Himalayan escapes don’t end with Nainital, Shimla, or Srinagar. There are countless small towns and villages in the West, North, and Eastern Himalayas in India. Do you know they would laugh at your face for ignoring their serene and bewitching beauty thus far? Here are the 5 Beautiful Himalayan villages untapped and uncrowded.
Especially, the hills surrounding Shimla and the holy town of Badrinath, you will find towns and villages of untold beauty. They remain untapped by the majority of the tourists to the hill stations in the Himalayas.
For example, are you aware of a terrific Himalayan village called “Harsil” located just on the banks of Bhagirathi River?
Tourists and pilgrims who have visited Badrinath will know the River Bhagirathi. There is a confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers at a place named “Rudraprayag”.
Similarly, I came to know of several lovely Himalayan villages that beckon you with open arms. In addition, they promise very fewer tourist crowds.
This means you will have all the serene beauty of the Himalayan flora and fauna, rivers and streams, and the fragrance of snow to yourself.
5 Untapped but beautiful Himalayan villages for tourism
Come on, let us get to know such beautiful and untapped Himalayan villages and towns. I foresee you will add at least 50% of them in your travel bucket list.
Harsil One of the Beautiful Himalayan Villages
Harshil is a small village at the Himalayan foothills. Baspa Valley is the exact location of Harsil.
The mighty Bhagirathi River flows through Harsil town.
If you explore deep into these small Himalayan villages and towns, you will be pleasantly surprised to know of untold confluences of small rivers. I am sure even the names of several minor rivers would evoke a blank expression on your face.
For example, have you ever heard of a river called “Jalandhari Gadh”?
The place (Harsil) where it weds the Bhagirathi is so enchantingly beautiful that it has earned the name “Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand”.
From Harsil, you can hike up to the beautiful Baspa valley through the scenic “Lamkhaga Pass”.
Harsil, the small Himalayan village has numerous mythological references and legends. When you tour the village of Harsil, you tend to believe such astonishing stories revolving around Lord Vishnu, Tulasi plant, and the asura Jalandhari.
Harsil village situated at a towering height of 8500 feet in the Himalayas.
What to do in Harsil,a Himalayan Village?
Just stay gazed at the snow-clad mountains, buddy. You will be able to spot ‘never heard of’ birds, insects, and butterflies.
Enjoy the chilly climate. Hike on the earmarked trekking trails, dip your feet in the freezing-cold mountain streams, and whatnot.
Beautiful Himalayan Village Sattal
Trek with a destination in mind such as Sattal. It means seven lakes (sat means 7 and Tal means lake). They are all inter-connected and their water is fresh and potable.
The birds of Sattal demand a separate blog post.
How to reach Harsil?
At the outset, from whereever you are in India, go to New Delhi first. Then reach Dehradun city either by train or by road transport.
Our destination Harsil lies at 250 km from Dehradun. You can either take a bus or hire a private cab from Dehradun to go to Harsil town, Himalayas.
Alternatively, you can catch a bus from New Delhi to Uttarakashi town. From here, Harsil is located at about 100 km.
See Mukba One of the Himalayan villages
Mukba is a village near Harsil. It is the gateway to the holy shrine Gangotri.
The road trip to Mukba village from Harsil town tells you all about the hidden beauties of the Himalaya’s flora, small waterfalls, and hot tea.
Your first-time encounter with Deodar trees and the apple farms will brighten up your face.
You will come across small temples throughout your journey to Mukba from Harsil. Example is the Laksmi Narayan temple.
So, how do you like this small Himalayan village, mate? Would you consider making a family trip to Harsil this summer when the weather turns very pleasant?
Snowy peaks to see from Harsil.
Though there is no dearth of snow-capped mountains that surround Harsil, the three giant peaks are worth taking pictures of are:
- Shrikanth peak
- Kailash Peak
- Matri Paek
Indian Army in Harsil
Sure, you will them in large numbers, because, the Chinese border is close by.
Karsog, Himalayan Town
Ah, what a beauty! Don’t you feel like you had known of this Himalayan small earlier?
If you are a mountain lover, you will ask around your hotel room in Shimla as to how far is Karsog from Shimla and what are all the available transportation.
How to go to the Himalayan Village Karsog?
From Shimla city, Karsog town is 110 km away towards Kelodhar.
There is only one transportion to Karsog from Shimla. Hiring a private cab from Shimal is no problem. There are numerous taxis available in Shimla.
Alternatively, you can board a bus from New Delhi. Direct buses ply to Karsog from Chandiagrh also.
What to do in Karsog, a Himalayan Village.
Well, you saw the picture of Karsog town above. I don’t think you need any other reason to visit Karsog. Its breathtaking beauty, the crisp weather, and the calmness of the place are more than enough to goad anyone to plan a trip to Karsog near Shimla.
Temples of Karsog
Like any small town or village on the Himalayan mountains, Karsog too has a few shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Kamakshi Mata.
Natural attractions of Karsog
Every sight that falls on your vision is beauty in Karsog. To be more specific, you can visit:
- Silent Valleys including Karsog Valley
- Hidden waterfalls
- Mountain streams
- Large tracts of meadows
- Apple orchards
- Scenic trekking trails
- Khoo Dhar viewpoint
- Snow peaks of Pir Panjal mountain range
- Jalori Pass
- Narkand and its Hattu Peak
- Tattapani hot springs
- River Sutlej
- Chindi Himalayan resort
I think you require two full days of traveling through Karsog town near Shimla. There are just too many natural attractions in this Himalayan town.
Himalayan Villages Famous for Apples: Kotkhai Village
Kotkhai is a small Himalayan town. It is another small hill station that is located close to Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh state of India.
6700+ feet is the altitude of Kotkhai town in the Himalayan Mountains. Therefore, you can expect a very pleasant climate during summer and not very cold during winter season.
Do you know?
Even though Kotkhai is a small Himalayan town, its apple cultivation is mind-boggling. Kotkhai apples are in high demand in the Shimla fruit markets.
Places to visit in Kotkhai Village near Shimla
- Kiala Forest-spot numerous fauna of Himalaya
- Garawog public garden
- Kotkhai Palace
So, how far is Shimla from Kotkhai Village?
60 km separates the two beautiful Himalayan hill stations.
Two more small Himalayan towns where tourism is slowly picking up are:
- Kirsu near Dehradun
- Ravangla in Sikkim
Of these two, I think Ravangla is more beautiful because of the flora and fauna of Eastern Himalayas.
Moreover, the food in Sikkim is entirely different when compared to the other Himalayan towns near Shimla, Dehradun, and Kashmir.
Staying options in these five small Himalayan Villages:
Well, we should not expect many big hotels or cottages as these are smaller towns in the Himalayas though located close to popular hill stations.
There are some hotels with basic amenities. I believe Homestay or farmstay options are better than staying in hotel rooms.
To round up, these small Himalayan Villages and towns are great alternatives to expensive and crowded hill stations of the Himalayas.