Himachal Pradesh | what hillstations to visit in HP
Great Himalayan National Park is located in the upper ranges of Himalayas in the state of Himachal Pradesh India. It is a fine composition of alpine flora and fauna. The park has some very unique features, which you may not find elsewhere in India. A major part of the national park is permanently under glaciers and ice. It is one of the last undisturbed Western Himalayan ecosystems giving shelters to a vast variety of wildlife and forests. The biological richness of the park makes it a bewitching destination in this part of India. Also known as Jawahar Lal Nehru National Park, the region was notified as a national park in the year 1984 to save the endangered wildlife species of this Himalayan Ecosystem.About Great Himalayan National Park
Tahr in great himalayan National ParkThe great Himalayas have always been a fascination for people around the world and the Great Himalayan National Park is no different. Situated in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, the biodiversity of the park has made it a perfect habitat for some of the most exotic species of flora and fauna found anywhere in the world.
The park and the area around offers a plethora of options for the tourists including bird watching, wildlife viewing, religious pilgrimage, cultural tours etc. The park also has several tourist facilities in the shape of a tourist centre at Sai Ropa and an information centre at Larjee.
While the park remains open throughout the year, the months of April & May is the best time to visit as during that time the snow melts and the conditions are ideal for walking and trekking. Winter is the only time when you stand an excellent chance to spot rare animals like the Nilgiri Tahr and the Snow Leopard in the lower reaches of the park.Wildlife Attractions in Great Himalayan National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park is home to more than 350 species of fauna including 31 mammals, 203 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians and 127 insects.
Besides the rarely seen Tahr and the highly endangered Snow Leopard, other animals which can be spotted around in the park include Serow, Ghoral, Bharal, Brown Bear, Musk Deer and Red Fox. If you hear a roar you might have come across a leopard or the highly endangered and very rarely seen Snow Leopard, even though these white creatures can not give a loud growl because of their weak vocal tissues. A host of other smaller mammals can also be seen which include the Great Indian Flying Squirrel and the Indian Pika.
Besides animals, the place is also home to some of the very rare bird species including the Monal, Koklass and the Western Tragopan.Safaris
Snow LeopardMost of the areas of the park have remained unexplored because of the sheer difficulty of the train, which lend the place a unique thrill and rawness that few other parks in the country can offer. Trekking in the park is no easy task and requires a person to be in shape. It is better to do some prior preparation in the form of things to carry, which include basic trekking equipment such as tents, sleeping bags etc.
How To Reach Great Himalayan National Park
By Air:The airport at Bhuntar is 10-km from Kullu, where taxis and buses are available.
By Rail: The closest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar, 95-km from Kullu.
By Road: To get to the Great National Himalayan Park one has to take the eastern divergence at Aut on the Kullu- Manali highway. Aut is 45-km from Mandi and 30-km from Kullu. From Largi which is 4-km from Aut, two routes, one along the Sainj Nala, motorable till Neuli (26-km) and the other along Tirthan Nala, motorable upto Gushaini (28-km) lead to the park. The rest of the park has to be covered on foot as no mule or horse transport is allowed.
Travel Tips : Consult a doctor before you start your trip. Check that you have all the required documents with yourself to visit India and your desired destination.
Area : 5.12 sq.kms.
History Of Manali
Manali's `history' is really more myth than history. According to Hindu mythology, Manali was the home of the lawgiver Manu (after whom the town is named). Legend has it that when a flood deluged the earth, Manu and the gods were towed to dry ground by a giant fish, which was the seventh `avatar' of the god Vishnu. The area where Manu eventually found refuge was Manali.
Overview Of Manali
40 kms. away from Kulu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath taking. One sees well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Leh and Zanskar regions in Kashmir valley. It is known as the SWITZERLAND OF INDIA.
Once called the "end of the habitable world," Manali is an important hill station of northern India and is the destination of thousands of tourists every year. Its cool atmosphere provides a perfect haven for the ones afflicted by the hot Indian summers. Besides offering quite a few places for sightseeing, Manali is also famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking. In brief, Manali-the veritable "valley of the Gods"-is an ideal place for the ones in search of both adventure and comfort. The Kulluis in brightly patterned puttoos, Tibetan women wearing ankle-length rainbow-striped pinafores, Nepali porters, Buddhist monks, and even the odd party of Zanskaris, swathed in fusty woolen gonchas, muddled together with souvenir-hunting Indian and Western tourists-all add up to the welcoming hubbub of Manali.
Situated in the central parts of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, Manali is at the head of the Kullu valley, 280 km north of the state capital Shimla and 108 km from Mandi. Manali is perched at an altitude of 2050 meters above sea level and is spread along the banks of the river Beas. In winters, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. Summer temperatures are mild and light woolens/cottons are recommended. In Manali, one can find high mountains shrouded by silent snows and deep boulder strewn gorges. There are thick forests, filled with cool breezes and bird song. There are fields of wild flowers, small picturesque hamlets and fruit-laden orchards, especially apples.
Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length, Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline. It is a flourishing orchard industry, a popular honeymoon destination for honeymoon couples and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers.
Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.
Sightseeing In ManaliHadimba Temple
Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hadimba, the Bhim of Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple located amidst wooden forest of deodar is about 2.5 kms. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.Manu Temple
3 kms. from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of MANU RISHI. It is believed that this is the only temple of Manu in India, who was the creator of human race on the earth.Club House
2 kms. from the town, club house has indoor games facilities which has been located on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. There are some picnic spots near it.Tibetan Monasteries
There are 3 newly constructed colorful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of Beas river.Mountaineering Institute
Located 3 kms. on the left bank of river Beas towards Kulu. This Institute organises basic & advance training courses, in trekking, mountaineering, skiing and water sports. Skiing and trekking equipments can be hired from here by booking in advance. Tourists can visit an interesting showroom here.Vishist Hot Water Springs And Temple
Vashist, a small village located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass is worth a visit. It is renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni. There is another Temple of Lord Ram here. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.Nehary Kund
5 kms. on National Highway to Leh,a natural spring of cold clear water named after Pt. Jwahar Lal Nehru, who used to drink water from this spring during his stay in Manali. This spring is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake situated high-up in the mountains.Solang Valley
13 kms. is a splendid valley between Solang village and Beas Kund. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. It has fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a ski lift for training purpose. Located here is a hut and guest house of the Mountaineering and Allied sports Institute, Manali. Now a few hotels have also come up. The winter skiing festival is organised here. Training in skiing is imparted at this place.Kothi
Situated on the road to Rohtang pass, a picturesque spot, Kothi is 12kms. from Manali. A PWD rest house is situated on a ridge overlooking a narrow valley with a very good view of mountains and valleys. Large number of films (movies) have been picturised at this place and is the ideal resting resorts of poets, writers and the lovers of peaceful environs.Rahala Water Fall
16 kms. on way to Rohtang pass. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well.Rohtang Pass (3979 m)
Rohtang pass is 51kms. from Manali on highway to Keylong/Leh. It offers a panorama and spectacular mountain view. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh. There are a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer(mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh.Arjun Gufa
4kms. from Manali towards Naggar, the cave is situated near Prini village 1km. above the road where Arjun had meditated. This is good 1/2 a day excursion with charming view of the brilliant mountains.
6 Kms. from Manali located on the left bank on Beas on the road to Naggar. The place is famous for very old temples of Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri in Shikhara style, these are worth a visit.
How To Reach Manali
By Air : The nearest airport is Bhuntar, 52 km south of Manali. There are flights to Delhi via Shimla.
By Rail: The closest narrow-gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar, 135 km away. The closest broad-gauge railheads are Chandigarh (310 km), Pathankot and Ambala (355 km). These places are well connected through road to Manali
By Road : Manali is well connected by road with Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Shimla, Dharamsala and Chamba/Dalhousie. Regular buses ply between these stations. It is connected with Leh during July to October. By road, the distance from Delhi via Mandi is 585 km, and from Shimla the distance is 270 km.
Area : 5.31 Sq Km
Chamba in Himachal Pradesh is situated on bank of river Ravi, was once the capital of Pahari Kings. King Sahil Verma had named this city after his daughter Champavati. Chamba is famous for handicrafts and temples. Chambas has still retained their social customs and conditions. Old Tribes like Caddies and Pangwalas are still there. The temples of Chamba are richly carved and resemble with those in Rajasthan.
Near the palace you can see, 3 temples of Vishnu and 3 temples of Shiva lying in a row. These are different from other temples, as all the shrines have shikaras or spires. The oldest of all temples is the Laxmi Narayan Temple which is richly carved.
You can find many wild lives like snow leopard, marmot and ibex in higher regions and musk deer, wild pigs and brown bear in lower regions. You can also find Partridges, Wild Fowl and Pheasants.
Places to VisitChaughan
This is a big grassy ground situated at the center of the city, used for trading and public functions. Every year, Minjar Procession is held here, where cultural activities and sports takes place.Bhuri Singh Museum
This Museum has a collection Chamba�s cultural heritage and miniature paintings of Kangra and Basholi schools of Art. Some of the murals of Rang Mahal Palace, which was damaged in fire can also be found here.The Akhand Chandi Palace
This palace was built for residence purpose by Raja Umed Singh, with distint green roof. Later Zenana Mahal was added by Raja Bhuri Singh. Now this palace is converted to Government College and District Library by Government of HP.Bharmaur
Bharmapur, also known as Brahampura was capital of Chamba in ancient time. This place is covered by thick forest. There are temples like Lakshmi Devi Temple,Narsingh Temple and the Ganesh temple.Sarol
This is picnic spot with agricultural gardens, Bee-keeping Centre and Sheep breeding Farms.Pangi
Chenab Valley is called Pangi, which is desolate and cold. Chandrabhaga river flows amidst wild rugged hills, lashing against towering cliffs is known as pangiyals. The Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal are the two ranges on north and south of Pangi.Killar
This is situated in the deep and narrow gorge of Chenab River. While trekking, you will come across a beautiful place called Purthi, which has best historical rest houses and forest nurseries on the bank of Chandra Bhaga.Saho
This is on the bank of Sal River and is known for Lord Shiva�s temple called Chndrashekhar Temple.
Dalhousie, a small hill station built with five hills around it. It's a municipal town and very favorite tourist spot in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Its located on Dhauladhar mountain range of Himalayas. Snow covered peaks makes beautiful scenery over here. Dalhousie is 6000-9000 feet above from the sea level. May to September is the peak tourist season in Dalhousie and of course the best time to visit. Except its scenic beauty the Victorian and Scottish architecture in bungalows and churches increases its charm. Dalhousie was named after Lord Dalhousie the British Viceroy who made Dalhousie his summer retreat. It's a very small and beautiful town. According to 2001 census it has 9389 population.
Dalhousie has a cold climate throughout a year. In June- September it experiences heavy rain and thunder. May-July noons are warm, but quite cold for remaining time of the day. If rain is there it becomes very cold. In December-January it also experiences snow fall. It has salubrious climate.
Education in Dalhousie:
Dalhousie as a hill station have many Boarding Schools where majority if the students are from Punjab and >Haryana. Some of the important ones are Dalhousie public school, Hilltop public school, Sacred Heart public school, Gurunanak public school, etc.
Dalhousie and economy:
As Dalhousie is a beautiful tourist spot which attracts thousands of visitors every year of course plays an important role in the economy of the state. Its major industry is also tourism. Here you will find a large number of Hotels to provide accommodation to tourists. Approx 600 hotels are there which provides job to 5-8 thousand people every year. Dalhousie alone makes 3% of the GDP of state.
Places of interest:
Dalhousie has many places which one can visit. The very favorite one is the Aread near Alla a potato field which amazing scenic landscape. Karelanu, which is famous for its precious water and even healed great leader Subhash Chandra Bose when he was suffering tuberculosis and regularly drank water of this natural spring and got healed. Dainkund Peak, Bakrota Hills, Village Lohali, Khajjiar are also the places of major attractions. At Gandhi chowk there is a rare road junction of eight roads, which joins subhash chowk, Upper Bakrota, Panchpula, Diankund, Khajjar, Banikhet, Sadar bazaar and motitibba. Apart from these ones Dalhousie cantonment and Tibetan market are important areas too.
Dalhousie is a beautiful and peaceful hill station to plan a great vacation.
Area: 29 Sqkms
Altitude : 1380 m above sea level.
Climate : Summer- Max. 26, Min. 16
Winter : Max. 6, Min. 3
Best Time To Visit :March - June, September - October
Dharamsala Queen of The Hills, City of Blue Mountains is an important township of Kangra district. Dharamshala, stands at the foot of snow wrapped lofty Dhauladhar ranges and offers a magnificent view of snowy peaks, deodar and pine forests, tea gardens and beautiful hills. Numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamsala has everything for a perfect holiday. It is full of life and yet peaceful.
Prime Attractions of Dharmsala (Dharamshala):Kangra Art Museum
This treasure trove of the Kangra valley's arts, crafts, and rich past, displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century.Dal Lake
Surrounded by high and green Deodar trees is the lake, which fills a mountain bowl. This lake is easily approachable by road and makes an enchanting and serene picnic spot.
St. John's Church
There are hot springs situated at Tatwani, 25-km from Dharamsala but on the way, at Machhrial, is a waterfall twice as big as the one near the Bhagsunath temple.The Shrine of Bhagsunath
It is the ancient temple of Bhagsunath. There are many fresh water springs close to the temple, which are considered sacred by the Hindus.Kunal Pathri
These are the rock temples from which the place derives its name.Dharmkot
Located on the crest of a hill lie this attractive picnic spot, which presents a panoramic view of the Kangra valley and Dauladhar ranges.Norbulinka Institute
This place has heavy Japanese influence. The shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams tiny water falls make this place look like heaven. The nunnery close to the institute is a place where women are taught the advanced levels of Buddhist philosophy.Chinmaya Tapovan
The tranquil ashram ashram includes a 9m high image of Hanuman, a Ram temple, a meditation hall, a school and a health & recreation center.Andretta
It houses a gallery of some of his major works and a pottery center.McLeodganj
Originally home of the semi-nomadic Gaddi tribe, McLeodganj is today the residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.Masrur
Fifteen richly carved monolithic rock temples sculpted in the splendid style of the Kailash temple at Ellora and dating back to the 8th century is to be found at Masrur.Triund
The area is on the foothills of Dhauladhar range. The breathtaking views of the mountains, and the valleys makes Triund an ideal picnic spot and trekking spot.Trilokpur
The unique cave temples with a stalactite and stalagmites dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Situated in the beautiful snow-clad mountain ranges of Dhauladhar of the Western Himalayas, Dharamshala is indeed a magnificent and a peaceful hill station for people who are mainly lovers of nature. While the lower Dharamshala is a commercial centre now, the upper Dharmshala has retained its uniqueness of British colonial lifestyle. It is main important town of Kangra. The wide spread greenery of the plains can be seen from here. Lush green meadows, pleasant surroundings, garrulous streams, dense pin and deodar forests, lovely climate and the backdrop of snow clad peaks make Dharmshala a picturesque hill resort for the tourists.
Places to see:
The main headquarters of Dalai Lama, the great holy monk, is situated here which also gives this place a religious essence. A lot of Tibetan families have made their Dharmshala their abode. Temples, churches, monasteries, museums, places of art and scenic beauty are all eye catching and pleasant places of visit by the tourists. Each season and each place has its own significance. Some of them are given below:
War memorial- situated at the beginning of the town, is a monument between landscaped pine groves. This is known as war memorial and it was built in memory of post independence struggle heroes of Himachal Pradesh. The beautiful oval shaped Dal Lake is another major tourist attraction spot which also the starting point of trekking. It is surrounded on all sides by the entwined fir trees. The best time to visit this lake is September because the annual fair held at the banks of the lake makes this place come alive. It serves as a favorite picnic spot to the localities.
St.John�s church is located about 8 km. from Dharmshala. Standing under the shade of deodar trees, this stone church is a place of enchantment and serenity especially for the people who ha come in search of peace and solace. Besides this church, there lies a graveyard too. Mcleodganj, also known as �little lhasa� is the residence of the holy dalai lama. Here we can see huge come-alive images of Buddha and other Buddhist saints. The monastery is quite impressive representing the Buddhist religious aspects traditional art and crafts and handloom work of Tibetan culture can be purchased here from the flea market held on every Sundays.
The temples of Bhagsunath and Kunal Pathri are also worth visiting. For a beautiful and scenic view of the Kangra valley, tourists have to go to Dharmkot, a panoramic picnic spot, 11 km. away from Dharmshala. Another spectacular picnic spot and trek route is the lovely place of Triund. From here one can get the magnificent view of the mountains and valleys. The snow line at Illaqua begins from here. Masrur, a replica of Ellora temples is also an interesting place of visit. About 15 km. from the main town of Dharmshala, is situated the temple of goddess Durga, called Chamunda Devi temple. Apart from giving a spectacular view of the mountain ranges, this place holds it own significance to the Hindu devotees who consider this place a must to visit. It is said that praying in this temple gives salvation to one�s ancestors. Tsuglagkhang is the main temple of the Buddhists. This place gives tranquility and peace of mind to the visitor. Tourists interested in Buddhist culture and religion can also make sure to visit the Buddhist monastery, Dip Thekchen Choeling monastery and Norbulingka Tibetan Institute. So the hill resort of Dharmshala offers a lot of places of tourist attraction.