Holxo Tours in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh (‘Land of Snow’) in India’s mountainous north stands out for its breathtaking natural beauty. Its lofty mountains, glaciers, passes, alpine meadows, lakes, valleys, forests, hill-stations, hot springs, and the spectacular cold deserts of the Trans-Himalaya…all invite the traveller with a love for the outdoors.
Himachal’s capital Shimla is called the ‘Queen of the Hills’. Once the summer capital of the British administrators, they came here initially to escape the fiery Indian summer and finally left leaving behind a beautiful colonial legacy that is seen to this day all over Shimla.
Himachal’s Buddhist heritage is rich and ancient. The remote valleys of Lahaul, Spiti, and Kinnaur have strong Buddhist traditions, owing to their proximity to Tibet. Many splendid monasteries, built along bare and precarious mountainsides, blend beautifully with the rugged terrain. But any tour of Himachal’s Buddhist treasures must begin at Dharamsala (also called Little Tibet), a hill-station established by the British in the 19th century and the official home of the 14th Dalai Lama since 1959.
Situated on the banks of the River Spiti, the magnificent Tabo Monastery in Spiti – a cold desert region that has retained its Tibetan character – was built over 1,000 years ago and is a glorious testament to esoteric Buddhist art.
Lahaul is home to hanging glaciers and rocky massifs. Drugpa Kardang Gompa is the largest monastery here.
Himachal offers lovers of adventure and adrenalin every opportunity to indulge themselves – trekking, mountaineering, skiing, heli-skiing, jeep safaris in high-altitude deserts, paragliding, as well as a range of water sports such as whitewater rafting, angling etc.
Himachal Pradesh celebrates a remarkable variety of fairs and festivals. Losar, the Tibetan New Year is celebrated throughout the state, especially at monasteries in Lahaul which witness fabulous performances. The Kangra Festival here is phenomenal for it sheer cultural display. The annual Dussehra Festival in the Kullu Valley is dramatic, colourful, and full of surprises.
There is so much more to see in Himachal – charming hill- stations such as Dalhousie, antiquated temples, and marvellous spectacles of wildlife and nature. The Pin Valley National Park in Spiti is home to the ibex and the elusive, stunning snow leopard. The Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Natural).