Kullu-Manali always said as one word by the Indian tourists is one of the favorite destination in Himachal Pradesh. Manali being more popular with the non-indian travellers is at most times overcrowded with a mix of both.

About 3km north of Manali  on the slopes east of the Beas, Vashisht is the best and brightest of the traveller centres in the Kullu Valley
.  Indian tourists come here to bathe in the hot springs and tour the temples, while foreign tourists come here for the cheap accommodation and charas. Be aware of the risks. Most guesthouses close down for the winter from late October.

vashisht valley

vashisht valley

vashist_village_home

vashist_village_home

There are some interesting old wood and stone houses with ornate carving beyond the public baths, and a number of typically Himachali temples in the middle of the village. Travel agencies, moneychangers, laundry services and German bakeries abound and several net cafés offer international calls, and internet access costs Rs 50 per hour.

Getting there & away

Autorickshaws charge about Rs 40 to Rs 50 for the journey between Vashisht and Manali; don’t rely on being able to get a lift back to Manali later than 7pm. On foot, take the trail near the Himalayan Extreme Center past the ruined HPTDC baths and down to the banks of the Beas River. Coming uphill, the trail begins about 200m north of the Vashisht turn-off.

Places to stay

Hotel Bhrigu
* 11 Double Bed Rooms,
* 2 Family Suites
* 1 Family Apartment

All rooms have wooden balconies which face snow capped mountains and river beas and a spectacular view of the valley. Manali is visible on the other side of the valley.  They even have a rooftop cafe Basho. Matresses and bolsters to just lie back and enjoy the views over lunch.

Rooms cost 800/- in peak season and 500/- in off season.
http://www.hotelbhrigu.com/

vashisht balcony views

vashisht balcony views

Bodh Niwas Guest House
A small walk up across the parking lot, this guesthouse has eight simple rooms with attached bathrooms with warm water and some of them also have a balcony. There is a living room with a tandoori oven and cable TV and a roof terrace with a beautiful view of the Kullu Valley and Old Manali.

They serve organic food and drinks from 8am till 10pm.
http://www.bodhniwas-guesthouse.com

Do check out:

  • World Peace cafe and Sonam Guest House – for the daily screening of offbeat traveller documentaries
  • The “Garam Pani” hot sulphur springs for a steaming hot natural jacuzzi
  • Trek to the waterfalls about 45 minutes north from the parking lot, through the forest.
  • Japanese trance parties in old manali at your own risk. Going alone to such parties is not recommended.
  • A days ride to Rohtang pass to get a feel of the manali leh route.
  • Solang valley, a 2 hour ride away, where they have Zorbs and mini ski slopes in winter.
  • Italian Pizza (Il Forno) and Korean restaurants on the other side of the valley in Manali.
  • Quaint village Naggar south of Manali, to escape the mostly crowded manali.
vashist street

vashist street

vashisht waterfall

vashisht waterfall

Best time to visit
April to September is when you would want to visit to escape the indian summer.  But if you like it here, do come back and check out what a snow covered valley looks like in the winter months – from Nov to Feb.