Historically important monuments of Himachal that should be on your must-visit list

  • Neetika Walter, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2015 22:56 IST

Blessed with immense beauty, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most picturesque, calm and serene states of India. Apart from the mesmerising and breathtaking views that the state has to offer, it too has a number of places of historical importance. A visit to Himachal, these historically significant places should definitely be on your must-visit list.

Viceregal Lodge


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Located in Shimla, the Viceregal Lodge, also known as Rashtrapati Niwas, was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy of India. It houses photographs and articles going back to the times of the British rule in India. The Viceregal Lodge was designed by British architect Henry Irwin and was built during the regime of Lord Dufferin. As the building was of little use to the President of India, who visited the place for a few days in the year, if at all, professor S Radhakrishnan thought of putting it to academic use. Hence, the building is now in use by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

Hidimba Temple


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Located in Manali, Hadimba Temple is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, sister of Hidimba, a figure in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Surrounded by a cedar forest, the structure was built in 1553.

Tabo Monastery


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Located in the Tabo village of Spiti Valley, the monastery was founded in 996 CE in the Tibetan year of the Fire Ape. There are many priceless collections ofthankas (scroll paintings), manuscripts, well-preserved statues, frescos and extensive murals which cover almost every wall. The monastery is in need of refurbishing as the wooden structures are aging and the thanka scroll paintings are fading. The monastery is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as a national historic treasure of India.

Kangra Fort


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Right from the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni in AD 1009, to the offensive by Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1622, to the post independence politics, Kangra has borne witnessed to a number of historic battles. Having the oldest serving Royal Dynasty in the world, the Katoch Clan, with Tika Ambikheswar, grandson of Jodhpur MP Chandresh Kumari, as the 490the scion in the lineage decent, Kangra- which was mentioned as Trigarta Kingdom in Mahabharata epic has the distinction of tilting political scales ever since it was merged in Himachal Pradesh in 1966.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple


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Located in Chamba, the Lakshmi Narayan Temple complex, devoted to the Vaishnavite sect, includes the main Lakshmi Narayan temple, built in the 10th century by Raja Sahil Verman. In 1678, Raja Chhatra Singh adorned the temple roof with gold plated pinnacles, as a riposte to Auranagzeb, who had ordered demolition of this temple.

Champavati Temple


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This temple, which was built by Raja Sahil Varman in memory of his daughter Champavati, is a pilgrim destination for many Hindus. The temple, located in Chamba, is dedicated to goddess Durga. On account of its historical and archeological importance, the temple is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India.

Rock Cut Temple


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The Rock Cut Temple, located in Masroor in Kangra Valley, is an 8th-century monolithic rock cut temple complex of 15 temples carved out of a single rock, the temple in the centre is carved inside, rest of the 14 temples (7 on either side of the central temple) are carved only on the outside, are reflected in the pond carved in front of these temples. According to a myth, this beautiful rock cut temple was carved out of one single stone. The Pandavas resided here during their long exile from their kingdom.

Nicholas Roerich art gallery


Guests from Overseas, source Wikipedia

The house of Nicholas Roerich- a reputed artist, who chose to reside in Naggar village in Kullu- is now converted into an art gallery, which houses numbers of rare paintings and other specimen of art.

Prashar Rishi Temple


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Amidst picturesque mountains and lush green meadows is located a temple dedicated to sage Prashar. Standing tall at a height of 2730 m, the temple was built in the 13th century. The temple is built near a lake, which too is held sacred.

Himalayan Queen- toy train


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Kalka-Shimla Railway holds record for greatest inclination of over 5816 ft (1772 metres) in its 96 kilometres stretch. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the train takes you from picturesque lush-green forests and offers breathtaking view of the Shivalik range. This train built in 1903, passes through 103 tunnels.

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