A tranquil river, an offbeat place, some lovely meadows, 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. If you are planning a trip to Barot village, this travel guide will help you with everything.
Barot Village has been named in the article Must-Visit Offbeat 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 travelers.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
About Barot Village in Himachal
Located in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh and contoured by the 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 are no issues in communication aspects 🙂
Barot is also linked with Kullu through a trek route, which passes through thick forests. One interesting fact regarding this hamlet is that the 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 ;)) …
Things to do in Barot
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 center from where the fishes are released into the river. The travelers, however, can get involved in activities like angling/fishing, hiking, trekking, picnic, etc.
Travel Tip: You may also be interested in visiting Palampur along with Barot.
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 located in the 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 Nagar, 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 km 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. The use of a haulage trolley shortens the distance by 12 km. Unfortunately, the trolley is not in use anymore.
Barot lies in Chauhar/Chuhar Valley at an altitude of 1,830 Metres or 6,001 Feet.
What is the best time to visit 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. From December to February, the climate is quite cold, and you can expect heavy snowfall in Barot during this period.
However, the village looks pristine when covered under the white carpet of snow. People having an affinity for whiteout can visit this place during winter but be prepared with a couple of days buffer in case of heavy snowfall, as the road might get closed due to it.
Hence, the best time to visit Barot is from September to June. You can pick the flavor of the season and I am pretty sure this offbeat place in Himachal will not disappoint you.
How to Reach Barot from Delhi
Let us dive into the details on how can you travel to Barot from Delhi. I will discuss options for traveling by road as well as public transport.
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 km and the 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 travelers these days. The roads leading to Barot are however steep, and at places, you cannot go above first gear. The condition of the roads requires a little experience in driving on hills.
Travel Tip: You may also be interested in visiting Prashar Lake along with Barot.
Road Conditions for Delhi – Barot – Chindi – Delhi
Following is the breakdown of road conditions for the Barot Road trip:
- Delhi – Karnal – Ambala – Chandigarh – Ropar: Excellent, smooth sailing
- Ropar – Swarghat: Very Poor roads with big potholes
- Swarghat – Bilaspur: Poor roads at most places with a noisy and bumpy ride
- Bilaspur – Sundernagar: Overall Average road conditions
- Sundernagar – Mandi: Good
- Mandi – Ghatsani (on Manali – Mandi – Pathankot Highway): Mostly Good but at places narrow roads
- Ghatsani – Tikkan – Barot: Bad roads mostly. At places quite steep incline and decline forcing 1st gear only
- Sundernagar – Jaidevi – Rohanda (SH – 13) – Chindi: Mix of average and good roads.
- Chindi – Tattapani – Naldhera – Sunni – Mashorba: Mostly very good roads barring only a few stretches. Very scenic too.
- Mashorba – Shimla – Kandaghat – Solan – Parwanoo – Ambala: Mostly Excellent, smooth sailing
- Ambala – Karnal – Panipat – Sonipat – Delhi: Excellent, smooth sailing barring few diversions on the way back only near Karnal which is kind of piss off at times.
Toll Amounts on the route
- Panipat Toll Plaza: Rs 30
- Karnal Toll Plaza: Rs 105
- Ambala Toll Plaza: Rs 34
- Himalayan Expressway Toll Plaza: Rs 26
- Green Tax Barrier at Himachal Pradesh border: Rs 60
Traveling to Barot using Public Transport
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 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 1200 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 traveling 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 Joginder Nagar to Pathankot. When traveling 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.
Travel Tip: You may include a visit to Dharamkot along with a Barot trip.
Suggested Itinerary of Barot Trip
Although it is a matter of personal preference but to save you some time I will suggest 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 the 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 the 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, the road ends at the project, but you can walk to the village by the name Poling from where snow-clad peaks appear just in touching distance. In fact, at Luhardi, there is a primary school as well where you can execute DoW – Causes | A Step Towards Responsible Travel, in case you believe in spreading smiles up there in the 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.
- OR You can continue the road trip to Dharamshala – Mcleodganj region.
- 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.
Where to stay in Barot trip
Because Barot is a hamlet, there are no hotels available as such. However, there are relaxing homestays in Barot. You can lodge here, and the locals will graciously greet you. One of those places to stay in the Himachal where you can relax by the riverside.
The two popular guest houses 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. 800 to 1200 per day. You can find the contact information of these houses 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
Tourists Attractions or Sightseeing in 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 the 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 tell 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 the height of 14000 (4150m) feet known as Daina Sar Lake. People undertake a sacred journey to this lake during August and September. They believe that Lord Hanuman stopped over this place while killing an evil witch. The route to this lake requires a bit of experience in trekking due to the high/steep gradient at places. You also need to consider AMS risks and acclimatization to take this high-altitude trek.
- There are two reservoirs at Barot under the Shanan power project. They were built in the year 1924 by a British engineer Col. Betty. You can see the old machinery used in the project.
- There are also some small scale industries and shops which manufacture shawls and woolen clothes using a standard technology called ‘Khaddi.’ One can visit these shops, if interested.
- Barot is the doorway to Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary which lies 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 sit beside the river and relax in the lap of nature.
Where to eat in Barot
Food availability is not a problem at all in Barot. The rest house generally provides 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 / Rajma, sabzi, rice, chutney, salad, etc.. is the basic food of this area. Trout Fish and Pahari Aaloo are the special dishes of Barot.
Travel Tip: You might also be interested in making a trip to Kareri Lake in Dhauladhars.
You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
Besides the primary health center, 24×7 ambulance services can be reached at 108 telephone numbers. For any emergency situation, you need to go to Mandi or Jogindernagar for treatment.
Hence, we advise you to carry your medical kit, which you may commonly need during any trip to the Himalayas. Do keep extra woolen clothes with you. There are chances that you might get wet, so better have some options.
Important Tip: You can also check our suggested list of things to carry on a trip including medical kit.
There is a PNB ATM situated at a village named Tikkan, approximately 12 km away from Barot. Even so, we recommend that you carry enough 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. Still, it is always best to have BSNL or Airtel connection as they generally provide excellent services in remote areas too. Besides one can find several STD/ISD telephone booths around there at Barot.
Mandi is the nearest place where the petrol pump is available, so do top up in case it is required.
Other tips for a trip to Barot
- Please keep in mind that Barot is not ideally a place to plan for a Honeymoon trip. You may check these 15 honeymoon places in Himachal to plan such a trip.
- GPS is quite successful in this area, but you should not always rely on it. Hence we recommend taking help from shopkeepers and passers-by for directions whenever you are confused.
- Always carry some extra woolen clothes. They might come convenient in case you get your clothes wet, somehow.
- Bring along with a few medicines that you often need during a journey. Medical ambulance and can be reached at the following telephone number 108, keep this number with yourself for any such case.
- Due to rains in monsoon and snowfall in winters, the area tends to encounter landslides. The roads to Barot can close for an uncertain number of times during such a period. So, plan your visit accordingly with the required buffer days.
- If you want to go hiking in Barot, do not forget to check our 12 must-have things to carry on a hiking trip to the Himalayas.
Barot is quite an unexplored and offbeat destination in Himachal Pradesh and has a lot of potentials to entice travelers 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 in the 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 you can experience nature at its best…
If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Barot, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable Barot trip.