Manali is a paradise for every tourist and a little above Manali, there is a hamlet called Sethan which can prove to be a gem for every traveler.
Last year I went to Bhrigu Lake via a Gaddi's trail and it was then that I got to know about Sethan Village. Away from all the hustle and bustle of Manali, it is one of the best places to unravel - a hidden gem is what I would like to call it.
Oh, beauty! I simply fell in love with this part of Manali. The secluded way to the village, the generous people, the unsettled culture and the peaceful view of the valley left me in awe.
I visited Sethan Village, Himachal Pradesh again in March 2018, to relax and relinquish from my treacherous travel style (solo, slow and hitchhike) for a few days.
How To Reach.
I took a bus from Delhi to Manali. Numerous buses run on this route every day. You can easily book ordinary buses (price starts from INR 650) to Govt or Private Volvos (price starts from INR 1100). HRTC buses are the safest ones I have traveled in, even roadways.
On an average, it takes just about 16-hours to reach from Delhi to Manali. From Manali to Sethan Village, it is just a 40min-something drive, 12 km to be precise. You will notice your perspective about Manali is taking a dramatic turn as you proceed towards the little hamlet, Sethan.
You can hire a taxi from Manali Bus stand to Sethan Village which will cost you INR 1500. I know it is a little costly but trust me, each penny is worth it!
Where To Stay.
Sethan Village has merely a dozen of houses (making it peacefully beautiful) with a few general stores and a couple of homestays/hotels. I stayed at the Himalayan Lounge, situated at the beginning of Sethan Village. Vinod Bhaiya - the caretaker of this place is one of the most amazing hosts I have met! The entire view of the Kullu Valley from Himalayan Lounge is one thing I can talk about time and round.
You can choose to stay in their cosy rooms or you can camp at their enthrallingly beautiful campsite.
It was cold, so I chose to stay in the rooms. The cheapest cost per bed was INR 300, super cheap without compromising on the quality.
Where To Eat.
No, you won't find fancy restaurants like in Old Manali but you can try local cuisines at The Himalayan Lounge.
Vindo Bhaiya was kind enough to make me feel like I was home. He is good at cooking local delicacies with home-grown organic vegetables. I had my share of Siddu (a Himachali dish) and momo. What a tasty affair!
Things To Do.
I trekked for nearly 3 days, into the jungles and above the jungles too. He (Vinod Bhaiya) guided me to the lesser known trek-trails near the village out of which few were the ones used by villagers and shepherds, back in time.
I chose to learn snowboard. I was really excited to try snowboarding for a long time but couldn't manage to find a chance to learn it until I stayed at The Himalayan Lounge. Vinod Bhaiya told me that he is a self-trained Snowboarder, possibly one of the first snowboarders of India, and agreed to teach me snowboarding for a few days. The charges were minimal (varies according to the duration of the training).He provides all the necessary gears if you opt-in to try/learn Snowboarding or Skiing.
Best Time To Visit.
February to May is the ideal time for Snowbound trekking and Snowboarding/Skiing
June to November is the ideal time for summer hikes and camping in the wild.
And amongst all the things I have mentioned above, Ceasar is the best of it all. I have never met a more sensitive little being than him.
This post was originally published on It Is In The Name.