Trek the Himalayas: offbeat treks in India
Imagine your nimble feet getting dappled with the misty grey rocks of the brook flowing straight out from the snow capped mountains. So experience the minimal life of the villages in the Himalayas by treading down to the lush green rutted paths, since Northern India is an abode to several untouched and unexplored trails, thereby making them some of the offbeat destinations in Himachal.
1 Malana: village keeping up the orthodox trends
Strolling along your soul across the hashish infested meadows and basking your heart out under the ethereal beams of the sunrays sifting through the mist of the clouds. Malana trek has got such beautiful and impeccable sites for your wanderlust brimmed eyes that it would leave you awe-inspired. Despite the fact that it is the land of taboos and native people consider the outsiders as untouchables, it has been suspected by several wanderlust souls since it has a few quirky hidden facts fettered to its history.
Conceivably, the villagers of Malana are the descendents of Alexander the great, who took shelter over here after being wounded in the war against Punjab’s ruler, Porus. Hence they consider themselves superior to others and avoid any kind of physical contact with the outsiders. To go into the depth of this land’s rich history, one should tread onto the paths of the spellbinding Malana trek.
How to reach
The fastest way to reach Malana village is to take a taxi from Bhuntar (nearest airport to this remote location) and then hire a taxi all the way to Jari vaillage, followed by a six hour long picturesque trail.
Other than this one can reach via Parvati valley, Manikaran via the Rasol pass and Chanderkhani pass.
Best time to visit
May, June, July and August (prefer going before the monsoon hits the Himalayas)
Where on earth is Malana:
It is located in a remote location of the snow clad Himalyan peaks, shadowed with the Chanderkhani pass and the Parvati valley.
Time taken: 5 to 6 hours (Jari village to Malana)
2 Rasol: Unearthing the magic cream Here
Somewhere out beyond the world of right doing and wrong doing, there is a quaint little hamlet, which is a heaven of divine pleasure in itself. A three hour long stroll from the hippie town of kasol will take your psychedelic soul into a hamlet infested with trance. During the stroll on rasol trek, one can also take a pit stop at the chalal village for having some small meals at the café. Old men spinning their wool yarn and asking people out for hashish is a common site found at this village thereby making your soul hungry for the famous magic cream, which is one of the finest hashish stuff from Malana. Such offbeat things make it one of the best weekend treks in Himachal.
How to reach: From Bhunter airport or railway station, take a bus or hire a taxi all the way to the hippie town of Kasol and tread on a three hour long trek leading to Rasol.
Best time to visit: Being one of the best treks in Himachal, it is suitable to visit all year round, except November to mid February.
Difficulty level: Easy
Where on earth it is located: nestled between the foothills of Himalayas and shadowed by the awe-inspiring Parvati valley.
Time taken: 2 to 4 hours (from Kasol to Rasol) -5km
3 Tosh village: Last hippie village of Parvati valley
Taking in the misty salubrious air with a distinct smell of Marijuana gives its visitors the first impressions of this rustic snowy village. Wanderers can dedicate, take me to the mountains lyrics while crooning their heart out into the minty air of the village. Also, while reveling in the tranquil aura of the snow capped mountains, one can give a free leash to their soul into nonchalant chores like meditation and yoga in order to keep hold their peace of mind. On the other way around, hippie soul’s seeking to get into a state of trance make it to this village for swaying and pirouetting to their hearts content in the quirky sought after psychedelic rave parties.
How to reach:
Take a Volvo bus from Delhi to Manali and get down at Bhuntar which is 50 km before the cliché touristy town of Manali. From Bhuntar take HRTC bus to Barshaini and from there, either take a sharing cab or stroll all the way to tosh by treading on a 5 km long trail.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year (especially November to February for suspecting the snow swathed landscape)
Difficulty level: Easy
Where on earth tosh village is located: shadowed with the foothills of the Himalayas and flanked between the Parvati valley.
Time taken: 2 to 3 hours (Barshaini to Tosh)
4 Grahan- the trail less trodden
Grahan trail is one of the untouched and best weekend treks in Himachal for experiencing the minimal life in the mountains. This quaint little rustic paradise is an abode to blonde haired Pahadis who conceivably marry within their families. Nevertheless, it is a place where one can revel into the beauty of starry nights under the dark sky swathed with a sparkling silky sheet of stars, thereby proffering a subtle respite from the hustle and bustle of a typical foreboding city life.
How to reach: Take a Volvo from Delhi to Manali and get down at Bhuntar. Further take a local bus to Kasol and from their cross the main bridge and start treading o the path shown to your left.
Best time to visit: March, April, May, September, October, November
Difficulty level: Moderate
Where on earth Grahan is located: Somewhere in the hills of Parvati valley
Time taken: 3 to 5 hours (from Kasol to Grahan)
5 Trithan valley – A valley for village hopping
Although the pristine Trithan valley has a lot more to offer, from village hopping to star gazing at dark starry nights, but a unique three pagoda temple alongside the embankments of the Sparkling ‘Parashar lake’ is the most sought after spot visited by several Israeli tourists all round the year. This three storey unique pagoda style sanctum was built by Bansen back in the bygone epoch of 14th century, since then it emanates the aura of the untouched past.
How to reach: Take a Manali bound bus and get down at Mandi, from there take a jeep for ‘Baggi village’ and tread on a 7km trail leading to the mystically charming Parashar lake.
Best time to visit: February, April, May and September
Difficulty level: Easy
Time taken to reach: 2 to 3 hours