Himachal Pradesh has emerged as one of the favourite destination for the domestic and overseas tourists in the past few years and keeping this in view, the state government is endeavouring to provide best facilities and add more attractions to facilitate the tourists at the famous destinations. The emphasis has been laid on developing prominent places like Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Dharamshala, Janjehli, Kasauli and Dalhousie which are full of natural wonders and most visited by the tourists.
Once the summer capital of British India, Shimla is one of the most popular hill destinations that retains its colonial heritage with grand old buildings besides being blessed with all the natural bounties. Known as 'the 'Queen of Hills', Shimla now has more and better facilities for the tourists that includes ample parking, quality accommodation options and sufficient availability of potable water.
Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Ltd. (SJPNL) is lifting 45 to 50 million litre water per day (MLD) to the town as compared to 28 MLD average during last year which is more than sufficient to meet the demand of local residents as well as tourists. 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. In order to augment the water availability at Gumma source by 10 MLD, a new water supply scheme to link river Satluj at Chaba with Gumma has also been established.
With enhancement of facilities at nearby places like Nature Park at Craignano, Mashobra and Naldehra, Fagu, Kufri, Chail etc., 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 hills at Mashobra, Naldehra and Chail.
A new lift with additional capacity connecting the cart road to the Mall road has been installed in the town to facilitate the tourists. The State Police has also deployed special police personnel's at prominent places in order to guide/help tourists. Now the town also has a new parking's for more than 1000 vehicles capacity which facilitates the tourists. In addition to this the government has earmarked additional areas in the town for parking of tourists vehicles. The famous Jakhoo Temple has been connected with a rope way. Shimla is also well connected with air service with Delhi and Chandigarh.
Apart from Shimla, another prominent destination Mcleodganj and other places in periphery in Dharamshala town have also been developed. For those interested in adventure sports, Dharamshala offers a vast range in the form of paragliding at Bir-Billing, trekking at Triund and to Dhauladhar range.
Similarly, Kullu-Manali are also the most famous destinations among the tourists that offers the thrill of river-rafting, paragliding and other adventure activities in Solang Valley. The area also offers trekking opportunities to hard core trekkers who intend to go on to easy treks and can even reach areas of Great Himalayan National Park and reach Lahaul-Spiti also. For the tourists wishing to witness snow all round the year, the administration has made special arrangements for their visit to Rohtang Pass, 51 kilometers away 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.
The Kullu-Manali valley has been attracting Bollywood in the past and many popular Hindi films have been shot here in its beautiful locales.
Apart from regular air services between Delhi, Shimla, Kullu and Dharamshala, now helicopter service under UDAN scheme from Chandigarh to Shimla and further from Shimla to Kullu and Dharamshala has now been made operational and bookings can be done online at portal: www.pawanhans.co.in.
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 ji in Sirmaur are among the other beautiful destinations in the State, which are being developed on priority.
The state government is also making efforts to establish an international airport at Nagchala in Mandi district which would help in attracting more tourists to the state.
Keeping in view the immense eco-tourism potential of the state, the government has taken initiative to encourage this sector as well for which a master plan would be prepared in consultation with the experts wherein provisions for encouraging private investors will be incorporated.
The government is also encouraging home stay units in the state as it not only promotes tourism but also provide respectable employment opportunities to the people.
Himachal 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 lake. This will not only promote water transport and water sports in the state, but also create employment opportunities for the local youth.