Great Himalayan National Park

Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is spread over an area of 1,171 square kilometers, at an altitude of 1500 to 6000 meters, among the mountain peaks of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh state in India.

A Bulbul in the Great Himalayan National Park
A Bulbul in the Great Himalayan National Park.

The Great Himalayan Park is classified by UNESCO as one with “outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation“. The park can be considered as the junction of world’s two major faunal regions.

The Park is having more than 375 species of fauna and hunting of any sort is strictly prohibited. Himalayan Thar, Himalayan Brown Bear, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer and Snow Leopard are the common animals found in this park. Around 181 species of birds are found in this national park.

This Himalayan National Park, one of the major high altitude national parks in India, is also rich in Flora. It ranges from pines, spruce, horse-chestnuts or conker trees, alpine herbs, junipers, etc; home to a great diversity of floral life.

The Great Himalayan National Park, GHNP, conducts pre-trek meeting every day at its headquarters at Shamshi (near Kullu). Those who are interested in trekking the mountains are advised to attend this meeting,

How Do I Go to The Great Himalayan National Park, GHNP ?

The Great Himalayan National Park, GHNP, is situated in the Kullu Valley. Kullu valley is accessible by road. Kullu airport is at around 63 kilometers from GHNP.

The capital city of India, New Delhi is at around 500 kilometers from Kullu. Chandigarh railway station is the nearest Major railway station to The Great Himalayan National Park.

Pathankot Junction railway station in Punjab is another major railway station, from where narrow gauge trains (toy trains, as it is popularly known), are available up to Joginder Nagar (Mandi). From Joginder Nagar, you may hire a cab, to complete the last leg of around 143 kilometers to Kullu.

Chamba Hill Station, It’s Heritage Monuments and Pahari Paintings

Chamba is an ancient and famous hill station town in Himachal Pradesh state, India. It is situated at an altitude 996 meters (3268 feet) and is an ideal holiday retreat. Its is also a nature lovers paradise.

Chamba from across the river
Chamba from across the river.

This Hill Station town is situated on the banks of the Ravi River, at its confluence with Sal River. These two rivers gets maximum waters during summer months, due to the melting of snow.

Ravi River, near Chamba
Ravi River, near Chamba.

Natives of this Hill Station are known by the suffix Varmans. The available records dates back the origin of this ancient city to 2nd century BC. The area was under the reign of Maru dynasty from 500 AD. Raju Maru was the first ruler of the Maru dynasty. In 920, Raja Sahil Varman (or Raja Sahil Verma) shifted the capital to Chamba, on his daughter Champavati’s request. Hence the town got its name Champa. Champavati Temple is a famous ancient temple built by Raja Sahil Varman in memory of his daughter Champavati. Chamba was merged with the Indian Union in April 1948. In between 500 A.D. and its merger with India, 67 Maru dynasty kings reigned the dynasty.

This Hill Station is famous for the Suhi Mata Mela and the Minjar Mela, two major fairs lasting for days, known for its music and dancing. The hill station is also famous for the Pahari paintings, which originated in the hill Kingdom, during the 17th to 19th century. Chamba is famous for its handicrafts and textiles.

There are many old heritage monuments like palaces and temples at the old town near Chamba. 10th century Champavati Temple is the major one among them. Champavati Temple has historical and religious relevance for Hindus. Goddess Mahisasuramardini is the deity here, which is the avatar of Goddess Durga.

Lakshmi Narayan group of temples, built during the 10th-19th centuries, is another one. Sita Ram Temple, Bansi Gopal temple, Hari Rai temple and Kharura Mohalla belong to 10th century. Sui Mata Temple and Chamunda Devi Temple are built during 11th century. Akhand Chandi palace is a palace built in 11th century, which is now a college.

How Do I Go to Chamba?

Chamba Hill Station town is at around 120 kilometers from Pathankot Junction railway station, the nearest railway station. Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh state and a major tourist center in India, is at around 340 kilometers distance from Chamba.

Chmba is at around 120 kilometers from the nearest airport at Pathankot. Amritsar, Chandigarh, Dharamsala and Kangra airports are other nearby airports. New Delhi international airport is at around 600 kilometers from Chamba.

Top 4 Hill Stations in India, Shimla, Darjeeling, Ooty, Lonavala

Top 4 Hill stations in India region-wise are Shimla in the North, Darjeeling in the East, Ooty in the South and Lonavala in the West.

St. Michael's Catholic Church at Shimla, one of the Top 4 Hill stations in IndiaSt. Michael’s Catholic Church at Shimla, one of the Top 4 Hill stations in India.

Shimla, One Among the Top 4 Hill stations in India

Shimla in North India is situated in Himachal Pradesh state. Shimla hill station offers panoramic view of the Himalayas. Its considered as the best hill station in India. There is a ropeway to Shimla from downtown.

Shimla is at around 223 miles from New Delhi, the capital of India. Shimla is well connected by roads. Kalka railway station is the nearest broad gauge railway station. Kalka station is connected to Shimla by Kalka- Shimla narrow gauge railway line. This railway line is a UNESCO World heritage site and is part of “Mountain Railways of India” along with similar narrow gauge lines at Darjeeline and Ooty. New Delhi airport and railway stations are well connected to other parts of the world.

Darjeeling, One Among the Top 4 Hill stations in India

Darjeeling hill station in West Bengal state is a beautiful hill station in the Western India. Darjeeling offers view of the Lesser Himalayas. Darjeeling Tea is a famous Geo-patented tea from this region.

New Jalpaiguri railway station near Silguri is the nearest railway station to Darjeeling at around 50 kilometers distance. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway starts from here. Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport at around 90 kilometers distance from Darjeeling hill station.

Ooty, One Among the Top 4 Hill stations in India

Ooty hill station in Tamilnadu is a beautiful hill station in the South. Ooty is also known as Udhagamandalam or Udhagai. Ooty is part of the Nilgiri mountains or Blue mountains.

Coimbatore is the nearest city with airport at 86 kilometers away. Coimbatore junction railway station is the nearest major railway station which is connected to other parts of the country. Mettupalayam is the nearest railway station on the broad gauge. Very few trains go to Mettupalayam. Heritage Mountain railway to Ooty starts from Mettupalayam.

Lonavala, One Among the Top 4 Hill stations in India

Lonavala hill station in Maharashtra state is another beautiful hill station in the Western part of India. Its part of the Sahyadri ranges of Western Ghats. Khandala hill station is an adjacent twin hill station at around 3 kilometers from Lonavala hill station.

All trains stops at Lonavla railway station. Pune city is the nearest major city with an airport, at around 64 kilometers distance. Mumbai is another major city at 104 kilometers away from Lonavala hill station.

Ski Tracks, Himalayan Monal & Yak Riding at Kufri Hill Station

Kufri is a hill station town at an altitude of 7000 feet in Himachal Pradesh state, India. The State bird, Himalayan Monal, is found here.

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) at Kufri
Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) at Kufri

Kufr means lake in the local language and hence got its name.

Kufri wild life zoo is known for Himalayan species of birds and animals. The zoo has Antilopes and Felines along with Himalayan birds. Its located at around 13 kilometers distance from Shimla.

Himalayan Nature Park is spread over an area of 90 hectares of land, at an altitude of 2,600 meters and is home to many wild animalsof the Western Himalayas.

Hip Hip Hurray is a famous amusement cum Adventure Park famous among the tourists.

The town is also known for its popular ski tracks. Horseback riding and Yak Riding is also popular among the tourists here.

Kufri is known for its scenic beauty. This small town was the summer retreat of many erstwhile princely states of India. Mahasu Peak is the highest point here.

How Do I Go to Kufri?

Kufri is located at around 13 around kilometers distance from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh state.

Shimla has an airport and railway station. Chandigarh airport is at around 130 kilometers distance. Kufri town is connected with Narkanda, Rampur and Shimla towns by roads.

April to June is the summer season here ad is ideal for tourists to visit during this time. November to March are the ideal for Skiing enthusiasts to visit this hill station town.

Kalpa Hill Station Known for Its Buddhist Monasteries and Handicrafts

Kalpa is a small hill station town in Sutlej Valley, Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh, famous for its apple orchards, ancient temples and Buddhist monasteries.

Kalpa Hill station Town in H.P.

Most people follow both Buddhism and Hinduism and many temples have deities of both religions.

The town is situated at an average altitude of 2,960 meters or 9,711 feet. Pine-nut forests, Deodars, etc, are seen in plenty here.

Shivling rock, part of the Kailash mountains, which changes its colours throughout the day, can be seen from this hill station town.

Shyam Saran Negi, who was the first voter to cast his vote in the 1951 general elections, belongs to Kalpa.

There is a famous ancient Goddess Chanadika Devi temple at Kothi village, at 3 kilometers from Reckong Peo, the district headquarters and the downtown to Kalpa town. Kinner Kailash mountain ranges is another interesting place, a land known for its myths and fantasies. Suicide Point is another tourist spot at around 10 minutes walk from the town. Batseri village on your way-up is famous for handicrafts.

The village has an ancient Lord Buddha temple and a Lord Badri Narayan temple. Sapni fort is also an important tourist destination known for its outstanding architecture.

How Do I Go to Kalpa?

Kalpa town can be reached from the district head quarters, Reckong Peo. Reckong Peo is at around 260 kilometers from Shimla, the state capital.

Match to September are ideal months to visit this hill station town. Other months are extremely cold and should be avoided.