Khajjiar Hill Station, Mini Switzerland

Khajjiar Hill Station is in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh in India. Khajjiar Hill Station was named “Mini Switzerland” by the Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India, in 1992. Khajjiar along with 160 other hill stations are having topographical resemblance to Switzerland.

Khajjiar Hill Station, Mini SwitzerlandA Summer afternoon in Khajjiar Hill Station, Mini Switzerland.

Khajjiar Hill Station, Mini Switzerland, is at a height of 6000 feet above sea level on the Western Himalayan ranges. There is a small lake which is filled with water from a stream. Many parts of this Hill station is covered by dense forests. There are lush green meadows in in this hill station.

You can go for a refreshing walk around the lake or go for walk in the pine forests of Khajjiar. Children can scroll down the slopes near the Lake. You can also go for horse riding around the lake. For those Golf enthusiasts, there is a 9 hole Golf course in Khajjar.

12th century Khajjinag temple is another attraction in Mini Switzerland of India. You can view the images of the Pandavas and the Kaurvas hanging from the roof of Khajjinag temple mandapam.

How to go to Khajjiar Hill Station?

Khajjiar Hill Station is at a distance of 24 kilometers (around one hour drive) from the neatest hill station town of Dalhousie.

Where can I stay in Khajjiar Hill Station?

There are only a very limited number of hotels and resorts in Khajjar Hill Station. There are a large number of Khajjiar hotels and Khajjiar resorts on the outskirts of the Hill Station on your way to Dalhouse Hill station and at other places in Chamba district. H.P. Tourism, Forest and P.W.D departments runs a few hotels in Khajjiar.

“The Devdar” from Himachal Tourism department, Hotel Mini Swiss (very near to the bus stand), Deodar Manor (on an Orchard Estate), Hotel Hritik Palace,etc. are some of the hotels in Khajjiar Hill station in Himachal Pradesh.

Kullu Valley and Kullu Hill station

Kullu Valley and Kullu Hill station are in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh state in India, on the high terrains of Beas river.

Kullu (or Kulu) has lot of Apple, Pears and Plum Orchards. There are Deodar and Pine forests in the area. Kulu is also famous for its hand-loom Shawls and caps.

Kullu
View of Himalayas from Kullu.

Raghunath Temple, a 17th century temple, is a famous temple in Kulu. Maha Devi Tirth Temple is another temple on the Kullu-Manali highway, about 2 kilometers from Kulu valley. At a distance of 10 kilometers distance is ‘Bijli Mahadev’ temple, famous for the art work and herein lies the highest point in Kullu which offers a panoramic view of the valley and surroundings. Devta Narsingh temple ( situated at the Kulu Sultanpur block) and Shringi Rishi Temple- Banjar at 60 kilometers distance are some of the other main temples in and around the valley.

Shoja is another view point at 2692 meters height, which offers unmemorable views of the meadows, valleys, snow covered Himalayan peaks, rivers, forests, etc.

Raison is a camping site, which offers adventurous activities for those interested.

Kullu is unique for its Flora and fauna with some of the rarest Himalayan species found here. “The Great Himalayan National Park ” is located in this area.

Dussehra in Kullu

When the whole country stops celebrating Dussehra, Kulu starts its Dussehra celebrations, which attracts a lot of tourists to the valley.

How Do I Go to Kullu?

Airport at Bhuntar with IATA code KUU, is at 10 kilometers distance from the Kulu valley. New Delhi International airport is at 480 kilometers distance.

There are no direct trains to the valley and its nearby areas. The nearest railway station to Kullu is the ‘Joginder Nagar Railway station’, in the narrow gauge line, at around 100 kilometers distance. Chandigarh and Pathankot are nearest railway stations on the Broad Gauge line, at 235 and 260 kilometers distance respectively.

Kullu to Manali distance is around 40 kilometers and are connected by NH3.

Which are the Best Hotels in Kullu?

There many Hotels in and around Kulu. There is a Stone and Wooden Castle of the 16th century at Naggar, now a Heritage hotel, run by Himachal Tourism. Hotel Sarvari is a deluxe hotel from Himachal tourism deaprtment at Kullu city.

Dharamsala

McLeod Ganj at Dharamsala; Central Tibetan Administration HQ and Home to Dalai Lama

Dharamsala or Dharamshala is a small town where the Central Tibetan Administration Headquarters is situated. It is situated in Himachal Pradesh state, India.


McLeod Ganj and the snowy peaks near Dharamsala

McLeod Ganj town, Central Tibetan Administration Headquarters and Hill station in Dharamsala – Image Courtesy : Wikimedia

Dharamsala is beautiful hill station at an average altitude of 1,457 meters  or 4780 feet above sea level, with snow-capped Himalayas as the backdrop. It is is at a distance of 18 kilometers from Kangra, the district head quarters.

History About Central Tibetan Administration

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, established Dharamshala as his residence and the headquarters of the ‘Central Tibetan Administration’, the Tibetan government in Exile, after his exile from Tibet, following the 1959 Tibetan uprising. The headquarters was initially at Mussoorie and was shifted to Dharamsala in 1960. The 14th Dalai Lama and thousands and thousands of his Tibetan Buddhist followers in exile were allowed to establish their base in Dharamsala by India. To teach their children about teachings of Buddha and to impart them with their Language, culture, religion, history, etc, his holiness the Dalai Lama established schools in the region. HH Dalai Lama (HH denotes His Holiness) also helped those in exile in agricultural settlement.

Central Tibetan Administration in McLeodGanj is situated just above Dharamsala town. McLeod Ganj is the most famous tourist destination at Dharamsala. It is also known as “Little Lhasa“. Lhasa is the administrative capital of Tibet.

Other than the schools on Buddhist teachings, they also undertake development projects for the welfare of Tibetan’s health, cultural and economic development. Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts was established in the year 1959 and Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies was established as the primary university for Tibetan higher education in India. Many of the monasteries and nunneries were re-founded by the Dalai Lama.

Places to visit in Dharamshala

Dalali Lama’s Residence inside Tsuglagkhang Complex at McLeod Ganj

Tsuglagkhang Complex contains the residence of  the 14th Dalai Lama and a Tibetan Museum.

There is a massive statue of Lord Buddha inside the complex, along with other statues.

Kora is the act of walking around the Tsuglagkhang  complex in clock-wise direction. It offers splendid view of the temple.

The complex is open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Namgyal Gompa alias Dalai Lama’s Temple (Dalai Lama’s residence)

Namgyal Gompa alias Dalai Lama’s Temple is the official residence (Photang) of the His Holiness Dalai Lama.

Anybody can go inside Namgyal Gompa (monastery), irrespective of religion. Only condition is you need to keep silence. This monastery is the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama. It is also known as Namgyal Tantric College.

If you are lucky, you may come across Dalai Lama, during public teachings. Its free of cost. If you want to listen to the Teachings of Dalai Lama in person, you need to  register months in advance. He teachings here are in Tibetan language.

In May 2011, Dalai lama his holiness has retired from political responsibilities. These responsibilities were transferred to the Central Tibetan Administration.

You can see the some of the monks debating in groups, normally in the afternoons. There are around 200 monks at this gompa.

There are a lot of prayer bells (in the shape of barrels) all around this Buddhist temple or gompa . You need to turn it clockwise, to get the effect of reciting that prayer. Don’t stop prayer, when the wheel is turning.

Tibetan Museum

There is also a Tibetan museum inside Tsuglagkhang complex.

The Tibetan museum shows photos and videos of Chinese invasion of Tibet. At 3 p.m, there is a documentary. This Museum is closed on Mondays.

Dal Lake Near McLeod Ganj

Dal Lake near McLeod Ganj is considered as a sacred lake by many. It is believed that bathing in this lake washes one of his or her sins.Hence it is known as Poor man’s Kailash. (Pilgrims of several religions in India believe that going to Mount Kailash on foot will bring good fortune.)

View Point

View point is at around two or three kilometers from the above mentioned Dal lake.

St. John in the Wilderness Church

St. John in the Wilderness Church or St. John Church, is one of the oldest churches, on the way to McLeod Ganj. It was built in 1852. It is a CNI (Church of North India) church.

The massive Kangra earthquake of 1905 destroyed the church bell tower. (This earthquake killed an estimated 19,800 people.) A new bell was cast in 1915 , which was brought from England and was installed outside the church.

Graveyard of Lord Elgin, who served as the Governor-General & Viceroy of India, can be seen here.

Dharamsala Cricket Stadium

Dharamsala Cricket Stadium is the world’s top most high altitude cricket stadium.

Kangra Fort

Kangra Fort is believed to be the oldest dated fort in India. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas, for sure. It is at around 20 kilometers from Dharamsala, at Kangra. It is on the outskirts of Dharamsala.

Dharamsala Volunteering Work

Opportunities for volunteering work among Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala is available. Lha Charitable Trust is the pioneers in this field, working among the Tibetan refugees at Dharamsala, from 1997 on-wards. Skilled and unskilled individuals can work here as a volunteer, directly with Lha Charitable Trust.

How Do I Go To Central Tibetan Administration HQ and Hill Station Town of Dharamsala?

There are frequent night buses from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, etc, to Dharamsala.

Dharamsala-Kangra Airport at Gaggal (IOTA code is DHM) serves as the link between Dharamsala and the rest of the world for air travelers The airport is also called Gaggal Airport.

The nearest rail head on the broad gauge railway network (and nearest major rail-head) of Indian railways is Pathankot.  The nearest rail head is ‘Chamunda Marg’, on a narrow gauge railway line, in Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh state.

How Do I Go To Dharamsala from Delhi?

Manju Ka Tila, a Tibtan colony in Delhi, is one of the starting point of buses to Dharamsala. There are many Air conditioned Volvo buses from here.

Bedi Travels is one of the top rated buses to Dharamsala from Delhi. They also operate buses to other places in Himachal Pradesh.

The Divine Hima, a Botique luxary Hotel

The Divine Hima is a luxury boutique hotel with a cafe and an art gallery at Dharamshala. They have some of the best wines, too. The room tariff for 3 nights and 4 days (package), on a twin sharing basis, is Rs 59000. The Divine Hima is situated a little away the town. But is worth the salt.

Manali Hill Station

Manali Hill StationView of Himalayas, from Manali Hill Station. Photo Courtesy- Wikimedia

Manali Hill Station is nestled in the mountains of Himalayas in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India.

Manali Hill Station  is 32 kilometers from Kullu valley, 280 kilometers north of capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla. The hill station is situated near to the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh.

Manali is famous for adventure sports like skiing, mountaineering, paragliding, hiking, trekking, rafting. mountain biking and kayaking. Skiing  is a major tourism related activity at the Hill Station. The Beas river, with its clear waters, meanders through the town of Manali.

Manali Hill Station can be visited throughout the year. In winter, i.e. December and January,   the temperature may drop below freezing point.  Heavy woolen clothes are be required during this time of the year.

Domestic tourists comes here mainly for honeymoon and mountain views. Foreigners visit the Hill Station for adventure sports.

Rohtang Pass is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road. It provides a panoramic view of Himalayan mountains rising far above the clouds, which is truly a breath-taking sight.

Solang Valley  offers the view of the snow capped mountains, the glaciers and the Himalayan  peaks. It has fine ski slopes and many picnic spots.

Rahala waterfalls is a major tourist attraction at 16 kilometers distance from the hill station.

MANU temple, at 2 kilometers distance, is linked to the history of the Hill Station and is a major tourist attraction. Tibetan monasteries at the hill station attracts many a tourists.

How Do I Go to Manali Hill Station?

The nearest airport to Manali is at Bhuntar town, at about 50 kilometers distance. The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport.

Chandigarh is the nearest rail head at around 275 kilometers distance on the broad gauge railway line. On the narrow gauge rail-head,  ‘Joginder Nagar’ is at 135 kilometers away. The Hill Station can be reached by road from the above mentioned stations.

HPTDC Tourist Information Office may be contacted at Telephone number +91 – 1902 – 253531.

Places to Stay at Manali Hill Station

There are many hotels at Manali. Holiday Inn, Apple Country Resorts, Ashoka Classic Cottage, Camp Exotica (on Naggar Road), Span resorts and spa (at 10 kilometers distance on Kullu Manali Highway), etc, are some of the Manali hotels and Manali resorts. Casa Bella Vista is a leading high-end resort among Manali resorts.

If you are looking for  cheap and decent accommodation, Youth Hostels Association of India, may be the answer. The details from their website is given below.

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH HOSTEL MANALI
(Near Club Mahindra Resorts)
Prini Village,
Manali-Naggar Road
Himachal Pradesh

Contact Person: Mr.Anil Nag
Phone: 1902-250437, 09736052663.
Email:[email protected]

Tariff Season (May to June)
Dormitory: Rs.375/-, Economy Room:Rs.1034/-, Standard Room:Rs.1578/-,
Deluxe Room:Rs.1935/-,Family Room:Rs.2650/-, Family Suite:Rs.2650/-
Tariff Off Season
Dormitory:Rs.330/-, Economy Room:Rs.880/-, Standard Room:Rs.1428/-,
Deluxe Room:Rs.1785/- Family Room:Rs.2500/-, Family Suite:Rs.2500/-

Season : April to June & 25 December to 10 Jan
Off Season : Rest of the year
Whichever Govt.Taxes are applicable, to be paid at the hostel at the time check-in.

Shimla Indian Tourism Hub

Shimla is a major hill station attracting millions of tourists every year, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India.

Shimla Indian Tourism HubShimla Railway station – Photo Credit – Wikimedia

This hill station town is at an elevation of approximately 300 to 3000 meters above sea level. It was the Summer capital of British India and after independence, Shimla was made the capital of Punjab state. In September 1972, Shimla became capital of Himachal Pradesh state (Chandigarh was named as the capital of Punjab state; Chandigarh is also the capital of Haryana state also).

This beautiful hill station in India, has many temples and palaces. There are many leading colleges and research institutions at this hill station.

The Majestic ‘Christ Church’, on the ridge, is the second oldest Church in North India. The stained glass windows of the Church represent faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility.

Jakhu Hill, at 8000 feet which is the highest peak, offers superb view of the Himalayas and the Shimla valley. The hill top has an old temple of Lord Hanuman which attracts tourists. Statue of Lord Hanuman in this temple is the single statue that stand at the highest altitude.

Shimla State Museum is another major tourist spot.

Climate of Shimla

Temperatures vary from −4 °C/25 °F  to 31 °C/88 °F. January and early February experience snow falls.

How Do I Go to Shimla?

This hill station is connected by road to all the major towns. National Highway No 22 connects Shimla to the city of Chandigarh. Indian Capital city of New Delhi, is at 223 miles distance. Air conditioned Volvo buses are there from New Delhi office premises of the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation, tickets can be booked using their online booking systems. These buses start their journey from the I.S.B.T. (Inter State Bus Terminus) at Kashmiri Gate in New Delhi, India.

The Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge Mountain railway track, was constructed in the year 1906. There is broad gauge and narrow gauge tracks at Kalka station. The Broad Gauge line connects Kalka to the rest of India.. This mountain railway line has more than 806 bridges and 103 tunnels. The completion of this railway line was touted as an engineering feat and was known as the “British Jewel of the Orient”. UNESCO has declared this railway line as part of “Mountain Railways of India” and is a UNESCO World heritage site.

Shimla Jubbarhatti Airport, is at around 20 kilometers distance from the hill station city, This airport connects the Indian Capital City of New Delhi with the hill station. Kullu is also connected by flight services from Shimla.

Which are the Good Shimla Hotels?

There are hundreds of hotels offering online hotel booking. Hotels online booking can be done through Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation’s  (a state government enterprise) site up to one year in advance. Windfall Hall is one of the best fairy tale luxury resorts, set in 22 acres of virgin pine and cedar woods.

This hill station is a tourist’s paradise, especially for the honeymoon goers.