Top 10 Mesmerizing Destinations of Himachal Pradesh to Discover Yourself

Himachal Pradesh as the name suggests referred to as “Land of Snow”, is located in the western Himalayas offering picturesque snow-covered mountains, lush green valleys, majestic rivers, spectacular monasteries and scenic trekking trails. Everywhere you will find cool breeze coming across mighty mountains refreshing you in no time.  Popularly known as “Dev Bhoomi – Land of Gods”, it also has beautifully built temples adding more beauty to its glory. Himachal Pradesh is thoroughly loved by adventure freaks for enjoying trekking, paragliding, camping. Himachal Pradesh offers a serene atmosphere with opportunity for everyone to explore all around.

Here are the Top 10 destinations you must visit at Himachal Pradesh to discover yourself –

1. DHARAMSHALA AND MCLEODGANJ

Dharamshala Cricket Stadium Landscape
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

Dharamshala and Mcleodganj are beautifully nestled in Kangra Valley and are surrounded by snow-laden Dhauladhar Mountains and lush green forests. These places are a perfect blend of spirituality and peace with the multicultural presence of Indo-Tibetan community. Mcleodganj is a suburb of Dharamshala and is also known as “Little Lhasa or India’s Mini Tibet” due to its vast population of Tibetans who are the followers of “The Dalai Lama”. Rolling prayer wheels, colourful Tibetan flags, the soulful music of ringing bells in monasteries will awaken your inner peace and make you feel satisfied from within.

Top Attractions:  Tsuglagkhang Complex (Dalai Lama Temple), Bhagsu Nath Temple and Bhagsu Falls, Namgyal and Gyuto Monasteries, Mcleodganj Market, Kangra Art Museum, Dal Lake, Naddi Sunset Point, Triund Trekking, Dharamkot, Sindhbari, Ramnagar.

Best Time to Visit:  May to July and November to January

Ideal Stay Duration: 2-3 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) at 14kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Pathankot 87kms away and Una 120kms. Nearest narrow-gauge station is Chamunda Marg on the Pathankot – Jogindernagar narrow-gauge rail line. You can hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Dharamshala is connected by roads from all nearby cities. Both public and private transport buses regularly operate from Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot, Kullu-Manali, Shimla. The drive from Delhi to Dharamshala via Chandigarh takes around 12 to 14 hours.

2. KANGRA

Kangra
Masrur Temples at Kangra

Kangra is the home to the Masrur Temples also known as the Himalayan Pyramids. It is by far the largest region of Himachal Pradesh. The exotic beauty of the ancient Holy Temples, pristine Beas River and majestic landscapes coupled with aromatic tea gardens offering a diverse and delightful experience to everyone visiting at Kangra.

Top Attractions: Brajeshwari Temple, Chamunda Temple, Jwaladevi Temple, Kangra Fort, Tea Gardens.

Best Time to Visit:  March to June and November to January

Ideal Stay Duration: 2-3 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) at 10kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Pathankot 88kms away. Kangra is also connected by the Pathankot – Jogindernagar narrow-gauge rail line through majestic valley. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Kangra is connected by road with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla. Shimla – Kangra distance is 220 km, Delhi – Kangra is 456 km and Chandigarh – Kangra is 223 km. Private luxury coaches and public transport buses are also readily available.

3. MANALI

Manali
Manali during winters

Manali is a picture-perfect hill station surrounded by Kullu Valley and pristine Beas River offering picturesque landscapes, cascading waterfalls, scenic meadows, making it Northern India’s Most Preferred Tourist Destination attracting millions of tourists every year of which majority are newly-weds. If this is not enough for you to feel on top of the world, beckon yourself in adventure and enjoy the thrilling experience of river rafting and be amazed at breathtaking views of rising waves.

Top Attractions: Mall Road, Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass, Manali Bird Sanctuary, Hadimba Temple, Vashist Hot Water Springs.

Best Time to Visit:  May to July and November to January

Ideal Stay Duration: 4-5 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) at 50kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Una 250kms away, Kiratpur Sahib (268kms), Kalka (275kms), Chandigarh (310kms) and Pathankot (325kms). Nearest narrow-gauge rail line operates up to Joginder Nagar, from where the remaining journey to be covered by road. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Manali is connected by roads with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Shimla, Dharamshala and Chamba. Deluxe, semi-deluxe, AC, Volvo buses regularly operate to and from these places. The drive from Delhi to Manali via Chandigarh takes around 12 to 14 hours.

4. SHIMLA

Shimla
Night view of The Ridge at Shimla

Shimla is a gorgeous hill station popularly known as “Queen of Hills”. It was the earlier summer capital of India during British Era and afterwards made capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is quite popular with its colonial styles architectures like The Viceregal Lodge on the observation hill, The Old Christ Church The Town Hall and Gaiety Theatre. The rich cultural heritage blended with beautiful lush greenery, snow-covered mountains and world-famous heritage toy train, making it a perfect destination.

Top Attractions:  Mall Road, The Ridge, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Christ Church, The Town Hall, Gaity Theatre, Jakhoo Hanuman Temple, Kalka-Shimla Toy Train, Kufri, Chail.

Best Time to Visit:  May to July and November to January

Ideal Stay Duration: 3-4 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Shimla Jubbarhatti Airport (SLV) at 23kms away. Other airport options are Chandigarh Airport (IXC), Pathankot Airport (IXP), Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) and Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest narrow-gauge rail line is at Kalka 87kms away. The Kalka-Shimla rail line is equipped with 102 tunnels that offer a breathtaking view of the terrain as the journey chugs into higher ground. Regular trains ply between Delhi and Kalka on this UNESCO heritage mountain rail track.

By Road: Shimla is connected by roads with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh. Both public and private transport buses regularly operate from Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot, Dharamshala, Kullu-Manali, Deluxe, semi-deluxe, AC, Volvo buses regularly operate to and from these places. The drive from Delhi to Shimla via Chandigarh takes around 7 to 8 hours.

5. MANDI

Mandi
View of Parashar Lake with Temple near Mandi

Mandi is a heritage town made up of 80 stone-built temples on the banks of River Beas and beautifully decorated with religious motifs and idols of deities, literally making it as “Varanasi of the Hills or Choti Kashi”. For its revered temple architectures, the old palace, rich spiritual traditions, Mandi is also considered as the cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh.

Top Attractions:  Indira Market, Baba Bhotnath Temple, Grand Victoria Bridge, Panchvaktra Temple, Trilokinath Temple, Tarna Devi Temple, Janjehli, Rewalsar Lake, Prashar Lake, Kamru Nag Lake.

Best Time to Visit:  March to October

Ideal Stay Duration: 3-4 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) at 60kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Pathankot 207kms away, from where a narrow-gauge train can get you to Joginder Nagar, from where the remaining journey to be covered by road. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Mandi is connected by roads with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala and Palampur. Deluxe, semi-deluxe, AC, Volvo buses regularly operate to and from these places.

6. DALHOUSIE

Dalhousie
Picturesque view of Dalhousie

Dalhousie is named after Lord Dalhousie, who was British Governer in the 19th century. Spreading out over five hills it offers stunning picturesque beauty all around, that is why it is also known as “Mini Switzerland of India”. This place is filled up with views of mighty mountains, cascading waterfalls, lush green pine and oak trees, making a perfect atmosphere to detox in the lap of nature.

Top Attractions: Dalhousie Market, Mall Road, Khajiaar, Laxmi Narayan Temple, St. John Church, Panjpula, Chamera and Satdhara Falls, Kalatop Sanctuary, Dainkund Peak, Bakrota Hills,

Best Time to Visit: March to June and October to January.

Ideal Stay Duration: 1-2 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) at 110kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Pathankot 82kms away, from where the remaining journey to be covered by road. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Dalhousie is connected by road with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Pathankot, Amritsar, Chamba. Deluxe, semi-deluxe, AC, Volvo buses regularly operate to and from these places.

7. KULLU

Kullu
A pristine view of Parvati Valley near Kullu

Kullu is popularly known as “Land of Gods” and is spread out on the banks of River Beas. This place is blended with beautiful Apple orchards, deep lush green forests, high altitude temples and the beautiful backdrop of Himalayas. One can’t miss its famous Dusshera Festival.

Top Attractions:  Bijli Mahadev Temple, Raghunath Temple, Malana Village, Parvati Valley, Manikaran Temple, Himalayan National Park, Vishveshvara Mahadev Temple at Bajaura, Kasol .

Best Time to Visit: May to July and October to January

Ideal Stay Duration: 3-4 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) at 10kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Una and Kiratpur Sahib (both 200kms away), Kalka (240kms), Pathankot (275kms) and Chandigarh (280kms). The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar (100kms), from where the remaining journey to be covered by road. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Kullu is connected by roads with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Dharamshala. Deluxe, semi-deluxe, AC, Volvo buses regularly operate to and from these places.

8. SPITI VALLEY

Key Monastery, Spiti Valley May 2016
Spectacular view of Key Monastery at Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley is a quiet, remote high altitude village area surrounded by several high-altitude villages like Tabo, Kaza, Dhankar, Kibber, Komic and Langza. It is located close to Ladakh and Tibet borderlines. Spiti is home to Buddhist Monasteries built all around and is known as “Hidden Gem of India” due to its picture-perfect scenery of white mountainous cold desert with green patches of dry weather. Get the adventure freak out of you and go for mountain trekking, biking, rafting and wildlife exploration. The unforgettable journey to Spiti will leave you spellbound.

Top Attractions:  Buddhist Monasteries, Adventure Sports.

Best Time to Visit: May to October

Ideal Stay Duration: 2-3 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) at 250kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Pathankot 280kms away. The nearest narrow-gauge railway station is Joginder Nagar and Shimla, from where the remaining journey to be covered by road. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: From Manali to Kaza, there are regular buses during the period from July to October and from Shimla via Kinnaur, there are regular buses during the period from May to October. Sturdy vehicles used as off-roading taxis are recommended for a travel tour to Spiti from Manali or Shimla.

9. BIR-BILLING

Bir-Billing
Paragliding World Cup 2015 at Bir-Billing

Bir-Billing is one of the world’s best paragliding destinations and is called as “Paragliding Capital of India”. The twin town of Bir and Billing is filled up with serene atmosphere for doing thrilling adventure activities like paragliding, trekking, camping, all year round. Billing, at a height of 2290 m, is the takeoff point for paragliding and the landing point is Bir at 1400m. You can backpack and indulge in trekking activities from Bir to Billing passing through panoramic landscapes or you can go for meditation and spirituality at Buddhist Monasteries for want of peace and tranquillity, you will feel on top of the world everywhere.

Top Attractions:  Paragliding, Trekking, Camping, Buddhism Monasteries in Bhattu, Choggan and Chauntra Bhattu, Lord Shiva Temple, Tea Factory, Deer Park Institute.

Best Time to Visit: March to May and October to November

Ideal Stay Duration: 2-3 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Dharamshala Gaggal Airport (DHM) at 70kms away. Other airport options are Pathankot Airport (IXP), Kullu Bhuntar Airport (KUU) and Chandigarh Airport (IXC). You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Pathankot 150kms away, from where narrow-gauge rail line operates up to Joginder Nagar, from where the remaining journey to be covered by road. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Bir-Billing can be reached by road from Palampur (30 km) and Joginder Nagar (16 km). You can also take a bus to Baijnath or Bir Road from Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Dharamshala. The journey time from Delhi is about 12 to 14 hours.

10. KASAULI

Kasauli
Christ Church at Kasauli

Kasauli is a small hill town situated close to Punjab and Haryana state borderlines, a build-up of popular colonial-era buildings, apple orchards and green-roofed churches. The peaceful unadulterated atmosphere, trailing winds through lush green countryside, bird chirping sounds, breathtaking view of sunrise and sunset, no mad rush of peoples – all of these making Kasauli a perfect choice for everyone to just relax in the lap of nature and have a lifetime experience.

Top Attractions: Anglican Church, Baptist Church, Christ Church, Gilbert Trail, Monkey Point, Sunrise and Sunset Point, Timber Trail, Kasauli Brewery, Nahri Temple, Kasauli Club.

Best Time to Visit: April to June and November to March

Ideal Stay Duration: 2-3 days

How to Reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Chandigarh Airport (IXC) at 60kms away. You can hire a taxi from the airport or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Train: Nearest broad-gauge rail line is at Sonwara 6kms away and Kalka 40kms, from where the remaining journey to be covered by road. You can also hire a taxi from the railway station or take a bus from the nearest bus-stop.

By Road: Kasauli is connected by roads with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Dharamshala. Deluxe, semi-deluxe, AC, Volvo buses regularly operate to and from these places.

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