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Himachal Pradesh - Located in the northern part of India, Himachal Pradesh is known for its natural landscapes. The state shares its boundary with Jammu & Kashmir in the north Punjab in the west, Haryana in the south and Uttarakhand in the south-east. In addition, it also shares its international boundary with Tibet Autonomous Region (China).
It is pretty interesting to share that the literal meaning of name ‘Himachal Pradesh’ is – ‘the region in the lap of Himalayas’. The name has been given by the great Sanskrit Scholar Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma. Because of its geographical location, the state is a leading producer of Hydroelectricity; it also supplies electricity to its neighbouring states. So, the economy of the state is based upon hydroelectricity, agriculture and of course tourism. Above all, as per the survey report of 2005 conducted by Transparency International Survey, Himachal Pradesh is the second least corrupt state of India after Kerala.
Located at the altitude of about 350 metres in western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous state. The antecedent rivers those have been flowing much before the origin of Himalayas shaped the landscapes in such a way that tourists from all over the world love to visit this place. All the rivers flowing in the state are perennial (snow fed rivers). Since, various regions of the state is located at different levels of altitude hence the climate of the state also varies from warm humid to cold, alpine and glacial; depending upon the altitudes.
Since, the state is located in mountainous region hence the transport system is largely depends upon roadways. However, there are also rail routes but it is very much limited. In addition, there are also domestic airports at Shimla and at some other places as well.
Himachal Pradesh Tourism
Himachal Pradesh is blessed with the splendid landscapes; lofty Himalayas wrap with snow, deep valleys, chilled river waters, scenic lakes, extensive woodlands and green surroundings, are the major attractions for the tourists. In addition, there are a plenty of tourist places and hill stations in the state that add additional beauty. However, if you come to explore and enjoy the attractions of tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh do not miss to indulge yourself into various adventure sports including skiing, ice skating, trekking, river rafting, paragliding etc.
The most important Tourist Places of Himachal Pradesh are:
Shimla: The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is one of the most favoured destinations for the honeymoon in India. However, since British period, the place is used as the summer capital. Major tourists’ attractions of this place are Kali Bari Temple, Christ Church, Summer Hill, Shimla Ridge, Mall Road, scenic beauty and of course wildlife sanctuary.
Kullu: Together with Manali, Kullu is one of the most favourite destinations for the tourists coming from all over the world. Along with scenic landscapes, the other major tourists’ attractions are Jagannathi Devi Temple, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Raghunath Temple and the wildlife sanctuaries. The hill station Kullu is also offers various adventurous activities including trekking and rock climbing.
Manali: Hill station Manali is largely known for its snow clad mountains; tourists specially visit this place to see the view of snow clad mountains and peaks along with other landscapes. Other attractions of this place are Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass along with Vashisht Temple (Hadimba Temple).
Kufri: More popular for its snow clad mountain peaks including Mahasu Peak and Mahasu Ridge, Kufri is important hill station of the state. Interestingly, you can also enjoy here the adventurous tourism such as skiing, trekking and of course site seeing.
Chail: A wonderful hill station of the state, Chail has many reasons to fascinate tourists including the world’s highest altitude cricket play ground, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir, Maharaja’s Palace, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, etc.
Chamba: Major attractions of Chamba are traditional arts, culture, temples, museums, Ravi River valley and the beautiful landscapes. Furthermore, the Dhgauladhar Ranges, the Chaurasi Temple Complex and the famous Champavati Temple are the must visit places in Chamba.
Dalhousie: Famous as the honeymoon spots, Dalhousie is pretty popular hill station. The major attractions of this place are Laxmi Narayan Temple, Satdhara Springs, Dalhousie Panchpula, Kalatop, Churches etc. In addition, the Balun, Kathlog, Moti Tibba and Bakrota Hills are also popular for the tourists.
Dharamshala: One of the most popular hill stations of the state, Dharamshala has various popular attractions including Lakes, Kangra Art Museum, St. John’s Church, Namgyal Monestery, Maharana Pratap wildlife sanctuary, Nurpur Fort, Chamund Devi Temple and many more.
Kangra: The place is famous for its picturesque landscapes and scenic view of Dhauladhar Range. However, the major tourists’ attractions are Jwalaji Temple – it is really surprising for you that you can see here the natural flames emerging from the rocks; Brajesshwari devi Temple and many more. However, other interesting part of Kangra is adventurous activities such as trekking, rock climbing, mountaineering, fishing etc.
Lahaul & Spiti: Located in the Himalayan region, Lahaul & Spiti is popular for its various heritage spots (for example Gondla Heritage) and primitive places. The major tourists’ attractions are temples, monastery, mountains, lakes, river valleys and many more.
Palampur: Located in the premises of Dhauladhar Range, you can enjoy here the beauties of local landscapes such as mountains, valleys, greenery etc. Besides, you can also visit Mata Bundla Temple, St. John’s Church, Neugal Khad, Saurab Kaliya Ban Vihar etc.
Kasauli: Known for its natural serenity and bunches of flowers, kasauli is one of the most visited places of the sate Himachal Pradesh. The major attractions of the place are Dharampur, Dagshai, Monkey Point, Sabathu and many more.
Khajjiar: Popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’, Khajjiar is known for its scenic landscapes. The Pine and Deodar trees are naturally arranged in such a way that gives the memorable experience. Besides, you can also visit the Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary and Khajjiar Temple.
Kinnaur: This place is more popular for its vineyards, orchards, valleys, snow clad mountains and various other scenic landscapes. However, additionally, you can also enjoy here fresh apples, apricots, pine nuts, almonds and other in orchards.
National Park & Wildlife Sanctuaries of Himachal Pradesh
• Himalayan National Park
• Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
• Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
• Simbalbara Wildlife Sanctuary
• Pong Lake Sanctuary
Moreover, the state known with various popular names such as ‘state of the hill stations’ adobe of the snow etc, Himachal Pradesh is true symbolization of heaven on the earth. The state is not only a popular tourists’ spot but is also one of the most favoured places for the newlywed couples. In addition, the National Parks Wildlife Sanctuaries and various adventurous activities fascinate tourists from not only the various parts of India but from all over the world.
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