Amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy city, overflowing with traffic, pollution and dust, even the mention of the name “Himachal Pradesh” sends a serene sense of calm through one’s mind.Think “Himachal” and one automatically gets transported to the Indian state where peace is a way of life, with the snow clad peaks of the Himalayas looming high overhead. With almost sixty four percent of the state under forest cover, one can well imagine the splendor of the dense woods of fir and pine.Himachal Pradesh is a state that is heaven for all types of tourists- the adventure seeking ones, the tourists who want to get close to nature, honeymooning tourists, tourists on the lookout for undiscovered, off beat places- this state has something to offer everyone.
1 Shimla – The Queen of Hills
There are many spots of beauty in Himachal Pradesh. For the ones who like to go to the more popular tourist haunts, there is the erstwhile British capital- Shimla. Located at a height of about 2159 metres above sea level, Shimla is one of the most popular hill stations of the country.The numerous buildings are still testimony to British architecture. There are many places that are must-sees in Shimla. Head out to the Viceregal Lodge, Jakhoo Hill, The Mall, Chadwick Falls, Annandale, Sanjauli, Glen and Daranghati Sanctuary to see the best of Shimla.
2 Manali – The Honeymooner’s Paradise
About seven hours by road from Shimla, Manali is known as the honeymooner’s paradise of the north. Idyllic surroundings and amazing weather is what makes Manali such a charm to visit.The magnificent peaks of the Himalayas, the small bubbling streams and the steep gorges lend an air of unspoilt beauty to Manali.The Naggar Castle, the sixteenth century wooden Hadimba Temple should definitely be on your list of “have visited while in Manali”. Also don’t forget to visit the Rohtang Pass, which is just a few kilometres away from Manali.
For the more adventurous traveller, Himachal has all the options to bring on a surge of adrenalin. If one has the appetite for adventure, Himachal Pradesh is definitely the place to be. Trekking in the wilderness, camping in the most remote of places, skiing in winters, rafting in the surging rivers are only some of the things that Himachal has to offer adrenalin junkies.
3 Lahaul and Spiti – The Trekker’s Heaven
Regions of Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul are ideal for trekkers, while camping and trekking in the Chail region has been acknowledged as delightful. Rafting or kayaking in the Maharana Pratap Sagar reservoir in Kangra will surely get your heart and pulse racing.
4 Kangra and Chamba – The Land of Festivals and Folk dances
Himachal Pradesh also has a lot to offer if one is interested in the local culture or architectural aspects of past history. Chamba and Kangra are both places where one can soak up the warm culture of the state. Chamba, one of the oldest princely states, is said to have originated as early as the 6th century BC. It has many temples dating back to medieval India and its old buildings hold testimony to the long gone ancient race of rulers.
Chamba is also well known for its local festivals like the Minjar fair, which is a seven day harvest festival held in the months of July or August. The Sui Mela is held in honour of Sui, a local deity. The Mela is held for a period of about fifteen days, in the moths of March-April. Other festivals such as Pathroru, Lishoo and Nawala also attract many