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Himachal Pradesh is a huge mountain state which borders the Kashmir, Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti regions of the Himalayas. Weather is not similar at one time at all places. I am providing you with some important pointers based on my experience of more than 12 years in the mountains.
1. You can visit SHIMLA at any time of the year. Even rains are enjoyble as the jungles are scented with pine trees. But if you want to enjoy winters there - book by October-November and visit after 25th December when snowfall usually happens.
2. MANALI : Summers comes when heat comes in plains of North India as this is time when everyone runs for MANALI. Accommodation is not a big issue as you will find hotels and hotels there. APRIL- JULY are hot season in MANALI and there is a slump in monsoons. DO NOT COME IN MONSOONS - the road is unpredictable and every year good a chunk of the road is washed away with high tides of BEAS. Avoid being here in MONSOONS. Come again in Mid-August to late October and you will find a new Manali. Again city if flooded with people from all over the world. WINTERS: Sets late in MANALI and snowfall starts in late December and you can find snowfall up to Late February. You can enjoy skiing in January and February at SOLANG VALLEY which is a popular ski joint.
3. PALAMPUR-MACLEOD GANJ: Avoid being here in MONSOONS - topogrpahy of mountains is risky to travel in heavy rains. Rest of the year - you will find life bubbling in these places, especially in MACLEOD GANJ and DHARAMSHALA which became popular after RICHARD GERE, MADONNA and others have been seen working for the TIBETAN CAUSE!
4. TRIBAL REGIONS: This is National Highway 21 which starts from SHIMLA and then winds to RECONG PEO-KAZA-TABO-LOSAAR and open up in KUNZUM LA and reaches on back of ROHTANG PASS. This is all a dry area; when there are heavy monsoons the in the mountainous area around RECONG PEO is dry and after that...no rains!! You can travel on this road after getting INNER LINE PERMIT from RECONG PEO which is similar for INDIANS and others. Travel on this road after MAY and travel up to late September.
IMPORTANT: Few websites and tour operators woo travellers for MANALI-LEH road and a lot of wrong information is provided on the internet. IT IS NOT SAFE TO TRAVEL ON THIS ROAD UP TO FIRST WEEK OF JUNE.
Every year hundreds of travellers are stranded on high passes just due to greed of few people who compromise others lives due to dollars coming in!