Top ChoiceFort in Tirthan Valley

Chehni Kothi

Unspoilt Chehni village is one of the most magical villages imaginable. Surveying a wide sweep of valley and ridgetops from 2110m, its antique core features the astounding 350-year-old Chehni Kothi fort-towers,...

Top ChoiceInternational in Manali

Johnson’s Cafe

The relaxed yet stylish garden-fronted restaurant at Johnson's Hotel frames a mountain view through foldaway windows, and its wood-fired pizza oven is cleverly positioned to warm the bar area in winter. Excellent...

Top ChoiceInternational in Kullu

Maitre

Easily missed opposite the petrol station, around 2km south of central Kullu, Maitre is the most appealing Western-centric restaurant for miles around, with great cakes and coffees supplementing a wide-ranging...

Top ChoiceReligious in Kullu

Dussehra

Kullu hosts one of the most unusual and colourful Dussehra festivals in India. Unlike the one-day celebrations common elsewhere, Kullu Dussehra goes on for a week. The opening day is the most exciting, with 200...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Naggar

International Roerich Memorial Trust

This fascinating complex, set in lovely hillside gardens 1km above the castle, is centred on the former home of Russian painter, writer and Inner Asian explorer Nicholas Roerich and his wife Elena Roerich, a...

Top ChoiceVillage in Tirthan Valley

Bahu

On a clear November day, it's hard to imagine a more perfectly framed view than that of Bahu's remarkably preserved village core, perched on a ridgetop and backed by dreamy views across the valley to a backdrop...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Kullu

Bijli Mahadev Temple

A popular day trip from Kullu starts with a 20km uphill drive southeast to Chansari followed by a 2.5km uphill hike to the Bijli Mahadev. The temple itself is fairly modest but it commands spectacular panoramas...

Top ChoiceMulticuisine in Kasol

Evergreen

Low-lit and atmospheric, this perennial favourite is reliable for a whole range of traveller munchies, and often serenaded by a Santana soundtrack.

Top ChoiceMonument in Rewalsar

Statue of Padmasambhava

Dominating Rewalsar's western flank is an enormous, 12m-high statue of Padmasambhava. He's dressed in brown with a gold face setting off his trademark fiercely staring eyes and wisps of moustache and beard. The...

Italian in Manali

Cafe 1947

This mood-lit bar-restaurant with a willow-shaded riverside terrace is popular for smoking shisha pipes (₹460) to an insistently upbeat soundtrack. It also serves good lasagne, thin-crust pizza and superb...

Hindu Temple in Manali

Hadimba Mandir

This much-revered wood-and-stone temple, constructed in 1553, has a three-tier pagoda-style roof plus conical top. The wooden doorway is richly carved with figures of gods, animals and dancers, and the outside...

Fort in Naggar

Naggar Castle

Built by the rajas of Kullu around 1500, this fort-cum-mansion is a splendid example of the earthquake-resistant, Kathkuni (alternating stone-and-timber) style of Himachali architecture. Sold to the British...

Viewpoint in Tirthan Valley

Jalori Pass

At the top of the Banjar Valley, Hwy 305 climbs over the panoramic 3223m Jalori Pass, marked by a couple of dhabas and a Mahakali temple. In calm weather this is a great spot for observing Himalayan griffon...

Multicuisine in Kullu

Gaur Niwas

Gaur Niwas is a classical if mostly ungentrified heritage house where you can savour meals from tandoori trout to fair-value thalis to penne alla zingara sitting at little slate-roofed garden pavilions or on the...

Multicuisine in Manali

Rocky's Cafe

Trancey vibes and dangling prayer-catchers set the tone, and there are plenty of chess sets on the wide sunny terrace, but what really makes the climb worthwhile is staring into infinity, contemplating the...

Hindu Temple in Bhuntar

Bishweshwar Mahadev Temple

Sitting amid young orchards beside a holy peepul tree, this 9th-century stone sikhara is a small but ornately carved national monument. Niches on the outside contain superb relief carvings of Vishnu (west side),...

Viewpoint in Kasol

Chojh Bridge

Pine-framed vistas up the racing Parvati River towards razor-sharp, snow-speckled peaks are at their light-suffused best around two hours before sunset. Views from Kasol bridge are great but 1.5km further east...

Himachali in Manali

Vibes

Upstairs, 250m south of the bus station, Vibes is a great place to try authentic, beautifully presented Himachali food that's rarely available outside local family weddings.

Clothing in Kullu

Bhuttico

For high-quality Kullu shawls and other handloom-woven goods at fixed prices, without the hard sell, head to the nearest branch of Bhuttico, the Bhutti Weavers’ Cooperative. Established in 1944, Bhuttico has...

Mediterranean in Manali

Casa Bella Vista

Just across the river from Old Manali, climb a short stairway to enjoy Bella Vista's high-quality vegetarian Spanish and Italian food served in a comfortably spacious setting with a florally feminine touch.