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A 1960s city with a UNESCO World Heritage Site complex of buildings designed by the famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier, Chandigarh, capital of both of the northern Indian states of Punjab and Harayana, is a gateway to the western Himalayas. Exciting mountain getaways are just a few hours away, whether you are escaping the summer heat, looking for some monsoon mist or planning to enjoy a snowy winter weekend. Here are some top recommendations that make for an unforgettable journey.
Get a dose of Tibetan culture at India’s own "Little Lhasa," a pleasant 250-kilometer drive north from Chandigarh, Mcleodganj is in the shadow of the majestic snow-capped Dhauladhar peak and its vibrant Tibetan neighborhoods are the main attraction. Dig into some wholesome mountain cuisine and visit the quintessential Tibetan monasteries that dot the landscape. There are many activities for nature lovers too – the trek to Triund Hill rewards you with magnificent views and the Anglican St. John’s church is a quaint gothic structure in the midst of a forest.
A hiking heaven in neighboring Himachal Pradesh, Chail is also home to the world’s highest cricket ground and the beautiful Chail Palace. In Chail, you can enjoy exploring the evergreen alpine forest landscapes or catch magnificent views of the surrounding valleys from the many vantage points of the town.
Enjoy the magnificent and expansive views of this terrain at the golf course and go on a short horse riding trip. Wildlife enthusiasts would love to spend time in Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, home to species like leopards and the red jungle fowl.
In the "Yoga capital of the world," you can spend some serene hours practicing the discipline of meditation at one of the many yoga centers. If you are a nature lover, then Rishikesh also provides some of the best trekking trails in the country. The town is one of the major hubs of adventure tourism in India and a trip here with a group of friends is a perfect break from your regular routine. Kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing and zip lining are some of the popular activities here. It is also famous for its rapids, where you can try out different levels of white water rafting. Find an Innova taxi in Chandigarh if you are traveling in a group and enjoy a most comfortable ride.
Surrounded by pristine alpine forests and green meadows, Khajjiar is a postcard-perfect destination that has enamored visitors for generations. A lake in the center of the small town is one of the main attractions. Situated at 1,900 meters above sea level, Khajjiar has mild summers and its multiple trekking routes make it an ideal place for nature excursions. Find a Chandigarh outstation taxi and enjoy a trip to this mini Switzerland, located just 320 km north, in Himachal Pradesh.
Spread across 5 hills and surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Dalhousie is a hill station famous for its colonial structures and alpine setting. The Victorian mansions of the town offer a glimpse into the history of the region, a haunt for summer-weary British officers.
Dalhousie is also a great base for treks and excursions, some of the famous natural landmarks here include the Satdhara Falls and the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. Dalhousie is also the main town of Chamba district, offering travelers a vignette into the unique culture of the region, including famous handicrafts and ancient temples.
With Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand just across the border, Chandigarh offers many getaways. A drive to the hill stations is a pleasant experience as the plains give way to winding turns and cool winds. Plan your road trip with friends or make a solo journey.
Get a car on rent in Chandigarh and enjoy the drives as you climb into the breathtaking Himalayas and soak in the mesmerizing views.