Himachal Pradesh
himachal

History of himachal pradesh

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Himachal Pradesh has a rich history that has laid a strong foundation for the state it is now. The origin of Himachal Pradesh goes back to the era of the first ever human settlement that took place in India - Indus Valley Civilization.

The flourishing civilization affected the foothills of the Himalayas, the place where present day Himachal Pradesh is located. According to evidences studied by historians, it is clear that the influence of the Aryans in this region dates back to the time period preceding the Rig-Veda. The history of Himachal Pradesh is reflective of the accumulation of the varied culture that evolved as well as flourished here. This was the 'Deva Bhoomi' – land of Gods, since earlier times. There are evidences that confirm the existence of pre historic humans in this region. Himachal Pradesh has also find its place in Epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana too. Various legends and mythological depiction also have appraised this state with varied names

Pre independence

Himachal Pradesh came under British control in the middle of the 19th century. The British annexed Kangra District, which includes present-day Kangra, Kullu, Hamirpur, and Lahul and Spiti districts, in 1846 at the conclusion of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The remainder of Himachal Pradesh was made up of a number of princely states. Under the British Raj, Kangra District was part of the British province of Punjab, and the princely states, then known as the Simla Hill States, were under the authority of Punjab until the early 1930's, when the Punjab States Agency was created, under the direct authority of the Governor-General of India. The Punjab Hill States Agency, which included most of the princely states in present-day Himachal Pradesh, was separated from Punjab States Agency in 1936. Shimla became the summer capital of India and even today, many old houses and buildings tell the story of English grandeur.

Post independence

The beautiful mountain state of Himachal Pradesh (HP) was originally formed as a centrally administered territory on April 15, 1948 by the integration of 30 odd Punjab hill provinces. In 1951, it became a Part C State under a Lieutenant Governor
In 1954, Bilaspur, another Part C State, was merged with HP.

On November 1, 1966 Punjab Hill areas were merged into Himachal as part of reorganization of Punjab. Himachal Pradesh became a full fledged state of the Republic of India on January 25, 1971.

Till October 1966, HP consisted of only six hill districts Mahasu, Mandi, Chamba, Sirmaur, Bilaspur and Kinnaur. In November 1966, it was reorganized and enlarged into ten districts with the inclusion of some of the hilly areas of Punjab Shimla, Kangra, Kullu, Lahaul, Spiti, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala district and areas of Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts.

In 1972-73, the state was re-organized into 12 districts Bilaspur, Chamba, Hamirpur, Kangra, Kinnaur, Kulu, Lahaul & Spiti, Mandi, Shimla, Sirmaur, Solan and Una.

Every village in the state has electricity and drinking water. A large cross section of youth from Himachal serve the Indian armed forces mainly in the army and have played significant role in the National defense, Kargil war being the latest example.

Himachal has now emerged as the power house of India when it comes to hydro-electricity. The state has many dams that harness the hilly rivers to generate electric power.

The art and crafts of the region as well as the famous music and dance practiced in the state are not free from foreign effects. The Rajputs who lived on the land, have gifted Himachal Pradesh with their colorful culture that is reflective in the various festivals that when celebrated in Himachal spreads floods of colors on the white landscape of Himalayas

Cuisine of Himachal Pradesh

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The preferred taste in Himachal Pradesh food varies from region to region. Non-vegetarian food, with a generous dose of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and red chillies, is very much the norm. The average Himachali cuisine churns out all sorts of meat, lentil and cereal preparations.


Simple Eating Habits


However there may be local variations. For instance, in the barren regions of Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti, there is more emphasis on locally-grown coarse grains like buckwheat, millet and barley. In areas with a pastoral tradition, milk and its products are liberally used in cooking. Himachalis are not particularly fond of vegetarian fare and till recently tubers like potatoes and turnips were all they ate in the name of vegetables. Green vegetables, however, are increasingly finding their way into Himachali food.

While the everyday meal is the usual dal-chawal-subzi-roti (the common north Indian meal of rice, lentil broth, dish of vegetables and bread), special dishes are cooked during festive occasions.

Famous Himachali Food


Famous Sidu is a kind of bread made from wheat flour. It is kneaded with yeast and the dough is allowed to rise for 4-5 hours. With a stuffing of fat it is first browned over a slow fire and then steamed. Sidu is normally eaten with ghee (clarified butter), dal (lentil broth) or mutton. In many parts of the state, ankalos made of rice flour are a festive dish. In the dry Lahaul-Spiti valley, the leaves of buckwheat are mixed with wheat flour and made into cakes called aktori. Patande (a sort of pancake) is a specialty in the Sirmaur area.


The dham - A Famous Traditional Festive Meal


Dham is cooked only by botis (a particular caste of Brahmins who are hereditary chefs). Preparations for this elaborate mid-day meal begins the night before. It is served in courses on epattalsi or leaf plates. In the Chamba region, the typical menu for a dham would start with rice, moong dal (green lentil broth) and a madrah of rajma (red kidney beans) cooked in yoghurt. This is followed by boor ki kari and a dark lentil (mash dal). Topped by khatta (sweet and sour sauce) made of tamarind and gur (jaggery), the dham ends with the mittha (dessert) – sweet rice, liberally mixed with raisins and dry fruit.

SHIMLA

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The British empire may have ceased to exit, but its echo lingers on in Shimla (2205m). As the Summer Capital of the British in India, Shimla was the country's focus for the better part of every year and now, is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. Today, it has well developed facilities, easy accessibility and numerous attractions making it one of India's most popular hill resort. Situated in the lower ranges of the Himalayan mountains, it is surrounded by pine deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Towards the north lie the snow-covered high-ranges, while the valleys breathe whispering streams and swaying fields. Within the town are host of splendid colonial edifices, quaint cottages and charming walks. Shimla offers a variety of shopping, sport and entertainment activities

ACCESS The airport is at Jubbar-Hatti, 23 km away. Shimla is connected to Kalka by an enenchanting narrow gauge railway line where even a quaint rail car ply. By road, Chandigarh is 117 km, Manali is 280 km, Chail is 45 km and Delhi is at a distance of 370 km. From Delhi, Manali and Chandigarh, luxury coaches and taxis ply to Shimla. During tourist season HPTDC also operates regular deluxe buses from Delhi and Manali to Shimla.

CLIMATE In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. Summer temperature are mild and light woolens/cottons are recommended.

PLACES OF INTEREST

THE RIDGE: This large open space in the heart of town presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the neo- gothic structure of Christ Church and the neo - Tudor library building - are worth seeing.

LAKKAR BAZAR: Popular for its wood crafts and Souvenirs, this is just off the Ridge.

JAKHOO HILL (2.5 km): At 2455m, this is the town's highest peak and a famous point for Shimla's famous views. The summit is crowned with a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The hill is full of paths and narrow roads which are enjoyable walks.

ST. MICHAEL'S CATHEDRAL: This dressed-stone church with fine stained glass has a cruciform design. It is located just off the Mall, below the District Courts.

STATE MUSEUM (3km): This houses a representative collection of Himachal's rich heritage. Exhibits include archaeological artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Closed on Monday and holidays.

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDY (4 km): At 1983m, this magnificent English renaissance structure was the former Viceregal Lodge. Its lawns and woodland are added attractions. Entry by ticket ( nominal charge ). A portion of the interior is also open to the public, except on Sundays and holidays.

THE GLEN (4 km ): At 1830m, It is a thickly wooded ravine through which a stream flows. It is a popular picnic spot.

ANNANDALE (4.5 km): Surrounded by a thick deodar forest, this large glade has an ancient temple on the edge.

PROSPECT HILL AND KAMNA DEVI ( 6 km): At 2125m and crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi, the Hill offers spectacular wide views of the city and its environs.

SANKAT MOCHAN (7 km): This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

TARA DEVI (11 km): 2044m, A thickly wooded hill with a temple dedicated to Tara Devi.

MASHOBRA (12 km): At 2149m, this beautiful suburb is surrounded by thick forests. From here, a track leads down to Sipur which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There are old temples a fair is held every April.

KUFRI (16 km): At 2501m, this is famous for its wide views and ski slopes. An enjoyable walk leads up to the Mahasu Peak. At Kufri, Himachal Tourism runs Cafe Lalit.

FAGU (22 km): At 2510m, Fagu has some enchanting views. Himachal Tourism run Hotel Peach Blossom offers spectacular views.

CHAIL (45 km): This was a former Summer Capital of the Patiala State. The Palace has been converted to a Luxury Hotel by Himachal Tourism.

TATTAPANI (51 km): At 656m, there are hot sulphur springs believed to have medicinal value.

SIGHT-SEEING TOURS: Himachal Tourism conducts a variety of sight-seeing tours from Shimla. These tours can be reserved from the Himachal Tourism Tourist Information Office, Scandal Point, The Mall, Shimla. Tel: 0177 - 2652561, 2658302 Email: shimla@hptdc.in

FAGU

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Fagu is a tiny village aside a saddle-like mountain along Hindustan Tibet Road. A rare range of views is visible from here, which include vivid dales and snow clad peaks. The picturesque countryside is dotted with clusters of villages, fruit gardens and nearby terraced fields. Fog characterizes the hillside landscape endowed with romantic ambience. Most of the area is covered with conifers of Himalayan cedar and spruce. Located at an altitude of 2,450 m, Fagu, perhaps have derived its name from the fog itself.

ACCESS : The closest airport is at Jubbar-Hatti, 45 km away. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Shimla, 22 km away. By road Chandigarh is 139 km and Delhi is at a distance of 392 km.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to below freezing point when heavy woolens are required and in summers light woolens / cottons are recommended.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

KUFRI (4 km): (2510 m) Famous for its ski slopes also have enjoyable walks leading up to Mahasu Peak in proxomity. A Nature Park and Mini Zoo are other places worth visiting. Hill ponies and Yaks are available for a joy ride. HiPTDC here runs Cafe Lalit.

SHIMLA (22 km): (2205 m) Once a summer seat of Britesher, Shimla is now the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. It has the rarest of the rare heritage buildings and monuments of the bygone area. Worth seeing places are - The legendary Mall Road, The Ridge, The Christ Church, Kali Bari Temple, Jakhu Hanuman Temple, Sankat Mochan, State Museum, Institute of Advanced Studies.

CHAIL (27 km): (2226 m) provides many bounties of nature. Once the summer capital of Maharaja of Patiala, the Kingly Palace decorated with some historical objects as well, is now owned as a Heritage building by HPTDC. Also famous for the world's highest Cricket Ground, Wildlife Sactuary and Sidh Baba ka Mandir.

NARKANDA (42 km): (2708 m) On the Hindustan Tibet road, Narkanda offers a spectacular view of higher snow ranges. An uphill trek (8 km) through deodar woods leads beholder to Hatu Peak famous for ancient Hatu Mata Temple (3475 m) which is now connected with a motorable road. During winter, under the aegis of HPTDC, skiing is also conducted here. Kotgarh and Thanedhar, Himachal's Apple heartland famous for delicious apples are located in vicinity. HPTDC runs Hotel Hatu at Narkanda.

NALDEHRA

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Located at distance of 22 km from Shimla, Naldehra (2044 m) is a heaven for tourists. It boasts of the oldest 9 hole golf course in the country. The well groomed Golf Course is a lovely verdant, perhaps one of the finest and sporty in India. Crowned with a springing turf the Golf Course was suggested by Lord Curzon. He was so enchanted by the place that he gave his daughter Alexendra, "Naldehra" as her second name. It is the venue of many competitions. The Nag temple is also situated here and Naldehra derives its name from it.

ACCESS : The closest airport is at Jubbar-Hatti, 45 km away. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Shimla, 23 km away. By road Chandigarh is 139 km, Manali is 282 km and Delhi is at a distance of 392 km.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to below freezing point when heavy woolens are required and in summers light woolens / cottons are recommended.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Golf Course Naldehra is famous for world famous Golf Course.

TATTAPANI At 656m, there are hot sulphur springs believed to have medicinal value

CHINDI

Chindi-shimla

Hillsides covered with thick forests, acres filled with apple orchards, small picturesque hamlets and remarkable views in all directions combine to make Chindi (1825 m) and the area around it, one of the most beautiful places in Himachal Pradesh. The area is still off the beaten track and yet, has good facilities in terms of roads, small markets and accomodation. Chindi is an excellent off-beat destination that holds the charms that Himachal is just famous for.

ACCESS : The closest airport is at Shimla at Jubbar-Hatti, 110 km away. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Shimla, 87 km away. By road Mandi is 100 km, Rampur via Baina Khud is 92 km, Chandigarh is 204 km and Delhi is 457 km. The road from Shimla passes through Naldehra, Tattapani, Al Chindi and Churag.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to below freezing point when heavy woolens are required and in summers, light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

 The wide Karsog Valley lies below Chindi and has good excursion spots. Apple orchards add thir attraction to the area and Chindi is surrounded by them.

 The area has several temples that display a high level of traditional craftmanship. Some of the important temples are - Mamleshwara Mahadev, Kamakshya Mata, Mahunag, Ardhnarishwara, Aledi Mahadev, Palinag at Nalagali, the sacred Bhima Rock, Churag temple, Nag Dhamooni at Sairi Bangla, temple at Chatri and the temple of Nag Dhamooni at Saranda.

 The hike to Shikari Devi (3359 m) is possible from Chindi. The views from Kunhoo Dhar (23 Km) are spectacular

DARLAGHAT

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ACCESS : By road, the hotel is 41 km from Shimla. Regular buses / Taxis are available from Shimla. The Airport is at Jubbar-Hatti (Shimla) 57 km and the nearest narrow gauge railway head is at Shimla 41 km away.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop near to freezing point when moderate woolens are required and in summers, light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

DARLAGHAT (1800 m): Just 2 km far from the hotel, the place is famous for pollution free Gujrat Ambuja Cement Factory.

DURGAGHAT (1790 m): On Shimla - Manali State highway. Famous for Durga Temple on the top of the hill.

ARKI (17 km): Once the capital of the princely State of Baghal, Arki witnessed a good measure of turbulence in this area. Arki became the stronghold of an encoding force of Gurkhas, furring the Gorkha wars that came to an end in 1815-16. About 1850, Raja Kishan Chand had the fort decorated with fine murals executed in the Pahari style. Here is a place with history and adorned with fine art. A temple of Lutroo Mahadev dedicated to Lord Shiva is also worth seeing (7 km on foot).

HARSINGH TIBBA: This peak is situated about 20 km, north east, at an altitude of 2445m. One can travel by taxi or buses upto village Chanawog (1834m) and a further 4 km climb upto the peak. On the top is an ancient temple of Dev Harsingh. The peak also offers spectacular wide view of Satluj valley and the river including Shimla Hills.

BARIDHAR (22 km): At an altitude of 2140m this is a beautiful place for trekking and sight seeing. Annual fair called "Bari Jatra" is celebrated on 14th June every year. This day, palanquins of five Pandavas from nearby village being worshipped as local Gods, assemble and meet on the hill. There are also two temples dedicated to Pandavas and Budhi Mata.

SHOPPING: There is an enormous range of goods that Shimla offers. This includes handicrafts, wood and metalwork, shawls, pullovers, local tweeds, caps, Tibetan carpets, pickles, jams and squashes. Himachal Pradesh Govt. operates an Emporium at The Mall, Shimla where all these products are available for sale.

PARWANOO

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Along the National Highway 22, as you cross the State border from Haryana into Himachal, Parwanoo (470 m) welcomes you. A couple of decades ago, this was a sleepy little village and today, it is a major industrial town. For the tourist, Parwanoo is a convenient base station to see and visit a number of nearby areas.

ACCESS The nearest broad gauge railhead is at Kalka, only 1.5 km away and nearest airport is at Chandigarh, 32 km. Taxis and buses are available at both places.

CLIMATE In winter, the temperature can get quite low when heavy woolens are required. It is pleasantly warm in summer and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

PINJORE (10 km) : Parwanoo is an excellent base to visit the famous Mughal style garden at Pinjore.

DAGSHAI (28 km) : A one time British cantonment this small town is surrounded by pine trees. It has an old church.

KASAULI (37 km) : A charming hill station with lots of old world charms.

SABATHU (45 km) : Still a cantonment, it also has the remains of a Gorkha fort.

KASAULI

Kasauli-in-Himachal

This small hill station seems to live in time warp that belongs to the 19th century. The narrow roads of Kasauli (1951m) slither up and down the hillside and offer some magnificent vistas. Directly below is the spread of vast plains of Punjab and Haryana which as darkness falls, unroll a gorgeous carpet of twinkling lights. At 3647 m, the peak of Choor Chandni also called the Choordhar powerfully dominates the lower hills and across the undulating ranges, Shimla is visible.

The upper and lower malls run through Kasauli's length and one can enjoy longs walks. A mixed forest of pine, oak and huge horse-chestnut encircles the town. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by stretch of cobbled road, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards.

ACCESS : Kasauli is connected by road. The closest broad gauge railhead is at Kalka, 37 km away. The closest airport are at Chandigarh, (65 km) and Shimla (73km). Taxis and buses for Kasauli are available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Kalka and Shimla.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature gets quite low and heavy woolens are required. In summer, the climate is mild light woolens/cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

MONKEY POINT : 3.5 km from Hotel Ros Common, a hill which derives its name from Rishi Man-Ki who used to worship an idol of Lord Hanuman and later the summit was crowned with a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and presently being looked after by the personnel of Air Force, stationed here. The area being restricted from security point of view, no belongings like Camera etc are allowed.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS : Christ and the Baptist Church are examples of Kasauli's colonial architecture. Central Research Institute established in 1906 by Dr. Sample prepares various vaccines. Kuthar (46 km) has an old palace with wall paintings. The small Sanwara Station (16 km) on the Kalka Shimla Railway line can make a good downhill hike from Kasauli.

BABA BALAK NATH TEMPLE : 3 km on the Hill top is a famous temple of Sidh Baba Balak Nath.

SHIRDI SAI BABA MANDIR : Built in 1989 the famous temple is located half km away from Garkhal. The idol of Sai Baba was built at Jaipur and the burning flame in this temple signifies the divine power of Sai Baba of Shirdi.

LAWRENCE SCHOOL : Situated on top of the hill is the famous Lawrence School. Mr. Henry Lawrence was the founder of this school. He also built the first cottage in Kasauli known as Sunny Side in 1848.

BAROG

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On the Kalka - Shimla Highway, Barog (1680m) has grown from a mere stopover to a full-fledged destination. Surrounded by pine and oak forests, Barog has a commanding setting. Barog makes a conveniently accessible destination and a travel stopover to or from Shimla.

ACCESS : The closest airport is at Jubbar-Hatti, 65 km away. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Barog itself. By road Chandigarh is 62 km and Shimla is 55.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop near to freezing point when heavy woolens are required and in summers light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

RAILWAY STATION (3 km) : On of the most attractive station in the Scottish style on the Kalka - Shimla rail route.

DAGSHAI (7 km) : A one time British cantonment. This is small town surrounded by pine trees and has an old church.

SOLAN (8 km ): Located on the National Highway - 22 Solan derives its name from "Shoolini Devi" a local deity whose temple is situated in Solan Graon which is in existence since ancient times. Solan also remained capital of erstwhile Bhagat State for many years. A famous "Shoolini Fair" is commemorated every year in 2nd week of June at Thoda Ground. The town has various cultural and recreational centers besides temples and churches. There are beautiful parks such as Children Park, Mohan Park and Jawahar Park which have adequate arrangements for comfortable sitting and strolling. A mini zoo in the park adds to the fascination of the environment. Durga Club, Central State Library, Lower and Upper Bazaar and Mall road are worth visiting. Ancient Durga Temple, Sanatan Dharm Mandir, Hari and Narsingh Mandir are also quite famous.

SOLAN BREWERY (11 km) : This is in existence since 1855 AD. Formerly Dyer Meakin Brewary, it is not only known in the country but also in foreign countries for its products.

JATOLI (15 km) : 7 km from Solan this small but beautiful village on Solan - Rajgarh road famous for Vishal Shiva temple.

DOLANJI BON MONASTERY (18 km) : On Solan - Rajgarh road there is a small village known as Ochhghat. 5km from here on Narag-Sarahan road, located at famous Bon Monastery known 'Yungdrung Bon Monastery' being run by Yungdrung Bon Monastic Centre. This was founded in 1969 by the Abbot Lungtog Tenpai Nyima. After 14 years of hard work, he managed to create a totally self sufficient monastery with 120 monks, developing it into a thriving, active centre of all branches of Tibetan traditional learning. On the eve of New Year and on other occasions three sacred Bon dances are performed here which are of great attraction.

KAROL GOOFA (17 km) : On the Karol Tibba (2135m) and 8 km from Solan town is an ancient Sidh Goofa which is considered to be one of the longest Goofa in Himalayan region. It starts from Karol and ends somewhere at Pinjore. Besides Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman temples, Thakur Mandir on top of the hill are some the great attractions for the pilgrims and visitors. The trek up to Karol is steep but quite enjoyable. This place is very popular amongst the trekkers and adventurous picnickers.

HORTICULTURE AND FORESTRY UNIVERSITY (16 km) : In the surroundings on Rajgarh Road the University is an unique centre of higher studies and research in horticulture and forestry. The entire campus is worth seeing.

GAURA : Located alongside the Solan - Rajgarh road, this place is famous for Mahasheer fishing in Giri river.

RAJGARH (53 km): A picturesque area with numerous orchards and picnic spots like Habban and Nacchana.

KIARIGHAT

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Situated at Kalka-Shimla National Highway, Kiarighat is a small place where tourists can stay for a while or stay overnight.

ACCESS : Kiarighat is connected by Shimla-Kalka National Highway. It is 27 Kms away from Shimla and 19 Kms from Solan. The nearest Airport in Jubbal Hatti and nearest narrow Guage Railway Station is Kandaghat.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop near to freezing point when heavy woolens are required and in summers, light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

J P University The JP university is located at about 8 Km from here

RAJGARH

RAIGAD

Situated at about 5000 ft. from sea level, Rajgarh is sub-divisional head quarter of Sirmour Distt. It is situated nearby Giri river which is a tributary of river Yamuna.

ACCESS : By road, Raaajgarh is 80 kms from Shimla and 85 Kms from Kalka. Regular buses / Taxis are available from Solan. The Airport is at Jubbar-Hatti (Shimla) and the nearest narrow gauge railway head is at Solan.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop near to freezing point when moderate woolens are required and in summers, light woolens / cottons are recommended.

RENUKA JI

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The Renuka Lake (660 m) is regarded as the embodimezznt of Renukaji, the wife of sage Jamadagini and mother of Parshuram, one of the ten Avtars of Lord Vishnu. Shaped like a profile of a woman, the lake has the circumference of 2.5 km and is the largest in Himachal. This placid stretch of water is fed by underground springs and the surrounding hills are padded by lush forests that support a large variety of plant and animal life. Boating and trekking are the additional attractions of Renukaji, whose natural beauty has to be seen to be believed. This is perfect year around destination that beckons every traveler.

ACCESS : Renukaji is connected by road. It is 315 km from Delhi. The nearest rail head is at Ambala (95 km) Dehradun (105km) and Chandigarh (95 km). The nearest airports are at Chandigarh and Dehradun. Taxis/buses are available for Renukaji at all places.

CLIMATE : In winter, the climate is pleasant and light woolens are suggested. Summer temperature are high and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

RENUKA LAKE : Legend has it that when the evil Sahasarjuna killed the sage Jamadagini and tried to abduct his wife Renuka. She flung herself into the water. The gods restored her to life and this lake is regarded to be her embodiment. There is a row of temples along its banks, and a track encircles the water. Boats are available on hire next to the hotel.

PARASHURAMA TAL AND RENUKA TEMPLE (100M) : At the base of the Renuka lake, this large pool is considered to embrace Lord Parshurama, who wished to spend all eternity at his mother's feet. Reportedly built overnight by an invading force of Gurkhas in early 19th Century, the original temple of Renukaji is here. Both mother and son are reunited every year at a celebratory fair held in November.

JAMU PEAK (8 km) : Above the lake is the peak where Rishi Jamadagini is said to have meditated. A footpath leads to the peak. There is a small temple and it offers an excellent view of the lake and surrounding area.

MINI ZOO (2 km) : You can boat across the lake or drive to this zoo, which has Asiatic lions, spotted deer, lion tailed macaques, 'Nilgai' Methuen, barking deer and Himalayan black bears.

LION SAFARI (2 km) : Adjoining the zoo, an armored van enters the large enclosure allowing for a close glimpse of the lions within.

JATAUN (5 km) : The dam of the Giri Hydel Project is here and angling for Mahaseer (river carp) may be done.

PAONTA SAHIB

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Surrounded by sal forest and on the banks of river Yamuna, the historic town of Paonta Sahib (350m) was founded by the Tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. When only 16 years old, the Guru left Anandpur Sahib and on the invitation of Raja Maidini Prakash of Sirmour, lived at this beautiful spot for over four years. The historic gurudwara commemorates his stay and interestingly the water of the Yamuna fall silent below this which happened at the Guru's behest. The word Paonta means 'Space for a foothold'.

ACCESS : Paonta Sahib is connected by road. From Renukaji. It is 81 km via Nahan and 60 km via Rajban. From Dehradun, it is 44 km. The closest railheads are at Ambala and Dehradun. The nearest airports are at Chandigarh and Dehradun. Taxis/buses are available for Paonta Sahib at all places.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. Summer temperature are high and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

GURUDWARA PAONTA SAHIB : This site was Guru Gobind Singh's home for over four years and it was here that he wrote the Dasam Granth. Within its precincts are the Sri Talab Asthan where he disbursed salaries and the Sri Dastar Asthan were he judged the turban tying competitions. At the Kavi Darbar Asthan, poetic symposia were held. There is also a memorial to sage Kalpi and a museum that displays pens and weapons of the period among other artefacts.

YAMUNA TEMPLE : This ancient shrine is immediately below the gurudwara and is dedicated to the goddess Yamuna.

GURUDWARA TIRGARH SAHIB (22 km) : This is built on the hillock from where Guru Gobind Singh shot arrows at the enemy.

GURUDWARA BHANGANI SAHIB (23 km) : This commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's first battle when he defeated Raja Fateh Sahib and his allies.

SHIVA TEMPLE, PATLIAN (4.5 km) : Surrounded by fields and sal trees, the linga in this temple is supposed to be steadily increasing in size.

SHRINE OF BABA GARIB NATH (8 km) : Located in a sal forest and with an excellent view of the area, the shrine is revered by childless women.

RAM TEMPLE : Within Paonta Sahib the temple is located near the Yamuna bridge. With exquisite marble work built in 1889 in the memory of Raja Partap Chand of Kangra by his wife who originally belonged to Sirmour. The Kirpal Dass Gurudwara is just part of the temple.

GURUDWARA SHERGARH SAHIB (12 km) : At this spot Guru Gobind Singh beheaded a dangerous man eater tiger with a single swipe of this sword.

SIMBALWARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY : 12 km off the main Paonta Sahib - Nahan road, this is known for a variety of bird life.

SIRMOUR (16 km) : Here are the remains of the old capital of the princely state of Sirmour. The town is said to have been destroyed by flood in the 11th century, when it was cursed by a dancing girl.

NAGNAUNA TEMPLE (16 km) : Built in a hollow near the village of Puruwallia, this temple is closely allied with the legend of Sirmour's erstwhile ruling house.

KATASAN DEVI TEMPLE (30 km) : Also known as Uttam Wala Bara Ban, this is on the Paonta Sahib - Nahan road. The Shrine is revered by local people. At this spot, the forces of Sirmour defeated the marauding armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan Rohilla.

NAHAN (45 km) : Built in a series of interlocking circles, this charming town was founded by Raja Karan Prakash of Sirmour in 1621. It has numerous pleasing walks, several temples, a gurudwara and interesting architecture.

FOSSIL PARK SAKETI (60 km) : This was the site of the largest fossil find in the Shiwalik hills. The park has a museum and life size models of animals that once roamed these tracts.

BALASUNDARI TEMPLE, TRILOKPUR (63 km) : Legend has it that the Devi's pindi appeared in a bag brought by a local trader. The temple was built by Raja Deep Parkash of Sirmour in 1573. Close by is a recently built Shiva Temple.

ADVENTURE AND FISHING : The most popular trek in the area is to the 3,647 meter high Choordhar - which poetically translates as the "Mountain of the silver bangle". Fishing is possible on the Giri and Yamuna rivers near Paonta Sahib.

CHAIL

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When Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala was expelled from Shimla - The Summer Capital of the British India, he decided to create his own capital for the warm months. The little village of Chail was perfect. It lay surrounded by magnificent deodar forests, Shimla was in direct vision and most importantly, Chail at 2226 m was somewhat higher than British controlled Shimla. Today, the Maharaja's creation can be experienced by everyone. And for Himachal Tourism, now owner of the gracious mansion, every visitor is a Royalty. Here is a resort in the true sense of the word. A beautiful Palace with ornate furniture, charming cottages, delightful log huts, thick forests, quiet walks, a 'lovers hill', an orchard of its own, elegant lawns, badminton and lawn tennis court, billiards and even a children's park. Each regally appointed room, each quaint cottage and every warm log hut offers a memorable holiday. Whether you are on a honeymoon and in search of seclusion or wish to organize a conference, Chail offers it all. Then, there are good sightseeing places and possibility of some fishing and trekking. Chail also has the world's highest cricket pitch and polo ground.

ACCESS Chail is connected by road. From Shimla via Kufri the distance is 45 km and via Kandaghat is 61 km. Kalka is 86 km away. Regular buses for Chail leave from Shimla, Chandigarh and Delhi. The closest airports are at Chandigarh (120 km) and Shimla (63 km).

CLIMATE In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. In summer the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

SIDH BABA KA MANDIR (1.5 km) : Maharaja Bhupinder Singh originally began building his palace at this site. It is said that a Sidh - saintly person - appeared before the Maharaja in dream and declared that this was the place where he had this temple built

CRICKET GROUND (3 km): Built in 1893, after leveling top of a hill, it stands at 2444m and is the highest cricket pitch and polo ground in the world.

WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (3 km) : The Chail sanctuary has 'ghoral', 'kakkar', 'sambhar', red jungle fowl and 'khalij' and 'cheer' pheasants. Machan like sighting posts have been built at Khuruin.

KUFRI : An enjoyable drive through forests and small villages leads to this small but popular station. The Nature Park here is a great attraction. A short trek leads to the Mahasu Peak with breathtaking views.

SADHUPUL : Between Kandaghat and Chail is this village and bridge astride the Ashwani stream. A good picnic spot.

ADVENTURE AND FISHING : A dozen or so trek routes lead out of Chail. Trails lead upto the Choor Peak and to Shimla. There is fishing on Giri river at Gaura, 29 km away.

NARKANDA

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Situated at an attitude of 2708 meters on the Hindustan Tibet road (NH - 22), Narkanda offers a spectacular view of snow ranges. This is an ideal retreat for the tourists who seek seclusion in mountains. It commands an unique view of the eternal snow line, the inviting apple orchards and dense forests. Narkanda is famous for Skiing & Winter sports. During these days the slopes come alive with skiers. The skiing at Narkanda was started in 1980 and since then HPTDC is conducting skiing courses every year. Narkanda is a gateway to apple country of Himachal Pradesh. .

ACCESS : 65 km. from Shimla, it is connected by Bus/Taxi services. Nearest Railway Station (65 km) and Airport (88 km) are at Shimla.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is pleasant and cottons / light woolens are suggested. Narkanda receives heavy snowfall in winters.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

HATU PEAK (3300m) : 8 km from Narkanda, the road is surrounded by pine and spruce trees. On top of the hill, ancient Hatu Mata temple is located. The peak offers spectacular view of the entire Himalayan ranges, snow clad mountains and in depths are the dense forests, green fields and apple orchards. Hiking is recommended to reach the peak

KACHERI (1810m) : This place is located 0.5 km from Oddi, and 7 km from Narkanda on NH - 22 and famous for ancient Mahamaya Temple.

KOTGARH AND THANEDHAR (1830m) : 17 km link road bifurcating from Narkanda takes you to the Himachal's Horticultural heartland, Kotgarh and Thanedhar, renown for apple orchards. The famous Stokes Farm is located at Thanedhar. Stokes came to India on a trip and while on a summer visit to Shimla, fell in love with its environments, which included the charming hill folk and settled down in Kotgarh. He started the apple farm which soon became renown with its Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Royal Delicious,apples.

JALLORI PASS (3,550 m) : 90 km from Narkanda, passing through the Sutlej Valley and crossing over to Luhri, Ani, Khanag through one of the best scenery in the Kullu Valley takes you to Jallori Pass. A 30 minute level walk from the Pass takes you to Sarolsar Lake among deep forests. See nature at it's best.

RAMPUR

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Once the capital of the princely State of Bushahar, Rampur is presently one of the biggest commercial town of Himachal Pradesh. It is located on the left bank of river Sutlej. The town was once a major center on the old trade route to Kinnaur, Tibet, Ladakh and China. Even today the tradition is as vibrant as ever. Famous International Lavi Fair is held in November and Faag Mela in March every year. 

ACCESS : 134 kms from Shimla on NH - 22. Rampur is connected by regular Bus/Taxi services. The nearest Railhead (134 km) & Airport (157 km) is at Shimla. Rampur can be approached from Rohru via Sungri ( 80 km ) and from Kullu, Manali via Jalori pass ( 190 Km).

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. In summer the temperature rises upto 40 degrees.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

RAMPUR TOWN (924m) : There are many places for sight-seeing. 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. In an interesting colonial and traditional styles, the Padam Palace is one of Rampur's major attractions.

DUTT NAGAR (970m) : 12 km ancient village on the left bank of Sutlej which derived its name 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.

SARAHAN

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The Gods were generous when they have gave Sarahan (2165m) its settings. Located halfway up a high mountain side, the road to Sarahan winds past flowering Pine trees that give way to stately Oaks. 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, a 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 Fifty One sacred Shaktipeethhs. The temple's unusual architecture and wealth of carvings have made it a resplendent example of what is loosely called the Indo-Tibetan style. Deep down the alley 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. Here is a place that offers extraordinary travel experience.

ACCESS : The nearest railway station (176 km) and airport (198 km) is at Shimla, where taxis and buses are available. By Car, Sarahan is 6 hours drive from Shimla. The route is on NH - 22 upto Jeori, from where the road bifurcates to Sarahan.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. The summer temperature is warm but pleasant and light woolens/cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

BHIMAKALI TEMPLE COMPLEX : This historical temple is a multistoried 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.

KHARA PATHAR

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PABBAR VALLEY If you look for a road less traveled, if you want to experience an indefinable blend of myth and reality, fact and fiction, if ancient and towering temples, legends, charming architecture and soaring mountains excite you, if fishing and trekking set your pulse racing, if you plan your vacation in the scrutiny of picturesque hamlets, fruit-laden orchards cradled by thick words and set by swift streams, and if you want to experience a place where man and nature live on - Experience the bewitching spell of Pabbar valley

Khara pathar is a place that gives expression to the phrase of 'time standing still', Kharapathar is a perfect leisure destination in the heart of nature's generous blessings to the area. Lush forests, wide views, excellent walk and hike trails and the charm of apple orchards make this a perfect leisure destination that is easily accessible by a short drive (85 km) from Shimla. .

ACCESS : 85 km from Shimla, it is connected by regular Bus/Taxi services. Nearest Railway Station and Airport (108 km) is at Shimla. Distance to Rohru is 30 km, Rampur via Sungri is 110 km and Narkanda via Baggi is 95 km.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is pleasant and cottons / light woolens are suggested. Kharapathar receives heavy snowfall in winter season.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

HATESHWARI TEMPLE COMPLEX (1400m) : 29 Km from Kharapatthar on the right bank of the river Pabbar, the classical temples of Hatkoti, executed in the nagara style are a major attraction. The primary temple is that of Devi Durga in her form of Mahishasuramardini, the slayer of the demon Mahisha who stalked the world in the form of a buffalo - and the Devi is locally known as 'Hateshwari'.

JUBBAL (1892m) : 90 km from Shimla and 20 km from Hatkoti. Once held the ruling seat of the princely state, Jubbal has superbly maintained the Palace which was designed by a French architect in the 1930 and is a remarkable mix of European and indigenous styles.

GIRI GANGA : The hike to Giri Ganga (7 km) is an enjoyable one through thick deodar woods. This is the source of the river Giri Ganga (also called the Giri) that rises just below the Kuppar peak. The river pours its waters into the mighty Yamuna and there is a small shrine at the spot.

ROHRU

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This is small but bustling town located by the banks of river Pabbar. The valley near Rohru has a garland of attractive spots. This stretch has long been on the anglers beat after trout was introduced to the Pabbar's water in 1938-48. Raja Bajrang Bahadur Singh of Bahadri - popularly known as Raja Bhardi, was particularly fond of this region for scope for trout fishing. He developed this area as an angler's paradise. 

ACCESS : 115 km from Shimla. It is connected by regular Bus/Taxi services. Nearest Railway Station and Airport is at Shimla (116 km) and (148 km) respectively.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are recommended. During summer it remain sunny and cozy.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

SHIKHRU DEVTA TEMPLE : This is a beautiful temple located in the heart of the town, Shikhru Devta is held in high veneration and is the sight of on annual fair which is celebrated during the month of April every year.

CHIRGAON : 15 km from Rohru. Scenically enchanting, Chirgaon has a trout hatchery. Good fishing spots in the area are Seema, Mandi, Sandhsu, Tikri and Dhamari. Larot is another attractive spot near Chirgaon.This is the base for treks to Dodra - Kwar, the Sangla Valley and to Sarahan via Tacklech and to Nichar.

CHANSHAL : Like the resplendent crown for a noble face, the snow clad Chanshal range rises above the Pabbar Valley. At 4520 m the Chanshal Pass remains open from May to October. The Chanshal area also has some excellent ski slopes.

DODRA KWAR : The villages of Dodra and Kwar are separated by a few kilometers. Still unconnected by a motorable road, this pocket retains a pristine beauty. There are countless wild flowers and medicinal herbs, thick woods of flowering rhododendron, cedar and birch, waterfalls and fast-flowing streams. All this is set against a majestic backdrop of high peaks like the Sharangcha. The villages and their temples, are remarkable examples of local wood work skill and come packed with fascinating legends. The 45 km trek from Tikri to Kwar is via Larot, Chanshal, Gajyani-Thach, Kalapani, Dodra and Gaon Pujari, then over the Rupin stream at Gusangu, before Kwar. Other places worth seeing from Rohru are Sudash (17 km), Larot (36 km), Sungri (32 km) and Dhanwari (26 km) which is famous for trout fishing.

ADVENTURE : Apart from fishing, camping and trekking , the Pabbar area is fast emerging as an adventure-sports focus, with rafting and canoeing, hang gliding and paragliding. The Chanshal slopes has been identified as excellent for heli sking.

KULLU

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Kullu (1220m) was once known as Kulanthapitha - the end of the habitable world. Beyond rose the forbidding heights of the Greater Himalaya, and by the banks of the shining river Beas lay the fabled Silver Valley. Kullu got its first motorable access only after independence. The long centuries of seclusion have however allowed the area to retain a considerable measures of its traditional charm. Here is the core of an intricate web of numerous valleys, each of which is a visual delight and seems more beautiful than the other.

The Silver Valley has nature's treasures that lie carelessly scattered as flowers. This wealth nestles by every tree in the splendid forests, bursts forth in the blooms and in the fruit of every orchard. Here are riches which cannot be measured and echo down the ages with the words of every myth and ancient legend and glow in the warm smiles of its gentle people. There is pleasure in every step you take in these enchanted valleys and in every gurgle you hear in the clear mountain streams.

ACCESS : The airport at Bhunter is 10 km from Kullu, where taxis and buses are available. By road, the distance from Delhi is 530 km , Shimla - 240 km. From Delhi, HPTDC Luxury and Volvo coaches ply to Kullu daily. During tourist season there is a daily luxury coach to Shimla.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature gets quite low when heavy woolens are required. It is pleasant in summer and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

KULLU DUSSEHRA : When Dussehra celebrations comes to an end in the rest of country, it begins at Kullu. Over 300 local deities come to pay homage to Lord Ragunath. This is a time when the valley is at its colorful best.

RAGHUNATH TEMPLE : In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh of Kullu committed a great wrong. To atone for the sin, he sent a courtier to Ayodhya for a statue of Lord Ragunath (Lord Rama). This temple was built by Raja Jagat Singh to house the image and is greatly revered.

BIJLI MAHADEV TEMPLE (14 km) : At 2460m, this is set on a spur that offers some spectacular views. The temple is famous for its high staff that periodically draws lighting which shatters the Linga and scorches the building. Using only butter as adhesive, the Linga is then carefully pieced together by the temple pundit.

BASHESHWAR MAHADEV TEMPLE BAJURA (15 KM) : One of the most charming temple in Kullu, this is renowned for its intricate stone carvings.

OTHER TEMPLES : The Vaishno Devi temple (4km), the Devi Jagannath Temple at Bekhli (5 km) and the Vishnu temple at Dayar (12 km) are other important shrines around Kullu.

KAISDHAR (15 KM) : A high meadow fringed by deodar trees. A picturesque spot.

KASOL (40 km) : An open glade by the banks of the river Parvati on way to Manikaran. Clean white sand separates the lush green grass from the water. A good spot for trout. Himachal Tourism runs Tourist Hut at Kasol

MANIKARAN

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At 1737 m, on the right bank of river Parvati. this place is famous for hot sulphur springs revered by both Hindus and Sikhs pilgrims. Thousand, of pilgrims take dip in holy water. The water of the spring is also said to have curative value which cures many skin diseases. According to an ancient saying Manikaran is also connected with Lord Shiva and His divine concert Parvati. 

ACCESS : By road the Manikaran is 45 km from Kullu via Bhunter and 85 km from Manali. The road bifurcates at Bhunter 10 km short from Kullu via Jari and Kasol. The airport at Bhunter (Kullu) is at a distance of 35 km.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature gets quite low when heavy woolens are required. It is pleasant in summer and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

PULGA : Kasol to Pulga is a challenging trek of 16 km and climb of a nearly 1600 meters.

KHIRGANGA : The place is well known for its hot springs. Its water contains medicinal property. Another 2 Km from Khirganga lies Mantalai which is a scenic spot.

CHANDRAKHANI PASS : It lies east of Katrain. After a stiff climb from Kasol, the whole area looks wonderfully striking and colourful when the flowers blossom.

MALANA VILLAGE : Beyond the beautiful Chandra Khani Pass lies an unique village Malana which is famous for its distinct culture and the temple of Jamlu devta.

SHOJA (69 km) : This is a vantage point for a complete panorama of the Kulla area. It provides an encompassing view of snow peaks and valleys, meadows and forests, rivers and streams. Bifurcating from Aut from the National Highway, Shoja is just 5 km short from Jallori Pass. A walk of 5 km from the Pass takes you to the Sarolsar Lake among deep forest. The road further to JallorI Pass connects to Rampur, Narkanda and Shimla via Ani and Luhri.

NAGGAR

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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.

ACCESS : By road Kullu is 26 km and Manali is 21 km. The airport is at Bhunter (Kullu) 36 km.

CLIMATE : In winter heavy woolens are recommended and in summers the temperature is pleasant and cottons are suggested.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

JAGATIPATT TEMPLE : In the upper courtyard of the castle there is a small temple - a small square structure which contains "Jagtipatt" a slab of stone measuring 5'x8'x6" which is said to have been brought from a place near Vashisht by honey bee. This is also place for meeting of local deities of Kullu.

TRIPURA SUNDRI TEMPLE : This pagoda shaped wooden temple is situated in the upper part of the village. This is also a rare examples of architecture.

NICHOLAS ROERICH ART GALLERY : Prof. Late Nicholas Roerich, a reputed artist had chosen Naggar as his residence when he came to India in 1929. The house has now been converted in an art gallery which houses numbers of rare paintings and other specimen of art. The gallery is open for visitors.

GAURI SHANKAR TEMPLE : At the foot of small bazaar below the Castle is the Gauri Shankar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is a charming example of architecture and carving of its particular period. Now a protected monument with heritage status.

FISHING AND ADVENTURE : The Kullu Valley has numerous places for trout fishing. These includes Katrain, Raison, Kasol and Naggar, along the river Tirthan near Larji, in the Sainj valley.

Treks : The valley is a nucleus to several trek routes. Some major ones are over the Chanderkhani Pass to Malana village, over the Jalori Pass to Shimla, and over the Pin Parvati Pass to Sarahan. The river Beas offers excellent opportunities for white water rafting.

SHOPPING : Shawls, Local Tweeds, Rugs, Foot Wear (Pullan), Baskets, Natural oil (almond and olive), special Kullu Caps.

MANDI

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The historic town of Mandi (800m) is situated along the banks of river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre, and the sage Mandava is said to have meditated here. Mandi is renowned for its 81 temples and their enormous range of fine carving. Mandi is known as the 'Kashi of the Hills'. The town also has remains of old palaces and notable examples of colonial architecture. Mandi is the gateway to the Kullu valley and acts as a base for several exciting excursions.

ACCESS The nearest airport at Bhunter is 59 km. The broad-gauge railhead is at Pathankot at a distance of 210 km. From Pathankot the narrow gauge railway connects Joginder Nagar, 56 km from Mandi. From Chandigarh one can drive directly to Mandi via Ropar and Bilaspur, the distance is 203 km The drive takes around 5 hours. Luxury / Volvo coaches from Delhi and Shimla bound for Kullu - Manali travel via Mandi.

CLIMATE In winter, temperatures can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is hot and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

BHOOTNATH TEMPLE : Practically synonymous with Mandi and located in its very heart, this is as old as the town itself and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For an entire week the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.

SYAMAKALI TEMPLE : Also called the temple of Tarna Devi, this is high on Tarna Hill which rises above the town. Built In the 17th century by Raja Syama Sen after particularly trying times when the goddess gave him success.

OTHER TEMPLES IN MANDI TOWN : Within the town is a variable roll call of shrines. Apart from the emotions they evoke, they are also a wealth of classical architecture and ornate sculpture. Many of these are devoted to Lord Shiva, at the Triloknath Temple He is depicted as the lord of the three worlds, at the Panchvaktra He has five faces, expressing His five aspects. At the Ardhanarisvara Temple, Lord Shiva appears in a composite form with right half as a male and the left half as a female symbolizing the male and female principles of cosmic evolution. There are several exquisite temples along the College road, and the bank of the Beas is lined with many more. At the Gyarah Rudra Temple, the day the famous Amarnath darshan takes place, the temple is decorated to resemble as Amarnath Cave. The other places of interest within Mandi are the Rani Amrit Kaur Park, the District Library Building and Vijay Kesari Bridge.

PANDOH : 16 km from Mandi, an earth and rock fill dam is located here.

SUNDERNAGAR (1175m) : 24 km from Mandi is this attractive town where the balancing reservoir of the Beas - Sutlej link canal is located. The road has the canal on one side and lush green field on the other which makes driving along it a real pleasure. The Mahamaya Temple is on top of the hill.

PRASHAR LAKE (92730m) : 40 km north of Mandi is this beautiful lake, with a three storied pagoda style Temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.

JANJHELI (2200m) : 67 km from Mandi this is a scenic place with thick forests and springs. It is also the base of some excellent treks.

SHIKARI DEVI (2850m) : 15 Km from Janjheli there is an ancient temple here and some marvelous landscapes.

SHOPPING : A variety of traditional handcrafts including silver jewelry and stone carvings can be purchased at Mandi.

REWALSAR

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Located on a mountain spur, an hour's drive from Mandi brings you to this jewel like lake. With water, woodland and high hills, it presents a variety of natural beauty and the spot is sacred for Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. It was here that the great Indian teacher and tantric, Padmasabhava left for Tibet. Known to the Tibetans as Guru Rimpoche - the Precious Master. It was under Padmasambahava's influence that Mahayana Buddhism spread over Tibet. There are islands of floating reed on Rewalsar Lake and the spirit of Padmasabhava is said to reside in them. It is here that the sage Lomas did penance in devotion to Lord Shiva, and the Sikh Guru Gobind Singh also resided here for one month.

ACCESS Rewalsar is 24 km by road from Mandi. Taxis and buses are available at Mandi.

CLIMATE In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is mild and light woolens/cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

MONASTERIES : At opposite ends of the lake there are two Tibetans monasteries. The Bhutanese also have one.

GURUDWARA : This Gurudwara was built in 1930 by Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi. It commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's visit, when he sought to evolve a common strategy with the hill rulers against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

TEMPLE : At Rewalsar there are three Hindu temples. These are dedicated to the sage Lomas, Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva.

MINI ZOO : The forest department maintains a small zoo at Rewalsar. Above Rewalsar, Seven Lakes are also of interest.

SWARGHAT

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For short excursions and picnics, once the summer capital of Raja Bilaspur, is ideally situated 40 km off Bilaspur on the Bilaspur - Chandigarh NH 21. This is an ideal spot for stopover. In the night twinkling lights in the plains of Punjab are worth seeing. The temple dedicated to Laxmi Narayan is located here.

ACCESS : The nearest airport, broad gauge railhead is at Chandigarh, (86 km). Bilaspur is 40 km. Regular Taxis and buses are available from Bilaspur.

CLIMATE : In winter the temperature is mild when heavy woolens are required. Summer is pleasant and cottons are recommended.

BILASPUR

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The old Bilaspur town was founded by Rishi Ved Vyas. The place is famous for Gobind Sagar lake which offers a variety of water sports in collaboration with the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali. Year-around activities include boating, water skiing surfing, Rowing etc.

ACCESS : The nearest airport is at Shimla (86 km) and broad gauge railhead is at Chandigarh, (86 km). Mandi is 69 km. Regular Taxis and buses are available from Bilaspur.

CLIMATE : In winter the temperature is mild when heavy woolens are required. Summer is hot and pleasant and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

VYAS GOOFA : The name of sage Vyas is well known in this part and in fact he must have frequently roamed about in this area, from Thaneshwar to Rohtang wherein river Vyas emerges and there is a pond called Vyas Kund. It is situated in the foot of new township. It is believed he meditated in this cave.

KANDROR BRIDGE : This bridge is 285 meter long and suspended over a ravine that is 60 meter high. The bridge is considered an engineering feat.

MARKANDA : This is a famous shrine, 20 km from Bilaspur named after renowned Rishi Markandaya. A fair is held annually on Baishakhi day. Water from natural spring here are reputed to have curative effects on some skin diseases.

FORTS : The Bilaspur district has many facts of ancient time which are worth visiting. Some of these are Bachhretu Fort, 64 km from Bilaspur, Baseh Fort 70 km, Kot - Kahlur Fort 40 km from Bilaspur and Rattanpur Fort 21 km.

MANALI

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One day, Varvasvata, the seventh incarnation of Manu found a tiny fish in his bathing water. The fish told him to look after it with devotion as one day it would do him a great service. The seventh Manu cared for the fish till the day it grew so huge that he released it into the sea. Before departing, the fish warned Manu of an impending deluge when the entire world would be submerged and bade him to build a sea worthy ark. When the flood came, Varvasvata and seven sages were towed to safety by Matsya, the fish which is regarded as first avatar of Lord Vishnu. As the water subsided the seventh Manu's ark came to the rest on a hill side and the place was named Manali (2050 m) after him.

As the flood slowly dried, here arose a place of breath- taking natural beauty which was only appropriate at Manali that life began again. Today this legendary cradle of all human kind is a prime holiday destination. There are high mountains surrounded by snow and deep boulder strewn gorges. There are thick forests full of cool breeze and bird songs. There are fields of wild flowers, small picturesque hamlets and fruit laden orchards. .

ACCESS : The airport at Bhunter is 50 km from Manali where taxis and buses are available. The closest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar, 165 km away. The closest broad gauge rail heads are Chandigarh (310 km) and Ambala (355 km). By road the distance from Delhi is 570 km and from Shimla the distance is 280 km. From Delhi, there is a regular HPTDC Luxury and Volvo Coach to Manali. HPTDC runs Luxury coach from Shimla to Manali in tourist season.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. Summer temperature are mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

HADIMBA TEMPLE (1 km) : Built in 1553 with a superbly crafted four tiered pagoda roof, it is famous for its exquisitely carved doorway.

MANU TEMPLE (2 km) : This is dedicated to the sage Manu situated at old Manali.

VASHISTH (3 km) : Well known for its hot springs. There are old temples dedicated to the sage Vashisth and to Lord Rama.

MONASTERIES : There are three recently built Tibetan monasteries at Manali.

JAGATSUKH (6 km) : The one time capital of Kullu. Here are old temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and to Sandhya Gayatri. The Arjun caves are just ahead.

SOLANG VALLEY(14 km) : In a picturesque setting this has good ski slopes and picnic spots.

TOWARDS THE ROHTANG PASS : On the road to Keylong is the Nehru Kund (6km) which is a clear water spring scenic spot named after the Late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Kothi (12km) is a picturesque village and has a thrilling view of the deep gorge through which the Beas swiftly races. The beautiful Rahalla falls (16km) are at at altitude of 2500m. A crucial link on the old trade route and still the gateway to trans Himalayan Lahaul, the Rohtang Pass is at height of 3978 m.

CLUB HOUSE : The Club House with its comprehensive facilities that include a roller skating rink, an auditorium, billiards rooms, a library, a bar and restaurant makes wonderful outing for the day.

CAFE JUNIPAR : Himachal Tourism also runs the Juniper cafe and Chandratal restaurants at Manali.

SIGHT-SEEING TOURS : Himachal Tourism conducts a variety of sight-seeing tours from Manali. These tours can be reserved from the HPTDC Tourist Information Office,

KEYLONG

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Situated at an altitude of 3350 m, Keylong is the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The region is strange, exciting, primitive mountainous and delightful. Rudyard Kipling said of the region "Surely the God live here this no place for men." The route to Lahaul takes a traveler over Rohtang Pass (3980 ml), Koksar (1st village of Lahaul) Sissu, Gondla and crossing the river Chandra Bhaga at Tandi 

ACCESS : By road the distance is 115 km from Manali, 188 km from Kaza, 373 km from Leh, 435 km from Chandigarh and 690 km from Delhi. Heavy winter snows cut off road connectivity to the region at Rohtang Pass for six months from November to June. Buses, Taxis are available from Manali in season. HPTDC also plies regular coaches to Leh via Keylong during July - September. Nearest airport is Bhunter, 175 km from Keylong.

CLIMATE : Lahaul remains cut-off from outside the world till mid June due to heavy snowfall and closing of Rohtang Pass. There is little or no rain in monsoons. The climate remains dry and invigorating. The days are hot and nights are extremely cold. Heavy / Light woolens are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

TANDI (2573m) : 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 (3100m) : 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 (2523m) : 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.

MONASTERY'S : Lahaul is well known for its monasteries, locally called Gompas, which are great repositories of Buddhist faith and art treasures. These are Kardang - 5 km, Shasur - 3 km, Guru Ghantal - 8 km, Tayul - 6 km, Gemur - 18 km

SHOPPING : Shawls, Local Tweeds, Caps, Rugs, Footwear, Fresh fruit, Natural oil (olive and almond), Sliver jewellery, Pullovers, Metal craft, Woolen jackets and Bamboo products.

JAWALAMUKHI

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Ancient legend speak of a time when demons lorded over the Himalayan mountains and harassed the gods. Led by Lord Vishnu, the gods decided to destroy them. The gods focused their strengths in an huge flame which rose from the earth. From the fire, a young girl look birth. She is regarded as Adishakti the first 'Shakti'.

Known as Sati or Parvati, she grew up in the house of Prajapati Daksha and later became the consort of Lord Shiva. Once her father insulted Lord Shiva and unable to accept this, she killed herself. When Lord Shiva heard of his wife's death his rage knew no bounds and holding Sati's body he began stalking the three worlds. The other gods trembled before His wrath and appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu let fly a volley of arrows which struck Sati's body and severed it to pieces. At the places where the pieces fell, the fifty-one sacred Shaktipeeths came into being.

Sati's tongue fell at Jwalaji (610m) and the goddess is manifest as tiny flame that burns flawless blue through fissures in the age-old rock. Even the Pandavas are regarded to have visited this sacred place.

ACCESS The airport at Gaggal is 46 km from Jwalamukhi. The closest broad gauge railhead is at Pathankot, 123 km away. Taxis and buses are available at both places. From Delhi the road distance is 473 km and from Shimla is 212 km.

CLIMATE In winter, the climate is cold but pleasant when woolens are required. During summer the temperature is hot and cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

JWALAJI SHRINES : There are nine different flames within the temple and each signifies something different. It is said that centuries ago, a shephard saw the flames for the first time and Raja Bhumi Chandra, the ruler of the area had the original temple built. The Mughal Emperor Akbar installed a gold parasol and Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the dome gilded. Across the courtyard is Devi's bed chamber and above the temple is the shrine of Baba Gorakhnath.

NAGINI MATA( 4.5 km) : The site of a fair held in July / August, this is located on the hill above Jwalaji.

SHRI RAGHUNATHJI TEMPLE (5 km) : Popularly known as Teda mandir, Rama, Laxman, and Sita are said to have stayed here and the first temple is supposed to have been built by the Pandavas.

ASHTABHUJA TEMPLE(1 km) : This ancient temple has stone image of the eight-armed goddess.

NADAUN (12 km) : Closely connected with the glory of Kangra erstwhile rulers, there are numerous old temples and remains of a couple of old palaces.

CHAUMUKHA (22 km via Nadaun) : There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva with a huge four faced image.

PANJ TEERTHI AND MAHAKALESHWAR (9 km and 28 km via Nadaun) : By the banks of the river Beas and closely associated with the exile of the Pandavas are these two sacred places. These are within a few hundred meters of each other.

BANKHANDI (36 km) : At the Bagulamukhi Mata temple is a stone image of the goddess. At the nearby Shiv temple is a Linga said to have been placed by the Pandavas.

HARIPUR (45 km) : There are numerous attractive temples and an old fort.

MANGARH (37 km) : On top a hill is this octagonal fort named after Raja Man Chand.

DHARAMSHALA

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The High snow clad Dhauladhar ranges form a magnificent backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamsala. This is the principal township of Kangra district and overlooks wide spread of the plains. With dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamsala has everything for a perfect holiday. It is full of life and yet peaceful. The headquarters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are at upper Dharamsala. Covering a wide area in the form of twin settlement, lower Dharamsala (1380m) is a busy commercial centre. While upper Dharamsala (1830m) with the suburbs of Mcleodganj and Forsytheganj, retains a British flavor and colonial lifestyle. The charming church of St. John in the wilderness is situated here and this is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, a British Viceroy of India during the 19th century. There is also a large Tibetan community who have made this place their home. Numerous ancient temples like Jwalamukhi, Brijeshwari and Chamunda lie on the plains below Dharamsala.

ACCESS : Dharamsala can be approached by air from Delhi. The nearest airport is at Gaggal, 13 km away. Pathankot, the nearest broad gauge railway station is 85 km away and the toy train station is 17 km at Kangra. Taxis and Buses for Dharamsala are available at both places. From Pathankot the drive takes about three hours or you can drive from Delhi (526 km) via Chandigarh, Kiratpur and Bilaspur and takes 12 hours. From Delhi and Shimla luxury buses ply to Dharamsala. HPTDC operates a regular Luxury coach from Delhi to Dharamsala.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST
 

The variety Dharamsala offers for sightseeing ranges from temples, churches and monasteries to museums, ancient towns and places of natural beauty. Every season and every spot has its own special offering.

KANGRA ART MUSEUM, KOTWALI BAZAR : This treasure trove of the Kangra Valley displays arts, crafts and rich past, artifacts that date back to the 5th century. It includes a gallery of Kangra's famous miniature painting and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamianas and dresses used by local royalty, old carved doors, jails, lintels and pandals are also on display Coins, jewelry and manuscripts are included. A section houses the work of contemporary artists, sculptures and photographers.

WAR MEMORIAL : At there start of town, landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh.

KUNAL PATHRI : A 3 km level walk from the Kotwali Bazaar leads up to this rock temple.

ST. JOHN'S CHURCH : 8 km from Dharamsala, between Forsythganj and Mcleodganj is the charming church of St. John in the Wilderness. Under the shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863. There is a well tended old graveyard on these grassy sloped.

MCLEODGANJ : Often called the Little Lhasa, at 1770m is the residence of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Government in exile has been head quartered here for over three decades. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avaloktwshwara. The large Tibetan community and the presence of traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet have enhanced the area. Tibetian handicrafts and garments are available on sale every Sunday. The Tibetian Institute of Performing Arts is just a km away and organises a ten day festival from the second Saturday of April.

DAL LAKE : 11 km from Dharamsala and surrounded by deodar trees this is an enchanting and serene picnic spot.

BHAGSUNATH : Close to fresh springs, this ancient temple is 11 km from Dharamsala. It is a popular picnic spot and the famous slate quarries are close by.

CHINMAYA TAPOVAN : 10 km from Dharamsala on the banks of the rivulet Bindusaras, is an ashram complex established by the late Swami Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita. The complex includes a 9 meter high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama Temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.

NURPUR : 66km from Dharamsala and 26 km from Pathankot, Nurpur is famous for old fort and a temple of Brijraj. Nurpur acquired its name in 1672, when Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor named it after his wife Nurjahan.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS : The temple of Jwalamukhi, Chamunda Devi and Brijeshwari Devi are other pilgrim centers close to Dharamsala. The fort of Kangra and Ma11ngarh are other attractions.

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS : Between May and October, the Dhauladhar ranges offer an enormous variety of trekking and rock climbing.

PALAMPUR

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In local parlance, the word for lot of water is "pulum". This is what has given Palampur (1249 m) its name and its water has given the valley so much of its character. Countless streams criss-cross the landscape and in their intricate mesh, hold tea gardens and rice fields. The town came into being when tea plantation was introduced in the 19th century and Palampur became a focus for the planters. Kangra tea, with its center at Palampur, has been internationally acclaimed since then.

To further bless the area with remarkable natural beauty, the Dhauladhar ranges rise dramatically just beyond Palampur. The town itself has interesting colonial architecture and the area around is richly garnished with historical temples and forts and scores of picturesque hamlets.

ACCESS : The airport is at Gaggal (Kangra) 37 km from Palampur. Nearest broad gauge railway station is at Pathankot at a distance of 115 km and the narrow gauge railway station is at Maranda, 4 km from the town. Taxis and buses are available at all places. By road Palampur is 545 km from Delhi.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can get quite low and heavy woolens are required. It is warm in summer and cottons are recommended.

JOGINDER NAGAR

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In 1925, the enterprising Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi created an elaborate hydel power scheme near the village of Sukrahatti which was then renamed Joginder Nagar (1220m) after him. After tunneling and piping the water over several kilometers from the river Uhl to Joginder Nagar, the Shanan power house was built by a team of engineers headed by Col. Batty. Later, the HP State Electricity Board added another set of turbines at nearby Bassi.

Joginder Nagar has everything for a quite and relaxing holiday and leaves options open for trekking, fishing, sightseeing, picnics and enjoyable drives in the area.

ACCESS : Joginder Nagar is the terminus of the narrow gauge rail track from Pathankot. The narrow gauge train leaves at 9.50 am from Pathankot. It is 65 km by road from Kangra an 55 km for Mandi. The nearest airports are at Gaggal (Kangra), and from the one at Bhunter near Kullu the distance is 115 km. Taxis and buses to Joginder Nagar are available at all major stations.

CLIMATE : In winter the temperature can hover just above freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST
 

MACCHIYAL LAKE : 6 km from the Hotel Uhl is this small but enchanting lake held sacred to Machendru Devta.

BASSI POWER HOUSE : 6 km from the hotel is an attractive picnic spot.

BIR : 16 km from Joginder Nagar, this is a Tibetan settlement with a beautiful monastery.

BAIJNATH : 20 km from Joginder Nagar is this exquisite temple where Lord Shiva is worshipped as Vaidyanath - 'The Lord of Physicians'. The original temple was built in 804 A.D. Here King Ravana is said to have supplicated Lord Shiva for this boon of immortality.

JHATINGRI (2012 m) : 12 km from Joginder Nagar is this enchanting spot at top of a hill. Surrounded by thick deodar forest, the ruins of the summer palace of the Mandi rulers is located here and the vistas it unfolds are breath-taking.

BAROT : 22 km by road from Joginder Nagar, and 11 km by the Haulage trolley, Barot packs an enormous range of outdoor activities. The reservoir of the power project is located here. A trout breeding centre making it a wonderful place for angling. Across the river Uhl is the Nargu Wild Life Sanctuary home to the ghoral, Himalayan black bear and a variety of pheasants.

CHAMBA

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Chamba town (915m). stands on the right bank of the river Ravi. As a former princely State, it is one of the oldest in the century and dates back to the sixth century. It is well known for its splendid architecture and a base for numerous excursions. It is also the district headquarters.

ACCESS : Chamba is connected by road and is 580 km from Delhi. It is 24 km from Khajjiar, Dalhousie via Khajjair, is 56 km. The closest railhead is at Pathankot, 118 km away. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 170 km. Taxis/buses are available from these places.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature gets very low because of cold winds, when heavy woolens are required. It is hot in summer and the temperature rises up to 38 degrees
 

PLACES OF INTEREST
 

LAXMI NARAYAN TEMPLE COMPLEX : With six main Shikhara style temples and several smaller shrines, this is renowned for its finely executed classical forms.

HARI RAI TEMPLE : This is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to the 11th Century.

OTHER TEMPLES : The profusion of temples in Chamba and their craftsmanship is remarkable. Some important shrines are Champavati, Vijreshwari, Sui Mata and Chamunda Devi.

THE CHOWGAN : Chamba's wide concourse is the hub of much of towns activity and also serves as its promenade.

RANGMAHAL : This old palace is an interesting mix of colonial and local architectural styles.

AKHAND CHANDI PALACE : Now a college, this imposing building once housed Chamba's ruling family. Much of the original craftsmanship can still be seen.

BHURI SINGH MUSEUM : Named after Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba, this is a treasure house of Chamba's rich past. The exhibits include copper plates, murals, doorways, costumes, paintings and stone carvings.

ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH : Over a century old, this is a charming dressed stone structure with lancet windows.

BHARMOUR (69 Km) : Its 84 ancient temples at a height of 2141m are well known. It is also the summer home of the nomadic Gaddi people.

MANIMAHESH (98 Km) : This sacred lake (4183m) is associated with Lord Shiva and is a site of annual pilgrimage from mid of August to mid of September each year. Distance from Bharmaur is 28 Km.

CHATRARI (45 Km) : An attractive temple to Shakti Devi is located here.

KHAJJIAR

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Often called India's Switzerland, the exquisite glade of Khajjiar (1960m) has a circumference of about 5 km. Along its fringes, thick forests of deodar climb the slopes, the snow-line rests above these woods. At Khajjiar there is a 12th century temple dedicated to KhajjI Nag. Within the temple are life size wooden images of the five Pandav brothers.

ACCESS : Khajjiar is connected by road and is 23 km from Dalhousie and 26 km from Chamba. It is 520 km from Delhi. The closest railhead is at Pathankot, 120 km. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 180 km. Taxis and buses are available from all these places.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature hovers around freezing point with snowfall and heavy woolens are required. In summer, the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.

DALHOUSIE

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In western Himachal Pradesh, the hill station of Dalhousie is full of old world charm and holds lingering echos of the Raj era. It covers an area of 14 sq. km. and is built on five hills - Kathlog, Patreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun. It is named after the British governor General of the 19th century, Lord Dalhousie. The town's average height is 2036 m, and is surrounded by varied vegetation - pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendron. Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its location presents panoramic views of the plains and like a long silver line, the river Ravi twists and turns below Dalhousie. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar mountains are also visible form this enchanting town.

ACCESS : Dalhousie is 485 km by road from Delhi and 52 km from Chamba. The closest railhead is Pathankot, 80 km away. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 135 km . Taxis and buses are easily available from these places.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to freezing point when heavy woolens are required. The summer temperature are mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

CHURCHES : There are four beautiful churches in Dalhousie. These are St. Andrew's Church and St. Patrick's Church at Balun, St. Francis church at Subhash Chowk and St.John's Church at Gandhi Chowk.

SUBHASH BAOLI (1 km) : It was at this enchanting spot surrounded by majestic trees, that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose spent time in 1937, contemplating and meditating.

PANCHPULA (3 km) : This is a picturesque spot where a stream feed a series of pools. A monument has been built here in memory of the freedom fighter, Sardar Ajit Singh.

KALATOP (10 km) : This wild life sanctuary is a home to the 'ghoral' and Himalayan black bear.

SHOPPING : Tibetan handicrafts including pullovers and carpets at Dalhousie. Chamba Slippers, 'Rumals' and Shawls at Chamba town.

HAMIRPUR

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The history of Hamirpur is closely associated with the Katoch dynasty. Hamirpur was a part of old Jallandhar - Trigarta empire. The Katoch dynast became predominent during the period of Raja Hari Chand who ruled from 1700 A.D. to 1740 A.D. It was Raja Hamir Chand who built the fort at Hamirpur and the present town derived its name from this ruler. Hotel Hamir is named after Raja Hamir Chand.

ACCESS : The nearest airport is at Gaggal (Kangra) 83 km. The closet broad gauge railhead is at Pathankot 185 km. Taxis and buses are available at all these places. By road, the distance is 94 km from Dharamsala and 206 km from Chandigarh.

CLIMATE : In winter, the climate is cold but pleasant when woolens are required. During summer the temperature is hot and cotton are recommended

PLACES OF INTEREST
 

SUJANPUR TIRA (25 km) : Sujanpur was a refuge of Sansar Chand Katoch, a great ruler of Kangra region from 1806 till 1824. Known as a builder and patron of pahari miniature paintings, a fortified palace at Tira overlooking Sujanpur town, remnants of 'Barahari Hall' and some exquisite frescos on the walls of Narbadeshwar and Gauri Shankar temple are testimony of Sansar Chand's abilities. Holi, a festival of colours is celebrated with fervour in March - April every year.

NADAUN(27 Km) : It used to be the capital of Sansar Chand Katoch of Kangra. The place is famous for fishing

BHOTA (15 Km) : This beautiful place is located on Dharamsala - Shimla road.

DEOTHSIDH (56 Km) : This is a famous pilgrimage centre and is a cave temple shrine dedicated to a child saint, Baba Balaknath. Himachal Tourism runs Hotel Deotsidh at Shahtalai, 10 km from the temple shrine.

KALPA

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Situated at the height of 2758 m above the sea level and 110 km from Sarahan, Kalpa is a beautiful and main village of Kinnaur. Across the river faces the majestic mountains of the Kinner Kailash range. These are spectacular sights early in the morning as the rising sun touches the snowy peaks with crimson and golden light.

ACCESS : Nearest Airport (267 km) and Railhead (244 km) is at Shimla. The route is on NH - 22 (The Hindustan Tibet Road) which bifurcates to Kalpa from Powari. Buses and Taxis are available at Shimla and Rampur. One can also reach Kalpa via Manali - Rohtang Pass - Kunzam Pass - Kaza (400 km).

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to below freezing point when heavy woolens are required and for summers light woolens are recommended.
 

PLACES OF INTEREST
 

RECONG PEO (2670M) : Located 240 km from Shimla, 7 km from Powari and 13 km from Kalpa. Recong Peo is the headquarter of district Kinnaur.

KOTHI : Just 3 km from Recong Peo. Kothi has a temple dedicated to the goddess Chanadika Devi. Set against a backdrop of mountains and graves of the deodar the temple has an unusual architectural style and fine sculpture. An exquisite gold image of goddess is enshrined in sanctum.

SANGLA VALLEY : If a landscape had the powers of casting spells, then the Sangla valley would be a magician extraordinary. Once seen, it is a place that can never be forgotten. Even the rushing waters of the Baspa river, that flow through its 95 km length, seem to absorb some of the magic and slow down to savor its snow-frame beauty. 2 km from Sangla is the fort of Kamru (300 m) its tower like architecture resembles that of the Bhima Kali complex and this was the origin of rulers of Bushehar. Chitkul (3450 m) is the last village of the valley and beyond lies Tibet.

RIBA (2745M) : Just 18 km from Powari on NH-22 is famous for its vineyards and local wine 'Angoori' made from grapes.

JANGI : 26 km from Powari, the inner border is located here beyond which foreigners require permit to travel upto Tabo. From this point the famous Kinner Kailash Parikarama Trek starts touching Morang, Thangi and Kunocharang villages and entering Chitkul village in Sangla Valley.

PUH (2837m) : Lush green fields, orchards of apricot, almond trees and vineyards, are to be seen on route to Puh. Just 58 km from Powari along the NH-22, Puh has rest house and basic hotel facilities.

NAKO (3662m) : 117 km from Kalpa. In Hangrang Valley is the largest village above sea level. It is also famous for Nako Lake which has boating facilities in summer and during winter its frozen surface is used for ice skating. Buddhist monastery is located here.

TABO (3050m) : 163 km from Kalpa and 27 km from Sando the ancient village, Tabo is situated on the left bank of river Spiti. Flanked on either side by hills, it is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries regarded by many as only next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet. It is also known as the Ajanta of the Himalayas. Tabo is the largest monastic complex of Spiti which has since been declared a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.

KAZA

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Situated at an altitude of 3600 meter above sea level on left bank of river Spiti is presently the headquarters of Spiti sub division. Translated, 'Spiti' means the 'middle country' - a name obviously given as a result of its ties with both India and Tibet. With freckles of green over a dry, weather-beaten face, Spiti is a cold desert where the monsoon rain never comes. It is characterised by stark beauty, narrow valleys and high mountains. A century ago, Rudyard Kipling in Kim called Spiti "a world within a world" and a "place where the gods live" - a description that holds true to the present day.

ACCESS : Nearest airports are at Kullu (Bhuntar) 250 km. and Shimla 445 km. Kaza can be approached by road from Shimla (May to October) and from Manali 200 km. via Kuzam Pass (June to October).

CLIMATE : This region is known as Cold Desert and does not receive rainfall. In winter the temperature can drop below freezing point, when heavy woolens are required. In summers the weather remains pleasant when light woolens are advised
 

PLACES OF INTEREST
 

TABO (3050 m) : 163 km from Kalpa is the ancient village of Tabo, situated on the left bank of river Spiti. Flanked on either sides by hills, its has one of the most important Buddhist monasteries regarded by many as only next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet. It is also known as the Ajanta of the Himalayas. Tabo is the largest monastic complex of Spiti which has since been declared a protected monument under the aegis of Archaeological Survey of India.

KAZA (3600m) : 210 Km from Kalpa, 47 km from Tabo. The headquarters of Spiti sub-district, Kaza lies on the bank of river Spiti. In earlier times, it was the capital of Nono, the Chief of Spiti. It has a Buddhist Monastery and Hindu Temple.

KEY GOMPA (4116m) : 7 km from Kaza. The largest monastery in Spiti Valley. Established in the 11th century has ancient Buddhist scrolls and paintings. It also houses large number of Buddhist monks and nuns.

KIBBER (4205m) : 18 km from Kaza. The highest village in the world which is connected by motorable road and is the highest habitated village in the world which has its own polling station during elections.

DHANKAR (3890m) : 24 km from Tabo, this place is famous for a Buddhist monastery.

PIN VALLEY : The Pin valley lies below the Kungri Glacier and has several beautiful and important monasteries. iT is called the land of Ibex and snow leopards.

KUNZAM PASS (4551m) : 76 km. One of the highest motorable pass. Goddess Kunjum keeps guard over this pass and wards off evil.

CHANDER TAL LAKE (4270m) : 7 km from Kunzam Pass, is one of the most beautiful lakes in the entire Himalayan region. Surrounded by snow, this deep blue water lake has a circumferences of 2.5 km. River Chandra flows very close to the lake.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR INDIAN AND FOREIGN TOURISTS
 

The Kinnaur and Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh has been opened to Indian and Foreign tourists. While going via Shimla and Rampur - Kalpa, Recong Peo and Sangla Valley can be visited by Indians and Foreigners without any restrictions. To travel beyond Jangi in Kinnaur to Kaza in Spiti one requires an inner line permit for foreign nationals which can be obtained from the following offices:

District Magistrate - Shimla, Recong Peo (Kinnaur), Kullu, Keylong (Lahaul)
Sub District Magistrate (SDM) - Shimla, Rampur, Kalpa, Nichar, Keylong, Udaipur 
Additional Deputy Commissioner Office in Pooh and Kaza.

The best place to get the permit is at Rampur and Recong Peo. The office of the SDM at Rampur is just opposite the Police Station in the main bazaar and the office of the District Magistrate at Recong Peo is near the bus station. The permit is free of cost and holds good for seven days. To get a permit, one must have a letter of introduction from a recognised travel agency, three passport size photos, and a photocopy of the front pages of the passport. Making several copies of the permit is suggested, as one may have to submit them at checkpoints on the way. Foreign nationals can travel with permits in a group of four or more persons. Foreign nationals cannot stay overnight between Jangi and Kaza.

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