Himachal Pradesh

Best Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh

1. Bir Billing – The Paragliding Hub Of India

Rising to fame post hosting the first ever paragliding world cup, Bir Billing soon caught the attention of adventure enthusiasts across the country. Comprising of more than ten paragliding spots, Bir Billing is one of those top 10 places to visit in India that has truly lived up to its name of paragliding capital of India.

Best time to visit : April to June

How to reach :

  • By air: Kangra airport in Gaggal happens to be the nearest airport located at a distance of about 67 kilometers from Bir.
  • By rail: Pathankot is the nearest railway station to Bir Billing located at a distance of about 140 kilometers.
  • By road: Located in the heart of Himachal, Bir Billing is accessible by road as many state-run and private buses run from the nearby cities of Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali, Shimla, and more.

Attractions : Baijnath Shiv Temple, Billing Valley, Chamunda Devi Temple, Shiva Shrine, Ahju Fort, and more.

Average Temperature : 16.8 degree celsius

Restaurants : Zenwich restaurant, Glider’s Pizzeria

2. Shimla – The Queen Of Northern Hills

"The Hill-Station with Rich Colonial History"

Shimla Tourism

Situated at a height of 2200m, Shimla is the capital and the largest city of Himachal Pradesh in India. Set amidst beautiful hills and mystical woods, Shimla has been a very popular hill-station among Indian families and honeymooners since the last 50 years. British loved this city so much that they made Shimla their summer capital in 1864 and used to rule the sub-continent from here whenever the temperature rose in the nearby plains. Shimla still retains its old world charm with beautiful colonial architecture, pedestrian-friendly Mall Road and beautiful churches.

The weather is pleasant for most of the months with tourists flocking especially during the summer months. The winters are cold with some days of snow from mid-December till February end. Tourists flock to the centrally located Mall Road and the Ridge, a walking only area which is lined up with multiple shops, cafes and restaurants.

Shimla has been the host to some of the most important meetings in the Indian history, including the Simla Conference of 1945 and the Simla Agreement of 1972 between India and Pakistan. The Old Viceroy Hall now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and is a popular tourist attraction. Shimla is often covered with nearby towns of Kufri, a hill-station almost always covered by snow and Chail, famous for a huge palace and the highest cricket ground in the world. Tourists also visit the famous Jakhu Temple and engage in sightseeing at various viewpoints during their trip to Shimla.

Shimla is well connected with many cities and is just 4 hours from the nearby city of Chandigarh. The city has an airport as well however there aren't many daily flights from here. The railway station connects Shimla with the plans and is famous for the Kalka-Shimla train route, a UNESCO listed World Heritage site.

Best places to visit in Shimla

1. The Ridge

This is the most popular point in Shimla. Located on the Mall road, at the heart of Shimla, this is a much loved and enjoyed stretch here, where visitors come and soak themselves in the views of surrounding areas.

2. Kufri

While in Shimla, visit its colder, higher and less crowded cousin, Kufri just 13 km away from the main town. The views and sceneries here only get better, and the landscapes more flattering, a bit untouched with the tourist rush.

3. Chail

This small village in Himachali is situated at a height of 2250 m above sea level and is known as a hiker's paradise. Surrounded by lush greenery and mesmerizing views from such a great height, Chail is bound to give a tourist a memorable travelling experience to a tourist.

4. Kalka Shimla Toy Train

An enjoyable train ride through much of Kalka and Shimla and a little of what the British left behind, this is a must try experience, while here. This route is one of the most picturesque train routes in the world and it passes through more than a hundred tunnels It is a narrow gauge train route and it connects Kalka to Shimla.

5. Tattapani

Literally meaning hot water in Hindi, Tattapani is a small village located 51km away from Shimla. This place is famous for hot water springs and the famous Shiva caves.

6. Mall Road, Shimla

Shopping in Shimla revolves around the heart of the town- The Mall Road. One can shop for local handicrafts, shawls, woolens, exquisite jewelry etc. here.

Best time to visit : March to June

How to reach :

  • By air: Located at a distance of 25 kms, Jubbarhatti is the nearest airport from Shimla.
  • By rail: The toy train from Kalka to Shimla is the most convenient railway line that connects Shimla to other nearby towns.
  • By road: Many state-run and private buses run from the nearby cities of Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali, and Kullu that are well connected to Shimla via road.

Attractions : Kufri, Mall Road, Chadwick Falls, Jakhu Temple, Annandale, Christ Church, Scandal point and more

Average Temperature : 22 degrees celcius

Restaurants : Cafe Sol, 45 The Centra

7. Tirthan Valley

Striking a perfect balance between peace and adventure, Tirthan valley is one tourist place in India that has off-lately gained much popularity amidst the travelers across the world. Located in the district of Kullu, Tirthan has something to offer to everyone.

Best time to visit : March to June and October to November

How to reach :

  • By air: Bhuntar airport is the nearest airport to Tirthan Valley at a distance of about 48 kms.
  • By rail: Ambala railway station happens to be the nearest railway station to Tirthan Valley at a distance of about 188 kms.
  • By road: One can easily embark on a scenic road trip from the nearby states of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana till Tirthan Valley via a car or a bus.

Attractions : Great himalayan national park, Jalori Pass, Raghupur Fort, Saryolsar, Gushaini, Sojha, and more.

Average Temperature : 25 degree Celsius

Restaurants : Sunshine Himalayan camp, Kaith Mud

3. Manali – The Snowy Paradise

The most famous resort town nestled amidst the snow-capped mountains, Manali is the popular gem in the heart of Himachal Pradesh. A mesmerizing combination of nature, peace, and adventure, Manali is one of the best holiday destinations in India for all travelers.

Best time to visit : October to February

How to reach :

  • By air: Located at a distance of about 52 kms, Kullu-Manali airport is the nearest airport to Manali.
  • By rail: Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station to Manali located at a distance of about 160 kms.
  • By road: Manali can be easily reach by road via private cabs, cars, and state-run or private buses from the nearby cities of New Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot, Ambala, and so on.

Attractions : Bhrigu Lake, Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Hidimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Great Himalayan National Park, Jogini Falls, and Tibetan Monastery

Average Temperature : 15.1 degree celsius

Restaurants : Johnson’s cafe and hotel, Chopsticks restaurant

4. Dalhousie – Witness The Victorian Architecture

Other than the refreshing greens, magnificent views of the mountains, gushing rivers, and the mesmerizing beauty of the nature, Dalhousie is also considered to be famous for its Victorian architecture. Once a summer capital of the British, Dalhousie is also one of the best holiday destinations in India.

Best time to visit : March to June

How to reach :

  • By air: Pathankot is the nearest airport to Dalhousie which is just 85 kms away.
  • By rail: Pathankot also happens to be the nearest railhead to Dalhousie which again is just 85 kms away.
  • By road: Dalhousie is well-connected to the neighboring cities via road and many state-run and private buses and cabs have good connectivity to this hill station.

Attractions : Panch Pulla, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Satdhara Falls, Daikund Peak, Subhash Baoli, St. John’s Church, and Chamunda Devi Temple.

Average Temperature : 15 degree celsius

5. Khajjiar – India’s Mini Switzerland

Khajjiar is a small hilltown in Himachal Pradesh which is blessed with an abundance of scenic beautiful. Situated at an altitude of 6,500 feet, this place features vast dense forests, lakes and wide pasture lands. The town is known for the picturesque Khajjiar Lake, which is surrounded by forests of cedar trees. Another popular pilgrimage and tourist spot in Khajjiar is the Khajji Nag Temple, a 12th century shrine that worships a serpent deity. There are some really interesting adventure activities including paragliding, zorbing and horse-riding that you can enjoy in Khajjiar.

Best time to visit : Throughout the year, especially summer (April-June). January and February may see heavy rainfall and snowfall.

How to reach :

  • By air: Nearest airport is Gaggal airport (120 km) in Dharamshala
  • By rail: Pathankot (118 km) is the nearest railway station and can be reached via trains from Delhi, Chandigarh and Bhatinda. Taxis are available from the station to Khajjiar.
  • By road: Khajjiar is easily accessible by road, from the major towns of Himachal Pradesh

Attractions : Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Lord Shiva Statue, Golden Devi Temple, HP State Handicrafts Center

6. Spiti – A Desert Hill Station

Located at altitude of 12,500 feet above the sea level, Spiti Valley is one of the most sought after travel destinations in Himachal Pradesh. ‘Spiti’ means ‘the middle land’. The region is characterized by winding roads, wide valleys, arid deserts and snow-capped mountains. The clear and open sky in Spiti will leave you spellbound while you stargaze in the night. The valley has some of the oldest monasteries that you that add to the charm of this mystic region. Spiti is also a trekking hotspot popular among the adventure enthusiasts.

Best time to visit : Mid May to Mid October

How to reach :

  • By air: The nearest airport to Spiti Valley is in Bhuntar (245 km) near Kullu.
  • By rail: The nearest broad gauge railway station with good connectivity is in Chandigarh.
  • By road: There are direct buses available from Chandigarh, Shimla, Kullu Manali and few other part of North India.

Attractions : Chandratal Lake, Key Monastery, Kunzum Pass, Pin valley national park, Suraj Tal Lake, Dhankar Monastery, Tabo Monastery