Himachal Pradesh is a pristine North Indian state with snow-clad mountain peaks and blooming river valleys. It is a popular getaway for North Indians. There is an essence of divinity everywhere in Himachal Pradesh, and it is known as the ‘Land of the Gods’. Himachal Pradesh is not just about beauty and spirituality though. It is so much more than that. It has many adventure spots for adventure junkies, cultural extravaganzas in the form of fairs and festivals and so on.
Himachal Pradesh has dual roots in Hinduism and Buddhism. The interesting and beautiful temples reflect the Hindu linage, while the traditional monasteries and gompas reflect the Buddhist past. For adventurers, Himachal Pradesh offers numerous activities such as trekking, climbing and hiking, along with water-sport activities like river rafting, canoeing and kayaking.
Himachal Pradesh has no shortage of places to visit. With different destinations at different locations, Himachal Pradesh has varied weather patterns across the seasons. We have curated a list containing the best places to visit in this state.
Best Time to Visit- October to February
Distance from Delhi- 550 km
Altitude- 2050 metres
Located in the district of Kullu, Manali is one of the most popular and beautiful state to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Manali has it all- spectacular valleys, ancient heritages, splashing rivers, adventure spots, and forests filled with oak, fir, deodar, and pine. Places like Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley are among the most famous places for adrenalin junkies for activities such as paragliding, skiing, zorbing, camping, trekking, and so on. For those of you who like to praise ancient architecture, Manali has temples like Hadimba, Manu and Shiv temple and forts like Naggar and Kuthar. The mall road during dusk is very beautiful. The mall road has many joints for eating out, and a plethora of places to shop at.
Best Time to Visit- December to June
Distance from Delhi- 335 km
Altitude- 2205 metres
Shimla is the national capital, is a great choice for a weekend getaway, especially for those who live in Delhi NCR or Chandigarh. It is well known for adventure ventures and picturesqueness beauty. One might think that since this is a popular tourist spot, it might have been tampered by humans, but that is not the case. It is still in a pristine form. It is thus a popular spot among photographers too. There are a few temples near the city centre like Tara Devi, Mansi Devi Temple, etc. You might trek through the woods to them. Take a stroll through the mall road, shop for woollens at the Lakkar Bazar. Among the popular adventure activities in Shimla include ice skating, mountain biking, river rafting, skiing and of course trekking and camping. Additionally, Shimla also has many luxury hotels too.
Best Time to Visit- March to June and September to November
Distance from Delhi- 301 km
Altitude- 1800 metres
Kasauli is located in the district of Solan and is only 65 km from Chandigarh. Unlike most tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh, Kasauli is convenient to reach by train, since it is a railway junction itself. Kasauli is broadly known for its unparalleled beauty. This town is located on the foothills of the Himalayas, so is cool throughout the year. It has a few famous religious places like Hanuman Temple, Baba Balak Nath Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple and Christ’s Church. Some of the other attractions include the Sunset Point, the Gurkha Fort, and the Central Research Library.
Best Time to Visit- October to June
Distance from Delhi- 531 km
Altitude- 1580 metres
Kasol is a quaint little place, situated on the banks of River Parvati. Kasol has become a popular spot, not only for Indian tourists but foreign as well. It caters to everyone- be it trekkers, spiritual people, campers, rafters, partiers or just someone wanting to spend a serene holiday. It also attracts a lot of hippies and has thus earned a name ‘Little Amsterdam’. This quaint town has numerous Israeli people and is thus popular for its Hebrew cafes. Even so, it is known as ‘Mini Israel’. Kasol is the perfect destination for going cafe hopping as there are many cafes there. If you want to go in for a religious place, do visit Manikaran Sahab, which only 7 km from this town. It is said that the hot spring washes away all your sins and wrongdoings. Since this is a gurudwara, Manikaran also offers delicious langar. If you are in the mood to try something offbeat, there is an ancient hamlet called Malana, which is said to have the oldest democracy in the world. You can visit this hamlet on your way to Manikaran. For the adventure seekers, There are numerous treks starting from Kasol like the Kheerganga Trek, Pin Parvati Pass, Sar Pass Trek, Chalal Trel and so on.
Best Time to Visit- March and Jun
Distance from Delhi- 570 km
Altitude- 1970 metres
Dalhousie is an ideal place for both- those who are looking for a calm, serene location and those looking for adventure. This town has adventure activities like paragliding, zorbing and trekking across different locations. Keeping adventure activities aside, Dalhousie has a place called Panch Pulla, which has beautiful waterfalls, picnic spots, and also an adventurous trek. It also has a wildlife sanctuary names Kalatop wildlife sanctuary. It contains a variety of species including Himalayan Black Marten, Bears, Leopards, and Jackals. There is another spot in Dalhousie called Khajjiar, which is popular for its astounding beauty. We have covered this destination separately for you.
Best Time to Visit- March to December
Distance from Delhi- 590 km
Altitude- 2000 metres
Khajjiar is a hill station located in Chamba District, Dalhousie. It is a place which offers unmatched views and is termed as ‘Mini Switzerland’. It is one of the lesser-known spots in Himachal Pradesh, and often leaves people spellbound with its beauty. It is surrounded by thick deodar and pine trees and snow-clad mountains. It has many apple orchards too. The popular attractions of Khajjiar include Khajjar Lake, Khajji Nag Temple, etc.
Best Time to Visit- September to December and Mid March to Mid July
Distance from Delhi- 484 km
Altitude- 1457 metres
Dharamshala is the holy residence of one of the most famous Tibetan monk- Dalai Lama. It is thus popularly known as the ‘Little Lhasa of India’. While in Dharamshala, you will get spectacular views of the Dhauladhar ranges. This city is decorated with thick deodar cedar trees and white mountain peaks. Dharamshala is divided into two parts- Dharamshala town and Mcleodganj. This town has its Buddhist roots which are depicted by the monasteries located here.