Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a state in the northern part of India. Situated in the Western Himalayas, it is one of the eleven mountain states and is characterized by an extreme landscape featuring several peaks and extensive river systems. If you like anything and everything about snow, you may be inspired by the meaning of the word Himachal. The land of snows, the meaning is, adequate to give you an idea of what to except here. Himachal Pradesh is spread across valleys with many perennial rivers flowing through them. Below is the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh.

1. Shimla

Shimla is at the top in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as Simla. Shimla is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The town sprawls along a mountain ridge, enveloped in oak, pine and rhododendron forests. It’s quite famous for its colonial-style buildings and historic railway. The hill station offers spectacular views of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges. With lakes and rich greenery around, Shimla welcomes tourists round the year, of course, if you don’t mind the ‘below zero’ temperature in winter. Here are the leading destination in Shimla.

Places to visit

  • The Ridge
  • Mall Road
  • Summer Hill
  • Christ Church Shimla
  • Daranghati Sanctuary
  • Jakhoo Hill
  • Kufri
  • Indian Institute of Advanced Study

Famous For: View point, Hill Station, British colonial architecture. 

Ideal Visit Time: March to June and November to February.

How to reach:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Jubbarhatti Airport which is 25 km away from the heart of Shimla.
  • By Train: The nearest broad-gauge railway station from Shimla is in Kalka which is 89 km away. One can either take a taxi, local bus or the toy train to Shimla.
  • By Road: Shimla is easily accessible via road too and Chandigarh-Shimla highway is in a good condition and it only takes around 3 and a half hours to reach here from Chandigarh.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh-Shimla
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2. Manali

Manali is at the 2nd spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is a high-altitude Himalayan resort town nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley in the Beas River Valley. Manali, with its soothing backdrop of the Himalayas, offers a blend of tranquillity and adventure that makes it one of northern India’s most popular destinations. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km north of the state capital. Located at an altitude of 6726 feet, Manali offers splendid views of the snow-capped mountains. Located in the Kullu Valley, it’s a magical place bordered by heady pine forest and the raging Beas River, which give it a special energy.

Manali is a cosmopolitan place where Tibetans, Ladakhi, Kashmiri, Kullvi and Lahuli people reside. The main occupation of the local people is Tourism, Farming, Horticulture, handloom industry. The official language of Manali is Hindi but due to its development in tourism, the locals also understand the English language very well. In common parlance, the locals here use the Kullvi dialect also known as Kullu language.

Places to visit

  • Hidimba Devi Temple
  • Manali Sanctuary
  • Jogini Falls
  • Vashist Hot Water Spring
  • Solang Valley
  • Bhrigu Lake
  • Pin Valley National Park
  • Pandoh Dam

Famous For: Nature, Hill Station, Adventure Sports and Great Himalayan Ranges.

Ideal Visit Time: October to February.

How to reach:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Bhuntar, around 50 km from Manali.
  • By Train: There is no railway station in Manali. The nearest railway station is Jogindernagar it’s around 126 km from Manali.
  • By Road: This region also has good connectivity with Ambala, Chandigarh, Shimla, Dalhousie and other districts through regular bus services of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. You can also hire cab from New Delhi.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Manali
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3. Kullu

Kullu is at the 3rd spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Kullu is located on the banks of the Beas River in the Kullu Valley about 10 kilometres north of the airport at Bhuntar. Kullu Valley is a broad open valley formed by the Beas River between Manali and Largi. This valley is known for its temples and its hills covered with pine and deodar forest and sprawling apple orchards. It was earlier called as Kulanthpitha. Kullu Valley is also known as the ‘Valley of God’. It is sandwiched between the Pir Panjal, Lower Himalayan and Great Himalayan Ranges.

Places to visit

  • Bijli Mahadev
  • Raghunath Temple
  • The Great Himalayan National Park
  • Jagannathi Temple
  • Rupi Palace
  • Vaishno Devi Temple Kullu
  • Adi Brahma Temple

Famous For: Hiil station, Temples, Nature, Great Himalayan Ranges.

Ideal Visit Time: October to February.

How to reach:

  • By Air: Located around 10 kms from the hill station of Kullu, is the Kullu-Manali airport which is also known as Bhunter Airport.
  • By Train: The closest one can get to Kullu by train is Joginder Nagar, which is around 100 km from the hill station. One can also board the train to Chandigarh railway station and from there, regular buses to Kullu are easily available.
  • By Road: Kullu can be easily travelled by road. The hill station of Kullu is very well connected to the major parts of North India. Bus journey from Delhi, Pathankot, Ambala and Palampur are some of the options that one can opt for.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Kullu
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4. Dharamshala

Dharamshala is at the 4th spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is the district headquarters of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Kangra District was part of the British province of Punjab. The administrative headquarters of the district were initially at Kangra, but were moved to Dharamshala in 1855. Dharamshala is 18 km from Kangra. Dharamshala has snow-clad mountains on three sides and valley on one side. The mountains being over 4000 m height, you can have an excellent view of them from every viewpoint.

Dharamshala has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission. On 19 January 2017, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh declared Dharamshala as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh state, making Himachal Pradesh the third state of India with two capitals after Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra.

Places to visit

  • Tsuglagkhang Complex Dalai Lama Temple
  • Tibet Museum
  • St John in the Wilderness
  • Dal Lake
  • Bhagsunag Waterfalls
  • Triund
  • Bhagsu Nag Temple
  • Naddi View Point
  • Aghanjar Mahadev
  • Kangra Art Museum
  • Kareri Lake
  • Namgyalma Stupa

Famous For: Tibetan Culture, Monastries and Nature.

Ideal Visit Time: February to June.

How to reach:

  • By Air: Gaggal is the nearest airport. Located at a distance of 15 km from Dharamshala.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station to Dharamshala is Pathankot railway station, which is set at a distance of around 85km.
  • By Road: There are a number of bus services available from all major cities of Himachal Pradesh to reach Dharamshala. Destinations like Pathankot (88km), Jalandhar (193km), Amritsar (200km), Shimla (241km) and Delhi (490km) are directly connected to the city via state buses.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Dharamshala
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5. Dalhousie

Dalhousie is at the 5th spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is a high-altitude town spread across 5 hills near the Dhauladhar mountain range in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Spread over five hills at foot of the Dhauladhar mountain range, the town gets its name from founder Lord Dalhousie and bares the distinct stamp of the British Raj. Its hotels are particularly reminiscent of that era. It’s home to colonial-era buildings, including St. Francis and St. John’s churches, which date back to the rule of the British Raj in the 1800s. A trek up Dainkund Peak leads to Pholani Devi Temple. To the north, Subhash Baoli is a peaceful area with pine trees and panoramic views. Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary is located a short drive away from Dalhousie. It’s possible to walk through the sanctuary but a permit is necessary for a vehicle. Those who dare to venture further into the Chamba Valley will discover fascinating ancient folklore, temples, and tribes.

Places to visit

  • St John’s Church
  • Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Dainkund Peak
  • Chamera Dam
  • St Francis Church
  • Laxmi Narayan Temple
  • St Patrick’s Church
  • Panchpula Waterfall
  • Bakrota Hill View Point
  • Ennan Mata Temple and Waterfall

Famous For: Hill Station, valleys, and Meadows.

Ideal Visit Time: March to May.

How to reach:

  • By Air: Gaggal airport in Kangra is the nearest domestic airport to reach Dalhousie. 13 km from the town, taxis are easily available to reach the hill station form the air terminal.
  • By Train: The nearest rail station to reach Dalhousie is Pathankot. 80 km from the hill town the railway station is well-connected to various cities in India, like Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar. Taxis can be found from outside the railway station to reach Dalhousie.
  • By Road: Dalhousie is well-connected by road. State bus services and luxury coaches connect the towns in and around Dalhousie. Overnight luxury buses are also available from Delhi. Taxis and private vehicles also frequently ply on the route.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Dalhousie
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6. Kasauli

Kasauli is at the 6th spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is a small hill town in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It’s home to gabled colonial-era houses, orchards and green-roofed Christ Church, dating from the mid-19th century. At the southern edge of town, Monkey Point overlooks forests of horse chestnut and Himalayan oak. A small temple also sits atop the hill. Nearby, the Gilbert Nature Trail winds through lush green countryside rich in birdlife. Kasauli is situated at an altitude of 1927 meters and like a few other places in Himachal Pradesh, reflects the influence of colonial rule. The views from here are spectacular and this is also a well-known health resort. An laid back vacation is best enjoyed amidst the scenic views this place has to offer.

Places to visit

  • Sunset Point
  • Monkey Point, Sanjeevni Hanuman Temple
  • Gilbert Nature Trail
  • Christ Church
  • Krishna Bhavan Mandir

Famous For: View Points, Hill Station, and British Colonial Period.

Ideal Visit Time: April to June and September to November.

How to reach:

  • By Air: The closest airport is located in Chandigarh which is almost 70 km away from Kasauli. From outside the airport, you can easily find taxis which are available to Kasauli from Chandigarh that are quite nominal in range.
  • By Rail: The nearest rail head is located in Kalka which is almost 40 km away from Kasauli. There are many prepaid taxis available from Kalka to Kasauli. Kalka railway station is well connected with all the major cities in India such as Amritsar, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
  • By Road: Travelers will get state owned transport buses which connect Kasauli to major cities in and around Himachal Pradesh. There are numerous super-fast and super deluxe buses which have a stop at Kasauli. These buses generally ply from Chandigarh 50 km and Delhi 295 km to other cities like Chail 64km and Shimla 84 km.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Kasauli
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7. Chamba

Chamba is at the 7th spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is a town in the Chamba district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. According to the 2001 Indian census, the town is situated on the banks of the Ravi River, at its confluence with the Sal River. Chambial were the Rulers of Chamba State Chambials use suffix Varmans. The town has numerous temples and palaces, and hosts two popular jatras (fairs), the “Suhi Mata Mela” and the “Minjar Mela”, which last for several days of music and dancing. Chamba is also well noted for its arts and crafts, particularly its Pahari paintings, which originated in the Hill Kingdoms of North India between the 17th and 19th century, and its handicrafts and textiles.

Places to visit

  • Champavati Temple
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple
  • Akhand Chandi Temple
  • Chamunda Devi Temple
  • Bhuri Sing Museum
  • Church of Scotland, Chamba
  • Chaugan
  • Shiv Temple

Famous For: Temples, Art, and Nature.

Ideal Visit Time: March to June.

How to reach:

  • By Air: Nearest Airport is, Jammu – 120 kms from Chamba. There are several airports in the adjacent cities/states, Pathankot 120 kms, Amritsar 220 kms, Kangra 172 kms and Chandigarh 400 kms. Cabs and buses are available from all of these places to take you to Chamba.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station is at Pathankot, about 120 kms from Chamba. Buses and Cabs are very easily available from Pathankot to Chamba. Alternatively, you can take train till Chandigarh or till New Delhi and then take a bus or a cab.
  • By Road: The Himachal Road Transport Corporation runs regular buses from neighboring states of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. In the state itself they run to and fro from cities of Pathankot, Shimla, Kangra, Solan and Dharamsala.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Chamba
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8. Hamirpur

Hamirpur is at the 8th spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is a town and the headquarters of Hamirpur district in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. Hamirpur is located in the Lower West Central Outer Himalayas at an average elevation of 790 M above sea level. Far northern High Altitude Dhauladhar Ranges overlook the city. Being in the lower elevation, Hamirpur is warmer. Hamirpur is a rapidly developing City in Himachal Pradesh with New Entrepreneurship and Modern Construction. Hamirpur is Famous for its High literacy rate, Educational Institutions and Traditional Festival of Hamir Utsav. Hamirpur City is spread from Jhaniari to Bhota along NH 3 and NH 103 and is a prominent commercial centre for the district. The altitudes vary from near flat lands to higher levels of land that reach up to the heights of cliffs. The hilly ranges here offer great scope for trekking. The land is said to be the most literate district in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Places to visit

  • Sujanpur Tira Fort
  • Awah Devi Temple
  • Tauni Devi Temple
  • Nadaun Fort
  • Bilkeshwar Temple

Famous For: Temples and Trekking. 

Ideal Visit Time: Best time to visit Winter Season, October to December, February and March. 

How to reach:

  • By Air: The nearest Airport from Hamirpur is Shimla Airport, roughly three-hour drive from Hamirpur. Daily flights from Delhi to Chandigarh are available. The second nearest Airport is Chandigarh Airport, roughly three and the half hour drive from the city. It is well connected to the major cities like Amritsar, New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Goa, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Leh.
  • By Rail: The nearest Railway Station is Kiratpur Sahib Railway Station which is located at a distance of 120 Kms from Hamirpur. It is well connected to the major cities like New Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali, Kullu and Shimla.
  • By Road: Himachal Road Transport Corporation operates regular buses to and from Hamirpur to other cities in Himachal Pradesh. Buses are also available from nearby cities like Panthankot, Chandigarh etc. Shimla-kangra Road, NH 205 and NH 103 connects Hamirpur.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Hamirpur
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9. Parwanoo

Parwanoo is at the 9th spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is a municipal council in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is an industrial town. Parwanoo surrounded by hills is yet another beautifull hill station in the land. This city in Himachal Pradesh is home to the immensely popular Timber Trail Resort, which is located in a picturesque Parwanoo hill valley on the Kalka-Shimla Highway in Himachal Pradesh. Spread across 1.6 acres, it overlooks the Shivalik Hills and the Kaushalya River. Its main attraction is the ropeway. The town, surrounded by lush greenery, lies near the border of Haryana and hence, it is a convenient location from where you could visit many tourist attractions nearby.

Places to visit

  • Pinjore
  • Kalka
  • Fruit Orchards
  • Timber Trail
  • Mughal Garden
  • Gurudwara Nada Sahib
  • Cactus Garden

Famous For: Viewpoint, Orchards, and Ropeway. 

Ideal Visit Time: March to October.

How to reach:

  • By Air: The nearest airbase to the town is Chandigarh about 30 km and Shimla about 70 km. You can easily avail a taxi or rent a personal car from rental companies.
  • By Train: Kalka is the nearest railway station to Parwanoo. At distance of 4 km from the town, it is connected to many major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. You can hire a taxi from outside the station.
  • By Road: State-owned buses move regularly from neighbouring states like Delhi, Haryana and Punjab to Parwanoo. The destination is also well-connected to the neighbouring cities via regular bus services like Chandigarh, Ambala, Shimla and Solan.
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Parwanoo
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10. Solan

Solan is at the 9th spot in the list of Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh. It is a town in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and the district headquarters of Solan district. The largest municipal council of Himachal Pradesh, it is located 45.5 kilometres south of the state capital, Shimla, at an average elevation of 1,550 metres. Solan, famously called ‘The Mushroom City of India’ and ‘City of Red Gold’ due to its abundant mushroom and tomato production is a beautiful city located amidst scenic snow-clad mountains and forests. It is famous for many things from its cuisines to it scenery, Solan is a must visit place in Himachal Pradesh. It is a great place for trekking and it is heaven for those who love to feel oneness with nature.

Places to visit

  • The Mall Road
  • Karol Tibba
  • Mohan Shakti National Park
  • Motilal Nehru Central State Library
  • Shoolini Mata Temple

Famous For: Heritage, Culture, and Cuisine. 

Ideal Visit Time: February to May and August to October.

How to reach:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is at Shimla at a distance of 55 km. Flights from Shimla operate to Delhi and Kullu. Taxis are easily available from Shimla airport to reach Solan. Delhi is the nearest international airport at a distance of 315 km.
  • By Train: Solan is well connected by the UNESCO world heritage railway – the Kalka-Shimla railway. Kalka in turn is a broad guage that connects the city to other major cities such as Chandigarh, Shimla, Barog, Delhi, Dehradun, Amritsar, etc. From the railway station tourists can hire local taxis to reach the city. Buses are also available.
  • By Road: Solan is approachable by road from Shimla and Chandigarh. Regular bus services connect both the cities with Solan. Chandigarh is an hour’s drive from Kasauli while Delhi can be reached in five and a half hours
Top Places to Visit in Himachal Pradesh- Solan
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