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Wandering in the Himalayas: North India

The northern region of India has a rich cultural heritage and diverse cuisines. It is the land of the Himalayas, the Ganges, the Yamuna, and many other rivers. It is also known as the “Golden Triangle” because it houses three states: Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. Among other states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi, this region has some of the most popular tourist spots.

Why should you travel to North India?

North India is a place shrouded in mystery. It has been the site of several significant discoveries.The land has also been home to various civilizations, like Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Chanhudaro, which have left behind some fantastic archaeological monuments. These sites are now on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Recognized for its rich history, which dates back to roughly 3500 BC when this region was originally inhabited by modern humans known as Dravidians or Aryans, North India is a sight for sore eyes for travellers.

Here are some of the popular destinations to visit in North India:

Kashmir Circuit-Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Gulmarg, and Srinagar

Prominent for its natural beauty, Kashmir circuit is recognised as one of the top tourirst destinations in the world. Snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, a variety of vast blue lakes and the most exquisitely designed gardens are the highlights of this region.

For someone who just loves travelling, there’s an ample number of activities to do in Kashmir. It is a beautiful poetic experience, from skiing in Srinagar’s white forests to taking a walk in the autumn forests to wandering through the local markets of Sonamrga and Gulmarg.

Key Attractions:

Dal Lake, Shalimar Bagh, Shankaracharya Temple, Pari Mahal, Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Chashme Shahi, Hazratbal Shrine, Hari Parbat, Jamia Masjid, Betaab Valley, and Pahalgam Lakes.

Leh-Laddakh

Leh-Ladakh, one of India’s most gorgeous adventure destinations, has a distinctive terrain that ranges from craggy mountains with snow-capped peaks to clear turquoise lakes, lush green areas, and flowing rivers. It is a favourite destination for thrill-seekers who find Leh-Ladakh thrilling for hikes through the Zanskar range, bike rides over the mountains, and rafting down the Indus and Zanskar rivers. It is home to a number of monasteries that are wrapped in a mystic, spiritual air.

Key Attractions:

Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Thiksey Monastery, Leh Palace, Magnetic Hill, Shanti Stupa, Zorawar Fort, Hall of Fame, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Pangang Tso, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, and Hemis Monastery.

Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

This trekker’s paradise,also known as the “cold desert,” is one of the coldest places in North India and offers numerous trekking trails with panoramic views of the Himalayas. Spiti valley, inspired primarily by Tibetan culture, also offers a valley of beautiful lush green grass and flowers of various kinds during the summers.

Key Attractions:

Chandra Taal, Pin Valley National Park, Bara-lacha la, Key Monastery, Kunzum Pass, Hamta Pass, Suraj Tal, Bhabha Pass, Tabo Monastery, Dhankar Lake, Lahaul Valley, Kardang Monastery.

Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh

Surrounded by the forests of the hippie capital, Kasol, and the pilgrim town of Manikaran, the Parvati Valley is an abode for lush green mountains and is farmed by pine trees. The Parvati River compliments the beauty of this region with its glistening stream throughout the year.

Not only do domestic tourists visit here, but many international visitors do as well.Some find peace in its spiritual aura, while our hippie friends find their trance in the woods.

Key Attractions:

Kasol, Chalal Trek, Gurudwara Shri Manikaran Sahib, Hot Springs, Choj Bridge, Khirganga National Park, Fairy Forest, Rudranaag, Kheerganga Waterfall, and Barshaini Temple.

Dharamshala & Mcleodgang, Himachal Pradesh

Dharamshala is a very popular town in the state of Himachal Pradesh, located in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley on the southern slopes of the Dhauladhar range. This town is located at an elevation of about 1,360 metres (4,429 ft) above sea level on the banks of the river Nahan Koshi, in the east-central portion of Kangra District. This town has been home to many Israelis for decades and serves the best Israeli cuisine in Himachal.

McLeodGanj, on the contrary, is home to many temples and shrines of Buddhist importance, including Chandigarh Temple, which houses one of only two remaining images of Buddha; Shri Pashupati Nath Temple on Sirmour Road, which contains some ancient paintings depicting scenes from Jain traditions; Dakshin Rai Ka Mandir, etc.,

Key Attractions:

Bhagsu, Dharamkot, Nalanada Monastery, Kangra Fort, Kangra Art Valley, Gyuto Monastery, etc.

Dehradun & Mussorie, Uttarakhand

Dehradun, which is the biggest city in the Garhwal area of the Himalayas, serves as both the state capital and Uttarakhand. For British troops travelling to Srinagar during the 1858–1859 Indian Mutiny, Queen Victoria founded the city as their summer headquarters. Due to its natural beauty and comfortable summer environment, Dehradun, which is located on both sides of the River Teesta, has grown to become one of Uttarakhand’s most famous tourist attractions.

On the other side, Mussorie, The Queen of Hills, is situated 33 kilometers away from Dehradun. Since it has such beautiful mountain paths and views, this town is well-liked by hikers.

Key Attractions in Mussoorie:

Lake Mist, Cloud’s End, Mussoorie Lake, Mall Road, Lal Tibba Scenic Point, Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, Jwala Devi Temple, Happy Valley, and Kempty Falls.

Key Attractions in Dehradun:

Robber’s Cave, Doon Valley, Har Ki Dun, Tapkeshwar Temple, Rajaji National Park, Buddha Temple, and Dehradun Zoo.

Kullu-Manali, Himachal Pradesh

One of the most well-liked tourist sites in the North of India is the twin cities of Kullu and Manali, which are situated at an elevation of around 3,000 meters (9,842 ft). The Kullu valley is well-known for both its natural splendor and spiritual importance. Due to its lofty hills, lakes, and rivers that flow into multiple valleys with breathtaking vistas along their banks, it has been referred to as “the Switzerland of India.” These two cities, which are 40 km apart, are a traveler’s and adventurer’s dreamland.

Attractions in Manali:

Hadimba Temple, Solang Valley, Jogini Waterfalls, Bhrigu Lake, Hampta Pass, Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art, Great Himalayan National Park, Rohtang Pass, and Manali Sanctuary.

Key Attractions in Kullu:

Bijli Mahadev Temple, Raghunath Temple, Friendship Peak, Pandoh Dam, Parvati Valley, Chandrakhani Pass, Manikaran, Bhrigu Lake, Hanogi Mata Temple, Naggar, Bhuntar, and Jagannath Devi Temple are the main attractions in Kullu.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh’s capital city is also regarded as one of the most beautiful in India. Because of the moniker given by the British, the city has a population of over one million people and is regarded as “the Queen City.” Shimla’s attractiveness stems from more than just the beautiful green mountains and good weather conditions. Its ancient architecture, which includes several art museums and religious structures established during the colonial period, adds to the charm of the city.

Away from the rush and bustle of city life, Shimla is well-known as a ‘Honeymoon Destination’ for newlyweds.

Key Attractions:

The Ridge, Mall Road, Jakhoo Hill and Temple, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Christ Church, Himachal State Museum, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Green Valley, Tara Devi Temple, Mashobra, Kufri, Chail, and Chadwick Falls.

Nainital, Uttarakhand

The Kumaon area of Uttarakhand has the hill town of Nainital, which is perched atop Mount Kanchenjunga, one of the country’s highest peaks (9888m). Due to its elevation of 999 meters above sea level, the town enjoys a lot of natural beauty. The town boasts a lovely lake and is encircled by mountains, which offer breathtaking views for most of the year

Key Attractions:

Nainital Zoo, Khurpatal Lake, Naini Lake, Mall Road, Naina Peak, Tiffin Top, and Dorothy’s Seat.

New Delhi, NCR

The Indian National Capital is not only famed for its political history, but it is also a traveler’s delight. Although like much of North India, Delhi is not widely recognized for its climatic conditions, beautiful green mountains, or tranquil lakes, it is well renowned for its historical monuments, Mughal-style gardens, museums, and adventure places, as well as numerous expensive eating and shopping arenas.

Key Attractions:

Red Fort, Purana Qila, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Lodhi Gardens, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Akshardham Temple, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, Lotus Temple, Agrasen ki Baoli, National Rail Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, Chandni Chowk, and Connaught Place.

 

Conclusion

While it is true that India as a whole is a popular tourist destination because of its diverse culture, I feel it is even more accurate to argue that there is nothing like North India. There is no need to miss out on seeing North India, an area with so much diversity, such stunning vistas, architecture, and monuments going back to ancient times, and cuisines of several ethnicities.

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