As soon as summer dawns, folks living in the plains rush off to the hills to get respite from the harsh summer sun. It is also a time when the children have summer holidays so in a way it is the best time to travel to a place to cool off. The hill stations of Himachal have long held an allure for most travelers. Being a hilly state, it offers lovely lush hills, deep jungles, snow covered peaks and beautiful enchanting lakes. This summer when you plan a trip to Himachal, do try to explore some of these top hill stations:
Shimla: The beautiful city of Shimla was the summer capital of the British. Fringed by lovely forests and blessed with a lovely weather, this is the Queen of the Hills. It is also well known for its historic UNESCO World Heritage Kalka-Shimla toy train. It was built by the British in 1903 is perhaps among the most beautiful train routes in the worlds as it traverses the lush mountains. In Shimla, don’t miss a walk down Mall Road for some exciting shopping. You can also do some sightseeing in Kufri.
Manali: Manali is nestled in the mighty Himalayas in the Kulu valley. The peaks are snow covered sometimes even in summer providing you not only a lovely sight to witness but also an opportunity to do fun activities in snow. It is surrounded by a pretty pine forest and the Beas river provides breathtaking energy to the place. A must visit for those traveling to Himachal. You can do an excursion to the Rohtang Pass which is a crucial Trans Himalayan pathway to Lahaul Valley. You can also see the lovely Rahalla Falls. There are many famous temples in Manali significantly Hadimba Temple which is very famous for its architecture.
Dalhousie: Nestled high up in the mighty peaks and spread across 5 hills, it is surrounded by beautiful Deodar forests. Dalhousie is a small hill station that is yet unspoiled and not very commercial. It bears a distinct stamp of the British Raj. Enjoy the beautiful weather in the summer. You can venture out to Khajjiar named “Switzerland of the East” which is a meadow fringed with tall pine and cedar trees. It is a scenic picnic spot. Try horseriding or just spend a day here daydreaming. Chamera lake which is a huge body of water showcases the mighty Chamera dam. This large water body is a favorite spot for boating.
Dharamshala and McLeodganj: These are located close to each other in the Kangra Valley. This is the seat for the exiled Tibetans with Dalai Lama living here. You can witness Tibetan culture and visit the monastery here. You can also shop for Tibetan artefacts including art and craft items and woolens. Don’t miss out on the wonderful gompas, temples, museums and monasteries. High up in the hills, this is a very picturesque location.
Spiti: Called mini Lhasa, Spiti is breathtakingly beautiful. It is close to the Indo-Tibetan border. Covered in snow for most part of the year, the drive from Manali to Spiti provides stunning scenery and some spectacular visuals. The Spiti river flows through the area and it has mighty peaks, valleys and lush green forests. Virtually untouched by commercialization, it is a very scenic place to visit.
Himachal offers a fantastic time in the lap of the Himalayas.
Pics courtesy: Himachal Tourism