Himachal Pradesh – A destination for all seasons and all reasons!

It doesn’t matter much if you are a summer or winter person. When Himachal Pradesh gets covered in white, its views are mesmerizing, and you’d think nature has dropped all of its good features out there in the Himalayas. Himachal speaks the language of jaw-dropping landscapes, snow-clad mountains, scenic lakes, dramatic valleys, lush green meadows and quaint villages.

Located in the heart of India, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful places to visit on the planet Earth. Its fairytale setting is sure to enchant anyone who visits. From breathtaking views to a thriving local culture, there are many reasons a trip to Himachal should be added to your bucket list. There is so much to explore in this beautiful state that you will always want to come back to it every year. In a nutshell, they are the door to explore what Heaven feels like.

Picturesque scenes dominate people’s minds when they think of Himachal Pradesh, but it’s the traditional architecture, art, crafts and culture that are the heart and soul of the region. One of the key attractions of Himachal Pradesh is the various adventure sports including mountain adventure activities, river adventure activities and winter sports.

There is something special about seeing snow-capped mountains shining in the distance on a sunny summer day. You can ski, do some aquatic sports or just simply bask in the sunlight next to the lake. Although anywhere you end up in the state, you’re likely to have a view of something spectacular, whether it be crystal clear lakes, rolling hills, snowcapped mountains, or waterfalls, the below places are the top hotspots for a Himachal holiday. To get the most of your holiday experience, you need to book one of the Himachal tour packages and soak in the intriguing and fascinating tales of the past.

So if you’re planning to head to Himachal Pradesh this year, take a look at our list of 11 most extraordinary places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

1. Kullu      

You’ve heard about the glory of Kullu! Fondly known as ‘The Valley of the Gods’, Kullu is what dreams should be made of. Set amidst the backdrop of the heavenly Himalayas, Kullu is located in the charming Kullu Valley at an elevation of around 4000 feet. It boasts some of the most picturesque locales. This Himachal beauty has intriguing mountain peaks and snowy landscapes that attract hiking enthusiasts. Hence, the town is home to numerous wonderful snow sports and activities like ice-skating, ice-stick etc.

Apart from its natural beauty; Kullu is also famous for its temples and festivals. If you want to have an experience of charming Himachal atmosphere, Kullu is the place you need to visit and explore. In all its glory, Kullu makes for a dream-like vacation spot like no other, with an outstanding choice of places to go to and activities to indulge in.

Best time to visit Kullu: March to June

Tourist places in Kullu: Great Himalayan National Park, Raghunath Temple, Friendship Peak, Pandoh Dam, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Jana Waterfall, Prashar Lake, Chandrakhani Pass, Bhrigu Lake, Manikaran, The Rupi Palace, Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery

Top things to do in Kullu: River rafting, trekking, Temple visits, fishing, cycling, snow gliding, sightseeing, paragliding,

2. Manali

You can’t talk about top places in Himachal Pradesh without mentioning enchanting Manali, where anything you’ve ever dreamt of doing while on a vacation is possible.

Elevated at an incredible height of 6260 feet above sea level, Manali is Himachal’s most celebrated city. One of the most popular tourist hill stations in northern India, Manali’s popularity also stems from the fact that it is a preferred destination for adventure enthusiasts as well as honeymooners and couples. The covered peak provides visitors with a cozy setting for taking in the dazzling views. The scenery here is simply breathtaking, but it’s not the only thing you will enjoy. You will basically find all sorts of things to do, from relaxing in the swimming pool to exciting winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, paragliding and other adrenaline-filled activities. You can take advantage of the hiking trails that criss-cross the cities. It is therefore called the adventure capital of Himachal Pradesh and should definitely be on your list of top Himachal destinations to visit.

Best time to visit Manali: March to June. This is an ideal time to go paragliding, trekking, rafting, hiking, zorbing and indulge in mountain sports. October to February to enjoy the snowfall and pursue winter sports activities like skiing and ice skating.

Tourist places in Manali: Solang Valley, Beas River, Hadimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Rohtang Pass, Vashisth Hot Water Spring, Rahala Waterfalls, Great Himalayan National park, Jogini Waterfalls

Top things to do in Manali: Trekking, horse riding, zorbing, white water rafting, sightseeing, paragliding, skiing, ice skating

3. Shimla

Situated in between lofty Himalayan peaks of North India at an altitude of 6700 feet, Shimla is one of the best tourist destinations in India and is visited by large number of people all year around. Just like Manali, Shimla offers unparalleled landscapes of snow-covered mountains, enchanting lakes, ripping rivers and unlimited fun. Once a summer capital of British India, Shimla boasts many examples of original British architecture; from offices to churches, private residences and a cinema theatre! The city offers great fun to families and visiting travelers, through activities such as ice skating, shopping and appreciating the allure of snow that fills the city with an indescribable wintry atmosphere. While there, take a ride through the snow, have a delicious brunch, or take a hike in the woods.

Best time to visit Shimla: March to June (summer months for pleasant climate) and December to February (winter months for winter sports activities)

Tourist places in Shimla: Annandale, Jakhoo Hill, Christ Church, The Scandal Point, The Ridge, The Shimla State Museum, Himalayan Bird Park, Tara Devi Temple, Lakkar Bazaar, Green Valley, Mall Road, The Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Summer Hill, Kufri, Chail

Things to do in Shimla: trekking, skiing, ice skating, golfing, fishing, temple visits, sightseeing, waterfalls

4. Dharamshala & McLeodganj

One of the top Himachal destinations is undoubtedly, Dharamshala. While Shimla is the summer capital, Dharamshala is the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh and is well known because of its cool weather and amazing valleys. The city is also home to the world-famous Tibetan leader, The Dalai Lama and Tibetan Government in exile. Situated at the height of 4000 meters above sea level, the quaint hill town Dharamshala is an ideal gateway to enjoy the awe-inspiring view of the lordly hills and visit the residence of His Highness The Dalai Lama. A 10 km hilly terrain divides the town into lower and upper Dharamshala, also known as McLeodganj, which is a lesser-known tourist destination located in the heart of Dharamshala. Tourists flock to this tiny hill station to escape the scorching heat of the plains. During the winter season the region is remarkably covered by the thick sheet of snow making it the ideal place to enjoy various winter sports activities.

Best time to visit Dharamshala & McLeodganj: January to June and September to December is the best time to visit Dharamshala.

Tourist places in Dharamshala & Mcleodganj: Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, Namgyal Monastery, Naddi Village, Tsuglagkhang Complex, Masrur, Mcleod Ganj, Kareri Road, Gyuto Monastery, Dal Lake

Things to do in Dharamshala & Mcleodganj: Skiing, paragliding, trekking, Temple visits, white water rafting, Tibetan cultural experience

5. Dalhousie

Dalhousie, with its pleasant climate and mesmerizing charm, is one of the most renowned hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. Nestling in the valley of Chamba at a height of 1,970 meters above sea level, Dalhousie is an alluring quaint hill station and is blessed with the stunning views of snow-capped Pir Panjal range. Named after a former British Governor General Lord Dalhousie, Dalhousie was developed entirely by the British officials and is a major reason you will see various buildings are steeped in colonial atmosphere and architecture. The whole town is jaw-dropping, as it offers spectacular views of houses that have been there for centuries. In short, it’s impossible to get bored amid the breathtaking views.

Best time to visit in Dalhousie: March to May

Tourist places to visit in Dalhousie: Kalatop Wildlife Reserve, Dainkund Peak, Subhash Baoli , Ganji Pahari, St, Francis Church, Panchpula, Bakrota Hills, Khajjiar

Things to do in Dalhousie: Camping, boating, trekking, shopping, sightseeing, paragliding, horse-riding

6. Khajjiar

A holiday in Khajjiar means surreal landscapes and a sky filled with more stars then you’ve ever seen before. Khajjiar, a tiny hamlet about 24km from Dalhousie, is India’s answer to Switzerland. This small town, very nearby to Dalhousie is also known as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ and the ‘Switzerland of India’. Though underrated, the region boasts of some of the most breath-taking sights in the world. Located at an altitude of 6,500 feet, the natural beauty and striking landscape of this place are bound to leave an everlasting impression on a tourist. The beauty of this hill station lies in its rolling fields, the gorgeous deodar trees, cascading rivers and limitless brooks. The typical crowd travelling to Himachal would select the common ‘Shimla-Kullu-Manali’ route, but if you want to venture on an offbeat journey, head to the Dhauladhar circuit instead. Trust us; you’ll remember this journey for life!

Best time to visit Khajjiar: March to June

Tourist places in Khajjiar: Khajjiar Lake, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Golden Devi Temple, Khajj Nag Temple, Khajjiar Lake & Ground, Kailesh View,

Things to do in Khajjiar: Nature walk, camping, trekking, viewpoints, zorbing, jungle safari, boating

7. Kangra Valley

There’s probably no other place that screams out ‘heaven’ quite like Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh. What distinguishes Kangra Valley from the rest of India is its exquisite countryside and scenery. The Kangra valley, shielded by the uplifting Dhauladhar range is one of the most scenic valleys of lower Himalayas. Moreover, Kangra Valley is also home to the highly revered goddess temples and a Lord Shiva Temple at Baijnath. This Valley also offers plenty for history and art enthusiasts with its grand architecture, museums, and temples. Rightly, the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh is a dreamland!

Best time to visit Kangra Valley: Summer months of May and June are ideal time for trekking in the valley. For sightseeing, the best time would be September till June. Winters here are chilly and temperature goes below 20 degree celsius. The ideal time for winter lovers is October till December

Tourist places in Kangra Valley: Kangra Fort, Pragpur, Masroor Rock Cut Temple, Baijnath Shiv Temple, Chintpurni Temple, Maharaja Sansar Chand Museum, Bhagsu Waterfall, Andretta, Brajeshwari Temple, Indrahar Pass, Jwala Devi Temple

Things to do in Kangra Valley: Temple visits, nature trek, heritage & cultural trails, sightseeing

8. Kasauli

One can’t simply visit Himachal Pradesh and not take a special trip to Kasauli. Kasauli is a popular hill station of Himachal Pradesh placed halfway between Shimla and Kalka. Located in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh at nearly 1,900 meters above sea level, this placid town is famous for its picture-perfect settings and stunning views of the snowy mountain peaks that surround the region. A lot of endangered species of animals are also found in the Compact forests in this region.

Best time to visit Kasauli: March to June (summer season) and September to December (winter season)

Tourist places in Kasauli: Christ Church, Sunset Point, Mall Road, Sanjeevni Hanuman Temple, Monkey Point, Gilbert Trail, Baba Balak Nath Temple, Sunrise Point, Timber Trail

Things to do in Kasauli: Trekking, camping, bird watching, rappelling, nature walk, viewpoints, sightseeing          

9. Kasol

One of Himachal’s fairy tale landscapes, the mighty Kasol always has something new to discover, even for those who’ve visited several times over the years. Spread out along the divine Parvati River and with snow-clad mountain views, Kasol is a charming little village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Tourists are attracted to this heavenly abode due to its scenic valley, untouched hills, snow clad Himalayas, low population, beautiful climate and wild charas, a hand-made hashish made from the cannabis that is plentiful to the area. Also known as Stoners Paradise, Kasol is a haven for nature lovers, adventure buffs, trekkers and backpackers. It is also popular with tourists many of whom also visit nearby village of Tosh. If you haven’t been yet, now is the time!

Best time to visit Kasol: October to June

Tourist places in Kasol: Kheer Ganga Peak, Parvati River, Tosh Village, Chhalal Village, Malana, Pin Parvati Pass, Sar Pass Trek, Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara, Rasol, Tirthan Valley,

Things to do in Kasol: Backpacking, camping, trekking, hiking, stargazing, bike riding, solo travel

10. Bir Billing

Bir Billing is a drop-dead gorgeous village to visit all year round. Resting in the picturesque Dhaulandar ranges of the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh, Bir Billing is a hotspot for serenity, relaxation and adventure and is known as the paragliding capital of India. Interestingly, Bir is a tiny village surrounded by big mountains and Billing is the place where you takeoff for paragliding, together called as Bir Billing. In fact, Bir-Billing is world’s second best site for paragliding after Como Lake of Italy. It hosted the Paragliding World Cup in October 2015 for the first time. Apart from being a spectacular location for paragliding and hang-gliding, Bir is noteworthy for ecotourism and meditation or spiritual centers.

Best time to visit in Bir Billing: April to June (summer season) and October to November is the peak season for paragliding at Bir.

Tourist places in visit in Bir Billing: Bir road, Tibetan Colony, Bir Tea Factory, Chokling Monastery, Dharmalaya Institute, Sunset Point, Palpung Sherabling Monastery, Gunehar River Pool, Nyingyang Monastery, Bangoru Waterfall, Rajgundha Valley

Things to do in Bir Billing: Paragliding, hang-gliding, cycling, trekking, mountain biking, angling, camping, zip lining, river Crossing, rock-climbing, repelling

11. Spiti Valley

Spiti is another Himachal region that we couldn’t leave out of this list. Popularly known as Little Tibet, Spiti Valley is well known for its striking picturesque and intense trekking character. The region is a cold desert mountain valley and located high in the Himalayas in the north-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means ‘The Middle Land’, i.e. the land between Tibet and India. Getting around 250 days of daylight in a year, it is known to be one of the coldest places on planet. Tourists often spot the Himalayan Ibex, Blue Sheep, Red fox and if lucky enough may also spot a Snow Leopard too. Be sure to take the drive up to one of its many picturesque lakes that look even more incredible in the snow.

Plan a trip to Spiti and explore the snow peaked mountains, monasteries, lakes, mountain passes, wildlife & much more.

Best time to visit Spiti Valley: June to September           

Tourist places in Spiti Valley: Pin Valley National Park, Lhalung Monastery, Chandra Tal Lake, Suraj Tal, Dhankar Lake, Kunzum Pass, Key Monastery, Tabo, Dhankar Lake, Kaza, Langza Village, Komik

Things to do in Spiti Valley: Camping, wildlife sanctuary, white water rafting, biking, trekking, yak safari, village walk, Monastery visits, star gazing, fossil hunting

So, there you have it – Eleven majestic places for your Himachal adventure!

Whether you want to take to the slopes, see rare wildlife, or explore one of Himachal’s greatest jewels, you can’t go wrong choosing one of these. There is so much to see and do in Himachal Pradesh throughout the year, starting from snow activities and winter sports to relaxing and simply enjoying the picturesque mountains. Many destinations and tourist places are easily approachable thanks to the trains, buses and tourist vehicles. Additionally, taking the time to stop in these places will give you a chance to experience local traditions, sample regional delicacies, and even pick up a handmade souvenir or two.

So, what are waiting for!

Book our super saver Himachal tour package and be wowed by nature’s astounding beauty, where lush green meadows, skies in gorgeous hues of blue and the superlative snow-clad mountains come together to form a perfect picture that really represents the Instagram catchphrase #nofilterneeded.

Also read: Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide

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