Himachal ( The Switzerland of India )
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Himachal Pradesh is one of the most scenic places in world, also known as Switzerland of India. It is full of hill stations, adventures sports destinations, festivals and celebrations, and wildlife.
Himachal Pradesh Tourism attracts wide range tourist traffic to the hill destinations. Himachal is one of the few places in the whole world with five seasons. Spring, summer, the monsoon, autumn and winter.
HIMACHAL PRADESH - The Sacred & peaceful Destination, Top Pilgrimage Destination In India
Himachal Pradesh is known as Dev Bhumi (The Abode of Gods) as it has more than 2000 temples & holy places.The prominent & famous temples in Himachal Pradesh are Jwalamukhi Devi, Brajeshwari ( Kangra) Devi, Chintpurni Devi and Naina Devi. There are fascinating legends associated with these shrines, the most popular of them being that of King Daksh of Himachal. The story goes that the arrogant king did not invite Lord Shiva, his son-in-law to a 'yagna', and consequently his daughter Sati, utterly humiliated, plunged into the sacrificial fire. Shiva arrived on hearing this, only to find his beloved half burnt. Enraged he carried her charred body and broke into the 'tandava nritya', the awesome dance of death. Her charred remains - tongue, breasts, feet and eyes fell at four places to form the four pilgrimage sites of Jwalamukhi, Brajeshwari, Chintpurni and Naina Devi. This temple circuit is one of the most popular ones in North India.
In addition Other famous pilgrimages in Himachal Include "Mani Mahesh Kailash Yatra", Baba BalakNath Siddh peeth, Chamunda Devi temple etc.
Himachal Pradesh at a Glance :-
1. Himachal Pradesh was declared full-fledged state in year 1971 day of 25thJanuary. It has litracy rate of more than 65 percent and spread over 12 districts. Borders of Himachal Pradesh are with following
- In the north of Himachal is state of Jammu & Kashmir.
- In the east of Himachal is Tibet ( China)
- In the south of Himachal is Uttrakhand
- In the west of Himachal is Punjab
2. Area of Himachal Pradesh is 55,700 sq kms and population approx. 6 million.
3. Major Highest Mountains of Himachal Pradesh
- Altitude ranging from 350m to 7000m.
- Highest Mountain Peak in Himachal – Shilla ( 7027m)
- 2ndhighest peak in Himachal Pradesh – Leo Porgial (6791m) in Nako in Lahaul spiti
- 3rdHighest peak in Himachal Pradesh – Kinner Kailash (6050m) near Kalpa Kinnaur
- 4thHighest peak in Himachal Pradesh is Deo Tibba (6001m) near Kullu Manali
4. Major Passes of Himachal Pradesh - Three Highest Passes of Himachal called also “La”
- Baralacha La (4880m) in Lahaul Spiti (pass is 8 kms long and connects Lahaul in Himachal to Ladakh in Kashmir, access to pass is after crossing Keylong, Jispa)
- Best Time to Visit - April to October.
- Adventure Options- 18 days trek covering the areas of Manali, Batal, Chandra Tal, Tokping Yongma and Baralacha and back down to Manali. View More Adventure options[+]
- Kunzum la (4551m) in Lahaul spiti ( near Kaza, Kibber, connects Batal in Spiti)-This pass is located in the Lahaul and Spiti Valley, around 6000 mts above sea level. Bara-Sigri Gacier – Second Largest Glacier in the World, Durga Temple, Hill Resorts of Baralacha La, Darcha, Tanglang La and Sarchu are some of the delightful places that one can enjoy during their visit to the Kunzum pass. Serving as ‘gateway to Spiti’, tourists can also visit Leh while passing through the beautiful hill station of Keylong. Baralacha La, Darcha, Tanglang La and Sarchu, Tandi, Trilokinath and Udaipur are a few delightful hamlets that one can explore during their trek in this pass.Read More[+]
- Best Time to Visit- All through the Year.
- Adventure Options- Trekking to the various Villages on the way to the Pass.
- Rohtang la (3978m) in Manali ( 51 kms from Manali, Connects Keylong with Manali),The main attractions here includes Sonapani Glacier, Sulphur Springs and Bhrigu lake. Read More[+]
- Indrahar pass in Dhauladhar range ( Connects Naddi village in Dharamshala with Kuarsi in Chamba). Read More[+]
- Pin Parbati Pass - At a height of 14000 ft above sea level, Pin Parbati Pass is an ideal and one of the most strenuous trekking trail in Himachal Pradesh. The trek at the pass will take you around some of the best natural attractions. Great Himalayan National Park and Pin Valley National Park can be visited during this trek and if luck favours, tourists can site snow leopards and rare birds like Western Tragopan. The remotely located monasteries are the best places to unwind after a long trek at the Pin Parbati pass.
- Adventure Options- 13 Day Trek from Manikar to Manali.
- Jalori la in central Himachal connects Ani, Khanag with Banjar, Gushaini. Read More[+]
- Total Ascent: 2,610m
Start: Aut ( Manali Road; NH 21)
Finish: Luhri (Hindustan-Tibet Road; NH 22).
- Buran Pass Himachal
5. Mountain System ( Ranges) of Himachal Pradesh
- Great Himalayas – Range includes Ladakh, Spiti, Kinnaur & Pangi
- Pir Panjal range – Also known as Middle Himalayas (parts of Chamba, Shimla, Kullu part of this range)
- Dhauladhar Ranges – Kangra, Chamba, mandi are part of Dhauladhar Ranges
- Lower Himalayas – Shivalik Ranges – Lower Kangra,Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Solan, Sirmaur etc are part of this range.
6. Major Rivers of Himachal Himachal Pradesh
- Beas River – Originates in Manali, Instrumental in making of fertile Kullu Valley, goes to Punjab. Major tributaries of
- Satluj River – Originates in the base of Mount Kailash and flows in Tibet for approx. 300kms before entering india. Bhakhra Dam is made on the satluj river in Bilaspur Distt.
- Ravi River – Originates in Dhauladhar, Flows through Chamba and Dalhousie and enters Punjab.
- Chenab River
- Pabbar River
- Tirthan river
- Pin River
- Parvati River
- Giri River
- Tons River
- Chandra River
- Bhaga River
- Swan River
- Sainj River
- Spiti River
7. High Altitude lakes in Himachal
- Deepak tal ( in Lahaul enroute to sarchu from Keylong)
- Suraj Tal ( in Lahaul enroute to sarchu from Keylong)
- Parashar Lake (Near pandoh, Aut in Mandi Distt) Read More[+]
- Renuka Lake ( In Sirmaur Distt, near paonta sahib) Read More[+]
8. Valleys of Himachal Pradesh
North East Valleys
- Lingti Valley Himachal Pradesh ( located In NE direction of Lahaul spiti – major Destinations in Lingti valley are Kaza, kibber, Ki Monastery, Mountain pass Baralacha la is located in Lingti valley)
- Spiti valley Himachal Pradesh ( Located in South of Lahaul Spiti – major Destinations in Spiti valley are sagnam, Kungr. High mountain Deo Tibba is located in Spiti valley)
- Lahaul Valley Himachal Pradesh ( Located in Lahaul Spiti – major Destinations are Keylong, Jispa).
- Kullu Valley Himachal Pradesh ( Located in Kullu District – major Destinations are Kullu, Katrain, nagger)
- Parvati valley Himachal Pradesh ( Located in Kullu Manali – Major Destinations are Manikaran, Jari, Kasol, Pulga, Malana)
- Pin valley Himachal Pradesh ( Located in Kinnaur District – Major Destinations are Puh, Nako, tabo)
- Rampur valley Himachal Pradesh ( Located in Lower Kinnaur District – major Destinations are Sarahan, Rampur, Wangtu)
- Sangla valley Himachal Pradesh ( Located in South of Kinnaur District on borders with uttrakhand – major Destinations are Sangla, Chitkul – Kinner kailash Mountain is located in Sangla Valley)
Northern Valleys of Himachal Pradesh
- Pattan Valley Himachal Pradesh
- Pangi valley Himachal Pradesh
- Chamba valley Himachal Pradesh
- Kangra valley
- Beas valley Himachal Pradesh
9. Agriculture & Economy of Himachal Pradesh
- 70 percent of population related to agriculture
- Only 10% of total land area is arable
- 80% of agriculture is done on Terraced fields with high slopes.
- Major Crops – Rice, wheat, maize, barley
- Maximum fertile areas – Una Himachal, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Mandi, Kangra, Sirmaur
- Cash crops – potatoes, mushrooms,ginger, tea.
- Himachal Potatoes are known for best quality and used as seed
- Morals crops – Guchi
- High value export product
- Himachal known as Apple state of India, other fruits include Pears, Peaches, Plums, Cherries, Apricots, walnuts.
10. Himachal Flora and Fauna
- Sub tropical zone has trees like Sal, Laburnum with yellow flowers.
- Shrubs like cannabis or hemp plant
- Higher altitudes (500-ft+) have oak, deodar, Rhododendrons ( wood of gods associated with worship of Lord Shiva)
- Other trees include Pine, Spruce, Cypress,Fir, Horse chestnut.
- Over 300 medicinal plans and herbs in Himachal Pradesh
- Guchi (Morel) is a delicacy grows in wild and exported all over the world.
Ancient History of Himachal...
- Indus civilization inhabitants came to Himachal Pradesh in 2250-1800 BC known as Vedas or Dasas
- Aryans entrered himachal after some time and dominated culture and social life
- Bhots, Kinners, Lahauls, Gujjars, Gaddis came from Tibet slowly and gradually settled in himachal Pradesh.
- During Mahabharat time, Himachal Pradesh consists of many small republics also known as janpads. These Janpad had independent political and cultural units.
- Some prominent janpads during mahabharat times
- Andumbara janpad ( Western kangra, Hoshairpur, Gurdaspur areas)
- Trigata Pradesh (Kangra, Una himachal, Hamirpur areas)
- Kuluta Janpad ( Upper Baes)
- Kulinda janpad ( Shimla, Sirmaur, up to Sarahanpur)
- Kanet Janpad ( Hills of Kullu, Shimla and Sirmaur)
- During 5thCentury BC and 2ndCentury AD
- Invaders from central asia came to himachal Pradesh
- Chandragupta – The Mauryan king ( 322BC) allied with Trigartha chief, up to 3 generations including his grandson Ashoka’s rule, most of Himachal Pradesh sore allegiance to Mauryan Dynasty.
- After fall of Mauryan empire, Kushan emperors were in command of himachal Pradesh till 2ndBC.
- After Kushan empire, Guptas took over the reins of Himachal Pradesh.
- Samudra Gupta and his son Chandra Gupta gave autonomy to hill states in Himachal
- Between 4thand 7thAD centuries old republics of Andumbara, Trigarta and Kulinda submitted to rulers of Chamba and Bushhar.
- A few states in himachal Pradesh were ruled by kings who fled from muslim invaders in Bengal, prominent being the Mandi Ditrict which was founded in 1527 AD
- Kangra was plundered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1000AD
- Entire Himachal Pradesh came undr the rule of Mughals when Jahangir army defeated Katoch rulers of Himachal. The Mughal rule lasted for 160 years.
- After Mughals, Sikhs took over many parts of Himachal Pradesh during 18thcentury.
- Sikhs were defeated by Gurkha army led by amar singh thapa. The Kangra fort was held against gurkhas for 4 years, the ruler Raja sansar chand of kangra sough the help of maharaja Ranjeet singh and sikh army succeded in pushing out gurkhas.
- After maharaja Ranjeet singh’s death in 1839, states of Kangra, Nurpur, Guler, Mandi , kullu, Lahaul, Spiti came under direct control of British.
Tourism in Himachal ( Himachal Pradesh Tourist Destinations)
Shimla :- Is truly the Queen of Hill Stations. Shimla was the Summer Capital of the British Raj. It is now the Capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla has a great history, in 1971, it was the center of intense negotiations between India gandhi & Zulfikar ali Bhutto for negotiations. Shimla draws lots of tourists specially in the winter when white snow carpet covers all hills & ridge. The central Point of Shimla attraction is "The Mall", "The Ridge", where tourists flock to celebrate New year, Chrismas etc.. Read More[+]
Bir-Billing:- Bir is a small town with a large Tibetan community and several Buddhist monasteries.Bir-Billing is also the regarded as the world's second best paragliding launch site. The tiny hamlet of Billing is situated just a few kilometers above Bir. Hundreds of pilots from across the globe come to Bir every spring and autumn to paraglide over the mountains and tea plantations of Bir and the Dhauladhar Range of the Himalayas. Lessons and tandem flights are available for beginners. Read More[+]
Palampur:- One of the Key tourist destinations of Himachal. Palampur is famous for its scenic beauty, the Kangra Tea amd Andretta Village (Home of famous Indian Artist & painter Sobha Singh). Palampur is the place where snow capped mountains greets the tourists almost all the year. It also rains heavily in Palampur. Palampur has world famous agriculture university also. It is One of the major hill stations in Kangra Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Read More[+]
Dharamsala:- Dharamsala is situated on the slopes of Kangra Valley, is an exotic hill resort in Himachal Pradesh in India. The spiritual hill town is divided into two parts – Dharamsala and McLeodganj. McLeodganj is the capital of Tibetans in Exile & home to spiritual head of the Buddhists, The Dalai Lama. Read More[+]
Other tourist attractions of Dharamsala are St. John'S Church In Wilderness on way to McLeodganj, Chamunda Devi Temple, Maharana Pratap Sagar (Wild Life Sanctuary), Norbulinka Institute, Nurpur Fort, Dall Lake, etc.
Una:- Una is famous for its holy shrine Maa Chintaapurni Temple.The other famous places of Una are ‘Chintpurni’ Goddess temple, Dera Baba Barbhag Singh, Dera Baba Rudru, Joggi Panga, Dharamshala Mahanta, Dhunsar Mahadev Temple Talmehra, Shivbari Temple Gagret and Mini Secretariat. Read More[+]
Kullu - Manali:- Kullu & Manali are another picturesque hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. Manali is one of the most popular holiday destinations of India and is very well connected to Delhi and Chandigarh by road. Located 1220 meters above the sea level near Kullu, Manali provides a spectacular view of snow-capped mountain peaks around it. Other tourist attractions include Manikaran. Manikaran is famous for its hot water spring. The holy water spring is hot enough to boil rice and vegetables. Near Manali is the Highest pass of the world "Rohtang pass". Read More[+]
Dalhousie:- A beautiful hill station, surrounded by beautiful snow covered peaks Dalhousie is built on and around five hills. Various monuments of Colonial India era provide varied options to look around. Read More[+]
Keylong:- a small town and HQ of Lahul & Spiti district. It lies on way from Manali to Leh. Last petrol pump (gas station) of Manali-Leh highway is here, next petrol pump is at Leh, which is nearly 350 km away. Read More[+]
Bilaspur:- The Main attraction in Bilaspur is the Bhakra Dam's GovindSagar Lake. There are several Shiva temples in lake, which remain submerged in water, but appear in Summer when lake water receds. Bilaspur is hot in summer and cold in winters. Read More[+]
A visit to Himachal Pradesh offers a complete range to tourists, From beautiful hill-stations, Holy temples, unique festivals, exotic wildlife, thrilling adventure sports, trekking, breath stealing natural beauty, age old culture and heritage there is much to see and experience that attracts everyone.
The climate of Himachal varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern tracts to cold, alpine and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges with more elevation.The state has areas like Dharamsala that receive very heavy rainfall, as well as those like Lahaul and Spiti that are cold and almost rainless. Broadly Himachal experience three seasons; hot weather season, cold weather season and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid April till the end of June and most parts become very hot (except in alpine zone which experience mild summer) with the average temperature ranging from 28 °C (82 °F) to 32 °C (90 °F). Winter lasts from late November till mid March. Snowfall is common in alpine tracts (generally above 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) i.e. in the Higher and Trans-Himalayan region).
Himachal Pradesh is divided into 12 districts namely, Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Una, Chamba, Lahul and Spiti, Sirmaur, Kinnaur, Kullu, Solan and Shimla. The state capital is Shimla which was formerly British India's summer capital under the name Simla.
Himachal has small airports in Shimla, Kullu and Kangra. There are scheduled flights from New Delhi to Himachal Pradesh Towns.
Himachal has few stations connected by the train Network. Una Himachal is the Only Broad Gauge railway station to Himachal. ( We are based in Una Himachal) . Una works as a main gateway for Himachal for various travelers, tourists, Pilgrims. Presently there are two main trains terminating in UNA.
Other Train Routes include narrow-guage tracks Kalka to Shimla, Pathankot - Kangra - Palampur - baijnath - ogindernager. Kalka-Shimla railway track is also UNESCO world heritage site. On the Pathankot - Kangra - Palampur - baijnath - Jogindernager circuit, The ride beyond Kangra is amazing with stunning views of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas, rivers and streams
- Himachal Express/14553 - Arrival time in UNA at 07:50AM ( Every Day).
- NewDelhi - Una - Jan Shatabdi/12057 - Arrival time in UNA at 22:10 PM ( Every Day)
- Bus is the only practical means of getting to many points in Himachal. All cities of interest have direct services to Delhi. There are three different entry routes to Himachal if you are coming from Delhi.