7 December 2020


UNESCO World Heritage Sights In Himachal Pradesh

The recognition of a site or a location as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (also known as the UNESCO) World Heritage Site is an achievement in itself. Only a few among several thousand sites are selected and felicitated with this honour. The UNESCO stature is awarded to a place only if it holds some scientific, cultural or historically significant importance and value to it. There are a total number of thirty eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the land of India. Of these thirty eight sites, two of the most beautiful sites are in Himachal Pradesh, the kingdom of snow. These are the Great Himalayan National Park and the Kalka to Shimla toy train line. Himachal Pradesh is famous all throughout India for a variety of reasons that include the snow covered mountains, the sumptuous food and its rich culture.

train near our resort in Himachal

The Great Himalayan National Park

The Great Himalayan National Park is a national park in the Western Part of the Himalayan Mountains in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. This ninety thousand hectare large National Park is home to glacial peaks, alpine meadows and pristine forests. The upper glacial and snow meltwater sources of the rivers are vital for millions of downstream users for their daily survival. The natural park also protects the monsoon affected forests and the alpine meadows of the Himalayan front mountain ranges. It is part of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot and includes twenty five forest types along with a rich assemblage of fauna species, several of which are threatened. This gives the site outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation. This national park is one of the most scenic destinations for nature lovers. The national park also harbors a glorious abundance of wildlife that include the Himalayan Thar, Himalayan Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Western Tragopan and the Monal in a landscape filled with water streams, alpine slopes and snow towers to make it one of the largest and most beautiful ecosystems in the world.

There are thousands of trekkers, bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts that wander in the wilderness of this national park.

Flora and Fauna -
This natural Park is located in the sensitive ‘Western Himalayan Temperate Forests’ belt and
Is thus a global biodiversity hotspot that manages to conserve over eight hundred species of plants, one hundred and ninety species of lichens, twelve species of liverworts and twenty five species of mosses. The magnificent fauna contained in this national park includes thirty one mammal species, two hundred and nine birds, nine amphibians, twelve reptiles and one hundred and twenty five insects.

Treks and Trails -
There are extremely long, vivid and adventurous trails which are worth embarking on which show contrasting landscapes and the beautiful terrains.

Best time to visit -
The best time periods to visit this national park are April to June and September to November as the weather during these months is exceptionally great and visibility is good too. It is not recommended to visit the national park during the rainy season months of July to August and the winter season of December to March as the treks and trails become highly muddy and start growing weeds. Also another major problem is that bridges suffer collapse during the rainy seasons while in the winter seasons, the high snowfall restricts access to most areas of the national park.
How to reach the Great Himalayan National Park -

By Air - The nearest airport is Bhuntar, twenty kilometers away from Aut, the gateway town to Parvati Valley and the Great HImalayan National Park.

By Rail - The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar, which is a hundred kilometers from the Great HImalayan National Park.

By Road - The Great Himalayan National Park is also accessible by road from Aut which lies thirty kilometers from Kullu.

The Toy Train line from Kalka to Shimla

One of the most picturesque toy train journeys on planet Earth.!
Go back in time to the past by boarding the Kalka to Shimla toy train railway line which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that connects the Indian plains to Shimla which is also known as the ‘Queen Of The Hills’. This toy train was built in 1903, and has accomplished one of the most incredible feats of engineering covering a staggering hundred and two tunnels, eight hundred and sixty four bridges, and nine hundred and nineteen stunning curves. The toy train spans over sixty miles, and is said to be one of the most scenic railway journeys in India. And, with a route that encompasses a vast display of awe inspiring landscapes, it’s easy to see why. This journey runs on a narrow gauge from Kalka to Shimla, treating passengers with breathtaking views of rugged mountains, lush pine forests, waterfalls, valleys and picture-perfect hill stations along the way that will definitely tempt you to disembark and bask in their beauty. The whole journey takes about five and a half hours.

History of the toy train line from Kalka to Shimla -
Soon after the first Anglo-Gurkha war, Shimla (then, called as Simla) was established by the British Empire. In 1864, the town became the summer capital of the British Empire and even served as the British army’s headquarters. But the only snag was connectivity which meant to reach Shimla, the only mode of transportation was a bullock cart that traversed through mountainous terrain, which was unsteady, dangerous and took a long amount of time. So, for easy and quick access to Shimla, the Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge was started in 1903 and was referred as the ‘British Jewel of the Orient’. The maiden journey of the train was taken by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. And since then, the train has been operating regularly and has become an iconic symbol of Shimla that is cherished by locals and tourists alike. 

The route taken by The Kalka to Shimla toy train line -
The Kalka-Shimla train allows passengers to see mesmerizing sights and hamlets that they would have otherwise never witnessed. The route starts from Kalka, located in the Panchkula district of Haryana, from zero metres, winding its way upwards along the narrow track. At 656 metres, the train starts climbing uphill, passing through the eighteen stations and reaches Shimla, located at an elevation of two thousand and seventy six metres in the lap of the Himalayas. As the train ascends through steep mountains and curves, its speed slows down.

The 18 stations it stops at are at Taksal (6 km), Gumman (11 km), Koti (17 km), Sonwara (27 km), Dharampur (33 km), Kumarhatti (39 km), Barog (43 km), Solan (47 km), Salogra (53 km), Kandaghat (59 km), Kanoh (65 km), Kathleegat (73 km), Shoghi (78 km), Taradevi (85 km), Jutoh (90 km), Summer Hill (93 km) and finally, Shimla (96 km). At every station, there are tea and snack stalls, so passengers can relish in the local food along the way. The journey is magical, to say the least.
The highlight of the journey is Barog station, which has the longest tunnel (tunnel number thirty three) on the route, stretching one thousand one hundred and forty three metres. Also, bridge number two hundred and twenty six is an architectural marvel that passes over a deep valley surrounded by steep hills on both sides. However, it is difficult to see this bridge from the carriage.

Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh

Where to stay in Himachal Pradesh?

Rakkh Resort in Palampur is the perfect getaway for your dreams to come true in the land of snow, Himachal Pradesh. The Rakkh resort in Himachal Pradesh is an abode kept by the gods, a stairway to heaven, and is the planetary escape from the ordinary with its profusion of active, immersive and transformative experiences for loved ones to bond over, enjoy and experience.

Popularly known as the ‘Land of the Gods’, Himachal Pradesh is a destination like no other. Get ready for a getaway at our resort in Himachal Pradesh that connects you with nature – explore Himachal and be one with nature and the gods!

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061