Are you a traveler who always takes an unexplored road, because there is an explorer in you, who longs for mystique? So, buckle up for the journey and proceed towards the hill towns which you can call home. We have managed to list down some offbeat places to visit in Himachal Pradesh, one of India’s most sought-after holiday destinations in North India. These are the treasure trove of natural bounties and are blessed with breathtaking beauty, which offers unique experiences.
It is nearly impossible to feel the spark of the place when it is unacceptably rushed by the tourists, who are there to crib and shout. And offbeat destinations in Himachal Pradesh are heaven in disguise, they are pristine and untouched. If you are one of those who wish to visit unexplored places in India, there are some interesting options for you. These less-traveled places of Himachal Pradesh offer you a chance to have peaceful and memorable vacations with your loved ones:
Here are the 15 best offbeat hill stations in Himachal Pradesh to enjoy the vacation:
- Tirthan Valley
- Bir Billing
Fagu is your excuse to take a step closer to nature. You cannot move too fast, because in each step you will be allured enough to be awestruck by its stunning beauty. This scenic hill town is covered with dense forests, apple orchards, terraced fields, and chirps and growls of the creatures.
There are some best tourist attractions near Fagu including Kufri, Mashobra, Naldehra, Narkanda, Shimla, etc. This is the right kind of destination for those travelers who probably like to do nothing on a vacation and just relax while treating their eyes to the place’s natural wonders.
Best time to visit Fagu: October to April
How to reach Fagu: The nearest airport is Jubbarhatti Airport, which is 38 km and Shimla railway station is 20 km away from Fagu.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Fagu:
- Shimla to Fagu – 17.3 Km. (25 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Fagu – 268 Km. (4 hours 50 Mins approx.)
Chindi lies at a distance of 92 km from Shimla city. Dhali and Naldehra are two major gateways. The town is abundant in terms of apple orchards and thick forests. And what makes this town stand out, is its rugs and handicrafts.
So, you better don’t miss out on that as this is an amazing offbeat hill town of Himachal. But that in no way makes this pretty thing deprived of the facilities like markets, roads, accommodation, restaurants, and everything else.
There are some places to visit in Chindi including Mamleshwara Mahadev, Mahu Nag, Churag temple, Bhima rock, and Kamakshya are some of them to visit in and around Chindi that should be a part of your sightseeing list.
Best time to visit Chindi: November to June
How to reach Chindi: The nearest airport is Jubbarhatti Airport, which is 100 km and Jogindernagar railway station is 75 km away from Chindi. However, the nearest major railway station is in Chandigarh, which is located 168 km from Chindi.
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Average Time and Distance to Reach Chindi:
- Shimla to Chindi – 92 Km. (2 Hours, 15 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Chindi – 209 Km. (3 hours 40 Mins approx.)
3. Tirthan Valley
Tirthan Valley is a place where green outshines other hues and babbles and glints of Tirthan River feed a backpacker’s craving. This stunning valley in Himachal Pradesh is a paradise for trekkers and nature lovers who feel the most alive. So, doesn’t matter if you are looking for peace or adventure, you surely will find your little corner around.
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Some of the best activities to enjoy in Tirthan valley are rappelling, trout fishing, river rafting, and trekking, etc. Great Himalayan National Park, Mandi Seraj Valley, Tirthan River, Chanini and Bago Kothi, Serolsar Lake, and Jalori Pass are the best places to visit in Tirthan Valley where you will feel yourself most captivated.
Best time to visit Tirthan Valley: March to June
How to reach Tirthan Valley: The nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport at 55 km and the Jogindernagar railway station is 126 km away from Tirthan Valley, which is a toy train station. However, the nearest major railway station is in Chandigarh, which is located 277 km from Tirthan Valley.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Tirthan Valley
- Shimla to Tirthan Valley – 171 Km. (3 Hours, 50 Min Approx)
- Manali to Tirthan Valley – 97 Km. (2 hours 10 Min Approx)
Barot is a tiny village located on the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Mandi district. This is a place frequented by backpackers, trekkers, and nature lovers. You can enjoy a trolley ride from Joginder Nagar for some thrill, enchanting view, and cutting off the distance to 12 Km. The trolley ride is also known as a tramway ride. The remains of Mandi’s ruler in Barot have allured the people ever since the beginning of time.
It is a gateway to Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to black bears, ghoral, Monals, etc. Some of the popular activities in which you can partake are angling, trekking, and camping are common in this town.
Best time to visit Barot: November to June
How to reach Barot: The nearest airport and railway station are in Pathankot, which is 188 km away from Barot. Mandi and Palampur are the major nearby towns from where you can reach Barot.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Barot:
- Shimla to Barot – 207 Km. (5 Hours, 11 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Barot – 153 Km. (4 Hours 10 Mins approx.)
Sangla Valley in Kinnaur is one of the most beautiful places in Himachal. Encompassed by the snow-clad Himalayas, Sangla Valley is flanked by the Baspa River. This valley is on the top of a traveler’s bucket list owing to its soulful view and amazing weather throughout the year. The apple orchards strewn across the area adds spots of red, golden, and green to the ochre mountainscape.
With the introduction of hydroelectricity projects, the valley is emerging with more easy and modernized facilities; with its rawness unperturbed. Sangla’s topmost attraction is Bering Nag Temple, where the Phulech festival is organized every year.
Best time to visit Sangla: March to June and August to September
How to reach Sangla: The nearest airport and railway station are in Shimla, which is 241 km away from Sangla. The government buses, shared taxis, and private cabs are available from Shimla and Delhi for Sangla.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Sangla
- Shimla to Sangla – 226 Km. (4 Hours, 50 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Sangla – 291 Km. (5 hours 45 Mins approx.)
Picturesque Kalpa Village lies in the Satluj River Valley, 7 km above Reckong Peo in the Kinnaur district. Settled at a stunning location which gives a perfect view of divine Kinner Kailash, the winter home of Lord Shiva. Kalpa is majorly known for its apples, spectacular vistas, and serene environs. Apart from having staunch followers of Hinduism and Buddhism, this village boasts of a highly literate population.
The village, Kalpa, is dotted with amazing temples. The major attractions of Kalpa are Kamru Fort, Suicide Point, and Naga Temple. A visit to Kalpa is refreshing and delightful for offbeat travelers.
Best time to visit Kalpa: April to June and September to October
How to reach Kalpa: The nearest major town is Shimla, home to the airport and railway station that is 243 km away from Kalpa. The government buses, shared taxis, and private cabs are available from Shimla and Delhi for Kalpa.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Kalpa
- Shimla to Kalpa – 226 Km. (4 Hours, 40 Min Approx)
- Manali to Kalpa – 293 Km. (5 hours 30 Min Approx)
7. Bir Billing
Bir is a town, a few kilometers from Kangra, in the Himachal Pradesh state. This eco-tourism spot promotes spirituality and meditation. It is a perfect retreat for peace seekers and an amazing getaway from the hustle-bustle of crowded cities.
The majority of the population of this peaceful and relaxed town are Tibetans; which becomes apparent with the sight of its sparkling monasteries and Stupas, sprinkled all around the place.
Every inch of the town is worth holding on to, but what makes the center stage is paragliding; a bird’s eye view of Bir Billing will surely fill your heart with absolute bliss.
Best time to visit Bir Billing: March to May and late September to November
How to reach Bir Billing: Pathankot airport and railway station are the nearest places to commute to Bir Billing. They are located at just 142 km away from Bir. The government and private buses, shared taxis and cabs are available from Pathankot, Dharamshala, Palampur, and Dalhousie.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Bir Billing
- Shimla to Bir Billing – 234 Km. (5 Hours, 10 Min Approx)
- Manali to Bir Billing – 170 Km. (4 hours 25 Min Approx)
Malana is among the best offbeat places in Himachal Pradesh, which is located at an altitude of 3,029 meters on the northeastern side of the famous Kullu Valley. Malana is a quaint village, which is rather referred to as a secluded village but is known for its serenity and enchanting landscape.
The community here is a perfect epitome of integrity and preservation of an age-long culture. The ethnicity of Malana is topped with the unscathed beauty of the nature and breeze that seeps into the soul.
It is recommended that you visit Malana only after good research or with a local guide, lest you would end up hurting the religious sentiments of its people. It is believed by the locals that they are descendants of Alexander the Great and belong to the Aryan tribe and speak the ‘Kanashi’ language. They have their own world and consider outsiders as ‘untouchables’. These people are otherwise friendly and love to get their pictures clicked.
Best time to visit Malana: May to August
How to reach Malana: Bhuntar Airport is the nearest airport, which is situated at 36 km away. The nearest railway station is Jogindernagar but only a toy train runs from this station. The major railhead near Malana is Chandigarh railway station, which is 298 km away. The government and private buses, shared taxis and cabs are available for Kasol and Kullu from where one can reach Malana by local vehicle.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Malana
- Shimla to Malana – 239 Km. (5 Hours, 30 Min Approx)
- Manali to Malana – 83 Km. (1 hour 50 Min Approx)
[Places to visit in Himachal Exclude Offbeat.]
This tiny hamlet is famous among foreigners owing to its jaw-dropping locales and peaceful environs. This little piece of heaven is curled up with deodar trees, tea gardens, dense forests, and tones of magic. Dharamkot is infused with tranquility and some of the famous places here are Vipassana Meditation Centre, Dhamma Shikara, and Tushita Meditation. They are the centers of studying and practicing Buddhism.
It is an ideal place for the trekkers with popular sites like Mcleodganj, Triund, Naddi, and Dharamsala being in close proximity.
Best time to visit Dharamkot: September to June
How to reach Dharamkot: Pathankot airport and railway station are the nearest places to Dharamkot. Dharamshala and Mcleodganj are the nearest major towns, which are easily accessible from the nearby states and cities.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Dharamkot
- Shimla to Dharamkot – 244 Km. (5 Hours, 30 Min Approx)
- Manali to Dharamkot – 219 Km. (5 hours 15 Min Approx)
Located in the delightful Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Kaza is the subdivisional headquarter of the Spiti Valley. This town is similar to the landscapes of Ladakh and Tibet; rocky, rugged, and excessively charming. It is also known for its La Darcha Festival and Sakya Tangyud Monastery.
The town also acts as a base camp for the people indulging in trekking and mountaineering, mainly because of its central location and proximity to spectacular tourist spots. Kaza’s major attractions are Kai Monastery, Komik Village, Sakya Kaza Monastery, Kibber Village, Dhankar Lake, and Dhankar Monastery. This offbeat destination of Himachal Pradesh is also a heaven for nature lovers who wish to spend their vacation away from the crowd in the lap of mother nature.
Best time to visit Kaza: May to October
How to reach Kaza: This town is only accessible by road from Shimla and Manali. The nearest airport is in Bhuntar, which is 260 km away and the railway station is in Shimla 422 km away.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Kaza
- Shimla to Kaza – 424 Km. (8 Hours, 50 Min Approx)
- Manali to Kaza – 230 Km. (4 hours 15 Min Approx)
Also Read: 53 Most Spectacular Lakes in India
Flanked by the Baspa River, Chitkul is located in the Sangla Valley and is the last inhabited village before the Indo-Tibet border. Surrounded by mighty Himalayan mountains, Chitkul is blessed with enthralling beauty and scenic vistas. The pristine beauty of Chitkul entices offbeat travelers as this less-explored destination of Himachal Pradesh is untouched by modernity.
For unique experiences, you can enjoy riverside camping, hiking, nature walk, and trekking to nearby places. Also is a base camp for numerous treks which start from here and end in Kinnaur Valley and Ladakh. The panoramic views of the cobalt-blue Baspa River with the backdrop of the Kinner Kailash range can leave anyone awe-struck and spellbound.
Best time to visit Chitkul: March to June and September to October
How to reach Chitkul: This town is easily accessible by road from Shimla. The nearest airport and railway station is in Shimla, which is located 263 km away. Only toy trains run to and fro from Shimla railway station. The major nearest railhead is in Chandigarh, which is 347 km away.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Chitkul
- Shimla to Chitkul– 244 Km. (8 Hours, 50 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Chitkul– 317 Km. (11 hours 15 Mins approx.)
Located on the outskirts of Great Himalayan National Park, Sainj is dotted with dense forest, lush greenery, and sprawling meadows. This is a hidden treasure of Himachal Pradesh and a retreat for nature lovers. It is fondly known as Shangarh, which is a base for several treks. You can enjoy bird watching, hiking, nature walking, and camping here away from the maddening crowd.
Sainj s an amazing escape from the scorching heat in the summers and enjoys vacation in the lap of nature amidst serene environs. The valley is still untouched by modernity and traveler capitalism. The divine beauty of Sainj makes it among the best offbeat places in Himachal Pradesh for families, friends, and couples.
Best time to visit Sainj: July to September and January to February (for snowfall)
How to reach Sainj: The nearest airport is in Bhuntar, which is 36 km away and the railway station is in Jogindernagar. However, the nearest major railhead is in Chandigarh which is 238 km away.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Sainj
- Shimla to Sainj – 182 Km. (6 Hours, 10 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Sainj – 87 Km. (2 hours 15 Mins approx.)
Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas and on the bank of the Tirthan River, Gushaini is located in Tirthan Valley. This scenic and quaint town of Himachal Pradesh is among the best offbeat places to visit to enjoy a vacation. The rustic beauty of this pristine town makes it a perfect place to rejuvenate amidst the serene environs. This is a great trekking and camping destination in Himachal Pradesh.
Boasts about lush greenery, apple orchards, and enchanting peaks along with the roaring Tirthan River, Gushaini is known for its warm and hospitable environment. Great Himalayan National Park, Sai Ropa, Banjaar, and Jibhi are some of the best attractions to visit during the Himachal trip. Trout fishing, angling, hiking, nature walking, bird watching, and trekking are the top things to do in Gushaini.
Best time to visit Gushaini: April to September
How to reach Gushaini: The nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport at 55 km and the Jogindernagar railway station is 126 km away from Gushaini, which is a toy train station. However, the nearest major railway station is in Chandigarh, which is located 277 km from Gushaini.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Gushaini
- Shimla to Gushaini – 171 Km. (3 Hours, 50 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Gushaini – 97 Km. (2 hours 10 Mins approx.)
One of the most pristine and surreal valleys in Himachal Pradesh, Chanshal is renowned for its immaculate beauty and breathtaking landscape. Chanshal Pass and Chanshal Peak are the major attractions of the valley. The mountain pass connects Rohru with the Dodra Kwar, the two unexplored villages of the state. Chanshal Peak is the highest mountain peak in the region, which offers a panoramic view of the valley with a 360-degree view of the mighty Himalayas.
Settled away from the hustle-bustle of the renowned hill towns, Chanshal is also famous for apple orchards. The weather throughout the year remains salubrious, however, in winter the region enjoys heavy snowfall that offers a unique holiday experience to travelers.
Best time to visit Chanshal: May to October
How to reach Chanshal: The nearest airport and railway station are in Shimla, which is located 155 km away. Shimla railway station only has connectivity with Kalka with toy trains. The other major nearby railhead is in Kalka, which is well-connected with the rest of the country with good train services and is located at 242 km.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Chanshal
- Shimla to Chanshal – 155 Km. (6 Hours, 22 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Chanshal – 297 Km. (11 hours 40 Mins approx.)
Also known as Khwaling, Sissu is a tiny village in Lahaul Valley. This quaint town is situated on the Manali-Leh route. It is an offbeat town in Himachal Pradesh where tourists can stop during Ladakh trips.
Nestled on the right bank of the Chandra River, Sissu is a scenic town where you can enjoy camping and hiking. The view of the majestic Himalayan glacier and Sissu Waterfall can leave anyone spellbound.
Sissu is well-connected with the rest of the country from the Atal Tunnel throughout the year. In winters, this pristine town experiences heavy snowfall, which transforms this place into a wonderland. Set amidst the high peaks of Gyephang Goh, Sissu offers jaw-dropping views of the surroundings.
Best time to visit Sissu: May to October
How to reach Sissu: The nearest airport from Sissu is Bhuntar Airport, which is located 90 km away. Jogindernagar railway station is the nearest railhead and only has connectivity with toy trains. The other major nearby railhead is in Chandigarh, which is well-connected with the rest of the country with good train services and is located at 242 km.
Average Time and Distance to Reach Sissu
- Shimla to Sissu– 155 Km. (6 Hours, 22 Mins approx.)
- Manali to Sissu– 277 Km. (11 hours 40 Mins approx.)
Also Read: 25 Offbeat Destinations in India
Now, you have the list of offbeat places to visit in Himachal Pradesh that allow you to plan the best vacation for yourself and your loved ones. These are some of the most amazing and scenic hill towns where you can plan your trip and indulge in outdoor activities. Plan a tour, pack your bags, book your Himachal tour with Indian Holiday, and embark on a trip to experience the tranquility of these spectacular places!
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