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ABOUT HIMACHAL PRADESH - Himachal Pradesh is a northern Indian state in the Himalayas. It's home to scenic mountain towns and resorts such as Dalhousie. Host to the Dalai Lama, Himachal Pradesh has a strong Tibetan presence. This is reflected in its Buddhist temples and monasteries, as well as its vibrant Tibetan New Year celebrations. The region is also well known for its trekking, climbing, and skiing areas. Himalaya attracts tourists from all over the world. Hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Chamba, Khajjiar, Kullu, and Kasauli are popular destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists. The state also has many important Hindu pilgrimage sites with prominent temples like Naina Devi Temple, Bajreshwari Mata Temple, Jwala Ji Temple, Chintpurni, Chamunda Devi Temple, Baijnath Temple, Bhimakali Temple, Bijli Mahadev, and Jakhoo Temple. Manimahesh Lake situated in the Bharmour region of Chamba district is the venue of an annual Hindu pilgrimage trek held in the month of August which attracts lakhs of devotees. The state is also referred to as "Dev Bhoomi" (literally meaning Abode of Gods) due to its mention as such in ancient Hindu texts and the occurrence of a large number of historical temples in the state. Himachal is also known for its adventure tourism activities like ice skating in Shimla, paragliding in Bir Billing and Solang valley, rafting in Kullu, skiing in Manali, boating in Bilaspur and trekking, horse riding and fishing in different parts in the state. Shimla, the state's capital, is home to Asia's only natural ice-skating rink. Spiti Valley in Lahaul and Spiti District situated at an altitude of over 3000 meters with its picturesque landscapes is an important destination for adventure seekers. The region also has some of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries in the world. Himachal hosted the first Paragliding World Cup in India from 24 to 31 October in 2015. The venue for the paragliding world cup was Bir Billing, which is 70 km from the tourist town Macleod Ganj, located in the heart of Himachal in Kangra District. Bir Billing is the center for aero sports in Himachal and considered as best for paragliding. Buddhist monasteries, trekking to tribal villages and mountain biking are other local possibilities.
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