Anyone who wants to go backpacking in India should know that Himachal Pradesh is the best this country has to offer. Affordable accommodation, lip-smacking food, friendly people and views to die for – that’s what awaits you in Himachal Pradesh. The weather is absolutely marvellous and the ambiance is always relaxed and comforting. From the moment you set foot in this state, the air starts flirting with you. It whispers in your ears asking you to leave your troubles behind and just let yourself get soaked into the beauty of nature. So enchanting is the atmosphere in Himachal that many have stayed here for days and months together not wanting to leave. But with so many amazing options in such a huge state, it can be tricky to plan a short trip, especially for beginners.
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So, here are five places you cannot afford to miss when you’re backpacking in Himachal Pradesh:
Kasol has emerged as India prime “do-nothing” destination. Most people visit Kasol to just relax and smoke up while others choose it for its spectacular mountain views and trekking opportunities. Whether you visit Kasol just to check out what all the hype is all about, or because you are really interested in the things it has to offer, you will not return disappointed!
Tip: Don’t mess with the Israelis, let them have their fun while you have yours. Mingle but trying to be over-friendly would be stupid.
Perhaps the best trekking option for beginners, Kheerganga gives you much more than what your 3-hour trekking effort is worth. Hot water springs, dirt-cheap accommodation, unbelievable views of snow-clad peaks and a bunch of travellers from all parts of the world to hang out and smoke up with – that’s Kheerganga for you!
Tip: Carry a change of clothes for the hot water springs and enough cash as nobody accepts cards in the valley.
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A quaint village nested in the Parvati valley, Tosh is actually a hippie hub disguised as a rural hamlet. With inexpensive rooms overlooking priceless views, Tosh is all that a backpacker can ask for. It is the ideal place to just stay put for months together.
Tip: Remember that the nearest ATM is in Kasol which is about an hour’s drive away so you would need to carry enough cash! Find out when the famous Tosh party happens, you will not regret being part of it!
A beautiful lake with a long enough circumference for a rejuvenating walk, dotted with affordable monasteries to stay in, a couple of cool cafes to hang out in, cheap local restaurants to dine in and some beautiful temples and gurudwaras to pray in – Rewalsar is one of the least crowded, most serene and relaxing places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.
Tip: Beware of the street dogs here, they bite.
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A 3-hour trek from the beautiful little town of Mcleod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh, Triund is a trekker’s paradise. You will swim amidst clouds and the foggy view will make the surrounding mountains play hide and seek with you. Mountain dogs will keep you company while you indulge in some hot parantha and tea enjoying the enchanting sights that will make it all feel like a dream. Triund will leave you speechless.
Tip: It would be a shame to not spend the night in a tent and observe the night sky with millions of stars.
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