INTRODUCTION• Country INDIA• Established 25 January 1971• Capital Shimla• Largest city Shimla• Districts 12• Total area 55,6730 km/sq• Area rank 21• Elevation 2319 meters• Official language Hindi
INTRODUCTIONHimachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over21,495 sq. mi (55,670 km2) and is bordered by Jammu andKashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand onthe south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east.Himachal Pradesh is known to be abundant in natural beauty.After the war between Nepal and Britain also known as Anglo-Gorkha War, the British colonial government came into power. In1950 Himachal was declared as a union territory but after theState of Himachal Pradesh Act 1971, Himachal emerged as the18th state of the Republic of India. Hima means snow in Sanskrit,and the literal meaning of the states name is In the lap ofHimalayas. It was named by one of the great Sanskrit scholars ofHimachal Pradesh, Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma. Its namemeans "Abode of Snow"
Geographical InformationPhysical FeaturesThe altitude of Himachal Pradesh varies from 350 m to 7000 mabove sea level. The physiography of Himachal Pradesh can bedivided into three zones. They are the outer Himalayas or theShivaliks, the inner or the middle Himalayas and the greaterHimalayas or the Alpines. The Shivaliks include the districts ofHamirpur, Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, and the lower parts of Solan,Sirmaur and Mandi. The altitude of lower Himalayas rangesbetween 350 m to 1500 m and the rainfall in this zone rangesbetween 150 cm to 175 cm. The middle region includes the partsof Sirmaur, Mandi and parts of Kangra, Shimla and Chamba andexperiences rainfall between 75 cm to 100 cm. This zone remainsunder snow for almost give to six months. The Alpine zone is at analtitude of 4,500 m and beyond and comprises of the Kinnnaurand Pangi tehsils of Chamba and some parts of Lahaul and Spiti.
ClimateThe climate varies from semi-tropical to semi-arctic from place to placedepending on the altitude of the region. The months from April to June arepleasant and comfortable at higher altitude and humid in the lower hills. Themonths of July to September are the month of rainfall. Himachal Pradeshexperiences average annual rainfalls of about 160-cm. the entire state becomeslush green and all the springs and streams are filled again. The winter seasonbegins from October to February and is very severe. Heavy snowfall occursduring this season.
Flora and FaunaThe 63.9 % of the total area is under the thick forest cover. The vegetation is ablend of the Ban Oak Forest, Moist Deodar Forest, Western Mixed ConiferousForest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, Himalayan Alpine Pastures, andRhododendron Scrub Forest. The lower ranges have the growth of blue pinewhile the higher altitudes have firs. The flora includespine, cedar, deodar, bamboo, spur, oak etc. There are around 1200 species ofbird and 359 species of animals in Himachal Pradesh. The major species ofwildlife in the state are Snow Leopard, musk Deer, BlueSheep, Ibex, Wolf, Leopard, Rhesus macaque, Common Langur, HimalayanBlack Bear, Goral, Muntjac and Serow. Two National Parks and a few WildlifeSanctuaries have been established in Himachal Pradesh to protect the uniquefauna of the state. The park has the largest remaining population of HimalayanTahr in the Himachal Pradesh.
ECONOMYDisplaying a shining face of the state, Economy of Himachal Pradesh hasmade it the fourth largest per capita income generating place of India.From Tourism, Agriculture and Real Estate to Mineral Resources, AnimalHusbandry, Fishing and Natural Resources, the Economic prosperity isfound in every sector.While the Tourism department of Himachal Pradesh boasts of an ever-increasing number of visitors in the hilly premises, the Agriculture segment ofthe state comprises of productive cattle, high quality cash crops and dairyfarms. The Kangra and Mandi districts of the state have been specificallyfacilitated with advanced farming techniques that were developed by theGovernment of West Germany.Real Estate is another prime catalyst which is contributing significantly towardsthe immense growth of theEconomy of Himachal Pradesh. With majornational and even international Real Estate agencies appearing into theindustrial scenario of the place, the entire area of the state is gaining a newinfrastructural look.The abundance of Mineral Resources found in the vast landscapeof Himachal Pradesh has made it one of the most sought-after industrialplaces of India. The extensive usage of these Minerals in different industrialpockets has resulted in further development of the Economy.
With more and more Research and Developmental works in thefield of Animal Husbandry, the state of Himachal Pradesh isimplementing newer and fruitful ways of breeding techniques thatgo a long way in boosting up the Economy of the place.The Fishing Department of Himachal Pradesh is one such fieldwhich has transformed itself into one of the most progressiveEconomic sectors of the state. The yearly revenue earned fromthe Fishing industry has increased considerably in the recentpast.Surrounded by serene hills and beautiful glaciers, HimachalPradesh flaunts its infinite reserve of Natural Resources. Amongothers, the perennial rivers of the state counts for a major share ofits Economic growth. The existing and proposed hydel projects ofthe place are surely one of the prime factors that symbolize thewell-being of its Economy.Undoubtedly, the Economy of Himachal Pradesh is all set totake a new and progressive turn towards a brighter tomorrow.
ART AND HANDICRAFTHimachal Pradesh has the richest and vibrant arts andcraft that add to the colour of Himachal. Variousembroidered items, accessories, paintings, carvedworks, textiles, etc. are a part of the arts and craft ofHimachal. Some of the beautiful and much admired artsand craft of Himachal are listed below:
Pahari Paintings of the Mid 17th CenturyPahari paintings delineatea style known as Basholi.The paintings appear to belively with various coloursand they showcase someimportant emotions. In thepaintings, one can spot thepictures of kings as well asgods. The paintings havesome similarity with Malwaand Rajasthani paintings.These painings also havedomes and pavilions.
Embroidery Beautiful embroidery work isactually performed by thePahari women who do this intheir leisure time. Amazingitems such as hand fans,scarves, gloves, etc. are madeof embroidered work. Onewould love to bag thetraditionally embroideredscarves made in dark orangeand red colors. The embroideryis quite intricate that it is difficultto spot any loose threads orknots.
Rugs and CarpetsCarpets and rugs of Himachalare made in very vibrant coloursand they contain images offlowering trees, flutes, lotusflowers, swastikas, etc. thatsymbolize something or theother. In Himachal blankets arealso made from the woolobtained from sheep and goats.Special blankets named asgudmas are also made inHimachal which are extremelyfleecy and soft. Such blanketsare made from Giangi sheep.These blankets have red orblack edging
ThangkasThangkasare clothpaintingsthat aremade in richand darkcolors.ThesepaintingsdelineateBuddhistfestivals aswell asvariousdeities
The Kangra Style of Paintings These paintings are hugeand horizontal paintingsdelineating the talesrelated to Shri Krishna.These paintings presentwide scenarios thatcontain towns as well asvarious people and figures.The colors used in thesepaintings have very nicelustre. However, a verydifferent thing in thesepaintings is that thesepaintings, in spite of beinghill paintings do notshowcase the pictures of
JewelleryThe jewelry of the Himachal ismade of metal and beads.Jewelry items such asnecklaces, amulets, pendants,rings, etc. are made by the tribalpeople. Apart from this, jewelryin silver and gold can also behad in Himachal. Pahariornaments with coins as well asprecious stones fitted into themare much admired. Other itemssuch as collar like hansalis aswell as clasps with crocodileand lion heads are also used bythe woment of Himachal
Metalwork Numerous items ofmetals such as copper,tin, brass, etc areproduced. Items such asvessels, musicalinstruments, etc. areformed with metals.Another significantmetalcraft in Himachal isnamed as Mohra, whichbelongs to Kullu andChamba. The metalworkrepresents the images ofLord Shiva or goddessDurga
Leather CraftThe amazing leatherchappals of Chamba arequite popular among touristsas the chappals aredesigned with embroiderieswith the help of threads ofmultifarious colors. Sandsls,belts as well as socks areother items made fromleather.
CUISINEThe beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh offers a wide range oflip smacking and savory food items. The cuisine of HimachalPradesh has a significant influence of the Punjabi and Tibetanstyle of food. The people of Himachal Pradesh prefer very spicyfood items. However in their daily and regular routine most of thecitizens have north Indian dishes that are easy to make and verytasty to eat.One of the most important food items of the people of HimachalPradesh is Dal and Chawal or plain rice and pulses which is avery common food item of the north Indians. The simplepreparation of rice and pulses provides a complete diet ofcarbohydrates and proteins, the two important components thathelps in building healthy body.Another delicious food of the region is Roti Sabzi or flat pancakelike bread made up of wheat and vegetable curry. This item is alsoa famous food item of North India
Cooked from flour of wheat and savored with ghee orbutter, Sidu is an well known cuisine of the state. Sidu is offeredto most of the guests who are overwhelmed at the heavenly tasteof the indigenous cuisine.
Patande is another important food item of the people of HimachalPradesh. The Patande is well known dish in the Sirmour district ofthe state. Made from wheat, Patande is like a pancake and so ispopularly known as the Indian Pancake of Himachal Pradesh.Meat is a very common food item among the non- vegetarianpeople of the state. The raw meat is cooked with cardamom,cinnamon, cloves, red chillies and coriander leaves. The aroma ofthe cooked meat is enough to satisfy the appetite of the people.Himachal Pradesh celebrates the Food festival of Dham, whichattracts several tourist from far and wide. The variety of food itemsreflect the vibrant and dynamic yet simple life of the people ofHimachal Pradesh
DRESSESDhoti, kurta, coat, waistcoat, turban (or cap), a hand towel uponthe shoulders and a copy of panchang (astrological ephemeris )under the arm are the traditional attire of the Brahmin priest. TheRajputs wore tight fitting churidar pyjamas, a long coat, a starchedturban with a special crown, pointed shoes, a flourishing pair ofmoustaches and a frown upon their foreheads. The Rajputsfollowed the Purdah system. Their wives and daughters when theystepped out of the house, rode in curtained palanquins. They livedin close proximity to each other and had special guest houses, alittle removed from their dwelling places. Women belonging to theBrahmin and the Rajput families wore kurtas, salwars, long skirts(ghaghri), embroidered tops (choli) and red head scarves (rahide)with gold edgings. The farmers and labour classes wore only kurta,a loincloth and a cap. They put on long pyjamas only on specialoccasions like a wedding or a festival. The new socio-economictrends have changed all this classes and castes now wear westernstyle clothes
LanguageHindi is the state language but people mostly converse in Pahari.This language has various dialects or sub-languages. Grierson inhis linguistic survey had called it Western Pahari and haddemarcated its area from Jainsar Bawar in the Uttar Pradesh hills(near Dehra Dun) to Bhadarwah in Jammu and Kashmir. Thevarious dialects of Pahari spoken in the region are Mandiali (inMandi), Kulavi (in Kulu), Kehluri (in Bilaspur), Hinduri (inNalagarh), Chameali (in Chamba), Sirmauri (in Sirmur), Miahasvi(in Mahasu region) and Pangwali (in Pangi). Besides, there arethe dialects of Bhot orgin, the Kinnauri, the Lahauli and theSpitian. All dialects of Pahari are of Sanskritic origin. They havebeen written differently in different times. In earlier days they werewritten in Tankri or Thahau, but later during the Muslim periodthey were written in the Persian script and then again inDevanagiri
PEOPLE OF HIMACHALEvery state in India has its own people who follow differenttraditions and cultures, people of Himachal Pradesh are not anexception of this. According to records and governmentdata, there are 95.77% of Hindus, 1% Buddhist in the state ofHimachal Pradesh. However, with more than 95% Hindus, peopleof Himachal Pradesh also showcase a fine blend of myriad racesin the inhabitants of the state.According to records, the beautiful state also inhibits Muslins, inlarge number in Chamba, Kangra and Sirmour valleys. On theother hand, Buddhist resides in Trans Himalayan areas of Lahaul& Spiti along with Kinnaur areas. Talking about people ofHimachal Pradesh, then you will also find Sikhs in the state. Mostof the people of Himachal Pradesh, more than 93%, belong toagriculture. However, maximum land of the state is owned byRajputs, Brahamins and Mahajans.
However, people of Himachal Pradesh from all caste and religionwho are educated and got professional degrees are also movingto other professions as well. People of Himachal Pradesh arehonest, laborious and straightforward who believe in simple livingand high thinking. And at the same time, they prefer theirtraditional food and clothing. Simple minded people of HimachalPradesh are so innocent that hardly believe in theft.This is the main reason that there are hardly a few FIRs registeredin police stations related to theft, fight or any other mishap.Needless to say, people of Himachal Pradesh are the right symbolof honesty and laboring.
Music and DanceMusic and dance in Himachal Pradesh revolves around religion.Through their dance and music, people entreat gods duringfestivals and other special occasions. There are also dances thatare specific to certain regions and are best performed by thepeople of that area.Some of the dance forms of Himachal are Losar Shona Chuksam(Kinnaur), Dangi (Chamba), Gee Dance and Burah dance,(Sirmour), Naati, Kharait, Ujagjama and Chadhgebrikar (Kullu)and Shunto (Lahaul & Spiti).As for the music of Himachal Pradesh is concerned, there is noclassical form though there plenty of folk music to listen to. Thefolk stories of mountainous regions often find a mention in thesemusic. The stories range from romance, chivalry and changingseasons. Musical instruments that are quiet frequently used by theartists here Ranasingha, Karna, Turhi, Flute, Ektara, Kindari,Jhanjh, Manjara, Chimta, Ghariyal, and Ghunghru.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Doongri Fair, Kullu
Celebrated in the month of May at the Valley of Gods- Kullu, theDoongri Fair like all the other fairs held at Himachal is yet anothercolorful affair. Also known as Hadimba Devi Fair, it is held near theHadimba Temple which is just 1.5 kms from Manali bus stand.Celebrated to mark the advent of spring, the most pleasant of allseasons, the fair attracts a host of tourists and locales both tocelebrate the valley at its natural best. Multi colored flowers bloomin the entire valley spilling color all around. And to add more, littlekites also dapple the horizon with their bright colors to mark thespring festival, coined as Basant Panchami.Almost around the same time, another fair is also held at Una inthe memory of the sage Baba Barbhag Singh. The sage wasbelieved to possess magical powers that were used towardsphilanthropic ends.
Kullu Dussehra, Kullu
One of the most important and colorful festivals celebrated at theValley of Living Gods - Kullu is its Dussehra. When the Ram Lilascome to an end with the burning of effigies of Ravana, Meghanthaand Kumbhkarna; in all the other parts of the country, the joyouscelebrations at Kullu get kicked off devoid of this burning ritual.These week long celebrations revolve around the presiding deity"Lord Raghunathji" with the conversion of the sprawling DhalpurMaidan into a temporary abode of Lord Raghunathji. The festivalpresents an antique blend of faith and festivity.The image of Lord Raghunathji is brought to this ground fromSultanpur temple located in the palace of erstwhile Kullu king andis taken in a procession. The local `Deities` also join thisprocession. The idol of the Lord is placed on a massive chariot.Devotees pull the ropes of this decorated chariot as it isconsidered auspicious and is a harbinger of fortune andprosperity. Goddess Hadimba also holds a special significance inthese celebrations as the celebrations can not be started withouther arrival from Manali.
The chariot of Lord Raghunathji is taken near the banks of Beason the last day of the festival. A huge pile of wood grass is set onfire there symbolizing the burning of Lanka. The sacrifice of fivechosen animals follows. This procedure is termed "Lanka Dahan."Goddess Hadimba returns to her abode after `Lanka Dahan` andLord Raghunathji also returns to His temple. The local deities alsoleave Dhalpur for their respective villages after this sacrifice.Being declared an international event by the state government,the festival observes a wide array of cultural performances bylocal, state, national and international troupes in the evenings.The festival is also a very good time for the traders. They set uptemporary stalls all over the valley offering their wares thusmaking the festival a ripe time for shopping. The spirit of sheerenjoyment reins the entire region during the festival. The art loversspend their nights at Kala Kendra enjoying the InternationalCultural Festival at its open-air theatre. To sum it up, KulluDussehra is a festival that brings something for everyone andrejuvenates the spirit of people in its real means.
Minjar Fair, Chamba
A fair commencing from the last Sunday of July, lasting for sevendays, namely the Minjar Fair is a splendid carnival held inChamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Known to be a real funfiesta, the fair comes as a welcome break to the locals andtourists both who throng the region during the fair. Celebrated witha marked enthusiasm, the fair comes as a cultural binding forceas it totally rejuvenates the ethnic spirit of the people of thisregion. Deriving its name from the maize flower, the Minjar Fairfinds a lot of legends and folklores attached to it. It is believed thatan old lady wanted to meet the contemporary king of Chamba.Too poor to buy a nice gift for the king, the lady took a maizeflower along and presented it to the king. The king was so greatlymoved by the simplicity of the lady that he declared the day to befeted as maize day or Minjar day. Since then, the day began to becelebrated with great pomp and show. Those festivities yet takeplace in the form of Minjar fair at Chamba. The small township ofChamba has become a major tourist attraction because of this faironly as many tourists flock the region to partake in this culturalextravaganza.
Another legend says that the fair takes its name from the colorfulcord prepared by the Brahmins from Benaras. The story datesback to the times when river Ravi used to flow between tworenowned temples of Chamba namely the Champawati Templeand Hari Rai Temple. People visiting any of these temples neededto cross this fierce river in order to reach the other. Upon regularrequests from his subjects, the king of the region asked a saint tosolve the problem.The saint in turn ordered the king to assemble at ChampawatiTemple with his subjects. A fire sacrifice or Yajna was performedthere for seven days. The Brahmins who were invited fromBenaras prepared a cord of various colors known as Minjar.
To everyones utter surprise, the river changed its course soonafter the yajna was over, making the Hari Rai Temple accessibleto people. This miracle was believed to be brought about byMinjar- the cord spun by the Brahmins. The king thus declared theday to be celebrated as the Minjar day and since then Minjar Fairis held every year at Chamba to commemorate this divine event. Itis customary to wear silk costumes during the fair interwoven witha stalk of Minjar. People offer prayers to the God at LaxmiNarayan Temple and celebrate throughout the week. They alsosend sweets, fruits and money to friends and relatives along witha stalk of Maize which symbolizes their astute faith in God andalso indicates their expectation of a good harvest.The decorated idol of Raghuvir Verman, a local deity isworshipped during the fair and is taken in an impressiveprocession along with other gods and goddesses for immersion. Agrand puja follows the immersion ceremony. A royal flag is takenback home as a mark of reminiscence of the fair.
Pori Festival, Lahaul
A much awaited affair at Himachal, the Pori Festival offers aunique opportunity to the local communities of the region to cometogether and rejoice in this great cultural fanfare. Celebrating ahost of fares and festivals to mark religious events or seasonalchanges, Himachal Pradesh celebrates this festival to strengthenthe traditional beliefs of the rural people here. Celebrated with agreat pomp and show, the Pori Festival is an annual feature at theLahaul Valley and is symbolic to the historical and sociologicalbackground of the area.It has been a practice amongst the local people to worship LordTrilokinath since time immemorial on this festival. The statue ofthe Lord is bathed in milk and yogurt on this festival. Devoteesgather at the temple in the morning and go around the templebeating drums, blowing conch shells and bugles. A horse is alsotaken around the temple. A huge procession is then carried outwith the horse and it is believed that God rides on the back of thishorse showering His blessings upon the devotees.
At the processions end, the crowd takes the horse to the royalpalace of the local ruler. The horse is bathed in sweet water thereand is offered healthy food. After this the king rides the horse andgoes to the fair ground which is dotted all over with small shops.The King also distributes clothes and sweets among his subjects.The butter lamp is also lighted up that burns all day and nightduring the entire course of the festival. The light of the lamp isbelieved to indicate the presence of the providence. Therefore,the devotees continuously keep adding butter to this lamp. Afterthe usual rituals have taken place, the sacred Prasad of brightscraps of cloth is distributed amongst the devotees. This Prasadis accepted with deep reverence by the locals as it is consideredto be very sacred.
Ladarcha Utsav, Spiti
The Ladarcha Fair is a popular means of celebration to the peopleof Spiti valley. Before the closure of the Tibetan traders, the fairused to be held at Kibbar maidan in Spiti in the month of July. Thisused to be the meeting point for traders from Ladakh, RampurBusher and Spiti. It used to offer a good barter ground for them oftheir production.But now, the fair is celebrated at Kaza, the headquarters of SpitiSub Division. The fair is usually held in the 3rd week of August.The fair now observes a get together of visitors and traders fromKullu, Lahaul and Kinnaur. The fair has thus gradually become aconference of Spiti, Ladakh & Kinnaur cultures along with that ofthe Indian plains.
Summer Festivals, Shimla
Lying towards extreme North, Himachal Pradesh tends to have the coldestweather. Most of its districts remain extremely cold during the year. But comesummer and this Land of Gods rejoices with a welcome climatic change.They celebrate this change of season in the form of Summer Festival. Morecommonly known as Shimla Summer Festival, the celebrations observe a hugeassociation of men and women who gather and celebrate the advent ofsummer. They pay reverence to the gods by singing and dancing in gratefulness.They thank their gods for a rich harvest. A repetition of this bliss is alsorequested for the following year. The entire state showcases exuberant pompand grandeur during this festival. Richly tinted fairs add a new fangled shade tothe wide array of colors of the state giving out a powerful visual impact.Similar to other festivals celebrated in the state, this festival also comes as arejuvenator of the rich cultural heritage of India which is retained in the best waypossible by the people of this region. With a lot of temporary stalls and makeshift food joints, the festival comes as a welcome respite to the kids from theirboring school schedules as the festival falls during their summer break.
Sajo Festival, Kinnaur
Come the months of Magh and Phalgun and the Land of Festivals- HimachalPradesh is ready to celebrate the advent of Spring in the form of Sajo Festival.Commanding a strictly religious connotation, this festival comes as a bid adieugesture to the local deities by their devotees. The festival is based on theconcept that the deities get tired partaking in an immaculate series of festivalsand therefore retire to their heavenly abode to rest for some time. The rural folkof the state therefore unite to bid a grand farewell to their mentors.This festival is a grand affair for a lot of festivities are observed with the hopethat the happy deities will bestow good upon their devotees from the heaven.Some people also believe that holy spirits of the gods may come to theirdevotees on this festival. The palanquins of the gods are left open with thetemple doors closed for the deities to travel to heavens. It is hoped that goodfood, riches and prosperity will be thrown down to the earth by the gods fromheaven. Therefore, the village people clean and polish the floors of the templesto receive the blessed things.The representatives of the deities that is, the priest are invited by the people totheir houses. This ritual better known as Deacher or Deokhel incorporates foodgrains and money to be offered to the priests. Delectable delicacies are madeand eaten on this day to tell the deities how plentiful the locals want theirkitchens to be.
Temples of HIMACHAL PRADESH
Baijnath TempleBaijnath Temple isvery much reveredand scared shrine ofHimachal Pradesh.Which is Located at adistance of 16 kmsfrom Palampur in theBeas valley, theTemple is dedicatedto Lord Shiva.
Bhimakali TempleThe Bhimakali Temple issituated in Sarahan(shimla) district of HimachalPradesh, this Temple is oneof the 51 Shakti Peeths.The architecture of thetemple the main primehighlight. The temple is allbuild with wood andpresents a wonderfulcombination of the Hinduand Buddhist Temple style.
Brajeshwari Devi TempleThe Chamunda DeviTemple in HimachalPradesh is located 10 kmwest of Palampur in theKangra area of the state. Itstands on the banks of thefamous Ban Ganga River,the temple is housed withextremely sacred idol ofChamunda Devi, and assuch the idol is wrapped bya red cloth.
Chaurashi TempleThe Chaurashi Temple issituated at Bhramour whichis 65 kilometers fromChamba Valley in the stateof Himachal Pradesh. Themain temples of LakshmiDevi, Ganesh andManimahesh and NarSingh are called asChaurashi Temples.
Chinthapurni Uni TempleMata Chintpurni Temple inHimachal Pradesh isdedicated to MataChintpurni andChhinnamastika Devi. It islocated in the Una district.The deity has derived sucha name from the idol ofgoddess Durga in thetemple, where it is withouta head.
Hadimba Devi TempleHadimba Temple or mostlycalled as the Dhungiritemple in Manali is one ofthe most important templesin the region. This Templeof four stories wooden islocated in the middle of aforest called the DhungiriVan Vihar.
Jwalamukhi TempleJwalamukhi Temple inHimachal Pradesh is Oneamongst the 51Shaktipeetha of the countrywhich is consideredextremely sacred for theHindus. It is located around30 km to the south of theKangra valley in the lap ofShivalik range and isdedicated to GoddessJwalamukhi, the deity ofFlaming Mouth.
Laxminarayan TempleOne of the oldest andlargest temples at Chambawhich stands proudly in theform of Lakshmi NarayanTemple. It has six differenttemples in its complex; thistemple was built in the 10thcentury. The entire templein the complex Arrangedfrom north to southdedicated to either LordShiva or Vishnu.
Manikaran TempleManikaran is Located at 45km from Kullu at an altitudeof 1737 m. Manikaran isthe famous Hindu and Sikhpilgrimage destination inthe state of HimachalPradesh. The termManikaran is defined as thejewel of ear.
Naina Devi TempleNaina Devi Temple is aholy place which isdedicated to Shri NainaDevi, one of the forms ofMaa Shakti.The temple issituated on ShivalikMountain and devoteeshowever have to cover adistance of above 2 km onfoot.
Places to visit in Himachal Pradeshlike temples there are many others places to visit inHimachal some of them are :-
RajgarhPopularly known as the Peach valley, Rajgarh is a lush greenvalley in Sirmaur district. Rajgarh is a place of great naturalbeauty and is about 40 km from Solan. One can camp and trek inthe valley. At Rajgarh, rest house of PWD and Forest Departmentare available for staying, besides private hotels and guest houses.The people of this valley are dynamic and hardworking. They arereligious and worshippers of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. Thelocal Shaya temple of Lord Shirgul has a mammoth following.According to a legend, Lord Shirgul had first come to Shayavillage and later settled in Churdhar Mountain at height of 12,000feet.The famous Baru Sahib Gurdwara also lies in this valley and isworth a visit. It is 29 km from Rajgarh and is situated beyondKheri, a picturesque spot on the banks of a tributary of the GiriRiver.
Habban Valley: It is anenchanting destination andthe area has thick pine fir,kail, baan and deodarforests besides orchards ofapples and peaches. Theclimate is pleasant roundthe year and in winter,Habban occasionally hassnow. Habban is about 70km from Solan viaYashwant Nagar andRajgarh.
Haripurdhar: Haripurdhar is about two hour journeyfrom Rajgarh and is famous for the temple of BhangyaniDevi, a god sister of Lord Shirgul, the principal deitywhose seat is at Churdhar. For staying PWD rest house(3 sets) and newly constructed trekkers hut is available,besides the Sarai in the temple.Nohradhar: On way to Haripurdhar from Rajgarh,Nohradhar is one hour journey and is a base for trekkingto Churdhar. There are many trek routes in the valley toChurdhar, like-Sailpaw-Dokhta-Churdhar (7 km),Haripurdhar-Churdhar (17 km), Nohradhar-Churdhar (14km), Sarahan-Churdhar (7 km), Habban-Churdhar (15km). For staying rest house of PWD (3 sets), IPH (2sets) and some Guest houses are available.
PragpurLocated at an elevation of 2000 feet above sea level, heritagevillage Pragpur is ideally suited to explore the Kangra valley. Thearea has several streams that drain into the river Beas. Manyplaces of historic, religious and cultural importance are with ineasy reach. With its equitable climate, easy access, safe passageand rich flora and fauna, Pragpur and its surroundings offers anideal location for village tourism. The ambience of the heritagezone of Garli-Pragpur is zealously protected by the localresidents. In their endeavour that Garli-Pragpur retains its uniquecharacter, panchayats preserve their heritage buildings. Severalheritage structures are now being restored using originaltechniques but with modern facilities to facilitate tourist.
The Taal: Datingbefore 1868, theTaal or pondforms the core ofPragpur villageand serves as arecreational spacefor young andaged alike. TheTaal is surroundedby heritagestructures.
The JudgesCourt: Completed in 1918,this is a splended countrymanor designed in Indo-European tradition. Thevisionary behind this boldstructure was Justice Sir JaiLal. It stands in 12 acres ofgreens, and is just a shortwalk from the village core andthe Taal. It is now run by theowning family as a heritagehotel. The residents of Garli-Pragpur are hospitable. Thereis always a warm welcome fortourists and the area providesa safe passage. The area isround the year visitable.
Sixty five km from Dharmshala, this small village seemsto hold the kernel of much of Kangra’s rural beauty.Pragpur has been notified as a Heritage Village byHimachal Pradesh Govt. in December 1997. Pragpur is175 km from Chandigarh & 25 km from Jwalaji.
Sujanpur Tihra24 km from Hamirpur town andclose to the district border ofKangra is the fort of Sujanpur. Thisplace was the capital of KatochDynasty and the old fort is worthvisiting. Popularly known alongwithits twin title Tira, this fort was builtby Raja Abhaya Chand of Kangra in1758. In the early 19th century thiswas the home of the famous RajaSansar Chand - renownded patronof the Kangra school of miniaturepaintings. The fort has a BarahdariHall, where Sansar Chand used tohold court, some shrines andexcellent wall paintings.
There is a huge ground, wherethe annual Holi fair is held for3-4 days, besides being usedfor sport activities. A Sainikschool is also located here. Itis also a religious centre.Narbadeshwar, Gauri Shankarand Murli Manohar are thethree well known temples inthe town. By the waters of theriver Beas, the town has acharming setting and the riverstretch offers good anglingopportunities. This place issuitable for other adventuresports as well, such as angling,rafting and trekking.
ChailChail was the summer capital of the former princely state of Patiala. It cameinto being in the late nineteenth century when it’s handsome and dashingMaharaja Bhupender Singh was banished from Shimla, the summer capital ofBritish India for a dalliance with the British Commander –in-Chief’s daughter.Smarting at this insult, Bhupender Singh began exploring the neighbouring hillswith a single guiding force – to find a hill that was within sight of Shimla buthigher. The little village of Chail seemed perfect. Shimla lay within direct vision,and most important, Chail was higher than the British controlled Shimla town.Large tracts of the land here already belonged to him. This had been given tohis ancestors for services rendered during the Gurkha wars which had come toan end in 1815-16. A site was selected and the Maharaja began building hissummer palace. But an ill omen seemed to hang over the construction area.Local legend has it that the moment anything was built, it would collapse overnight. Dozens of snakes would appear from nowhere and attack the labourers.Then Bhupinder Singh had a dream. A sage appeared before him and declaredthat the site the Maharaja had chosen was where he had meditated till he wastaken by the earth, and his peace should not be disturbed. The Maharaja hadthe sage’s blessing to build on any other spot.
Bhupinder Singh moved to another siteand at the original spot – which isabout a kilometre from the PalaceHotel – he had a temple built to thesage. Here the stone embodiment ofthe sage may still be seen along withthe iron tongs and trident. The shrineis known as the Sidh Baba Ka Mandirand is revered by many who claim thatthe sage has the power to grantboons. Meanwhile Bhupinder Singhhad another site levelled out and asplended mansion was built andsumptuously furnished. And at 2226 m,a good hundered meters aboveShimla’s average height, BhupinderSingh’s summer capital was preparedto taken on the British one at equalterms.
Maharana Pratap SagarNamed in the honour of the great patriot Maharana Pratap (1572-97 AD)the Maharana Pratap Sagar (Pong Lake) is situated at an altitude of 450 metresabove sea level, 32 degree north and 76 degrees east, in district Kangra. Itis 170 km from Chandigarh, 110 km from Amritsar and 55 kmfrom Dharamshala. The closest railway stations are at Mukerian 30 km, andPathankot at 32 km. The settlements of Nagrota Surian and Jawali-which arelocated on the sagars periphery-are connected by the charming narrow gaugeKangra railway line that connects Pathankot to Jogindernagar. The closestairport is Gaggal 40 km. The lake is well served by a network of roads.Maharana Pratap struggled valiantly for freedom of Mewar-as for the principleof independence. In words of chroniclers James Tod and william Crook, "Hespurned every overture that had submission for its basis". Over the riverBeas, the Pong dam was completed in 1976. Its reservoir covers an area ofabout 45000 hectares at maximum possible flooding.The level varies everyseason and averages around 30000 hectares. Over 200 villages with apopulation of over 85000 people lie along the wetland.
This lake sanctuary is a big attractionfor migratory ducks from Siberianregion during winter. One can seethousands of ducks in the swamp areabetween Shahnahar barrage andPongdam and the surrounding shallowwaters of the lake. Clean blue water allaround with the panoramic view ofDhauladhar Ranges and KangraValley make the visit to Ransar Islandan unforgettable experience. Blackbuck and Cheetal on the island alongwith Surkhab, Cranes, Pintails andvariety of water birds welcome thevisitors on the Island. The best seasonto visit the Pong Lake is betweenSeptember to March. The nearestother visitable places are Masroorrock-cut temple 10 km from NagrotaSurian railway station, Haripur fort,near to Guler railway station.
Kangra FortThe torrential Banganga river deep in the valley forming a formidable sheer andthe Kangra Fort lurking atop the flat mountain range is a scene that oneencounters on nearing Kangra town when you drive from Shimla-Mataurnational highway. A feeling of awe mixed with joy pervades you as you lookback in time. The Kangra Fort is approximately 3 kilometer from the town and isalso known as Nagarkot. The fort is historically significant; its massive size, andthe beauty of its structure lend it an added charm. At the entrance is a museumcontaining some valuable old photographs of the fort prior to the devastatingearthquake of 1905 and some exquisite stone sculptures, carvings, idols andother artifacts.The climb leads through seven gates; en route there are some idols embossedin the walls of the fort; the ramparts open out to the fascinating valleys belowand one can recreate the past and glide the corridors of history as one climbsup slowly through cobbled path. There are three richly carved temples in thevicinity-- Lakshmi Narayan temple, the Ambika temple and a Jain temple of AdiNarayan.
The view of gushing streams of Banganga and Manjhi rivers from the Fort ischarming. The Kangra Fort was the seat of power of the Katoch Rajas and isbelieved to have been founded by Shusharma Chand Katoch. It was theancient capital of the Katoch Kingdom and symbol of power in the Punjab hillstates. The Fort of Nagarkot (Kangra) stands as a mute witness to the ravagesof conquerors from Mahmud of Ghazni (1009 AD) to the emperor Jehangir(1619 AD) and the disastrous earthquake of April, 1905. Emperor Akbar mademany attempts to capture this fort but could not succeed. This place is nowcalled as " Purana Kangra". One can enter the fort by a narrow path. It wasprotected by a number of gates named after its winners like Jehangir, RanjitSingh.The fort remained neglected during the British period but now theArchaeological department maintains it. The Fort is still an attraction to thetourists and the pilgrims visiting Kangra.
The historical Kangra Fort is 3 km from the Kangra town. One can reachKangra town by road, rail & air. Kangra is 17 km from Dharamshala, 220 kmfrom Shimla and 235 km from Chandigarh
Great Himalayan National ParkThe National Park with an area of 754 sq. km. is located in KulluDistrict and has the representative area of temperate and alpineforests of Himachal. It has some the virgin coniferous forests ofthe State. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park.This area has many important wildlife species of WesternHimalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard,Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer,Tragopan, Snow cock etc. Trekking of Rakti-Sar, origin of Sainjriver and camping in alpine pastures is unforgettable. Similar isthe trekking route to Tirath the origin of Tirthan river. Visitors cancontact Director, Great Himalayan National Park at Shamshi orRange Officer wildlife at Sainj or Range Officer Wild Life at SaiRopa (Banjar) for assistance and guidance. Camping equipmentand guides are provided by the Forests Department.
Campsite inside Great Himalayan National Park
Some other places to visit
The Ridge and The Mall ( Shimla )
These are the most favourable places for all tourists aswell as local residents of Shimla. Both the places alwaysremain overcrowded during the day time and in theevening. The Mall is also a main shopping centre ofShimla. The Gaiety Theater which is a reproduction ofan old British Theater is also situated here as well as the- Indira Gandhi Khel Parisar - From the Mall you canexplore the Middle and Lower Bazar.
( 2,633 meters in height ) 16km. from Shimla. Kufri haswon a name on the sports and tourist map of India dueto its ‘Ski-runs’, ‘Seed Potato Farm’ of the Central PotatoResearch Institute and ‘Food Craft Institute’. Kufri offersunique Skiing slopes from December to February.
Baspa Valley ( The beautiful valley of Kinnaur )
Baspa valley ( also known as Sangla valley ) is one ofthe most beautiful valleys of Kinnaur. It starts fromKarcham ( 1,899 meters ) where the Baspa river comingfrom the east joins the Satluj. The road for Baspa valleybranches from the Hindustan Tibet road at the riverjunction and after turning south crosses the Satluj over abridge to reach Karacham. The valley open up beyondSangla and is full of wooded slopes as far as Chitkul (3,435 meters ). Chitkul is the last inhabited village in thevalley surrounded by green fields and high mountainpeaks. It is like a Fairyland. The quaint little houses,temples, gompas and the people of Baspa valley conjureup a perfect image of "Shangri-La".
Sangla ( Kinnaur )
( 2,680 meters ) It is an important village of the Baspavalley situated on the right bank of Baspa river is builton a slope with houses rising one above other withgigantic Kinner Kailash peak ( 6,500 meters ) toweringfrom behind is also famous for Kamru Fort. This fortwas the place where so many Rajas of Kinnaur werecrowned. Now this fort is dedicated to KamakshiTepmle. Goddess idol was brought from Guwahati(Assam) where is the main temple on a hillock
( 2,670 meters ) Once a favourite hunt of Lord Dalhousie, thedistrict headquarters till recently, when the headquarter wasshifted to Rekong Peo (1,900 meters) was the venue ofKalchakra Sermon delivered in August 1992 by His Holliness "TheDalai Lama" ; and a monastery to commemorate this auspiciousoccasion was built up is 13 kms. short of Kalpa and 7 kms. off thePowari on Hindustan - Tibet Road. Looming in front of Kalpa is animressive view of Kinner Kailash directly across the Satluj river.This mountain changes colors several times a day with a changeof weather conditions or may be as destined by Lord Shiva hiseternal abode. Parvati Kund is located on the top of KinnerKailash. The ancient villages of Pangi, Moorang and Kanum aresituated close to Kalpa.
( 3,050 metres ) It is 47 km. from Kaza. At the right of Spiti river, isan ancient village named Tabo, flanked on either side by loftybrown hills and sun burnt, is the seat of one of the most famousBuddhist monasteries - Sherlang, Duang, Chamba, Chibbo,Domlang Gompas, regarded by many as only next to the ThelongGompa in Tibet. The 10th Century Tabo monastery houses morethan 60 lamas. Large number of scriptures and pieces of art, wallpaintings - Tankhas and Stucco. Tabo has been declared aWorld Heritage Site by UNESCO. In terms of area, this is thelargest monastic complex in Spiti, and the old section has 9temples, 23 chortens, a monks chamber and a nuns chamber.There are several caves and contemporary structures that form apart of the Tabo complex. Founded in 996 A.D., the Tabo gompahas exquisite wall paintings and stucco statues - and is oftencalled the Ajanta of the Himalaya.
It is formed by the Pin river, which rises on the easternslopes of Pin Parbati pass and meets the Spity riverexactly opposite Lingti village. On its way it is joined bythe Parahio Nala near Pokchung. From Pin valley onecan cross over to the Kullu valley over Pin Parbati peakand to the district of Kinnaur via Shakarof Pass orTarikhango pass. Pin valley is much more rugged andbarren than the main Spiti valley. This valley is famousfor Ibex and Snow Leopard. The whole Pinvalley, including all the villages, forms the protectedarea, varying in altitude from 3,600 to 6,632 metersabove sea level. The Pin valley ca boast of beingsomewhat moist area during the summer months, insharp contrast to much of the remnant arid Spity.
Largest and the longest side valley of Spiti. It runs North-East from Lingti village (3,460 meters) for about 60 kms.to its head. It is a living geological museum. Itsgeological history dates back to 250 million years and itsshales and fossils are well known to all the world. GyaPeak is also there in Lingti valley. At its summit Spity,Ladhakh and Tibet meet.
(4,590 meters) provides chief access to Lahaul valley bythe great Kumzum range. The lofty Bara Shigri glacier isseen in front in all its grandeur. The crest of the pass hasbeen marked by a chorten of stones erected ages ago.Recently a temple has been built on the top dedicated toLord Gyephang - the chief deity of Lahaul. The belief isthat, every vehicle passing over Kunzum pass will haveto take a round (Parikrama) of this temple to get blessingof the God. Another interesting feature of the stoneimage of the Lord is that offerings in the form of cash(coin or currency notes) will stuck to the image, ifdevotee is acceptable to the Lord. Some paople believethat this temple is of goddess Durga.
Ki, Kie or Key Monastery
( 4,116 metres ) It is 12 km. from Kaza by road. It is theoldest and the biggest monastery of Spiti dominating Ki-Village. About 300 lamas are receiving their religioustraining in its monastery, which houses rare paintingsand beautiful scriptures of Buddha and other gods andgoddesses. It is serving western population of Spiti. It isregarded as the largest in the sub-division. It is acollection of rooms and a labyrinth of corridors that donot follow any defined plan, but seem to have grownover the years. No definite data can be ascribed to theconstruction of the gompa - that acted both as amonastery and as a fort.
( 3,340 meters) located above Bhaga river, the districtheadquarters of Lahaul-Spiti has been described asoasis of green fields, willow planted water courses,brown hills and snowy peaks. In the past, Keylong washome of the Moravian missionaries. There well knownmonasteries, Tayul, Khardong, and Shashur are within afew kilometers radius. The temple of local deity KeylongWazir is in the house of Shri Nawang Dorji.
( 3,160 meters) is located on the river bank of the river Chandra.House of the thakur of Gondhla, called Gondhla castle or fort, isthe maiin attraction. According to district gazetteer, this was builtin 1700 A.D. by Raja od Kullu Man Singh whose influencestretched upto the Lingti Plains beyond the Baralacha-La. Butpresent Thakur Fateh Chand says that it was 20 generations old.This is eight story building. Raja Man Singh of Kullu had stayedthere in 1720 A.D. while on his way to Trilokinath Temple.Remains of the past are lying there. Age old custumes, furnitureand idols are also strewn around in a state of neglect. The SharabRaldi i.e. Sword of Wisdom given to the Thakur by Dalai Lama inthe past is also there in the possession of present Thakur. Thissword seems to have been built in the Toledo technique of Spain.In the month of July a fair is held when Lamas dance and enjoy.This fair attracts a large number of visitors.
( 2,573 meters) is situated at the confluence of Chandraand Bhaga rivers. A legend says that there were twolovers, Chandra, the daughter of the Moon andBhaga, the son of the Sun god. To perform their eternalmarriage, they dedicated to climb to the Baralacha Laand from there they ran in opposite directions. Chandrabeing active and smart, easily found her way down thepass and reached Tandi. Soon Bhaga was foundcoming with great struggle through the narrow gorges toTandi, where ultimately both met and the celestialmarriage was performed. Tandis importance for thepeople of Lahaul is same as it is Haridwar for theHindus.
Suketi Fossil Park
Located in Sirmaur district, displays life size fiberglassmodels of pre-historic animals whose fossils, skeletonswere unearthed here. The park is the first of its kind inAsia to be developed at the actual site where fossilswere discovered. It is 21 kms. from Nahan, located onthe left bank of the Markanda river. The park at presenthas six sets of life size models of Stegodonganesa(extinct grand elephant). Sivatherium Hexapratadon -Sivalensis ( hippopotamus with six incisors),Colossochetys Atlas ( giant land tortoise and chelonia),Paramachaeradus ( sabre toothed tiger) and Crocodiles,the animals which once thrived in the region.
(3,140 meters) a break and windswept place is the firstvillage and gateway to Lahaul and on the right bank ofthe river Chandra 5 kms. from Gramphoo. During winterKhoskar is the coldest inhabited place in Lahaul. Theriver freezes during winter and is covered with snow toafford regular passage for human beings and also formule traffic. Khoksar is located on the old trade routefrom Indian plains to the west Asia.
( 2,900 meters ) It is in Kinnaur and it is located on theright bank of the Baspa river. Its name has been derivedfrom Rak a stone and Chham a bridge. It is one of themost beautiful villages of Baspa Valley. The location ofthe village is striking.
( 3,662 meters ) It is also located in Kinnaur district andis the highest village in the valley and the existence oflake formed out of the masses of ice and snow aboveadds to beauty of the village. Village deity is Deo-dumand another Lagang temple with several idols existthere. It is situated about 2 kms. above the Hangrangvalley road and is 103 kms. from Kalpa on the westerndirection of the huge mountain of Pargial.
( 3,800 meters ) It is sub-divisional headquarters of Spitivalley. It is situated at the foot of the steep ridges on theleft bank of Spiti river. Once it was the headquarters ofthe Nano the chief of Spiti. It is 425 kms. from Shimla.Kaza has a filling station, rest house and small hotels. Itserves as the base for excursions in the area. Amongothers, the Ki, Hikkim, Komok and Langia monasteriesare at hand.
( 4,205 meters ) Locally known as Khyipur, one of thehighest villages in the world at an altutude of 4,205meters above sea level in a narrow valley surroundedmy mountains from all sides. Gette village at a shortdistance away from Kaza is the highest in the world, witha height of 4,270 meters. It also acts as the base forseveral high altitude treks.
( 4,883 meters ) It is in Lahaul valley, 73 kms. fromKeylong. The name Baralacha means Pass with crossroads on summit (Roads from Ladakh, Spiti and Lahauljoin on the top of it). There is no road yet from Spiti, onlya path exists. This pass is also an origin of Chandra,Bhaga and Yamuna rivers. They flow to three differentdirections, through the Chandra, Bhaga and Lingtivalleys.
( 1,230 meters ) The most charming and beautiful Kulluvalley spread out its charm on either side of Beas river.The valley runs North to South of this river and is 80kms. long and about 2 kms. at its broadest. The valleyhas awe inspiring glens and mossy meadows encircledby rushing streams and meandering brooks. It is alsofamous for its exquistely woven colorful hand madeshawls and Kullu caps. In the spring, Kullu is in mostcolorful shape. Early March, apricot and plum trees,dotted among the fields, burst into pink blossoms andwild medlara are crowned with white flowers. The higherslopes are soon aglow with gogeous rhododendrons,white scarlet clusters of the sumash blaze near the river,the terraced fields turning from green to gold. Situatedon the bank of Beas river, Kullu city is the Headquartersof district.
( 1,926 meters ) is 40 kms. from Kullu. It is situated to the north,near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh.The landscape is breath-taking as all around it is outlined againstthe horizons. You can see well-defined snow capped peaks, theBeas river with its clear water meandering through between thetown on the one side and another side are Deodar and Pine trees,tiny levelled fields and fruit orchards.Manali with its unspoilt scenicgrandeur is extremely popular with the tourists, for a lavish displayof natural scenery. It is one of the principal show places of theKullu region. To its North, South and West are an ostentation ofpinnacles and ridges which, in fine weather, stand out in bold reliefagainst skyline. At the lower elevation and in every direction thereare vivid green patches of grassland and evergreen valleysascending in irregular formation present probably the best view inthe country.
( 1,700 meters ) It is 45 kms. from Kullu and just 3 kms.from Kasol, is famous for its hot springs. Thousands ofpeople take their holy dip in its hot waters. The water isso hot that dal, rice and vegetables etc. can be boiled init. According to an old legend, Manikaran is connectedwith Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parbati, who losther earrings, while taking bath. When she reported thisto Lord Shiva, he looked at the Kund water with greatanger, which gave birth to hot water on the bank ofParbati river. There are temples dedicated toRamchandra and Lord Shiva as well as a Gurudwara.
It is a little village 3 kms. from Manali in Kullu district,located on the left bank of Beas river towards Rohtangpass. It is renowned for its hot water springs andtemples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone templededicated to Vashisht Muni and Lord Rama temple isalso there. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separatebathing tanks for gents and ladies are there.
It is in district Chamba. The scenic valley Pangi at thefoot of the Himalaya, between two parallel ranges issituated beyond Pir-Panjal. There are still few virginpeaks, 6,402 meters to 6,705 meters high challengingthe mountaneers. Two communities namely Pangwaland Bhots inhabit this valley. In Pangi there is hardlyany village or even hamlet where one or more templeare not there. The two most important temples in thevalley are Mindhal Vasni temple about 15 kms. fromKillar and temple of Purthi about 30 kms. from Killar.
Manimahesh ( Mountain Kailash )
( 5,660 meters ) It is in district Chamba. This place isfamous for a Lake, sacred mountain Kailash and anancient temple. Held sacred to Lord Shiva this lies in theBudhil valley at the foot of Mount Kailash (5660 metersabove sea level), which is perhaps the highest of sacredwaters in Chamba district. This lake is supposed to blessby Goddess Kali and protected by Lord Shiva. A fair isheld every year at this lake during the month of Augustor September. Thousands of people visit this place onthe 15th day after Janamashtami to have a dip in theholy water. It is a state fair.
It is in district Chamba. It is the Headquarters of Pangisub-division. It is situated in the deep and narrow gorgeof the Chenab river. It can be reached through the Sachpass. It is the desire of many a hardy trekkers to visitthese lands pf pretty faces, beautiful dances and scenicsplendour. Some of the famous trekking routes fromKillar are to Kishtwar in Jammu & Kashmir, Umasi la intothe Zanskar valley and in the South-East to Keylong andManali. While trekking to Lahaul through this valley on ewill across a beautiful place, Purthi known for one of thefinest nurseries and historical rest house on the rightbank of Chenab river.
( 1,930 meters ) It is located in district Solan. It is acharming hill station and coveted place for birdwatchers. There is a monkey point besides the Ashramof Satya Sai Baba at Garkhal. Kasauli also has aPasteur Institute that produces the vaccine against thedog bite. On the opposite hill the famous LawrenceSchool at Sanawar is located. Kasauli also has a TVrelay tower. Being a cantonment, it is very wellmaintained.
Timber Trail Parwanoo
It is in district Solan. It is situated on the NationalHighway and 5 kms. above Parwanoo. It is the firstinteresting resort in Himachal Pradesh which hasattracted thousand of visitors to enjoy the cable car ridewhich covers 1.8 kms. long distance in 8 minutes overKaushalia stream.
Bakhra Dam is the highest gravity dam in the world, builtacross the river Satluj. This project includes the NangalDam, Nangal Hydel channel and Ganguwal and KotlaPower Houses. Bhakra is the name of small villagelocated in the Himalayan foothills. It has been describedas New temple of Resurgent India. With this dam, a bigartificial lake named Gobind Sagar has been formedwhich spreads upto Bilaspur town.
Mandi is situated on the left bank of Beas river in thefoothills of Shivalik range. Mandi entails a rich heritageof culture, historical and mythological significance,According to one version the town acquired its nameMandi (market) because all the traders from Ladakh andother areas passed through it while going to and fromPunjab. According to second version, the city wasnamed after Mandavya Rishi who performed long andsevere austerities on the right bank of Beas near thepresent town. Mandi has 85 beautiful carved temples,notable among them are Trilokinath, Bhutnath,Panchvktra and Shyama Kali at Tarna hill. Shivratri Melaof Mandi is very famous.
Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys inthe Himalayas. It is sheltered by the Dhauladhar and thismajestic mountain range surpasses all others in itsgrandeur. the history of Kangra dates back to the Vedictimes more than 3,500 years ago. The famousBajeshwari Devi temple is located in the town. Kangrawas revaged by foriegn aggression a number of times.Despite all this, the arts and crafts of the regioncontinues to develop and find lyrical expression. Kangratown is situated at the confluence of the Baner and Majhistreams, overlooking the Banganga torrent is famous fortemples, forts and now a sppedily emerging as abusiness centre.
( Young Officers Leave Camp ) In the second world war(1939-45) 20 thousand war prisoners of Italy were keptthere. From May 1947 to July 1947, it was a trainingcamp for Army officers. From August 1947 to October1947, 12 thousand Muslims were kept there and thentransported to Pakistan. From 1949 to 1952, it served asa refuge camp for Kashmiri migrants. At present it ishousing the units of Army. Chinmaya SandeepaniHimalaya Ashram is located nearby. There is the hugestone idol of Hanumanji and a temple dedicated to LordRama built in south Indian style. A temple dedicated toAnjali Devi (mother of Hanumanji) is located betweenMasser and Yol Camp.
( 1,250 meters ) In 1846 former Governer of Punjab SirDonald Mcleod was first officer who visited this place.But it was only in 1855 when East Indian Company inthe process of finding suitable place for its army foundedDharamshala. Dharamshala municipality was founded in1867-68. Consevancy tax was imposed in 1887 andelectricity was provided to the town in 1896 A.D. There isthe famous St. John Church where Lord Elgin II theGoverner General of India was cremated on 20th 1863.The famous War Memorial is also located inDharamshala.
Mcleod Ganj ( Dharamshala )
It has emerged as a famous Tibetan colony. The Buddhatemple is situated opposite the present abode of HisHoliness, the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Institute ofperforming Arts (TIPA) is just i km. walk from McleodGanj and preserves a number of musical dance andtheatrical traditions of Tibet. There is also a TibetanHandicraft centre located there.
With this whole presentation I can proudlysay INCREDIBLE INDIA”S
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThe successful completion of this project would havebeen impossible without the support, assistance andencouragement of AMAN.I would like to record my thanks and appreciation toAman Negi.