Barot Valley – Mandi (Himachal Pradesh, India)

Barot: 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 aprox 1800 mtrs 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.

Location Map:

Barot-Map

Road Map

What to do:

Angling: Barot is also developing into an angling destination. The Uhl river supports Trout breeding and Barot has a few fish farms.

Trecking: Barot is a frequent backpacker and day tourist destination. Few treks worth to mention are – Barot to Kullu via Denasar lake , Barot to  Kullu via Bhubhu pass , Barot to  Manali via Thamsar pass , Bara Bhangal , Barot to Bir Biling via Rajgundha , Barot to JoginderNagar via Winch camp (Haulage trolley station). Barot also forms the gateway to the Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary which lies across the Uhl. The sanctuary is home to the monal, black bear and ghoral. Within it are forest rest house s at Thaltuckhod and Silbandhwari. Through woods of cedar and pine a trek route cuts across the sanctuary to Kullu.

Adventure sports : Barot valley is a nice place for adventure lovers. In high mountains and rivers of Barot valley you can enjoy river crossing, rappelling , rock climbing , swimming etc.

Nature Walks: There are three artificial lakes including one reservoir on Uhl river enhance the beauty of this magnificent hidden treasure as one enters the Barot village near Dhrangan. An old fountain channelizing the waters of Uhl erupting at regular intervals is another source of attraction. You can enjoy walks on the banks of Uhl river and admire the mother nature here.

Haulage Trolley: A haulage trolley of the British times which connects Barot to Jogindernagar is another point of attraction. This trolley link was set up to facilitate transport of construction material to Barot for a reservoir on Uhl river for Shanan Power House. The trolley was also sparingly used as a means of transport since Barot was not linked to a road till 1975. The haulage trolley built here is unique in world as is passes through mountains and thick cedar forests. A three kms horizontal track also made at top of mountain to connect both the stations of Haulage trolley which are “Winch camp” and “Head Gear”
It is a unique type of trolley based on pulley system as one trolley goes up the other trolley goes down simultaneously .To operate this a control room is at top of hill and uses a huge motor to operate it. However, once the road connection was established, the trolley fell into a state of disrepair. It is currently owned and maintained by the Punjab State Electricity Board. Currently, the trolley is not in use and is only operated for occasional inspections of the project pipelines. You can still walk up to see the remains of haulage tracks via Thandi Golai ground on the way to old Mayot road (aprox 2.5 kms) till the point where you see the haulage trolley tracks.

Bada Gran: A small but beautiful vilagge lies in Chhota Bhangal region on Kangra district , Himachal Pradesh (16 kms from Barot).The narrow / unmetalled but relatively good road traverses thru beautiful valley and the views are just amazing. It lies near the Dhauladhar range dividing district Kangra and Chamba, on Kangra side. It’s a beautiful and relatively unexplored region and there are many easy/moderate treks in this region in the lap of Dhauladhar range. The village is literally hub of range of vegetables and all around the valley you can see different vegetables grown by local farmers. Cabbage , Cauliflower , Broccoli , Lattuce , Reddish and many more. Bhangal red beans (Rajmah) are quite famous for their excellent taste.

Weather:

Avg. summer temperature : 34 °C (93 °F)

Avg. winter temperature : −4 °C (25 °F)

For current weather conditions you can also refer to https://in.weather.yahoo.com/india/himachal-pradesh/barot-29195055/

How to get there:

By Air : Barot is 125 kms from Bhuntar Airport (Kullu) and 100 kms from Gaggal Airport (Kangra).Please be advised that due to weather and other issues Delhi – Gaggal and Delhi – Bhuntar flights are often canceled at the last minute. It will be better to have an alternative plan ready just in case this happens..

By Train : Delhi – Pathankot (480 kms) and then narrow gauge track from Pathankot –Joginder Nagar (153 kms). From Joginder Nagar to Ghatasni (35 kms) and then to Barot (25 kms) by road.

By Bus : Delhi to Barot is about 12-14 hours journey. Daily Volvo bus service by Himachal Roadways is available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate till Mandi (66 kms from Barot).You can then hop on to any bus bound to Jogindernagar , Palampur , Dharamshala , Pathankot and reach Ghatasni (frequency of buses is good on this route so you should not have any problems). From Ghatasni you can then take another bus till Barot (Bus frequency will be limited) in that case taxi is the only option from here on till Barot.

From Dharamshala – Bir : Although regular buses ply on this route but a direct bus will be less frequent. You can hop on to any bus bound for Palampur and continue from Palampur to Ghatasini.. Since Dharamshala is not on National Highway 20 route (Pathankot – Mandi) hence long route buses which pass thru Ghatasni are less frequent from Dharamshala. From Ghatasni you can then take another bus till Barot (Bus frequency will be limited) in that case taxi is the only option from here on till Barot.

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