Himachal Pradesh - TRAVEL GUIDE

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A land offering solace to the mind and soul, Himachal Pradesh is one of the much-admired and praised tourist destinations in India. Nestled between the snow-capped Himalayan ranges in North India, the state calls tourists from far and near to enjoy a holiday in India, the memories of which cling on for a lifetime. The major enticement for tourists lies in the splendid mountains, pristine valleys, ancient monasteries, historical heritages, gleaming lakes and a lot more amidst a serene setting. A visit to the tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh will satiate the wanderlust of tourists of all kinds.

Himachal Pradesh tourism opens its door to nature lovers, honeymoon seekers, adventure lovers, history buffs and pilgrimages. The diverse side of the state is evident from its villages, towns and cities and the stories related to them. On one side, there are picturesque valleys of Kinnaur, Kullu and Kangra, and on the other, there are the barren terrains of Lahaul and Spiti. While the tales of Malana spellbind the tourists, the rich culture in Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj charm them to no end. Not only this, but one can even learn about the history and heritage by witnessing the colonial hamlets of Dalhousie. Adding to this, the state is one of the most preferred honeymoon destinations in India where couples can spend quality time together and create unforgettable memories.

The beauty of Himachal Pradesh is not just limited to enjoying the sights of snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys and dense foliage from a distance. One can also sit and unwind beside the serene and shimmering lakes. Some of the popular lakes of Himachal Pradesh include Renuka Lake, Rewalsar Lake, Prashar Lake in Mandi; Suraj Tal Lake and Chandratal Lake in Lahaul and Spiti. These lakes are nestled high above in the mountains and offer a breathtaking and panoramic view of the Great Himalayas.

With alpine pastures, thick forests and rivers cutting through the deep gorges, Himachal Pradesh calls the tourists for an adventure tour with a myriad of thrilling activities that induce an adrenaline rush. For river rafting, travellers can head to River Sutlej at Tattapani near Shimla, River Beas near Kullu, River Ravi near Chamba, River Chenab and Spiti in Lahaul and Spiti district. A thrilling trekking experience in Himachal Pradesh awaits you with the Pin Parvati Pass trek, Hampta Pass trek, Chandratal trek, Kinner Kailash trek, Indrahar Pass trek, Beas Kund trek, Kareri Lake trek and Bara Bhangal trek, which are also some of the challenging trekking routes that go over high-altitude mountains and passes. For the best paragliding experience, travellers can head to Bir Billing which claims to be the second-highest paragliding spot in the world. Apart from this, the state has a perfect atmosphere for other fun-filled activities like skiing angling, still water sports, mountaineering and rock climbing, camping and more.

Both pilgrims and tourists like to visit Manikaran Gurudwara to take a holy dip in the sulphur hot water, in the belief that it will relieve them from all types of skin problems. Besides this, the state is an abode of seven incarnations of Goddess Durga and has seven temples dedicated to them. These are, Mata Chamunda Devi Temple, Mata Jwala Ji Temple, Bajreshwari Mata Temple (Maa Kangra), Chinmastika Shaktipeeth Maa Chintpurni Temple, Mata Naina Devi Bhawan, Shri Mata Mansa Devi Temple, and Mata Kalika Devi Temple.

In Himachal Pradesh, history buffs can explore numerous forts, palaces and residences that possess historical and cultural prominence. It is also home to many heritage sites, with the important ones being Jandrighat Palace in Dalhousie, Rang Mahal in Chamba, Bahadurpur Fort in Bilaspur, Padam Palace in Rampur, and Kangra Fort in Kangra.There are some national parks in Himachal that are home to many rare and endangered animal species. Amongst all the prominent ones, one is the Great Himalayan National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Kullu which has more than 350 fauna species. Pin Valley National Park in Kaza Valley and Inderkilla National Park are the two other national parks where wildlife enthusiasts can make a visit.

Tourists can have an idea about the rich culture of Himachal Pradesh by attending the unique fairs and festivals. Every occasion is celebrated with much pomp and fervour and is no less than a grand extravaganza. Some of the local fairs and festivals of the state include Phulaich/Flaich in Kinnaur, Chrewal, Lavi Fair, Minjar Mela in Chamba and winter carnival. During these celebrations, tourists are also introduced to the various dance forms of Himachal with the popular ones being, Cham Dance (mask dance), Rakshasa (demon), Kayang, Chihara, Bnayangchu, Chhanak Chham, Bakayang, Jataru Kayang, Shand and Shabu.Another experience which you cannot miss out on during your trip to Himachal is shopping for a wide range of art and craft items. The markets in the famous tourist places display a wide variety of interesting collections, including Tibetan carpets and handicrafts, shawls, wooden articles, semi-precious jewellery and colourful Himachali caps, the famous artwork of the local people.

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