Himachal Pradesh

“THE LAND OF SNOW”, Is The Most Beautiful And Peaceful State In India. For Sheer Geographical Diversity, Few Places In The World Are As Richly Endowed As Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill state in Northern India, nestled in the Western Himalayas. “HIMACHAL” literally means, “THE LAND OF SNOW.” The state capital is Shimla which was formerly British India’s summer capital under the name Simla. It is the most beautiful and peaceful state in India. For sheer geographical diversity, few places in the world are as richly endowed as Himachal Pradesh. It is a mountainous state with altitudes ranging from 350 metres to 7,026 metres (1,050 ft. to 21,000 ft.) above sea level. It has a rich and varied landscape encompassing fertile plains with vast grasslands, meadows, and forests. In the foothills of the Himalayas there are lush green rain fed valleys, but higher up there are barren mountain scapes of the cold desert of the Spiti valley.

Nature presents striking contrasts here. It is a land of high passes and deep valleys full of breathtaking scenic beauty. With several spurs and sub-systems, the Himalayas form the strong spine of the state. They also give the area an enormous geographical spectrum – and one that is unparalleled in the world.

The Himalayan regions (Spiti, Kinnaur and Lahaul valleys) of Himachal Pradesh are bordered by Ladakh in the west and Tibet in the north. Two of the Main Himalayan ranges pass through the State of Himachal Pradesh – The Lower Himalayas and the Central Himalayas, which make the state wonderfully scenic for the tourist. The state is dominated by high mountains, fast flowing rivers and vast valleys. The highest peaks, Shilla Peak (7,026 metres), Manerang (6,593 metres), and Shipki (5,669 metres), are in the eastern part. Peaks that you can see close up are Leo Pargil (6,791 metres) near Nako Lake in the Kinnaur Valley, Deo Tibba (6,001 metres) close to Manali, and Kinner Kailash (6,050metres) which dominates the view from Kalpa village in the Kinnaur Valley.

Culture is as diverse as the landscape. Himachal is also known as, “The Land of Gods” as more than two thousand Devis and Devtas (local deities) are worshipped in the state. Himachal has more than six thousand big and small Hindu temples of different architectural styles. Then there are Buddhist monasteries in the state that are different again. Most of these are located in the district Kinnaur and Spiti. Some of these Buddhist monasteries are more than 1,000 years old. Many of the temples, churches, and Gurudwara monasteries are in an architectural style typical of the region, and have woodcarvings of international fame.

Fairs and festivals are an integral part of the Indian way of life. Himachal Pradesh has many colourful fairs and festivals to celebrate throughout the year and these are of great significance to Himachalis (people from Himachal), who normally lead a simple, quiet and hard working life, tending their orchards, fields and flocks. The population is composed of a variety of distinctive hill tribes: Gadis, Gujaris, Kinnauris and tribal people from Spiti valley – who are very warm hearted friendly people and are very fond of singing and dancing. Local music and dance reflect the cultural identity of the state. During local festivals and other special occasions , they try to please their gods through their dance and music.

The state is well known for its handicrafts. The carpets, leather work, shawls, metalware, woodwork, and paintings are worth looking at for their fine workmanship. The pashmina shawl is one of the products which is most highly valued not only in Himachal but all over the country. Himachali caps are also very famous. The extreme cold of the winters mean wool weaving is a necessity. Nearly every household in Himachal owns a pit-loom. Wool is also considered as pure and is used as a ritual cloth. The best known woven cloth is the shawl, ranging from fine pashmina to the coarse desar. Kullu is famous for its shawls.

Rivers in deep gorges and placid mountain lakes, thick forests and acres of scree, mountainsides draped with snow, and green alpine meadows, apple orchards in cultivated terraces all form a part of this immense spectrum, and provide an almost endless range of possibilities for adventure activities including day-hikes, low altitude and high altitude treks following trails that last a couple of days – or can be extended over a few weeks, skiing, heli-skiing, ice-skating, mountaineering, rock climbing, and water sports. There is the thrill of paragliding and the test of stamina with mountain cycling. You can go camping, play golf, go for a nature walk, a heritage walk, or take a jeep safari through the tribal areas and high passes of the state or just plan a restful holiday in the hill station. All you have to do is make up your mind and select your own activity!

The Tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh:Most of the places in the state are still out of reach for a regular tourist and are considered as the favourite off-beat routes in India. These destinations, with only a few tourists, are the best in the world. Words and phrases cannot describe these unique areas and yet, can barely touch this lunar-like landscape and its haunting beauty and splendour. A traveller visiting here can only marvel at the deft hand of the creator. The mysterious charm of this paradise beckons those who are eager to explore forbidden lands, and meet the people steadfastly protecting their old tradition and culture with a vibrant religion.

Centuries of inaccessibility make this region an anthropologist’s delight. These tribal areas are known as Kinnaur, Spiti & Lahaul valleys, which are the remote Himalayan valleys, lying on the Indo-Tibet border are still hardly explored…!

Hill Stations of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal is divided in 12 districts (provinces) namely Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Una, Chamba, Lahul and Spiti, Sirmur, Kinnaur, Kullu, Solan and Shimla, which also have numerous wonderful hill stations – most of which were established in the time of the British Raj. They are particularly cool in summers. Shimla, Dharamshala (home to the Dalai Lama), Dalhousie, Kullu, Manali, Palampur, Chail are a few of the popular hill towns in Himachal Pradesh which offer breathtaking scenery and countless options of adventure sports.

Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh known as "Queen of Hills".

One of the reminders of the British Raj is the church of St. John in the Wilderness. This stone church is located a short walking distance from McLeod Ganj. Lord Elgin is buried under the shade of deodar trees in the churchyard. He was a former British Viceroy and died in Dharamshala in 1863.

2 kms from McLeod Ganj and 11 kms from the town centre of Dharamshala is the ancient temple of Bhagsunath. Fresh water springs close to the temple are considered sacred by the Hindus. It is a very old temple dedicated to the God of Snakes. An easy walk takes you up to the waterfall.

Triund, at a height of 2,975 metres above McLeod Ganj, is a pleasant walk. The area is in the foothills of Dhauladhar range and the snow line starts at Ilaqua, a further 5 kms from Triund. The wonderful views of the mountains and the valleys make Triund an ideal picnic and trekking spot.

Surrounded by high and green trees is the lake, which fills a mountain bowl. This lake is easily approachable by road and makes a lovely quiet picnic spot.

A nature park set amidst the pine woods is a war memorial, built on the entry point of the lower Dharamshala to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh. Narrow paths and landscaped lawns lead to this monument.

Outside (4 kms) the main town of Dharamshala, Norbulingka was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down traditions and restoring standards by providing training, education, and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which the Tibetan community can flourish. It reconciles the traditional with the modern, and seeks to create an international awareness of Tibetan values and their expression in art and literature. This is a lovely place. Here one can watch craftsmen make wooden carvings and thanka paintings, and goldsmithing and embroidery is being done.

Outside (4 kms) the main town of Dharamshala, Norbulingka was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down traditions and restoring standards by providing training, education, and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which the Tibetan community can flourish. It reconciles the traditional with the modern, and seeks to create an international awareness of Tibetan values and their expression in art and literature. This is a lovely place. Here one can watch craftsmen make wooden carvings and thanka paintings, and goldsmithing and embroidery is being done.

Outside (4 kms) the main town of Dharamshala, Norbulingka was established to preserve and teach the ancient Tibetan arts. Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down traditions and restoring standards by providing training, education, and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which the Tibetan community can flourish. It reconciles the traditional with the modern, and seeks to create an international awareness of Tibetan values and their expression in art and literature. This is a lovely place. Here one can watch craftsmen make wooden carvings and thanka paintings, and goldsmithing and embroidery is being done.

There is great diversity in the climatic conditions of the state due to variation in elevation (350-7,026 metres). It varies from hot and humid sub-tropical (450-900 metres) in the southern Low tracts, warm and temperate (900-1,800 metres), cool and temperate (1,900-2,400 metres), and cold alpine and glacial (2,400-4,800 metres) in the northern and eastern high Himalayan mountain ranges.

Snowfall at elevations of about (2,300-2,700 metres) is about 3 metres and lasts from December to March. From 3,000-4,500 metres, there is perpetual snow which melts only in the summer period (May /June). The rains (monsoon season) start at the end of June. The entire landscape becomes green and fresh at that time.

In the hill stations, the climate is pleasant and comfortable throughout the year. By the month of November, nights and mornings become quite cold. The famous Spiti valley and high reaches of the Trans Himalayas are the driest area in the whole state and the best time to visit is from mid June to mid October.

The best time to visit the state is from mid March to the end of December.

Himachal Pradesh is easily accessible by all means of transport from all the parts of India.

By Road: The state (Shimla the capital town) has very good road connections to the major cities of North India. – Delhi (343 kms), Dehradun (240 kms), Chandigarh (120 kms), Kalka (95 kms), Amritsar (322 kms), Dharamshala (235 kms.), Manali (260 kms.).

By Train:Kalka (95 kms away) from the state capital Shimla is the most important Railway Station close to the state and is connected to all the major train routes in the country. The fastest air-conditioned Shatabdi train connects Kalka to Delhi- the capital of India. A narrow gauge rail line from Kalka to Shimla connects the state capital by Toy Train – which was built during the time of the British Raj in the year 1903. The 106 years old Kalka- – Shimla toy train has been declared as a World Heritage Railway Line by UNESCO.

The southern part of the state is connected by the Delhi Pathankot broad railway line. A narrow gauge rail line from Pathankot to Baijnath passes through the beautiful Kangra valley.

By Air:There are three domestic airports in the state, Shimla Airport in the capital of the state, Bhuntar Airport serving Kullu and Manali, and Gaggal Airport serving Kangra and Dharamshala. The Kingfisher Airline has regular flights from Delhi to all these airports. There is no international airport in the State of Himachal Pradesh. The closest international airports to the state are the Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi (343 kms) and the Raja Sansi International airport in Amritsar (322 kms.).

Chandigarh Airport – close to the state of Himachal Pradesh (120 kms from Shimla) is another major domestic Airport and is located in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, North India. It is connected by various flights to Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai. Soon it will be integrated with the newly built Chandigarh International Airport which is currently under construction.

Tours - Himachal Pradesh

Customised and tailored Tours by Tour Experts

Spiti Valley To Leh Ladakh Tour Package

Spiti Valley To Leh Ladakh Tour Package
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Agra Jaipur And The Foothills Of Himalayas

Agra Jaipur And The Foothills Of Himalayas
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Best Of Himachal With Amritsar

Best Of Himachal With Amritsar
10 Nights / 11 Days

Birding In The Hills And Mountains Of India

Birding In The Hills And Mountains Of India
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Delhi Manali Volvo Tour Package

Delhi Manali Volvo Tour Package
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Golden Temple and Foothills Of Himalayas

Golden Temple and Foothills Of Himalayas
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Golden Temple and Manali Leh Tour

Golden Temple and Manali Leh Tour
14 Nights / 15 Days

India Home Stay Tour

India Home Stay Tour
13 Nights / 14 Days

Kinnaur and Spiti valley Tour

Kinnaur and Spiti valley Tour
10 Nights / 11 Days

Kinner Kailash and Spiti Valley Tour

Kinner Kailash and Spiti Valley Tour
12 Nights / 13 Days

Kullu Manali Shimla Tour Package

Kullu Manali Shimla Tour Package
6 Nights / 7 Days

Manali Honeymoon Tour Package

Manali Honeymoon Tour Package
4 Nights / 5 Days

Manali Leh Jeep Safari Tour

Manali Leh Jeep Safari Tour
12 Nights / 13 Days

Manali Leh Motor Bike Tour

Manali Leh Motor Bike Tour
13 Nights / 14 Days

Manali Leh Srinagar Tour

Manali Leh Srinagar Tour
13 Nights / 14 Days

Manali Leh Tour

Manali Leh Tour
8 Nights / 9 Days

Kullu Manali Spiti Adventure Tour

Kullu Manali Spiti Adventure Tour
6 Nights / 7 Days

Sangla and Kunnaur Tour

Sangla and Kunnaur Tour
6 Nights / 7 Days

Sangla Chitkul Kalpa Group Tour

Sangla Chitkul Kalpa Group Tour
6 Nights / 7 Days

Sangla Chitkul Kalpa Women Only Group Tour

Sangla Chitkul Kalpa Women Only Group Tour
6 Nights / 7 Days

Shimla Honeymoon Tour Package

Shimla Honeymoon Tour Package
4 Nights / 5 Days

Shimla Manali Honeymoon Tour Package

Shimla Manali Honeymoon Tour Package
6 Nights / 7 Days

Shimla Manali Volvo Tour Package

Shimla Manali Volvo Tour Package
4 Nights / 5 Days

Spiti Valley Holiday Group Tour Package

Spiti Valley Holiday Group Tour Package
9 Nights / 10 Days

Spiti Valley Women Only Holiday Group Tour Package

Spiti Valley Women Only Holiday Group Tour Package
9 Nights / 10 Days

Spiti Valley Holiday Tour Package

Spiti Valley Holiday Tour Package
14 Nights / 15 Days

The Taj and The Tigers with Shimla Hills

The Taj and The Tigers with Shimla Hills
12 Nights / 13 Days

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