Famous Places in Himachal ( Himachal Pradesh, India ) :
The Ridge and The Mall ( Shimla ) :
These are the most favourable places for all tourists as well as local residents of Shimla. Both the places always remain overcrowded during the day time and in the evening. The Mall is also a main shopping centre of Shimla. The Gaiety Theater which is a reproduction of an old British Theater is also situated here as well as the - Indira Gandhi Khel Parisar - From the Mall you can explore the Middle and Lower Bazar.
Kufri ( Shimla ) :
( 2,633 meters in height ) 16km. from Shimla. Kufri has won a name on the sports and tourist map of India due to its ‘Ski-runs’, ‘Seed Potato Farm’ of the Central Potato Research Institute and ‘Food Craft Institute’. Kufri offers unique Skiing slopes from December to February.
Baspa Valley ( The beautiful valley of Kinnaur ) :
Baspa valley ( also known as Sangla valley ) is one of the most beautiful valleys of Kinnaur. It starts from Karcham ( 1,899 meters ) where the Baspa river coming from the east joins the Satluj. The road for Baspa valley branches from the Hindustan Tibet road at the river junction and after turning south crosses the Satluj over a bridge to reach Karacham. The valley open up beyond Sangla and is full of wooded slopes as far as Chitkul ( 3,435 meters ). Chitkul is the last inhabited village in the valley surrounded by green fields and high mountain peaks. It is like a Fairyland. The quaint little houses, temples, gompas and the people of Baspa valley conjure up a perfect image of "Shangri-La".
Sangla ( Kinnaur ) :
( 2,680 meters ) It is an important village of the Baspa valley situated on the right bank of Baspa river is built on a slope with houses rising one above other with gigantic 'Kinner Kailash' peak ( 6,500 meters ) towering from behind is also famous for 'Kamru Fort'. This fort was the place where so many Rajas of Kinnaur were crowned. Now this fort is dedicated to 'Kamakshi Tepmle'. Goddess idol was brought from 'Guwahati' (Assam) where is the main temple on a hillock.
Kalpa ( Kinnaur ) :
( 2,670 meters ) Once a favourite hunt of Lord Dalhousie, the district headquarters till recently, when the headquarter was shifted to 'Rekong Peo' (1,900 meters) was the venue of Kalchakra Sermon delivered in August 1992 by His Holliness "The Dalai Lama" ; and a monastery to commemorate this auspicious occasion was built up is 13 kms. short of Kalpa and 7 kms. off the Powari on Hindustan - Tibet Road. Looming in front of Kalpa is an imressive view of 'Kinner Kailash' directly across the Satluj river. This mountain changes colors several times a day with a change of weather conditions or may be as destined by Lord Shiva his eternal abode. 'Parvati Kund' is located on the top of Kinner Kailash. The ancient villages of Pangi, Moorang and Kanum are situated close to Kalpa.
Tabo ( Lahaul Spiti ) :
( 3,050 metres ) It is 47 km. from Kaza. At the right of Spiti river, is an ancient village named Tabo, flanked on either side by lofty brown hills and sun burnt, is the seat of one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries - Sherlang, Duang, Chamba, Chibbo, Domlang Gompas, regarded by many as only next to the Thelong Gompa in Tibet. The 10th Century Tabo monastery houses more than 60 lamas. Large number of scriptures and pieces of art, wall paintings - 'Tankhas' and 'Stucco'. Tabo has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In terms of area, this is the largest monastic complex in Spiti, and the old section has 9 temples, 23 chortens, a monk's chamber and a nun's chamber. There are several caves and contemporary structures that form a part of the Tabo complex. Founded in 996 A.D., the Tabo 'gompa' has exquisite wall paintings and stucco statues - and is often called the 'Ajanta of the Himalaya'.
Pin Valley :
It is formed by the Pin river, which rises on the eastern slopes of Pin Parbati pass and meets the Spity river exactly opposite Lingti village. On its way it is joined by the 'Parahio Nala' near Pokchung. From Pin valley one can cross over to the Kullu valley over Pin Parbati peak and to the district of Kinnaur via 'Shakarof Pass' or 'Tarikhango pass'. Pin valley is much more rugged and barren than the main Spiti valley. This valley is famous for Ibex and Snow Leopard. The whole Pin valley, including all the villages, forms the protected area, varying in altitude from 3,600 to 6,632 meters above sea level. The Pin valley ca boast of being somewhat moist area during the summer months, in sharp contrast to much of the remnant arid Spity.
Lingti Valley :
Largest and the longest side valley of Spity. It runs North-East from Lingti village (3,460 meters) for about 60 kms. to its head. It is a living geological museum. Its geological history dates back to 250 million years and its shales and fossils are well known to all the world. 'Gya Peak' is also there in Lingti valley. At its summit Spity, Ladhakh and Tibet meet.
Kunzum Pass :
(4,590 meters) provides chief access to Lahaul valley by the great Kumzum range. The lofty Bara Shigri glacier is seen in front in all its grandeur. The crest of the pass has been marked by a chorten of stones erected ages ago. Recently a temple has been built on the top dedicated to 'Lord Gyephang' - the chief deity of Lahaul. The belief is that, every vehicle passing over Kunzum pass will have to take a round (Parikrama) of this temple to get blessing of the God. Another interesting feature of the stone image of the Lord is that offerings in the form of cash (coin or currency notes) will stuck to the image, if devotee is acceptable to the Lord. Some paople believe that this temple is of goddess Durga.
Ki, Kie or Key Monastery :
( 4,116 metres ) It is 12 km. from Kaza by road. It is the oldest and the biggest monastery of Spity dominating Ki-Village. About 300 lamas are receiving their religious training in its monastery, which houses rare paintings and beautiful scriptures of Buddha and other gods and goddesses. It is serving western population of Spity. It is regarded as the largest in the sub-division. It is a collection of rooms and a labyrinth of corridors that do not follow any defined plan, but seem to have grown over the years. No definite data can be ascribed to the construction of the gompa - that acted both as a monastery and as a fort.
( 3,340 meters) located above Bhaga river, the district headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti has been described as oasis of green fields, willow planted water courses, brown hills and snowy peaks. In the past, Keylong was home of the Moravian missionaries. There well known monasteries, Tayul, Khardong, and Shashur are within a few kilometers radius. The temple of local deity 'Keylong Wazir' is in the house of Shri Nawang Dorji.
( 3,160 meters) is located on the river bank of the river Chandra. House of the thakur of Gondhla, called Gondhla castle or fort, is the maiin attraction. According to district gazetteer, this was built in 1700 A.D. by Raja od Kullu Man Singh whose influence stretched upto the Lingti Plains beyond the Baralacha-La. But present Thakur Fateh Chand says that it was 20 generations old. This is eight story building. Raja Man Singh of Kullu had stayed there in 1720 A.D. while on his way to Trilokinath Temple. Remains of the past are lying there. Age old custumes, furniture and idols are also strewn around in a state of neglect. The 'Sharab Raldi' i.e. 'Sword of Wisdom' given to the Thakur by Dalai Lama in the past is also there in the possession of present Thakur. This sword seems to have been built in the 'Toledo' technique of Spain. In the month of July a fair is held when Lamas dance and enjoy. This fair attracts a large number of visitors.
( 2,573 meters) is situated at the confluence of Chamba and Bhaga rivers. A legend says that there were two lovers, 'Chandra', the daughter of the Moon and 'Bhaga', the son of the Sun god. To perform their eternal marriage, they dedicated to climb to the 'Baralacha La' and from there they ran in opposite directions. Chandra being active and smart, easily found her way down the pass and reached 'Tandi'. Soon Bhaga was found coming with great struggle through the narrow gorges to Tandi, where ultimately both met and the celestial marriage was performed. Tandi's importance for the people of Lahaul is same as it is 'Haridwar' for the Hindus.
Suketi Fossil Park :
Located in Sirmaur district, displays life size fiberglass models of pre-historic animals whose fossils, skeletons were unearthed here. The park is the first of its kind in Asia to be developed at the actual site where fossils were discovered. It is 21 kms. from Nahan, located on the left bank of the Markanda river. The park at present has six sets of life size models of 'Stegodonganesa' (extinct grand elephant). Sivatherium Hexapratadon - Sivalensis ( hippopotamus with six incisors), Colossochetys Atlas ( giant land tortoise and chelonia), Paramachaeradus ( sabre toothed tiger) and Crocodiles, the animals which once thrived in the region.
(3,140 meters) a break and windswept place is the first village and gateway to Lahaul and on the right bank of the river Chandra 5 kms. from 'Gramphoo'. During winter Khoskar is the coldest inhabited place in Lahaul. The river freezes during winter and is covered with snow to afford regular passage for human beings and also for mule traffic. Khoksar is located on the old trade route from Indian plains to the west Asia.
( 2,900 meters ) It is in Kinnaur and it is located on the right bank of the Baspa river. Its name has been derived from 'Rak' a stone and 'Chham' a bridge. It is one of the most beautiful villages of Baspa Valley. The location of the village is striking.
( 3,662 meters ) It is also located in Kinnaur district and is the highest village in the valley and the existence of lake formed out of the masses of ice and snow above adds to beauty of the village. Village deity is 'Deo-dum' and another Lagang temple with several idols exist there. It is situated about 2 kms. above the Hangrang valley road and is 103 kms. from Kalpa on the western direction of the huge mountain of Pargial.
( 3,800 meters ) It is sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti valley. It is situated at the foot of the steep ridges on the left bank of Spiti river. Once it was the headquarters of the 'Nano' the chief of Spiti. It is 425 kms. from Shimla. Kaza has a filling station, rest house and small hotels. It serves as the base for excursions in the area. Among others, the Ki, Hikkim, Komok and Langia monasteries are at hand.
Kibbar Village :
( 4,205 meters ) Locally known as Khyipur, one of the highest villages in the world at an altutude of 4,205 meters above sea level in a narrow valley surrounded my mountains from all sides. 'Gette village' at a short distance away from Kaza is the highest in the world, with a height of 4,270 meters. It also acts as the base for several high altitude treks.
Baralacha La :
( 4,883 meters ) It is in Lahaul valley, 73 kms. from Keylong. The name Baralacha means 'Pass with cross roads on summit' (Roads from Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul join on the top of it). There is no road yet from Spiti, only a path exists. This pass is also an origin of Chandra, Bhaga and Yamuna rivers. They flow to three different directions, through the Chandra, Bhaga and Lingti valleys.
( 1,230 meters ) The most charming and beautiful Kullu valley spread out its charm on either side of Beas river. The valley runs North to South of this river and is 80 kms. long and about 2 kms. at its broadest. The valley has awe inspiring glens and mossy meadows encircled by rushing streams and meandering brooks. It is also famous for its exquistely woven colorful hand made shawls and Kullu caps. In the spring, Kullu is in most colorful shape. Early March, apricot and plum trees, dotted among the fields, burst into pink blossoms and wild medlara are crowned with white flowers. The higher slopes are soon aglow with gogeous rhododendrons, white scarlet clusters of the sumash blaze near the river, the terraced fields turning from green to gold. Situated on the bank of Beas river, Kullu city is the Headquarters of district.
( 1,926 meters ) is 40 kms. from Kullu. It is situated to the north, near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape is breathtaking as all around it is outlined against the horizons. You can see well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear water meandering through between the town on the one side and another side are Deodar and Pine trees, tiny levelled fields and fruit orchards.Manali with its unspoilt scenic grandeur is extremely popular with the tourists, for a lavish display of natural scenery. It is one of the principal show places of the Kullu region. To its North, South and West are an ostentation of pinnacles and ridges which, in fine weather, stand out in bold relief against skyline. At the lower elevation and in every direction there are vivid green patches of grassland and evergreen valleys ascending in irregular formation present probably the best view in the country.
( 1,700 meters ) It is 45 kms. from Kullu and just 3 kms. from Kasol, is famous for its hot springs. Thousands of people take their holy dip in its hot waters. The water is so hot that dal, rice and vegetables etc. can be boiled in it. According to an old legend, Manikaran is connected with Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parbati, who lost her earrings, while taking bath. When she reported this to Lord Shiva, he looked at the 'Kund' water with great anger, which gave birth to hot water on the bank of Parbati river. There are temples dedicated to Ramchandra and Lord Shiva as well as a Gurudwara.
It is a little village 3 kms. from Manali in Kullu district, located on the left bank of Beas river towards Rohtang pass. It is renowned for its hot water springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to 'Vashisht Muni' and 'Lord Rama' temple is also there. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are there.
Pangi Valley :
It is in district Chamba. The scenic valley Pangi at the foot of the Himalaya, between two parallel ranges is situated beyond Pir-Panjal. There are still few virgin peaks, 6,402 meters to 6,705 meters high challenging the mountaneers. Two communities namely 'Pangwal' and 'Bhots' inhabit this valley. In Pangi there is hardly any village or even hamlet where one or more temple are not there. The two most important temples in the valley are 'Mindhal Vasni' temple about 15 kms. from Killar and temple of 'Purthi' about 30 kms. from Killar.
Manimahesh ( Mountain Kailash ) :
( 5,660 meters ) It is in district Chamba. This place is famous for a Lake, sacred mountain 'Kailash' and an ancient temple. Held sacred to Lord Shiva this lies in the Budhil valley at the foot of Mount Kailash (5660 meters above sea level), which is perhaps the highest of sacred waters in Chamba district. This lake is supposed to bless by Goddess Kali and protected by Lord Shiva. A fair is held every year at this lake during the month of August or September. Thousands of people visit this place on the 15th day after Janamashtami to have a dip in the holy water. It is a state fair.
It is in district Chamba. It is the Headquarters of Pangi sub-division. It is situated in the deep and narrow gorge of the Chenab river. It can be reached through the Sach pass. It is the desire of many a hardy trekkers to visit these lands pf pretty faces, beautiful dances and scenic splendour. Some of the famous trekking routes from Killar are to Kishtwar in Jammu & Kashmir, Umasi la into the Zanskar valley and in the South-East to Keylong and Manali. White trekking to Lahaul through this valley on e will across a beautiful place, 'Purthi' known for one of the finest nurseries and historical rest house on the right bank of Chenab river.
( 1,930 meters ) It is located in district Solan. It is a charming hill station and coveted place for bird watchers. There is a monkey point besides the 'Ashram' of Satya Sai Baba at 'Garkhal'. Kasauli also has a 'Pasteur Institute' that produces the vaccine against the dog bite. On the opposite hill the famous Lawrence School at Sanawar is located. Kasauli also has a TV relay tower. Being a cantonment, it is very well maintained.
Timber Trail Parwanoo :
It is in district Solan. It is situated on the National Highway and 5 kms. above Parwanoo. It is the first interesting resort in Himachal Pradesh which has attracted thousand of visitors to enjoy the cable car ride which covers 1.8 kms. long distance in 8 minutes over 'Kaushalia stream'.
Bhakra Dam :
Bhakra Dam is the highest gravity dam in the world, built across the river Satluj. This project includes the Nangal Dam, Nangal Hydel channel and Ganguwal and Kotla Power Houses. Bhakra is the name of small village located in the Himalayan foothills. It has been described as 'New temple of Resurgent India'. With this dam, a big artificial lake named Gobind Sagar has been formed which spreads upto Bilaspur town.
Mandi is situated on the left bank of Beas river in the foothills of Shivalik range. Mandi entails a rich heritage of culture, historical and mythological significance, According to one version the town acquired its name Mandi (market) because all the traders from Ladakh and other areas passed through it while going to and from Punjab. According to second version, the city was named after 'Mandavya Rishi' who performed long and severe austerities on the right bank of Beas near the present town. Mandi has 85 beautiful carved temples, notable among them are Trilokinath, Bhutnath, Panchvktra and Shyama Kali at Tarna hill. Shivratri Mela of Mandi is very famous.
Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys in the Himalayas. It is sheltered by the Dhauladhar and this majestic mountain range surpasses all others in its grandeur. the history of Kangra dates back to the Vedic times more than 3,500 years ago. The famous 'Bajeshwari Devi' temple is located in the town. Kangra was revaged by foriegn aggression a number of times. Despite all this, the arts and crafts of the region continues to develop and find lyrical expression. Kangra town is situated at the confluence of the Baner and Majhi streams, overlooking the Banganga torrent is famous for temples, forts and now a sppedily emerging as a business centre.
Yol Camp :
( Young Officers Leave Camp ) In the second world war (1939-45) 20 thousand war prisoners of Italy were kept there. From May 1947 to July 1947, it was a training camp for Army officers. From August 1947 to October 1947, 12 thousand Muslims were kept there and then transported to Pakistan. From 1949 to 1952, it served as a refuge camp for Kashmiri migrants. At present it is housing the units of Army. 'Chinmaya Sandeepani Himalaya Ashram' is located nearby. There is the huge stone idol of Hanumanji and a temple dedicated to Lord Rama built in south Indian style. A temple dedicated to 'Anjani Devi' (mother of Hanumanji) is located between Masser and Yol Camp.
( 1,250 meters ) In 1846 former Governer of Punjab Sir 'Donald Mcleod' was first officer who visited this place. But it was only in 1855 when 'East Indian Company' in the process of finding suitable place for its army founded Dharamshala. Dharamshala municipality was founded in 1867-68. Consevancy tax was imposed in 1887 and electricity was provided to the town in 1896 A.D. There is the famous 'St. John Church' where Lord Elgin II the Governer General of India was cremated on 20th 1863. The famous 'War Memorial' is also located in Dharamshala.
Mcleod Ganj ( Dharamshala ) :
It has emerged as a famous Tibetan colony. The Buddha temple is situated opposite the present abode of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Institute of performing Arts (TIPA) is just i km. walk from Mcleod Ganj and preserves a number of musical dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet. There is also a Tibetan Handicraft centre located there.
Kangra Fort :
The historic fort of Kangra was built by Bhuma Chand. This fort had been the centre of attraction for the rulers of northern India, since a long time. The first attack on the fort was made by the Raja of Kashmir 'Shreshtha' in 470 A.D. In 1846 Kangra fort fell into the hands of the British. Kangra fort is located on the bank of the river Banganga at the height of 350 feet. In the foreyard of the fort are the temple of 'Laxmi Narayan' and 'Adinath' located in the Kangra fort is dedicated to Jainism. Inside the fort are two ponds one of them is called 'Kapur Sagar'. At present the fort is under the control of 'Archaeological Survey of India'. It was badly damaged in 1905 earthquake.
Kufri in Shimla
Baspa or Sangla Valley
Kalpa in Kinnaur
Tabo in Lahaul Spiti
Killar in Chamba
Kasauli in Solan
Timber Trail Parwanoo