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5 Famous hill stations in Himachal Pradesh

Hill Stations in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh, the bewitching state of India is undoubtedly a favoured haunt for trekkers, honeymooners, wildlife lovers, adventure enthusiasts and casual holiday seekers. It exudes an unmatched magical charm in the summer season which is from April to June. The pleasant weather, flower-strewn pastures, striking fruit orchards and abundance of bird life attract people from different parts of India to travel here.

This is also the time when Himachal State Tourism organises several fairs and festivals to offer its tourists a deep insight into the state's diverse cultures and traditions. So here we bring to you the list of ultimate hill stations of Himachal that will surely help you to plan your vacation more effectively and efficiently –

1. Shimla

Shimla is labelled as the “Queen of Hills”. It is one of the most frequented hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. It is famed for its captivating scenic views of Himalayan peaks adorned with verdant forests of oaks, pines and deodars. The popular Mall Road is the local hangout spot for every person coming to this beautiful Shimla. Mall Road is a perfect place for shopaholics. It has several shops, to purchase from. It is indeed the best place to shop.

If one wants to encounter nature and its tranquillity just walk up to the astounding Chadwick Falls which will be an incredible experience. It is a paradise for bird watchers and trekkers. Vacation in Shimla remains incomplete without paying a visit to the ancient Jakho Temple that is devoted to Lord Hanuman. It is a prominent place and lures the maximum number of tourists and pilgrims every day. There are some other major attractions to explore – the scandal point, Himalayan bird park, Tara Devi temple, Kuthar fort and some other mesmerizing places too. Apart from the picturesque places Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in trekking, river rafting which is done at Tattapani, camping, paragliding, and fishing. 

Read: Best Places to Visit in Shimla

2. Mcleodganj

The beautiful hill station – Mcleodgang is near Dharamshala and is the most popular place among the trekkers. The soul-soothing ambience, picturesque scenic beauty and dignified sounds of Buddhist chants and ringing bells echoing in the air make this hill station more ravishing and thus attract scores of tourists from all across the globe. Mcleodganj offers its visitors a wide range of pristine places to explore. Some to include are- Masroor temple which is famed for its architectural style, pretty Bhagsu falls which is known for sightseeing, and Nechung Monastery known for its serenity and warm-hearted hospitality. Then there is the Guna Devi temple devoted to Goddess Kali. 

There are some other famed places like- sunset point, St.Johns church, Indrahar Pass, Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake, Minkiani Pass, Dal Lake and some other astounding places also which will force you to come again and again and will provide you with such wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime. Just add some adventurous activities too in your tour itinerary such as – Paragliding, Flying Fox, Camping at night, Boat riding, Rappelling and trekking. There are numerous trekking trails available for trekkers. Some include – Triund Trek which starts from the main square and ends at Gallu Devi temple. Then there is Kareri river trek, Guna Devi temple trek, Bhagsu trek, Indrehar Pass trek. 

3. Kullu

Kullu also famed as the Valley of Gods is an alluring hill station and is blessed with the fantastic scenic beauty of several gorgeous waterfalls, pretty rivers, striking fruit orchards and many more picturesque places. The list of popular hill stations in Himachal is incomplete without mentioning the exquisite valley of Kullu. It is a favourite summer escapade for innumerable tourists especially for newlywed couples who visit and spend some private time amidst a tranquil environment. There are several places to explore in Kullu so do not forget to jet down them on your Himachal tour itinerary. Great Himalayan National Park is one of the places that is considered to be one of the best places to explore. It is home to more than 375 species of fauna, 31 species of mammals and 187 species of birds. It is a wonderful place to relax and witness wildlife. 

Then there is Raghunath temple surrounded by lush greenery all around. It is one of the oldest temples. There are some other ravishing places like – Pandoh Dam, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Manikaran, Friendship Peak, Chandrakhani Pass, Bhrigu Lake, Bhuntar and some other famous places too. Kullu offers a wide range of adventure activities. Kullu is also famed for wonderful trekking destinations too. Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in – Trekking, river rafting, mountaineering, paragliding and hiking.. meandering streams and lush valleys peppered with hamlets make for an astounding escape and trekking through them is an unmatchable experience. There are some superb hiking trails in Kullu – Hamta Pass, Shepherds Trail Gaddi Trek, Sar Pass Trek, Lamadugh Trek, and Chanderkhani pass. So trip to this wonderful place and witness the marvellous temples and its hills all covered with pretty pine and deodars forests and sprawling apple orchards.

4. Manali

Manali is one of the major destinations in Himachal. Manali is blessed with ravishing sites, beautiful vistas of splendid fruit orchards, spiritual vibes, and pleasant weather. Whether one is a nature lover or an adventure enthusiast Manali will surely leave you with some good memories. Start your tour by visiting the most sacred temple – the Hadimba temple. It has ravishing architecture to admire. For a more beautiful experience head towards Vashishta Ashram which is popular for its natural hot water spring. A dip in its pure water will leave one with great peace of mind. One can explore the Tibetan Monasteries – Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa and Gadhan the Kchhokling Gompa. The key highlights of these monasteries are the art and craft items that are displayed here are out of the box. 

One can also visit the Manu temple which is devoted to Lord Manu. This temple has a soothing aura that attracts every visitor. There are some other spectacular places like – Clubhouse, Vashisht hot water springs, Maa Sharvari Temple, Nehru Kund, Jogini Falls and some other exquisite places too. Manali offers its tourists an array of adventure sports. Enjoy river rafting – Pridi to Jhidi, Paragliding in Solang Valley,  Skiing in Rohtang, Gulaba, Dhundi and Solang Valley, Hiking, Mountain biking in Manali – Rohtang Pass-  Baralacha La Pass-Lachalangla Pass- Tanglang La- Khardunga La – Manali, Mountaineering in Beas Kund, Hanuman Tibba and Deo Tibba, Manali Peak, Zorbing in Solang valley, Jeep safari in Manali- Tsomoriri Lake, Quad biking, Trekking trails-  Chandrashila Trek, Tosh Valley trek and Kheerganga Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Bhrigu Lake trek,  Hampta Pass Trek, Chanderkhani Trek, Deo Tibba Base Camp Trek, Prashar Lake Trek, river crossing in – Van Vihar and Solang Valley in and some other thrilling activities too.

Read: Things to do in Manali

5. Dharamshala

Dharamshala is perched on a spur of the Dhauladhar range in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is the exile home of H.H. the Dalai Lama of Tibet and the Central Tibetan Administration. This region has all be it serene places or tranquil environments but what sets it apart is its strong Tibetan character. One can see the prayer flags, monasteries at regular intervals and monks attired in bright saffron robes.

It is nestled in the district of Kangra in Himachal. The Dharamshala is divided into two- the lower and upper Dharamshala, the lower Dharamshala is the commercial centre and seen with markets, courts and popular Kotwali Bazaar and the upper Dharamshala is home to beautiful Mcleodganj as well as other marvellous structures which reminds of colonial past.

There are several places to explore in this splendid region- Get a close view of the Gyuto monastery by visiting it and witnessing the gold-plated statue of Buddha. It is one of the best places to explore in Dharamshala, next visit Dal Lake which is most frequented by nature admirers and adventure enthusiasts. This lake is surrounded by marvellous Deodar trees and houses a beautiful temple on its bank. 

Read: Places to visit in Dharamshala

Best time to visit Himachal Pradesh

The months between February to June are the best times to explore Himachal Pradesh as the weather is very good for sightseeing. Travellers can also explore Himachal in the months between October and February when it’s a snowfall season and very apt for skiing and ice skating. Visit Himachal in summer – April to June as it is also an ideal time for trekking paragliding, camping and also for water sports. Avoid the monsoon season- July to September as the state witnesses landslides during monsoon season.

Things to do in Himachal 

Planning a trip to Himachal? Then get ready for a surreal experience. Himachal is famed for its markets. Travellers can stroll in the markets of Shimla- Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Tibetan Market and Lower Bazaar are great places to shop for local handicrafts, handmade items, woollen items, wooden items and traditional jewellery. Old Manali Market, Himachal Emporium, Tibetan Market, Manu Market, Mall Road, and Bhuttico, are some fantastic markets from where one can buy some stuff of their choice like- woollen clothes, apparel, warm shawls, pashminas, decorative items, Tibetan souvenirs and many more items. There are other popular markets in other districts of Himachal also. 

Try out some water sports – rowing, river rafting, canoeing and water skiing in Satluj River, Chenab, river Beas and Ravi River. Enjoy camping and feel the charm of the beauty that the state has to offer. The aptest places for camping are- Kinnaur, Spiti, Dalhousie, Manali, Kullu and Lahaul. Experience this thrilling activity from April to June which are considered the best months for this activity and cherish some memories for a lifetime. Rock climbing is another most loved thrilling activity among adventure enthusiasts. Patalsu Peak in Manali, Friendship Peak in Pir Panjal, Shitidharmountain(Beas) and Mount Deo Tibba are considered the best places for rock climbing. Plan a trip to Himachal for this loved activity from April to June and make some memories to cherish.

Rappelling is another major activity in Himachal Pradesh. In most of the places where rock climbing is performed, you can enjoy rappeling there. The apt locations for this activity are- Kothi, Shuru, Aleo, Nehru Kund, Kasol, Chhatru, Tirthan Valley and Dalhousie. January to December is considered the aptest time for this activity. Angling or fishing is not only a major adventure sport but also a vital means of living in Himachal. Sarvari, Sainj, Parbati, Tirthan and Hurla are the perfect place for this activity. Skiing is also one of the most popular activities in Himachal Pradesh. Pir Panjal, Shivalik is a suitable place for this sport. Mid-December to February are the perfect months for this activity. There are 270 trekking trails in Himachal for trekkers- Bar to Bhangal, Pin Parvati, Kinnaur to Kailash, Spiti to Garhwal, and Bharmour to Padum. Enjoy trekking from June to September. There are other activities too to try and experience and cherish some wonderful memories for a lifetime.

There are several superb places to explore in Himachal Pradesh. Visit Kullu Manali, famous for -  cascading waterfalls, Great Himalayan National Park, Raghunath temple and many more beautiful spots too. Explore Shimla, Dharamshala, Kasauli, Malana, and Kinnaur for lifetime experiences. Visit the offbeat destinations- Spiti, Tabo, and Kaza for some wow moments. There are other mesmerizing places like- Mcleod Ganj, Chitkul, Mandi, Kangra, Bhuntar and some other ravishing places too. 

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