10 Best Heritage Sites in Himachal Pradesh

Historical & Heritage | Hill Station

At a distance of 9 km from Dharamshala, 20 km from Kangra, 92 km from Pathankot, 122 km from Dalhousie, 198 km from Kullu, 238 km from Manali, 240 km from Shimla, and 490 km from Delhi, McLeod Ganj, also spelt McLeodGanj, is a town situated in the Upper Dharamshala region of Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by the Dhauladhar ranges, McLeodGanj lies at an average altitude of 2082 m. Considered as a twin city of Dharamshala, McLeodGanj is one of the popular Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, McLeodGanj was inhabited by the indigenous Gaddi tribes and dominated by one of the world's earliest royal clans; the Katoch Dynasty. Later, it came under the rule of the British after Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849 AD and was named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, a Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. Initially it was a summer resort of the British during the 1840s and became a garrison town in the 1850s.It was transformed to a prominent commercial and political center, by the 1900s. McLeod Ganj is another popular attraction not to miss in a Manali tour package.

McLeodganj was destroyed by the devastating Kangra earthquake in 1905. The earthquake destroyed most buildings in Kangra, Dharamshala, and McLeod Ganj which were rebuilt in following decades. After Independence, McLeodganj served as a flourishing health ...

Historical & Heritage | Hill Station

At a distance of 9 km from McLeod Ganj, 16 km from Kangra, 84 km from Pathankot, 115 km from Dalhousie, 194 km from Kullu, 234 km from Manali, 237 km from Shimla, and 486 km from Delhi, Dharamshala is a hill station in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. At an average altitude of 1,475 m above sea level, it is one of the best places to visit in Himachal state and among the most famous hill stations near Delhi.

Often called as the gateway to the Kangra valley, Dharamshala is the headquarters of Kangra district and among the popular places to visit in Himachal as part of honeymoon tour. The city was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the year 1905 and was reconstructed to become a health resort and a popular tourist destination. In the year 1960, Dharamshala became a temporary headquarters to His Holiness Dalai Lama. Today, it is known as Little Lhasa or Dhasa, because of its large population of Tibetans and Buddhist Monasteries. Dharamshala is among the must include places in your Manali tour packages.

Dharamshala consists of two distinct parts - Lower Dharamsala and Upper Dharamshala. Lower Dharamsala is a bustling civil and commercial center whereas Upper Dharamshala, known more commonly as McLeod Ganj, ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 38 km from Shimla, Arki is a small town situated at 4100 ft above sea level in the Solan district. Arki Fort is one of the famous historical sites near Shimla.

Arki was the former capital of the ancient hill-state of Baghal, which was founded by Raja Ajai Dev, a Panwar Rajput during 1660-65 AD. The state was founded around 1643 and Arki was declared its capital by Rana Sabha Chand in 1650. The Arki Fort was built between 1800 and 1805 by Rana Prithvi Singh, a descendent of Sabha Chand. The fort was captured by the Gurkhas in 1806. Rana Jagat Singh, the ruler of Baghal had to take refuge in Nalagarh. The Gurkha General Amar Singh Thapa made use of Arki to further the advances in Himachal Pradesh, from 1806 to 1815. Rana Jagat Singh got back the control of Arki afterwards.

The fort offers both the historical legends and artistic creations to the tourists. Rana Shiv Sharan Singh laid down the foundation of the famous Diwankhana of the Arki Fort Palace in the year 1830. It is situated on the upper floor of the two storey Palace. It presents a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles and shows heavy influence of Rajasthan. In 1850, Raja Kishen Chand added the stunning frescoes and murals done in the 'Pahari School' of miniature paintings. These frescoes are supposed to be the most precise record of the contemporary lifestyle in the nearby hills of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Thematic contrasts and a balance of colors, forms and designs can be ...

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 165 km from Shimla, Bhimakali Temple is located at Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh. The famous Bhimakali Temple in Sarahan is a very popular pilgrimage site in Himachal state. This temple is 800 years old and it is regarded as one of the 51 sacred Shakti peethas. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga known locally as Bhimakali. This is one of the top attractions you must include in Shimla packages.

According to one legend, during Daksha Yagna, the Ear of Sati Devi fell here when Lord Vishnu cut the pieces of her body carried by heartbroken Lord Shiva. Other legend states that this area was under the rule of Demon called Banasura, the great grandson of king Prahlad an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Due to Usha-Anirudh affairs Lord Krishna fought here with him and in this battle Lord Siva stood against the former. The legend goes that head of the defeated king Banasura was buried in front of the entry gate now marked as a raised platform to the first courtyard. After Banasura, Pradyumna son of Lord Krishna ruled this area. Then the ruling king constructed this temple recognizing Devi Bhimakali as presiding deity of this area.

The temple is in Tibetan architectural style with Buddhist and Hindu influences and bronze statues of both religions in the shrines. This feature is not visible at any of the temples in this hill state. It has slanted slate roofs, golden towers, pagodas and a carved silver door. ...

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 97 km from Shimla & 84 km from Kufri, Hatkoti Temples are located in Hatkoti village of Jubbal. The Hatkoti temples are a group of temples located on the scenic banks of River Jabbar. Hatkoti is one of the popular pilgrimage places in Himachal Pradesh.

The Hatkoti Temple is an abode of goddess Mahishasurmardini, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The statue of the goddess is 1.2 m in height and made of eight precious metals. The idol depicts the goddess with ten arms, riding a lion, carrying weapons and slaying the demon Mahishasura. There is an inscription on both sides of the idol that no one has been able to decode so far.

The complex also has a separate temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temples also boast of five idols, which ideally represent the five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata period. These idols are arranged in accordance to their size with the first one being the largest.

According to the history, Hatkoti temples date back to the period between the sixth to the ninth century, the Gupta period in Indian history. The temples reflect the beautiful architecture of that era. The architecture and design of Hatkoti Temple was originally in the classical Shikhara or tower style. The Shikhara style represents ancient structures that are conical or narrow at the top and have a wide base at the bottom. The walls of the temples are carved with ornate sculptures and speak volumes of the architectural ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 90 kms from Shimla & 76 km from Kufri, Jubbal Palace is among the most prominent places to see in Jubbal. The Palace situated at an altitude of 7000 ft above sea level is one of the popular heritage sites in Himachal state.

Designed by a French architect in 1930, the Palace architecture is a blend of Chinese, Indian and European styles. The Jubbal Palace is colored in cream hue and is admired with sloping roofs and red chimneys. The lower portion of the Palace known as Rana's abode consists of sandstone and is noteworthy for the vast stacks of deodar timber used in its structure. The modern wing of the Palace has an Indo-European design and feel with convoluted wooden ceilings and the works. The deodar wood from the surrounding forest was used for the construction of the Palace structures. Another beautiful aspect is the stunning display of the collection of ancient guns used by the royal families of Jubbal. In the interiors, visitors will find intricately carved structures of timber, suspended attics and signed photographs and paintings of eminent people.

The present Palace is an impressive structure. The main entrance to the Palace is through a massive wooden door about 18 ft high and 7 ft wide. It is covered with copper and studded with coins. Old furniture and other artifacts and a rich library with a choice collection of Sanskrit and Persian books are some of its other attractions besides the beauty of the Palace. The Palace is spread over 4 ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 14 km from Kasauli and 18 km from Solan, Dagshai is one of the oldest cantonment towns in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on top of a 5689 feet hillock on Kalka-Shimla Highway.

Dagshai was founded in 1847 by the East India Company by securing five villages from Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh. The villages are Dabbi, Badhtiala, Chunawad, Jawag and Dagshai. The new cantonment was named after the largest Dagshai village. The name Dagshai, according to a popular local legend was derived from Daag-e-Shahi. During the Moghul times a Daag-e-Shahi (royal mark) was put on the forehead of the criminals and sent off to Dagshai village.

Under British rule, Dagshai developed into a major cantonment town and also housed a large prison. Construction of the jail began in 1849 and included 54 cells. There is one cell for those who incurred exceptionally harsh punishment. There is no source of ventilation and light in the cells of the Dagshai Jail. There is only one VIP cell in the jail with luxuries such as a fireplace and washroom. The jail came into the limelight after the Irish mutiny. To provide moral support to the Irish people, Mahatma Gandhi stayed in this jail for one year. The Gorkha rebels of the Nasiri Regiment, who had rebelled during the 1857 revolt, were also held here.

Dagshai Central Jail is now a museum frequented by tourists. It is the only jail museum in Mainland ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 84 km from Shimla, Kalka is a town located in Haryana State. Kalka Railway Station is the northern terminus of the Delhi-Kalka line and the starting point of the legendary Kalka-Shimla Railway. This railway was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in July, 2008. A ride in the toy train is one of the top things to do in Shimla and it is extensively used in promotion of Himachal tourism.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway was built by the British in 1903 to provide access to their summer capital of Shimla. The distance of 96 km between Shimla and Kalka passes through 102 tunnels, 864 bridges and an incredible 900 curves. There are more than 20 stations in this route. It connects Kalka at an altitude of 656 m to Shimla at 2076 m. The five hour journey is one of the best train journeys operated by Indian Railway. It is popular for the picturesque views of hills and the surrounding villages.

The longest tunnel, which stretches for more than a kilometer, is near the main railway station at Barog. Total 864 bridges were constructed on this line. Most of the bridges have multi arched galleries like the ancient Roman aqueducts. Bridge No. 493; historically known as the ''Arch Gallery'', situated between Kandaghat and Kanoh stations, is an arch bridge in three stages constructed with stone masonry ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 52 km from Shimla and 33.5 km from Solan, Kuthar Fort is located in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. Kuthar Fort is about 800 years old and it is one of the main places to visit near Solan.

Kuthar Fort was originally built by the Gurkha Kings 800 years ago when they ruled over this part of the land. Some portions of the fort are 80 years old. Sprawling over an expanse of 52.8 sq km, this fort features beautiful gardens, fresh-water springs and ancient temples within the complex. Fresh water springs flowing within the fort are a rare sight that every visitor admires. You can also visit several scenic attractions like Kunihar, the Gurkha fort of Subathu and the hill station of Kasauli.

Situated at an altitude of about 1300 m, the Kuthar fort is set at the hilltop of the Kuthar Mountains and commands a magnificent view of the snow-capped peaks of Shimla, Subathu fort and a wide range of Himalayas. The fort exhibits impressive Rajasthani architecture and is a true manifestation of Rajputana creativity. Colonnades, convoluted pillars and arches greatly highlight its beauty. In the interiors you will find intricate wooden carvings and fine paintings which are simply awe-inspiring.

Kuthar Fort was once served as the residence of the royal family of Kuthar. It is a spectacular heritage site and a part of which has been converted into a royal resort.

Visitors are allowed into the fort and capture pics.

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 20 km from Manali Bus Stand and 22 km from the Kullu Bus Stand, The Naggar Castle is a famous castle located in Naggar. It is one of the best places to visit in Manali. The Castle overlooks the Kullu Valley. From the castle one could see the far off snow-covered peaks, the delightful Beas valley below and the lush green hill sides dotted with apple orchards. This is another popular attraction not to miss in a Manali tour package.

The Naggar Castle is a magnificent historical structure. The castle was built by Raja Sidhi Singh in 1460 AD in an impressive combination of European and Himalayan architecture. The castle has traditional architecture called Kathkooni, which uses a combination of stones and wooden beams.

The Naggar Castle was used as a Royal residence and state head quarter until the British took over the whole Kangra and Kullu from Sikh's in 1846. Raja Gyan Singh sold it to the first assistant commissioner, Major Hay for a Gun. The northern wing of the castle was later converted to the European way of living by putting in staircase, fire place and chimneys. He later sold it to the Government when it was used as a courthouse. In 1947, with the departure of the British the court-activity ceased.

In the year 1978, the castle was converted into a rest house and more ...

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Top 5 Himachal Packages

Package Duration Starting Price Details
Kullu - Manali 3D/2N ₹ 11000 View Details
Shimla - Manali 5D/4N ₹ 15000 View Details
Shimla - Manali - Dharamshala 6D/5N ₹ 17600 View Details
Shimla - Manali - Amritsar 6D/5N ₹ 17800 View Details
Best of Himachal in 8 Days 8D/7N ₹ 22900 View Details