India's rich cultural tapestry unveils a country with many faces, each unraveling a piquant feast of fresh experiences. At different moments, India can be indelibly spiritual, architecturally glorious, astonishingly natural, and fascinatingly cultural. Each idiosyncratic destination is infused with a kaleidoscopic blend of enchantment and sensual indulgence, ensuring that no previous travel compares.
Manali is a hill station nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla. The small town, with a population of 8,096, is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. It is a popular tourist destination and serves as the roadway to other northern hill stations.
Leh, a high-desert city in the Himalayas, is the capital of the Leh region in northern India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. Originally a stop for trading caravans, Leh is now known for its Buddhist sites and nearby trekking. Massive 17th-century Leh Palace, modeled on the Dalai Lama’s former home (Tibet’s Potala Palace), overlooks the old town’s bazaar and mazelike lanes.
Shimla is the capital of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, in the Himalayan foothills. Once the summer capital of British India, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Kalka-Shimla Railway, completed in 1903. It’s also known for the handicraft shops that line The Mall, a pedestrian avenue, as well as the Lakkar Bazaar, a market specializing in wooden toys and crafts.The earliest inhabitants of the area date back to the start of the 19th century. The area fell under the British Raj in the year 1817. The climatic conditions attracted the British to establish the city in the dense forests of Himalayas. As the summer capital, Shimla hosted many important political meetings including the Simla Accord of 1914 and the Simla Conference of 1945. After independence, the state of Himachal Pradesh came into being in 1948 as a result of integration of 28 princely states. Even after independence, the city remained an important political centre, hosting the Simla Agreement of 1972.
Chandigarh, the capital of the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, was designed by modernist architect Le Corbusier. His modernist buildings include the Capitol Complex with its High Court, Secretariat and Legislative Assembly, plus the giant Open Hand Monument. The nearby Rock Garden is a park featuring sculptures made of stones, recycled ceramics and industrial relics.he city of Chandigarh was one of the early planned cities in the post-independence India and is known internationally for its architecture and urban design. The master plan of the city was prepared by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, transformed from earlier plans created by the Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and the American planner Albert Mayer. Most of the government buildings and housing in the city, however, were designed by the Chandigarh Capital Project Team headed by Pierre Jeanneret, Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry. In 2015, an article published by BBC named Chandigarh as one of the perfect cities of the world in terms of architecture, cultural growth and modernisation.