Top 18 Hill Stations in Himachal for Summer Vacations
Located amidst western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is an epitome of natural beauty. Blessed with diverse topography of majestic mountains, gurgling rivers, undulated meadows and verdant jungles, this beautiful state of India is undoubtedly a favourite haunt for honeymooners, trekkers, wildlife enthusiasts, adventure buffs and casual holiday seekers alike. While the state surpasses all its limits of gorgeousness in winters, it exudes an unmatched magical charm in summers too. Pleasant weather, flower-strewn pastures, striking fruit orchards and abundance of bird-life, lures scores of people from parts of India to travel here, escaping those unbearable soaring temperatures of the plains during peak summer months of April, May and June. This is also the time when Himachal State Tourism organizes various fairs and festivals to provide all its visitors a deep insight into state’s diverse cultures and traditions; needless to say it’s the best time for shopaholics to get some attractive deals on Himachal’s local handicrafts and handlooms. So, don’t wait, just pack your bags this summer and head to witness most magical vistas of nature right in the heart of India. Yes! That’s the best part – you don’t have to look for an expensive option out of India. While there is an endless number of breath-taking destinations in this lovely state, it becomes an exhaustive task to shortlist few. Saving you from all the stress of listing down the prospective summer vacation destinations, we bring to you the ultimate guide to hill stations of Himachal. Hope this little list cum guide helps you plan out your holidays more effectively and efficiently. So, here you go with the list.
Often referred to as the ‘Queen of Hills’, Shimla is undoubtedly, one of the most famous and best hill stations in India. The quaint hill town known for its enchanting scenic beauty of lofty Himalayan peaks fringed with verdant forests of oaks, pines and deodars, no wonder, it is thronged by uncountable tourists and holiday seekers every year, especially during summers when plains of Northern India are under the tight grip of scorching heat and soaring temperatures. The erstwhile summer capital of the British, needless to say, this little hill town leaves all its visitors with many wonderful moments of their holidays spent here. The famous ‘Mall Road’ is the local hangout spot for everyone coming to Shimla. Lined up with shops, eateries and restaurants, it is the best place to have some shopping fun while simultaneously revelling in the hilly beauty of the place.
If you love nature and its tranquillity, a walk up to the mesmerizing ‘Chadwick Falls’ is just for you and is sure to leave you with an incredible experience; bird watching during this beautiful short trek would definitely be an added bonus. A trip to Shimla remains incomplete without visiting the ancient ‘Jhakhoo Temple’ dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Perched atop the highest hill of the city, the temple is a major tourist attraction and lures uncountable tourists and pilgrims every day; as a word of caution, during your visit to the temple, do expect a number of mischievous monkeys who will try to rob you off with your valuables like cameras and spectacles so, make sure to keep such items hidden inside your backpacks. There is something for adventure junkies too in Shimla; while trekking is quite a common activity, river rafting at ‘Tattapani’ is sure to leave you with an experience unprecedented.
Located 13 km. from Shimla, Kufri is yet another of the popular hill resorts in Himachal, primarily known to lure skiing enthusiasts from across the nation during winters. In past few years, the little hill town has also gained popularity as one of the best summer getaways in Northern India attracting countless tourists and holiday seekers who throng here to immerse themselves in the stunning picturesque aura of the place and off-course to take in it’s cool & pleasant mountain breeze that provides them with a huge respite from the sweltering heat of the plains. Needless to say, at a nature’s heaven like Kufri, while the best way to enjoy a holiday is to just relax in your hotel balconies, revelling in the pristine scenic beauty of the place, for those who hate being restricted to their hotels, there are many attractions too that can keep them occupied.
The major attraction of this tiny hill town is by far its ‘Himalayan Wildlife Zoo’; home to a number of Himalayan wildlife and bird species including bears, snow leopards, musk deer, antelopes, Himalayan monals, pheasants and snow cocks, the zoo is definitely a delight for wildlife enthusiasts, bird watchers and nature photographers alike who are sure to have a beguiling time here observing these creatures from a distance just inches apart. Kufri also has a nice amusement park to its name called the ‘Kufri Fun World’. Opened in past couple of years, the park is truly a fun retreat for entire families offering them a plethora of entertainment and adventure activities ranging from a number of joyrides and virtual reality games to strenuous sports of rock climbing, flying fox and go karting. And for those who prefer real-time adventures, needless to say, Kufri abounds in a number of scenic trekking trails; one can easily put on his trekking gears and venture on an enthralling journey to uncover a trail that still lies hidden somewhere under the canopy of thick trees and forests.
Another one of the must visit places in Himachal during summer vacations is the beautiful hill station of Chail, founded by the Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh in 1893 as his summer capital. Nestled amidst the majestic Shivalik peaks, surrounded with thick forests of soaring pines & deodars and blessed with a salubrious weather throughout the year, needless to say, this tiny hamlet makes for an ideal retreat for people seeking some quiet time away from the hustle bustle of today’s chaotic city lives. Apart from holiday seekers, the little hill town is a hub for numerous trekkers who throng here from far and wide to satiate their cravings for some exhilarating trekking adventures; Shimla and Choor Peak are two of the famous destinations that trekkers venture on from Chail.
Besides, the presence of ‘Chail Wildlife Sanctuary’ makes this hill town a preferred spot for countless wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers too; Himalayan black deer, common langur, crested porcupine, Indian muntjac, goral, wild boar, khalij pheasant and red jungle fowl are the common residents of the sanctuary that offer an incredible time to all the wildlife fanatics. For religious hearted, ‘Kali ka Tibba’, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, is the major attraction and is frequented by both, tourists and locals alike; breath-taking views of the Shivalik Range from the temple premises are truly a sight to behold and are sure to leave you captivated with the aura so serene and mystical. When you are in Chail, do not forget to visit its famous ‘Cricket Stadium’ that also enjoys the status of being the highest cricket ground in the world.
When you seek a soul-soothing break from the clichéd hill station theme, turn your spotlight towards Kasauli, a scenic Himalayan village and an army cantonment town just 70 km. from Shimla. The picturesque hill hamlet enveloped by misty clouds, dense deodar forests and soaring pine & chestnut trees, it is frequently visited by tourists owing to its aura of tranquillity and exquisiteness. The idyllic town, besides its unparalleled scenic charm also boasts of its beautiful British colonial architecture; the cobbled roads, old-fashioned bungalows and gothic-style churches with gorgeous stained-glass windows just provide you with an enchanting scenery, directly out from some countryside village in Europe. The ‘Mall Road’ in Kasauli is its quintessential lifeline always packed with tourists bargaining for woollens, gorging on piping hot momos and maggi or just having a leisurely stroll taking in the fresh mountain air with a little touch of chill, even in peak summers. As the sun sets in this little town, most of the tourists head to the famous ‘Monkey Point’, the highest point in Kasauli from where the illuminated views of the Chandigarh city below, are truly magical and definitely a sight to behold.
Needless to say, Kasuali is a walker’s paradise; with many of its winding trails running amidst picture-perfect environs, offering glimpses of numerous colourful birds like magpies, babblers and prinias, you are sure to have a lovely romantic time walking hand in hand with your spouse, all the more if you are here just after your wedding. For those who wish to do something unique during their holidays in Kasauli, can definitely hop on to the mesmerizing ‘toy train’ that runs between Kasauli – Dharamkot; as the train snakes its way through a number of hill tunnels, gorgeous forests and tiny hill-side villages, experience a journey that leaves you with many wonderful memories to be cherished throughout your lives.
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The list of famous hill stations in Himachal remains incomplete without the mention of the beautiful valley of Kullu. Also known as the ‘Valley of Gods’, this alluring hill destination is tucked away between soaring snow-capped peaks of Himalayas and is blessed with a splendidly gorgeous scenic beauty of numerous enchanting waterfalls, striking fruit orchards, flower-carpeted meadows and gurgling rivers. Needless to say, the place is a favourite summer escapade for countless tourists, especially honeymooners who throng here to spend some private time amidst serene and tranquil settings lend by Mother Nature herself. Hiding in its store a myriad of enticing trekking trails, no doubt, Kullu is also a much-loved hot spot for hikers and trekking enthusiasts who swarm here in great numbers to venture on some of the most famous and exhilarating treks of the region; the ethereal beauty and a lifetime opportunity to have an encounter with the rare Himalayan wildlife on these treks is something that leaves even the most expert of the trekkers with an experience unparalleled.
If you are spiritually inclined, Kullu, all the more provides you with another great reason to convince you spending your summer holidays in its lap; one can easily combine the holiday trip to Kullu with a pilgrimage tour exploring its famous religious spots and sacred shrines, most significant of which include the ‘Manikaran Gurudwara’, ‘Kheerganga Hotsprings’, ‘Bijli Mahadev Temple’ and ‘Raghunath Temple’. There is no dearth of activities in Kullu for nature and wildlife fanatics too; the ‘Great Himalayan National Park’ in the valley is home to diverse flora and fauna indigenous to the region and needless to say, provides for a delightful time to all its visitors. Besides, if you have some penchant for activities like river rafting, fishing & angling, paragliding or rappelling, there could be no better destination than Kullu to try your hands at few of these.
One of the most popular hill stations not only in Himachal but, in entire Northern India, Manali undoubtedly, makes for a perfect holiday destination in summers. Blessed with gorgeous panoramas of the snow-clad Himalayas, a breath-taking beauty of gurgling Beas River, stunning vistas of beautiful fruit orchards, soul-soothing spiritualistic vibes from numerous temples & shrines and to top it all, a pleasant air filled with fresh aroma of burning pines; whether you are a nature lover, an ardent adventure seeker or a laid back holiday-maker, Manali will make sure to leave you with some of the best holiday experiences of your lifetime. Not to forget! Manali is considered as one of the best hill stations for honeymoon too and offers all the newly-wed couples with each single ingredient they look for in a perfect honeymoon destination – serene & cosy ambience, rich scenic splendour and to top it all, a quiet seclusion from the outside world. When in this quaint town, start your tour by visiting the most sacred shrine of the region – the ‘Hadimba Temple’. The beautiful architecture of the temple cuddled among towering deodar trees offers a marvellous spectacle to all the visitors and needless to say, a walk up till here, traversing through thick woods soaked in deep tranquillity of sweet music of birds will be an experience to cherish for your lives. For a more surreal experience in Manali, head to the ancient ‘Vashishta Ashram’ famous for its natural hot water springs; a dip in its invigorating waters is sure to leave you with great peace of mind and relaxation.
For those who love some casual adventure, there is no dearth of activities for them in Manali; take a drive up to the enchanting ‘Solang Valley’ and indulge yourselves in some unforgettable fun of paragliding, zorbing and horse-riding. You cannot return from Manali without visiting the famous ‘Rohtang Pass’. Offering excellent views of distant Himalayan peaks and glaciers, this is a great place to gorge on some ‘bhuna bhutta’ or a piping hot maggi while taking in the gorgeous vistas of nature.
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Soaring snow-clad peaks, a soul-soothing ambience, entrancing scenic beauty and solemn sounds of Buddhist chants and ringing bells echoing in the air – Dharamshala and McLeodganj are two charming little hamlets nestled on the foothills of Dhauladhar ranges, luring scores of travellers from all across the globe. Undoubtedly, one of best places to visit in June-July in Himachal, these twin towns offer a number of activities and tourist attractions to keep you busy during your trip here. The pristine ‘Bhagsu Falls’ is the prime attraction of the place for all the nature lovers. Set amidst dramatic scenery and offering a breath-taking sight, these falls are sure to leave you with an enchanting experience. The ‘Bhagsunath Temple’ located just next to the falls also makes for a spot worth visiting. There is a strong influence of Buddhist culture in Dharamshala and McLeodganj so, finding monasteries and scores of monks walking across the streets in their flaming red robes, is a sight quite common; the ‘Namgyal Monastery’ is most famous of all in the region and provides you with a spiritual experience unparalleled. Needless to say, the mystic aura of the monastery with reverberations of rolling prayer wheels, sounds of ringing bells and Buddhist chants of ‘Om padme hum’, is sure to fill your hearts with profound peace and solace.
With its scenic mountainous terrain, Dharamshala-McLeodganj also make for a favourable haunt for trekkers. Many treks of different grades ranging from easy to moderate to difficult can be ventured on from here; ‘Triund Trek’, ‘Kareri Lake Trek’ and ‘Minkiani Pass Trek’ are some of the most popular in the region. For those who have some interest in archaeology, Dharamshala will not leave them disappointed; the ‘Rock –cut Masrur Temple’ in close vicinity of the hill town, is famed for its exquisite monolithic structures that resemble the one at Mahabalipuram and Ellora. A great site for historians and archaeology buffs, it definitely must be listed on your travel itineraries.
Famed as the ‘Tea Capital of North India’, Palampur is a gorgeous town that sits on the foot of snow-clad Dhauladhar Ranges in Himachal and attracts hordes of nature lovers, holiday-seekers and honeymoon couples wanting to spend a secluded holiday somewhere in the lap of Himalayas, untouched and unscathed from the crowds of other conventional hill stations and tourist destinations. Needless to say, the quaint town, blessed with exquisite mountain scenery dotted with cascading waterfalls, terraced tea gardens and crystal clear brooks & streams, instantly fills your hearts with joy and happiness. Every moment spent in this nature’s paradise seems like a heavenly bliss offering complete peace of mind and rejuvenation from today’s hectic work schedules. While you are in Palampur, do venture on for some long nature walks through lush tea plantations and thick woods of pines; the mystical aura of this little place filled with melodious music of the birds, sounds of gushing streams and aroma of burning pines, will definitely leave you with many reasons to plan your trip here once again very soon.
If you are little adventurous at heart, a paragliding experience at ‘Bir-Biling’, the ‘Paragliding Capital of India’, located just a small distance from Palampur, is something that will be etched in your memories for the lifetime. And in case you are one of those who have some liking for trekking, Palampur has in its store, quite a number of beautiful trekking trails; get on with your expedition to the age-old ‘Kangra Fort’ or venture into the world of wilderness at the ‘Dhauladhar National Park’, home to the native Himalayan wildlife like red fox, sambar deer and angora rabbits. Also, you just cannot leave Palampur without seeking the blessings of Goddess Durga at the renowned ‘Chamunda Devi Temple’, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas across the world. The ‘Baijnath Temple’, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva is yet another of the must-visit religious sites that warrants a visit during your trip to this tiny hill hamlet.
Sitting at an altitude of 2500 metres, Mashobra is another popular travel destination in Himachal that boasts of a gorgeous natural scenery comprising of thick forests, beautiful fruit orchards, splendid Himalayan views and a blissful climate all through the year. The hill station also has to its claim, the fame for being the summer retreat for President of India. Undoubtedly, one of the best places to visit in March-April-May, the little town offers an array of interesting outdoor activities for its tourists, which include but are not limited to boating, horse-riding, paragliding, trekking, camping and wildlife spotting. If you are in the town during May, the ‘Mahasu Fair’ is a must attend event; held at the 9th century old ‘Mahasu Devta Temple’ situated on the Mahasu Peak, the festival provides a unique spectacle of cultural events including traditional folk dances, archery competitions and animal sacrifices.
Also, when in Mashobra, do not forget to visit ‘Carignano’, an old villa perched at 7700 ft. and built by an Italian photographer named Chevalier Federico Pelite. A one of its kind architectural marvel constructed of wood and flanked by numerous water streams and woods of tall pines, oaks and cedars, the villa with its picture-postcard beauty is a hotspot attraction in town which definitely warrants your visit. Needless to say, for those who are in no mood to venture out on usual sight-seeing stuff and seek for more of a relaxing holiday in the lap of Mother Nature, leisurely strolls along the tree-shaded walkways and nature trails makes much sense and definitely leaves them with much needed solace and peace.
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The picturesque valley township of Chamba, cradling in the lap of sub-Himalayan ranges makes for an ideal retreat for those seeking a quiet holiday combined with some unparalleled spiritual experience. Yes! The little hill town is home to a number of sacred shrines and temples dating back to as early as 4th century AD and needless to say, a tour of these holy shrines is sure to leave you with an unmatched sensation of divinity and mysticism. Commence your pilgrimage tour in the town by first visiting the famous ‘Laxmi Narayan Temple’; the biggest temple complex in Chamba housing six shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva; its exquisite architecture embellished with wooden chhatris, metallic sculptures and gilded pinnacles, will instantly take your breaths away. The ‘Champavati Temple’ is yet another beautiful temple in the town that makes for one of the must see places when you are in Chamba. The sacred shrine is dedicated to daughter of the erstwhile king of Chamba, Raja Sahil Verman and besides its religious significance what sets this temple apart is its unique architectural and design style resembling a cylindrical shape adorned with ornate stone carvings – undoubtedly, an architectural masterpiece providing a marvellous spectacle to all the onlookers.
While there are many other interesting temples in Chamba that can keep you occupied for the full whole day, if you wish to indulge in something more interesting than just the temple exploration, try your hands at adventure activities like river rafting and river-crossing. For trekking enthusiasts in Chamba, an enthralling trek to ‘Manimahesh Peak’ is sure to provide them with their much needed dose of adrenaline. There is something unique for shopaholics too in Chamba! The ‘Pahari Paintings’ here are recognized world-wide and would prove to be an awesome addition to your home décor.
The impressive and alluring hamlet of Nahan, nestled amidst the snow-shrouded Shivalik Range of Himalayas, is one of the best kept secrets of Himachal. Away from the hustle bustle of the crowded cities, this little hamlet is endowed with a stupendous natural scenery, a perfect climate and to top it all, a dreamy and romantic ambience which undoubtedly, lends it with an unrivalled appeal of an ideal honeymoon destination. Taking a little glimpse at this hill town’s history, it was founded by Raja Karan Prakash in 1621 as his summer capital. Under his reign, Nahan was bestowed with a number of temples and a man-made lake that today, proudly contribute to the list of major tourist attractions in the city. Start your itinerary in the town by visiting the beautiful ‘Rani Tal’, an artificial lake sitting right in the city centre. A great draw for visitors, the lake is sure to leave you enchanted with its tranquil charm dotted with lush lawns and an old Shiva temple; spend a wonderful day here, picnicking and boating or just taking in the gorgeous scenery. The quaint town of Nahan has also been blessed with the natural and stunning ‘Renuka Lake’. Considered to be the largest lake in Himachal, it is yet another scenic retreat for people looking for utmost peace and serenity. The lake is well-known for its ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Renuka, which is again, visited in great numbers by tourists and locals alike.
For those seeking some dose of adventure in Nahan, the town makes as a good base for treks in upper reaches of Himachal; trek to ‘Churdhar Peak’ is the most famous around the region and is ventured on by a number of trekking enthusiasts. Also, do note that the renowned Sikh temple, ‘Paonta Sahib Gurudwara’ lies just 40 km. from Nahan and makes for a captivating spiritual retreat for all the distressed souls. That’s not all! Nahan has a lot more hidden in its store for tourists, come here in person and take back with you some great memories for the lifetime.
The capital and administrative headquarters of the Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh, Kaza boasts of jagged mountain peaks decorated with snow embellished crowns and crystal clear rivers & streams. The barren splendour of this bucolic hill town, interspersed with small patches of green, is something that provides you with a completely contrasting picture of a hill station, which otherwise normally are drenched in lush foliage. An extremely challenging mountainous terrain of the region, needless to say, provides for a perfect setting to experienced trekkers and hikers venture on a trekking expedition unrivalled; ‘Pin-Parvati’, ‘Parang-La’, ‘Kunzum Pass’, ‘Chandratal’ and ‘Pin-Bhaba’ are some of the popular trails which commence from Kaza. Apart from trekking, when in Kaza, dare-hearts can also indulge themselves in the adrenaline pumping adventure of river rafting over the roaring waters of the ‘Spiti River’; the strong rapids of this mighty river are sure to leave you with a nerve-wrecking experience to be remembered for the lifetime. And if adventure activities in Kaza are too much to handle for your types, you can just opt for relaxing nature walks around pristine villages of ‘Kibber’, ‘Komic’, ‘Demul’ and ‘Dhankar’.
For those who love some kind of cultural exploration, can definitely go around the quaint old monasteries and gompas located in and around Kaza. ‘Tabo Monastery’ is by far the greatest draw for numerous art-lovers, historians and cultural anthropologists studying the Trans-Himalayan cultures and traditions. The thangkas and mural paintings dating to 10th century AD in this monastery offers one, a deep insight into amalgamation of two different cultures, Indian and Tibetan during the bygone times. Another amazing place of Kaza attracting countless tourists is the ‘Ki Gompa’. Established in 11th century, this is the largest monastery in Spiti Valley and is known to captivate people with its majestic grandeur. If you are in Kaza during June-July timeframe, lock your dates for the ‘Ladarcha Fair’, a colourful extravaganza of Tibetan culture with great dances and scrumptious food to treat your taste buds.
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The unspoilt nature retreat of Shoja located midway between Shimla and Kullu, is truly a hidden gem in Himachal. Blessed with nature’s bounty of flower-strewn meadows, thick woods, gurgling rivers and burbling streams, the offbeat hamlet makes for one of the best nature holiday destinations in the Himalayan region; the ‘Jalori Pass’ located just 5 km. from Shoja city centre is the prime attraction of the town and offers some great views of the distant snow-capped Dhauladhar ranges; don’t be surprised to see patches of ice covering the meadows near the pass even in the months of March-April. If you wish to indulge in a nice camping experience in Shoja, trek some 6 km. ahead of Jalori Pass until you reach the gorgeous ‘Serolsar Lake’. Cradling amidst thick woods of oaks and shadowed by mighty Himalayan peaks, the lake offers a bewitching sight, perfect to setup your camps and spend a night under thousands of blinking stars. An old temple dedicated to the guardian deity of the region is also a must visit when you are the lake side. On your return journey from Serolsar, take a small halt at the ‘Raghupur Fort’. Built by Mandi rulers centuries ago, the fort provides you with mesmerizing views of the Great Himalayas stretching as far as your eyes can see.
For nature lovers, the ‘Waterfall Point’ with its breathtakingly beautiful spectacle, is also a captivating site in Shoja to sit back, relax and immerse your souls in sweet chattering of birds that abound the area; as you spend some time at the falls, do keep an eye for Indian blue robins, white-throated tits, golden orioles, slaty blue flycatchers, rock thrush and hill pigeons which often make occasional appearances out from their hidden nests. Needless to say, if you are a nature photographer, this place will leave you with some amazing clicks of your lifetime.
One of the lesser known hamlets of Himachal, Hamirpur lies hidden amidst the beautiful Kangra valley and makes for one of the best weekend getaways from states of Delhi and Punjab. This quaint and quiet little town with its natural charm and cultural spectacle can captivate anyone and everyone. The hilly ranges of the Hamirpur offer great scope for trekking and for those who wish to indulge in some adventure activity other than hiking, can go for rock-climbing, paragliding, hand gliding, angling and river rafting – the options are literally endless. The culturally rich town is also famous for its myriad temples and religious places that offer a memorable time to all the spiritually inclined; the most significant of all the sacred shrines in Hamirpur is the ‘Deotsidh Temple’. Dedicated to Baba Balak Nath, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the temple holds a great religious significance and is visited by thousands of devotees from far and wide.
Yet another of the great religious site in vicinity of Hamirpur is the famous temple of ‘Sri Naina Devi’. One of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Sati, the temple besides its blissful aura, is much famous for providing invigorating sights of the flanking Himalayan peaks and the serene ‘Govind Sagar Lake’. The tiny hill town also has something to offer to art lovers; the nearby town of ‘Nadaun’ is a treasure trove of some of the classiest Kangra paintings you will ever get to see, these paintings are housed inside the palace building at Amtar and truly make for an excellent spectacle. The ‘Jwalajee Temple’ is also not far from the palace complex and can be easily covered on a day trip.
Gorgeous fruit orchards, bountiful scenic beauty and a serene ambience just to relax and unwind yourselves from the stress of daily life, Parwanoo is an idyllic destination in Himachal that lures uncountable tourists every summers. Located in close proximity to Chandigarh, the sight of newly-wed couples and chooda-clad girls who often come here over weekends, is quite common. While there are not many activities to do in Parwanoo, you can just revel yourself in pristine aura of the place, go for a walk across the fragrant fruit gardens or take in the scenic beauty sitting in the cabin of the cable car run by the ‘Timber Trail Resort’. And in case you wish for a spiritual experience, pay a visit to the highly revered ‘Mansa Devi Temple’ located on an elevated hillock; not only is the ambience at the hill top serene and divine, the views of the town below are breath-taking too.
For those with some interest in Botany and floristics, a visit to the ‘Cactus Garden’ housing more than 3500 species of cacti and succulents, makes for a delightful experience. Parwanoo has something to offer to foodie too; if you love trying the local delicacies of the region, head to Dhalli; half an hour drive from Parwanoo, the place is renowned for its delicious meat pickles. Also, since different types of fruits are grown here in plenty, Parwanoo counts amongst the best places to take back home some fresh fruit items; so, do pack your bags with lip-smacking jams, fruit juices, marmalades and jellies during your return trip.
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Yet another of the most charming hill stations in Himachal that has lured holiday-seekers, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventure buffs since ages, Dalhousie needs no special introduction. Spread over a group of five hills, the picturesque town, endowed with an enchanting scenic beauty, rustic colonial flavours and a tranquil charm, undoubtedly, provides for a welcome break to all the city dwellers travelling here in search of peace and rejuvenation. During your trip here, while nature walks are something that are sure to de-stress your minds, there are quite a number of sightseeing places too, a visit to which, will definitely leave your hearts and souls captivated for a long time – embark on a mild trek to the most scenic site of Dalhousie, ‘Panch-Pulla’. A treasure trove of cascading waterfalls, burbling streams and mesmerizing vistas of surrounding hills and forests, this place is a paradise for nature lovers and is sure to provide them with a magnificent spectacle of nature’s craftsmanship that will be etched in their memories forever. En-route to ‘Panch-Pulla’, one can stop by for some time at the gorgeous water springs of ‘Satdhaara Falls’. Known to be full of therapeutic properties, a dip in its refreshing waters will rejuvenate all your senses. And needless to say, the stunning beauty of these falls is sure to treat you with some brilliant camera shots.
If you are a honeymooning couple in Dalhousie, a trip to the spectacular ‘Chamera Lake’ must definitely be on your itineraries. Blessed with stupendous scenic beauty and deep tranquillity, the place is sure to entice you with its magical and dreamy charm; go for a romantic boat ride on its shimmering waters with your soulmate or just spend a lovely evening on its shores, soaking your souls in serene beauty of the setting sun kissing the snow-clad peaks with its golden rays. A trip to Dalhousie remains incomplete without a visit to the ‘Chamunda Devi Temple’. Built around 750 years back, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and blesses every visitor with utmost peace and solace.
A serene little saucer-shaped meadow tucked away in Dhauladhar ranges of western Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, Khajjiar is truly a slice of heaven on earth. Still untamed from urbanization and covered in sheaths of green with verdant forests of cedar flanking it from all sides and a small tranquil lake cradling right in its heart, undoubtedly, the place seems no less than a heavenly scenery directly out from a picture postcard; no wonder – Khajjiar is also aptly called as ‘Mini Switzerland of India’. The gorgeous meadow is not very far from Dalhousie and perfectly makes for an ideal destination to spend a fun-filled day with families and kids. There are many activities to choose from while you are here; try your hands at some paragliding experience, go around the valley on a horse-riding tour, have some fun rolling down the slope stuck inside the transparent zorbing ball or just sit back and relax on the shores of the ‘Khajjiar Lake’, taking in the tranquillity of the place’s undulating landscape; the ‘Golden Devi Temple’ that gets its name from the golden coloured dome it is crowned with, just sits adjacent to the lake and makes for an interesting visit for all the religious hearted.
When you are in Khajjiar, while there are many activities to spend a wonderful day, do not forget to pay your reverence at the ‘Khajji Nag Temple’. Constructed entirely of wood, this temple stands here since 12th century AD and is one of the most ancient and sacred shrines in Himachal dedicated to Khajji Nag, the lord of serpents. While Khajjiar is a perfect getaway to enjoy picnics and have a recreational time, it is also a great spot to venture on some great trekking and wildlife excursions. The ‘Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary’ located just few km. from Khajjiar, calls passionate trekkers and wildlife enthusiasts to come over and indulge themselves in enthralling experiences of wildlife spotting, bird-watching, jungle safaris and nature photography.
Bordering Tibet, Kinnaur, often known as ‘Land of Fairytales’ is one of the most spectacularly beautiful regions of Himachal, dotted with emerald green valleys, flower-carpeted meadows, majestic snow-crowned mountains, picturesque alpine villages and striking fruit gardens & vineyards. Undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur provides with a perfect ambience whether you are looking for a laid-back holiday, an adventurous vacation or a spiritual retreat. The ‘Sangla Valley’ in Kinnaur is a hub for adventure enthusiasts offering them some great options for river rafting, paragliding and angling & fishing. The enticing trails of Sangla also lure numerous trekking buffs who yearn for a splendid trekking experience in the lap of Mother Nature; the ‘Kinnar Kailash Trek’ is the most famous treks in the region and leaves every trekker with an experience unmatched. If you love reconnoitring nature, embark on a journey to explore beautiful alpine hamlets of Kinnaur; ‘Kalpa’, ‘Chitkul’, ‘Kothi’, ‘Roghi’ and ‘Batseri’ are some of the most stunning villages in upper reaches of Himalayas and provide hypnotizing sights of hanging apple & peach orchards, expansive stretches of potato fields and undulated meadows carpeted under layers of vibrant wild flowers. The serene backdrop of milky white mountains just add to the magical charm of these heavenly hamlets.
If you are amongst the spiritual-hearted sorts, there is no dearth of interesting religious sites in Kinnaur; the ‘Narayan-Nagini Temple’ at Kalpa, with its stunning Himachali architecture against the backdrop of the Kinner-Kailash range makes for an absolute sight to behold. Owing to the place’s close proximity to the Tibetan border, sights of beautiful colourful monasteries is also quite common; the antique ‘Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar gompa’ with its white chorten and lines of fluttering prayer flags arouses that deep sense of mysticism within every traveller. Needless to say, Kinnaur is also a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts; the ‘Rakcham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary’, home to Himalayan Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Fox and Snow Leopards, is sure to leave every animal lover with an enthralling experience.
While the list of hill stations in Himachal can go on and on, we have made our sincere efforts to bring to your notice, only the best 18. In case, you feel there is a destination missed out which ought to be included in this list, do let us know by commenting in the section below. And if you are planning out for a vacation in Himachal and require some more information on things to do and tourist attractions to see, contact our helpdesk; the executives would be more than happy to assist and jot down a suitable travel itinerary for you.