Himachal, ‘the land of snows’ is one of the most beautiful states of India. Located in the western Himalayas, surrounded by majestic mountains, and enormously blessed with nature’s grandeur and beauty, it is no wonder that it has since long been one of the favourite tourist destinations for travellers from all around the world.
Trekking, camping, adventure sports, sightseeing – there are a lot of interesting activities a traveller can indulge into, throughout the state.
Himachal is also dotted with oases of subcultures across the state, like the Buddhist subculture, the Israeli subculture and so on – adding to flavour and experience of the destination.
There are several amazing hill stations, villages and beautiful spots you can visit in Himachal, but if you have a limited number of days in hand, make sure you cover most of our top 10 favorite destinations in Himachal listed below:-
Manali is one of the top favorites amongst tourists as it offers wonderful views of the snow-laden mountain peaks all around. It is located at an altitude of 6728 feet, and apart from visiting the prime attractions, you can indulge in a number of adventure sports here.
TOP DESTINATIONS: Rohtang Pass, Jana Falls, Van Vihar National Park, The Beas Kund, Solang Valley, Jogini Waterfall, The Hadimba Temple, Beas River, Pin Valley National Park, Rahala Falls
Shimla is a feast to your visual senses, and welcomes tourists throughout the year. Some tourists head to this place even in the sub-zero temperatures during winters, for they cannot resist its mesmerising beauty and charm. For this very reason, the British declared Shimla as their summer capital. It offers amazing views of snowcapped peaks, and has lakes and green landscape all around.
TOP DESTINATIONS:The Ridge, Chadwick Falls, Summer Hill, Naldehra and Shaily Peak, Daranghati Sanctuary, Jakhoo Hill, Simla State Museum, Kufri, Wild Flower Hall, Christ Church, Annandale
The word Dharamshala translated into English means ‘spiritual dwelling’. Famously referred to as “The Scotland of India”, is a city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley, surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar cedar trees. Located at an altitude of 4870 feet, it has snow-capped mountain peaks on three sides and valley on one side. The village of McLeodGanj, lying in the upper reaches, is known worldwide for the presence of the Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population have made Dharamshala quite a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists.
TOP ATTRACTIONS: Triund, also called as ‘The Jewel of Dharamshala’, Dal Lake, Bhagsu Waterfall, The Bhagsunag Temple, The Masroor Rock Cut Temple, Tea Garden, Dharamkot, The Church of St. John, Mcleodganj
Kasauli , at an altitude of 6322 feet, is located in the Solan district and like several other hill stations in Himachal Pradesh, reflects the influence of British rule. Apart from great scenic beauty and spectacular views of nature, it has moderate weather as a plus for tourists.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT: The Nahri Temple, Monkey Point, The Christ Church, Sunset Point, Dagshai, The St. Patrick’s Church, The Gurkha Fort, Central Research Institute
Kasol, a ‘mini – Israel of the North India’ is stretched along the lovely Parvati River and with mountain views to the northeast. Kasol is the main traveller hang-out in the Parvati valley and is quite popular with travellers who are looking for a tranquil escape, meditation, pure & natural surroundings and most of all – trekking & hiking. Kasol has some of the most beautiful villages of Himachal like Chalal, Rasol, Tosh at not more than an hour’s distance and therefore serves as an ideal hub for trekkers & hikers. The Israeli subculture of Kasol is also lends quite an attractive element to this destination.
Tosh Village in Kasol: One of the peaceful and quaint villages of the Parvati valley, Tosh village is a much-frequented destination for the backpackers from Israel, UK and Italy. One has to walk over a wooden bridge to enter the charming village, and can enjoy a pleasant walk on a trail through apple fields and green pastures. The tourists also organise many trance and psychedelic parties deep in the woods of Tosh.
Kullu is among the most frequented tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh. Situated on the banks of Beas River, it was earlier known as Kulanthpitha, which means ‘The end of habitable world’. Kullu valley is also known as the ‘Valley of Gods’. Apart from enjoying shopping, sightseeing, trying local cuisines, you can also bring out the adventure junkie in you as trekking, mountaineering, para gliding, angling, skiing and white water rafting are some of the adventure sports activities available here.
TOP ATTRACTIONS: The Sultanpur Palace, Parvati Valley, The Basheshwar Mahadev Temple, Raison, The Raghunathji Temple, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Shoja, Karrain, Bathad, Jagatsukh
Chamba is known for its mesmerizing natural beauty, and nature lovers are gravitated towards this serene, beautiful destination. Located at an altitude of 3267 feet on the banks of River Ravi, Chamba makes an excellent holiday retreat.
IMPORTANT DESTINATIONS: Khajjiar Lake, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhuri Singh Museum, Rang Mahal, Maharaja’s Palace, Chamera Lake, Akhand Chandi Palace, Manimahesh Lake, Chamba Central Park, Church of Scotland
8. Spiti Valley
The name ‘Spiti’ means ‘The Middle Land’, that is the land between India and Tibet. The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley, located at an altitude of 12500 feet, high up in the Himalaya mountains in Himachal Pradesh. It is a research and cultural centre for Buddhists, and the highlights include Ki Monastery and Tabo Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the world and a favourite of the Dalai Lama. One of the least populated regions in India, Spiti Valley is the gateway to the northernmost reaches of the nation and the serenity of the place is enchanting.
Kinnaur is a beautiful destination in Himachal with great natural views, rivers, valleys, high mountains, lakes and green pastures, creating a mesmerising experience for tourists. . It is one of the smallest districts in India by population. Kinner Kailash, a mountain sacred to Hindus, situated close to the Tibetan border, is the prime attraction of this destination. Kinnaur is a mountainous area throughout, ranging in altitude from 7611 to 23300 feet. It enjoys a moderate climate and the best time to visit the district is from April to October.
Dalhousie was named after Lord Dalhousie, the British Governor-General in India who established this place as a summer retreat. This hill station is located in the Chamba district at an altitude of 6463 feet, spread across five hills and is surrounded by peaks. The best time to visit is in the summer, between May to September. Scottish and Victorian architecture can be seen in the churches and bungalows in the town. There is a wide range of vegetation including oak, pine and deodar across this hill station.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT: Dainkund Peak, Panchpula, Garam Sadak, Bakrota Hills, Ganji Pahari, Katalope, Sach Pass