Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh

Fondly termed the ‘Land of the Gods’, the bewitching Himachal Pradesh is a delightful treat to nature lovers. With its stunning panoramic views of the snow-capped mountain ranges, the state offers up some of the most scenic holiday destinations anywhere in the world.

From natural parks to architectural gems, there is no shortage of places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. From vast conservation areas and sanctuaries housing a rich endemic life to colorful open meadows and pristine clear rivers the beauty of Himachal’s landscape is unparalleled. 

Boasting a vibrant cultural life and heritage, the architecture of the Himachali monuments highlights its dual roots in both Hinduism and Buddhism. While the traditional monasteries and gompas in the state reflect its Buddhist past, the numerous, colorful temples with their excellent craftsmanship stand testament to the local practices of worshipping Hindu deities. With their unique design and style, the temples of the state are some of the most interesting places to see in Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh is well known for the number of adventure sports opportunities it has to offer. Trekking, hiking, and climbing are some of the most popular sports enjoyed here. The trekking routes offered by the towns of Himachal are of varying lengths and levels of difficulty. Being riddled with rivers, Himachal is also known for its watersport opportunities, such as river rafting, canoeing, or kayaking.

Because of its varying altitude, different places in Himachal Pradesh experience different weather patterns. While towns in higher altitudes experience extremities in temperatures during winter and summer, with the winters covered in snow, the lower valleys generally experience moderate climates throughout the year, with cool and pleasant summers and winters.

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Manali

Nestled in the mighty Himalayas, Manali has an abundance of spectacular valleys filled with forests of oak, fir, deodar, and pine. It is a full package of nature, food, adventure sports, and ancient heritages. Splashing river Beas flows proudly amidst the valley. A lot of gushing waterfalls like Jogni Falls and Rahala falls flush out of haphazardly placed rocks. You can also catch sights of sprawling meadows, terraced farming, and, fruit orchards. All these sights add up to making the town look breathtakingly beautiful. 

Manali also shares a piece of history, giving it ancient heritage which has splendid architecture and stunning views. Religious devotees come here to pay their tribute to the temples like Hadimba, Manu, and Shiv temple. Whereas history lovers go to old forts like Naggar and Kuthar. These places have remarkable architecture against the backdrop of mountains which is worth a visit. 

Having said enough about the terrains of Manali, it is a hub for adventure sports. The location gives a wide range of adventurous activities like paragliding, camping, trekking, and, river rafting to feed the adrenaline hunger of adventure seekers. It also has rustic villages and backcountries, which calls for the hippie experiences. Places like Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass are often visited by these junkies. Backpackers love to visit here to get a plateful meal of thrill, nature, wildlife and, tranquillity. 

Shimla

Among the most popular hill stations in India, Shimla holds a distinct place owing to its unique charm. Located at a distance of 342 km from the national capital, Delhi, Shimla is a great choice for a weekend getaway from Delhi and Chandigarh since there are so many places to visit in Shimla. Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, and all it possesses and all it offers helps it easily justify its reputation and position as the capital city of a beautiful state, widely known for adventure activities and natural wonders. Laden with beautiful, dense forests of Pine, Oak, and Deodar, Shimla is refreshing in its very existence. 

The picturesqueness of this beautiful hill station makes it an apt destination for photographers looking for perfect frames and nature enthusiasts who want to explore nature in its pristine form. It is quite interesting that despite being home to a large population, the biosphere of Shimla is still in excellent form. Shimla exhibits a very relaxing mood to those who visit it in search of tranquility.

Due to the plenty of activity options available here, Shimla is emerging as a popular destination for offbeat travel as well. People from all over India and beyond visit, Shimla to experience an adventure which makes it a major hotspot for adventure activities in northern India. It is also home to some beautiful places with spectacular views, and some truly magnificent specimens of architecture can be found in Shimla.

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Kullu

Kullu is a resort town in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, located on the banks of the Beas River. It is the capital town of Kullu district. It is a town through which the famous Beas River flows. It is home to the most beautiful landscapes like the very famous Rohtang Pass, Beas Kund, and Chandrataal Lake. Located at a distance of approximately 500 km from the national capital, Delhi, Kullu is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations and holds an important place among the popular hill stations in India. It’s proximity and good road connectivity with major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh make it an ideal weekend getaway for people seeking a sweet escape from the bustle of these cities. A distance of 208 km lies between Kullu and the state capital, Shimla. 

Kullu has an altitude of 1279 m which makes it an ideal hill station with an ideal climate that is neither hot nor extremely cold. Most tourists prefer to travel here during the summer to escape the scorching heat of the plains and take refuge in the cold hills of Kullu with refreshing untainted air. Though enjoy snowfall in Kullu, December and January are the best months to visit it when the snow-blanketed Kullu is a sight you can call unforgettable. Whether you want to breathe in some quietness, want to get adventurous and taste the thrill or admire the craftsmanship of God, Kullu is a perfect place to come to with desires and return with experiences and memories. The hills of Kullu are covered with pine and deodar trees, adding a vivid green to the picturesqueness of the place; whereas, the sound of the flowing Beas River adds a sweet rhythm to the atmosphere. The hills, the forest, and the river in Kullu collectively make it God’s perfect imagination and a blessing to humankind.

Kasauli

Kasauli is a beautiful, picturesque town and cantonment, situated in the district of Solan, in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Even though there are a lot of unique attractions in Kasauli, it is primarily known for its scenic beauty and serenity. This town is accessible both from Chandigarh, which is 65km away, and Shimla, which is 77km away from Kasauli.

The most convenient way to travel to Kasauli is by train since it is a railway junction itself. The Kalka Mail, which is one of the most important trains in the country connecting cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Amritsar, is a great way to reach Kasauli, as the town is a mere 40 km away from the town of Kalka in Haryana. If one wants to reach by air, then Chandigarh Airport is the nearest airport from where you can easily hire cars or avail buses to take you to Kasauli. Buses are also frequently available from Delhi and Chandigarh, making trips to Kasauli easy and convenient.

Despite Kasauli being a small town, it has many spectacular places to visit, which has made it a popular tourist destination. The main attractions of Kasauli are Manki Point (a Hanuman Temple), the Gilbert Trail on Kachcha Road, Sunset Point, the Gurkha Fort, Baba Balak Nath Temple Christ’s Church, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, and the Central Research Library which is famous for its virological research and studies in the fields of immunology

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Kasol

When it comes to finding a destination that is beautiful, serene, adventurous, and available throughout the year, Kasol India has already found its favorite spot to travel to. Kasol is shot to fame for a plethora of reasons, the prime being the kind of serene beauty that surrounds the city lying in the Parvati Valley as well as the activities you can do here. This quaint little town in Himachal Pradesh is situated on the banks of the Parvati River and has maintained a level of pristine beauty through the years, the kind that attracts people not just from India, but also from many different corners of the world.

Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, is very well known in the travel community for being a haven for backpackers and budget travelers. Replete with experiences that will take away the heart of a lot of travelers, Kasol is more than just a destination. It can easily be proclaimed to be a whole adventure in itself. with a wide number of places to visit in Kasol, it can be called an ultimate destination. The reason for that is the many adventures that a traveler experiences, be it physical, visual, spiritual, and in some cases, life-changing. A small town in the Parvati Valley, Kasol is not just a hotspot for backpacking adventures or a destination set amidst green hills. It is a hub for people looking to just get away from their regular office lives and take to the Himalayas for an experience of a lifetime. The reason why Kasol is famous amongst such a crowd of travelers is that it caters to everyone. Be it the ones arriving for trekking, camping, rafting, sightseeing, parties, or seeking spiritual awakening, Kasol never disappoints anyone. Starting from the beginning, Kasol is heaven for trekking enthusiasts and adventure buffs.

Spiti Valley

Tucked away in an inviting blanket of earthly glory, Spiti is a heavenly gateway for those seeking solitude in the bliss of nature. Lahaul Spiti tourism attracts thousands of people every year towards its fascinating beauty and unadulterated environment. Spiti is bordered on the northern side by Ladakh, Tibet in the East, Kinnaur in the South-East, and Kullu Valley in the North.

This majestic cold desert valley in Himachal Pradesh is replete with pine forests, green meadows, beautiful monasteries, and inhabited villages that will leave you awe-struck. Situated at an altitude of around 12,500 ft above sea level the barren mountains over here change their hues every second and it is a sight to behold. The tiny villages over here under the shadow of huge mountains have a population of around 35 to 200 people. This sparsely inhabited land is a slice of paradise for all those who are yearning to be cut off from the intoxicating city life.

Wherever you go, you’ll witness beautiful Buddhist monasteries, prayer flags fluttering in the air, and a large number of monks praying with their prayer wheels. You can also have a fascinating glimpse of Dhadkan and Chandratal lakeLake here. The awe-inspiring passes like Kunzum and Barchala Pass will further take you to the top of the world with its immense altitude.

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Palampur

With thousands of tea gardens and beautiful deodar forests encircling the town, Palampur is a popular town of Himachal Pradesh located in the Kangra district of Himachal. Palampur was a part of the local sikh kingdom which later caught the eyes of Englishmen and soon it turned into the ground for trade and commerce. Their presence can be seen in beautiful Victorian-style mansions and castles. The city has stunning greenery with beautiful landscapes which creates a mesmerizing experience. You will see vast tea gardens all over Palampur and driving along the scenic beauty of the Dhauladhar range and the slopes of the Kangra Valley is unforgettable.

Palampur is like a paradise for people who are adventure enthusiasts. You can enjoy Rafting, paragliding, mountain trekking, or skydiving which creates an immense memorable life experience. Palampur has unexplored destinations that offer a peaceful and serene environment to tourists. You can level up your adventurous hunger by going paragliding at Bir and exploring lush green forests that look amazing while trekking in the ground. Tibetian culture can be felt with amazing artifacts available at Tashi Jong Monastery. Adding to it, you can make your visit to various famous temples such as Baijnath Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, and many more. The weather condition in Palampur is moderate which makes it a year-round destination place for visitors. You can either make your visit during summer i.e. between March and June when weather conditions are mild and you can make your peaceful visit, or early winters winter time i.e. between November and February when conditions are pleasant and not much cold is there in the region to disrupt your journey. As winters in Palampur are freezing so avoid visiting during peak winter times

Malana

An ancient village nestled away amidst the towering mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Malana is rather famous as the perfect holiday destination for hipsters. The location is surrounded by lush, green trees and incredible valleys, making it apt for those who love nature in its truest essence. The village is bordered by Parvati Valley on the north-east-northeast and Kullu Valley on the other side with peaks of Cahndrakhani and Deotibba shadowing the tiny, paradise of India.

Apart from the natural beauty, Malana is also known for its unique lifestyle and social structure that the locals essentially follow. Their dressing sense, the kind of food they eat, the festivals they celebrate, the way those festivals are celebrated, and more reflect the vibrant culture and tradition that is unique to the place. This perfect holiday destination is situated at a height of 2,652 meters i.e. approximately 8,701ft above sea level. There is so much beauty underlying in this town that there are numerous documentaries made on this town, depicting the wonders that Malana encompasses. A few popular documentaries that interested readers can check out are: Malana: Globalization of a Himalayan Village and Malana, A lost identity.

The traditional language spoken in Malana is Kanashi. Apart from that, there is much history that lies behind the existence of this beautiful location. Local legends suggest, the revered sage namely Jamlu Rishi was a resident of this place and he has been given major credit for setting up the rules, traditions, and culture among other regulations of Malana. Locals even claim that Malana reflects the world’s oldest democracies with a well-established parliamentary system as well. Malana is believed to have held immense respect during the pre-Aryan times.

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Naggar

Naggar is one of those few enchanting places in Himachal Pradesh that’s famous for its kaleidoscopic beauty that has managed to remain untouched and elusive. Anywhere that you look while walking on the winding trails full of pinecones and deodar trees, you are met by undulated views of snow-coated mountains and the crashing sounds of the Beas River. Some British officers, in their 18th-century writings, have even compared Naggar to Switzerland, that’s how beautiful it is! 
 
Naggar, thanks to its rich royal history and culture, is an amazing amalgamation of architectural styles- be it the ancient Naggar castle, Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, or even the picturesque timber houses. The entire place is seeped in that chic artsy vibe that attracts art lovers from all over. It has many art galleries and museums that are important repositories of the local customs and collectibles and are a must-visit. 
 
Known as the gateway to some of the best and the most intriguing treks in Himachal Pradesh, Naggar is also a haven for trekkers and hikers. This is where you can explore trails like Beas Kund, Chandrakhani Pass, Bhrigu Lake, Hampta Pass, and many more. 
 
The humble and warm locals never fail to invite visitors to their homes for a cup of tea or local Pahari fare. The place is also famous for other varieties of cuisines ranging from Mediterranean, Italian, to Tibetan. 

Kinnaur

Located at a dizzying height of nearly 6,000 meters above sea level, Kinnaur is an adventurer’s paradise. Surrounded by the majestic ranges of the Himalayas, the Dhauladhar, and the Zanskar ranges, this little village is the last Indian district on the Indo-Tibet border.

Cascading across varying degrees of altitude, Kinnaur comprises a variety of flora and fauna. From the vibrant green valleys of Sangla with its picturesque apple and apricot orchards, to the pristine, clear lake of Nako, Kinnaur has it all. The little town is also home to the Kinnaur Kailash, a mountain sacred to Hindu mythology as the abode of Lord Shiva. The gushing rivers of Baspa, Sutlej, and Spiti have chiseled out a number of valleys here, forming one of the most picturesque mountain towns in the world.

Kinnaur is known for its distinct architectural style with its characteristic blend of Buddhist and Hindu architectural designs. One of the best examples of Kinnauri architecture is the massive Narayan Nagini Temple, located only a short drive away from the main town.

The splendid woodwork and craftsmanship of the Kinnauri style areseveral also manifested in the Bering Nag temple of Sangla, which is a beautiful wooden temple dedicated to Lord Jagas. The Moorang Fort in Kinnaur is one of its most popular attractions. The fort is believed to have been built by the Pandava brothers and is dedicated to the local deity Umrig.
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Solan

Located between Chandigarh and Shimla, the town of Solan is named after the Hindu Goddess Shoolini Devi. Owing to its production of raw materials, Solan has received several nicknames over the years, such as the City of Red Gold for its production of tomatoes.

 Set against the backdrop of the white hills, this little town studded with pine and deodar forests boasts a stunning natural beauty. The town also prides itself on its architectural resplendence, with several cultural and heritage monuments lining the place.

The natural life of Solan can be best experienced with a trip to the Mohan National Heritage Park. Boasting vast, landscaped gardens with several sculptures of gods and goddesses, this Park was specially developed to educate the younger generation about the rich Vedic culture.

The traditional architecture of Solan is manifested in the numerous temples housed here, such as the Shoolini Devi Temple. The architectural resplendence of the place can also be witnessed in the craftsmanship of the renowned Arki Fort or the Mughal-inspired Nalagarh Palace. Solan also houses the Mohan Meakin Brewery, which is one the oldest breweries in India. The rich architectural heritage of Solan makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh.

Narkanda

The major places of interest in Narkanda include a scenic lake called Tanni Jubbar Lake and a revered Hindu temple, Hatu Mata Mandir. There also are a few vantage spots that are visited by photography enthusiasts to capture the essence of Himachal Pradesh in picture frames. In addition to these fairly exciting spots for sightseers and vacationers, Narkanda is also a perfect choice for adventure seekers. Whether you are enthusiastic about trekking or skiing, this town has great opportunities for you to satisfy the adrenaline junkie in you. A vacation in Narkanda provides trekking enthusiasts with an opportunity to scale the second highest peak in Shimla district, Hatu Peak, boasting an elevation of 3400 metresmeters.

Every season brings different shades of beauty to Narkanda, changing its aura completely. Thus, the town can be visited throughout the year. Due to frequent spells of snowfall in the winter season, the town remains covered under plush blankets of white snow and looks surreal. During the season, the minimum temperature drops down to as low as -8 degree Celsius at night. Whereas, during other times of the year, the dense forests of pine, oak, rhododendron, and deodar add a vibrant appeal to its hilly landscape. The temperatures in summer are pleasantly cold, adding romantic vibes to the atmosphere.  All in all, with plenty of exhilarating adventure opportunities, sightseeing spots, lush greenery, and luxury holiday resorts, Narkanda is the perfect choice for your next vacation in the mountains.

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Kufri

Located a short distance away from Shimla, this scenic town is extremely popular among honeymooners traveling to Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by a ring of the Himalayan ranges, Kufri is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Nestled in the bosom of the Himalayas, Kufri is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Himachal. The lofty valleys of the small town remain refreshingly green during warmer months, and turn ethereally white during winters, offering some of the most beautiful sights. The valley also boasts a variety of local flora and fauna, such as thick forests of pines and deodars, that elevate the beauty of the place.

Unlike most towns in higher mountains, Kufri is fairly developed and offers several sports and adventure opportunities for travelers. Boasting a considerable rich endemic wildlife, the Himalayan National Park in Kufri is a delight to wildlife enthusiasts as well as trekking lovers.

Surrounded on all three sides by the stunning snow-capped mountains, this National Park houses nearly 31 species of animals and over 150 species of birds. The nature lover can further satiate his tastes by paying a visit to the Green Valley or the town of Fagu in Kufri, which boasts stunning forests and a great population of birds. While in Kufri, do not hesitate to pay a visit to Kufri Fun World, which is one of the highest amusement parks anywhere in the world. The park hosts a Go-Kart track, allowing visitors to Kart against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas.

Keylong

Rudyard Kipling lovingly said about Keylong “Surely the Gods live here, this is no place for men”. This stunning place, located in Himachal Pradesh on the Leh-Manali Highway, is the perfect detour to escape into the magic of the mountains. For those seeking serenity and peace, Keylong is the best place to be. Often referred to as the ‘Land of Monasteries’, it houses some of the holiest places in the country worshipped by Buddhists, some even older than 900 years. This is one of those places where God and his most beautiful creation i.e. nature exist side by side. 

Its natural landscape is at par with the most magnificent mountainside towns in the world. Miles of barren lands, dramatic snowlines, and turquoise-green lakes, make Keylong all the more beautiful. While Keylong, due to its location, doesn’t have a very green landscape, its majestic beauty lies in its craggy barren slopes and steeply jutting mountain peaks. The chilly mountain breeze here rejuvenates and refreshes the visitors away from the stuffy environs of the cities.  

It is a haven for adventure seekers as well. People come from all over the country for high mountain pass treks, camps, biking, and river rafting. Food lovers like to gorge on authentic Tibetan and local Pahari food here.  What makes the place even more intriguing is that it is accessible only for 5 months each year. Read on to find out more about this perfect destination that’s bound to make your vacation memorable.

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Kinner Kailash Mountain

Popularly known as
“Parbat Of Lord Shiva”, this mountain is perched at an altitude of 6500 meters
above sea level. The alluring landscapes of this place make it the most
popular tourist spot in Kalpa. People, in large numbers, visit this place to
take the holy Parikrama, which kickstarts from Morang and continues till Kalpa.
Kinnaur Kailash is situated amid breathtaking valleys, lush green gardens,
snow-clad mountains, and gushing rivers. What further adds to the significance
of this site is the holy Shivling of Lord Shiva. The Shivling is nestled on the
Kailash rage at a height of around 4800m. With its religious significance and
panoramic landscapes, it is one of the finest places to visit in Kinnaur.

Location:
 Kailash mountain range. Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Timing: 
It can be
visited at any time of the day.

Tirthan Valley

Are you looking for some idyllic places to visit in Himachal Pradesh? Make your way to the scenic Tirthan Valley and embrace everything that nature has to offer. Nestled at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level, Tirthan is an adventure getaway that awaits your presence with its awe-inspiring landscapes.

Deriving its name from the pristine river Tirthan, this valley has been serving as a hotspot for several adrenaline activities including fishing, trekking, and wildlife watching. If you don’t want to indulge in high-endurance activities, just explore the nearby villages or relax amidst the lush green pine plantations. Want to try something offbeat before leaving this place? Try camping on the shores of Prashar Lake with music in the background and a starlit sky above.

The mesmerizing backdrops of the valley are enveloped by majestic hills, alpine meadows, and dense coniferous plantations that blend to create a sight to behold. Tirthan Valley is also one of the best destinations to spot a variety of bird species and unwind in peace.

If you want to find a retreat amidst this natural treasure, feel free to plan your stay in one of its surrounding rustic properties. For all the culture buffs who love to delve deep into the traditions and customs of different regions, Tirthan Valley comes as a pleasant surprise as the locals over here still stick by their old customs and beliefs.

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Sarchu

Situated at a staggering height of 14,500 feet above sea level, Sarchu is nestled on the border of Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal. Surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty, this congenial stopover point is located exactly halfway between the Baralacha La Pass and Lachulung La Pass. This little town is generally considered as a rest stop while traveling to and from Leh to Manali.

The town of Sarchu is surrounded by snow-laden peaks and scenic walking or trekking routes, and its beauty attracts travelers from around the world. Several ridges and gorges line the barren beauty of the place, while frozen rivers zigzag through the picturesque location.

The little towns of Jispa and Keylong offer the rustic beauty of small towns on the foothills of the Himalayas. These towns also offer several different adventure sports opportunities, especially of mountaineering or trekking.

One of the most popular attractions here is the Tsokar Lake, a glacial lake in the heart of the Himalayas. Owing to its high salinity, the lake water here is completely white, thus giving Tsokar the nickname of the “White Lake”. The Lake area is also rich in endemic animal life, making it a popular spot for wildlife enthusiasts.

Shoghi

A small town nestled at an elevation of 5700 feet, Shoghi stands as an epitome of beauty and grace. The town is 13 Km away from Shimla and boasts of mesmerizing views of Himalayan ranges. As you will usher into this ethereal destination, you will be greeted by the abundant plantations of Oak and rhododendrons, which add to its rustic charm.

To get a better view of its verdant surroundings, head to the Park Woods and explore some rare herb species or just devote some time to bird watching. The quaint town of Shoghi has also got its popularity for being the origin place of several fruit products including pickles, jellies, and syrups. So, if you are heading out on a shopping spree, don’t forget to grab a bottle of freshly-prepared pickles to be savored with the traditional Indian food.

Being home to numerous temples and religious spots, Shoghi also witnesses a huge influx of Hindu devotees all the year-round. Hanuman Temple, Tara Devi temple temple temple Temple, and Kali Temple are some of their famous religious sites. If you wish to dive deeper into its religious significance, plan a visit to the Jakhoo Hills and discover some of the uncharted temples which are nestled over here for ages.

Apart from being a well-known religious site, Shoghi serves as a flourishing spot for adventure activities too. From hiking and nature walks to camping-there is almost no adventure sport that you can’t enjoy at this scenic abode.