HIMACHAL PRADESH – THE ABODE OF THE SNOW
Himachal Pradesh is the northernmost state in the western region of the Indian peninsula. Bordering the Himalayan fringes of Kashmir in the north, it decreases in elevation as you travel further south. The climate & vegetation of the region change with the change in its elevation. Therefore, you can visit Himachal Pradesh any time of the year and find a location that sports a congenial climate to relax in. The state some of the most famous hill stations, and is wrapped around by scenic valleys
A COLONIAL TOUCH
Just like the town of Darjeeling, hill stations like Kasauli & Shimla were inhabited by the British, and their influence can still be seen in the local architecture and cuisine. Stations like Dalhousie and Mcleodganj have been named after the British officials who resided there for decades. With endless trekking routes, rafting expeditions, cable rides, temple hopping and visiting the monasteries seated beneath the mountains. Organized bike rides to the stark terrain of Lahul & Spiti amidst the fluttering prayer flags offers you a slice of Tibet within India. And when everything else fails to interest, the snow falls and you fall in love with Himachal all over again.
THE TIBETAN INFLUENCE
The cuisine of Himachal Pradesh has witnessed the amalgamation of Tibetan & Indian cooking styles. You will always run into steaming hot dumplings being served to you with a spicy helping of chili paste. The steamed buns, filled with fat are a breakfast favorite. They marinate the lotus stems in gram flour and deep fry the delicacy. Watch out for lamb dishes that are consumed heartily to warm up the body during the cold weather. And a helping of a hot bowl of soupy noodles is always within reach.
YOUR HIMACHAL BUCKET LIST
- Kalka – Buy tickets to the Toy Train in Kalka & take the ride to Shimla. The scenic ride crosses more than 800 bridges and tunnels, twisting and turning through the scenic slopes.
- Kasauli – Apart from the natural beauty, the highlight is Asia’s oldest brewery, that prepares quality liquor using 18th Century distillery pots. Its most famous product is the Old Monk.
- Great Himalayan National Park – You can trek through its scenic location that is spread across an area of roughly 700 sq. kilometers and spot exotic wildlife like the Black Bear, Musk Deer, and even Snow Leopard.
- Solang Valley – Ideal for adventure enthusiasts, you can paraglide and ski through its snow cushioned valleys. Zorbing is an option too.
- Shimla – This hill station is an ideal honeymoon destination and a brilliant shopping center. Shop for high quality ethnic woolen garments and souvenir at the Ridge when you're here.
- Manali – The playful waters of the Beas is ideal for rafting. The waters are friendly during the months of April to June and should definitely be visited with a and friends.
DO YOU KNOW?
Himachal Pradesh is home to a village called Malana, which is essentially known to be the "Village of Taboos". The village does not adhere to the democratic set-up of India. The residents of the village believe they are the pure descendants of Alexander the Great, and worship the village deity Jamblu Devta. To resolve any fight, they follow a peculiar norm to deliver justice. Two opponents are told to bring lambs. Then a leg of each lamb is cut a half inch deep and stuffed with a pouch of poison and sewed shut. The village waits to see whose lamb dies first, and he is claimed to be the culprit. They believe it is their deity's way of delivering justice to the innocent one.
NEAREST CHECK-IN POINTS
- Nearest Railway Station – The Kalka-Shimla Railway.
- Nearest Airport – Himachal Pradesh has three domestic airports in Shimla, Kangra & Pathankot.
- Nearest Vehicle Stand – Himachal is accessible by the Delhi-Shimla-Kaza route & the Delhi-Dharmasala route.