The literal meaning of Himachal Pradesh is Land of snowy mountains. Himachal Pradesh was also known as Deva Bhoomi (the land of the gods). Himachal is also said to be the fruit bowl of the country with orchards scattered all over the place. Meadows and pastures are also seen clinging to steep slopes. The state government is gearing up to make Himachal Pradesh as the flower basket of the world. Himachal is well known for its handicrafts. The carpets, leather works, shawls, paintings, metalware, woodwork and paintings are worth appreciating. Himachali caps are also famous art work of the people.
Major places to visit in Himachal :
Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is often referred to as the “Queen of Hills”. Jakhu Hill is 2 km from Shimla, is the highest peak and offers a beautiful view of the town and of the snow-covered Himalayas. Mashobra is13 km away from Shimla, Mashobra has several excellent picnic spots.
Manali and its surrounding areas are of great significance to the Indian culture and heritage as it was the home and abode of the Saptarshi or seven sages. The ancient cave temple, Hidimba Devi Temple, is not far from town. Manali is known as the “Valley of the Gods”. Almost every visitor to Manali yearns to visit Rohtang Pass as one can feel and touch snow even in the peak of summer on this pass. Around 3 km from Manali, across the Beas river is Vashist, a small village with natural sulphur springs.
Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh. This hill region is a repository of ancient Hindu culture, art, temples, and handicrafts preserved under the longest running single dynasty since the mid-6th century.
No trip to Dalhusie is complete without going through this trail, through the thick forests of Deodar (Cedar) trees and alpine hills.
Dharamsala has been connected with Hinduism and Buddhism for a long time, with many monasteries having been established there in the past, built by Tibetan immigrants in the 8th century. Most of these exiles live in McLeod Ganj, where they established monasteries, temples and schools. The town is sometimes known as “Little Lhasa”, after the Tibetan capital city, and has become an important tourist destination.
Chandigarh, also called City Beautiful, is a city in India that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, and is a union territory of India. Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer.
22 km from Shimla and surrounded by beautiful deodar trees. Naldehra has a well kept nine-hole golf-course. It is a lovely, popular picnic spot. The annual Sipi fair in June is held in Naldehra.
Chail (former summer capital of Patiala) is 43kms from Shimla. The place is well known for the cricket ground and a polo ground which is there at an altitude of 2,250m. The ground has the world’s highest cricket pitch.
16 km from Shimla at a height of 8,600 ft, Kufri is the winter sports capital. During winter, visitors have the facility for skiing. Apart from skiing, Kufri is a lovely picnic spot with a beautiful view of the hills around and the snowy peaks. There is also a zoo that delights children.
LAHAUL & SPITI
The district of Lahul and Spiti in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh consists of the two formerly separate districts of Lahul and Spiti. The natural scenery and Buddhist monasteries, such as Ki, Dhankar, Shashur, Guru Ghantal and Tayul Gompas, are the main tourist attractions of the region.
One of the most interesting places is the Tabo monastery, Lama Dzangpo heads the gompa here.