Popular Hill Station


Dalhousie, located in the outer slopes of hill Dhauladhar range, is full of old world charm and holds lingering echoes of the 'RAJ'. The British Governor General, Lord Dalhousie, visiting this area around the middle of the 19th century for a quiet retreat, came upon a charming spot on a ridge overlooking the plains and later the hill town was named after him.

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The history of this town dates back to 1854, when it was discovered the British governor-general Lord Dalhousie. Named after him, this town emerged as a favorable destination of many leaders throughout history. This town has a special significance in context of Indian history as many of our illustrious leaders have visited and stayed in this town. This is indeed the district that had a huge impact on the Indian laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who has described Dalhousie it his famed autobiography. Many national leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nelhru and Shaeed Ajeet Sings have too stayed at Dalhousie at some point of their lives and have said and written something in its appreciation.

In 1866, the cantonment area of Balun was also taken over and remains a cantonment to this day.


Air: Nearest airports are Pathankot which is about 75 km from Dalhousie and Jammu at a distance of 180 km from Dalhousie. Pathankot is connected to Delhi only, while Jammu has more frequent air services to Delhi and other destinations in North India. Taxi fare from Dalhousie-Pathankot is nearly Rs 1000.

Rail: Nearest railhead is Pathankot. Patahnkot is well connected by rail to various cities in India, including Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. Taxi fare from Dalhousie-Pathankot is nearly Rs 1000.

Road: Bus services by public transport system are available in Dalhousie, which connects to the towns in and around Dalhousie. Overnight luxury buses are available from Delhi to Dalhousie (587 km distance). The bus fare is about Rs 1500.


Buy handicrafts at the Tibetan Market which is located at Gandhi Chowk. Good buys would be carpets, jewellery, woolens, Chamba slippers, scarves and shawls. The Himachal Handicrafts Emporium is also a good place for handicraft shopping.

Dalhousie might not be the ultimate shopper's haven, but it definitely has something unique to offer. Here you should not miss buying Buddhist paintings, woollens, junk jewelery and a variety of silver and copper 'diyas'. The best place to sought these items will be the Tibetan market on Gandhi chowk. The government emporium called as the Himachal Hand loom Crafts centre on Potreyn road should be visited for Kullu shawls while Tibetan shawls and carpets along with souvenirs can be best bought from Tibetan Handicrafts centre on lower Bakrota. You should visit the DC Khanna store on Potreyn road for some traditional old world charms.

Gandhi Chowk: Gandhi Chowk is one among the hottest shopping place in Dalhousie. Formerly known as GPO, Gandhi Chowk, is a vivacious plaza with abundant bistros and shops. Most significant of all the shops scattered here is the Tibetan market, which sells diverse goods ranging from traditional handicrafts to electronic goods.

The majority of the shops are huddled in and around Gandhi Chowk, which hardly takes 15 mins from the central bus station. A number of assiduous Tibetans make and vend a wide range of articles such as jewellery, jackets, handicrafts, rugs, cardigans and carpets. One can also found tiny shops apart from the well established shopping malls.

Tibetan Handicrafts Centre: The brilliancy of Tibetan artisans is clearly reflected in the richness of the traditional artifacts that are put for sale in the Tibetan handicraft center at Bakrota Hill. A souk owned by Tibetans, this center displays various types of ornaments, mementos and Chinese goods.

A visit to this emporium makes oneself to be accustomed with the dexterity of Tibetans. What makes this centre a hub of shoppers is its outstanding collections of Tibetan Carpets conventional handlooms and exquisite mats. It is assured that The Tibetan Handicrafts Centre would provide a delightful experience to the shopping buffs.


Dalhousie counts itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Thousands of tourists visit it each year not only from other places within India but also from around the world. Dalhousie has several options of various hotel accommodations for people to choose from.

Most of the good hotels in Dalhousie are along the Mall and near the Bus Stand. These are standard quality hotels – reasonably comfortable and clean. Popular choices are Peace Channels Hotel and Mount View Hotel. Himachal Tourism runs a good hotel along with a restaurant. The old palace of the Chamba rulers, 2 kms from the centre of town, has been converted into a hotel.

Things to do


Dalhousie has some good trekking routes with the major one being the Khajjiar – Chamba Khajjiar is 22 kms away from Dalhousie and the route follows a scenic climb to Kalatop 13 kms and 4-5hours of trekking time depending on your speed. Most trekkers set up camp for the night at Kalatop and start out again next morning on the next 12 kms to Khajjiar. Spend the night again at khajjiar and set out next day for the 10kms trek to Chamba.

STD Code
Summer 8 to 30°C, Winter -10 to 10°C
Best time to visit
May to Octoberv


Kullu, knaown as "Valley of Gods", is located in the charming Kullu valley and is set amongst the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas. The town is famous for its temples and the annual Dussehra festival, both of which attract thousands of tourists. It is also known for its handicrafts.



According to ancient Hindu scriptures, the area was known as ‘Kulantapitha’ – the end of the habitable world. Nestling within the high Himalayan ranges, the Kullu valley remained isolated from the rest of the world till very recently. The Hindu rulers of Kullu initially ruled over an area restricted to the upper Beas River valley, with their capital in the ancient village of Jagatsukh near Manali. The valley was a gateway to Lahaul and Ladakh andan important stop on the crucial trade route between central Asia and the Gangetic Plains down south. This made the area prosperous and by the 17th century AD, the kingdom had expanded its boundaries to Lahaul-Spiti in the north and the Sutlej River in the east. The capital of the kingdom was first shifted to Naggar, then to Sultanpur before finally settling at Kullu. Kullu grew into an important town when Raja Jagat Singh shifted the capital of the kingdom from Naggar in the mid-17th century. The idol of Lord Raghunathji (Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, one of the gods in the Hindu trinity), the presiding deity of this town, was brought from his mythical birthplace in Ayodhya by the king. Declared the district headquarters after independence, Kullu is now an important market town for the region, and a transit point for travellers going on to the more popular Manali, 40 kms north. Kullu is also the focal point for trekkers into the Parvati valley and the Pin valley.


Air: Nearest airport to Kullu is Bhuntar airport, which is at a distance of 9 km from the city center of Kullu. This airport is connected by domestic flights to Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla. Paid taxi service from airport to Kullu cost about Rs 250.

Rail: Jogindernagar is the nearest railhead to Kullu, which is at a distance of 125 km. This railway station is connected to all Indian cities via Chandigarh which is 267 km away from Kullu.

Road: State owned bus services of Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation are available from Kullu connecting with the nearest cities. Kullu is connected to Delhi (570 km), Chandigarh (267 km), Pathankot (285 km) and Shimla (270 km) by tourist deluxe buses of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. These deluxe buses cost about Rs 4 per km.


Just like its adventure, Kullu has also created a niche for it self in being one of the favored shopping destinations in Himachal Pradesh. You should begin your shopping expedition from Kullu Shawls. These shawls occupy a unique position in the traditional handicrafts of the state. From this fairyland you should not miss buying the the famous Kullu caps and fresh fruits.

Other famous products of Kullu include, gadmas, rugs or 'namdas', local tweeds, footwear or 'pullun', baskets and natural oils of almond and olive. The place to get these items will be the Akhara Bazaar area that boasts of authentic purchases.

Kullu shawls, caps and gadmas can be bought from private shops as well as the Himachal state weaving co-operative at Bhutti Weavers colony, 6 kms south of Kullu. The co-operative runs several retail outlets called Bhuticco at other towns in the valley. The state government handicrafts emporium and Khadi Gramodyog emporium are at Akhara Bazaar.

For shopper's Kullu offers a variety of items including the woollen items. You can check out designed pullas, patti, mufflers, pattoos, woolen carpets, complex driftwood articles and artistic metal crafts of Kullu. Some of the best places to shop in Kullu are outlets of Bhuttico, Bodh Shawls and Himbunkar. Besides the local art and craft, Kullu also promotes Kashmir handicrafts which you can buy at Kashmir Craft Emporium. The Tibetan market at Kullu is famous for imported goods, especially the gift items. Visit the Sultanpur market where the local goldsmiths deal in traditional jewellery which is a fine example of the native art.


There are no luxury hotels in Kullu. All you''ll get are mid range and budget hotels. The Valley View Hotel amongst others is a good option to stay at while in Kullu.


Dussehra Festival : Kullu is famous for its Dussehra festival, which is a week-long celebration. Usually the festival of Dussehra is celebrated all over India in October for 10 day of the rising moon. However in Kullu the festival starts on the 10th day of the rising moon, known as 'Vijay Dashmi' and continues for seven days. Dussehra commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, but in Kullu the festival does not include the burning of Ravana, as in other places around India. On Dussehra day, the raths (chariots) of Raghunathji, presiding deity of the valley, and other deities are taken out in a procession through the town to Dhalpur Maidan, where they reside for the next seven days. During the festival, nicely dressed, cheerful good-humoured crowds throng every road leading to Dhalpur Maidan, and folk dances, exhibitions and cultural events are also held.

Things to do

Angling: The Kullu Manali region, especially the Larji Valley 34kms and Banjar(58kms), is crisscrossed by a number of streams which finally meet the Beas river and are excellent spots for fishing. Most of these streams have good brown trout, besides other local species. Kullu is a convenient base for angling tours around the valley. Katrain, 20 kms down the road to Manali has a trout farm and hatchery and a Himachal Tourism hotel to stay in. Shoja, 69 kms away at 2,692 metres is a good place to view the Kullu valley from. All around lie swift flowing rivers, dense forests and meadows with majestic peaks at the back.

Para Gliding

There is also a great option for Para Gliding in Kullu. This is a thrilling sport which can be enjoyed in Bhaikhali (9 km from Kullu, easily approachable by vehicle), Bijli Mahadev and Slang slopes. During the months of May – June and Sept – Oct. The Himachal Tourism Department provides various facilities for the tourists.

Want to indulge in some Rafting then the place to go in Kullu is the nine kilometre long stream of Badah to Jhiri. This four hour long raft is permissible only from the month of May to July and there is provision for equipments and essential gears.

Trekking: The Kullu Valley is the transit point for trekking routes over the Chanderkhani pass to Malana, the Jalori Pass and Bashleo Pass to Shimla and the Pin Parvati pass to Sarahan. The Parvati River, the longest tributary of Beas, veers off to the north-east 8 kms from Kullu. It is one of the ideal areas for trekking and mountaineering. Several parts of the Parvati valley remain untouched by modern civilisation and preserve the magic of the mystic mountains. Many areas here are frequented by tourists seeking easy access to wild cannabis, which grows in abundance here.

Yak Safari: Try a yak safari while you are in Kullu. The yak is a mountainous animal that lives in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, normally above 6000 mts above sea level. Explore this beautiful region on the back of this docile looking animal - it is sure to be interesting and a unique experience. Further north, the Baspa river is replete with trout, and along the Sangla Valley are dozens of good beats where prime specimens can be caught.

STD Code
Summer 14 to 20°C, Winter -5 to 23°C
Best time to visit
October to April
Famous For
Dussehra Festival – 10 Day Festival in October


Manali, once called the "end of the habitable world," is an important hill station of northern India spread along the banks of the river Beas. The place derived its name from Manavalaya meaning the abode of Manu or "Home of Manu" and here, the temples are treated as pilgrimages. anali is also famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, para gliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking.


According to the Hindu mythology, Manali was the home of the lawgiver Manu (after whom the town is named). Legend has it that when a flood deluged the earth, Manu and the gods were towed to dry ground by a giant fish, which was the seventh `avatar'' of the god Vishnu.

Manali has a pre-historic legend behind its name. Vaivasvata, the seventh incarnation of Manu, the first creation according to Hindu mythology, found a tiny fish in his bathing water. The fish told him to look after it with devotion, for one day it would do him a great service. The seventh Manu cared for the fish until it grew so huge that he released it into the sea. Before departing, the fish warned Manu of an impending deluge when the entire world would be submerged and bade him to build a seaworthy ark. When the flood came, Matsya (fish), the first avatar of Lord Vishnu, towed Vaivasvata and the Seven Sages to safety. As the waters subsided, the seventh Manu's ark came to rest on a hillside and the place was named Manali after him.


Air: Bhuntar, which is 52 km away from Manali, is the nearest airport. Taxi services are available from Bhuntar to Manali, which costs about Rs 1000. Bhuntar is connected to Delhi by air. Delhi is the major nearest airport, which is about 565 km away from Manali. Delhi airport is well connected with all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

Rail: Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station to Manali, which is nearly 50 km away. Joginder Nagar is well connected to all other Indian cities via Chandigarh. Taxi fare from Joginder Nagar to Manali is about Rs 1000.

Road: Manali is well connected to other tourist destinations near by in Himachal by private deluxe bus services. State owned services are also available connecting Manali to other cities.


The Mall is the main shopping area, selling local Kullu and Kinnauri shawls, rugs, caps and footwear, imported goods, besides a range of Tibetan handicraft items. It is more of a busy commercial street with modern concrete blocks of hotels that spill over with tourists in the peak season. Other shopping zones in the Mall include- Hong Kong Market, Thai Market, Tibetan Market, Dragon Shopping Complex, Lama Underground, Shangri La Shopping Complex, New NAC Market and Snow Lion Underground Market. The Himachal Handicrafts Emporium and Bhuttico weavers’ co-operative (+91 1902 260 079) in the main Manali Mall are good for local handicrafts. Handcrafted shawls and rugs are the major and the most popular buys here. The Tibetan Bazaar and Tibetan Carpet centre run by the refugee community sells thangkas, rugs, local tweeds, Buddhist paintings, bamboo souvenirs, Chinese goods (electronics, shoes, clothes etc), silver and turquoise jewellery and prayers wheels amongst other things. The place is overcrowded with tpurists in the summers. If you are interested in buying more hippie and junky stuff, then
the Old Manali market is a must visit. You could even pick up fresh fruit jams, jellies and pickles from the market and take them back as souvenirs. All the shops are open from 10 am to 7 pm. Bargaining is a must here as most shops tend to quote a higher price.

Apart from a popular hill resort, Manali is also a paradise for shoppers. Manali is the perfect destination for those who love handicrafts and traditional items. Of the variety of items available in Manali markets, the locally made woollen products are a must buy for you. Check out the famous Kullu cap and Kullu Shawals with delicate, bright borders.

After buying the woollen items, head towards the local Manali market to shop for some exotic handicrafts and hand-woven goods. Local specialties are Himalayan handicrafts, which extensively assort Tibetan curios such as prayer wheels, amulets, dorjes, masks, musical instruments and thangkas. You can definitely opt a few items from the Manali markets to keep as souvenir of the visit to this charming destination.

For a discerning shopper, it is impossible to return from a tour without shopping in Manali.
The region has a rich tradition of handicrafts and handlooms, which make for pleasant shopping in Manali.

Like all hill regions in India, Manali too has a vast forestland, which produces huge timber. Wood has traditionally remained a favorite item for handicrafts. A variety of utilities and objets d'art would catch your eyes while shopping in Manali.

Another popular item for shopping in Manali is heavily embroidered woolen shawls. Woolen garments are widely available in Manali. You may choose to pick up pullovers, local tweeds and rugs while shopping in Manali.

Tibetan handicrafts find their way in the markets in Manali. Check out curios, antiques and knickknacks for your home interior, gifts or souvenirs. Some firans and inlaid silver jewellery in turquoise and coral may also feature in your shopping cart in Manali.

The mall Road is the best place for shopping joints in Manali. There are numerous private outlets alongside the government run emporia. Hang out here to engage in a pleasant shopping spree in Manali.


Plenty of accommodation options are available in Manali that range from five-star luxury hotels to cheap hotels. Hotels are located within the walking distance from the Manali bus terminal.

5 Star Hotels : Span Resorts.

4 Star Hotels : Timber Trail, Vacred Manali Resorts, Hotel Manali Ashok, Piccadily Hotel, Ambassador Resort, Sagar Resort, Snowcreast Manor and Holiday Inn Manali.

3 Star Hotels : Shingar Regency, The Manali Inn, Banon Resorts, Kanishka Hotel, Hotel Chandramukhi, Ram Regency Honeymoon Inn, The Confier Hotel, Glacier Resorts, Manali Resorts, Out Town Hotel, Hotel Regent Centre Point, Deluxe Luxury Cottages, D’Chalet, Manali Heights and Hotel Snow Princess.


Hadimba Devi Festival
The Hadimba Devi Festival is also a big colourful affair in Manali and people come in from the neighbouring places to be a part of the fair which is organised by the temple complex. This fair is held every year in the month of May.

Things to do

River Rafting: Snow-fed riverbed of the enchanting River Bias put forward incredible chances for the demanding activity of rafting. The thrilling sport of River Rafting in the untamed Bias River offers a magical feeling of intense and unbounded pleasure. Bias River proffers one among the best rafting fields in the entire Himalayan brooks and with its much staircase rapids it dares the mind and carcass of the rafter.

This river cuts against the wobbly caches, collide into rocks, fissures and flouting into white water rapids, fluffing, swirling, and declining in a deafening ruckus presents a delightful rafting bed to the water enthusiasts. The vast expansion of 20 km stretch of the river has exhilarating and great whitewater rapids. Besides a perfect rafting bed, Bias River is ideal for kayaking and canoeing too. The rafting from the Jhiri to Manaki in Bias river is the most popular rafting area wherein so many sporting events are conducted.

Jeep Safari in Manali : If you want to enjoy and experience the ‘wonders’ of Manali and the areas around, Jeep Safari is one of the finest ways for you. Of the various jeep safari routes in Himachal Pradesh, Jeep Safari from Manali to Leh is one of the most popular route with both the Indians as well as foreign tourists.

The 475 kms route will take you via Rohtang Pass (3,980 m) - Lahaul valley - Keylong - Darcha - Baralacha la (4,890 m) - Sarchu - Lachalang la (5,065 m) - Tangalng la (5,360 m) to Leh (3,505 m). Jeep Safari route from Manali to Leh remains open only for three months, from June to September every year.

You can also extend you trip to Nubra Valley across Khardungla pass, the highest motorable road in the world or to Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) after passing Zojila pass. Another option is also available, you can drive to Leh via Tsokar and Tsomoriri Lake. You can complete the Manali to Leh drive in two days with a overnight stay at Sarchu or Darcha.

During your Manali - Leh Jeep Safari trip you will cross the varied terrains. The terrains will surprisingly change their colour and nature, from lush green and foggy to the rugged brown, naked desert to the sprawling plain. In addition to these, you also get a good chance to observe the charming landscape, splendid valleys dotted with villages and beautiful monasteries from your jeep. Moreover, a lifetime's experience, Jeep Safari across Manali - Leh provides you a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with the loving people of this beautiful land.

Mountaineering in Manali : Being the biggest range of mountains on earth, the Great Indian Himalayas has always lured the mountaineers across the world. Himachal’s charming town, Manali makes an ideal base to undertake the adventure sport of mountaineering. The Himalayas in and around Manali offer a range of mountaineering options, from a short and easy climb to long challenges of the snowy peaks.

While mountaineering in Manali, you get to experience the magnificent views of the snow-clad lofty peaks, the lush meadows, green woodland and also exhilarating fragrance of orchards. In fact, Manali Himalayas’ pristine beauty, vastness and a number of hidden jewells have an everlasting appeal for mountaineers, who explore the region by mountaineering.

Snow Skiing in Manali : The beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh lies amidst the Himalayan ranges of Shivalik, Pirpanjal and Dhauladhar. Most of its higher reaches remain snow-covered for a lrge part of the year. The Manali region in Himachal Pradesh is bestowed with some very fine slopes. From professionals to novices, Manali offers excellent opportunities for everyone to enjoy the winter sport of snow skiing. Thus, you can undertake the adventure sport of snow-skiing in Manali at any time to any altitude.
In Manali, training courses and facilities for snow skiing are offered by the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports. You can hire skiing equipments from HPTDC office at a very reasonable cost. You must be physically and mentally fit to take up skiing, trained guides are always there to help you out during any difficulty. You must remember that snow covered areas are very much accident prone, so you should make a complete enquiry before taking the sport. Close to Manali, Solang is one such place where skiing courses are conducted and it also organizes annual skiing competition.

Kullu District
STD Code
Summer 14 to 20°C, Winter -7 to 10°C
Best time to visit
May To October



Shillong, often referred to as the "Scotland of the East" due to its striking similarity with the Scottish highlands, is one of the important tourist destinations in the northeast. The city derives its name from "Leishyllong"-the Superpower or God who is believed to reside on the Shillong peak, overlooking the city. It is lying in the cradle of the tall pine conifers and pineapple shrubs.


It was the capital of the erstwhile British provincial state of Assam, and remained so even after independence. When Meghalaya attained Statehood, Shillong remained the capital. Situated at an altitude of 1,496 meters above sea level, Shillong is perhaps the only hill station with motorable roads leading to every corner. Shillong derives its name from the peak of the same name and there are many legends surrounding this name. One says that it came from a handsome youth called ‘Shyllong’, who was born in mysterious circumstances to a virgin human mother in Bisi, a village near Shillong. It is believed that he was the Shillong deity and the phrase, “Kot Shillong”, which means “To bring peace in time of catastrophe, danger or personal misfortune” originated in the legend.

Shillong was a small village until 1864, when it became the new civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia hills. It remained the summer capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam for many years. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as a Chief Commissioner's Province, it was chosen as the capital of the new administration. An earthquake destroyed the city in 1897, necessitating its complete rebuilding. In January 1972, Shillong became the capital of the newly formed state of Meghalaya.


By Air: Shillong airport at Umroi connects to only Kolkata. Guwahati is the nearest major airport, which is nearly 100 km away from Shillong.

By Rail: Nearest railhead to Shillong is Guwahati which is well connected with all the major railheads of India.

By Road: The State Road Transport Public buses and the private tourist bus providers operate bus services from Shillong to the many cities in Meghalaya and the neighboring state. The bus stand is located in the heart of Shillong.


Good buys in Shillong include mounted butterflies, hand-woven shawls, orange honey, black mushrooms, Khasi-style jewelry and handcrafted bamboo objects.

Bara Bazaar (Iewduh Market): The Iewduh market or the Bara Bazar, as many old timers still prefer to term it, is one huge colourful jamboree. Generally recommended to every newcomer as the first place to be visited upon arrival the Lewduh market sees an influx of peddlers across Meghalaya advertising and trading their wares. The market becomes the hub of a million activities on the Iewduh (the very first day of the Khasi week) when populace from the entire spectrum from Meghalaya arrives in vibrant bunches and enhances the festive atmosphere. The vendors offer some of the best Meghalay products for the most reasonable prices. A quick bargain purchase of some of the handwoven goods and natural resources can be one of the best clinched deals of your life.


Shillong being the capital city of Meghalaya has a good line of accommodation facility in and around itself. You may not too luxurious category of accommodation in Shillong. But, the accommodations available are good enough to provide you a perfect comfort.

Hotel Polo Towers , Royal Heritage Tripura Castle , Lake View Inn , Hotel Alpine Continental , Shillong Club , Orchid Hotel , Orchid Lake Resort , Pinewood Hotel , Hotel Centre Point , Rosaville Heritage, Bo-Ville Homestay.

Things to do

Water Sports
One the other hand, if one is into water sports, the Umiam Lake resort serves up motorboats, water scooters, skiing and sailing facilities backed by the comforts of the Orchid Lake resort. Angling is another activity that one can delve into here, but Ranikhor is truly the angler's dream come true! For the less adventurous, Ward's Lake right in the heart of Shillong, has row boats and paddle boats a-plenty.

A Golfer's Paradise
For those seeking to combine their holiday with a dash of sport, there is the golf club and the 18-hole golf course. It is the third oldest course in the country, termed "the Gleneagle of the East" by the United States Golf Association Library and Museum. The club is a throwback to the old world charms reminiscent of the British.

Teer - The Local Sport

If it is local sport, one is looking for, try "Teer". The ancient martial art of Archery has now been allowed to develop into the addictive Teer or legalized betting. Betters go on waging their money on how many arrows the archers will shoot at the end of the day. And those who hit the bulls-eye go home richer.

Shillong has very recently joined the Adventure Tourism bandwagon. The Project Division of Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation has identified two trekking Trails and backed them up with exclusive photographs, maps, trekking equipments and tents; all available at the MTDC Office at Polo Road.

The five-days part-trek and part-bus trip to Cherrapunjee and the seven days trek to Umlyng (extendable to ten days if one wants to press on upto Mawlyndep) exposes the trekker to dense pine and mixed forests, bamboo groves and interesting rock formations, exotic ferns and tree creepers, a pride of wild orchids and wild flowers.

East Khasi Hills district
STD Code
Summer 12°C - 20°C, Winter 3°C - 14°C
Best time to visit
Throughout the year
Famous For
Capital Of Meghalaya famous for its magnificent natural scenery



Ooty, short for Ootacamund (an anglicized name for Udhagamandalam), is a popular hill resort in the state of Tamil Nadu in Southern India.

Ooty or Udhagamandalam was aptly called the "Queen of Hill Stations" by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This beautiful hill station sprawls over an area of 36 sq km and is situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level. Its year long pleasant weather makes it a very popular holiday destination.

The name ‘Udhagamandalam’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘Ottakkalmandu’, meaning ’a village of a single stone’, perhaps referring to the sacred stone revered by the local tribe, Todas.


History of Ooty is significant and praise worthy. It grabs the visitor’s attention. Vishnu Vardhana, the Hoysala King, from 1104 to 1141 AD, lines the earliest history of Ooty. Ooty came under the rule of the British East India Company and later after several years. John Sullivan, the district collector of Coimbatore started the formation of the hill station-Ooty and promoted it as an ideal summer retreat. In the year of 1812, the Assistant Revenue Surveyor, Mr. Keys and Mc Mahon, were the district collectors of Coimbatore. In the year of 1818, J.C Whish and N.W. Kinderseley visited this place and in 1819 the route to Ooty was laid as an important tourist destination. In the year of 1821, the earliest route to Nilgiri from Coimbatore was laid.


By Air: Coimbatore airport is the nearest airport about 105 km away from Ooty.

By Rail: Mettupalayam, which is 47 km away from Ooty, is the nearest major railway station. There are regular train services from Coimbatore and Chennai to Mettupalayam.

By Road:
Ooty is well connected with all most all south Indian cities by bus. There are regular bus services from Mysore, Bangalore, Madurai, and Kanyakumari and also from many cities in Kerala.


Ooty and Nilgiris are well known for a variety of local products like tea, eucalyptus oil, chocolates, spices and gourmet cheese. There are a lot of shops that deal these products though you have to be careful you get an authentic product.

Shopping in Ooty would be a nice experience for the passionate shopper. Although the region does not have any specialty handicraft of its own, there are many other things for shopping in Ooty.

On the slopes of the great Nilgiri range, the region grows some of the best qualities of coffee and tea in India. The sprawling plantations and the heady smell are feast to senses. You may choose to buy some coffee or tea while shopping in Ooty.

Hand made chocolates are also popular items for shopping in Ooty. Also pick up aromatic oils and spices while shopping in Ooty.

Besides, there is the wide variety of handicrafts of Tamil Nadu. The ace craftsmen of Tamil Nadu are skilled in making fantastic Jewelry, painting, pottery, and stone crafts. Look for such artifacts as you go on shopping in Ooty. You may also come across some tribal crafts in the shops. The local bazaars are replete with private shops and Government run emporia, where you can shop till you drop. Many hotels have shopping arcades where of course the price would be a bit on higher side.

Main Bazaar: Main bazaar is the central hub and the best shopping junction of the place. All the things which are produced in the city along with all small groceries and cutlery are sold here under a single umbrella. The chief thing produced in this area is tea and all variety of tea is available for tasting as well as purchase.

Handicraft and specific paintings made by the local residents is appreciated and highly liked by several people all across the country. Special goodies for the festival are made available and clothes are available in specific local variety which has the essence of the prevalent culture of the place.


The picturesque hill station of Ooty in Tamil Nadu is a tremendously popular destination in South India. Since long, Ooty has been a favourite haunt for the hill-lovers.

There are a large number of hotels in Ooty.
From top-end luxury and heritage properties to rather economy class ones - plenty of hotels are available in Ooty.

On the green-carpeted slopes of the Nilgiri hills, hotels in Ooty promise you a tranquil retreat. Colonial influence has blended into a perfect elegance with the local culture to create a unique character in Ooty. A stay in the hotels in Ooty would offer you charming glimpses of that culture.

Here are some selected hotels in Ooty:

Luxury Hotels in Ooty
Savoy Hotel
Fortune Hotel Sullivan Court
Holiday Inn Gem Park Ooty
Budget Hotels in Ooty
Welcom Heritage Regency Villas
Nalapad Residency
Hotel Lakeview
Quite a few large Indian chains have their hotels in Ooty. Most of these hotels in Ooty fall in the luxury segment of course. Beautiful architecture, rooms with sleek décor, plush lobby, multi-cuisine restaurants, heath club, entertainment center would ensure that you spend a good time at the luxury hotels in Ooty.

Things to do

One of the leading tourist attractions in the city, the Ooty Lake is immensely popular with tourists for boating. The lake and boat houses have emerged as key tourist hangouts in the hill station. The boat house is at the far end of the Lake. Boat pageantry and boat races are held in summers in the lake when it is crowded with visitors. Fishing is also allowed in the Ooty Lake but prior permission should be sought from the authorities. The entire lake is delimited with a footpath and you can also walk alongside it.

Hand-Gliding & Angling
Ooty offers a range of adventure sports to tourists for a thrilling experience. Hand-gliding will give tourists the joy of flying high like a bird in the vast expanse of the open sky. Trained and professional hand-gliders should be guiding you when you try hand-gliding. Angling is another prominent adventure sport to experience in Ooty. There is an ample scope for fishing in the clean streams and swift flowing rivers of the Ooty hills.

Nature Walk
Ooty is an ideal destination for those who are seeking the companionship of nature. Rich in Natural splendor and adorned with phenomenally beautiful environs, Ooty has some spectacular gardens like the Rose garden for nature lovers. It is a perfect choice for those who want to absorb the sublime freshness of nature and soothe their nerves in a calm environment to beat the city stress on a vacation.

Trekking is, undoubtedly, the best way to explore the exotic mountain ranges of Ooty and the picturesque landscape that makes it a thriving natural wonder and one of the most popular hill stations in India. The rugged mountainous terrain of Nilgiris hills can be trekked to view the real beauty that Ooty is celebrated for. Professional guidance should be sought by the amateur trekkers. One of the most adventurous sports, trekking the highest peaks of Nilgiris will be a thrilling experience for the trekkers.
Visiting the Church
Ooty has a lot of ancient religious places to see and the tourists are going to really enjoy this light walk into the religious history of Ooty. One of the first colonial structures of the hill station discovered by the British, St. Stevens Church is one of the heritage attractions of Ooty. The cemetery of the church has the graves of some of the famous names of Ooty. Tourist can visit two the Union and Holy Trinity churches in Ooty to see the stained glass windows.

STD Code
Summer 10-21°C, Winter 5-21°C
Best time to visit
November to March
Famous For
Hill Resort

Mount Abu


Mount Abu, literally ‘Hill of Wisdom’, is referred to as 'an oasis in the desert', as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. The ancient name of Mount Abu is "Arbudaanchal". It was the summer resort for the Maharajas and the princes to escape the sweltering desert. The gigantic blocks of rock, towering along the crest of the hill, the lush green trees and the colourful birds and animals make the place as one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Mount Abu is also a major Rajput and Jain pilgrimage centre.


The history of Mount Abu is wrapped up in legends. According to one, Mount Abu derives its name from Mount Arbud when the youngest son of Himalaya, along with the assistance of a snake called Arbud flooded the gorge in the area with water to save Shiva's revered bull.

On a more contemporary note, the history of Mount Abu indicates that it was once under the rule of the Chauhan dynasty and later served as summer retreat for the royalty. The British too favored this region and made it their impromptu getaway from the heat and dust of Rajasthan.


Air: The nearest airport to Mount Abu is the Dabok airport in Udaipur, which is 210 km away from Mount Abu. The airport is connected to other airports such as Delhi (760 km), Jaipur (505 km) and Mumbai (765 km). The taxi fare from airport to Mount Abu is about Rs 2000.

Rail: The nearest railhead is the Abu Road Station that is located on the main line between Delhi and Mumbai. The station well connected to all major railheads in India via Delhi and Mumbai.

Road: The tourist buses ply from Jaipur (505 km), Udaipur (185 km), Delhi (760 km) and Jaisalmer (620 km) to Mount Abu. The tariff per seat varies between Rs 3 to Rs 4 per km and the frequency varies from every day to twice a week. State owned buses connects Mount Abu with neighbouring cities


Mount Abu is an enchanting hill resort in Rajasthan.Shopping in Mount Abu is going to be an enthralling experience as the markets of Mount Abu are stacked with a variety of handicrafts from Rajasthan and the neighboring state of Gujarat. Textiles, jewellery, curios in wood, metal and marble, you name it and they have it all in Mount Abu.

Most of the shops in Mount Abu are located around the beautiful Nakki Lake, which makes your shopping in Mount Abu a pleasurable experience. Rajasthani paintings, leather articles and stone crafts make good souvenirs. If you have a fascination for textiles and fabrics, then you should check out the Kota saris, linen with Sanganeri prints or even the lightweight Jaipury quilt.

For Rajasthan Handicrafts like metal, stone and wooden curios, you can shop at the Government Handicrafts Emporium, Khadi Bhandar, Kashmir Cottage emporium and a host of other shops in the town.


If you want to get some spiritual solace amidst the peace and quiet of a desert, then what better idea than to check into a hotel in Mount Abu. A hill station and a pilgrimage center at once, Mount Abu is an enchanting destination.

Hotels in Mount Abu epitomize the traditional hospitality coupled with modern amenities. The delectable range of authentic cuisine will overwhelm you.

Some of the prominent hotels in Mount Abu are:

Three Star Hotels

Hotel Hilltone
Four Star Hotel
Hotel Hillock

Heritage Hotel

Cama Rajputana Club Resort
Hotel Connaught House
Hotel Palanpur Palace
Hotel Rising Sun Retreat

Budget Hotel

Hotel Shikhar


Summer Festival
The Summer Festival is held at the lone hill Station of the Rajasthan, Mount Abu. The festival is organized every year in the month of June. The scenic town of Mt. Abu with its rocky terrain, serene lakes, arresting locations and the pleasant climate constitutes the perfect venue for the Rajasthan Summer Festival. The festival goes on for three-day and showcases the traditions, culture and the tribal life of Rajasthan. Folk and classical music is the high point of the Summer Festival.

Beginning of the Summer Festival of Mount Abu, Rajasthan is marked by the singing of a ballad. Following thereafter, are the folk dancers of Rajasthan, entertaining the spectators with their performance. There are also some sports events organized in the festival like a boat race on the Nakki Lake. Other attractions of the Summer Festival include Sham-e-Qawwali, a musical extravaganza. In this program known qawwals from all over the country perform and delight the audience. The festival reaches its end with a splendid and enthralling display of impressive fireworks.

STD Code
Summer 32-45°C, Winter 5-28°C
Best time to visit
Feb to June and Sept to December


Srinagar, also known as "Paradise on Earth", is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River (a tributary of the Indus) and is famous for its lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits. The city is famous for its surrounding natural beauty, interspersed with greenery, lakes and hillocks: Hari Parbat and the Shankar Acharya hills lie on either side of the city.

Srinagar is also the venue for trekking and hiking. The most popular trekking route from Srinagar is to the sacred Amarnath cave.



Srinagar got its name from the two Sanskrit words, ‘sri’ meaning wealth and abundance and ‘nagar’ meaning place. Legend has it that a Hindu sage, Kashyapa, drained the water in the lake to make the Kashmir valley.
According to documented history, in the 3rd century BC, the Kashmir valley was part of the Mauryan Empire. Later on it came under the rule of the Kushans, around 1st century AD, and then in the 6th century, it became part of the kingdom of Vikramaditya, the ruler of Ujjain and stayed under the Hindu rule until the 14th century. Later it was invaded by the Mughals and stayed as part of their empire until it was taken over by the Pathans. In 1814, Ranjit Singh of the Sikh empire, defeated the Pathans, and was later defeated by the British. The British appointed Gulab Singh as the independent ruler of Kashmir. In 1948, Hari Singh, the great grandson of Gulab Singh, merged the state of Kashmir with India.


Air: Srinagar domestic airport is connected with many airports in major cities in India. Regular flights are operated between Srinagar and Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Shimla. International travelers get the connecting flights from Delhi International airport, which is at a distance of 876 km from Srinagar.

Rail: Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu railway station is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum. Taxi services are available from Jammu to Srinagar and the fare is about Rs 6000.

Road: National Highway 1-A, connecting Srinagar with Jammu, is a good, all weather road, with several sharp inclines and hairpin bends. It is maintained by the Border Roads Organization (BRO), which clears the road of any obstructions. The famous Jawahar Tunnel that connects Jammu with the Kashmir Valley across the Pir Panjal range. Super deluxe, A-class, B-class busses are operated by J&K SRTC as well as other transport agencies. It is also possible to travel by taxi from Jammu to Srinagar. For those wishing to travel to Srinagar by a private car from Jammu, there are several places en route which have been developed for the convenience of the motorist all having tourist bungalows and provisions for meals, snacks, petrol pumps and repairs.


If you are in Srinagar and you don't shop for the Kashmir handicrafts it seems as bizarre as visiting Agra and not seeing Taj. In Srinagar you can shop for Kashmir art at any place from the famous handicraft showrooms to the street vendors around Boulevard Road and there are also Shikarawallas who sell the handicraft items. The Pashmina shawls, woolen blankets, silken carpets, embroidered suits and saris, zari embroidered traditional Kashmir pherans, shawls and suits and wood craft and paper machie items are the most looked for items in the city. The other things that are famous of Kashmir are dried fruits, honey and saffron. This paradise is waiting for you, come and enjoy the fruits of heaven and shop for the handicrafts in Kashmir and it will be the best souvenir you will take to your home.

Srinagar is known for rich tradition of handicrafts and handlooms. While shopping in Srinagar some of the must buy include hand-woven silk fabric, carpets, and Kashmiri shawls with intricate embroidery work. Other famous items are Brass and Silverware, willow baskets, artifacts made of papier-mâché and woolen garments, traditional crafts that include cane and bamboo work, metal-crafts etc. Lal Chowk, Badshah Chowk and Polo View area are popular markets of Srinagar. There are a number of Government Handicraft Emporiums scattered around the Srinagar city, but the main one is housed in the fine old British Residency building by the Bund. The flashiest shops are located along the Boulevard by Dal Lake. Bund also has some big shops including 'Suffering Moses' with high quality goods.


In Srinagar you have two type of accommodation options. You can either stay in a hotel or in a houseboat. Srinagar has around 1,000 houseboats of different categories and the charges include meals and crossings to and from the nearest jetty. J & K Tourism Department has categorized the houseboats according to the facilities offered. The highest category is Deluxe and the lowest category is D grade. Each grade has fixed charges that includes all three meals. Hotels of Srinagar also provide comfortable and pleasant stay to guests, some of the famous hotels are :

Heritage Hotels : Grand Palace Inter-Continental (Gupkar Road)

Deluxe Hotels : Hotel Broadway (Maulana Azad Road), Shah Abbas Hotel (Boulevard), Ahdoos Hotel and Hotel Imperial Lake View.

Standard Hotels : Hotel Zabarvan, Hotel Welcome, Lake Side Hotel and Hotel Akbar.


Shikaras : Shikaras are the long boats which crowd most of the lakes in Srinagar. They are used for getting back and forth from the houseboats or for longer tours. Officially there is a standard fare for every trip around the lakes and the charges are predominantly posted at the main landings (ghats). Shikara ride is once in a lifetime experience and it is very popular among the tourists. While you are on shikara ride, try paddling the shikara yourself sometime, it is nowhere near as easy as it look. You will spend lots of time going round in circles.

Things to do

Canoeing & Water Skiing: Kashmir has many lakes - Dal, Nagin, Mansbal and Wular. These are excellent spots for canoeing - whether it is a Shikara or a racing skull. No OIIC has tried canoe-ing in these lakes so far. These lakes are inter-connected as also the river Jhelum which flows through the entire length of the valley and connects with all the lakes. An interesting sport is what is locally called 'Water Trekking'. One can have a three to four day trip along the river to various lakes in a Shikara with all the camping gear. There are lovely spots to camp for the night. The lakes are also famous for water skiing.

Shikara Ride: If you like to have some fun and adventure while touring Srinagar, opt for a Shikara ride. Srinagar attracts many tourists with one important reason, the renowned Shikara rides, especially in enchanting Dal Lake. This is marvelous, enjoyable and unforgettable.

Many Shikara circuits are available which suit any tourist. Don't forget to capture the superb beauty around the Lake by taking relaxed holidays on a Shikara in one of the circuit from Nehru Park past Hazratbal, Nagin, Rainawari and back.

The cost is reasonable, a ride to Char Minar and back on Dal Lake costs about Rs 300/- for four people.

Srinagar District
STD Code
Best time to visit
March to October



Mussoorie, popularly called the “Queen of hills”, is a hill station, perched on a horseshoe shaped ridge above the Doon Valley in the foothills of the Himalaya ranges. It provides great views of sprawling pine covered hills, velvety green valleys and snow capped Himalayan mountains in the north-east, and the enchanting views of the Doon Valley & Shivalik ranges in the south. It also acts as the gateway to the holy shrines of “Gangotri” and “Yamunotri”.

Image Credit:



Mussoorie was discovered in the 18th century by a British Captain Young and it soon became a popular summer retreat for the British.

The history of Mussoorie dates back to 1825 when Captain Young, an adventurous British military officer, together with a Mr. Shore, the resident Superintendent of Revenues at Dehradun explored the present site and jointly constructed a shooting lodge. This laid the foundation of this holiday resort which now has few rivals. In 1827 a sanitorium was built at Landour, which later became a large cantonment , Colonel Everest built a home here in 1832, and by 1901 its population was 6461, rising to 15,000 in the summer season. Earlier, Mussoorie was approachable by road from Saharanpur, 58 miles (93 km) away. Accessability became easier in 1900 with the railway coming to Dehradun, thus shortening the road trip to 21 miles (34 km).
The name Mussoorie is often attributed to a derivation of 'mansoor', a shrub which is indigenous to the area. The town is in fact often referred to as 'Mansoori' by locals.
The main promenade in Mussoorie is called, as in other hill stations, the Mall. In Mussoorie, the Mall stretches from Picture Palace at its eastern end to the Public Library (shortened to 'Library') at its western end. During the British Raj, signs on the Mall expressly stated: "Indians and Dogs Not Allowed"; racist signs of this type were commonplace in hill stations, which were founded 'by and for' the British. Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawahar Lal Nehru, deliberately broke this rule every day whenever he was in Mussoorie, and would pay the fine. The Nehru family, including Nehru's daughter Indira (later Indira Gandhi) were frequent visitors to Mussoorie in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. They also spent much time in nearby Dehradun, where Nehru's sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit ultimately settled full-time.
In April 1959, after fleeing Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama established the Tibetan Government of Exile in Mussoorie. The Government of Tibet in exile eventually moved to Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The first Tibetan school was established in Mussoorie in 1960. Tibetans settled mainly in Happy Valley in Mussoorie. Today, some 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.
Now, Mussoorie suffers from over-development of hotels and tourist lodges, given its relative proximity to Delhi, Ambala and Chandigarh, and has serious problems of garbage collection, water scarcity and parking shortages, especially during the summer tourist season. Landour, Jharipani and Barlowganj have fewer such problems.


Air: Nearest airport is Jollygrant, which is 60 km away from Mussoorie and is situated in Dehradun. Jollygrant airport, Dehradun is connected to Delhi airport. Taxi services are available from airport to Mussoorie and it costs about Rs 1500. Delhi is the nearest international airport, which is 270 km away. Delhi is well connected to all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

Rail: Mussoorie has no railway station of its own. So one can get down at Dehradun railway station, nearly 60 km away and from there take bus or taxi to reach Mussoorie. Taxi services are available from railhead to Mussoorie and it costs about Rs 1500. Dehradun railway station is well connected to other major cities in India with super fast trains.

Road: Mussoorie is well connected with excellent bus services of state public bus services Uttaranchal State Transport Corporation. From Dehradoon and from other major cities in India private bus services are available to Mussoorie and fare is about Rs 3 to 4 per kilometer. Mussoorie is connected with Delhi (270 km), Nainital (355 km), Dehradun (60 km) and Garwal (135 km) by deluxe tourist bus services.


Mussoorie, also called the 'Queen of Hill stations' in India, is one of the most visited hill stations and has thus developed accordingly. Mussoorie has a well stocked market place where you can shop around for just about anything you need.

The Mall road or the Mall is the hub of tourists in Mussoorie which has shops selling all kinds of products, besides a host of interesting eating joints. At all times during the year, this thriving market place at Mall road is seen crowded with shoppers.

Here you can find retail outlets of most of the famous brands - for clothes and apparels, electronics and so on. Besides, a little ahead is another busy commercial center of Kulri. Here too you can look for anything you want.

Through out these markets in Mussoorie you will frequently encounter Tibetans selling imported products at very reasonable prices. You can also find with them, fabric wall hangings and woolen clothes, Tibetan metal ware, lots of wooden items like walking sticks, trays, bowls, cane baskets, jewellery etc., all at descent prices.

Landour Bazaar: Landour Bazaar is located on a steep slope about 4 km up the hill from the Mall, and is a cantonment area. This is totally a silence zone, thanks to the handwritten signs nailed on the trees. A pollution-free zone, and with fresh pure air to breathe, recovery from any stress or disease is superbly fast here. During old times, the Britishers set up a rejuvenation center to enjoy the nature at its best.

Captain Young, who once upon a time discovered Mussoorie, used to live in this area. His house (Mullingar Estate) still stands, marking the proof of his existence, but in a bad shape.

Library Bazaar: A Victorian-style Library, built in the mid-19th century, stands proud towards the end of the Mall. This Library permits access only to members and it may not be possible to gain entry inside. Remnants of the town’s past are present in the form of a Band Stand, which used to play music all night. The entire day was spent in socializing away to glory, and all lived a life of content and leisure.

One can shop to your heart’s content in this area, with lots of shops arranged in a circle around the town. This bazaar is also referred to as Gandhi Chowk symbolic of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which stands in one corner of the bazaar.

Sisters Bazaar: Sisters Bazaar is named after the Nuns who served as nurses in the British dormitory present in this area. Contrary to the term “bazaar‿, this area is more of a residential colony with old cottages and a few shops spread across. It is a divine area, lined up with pines, oaks and deodars.

Do not forget to visit the famous confectionery shop of Sisters Bazaar — the Prakash Brothers Store. Other famous attractions are the houses owned by personalities, namely, Dev Anand, Tom Alter and Victor Banerjee. Especially impressive is the house owned by Victor Banerjee, known as The Parsonage, which has a rich history attached to it.

The Mall: The Mall is the heart of Mussoorie. A walk through the mall throws glimpses of the colonial period with the benches and lampposts lined up and is a beautiful experience. Being in the center of the city, one has to pass the Mall enroute to any place in the city.

The 1980s style video game parlors, skating rinks, the Methodist Church are all attractions in this area. The skating rinks are popular among children and adult alike, and are charged at Rs 80 per hour. Fans of Ruskin Bond seeking his autograph should not miss the opportunity to visit the Cambridge Bookstore, where he is often seen.

Things to do

If you are one of the water enthusiasts coming to Mussoorie, do not forget to explore the joys of boating in the hill resort. Mussoorie Lake, one of the most popular picnic spots in the area, offers you boating facility, with marvelous view of surrounding valleys forming the backdrop. Then, you can also go for boating in Lake Mist, a newly developed picnic spot that is situated about 5 km before the Kempty falls, on the Mussoorie-Kempty road.

Nature Walks
If you go to Mussoorie and do not indulge in nature walks, consider your trip incomplete. From the Mall area of the hill station, you will find diversions to several interesting walks, bringing you right into the lap of nature. Some of the most popular options are:
Along the road below Savoy Hotel, from the Library head to Happy Valley
From Valley view to Clouds End
Towards Kapurthala Chateau and Waverly Convent, on to Company Bagh
In the hillsides of Landour
The Barlowganj area

Want to soar high in the sky and look at earth from miles above it? If yes, then on your next trip to Mussoorie, do make sure to indulge in paragliding. Mussoorie Lake, apart from boating and picnics, offers you the opportunity to go paragliding as well (if the weather and air permit).

Roller Skating
The youngsters will love to explore the numerous skating rinks in Mussoorie. The resort Jaypee Residency Manor houses an open air skating rink. Then, there is ‘The Rink’ in Kulri Bazaar and ‘Disco Skating Rink’ behind the Tourist Office in Mussoorie.

Mussoorie serves as the base for a number of interesting treks, to the nearby areas. For instance, you can trek up to the Gangotri, Yamunotri, the Black Peak, Har-ki-Doon and other treks in the Garhwal Himalayas. Then, there is the option of explore the trekking trails in the nearby Himachal Pradesh as well. The closest place from Mussoorie, for indulging in trekking expeditions, is Barlowgunj, approximately two and a half kilometers away.

Mussoorie is the ideal place for adventure lovers and trekkers. Being surrounded by hills, there is a lot of scope for trekking in Mussoorie. You can comb the hills out through adventurous treks to various spots like Aglar river which is a trek from Lal Tibba, Park Estate, Bhadraj forest, Nag Tibba, to name a few.

The Himalayan Adventure Institute, along with various other activities like rock climbing, nature camps and river crossings, arranges the treks for those interested. Tourist bungalows or cottages can be arranged for the trekkers depending on the route taken. Try to avoid Rangan Gaon as the trek to this area could be dangerous.

Trout Fishing
If you are willing to drive to a few kilometers from Mussoorie, in the search of adventure, then Aglar River and Yamuna River would provide you with ample opportunities for trout fishing. However, you will have to take permits from the Divisional Forest Officer of Mussoorie beforehand.

Wildlife Sighting
The areas in and around Mussoorie are home to a rich and varied wildlife. If you are a nature lover, do not forget to visit Van Chetna Kendra, situated amidst pine forest and flowering shrubs, and have a look at the Ghurar, Kakar, Himalayan Peacock, Monal etc. Benog Mountain Quail Sanctuary is another place that you must visit on a trip to Mussoorie. Apart from the usual birds and animals, it also boasts of extinct bird species like Mountain Quail.

STD Code
Summer 14-30°C, Winter 0-24°C
Best time to visit
March to May and from September to November.



Nainital is an absolutely beautiful and tranquil hill station situated amongst the seven hills and one of the most popular hill stations in North India. The town is situated all around the beautiful Naini Lake, which is said to be the result of Goddess Durga’s fallen charred eye resulting in a lake. The place has been mentioned many a time in ancient Indian texts such as the Manas Khand of the Skand Purana. It is also famous for the British made residential schools which dot the entire Nainital scene.


It is believed that Nainital figures in some ancient myths of India. In the Manas Khand of the Skand Puranas, Nainital Lake is called Tri-Rishi-Sarovar, hinting at the story of three sages (or rishis), Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha, who, upon finding no water in Nainital, dug a large hole at the location of the present day lake (sarovar = lake) and filled it with water from the holy lake Manasarovar in Tibet. According to lore, a dip in Naini Lake, "the lesser Manasarovar," earns merit equal to a dip in the great lake.
It is also believed that Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal or [lake of the eye.] The goddess Shakti is worshipped at the Naina Devi Temple on the north shore of the present day lake. The temple however is a post 1885 construction, evident from the photographs of that era.


Air: Pantnagar airport is situated at a distance of 71 km away from Nainital. This is connected to Delhi International airport. Taxi services are available from airport to Nainital costing about Rs 1500. Delhi is the nearest international airport (350 km), which is well connected with other cities in India and abroad.

Rail: Kathgodam is the nearest railway station, which is 35 km away from Nainital. Lucknow, Agra and Bareilly are directly connected with Kathgodam by rail. Taxi fare from Kathgodam to Nainital is about Rs 600.

Road: Nainital is well connected to other cities by state public transport buses. Deluxe and semi deluxe luxury buses ply from Delhi (350 km), Almora (70 km), Ranikhet (60 km) and Badrinath (340 km). The bus charge varies between Rs 3 to Rs 4 per km.


Mall Road is the main shopping area in Nainital, which houses many good shops, where you can buy a range of items. Amongst the variety of items, main items you can buy here are the woollen garments, candles and decorative items made from wood. The decorative colourful candles are very popular among tourists and you will surely take back some beautiful candles. Bohtia Bazaar is famous for the woollen garments while the Mall Road and the Mallital market are good places for candles and wooden items.

Shopping in Nainital is a delightful experience. For a discerning shopper, it is impossible to return from a tour without shopping in Nainital.

Fabrics and woolen garments are the most popular items for shopping in Nainital. Most of such woolens are woven by the women of Almora. A variety of sweaters, cardigans, caps and shawls in exquisite designs and brilliant colors would arrest your eyes.

You can also pick up intricately carved cane sticks and multicolored candles in unique designs while shopping in Nainital. Like all hill stations, beautiful wood-carved utilities and objets d'art are also huge hits for shopping in Nainital.

In the fruit market in Nainital, you can buy fresh-from-the-orchard apples, peaches and cherries.

Nainital is also famous for handmade candles, home-made jams, squashes, juice concentrates and fruit preservatives. One can buy all this and more from authentic shops in Bara Bazaar, The Mall Road, Bhotia Bazaar and Mallitaal. One can also buy fresh Cherries, Apples, Strawberries, Mulberries, Peaches and Blueberries. Don’t forget to pick up some beautiful eco-friendly candlesticks and masks for your home décor.

Bara Bazaar: Mallital and Tallital are two busy areas of Nainital. A highly vibrant and happening market, the Bara Bazaar is a very famous area in Mallital and also serves as an excellent landmark. Nainital is very popular for the variety of different beautiful candles available. Do not miss to buy candles and cane sticks from Bara Bazaar. The other traditional buys include scarves, shawls, woodcrafts, cardigans and so on.

The Bara Bazaar in Mallital area also houses a lot of restaurants, which serve good food at reasonably cheaper rates. Once you have shopped enough for the variety of handicrafts and even freshly prepared jams from Bara Bazaar, you can be satisfied about having purchased the specialties of Nainital.

The Mall: The Mall road which runs along the side of the lake, is now known Govind Ballabh Pant Marg. The Mall road is a busy area lined up with shops, restaurants, travel agents, and business concerns such as banks and offices. The Mall road joins the two ends of Nainital, namely, Mallital and Tallital.

The Mall road also hosts two churches namely Methodist Church and Roman Catholic Church of St Francis. The Mall road is open to tourists interested in exploring the area on foot and takes the form of a walking street with the road closed for traffic in the evening hours during the months of May and June.

Tibetan Market: In addition to Bara Bazaar, one can shop extravagantly at the Tibetan Market. The Tibetan Market runs along the famous Naini lake of Nainital. This market is a shopper’s delight, for you can shop for a variety of items under one roof. Scarves, shawls, woolen clothing, Himalayan bags, junk jewellery, watches and much more are available in the Tibetan Market.

If you have never bargained in your life, then this is the right place for you to get a feel of bargaining. For the experts, get your bargaining skills polished. A good bargain can get you a good deal of items.


From small inns to 5-Star hotels, there is a profusion of hotels in Nainital. Equipped with all the necessary amenities, the hotels in Nainital provide you a comfortable as well as a memorable stay.

Deluxe Hotels : Alka "The Lake Side Hotel" (Mall Road), Arif Castles (Mallital), Classic (Mall Road), Balrampur House (Mallital), Swiss Hotel (Mallital), Palace Resort (Mallital), Welcome Resort (Tallital), Manu Maharani (Mallital), Royal Hotel (Mallital) and Shervani Hilltop Inn (Mallital).

Other Hotels : Hotel Krishna (Mall Road), Hotel Shalimar (Mall Road), Hotel Payal (Tallital), Hotel Savoy (Tallital), Radha Continental (Mallital) and Pratap Regency (Mall Road).

Nainital is a picturesque hill station in the state of Uttaranchal. The beauty of this Himalayan retreat is an abiding lure for those who prefer to relax and enjoy their vacation in the tranquil serenity of the mountains.

Since it is a popular tourist destination, there are a large number of hotels in Nainital. Equipped with modern facilities, the hotels in Nainital offer comfortable accommodation.

Although you would not get five star luxuries in the hotels in Nainital, but deluxe accommodation is available here.

Some of the prominent hotels in Nainital are:

The Manu Maharani
Infinity Resorts
Vikram Vintage Inn
Arif Castles

Things to do

Being a hill station, Nainital offers its visitors a large number of trekking options, amidst the scenic beauty of nature. The most popular trails include Nainital Betalghat Trek, Nainital Binayak Trek, Nainital Kainchi Trek, Nainital Kilbury Trek, Nainital Kunjkharak Trek, and Snow View Trek. The trek to Naina Peak is yet another one that is frequented by adventure lovers.

Trekking is the best way to take a tour of Nainital. All adventure enthusiasts and the exercise freaks will agree to the fact that there is nothing to beat a good walk, especially in the aura of Mother Nature. One can arrange a trek to Tiffin’s Top or Dorothy’s Seat, Naina/China Peak amongst the other hill tops present in Nainital.

A trek to the China Peak may take you around one hour depending upon your capacity to cover distances. Customized packages for trekking and camping can be arranged by the tour operators or the hotel travel desk, as per your convenience.

Boating & Yachting
Naini Lake, a natural freshwater lake in Nainital, provides the tourists opportunities of boating and yachting. A lunar-shaped lake, it is one of the four lakes in the Kumaon hills, with the others being Sattal Lake, Bhimtal Lake and Naukuchiyatal Lake. As you go boating and/ or yachting on the lake, the vistas of the three surrounding mountain peaks - Naina Peak, Tiffin Top and Snow View, simply take your breath away.

Wildlife Sighting
Located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, near Ramnagar-Kashipur highway, Jim Corbett National Park offers tourists the perfect opportunity to explore the wild creations of nature. The rich wildlife of the place includes tigers, leopards, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, dhole, jackal, yellow throated marten, Himalayan palm civet, Indian grey mongoose, common otter, porcupine, and black naped hare, elephants, spotted deer, etc.

Nature Walks
When in Nainital, do not miss out on the opportunity of going on nature walks, with your loved ones. As you take a right turn just before Tiffin Top, you will find an excellent trail along the McDonald’s Circular Road. If you are lucky, you might even spot the shy barking deer, plumaged khaleej pheasant and beautiful ‘pyura’ along the way. Other trails that are worth exploring include the one from Tiffin Top to Land’s End and the other from Land’s End to the Stables.

Horse Riding
A visit to Nainital cannot be complete unless and until you get a taste of horse riding, especially in the Mall area. Apart from that, you can also hire a horse or pony for going to Snow View Point, Tiffin Top, and Kilburi, from the Mallital area. Many people love to ride a horse to the Naina Peak as well, enjoying the views of the majestic Himalayas, covered with snow, and Nainital city, on the way.

STD Code
Summer 15-30°C, Winter 0-24°C



Munnar (Malayalam: മൂന്നാര്) is a town located in the Idduki district of India's Kerala state, situated in the south Western Ghats of India, the name Munnar usually refers to the whole tourist area of the Idukki District of which the town forms only a small part.The name Munnar is believed to be derived from the Malayalam/Tamil words Munu (three) and aaru (river), referring to the town's strategic location at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.


In both Malayalam and Tamil, the word ‘Munnar’ means three rivers, as it is merging place of three mountain streams. The Duke of Wellington was the first prominent person to visit Munnar.
Munnar was once the summer capital of the British in southern India. Munnar was developed to cultivate tea plants by British although it was first discovered by Scottish planters. In the early developmental stages only Tamilians worked ther as few Malayalis inhabited in that area Munnar.

But later more and more Malayalis were recruited as employees to work in plantations and bungalows, that were build for estate managers of British origin. They occupied most of the top posts. Some of the bungalows that were build for them is still in good condition and being used.The local people here speak Malayalam, the official language of Kerala and since there are a lot of Tamilians, the second language is Tamil.

Munnar has an ancient history and prehistoric relics that can be dated back to Stone Age civilization. The written history begins only from 10th century. In the early 19th century, the headman of the villages of Anchanad, Kannan Thevar, held lands to the north of the high ranges, which belonged to the local Rajah of Poojar.

According to record history, the first tea sapling was planted by A.H. Sharp at Parvathi, part of the present Sevenmullay estate, consisted of 50 acres of land in the surrounding jungle.

J D Munro, a British lawyer and tea planter leased close to 600 sq. km of land around Munnar, which was then covered with thick jungle, from the Poonjar chief, a subordinate of the Maharaja of Travancore. He then cleared the jungle for Tea plantations. This land was later known as Kannan Devan (Kannan Thevar) Concession Land.

Later in 1895, Messrs Finlay Muir & Company bought Munro’s land and in 1976 Tata-Finlay Ltd. purchased it. Then in 1983 James Finlay Group sold their remaining share holdings and the company became known as Tata Tea Ltd., the largest integrated tea company in the world.


Air: Nearest major airport is Cochin International airport which is about 125 km away. Taxi services are available from airport to Munnar which cost about Rs 3000. Cochin airport is well connected with all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

Rail: Nearest rail head is Angamaly or Alwaye, both are nearly 120 km away from Munnar. Angamaly is an important rail junction in Ernakulam – Trissur route and is well connected to all cities in India. Taxi from Angamali to Munnar costs about a minimum charge of Rs 2500.

Road: Munnar is connected to other cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu by state government public transport buses, but are less frequent. Many tour providers arrange packaged bus tours to Munnar from Cochin. The charges will be about Rs 1000 per head.


Munnar''s greatest buy is, of course, tea. Tea is in fact, probably one of the few things that are really worth buying from Munnar. In Munnar you can also buy luscious strawberries and locally produces spices but nearly all other so-called souvenir items, such as coir or metal ware, are from another part of Kerala.

Munnar is essentially a hill station. Hence, there is hardly any scope for shopping in Munnar as such. In Munnar, shopping areas are limited to just small markets and shops that sell small items as souvenirs. You may not find information on where to shop in Munnar. So the question of what to buy in Munnar doesn't quite have an answer.

Munnar is famous for its tea and spices plantations. So if you want, you can buy different varieties of spices and different varieties of tea. You can get the spices packed in small transparent pouches and take them home. Better still, visit a factory and they will be all the more glad to give you free samples of their spices and tea leaves. Apart from that, you can always shop for small handicrafts and other knick-knacks that are easily available in the roadside shacks. While in Munnar, it is better if you look out for the small items that can be given as souvenirs than hunt for branded stuff that are available all around the world.


Accommodation at Munnar is provided by a range of hotels including expensive hotels and low budget lodges. Some known accommodation providers in Munnar include :

Expensive Hotels and Resorts - Windermere Resort, Mahindra Resorts, Sterling Resorts, Hi-range Club.

Budget hotels and lodges - Issac's Residency, Edassery Eastend Hotel, Holiday Inn, Hill View, Marthoma Rest House.

The hill resort of Munnar attracts tourists who come here to spend a holiday amidst the beauty of Nature- the tea plantations and spice gardens. The hotels in Munnar accentuate the tranquility outside by offering a quiet and comfortable stay. Hotels in Munnar are symbols of elegance and hospitality. You can choose from a range of cuisine- South Indian, North Indian and Continental.

Some of the prominent hotels in Munnar are:
Five Star Hotels in Munnar
Club Mahindra Lakeview Resort
Four Star Hotels in Munnar
Best Western Fort
Three Star Hotels in Munnar
Sterling Day's Inn
Tall Trees
Edassery Eastend
Resorts in Munnar
Abad Copper Castle


Nehru Trophy Boat race

The most popular festival in Munnar is the Nehru Trophy Boat race . It''s a much anticipated festival held in the month of August. The race begins with a colourful procession of decorated boats and floats with people performing on them. The audience enjoys the race from pavilions set up on the banks as well as in the middle of the lake.

Things to do

Rock Climbing and Rappelling: Rock climbing is rightly done as places in and around Munnar is ideal for such activities. Extreme sports lovers can enjoy the rock faces and daring youngsters can enjoy their venture by rock climbing and rappelling.

The invigorating rock climbing sessions is conveniently possible with the assistance of the tourism promoters as they offer details regarding the depth and its dangers. Walking or bicycling setting off for a stroll gives an appetite to explore this unique and serene place amidst the foothills.

More than a venture it is a pleasure to go for rock climbing in the steep hills and aroma of tea.

Idukki District
STD Code
Summer 20-36°C, Winter 16-32°C
Best time to visit
September to May
Famous For
Tea and Coffee gardens, Eravikulam National Park