Manali, apart from being a stunningly beautiful hill station also offers a number of adventure sports for enthusiasts. From having adrenaline rush while you go for white water rafting to feeling the wonder of seeing the world from up above with the help of paragliding, Manali has it all. Given below is a list of adventure sport activities that you can pursue while in Manali:
White water rafting – during the months of April to June and from middle of September to middle of October, you can enjoy the adventure sport of white water rafting in river Beas. It is a thrilling experience that would give you a memory of a lifetime. It is recommended however that if you do not know swimming or are scared of water, you should stay away from this particular sport.
white water rafting in river Beas
Zorbing – this is one sport that does not require any training or any skills. This is an adventure sport that is done on the gently sloping hills of Solang valley. You get into a transparent gigantic ball that would be rolled down the valley, enjoying the view from every different angle.
Paragliding – this too is done in Solang valley and you would need basic training to enjoy this sport. Anyone can enjoy the wonderful view of Solang valley from up above, while paragliding. It is completely safe since the operators are not only efficient and would help you in each step. Depending on the wind speed you would be able to really fly high in the sky.
paragliding in Solang valley
Rock climbing – a very fun adventure sport, there are easy to difficult levels of rock climbing. You would only have a harness and a rope with the help of which you would have to climb rocks, be it craggy or straight. With good training you would be able to climb steep mountains easily. It offers an exciting challenge that requires patience
Trekking at friendship peak – if you are interested in trekking but are a beginner, this is place to start. Trek to friendship peak is fairly simple and easy hence you can have a gala time trekking here. It takes around 3 hours with regular stops but the experience would be worth the effort.
Hence plan a trip to Manali to experience the beauty of nature as well as to have fun with the various adventure sports that can be done. You would surely have a memorable time here.
Shimla is a very popular holiday destination in India and is one of the favorite honeymoon spot for newly married couples as well. Shimla is a beautiful hill station located in Himachala Pradesh in north India. The reason for the popularity of Shimla as honeymoon location is not only the picturesque beauty but also the pleasant weather which is much cooler than the main lands in India. There are many small hill stations in Himachal Pradesh but Shimla is the largest and the best one of all. One of the reasons for this is that Shimla provides all modern amenities too while allowing you to be in close proximity to nature.
Shimla hotels with great view
There are many hotels, guesthouses as well as bungalows in Shimla that offers a wide range of staying options for tourists to this queen of hills. If you are visiting Shimla during the peak seasons, it can be a little difficult in finding quality accommodation due to the huge crowd that flock into Shimla during the peak season. It would be best if you can book the guesthouses by the Himachal Pradesh tourism or by other government agencies like PWD or the forest department since the amenities and the location of these places are unparallel to any hotels or resorts, regardless of how big or star it is.
Shimla hotel rooms
Even if you do not book your staying place in Shimla in advance, there are more than enough private hotels to accommodate all the crowds gathering in Shimla for a trip. There is only one problem in this arrangement and that is you would have to settle for the mediocre hotels with mediocre amenities and facilities. This would not be a good idea if you plan to stay in Shimla for more than a few days. If you are planning to visit Shimla during the season when the crowd is comparatively less, since Shimla is one such place in India that never has an off season, you would be able to get discounts too.
Shimla is one such hill station that offers some of the greatest hotels and resorts in Himachal Pradesh with all modern facilities. You would get a place to stay in Shimla, regardless of your budget. All you would need to do is find hotels over the Internet and book online prior to your visit. Just make sure you read the reviews of the hotels before booking so as to have a pleasant stay in this stunning hill station.
Khajjiar is a very beautiful hill station located in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. This exquisite glade is also known as the Switzerland of India and has a complete circumference of around 5 km. This small town looks much like a lush huge green stunning field in the summers. It is surrounded by thick deodar forests on its fringes along the slopes. Above these thick vegetation woods, you would be able to get a view of the stunning snow covered peaks of the majestic Dhauladhar ranges.
Khajjiar is situated at the very foot of this Himalayan mountain range and with the dense forests, lush green meadows; it is a sight that would take your breath away at once. It would surely be love at first sight when you see this small town considered just a stop on the journey from Dalhousie towards Chamba. But if you are looking for some time in just the company of nature, you should stay for sometime at Khajjiar. It is not without any reason that this forest glade of awe inspiring beauty is also known as the ‘Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh’. What adds to the beauty of this meadow shaped like a saucer is a lake which also has a floating island in it.
The lake at Khajjiar
A little distance from the lake there is a temple built way back in the 12th century A.D, dedicated to Khajji Nag. The temple sanctum is intricately carved on wood and depicts the battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The main attraction of this small beautiful meadow is horse riding and just walking around in the forest or towards the lake. You can also spend a quiet day by yourself by just sitting at the meadow and taking pictures. The grazing sheep, cows and goats complete the pretty picture making this pretty postcard like meadow a paradise for photographers from all over the world.
For reaching Khajjiar you can avail buses from Dalhousie. It takes around an hour to cover this distance of 23 km between Dalhousie and Khajjiar. You can stay at the tourism hotels and cottages or the rest houses of P.W.D and forest departments. But you need to book in advance to get accommodation. There are also a few private hotels. Summers are hot and winters cold, hence the best time to visit Khajjiar is the spring time and the autumn when the view is at its best.
Kalpa is a small and yet the one of the main towns of Kinnaur district, located in Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at a height of 2758 m above the sea level as well as above Recong Peo, in the river Sutlej valley. This small bustling town offers a breath taking view of the Kinner Kailash mountain peak across the river bed and a quiet time among the your busy tour itinerary to other more popular places of Himachal Pradesh. Kalpa being a less trodden path by tourists would offer you that solitude that would help you feel the surrounding natural beauty in a much better way.
The dense vegetation at Kalpa
Usually people who choose to visit Kalpa also include Sangla and Chitkul in their tour itinerary. Although Sangla and Kalpa are usually named together these two are two different villages located at about a distance of 42 km from each other. Kalpa is a town that has been blessed by the nature with dense vegetation in the form of towering deodhar trees, pine nut trees and apple trees. The apple harvest is one of the largest in Kalpa and hence you would be able to taste some extremely good apples, if you choose to visit Kalpa during the apple harvest time, which is in October.
Kalpa is best visited during the summer time and offer pleasant weather during spring and apple harvest during autumn. The winters are best avoided since the temperature falls below freezing and the winds can be bitterly cold. The uniqueness of Kalpa lies in its people. The people of Kalpa follow both Hinduism and Buddhism as religion and Kalpa have many temples that are dedicated to Buddhist as well as Hindu Goddesses and Gods. There are not many places in Kalpa that you can visit or find interesting apart from the temples, but a walk in the apple orchards and the quiet beauty of the place would be more than enough to mesmerize you.
If you are someone who likes to travel to places that are not very common or very popular to tourists and hence not crowded, Kalpa would be a good place to explore in Himachal Pradesh. Your traveling to Kalpa would be worth when you see the first morning sunlight touching the Kinner Kailash snowy peaks with golden crimson colors casting a spell. It would indeed be an experience that is indescribable by words but can only be felt.
Sangla is a beautiful small village located in the Kinnaur district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. Till the year 1989, visiting this place required special permit given by the government of India. The reason was t position of Sangla which was in a close proximity of the India and China border. At present Sangla is open to all visitors and offers a very relaxing trip amidst the majestic Himalayas and at the banks of the Baspa River. The Sangla valley is located very near to the Sangla village and due to the flowing Baspa River through the Sangla valley, it is also known as the Baspa valley.
The beautiful Baspa river in Sangla valley
The Sangla valley is stretched between the village of Sangla and Chitkul. Although it is a bit challenging to reach Sangla valley, the picturesque beauty of Sangla valley would be worth the effort. The view of the Kinner Kailash peak from the banks of the flowing Baspa River is stunning and would surely overwhelm you. You can see the glimpse of the Kinner Kailash peak from Sangla village as well. This mountain peak is believed to be the resting place of Lord Shiva during the winters. Sangla village is a sight in itself with the houses sitting on top of another on a slope with the towering Kinner Kailash hovering majestically above it.
Sangla valley is the most charming place in the whole of Kinnaur district but unfortunately due to heavy snowfall, it remains closed during the months of December to May. With rich vegetation like Pine nut, cherry trees, apple trees Sangla valley is a dream that has become reality. Indeed, you would never get enough of Sangla but if you get time to take your eyes of the beauty of Sangla, you might like to visit places like the famous Kamru Fort, Rakcham, Sapni and Kilba. This fort is presently home to a temple built as respect to Goddess Kamakshi, the idol brought from the state of Assam, where the temple of Goddess Kamakshi is extremely famous.
You can also indulge in a little shopping expedition while in Sangla by buying the intricately woven Kinnauri shawls. It is completely woven by hand and would not only keep you warm in extremely harsh winter conditions but these shawls with brightly colored borders are great souvenirs as well. And if you visit during the months of October do not forget to eat the freshly harvested apples which are one of the best kinds to be found anywhere in the world.
The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, is also the most popular tourist destination on this north Indian state. Apart from being a favorite hill station of people of India Shimla also attracts a lot of foreign tourists. Especially during the legendary mountain bike racing, started in the year 2005 and regarded as the biggest in South East Asia, people from all over the world crowd this beautiful city. While there are much confusion regarding the origin of the name but most locals believe that Shimla was named after Goddess Shayamali, an incarnation of Goddess Kali. The British declared Shimla as the summer capital of India and still many people flock to Shimla during the summers.
Shimla is a very popular honeymoon destination too. People usually plan an itinerary that includes Shimla, Kullu and Manali in their honeymoon travel plan. The reason is that Shimla is not only beautiful and charming in its own unique way but it is also easily reachable from Delhi and the other parts of Himachal Pradesh, including Kullu and Manali are well connected to this capital city of Himachal Pradesh. Hence keeping Shimla in your travel itinerary would be a good and practical idea. The snow covered peaks along with the surrounding green mountains add to the charm of Shimla and so does the colonial architecture that blends perfectly to make Shimla one of the most interesting hill stations in India.
A Church in Shimla with brilliant colonial architecture
Although most people choose to visit Shimla during the summer months due to its cool weather among the lush green surrounding vegetation, it would be a much better idea if you can visit Shimla during the short spring or autumn time. The reason is the place would not only be less crowded during this times but the beauty of Shimla would be breathtakingly beautiful too. There are many places that you can visit in Shimla and the mall is one of the most important among them. The mall offers one of the largest stretches of foot shopping in the whole world and hence even if you are not interested in shopping you can visit the mall just to experience the vibe.
The best way to get to Shimla would be from Kalka, as it takes only around two hours on a hired car. But if you are looking for a cheaper deal than hiring a car, you can avail one of the many available buses from Delhi.
Dalhousie is a calm and beautiful hill station located in the Chamba district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in north India. For people who like serene and quiet environment in the laps of nature, Dalhousie is the place for them. Dalhousie is a great place for honeymooning too since it is the ideal tourist spot that allows you to take long walks in the picturesque mountainous roads. It is like you reach a different world altogether when you set the first step in Dalhousie with its old world charm and lingering echoes of the era of the Raj. It is named after the Governor General, Lord Dalhousie, of the British period.
Dalhousie would take your breath away !
This small hill stations covers only about 14 square kilometers and is built over five mountains, namely, Patreyn, Balun, Kathlog, Tehra and Bakrota. What adds to the beauty of this hill station is the surrounding vegetation consisting of Oaks, pines, Deodars and best of all flowering Rhododendrons. The visually enticing Dhauladhar Mountains clearly visible from Dalhousie and so is the river Ravi, which looks like a silver ribbon twisting and turning below. There are some beautiful churches as well that boasts of excellent classic colonial architecture that is timeless in its beauty. Although there are not many places to visit in this small town but spending time here would more than compensate for it.
The very few places that you might want to visit in Dalhousie include the Subhas Baoli where Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose used to spend time meditating due to the calmness offered by the surrounding tall trees. It is just a kilometer from Dalhousie and you can take a walk to this place. You can also visit the wildlife sanctuary Kalatop and Panchpula that has an enchanting stream. The churches should of course feature in your list of must visit places in Dalhousie. The best time to visit Dalhousie when you can walk around and enjoy yourself completely would be summer since winters are bitterly cold.
Getting to Dalhousie would require you to reach Pathankot first and then hire a car or take a bus to Dalhousie. It would take about two to three hours to reach Dalhousie from Pathankot. Pathankot is the nearest point of contact for reaching Dalhousie and hence regardless of where you are traveling from, reach Pathankot first. You can also travel to Shimla, Kullu and Manali as well as Dharamshala from Dalhousie.
Mandi is a fast developing city in the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh and is known as the Varanasi of the Hills due to the whooping number of temples located here. There are around 81 ancient temples made from stone that are as famous for religious purposes as for the brilliant carvings and architecture. There are altogether about 300 temples in Mandi among which 81 are old ones that are intricately carved from stone. Although not a very famous holiday destination in Himachal Pradesh, you can try visiting this less visited city for a look at the temples as well as spend some quality time in the company of river Beas.
Mandi was originally known as Mandav Nagar and presently it is also known as Sohor. Mandi was so names since it is believed that the saint Mandvya meditated here at the banks of the Beas. This is a beautiful hill station that is away from the hustle and bustle of the more prominent hill stations like Shimla or Kullu Manali and offers cool pleasant summers and extremely cold winters. You can visit Mandi during the end of February or March for the week long fair held on the occasion of Shivratri. There are cultural programs and exhibitions held during the fair which is a major tourist attraction of Mandi, during this time of the year.
Mandi during Shivratri
If you are looking for some quiet time though, you now know what the time of the year is that you should avoid. The best way to visit this hill station is by road since it is well connected to all major cities and towns of Himachal Pradesh and to Delhi as well as Chandigarh. You can take a flight from Delhi, Shimla or Chandigarh too, to the nearest airport to Mandi, which is Bhuntar airport in Kullu. It is about 60 km from the airport to Mandi.
Among the places that you can visit while in Mandi there are temples like the famous Bhutnath temple, Bhima Kali temple, Triloknath temple, Shyamakali temple and Panchvaktra temple. Most of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali. Apart from the temples, there are other attractions in Mandi as well. For instance you can trek to the Shikari Devi, which is also a temple but the trek path offers some excellent view. You can also visit the stunning Prashar Lake and take a trip to Rewalsar, which is considered a sacred place by Sikhs, Buddhists as well as Hindus.
Spiti is a mountain desert valley situated in the high altitude areas of the Himalayan Mountains in Himachal Pradesh. Rightly named Spiti, which means the middle land, it is tucked in between beautiful Tibet and stunning Ladakh. This breath taking desert valley was once described by Rudyard Kipling as a world within a world since it is relatively less explored part of Himachal Pradesh. For most part of the year Spiti is covered in deep snow since it is an alpine barren desert. Spiti has been opened for tourists from all over the world as recently as in the year 1991 due to the extremely bitter cold.
Traditional Dance by women in Spiti
The culture in Spiti is prevalently Buddhist although the area is sparsely populated. Although there are not many places to see in Spiti, apart from the very beautiful as well as peaceful Buddhist Gompa and Monasteries, if you want to experience the raw, untouched beauty of nature, Spiti would not disappoint you. Spiti is for tourists who want to spend some quiet time alone. You can take leisurely walks around the valley to explore the local mountainous desert terrain which is not a very common sight in India. If you want you can visit the Key Gompa, the beautiful Chandra Taal, Dhankar Monastery, Gungri Gompa and Tabo Monastery.
The monks can be your local guide if you just smile, talk and show a little interest in the Monasteries. The trip to the Monasteries would be quite fascinating due to the location as well as the calmness that is usually part of any Buddhist Monastery. Generally tourists who visit Spiti also visit Lahaul. Lahaul is a bit more fertile as well as greener than Spiti. The beauty of Lahaul is breath taking as well. Although the name Lahaul and Spiti are taken together in trip itineraries, considering it as a single unit, these two places are nevertheless different destinations. You can visit both the places or choose either Spiti or Lahaul as your holiday destination. But it is for sure that regardless of whether Lahaul or Spiti you choose, either of these two destinations would satisfy your soul.
Lahaul as well as Spiti can be reached via the highway road from Manali or Shimla. Although the drive would be quite a long one from either Manali or Shimla, but the awe strikingly stunning natural view that would slowly unfold in front of your eyes would be worth the journey.
One of the most beautiful and picturesque places of Himachal Pradesh is Dharamshala. This hill station does not often get a place in the Himachal Pradesh tour itinerary of tourists but nevertheless, this small quiet city offers a very peaceful holiday trip for anyone looking to refresh and rejuvenate their minds. Located at the upper side of the Kangra valley and surrounded by snow capped Dhauladhar mountains of the Himalayan range. Majestic Dhauladhar is snow covered all through the year and just one look at this breath taking spectacle would surely make you fall in love with this small town.
A small village near Dharamshala
Dharamsala, although not a very popular tourist spot in the Himachal Pradesh, is considered to be a sacred and religious spot by many. This is due to the residence of the Dalai Lama. You would find many beautiful monasteries along with Buddhist nuns and monks in Dharamshala, making this quaint town a unique blend of Indian as well as Tibetan culture due to this presence of Indians and Tibetans. This is a holy place for Tibetans and hence many Tibetans from all over the world travel to this place for religious purposes. Dharamshala also attracts global tourists for this reason.
It is not difficult to reach Dharamshala. The nearest airport to Dharamshala is Gaggal, which is around 17 km from Dharamshala and located in the Kangra valley. There are daily flights from Gaggal to Delhi and from Delhi you would get connecting flight to everywhere in India. The nearest major railway station is Pathankot in Punjab, which is about 91 km from Dharamshala. You can also take a bus to Dharamshala from Delhi or Shimla.
Usually, people who visit Dharamshala, do so for religious purposes or to spend some quiet time in the laps of nature and among Buddhist monasteries. But if you want to have a look around the place, you should visit the Dal Lake, Jwalamukhi Temple, Bhagsunag Falls and Dharamkot. The best time to visit Dharamshala would be during the summertime since the winters are bitterly cold and the temperature can drop to below freezing points. The temperature is pleasant and cool during the summers with lots of sunshine. During the monsoons too, it is not advisable to visit Dharamshala since there are chances of landslides. For staying there are beautiful and safe guest houses by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department, PWD and Forest Department along with private hotels too.