Himachal Pradesh, renowned as the ‘Apple Land of India’ and the ‘Abode of Gods’, is an absolute paradise and a tourist’s dream and delight. It is situated in the north-west corner of India, right in the lap of the Himalayas. It is one of the most beautiful States in the country, where landscaping knows no bounds. Its geographical diversity ranged from green meadows and pastures to the stark grandeur of Himalayas. The State is endowed with mighty snow-capped peaks, deep gorges, picturesque valleys, flower filled meadows, maneuvering rivers, glaciers and enchanting lakes. Himachal Pradesh, a tourist’s paradise also provides great opportunities for adventure and fun seekers. There are facilities of trekking, mountaineering, angling, river rafting, skiing, paragliding, ice skating and golf. A visit to this enchanting land is the most relaxing and satisfying experience.
Main languages: Hindi, Pahadi, Punjabi, English
When to go: Mid February to May, October to mid December (July to October in Lahaul and Spiti)
Getting There & Away: How to reach Himachal Pradesh
Road: NH-20 connecting Pathankot (Punjab) to Mandi; NH-21 connecting Chandigarh to Manali; NH-22 starts from Ambala (Haryana) and goes upto Kinnaur
Rail: Kalka-Shimla Railway, popularly known as Shimla Toy Train (an UNESCO Heritage Site); Pathankot-Jogindernagar Railway (narow-gauge railways)
Air: Jabarhatti Airport near Shimla; Gaggal Airport near Kangra; Bhuntar Airport near Kullu
Tourist Permits in Himachal Pradesh
The border between India and Tibet lies in the east of Himachal Pradesh and hence Inner-line permits are required for the foreigners to visit the Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul districts. No such permits are required for the Indian tourists. The ILC is issued free of cost and allows foreign tourists an unlimited access to towns such as Samdo, Dhankar, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza, Morang and Dubling for a period of 15 days. There are few travel agents in Shimla and Kalpa who can help to obtain the ILP and charges Rs.150-200 per person. The ILC can be obtained from the office of the Deputy Collector, popularly known as the DC Office at the following places by submitting two passport photographs along with photo copies of passport & visa pages.
Shimla: DC Office, Mall Road, Ram Bazar, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – 171001
Reckong Peo: DC Office & Court Complex, Khwangi, Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh – 172107
Keylong: DC Office, Leh Manali Highway, Keylong, Himachal Pradesh – 175132