Getting to Himachal Pradesh
There are four well developed core focus zones / areas that draw the maximum visitor or act as base camps for most of Himachal – Shimla, Kullu and Manali, Dalhousie and Chamba, and Dharamshala and Palampur.
In their own right they hold several draws and encompass a variety of sightseeing and adventure. They also act as pivots for a spectrum of off-beat excursions.
The nearest airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 km from Shimla town and is connected to Delhi and Kullu. Taxi cabs are available and it takes about an hour to reach Shimla from the airport. Small aircrafts ply here.
Shimla is connected by a broad gauge line up to Kalka. Then a narrow gauge line (now UNESCO heritage site) takes over for Shimla and covers 96 km of track. The journey between Kalka and Shimla takes about six hours and is one of the finest ways of enjoying the landscape. Alternative combinations – By train up to Delhi (375 km), Chandigarh (120 km), or Kalka (90 km) and then by road. More on this : Kalka Shimla Train
Shimla is connected by road to all major cities in north India. Taxi cabs for Shimla are available at Delhi, Chandigarh, Ambala and Kalka. Several state-run transport corporations and private operators ply regular, deluxe, AC and Volvo buses from Delhi and Chandigarh.
Dharamshala, Kangra and Palampur
The airport at Gaggal is 14 km from Dharamshala and 23 km from its twin town Mcleodganj. Kangra is 10 Kms and Palampur is 40 km away. Taxis are available.
Pathankot is the closest broad gauge railhead and is 85 km from Dharamshala and 124 km from Palampur. You can opt for the narrow gauge railway for a taste of the area. Called the Kangra Valley Railway it connects Pathankot to Jogindernagar. The station feeding Dharamshala and Kangra is Kangra Mandir and the one for Palampur is Maranda.
Dharamshala is just off National Highway No. 20 and well linked to the region. Palampur is 38 km from Dharamshala and even independently is well linked.
The best option is to travel by taking the train from Delhi up to Jalandhar or Una / Nangal and then traveling by road. En route you can visit the shrines of Naina Devi, Chintpurni, Jawalaji and Kangra. The road distance from Jalandhar to Dharamshala is 165 km along this route, and to Palampur is 198 km.
Kullu and Manali
The airport at Bhuntar is the common base that feeds these towns. This is 10 km from Kullu and 50 km from Manali.
Kullu and Manali are connected by an extensive network of road with the northern region. National Highway No. 21 runs through the valley and connects Chandigarh and Delhi
Dalhousie and Chamba
The closest airport is at Gaggal near Dharamshala which is 103 km from Dalhousie and 165 Kms from Chamba.
The nearest railhead is at Pathankot 85 km from Dalhousie and 120 km from Chamba .
Both Dalhousie and Chamba are well connected by road. Taxis and regular coaches connect the towns from Pathankot
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