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Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh: Part 1

Sangla Valley Trek
April 27, 2013 admin

‘Him’ means snow in Sanskrit and ‘Anchal’ means lap. Himachal Pradesh has been very thoughtfully and aptly crowned as “Himachal”. Combining the two words – it means to reside in the lap of nature, which it does. Your spirit is contented in its visual and spiritual appetite with the snow draped mountains, the prolific lush green valleys, sparkling and crystalline rivers and falls, and captivating bio-diversity.

Furthermore, Himachal has the cultural assortment, exotic food variants and exuberant apple orchards that please the senses. Add to it the magic of unique handicrafts, hand-woven carpets, traditional woolen and hand-woven shawls and indigenous crafts and antiques. These definitely impel you to keep asking for more.

Himachal possesses some very amazing and unforgettable tourist spots. From honeymoon, adventure sports to religious trips; Himachal has a lot in store to offer to its visitors. Here’s our round-up for you.

 

1.  Shimla – The Queen Of The Hills

 

Shimla has got it all, everything that would appeal to an outsider. The visual attraction is inevitable. It holds delightful snow capped peaks, adventure sports spots, legion of temples and religious buildings, monasteries, indigenous architecture and crafts. The colonial heritage buildings and the indigenous culture and crafts are the top things. Add to it the liberty of enjoying the cool and friendly weather conditions year round

 

Must Visits:

  • Shimla: Popular spots: The mall road, Taradevi, Jhakhoo, Sankat-Mochan, Haatu temples, Vice Regal lodge, multiple trekking spots, Toy Train Ride, exotic and traditional shopping.
  • Kufri:  A hub for varied adventure sports for instance skiing, trekking, mountaineering etc.
  • Rampur: It is birthplace to Raja Virbhadra Singh and has beautiful royal palaces, amazing landscapes, Sutluj river side, indigenous temples and pleasing nature’s retreats. Furthermore, it harbors the Nathpa Jhakri Hydtro Power Station of 1500MW capacity.
  • Kasauli: A naturally serene and quite hill station of Himachal with soothing and pleasing lush green surroundings. Less of crowd and more of peace is what you would find here. Visit Gurudwara Shri Guru Nanakji, Manki Point, Christ Church, Sunset Point & Gilbert Trail. You could also go hiking on the various trails the place offers.
  • Narkanda: A place known for Hatu Peak and Hatu temple on the famous Hindustan Tibet Road.
  • Rohru: This is a place located at the mesmerizing hilltops with captivating valleys and places like Chanchal, Hatkoti temple etc.

 

Shimla

The Beautiful Shimla

 

 

2. Chamba – Hub For Arts, Music and Fun

 

Chamba is an ancient town in the Chamba district in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It possesses a large number of temples and palaces, and hosts two popular jatras (fairs), the “Suhi Mata Mela” and the “Minjar Mela”. These fairs last for several days and involve music and dancing. Chamba is famous for its arts and crafts, particularly its Pahari paintings, and its handicrafts and textiles. The popular historical spots are: Chamunda Devi Temple, Lakshmi Narayan temples, Akhand Chandi Palace, Champavati Temple, Church of Scotland, Bhuri Singh Museum, etc.

 

Must Visits:

  • Dalhousie, The Isolated Retreat – It is a famous sleepy little town which preserves its Victorian charm. With the picturesque view, dense deodar, pine, and rhododendron forest, old and indigenous traditions and customs, Dalhousie serves you with a plateful of delights for your travel appetite.  The old colonial architecture here is reminiscent of the British past. One favorite spot for tourists is the area near Alla. It is a potato field and it offers mesmerizing scenic landscape.
  • Bharmour: This is a beautiful place known for Chaurasi Temple and the Hindu pilgrimage of Mani Mahesh.
  • Khajjiar & Saho: Khajjiar is a small town which has profusion of greenery and beauty especially in the summer months. Plus, it offers cheap options for horse-riding and zorbing. Saho on the other hand is popularly visited for the famous Shiva temple.

 

Chamba

The Unmatched Chamba

 

3. Kullu & Manali – The Sensational Duo

 

Manali is situated in the northern end of the Kullu valley. The climate in Manali is predominantly cold during winters and moderately cool during summers. This lends it a favorable characteristic appealing to the tourists from the plains. It has got captivating green hillsides, tourist cottages and mesmerizing landscapes. Together with legion of Kullu’s attractions, it makes for a wholesome travel accomplishment.

 

Activities: Skiing (In winters only), Rafting, Rock climbing, Para-gliding, Trekking, Mountaineering, Jeep Safaris, Bike Safaris, & Angeling.

 

Must Visit:

  •  Manikaran: Manikaran is known for temple of ‘Lord Shiva’ who remained in ‘Samadhi’ for eleven thousand year in ‘Treta Yug’. The hot sulphur springs it encompasses have got alleged medicinal value and deemed to cure number of chronic diseases.
  • Rohtang Pass: This pass connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh. The pass is open from May to November. The pass is moderately difficult when it comes to covering it on foot. But, it has garnered a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards.
  • Solang Valley: Popularly named as Snow Point and most famous for the ski lift. It is a picture perfect place. Furthermore, it offers splendid views of glaciers and the snow-capped mountains. Solang valley also offers attractions like paragliding, snorkeling etc.
  • Vashishth Hot Water Springs: A small village which holds natural sulphur springs and modern bathhouses with Turkish-style showers. It provides the hot water for the convenience of the visitors who visit the place to benefit from the medicinal properties of sulphur water.
  • Khirganga: Accessible only by foot, it is a beautiful day hike on a narrow cliff side route. In between your travel you would find numerous waterfalls and few isolated yet inspiring villages.
  • Hidimba Mata Temple: An ancient cave temple with beautiful cedar forest besetting it around. Built in reverence towards Hidimba Devi, it is constructed over a huge rock protruding out of the ground.
  • Bijlimahadev: This temple is situated in the main Town with lush green forests in the background. Bijli Mahadev temple is a ‘Khash’ style temple that has a ‘Shivlingam’ installed in it. In the month of July, there’s a great rush of people pouring in to pay homage to lord Shiva.
  • Malana Village: This solitary village in the Malana Nala, a side valley of the Parvati Valley to the north-east of Kullu Valley, is isolated from the rest of the world. The lifestyle and culture it follows is totally different from the outer world and inhabitants are resistant to any change surrounding that. They consider outsiders as untouchables and so, visitors to Malana town must stick to the prescribed paths and not try to interfere with things there.
  • Kasol: This village is situated in Parvati Valley, on the banks of the Parvati River, on the way between Bhuntar to Manikaran. Kasol has transformed into a melting pot for backpackers and travelers from local areas & around the world as well. People are attracted to the scenic valley, untouched hills, low population, and great climate conditions throughout the year. Serving as a popular base for trekking in Himalayas, it is also famous for its trance parties attracting visitors from abroad.
  • Other : Kais Dhar, Mannu Temple, Old Manali, Buddhist Montessori’s, Nagar Castel, Rorik art gallery, Hamta Pass, Chanderkhanni Pass, Jana Falls, Raghunath Temple, Bhuntar, Bajaura Temple, Jalori Pass, Soja, Siyolsar Lake, Bhekhli Heights.

 

Kullu Valley

Kullu Valley in Blossom

 

4. Kinnaur – Remote, Yet Mesmerizing

 

Kinnaur is a remote district of Himachal Pradesh nestled in the southeastern part of the state. As old and remote a place it is, it is as intriguing and charming. The Buddhist culture & architecture, exotic dishes, raw and old roads and treks, and profuse apple orchards are its tourism high points.  Shrikhand Mahadev Peak is a stop for those who relish trekking and adventure.

 

Must Visit:

  • Sangla Valley: Situated on the banks of river Baspa, the Sangla Valley is access to Kinner Kailash Peak, which could be seen from the Sangla Village. This peak is deemed to be the winter home land for the Lord Shiva. Sangla is also known for Kamru Fort dedicated to Kamakshi Goddess, idol of whose was brought to this place from Guwahati.
  • Chhitkul: Perhaps the most beautiful part of kinnaur; it’s a tiny little village in the outskirts of Kinnaur. It has got lush green surroundings with quite and pleasing ambience.
  • Sarahan: Very famous for the divine Bhimakali temple, with the beautiful hilly surroundings it serves as a popular religious retreat.
  • Kalpa: A lovely mountainous village with stunning views of the Himalayas. You could visit Kinnaur Kailash, Tibetan Buddhist temple, Hindu temples, Roghi village, & Chaakka while wandering around this place.
  • Nako: It is situated in the sensitive restricted zone along the border with Tibet, which requires an Inner Line Permit to travel through. You could see and experience Nako Lake, Nako Monastery, gates in the village streets & enjoy walking around the small village.

 

Kinnaur

The Mesmerizing Kinnaur

 

5. Bilaspur

Bilaspur is visited most for its famous historical forts and buildings. The place offers variety of sports and recreational activities like Para-gliding, Water and River Sports.

 

Popular spots – Fort of Kotkahlur, Fort of Bahadurpur, Fort of Sariun, Fort of Tiun, Fort of Bachhretu, Thakurdwara of Sunhan, Bhakra Dam, Gobind Sagar Lake, (On river Sutlej), Kandrour Bridge, Deoli Fish Farm, & Namhol.

 

Must Visit – Naina Devi: With its beautiful Naina Devi temple premises it offers a worthwhile religious retreat.

Bilaspur

The Elegant Bilaspur

 

Read about few more incredible places in the 2nd part of this series

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