Popularly known as the ‘Land of Gods’, Himachal Pradesh is blessed with surreal beauty and breathtaking charm. Picturesque landscape, rough-edged hills, meadows, and valleys make Himachal Pradesh an unrivaled tourist destination in North India. The stunning beauty of this state attracts a large number of both domestic and global vacationers every year. The hill stations of Himachal Pradesh are also the most sought-after destinations for honeymooners and families. Himachal Pradesh travel guide will provide you with information about the best hill stations, things to do, how to reach, and the best time to visit as well as holiday packages to visit Himachal Pradesh.
Tucked in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is home to magnificent hill towns and captivating villages. There is no dearth of things to do in Himachal Pradesh and have a plethora of places to visit with families and friends. This state has something for different kinds of travelers including nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, solo travelers, and shutterbugs. Treat your eyes to the jaw-dropping locales, relish the charm of picturesque vistas, satiate your wanderlust soul, and enjoy endless opportunities of partaking in adventure activities. The salubrious weather makes it a popular tourist destination and travelers thrives on this amazing North Indian throughout the year.
This mystical state is fondly referred to as Dev Bhoomi or the Abode of the Gods, Himachal Pradesh is dotted with ancient temples and monasteries that greet you as you walk past. This north Indian state is bordered by several states including Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the southwest, Haryana on the south, Uttarakhand on the southeast, and Tibet on the east, making it easily accessible. Take a look at our Himachal Pradesh tourist guide and gather detailed information about this beautiful state. The travel guide of Himachal Pradesh offers insight into cuisine, traditions, culture, the people, and more. Choose your desired gateway to Himachal Pradesh with travel information from Indian Holiday.
Himachal Pradesh Travel
Himachal Pradesh tourism offers memories of a lifetime. This Himachal Pradesh travel guide provides detailed information about how to reach, the best time to visit, places to visit, things to do, and useful tips for a Himachal tour. We offer a wide range of tastefully curated Himachal Pradesh tour packages with which tourists can explore the popular tourist destinations of Himachal. The itinerary of Himachal includes numerous outdoor and adventure activities including trekking, camping, paragliding, and hiking. The famous hill station of the state is the main attractions of Himachal Pradesh tourism, which are among the top tourist attractions of North India.
Language Spoken in Himachal Pradesh
Hindi, Pahari, Punjabi, and Bhoti
Where is Himachal Pradesh Located?
Himachal Pradesh is a northern state of India and borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the east, Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the southwest, Haryana on the south, Uttarakhand on the southeast.
Why should you visit Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh is an amazing state and is blessed with natural bounties. Encompassed by the mighty Himalayas and most of the state nestled in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges. Boasts of splendid monasteries, ancient temples, glacier lakes, high-altitude mountain passes, gurgling waterfalls, and glistening rivers, Himachal Pradesh is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. There are a plethora of pilgrimage sites that attract millions of devotees every year. From wildlife sanctuaries and trekking trails to architectural marvels and natural bounties, Himachal Pradesh offers endless opportunities to indulge in exploration tours of the state.
Blessed with soothing and calm weather, Himachal Pradesh is a perfect getaway destination in North India from the scorching heat and blistering climatic conditions. This state is flocked by tourists throughout the year from all over the country to spend some rejuvenating time amidst the serene environs. This vibrant yet tranquil place is a haven for peace seekers.
Some of the most revered temples of Himachal Pradesh are Naina Devi Temple, Jwala Ji Temple, Baijnath Temple, Mansa Devi Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, Chintpurni Devi Temple, Brajeshwari Devi Temple, Masroor Rock-cut Temple, Baglamukhi Temple, Bhimakali Temple, Baba Balak Nath Temple, Hatkoti Temple, Jakhoo Temple, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Renuka Ji Temple, Prashar Rishi Temple, and Laxmi Narayan Temple.
The finest monasteries of Himachal Pradesh are Key Monastery, Dhankar Monastery, Tabo Monastery, Namgyal Monastery, Sherbaling Monastery, Shashur Monastery, Tangyud Monastery, Kungri Monastery, and Bon Monastery.
Great Himalayan National Park, Pin Valley National Park, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Inderkilla National Park, Kheerganga National Park, and Simbalbara National Park
Shimla, Manali, Kasauli, Kasol, Kalpa, Chitkul, Spiti Valley, Kinnaur Valley, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, Palampur, Barot Valley, Sainj Valley, Chail, Mashobra, Shoghi, Bir, Kufri, Parwanoo, Kullu, Narkanda, Nahan, Chamba, Sangla, Shoja, and Hamirpur
Trekking, Hiking, Paragliding, River Rafting, Skiing, Ice Skating, Camping, Mountain Biking, Fishing and Angling, Jeep Safari, Boating, Rock Climbing, Zorbing, Zip lining, Yak Ride, Cable Car Ride, Hand Gliding, ATV Ride, cycling, and Mountaineering.
Jogini Falls, Bhagsu Nag Waterfall, Rahala Waterfall, Chadwick Waterfall, Dharamkot Waterfall, Rozy Waterfall, Thala Waterfall, Sissu Falls, Satdhara Falls, Jana Waterfall, and Hadsar Falls.
Chandratal, Prashar Lake, Suraj Tal, Rewalsar Lake, Serolsar Lake, Bhrigu Lake, Nako Lake, Tabo Lake, Kareri Lake, Renuka Lake, Manimahesh Lake, Dhankar Lake, Khajjiar Lake, Gobind Sagar Lake, Chamera Lake, Beas Kund, and Deepak Tal.
Beas River, Ravi River, Chandra River, Bhaga River, Chenab River, Satluj River, Baspa River, Pabbar River, Parvati River, Uhl River, Spiti River, Yamuna River, and Tons River.
Mall Road (Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, and Dalhousie), Lakkar Bazaar (Shimla), Old Manali, Kotwali Bazaar (Dharamshala), Himachal Emporium (Shimla), Neugal Shopping Complex (Palampur), Bhuttico Showroom (Manali), Lamba Market (Kangra)
Popular Local Food
Dumplings (momos), Thukpa, Chana Madra, Dham, Tudkiya Bhat, Bhey, Chha Gosht, Babru, Aktori, Kullu Trout Fish, and Dhaam.
How to Reach Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh is well-connected from the major cities of the country by air, road, and rail. Most of the towns and cities of the state are situated in the proximity of the other states owing to which they are easily accessible from the nearby states by road and rail. Here is detailed information about how to reach Sikkim by different modes of transport.
There are three airports in the state including Gaggal Airport, Jubbarhatti Airport, and Bhuntar Airport, which are the primary airports of Himachal Pradesh. Jubbarhatti Airport serves the Shimla, Solan, Bilaspur, Mandi, and Kinnaur region. Gaggal Airport is the primary airport of the Kangra, Chamba, Dharamshala, Hamirpur, and Una regions, and Bhuntar Airport serves Kullu, Manali, Lahaul, and Spiti regions. There are direct flights from Delhi and Chandigarh to these airports. The other nearest airports from Himachal Pradesh are Chandigarh Airport and Pathankot Airport, which have several flights from the Indian cities on a daily basis. Tourists can board private and government buses from the airports or hire private taxis to reach their desired destinations.
The state is bordered by Punjab and Haryana. Pathankot railway station and Chandigarh railway station serve as the major section of the state. Numerous trains are connecting to these railway stations from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jammu, Gwalior, Chennai, Puri, and Pune. From these railway stations, you can easily get a shared taxi or private cab to reach the hill towns of Himachal Pradesh.
The state has three narrow-gauge railway stations, which connect the rail lines of Kalka-Shimla, Pathankot Joginder Nagar, and Una railway line. Among them, Kalka Shimla is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These railway lines are engineering masterpieces and offer panoramic views of the surroundings. However, the connectivity of trains is limited and one requires to book the tickets in well-advance.
Himachal Pradesh is easily accessible by road from the nearest major cities and towns. Traveling by road is one of the most convenient and scenic ways to travel to Himachal Pradesh. There are numerous public as well as private buses run from the nearby states including Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot, Amritsar, Jammu, and Dehradun ply for the famous places of Himachal Pradesh on the daily basis. Tourists can also choose the option of taxis and jeeps for inter and intrastate travel. The National Highway 44 connects Pathankot from the various cities and towns, which takes tourists to Himachal Pradesh from the Kangra side. Also, NH 205, NH 105, and NH 5 connect Himachal Pradesh with the bordering states.
How to get around in Himachal Pradesh?
There is a huge network of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), which connects Shimla, Manali, Kullu, Solan, Mandi, Spiti, Kinnaur, Tirthan, and other places of Himachal Pradesh with each other. Tourists can travel interstate and intrastate by public and private buses that ply on a daily basis. Also, private and public taxis are easily available at the tourist places of the state.
Best time to visit Himachal Pradesh
The state experiences soothing and calming weather throughout the year, owing to which a large number of tourists flock to the state all year-round. It is the best getaway from the scorching heat in the summer season. From February to June and October to February is the best time to visit Himachal Pradesh due to the pleasant climatic conditions and crystal-clear views of the surroundings. In these months, the weather remains favorable and allows you to enjoy the vacations at their best. Those who wish to enjoy the snowfall can visit Himachal Pradesh in January and February. Here is the detailed information on season-wise climatic conditions in Himachal Pradesh.
Summer (April to June)
In Himachal Pradesh, the summer season starts in April and lasts till June. Unlike, most of the states in India the weather remains extremely pleasant and soothing in Himachal Pradesh in this season. The temperature hovers around 5⁰ C to 24⁰ C. During the daytime, the weather remains comfortable for the sightseeing tour. This is an ideal time to visit Himachal Pradesh and to explore the mesmerizing beauty of the state. The high altitude passes open in this season and tourists can visit Spiti Valley and Lahaul Valley during this time of the year.
Monsoon (July to September)
The monsoon season marks its beginning in the state from July till September in Himachal Pradesh. The temperature dips during this season and most of the region receives heavy downpour rainfall. Spiti region is known as a dry desert due to which it does not receive downpour and the rest of the state experiences substantial monsoon. However, the rain also adds beauty to the region, and the temperature ranges from 14⁰ C to 21⁰ C. However, the increases in rainfall also intensify the chances of landslides in the state.
Winters (October to March)
This is the perfect time to visit Himachal Pradesh for snow lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The winter season starts in October and lasts till March. Most of the towns in Himachal Pradesh receive snowfall in January and February when the temperature dips as low as -5⁰ C. Himachal Pradesh transforms into a wonderland in this season. The higher altitude regions of the state receive heavy snowfall and owing to this, the mountain passes remain blocked during the winter season. Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass remain closed during this time and tourists cannot visit Lahaul and Spiti Valley via Rohtang Pass. This is an ideal time to indulge in skiing and ice skating in Shimla, Manali, Sethan, Kinnaur, and Sainj Valley.
Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal is known all around the world for its natural beauty and adventure spot. These are the main reasons that people from across the world come to visit the beautiful destinations of this state to enjoy a honeymoon or vacation with their loved one. Some of the most popular places in Himachal Pradesh are Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Kinnaur, Manali, Rohtang Pass, and Lahaul Spiti Valley.
Nestled in the lap of the Dhauladhar range, most of the hill towns and cities of Himachal Pradesh are encompassed by snow-capped mountains. Himachal Pradesh is a treat for the eyes. This vibrant state offers entertainment activities, ranging from yak rides, paragliding, camping, hiking, to trekking.
Things to do in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a paradise for nature lovers, peace seekers, wildlife fanatics, and adventure enthusiasts. It has something for every kind of traveler from families, couples, friends, solo travelers, kids, wildlife lovers, and honeymooners. There are a plethora of activities in which you can indulge such as trekking, river rafting, paragliding, cycling, camping, hiking, rock climbing, and ropeway ride. Yak Safari ride, hand gliding, skiing, ice skating, and wildlife safari are among the best activities to do in Himachal Pradesh.
Where to stay in Himachal Pradesh?
There is a wide range of accommodation options available in Himachal Pradesh including hotels, resorts, hostels, rented apartments, lodges, guesthouses, and homestays. Some of the best places to stay in Himachal Pradesh are:
- Aaroham Resort by Aamod, Dharamshala
- Radisson Blu, Dharamshala
- Buddha House Himalayan Brothers, Dharamshala
- Zostel, Mcleodganj
- Fortune Park Moksha, Mcleodganj
- RS Sarovar Portico, Palampur
- Seclude, Palampur
- Wood Vista Cottages, Shimla
- Snow Valley Resort, Shimla
- Marigold Sarovar Portico, Shimla
- Orchards House – The Hidden Tribe, Manali
- Honeymoon Inn, Manali
- Renest River Country Resort, Manali
- Anantson Resort, Chamba
- Grand View Hotel, Dalhousie
Where to eat in Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh is an amalgamation of different ethnic groups and the food of the state has a strong influence on this cultural diversity. It is a haven for food lovers and gastronomes can satiate their cravings at some of the best places from where they can relish the breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. Here are some of the best places where you can try these cuisines in Himachal Pradesh are:
- Renaissance, Manali
- Basil Leaf Restaurant, Manali
- Joy Restaurant, Palampur
- Skyroom Bar and Restro, Palampur
- Honey Hut, Shimla
- Dylan’s Toasted And Roasted Coffee House, Manali
- La Plage, Kullu
- Evergreen Cafe, Kasol
- Jim Morrison Cafe, Kasol
- Qilaa, Shimla
- Wake & Bake Cafe, Shimla
- Casa Bella Vista, Manali
- Johnson’s Bar & Restaurant, Manali
- Lung-Ta, Mcleodganj
- Tibet Kitchen, Dharamshala
Festivals and Fairs in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is renowned for its cultural diversity and the people of the state celebrate the festivals with great pomp. There are a number of fairs and festivals in the state that have been organized by the locals and attended by tourists from all over the country. The lower and upper region of the state has different festivals that depict their traditions and cultures. Some of the popular religious festivals and fairs in Himachal Pradesh that are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm are:
- Halda Festival
- Shashikar Apa
- Kullu Dussehra, Kullu
- Doongri Fair, Manali
- Phulaich Festival, Kinnaur
- Himachal Winter Carnival, Manali
- Ice Skating Festival, Shimla
- Shivratri Fair, Mandi
- Minjar Fair and Mani Mahesh Chhari Yatra, Chamba
- Renuka Fair, Sirmaur
- Vajreshwari Fair, Kangra
- Jwalamukhi Fair, Jwalamukhi
- Holi Fair, Sujanpur Tira
- Naina Devi Fair, Bilaspur
Nightlife in Himachal Pradesh
The summer capital of Himachal Pradesh is Shimla and the winter capital is Dharamshala. Both these locations are renowned for their nightlife. Travelers can enjoy some thrilling nights in Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, Kasol, and Kasauli. Visit the nightclubs and bars where partyholics can enjoy their time. Tourists can also take a stroll on the vibrant streets of these tourist destinations and have delicious cuisines at the local eateries. Himachal Pradesh is home to some fancy cafes and bars where travelers can visit to enjoy the nightlife.
Is it safe to visit Himachal Pradesh?
Yes, Himachal Pradesh is one of the safest places to visit in India for women and every kind of traveler. You need not worry about the safety and security of yourself and your loved ones. Make sure that you will read reviews about that particular hotel while booking the accommodation or about the tour operator for a better holiday experience.
How to save money on a Himachal Pradesh trip?
For budget travelers, here are some tips that can help tourists to save money and explore the state at its best.
- Travel through local buses and shared jeeps rather than private taxis.
- Book the accommodations in advance and stay at budget places like homestays, guest houses, and hostels.
- Eat in small restaurants and try local dishes.
- Avoid unnecessary shopping.
Himachal Pradesh travel tips
- There are few places in Himachal Pradesh that lie in the restricted zones and near the border of Tibet such as Spiti Valley and Chitkul. For these places, foreigners are required to issue a permit. However, Indians are required to show their identity proof at the checkpoints.
- Respect cultural traditions and customs while visiting monasteries, temples, and other shrines of the state. Wear decent clothes while visiting religious places. Cover the head while visiting the temple and Gurudwara.
- Check the weather conditions in advance and pack the clothes accordingly as some places of Himachal Pradesh experience cool climatic conditions throughout the year.
- Always consider a licensed tour operator for adventure activities. Make sure they will provide you with all the necessary safety gear and equipment.
- Do not litter and respect cleanliness while visiting parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and national parks.
- For activities like trekking and mountain biking, it is always advisable to do it as part of groups rather than individually.
- In case of partaking in adventure activities like paragliding, river rafting, and skiing, check the best time to visit for adventure activities in Himachal Pradesh as they are not open throughout the year.