If there is a place in Himachal which attracts travelers across the globe, it is surely Kullu. But the general perception is that Kullu is just a town and there is nothing much to do. So here is a list of 16 best valleys to explore in Kullu.
I am pretty sure this list will break the general perception and enable people to explore the true beauty and culture of Kullu. And depict that there is much more to explore in Kullu district as a whole.
Pristine villages, beautiful rivers, Incredible meadows, enchanting forests, Splendid wooden temples, you name it these valleys in Kullu have it all. So lets dive into this one.
16 Best Valleys To Explore In Kullu That Will Blow Your Mind
Kullu valley is probably one of the most visited tourist places in Himachal and India has a whole. The general perception is that Kullu is just town with nothing much do and everyone just heads to Manali.
But the reality cannot be more different. Kullu is not just a town but an entire district which quite big to be honest. And such sub-valleys of Kullu is what makes it so beautiful and unique.
Therefore, I am presenting to you 16 best valleys to Explore in Kullu that you must explore. By the way here is list of 47 incredibly picturesque hidden places in Kullu I am sure you will like it.
1. Parvati valley – Explore The Most Famous Hippie Destination Of India
If there is sub valley of Kullu which is at par with Manali when it comes to popularity amongst, then it surely has to be the famous Paravti valley.
|Parvati valley starts from a diversion from Bhuntar goes up to Pin Parvati Pass on Kheerganga side and up to Sara Umga La on Tosh side. Also the famous village of Malana and area around it till Chanderkhani pass falls under Parvati valley.
Basically Parvati valley gets its name from the River Parvati, one of the tributaries of River Beas (Vipasha or Bipasha is the ancient name of Beas). The famous tourist places in Parvati valley include Kasol, Tosh, Malana, Manikaran, Grahan, Rashol, Kalga, Pulga, Tulga, Barshaini, Kheerganga.
Although, the valley is quite picturesque, the perils of mass tourism have kind of ruined the valley, if you are looking for an escape from the crowd. Even the places which do not have road connectivity have become too popular for their own good.
But hey on the brighter side it is one of those places in Himachal which is well-developed to cater to your regular tourists. So, yes if you are new to Himachal, then Parvati valley is one of the best valleys to explore in Kullu.
By the way, Personally I think Kasol the main town of Parvati valley is quite overrated and I have 11 honest reasons explaining the same in blog. Do check it out and let me know your thoughts
2. Inner Seraj – The Pristine Valley Of Kullu That Will Leave You Gobsmacked
Inner Seraj in Kullu district is one of my personal favourites in Himachal and also the part of a bigger Seraj or Saraj valley. So the whole Seraj region is divided into 3 valleys namely Inner Seraj(Kullu), Outer Seraj(Kullu) and Mandi Seraj (Mandi).
The valley of Inner Seraj completely falls in Kullu district and comprises of 3 main sub-valleys which are the beautiful and pristine valleys of Tirthan, Banjar, and Sainj.
Now all the 3 sub-valleys have gained fame for its picturesque landscapes, but then again only a few places have become popular amongst travelers and most of areas remain under explored, this is coming from a personal experience after spending a whole month in Sainj,
By the way a lot of places in Inner Seraj are perfect alternatives to Kasol. So here is a blog about the same.
1. Tirthan valley – Venture Into The Magical World Of Great Himalayan National Park
Tirthan valley is personally one of my favourite places. Although I would prefer to call it Inner Seraj since it is a part of the bigger Seraj region. But I’ll refer as Tirthan due to it being the prominent name on the tourism circles.
So this particular valley of Tirthan has risen among the ranks in the recent years to become one of the top travel destinations in Kullu. And this is obviously not a surprise due to pretty vistas, amazing culture and showing outsiders true beauty of Himachal.
|So geographically speaking there is a lot of grey area of what is Tirthan and what is not. And as I said earlier I would like it to be known as Inner Seraj but of course that ain’t happening.
So I would say, Tirthan valley is the area around Gushaini that would include the villages Gushaini, Batahad, Mashiar, Galingcha, Sharchi, Tinder, Ropa, Pekhri etc. I personally would not include the area around Banjar.
Simply calling the area till Jalori Jot as Inner Seraj would clear the confusion, but now its too late even the locals have started calling Tirthan because of how popular it has gotten.
But anyways the area is absolutely splendid with some insane vistas, and is heaven for serious who can venture into the mysterious areas of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP).
2. Banjar valley – Experience The Beauty Of Seraj Region
Banjar valley is again one of my personal favourites. I had spend a week here at an amazing homestay cum hostel and really enjoyed my time here.
|Again, there is a lot of grey on what is Banjar valley and what is not and personally I would like it be called as Inner Seraj, But usually the villages like Banjar, Jibhi, Shoja, Bahu, Ghiyagi, Laida, Tandi, Jalori Jot should be in the valley.|
If you want to truly understand the culture of Saraj valley then Banjar valley is the place to stay at. From pretty rustic traditional villages to insane meadows Banjar valley is really quite picturesque.
3. Sainj Valley – The Incredible Vistas Of Sainj That Stole My Heart And Will Steal Yours Too
Well, after spending a month in Sainj, I can safely say that Sainj is easily one of the best valleys to explore in Kullu district. My perception of Sainj was that is only a small valley with only Deori, Shangarh and Raila area along with remote villages of Gada Parli.
But oh boy ! I could not have been more wrong. Sainj is huge valley with lots of small villages perched across the valley most of them now connected with road except of remote villages of Gada parli like Shakti and Marur.
|Most of the tourism is limited to places like Deori, Upper Neahi, Raila and Shangarh which is the most famous place in Sainj. But there is much more to Sainj than just these few places.
Some of hidden gems of Sainj include Bhallan, Rote, Dhaugi, Suchain, Kanon, Dusharh, Gada Parli. Of course, these are just Gram Panchayats, but there several pretty rustic villages and beautiful places here.
By the way, if you want to upper explore Sainj valley you should contact Rabbithouse homestay (+91 9805188083) and Aastha homestay (+91 8278795110).
4. Lug valley – The Mysterious Valley Of Kullu That Has Insane Vistas
Lug valley is one of the most mysterious valley’s of Kullu. In fact, only a few years back Inner villages of Lug valley has gotten road connectivity.
But trust me Lug valley has one of the most unique landscapes in Kullu valley. And once you enter the valley you can feel that you have been transported back in time with all the hidden villages.
The are a lots of ancient connects in form of mountain passes that connect Lug valley in Kullu to other districts of Himachal. The most famous one is the Bhubhu Jot which connects Lug valley in Kullu district to Chuhar valley in Mandi.
|The other one is the less frequented Sari jot which connects Lug valley (Kullu) to famous Chota Bhangal (Kangra). The villages of Lug valley include Dughi Lug, Kalang, Gramang, Smalang, Kadingcha, Samana, Tiun, Thatch, Bhalyani etc.
Lug valley starts from a link road from Dhalapur in Kullu town. And there are many links roads going to aforementioned villages of Lug valley. Unfortunately, there are no places to stay for travelers in the Upper villages.
By the way here is a detailed on the current state of offbeat places in himachal like Lug valley. Do let me know your thoughts on this.
5. Gadsa valley – The Hidden Gem Of Kullu That Will Surprise You
Gadsa valley, again is another one of the valleys of Kullu where tourism is non-existent. But if you are looking to explore truly offbeat places with road connectivity then Gadsa valley is the place to be at.
Although Gadsa valley is famous for paragliding but thats about it. No further tourism related spots in the valley, but plenty of them have an incredible to be one.
|To reach Gadsa valley, there is diversion you need to from Bajaura or Bhuntar. Although both the diversions will take you to the different parts of the Gadsa valley.
The villages of Gadsa valley include Manihar, Palgi, Hawai, Diyar, Shiah, Neenu, Dhara, Dhalan, Narol, Mahun, Ashni, Jeshta and more. Please make sure that you have a local accompanying since none of these places are on tourism map yet.
And after spending a good 10 days in the valley, I can assure that Gadsa valley is certainly one of the best valleys to explore in Kullu.
Traveling to offbeat places like Gadsa is not always easy, So here is detailed blog about the challenges you might face when traveling to offbeat places in Himachal
6. Kharal valley – The Abode Of Bijli Mahadev
Kharal valley is probably one of the well-know and lesser explored at the same time. And I would say only one thing Bijli Mahadev.
Yes Bijli Mahadev is one of the topmost area’s in Kharal valley, but the rest of the valley is relatively unexplored. The several pretty rustic villages of Kullu in Kharal but those are not very popular.
|There is link road to Kharal village and till Chansari and beyond from Ramshilla near Kullu Town. You get a insane of view of the Kullu town as you climb higher.
Personally speaking I only recently visited the famous Bijli Mahadev Temple and was certainly blown away by its beauty. And I’ll certainly return back to Kharal to explore the rustic villages and other places in the valley.
Himachal is also called Dev Bhoomi and rightly so because every village in Kullu has a temple dedicated to local deities. And such temples with beautiful architecture is one of the 31 promising reasons why Himachal attracts solo travelers.
7. Maharaja valley – One Of The Least Explored Valleys In Kullu
Maharaja valley or area around Pah nala is one of the lesser known valleys of Kullu. But there some amazing places to visit here.
|So I personally have explored Lot village and Kaisdhar which is one of the areas of this valley. And it was absolutely mesmerizing to hike on such pristine trails.
But there is much more this area, which I am pretty sure of exploring in the near future. And if you like lesser unexplored places you should too.
Also, accommodation is very limited, and this valley is not on tourism map yet, so without a local it will be difficult to explore the valley properly.
8. Upper Kullu (Ujji) – The Incredible Scenic Beauty Of Upper Kullu You Must Experience At Least Once In A Lifetime
Upper Kullu also known as Ujji in local language is one of the best valleys to explore in Kullu region. The Upper Kullu valley basically starts from Kullu town and goes to upto Rohtang La.
But within these lie several sub valleys of Upper valleys of Kullu which deserved to be explored. So here are all the sub-valleys that come under Upper Kullu valley.
And by the way if you want to explore Upper Kullu you should definitely leave everything to Yuthok Homestay (+91 7018369494). The host Rajeshwar thakur has deep knowledge about Upper Kullu and Kullu valley in general and will take you to some of the most insane places in Upper Kullu.
1. Fojal valley – The Pretty Valley Of Kullu With Beautiful Landscapes
Fojal valley is one of the least explored valleys in Upper Kullu. And is certainly one of the best valleys to explore in Kullu, Upper Kullu to be precise.
|To reach the main town of Fojal you have to a diversion from the main Chandigarh-Manali highway before Patlikhul. The valley gets its name from the main town of Fojal, but there are a lot of small villages in the valley.
I reached Fojal on foot Hiking from the ancient village of Parvi and then descending down to Dhara village in Fojal valley witnessing some insane meadows, and wonderful landscapes en route.
Please do not venture in this area alone as it is extremely remote and there several restrictions on outsiders due to folk beliefs of the locals. If at all you want to reach Fojal by hiking contact Yuthok Homestay.
The incredible hiking trails like in Fojal is one of the 13 significant reasons why Himachal attracts a lot of solo travelers across the globe.
2. Kalichang Valley – The Rustic Villages and Insane Vistas Of Kalichang Will Mesmerize You
The lesser known Kalichang valley is one of the least explored places in Upper Kullu valley. The Kalichang valley gets its name from the mountains of Kalichang which starts from the less frequented Kadingcha Pass.
|The pretty villages of Raison Gram Panchayat can be considered as part of Kalichang valley as well the remote villages of Parvi, Himbri, Rakhani.
The Britishers loved this place and had a tea estate set up in Baga village of Raison back in the day. Currently, Raison is one of the few places on the main highway in Upper Kullu which is filled with a lot of Orchards instead of concrete buildings.
If you want to hike in Kalichang valley, there are ample of pristine trails which you can choose as per your fitness. So if you want to escape the crowd and witness the true beauty of Upper Kullu you should certainly pay a visit to this prisitne valley
3. Hallan 2 – Visit This Pristine Valley For Insane Autumn Vistas
Hallan 2 valley is one of the least explored places in Kullu. When I visited this pristine valley I did not know what to expect. But I was just awestruck by the beauty of this valley once I reached.
|Hallan 2 is not a very big valley. And houses only a few villages. There is a link road from Patlikhul which connects Hallan valley to the main Manali-Chandigarh national highway.
But trust me it is one of the best valleys to explore in Kullu. The whole area is covered with beautiful pine forests and you can see the slope of Rani Sui lake (The lake is behind the slope) from here.
Autumn was at its peak, when I made a visit to this beautiful valley and witnessing those insane colors just blew my mind. So would really recommend visiting in Autumn.
But once again, there is no place to stay here and the villagers are reluctant to allow outsiders due to folk beliefs of the locals in Upper Kullu. So I would suggest that you visit the place with the Local of Upper Kullu.
4. Area around Naggar (Left bank of Beas) – One Of The Best Valleys To Explore The True Beauty of Kullu
Well if there is one area or valley which is hidden in the plain site despite now being quite accessible, it has to be the left bank of Beas which is the area around Naggar which used to be ancient capital of Kullu valley.
|The area around Naggar is home to some of the most picturesque rustic villages in Kullu where you get to learn about the actual cultural of Kullu.
The area around Naggar includes the high villages of Jana, Rumsu, Nathan, Chachogi, Soyal, also the area of Kais wildlife sanctuary.
Of course, most of the area is still not on the tourist map, but slowly and steadily it is becoming popular with Naggar itself becoming one of the prime tourist hotspots.
5. Area around Manali – The Most Popular Area Of Himachal That Is Everyone’s Favourite
While the area around Manali is one of the most popular one in Himachal, but it is nevertheless quite beautiful. In my opinion, there is much more to Manali, then just Hidimba Temple, Mall road and old Manali, Jogini falls etc.
|There are lots of pretty villages scattered across Manali area and you have take a bit of time of out to actually explore these pretty villages.
The villages around Manali include Dhungri, Nasogi, Goshal, Majhach, Shanag, Burua, Vashisht, Nehru Kund, Palchan, Kothi, Kanyal and many more.
If you want to go on day hikes, then you can probably give the lesser-known Lamadugh and Moridugh a try. Of course you also the famous Jogini falls. So there is lots to in terms of both famous and lesser explored places.
And Manali is the most developed town in Himachal when it comes to tourism infrastructure.
6. Hamta valley – The Famous Valley Of Upper Kullu Will Mesmerize With Its Pretty Landscapes
Hamta valley is probably one of the most famous valleys when it comes to Upper Kullu. The valley is not that big and there are no ancient villages unlike other parts of Upper Kullu and Kullu valley in general.
|Hamta valley gets its name from the famous Hampta pass which used to act as a crossover from Lahaul to Kullu back in the day. But currently is one of the most famous treks of Himachal.
The only village in Hamta valley is Sethan which also is a migratory village. But if you are able to hike, then there are indeed some pristine trails along with the popular one of the Hamta pass itslef.
Lately, the Igloo stays in Sethan have become very popular and have kind of become an attraction. And Sethan being at relatively higher altitude than Manali enables people to see snow for a good 5-6 months.
Due to its dramatic rise a famous tourist hotspot, a lot of stay options have come around Sethan and Hamta valley in General. So accommodation will not be a problem
7. Solang valley – One Of The Most Famous Valleys Of Upper Kullu
Solang valley or Solang Nalah is probably one of the most famous tourist hotspots in Upper Kullu valley. A lot of tourists coming to Manali throng Solang valley every year in huge numbers.
In winters a lot of people visit here to enjoy white vistas Solang has to offer. Plus you can do tons of adventure activities in Solang valley which is one of the biggest attractions in Solang.
So yes Solang valley is one best places to explore in Kullu but only when you have no problem with loads of other travelers. If you want to somewhat escape the crowd, then you should go on the trail to Beas Kund.
There are a lot of places to stay in Solang. But let me warn you, they will be expensive when compared to Manali. So if you are budget traveler you are better off staying Manali than Solang.
The road to Solang diverts at Palchan on the famous Manali-Rohtang road. Also the road to famous Atal tunnel also passes through Dhundi in Solang Valley.
9. Outer Seraj – Explore One Of The Least Explored Valleys Of Kullu
Outer Seraj is probably one of the least explored valleys in Kullu, which is actually quite far from the main town of Kullu. The area of Jalori to Nirmand including places like Anni, Khanag, Nirmand, Baga Sarahan etc come under Outer Seraj,
So there are two mountain passes that separate Inner Seraj from Outer Seraj when is the famous Jalori Jot and the other one is the lesser-known Bashleo Jot near Batahad village in Tirthan valley.
From Jalori Jot, you can crossover to Anni in Outer Seraj and then finally venture into Shimla district or the tribal district of Kinnaur via Rampur Bushahr.
Personally, I am very keen to explore this area. But again lack of tourism infrastructure makes it quite difficult to explore regions like Outer Seraj.
To conclude, I hope that you now have a fair idea on the best valleys to explore in Kullu. Trust me you’ll fell in love the pretty villages, pristine rivers, enchanting forests, of these valleys of Kullu.
if you any queries related to the best valleys in Kullu, feel free to reach out in the comments below.