Tourism

Shimla

Shimla is the capital of the hill-state of Himachal Pradesh. It is named after goddess Shyamala Devi who is believed to be an incarnation of goddess Kali. Till 1816AD Shimla had been a part of Nepal.More..

It became the British summer capital of India in 1864. After independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and later the capital of the newly formed Himachal Pradesh in 1971. The most popular places which count for a must visit in Shimla are:
Places to see
• Mall and Ridge road: The mall at Shimla is a famous strolling point where people of all ages prefer a walk. It is the main street of the town. A variety of food joints and shopping stores can be found along the mall. The mall extends to the ridge road where one can also enjoy horse-riding being provided by the locals. Gaiety theatre is another attraction at the mall. Lakkar Bazar is also situated here wherein one can find products made of wood by efficient craftsmen.
• Jakhoo Hill: At an altitude of 8000 feet above the sea level, it is the highest peak of Shimla and is 2km away from the town. There is a massive structure depicting lord Hanuman along with a temple dedicated to him.
• Christ Church: Situated on the ridge, it is the oldest church in north India which also enhances the beauty of the town.
• Shimla State Museum: Built in 1974, this museum is famous for Pahari Paintings.
• Summer Hill: It lies 5km away from the ridge at an altitude of 6500feet. Himachal Pradesh University is located here.
• Annandale: approximately 2-4 kms away from the ridge, it is an area dedicated to golf. Picnics can also be enjoyed here.
• Tara Devi: 11kms away from Shimla bus stand, having a beautiful temple dedicated to goddess Tara Devi.
• Mashobra: The annual Sipi fair held in June takes place in this area which is 13 kms away from the town.
• Kufri: It is 16kms away from Shimla and is mainly known for its winter sports. Its altitude is 8600 feet above sea level. There is also a small zoo in the area.
• Naldhera: has a golf course and is 22kms away from town.
• Chail: Earlier the place of retreat for Maharaja of Patiala, this place holds the highest cricket pitch/ground in the world.
• Tattapani: It is a sulphur spring that has turned out to be a famous tourist attraction in the place.

KULLU

Kullu lies on the banks of river Beas. It is a valley between the Pir Panjal range, the lower Himalayan range and the Great Himalayan range.
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Enriched with beautiful forests of pine and deodar, this valley is a host to countless apple orchards and is one of the major exporter of the same. Kullu is famous for its temples and places of ancient rishi munis.

Places to see
• Ragunath temple: It is situated at the heart of the town. It was built by Raja Jagat Singh in the 17th century and makes this area famous for its Dussehra festival.
• Shringa Rishi temple: It is around 60 kms away from Kullu, situated in the Banjar valley. Before the advent of Lord Ragunath in Kullu, he was the ruling deity of the region and is one of the 18 chief deities of the place even today.
• Mahadevi Tirth temple: This is the temple of Vaishno Devi and is situated 2 kms from Kullu on the way to Manali.
• Bijli Mahadev temple: At an altitude of 2435m, this is a beautiful place providing a panoramic view of the valley. It is located at a distance of 10 kms from Kullu town.
• Raison: Raison lies on the way to Manali and is a famous camping site.
• Shoja: This is a pretty spot mostly visited for picnics and is at 2692m from sea level.
• Basheshwar Mahadev temple: This beautiful temple was built by the Pandavas in Bajaura.
• Kasol: Situated on the banks of river Parvati, this area has beautiful huts all around. It is also famous for trout fish.
• Naggar: This village had been the capital of Kullu for 1400 years. There is a castle uphill in Naggar. This castle is made of wood and is now being used as a restaurant by HPTDC. There is also a famous gallery in Naggar dedicated to the mesmerising paintings of Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich.
• Jana falls: A road cuts offbeat, a little lower from the Castle and it leads to the Jana falls. It is accessible by road. Apart from the scenic beauty of the Himalayas from such a height, this place also has various joints where one can enjoy local foods along with the showers of the falls. One can enjoy Jatu Rice with Rajmah and chatni here.
• Vashisht temple: Rishi Vashisht’s temple is located in Manali and is famous for its hot springs.
• Jogni falls: Passing through the Rishi Vashisht’s temple, a little walk upwards takes one to the Jogni falls, which is a beautiful fall amidst huge mountains and is worshipped by tourists.
• Hadimba Devi temple: Goddess Hadimba is held highly by the people of Kullu. This temple is located in Manali. It is also famous for its beautiful architecture.
• Manu temple: Manu temple is located in old Manali. This is the only temple dedicated to Rishi Manu.
• Rohtang Pass, Chanderkhani Pass, Pin Parvati pass: These passes are areas of adventurous treks.
• Manikaran Valley: 40 kms south of Kullu is the famous Manikaran Valley. There are innumerable hot springs in this region. The water from the springs is supposedly radioactive and is good enough to cure diseases like rheumatism and others. This place also has religious importance for Hindus as well as for Sikhs. Manu Rishi recreated life after the great flood in this valley. Guru Nanak Dev visited this place during the third udasi. The legend of the ‘floating roti’ is the reason behind the Sikhs’ devotion towards this place.
• Malana: On the banks of river Parvati is the Malana village, shadowed by the Chanderkhani and Deotibba peaks. At an altitude of 3029 metres, it is an isolated village with untouched areas whereby one can feel the essence of peace as well as the beauty of the Himalayas.
• Sainj Valley: Sainj Valley is accessible from either Kullu or Shimla. It is primarily famous for the Great Himalayan National Park. This National Park was established in 1984 amidst the watersheds of Jiwa, Sainj and Tirthan. It has a variety of flora and around 375 species of fauna. The Great Himalayan National Park is declared a World Heritage. Shakti Maruar village in the Sainj Valley possesses a beautiful lake with clear and naturally red water.
• Banjar Valley: Banjar is located at an altitude of 1962 metres. It is accessible via Bilaspur – Mandi route while taking an off-road from Aut and is 21kms away from Aut. The Himalayan range increases eastwards in this area. 8kms away from Banjar is a beautiful place called Jibhi. Jibhi is a small village in Banjar, wherein going along the Sharingi Bagi temple trek, one can also see the Chaini fort which is beautifully situated in the middle of the village with its intricate carvings.

KANGRA

Originally called Nagarkot, Kangra has been ruled by various rulers including Mughals, Guptas, and Vardhans etc. It has its headquarters in Dharamshala.More..

Kangra is majorly famous for its forts and temples.
Places to visit
• Tea gardens: Lush green tea gardens cover the hills of Palampur. It is a major export of this region.
• Gopalpur National Park: Gopalpur is located on the way to Palampur and is a famous tourist attraction owing to its National Park/Zoo.
• Temples: Jwalaji, Vajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Chintpurni, Baijnath are famous shrines visited by pilgrims throughout the year.
• Forts: There were three forts in Kangra namely, Kangra fort, Guler fort, Nurpur fort. Guler fort was ruined after the massive earthquake that struck the district in 1905.
• Masroor temple: This temple is 15 kms away from Kangra. There are 15 carved rock temples within its boundaries.
• Dharamshala: is a hilly town of Kangra, providing excellent scenic beauty and pleasing climate.
• Mcleodganj: It is a beautiful place uphill from Dharamshala and is a home in exile for the Dalai Lama and people of Tibet.
• Bhagsunag temple: There is a temple dedicated to lord Bhagsunag, 2 kms away from Mcleodganj. There is also a peaceful waterfall named after the temple with many cafes alongside.
• Dal Lake: Located at 2 kms away from Mcleodganj, in opposite direction of Bhagsunag temple, Dal Lake is another marvel of nature in the midst of the Dhauladhar range. It has clear waters and surviving fish at such an altitude.
• Naddi: Naddi village is 5 kms away from Mcleodganj and is a 3 kms trek from Dal Lake. One can witness beautiful and magnificent mountains from here. The highest mountain in Kangra i.e. the White Mountain is a fabulous sight from this place.
• Triund: It is a divine shrine of lord Shiva, around 17 kms from Dharamshala. It is a one day trek and a must tread for trekkers.
• Kareri Lake: This Lake is beyond Triund valley. Being at such a high altitude, this lake has also been famed for spiritual and religious purposes.
• Pong Dam: Pong Dam is in Kangra valley. Built over the river Beas, this dam has a large reservoir and can be seen from high altitudes as well.
• Dharamkot: At an altitude of 2100m, Dharamkot lies in Mcleodganj, drifting away from Bhagsunag to a higher road.
• St. John’s Church: This is a gothic Church in Mcleodganj known for its architecture and serene environment.
• Dharamshala Cricket Stadium: This stadium in Dharamshala has gained popularity in recent times and is a great entertainer during the IPL cricket matches.

CHAMBA

The banks of the river Ravi are beautified by the Chamba valley.
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Named after the king of Chamba Raja Sahil Varman’s daughter, Champavati, Chamba is famous for its Pahari Paintings and two popular fairs:- Minjar Mela and Suhi Mata Mela.

Places to see
• Khajjiar Lake: This Lake is at the base of the Dhauladhar range and is situated at an elevation of 1920m above the sea level. Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is a trek of 30 kms from Chamba.
• Dalhousie: 45kms towards Chamba, it is named after the British Governor General, Lord Dalhousie. It is a well organised town and known as gateway to Chamba.
• Satdhara Falls: Located in Dalhousie, it is a clear and pretty lake at an elevation of 2035m.
• Bharmour: It is 65kms away from Chamba and is famous for its Chaurasi temples or 84 temples built from stone in the ancient times. There are varied monuments in this region. The localities, mainly consists of Gaddis, a shepherd tribe. Bharmour is also the capital of Chamba.
• Manimahesh Lake: It is a divine lake, believed to be blessed by goddess Parvati. It is 92 kms from Chamba town and is majorly a trekking area, one of the most important treks to cover by the devotees of Shiva. Its elevation is 4183m above sea level.
• Pangi Valley: It is a dry valley with Pangi village alongside and provides a magnificent mountain view and is along the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas.
• Chamunda Devi temple: 3kms from Chamba town, this is a temple dedicated to an incarnation of goddess Kali.
• Bhuri Singh Museum: This museum is famous for its carvings, Pahari Paintings and is located in the heart of Chamba town.
• Rang Mahal: Rang Mahal is 1 km away from Chamba and is a mixture of colonial and local architecture.

KINNAUR

Kinnaur is in the Trans-Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh.
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It has a number of monasteries, and most of which are around thousands of years old.

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Major religious sects in this area are Hinduism and Buddhism. Kinnaur is famous for Parikrama of Kinner Kailash.

Places to see
• Reckongpeo: At an altitude of 2670m, it is the headquarter of Kinnaur district. It consists of a monastery and also possesses the highest peak in the region which is Raldang peak (5499m). One can experience a panoramic view of the Kinner Kailash from this place.
• Kalpa: It is 15kms away from Reckongpeo. This is a heritage village. The craft work in the Narayan Nagani temple in Kalpa is quite famous. There are 2 monasteries in this village.
• Chittkul: Chittkul is the last and the highest village in the Baspa valley. There are three temples of the local goddess Mathi in this area. Its elevation is around 450m above sea level.
• Kothi: Kothi is an ancient village in Kalpa with a backdrop of Kinner Kailash, the peak where Lord Shiva is believed to be residing. It is famous for goddess Shiwang Chandika temple and Bhairon temple.
• Lippa: It is on the left bank of the Taiti River. Ibex can be found in this region and there is a game sanctuary in Lippa as well. There are 3 Buddhist temples and an old sanctuary dedicated to a local deity, Tangtashu.
• Moorang: 39kms away from Kalpa, this village lies on the left of river Satluj. It also consists of an old fort believed to be made by the Pandavas. Its elevation is around 3591m.
• Nako: At an altitude of 3663m, this village is 119kms away from Kalpa and is the highest village of Kinnaur. There is a lake in this region along with many Buddhist temples. It also consists of a monastery wherein an ancient mummy of a monk is believed to grow hair continuously. Another attraction of this village is the Pargial peak that can be used by trekkers for trekking.

MANDI

Originally called Mandav Nagar, district Mandi is also called the Varanasi of Hills or Chotti Kashi due to its possession of 81 temples.
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Activities
It is famous for its Shivratri festival.

Places to visit
• Riwalsar Lake: This Lake is sacred to all the religions as one can find a Monastery, a Temple and a Gurudwara on its shores. Pilgrims visit this lake in large numbers throughout the year.
• Naina Devi Temple: Naina Devi Temple is around 10kms above Riwalsar Lake. There are many other small lakes on its way, built by the Pandavas. It is a beautiful temple with serene surroundings and chilly weather.
• Sunder Nagar: It is a small town of Mandi district and is famous for the Sukhdev Vatika and the Mahamaya Temple. The biggest hydro project in Asia, i.e. the Beas- Satluj project is in Sunder Nagar.
• Parashar Lake: This Lake is sacred and is 49 kms away from Mandi at an elevation of 2730m. It consists of a pagoda-like temple on its shore, dedicated to a sage, Parashar Rishi. The scenic beauty is amazing from this region. It is accessible by road.
• Jalodi Pass, Serolsar Lake: 78kms from Mandi, it lies on the Banjar highway. Serolsar is a 7kms trek from Jalodi pass, which consists of a lake and a small temple.
• Janjehli: 80kms from Mandi, Janjehli is a nice trekking area at an altitude of 3300m.
• Karsog: Its 10kms away from Janjehli, and is popular for meditation. Shikari Mata temple is also located here.
• Tarna Devi Temple: This temple is 2kms away from the main town and is a place away from the hustle and bustle of the town area.
• Bhootnath Temple: Built in the 1520s, it is in the heart of the town and is visited by religious believers from all over the place. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

LAHAUL-SPITI

Earlier Lahaul and Spiti were two different districts but were merged into one in 1960.
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Activities
Rohtang pass joins Manali to Lahaul, Kunzam pass joins Lahaul to Spiti and Samdo pass joins Spiti from Kinnaur.

Places to see
• Tabo Monastery: This monastery is around 45kms away from Kaza, a village beyond Lahaul. It is also called the Ajanta of Himachal Pradesh and is the most famous in the district.
• Chandertaal Lake: This Lake is situated at an elevation of 4300m above the sea level. It is the source of River Chandra. It is a beautiful blue lake besides which one can find nomad camps and their cattle.

SOLAN

Solan was declared a territory of Himachal on 1st September 1972.
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It is named after Shoolini Devi.

Places to see
• Shoolini Devi Temple: This temple is close to the bus stand of Solan. The goddess Shoolini is highly revered in the region.
• Mohan Shakti Park: This is a National Heritage Park and lies 12kms away from district Solan.
• Christ Church: Christ Church is in Kasauli, a beautiful town of Solan and majorly a cantonment area. It is a majestic Church with beautifully coloured glass windows.

BILASPUR

Incorporated in the territory of Himachal Pradesh in 1954, this district was submerged in water in the same year due to the construction of Satluj Dam over it.
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It was originally called Vyaspur, based on the name of Sage Vyas from Mahabharata.

Places to visit
• Govind Sagar: Govind Sagar is a reservoir of the Satluj Dam. At the time when the water level lowers down in this reservoir one can see the submerged old town of Bilaspur.
• Baba Nahar Singh Temple: This temple is in Dholra, which is a small area in this district. Baba Nahar Singh temple is the most famous in the town and visited by innumerable devotees from all over India.
• Bandla Hills: Bandla Hills in Bilaspur are famous for paragliding.
• Vyas Gufa: It is 610m above the sea level and is believed to be the place where sage Vyasa spent his days of penance.

SIRMOUR

It is the south-eastern district of Himachal Pradesh. It lies on the banks of River Giri and shares its borders with Haryana, Punjab and Uttrakhand.
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Places to see
• Habben Valley: A mesmerising village in Sirmour, Habben Valley is a perfect getaway from the busy streets.
• Churdhar: It has an elevation of 3647m and is influenced by religious views. Lord Hanuman is believed to be bringing Sanjeevani Booti for Laxman from this place.
• Renuka Lake: 40kms away from Nahan, Renuka Lake is a sacred spot for pilgrims. Boating is also done on this lake.
• Haripur Dhar: This peak is 106m away from Nahan and consists of a fort built by the rulers of this place and also a temple dedicated to goddess Bhangayani.

UNA

Una is majorly a plain region with a few low hills. It is near to Kangra District while visiting from Chandigarh.
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Places to see
• Chintpurni Temple: Goddess Chintpurni is quite revered by the people of this region and they have a temple built in her name as well. This temple is visited by thousands of believers every year.
• Bramhauti Temple: It is one of the only two temples in India, dedicated to Lord Brahma.
• Kila Baba Bedi Ji: This is a seat for the generations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

HAMIRPUR

Hamirpur is a low altitude district of Himachal Pradesh. One can travel to Hamirpur to visit the following:
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Places to visit
• Baba Balak Nath Temple: This is a famous temple in the region and is located 45 kms away from Hamirpur in Chakmoh area.
• Sujanpur: One can visit Sujanpur to get enjoy ancient pictorial forms of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagwat Puran.