What’s In the Name?
The words Himachal Pradesh idyllically translate to “Snow-veiled province”, a fitting name to this Himalayan state. Located just below India’s crown, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh is a bestowed with enchanting sights and amiable people. Lovingly dubbed as the “fruit bowl of India”, this tranquil state is blessed with rich flora and fauna, including many species of tulips, chrysanthemums and lilies with diverse creatures comprising of peacocks, the Asian paradise flycatcher and the Black Bulbul.
The charming landscapes and the soothing climate pledge for memorable holidays and delightful memories. Choosing only a handful of locations to visit in this divine kingdom can be an excitingly challenging task, for you are sure not to want to miss out on any of them!
A Question of Palates
Himachali cuisines and food items include wheat flour and maize flatbreads with lentils and vegetables. Some of the notable dishes that are found in this state are Saag, Sepu Badi, Khatti Daal and Madrah.
Where Dreams Manifest
To save you the ardor and confusion from choosing the best spots in Himachal Pradesh, we have compiled seven of the most desirable locations, and each of these assures you of a good time and immense satisfaction.
Photo by debabrata, CC BY 2.0
A favorite of old time travelers, Manali is one of the most desired destinations for families, backpackers, student tours and honeymooners. Sitting at an elevation of 6726 feet, Manali can get surprisingly packed by keen tourists during peak season. Manali is where you find pious places like the very renowned Hidimba Devi temple, swift coursing waters of the Beas River, valleys and waterfalls and also a couple of wildlife sanctuaries.
Best time to visit- May to July, November to January
Activities- adventure sports, bird watching, trekking, rafting, meditation.
Notable spots- Rohtag Pass, Hidimba Devi Temple, Van Vihar National Park, Rahala Falls.
Photo by Rajarshi MITRA, CC BY 2.0
Often associated with Manali, Kullu is a popular tourist spot located on the banks of the river Beas. This picturesque “Valley of the gods” has many assorted attractions ranging from temples to palaces to picnic spots.
Best time to visit- May- July, November-January.
Activities- white water rafting, angling, mountaineering, paragliding.
Notable spots- Masheshwar Mahadev Temple, Raghunathji Temple, Jagatsukh, Parvati Valley.
Photo by Kiran Jonnalagadda, CC BY-SA 2.0
Ideal for the romantic and lone travelers, this “Scotland of India” will open up your perspective in rich ways as you immerse yourself in the Tibetan culture that bestows a homely feel to this location. The many different cultures living in harmony in this pristine spot is inspiring to behold, if not life-changing.
Best time to visit- May- July, November- January.
Activities- boat rides and visits to monasteries.
Notable spots– Kangra valley tea plantations, Bhagsunag Temple, Masroor Rock Cut temple.
Photo by Dheeraj Dwivedi, CC BY 2.0
The capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla used to the summer capital of the British in India during their regime. As such, Shimla is still richly associated with its British roots of the yesteryears as is evident from all architecture which carry old-timey feels with them.
Best time to visit- May to July, November to January.
Activities– an enthralling treasure chest for history lovers, you can explore and visit old churches, museums and of course, shopping to take home souvenirs.
Notable spots- Viceregal Lodge, Shimla state museum, Chadwick Falls, Lord Hanuman’s temple.
Photo by balu, CC BY-ND 2.0
Named after the 19th century governor, Lord Dalhousie, this scenic location is the ultimate nature-lovers destination. Spread across five different hills, there is so much to see and explore, you’ll be astounded how quickly times flies! Take in the near-divine air of oak, pine and deodar trees as you trek and survey the sights.
Best time to visit- April to July
Activities- mountain walks, trekking, visiting old monuments.
Notable spots- St. John’s Church, Garam Sadak, Dainkund peak, Satdhara and Chamera Falls.
Photo by Ankit Jain, CC BY 2.0
At an elevation of 1927 meters, Kasauli is an assortment of many evidences from the days gone by. The British colonial power crafted several architectural legacies that stand to this day. Serene, still and enchanting, Kasauli stirs up awe-inspiring introspection when you walk through the pages of history.
Best time to visit– November to March, December to January.
Activities- long nature walks, exploring old churches and buildings, watching sunsets.
Notable spots– Lord Hanuman’s foot, Anglican church, Gilbert trail, Sunset point. St. Patrick’s Church.
Photo by Anshul Dabral, CC BY 2.0
The right place to go to if you are looking for an antiquated getaway from the hustle and bustle of the tech-crazed world today. Explore the quaint and humble settlements in this “little Greece of India” at the Chandrakhani and Deo Tiba peaks.
Best time to visit- May to August.
Activities- trekking, solo travelling, indulging in the cultural variety and taking part in regional festivals.
Notable spots- Chanderkhani pass, Kheer Ganga valley.
An enthusiastic contributor to Pearls India Tours, Himanshu possesses undying curiosity for wintry, enchanted lands and actively takes time off to explore such destinations. A foodie, music lover and a vehement supporter of animal rights, Himanshu believes in making the best of what life has to offer.