Amidst this lockdown due to the Coronavirus, the only thing I can dream of is to get out of the house and fly my way towards the mountains. Being away from the crowded city life and exploring quiet corners of nature, absolutely thrills me. Packed with so many unique sights and the promise of making new friends, Himachal tops every mountain lovers list and the ideal way to experience this to stay in the hostels to live the local life.
There is no better place than Himachal Pradesh in India when it comes to mountains. Its landscape, at the foothills of the Himalayas, is favoured by all adventure enthusiasts. The cities provide a refreshing escape for those who are craving crisp mountain air.
Here is my list of the top places to visit in Himachal Pradesh
King’s Landing – Shimla
The capital of Himachal Pradesh sprawls along a mountain ridge, surrounded by oak and pine forests. It’s quite famous for its colonial-style buildings and historic railway. It may be overdeveloped or crowded, but it still has charm.
During my stay in Shimla, I visited the Ridge road, the Mall road, Jakhoo temple and the old Christ Church which are some of the preferred tourist attractions and local shopping areas. You will get mesmerizing views of the sunset and sunrise from the Scandal Point and Observatory Hill.
Sacred Home to the Tibetan Culture – Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj
The small towns of Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj are the home for the Dalai Lama and many Tibetans, who have followed him there after being exiled by the Tibetan Government. People flock to Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj to undertake Buddhist meditation and philosophy courses, Tibetan cooking classes, Tibetan language courses, and to receive alternative therapies.
During my last visit, I have interacted with so many Israeli who come here every year to find peace and relaxation, post their conscription. The locals have followed this tradition for decades and they are so used to Israeli presence, that there is a Hebrew version of the food menu too in even the secluded cafes, which I really found surprising.
Those interested in sightseeing will find some fascinating museums, temples, gompas, and monasteries. Tsuglagkhang Complex, the official residence of the Dalai Lama, is a highlight. Dharamshala, also, boasts a picturesque international cricket stadium. It’s a definite must visit, place only if there is a scheduled cricket match.
Rule the Blue Skies with Paragliding – Bir Billing
Himachal’s Bir Billing is Asia’s 1st and World’s 2nd highest paragliding site. Bir, the mountain getaway, has made an international name in aero-sports. The weather is blissful, the scenery picturesque and the thrill of adventure is absolutely adrenaline gushing.
Not just thrilling adventures, savor the serenity the mountains are so blessed with. The Tibetan monasteries in the region are treasure house of spirituality, knowledge and bliss.
This place isn’t yet fully explored by everyone and so there are a lot of local elements to this place which are worth exploring. Small villages in the surrounding area give a very rural feel so this highly adventurous city.
The end of the habitable world – Kullu
To enjoy the charm and beauty of the mountains, head to Kullu. Kullu is an open valley formed by the Beas River between Manali and Larji. It is famous for its temples, vast and beautiful majestic hills which are covered in Pine and Deodar forests. The thrilling activities to do in Kullu include trekking, mountaineering, angling, skiing, white water rafting, paragliding, etc.
The psychedelic trance scenes are very much visible in the forest area around Kasol, in the Kullu District’s Parvati Valley.
Festivals take place at Chalal, near Kasol, from late May until October and trust me, it’s a must visit. It’s a unique experience to see so many locals and tourist enjoy the evening in a very picturesque destination.
To get there, we had to walk 30 minutes from Kasol, crossing the cable suspension bridge over the Parvati River and then following the picturesque riverside path to the village. Two of the biggest events are Parvati Peaking and Magica Festival.
The Eagle-eyed view of Himachal – Dalhousie
British Governor General, Lord Dalhousie, the inspiration for the city’s name, which is at an an altitude of 2036 meters, gets its name from the
Dalhousie boasts of being an unspoiled hill station of the Dhauladhar Ranges, which is placed on the banks of River Ravi. It has a drastically diverse climate as it snows in Winters and its sunny and lush green during the rest of the year. The
Khajjiar – the mini-Switzerland of India – is less than an hour’s road trip from Dalhousie. With a small-town vibe, fresh mountain air, and picturesque landscapes encompassing dense deodar forests, verdant meadows, and snow-laden mountains, it is an adventurer and nature lover’s playground.
Do you think you know a secret spot in Himachal which we have missed? Do comment and let us know so we can explore the unexplored too.