Barot- A Valley Of Solace and Scenery In the lap of Himalayas

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Scenery without Solace is meaningless; I always search for Nature’s lap. This time my lap was a mesmerising village on the bank of river Uhl named Barot. I have been travelling in the Himalayas, hoping to discover every beauty God has created. I have the niche to find places that are raw, unique & less intervened by social media or humans.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
Panorama View of Barot

Barot was our official team trip, so we all were excited to un-reveal this peaceful & beautiful valley in Himachal Pradesh. Barot is a small village at a distance of 66 km from Mandi, and Jogindernagar is at a distance of 40km (closest railway station). We started our journey from Gurgaon, a long & tiring drive of 523.8km ahead. We took the Gurgaon -Ambala-Chandigarh -Mandi-Barot route, starting at 4.30 pm from our office at Gurgaon. Considering the long journey ahead and the rainfall, I was pretty anxious. And my anxiety was at its peak, thinking of road conditions & sudden downpours.


We took a few breaks, as we wanted to reach Sundernagar early morning, managing it by 5 am. On reaching Sundernagar, we stopped at the edge of a turning road, where clouds floated inside our car window. The view was a breathtaking wide valley covered with clouds, rain droplets on tall cedar & sunrays colouring the sky in deep red to orange. It was a canvas of Nature; we stood amazed at the view. We decided to halt, have a cup of tea & watch the sunrise.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
Sundernagar-clouds on river

We moved towards Bilaspur when a sudden downpour hit us, so we had to wait until the showers lightened. Then we moved to Mandi and took the Mandi – Pathankot Highway for Barot; the road was passable but narrow. We continued our drive towards Tikkan, where the route to Barot forks was. As we drove towards Jhatingiri, the sun was up & the sky was clear.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
Halt at Bilaspur

We halted for a Pahari maggie & a hot cuppa of tea. The photographer within me was up to explore the beauty of my lens. Ahead of the journey, roads were terrible and with a steep ascend. The streets were dangerous, which slowed down our pace. Finally, we reached The Heimat Resort, with beautiful deluxe tents. Though I prefer Forest Lodges, PWD rest houses, or state Tourism Lodging accommodation, I tried it here too, but all were booked. So we decided on The Heimat Resort. It was a bright sunny morning, and after a drive of 537 Km and 13.5 Hrs, we reached Barot from Gurgaon at 10.30 am.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
View from Jhatingiri.

It was a sigh of relief from seeing the Resort, a river-facing with all necessary amenities. The Heimat Resort is 1 Km before Barot, Near Shanan Reservoirs. The rooms were decent enough to stay in, so we quickly ordered tea with pakoras. Since Barot is a small village, hotels or lodges are fewer. But you have government guest houses, & a homestay, and a few deluxe tents for a comfortable stay, with prices starting as low as Rs 320/per night and going up to 1500/per night. Post our tea session; we asked the Resort’s cook to cook local cuisine, chicken, rice & chapati. Meanwhile, we all decided to take a nap to recharge ourselves. Barot was quite cold in July, too, as it’s surrounded by thick Cedar & Himalayan Oak forests & also heavy rainfall.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
The Heimat Resort.

Talking Barot was developed initially in 1920 for the Shanan Hydel Project. The tunnel’s inlet point diverts the Uhl river’s water to the Shanan Power House in Jogindernagar. The township has a diversion dam that was commissioned in 1932. Barot was not accessible until 1975 when a road was opened. The funicular trolley system was established during construction to connect Barot with Jogindernagar.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
The Shanan Reservoir Of Ulh

The gateway to the Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary starts from Barot, which lies across the Uhl. The refuge is home to the Monal, black bear, and ghoral. Inside the forest, rest houses can be found at Thaltuckhod and Silbandhwari. And through the woods of cedar and pine, a trek route cuts across the sanctuary to Kullu.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
Gateway to Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary.

It was calm; the only sound we could hear was the river flowing beside us. It was late afternoon when our doors were knocked with delicious cooked food. After our lunch, we decided to explore, but showers started pouring in. So the afternoon passed, soaking in the forest’s silence, with a touch of old Hindi songs. Evening we planned to try our luck for sunset, and locals suggested the Hilltop of Jhatingri; the experience is unmatched from the point.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
Sunset at the Hilltop of Jhatingri

And it was Fabulous, as we were lucky to see the sunset. However, the night was chilly, but our tiredness engulfed us in a deep sleep once we hit the bed after dinner.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
The night Look of the Ulh river

It was a bright Saturday, sunny day. We hit the road after breakfast to explore the village & decided to walk. First, we visited an old fountain channelising the waters of Uhl erupting at regular intervals; it’s a beautiful hydraulic attraction. Right opposite the fountain, two centres of religious faith are situated. Ace is the temple of Dev Pashakot, the local deity of rain, whereas the other is an old temple that has witnessed most couples in the valley getting tied in marital bonds. We visited the Dev Pashakot to seek blessings.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
Old fountain channelising water from Ulh river.

There are also three artificial lakes, including one reservoir on the Uhl river. On the way, we saw many trekker camps on the Thandi Golai ground of Barot. Trekking is organised from Barot as it’s the resting point of the Kullu– all trekking routes start here. The treks pass through dense forests of tall Deodar and Chile trees, which once been the busiest Sheperd route in & around Kangra.

View from the Thandi Golai ground.

Barot is also called heaven for anglers, as Trout fishing is one of the usual activities performed by the people in the clear blue water of the Uhl River. But we were unfortunate to try out angling, as it was not the season of Trouts.

Barot- A Valley Of Solace
Way to trout fish farm

So we moved towards Luhardi village, about 6 KM away from Barot. We drove to the destination; the road was in average condition, but the views were lovely as part of the snow-capped Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas could be seen. It’s a treat for photographers, the overwhelming scenic beauty, chipping birds, clear sky, and flowing Uhl.

A drive towards Luhardi village

We decided to walk until the zero points later in the evening, where the haulage trolly system was installed for transportation. The peace, calmness, and serenity around the Barot village, with the Uhl River’s musical sound flowing beside it, is the USP of the place. The night ended with a bonfire & delicious food.

A walk towards the haulage trolly system

It’s said silence isn’t empty and full of answers. Barot is one such valley whose silence answers you, makes you relaxed & you fall in love with the serenity of the Himalayas. The thick Cedar & Himalayan Oak trees, and free-flowing Uhl, make Barot a most settled village. Barot can be visited around May – June due to the pleasant climate and temperature range of around 17-27 degrees. But if you enjoy the forest in the monsoon & snow, you can visit from July-April also.

Roads with Pines on either side.

We started our journey back on Sunday morning, & along with us, we carried around a million feelings, thousand thoughts, and a hundred memories to cherish.

How to reach:

By Air: The closest airport is in Gaggal (Dharamshala). It is at a distance of 90km from Barot. You can take a flight to Gaggal and then book a cab or taxi to Barot.

By Train: The nearest railway station connected by the narrow-gauge railway line to Pathankot is Jogindernagar. Further, Pathankot can be reached by various significant stations in India. Hire a cab or take a bus to Barot once you arrive at Jogindernagar.

By Road: The best method to reach Barot is by road. Barot is at a distance of 295 km from Chandigarh. You can drive either by Gurgaon>Chandigarh> Bilaspur> Sundernagar> Mandi> Barot, or if you are coming from Pathankot or Punjab, you can take the route Pathankot>Shahpur>Kangra> Palampur>Jogindernagar> Barot











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