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Tourist place in Himachal Pradesh

Discussion in 'Himachal Pradesh' started by Devanshi, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Devanshi

    Devanshi New Member

    My parents and I would like to go on a holiday to North India and in particular Himachal Pradesh. I have viewed the map of Himachal Pradesh and have read a few things about the district, and there are so many places to visit there, some which are popular and some which are not visited by many yet worth visiting. I don't know how much of the information I have read is true so need to know the right info.

    I would like to know according to the members which is a good tourist place in Himachal Pradesh. You can mention more than two, as we are not sure if we can only manage to visit one place or more than one.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Devanshi, welcome to the forum!

    (Images from Tushar, Ekabhishek, Shalabh and Alan)


    Himachal Pradesh has three main features that separate it from the other states of India. First, it is undoubtedly blessed with natural beauty, from the distant Himalayan peaks, to the gurgling rivers and to the lush forests. This state is a marvellous nature getaway where you can truly breathe fresh air and relish in the stunning vistas around you. Second is that it remains developed yet traditional, so much that you have the wonders of modernity but still the culture and heritage of the region dominates. Third is the unique unity of the people, in keeping the surroundings clean or even in being the second least corrupt state in the country. All these features make the state what it truly is, an oasis, a paradise away from the mundane city life that we have been used to.

    Tourist Places in Himachal Pradesh

    As popular as they are...

    1. Manali - What makes Manali stand out is its ability to cater to all types of travellers. So whether you're a family looking for some kind of scenic getaway, a couple who just want to spend their honeymoon in a serene place or an adventure seeker who can't get by without their dose of thrilling activities, Manali would fit in your itinerary quite well. This lovely hill station has the picturesque Beas River in its midst, also a venue for river rafting during monsoon. During summer and winter, you can head on to the Solang Valley for adventure activities fit for the specific season. Ideally, Rohtang Pass remains open during the end of summer and this is the best attraction for enjoying snow even though it's not winter. If you have always dreamed of skiing or sledging, you can also do such activities here. If you want more laid-back attractions, several temples surround the hill station. You have the Manu Temple, dedicated to Sage Manu, and the only temple of its kind in India. The Hadimba Devi Temple is an ancient religious site dedicated to Hidimbi Devi. Aside from its religious importance, it also has exquisite wooden carvings and a pagoda-style of architecture. Don't forget to visit the Vashisht Temple, dedicated to Sage Rich Vashisht, and has a hot spring within it that can help warm you up during cold days. If visiting during the monsoon, you can also visit the waterfalls of the hill station, like the Jogini Waterfalls and Rahala Waterfalls. The downside is that Manali is one of the most popular hill stations of the state so if you're visiting during the peak season, do book your hotel rooms in advance.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Beas River, Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass, Manu Temple, Hadimba Devi Temple, Vashisht Temple, Jogini Waterfalls and Rahala Waterfalls
    2. Shimla - Once the summer capital of the British, Shimla has a unique blend of natural and colonial attractions. Being the capital of the state, it is very much developed and has a loyal following of tourists. With the brimming Himalayan peaks within the distance, you are granted the best views when in Shimla. If you're a fan of natural attractions, you can explore a few in the hill station. The small but naturally endowed with greenery Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary would let you have a glimpse of the rich wildlife of the region. It can be accessed either by foot or by bicycle, so whichever you choose, you're bound to have some form of physical activity. There's also the Shimla Glen, a small forested area with some walking trails, where you can enjoy trekking in. Also in this region is the Chadwick Waterfalls, which requires a bit of trekking to reach. It is approachable by walking from the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, which takes around 10 to 15 minutes. It is a fairly small straight waterfall so it's best visited during monsoon. For the heritage sites of the hill station, there's the Viceregal Lodge, once the home of the British Viceroy and thereafter converted into a summer retreat for the President of India. The mansion exudes a Victorian era vibe, with its wooden elements and bricked facade. You can also visit the Gaiety Heritage Cultural Centre, once the centre for cultural performances in Shimla, and Annandale, perhaps one of the still serene attractions of the hill station. You also can't miss the Jakhoo Temple, located amidst a hillock, with a huge statue dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary, Shimla Glen, Chadwick Waterfalls, Viceregal Lodge, Gaiety Heritage Cultural Centre, Annandale and Jakhoo Temple
    Shimla 2.jpg
    Shimla (Image from Gayatri)

    3. Dalhousie - Where thick deodar forests and misty views dominate, that's the hill station of Dalhousie. This is a heavenly destination covered in snow during winter season. If you love long walks and strolls, Dalhousie is the best venue for that. There are also plenty of attractions here to keep you busy for a while. Dalhousie was also once a British capital so you would find Victorian era religious sites such as the St. John's Church and St. Patrick's Church. A natural attraction you can't miss here is the Dainkund Peak, which require some trekking to reach. It gives off a different landscape during winter, filled with blankets of snow, and during summer, lush greenery everywhere. At the peak, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges including the mighty Pir Panjal ranges. If you have your own vehicle with you, then do visit the Sach Pass, about six hours away from Dalhousie. This is especially suitable for those who want to see or experience snow as the pass is covered with it all-year round. Finally, you can also enjoy an idyllic boat ride amidst the Chamera Lake, a reservoir made from the damming of the Ravi River. It's a stunning vista of the mountains, various shades of blue and greenery around you.
    • Must Visit Attractions - St. John's Church, St. Patrick's Church, Dainkund Peak, Sach Pass and Chamera Lake
    4. Mcleodganj - Next we have Mcleodganj, where you would find a mixture of spirituality with nature. Mcleodganj is the home of the 14th Dalai Lama of the Tibetan Government in Exile. As such, Mcleodganj exudes a Buddhist vibe, not only because of the monasteries here but also because Tibetan settlements can be found here. It's therefore mandatory to visit the Dalai Lama Temple when in here. This is a complex housing the main temple where the 14th Dalai Lama resides. In contrast to most Buddhist temples, it has a simple cream facade devoid of any murals or decors. Adjacent to it is the Tibetan Museum, which showcases the history and struggle of the Tibetans against the Chinese control over their region. Near the main square of the hill station is the Kalachakra Temple, which has the traditional vibrant hues as the normal Buddhist temples. This is perhaps the most popular temple in the hill station, where both the Lord Buddha and the Dalai Lama are revered. On a hidden pathway near the main square is the Tse Chokling Gompa, yet another monastery but exudes a more serene vibe due to its isolated location. You can also combine a trip including both the Bhagsu Naag Temple, ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Bhagsu Waterfalls, a timid waterfall cascading upon rocks.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Dalai Lama Temple, Tibetan Museum, Kalachakra Temple, Tse Chokling Gompa, Bhagsu Naag Temple and Bhagsu Waterfalls
    5. Kasauli - Last on this section is Kasauli, which was once an unknown hill station in the state. In the recent years, it has gained popularity and thronged by tourists from nearby cities especially Chandigarh. Kasauli was also once a summer retreat town for the British during the colonial times. Now though, it remains serene because it is a cantonment town where the army presence is felt. Aside from being safe, it also has the same scenic mountain views along with misty surroundings. If you want to have that glimpse of the past, visit the Christ Church Kasauli. Surrounded by the fir trees, the bricked grey facade and emerald roofing truly epitomise simplicity while also highlighting an old world charm. The Monkey Point is the most popular attraction here, a peak overlooking the entire town, considered as the highest point in Kasauli. There's also an old Hanuman temple here that you can visit. However, it takes a few minutes of an uphill climb to reach the peak so it's not recommended for seniors or persons with disabilities. You can also visit the Sunset Point, approachable from The Mall Road by walking. Here, the best view of the sun setting can be enjoyed, amidst the peaks of the Himalayas. The Gilbert Trail is a mild nature trek amidst the forests of Kasauli. At the end of the trail, you are rewarded with the views of the mountains, the valleys below and the surrounding greenery.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Christ Church Kasauli, Monkey Point, Sunset Point and Gilbert Trail
    Kasauli (Image from Suman)

    Unexplored territories...

    6. Barot - We now go to the lesser known hill stations in the state starting with Barot, around 65 kilometres away from Mandi. Unlike the previously mentioned hill stations, Barot is not yet developed and even the roads leading to it are very bumpy. Barot can be considered as an offbeat Manali, because it has similar landscapes to it. At the centre of the small town lies the Uhl River, with a backdrop of the mountains and strewn rocks all along. Villages can be found within the hill station but the population here doesn't exceed more than 200 members. Everything here is still very rural, from the small homes, to the traditional shops that line the place. A favourite activity here is trout fishing, since the river is home to many such fishes. However, tourists need to register at the Trout Farm Office and pay a required fee for the license in order to enjoy angling or fishing here. Alternatively, for those who doesn't enjoy fishing, they can visit any of the trout farms here but the most known one is the Barot Trout Farm. Here, you can view and understand the basics of trout raising in a farm. There are also some trekking trails from Barot that you can indulge in to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. You can take the trail to Kothi Kohr which would pass around thick deodar trees and ravishing waterfalls. You can also make Barot as the base for the Thamsar Glacier trek, which is a challenging trek through icy cold temperatures and a beautiful high altitude lake.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Uhl River, Barot Trout Farm, Kothi Kohr (Trek) and Thamsar Glacier (Trek)
    7. Palampur - Around 47 kilometres away from Dharamshala is the hill station of Palampur. It is overshadowed by the more popular hill stations nearby it hence receives less of the spotlight. It does have something that they don't have, lush tea gardens that flank the hilly sides of Palampur. It also has verdant forests of pines that merge into the distant Dhauladhar ranges. Away from the crowds of the first five hill stations, Palampur is an idyllic getaway that's sure to refresh and rejuvenate you. The Neugal Khad is a gushing river here, with the mighty Himalayan ranges as its backdrop. It has two bridges, one is used for human transport and the other is used for vehicle transport. It's a great picnic spot though not as developed yet. On the banks of the river is the Saurabh Van Vihar, a nature park with a central lake where guests can enjoy boating in. There are also some religious attractions that one can visit here. The Jakhani Mata Temple, located amidst a hillock and requires some trekking to reach, is very simple yet spiritually laden. It is dedicated to Goddess Jakhani Mata but also have shrines for Shiva and Hanuman. The Tashi Jong Monastery with its bright yellow, green and red facade shouldn't be missed as well. It is fairly small but the warmth of the monks would surely entice you to spend a few hours here. For art lovers, they can visit the Sobha Singh Art Gallery, with works of the famed Punjabi painter of the eponymous name, and the Andretta Artists' Village, where you can learn traditional pottery making in.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Neugal Khad, Saurabh Van Vihar, Jakhani Mata Temple, Tashi Jong Monastery, Sobha Singh Art Gallery and Andretta Artists' Village
    Palampur 2.jpg
    Palampur (Image from Sumeet)

    8. Jibhi - Just 12 kilometres away from the Jalori Pass is the hamlet of Jibhi. Far from the commercialisation that has plagued other hill stations, Jibhi remains off the tourist radar. It has the same pine tree surroundings and a gurgling river within its premises. The only difference is the presence of traditional Himalaya style chalets, made from wood and stone usually. These chalets or cabins are the guest houses or home stays which would be your home for a few days here. In the town itself, there's little to explore, aside from the nature trails and nearby river. But Jibhi can be a good base for treks in the surrounding attractions. For history lovers, it's a must to visit the nearby Chaini Kothi, which can be trekked a few kilometres from Jibhi. This is a watch tower built of stones and woods, estimated to have been around since the 17th century. You can also visit the nearby Shringa Rishi Temple, which has a traditional pagoda-style of architecture. Other excursions you can take are into the Jalori Pass, covered with snow all-year round, and Sarehul Lake, a high altitude lake amidst snow-laden tracks. It's also perfectly acceptable to just stay in Jibhi and relish in the serene surroundings.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Chaini Kothi, Shringa Rishi Temple, Jalori Pass and Sarehul Lake
    9. Sarahan - The journey to Sarahan is as beautiful as the hill station itself. All along the way, you would be passing by fruit orchards, deodar trees and be guided by the Sutlej River as well. Sarahan, known as the Gateway to Kinnaur, is more than just a stopover, it is your oasis for peace and spirituality. It is the home of the Bhimakali Temple, an ancient temple from the Bushahr dynasty which ruled over the western Himalaya during the olden times. With its stone and timber facade, the temple definitely draws attention even at first glance. These materials have helped the temple stay intact all throughout the years, being able to withstand earthquakes and other natural phenomenon. It is housed in a three-storey building, intricately carved and the top being the main sanctum. Just outside the temple is the King's and Queen's Palace, yet another masterpiece from the Bushahr dynasty. Tourists cannot enter the premises but you can enjoy viewing it from the outside as the Himalayan ranges lend their majestic vistas to it as well. For the adventurous ones, you can embark on a trek to the Bashal Peak. Do keep in mind that this trek isn't for the faint hearted but can be completed in a day, provided you leave Sarahan early. The trek is an uphill climb amidst deodar forests and fruit orchards. The presence of wild animals might scare the trekker so its best undertaken with a guide and a group. At the peak, you can enjoy the walking on the clouds feeling literally, as fogs encroach the entire area.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Bhimakali Temple, King's and Queen's Palace and Bashal Peak
    Sarahan (Image from Vivek)

    10. Keylong - Last on this guide is Keylong, a somewhat underrated destination in the Lahaul and Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is sometimes considered as a stopover en route to Leh from Manali. But truth be told, Keylong also has scenic landscapes worth exploring. Even upon entering the town, its slow bustle would greet you. The surrounding greenery and streams let one be refreshed before the barren landscapes start to Leh. Attractions in the town are varied but require some trekking. There's the Shashur Monastery, which is around six kilometres from the centre of the town. Though motorable, the roads leading to it are very narrow and bumpy, you would need to trek for the last stretch. This temple was built around the 17th century and boasts of the best views of the Himalayan ranges in Keylong. You could also take a detour before reaching Keylong, ahead of Baralacha La, there's the Suraj Tal. This is the origin of the Bhaga River, which gives off different vibes during various seasons. Also worth visiting is the little known Deepak Tal, 50 kilometres ahead of Keylong. Some refer to this lake as a Mini Pangong Tso so it's definitely worth the trip.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Shashur Monastery, Baralacha La, Suraj Tal and Deepak Tal

    This ends our guide on the tourist places in Himachal Pradesh. This list is by no means exhaustive as there are many hill stations that one can cover in the state. This list does include five of the most visited hill stations of the state. Additionally, the lesser known hill stations were also included here to increase the tourism sector upon them.

    I hope this helps you!:)