Himachal Pradesh - Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting

Himachal Pradesh - Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting
Author : Admin
Date : 14 Feb 2023

If you are a lover of adventure and nature, Himachal Pradesh is the perfect place for spending a vacation. This north-Indian state is far from the hustle and bustle of the cities, which makes it ideal for a relaxing and refreshing tour. And stay warned, the deep river valleys, snow-capped mountains, and lush green forests will make you want to extend your stay. But before you plan the itinerary and pack for visiting the state, there are some things we would like you to know. Keep reading to find out what these are.

1. Check if you need any official permits. 

If you are a foreign national, you may be required to obtain a permit for visiting some regions in the state. For instance, visiting Spiti Valley requires foreigners to acquire a Protected Area Permit or PAP due to the place’s proximity to the Indo-China border. The same can be obtained from Rekong Peo, Kaza, Rampur, Kullu, Manali, and Shimla. 

Submit your detailed travel itinerary, three passport-sized photographs, and a copy of your passport and you’re all set. The pass is valid for 14 days and in case your stay exceeds 2 weeks, you will be required to obtain a new pass again. 

2. Locals are your tour guides.

If you do not have a guide along with you, then locals are best for obtaining guidance. First of all, they are aware of all the local routes and famous places. And secondly, they can even tell you when to avoid a visit, such as in case of a landslide or road blockage. 

What’s more, the locals in Himachal Pradesh are friendly and warm so they will provide you with proper guidance. Besides, interacting with them will also help you gain insight into their local tradition and culture. 

3. There’s more to Himachal Pradesh than just Manali and Shimla.

The most crowded tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh are Manali and Shimla because of their popularity. This is why even you may believe that they are all that the state has got to offer. However, there’s more to it. You can go to remote areas and perform several activities. For instance, eat delicious apples from Kalpa orchards, take a stroll on Pragpur’s cobblestone streets, and try trout fishing in Gushaini. 

4. Take necessary precautions for your own safety. 

Regardless of how much you may want to jump into the river or take photographs up close, do not do so. The water currents in the rivers of this state are highly strong. Thus, we advise against stepping into the river or standing on the edge of a cliff since it can be very dangerous. 

5. Pack your items keeping everything in mind. 

When traveling to Himachal Pradesh, you must consider several things while packing your luggage. First and foremost, if you intend to go trekking and camping, try keeping your luggage as light as possible. This is because at higher altitudes you will feel shortness of breath and carrying heavy bags will worsen it. Also, carry a pair of trekking shoes, energy bars/chocolates, mosquito repellant, a torch, a lighter, necessary documents, and woolen clothes. Carrying a sleeping bag or tent is optional. 

We also recommend you carry a medicine box, which includes band-aids, a thermometer, and necessary medicines. If you are going to travel to offbeat places, you are highly unlikely to find these items. And finally, carry a foldable umbrella or a raincoat, especially if you are visiting during monsoon. In fact, places like Kullu and Shimla experience unpredictable rains. Thus, you should also carry a waterproof bag to ensure your documents and electronic gadgets remain safe. 

Finally, check the weather conditions and forecast while packing. The winters here are extreme, which is why you should carry heavy woolen clothes and a pair of gloves. And if you are traveling during summer, pack accordingly.

6. Save emergency contact numbers.

Always save emergency contact numbers on your phone beforehand. We recommend you also keep a diary with these and your family members’ contact details handy. There is a chance that you do not get to charge your mobile phone during your stay in a remote area and even your portable charger runs out of battery. Given below are some emergency contact numbers you should have:

  • Ambulance: 102

  • Police station: 100

  • Medical services/fire station: 108

  • District control room: 1077

Further, the contact number of tourist information offices of some popular cities are listed below.

  • Dalhousie: 01899-242136

  • Dharamshala: 01892-224212

  • Kullu: 01902-222349

  • Manali: 01902-253531

  • Shimla: 0177-2652561, 0177-2658302

7. Check hotel reviews.

The rising tourism of Himachal Pradesh has resulted in the opening of numerous hotels across the state. And when you book hotels for your vacation, the pictures may be so overwhelming that you will want to book your stay. However, since these photographs do not illustrate the actual experience, it’s best to check hotel reviews of guests who have stayed here earlier. 

Look for ratings and hotel amenities prior to booking. In particular, look for reviews that talk about the quality of service, staff behavior, cleanliness, food quality, room size, and assistance. This will help you avoid any inconvenience. 

8. Carry identity proofs.

You need to show government-issued identity proofs at the resort or hotel at the time of check-in. Thus, carry your ID for the same. As a matter of fact, you might even be required to show the same at the time of acquiring permits, if any. Hence, we advise you to carry the ID cards at all times with you. Alternatively, you can also keep a digital copy of the documents on your mobile phone. This will help prevent any possibility of losing the original documents.  

Final Word

Traveling to Himachal Pradesh will be full of adventure and excitement. From walking on trails to experiencing bumpy rides, everything is going to be fun. But to make sure that you have a safe and smooth trip, keep the things mentioned in this blog in your mind. If you do so, everything will be hassle-free.


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