Just have a look at some less crowded summer destinations listed below. That one can visit for a rejuvenating getaway in this hectic life schedule. And these places not much far from big cities like Chandigarh, Delhi, Amritsar, and Jammu.
Himachal Pradesh in India is virtually an Abode of Snow with some very crowded hill stations besides some very quite and off the track Scenic picturesque hill stations, quaint villages surrounded by Snow-covered mountains with lush valleys, diverse flora and fauna, unblemished nature and abundant trekking terrains. If you to want to avoid over-crowded Manali or Shimla, then visit :
Nestled at an elevation of 1,970 meters from sea level, Dalhousie is a quiet hill station. This place suites best for people who want to remove their stress in a quiet, serene atmosphere.
It’s ideal for honeymooners. Dalhousie, ideal for long walks, picnics, and treks, exudes an old-world charm. And it almost appears like it hasn’t quite caught up with the rest of the world. Well connected by Road/ Rail (Pathankot 3 hr drive) and by Air (Jammu 180km ).
Dalhousie is brimming with mountains, cascading waterfalls, lakes, and lush pine and oak trees; adventure enthusiasts love to come to Dalhousie to partake in outdoor activities, like trekking, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and camping.
From Dalhousie, you must visit Khajjiar, a stunning valley with a spring in the middle of Khajjiar lake. This place is known as the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’ for the meadow scenery.
Yet another close by is the exotic wildlife at the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. While in Dalhousie you should not forget to visit Chamba located on the confluence of Sai and Ravi River. It is an ancient town in Himachal Pradesh known for its great historical, cultural and comeliness.
Bounded by the mighty Himalayas from all sides and verdant forests. The weather in this hill station is pleasant throughout the year with all exclusive in their exquisiteness and experience. And has become a popular hill destination in summer and winter among tourists.
Dharamshala at an elevation of 1457 m, a hill station on the upper hilly stretch of Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. It is well connected both by road (Delhi, Pathankot, Chandigarh, Shimla). One can book Chandigarh to Dharamshala taxi services and Air (Gaggal Airport 12 km).
Placed against the picturesque Dhauladhar ranges Dharamshala enjoys one of the best climates in Himachal. Dharmshala is Surrounded by snow-laden peaks of Dhauladhar range and forests of lush pine and deodar trees, the town is brimming with cultural and architectural attractions.
Being a Tibetan hub, Dharamshala is considered to be one of the best places to learn. And explore Buddhism and Tibetan Culture. Dharamshala is bathed in the glory of mother nature and Buddhist culture.
Your holidays in Dharamshala is incomplete if you don’t visit Mcleodganj. A beautiful village located in the vicinity of a hill station through small yet stunning with views of the Beautiful Dhauladhar mountain range.
When at Dharmashala you may also visit famous temples nearby they are Jwala Devi, Kangra Devi, and Chittpurni Devi. You can also visit Pragpur in the lap of the Himalayan Dhauladhar Mountain Range. That is India’s first heritage valley.
PALAMPUR – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
A small town at the height of 1472m, well connected by road, Rail and Air (40 km from Gaggal Airport) nestled in the lap of the snow-covered Dhauladhar range, Palampur in Himachal Pradesh.
This is a perfect getaway because of abounding picturesque natural beauty, tea gardens, deodar forests, gurgling mountain streams, ancient temples, hidden monasteries, and warm people to welcome you.
MANDI – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
Mandi at an elevation of 850m must be on your North India itinerary which never fails to enchant its visitors. Packed with a thick green cover of pine and deodar trees, and with sprawling tea plantations.
Mandi is situated at the junction of Kullu and Dharamshala. It serves as a gateway to some famous valleys such as Kullu, Manali, Spiti, and Lahaul.
Mandi is known as ‘Varanasi of Hills’, or ‘Choti Kashi’. There are 81 temples spread across the Mandi Town. It’s conveniently well connected by road from Delhi, Chandigarh, and Shimla. The nearest airport is at Bhuntar in Kullu District,(about 50 km).
The historic town of Mandi is located on the banks of the river Beas. It is said that sage Mandvya is said to have meditated here. It has long been an important commercial center and acts as the base for several exciting excursions.
Less Crowded Summer Destinations of interest in and around Mandi are:
- Dev Balakameshwar Temple
- Bhootnath Temple
- Rewalsar Lake,
- Prashar Lake,
- Sundar Nagar,
- Janjehli Valley,
- Joginder Nagar,
- Nageshwar Mahadev Kud,
- Barot, Kotli, etc.
- Nearby Bir Billing located at the height of 1525 m is called paragliding capital of India.
KASOL – Less Crowded Destinations
Perched at the height of 1580mt, Kasol is one of the most visited places in India by foreign tourists. Kasol is easily accessible via connected by Delhi/Chandigarh on way to Manali.
The nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport (31km) in Kullu district. A journey by road to Kasol is simply most enjoyable and pleasant like Kasol itself. Kasol on the banks of Parvati River is a laidback and serene town with the stunning landscape of snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, scenic waterfalls and undisturbed trekking routes making it a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers.
Kasol in the lap of nature is one of the best destinations in India to just sit back and Chill in the forest. While you’re in the region, it is worth exploring the nearby tiny hamlets such as Chalal, Manaikaran hot springs, Tosh( referred to as the ‘Little Israel of India’) Malana (known as ‘little Greece’). For trekking lovers, there are treks to Kheerganga, Yanker Pass, Sar Pass, and Pin Parbati Pass.
KULLU – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
At the elevation of 1279 m, Kullu is located on the banks of the Beas River in the valley sandwiched between the Pir Panjal, Lower Himalayan and Great Himalayan Ranges.
Beautiful valley Kullu is well connected by road from Delhi/Chandigarh on way to Manali. The nearest airport is at Bhuntar(10 km). This valley is known for sprawling apple orchards, temples all around and its hills covered with snow, pine and deodar trees forest.
The Kullu valley also referred to as the “Valley of the Gods” or “Dev Bhumi”. Because there are many pilgrimage places for Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs alike.
Less Crowded Summer Destinations of interest in and around Kullu besides most popular Manali are:
- Great Himalayan National Park,
- Raghunath Temple, Shringi Rishi Temple ( About 60 km )
- Maha Devi Temple Narsingh temple,
- Bijli Mahadev,
- Raison (Camping site)
- Shoja — (at 2692 m),
- A vantage point for a complete panorama of the Kullu area — snow peaks and valleys,
- Meadows and forests, rivers and streams).
- Basheshwar Mahadev Temple,
- Bajaura ( One of the most charming temples in the Kullu valley renowned for its intricate stone carvings said to be built by Pandavas),
- Manikaran (hot springs),
- Kullu Dussehra is famous for its unique celebrations.
LAHAUL AND SPITI – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
Although Lahaul and Spiti are two different destinations meant for adventurous tourists. Because of hard weather conditions and difficult terrain.
Among the two, Spiti is more barren and difficult to cross, with an average elevation of the valley floor of 4,270 m. It is confined between lofty ranges, with the Spiti watercourse dashing out of a gorge within the southeast to fulfill the Sutlej watercourse.
Lahaul and Spiti are called as a typical mountain desert area. Because the average annual rainfall in this area is only 170 mm (6.7 inches).
When you start your journey from Manali towards Rohtang Pass and Leh, you arrive at a junction near Yari-Khoksar. From there, the eastbound road leads to Karcha, Spiti, Kaza and after a very long loop, bends southwards to merge into National Highway linking it far south to Shimla.
The westward route from Yari-Khoksar continues to Lahaul, Keylong, a string of hairpin bends, and then to Plains, eventually leading to Ladakh and Leh.
The mountain passes (Rohtang and Kunzum La) coming from Manali side are usually closed until mid-May. Whereas Reckong Pass coming from the Shimla (Kinnaur side) can be traversed year-round. It is more comfortable served with all-weather roads till Kaza.
The route is captivating but too long but. For convenience one should travel in a sturdy Vehicle owned or hired. Apart from the exotic, there are more than 62 species of medicinal plants found here.
Monasteries In Lahaul Spiti
One of the most interesting places is the Tabo Monastery, located 45 km from Spiti. While other Buddhist monasteries are Key, Dhankar, Shashur, Guru Ghantal, Khungri Monastery in Pin Valley, Tnagyud Gompa of the Sakya Sect in Komic, Sherkhang Gompa in Lahlung (believed to be older than Tabo Monastery) and last but not the least is at Gue.
The only monastery where about 550 years old Buddhist Mummy of a Monk is kept.
Another famous Kardang monastery is located at an elevation of 3500 Chandra Tal lake is the main tourist attraction of the region. For trekkers and skiers, the Spiti Valley is a paradise. That is offering challenging treks to explore the new heights of the Himalayas.
KINNAUR VALLEY – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
Kinnaur is also known as “Land of Gods” ranging at an altitude from 2,320 to 6,816m is about 235 Km from Shimla by road. And is known for its scenic destinations and beauty of the lush green slopes and rocky mountainscapes.
The famous rivers Satluj, Baspa and Spiti rivers snaking through it. It borders Tibet to the east. The nearest airport is Shimla that is connected with all the major cities.
It has three high mountain ranges, namely Zanskar and Himalayas ranges that enclose valleys of Sutlej, Baspa and Spiti, and their tributaries. The slopes are layered with thick forest, apple orchards, and hamlets.
At the peak of Kinnaur is Kailash mountain with a natural rock Shivling. The mountain is the representation of Lord Shiva and the mesmerizing rock formations change its colors several times during the day.
The Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama trek is taken up by both Hindu and Buddhist followers. The scenic valleys of Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh are also one of the most sought after camping destinations in India.
Beautiful Sangla Valley, Apple orchards camps, camping on the river Baspa and Satluj are some of the scenic destinations to pitch your tents for an overwhelming camping experience.
The last inhabited village of India, Chitkul, which is near the Indo-China border. That also lies in Kinnaur.
KALPA – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
Nestled at the height of 2960m Kalpa also referred to as ‘the apple bowl’ is home to many apple orchards. Kalpa is 265Km from Shimla by road, is set amidst the snow-laden Kinnaur Kailash mountains and lush pine nut forests.
There’s also plenty to see and do here. Reckong Peo is is District Headquarters. Nearby Kothi village, is rich in art and architecture. Architecture aficionados can also visit the Narayan-Nagini Temple made in a Tibetan pagoda style. And history buffs can visit the Kamru and Sapni Forts or the Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar monastery, dating from 950–1055 AD.
If you’re adventurous, you can trek to Kinnaur Kailash mountain, a sacred site dedicated to Lord Shiva. On top of the mountain is a 70m high Shiva Lingam.
You can also trek to Chakka Peak, at an elevation of 4572 m, for panoramic views. To experience authentic village life, visit Roghi village, approximately 6 km from Kalpa or else enjoy roaming in apple orchards of Kalpa.
NARKANDA – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
Narkanda located at an average elevation of 2708 mt is a scenic wonder set in the Shivalik Ranges is about 65 km away from Shimla. Summers are very cool while in winter, the town turns into a ski resort.
Hatu Peak which is at 3200m is 8km from Narkanda. With snow-clad mountains, abundant natural beauty, and rugged landscapes, this place offers a peaceful holiday experience Kotgarh is 16 km from Narkanda and known for apple orchards.
Other must-visit attractions here include Hatu Peak, Tannu Jubbar Lake, and apple orchards at Stokes Farms.
KASAULI – Summer Destinations
At an elevation of 1,900 meters lies a small colonial town of Kasauli. Located on the way from Chandigarh to Shimla, is a hill station which was formerly a British cantonment town which makes for an ideal peaceful holiday location, away from the rush.
Its beauty and appeal lie — its unadulterated air, serene and peaceful vibe, and an abundance of nature is what attracts travelers. Here you can visit the nearby places like Baptish Church, Christ Church, Kasauli Brewery, Monkey Point, Nahri temple and Kasauli Club.
The Gilbert Nature Trail winds through lush green countryside rich in birdlife. To reach Kasauli You can hire a cab service or take luxury or ordinary Bus service from Chandigarh to Kasauli.
SOLAN – Less Crowded Summer Destinations
Solan perched at the height of 1502 m is situated between Chandigarh and Shimla on the Kalka-Shimla National Highway. It is 68 km away from Chandigarh. The nearest airport to Solan is also Chandigarh.
The Kalka-Shimla railway line a Narrow-gauge railway line passes through Solan. The highest point atop Solan is Mount Karol (2280 m)is Pandava cave, where Pandavas believed to have meditated during their 12-year exile.
It is situated 46 KM south of the urban center, Shimla. The solan goose Hills stand on the water — parting between the Sutlej and also the Giri, a tributary of the Yamuna.
The place is known as once the Hindu god Shoolini Devi. Solan goose is topped because of the “City of Red Gold” in relevancy the majority production of tomatoes within the space. it’s called the “Mushroom town of India”. Owing to the Brobdingnagian mushroom farming within the space.
Solan goose is quick developing into a traveler spot. It is also known as a reference station for tourists visiting nearby places like Chail, Kasauli, Dagshai, Sabathu, Kandaghat, Churdhar Peak, etc. Many visitors going to Shimla, Kinnaur and other areas of the state use this town as a halting station.
PATNITOP – Less Crowded Destinations
PatniTop at an altitude of 2024m in Udhampur district of J&K, 112 km from Jammu (Airport/Railway Station) situated on a plateau in the Shivalik range of Himalayas is a calm, quiet and uncrowded hilltop tourist station.
Nearby flows river Chinab. Patnitop comprises several meadows enveloped by thick forests of Deodar(Cedar) and Kail(Blue Pine) trees, affords peaceful walks amidst conifer groves, beautiful spots for enjoyable picnics and breath taking views of the Chenab river basin and the Pir Panjal mountain range.
Other activities include horse rides and short treks into the surrounding hills or just walk on Patnitop circular road. The meadows with their gentle slopes are ideal for skiing and sledding in winters.
Places of interest in and around Patnitop have beautifully located Nag Mandir, magnificent Nath Top, Sansar Lake, Billo ki powri, Baglihar Dam, Sudh Mahadev temple.
One also can drive through thick forests 12 km downhill to Batote. A previous hill station additionally notable for apple orchards, Amar Cheshma and different springs and unnumerable dhabas (eateries).
One must visit from here either on way or back Mata Vaishno Devi temple located nearby at Katra. From Katra its 14 km treck on foot or on horseback.
Srinagar is the capital city of Kashmir Valley dubbed by Mughal Emperor Jahangir as ‘paradise on earth’ has always attracted tourists from time immemorial.
The Srinagar is linked with Jammu by road (267 km) and Srinagar itself is an airport linked to all big cities of India. The entire Kashmir is known for its scenic splendor, charming houseboats, and historic and lovely gardens.
This place is also referred to as, ‘The Land of Lakes and Gardens, beautiful Shikara (houseboats) rides in the Jhelum River, Dal Lake, and Nagin Lake.
Kashmir is brimming with fascinating cultural, historical and recreational sights that make it an ideal spot for travelers and photographers alike. There are historic Mughal gardens, temples and mosques and an abundance of natural beauty.
Places in and around Srinagar are abundant. Within Srinagar are Mughal gardens(Shalimar, Nishat, Pari Mahal, Chasme Shahi) Char Chinar in Dal Lake, Shankaracharya temple, Hazratbal mosque, etc.
From Shrinagar one should visit magnificent charming meadows of:
- Khillanmarg(skiing & Gandola )
- the beautiful gurgling valley of Pahalgam(87kms)
- Breathtaking Glaciers of Sonmarg (80kms)
- Verinag, Yusmarg (Mughal Garden) Mansabal Lake
- Wular lake.
One must also visit the ruins of Martand Temple (Surya temple built around 1000 years back) and famous Kheer Bhawani temple. You can skip visiting the Famous Tulip garden of Kashmir.
Leh at an average elevation of 3505 m, is at a distance of 434 km from J&K State capital Srinagar. And 474 km from Manali, figures on the international tourist map. It attracts a large inflow of tourists both from home and abroad.
Jammu is the nearest convenient railway station, which is around 734 km from Leh. Leh Airport is linked by air from most of the major cities of India. Either by direct or one-stop flights. Being at high altitude one has to take it easy on the first few days there to avoid possible altitude sickness.
The road access to Leh is limited. The roads are open only between June to September. The path remains blocked by snow for the rest months of the year.
Ladakh is a mountainous desert with three parallel ranges of the Himalayas, the Zanskar, the Ladakh, and the Karakoram. The Shayok, Indus, and Zanskar rivers flow from these ranges.
It has much potential for adventure tourism Because of its culture, tradition environment and landscape. Leh abounds with Buddhist culture.
Here are some of the most popular monasteries of Ladakh which attract both domestic as well as foreign tourist.
- Karma Dupgyud Choeling
- Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
- Soma Gompa Alchi
- Tak Tok Gompa Shey
- and Thiksay
Khardongla, at a height of 18350 ft from sea level. It also said to be the highest motorable road is a point attraction for adventure lovers.
Besides these, other attractions are the
- Palace of the King of Ladakh
- Donkey Sanctuary
- Shanti Stupa
- War Museum, etc.
Pangong lake in Ladakh
Another great attraction in Ladakh is Pangong lake at 4350 m with deep blue waters. This Lake is surrounded by tall mountain peaks(Half in China) a five-hour drive (149 km) from Leh, a beautiful high altitude lake.
The road to the lake passes through Chang-la pass, at 5,425 m. Half of this lake is in China. One should also not miss visiting Nubra Valley. For which an “Inner-Line Permit” is required which can be obtained easily, from the office by tourists.
The Nubra Valley is at the base of the Karakorum Range. Within the valley are the Hundar Sand Dunes, well worth seeing.
Leh is famous for
“Hemis festival” (celebrated during June/July)
“Ladakh Festival”, a colorful festival held in the month of September.
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