Top 4 Offbeat places to visit in Himachal Pradesh

My love affair with Himachal Pradesh started in May 2013. Very impulsively I packed my bags and headed for the mountains without knowing what lies ahead. I landed in Manali, and then went on to explore nearby places like Hamta, Shoja, Kothi etc. And since then I couldn’t stop myself from running away to the hills whenever I get weekends off i.e. twice a month for the past four months.

The alluring panorama of Himachal Pradesh, at the foothills of Himalayas, has an array of mountain ranges and snow-covered apexes. Once you visit Himachal Pradesh, you will not go back without a feeling of coming back again and again. It is an abode for adventure junkies and people looking for some adrenaline rush. But don’t get fooled by the high and mighty valleys that gives you a sense of bold endanger, one can also have a rejuvenating time here away from the city lights. Breath in the fresh morning air, wake up to the lush green landscape and explore the virginal surroundings.

Check out the top four offbeat places to visit in Himachal Pradesh:

1. Malana Tucked away safely from the rest of the civilization, Malana is a small village in the district of Kullu. This place has a rich historical background as it is believed that the people of Malana are the descendants of Alexander the Great. They have their own administrative system very similar to the Greek system of law and administration, concept of purity, language and social structure. The lofty peaks of Chandrakhani and Deotibba shelters the village. The origin of Malana can be traced back to Jamlu rishi who is a local deity credited with establishing the social laws and rules in this society. How to get there One can reach Malana via Kasol. Hire a cab from Kasol which will cost around 1450 Rs.and it will drop you at the steps leading to the village, from where the trek starts. It will take around two hours to reach the village, remember you should carry your own food as there are no cafes or eating joints in that area.

Lonely Planet Restaurant doubles up for a dorm at night for just 100 Rs a day,now isn`t that a bargain?

DSCN99282. Kheerganga

Kheerganga is in the district of Kullu in the lap of the Parvati Valley. One can go till Barsaini by bus from where the four hour trek starts till Kheerganga. It is believed that Lord Shiva had his abode here and meditated for thousands of years. The best thing about the place is the hot water spring which is said to have healing properties. After the trek one can rejuvenate himself/herself in the much needed hot water spring here. Totally worth a visit.

Hike to Sirolsar Lake

3. Jalori Jot

This one is the best hiking trail according to me. I stayed at a nearby village called Shoja, and drove down till Jalori Jot in a car. From there one can go to Sirolsar Lake next to the Temple at Jalori Jot or take a right from the main street towards an ancient fort. Both the locations are splendid. I went to Sirolsar Lake on a a rainy day, gosh it was too slippery due to the rain water and I almost felt thrice. I would have gone down the valley had I take a wrong step forward. A word of caution: wear good trekking shoes. I wore my tennis court shoes which created quite a lot of problem. Just before you reach the lake, you can take a break at a nearby dhaba run by a lovely lady and her son, Santosh. The hiking trail is of 4 Kms after which you reach the lake. Adjoining to the lake is a temple dedicated to the Old Serpent Queen of that area and the locals believe in her power so much that alcohol is not allowed in the area. Go a few steps further and you will find a small makeshift cafe, the guy there makes yummy Mutton and Rice.

Hamta is a small village about 2 km away from Manali in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

4. Hamta

This is the fringe of heaven. If you are looking for a vacation spot where you can sit back and soak yourself in the surroundings, then you are at the right place. Hamta is a small village about 2 km away from Manali in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. One can reach Hamta via Pirni Aleo Hydro Power Plant and start the curvy clamber towards the lush green mountain top that overlooks the Manali City. Tired of the Delhi heat, I decided to go on a solo trip to Himachal Pradesh. It was then that I stumbled upon a lesser known village called Hamta. It was the deep valley with lush green trees, candy flossed clouds, tranquil Beas River and the silence of the mountain that I instantly fell in love with Hamta. I stayed at Backwoods Mountain Camp and Café, a humble abode surrounded by apple trees and the gleaming sight of nature`s beauty at its full bloom. Vikas, the owner of Backwoods Mountain Camp and Café is a gentleman; he is friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to do anything to make your stay comfortable and memorable. One can also take up activities like trekking, photography or mountain biking. You can start with a light hike to a nearby waterfall, take a dip in the freezing water and enjoy your picnic basket. If you are a serious trekker then walk all the way over to the base of the Himalayas, the Pir Panjal Range. You can you have enough days on hand you can complete the whole Hamta Pass Trek. Make sure to take breaks in between and recharge yourself with some soupy maggi or a hot glass of tea.

This article was originally published for The Indian Express. See article here:

Top 4: Offbeat places to visit in Himachal Pradesh


author --
If it wasn't for some dear friends who backed out of a trip to Ladakh, Suman wouldn't have been sharing these travel stories today! It was an eye opener, her first solo trip. Beyond the shenanigans of youthful days, Suman experienced a world of many dimensions. With her words, Suman hopes to share and inspire.

18 thoughts on “Top 4 Offbeat places to visit in Himachal Pradesh

  1. I’ve never heard of Himachal Pradesh, which I know is terrible but firmly on my radar now – it looks so beautiful and fresh and I can imagine hiking there would be so good for my health and my soul!

  2. I had heard of Kheerganga but had never heard of a restaurant that converts itself into a dorm at night, that also for such a bargain price! Himachal is indeed full of gems of places. Been there thrice, but I am yet to explore these

    1. Thats the beauty of it, one will always find a place to sleep. When we went it was so crowded that we couldn`t find a place to stay, so the good soul at that cafe did us a favor….

  3. I can only imagine how fresh the air must have been. One of my sorority sisters visited an area near here and I’m not sure if I would ever make my way out there. I am down for anything in the water, but mountains I am still apprehensive. Stellar photos!

  4. The places you can experience when getting off the grid are pretty spectacular! I love how lush everything is and I can see how this would be a place of serenity and meditation!

  5. I just had been to Himachal, a month ago and I have to say I’m already planning my next trip to this enchanting place. Your post has listed down all the major places that are in my bucketlist, looking at the pictures I can’t wait to be back there. No matter how many times you visit this place, it does seize to steal your breathe.

  6. You ought to have a word with Travellingslacker and IndianExpress. According to TinEye they stole your photograph of the tents a few years back.

  7. I am not an adventure kind of girl, but you have completely sold this adventure to me. The photos are also making me intrigued because as you said, there are a wide range of natural beauty to see. The natural pools and rivers, as well as the lush landscape are too hard to resist!

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