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Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over 21,495 sq mi (55,670 km2),[4] and is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east.

Himachal Pradesh is known to be abundant in natural beauty. After the Anglo Gorkha War, the British colonial government came into power. In 1950 Himachal was declared as a union territory but after the State of Himachal Pradesh Act 1971, Himachal emerged as the 18th state of the Republic of India. Himachal has many prestigious boarding schools. Hima means snow in Sanskrit, and the literal meaning of the state's name is In the lap of Himalayas.It was named by one of the great Sanskrit scholars of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma. Its name means "Abode of Snow".

Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh

The Bhakra Nangal Dam is the largest dam in the continent of Asia and it is located across Sutlej River at the foot of the Sihvalik Hills in the border of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The dam measures 518.25 meters in length and 304.84 meters in breadth. It is also the biggest multi-purpose project in India the construction of which started in 1948 and was completed by 1968. Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan had jointly launched this project. The Bhakra Nangal Dam is also known as the highest gravity dam in the world.

The main purpose behind the construction of the dam was to provide irrigation to the states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Another major reason behind the construction of the dam was to prevent damages which were caused due to the monsoon floods. Presently, the dam provides irrigation water to an area of around 10 million acres. The irrigated areas by the dam comprise fields of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. Another important use of the dam is to provide hydro electricity to the states of Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.

As far as tourist attraction is concerned, the Bhakra Nangal Dam serves as an important tourist destination. Being located amidst the lush greenery of Himachal Pradesh a large number of tourists flock the dam area throughout the year. In order to promote tourism in the dam area the government of Himachal Pradesh has arranged for a number of rest houses which accommodates many of the tourists who visit the place. The natural water fall near the dam is an added attraction. The natural water fall generates hydro electric power through the power stations of Ganguwal and Kotla.

The Gobind Sagar reservoir lies in between the Bilaspur District and Una. Bilaspur lies about 83 kilometers away from the railway station at Anandpur Sahib, which is very close to the Bhakra Nangal Dam. When the water level of the reservoir is high in the months of October and November, the Tourism and Civil Aviation department organises a series of regattas. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water scooter racing are popular water sports activities enjoyed by the tourists visiting Gobind Sagar.

The little 'Hill Station' of Chail came into being when Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala was banished from Shimla, the 'summer capital' of British India, after a dalliance with the Commander-in-Chief's daughter in the late 19th century. Facing Shimla at Chail the smarting Maharaja decided to build his own 'summer capital'. Today, everyone can experience the Maharaja's Creation. And for Himachal Tourism, who now owns the gracious mansion, every visitor is royalty.Here is a resort in the true sense of the word: "A beautiful palace with ornate furniture, charming cottages, delightful log huts, thick forests and quiet walks, a 'lovers hill', an orchard of its own, elegant lawns, badminton and lawn tennis, billiards and even a children's park".

Each regally appointed room, each quaint cottage and every warm log Hut offers a memorable holiday. Whether you are on a honeymoon and in search of seclusion or wish to organise a conference and demand all facilities, Chail has it all.Then, there is good sight seeing and the possibility of some fishing and trekking. Chail also has the world's highest cricket pitch and polo ground.Chail is about 46 km from Simla and around 86 km from Kalka. It is roughly 382 km from the Indian capital (Delhi). From Kandaghat, it is an about 90 minutes journey by road to Chail. To reach Kandaghat one has to take Kalka Simla rail route. Due to the gorgeous valley forest beauty the best enjoyable travel should be in a toy train. It takes five hours from Kalka to get to Kandaghat. Thickly forested tracks, hairpin bends and long tunnels add to the unforgettable memories of the tourists.

Chamba the land of lord Shiva is famous for its untouched natural beauty. The district has Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Chamba Town, Pangi and Bharamour as main tourist destinations. There are five lakes, five wild life sanctuaries and countless number of temples.

Chamba, is a small but attractive tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh, is known for its exquisite natural beauty. The place, located amidst picturesque and verdant valleys, is visited by tourist round the year. Sub-Himalayan range of mountains, full of diverse flora and fauna, make Chamba an exhilarating experience. Pleasing climate of the place is another factor why Chamba is one among the popular tourist destinations in the whole of India. In the following lines, we will provide you more information on the weather and climate of Chamba.

Summer

The summer season in Chamba starts from the middle of April and lasts till the last week of June. Even in summers, when the plains are boiling with high temperatures, the weather here remains quite pleasing.

Monsoon

Rains in Chamba start in the month of July, when the monsoon breaks-in, and continue till late August or mid September. This is the time when the weather is misty and cloudy. During this time, the entire valley is covered in a hue of light green, with newly washed leaves shining in the glory of after-rain sunshine.

Winter

The winter season in Chamba starts in the month of December and lasts till the month of February. During this season, Chamba generally remains cool and dry, but snowfall does occur at higher elevations, during these months.

One among the most demanded hill stations in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie is very popular for its scenic beauty and pleasant climate. This fast emerging hilly destination offers a pleasant holiday amidst calm and serene surroundings. A popular sanatorium during the time of British rule, this hill station owes much to its founder Lord Dalhousie for its fame and glory. Nestled in the lap of the Himalayan mountain range, this hill station is placed at an average height of 8000 feet.

An astounding hill station, Dalhousie is abuzz with its old charm and embraces enduring ricochets of the 'British Raj'. One among the favourite places of the British, this hilly terrain houses a large number of Victorian style mansions, which proudly testifies its former grandeur.

Spread over an area of 14 sq km, Dalhousie is built on five hills, which offers a pleasant trekking experience to toddlers as well as serious trekkers. This picturesque spot is a tiny hospice, which lies at the base of the Dhauladhar mountain range. This scenic valley offers impressive views of hills concluding in the flurry of mountains and verdant valleys . Its majestic rivers that twirls and spins amidst the lush dense woods of the planes makes for picturesque views.

Besides an alluring picnic spot, Dalhousie provides excellent shopping delights at the mall road where all the activities of the town are centered. A shoppers delight the shops offer a great time for the shopping buffs. Apart from these, the interlacing lanes of this magnificient hill resort are a perfect location for promenades and sight seeing. A charming location at a height of 9000 feet, Dalhousie is blessed with outstanding attractions and its salubrious weather with moderate accommodation facilities make it a thriving tourist center of modern times.

Today, Dharamsala has become the synonymous to the Tibetan government in exile and the home of Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. Even if the Tibetan community dominates the town, still it has retained the colonial lifestyle and British fervour.

Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive.

Dharamsala is a busy bazaar town and has established itself as the travellers base camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar provides the entire colour and characteristic of a small town, which is mixed with the simple life style.

The colourful temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet, adds attraction for the visitor. The Kangra museum gives an overview of the rich past of the region and on the other hand there are institutes that have been established to preserve the Tibetan art, cultures and traditions.

under the Great Moghuls Some 500 feet from the outer gate the passage turns round at a very sharp angle and passes through the Jahangiri Darwaza.Cunningham notes that this is said to have been the outer gate of the Fortress in Hindu times and that its original name is known. The Jahangiri Darwaza, however, has entirely the appearance of a Muhammadan building and, judging from its name, would seem to have been raised by Jahangir after his conquest of the Fort in A.D. 1620.There is some reason to assume that a white marble slab bearing a Persian inscription, of which two fragments were recovered in 1905, originally occupied a sunken panel over the gate in question. It in all probability was a record of Jahangir 's conquest of the Fort, an exploit on which he prides himself so much in his Memoris.

The Amiri and Jahangiri Darwaza received serious injury in the great earthquake, but could be repaired. Not so the next two gates, called the Andheri (or Handeli) and the Darsani Darwaza which were completely ruined. The Darsani Darwaza, when extant, was flanked by defaced statues of he river-goddess, Ganga and Yamuna, and must date back to a time previous to the Muslim occupation of the Fort. It gave access to a courtyard, along the south side of which stood the shrines of Lakshmi Narayana, Sitala, and Ambika Devi. Between the two last mentioned buildings a staricase led up to the palace, a structure of no architectural interest. The so-called temples of Lakshmi Narayana and Sitala, by far the most valuable edifices in the Kangra Fort, were turned into a mass of ruins by the earthquake of April 1905 .They were square chambers profusely decorated with carvings. It is questionable whether they have been rightly designated as temples, as there was no indication that they ever contained any object of worship. Their ornamentation, however, left no doubt that they were originally intended for religious purpose. Next to the Kangra fort in the old town of Kangra there is situated a beautiful Jain temple which was built thirty years ago. Build in traditional jain architecture it incorporates skillful stone carving of which the exquisite rosette at the centre of the ceiling is especially worth mentioning.

Kangra is a beautiful district of the Himalayan state of the Himachal Pradesh of India. In the ancient times Kangra was called as Nagrkot. It is situated between the two rivers, Sutlej and Ravi. Kangra district has a very special significance in the history of India for witnessing many battles. Kangra was very prosperous in the ancient times during the rule of Katoch Rajas.

The famous Kangra fort which is a fort cum place was built by Raja Susharma Chand Katoch. Raja Susharma Chand Katoch’s reference is also found in the great epic Mahabharata. It has been found that he was in the close ally of Kauravas in the Mahabharata war. The famous Kangra fort has faced many wars.

Like Mohammed Ghazni, who came to India in the 11th century and looted Kangra, amazed by the prosperity of the fort, Kangra was also captured by Mohammed Bin Tuglaq in 1337, while Raja Priti Chand was in the reign. However In 1351, Raja Purab Chand recovered the fort from the Muslims.

The district of Kangra is also called Dev Bhoomi as it has numerous temples dedicated to different Gods of Sanatan Dharma. There is a temple of Kangra Devi also known as the Vajreshwari Devi temple, where thousands of devotees come every year on different Hindu festivals. The original temple no longer exists, as it was destroyed by the earthquake. Now, at the same place a new temple is constructed.

The Jwala Ji temple is the holiest amongst these temples. The word ‘Jwala’ means flame in Hindi. Jwala Ji is a major source of the attraction for the pilgrims as well as the visitors because of its unique and inexplicable property. The temple exhibits natural jets of flame. Many researches have been conducted to find the source of the flares of flame, but reason still to be discovered.

The most charming and beautiful Kulu valley spreads out its charm on either side of river Beas. The valley runs north to south of this river and is 80kms. long and about 2kms. at its broadest. Yet with awe inspiring glens and mossy meadows encircled by the rushing streams and meandering brooks, flung east & west, a fairly wide area is open to the tourists, the trekkers, the mountaineers, the artists and to anyone who wishes to escape the heat & dust of the plains to breathe the exhilarating air of the Himalaya and enjoy the spectacle of the variegated mountain scenery. The valley is also famous for its exquisitely woven colourful hand made shawls and kullu caps.

Located in Himachal Pradesh, the Himalayan Jewel. Kullu was once known as Kulanthpitha-'the end of the habitatable world'. Beyond rise the forbidding heights of the Greater Himalaya, and by the banks of the shining river Beas, lies the fabled 'Silver Valley'. The town of Kullu is famous for its colourful Dussehra festival. Decorated palanquins and processions convey gods and goddesses from temples all over the valley to Kullu, to pay homage to the reigning deity, Raghunathji. A mela springs up during the festival which is celebrated with a great deal of singing, dancing and festivity.

MANALI:

40 kms away from Kulu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath taking. One sees well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Leh and Zanskar regions in Kashmir valley. It is known as the SWITZERLAND OF INDIA.

Manali is Situated at the northen end of the Kullu Valley, Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. The Beas rushes along its rocky course amid grassy meadows carpeted with wild flowers and wagtails hop along from stone to stone along the stream's edge. There are marvellous walks too, through dappled orchards and fairy-tale forests of deodar.

Maharana Pratap Sagar, also known as Pong Dam Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake was created in 1975 building the highest earth fill dam in India on the Beas River in the wetland zone of the Shivalik Hills of the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh, in India. The Maharana Pratap Sagar has been declared “Ramsar site-wetland of International Importance” by the Ramsar Bureau, Switzerland. Nestled in the sylvan surroundings of the Kangra valley, the sprawling Pong Dam wetland has emerged as a major habitat for migratory birds in the country as also an attraction for bird watchers. Known as an outstanding town of paradise for birds watchers, the wetland has rich bio-diversity with meager forests round the Pong Dam Wetland having several tree species which serve as edible fruits for the migratory birds. Keeping in view the natural beauty of the wetland, the area has been developed as national wetland and has been included in the list of internationally known wetlands

Water Sports

A regional water sports center has been established in the Pong dam reservoir which offers focused activities such as canoeing, rowing, sailing, and water skiing, apart from swimming. Training programs are organized in water safety and rescue measures with three tier water sports courses - the basic course, intermediate course and advanced course. It is said to be the only centre of its type in the country.

The Lake Sanctuary

This lake sanctuary is a big attraction for migratory ducks from Siberian region during winter. One can see thousands of ducks in the swamp area between Shahnahar barrage and Pongdam and the surrounding shallow waters of the lake. Clean blue water all around with the panoramic view of Dhauladhar Ranges and Kangra Valley make the visit to Ransar Island an unforgettable experience. Black buck and Cheetal on the island along with Surkhab, Cranes, Pintails and variety of water birds welcome the visitors on the Island.

Palampur is the tea capital of northwest India. Set on the rising slopes of Kangra Valley before they merge with the Dauladhar ranges. But tea is just one aspect that makes Palampur a special resort. Abundance of water and proximity to the mountains has endowed it with mild climate. The town has derived its name from the local word "pulum', meaning lots of water. Palampur was a part of the local Sikh kingdom and later on came under the British rule. The place enjoys a healthy climate and the pine scented air is said to have curative properties. The scenery presents a sublime and beautiful contrast- the plain presents a picture of rural loveliness and repose, while the hills are majestic. Behind this town stands the high ranges of Dhauladhar Mountains, whose peaks remain, covered for most part of the year. Situated in and about the middle of the Kangra Valley, it is convenient base to explore the surroundings.

The one-time summer capital of the British, Shimla is a gorgeous hill station in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Located at an average height of 2,200 meter, Shimla is unique with its unparalleled glittering beauty. Set in the midst of impressive hills and dense jungles this hill town has its own charm. Its elegant streets, plummeting torrents and salubrious climate make it a thriving hotspot for honeymooners. Shimla is also the kick off point for the rest of Himachal, with well-knit roads.

This erstwhile Nepalese state Syamala, gained prominence as the most sought after hill station under the auspices of the progressive British officers who had acquired its control in the year 1819. The snow-capped mountains, quaint surroundings and the mighty formations of Victorian style that dot the city, reverberates the colonial texture of the city.

It is not just the substantiation of some grand monuments and colonial architecture that Shimla offers, it is also home to the most pleasing meanders and panoramic views that attract adventure enthusiasts and honeymooners alike.

Like the other Indian cities, fairs and festivals are the highlights of Shimla tourism. The awesome British populations of the yester years make Christmas a fanfare of the valley. The most significant event in the valley is the Summer Festival organized by the Government in the month of June, which showcases the rich culture and tradition of the Himalayan states. This largest fun fare of the hilly states grabs people with the colorful performances of folk dancers and other activities based on the rich rustic tradition.

In Autumn, Shimla looks gorgeously beautiful and when the days are balmy and dazzling and the night’s crunchy and chilly. A typical hilly terrain with a picturesque countryside, wonderful climate and viable social standards, it is quite natural that this hill station has been acquired the status of a preferred and much loved picnic spot in India.

The National Park with an area of 754 sq. km. is located in Kullu District and has the representative area of temperate and alpine forests of Himachal. It has some the virgin coniferous forests of the State. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park. This area has many important wildlife species of Western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer, Tragopan, Snow cock etc. Trekking of Rakti-Sar, origin of Sainj river and camping in alpine pastures is unforgettable. Similar is the trekking route to Tirath the origin of Tirthan river. Visitors can contact Director, Great Himalayan National Park at Shamshi or Range Officer wildlife at Sainj or Range Officer Wild Life at Sai Ropa (Banjar) for assistance and guidance. Camping equipment and guides are provided by the Forests Department.

 

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