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20 Best Places to Explore in Himachal Pradesh

A village whose descendants trace their ancestry to Alexander the Great, a town which you could easily mistake for Tibet, a place where people still live in caves, and a valley which is too beautiful to be explored, Himachal Pradesh is a famous tourist destination where one surprise overtakes another quickly.

It was as if nature decided to create a place which would remind onlookers of her infinite reserves. Hugged by the ancient Himalayas, valleys that stretch themselves leisurely, rivers which are enticing & sometimes menacing, mountain lakes which are revered as holy sites, the diversity of the topography is matched only by its beauty.

To go with all this is a culture that celebrates life, faith, devotion and friendliness. If beautiful was a place, it would be called Himachal. In this blog, we bring you the 16 best places in Himachal that showcase its beauty to the fullest, and as you go on to explore its popular tourist attractions, a sigh emanates from the deepest regions of your being which makes you say: Oh, Himachal!

List of Top 20 Must Visit Destinations in Himachal Pradesh-

  • Manali
  • Shimla
  • Dharamshala
  • Dalhousie
  • Kalpa
  • Tosh
  • Marhi
  • Tirthan Valley
  • Kangra
  • Nako
  • Sainj Valley
  • Tabo
  • Kasauli
  • Chail
  • Malana
  • Mashobra
  • Spiti Valley
  • Sirmaur
  • Lahaul Valley
  • Kullu

Popular Himachal Sightseeing Tour Packages

Himachal Hill Station Tour 7 Nights 8 Days
Kullu Manali Tour 4 Nights 5 Days
Dharamashala Tour 3 Nights 4 Days
Best of Himachal Tour 6 Nights 7 Days
Chail Weekend Tour 2 Nights 3 Days

Manali: Culture & Adventure!

Manali Himachal

Manali is counted among the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh because of its rich cultural heritage, deodar & pine forests, amazing views of the snow capped mountains and rich cultural heritage. If you visit it in the first week of January, you can attend the winter carnival which is marked by dance performances, street plays, songs, group dance and a Winter Queen beauty pageant.

Manali also attracts adventure enthusiasts with opportunities for white water rafting on the River Beas, with its Grade II & III rapids.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions in Manali

  • Hadimba Temple
  • Vashisht Hot Spring
  • Solang Valley
  • Naggar
  • Rohtang Pass

Top Things to Do in Manali

  • Hang out at The Mall
  • Explore the cafes & streets of Old Manali
  • Visit the local bazaar to buy souvenirs & other items

Recommended Tour Packages

Shimla: Always the lovers’ destination!

Shimla Jakhoo Temple

Think top honeymoon destinations, think Shimla! Its rich colonial past is evident in its architecture, some of which are also the top tourist attractions including Christ Church, Gaiety Theatre and Barnes Court (now known as Raj Bhavan).

Standing apart from all these, in terms of pure excitement and thrill, is the ride on the toy train from Kalka to Shimla, which has also been designated by UNESCO as a heritage site.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Shimla

  • Chadwick Falls
  • Jakhoo Temple
  • Annandale
  • The Ridge
  • The Mall Road
  • Viceregal Lodge
  • Tara Devi Temple
  • Sankat Mochan Temple

Top Things to Do in Shimla

  • Hang out at the Mall Road
  • Take a ride on the Kalka Shimla Toy Train
  • Visit Maria Brothers, an antiquated bookstore
  • Enjoy a snack & cup of coffee at Wake and Bake

Recommended Tour Packages

Dharamshala: Like Tibet, but India!

Dharamshala Himachal

Dharamshala has its fair share of colonial influence, like most of the other tourism places in Shimla. But, it’s the Tibetan influence which overshadows any other influence.

In Mcleodganj, a small town inhabited by mostly Tibetans, you could very well imagine yourself to have landed in Tibet quite suddenly! You could explore the main street with its Tibetan craft shops, taste Tibetan dishes, and visit the Tsuglag Khang temple.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Dharamshala

  • Bhagsunag Falls
  • St. John Church
  • Kanga Art Museum
  • War Memorial
  • Norbulingka Institute
  • Gyuto Monastery
  • Chamunda Devi Temple
  • Bhagsunag Temple

Top Things to Do in Dharamshala

  • Go trekking to Triund Hill
  • Enjoy shopping at Mcleodganj Market
  • Enjoy a picnic at Dal Lake

Recommended Tour Package

Dalhousie: Its Beauty Won Over Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose!

Dalhousie Himachal

The best places to visit with family in Himachal should always include Dalhousie, a hill station whose charm won the heart of Neta Ji Subhash Chandra Bose (Freedom fighter of India).

The colossal Dhauladhar Ranges with their snow capped peaks, rich colonial architecture, beautiful churches, forest trails that overlook wooded hills, waterfalls and springs, and a pleasant climate, all of these combined make it a popular tourist attraction in Himachal.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions in Dalhousie

  • St. Patrick’s Church
  • St. Francis Church
  • St. John’s Church
  • Subhash Baoli
  • Panchpula Waterfall
  • Satdhara Falls
  • Bhulwani Mata Temple
  • Bhalei Mata Temple

Top Things to Do in Dalhousie

  • Trekking at Bakrota Hills
  • Hang out at the Mall Road
  • Go hiking at Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary

Recommended Tour Package

Kalpa: Be Touched by the Hand of Happiness!

Kalpa Temple Kinnaur Himachal

In the heritage village of Kalpa, you will be touched by the hand of happiness as the rising sun touches the snowy peaks with its crimson hand in the morning. You will also be fascinated to know that this popular travel destination in Himachal was visited by Governor General Lord Dalhousie in the 19th century.

What is most fascinating though, is its proximity to Kinner Kailash, believed to be the winter home of Lord Shiva. It is also one of the best places to visit in Himachal during the monsoon, since its beauty is enhanced by the rains.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions in Kalpa

  • Narayan Nagani Temple
  • Hu-Bu-lan-Car Gompa

Top Things to Do in Kalpa

  • Trek to Chakka Peak
  • Trek from Kalpa to Roghi Village
  • Enjoy the views from Suicide Point

Recommended Tour Package

Tosh: One Incredible Scenery After Another!

Tosh Village Himachal Pradesh

If you want to spend your holidays in Himachal in complete peace while coming across one incredible scenery after another, visit the offbeat destination of Tosh in Parvati Valley.

You should visit it to explore the beautiful face of nature, like walking through River Parvati, trekking through Kheerganga and inhaling lots of fresh, pure air. You will also come across a lot of backpackers from Israel and Europe here!

Top Things to Do Here

  • Walking the River Parvati
  • Enjoy camping
  • Go trekking at Kheerganga

Other Interesting Blog to Read

Marhi: Just Go Trekking!

Marhi Valley

You should visit Marhi, located between Manali and Rohtang La on the Manali Leh Highway, if you are a trekking enthusiast. From Kothi, you can trek to Marhi, crossing fabulous valleys, snow-capped peaks and incredible views accompanying you along the way.

Top Things to Do 

  • Trekking

Also Check Out: Top Trekking Destinations in Himachal Pradesh

Tirthan Valley: Bliss Calls it its home!

Tirthan Valley Himachal Pradesh

Tirthan Valley is an offbeat Himachal tourist destination, which is surprising, considering the kind of beauty it is blessed with. The valley is a part of the Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mountains, alpine meadows, coniferous forests and peace that soaks you from within, it is a sheer bliss to find yourself here.

Bird lovers should also consider visiting this place, since it is identified as an important Bird Area by IUCN which is home to more than 300 species of birds.

Top Things to Do 

  • Hike from a village called Rorla to a waterfall.
  • EXplore the scenic villages
  • Spend time by the River Tirthan
  • Visit the Great Himalayan National Park

Recommended Tour Package

Kangra: Rich Culture & Heritage!

Kangra Valley Himachal Pradesh

Don’t forget to visit Kangra while spending your holidays in Himachal if you want to enjoy plenty of sightseeing & get an idea about the heritage and culture of the region.

An example of this is the Kangra Fort, which was built in 1615 AD and even withstood a siege by the armies of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. There is also a famous school of painting which originated here and is known as the Kangra school of painting.

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Kangra Fort
  • Shree Bajreshwari Devi Temple
  • Shree Jwala Devi Temple
  • Shree Chamunda Devi Temple
  • Baijnath Shiv Temple
  • Masroor Rock Cut Temples
  • Maharana Pratap Sagar
  • Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple
  • Dada Siba
  • Jwalamukhi

Check out:  Popular Hill Stations in Himachal Pradesh

Nako: Quiet, Untouched, Remote!

Nako Himachal Pradesh

Nako is a popular point of tourist interest in Himachal Pradesh for its serenity, untouched beauty and picturesque beauty. However, it lies in close proximity to the border of Tibet, so visitors need an Inner Line Permit to visit it.

One of the major attractions here is Lake Nako, in close distance to which are located four Buddhist monasteries and an enormous footlike impression.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions

  • Lake Nako
  • Nako Monastery
  • Nako Gompa
  • Lipa Asrang Sanctuary

Check out: Popular Tourism Lakes in Himachal Pradesh

Sainj Valley: Too beautiful to be explored!

Sainj Valley Himachal

Since this blog is about the 12 best places that celebrate the beauty of Himachal, a place like Sainj Valley will automatically find a position in this list. It is the epitome of untouched beauty, a place where the hills, meadows, lakes and even the villages feel like they were too beautiful to be touched.

It is located in the lower ranges of the Great Himalayan National Park, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions

  • Sainj Village
  • Meadows of Shangarh
  • Pudrik Rishi Lake
  • Great Himalayan National Park

Check out: Wildlife Tourism in Himachal Pradesh

Tabo: Dalai Lama Wishes to Retire Here!

Tabo Monastery

The Dalai Lama once expressed desire to retire in Tabo, since he thought Tabo Monastery was the holiest monastery in the entire world. But that is not the only reason to visit this quaint town.

By its sheer remoteness, it is the top travel destination to visit in Himachal. It’s interesting to know that the ancient structures made of mud have survived over a thousand years with minimal repairs. There are several caves too, some of which are used as dwellings by the locals even today! But wait, you can even use them to camp for a night or two!

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Tabo Monastery

Popular Things to Do

  • Explore the caves
  • Visit the Zion Cafe
  • Taste the Tabo apples
  • Stay in the caves

Check out: Popular Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh

Kasauli – Colonial Grandeur Dipped with Tranquility

Kasauli Himachal

Dotted in Shivalik Hills, the beautiful Hill Station of Kasauli will take you back to colonial times. It was established by the Britishers, so it still has kept its colonial charm intact. Abundance of Pine and Oak trees, gorgeous gardens, colourful shops, tennis courts, cobbled paths, churches and clubs; Kasauli is indeed an escape full of nature’s bliss and serenity that every nature lover asks for. The most interesting fact about Kasauli is that it houses the oldest functioning distilleries for Scotch Whiskey in Asia – Kasauli Brewery and Distillery. Lofty snowstorms, crispy mountain breeze and torrents makes it one of the most enchanting destinations of Himachal Pradesh.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Kasauli

  • Gilbert Trail
  • Sunset Point
  • Kasauli Brewery
  • Gurkha Fort
  • Sunrise Point
  • Timber Trail Resort
  • The Mall Road
  • Christ Church
  • Monkey Point

Top Things to Do in Kasauli

  • Trekking
  • Toy Train Ride
  • Nature Walk
  • Visit Timber Trail and Monkey Point
  • Fun at Hangout Bar
  • Embrace Nature at Gilbert Trail
  • Visit Kasauli Brewery

Other Interesting Blog to Read

Malana – Hidden Amidst the Enchanting Himalayas

Malana Himachal

Quiet and serene, dotted amidst the tranquil and sublime Himalayan Mountains, Malana is one of the most interesting tourist destinations to visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is very popular among Hipsters. Drinking the nectar of delightful greenery, its soothing incredible valleys will captivate your senses forever. It is one of the most beautiful places to explore as it is bordered by the mesmerizing Parvati Valley on one side and Kullu valley on the other. Don’t forget the enchanting peaks of Cahndrakhani and Deotibba. Its vibrant culture and traditions will enrich your mind and heart. If you ever get a chance to be a part of the delightful Malana village festivals, it will be totally worth your time.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Malana

  • Jamadagni Temple
  • The Chanderkhani
  • Deo Tibba Mountain
  • Hampta Pass
  • Manikaran
  • Parvati Valley
  • Renuka Devi Temple

Top Things to Do in Malana

  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Pilgrimage
  • Jeep Safari
  • Hot Springs
  • Taste Milanese Cuisine

Other Interesting Blog to Read

Mashobra – Surreal and Sublime

Mashobra Himachal

Mashobra is a place to disappear into a tranquil bliss amidst the serene ambiance of Lofty Himalayan Peaks. It is a peaceful hill station decked with picturesque landscapes to delight your eyes and refresh your toil-weary soul. For a lazy weekend or for self-introspection, Mashobra’s calmness will be etched into your mind. It is also a paradise for adventurers. You can enjoy the thrills of trekking, climbing, fishing, rappelling etc.to make your sightseeing more interesting and memorable.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Mashobra

  • Reserve Forest Sanctuary
  • WildFlower Hall
  • Mahasu Devta Temple
  • Craignano
  • The Presidential Retreat
  • Tattapani River
  • Lakkar Bazaar
  • Jakhu Temple
  • Chadwick Falls

Top Things to Do in Mashobra

  • Trekking
  • Climbing
  • Fishing
  • Rappelling
  • Temple visits
  • Nature walks
  • Photography
  • Wildlife sighting
  • Shopping

Also Read: Paragliding in Himachal Pradesh

Chail- Serene Solitude

Chail Himachal

Chail is one of the most popular hill stations to visit in India. It used to be the summer capital of the state of patiala. Stunning verdant forests of Pine, Chir and Deodars, mesmerizing views of countryside, the royal grandeur which stands still in pride – Chail Palace, serene Sadhupul Lake which is a joyful escape to solace, exotic wildlife of Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, enchanting trekking trails of Gaura and Jhajjar that will take to amazing viewpoints, will absolutely make your day with full of fun and excitement. If you are planning a trip to Himachal, Chail is absolutely a must not miss place to soothe your soul.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Chail

  • Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Cricket Ground
  • Kali Ka Tibba
  • Siddh Baba ka Mandir
  • Gurudwara Sahib
  • Himalayan Nature Park
  • Sadhupul Lake
  • Chail Palace

Top Things to Do in Chail

  • Shopping in Chail
  • Temple Hopping
  • Camping
  • Horseback Riding
  • Trekking
  • Wildlife Safari

Other Interesting Blogs to Read

Spiti Valley: Cold Desert, but Breathtaking Landscapes!

Spiti Valley Himachal

A paradise, which is home to jagged landscapes, numerous Buddhist monasteries, snow-capped mountains and pristine Spiti River – Spiti or Piti Valley is one of the ultimate destinations in Himachal Pradesh for travellers who want to explore some unspoilt natural beauty. Also known as ‘Little Tibet,’ Spiti Valley attracts several adventure-seekers from India as well as other countries to experience adventures like camping, trekking, hiking and paragliding.

Perched at a height of 2,745 metres, Spiti Valley is surrounded by Kullu, Kinnaur, Ladakh and Lahaul and you can reach here via Kunzum Pass.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions in Spiti Valley

  • Chandratal Lake
  • Kee Monastery
  • Kunzum Pass
  • Pin Valley National Park
  • Suraj Tal Lake
  • Dhankar Monastery
  • Tabo Monastery

Top Things to Do in Spiti Valley

  • Spot animals in Pin Valley National Park
  • Hike to Kee nad Tabo Monastery
  • Enjoy stargazing in Chandratal Lake
  • Enjoy river rafting in Spiti and Pin Rivers

Other Interesting Blog to Read

Sirmaur: Peach Bowl of India!

Sirmaur - Renuka Lake

The southernmost district of Himachal Pradesh, Sirmaur is popularly known as the Peach Bowl of India because of the finest peaches grown here. It is home to several picturesque locations, which attract nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts from all over the world. Moreover, the pleasant weather throughout the year makes Sirmaur a famous tourist spot in Himachal.

One of the highest peaks of the state elevated at 3,646 metres, Churdhar is one of the top trekking attractions in Sirmaur. You can also visit the ancient lake, Renuka Ji, a beautiful village, Haripur Dham and Habban Valley in Sirmaur.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions in Sirmaur

  • Churdhar
  • Renuka Ji
  • Haripur
  • Habban Valley

Top Things to Do in Sirmaur

  • Hike to Churdhar, one of the highest peaks of Himachal Pradesh
  • Spot exotic flora and fauna of Himachal Pradesh at Renuka Lake
  • Seek blessings at Maa Bhangayani Temple in Haripur
  • Explore cultures at Habban Valley

Other Interesting Blog to Read

Kullu: Valley of Gods!

Kullu - Manikaran

Kullu is located in central Himachal and remains one of the popular tourist destinations in the country. The lush green meadows, idyllic villages on the bank of Parvati River, ancient temples, natural wonders like hot springs – everything make Kullu a pristine beauty to discover.

The open valleys surrounded by Pine and Deodar trees are home to numerous apple orchards, which make it popular in the world. For reasons like these and religious places like Manikaran and Mahadev Temple, it is always the sought-after destination for travellers after Manali.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions in Kullu

  • Tirthan Valley
  • Manikaran
  • Great Himalayan National Park
  • Bhrigu Lake
  • Bijli Mahadev Temple
  • Beas Kund
  • Jana Waterfall

Top Things to Do in Kullu

  • Trek to Prashar Lake, Malana Village, Bhrigu Lake and Kheerganga
  • Bathe in Manikaran hot springs
  • Visit temples like Bijli Mahadev Temple, Gauri Shankar Temple, Manikaran and Raghunath Temple

Other Interesting Blogs to Read

Best Time to Visit Himachal Pradesh

Spiti Valley - Best Time to Visit Himachal

Himachal Pradesh is a delightful tourist spot in India. For years, travellers have visited this state to discover its natural beauty, unspoilt culture and friendly hospitality of the Himachali people. Except for the months of extreme monsoon and winter, places in Himachal Pradesh can be explored at any time of the year.

Visiting Himachal in Summer Season

Himachal witnesses’ summer from April to June. Tourists flock here in summer due to the amazing weather. Activities like paragliding, camping, river rafting and many more can be experienced this time.

Visiting Himachal in Monsoon Season

From July to September, Himachal Pradesh witnesses monsoon season. It’s the off-season and the number of tourists is lower compared to the other two seasons. Trekking, hiking and camping cannot be done during the monsoon due to extreme showers. However, one can enjoy the fresh looks of urban areas at this time.

Visiting Himachal in Winter Season

Winter is the longest in Himachal Pradesh; starts from October till March. The mountains and valleys get covered in snow and the waterfalls become frozen. In some areas, roads get closed due to heavy snowfall. However, Himachal should be visited in winter once in a lifetime if you can tolerate the cold and want to explore the surreal beauty it becomes. The clear sky, snowy peaks and windy roads lead to numerous activities like skiing, ice skating, hiking and many more.

Other Interesting Blog to Read

A Trip to Kinnaur to See Another Paradisiacal Side of Himachal Pradesh

Go, explore and appreciate the beauty of these 12 places in Himachal Pradesh. Some of them are offbeat ones, while others are popular tourist destinations.

Tell us what you think of this blog.

If you have visited any of these places, we would like to know what about it appealed to you the most.

Important Himachal Tourism Resources

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What are some of the best places in Himachal Pradesh that you should visit with friends?

Some of the best places in Himachal Pradesh that you should visit with friends are Manali, Dharamshala, Tabo and Nako.

Q.Which offbeat tourist places should I visit in Himachal Pradesh?

A few offbeat tourist places that you should visit in Himachal Pradesh are Tabo, Kangra, Marhi and Tosh.

Q. What is the best time to visit Himachal Pradesh?

The best time to visit Himachal Pradesh is February to June. Plan a trip during the winters, between the months of October and February to enjoy skiing and ice skating.

Q.Which tourist places in Himachal Pradesh are popular among the tourists during winters?

Khajjiar, Triund, Mcleodganj and Kufri are some of the tourist places in Himachal Pradesh which are popular among the tourists during winters.

Published: 13 Sep, 2022

About the author

Vishwajit Sharma

Writing, for me, is an artistic expression of the countless thoughts flooding my mind. For now, travel content writing is what keeps me going! In my spare time, I like nothing better than immersing myself in a book, along with a cuppa! A classic movie helps too! I define traveling as a process of self-discovery. Hailing from Darjeeling, my ultimate desire is to escape to the hills, with the mountain air and solitude as my constant companions!