Along the National Highway No.22, as one cross the state border of Haryana into Himachal, there comes the town of Parwanoo. A couple of decades ago, this was a sleepy little village but today, it is a pulsating industrial town. Fruit based products, plastics, motor parts and watch components roll out of Parwanoo's factories. For a tourist, Parwanoo is a convenient base station to see and visit a number of nearby areas.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Places of Interest: Renuka, Subathu, Dagshai, Pinjore, and Kasauli
Best Time To Visit: July to September
With a circumference of roughly 2.5-kms, this is the largest lake in Himachal. Fed by underground springs, it is shaped like the profile of a reclining woman and is regarded to be the embodiment of the Goddess Renuka. With a circumference of 3214m, Renukaji is the largest natural lake in Himachal. Shaped like the profile of a reclining woman, this is regarded as the embodiment of the goddess 'Renuka'. Near the lake's feet is another lake held sacred to her son, 'Parshurama'. Both have temples built around them and the main temple to Renuka is regarded to have been built overnight in the 18th century. The lake rests in a long valley and the surrounding slopes are covered with a variety of vegetation and thick woods. Boating is available on the lake.Renuka has a mini zoo with spotted deer, lion-tailed macaques, nilgai, mithun, barking deer and Himalayan black bears - and a lion safari. Fishing is possible on the river Giri, at nearby Jataun.
A one time British cantonment, this small town is surrounded by pine trees and also has an old church.
Still a cantonment, it has also got the remains of a Gurkha Fort.
Parwanoo is an excellent base to visit the famed Mughal style gardens at Pinjore.
The Celebrated Mughal Gardens:
Lying at the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges are one of the most fascinating Mughal Gardens, also known as Yadavindra Gardens. The Gardens are only 22 kms from Chandigarh and 14 kms from Panchkula town. The gardens have a charm that is unparalleled. The fascinating Mughal Gardens are perhaps the only Mughal garden, where one descends to the last step. Nawab Fidai Khan, a cousin of Aurangzeb, and an architect of repute planned the architecture of the gardens. He also designed the Badshahi Mosque at Lahore. The Nawab was also the Governor of the Province and it was during his tours, that he chanced upon the rare beauty of this valley. The Nawab realised the beauty of the place and set to work. He planned the Garden on the classical Charbagh pattern, giving the area central waterway. Both sides of this waterway were covered with the patches of green bordered with flowers and shaded by trees like the traditional palm, the cypress and magnolia. But the Nawab could not stay here for long. Frightened by local goiter stricken women, the courtiers of the Nawab fled. The palace fell in the hands of the Raja of Sirmaur who had planned this move. In 1775 AD, Maharaja Amar Singh of Patiala bought Pinjore and consolidated it in his lands. He restored the beauty of the Gardens and frequently visited it, till in 1966, the Gardens were handed over to Haryana when it was formed as a new state. The Gardens were the first and only centre of tourist attraction at the time.
A charming hill station with lots of 'old world' charm.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Air: The closest airport is at Chandigarh, 22-km away.
Rail: The nearest broad gauge railhead is at Kalka, only 4-km away.
Road: Regular buses and taxis are available from both Chandigarh and Kalka.
In winter, the temperature can get quite low when heavy woolens are required. It is pleasantly warm in summer and cottons are recommended.