Himachal Pradesh: “Himalaya, Extreme Sports, Party, Enlightenment, Cream”
Himachal Pradesh is an extremly diverse travel area and one of the most visited touristical areas in India. The most remarkable thing about the state „Himachal Pradesh“ is its huge forest. 70 percent of the land is forested, furthermore the Himalayan Mountains are starting to get bigger here. It is a true paradise for nature- and extreme sports lovers. Also the places are less hectical and people are more relaxed than in other regions in India.
Also spiritual seekers and party people are at the right spot in the Himachal Pradesh. It is certainly not so easy to swing back and forth between enlightenment on a peak and parties in the forests, but the Himachal Pradesh provides enough possibilities for both activities.
So, what would you like? A walk in the forest, skydiving, meditation or trance party?
At the end of the Kullu Valley and close to the Rohtang Pass, Manali is t h e place for plenty of backpackers. This travellers enclave offers diverse trekking tours and as well various possibilities for extreme sports.
Manali is seperated into two parts: Old and New Manali. On the contrary to New Manali, Old Manali is very attractive for travellers to hang out and spend some time here. You will find all the bars, restaurants, hostels and parties here.
It is also such a relaxed place, because friends of a good smoke come to Manali because of the „Manali Cream“, a very creamy hash which is produced in the village „Malana“ close to Manali. In fact it is certainly the magnet which attracts most tourists here. Maybe not on the paper, because it is still illegal, but the majority of international and Indian travellers have heard about the Cream before they come to Manali. And this is also why you will find a travellers friendly ambiente to hang out and chill as hard as possible. (In Manali it is the place to be for chilling, but actually the whole Himachal Pradesh is depending on its hash production and of course consumption as well).
Kasol is the party place in the Himachal Pradesh. Of course you can also do treks, hikes, white water rafting, rock climbing etc. here. But the most distinguishing thing here are the wild parties either in the village or far away somewhere in the forest. Full moon is always a special date for special parties here. Apart from Goa, Kasol is probably the most famous party place in India.
Kasol is also well known for its Hebrew or Israeli Influence. Somehow especially people from Israel tend to be and stay here. Even traffic signs and menus are written in Hebrew.
This mix of impressive nature, North Indian culture, Israeli influence and crazy parties make one lose its grounding very easily. So enjoy but make sure you don`t get stuck here.
Kheerganga is a very special place about 3300 m of altitude in the the Himalayan Mountains. There are no cars, streets, scooters or any other disturbing stuff. It is pure relaxation in nature with an astonishing scenery. You can sleep in tents or little huts, which are provided there.
It is common to start in Kasol and reach Kheergang within a two day trek, which leads through Barshani and Tosh. Get information in one of the plenty travel agencies in Kasol. You can also leave your heavy luggage there.
Lust-4-Life Highlight: One of the most astonishing places of my whole India travel.
Dharamsala/ McLeod Ganj/ Dharamkot
Dharamsala is one of the most famous places for spiritual seekers. Since the Dalai Lama fled from Tibet in 1960 and has found his exile here, it is the magical place for a specific, spiritual clientele. Dharamsala itself is a centre of administration and not worth to see, thus the actual target for travellers is McLoed Ganj. All the touristical and spiritual going-ons are in McLoed Ganj, a place 600 m uphill from Dharamsala. Since the arrival of the Dalai Lama and Buddhism more and more followers have gathered here in the last centuries and this place has become a strange, very chaotic, crowded, capitalistic and touristical world. Everybody needs to make his dollar and it seems that everybody is trying it here.
Lust-4-Life Tip: If you go uphill further 500 meters, you will reach Dharamkot. This is the kind of place which McLoed Ganj used to be: a distanced, calm village in the mountains where no loud vehicles or sellers disturb your spiritual projects. It is the perfect place for a traveller to hang out for a few days. Here you have hostels, restaurants and some bars and shops. But all in a modest number.