Himachal Pradesh and North India
Himachal Pradesh is characterized by its high mountains, valleys and a taste of the East. Its legendary nature offers mountain relaxation and active vacations.
Himachal Pradesh offers panoramic mountain views and expansive tropical grasslands. Thanks to its excellent climatic conditions, the British settled there bringing their summer capital, Shimla, today the state capital, to the region. To reach it comfortably, due to the difficult practicability of the roads and the particular conformation of the territory, a narrow-gauge railway was inaugurated in 1903 traveled by small and picturesque Toy Trains, still the main way to reach the city, Shimla, today an important center for winter sports and trekking, it is always a favorite destination during the sweltering summer months for wealthy families residing in the plains.
One of the three National Highways that take us inside the region leads up to Ladakh via Mandi and the Rohtang Pass, or following the NH 22 you reach Chandigarh and Shimla and then eastwards to the Kinnaur valley and the Sino-Tibetan border .
The remote and fascinating Lahaul-Spiti district preserves some of the oldest Hindu temples in the region, decorated inside with magnificent sculptures and wooden bas-reliefs.
Shimla, the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, has its center located on the top of a mountain, the Ridge, and is crossed by the main street, the Mall, characterized by the characteristic church of Christ and the post office and which ends a little further in so-called Scandal Point.
Proceeding north you reach the beautiful Kullu valley, whose vegetation is legendary, but which the project of future pharaonic building speculations for tourism purposes are seriously jeopardizing. The town itself is of little interest, apart from the shopping opportunities, but you can go further up the valley between breathtaking gorges as far as Manali, where the mild climate and spectacular nature are framed by giants with perennial snow. In the old part there are numerous buildings with carved wooden verandas and richly worked doors. Tailoring and shoemaking workshops are very frequent in the city and an abundant Tibetan community and an equally notable international community have settled here for some time. It is considered, with the nearby and delightful medieval village of Vashisht, the mountain version of Goa, with all that this can mean.
The same environment found in the Manali area can also be found in McLeodganj; too small to be a city in its own right and too international to be a village, McLeodganj owes a large part of its population to Western volunteers who work for the dozens of NGOs for Tibet.
Southwest of Dharamsala, about sixty kilometers away, are the ruins of the Masroor cave temple complex, originally made up of 19 Hindu sanctuaries dating back to the 7th-8th century AD. and carved from a single gigantic block of sandstone, in a manner found elsewhere in India only at Ellora and Mamallapuram, but here hewn from the top of a hill. Although seriously damaged by an earthquake at the beginning of the twentieth century, which completely destroyed four of them, the elegant and suggestive group of small temples in the Nagara style, surrounded by an idyllic countryside and equipped with a ritual basin, offers exquisite examples of decoration and bas-relief in interiors and on portals, columns and shikhara.
Heading towards the eastern part of Himachal Pradesh, you reach the Spiti valley by crossing the Rohtang Pass, at 3979 meters, which is often very busy; in addition to the undoubted scenic charm of this desert mountain valley, here are some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries still in operation in the world, such as the chos-khor complex of Ki and that of Tabo.
Also from Shimla you can reach Sarahan where you will find the important Shakti temple dedicated to Shri Bhima Kali, and then continue from there to Chitkul, on the banks of the Baspa river, where you will find yourself in the very picturesque last inhabited place before the border with Tibet.
Our destinations in Himachal Pradesh
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