HIMACHAL - Shimla - Dharamshala - Manali - Kullu

DESTINATIONS COVERED : Shimla - Dharamshala - Manali - Kullu
DURATION :

RECOMMENDED PLAN - ITINERARY

The state of Himachal is a traveler paradise with some spectacular landscape, lofty snow peaks, verdant valleys, flower decked meadows, gushing rivers and quaint towns steeped in time. Carved out from a sizeable slice of the Western Himalayas , the state has several high mountains, many of which have still not been scaled.

SHIMLA

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The summer capital of the British Raj , is perched at a height of 6500ft. amongst well wooded hills of the Shivalik . The old bungalows with gabled roofs and tall gothic structures still stand majestically amidst giant pines and firs, with a lingering colonial air wafting through their portals, providing perfect escape from the sweltering heat of the plains. One can make a visit to Jakhoo temple dedicated to monkey deity, Hanuman and have a walk on the bustling Mall , which runs along the Ridge .

A full day worthy trip to Kufri , famous for winter sports can be made, enjoying majestic views of the perennial Himalayas & trying hand with skiing.

Places to visit
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 here.

Chadwick Falls
67 m high are only really worth visiting during or just after the monsoons (July to October). The falls are 7 km from Shimla and can be reached via Summer Hill.

Lakkar Bazaar
Popular for its wood crates and souvenirs, this is just off the Ridge.

Jakhoo Temple
Dedicated to the monkey god, Lord Hanuman at 2455 mt. This is the town's highest peak and a vantage point for Shimla's famous views. The hill is full of paths and narrow roads which are enjoyable walks.

Christ Church & 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. This is the second oldest church in northern India (the oldest is in Ambala). Christ Church was build between 1846 and 1857. The church is one of the Shimla's major landmarks and is renowned for its stained glass windows. You can have a look inside the church or attend English-language services every Sunday morning during the tourist season.

Chail(45km)
This was the former summer capital of the Patiala State . The palace is now run as a Luxury hotel by Himachal Tourism. The highest cricket stadium is also situated here.

 

MANALI

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The town situated at the northern end of the Kullu valley, has some majestic views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. The Beas river rushes along its rocky course amid grassy meadows carpeted with wild flowers and wagtails hop along from stone to stone along the stream's edge. There are marvelous walks too, through dappled orchards and fairy tale forests of deodar. One can visit, Hidimba Devi temple, Tibetan Monastery and Vashist Hot Springs along with exploring the Mall and Tibetan Market . One can drive upto the Snow Point short of Rohtang Pass , having an opportunity to try sledging, skiing and a chance to frolic in the snow.

Places to Visit
Hadimba Devi Temple

The temple is famous for its exquisitely carved doorway and was built in 1553 with a superbly crafted four tiered pagoda roof.

Manu Temple
This is dedicated to the sage Manu.

Vashishth Bath (3km)
Well known for its hot springs . There are old temples dedicated to the sage Vashishth and to Lord Rama. These are just beyond the Himachal tourism baths.

Jagatsukh (6km)
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 (l4km)
In a picturesque setting, this has good ski slopes end picnic spots. It has the glacier closest to Manali.


It is a picturesque village having a thrilling view of the deep gorge through which the Beas swiftly races.

DHARAMSHALA – Lhasa of India

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The high snow clad Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas form a magnificent backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamshala . This is the principal township of Kangra and overlooks the wide spread of the plains. With dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamshala has everything for a perfect holiday. It is full of life and yet peaceful. And not surprisingly, the headquarters of His Holiness The Dalai Lama is here. One should try a bowl of hot thukpa (hot soup with dumblings, garlic cheese noodles and bits of chicken).

Covering a wide area in the form of a twin settlement, Lower Dharamshala (1380 m) is a busy commercial center, while Upper Dharamshala (1830 m) with the suburbs of McLeodganj and Forsythganj , retains a British flavor and colonial lifestyle. The charming church of St. John in the wilderness is situated here and this is final resting place of Lord Elgin , a British Viceroy of lndia during the l9th century. There is also a large Tibetan community, who made this their home. Numerous ancient temples like Jawalamukhi , Brijeshwari and Chamunda lie on the plains below Dharamshala.

Places to visit
McLeodganj
Often called the Little Lhasa at 1770 m, this is the residence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama . The Tibetan government-in-exile has been here for over three decades. The impressive monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha , Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara . The large Tibetan community and the presence of traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet have enhanced the area. A host of Tibetan handicrafts, curios and garments are available on sale and every Sunday, a flea-market appears.

Norbulingka Institute
Named after the summer residence of the Dalai Lama in Tibet , the institute, 4km from Dharamshala, is dedicated to preserving Tibetan literature and visual crafts. Walk down shady paths, wooden bridges, small streams and through waterfalls. The skills preserved and passed on at institute includes thangka painting, appliqué, woodcarving and metal craft.

Kangra Art Museum
Displays an excellent collection of Kangra Valley arts and crafts, some date back to the 5th century, including miniature paintings.

The War Memorial
At the very beginning of town, landscaped lawns and a web of narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to commemorate the war heroes of Himachal Pradesh.

Places to Visit
Churches

There are four beautiful churches in Dalhousie.
These are St. Andrew's Church & St. Patrick's Church at Balun
St. Francis' Church at Subash Chowk &
St. John's Church at Gandhi Chowk.

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

Subhash Baoli (1 km)
It was at this enchaining spot surrounded by majestic trees that Subhash Chandra Bose spent a lot of time in 1937, contemplating and meditating.

BaraPathar (4 km)
There is a small temple amidst a thick forest.

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