10 Travel Tips You Need To Know Before Visiting Himachal Pradesh

Composed of lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries, Himachal Pradesh is a traveller’s paradise. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, or for some hillside adventures like trekking, mountaineering, paragliding, or more, Himachal has something for everyone. Whether you’re travelling with family or alone, Snow King Retreat has compiled 10 Travel Tips Before You Visit Himachal Pradesh. These travel tips will help keep your journey smooth and safe along the way.


Tip 1: Tour Documents

1. Tour confirmation voucher in printed format is a must for all travellers. It is needed for check-in at the hotels and for the Cab and driver details.

2. Make sure to carry a detailed itinerary in printed format. The tour will commence as per the itinerary provided. Always read the cost included section carefully. Anything not mentioned in the itinerary is considered excluded.


Tip 2: Weather Conditions

Most areas of Bilaspur, Una, Solan, Sirmour, Hamirpur and Kangra are largely warm to hot in summer (25 degrees to 15 degrees), and mild to pleasant in winter (15 degrees to 5 degrees). The district of Chamba, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla and Lahaul and Spiti are mild to pleasant (15 degrees to 5 degrees) in summer and cold in winter (10 degrees to -5 Degree).

Pack your clothing depending on your location and the month of travel. For summers, full sleeves t-shirts to sweatshirts should be carried but for winters, heavy woollen clothing is recommended.

The temperature in hills may change any moment, therefore, apart from the regular clothes you carry, a windcheater is a must.

If you wish to visit areas with heavy snowfall, you may rent gum boots from roadside vendors available on your way. Hotel staff and your driver will be able to guide you for the same.


Tip 3: Id proofs

The government issued identity proofs need to be shown at the hotel or resort before check-in. Always keep the Id proof with yourself while travelling. Keep a digital copy of your documents on your mobile devices in case of loss or emergency.


Tip 4: Check and Review your Hotel

Please check the Hotel amenities and ratings before booking the hotel. If you may need add-ons like heater, extra beds, blankets, room refreshments and more, request your travel agent to customise your package before making the payments. If you are travelling with children or the elderly, ask your agent to book a hotel closer to the mall roads/ lower altitudes. If you may wish to change your accommodation, the cancellation charges will have to be borne by the traveller.


Tip 5: Emergency Numbers

Always keep the emergency contacts of the place you are visiting and your family members handy. Always save the details of your accommodation in your mobile devices and share the information with your family members. Here’s a list of quick contacts for your reference.


  • Police: 100
  • Ambulance: 102
  • District Control Room: 1077
  • Emergency Contact Number [Integrated Police/ Fire Station/ Medical Services] : 108
  • Tourist Information Office (Shimla) : 0177-2658302, 0177-2652561
  • Tourism Information Office (Manali): 01902-253531
  • Tourism Information Office (Kullu): 01902-222349
  • Tourism Information Office (Dharamshala): 01892-224212
  • Tourism Information Office (Dalhousie): 01899-242136


Tip 6: Health Precautions

Avoid eating anything from the roadside vendors and too small restaurants. Stick to bottled water for drinking purposes. Water and food (cut fruits and more) served in open may not be clean or pure and may cause stomach infections. Carry personal medication (Mainly Crocin, ORS/Electrol, Eno, Disprin/Asprin, Band-Aids, Thermometer, Adhesives, Alcohol-based sanitizer, Tensor Bandages, Antiemetics). Do not over eat while travelling to a higher altitude to avoid nausea/ vomiting.


Tip 7. Maintain Distance

While travelling to a new destination always maintain distance from unknown locals like tourist guides, taxi drivers etc. Do not be rude or over friendly with them. Always keep a track of the cab drivers information. Avoid travelling or driving in late in the night due to low visibility and safety issues. Make sure your driver follows the itinerary as planned. Any hiring for porters should either be done through the hotel reference or the Department of Tourism.


Tip 8. Take Permissions

Some buildings and monument (Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; Chail Palace) may require special permissions for photography or filming. District Administration & Tourism office will help you with the same. Also, tourists intended to take adventure activities are advised to inform local authorities such as SDM, Police, & Tourist office; and seek necessary permissions. You may need to present your id proofs to seek permissions. Call your travel agent in case you need any help related to getting permissions.


Tip 9. Stay Prepared

While on adventure trips, read about the location you are visiting and keep heavy woollen clothing, rubber-soled shoes, gloves, torch, stick, food (energy bars, dry fruits, packaged food etc.), water, mosquito repellent, toilet paper, some instrument to lit a fire (matchbox/ lighter etc.). Water may freeze in high altitude areas, thus, a thermos is recommended.


Tip 10. Safety Precautions

Water currents in rivers of Himachal Pradesh are very strong. It is highly advised to not stand near the cliff or on the bolder near the bank of the river or step into the river for photographs etc.

Must Carry:
1. Sunscreen lotion & Moisturising lotion
2. Heavy Woollen Clothing & socks
3. Good rubber-soled shoes
4. Personal Medication
5. Camera with sufficient batteries and film / memory cards
6. Dark polarised Sunglasses with retainers
7. Id Proofs

Cheap Hotels In Shimla

Whenever we plan to travel, one thing which strikes in our mind is “hotel”. There are tons of options available, but choosing the best one is a task in itself. We always loom for best and cheap hotels in Shimla.

Searching through the internet, we have come across a travel guide from HolidayIQ.com. This guide lists budget hotels in Shimla. Not only this, it also has the following:

1. History in Shimla

2. Things to do in Shimla

3. Food and Shopping in Shimla

4. Reviews by travelers

5. Top Attractions in Shimla

And many more……..

You can download the guide at this link.

Happy Travelling!

cheap hotels in shimla

Cheap Hotels In Shimla

Whenever we plan to travel, one thing which strikes in our mind is “hotel”. There are tons of options available, but choosing the best one is a task in itself. We always loom for best and cheap hotels in Shimla.

Searching through the internet, we have come across a travel guide from HolidayIQ.com. This guide lists budget hotels in Shimla. Not only this, it also has the following:

1. History in Shimla

2. Things to do in Shimla

3. Food and Shopping in Shimla

4. Reviews by travelers

5. Top Attractions in Shimla

And many more……..

You can download the guide at this link.

Happy Travelling!

An Insider’s Travel Guide to Shimla

One of our travelers has shared her journey to Shimla. After reading this, we think it is very helpful for people travelling to this part of the country. This Travel Guide To Shimla will become handy. Here it goes:

“Ok, I am on platform number 21 but I can only see DTC buses here”. I told Shefali on the phone. My intuitions were telling me that something is wrong, Shefali on the other side of the phone also felt the same way. I once more confirmed with her and said “Shefu, It is platform in Anand Vihar ISBT right” and her reply shook my world for few cold-sweating seconds, “I-t i-s I-S-B-T Kashmiri Gate”. The adrenaline rush is hard to explain, for a moment I believed that heart was the only thing that I had in my body. Our bus to Shimla was scheduled at 9.00 PM and when I checked the watch, it was 9:05 PM! And I was standing in a wrong bus station. I didn’t know what to do! Pacing my speed I reached for an auto and asked him to right away take me to Kashmiri Gate ISBT. What a great start of one of the most anticipated trips of my life!

I finally managed to reach the right ISBT at 9.25 PM, where Shefali and Hemant were waiting for me with a new bus tickets in hands. The next bus for Shimla was scheduled to depart at 9.30PM. A sigh of relief crossed the faces of my two friends who were waiting right outside the Volvo bus. Ok the trio was finally ready to hit the road, taste the real adventure and most importantly learn some useful travelling lessons…


Shimla… The Jack of Holidays

Lesson 1: Bookings and Commutation for Shimla

There are many buses that run between Delhi and Shimla, HPTDC and RSTRC are two bus services that are operated by state government of Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan respectively. Along with the state-run buses there are many private bus operators also that offer good services between the two destinations. There are two buses in the evening for Shimla from Kashmiri Gate ISBT (I would never forget this piece of information…LOL) operated by HPTDC at 9.00 PM and 9.30 PM. The fare is about Rs 850 (to be precise Rs 824) and it takes about 5.5hrs to 7hrs to reach Shimla (depending upon the weather condition). The tickets are available online on the hptdc site or you can directly go to the ticket counter at Kashmiri Gate bus station to get it in advance.




The best way to reach Shimla by train is to make Delhi your base. There are number of trains that run between Delhi and Kalka like Himalayan Queen (5.45 AM), Kalka Mail (9.25 PM), Kalka Shatabdi (5.15 PM) and Pashchim Experss (11.05 AM). The famed Kalka-Shimla Toy Train takes passengers on an unmatched journey to Shimla. The Himalayan Queen (12.10 PM), Shivalik Deluxe Express (5.30 AM) and the Rail Motor Car (5.10 AM) are the trains that run between Kalka and Shimla every day. The journey between Kalka and Shimla usually takes about 5hrs to 7hrs.

…I don’t know if I should call myself crazy for choosing winters as the time to travel to Shimla and Manali, but deciding to visit without a pre booking of hotel in Shimla that too at the time of New Years can certainly be called madness! The rush was maddening and so were we, how can we not book a hotel in Shimla during New Years in advance! The bus dropped us at Shimla’s Old Bus Station at 5.30 AM; it had snowed a day before we reached Shimla and was raining since last night, the weather was in full Kolaveri Di mood! Obvious as it seems, we didn’t book any hotel, so had to stand under a tin-shed to save ourselves till a shabby looking man offered to carry our luggage and find us a hotel, we agreed and the adventure of finding a hotel in Shimla began. After a 45 minute episode of refusal, negotiation and getting drenched in the rain, we finally found a place (Hotel Dreamland) to call our own! In order to enjoy your holiday in Shimla and Manali, it is better to make all the bookings in advance or else let the tour operators carry all you burden. There are number of good travel agencies in India that offer excellent tour packages for Shimla and Manali.


Lesson 2: Hotel Bookings


Shimla is replete with number of good hotels that range from luxury 5 stars to low budget hotels. But, if you have plans to travel in summer to Shimla or during the New Year (Like Us), it is better book a hotel in advance. Most of the hotels in Shimla are located on the side of the Mall Road and towards the Kali Bari Temple. A three star hotel in Shimla will cost somewhere around Rs 2500 per day, whereas a budget hotel will cost around Rs 900 per day except during summers and New Year, when one experiences an annoying hike in tariffs. Most of the hotels offer sightseeing packages and sometimes even refuses booking if the tourist disagrees on taking the package (we experienced it). It is not a bad idea to opt for the packages offered by the hotel, especially, if it is your first time to visit Shimla. Anyways, a decent bargaining quality can win you a comfortable stay at affordable prices. People are often sweet to tourists and smile gently, even if they say No for an accommodation…LOL.

… None of us could catch a peaceful sleep last night and right after checking in the small hotel that we managed to earn for ourselves at critical time of New Year, we decided to take a nap before heading out in the chilly and breezy weather of Shimla. Although a bit hungry, I decided to suppress the call of the stomach…and soon fell asleep with the thought of heading Mall Road and eating some sumptuous delicacy…


Lesson 3: Eateries and Restaurants in Shimla


I wouldn’t consider Shimla a good place for foodies; however, there are couples of good restaurants that help you stay away from starving. If you enjoy Chinese and Tibetan cuisines then you can visit Aunty Ka Dhaba and China Town, but if you are not sure what should you eat in Shimla, you can try going to multi-cuisine restaurants like the one in Hotel Combermere called Seventh Heaven. The food and the ambiance are fantastic; in fact it is one of the best places to eat in Shimla. If you have a sweet tooth, Honey Hut in the Mall Road is the place for you, as the name suggests, the restaurant offer everything with topped with extra honey. A must try here is the Donut. There is a cluster of restaurants in the market area near Mall Road that only serves vegetarian food. Baljees, Ashiana & Goofa, Silver Oak, Wake and Bake Café, Indian Coffee House, the Restaurant at Holiday Home, Quilla, and Devicos 5 are some popular eateries in Shimla.

…You just cannot underestimate the power of a Nap! The sleep indeed did some good to us. We woke up by 12.00 PM, the room was freezing cold, Shefali looked out of the window and informed that it was raining. Getting up from a cozy bed was the least thing anyone of us wanted to do, but my stomach was knocking from inside continuously reminding of my duty towards it. Like always Shefali was the first one to get out of the bed and finding the source of inspiration I dragged myself out of the cozy bed. We got ready and left for the most famous place in Shimla and the most obvious one too: the Ridge and the Mall Road…


Lesson 4: Attractions and Activities in Shimla




The Ridge and the Mall Road are the most popular Shimla sightseeing places. A flat area with an array of shops and eateries is how I will describe the Mall Road. There are ample of shops that are ideal for shopping of gifts, woolen and wood items. The locally brewed apple, plum, apricot, cider, ginger and grape wine are also sold on the Mall Road. Minchys is a shop that sells locally made squashes and jams (A good bit to take home!). There are many places to buy handicrafts items, but Himachal Emporium on the Mall Road is the best place to purchase handicrafts in Shimla. Situated on the Mall Road is another spectacle called Viceregal Lodge. This colonial style building is worth visiting. The Ridge is a flat area located above the Mall Road; it is one of the most popular places for locals and tourists to hang around at. The centrally located Christ Church is the landmark of the place. Tourists here are mostly seen lingering in the Ridge while munching on sweet corns, momos and popcorns. A view of the distant lofty mountains from here is commendable.


One place that intrigues almost all tourists is the Jakhu Temple. Situated on the highest peak of Shimla, Jakhu Temple is dedicated to the monkey god Hanuman. The 10m long Hanuman marks the identity of the temple. A long uphill climb rewards you with a distinct place that offers a splendid overview of Shimla city. One can also hire a cab to reach the temple but a long nature walk is worth the effort. Other sacred places to visit in Shimla are Kali Bari Temple and the Tara Devi Temple.




Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary is yet another tourist destination in Shimla. Fringed with Pine and Cedar trees this sanctuary is a good place to watch barking deer, goral, flying squirrel, pine marten, porcupine and leopard. There are also a large number of birds that one can see. Trekking is one of the prime activities that can be enjoyed in Shimla. The local mountain trekking is quiet popular amongst the local and tourists. Annadale, The Glen, Wildflower Hall and Mashobra are the places that one can trek from Shimla city.


Attractions and Activities around Shimla




Prospect Hill and Kamna Devi (6kms), Chadwick Falls (7kms), Mashobra (12kms), Kufri (16kms from Shimla), Chail (45kms), Tattapani (51kms from Shimla), are other few places for the tourists to visit. A visit to the zoo and the amusement park in Kufri (16kms from Shimla) and ice skating in Kufri and Chail are your options for activities in Shimla. Narkanda (65kms) and Tattapani are great places to enjoy skiing and other winter sports. Bihargaon is another good place to visit while you are in Shimla.




The chilly weather was the real challenge, but we the Three Musketeers were ready to take up anything but boredom. The visit to the Mall Road and the Ridge was fun, with the variety of things Shimla offered, we preferred taking back locally made wines in apple, plum and grape flavours with us. Despite the chills, the Ridge was crowded; the reason was obvious as it was 31st of December (New Year’s Eve). We spent the entire evening hanging around the Mall and the Ridge, the crowd started to bustle more at around 11.30 pm and by 12.00 am, the streets were filled with pretty much drunken yet harmless cheerful crowd… The three of us hugged and wished each other, we were glad to be in Shimla and most of all glad to be together, celebrating our friendship and praying for another year of unconditional love for each other. A group of drunken guys approached us and wished in the gentlest of all manners, we smiled back in return. It was a light social ambiance and we were lovin’ it! We reached hotel and soon fell asleep, the next day was scheduled for the most popular travel destination in Himachal Pradesh… Manali!


At a mere distance of 22 kms from Shimla and in a closer proximity with Kufri, the Fagu Hill top hotel – Snow King Retreat is known across the country for its serene and untouched surroundings. Situated at an altitude of 9,000 ft, Snow King Retreat offers a cooler destination not just to vacation lovers but also to professionals to get engrossed in a corporate seminar and families to experience a lavish wedding.

With “Best Resort in Shimla from Brands Academy” and “Service Excellence Award 2015” in its name, Snow King Retreat is definitely the most preferred choice of professionals and families to have fun and celebrate this beautiful life.

Snow King Retreat has spacious facilities, which are used as conference facility for seminars and conventions, banquet hall for weddings, receptions, kitty parties and other auspicious events. It is one of the best seminar convention halls in Shimla. This facility can be easily availed by booking online with Snow King Retreat at economical rates.


Conference & Meeting At Snow King Retreat –


  1. Snow King Retreat is the most preferred choice for conference meetings because of its peaceful environment and nearby attractions like Ancient Desu temple, man-made lake, and trek path in the adjoining forest. We are committed to avail the best in-class facilities and dedicated services.
  2. The hotel offers special deals and discount packages for hosting conferences, seminars, weddings, reception parties and other events.
  3. It is the ideal destination to organize a conference in Kufri with world-class staff services. The conference facility of Snow King Retreat is one of the best Seminar Convention Halls in Shimla and offers well-appointed event space with soft lighting and a beautiful ceiling.
  4. The elegantly designed conference hall offers picturesque landscapes of the cedar and pine woods to host sumptuous receptions including press conferences, business conventions and social gatherings.
  5. With a capacity of 250 guests, the conference facility of Snow King Retreat also avails in-house audio-visual, Wi-fi and telephone services.