Himachal-Travel Guide

  • India
  • Himachal
  • Shimla
  • -2°C to 35°C,Wind
  • Indian Rupees
  • Eng,Hindi,Local
  • 2.211 million

Being the land of celestial beauty there is lot to know while traveling to Himachal Pradesh. It is the earliest known inhabitants of the region were tribals called Dasas. Later, Aryans came and they assimilated in the tribes. In the later centuries, the hill chieftains accepted suzerainty of the Mauryan empire, the Kaushans, the Guptas and Kanuaj rulers.

Himachal-In Brief

When the British came, they defeated Gorkhas and entered into treaties with some Rajas and annexed the kingdoms of others. The situation more or less remained unchanged till 1947. After Independence, 30 princely states of the area were united and Himachal Pradesh was formed on 15th April, 1948. With the recognition of Punjab on 1st November, 1966, certain areas belonging to it were also included in Himachal Pradesh. On 25th January, 1971, Himachal Pradesh was made a full-fledged State.

Travel to Himachal Pradesh to explore the land of eternal snow peaks abounds in exotic valleys, glorious green hill-slopes, snowcapped mountains, gushing streams and the hills of Himalayas which welcome the tourists from all over the world. In this mountain wonderland, the pace of life is measured and tranquil. Due to its unbound beauty tourism in himachal has gained popularity. Himachal Pradesh is full of hill resorts, pilgrimages, adventure sports destinations, and wildlife that attracts a wide range of tourist traffic. Today, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most important tourist destinations in India. It also offers excellent trekking routes. Main tourist complexes are Shimla, Palampur, Dharamsala, Kullu-Manali, Chamba-Dalhousie, Kasauli, Kinnaur.

Himachal also known as "Land of Gods" offers lots of pilgrimage spots like Bhima Kali temple in Sarahan, Hatkoti, Jwalajee, Chamunda Devi, Chintpurni, Renuka and Rewalsar, Deoth Siddh and Naina Devi are major attractions for pilgrims. Tourist complexes are also being set up at Keylong, Kaza, Sangla, Shoja, Kalpa, Khadrala, Kharapathar, Chindi, Bharmour, Chansal and Naggar castle. Paragliding and Hang-gliding competitions are held in Kangra valley. Solang Nallah slopes are getting popular for winter sports. There is an art gallery in Naggar and museums in Chamba, Shimla and Dharamsala. The beautiful tourist resort of Khajjair in Chamba district has been christened as the Switzerland of Himachal Pradesh.

How to Reach Here

By Road: All the Destinations are well connected through roads. The total road length in the state was 21,935km. It has eight national highways with a length of 1, 279km.

By Train: The State has two narrow gauge railway lines connecting Pathankot with Joginder Nagar and Kalka with Shimla and one broad-gauge railway line from Nangal dam to Una.

By Air: The state has three airports at Bhuntar (Kullu Valley), Jubbarhatti (Shimla) and Gaggal (Kangra). In addition 35 helipads are available for operation in the state. The government has decided to construct helipads at Banjraroo, Satrundi and Khundi-Murahal in Chamba.

Culture & Heritage

Himachal Pradesh is a place that boasts of simple people, deep cultural roots and great traditional values. About 90 percent of the people living in the state follow Hinduism and can be divided into five main communities, namely Brahmins, Rajputs, Kannets, Rathis and Kolis. Apart from that, you can also find tribal communities residing in the state, comprising mainly of Gaddis, Kinnars, Gujjars, Pangawals and Lahaulis. The 'unspolit' simplicity of the people and culture of Himachal Pradesh is what touches the heart. In this section, we have provided complete information on the cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh has a rich history that has laid a strong foundation for the state it is now. The origin of Himachal Pradesh goes back to the era of the first ever human settlement that took place in India - Indus Valley Civilization. The flourishing civilization affected the foothills of the Himalayas, the place where present day Himachal Pradesh is located. Himachal Pradesh has a culture that is quite distinct from the rest of the country. This mountainous area thrives in folk songs and its inhabitants never seem to loose an opportunity to revel in some melodious traditional music! Most of the songs are sung with musical instruments, though these songs not necessarily need an accompaniment. The people of Himachal Pradesh are known for their love of colors and festivities. Forming a part of these festivities are folk dances of the state, with themes revolving around the scenes from the mythological epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Folklores and chivalry tales of the local heroes and religious deities are some other themes.

Tradition of Himachal

Culture of Himachal Pradesh becomes rich, extravagant and traditional. Due to this rugged terrain the culture and tradition of the Himachal Pradesh thus, remains unscratched by foreign invasions. Its ethnicity and originality are retained. Culture of Himachal Pradesh is not only exuberant in the physical attires of the Himachalis but also in their festival celebrations, musical melodies, rhythmic dance forms and simple lifestyle. Culture of Himachal Pradesh is applauded for its exclusive pieces of arts and handicrafts which are an undeniable part of the culture of Himachal Pradesh. Pashmina shawl and the colourful Himalayan caps are in demand in overseas also. Threading, pictures, wooden potteries, carving are part and parcel of Himachal region. The metal wares include the attractive utensils, ritualistic vessels, silver jewellery, idols. Woman of Kulu, Sirmaur, Kinnaur, Pangwati and Bharmor region wear attractive jewellery. Wide variety of architectural works, temples, objects, museums, shops, galleries chastised every tourist. The Himachalis are fond of dance and music. They are mainly spiritual and mainly used to invoke gods and goddesses during festive seasons.

General Information about HImachal

The People

Himachal Pradesh is a multireligional, multicultural as well as multilingual state like other Indian states. The Hindu communities residing in Himachal include the Brahmins, Rajputs, Kannets, Rathis, Gurkhas and Kolis. There are also tribal population in the state which mainly comprise Gaddis, Kinnars, Gujjars, Pangawals and Lahaulis. In some areas, like Lahaul and Spiti, there is a majority of Buddhist population since the area is located near Tibet. A percentage of people are also Tibetans. Muslim, Christian and Sikhs are in minority but they also enjoy the same rights as Hindus. Though hindi is the state language, many people speak Pahari also. Pahari itself has many dialects and all of them trace their origin to the Sanskrit language - also known as origin of all languages. A majority of the population is engaged in agricultural practices, however the more educated of them are now moving towards tertiary sectors. As per the traditional dressing norms the dress of the Brahmin male includes dhoti, kurta, coat, waistcoat, turban and a hand towel while that of the Rajput male consists of tight fitting churidar pyjamas, a long coat and a starched turban. With the changing time the dress up of the people has now become a mixed one. Though the above mentioned style is now hardly followed, people have started wearing western style of clothes.

Games and Pastimes

Himachal Pradesh, with its free flowing rivers, green forests, clear blue skies, apple orchards and snow clad peaks, has emerged as one of the world's leading adventure sports hub. If you are interested in adventure sports, rest assured, for both infrastructure and weather in Himachal Pradesh are conducive to such predilections. Some of the major adventure sports destinations in Himachal Pradesh include, Kullu, Manali, Kasauli, Kufri, Dalhousie, Shimla and Chail. These destinations offer a combination of breathtaking scenery and huge adventure sports opportunities. The popular adventure sports of Himachal Pradesh are trekking, skiing and ice-skating. Also one can opt for paragliding, camping and mountain cycling. If you do not want to opt for such adrenaline pumping options, you can always indulge in a leisurely fishing or a golfing game to infuse the element of playfulness into your Himachal sojourn. You need not worry of the equipments as there are a lot of shops that offer equipments on rental basis as well as for purchasing.

Arts and Crafts

Bronze Sculptures Studios in Chatarahadi, Bharmaur and Bojora have produced several beautiful bronze sculptures in the past. Embroidery Embroidery seems to be the favourite pastime of pahari women, their nimble fingers busy with needle and thread on lazy afternoons. Garments & Accessories Himachalis simply love to dress up. Their everyday wear is so colourful that you'd think that they were dressed up for a festive occasion. Jataru Kayang As the musician play upon their instruments the leader of the dance, dances with a traditional Charmer in his hands the charmer becomes a great source of resentment and leads to fights among the dancers. Jewellery Jewellery is still a popular product of the Himachal silversmiths. And although the designs are still traditional, the ornaments are lighter and more practical. Jhoori,Gi, Swang Tegi and Rasa Dances The Gee dance of Sirmaur is performed during the festival of Lohri. Singers stand in a curve with instrumentalists while individual dancers (boys or girls) rise one by one to dance to the music. Kangra School of Paintings Under the ambitious Sansar Chand (1775-1823), the Kangra School flourished happily. It is said that Sansar's love for a gaddi (a tribe of Chamba-Kangra region) maiden drove him to commission the paintings. Keekali and Bhangra The Keekali (Kikli) dance is a dance of young girls and is danced playfully in twos. The girls hold hands crosswise and rotate fast on their toes, singing songs. Leathercraft Traditional Chamba chappals (slippers), plain or embroidered, are exceptionally comfortable to wear. Metalwork Metalcraft is one of the most ancient and developed crafts of Himachal Pradesh. The traditional metals are pure copper and silver. Local craftsmenship in casting, ornamenting and engraving, show great skill, delicacy and taste. Nagas Kayang The Nagas Kayang is a dance which copies the movement of a snake. The Herki Kayang is faster in tempo and is danced to a romantic song. Painting To say that HP has a rich tradition of painting would be an understatement. While museums and art galleries preserve the famous miniature paintings of the region, traditional ritual paintings can be seen in most village houses, on the floors and walls. Rugs & Carpets Brilliant hues, dragons, a garuda on a flowering tree and swastikas for luck are traditional patterns found on carpets from Himachal Pradesh. Shawls Extremely fine and valuable shawls are a speciality of Himachal and Kashmir. They are greatly sought after by tourists from all over the world. Stonework Thanks to the fair variety of stone found in this hilly region, stone carving has been explored to the fullest in Himachal. Numerous shikhara (spired) stone temples dot the landscape. The Kangra style of Paintings The Kangra style is by far the most poetic and lyrical of Indian styles, says art historian J. C. Harle.His favourite subject here is 'the idealization of woman, in flowing sari, head half-covered with a shawl, demure but stately, passionate and shy'. The Pahari Paintings of Mid-17th Century The early Pahari paintings of the mid-17th century were in the Basholi style (dubbed so because of its association with the king of Basholi). Wood Carving Forests all over the state abound in pine and deodar, besides walnut, horse chestnut and wild black mulberry. Wood has been used to great effect in temples and lavishly built palaces.

Music and Dance

The people of Himachal Pradesh are known for their love of colors and festivities. Forming a part of these festivities are folk dances of the state, with themes revolving around the scenes from the mythological epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Folklores and chivalry tales of the local heroes and religious deities are some other themes on which the traditional dances of Himachal Pradesh are based. Though there are a number of dance forms popular in the state, but Chham Dance or ‘Dance of Devils’, performed in Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur, counts amongst the favorites of the tourists.

Hotels In Himachal

Himachal Pradesh, located in the northern part of India, acquaints its tourists with various fascinating and beautiful hill stations present in the foot hills of Himalayas. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, and valleys covered by a blanket of the lush green cedar and deodar trees, baffle the tourists with their picturesque views. Himachal tourism facilitates the tourists in providing a blissful experience during their vacation. Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Kasauli, kullu and many more hill stations can be graciously explored by taking a number of tour packages which enable the tourists to witness the serene beauty of each hill station.

Truly Himachal also paves the way for tourists to experience the tranquility of the numerous temples, churches, and monasteries. The scintillating surrounding of these serene places captivate the tourists for hours. Stationed in the amid of beauty and serenity, Himachal Pradesh, further extends various adventurous sports such as skiing, trekking, paragliding, Water rafting and many other outdoor and indoor fun filled activities to the tourists.

The well designed tourism Himachal, enables the tourist to indulge into and enjoy the diverse culture and the slow paced life of Himachal Pradesh. Further, the warm hospitality of the locals with the delicious and homemade dishes, sweep away the guests off their feet. The enchanting orchids bearing countless fruits such as plums, guavas, apples etc.

Homestays In Himachal

Yearning for a refuge from the bustle of the city life? Then a Himachal Pradesh Homestay are the right getaway option for you! Discover the bewitching hilly terrain and partake in the colourful festivals! Whether it’s adventure or a breezy vacation that you’re looking for, this destination effortlessly breaks the monotony of stereotypical holidays. Book Himachal Pradesh Homestays for an unforgettable vacation!

Homestays In Himachal

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