himachal pradesh

Himachal Pradesh

ABOUT HIMACHAL PRADESH

♠Himachal Pradesh is a Northern Indian state in India.

♠ Himachal Pradesh is known for its trekking, climbing and skiing, and scenic mountain towns and resorts such as Dalhousie.

♠ Himachal Pradesh is also famous for its Himalayan landscapes, hill stations and temples. 

♠The Capital of Himachal Pradesh is Shimla.

♠The official Language of Himachal Pradesh is Hindi and Some of the most commonly spoken languages are Pahari, Dogri, Mandeali, Kangri and Kinnauri.

MAP OF HIMACHAL PRADESH

Himachal is well known for its handicrafts. The carpets, leather works, shawls, paintings, metal ware, woodwork and paintings are worth appreciating. Pashmina shawl is one of the products which is highly in demand not only in Himachal but all over the country. Himachali caps are also famous art work of the people.

Apart from the fairs and festivals that are celebrated all over India, there are number of other fairs and festivals, including the temple fairs in nearly every region that are of great significance to Himachal Pradesh.

  • MADRA
  • LUCHIPOTI
  • SIDU
  • DHAM
  • AKTORI

KULLU

Kullu or Kulu is the capital town of the Kullu District in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Kullu is one of the most frequented tourist destinations. Often heard along with the name Manali, yet another famous tourist spot, Kullu is situated on the banks of Beas River. It was earlier called as Kulanthpitha, meaning ‘The end of the habitable world’. Awe-inspiring, right? Kullu valley is also known as the ‘Valley of Gods’.

Kullu is a broad open valley formed by the Beas river between Manali and Largi. This valley is famous for its temples, beauty and its majestic hills covered with pine and deodar forest and sprawling apple orchards. The course of the Beas river presents a succession of magnificent, clad with forests of deodar, towering above trees of pine on the lower rocky ridges. Kullu valley is sandwiched between the Pir Panjal, Lower Himalayan and Great Himalayan range.

Here are some prominent destinations in Kullu:

 [SULTANPUR PALACE]

The Sultanpur Palace is one of the major tourist attractions in Kullu and some beautiful miniature paintings made in a marvelous blend of Pahari and colonial-style based on different themes. These paintings show the simple rural backgrounds of the local people of Kullu & Manali with human figures in them. This palace was formerly called the Rupi Palace, which was damaged in an earthquake and was later reconstructed through its remnants. The palace is also a residence of the erstwhile rulers of the Kullu Valley.

A blend of Pahari and colonial architectural styles can be seen at the Sultanpur Palace. Huge wooden logs have been used to construct the massive gates that lead to the entrance of the palace. The interior of the palace is remarkable and you will find some wall paintings that are still well-preserved.

 The Sultanpur palace is the residence of the erstwhile ruling family. Therefore the tourists will have to take permission from the residents of Kullu before visiting the Rupi palace. The mesmerizing natural beauty of the Kullu region can be viewed from the surroundings of the palace.

[“PARVATI VALLEY”]

Parvati Valley is situated in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. From the confluence of the Parvati River with the River Beas, the Parvati Valley runs eastwards, through a steep-sided valley from the town of Bhuntar, in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in Northern India.

The valley has a well-deserved reputation for its wild and cultivated crops of charas, and a couple of villages along the river have been transformed into hippie/backpacker hang-outs, offering cheap accommodation, international food and nonstop music to crowds of dreadlocked and pierced travellers. Like Manali, the Parvati is an established stop on the ‘hummus trail’ followed by post-military-service Israeli travellers. Police sometimes set up checkpoints along the roads to search for charas.

There are some excellent treks in the area, including over the Chandrakani Pass to/from Naggar, or the Pin-Parvati Pass to/from Spiti. For safety reasons, solo trekking is not recommended.

 [“JAGATSUKH“]

 This temple is located in a small village located only 6 km south of Manali in the northern end of the Kullu Valley. Jagatsukh, which is well known for its old temples, houses a Shikhara style built Shive temple, also known as Jagatsukh Shiva Temple. This temple is surrounded by picturesque valleys and lofty snow-clad mountains that look even striking during the winters. Other than being a Hindu pilgrimage site, this place is a perfect honeymoon destination and a lot of tourists visit this spot to enjoy the wholesome beauty of the place.

Jagatsukh was the former capital of Manali and presently is the biggest village in Kullu district. Its main claim to fame is the Gaurishankar Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Jagatsukh can be easily reached by taxi from Manali.

 [“RAGHUNATH TEMPLE“]

 In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh of Kullu committed a great mistake. To atone for the sin, he sent a senior courtier to Ayodhya for a statue of Lord Raghunath – Lord Rama. This temple was built by Raja Jagat Singh to house the image and even today is greatly revered. Every year international fair Dussehra is celebrated with local deities in honour of lord Raghunath.

[“SHRINGI RISHI TEMPLE“]

 Shringi Rishi Temple is about 60 km. from Kullu. In fact, before the Lord Rama’s advent into Kullu valley from Ayodhya Puri, Lord Shringi was the ruling deity of Kullu. Shringi rishi is one among the “atthara kardoo” (eighteen chief deities) of the Kullu valley.

Rishyasringa or “Shring Rishi” was a boy born with the horns of a deer in Hindu-Buddhist mythology who became a seer and was seduced by a king’s daughter, which had various results according to the variations in the story.  His father was the Vibhandak Rishi, and his mother was a celestial paramour Urvashi. According to another legend, he was believed to have been born of a doe and from the slight protrusion of his forehead. According to legend, his father was seduced by the celestial danseuse Urvasi by order of Indra, the king of gods, who feared the yogic powers gained out of penance by the rishi could prove fatal to the very existence of the heavenly world. The father was seduced and out of his relationship with the danseuse was born Rishyasringa.

However, immediately after the child was born, Urvashi, after completing the duty she was sent for, left the infant child and her lover and made her way to the heavens. The incident left the father with extreme hatred towards women folk, and he raised the boy in a forest, isolated from society. He never saw any girls or women and was not told of their existence. The tradition states that he was endowed with magical and miraculous powers.

The early upbringing of Rishyasringa is linked to the highland location in the central mid-hill of Nepal now popular as Resunga in the Gulmi District of the Lumbini Zone. Stories about the unique setting of the special mountain that has attracted and made it the home to many famous mystic Yogis. The Saha Kings of Nepal have dedicated special respect and attention to its maintenance and arrangement and the religious circuit of Ridi-Rudrabeni-Resunga in the Gulmi district is a huge attraction for national and international tourists. The all-weather road that connects the Indian border of Sunauli (Uttar Pradesh) and passes through Nepal’s Sidharthanagar-Butwal-Palpa cities leading to the Ridi Sangam with Kali Gandaki and upward towards the district headquarters Tamghas.

In the usual version of the story, at the time that the boy becomes a young man, the kingdom of Anga suffers from drought and famine. The king, Romapada, is told that this can only be alleviated by a brahmin with the powers that come from the observance of perfect chastity. The only such person is Rishyasringa. He has to be brought to the city, and be persuaded to carry out the necessary ceremonies. Despite his fear of the power and anger of the boy’s father, the king sends young women to introduce the boy into a normal society. This was successfully done by Vaishali, Rishyasringa uses his powers, the kingdom receives bountiful rains and Rishyasringa marries Shanta. Much of the story is taken up by accounts of the feelings of the young man as he becomes aware of women for the first time.

In another version of the story, the forest in which the boy is brought up is part of Anga. The boy’s upbringing without knowledge of women is itself the cause of the troubles of the kingdom.

The story can be found in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. According to the Ramayana, Ekashringa was the chief priest when the king Dasharatha performed a yajna to beget progeny, and Rama, Bharata, and the twins Lakshmana and Shatrughna were born.

[“SHRIMAHADEVI TIRTH TEMPLE“]

Shri Mahadevi Tirth, popularly known as Vaishno Devi Mandir (by localities), built-in 1966. It is situated about 2km North from the Kullu valley on Kullu Manali road, though a newly founded temple, yet it is acknowledged like any old famous temple. The founder of this temple is Swami Sewak Das Ji.

The landscapes of Kullu and the serenity that fills the ambiance created by the enchanting Himalayas, Pine and Oak forests, and hot springs make for a peaceful getaway in the abode of Maha Devi. The air filled with piety – a lingering sensation in the broad open valley of Kullu extends an invitation to the devotees of Devi Shakti who is believed to be residing in a cave.

Believers follow the person who was instrumental in locating and enshrining the place which now provides ‘Trimurti Darshana’. Swami Sewak Ji reached Kullu in 1962 inspired by his intuition and guided by an inner voice. Having reached the place he had to face disappointment for not being able to locate the shrine. Returning did not do any good because he was sure of what he felt and thus went again. Then only he found the cave hidden by a huge stone and course of water. He worked hard to unveil the place and make it easier for devotees to come here and pay a visit to the Mother Goddess.

 [“BIJLI MAHADEV TEMPLE“]

 Bijli Mahadev Temple is located at 2,435 meters from sea level and is about 10 km from Kullu. The staff of the temple is 60 feet high and can be seen from the Kullu valley too. It is the highest point around Kullu from where the beautiful view of the whole town.

 A panoramic view of Kullu and Paravati valleys can be seen from the temple. It is said that the tall staff attracts divine blessings in the form of lightning. It is believed that the priest of the temple has to restore the Shiva linga placed inside the temple using butter and tattoo after every lightning as it shatters to pieces with flash of lightning.

[“DEVTA NARSINGH TEMPLE“]

A famous temple of deity ‘Narsingh’, situated in the Sultanpur block of Kullu.

 [“RAISON“]

 Raison is a small cluster of villages on the banks of Bias river about 12 km north of Kullu. It is famous for camping sites and starting point for white water rafting on Bias river. Recently a mineral water unit by “Catch” has been set up here. It is said that the mineral water is pure spring water and bottled after sterilization. This place is also famous for the rural center of Rajendra Prasad National Ophthalmology Centre (AIIMS) where summer camps for various ophthalmological diseases are held every year. Raison is a stopover which has vast camping grounds maintained by Himachal Pradesh Tourism.

  [“SHOJA“]

 Shoja is Located in Seraj valley. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place. The mornings in Shoja are particularly refreshing. One can just walk around, walk up to the meadows or perhaps take the pathway into the jungle. Nature lovers can enjoy thickly wooded hill slopes starting from the bottom as far down or up or sideways or deep as one can look. 

From Sojha, one can drive up to Jalori Pass. The metal road from Jalori pass leads down to Sainj and Shimla. The place abounds in the hypnotic environment. The lake is small but in a beautiful location. Cradled by rolling- meadows on all sides, high up in the mountains. It is a peaceful location for a private cottage. A small quaint little Dhaba is run at the lake that can offer hot food and roof overhead for overnight campers. It is an extraordinary place to visit but there is no means of transportation so you have to go on foot.

[“BASHESHWAR MAHADEV TEMPLE, BAJAURA“]

 Maheshwar temple is one of the most charming temples in the Kullu valley, this is renowned for its complicated stone carvings. It is said to be built by Pandavas. Basheshwar Mahadev Temple is a scenic religious shrine located in Bhuntar in Himachal Pradesh. It is popular across northern India for its flat shikhara, ornate stone carvings and sculpted figures which adorn the inner and outer walls of the premises. Located at about 4 km from Bhunar Airport, Basheshwar Mahadev Temple is also known as the Visveshvara Mahadev Temple.

Floral scroll works sculpted on the exterior walls of this temple complement the beautiful and fine stone carvings within. This complex is home to several other smaller shrines, which are dedicated to Hindu deities like Lord Vishnu (god of preservation), Ganesha (popular Hindu elephant-god) and Laxmi (goddess of prosperity and wealth).

Devotees also offer their prayers at three-sided shrines located outside the main temple. These shrines contain idols dedicated to Goddess Durga and other important Idols of the Hindu faith.

[“KASOL“]

Kasol is a village in Himachal Pradesh, northern India. It is situated in Parvati Valley, on the banks of the Parvati River, on the way between Bhuntar to Manikaran. It is located 42 km east of Kullu at the height of 1640 meters. It is popular with tourists many of whom also visit the nearby village of Tosh. Clean white sand separates the lush green grass from the water. A good spot for trout.

 [“NAGGAR“]

 For 1400 years this was the capital of Kullu. Its 16th century stone and the wood castle is now a hotel run by Himachal Tourism. Here, a gallery houses the paintings of the Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich. Naggar also has three other old shrines. There are many old pagoda shali temple also there.

[“HIDIMBA TEMPLE- DUNGRI MANALI“]

Hidimbi Devi Temple is also known as the Hadimba Temple. It is located in Manāli, a hill station in the State of Himāchal Pradesh in north India. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, sister of Hidimba, a figure in the Indian epic Mahābhārata. This temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himālayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground which was worshipped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in 1553.

The Hidimba Devi temple is built around a cave where Hidimba performed meditation. Hidimba was supposed to have lived there with her brother Hidimb. They were Born into a Rakshas family. Hidimba vowed to marry one who would defeat her brother Hidimb, who was supposed to be very brave and fearless. During the Pandava’s exile, when Pandavas visited Manali; Bhima, one of the five Pandavas, killed Hidimb. Thereafter, Hidimba married Bhima and gave birth to their son Ghatotkacha.

[“KAIS DHAR“]

 Kais Dhar is an enormously beautiful place, with grass meadows and densely forested mountains. It is a part of the trekking route and is not connected through the road, hence the natural beauty is still preserved. This place has a forest rest house which was built by Britishers, who liked this place. It is not far away from Kullu town, approximately 10 km from the town. But it is not connected through the road.

[“FUNGANI MATA TEMPLE“]

Fungani Mata Temple lies on the top of the lugvalley. This is a beautiful place and still hidden from tourist hence, still, the area around this is preserved. Temple is near about 30 km away from Kullu town, while the road is Only up to the base of the point from where there is a little walk to the temple.

                       [“FESTIVALS & OTHER ACTIVITIES“]

  • KULLU DUSSEHRA

When Dussehra celebrations come to an end in the rest of the country, they begin at Kullu. The State government has accorded the status of the International festival to the Kullu Dussehra, which attracts tourists in large numbers. About 200 local deities come to pay homage to Lord Raghunath. This is a time when the valley is at its colorful best.

  • KULLU HOLI

Holi is the festival of colors. In Kullu, Holi is celebrated for two days. Its unique feature is that people of the town gather in the temple and then they proceed to the houses of town people singing sacred holi songs. In return, they are given sweets, pakoras, and hard drinks, etc. Women also take part in the festival with the same enthusiasm and happiness as Men.

  • FISHING AND ADVENTURE

The Kullu valley has numerous places for fishing which includes Katrain, Raison, Kasol, and Naggar, then along the river Tirthan near Larji, in the Sainj Valley and the Hurla khud. The valley is the nucleus of several trek routes. Some major ones are over the Chanderkhani Pass to Malana, over the Jalori Pass or Bashleo Pass to Shimla, and the Pin Parvati Pass to Sarahan. White water rafting is popular on the Beas river.  Rapid Riders is one of the oldest service providers in Kullu offering commercial white water rafting on the 16 km river course.

MANALI

Manali is a hill station in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district. Manali is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. It is a popular tourist destination and serves as the roadway to other northern hill stations. Manali offers wonderful views of the snow-capped mountains. The land is not just a feast to your visual senses; it also offers you the chance to ascertain your fitness level with the sporting facilities here.

Manali is named after the Sanatan Hindu lawgiver Manu. The word Manali is regarded as the changed name of “Manu-Alaya” which means “the abode of Manu”. Legend has it that sage Manu stepped off his ark in Manali to recreate human life after a great flood had deluged the world. Manali is also often referred to as the “Valley of the Gods”. The Old Manali village has an ancient temple dedicated to sage Manu.

Given below are some top destinations in Manali for you to enjoy and bring out the adventurer in you:-

[=”RIVER BEAS“]

The Beas River is also known as the Biás or Bias, (Sanskrit, Vipasa; Greek, Hyphasis), is a river in north India. The river bears rises in the Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows for some 470 kilometers (290 mi) to the Sutlej River in the Indian state of Punjab.

Its total length is 470 kilometers (290 mi) and its drainage basin is 20,303 square kilometers (7,839 sq mi) large.

 [“ROHTANG PASS“] 

Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km (32 min) from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Rohtang pass provides a natural divide between the humid Kullu Valley with a primarily Hindu culture (in the south), and the dry high-altitude Lahaul and Spiti valleys with a Buddhist culture (in the north). This pass lies on the watershed between the Chenab and Beas basins. On the southern side of this pass, the Beas River emerges from underground and flows southward and on its northern side, the Chandra River (flows from the eastern Himalayas), a source stream of the river Chenab, flows westward.

Rohtang Pass is open from May to November.

It is difficult to cross on foot by Himalayan standards, but it is also dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards.

[“SOLANG VALLEY “]

Solang Nala (Valley) derives its name from a combination of two words Solang (Nearby village) and Nullah (water stream). It is a side valley at the top of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India 14 km northwest of the resort town Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. It is also known for its summer and winter sport conditions. Solang Valley is popular for the ski resort. A few ski agencies offering courses and equipment reside here and operate only during winters.

Snow melts during the summer months starting May and skiing is then replaced by zorbing (a giant ball with room for 2 people which is rolled down a 200-metre hill), paragliding, parachuting, skating, zorbing, and horse riding. A ropeway recently opened in Rohtang Pass. Going to the summit can be possible by ATVs, Ropeway or Climbing (Trekking).

[“JOGINI WATERFALL“]

Jogini Waterfall is a nearly 3 KM trek from Vashisht temple.
A gentle walk will take 30 minutes to reach the base of the waterfall. The small stretch of an upslope will be there near the waterfall. While traveling you can see Beas river and snow peaks of Rohtang at your left side. Yogini Mata temple is at the base of the waterfall. From here if you can climb then you can reach the top point of the waterfall. The stiff climb will take 20 minutes more to reach the top. If you don’t want to climb up then towards your right side through the narrow path you can reach the base of the waterfall. Here there is a small pool formed by the falling water and here you can take a bath and spend some time. You can also spend your time near the temple and watch the waterfall. In the temple, there is provision for the devotees to offer Mundan or tonsure and you can take food in available stone plates.

This is a nice gentle trek which can be completed within two hours from Vashisht temple. This is the best way to enjoy local scenic beauty and village life at Manali. 
You can cover Vashisht temple (hot spring bath) and Jogini waterfall in a half-day program. Take your packed lunch and enjoy the food at the base of the waterfall. 
Afternoon time is the best time for photography because sunlight directly falls on the water droplets.

 [“BEAS KUND“]

The trek to Beas Kund is one of the most beautiful short treks in Himachal Pradesh. From Solang Nallah, the route winds through the famous Solang Valley. Solang valley is famous for its ski slopes & Paragliding. On this trek, you will see amazing views of lush green meadows, glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks. The trail goes via Dhundi and Bakarthach to enter the Beas Kund glacier, the birthplace of the River Beas. This is an enjoyable and Moderate level trek. It is recommended for both beginners as well as experienced.

 [“JANA FALLS“]

Jana waterfall is at a distance of 11.5 KM from Nagar town. The road starts from Nagar Market center and it goes up and after half KM you have to take the right turn and pass through narrow Jungle road with tall pine trees and through Apple gardens. Valley will be towards your right side. Beyond Jana Waterfall, this road will further take you to Bijli Mahadev. This is not a big waterfall but the journey up to the waterfall is enjoying and there is a nice restaurant at the waterfall offering you local dishes.

 [“VAN VIHAR NATIONAL PARK“]

Van Vihar National Park is full of tall deodar trees, lots of swings for kids n couples, small pool with boating facilities. Van vihar national park has many wooden n cemented chairs to sit relax n may be talking to nature while touching it. It’s a peaceful place and you will find lovely newlyweds hand in hand just drowning in the beauty of nature. The most romantic part of it is, the sound of hummingbirds breaking the silence of woods. One more heavenly thing about this beautiful place is the soothing sound of river BEAS running quietly beside it. You can walk down to the river bed from this park n u will feel like being closer to god.

 [“PIN VALLEY NATIONAL PARK“]

Pin Valley National Park is a National park of India which is located in the desert habitat of the Spiti Valley, within the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, in the Himalayas region. Spreading south of Dhankar Gompa near the Tibetan border, the park marks the border between the formerly separate districts of Lahaul and Spiti. 

 [“RAPALA FALLS“]

The Rehana Falls (also Rahala, Rahalla or Rahla) is a Cascade and Punchbowl type of a waterfall which is located 16 km from Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass. The waterfall is a tourist attraction on the Leh–Manali Highway in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India.

  [“HIMVALLEY MANALI“]

The Him Valley Amusement Park is one of the crowded tourist attractions in the pristine hill station of Manali. This amusement park is located in Bahang, at a distance of about 3 km from the bus stand of Manali. 

The Him Valley National Park is one of the first amusement and cultural park placed at a height of about 7000 ft above sea level. The park has been brilliantly designed to attract the various types of visitors to this place. 

One of the most unique highlights of this amusement park is that you can enjoy the different rides of the park while enjoying the breath-taking view of the snow-covered hills. Manali is already a renowned hill station of India and with the establishment of this amusement park, its attraction towards the tourists has increased immensely.   

 Attractions

Rides- At this amusement park one can enjoy various kinds of thrilling rides like the Swing Chair, Revolving Tower, Bungee Jumping and many more. One can also indulge in the fun-oriented water games provided at this park. The rides are designed keeping in mind that every age of visitor can have a memorable time at this park.

 Cultural Shows- The amusement park also offers its visitors to enjoy the diverse kinds of cultural and traditional shows. At this place, one can enjoy Bhangra related to Punjab, Natti related to Himachal Pradesh and Bohappa related to Rajasthan. These shows will let you enjoy the overwhelming diversity of Indian culture. 

 Food- Another fascinating factor about this amusement park is that various varieties of delicious dishes are served in Royal Himachali Dham Style. The Food Court of this park serves about 20 varieties per person and you can choose from the wide variety of dishes provided at this place. The quality of dishes served at the food joint of the park is going to make your visit to this place an even pleasurable one.

 Bonfire and Open Disco- The thrilling rides, cultural shows, and scrumptious food are not the only means of enjoyment at this amusement park. One can also enjoy the relaxing environment of the park during the evening time while sitting around a lovely bonfire with your loved ones. The amusement park has a beautiful outlook with the presence of elaborately designed sculptures and paintings.

 If you are in a mood to dance and enjoy the romantic evening time of Manali, then the open disco nights organized by the local people of Himachal Pradesh at this park offers you a perfect opportunity to enjoy the music and dance to its rhythm. 

 Visiting Time- The amusement park is open on all days of the week, from 11 am to 10.15 pm.

 Best Time to Visit

Although the park can be visited throughout the year, the best time to visit the park is from September to June, as Manali experiences a very pleasant climate during this time of the year.

SHIMLA

Shimla is also known as Simla. It is the capital and also the largest city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, and Solan and Sirmaur.

History of Shimla

In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab[doubtful statement] and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational center of the hilly regions of the state. As of 2011, the city had 171,817 residents and was one of the least populous cities in India.

The earliest inhabitants of the area date back to the start of the 19th century. The area fell under the British Raj in the year 1817. The climatic conditions attracted the British to establish the city in the dense forests of Himalayas. As the summer capital, Shimla hosted many important political meetings including the Simla Accord of 1914 and the Simla Conference of 1945. After independence, the state of Himachal Pradesh came into being in 1948 as a result of the integration of 28 princely states. Even after independence, the city remained an important political center, hosting the Simla Agreement of 1972. After the reorganization, the Mahasu district and its major portion were merged with Shimla. Its name is derived from the goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Kali.

Various Tourists Attractions are:

[“JAKHOO HILL“]

Jakhoo Temple is an ancient temple in Shimla, which is dedicated to Hindu deity, Hanuman. It is situated on Jakhoo Hill. An ancient “Lord Hanuman” temple is there and every year a big festival is held on Dushera. You can go to the temple by foot (a steep climb) from Ridge (path behind the church) or can hire a pony/horse. Taxis are available too.

One legend goes that Lord Hanuman stopped there to rest while he was searching for the Sanjivni Booti to recover Lakshman in the Epic Ramayana. While visiting near temple it is advised to visitors to secure all personal belongings and beware of the monkeys, which are everywhere. This is appropriate as the temple is in honor of the Monkey Lord. Visitors must remove shoes (and leave them in the “shoe house”) before entering the temple.

 [“SHIMLA STATE MUSEUM“]

The Shimla state museum was inaugurated in 1974. The Shimla State Museum houses a huge collection of magnificent paintings, sculptures, coins, handicrafts, photos, etc of not only the state of Himachal Pradesh but outside too. The state museum is a major attraction of the Mall area of Shimla built in the style of the colonial edifice with sprawling lawns all around.

The museum opens from ten to five. It is open on all days except Monday and the national holidays. The state museum of Shimla also comprises a library that is loaded with historical books and manuscripts. 

The Shimla State Museum was established only to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the state and to spread the message of cultural legacy over generations. 

The paintings depict the life and culture of the hilly people. Besides, there is a huge collection of Mughal and Rajasthani paintings. The museum holds the sculptural merit of the 8th century stone works of Masrur and Bajaur. Also, a wide layout of Himachali dolls are displayed here. 

The various galleries of the Shimla State Museum are as follows:

  • Pre-Historic Gallery – The gallery consists of ancient stone age tools as well as models of extinct animals.
  • Wood-Carving Gallery – Remains of wood panels of ancient temples and traditional wood artistry and stonework is found here.
  • Archaeology Gallery – Storehouse of sculptural works and terracotta stuff of Maurya, Shunga and Gupta period.
  • Wall Painting Gallery – Bags wall painting of the Rang Mahal of Chamba.
  • Numismatic Gallery – Has got an extensive collection of the coins of Himachal Pradesh.

 [“THE RIDGE“]

The Ridge road is a large open space, located in the heart of Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Ridge is the hub of all cultural activities of Shimla. It is situated along the Mall Road, which is the famous shopping center of Shimla.

It runs east to west alongside the Mall Road and joins it at the Scandal Point on the west side. On the east side, The Ridge road leads to Lakkar Bazaar, a wooden crafts market. It’s the major landmark and the most easily recognized face of the hill station. When winter sets in and when the country had its first major snowfall of the year, most newspapers printed photos of the ridge submerged in clumps of fresh snow.

The Ridge houses a large water reservoir which acts as the main supply of Shimla town. The main water supply of Shimla comes from this tank.

[“SUMMER HILL“]

Summer Hill is a small town on the outskirts of Shimla, the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is on a hill, 5 km west to the Shimla Ridge, and is part of the seven-hill cluster.

In the past, Summer Hill has offered residence to Mahatma Gandhi, who stayed here at the Georgian mansion of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur during his Shimla visits. Also known as the Potter’s Hill, these pine and deodar laden slopes have many quaint residences, like one belonging to the family of noted painter Amrita Shergil.

[“DARANGHATI SANCTUARY“]

The Daranghati Sanctuary is located in Shimla District, Himachal Pradesh, India. It has undisturbed forest areas. Monal, Tragopan, Koklas, and Kalij are the pheasants found here. Some of the common animals found here are Musk deer, Goral and Thar.

There’s also a PWD rest house on top of the pass or one can stay in the tented accommodation right in front of the rest house.

[“NALDEHRA AND SHAILY PEAK“]

A natural peak with greenery everywhere, Shaily peak has panoramic views of Naldehra. The road to Shaily peak is memorable and the scenery around Khatnol leaves the traveler in awe. An early morning trek is ideal and one can also take a pony ride to reach up to the peak. This is a nice peak for adventurous trekking and climbing.

[“CHADWICK FALLS“]

The Chadwick Falls of Shimla is one of the major attractions of the state of Himachal Pradesh.  It is located at a distance of about 7 km and 45 minutes’ walk away from the Summer Hill Chowk of Shimla. It attracts most of the tourists that visit Shimla round the year.
The surrounding environment of thick forests, pine and deodar trees makes the place look all the more interesting and adds beauty and serenity to the Chadwick Falls. The water of the Chadwick Falls is chilly and refreshing. Flowing with a forceful rapidness, the water level gets increased after monsoons are over. This is the time when the Chadwick Falls looks stunning like scattered crystals. The sight of this sparkling waterfall is a treat to the eyes. 
There are some ancient temples around the Chadwick Falls and also a fair is held annually in April. In a few words, Chadwick Falls is an ideal place to savor nature in its quiet glory, where dense, dark, and deep woods beckon you. This beautiful gift of nature mesmerizes the tourists and invites them to Shimla, time after time.

 Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Chadwick Falls is after monsoons from July to October, when the water level is increased drastically.

The Chadwick Falls remain open for visitors throughout the year.

[“KUFRI“]

Kufri is a small hill station in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh state in India. It is located 13 km from the state capital Shimla on National Highway No.22.

Bear in the Kufri Zoo

Kufri has a Himalayan wild life zoo that hosts rare antelopes, felines and birds including the Himalayan monal, the state bird of Himachal Pradesh. During winter a curving path through the potato plantations turns into a popular ski track.

[“CHRIST CHURCH“]

Christ Church which is located in Shimla, is the second oldest church in North India, after St John’s Church in Meerut. It is a parish in the Diocese of Amritsar in the Church of North India. Worship is conducted in Hindi and English.

Built-in the neo-Gothic style in 1857 to serve the largely Anglican British community in what was formerly called Simla. Christ Church is situated on The Ridge where it stands out as one of the prominent landmarks of Shimla. The silhouette of Christ Church is visible for miles around the vicinity of Shimla city. Christ Church remains one of the continuing legacies of the British Raj.

It is designed in the typical Elizabethan style and consists of a great collection of books and ancient scriptures. The church looks magical during night when lights placed at strategic corners illuminate this beautiful church. The church glows with all its beauty and grandeur and is an amazing sight to look at.

The church contains five fine stained glass windows. One represents the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Patience, and Humility.

[“ANNANDALE“]

Annandale located in Shimla can revive more pleasant memories than the famous playground and race-course, located in a deep wide valley in the suburban village of Kaithu, Shimla west. This playground rests on a small patch of table-land about three-quarters of a mile in circumference. The spur on which it stood was a sort of valley-flat which was greatly extended and improved. Now misnamed Annandale, the original name of this place was Annadale and this name is derived from a small story about it. The story is that Captain Charles pratt Kennedy, one of the first incomers to this place, was so struck by the beauty of the valley that he saw, that be named after a young lady to whom he was so deeply attached in his young boyhood days. Her name was Anna and he combined it with the word ‘dale’ meaning a valley, thus calling the valley as Annadale. This spelling appears in the early lithographs of Simla done about the year 1840. Annandale, since its inception in the 1830s, was the haunt of Anglo-Indian playful activities, amusements, and entertainments. It was the favorite place for picnic parties, fetes and fancy-fairs, birthday-balls, flower and dog shows, army tattoos, races and gymkhanas, polo matches and other tournaments in 1888 which became a regular annual feature and which still bears his name although the venue of this tournament is now shifted to Calcutta.

 

CHAMBA

Chamba is an ancient town in the Chamba district in the state of Himachal Pradesh, in northern India. The remarkable beauty of Chamba has made this place precious to nature lovers. Located on the banks of River Ravi and at an altitude of over 900 meters above sea level, Chamba makes an excellent holiday retreat.

Chamba region was formally ruled by the Maru dynasty, starting with the Raju Maru from around 500 AD, ruling from the ancient capital of Bharmour, which is located 75 kilometers (47 mi) from the town of Chamba. In 920, Raja Sahil Varman (or Raja Sahil Verma) shifted the capital of the kingdom to Chamba, following the specific request of his daughter Champavati (Chamba was named after her). From the time of Raju Maru, 67 Rajas of this dynasty have ruled over Chamba until it finally merged with the Indian Union in April 1948, although Chamba was under British suzerainty from 1846 to this time.

The town has numerous temples and palaces and hosts two popular jatras (fairs), the “Suhi Mata Mela” and the “Minjar Mela”, which last for several days of music and dancing. Chamba is also well noted for its arts and crafts, particularly its Pahari paintings, which originated in the Hill Kingdoms of North India between the 17th and 19th century, and its handicrafts and textiles

Here are some important destinations in Chamba :-

[“Khajjar Lake“]

Khajjiar Lake is situated in Khajjiar, in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Khajjiar Lake is situated between Dalhousie and Chamba Town. The lake is set in a huge grassy landscape, with evergreen cedar trees surrounding it from all sides. Khajjiar lake takes its name from Khajji Nag, the deity in the temple nearby. The lake has considerably shrunk over the years and is now almost on the border of vanishing.

The lake is considered a sacred place to the Khajjinags (after whom this place is named). Khajjiar has a thick forest cover around the Kalatope sanctuary.

[“Chamera Lake“]

The Chamera Dam stores the River Ravi and supports the hydroelectricity project in the region. It is located near the town of Dalhousie, in the Chamba district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. The reservoir of the dam is the Chamera Lake.

The unique feature of the region is the fluctuating day and night temperature. The temperature during the day near the dam rises to 35 degrees Celsius and drops to a minimum of 18 to 20 °C at night.

The absence of aquatic life in the lake has made it an ideal location for water sports. According to the plan developed by the tourism department, the lake shares the scope of sports activities like rowing, motor boating, paddle boating, sailing, canoeing, angling, and kayaking. Houseboats and shikaras are also available. The government attempts to provide all these facilities to the tourists.

[“Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary“]

Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary at Kalatop and Khajjiar in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The sanctuary area is well laid out for trekking trails both at Kalatop and Khajjiar. There are dense deodar and fir forest. Pheasants, serow and black bear are some of the common animals found here. The sanctuary lies in the path of the Ravi River and is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests.

The vegetation consists of blue pine and deodar forest, with oak. The undergrowth in the forest area is well developed.

  • Mammals-bear, Himalayan Black Marten, leopard, deer, Barking Goral, squirrel, serow, jackal, langur.
  • Birds- Blackbird

Birds in this sanctuary many Birds are found some of them are listed below:-

Eurasian Jay, White-winged Black Bird, Black Headed Jay, Chesnut Billed Rock Thrush, Blackheaded Jay, Grey Headed Cannery Flycatcher.

[“Bhuri Singh Museum“]

Bhuri Singh Museum is situated in the heart of Chamba town. It was founded in 1908 to collect and preserve the scattered cultural heritage of Chamba State. Raja Bhuri Singh, the then ruler of erstwhile Chamba state, had gifted his inherited art collection and Dr. J. Ph. Vogel conveyed his invaluable services for setting up this Museum. The art objects displayed in the Museum were related to art, craft and cultural history of the Chamba State and stand as an expressive testimony to the life of the past and have their value in the assessment of art and culture of this region. Museum possesses more than 8500 antiquities and art objects related to Art, Archaeology, Craft and Cultural Anthropology. Being a regional museum, more emphasis has been given to the Art, Cultural, and History of Chamba region.

[“Rang Mahal“]

Rang Mahal was Founded by Raja Umed Singh in the 18th century. The Rang Mahal showcases a perfect blend of British and Mughal architecture. It’s one of the largest monuments, which is located in Chamba. It’s a striking building designed with high fort-like walls and the architecture has an unparalleled combination of British and Mughal styles. During that time, the monument of the western part was used as a royal treasury and the southern part of the monument was later built by the Raj Sri Singh in the year 1860.

As the legend goes, Kind Umed Singh made this palace but later Raj Sri Singh- the king of the same dynasty repaired the Rang Mahal. The main aim behind repairing this palace was not only for King’s accommodation but also to have a warehouse for royal grain and treasure.

The visiting times for travelers are:

  • 10 AM to 1 PM
  • 2 PM to 5 PM

The palace remains open from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is closed for visitors.

 [“MAHARAJA’S PALACE“]

When Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala was banished from Shimla – The Summer Capital of British India, he decided to create his capital for the warm months. The little village of Chail was perfect. It lay surrounded by magnificent deodar forests, Shimla was in direct vision and most importantly, Chail at 2226 m was somewhat higher than British controlled Shimla. Today, the Maharaja’s creation can be experienced by everyone. And for Himachal Tourism, now the owner of the gracious mansion, every visitor is a Royalty. Here is a resort in the true sense of the word. A beautiful Palace with ornate furniture, charming cottages, delightful log huts, thick forests, quiet walks, a ‘lovers hill’, an orchard of its own, elegant lawns, badminton and lawn tennis court, billiards and even a children’s park. Each royally appointed room, each quaint cottage, and every warm log hut offers a memorable holiday. Whether you are on a honeymoon and in search of privacy or wish to organize a conference, Chail offers it all. There are good sightseeing places and the possibility of some fishing and trekking. Chail also has the world’s highest cricket pitch and polo ground.

 [“AKHAND CHANDI PALACE“]

Akhand Chandi Palace district Chamba of Himachal Pradesh is a reflection of the luxury of art and architecture during ancient times.

This palace was initially constructed as a residential network. Raja Umed Singh started its construction in the year 1748-1764. Later, Raja Sham Singh rebuilt and renovated it under the guidance of British engineers. In the year 1879, a Darbar Hall or Marshall Hall was built by Capt Marshal. Under the reign of Raja Bhuri Singh, Zanana Mehal (for the ladies) was added to the palace. This palace largely depicts the influence of Mughal architecture where rooms were later added, which shows British influence. Hence, the palace building is a mix of British and Mughal creativity. This palace offers a great view and what was once the residence of the royal family of Chamba, is now a library and hub of literature.

There are numerous well-designed windows and has been painted white.

Each window has been decorated with an arc design outlining its top side. The walls of Akhand Chandi Palace were hand-painted with glasswork and minute woodwork which added to its glory. The palace has a garden area neatly maintained with a fountain whose peripheries are guarded by small wrought iron designs. The garden area has green hedges and a small sitting area.

 [“MANIMAHESH LAKE“]

Manimahesh Lake (also known as Dal Lake, Manimahesh) is situated close to the Manimahesh Kailash Peak in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, in the Bharmour subdivision of Chamba district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

Manimahesh lake view

The lake is the venue of a highly valued pilgrimage trek undertaken during August/September corresponding to the month of Bhadon according to the Hindu calendar, on the eighth day of the New Moon period. It is known as the ‘Manimahesh Yatra’. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has declared it as a state-level pilgrimage

According to one popular legend, it is believed that Lord Shiva created Manimahesh after he married Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped as Mata Girja. There are many legends narrated linking Lord Shiva and his show of displeasure through acts of avalanches and blizzards that occur in the region.

 [“CHURCH OF SCOTTLAND“]

A modest network of earth-colored stone and simple arched windows complete the Scottish style architecture of Chamba Church. Initial construction began in 1899 by Raja Sham Singh, who gifted the newly built structure to the Church of Scotland mission for the use of the Christian community in Chamba. Located above the main market of Chamba, the church’s undecorated exposed brick walls contrast sharply against the chaos of its surrounding buildings. Iron gates attached to brick pillars, painted in a nauseating combination of blue, white and orange, appear to sprout from groomed gardens of marigolds along the main pathways while keeping out curious travelers.

 DHARAMSHALA

 Dharamsala (also Dharamshala) is a city in Kangra district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala was formerly known as Bhagsu. The Dalai Lama’s residence and the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile) are in Dharamshala. Dharamshala is 18 kilometers from Kangra.

Dharamshala has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.

Dharamshala is surrounded by thick coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar cedar trees. The suburbs include McLeodGanj, Bhagsunath, Dharamkot, Naddi, ForsythGanj, Kotwali Bazaar (the main market), Kaccheri Adda (government offices such as the court, police, post, etc.), Dari, Ramnagar, Sidhpur, and Sidhbari (where the Karmapa is based). One of the main attractions of Dharamshala is Triund hill. Jewel of Dharamshala, Triund is one day trek at the upper reaches of McLeodGanj, about 9 km from McLeodGanj.

Dharamshala is the center of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising, there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the 14th Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population has made Dharamshala a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists, including students studying Tibet.

Here are some top attractions in Dharamshala:-

[“TRIUND“]

Triund is the crown jewel of Dharamshala, which is situated in the laps of the Dhauladhar Mountains. Triund has the perfect view of the dhauladhar mountains on one side and Kangra valley on the other. Triund is popular for trekking spot. It attracts a lot of tourists every year from India and all over the world.

Triund trek can be described as a tranquil trek which can be easily accomplished by almost all age groups. Triund has a clear-cut byway which goes through a beautiful mixed forest of oak, deodar, and rhododendron. Trek is fairly easy for the first five kilometers but the last one kilometer may require a bit of hard work, the last one kilometer is popularly known as the “22 curves” as it has 22 tiring curves before you finally reach Triund. Along the way, there are many small chai shops where one can refresh during the hike. The walk is worth it as the panorama when you reach triund is awe-inspiring and exhilarating. Triund is come-at-able for the most part of the year except for when the byway to triund is cut off by heavy snowfall in January and February. Trip to triund can be planed diversely.

The trek to Triund starts from the Gallu Devi temple, where people going for this trek are first asked to register their names. From Mcleodganj, a person first must reach Dharamkot via auto or you can simply get a cab straight to the Gallu Devi temple. There is a small route via Dharamkot which leads straight to the Gallu Devi temple in case a person wants to save up on the cab charges.

The reason it called Triund is because of the 3 mountains that a person can see from that point. These 3 snow-covered mountains are usually snow-capped throughout the year, so Tri means three and Und means mountains. There is no provision for electricity and toilets up there and the mobile signals are hard to find. After it gets dark, the torches come handy. The stars present a magnificent view at night. There is a guest house of Himachal Tourism and a person also has an option to stay there, provided the booking is done before the trip. More information can be found out on Himachal Tourism’s website. [/expand]

[“DAL LAKE“]

Dal Lake is a small mid-altitude lake near the village of Tota Rani in Kangra district (Himachal Pradesh) in northern India. The name ‘Dal Lake’ is taken from Kashmir’s Dal Lake.

Dal lake is surrounded by deodar trees and is considered to be a sacred spot as there is small Shiva mandir (shrine) on its bank. There are different kinds of fish that live in this lake. This lake has greenish water.

The distance of Dal lake from Dharamshala is 11km.

[“DHARAMKOT“]

Dharamkot is a small hill station in Kangra district in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Dharamkot is an attractive spot that presents a wide view of the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. There are a couple of small and interesting restaurants around it. Several foreigners have taken residence in the area; all live in village homes and tiny guest houses. Dharamkot also has the Vipassana meditation center, Dhamma Shikara, as well as the Tushita Meditation Centre which is a center for the study and practice of Buddhism in the Tibetan Mahayana tradition.

Past Dharamkot, at a distance of 9 km from McLeodGanj, much of which is a stable climb. The snow line, which is considered to be the most easily accessible in the entire Himalayan range starts from Ilaqua, 4 km from Triund. A good walker will take around four hours to reach Triund from McLeodganj and another one and a half to two hours to reach Ilaqua. After Dharamkot, one passes by the Galu Devi Temple when the climb and the trail become demanding.

[“BHAGSU WATERFALL (MC LEOD GANJ)“]

Bhagsu waterfall also known as McLeod Ganj (also spelled McLeodGanj or Mcleodganj) is an area of Dharamsala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India.  It is also known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” (a short form of Dharamshala used mainly by Tibetans) because of its large population of Tibetans.

It has an average elevation of 2,082 meters (6,831 feet). It is situated on the Dhauladhar Range, whose highest peak, “Hanuman Ka Tibba”, lies just behind it.

Tourism is an important industry in McLeod Ganj, but many people come here to study Tibetan Buddhism, culture, crafts, etc. The town is also known for Tibetan handicrafts, thangkas, Tibetan carpets, garments, and other souvenirs.

[“BHAGSUNAG TEMPLE“]

Bhagsunag Temple is a Temple of God Shiva which is situated around 2 km from McLeodganj Bazaar. It is worshipped majorly by 14 Gukha platoon villages in Dharamshala.

Mcleod Ganj, is a beautiful village full of natural scenes.

[“MASROOR ROCK CUT TEMPLE“]

The Masroor Rock Cut Temple or Himalayan Pyramid is a complex of temples located in Masroor (or Masrur) in Kangra Valley, in Kangra district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is now known as ‘Thakurwada’, meaning “Vaishnavite temples”. It is a complex of monolithic rock-cut temples, in shikhara (raising tower) style of classical Indian architectural style. Such an architectural style is unique to the northern part of India while there are many places in western and southern India where such rock-cut structures exist at the number of locations. There is a lake or pond called Masroor lake in front of this society which shows a partial reflection of the temples. A legend attributes its construction to the Pandavas of Mahabharata fame who resided here during their “incognito” exile from their kingdom.

[“CHURCH OF ST. JOHN“]

St. John is an Anglican church dedicated to John the Baptist built in 1852, which is located near Dharamshala, India. Set amidst deodar forest, and built-in neo-Gothic architecture, the church is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin (Mary Louisa Lambton), wife of Lord Elgin.

Its churchyard is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, who served as Governor-General of the Province of Canada, who oversaw the Creation of Responsible Government in Canada, and later, while in China, ordered the destruction of the Old Summer Palace. He became Governor-General & Viceroy of India in 1861 during the British Raj, though he soon died at Dharamshala on November 20, 1863, and was buried there.

[“TEA GARDEN“]

The tea garden is spread over acres of land. The tea gardens are a scenic natural site. While there isn’t much to do here, you can easily spend a couple of hours here just soaking in the peaceful environment. You can also pick up some fresh mountain tea from here. The Tea Gardens of Dharamshala are very famous in Himachal Region.

When you head for McLeodganj from Dharamshala through the long route (not from the shortcut that goes from within the market), you will find a very wide elbow turn. On the edge, there is a signboard of the Tea Plantation of Dharamshala. At 10 mins. walking distance, you will reach a place, covered with dense green leaves and filled with the magnificent aroma of fresh tea.

DALHOUSIE

Dalhousie is a hill station in the Chamba district, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It was established in 1854. It is situated on five hills, Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora. Dalhousie is situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level. The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September.

Dalhousie was named after Lord Dalhousie, who was the British governor in the 19th century. The varying altitudes of the land have a wide range of vegetation including pine, oak, and deodar.

 Here are the leading attractions in Dalhousie.

[“DAINKUND PEAK“]

Dainkund is the highest mountain peak in Dalhousie. Trekking is the most common path to get to the top and is an unreliable experience, with great views and fresh or cool mountain air. The sweet sound of the calm or a pleasing breeze blowing through the trees makes a musical serenade makes Dainkund famously known as the singing hill. An Air Force base in India in peak Dainkund and turn left from there is the Pholani Devi Temple which is the major attraction here.

 [“PANCHPULA“]

Panchpula is shrouded by a green blanket of pine and Deodar trees and surrounded with refreshing water streams. It is a nice picnic spot, where you can spend some time with your family and friends. Some of these streams even contain medicinal properties that help heal skin diseases. The Panchpula is a scenic place, which is surrounded by picturesque mountains and green valleys and is only three kilometers from the main city of Dalhousie.

Panchpula is also famous for many treks that originate here and leads to Dalhousie or other nearby destinations. The availability of water makes Panchpula the main source of drinking water, which is supplied to Dalhousie and other nearby towns.

Everyone from adventure lovers to trekkers to photographers love visiting this stunning destination which is surrounded by beauty. The best time to visit this wonderful spot is in summer and monsoon as the water flows with full force during this season and the place looks its best.

[“GANJI PAHARI“]

Ganji Pahari is a small hill located in Dalhousie, 5 km from the town, on Pathankot road. This hill is void of any vegetation, thus giving its name Ganji Pahari or bald hill.
It takes almost an hour from the city center to trek through the hilly terrain to reach the summit of this hill. The trek is easy to moderate one, but it is always safer to take a guide with you.
Ganji Pahari can be visited in all seasons. During winters, the hill is covered with snow and it brings out another flavor.
Being one of the most popular nature walks and destinations in Dalhousie, this place is apt for the whole family. As there are no shops and hotels found on the trail, it is better to carry food and water for the trek.

 [“SACH PASS“]

Sach Pass is located in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh, India on the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. It is 127 km (79 mi) from the District Headquarters. It connects the Chamba valley with the Pangi valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.

 [“GARAM SADAK“]

Garam Sadak is considered to be one of the best spots for walks in the arms of the nature of Dalhousie. This road is one of the criss-cross roads, which attains up to Gandhi Chowk and Subhash Chowk. Garam Sadak has derived its name from its warm and snug temperature. This place receives direct sunlight which is suitable for the walkers who pass from this path and they feel happy and comfortable. At this road area, travelers are suggested to carry flashlights as are poorly luminous at night.

The signboards near the road hold an interesting caption that reads ‘walking is the trend in the knolls’. This road is meant only for foot passengers. Be careful whilst wandering through Garam Sadak at nighttime and do not forget to take a flashlight. It might be tricking and brilliant in the day but it is poorly lit at night.

[“SUBHASH BAOLI“]

Subhash Baoli is located at a distance of 1 Km from Dalhousie. This place has been known by the name Subhash Chandra Bose, the famous freedom fighter had Spent much time in this zone in 1937. Subhash Baoli is an alluring spot amongst huge towering pine trees, which makes this place more beautiful with their presence.

In the year 1937, our country fought for freedom. He came to Dalhousie due to his failing health, felt weak due to illness and stayed for over seven months. It is said that the medicated water of the stream treated his disease and revitalized his health. Beautiful forest areas, refreshing water and cool air of the spring enamor many tourists from the far-flung areas. The view of the waterfall located on the opposite side of the lake adds to the attraction of the place.

In this place, there is a transparent cave of water which Set amongst the expanded forest area. Tourists love to walk under the water cave without a single drop falling on the individual makes for an amazing experience.

[“BAKROTA HILLS“]

The Bakrota Hills is one of the most beautiful spots in Dalhousie, which is surrounded by majestic snow-clad mountains and serene landscapes. There is a beautiful place called ‘Bakrota Mall’ in the Bakrota Hills, which offers a 5 km walk around the hill. One must visit the Bakrota Mall to catch a glimpse of snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas and to enjoy the white magic of the Bakrota Hills.

Dalhousie gets heavy snowfall in winter and so, a lot of tourists visit this beautiful hill station to get a superb view of the snow-clad peaks and peaceful landscapes. Bakrota Hill is an important part of Dalhousie, which is frequently visited by tourists around the year from different parts of the country. The place looks equally beautiful when the golden sunshine filter through the oak, pine and Deodar trees and fall on the ground, creating a magical effect on the hill.

For someone who loves to go for a walk around the hills, Bakrota Hill is a perfect place that offers the finest and most refreshing experience to the visitors.

KANGRA

Kangra is the most populous district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is a home of Masroor Rock Cut Temple, also known as Himalayan Pyramids and wonder of the world for being likely nominee for the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kangra is known for having the oldest serving Royal Dynasty in the world Katoch.  Kangra became a district of British India in 1846 when it was ceded to British India after the First Anglo-Sikh War. The British district included the present-day districts of Kangra, Hamirpur, Kullu, and Lahul and Spiti. Kangra District was part of the British province of Punjab. The administrative headquarters of the district were initially at Kangra but were moved to Dharamshala in 1855.

One of the scenic valleys in Himachal Pradesh, Kangra, is not just rich but also in history and culture. It has a rich past, which could be gauged by the fact that its name is mentioned in the epic Mahabharata.

This attractive valley has some of the beautiful attractions to offer.

[“KANGRA FORT“]

The Kangra Fort is located 20 kilometers from the town of Dharamsala on the outskirts of the town of Kangra, India

The Kangra Fort was built by the royal Rajput family of Kangra State (the Katoch dynasty), which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India.

The fort of Kangra attacked Akbar’s siege in 1615. However, Akbar’s son Jahangir successfully restrained the fort in 1620, forcing the submission of the Raja of Chamba, “the greatest of all the rajas in the region”.  Mughal Emperor Jahangir with the help of Suraj Mal garrisoned with his troops.

The Katoch Kings repeatedly looted Mughal controlled regions, weakening the Mughal control and with the decline of Mughal power, Raja Sansar Chand-II succeeded in recovering the ancient fort of his ancestors, in 1789. Maharaja Sansar Chand fought multiple battles with Gurkhas on one side and Sikh King Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the other. Sansar Chand used to keep his neighboring Kings jailed, and this led to conspiracies against him. During a battle between the Sikhs and Katochs, the gates of the fort had been kept open for supplies. The Gurkha army entered the opened scarcely armed gates in 1806. This forced an alliance between Maharaja Sansar Chand and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Subsequently, in 1809, the Gurkha army was defeated and they had to retreat across Sutlej River. The Fort remained with the Katochs until 1828 when Ranjit Singh annexed it after Sansar Chand’s death. The fort was finally taken by the British after the Sikh war of 1846.

A British garrison occupied the fort until it was heavily damaged in an earthquake on the 4th of April, 1905.

[“NADAUN“]

Nadaun is a town and a Nagar panchayat in Hamirpur district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Earlier, it was in the Princely state of Kangra and Raja Jodhbir Chand son of Raja Sansar Chand ruled on Kangra-Nadaun. Presently, Nadaun is a small town in Himachal Pradesh, located on the foothills of the Shivalik range forming the western end of the district Hamirpur. It is 42 km east of Kangra and it is situated on the banks of the Beas.

Bulleh Shah mentions Nadaun as the City of Innocent. He is said to have written the famous saying about Nadaun “Aaye Nadaun Jaaye Kaun” (Who comes to Nadaun would never want to go back). In his famous poem “Bulla Ki Janna Mein Kaun”, he has a mention of Nadaun as: “Na mein Brenda Vich Nadaun”.

[“MAHARANA PRATAP SAGAR LAKE“]

Maharana Pratap Sagar, in India, also known as Pong Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake. It was created in 1975, by building the highest earthfill dam in India on the Beas River in the wetland zone of the Siwalik Hills of the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Named in the honor of Maharana Pratap (1572–1597), the reservoir or the lake is a well-known wildlife sanctuary and one of the 25 international wetland sites declared in India by the Ramsar Convention.

[“TARAGRAH PALACE“]

Paragraph palace was built by the Nawab of Bahawalpur in 1937. The Paragraph palace stands majestically at height of 1000 meters among 15 acres of lush forests and tea gardens in the Kangra valley in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. The palace was built as a summer resort and it was acquired by the royal family of Jammu & Kashmir in 1951.

It was developed as a Heritage Hotel in 1971. Tragrah Palace offers splendid views of the snow-clad ranges of the Dhauladhar Mountains, which form an enchanting backdrop. Formerly known as Al-Hilal (Land of the crescent moon). Taragrah Palace was built in the early 1930s as a summer resort.

[“GOPALPUR NATURE PARK“]

Gopalpur Nature Park is naturally a beautiful place. This is one of the best parks in Himachal Pradesh where wild animals are well preserved. It is covered with dense bamboo trees, Nature Park Gopalpur is a natural habitat for many endangered animals. Wildlife aficionados will get a chance to observe the animals closely in their habitat.

The history of the area is full of folk tales and legends which make it an even more exciting place to visit. There is a tiny zoo enclosed in the sanctuary, which spans over 12.5 acres of land on the Dhauladhar Mountains. The zoo complex houses a variety of fauna including leopards, black bears, red fox and various other varieties of deer. The natural forest of the Park is of the mixed deciduous type – Oak, Maple, Pine, Deodar, Walnut, Fir, Bamboo, Kali, Khair, and Horse Chestnut are mostly found here. One can see some lush green fruit trees in the sanctuary namely apple, strawberry, raspberry and cherry.

If the tourist is a hiker and loves to indulge in thrilling activities, then Nature Park Gopalpur is the place to be. The trail from Taklech to Gopalpur is an amazing and wonderful route that trekkers can enjoy. There are several campsites here as well. Not only hiking and camping, but people also come here to enjoy Paragliding as well.

Nature Park Gopalpur is a must-visit the place during winters as its land is covered with snow which simply looks impressive and charming. The park offers wonderful landscapes, geographic wonders, and diverse flora and fauna.

[“NURPUR“]

Nurpur is a city in the Kangra district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It was formerly part of the Nurpur State ruled by the Pathania clan of Tomara Rajputs, since the 11th century AD. The capital of the kingdom was at Pathankot formerly known as Paithan, now in Punjab. Nurpur was founded in the 11th century by Raja Jhet Pal, who was the younger brother of the ruler of Delhi. It reached its peak during the reign of Raja Basu, from 1580 to 1613, who built an impressive fort that can still be seen today.

[“INDRAHAR PASS“]

Indrahar Pass is a mountain pass in the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas near the tourist town of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Indrahar pass forms the border between Kangra and Chamba districts. It is part of a very popular trekking route from Dharamshala. It attracts substantial tourist traffic during the trekking season between April–October.

[“TATWANI HOT SPRING“]

Taiwan is situated at a distance of about 35kms from Dharamshala. It is one of the major attractions for tourists in this area. The place is also known for Shiva Temple and a shallow river that flows at a short distance. There are two separate baths for men and women, where the men can take a bath in an open area, for women a large room is built. The water of the hot spring is believed to have natural healing properties. The water can cure many ailments like muscle ache, poor blood circulation, and even arthritis. After the bath in the sulfur spring, a dip in the nearby river provides a perfect way to cleanse the skin impurities.

[“KARERI LAKE“]

Kareri Lake is also known as Kumarwah Lake located in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Snow melting from the Dhauladhar range serves as the source of the lake and a stream, Nyund is the outflow. Since the source is fresh melting snow and the lake is shallow, water visibility is very high and in most places, the lake bed can be seen.

Kareri lake is best known for being a trekking destination in the Dhauladhars. The lake remains frozen from early December to March–April. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti on a hilltop overlooking the lake.

KASAULI

Kasauli is a town which is located in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The cantonment was established by the British Raj in 1842 as a Colonial hill station, 77 km from Shimla, 65 km from Chandigarh, and 94 km from Ambala Cantt (Haryana), an important Railway Junction of North India.

Kasauli is situated at an altitude of 1927 meters and like a few other places in Himachal Pradesh, reflects the influence of colonial rule. The views from here are remarkable. The peacefulness of the place is charming.

Here are some top attractions in Kasauli:

[“MONKEY POINT“]

The highest peak in Kasauli called the Monkey Point. The monkey point falls just 4 Km from the main bus stand of Kasauli. A small temple is also situated on this hill dedicated to Lord Hanuman. According to a Ramayana when Lord Hanuman was returning from the Himalayas with Sanjivani Booty or the magical death-defying herb, his foot touched this Kasauli hilltop. Remarkably the top of the hill is in a foot shape.

At present, the Monkey point falls within air-force boundaries, and to visit this attraction in Kasauli one has to undergo frisking by the air force guards who often act wired and have more or less no respect for the visitors.

[“SUNSET POINT“]

Sunset Point is situated about 1.5 km from the bus stand. The Sunset point offers a magnificent view of the nearby hill regions, and of plains Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Kalka, Pinjore, Parwanoo, Baddi and Nalagarh all are visible as an eagle-eye view from this 270-degree viewpoint. The Sunset point has a small cafeteria which serves freshly prepared items viz sandwiches, burgers, popcorns, corn on the cob, milkshakes, tea, coffee but doesn’t promote cold drinks, chips or namkeens. The evening bar-be-cue is a must not miss if you are a non vegetarian; must try their smoked chicken.

[=”CHRIST CHURCH“]

The Christ Church in Himachal Pradesh is an oldest church, having been built in 1853. Yet, its stained glass windows are vivid enough in the morning light to deceive one into thinking they were painted yesterday. They were imported from England along with the pews when the church was built. The devout, and the just-plainhopeful, light candles here for divine intervention, and grateful individuals have contributed generously to the church after wish-fulfilment.

The façade of the Christ Church is pretty stunning, with a beautiful clock tower whose clock, though, has not been working. A sundial is mounted bird bath-like on a stone pillar. The church is open to tourists on weekends. A short, charming walk takes you to a cemetery maintained by the church. The tombstones date back to the 1850s and earlier; those of infants are heartrending. Stop here awhile amidst the fragrance of pine and wood-smoke, look out over the valley. The church is open to tourists only during the weekends. The sunday service is held at 9:30 PM.

[“DAGSHAI“]

Dagshai is one of the oldest cantonment towns in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on top of a 5689 feet (1734 mtr) high hillock that stands sphinx-like astride the Kalka-Shimla Highway at a point about 11 km from Solan. It was founded in 1847 by the East India Company by securing free of cost five villages from Maharaja of Patiala aka Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. The name of these villages were Dabbi, Badhtiala, Chunawad, Jawag and Dagshai.

The new cantonment was named after the last named village, as it was the largest and most strategically located.

The name Dagshai, according to a popular local legend was derived from Daag-e-Shahi. During the Moghul times a Daag-e-Shahi (royal mark) was put on the forehead of the criminals and sent packing to the then Dagshai village.

Built by the British as a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients, it has a British era graveyard overlooking a valley. It is on the same height as Lawrence School Sanawar near Kasauli, and is a short drive from Dharampur on the Chandigarh Simla highway. It is some 65 kilometers from Chandigarh. Unlike Kasauli it is to the right of the highway while driving towards Simla. There are two roads up, both steep. And after snow, snow chains are a must to drive up to Dagshai or getting down from it. There is an army unit stationed there, a residential only Army Public School, Dagshai and a private school called Dagshai Public School.

There is a very small civilian town, and the two schools take up most of this hilltop station. There are no hotels in Dagshai, but the place has a lot of picnic spots with grand views. From some spots one can see the entire Panchkula and Chandigarh lights at night. Also, one is able to see Timber Trail Heights and Timber Trail Resorts, Parwanoo

[“PATRICKS CHURCH“]

 St. Patrick’s is located at the highest point of the school campus. It was Built in 1847 and was maintained by the Kasauli garrison. It was run by the Franciscan missionaries of the English province. The church was erected by contributions from the East India Company, Father Candidus, the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment and Her Majesty’s 61st Regiment (61st foot-Irish regt). Candidus was the first priest to run the church.
According to the church records the earliest baptism was in 1853. A girl named Fanny (daughter of Edward and Elizabeth) was baptised on the 27th of February 1853 by Candidus.
The present Parish Priest is Titus Babu of the Simla Chandigarh Diocese. He is also the chaplain for the sisters of the covent.

[“GURKHA FORT“]

Gurkha Fort is located in the cantonment town of Subathu which is situated at a height of 1,437 mts above sea level. The fort was constructed in the early 19th century by Gurkha’s, who wished to hold firm position in the region. The cantonment town and the fort were later ruled by the British.

The fort still houses more than 180 years old cannons that were used during the Gurkha Wars. Presently, major part of the town is army cantonment area and has 14 Gurkha training centres of the Indian Army. One of the major recruitment centres of Gurkhas in the British Indian army, the town centre is now the regimental centre for Gurkhas of the Indian army.

Located 27 km from Kasauli, Subathu is enclosed in the forest of scrubs, pines, bamboos and eucalyptus trees. Visitors can take the road from Dharampur, which is 15 km away, to reach the town. Subathu also houses an old ‘viceregal lodge’, established in the year 1880.

[“THE MALL“]

The Mall or The Mall Road is the busiest region of the town that offers numerous shopping options. Visitors can engage in nature walks through the Upper Mall and Lower Mall streets. Walker’s Paradise is the main centre of the destination’s social life.
The place remains crowded during the peak season, falling in the months of April to June and September to January. The Mall stretches between the Christ Church and the Monkey Point. The main market of Kasauli has many restaurants, shops and ancient architectural monuments.

Tourists can find shops and vendors selling several items, including regional handicrafts, jewellery items, wood and metalwork, shawls, woollen caps, Tibetan carpets and food-items at the Lower Mall. Along with the Mall Road, tourists can also visit the Old Bazaar and Tibetan market, which is popular place for buying woollens and souvenirs.

All the interesting buildings of the town, along with shopping stores, banks, café’s, commercial establishments and restaurants are situated at the Lower Mall. Besides, it also features books shops, having a vast collection for vivid readers.
The entry of vehicles is strictly banned in The Mall Road.

 

*HAMIRPUR

Hamirpur is a town and the district headquarters of Hamirpur district in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Hamirpur is located in a relatively colder region in western Himachal Pradesh with a lower altitude as compared to the other districts of the state. Shri Sidh Baba Balak Nath Temple, Deotsidh, is the biggest holy shrine in Barsar tehsil of the district. It is situated on the Deotsidh Dhar Range in Shivalik Hills.

Being in the lower elevation, Hamirpur is a warmer town. The land is said to be the most literate district in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Given below are some of the tourist’s attractions in Hamirpur:

[“DEOTSIDH TEMPLE“]

Baba Balak Nath or Sidh Baba Balak Nath is a Hindu deity worshipped in the northern Indian states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. His shrine is known as “Deotsidh“. It is situated 45 km away from “Hamirpur” near the border of Hamirpur and Bilaspur districts of Himachal Pradesh, India.

The Baba Balak Nath Temple is situated at the village of “Chakmoh” in the district of Hamirpur on the hilltop, in a natural cave carved in the hills, considered to be the abode of Baba. An Idol of Baba is placed in the cave.

[“SUJANPUR TIHRA“]

Tira Sujanpur is a town and a Nagar panchayat in the Hamirpur district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Tira Sujanpur is also called Sujanpur Tira or Sujanpur Tihra located on the bank of River Beas. It is a beautiful town settled by Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch who was the King of Kangra and later shifted from Kangra to Sujanpur Tira after the war with Muslim kings who wanted to capture Kangra fort. Maharaja Sansar Chand constructed his palaces, temples and courts (called Baradari) on the peak of hillock called Tira overlooking Sujanpur’s famous Chaugan, hence the name of the town is Sujanpur Tira. In the middle of this beautiful town there is one square kilometer green ground popularly called in Pahari language ‘Chaugan’ (which remains green throughout the year). Now part of the ground is occupied by the Sanik School. The ground is a meeting place for most of the town people, ladies, men, children for evening walk and for playing all types of games. Most famous Holi fair also takes place on this ground which lasts almost 2–3 weeks during the month of March.

[“AWAH DEVI TEMPLE“]

A 250 year old shrine, Awah Devi Temple is situated 24kms from Hamirpur town. This sacred temple is balanced upon a hill that is considered the highest point of Hamirpur. The enormous backdrop further enhances the beauty of this place. Jalpa Devi is worshipped by a few locals as Kul Devi (Clan’s Deity). Also, a large number of Hindu devotees throng the temple in order to seek the blessing of the goddess and to get their wishes fulfilled.

History

The people from Mandi district carried the idol of Jalpa Devi to place it in their region. While they were heading back to Mandi with the statue; they turned blind and when they started to return back to the place where the idol was first placed, their vision returned. Thus, the people were bounded to place the idol of the goddess back where it was.

[“BIKLESHWAR TEMPLE“]

Bikleshwar temple is a temple of God Shiva is situated at a distance of 5 km on the Nadaun- Sujanpur road at the meeting place of Beas river and Kunah Khad. This temple is about more than 400 years old. In the month of ‘Baishakh’ ( May-June), during the mela large number of devotees visit this place to have a glimpse of Shivling. According to the ancient grape-vine, the construction of this temple was started by the ‘Pandavas’ of ‘Mahabharatha’ fame with the help of Vishva-Karma in the night during their secret exile. But the construction of the temple was abandon by ‘Pandavas’ as they were spotted by the local people. Later on, this temple was constructed by the King of Katoch dynasty. This pilgrimage place is considered as sacred as Haridwar in Uttaranchal. The people who are unable to visit Haridwar, immerse the mortal remains of their relatives, in the sacred water of this place.

 PARWANOO

Parwanoo is a municipal council in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is an industrial town. It borders Panchkula district of Haryana, and is after the towns of Pinjore and Kalka on the Chandigarh Simla Highway. In fact it is separated by a river bed from the town of Kalka. Pinjore to Parwanoo is almost a continuous urban belt. From Pinjore there is also a road to Baddi. Another nearby industrial town of Himachal.

Parwanoo, surrounded by hills is yet another beautiful hill station in the land. The town, surrounded by lavish greenery, lies near the border of Haryana and hence, it is a convenient location from where you could visit many tourist attractions nearby.

Here are some of the tourists attractions in and around Parwanoo

[“KALKA”]

Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana, India. The name of the town is derived from the goddess Kali. The town is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and is a gateway to the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh.

The town takes its name from Kalika maa the ruling deity. Kalka was acquired by British India from the Princely state of Patiala in 1843 as a depot for Simla, the summer capital of the Raj. It became the junction for the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka, and the Kalka – Simla railways. By 1901, the town, administered as a notified area, had a population of 7,045, a railway workshop, and was a market for ginger and turmeric. The Kalka municipal committee was created on 11 April 1933.

[“PINJORE“]

Pinjore is a town in Panchkula district in the Indian state of Haryana. This residential ‘township’, located close to Chandigarh, is set over 1,800 feet above the sea level in a valley, overlooking the Sivalik Hills. Pinjore is known for Pinjore Gardens, which is Asia’s best 17th Century Mughal garden and the Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) factory.

[“MUGHAL GARDENS“]

Pinjore Gardens are also known as Pinjor Gardens or Yadavindra Gardens. It is located in Pinjore, Panchkula district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is an example of the Mughal Gardens style, and was built by Patiala Dynasty Rulers. It was created in the 17th century by architect Nawab Fidai Khan during the early reign of his foster brother Aurangzeb (r. 1658-1707). In recent times, it has been renamed as ‘Yadavindra Garden’ in the memory of Maharaja Yadavindra Singh former of the princely state of Patiala. After it was initially built by Fidai Khan, the garden was refurbished by Yadevendra Singh and restored to its former spledour, since it had grown into a wild jungle after initially built due to long years of neglect.

[“FRUIT ORCHARDS“]

India is a land of some of the most illustrious fruit orchards in the country. You should take up an exclusive tour to enjoy the various fruit producing areas of the country, where fruits grow in abundance spreading across huge acres of land. These beautiful orchards not only give a delightful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life but also provide peace and fragrance to the minds of the tired travellers.

[“GURUDWARA NADA SAHIB“]

Nada Sahib is a Sikh Gurudwara in the Panchkula district of the Indian state of Haryana. It is Situated on the banks of the Ghaggar-Hakra River in the Sivalik Hills, it is the location where Guru Gobind Singh halted while travelling from Paonta Sahib to Anandpur Sahib after the Battle of Bhangani in 1688.

At the Battle of Bhangani, Guru Gobind Singh did not do well in the beginning but ultimately came out victorious, and won the battle. The Bichitra Natak also mentions that the battle resulted in the victory of the Guru’s forces, and the enemy forces fled from the battlefield.

[“CACTUS GARDEN“]

The National Cactus and Succulent Botanical Garden and Research Centre is known as the Cactus Garden, is a cactus garden in Sector 5 of Panchkula, Haryana, India.

Cactus Garden has a collection of Indian succulents, which is considered to be the largest in the world. Designed by Dr J.S. Sarkaria, it is Asia’s largest outdoor landscaped cacti and succulents garden. Chief architect of the garden, Dr J.S. Sarkaria donated a large collection of cacti and succulent plants. The garden was established with the aim to preserve and conserve this endangered species.

This garden is home to a complete collection of Genus Caralluma of Indian origin. In the month of March, every year, Cactus Show is organised at the garden. Having more than 3,500 species, the garden has 25 raised ground features and 3 water bodies with waterways. About 800 species of Cacti and Succulents have been naturalised on raised mounds.

  1. SOLAN

Solan is the district headquarters of Solan district (created on 1 September 1972) in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. This place is named after the Hindu goddess Shoolini devi. Every year in the month of June, a fair celebrating the goddess is held, featuring a 3-day mela at the central Thoudo grounds. Solan was the capital of the erst while princely state, Bhagat.

It is known as the “Mushroom city of India” because of the vast mushroom farming in the area as well as the Directorate of Mushroom Research (DMR) situated at Chambaghat. Solan is crowned as the “City of Red Gold”, in reference to the bulk production of tomatoes in the area.

Solan is famously called ‘The mushroom city of India’, is a beautiful city located amidst scenic snow-clad mountains and forests. Mushroom farming being very extensive here, the land is named thus. It is a great place for trekking and it is heaven for those who love to feel oneness with nature.

Here are some of the top attractions in Solan:

[“BAROG“]

Barog is a small hill station in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Barog was settled in the early 20th century during the building of the narrow gauge Kalka-Shimla Railway. It is named after Colonel Barog, an engineer involved in building the railway track in 1903. Currently many residents have their long stays in their houses and flats in Barog. Mostly they are Sikhs from Punjab.

This tunnel is the longest of the 103 operational tunnels on the route of the Shimla-Kalka Railway, which is 1143.61m long. Barog station is immediately after the tunnel. Barog tunnel is the straightest tunnel in the World.

[“SUBATHU“]

Subathu is a small town in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as Spatu and on the surface. However, if you dig deep, ask and roam around, you will realize that Subathu is not just a small town but it is much more than that.

It was established as a cantonment after the British dislodged the Gurkhas from the hills in the early part of 19th century, Subahtu is still a memorabilia treasure house of these fierce fighters. Only 22 kilometers from the main Shimla–Kalka highway from Solan, Subahtu still retains the charm of an old hill cantonment the purpose for which it was built by the colonial rulers.

However some trace the origins of town’s name to legendary Mahabratha days when King Subahu the ruler of Kuninda kingdom had made this place his capital. Others attribute it to more recent times and say Subahtu comes from Subbah Tum meaning residency of the governor in Gurkhali. Still others claim that the name has come out of Subha Thor meaning the place where one stopped for breakfast (while enroute to Shimla).

[“CHAIL“]

Chail is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India. Chail is 44 km from Shimla and 45 km from Solan. The Chail Palace is well known for its architecture, the palace was built as summer retreat by the Maharaja of Patiala during the British Raj, on the land allotted to him by the British for former’s assistance in the Anglo-Nepalese War. The cricket ground and a polo ground which is there at an altitude of 2,250 m was owned by erstwhile royal family of Patiala. It is the world’s highest cricket ground.

Chail is also considered as the hiker’s paradise. The area is away from the bustling life of the state capital Shimla.

In 1891, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala incurred the rage of Lord Kitchener. It led to the restriction of his entry in the Indian summer capital, Shimla. This incensed the Maharaja and he vowed to build a new summer retreat for himself. So he rebuilt the place (Chail) as per his requirements.

After accession to the Indian Union, Maharaja of Patiala donated most of his buildings to Chail Military School and Government of India.

[“JATOLI“]

If a tourist wants to see a grand and spectacular temple, perched on a hill top then Jatoli Shiv temple is the place to be. Jatoli gets its name from the long Jata (hair) that Lord Shiva has. Considered as Asia’s highest Shiv temple, this shrine is indeed an architectural marvel. Jatoli Shiv Temple is one of the famous holy destinations of Solan which attract a large number of pilgrims and is only 6 Kms from the city.

Multiple fables and stories are associated with the history of Jatoli Shiv Temple. It is one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiv where an ancient linga is also placed since a long time. It is believed that the temple was once the resting place of Lord Shiva.

The temple is made in typical Southern-Dravidian style architecture and is made of three consecutive pyramids. On the first pyramid, one can see the image of Lord Ganesha while on second pyramid there is a sculpture of Shesh Naag. Jatoli Shiv Temple holds the tag of being the highest temple in Asia; it took 39 years to complete the construction of the temple.

On the northeast corner of the temple, there is a water tank called ‘Jal Kund’ which is considered as pious as the holy river Ganga. The water of this tank is said to have some medicinal qualities that can treat skin diseases. There is a cave inside the temple where Swami Krishnananda Paramhans Ji resided. This ancient temple is famous for its annual fair, which is conducted during the festival of Mahashivratri. A number of devotees gather in the temple to offer prayers.

[“KUTHAR FORT“]

Kuthar fort is at a small drive distance of both Subathu and Arki, which is hardly an hour away from the Shimla airport, Jubbarhatti. The sectors in the fort are as old as 800 years. There are few recent sections in the fort which are renovated and are just eight decades old. The fort is stretched in a large area over the region. In the confines of the fort, there are wonderful fresh-water springs flowing through. The Kuthar Fort is surrounded by many amazing picturesque locations like Gurkha Fort from Subathu, Kunihar, and Kasauli hill station.

Kuthar Palace is a majestic heritage resort that is located in a forested mountain that gives a beautiful view of Shimla valley directly in the Kasauli hills.

The presence of a palace in the vicinity of famous chronological Kuthar Fort, the place is elegantly decorated with Colonnades, arches, pillars, beautiful interiors, heavenly temples, and wooden carved ceilings. Therefore, the visit to the fort gives recreation, leisure time, adventure, and experience of re-living the past.

History

Surat Chand was originally from Kishtwar, who came to Kashmir and got hold of the state by invasion. At the time of the Gorkha invasion, the ruler was Rana Gopal Chand. Britishers re-established the state. In 1948 in the month of April, the state was amalgamated with Himachal Pardesh and stayed as the portion of Mahasu district till 1972 August.

Kutar Palace was an imperial home for the royal family for many centuries, portraying the warmth and friendliness of Rajput tradition, with its charming ancient architecture built 800 years ago while the present structures are also eleven decades old.

The entire imperial estate is very well administered by Rana of Kuthar-Arun Sen who is the elder son of Raja Hitendra Sen from Keonthal, son of his first wife, who was the daughter of Rana Krishen Chand from Kuthar State.

A worthy and noble historical monument, Kuthar Fort is situated in district Solan of Himachal Pradesh, Indian State. It is understood that Kuthar Fort is as old as 800 years old. In region Solan and neighboring regions, Kuthar Fort is the oldest archetype. The fort is prevalently said a palace as it is different than other forts in the region. The fort is renovated and transferred to a Grand Heritage Hotel. These changes are done on the backside of the fort.

[“MAJATHAL SANCTUARY“]

Majathal wildlife sanctuary is the part of Shimla and Solan district that are in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The Majathal wildlife sanctuary is located on the Shimla-Bilaspur Highway that is at a distance of 10 km from Karaghat to Kashlog. The visitors have to walk from the foot of Kashlog to reach the sanctuary. The Majathal wildlife sanctuary is spread over an area of 39.4 sq. km. The sanctuary came into existence in the year 1962 and later it was re-notified as the wildlife sanctuary in the year 1974.

Another attraction to the Majathal Wildlife sanctuary is the facility of the trekking for the visitors. It houses the very periodic species of animals like Gorals and Cheers Pheasants. The sanctuary is continuously on the progression of increasing it vicinity over the terrains of the Himalayan range. The visitors can set up the tents in the night to have a stay in the vicinity of the Majathal wildlife sanctuary. The night stay in the tent surrounded by the rich wildlife gives the visitor an unforgettable experience.

The domicile of the numerous wildlife sanctuaries in the state of Himachal Pradesh is in India. These sanctuaries help the visitor to enjoy the natural heritage, clean and fresh weather and a wide variety of wildlife species housed in. The other attractions of the sanctuaries are trekking, knowledge gain on wildlife and bird watching and the jungle safaris.

The imperiled species that are found in the Majathal wildlife sanctuary are Gorals and Cheer Pheasants. With the curved horns the Gorals are the rare species of the mountain goat. A bird with the long tail and crimson color surrounded around its eyes is Cheer Pheasant that is also on the verge of vanishing. Other types and species of animals that are housed in the sanctuary are Black Bear, Jungle Cat, Langur, Leopard, Barking Deer, Himalayan Palm Civet etc. The other types of mammals that can be seen are Black Francolin, White Beaked Vultures, and Kaleej Pheasants.

[“ARKI“]

Arki is a town in Solan district in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The town is notable for its fort built in the late 18th century when Arki was the capital of the erstwhile hill state of Baghal.

Arki was the capital of the princely hill state of Baghal, which was founded by Rana Ajai Dev, a Panwar Rajput. The state was founded around 1643 and Arki was declared its capital by Rana Sabha Chand in 1650. The Arki Fort is a converted hotel and lovely to visit. The fort was captured by the Gurkhas in 1806. Rana Jagat Singh, the ruler of Baghal, had to take refuge in Nalagarh. From 1806 to 1815, the Gurkha General Amar Singh Thapa used Arki as his stronghold to make further advances into Himachal Pradesh as far as Kangra.

The Gurkhas were, however, driven out by Rana Jagat Singh assisted by Sir David Ochterlony and the British forces during the Gurkha War in 1815–1816. Thereafter Rana Rana Jagat Singh regained control of Arki.

Rana Kishan Singh, who ruled the state from 1840 to 1867, developed the town of Arki in a planned manner. The Rana was a far-sighted ruler and built horse and mule tracks to connect Arki with Shimla and Bilaspur. Many artisans, scholars, and businessmen from other parts of India settled in Arki during his reign as he provided them with tax-free land free of cost.

The Rana was a patron of arts and had muralled interiors installed in the Arki Fort in 1850. The murals are a prime attraction among tourists today.

[“NALAGARH“]

Nalagarh is a city in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The Nalagarh Fort which was built in 1421 during the reign of Raja Bikram Chand is located on a hillock at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas affording a panoramic view of the Shivalik hills beyond the Sirsa river.

 It was the seat of the eponymous princely state during the British Raj, and known in medieval period as the state of Hindus. It was founded by the Chandella Rajputs in 1100 AD. At present Nalagarh is an emerging town for industries as it hosts production units for leather, steel, chemicals, thread mills and breweries; thus air pollution is quite a concern here. It is situated at 65 km distance from nearby major city Chandigarh. It has further been reduced to about 40 km after the opening of Chandigarh Siswan road.

Nalagarh was ruled by the Chandela Rajputs who originated from Chanderi in the Bundelkhand region of central India. Various other rajputs then inhabited this place includingThakurs, Tomara, Rathore, Parmar, Pawar, Panwar, Chauhan, Bais. Many have now stayed back as farmers in the Chikni Sirsa Valley

Fort Nalagarh surrounded by endless acres of greenery, with all modern amenities is an ideal retreat away from the madding crowd of metropolitan cities.

PRAGPUR

Pragpur is situated at an altitude of around 1800 ft above sea level, in the district of Kangra, is one of the prominent tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh. This place was declared as a heritage village in 1997 by the government of Himachal Pradesh. The twin villages of Garli-Pragpur were later declared heritage regions in the year 2002. This was done because there are several places in Pragpur which are of historical and religious significance.

At an altitude of 2000 feet, Pragpur, the first heritage village in India, offers spectacular views of Kangra Valley. Everything about Pragpur is interesting; natural beauty, rich culture, historical importance, friendly climate, beautiful greenery, easy access and anything you would consider when you travel to a place.

LEADING DESTINATIONS IN PRAGPUR :

[“CHAMBA PATTAN“]

Chamba Pattan, is on the banks of the River Beas, it is about 10 kilometers from Pragpur. It is a great picnic spot with a very friendly boatman who will ferry you across for a minimal fee.

[“THE TAAL“]

Chandra Taal which means the Lake of the Moon, or Chandra Tal. Chandra Taal lake is accessible on foot from Batal as well as from Kunzum Pass from late May to early October. There is also a motorable road from Batal which is 14 km (8.7 mi) away from Chandra Taal. The road from Kunzum Pass is accessible only on foot, and it is about 8 km (5.0 mi) from Chandra Taal. Suraj Tal is also accessible Chandra Taal, 30 km (19 mi) away. Vast meadows on the banks of the lake are the camping sites. During springtime, these meadows are carpeted with hundreds of kinds of wildflowers.

The lake is situated on the Samudra Tapu plateau, which overlooks the Chandra River. The lake is one of two high-altitude wetlands of India which have been designated as Ramsar sites.

[“THE JUDGE’S COURT“]

The judge’s court is a 300 yrs old ancestral cottage in the medieval hamlet of Pragpur , at an elevation of 2000ft. in the kangra Valley of the North Indian State of Himachal Pradesh.

This ancestral cottage is a large country manor designed in the Indo –European tradition –set amidst 12 acres of orchards overlooking the Dauladhar Mountains – built in 1918 by Bhandhari Ram for his son, Justice Sir Jai Lal. The property was therefore commonly referred to as  Judge Sahib ki Kothi and the name of the Welcome Heritage Judge’s Court stuck.

The village of Pragpur was classified as a heritage zone in 1997 and for good reason – caught in a charming time  wrap, there is little to mark the advent of the modern age in the aspect of the unchanged shops, mud- plastered slate roofed houses, ornamental tank and the cobbled streets leading to the village courtyard of this seeming medieval village.

SIRMAUR

Sirmaur is the most south-eastern district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is largely mountainous and rural, with 90% of its population living in villages. It includes the towns of Nahan (its capital), as well as the Shivalik Fossil Park at Suketi, where fossils over 85 million years old have been found.

Sirmaur was an independent kingdom in India. It was founded in about 1090 by Raja Rasaloo of Jaisalmer, one of whose ancestors was named Sirmaur. It became a 11 Gun Salute princely state in British India. The premier ruler of the Punjab Hills ,located in the region that is now the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The state was also known as Nahan, after its main city, Nahan. Sirmaur was ruled by the chiefs of Rajput lineage, who used the title “Maharaja”.

Here are some tourists’ attraction places:

 [“SHIVALIK FOSSIL PARK“]

Shivalik Fossil Park, also known as the Suketi Fossil Park. Shivalik fossil park is a fossil park with a collection of prehistoric vertebrate fossils and skeletons recovered from the upper and middle Siwaliks geological formations of sandstones and clay at Suketi in the Sirmaur district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The park has a display of the fossil finds and also an open-air exhibition of six extinct mammals formed in life-size models made of fiberglass, in a natural ambiance of the Sivalik Hills environment of the Plio-Pleistoceneera (circa 2.5 million years) from where the fossils were unearthed. There is also a museum, within the precincts of the park, where the fossils are curated and exhibited. It is Asia’s biggest fossil park. The exhibits in the park are used for generating scientific interest in the public and for facilitating special international studies by visiting research scholars from all over the world, apart from tourism development.

[“CHURDHAR PEAK“]

Churdhar Sanctuary is located in Sirmour, Shimla district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

The sanctuary is named after the Churdhar Peak. Churdhar Peak is the highest peak in Sirmour district and is also the highest peak in the outer Himalayas. The peak has a great religious significance for the people of Sirmour, Shimla, Chaupal and Solan of Himachal Pradesh and Dehradun of Uttrakhand. Churdhar is a holy place related with Shri Shirgul Maharaj (Chureshwar Maharaj), a deity widely worshipped in Sirmour and Chaupal. The major God of area is Lord Shirgul Maharaj. Many Gods goes thei for religious pilgrim and bath at the Holy Temple of Lord Shirgul. “Lord Bhuteshwar Maharaj. In Village Jhal kwal(Nehrti Bhagot)” is a pleasant and famous god which have the ultimate greenish and best view of area with noble speech to people by his deva “Deili Vikas Verma “.

The Churdhar Peak is mentioned in the book, The Great Arc, by John Keay but is referred to as The Chur. It is from this peak that George Everest made many astronomical readings and sightings of the Himalaya mountains around 1834. He was the Surveyor General of India and did the initial survey of the full length of India as well as some very accurate measurements of the earth’s curvature.

[“RENUKA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY“]

The Renuka Sanctuary is situated in Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh. The sanctuary is well connected by the network of motorable roads. The total area of the sanctuary is about 4.028 square kilometres. The entire sanctuary is Renuka Reserve Forest and has been declared as Abhayaranya. An area of roughly about 3 square kilometres that lies outside the sanctuary has been declared as a buffer belt.

The area is well recognized by its religious, aesthetic and cultural value. Renuka is an abode of temples of the mother-and-son duo of Renukaji and Lord Parshuram. Mythologically Renukaji is an personification of Goddess Durga. She was the wife of Rishi Jamadagni. Parshuram believed to be the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was the youngest of the five sons of the couple. It is believed that in order to obey the command of his father, Parshuram had to serve the head of his mother. After killing his mother, he begged his father to prejure life in his mother, for which the Rishi agreed. Renukaji was considered extremely beautiful. Sahastarvahu, the emperor, wanted to marry her and once when Parshuram was away, he killed Rishi Yamdagini and his four sons to marry Renukaji.

To escape the clutches of the emperor Renukaji jumped into small pond, known by the name of the Ramsarover at that time, and vanished into it. Ever since the lake is worshiped as Renuka lake.

[“NAHAN”]

Nahan is a town in Himachal Pradesh in India. It is also the location of the Indian Army Special Forces Training School. It was the capital of the former Sirmur princely state.

A well-laid out picturesque town, Nahan is situated on a hill top in the Shiwalik Hills, overlooking green hills. Traditionally, saints and princes are linked with the origin of Nahan. The city was founded as in 1621 by Raja Karam Prakash.. Another version recalls a saint who lived with a companion named Nahar on the site where the Nahan palace now stands. “Nahar” means Don’t kill and the town probably takes its name from an incident when a king was trying to kill a lion and the saint said Nahar, that is do not kill it. The name of the saint was Baba Banwari Das.

[“JAGANATH TEMPLE“]

Jaganath temple was built by Raja Budh Prakash in 1681 A.D. Making the end of the Monsoon, the festival of ‘Sawan Dwadashi’ is celebrated annually at the temple, towards the end of the monsoon when fifty two idols of local gods are carried in procession to Jagannath temple where they are floated ceremoniously in a pool and are restored at midnight to their niches. In the heart of Nahan town is Rani Tal, where a large temple and a tank from the days of ex-rulers of Sirmaur State can be seen. Ducks and Cranes are seen playing in the Ranital Tank, and Ranital Garden further adds to the charm.

[“DHYANU BHAGAT TEMPLE“]

The visit to Shrine Trilokpur is not believed to be completed if you do not visit the temple of Dhyanu Bhagt. Dhyanu Bhagt’s Temple is in the first when you reach Trilokpur. The tradition of visiting Dhyanu Bhagt before Mata BalaSundari is followed by the pilgrims for years.

[“DAULA KUAN“]

Dhaulakuan or Dhaula Kuan is a small town in the Paonta Sahib tehsil of Sirmour district in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is located between Nahan, one of the tehsils of Sirmour district, and Paonta Sahib. It lies on National Highway 72 between Dehradun and Shimla. It is situated on the foothills between Renuka and Dadahu, another town in Nahan tehsil. Several types of oranges are grown there.

UNA

Una is one of the districts of Himachal Pradesh, India, and shares its border with the Hoshiarpur District and ropar district of Punjab. The terrain is generally a plain with low hills. Una has been identified as a main industrial hub and has become a transit town for travellers going to the famous city of Dharamshala or locations within the Himalayas such as Kullu, Manali, Jawalamukhi, and Chintpurni.

Una is home to the Kila, which is a historical fort and an ancestral home of the descendants of the first guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak.

Una although unchanged for past century has shown huge appetite for growth and development. The City and Urban area is expected to grow at rapid pace amidst the investment coming from native N.R.I community which is huge in number as every household has at least one family member or relative working abroad.

Here are some destinations in Una

[“AMB”]

Amb is a town situated in the district of Una in Himachal Pradesh state of India. The town was named Amb after the name of the goddess Amba, deity situated in nearby Chintpurni.

Amb has some ancient historical ruins of royal palaces and gardens. In the year 1877, at the request of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, the British government restored to Raja Ran Singh the Jagir in Jaswan, originally held by Raja Ummed Singh consisting of 21 villages in Jaswan Dun valley and the family garden at Amb, as well as palace buildings of Raja Ummed Singh at Rajpura. Raja Ran Singh died in 1892 and was succeeded by his son Raja Raghunath Singh who also died in 1918. Thereafter, Raja Laxman Singh succeeded him. His son Raja Chain Singh succeeded him and in 2009 after he died, Raja Vijaindra Singh is now residing at Amb.

[“BHARWAIN”]

Bharwain is an administrative division (tehsil) and hill hamlet village in Chintpurni region in theUna district of the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is an entry point to the Chintpurni Temple. The area is situated between the western Himalaya in the north and the Shiwalik (or Shivalik) range bordering the state of Punjab.

Bharwain is situated at a distance of about 2 km from the Chintpurni Shakti Peeth Temple on the Hoshiarpur Dharmshala highway. Bharwain is an administrative seat as well, as it is a sub-tehsil under the Amb block. Bharwain is also a PWD circle that covers a many blocks of the Una district. This place borders the Kangra district to the north.

[“PONG DAM“]

The Pong Dam, also known as the Beas Dam, is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Beas River just upstream of Talwara in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The purpose of the dam is water storage for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. As the second phase of the Beas Project, construction on the dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1974. At the time of its completion, the Pong Dam was the tallest of its type in India. The lake created by the dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar, became a renowned bird sanctuary.

[“GOBIND SAGAR LAKE“]

Gobind Sagar lake is a man-made reservoir which is situated in Bilaspur District, Himachal Pradesh. It is formed by the Bhakra Dam.

The reservoir is on the river Sutlej and is named in honour of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru. One of the world’s highest gravity dams, the Bhakra dam rises nearly 225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Under the supervision of the American dam-builder,Harvey Slocum, work began in the year of 1955 and was completed in 1962. To maintain the level of water, the flow of river Beaswas channelized to Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej link which was accomplished in 1976.

[“KUTLEHAR FORT“]

Kutlehar State was one of the Princely states of India. It was reigned by Rana Amrat Pal until its occupation by Nepal from 1803 to 1815. After the annexation by Punjab in 1825 the state ceased to exist. The territory was then annexed by the British Raj and reduced to an estate. Kutlehar Estate acceded to India in 1957. Its main town was Bangana, in present-day Una district. Currently the area of the former estate is part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

According to tradition Kutlehar state was founded around 750 AD by an ancestral king named Raja Gopal of uncertain origin. Between 1805 and 1809 the state was occupied by Nepal until the Gorkha occupants were driven out. Kutlehar State was extinguished in 1825 when it was briefly annexed to Pañjab (Punjab). The same year, after the British established their domination in the area, the Raja of Kutlehar was granted a Jagir to the value of 10,000Rs. Raja Saheb Shri Ram Pal Bahadur (1864-1927) was granted the title of hereditary Raja on 15 March 1909

[“BRAHMAUTI TEMPLE“]

Brahmahooti or Brahmooti temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma. It is the only second temple in the world (after pushkar, rajasthan). This famous temple is near Una Himachal on the banks of satluj river in Nangal Dam. Discharged icy waters of satluj from Bhakhra dam washes the feet of Lord Brahma in this ancient temple.

[“BANGANA”]

Bangana is a beautiful town located in the foothills of SOLAHSINGHI DHAR. Beautiful forts are located on the top of hill. It is said that MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH built those wonderful forts. Lahore can be seen from these forts with the help of telescopes. Distt. headquarter is 28 km. from here. The town is developing day by day. Bangana is a City in Bangana Tehsil in Una District of Himachal Pradesh State, India. It is located 22 KM towards North from District head quarters Una. It is a Tehsil head quarter.

FAMOUS TEMPLES IN HIMACHAL PRADESH

  1. NAINA DEVI

The Temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji is situated on a hilltop in the Bilaspur Distt. of Himachal Pradesh in India. This temple is connected with National Highway No. 21. The temple is at the top of the hill and can be reached via road (that curves round the hill up to a certain point) and then by concrete steps (that finally reach the top). There is also a cable car facility that moves pilgrims from the base of the hill all the way to the top.

The hills of Naina Devi overlook the Gobind Sagar lake. The Gobind Sagar lake was created by the Bhakra-Nangal Dam. Several mythological stories are associated with the establishment of the temple.

According to a legend, Goddess Sati burnt herself alive in Yagna, which distressed Lord Shiva. He picked the corpse of Sati on his shoulder and started his Tandava dance. This horrified all deities in the heaven as this could lead to holocaust. This urged Lord Vishnu to unleash his Chakra that cut the Sati’s body into 51 pieces. Shri Naina Devi Temple is the place where eyes of Sati fell down.

Another story related to the temple is of a Gujjar Boy . Once he was grazing his cattle and observed that a white cow is showering milk from her udders on a stone. He saw the same thing for next several days. One night while sleeping, he saw Goddess in her dreams who told him that the stone is her Pindi. Naina told about the entire situation and his dream to Raja Bir Chand. When Raja saw it happening in reality, he built a temple on that spot and named the temple after Naina’s name.

Shri Naina Devi Temple is also known as Mahishapeeth because of defeat of demon Mahishasur by the Goddess. According to the legends, Mahishasur was a powerful demon who was blessed by the boon of immortality by Lord Brahma, but the condition was that he could be defeated only by an unmarried woman. Due to this boon, Mahishasur started spreading terror on Earth and Gods. To cope with the demon, all Gods combined their powers and created a Devi to defeat him. The Devi was gifted different types of weapons by all Gods. When Mahishasur got fascinated by the immense beauty of Devi and proposed her to marry him. Devi told him that she will marry him if he would overpower her. During the battle, Devi defeated the demon and took out both his eyes. This urged Gods to happily applaud “Jai Naina” and hence the name.

  1. JWALA DEVI

Jwala Ji is a Hindu Goddess. We can also spell Jwala Ji as Jvala Ji, Jwala Devi and Jwalamukhi Ji. The physical manifestation of Jwala Ji is always a set of flames burning off natural gas, and the term Jwala means flame in Sanskrit and Ji is an honorific used in the Indian subcontinent.

The best known Jwala Ji shrine is located in the lower Himalayas in Jawalamukhi town of the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh state of India, about 55 kilometres from the larger town of Dharamsala. The temple style is typical of Jwala Ji shrines, four cornered, with a small dome on the top and a square central pit of excavated stone inside where the main flame burns endlessly. An annual fair is held in the environments of the temple every July/August months during Navratras. According to the legend, when Sati’s body was divided into 51 parts, Sati Mata’s tongue fell here. The flames/ Jyotis are the representation of the same. Some say that Sati’s clothes fell here. When they fell they were on fire. The fire hasn’t blew off.

Jwalaji (flame) or Jwala Mukhi (flame mouth) is probably the most ancient temple discussed here besides Vaishno Devi. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata and other scriptures. There is a natural cave where eternal flames continue to burn. Some say there are seven or nine flames for the seven divine sisters or the nine Durgas. It is here that Sati’s tongue fell which can now be seen in the form of the flame.

The Legend

A cowherd found that one of his cows was always without milk. He followed the cow to find out the cause. He saw a girl come out of the forest, drink the cows milk, and then disappear in a flash of light. The cowherd went to the king and told him the story. The king was aware of the legend that Sati’s tongue had fallen in this area. The king tried, without success, to find that sacred spot. Again, some years later, the cowherd went to the king to report that he had seen a flame burning in the mountains. The king found the spot and had darshan (vision) of the holy flame. He built a temple there and arranged for priests to engage in regular worship. It is believed that the Pandavas came later and renovated the temple.

It was Dhyanu Bhagat who spread Devi Mata’s name. He lived at the time of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Dhyanu Bhagat was passing through Delhi with a group of pilgrims on their way to Jwalaji. Akbar summoned him to his court to inquire into the nature of their Goddess. Dhyanu Bhagat told him She is all powerful and answers the prayers of Her devotees.

To test Her power Akbar cut off the head of Dhyanu’s horse ordering him to have the Goddess put it back. Dhyanu went to Jwalaji and prayed day and night to no avail. Out of desperation he cut off his own head and offered it to Devi Ma. She then appeared to him riding a lion. She reconnected both his head and that of the horse. Devi Ma also offered Dhyanu Bhagat a boon. He requested that it should not be so difficult for pilgrims to show their devotion. Mata said that in the future if someone offered a coconut she would accept it as if they had offered their own head. To this day people continue to offer coconuts to the Goddess in Her temples all over the world.

  1. SHEETLA DEVI

The Sheetla Devi Temple is located in Una district of Himachal Pradesh. Sheetla Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is placed nearby Chintpurni Devi Temple in Bharwain. A good number of devotees crowd this holy place to take the blessings of Goddess Sheetla Devi and pray for their prosperity and success in life. Hanging on the top of the hill, this temple is considered as one of the ninth Devi temples. Local residents of this region are very kind, welcoming and helpful.

One story says Goddess Durga has incarnated as little Katyayani, the daughter of sage Katyayan to destroy all arrogant evil demonic forces of the world, in her real form as Durga, she killed many demons that were sent by Kaalkeya.

A demon named Jwarasur, the demon of fever, started spreading incurable diseases to Katyayani’s childhood friends, such as cholera, dysentery, measles, smallpox etc. Katyayani cured the diseases of some of her friends. To relieve the world from all fevers and diseases, Katyayani assumed the form of Shitala Devi. Each of her four hands held a short broom, winnowing fan, jar of cooling water and a drinking cup. With her power, she cured all the children’s diseases. Katyayani then requests her friend, Batuk to go out and confront the demon Jwarasur. A battle ensued between the young Batuk and demon Jwarasur. Jwarasur succeeds in defeating Batuk. Then, Batuk, lying dead, magically faded into dust. Jwarasur was shocked that Batuk disappeared and wondered where he went. Then, what he doesn’t know that Batuk has assumed the form of an awful male figure. This person was three-eyed and had four arms. He held a battle-axe, sword, trident and demon head. He was pitch-black in color. His hair was flowing. Eyes blazed with fury. This figure wore a tiger-skin and a garland of skulls. Batuk assumed the form of Lord Shiva’s ferocious form, the terrible Bhairav. Bhairav reprimands Jwarasur and tells him that he is the servant of Goddess Durga (incarnate as Katyayani). A long discussion ensued but then converted into battle. Jwarasur created many demons from his powers but Bhairav managed to destroy all of them. Finally, Bhairav wrestled with Jwarasur and killed him with his trident.

  1. CHAMUNDA DEVI

The famous temple of Ma Chamunda is in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. In Hinduism, Chamunda or Camunda is an aspect of Devi, the supreme mother goddess. The name is a combination of Chanda and Munda, two monsters which Devi killed.

This temple is around 10 km west of Palampur, on the Baner river.

History

Around 400 years ago the king and a Brahmin priest prayed to Devi for permission to move the temple to some easily accessible location. Devi appeared to the priest in a dream giving her consent. She directed him to dig in a certain spot and an ancient idol would be found and that idol should be installed in the temple and worshipped as Her form.

The king sent out men to bring the idol. Although they were able to locate it but were not able to lift it. Again Devi appeared to the priest in a dream. She explained that the men could not lift the holy relic because they considered it an ordinary stone. She instructed him to get up early in the morning, take a bath, wear fresh clothes and go to the place in a respectful manner. He did as he was told and found that he could easily lift what a large group of men could not. He told the people that it was the power of the Goddess that brought the idol to the temple.
The temple now depicts scenes from the Devi Mahatmya, Ramayan and Mahabharata. The Devi’s image is flanked by the images of Hanuman and Bhairo on either side.

The famous Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham is an abode of Shiva Shakti since the saga of Puranas. According to a legend, the Goddess Chamunda was enshrined as chief Goddess with the title of Rudra in the battle between demon Jalandhra and Lord Shiva which made this place famous as “Rudra Chamunda”. Another legend has it that “Savarni Manamantra” battle between the gods and demons, Chamunda emerged as Chandika from an eyebrow of Goddess “Kaushiki” and was assigned the task of eliminating the demons “Chand” and “Mund”. Chandika fought a fierce battle with these two demons and at last killed them. Goddess Chandika took the slain heads of the two demons “Chand” and “Mund” to the Goddess “Kaushiki” who being immensely pleased, blessed Chandika and bestowed upon her the title of “Chamunda,” the name which is famous all around the world.

  1. BRAJESHWARI DEVI

The Shree Vajreshwari (Brajeshwari) Devi  Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Vajreshwari. It is located in the town Nagarkot, in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India.

The original temple was built by the Pandavas at the time of Mahabharatha. Legend says that one day Pandavas saw Goddess Durga in their dream in which she told them that she is situated in the Nagarkot village and if they want them self to be secure they should make a temple for her in that area otherwise they will be destroyed. That same night they made a magnificent temple for her in the Nagarkot village. This temple was looted a number of time by the Muslim invaders. Md Gaznavi looted this temple at least 5 times, in the past it used to contain tonnes of gold and many ghantas made of pure silver. In 1905 the temple was destroyed by a powerful earthquake and was subsequently rebuilt by the government.

WHY VISIT THIS PLACE

Himachal Pradesh gives number of bona fide reasons to visit to the state. The province fully imbued with aesthetic nature, colourful flora and fauna, temples, adventure, eyeful attractions, scrumptious cuisines, and many more for their guests. The state has also preserved its historical architecture for future generation. Today, in the country, Himachal Pradesh stands top of the list for tourist destination.

LIST OF DESTINATIONS IN HIMACHAL PRADESH

  • KULLU
  • MANALI
  • DHARAMSHALA
  • SHIMLA
  • KANGRA
  • DALHOUSIE
  • UNA

FAMOUS PERSONALITIES

Preity Zinta

Preity Zinta is an Indian film actress. She has appeared in Hindi films of Bollywood, as well as Telugu, Punjabi and English language films.

Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut is an Indian film actress. She has established a career in Bollywood and is one of the highest-paid actresses in India. Ranaut is particularly known in the media for expressing her honest opinions in public and is frequently credited as one of the most fashionable Indian celebrities.

Anupam Kher

Anupam Kher is an Indian actor and the current Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India. He has appeared in over 500 films in several languages and many plays.

Mohit Chauhan

Mohit Chauhan is an Indian singer and born in nahan, most known for his work as a playback singer for Bollywood, Tollywood, & Kollywood movies as well as the former front-man of the Indipop band Silk Route. He is a two-time recipient of the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer and three times Zee Cine Award For Best Male Playback Singer.

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