Shimla

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – It’s stunning natural beauty comprising of the alluring snow covered hills, whispering streams and green carpeted fields

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The former summer capital of the British in India, and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is situated in the lower ranges of the Himalayan mountains, surrounded by pine deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Nature has whole heartedly bestowed the place with infinite natural beauties. It has got a scenic location, surrounded by green hills with snow capped peaks. The whispering streams in between the hills and the swaying fields offer even an added beauty.  These spectacular hills dotted with the structures made during the colonial era add a completely different colour and impression, thus making the place unique among the other hill resort.

Places to see in Shimla: The serene surrounding of Shimla is dotted with a no. of sight seeing destinations. These include:

Christ Church

Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest Church in India. It is one of the prominent landmark of Shimla. The silhouette of Church is visible for miles around the vicinity of Shimla city. One of the enduring legacies of the British Raj, this masterpiece was designed by Colonel JT Boileau in 1844; but the Church was consecrated only after 1857. There is a beautiful clock adorning the ChristChurch which was donated by Colonel Dumbleton in the year 1860 and porch was added in the year 1873. Christ Church has survived partition and the subsequent political upheavals of the Indian subcontinent. It continues to be very well maintained and remains in good condition. However the mechanical appendages of the Church like the clock does not function-a natural progression of entropy through time. You could not help but notice the stunningly beautiful stained glass windows inside the Church. There are five exquisite stained glass windows in Christ Church Shimla. One of them represents the virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Patience and Humility. The Pipe-Organ of Christ Church is the biggest in the Indian subcontinent and was erected in September 1899.

Jakhoo Temple

Popular as the ‘Hanuman Mandir’ among the localities of Shimla, the Jakhoo (or Jakhu) Temple has been on the ‘must visit list’ of almost all travellers. The devotees of the ‘Pawan Putra’ – Hanuman make a frequent visit here. One would get to hear about different versions of legend behind this temple that is mainly related to the phase of the Ramayana where Lord Hanuman took rest on his way to fetch Sanjeevani Booti (a therapeutic herb) required for healing Lord Ram’s brother, Lakshman. The temple is situated on the Jakhoo Hill which is also Shimla’s highest peak (at an altitude of about 8,050 feet). While trekking up to the temple, one can see the magnificent, 108 feet tall Hanuman statue behind the deodar trees. The main temple complex has Lord Hanuman’s foot prints engraved on a marble (as believed by the devotees), paintings and statues of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ram. The pious chants (or Bhajans) and the ringing bells fill up the entire complex thus creating a spiritual ambience.

Ridge of  Shimla

The Ridge of Shimla is a large open spacious platform from where you can have a panoramic view of the mountain peaks of Shimla.  The snow capped mountain ranges engulfed in the beauty of the nature is a phenomenal view that the Ridge of Shimla offers to the crowd. The Ridge at Shimla also provides the tourists a view of the age old ChristChurch built in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture as well as the new Tudor library. These two are the milestones of the town of Shimla. The movement of vehicles is strictly prohibited here. As such the Ridge in Shimla always remains crowded with hundreds of people.

Shimla State Museum

The Shimla State Museum is another popular tourist destination housing a huge collection of magnificent paintings, sculptures, coins, handicrafts, photos, etc of not only the state of Himachal Pradesh but outside too. The state museum is a major attraction of the Mall area of Shimla built in the style of colonial edifice with sprawling lawns all around. This museum was inaugurated in 1974. The museum is open from ten in the morning to five in the evening. It is open on all days except Monday and the national holidays. The state museum of Shimla also comprises a library that is loaded with historical books and manuscripts. The Museum was erected solely with the purpose of preserving the rich cultural heritage of the state and to spread the message of cultural legacy over generations. The paintings depict the life and culture of the hilly people. Beside there is also a huge collection of Mughal and Rajasthani paintings. The museum holds the sculptural merit of the 8th century stone works of Masrur and Bajaura. Also a wide lay out of Himachali dolls are displayed here.

George Castle

Located on the highest point in the depth of the National Park, George Castle was built in 1911 by Jivaji Rao Scindia. It is a two-storey structure that was erected for an overnight halt for the King of the United Kingdom, George V. On his trip to India, George V was supposed to stay here for a tiger hunt. Imported English tiles and attractive windows were used in the construction of this exclusive castle. But, having killed a tiger on his way, the king did not stop here and the palace was abandoned. Being situated at the highest point, the George Castle offers a magnificent view of the national park. Standing at the castle one can see Nilgai, Blackbucks, Sloth Bear, Wild Pigs, Jackals and several other wild animals. The point where the three lakes, Jadhav Sagar, Sakhya Sagar and Madhav Sagar, interlink with each other is located right next to the castle.  Even though George Castle remains as a desolate building now, it is still the best place to enjoy the whole forest at a glance.

The Mall of Shimla

The Mall of Shimla is the prime attraction for the tourists as it is the centre to a large number of shops, restaurants, a heritage theatre and above all a hub of merriment. Adjacent to the Mall of Shimla are the Tibetian and the Lakkad bazaar. The Mall has a number of restaurants that offers a wide range of cuisines from Punjabi and South Indian to Chinese and Continental dishes. Besides there are also a number of good dhabas and fast food joints where you can look out for some yummy pizzas and burgers. The Mall of Shimla holds the age old amateur theatre- The Gaiety theatre. This building has a great appeal to the tourists and is a focal point of cultural activities. The Shimla Mall also owns a number of emporiums and showrooms which is the storehouse of shawls, caps, pullovers, jewelery, potteries, books and other handicrafts and toys of Himachal Pradesh. The place looks wonderful during the evening hours as the entire place glitters with lights and crowds of people. The Mall in Shimla is referred to as the ‘heart of Shimla’. The Mall extends from Barnes court in the eastern side to Vice Regal lodge in the western side. Movement of vehicles are prohibited in the Mall of Shimla.

Kalibari Temple

The famous Kalibari Temple of Shimla is a popular tourist attraction and is situated at a very strategic location. The temple was built in the year 1845 and is dedicated to Goddess Kali who is also known as Shyamala. It is from the name of Goddess Shyamala that Shimla derives its name. The Kali Bari temple of Simla is a very well known religious place of India and people who come to Shimla never miss out on visiting this temple. The Kalibari temple was primarily located in Jakhu hill. The British brought it to its new site.

Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan Temple is a popular temple which attracts pilgrims of all age groups. Many religious persons visit Sankat Mochan Temple to pay obeisance to the deities of Lord Rama and other notable gods of the Hindu pantheon. SankatMochanTemple is adjacent to National Highway 22. SankatMochanTemple is about 5 kilometers from Shimla. The temple is the second most popular tourist spot after JakhuTemple. The temple complex houses a number of structures housing the deities of Lord Rama, Lord Shiva and also includes Hanuman. The complex also includes a three storey building, a portion of which is used for a Langer/ Prasad hall. The rest of the building are hired out as marriage halls for a nominal fee.

Nearby attractions from Shimla: There are a no. of attractions around Shimla besides the grand sight seeing spots. These include:

Chail

One would always prefer visiting Manali or Shimla, but have you ever thought of visiting the summer capital ‘Chail’ of Patiala’s Maharaja Adhiraj Bhupinder Singh. This hill station is well-known for its remarkable history. In the late nineteenth century, His Highness of Patiala was expelled from Shimla, which was then known as British Raj’s summer capital, because he misbehaved with the daughter of the British Commander-in-Chief of that time. He then promised of building his own summer capital ‘Chail’. From Shimla, Chail is just 49 kilometres away. Chail appears as a peaceful and calm place because it is far away from Shimla’s hustling-bustling life. This hill station is located in the state of Himanchal Pradesh in Solan. It is very close to Kandaghat Mandal. Chail is located at a higher altitude than Shimla. Due to this, one and enjoy the glance of snow-covered Himalayan ranges which appear as lit during the sunset and sunrise. This small hamlet is surrounded by gigantic and big deodar trees and chir pine forests.

Naldehra

Naldehra is 23 kilometers from Shimla. It has India’s oldest nine hole golf course laid out by Lord Curzon during the era of the British Raj.

Kufri

Kufri is a winter sports capital. Kufri is situated at an altitude of 2622 meters above sea level Skiing can be pursued in Kufri. It takes approximately one hour to drive to Kufri from Shimla city.

Things to do in Shimla: Walk the long and winding roads and breathe in the deodars cone scented air. Drink Coffee at Indian Coffee House, Shop at Lakkar bazaar (wood market) for souvenirs, Hang out at the Ridge in the Evening and feel the energy of the place, Climb Jakhoo peak, a hiker’s delight,

Best time to visit Shimla:  The best time to visit Shimla would be October to November and from March to May.

How to go ?

By Air

Shimla’s Jubbarhatti Airport is nearly 25 km away from the heart of the city. It is connected with regular flights from Chandigarh and Delhi. Delhi International airport is the nearest major airport. Delhi airport is connected to all major cities in India and many cities abroad. Regular buses are available from Delhi to Shimla. This apart hiring private car is a good option. Shimla is 358 km from Delhi. You can also avail the rail route from Delhi. A number of trains leave from Delhi headed to Shimla.

By Train

Shimla has a meter gauge railway station. It connects to the nearest broad gauge station at Kalka, which is at a distance of 89 km from Shilmla. Kalka has good connectivity from Chandigarh (Kalka Shatabdi), Ambala (Barmer Klk Exp), Delhi (Himalayan Queen), Mumbai (Paschim Express) and Kolkata (Howrah-Kalka).

By Road

HPRTC buses offer bus connectivity from all cities in Himachal Pradesh to Shimla. Frequent ordinary and deluxe bus services are available from Delhi to Shimla.

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Where to stay ?

You will find a number of nice resorts and hotels in Shimla. Some

Hotel Holiday Home (HPTDC): +91-0177- 281- 2891
Hotel Peterhoff (HPTDC): +910177- 281- 2236
Hotel Blue Diamond: +91-0177 -280- 3092
Hotel Dreamland: +91-0177- 265 3005  Website: www.hoteldreamlandshimla.com
Hotel Apsara: +91-0 177 -281-1652  Website: www.hotelapsarashimla.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Tabo

Tabo, Himachal Pradesh – This ‘Himalayan Ajanta’ can be the eighth wonder of the world for the spectacular natural sculptures created by the eroded rocks

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About 46 Kms from Kaza, Tabo is an ancient village located beside spiti river on its left bank.  Located at an altitude of 3050km, this small town falls under the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Tabo is famous for its monastery known as the Chogshkhor (doctrinal circle ) .  The place is distinctive for being the largest monastic complex under Spiti. Tabo also houses some exquisite frescoes and stucco sculptures bearing a striking likeliness with the murals and sculpture of the Ajanta caves. It is for this reason that Tabo is also named as the ‘Himalayan Ajanta. These beautiful paintings are the creations of the Kashmiri painters depicting the scenes of the Jataka stories. Tabo is declared a heritage site by the UNESCO.

Places to see in Tabo: Renowned for the Tabo monastery there are a number of sight seeing spots in Tabo. These include:

Tabo Monastery

The Monastery was established by great scholar Richen Zangpo in 996 AD.  This is the most popular attraction in Tabo. Tourists from all parts of India and abroad come make a visit in this sacred spot. The site is highly revered pilgrimage for the Buddhists. Actually the religious centre was founded with the intention of starting an institute of advanced learning. In 11th and 20th centuries the site witnessed a remarkable success in the Tibetan art. This Monastery is among the oldest and working monasteries of the Himalayan Ranges. The monastery’s wall is decorated with beautiful paintings, murals, ancient texts and also some valuable inscriptions.

The Bodhisattva Maitreya Temple

This temple is also named as the Byams-Pa Chen-po Lha-khang. The whole complex is divided into a hall, vestibule and sanctum. The shrine consists of the image of the Bodhisattva Maitreya which has a height of more than six meters high. The countless murals within the temple, showcase the monastery of Tashi-Chunpo and Lhasa’s Potala palace.

The Golden Temple (GSer -Khang)

It is believed that this temple is made using pure gold. The shrine was renovated by Senge Namgyal, ruler of Ladakh in 16th century. The walls and ceiling of the temple are covered with some exquisite murals.

The Temple of Dromton (Brom-ston Lha-khang)

The temple is located on the northern edge of the complex and was founded by Dromton (1008-1064 AD), a devoted disciple of Atisha. The construction has intricately carved doorways with the inner walls covered by murals.

The Mystic Mandala Temple or Initiation Temple (dKyil-hKhor-khang)

The Mystic Mandala Temple also known as the Initiation Temple or the dKyil-hKhor-khang temple is decorated with a massive painting of Vairocana, the spiritual son of Adibuddha surrounded by the eight Bodhisattvas. This place is marked for the initiation of the monk hood.

The Mahakala Vajra-bhairava Temple (Gon-Khang)

The temple houses numerous protective deities of the Geluk-pa sect. Fierce deities crowd the room and the visitors are advised to enter the temple after protective meditation. This temple is also called ‘the temple of horror’ besides the name of Gon-Khang.

The Chamber of Picture Treasures

Also known as Z’al-ma, this art gallery is attached to ‘the temple of enlightened gods’ and embellished by the unique Tibetian style paintings.

The Temple of the Enlightened Gods or Tsug Lha-khang temple

The assembly hall, it forms the core of the complex. A four-fold figure of the Vairocana, one of the five spiritual sons of Adibuddha or the primordial Buddha, is placed at the centre.  The length of the statue is 2 meters rotating the Dharma-chakra (the wheel of law).  The walls are decorated with the life size stucco images known as the Vajradhatu Mandal. Five Bodhisattvas  or enlightenment beings sitting within the sanctum is placed just behind the assembly hall. The artists are hired from Kashmir for making these beautiful temples.

Nearby attractions from Tabo: Lahaul Valley is a sub division of the Lahaul Spiti district. This is quite different from the Spiti. Lahaul is greener and well developed than Spiti. Located at an altitude of 2745m from the sea level,  one can reach Lahaul after crossing the gateway  Rohatang Pass. Lahaul is marked by a huge mass of uniformly high mountains and huge glaciers at the centre. The two rivers, Chandra and Bhaga rising on the either side of the Baralacha La, flow through the narrow Chandra and Bhaga valleys. This is land of fascinating Buddhist art and culture.

Things to do at Tabo: Declared a heritage site, explore the marvellous natural sculptures created by the eroding stones. Do visit the magnificent Tabo monastery, which is the main attraction of Tabo. The other temples located in side the complex is also worth a visit.

Best time to visit Tabo: The best time to visit Tabo Monastery and Spiti is from May to October.

How to go ?

By Air

Flights are the most easy way to travel to the town of Tabo. The nearest airport is Kullu. The airport at Kullu lies at a distance 294 kilometres from Tabo, and travelling from the airport to Tabo will take around nine hours. Taxis will be available from Kullu Airport to Tabo.

By Train

Trains can be taken to the nearest railway station at Kalka, which is located at a distance of 452 kilometres away from Tabo. From here you can hire taxis to reach Tabo.

By Road

It is a 115 km journey from Manali which takes six hours. Another option is to take bus from Shimla via Kinnaur to Kaza. The route from Shimla to Kaza remains open from May to October and is about 412 km long. Buses and taxis are available from Kaza to reach Tabo.

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Where to stay ?

You will find a number of hotels and nice homestays at Tabo.  Some options are:

Tow Dhey Himalaya Hotel & Restaurant Tabo:  +91-94182-71129, 94185-37574  Website: www.hoteltabo.com
Millenium Monastery:
+91-01906-223315
Dewachen Retreat:
+9101906- 223318, 9459566689  Website: www.dewachenretreats.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kaza

Kaza, Himachal Pradesh – With snow capped mountains, narrow valleys and patches of greenery this wonderful hill town bears a striking resemblence with Ladakh

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Perching at a height of 3600 meter, Kaza is a Buddhist town and headquarter of the Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The place is famous for the colourful festivals and the ancient Sakya Tangyud monastery. This small town overlooks the steep ridges. The otherwise tranquil place Kaza turns out to be an ideal base for trekking and camping. With small green areas over a dry, weather-beaten face, Kaza is actually a cool desert with no monsoon rains. The place is dotted with by spectacular beauty, narrow valleys and high mountain ranges.

Places to see in Kaza: This placid location has a no. of sight seeing spots. These include:

 Ki Monastery

This is the biggest monastery of the Spiti Valley. The monastery stands midway to Kaza and Kibber, and dominates the Ki village and Spiti Valley. It is Monastery (4116M) of the Gelugpa sect. The hilltop position marks a post-thirteenth century construction. The site is populated with monks’ dwellings mainly up the south and east face of the summit, where the main temple building is located. The greatest wealth of Ki Gompa lies in its collection of ‘Thangkas’ salvaged with difficulty from the devastating battle of the Dogras and the Sikhs in the 19th century.

Chander Tal

Chander Tal lies in Lahaul.  This lake can be reached through either 4551m high Kunzum Pass (the pass dividing the Lahaul and Spiti areas) or through Batal, lying at the base of the Kunzum Pass.

Dhankar Monastery

This renowned monastery is located in Dhankar, the traditional capital of Spiti. The Hill-top fort overlooking the Spiti Valley also served as a jail in good old days. It is a residing place of 160 lamas now. A statue of Dhyan Budha where four complete figures of Budha sit back to back is the main attraction of this more than seven-century old monastery. This 700 hundred year old monastery apart from being a place of prayer was also a kind of fortress, jail and a seat of power.

Pin Valley 

The Pin Valley located in this cold desert region of the Spiti valley was declared a national park in the year 1987.The valley is formed by the Pin River that rises on the eastern slopes of Pin-Parvati pass (4800M) thus meeting the Spiti River near Attargo Point.  The Park forms  a home to a number of rare animals species including the Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. The snow laden unexplored higher reaches and slopes, ideally makes it, their habitat. It spreads in the south of Dhankar near the Tibetan border, and forms the borderline between the Lahaul and Spiti divisions of the State. The elevation of the Park ranges from about 3,500M near Ka Dogri to more than 6,000M at its highest point. The extreme climatic condition and the higher altitude, makes the vegetation in this area very scanty, thus mainly dominated by alpine trees, patches of Himalayan cedar and several medicinal plants. The valley is decorated with flowers. Sometimes the valley hides under the startling hues. Apart from the animals this park is also a home to the rare birds like the Himalayan Snowcock, Chukor, Snow Partridge and the Tibet Snow Finch also flourish in the area. Steeped in history, the influence of Tibetan culture is prevalent in the surrounding areas of the Park – visible in the Buddhist lamas, shrines, monasteries and culture of its residents. Pin valley is the only area in Spiti where Nyingmapa sect- a sect of Tibetan Buddhism- rules. You will be wonder-struck after visiting here. Discover a new way of life that is quite charming. This is the greenest area in the entire Spiti region. But one does not get that impression while entering the valley from Attargo on Tabo- Kaza road as the first 10 kms are very narrow with steep narrow rock walls rising on both the sides. The maximum number of villages is situated along the Pin River, the largest tributary of the Spiti River, and has a catchment area of 2200 sq Kms. The fossil rich soil of the upper valleys; the carpet of lush green pasture dotted with sheep, goats, yaks, horses, herds of Ibex; striking rock faces in myriad hues; snow covered mountains thrusting up the azure skies; all join to create images that leave a lasting impression on the mind.

Nearby attractions around Kaza: You can make an excursion to places like:

Losar

Losar, located at an altitude of 4,085 meters  is only 47km from Kaza. Lying in the lap of snow covered Himalayas this village is a must visit spot for being the first big village. The scenic view of the mighty Himalayas will steal your heart from you. Yak and horse riding are the activities worth enjoying that adds the uniqueness of the place.

Langza

The state of Himachal Pradesh is full of incredible destinations offering diverse sceneries The picturesque hamlet of Langza is one of them. Just 15km from Kaza, and located amidst the green pastures the Langza village rests at an altitude of 4400 meters. The village is famous for having the Buddhist statue of 20 to 25 feet.

Things to do in Kaza: Sightseeing apart, Kaza is an ideal base for camping and trekking. Enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas. Make a visit to the pristine Dhankar monastery and get completely lost with the calmness and serenity of the spot. The avid animal lovers and bird lovers must visit the Pin valley national park.

Best time to visit Kaza: The best time to visit Kaza is during the summer season. When the temperature remains cool and comfortable and is perfect for sightseeing.

How to go ?

By Air

Kaza can be reached either from Manali or via Shimla. Indian Airlines and some private airlines operate regular flights to Bhuntar Airport, which is the nearest airport to Manali.  Pre-paid taxis are available from Bhuntar airport. Buses and taxis can be hired from Manali to Kaza. Flights from New Delhi and Chandigarh operate on a daily basis to Shimla airport.

By Rail 

Jogindernagar is the nearest railway station. The rail route from Jogindernagar to Chandigarh is a narrow guage one. Shimla and Chandigarh are the nearest broad guage railway stations. Buses and taxis are available from Shimla and Chandigarh to reach Kaza.

By Road 

It is a 115 km journey from Manali which takes six hours. Another option is to take bus from Shimla via Kinnaur to Kaza. The route from Shimla to Kaza remains open from May to October and is about 412 km long.

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Where to stay ?

Kaza is dotted with decent hotels and resorts. Some options are:

The Spiti: +91-01906 – 222752
Grand Dewachen: +91-01906 223318  Website: www.dewachenretreats.com
Hotel Mandala:+91-09418558435

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Chamba

Chamba, Himachal Pradesh – The land of Lord Shiva, this pristine village is blessed with alluring natural beauty

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The land of lord Shiva, Chamba is where you will find nature in its pristine forms. The place derives its name from its Princess Chamba. Though small in size, Chamba is a captivating tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh, renowned for its spell-binding natural beauty. The place, located in the midst of picturesque and lush valleys, and is visited by tourist throughout the year. This sub-Himalayan range of mountains, filled with diverse vegetation, makes the visitors fall in love with the place. Its pleasant climate adds to its popularity as a tourist destination in  India.

Places to see in Chamba: The sightseeing in Chamba include destinations like:

Chamunda Devi Temple

The ancient temple of Chamunda Mata is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda, one of the incarnations of Goddess Durga. Just behind the main temple, is a small shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Chamunda Devi Temple situated on a hilltop and offers panoramic views of the entire Chamba, the mighty River Ravi as well as the surrounding villages and countryside.

Katasan Devi Temple

Katasan Devi Temple is situated near Baira Siul Project, approximately 30 km from Chamba valley. One of the main reasons for the popularity of the temple comprises of its calm, peaceful and serene locales that offer beautiful views of the valley.

Champavati Temple 

Champavati Temple, as the name suggests, is dedicated to Goddess Champavati, the patron deity of Chamba. It is said that the temple was constructed by the father of the Goddess, King Sahil Verman. Built as per the Shikhara style of architecture, it boasts of magnificent stone carvings and an amazing wheel roof.

Vajreshwari Temple

One of the most revered shrines in Chamba, Vajreshwari Temple is dedicated to Devi Vajreshwari, the Goddess of Lightening. It has also been built as per the Shikhara style of architecture. Since there are no historical records about the foundation of the temple, it is very difficult to ascertain the year of its construction. However, it is believed that Vajreshwari Temple is more than 1000 years old.

Chowgan

A sprawling grassland and boulevard in the heart of the city, Chowgan is the hub of local trade. It is also the starting point of the procession that forms a part of the Minjar Fair. Even the weeklong celebrations of the annual fair take place here only. During that time, the boulevard witnesses a host of cultural events, shows, programs and sport activities.

Bhuri Singh Museum

Bhuri Singh Museum was inaugurated on 14th September 1908, during the reign of Raja Bhuri Singh. Infact, the museum has been named after the king only. Situated close to Chaugan town of Chamba, it was initially started with the paintings donated by Raja Bhuri Singh.

Rang Mahal

Built by Raja Umed Singh in the mid-18th century, Rang Mahal is also known as the ‘Painted Palace’. It is situated at Chamba and was meant to serve as the residence of the royal women.

Things to do in Chamba: Sight seeing is the major activity in Chamba. If you visit in the month of July then Minjar Fair which is a famous carnival in Chamba is worth enjoying.

Best time to visit Chamba: The best time to visit Chamba is between April and October.

How to go ?

By Air

The closest airports both 245 kms away are Jammu and Amritsar from where buses, taxis and tourist vehicles are available.

By Rail

The nearest railhead at Pathankot is 120 kms away. From here again you can get taxis and buses up to Chamba.

By Road

Chamba is approximately 613 km from Delhi. From Delhi take NH 1 towards Jalandar via Ambala. Here turn off onto NH 1A towards Pathankot. Take the SH to Chamba via Banikhet.

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Where to stay ?

Here you will find ample accommodation options. Given below are some information.

The Iravati: +91-01899 – 222671, 9418122628
Hotel Aroma Palace: +91-1899-225577  Website: www.hotelaromapalacechamba.com
The Champak: +9101899- 222774

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Dharamshala

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh – An internationally famed holy town with some mesmerizing scenic spots

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With the snow covered Dhauladhar ranges forming the background, Dharamshala is a magnificent hill station. This exotic hill station is hemmed with oak, pine and deodhar forests with a nearby snowline. Dharamsala is also the headquarter of the Kangra district. The numerous streams and the cool crispy air enhance the beauty. It is divided into two equal parts. The lower part comprises of civil offices and business establishments and also courts. Kotwali bazar and Upper Dharamshala consists of the places with names bearing witness to its history like McLeod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj. The place is also a temporary head-quarter of “His Holiness”, the Dalai Lama and is risen to the international holy fame “The Little Lhasa in India”.

Places to see in Dharamshala: At this sacred town there are various sight seeing locations that is worth a visit. These include:

Bhagsunag Falls

Just a little far from the town of Dharamshala, this smoky waterfall is worth a visit. An old temple is also located is the surrounding.

Dal lake

The Dal lake is another spectacular spot just 10kms from Dharamshala, dotted with Deodar and Fir trees.

McLeod Ganj

Named as little Lhasa, McLeod Ganj is famous for being the residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama rather than anything else. This is a little township having the groups of monasteries together with the Buddha Statues. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Dharamsala.

Jwalamukhi Temple

Just two hours from Dharamshala is the famous Jwalamukhi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of Light. In the temple there is as such no idol to worship. A constantly burning blue flame, emanating from inside the rocks, is what is worshipped. This place is one of the 51 Sati piths.

St. John’sChurch

While driving from McLeod Ganj to Forsythe Ganj, St. John’sChurch comes in between. This church also houses the tomb of Lord Elgin one of the Viceroys of British India.

Chamunda Devi

15 km from Dharamshala is the famous temple of goddess Chamunda Devi (Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham). At the back of the temple is a cave-like scoop where a stone “Lingam” under a boulder represents Nandikeshwar (Shiva). The temple complex is an enchanting spot with glorious view of Dhauladhar, the Baner Khad and Dadh. A vast running water pool houses the statues of Lord Shiva and Saraswati. A trek of about 16 km up in the Dhauladhar ranges is the ancient temple of Aadi Himani Chamunda.

Dharamkot

Situated on the crest of hill 11km from Dharamshala & 2 km from Mcleodganj, the village Dharamkot is a picnic spot affords a panoramic view of the Kangra valley, Pong Dam lake and Dhauladhar ranges. Dharamkot village is a good base for trekkers undertaking short & long treks.

Chintpurni Temple

This Shakti-temple is located on Dharamshala-Hoshiarpur road on  a ridge. Thousands of devotees visit this temple. In addition to many religious festivals, the main fair is held during the 10 days of “Shukalpaksh” in August. There is a Yatri Niwas which is managed by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.

Kunal Pathri

A level 3km walk from Kotwali Bazar leads upto the rock temple of the local goddess Durga. In the temple there is stone which remains always wet. According to local belief, the moment it starts drying, it rains. The road to Kunal Pathri passes through forests and tea gardens, occasionally allowing glimpses of wildlife ranging from rabbit to agile leopards.

Kareri Lake

Kareri Lake is situated northwest of McLeodganj and is at the foot of the Minkiani Pass. This pass is one of the 14 passes in the Dhauladhar Range in the Western Himalayas. Apart from the lake’s natural beauty, the trek itself goes through beautiful forests, rural villages, and finishes at a remote temple on the banks of Kareri Lake. Kareri Lake is one of the popular locations among adventure enthusiasts.

Triund Hill

Triund Hill is located at a height of about 2842 meters above sea level and with a distance of about 9 km from McLeodganj and 17km from Dharamsala. Located in the foothills of Dhauladhar Himalayan ranges, the hill is now a very popular trekking trail and is a major attraction for hikers. The scenic beauty and the panoramic view of the Valley and Dhauldhar range is breathtaking.

Nearby places to visit from Dharamshala: Dharamshala is also a good base to visit some nearby destinations like:

Kangra

Just 17 km from Dharamshala, the Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys of lower Himalayas. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature of places to be visited. Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air whereas ancient Hindu Temples like Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji dot the country side.

Trilokpur

It is situated at a distance of 41 kms from Dharamshala and can be approached by road the natural cave temple of Trilokpur contains a stalactite and stalagamite is dedicated to Shiva. High on the ridge of the cave are ruins of a palace and baradari (audience hall) of Lehna Singh Majitha, Governor of Kangra hills during the Sikh rule.

Things to do at Dharamshala: Dharamshala offers some interesting activities for the tourists with trekking, rock climbing and also angling. The 20 km stretch of the river Beas between Nadaun and Pong Dam offers ample opportunities in angling for Mahaseer. For shopping the local handicrafts make a visit to the Kotwali Bazar. The Tibetan handicrafts and carpets are available at Mcleodganj.

Best time to visit Dharamshala: The ideal time to visit here is from January to June and September to December.

How to go ?

By Air

Gaggal airport (also known as Dharamsala airport) in Kangra valley is the nearest airport. The airport is 15 km away from Dharamsala. This airport connects domestic flights to Delhi. International travellers have to connect through Delhi Airport, which is about 520 km away from Dharamsala. DelhiAirport is connected to all major cities in India and abroad.

By Train

Nearest railway station is Kangra Mandir at a distance of 22 km from Dharamsala. All trains won’t stop here. The major rail junction is Pathankot, which is about 85 km away from Dharamsala. Pathakot is well connected to all major cities in India.

By Road

Regular bus services are available in Dharamsala connecting the nearby cities. Direct private luxury buses are available from Delhi (520 km). The private cars are also available on hire from here.

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Where to stay ?

The location comprises of a good number of decent accommodation facilities suited to budget. Some options are:

The Dhauladhar (HPTDC): +91-01892- 224926, 224927
The Kashmir House (HPTDC): +9101892 – 222977
The Club House (HPTDC): +9101892- 220834
The Bhagsu (HPTDC): +9101892-221091

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Sarahan

Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh – Famous for Bhimakali temple, a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers

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Just halfway up a high mountain side with flowering pine trees and stately Oaks Sarahan is a God’s grace. The town is known as the gateway of Kinnaur. Here dozens of small streams rush past. The fields and orchards that surround the small villages with their slate roofed houses, compose pictures of pastoral perfection. Above Sarahan,  many deodar trees rides the slopes and higher still, encircling the Bashal peak, are trees of smooth birch and variety of wild flowers and rare medicinal herbs. This sparsely populated tract is steeped in ancient legends and here is the famous Bhimakali temple regarded as one of the 51 sacred Shaktipeeths. The temple’s unusual architecture and wealth of carvings have made it a glittering example of what is  called the Indo-Tibetan style. Deep down flows the river Sutlej and across lies the snow-clad Shrikhand peak. Saharan is the base for numerous treks and is the gateway to Kinnaur. It is a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers and the temple complex attracts a variety of admirers.

Places to see at Sarahan: Sarahan is a good base to explore the places like:

Bhimakali Temple Complex 

This historical temple is a multi storied structured building, a fusion of Hindu and Buddhist architecture. The tall tower like structure and unusual roof of the temple dominate the complex. The centuries old temple is now locked and in the newly built temple, the goddess Bhimakali is portrayed as a maiden and as a woman. This temple complex includes other temples such as Narsingh shrine of Bhairon and Lord Raghunath.

Bird Park

Near the temple complex is a pheasant breeding centre. It also houses the State bird Monal which is of a great attraction.

Bhaba Valley 

50 km from Sarahan, a beautiful valley along Bhaba river. Link road to valley originates at Wangtu. It has a beautiful landscape, reservoir lake, alpine meadows and is best famous for trek route to Pin Valley in Spiti.

Things to do at Sarahan: Sarahan is abase for numerous treks. It is a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers. You may just sit idle in your hotel’s balcony and take the pleasure of the excellent beauty of the place.

Best time to visit Sarahan: The ideal season to visit Sarahan and its adjoining areas is between April and June.

How to go ?

From Shimla, Sarahan is at a distance of 175-kms. So after reaching Shimla one has to then take a bus or a private taxi to go to Sarahan.

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Where to stay ?

The place has adequate accommodation facility. Some options are:

The Shrikhand (HPTDC): +91-01782 – 274234
Hotel Snowview :+91-0177-2802676, 77  Website: www.shyamalahotels.com
Green Hotels & Resorts: +91- 9817072147, 9816710301 Website: www.greenhotelsarahan.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Dalhousie

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh – Named after Lord Dalhousie, this attractive hill resort still bears the fragments of colonial era

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A captivating hill station located in Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie came into existence in the year 1854 by the British. It was their summer retreat for them. The town derived its named from the then British Viceroy, Lord Dalhousie. Dalhousie is situated at a height of about 2080m. It spreads out over the five hills (Kathlog, Potreys, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun). The town’s varying altitude shades it with a variety of vegetation that including the stately grooves of pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendrons.

Places to see in Dalhousie: This historical spot offers a number of scenic sight seeing spots. These include:

Ajit Singh Memorial

Sardar Ajit Singh, a great freedom fighter, breathed his last on the day India gained independence, 15th August, 1947. His ‘Samadhi’ is located at Dalhousie’s Panjpulla, a picturesque spot with a natural tank and water flowing under small bridges from which the place takes its name. At Panjpulla, there is a ‘Samarak’ in the memory of Sardar Ajit Singh. On the way to Panjpulla is Satdhara springs gurgling with refreshing water, believed to contain some medicinal properties. Panjpulla stream is the main source of water supply to Dalhousie and Bahloon.

Kalatop

The spot commands a beautiful and grand panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and eye travels wide over hill and dale, field and forest, smooth and ruggedness, till in the direction of Jammu and Kashmir, it meets a horizon of snow peaks. Kalatop in Chambiali dialect means a ‘black cap’. A beautiful Forest Rest House with a chowkidar redidence stands amidst the thick forest. The place comes under a Wild life sanctuary known as Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary.

Lakkad Mandi

13 km. from Hotel Mount View, this small sanctuary lies in the catchment of the Ravi River, and contains patches of good coniferous and Oak forests. A motorable road to Kalatop Rest House leads from the Dalhousie – Khajjiar – Chamba road at the point named Lakkad Mandi. The track from Lakkad Mandi to Kalatop Rest House is plain and the walk through the dense forest is amazingly refreshing. To obtain permission to ply the vehicle and stay in Rest House, one can contact Divisional Forest Officer, Wildlife, Chamba.

Jandari Ghat

( 2 km ) place of the rulers of erstwhile Chamba State, is located and surrounded by tall pine trees, is a place worth visiting. Jandari Ghat commands a panoramic view of snow covered Pir Panjal Range and other surrounding hills.

Francis Church

Dalhousie is well known for its church buildings and other landmarks erected by the British. The town has old churches like St. John’s Church ( 1853 ), St. Francis’ Church ( 1894 ), St. Andrew’s Church ( 1903 ) and St. Patric’s Church ( 1909 ). St. John’sChurch, the oldest is located at Gandhi Chowk, about 2 km. from the bus stand. This church was the first to be built after the founding of Dalhousie.

Bholani Mata

Dainkund is the highest mountain in Dalhousie, at an altitude of 2755 mtrs it provides the picture book scenery of the whole valley. The amazing experience of a pliable trudge in a beautiful ambience is quite spectacular. The sweet sound of the gentle breeze puffing through the trees makes a musical serenade and so Dainkund is popularly known as the singing hill.

Sach Pass

The All year Snow covered pass into Pangi valley is a must see on a trip to Dalhousie 120 Kms from Dalhousie be in Snow all year around and enjoy majestic views of Chamba and Pangi valley on the other side the pass is located over 14000 feet in brethtaking views.

Nearby attractions from Dalhousie: Dalhousie is also admired with some breath-takingly beautiful nearby destinations. These are:

Khajjiar

20 Kms from  Dalhousie, referred as the Mini Switzerland of India is one of the finest Saucer shaped meadows lined by tall Deodar Trees and a Lake in the middle with over an 500 year old Wooden Nag Temple near to the Lake. Khajjiar has the thick forest of the Kalatop Khajjiar sanctuary surrounding its soft green grass. The moment one enters the picturesque Khajjiar, one is welcomed by a yellow Swiss sign for ‘hiking path’ which reads “Mini Switzerland”.

Bhalai Mata

32 km. from Dalhousie, the mighty Bhadrakali temple of Bhalai Mata, the local deity, is much respected and revert place of Chamba district. It is known fact that a visit to the shrine grants all wishes that one might have in mind. It is a worth seeing site and must be visited.

Chamera Dam project

30 Km. from Dalhousie, and on the way to Chamba. This is the reservoir of the Chamera dam built over the river Ravi. Chamera lake is an artificial lake came into existence as a consequence of Chamera Hydroelectric project. The Dam site enjoy very sharp fluctuations in climate between April to June. During the day it can get very hot (around 35 degree centigrade) though by the evening, temperatures fall to between 18 to 20 degree centigrade.

Things to do in Dalhousie: It is a fantastic place to trek, a ride on the ponies in Khajjiar is also worth, Enjoy long walks, Go to the Tibetan market and have a look around just for fun.

Best time to visit Dalhousie: March and June, September to November is the best time to visit Dalhousie.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airports are Pathankot which is about 80 km from Dalhousie and Jammu at a distance of 180 km from Dalhousie. Pathankot is connected to Delhi only, while Jammu has more frequent air services to Delhi and other destinations in North India.

By Train

Nearest railhead is Pathankot (80 km) and is well connected by rail to various cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar, Kolkata.

By Road

Bus services by public transport system are available connecting to the towns in and around Dalhousie. Overnight luxury buses are available from Delhi (590 km distance).

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of hotels and lodges available in Dalhousie. Some options are:

The Manimahesh (HPTDC): +91-01899 – 242793
The Geetanjali(HPTDC): +91-01899 – 242155
Hotel New Palace: +91-9816145265, 9805579314  Website: www.hotelnewpalace.com
Hotel MountView: +9109418010822, 09418511822, 09816040822 Website: www.hotelmountview.net

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Keylong

Keylong, Himachal Pradesh – The valley, river, and the lofty mountain range together with the green landscape make it a charming destination

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The administrative headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, Keylong is situated at an altitude of 3350 m. After crossing the cool, rough and rugged desert the place of Keylong seems to be the “oasis of desert” with the forest of Poplar and Willow trees. Rudyard Kipling, the famous author rightly said that “it is surely the God live here; this is not the place for men.”  The valley, river, and the lofty mountain range together-with the green landscape make Keylong a charming destination.

Places to see in Keylong: Keylong is an exotic hill station with varied sight seeing spots. These include:

The Lady of Keylong Himachal

The Lady of Keylong glacier is a very popular attraction in Keylong. This spectacular glacier was named by ‘Lady Elashainghday’ at the time of British rule. It is located at an altitude of about 6,061 meters. It remains snow covered throughout the year. But in the middle, there is a dark bare patch visible which looks like the figure of a woman, walking with a load on her back. It is also recorded as ‘Lady of Keylong’ by the geological survey team of India.

Khardong Monastery

It is a 200 years old monastery. The head Lama here is called ‘Narbo’. The monastery has an architectural and sculptural style typical of ‘Lahaul and Spiti’. One of the most revered places of the Durga-Pa Sect, the monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti and a huge storeroom where you will find some exquisite thangka paintings, musical instruments such as lutes, drums, horns and old weapons. The frescoes are colorful and the murals fascinating. This monastery has a huge prayer drum containing strips of paper upon which is the sacred mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’. This mantra has been written a million times.

Tandi

8 km, short of Keylong, on the Manali – Leh Raod, situated on the confluence of Chandra & Bhaga rivers. Last point to tank up if traveling north of Keylong as it has the last fuel station on this stretch.

Sissu

On the bank of Chandra, 15 km from Koksar, every spring and autumn wild geese and ducks halt here on their way to and from Siberia.

Gondla (3110m)

18 km from Keylong on the right bank of river Chandra. Famous for ancient Fort.

Udaipur

53 km from Keylong, home of the Mrikula Devi Temple, which is famous for wood carvings.

Triloknath (2660m)

4 km from Udaipur famous for Triloknath temple. Sacred both for HIndu and Buddhist.

Gemur Monastery

Just 8km from Keylong, Gemur Monastery is a Buddhist Monastery, 600 to 700 yards above the village of Gemur, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh, northern India. It is located 38 kilometres from Manali. The Monastery is around 700 years old. It contains a sculpture of the Goddess ‘Marichi Vajravarahi’ which dates back to the 11th century AD. The ‘Devil dance’ is carried out in the month of July. The Monastery also contains ancient Buddhist miniature paintings, wall paintings, Stupas, Statues and Buddhist artifacts.

Guru Ghantal monastery

The oldest monastery in Lahaul area, it is located eight kms. from Keylong.

Shaspur Monastery

The Monastery is situated on a hill 3 kms. away from Keylong. It is famous for the paintings of the history of the 84 Buddhas and the devil dance of the Lamas in June / July that originated in the 17th century.

Nearby attractions from Keylong: While in Keylong, you must visit:

Baralacha La Pass

Baralacha La means the pass where many roads meet. The pass connects Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. The Baralacha La is better described as a plateau where three mountain ranges meet (Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Himalayas). The Baralacha La towers over three valleys that meet at a height of over 16,000 ft.

Darcha

Situated at an altitude of 3360 metres, this is a camping ground for trekkers. It is 24 kms. from Keylong on the Leh road.

Things to do at Keylong: Trekking, Hiking, bird watching, rock climbing, skiing and fishing, Keylong is the suitable base for all these activities.

Best time to visit Keylong: Mid May to mid October is the best time to visit Keylong.

How to go ?

By Air

There are airports at Manali and Shimla (375 kms.) and Bhuntar Airport in Kullu.

By Rail

The nearest railway stations are at Jogindernagar, Shimla and Chandigarh.

By Road

Keylong is 126 kms. north of Manali. The place is just 120 kms. from the Indo-Tibetan border. There is sufficient number of buses from Manali to Keylong during the summer season.

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Where to stay ?

Keylong offers an array of accommodation options. Some options are:

The Chanderbhaga: +9101900 – 222247, 222393
Hotel Deykith: +91- 094 18 157650
Hotel Deluge: +91- 094 18 063677

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Sangla

Sangla, Himachal Pradesh – Dotted with beautiful apple orchards, this is a spectacular destination with soothing cool breeze and pleasant climate

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The picturesque Sangla valley perches at an altitude of 2,700 mts. It is named after the beautiful and crowded village Sangla. The valley starts at Karcham and ends at Chitkul. It is also called Baspa Valley for the meandering Baspa river flows beside this beautiful town. This picturesque location will surely make you fall in love with its enchanting natural beauty.  The numerous apple orchards of Sangla valley deserve a special mention. This place is world famous for its sweet apples. Guarded by tall mountains on all sides together with the lush sceneries, this place, situated on the lap of nature is ideal for relaxing and rejuvenating yourself for some days away from the cacophony of the urban life.

Places to see in Sangla: Sangla offers a number sight seeing destinations. These include:

The Baspa River

This fast meandering River passes through the Hills Of Sangla. The beautiful surroundings of the Baspa River provide excellent opportunity to get a view of the multi coloured Rainbows and Brown Trout. The site is also a perfect place for Angling for being a haven of the vast variety Of Fishes. Crossing this River is equally attractive. This Process is includes Ride In A Basket throughout . Its Surroundings provided with the area for Camping And Trekking.

The Kamru Fort

The Kamru Fort rests at a height of 2600 M. and is at a distance of 229 Km from Shimla. This historic fort is located atop the panoramic Sangla Valley. A Large image Of Lord Buddha adorns the main entrance greeting the visitors. There is an Idol of Kamakhya Devi too installed in the Third Floor.

The Tibetian Wood Carving Centre

The Tibetian Wood Carving Centre is among the primary sightseeing spots of Sangla Valley. This popular destination is situated near the Saffron Farms in the outskirts of Sangla. The importance of the place lies in housing the items made from the Wood Carvings in the Tibetan Style. The items are exhibited both for the Display and sale purposes.

The Bering Nag Temple

The Bering Nag Temple is one of the renowned Temple And religious tourist spot of the Sangla. It is dedicated to God Jagas. The Fulaich Fair, held here annually between August and September is a famous fair. The deity to whom the temple is dedicated is the local deity of The Village and is situated in the mid of the village. This area is the focal Point of all the ceremonies, functions and religious activities.

The Sangla Meadows

The Sangla Meadows also nick named as Sangla Kanda is the spectacular natural sightseeing destination in Sangla. Shrouded completely in Greenery and encompassed by the snowy Mountain Ranges of the Himalayas, the site is also absolutely perfect to catch a clear view of the marvellous Kinner Kailash in a 180 degree view. Added to it, the place also provides a view of the Local Himachal Huts together with the the Customs & the daily lifestyle of the inhabitants.

Chitkul Village

The Chitkul Village is the last inhabited Village near the Indo-Tibet Border The village is located at a distance of 20 Km from Sangla. Standing besides the River Baspa on its right bank, the village derives its name from the local Goddess ‘Chitkul Maathi’ also known as the ‘Mata Devi’, whose temple is a must visit spot here. The devotees come from the Entire Kinnaur District to worship at this temple. Chitkul During the heavy snowfall that takes place in winters, the area becomes completely un-inhabited.

Things to do in Sangla Valley: Apart from the sight seeing, here you can enjoy activities like trekking and angling. If you want an idle time just doing nothing, then enjoy a leisure stroll to explore the scenic beauty of the place.

Best time to visit Sangla Valley: The best time to visit the place is from Mid-March to October.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest Domestic Airport is Jubbarhatti Airport, Shimla, 194 Kms from Sangla. The second nearest Domestic Airport is Bhuntar Airport, roughly three and a half hour drive from Sangla. It is very well connected to major cities like Dharamshala, Chandigarh and Shimla. Cabs are available from the airport to Sangla.

By Train

The nearest Railway Station is Shimla Railway and is located at a distance of 194 Kms from Sangla. Shimla Railway Station is well connected with Kalka Railway Station and with the cities like Gumman, Kumarhatti, Sonwara, Barog, Kandaghat, Kathleeghat, Taradevi and Summer Hill etc. Taxis are available on hire from here. Sangla is 313km from Kalka.

By Road

There are many ways to reach Sangla by road. It is 35 Kms from Purbani, 37 Kms from Telangi, 42 Kms from Nachar, 143 Kms from Kumarsain, 167 Kms from Banjar, 199 Kms from Bhuntar and 209 Kms from Kullu through Himachal Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (HPSRTC) and some private travel services.

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Where to stay ?

The site is dotted with a number of hotels, resorts and homestays. Some options are:

Sangla Resort: +9101786 -242 401
Hotel Mount Kailash: +9101786 242 527
Cedar “N” Snow: +9101786-242602
Banjara Camps & Retreats Pvt. Ltd.: +91- 011- 65152334, 5, 6  Website: www.banjaracamps.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kalpa

Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh – Resting at an altitude of 2758 m, this spectacular hamlet is a piece of heaven on the earth

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Located in the lap of  the snowy Kinnaur Kailash peak, Kalpa is a dreamland. This nature’s wonderland rests at an altitude of 2758 m and is 110 km from Sarahan. Kalpa is the main village of Kinnaur dotted with ancient villages having tribals cultures. Here you will find a blend of natural beauty with snow capped mountains and profuse greenery. Previously the place was named as Chini. The majestic mountains of the Kinner Kailash range stands face to face with the river. The spectacular sights of the sunrise in the morning will enthral your heart, when the golden rays of the sun touches the white snowy mountain peak, forming the natural crimson colour. This sight will cast a magic spell on you leaving a long lasting impact.

Places to see at Kalpa: The scenic location of Kalpa is adorned with a number of sight seeing destinations. These include:

Recong Peo

Only 13 km from Kalpa, the Recong Peo is the head quarter of district Kinnaur resting at an altitude of 2670m. The mountain of Kinner Kailash is well known for being one of the mythical homes of Lord Shiva. Here you will find a 79 feet high rock formation resembling Sivalinga. The Sivalinga changes its colour in accordance with the position of the sun during the different hours of the day. From here, the peak of Raldang (5499 m) is also visible.

Kothi

Kothi is a religious destination having a temple dedicated to the goddess Chanadika Devi. The place is 3 km from Recong Peo.  With the mountains and graves of the deodar forming the background, this temple is adorned with an uncommon architectural style together and intricately carved sculpture. A magnificent gold image of goddess decorates the sanctum of the temple.

Riba

Riba is a beautiful place situated at a height of 2745M famous for the vineyards and the local wine ‘Angoori’ is manufactured from the grapes.

Jangi  

This is the starting point of the famous Kinner Kailash Parikarama Trek. The trek route also touches the Morang, Thangi and Kunocharang villages and enters the Chitkul village in Sangla Valley.

Puh

The local name of the place is Spuwa. This village Puh is admired with the lush green fields, apricot, almond and also grape orchards. It is just 58 km from Powari along the NH-22. The place offers Puh rest house and basic hotel facilities for the tourists.

Nearby attractions around Kalpa: Moorang is located above the left bank of river Satluj, just few km away from the Tirang sangam and is 39 kms from Kalpa. This beautiful village can be approached from the narrow path within the apricot orchard. The valley is encompassed by the lofty mountains on all sides. Only the western part of the valley is open to the Satluj, on the bank of which stands an old fort believed to be constructed by Pandavas. Having a square structure resting upon a knoll it overlooks the Satluj. The main gate of the fort is approached by a detached ladder. The roof is flat. The name of the local deity is Urming and there are three structures dedicated to the deity each existing in Thwaring, Garmang and Shilling. The ark of the deity however remains inside the fort making these structures empty. On a holy day this ark is taken to the above mentioned places. The ark has got 18 ‘mukh’, made of silver, gold and brass. The 18 mukh represents the 18 days of the great Kurukshetra war of the epic Mahabharat.

Things to do in Kalpa: Kalpa offers a lot of activities for its visitors. If you are an adventure enthusiast then go for trekking and rock climbing. Also enjoy the river rafting, angling, jeep safaris here. You may also organize the fun filled picnics here. If doing nothing just lie down upon the soft green grasses and gaze at the charming natural beauty. Don’t miss to carry the excellent quality Chilgozas and Kinnauri Shawls. Try to organize your trip during the months of September and October to be a part of the great Phulech Festival celebrated with the colourful flower garlands and great enthusiasm.

Best time to visit Kalpa: June to August offers pleasant climate and is the best time to visit Kalpa.

How to go ?

By Air

Shimla’s Jubbar Bhatti airport is the closest at 260 kms. From here there is a 10 hour journey by road to Kalpa either by private taxi or bus. You may halt at Sangla, located at a distance of 50 km before reaching Kalpa. Sangla is dotted with some really beautiful sight seeing spots.

By Rail

Shimla is the closet railhead at 240 kms. Take a bus or hire a taxi to make the arduous but very picturesque drive up to Kalpa. You may halt at Sangla, located at a distance of 50 km before reaching Kalpa.

By Road

From Shimla, taxis or jeeps can be hired and a bus service is available for Rekong Peo, 14 km from Kalpa, a journey of about 11 hours. If driving in from Delhi, it’s convenient to break journey at Shimla or Narkanda.

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Where to stay ?

Kalpa is dotted with plenty of accommodation facilities. Some options are:

Hotel Rolling Rang: +91-098166-86789, 094180-92894, 098161-85518, 094596-14014  Website: www.hotelinkalpa.com
Hotel Apple  Pie: +91-8860688496, 8894579727  Website: www.hotelapplepie.com
Hotel “The Grand Shangri-La” : +91-01786-226134  Website: www.thegrandshangrila.com
The Kinner Kailash (HPTDC): +91-01786 – 226159

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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in Kinnaur district

Nako, Himachal Pradesh – This is a fairyland in Kinnaur district named after the picturesque Nako lake

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Located along the Tibet border, at an altitude of 2950 m, Nako is a small hamlet in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is an important pilgrimage of the Buddhists. The place shares its name with the lake which is also named as Nako. This picturesque lake forms the boundary of the village. As per the popular belief, the site is the heavenly realm of fairies. You will prominently find the footprints of these fairies in the nearby caves. This picturesque location consists of the green paddy fields and the houses are traditional mud houses.

Places to see at Nako: The sightseeing destinations at Nako mainly include:

Nako Monastery

The monastery stands at the western edge of this little village. The simple outside appearance will surprise you completely with its contrasting intricate sculptures inside. There are total four temples of which the two temples are of prime importance here, the Main temple and the Upper temple. These two temples are considered the oldest of the structures, still preserving their original clay sculptures, murals and ceiling panels. The main and the largest temple temple is also known as the Translator’s Temple. This is the oldest monument in the village too. The third structure in the monastery is the Small White temple, though almost broken, is worth a visit for its wonderful wooden door-frame depicting the different scenes of the Life of the Buddha carved over it. The fourth structure is almost of the equal size of the Upper Temple and is situated beside. The temple is today known as the Temple of Wide Proportions.

Nako lake

An oval shaped lake, Nako lake is encircled with mountains, valley and whitewashed village thus making it a picturesque spot. The tourists can enjoy boating in the summer season here along-with the marvellous scenic beauty. In winter this frozen lake makes an ideal base for ice skating.

Things to do in Nako: Just unwind yourself completely and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Best time to visit Nako: The best time to visit Nako is from April to October, at this time its scenic beauty is at its height.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is at Shimla. Shimla airport is connected to Delhi and Kullu. Taxis are easily available from Shimla to Nako.

By Rail

Nearest railway station is also Shimla and it is around 283 km from Nako. Taxis are available from here to Nako.

By Road

Daily buses and regular taxi services are available from Shimla and Rampur to Nako. You can also reach Nako from Lahaul and Spiti.  Malling Nullah near Nako on the route is landslide prone.

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Where to stay ?

There are very few accommodation options at Nako. Some of these are:

Kinner Camps: +91-09805841273  Website: www.kinnercamps.com
Amar Home Stay: +91-094186-23453, 01785-236080
Lake View Home Stay:  094187-59493, 01785-236041

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Rampur

Rampur, Himachal Pradesh – This small town with its prehistoric heritage is famous for the Lavi fair, the biggest fair in North India

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One of the biggest commercial centres of Himachal Pradesh, Rampur is located at a distance of 135 km from Shimla. It was once the capital of the princely State of Bushahar. Rampur lies on the bank of river Sutlej. The town was once a major center on the old trade route to Kinnaur, Tibet, Ladakh and China. Lavi Fair, which is supposed to be one of the biggest fairs of North India, is the main attraction of Rampur. This fair is held every year during the second week of November. The fair is quite popular among the people in Shimla and is held for three days. The fair is abuzz with life and activities as it is a major crowd puller. The fair is commercial in nature as tradesmen and craftsmen come from all over Shimla to buy, sell and exchange articles like dry fruits, shawls, blankets, crop produce, handicraft items, fruits, etc. Some people even trade in livestock like sheep, goats, cows and horses.

Places to see at Rampur: At Rampur, you can go for sight seeing to places like:

Rampur Town (924m) 

This historic town is an abode of many sight-seeing places. Its old Hindu and Buddhist shrines include the Ragunath Temple, the Ayodhya Temple, the Narsingh Temple and the Dumgir Budh Temple which has a large prayer wheel and holds important scriptures. With an interesting colonial and traditional style, the Padam Palace is one of Rampur’s major attractions.

Dutt Nagar (970m)

This ancient village on the left bank of Sutlej is named from the ancient temple of god Dattreya.

Nirath (950m)

18 km, famous for ancient and unique Sun Temple built in nagara style is one of the two temples in India dedicated to Lord Suryanarayan.

Nearby attractions from Rampur: Being a getaway spot itself, Rampur also has nearby attractions apart from the sight seeing spots. These include:

Chanshal pass

Chanshal pass is located at Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Also known as Chanshal valley, Chanshal Pass links Dodra Kwar and Rohru (Chirgaon). The Pass rests on the Chanshal Peak , the highest peak in the Shimla district. Chanshal pass open from May to October and it is covered with snow for the rest of the year. Chanshal pass  is beautiful as one get views of hills covered with snow. It is a very good place to hang out if one enjoy adventures and ready to invest time in travelling to see the beauty.

Khadrala

Khadrala is a small hill station just few km from Rampur. It is an awesome place to stay if you are going on a vacation to Shimla. Beautiful amenities and surroundings make it a heaven.

Things to do in Rampur: It is among the best shopping hubs of Himachal Pradesh and one can get just about any exotic item over here. You can pick up handicraft items like wooden carvings and clay sculptures. The most popular items are the handspun woolen shawls and rugs that are warm even in the coldest weather.

Best time to visit Rampur: March to June and September to November is the ideal time to visit Rampur.

How to go ?

Daily one bus leave for Rampur from Manali. You can also hire private cars from Manali or Kullu to reach Rampur.

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Where to stay ?

Rampur has plenty of accommodation options. Some are:

The Bushehar Regency (HPTDC) : +91-01782 – 234103
The Little Chef: +91-01782-233944  Website: www.thelittlecheframpur.com
Hotel River Rock: +91-94180-33251 Website: www.hotelriverrock.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Manali

Manali, Himachal Pradesh – The Queen of the hill stations, this nature’s wonderland is one of the famous tourist destinations in India

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Only 40 kms away from Kullu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. Here the breathtakingly beautiful landscape will greet you. Manali is one of the important hill stations of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at a height of 6,398 ft., it lies at the end of the Kullu Valley. It has a rich cultural heritage for being known as the home of Saptarshi. Manali has an extra appeal for the clean and beautiful River Beas that flows through the Himalayan valleys. This place derived its name from the word ‘Manavalaya’ which means the abode of Manu. It is an ideal place for the holidays and the a favorite resort for trekkers. Added to it the picturesque sight-seeing spots also add to the attractions.

Places to see in Manali: The prime attractions of Manali include:

Jagat Sukh

Located on the left bank on Beas on the road to Naggar, Jagat Sukh is famous for very old temples of Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri in Shikhara style and hence its name. These are worth a visit.

Arjun Gufa

This cave is situated near Prini village just 1km above the road where Arjun had meditated. This is good 1/2 a day excursion with charming view of the brilliant mountains.

Rahala water falls

This scintillating water falls is just 16 kms on the 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.

Solang Valley

This is a splendid valley resting between the 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.

Nehru Kund

Just  5 kms. on the National Highway to Leh, this natural spring of cold clear water is 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.

Vashist

This small village Vashist is located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass and is worth visiting. 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.

Mountaineering Institute

Located 3 km on the left bank of river Beas towards Kullu, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports Manali, 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. There is also an interesting showroom here.

Tibetian Monastries

There are 3 newly constructed colourful 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.

Club House

2 kms from the town, the club house has indoor games facilities which has been located on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. There are some picnic spots near it.

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.

Hadimba Temple

Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archaeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hidimba, the wife of Bhim of the Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple is located amidst wooden forest of deodar and 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.

The great Indian National Park

The National Park with an area of 754 sq. km. is located in Kullu District and has the representative area of temperate and alpine forests of Himachal. It has some the virgin coniferous forests of the State. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park. This area has many important wildlife species of Western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer, Tragopan, Snow cock etc. Trekking of Rakti-Sar, origin of Sainj river and camping in alpine pastures is unforgettable. Similar is the trekking route to Tirath the origin of Tirthan river. Visitors can contact Director, Great Himalayan National Park at Shamshi or Range Officer wildlife at Sainj or Range Officer Wild Life at Sai Ropa (Banjar) for assistance and guidance. Camping equipment and guides are provided by the Forests Department.

Manali Sanctuary

This sanctuary starts about 2 km from Manali town. A bridle path from Manali log huts/ Dhungri temple passes through dense Deodar, Kail, Horse chestnut, Walnut and Maple forests. Night stay in tents at Lambadug or Gallant thatch is an unforgettable experience. Alpine lush green pastures and glaciers beyond Galant thatch are a romantic attraction for the enthusiastic but enduring visitors. One may see Musk deer, Monal and Brown bear digging or ploughing the land and also pug marks with scent of Leopard or Snow leopard. Those who venture up to snows can see herds of Ibex in the glacier zone in summers.

Nearby attractions from Manali: Manali is also admired with a no. of nearby spots. These include:

Rohtang Pass

RohtangPass (3979 m) 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 beautiful sights 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. Rohtang Pass is best visitable between May/June to October/November.

Kullu

Kullu was probably the most ancient state next to Kashmir and Kangra. Kullu valley is gifted with every thing that you can imagine. The Marvelous landscapes, hospitable, peaceful & co-operative people having distinct life style & culture are some of the points that separate Kullu from rest of Himachal Pradesh. The place is located at a distance of 42 km from Manali.

Manikaran

It is located in the Parvati Valley between the rivers Beas and Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. 79 km from Manali this is an esteemed pilgrimage of both the Hindus and the Sikhs. The place is famous for the hot springs. The water is so hot that dal, rice & vegetables etc. can be cooked in it.  Thousands of people take a holy dip in hot waters here. It has many temples and a gurudwara. There are temples dedicated to Lord Rama, Vishnu and Krishna. There is also a tempe of the Great Maratha Raja Shivaji. According to an old legend, Manikaran is connected with Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parvati, who lost her ear rings here, which gave birth to hot waters on the bank of Parvati river.

Naggar

Situated on the left bank of river Beas at an altitude of 1851m, Naggar – an ancient town commands extensive views, especially to the North West of the valley. Naggar was the former capital of Kullu. It was founded by Raja Visudhpal and continued as a headquarters of the State until the capital was transferred to Sultanpur (Kullu) by Jagat Singh in 1460 A.D. Today this ancient and beautiful Palace is a popular tourist spot.

Kasol

Kasol is located at an altitude of 1640 meters above sea level, and is known for its enormous scenic beauty. With wide open clearings which slope down to wide expanses of clear white sands at the Parvati River.

Things to do in Manali: Take a stroll around to view the mesmerizing surrounding that will surely cast a magic spell on you. Enjoy the sight seeing trip and make a visit to the HidimbaTemple, which is the prime attraction of Manali. Sit on the stony banks of the frivolous and restless BeasRiver, forgetting about all tensions and worries completely loosing oneself to nature. The adventurous can organize trekking. Manali is the starting point for numerous multi-day treks. While in Manali, do make a visit to Manikaran and take a dip in the pristine hot spring which is a blessing of the God.

Best time to visit Manali: September to June is the best time to visit Manali.

How to go ?

By Air

Bhuntar, which is 50 km away from Manali, is the nearest airport. Bhuntar is connected to Delhi by air. Delhi is the major nearest airport, which is about 565 km away from Manali. Delhi airport is well connected with all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

By Train

Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station to Manali, which is nearly 50 km away.  Joginder Nagar is a narrow gauge railway station, hence connectivity is not so good.  Other closest railheads are at Chandigarh (310 km) and Ambala (300 km). Kalka train station is near Manali and distance is 279 km. This is connected to some major train stations like Howrah, Barmer, Bandra, Shimla.

By Road

Manali is well connected to other tourist destinations near by in Himachal by private deluxe bus services. State owned services are also available connecting Manali to other cities.

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Where to stay ?

 There are numerous hotels, resorts and lodges in Manali. Some options are:

Log Huts (HPTDC): +91-01902 -253 226
Hotel Beas : +91-01902 – 25228  Website: www.hotelbeasmanali.com
Hadimba Cottages (HPTDC): +91-01902- 252334
Shingar Regency: +91 01902 -252251-52  Website: www.shingarregency.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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