Place to Visit in Himachal | Himachal Information | Himachal
Himachal Pradesh was anciently known as Dev Bhumi (The Abode of Gods). After the Anglo Gorkha War, the British colonial government came into power. It was initially part of Punjab, except the Siba State of Punjab Hills which was under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh until 1857. In 1950 Himachal was declared as a union territory but after the State of Himachal Pradesh Act 1971, Himachal emerged as the 18th state of the Indian Union. Himachal has many prestigious boarding schools. Hima means snow in Sanskrit. It was named by one of the great Sanskrit scholars of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma.
Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest per capita incomes of any state in India. Due to the abundance of perennial rivers, Himachal also sells hydro electricity to other states such as Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan. The economy of the state is highly dependent on three sources: hydroelectric power, tourism and agriculture.
Hindus make up 95% of the state population, making it the most Hindu state (proportionally), in India. According to a 2005 Transparency International survey, Himachal Pradesh is ranked the second-least corrupt state in the country after Kerala.
Facts and Figures of Himachal Pradesh:
Area:55,673 sq km
Religion:Hinduism (95.89 %), Buddhists, Others
Annual Rainfall:180 cm
Language:Hindi, English and Himachali
Per Capita Income:Rs. 18,920 in 2000-01
Urbanization Ratio:8.7% (1991)
Best Time to Visit:March to October
Latitude:30o 22' 40" N to 33o 12' 40" N
Longitude:75o 45' 55" E to 79o 04' 20" E
Height (From MSL):350 meter to 6975 meter
Geographical Area:55,673 sq. km
Average Rainfall:1469 mm
Temperature:-10°C to 35°C
Highest Point:6726m (mountain Gaya)
Major Rivers:Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Parbati
Major Lakes:Renuka, Rewalsar, Khajjiar
Weather Forecast of Himachal Pradesh:
Geography and climate of Himachal Pradesh:
The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. In fact the rivers are older than the mountain system. Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.
There is great variation in the climatic conditions of Himachal due to extreme variation in elevation. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern tracts to cold, alpine and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges with more elevation. The state has areas like Dharamsala that receive very heavy rainfall, as well as those like Lahaul and Spiti that are cold and almost rainless. Broadly Himachal experience three seasons; hot weather season, cold weather season and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid April till the end of June and most parts become very hot (except in alpine zone which experience mild summer) with the average temperature ranging from 28 °C (82 °F) to 32 °C (90 °F). Winter lasts from late November till mid March. Snowfall is common in alpine tracts (generally above 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) i.e. in the Higher and Trans-Himalayan region).
How to reach Himachal Pradesh:
There are five major zones that draw the maximum visitor or act as base camps for most of Himachal – Shimla, Kullu and Manali, Dalhousie and Chamba, Kangra- Dharamshala-Palampur and Paonta-Nahan. From these routes one can explored "off-beat" destinations also. A wide range of accommodation like tourism hotels, private hotels, guest houses, home stays, rest houses etc. are available in these areas.
The airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 km from Shimla city and is connected to Delhi. Taxi/cabs are available.
Shimla is connected by a broadgauge line up to Kalka (90 km). The journey between Kalka and Shimla takes about six hours and is one of the finest ways of enjoying the landscape. The quaint rail car, which runs on this stretch, takes about five hours. A luxury coach that accommodates six persons has recentely been introduced and can be attached to any train of your choice. The Shivalik Express is a deluxe train on this route. Delhi (380 km), Chandigarh (120 km) and Kalka (90 km) from Shimla.
Shimla is connected by road to all major cities in north India. Taxi cabs for Shimla are available at Delhi, Chandigarh, Ambala and Kalka. Several state-run transport corporations including the Himachal Tourism Development Corporations ply Volvo ac and deluxe buses from Delhi and Chandigarh. Buses can also be chartered.
Dharamshala, Kangra and Palampur:
The airport at Gaggal is 14 km from Dharamshala, 10 km from Kangra and 23 km from its twin town Mcleodganj. Palampur is 40 km away. Taxis are available.
Pathankot is the closest broadgauge railhead and is 85 km from Dharamshala and 124 km from Palampur. Taxis are available. You can opt for the narrow gauge train for a taste of the area. It connects Pathankot to Jogindernagar. The station feeding Dharamshala is Kangra Mandir (20 km) and the one for Palampur is Maranda.
Dharamshala is accessible from National Highway No. 20 and is well linked to the region. It is 12 km from Gaggal town. Palampur is 38 km from Dharamshala and even independently is well linked. Dharamshala is 17 km from Kangra.
An interesting variation of the standard can be made by taking the train from Delhi up to Jalandhar or Una and then traveling by road. En route you can visit the shrines of Chintpurni, Jawalamukhi and Bajreshwari Devi (Kangra). The shrine of Naina Devi is also easily accessible if you opt for the Nangal railway station. The road distance from Jalandhar to Dharamshala is 165 km along this route.
Kullu and Manali:
The airport at Bhuntar is the common base that feeds these towns. This is 10 km from Kullu and 50 km from Manali. Public transport buses and taxis are available.
Kullu and Manali are connected by an extensive network of road with the northen region. Air-conditioned and non air-conditioned deluxe coaches are run by HRTC, HPTDC and by private sector operators. National Highway No. 21 runs through the valley and connects Chandigarh and Delhi. Kullu is 535 km from Delhi.
Dalhousie and Chamba:
The closest airport is at Gaggal (Kangra) near Dharamshala which is 125 km (Approx) from Dalhousie and 170 km (Approx) from Chamba via Banikhet route. Taxis are available.
The nearest railhead is at Pathankot 85 km from Dalhousie and 120 km from Chamba . Taxis are available.
Both Dalhousie and Chamba are well connected by road. Taxis and regular coaches connect the towns.
Nahan, Paonta and Renuka (Sirmaur):
The closest airport is at Chandigarh.
The nearest railhead is at Ambala and Kalka . Taxi's are available.
From Ambala, Chandigarh & Kalka and Dehradun. Regular bus service connect the towns. Paonta Sahib is 45 km and Renuka is 38 km from Nahan.
Road distances from Major Cities in Himachal Pradesh:
Below is the distance chart which will give you an overview about the state and its main cities.
Distances of Major Cities of Himachal from Delhi:
- Delhi to Manali -- 570 km.
- Delhi to Shimla 370 -- km.
- Delhi to Renuka Lake -- 315 km.
- Delhi to Dharamshala -- 520 km.
- Delhi to Dalhousie -- 555 km.
- Delhi to Chamba -- 600 km.
- Delhi to Mandi -- 460 km.
- Delhi to Rewalsar Lake -- 455 km.
- Delhi to Kasauli --325 km.
- Delhi to Barog -- 325 km.
- Delhi to Chail -- 380 km.
Distances of Tourist Destinations from Manali:
- Manali to Rohtang Pass -- 51 km.
- Manali to Keylong -- 115 km.
- Manali to Leh -- 475 km.
- Manali to Trilokinath -- 150 km.
- Manali to Kaza -- 200 km.
- Manali to Manikaran -- 85 km.
- Manali to Palampur -- 200 km.
- Manali to Dharamshala -- 235 km.
- Manali to Dalhousie --385 km.
- Manali to Chamba -- 402 km.
- Manali to Pathankot --325 km.
- Manali to Chandigarh -- 320 km.
- Manali to Kasauli -- 275 km.
- Manali to Shimla -- 260 km.
Distances of Main Cities of Himachal from Dharamshala:
- Dharamshala to Chamba -- 185 km.
- Dharamshala to Pathankot -- 90 km.
- Dharamshala to Chandigarh -- 252 km.
- Dharamshala to Chintpurni -- 78 km.
- Dharamshala to Jwalamukhi -- 54 km.
- Dharamshala to Mandi -- 125 km.
Distances of Tourist Spots from Shimla:
- Shimla to Manali -- 260 km.
- Shimla to Mandi -- 150 km.
- Shimla to Dharamshala -- 270 km.
- Shimla to Dharamshala -- 235 km.
- Shimla to Dalhousie -- 336 km.
- Shimla to Sarahan -- 175 km.
- Shimla to Sangla -- 230 km.
- Shimla to Kalpa -- 244 km.
- Shimla to Nako -- 324 km.
- Shimla to Tabo -- 374 km.
- Shimla to Kaza -- 421 km.
- Shimla to Hatkoti -- 109 km.
- Shimla to Chirgaon --137 km.
- Shimla to Kasauli -- 75 km.
- Shimla to Renuka -- 165 km.
Distances of Major Cities of Himachal from Pathankot (Nearest Broad Gauge Station):
- Pathankot to Dalhousie -- 80 km.
- Pathankot to Chamba -- 119 km.
- Pathankot to Dharamshala -- 90 km.
- Pathankot to Jwalamukhi -- 122 km.
- Pathankot to Chintpurni -- 125 km.
- Pathankot to Palampur -- 124 km.
- Pathankot to Manali -- 325 km.
- Pathankot to Shimla -- 295 km.
- Pathankot to Jammu -- 110 km.
- Pathankot to Amritsar 110 km.
- Pathankot to Delhi -- 475 km.
- Pathankot to Chandigarh -- 238 km
Place to visit in Himachal Pradesh:
Shimla's salubrious climate, easy accessibility and numerous attractions have made it one of the most popular hill stations in northern India. The splendid views of the show-clad ranges of the Himalayas, fine walks through oak and flowering rhododendron, enchanting resorts within easy reach, golf Naldehra and skiing at Kufri and Narkanda make Shimala an attractive destination throughout the year. Place to visit in Shimla: The Mall, Viceregal lodge, Himachal State Museum, Jakhoo Hill, Annandale, Glen, Summer Hill, Chadwick Falls, Prospect Hill, Sanjauli, Temples, Daranghati Sanctuary
Places to visit in Shimla:
This large open space in the heart of town presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the neo- gothic structure of Christ Church and the neo - Tudor library building - are worth seeing.
Popular for its wood crafts and Souvenirs, this is just off the Ridge.
Jakhoo Hill (2.5 Km):
At 2455m, this is the town's highest peak and a famous point for Shimla's famous views. The summit is crowned with a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The hill is full of paths and narrow roads which are enjoyable walks.
St. Michael's Cathedral:
This dressed-stone church with fine stained glass has a cruciform design. It is located just off the Mall, below the District Courts.
State Museum (3km):
This houses a representative collection of Himachal's rich heritage. Exhibits include archaeological artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Closed on Monday and holidays.
Indian Institute of Advanced Study (4 Km):
At 1983m, this magnificent English renaissance structure was the former Viceregal Lodge. Its lawns and woodland are added attractions. Entry by ticket ( nominal charge ). A portion of the interior is also open to the public, except on Sundays and holidays.
The Glen (4 Km):
At 1830m, It is a thickly wooded ravine through which a stream flows. It is a popular picnic spot.
Annandale (4.5 Km):
Surrounded by a thick deodar forest, this large glade has an ancient temple on the edge.
Prospect Hill And Kamna Devi (6 Km):
At 2125m and crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi, the Hill offers spectacular wide views of the city and its environs.
Sankat Mochan Hanuman(7 Km):
This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
Tara Devi (11 Km):
2044m, A thickly wooded hill with a temple dedicated to Tara Devi.
Mashobra (12 Km):
At 2149m, this beautiful suburb is surrounded by thick forests. From here, a track leads down to Sipur which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There are old temples a fair is held every April.
Kufri (16 Km):
At 2501m, this is famous for its wide views and ski slopes. An enjoyable walk leads up to the Mahasu Peak. At Kufri, Himachal Tourism runs Cafe Lalit.
Fagu (22 Km):
At 2510m, Fagu has some enchanting views. Himachal Tourism run Hotel Peach Blossom offers spectacular views.
Chail (45 Km):
This was a former Summer Capital of the Patiala State. The Palace has been converted to a Luxury Hotel by Himachal Tourism.
Tattapani (51 Km):
At 656m, there are hot sulphur springs believed to have medicinal value.
The headquaters of his holiness The Dalai Lama is here in Mcleodganj, in Dharamshala often called the "Little Lhasa" at 1770 m, this is the residence of HH The dalai Lama. The Tibetan GOvt. in textile has been here for over three decades. The impressive monastey has larger than life images of the Buddha Padmasambhava and avalokiteshwara. The large tibetan community and the presence of traditional archtectural designs drawn from Tibet have enhanced the area. A host of Tibetan handicrafts, curious and garments are available on sale and every sunday. a fleammarket operates.
Places of visit in Dharamshala:
Kangra Art Museum, Kotwali Bazar:
This treasure trove of the Kangra Valley displays arts, crafts and rich past, artifacts that date back to the 5th century. It includes a gallery of Kangra's famous miniature painting and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamianas and dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jails, lintels and pandals are also on display Coins, jewelry and manuscripts are included. A section houses the work of contemporary artists, sculptures and photographers.
At there start of town, landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh.
A 3 km level walk from the Kotwali Bazaar leads up to this rock temple.
St. John's Church:
8 km from Dharamsala, between Forsythganj and Mcleodganj is the charming church of St. John in the Wilderness. Under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863. There is a well tended old graveyard on these grassy sloped.
Often called the Little Lhasa, at 1770m is the residence of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Government in exile has been head quartered here for over three decades. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avaloktwshwara. The large Tibetan community and the presence of traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet have enhanced the area. Tibetian handicrafts and garments are available on sale every Sunday. The Tibetian Institute of Performing Arts is just a km away and organises a ten day festival from the second Saturday of April.
11 km from Dharamsala and surrounded by deodar trees this is an enchanting and serene picnic spot.
Close to fresh springs, this ancient temple is 11 km from Dharamsala. It is a popular picnic spot and the famous slate quarries are close by.
10 km from Dharamsala on the banks of the rivulet Bindusaras, is an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita. The complex includes a 9 meter high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama Temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.
66km from Dharamsala and 26 km from Pathankot, Nurpur is famous for old fort and a temple of Brijraj. Nurpur acquired its name in 1672, when Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor named it after his wife Nurjahan.
The temple of Jwalamukhi, Chamunda Devi and Brijeshwari Devi are other pilgrim centers close to Dharamsala. The fort of Kangra and Ma11ngarh are other attractions.
Adventure Activities And Sports:
Between May and October, the Dhauladhar ranges offer an enormous variety of trekking and rock climbing.
The 20 km stretch of the river Beas between Nadaun and Pong Dam offers ample opportunities in angling for Mahaseer.
For local handicrafts visit Kotwali Bazar, Tibetan handicrafts and carpets are available at Mcleodganj.
Its landscape, Sky, shootingstars, siience, wizened faces, rosy cheeks, dragons and zen- everything makes ladakh a quite place to visit. The ethereal cold desert that goes by name such as The Last shangrila, Moonscape, little Tibet and so many others- all of which ring true, is a land that seldom falls to baffle or surprise ladakh, the land of jagged peaks and barren landscape is alluring and awe-inspiring. Hidden behind this harsh and forbidding facade is an ancient civilization and captivating people. beyond the old rontiers lies theland of widerness with unaltered character and overwheiming natural beauty beckoning the more intense and adventurous of travellers. Ladakh offers a number of sightseeing option for the visitors. A historic town that served as the royal capital of the old kingdom, it is dominated by the nine storey palace built by king Singge Namgyal in the grand tradition of the Tibetan architecture.
Dalhousie:hill station of Dalhousie is full of old world charm and holds lingering echos of the Raj era. It covers an area of 14 sq. km. and is built on five hills - Kathlog, Patreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun. It is named after the British governor General of the 19th century, Lord Dalhousie. The town's average height is 2036 m, and is surrounded by varied vegetation - pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendron. Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its location presents panoramic views of the plains and like a long silver line, the river Ravi twists and turns below Dalhousie. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar mountains are also visible form this enchanting town.
Climate of Dalhousie:
In winter, the temperature can drop to freezing point when heavy woolens are required. The summer temperature are mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
Places to visit in Dalhousie:
There are four beautiful churches in Dalhousie. These are St. Andrew's Church and St. Patrick's Church at Balun, St. Francis church at Subhash Chowk and St.John's Church at Gandhi Chowk.
Subhash Baoli (1 Km):
It was at this enchanting spot surrounded by majestic trees, that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose spent time in 1937, contemplating and meditating.
Panchpula (3 Km):
This is a picturesque spot where a stream feed a series of pools. A monument has been built here in memory of the freedom fighter, Sardar Ajit Singh.
Kalatop (10 Km):
This wild life sanctuary is a home to the 'ghoral' and Himalayan black bear.
Tibetan handicrafts including pullovers and carpets at Dalhousie. Chamba Slippers, 'Rumals' and Shawls at Chamba town.
Khajjiar is connected by road and is 23 km from Dalhousie and 26 km from Chamba. It is 520 km from Delhi. The closest railhead is at Pathankot, 120 km. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 180 km. Taxis and buses are available from all these places.
Climate of Khajjiar:
In winter, the temperature hovers around freezing point with snowfall and heavy woolens are required. In summer, the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
Chamba town (915m). stands on the right bank of the river Ravi. As a former princely State, it is one of the oldest in the century and dates back to the sixth century. It is well known for its splendid architecture and a base for numerous excursions. It is also the district headquarters.
Chamba is connected by road and is 580 km from Delhi. It is 24 km from Khajjiar, Dalhousie via Khajjair, is 56 km. The closest railhead is at Pathankot, 118 km away. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 170 km. Taxis/buses are available from these places.
Climate of Chamba:
In winter, the temperature gets very low because of cold winds, when heavy woolens are required. It is hot in summer and the temperature rises up to 38 degrees
Place to visit in Chamba:
Laxmi Narayan Temple Complex:
Hari Rai Temple:
This is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to the 11th Century.
The profusion of temples in Chamba and their craftsmanship is remarkable. Some important shrines are Champavati, Vijreshwari, Sui Mata and Chamunda Devi.
Chamba's wide concourse is the hub of much of towns activity and also serves as its promenade.
This old palace is an interesting mix of colonial and local architectural styles.
Akhand Chandi Palace:
Now a college, this imposing building once housed Chamba's ruling family. Much of the original craftsmanship can still be seen.
Bhuri Singh Museum:
Named after Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba, this is a treasure house of Chamba's rich past. The exhibits include copper plates, murals, doorways, costumes, paintings and stone carvings.
St. Andrew's Church:
Over a century old, this is a charming dressed stone structure with lancet windows.
Bharmour (69 Km):
Its 84 ancient temples at a height of 2141m are well known. It is also the summer home of the nomadic Gaddi people.
Manimahesh (98 Km):
This sacred lake (4183m) is associated with Lord Shiva and is a site of annual pilgrimage from mid of August to mid of September each year. Distance from Bharmaur is 28 Km.
Chatrari (45 Km):
An attractive temple to Shakti Devi is located here.
This small hill station seems to live in time warp that belongs to the 19th century. The narrow roads of Kasauli (1951m) slither up and down the hillside and offer some magnificent vistas. Directly below is the spread of vast plains of Punjab and Haryana which as darkness falls, unroll a gorgeous carpet of twinkling lights. At 3647 m, the peak of Choor Chandni also called the Choordhar powerfully dominates the lower hills and across the undulating ranges, Shimla is visible.
The upper and lower malls run through Kasauli's length and one can enjoy longs walks. A mixed forest of pine, oak and huge horse-chestnut encircles the town. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by stretch of cobbled road, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards.
Kasauli is connected by road. The closest broad gauge railhead is at Kalka, 37 km away. The closest airport are at Chandigarh, (65 km) and Shimla (73km). Taxis and buses for Kasauli are available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Kalka and Shimla.
Climate of Kasauli:
In winter, the temperature gets quite low and heavy woolens are required. In summer, the climate is mild light woolens/cottons are recommended.
Place to visit in Kasauli:
3.5 km from Hotel Ros Common, a hill which derives its name from Rishi Man-Ki who used to worship an idol of Lord Hanuman and later the summit was crowned with a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and presently being looked after by the personnel of Air Force, stationed here. The area being restricted from security point of view, no belongings like Camera etc are allowed.
Christ and the Baptist Church are examples of Kasauli's colonial architecture. Central Research Institute established in 1906 by Dr. Sample prepares various vaccines. Kuthar (46 km) has an old palace with wall paintings. The small Sanwara Station (16 km) on the Kalka Shimla Railway line can make a good downhill hike from Kasauli.
Baba Balak Nath Temple:
3 km on the Hill top is a famous temple of Sidh Baba Balak Nath.
Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir:
Built in 1989 the famous temple is located half km away from Garkhal. The idol of Sai Baba was built at Jaipur and the burning flame in this temple signifies the divine power of Sai Baba of Shirdi.
Situated on top of the hill is the famous Lawrence School. Mr. Henry Lawrence was the founder of this school. He also built the first cottage in Kasauli known as Sunny Side in 1848.
Adventure Sports of Himalayas:
A Jeep Safari is a mix of culture and adventure. These trips involve visiting remote villages, old monasteries etc. to feel the culture and passing through the rugged train of the Himalayas in regions of Lahaul Valley, Spiti Valley, Kinnaur, Ladakh etc. It involves experiencing the remote cultures and the people. We organize jeep safari in Himalayas & Trans Himalayas. Jeeps accommodating a minimum two guests are used to organize these tours. Basic accommodation is available at most of the places providing facilities like attached toilets, cozy rooms and hot water etc.
Camping is perhaps the best way to enjoy the wonders of Nature bestowed upon India. Enjoy the wilderness of areas such as Himachal and share the warmth of its people.
At Naldera, 23 km. from beyond Shimla is one of the oldest golf courses in India. The course, whose topography is absolutely natural, was originally placed by the British Viceroy of India,Golf Lord Curzon, at the turn of the century. He was so enhanted by the spot that he named one of his daughters 'Naldera' after the spot. This is a par 68, nine hole course which is regarded as one of the most challenging in the country. In the repeat nine, the yardage some - what increases. The links are maintained by Himachal Tourism and accomodation is available at Hotel Golf Glade. There are other hotels in the private sector near Naldera.
The Shimla ice-skating rink has the largest open-air area with naturally frozen ice in this part of the world. The Ice Skating Club has already celebrated its Diamond Jubilee.
Trekking opportunities are plenty in Himachal Pradesh, here are a few:
- Baralacha-Chandratal Trek — starts from Manali, ends at Chandratal Lake ("Moon" Lake)
- Bhabha Pass Trek — known for lush green flower strewn meadows, picturesque and dense forests. he path for bhaba pass trek passes through a mixed forest of conifers as well as crop fields of Mastrang.
- Bir Bhangal Trek — Bir Bhangal Trek is only for the experienced trekkers who have the experience of solid hiking and camping. This is one of the challenging trekking trails which starts from the Kullu valley.
- Darcha Lamayuru Trek — this is one of the most popular trekking treks in the Himachal Pradesh, and one of the most traversing trek, passing through the Zanskar
- Darcha Padum Trek
- Deo Tibba Expedition
- Friendship Peak Expedition
- Hampta Pass
- Indrahar Pass
- Trekking routes in Himachal Pradesh
- Hamta Trek
- Malana History Trek
- Chander Trail in Kullu Valley
- Wild Trek in Kullu Valley
- Dharamsala Chhota Bhangal over sari Pass Kullu
- Morchella trek
- Manali Hamya Herbal Trek
- Kinner Kailash Parikrama
- Hamirpur Deotsidh Sri Naina Devi Trek
- Maidi to Nadaun
- Bharmaur Kugti Udaipur Manali trek
Flora and fauna of Himachal Pradesh:
The southern part of the state, which is at the lowest elevations, has both tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests and tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests. These are represented by northwestern thorn scrub forests along the border with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and by Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests in the far southeast. Sal and shisham are found here.
Rising into the hills, we find a mosaic of western Himalayan broadleaf forests and Himalayan subtropical pine forests. Various deciduous and evergreen oaks live in the broadleaf forests, while Chir pine dominates the pine forests. Western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests grow near treeline, with species that include East Himalayan Fir, West Himalayan Spruce, Deodar (State tree), and Blue pine.
In the uppermost elevations we find western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows in the northeast and northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows in the northwest. Trees are sturdy with a vast network of roots. Alders, birches, rhododendrons and moist alpine shrubs are there as the regional vegetation. The rhododendrons can be seen along the hillsides around Shimla from March to May. The shrublands and meadows give way to rock and ice around the highest peaks.
Himachal is also said to be the fruit bowl of the country with orchards scattered all over the place. Meadows and pastures are also seen clinging to steep slopes. After the winter season, the hillsides and orchards bloom with wild flowers, while gladiolas, carnations, marigolds, roses, chrysanthemums, tulips and lilies are carefully cultivated. The state government is gearing up to make Himachal Pradesh as the flower basket of the world.
Himachal Pradesh is a well known habitat to a variety of animals. There are around 1200 bird and 359 animal species in the state. This includes the Leopard, Snow leopard (State animal), ghoral, musk deer and Western Tragopan. It has 12 major national parks and sanctuaries – the largest number in the Himalayan region. The Great Himalayan National Park in Kullu district was created to conserve the flora and fauna of Himachal of the main Himalayan range, while the Pin Valley National Park to conserve the flora and fauna of the cold desert.
Districts of Himachal Pradesh:
A district of Himachal Pradesh is an administrative geographical unit, headed by a Deputy Commissioner or District Magistrate, an officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service. The district magistrate or the deputy commissioner is assisted by a number of officers belonging to Himachal Administrative Service and other Himachal state services. Each district is subdivided into Sub-Divisions, governed by a sub-divisional magistrate, and again into Blocks. Blocks consists of panchayats (village councils) and town municipalities. A Superintendent of Police, an officer belonging to the Indian Police Service is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order and related issues of the district. He is assisted by the officers of the Himachal Police Service and other Himachal Police officials.
Transport in Himachal Pradesh:
Roads are the major mode of transport in the hilly terrains of Himachal Pradesh. The state has road network of 28,208 km (17,528 mi), including eight national highways (NH) that constitute 1,234 km (767 mi). Some roads get closed during winter and monsoon seasons due to snowfall and landslides. Regular bus services connect Shimla with Chandigarh, Kullu, Manali, Delhi, Mandi, Pathankot, Ambala, Chail and Dehradun. Local taxis are the major local transport here. District Hamirpur has got the highest road density in the country.
Railway track is accessible only to a few places in Himachal Pradesh. The Pathankot–Jogindernagar line connects Punjab with Himachal Pradesh. The other railway tracks pass through Shimla, Solan and Una. Shimla is connected with Kalka by a narrow gauge railway line, which in turn is connected with the major cities in India. Himachal has two narrow gauge rail tracks. The Kalka-Shimla Railway track has a length of 96 kilometres. It passes through 102 tunnels and crosses 864 bridges.
There are three domestic airports in the state—Shimla Airport, Bhuntar Airport serving Kullu and Manali, and Gaggal Airport serving Kangra and Dharamsala. The air routes connect the state with Delhi and Chandigarh. There are no international airports in Himachal Pradesh. Deccan, Air India, MDLR has flights from Delhi, Chandigarh to Kullu and back. Jagson Airlines has flights from Delhi to Shimla.
Culture of Himachal Pradesh:
Himachal was one of the few states that had remained largely untouched by external customs, largely due to its difficult terrain. With the technological advancements the state has changed very rapidly. It is a multireligional, multicultural as well as multilingual state like other Indian states. Some of the most commonly spoken languages includes Hindi, Punjabi, Pahari, Dogri, Mandialli Kangri, Gojri and Kinnauri. The Hindu caste communities residing in Himachal include the Brahmins, Rajputs, Gujjars, Gaddis, "Grith (choudhary)," Kannets (come under RAJPUTS), Rathis and Kolis. There are also tribal population in the state which mainly comprise , Kinnars,Pangawals, Sulehria, and Lahaulis.
The state is well known for its handicrafts. The carpets, leather works, shawls, metalware, woodwork and paintings are worth appreciating. Pashmina shawl is one of the product which is highly in demand not only in Himachal but all over the country. Himachali caps are also famous art work of the people. Extreme cold winters of Himachal necessitated wool weaving. Nearly every household in Himachal owns a pit-loom. Wool is also considered as pure and is used as a ritual cloth. The well known woven object is the shawl, ranging from fine pashmina to the coarse desar. Kullu is famous for its shawls with striking patterns and vibrant colours. Kangra and Dharamshala are famous for Kangra miniature paintings.
Local music and dance reflects the cultural identity of the state. Through their dance and music, they entreat their gods during local festivals and other special occasions. Apart from the fairs and festivals that are celebrated all over India, there are number of other fairs and festivals also that are of great significance to Himachal Pradesh.
Shimla, the state capital is home to Asia's only natural ice skating rink.
The day to day food of Himachalis is very similar to the rest of the north India. They too have lentil, broth, rice, vegetables and bread. Some of the specialities of Himachal include Pateer, Chouck, Bhagjery, jhoul, Patrode, Sidku, Beduan, Chutney, Madra, Khatti Dal, Khatta and Ambua, Madra, Pahari Aloo and Pahari Murgh.
Famous people associated with Himachal include: Dalip Singh Rana, Anupam Kher, Amrish Puri (who studied here), Prem Chopra (brought up here) , Mohit Chauhan, Shahrukh Khan from Bilaspur who studied in D.A.V Public School, Bilaspur, third Supreme Court Chief-Justice and former Prime Minister of Kashmir in 1947 Mehr Chand Mahajan, economist and former vice-president of World Bank Shahid Javed Burki, NSG Commando, Pritam Singh,Bollywood actresses Preity Zinta, Kangna Ranaut, Hollywood actress Namrata Singh Gujral, Satyananda Stokes who introduced apple in the region, writer Idries Shah, ornithologist Allan Octavian Hume (had his home here), former general of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and current President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai who both studied here.
Education in Himachal Pradesh:
The standard of education in the state has reached to a considerably high level as compared to other states in India. The state has several reputed educational institutes for higher studies.
The Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), Shimla ,the NIT, Hamirpur,the Jaypee University of Information Technology,Waknaghat,The Arni University, Distt.Kangra, The Chitkara University,Distt.solan, IITT college of Engineering, Kala Amb, Distt. Sirmour and Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology Baddi are some of the pioneer institutes located in the state. The soon upcoming Central University of Himachal Pradesh which shall come up with its main campus at Kangra, and subsequently, two campuses will be set-up at Dauladhar and Dehra in the majestic hills of the state. Himachal Pardesh Agriculture University (HPAU) is one of the most renowned hill Agriculture Institutes in world. Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry has earned a unique distinction in India for imparting teaching, research and extension education in horticulture, forestry and allied disciplines.
The government is working constantly to prepare various plans and projects in order to strengthen the education system of the state. Recently, the State Government has decided to start three nursing colleges to develop the health system in the state. There are over 10,000 primary schools, 1,000 secondary schools and more than 1,300 high schools in Himachal. The state government has decided to start up with 3 major nursing colleges to develop the health system in the state. In meeting the constitutional obligation to make primary education compulsory, Himachal has now became the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child in the state.
The State has got Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital. Besides that there is Himachal Dental College which is the first recognised Dental Institute in the State.
Himachal also has institutions to revive fading traditional skills such as those in art. The Chitera School of Art teaches the delicate style of Kangra Miniature Paintings
List of educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh:
- Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Mandi
- National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur
- Central University of Himachal Pradesh ,Dehra Gopipur and Dharamshala
- Himachal Pradesh University ,Shimla
- Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry ,Nauni
- CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalya, Palampur
- Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat
- Eternal University, Baru Sahib
- Chitkara University, Barotiwala
- Arni University, Indora
- Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Solan
- Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology, Baddi
- Sri Sai University, Palampur
- Indus International University, Una
- Manav Bharti University, Kumarhatti
- Bahara University, Solan
Tourist Information Centers in Himachal Pradesh:
- Near Victory Tunnel, Shimla- Phone: +91-177-2654589
- Railway station, Shimla
- Bye pass road, Shimla, Phone: +91-177-2832498.
- The Mall, Manali- Phone: +91-1902-252175.
- Dhalpur, Kullu- Phone: +91-1902-222349.
- Bhuntar Airport, Kullu-Phone: +91-1902-265037
- Dharamshala (Kangra). Phone: +91-1892-224430.
- Near Bus Stand, Dalhousie- Phone: +91-1899-242225.
Tourist Information Centers outside State:
- Opposite Railway Station, Pathankot (Punjab). Phone: +91-186-2220316.
- Inter State Bus Terminal, Sector 17, Chandigarh- Phone: +91-172-2708569.
- Tourist Information Centre, Kalka - Railway Station. Phone: +91-1733-221079.
- 2H, 2nd Floor, Electronic Centre, 1A, B.A.C. Street, Kolkata- Phone: +91-33-22126361.
- 36, World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai- Phone: +91-22-22181123.
- Tamilnadu Tourism complex, Wallajah road, Chennai- Phone: +91-44-25385689.
HPTDC's Marketing Offices:
- The Mall, Shimla Phone: +91-177-2652561 / 2658302. Fax: +91-177-2652557.
- The Mall, Manali. Phone: +91-1902-253531
- 36, Chanderlok Building, Janpath, New Delhi Phone: +91-11-23325320 / 23324764
- 205, SHILP-2 Near Income Tax Office, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad - Tel. +91-079-27544800 Fax +91-79-27544548
- Himachal Emporium, Ganesh Complex No. 13, S.C. Road, Bangalore Phone: +91-80-22876591.
Himachal Tourism Directorate
Block No. 28, SDA Complex,
Ph:+91-177-2625924, Fax: +91-177-2625456.