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I. Viewing

A person soaks in a panoramic view of the Shimla Himalayas after the rains. Earlier 'Simla', Shimla served as the Summer Capital of British India from 1864 to 1947, and now serves as the capital of Himachal Pradesh. 

The Western Himalayas from air on a bright, sun-lit day. Seen here is the dramatic progression of the mountains from the lower 'Shivalik' hills to the snow-clad 'Dhauladhar', 'Pir-Panjal' and 'Great Himalayan' ranges in the distance.

Distinctive landforms rolling up towards the Dhauladhar, Pir-Panjal and Great Himalayan ranges, as seen from the 'Jyot' Pass at the intersection of Chamba and Kangra districts in Himachal Pradesh.

The mist-swept Himalayas of Kullu and Manali district, Himachal Pradesh.

A peak rises in perfect symmetry in the Dhauladhars of Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh. In the foreground, a little temple-shrine imitates the landform via its pyramidical roof. The Western Himalayas are also known as 'Dev Bhoomi', 'The Land of the Gods.'

A siege of herons flies against the backdrop of the Dhauladhar Himalayas in Kangra Valley.

'Junga', an old village in the Himalayas of Shimla district.

A waterfall tumbling down the slopes of Manali.

A plane lands at Gaggal airport in Kangra district. In the background can be seen the twin hill stations of Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj, the latter being the centre of the Tibetan Government in Exile.

A panoramic shot of the sprawling fields of Kangra Valley, and the traditional mud-and-slate houses that dot its terrain.

Snowy Shimla, often called 'the Queen of Hills', one winter evening. The best example of a colonial-era 'hill station', Shimla like most other hill stations of the subcontinent, was set upon a ridge by the then ruling British. This was in contrast to the precolonial towns of the Himalayas, all of which were established along the riverbeds of valleys. Ideas of colonial might and separation were at the heart of such stations.

The twin hill stations of Landour and Mussoorie in the state of Uttarakhand. Mussoorie was also known as the 'Pleasure Capital of the Raj', and like Shimla, still serves as a famous tourist spot in the Himalayas. 

Landour and Mussoorie during sunset.

The valley of Kullu and Manali as viewed from the castle at 'Naggar', the ancient capital of the district. 

Haphazard urban development in Kullu, a tragic feature of virtually all towns, cities and even many villages of the Western Himalayas (and the Himalayas in general), that has led to an accelerating negative change in the environment: from flooding to landslides, from global warming to a deepening sense of deracination. 

Two women behold the view of the Chamba Valley, with the river Ravi flowing on the right. 

The town of Mandi, which, like the valley of Kullu and Manali, is based along the river Beas. Unsustainable urban development can again be seen here.

Massive plumes of mist float against a foreground of pine trees in Shimla district.

A pastel-hued sunset in Shimla Himalayas.

A monkey soaks in the final light of the day during a late evening scene in Shimla.

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