Important information : Tourist places in Himachal Pradesh have been grouped as follows :
With Chamba and region, one will find also Dalhousie,
Khajjiar, a small place located between Dalhousie and Chamba, and also Brahmaur.
With Dharamsala and surroundings, one will find also the Chamunda temple and two villages near McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu and Dharamkot.
In Kangra and surroundings, one will visit the Kangra town itself, with the Goddess Bajreshvari temple the, a few kms away, the old-timer Kangra Fort. Not very, one will include the monolithic stone Masrur temples, the Jwalamukhi temple, a very famous pilgrimage place and, half-way from between Dharamsala and Mandi, the very beautiful Baidyanath temple in Baijnath.
With Mandi, one will visit also the Rewalsar holy place, 25km away in the mountain.
In the Kullu Valley name, we have grouped the Kullu township and, not very far, the Basheshara Mahadev temple in Bajaura, the interesting Naggar village and, finally, the visit to Manali, Old Manali and Vashisht.
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With this chapter, which describes some locations of Himachal Pradesh, we visit places of India which look very different for their climate, the geographical environment, and the people. Himachal Pradesh is a State covering 55 670 km². About 6,2 million people live there, 95 % of them in villages. This State is limited to North by Kashmir, to east by Tibet, to west by Punjab and Haryana, to south by Uttaranchal. The main and capital city is Shimla. For centuries, many dynasties ruled over these places; thus, many tourist sight points can be visited.
Like other mountain areas from north India, nature offers wonderful forest landscapes made of conifers like Himalayan cedar -Deodar-, pine tree, etc.), steepy hills often managed in terraces cultivated from centuries and, in the heights, fantastic snowy mountains above 6000 meters high. Temples, where many pilgrims coming from long distances gather all the year long, are not particularly unique from the architectural point of view, but their styles are very interesting and give a particular pleasing local touch.
Tourism is not fairly well developped in Himachal Pradesh yet : communication infrastructures (roads) are not adequate enough and impose long time to reach the final destination. However, Indian medium-upper class tourists appreciate the nice and mild Himachal climate in Shimla or Dalhousie during the excessively hot periods of Indian summer in low lying areas. Dharamsala is world-wide known to be the place where the Dalai Lama and many tibetan people took refuge to escape the invasion of their home land and its occupation by China. As for Manali, perfectly located upstream the Kullu Valley, it benefits a great popularity among the newly-married indian couples for their honeymoon travel, as well as young backpacker foreigners.
Link to maps of Himachal Pradesh.
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