Himachal Pradesh is in the north of India, in the Himalayas. It has many beautiful mountain towns and resorts such as Dalhousie. Dharamshala, the base camp of Mcleod Ganj, is the seat of the Dalai Lama. After seeking refuge from the Government of India, he and his Tibetan Buddhist refugees stay there. The Buddhist temples and monasteries, and the vibrant Tibetan New Year celebrations reflect the same. The trekking, climbing, and skiing areas of Himachal attract thousands of tourists every year. Of course, Shimla, the capital city of the province is also the largest city there. The Victorian architecture, on Ridge and the Mall, is very popular. Shimla is an ideal place for honeymooners. The cool and pleasant climate of Shimla makes it a renowned summer retreat. February to June (Spring and Summer) is the best time to visit Himachal. The pleasant and most popular time to visit is the winters, i.e., between October and February when it’s the snowfall season.
The earliest known inhabitants of the region were tribals. Then came the Aryans. In the later centuries, the hill chieftains accepted the suzerainty of the Mauryan empire, the Kushans, the Guptas, and Kanuaj rulers. During the Mughal period, the Rajas of the hill states made some mutually agreed arrangements that governed their relations. In the 19th century, Ranjit Singh annexed/subjugated many of the states. When the British came, they defeated Gorkhas and entered into treaties with some Rajas, and annexed the kingdoms of others. The situation more or less remained unchanged till 1947. On 25th January 1971, Himachal Pradesh was made a full-fledged State. Himachal Pradesh is a fantastic tourist place on the basis of its diversity and natural beauty. It is undoubtedly one of the best tourist destinations for summers. You can experience amazing scenic beauty, and serene landscapes in places like Manali, Shimla, Dalhousie, and many more.
Fairs And Festivals
Offering such wonderful landscapes and thrilling experiences, the state simply adds more fervor to the local experiences with its numerous fairs and festivals. The locals lavishly celebrate their culture and heritage through these festivals. There are many religious fairs and festivals, such as the Halda Festival. This celebration, dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth, Shashikar Apa, is held to commemorate the New Year and includes a bonfire that symbolizes the community’s oneness. Dussehra is a major Hindu religious festival in Northern India, and it is also celebrated in Himachal Pradesh. The Kullu Valley, on the other hand, has a unique Dussehra celebration. Instead of burning an effigy of Ravana, the Kullu Dussehra emphasizes worshipping Lord Raghunath and several dances and music performances. There are regular celebrations to honor the Gods where the entire village gathers and pays their respect. The Doongri Fair is held at the Hadimba Temple in Manali to celebrate the arrival of the new season. Similarly, the Chet Festival is held on the first day of the first month of the lunar year to bring happiness and prosperity to the region. This celebration is well-known in the Kangra, Hamirpur, and Bilaspur regions. So if you plan a trip to Himachal, do understand the local culture through their festivals.
The local Himachali cuisine has formed over the years with deep influences from the nearby areas of Punjab and Tibet along with the variations in climate. It is rightly said that the food tastes delicious because the people of Himachal Pradesh put their heart and soul into the preparation but that is likely to be true across the country. Most of the dishes are slow-cooked to enhance flavors as the cuisine is predominantly homely. In the high terrain areas you’ll find more non-vegetarian dishes while in the lower region, leafy vegetables and fruits dominate the cuisine. Many regional dishes like Siddu, Aktori, and Gulgule are worth a try while traveling across the state. The Brahmin community chefs make a local dish Dham, which is a customary festival dinner. Dham consists of aromatic rice, moong dal, madra of kidney beans or chickpeas cooked in yogurt, and Mitha Bhatt or Mithdee, a sweet dish prepared with lentils and rice and topped with boondis and breadcrumbs. People in Pahadi are likewise loyal to their cups of tea, which is understandable given the cold weather. Tchaku Cha is a salty butter tea that is quite popular in Japan and is also made here. It’s made with milk, salt, and butter, as well as a unique type of black tea. Some other local dishes that shall entice your palate are Babro, chicken from the hills, trout fish from the Tirthan valley, Channa Madra (chickpea-based), Chha Gosht (a rich curry-based meat) among many others
Shopping for souvenirs is a must while traveling and Himachal like any other state in the country has some unique offerings. Paintings, handicrafts, woodwork, metalwork, the famed shawls, Himachali caps, and the local markets are flooded with items that will find a rightful place in your baggage. You can visit Kullu and Chamba since the state’s metal jewelry is in high demand around the world. Local Tibetan jewelry is also found in Dharamshala, Shimla, and Manali including a treasure trove of anklets, neckpieces, amulets,
rings, and more. The town of Kinnaur is famed for its wonderful apples, Chilgoza, handlooms, and supplies for handicrafts. Apart from that, when visiting Himachal Pradesh, one can get wall hangings, Tibetan Thangkas, travel books, and prayer wheels.