If you’re a nature lover or looking for a tranquil, raw retreat, then Barot in Himachal Pradesh might be just the right thing for you. Barot sits in the Uhl river valley in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Ideally situated within the mid-Himalayan range, Barot is flanked on either side by mesmerizing snow-capped mountains of Dhauladhar which forms part of the Himalayas. The villages in Barot are surrounded by broad, conical deodar cedar trees and oak trees. Together with the mountainous terrains, it might seem like the perfect picturesque backdrop for a romantic Bollywood film song!
History of Barot
Originally developed by the British as part of a small hydroelectricity project known as the Shanan Hydel Project, Barot became the first hydroelectric power station in India of a megawatt capacity. The Barot dam sits on the Uhl river. Although there isn’t very much to see on the dam itself, it is easily accessible by road for those who want to visit it and marvel at its engineering feat back in the day. Apart from the dam, there are heaps of things one can do when they visit Barot.
If trekking is your thing, there are trekking trails leading to the resort town of Manali and Bada Bhangal village. There are also treks through cedar and pine trees leading to Kullu. For those of you who wish to stick to short treks within the area, consider paying a visit to the Dev Pashakot temple which is located at the bank of the river at the bottom of the hill. This is only a short 15-minute trek from Barot. Just remember that the return climb will double this and could take half an hour.
Fish-lovers can enjoy trout fishing along the Uhl river which is good for angling. The Uhl river is also perfect for a cool foot soak or a wake-up dip if you dare to brave her chilly waters.
The Nargul Wildlife Sanctuary lies across the Uhl river and is quite the thing is you enjoy a relaxing morning walk. It is also home to the black bear and antelope-like goral as well as peasants.
How to get there
Barot isn’t all that inaccessible just because little is known about it as a tourist spot as compared to other areas. Road, rail, and air connect Barot from major cities across India such as Delhi and Chandigarh.
If you fly in, Kullu airport is the nearest airport and the nearest train station is Joginder Nagar railway station if you are planning to access this place by train. A scenic drive from Joginder Nagar should also leave you enthralled as you drive through its terraced fields and cedar forests. It also passes through small villages and Jhatingri at the hilltop.
For bus travellers, Barot can be reached by public buses which you can take that lead to Mandi, Joginder Nagar and Palampur.