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ECO-Tourism

Kullu-Manali : A refreshing Himalayan tourist destination

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manali-rafting-beas-river-feature

manali-rafting-beas-river
Photo:RupamRoy

Who amongst all is unaware of the breathtaking scenic beauty of Himachal Pradesh. Besides Shimla-The queen of Hills there are lot many tourist destinations worth a visit. People residing in plains keep looking for smart options to beat the summer heat and have a refreshing break. Not only the hilly regions attract the people in summers, there are many people who plan out their winter breaks in places where they can witness snow covered mountains and enjoy the chilly winter nights.

We, as a Himachal Watcher team have set our goals high and plan to expand our horizon, With the aim to make our readers know about various tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh we plan to write about them not all in a go but one by one.So, if you are the one who is keen enough to know more about Himachal, its culture, tourism then you got to stay tuned in.

Here, I have chosen one of my favorite travel destination-Manali. Situated at an altitude of 2,050 m which is 6,726 feet in the Beas River Valley, Manali is one tourist destination that witness snow covered mountains (in winters) and superb weather (in summers). It’s a place worth visiting!

Location

Manali is 40 kms away from Kullu to the north, and is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway that leads to Leh.

Climate :

Minimum temperature in Manali is below -05 C from Oct till March. December, January and February are coldest months but summers make Manali one of the best hill spot worth visiting to beat the scotching heat in plains. The minimum temperature is between 15 to 20 C during this time of the year.

manali-climate

Places that are worth visiting:

Hadimba Temple: Built in 1553, Hadimba is magnificently crafted temple with four tiered pagoda roof and beautifully carved doorway.

Hadimba Temple
Manu Temple: dedicated to the sage Manu is in old Manali and worth visiting.

Manu-Temple--manali

Vashisht: is Well known for hot springs with old temples dedicated to the sage Vashisth and Lord Ram.
Vashisht-manali

Jagatsukh: is one time capital of Kullu with few old temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri. Also, you can check out the Arjun caves nearby.
Jagatsukh-manali

Solang Valley: is one picturesque setting that has good ski slopes and picnic spots.
Solang-Valley

Rohtang pass: is situated at the height of 3978 m and is one place that won’t want to miss out.
rohtang-pass-manali

The Club House: is all set to appeal you with comprehensive facilities like roller skating rink, an auditorium, billiards rooms, library, bar and restaurant.
Also, there are many Tibetan monasteries that can’ be missed out.

How to reach Manali:

As obvious there are three ways to reach Manali. You can opt for road, rail or by air depending upon the best feasible option from the place you are putting up.

By Train

You can board a train from Chandigarh or Ambala a these are the nearest Broad Gauge Rail Head from Manali. Though Jogindernagar and kalka are not much preferred rail heads but can be chosen if these are feasible.

By Road

Manali is around 540 km from Delhi. So if you are residing somewhere near Delhi, you can opt for bus or hire a private taxi. Manali is easily approachable from Shimla, Leh, Dhramshala.

By Air

The airport nearest to Manali is Bhuntar which is in Kullu, about 50 km from Manali. Indian Airlines and Kingfisher airlines operate flights to Kullu from Delhi and Chandigarh. If you are ready to shell out good amount, then traveling by plane can be a good option.

Stay :
Being a tourist spot, Manali has innumerable hotels and resort. Hotels can be booked online through makemytrip, Expedia and like wise.

Suggestions :

It is suggested that you plan your trip well and book your hotel and other tickets well in advance so that you don’t have to face problem. If you are planning your trip to Manali in winters then don’t forget to carry warm clothes. Plan well in advance to avoid last minute rush and enjoy!

ECO-Tourism

ADB funds Rs. 1900 crore tourism project for Himachal

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ADB Funds Tourism Project for Himachal Pradesh

The design of the project is based on the detailed baseline data, a study conducted of 324 sites in 12 districts of the state, suggestions obtained from about 90,000 tourists.

Shimla: The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India has approved a tourism infrastructure development project worth about Rs. 1900 crores to be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for development of tourism infrastructure in the urban and rural areas of Himachal Pradesh.

With the help of this ADB funded project, the state would develop tourism in rural, unexplored areas and improve the infrastructure of the towns and also generate employment for the local youths and showcase Himachal as the best natural tourist destination state, the State Government informed.

Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism Ram Subhag Singh further informed the project would be completed in eight years.

The project is supposed to focus on diversification of tourism to new and rural areas by developing tourism infrastructure, create livelihood and employment opportunities through rural, adventure and ecotourism.

The project also mentions the application of innovative models like incentive-based mechanisms for community-based tourism activities, augmentation of services like water supply, sewerage, solid waste, skill development related to the tourism sector, advertising and marketing etc.

He claimed it would be one of the finest examples of sustainable tourism in the Himalayan States.

The project will have both hard and soft components and will include beautification of towns, development of unexplored areas, conservation and restoration of heritage buildings, infrastructure development in adventure, eco, rural tourism with an emphasis on community participation and employment generation.

The design of the project is based on the detailed baseline data, a study conducted of 324 sites in 12 districts of the state and suggestions obtained from about 90,000 tourists and designed in line with sustainable tourism guideline for the Himalayan States.

The Union Ministry of Tourism, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs and Niti Ayog have also supported the project for tourism development in Himachal, it was informed. ADB Funds Tourism Project for Himachal Pradesh

The Government said the Department of Economic Affairs was satisfied with the performance and progress of the State on the ongoing ADB funded project of about Rs.600 crores.

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ECO-Tourism

Future of India is in tourism, says Alphons at conference on Himachal’s eco-tourism potential

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Potential of Eco-Tourism in Himachal Pradesh 2

Shimla: The Union Minister of State for Tourism Minister K. J. Alphons on Tuesday said the future of India is in tourism as the global tourism witnessed a growth of 7 per cent, while tourism in India grew by 15.6 per cent.

He was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the two days International Conference on ‘Eco-Tourism Potential in Himachal Pradesh’ organized by the State Forest Department and Eco-Tourism Society of Himachal Pradesh at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali in Kullu district.

It is true that the potential of tourism in Himachal is promising. Sadly, the previous government of the both ruling and opposition parties did not do much to encourage eco-tourism or environmental conservation. The efforts were limited to announcements and proposals.

Some of the appreciable steps in this regard, which are very rare, were a ban on plastic bags and thermocol cups and plates.

All major international tourism destinations of the State have witnessed an unplanned growth of concrete and rise in the daily generation of solid waste. However, except for Shimla town, none of the other districts has a solid waste treatment plant. The Municipal Councils of these towns are still using landfills.

It was only recently in 2018 that the State Government made an announcement for the establishment of waste management plants in various districts. However, the government did not provide any deadline for the completion.

New Announcements of HP Govt

On Tuesday, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced the development of 113 sites boost the eco-tourism. Out the total, five sites would be developed in a Public Private Partnership mode. Other 16 sites would be developed by the State Forest Department and 47 by the HP the State Forest Corporation. These agencies would are supposed to start eco-tourism activities at these sites.

It was announced that 25 new destinations would be developed by constructing log huts for tourists.

Three eco-tourism hubs would be developed during the current financial year and 10 places would be developed as adventure tourism spot of Himachal in collaboration with Eco-Tourism Society, Tourism Department and Mountaineering Institute, Manali.

Further, the government claimed that 31 eco-tourism circuits has been prepared and would be sent for approval to the Centre.

Nature parks and herbal gardens are being developed in the State and as many as 50 Forest Rest Houses have started eco-tourism activities in the State. It said efforts would be made to link eco-tourism with the rural life, culture and traditions.

The government expects it would not only give a boost to the unexplored and virgin tourist destinations of the State but also help in boosting economic activities in the rural areas of the State.

The government said it would spend Rs 50 crore on a new scheme ‘Nayae Rahaien Nayae Manzilain’, under which new tourist destinations would be developed in the State.

The government has banned the use of thermocol cup plates in the State from June 5 on the occasion of World Environment Day. These steps would go a long way in ensuring a clean environment of the State.

The eco-tourism could have several components such as trekking, mountain biking, river rafting, skiing, heli-skiing, camping, rock climbing, bird watching etc.

The government said the exploration of new destinations would not only provide much-needed solace to the tourists visiting these pristine new places in the State but also lessen the burden on already crowded tourist destinations of the State.
The Government would also associate private players to invest in eco-tourism projects.

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur filled a membership form of Eco Club on the occasion. Several MoUs for eco-tourism projects were signed on the occasion between different organizations and companies.

The left bank Manali road would be taken up through World Bank of CRF funding for its timely completion.

The announcements do sound appreciable, but in reality, the government is still struggling even to provide basic facilities to the public. The tourism industry in Shimla had taken a hit due to the water-scarcity caused by mismanagement and preparedness of the government.

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ECO-Tourism

Himachal seeks Rs. 300 crore from Centre to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism

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Religious Tourism in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the Union Minister for Tourism, K.J. Alphons to sanction three schemes worth Rs. 300 crore to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism in the state.

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, during a meeting in New Delhi, apprised the Minister that Himachal was also a major centre of religious tourism and religious tourism circuits will be developed here to provide devotees more facilities.

The Chief Minister also invited Union Minister to Himachal and said that he himself will take him to the tourist destinations of the State. K.J. Alphons whole-heartedly accepted the invitation.

Chief Minister also urged the Centre to provide funds generously for widespread publicity of tourism sites in the state.

The Union Minister of State for Tourism assured the Chief Minister that the Union Government will extend all possible support to this hill state for exploitation and expansion of its tourism potential.

The Chief Minister said that the focus should be on tourism in the state, which was not given before. However, now the state government is giving special emphasis to strengthening infrastructure in virgin natural places, he said.

Himachal has immense potential for adventure tourism and adventure sports like mountaineering, biking, river rafting, and paragliding and the state is considered as a paradise for these adventure sports.

However, it is true that the governments have done very little to polish and maintain the tourism sector.

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