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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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Here is the list of best places to visit in Shimla curated with timing, Location & Distance from Shimla bus stand.
3. Green Valley
4. Christ Church
5. Shaily Peak
6. Mall Road
7. Gurdwara Sahib
8. Kiala Forest
10. Johnnie’s Wax Museum
Looking for a place to stay in Shimla. Click here to find the list of amazing resorts in Shimla
1. Club Mahindra Mashobra
2. Zurich Resort
3. Agyaat Vaas Resort
4. Woodville Palace
5. Radisson Shimla
6. Woodsmoke Resort and Spa
7. Snow Valley Resort
Check out the list of some Fascinating hill stations near Shimla for a vacation in 2019.
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
You can spend three days in Shimla by following this general itinerary-
Day 1- On your first day in Shimla, you can visit these places to start with:
-Mata Hatkoti Temple
-Tara Devi Temple
-The State Emporium
-Kali Bari Temple
Day 2 - On your second day in Shimla, start your trip by visiting the cultural and social life centre of Shimla; the Ridge. You can go for adventurous activities like trekking and forest camping as well and spend the rest of your day by visiting places like:
-Kamna Devi Temple
-Mangaleshwar Maharaj Temple
Day 3 - The third day in Shimla can be spent by exploring the rest of Shimla and trying out the famous Himachali cuisine. Start your day by having a delightful breakfast and then set out for various adventurous activities like hiking, ice skating, paragliding, or trekking.
If you still wish to explore more of Shimla, visit these places:
-The Shimla State Museum
-The Scandal PointGorton Castle
-Army Heritage Museum
-Johnnie’s Wax Museum
-Himalayan Bird Park
Shimla is a small hill station, but home to a number of thrilling tourist places to visit. It will take around two to three days to fully explore the town of Shimla.
Famous food of Shimla includes:
-Meethe Chawal or Red Rice
The hill station is simply accessible via three modes; railways, airways, and roadways.
By Air- The nearest airport from Shimla is the Chandigarh airport. Shimla is easily accessible through cabs that take roughly 3-4 hours, and some buses take 7-8 hours to reach Shimla.
By Road- You can always find a bus going to Shimla from places like Delhi, Jaipur, Haryana, and Punjab. There are taxis and cabs available from Chandigarh and Delhi airport for Shimla. You can also take HRTC buses from anywhere in Himachal Pradesh.
By Train- The closest railway station from Shimla is located at a distance of 90 km in Kalka. There are local buses or the toy train available from Kalka to reach Shimla. Chandigarh railway station is located at a distance of 113 km from Shimla. The hill station is well connected through buses and cabs from these railway stations.
Know More: Best Time of the Year to Visit Shimla
Shimla is a hill station that can get chilly without any warning. So, it would be wise to pack warm woollens for your vacations. There is no special dress code in Shimla.
But since it’s a hill station, there can be a change in the weather anytime and it can get chilly. Pack only according to the days you are going to spend there.
Pack woollens like jackets, shawls, cardigans, scarfs, and warmers. Also, carry your sunglasses and sunscreen in a fanny pack always.
Yes, the airport in Shimla is located in Jubbarhatti which is situated at a distance of 20 km from the central Shimla. It is, however, no more functional due to the discontinuation of the Kingfisher airlines.
The best way to reach Shimla through airways is to aboard Chandigarh or Delhi airports.
Yes, Shimla is a safe hill station to visit. Apart from some common issues like packed roads and power cuts, Shimla is a safe place to visit.
However, it is recommended to not visit Shimla during the monsoons due to the landslides and slippery roads.
Important things to carry for Shimla Trip:
-Sunscreen and Sunglasses
-Woollens, socks, and warmers
-Good rubber-soled shoes or boots
-Camera with sufficient batteries and memory cards
-Identity proofs and relevant documents
Shimla is known for its historical edifices and ancient temples. Several temples are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. The specialist of Shimla lies in its food and local culture.
Also, there are productive activities that you can do in Shimla with family and friends like trekking, forest camping, shopping, river rafting, snowfall, paragliding, cycling, hiking, ice skating, and more.
Planning a trip to Shimla is easy and inexpensive. Shimla is the summer capital of India, and the best time to plan a trip to Shimla is from March to June as the weather during the daytime is pleasant and idealistic.
However, before planning your trip to Shimla, enquire about the weather conditions of the hill station and issues like landslides and road blockage. Also make a note of hotels, restaurants, places to visit, and activities to do.