Tag: Himachal Pradesh

Things to experience during monsoon in Himachal

Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful state situated in northern India. It can be easily and fondly referred to as the Switzerland of India and it is often called ‘Devbhumi’ or ‘the land of Gods’. Himachal Pradesh has the best of nature with its sleepy old towns, some of them painted with colonial colours, sparkling streams, gushing waterfalls, holy temples, artistic monasteries, snow-capped mountain ranges and thick forested valleys and meadows.

Along with the pristine natural beauty combines the unbroken peace and solitude that makes Himachal Pradesh an idyllic tourist destination. The rain-washed fresh beauty and wet, misty air that abounds make Himachal in the monsoon season an absolutely enticing getaway. The mountain ranges and forests of Himachal Pradesh look stunning in monsoon. The streams and rivers getting fed by monsoon waters gurgle down with more furore.

Dramatic Dharamshala

Dharamshala is an enchanting land of Lamas and scintillating monasteries. Dharamshala is internationally acclaimed as Dalai Lama’s residence. It is situated at an altitude of 1,775 metres. Dharamshala is cosily shrouded by a thick curtain of ancient, misty, towering Deodar trees.

Bhagsunag Waterfall / Bhagsu Falls

The sleepy town exudes peace and calmness that sets your soul at peace. The Bhagsunag waterfalls of Dharamshala pumps up and roars down with an extra force and is a pleasure to visit during the monsoons. Visit the greenery of the Namgyal Monastery, Tsuglagkhang Complex of Dalai Lama Temple, Norbulingka, St. John in the Wilderness,  his Holiness the Dalai Lama Temple and the mesmerizing Dal Lake.


Kasol village evening

Kasol is famed as the ‘Little Island of Israel’. It is a captivating place in the Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh and a delight to visit in monsoons with friends and family. This hill paradise is located on the banks of the charming river Parvati and will bewilder you with its serene beauty. Feel the beauty of the village dressed in fresh green and enjoy the Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara, binge on authentic Israeli cuisine, go shopping along the Kasol streets and try the famous rice beer. Stroll along the picturesque banks of River Parvati which swells up in the monsoon season and unwind in the best manner possible.


Nature lover’s haven Shoghi attracts travellers during monsoon with its deep cover of giant pine and oak trees. The beauty of Chadwick Falls in monsoons is mesmerizing. This fall is locally known as Chidku (bird) Jhaar (waterfall) which depicts the height of the waterfall as it is believed that the upmost level can only be reached by a bird.

Situated just 13 kilometres from the capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, Shoghi was once the summer capital of British India. The Kalka-Shimla Heritage Toy Train connects Shoghi very comfortably to the other big cities. And the toy train ride to Shoghi is an experience in itself.


Khajjiar is an extremely relaxing destination of Himachal Pradesh for a vacation during monsoons. Khajjiar’s beauty arises from the majestic mountain ranges and dense deodar forests that surrounds this hill town. So impeccable is its beauty that Khajjiar is often referred to as ‘The Mini Switzerland of India’.

Khajjiar, Himachal

This impeccable town is the home to the famous ancient Khaji Nag Temple established in the 12th century. Khajiar’s exquisite charm is enhanced by the emerald coloured, placid Khajjiar Lake that fills to the brim during monsoons and creates a dreamy haze. The lake blushes with monsoon waters and the reflection of the majestic mountain ranges and forests on the waters adds to the charm. Chamera Lake too contributes to the monsoon glory of Khajjiar.


Drink in the freshness and natural beauty of Mashobra, a lush green expansive meadow at a height of 7700 metres perched on the higher altitudes of Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. Breathe in the crisp and clean mountain air, explore the valley leisurely and visit the Mashobra Reserve Forest Sanctuary which is a bird watcher’s haven and enjoy wildlife.

Try to locate chikor or the partridge hiding behind monsoon greenery and discover the magic of this fairyland. Taste the jams, squashes and pickles infused with the local flavours of Mashobra and have a fun filled monsoon vacation.


Shimla, the regal capital of Himachal Pradesh, exhibits a rich colonial history and culture. It is justly called the Queen of Hills and possesses a majesty mixed with old-world charm. Monsoon vacation in Shimla translates to discovering the sweet aromas and flavours of Himachal dishes, shopping at the bustling streets of Shimla malls and bazaars, taking in the breath-taking view of nature and its splendour and carving out a dream vacation in monsoons.

Christ church - Shimla Image by Jeevan Singla from Pixabay

Step out to explore the famous Christ Church, gorge on best of classy food at the jazzy restaurants and cafes. The steaming hot coffees and yummy snacks to go with it will make monsoon delightful in Shimla with a perfect view of the snow-capped Himalayas and the surrounding greenery.


Mcleodganj is an enchanting place to visit in Himachal during the monsoon season. This mountain paradise known as ‘Little Lhasa’ or ‘Dhasa’ has a large bunch of Tibetan population and contains some of the best monasteries in India. Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglagkhang are worth visiting to enjoy the solitude of the mountains. Mcleodganj has some of the best street side cafes and relish the local food to enjoy a grand monsoon vacation. Visit the Masroor Temple, the swollen Bhagsu Falls, picturesque Nechung Monastery, Guna Devi Temple and the St. John’s Church. Vipassana Meditation Centre will offer you the eternal solitude and peace. Also visit the Pong Dam Lake or the Maharana Pratap Sagar artificial lake and feel the allure of the mountains.

Monsoon visit to Himachal amply brings out the mountain mysticism.  Plan a remarkable monsoon vacation to the hills if you haven’t yet. The monsoon magic of Himalayas with the carpet of towering deodar trees and the enchantment of lakes and waterfalls, view of the serene mountain ranges and the holiness of the famous temples and monasteries lend an extra dimension to holidaying in Himachal.

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Best restaurants in Himachal Pradesh for Indulging in the True Local Flavours

Those phantasmal snow-capped peaks, the mesmerising green forested meadows, the fluffy clouds joining the mist from the hills, the scent of pine, fir and deodar, the crickets and birds chirping to break the silence of nature — if you are eager to experience this magic of nature then Himachal is the place to be.

The plethora of activities such as skiing, camping, paragliding, zorbing and various other adventure sports. One major attraction of visiting Himachal would be to taste the delicious earthy flavours of the state. Himachal Pradesh has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers. The gastronomic local delicacies are served in all popular restaurants.

Most of the restaurants serve a delicious blend of local ingredients and exotic flavours. The dishes are prepared with nouveau culinary techniques mixing the aroma of a rich blend of local spices. The most popular restaurants in Himachal Pradesh use fresh organic ingredients availed from local production.

There are picturesque mountain restaurants that give you an opportunity to soak up the legendary scenic beauty while you titillate your taste buds with rumbustious culinary delights of the wilderness from the land of lofty Himalayas. Set foot in Himachal prepared to get floored with food that really touches your soul!

Evergreen Restaurant, Kasole

Evergreen restaurant, Kasole, Himachal Pradesh

Evergreen Restaurant located in Kunihar, Kasole, Parvati Valley is famous for the amazing view that it offers along with food. It serves delicious Chinese and continental spreads. Located in a small hill town, this restaurant makes you feel relaxed with soothing food mixed with calm scenery all around. This restaurant is rated in the top 10 restaurants in Kasole.

Renaissance, Manali

Renaissance,Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Renaissance Manali presents a homely, warm and relaxed atmosphere. This restaurant is famous for customising your orders based on your preferences. It commands alluring views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Enjoy a range of Mexican and Italian specialities along with authentic Himachali food. Try their chicken hot and sour soup and hot chocolate among hot beverages in a cool chilled out ambience. This restaurant is located in Old Manali Road, Near Manu Temple.

Café Simla Times, Shimla

Café Simla Times gives you the opportunity to grab a book with the best cup of coffee in Shimla. It is one of the oldest coffee shops in Shimla. The interiors of the café is fascinating with handwritten posters and pamphlets pasted on the walls.

Cafe Simla Times, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

A cosy café with a bar to sit with your beer and watch the mesmerising sunset across the hills while you listen to some jazzy live music. Try out the best of Café Simla such as wood fired oven pizzas, shakes, and desserts and enjoy the live local bands performing over the weekends.

Goofa Ashiana, Shimla

Goofa Ashiana, located at the Ridge, The Mall at Shimla serves delectable Asian and Indian meals. The combination of cosy ambience with a picturesque setting along with delicious fast food offerings makes it a very popular eating place for guests.

Goofa Ashiana, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

The mouth-watering menu of Goofa Ashiana includes authentic Chinese and North Indian cuisines. You can even get some hot Gulab Jamuns, samosas, sandwiches, pakodas, cakes and patties. It is a landmark building in Shimla because of its gazebo-like shape. This place makes for a good early family dinner or maybe a sumptuous breakfast.

Cecil Restaurant, Shimla

The British reminiscent of aura and glamour, Cecil Restaurant, is among Shimla’s elite corners. This all-day dining out restaurant in Longwood Shimla still breathes the fashionable royalty that it was once. The food spread includes international, pan-Indian along with palatable local Himachali dishes. Get mesmerized by the stunning views and the combinations of pizzas, pastas, non-veg spreads, soups and appetizers.

Cecil restaurant, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Having an English style High Tea under the vast skylight in Cecil’s signature atrium lounge or some freshly brewed coffees, or maybe some premium alcoholic drinks along with a wide menu of a variety of snacks. Professional service and good food make this place coveted. Try Mexican, Chinese, Continental or Thai — you will be impressed and left speechless. The colonial elegance with the exotic curries and soups makes Cecil a must visit restaurant.

La Plage, Manali

The immensely popular restaurant La Plage in Manali has a Chic and sophisticated interior with wooden furniture and large windows that allow a lot of sunshine. Gorge on the authentic French cuisine sitting amidst brightly coloured interiors.

La Plage, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

This spacious eatery looks inviting and is known for its range of delightful French cuisines. The dishes prepared along the lines of authentic recipes with a blend of  genuine spices exudes the real robust French flavours. If you are the exploring type and in love with what’s new in food, do try this place. The chef will walk you through the menu and help you choose what is best. And the best will not cease to surprise you.

Deyzor Hotel Restaurant, Kaza

Deyzor Hotel Restaurant is a charming eating place in Kaza and is the best in Kaza. The friendly, polite and professional staff serves some amazing dishes. The restaurant has a warm, colourful, cosy and inviting décor. The restaurant gets even more interesting with the quirky and inspiring quotes, facts and trivia pasted all across the restaurant. Expect some fresh food cooked with love and care.

Deyzor hotel, Kaza, Himachal Pradesh

This place serves delightful Indian as well as continental fares. The desserts are to die for. Taste some apple pie to believe it. There is Simba the St. Bernard to win you over in case you are a pet lover. The restaurant follows environment friendly policies and bans the use of single-use plastic. Have a tete-a-tete with Skalzang, the owner, to get to know some of his archery feats.

Other Restaurants to Try in Himachal

Also try out the Moonpeak of McLeodganj, Dharamshala around Dalai Lama’s temple path; Himalayan Café of Kaza, for a serene look at the lake; Lazy Dog Lounge of Manali for its surrounding greenery; and Rasta Café in the Kullu Valley for authentic recipes prepared with organically sourced ingredients.

You may like to read An inspiring and rejuvenating experience – Best Places of Interest

An inspiring and rejuvenating experience 2

I am continuing with my earlier post on an inspiring and rejuvenating experience. Here are a few videos which will give you more information about Bir and Deer Park Institute in Himachal Pradesh.

An inspiring and rejuvenating experience

Bir, Himachal Pradesh
Pathankot Cantt. Station

Pathankot Cantonment station at Punjab is where you alight. You then take a cab or minibus to reach Bir which is in Himachal Pradesh.


On the way, you will find streams, which will leave you spellbound.

Bir, located in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful town renowned for meditation studies and ecotourism. One can wade through tea gardens into the forests and mountains in the north. The inhabitants are friendly, relaxed Indians and Tibetan (Khampa) community. Bir Tibetan Colony came into existence around 1960, following the exile of Dalai Lama and other refugees. There are many Tibetan monasteries, center of handicrafts, Children’s Village school, Medical clinic and Deer Park Institute.

Deer Park Institute Monastery

Deer Park Institute Monastery

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche founded Deer Park Institute which is a centre for the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions. Rinpoche is a term used to honour or shows respect to the ‘precious one’-older, respected, spiritual teacher.

A centre for study of classical Indian wisdom traditions
Breath-taking view of surroundings

Breath-taking view of the surroundings.

Deer Park institute, Bir, Himachal Pradesh

Inside the premises of Deer Park institute, Bir

Buddha hall inside the monastery

Within the monastery or Buddha Hall, in the presence of Buddha, it is peaceful for meditation. Meditation in the broader sense will include techniques for relaxation, building up internal energy and empathy, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. Meditation has been practiced since ages in religious traditions and beliefs. It has health benefits too, easing blood pressure, depression and anxiety. It can be done in many ways, from sitting in the way Buddhist monks sit, to chanting mantras with prayer beads and closed eyes. It has a calming effect which creates inward awareness.

Roses in Deer Park institute

Roses in Deer Park Institute

a panaromic view of Deer Park institute and monastery

A panoramic view of Deer Park Institute and monastery

music concert at Deer Park institute

Inside Deer Park institute, you can see an Indian classical performance which stays true to what the centre’s aim is the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions. Not very far from this place is Billing.

The path leading to Billing, a Para glider's paradise.

The path leading to Billing, a Paraglider’s paradise.

Bir Paragliding competition

An international Paragliding competition held by Paragliding World Cup Association from 24-30 October.

Billing from where paraglider's take-off.

Billing from where the paraglider’s would take-off. The launch point is approximately 2400 meters in the meadow on the top of a ridge at Billing and the landing area is in the fields near the tea garden of the Tibetan Colony in Chowgan.

a paraglider flying over the valley.

A paraglider, flying over the valley. It is among the top ten flying sites in the world. It is best to fly in good weather with strong thermals and no rain. You need to keep a watch on the clouds while flying. While nearing landing, need to watch out for power lines as it becomes difficult to see from a distance.

Lama's in Bir

Lama’s- Although, the term ‘Lama’, is used for a spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism but is now extended to respected monk or priest.

Chauntra monastery– Dzongasar Khyentse Rinpoche institute at Chauntra is a renowned educational institution. The institution is situated in Chauntra Town of Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Chauntra monastery

The first view as you enter this monastery.

Beautiful paintings at the monastery
Beautiful paintings at the monastery

Beautiful paintings at the monastery- They are colourful and different.

Buddhist monks in training at the Chauntra monastery.

Buddhist monks in training at the Chauntra monastery – The student body comprises of more than 500 monks from various locales and monasteries. The students have a complete theoretical education in Buddhist philosophy. The institute produces highly qualified professionals with primary language being Tibetan. This institute also runs an exhaustive English language program for level 10 students who can then travel and teach across physical and cultural boundaries.

Truly, it has been an inspiring and rejuvenating experience with the environment, climate, people and their place of worship, giving peace and tranquillity.

Continued….. Part -2

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