Himachal Pradesh


An abode of Mother Nature, Himachal Pradesh is the land adorned with sparkling snow, emerald landscapes, lofty mountains and soothing ambience. People visit here to savour the serenity of nature and breathe in some fresh air away from busy city life. Himachal Pradesh is blessed with more than its fair share of hill stations. Form honeymooners to family vacationers and solo travellers ? they excite all with their matchless beauty and serenity.


Places to Visit

Kullu is one of the most priceless gems of Himachal Pradesh resting on the banks of Beas River. The Kullu valley is blanketed with deodar and pine forests. Some of the must visit places in Kullu include Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Hadimba Devi Temple, Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa, Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa, Beas River, Great Himalayan National Park, Gulaba, etc. Manali is another holiday spot where numerous family vacationers flock to ditch scorching summer heat. It is an ideal destination for adventure enthusiasts where one can partake in trekking, river rafting, paragliding, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and mountaineering. Do check out places like Hampta Pass, Manikaran Gurudwara, Jogini waterfall, Hidimba Devi Temple, etc. in Manali. Honeymooners seeking a peaceful haven in India choose Shimla as their holiday destination in Himachal Pradesh. This summer capital of the British flaunts impressive views of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges apart from pristine lakes and rich greenery. Shimla has a range of impressive attractions like Shimla Ridge, Jakhoo Hill, Mall Road, Kalka- Shimla Railway, Kufri, etc. where Mother Nature showers all its blessings.

Adventure enthusiasts can also explore Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. With thick covers of deodar cedar trees, Dharamshala houses beautiful monasteries like Tsuglagkhang Complex, Gyuto Monastery and Namgyal Monastery. ?Other must visit treasure troves of Himachal Pradesh include Dalhousie, Kangra, etc.


Festivals

The locals of Himachal Pradesh are truly dedicated to their fairs and festivals. Every fair here looks vibrant with traditional dances performances, ritual dramas, a variety of food items and locals wearing beautiful attires. Halda festival is a popular festival of the state to welcome the New Year. People of Lahaul districts perform their old rituals and dance around a bonfire. Sazo is another festival to bid adieu to the village deities. During the festival, locals clean and polish the temples to receive God's blessings.? Various food items are offered to the deities apart from rituals.

Do not miss the celebrations of Himachal Winter Carnival organized annually in Manali. During this festival, adventure lovers from all over the world flock in Manali to invade the ski slopes here. Huge processions are organised from the Hadimba Devi temple along with singing and dancing locals. Also, do not miss being a part of the Losar Festival when Tibetan opera and prayer ceremonies take place. Kullu Dussehra also holds great popularity due to its grand celebrations. The festival kick starts with the procession of Lord Raghunathji and commences on ‘Vijaya Dashmi’ day with huge fairs.

Other popular festivals of Himachal Pradesh include Maha Shivaratri, Mandi Shivaratri Fair, Nalwari Fair, Spring Festival, La Darcha Fair, etc.


Food

Himachal Pradesh brings to you some of the most unique flavours and aromas. Travellers crave to taste exquisite pahari cuisine which is made using locally found ingredients only. Dhaam is a popular dish which includes a combination of dal, rajma, rice, curd, boor ki Kadi, etc. Madra is a dish of Chamba district made of soaked chickpeas with spices. Also, do savour the taste of Tudkiya Bhath, an authentic pulao of the state. Bhey or Spicy Lotus stems are also cooked in every household here. For the lovers of non-vegetarians, Chha Gosht (made with marinated lamb and spices) is a sure to lure treat. Also, do try Kullu Trout fish which tastes heavenly. Mittha is a local desert of the state which is actually sweetened rice mixed with dry fruits.


Shopping

Shopping in Himachal Pradesh is all about buying handicrafts, Tibetan carpets and woollen clothes. Here carpets with beautiful patterns and colours are loved by all travellers. Also, bag some souvenirs like handkerchiefs, Chamba and Kangra paintings, back-slung baskets, lamp stands, tea-pots, etc.

How to Reach

By Air: Himachal Pradesh has three domestic airports in Kullu-Manali, Dharamshala and Shimla which connect the state with rest of the Indian cities.

By Rail: Though Himachal Pradesh has rocky terrain, most of its parts are connected with train. The Kalka Railway Station is 90 kilometres away from Shimla which can be covered by taking the beautiful toy train journey.

By Road: One can easily find State Government buses and private buses to reach here.

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