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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 Valley, the 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.
The Roopkund Lake is situated high up in the Garhwal Mountains in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This lake is of much historical and religious importance. It was also called the Mystery or Skeletal Lake after a large number of human skeletons were found in it in 1942 by a Forest Officer.
Following this discovery, a number of scientists visited the lake to find out the reason for the skeletons being there and it was eventually concluded that the skeletons belonged to some pilgrims who were caught unawares in a flash hailstorm.
Due to the huge chunks of ice that came with the hailstorm, the pilgrims died due to injuries to their skulls. This story was aired in national and international media and since them the Roopkund Lake has become a popular tourist destination.
The trek to Roopkund Lake showcases the best of Himalayan beauty. The trek begins at Lohajung, which is situated at an elevation of 3200 metres and goes on for five days till you reach the lake, which is at an altitude of 5000 metres. The first couple of days will take you through beautiful villages, forests, rivers and Bugyals.
The air will get thinner and thinner as you ascend and gain altitude. So it is very important that you are in the best of health and fitness when you set out for this trek. Higher energy levels will allow you to adjust better with the changing environment and enjoy the views offered by the region. Your team leader will also offer you tips on how to cope with the changing levels of the atmosphere.
The trekking trail followed during the Roopkund trek coincides with that of the Raj Jay Yatra pilgrimage route. This is conducted during a festival dedicated to goddess Nanda Devi and the residents of nearby village participate in this festival dressed in their traditional attire.
Being a combination of the conventional and contemporary Tibetan architecture, the Tibetan Museum in Mcleodganj is very unique. Located inside the Tsuglagkhang complex, the museum walls have a gentle yellow and white colour scheme that adds on to its quaint beauty.
It is a platform where one can observe and be in awe of the Tibetan historical documents, manuscripts, Thangka images, pottery and other handicraft items. Besides that there are also photographs, interviews and video records that explain and file the Chinese intervention in Tibet and the consequent migration of Tibetans. If you are admirers of art and are also fascinated by history then you could purchase paintings, artefacts and handicrafts from the Museum shops as souvenirs.
Timings: - Open from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Milam Glacier is one of the major glaciers in the Kumaon region. It is situated in Munsiyari of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. The elevation of the glacier ranges from 5500 metres to 3870 metres and is located at a distance of 15 km from Nanda Devi. The glacier was closed for trekking in 1962, but was reopened in 1994.
The best time to visit the Milam glacier is before the monsoons i.e. from mid-March to May. The monsoons set in June, which triggers landslides and roadblocks, making the area dangerous for any expedition.
The trekking trail to the Milam glacier starts at Munsiyari. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the Kumaon region and pass through places such as Nanda Devi East Base, Gauri Ganga Lilam, Martoli, Railkot, etc. on your way to the glacier. The glacier originates from the eastern slope of Trishuli and the southern slope of Kohli. The village of Milam is situated near the snout of the glacier. The trek to the Milam glacier is one of the best trails for trekking in India.
The Milam glacier has an altitude of 4268 metres and is surrounded by 52 peaks. The Milam glacier serves as an axial point for high altitude treks in India. The entire distance is covered by walking along the banks of the River Gori Ganga. You will pass through dense forests with blooming rhododendrons, chestnut trees, lush green conifers etc.
The trekking trail takes you past the Nanda Devi and Hardeol peaks. You will also come across the Ragash Kund, a shepherd shelter and a pond. The trek is a slightly difficult and will test your physical fitness and strength as you gain altitude. The best part of the journey is that you get to view the best of Himalayan beauty amidst majestic mountains and gurgling waters.
Best Season: May - September
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Max. Elevation: 4268 m
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The Padam Darchcha Valley trek is an exhilarating experience. The trek involves a long trek from Darcha which is situated in the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh to Padam, located in the mystical land of Zansak. Besides the thrill and excitement of trekking in the snowy slopes of the Himalayas, the trekking trail allows you to enjoy the beauty of the initial trail from Manali to Leh.
You can visit interesting Hindu temples in Manali which speak volumes about the history, culture and traditions of the region. This trek is a beautiful combination of adventure and sight-seeing and hence can be called one of the most exciting experiences of trekking in India.
The trek begins at Chalang Tokpa, from where you will move on to Ramjak and Chumikanakpo. The trek from Ramjak to Chumikanakpo will give you a fabulous trekking experience by testing your strength and skills. From here you will move on to Lakong and pass through Kurgiak and Purne before reaching Padam, Leh. The most interesting change that you will notice on reaching the destination is the transformation of the landscape.
Popular for being the sanctuary of The Dalai Lama, the Tsug la Khang is the core essence of Mcleodganj. It comprises the Namgyal Monastery and also several shrine rooms in its compound. There are statues of Buddha, Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche in these shrines.
If you are an art lover then you should surely go there and admire
this splendid art work. The Dalai Lama’s dwelling and administrative offices
are adjoining to the monastery. Ling Khor, is a meditation trail close to Tsug
La Khang, you will come across small shrines, stupas and also a gigantic
chorten while treading this route. Visiting Tsug la Khang is one of the most
important things to do in Mcleodganj.
Timings- Open from 6 AM to 7 PM
The Pindari Glacier trek is a relatively easy trekking trail. The Pindari glacier is situated between the Nanda Kot and Nanda Devi peaks and is a major destination for tourists and high altitude trekking in India. The pristine white glacier measures 3.2 km in length and 1.5 km in width and has gigantic mountains in its background.
The Pindari glacier trek is a must-do activity for all those who wish to experience nature very closely without compromising on peace and tranquility. The journey to the Pindari glacier begins at Nainital and goes on to Lahorekhet. Usually, night camps are set up and the evening is spent in these camps. On your way to the Pindari glacier, you will also come across Dhakuri, which is a place of great scenic splendour.
On moving ahead from Dhakuri, you come to the Khati village, which is the largest village in the region. Situated on the banks of the River Pinder, the village serves as a perfect spot for a night halt. From Khati you will need to trek another 11 kms to reach Dwali. Dwali has beautiful surroundings to offer and you can relish the beauty of the place as you trek on ahead to Phurkia, situated about 6 kms away.
Pindari glacier is situated at a distance of about 17 kms from Dwali. The vista opens into a beautiful view as you reach the Pindari glacier. Your efforts are paid off with the panoramic view of the surroundings that the Pindari Glacier offers you.
Best Season: March - October
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Max. Elevation: 3627 m
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Find the popular hill stations near Shimla that will keep you hooked all through your holiday, as near as 72 km from Shimla.
1. Manali - 248 km from Shimla
2. Dharamshala - 237 km from Shimla
3. Chail - 45 km from Shimla
4. Kasauli - 72 km from Shimla
5. Mcleodganj - 242 km from Shimla
6. Solan - 46 km from Shimla
7. Kufri - 15 km from Shimla
8. Mandi - 140 km from Shimla
9. Nahan - 134 km from Shimla
10. Sarahan - 161 km from Shimla
Shimla is blessed with lot of things & activities to do, starting from ?499 only. Click here to find out the list of things you can do in Shimla.
1. Go Trekking in Shimla
3. Shopping at Lakkar Bazaar
4. Indulge in River Rafting
6. Cycling in Shimla
7. Hike to Jakhoo Hill
8. Enjoy Natural Ice Skating
9. Experience the Ride on Toy Train
10. Take a Walk in Kuthar Fort
Shimla is often considered to be the most popular hill stations in North India. If you have decided to spend three days strolling on the Mall Road, well, it’s a good idea, but not a great one! You can effortlessly cover all the outstanding tourist spots of this mesmerizing Himachali town. Check into a hotel (not on the Mall Road, preferably) and get ready to explore the city.
You can visit nearby places, such as Iconic Town Hall, Oberoi Clarks Hotel, and The Mall. By the time it’s evening, you can have dinner in a restaurant at the Mall Road. The next day, set out to explore Summer Hills, Chadwick Waterfall, Jhakoo Temple, and other famous spots in Shimla. For the third day, cover Kufri, Lakka Bazar, and other close places. You can also drive to Naldehra, a quaint hamlet nestled amid lush green hills. Return by evening, have a lavish dinner at a restaurant and leave for home, the next morning.
Also Check Out: 3 Days 2 Nights Sightseeing Tour In Shimla
One can visit Shimla at any time of the year. However, it is advisable to avoid the monsoon season, that is, from July to September, because of the possible landslides and floods. Summer is a pleasant time to visit Shimla. It usually lasts from March to June.
The ‘Queen of Hills’ is a sight to behold during winters, when it snows heavily and everything looks pristine. The snow season begins around December and lasts till February. October and November are also quite cold but it is highly unlikely to witness snowfall during this time.
Also Read: Best Time and Season to Visit Shimla
At the very least, you need four days to visit Shimla. Start from the Mall Road and cover places such as Summer Hills, Kufri, Chail, even Manali, for a day or two. In case, you want to cover the Rohtang Pass, extend your stay for seven days. You will not regret it!
If you want to soak in the vibes of Shimla leisurely, then spend a week there. For the first 2-3 days, try to cover the whole of Shimla, following which, you can drive to Kullu, Manali, even Rohtang Pass, Naggar, and Solang Valley. Feeling lucky? Head over to Spiti Valley as well, but that would require at least one more week from you.
Shimla is well-connected with the road, rail, and air.
By Air – The closest Airport to Shimla is Jubbarhatti, which is located at 23 km from the main city. Chandigarh is the next airport close to Shimla, and it is very well connected with all the major Indian cities. You can take a flight from any airport in the country to Chandigarh Airport, and then head over to Shimla.
By Rail – There is a toy train that chugs from Delhi to Kalka via world heritage narrow gauge railways. The journey will fill your heart and soul with serenity. The views all through the journey will be breathtaking! It halts at Kalka from where you can book a cab to the city.
By Road – One can travel to Shimla via road as well. The roads are well-maintained and connected with the major cities of India. From Delhi, the distance is 350 km, and people often drive to Shimla from there.
There are countless reasons to visit Shimla. It is known as the ‘Queen of Hills’ for good reasons. The popularity of this beautiful hill station is such that even a 7-year-old child of North India knows about the snowfall in Shimla.
The city is wonderful in so many ways that it is almost impossible to squeeze them all in here. Panoramic views, beautiful weather, incredible winter season (don’t forget the snowfall), feel-good ambience, heartwarming summers, breathtaking rains, wonderful attractions to explore — the list is inexhaustible!
Winter starts somewhere around mid-November in Shimla. One can start expecting snowfall around the beginning of December. The snow is expected to fall until mid-February
The nearest airport to Shimla is Jubbarhatti. It is located at about 23 km from the main city. Chandigarh and Delhi are the other two airports closest to Shimla.
Shimla does have an airport. However, it is located at 23 km from the city. It is known as Jubbarhatti. It is owned and managed by the Airport Authority of India.
Shimla witnesses all the seasons of the year, so, your clothes depend on the time during which you are visiting Shimla. For summers, you can wear casual clothes like a summer dress, jeans, tops, and jumpsuits for women and t-shirts, shirts, jeans, shorts, etc for men. However, evenings of Shimla are quite chilling even in summer, so remember to keep a shawl or woollen sweaters for you.
The same is the case during the rainy season. It is warm during the day but if it rains, the weather fluctuates. From November to February, there is snowfall and the winter season of Shimla is teeth clattering cold. So, it’s mandatory to carry woollen clothes, such as jackets, sweaters, shawls, shoes, socks, etc with you.