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12 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.

Check out: All Inclusive Himachal Tourism Packages

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 12 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 12 Must Visit Destinations in Himachal Pradesh
  • Manali
  • Shimla
  • Dharamshala
  • Dalhousie
  • Kalpa
  • Tosh
  • Marhi
  • Tirthan Valley
  • Kangra
  • Nako
  • Sainj Valley
  • Tabo
Recommended Tour Packages

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

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: 02 Dec, 2020

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!