Himachal Pradesh Tourism Information
A picturesque hill resort situated at a height of 1902 meters and about 82 km. from Solan on Shimla Kalka road. It offers numerous pleasant walks and treks around it. Just four km. from here is Monkey Point, a pleasant picnic spot which offers an excellent view of the plains and mountains. Thirty nine km. from here is a 19th century Gurkha Fortress. Kasauli is also a paradise for ornithologists. There is also good accommodation available for the tourists in a variety of Clubs, Rest Houses, etc.
Solan is situated on Shimla-Kalka road and is famous for its breweries. The town is named after the goddess Saloni Devi whose temple lies at the southern splendid picnic spots and sparkling streams around it. It is also connected by rail with Shimla and Kalka. Solan has nice places of stay in the tourist place and the dormitory. There is also a good Cafetaria, ‘Talk of the Town’.
Enroute Kalka to Shimla, the township of Pavwanoo is a pleasant stop over with HPTDC Shivalik Hotel. It has a beautiful chairway linking two high hills by means of a wire on which these chairs move.
Another skiing centre in Hirnachal Pradesh, Narkanda is situated at an altitude of 2700 meters and 64 km. from Shimla, and it is a nice solitary retreat with a magic touch. It also offers an excellent view of the Himalayas from its 3,300 meters high
Narkanda has a Tourist Bungalow and a Rest House. The Tourist Bungalow offers both rooms and dormitory. The popular sulphur springs of Tattapani are 51 km. away from Shimla. There is a Tourist Bungalow where double rooms can be had for reasonable rates.
Laying on the either bank of the river Beas at the foothills of the Shivalik range, Mandi is a gateway to Kulu Valley. Rich in its heritage of history, culture, lore and legend, Mandi acquired its name because all trade from Ladakh passed on to Hoshiarpur through here. The term ‘Mandi’ as is well-known, means a busy market. But many scholars believe that the term Mandi is derived from the name of sage Mandavvya who performed rigorous penance in ancient times. Mandi has a number of temples dating back to antiquity. The prominent ones among them are Bhuthnath, Triloknath, Panchavaktra, Ardhakari and Shyamli temples. The Shiv-Ratri festival is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm.
Kulu Town & Valley
Known as the abode of gods and goddesses, this idyllic pastoral valley is also known as the orchard of India. A picturesque and tranquil heaven, Kulu is a famous spot drawing heaven, Kulu is a famous spot drawing tourists from all over the world. Apples, pears, apricots, cherries, plums and peaches grow here in plenty. This is also the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti, it is also rich in deodar forests, rice, barley and wheat crops.
40 km. from Kulu, Manali, so fascinating in its beauty lies in snowcapped steep pinnacles cascading streams, pine and cedar woods with its rich hiking and trekking possibilities. Manali, the ‘Queen of Hill Resorts’, with a height of 1830 meters is located or: the banks of meandering Beas river.
Manali is the gateway to Rohatang Pass beyond which lie the twin valleys of Lahaul and Spiti, steeped in awe- inspiring barred splendour. In winter the mountain slopes here turn into perfect skiing slopes. There are man interesting shrines in and around Manali. There is a hot spring nearby called Vashistha. The water of these sulphur springs is very hot and is said to possess curative qualities. The hot water of the springs is piped into bath-houses, where one can enjoy refreshing bath on payment.
Manali is just 40 kms. from Kulu by road. The road from Kulu to Manali is an enchanting travel as it winds through breath-taking snowclad peaks, terraced paddy and barley fields gradually rising. There are daily buses from Delhi, Chandigarh, Kulu and Pathankot. Chandigarh is usual departurd point for buses to Manali. There are also direct buses from Shimla (247 kms.) and Dharamshala. Apart from the state transport buses, HPTDC has a net-work of excellent coaches for carrying the visitors to and from Shimla.
Lahaul and Spiti
Beyond Manali at a distance of 117 km. lie two remote Himalayan Valleys of Lahaul and Spiti. The valley can he reached only through Rohtang Pass at a height of 3,978 meters. This Pass assumes the same significance as does the Zoji La in Ladhakh. The whole region is stark, desolate, cold, inhospitable and full of barren rocks, mountains, glaciers, rugged valley and sparse vegetation in contrast to romantic Kulu Valley. Here the Himalyas can be seen in their most wild and awe inspiring aspects. Like Ladakh, this valley also does not have rains as the vain-bearing clouds have no access to these remote areas beyond high Himalayan ranges. Obviously the valley is dry, swept by biting cold winds. In summer it becomes cool, pleasant, inviting with its alpine flowers, barley and wheat fields and fresh green grass. It snows heavily in winter and then the Pass, the gateway to the valley, closes for a few months.
Kangra Valley and Kangra
The lovely Kangra Valley under the shadow of towering Dhauladhar Range in the north, contains many interesting places. Sprawling on either side ofihe river Beas, the Kangra Valley begins near Manali and extends upto Pathankot. The Pathankot Manali road passes through this valley and a narrow gauge railway line from Pathankot goes as far as Joginder Nagar.
The ancient town of Kangra, the home of exquisite miniature paintings, has not much to offer to the tourists save the Temple of Brajeshwari Devi, which had been subjected to many plunders on account of the fabulous wealth it possessed. Muhammad Ghazni in 1009 plundered the shrine and carted off a fabulous treasure of gold, silver and jewels. Again in 1360 it wa sacked by Feroz Tughlak, but every time it recovered miraculously. In 1905 the ancient and original temple was destroyed in an earthquake which has now been rebuilt. There is a PWD Rest House for tourists.
Thirty two km. south of Kangra, is famous Hindu shrine of the Goddess Jwalamukhi. This golden roofed shrine has natural gas escaping through acleft, burning eternally inside the temple. Hence the name Jwalamukhi i.e. flaming visage. It is the most famous holy shrines of the State. There is a Hotel Jwalaji for the visitors.
Ninety one km. from Pathankot and 55 km. from Jwalamukhi Dharamshala lies on the other side of Chamba at an altitude of 1,800 meters. It is a magnificent hill resort with over 16,000 population and majestic Dhauladhar in the back ground. It is the district headquarters. Besides, many pleasant walks and picnic-spots around, Dharamshala is also a centre of Tibetan art and culture. The Dalai Lama, the Head of Tibetan Buddism has been living here since he fled Lhasa in 1959, following a Chinese attack.
Dharamshala consists of two distinct parts. They both vary in altitude and temperature. The upperpart consists of Mcleod Ganj, Forsyth Ganj and the Cantonment. It is in Mcleod Ganj that Dalai Lama and his followers have been rehabilitated. The lower Dharamshala consists of college, schools, markets and administrative offices. Dharamshala is one of the best places for studies and research in Tibetan Buddhism, art and culture. It is full of Tibetan style hotels, restaurants and Tibetan handicrafts and other kinc-knacks.
Nearby Mcleod Ganj is the St. John’s Church where Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India lies burned following his death in 1863. Dharamshala is an excellent base for fine walks around.
555 km. from Delhi and 493 km. from Shimla, Dalhousie is another pleasant hill resort, which rightly been called “The Health Farm of India”. This hill station at an altitude of 2,000 meters was founded in 1850 by Lord Dalhousie as a sanatorium. Its scenic charms quiet atmosphere, bracing environs, pleasant walks, bright and clear sun shine, lovely picnic spots and not so expensive prices, makes it an excellent hill station. Dalhousie the gateway to Chamba, “the vale of milk and honey”. The town commands a panoramic view of the plains below in the south and the majestic snow-clad peaks in the north.
Fifty six km. from Dalhousie, Chamba at an altitude of 926 meters, is perched like a little fortress on an over hanging flat mountain shelf. Below rushes down the turbulent Ravi. The town is in the centre of the famed Chamba Valley of milk and honey, of gurgling stream’s interesting temples, ruins and romantic spots for an enterprising traveller. It is a convenient base point formany treks into the interior of the Himalayas. The valley is dry and cold with the river Chandrabhaga cutting its way out of the mass of chiff and boulders. Around it, beyond the snow line, stand the towering mountains rising one above the other.
This famous pilgrimage spot for the adherents of Sikh faith is more consecrated because of it association with the tenth Guru Gobind Singh whose weapons are also displayed here. Over looking the river Yamuna is the Gurudwara where the Guru composed a greater part of “Dasham Granth”. Nearby lie many holy spots consecrated by their association with Guru Gobind Singh. On Baisakhi day thousands of Sikhs congregate here to pay their homage to their Gurus in the Gurudwara. There are two Hindu Ternples dedicated to Rama and Krishna. There ‘is HPTDC’s Tourist Bur and a Rest House besides some private hotels.
292 km. from Delhi and at a height of 932 meters, is a pleasant place with salibrious climate round the year. Nahan is famous for many pleasant walks around and trekking. Nahan is well linked with most of the major towns and tourist centers of the region. There are a number of private hotels.
Himachali portion of the north western Himalayas is a veritable paradise for enterprising trekkers, hikers, walkers and mountaineers.
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