Himachal Pradesh Travelogues and travel stories- Abode of Snow

Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful part of the Indian Himalayas encompassing wide valleys with snow-capped mountains, limpid lakes, rivers with gushing streams. Himachal Pradesh is formed by integrating 31 big and small princely hilly states to form a single full-fledged state after India got freedom in 1947. It became the 18 th state of the Indian Union on April 15, 1948. It also got the status of Union Territory in 1956, but after the inclusion of some more hill areas from Punjab it again got the status of whole state, which is still continues in present as well. Himachal Pradesh in present time is one of the most important tourist destinations in India. There are various reasons of being as one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, but the most prominent are that, it welcomes the trekker from all over the world, spiritual tours, snow sports, etc. Himachal Pradesh also referred as the Devbhumi which literally means “Land of God” which is due to various temples and monasteries in the state.  Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and it is covered with immense natural beauty, lofty ranges, deep valleys, swaying waterfall and lush greenery. One can easily reach here with roads, flights, and trains as the state has very good connectivity from other states and cities of India. Climate here changes dramatically from one place to other. The state is in high altitude Himalayan region and hence snowfall is a common sight in most parts of the state. All these features tempted me as well and I visited this beautiful state for some real experience of nature, culture, and snow. Here, I will be sharing my own experience that I had in Himachal Pradesh. But first of all, let me tell you that, Himachal Pradesh is not a single visit destination. It has plenty of hill stations something amazing and different with each other. Hence, one can think of multiple weekend trips to explore it fully. I also did the same and took a tour to most popular places Kalka, Shimla and Narkanda in my Himachal Pradesh Tour.   Well, the most awaited day for starting my tour to Himachal Pradesh arrived. It was winter season in February and I started my tour from Delhi with my friend by our own vehicle. One can also take up bus from Kashmiri Gate ISBT directly to Shimla. We started early in morning and we were driving through NH1. After a drive of only two hour we were on the outskirt of Delhi after crossing the Karnal Bypass. After a drive of only two hours we crossed Karnal and then we took our first quick break and thanks to numerous eating joints Dhabas and other food stores along the highway. After a breakfast stop of forty-five minute we again were back on the bypass aiming to Chandigarh.  After driving for nearly two hours we hit the scenic Himalayan Expressway, after crossing Ambala, we had to left NH-1 and had to take NH-22 that would lead us to our night destination for today.  It was afternoon now, and we started looking out for a place to take a break for our lunch. We came across a small café named “stag” along our way. Here we stopped to have lunch, now it was 20 to 25 minutes to us in Hills and picturesque surroundings that left us with a smile on our faces. Here we have served with hilly type Maggie and a cup of coffee later, which gave us strength to enjoy our journey further. Again, after finishing up with the meal, we were again on the moving towards Shimla. By the evening we were in the beautiful hill station of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. On reaching, we finished up with check-in formalities and went into our room to unwind ourselves. After freshen up and a little rest, we head out in the evening and visited Mall Road of Shimla. The place was buzzing with the lights and whilte snow all around. The sight was amazingly breath taking. After strolling for a while we just took our seats in the Café Simla Times, where we ate our dinner. The food was very tasty here and we enjoyed it with an amazing ambiance here. Later we just come back to our hotel for a comfy sleep at night. Next day we woke up in the morning by the standard of Shimla and had our breakfast in the hotel. After having our breakfast we first visited Jakhu Temple, which was situated at a hill top. One can either go there by taking a trek or can use a cable car which was chargeable. We decided to take up the cable car and reached to the temple. Jakhu Temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman, where the humngous idol of lord Hanuman is the key attraction of the place. After the sightseeing and worship at the temple we again came back to base and decided to explore the various markets here. Strolling a local market of a tourist destination is a different pleasurable feeling in itself. You get a chance to see the various local products and colourful handicrafts that tempt you to purchase them for sure. And, even you couldn’t resist yourself from buying some unique products for you and your family to get back them home. Lakar Bazaar and Tibetan Refugee Market are the main markets other than Mall Road. Lakar Bazaar is famous for its wooden products and handicrafts which is not only famous in India, but abroad also. It is must visit market in Himachal Pradesh, whereas Tibetan Refugee market is prominently a place for fashion and clothing. The market has various small stores selling different clothings ranging from thermal wear to fashion wear as well. Here you can get a wide variety of clothes for both men and women on reasonable prices. After strolling in the market we went to the mall road where we enjoyed the snow fighting with other tourist. It was a very exciting experience we enjoyed utmost. Later in evening we stayed in our hotel only and set ourselves free for the rest of the time. As we had to made our journey towards Narkanda on the next day. It was our third day when we started for Narkanda from Shimla. After having a scrumptious breakfast in Shimla we took the Lakkar Bazaar Road towards Kufri. There was snow lying on the both side of the road. Now, we were driving through the are which lies under sun-shadow and hence snow doesn’t melt easily. Due to the terrain we were driving on the normal speed of 20-25 kmph and very soon we left the concrete jungle behind. Now we were going uphill roads to Kufri and elevation was rising slowly-slowly which in result the amount of snow by the roadside increased too. Kufri is also a very famous tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh. The road was very tricky here, but luckily we crossed all the odds and were on the other side of Kufri. While moving towards Narkanda we stopped at a place called Theog and picked up some supplies and had our lunch. Then again we were on the road and started to Narkanda again. Now the  views were amazing and road was also clear. We stopped at many places for photography wherever we found some amazing views and setting. And finally, we hit Narkanda by 3 pm. Now, Narkanda is a small yet very beautiful town with just a handful of budget hotels. We got a very good deal at HPTDC’s Hotel Hatu, this was hotel was only accessible through a steep one km road. This was the best place to experience the snow and spend some time in seclusion. We were greeted on the reception and taken to our rooms. We unwind our luggage and rested for a while. There was no electricity in the complete town, we spent our evening gorging on hot bites from the hotel’s café and planning for the next day. Forth day of our tour and we woke up with luxury as per the standard of Narkanda. Being a small town, life here begins pretty early. We realized only when we set our eyes outside the balcony that-this place was not less than any heaven. Everything here be it was chair in the lawns or leaves on the trees, everything was covered in whiteness. We had our breakfast and after having that we head out to explore the nearby places. We started towards Hatu Peak which is situated at an altitude of over 10000 feet above the mean sea level. But the narrow path of 6 km to peak remain close during winter, we were little disappointed with that but soon we found our own way to become happy and enjoy the place. We parked our vehicle here, opened our packed lunch, put on some music and started enjoying the scenery.  There was no one around and our music and hussle was tearing the  silence of the place.It was all seeming like a child’s fairy tale book. We were keep visiting the various beautiful places of that region through our vehicle and later come back to hotel in the evening. It was the day we were not tired even a bit and it is because of the scenery and views that we encountered today. We took shelter in the hotel in the warmth of the hotel room in night. This was the day when we had to head back from our tour. All the great trip must comes to an end and so was our. We started our journey by 9 am and after 3 to 4 hours of drive we were on the cleaner roads. It was a perfect sunny day in winter and here even snow started melting and we got clean roads. Driving back from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi was an uneventful, but we contented with the memories that we made here in couple of days and will remain in our hearts forever. It was the journey that I won’t forget ever. It was our best experience of spending our time during best season of Himachal Pradesh at one of the best isolated location as well

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1. Tips for the tourist visiting Himachal Pradesh

  • Whenever you are entering any temple, mosque, tomb, dargah or gurudwara only enter without shoes and properly dressed.
  • Himachal Pradesh has a wide range of weather conditions, therefore do check the type of clothing and other equipment you may require for the region you are visiting.
  • Book your hotel and guesthouse that are registered with Department of Tourism.
  • Take care of proper disposal of your bio degradable/ no bio degradable waste while exploring the nearby places or Himalayas.

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