A Travel Guide for Himachal Pradesh for the First-time Visitors

Popularly known as the ‘Land of the Gods’, the state of Himachal Pradesh is endowed with lush green valleys, snow-covered peaks, and deep ravines formed as a result of the continuous flow of river water from the Himalayas. It is the most famous and easily accessible hill state of the country. Here, you get to enjoy numerous adventurous activities, experience the scenic natural beauty and spend quality time in the company of your friends and family. These are enough reasons to attract thousands of tourists to this state.

There are well-known places like Shimla, Manali, and other lesser known but equally beautiful places like Bir, Chail, etc. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or for a longer vacation, Himachal Pradesh is suitable for both. However, planning a holiday to any destination for the first time is quite a task. So, here is a travel guide for Himachal Pradesh, which will help you to know the best time to visit, how to reach, the things to pack, places to visit in the state, where to stay, and what to eat.

Best Time to Visit

If you want to get relief from the scorching heat of summer, it is always better to escape to a hill station in Himachal. The summer months of April to June are perfect to visit Himachal Pradesh considering the pleasant weather over there. Winter months starting from October to February are very cold with extreme weather conditions. However, if you want to visit the place just for enjoying adventurous activities in the snow, then winter will be the ideal season. The state of Himachal Pradesh receives heavy rainfall from July to September, which fills the place with greenery. However, as most of the tourist spots are closed during this time, it would be better to avoid the monsoon season.

What to carry?

While it is advisable to carry light luggage, there are specific things which must be the part of it. It would be ideal to carry woollen clothes even if you are travelling to Himachal in the summer season, as the weather can change at any moment. Most part of the state is mountainous and you will be required to do a lot of walking. So, carrying a pair of walking shoes would be good. If you love to participate in adventurous activities, make it a point to carry a pair of trekking shoes. Other important things you must include in your luggage include power bank, moisturizer, first-aid box, torch, and emergency lights, along with a good quality camera or mobile with a camera. Although, you can always carry your debit and credit cards, it is recommended to have some cash in hand.

How to Reach Himachal

The best way to go to Himachal is by reaching Delhi first and then completing the rest of the journey by road. You can also fly to Bhuntar Airport in Himachal Pradesh from any major city in India. Further, you can reach both Shimla and Manali from Delhi by an overnight bus journey. However, while travelling by road one needs to be aware that sometimes they are closed due to landslides or heavy rainfall and your journey can be delayed. As far as travelling around the state is concerned, you can either hire a private taxi or board a local bus.

The Best Places to Visit in Himachal

Each and every town in the state is beautiful and worth visiting. However, there are a few places which you must visit while taking a state tour.

1. Shimla-

The capital city of Himachal Pradesh has its own charm, which attracts tourists in large numbers. You will find a glimpse of the British era in the architecture of the buildings in this hill town. There are several exciting things to do in Shimla like ice skating, travelling by toy train, shopping in Lakkar Bazar, and rafting at Tattapani. If you are thinking about accommodation, then various Shimla hotels are ready to welcome you with their first-class amenities. There are hotels like Snow Valley Resorts Shimla, Honeymoon Inn Shimla, Hotel Combermere Shimla, Hotel Willow Banks Shimla, and Hotel Kapil Shimla. You can choose the one which fits in your budget and meets your stay preferences. Here are the 10 best places to stay in Shimla, which one should consider for a pleasant stay

2. Manali-

Crystal clear waterfalls, pleasant weather, adventure sports and peaceful temples are the salient features of Manali. It is also a favourite honeymoon spot for the couples. Enjoying adventure sports, listening to the music of waterfalls, touching the holy stones and spending some romantic time in the lap of nature are some of the things to do in Manali. Some popular Manali hotels where you can enjoy a pleasant stay are Snow Valley Resorts Manali, Holiday Heights Manali, Hotel Himgiri Manali, Hotel Vintage Manali, and Snow Peak Retreat Manali. There are many beautiful 10 places to visit in Manali on Honeymoon that rightly make it a lover’s paradise.

3. Dharamshala-

It is the best place to explore heritage and culture while enjoying sightseeing and adventure sports at the same time. The best things to do at Dharamshala include paragliding, trekking, and enjoying the Tibetan delicacies apart from exploring natural beauty. You can have a comfortable stay at various popular hotels in Dharamshala like Sterling Dharamshala, Fortune Park Moksha Dharamshala, Hotel Pong View Dharamshala, and Rakkh Resort Dharamshala.

What to Eat

In Himachal, you will find various mouth-watering delicacies and cuisines. It is highly recommended to enjoy the popular local specialties like the Tibetan Momos and Thukpa along with Pahadi dishes. You will find many cafes, street food and multi-cuisine restaurants in the hills stations of HP. You can eat north Indian, South Indian, Chinese and exotic cuisines whatever you like. In Shimla, you can try chicken anardana, channa madra, auriya kadoo (pumpkin), babru ( similar to kachori) and more. In Manali, you must try dham (dish made from dal, rajma, rice, curd, boor ki kadi), spicy bhey or lotus stems, trout (fish), patande (sweet dish), tudkiya bhat (vegetables, rice and lentil) and more. In Dharamshala, you must try Bokchoy Soup, mutton momos, Spanish omelette at German Bakery, walnut pastry at Woeser-bakery, zucchini vegetables, freshly baked buns at Monastery Kitchen and more.

This travel guide for Himachal Pradesh will surely help to plan your trip well and make it a memorable one worth cherishing.