Prashar LakeHimachal Pradesh
Adventure | Hill | Scenic
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Himachal Pradesh, or the ‘Snow-laden Province’, is a state in North India. It is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir in the north, Punjab in the west, Haryana in the south-west, Uttarakhand in the south-east and Tibet in the east.
Himachal sits in the lap of the Himalayas and is famous for its natural beauty, virgin landscapes, scenic hill stations and temples.
Due to extreme variation in elevation, Himachal experiences a variation in its climatic conditions as well. From hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern tracts to cold, alpine and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges – the state has places that receive very heavy rainfall (like Dharamshala) to those (like Lahaul and Spiti) that are practically rainless. The best time to go to Himachal would really depend on what you would like to do! An activity-packed summer, romantic saga of the rains, or the crisp chill of the winters are all good options in Himachal.
Summer is the peak season for most tourists and with increased footfall it sometimes is a put-off! The months after the monsoons, and any time between September and November is considered ideal for planning a break here.
From visiting the ancient temples in Chamba to trekking on the valleys of Kullu and Manali; beholding the exquisite natural beauty of Dalhousie to travelling up to the ‘Lhasa of India’ (Dharamshala), there is much to explore. If you are an adrenaline junkie, then the capital city of Shimla, midst towering Himalayan ranges, is the place for you to be in. There are plenty of outdoor activities to indulge in Himachal – from angling, camping, golfing, para gliding, rock climbing to river rafting, hang-gliding and para-sailing, skiing and trekking.
Local food of Himachal is delicious and lip-smacking. A word of caution though – local food is spicy, so grab a glass of water before you start eating. There are Punjabi and Tibetan influences in the kind of food prepared in Himachal.
Sidu is a popular cuisine of the state; considered a special delicacy as it is usually prepared on significant occasions. Patande is yet another popular dish made from wheat and tastes similar to pancake.
Meat preparations are rich and spicy; the tempting aroma is enough to satiate your appetite. Try Kullu trout, grilled fish and chicken anardana in Himachal restaurants. Vegetarians can try guchhi matar, sepu vadi and kaddu ka khatta.
Try authentic pahari food in the best known restaurants; some of the following is worth giving a try – dham (dish prepared by the Brahmins and made of rajma, moong dal and rice in curd and served with sauce made of tamarind and jaggery), mittha, babru, chana madra, chha gosht, mash daal, akotri (type of cake), tudkiya bhaat and bhey.
Do not forget to try different varieties of tea prepared in the state, yet another specialty.
For the people of Himachal, every day is nothing less than jubilation. Festivals vary in terms of scale but most of them are attended by huge crowds. There are so many cultural festivals in the state that it is hard to pick any exclusively. Beginning January the people at Lahaul welcome the New Year with the Halda festival with dancing acts and musicals; in the villages they celebrate Sazo in the same month. As in Punjab and Haryana, Lohri is celebrated here too as a ceremonial ritual to jumpstart the harvesting of Rabi crop; the Himachal Winter Carnival is celebrated with gusto between 2nd and 6th January with skiing championships, food festival, craft bazaar, folk dances, street plays, band competitions and adventure sports as special attractions; Losar festival; Doongri festival in Kullu; Maha Shivratri; Baisakhi; Spring festival in Kullu; Rakhi; Phulaich festival in Kinnaur; Ladarcha in Kaza and Spiti; Kullu Dussehra; the International Himalayan festival in the Kangra Valley are all replete with dances, bonfires, musical performances, events, fairs, competitions, cultural practices and programs.
In Himachal, every town, every little hamlet, holy shrine, and the land around is steeped in a culture and history that goes back over four millennia. It has a rich tradition of folk music and dances that mark all festive occasions. ‘Natti dance’, ‘burah’, ‘ghugti’, ‘bakayang’ are various dance forms. Fairs and festivals are celebrated with much pomp round the year with dance and music. Through dance forms and music they entreat their deities during local festivals and special occasions.
Himachal is well known for its handicrafts; carpets, leather work, Pashmina shawls, Himachali caps, paintings, metalware, woodwork are famous art work of the region.
Tourism is a major contributor to the state’s economy and growth. This mountainous state sitting pretty at the foothills of the grand Himalayas holds its pride for the diverse and beautiful landscapes that attracts tourists from all over the world. Hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Chamba, Dharamshala and Kullu are popular destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists. It is home to many prominent Hindu pilgrimage centers as well.
Himachal is famous for its handicrafts, wood and metal work, shawls, pullovers, toys, Tibetan carpets, pickles/jams/squashes, caps, funky jewelry made of semi-precious stones and beads, and basketry. While shopping in Himachal you can pick up carpets with brilliant hues and patterns. Other souvenirs include brightly printed cotton head scarves from Chamba; also go for bangles, rings, pretty dolls or kerchiefs patterned with fine embroidery. Royal and romantic tales depicted in Kangra paintings are good too. Do not hesitate to splurge on these aesthetic and tasteful pieces of artwork and carry home some.
Almost all the major tourist destinations here are great shopping paradises too, so you’ll know where to head.
Hindi is both the official language and lingua franca of Himachal Pradesh. People also speak Pahari, Punjabi, Kangri, Dogri and Kinnauri.
English is understood and spoken in all the major cities.
By Road: There are regular HRSTC bus services from Mandi to Prashar. One can reach this place via taxis as well.
By Train: Joginder Nagar is the closest rail head connected to Chandigarh, Pathankot, and other places.
By Air: Shimla is the nearest airport and Bhuntar is the closest major airport to the destination. It has flights of all the important airlines covering nearby destinations.GET DIRECTION
One can find handful of stalls in and around the pagoda selling snacks, tea and lunch to the tourists.
From April till November one can visit this place easily.
Besides exotic weather, pagoda temple and picture perfect landscape, this place is great for trekking and camping as well!
Mandi: Mandi is a great place and known for plenty of temples to explore!