Chances are that in case you want to head toward the hills in North India, your choices are among Manali, Shimla, Dharmashala, Mcleodganj, etc. The usual suspects - but who can blame you? These are indeed, among the top tourist destinations and guarantee a fail proof experience. Then, there are those who love to explore new places and/or things to do. For them, we have handpicked some of the offbeat places in Himachal Pradesh that you must explore. Trust us, you’ll discover novel experiences and places that will stay with you forever.
A 45 minute drive from Shimla (15 KMs in terms of distance), is the famous hill station of Shoghi that welcomes visitors with green hues of hill slopes with Pine trees. In case you want to get away from the intense heat of the summer, the best time to visit the hill station is from March to June. The range of activities that one can engage in at Shoghi include rope climbing, bridge crossing, cycling, night walk, bird watching, valley crossing, etc.
Situated in Kinnaur district and famous for its Apple orchards, Kalpa is a small and sleepy village. The place is perfect for witnessing the snow capped Kinnaur Kailash Mountains that seem just a stone’s throw away. The best time to visit Kalpa is during summers, from June to August, as the weather remains moderate during this time. As a tourist, one could go for short walks and visit the monastery. In case you want to engage in volunteer travel, you may visit the local girls' orphanage to offer your services.
The last inhabited village on the Indo-Tibetan border, Chitkul is famous for its fruit laden orchards and mustard fields. The frosty Himalayan river Bapsa also flows through Chitkul. The Himachali architectural cottages with slate/wooden roofs are a common sight here. The best time to visit Chitkul during summers is from March to June. Chitkul is a paradise for nature lovers; they can just immerse themselves in the surroundings – lush green forests and snow covered mountains in the backdrop of the river Bapsa. Another must visit at Chitkul is Kagyupa temple that has a beautiful, ancient idol of Shakyamuni Buddha. The carvings of 4 kings on 4 different directions is a must see.
Approximately 65 kms from Shimla and surrounded by the Shivalik Range, Narkanda is a popular skiing resort for winters. The place is also ideal for those who want to spend ‘me time’ surrounded by the Shivalik Ranges. The best time to visit Narkanda is from April to July when the weather is extremely pleasant and ranges from 10 to 30 degree celsius. During summers, one must go up to the Hatu Peak, visit Stokes Farm (an Apple Orchard), and see the Tanni Jubar Lake.
On the foothills of Himalayas and on the banks of river Uhl, Barot is surrounded by the evergreen Deodar forest. The river Uhl in-fact serves as the breeding ground for fishes and the area has several fish farms. The best time to visit Barot during summers is from March to June.The place offers multiple options for outdoor activities such as angling, fishing, trekking, camping, rock climbing, river crossing and various other outdoor activities.