Words seem to be less descriptive while you are amidst the beautiful hills, splendid vistas and eternal essence of ethereal natural beauty of extra terrestrial bodies. The captivating, enticing and enthralling attractions in Himachal Pradesh state can only be penned down through your eyes. This is the reason why this state is the most fascinating tourist destination in India and it keeps inviting the people to recline in the lap of Mother Nature. Evergreen forests and green landscapes are not the enough reasons that allure the travelers. But the expanding horizon which is seemed to be celestial holds its destiny. Himachal Pradesh is the destination where your vacation finds an explicit definition in between the lofty mountains and twisting and twirling alleys. To ease your trip plan to Himachal Pradesh, this article lists down the famous hill stations, serene lakes, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and secluded villages of Himachal Pradesh.
Popular places in Himachal Pradesh
It is one of the popular hill stations in India, situated at an altitude of 2, 205 meters. Shimla is all time favorite destinations of travelers. This place has its own charisma that used to magnetize the numerous travelers no matter what the season is such as summer, winter, monsoon or autumn. However the best time to soak your soul in the spirit of ‘Queen of Hills’ is summer. However, those travelers who seek for adventure; monsoon is the best season to mesmerize. Autumn brings out the mild and luxurious time that attracts the travelers over worldwide to explore the beauty of this place. In the winter, snow capped mountains captivates both domestic and international travelers and many skiers globally. Shimla served as the Summer Capital in British era, thus it holds numerous colonial buildings such as Christ Church, Wildflower Hall, George Castle, Temples such as Jakhoo temple and Tara Devi temple and museums that beholds its heritage. The Mall Road is one of the spectacular places for shopping with an array of numerous shops for handicrafts and dresses. Here, you will also find many hotels and restaurants. Chadwick Waterfalls and Daranghati Sanctuary are the best places to soothe your eyes with the eternal beauty of nature. If you want to try skiing then Slopes in Kufri welcomes with wide open arms and is located at an hour drive from Shimla. However, if you are looking for a peaceful environment and serenity then drive to Chail which is 45 km distant from this hill station.
Manali is great place to explore in Kullu district and is situated at an elevation of 2,050 meters. This place is also pleasant throughout the year. The snow capped horizon of Manali is a turf with sprawling forests of deodar, alpine, pine, apple, plum and pear orchards. It is an ideal location for trekking, rafting, paragliding, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and mountaineering. Beas Kund trek, Malana Trek, Chandra Tal trek and Bhrigu Lake are some of the popular treks that can be recommended from amateur to professional trekkers. Tourist attractions in and around Manali include- Hidimba Devi temple, Pandoh Dam, Manali Sanctuary, Bijli Mahadev and the mall. Rohtang Pass is the highest point in this region at an elevation of 4, 000 meters and is definitely not a miss. Solang Valley is the best skiing spot in India. If you are planning to spend your holidays for long period then Great Himalayan National Park Trail is the most recommended to give you the best experiences.
Vashisht is a small village which is renowned for sandstone temples and hot sulphur springs. This place is located at 3 kilometers distance from Manali. This place has the affordable accommodation options and you will find the maximum crowd of international travelers. It is a Hindu pilgrimage site having numerous temples dedicated to different Gods and Goddesses such as Vishnu, Rama, Lakshman and Sita. Vashisht should not be missed at any cost while you are on your trip to Manali.
The name depicts itself the colonial times. This beautiful hill station is situated at an altitude of 1, 970 meters and houses numerous heritage buildings that belong to 19th century. Reflecting the European culture there are several churches that allure the tourists over worldwide. St. Andrew’s Church, St. John’s Church, St. Francis Church, St. Patrick Church are few to name here. Other tourist spots are Rang Mahal, Chamunda Devi Temple, Jhandri Ghat, Bhuri Singh Museum and Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also witness the one of its kind flora and fauna on Kalatop- Khajjiar trek.
This popular hill station is located 24 kilometers away from Dalhousie and is located at an elevation of 2,000 meters. It is a picturesque ecology with lakes and dense forests. If you want to experience the stargazing and camping then it is the ideal destination to place your tents.
There is no better sight to soothe your eyes than snow clad ranges of Dhauladar at Dharamshala. It is situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters. The place is sprawled by pine and deodar forests. It is a perfect destination for both leisure and adventure junkies. Dharamshala is a great place and is dotted with numerous tourist places such as Kangra Fort, Nurpur Fort, Chamunda Devi Temple, Kangra Art Museum, Tibetan Works Library and many others. While you are on your expedition to Dharamshala, Mcleadoganj is the best place housing the Indo-Tibetan culture and is the seat of Dalai Lama.
Those travelers who are seeking for leisure activities can opt for angling at Beas River on a long stretch of 20 kilometers between Nadaun and Pong Dam. Other tourist attractions here are Bajreshwari temple, Kumar Pathri, Gyuto Monastery, Triund and Jawalamukhi Temple. However, if you want to choose trek then you can pick one from Dhauladhar Round Trek, Indrahara Pass trek, Moon Peak Trek, Nag Dal Trek, Kareri Lake trek and Lam Dal Trek.
Situated at an altitude of 1,650 meters and is set amazingly in Parvati Valley. It is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh has gained its popularity offering picturesque panoramas. It is a splendid base camp for moderate trekking and includes Sar Pass, Yanker Pass, Parvati Pass and Khir Ganga.
It is another small hill station in Himachal Pradesh reflecting colonial heritage. It is set at an altitude of 1,927 meters and lies in Solan district. Baptist Church, Central Research Institute (CRI), Christ Church, Kasauli Brewery, Kasauli Club and Monkey Point are spectacular sites to visit.
It is a pilgrimage site for both Hindu and Sikh religions. This place is dotted with numerous temples and is located at an elevation of 1,760 meters. Hot water springs are the popular attraction here.
Remote villages in Himachal Pradesh
Sangla is perched at an elevation of 2,700 meters in Kinnaur district. This is famous for its scenic landscapes, trekking options and nature walks. Agriculture is the prime source of income here. So you would witness the apple orchards and cattle farms reflecting the serene environment. It is also shopping paradise to collect the souvenirs such as shawls, woolen socks, silver jewelry and pearls. TO add the significant notes in your travel diary, it is the gateway to spine chilling treks such as Kinnaur Kailash Circuit, Rupin Pass Trek and Sangla Kanda Trek. The nearby attractions include Kamru Fort, Trout Fish Firm and Rakcham village.
Chitkul is the last village close to Indo-Tibetan border and is situated at an altitude of 3,450 meters. This village is mostly inhabited by the tribes. On your visit to this remote village the destinations that are definitely not a miss are- Mathi Devi temple, Chitkul Fort, and some nearby villages such as Nichar, Wangtu, Karcham, Reckong-Peo, Puh and Kibber. Jalori Pass Trek from Narkanda is a famous trek and definitely a stopover for the trekkers.
Kalpa is situated at an elevation of 2,960 meters with the alleys that are dotted with ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples. Other architectural attractions in Kalpa are Kamru Fort, Naga Temple and Sapni Fort. Chini village, Batseri, Kothi and Roghi are the other remote villages to soak your travel spirit into splendid vistas.
This serene destination is situated between Kaza and Tabo in Lahaul-Spiti district. Dhankar is situated at an altitude of 3,894 meters. It houses the ancient feat of marvelous architecture.
This village is situated at 3,231 meters elevation. The tourist spots to explore here are Sakya Tangyud Monastery, Ki Monastery and other remote villages like Kibber, Gette, Langza and Losar.
It is a holy place in Lahaul and Spiti district. It is home Tabo Monastery, collection of thankas, frescoes, manuscripts, statues, wall paintings and murals. The complex comprises of 9 temples, 4 stupas, 23 chortens and monks quarters. Kalachakra is the popular festival of Tabo and is held in the month of July every year.
It is remote and ancient village in Kullu Valley. It can only be accessed on foot and is located at an elevation of 3,029 meters. It 4-5 days trek from Manali. This village is sprawled over by 200 rofftop houses.
List of lakes in Himachal Pradesh
It is the virgin tourist destination in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. This serene lake is situated at a height of 3,662 meters surrounded by Poplar and Willow trees. Nako Monastery, Buddhist temples and Tashigang village are the tourist spots to explore.
Beas River flows through beautiful hill station Manali and the Beas Kund is a tranquil lake set at an elevation of 3,690 meters. The trek to Beas Kund is recommended for both amateur and professional trekkers.
This lake is at an altitude of 4,235 meters and is just 6 km distant from Gulaba village. It is easily accessible on foot. It is an easy trek and is recommended for leisure trekkers to capture the scenic views of Beas Valley, Deo Tibba Glacier and Sethan village.
This is a sacred lake at 4,300 meters altitude on landscape of Samudra tapu plateau. It is a sweet water lake and can be accessed via Kunzum Pass. All time favorite destination for the campers and trekkers.
It is a sacred water body on Manali-Leh Highway and at an elevation of 4,883 meters. It is the fifth largest lake magnetizing the lake lovers. It is a refreshing site for the bikers and trekkers and is 65 km distant from Keylong district.
Dashir Lake is set at an altitude of 4,270 meters and is perfect one day gateway for Manali escapers. The vicinity of this lake gives the mesmerizing views and snow covered peaks.
This lake is situated in Kangra district and it is another high altitude lake in the state of mountains- Himachal Pradesh. Karei Lake is accessible from Kareri village which is 13 km from Mcleaodganj. Nearby tourist attractions are Rawa Village, Una Devi Temple and Triund.
This lake is tranquil and is situated in Mandi district at 2,730 meters altitude. The sparkling water fascinates the tourists in summer while it seems more beautiful in disc shaped and in frozen state during winter. The tourist attractions here are Pagoda like temple, hamlet of Chindi, Shikhra Devi, and Kamru Nag Lake. It is a one day trek and trekkers get amazed by the soul lifting environs.
It is one of the popular pilgrimage sites of Hindus and is situated at an altitude of 4,080 meters in the foot of Kailash Peak. The trek starts from Dharamshala and pass through rich way of Dancho and Budhil.
This is situated in the vicinity of Balaini Pass. It is accessible only on foot from Chamba. It is a sacred lake and there is also a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The trek commences from Bhatog and goes up to Macleodganj.
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
Great Himalayan National Park
This national park is spread over 1,171 square kilometers area in Kullu region. It has also been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 2010. To get the sights of Himalayan birds and animals, there are several trekking options. Saini Valley trek, Sainj Tirthan valleys trek and Jiwa Nala to Parvati River valley are few of the best trekking options here to experience the wilderness.
Pin Valley National Park
It is spread across Pin River and is one of the highest altitude national parks in India. It is sprawled over 1,150 sq. km. It is widely populated with alpine trees and some medicinal plants. It is home to some endangered species such as Snow Leopard, Red Fox, Marten, Weasel, Pika, Snow Cock, and Golden Eagle and Raven. It is the ideal pick for wildlife photography.
Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
Chail Wildlife Sanctuary houses rare species of birds and animals such as Rhesus Macaque, Leopards, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild Boar, Langur, Sambar, and hare and may more. It is gateway for the honeymooners to Shimla. The thick forests make haven for the travelers here. It is sprawled over a wide expanse of 11 sq km.
Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
It is a pristine mountain wildlife sanctuary and a perfect escapade on your trip to Dalhousie. This sanctuary houses Eurasian Jay, Black Bird; Black headed Jay, Chestnut Billed Rock Thrush, Cannery Flycatcher and many more. It is an amazing place for bird lovers and photographers. The mammals that can be spotted here are Marten, Deer, Goral, Squirrel, Jackal and Langur. It is also popular for forest trails and the popular one is Dalhousie-Kalatop-Khajjiar-Chamba trek. It is a three days’ trek and thus comes out as the ideal one for hikers as well.