Himachal Pradesh is a must-see state of India due to its abundance of natural beauty. The state consists of the beautiful and mesmerizing Himalayas and is the third fastest growing economy ofIndia. It also ranked number four on the list showing the highest per capita incomes of the states in India.
Himachal has a great amount of perennial rivers that enable the state to sell hydroelectricity wherever it is needed across India, particularly Punjab, Rajasthan, and Delhi. The state’s economy is mostly dependent on three things: tourism, agriculture, and hydroelectric power. If you want to experience the true beauty of Himachal, you must see these five cities:
Shimla has a rich history, particularly of the time before partition. The city is the state’s capital and is easily accessible. It is also one of Himachal’s and India’s most famous hill resorts. When you visit Shimla, you will get to see great architecture and lush urban forests. Also, once there you can simply not miss out on the long stretch of the pedestrian shopping mall, called The Mall, which is perhaps the longest in the world.
Aside from The Mall, you have to see Christ Church and Shimla State Museum. Christ Church is locate on the Ridge and is the second oldest church found in the northern part of India. The museum opened in 1974 and has a vast collection of items related to cultural anthropology, archeology, and art of the different states in India, including Himachal. Currently the museum consists of 9000 items.
The Jakhu and Summer Hills are other places not to be missed in Shimla. Jakhu Hill is situated about 2 km from Shimla and is the highest peak offering a great view of the Himalayas covered in snow and the entire town. When you reach the top of the hill, you will see an old Hanuman temple where a lot of monkeys playfully wait for the visitors to come and feed them. Summer Hill is located 5 km from the Ridge and was once home to Mahatma Gandhi when he visited Shimla.
Manali is simply breathtaking. The place has a great landscape and snow peaks that are very well defined. The Beas River meanders through the town showcasing crystal clear waters. The other side of town consists of fruit orchards, tiny fields, and pine and deodar trees. Manali is a great place to travel to on a vacation, and is considered to be an extremely favored resort among the trekkers to the ranges of Bara Bhangal (Kangra), Zanskar, Spiti, and Lahaul. The town also has amazing antiques and temples to see, along with beautiful sights and thrilling activities. Manali is popular among tourists all throughout the year.
Do not forget to visit the Hadimba Temple and Solang Valley while you are in Manali. The Hadimba Temple is located about 2.5 km from Manali and is situated right in the middle of wooden and lush forests of deodar. It is a great experience. Keep an eye out for a festival that happens there every May in case you plan on visiting around that time. Solang Valley is about 13 km from Manila and is located between Beas Kund and Solang Village. It offers a splendid view of the snow capped peaks along with glaciers. You can even ski here if you like.
Kullu is a charming little valley that spreads around the river Beas. It is a perfect vacation destination spot for all the artists, mountaineers, trekkers, tourists, and anyone who would like to experience the calm, peace, and freshness of the mountain landscape, particularly that of the Himalayas. The valley is also known for the Kullu caps and handmade colorful shawls. Since the vicinity is comparatively secluded, the area still retains its traditional look and charm.
While in Kullu, you can indulge in the following activities:
- Camping at Raison
- Buying honey and fresh apples from Katrain
- Trout fishing in Banjar
- Going to Kasol, one of the best vacation destinations
- River rafting in Beas
- Photography at Kaisdhar
- Trekking at Rakti-Sar
Dharamshala is a beautiful hill station consisting of snow capped mountain peaks along with conifer and oak trees. You can access the snowline more easily when you are at Dharamshala. You can even make a day long trekking trip to the snow point early in the morning. While at Dharamshala, you can:
- See amazing paintings at Nurpur of the ancient Indian mythology characters
- Go sightseeing at Kunal Pathri
- See the Kotla Fort
- Participate in the religious festivals that happen in Baijnath Shiv Temple
- See St. John’s Church
- Shop at the Kotwali Bazar
Solan has great climate throughout the year, and you can visit a very famous temple of Shoolini Devi while there. The city is often called the ‘Mushroom city of India’, and has an abundance of fruits such as peaches, apricots, and plums. While at Solan, you may want to:
- See cultural history at Chail
- Pay a visit to the Horticulture and Forestry University at Nauni
- Enjoy a little sightseeing at Kasauli
- Visit Kiarighat
- Visit Barog, a very popular tourist destination
- Check out the orchards of Rajgarh
- Visit Nalagarh Palace
- Check out the Dolanji Bon Monastery
With Himachal, you can never go wrong. The state is simply exquisite, and if you get a chance to see the five cities mentioned above, you will get to see and experience so many wonderful sides to the area. Filled with all the natural beauty, a visit to the state will certainly refresh you fully and you will come back exuberant and full of life. You will have an even better time if you visit Himachal with friends, family, or a loved one. Be sure to make your trip as unique as possible by taking part in everything that Himachal has to offer.