Himachal Pradesh, a northern Indian state in the Himalayas, It is largely mountainous and rural, with 90% of its population living in villages, is known for its trekking, climbing and skiing, and scenic mountain towns and resorts such as Dalhousie. Host to the Dalai Lama, Himachal Pradesh also has a strong Tibetan presence, reflected in its Buddhist temples and monasteries, cuisine heavy on noodles and dumplings, and vibrant Tibetan New Year celebrations.
Cities of Himachal Pradesh
Manali, a hill station in the State of Himachal Pradesh in north India. Hadimba Devi Temple, also known as the Hadimba Temple, is located in Manali. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi, sister of Hidimb, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mahabharata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himalayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in the year 1553.
Hadimba, a ‘Rakshashi’ in the Mahabharata has been deified and is worshipped in this area. According to Mahabharata ‘Hadimba Rakshash’ ruled some of the sub-mountainous tracts of the Himalayas. His sister was Hadimba or Hadimba. manali taxi service, taxi service in manali, attrctions in manali. The Hadimba Devi Temple has intricately carved wooden doors and a 24 meters tall wooden “shikhar” or tower above the sanctuary. The tower consists of three square roofs covered with timber tiles and a fourth brass cone-shaped roof at the top. The earth goddess Durga forms the theme of the main door carvings. The temple base is made out of whitewashed, mud-covered stonework. An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple, only a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tall brass image representing goddess Hadimba Devi. A rope hangs down in front of the rock, and according to a legend, in bygone days religious zealots would tie the hands of “sinners” by the rope and then swing them against the rock.
About 70 meters away from the temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Hadimba’s son, Ghatotkacha who was born after she married Bhima. As per another legend, the architect of the temple had to lose his hand for this masterpiece. King was afraid of duplication of the master craft and he ordered architect’s hand to be cut.
This anecdote might have some portion of reality and truth, with only the temple being a mute witness. It is also said that this could not stop the master architect, who trained his left hand and at the request of the people, executed an even finer temple at Trilokinath in Chamba.The temple is also known for a fair held every year in Hindi month of Sravan in the memory of Raja Bahadur Singh, who built the temple. The fair is popularly known as Bahadur Singh Re Jatar among locals. There is another fair too which is held on 14th May each year in the celebration of birthday of Hadimba Devi. Women around and from Dhungri forest come and celebrates this fair with music and dance.
Located at a distance of 13 kms from Manali, Solang Valley lies between Solang village and Beas Kund. It offers a beautiful view of glaciers and snow capped mountains. Since the valley has fine ski slopes, it is a perfect place for skiing. The guest house of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali is based here. This institute is the venue for winter skiing festival and also offers training in skiing to the tourists. In winter, the valley becomes a skiing paradise with children of all ages slipping and sliding over the fresh white snow. When snow melts in the summer, skiing is replaced by parachuting, zorbing, paragliding and horse riding. For snow lovers, the best time to visit Solang Valley is between the months of December to February.
Located at a height of 3979 metres and at a distance of 51 kms from Manali, Rohtang Pass is on the highway to Keylong/Leh. In winters, the pass remains closed but is open from June to October for motor vehicles. This pass is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley. The best time to visit the pass is between May/June to October/November. In the month of May, Rohtang becomes a hotspot for adventure enthusiasts. Tourists can go for various thrilling activities like snow scooter, skiing and mountain biking. Nature lovers can enjoy beautiful views of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river that flows down in the Lahaul valley.
There is a waterfall named as Rahala, which is located at a distance of 16 kms from Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. This waterfall flows down from an altitude of 2,500 metres and looks amazingly wonderful. Photography buffs must visit this pass as they get to click one of the most beautiful pictures of nature. It is recommended to hire a local cab or take a bus, as the drive to Rohtang Pass becomes quite tough with slippery road and narrow curves.
Bollywood Connect: The first part of the popular song ‘Yeh Ishq Haaye’ from the romantic movie Jab We Met was shot at Rohtang Pass.
Kullu, also known as the ‘Valley of Gods’ is situated amidst the loftiness of the majestic Himalayas and the serene ambience of the unpolluted River Beas. Surrounded by beautiful valleys and abundant natural resources, Kullu presents an enjoyable tourist spot where one can feel the rejuvenating warmth of Mother Nature.
The great Himalayan national park is one of India’s national park, is located in kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The park was established in 1984 and is spread over an area of 1.171km at altitude of between 1500to 6000m. The great Himalayan park is a hibital to numerous Flora and more than 375 fauna species,in culuding approximately 31 mammals,181 birds,3 reptiles 9 amphibians,11 annelids,17 mollusks and 127 insects. they are protected under the strict guidelines of the wildlife protection act of 1972 . Hence any shot of hunting is not permitted.in June 2014 the great Himalayan national park was added to the UNESCO list of world heritage site. The UNESCO world heritage site committee granted the status to the park under the criteria of outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation.
Mandi district (earlier known as Mandavya Nagar) is one of the central districts ofHimachal Pradesh state in northern India.Mandi town is the headquarters of Mandi district. The town has mythological and historical significance and boasts of a unique temple architecture. It is referred to as Chhota Kashi as there are many ancient temples in the city and on the banks of river Beas. The Beas flows through the town and hills, which makes this town more scenic. It has a serene ambiance though the modern development has made its inroads here in infrastructural developments.
The town is an important commercial hub of the state. It is a major transit route to Kullu-Manali and other adjoining places from NH-21 (Chandigarh-Manali highway) and NH-20 (Pathankot-Mandi highway). Sundarnagar is one of the emerging towns of the district. Mandi has an educated middle class and people converse in Mandyali, one of the Pahari languages of Himachal
Dharamshala is a city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by cedar forests on the edge of the Himalayas, this hillside city is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. The Thekchen Chöling Temple Complex is a spiritual center for Tibetan Buddhism, while the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives houses thousands of precious manuscripts.
Lower Dharamsala comprises a largely Indian community, while a Tibetan enclave lives uphill in the suburb of McLeod Ganj. Near the Dalai Lama’s main temple, Tsuglagkhang, is a Buddhist monastery known as Namgyal Gompa. The Tibet Museum provides a historical overview of Tibet’s occupation. Cultural establishments include the Norbulingka Institute, a haven for traditional Tibetan arts and crafts, and the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts, which preserves Tibetan opera, music and dance. The city also offers trekking trails leading across the mountains to Triund, the upper Ravi Valley and beyond.
Composed of lofty snow peaks,deep groges,lush Green valleys,fast flowing Rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked Meadows, beautiful temples and monasterys.himachal Pradesh is a traveller,s paradise.may it be for relaxing, sightseeing,or for some hill side adventures like trekking, mountaineering para- gliding,or more. Himachal has something for everyone.
One of the scenic valleys in Himachal Pradesh, Kangra, is not just rich in nature but also in history and culture. It has a rich past, which could be gauged by the fact that its name is mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. This picturesque valley has some of the beautiful attractions to offer.
Palampur is a green hill station and a municipal council in the kangra valley in the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh, surrounded by tea gardens and pine forests before they merge with the dhaulahdhar ranges. Palampur is the tea capital of Northwest India but tea is just one aspect that make palampur a special interest place. Abundance of water and proximity to the mountains has endowed it with mild climate. The Town has derived it’s name from the local word palum meaning lots of water. There are numerous streams flowing from the mountains to the plains from palampur. The combination of greenery and water gives Palampur distinctive look. Palampur is at the compluence of the plains and the hills and so the scenery shows the contrast: plains on one side and the majestic snow covered hill on the other side. In the backdrop of this beautiful town stands in dhaulahdhar mountain range which remains snow – covered for most part of the year.
The Dalhousie is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, established in 1854 by the British Empire’s government in India as a summer retreat for its troops and officials. It is built on and around five hills, Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora.Located on the western edge of theDhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Dalhousie is situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level. The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September. Scottish and Victorian architecture are prevalent in the bungalows and churches in the town.
Dalhousie is a gateway to the ancient Chamba Hill State, now Chamba District of the state ofHimachal Pradesh of India. This hill region is a repository of ancient Hindu culture, art, temples, and handicrafts preserved under the longest-running single dynasty since the mid-6th century. Chamba is the hub of this culture. Bharmour, the ancient capital of this kingdom, is home to the Gaddi and Gujjar tribes. It has 84 ancient temples dating from the 7th–10th centuries AD.
Dalhousie has many places to visit. A favorite spot for tourists is the area near Alla. It is a potato field and it offers mesmerizing scenic landscape. Another popular spot is the area of Karelanu. It is famous for its precious water, which healed Subhas Chandra Bose. He was suffering from tuberculosis and he regularly drank the water from the natural spring in Karelanu and was healed.
Cut off from the main tourist route, kasauli is a favorite haunt of many a lazy tripper.wild rose and hawthorn copies, cobbled paths and pine scented twilight hush before a cracking fire with a hot drink – or follow the Upper Mall up to monkey point on Gilbert hill near the air force base take the 4km walk to the temple and enjoy the splendid vistas from this vantage point dagshai lies across the forest hill and deep ravines and you can catch the sparkle of the satluj River curving lazily along the plains on a clear day enjoy the visits of the snow clad dhaula dhar range and the chui- chandni peak. Unexpected kasauli is for the traveller looking to step out of balkanth resorts pulls the crowds from both kasauli and Chandigarh it has a well – stocked bar for grilled sandwiches soups and hot samosas check out the daily needs store in kasauli. The alasis’ bar and Ros Commons traditional India fare are worth a try..
A small hill station in the Himalayas and is among one of the best holiday choice for people all over the globe gets its name from a flower called ” kasol” and best know for its pristine and unspoiled natural beauty. The small township is located in the hill of Himachal Pradesh and is at the height of almost 1’927 meters from sea level. the city also synonymous with” time warp” gives you an unforgettable experience in the rainy season. The light rain shower falling on the pine tree. engross everyone mind and soul. The town was discovered by Britishers and their sign can still be seen through the quiet cobbled streets,the flower filled garden in front of amazing and artistic bungalow. there are so many church that add to the beauty of the place . The tinted glass windows and shining clocks captivates every person . Himachal is one such place in India where the god and goddess peaceful surrounding and it’s cool weather attracts a hung number of tourists to this state in India year also year. Kasauli a small town in the state of Himachal is one such holiday destination that offer it’s visitor not only the scenic beauty and weather to enjoy but also a relaxing holiday one would love to sneak out every now and then.
Things to do…
There are so many places that you can visit while you’re stay. monkey point gives an amazing view complete Chandigarh and kalka carbe seen though the point which is a churchs like Baptist Church (dated 1922) and neo Gothic Christ Church. These churchs are definitely worth a visit you can also pay a visit Krishna bhavan Mandir a temple build in 1926.
Shimla hill station is still the colonial summer capital (resort) to which British used to retreat in when heat of Indio-Gangetic plains used to become unbearable. Be it grey-stone work of Vice Regal Lodge, or Gaiety Theatre putting neo-gothic architectural excellence, the beauty of building seem to come alive and not only staying in eyes of beholder. The Elizabethan style mixed and merged with different other forms in buildings like Ellerslie, Christ Church, Gorton Castle, Wood Ville, etc are a must-see.
Spirits of that past attracts enthusiasts from India as well as abroad when this hill city has been made capital of state of Himachal Pradesh after India got its Independence. However, this is not the sole reason for why to come to Shimla. Smooth slopes of Snow-draped mountain peaks are absolute invitation to the skiers by spirit or profession. While camping and trekking trips, doing yoga facing the mild rays of waking sun might become the other reason. And this list is sure to go long, once tourists get to know what all they could do to make best time in Shimla.
The way it is nestled at a maximum altitude of 2200 m in the foothill of Himalayas, traveling Shimla is a perfect course to get to view this heaven in summer; and also in winter that brings a different glory altogether.
Named after Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Kali, Shimla has emerged as a well developed city. Yet, the touch of Nature could be felt everywhere one goes too. The beauty of hill could be summarized by uttering the name of this place. It is no wonder why film Industry took to this city when shooting for some place abroad. Shimla tourism encompasses a complete experience, where entertainment, culture, sights like British architecture reminiscent of colonial era, temples and palaces could be spotted interspersed on its landscape.
Attraction literally means something that draws attention due to a significant appeal. When discussing Shimla, the whole city becomes the embodiment of this single word, as portrayed by different integrals that combined to make it. Here are some of them-
Places of Worship
Jakhu Temple– With a giant statue of Hindu God Hanuman, the aide and devotee of Lord Rama in his mission f life, this temple is symbolic of brotherly love and devotion.
Tara Devi Temple – Dedicated to goddess of stars, the temple is located 11 Km away from Shimla Bus Stand.
St. Mary’s Church – Although 80 Km away from Shimla, the Church still is an attraction for the visitors who are in the hill station for their holidays.
Kali Bari – The temple is dedicated to the goddess who has given this city Her name and can be booked for staying as well.
Sankat Mochan – Another temple of Lord Hanuman, located some 7 Km away is visited feverishly by His devotees present in Shimla.
St. Michael’s Cathedral and Christ Church– One of the oldest churches in India and second oldest in North India, devotees of every faith stream in here for few moments of peace, introspection and confessions. Henry Irwin designed this Church in 1885 to last in the minds of the worshippers as well as visitors to the church forever.
Dorje Drag Monastery – Buddhism also has left its mark in various places of India; this monastery is just another of them. A peaceful mind and rejuvenated spirit is guaranteed after coming here. Kamana Devi Temple at Prospect Hill, Gurudwara, Bhimkali Temple are some other places of worship.
Seven Hills – With a major tourist attraction on every hill, Shimla is surrounded by these beauties augmented by the sensible designing of the city by British. Prospect, Summer, Observatory, Invererarm, Bantony, Jakhu and Elysium are the names of the hill that hold at least one significant tourist attraction.
The Glen – A picnic spot of sorts, this place is charmingly scenic with deodar and pine forests along with Chadwick falls. Some sources claim the place to be oldest picnic spot of Shimla, reached easily from Scandal Point, another attraction of Shimla travel.
Annandale – Most of the minor sports activities of Cricket and Polo take place in this favorite picnic spot of residents as well as tourists in Shimla. The place was initially developed as cricket ground and is only a small distance from The Ridge.
Himalayan Bird Park – For avid bird watchers, the place is good to spot some of the rare Himalayan species of these winged creatures.
Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex – The place is a treasure-holder of precious history. Housing attractions like State Museum showcasing rich arts and crafts in ancient artifacts, sculpture and paintings, a visit to the Henry Irwin designed complex is a must.
Rothney Castle – Located at Kakhu hills only, the building is home of A O Hume, now a heritage place.
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies – Located on Observatory Hill, this is another footprint of British in Shimla, known for historical events like Shimla Conference and Shimla Agreement. Most of the parts are now closed for public viewing except for entrance hall and gardens.
Lakkad Bazaar – Popular for the goods of wood craft, the place could be visited for taking souvenirs.
Scandal Point – Maharaja of Patiala is known to have kidnapped the daughter of then viceroy of India.
The Ridge – More known for the open space and picturesque view of surrounding hills, it is a path one ought to come to is has decided to see scandal point and intended to go to Lakkad Bazaar.
Kalka to Shimla Railway Track – a World heritage site, the track is often a part of the railway route taken to reach Shimla. Some other additions to this list are Ellerslie, Woodvile, The Mall, Town Hall, Naldehra Golf Course, Manorvville Mansion, Gurkha Gate, Palace of Maharaja of Patiyala, etc
Places around Shimla
Scenery as represented by the verdant forests, hills, temples, etc is also found in following places near Shimla. See them to know them.
Mashobra – Separated by 13 Km from Shimla, at an altitude of 2149m this suburb is covered with dense forests. Nearby Sipur with deodar trees is easy to reach from here. People with religious bend can explore old temples which is more popular for an annual fair is held in the month of April.
Fagu – For enchanting Himalayan glimpses, Fagu around 22 Km away from Shimla is another attention-catcher and a must during the Shimla tour.
Kufri – At 2501m, views of snow and snow fun like ski and snow scootering are enjoyable. Mahasu Peak in Kufri another place to walk up to, to enjoy being in the lap of Nature. Tattapani Popular for hot water springs and their medicinal values, the place is to be reached after a drive of 51 Km from Shimla. The surrounding forests only enhance its sighting.
The former summer capital of the princely state of Patiala, chail is a beautiful hill station locked 63km from shimla in the shivalik region of Himachal Pradesh. Chail is a spread across three hillocks – rajgarh pandewa and sadh tiba covering area of over 72 acres overlooking the valley of satluj it enjoys pleasant climate the oughout the year. Chail also offers magnificent and panoramic views of the surroundi
Sirmaur – This district is at a distance of around 162 Km from Shimla and known for Lake Renuka, the largest lake of the Himachal Pradesh state.
Other places nearby are Kasauli, Naldhera, Sarahan, Nakanda, etc.
Things to do
There are many exciting activities tourists can add to their itinerary and Shimla tour packages. Camping is a very popular activity that people choose to do here, but only those who have sufficient holidays in hand. There are few popular adventure-activities organizers who schedule days with activities like rock climbing, Rope walking, valley crossing, forest treks, rappelling, etc. For those who love to zip-zap-zoom on snow, Kufri serves all ski and ice skating intentions. Another exhilarating experience of adrenaline pumping is paragliding and hand-gliding from Bir and Billing peak in Kangra Valley.
Physical endurance is put to test on cycling and mountain biking trips that take to different routes to or from Shimla; a superb way to explore the beauty of hills and feel the tranquility in the air. Wildlife lovers can find their interests catered to in places like Shimla Reserve Forest Area, Chail Sanctuary, Daranghati Sanctuary and many other places that are located at some distance from the city of Shimla like in Solan, Sirmour, Kullu, Spiti Valley etc. Other activities are angling and golfing with time in this hill city could be made memorable.