Himachal Pradesh is a tiny hill state whose pleasant summers make it a popular holiday resort. The Raj still lingers in Shimla, the state capital and former summer capital during British rule.
Kullu-Manali are neighbouring resorts, surrounded by pine covered hills and lush meadows. Himachal has, in addition to popular resort towns, a series of secluded hill retreats ideal for interested anglers, trekkers and those wanting a quiet getaway.
Many of these include: from Shimla - Mashobra, Kufri, Naldehra; those around Kullu-Manali include Manikaran, Naggar and Brighu Lake; the barely accessible valleys of Lahaul and Spiti are a trekker’s delight.
The State of Himachal Pradesh is made up of ten districts with a total area of 56,019 sq km. The northern border of Himachal Pradesh is bounded by Tibet, in the north-west it borders Kashmir, in the south lie the plains of Punjab and the eastern border is common with the hills of Uttar Pradesh. The state is rugged and mountainous, and the valleys of Lahaul and Spiti are the dream of mountaineers.
Lahaul and Spiti is a desolate region in
comparison to the lush Beas valley of Kullu, also a popular mountain area of the state. Spiti, which overlooks Tibet across the Sutlej river, is Tibetan in landscape and in the character of its few inhabitants.
Kullu and Lahaul are good areas for mountaineers practising both alpine style ascents and ski-mountaineering. The jagged ice peaks of Kullu offer good routes for the 'tiger' as well as the less ambitious mountaineer.
A popular peak in this area is Deo Tibba (6,001 m) which is visible from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, and indrasan (6,221 m), a challenging peak of steep red granite which can be climbed from four different routes.