The backpacking paradise, Himachal Pradesh, is home to the snow-laden Himalayas, hill stations of glory, picture-perfect sceneries, tranquil villages, verdant valleys, varieties of flora and fauna and many more. Every place in Himachal Pradesh has an ethereal vibe, but some stand out. Here’s the list of the top 10 backpacking destinations in Himachal Pradesh.
If you are looking for an adventure, Himachal Pradesh is the place you should visit. It draws backpackers from all over the globe. It has become home to many Israeli backpackers and globetrotters who come in search of adventures. Himachal Pradesh attracts travellers throughout the year with 12 districts in the state and plenty of spectacular hill stations to visit and experience.
The people are welcoming and very fond of hosting travellers. The ‘pahadi’ or the mountain people culture is simple and yet fascinating to see.
Our top 10 places to visit in Himachal Pradesh was laborious to put. All the places are lucrative and have their appeal. But after having conversed with numerous backpackers, we finally concluded with this list.
The Top 10 places include the best that Himachal Pradesh has to offer the backpacking and nomadic community. The places listed are rated based upon their openness, picturesque beauty, and adventures they offer.
Take a look!
Top 10 List of Destinations in himachal pradesh
It is the mini- Switzerland of India. Khajjiar is a beautiful hill station that has breathtaking views, luxuriant meadows, lush cedar forests and the exhibition of snow-covered Kailash. It is a backpacking destination for nature lovers who visit Himachal Pradesh to find an enjoyable and peaceful getaway.
There are many places to see in Khajjiar. One of the most promising destinations is Khajjiar Lake. There are Nine Hole Golf Course, Tibetan Handicrafts Center, Khajji Nag Temple, Panch Pandav Tree, Kailash VIllages, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Dainkund Peak, Khajjiar Jangal, Dhauladhar Range, Church of Scotland, Ganji Pahadi and Panchpula Chatryara.
You can visit Khajjiar all year around. If you are looking to witness snowfall, make sure you visit between December to February.
Palampur is in the north-western region of Himachal Pradesh. It is the tea capital of North India and is home to lush green tea plantations. From pine forests and high mountain tops of the Dhauladhar ranges to ancient temples, Palampur is a delightful escape for backpackers travelling to Himachal Pradesh.
The tea gardens, Neugal Khad, Saurabh Van Vihar, art Galleries, Baijnath Temple, Bundla Mata Mandir, Jakhni Mata Temple, Tashi Jong Monastery, and Gopalpur Zoo are some of the places to visit. Apart from these places of visit, one can trekking, star gazing, photography, trying the local food and flavour. You can see Palampur all year round.
Shimla is a popular tourist and is also one of the top 10 backpacking destinations in Himachal Pradesh. It is also called the Queen of hills. Shimla, the capital of the state, lies on the foothills of the Himalayas. Situated at 2200 m amidst the dense green mountains in summer and turning snow-white in winter, Shimla has magnificent pictorial scenery for backpackers. This hill station is perfect as the starting point of the journey in Himachal Pradesh. It is a crowded tourist place, yet it does flavour the taste of nomadic adventures.
The major attractions include the Mall Road, Viceregal Lodge, Scandal Point, Annandale, Rodney’s Castle, Jakhu Temple, The Ridge and Himalayan Bird Park. Apart from regular attractions, visit nearby Kufri and Chail and can also take the Toy Train ride. There is no perfect time to visit Shimla. You can plan your trip anytime you like.
It is one of the backpackers by-and-By in Himachal Pradesh. Nomads and globetrotters visit Manali for the beauty it beholds. Nestled at 2050 m, this hill station opens doors to adventurers for the backpacking community and is a picture-perfect destination. The panorama comprises scenic meadows, waterfalls, snow-covered mountains, pine and cedar forests and ancient temples.
Old Manali is called the Backpackers’ abode. All year round, nomads and backpackers alike from India and abroad flock to this place. The attractions are the city market in Mall Road, Hadimba Temple, Atal Tunnel, Vashisht Temple, Jogini Falls, Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass, Sethan and Hampta Pass.
Adventures such as Paragliding, zip lining, zorbing and others happen at Solang Valley. It is the starting point for riders who plan on going to Leh Ladakh.
The Manali to Leh road is one of the most panoramic roads. It is also a bike-packing destination. You can spend your time camping, sightseeing, trekking, or visiting all the beautiful cafes and Old Manali market. You can visit at any time of the year, but the tourist season is from March to November.
Also Read: Backpacking Guide For Manali
An offbeat place, Jibhi is a slow-paced village that offers lush greenery and scenic views. Backpackers looking for a retreat often spend weeks in this village. It offers beautiful landscapes and a cool breeze with a sense of belonging for nomads. Not many people visit this village. Thus, making it another perfect getaway for the nomadic and backpacking community.
Exciting places include Jalori Pass, Serolsar Lake, Pandu Ropa Lake, Raghupur Fort, Mini Thailand, Bahu, Gada Gushaini, Ghiyagi, Jibhi Waterfall, Shoja and Chenhi Kothi. Things you can do include camping, trout fishing, bird watching and hiking. You can visit Jibhi during the timeline of October to May.
It is one of the most sought places and is one of the top 10 backpacking destinations in Himachal Pradesh. One will find backpackers from each corner of the country nestled in this hill station. From yoga retreats to musical teachings and art, McLeodganj offers backpackers a good time amidst the incredible backdrops and thrilling treks. For adventurers, treks and strolls, boat rides and sunset hikes are profound activities.
Namgyal Monastery, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Tibetan Museum and Bhagsu Falls are excellent places.
Other places of interest include Bhagsunag Temple, Dal Lake, Church of St. Johns, Illiterati Books and Cafe, Kangra Fort, Norbulingka Institute, Tsuglagkhang Complex, local markets and various eateries.
Upper Bhagsu is the beginning point of the Triund Trek. Other mesmerising treks include Kareri Lake Trek, Indrahar Pass Trek, Snowline Trek, Laka Glacier Trek, Thatharana Trek, Bear Valley Trek and Minkiani Pass Trek. The pleasant time to visit this hill station is March to November.
As the best international paragliding spot in India, Bir Billing attracts backpackers who pursue adventures. With a suitable climate all year round and exciting experiences, Bir Billing is one of those places in India where one enjoys the retreat and satisfies the adventure thirst. The tiny size of this paragliding capital extends a 360-degree view of the Himalayan ranges and rich green fields.
Explorers also indulge in adrenaline-infused activities like trekking, mountain biking and hand gliding. Visiting Deer Park Institute, shopping at Bir road, touring in a toy train to taking a stroll by the Bir River are some of the entertaining things to do.
Other places of interest include Bangoru Waterfall, Mahakal Waterfall, Barot Waterfall, rustic cafes, Chokling Monastery, Sherab Ling Monastery, Dharmalaya Institute, Baijnath Temple, Drukpa Kagyu Monastery, Chowgan Tea Garden and Himalayan Film School.
You can visit Bir Billing all year round, but the best time is during summers and the rainy season.
Often called the Little Israel of India, kasol is a charismatic hamlet nestled on the banks of the Parvati River. With pristine views and bohemian culture, backpackers swarm into the place seeking adventures, retreats and psychedelic vibes.
Kasol is the atmosphere for cannabis enthusiasts, spirituality and art. You can find both types of people, one who seeks tranquillity and the other who seeks rave parties.
As divided as it sounds, Backpackers prefer this place for it is the starting point to many other small settlements. Kasol is the perfect place to dump the bags and start exploring other villages in the Parvati Valley.
Villages include Malana, Chalal, Grahan, Rasol, Manikaran, Tosh, Kalga, Kutla, Barshaini and Pulga. Backpackers also head to the Kheerganga trek to get the scenic view of the snow-clad Himalayas and immerse themselves in hot water springs.
Exploring the campsites, the cafes, the market of Kasol, Gurudwara of Manikaran, Cafes in Tosh, the scenic views of Grahan and the trail to Chalal are principal fun activities.
March to December is the regular tourist season. But if you are looking for less crowd, visit in January or February when it is the offseason.
It is called the last village on the Indo-China border. Chitkul is a quaint and undisturbed place that offers magnificent landscapes of the snow-laden Himalayas and scenic beauty. Backpackers who are nature lovers prefer sticking for a while in this settlement.
Apple orchards, the Baspa River and Wooden houses are some of the unparalleled beauty of nature that drives nomads into this small out of world experience by staying in Chitkul.
Single-day treks and Nagashi ITBP post are the ones to explore in this village. Away from the mainland, Chitkul is for those who enjoy mountains and nature and prefer it in its natural form, without alteration. You can visit Chitkul after the monsoon, preferably after September.
The capital of Spiti Valley, Kaza, is the dream destination for backpackers and nomads. Nothing is more appealing in Himachal Pradesh than Spiti Valley. From shivering in subzero 30 degrees Celsius to playing in snowfall in summer, Kaza offers a spectacular view of the Himalayas. Nestled in the heart of Spiti Valley, It is the absolute destination to stay.
Adventures such as treks, star gazing, visiting the remotest villages of Himachal Pradesh and visiting the monasteries, backpackers can engage in mountain biking, whitewater rafting, wildlife spotting and motorcycling.
Villages of Spiti like Tabo, Kibber, Dhankar, Komic, Chicham, Langza and Rangrik are as pretty as picture places. Kaza is excellent for making the central zone and for starting exploration.
Exciting places to visit are Key Monastery, Tabo Monastery, Kaza Monastery, Buddha Statue in Langza, Chicham Bridge, Snow leopard sighting in Kibber and highest post office, Komic. Another beautiful destination is heading to the Pin Valley National Park and Mudh Village. They offer pictorial views of the snow-clad Himalayas and are the embodiment of beauty for landscape lovers.
These are the top 10 backpacking destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Every place has a different attraction and an undeniable feeling of belonging. If you’re visiting Himachal Pradesh for the first time, make sure your itinerary has all these places. You will not just feel happy but satisfied and can thank us later.
If you have visited the above places, let us know your thoughts on the list. We look forward to your comments.
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