India, for many tourists, is all about the heat and dust and chaos and Taj Mahal and raita. Albeit India is all a crazy concoction; it has a tranquil and pristine side as well that is not restricted to yoga. What is sad is many travelers from outside the country or even inland tend to miss the serene. Let’s check some Interesting Places To Visit In Enchanting Himachal Pradesh – Himachal Itinerary 5 / 6 Days.
For all of them – we recommend Himachal Pradesh. This hill state in North India is a fusion of the staidly Himalaya Mountains, valleys, forests, and rivers. Trekking, nature tourism, a pilgrimage, or just solo travel for introspection, there can be no better place in India than Himachal Pradesh.
Interesting Places To Visit In Enchanting Himachal Pradesh – Himachal Itinerary 5 / 6 Days
Day 1: Delhi to Kasauli
Day 2: Shimla
Day 3: Dharamshala and Mcleodganj
Day 4: Manali
Day 5: Chindi
Day 6: Chail
The Himalayas have attracted travelers from times immemorial. The mountains were home to sages and ascetics, to Gods and temples. Early tourism in Himachal would, therefore, be for pilgrimage. Pilgrims and people on a religious quest would, therefore, travel to the Himachal and visit shrines, meet sages, or meditate. Himachal Pradesh was tough terrain to conquer those days since the Himalaya Mountains are often high, steep, and covered with dense forests. The monsoons were treacherous and winters harsh.
Over time, however, roads were built and the British officers started spending the summer in Shimla. They did not like the heat in the Indian plains and found Britain-like cool weather in Shimla. Shimla was therefore called the “Summer Capital of India“. British patronage did a lot for infrastructure development of the state. Post-independence, the development work continued and Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department, in our opinion, is one of the most active government tourism organizations in the country. They built more roads and made even far corners of this mountainous state accessible to people. Roads in Himachal Pradesh are regularly maintained and are among the best in India.
HOW TO REACH HIMACHAL PRADESH? | Interesting Places To Visit In Enchanting Himachal Pradesh – Himachal Itinerary 5 / 6 Days
- Nearest International Airport – NEW DELHI. Though there are others too like Chandigarh, Dehradun, & Amristsar, but the best connectivity you will get from New Delhi the capital of India.
- After reaching to International Airport you can reach to Himachal by hiring a cab or tourist bus.
- Road trip is mostly recommended for Himachal Pradesh.
Where to stay in Himachal Pradesh? |Interesting Places To Visit In Enchanting Himachal Pradesh – Himachal Itinerary 5 / 6 Days
- Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation has beautiful hotels or guest houses at all the places above. These are clean, spacious, and ooze old-world charm. Not to say, they are at the best location.
- At Chail, they have converted an old palace into a boutique hotel – The Palace.
- At Chindi it is Mamleshwar – a sprawling Bungalow.
- In Kasauli, it is The Ros Common, a colonial home complete with the mantel on the fireplace. These places have spacious rooms and toilets, solid wood furniture, and sprawling lawns. It is best to book ahead on the HPTDC website. There are also many private hotels, hostels, and homestays at all hill stations in Himachal. These are more often than not cozy and budget-friendly.
Popular Destinations In Himachal Pradesh | Interesting Places To Visit In Enchanting Himachal Pradesh – Himachal Itinerary 5 / 6 Days
During our innumerable trips to Himachal Pradesh, we have explored a lot of this state in all sorts of ways. We have driven up, taken tourist buses, taken a flight or the train. The common pattern that has emerged is that the first reaction when we reach Himachal Pradesh from or base in Delhi is of awe and disbelieve. Every place in this state is a tourist spot and we have not come across a location that is not beautiful. For all of you, who would be wondering where to start, here is an itinerary to some popular destinations in Himachal Pradesh. The best way to cover the destinations is by way of a road trip. Given the salubrious road condition in this state, you can drive from one destination to another comfortably. The scenic journey amidst cool mountain breeze would ensure minimum driving fatigue.
Day 1: Kasauli
Highlights of Kasauli –
- Sunset Point,
- Mall Road,
- Monkey Point,
- Gilbert Trail,
- Christ Church,
- Timber Trail.
Starting early from Delhi, you should reach Kasauli is a little more than 5 hours. Kasauli is a cantonment area at the foothill of Himalayas. At a relatively low altitude, this place is extremely popular with tourists because of its proximity to Delhi and other cities in the plains. Kasauli also has colonial-era houses, churches, apple orchards, and a beautiful temple atop a hill. But what draws us here is the solitude. In the course of a short journey, we are removed from the city noise to a most peaceful space below the deep blue sky. Though it does not snow here, the weather here is pleasant always and we do not think twice to drive up to Kasauli even if for the weekend.
Day 2: Shimla
Highlights of Shimla –
- Mall Road,
- The Ridge,
- Christ Church Shimla,
- Hanuman Temple
- Viceregal lodge & botanical Gardens.
Kasauli to Shimla is about 2 hours and 30 minutes of driving time. The erstwhile summer capital of India – Shimla is the present capital of Himachal Pradesh. Consequently, it offers all the perks of city life amid the beauty of mountains. Apart from the pine trees laden roads, Shimla still has a heavy legacy from the colonial era by way of beautiful architecture, ornamental cast iron grill rest spots and an exciting Mall Road lined with bakeries, wineries and interesting shops on the side. Given the easy access from the plains by way of cars and buses, Shimla is a victim of over-tourism and is crowded throughout the year. Yet this place has magic, some seductive charm that keeps drawing us many times in the year.
Day 3: Dharamshala and Mcleodganj
Highlights of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj – Tibetan monastery
Dharamshala is another most accessible hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. Shimla to Dharamshala should take about 6 hours 30 minutes driving time. This hill town is a heady mix of mountains, fantastic weather, lovely food, art and history, religion, and politics. Mcleodganj in Upper Dharamshala is the abode of the 14th Dalai Lama, the religious head of Tibetan Buddhism. Dalai Lama has been living in exile in India since the year 1959. Consequently, Dharamshala has a strong Tibetan influence that is evident in the local lifestyle and food habits. The evenings here are fun to with party kind of mood. The beauty of Dharamshala has to be seen to be believed. We cannot even count how many times we have been here.
Day 4: Manali
Highlights of Manali –
- Beas River crisscrossing,
- Tripura Sundari temple,
- Solang Valley.
Manali is another extremely popular hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala to Manali should take you about 7 hours. The Himalayas surpass their beauty at this spot. The huge canvas here with the snow-clad Himalayan range in the backdrop of the pristine blue sky, pine, deodar, and other coniferous trees, and the ancient Beas River crisscrossing the landscape, make Manali a land of unparallel splendor. Manali offers all kinds of activities. There are many ancient temples here and the 11th century Tripura Sundari Temple blew our mind away. Not very far from Manali, the Solang Valley is the hub for adventure activities like skiing and paragliding. People also come here to experience the snow. As a consequence, Manali is a tourist’s paradise and is extremely popular as a honeymoon destination in India.
Day 5: Chindi
Highlights of Chindi –
- Shikari Devi Temple,
- Karsog Valley,
Chindi, a little known hill station in Himachal Pradesh is 6 hours 30 minutes drive from Manali. Chindi is beautiful as any place in Himachal Pradesh. But being part of Karsog Valley in Mandi District, it is very traditional and is replete with dexterously carved wooden temples. The mountain temple that is unique here is Shikari Devi Temple. Perched atop another steep mountain, this open site is sheer divinity. The meadow around the temple has horses grazing. The green, brown interspersed with temple flags fluttering against the open light blue sky make Shikari Devi Temple a most memorable journey.
Day 6: Chail
Highlights of Chail –
- Chail Palace,
- Cricket stadium,
- Kali Temple
Chail is about 4 hours 15 minutes drive from Chindi. It is not a very touristy hill station yet. But the unspoiled beauty of this place makes it a hidden treasure. The Chail Palace and the Cricket Ground are among the to-dos here. But we recommend the drive up to the Kali Temple or Kali ka Tibba. This is the highest point of Chail and is often covered in mist and dense fog. The spot then looks like a dream sequence.
Where to eat in Himachal Pradesh? | Do we get Vegetarian Food in Enchanting Himachal?
Given the plethora of temples and religious places, a big part of the Himachali diet is vegetarian. There are vegetarian versions of traditionally non-vegetarian dishes.
- Mama’s Kitchen in Mcleodganj serves brown spinach momos or dumplings and these beat any momo with any stuffing hands down.
- If in Kasauli, one place that can be tried is Hot Millions. They also serve great momos and shakes. Local sweet shops sell freshly made savories and desserts.
- The “Doodh Jalebi”, milk and Indian sweet crispy – Jalebi combination in Shimla is a must-have for someone with a sweet tooth. Therefore, fresh food is never a problem in Himachal Pradesh. Most tourist spots have all varieties of arrangements, from roadside stalls to restaurants that serve decent food starting from breakfast till dinner at most affordable prices.
Things To Know Before You Travel To Himachal Pradesh | Interesting Places To Visit In Enchanting Himachal Pradesh – Himachal Itinerary 5 / 6 Days
- Check weather conditions of Himachal before you plan your trip as due to the hilly region, sometimes weather plays an important role in crafting your itinerary.
- Pack clothes as per weather and even in summer, you may need a full sleeve shirt.
- Pack at least one pair of trekking shoes.
- Locals are very friendly and try to interact with them but respect the local culture too.
- There are many sacred sites in Himachal and if you are visiting them, then with all due respect and according to local traditions.
- At least include one homestay in your itinerary.
- There is not only Shimla and Manali in Himachal but there are many places that are worth visiting here.
- The off tourist season in Himachal is January to February.
- Carry enough cash as many places you will not find a card machine.
- Carry some general medications, personal accessories.
- The road trips can be bumpy as there are many hilly slopes. Be prepared for hilly drives.
- Do not stand too much close near the cliff or test the river waters. It can be fatal sometimes.
- Always hire a licensed expert for sky diving or any kind of adventure.
As we mentioned, every square kilometer of Himachal Pradesh is a travel story. We have visited this state countless times and yet it never fails to fill us with awe. The people are humble and warm and hospitable. Be it a café, hotel, or homestay, it feels like home. Himachal Pradesh calls for a standalone journey to a very different India that the world is yet to experience fully.
Himachal Pradesh is, therefore, the hotspot today for the whole gamut – adventure tourism to slow travel; partying to meditation, or just a weekend getaway. Great weather and verdant nature are always guaranteed. Add to that wonderfully hospitable people and local fruit wine. No wonder, we do not let go of any opportunity for traveling up to Himachal Pradesh.
This is a guest post and know about Author – Sundeep and Bedabrata popularly known as Delhi-Fun-Dos are a traveler duo always up for good times. Through their website and social media channels, they aim to provide a travel guide to a fun way of life. Be it luxury, art or adventure, they cover it all. Total supporters of holistic slow travel, here is a compilation from some of their innumerable journeys. Find them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube.
- INDIA AS A LAND OF YOGA.
- INDIA’S TRIBAL ART TOUR.
- MUMBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ART TOUR.
- FAMOUS BOLLYWOOD MOVIES – TRAVEL THEME.
- INDIAN BOLLYWOOD SONGS ON TRAIN.
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These are truly amazing places for meditation as well as other relaxation. My friend and I are going to visit India. Thanks for this post. Very interesting.
I would love to visit Himachal one day, and this itinerary sounds really cool. I particularly appreciate the tips on the availability of vegetarian food. Being a veg, I often find this an issue when I travel.
I have not yet been able to visit India, but when I do I will definitely add some of the lesser known spots to my itinerary. Himachal Pradesh looks lovely. I think that Manali would be one of my favorite stops. The scenery sounds beautiful and having the Himalayas in the background must be something to see! Thanks for the tips about visiting-it is great to know that the locals are friendly. This is one of the most important aspects when traveling and trying to understand the culture, so having that interaction is always great.
You would love Himachal, it is truly a jewel of India.
I have beautiful memories of Manali, Chail, Dharamshala, Shimla and Kasauli visited at different times over the years. This is a perfect guide for anyone who wishes to do it in a go with all details taken care of. The pictures here are all very beautiful takes.
Himachal Pradesh is gorgeous and your photographs definitely show that! We travelled from Shimla to Chitkul, then to Kalpa and Manali and Dharamshala and every bit is scenic. I’d love to visit Lahual and Spiti. Would love to try some Himachali food next time.
Good to know you have visited Himachal and have toured many beautiful places.
Shimla sounds wonderful to visit. From the wineries, bakeries and shopping it sounds like you could spend a few days here. What I would love to see is the beautiful architecture and ornamental cast iron grill rest spots that you spoke of. I would love to witness this charm! I also would love to visit Dharamshala and experience the beauty here first hand. Thank you for sharing these beautiful and interesting places!
I must admit that when we visited India we saw the busy and iconic spots. It certainly would be nice to see a tranquil oasis like Himachal Pradesh. I can see why it might be considered the “Summer Capitol of India” as a cooler and calmer place in hot Indian summer. I am sure the view of those Himalayan mountains draw you from town to town. Good to know that the weather can be unpredictable at all times of the year. But that fruit wine might be worth packing a few layers!