Himachal

Himachal Pradesh is a northern Indian state in the Himalayas. It’s home to scenic mountain towns and resorts such as Dalhousie and Shimla. Host to the Dalai Lama there is a strong Tibetan presence and the cricket ground at Dharamshala must be one of the most picturesque in the world.

The region is well known for its Buddhist temples and monasteries, as well as its vibrant Tibetan New Year celebrations. The region is also well known for its trekking, climbing and skiing areas.

State capital Shimla recalls the British Raj in the quaint colonial buildings lining the Mall, a ridgetop pedestrian shopping street and can be reached by a journey on the “Himalayan Queen” along the famous Kalka – Shimla railway. On a nearby hill is Jakhu Temple, a colorful Hindu complex home to rhesus macaques and a 108-ft., orange Lord Hanuman (monkey god) statue towering above the trees and the imposing Baronial style Vice -Regal Lodge is where the infamous negotiations surrounding the 1947 partition took place.

Notable smaller towns include Manikaran, famed for hot springs; Sarahan the site of the carved-wood temple Shri Bhima Kali Ji; and Kullu, set amid green hills and apple orchards. The Great Himalayan National Park is home to snow leopards, snow-covered peaks, alpine meadows, trails and campsites. Manali is the gateway by road to Leh/Ladahk whilst the Spiti Valley is a mountainous destination in its own right.