Bordering Tibet on the east, Himachal Pradesh is one of the coldest and most beautiful places in India. Steep valleys, towering waterfalls, murmuring rivers, verdant forests, exotic wildlife, and snow-capped mountain peaks – can you picture the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh now? Nestled in the foothills of Dhauladhar Range in the mighty Western Himalayas, besides magnificent mountains and gushing streams, this state also offers fruit orchards, spectacular views, many adventure activities like treks, ice-skating, paragliding, skiing, and so much more. There are many high-altitude hill stations in this picturesque state which assure you a different and unique experience than what you get in other hill stations. Read on to know what they are!
Paradise for snow-lovers
Have you always been fascinated with snowfall? Imagine waking up to an ice-cold, misty morning and sipping tea while viewing lush green mountains draped in a fog sheet, and snowflakes falling in it. Kufri is one trendy high-altitude place which is famous for its snowfall season. This small hill station is also a popular destination for adventure sports like skiing. Manali is another such place located in the Beas Valley at an elevation of almost 6,276 feet to enjoy appealing snow-decked mountains. Yet another enticing landscape where you can see just white snow sheet everywhere is Khajjiar, which is a paradise for snow-lovers. It is referred to as the ‘Switzerland of India’ because it is engulfed by magnificent snow-peaked mountains and lush green forests.
When you go on a retreat, it is time to cocoon, so that you may be ready to get back to your life with a new perspective. What better than a hill-station that offers you solitude to look within, and an opportunity to be close to nature. Himachal’s high-altitude hill stations are great for taking a spiritual retreat. For example, in Kullu, there’s the famous Bijli Mahadev Temple, Bhrigu Valley, Parvati Valley, and many other ancient temples. Manali is known for its Tibetan monasteries, Hadimba Devi Temple, and many such spiritual places. Dharamshala, other than the spectacular views and the lovely weather, has a strong Tibetan influence and houses many monasteries like the Namgyal Monastery. McLeod Ganj is famed as the residence of The Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama Temple, Norbulingka Institute where one can learn about Buddhist culture. Taking a dip in the water reservoirs of Bhagsu Temple, with Bhagsu Waterfalls in the backdrop, is a popular activity.
High-altitude hiking getaway
Believed to be the hikers’ paradise, Chail in Himachal Pradesh is a must-visit if you want to explore this place in the real sense. Chail is also popular for its highest cricket field and polo grounds. So if you are planning a break from the noisy city life, plan a hiking vacation to this side of Himachal. This unexplored, high-altitude hill station will surely be a memorable getaway for you.
Lahaul in Himachal is now gaining popularity amongst bikers and backpackers because of the Lahaul-Spiti route or trip. The breath-taking and tranquil monasteries and gompas of the valley exhibit Tibetan culture, and the small villages, zigzagging rivers, waterfalls, and adjoining snow ranges add to create a charming and alluring topography. Another favourite destination for bikers is Kalpa in Himachal, which is encircled by mighty Kinnaur-Kailash Range, offers panoramic vistas and splendid greenery all around. As it is located at an astounding 9711 feet above sea level, Kalpa provides the best and most magnetic view of the white Kinnaur-Kailash Peak.
Serene and Untouched Environs
Himachal has a huge difference in altitude in various places spread out in different parts of the state. This gives rise to a rich diversity of terrains, weather conditions, ecosystems like forests and wildlife, varying cultures, and also different styles of architecture. As many popular hill stations in this state have gradually become congested, people are now open to exploring the higher elevation or hill-stations at a higher altitude. These new destinations are not known by many, so they are not commercial or crowded spots and are away from the hustle-bustle.
Snow blanketed meadows for winter sports
Shimla is known for its natural ice skating ring along with other adventure sports such as paragliding, trekking, and rafting. Kullu and Manali offer ample treks, rafting, angling, and mountaineering to pull out the adventurer in you. Narkanda in Himachal is famed for skiing and snowboarding. The tranquil environment here overwhelms tourists while the lush, expansive meadows blanketed with snow become an apt spot for winter sports.