Paonta came into existence when the 10th guru of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh spent nearly 4 1/2 years here, after his horse had stopped at this location on his own volition. Taking it as a sign, the guru dismounted and as his feet (Paon) touched the ground, this location was called as Paonta.
Paonta sahib is a charmingly located small and quiet town on the banks of River Yamuna with subtropical climate conditions, surrounded by the Shivalik range of mountains as well as wildlife sanctuaries. Both the morning walks and the evening strolls in and around Paonta Sahib are exhilarating and those who have been here have rated these walks amongst the best in India. Visit to Paonta Sahib can be an included in your Manali tour package , should you so desire.
Paonta sahib (389 m) is about 130 km from Chandigarh and about 50 km from Dehradun. There are many hotels situated alongside the river Yamuna.
After a few days of walking in this area, you can hope to have glowing red cheeks, similar to the locals. Paonta sahib is an ideal destination to visit to unwind as it has lakes, rivers, wildlife centuries, national parks, temples, gurudwaras and peaceful atmosphere.
While Paonta sahib can be visited at all times in the year, it comes into its element during the Sikh festivals (Guru Purabs). The month of November, in which Guru Nanak, the first guru of the Sikhs was born, you get to witnesses enhanced festival activity. Like Holamohalla.
Holamohalla is a Sikh mock fight event and is conducted with a lot of fervour. The gurudwara at Paonta sahib runs a busy langar (free kitchen) serving 2 to 5000 daily visitors. It is here that the Guru Gobind Singh wrote many religious books, especially most of Banis of Dasam Granth.
Paonta sahib is an important gurudwara. It has a museum where the religious books written by the Guru Gobind Singh, some antiques and the weapons used by the Guru Gobind Singh are showcased. On the days important to Sikhs, processions of celebratory dances add to the charm of the town. Poetry competition is organised and held in the Kavi durbar.
Within 20 km distance there are many more gurudwaras. The well-known gurudwaras are: Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib, Gurudwara Tirgarhi Sahib, Gurudwara Shegarh Sahib. Apart from gurudwaras, there is a sprinkling of Hindu temples scattered all around. Some of them are: Shiva temple, Katasan Devi temple and Balasundari temple.
The town of Paonta Sahib is self-sufficient and has many hotels, parks, restaurants, schools, hypermarkets and degree colleges. In the recent past, some industries have also come up, but they do not soil the environment of the area. The residents of Paonta Sahib are blessed with both-the riverside views and the snowcapped mountain views.
Suketi Fossil Park has life-size models of prehistoric animals and is about 20 km away from Paonta sahib. Pertinent to say that fossil skeletons had been discovered here.
Kalesar National Park is where you can let your eyes feast on a wide range of wild animals, birds and flora.
Simbalwara Wildlife Park is another destination 12 km away for the nature lovers.
60 km away is the famous destination of Renuka Ji. The main attraction of Renuka Ji is it's lake, the largest in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The unique feature of this lake is its shape resembling the profile of a reclining woman, when viewed from the top. Boats are available on hire for boating onto the lake. Renuka Ji is surrounded by slopes covered with thick woods sheltering a wide variety of animals. Apart from the lake, it is the 19th century temple for which Renuka Ji is also famous.