For their amazing art, sculptural style, and wealth of flora around them. Don’t miss the centuries-old temples of Bijli Mahadev, Sandhya Devi and Bhuvaneshwari built in the Pahari style; Kangra-style paintings of Durga in Bhuvaneshwari; the five-storey pagoda-like Manu Rishi temple in a combination of Pahari and pyramid styles; the four-storey pagoda-style Vashisht temple; intricate carvings on the pagoda-style Hadimba Devi temple, Gauri Shankar temple built in the pyramid style; the three-storey Tripurasundari temple made of wood; the Shiva temple at Jagatsukh in Shikhara style, and more.
Solang Valley – For skiing, zorbing, paragliding and more sports in a vast open expanse surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
For snow. At over 3,978 metres (about 13,051 feet), there’s snow at Rohtang almost throughout the year. Colourful Tibetan prayer flags flutter in the freezing air of the icy land, which glows in the sunlight. Rohtang is part of the Pir Panjal range of the Himalaya and the highest point on the National Highway.
Rahala Falls – For the gripping beauty of water cascading through snow-capped mountains and towering deodar and birch trees.
For its medicinal hot springs that bubble forth alongside the icy Parvati river. You can see the delight on people’s faces as they step into the hot springs and watch rice being cooked in it!
Other hot springs – For their medicinal powers and the very paradox of their existence in this cold region. Vashisht has natural sulphur springs; a dip in Kheerganga is believed to cure gastric troubles and rheumatic pains; and the hot water springs at Kalath are reported to alleviate skin problems.
For a castle built 600 years ago for the Raja of Kullu, now converted into a heritage hotel. Nagar Castle offers spectacular views of the Nagar valley and has a quaint wooden Jagati Patt temple.
For original paintings of the Himalaya by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. Be prepared to be spellbound by the depiction of the very mountains you’ve seen outside the museum.
Urusvati Himalayan Folk Art Museum – For a fine collection of embroidery, folk art, folk clothing, unusual musical instruments, stone and crystal carvings of gods, and paintings by Indian and Russian artists.
DECHEN CHOEKHOR MONASTERY
For paintings depicting scenes from Buddha’s life and its carpet weaving centre.
GADHAN THEKCHOKING GOMPA
For its bright frescos, Tibetan woven carpets, and a statue of the Buddha.
There are five wildlife sanctuaries in this region — Great Himalayan National Park, Khokhan Sanctuary, Kais Sanctuary, Manali Sanctuary and Kanawar Sanctuary. These are home to several endangered species, including musk deer, brown bear, snow leopard, cheer pheasant, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan palm civet, barking deer, flying fox, goral, Indian hare, striped hyena, leopard, Himalayan yellow-throated marten, serow, Kashmir flying squirrel and Himalayan tahr. Many of these sanctuaries offer trekking and camping facilities.