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  • Winter is the best season to travel to Himachal and experience the breathtaking scenes of valleys, snow capped mountains, frozen lakes and also to indulge in some winter sports activities. Himachal Pradesh experiences heavy snowfalls in winter and hence when you are searching for some best places to visit in Himachal, the following should be added to your itinerary.


    Here are some of the best places to visit in Himachal in winter:

  • 01Khajjiar

    Khajjiar

    Why to visit in winters – Khajjiar otherwise known as India’s Switzerland is famous for its beautiful landscape and aura. Welcome this winter by visiting the best place in Himachal at Khajjiar and also experience the unique snowfall.

    What to do – Visit to Golden Devi temple, Trek on Rohtang pass, Solang valley, visit Manu temple, go to Sankat Mochan temple, Jakhu temple, IIAS

    What to see -The most amazing thing to see here is the Khajjiar Lake, smell some deodar trees in this small meadow, and explore the pristine beauty of this lake by strolling around those small ponds.

  • 02Manali

    Manali

    Why to visit in winters - Manali is one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh in winter to see winter film shoots, or to paraglide or to raft or trek.

     What to do – Paragliding at Manali or Zorbing on the green slopes of Solang valley.

    What to see – Manikaran sulphur water bath, trek to Rohtang pass, Hampta pass trek, rafting at Rishikesh, Beas river side view, Hidimba Devi temple visit, Jogini waterfalls bath, trek to Bhrigu lake, etc.

  • 03Parashar Lake

    Parashar Lake

    Why to visit in winters – The Lake has a unique sight during winters and this is the only reason you have to make a visit to Parashar Lake this winter, this hidden gem of Himachal is great to be explored during winter season.

    What to do – Visit the Devnal temple, Prashar Lake, Trokada mata Mandir, Trilonkanth temple

    What to see – Temple hopping (lots of temples to hop), Panchvaktra temple and Arya samaj Mandir are worth seeing

  • 04Kufri

    Kufri

    Why to visit in winters – If there are any places to visit in Himachal in winter then, Kufri is the perfect spot for tourists. Situated on the Himalayan range, Kufri is almost like touching the snow paradise during winters, during winters the annual winter sports festival is held during the month of February

    What to do – Take part in the skiing competition, Kufri is the provider of oldest skiing slopes in the whole of Himachal region, or go fro go karting in the Kufri circuit

    What to see – Sprawl to see the Himalayan nature park, winter skiing at Fagu, or get exerted at Kufri fun world or learn skiing in the gentle slopes of Kufri.

  • 05Rohtang La

    Rohtang La

    Why to visit in winters – Rohtang is the gateway to Ladakh, and as the name suggests that it is ground of corpses, adventurous travellers looking out for places to visit in Himachal Pradesh in winters pick Rohtang La.

    What to do – Go trekking, have some hot water springs, relax at Hadimba temple, and also visit nearby places, ski and go for sledge rides on the valleys

    What to see – The natural springs are great to see, Vashist is a small village near Rohtang and this is the place where Saint Vashist resided, go to this place and experience the hot water springs during winter.

  • 06Shimla

    Shimla

    Why to visit in winters – The capital city of Himachal Pradesh is not only the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh in winters, but this is also a hill station that is rich in its colonial history

    What to do – What can be more tempting than to shop in the heart of the beautiful town of Shimla, soak this winter into the surrounding area of Shimla at Ridge, or take a joyful train ride through Kalka and Shimla.

    What to see – Jakhoo temple has to be in the itinerary, appealing Christ church is worth seeing, get flattered by seeing the Kufri sceneries or see the tourists ski in the snow covered Kufri Mountains

  • 07Spiti Valley

    Spiti Valley

    Why to visit in winters - Spiti valley is the Indian favorite for witnessing some beautiful snow balls and snow rains. Full of monasteries and Tibetan culture, it’s one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh in winters.

    What to do – Take a ride on the Kunzum range by trekking at the Kunzum pass, or collect some ancient books at Key monastery or capture some memorable pictures at Chandratal Lake

    What to see – One must definitely see the Toba monastery or Dhankar monastery or see the real photogenic lake Suraj Tal or Taste the tasty momos and Thupka at Dragon restaurant.

  • 08Solang Valley

    Solang Valley

    Why to visit in winters – Here’s one from the Himalayas for snow lovers! The Solang valley looks magnificent when completely covered with snow during the winters and is a popular destination for skiing.  

    What to do – Tourists get lot of things to do here – from horse driving to paragliding, and mini open jeeps, this is an alluring place for any age group tourists. Go for zorbing as the snow melts or ski on the snow covered Solang valley

    What to see – Nehru kund, Manu temple, Vashisht baths, Hadimba temple and adventure sports are few things to see and indulge in.

  • 09Malana

    Malana

    Why to visit in winters – The Malana a small village is famous for its Parvathi valley and its dam project Malana Hydro power station, Availability of Wi-Fi, local eateries, good restaurants, adventure, legend, myth, trekking and thrills are few of the pros of this hidden little village

    What to do – Some famous attractions nearby are Chandrakhani pass, Bijli Mahadev temple, Manikaran and Naggar

    What to see – The Athens of Himalayas provides some or other things for its tourists – from eateries, to hospitality to adventure tours. 

  • 10Kullu

    Kullu

    Why to visit in winters – Tourists normally prefer to go to Manali, but little are they aware that Kullu which is near to Manali is a nature’s paradise on Earth and that too mainly during winter seasons

    What to do – Tourists normally want some best places to visit in Himachal in winters so that they can get some best adventure fun, indulge in some best things like river rafting, trekking, mountaineering and camping

    What to see – Catch the festive look at Raghunath temple, see the flowing waters at Pandoh Dam, watch natural and scenic beauty of Kullu at Great Himalayan national park or take adventurous by fishing and rafting at River Beas of Kullu.

  • 11Narkanda

    Narkanda

    Why to visit in winters – Surrounded by woodlands and thick forest, tourists would love to visit this place, Narkanda is one of the best places to visit in Himachal in winters. This popular winter destination is famous for winter skiing

    What to do – Touch the Hatu peak, or go skiing on the mountains, take a break for Tannu Jubbar lake picnic or eat some fresh apples from stokes farm

    What to see – Watch the mountains and relax get immersed in the serenity of Mahamaya temple, shop at the city shopping for buying some pattoo or Himachal shawls and eat the local Narkanda cuisine at Negi dhaba

  • 12Dalhousie

    Dalhousie

    Why to visit in winters – The Switzerland of India Dalhousie is an amazing hill station with scenic views and prominent Indo-British association scenario. Tourists longing to for best places to visit in Himachal in winters can pick this destination for their winter journey

    What to do – Trip to Dalhousie will be futile if you don’t visit the Panch Pulla, Satdhara falls view, ride to Khajjiar, or go wild by visiting Kalatop wild life sanctuary and rock climb at any of the specified places on Dalhousie or Khajjiar

    What to see – Catch a glimpse of the oldest church St. John church, see the perennial spring, watch the pine land at Daikund Lake or go for river crossing and river rafting

  • 13Triund

    Triund

    Why to visit in winters – Searching for some best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh in winters? Try out Triund trekking this winter. The whole area looks great with thick covered snow and it will be fun to pass through this snow covered valleys and hills

    What to do – Trek to Triund from Mcleodganj and spend a day or take a picnic break to enjoy the pristine beauty of the rivers and sceneries

    What to see – There are some nearby attractions like Bhagsunath temple, Bhagsu falls, Minkiani pass and some best sightseeing places too

  • 14Mcleodganj

    Mcleodganj

    Why to visit in winters – The best time to visit Mcleodganj is in winter, this the time where you can enjoy paragliding and do plenty of things and experience the real fun of winter in Himachals

    What to do – The top most things to do in Mcloedganj is to trek in the mountains of Triund hills, enjoy the water fall at Bhagsu or visit the museums at Tibetan museum

    What to see – Spin your prayer wheels at Kalachakra temple, find peace at Tsechokling Gompa or hit the peak of Naddi view point to see the beauty of Mcleodganj

Attractions

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Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is quite famous among Ladakh travelers but the unpredictable avalanche and severe climatic conditions make it scary some times. Nonetheless, it had made adventure seekers’ tour of Ladakh mind-blowing. A high mountain pass at an elevation of 3978 meters above the sea level, Rohtang is just 51 km from Manali. It is a part of the proud Pir Panjal Range of the mighty Himalayas.

It acts as the connecting link between Kullu Valley and Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Being an ancient trade route, it was well maintained by the natives. The generic name of the pass suggests that either the pass was the oldest and the most used pass. With the increase of visitors every year, the fragile mountain ecology will be in threat, environmentalists worry.

But the exciting beauty of the mountain terrains seen from the top of the pass is indescribable and flamboyant. The Indian Government started building a tunnel which is 8.5 km long to bypass Rohtang pass in order to reduce the travel time and distance to Keylong, Lahaul and Spiti and Leh.

The tunnel promises to reduce the distance by 50 km and the time by five hours between the south and north faces of Rohtang pass. Currently, the time taken to ascend and descend the pass itself is 5-6 hours.

Height:
 Rohtang Pass is located at an altitude of 3978 meters above the sea level in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas.

Location:
 The pass is located about 51 kms away from Manali and you can reach the pass if you take Leh- Manali Highway.

Best time to visit: 
The pass will be open from the months of May to October as the snow starts melting and the paths will be cleared.

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Lachulung La

Apart from Khardung La or Baralacha La, Ladakh has numerous other passes at great heights which stand as Ladakh’s pride for centuries now. The glitters of other passes may be diminished by Khardung La mainly but all the other passes are equally important. Lachulung La is a single example.

The elevation of this pass is 5059 meters above sea level which is considered to be a dangerously exciting height for any pass after Khardung La. Lachulung La is on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Also, it separates the valleys of Tsarap Chu and Tozay. If you take Leh-Manali highway, you will be able to cross this pass that has other names such as Lachalung La, Lungalacha La etc. 

A fact that to be remembered before you head to visit this pass is, it is open only for four and a half months during summer. Any traveler should be prepared not to fall sick during the conquering of Lachulung La because its geographic status, the height, the rugged pathways and the remote villages it goes through may cause dramatic influence on your body. Being one of the most adventurous passes in Ladakh, Lachulung is a favorite stop avid adventure lovers.

Also, the surroundings are quite fictional as the towering Himalayan passes and the nature lying in correspondence to them are creating soothing visuals. Trekkers should be very careful while climbing the altitude up as altitude sickness is assured at the top and keep hydrated to maintain your body conditions with respect to the climate. But the descent is smooth and easy so that you will feel overjoyed till the end.

Height:
5059 meters

Best time to visit:
May to October

How to reach:
Take Leh-Manali highway, from Sarchu 54 KM and from Pang, 24 Km

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Nakee La

As important as the other major passes in Jammu and Kashmir, Nakee La situated at an elevation of 4769 meters above the sea level is a potent competition to Khardung La and similar ones in terms of adventure. On the Leh-Manali Highway, from Manali to Taglang La is Nakee La and it is the third pass among the five passes that to be crossed during the travel from Manali to Leh.

The previous travelers shared the experience of driving down the pass was quite dramatic; the expert drivers also find it challenging to steer past the uneven, rugged and off-road paths. But the traversing time would be filled with excitement and thrill if you really love adventure at its level best.

The frequent sections of ice are another impediment during the journey as well as an avalanche, heavy snowfalls etc can be expected anytime making the process of crossing the pass difficult. The climate is very dry over here and the harsh cold conditions make the pass a challenge to overcome for many. 21 Gata loops is a repeatedly heard word during the tour of Leh and the ascent to Nakee La is known in the special name.

One have to overcome the 23 km ascent that starts from 4250 meters to 4980 meters conquering the 21 tricky hairpin bends. There is also a rumor you can hear about the pass is that the pass is haunted by a ghost of a tourist who was buried here.

Height: 
Nakee La is located at an elevation of 4769 meters above the sea level.

Location:
 Nakee La is located on the famous Leh-Manali National Highway. While you travel from Manali to Leh, you would come across Nakee La.

Best time to go: 
The summer is the best time to visit Nakee La since during winter there would be heavy snowfall and landslide.

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Shivalik Fossil Park

At a distance of 22 km south-west from Nahan on the banks of Markand River is one of the most visited tourist places in Nahan, the Shivalik Fossil Park, also known as Suketi Fossil Park. The park houses a collection of prehistoric vertebrate fossils and skeletons dug out from the Upper and Middle Shivaliks, which will engage history lovers and culture enthusiasts.

The highlight of you visit to the Fossil Park will the open-air display of six life-sized fibreglass models of extinct mammals in a recreation of the Shivalik Hills setting, which dates back to 2.5 million years.

Ticket Prices:
Free entry.

Open Time:
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Closed on Tuesday)

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Zingzing Bar

A quintessential location and a high altitude roadside bar is Zingzing situated on the road from Manali to Leh. Travelers come here to refresh with a sip of coffee or to have food to energize the body and soul to resume their journey to Leh. The multi-purpose shacks can be availed to stay overnight as well.

A space where you will love to roll a joint and smoke it up to escape from the extreme cold. Located at an altitude of 4270 meters above the sea level, the place is recognized to be the most suitable one to take rest. Peaceful ambience and the silence prevailing would leave everyone addicted to it.

The fame of ZIngzing Bar was enhanced because of Baralacha La pass also; the starting point of Baralacha La, one of the most loved passes in Ladakh is Zingzing Bar. Thus it cannot be missed during one’s journey to Leh. The temperature level at the bar will be crazily as low as -2* Celsius and as you ascend from a different temperature from the base, chances to feel altitude sickness and fluctuations in the body are quite higher.

Height:
 The highest roadside bar in the world is located at an elevation of 4270 meters above the sea level before the steep Baralacha La roads starts.

Location:
 From Manali, Zingzing Bar is situated at a distance of 193 kms and a drive of about 3 hours will take you to the bar and from Leh it is about 337 kms away.

Best time to visit:
 Zingzing Bar is found the most scenic during the months of December, January and February when the winter hits at its peak. For those who are searching for peace over a joint, Zingzing bar during winter would be the best option.

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Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary

Spanning across the area of 4 sq. km, the Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit in Nahan if you are a wildlife enthusiast. The legend has it that it is named after one of the prettiest ladies ever to walk over the face of the earth Renukaji and her son Parshuram. It protects a brilliant collection of the local flora and fauna, which will revive the nature lover in you.

Some of the species harboured in the Sanctuary are Samber, Leopard, Spotted Deer. It is a highly recommended place of visit for Nature enthusiasts and wilderness seekers.

Ticket Prices: 
Free entry.

Timings: 
Sunrise to Sunset.

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Baralacha La

A story says like this; there were two lovers in mythology, Chandra and Bhaga, one is the daughter of the Moon and the other one is the son of Sun God, respectively. To do their marriage, both of them climbed to the Baralacha La and from there, they started running in opposite directions.

Both of them found Tandi as their meeting point and thus their marriage became eternal. The factor made their love shine is Baralacha La pass, a high mountain pass in Zanskar Range that connects Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

In ancient times, Baralacha La was considered to be the main trade route. Near the pass, there is this emerald like the lake, the Suraj Tal which is the source of Bhaga River. The pass is situated at an altitude of 16040 feet and on this plateau, the famous mountain ranges such as Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Great Himalayas come together to meet.

One who wishes to go to Leh through Leh-Manali highway has to cross this pass which hides plenty of adventure and thrill in it.

Height:
 Baralacha La is the most important pass as Khardung La and it is situated at an altitude of 16040 feet above the sea level.

Location:
 Baralacha La is located 73 kms away from Keylong on Manali-Leh road.

Best time to visit:
 The months of April to October are the best months to visit Baralacha La pass as the roads will be open because the snow melts. If you are going from Manali to Leh, then it is advisable that cross the pass before noon due to the melting of snow and creation of streams on the road

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Renuka Temple

On the similar lines of the Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary we have the Renuka Temple, it is dedicated to Renukaji and her son Lord Parshuram. Continuing the legend, it is said that Parshuram wished to go through his time on earth at the feet of his mother and it is a result of this reason, the mother-son pair meet each year amid the beginning of yearly Renuka Fair.

It is additionally believed that Goddess Renuka is the reincarnation of Goddess Durga, which makes it a popular place to visit amongst devotees and followers of Hinduism. The calmness that it has to offer makes it one of the top 
tourist places in Nahan and is surely worth a visit.

Ticket Prices: Free entry.

Open Time: Sunrise to Sunset

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Sarchu

On a tour of Leh, either starting from Manali or while returning to Manali, Sarchu is a major halt where properly arranged camping settlement can be seen. To relax, to just roam around or to sleep peacefully under the stars, Sarchu is a significant point in Ladakh region. It is on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir on the Leh-Manali Highway.

The travelers from Manali to Leh will have to face some off-road conditions and two days will be required to reach Leh on the journey, hence people will choose Sarchu as a halt station. Near the Tsarap Chu River, one can see the camps arranged by the Indian Army as well. But during the winter season, the highway and Sarchu camps would be remaining closed as the altitude passes will not be accessible due to the presence of heavy snow.

Mainly, the trekking of Ladakh starts from Sarchu because the continuing journey from Manali to Leh would be tiring and the trekkers cannot start the experience all of a sudden. So an overnight stay in Sarchu will give energy and more enthusiasm to start the walk early morning. The tents are proper and safe with all the facilities an overnight resident would require.

Height:
 4290 meters above the sea level

Location: 
Sarchu is between Baralacha La to the south and Lachulung La to the north and 220 kms away from Manali. You can reach Sarchu if you take a drive along Leh- Manali Highway.

Best time to visit:
 The months from June to October are considered the best time to reach Sarchu.

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Rani Tal

Rani Tal was once a retreat for the Royalties residing in and around Nahan and in the surrounding Shivalik Hills. On one end of the Lake or Tal, there is an idol of Lord Shiva and a small temple dedicated to Goddess Lata Devi.

The Rani Tal has firmly established its place as a top picnic spot, attracting a multitude of solo travellers and families or couples alike be it local or tourists. You can spend time at this spot by having a stroll in the adjacent garden or by feeding the fishes and the turtles which are there in the pond.

The garden also houses a fountain which will rejuvenate you after your excursion. There is a small cave too which is believed to make its way to the King’s Palace.

Ticket Prices:
Free entry.

Timings:
Open 24 hours

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Gata Loops

A very mysterious attraction existing on the Leh-Manali Highway is Gata Loops as the stories related to it are creepy and at times scary. Gata Loops is a series of 21 hairpin bends that lead to the top of one of the highest motorable passes in Ladakh region that is Nakee La.

Gata Loops is located at an altitude of 17000 feet above the sea level and thus gifts so many wonderful sights of the snow-laid peaks in the background and excitement filled journey till the topmost portion.  The myth related to Gata Loops says that a ghost is present in the road and it will disturb the passengers so that everyone is supposed to pay tribute to the ghost dwelling in a small hut atop the pass by giving mineral water and cigarettes.

In spite of the fact that the ghost is present or not, people have showered offerings to the mysterious ghost. Nonetheless, Gata Loops is a treacherous route to overcome and during winter, the roads will be blocked as the incessant ice sheets are all over the place. The hairpin bends are sharp and it is unimaginably challenging to enter the next loop from the other but descending the loops is more thrilling.

Height:
 The pass is located at an altitude of 17000 feet at the maximum above the sea level.

Location:
 The loops are located 25 kms away from Sarchu on Leh-Manali Highway.

Best time to visit:
 The roads will be suitable to have ride during the months of June, July, August and September.

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Key Monastery

While Himachal Pradesh is home to a dozen different monasteries, this spectacular place is not just the biggest, but also the oldest one around. A must visit tourist place in Spiti Valleythe Key Gompa is encircled by picturesque mountains and soothing valleys.

A wonderful example of monastic architecture and decorated with beautiful paintings, murals, manuscripts, and wind instruments – the Kye attracts history and cultural buffs round the year. If you are seeking spiritual enlightenment, the monastery is home to a large number of nuns, monks, and lamas who receive their religious education here.

If you plan to visit during June-July, you’ll also get to witness the beautiful festival involving Chaam dancers, lamas and a devil made out of butter!

Location: Spiti Valley, Lahul.

Best time to visit: May to October.

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Kareri Lake

Very few people who like stillness around such hypnotic places, pick Kareri Lake amongst the other places to visit in Kangra. Emerging from the heart of the Dhaulandhar range, this scintillating lake is one of its creation. The lake freezes in the winters leaving behind a revitalizing breeze. A major magnetism is the trekking experience during which you can partake in activities like Tyrolean Traversing. 

Although, only experienced people go for this since it is conducted on higher altitudes. It also forms the base for trekking further into this mountain range to Bagga and Rewa until one finally reaches the end point-Guna Devi Temple. You can bow down at the ancient Shiva and Shakti temple by the lake, a devotional place for many.

Where exactly: 
2 km ahead of Sari Village.
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Bijli Mahadev Temple

Kullu has a huge history in its sack. It also homes one of the most beautiful temples in India. Bijli Mahadev Temple stands out from all the other temples due to its serenity and scenic beauty.  It is located at a height of 2460 m above sea level. This temple is a “Kash” style temple in which Lord Shiva is in the form of Shiva Lingam.

The temple can be reached easily after crossing the Beas River. It is located 22 km away from Kullu. The higher ground surrounding the temple offers a panoramic view of the Paravati and Kullu valley. The glistening 60 feet staff of Bijli Mahadev is visible from a very long distance. Legend says that this temple gets struck by lightning every year.

This is why the temple is named after lightning.  The lightning distorts the position of the Shiva Linga. The priest of the temple attaches it again using tattoo and butter as an adhesive. To reach this temple, you will have to perform a 3 km moderately difficult trek uphill. It is an easy trek for younger persons. 

Distance from Kullu Bus Stand to Bijli Mahadev Temple: 
The distance from Kullu Bus Stand to Bijli Mahadev Temple is 5.6 km.

Location: 
Kashawri, Himachal Pradesh, 175138.

Opening Timings: 
The temple follows the opening and closing timings of other temples usually.
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Bir Landing Site

Landing Site in Bir is also known as Sunset Point as it offers soul-stirring views of the sunset. Every evening, the local mob and tourists flock to this place to enjoy the beautiful sunset. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants making the Landing Site, one of the most enthralling places to see in Bir Billing.

As the name suggests, Landing Site is used by the paraglider pilots as the official site for landing and hence, one can enjoy the views of paragliders gracefully descending here.

Location: Bir Colony Road, Himachal Pradesh

Timing: Always open

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Kasauli

A perfect weekend getaway for you if you are in Solan, Shimla, or Chandigarh, Kasauli is a hill town located in Solan District of Himachal Pradesh. Kasauli boasts a pleasant temperature during the summer season, and it does not get too cold during winters, making for a great and convenient hill destination.

The major tourist attractions here are buildings dating back to the times of British India, showcasing brilliant architecture. The most prominent one being the Christ Church.

Location: 25 km from Solan City

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