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7 DAY TRIP FROM CHANDIGARH | HIMACHAL MOST POPULAR 2 (SHIMLA - MANALI - DHARAMSHALA)

Hill Station | Historical & Heritage

Photo Credit: Flickr

ITINERARY SUMMARY

Trip Starting Point: Chandigarh

Mode of Travel: Car (or Cab)

Trip Duration: 7 Days

Ideal Start Time: 8 AM:9 AM:9 AM:8 AM:8 AM:8 AM:8 AM

Total Places Visited: 23

Day 1 Destinations | Day 2 Destinations
DAYS

DAY 1 : TRAVEL TO SHIMLA & SHIMLA SIGHTSEEING

Travel from Chandigarh to Shimla

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins - 1 Hr
Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2 km from Shimla Railway Station and 1.2 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, The Ridge is a large open space located in the heart of Shimla. It is among the most visited Shimla tourist places and among the prime place to visit on a Shimla tour. The Ridge is situated along the Mall Road which is the famous shopping center of Shimla.

Several major places of Shimla like Lakkar Bazaar, Mall, Scandal Point, Jakhu Hill, etc. are connected through the Ridge. The movement of vehicles is strictly prohibited here. The Ridge in Shimla always remains crowded with hundreds of people. Tourists from all over the country visit this awesome place for the view of the sunset.

The Ridge at Shimla also provides the tourists a view of the age old Christ Church built in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture as well as the new Tudor library. The statue of YS Parmar .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM from Monday to Saturday
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2 km from Shimla Railway Station and 1.3 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Christ Church Shimla is the second oldest church in North India. The majestic appearance of the church and its stunning location makes it one of the top places to visit in Shimla.

The church was designed in neo-gothic style in 1844 by J.T. Boileau but it was consecrated after 1857. The Christ Church is situated on The Ridge where is stands out as one of the prominent landmarks of Shimla. Colonel Dumbleton in 1860 donated the giant round clock that adorns the front facial of the church. The porch was added to the structure in 1873. It started as a shrine to serve the Anglican British community in Shimla and hence is considered as one of the most visited places of worship in the country's most celebrated hill town. It is governed under the diocese of Amritsar belonging to the Churches of North India.

The interior .....

Shopping

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 9 AM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2 km from Shimla Railway Station and 2 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Mall Road is the main street in Shimla. Located at the heart of the town, the Mall Road is one of the busiest commercial areas of Shimla. The Mall extends from Barnes court in the eastern side to Vice Regal Lodge in the western side. Shopping in Mall Road is one of the top things to do in Shimla.

Built by the British during the colonial rule in India, the Mall Road was constructed keeping in mind the traffic on this route. Entry of vehicles was banned though cycle rickshaws were allowed. It has been built in a very strategic and planned way. The Mall road is located a level below the ridge. The offices of Municipal Corporation, fire service and police headquarters are located here.

The Mall Road also has all major hotels, restaurants and recreation centers of Shimla. The Mall road is full of shops that sell woolen clothes, branded clothes, handicraft .....

Overnight Stay in Shimla

DAY 2 : SHIMLA SIGHTSEEING

Resume Shimla Sightseeing

Adventure / Trekking | Nature & Scenic

Duration of visit: 2-3 Hours
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: No Entry Fee. Activity cost varies.

At a distance of 16 km from Shimla Railway Station and 5.6 km from Fagu, Kufri is a small hill station in Shimla district, positioned at an elevation of 2,510 m on the National Highway 22. Kufri is quite famous for the popular ski resort. It is one of the best places for skiing in Shimla and also one of the top adventure site and skiing destinations in India. Kufri is also one of the best places to experience the Tourism in Himachal and another popular attraction not to miss in a Shimla tour package.

Kufri derives its name from 'Kufr' which means lake. It is especially popular among trekkers and it is a popular place for adventure sports in Himachal Pradesh. The British discovered it in 1819. As Shimla gained importance, Kufri also began to be recognized as an important place to visit near Shimla.

Kufri is known for its pleasant climate .....

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM on all days except Monday
Entry Fee: Rs. 20 for Indians, Rs 50 for Foreigners

At a distance of 2 km from Shimla Railway Station and 3 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Vice Regal Lodge also known as Rashtrapati Niwas is located on the Observatory Hills of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. The lodge is one the best places to visit in Shimla city. It was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin.

The Vice Regal Lodge was designed by British architect Henry Irwin and built in the Jacobethan style during the regime of Lord Dufferin. Its construction was started in 1880 and completed in 1888. Only the local woods like pine and cedar were used to construct this marvel. Vice Regal Lodge is the only building of Shimla that occupies an entire hill by itself. The building now serves as the center for the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS).

The entrance opening to South leads one to the reception hall which stands adorned by a splendid fireplace and a grand spiraling staircase. The building .....

Museum & Gallery

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM on all days except Mondays and Public Holidays.
Entry Fee: NA

At a distance of 1 km from Shimla Railway Station and 2 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Shimla State Museum is situated at the top of Mount Pleasant. Also known as Himachal State Museum and Library, it was built in the year 1974. The Himachal State Museum is a colonial building that was built with the aim of preserving the state's rich cultural and archaeological artifacts. The colonial style building amidst marvelous lawns in itself is an inspiring sight. It is one of popular Shimla tourist places. It gives you an in depth view of the city's glorious past.

Himachal State Museum has a rich display of the cultural, artistic and archaeological heritage of Himachal Pradesh. The various galleries in the museum are Pre-Historic Gallery, Wood-Carving Gallery Archaeology Gallery, Wall Painting Gallery, Coin Gallery, Pahari Painting Gallery, etc.

The lifestyle and culture of the people of the Himalayas are reflected in the paintings. Rajasthani and Mughal paintings are awe-inspiring. .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 2 Hours
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 7 km from Shimla Railway Station and 7 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Jakhu Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Hindu deity Hanuman. It is situated on Jakhu Hill and is one of the prime places to visit in Shimla. It is situated at an altitude of 2455m and is also the highest peak in Shimla.

According to mythology, a deadly arrow injured Lord Rama's brother Lakshmana when he was fighting the battle with the demon king Ravana. In order to save his life, when lord Hanuman was moving towards Himalayas to get Sanjeevani herb. Upon reaching the Himalayas, Hanuman couldn't make out as to which herb was the Sanjeevani. So he dug up the entire mountain and flew back to where Lakshmana was lying injured.

After Lakshmana was cured, Hanuman went back to place the mountain in its original site. He rested on top of the Jakhu hill for some time. .....

Overnight Stay in Shimla

DAY 3 : VISIT NAGGAR & TRAVEL TO MANALI

Travel from Shimla to Manali

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 10 AM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 20 per person

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 .....

Overnight Stay in Manali

DAY 4 : MANALI - SOLANG VALLEY SIGHTSEEING

Start Manali Sightseeing

Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2 km from Manali Bus Stand, Hidimbi Devi Temple also known as the Dhungri Temple is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi. Located in the middle of dense forest Called Dhungri Van Vihar and from the name of the forest only the temple drives its name. Hidimbi Devi Temple is of the top places to visit in Manali which was built in 1553 by Raja Bahadur Singh.

The temple is dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, sister of Hidimba and wife of Bhima, one of the Pandavas from Mahabharata epic. According to the legend, the Pandavas stayed in Himachal during their exile. One of the brothers Bhima fell in love with Hidimbi, the sister of the ruler Hidimba. Bhima and Hidimbi had a son but when Bhima and the Pandavas returned from exile she stayed back and performance penance and attained the status of goddess.

The Hidimbi Devi temple is 24 meters tall and consists of three square roofs with timber .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 3 km from Manali Bus Stand, Manu Temple dedicated to the Indian sage Manu is located at old Manali. Manali is named after the sage Manu who was the creator of human race on earth according to mythology and it is believed that he meditated here. This is supposed to be the only temple of Manu in India. Manu Temple is one of the best Manali tourist places.

Travellers can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding hills and river Beas from the temple. Lying in the congested locality of old Manali, the temple is often visited by the tourists who arrive from different parts of the world.

Manu Temple was built in pagoda style of architecture. The temple was rebuilt in the year 1992, when the vaulted ceiling and marble floors were added. One can find various artifacts along with the idols of gods and goddesses in different postures in this temple.

To .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: Temple: 7 AM to 9 PM, Baths: 7 AM to 1 PM, and 2 PM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 3.5 km from Manali Bus Stand, Vashist Temple in Manali is dedicated to sage Vashisht, the Kula guru of Lord Rama in the village Vashisht across the River Beas. It is among the most famous places to visit in Manali.

The village of Vashisht was named after Rishi Vashisht one of the seven sages of Hindu. According to the legend, Rishi Vashisht was left depressed on finding out that his children had been killed by Vishwamitra. Rishi Vashisht tried to commit suicide by jumping into a river but the river refused to kill him. He then started a new life in the village here. The river which took the rishi to the village was named Vipasha, meaning freedom from bondage. The Vipasha River is now known as the Beas River.

The Vashisht temple is believed to be more than 4000 years old. Inside the temple there is a black stone image of the Rishi wearing dhoti. The Vashist temple is decorated with excellent and beautiful carvings .....

Adventure / Trekking | Nature & Scenic

Duration of visit: 2-3 Hours
Timings: 10 AM - 6 PM
Entry Fee: Activities cost varies

At a distance of 12 km from Manali Bus Stand, 2.5 km from Solang Village and 8 km from Burwa, Solang Valley locally known as Solang is one of the most famous tourist places in Manali and it is a well known Tourist places in Himachal for skiing, mountaineering and trekking activities.

Solang Valley is situated between Solang village and Beas Kund. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding snowcapped mountains and glaciers. It lies at a height of 8500 ft above the sea level and covered with green dense forests.

Solang Valley has fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute of Manali has installed a ski lift for training purpose. The Directorate of Mountaineering & Allied Sports in Manali also organizes basic, advance and intermediate level courses in skiing.

The winter skiing festival is organized in Solang Valley. Skiing and Paragliding are two main activities are organized .....

Overnight Stay in Manali

DAY 5 : VISIT KULLU & TRAVEL TO DHARAMSHALA

Resume Manali Sightseeing

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 10 km from Kullu Bus stand, 12 km from Naggar and 31 km from Manali, Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery is located in Kais village of Kullu District. It is also known as Kais Monastery.

This monastery was inaugurated during the month of May in the year 2005 by the great Noble laureate and his Holiness Dalai Lama. This Monastery is located near the left bank of Beas River. The picturesque view of the valleys which are surrounding the place make it an appealing destination.

The monastery gives a magical look and it has been strongly dedicated to Dalai Lama. The Dhakpo Monastery systemized with the traditional reasoning and scriptures of the master and disciple, the great pioneers of Buddha Dharma. The monastery serves as a boarding school and university for the study of Buddhist philosophy. This monastery houses several Tibetan monks. This Monastery has a huge prayer hall with a huge Buddha statue.

Every year in the month of August His Highness Dhakpo Rinpochhe .....

Nature & Scenic | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 2-3 Hours
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 42 km from Kullu, 61 km from Naggar and 80 km from Manali, Manikaran is located in Parvati Valley between the rivers Beas and Parvati in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. It lies at an altitude of 1760 m. Manikaran is famous for hot water springs, Ramchandra Temple and a Gurudwara. It is a top pilgrimage site and among the best Kullu & Manali tourist places.

According to legend, Manikaran is associated with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Once while roaming through the valley, Shiva and Parvati came across the place called Manikaran and they decided to stay for some time. During their stay here, Goddess Parvati lost her Mani (precious stones) in the waters of a stream. Upset over the loss, she asked Shiva to retrieve it. Lord Shiva commanded his attendant to find the Mani for Parvati. However, when they failed he was extremely angry. He opened .....

Overnight Stay in Dharamshala

DAY 6 : DHARAMSHALA SIGHTSEEING

Start Dharamshala Sightseeing

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM in winter (Nov - Mar) & 5 AM to 7 PM in summer (Apr - Oct)
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 2.5 km from Dharamshala and 3 km from McLeod Ganj, the Nechung Monastery is located just below the Tibetan Library in Gangchen Kyishong and is one of the sightseeing attractions of McLeod Ganj. The monastery is part of Tsuglagkhang Complex.

Nechung Monastery is considered as the seat of the State Oracle and protector-deity of His Holiness Dalai Lama and Tibet. It has a great importance in Tibetan history and Buddhist religion. Nechung has acted as spiritual guide to the Tibetan Government since the 18th century. The physical medium is called Nechung Kuten. When the medium enters into a trance-like state, the protector-deity takes possession of his body and gives advice and predictions to the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leaders in exile.

The original Nechung Monastery in Lhasa had 115 monks in 1959 and was razed to the ground during the Revolution. However, six monks managed to escape to India to continue the complex traditions of the Nechung Institution. Tibetan .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM in winter (Nov - Mar) & 5 AM to 7 PM in summer (Apr - Oct)
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 2 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand and 4 km from Dharamshala, Tsuglagkhang Monastery is the most important Buddhist Monastery situated in McLeod Ganj suburb of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

Tsuglag Khang, also known as Dalai Lama's Temple complex, is the home for His Holiness Dalai Lama. It is among the world renowned religious centers and is thronged by Buddhist pilgrims throughout the year. Tsuglagkhang Monastery is beautifully built structure. This is more like a temple along with being a residential complex for His Holiness and his followers.

The complex houses the Photang (Dalai Lama's residence), Tibet Museum, Tsuglagkhang Temple, and Namgyal Gompa. The monastery deals with training of monks for rituals associated with holy shrine, whereas the temple is a chief place of worship. A beautifully decorated statue of Lord Buddha along with beautiful statues of Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshvara are housed .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins - 1 Hr
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM in winter (Nov - Mar) & 5 AM to 7 PM in summer (Apr - Oct)
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 200 m from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand and 9 km from Dharamshala, Tsechokling Gompa, also known as Tse Chok Ling Gompa is a religious monument constructed on a steep hillside in McLeod Ganj.

Tsechokling Gompa is amongst the popular monasteries in the region and is highly regarded for its cultural significance. This peaceful Gompa was built in 1987 to replicate the original Dip Tse Chok Ling Gompa in Tibet, destroyed in the Revolution. Home to a small order of Gelukpa monks, the prayer hall enshrines a statue of Sakyamuni in a magnificent jeweled headdress.

The monks who lived in the Gompa made two huge drums covered in goatskin and painted beautifully. The Gompa is famous for the fine Mandalas.

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 1 km from McLeod Ganj and 8 km from Dharamshala, St. John Church, also known as St. John In The Wilderness, is an Anglican church situated at Forsyth Ganj on the way to McLeod Ganj amidst beautiful deodar trees.

The church was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and was constructed in 1852. The Church is a historic monument and one of the oldest churches in the region. It is built in Neo-Gothic architectural style and features Belgian stained-glass windows that were donated by Lady Elgin, wife of Lord Elgin.

The church was built with grey stone and is one of the few buildings still in existence in the town from the British era. The British style of architecture is extremely evident in the edifice of the church, with elegant wood of the altar and the brass handles of the oil lamps. These lamps have now been replaced with electric lamps. In 1905 an earthquake destroyed the bell tower of this church. A new bell was built in 1915, which was brought from England. .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins - 1 Hr
Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 2 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand & 6 km from Dharamshala, Bhagsu Nag Temple also known as Bhagsunath Temple is one of the popular ancient temples located in McLeod Ganj. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the local deity Bhagsu Nag.

Bhagsu Nag Mandir is an ancient temple believed to have been built by King Bhagsu from Rajasthan. The present Bhagsu Nag temple was constructed by 1st Gurkha Rifles in early 19th century and worshipped majorly by 14 Gurkha platoon villages in Dharamshala. Adjacent to the temple building are a series of pools where Buddhist monks and visitors enjoy baths. An annual fair is conducted in the month of September at this temple which attracts tourist from the entire region.

This temple is situated on the way to Bhagsunag Waterfall.

Waterfall

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 3 km from McLeod Ganj & 7 km from Dharamshala, Bhagsunag Falls, also known as Bhagsu Falls, is an beautiful waterfall situated at Bhagsu village behind Bhagsunath Temple near McLeod Ganj in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

Cascading down from a height of 20 m, this is a mid-size waterfall. During monsoon, this waterfall turns beautiful alongside a mountain that features slate graffiti. This area is covered with snowfall during winters. Tourists love to swim across the cold water which gives the pleasant and refreshing experience. Trekking is also good and much enjoyable option here.

The Bhagsu village is a popular picnic spot and also home to the famous Bhagsunath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is a famous tourist attraction and also an important place for Hindu pilgrims. Reaching this waterfall needs some hard work as visitors need to climb the hill halfway to reach the waterfall. There is a nice cafeteria next to the falls and the area serves as .....

Overnight Stay in Dharamshala

DAY 7 : DHARAMSHALA SIGHTSEEING & TRAVEL TO CHANDIGARH

Resume Dharamshala Sightseeing

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM in winter (Nov - Mar) & 5 AM to 7 PM in summer (Apr - Oct)
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 3 km from Dharamshala and 6 km from McLeod Ganj, Namgyalma Stupa is an old Buddhist structure situated at Uparli Barol.

Namgyalma Stupa is a dome-shaped construction that contains the remains of Buddha, which the Tibetans consider to be a sacred place of worship. It holds a huge shrine of Sakyamuni Buddha. The Namgyalma Stupa was constructed in the remembrance of the Tibetan soldiers who fought for the freedom of Tibet. This structure is similar in design to the structure built during the 3rd century BC by King Ashoka.

The Namgyalma Stupa is carved from sandstone and is made with a vision of being long-lasting. It is a belief among Tibetans that anything that falls on the Namgyalma Stupa gets purified. Some believe that rain water falling on the Stupa is blessed. It is also believed that a visit to the Namgyalma Stupa cleanses any bad karma that exists in the soul. The Stupa is surrounded by a number of prayer wheels. Tibetans who visit the Stupa for worship .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM in winter (Nov - Mar) & 5 AM to 7 PM in summer (Apr - Oct)
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 7.5 km from Dharamshala Bus Station and 12 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand, Norbulingka Institute is an educational and training institute situated at Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

Norbulingka Institute was founded in 1988 for preserving Tibetan culture, literature and art. It was established by Dalai Lama and is named after Norbulingka, the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas in Lhasa, Tibet.

It has been built in traditional Tibetan style located amidst gardens and ponds. The main sections of the institute are the Academy of Tibetan Culture, Literary and Cultural Research Centre as well as the Centre of the Arts. The institute also has the Seat of Happiness Temple set amidst the Japanese inspired Norbulingka gardens. It is especially known for more than 1000 murals of Buddha, frescoes of all the Dalai Lamas and drawings from the life of the 14th Dalai Lama.

The institute primarily works towards preserving Tibetan traditions and .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM in winter (Nov - Mar) & 5 AM to 7 PM in summer (Apr - Oct)
Entry Fee: Free Entry

At a distance of 8 km from Dharamshala and 13 km from McLeod Ganj, Gyuto Monastery is located at Sidbhari on the main road to Palampur.

The Gyuto Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries and specializes in the study of Tantric meditation, Tantric ritual arts and Buddhist philosophy. It was founded in Tibet in 1474 by the main disciple of the first Dalai Lama, Jetsun Kunga Dhondup. After the communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, the monastery was re-established in India.

It is the abode of Karmapa, the Head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism. Karmapa means the one who carries out buddha-activity or the embodiment of all the activities of the Buddha. Also called TCV School, the main chamber of the monastery has a majestic statue of the Buddha and with the backdrop of the snow-clad Dhauladhar Mountains. Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje houses nearly 200 monks who practice the major Tantric texts including Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka. They have passed these lineages .....

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