Hidden deep within the mountains of Himachal Pradesh are places that are far from the clutches of high amount of tourist arrivals. Here let us explore those offbeat destinations.
On the Kalka - Shimla Highway, Barog(1,680 m) has grown from a mere stopover to a full-fledged destination. Surrounded by pine and oak forests, Barog has a commanding setting. Barog makes a conveniently accessible destination and a travel stopover to or from Shimla. Barog once just a stopover on the Kalka-Shimla highway, this town has grown to be a destination in itself. Surrounded by pine forests, it presents a fascinating view of the Churdhar Peak, which poetically translates into 'Mountain of the Silver Bangle'. HPTDC runs hotel Pinewood here and Barog is increasingly becoming a popular conference destination too.
Location: District- Mandi
22 Km by road from Joginder Nagar, and 11 Km by the Haulage trolley, Barot packs an enormous range of outdoor activities. The reservoir of the power project is located here. A trout breeding centre making it a wonderful place for angling. Across the river Uhl is the Nargu Wild Life Sanctuary home to the ghoral, Himalayan black bear and a variety of pheasants.
From Wangtu, a road turns off to Kafnu. And here begins one of the most beautiful trek routes in Himachal. To the east, the Bhaba Valley leads to the Pin Valley in Spiti and to the west, the routes move to Kullu through the Parbati Valley
Hillsides covered with thick forests, acres filled with apple orchards, small picturesque hamlets and remarkable views in all directions combine to make Chindi (1,825 m) and the area around it, one of the most beautiful places in Himachal Pradesh. The area is still off the beaten track and yet, has good facilities in terms of roads, small markets and accommodation. Chindi is an excellent off-beat destination that holds the charms that Himachal is famous for. Motorable on Shimla-Mandi highway via Tattapani - A beautiful place in Karsog Valley. Himachal tourism's tourist Resort is opening shortly. One can also visit famous Mahunag Temple (18 Km). Mamleshwar Mahadev Temple (13 Km) Kamaksha Devi temple (19 Km) Pangna Killa/temple (8 Km) and Shikari Devi Temple (18 Km).
Isolated by high mountains and perched atop the plateau overhanging the river Ravi, is the picturesque valley of Churah, in the district Chamba. To ensure a warm and comfortable stay to travellers, home stay facility is also available.
Dominating the entire landscape of fields, forests and ravines is the Churdhar peak, which rises to 3,647 m and is a trekkers’ treat from Nahan and Renuka. Approached by way of Dadahu, Sangrah, Bhawal, Gandhuri and Nauhra, it is a 50 Km trek. A less taxing journey is by taxi or car to Nauhra and thereafter a walk of 16 Km. The climb is difficult but rewarding. The peak offers a fine view of the Gangetic plains and the Satluj river in south, and Badrinath towards the north, a well known Hindu pilgrimage. Also seen are the hills of Chakrata and Shimla from the top. An alternative route to Churdhar is through Rajgarh, an orchard country. Churdhar peak is the highest peak in outer Himalayas. It is like a oasis of alpine area in a ocean of temperate forests.This is an excellent area for trekking during summer and early winters. The view from Churdhar peak is un-paralled. One is sure to come across a large number of multicoloured and agile Monals in the adjoining forests. Trekking from Nohra, Sarain and Pulbahal is tough but enjoyable. There are Rest Houses at Nohra, Choras and Sarain. There is also a Sarai and a Shiv Temple at Churdhar.
On the western extremity of Himachal Pradesh, the village of Dada Siba lies close to the state border with Punjab. Towards the middle of the fifteenth century, the erstwhile princely state of Dada Siba came into being as an offshoot of the kingdom of Guler.
The village holds a rare architectural and art marvel in the striking temple of Radha Krishna. The temple is regarded to have been commissioned in 1830 and was completed in 1835. This was during the reign of Raja Gobind Singh and the work is inferred to have been executed by his son Raja Ram Singh. Specialised craftsmen for the structure were employed and the finest bricks - the 'Nanak Shahi' ones - were placed at their disposal. A portion of the stone came from Jodhpur and special stone for the door posts and lintels was quarried near the fort of Mangarh.
The true worth of the temple lies in its paintings. The sanctum has barely an inch of space that has been not adorned with frescos. Various styles can be discerned in the panels – Mughal, Sikh and of course, various schools of Pahari painting find expression in assorted sections.
Situated on the crest of hill 11 Km from Dharamshala and 2 Km from Mcleodganj, the village Dharamkot is a picnic spot affords a panoramic view of the Kangra valley, Pong Dam Lake and Dhauladhar ranges. Dharamkot village is a good base for trekkers undertaking short and long treks.
18 Km from Dharamshala, Triund lies at the feet of the perpetually snow clad Dhauladhar at the height of 2,975 m. The snow line starts at Ilaqa (3,350 m), 5 Km from Triund. It is a popular picnic and trekking spot. The tracks from Rawa, Dal Lake, Dharamkot and Bhagsunag meet at a ridge known as Galu temple (2,130 m) which has a small shrine and water point. After the snow, the trek across Nullah rises abruptly waving through 22 curves making the ascent tiring and difficult. On the way one can spot many birds and wild animals.
Accommodation is available in the rest house of Forest Department, but water has to be fetched from a distance of about 2 Km. Route guidance, maps, equipments on nominal rent etc. may be had from the Regional Mountaineering Centre, Mcleodganj.