Himachal Pradesh – a tourist attraction that comes alive with greenery in the monsoons. Here are seven places that should not be missed by any discerning traveler to this hill station.
Set a date with yourself amidst the panoramic view of Narkanda. At an altitude of 2,708 metres, this idyllic town is encased by the Shivalik Ranges. Even as your eyes feast on picturesque view, breathe in the apple blossoms. Solitude lovers – this place is just for you.
Dharamshala, earlier known as Bhagsu, is known internationally as the Dalai Lama’s residence. At an altitude of 1,775 metres, nestled among Deodar trees, it exudes a calmness that nourishes your very soul. The Bhagsunag waterfalls is a must see during the monsoons. Also shop for trinkets and Tibetan knick-knacks at the charming McLeodganj market. You can unleash the artist in you by participating in workshops at the Norbulingka – an institute of Tibetan culture.
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Encircled by glaciers and flanked by the Beas Kund, Solang Valley at an altitude of 8,500 feet is believed to be home to Lord Shiva. Apart from scenic views, Solang is the hub for adventure sports. Do travel by the ropeway to behold the natural splendor. The nearby Rahala waterfalls is a relaxing compliment to the adventure activities of Solang.
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With its historical roots nearly 2000 years back in time, Kullu is well-entrenched as a must visit place in Himachal. The picture postcard image of gurgling rivers, quaint villages, pine forests, apple orchards come alive in Kullu. Soak in the hot springs at Manikaran, which many believe have therapeutic properties. Experience a diverse motif woven with Hindu mythology, Buddhist influences and association with Guru Nanak.
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Cloaked among pine and oak trees is Shoghi, the favourite spot for campers. Less than half an hour’s drive away is the mesmerizing Chadwick Falls. Locally known as Chidku (bird) Jhaar (waterfall) to depict the height of the waterfall that can only be reached by a bird, it is at its vibrant best in the monsoons. Birding enthusiasts can delight in watching the white eared bulbul, green leafbirds, barking deer, blue magpie and many more.
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Just want to drink in the natural scenery, soak in the mountain air, amble leisurely – visit Mashobra. The Mashobra Reserve Forest Sanctuary is also a bird watcher’s delight. Look out for the chikor or the partridge lurking in the verdant coniferous cover. Do buy the jams, squashes and pickles – they carry the flavor of Mashobra.
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High on popularity ratings, replete with mythological stories and dotted with geological wonders, Manali easily makes its place in the must-see list of Himachal Pradesh. While Hidimba Devi presides over this place since the time of Mahabharat, this home of Manu houses the Buddhist monastery of Manali Gompa that attracts many seekers. Even as the Beas river accompanies you almost everywhere, the hot springs offer a healing touch.
So go ahead, set a rendezvous with the monsoon clouds at Himachal.