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  Himachal Pradesh
• Manali  • Kulu  • Dalhousie  • Shimla  • Dharmshala


It is a fact that people have inhabited Himachal Pradesh since the dawn of the civilization. The rich and varied history of the state can be divided into several distinct eras. There are evidences to prove that man lived in the Bangana valley of Kangra, Sirsa valley of Nalagarh and Markanda valley of Sirmour. People from the Indus valley civilization also inhabited the foothills of Himachal between 2250 and 1750 B.C.

Himachal Pradesh is “mountain state” and a delight for visitors, particularly during the summer season when people visit this tiny hill station to escape from the scorching heat of the plains. The winding roads and high passes link its high mountains and valleys are the high points of a visit to this state. The picturesque valleys of Kulu and Kangra are a blend of colors, in marked contrast the stark and barren terrain of Lahaul and Spiti have a stunning moonscape like beauty.

Himachal Pradesh is rapidly developing as an eco tourism and organic farming destination. The state is bordered by Jammu & Kashmir on North, Punjab on West and Southwest, Haryana on South, Uttar Pradesh on Southeast and China on the East.

::::::::::: Popular Destinations in Himachal Valley::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Manali

Manali is the northern end of the Kulu Valley and is the main resort in the area. It is beautifully situated and there are many pleasant walks around the town. Surrounded by towering peaks at arm length, Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline, never more than few hours drive from the town nestling at comfortable 2050 metres. It is the centre of the flourishing orchard industry a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks. The best season to visit Manali is April to mid-July and September to November. Sightseeing includes Arjun Gufa, Bijli Mahadev Shrine, Brihu Lake, Club House, and Hadimba Temple.

Kulu

Kulu was once known as Kulanthpitha, which means “the end of the habitable world”. Beyond rose the forbidding heights of the Greater Himalayas, and by the banks of the shining river Beas, laid the fabled 'Silver Valley'. The 'Silver Valley' has nature's treasures that lie carelessly scattered as flowers on the high meadows. The Valley of Gods, as the Kulu Valley has come to be known, is perhaps the most delightful region in the Western Himalayas. Situated on the banks of the river Beas, Kulu town, the headquarters of the district, serves as a nerve centre of the valley and is the starting place for a number of treks. Mid-March to Mid-November is the best time to visit the Kulu valley.

Dalhousie

Dalhousie is named after Lord Dalhousie the British Governor - General of the 19th century. The height of the town varies between 1525m, 2378m, and varied vegetation surrounds it. Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar Mountains are also visible from this enchanting town. Sightseeing includes Panchpula, Kynance- the private residential building of Dharamvirs, Subhash Baoli, St. Andrew's Church, St. Patrick's Church, St. John's Church, Laxmi Narayan Temple and many other religious as well as recreational sites.

Shimla

In the days before independence, Shimla was the most important British hill station, and was the summer capital of British India. The British in 1819 A.D first discovered Shimla, but it was not until 1822 A.D that the first permanent house was erected and not until many years later that Shimla became the summer capital. The name Shimla is derived from the Himalayan Goddess “Shamla” a synonym of Kali. Shimla is a place with a lot of stunning destinations including Chadwick waterfalls and the Himachal State Museum.

Dharmshala

Dharamshala is the district headquarters of Kangra district. This is a hill station lying on the spur of the Dhauladhar range about 18 kms north east of Kangra town. Hill station is wooded with oak and conifer trees and snow-capped mountains enfold three sides of the town while the valley stretches in front. The snow line is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamshala than at any other hill resort and it is possible to trek to snow point after an early morning's start. In 1905, tragedy struck Dharamshala when an earthquake leveled it completely. After its reconstruction, Dharamshala flourished as a quiet health resort. It is divided into two distinct parts. Lower Dharamshala has civil offices and business establishments with courts. Kotwali Bazar and Upper Dharamshala compose of places with names, which bear witness to its history like McLeod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj. Since 1960, when it became a temporary headquarter of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Dharamshala has risen to international fame as “The Little Lhasa in India”.

Weather

The Himachal valley has four distinct seasons, each with its own peculiar character and typical charm. These are spring, which extends approximately from March to early May, is when a million blooms carpet the ground. Summer, extends from May until the end of August. At higher altitudes night temperatures drop slightly. Shimla at this time experiences day temperatures of between 25C and 35C. The onset of autumn, perhaps the valley's loveliest season, is towards September, when green turns to gold and then to russet and red. The highest day temperatures in September are around 23C and night temperatures dip to 10C by October, with a further drop by November, when heavy wools are essential. Through December, to the beginning of March is wintertime, which presents Shimla in yet another mood. Bare, snow-covered landscapes being watched from beside the warmth of a fire is a joy that cannot be described to anyone who has not experienced it.

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