Offbeat places to visit in the Himalayas
With travel being on everyone's mind, it's pretty tricky to find an offbeat place to visit in the Himalayas that has unscathed and unexplored destinations that provide you with splendor and an ecstatic atmosphere. When we talk about vacations, snow-covered mountains, green meadows, dense forests, alpine arcs, and gurgling waterfalls definitely cross our heads.
Destinations that take you far - off from the crowd, enthusiastic-merchants shouting and howling at the top of their voices to attract your attention, and beautiful places covered with litter and noise pollution. Frustrating! Right?
So, the next question that arises is where to find such celestial places away from the above-mentioned problems. Is there a heavenly beauty that can provide you with the solitude of mind and body?
If you are tired of going back to the same places again and again and want to explore some new off-beaten tracks to explore the unexplored, which will definitely bring you the peace, spirituality, serenity, and calmness that you have always craved, here are some soothing destinations you will definitely like.
For nature lovers, no place can beat this splendid want to move to Uttarakhand. Mukteshwar is rich in natural beauty and enchanting scenic surroundings, Mukteshwar is still a very underrated place. With so many unexplored destinations and fewer tourist visits, Mukteshwar is an amazing experience altogether.
On clear days, you can see a 180-degree panorama of the snow-capped Himalayas, a 360-degree view of the deep Oak and Deodar Forest, sparsely spaced farmland, and fruit orchards.
You can have a hot cup of tea, coffee, or lemonade while listening to chirping birds
This quaint little hill station is an apt place to enjoy your vacations with gurgling waterfalls, picturesque places, lush greenery, appetizing orchards, and holy temples. Mukteshwar is a perfect place to enjoy your vacation away from the stir of the cities.
So, pack your bags asap! And enjoy a relaxing and chilling trip to these offbeat destinations and once again fall for the beauty of mother earth.
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Spiti is a heavenly getaway for all those seeking solace in the bliss of nature. Situated at an altitude of 12,500 ft above sea level, Spiti is bordered on the northern side by Ladakh, Tibet in the east, Kinnaur in the southeast, and the Kullu valley in the north. The Spiti valley is one of the least populated areas in India.
The land of Buddhist mysticism is still very underrated and very little known to many. Spiti is a cold valley and hence experiences frigid temperatures during all seasons. But the summer, with temperatures around 0-15 degrees Celsius, is definitely a lot more pleasant and likeable here.
Spiti is surely a getaway from the rest of the world with popular treks such as Pin-Parvati, Pin-Bhaba and Parang-la, so you are bound to notice many trekkers stopping by this beautiful valley. The tiny village in the valley has a small population of about 35 to 200 people. Beautiful Buddhist monasteries dotted with prayer flags and Buddhist monks praying with a prayer wheel are definitely fascinating sites to behold. This sparsely inhabited place is a heavenly slice of life for all those who want to clear their heads and yearn to be cut off from the intoxicating life of the cities.
Spiti valley is one of the perfect places in the Indian Himalayas where you can mediate and can forget all about materialistic pleasures Just immerse your soul in the chants and hymns of Buddhist monks at famous monasteries such as "Kye", "Tabo", "Dhankar “, and "Komic’. To learn more about the place, you can choose to reside in the nearby homestays to have a more authentic and rustic experience of the place.
Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Dharamshala lies at an altitude of 1,475 metres above sea level on the exquisite land of the Kangra valley, making tourists awestruck by its beauty. Dharamsala is also well known as the holy residence of the exiled Tibetan monk.
“Dalai lama” also known as the “Little Lhasa of India”, Dharmasla is divided into two parts, the lower division is known as the dharmsala town and the upper division is known as Mcleodganj.
Blessed with a breathtaking backdrop of the Dhauladhar range, Dharamshala is a blimmin calm and serene hill station that gives a glimpse into the quaint old monasteries and the Buddhist influence in the place is one hell of an experience!
Dharmsala is the perfect combination of natural beauty and culture. It is surrounded by thick deodar trees, with an exquisite view of the snow-capped mountains that stretch far throughout the landscape. Dharamshala is on the bucket list of so many tourists both nationally and internationally, widely known for its alluring and charming beauty, Dharamsala once visited makes your heart left wanting for more because of how welcoming and beautiful this place is.
Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
Tucked in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, McLeodganj is an eccentric town located 3 km away from the suburbs of the town of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. The place is well diverse for various reasons like adventures, spirituality, volunteer programs, Himalayan experience etc.
Also known as the "little Lhasa" because of being occupied by a lot of Tibetans who moved here after China's invasion of their homeland.
The reason is the home of the 14th Dalai Lama of the Buddhists, Lama Tenzin Gyatso. In the year 1960, after his exile from his homeland, he came to Mcleodganj from Tibet. The Dalai Lama established the exiled government of Tibet here and made the quaint little town of McLeodganj his permanent residence.
Mcleodganj is considered a hub for adventure junkies, so if you love the adrenaline rush, you must go trekking in this scenic town of Mcleodganj. Home to the Triund Trek, often known as the most beautiful, scenic, and exciting trek among trekkers, McLeodganj is the base point for reaching the summit of this famous hill.
Another famous spot in Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh is Lake Kareri. The lake, at the base of Minkiani Pass, is filled with the melting snow of the Dhauladhar ranges. This place is a perfect amalgamation of offbeat trekking and scenic beauty in the midst of snow-capped peaks.
With so many offbeat tracks present at McLeodganj, this place is surely heaven for travel geeks.
Located in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, Munsiyari is an old-school kind of town, giving an impressive view of the "Panchachuli" group of peaks in the Kumaon range. Jam-packed between the borders of India, Nepal, and China, Munsiyari was not easily accessible to trekkers and travellers up until recently. The restrictions have now been eased, opening its gates to all the explorers and wanderers wanting to visit this breathtaking place.
With unadulterated natural beauty, a thick spread of pine and other coniferous trees, and the sight of the native Himalayan birds, this place is an absolute beauty and a top spot for nature and bird lovers.
With a cool breeze of air, grey skies, and celestial waterfalls, this stunning place is a small, pretty tribal village that gives a glimpse from every nook and corner of the daunting snow-capped mountains of the "Panchachuli" peaks.
As mentioned, it's a small tribal place with only limited options for staying, so don't forget to pack yourself with enough supplies before heading to this underrated location.
One of the four holy pilgrimage sites located in Uttarakhand, Kedarnath roughly translates to "Lord of the field". The very famous pilgrimage site is an absolute paradise for the Hindus, not only for its religious beliefs and value but also because it offers the most scenic escape for those wanting to visit here.
Kedarnath is a small and dainty town in Uttarakhand with a temperature ranging between -18 to 16 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit this hill station is from May-June or September-October. During the winter months (November to March), the terrain becomes quite difficult to trek on. Also, because of excessive snowfall, the temple gate stays shut during the particular time period, so one should avoid going in the winter because of the possible hazards coming their way.
According to popular belief, the Kedarnath temple was built by the Pandava brothers from the Mahabharata. If you plan to visit the Kedarnath temple, make sure to visit the Bhairavnath Temple, too. Located at a distance of 500 meters from here, the temple enshrines the incarnation of Lord Shiva and Lord Bhairav. At the top of the hill, this offers a magnificent view of the Himalayan range. Apart from this, Vasuki Tal is also a great attraction. Built at an altitude of 4,135 meters, it requires a lump-sum amount of trekking, but the view from here is definitely worth it.
Hartola, roughly translated to har means “shiva” and tola means “dwelling place”. Hartola is a small hamlet in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. A quiet and calm village located in a radius of about 6-7km. The scenic beauty of this place is truly underrated among the travelling community.
It is not a regular travelling destination with high-end cafes, restaurants, and many other fancy amenities. The story often told about this place is that during British rule, this place was unexpectedly hinged by a shepherd while grazing his sheep in the beautiful green meadows. Later on, the place was occupied by the Royal Nepal family, which took care of the place, further passing it down to the Indian class of the Purohit family.
Hartola, in all its beauty, is a place that definitely provides you with the old rustic experience. A place where you won't have many expectations, but once you visit, you can't help but fall in love with its angelic ambience. Visiting this place is a full-blown experience to cherish further in your life for many years.
Harshil valley, Uttarakhand
Perched at an elevation of 2,623 metres and known for its proximity to Gangotri in Uttarakhand, Harshil Valley is a picturesque valley located in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the lesser-known places in Uttarakhand and truly represents how unglorified the “Dev Bhoomi” truly is. Covered with dense deodar trees, the gracefully flowing Bhagirathi river, trees, and migratory birds give you the peace you have always craved for.
Harshil is well known for its apple orchards and apple production. For instance, the village has apple orchards for as long as 70 km! Apple farming was said to be introduced by a British settler named Fredric E. Wilson, It is said that Wilson fell in love with a girl from Harshil town and decided to get settled in this hamlet forever. The introduction of apple cultivation in Harshil changed the economy of the town by leaps and bounds.
However, the beauty of Harshil is still overshadowed by the grandeur and majestic places like Gangotri. Nevertheless, Harshil should be an immediate visit in the offbeat places because of its rare beauty and spellbound views.
This secluded hilly station, perched at an elevation of about 2,118 metres, cradled in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, is a reminiscing place and a beautiful weekend getaway for backpackers. Embellished by the radiant Himalayan peaks, the beauteous hill station of Chakrata is one of the most serene places to experience.
With the thick vegetation of the coniferous forests surrounding it, Chakrata is suited to all who want to spend some time by themselves. This lonely delight is situated far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only 90 km from Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand, Chakrata offers some heart-throbbing activities.
With mystical waterfalls, mesmerising views, and wildlife, Chakarta is an ideal getaway for anyone who wants to spend some time in the lap of nature. You can also go on expeditions like mountain climbing. Professional mountaineers often climb the Kharamba peak, the highest peak in Chakrata, having an altitude of a whopping 10,000 feet! Aside Chakrata, also offers exciting treks, otherworldly views, bird watching, camping and village walks through the fringe of the hill station.
Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
Situated in the lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, the Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh deserves more attention. Nestled away in the formidable mountainscape, this is a picture-perfect place.
From gurgling rivers, soul-sucking ambience, lush green rice fields, and hypnotic tracks, to thick and vibrant flora and fauna, Ziro has it all.
For centuries, Ziro was also home to one of the oldest tribes inhabiting this place, known as "Aptanis." The tribe definitely attracts your attention since the women of the Aptani tribe wear huge nose plugs and adorn their faces with facial tattoos that start from the top of their foreheads to the end of their chins.
The best time to visit this quaint little valley is around August-September when, annually this month, the "Ziro Music Festival" is organized.
Forming a huge chunk of the cold desert in the northern part of the great Indian Himalayas, Leh- Ladakh is blessed with incredible topography that is accustomed to high terrain and high-altitude peaks. At an elevation of about 2750-7672 meters above sea level Leh- Ladakh is undoubtedly one of the best locations for a relaxing holiday.
Rich in natural beauty, stunning and beautiful Buddhist monasteries make this place an awesome place to spend some soothing days in the lap of nature.
Leh- Ladakh is also a hub for adventure freaks who are interested in the fun of trekking, mountain climbing, and mountain biking. Also known as the "land of passes," Ladakh forms an alluring part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Still untouched by the modernity of the new world, Ladakh is where you'll experience time-stopping and where you'll directly make a connection with the serene nature around you. A few of the popular tourist hotspots in Ladakh include "Alchi" and "Nubra valley".
It is also very well known for its culture and heritage, with rare wildlife including the ibex and Tibetan antelope.
Ladakh is something where you can watch your life coming to a standstill.