Tourism

Himachal Pradesh Tourism

Literally, the abode of snowed hills, Himachal Pradesh came into existence along with Haryana in 1966, when the Punjab was reorganized on liguistic basic. Its capital in Shimla, the summer capital of the country during the Raj, and climate is quite cold with temperatures fluctuating between 15°C to 3 in summers and 0°C to 15°C in winters. Principal languages spoken are Pahadi and Hindi. Owing to its rugged and hilly terrain its area is about 55,673 sq. km. but population is around 60,77,248. The ideal time to visit this region is either between April to October and December to Jantiary.

Nestled in the north-west lap of the Great Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is bounded by Tibet in the east, Jammu and Kashmir in the north-west, and by the Punjab in the south-west. The eastern border is common with the state of Uttar Pradesh. All the famous towns of the state are like an idyll summer retreat. which include Shimla, Kangra, Kulu, Manali, Chamba, Chail, Delhousie, Dharamshala, Solan, Narkanda, Kasauli, Fagu and Naldera. Himachal Pradesh is also rightly called the Pilgrim Province for its over 6,000 temples dotting the rugged terrain, reflect the deep devotion and abiding faith of the simple 
hill-folk, Agriculture, horticulture and handicrafts are the main stay of Himachal’ s economy. More than 38 percent of the area of the state is occupied by forests. The fast fluctuation in the climatic condition of the land make it an ideal breeding ground for a variety of fruits and vegetables, its main tourist-centers are being listed below.

Shimla

Discovered in 1819 by the British, it later (in 1865) was made summer Capital of India: The Imperial influence is still apparent in its setting and buildings. After Independence, Shimla remained the capital of Punjab for sometime until Chandigarh was founded following the redrawing of Punjab in 1966, and creation of the new State of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Shimla became the capital of only Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is pleasantly cool in summer and very cold in winter.

Chandigarh, 120 km. away from Shimla is the nearest airport. There is a regular air service between Chandigarh and Delhi. The narrow gauge from Kalka to Shimla takes about 7 hours. Shimla is just 28 km. from Chandigarh. The train journey to Shimla is quite a fun as the time train serpentines slowly through so many tunnels, rocky and rugged terrain and scenic thick forest. Shimla is also connected by an all weather metalled road with major towns and cities. There are regular buses to Shimla from Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Kalka, Kulu, Manali, Jammu, Nahan and other cities. Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. operates a number of air-conditioned luxury coaches with video facility. Shimla region has the following attractive spots:

Jakhu Temple

Dedicated to Lord Hanuman; this shrine is situated 2 kms. east of the city at an altitude of 2680 meters. This is the highest point on the ridge and half an hour of brisk walk can take you to this temple. The shrine abounds in monkeys and offers the visitor an excellent view of the city and the surrounding scenic hills and valleys.

Glen

The Glen is a pleasant picnic spot just 4 km. from the Ridge. This densely wooded glen is by the side of a snow-fed humbling stream at an altitude of 1830 meters.

Mashobara

Another popular picnic spot is just 10 km. away from Shimla. It offers interesting walks amidst stately oaks and pines with a night hall at Craignano Rest House atop a beautiful hill, 3 km. from the actual spot of Mashobara.

Kufri

Sixteen km. from Shimla is a little hamlet famous as a best ski-resort in the state. Situated at an altitude of 2501 meters, Kufri begins to throb with life in winter when ski-enthusiasts congregate from all over the world and enjoy on its famous ski-slopes. The annual carnival is held here in the beginning of February. Visitors generally, stay at Shimla and come to Kufri for the day, but if one likes to stay at Shimla and come to Kufri for the day, but if one likes to stay at Kufri he can do so at Tourist Bungalow or at Chini Bungalow-the famous place where during the Shimla Agreement. Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar All Bhutto, the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan respectively, stayed.

Wild Flower Hall

Near Kufri is this picturesque place famous for a fine view of the city and snow-clad far off mountain peaks. Once Lord Kitchner, thethen C-in-C of British Forces in India, lived here. Cottages, single or double room accommodation is available here at reasonable rates.

Naldera

Ten km. from the Ridge, Naldera is well-known for its nine-hole golf course. There are tourist Bungalows, Log Huts and Golf Club Huts and a Cafetaria. The charm of Naldera, which lies in its bracing and sylvan environs and quite splendor, is really irresistible.

Fagu

Twenty two km. from Shimla and at a height of 2610 meters, provides a visitor with an excellent view of the surrounding valleys, the healing magic environs and solitary splendor promise an unforgettable experience and relaxation. The tourists can stay here in the Tourist Bungalow.

There are a number of western style Hotels, Holiday Homes, YMCA hostels and many cheap lodging around the bus-stand. During the season it is difficult to find a suitable accommodation without prior reservation. Since the Mall is the most popular and fashionable area, the rates are quite high and most of the best hotels are located here.

Chail

It is royal retreat nestled in stately deodar and tall pines of the Shivalik slopes; Chail stands at the altitude of 2,250 meters. It is 45 km. away from Shimla via Kufri. Once the princely seat of the rulers of Patiala, Chail promises a variety of outdoor altercations including idyllic walks, both on easy and not-so-easy treks, and supremely commanding view of the Himalayan snowline. Chail can boast of the highest cricket play ground with concrete pitch in the world. Many splendid villas and the Palace, now the Chail Place Hotel (Tel, 43, 37) majestically retlects the princely era of the bygone years. Other places of stay include Pine Cottages, Log Huts, Honeymoon Cottage and Himneel Hotel.


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