Himachal Pradesh, popularly known as Devbhumi, or Land of the Gods, is one of the most popular hill states in India, which is nestled in the north-western region of the western Himalayas. Himachal Pradesh is landlocked with the Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Punjab to the west, and Tibetan plateau to the east, Uttarakhand on the south-east and Haryana on the south-west.

The name Himachal was coined by Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, who was the state’s one of the most eminent Sanskrit scholar. The name comes from ‘Him’ and ‘Anchal’ in Sanskrit, meaning snow and mountain respectively.

Since the land’s inception, Himachal Pradesh has been inhabited with numerous civilizations. Starting from about 2 million years ago, when primitive humans roamed the foothills of Kangra, Nalagarh and Sirmour to Indus Valley Civilization that flourished up to 1750 BC, Himachal Pradesh has always been an sustainable abode of simplicity nurturing lives.

Until the 19th century, tourism within the state was limited only to certain pilgrimages to a chosen few destinations. With the advent of the British and post independence infrastructural development, Himachal tourism saw an increase in tourism. But, it was only during the late 1980’s that the tourism sector saw a tremendous boost.

From lofty, snow-clad peaks and high-altitude, holy lakes to natural Sulfur hot springs and fast flowing rivers plunging through valleys endowing life throughout their courses, Himachal Pradesh is a reservoir of natural riches.

Popular Destinations

1. Shimla: Shimla is the ever-charming hill station often referred to as the queen of the hills and is known for its distinctive architecture.

Things to see:

  • Mall Road
  • Ridge
  • Jakhoo Temple
  • Christ Church

2. Manali: With its breathtaking landscape and the Beas River sauntering through the town, Manali is the place where mankind is believed to have started.

Things to see:

  • Rohtang Pass (3979 meters above sea level)
  • Solang valley
  • Rahala Waterfall
  • Hot water springs in Vashisht

3. Dharamshala: The hill station lying on the foothills of Dhauladhar Range was recently declared the second capital of the Himachal Pradesh.

Things to see:

  • Kareri Lake
  • St. John’s Church
  • Baijnath Temple
  • Kotla Fort

4. Lahaul and Spiti: Strange, exciting and primitive, the rugged region lies at an average elevation of about 3,000 meters ad is known for its rocky escapements and splendorous peaks.

Things to see:

  • Pin Valley National Park
  • Ki Monastery
  • Chander Tal (Lake)
  • Kaza
  • Kunzum Pass (4590 meters above sea level)

5. Kinnaur: Previously hidden from the rest of the world, with entry restricted to only a few, Kinnaur valley can be accessed only through high Himalayan passes that remain closed for a major part of the year.

Things to see:

  • Sangla Valley
  • Kothi
  • Morang

6. Nahan: Lying on an isolated ridge on the Shivalik range, Nahan is a picturesque town whose origin is often associated with saints and princes.

Things to see:

  • Habban Valley
  • Rajgarh
  • Churdhar Peak
  • Suketi Fossil Park


Source by Mayank Kumar Saini