Himachal Pradesh is perhaps the popular tourist destination in India. Beautiful valleys with scenic views, snow-clad mountains, silvery rivers, popular tourist attractions, and myriad adventure activities ensure a perfect holiday for travelers of all types – adventure seekers, nature lovers, history buffs, and more.
But many of these beautiful destinations in Himachal Pradesh have been transformed into commercialized tourist hotspots. Which brings us to the most important question – “Are there some destinations in Himachal Pradesh that have been overlooked by the tourists?” Well, the answer is affirmative.
There are some amazing offbeat destinations in Himachal Pradesh that you could consider for your next trip to this hilly abode.
- Narkanda: The Lesser Known Ski Delight
When it comes to the destinations in Himachal Pradesh for winter sports, names like Manali, Solang, Rohtang, and even Kufri comes to mind. Perhaps it is the same reason why these destinations are found crowded with tourists. Only few are aware that it is actually Narkanda – located 65 km from Shimla – that offers best ski facilities & ski courses conducted by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. So, instead of opting for Kufri in your Himachal tour packages of Shimla, take a tour to Narkanda.
And once there, one can take hikes up to the snow clad mountains & apple orchards and spend some time in solitude. The destination also provides economical accommodation in the HPTDC-run Hotel Hatu.
- Chanshal Pass: Potential Destination For Ski Sports
Also located in the Shimla district, Chanshal Pass is another lesser known destination in Himachal Pradesh. The virgin pass, atop the Chanshal Peak, is an amazing destination for bike & jeep rides and could serve as an alternative for overrated destinations in Himachal such as Rohtang Pass.
With some of the longest slopes in Asia, the destination is considered to have high potential for skiing. In fact, the Government of Himachal Pradesh has even proposed the construction of a ski resort here.
- Shoghi: Everything Shimla, Minus The Crowd
Located just 15 km from Shimla, it is also a delight for the adventure seekers with options for rappelling, rock climbing, valley crossing, and commando rope walking. One can also go for forest hikes & night treks or enjoy a camp bonfire.
- Bir & Billing: The Ultimate Paragliding Destination
It surprises me that Bir & Billing are still among the overlooked mountain escapes in Himachal Pradesh. The twin towns, located only a few kilometers from Kangra, are hotspots for eco-tourism. But it is the experience of paragliding in Bir Billing that has recently put the duo on Himachal tourism map.
Furthermore, there are attractions like Deer Park Institute, Bir Tea Factory, and Chokling Gompa Monastery that provide for spiritual and meditative environment. Overall, the destination could well be a serene alternative to popular destination of Manali.
- Vashisht: The Lesser Known Hot Springs Near Manali
Manikaran, undoubtedly, is the most popular one among all the hot springs in India. But one needs to travel that extra 45 km a side from the Kullu-Manali road, only to find a destination overcrowded with tourists. Instead, one can visit Vashisht hot springs that are located only 6 km from Manali.
In addition to the natural hot springs of Vashisht, there are Turkish baths built by the HPTDC that fetch hot water from the natural spring through pipes.
- Shoja: Tranquility At Its Best
Shoja is one of the secret places in Himachal Pradesh and has never failed to offer solitude to those who managed to find the destination. Located 90 km from Mandi & 5 km from Jalori Pass, the town is a part of the Great Himalayan National Park.
From forests of Oak, Conifer, & Bamboo to alpine meadows and from fast-flowing rivers to glaciers; the hill destination has it all. And then there are day treks to Serolsar Lake, Raghupur Fort, & waterfall point and overnight trek to Basheilo Pass that will keep the adventure enthusiasts interested on their trip to Shoja.
- Janjehli: The Hidden Temple Destination
Located 98 km from Mandi, Janjehli is a lush green valley with gentle slopes, apple orchards, hills covered with pine & deodar, trees and a small river. The Mata Baglamukhi Temple, 2 km away, is located amidst dense forests.
There’s also the roofless Shikari Devi Temple, located 40 km away. To reach this beautiful temple, one has to climb about 500 steps. One can also opt for camping in the woods in this region.
- Malana: The Village That Grows The World’s Best Hashish
There are many secrets of Malana. But the one that many know of is that it is here that world’s best hash – Malana Cream – grows here. The beautiful village in the Parvati Valley has slowly started gaining regular visits from trekking enthusiasts.
In addition to efforts one has to put to reach the village, a major reason why the village has been often ignored is that the locals consider outsiders as untouchables and may come across as arrogant hosts. But the beauty of the village makes this journey worth the effort.
Other similar destinations: Chalal, Tosh, and Kheerganga are other offbeat destinations in Himachal that are located nearby.
So which of these underrated destinations in Himachal are you visiting next?