This Northern Indian state is a natural marvel with plethora of hill stations, quaint settlements, picturesque landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and thrills of outdoor adventure. Be it summers (usually good for beating the heat and trekking on highlands), or be it winters (usually good for enjoying snowfalls), Himachal Pradesh is an unstoppable beauty. The word Himachal means ‘The Land of Snow’ and for obvious reasons you will find it everywhere in here. With monasteries, churches, valleys, hot springs, lakes, mountain passes, this state is a true charmer. So here we are, to help you with the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.
Shimla – The capital of Himachal and living testimony of British Colonial Architecture, this city has captivating beauty and stunning landscapes. The toy train that connects Shimla to Kalka is UNESCO world heritage site you must not miss. You will also enjoy shopping at the Mall Road. A trip to Jakhoo Hill to visit Hanuman Temple is another popular amidst travellers. Other must see are Institute of Advanced Studies, Christ Church, Kufri, Annandale, Chail, The Ridge, and Vice Regal Lodge.
Manali –It is the place in Himachal where green mountains and snow-capped ranges co-exist. Manali is extremely popular amidst newly-wed couples. Beas River flowing through the city makes it even more beautiful. The nearby valley of Kullu is a must visit if you are an adventure sports aficionado. Top attractions in here include Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass, Hadimba Temple, Vashist Hot Spring, Manali Bird Sanctuary, and Tibetan Monasteries.
Dalhousie – It is another town of Himachal that has British Colonial heritage. The Scottish and Victorian architecture reflects in the bungalows and churches of the town. It is also known as mini Switzerland of India. It is built on five hills Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora. This place attracts honeymooners, nature lovers, & peace seeking travellers. Top attractions in here are Khajjiar, Daikund Peak, Ganji Pahari, St. John’s Church, Chamara Lake, and Kalatop Sanctuary.
Dharamshala – It is most popular for being Home of Dalia Lama, the spiritual leader of Buddhists, leaving in exile from Tibet. One can see the Buddhist and Indian community live in harmony on this hill station. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains by three side and valley on other, this place offers spectacular views from all side. Top attractions include Dharamsala Cricket Ground, St John in the Wilderness Church, Namgyal Monastery, Tea Gardens, and Tibetan Museum.
Kangra – Also formerly known as Nagarkot, this beauty of Lower Himalayas has breath taking views of the mountains and valley that breathes arts and crafts. The beautiful town is within a day trip from Dharmashala, though people tend to stay longer in here. The luxury resorts of Kangra also offer Ayurveda therapies, and other leisure activities. Top attractions of the place are Brajeshwari Temple, Kangra Fort, Baijnath Temple, Kangra Art Museum, and Taragarh Palace.
Kasauli – This is your place for a laid back vacation. It is popular for its spectacular views of Mountains and also a well-known Health resort. Being in close proximity to nearby states, it serves as a quite popular weekend getaway destination. It is surrounded by forests, studded with colonial architecture, and laden with nature at its best. Top attractions in here include Baptist Church, Monkey Point, The Mall, Kasauli Brewery, Sunset Point, Gilbert Trail, and Gurkha Fort.
Bir Billing – This beauty is the mecca of adventure sports seekers in Himachal. It is arguably the best place where you can immerse in trekking, mountain biking and the best of it in Paragliding. It is quite popular amidst backpackers and the adrenalin levels in here are always high. A good time to visit here is while World Paragliding Championship hosted annually. Top attractions include monasteries in Bhattu, Choggan, Chauntra Bhatt, and the very popular Palampur Tea house.
Kinnaur – This place is popular for apple orchards and also known as ‘Land of the Gods’. The culture in here is fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the beauty in here is breath taking. It lies between Shimla and Spiti Valley, making your either ways awesome for itinerary. People in here usually wear the cylindrical hats, thapeng or basheri. Top attractions include Bhimakali Temple, Gue Mummy Temple, Kamru Fort, Padam Palace, and NakoGompa.
Mandi – Located by the river Beas, this place has lush greenery around and stunning Colonial architecture at its heart. There are lots of open spaces like gardens, and even lakes, making it a perfect vacation spot for laid back days. Thanks to the myriad of temples, this place is also known as ‘Varanasi of Hills’. Top attractions in here include Pandoh Dam, Rewalsar Lake, Parashar Lake, Janjehli, Tattapani, Kamlah Fort, and Shikhari Devi Temple.
Chamba – Located by the confluence of Ravi and Chal River and complimented by Zanskar and Dhauladhar mountain ranges, this beauty has millennium old settlements. At the heart of Chamba is the Chowgan, a grassy field that hosts festivals, cricket matches, and picnics. The lakes, temples and sanctuaries make this place spectacular. Top attractions include Lakshmi Narayan temple, Chameralake, Manimahesh Lake, Rang Mahal, Chamunda Devi Temple and BhuriSingjh Museum.