Himachal Pradesh is a picture-perfect state that impresses visitors with scenic hill stations, quaint villages, snow-covered mountains, lush valleys, diverse flora and fauna, unblemished nature, and abundant trekking trails. It is a veritable haven for nature lovers, adventurers, and backpackers. Here’s our pick of the top places to visit in the ‘Abode of Snow’.
On the banks of the Parvati River lies a photogenic hamlet of Kasol, also referred to as the ‘Little Israel of India’. Laidback and serene, Kasol is popular among backpackers and hippies, and with good reason. The stunning landscape of snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, scenic waterfalls, and undisturbed trekking routes makes it a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers, while the abundance of charming cafes, budget-friendly stay options, and relaxed vibe make it an amazing spot to backpack through.
While you’re in the region, it is worth exploring the nearby tiny hamlets, such as Chalal, which is known for its trance and psychedelic parties; Malana, known for its Malana Cream (cannabis); Rasol and Tosh, which are replete with lush greenery and tranquillity.
Also called the Queen of Hills, Shimla is a gorgeous colonial hill station, where picturesque vistas will greet you at every nook. A perfect place to wander, Shimla showcases some of the best colonial-era architecture, including the Viceregal Lodge, the Town Hall, Gaiety Theatre, and the Christ Church. The city’s location at the foothills of the Himalayas amidst the lush greenery and snow-covered mountains makes it a perfect place for trekking and other outdoor fun.
The appeal of the Queen of Hills increases manifold when the winter sets in – the entire city gets enveloped in snow, a sight to remember!
At an elevation of 1,900 meters lies a small colonial town of Kasauli. The town has little in terms of attractions, commerce, and population. However, that’s exactly where its beauty and appeal lie – its unadulterated air, serene and peaceful vibe, and an abundance of nature are what attract travelers. The places you can visit include the Baptish Church, Christ Church, Kasauli Brewery, Monkey Point, Nahri temple, and Kasauli Club.
Nestled in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley, Dharamshala enjoys one of the best climates in Himachal. Surrounded by snow-laden peaks of Dhauladhar mountains and lush pine and deodar forests, the town is brimming with cultural and architectural attractions, along with a great number of restaurants, cafes, and shops catering to its extensive multicultural Indian and Tibetan communities. Its suburbs, such as McLeod Ganj (India’s Mini Tibet), Dharamkot, Sindhbari, Ramnagar, and Naddi are worth exploring. Also, with a plethora of trekking trails, waterfalls, and scenic valleys, the town beckons adventurers from across the world.
At an altitude of 3,810 meters, Spiti Valley is a remote village up in the cold desert mountains. Despite the fact it is fairly isolated, plenty of spiritual and adventure travelers are gradually making their way to Spiti to explore its many Buddhist monasteries scattered throughout the area, and indulge in thrilling activities, such as trekking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and wildlife spotting. In addition, it is surrounded by several high-altitude villages, like Tabo, Kaza, Dhankar, Kibber, Komic, and Langza, which can also be explored on your trip to Spiti.
Situated at an altitude of 2,050 meters on the River Beas valley, Manali is a picture-perfect hilly retreat that draws in hordes of tourists every year. The picturesque landscape comprising lush pine and deodar forests, snow-covered mountains, scenic meadows, waterfalls, and valleys attracts adventurers and nature lovers alike. Alternatively, the ancient temples and Tibetan monasteries beckon spiritual enthusiasts.
Despite its tiny size, Bir Billing is the it-place for paragliding in India. Also called the ‘Paragliding Capital of India’, Bir Billing boasts salubrious weather year-round and a spectacular landscape, which attracts thrillseekers and backpackers from across the world. The place offers panoramic vistas of the undulating beauty of the Himalayan mountain ranges.
Dalhousie is a year-round holiday destination but looks all the more stunning in the winter months when the entire hill town is blanketed in a white sheet. Brimming with mountains, cascading waterfalls, lakes, and lush pine and oak trees, adventure enthusiasts love to come to Dalhousie to partake in outdoor activities, like trekking, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. While the peaceful atmosphere and pristine nature lure nature lovers and peace seekers alike.
Dress CodeCasual. Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, hat and warm jacket.
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