Himachal Pradesh is a northern state in India, blessed with geographical and cultural diversity, clean and peaceful environment, beautiful skyscraping mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, and other natural advantages. The state is known for opportunities in leisure tourism and adventure tourism due to its Himalayan/ mountainous topography.
Outdoors and Adventure
Himachal’s ravishing hillslopes demand instant action - strap on your boots, tighten the nuts, toot the bell and get going to these hills. The region has been venue for several adventure sports olympics as well as health and yoga camps. Skiing, paragliding, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, river rafting and almost every adventure sport can be tried here. When meadows get tainted with green, trails abound into white crust mountains, stoop down to deep valleys. Reflective lakes, film of mist, bottle-green forests, witness the nature’s drama from the cliff edges, swim through the air on a paraglider and drench in the white-water raft. Then there are those not-to-be-missed things to do like strolling the cold desert and wildlife sanctuaries, inhabited by endangered species. The higher belts are home to snow-leopards, a rarity found nowhereelse. You don't need to be a pro-mountaineer for all this.
An antidote to the urban hustle and bustle is Himachal’s unique culture and warm hospitality: the polyandric societies of Kinnaur and Sirmaur, Kullu Shawls, Kangra miniature art, silk embroidered muslin cloth - Chamba Rumal, Shepherd huts and pastures, folksongs, musical instruments and innumerable cuisines.
The Himalayan Ranges
Himachal Pradesh is a fully Himalayan state. Its geography can be sectioned into three different altitude groups - the lowest or Shiwalik belt, which are only hills, the middle belt which are hills that receive snowfall and the Greater Himalayas which are some of the highest peaks in the world. These Himalayan ranges are not only mesmerising, they are also home to different wildlife species.
International airports and distance to Shimla
- Chandigarh International Airport (IXC): 124 Km
- Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi (DEL): 367 Km
- Amritsar Raja Sansi International Airport (ATQ): 307 KM
Getting around in Himachal Pradesh
Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Annandale Golf Course, The Ridge, Christ Church, The Mall Road, Bazaars and temples.
Nearby: Mashobra, Naldehra, Kufri, Narkanda, Sarahan, Chail etc.
Kinnaur: Sangla, Chitkul, Kafnu/Mulling, Kalpa, Reckong Peo, Nako.
Lahaul and Spiti: Nako, Sumdo, Giu, Tabo, Dhankar, Mud, Kaza, Kibber, Key Monastery, Kunzum Pass, Pin Valley National Park, Chandratal Lake, Langza, Rangrik.
Manali: Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Hadimba Devi Temple, Bhrigu Lake and temples. Nearby: Kasol, Pin Valley National Park, Jogini Waterfalls, The great Himalayan National Park, Manikaran, Kheerganga, Rahala Waterfalls, Hampta Pass, Naggar village.
Dharamshala: Mcleodganj, Namgyal Monastery, Dalai Lama Temple Complex, Offices and Museums of Tibetan Government in Exile, Forsyth Ganj, Dharamkot, Triund. Nearby: Kangra, Palampur, Baijnath, Nagarkot, Indrahar Pass.
Dalhousie: 18th century Churches, Bazaars, Kalatop, Khajjiar
Nearby: Chamera Lake, Chamba, Bharmour, Manimahesh Lake
Every type of accommodation is available within the state. Luxury hotels can be booked in major towns such as Shimla, Chail, Palampur, Dharamshala and Dalhousie. Other areas have budget hotels and homestays.
Food and Drink
Himachal Pradesh has 12 districts and food and culture of each district differs from the other. Homestays in remote regions are the best places to taste the indigenous cuisines. Lentils, flatbreads, steamed breads, fried breads, stuffed breads and curries are common. Most of the dishes are vegetarian. However you will also find non-vegetarian communities. People are not vegan, they consume milk.
Healthy Stay Tips
Drink only boiled or packaged drinking water. See if the bottle is sealed and choose only from the trusted brands.
Things to Know
- Most known location/ Capital: Shimla
- Languages: Hindi and English understood by almost everybody.
- Time Zone: GMT +5.5 (no difference in winter and summer clocks)
- Telephone code: +91
- Payment options: Most vendors accept cash in the Indian currency, that is, Indian National Rupee or commonly called Rupee. Online payments are also common in hotels and restaurants, make sure to ask for the same beforehand.