Snowy mountains, hypnotic Himalayas, varied demographics, lofty old mountains, humble population, and a deep-seated sense of culture, are a few of the terms that go synonymous with this majestic Northern Most state of Himachal Pradesh. The gushing river combined with thick green forest cover creates an ambient environment that offers immense peace and a sense of calm that cannot be compared to anywhere else.
Himachal is undoubtedly one of the most visited tourist attractions in India catering to travelers from all over the world. It sure is a paradise for peace seekers, nature lovers, and adventure enthusiasts since there are numerous avenues to get your adrenaline pumping. However, being situated at a high altitude region the situation and problems vary from those experienced in the plains so you need to be well prepared beforehand in order to make your holiday wholesome and a success.
Here are some of the most important Travel tips for Himachal Pradesh that every traveler needs to keep in mind:
Know The Best Time Of The Year To Visit
Himachal Pradesh presents to you a range of options to choose from when it comes to season-wise since every season is beautiful here. First and foremost you must know what you wish to get from this trip. Are you planning a family holiday, do you wish to see snow or indulge in various adventure activities like trekking, hiking, etc. If it is a family getaway you are planning then, of course, the safest and the most pleasant time of the year would be the spring-summer months which falls in the months of April to June. This is also the peak time for a summer vacation in schools, offices and colleges. It is also the time of the year when you can indulge in various adventure activities which this place is famous for and it is also when the tourist influx into this state is the highest. If it is snow you wish to see then the wintertime of November to January is recommended as the region remains snow-covered around this time along with regular snowfalls as well. Avoid traveling to Himachal during the monsoon months of July to early September as the region gets prone to heavy rain shower causing unexpected landslides and flooding situations.
Documentation Required (If Any)
Many parts of Himachal are so remote that they are highly protected and require special permits and documents to get through. Although most places do not require this particular document some parts of this state come under the protected area wherein to access it you will be required to carry a Protected Area Permit or the PAP especially for people of the foreign countries to visit places like Spiti valley which lies extremely close to the Indo – China border and comes under the active army region. These permits can be easily acquired at places like Shimla, Manali, Rampur, Kullu, Kaza, etc. In order to attain this pass, you shall be required to submit a copy of your passport, 3 passport-sized pictures, and a copy of your valid ID proof. This permit remains active for 2 weeks and you shall be required to renew it if you plan on further extending your stay.
Pack Accordingly (No Excessive Packing)
Make sure to pack only your essentials and the things that you will absolutely need. Make sure not to overpack more than what is required as the terrain will make it very difficult for you to carry your luggage around. The essentials will include things like – track pants, sweatshirts, light jackets, a full heavy jacket, fleece inners, and warm socks. Remember to always include a pair of good quality walking shoes not just while going to Himachal but anywhere on the hills in general. If you are planning a holiday during the summertime then only pack a light jacket for evening and night. A lot of people also pack a large suitcase with wheels, which is a huge mistake and should be avoided at all costs since most regions here are not accessible by roads and you will be needed to carry around your stuff along with you. In place of a large stuffed suitcase you should carry a rucksack which will also be very portable and travel friendly for you.
Carry As Much Cash As Possible
As your journey into Himachal Pradesh goes deeper and deeper into the remote regions the more difficult it is for you to gain accessibility to cash. The ATM machines are not promising in most regions although they can be seen as available. Especially in different regions of the Kaza valley in Spiti, there have been regular reports about ATMs being present but not in a functioning condition which caused a lot of problems for the tourists of Spiti valley during that time. Make sure you keep cash with you and keep it hidden craftily in your bags and backpacks and only take out the money as per your requirement. In case you are traveling from out of India and from some foreign destination or the other than make sure to get your money exchanged from a valid and Authorised money exchange along with a receipt once the transaction is done. There are many money exchange offices present in the main towns of Himachal from where you can easily get this done.
Brace Yourself For Bumpy Rides
Being located on the hills it is unfair for a tourist to expect roads and hotels to be at par with the ones present in the plain regions. The roads are well made, maintained, and goes through continuous maintenance throughout the year. However as far inside the hills, you venture the more you experience a bumpy ride and rough roads that are covered in rubble and lose rocks. The road from Kaza to Manali through Rohtang Pass is famous for giving a very bumpy ride journey to the travelers. These treacherous roads are a result of being subjected to regular erosion and landslides as well that cause a lot of travel problems, especially during the monsoon season. Did you know Himachal has roads that are famous for being the most dangerous in the world?