Alternatives of Shimla in Himachal for travelling
Sometimes people want the alternative to a famous and well known tourist attraction. Shimla is a well known tourist place from a long time ago and thus it enjoys a lot of tourist activity, but sometimes people ignore the fact that Himachal is a beautiful state through and through and have much more to offer other than Shimla. If you have visited Shimla repeatedly and now looking to explore other regions of Himachal then here is a list that should be on top of your mind and preference, as these places are some of the most rejuvenating places and regions in all over Himachal when it comes to tourist attractions. These places have something for everyone, weather it is for nature lovers, adventure lovers, culture lovers or history buffs. It’s not that these places are not known to the masses, but it’s just that people usually don’t seem to understand their magnificence and natural beauty to the extent they should and most of the time they don’t even realise what they are missing.
Manali is a go to destination for most of the tourists that visits Himachal every year. Manali town is one of the most beautiful towns that represent cultural and traditional aspects of the region. One of the most famous tourist attractions is Rohtang pass near Manali. The pass is at the height of 3,978 m and gives panoramic view of whole valley. Rohtang pass is 51 km from Manali. Manali is also a must visit if you want to enjoy snow and related activities. Manali receives more snowfall than Shimla and other lower regions. One can enjoy skiing and snow mobile ride in the area. There are also ample opportunities for trekking, hiking and camping activities. Manali has many points of attractions throughout the region like solang valley, Hadimba devi temple, jogni waterfall, Manikaran gurdawara, Beas river and more. As the place receives high amount of tourists every year there is no shortage of hotels, restaurants and other food joints and cab services in Manali. Manali is also a gateway to most of the upper northern tourist attractions. Manali is a perfect replacement for Shimla if you are looking for any.
Other than Shimla valley there are some other valleys that are considered some of the best valleys in Himachal. Spiti valley is in Lahaul and Spiti region. The number of incredible tourist spots and places Spiti valley hosts is more than you will be abel to cover on a small trip. There are numerous mesmerizing landscapes, monasteries, passes, lakes and historical places in the valley, however, whole valley can be considered as a tourist paradise in itself. Most of the region is barren desert landscape with high definition, clear and astonishing view. From Manali, Spiti valley is 196 kms in distance and from shimla it’s 413 kms. From beautiful hamlets to remarkable monasteries to fabulous landscapes and intriguing wildlife, Spiti valley has it all. Even if you only want to cover Spiti valley’s most famous destinations which would be just the tip of the iceberg, you may need seven to eight days for exploration. Some of the highlights of Spiti valley are Kunzum pass, Chandertal Lake, Pin valley national park, Key monastery, Suraj tal Lake, Dhankar monastery, Kibber and Tabo monastery etc. For adventure lovers, Spiti valley has more to offer than one can digest, there are numerous treks for hiking and trekking plus plenty of opportunities for off roading. The terrain is difficult and is not for everyone but still the valley has something for every type and kind of traveller.
Kinnaur is one another incredible district in Himachal Pradesh besides Shimla. The district have many unexplored gems and lesser known beautiful and astounding sights. Kinnaur is 257 kms from Shimla via MDR22 and NH 5. Kinnaur have some of the biggest and highest mountains in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal’s highest mountain Reo Purgyil (6,816 m) is also in Kinnaur. Sangla and Kalpa appear as the two of the favourite regions to explore by most of the travellers coming from Shimla district. Sangla have many camping sites and treks available plus local orchards also seem to lure many wanderers. Kalpa also have many orchards but it is also famous for its monasteries and landscape view. Some other points of attractions are Reckong peo, Nako and Nako Lake, Ribba etc. Kinnaur gives so many opportunities for adventure and fun activities plus snow lovers also enjoy their fare share of fun. The high elevated mountains presents some of the most scenic and picturesque sights in the Himalayas even far better than Shimla.
Kangra is 207 kms from Shimla via NH103. There are other alternative routes via NH205 and NH503 which are little longer. The district is the most populated district of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra has a mixture of natural serene valley and magnificent architectural buildings and structures. Kangra has some of the most significant historical structures just like Shimla. One of these structures is Famous Kangra fort, which has its place in several important historical events. There is also Nagarkot fort museum which presents a window look into the history of place. One other point of attraction is Masroor Rock cut Temples. The temples are crafted via cutting through large rocks which is an incredible feat especially considering the time of its creation which is 8th century AD. There is also a manmade wonder known as Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake which is one of the largest manmade lakes in the whole country. The region has countless beautiful temples and small cultural heritage villages. Kangra town gives a rare opportunity to look into old traditional clothing and cultural habits of local people. Like Shimla one can visit Kangra throughout the year except it is good to avoid monsoon season.
Kullu is a soulful little town at the altitude of 1,279 meters. It is a capital of Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Kullu is an ideal and well sorted beautiful town with the mix of enchanting valleys and serene landscapes. The weather here is soothing and mostly nothing extreme happens throughout the year in the town, and connectivity through roads is in good condition. Beas River flows on the sides of the town. The town receives an ample amount of snowfall during core winter months so all the fun and snow activities are available here during that time. The town is surrounded by thick forest of deodar and pine trees. All the natural and crafted town aspects of the place combine together to give it a magnificent and totally mesmerizing aura or feel and for all the adventure lovers Kullu has much to offer. There are plenty of treks and hiking trails. And if you are into camping and bonfire activities, Kull will give you plenty of sites and locations too to quench your thirst for a memorable camping time. There is Great Himalayan National Park in Kullu which is not only scenic and beautiful but also hosts some of the rarest wildlife in it. The place is also dotted with many spiritual and religious sites and locations which are not only holy but also have cultural aesthetic appeal to them. Kullu is 208 kms from Shimla so it’s not as far as some of the other famous locations and also like Shimla it has good connectivity and time saving roads.
Chamba is a district with serene valleys and thick pine forests. Chamba is located at the banks of Ravi River. The scenery and forests embedded mountains showcase picturesque view of valley around. There are many places in Chamba that have been in the bucket list of tourists from a while now. Many of these places are famous for historical architectural locations, sites and structures like Rang Mahal and Laxmi Narayan temple. There is a grassland prairie in Kajiyar which also include a little lake in-between. The grassland is surrounded by thick deodar forest. There is also a famous sanctuary known as Kalatop wildlife sanctuary in Chamba spreading over 30.69 kms which hosts rare flora and fauna. Some rare species include Himalyan black Marten, Barking Goral and leopards. Chamba also have plenty of beautiful temples like Chamunda Devi Temple. Some other points of interests are Bhuri Sing Museum, Manimahesh Lake and Akhand Chandi palace, each with its own unique lure and charm. Chamba can be visited throughout the year and on the higher grounds one can also experience adequate amount of snow activity in winters.