The Barot Valley is a valley in Himachal Pradesh. The name Barot is derived from ‘van bara’ meaning “forest of fruit trees” as there used to be plenty of these trees in the place.
The valley is located about 140km east of Dharamsala and 160km northwest of Kullu near the border with Tibet. It has an elevation ranging from 100 m to 2400m at its highest point, the Kalanag peak. Barot Valley’s northern boundary is formed by the Rupshu plains, while its southern boundary runs along the foothills of the Dhauladhar range.
The valley is host to several Snow Leopard populations at Kalanag Peak, Kunzum la and Kalatop plateau. This valley is also the home of indigenous nomadic people of Himachal Pradesh, called Kuluvas.
The valley has cold winters with heavy snowfall and is characterised by hot summers. It receives scant rainfall during these two rainy seasons: the monsoon season from mid-June to mid-September and the post-monsoon season from October through November.
Barot Valley is an important habitat for Snow Leopards; one observation done in 1943 via catapult indicated there were more than 1000 individuals in the ecosystem during that period.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Barot Valley is from July to March. It’s a very beautiful place and you need not make sure that it’s winter or summer season as chances are you’ll be able to imagine the beauty of the valley in all seasons. The topography of the place makes it easy for people to explore even in winters. There are some great picnic spots in the valley, which usually get deserted during summers.
Chumming at the monasteries and hermitages around Barot Valley is a time-honoured tradition. The monks and hermits offer Chum to all visitors, including foreign tourists who visit Himachal Pradesh and its hill stations in the summer months or for any other religious/spiritual holidays. Chum is offered by spraying it to cover visitors from head to toe with white powder. Chum is also offered to animals for good luck and protection against evil spirits.
Best things to do in Barot Valley:
- Go for a trek to Kalanag Lake.
- Trek to the ‘Barot Temple’.
- Visit Gurudwara Singh Sabha.
- Visit Katai Waterfall.
- Watch Snow leopards at Ghangharia near Kalanag Lake.
- Go for a hike/trek from Patseo to Barot village and back via Barot Temple with an overnight stay at the temple or in village hut under the stars!
- Visit Roopkund Lake.
- Go for a hike to Biamaara for sunrise and sunset viewing.
- Go for an off the beaten path trek to Barot village from Patseo village with overnight stay in the village hut.
- Camp at Chikka Thatta near the beautiful Katai Waterfall at Barot Village with family, friends or alone on a solo camping trip!
What to see in Barot Valley:
While exploring Barot Valley, make sure you stop by these sights that are definitely worth your time.
1. Sar Pass
As you drive into the valley, you’ll notice that your surroundings make a sharp turn to the north. This is the turnoff for Sar Pass, and on one side you’ll see a view of Nakki Lake and on the other side is a view of Rohtang Pass.
You can go hiking here — the trails are challenging but worth it, as you get to cross small bridges and walk through gurgling streams. There’s nothing quite like making your way across a shingle path surrounded by mountains and watching all kinds of creatures scurry past (if you’re lucky). Sometimes, we even saw yaks grazing on the sides of tiny mountain pathways or goats running around.
2. Hemkund Lake
Hemkund is an incredibly sacred site, and you’ll notice the sheer number of signs that warn you to be respectful while you’re here. It’s also incredibly peaceful, with a view of Baba Bhaironnath’s temple and dozens of pilgrims meditating near the lake.
3. Panchachuli/Nag Tibba Trek:
Panchachuli is another trekking destination in the Annapurna region because it’s one of the closest peaks to Manali and comes with a stunning view from its peak.
The trek to Panchachuli is a 14-hour journey away from Manali and has six different villages you’ll walk through, each with different landscapes that are even more beautiful than the last.
What to eat in Barot valley: Barot valley is one of those tourist destinations, which is famous for its lovely climate and the special cuisine it offers.
How To Reach Barot Valley?
The best way to reach the Barot Valley is by air. The nearest airport is at Pathankot which is 120km away. The nearest International Airport in Delhi is 340km away.
The valley is part of the Central Zone of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and Research Centre, located at Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
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