Posted by: Aniket Agarwal
Himachal, also known as the land of snow, is the home to the largest glacier in India. It has got its name from the words, “Hima” & “Anchal” which means “snow” & “lap”, which is no coincidence as the state lies in the lap of Himalayan range. Besides its breathtaking serene beauty, stunning rivers, lush valleys, Himachal has a lot of adventurous activities to offer like river rafting, paragliding, ice-skiing, trekking, etc. What better place to build memories with your partner amidst the majestic hills. Exploring the views holding hands, cable car rides, romantic dinner dates are the few highlights. Here are the list of 10 best things to do in Himachal.
If you’re a water-sports lover like us, the white water River rafting or river rafting is known to be one of the best things to do in himachal. We’re so in love with this sport and we’re sure once you do it, you will be too. The snow-fed rivers in the upper himalayas are said to be the best for river rafting in our country. No matter how many times you’ve done it before, it will be as thrilling as it was for the first time. You will feel an adrenaline rush in your veins & every muscle in your body as the raft rushes along with the strong river flows & water splashing over your face.
Rafting has different difficulty levels depending upon the experience the rider holds. But this doesn’t mean that it is a sport restricted for swimmers. Non- swimmers can also experience this sport in the places where guided rafting is conducted. The river Sutlej at Tattapani near Shimla, the Ravi near Chamba, the Beas river near kullu offers you tremendous river rafting opportunities. If you’re in for more challenging & daring rapids, the Chandrabhaga (Chenab) in Lahaul is a good option. The beas near Kullu offers a great thrilling experience in a ride of 20kms stretch with extreme white water rapids.
The best time for river rafting is in spring and summers. This sport takes a break during some portions of monsoon due to heavy rains & tides and in winter due to frozen water bodies in some of the areas.
Cost: Varies from INR 500 to INR 1000 per person.
Best Time to Visit: March to early June.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly like a bird in the sky? When we were kids, at least for once we all would have worn a cape pretending to be superman flying in the sky, jumping from beds or some height just to have that feeling. We may not have natural wings but Paragliding is perhaps an activity closest to where you can experience flying freely like a bird in the air.
Paragliding in Himachal can be mesmerising with the view of snow capped mountains, the lush green valleys, the cool & refreshing breeze blowing on your face, the sound of the wind & gurgling rivers, all at once like never before. It is a never to be forgotten experience.
The it-place for paragliding in himachal is Bir-billing. It is known as the Paragliding Capital of india. Now as the government of Himachal has launched a new scheme, “Nai Raahein, Nai Manzilein” to explore possibilities in unexplored areas, there has been many new sites established like Pandhara in Kullu, Chohla Indru Nag in Kangra, Darouta to Lahra in Chamba, Prashar in Mandi, Tikkar & Junga in Shimla. Tourists can also experience paragliding in Solang valley near Manali.
Cost: Cost of paragliding starts from INR 2000.
Best Time to Visit: between March to May and October to November.
Trekking is the best thing to do in Himachal if you’re a nature lover and love walking through the trails. Himachal offers a great opportunity for the trekkers to choose their way, be it for camping or hotels or even for markets. For people who can’t go for longer treks but want to have this experience, these short treks to market or to your accommodation can be an alternative.
Himachal offers many more adventurous day treks like Triund trek, Hampta Pass trek, Kheerganga trek, Pin Parvati trek, Prashar Lake trek, Chanderkhani Pass trek. After completing the trek you can also stay there in tents and enjoy the bonfire and camping experience. These treks take you through forests and across rivers which gives you a pleasant and soothing feeling.
Carry water or snacks if required and do not forget to wear comfortable shoes. If the paths are rugged something with good grip is recommended.
Cost: Trekking packages start from INR 3000.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.
The best thing to do in himachal when you're with your partner is to go out and have some fun. Skiing can lighten up your mood and bring closeness between you two. You will feel the snow beneath your feet and the wind blowing on your face as you slide down the hill.
Skiing is operational only during winter seasons, from November to Early March. This state has a number of places where skiing is organised. Many skiing spots provide packages too which are inclusive of accommodations and meals. Kufri, Narkanda, Solang valley, Rohtang Pass are the few locations where skiing is organised. Kufri is said to be the Skier’s Paradise and the winter sports capital of India. The town also hosts a winter sports festival around the month of February.
Even If you’re not much into skiing you can do sledge riding or play in the snow.
Cost: Skiing starts at INR 300 per person per hour.
Best Time to Visit: November to February.
Sightseeing with your partner can be very romantic. Himachal has a lot to offer when it comes to nature. The meaning of the word Himachal is adequate to give you an idea of what to expect here. As himachal is situated in the lap of himalayas, scenic river valleys are the attraction to the state. Surrounded by the majestic snow covered mountains, the beauty of himachal is beyond imagination.
Major attractions here are Manali, a hot-spot for family vacations and honeymoons; Kullu, often heard with manali, yet another tourists spot on the banks of river Beas; Kasol, on the banks of parvati river famous for scenic waterfalls and undisturbed trekking routes; Chalal, known for its trance and psychedelic rave parties; trek to village Malana, famous for Malana Cream (cannabis); Chamba, Dharamshala, Mcleodganj and many others.
Cost: Packages start from INR 5000.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.
Camping & bonfire under the starry night can be very fascinating. One of the best things to do in Himachal is to have the experience of camping. The stars which are not clearly seen at night from our cities due to pollution can be seen at campsites in Himachal. If you love anything or everything about stars or into astrophysics, this can be a mesmerising view. You can even carry a telescope with you and read the position of stars. Relishing the cold night under the stars, having dinner near a bonfire, spending the night in the tents and waking up to the mystic view of the mountains and the lush valleys is the most romantic thing you can do with your partner.
Along with the accommodation & catering services and facilities, many campsites offer a variety of activities as well, like fishing, hiking, skiing, rafting, etc. Campsites near Kasol, Tosh, Jibhi, Waichin, Triund, Kheerganga are the hot-spots for tourists.
Cost: Packages start from INR 2000.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.
Sometimes what words can’t express, gestures do. Planning a romantic dinner date for your partner isn’t as difficult as it sounds. What can be more romantic than having dinner with the love of your life under the light of the moon? River flowing underneath, wind blowing through your hair, music touching your soul, a long romantic walk after dinner and falling in love with each other again under the starry sky. Feels good, isn’t it? Can it be more romantic? No, right? When merely just thinking about being in this moment makes chills run down your spine, just imagine how it would feel like when your fantasies will come to life.
The cafes on Mall road of Manali is the best place to plan a date night if you’re looking for something sophisticated and well planned. But if you’re seeking isolation from the city, we would recommend you Parvati Valley or Jibhi valley where the lodges and the campsites also offer honeymoon packages which include dinner dates.
Cost: approx INR 1500 for two.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.
Bike ride & road trip to spiti
It’s no lie that every traveler dreams of going on a road trip to spiti. Why? Because Spiti is wonderful, it's serene, it’s stunning. Nested between Tibet and India, this cold deserted mountain valley has a unique vibe. It's hard not to fall in love with this place. Spiti, being one of the Himachal's valleys, is nothing alike. It is the most bizzare place to see in himachal. Spiti is not only known for its scenic views and its mesmerising beauty but these mighty mountains have always been counted as life-giving, where the seeker found peace and solace. Spiti is a mixture of both traditional history and modern world. Novelist Rudyard Kipling defines Spiti as a world within a world, a place where God lives.
Tabo monasteries, Kye monasteries, Chandratal, Kazo, Kibber are the highlights of the valley.
Cost: Packages starts from INR 15000
Best Time to Visit: March to June & September to mid-October
Who doesn’t enjoy a carnival? Yes, you heard me right. A Carnival, where you can enjoy several cultural events and activities amidst huge feast stalls, clothes and antiques on sale, souvenirs for you to take home.
Kullu-Dussehra is a wonderful source of entertainment. The special thing about this event is that it starts in Kullu when the festival ends in the other parts of the country i.e. from the tenth day of the rising moon, which we call as “Vijay Dashmi”, and continues for the next seven days. A week-long festival celebrated in the month of August has now become a major attraction for tourists in Himachal Pradesh. More than 5 lakhs people around the globe visit the fair. The raths are decorated & prepared for the gaily attired idol of RaghunathJi for the rally where it is pulled by the devotees along with drums, trumpets & people dancing in front. People also carry the idols from their home on their heads in the rally. The traditional dance of the locals “Natti”, also known as the moonlight dance, is performed in the night by the local villagers. On the last day of the fair, devotees collect a pile of wood and set it to fire to mark the destruction of Lanka. They also follow a tradition of Bali where A fish, a lamb, a rooster, a buffalo & a crab are sacrificed in this fire.
Explore the markets & street food
One of the best things to do in himachal is to explore the market. Wander the streets, try himalayan food and shop unique pahari outfits. You can spend a good quality time wandering and exploring the markets with your loved one. The different cities are popular for different items. From handicrafts to clothes to different kinds of fruits and vegetables, there is no such thing you won't find in Himachal.
The Lakkar Bazar in Shimla, the star attraction of the state, is famous for antique decor items which are very much liked by the tourists. These wooden pieces are popular for circuitous carvings and are sold here at very economical rates.
If you’re a shopaholic like us, The Mall Road in Manali is a delight for you. You can pick up souvenirs from here or gifts for your friends and family. You will see plenty of shops with good quality hand-knitted sweaters, pashmina shawls, sarees, scarves, caps, boots, etc. Mall Road is not just a flea market but also a hub to food stalls, cafes and bars. You will get a huge variety of delicious food there. Do not forget to try the Trout fish, if you’re a non-vegetarian.
Mcleodganj, as you all know, is all about Tibetian culture. The best thing to find in the markets here are the artefacts and fragrances from Kotwali Bazaar. Prayer wheels, singing bowls & perfumes are the highest selling products in this market. Besides the shopping items these markets are also famous for their street foods. Do not miss a chance to hog on the street food while you scroll through the markets. Pahari food can be a treat to your stomach. You won’t find more delicious momos anywhere else.