In this blog I am sharing my top 4 tourist places to see in Himachal Pradesh.
Those who follow my journeys closely, particularly on Instagram, may know that I love Himachal. I have spent more time at the so-called places to see in Himachal Pradesh than in all other places in India put together.
And no, my love for Himachal doesn’t have to do anything with the fact that I was born there. I have lived almost all my life in New Delhi and have hardly visited Himachal until I actually quit my corporate career behind and become a travel blogger.
To further justify my innocence, let me tell you that during my initial year of travel blogging, I didn’t visit any tourist places in Himachal Pradesh. I spent almost 3 months in Northeast India, three months in the south of India, and the rest of the time, exploring the Southeast Asian countries. I even took my mother for a 15-day Char Dham trip to Uttarakhand (the neighbouring state) but not a single day was spent in Himachal.
So yea, the introduction to the places to see in Himachal Pradesh happened a little late in my blogging career, and when it finally did, it became like an addiction!
Now, let’s get to the topic at hand…
Tourist Places In Himachal Pradesh
From natural beauty to good infrastructure, places to see in Himachal Pradesh excels in everything – at least with its neighboring Himalayan states. But what makes it top my list of best places to visit in India is the people. The local community in Himachal is, by far, the friendliest I have found across India.
Though there are other Indian communities too that I totally adore, but there’s something exceptional about the people in Himachal.
So yea, as someone has said it, “It’s not the place, I think. It’s the people” is, perhaps, the driving factor – not to mention, the tourist places in Himachal Pradesh are beautiful too.
Places To See In Himachal Pradesh
I’ve been to the nooks and corners of Himachal. In fact, I have been to places that most people might not have heard of before – villages with no introduction to tourism, to valleys that have no Wikipedia pages or any mentions on Google, but just my blog.
And collecting all my knowledge together and putting an effort to make a list today, these are my top 4 favorite places to see and top tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh:
Sethan, Hamta Valley
Out of all the places I’ve been to in the Himalayas, Sethan remains my top favorite. After all, there’s a reason why I decided to start a camping campsite in Sethan and not somewhere else.
Sethan offers some of the most beautiful views of the mighty Himalayas and the colossal Dhauladhar range. If I speak about its location, it kind of sits on top of Manali town. From Sethan, you can see at least a dozen layers of mountains and as far as 20km into the Kullu Valley – making it one of the top places to see in Himachal Pradesh.
I visited Sethan the first time back in 2017 and since then I’ve been there more times than I can remember. Getting to Sethan is easy. Just catch a bus to Manali and a 45-minute taxi from Manali to Sethan. A 100% Buddhist town, Sethan introduces you to a different world than you can imagine.
Read More about Sethan here: Sethan, Hamta Valley. And here’s a youtube video of the place I have made:
Until now, every time someone asked me about a real village experience in Himachal Pradesh, I recommended them Hallan Valley or Fojal Valley (in Kullu District).
The only problem was, there were no guesthouses in either of the two places. Though I have been to Hallan and Fojal many times and have stayed with local families for weeks, staying with a family and sharing their space may not be very convenient for a regular tourist wanting a bit of privacy.
So what makes for a convenient option if someone wants a comfortable village experience among all the places to see in Himachal Pradesh:
My Answer: Cheog, near Shimla.
I happened to visit Cheog in August 2019 and it suddenly became one of my favorite destinations in Himachal.
Cheog is meant for those who want to experience a village setting all on top of getting a comfy stay. There are about 20 villages in the town, with almost every person in the village being a farmer.
There is only one guesthouse in the village, run by a local family. So when you’ll in Cheog, rest assured that you will be the only tourist around, living among a few dozen locals.
Read More about Cheog: Cheog in Shimla. And see this Youtube video of the place:
Chanshal Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Home to Shimla district’s highest peak and the highest motorable pass, Chanshal Valley connects India to Tibet. It is one of the least visited tourist places in Himachal Pradesh but is certainly among the most beautiful ones.
Not many people visit the Chanshal valley. And those who do are either travel junkies or off-beat travel enthusiasts. I happened to visit Chanshal Valley after spending a few days at Mashobra Greens near Shimla, that is another top tourist places in Himachal Pradesh.
A trip to Chanshal Pass will make you drive on some of the narrowest and steepest road networks in the world, with many dirt trail patches and slush (especially during monsoon months) making your journey interesting.
Larot remains the basecamp for almost everyone visiting Chanshal Valley that has a few guesthouses. From Larot, the highest point of Chanshal Pass is about 15km.
Read More here: Chanshal Pass, or watch a video about it below…
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Spiti Valley is unlike any other region in Himachal. It offers moonland-like landscapes and a setting very similar to that of Ladakh. But where Ladakh (especially places around Leh) is more crowded and commercial, a Delhi to Spiti Valley trip offers a much real and far better adventurous experience. And if you are planning a Spiti Valley camping tour, it’s even better.
What’s better is, where Ladakh remains unconnected during winter because of heavy snowfall on high passes, Spiti Valley remains accessible to drive throughout the year. There are moreover many cheap Spiti Valley tours to choose from.
Off-late is becoming one of the popular tourist places in Himachal Pradesh.
Spiti Valley is (nearly) 100% Buddhist. So, if you want to explore Buddhist culture and some of the oldest monasteries in India, Spiti is the place to be.
Where most people visit Spiti Valley from Manali and return the same way, I advise you to do a complete loop from Shimla to Kaza (Spiti Valley) to Manali. Though the route is a little longer (takes at least 6 days) you get to see and experience the most of it.
The best way to explore Spiti is by planning a self-driven road trip. Visit Spiti Valley in summer and visit Spiti Valley in winter to experience two very different sides of it.
If you are looking for a complete itinerary, rather than a list of suggested places, here’s a blog I have pulled out for you from the internet on best Himachal Pradesh itinerary.
You may also be interested in this detailed Himachal Pradesh travel guide I have written mentioning more details more than just top destinations.
Do you agree with my list of see top tourist places in Himachal Pradesh? Do you have any destination to add? Let me know in the comments below.