Manali

One day, Varvasvata, the seventh incarnation of Manu found a tiny fish in his bathing water. The fish told him to look after it with devotion as one day it would do him a great service. The seventh Manu cared for the fish till the day it grew so huge that he released it into the sea. Before departing, the fish warned Manu of an impending deluge when the entire world would be submerged and bade him to build a sea worthy ark. When the flood came, Varvasvata and seven sages were towed to safety by Matsya, the fish which is regarded as first avatar of Lord Vishnu. As the water subsided the seventh Manu’s ark came to the rest on a hill side and the place was named Manali (2050 m) after him.

As the flood slowly dried, here arose a place of breath- taking natural beauty which was only appropriate at Manali that life began again. Today this legendary cradle of all human kind is a prime holiday destination. There are high mountains surrounded by snow and deep boulder strewn gorges. There are thick forests full of cool breeze and bird songs. There are fields of wild flowers, small picturesque hamlets and fruit laden orchards. .

Manali literally means the ‘Home of Manu’. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.

Just 40 kms away from Kullu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath taking. One sees well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Bara Bhangal (Kangra), and Zanskar ranges. From temples to antiquity, to picturesque sight-seeing spots and adventure activities, Manali is a popular resort for all seasons and for all travellers. The annual State level Winter Carnival was celebrated from 23rd to 27th January, 2011.

Manali Sightseeing

Mandi:
The historic town of Mandi (800 m) is built along the banks of the river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre and the sage Mandva is said to have meditated here. This one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing town that still retains much of its original charm and character. Today, it is a district headquarters. Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving, it is often called the ‘Varanasi of the Hills’. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of ‘colonial’ architecture. The temples of Bhutnath, Trilokinath, Panchvaktra and Shyamakali are among the more famous ones. The week long international Shivratri fair in Mandi is the major attraction of the area every year. In the year 2011 the fair was celebrated from 3rd-9th March. In the fair the activities like cultural programmes in the evenings, exhibitions, sports etc. are the major attractions for the tourists as well as locals.

Bilaspur:
The old Bilaspur town was founded by Rishi Ved Vyas. Bilaspur is famous for Gobind Sagar lake which offers a variety of water sports activities include boating, water skiing surfing, Rowing etc. In winter the temperature is mild when heavy woolens are required. Summer is hot and pleasant and cottons are recommended. Distance Between Chandigarh to Bilaspur is 90 Kms, Shimla to Bilaspur is 86 km, Mandi toBilaspur is 69 k.

Solan:
Blessed with a pleasant climate all the year round. Solan is a district headquarter and has the famous temple of Shoolini Devi and fromSolan the Jatoli village (15 km) and the temple of Lord Shiva and on Rajgarh road the Buddhist Monastery (18 km) may be visited. Known as the “Mushroom city of India” Solan has an old brewery (11 km) and a sprawling horticulture and forestry university at Nauni (16 km). HPTDC hotel at Barog and other pvt hotels & restaurant are available at Solan.

Manikaran:
While wandering of in the forests of the Himalayan ranges Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati came across a place now called Manikaran. The mountain-locked area, the lush green patches and the forests charmed them and they decided to stay there for sometime. For as long as eleven hundred years they remained at this place. At one time, when the Lord was relaxing with the Goddess, in the beautiful waters of a stream running by the side, the ‘MANI’ (Jewel) in an earring of the goddess dropped somewhere.

Kasauli:
77-km from Shimla and 35-km from Kalka, at 1,927m, Kasauli is a quaint little town that seems to exist in a time wrap of an era that reminds one of the 19th century. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by cobbled paths, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards. Mixed forests of chir-pine, Himalayan oak and huge horse chestnuts surround Kasauli. Its narrow road slither up and down the hillsides and offer some magnificent vistas.

Mashobra :
in Himachal Pradesh is the Goddess Durga temple. The place has an enormous religious importance for not only the people of Himachal Pradesh but also to the tourists. Mashobra is an exceptionally beautiful place. The hilly flora and fauna adds to the exotic beauty of the place. The place features sprawling gardens and plantations here and there unveiling colorful daffodils, hyacinths, asphodels and celandines. The place of Mashobra is a well known spot for picnic.

Naldera:
At Naldera, 23 km beyond Shimla is one of the oldest golf courses in India. The course, whose topography is absolutely natural, was originally designed by the British Viceroy, Lord Curzon who was so enchanted by the place that he gave his daughter Alexandra, ‘Naldera’ as her second name after the spot. This is a par 68 nine hole golf course which is regarded as one of the most challenging in the country. In the repeat nine, the yardage somewhat increases. The links are maintained by Himachal Tourism and accommodation is also available. There are other hotels in the private sector near Naldera.

Chail:
Chail was the summer capital of the former princely state of Patiala. It came into being in the late nineteenth century when it’s handsome and dashing Maharaja Bhupender Singh was banished from Shimla, the summer capital of British India for a dalliance with the British Commander –in-Chief’s daughter. Smarting at this insult, Bhupender Singh began exploring the neighbouring hills with a single guiding force – to find a hill that was within sight of Shimla but higher. The little village of Chail seemed perfect. Shimla lay within direct vision, and most important, Chail was higher than the British controlled Shimla town.

Taragarh :
Palace is situated by a forested estate surrounded by tea gardens of the Kangra valley, one of the most scenic and unexplored areas of Himachal Pradesh. Located at a height of 1000 metres, Taragarh Palace is at the foot of the Dhauladhar mountains with splendid views of surrounding snow-capped peaks. Formerly known as Alhilal, the palace was built in the early 1930’s as a summer resort. It was acquired by the royal family of Jammu & Kashmir in 1951.

Nalagarh:
Nalagarh was the capital of the kingdom of Hindur founded by raja Ajai Chand in 1100 A.D. It was ruled by the Chandela Rajputs. The Chandela kings were great patrons of art and architecture. Raja Ram Chander, another illustrious ruler of the same dynasty, was also a great builder who constructed the Ramgarh Fort and the town of Ramshere. Raja Surendra Singh was the last ruler of Nalagarh and his son, raja Vijayendra is the present ceremonial ruler of Nalagarh.

FAGU:
Deep in the Himalayas not yet far from Simla, feel the magic of the region not just for its scenic landscape but even more for the warm hospitality of a resort that leaves an immensely memorable impression. Imagine…
The morning air being fresh and dewy with an evening spent around cracking bonfire and with a sip of hot brandies unconsciously leaving memories. Decorated with stunning beauty & conserved with care, the experience is to be cultured through time as it gathers layers of diverse charm and speaks slowly to the secret touch of nature and dream of Sangrila…
The Log Huts, Bamboo huts, Cane Huts, Family Suits and Villas Accommodation, Snow King Retreat is a script of modern facilities including money exchange counter, Internet & doctor on call. The resort has a Spa, Pool and Carom Tables, Electronic Games, cartoon and facilities for indoor games…

Taragarh Palace:
Taragarh Palace is situated by a forested estate surrounded by tea gardens of the Kangra valley, one of the most scenic and unexplored areas of Himachal Pradesh. Located at a height of 1000 metres, Taragarh Palace is at the foot of the Dhauladhar mountains with splendid views of surrounding snow-capped peaks. Formerly known as Alhilal, the palace was built in the early 1930’s as a summer resort. It was acquired by the royal family of Jammu & Kashmir in 1951.

Narkanda:
Narkanda located on the ridge that is the watershed of the river Sutlej and Giri. This makes the place all the more beautiful. The region is the abode to enormous groves of hilly cherries and apple trees. The place is loved by the hikers and skiers. Narkanda is infact a passage between Shimla and Rampur.

Palampur Travel Guide:
Palampur (1,219 meter) is a fascinating green hill station in the Kangra Valley, surrounded on all sides by tea gardens and pine forests before they merge with the Dhauladhar ranges. Palampur is the tea capital of northwest India. But tea is just one aspect that makes Palampur a special interest place. Abundance of water and proximity to the mountains has endowed it with mild climate. The town has derived its name from the local word “pulum’, meaning lots of water. There are numerous streams flowing from the mountains to the plains from Palampur. The combination of greenery and water gives Palampur a distinctive look.

Manoj Jreat:
KOTGARH, the apple heartland of Himachal is perched high above the left bank of the Sutlej about 80 km from Shimla, on the old Hindustan-Tibet road. Located at about 6,500 feet above sea level, Kotgarh commands a panoramic view of the Sutlej valley and the distant snow covered peaks of the greater Himalayas. It is renowned not only for its scenic beauty but also for its contribution to the horticulture revolution for it was here the saga of apple cultivation in the Shimla hills began in the early 1900.

Rewalsar:
lake is sacred to Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus . For Tibetan Buddhists, Rewalsar is one of the places visited by Acharya Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) on his mission to spread the dharma, while for Sikhs it’s associated with the life of Guru Gobind Singh. Shiva temple is holy place for Hindus.

Parwanoo:
Along the National Highway No.22, as one cross the state border of Haryanainto Himachal, there comes the town of Parwanoo. A couple of decades ago, this was a sleepy little village but today, it is a pulsating industrial town. Fruit based products, plastics, motor parts and watch components roll out of Parwanoo’s factories. For a tourist, Parwanoo is a convenient base station to see and visit a number of nearby areas.

Kandaghat:
Located at an altitude of 4667 feet above sea level, Kandaghat is the perfect place in Himachal Pradesh for you if are looking for a quiet and peaceful vacation. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh built his palace in Kandaghat after which this place received the attention it deserves. Raja Bhupinder Singh was the ruler of Patiala and when he was expelled from Shimla, he set up base in Kandaghat. Today, this is one of the most popular destinations to travel in India. Kandaghat was the seat of the local Deputy Commissioner during the British Rule. Kandaghat was also the summer capital of the Princely State of Patiala. Kandaghat is undergoing a green revolution under Himachal Government agricultural project. The agro-climactic condition of Kandaghat is congenial for the production of off-season vegetables and seeds for temperate vegetables. This place offers fantastic tourist attractions as well as amazing cuisine that you can enjoy in the blissful weather.

Lahaul-Spiti:
Lahaul-Spiti became the district of Himachal Pradesh in 1960 and is one of the frontier districts of India. It is 120 km. away from Manali and has snow fed glaciers and barren mountains. Keylong is the headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti and oasis of green fields. The two valleys at Lahaul and Spiti have a tenous link over the Kunzam Pass ( 4,520 metres ). The two twin valleys, Lahaul and Spiti in the North-Eastern corner of Himachal, protected by distance is a region of nature at its wildest which has lent it much enchantment. The threshold of one of the Lahaul plateau is nourished by the Chandra and Bhaga rivers and is surrounded by high mountains on all sides, the Great Himalayas to the North, the Pir Panjal to the South and the Spiti and Chandra watershed to the East. Lahaulhas curious mixture of Buddhist and Hinduism. There are a number of Monasteries and Temples.

Kangra:
Kangra district derives its name from Kangra town which was called Nagarkot in the ancient times Kangra proper originally was a part of the ancient Trigartha (Jullundur) which comprises of the area lying between the river “SHatadroo” (probably Sutlej) and Ravi.A tract of land to the east of Sutlej which probably is the area of Sirhind in Punjab also formed a part of Trigratha. Trigratha had two provinces. One in the plains with headquarter at Jullundur and other in the hills with headquarter at Nagrkot ( the present Kangra).

Kinnaur:
Located on the Indo tibetan border, surrounded by Tibet to the east, Garhwal Himalyan to the south. About 200 km from Shimla strikingly beautiful district of Kinnaur where the the river Satluj carved deep gorges through the the high mountains. The Satluj river which rises on the southern slopes of Kailash mountain near Mansarover in Tibet flows through the Kinnaur valley. Very few rainfall and the desolate countryside can by compared to that of the Leh and Ladakh region. Almost every village has a gompa or a temple. The people ofKinnaur are very honest and simple. The od Hindustan – Tibet road which passes through the Kinnaurvalley. Passing through the ancient villages of Wngtu, Sarhan, Pangi, Puh and Sungra located along the bank of river Satluj the road finaly enters Tibet at Shipki La Pass.

Sirmaur in Himachal:
Sirmaur is in the south eastern corner of the state. It is famous for its places of pilgrimages and for the legends that surround them. Nahan is a historic town pleasantly located on a ridge of the Shivalik Hills. It has beautiful green forests and valleys especially in Choordhar peak. A little town with a salubrious climate Nahan has gardens, temples and three popular walking circuits – The villa round, Military round and the Hospital round.

Una :
Una has been carved out of Hoshiarpur district of Punjab in 1966 where the hilly areas of Punjab were transferred to Himachal Pradesh and the whole area is warm. It has borders with Kangra Hamirpur and Bilaspur and then acts as a gateway to these regions. Efforts are being made to develop same places in Nangal and Bhakra areas.
Sangla Sangla, 589 km from Delhi and 230 km from Shimla, is a valley that spreads over 42 km at a height of 2,700 meters above sea level. Incidentally, it is only 30 km from the Tibetan border. A little north of Sangla, around 20 km away, lays the border post Chitkul. Sangla lies on the banks of the Baspa River that runs nearly 900 meters deep in some places. Mount Kailash, said to be the abode of Shiva, is nearby.

Naggar:
Naggar the ancient capital of the kings of Kullu for about 1,400 years.We were booked to stay at the Himachal Tourist Bugalow which was situated in the castle and was simply known as “The Castle.” It is situated on the left bank of the Beas river. We climbed up a windy road and at last reached the castle which was perched on top of a crag overlooking the village. The best view of the castle was actually from the road as we climbed but even the views from the other side were spectacular. Since it was a protected monument only those who had booked could go in. Others had to pay a small fee and could enter only at certain times. We walked down the cobbled courtyard and were shown to our rooms.

Kaza:
Kaza, the sub divisional headquarters of Spiti, is a beautiful town situated on the left bank of Spiti River, at an altitude of 3600 m in Himachal Pradesh. It is located 76 km to the south-east of the Kunzum Pass and is around 200 km south of Manali. Kaza is an ideal base for trekkers aiming at a 2-3 day hike to monasteries and remote villages. Dhankar (32 km) and Tabo (43 km) – the largest monastery complex are places worth visiting in the vicinity. Those who wish to continue up to Kinnaur should pick up Inner Line Permits from the Additional Deputy Commissioner’s office in the new town.

Nako Lake:
Nako Lake is a high altitude lake in the Pooh sub-division of district Kinnaur. It forms part of the boundary of Nako village and seems that the village is half buried in the lake’s border. It is about 3,662 metres (12,014 ft) above sea level. The lake is surrounded by willow and poplar trees. Near the lake there are four Buddhist temples. Near this place there is a footlike impression ascribed to the saint Padmasambhava.And some miles away there is a village called TASHIGANG around this.

Tabobr:
In the insurmountable heights of Spiti, lies the Buddhist gompa, monastery of Tabo. It was the Tibetan year of the Fire Ape and the founder was the great teacher Rinchensang Po, also known as Mahaguru Ratnabhadra. With its exquisite murals and stucco images, Tabo is often called ‘The Ajanta of the Himalayas’. Tabo is located at a height of 3050 metres in the magnificently isolated Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh.

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