Popularly known as the ‘Land of Gods’, Himachal Pradesh paves the way for gorgeous views of the mighty Himalayas. Apart from the rustic mountains, snow-clad peaks, raging rivers and fruit-laden orchards, this northern Indian state is also home to a lot of hill stations, resorts, skiing centres and trekking schools, making it a very popular tourist destination. With the overload of information online, we know planning a holiday can be overwhelming, which is why Alefiya Rashiq simplifies it for you with this quick and handy travel guide.
Best Time To Visit Himachal
Himachal Pradesh is home to some of the most beautiful vistas of the country. The summer months of April to June are ideal to visit Himachal Pradesh and owing to the delightful weather, this season attracts the maximum number of tourists. The winter months of October to February are very cold and you may face extreme conditions. But if your sole purpose of visiting is to experience the thrill of snow based activities, then winter will be just perfect to undertake a trip. In July to September, the state receives heavy rainfall, which transforms it into a lush green heaven, but it may restrict you as a lot of tourist attractions shut down during monsoons.
Things To Carry
While you should aim to travel light, there are certain things that must be in your travel bag. Make sure you pack the following:
- Woolen clothes: Even in the summer, you can’t be entirely sure of the weather conditions.
- A good pair of walking shoes: Being a mountainous region, you will be required to walk, a lot!
- Trekking shoes: Especially if you are planning to test your adventurous side.
- Power bank: You don’t want your phones to die on you when you’re in a remote place.
- Good quality camera: This one is a must, you are going to witness some of the most picture-worthy landscapes; we suggest a selfie-stick too!
- Moisturising lotion: To keep your skin from getting dry in the cold weather.
- A good amount of cash in hand: An ATM may not always be there in some remote parts of the state.
- Rain-wear: Protective gear to keep you dry when it rains.
- A first-aid box.
- Emergency lights and torches.
How To Get To Himachal
Travellers from outside India can fly to Delhi and then make their trip to Himachal Pradesh by road. Alternatively, you can also fly to Bhuntar Airport in Himachal Pradesh from any of the major Indian cities.
There are regular buses plying from Delhi to both Shimla and Manali, and after an overnight journey, you can wake up to welcome the morning sun in the lap of the Himalayas. Those travelling by road should be aware that being a hilly region, the roads may sometimes close down due to landslides or heavy rainfall.
How To Move About Himachal
A private taxi is the best way to move around. Be sure to go with an experienced driver who can handle the zip zap zoom through the narrow and curvy hilly roads. If you come across a local state bus, hop on; a fun conversation with the Himachali people and some ‘pahadi’ folk music in the background will guarantee a fun experience.
Must See Places In Himachal
The capital city of Shimla, although commercialised by scores of tourists, has its own charm and relics that take you back to the British era. Manali is another popular hill station that is set on the Beas river and is a famous spot for trekkers and honeymooners alike. You can go skiing or paragliding in the nearby Solang Valley or drive right up to Rohtang Pass at an elevation of 4,000 metres. Kullu, Dharamshala, Kasol, Kasauli and Chamba are worth a visit too when you’re in Himachal Pradesh.
What To Eat In Himachal
Being a tourist-friendly state, you will find every type of cuisine being served across the many towns of Himachal Pradesh. However, we recommend you try out the local specialties. Apart from the Tibetan Momos and Thukpa (and maggi too!) that you will find at every nook and corner, there are a few ‘pahadi’ dishes to die for. Hog on Madra, a dish made of soaked chickpeas, Siddu, a type of bread, Mittha, sweetened rice mixed with dry fruits, Dham, a dish made of red kidney beans, and Cha Gosht, a dish made of marinated lamb meat.
If you’re planning a holiday, head for the mountains and Himachal Pradesh. Now that you’ve got everything you need to know about this fabulous destination, you’re sure to have an amazing time. So pack your bags and set off on your own adventure through the Land of Gods!
We hope this comprehensive guide lured you into planning your next trip to Himachal Pradesh. Let us help you.
A Pune’ite who is in love with the world, Alefiya Rashiq is a copywriter and a communications professional. Breaking into jigs, making quirky observations and her untimely giggles keep her going when she is not writing. Life is NOW, she believes!