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Best Places to Visit in Shimla And Manali

Top Places to Visit in Shimla and Manali

Shimla is popularly known as the “Queen of Hill Station” and offers its visitors snow-capped mountains, alluring lakes, a pleasant climate, and rich greenery to explore. There is truly magic in Shimla's air that makes everyone fall in love with it. It is the most visited tourist destination in India. Manali also amazes its tourists with the most captivating sceneries of the ravishing mountains, and verdant valleys, and with the most thrilling activities. So whether you are looking for some inner peace or want to go for an adventurous ride Shimla and Manali will never disappoint you. Here are some magical places to explore in Shimla and Manali !!

1. Jakhoo Hill

Jakhoo Hill is considered to be the highest peak in Shimla. It is 8000 feet high and is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Shimla. The temple here which is the Jakhu Temple is a paradise for all nature lovers. There is a historic 108-foot-tall Hanuman Statue at the Jakhu Temple. It is indeed a haven for adventure seekers as it offers a short trek which makes it a more interesting and superb place in Shimla. The month of February is considered to be the aptest time to explore this beautiful place in Shimla.

2. The Scandal Point, Ridge

Scandal Point is a flat and spacious platform that is one of the favorite spots of tourists in Shimla. It is a treat for all-mountain lovers as it offers mesmerizing views of the pretty valley and snow-capped mountains surrounding Shimla. This Scandal Point hosts the Shimla Summer Festival which is held annually. It is a paradise for all sunset and sunrise lovers. One can also explore the famed Tudor library at Scandal Point. It is one of the most loved places in Shimla.

3. Chadwick Falls

Chadwick Falls falls from an altitude of 1586 meters and is a major tourist attraction of Shimla. The view it offers is enthralling as the dense forests, lush deodar, and pine trees surround it so well. Monsoon makes it more beautiful with its sparkling water as the water level of the falls increases. It is truly a treat to one’s eyes with its unmatchable beauty and ambiance. It is ideal for photography and peace seekers. It is a paradise for trekkers and hikers too.

4. Mall Road

Mall Road is one of the popular tourist places in Shimla among tourists and is known to be the best hangout point and shopping center in Shimla.  It is a paradise for shopaholics from warm woolens to exquisite handicrafts, one can find everything here at a reasonable price. This place is apt for purchasing handicrafts, and handwoven woolens, and for having the famous cuisines of Himachal. Mall road is connected to Ridge at Scandal point where the statue of the nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai has been built.

5. Himalayan Bird Park

Himalayan Bird Park or The Himalayan Aviary is an ideal, tourist spot in Shimla. It is on the opposite side of the Viceregal Lodge.  It is a haven for nature and bird lovers. It is open only during summer. Tourists can witness several varieties of exotic native birds over here like- peafowl, pheasants, the Himalayan Monal, peacocks, and many more birds too. This place is best for photography and mature admirers. It is one of the most loved places in Shimla.

6. Tara Devi Temple

Tara Devi Temple is one of the famed temples in Shimla. It is located atop a hill. One can reach this temple via the Kalka – Shimla highway. It is truly a great place for rejuvenating one’s mind, body, and soul. It is believed that the Goddess Tara Devi came from Bengal to Himachal Pradesh and that is why this pretty temple is devoted to the goddess of stars. It is situated 11 km away from the Shimla Bus stand and is positioned amid a thick forest of Oak and Rhododendron and offers scenic views of the lofty Himalayas surrounding the town.

7. Green Valley

Green Valley is considered to be the most exotic viewpoint in Shimla. This valley has been featured in a few Bollywood films. This valley has gained much fame in recent years and is one of the tranquil places to explore in Shimla.  This valley is surrounded by verdant hills that are covered with thick forests of pine and deodar. One can witness the rare animals like- Yaks wandering and gazing here in this valley. It is a package of absolutely blissful scenery around this natural paradise. It is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.

8. Kiala Forest

Kiala Forest is nestled in the Kothai region of Shimla. The lush green and dense forest area is a must-visit for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. Tourists can enjoy a good time in the wilderness along with spectacular views of the city from the top. It is truly a fantastic spot to explore. March to October is the perfect time to explore this awesome place. One can find the resorts located here who wish to stay a little longer. So plan a trip to this gorgeous place and make your trip memorable.

9. Kuthar Fort

Formerly known as Kishangarh Fort. Kuthar Fort is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas amidst the exquisite beauty of mature. It is one of the awesome historical places to explore in Shimla. The Kuthar Fort covers an area of 52.8 sq km, surrounded by pretty pine trees, and mountains. It has astounding pools and wonderful gardens. It was built by the Gurkha Kings. It was once the residence of the royal family in Kuthar. The interiors of this majestic fort are filled with an exclusive collection of paintings. The key highlight of this fort is the extensive use of wooden carvings to its overall architecture. It is indeed a must-visit attraction in Shimla.

10. Hawa Ghar

Hawa Ghar is situated at a distance of 2 km from the Shimla railway station. It is one of the most interesting spots in Shimla. From HawaGhar, one can witness the exotic views of the hill station Shimla. This place is a part of Lakkar Bazar and is located at a good height. HawaGhar is labeled as Mall View Balcony. It is heaven for photographers and nature lovers as it offers a spectacular panoramic view of the vale of snow and Himalayan mountain ranges, lush greenery, numerous heritage buildings, and beautiful temples in Shimla. 

11. Hidimba Devi Temple

Hidimba Devi Temple is one of the popular tourist attractions in Manali. This temple is an ancient 15th-century temple. It is devoted to Goddess Hidimba-wife of Bheem, one of the Pandavas. This temple is of  Pagoda style and is set on a rock. It has superb architecture a cone-shaped roof and intricately carved wooden walls and doors. It is surrounded by a lush thicket of cedar trees and offers picturesque views of lofty snow-capped mountains in the background. It is an oasis of serenity and tranquillity amidst pretty nature. Plan a trip to this wonderful place after the monsoon that is in mid-September or the pleasant summer months of March till June. 

12. Solang Valley

Solang Valley is nestled 13 km from Manali. It is situated between the Beas Kund and Solang village. This valley is loved for its mind-blowing views of snow-capped mountains and beautiful glaciers that attract ski fanatics from all over the world. The beauty of the Solang Valley is unmatchable. Tourists explore this valley every year just to enjoy its pristine snow-white magnificence. The winter season covers the whole place with fluffy milky white snow. Apart from picturesque landscapes Solang Valley also offers several winter sports. One can go for quad biking, Zorbing, paragliding, and snowmobiling in Solang Valley. If one wants to get a full dose of the beauty of this valley camp here amidst its lush green meadows.

13. Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is known for its unmatchable natural beauty and is one of the loved spots in the Manali region. It is situated about 50kms away from the main town and is easily accessible by road. The key highlights of this Rohtang pass are that it is one of the highest passes in the Himalayas. It is nestled at a staggering height of 3978 meters above sea level. It truly offers some picturesque views of the Himalayas. The spellbound beauty of the route and the pass is so spectacular that it has been featured in some Bollywood movies – Jab We Meet, Yeh jawanihaiDeewani. If one wants to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and wants to curl up with a cup of tea in the middle of the unmatchable serene nature, then Rohtang Pass is a great option.

14. Manu Temple

Manu Temple is a historic Hindu temple devoted to Sage Manu. It is a place of great religious significance to Hindus. There are several folk tales related to the establishment of this magnificent temple which one can get to know when one visits this splendid place. It is located in old Manali. The pilgrims and tourists in several numbers flock to this beautiful temple all around the year. It is famed for its religious significance, ancient pretty architecture, and wooden carving. The tranquil atmosphere of this place is pleasant. The best time to explore this place is between May and June.

15. Manali Sanctuary

A trip to Manali is incomplete without exploring this splendid Manali sanctuary. This sanctuary offers one to explore native mountain wildlife and hundreds of varieties of plants and trees. It is a major part of the protected northwest Himalayan biogeographic Zone. One can witness the various animals and birds – barking deer, flying fox, Kashmir flying squirrel, Himalayan black bear, snow pigeons, Chakor, tree creepers, and a lot more other species too. Apart from witnessing animals and birds grab a chance to witness the dense thickets of trees – poplar, willows, horse chestnut, deodars, and thickets of blazing red rhododendron. This sanctuary is amongst the landmark sites to explore in Manali edges on the scenic banks of the Manalsu Nullah with high peaks in the background.

16. Gadhan The Chokling Gompa Monastery

GadhanThe Chokling Gompa Monastery is among the most famous tourist places in Manali. It was built in the year 1960s by Tibetian refugees. This monastery is famed for its beige and rust architecture frilled with bright golden color. Explore this shrine that is devoted to Lord Budha and get a chance to witness the murals and carvings that beautifully showcase his life and teachings. One can indulge in meeting the friendly monks, meditate, and also indulge in spiritual discourses which will surely be going to enhance the tranquil experience.

17. Mall Road

Mall Road is among the charming places to explore in Manali. This market is lined up with hundreds of shops. There are great guest houses, German bakeries, souvenir shops, local cuisine outlets, bookshops, and beautiful handmade woolens sold by Tibetian people. One can sit on the benches and get a beautiful view of the mountains in the background. One can even explore the underground market –Hong Kong market, dragon shopping complex, and the snow lion for some kitschy apparel and, Jewelry. So do not miss to experience the local cuisines, sights, and sounds of this beautiful region.

18. Old Manali

If one wants to witness the other side of Manali then just take a walk across the Manalsu river bridge and cross over into the part of Manali, popularly known as Old Manali. The idyllic village setting makes tourists feel like they walked into the happy and hippie 1960s. The pathways are lined with pretty swaying eucalyptus trees. The calmness of the surroundings and the gush of the river Kullu create a tranquil environment. The Old Manali has somehow carved out a niche of its own and has managed to retain the old-world charm.

19. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art

The Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art was built in the year 1998 to exhibit the cultural and folk art and antiques of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at a very short distance from the popular Hidimba Devi Temple of Manali. This museum houses an interesting and superb collection of antique articles and some other items also that reflect the culture and heritage of the state of Himachal Pradesh. One not only gets to witness here the traditional Himachali dresses or Himachali Kitchenware but also the traditional ornaments. If one has a keen interest in Himachali culture then this place is very much apt for one to explore.

20. Van Vihar National Park

Van Vihar National Park is one of the places to explore in Manali. This park is home to several deodar trees that provide shade to the whole area. For the convenience of the tourists concrete as well as wooden benches are there in this splendid national park. It is worth visiting as one can enjoy picnics here and spend some beautiful moments with their loved ones. It has well-laid paths that are ideal for a long and refreshing stroll around lush greenery. Tourists can also enjoy boat rides in the park’s small pond.

21. Jogini Falls

Jogini Falls is 160 feet tall and is one of the major attractions in Manali. The lush greenery that surrounds this pretty waterfall and the tranquil nature makes this place the most loved tourist spot among the visitors. One can spend some time here listening to the sounds of water, sipping cups of tea, and enjoying bowls of magi from the nearby food outlets. Trekkers can trek to this splendid place and witness the serene views of orchards, streams, meadows, and peaks of Rohtang.

22. Cafe 1947

Cafe 1947 is one of the oldest and best-known cafes in old Manali and is considered to be one of the most loved tourist places. It was first a music cafe. It is on the banks of the gushing water of the ManalsuRiver. Enjoy a live music Jam happening at one of the booths and at the same time enjoy the delicious servings of the world, Indian and European cuisine. The most famous dishes at this café are the burger of Bodom, Vegeta, UFO, the slayer pizza, and the Metallica pasta. It is heaven for the foodies. The cafe also hosts several live gigs at regular intervals.

23. Beas River

Beas River- known as Vipasha in Sanskrit is one of the most important holy rivers that flows through the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. It is indeed a stunning attraction in Manali. It is such a waterbody that flows all year round and provides drinking and usable water to the people of Kullu and Manali.  Enjoy the view of crystal clear waters backed by snow-capped mountains and lush pine thickets. It is a paradise for adventure junkies as they can raft in grade II and III rapids of the Pirdi stretch in Beas. It has ravishing camping spots that are perfect for night camping. One can even leisurely walk along the lush riversides.  

24. Summer Hills

Summer Hills is also known as Potter Hill. In the olden days, the potters made pottery at this place so therefore it was called Potter Hill. It is truly one of the best places to explore in Shimla. It is a picturesque town and is situated 5km from the popular ridge of Shimla. It is carpeted by rich greenery that offers astonishing views from the top. Summer Hill is part of 7 hills that make the tour one of the loved places in Shimla. One can enjoy the view of a beautiful sunrise. It is also great for trekking and nature walks. One coming to this splendid place can witness here the popular building Manorville Mansion where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his Shimla visit. Summer Hill is visited for its natural beauty and tranquillity.

25. Annandale

Annandale is situated 3 km away from the Ridge. It is one of the most visited tourist places in Shimla and now Annandale has been developed as the playground of the city- Shimla.  During British rule, it was home to several adventure sports including racing, and cricket but now this place is most apt for golf lovers as the racecourse has been converted to a mini-golf course which also serves as a helipad. It also offers pretty sceneries of its meadows. It also provides an astounding view of Shimla city. It is quite famous among visitors as it hosts parades, sports, and Dussehra celebrations. This place is also visited for picnic parties, birthday balls, fetes, races, and polo matches. Annandale is surely a treat to one’s senses.

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