Nirvana through Shangarh – An Escape in Wonderland of Himachal
Himachal is a go-to place for any Delhite. A long weekend comes and most of them rush towards the Hill station leading to a tourist jam. If you are sick of these touristy places and searching for a quaint place, then Shangarh is your rescuer. There might be several offbeat places in Himachal, but Shangarh is one of the most beautiful places I have visited until now. Green meadows spread across long distances, sheer blue skies, lovely locals, beautiful trails and flamboyant local culture sums up Shangarh for you.
Shangarh is an unexplored place lying in the laps of the Himalayas. Not many people have heard about this place which makes it even more magical. But this at the same time is a con too. The less people know the more fragmented information you get. I had to confirm through multiple sources about Shangarh. Now that I have a first-hand experience of the place I can share with you every possible information I have. So do not worry, you’ve landed at the right page!
When to visit Shangarh?
In a conversation with Ved Ram Bhaiya, I got to know that the tiny hamlet looks magically beautiful in September following the snowy winters until March. So, if you are planning to travel to Shangarh then drop here in between these months as it is the best time to visit Himachal let alone this charming village.
How to reach Shangarh?
Himachal has been protecting this gem for years now hence reaching it is no easy task. If you decide to travel via local transport, it takes 2 buses and 1 cab to reach here. First, take a bus to Manali and step down at Aut. From here take a bus to Sainj followed by a cab to Shangarh. The mountain tops and river would run beside you until you reach your destination. Trust me this is the best company you can ever get on the road!
Staying options in Shangarh
Despite being a place where tourism inflow is very less, you’ll find plenty of homestays and airbnbs here in Shangarh. Rooms with majestic mountain views, paddy fields and clear skies are a blessing and here you’ll be blessed with the same. Irrespective of where you choose to live, you’ll have these mesmerizing sceneries in front of your eyes as soon as you wake up.
Talking about myself, I stayed at Divine Land Homestay which indeed is a pretty property. My friend and I paid INR 1500 per night inclusive of all the meals. Adding to our bargaining skills, we even got a reference discount. So it was a win-win! Our stay here was very comfortable
Aunty cooked some really delicious meals and made sure we finished every bit of it. I loved the ‘lahsun achar’ she had prepared a few weeks ago which now was about to get over. Fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time and got to taste it! She was a sheer epitome of motherhood! Even the achar/pickle my mom had brought from the very famous shop in rishikesh seemed less tempting in front of this one. Her husband and the man to whom this homestay belongs took good care of us.
Lastly, it was great to see their kids gelling up with us so easily. We used to take evening walks with the younger ones especially Kamal who is studying in the 10th standard. It was he who received us as we reached Shangarh, allotted our rooms and even took us to the large beautiful meadows of Shangarh,
If you are humble enough, you can even ask the locals to let you live under their roof and you could pay as you wish for their hospitality and warmth. Apart from this homestay, there are a few others too. To name a few, Teja Homestay, Snowline Banwaray Banjarey Homestay, and Rana Homestay.
Things to do in Shangarh
A paradise in laps of the Himalayas, Shangarh offers you a plethora of activities to be carried out during your visit. From doing absolutely nothing to taking nature walks, you can spend your time in utmost peace. Isn’t it enough? No? Read further to know what more can be done in this pristine valley.
Walking up to the vast meadows of Shangarh
The most quaint attraction of this village is the lush green meadows. There are two ways of reaching this amazingly beautiful nature’s creation. One, you can take the pucca road and turn as the road turns ultimately giving you the alluring views of meadows. The other one is taking a trail along the village. This can be done with the help of any local and is way more adventurous. A craver of such experiences, I had to choose the latter option.
Shungchul Mahadev Temple
Located at one end of the meadows is this huge temple dedicated to the local deity. It’s intricately carved structure is breathtaking. Standing as a tall piece of local belief, the temple is a highly important commodity to Shangarh.
Lying in the Great Himalayan National Park Ecozone, Shangarh acts as a base to different treks. Ghanjau Thach, Thini Top, Village treks, and Waterfall treks are a few options which you can opt for. Every path you walk will bring in a new and refreshing experience. Different ways to the top bring you some enchanting mountain views. The serene atmosphere and goodness of nature form a perfect combination for your rejuvenation.
Trekking tops the list when it comes to various things to do in Himachal, all thanks to the splendid experience it offers. The aura here would automatically push you towards taking up a trek and if you do, make sure you are going with an experienced person. Ask the concerned person in your homestay to make arrangements for any trek you want to go on to.
The place is so secluded that it is not included in any Himachal trip packages. You would have to go here on your own. Lastly, Solo trips in Himachal are quite safe, so if you wish to travel to Shangarh all alone, you can do that. Now before wasting any more time, head here! Travel Responsibly!