley Tourism
The land of untouched and mystifying beauty, Tirthan Valley is a destination with a plethora of delights. Lying nearly 3 km from the entrance of Great Himalayan National Park, this place is abundant in adventurous activities and a paradise for nature lovers. ‘
The great Himalayas with snow covered tops looking over the Tirthan River, this valley is best known for its trout fishing and for surprisingly high influx of foreigners. Magical ambience and lush green paths leading to nearby tiny and quaint hamlets accompanied by amazing weather throughout the year, Tirthan valley is great for those holiday makers who seek adventure as well as peace
Often referred to as ‘mini-Switzerland of India’, Khajjiar is a small town near which provides tourists a unique combination of forests, lakes and pastures.
The mesmerising beauty of this place has greatly influenced and inspired many kingdoms throughout the years, including the Rajputs and Mughals. Located at an altitude of 6,500 feet, the natural beauty and picturesque landscape of this place are bound to leave an everlasting impression on a tourist. Khajjiar is known for its nine-hole golf-course which is nestled in the midst of lush greenery and a breathtaking landscape. Khajjiar is a small plateau which also has a small lake which is one of the most favored tourist spots in this town. Khajjiar is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests and it is also known for its beautiful temples. This region also attracts adventure seekers and has a lot of options in adventure sports like paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, trekking etc. Khajjiar is a must visit place for everyone coming to Dalhousie and its nearby regions. However, the way to Khajjiar can be closed sometimes during winters because of heavy snowfall
Located on the way from to Shimla, Kasauli is a hilly cantonment town which makes for an ideal peaceful holiday location, away from the rush.
Kasauli is a small town in the south-west part of and is on the relatively lower edges of Himalayas. Nestled amidst beautiful woody forests of pine and cedar trees, Kasauli owes its mystical and serene ambience to the lavish Victorian buildings built by the Britishers who resided here years back. These structures speak volumes of the glorious past of this hill station. A lot of endangered species of fauna are also found in the dense forests in this region. Kasauli is not about particular attractions or activities, but about the serene environment and enchanting calmness that it provides. If you want to just find a good getaway from the hectic life of your city, Kasauli provides the ideal environment to soothe your nerves
Kinnaur, also known as “Land of God” is about 235 Km from Shimla and is known for its serenity and beauty of the lush green and rocky mountainscape having Satluj, Baspa and Spiti river meandering through it. A brotherly fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism at one place reflects the existence of a culture of a different sort which is well preserved by its people in this era of modernization. Hindus visit Kinnaur to see the famous Kinner Kailash, believed to be the home of Lord Shiva and the Shivaling rocks, the stories of Pandavas and their link with Kinnaur is a great attraction.
There are also old Buddhist monasteries and temples in the vicinity which hold special importance and are revered by Buddhists. Apart from religion, Kinnaur also has a vast scope in adventure sports like trekking and skiing. There are about nine known routes for trekking and some which are five days or six-day trips. Kinnaur is well known for its delicious apples, Chilgoza, handlooms and handicrafts materials. Slight traces of modernization can be seen in the town, its cultures and people but the area continue to be pristine, pure and magnificently beautiful
Bir Billing Tourism
Bir is a small town located in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Bir Billing is a popular destination located in Joginder Nagar valley known for adventures sports such as , treks and also as the . There is an influence of Tibetan culture due to Tibetan community settlement in this town.
Bir is considered as one of the best spots in the world for paragliding. The take-off site is called Billing and the landing site is Bir and the overall altitude change is around 800m. There are some pretty cafe dotting the town serving some delicious food. People can also go for short hikes, visit the monasteries, take a ride in the nearby Jogindernagar-Pathankot Narrow Gauge train or just spend a day at the tea gardens. The town of Bir is also an important centre of spiritual studies and meditation
Kufri in Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most sought after holiday destinations, and more so for couples, because of its proximity to Shimla and relatively higher altitude which makes it a place with snow all through the winters.
Kufri is just about 10 km from Shimla and is quite a retreat if you’re in Shimla and snow is something which excites you. While there’s not much to see in Kufri as such, but the panoramic views and temples after a bit of trekking are worth the time. Kufri itself is mostly treated as a spot for the tourists visiting Shimla and it is advisable to club sightseeing in Shimla or nearby areas like Chail, Mashobra, Naldehra or as well if you intend to visit Kufri. Also, Kufri is a relatively crowded and popular attraction as almost everyone visiting Shimla comes here
Chamba is a Himalayan town located in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Known for the ancient temples, the caves, and the edifices that speak highly of Indian history, Chamba is famous for the gob-smacking views of the Pir Panjal, Zanskar and Dhauladhar ranges set in the backdrop of a picture-postcard town. This epitome of the Himalayan town is located at an elevation of 996 meters on the banks of river Ravi flanked by , Lahaul and .
Chamba is popular for its traditional handicrafts and art along with the miniature Pahari paintings – a form of Indian painting that originated from the Himalayan hill kingdoms of North India during the 17th to 19th centuries. It is also the base camp for several treks in the great Himalayan ranges. This, along with the stunning beauty and tranquil environs beckons travellers looking for an offbeat location among the much-popular Himachali towns.
Chamba celebrates two renowned festivals – Suhi Mata Mela, held during March/April for four days and Minjar Mela, celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of the Shravana month, or August. This town of centuries-old fortress and shrines has many folk songs dedicated to it
Chail is a quiet hill station close to Shimla, known for the world’s highest cricket ground and the heritage hotel, Chail Palace, in the midst of pine and deodar trees.
Surrounded by lush greenery and mesmerizing views from such a great height, known as a hiker’s paradise, Chail is bound to give a tourist a memorable travelling experience to a tourist. This place is famous for having the world’s highest cricket and polo grounds and has a luxurious resort situated on three hilltops. Once the summer capital of theÊPatiala ÊKings, the palace has now been converted into a hotel and a tourist destination. This is the quintessential destination for tourists looking for a calm and relaxed vacation away from the more bustling and crowded tourist destinations in this state. Being the summer capital of the majestic kings of Patiala, the most famous place to visit in Chail is their palace which has now been converted into a heritage hotel. One must also visit the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary and the famous cricket ground
Packed with a thick green cover of pine and deodar trees, the town of Mandi is situated at the junction of Kullu and Dharamshala. It is often referred to as ‘Varanasi of Hills’, or ‘Choti Kashi’ as the town has as many as 81 temples spread across its area.
Lying on the banks of River Beas, Mandi also displays some old palaces and temples that can be dated back to the 5th Century AD. Serving as a gateway to some famous valleys such as Kullu, Manali, Spiti and Lahaul, Mandi is must on your north India itinerary which never fails to enchant its visitors. Mandi is also the nearest town to various treks like Prashar lake and Janjhel