About Himachal Pradesh

A vacation to Himachal Pradesh gives a great pleasurable as it is one of the most beautiful tourist places in India. This land of mountains houses uncountable tourist places. Himachal Pradesh is a must-see destination for the devotees of mountains. The state is proud of its legendary history and multihued cultural heritage. There are many monasteries, temples and forts here which are praise worthy. The vistas of the breathtaking mountains, passes, valleys, lakes, springs, waterfalls and wildlife are sights to behold.

Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

Location

Himachal Pradesh resides in the north-west India. Sprawling over an area of 56,019 sq km, Himachal Pradesh shares its border with the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on north, Punjab on west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on south, Uttaranchal on south-east and by Tibet on the east.

Tourist Attractions

Luring travellers from all parts of the world, tourist attractions of Himachal Pradesh are truly impressive. The most charming places of the state are its hill stations, including Shimla, Manali, Kullu, Dalhousie and Dharamsala. One can also find many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimages here. Some of the very popular Hindu pilgrimages of the state are Bajreshwari temple, Chamunda Devi temple, Lakshmi Narayan temple and Jwalamukhi temple. There are also many Buddhist pilgrimages in the state some of which are Rewalsar, Guru Ghantal Monastery, Kardang Monastry and Tabo Monastry. Himachal Pradesh is highly popular for adventure sports. Shimla and Kufri are the two destinations where people come for skiing. Rivers like Sutlej near Shimla, Beas near Kullu, Ravi near Chamba and the Chandra in Lahaul are the best destinations for river rafting. Travellers can also take the pleasure of adventure sports like para gliding, surfing, kayaking, rowing, canoeing, mountaineering, trekking and rock climbing in Himachal Pradesh.

Flora And Fauna

Around 66 % of the total area of Himachal Pradesh is blanketed with forests and the variation in vegetation depends on elevation. The vegetation of the lower elevation is dominated by sal, sisham, chir pine and moist broad-leafed forests. The temperate region abounds in oaks, deodar, blue pine, fir and spruce. The vegetation of the highest elevation consists of sturdy trees and shrubs like alders, birches and rhododendrons. Himachal Pradesh is called the ?fruit bowl? of India as it produces a wide variety of fruits. A range of flowers like gladiolas, carnations, marigold, roses, chrysanthemums, tulips and lilies are also cultivated here.

Himachal Pradesh houses many species of animals. The state has around 359 animal species and 1200 avian species. The state also has 12 major National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, the largest number in the Himalayan region. The wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of the state are rich in the population of brown bear, goral, snow leopard, serow, ibex and bharal. Musk dear, leopard and snow leopard are also found here. Some of the best wildlife destinations in Himachal Pradesh are Great Himalayan National Park, Pin Valley National Park, Chail Sanctuary, Maharana Pratap Sagar Sanctuary, Kanawar Sanctuary and Simbalbara Sanctuary.

Safaris

An interesting, and also the fastest way to explore the wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, religious sites and villages of Himachal Pradesh is Jeep safari. Other amazing safaris tourists can enjoy in Himachal Pradesh are bike safari, river safari and Yak safari.

Shopping

Himachal Pradesh is also known for its wonderful handicrafts reflecting the expertise of the local craftsmen. A wide variety of shopping items are available in the markets dotted here. The alluring and durable handicrafts available here are very much admired by the tourists. The rugs and carpets with floral designs remain must buy. Also, buy the elegant Thangka painting which make great home decors. Poetic in theme, Kangra style of paintings are quite popular among foreign tourists. A wide variety of wooden shopping items such as cradles, bedsteads, boxes, low settees and ladles are also available. Women folk must buy some embroidered kurtas and accessories from the markets. Woollen garments are available at reasonable rates.

Best Time To Visit:

The best time to visit such a great tourist destination is from January to April.

Climate

Himachal Pradesh experiences extremely chilly winters and warm summers.
Temperature of Himachal Pradesh: Maximum 30?C and Minimum: 2?C .

How To Reach

By Air: Himachal Pradesh is well connected to Delhi and Chandigarh by regular flights from the three airports. The airports are at Bhuntar, Gaggal and Jubbarhatti. The state does not have any international airport.
By Rail: Being a hilly area, Himachal Pradesh has very few places, which are connected by trains. Kalka is the most important railway station in the state.
By Road: Various places of Himachal Pradesh are well connected to each other and to the major cities of north India by road. Some of the roads in Himachal Pradesh remain closed during winters due to heavy snowfall and landslides.

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