A Complete Himachal Travel Guide

CAPITAL In Summer Shimla, In Winter Dharamshala
STATE BIRD OF HIMACHAL Western Tragopan
STATE ANIMAL Snow Leopard
MAIN TOWNS Mandi, Shimla, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Pathankot,Kangra, Rampur,
Kullu, Manali, Kinnaur, Nahan, Chamba, Una, Bhagsu, Palampur
TEMPERATURE Summer(March to June)(22℃ to 45℃)
Monsoon(July to Sep)(15℃ to 28℃)
Winter(Oct to Feb)(-10℃ to 15℃)

About Himachal

On 15 April 1948 HP formed as Chief Commissioner’s Province. By integration of 28 states with four Districts Chamba, Mandi, Sirmour and Mahasu. Himachal got complete statehood on 25 Jan 1971 and became the 18th state of India.

Himachal Pradesh is a state of India located in Northern India. Jammu & Kashmir on the north, Punjab & Chandigarh on the west. Haryana on the south-west, Uttarakhand on the south-east. The name coined from Sanskrit Him means ‘snow’ and Achal means ‘mountain’.

The state has several valleys, and about 90% of the population lives in rural areas. The villages have good connectivity with roads and public health centers.

Culture

Himachal Pradesh is known as a multiregional state, multicultural state and a multilingual state. It is considered as one of the most beautiful place of India. Himachal Pradesh includes different communities such as Brahmins, Rajputs, Kayasthas, Kannets, Rathis and Kolis. Main languages that are spoken here are Kullvi, Mandyali, Kangri, Kinnauri, Chambyali and Pahari. Gaddis, Kinnars, Gujjars, Pangawals and Lahaulis are the tribal group that is found here. Himachal is popular for its handicrafts, carpets, leather works, shawls, Kangra paintings, Chamba rumals, metalware, woodwork and paintings. Himachali Caps are also very famous in India. The culture of Himachal can be easily judged from its dance and music.

Best Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh 

  1. Kullukullu

    A Most famous tourist destination in (H.P.). Best holiday destination in summer and is also known as ‘Valley of Gods’. It is famous for its temples such as Bijli Mahadev, Raghunath Ji, Vaishno Mata Temple etc. Famous tourist spots – Sultanpur Palace, Parvati Valley, Raison, Kais, Naggar etc are some of the famous tourist spots in Kullu

  2. Manalimanali

    It is situated at an altitude of 6726ft. Two natural parks situated here: 1.Van Vihar 2.Pin Valley National Park. Tourist Spots- Rohtang Pass, Solang Nala, Jogni Waterfalls, Hadimba Temple etc.

  3. Shimlashimla

    The Summer capital of Himachal. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. One can enjoy traveling from Kalka to Shimla in Kalka Shimla Toy Train. Tourist spots- Jakhoo Hills, Shimla State Museum, Kufri, Doramghati Sanctuary etc.

  4. Chambachamba

    It is a favorite place for nature lovers. It is situated at a height of  900m above the sea level. Tourist Spots- Khajjiar Lake(also known as mini Switzerland), Rang Mahal, Akhand Chandi, Sui Mata Temple etc.

  5. Dharamshaladharamshala

    It is known as Scotland of India. In Dharamshala height of mountains are over 4000m. Tourist Spots- Triund trek, Dallake, Dharamkot, Bhagsu Waterfall, Masroor Temple etc.

  6. Dalhousiedalhousie

    The place is named after Lord Dalhousie (British Governor in the 19th century). Tourist Spots- Dainkund Peak, Ganji Pahari, Sach pass, Panchpula etc.

  7. Prasher Lake Mandiprashar lake

    It is situated 49km from Mandi. It has 3 stories Pagoda-like structure and the temple is dedicated to Prasher Rishi. It is located at a height of 2730m above sea level. The lake is deep blue in color and the lake is sacred as Prasher Rishi is regarded to have meditated here.

  8. Rewalsar Lakerewalsar lake

    It is located in Mandi district and a mid-altitude lake. It is situated 23 km from Mandi. It is a sacred spot for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.

  9. Kasolkasol

    It is situated in district Kullu. It is situated on the banks of Parvati river, on the way between Bhuntar to Manikaran. It is 32 km away from Bhuntar and 5km from Manikaran. Tourist Spots- Rasol, Kheerganga, Malana, Manikaran, Sar Pass Trek, Pin Parvati Trek, Tosh etc.

  10. Baijnath Templebaijnatah temple

    The Baijnath temple is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in India. This temple is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The small town of Baijnath situated south-east of Dharamshala is famous due to its ancient stone of Baidyanath, sacred to Shiva in his incarnation as Baidyanath, the Lord of the Physicians. The temple is said to be built around 804 A.D. The significant features of the temple are the intricate carvings on the exterior walls and the inner sanctum enshrines one of India’s 12 Jyoti linga (linga of light). A large number of pilgrims makes their way here for the Shivaratri festival in late February/ early March.

  11. Kangrakangra

    Kangra: It is also known as ‘Devbhumi’ meaning Land Of Gods. The Beas River flowing through Kangra and the repeated mention of the Valley in the holy Hindu texts. It is surrounded by a lush green valley. This spiritual retreat that will awaken inner peace is a must place to visit. It is the home of Masroor Rock Cut Temple. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  12. McLeod Ganjmc leod ganj

    It has a large population of its large population of Tibetans. This place is popular among trekkers. Its culture is a beautiful blend of Tibetan and British influence. This place has one of the most mesmerizing landscapes in the entire state. Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglagkhang are the main places to visit. Dal lake and Triund are the also a picnic spot.

  13. Bhagsunag Fallsbhagsunag falls

    This place has an ancient Shiv Temple. The main attraction of this place is its temple, Bhagsu waterfall and the public swimming pool. One can enjoy the sight of overwhelming hills, refreshing greenery and craggy rocks. The waterfall is certainly one of the best places to visit in Dharamshala.

Festivals of Himachal Pradesh

  • Kullu DussehraKullu dussehra

    It is an International Festival which is celebrated with a great joy and happiness. This fair is organized in the October month. The Rath Yatra of the Lord Ragunath is started by Kullu Raja. It attracts a huge number of tourists.

  • BaisakhiBaisakhi

    It is celebrated at the end of the winter season. This festival is celebrated with a great enthusiasm and is mainly celebrated in Rewalsar and Prashar Lake that is situated near Mandi and also in Tattapani near Shimla.

  • Nalwari Festivalnalwari festiwal

    Many cattle traders come to this fair to do business. The main festival attraction is Bullock trade.

  • Mandi Shivratrimandi shivratri

    It is an International Maha Shivratri Festival. It is organized in Mandi district. Mandi is also known as Choti Kashi. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and sounds of drums and folk music are everywhere in the town.

  • Sazosazo festiwal

    The most famous festival of Himachal Pradesh. It is the most awaited festival of the state. Villagers enjoy this festival and village people clean the temple floor so that they can receive God’s blessings. Villagers are filled with loads of happiness and joy.

 Things to Do in Himachal Pradesh:

  1. River Rafting-

     Beas River Manali, Spiti River in Spiti Valley, Satluj near Shimla, Ravi near Chamba.

  2. Mountain Cycling-

    Kangra, Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur.

  3. Ice Sakting-

    Shimla and Solang Nala Manali.

  4. Para Gliding-

    Bir-Billing in Kangra and Solang Valley near Manali.

  5. Trekking-

    Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, Lahaul & Spiti Valley.

  6. Camping-

    Dalhousie, Kullu & Manali, Solan, Chail, Dharamshala.

  7. Rock Climbing-

    Reo Purgyil, Jorkanden, Rangrik Range, Shilla.

Best Time to Visit Himachal Pradesh

April to October and December to January

Famous Cuisines of Himachal PradeshDHAAM

The people of Himachal loves spicy as well as sweet dishes. Different places of the state have their own dishes that are very popular in their culture and are also cooked in many celebrations. Some famous cuisines are listed below:

  1. Madra

    It is a famous dish of Kangra and Chamba. The dish is made with soaked Channas that are also known as chickpeas and also of vegetables. This dish represents the food culture of Himachal Pradesh. Madra is cooked in every occasion.

  2. Dhaam:

    This dish includes different flavors on the same plate. You will get to have the flavor of the many dishes such as dal, rajma, rice, curd, boor ki Kadi. It is a plate that is full of delicious dishes that are just cooked and served on every occasion and festival.  

  3. Tudkiya Rice:

    It is a Palau based dish. In different places of Himachal, people cook this dish in their own style. This dish is a perfect delicacy for you.

  4. Bhey:

    It is made up of Lotus stems. It is cooked and eaten in all the places of Himachal. It is a unique and have a great taste.

  5. Chha Gosht:

    It is a perfect dish for all the non – vegetarians. It is a spicy food and is the best dish for spice lovers.

  6. Mittha:

    It is a sweet dish in which sweetened rice is cooked and mixed with dry fruits and raisins.

  7. Siddu:

    It is a local dish of Kullu. It is enjoyed by every person. It is cooked for every occasion and festival.

CLIMATE 

Due to extreme elevation, great variation occurs in the climatic conditions. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern tracts.

TOURISM

Tourism in Himachal Pradesh is a major contributor to the state’s economy and growth. The mountainous state attracts tourists from all over the world. Popular destinations – Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Chamba, Dharamshala and Kullu. Famous for both domestic and foreign tourists. The state has many important pilgrimage centers with prominent Hindu temples. Naina Devi, Jwala Ji Temple, Chintpurni, Chamunda Devi Temple, Bijli Mahadev, Manu Temple. Located at Shenshar in Kullu district, Renuka lake.

The state is also referred to as “Dev Bhoomi” (meaning Abode of Gods). Due to its mention in ancient holy texts and occurrence of a large number of historical temples. The state is also known for its adventure tourism activities. Like ice skating in Shimla, paragliding in Bir-billing, Solang valley, rafting in Kullu. Skiing in Manali boating in Bilaspur and trekking, horse riding. Spiti Valley in Lahaul & Spiti District situated at an altitude of over 3000 meters. Its picturesque landscapes are an important destination for adventure seekers. The region also has some of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries in Asia.

Interesting Facts About Himachal Pradesh

  1.  The Great Himalayan National Park in Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) is declared World heritage sites in India by UNESCO.
  2. After the Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh is the second largest producer of apple in India.
  3. There are 33 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 2 National Parks in Himachal Pradesh.
  4. Himachal Pradesh is the first state of India which was declared as “Smoke Free State.”
  5. The first ever paragliding world cup was held in Bir Billing (Himachal Pradesh).

How to reach Himachal Pradesh 

The transportation facility to reach Himachal pradesh is quite good. You can easily reach this beautiful place without any problem. To reach Himachal Pradesh either you can use road transportation or take a flight . If you are someone who loves train journeys, you can also take the train to reach this beautiful destination.

By Air – 

Himachal Pradesh has a total of three airports. 

Kullu-Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala

You can take the flight to any of these places as per your convenience.

By Train – 

If you want to go by train, you can take the train from pathankot. It will take about 8 hours to reach Himachal Pradesh. You can also enjoy the toy train experience. The toy train connects Shimla and kalka. 

By Road –

The best and most amazing way to reach this beautiful state and explore the best places in Himachal Pradesh, you should choose roads. The reason is, if you go by the roads, you will see the real beauty of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh has a good connectivity of roads, so you will not face any difficulty if you choose road transportation.

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