Known For : Kandaghat Trekking and Hiking Tara Devi Temple
While Shimla is being flooded by tourists every year, a serene, calm and epitome of beauty lies near it, waiting to be discovered. Shoghi, a small hill station just 13 Kms. from Shimla is abundant in natural scenic beauty and a large variety of flora and fauna. This small town offers from attractive old temples to adrenaline-teasing activities and its famous fruit made products.
Best Time: October to June
Barot is a mesmerizingly beautiful village located in the serene valleys of Mandi District in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a new found tourist destination and is located about 67 kilometers away from Mandi. If you are a backpacker, this destination is perfect to backpack through for a day or so.
Often referred to as a mesmerising "hamlet" situated amidst the lush green forests and surrounded by variegated mountain, Jibhi is just the right place to relax and spend some peaceful moments with your loved ones. An offbeat place in Himachal Pradesh, Jibhi is untouched by industrialization and surrounded by nature.
Chitkul is said to be the last inhabited village within the Indian boundaries on the old Indo-Tibetan Road. Situated at the height of 3450 meters, the village is located at a distance of 28 km from Sangla, about 600 kilometres from Delhi in the Kinnaur Valley. It is like a doorway which opens into an exquisite landscape of breathtaking beauty and a serene environment.
Pabbar Valley, the enchanting valley of the Pabbar River is located just 80 kilometres away from Shimla. Nature is seen thriving in abundance in this quaint little region of Himachal. The valley is located in the belt famous for the Pabbar River that cuts through the Chanshal Mountain Range, apple orchards, majestic mountains, lush green meadows, dense oak & deodar forests.
Located in the enchanting Tirthan Valley of Kullu, Gushaini is known for its adventure trails and bedazzling sights. The region makes for a great trekking and camping destination away from the congested treks in the valleys of Kullu-Manali. Gushaini also bears villages on the outskirts of the region which are worth visiting. Above all, the roaring Tirthan river gushing through the meandering mountain ways is a sight to behold!
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Known For : Kinnaur Kailash Trekking to Chakka Suicide Point
Kalpa, the main village of Kinnaur, in the Sutlej River Valley is a place to remember and cherish. Known for its many beautiful temples and monasteries, this town is also famed for its apple orchards. The majestic Kinnaur-Kailash range peeking from across the Sutlej River makes for a blissful break. An early morning walk through this paradise will give you a chance to experience magic and mystery with the sunrise.
Best Time: March to September
Away from the buzzing sound of city, this small village sits quietly in the lap of nature. Packed with apple orchards and blessed with divine beauty of nature, one can also find several small temples near the village. Located 107 kms from Mandi, this place is easily accessible via Tattapani.
Kothi is a quaint village located about 15 kilometres away from Manali on the foothills of Rohtang Pass. A perfect camping destination, it draws tourists for adventure and recreational activities from all across the world. The magnificent view of the natural landscape surrounding the Kothi village enchants everyone exploring the location.
Komic Village, situated at a height of 4275m is a location where fossils are found. Villagers might tempt you to buy the fossils, however do not get trapped since buying and transporting fossils is not legal. The village also owns a small monastery where women are not allowed during prayers.
Jagatsukh is a picturesque village, and the capital of former state of Kullu, located about 7 kilometres away from the town of Manali. It is famous for its enchanting natural landscape and the ancient Jagatsukh Temples which are religiously important shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Sandhya Devi. Usually, Jagatsukh can be explored in a day.
105 Kilometres east of Shimla lies the quaint village of Parhaat. Near this village and on the banks of the babbling river Pabar is the stunning valley of Hatkoti. This valley of stone temples is as preternatural and peculiar as it is ancient. Hatkoti has always been a place that brings together several individuals and tourists due to its unique architecture and religious importance.
When it comes down to rugged mountainous views, free-spirited nature and an overall enchanting and wild trip, the Himalayan village of Khara Pathar takes the cake. The small village may not seem often be chosen in favour of its famous neighbour, Shimla and due to the extremely off track road that leads to Kharapathar, but the place's charm is never dimmed.
Nestled deep within the mystical Parvati Valley of the Himalayas is the magical village of Rasol. An elusive and largely disconnected village situated approximately 10,000 feet above sea level, Rasol is an enchanting location where one is privy to breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas, which turn lush green as they flow down deep into the valley.
Kothi is a quaint village located about 15 kilometres away from Manali on the foothills of Rohtang Pass. A perfect camping destination, it draws tourists for adventure and recreational activities from all across the world. The magnificent view of the natural landscape surrounding the Kothi village enchants everyone exploring the location. Most trekkers on their way to Rohtang Pass often camp here.
Sarahan is a beautiful hamlet situated near Kinnaur in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Known as the "Gateway to Kinnaur", it is located near the Sutlej River Valley and the Indo Tibetan road, at an altitude of 2165 m below sea level. Famous for the never-ending apple orchards, dense emerald pine and deodar forests, gushing streams, wildflower fields rustic settings, terraced farms and slate-roofed houses, the village is a sight to behold.
Located at the height of 3,600 metres above the sea level, Nako is a mesmerising and picturesque village that is full of eye capturing surroundings and is the most significant village situated in the Kinnaur district of the Himachal Pradesh. The village can be found on the eastern end of the Kinnaur District and is most popular amongst nature lovers and trekkers.
If you are tired of the hustle bustle of the city and want to getaway for a few days to relax and live amidst hills and forests, Sirmour is just the place for you. Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Sirmour is a calm and tranquil district where still more than 90% people live in villages. The locals are very close to nature and hence this place is untouched by industrialization.
Pragpur is a heritage village situated near Kangra and houses the Judge's, Court Manor. The largely unaltered village, complete with an old world charm of small red brick shops and traditional rural houses is perfect for an undisturbed village tourism option. Pragpur is also the base for the famous Kangra School of Painting.
Housing umpteen apple and cherry orchards, Thanedar offers unparalleled bliss to nature lovers. Enjoy plucking the fruits from the myriad of trees that supply tons of cartons full of juicy apples all over India and abroad. There are many resorts that overlook the red orchards that can take you into a trance of nature.
Dhankar is a quaint little village nestled at an altitude of 12,774 feet above sea-level (3,894 m) in the Spiti Valley. In its local dialect, the name translates to 'fort on a cliff'. Known for its Monastery named after the village itself, the Dhankar Monastery overlooks the confluence of the Pin River. The town offers a scenic spectacle of the mountainscapes and bears a population of not more than 50 people.
Tucked in Naggar Tehsil in the Kullu district of Himachal, Chansari village is a beautiful hill station located at a distance of 110 kilometres from Shimla. It acts as a launching point for the Bijli Mahadev Trek and other adventure programs such as cycling. It is an offbeat destination holding the untouched beauty of Himachal. The holy Bijli Mahadev temple is a notable attraction that draws many tourists to the village.
Kotkhai is a small city snuggled in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Standing at an altitude of 1800 feet, the region is prominently known for its apple orchards. Some of the vital Kotkhai highlights are the Kothai palace with its typical Tibetan architecture, the holy Mahamai Temple and the Lankra Veer Temple. Kothai translates to 'the palace of the king located on a cliff'.
Lying in isolation away from the tourist rush of Himachal Pradesh is the quaint little village called Thachi. Located at an altitude of around 2000 meters in the Great Himalayan National Park, it is dotted with pristine streams and waterfalls along with lush green valleys. The village acts as a base many treks like the Thachi Saponi Trek and Thachi Gaun Beed Plateau Peak Trek. Thachi is notable for the pious Pundrik Rishi Temple.
Away from the crowded hotspots, these villages help you explore the rustic but magnificent hills in all its glory and charm. If you're looking for an unorthodox tour to the Himalayas, then these villages are a must-visit!