About Himachal Pradesh
Tourism in Himachal Pradesh is a major contributor to the state's economy and growth. The mountainous state with its Himalayan landscapes attracts tourists from all over the world. Hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Chamba, Dharamshala and Kullu are popular destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists. The state has many important pilgrimage centres with prominent Hindu temples like Naina Devi Temple, Vajreshwari Devi Temple, Jwala Ji Temple, Chintpurni, Chamunda Devi Temple, Baijnath Temple, Bhimakali Temple, Bijli Mahadev, Manu Temple at Shenshar in Kullu district, Renuka Lake and Jakhoo Temple. The state is also referred to as "Dev Bhoomi" (literally meaning Abode of Gods) due to its mention in ancient holy texts and occurrence of large number of historical temples in the state.
It is also called the Land of the Gods on account of the Hindu belief that deities like Lord Shiva considered the Himalayas their home, and much of the state is located among the Himalayan mountains. Although modern pop-literature writers online have often also referred to Uttarakhand as the land of the gods because it also contains Himalayan mountains, officially it is Himachal Pradesh that has been considered the land of the gods since before the state of Uttarakhand existed (UK as it is abbreviated on license plates for automobiles in the state, and the state was founded in the year 2000.). A tourism department board on the road when entering Himachal Pradesh from the state of Punjab states "Welcome to the Land of the Gods."
The state is also known for its adventure tourism activities like ice skating in Shimla, paragliding in Bir-billing and Solang valley, rafting in Kullu, skiing in Manali boating in Bilaspur and trekking, horse riding and fishing in different parts in the state. Spiti Valley in Lahaul & Spiti District situated at an altitude of over 3000 metres with its picturesque landscapes is an important destination for adventure seekers. The region also has some of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries in Asia.
The state is also a destination for film shooting. Movies like Roja, Henna, Jab We Met, Veer-Zaara, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Highway have been filmed in Himachal Pradesh.
Himachal hosted the first Paragliding World Cup in India from 24 October to 31 October in 2015.Venue for paragliding world cup was Bir Billing, which is 70 km from the tourist town Macleod ganj, located in the heart of Himachal in Kangra District. Bir Billing is the centre for aero sports in Himachal and considered as best for paragliding. Buddhist monasteries, trekking to tribal villages, mountain biking are other activities to do here.
Himachal has three domestic airports in Kangra, Kullu and Shimla districts. The air routes connect the state with Delhi and Chandigarh.
- Bhuntar Airport is in Kullu district, around 10 kilometres (6 mi) from district headquarters.
- Gaggal Airport is in Kangra district, around 15 kilometres (9 mi) from district headquarters at Dharamshala, which is around 10 kilometres from Kangra
- Shimla Airport is around 21 kilometres (13 mi) west of the city.
Himachal is known for its narrow-gauge railways. One is the Kalka-Shimla Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and another is the Pathankot-Jogindernagar line. The total length of these two tracks is 259 kilometres (161 mi). The Kalka-Shimla Railway passes through many tunnels, while the Pathankot–Jogindernagar meanders through a maze of hills and valleys. It also has broad-gauge railway track, which connects Amb (Una district) to Delhi. A survey is being conducted to extend this railway line to Kangra (via Nadaun). Other proposed railways in the state are Baddi-Bilaspur, Dharamsala-Palampur and Bilaspur-Manali-Leh.
Roads are the major mode of transport in the hilly terrains. The state has road network of 28,208 kilometres (17,528 mi),including eight National Highways (NH) that constitute 1,234 kilometres (767 mi) and 19 State Highways with a total length of 1,625 kilometres (1,010 mi). Some roads get closed during winter and monsoon seasons due to snow and landslides. Hamirpur has the highest road density in the country.