Ever since the Atal Tunnel has become operational, Lahaul has been propelled into limelight. People across the country have flocked Lahaul in huge numbers. And If you are contemplating to visit Lahaul, you’ll definitely have a question in mind “Is Lahaul Safe for Travelers”
So, to answer the question, YES, Lahaul is one of the safest places in India. But Owing to its difficult terrain and climatic conditions, there are certain things you need to be careful about. And this is what I am going to be exactly discussing in my current blog.
Is Lahaul Valley Safe for Travelers – All You Need To Know
So As I said earlier, Lahaul valley is one of the safest places in our country. The people are extremely welcoming, kind-hearted and extremely hospitable. I have a complete backpacking guide to Lahaul in case, you are visiting Lahaul for the first time.
But that being said the weather and geography in Lahaul is brutal. Therefore, in this blog I’ll be addressing all the safety related concerns travelers usually have.
|Is Lahaul Safe for Solo Travelers ?|
|Safety of Backpackers in Lahaul|
|Is Lahaul safe for women ?|
|How Safe is it to drive in Lahaul ?|
|Is traveling to Lahaul in winter Safe ?|
|Safety while hiking and trekking in Lahaul|
|Is there a danger from wildlife in Lahaul ?|
|Safety aspect during extreme natural calamities|
|Is it safe to stay in homestays in Lahaul ?|
|How safe are the Dhabas in Lahaul ?|
Is Lahaul valley Safe for Solo Travelers ?
Yes Lahaul valley is absolutely safe for traveling solo. If you have never been solo I think Lahaul will be one of the best places to start you solo traveling journey. In fact, here are 13 reasons why Himachal in general attracts solo travelers.
|Lahaul’s are very approachable and amiable. And they have been welcoming travelers with warm hearts. The amazing hospitality I experienced in Lahaul, is the reason why I completely fell in love with the region, culture and its people.
Due to harsh climatic conditions and hostile terrain, the people live here in a close-knit community. Locals committing even petty crimes in Lahaul is unfathomable, let alone a heinous one.
But that being, said always remain alert while traveling solo. Remain in constant touch with your loved ones and inform where you are headed at the place you are staying,
Safety of Backpackers in Lahaul
Mine was a backpacking trip to Lahaul, and I had no issues whatsoever. In fact, Lahaul is one of the safest places if you want to backpack irrespective of the gender.
|The public transport is very robust and therefore, commuting in local buses within Lahaul is extremely safe. Just make sure to respect to local cultural and do not get into futile arguments with the locals.
As long as you are respect the locals and their culture, they will welcome you and make you feel like at home. So be rest assured about that.
Is Lahaul Safe For Women ?
In a country where women’s safety is one of the biggest concerns, Lahaul is one of the safest places to travel to in India for women.
|As a women I don’t think you’ll face any problems in Lahaul. People of Lahaul usually treat all the genders equally. To ensure your complete safety as a woman be it traveling solo or in a group, travel in HRTC, stay in homestays and you should be fine.|
A few elements from outside of Lahaul in fact made it unsafe for the local Lahauli women with influx of outsiders as the Atal Tunnel opened up. With cases of eve-teasing of local women, theft being reported after the tunnel opened, I was quite shocked to hear such stories.
How Safe Is It To Drive In Lahaul ?
The roads in Lahaul are in good condition. Leh-Manali highway is a big part of Lahaul, which is why the road is extremely good in most parts of Lahaul.
|The road stretch from Khoksar to Kyelang and further to Barlacha La is metalled and there only a few bad patches out there. The road to pattan valley from Tandi, though good is a bit narrow.
But that being said link roads to higher and remote villages are not that great. But as far as main villages like Sissu, Kyelang, Jispa, Darcha, Udaipur etc are concerned the roads are pretty decent.
Therefore, driving in Lahaul will be pretty safe if you have driven in the mountains before. But you have to be extra cautious while driving in the mountains.
And if you are going to visit self-drive to remote villages or during winters, then having a 4×4 drive is a must to ensure yours and the cars safety. By the way, here is a list 17 lesser-known villages in Lahaul that are easily accessible in summer months
Is Traveling to Lahaul in Winter Safe ?
So, before the Atal tunnel opened this question would have been ridiculous. Lahaul used to get cut off for good 4-5 months as Rohtang La would get buried under deep snow.
|But thanks to Atal Tunnel Lahaul will remain open throughout the year barring a few snowy days when the snow is just too much.
So, I would say, It is pretty much safe to travel to till Sissu during winters. But beyond Sissu towards Kyelang and Tandi, there are a lot of avalanche zones, so it might not be safe to venture during winters beyond Sissu.
I am not quite sure for how many days in winters the whole Manali-Kyelang route remains open, only time will tell. And even tunnel has been closed at least for 2-3 days when there is heavy snow near the south portal at Dhundi.
Safety While Hiking and Trekking in Lahaul
So apart from Hampta pass, Lahaul as a trekking destination is quite underexplored.
|While it is safe to hike to nearby villages or Trails to monasteries of Lahaul, but if you want to do crossover treks or multi-day treks in Lahaul, then I would really recommend you to hire a local guide who knows the area in and out.
And owing to the high altitude in Lahaul, you have to be well-acclimatized to go hiking and trekking in Lahaul, otherwise trekking in Lahaul could well turn into a nightmare.
Therefore, proper acclimatization, top-notch fitness and a decent local guide will ensure your complete safety in Lahaul in case you are doing multi-day treks in Lahaul.
Is There A Danger From Wildlife in Lahaul ?
So, to answer the question No. At least in the villages there is no threat as such from the wildlife. The wildlife you usually get in higher reaches of Lahaul are Ibex, Red Fox, Himalayan blue sheep, Himalayan brown bear, Snow Leopard.
But personally speaking, I did not see any of the above mentioned animals in Lahaul. As usually the wildlife wanders in the altitudes higher than even villages. Snow leopard does venture into lower altitudes during winters to look for its prey.
But while trekking in the higher altitudes of Lahaul you might spot some of these, but there is no real threat as such from the wildlife.
The snow leopard is elusive and is not known to harm humans. The Himalayan bear will only hurt if it feels threatened. So if you are hiking in the area where bears are known to be wandering, then make your presence felt by taking making noise and
Safety Aspect During Extreme Natural Calamities
Being caught in Extreme weather events and natural calamities will be a extremely horrible situation to be in. Owing to tough terrain and hostile weather extreme weather events can be really hamper your safety.
A lot travelers were stuck in upper Chandra valley during the heavy snowfall and flash floods in September 2018 near Tso Chikgma (Chandratal) one of the high altitude lakes in Lahaul and the areas on Kaza-Manali road like Batal, Chatru.
So much so, that they had to be rescued by Indian army. Plus the threat of flash floods in the rivers is increasing with each passing year in peak monsoon month of August. And this is why it becomes unsafe to travel in monsoon even though Lahaul falls under rain shadow region.
|So the danger of landslides and avalanches looms large in Lahaul during monsoon and winters respectively.
And the weather is very capricious in Lahaul, so it can snow in any month Lahaul if temperatures plummet. You can expect the roads to be blocked for days if there is incessant snowfall.
Is It Safe To Stay In Homestays Of Lahaul ?
Yes ! It is Absolutely safe to stay in homestays during your Lahaul trip. In fact, staying in homestays is one of the best ways you can ensure your complete safety in Lahaul.
|Lahauli families are very welcoming and hospitable. And I stayed multiple times in homestays in Lahaul and the hosts and their families always made me feel at home.
Just one thing to remember is don’t expect too much from homestays in terms to Luxury. Homestays are meant to be simple and make you feel at home.
I had an amazing time during my stay in one such homestay in the remote Miyar valley. I was in complete awe when I witnessed their way of life in such harsh conditions. by the way, here are 11 reasons why you should visit Miyar valley.
How Safe Are The Dhabas In Lahaul ?
Dhaba is a small roadside eatery in India. And you’ll mostly find only such Dhabas in Lahaul. Restaurants are quite rare in Lahaul and only limited to Kyelang and Udaipur.
|On my trip to Lahaul, I had mostly eaten at such Dhabas and food the quite tasty and inexpensive. And I had no problems whatsoever after eating at these Dhabas. Most of such Dhabas are run by local folks.
Therefore, I think its pretty safe to eat at such Dhabas, And most of the times you won’t even have choice.
To conclude, Lahaul is one of the safest places in Himachal and India in general. The kind-hearted and amiable locals of Lahaul will make sure, that you’ll leave Lahaul with rich experience and fond memories
So without any hesitation, pack your bags and head to the sacred land of Garsha (Lahaul) and get the first-hand experience of true Himachali hospitality. In case, you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments below.