Himachal Pradesh is a picture-perfect state that impresses visitors with scenic hill stations, quaint villages, snow-covered mountains, lush valleys, diverse flora and fauna, unblemished nature and abundant trekking trails. It is a veritable haven for nature lovers, adventurers, and backpackers. Here’s our pick of the top places to visit in the ‘Abode of Snow’.Because of all of this, I am able to write about the top 10 places to visit Himachal Pradesh, India.
On the banks of Parvati River lies a photographic town of Kasol, also known as the ‘Little Israel of India’. Calm and serene, Kasol is a must see among backpackers and hippies, and it’s easy to see why.
The beautiful landscape of snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, scenic waterfalls, and undisturbed hiking routes makes it a paradise for nature fans and trekkers, while the plethora of charming cafes, low-cost accommodation options and laid back vibe makes it an eye-opening spot to backpack through.
While travelers are in the region, they are recommended to explore the nearby tiny hamlets, such as Chalal, which is known for its trance and psychedelic parties; Malana, known for its Malana Cream, Rasol and Tosh, which are associated with lush greenery and tranquility.
Also named the Queen of Hills, Shimla is a serene colonial hill station, where gorgeous vistas will greet you at every corner. A great place to wander, Shimla displays some of the most iconic colonial-era architecture, including the Viceregal Lodge, the Town Hall, Gaiety Theatre and the Christ Church.
The city’s location at the base of the Himalayas among the bushy greenery and snow-covered mountains makes it a perfect place for trekking and other outdoor fun. The appeal of the Queen of Hills increases manifold when the winter sets in – the entire city gets enveloped in snow, a sight to remember. It is making the place under the top 10 places to visit Himachal Pradesh, India.
At an elevation of two thousand meters nests a small colonial town of Kasauli. The town hasn’t much in the way of attractions, commerce, and population. However, that’s exactly where its beauty and appeal lies – its unadulterated air, serene and peaceful vibe, and an abundance of nature is what attracts travelers. The places you can visit include the Baptist Church, Christ Church, Kasauli Brewery, Monkey Point, Nahri temple and Kasauli Club.
One of the most scenic and best places to visit in Kasauli, Gilbert Trail is quite simply a paradise. Encompassed by lush vegetation on both sides, it is a 1.5 kilometers long stone walkway that will start at the Lover’s Lane and take travelers directly into the lap of nature. Apart from vibrant greenery and gorgeous flora that will surely excite the nature admirer in you, this place is also a good spot for bird watching.
Location: Gilbert Nature Trail, Kasauli, Kasauli Tehsil, India.
There is no entry charge for visiting this Kasauli tourist attraction.
Best timings 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Nestled in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley, Dharamshala enjoys one of the best climates in Himachal. Surrounded by snow-laden peaks of Dhauladhar mountains and lush pine and deodar forests. The town is brimming with cultural and architectural attractions, along with a great number of restaurants, cafes, and shops catering to its extensive multicultural Indian and Tibetan communities.
Its suburbs, such as McLeod Ganj (India’s Mini Tibet), Dharamkot, Sindhbari, Ramnagar and Naddi are worth exploring. Also, with a plethora of trekking trails, waterfalls, and scenic valleys, the town beckons adventurers from across the world.
Sterling Dharamshala is located in the vicinity of the Dhauladhar range of mountains. Surrounded by dense pine trees, deodar forests and numerous streams, Sterling Dharamshala provides a peaceful atmosphere to relax. Not far from it, is the seat of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.
Walking around the Tibetan Community transports you to a different world. The resort is also close to the Kangra Fort, which is considered to be the largest in the Himalayas.
Explore these attractions. Spend a day trekking or enjoy at the Holiday Activity Centre of the resort with a game of badminton, pool, table tennis, and carrom. The icy mountain air, the tranquility in the region and the professional staff at the resort, come together to make Sterling Dharamshala one of the more popular places to stay.
I am feeling very happy including this in the list of the top 10 places to visit Himachal Pradesh
At an altitude of almost four thousand meters, Spiti Valley is a hidden village up in the chilly desert mountains. Although it’s fairly isolated, many of the spiritual and adventure travelers are slowly making the trek to Spiti to explore its many Buddhist monasteries throughout the area, and indulge in pulse-racing activities, such as trekking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and wildlife sighting. Not only that, it is surrounded by several high-altitude villages, such as Tabo, Kaza, Komic, Dhankar, Kibber, and Langza, which can also be explored on your trip to Spiti.
Known for its mystical topography, monasteries, trekking routes, semi-frozen rivers and lakes, Spiti Valley in June is a charming and quaint place. Owing to all these things, Spiti has become a popular destination for nature buffs, photographers, and adventure enthusiasts. The best time to explore Spiti valley is during the summer months of May and June, as they are ideal for sightseeing and adventure activities.
Situated at an altitude of two thousand meters on the River Beas valley, Manali is a photogenic hilly retreat that attracts in hordes of tourists every year. The picturesque landscape comprising lush pine and deodar forests, snow-covered mountains, scenic meadows, waterfalls and valleys attracts adventurers and nature lovers alike. Alternatively, the ancient temples and Tibetan monasteries beckon spiritual enthusiasts.
With mountain adventures beckoning from all directions, Manali is a year-round magnet. Backpackers are well catered for in parts of Vashisht and Old Manali where numerous agents offer trekking, climbing, rafting, and skiing according to season. Meanwhile, so many Indian families and honeymooners come for the first taste of snow that greater Manali now has an estimated 800 to 1000 hotels and guesthouses.
Tight-packed resort buildings already fill the town center and are now steadily devouring former orchard terraces as far south as once-rustic Prini ‘village’. But while the whole area gets jam-packed in season (mid-April to mid-July, mid-September to mid-October, and over Christmas-New Year), it doesn’t take much work to get off the main tourist trail. And in November, clear skies plus slashed prices make Manali a bargain – if you can handle the cold and the closure of some restaurants.
In the Kinnaur district of Himachal lies a small yet charming village, Chitkul, which is perhaps the last inhabited village near the Indo-China border. There isn’t much to see and do in the hamlet, however, its scenic landscape encompassing lush green vegetation, snow-laden mountains, and apple orchards, and tranquil vibe makes it an ideal place for those looking to be at one with nature – in peace and quiet. Of particular interest is its quaint houses, complete with wooden or slate roofs, and a temple that houses a 500-year-old deity of the town.
Traveling by bus from Reckong Peo to Chitkul is considered quite terrifying motoring. Cramped stony roads, nuzzle into the edges of the mountains, snake their way thousands of feet over the rivers and valleys below.
Tourist is genuinely in for a white knuckle ride at some points, especially when the busses have to make turns to within inches of the drop to allow other vehicles to pass. Unsurprising this is part of Hindustan Highway, one of the most dangerous roads in the world. This shouldn’t put travelers off from adding Chitkul to their north India itinerary, because Chitkul as it’s a nice little village full of traditional wooden houses and less pleasant concrete ones, and beautifully carved temple and some awesome mountain views.
Despite its tiny size, Bir Billing is the it-place for paragliding in India. Also called the ‘Paragliding Capital of India’, Bir Billing boasts salubrious weather year-round and a spectacular landscape, which attracts thrillseekers and backpackers from across the world. The place offers panoramic vistas of the undulating beauty of the Himalayan mountain ranges.
Though famous for paragliding, Bir has much more to offer than adventure sports. Majestic views of the higher Himalayas, beautiful monasteries and Tibetan settlements form an intriguing aspect of Bir that is little known. Bir can be best explored walking down its narrow lanes while admiring the beauty all around. Small towns have a certain old-world charm to them, and Bir is no exception. With prayer flags hanging from trees to edges of cliffs, Buddhist chants emerging from the monasteries, and little monks playing around, Bir is a lot more beyond the hustle and bustle of adventure-seeking tourists. It remains edged in memory, synonymous with peace.\par
A narrow mountain road leads to Billing, which is 14 kilometers away from Bir. If you’re all for an adventure of a lifetime, you can feel the rush of adrenaline with each hairpin bend that brings the destination closer. The adventure begins from the edge of a cliff at Billing, while the landing happens at Bir. These towns, though, made inseparable by adventure, witness a nervous tourist’s thoughts wandering to Neverland and calculating the aerial distance between them.
Dalhousie is a year-round holiday destination, but looks all the more stunning in the winter months, when the entire hill town is blanketed in a white sheet. Brimming with mountains, cascading waterfalls, lakes, and lush pine and oak trees, adventure enthusiasts love to come to Dalhousie to partake in outdoor activities, like trekking, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. While the peaceful atmosphere and pristine nature lure nature lovers and peace seekers alike. It makes the category of the top 10 places to visit Himachal Pradesh a worth.
Dalhousie is known for its great valleys and high mountain ranges. Places like Panchpula are known for trekking. There are waterfalls, places to trek, or to sit down, relax, and experience nature. It is 5 km from G.P.O. Dalhousie Chowk. Going to it is easy by bus, taxi, etc., but going on foot is a marvelous experience. This Place Registered its Name in History. As here Lies the Memorial of Amar Ajit Singh (Uncle of Shaheed Bhagat Singh).
- Himalayan Cedar trees at Dalhousie.
- Go to the Tibetan market and have a look around just for fun.
- Enjoy long walks; carry an umbrella if its cloudy.
- Picnics are the thing to do in Dalhousie. Have a BBQ if your hotel has the facilities for it.
- Star-gazing the sky is remarkably clear in Dalhousie at night you have to bring binoculars or telescope.
- Enjoy a ride on the ponies in Khajjiar. Trek: it’s a fantastic place to trek.
Khajjiar is a tiny slice of paradise amidst the dense deodar forests, verdant meadows, and the snow-capped Himalayas. Nicknamed the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’, visitors can explore its gorgeous scenery, get up-close with the exotic wildlife at the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. It makes the category the top 10 places to visit Himachal Pradesh a worth.
Also take part in outdoor activities, such as forest trekking, zorbing, horse riding and paragliding at the Khajjiar Lake. An unmissable spot here is the 12th-century Khaji Nag temple. Dedicated to Lord of Serpents (Khaji Nag), the temple stands out with its beautiful architecture, which is a concoction of Hindu and Muslim styles.
The Khalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is situated amidst oak and coniferous trees. Stretched over an area of about 19.63 sq km, this sanctuary is home to species like deer, serow, jackal, leopard, black bear, wild cats, Himalayan black marten, and others. Many endangered species of animals and birds can be seen here as well. This sanctuary lies within the stretch between Dalhousie and Khajjiar.
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