A number of pilgrimage centers and Hindu temples are
situated in Himachal Pradesh.
Our preferred hotels in Himachal.
The High snow clad Dhauladhar ranges form a
magnificent backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamsala. This is the principal
township of Kangra district and overlooks wide spread of the plains. With
dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air,
attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamsala has everything
for a perfect holiday. It is full of life and yet peaceful. The headquarters
of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are at upper Dharamsala. Covering a wide area
in the form of twin settlement, lower Dharamsala (1380m) is a busy
commercial centre. While upper Dharamsala (1830m) with the suburbs of
Mcleodganj and Forsytheganj, retains a British flavor and colonial
lifestyle. The charming church of St. John in the wilderness is situated
here and this is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, a British Viceroy of
India during the 19th century. There is also a large Tibetan community who
have made this place their home. Numerous ancient temples like Jwalamukhi,
Brijeshwari and Chamunda lie on the plains below Dharamsala.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The variety Dharamsala offers for sightseeing ranges
from temples, churches and monasteries to museums, ancient towns and places
of natural beauty. Every season and every spot has its own special offering.
KANGRA ART MUSEUM, KOTWALI BAZAR : This
treasure trove of the Kangra Valley displays arts, crafts and rich past,
artifacts that date back to the 5th century. It includes a gallery of
Kangra's famous miniature painting and a representative collection of
sculptures, pottery and anthropological items. Shamianas and dresses used by
local royalty, old carved doors, jails, lintels and pandals are also on
display Coins, jewelry and manuscripts are included. A section houses the
work of contemporary artists, sculptures and photographers.
WAR MEMORIAL : At there start of town, landscaped lawns and a web of
narrow paths fill a pine grove where a monument has been raised to
commemorate the post independence war heroes of Himachal Pradesh. KUNAL
PATHRI : A 3 km level walk from the Kotwali Bazaar leads up to this rock
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH : 8 km from Dharamsala, between Forsythganj and
Mcleodganj is the charming church of St. John in the Wilderness. Under the
shade of deodar branches, a memorial has been erected over the body of the
British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863. There is a well
tended old graveyard on these grassy sloped.
MCLEODGANJ : Often called the Little Lhasa, at 1770m is the
residence of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Government in exile
has been head quartered here for over three decades. The impressive
monastery has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and
Avaloktwshwara. The large Tibetan community and the presence of traditional
architectural designs drawn from Tibet have enhanced the area. Tibetian
handicrafts and garments are available on sale every Sunday. The Tibetian
Institute of Performing Arts is just a km away and organises a ten day
festival from the second Saturday of April.
DAL LAKE : 11 km from Dharamsala and surrounded by deodar trees this
is an enchanting and serene picnic spot.
BHAGSUNATH : Close to fresh springs, this ancient temple is 11 km
from Dharamsala. It is a popular picnic spot and the famous slate quarries
are close by.
CHINMAYA TAPOVAN : 10 km from Dharamsala on the banks of the rivulet
Bindusaras, is an ashram complex established by the late Swami
Chinmayananda, a noted exponent of the Gita. The complex includes a 9 meter
high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama Temple, a meditation hall, a
school, and a health and recreation centre.
NURPUR : 66km from Dharamsala and 26 km from Pathankot, Nurpur is
famous for old fort and a temple of Brijraj. Nurpur acquired its name in
1672, when Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor named it after his wife Nurjahan
OTHER ATTRACTIONS : The temple of Jwalamukhi, Chamunda Devi and
Brijeshwari Devi are other pilgrim centers close to Dharamsala. The fort of
Kangra and Ma11ngarh are other attractions.
ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS : Between May and October, the
Dhauladhar ranges offer an enormous variety of trekking and rock climbing.
FISHING : The 20 km stretch of the river Beas between Nadaun and
Pong Dam offers ample opportunities in angling for Mahaseer
SHOPPING : For local handicrafts visit Kotwali Bazar, Tibetan
handicrafts and carpets are available at Mcleodganj.
In local parlance, the word for lot of water is "pulum".
This is what has given Palampur (1249 m) its name and its water has given
the valley so much of its character. Countless streams criss-cross the
landscape and in their intricate mesh, hold tea gardens and rice fields. The
town came into being when tea plantation was introduced in the 19th century
and Palampur became a focus for the planters. Kangra tea, with its center at
Palampur, has been internationally acclaimed since then.
To further bless the area with remarkable natural
beauty, the Dhauladhar ranges rise dramatically just beyond Palampur. The
town itself has interesting colonial architecture and the area around is
richly garnished with historical temples and forts and scores of picturesque
In 1925, the enterprising Raja Joginder Sen of
Mandi created an elaborate hydel power scheme near the village of Sukrahatti
which was then renamed Joginder Nagar (1220m) after him. After tunneling and
piping the water over several kilometers from the river Uhl to Joginder
Nagar, the Shanan power house was built by a team of engineers headed by
Col. Batty. Later, the HP State Electricity Board added another set of
turbines at nearby Bassi.
Joginder Nagar has everything for a quite and relaxing holiday and leaves
options open for trekking, fishing, sightseeing, picnics and enjoyable
drives in the area.
PLACES OF INTEREST
MACCHIYAL LAKE : 6 km from the Hotel Uhl is
this small but enchanting lake held sacred to Machendru Devta
BASSI POWER HOUSE : 6 km from the hotel is an attractive picnic
BIR : 16 km from Joginder Nagar, this is a Tibetan settlement with a
BAIJNATH : 20 km from Joginder Nagar is this exquisite temple where
Lord Shiva is worshipped as Vaidyanath - 'The Lord of Physicians'. The
original temple was built in 804 A.D. Here King Ravana is said to have
supplicated Lord Shiva for this boon of immortality.
JHATINGRI (2012 m) : 12 km from Joginder Nagar is this enchanting
spot at top of a hill. Surrounded by thick deodar forest, the ruins of the
summer palace of the Mandi rulers is located here and the vistas it unfolds
BAROT : 22 km by road from Joginder Nagar, and 11 km by the Haulage
trolley, Barot packs an enormous range of outdoor activities. The reservoir
of the power project is located here. A trout breeding centre making it a
wonderful place for angling. Across the river Uhl is the Nargu Wild Life
Sanctuary home to the ghoral, Himalayan black bear and a variety of
town (915m). stands on the right bank of the river Ravi. As a former
princely State, it is one of the oldest in the century and dates back to the
sixth century. It is well known for its splendid architecture and a base for
numerous excursions. It is also the district headquarters.
PLACES OF INTEREST
LAXMI NARAYAN TEMPLE COMPLEX : With six
main Shikhara style temples and several smaller shrines, this is renowned
for its finely executed classical forms.
HARI RAI TEMPLE : This is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to
the 11th Century.
OTHER TEMPLES : The profusion of temples in Chamba and their
craftsmanship is remarkable. Some important shrines are Champavati,
Vijreshwari, Sui Mata and Chamunda Devi.
THE CHOWGAN : Chamba's wide concourse is the hub of much of towns
activity and also serves as its promenade.
RANGMAHAL : This old palace is an interesting mix of colonial and
local architectural styles.
AKHAND CHANDI PALACE : Now a college, this imposing building once
housed Chamba's ruling family. Much of the original craftsmanship can still
BHURI SINGH MUSEUM : Named after Raja Bhuri Singh of Chamba, this is
a treasure house of Chamba's rich past. The exhibits include copper plates,
murals, doorways, costumes, paintings and stone carvings.
ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH : Over a century old, this is a charming dressed
stone structure with lancet windows.
BHARMOUR (69 Km) : Its 84 ancient temples at a height of 2141m are
well known. It is also the summer home of the nomadic Gaddi people.
MANIMAHESH (98 Km) : This sacred lake (4183m) is associated with
Lord Shiva and is a site of annual pilgrimage from mid of August to mid of
September each year. Distance from Bharmaur is 28 Km.
CHATRARI (45 Km) : An attractive temple to Shakti Devi is located
called India's Switzerland, the exquisite glade of Khajjiar (1960m) has a
circumference of about 5 km. Along its fringes, thick forests of deodar
climb the slopes, the snow-line rests above these woods. At Khajjiar there
is a 12th century temple dedicated to KhajjI Nag. Within the temple are life
size wooden images of the five Pandav brothers.
western Himachal Pradesh, the hill station of Dalhousie is full of old world
charm and holds lingering echos of the Raj era. It covers an area of 14 sq.
km. and is built on five hills - Kathlog, Patreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun.
It is named after the British governor General of the 19th century, Lord
Dalhousie. The town's average height is 2036 m, and is surrounded by varied
vegetation - pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendron. Dalhousie has
charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its
location presents panoramic views of the plains and like a long silver line,
the river Ravi twists and turns below Dalhousie. The spectacular
snow-covered Dhauladhar mountains are also visible form this enchanting
PLACES OF INTEREST
CHURCHES : There are four beautiful churches
in Dalhousie. These are St. Andrew's Church and St. Patrick's Church at
Balun, St. Francis church at Subhash Chowk and St.John's Church at Gandhi
SUBHASH BAOLI (1 km) : It was at this enchanting spot surrounded by
majestic trees, that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose spent time in 1937,
contemplating and meditating.
PANCHPULA (3 km) : This is a picturesque spot where a stream feed a
series of pools. A monument has been built here in memory of the freedom
fighter, Sardar Ajit Singh.
KALATOP (10 km) : This wild life sanctuary is a home to the 'ghoral'
and Himalayan black bear.
SHOPPING : Tibetan handicrafts including pullovers and carpets at
Dalhousie. Chamba Slippers, 'Rumals' and Shawls at Chamba town.
- the land of fairy tales and fantasies, has a spectacular terrain of lush
green valley, orchards, vineyards, snow clad peaks and cold desert
mountains. It is a border district of Himachal Pradesh. Kinnaur is also rich
in flora & fauna. The culture and language is different from other parts
of the state. Kinnaur, the tribal district of Himachal Pradesh, lies 250 km
away from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh and is situated on the NH
- 22 (Hindustan Tibet Road).
The landscape of the area varies from lush green
orchards of the scenic Sangla Valley to the stark magnificence of the
Hangrang Valley. The massive snow clad ranges that provide a regal dignity
to the scene are dominated by the peak of Kinner Kailash. Kalpa is one of
the biggest and beautiful villages of Kinnaur. One can enter Kinnaur
district at Village Chshora and follow a straight line road constructed in
vertical rock and it is a rare treat to travel on this road which is a great
at the height of 2758 m above the sea level and 110 km from Sarahan, Kalpa
is a beautiful and main village of Kinnaur. Across the river faces the
majestic mountains of the Kinner Kailash range. These are spectacular sights
early in the morning as the rising sun touches the snowy peaks with crimson
and golden light.
PLACES OF INTEREST
RECONG PEO (2670M) : Located 240 km from
Shimla, 7 km from Powari and 13 km from Kalpa. Recong Peo is the headquarter
of district Kinnaur.
KOTHI : Just 3 km from Recong Peo. Kothi has a temple dedicated to
the goddess Chanadika Devi. Set against a backdrop of mountains and graves
of the deodar the temple has an unusual architectural style and fine
sculpture. An exquisite gold image of goddess is enshrined in sanctum.
SANGLA VALLEY : If a landscape had the powers of casting spells,
then the Sangla valley would be a magician extraordinary. Once seen, it is a
place that can never be forgotten. Even the rushing waters of the Baspa
river, that flow through its 95 km length, seem to absorb some of the magic
and slow down to savor its snow-frame beauty. 2 km from Sangla is the fort
of Kamru (300 m) its tower like architecture resembles that of the Bhima
Kali complex and this was the origin of rulers of Bushehar. Chitkul (3450 m)
is the last village of the valley and beyond lies Tibet.
RIBA (2745M) : Just 18 km from Powari on NH-22 is famous for its
vineyards and local wine 'Angoori' made from grapes.
JANGI : 26 km from Powari, the inner border is located here beyond
which foreigners require permit to travel upto Tabo. From this point the
famous Kinner Kailash Parikarama Trek starts touching Morang, Thangi and
Kunocharang villages and entering Chitkul village in Sangla Valley.
PUH (2837m) : Lush green fields, orchards of apricot, almond trees
and vineyards, are to be seen on route to Puh. Just 58 km from Powari along
the NH-22, Puh has rest house and basic hotel facilities.
NAKO (3662m) : 117 km from Kalpa. In Hangrang Valley is the largest
village above sea level. It is also famous for Nako Lake which has boating
facilities in summer and during winter its frozen surface is used for ice
skating. Buddhist monastery is located here.
TABO (3050m) : 163 km from Kalpa and 27 km from Sando the ancient
village, Tabo is situated on the left bank of river Spiti. Flanked on either
side by hills, it is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries regarded
by many as only next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet. It is also known as the
Ajanta of the Himalayas. Tabo is the largest monastic complex of Spiti which
has since been declared a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey
KAZA (3600m) : 210 km from Kalpa 47 from Tabo. The headquarters of
Spiti sub-district, Kaza is on the bank of river Spiti. In earlier times, it
was the capital of Nono, the chief of Spiti. It has a Buddhist Monastery and
KEY GOMPA (4116m) : 7 km from Kaza. The largest monastery in Spiti
Valley. Established in the 11th century, it has ancient Buddhist scrolls and
paintings. Also houses the largest number of Buddhist monks and nuns.
KIBBER (4205 m) : 18 km from Kaza. The highest village in the world
which is connected by a motorable road and also the highest village in the
world which has its own polling station during elections.
KUNZAM PASS (4551m) : 76 km: One of the highest motorable passes.
Goddess Kunjum keeps guard over the pass and wards of the evil.
at an altitude of 3600 meter above sea level on left bank of river Spiti is
presently the headquarters of Spiti sub division. Translated, 'Spiti' means
the 'middle country' - a name obviously given as a result of its ties with
both India and Tibet. With freckles of green over a dry, weather-beaten
face, Spiti is a cold desert where the monsoon rain never comes. It is
characterised by stark beauty, narrow valleys and high mountains. A century
ago, Rudyard Kipling in Kim called Spiti "a world within a world"
and a "place where the gods live" - a description that holds true
to the present day.
PLACES OF INTEREST
TABO (3050 m) : 163 km from Kalpa is the
ancient village of Tabo, situated on the left bank of river Spiti. Flanked
on either sides by hills, its has one of the most important Buddhist
monasteries regarded by many as only next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet. It
is also known as the Ajanta of the Himalayas. Tabo is the largest monastic
complex of Spiti which has since been declared a protected monument under
the aegis of Archaeological Survey of India.
KAZA (3600m) : 210 Km from Kalpa, 47 km from Tabo. The headquarters
of Spiti sub-district, Kaza lies on the bank of river Spiti. In earlier
times, it was the capital of Nono, the Chief of Spiti. It has a Buddhist
Monastery and Hindu Temple.
KEY GOMPA (4116m) : 7 km from Kaza. The largest monastery in Spiti
Valley. Established in the 11th century has ancient Buddhist scrolls and
paintings. It also houses large number of Buddhist monks and nuns.
KIBBER (4205m) : 18 km from Kaza. The highest village in the world
which is connected by motorable road and is the highest habitated village in
the world which has its own polling station during elections.
DHANKAR (3890m) : 24 km from Tabo, this place is famous for a
Buddhist monastery. PIN VALLEY : The Pin valley lies below the Kungri
Glacier and has several beautiful and important monasteries. iT is called
the land of Ibex and snow leopards.
KUNZAM PASS (4551m) : 76 km. One of the highest motorable pass.
Goddess Kunjum keeps guard over this pass and wards off evil.
CHANDER TAL LAKE (4270m) : 7 km from Kunzam Pass, is one of the most
beautiful lakes in the entire Himalayan region. Surrounded by snow, this
deep blue water lake has a circumferences of 2.5 km. River Chandra flows
very close to the lake.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR INDIAN AND FOREIGN TOURISTS
The Kinnaur and Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh has
been opened to Indian and Foreign tourists. While going via Shimla and
Rampur - Kalpa, Recong Peo and Sangla Valley can be visited by Indians and
Foreigners without any restrictions. To travel beyond Jangi in Kinnaur to
Kaza in Spiti one requires an inner line permit for foreign nationals which
can be obtained from the following offices:
- District Magistrate Shimla, Recong Peo (Kinnaur), Kullu,
- Sub District Magistrate (SDM) Shimla, Rampur, Kalpa, Nichar,
- Additional Deputy Commissioner Office in Pooh and Kaza.
The best place to get the permit is at Rampur and Recong Peo. The office of
the SDM at Rampur is just opposite the Police Station in the main bazaar and
the office of the District Magistrate at Recong Peo is near the bus station.
The permit is free of cost and holds good for seven days. To get a permit,
one must have a letter of introduction from a recognised travel agency,
three passport size photos, and a photocopy of the front pages of the
passport. Making several copies of the permit is suggested, as one may have
to submit them at checkpoints on the way. Foreign nationals can travel with
permits in a group of four or more persons. Foreign nationals cannot stay
overnight between Jangi and Kaza.
Indian nationals do not require any permit to travel in this area however
retaining a proof of identity is suggested.
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