Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh in India

17 Things To Know Before Travelling to Himachal Pradesh, India

1. Destination Overview:

Himachal Pradesh is a northern Indian state in the Himalayas. It’s home to scenic mountain towns and resorts such as Dalhousie. Host to the Dalai Lama, Himachal Pradesh also has a strong Tibetan presence. This is reflected in its Buddhist temples and monasteries, as well as its vibrant Tibetan New Year celebrations. The region is also well known for its trekking, climbing and skiing areas.

2. Top Activities to do:

• Visit The Ridge: The Ridge is the main street in Shimla, the state capital. Here, you can find an array of shops, cafes and colonial-era buildings.
• Explore Manali: Manali is a bustling hill station and one of the most popular destinations in Himachal Pradesh. It’s known for its adventure sports, such as skiing, paragliding and trekking.
• Visit Dalhousie: Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Its attractions include colonial-era churches, a Tibetan monastery and panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains.
• Trekking in Kullu Valley: Kullu Valley is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Himachal Pradesh. The valley is home to spectacular mountain views, cascading waterfalls and lush green forests.
• Visit Rohtang Pass: Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass in the Pir Panjal Range. It’s a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding and sightseeing.
• Shopping in Dharamshala: Dharamshala is a bustling hill station and a popular destination for shopping. You can find everything from traditional handicrafts to modern fashion items.

3. Best Places To Stay:

Luxury Places:
• The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla
• Wildflower Hall, Shimla
• Shangri-La Village Resort, Manali

Mid Range:
• Hotel Hilltop, Shimla
• Hotel White, Shimla
• Hotel Silverine, Manali

Budget Friendly:
• Hotel Malabar Inn, Shimla
• Hotel Ashiana Regency, Manali
• Hotel Snow King Retreat, Dharamshala

4. How to Travel:

The nearest airport to Himachal Pradesh is the Chandigarh International Airport. From the airport, you can take a taxi to any part of the state. Alternatively, you can take a bus or train from Delhi or Chandigarh to reach Himachal Pradesh.

5. Must Try Local Food and Drink:

• Chana Madra: A traditional Himachali dish made with chickpeas, yogurt, and spices.
• Pahadi Kofta: A Himachali dish made with potatoes, paneer and spices.
• Sidu: A type of bread made with wheat flour, jaggery, and nuts.
• Patande: A fried snack made with potatoes and spices.
• Chha Gosht: A traditional Himachali dish made with mutton, yogurt and spices.
• Babru: A sweet dish made with dry fruits, nuts, and jaggery.
• Bhagjery: A traditional Himachali delicacy made with wheat flour and jaggery.
• Kafal: A sweet dish made with dried fruits and nuts.
• Chulli Ka Achaar: A traditional Himachali pickle made with green chillies and spices.
• Sunehri Lassi: A sweet lassi made with yogurt and sugar.
• Aam Panna: A refreshing drink made with raw mangoes.

6. Best Places to Eat:

• Four Seasons Restaurant, Shimla
• Café Sol, Manali
• Café 4800, Shimla
• The Hanu, Manali
• Café De India, Dharamshala

7. Weather and Climate:

The climate of Himachal Pradesh varies from region to region, but generally has warm summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is between April and June, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The monsoon season is from July to September. It’s best to avoid travelling during winter, as the roads can be blocked by snow.

8. Local Customs and Etiquette:

Himachal Pradesh is a conservative state, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and culture. It’s advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and religious sites. In some areas, it’s considered disrespectful for women to wear skirts or sleeveless tops.

9. Popular Scams:

• Overcharging for taxi rides: Some taxi drivers may overcharge visitors for rides, so be sure to agree on a price beforehand.
• Fake hotels: Be wary of booking a hotel from a website or third-party agent, as some may not be legitimate.
• Fake guides: Be sure to book a guide from a reputable agency. Some guides may not be qualified and may charge extra fees.
• Fake currency: Be sure to only accept Indian rupees from official banks and ATMs.

10. Suggested Trip Duration:

The suggested trip duration for a first time traveller to Himachal Pradesh is 5-7 days.

11. Total Estimated Budget Per Person:

The estimated budget per person for travelling to Himachal Pradesh is approximately Rs. 15,000-20,000. This includes the cost of accommodation, food, activities, tickets and other expenses.

12. NearBy Cities:

• Shimla: 78 km
• Manali: 200 km
• Dharamshala: 230 km
• Kasauli: 85 km
• Chail: 75 km
• Kufri: 19 km
• Narkanda: 65 km

13. Local Language and Communication:

The official language of Himachal Pradesh is Hindi. English is also widely spoken in cities and tourist areas. Common phrases include “namaste” (hello), “dhanyavaad” (thank you) and “shukriyaa” (thank you). In some areas, you can find English-speaking guides.

14. Accepted Currency and Money:

The local currency in Himachal Pradesh is the Indian rupee (INR). ATMs are widely available in cities and tourist areas. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants and shops. Tipping is not common in Himachal Pradesh, although you may choose to tip a guide or driver.

15. Health and Medical Information:

It’s recommended to have vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid before travelling to Himachal Pradesh. Be sure to bring enough medication, as some medications may not be available in the region. Medical facilities are available in major cities and towns, but may be limited in rural areas.

16. Packing Tips:

Be sure to pack warm clothing, as temperatures can be quite cold in winter. It’s also advisable to bring comfortable walking shoes, as there are many hiking and trekking opportunities in the region. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also essential, as the region can be quite sunny.

17. To Sum Up:

Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful state in the Himalayas, known for its stunning mountain views, Tibetan culture, and abundance of outdoor activities. It’s a great destination for trekking, skiing, and sightseeing, and is home to some of India’s most picturesque hill stations.

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