Virgin beauty in Himachal is now hard to find due to the increase in tourism in the past few years. However, if you are looking for an untouched and an unexplored place then Barot is certainly your best bet. Barot is known as the trekker’s paradise and for all the right reasons. Since there is no direct route to this place, the hamlet remains hidden and still untouched. The lovely meadows, beautiful river, peaceful vibes and homestays to live in, this place is a perfect destination for your relaxation.
What is Barot
Lying in the Mandi district on the foothill of Uhl river is a beautiful hamlet called Barot. Initially, this place was built for the hydel project in Himachal. However, in recent times, it has also picked up as a perfect tourist destination. This place not only offers the tourists leisure activities but also adventurous activities like trekking, camping, fishing, etc.
The gushing waters of the Uhl river will leave you refreshed and furthermore you can add to your adventures by wildering into the wildlife.
When you are here, apart from all that nature has to offer, you will notice a trolley that goes straight up in the hills at a 90-degree angle. This haulage used to connect Barot to Joginder Nagar, however, it has now been discontinued due to several political reasons and mishappenings.
Where is Barot located
Barot lies in the Mandi district, a little farther from the famous Bir Billing (a paragliding paradise). Further, this place is just 40 km from Joginder Nagar and 25 km from Ghatasani, a popular place in Mandi.
Earlier, the trolley used to carry people from Joginder Nagar to Barot directly, cutting the distance by 12 km, however, the trolley has now been shut down.
Best Time to Visit Barot
You can actually visit Barot any time of the season. The place looks pristine all-round the year. The winters start here in November and stay till March. During these months, the place gets a good amount of snowfall which makes the entire scenery even more heavenly.
My suggestion would be to avoid the place during monsoons. The roads to reach Barot are very rugged and improper. During this season the roads are prone to landslides.
How to Reach Barot
Now, if you are coming from Delhi, there are no direct routes to reach this place. You first need to reach Mandi and then Barot. The popular route that is followed by travellers is usually – Delhi – Chandigarh – Mandi – Ghatasni – Barot. The roads till Mandi are quite good, however, till Barot, you need to be an experienced driver.
To reach Barot from Delhi by bus, you would have to change buses twice. You will easily find many buses till Mandi from ISBT Kashmiri Gate of Delhi. It takes about 10 hours to reach Mandi from Delhi. Take an overnight bus from Delhi to Mandi and from Mandi, you will find another bus that leaves for Ghatasni. From Ghatasni you can find a bus to Barot.
The nearest railway station to Barot is Joginder Nagar. To reach this railway station, you first have to reach Pathankot’s railway station and then to Joginder Nagar. From Joginder Nagar, you can take a bus to Ghatasni and then to Barot.
The nearest airport to Barot is in Kullu called Bhuntar. From here, you have to take a bus again to reach Barot.
Things to Do in Barot
Barot is perfect for a 3-day stay. You can extend your stay even further if you plan on going to treks to the nearby places from here. Below, I am listing down all the activities that you can do in Barot –
Wherever you stay, you will be able to hear the gushing sound of the river. Barot is right next to the Uhl river and I would highly recommend you to have your lunch right next to the lake.
Winch Camp is a trek that you can go to either from Barot or from Joginder Nagar. From Barot, you will need to trek on the ‘Khooni Ghati’ that has the trolley. Winch camp is extremely beautiful, and sunrise from here is breathtaking. However, do take camping equipment till this place as there is no stay option available.
From here, you can leave for many treks. Some of the prominent ones are – Bada Bhangal, Kullu, Manali, Billing, and Kothi. If you have a handful number of days with you, consider opting for these treks.
In Barot, there are several options to camp as well. You can eat, sleep, drink right next to the Uhl river which is phenomenal and very peaceful.
Trout fishing is one of the selling points of this place. If you are here do not miss out on it. You can easily get a license for INR 100/- from trout farm office where you will see many trout stored in a tank.
Shanan Hydel Project
This project is the reason of Barot’s existence. If you are here, do not miss out on the hydel power plant which is huge and a sight to see. You are not allowed to take pictures of the hydel power plant, however, it is very eye catchy.
Where to Stay in Barot
Finding accommodations in Barot won’t be an issue. The place has several homestays and hotels where you can stay. I would personally recommend River View Homestay. The rooms were very cheap and their hospitality was commendable.
Connectivity here is not an issue, however, the best coverage here is of Airtel and BSNL.
Barot does not have any ATM facilities. It is better to take out the cash from Mandi itself. The nearest ATM you can find to this place is in Tikkan which is about 12 km away from Barot.
I would highly recommend this place. It is a perfect weekend destination to relax and soak in the peace. The place is quaint and calm, life here is slow and once you come back from a slow life, you will never feel the same.