Barot is a place which people from lower Himachal choose as an offbeat destination for their vacations. One can imagine if people who are living in mountains and choose this destination as the offbeat spot for themselves what people coming from plains will feel here. This used to be and is my favorite spot for short vacations.
Barot Village is a small village located in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The small village comes under Chauhar Valley and is located at approx 1800 meters above sea level. This is a nice off beat location away from maddening crowds at popular tourist destinations of Himachal. The entire Barot village lies on the banks of Uhl River and there are two reservoirs under Shanan Power Project. UHL River adds charm to the village and also allows for trout breeding. The road to Barot village bifurcates from Ghatasni (place on Mandi – Pathankot Highway) 35 KMs from Joginder nagar. From Ghatasni; Barot is 25 KMs ; the road is narrow and metaled but expect lot of potholes on this road. The route includes terraced fields and thick cedar forests, rising to Jhatingri at the hilltop. The remains of the summer palace of the former rulers of Mandi are located here. Through the little village of Tikkan, the road carries on to Barot. The town has a range of outdoor activities, including a trout breeding Centre from where fish are released into the Uhl river.
Probably the coldest place yet easily reachable from Delhi and Chandigarh. Here you may need Jackets in the hottest day of year. I remember during school days when I used to go to Rampur (Nathpa Jhakri Project) where my father was working, I used to shiver in Narkand when bus takes halt for tea break. On the same day when bus starts from Shimla I used to sweeten because of heat and when it takes halt at Narkanda the feelings were of shivering. I love this place since then and that’s why I suggest it to everyone who wants break from the heat of plain in the peak of Indian summer.
Narkanda is a beautiful and isolated place in Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at an altitude of 8600 feet and surrounded by Shivalik Ranges that span a large part of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 65 KMs from Shimla on Hindustan Tibet Road. It connects Shimla with Rampur and is the highest point in this connection. The popular Apple belt of Himachal Pradesh is connected to Narkanda and Kotgarh the place famous for Apple orchards is just 16 KMs from here. Because of its proximity to Shimla and located on the National Highway, visitors can easily reach here.
Palampur is a hill station situated in the foot hills of Dhauladhar mountain ranges. Palampur is famous for tea gardens and its pleasant climate throughout the year. Because of its proximity to Dhauladhar mountain ranges a lot of water streams flowing from mountains to plains pass through Palampur. Palampur is surrounded by tea gardens, pine trees and water streams, and the combination of all these gives a beautiful and distinctive look to Palampur.
Palampur is at the end of valley merging into the hills so the scenery shows plains on one side and the snow covered hills on the other side. Behind Palampur stands high ranges of Dhauladhar Mountains whose top remain snow-covered for most of the year. Palampur is one of the most preferable residential towns of Himachal Pradesh. People from all around wish to settle here.
4. Tirthan Valley
Tirthan valley is one of the hidden treasures of Himachal and is also the gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP).The valley is located at an altitude of approx 1600 mts on the banks of Tirthan river. A long walk through the rugged woods next to the river whispering with the meddling fog is what makes this place so charming. Bonfires, camping and music will only elicit your already developed bias for this place. Follow the lazy roads through the forests and unwind into tiny hamlets of Nagini, Ghushaini, Banjar and Shoja. These are equally beautiful and you would be charmed by their serenity. The valley is known for trout fishing and if you spend some time here and you might just get lucky with a trout.
5. Prashar Lake
Prashar Lake lies 49 km from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India. The lake is located at a height of 2700 meters above sea level. The lake with it’s deep blue waters is held sacred to the sage Prashar and he is regarded to have meditated there. The lake is surrounded by snow-covered peaks whereas deep down in the valley river Beas flows.
There is a three storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar. The temple was built in the thirteenth century and as per the legend it was built by a baby from a single tree. Every year in the month of June, famous traditional fair is held here. The lake also has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is, with a diver not being able to determine its depth. During winters (December, January, February) the lake and the surrounding area is covered under snow. Adventure seekers do winter trek from Drang village during this time.
Best OFF BEAT extended weekend destinations in Himachal Pradesh