The best way to explore Himachal Pradesh, one of the most beautiful parts of India all the while soaking in the ethereal beauty of Himalayas is to take a road trip. There are several places in HP, ideal for a road trip. This post will be shedding light on three of them in the following sections.
Road trip to Dharmashala from Delhi
Dharmashala is one of the most popular destinations in all of HP. It is a picturesque city that is perched on the upper Kangra valley that is packed with a thick growth of Pines and Deodar!
What’s so special about this place?
It serves as the residence of Dalai Lama – the great Tibetan leader. It is also popular for its many ancient temples, monasteries and museums. You can also let loose and shop till you drop in the renowned Kotwali Bazar that is popular for handicrafts, paintings, sculptures, murals and thangkas – a form of the rug of Tibetan origin.
How to reach Dharmashala from Delhi?
There are two routes to Dharmashala from Delhi. The NH 44 and the NH 503 – the fastest one is NH 44. You would need to cover 471 km to reach Dharmashala from Delhi. Avoid the peak traffic hours and you will be able to complete the trip in 11 hours or less.
Take Dr NS Hardikar Road and continue towards NH 9. Then follow NH 44 to Mehmadpur for about 204 km. Then follow NH 205A to NH205 in Kharar – stay in this road for 40 KM then take NH503 to Shyam Nagar Road and continue on this road till you reach your destination.
Road trip to Bir-Billing from Shimla
Craving for some adrenaline rush!? Well, if you are heading over to Bir from Shimla, then you are on the right path since this is the ‘Paragliding capital of India!’
To paint a better picture, Bir is a quaint village that is located on the western part of the Joginder Nagar Valley, HP. It serves as the landing site for paragliders. Billing is used for take-off purposes.
Things to see here
Both BIR and Billing are known for their Tibetan Monasteries and lush green tea gardens.
How to reach Bir-Billing from Shimla?
The distance between Shimla and Bir is 216km and can be covered in less than 7 hours!
The fastest route is taking either the NH 205 or the NH 154. You will encounter the usual traffic given you start off from Shimla in the early hours.
Take the Kali Bari Road, Mall Road and Chaura Maidan Road to NH205 – drive for about
13 mins. Continue onto NH205 then turn right at Brahmpukhar till you pass by HRM Enterprises (on the right). Now continue for 15 KMs. Now, follow NH154 to Bir Road/Bir-Billing Road for 120 KM. After that, turn right at Bir Chowk and continue onto Bir Road/Bir-Billing Road.
Road trip to Dalhousie from Chandigarh
If you are craving for some stunning, extraordinarily beautiful views of Himachal Pradesh, then you should plan a road trip from Chandigarh to Dalhousie.
The USP of planning a road trip from Chandigarh to Dalhousie is the road – it is smooth and very safe to drive your car on. On top of that, thanks to good road conditions, you can complete the trip in not more than 9 hours. The distance you would need to cover on this trip is 310 KM – point to point.
What makes Dalhousie so special?
Well, for starters, Dalhousie is a hill station that is packed with beautiful churches and colonial architecture. Furthermore, there are tons of things to see here as well such as Panchpula, Satdhara falls, Dainkund peak, Kaltop wildlife sanctuary and Khajjar Lake.
How to reach Dalhousie from Chandigarh?
The best route is Chandigarh – Rupnagar – Hoshiarpur – Pathankot – Dalhousie. The traffic will be less congested after you cross the Sutlej river near Rupnagar. The roads will get better after the 55 Kilometer market from Hoshiarpur. Post lunch-hour you will be heading over to Pathankot after that you will be entering Himachal Pradesh.
A 30-minute drive from Pathankot and you will be entering the Great Himalayas! Drive for a couple of hours more, and you will reach Dalhousie. Start at 7:00 AM so that you can reach Dalhousie by 3 PM!
To be on the safe side of things, be sure to sit down and learn a few driving tricks from the local cab/rental car drivers, once you reach HP. In this way, you will be able to enjoy the lush meadows, magnificent mountains, streams, valleys and tall trees without worrying about the safety of your loved ones and you. Drive with confidence and watch the windy roads of Himachal run ahead of your car and add finesse to the already picture-perfect scene!0