Travel to Himachal Pradesh – Ultimate Guide

Travel to Himachal Pradesh - Ultimate Guide

If you are not from India then hardly you would know about Himachal Pradesh. But, before I start this ultimate guide to travel to Himachal Pradesh, India, I only want to say that Himachal Pradesh is one of the best places to travel in India. There are so many reasons to travel to this amazing place (I have mentioned in this article). But, before I start, you should know the basics about this amazing place. So, let me start.

Travel to Himachal Pradesh – Ultimate Guide

Himachal Pradesh is a state located in the northern part of India. The name is Himachal Pradesh means “in the lap of the Himalayas”. The state is landlocked and bounded by Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Punjab to the west and south, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the south and southeast, and Tibet to the east. Himachal Pradesh is one of the few Indian states that are mostly mountainous.

travel to Himachal Pradesh, nature beauty in Himachal Pradesh, Himachal road, lake, big trees.
Nature beauty in Himachal Pradesh
Photo via: adobe stocks

Why You Should Travel to Himachal Pradesh?

I know this is your first question that why you should visit Himachal Pradesh. Therefore, I have compiled here 10 reasons why you should visit this place.

  1. To witness the snow-capped Himalayan mountains
  2. To see the unspoiled natural beauty
  3. If you want to escape the busyness of city life
  4. To live in picturesque villages and get to know the hospitable locals.
  5. To hike in the stunning Himalayan mountains
  6. For world-class skiing during winter
  7. If you want to participate in adventure sports like rafting, paragliding, and mountaineering,
  8. To explore ancient temples and monasteries
  9. To enjoy delicious Himachali cuisine
  10. For shopping handicrafts and curios.

Best Time to Visit Himachal Pradesh

snowfalls, travel to Himachal Pradesh, houses covered with snow, hill town, houses on hills.
Snowfalls in Himachal Pradesh
Photo via: adobe stocks

The best time to travel to Himachal Pradesh, India depends on what type of experience you are looking for. Here are a few things to consider:

Peak Season

In Himachal Pradesh, April to June is the peak season. Adventure sports like river rafting and trekking are perfect during this time because of the warm, sunny weather. Wildflowers and fruit-bearing trees are also in bloom at this time. Though it is also the busiest, so be ready for greater costs and crowds.

Shoulder Season:

In Himachal Pradesh, September and October, as well as March and April, are shoulder seasons. It is a fantastic time to go during these months because the weather is still beautiful and there are not as many people around. The monsoon season, as well as the lush green scenery and waterfalls, is best experienced in September and October. The apple and cherry blossoms are in full bloom during the months of March and April.

Off-Season

The months of July and August are regarded as the off-season in Himachal Pradesh. The monsoon season is at its peak during this time, making some areas potentially inaccessible due to landslides and road closures. The months of December through February are also regarded as the off-season due to the significant snowfall and severely low temperatures, which make travel challenging.

In short, it completely depends on you how you want to enjoy Himachal Pradesh. If you like adventure activities then summer (April-June) is the best time for you. If you love nature’s beauty, then monsoon (July-September) is a great time to visit Himachal Pradesh. And if you like snow sports and snow-covered photography then winter (October-February) is the best time for you to visit Himachal Pradesh.

Packing Tips for Himachal Pradesh

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Packing for Himachal Pradesh trip
Photo via: adobe stocks

What to pack depends on the month you are going to travel to Himachal Pradesh. Because in Himachal Pradesh it is very cold in winter and very hot in summer. Therefore, it is advisable to pack according to which month are you planning to travel to Himachal Pradesh. But, here I have suggested some basic packing tips which will definitely help you while packing for your Himachal Pradesh trip.

  • Pack for the Weather: Himachal Pradesh has a wide range of temperatures. So pack layers that you can quickly add or remove as necessary.
  • Comfortable shoes: Since you will be walking a lot, pack some sturdy, comfy shoes as well as a pair of sandals or flip-flops.
  • Sunscreen and eyewear are essential: Protect your skin and eyes as needed because the sun can be very strong, especially at high altitudes.
  • Reusable water bottle: Bring a reusable water bottle with you to avoid spending money on bottled water. It is also better for the environment.
  • Pack a first aid kit: Being ready for any minor illnesses or injuries that can occur during your trip is usually a smart idea.
  • Power bank and converter: Bring a power bank and a converter with you. Because power outages are frequent in some areas of Himachal Pradesh. Bring a converter as well so you can charge your devices.
  • Pack light: Trust me, you will be walking and traveling a lot, so only take what you need and leave the rest behind.
  • Don’t forget your camera: Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful place, with many picturesque landscapes and charming villages. Capture your memories!
  • Carry a reusable plastic bag: Always carry a reusable plastic bag or shopping bag with you so that you can keep your garbage in it.

How to Reach Himachal Pradesh

a narrow road in India, mountains around, road near big rocks.
A narrow road in Himachal Pradesh
Photo via: adobe stocks

Depending on where you are and your budget, there are a number of options to get to Himachal Pradesh, India.

Via Flight

Reaching Himachal Pradesh by air is a convenient and quick option, especially if you are coming from a far-off location. The state has several airports, including Bhuntar, Gaggal, Kangra, Shimla, and Jubbarhatti, which connect it to major cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Chandigarh. Here you should keep in mind that there is no international airport in Himachal Pradesh. Therefore, you can only reach Himachal Pradesh from these major cities. But do not worry some of the major airlines that operate flights to Himachal Pradesh include Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Vistara.

By Train

Consider taking the train if you want a quick and inexpensive way to get around. Those who want to avoid the hassle of flying or driving may find that taking the train is a terrific alternative. Additionally, it is a fantastic way to travel the nation and make new friends.
Himachal Pradesh may be easily reached by railway due to its many convenient railheads. Shimla, Solan, Dharamsala, Una, and Pathankot are a few of the state’s significant railroad hubs. Some of these cities are also stations for a number of luxurious trains of India, such as the Fairy Queen and the Palace on Wheels.

By Bus

The bus is a convenient way to go around the city. It is quick, practical, and reasonably priced. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about parking or traffic. To ensure that you know when and where to catch the bus, make sure to plan your trip in advance.
Major cities including Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, and Manali are connected to Himachal Pradesh via a vast bus network. Regular bus services to and from Himachal Pradesh are available by both private and government-run companies. Most people think that the most affordable way to get to Himachal Pradesh is by bus.

Transportation in Himachal Pradesh

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Transportation in Himachal Pradesh
Photo via: adobe stocks

There are 2 best ways to get around Himachal Pradesh: 1. by bus and 2. by taxi. You can also rent a motorbike or scooter. But it is only advisable if you know the routes. However, if you do not want to travel far from your destination and you have the map, this is the best way to explore the beauty of Himachal Pradesh. Here are some best tips to get around Himachal Pradesh.

Bus Service

Buses are one of the most popular and affordable modes of transportation in Himachal Pradesh. The Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) operates local and long-distance buses connecting major cities and towns in the state. The buses are well-maintained, and air-conditioned, and offer comfortable seating arrangements. The frequency of the buses is high, making it easy to find one that suits your schedule. Additionally, the bus stops are well-marked, making it easy to know when your bus has arrived.

HRTC operates two types of services, including ordinary and deluxe buses. Ordinary buses are more affordable and ideal for those who are traveling on a budget, while deluxe buses offer a more comfortable and luxurious experience. Deluxe buses are equipped with air-conditioning and reclining seats and are usually less crowded. Whether you are traveling for leisure or for business, HRTC’s buses are a convenient and cost-effective option for getting around Himachal Pradesh.

Private Taxi Service

Taxis are a popular and convenient mode of transportation in Himachal Pradesh, especially for tourists visiting the state. Taxis are available in all major cities and tourist destinations, and you can either book one in advance or hail one on the street. Most taxis in Himachal Pradesh are metered, although it’s advisable to negotiate the fare beforehand, especially if you are traveling to a remote location.

There are several types of taxis available in Himachal Pradesh, including regular taxis, shared taxis, and private cabs. Regular taxis are ideal for short trips within the city, while shared taxis are a cost-effective option for longer distances. Private cabs, on the other hand, are more expensive but offer more comfort and privacy. Regardless of the type of taxi you choose, make sure to check the vehicle’s condition and confirm the fare before starting your journey. Additionally, carry a map or download a navigation app to make your journey easier.

Shared Taxi Service

In Himachal Pradesh, shared taxis are an affordable and practical form of transportation. These taxis are a popular means of transportation within cities or between towns close by. Commonly, shared taxis pick up and drop off clients along predetermined routes. The cost of shared taxis is typically cheaper than that of private taxis, making them an affordable choice for tourists.

Shared taxis normally hold six to eight passengers and are roomy and pleasant. Compared to buses, they are typically faster and more direct because they make fewer stops. Furthermore, shared taxis operate on a first-come, first-served basis, making it simple to choose one that works with your schedule. Shared taxis are a fantastic alternative to take into consideration if you’re seeking a cheap and practical way to get around Himachal Pradesh.

Rent a Motorbike or Scooter

For those who want a more independent form of transportation, renting a motorbike or scooter is a common option in Himachal Pradesh. The state is a favorite vacation spot for motorcycle riders because it has some of India’s most beautiful roads. You can freely explore the area at your own leisure while taking in the spectacular sights by renting a motorbike or scooter.

In Himachal Pradesh, there are numerous rental agencies that provide motorbikes and scooters for rent. The rental procedure is simple, and the majority of businesses want a valid driver’s license and a security deposit. Depending on the brand and model, renting a motorcycle or scooter can be expensive, but it’s usually not too expensive. In addition, renting a motorbike or scooter is more affordable than calling a private taxi because it enables you to save money on transportation while touring the area. Renting a motorbike or scooter is a terrific way to move about Himachal Pradesh, regardless of your riding experience level.

What to See in Himachal Pradesh

old Himachal houses, people walking in street, crowds in Himachal Pradesh, Indians crowd.
Tourists in Himachal Pradesh, India
Photo by Sakshi Patwa from Pexels.com

There are so many beautiful places you should visit in Himachal Pradesh. And this article will be so long if I will add all the beautiful places in one single article. But, do not worry I m also preparing a separate post about the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh So that you can explore more this beautiful place. But, here are some places you must see while you are in Himachal Pradesh. Because, Himachal Pradesh is home to many tourist destinations, both natural and manmade.

  • The Himalayan Mountains: The Himalayan mountain range runs through Himachal Pradesh, providing tourists with a chance to see some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.
  • Rohtang Pass: The Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass that gives visitors access to the Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The pass is only open during the summer, making it a perfect adventure for any Himachal Pradesh trip.
  • Kullu Valley: The Kullu valley is world-famous for its stunning scenery, and is one of the most beloved tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh. The valley contains many towns and villages, plus an abundance of lakes, rivers, and temples.
  • Manali: A town located in the Kullu valley, Manali is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Manali is situated at an altitude of 2,050 meters (6,726 feet) and provides gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. In addition to its natural beauty, Manali also has a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes catering to tourists.

The state of Himachal Pradesh is home to several breathtaking locations. Himachal Pradesh has it all, whether you are searching for adventure or just want to take in some breathtaking beauty.

What to Eat in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal food dishes, Pahadi chicken, raita, chicken curry, chicken in bowls.
Foods in Himachal Pradesh
Photo via: adobe stocks

The food in Himachal Pradesh is both simple and delicious. Most of the dishes are made with locally grown vegetables and pulses. The agricultural produce of the state is organic and free from chemicals and pesticides. The food cooked in Himachal homes is mostly vegetarian, with a few households indulging in non-vegetarian dishes on special occasions. So, if you are a vegetarian, you are in for a real treat! And if you are non-vegetarian, then you should also try these food dishes in Himachal Pradesh. Because it’s healthy and delicious, and trust me you will truly fall in love with these food dishes. Here are some of the must-try dishes when you visit Himachal:

Best Food Dishes in Himachal Pradesh

  • Dhaam: A traditional dish of Himachal Pradesh, Dhaam is served on special occasions such as weddings and festivals. It is a thali (plate) full of various vegetarian curries served with rice or rotis (flatbreads).
  • Siddu: Siddu is a type of steamed bread typically made from wheat flour and stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes, dry fruits, and fresh green peas. It is often served as breakfast or as an evening snack with tea or coffee.
  • Sural Channa: A delicious dish made from black chickpeas, ginger, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and spices like coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala (a blend of Indian spices), sural channa is a popular choice among many. It can be served either dry or with gravy and is often eaten with rice or rotis.
  • Aaloo ka Raita: Aaloo ka raita is a yogurt-based dish containing boiled potatoes, chopped onions, green chili peppers, and fresh cilantro leaves. It is seasoned with salt, black pepper powder, and roasted cumin seeds powder. This dish makes for a perfect side dish to be enjoyed with rice or rotis.
  • Pahadi Chicken: Pahadi chicken is a chicken curry made with aromatic Indian spices like cardamom pods, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, etc. This chicken curry originated in the hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh and gets its name from the Hindi word ‘pahad’ meaning ‘mountain’.

Tips to Stay in Himachal Pradesh

hotels on hill, stunning view, mountains view, stay on height, Himalaya view from hotel.
Accommodations in Himachal Pradesh
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There are plenty of wonderful options to stay in Himachal Pradesh, India, depending on whether you want a luxurious hotel, a charming guesthouse, or something in-between. In this guide, I will share my top picks for where to stay in Himachal Pradesh, as well as some helpful tips for choosing the right accommodations for your needs.

Hotels

In Himachal Pradesh, hotels are a popular lodging option and provide a range of choices, from inexpensive to opulent. Hotels that are reasonable to stay at often provide standard amenities like cozy lodging, spotless restrooms, and a restaurant.

For budget-friendly options, consider hotels like Hotel Green Hill (approx. INR 800 per night) or Hotel Snow Valley Resorts (approx. INR 1,500 per night). For those looking for luxury accommodations, consider hotels like The Oberoi Cecil (approx. INR 12,000 per night) or The Claridges Nabha Residence (approx. INR 15,000 per night). These luxury hotels offer a range of high-end amenities and services, including spacious rooms, high-end restaurants, spas, and more.

Keep in mind that these prices may vary based on the season and availability, so it’s important to research and compare prices before making a booking.

Homestays

In Himachal Pradesh, homestays offer an exceptional and genuine way to experience local hospitality and culture. Compared to hotels, homestays offer a more intimate and cozy atmosphere. Many homestays are run by local families and offer the chance to experience local cuisine while learning about local customs and traditions. Here I have suggested some popular homestays in Himachal Pradesh.

  • Devbhumi Homestay (approx. INR 1,500 per night) located in Dharamsala, offers traditional Himachali-style rooms and delicious home-cooked meals.
  • Shikhar Guest House (approx. INR 2,000 per night) located in Manali, offers comfortable rooms and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Pahadi House (approx. INR 2,500 per night) located in Shimla, offers a cozy and homely atmosphere and is popular with travelers seeking a more authentic experience.

It’s important to remember that homestays may not have as many facilities as hotels, so do your research and read reviews before making a reservation to make sure it will meet your needs. However, homestays are unquestionably a viable option if you’re looking for a distinctive and immersive vacation experience in Himachal Pradesh.

Guesthouses

Another inexpensive lodging choice for visitors to Himachal Pradesh is guesthouses. Typically, they charge a reasonable rate and provide simple facilities like cozy rooms, spotless toilets, and a restaurant. They are perfect for tourists looking for an affordable, simple, and comfortable place to stay. Here I have suggested the best guesthouses in Himachal Pradesh.

  • Green Valley Guest House (approx. INR 800 per night) located in Manali, offers comfortable rooms and a peaceful atmosphere, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.
  • Himalayan Retreat Guest House (approx. INR 1,000 per night) located in Dharamsala, offers well-appointed rooms and a warm and friendly environment.
  • Snow View Guest House (approx. INR 1,500 per night) located in Shimla, offers clean and comfortable rooms and a convenient location, close to local attractions.

Guesthouses are an excellent choice for tourists on a tight budget. Because they provide a cozy lodging alternative without the additional cost of upscale facilities.

Campsites

In Himachal Pradesh, camping is a popular alternative for adventurous travelers, providing a unique and immersive approach to enjoying the breathtaking natural beauty of the area. There are numerous camping possibilities, from inexpensive campsites to extravagant outdoor adventures. Here I have suggested some popular camp options for your Himachal Pradesh trip.

  • Camp Moksha (approx. INR 1,500 per night) located in Manali, offers a range of camping options, from basic tent camping to luxury glamping tents.
  • Camp under the Stars (approx. INR 2,500 per night) located in Dharamsala, offers a unique camping experience, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.
  • Camp Himalayan (approx. INR 3,000 per night) located in Shimla, offers a range of camping options, from basic tent camping to luxury camping experiences, with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

Travelers who want to experience Himachal Pradesh’s natural beauty and want to do so on a budget without sacrificing comfort can consider camping.

Here I want to give some advice Before booking your stay, be sure to research and compare prices, and read reviews to ensure that your staying option is right for you.

Etiquette Tips While Travel to Himachal Pradesh

  • Respect local culture and customs: While traveling, it’s important to respect regional customs and traditions because Himachal Pradesh is famous for its rich cultural legacy. Before entering a temple or a traditional Himachali residence, avoid wearing revealing clothes and take off your shoes.
  • Respect religious sites: Himachal Pradesh is the location of a large number of temples, monasteries, and shrines. Be sure to act quietly, dress appropriately, and avoid taking photographs without permission.
  • Be respectful of local communities: It’s crucial to respect the way of life of the many small, rural villages of Himachal Pradesh. Avoid loud music, excessive drinking, and other actions that can disturb the neighborhood. Himachal Pradesh is also home to many different communities, so be respectful of their way of life and do not disturb their daily activities.
  • Support local businesses: Himachal Pradesh is a rural state, and it’s important to support local businesses and the local economy. Consider staying in locally-owned hotels and guesthouses, and eating at local restaurants.
  • Avoid single-use plastic: Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful state, and it’s important to protect its natural environment. Bring a reusable water bottle and shopping bag with you and stay away from single-use plastics.
  • Avoid littering: Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful place and it’s important to keep it that way. Avoid littering and use the dustbin available.

Some More Tips to Travel to Himachal Pradesh

Here I have given some important tips you should know when you are planning to travel to Himachal Pradesh.

  • Get a permit: Some areas of Himachal Pradesh, such as Spiti and Kinnaur, require a permit for entry. Make sure to get the necessary permits before your trip.
  • Be prepared for altitude sickness: Himachal Pradesh contains several high-altitude regions, so be ready for altitude sickness and take the appropriate safety measures.
  • Plan ahead: Himachal Pradesh is a large and diverse state, and it’s a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time there.
  • Get a good map: A good map is vital for navigating and finding your way through Himachal Pradesh because it is a sizable and mountainous state.
  • Keep cash on hand: You should always have cash on hand in Himachal Pradesh because not all places accept credit cards.
  • Be flexible: Because certain parts of Himachal Pradesh are remote and undeveloped, be flexible and ready for last-minute changes to your plans.
  • Get travel insurance: When traveling, it’s a good idea to buy travel insurance, especially if you’re going to a distant, mountainous area like Himachal Pradesh.
  • Learn some fundamental Hindi: Although Hindi is commonly spoken in Himachal Pradesh, learning a little bit of it will help you communicate with people there.
  • Be prepared for transportation challenges: Some areas of Himachal Pradesh are difficult to access by road, so be prepared for transportation challenges and plan accordingly.
  • Get a local SIM card: A local SIM card will come in useful for keeping online, getting instructions, and in case of emergencies.

Conclusion

Himachal Pradesh is a very beautiful location that guarantees a fulfilling and unforgettable trip. Everyone will find something to enjoy in this magnificent state, from the breathtaking natural environment to the vibrant culture and rich history. You will be well ready for your trip to Himachal Pradesh if you follow the advice and recommendations included in this comprehensive guide. Whether you are planning a leisurely vacation or an exciting journey, you’ll undoubtedly have a memorable experience in this breathtaking area of India. So, pack your luggage, get ready for a thrilling vacation, and start discovering Himachal Pradesh’s beauty right away!

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13 thoughts on “Travel to Himachal Pradesh – Ultimate Guide”

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the post and the pictures. I hope that one day you get to experience the beauty of snow-clad mountains in person!

      1. I have been to Shimla and Shillong. I loved it. Sometimes I dream of living in the mountains. And if those mountains overlook a water body like a lake or the sea I would love it even more.

        1. Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in Shimla and Shillong, and I can definitely understand the appeal of living in the mountains with a stunning view of a water body. I hope that you get to fulfill that dream one day!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment da-Al. I am thrilled to hear that my guide introduced you to new information and destinations that you hadn’t heard of before.

    1. Below I have provided you with a list of popular travel companies that offer tours and packages to Himachal Pradesh. You can research each of these companies and choose one that best fits your needs:
      1. Thomas Cook India
      2. MakeMyTrip
      3. Cox & Kings
      4. Yatra.com
      5. Kesari Tours
      6. Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd.
      7. TravelTriangle
      8. SOTC India

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