A Tranquil river, an offbeat place, some lovely meadows, a thick cedar forests, some terraced fields and a relaxing homestay – seems like your perfect holiday destination, right? Well, then Barot Village near Mandi in Himachal is one place you MUST visit without thinking any further.
Let me introduce all of you to Yashi Srivastava who has written this Guest Post for all of us here at DoW. She will help us out for making our trip to Barot Village in Himachal Pradesh a memorable experience by sharing all the required details in her article on comprehensive Travel Guide for Barot Yashi loves to explore new places and experiences while traveling and is an aspiring Travel Blogger. She will share with us few more such informative articles on traveling to Himalayas in coming months. But as of now, let’s come back to topic and enjoy this Barot Village Travel Guide in order to prepare ourselves for our next trip to Himalayas :)…
Barot Village has been named in the article: 5 Must Visit Off-beat Places in Himachal Pradesh and it has completely lived up to the standards and expectations so far. Prospering in the lap of the great Himalayas, Barot Village, a small, hilly village with a population of approximately 2000 people, imbibes a sense of calmness among the travellers. Located in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh and contoured by Uhl River, this offbeat place remains un-crowded most of the year barring the summer season. Hindi is the official language in Barot and few locals can also converse in decent English. So, there is no issues in communication aspects 🙂
A major geographical feature of the Barot Village is the two reservoirs under Shanan Power Project. The gushing water of Uhl River, apart from adding all the charm to this hamlet, also allow locals for trout breeding. In fact, there is a trout breeding centre from where the fishes are released into the river. The travellers, however, can get involved in activities like angling / fishing, hiking, trekking, picnic, etc..
For those having a fondness for wildlife, Barot Village is also a portal to Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary A variety of animals including Monal, Black Bear, Wildcats, Monkeys, Deer, etc.. have found shelter under this sanctuary. One can also spend a night or two near the Sanctuary since there are two popular accommodation options, namely Thaltukhod and Silbadhwan Barot is also linked with Kullu through a trek route which is accessorized with thick forests. One interesting fact regarding this hamlet is that left bank of Uhl river is the village Barot that belongs to Mandi district while on the other side Kangra district is situated whereas the river belongs to Punjab (as per contract ;)) …
Barot is located in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh (about 66 km from Mandi, the district headquarters). It is situated at a distance of about 40 odd km from Joginder Nnagar, nearest railhead, on the Mandi – Pathankot Highway The road to this little known yet astonishing village expands from Ghatasni, a place on Mandi – Pathankot Highway and Barot lies at a distance of about 25 kms from Ghatasani. One could also manage to swing by the haulage trolley run by Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). The haulage trolley connects Joginderagar with Barot. Use of haulage trolley shortens the distance by 12 km. Unfortunately, the trolley is not in use anymore.
Barot is located in Chauhar/Chuhar Valley at an altitude of 1,830 Metres or 6,001 Feet.
Seasons for Travelling to Barot
This lovely village can be visited during all months except for rainy seasons because the condition of the roads may degrade due to heavy rains. Landslides can also contribute in blocking the roads for an uncertain period. During the months of November to February, climate is quite cold and heavy snowfall can be expected during January. However, the village looks pristine when covered under white carpet of snow. People having an affinity for whiteout can visit this place during winter but be prepared with couple of days buffer in case of heavy snowfall, as road might get closed due to it.
How to Reach Barot from Delhi
Barot is situated about 25 KM off the National Highway 20 (NH-20), also known as Mandi – Pathankot Highway. The road to Barot cuts from Ghatasni. and goes through Jhatingiri – Tikkan Villages. If your travel starts from Delhi, the distance is about 530 KMs and travel time will be approximately 14 hours if the climate and road conditions are seemingly fair. One of the most comfortable and direct route to reach Barot from Delhi is given below Delhi –> Ambala –> Chandigarh –> Kiratpur Sahib –> Swarghat –> Bilaspur –> Mandi –> Ghatasni –> Jhatingiri –> Tikkan –> Barot
The Mandi-Pathankot Highway(NH-20) stretching from Mandi to Ghatasni is in vogue with travellers these days. The roads leading to Barot are however steep and at places you cannot go above first gear. The condition of the roads require a little experience in driving on hills.
By Bus: Mandi is well connected with all the major cities of Himachal Pradesh and in fact Delhi as well. One can board a bus from Delhi or Chandigarh and reach Mandi in about 10 hours. We recommend you to take an overnight bus which will drop you off at Mandi in the morning. From there, you can hop on another bus and get off at Ghatasni. Again, you can get on a bus and finally reach Barot. The average fare is around 950 INR.You can find all the necessary information about ticket booking at the link: http://hp.gov.in/hrtctickets/.
By Taxi/ Cab: You can easily hire a cab or a taxi from Delhi or Chandigarh and reach Barot directly which is clearly not the case while travelling in a bus. A car will take about 13-14 hours from Delhi to reach Barot.
By Train: The closest railway station is at Joginder Nagar and there is a narrow gauge railway line connecting Joginde Nagar to Pathankot. When travelling from Delhi, here’s the route: Delhi – Pathankot (480KM) and the narrow gauge track from Pathankot – Joginder Nagar (153KM). From Joginder Nagar to Ghatasni (35 KM) and then to Barot (25 KMs), shall be covered by road.
By Air: Barot is 127 km from Bhuntar Airport near Kullu. You can also reach Barot from Gaggal airport near Kangra, approximate distance is 97 km. It is suggested to keep a check on flights on the websites from time to time as the frequency of flights is really low due to unpredictable climatic conditions at these places.
Although it is a matter of personal preference but to save you some time I will suggest you a 4 day itinerary for your perfect stay at Barot in case you are visiting from Delhi.
Day 1 – Take an overnight bus from Delhi. Reach Mandi next morning. From Mandi hop on another bus that drops you off at Ghatasni and from there you can finally take a bus or a shared cab and reach Barot. Check in your rest house or homestay and you can spend rest of the day relaxing near the Uhl River or a walk around the village is quite de-stressing.
Day 2 – After breakfast one can head straight for a few outdoor activities like angling, fishing, picnic, hiking, etc..
- Day 3 – After breakfast you can gear yourself up for a trek through Barot. However, the trek isn’t small enough to be finished in a day. You will require at least a day more to finish it. Or else, you can drive towards Luhardi Village or Bada Gran village. From Luhardi, road ends at the project but you can walk to village by the name Poling from where snow clad peaks appear just in touching distance. In fact, at Luhardi there is primary school as well where you can execute DoW – Causes | A Step Towards Responsible Travel, in case you beieve in spreading smiles up there in Himalayas. You can even check one such event executed by Dheeraj at the link: DoW Cause | GYAAN 500 in action at Barot, Himachal
- OR You can pay a visit to Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary which branches off at Barot. You can also visit Daina sar Lake along with the two reservoirs which take us back to 1924 due to its old machinery.
- OR You can go to Bir – Billing which is famous for its Paragliding activities. You can learn more in detail about it at the link of DoW Community: Paragliding in Himalayas
- Day 4 – Start your journey back from Barot or Bir – Billing. You shall board a bus till Ghatasani and then another for Mandi or Dharamshala and finally to Delhi or Chandigarh.
Accommodation options at Barot
Considering the fact that Barot is a hamlet, there are no hotels available as such. However, there are relaxing home stays in Barot. You can lodge here and the locals will graciously greet you. Two popular guest house run by government departments and a few privately owned rest houses will make your stay comfortable and relaxing. The average tariff of a single homestay ranges from Rs.300 to 600 per day. Contact information of these houses is given below.
Homestays at Barot
- River View Homestay: You can check Dheeraj’s Review in DoW Community at the link: River View Homestay at Barot | A Detailed Review
- Shobhla Homestay can be contacted at 9418298556 & 01908267223
- Barrage View Homestay can be contacted at 09736958568 & 09816863982
Guest Houses at Barot
- Sachin Guest House 01908 – 267342, 09816807627
- K.K Negi Guest House can be contacted at 01908 – 267312
- Heera Guest House can be contacted at 09418260576
Govt. Rest Houses at Barot
- PWD Rest House whose booking can be done at Paddhar Tehsil Office 01908 – 260665
- Forest Rest house, whose booking can be done at Joginder Nagar Forest Department 01908 – 222079
- For more details of the process and booking, you can check the link: How to Book HP PWD Rest Houses or FRHs
Attractions or Sightseeing around Barot
If and when, you get full of admiring the picturesque views and dazzling features of this valley then some other things to do at Barot are listed below:
- Angling, fishing, trekking, picnic, camping, rock climbing, river crossing and other various outdoor activities.
- Many trekking trails pass through Barot, including trek to Bada Bhangal, Manali and Kullu.
- Barot is near Bir – Biling which is quite famous for Paragliding.
- The place is famous for its Trout fishing. So if you love fishing, this place is your heaven!
- Internet accounts also tells us about the Summer Palace of Mandi Kings in Jhatangiri. Also, Jhatingiri is a great vantage point to witness an amazing sunset.
- There is also a high altitude panoramic lake at a height of 14000 (4150m) feet known as Daina sar Lake where holy journeys are started during August and September. Lord Hanuman is believed to have stopped over this place while killing an evil witch.The route to this lake requires a a bit of experience in trekking due to high / steep gradient at places.
- There are two reservoirs at Barot under Shanan power project. They were built in the year 1924 by a British engineer Col. Betty. You can see old machinery used in project.
- There are also some small scale industries and shops where shawls and woollen clothes are manufactured using a typical technology called ‘Khaddi’. One can visit these shops, if interested.
- Barot is doorway to Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary which is situated across the Uhl river.
- If you have a little extra time, you may want to take a tour of nearby villages like Luhardi village, Poling Village, Bada Gran which are as much awe-inspiring as Barot. You will find plenty of places where you can site besides the river and relax in the lap of nature.
Food availability is not a problem at all in Barot. The rest house generally provide food three times but there are also a few dhabas that serve food too and you can also try the local Himachali Cuisines too. People have kitchen gardens outside their houses which is a rare sight in metropolitan cities. The vegetables grown in these gardens are used for cooking meals by the locals. Dal / Rrajma, sabzi, rice, chutney, salad, etc.. is the basic food of this area. Trout Fish and Pahari Aaloo are the special dishes of Barot.
Besides primary health centre, a 24×7 ambulance services can be reached at 108 telephone number. For any emergency situation, you need to go to Mandi or Jogindernagar for treatment. Hence, advise you to carry your medical kit along with you which is commonly required during any journey. Do keep extra woollen clothes with you. There are chances that you might get wet, so better have some option.
There is a PNB ATM situated at a village named Tikkan, approximately 12 km away from Barot. Even so, it is advised that you carry cash. Mandi, on the other hand, offers excellent ATM Services. ICICI, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Union Bank, SBI have their ATMs established in Mandi.
Almost all the service providers have their coverage at Barot but it is always best to have BSNL or Airtel connection as they generally provide excellent services in remote areas too. Besides one can find number of STD/ISD telephone booths around there at Barot.
Mandi is the nearest place where petrol pump is available, so do top up in case it is required.
Other Tips an Suggestions from DoW
- 1. GPS is quite successful in this area but cannot be always relied on. It is hence recommended to take help from shopkeepers and passer-by for directions whenever you are confused.
- 2. Always carry some extra woollen clothes. They might come very handy in case you get your clothes wet, somehow.
- 3. Bring along a few medicines that are often required during a journey. Medical ambulance and can be reached at the following telephone number 108, keep this number with yourself for any such case.
- 4. You can also check our suggested list of things to carry on trip including medical kit
- 5. Due to rains in monsoon and snow fall in winters, the area tends to encounter landslides and can be closed for any uncertain number of time during such period. So, plan your visit accordingly with required buffer days.
Barot is quite an unexplored and offbeat destination in Himachal Pradesh and has a lot of potential to entice travellers around the world due to its unrestricted outdoor activities and picturesque location. But again such places are better off without any commercialization or tourist activities which most certainly spoil the beauty of such unusually vivid places. So, when you travel then our request is that you travel responsibly. You can read our tips in DoW Community link: Responsible Travel in Himalayas
Barot is one of the very few places which can give you a break from the bustling city life and you will love to spend some quality time with your loved ones there in the lap of nature. It is a lovely place that takes you back in time. So step out and experience the magic of this place where nature is experienced at its best…
Feel free to post any queries here as comments or in Itinerary Advice Forum of DoW Community…