Shimla: Tourism is growing rapidly in Himachal as access to remote areas improves for it is not just scenic beauty that attracts visitors but also the people themselves, the enormous variety of cultures and warm hospitality that endears them to the state.
Tatapani, (52 Kms from here) famous for its hot sulfur spring baths, is emerging as a popular tourist destination, for domestic and international tourists alike.
Settled on the bank of River Satluj, the place is known for its scenic beauty and hot water springs are place of religious importance for the valley residents of the region.
Driving out from Shimla, to get to Tatapani, one has to pass through Naldehra, a scenic glade plays host to golfers as it happens to be one of the oldest golf course set up in South Asia.
During Makar Sakranti, a religious festival of Hindus held in January, Tatapani is visited by many pilgrims, some who descend on the place from abroad, to take a holy dip in the warm sulfur spring waters.
Last year more than 20,000 tourists, most of them pilgrims, visited Tatapani, said Prem Raina, a hotel owner at Tatapani.
However many locals fear losing out on business as the Kol Dam constructed lower down on the river fills up and submerges many places, which includes some of the hot springs of Tatapani.
Many tourists coming visiting here do offer business opportunities and do create employment avenues, says Sunny Gupta, a grocery store owner.
White water rafting which is very popular as Tatapani used to be the starting point but the adventure sport will simply not be there anymore when the dam backwaters fill up, he added.
Tatapani is also a converging point for routes to Mandi and Rampur and can be reached from either side of the river banks.