Himachal hills offer exciting break from heat wave
With showers almost on every alternate day and unlike no major water blues in the Himachal hills this time, the destinations in the state are teeming with tourists. Better facilities and a range of option from nature park to nature walk besides adventure sports is drawing a huge crowd up the slopes.
A chunk of them are from northern India plains where life has become unbearable with the soaring mercury beyond 42 degrees. The national capital has already touched above 48 degrees this month.
The Hospitality industry representatives say the snowy landscape viewed from Narkanda, Kalpa, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali towns are drawing hordes of holiday-makers, especially with the summer vacation in schools still continuing.
The emphasis has been laid on developing prominent places like Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Dharamsala, Janjehli, Kasauli and Dalhousie, which are full of natural wonders and most visited by the tourists, a government spokesperson told IANS on Sunday.
Once the favourite summer retreat of the British, Shimla is getting water supply almost every day. Also the town has more and better facilities for the tourists that include ample parking and quality accommodation options, he said.
According to him, Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Ltd is daily providing 45 to 50 million litres per day (MLD) to the town compared to 28 MLD average during last year.
Keeping in view the tourist inflow on weekends, the water lifting is also being increased to 55 to 60 MLD so that the tourists get ample water.
"What a pleasant relief in Shimla from Delhi's scorching heat wave," Deepak Mishra, a tourist said. His wife, Deepti said: "Last summer we had to cancel our booking in Shimla when we came to know about protests by locals against the water shortage. Thank god, now there is no water shortage."
With the enhancement of facilities at nearby places like Nature Park at Craignano, Mashobra and Naldehra, Fagu, Kufri and Chail, the tourists now have more options to spend extra days in the town.
The Craignano Nature Park offers different kind of flowers, tree house, pristine deodar, rhododendron and oak forest, while adventure parks at Kufri and Fagu are delight among the tourists.
Besides, one can also enjoy the nature walking trail amid cool weather of Mashobra, Naldehra and Chail.
To manage the crowds, the police have deployed special personnel at prominent places in order to guide and help tourists.
Apart from Shimla, another prominent destination McLeodganj and other places in periphery in Dharamsala town have also been developed.
For those interested in adventure sports, Dharamsala offers a vast range in the form of paragliding at Bir-Billing, trekking at Triund and to Dhauladhar range.
Similarly, Kullu-Manali are the most famous destinations among the tourists that offers the thrill of river-rafting, paragliding and other adventure activities in the Solang Valley.
It also offers trekking opportunities to trekkers who intend to go on to easy treks and can also reach areas of Great Himalayan National Park and reach Lahaul-Spiti even.
For the tourists wishing to witness snow all round the year, the administration has made special arrangements for their visit to Rohtang Pass, 51 km from Manali. Now the tourists can avail the online permit facility for the vehicle which would be allowed to go to the 13,050 feet high pass.
Apart from regular air services between Delhi, Shimla, Kullu and Dharamsala, now helicopter service under UDAN scheme from Chandigarh to Shimla and further from Shimla to Kullu and Dharamsala has now been made operational.
In Chamba district, hill stations of Dalhousie and Khajjiar are also favourite destinations of the tourists.
At Khajjiar, the tourists have the option for trekking and hiking. The scenic valley of Janjehli and Kamru Nag Lake in Mandi district, Chail and Kasauli in Solan district, Churdhar peak and Sri Renuka in Sirmaur are among the prominent destinations in the state.
The state government has also sent a proposal to the government of India for starting water transport and other activities in Chamera, Kol Dam, Larji and Gobindsagar lakes.
This will not only promote water transport and water sports in the state, but also create employment opportunities for the local youth, the spokesperson added. IANS