Own a Dream Vacation Home in Himachal Pradesh – Part II
After a successful of the demand survey conducted for owning property in 15 cities, Himachal Pradesh Urban Development and Industrial Authority (HIMUDA) is conducting second round for smaller towns in the state. HIMUDA has received 45,000 application forms for all the cities combined and currently, the authority is in the process of sorting them city wise. The authority has already acquired land in these places. In view of that, the authority is now assessing demand in 40 more cities across 10 districts in Himachal Pradesh. Kinnaur, Lahul and Spiti have not been included this time.
The terms and condition of the application forms for plots, flats or houses is same as before and the last date of submission is April 30, 2011. The authority has indicated that this would be the last demand survey for these cities. We at The Other Home, bring to you the USP of each towns for investors to explore the potential investment options.
Shimla, a summer capital of British Raj, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. It is a popular tourist destination and referred to as the “Queen of Hills”. It is situated at an average altitude of 2,205 meters (7,234 ft), surrounded by forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak.
Theog is a town in Shimla district, only 32 km away from the capital. About 7000 people reside here and their e main occupation is growing vegetables and fruits. Not many people are aware that Theog is the top producer of vegetables in Asia. Think about small and cozy houses, windows with amazing views of the Himalayas and fireplaces at chilly nights and Theog is the place to be.
Kumarsain is another beautiful and peaceful place in Shimla. The town is situated 80 km from the state capital, 34 km from Theog and 16 km from Narkanda.
Solan is a district headquarter, located 50 km south of Shimla. It is known as the “Mushroom city of India” because of vast mushroom farming locally. The Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge heritage railway line and National Highway (NH) 22 pass through Solan. Solan is also known as the industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh. The famous temples of Shoolini Devi, Lord Shiva and Buddhist Monastery (18 km) are important tourist attractions.
Nalagarh is an emerging town for industries as it hosts production units for leather, steel, chemicals, thread mills and breweries. Nalagarh is the gateway to Himachal Pradesh in North India, 300 km of north Delhi and 60 km from Chandigarh.
Baddi is an industrial town in Solan district and part of an industrial corridor stretching from Barotiwala to Nalagarh along the western border of Solan district. More than half of India’s pharmaceutical production, mainly formulations, would originate from Himachal Pradesh in few years as 200 odd medium and large-scale units are coming up in and around Baddi. The major attractions for investors included 100 % outright excise duty exemption for a period of ten years from the date of commencement of commercial production (the past budget stipulated it to industries starting on or before 31st March 2007), 100 per cent income tax exemption for an initial period of five years and thereafter 30 per cent for companies for a further period of five years, capital investment subsidy of 15 per cent on plant and machinery subject to a ceiling of Rs 30 lakhs, applicable also to existing units.
Kasauli is a cantonment town located 77 km from Shimla, 65 km from Chandigarh and 50 km from Panchkula and is situated at a height of 1,800 meters.
Kandaghat is a small town on NH 22 in Solan District. The famous tourist destination of Chail is at a distance of 29 km. The town is situated at an altitude of meters 1,422 meters (4,667 ft) above sea level. Kandaghat is presently undergoing a green revolution under a Himachal Government agricultural project. The agro-climactic condition of the town is congenial for the production of off-season vegetables and seeds for temperate vegetables.
Sirmaur is known worldwide for the tourism triangle of 3 towns namely Nahan, Renuka and Paonta Sahib. The district headquarter of Sirmour is Nahan. It is largely mountainous and rural, with 90% of its population living in villages. Agriculture is the backbone of economy here. Sirmaur is known for growing tons of fruits every year.
Sarahan is the gateway of Kinnaur, located 564 km from Delhi and 174 km from Shimla. The road to Sarahan winds past flowering Pine trees that give way to stately Oaks. It is a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers and the Bhimkali temple complex attracts a variety of admirers.
Rajgarh is a lush green valley in Sirmaur district, located about 40 km from Solan. There are many tourist spots and trek routes such as Sailpaw-Dokhta-Churdhar (7 km), Haripurdhar-Churdhar (17 km), Nohradhar-Churdhar (14 km), Sarahan-Churdhar (7 km) and Habban-Churdhar (15 km).
Paonta Sahib is a town founded by the tenth sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh on the banks of Yamuna. The approach road passes through Sataun and follows Giri River (a tributary of Yamuna) along beautiful scenery. One of the most important holy places of Sikhs, this is also a bustling township with growing industries.
Renuka lake is situated at a height of 672 meters, 60 km from Paonta Sahib via Sataun and 38 km from Nahan via Dadahu. With a circumference of 3,214 meters, Renukaji is the largest natural lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this is regarded as the embodiment of the goddess Renuka. There is another lake nearby associated to the legend surrounding her son, Sage Parshurama. Both have temples built around them, dating back to the 18th century. The lake is full of colourful fish and other aquatic life forms. The lake is surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary and a few other temples. Boating and trekking are the additional attractions here. This placid stretch of water is fed by underground springs and the surrounding hills are padded by lush forests that support a large variety of plant and animal life. Other attractions include Jamu Peak (8 km), Mini Zoo (2 km), Lion Safari (2 km), and Jataun Dam (5 km)
Shillai is a small town situated in the Sirmaur district on the south east facing hill called Dhar Shillai at an average elevation of 2,000 meters. The climate is temperate; the maximum temperature in summer ranges from 24°C to 28°C, but winters are very cold. Shillai is connected by State Highway No. 1 (now National Highway) with Poanta Sahib and Rohru. The nearest railway station and airport is in Dehradun and Chandigarh respectively. Shillai is famous for producing good varieties of ginger.
Mandi is a historic town situated on the banks of Beas river. Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving, it is often called the ‘Varanasi of the Hills’. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of ‘colonial’ architecture. The temples of Bhutnath, Trilokinath, Panchvaktra and Shyamakali are among the more famous ones. The week long international Shivratri fair in Mandi is the major annual attraction. In 2011, the fair was held from 3rd-9th March.
Pandoh houses the reservoir of the dam that diverts the water from River Beas to River Satlej. Located 15.1 km from Mandi and 32.7 km from Kulu, Pandoh is a quiet hilly nook.
Joginder Nagar is terminal point of 163 km long Kangra Valley Narrow gauge railway track. It is the only town in Asia to have 3 hydro-electric power stations, and hence it is popularly known as The Electric City or The City of Powerhouses. The narrow-gauge railway from Pathankot to Joginder Nagar has been nominated for inclusion in UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. Barot, 40 km from Jogindernagar via Ghatasani is a trout breeding centre, ideal for angling.
Sunder Nagar is a beautiful town, 26 km from Mandi towards Shimla, at a height of 1,174 meters. The biggest hydro-electric project in all Asia, the Beas-Sutlej project, irrigating nearly one-fourth of the northern plains of India, has brought unprecedented prosperity to Sudernagar. The town is famous for its temples with Mahamaya Temple being the most prominent among them. Sukhdev Vatika is another famous attraction. Sundernagar is easily approachable by road from Mandi. Kullu Manali Airport at Bhuntar is the nearest airport. Nearest railway station is at Joginder Nagar.
Sarkaghat is a beautiful tehsil famous for its temples, such as Nawahi Devi, Awah Devi and Kamlah Fort, which is a trekkers’ delight.
Karsog, although strategically located betweenthree rivers, Tirthan, Beas and Sutlej, and a vibrant market town, is not one of Himachal’s major tourist destinations. This area is a warren of small valleys traversed by pot-holed twisty roads, with stunning landscapes of rolling terraced hillsides and pine forests. The spot is ideal for exploring on a bike, and if you can have a Royal Enfield Bullet, there’s nothing like it. Karsog abounds in temples. You do not have to be a religious person or even a Hindu to appreciate the beauty of the shrines. Kamaksha Devi temple will stun you with its splendid layers of carved wood roofing. Each temple is like the other, and yet, totally non-paralleled. The deities are wrought in styles that are almost pagan. An air unsullied by urban greed and hypocrisy surrounds them. And above all, there is natural beauty no matter where the eye turns.
Ner Chowkis located 15 km south of Mandi, on NH 21 and is an important road junction in the district. Roads to Rewalsar and Janjehli diverge from here. It is an industrial hub for Automobile and Wooden & Steel Furniture. About 14 km from Ner Chowk is the Rewalsar lake, famous for its floating islands of reed. One such island has a Shiva temple (Lomesh Rishi), Guru Govind Singh’s Gurudwara and a Buddhist monastery founded by Guru Padmasambhava. It is a spot revered by people of three faiths.
Kullu was known as “Kul-anti-peetha” which meant the end of habitable world. Today, the town has become the center of many adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, river-rafting etc as well as a pilgrimage destination. Located on the banks of Beas river about 10 km north of the airport at Bhuntar, Kullu is a broad open valley famous for the beauty and majestic hills covered with pine and deodar forest and sprawling apple orchards. Kullu valley is sandwiched between the Pir Panjal, Lower Himalayan and Great Himalayan range. Shawls from Kullu are famous worldwide.
Ani or Ahi, is located in the center of Ani Valley, south-east of Kullu Valley at an altitude varying from 1,240 meters to 3,560 meters. Devi Ambika Temple, Deccani Mahadev Temple at Nirmand, Jageshwar Mahadev temple of Dalash and few Buddhist monasteries are close by. In the neighborhood are Chehni Kothi, Khanag and Seruvalsar Lake (20 km). In addition, several trek routes adjoin the town.
Nirmand, known as ‘Kashi of Himalayas’, is the largest and most ancient village, situated in Kullu District. This beautiful hamlet stands overlooking the Satlej Valley and is about 150 km from Shimla. Renowned for its exquisite wood and stone temples of 6th and 7th centuries, it is replete with myths, legends and folklore clustered around Parashurama, the irascible sage. The village is well worth a visit for a lover of temples, sculptures and antique sites, also for pilgrims, large numbers of whom visit this place all throughout the year. The area is rich in herbs and fruit trees laden with golden apricots, green almonds, plums, cherries, pears and luscious apples.
Manali is perhaps the most important town in Himachal Pradesh for tourism. Located at an altitude of 1,950 meters in the Beas River valley and about 250 km north of state capital, Manali is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh. There are high mountains surrounded by snow and deep boulder strewn gorges, thick forests full of cool breeze, fields of wild flowers, small picturesque hamlets and fruit laden orchards. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Leh and Zanskar regions in Kashmir valley. It is known as the “Switzerland of India”. Manali, with its Mountaineering Institute, is a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter.
Bhunter is the gateway of Kullu district, situated at the sangam of Beas & Parvati rivers. The Kullu-Manali airport is situated at Bhuntar. Bishweshwar Temple is located in the village Bajaura just 5 km from Bhuntar. It is the largest and the most attractive stone temple of Kullu Valley. This temple, built in the 9th century in pyramid style, has withstood the severe earthquake of 1905.
Manikaran is situated in Parvati Valley at about 32 km from Bhuntar. The water from the hot sulphur spring at Manikaran is said to have medicinal value and is a cure for an number of chronic ailments. Manikaran is also known for temple of ‘Lord Shiva’ who remained in ‘Samsadhi’ for eleven thousand year in ‘Treta Yug’ . Temple of ‘Maryada Parshotam Ram’ Naina Mata and Gurdwara are also there. An experimental Geothermal Energy plant has also been set up here. Situated at an altitude of 1,760 meters, it is ideal for viewing the Dio Tibba Glacier (6,001 meters) and a place for hikers to stay for a few days and catch their breath before trekking on to Lahaul & Spiti.
Initially a part of Kangra district, Hamirpur is known for famous tourist attractions of Deot-Sidh, Temples of Sujanpur Tira and Nadaun. Hamirpur is well connected by roads from all sides and thus can be promoted as a tourist destination by developing some historical and religious places. Baba Balaknath temple is one of the famous temples of the Northern India. The elevation varies from 400 meters to 1,100 meters, see-sawing between the almost flat-lands that border the portion of rivers Beas to the lofty heights of cliffs. There are three principal ranges which run in the south-east direction, Shivalik being the most important one. Beas river flows through the north and Satlej river flows through the southern part of the district.
Barsar is a tehsil in the southwestern part of Hamirpur district famous for Pine Tree forests, good educational institutes, fairs and cultural festivals.
Bhoranj is a cozy little village tucked away from urban commotion and has a peaceful atmosphere.
Jahu is a small town located on the borders of three districts Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Mandi. The terrain is relatively plain. Jahu market is known for variety of articles at very reasonable rates. Many small scale industries, such as Snow factories and fishery industry are found here. Fishery is the major source of income for people in Jahu. The town is well connected to its region by road. The Bollywood actress, Ms. Kangana Ranaut has done her primary education from Jahu.
Lying 526 km north-west of Delhi, Kangra valley is one of the most pleasant, relaxing and spiritual places in the Himalayas. Marvelously scenic, and well wooded with oak, cedar, pine and other timber yielding trees, the towns offer lovely walks and breathtaking views. Kangra district derives its name from Kangra town, where Kangra Fort of the Katoch dynasty is situated. Kangra temple has a lot of significance in the Hindu mythology. The narrow gauge railway track from Kangra to Palampur has been declared as World Heritage.
Palampur is a fascinating green hill station, surrounded on all sides by tea gardens and pine forests before they merge with the Dhauladhar ranges. Palampur is the tea capital of northwest India but tea is just one aspect that makes Palampur special. Palampur is at the confluence of the plains and the hills and so the scenery shows the contrast the plains on one hand and the majestic snow covered hills on the other. Behind this town stands high ranges of Dhauladhar mountains, whose tops remain snow covered for most part of the year. A ropeway and an amusement park is also on the way to be established here. Several trek routes lead out of Palampur, particularly over the Dhauladhar Mountains towards the town of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. Some important treks are over the Sanghar pass to Bharmaur via Holi, the forest trek from Mcleodganj to Treund and from Baijnath over the Jalsu pass to Bharmaur. A four-day trek will lead the traveler to Holi, via Waru La. 28 km from Palampur is Billing, near Bir, an important centre for the adventure sport of paragliding. Palampur also has numerous Buddhist monuments and is famous for its Tibetan handicrafts.
Nurpur is a city known for its orchards of mango, oranges, lichi and amla. Nurpur is also noted for poultry, silk and pashmina shawls. The Brij Raj Swami temple inside the Nurpur fort dates back to the 16th century and is the only temple in the world, where Lord Krishna and Meera are worshipped. It is said the statue of Lord Krishna was worshipped by Meera herself. The Nagni Maata temple, located about 6 km from Nurpur town on Pathankot – Kullu highway, is also very famous.
Jawalamukhi is a town where the famous temple to the goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity with a flaming mouth (built over some natural jets of combustible gas) is located on a small spur on the Dharamsala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20 km from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station. Just a few feet above the Jwalamukhi temple there is a six-feet deep pit with a circumference of about three-feet. At the bottom of this pit there is another small pit about one and a half feet deep with hot water bubbling all the time. The temple is identified as one among the 52 Shakti Peeths.
The Bilaspur district is situated in Satlej valley. The township of Bilaspur should be regarded as the first planned hill town of the country. The best months from visiting this place are from September to December. The district is mostly hilly and elevation of the lowest point is about 290 meters and that of the highest is about 1,980 meters. Due to the seven hill ranges Naina Devi, Kot, Jhanjiar, Tiun, Bandala, Bahadurpur and Rattanpur, the district is also known as Satdhar Kahloor. There are two national highways passing through the district (Chandigarh-Manali, Kangra – Shimla via Jhukhala). Bhakra Dam, the highest straight gravity dam in the world situated is in Naina Devi sub-tehsil occupies the predominant position amongst the places of tourist interest. The foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1955. The Gobind Sagar reservoir is famous for water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water scooter racing.
Ghumarwin is a beautiful town situated on the Shimla- Dharamshala National Highway. The nearest railway station is the Kiratpur Sahib Railway Station and the nearest airport is at Shimla. Vyas Cave, Jalpa Mai Sangirathi Temple, Sagirthin and Govind Sagar Sanctuary are exciting tourist options in the vicinity.
Naina Devi is a town on NH 21. The temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji is situated on a hilltop . One can climb by concrete steps or cable car facility that moves pilgrims from the base of the hill all the way to the top. The hills of Naina Devi overlook the Gobind Sagar lake, created by the Bhakra-Nangal Dam. The charming hill resort of Nainital gets its name from the Goddess Naina Devi. It’s scenic beauty is marvelous. Naina Devi is thus a great source of comfort, strength and influence for those yearning for solace, peace and salvation.
The town of Chamba, the district headquarters of Chamba district stands on a plateau on the right bank of the Ravi river valley between Dhauladhar and Zanskar ranges south of the inner Himalayas. It seems the original name of the town was Champa due to the abundance of highly fragrant Champaka trees. The best tourist season to visit Chamba is round the year. Adventure tourists may like to undertake winter trekking from November to March when the higher reaches of the district are snow clad and access to most of the villages is on foot.
Dalhousie is a hill station inwestern Himachal Pradesh, full of old world charm and lingering echos of the Raj era. It covers an area of 14 km2 and is built on five hills – Kathlog, Patreyn, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun. It is named after the British governor General of the 19th century, Lord Dalhousie. The town’s average height is 2,036 meter, and is surrounded by varied vegetation – pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendron. Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its location presents panoramic views of the plains and like a long silver line, the river Ravi twists and turns below Dalhousie. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar mountains are also visible form this enchanting town. Dalhousie is 485 km by road from Delhi and 52 km from Chamba. The closest railhead is Pathankot, 80 km away. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 135 km. Taxis and buses are easily available from these places. There are four beautiful churches in Dalhousie. These are St. Andrew’s Church and St. Patrick’s Church at Balun, St. Francis church at Subhash Chowk and St.John’s Church at Gandhi Chowk. There are several hydroelectric projects and dams being developed. There are several national forest and wildlife sanctuaries including Kalatop-Khaijjar located within its confines. Pilgrimage to Mani Mahesh Temple and Lake is an annual trekking event. Many trekking routes over Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges present a challenge to the serious trekker, while there are ample opportunities for the budding trekker.
Banikhet is located about 7 km from Dalhousie and is known for the Chamera Hydro-electric Project. The road leading to Dalhousie and Chamba bifurcates at Banikhet. Situated in the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,500 feet above the sea level, the town experiences daytime temperature of 25°C and the night temperature of about 15°C during summers. Banikhet also possesses a number of tourist attractions that attract tourists from the different parts of the world such as Chamera Hydro-Electric Project and the Nag Temple.
Una district of Himachal Pradesh is famous for ‘Chintpurni’ Goddess temple, Dera Baba Barbhag Singh, Dera Baba Rudru, Joggi Panga, Dharamshala Mahanta, Dhunsar Mahadev Temple Talmehra, Shivbari Temple Gagret and Mini Secretariat. It is well developed in the industrial sector due to close proximity to Punjab. Mehatpur, Gagret, Tahliwal & Amba are main industrial centres of Una. In 1991, Una was connected with a 14 km long broad gauge track from Nangal(Punjab) to Una. In winter, climate is cool, woolen clothes required. In summer, climate is hot, cotton clothes required. From July to September, it is rainy & humid. As per local folklore, Una was so named by the 5th guru of Sikhs, Guru Arjun Dev ji. The altitude varies from 350 meters to over 1,200 meters. Shivalik ranges experience heavy rainfall. The hill ranges are covered by scanty vegetation comprising mostly of shrubs. A number of fairs and festivals are celebrated in Una such as Holi Mohalla, Chintpurni, Sawan Ashtami, Paanch Bhisham, Piplu, Baisakhi and Prakash Utsav.
MehatpurBasdehra is a town mainly known because of politics. It is 241 km far from Shimla.
Chintpurni is located in Una district, surrounded by the western Himalaya in the north and Shivalik range on the eastern side, bordering Punjab. Apart from being a popular holy shrine, the place is full of picturesque surroundings. Beautiful locations for sight seeing, indoor and out door activities are situated nearby. Chintpurni is very well connected through roads and with good number of hotels and dharamsalas erected in and around the town, accommodation is not a problem at all. You can come here for a religious visit, on a holiday or for both and would return with everlasting memories.