What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the Himalayas? Gorgeous, snow-capped mountains? Lush greenery? Cold weather? You’d be right on all counts. The Himalayan area is a great place to go for a getaway from the madding crowds and loud noises of the city. Either with friends or solo, for those looking for adventure or a little R&R, the Himalayas have it all.
Himachal Pradesh being a popular tourist destination means that there is no dearth of places to stay and things to do, no matter what time of year you go. Escape to Himachal to reconnect with nature, and breathe in the fresh air, and there’s no place better to do it than these hostels. Take a look!
I. LEDeG Hostel
The Ladakh Ecological Development Group, or LEDeG, runs an eco-friendly hostel that is situated right below Shanti Stupa, far away from the main bazaar with a view of the town on one side and an awe-inspiring view of the Himalayas on the other. At an extremely affordable rate, these modest rooms are completely solar-powered. They are also associated with the Youth Hostels Association of India. While they serve traditional Ladakhi fare at the hostel, they are a 5-minute walk away from the bustling Changspa area with its numerous eateries.
Check them out here.
II. The Blue Sheep Hostel
A quaint family-run hostel on the outskirts of Banjaar town in Tirthan Valley, the Blue Sheep Hostel is surrounded by a lush garden and an organic fruit orchard. With cedarwood shared dormitories and private rooms, this boutique hostel is solely for young adventurers. The Blue Sheep Hostel has a great location, 22 kilometres away from Jalori Pass and 5 kilometres away from the starting point for the hike to Chhoi Falls. They also have a cosy dining area with a cafe, with locally sourced ingredients and seasonal vegetables. They also use the organic fruits from their orchards to make preservative-free jams, pickles, and chutneys.
Check them out here.
III. Zostel: Spiti and Manali
A backpacker’s paradise, both Zostel locations are a feast for the senses.
The Zostel at Spiti Valley offers a stay at Asia’s highest hostel, as well as a visit to the highest post office in the world. If you manage to make it through one of the world’s highest passes, as well as the most treacherous road in the world, a starry sky and a beautiful view are what await you. With private and shared tents available, this is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Manali’s Zostel on the other hand is a treat for adventure and thrill seekers. With hikes to places like Jogini Waterfall, Hampta Pass, Patalsu Peak, and Parashar Lake in easy access, along with deliciously posh cafes in town, Manali is the perfect place to visit. Enjoy an organic apple at Zostel Manali’s new Geodesic Domes Glamping tents, offering views of snow-capped mountains through a see-through wall at a height of over 2600 metres.
Get in touch here: Spiti, Manali.
IV. The Cocoon Project
For those who are a little more artistically inclined, The Cocoon Project is located in the lap of nature, in a 108-year-old colonial-era property. Founders Tarique Akhtar and Yasmin Fay, convinced by the architecture and the picture-perfect location, started an incubator movement for art, music, culinary experimentation and design. Along with private rooms, the bungalow also includes a yogashala and a state-of-the-art recording studio. Located near the bustling towns of Mcleodganj and Dharamshala, this is the perfect place to unwind, work on your art, and meet like-minded creatives and travellers.
Find out more here.
V. Madpackers, Jibhi
For a slightly more luxurious backpacking experience, visit Madpackers in Jibhi, located in Tirthan Valley. Referred to as a ‘hamlet’, Jibhi is surrounded by lush forests and waterfalls. The newly built, ultra-modern hostel offers a breathtaking view amongst the chirping of birds and the cool mountain breeze. At a very budget-friendly INR 450 per bed, this hostel is a steal, and also offers private rooms if that is more your speed. They also have an in-house restaurant, along with high-speed wifi so that your Instagram won’t miss a moment of the beautiful view.
Check them out here.
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