Note: Check out the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh
In a bid to revive the badly damaged tourism industry, the state governments in India began to lift lockdowns and ease travel restrictions in July. While many would argue that traveling is not safe, some have already begun preparing (or at least thinking) about their much-needed travel break in another city or state. Sadly, as the COVID19 pandemic is still raging, the fear of catching the virus is still very high (India recently overtook Russia’s coronavirus count to become the world’s third worst-affected nation).
Given the chaos, the tourism and travel industry is in full mode of war, planning to welcome back the visitors. And, even people bored with locked down have begun to look for secure short road trip options nearby. When it’s time to move again, there’s no doubt; they are going to visit again. And that time, hopefully, isn’t too far away.
If you are all set to travel to Himachal Pradesh, then you must visit these places. These are the safest places to visit in the state and enjoy the best landscapes without the worries of the infection.
Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have agreed to allow the entry of outsiders and tourists into the state after being under lockdown for more than three months. The state governments have, however, listed a set of rules for the visitors to meet, including a negative COVID-19 test if people choose to visit.
So, here’s everything you need to know if you’re planning to visit the Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand hills in the midst of a pandemic.
Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh after lockdown
Here is a list of the best and the safest places that you can visit in Himachal Pradesh and rejuvenate your senses.
Chail Hills (Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh)
Chail Hills is a perfect choice to enjoy the lush greenery and spectacular views of a valley that is considered a hiker’s paradise, whether you are looking for a weekend break or a more extended stay.
When you hike and camp in the thick woods of the Chail Hills, you can feel like you have reached a different world. Depending on your taste and stamina, you can choose your adventure. You can visit the highest cricket ground in the country, and the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, if you like.
A visit to the Victorian period ‘Chail Palace’ is inevitable if you are a history and architecture buff. Once the summer retreat palace was built during British Raj by Maharaja of Patiala, it stands today as a heritage hotel.
Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh
Often known as Little Lhasa and famed all over the world for being host to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Mcleod Ganj is a beautiful town located near upper Dharamsala. Nestled amid magnificent hills and lush greenery, this region is culturally blessed by an influential Tibetan presence due to the large Tibetan settlement here. Mcleodganj has one of Himachal Pradesh’s most mesmerizing scenery and draws many visitors throughout the year.
Tirthan Valley (Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh)
The Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh district of Kullu is situated at an altitude of 1600 meters. Tirthan Valley lies about 3 km from the entrance of the Great Himalayan National Park, deriving its name from the Tirthan River that flows through it. This spot is full of adventurous activities and a paradise for nature lovers.
This valley is well known for its trout fishing, trekking, and adventure activities and beautiful guesthouses set in nature, with the majestic Himalayas with snow-covered tops overlooking the Tirthan River.
Dharamshala (Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh)
Dharamsala is the residence of the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist leader in exile from Dharamsala, who runs his government. Now, what better place on earth to experience the rich and royal Tibetan culture than this little town set at the foot of the Dhauladhar mountains.
Dalai Lama came to India with his followers in the year 1959 and settled the town of Dharamsala, quite beautified, transforming it into the little Lhasa. Dharamsala has been a hub of meditation and peace for many years, with thousands of people coming here from all over the world to seek Nirvana.
Shimla in Himachal Pradesh (Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh)
Spread over a 12 km plateau, with steep forest hills dropping in all directions, the Himachal capital is one of India’s most famous hill resorts, bustling with a pleasant crowd of Indian holidaymakers.
For some tourists, the draw peruses the retro and modern dimension of Shimla’s earlier life as British India’s summer city. Numerous great destinations like Masobra, Kufri, and Narkanda make Shimla India’s most stunning and urbanized hill destination. The long main street, The Mall, runs just below the hill’s spine east and west. South of it, the bustling bazaar’s labyrinthine alleys and stairways run down to Cart street and is Shimla’s lifeline.
Kasol (Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh)
Kasol is a cute little Himachal village located on the banks of the Parvati River. Kasol is a tourist attraction widely known as ‘Amsterdam of India,’ which is rapidly gaining popularity as a popular hub for trekkers, backpackers, and nature lovers. Located 23 km from Bhuntar and adjacent to the holy town of Manikaran, Kasol is one of the best places in the country to just sit back and chill in the snow-clad mountains, pine trees, and gurgling river panorama.
Often referred to as ‘India’s Mini-Switzerland,’ Khajjiar is a small town near Dalhousie that offers a rare combination of woods, lakes, and pastures for tourists.
Throughout the years, many kings, including the Rajputs and Mughals, have greatly influenced and inspired the mesmerizing beauty of this place. Located at an altitude of 6,500 feet, this place’s natural beauty and picturesque scenery are bound to leave a traveler with an eternal impression. Khajjiar is known for its nine-hole golf course nestled between lush greenery and stunning scenery.
Kasauli (Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh)
Kasauli is a small town in the Solan district, in the southwestern part of Himachal, on the relatively lower edges of the Himalayas. Nestled among beautiful wooded pine forests (Chir Pine), herbs (Milk Thistle), and cedar trees, Kasauli owes its magical and serene atmosphere to the sumptuous Victorian buildings designed by the British who lived here years ago. These structures speak volumes about the hill station’s glorious history. Mainly known for its accessibility from Chandigarh and Delhi (it is located only 65 km from Chandigarh), Kasauli is not about unique attractions or events, but about the serene atmosphere and beautiful properties to stay.
Bir is considered one of the world’s best paragliding spots. The take-off site is named Billing, and Bir is the landing site, and the total change in altitude is about 800 m. There’s a good cafe in the city that serves some tasty food. People can also go on short walks, visit the monasteries, take a trip on the nearby train Jogindernagar-Pathankot Narrow Gauge or just spend a day at the tea gardens. The town of Bir is also a significant center of meditation and spiritual studies.
The most significant attraction of the Kinnaur district is the religious “Shiva Lingam,” also known as “Land of God,” the depiction of Lord Shiva and the mesmerizing rock formations change their colors many times during the day. In the region, there are old Buddhist monasteries and temples that hold special significance and are respected by Buddhists. In addition to religion, Kinnaur also has a broad reach in adventure sports such as trekking and skiing. There are about nine established trekking routes and some five-day or six-day journeys. Kinnaur is well known for its delicious apples, chilgoza, handcrafted fabrics, and handcrafts.
A peaceful getaway on the plains of the Spiti River is Kaza, lying huddled in the corner of Himachal Pradesh. Kaza is a dream destination, lapped by magnificent snow-covered mountains, meandering and bubbling rivers and streams, and picturesque desert landscape with sparse patches of green.
It is divided into two parts: old and new Kaza, each accommodating offices of government and palace of the king, respectively. To this already magical city, monasteries, Gompas, and other historical wonders add beauty. Today, this city is a stunning mix of modernity and special ancient culture that will delight you with its mystery.
What is the best time to visit Himachal Pradesh?
The best time to visit Himachal is February through June (Spring and Summer). Also, during the winters, the state undergoes a beautiful transformation, that is, between October and February when it’s the snowfall season. Even this is the perfect time to ski and ice skate. Places like Rohtang Pass, Kufri, and Shimla are very popular destinations for tourists. Summers are the perfect time for hiking, paragliding, camping, and sports on the beach. The majority of treks take place in Shimla, Manali, and Dharamshala during this period. It’s suggested to avoid those areas in Himachal that are prone to landslides during monsoons from July to September.
Is Himachal Pradesh a good place for foodies?
In the state, a staple meal will consist of Dals, rice, broth, roti, and sabzi. Meat is also a favorite, particularly red meat, and here almost all delicacies are prepared with a rich gravy, fragrant with local aromatic spices and herbs. Himachal’s cuisine, with few of these constants in place, varies across its varied terrains and climates, and the geography gives the food new alterations and variants, making the overall platter rich and vibrant. The highlights of the state’s cuisine are Sidu (a wheat preparation), Patande (a local variant of pancakes), Chouk, Bhagjery, Chutney of ‘Til,’ Khatta, Kali Dal, Aloo panda, Auriya Kadoo (a pumpkin preparation), Spicy lotus stems.
The fight with COVID-19 is not over yet, but life has to come back to normal. With the unlock already done, it is now time to take your backpacks and hit Himachal Pradesh and enjoy a quick rejuvenation before you are called to your workplace.