I have visited this place at least 20 times, thanks to my job which took me to every nook and corner of Himachal and offered me a lot of opportunity to interact with locals. And every time I was left craving for more. The name meaning home of snow or land of snow, is blessed with mountain peaks, hot springs and many other natural riches. Interlocking mountain chains makes Himachal a spectacular place simply to explore. Every pass crossing into a new valley is a new surprise, with its own customs, gods and even language. You can meet the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala in his home away from home, or get stunned by the preserved Tibetan customs at Spiti. The culinary ranging from Thukpas and momos to the traditional Himachali cuisine is a foodie’s delight. While I was fortunate to get an immersive feel of this place, I have tried to create a shorter module for travellers who are hard pressed with time.
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Arrive at Chandigarh airport and get transferred to Pathankot. Explore the town at leisure. Overnight stay at Pathankot
Named after Lord Dalhousie, the erstwhile Governor of Punjab, Dalhousie still retains its old world British charm and a lush green cover of pine, deodar and oak trees that adorn its winding roads and Valleys. Visit Mukteshwar Temple , Ranjit Sagar Dam Shahpurkhandi fort etc. Overnight stay at Dalhousie
Drive to Chamba and take a moderate 2 km trek of 2 kms to the Dain kund peak. Later visit Panchpula, Satdhara falls, Kalatop Wildlife sanctuary (which lies in the path of the River Ravi). Spend some time at St John church the oldest in town that carries enormous historical significance.
Drive to the most scenic places overlooking the Dhauladhar hills. This is Dharamshalla for you, the place where Tibetans live in exile & have made it their home & their seat of political activity. Also known as little Lhasa, Dharamshala is an epicenter of Buddhism in India. Walk through the bustling Tibetan market and take your pick from jewelry, artifacts, beads, woollens and more.
Walk up to the Namgyal monastery (institute of Buddhist studies) just opposite the Dalai Lama’s residence & soak in the serenity. Visit the Tibetan children’s school that takes care of the orphaned Tibetan children. Take a walk up to McLeod Ganj a top the hill; interact with monks & other inhabitants of the area. Visit Bhagsu Math and refresh yourself at Bhagsu falls. Overnight stay at Dharamshala
Dharamshala – Manali
Drive to scenic Manali . Visit Hadimba Devi Temple , Vashisth Baths , Tibetan Monastery ,Manu Maharishi Temple , Club House . Overnight stay at Manali
Rohtang Pass and Solong Valley
Rohtang Pass is lies between the twin valley of Lahaul and Spiti. Drive to the Snow point (Gulaba). The name Rohtang means ‘ground of corpses’ due to the number of people who lost their lives trying to cross it. Rohtang pass offers spectacular views of glaciers, mountain peaks and the Chandra River. Enjoy snow mobile and skiing. Drive further to Solong valley and enjoy the cable car ride.
Drive to Shimla, the capital city of state of Himachal Pradesh, which was once the summer place of the British India. Visit Christ Church Shimla, Viceroy’s lodge. Walk around the town at leisure. Overnight stay at Shimla
Visit Kufri, Fagu, Chail and Naldhera, hot spring and in the evening catch toy train at 4:25 Pm to Kalka. Overnight stay at Kalka
Get transferred to Chandigarh for your flight back home