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Himanchal Pradesh Tour Packages


Popularly known as the Devbhumi ­- "Land of the Gods", Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill state in northern India nestled in western Himalayas . The state is landlocked with the Tibetan plateau to the east, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, and the Punjab to the west and South-West, Haryana on South, Uttar Pradesh on South-East and China on the East. However the state stands apart from its neighbours in terms of its sheer topographic diversity and breathtaking pristine natural beauty. From vast tracts of high-altitude Trans-Himalayan desert to dense green deodar forests, from apple orchards to cultivated terraces, from snow capped high Himalayan mountain ranges to snow fed lakes and gushing rivers, Himachal has it all.

Himachal Pradesh can be divided into two regions, Northern and Southern. Northern region has a temperature summer and very cold winter with heavy snow fall.

Himachal can be broadly divided by its main valley. The main ones are the Kangra valley, the Chamba valley, the Pangi valley, the Lahaul valley, the Spiti valley, the Kinnaur valley, the Parbati valley, The Giri valley and the Kullu valley. Shimla and the tract around it, dose not fall strictly in these valley divisions and lies off the waters of the river Sutlej.

There are four well developed core focus zones that draw the maximum visitor or act as base camps for most of Himachal - Shimla, Kullu and Manali, Dalhousie and Chamba, and Dharamshala and Palampur. In their own right they hold several draws and encompass a variety of sightseeing and adventure. They also act as pivots for a spectrum of off-beat excursions. A range of accommodation is a available in these areas - modern hotels close to city centres, resorts neatly meshed with nature and heritage properties that include colonial mansions and age old forts. The budgets they accommodate are also wide - shoestring, or velvet gloves.

What to See
Chail Chamba Dalhousie Dharamshala Kasauli Khajjiar Keylong
Manali Mandi Mcleodganj Naldehra Parwanoo Shimla  
Chail

Chail is Located in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. Nature is at her exuberant best and words like pollution and deforestation have never entered the dictionary of a person living in Chail.

The former 'summer capital' of Patiala, Chail is 43-km from Shimla and dwelling in the midst of a lush green setting. It has the world's highest cricket pitch and a polo ground, the old palace, now a hotel and the possibility of some angling are added attractions. The clouds, the hills, and the sprawling greens-all these signify Chail, a honeymooners' paradise.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - There is always the option of flying to Shimla. This flight operates only when the weather is favorable.

By Rail - The ideal way of covering the Kalka-Shimla track is by the toy train. It takes five hours from Kalka to get to Kandaghat. These five hours mark the beginning of this sojourn into the world of make-belief. The toy train with a maximum of half a dozen bogies chugs through the most thickly forested tracks, breathtaking bends, deep ravines and never-ending tunnels.

By Road - Chail is about 86 km from Kalka via Kandaghat (roughly 380 km from Delhi ). The approach of Chail is along the Kalka-Shimla route. One has to take a detour from Kandaghat. From Kandaghat, it is an hour and a half's journey by road to Chail.

WHEN TO GO

Haridwar can be traveled round the year. Chail and its surrounding areas is a delight for tourists in every season.

WHAT TO SEE

Chail Wildlife Sanctuary - Chail is a hill station visited by many tourists. The Deodar and Oak forests with grasslands around the township are the abode of wildlife. The Chail sanctuary has 'ghoral', 'kakkar', 'sambhar', red jungle fowl and 'khalij' and 'cheer' pheasants. Machan-like sighting posts have been built near blossom and at Khuruin.

Cricket Ground - Maharaja Bhupinder Singh developed the highest cricket field in the world in Chail. Well-kept and scrupulously maintained, the pitch offers a picturesque view of the surroundings, with tall forest trees all around it. Surrounded by gigantic deodar and well maintained Chail Cricket ground is the highest cricket ground in the world. Built in 1893, this cricket pitch located at the height of 2,144m is also used as polo ground.

Maharaja's Palace - The magnificent Rajgarh palace, with elaborate furnishings, built in 1891. With comfortable log huts and cottages, dense forests and serene walks, sprawling lawns, a childrens park, a `lovers hill', and sports facilities, Chail is a resort in the real sense of the term.

Sidh Baba Ka Mandir - Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had originally intended this to be the site of his palace, and had even started building it, but as is believed, a 'sidh', saintly person appeared in the Maharaja's dream, and declared that this was the place where he had meditated. Consequently, Bhupinder Singh shifted his venue and built a temple on the spot.

Shivalik peaks - With the majestic snow-capped Shivalik peaks in the background and the beautiful orchards and sylvan pine valleys around reminding one of the many wonders of nature, Chail is sure to cast a spell.

AROUND CHAIL

Sadhupul - 14-km from Kandaghat a beautiful tiny village of Sadhupul , and the bridge over the Ashwani stream, a popular picnic-spot.

Kufri - An enjoyable drive through forests and small villages leads to this small but popular station. The Nature Park here is a great attraction. A short trek leads upto the Mahasu peak-with breathtaking view.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Chamba

Chamba was founded by Raja Varman who named the town after his daughter Champavati. The small town of Chamba is located amidst the Shivalik ranges and is famous for its temples. The architecture of the temples of Chamba reflects the unmatched architectural superiority of the Indian sculptures. Chamba has a grassy promenade which is the focus for the Sui Mata and Minjar festivals.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Nearest airport is Dharamshala connected to Delhi by Vayudoot services.

By Rail - Nearest railhead is Pathankot (120 kms) which is connected to all the major cities of India.

By Road - Important road distances are: Amritsar 245 kms, Kangra 180 kms, Pathankot 120 kms, Shimla 422 kms, Manali 470 kms, Mandi 334 kms, Jammu 229 kms, Dharamshala 180 kms, Dalhousie 56 kms, Khajjiar 30 kms etc.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel Chamba is between March to June.

WHAT TO SEE

Laxmi Narayan Temple - It is the main temple of Chamba town and was built by Sahil Varman in the 10th century AD. The temple has been built in the Shikhara style. It is the most famous tourist attraction place in Chamba. There are six temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

Manimahesh temple - This is one of the most famous temples of the Chaurasi temple at Bharmour. The temple is in shikhara style dedicated to Manimahesh, in the name of Lord Shiva. The idol of worship is a shivalinga placed in side the temple surrounded by a number of other small images including those of ganesh and Durga with a child in her lap. The bull Nandi, the mount of Shiva stands in front of the temple.

Gandhi Gate - The Viceroy of British Government Lord Curzon had got a warm welcome by a bright orange gateway built in 1900. It is the main gatway of Chamba.

Bhuri Singh Museum - The rich culture of this valley the Basohli and Kangra style of paintings is collected in this museum. Particularly the miniature paintings of the two schools are jewells of Indian classic paintings.

Champavati Temple - This temple is located behind the City Police Post and Treasury building. It was built by Raja Sahil Varman in memory of his daughter Champavati who is believed to have influenced her father to set-up Chamba at its present location. The temple is in the Shikhara style with elaborate.

Dalhousie - All local site seeing can be done on foot in Dalhousie. The main tourist attractions are Panchpula, Kalatop and Khajiar lake.

Chamunda Devi temple - This is one of the famous temples in this beautiful valley, The Chamunda Devi temple is dedicated to goddess Chamunda, the wrathful form of Durga. One can find the fine wood carved ceiling featuring animal and floral motifs. This temple is located in the hilltop and gives a clear view of the Chamba valley .The devotees offer little brass bells to get their wish fulfilled. Footprints of the Goddess are one more thing one can see.

Khajjiar - It is one of the most scenic saucer shaped plateau and is surrounded by dense pine and deodar forests. Its beauty has further been enhanced by a small lake in the centre with a floating Island and a temple of Khajjiar deity. There is plenty of wild life in the forest and the area has been brought under Wild Life Sanctuary. It is known as the Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh.

Fairs & Festivals - Chamba is famous for its vivid festivals. The Sui Mata festival is held for four days in March/April every year in memory of Princess Sui. She is known to have sacrificed her life for the cause of her people.

Trekking - Chamba valley is famous for trekking as it has three well-defined snow ranges Laskar, Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Dalhousie

Dalhousie is a gorgeous hill station located on the western border of the Dhaula Dhar Range of the great Himalayas . It was founded in 1854 by the British Viceroy Lord Dalhousie; Dalhousie is the most famous hill station of Himanchal Pradesh and is located 563 kms from Delhi . Beside its breath taking landscapes the other highlights are the ancient temples, untouched beauty of Chamba & Pangi valley, 'valley of milk, honey and streams'. The lush green forests of pine, cedar and deodar attract nature-lovers, along with the usual throng of tourists seeking shelter from the sweltering heat of the plains. Set on five hills - Kathlog, Potreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun and facing the Pir Panjal range, one can view the Ravi, Beas and Chenab rivers from certain vantage points. Fold after fold of mountains, snow-capped and pristine, can be viewed from the jagged Pangi Valley , which is a trekker's paradise. Overall Dalhoise is a perfect destination for Honeymooners.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Gaggal (Kangra) is the nearest airport i.e. 140-km from Dalhousie. Amritsar Airport is 192 km and Jammu Airport - 190 km from Dalhousie. It is well connected to the other major cities.

By Rail - Pathankot about 80 kms, the nearest railway station and is connected to all the major cities.

By Road - Onward journey from Pathankot to Chamba and Dalhausie is by road. Punjab and Himachal Roadways run services, as do private operators. Dalhousie distances : Manali 402 kms, Khajjiar 27 kms, Amritsar 188 kms, Pathankot 80 kms, Delhi 563 kms, Chandigarh 352 kms, Dharamshala 143 kms, Jammu 188 kms.Chamba 56 kms,Jalandhar 192 kms

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel Dalhousie is between April and October.

WHAT TO SEE

Churches - Dalhousie has few beautiful churches called St. Andrew's Church and St. Patrick's Church at Balun, St. Francis' Church at Subash Chowk and St. John's Church at Gandhi Chowk.

Panchpula - This is a very stunning spot where a stream feeds a series of pools.

Subhash Baoli - This place is surrounded by majestic trees, where Subhash Chandra Bose spent a lot of time mediating during 1937. It gives a great view of the snow capped peaks.

BaraPathar - This is a famous temple at the middle of the thick forest. It is on the way between the Kalatop sanctuary and the Dalhousie Municipal limits. This place has an outdoor temple of Bhuvani Mata .

Kalatop -It is a wild life sanctuary which houses many species of animals including ghoral, barking deer and the Himalayan black bear. Temperature variations will be from 10°C to 35°C. Several tributaries of the River Ravi, which lies to its north, flow through it.

Subash and Gandhi Chowk The Mall - Gandhi chowk previsously known as GPO is a lively square with numerous restaurants and shops. There is a Tibetan market where varieties of products ranging from electronic goods to fake designer clothes are available. The Himachal handloom industry emporium is worth a visit.

Sadar Bazar - This is the area which is most populated, the street has a Hindu temple, gurdwara, Arya Samaj mandir and mosque which are all located side by side.

Jandrighat Palace - This palace belongs to the Raja of Chamba, you can see wild varities of strawberries along the way.

Dalhousie Cantt Hill - This Dalhousie cantonment hill was developed as a retreat station for British troops. The barracks are built in Victorian Style and a Brigade Headquarters still exists here.

Lakarmandi - Few families of the Dhogri community, who hail from Mandi in Kangra valley, live here. They make their living by making and selling charcoal. The shops here sell fresh cottage cheese, and other things which taste wonderful.

Dainkund - This is the tallest peak around Dalhousie. From here you can witness major rivers of the area - the Chenab, the beas and the Ravi. There is a very popular devi temple on the hill.

Chamba - This is a pleasant place providing a number of places of interest nearby. The Rang Mahal Palace and Bhuri Singh Museum are must places to visit. There are also a number of old temples.

WHERE TO EAT

You can try the restaurants at the luxury hotels or choose from the the following list:

Muslim Sadar Bazaar for typical Himachali food.

Kwality - The restaurant serves a wide range of delicious dishes and it is located at Gandhi Chowk.

Preet Palace - Located on Subash Chowk, It serves delicious Mughlai, Kashmiri and Chinese cuisine.

Moti Mahal - The restaruant is has a good bar and also known for its tasty South Indian dishes.

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Dharamshala

Dharamsala is located in the Kangra valley in the Dhauladhar Mountains. It became the capital of the Kangra District in 1852. Dharamshala stands at the foot of Dhauladhar and has a magnificent view of snowy peaks, deodar and pine forests, tea gardens and beautiful hills. The snow line is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamshala than any other hill station in India. Dharamshala now really has become international, with a number of Tibetan settlements and the residence of Noble Laureate the 'Dalai Lama'. Dharamshala is divided into two distinct parts: lower Dharamshala the civil and business area with Courts and Kotwali bazar and upper Dharamshala composed of places like Mcleod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj.

During the months of December and January, snowfall and hail is common. There is an airport about 20 km away in Kangra.

Dharamshala is one of the ace tourist spots in Himachal-Pradesh and it has always been the attraction for tourists from abroad. There is also a newly built world class cricket stadium in Dharamshala.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Airlines flies to Gaggal airport at Dharamshala thrice a week from Delhi and Kulu.

By Rail - Pathankot (90kms) is the nearest railway station from Dharamsala. Another convenient railhead is Amritsar. Both the railway stations are linked to various important cities by a well laid-out rail network.

By Road - A good network of roads connects Dharamsala with many prominent cities and tourist destinations such as: Chandigarh (239kms), Amritsar (200kms), Delhi (514kms), Shimla (322kms), Dalhousie (55kms) etc. From Dharamsala one can also reach the Himalayan wilderness in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit Dharamshala is April to June and September to November.

WHAT TO SEE

Kangra Art Museum - Kangra Art Museum is treasure trove of the Kangra valleys arts, crafts and rich past, display artifacts that date back to the 5th Century. It includes a gallery of famous paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamiyanas and local dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jail and pandals are also on display. Coins jewellery and manuscripts are included. A section houses the works of conteporary artists, sculptures and photographers.

St. John's Church - The church is small in size and was built in 1852 in the Gothic style. The church witnessed a special event in 1992 when visitors from 39 countries participated in its service.

Mcleod Ganj - The arrival of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, along with thousands of refugees to Dharamshala in 1959 made this place livelier. Today, Mcleodganj is a major Buddhist centre of pilgrimage and learning.

War Memorial - The War Memorial is situated in Dharamshala town, near the entry point to Dharamshala commemorates. This was built in the memory of those who fought valiantly for the honour and defence of the mother land. The place is ideally located amid the pine forest. There is also a cafe just close to War Memorial serving fast food and beverages.

Jwalamukhi Temple - It is nearly two-hour excursion would take guest to the famous Jwalamukhi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of Light. There is no idol to worship as such in the temple. Rather a constantly burning blue flame emanating from inside the rocks is worshipped.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Kasauli

Kasauli is a beautiful hill station located just 77kms from Shimla. The small town was built in 19th cenutury by British and it has the old charm. The narrow roads of Kasauli (1951 m) slither up and down the hillside and offer some magnificent vistas. At 3647 m, the peak of Choor Chandni powerfully dominates the lower hills and across the undulating ranges, Shimla is visible. The upper and lower malls run through Kasauli's length and one can enjoy long walks on it. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by a stretch of cobbled road, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards. This picturesque hill-station, oozing old-world charm is covered with tall Deodar, wild flowers, rhododendrons, wild roses, flame of the forest, and flowering Kichnar in summer and is a popular hub for bird-watchers. Winters, with snowfall, are beautiful too.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - From Kasauli the nearest airport is Chandigarh . Shimla is nearest airport for Solan.

By Rail - Nearest railhead is Kalka in Haryana, which is 40-km from Kasauli and 44-km from Solan. Solan is also connected with narrow gauge railway line from Kalka.

By Road - Solan and Kasauli are well connected by road buses, coaches and taxis are also easily available from Chandigarh and Delhi.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel Kasauli is between April to Jun and September to November .

WHAT TO SEE

Monkey Point - derives its name from Rishi Man-ki who used to worship an idol of Lord Hanuman ji and later the summit is crowned with a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman where Hanuman is supposed to have rested his feet. Legend has it that Kasauli came into being when Lord Hanuman, on his way to getting the Sanjeevani herb, stepped here for jumping on to the Sanjeevani hill.

The other attractions - A central Research Institute established in 1906 by Dr. Sample, It prepares vaccines for treatment of typhoid, cholera, smallpox, and snake-bite and is only of its kind in Asia . Close to this there is Pasteur Institute founded in 1900 to produce antirabies vaccine against dog-bite. There is yet another sanatorium for TB patients because of its heal thy most environment. TV Tower is another land mark. Baptist Church established in 1923 is also worthseeing.

Baba Balak Nath Temple 3 km. On the Graner Hill top is a famous temple of Sidh Baba Balak Nathji. It is believed that Baba Balak Nath ji one night appeared in dreams to a local resident told him to build a temple at the place, where the present temple is located. This temple is of its own kind where many issueless couples visit to be blessed with a child, whose baptism ceremony is also performed in the same very temple.

Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir - Built in 1989 by Sai Sudha Trust is a famous temple located half km away from Garkhal. The idol of Sai Baba was built at Jaipur and the burning flame in this Temple Signifies the divine power of Sai Babaji of Shirdi.

WHERE TO EAT There few good restaurants at the main market. You can also try the special restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Khajjiar

Khajjiar is a small grassy meadow located in the picturesque Chamba valley. It is an important picnic spot whose quiet environs beacon the tourists traveling between Dalhousie and Chamba. It is a saucer shaped plateau and is surrounded by dense pine and deodar forests. Its beauty has further been enhanced by a small lake in the centre with a floating Island and a temple of Khajjiar deity. There is plenty of wild life in the forest and the area has been brought under Wild Life Sanctuary. It is known as the Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - The nearest airport is at Gaggal, in Kangra ( 180 km ).

By Rail - The nearest narrow gauge railhead is Kangra (18 Km). The nearest broad gauge station Pathankot, (90 Km), is linked to major towns.

By Road - Well connected by road. Some distances are as follows: Delhi 514 Km, Chandigarh 239 Km, Kulllu 214 Km, Shimla 332 Km, Chamba 192 Km.

WHEN TO GO

The best time to visit Khajjiar is between March and June.

WHAT TO SEE

Khajjiar Lake - It is the magical paradise which quickly makes you realize that there is no place like this in the whole world. Khajjiar Lake is associated with Khajjinag, the deity that is enshrined in the temple here.

Khajinag temple - Khajjiar derives its name from its 12 th century ancient, golden-domed temple of Khajinag dedicated to the local Goddess or the Devi. This temple is also known as the Golden Devi temple. Pilgrims visiting the Chamba valley often come to this temple.

Kalatope Khajjiar Sanctuary - It's possible to trek 30-km from Dalhousie to Chamba along the eastbound road from Gandhi Chowk. A short but steep ascent leads to the Kalatope wildlife sanctuary, from which one can walk into a pleasant track.

Nine Hole Golf course - A nine-hole golf course is an added attraction at Khajjiar.

Kailash View and Horse Riding - On a clear day, you can see the Mountain Kailash from Khajjiar ground. You can also enjoy the horse riding here. Some local people are engaged in this business and you can ride the whole Khajjiar ground for a nominal charge.

PLACES AROUND KHAJJIAR

Chamba - Chamba was founded by Raja Varman. The small town of Chamba is located amidst the Shivalik ranges and is famous for its temples. The architecture of the temples of Chamba reflects the unmatched architectural superiority of the Indian sculptures. Chamba has a grassy promenade which is the focus for the Sui Mata and Minjar festivals.

Dalhousie - The hill station of Dalhousie is 22 km from Khajjiar and is a popular summer retreat set amongst the lower Himalayan ranges. Dalhousie is the most famous hill station of Himanchal Pradesh and is located 563 kms from Delhi. Beside its breath taking landscapes the other highlights are the ancient temples, untouched beauty of Chamba & Pangi valley.

Golden Devi Temple - Adding to the charms of Khajjiar is a golf course set in the midst of the idyllic surroundings. The golden spire of the golden-domed Devi beckons one to the fringe of the lake.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Keylong

Keylong is the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The region is strange, exciting, primitive mountainous and delightful. Rudyard Kipling said of the region "Surely the God live here this no place for men." The route to Lahaul takes a traveler over Rohtang Pass (3980 ml), Koksar (1st village of Lahaul ) Sissu, Gondla and crossing the river Chandra Bhaga at Tandi. Keylong is cut off from the outside world from November to June, due to heavy snowfall. Keylong is located along the Manali-Leh road, at the intersection of the Chandra Valley, the Bhaga Valley, and the Chenab Valley. Sights near Keylong include the Kardang, Shasur, and Tayul monasteries, as well as the Hindu Guru Ghantal temple.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Nearest airport is Bhunter, 175 km from Keylong.

By Rail - The nearest railhead is at Jogindernagar, 250 km away.

By Road - By road the distance is 115 km from Manali, 188 km from Kaza, 373 km from Leh, 435 km from Chandigarh and 690 km from Delhi.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel Keylong is between June to October.

WHAT TO SEE

Tandi - The hamlet of Tandi is situated at the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers, which merge to form the Chandra-Bhaga or Chenab River. The roads from Tandi lead to Keylong, Udaipur and Koksar. There are many villages near Tandi which offer excellent opportunities for learning about the unique cultural setting of the Lahaul Valley.

Udaipur - 53 km from Keylong is the home of the Mrikula Devi Temple famous for its wood carvings. Earlier this village was known as Margul or Markul. Around 1695 it was renamed Udaipur when Raja Udai Singh of Chamba.

Triloknath - The famous Triloknath shrine has been revered by both Hindus and Buddhists for centuries. This is primarily a Buddhist place of worship situated on the left bank of the Chenab River, high above the bed. Good branch roads from the Tandi-Udaipur road lead to Triloknath. The massive structure has been built in traditional Lahauli style using stones and timber.

Jispa - This beautiful spot is 22 kms away from Keylong and 4 kms ahead of Ghemur. Jispa has a very large dry river-bed, a rarity in Lahaul. Just on the edge of the river Bhaga is a small PWD rest house. Near this the river is shallow and plenty of trout fish can be caught during summers. The place is virtually an angler's delight.

Gondla - Around 18 km from Keylong, this village of the Lahaul valley has some royal heritage as its prime attraction. The eight storied residence of the thakur of Gondla called the Gondla Castle or fort was constructed in the 17th century. There is also a gompa in this village which attracts a number of people, especially during the fair celebrated in the month of June.

Shashur Gompa - This gompa, 3km from Keylong, belongs to the Gelukpa order and is dedicated to a Zanskari lama. It was built in the 16th century and it has a famous 5m long thangka. It has an important festival in June or July, which is known for its mask dancing.

Khardong Gompa - This gompa was established in the 12th century by the Gelukpa order. It has a big statue of the Buddha, some nice paintings, some old prayer drums and a library with ancient manuscripts in it. Khardong is the former capital of Lahaul.

Sissu - This village is situated on the right bank of the river Chandra at an altitude of 3130m. The village is located on a broad flat ground above the Chandra River. Wild roses of white, yellow and red hues with expanses of alpine flowers deck the slopes in an unforgettable feast of colours.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels. The Chander Bhaga Hotel is good Hotel in Keylong.

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Manali

The beautiful hill station is located in the northern sited of Kullu Valley . It has breathtaking views of snow capped mountains and forests, its an ideal romantic destination for honeymooners. It is referred as "the valley of Gods" and the Queen of hill stations. This legendary cradle of all human kind is a prime holiday destination. There are high mountains surrounded by silent snows and deep boulders strew gorges. There are thick forests full of cool breezes and bird songs. There are fields of wild flowers, small picturesque hamlets and fruit laden orchards. Manali, also home for mountaineers, due to the mountaineering institute, it is a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Interesting routes into the surrounding valleys, over the high passes, are provided with tourist huts and rest houses for trekking enthusiasts.

HOW TO REACH MANALI

By Air -Bhuntar is the nearest airport i.e. 52 kms from Manali. It is connected to the major cities like Jammu, Delhi etc.

By Rail - The nearest railhead is just 95kms from Manali, it connected by narrow gauze have options for regular trains.

By Road - The road to Manali is in good condition and offers a spectacular view of the picturesque Kullu valley. It is connected to the other major cites of the state and other states too. There is a good facility of computerized booking so that tickets can be booked in advance. You can choose from private or state government bus service to reach Manali.

WHEN TO GO

Manali can be travelled round the year but the best season is between April to June.

>WHAT TO SEE

Hidimba Temple or Dhungiri temple - Built in 1553 and with a superbly crafted four tiered pagoda roof, it is famous for its exquisitely carved doorway.

Manu Temple - (2 km) this is dedicated to the sage Manu.

Vashisth - (3 km): Well known for its hot springs . There are old temples dedicated to the sage Vashisth and to Lorde Rama. These are just beyond the Himachal Tourism baths.

Monasterires - There are three recently built Tibetan monasteries at Manali.

Jagatsukh (6 km) - The one time capital of Kullu, is the biggest villages in the region and is famous for the old temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and to Sandhya Gayatri. The Arjun caves are just ahead.

Solang Valley - (14 km) in a picturesque setting this has excellent ski slopes and picnic spots. SHPTDC organises ski packages during winter.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants and you also can try out the special restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Mandi

The historic town of Mandi (800 m) is built along the banks of the river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre and the sage Mandva is said to have meditated here. Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving, it is often called the 'Varanasi of the Hills'. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of 'colonial' architecture.

The town's antiquity is established by the Triloknath temple which was built around 1520 A.D. It was also well known to the Tibetans who called it Zahor.

The people of Mandi proudly boast that while Kashi (Benaras) has only 80 temples, Mandi has 81. And it is no idle boast. J.C. French supported their assertion when he described the town as a miniature Benaras with innumerable temples, old houses, and long flights of steps, the streets steep and winding and the market place with an aura of medieval picturesque nest. The temples built of rough stone in a shikara (houseboat) style they could be seen all over the town on the right and left of the river Beas.

HOW TO REACH

By air - The nearest airport is at Bhunter 59 km away , flight from Delhi via Chandigarh).

By Rail - The nearest railway stations are Joginder Nagar and Shimla by narrow gauge train, Chandigarh and Kalka by broad gauge train which are connected by regular bus services.

By Road - Mandi is approachable by road from Shimla, Chandigarh, Pathankot and Delhi. There are regular bus services linking it to the other towns like Manali, Palampur and Dharamshala.

WHEN TO GO

Mandi can be traveled round the year. But the Best Time To Go Mandi is during summer season.

WHAT TO SEE

Bhootnath temple - Practically synonymous with Mandi and located in its very heart this is as old as the town itself and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event. For an entire week the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.

Rewalsar Lake - About 25 km from Mandi, famous for its floating islands of reed. There are three shrines here, a Buddhist Monastery, a Sikh Gurudwara and a Hindu Temple.

Prashar - This lake lies 40 k.m. north of Mandi, with a three storied pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.

Joginder Nagar - The large hydro-electric project in Jogindernagar is a living tribute to man. It has harnessed and tamed the wild and roaring river. Here an electric trolley takes the visitor up the steep, rocky face of 2,500 metres High Mountain and drops sharply on the other side to Barot, where the reservoir is located. The railway line goes up to the power station, the water rushing down from the reservoir at Barot in the Uhl river through penstock pipes going down nearly a thousand metres(3,280 ft).

Sunder Nagar - Famous for its temples, 26 km from Mandi towards Shimla and at a height of 1,174 metres on the raised edge of a fertile valley, the beautiful town of Sundernagar is known for its shady walks amidst towering trees. On top of a hill and visited by thousands of devotees every year, is the Sukhdev Vatika and temple of Mahamaya. This is an attractive town where the balancing reservoir of the Beas-Sutlej ink canal is located. The road has the canal on one side and lush green field on the other.

Janjehli - At a distance of 67 km. from Mandi, Janjehli is a paradise for hikers, offering treks up to a height of 3,300 metres. Covering 32 km by a motorable road up to Gohar and rest of the journey is on foot. In the midst of thick forest is Bajahi. There is a beautiful and well furnished rest house to stay overnight; from here Janjehli is a scant 20 km away through bridle path.

Barot - 40 km by road from Jogindernagar, and 12 km by the haulage trolley, Barot packs an enormous range of out door activity. The reservoir of the power project is located here, and there is a trout breeding centre making it a wonderful place for angling. Across the river Uhl is the Nargu wild life sanctuary home to the ghoral, Himalayan black bear and a variety of pheasants.

Shyamkali Temple - Also called the temple of Tarna Devi on Tarna Hill which rises above the town. In the 17th century this was built by Raja Shyama Sen after particularly trying time when the godess gave him success.

Triloknath Shiva Temple - It is built in the Nagari style with a tiled roof. The temple at the centre of a group of sculpted stones shrines, overlooks the river and offers good views. Inside the temple, Lord Shiva has been depicted as the lord of the three worlds; at the Panchvakhra he has five faces, expressing his five aspects.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Mcleodganj

McLeodganj is located close to the famous Dharmshala in Himachal Pradesh. McLeodganj is the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile, and home of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. Camping is indeed the best way of enjoying the wonders of nature and the warmth of people. Mcleodganj is often called the 'Little Lhasa'. McLeodganj is a colourful little town, a perennial den of tourists - a place you can chill out in and do your own thing. While you stop to wonder at a Tibetan trinket or a shawl, you'll realize that your stomach is involuntarily responding to the lovely smell of wantons wafting from a nearby joint. McLeodganj is steeped in Buddhist culture - you can find anything from Tibetan food, good luck charms and thangkas to Enlightenment. In fact, many disenchanted foreigners come here seeking solace, meditation or to champion the Tibetan cause.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - The nearest airport is Gaggal airport, 15th km south of Dharmsala and there are Flights to and from Dharamshala.

By Rail - The nearest stations on the picturesque mountain railway (narraow gauge) are at Kangra and nagrota (about 20 km south of Dharamsala). And the nearest railhead (broad gauge) connecting Dharamsala to and Jammu is at pathankot.

By Road - McLeodganj has good network of roads that connects to Delhi and major cities of Himachal Pradesh. State transport runs there deluxe as well as semi-deluxe buses on the routes to Manali, Mandi, Kangra, Pathankot and Delhi.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel McLeodganj is between July to September.

WHAT TO SEE

Tsuglagkhang (Dalai Lama's Temple) - Tsuglagkhang is the most important Buddhist monument in McLeodganj. Here lies the Dalai Lama's residence, monastery, museum, library etc. It is easily accessible and everybody around is very warm and collegial. One is free to go anywhere except for Dalai Lama's residential areas. Here you'll always find people busy with their daily prayers.

St.John's Church - This is a living example of excellence of British architecture, which also houses a memorial of Lord Elgin, the British Viceroy who died in 1963 and also an old graveyard. An old bell hangs down from ceiling. Surrounding the church are thick deodar trees where one can easily locate the great Himalayan black face langoors. This church has some fine Belgian stained glass windows donated by Lady Elgin.

Dal lake - This is the one lake that captivated partly because of the greenery of surrounding deodar /pine trees which reflect in the lake water. The greenery of the conical trees and the beauty of the park make this place a very good picnic spot. Held near the Dal Lake (1,700m) every August-September, this fair is especially favoured by Girths and Gurkhas (hill tribes)

Triund - Triund is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range and is 17 km from Dharamshala and a 9 km trek from McLeodganj passing through Dharamkot and Rakkar at a height of 2,827 mtrs. The breathtaking views of the mountains and the valleys make Triund an ideal spot. A ropeway is available from Dharamshala to Triund and accommodation is available at the forest rest house at Triund.

Dharamshala - Situated at a lower edge of McLeodganj, Dharamshala is a small hill station of Himachal Pradesh. It provides a range of interesting experiences and activities for the visitor.

Palampur - Surrounded by sprawling green tea estates with forests of pine and deodar on higher slopes, the city of Palampur attracts huge number of tourists across India and world for adventure sports and sightseeing. Just 35 km away from Palampur, Billing-Bir is a famous attraction known for hang gliding and para-gliding.

Kangra - Kangra offers panoramic view of the Kangra valley. Tourist can visit this place to have the glimpse of century old temples, paintings, fort and monasteries.

Tatwani & Machhial ( 20 km) - Tatwani & Machhial is a famous excursion site. Tourists travel to this site to enjoy the breathtaking view of the waterfall, besides its scenic splendor the waterfall is much renowned for its medicinal value.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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Naldehra

Naldehra is a beautiful place situated 2044 meters above sea level. It is located just 22kms ahead of Shimla. Naldehra means the abode of God Nal. The main highlight of Naldehra is the oldest golf course of India. The well groomed 9 hole Golf Course is lovely verdant, perhaps one of the finest and most sporty in India Crowned with a springing turf. It is the venue of many competitions. It is a spot of great natural beauty. People from countries like UK and Japan travel here just for round of golf with friends. Up here at 6706 feet, is another of lord curzon's legacies to india: an 18-hole golf course (played twice over) that's said to be the country's oldest. Members of Delhi's tony golf club clamber up here in the summer, lock, stock and golfing clubs.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Jubbarhatti airport is the nearest airport i.e. 45 kms from Naldehra. It is connected the major cites like Delhi, Jammu and Chandigarh.

By Rail - Shimla is nearest railhead i.e. 23 kms, hich connected to the other major cities.

By Road - Naldehra is connected to the major cities like Chandigarh(139km), Manali(282km) and Delhi(392km)

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel Narldehra is summer season between April to August.

WHAT TO SEE

The oldest golf course - The Lord Curzon's legacies to India: an 18-hole golf course. Indian visitors who want to play for a day pay Rs. 200, foreigners pay $20. a golf set is an extra is Rs 200 and $5 for foreigners and you have to buy your own golf balls. The caddy fee is an additional Rs 100, plus a tip.

Mahunag temple - Tucked away here is a tiny Mahunag Temple, Dedicated to the snake god. That's where Naldehra gets its name from :(maha) nag+dehra translates in to the 'Adobe of the king of the snakes'.

Kogi Village - Kogi Village, 2 km down a dirt track from Naldehra. Here are traditional himachali houses, a temple of Kogi Mata and a chowka (Seat of the elders) Sculpted in wood.

Fair Grounds - if you are here in june, there is the Sipi Fair, a festival of match-making. That's also about the only time when you can pick up local handicrafts, mostly woolen shawls, caps and mufflers.

Counts and laats - just before Naldehra falls the village of Baldian from here, take the motorable old Rickshaw road and head for the local fire station, 6 km away. Next to badalian was originally the summer resort of the Italian Countess of Crainano. In the 1890, Crainano was turned into the united service club for the British laat ("lord") Sahebs.

AROUND NALDEHRA

Chabba (18 km) - Between March and june, the powerhouse at chabba on the sutlej river provides the starting point for the 11 km river-rafting stretch to Tattapani. the chalets naldehra organizes rafting trips.

Shaily Peak (23 km) - if you are up for some adventure and trekking, head out to shaily peak early in the morning. The road is motor able, the scenery passable from Khatnol, which is the base for the steep climb to the peak, it's roughly 8 km. you can also hire a pony

WHERE TO EAT

You can try the speical restaurants at the luxury hotels. only at the hotels, unless rajma, dal, rice and roti is your staple. on the brighter side, you can hop across to Mashroba during the day for a jar of strawberry jar or mushroom pickles.

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Parwanoo

Parwanoo is one of the finest city in Himachal Pradesh. It is situated along National Highway 22. A couple of decades ago, this was a sleepy little village and today it is a pulsating industrial town. Fruit based products and plastics, Motor parts and watch components and a whole lot more roll out of Parwanoo's factories.

For the tourist Parwanoo is a convenient base station to see and visit a number of nearby areas. In winter, the temperature of Parwanoo gets quite low when heavy woolens are required. It is pleasantly warm in summer and cottons are recommended.

HOW TO REACH PARWANOO

By Air - The closet airport is at Chandigarh 32 km away from Parwanoo.

By Rail - The nearest broad guage railhead is at Kalka only 15 km away from Parwanoo.

By Road - Regular buses and taxis are available from both Chandigarh and Kalka.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit Parwanoo is July to September.

WHAT TO SEE

Renuka Lake - Renuka lake is located With a circumference of roughly 2.5-kms. This is the largest lake in Himachal. It is shaped like the profile of a reclining woman and is regarded to be the embodiment of the Goddess Renuka.

Dagshai - Dagshai is 28 Km from Parwanoo. This small town is surrounded by pine trees and also has an old church.

Pinjore - Pinjore is 10 Km from Parwanoo. Pinjore has excellent Mughal style gardens.

Kasauli - Kasauli is a beautiful hill station 37 Km from Pinjore. The small town was built in 19th century by British and it has the old charm. This picturesque hill-station oozing old-world charm is covered with tall Deodar, wild flowers, rhododendrons, wild roses, flame of the forest and flowering Kichnar in summer and is a popular hub for bird-watchers and winters with snowfall.

Subathu - Subathu is 16 Km away from Parwanoo. It is still a cantonment. It has also got the remains of a Gurkha Fort.

WHERE TO EAT

Restaurants/Bars and Coffee shops all seems a dram at this inaccessible point. But one of the most delicious food is served in timber trail resort - parwanoo. The restaurant has a capacity to accommodate around 100 people in one go.

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Shimla

Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and is a very charming hill resort. It was the favorite summer resort of the British when their troops set up camp here in 1819. At an altitude of 2,130 meters, the town is a beautiful place. With the Mall and Ridge being main attractions, there are also good walking options. Shimla is also a good starting point for treks. Shimla is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and numerous attractions makes it one of Indian's most popular and biggest tourist destination for both local and foreign visitors.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Shimla Airport is just 22 kms from the city centre. It is connected to the major cities like Delhi. The airport at Shimla, 22 km from the main city, has connecting flights to Delhi and Kullu. The nearby Chandigarh airport is, however, handier as it is connected to all the major airports in India.

By Rail - Only train plying between Shimla and Kalka joins them through railways network.

By Road - Shimla is well connected by road to most towns within the state and to all major towns in Punjab and Haryana. It is linked by bus and coach to Delhi and Chandigarh as well.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel Shimla is between May to July and September to November.

WHAT TO SEE

Tourist Attractions - The Mall, Christ Church, Jakhu Hill, Shimla State Museum, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Summer Hill, Annandale, Tara Devi, Sankat Mochan, Mashobra, Kufri, Naldehra and Chail are the major tourist attractions in and around Shimla.

The Ridge - The large open space in the heart of town presents excellent view of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmark the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new-Tudor library building are worth seeing.

The Mall - is the main shopping centre of shimla with restaurants. The Gaiety Theatre, which is a reproduction of an old British theatre, is a center of cultural activities. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is popular for its wood crafts and souvenirs.

Kali Bari Temple - Few yards from scandal Point towards General Post Office. It is believed that the idol of Goddess Shayamla is enshrined there.

Jakhoo Temple - It is just 2.5Kms from Shimla located at 2455 m. It is Shimla's highest peak and offers a panoramic view of the town. An ancient "Lord Hanuman" temple is located here. Way from Ridge near Church (on foot) One can also hire pony or taxi to visit the temple.

State Museum - Ancient Historical Sculptors and paintings of Himachal Pradesh. Visiting hours 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed on Monday and gazetted holidays. It is just 3kms away from city centre.

Prospect Hill - Crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi 15 minutes walk from Boileauganj on shimla Bilaspur road. The hill offers a spectacular view of the area.

Summer Hill - Located 7 Kms from the city centre is a picturesque hill on Shimla-Kalka Railway line. It Offers shady walks in quiet surroundings. The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur. HP University is situated here.

Chadwick Falls - It is just 7 Km from Shimla and located at 1586 m. Surrounded by thick forests. About 45 minutes walk from Summer Hill Chowk.

Sankat Mochan - On Shimla-Kalka road (NH-22) is famous "Lord Hanuman" temple. It commands an excellent view of Shimla town. The place can be visited by Bus/Taxi. It is just 7 Km from Shimla and 1975 mts above sea level.

Tara Devi - (11 Km) 1851 m: On Shimla - Kalka road (NH-22) this holy place is accessible by Rail, bus and car. From the station/road-one can visit the temple either on foot or by taxi / jeep.

Fagu - (22 Km) 2450 m: On Hindustan-Tibet Road. It has enchanting views. Himachal Tourism runs the Hotel peach Blossom.

WHERE TO EAT

There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the restaurants at the luxury hotels.

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