| High mountains, snow - covered peaks, beautiful
green hills and slopes, and quiet little resorts and hamlets
make up this beautiful state. In summer, Himachal Pradesh has
always been a refreshing change form the heat and oppression
of the plains of north India. Travellers, tourists and even
governments have resorted to its cooling effects and found relief
in escaping to its hills.
Shimla, its capital, had for years been the British Government's
seat during the hot summer months of Delhi. Bag, baggage, files
and households moved every year to its hills. To this day, Shimla
holds a special place among the hill resorts of India. Himachal's
other destinations include the Kulu Valley, Manali, Chail, Chamba,
Kangra, Dharamshala and Dalhousie - all of which have proved
wonderful holiday resorts. Excellent trekking, hiking and skiing
facilities are available at different places in the state.
The Buddhist Lagacy <
Himachal is not only rich in natural beauty and Hindu art,
culture and temples, but abounds in Buddhist monasteries.
In fact, a visitor to the state can make a complete itinerary
covering only the monasteries. There are those monasteries
which are barely a few decades old, of around the time when
the Dalai Lama left Tibet and came to India with his followers.
Kinnaur has about 32 Buddhist monasteries and temples,
while the Spiti region has 30 of them spread over its rugged
terrain. Lahaul too has a good number of them, about twenty
nine, almost all affiliated to the Drug-pa sect.
Manali is an important tourist centre and has four
recently-built monasteries in and around it. The main one
is located close to the bazaar.
Rewalsar is the place from where Padmasmbhava left
for Tibet to spread Buddhism in the 8th century AD. The
lake here has three monasteries around it.
Mcleodganj in the Kangra region is now known for the residence
of the Dalai Lama. The impressive Namgyal monastery here
is surrounded by a row of prayer wheels and houses huge
images of the Buddha, Padmasamshava and Avlokteshwara.
Area: 55,673 sq. km
Population: 6.13 million
Capital: Shimla Main
Languages: Hindi and Pahari
Best time to visit: Mid May to Mid October (if trekking)
and Late December to March
(for winter sports)
Himachal Pradesh Travel Reservation Form
Important tourist places in Himachal