Himachal Pradesh Tourism

One of the most popular hill stations of India, Himachal Pradesh with its impressive snowy peaks and foaming river sliding through flourishing valleys is a perfect destination for all kinds of travellers. Blessed with immense beauty and charm, Himachal Pradesh with its serene lakes, lofty mountains and ancient temples serves as a perfect escape from the chaotic city life. From exciting trekking to heart-pumping rafting, the state offers great pleasure to adventure lovers as well, seeking some never explored experiences.

Natural Wonders
A heaven for the serenity seekers, Himachal Pradesh with its topographical diversity offers a sense of relief. From sky-kissing Trans-Himalayan desert to flourishing emerald deodar forests, far-stretched apple orchards to snow blanketed Himalayan mountain ranges; every corner of this state oozes exquisiteness. Travel to the Great Himalayan National Park, nestled amidst vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers. Another popular park is the Pin Valley National Park. The park is famous for spotting Snow leopards and large herds of Ibex and Bharal.

Other than these, Gopalpur Nature Park near Palampur, Manali Nature Park near Manali, Kufri Nature Park near Shimla and Suketi Fossil Park located on the bank of Markanda River are some of the best delights for nature lovers.

Wildlife Escapades
Offering enough lures for wildlife enthusiasts, Himachal Pradesh is blessed with various options. Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary is an amazing place to spot Asiatic Lion, along with Black Bear, Barking Deer, Goral, Jackal and Leopard. Simbalbara Sanctuary in Paonta Valley of Sirmour District is another popular wildlife sancutary here. The sanctuary is renowned for offering picturesque vistas and housing Goral, Sambhar and Chittal.
Other popular wildlife destinations are Churdhar Sanctuary and Daranghati Sanctuary.

Heritage Attractions
Embracing enormous range of heritgae sites, Himachal’s heritage attractions narrate a story of the past world. Blessed with various ancient forts and colonial mansions, one of the famous site is the Buddhist Padam Palace monastery of Tabo in Spiti.

Another destination that beautifully preserves the ancient architecture is the village of Pragpur. Most of the forts here are privately owned, and many have been converted into heritage hotels including Hotel Taragarh Palace and Cloud Ends Villa in Kangra, Hotel Naggar Castle in Kullu and Hotel Rajmahal Palace in Mandi.

Bahadurpur Fort, Sariun Fort and Satgarh Fort in Bilaspur, and Chamba Fort and Taragarh and Lodhargarh Forts in Chamba are some of the must visit historical lures of Himachal Pradesh.
Apart from this, palaces that must be included in the travel itinerary of the devotees of architecture include Rang Mahal and Akhand Chandi Palace in Chamba, Jandrighat Palace in Dalhousie, Sultanpur Palace in Kullu and Raj Mahal in Mandi.
Religious Sites

There is something in the air of Himachal that makes it a heaven for religious devotees. With so much to offer, Himachal Pradesh has become a perfect hub to achieve spiritual wellbeing. A multi-religious land, Himacha Pradesh houses good number of temples, Gurudwaras, Churches and Monasteries. Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Jwala Ji, Chintpurni Devi, Naina Devi, Shiva temple, Lakshmi Narayan temple and Bijli Mahadev are among the popular Hindu temples.
Other than temples, there are also various churches like Christ Church, St. John's Church and St. Francis Church that are popular amogn the travellers. Pay a visit to the pearly white Gurudwaras such as Paonta Sahib, Manikarn Sahib and Rewalsar Sahib. Or visit Monasteries such as Guru Ghantal Monastery, Kye Monastery, Dhankar Monastery, Tabo Monastery and Nako Monastery.

Adventure Lovers
The abundance of geopgraphical diversity in Himachal offers good opportunities to challenge the daredevil in you. From rafting to mountain climbing, the list is endless. For the lovers of river rafting, locations like rafting Sutlej at Tattapani near Shimla on the Beas near Kullu, the Ravi near Chamba and Chandra in Lahaul are best retreats.
The lower regions of the state such as Kangra, Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur are perfect to partake in mountain cycling expedition.

Bundla Dhar near Bilaspur, and Solang valley near Manali in the Kullu district act as a perfect hub for paragliding. In addition to this, visit Shimla housing an ice-skating rink with the largest open-air area with naturally frozen ice.

Fairs & Festivals
The best way to understand the local culture and tradition here is to partake in various festivals celebrated here. The locals welcome the New Year with the famous Halda festival where they come together to perform dance and music around a bonfire.

Another most awaited festival of Himachal Pradesh is Sazo, celebrated in the month of January. Travellers must also partake in the Himachal Winter Carnival which promotes the culture of the state every year.
Doongri Festival of Kullu celebrates Hadimba Devi’s (wife of Bhima) birthday. It is the perfect occasion to catch glimpses of local dance and musical performances. Those visiting Himachal Pradesh during February or March must partake in the Mandi Shivaratri Fair.

Food & Cuisine
It’s not just the vistas of Himachal that attract travellers, the state also brings an assortment of food items that will satisfy your gluttony. Though the food served here is simple, the taste lingers on your tongue forever. Savour the flavours of Dham (kidney beans, green lentils and rice in curd), an important participant in all the local festivities. Mittha is a famous local dessert prepared with sweetened rice and generous amount of dry fruits. Sidu (local bread made from wheat flour) is another famous dish of Himachal Pradesh cooked every day by the locals. For the lovers of non-vegetarian food Kullu Trout (shallow fried in mustard oil with spices) is a must try.

Weather Conditions
Himachal Pradesh can be visited any time of the year. Summers months (May and June) are considered as peak season when streams of travellers flock here to escape the scorching summer heat. Monsoon season (July-August) is also pleasurable; however, sometimes heavy rains make the outdoor activities difficult.  Winter months (November - February) transform Himachal Pradesh in a snow clad gem, letting travellers participate in skiing.

How to Reach
By Air - Three main domestic airports in Himachal Pradesh include Jabbarhatti near Shimla, Gaggal near Kangra and Bhuntar near Kullu, linking the state to Delhi and Chandigarh.
By Train - Those planning to flock here via Railways must know that the terrains of the state are stunning yet difficult. Himachal Pradesh is not linked by trains except for two narrow gauge rail lines between Kalka - Shimla and Pathankot - Joginder Nagar.
By Road - Road travel is extremely popular among travellers provided the three National Highways crossing the state

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