One of the reasons why Shimla is still the place to spend romantic getaways even today is the colonial charm in a hilly landscape. While it is a popular destination, you have a choice of less-known destinations around Shimla if you want to explore more of the mountain areas around.
These are places that resonate with Shimla but are relatively offbeat and perfect for a break with your significant others with amazing landscapes and activities that add to the experience.
Here are our selections of the Best Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh with friends including Shimla to visit.
Kasauli is a peaceful little settlement in the Ramayana mountain. During the British Raj, it also served as the canton. Kasauli is a lovely hilly town a short drive from Shimla and offers wonderful views of the snow-capped Himalayas. In the architecture and infrastructure of Kasauli, the colonial influences are visible.
The charm of the old world here makes a romantic getaway for you. Kasauli has a lot to offer from activities such as walking, hiking, and sightseeing to churches and historic buildings. Besides, there are quaint coffee houses and a 200-year-old brasserie, perfect for a relaxing vacation!
This hidden hill station is in the Shivalik region of the Himalayas. Chail has located 60 km from the town, one of the most romantic spots in the area of Shimla to visit. Chail overlooks the Sutlej Valley with a splendid view of the snow-capped mountains, magnificent orchards, and dense forests.
Rajgarh, Pandewa, and Sadh Tiba are a conglomerate of three hills. The village is like a characteristic foreign landscape. It had been built by the former ruler of Patiala when he and his daughter a senior British officer on the hill were banned from Shimla. This place, like any other Himalayan hill town, offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, or fishing on the Giri River. The Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is another remarkable attraction for nature lovers.
This small paradise is on earth a short drive from the main town of Shimla. Naldehra is basically Shimla’s extension. The city looks like it’s materialized from a novel from the Ruskin Bond, blanketed by the thick green cover and Himalayan Deodars.
It is known best for the pristine golf course launched by the former Viceroy of British India, Lord Curzon. It has now grown into an 18-hole course that provides stunning views of the hilly countryside. It is first planned as a nine-hole golf course. In Naldehra, you can also try whitewater and horse riding in addition to the usual activities.
Kufri was also established during the British Raj, much like Shimla and Kasauli, and was founded in 1819. Nonetheless, Kufri is considerably smaller and not as extensive in infrastructure but one of the best places to visit in the area of Shimla. It is 20 km away, offering a peaceful break away to you and your partner, away from Shimla’s crowd of tourists.
This mini-hill resort has its own zoo, apart from its well-known for skiing and horse rides. There are over 180 fauna varieties and 215 flora varieties also in Himalayan National Park within walking distance. Drive here for the winter festival in February. Right in time. In addition to skiing, you can also enroll in the soft snow for other activities such as sliding or karting.
This scenic place is often referred to as India’s “city of mushrooms.” Besides the mushrooms, the moniker from ‘Cities of Red Gold,’ Solan is also famous for the plump red tomatoes. It is situated between Karol and Maitul peaks as District Headquarters.
According to Hindu mythology, the latter’s grottoes are where Pandavas have supposedly been exiled. Besides, Solan’s Dagshai village has historic importance. This was the location of the Irish mutiny during the British Raj in 1920. The town also has an industrial aspect and is home to some of the oldest breweries worth visiting. Explore with your partner the picturesque city.
Also, Read long-term travel accommodation tips for travelers
And last but not least, a hill station that is popular with Shimla. Manali has bakeries, cafés, and outdoor activities for you, one of the most romantic places to visit near Shimla. Manali is the place to be for the adventurous couple on vacation. The many different options are available, ranging from treks, climbing rocks and mountain biking, paragliding, rafting, and skiing. Old Manali’s unsettled rural atmosphere is nearly worth a visit.
Manali – straight into the laps of Nature
All about Manali
Hidden in the upper Himalayan hills, Manali—also referred to as the “valley of the gods”—is a popular tourist destination for adventure seekers. The town is a lovely place to spend some time away from the bustle of the metropolis and has something to offer every kind of traveler. The town is situated 270 kilometers from Shimla, the state capital, and 544 kilometers from Delhi, the Indian capital.
The Vedic era can be found throughout Manali’s history. The name of the town is derived from Manu, the ideal male figure in Hindu mythology. The names Manu and Alaya, which roughly translates to “Manu’s house,” are the forebears of the name Manali.
Manu is credited with bringing human life back to life following the devastating flood. There is still an ancient temple in this area dedicated to Manu. The Kullu Valley, where Manali is situated, is also known as the Valley of the Gods due to its association with mythological tales of ancient Hindu gods and goddesses, evidence of which can be seen in its temples and shrines.
Adventures in Manali
Trekking is one of the top things to do in Manali and a great way to explore the slopes and valleys of the Himalayan Alps. The town serves as the starting point for some of the most amazing treks, such as the Beas Kund Trek, Chandrakhani Trek, Hampta Pass Trek, and Deo Tibba Trek, Kheerganga Trek, and a number of lesser treks in Parvati Valley.
Camping in this town is among the most beautiful experiences. In pine forests, alpine meadows, lakeshores, or at the base of snow-capped mountains, you can pitch a tent. The Beas River, Tirthan Valley, Solang Valley, Bhuntar, Sarai, and Kothi village are a few of the most stunning places to camp.
Trek along Rohtang Pass
A fabled mountain pass that offers breath-taking views of the snow-covered peaks and slopes of the Pir Panjal Range connects the Kullu Valley to the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys.
Solang Valley Adventure Sports
The Solang Valley, 12 KM north of the town, is the best place to do mountain climbing. Depending on the season, you can do skiing, paragliding, snowboarding, zorbing, cable car rides, and snow sledding.
Take a yak around the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mountain bike enthusiasts should visit the Rohtang Pass and the Solang Ski Pass.
Examine river rafting on the Beas River.
Quirky Activities to do in Manali
- The serene setting of Pandava King Arjun’s Cave is ideal for meditation.
- Visit Gulaba Village to take in the valley’s lovely vegetation.
- Take a stroll along the Beas River to the cafes.
- Visit Vashist Hot Springs.
Religious Activities in Manali
- Take a sulfur bath at the Manikaran Gurudwara.
- Visit some of Tibet’s monasteries.
- Visit Lord Shiva Temple in Gauri Shankar.
- Visit Manali Gompa to observe Buddhist structures.
Night Live in Manali
- Take a stroll through the streets at night and try cafe or pub hopping. A strange and vibrant mosaic of cultures is created by the town’s mix of people and visitors. You might also take a stroll around ethnic bazaars and flea markets to hunt for mementos, keepsakes, and other things to bring back.
- Shop until you drop at Manu Market.
- Manali Mall Road is a good place to wander.
Tourist attractions in Manali
The temple, which is located inside a pine forest and was built in the fourteenth century in honor of the local goddess Hadimba who also plays a significant role in the Mahabharata, is dedicated to her. The temple frequently hosts community festivals to honor her.
The local Buddhist temples, which showcase the influence of Tibet on local culture, are some of the most well-liked tourist attractions in the region. The most recognizable and well-known of them all is the Manali Gompa. To complete your monastery tour, you can also go to Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa and the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa.
Vashist Temple and Hotsprings
The significance of this location to both religion and ecology draws tourists. The temple is a famous historical site with a hot spring. People travel there to heal diseases and problems because the glacial mineral-rich spring water is cherished and regarded to have therapeutic value.
It is a stunning natural park surrounded by tall alpine trees and rich vegetation in the heart of the city. Visitors can rent boats on a modest artificial lake that is encircled by cedar and pine trees.
Hotels, Hostels, and Resorts in Manali
Luxury mountain resorts, budget hotels, hostels, and cozy cottages are just a few of the lodging choices available here. In Old Manali, there are numerous places to stay, however, staying outside the town limits would provide you with a more serene and beautiful experience.
There are many affordable hostels in Manali that is close to the main market if that’s what you’re searching for.
Manali is without a doubt worth visiting, not just once, but multiple times. The allure of this magnificent hill station in North India will surprise you. If you enjoy being in nature, you won’t want to go anywhere else.