"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. " ~ Dalai Lama


Off Beat Himachal Pradesh

Discover the hidden Himachal, away from the famed destinations filled with hotels, bazaars and malls. Check out these soft adventure options and stay in comfort at Sangla, Sarahan, Thanedar, Kaza, Tabo, Rohanda, Shoja and Mori...

An incredible journey into a world untouched by the stress and bleakness of contemporary urban living. Where the land reaches out to the heavens, and where you just might discover the real you, walking dreamily along a lazy stream. Experience nature at its best and commune with its sights and sounds while enjoying the luxuries of camping and exploring the outdoors with us.

Take a week to 10 days off at your convenience. Have a vehicle pick you up at Delhi, Ambala or Chandigarh and take you to any or all these camps in Himachal.


Sarahan The Gateway to Kinnaur and steeped in legends, it is a haven for nature lovers, a pilgrimage, and a marvel in temple architecture, all rolled into one. 21 kms south of Jeori, Sarahan was once an important market for traders of neighboring regions. An attractive town, it has a pheasant breeding center nearby. The bazaar is interesting: friendly villagers greet travellers; shops sell flowers, bright red and gold scarves and other offerings for worshippers among local produce, fancy goods and jewellery, while numerous tailors' shops turn out garments for villagers around. At Sarahan you will stay in an apple orchard with a view of the majestic Shrikhand Peak.

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Sangla Surrounded by towering mountains on all sides, this camp is set on the banks of the Baspa river that surges through the valley. For six months every year, the Himalayan valleys of Kinnaur and Spiti emerge from a thick cloak of snow to reveal a different, secret world to man. Your discovery of the lesser-known Himalayas can begin in the Sangla Valley. At a height of 2,700 mts the Camp is surrounded by towering mountains on all sides. Enjoy the warmth of the bonfire beside the Baspa river. Long walks to discover the amazing fauna and flora of the valley, treks to view snow covered Himalayan peaks, angling for trout, experiencing some of the local culture and traditions, rock climbing, rappelling and river crossing are only some of the delights that are on offer.


Thanedar The apple orchards here are a special delight. It is an eco-friendly getaway that will enchant nature lovers. 80 kms from Shimla on the old Hindustan-Tibet road lies Kotgarh, which enjoys a special place in Himachal history. In 1916 Samuel Stokes, a social worker from Philadelphia brought the first apple saplings to Kotgarh, the place he adopted as his home. One can still see the 'Starking Delicious' apple orchard that he planted there. Nestled amongst acres of apple blossoms is an eco-friendly getaway that will enchant nature lovers. There are fully furnished rooms with attached baths and a well-equipped kitchen to cater to a variety of tastes.


Tabo The rock-hard desert mountains, torrential rivers and icy cold winds leave you breathless & speechless. For the truly adventurous, the journey up from Sangla towards the Spiti Valley is a must-do! The sparsely populated villages in this high altitude desert at 10,500 ft, are near the second most important Buddhist monastery in the entire Himalayan region - the Tabo Gompa, more than 1000 years old. Stay here overlooking the old monastery, 1 km away from the Spiti river that flows through the area. Built in the local architectural style, there are comfortably furnished rooms with attached bathrooms and a well-equipped kitchen.


The capital of Spiti Valley, its bound by the valleys of Kulu, Lahaul, Ladakh and Kalpa. Geologically and archaeologically, Spiti is a living museum. Rudyard Kipling describes Spiti in "Kim" in these words: "At last they entered a world within a world - a valley of leagues where the high hills were fashioned of the mere rubble and refuse from off the knees of the mountains... Surely the Gods live here."

Dhankar Spiti, locally pronounced "Piti", is amidst stark mountains devoid of any vegetation where erosion by wind, sun and snow over thousands of years has laid bare the rocks. The rugged and rocky mountain slopes sweep down to the riverbeds giving the landscape a moon-like appearance. Stay at the comfortable well-equipped retreat with comfortable rooms, atatched baths and modern amenities.


Set in an apple orchard overlooking the Balh Valley, it is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt locations of Himachal. At an altitude of 7,000 ft, it is situated in sylvan surroundings with cedar, blue pine, fir and oak trees on three sides. It provides a breathtaking view of the valley, the neighboring mountains as well as the distant snow clad Dhauladhar range. At night, the lights of Sundernagar township 4,000 ft below, shimmer in the distance.


Built with solid cedar wood, this retreat is surrounded by thickly wooded forests and a panoramic view of the snow covered Himalayan ranges. This little village is 5 kms from the Jalori Pass which links the Shimla and Kulu districts. Enjoy the view along with delicious food. The numerous walks and treks in the surrounding forests and meadows are a special feature of the area and the drive to the resort is a pleasure in itself. Large, fully furnished, comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms are available and the kitchen offers you a variety of treats including freshly baked bread and cakes!


Nestled amidst pinse trees on the fringes of the Govind National Park is our camp in the Tons valley. Bordering Uttaranchal and Himachal, this valley by the river offers excellent opportunities for rafting and angling.

Sarahan : Throughout the year
Thanedar : Throughout the year
Chail : April to October
Tabo : April to October
Kaza : April to October
Rohanda : Throughout the year
Shoja : April to October
Mori : April to June, August to October

* Customised vacations possible to suit your convenience.

Contact details:
Banjara Camps & Retreats
Tel. 91 11 26855152
e-mail: info@banjaracamps.com
website: www.banjaracamps.com

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.