The best summertime destinations in North India
If you haven’t already vacationed at Himachal Pradesh, the coming summer months are the best time to take a trip to this beautiful northern state. It’s snow clad mountain peaks, valleys dressed in green, and flowing rivers, make it feel like a whole new world, for city dwellers. Just a relaxed walk or trek through these mountain paths, with pine forests all around, and the cool relaxing weather, is enough to make your trip worthwhile.
But Himachal has so much more to offer to travellers who have adventure and exploration on their list. Places like Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Khajjiar, Dharamshala, Dalhousie and McLeod ganj, have become hugely popular summer retreats since years. But places like Palampur have only recently been discovered by tourists, and should never be missed, mainly for their pristine and unspoiled beauty.
Spirituality, History and Culture:
For travellers who love to visit a place for its spiritual, historical and cultural significance, Dharamshala is a good place to start. Besides being home to the Dalai Lama, you will find the Namgyal Monastery, Church of St. John, Jawalamukhi Devi Temple, Gyuto Monastery, Tushita Meditation Centre, and Chamunda Nandikeshwar Temple. There are also places of historical importance like Kangra Fort and Museum, and Dharamshala War Memorial. This place also lets you experience a blend of Kangra and Tibetan culture, as Dharamshala became home to many Tibetan refugees, in around 1960.
Adventure seekers should not miss Rohtang Pass, which is situated at a distance of just 51 km from Manali. Rohtang is known for skiing, paragliding and mountain-biking. River rafting is common at Bias River in Manali and Spiti River in Spiti Valley. The Indrahar Pass Trek in Kangra District, Beas Kund and Chandratal Baralacha Treks at Manali, Pin Parvati Pass Trek at Kullu, and Kareri Lake Trek at Dharamshala, are some of the best trek routes for those willing to brave the mighty Himalayas. Mountain biking, rock climbing, trekking, angling, vehicle safari, camping are some other sports you can enjoy here.
The downside to these places having so much to offer, is the crowds of travellers flocking there, and the heavy commercialization. That’s why one should visit the quieter, more off beat places, to get to know the real Himachal. Tourists seeking peaceful getaways with their families will surely love places like Palampur, Dharamkot, Barot, Pabbar Valley and Narkanda. Among these, Palampur is the hidden gem of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the tea capitals of India, and is nestled within the Dhauladhar ranges of the Kangra Valley. It gets its name from the countless streams flowing through it, and is endowed with a pleasant climate, beautiful landscapes, historic temples, and ample opportunities for trekking amidst untouched natural beauty. The large canyon of Neugal Khad, Chamunda Devi Temple, Baijnath Shiva Temple, Dhauladhar National Park and Tea Gardens are the special attractions of this place. Bir-Billing which is situated very close to Palampur, is internationally known as one of the best paragliding and hang gliding sites.
This makes Himachal Pradesh the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. But most hill stations in the north are crowded during the summer holidays. So if you love adventure and sightseeing, but also don’t want to miss out on the peace and tranquility that Himachal has to offer, you should have Palampur as one of the places on your list. It’s one of the best places for a relaxed getaway with family and friends.