By Dr. Ashwini Sood (HOD Pediatrics, IGMC, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh) Referred to as Dev Bhoomi or Land of God, Himachal Pradesh is covered with immense natural beauty. The word Himachal means the abode of snow. A majority of the area is mountainous with lofty ranges, deep valleys, swaying waterfalls and lush greenery and is blessed with the unlimited beauty of the Mother Nature.
Shimla, the capital of the state is a magnificent hangover of the British Raj. Shimla’s cool environs still remain the biggest magnet for Indian tourists. Shimla has taken the best of what the British created and mixed it with the quintessentially Indian – and every summer thousands of people from the plains enjoy themselves to the hilt in this popular summer retreat.
The State’s climate system is fundamental to the life support. Our personal health may seem to relate mostly to prudent behavior, heredity, occupation, local exposures and health care access, but sustained population health requires the life-supporting services of the biosphere. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical (450–900 meters) in the southern low tracts, warm and temperate (900–1800 meters), cool and temperate (1900–2400 meters) and cold glacial and alpine (2400–4800 meters) in the northern and eastern high elevated mountain ranges.
The tourists can visit the state of Himachal both far primary and secondary wellness. For the primary wellness traveller there are endless destinations to visit in the state and for a secondary wellness traveller coming for rejuvenation and de-stress, during their trip, there is a number of world-class facilities. With the emergence of Spas in most resort properties, secondary wellness has already established itself a niche while primary wellness continues to see an exceptional growth. There is a number of centers like Vivekanand Medical Research Institute Palampur and at Mcleodganj offering the state-of-the-art facilities, offer ailment management therapies for issues like paralysis, arthritis, diabetes or obesity as well as detoxifying regimens for conditions like motor neuron diseases, and various forms of cancer.
Himachal Pradesh was declared the first smoke Free State in the country. In the mountains, one gets to breathe pure oxygen which improves the respiratory system and lung capacity. The more fresh air you breathe the more active your lungs become, the more blood the heart pumps and the healthier it all turns. Walking for long distances is also a great cardiovascular workout.
For sheer geographic diversity, few places in the world are as richly endowed as Himachal Pradesh is. Rivers in deep gorges and placid mountain lakes, thick forests, and acres of scree, mountainsides draped withsnow and green. Alpines pastures all form a part of the immense possibilities for a wide range of outdoor activities, sports, and adventure. All you have to do is to make up your mind and select your own activity. Sedentary or strenuous, for the expert or beginner, Himachal has a niche of sport and adventure for everyone.
‘Eco –tourism’ is an attraction with the eco-system and our surrounding environment. This interaction is a positive two-way process where both humans and the environment stand to benefit. Practically all adventure activities in Himachal stem from nature and the presence of artificially created gimmicks is minimal. Almost all the activities outlined come under the broad head of ‘eco-tourism’, where both nature and the participant can establish a rapport and you can truly appreciate all its wonders. But do remember, it is the man who is part of nature and that too a very small one.
Ayurvedic tourism is surely getting a foothold in Himachal Pradesh with the state government promoting ‘Panchkarma Tourism’ by offering Panchkarma treatment centers in selected hotels of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. This serves for rejuvenation of the entire body systems, anti-stress and general treatment of chronic diseases. Panchkarma treatment proves to be very effective in the treatment of cervical spondylitis, hysteria, mental disorders, blood pressure, paralysis and general disability and is recommended for the promotion of positive health, vitality, and longevity.
Apart from the benefits on physical health, mountains also impact our mental well-being. They provide a distinct level of peace which can hardly be experienced in the cities. The picturesque views, mesmerizing water bodies, the glittering diamond-like mountains all help in calming and soothing the mind. Breathing fresh air and looking at the breathtaking nature makes our bodies release happy hormone-endorphins which reduce the stress levels and makes us happy.
Himachal is truly known as ‘A Destination for all seasons and all reasons’.