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Sethan Village In Himachal: A Place To Relax, Unwind And Just Be!

After a few lazy nights in Charanag, in Hallan Valley — a small town tucked away from the crowd of Manali, in Himachal Pradesh — it was time to relax, and lose myself in oblivion, yet once again. And Sethan sounded like a perfect name.

Located approximately at a 45-minute drive from Manali, Sethan is a place for slow travellers – particularly during winters, when snow claims its ground and any movement beyond this tiny Buddhist town, becomes impossible!

In the month of March, and with mercury still falling beyond zero for most of the hours in a day, the valley was draped in white. Little flakes of happiness were everywhere!

From Sethan, one can see the towering Dhauladhar ranges surrounding the village, and the river Beas flowing right next to it – perhaps a few thousand feet down.

The inhabitants of Sethan are the original migrants from Tibet and Spiti Valley, representing a Buddhist community who share their roots being horse herders in their past. They were given land in the surrounding areas by the then Government of India when Himachal Pradesh was still a part of Punjab.

During winter, most of them move to the lower altitude towns in Kullu Valley, leaving Sethan a beautifully deserted town, before moving back in summer again, and resuming their usual farming business. But with its less than 20 houses and a couple of tourist homes Sethan, around the year, remains a beautiful offbeat location meant to relax, unwind and just be!

Things To Do In Sethan

Since Sethan sits at an altitude of over 2700m above sea level (almost 700m higher than Manali) it offers a combination of winter and summer adventure activities. One can compare it with the likes of Solang Valley minus the crowd.

Between December and March, Sethan receives heavy snowfall making its grassy land ideal for skiing, snowboarding, and snow-hiking. And thanks to its offbeat location and no chair-lift, the chances of bumping into a fellow skier are always next to none. Though you may bump into a bear, if you’re that unlucky, but rest assured, you will enjoy the exclusivity of the place. During the summer, the place is ideal for camping and trekking.

[Also Read: My First Snowboarding Experience In Sethan]

I was told that the land around Sethan is of high religious significance too. Around 2 kilometers from the town lies Pandu Ropa – a place where Pandavas (before the time of Mahabharata) stayed and meditated. They also used a part of the land to grow crops, making it no less auspicious for the believers. If you move further and dare to trek for a few days towards the east, you will end up at Indrasana Peak (6200m) which is believed to be the throne of Indra (or the Rain God).

Where To Stay In Sethan

Since Sethan is a small town housing no more than 20 properties, the accommodation is fairly limited. You can either choose to stay in a real Igloo, which of course sounds a bit interesting, but it costs you a whopping seven or eight thousand Rupees per night per person (and is only available during winter, provided that it snowed heavily).

Or, you can stay in an adventure campsite, that I’ve started under my own brand name ‘FootlooseCamps’ and keep the experience raw, natural and more real.

Here’re a few pictures of the campsite Footloose Camps and some views, in all weather:

How To Reach Sethan

Located in Hamta valley, Sethan village is easily accessible from Manali, throughout the year. Get a night bus from Delhi to Manali, and from Manali, readily available taxis can take you from Manali to Sethan in around 1000 Rupees per trip. Share the taxi among 4 people or more, and it won’t cost you a fortune.

If you’re driving, however, you don’t even need to go to Manali, just take the old Kullu Manali highway (from Kullu) or the Nagar road, and reach the town of Prini (located 3 km before Manali). From Prini, you will find a detour towards Hamta. Just take that for the next 12 km (and 35 hairpin bends) and you reach Sethan.

For easy navigation, search on Google maps as ‘Footloose Camps’. Or contact me on Instagram: ‘instagram.com/footloosecamps’, and I will be happy to help!

Also Read: Offbeat Destinations Near Manali

If you’ve any questions, you can email me at deveshjoshi1990@gmail.com

Filed under: India

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After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!

21 Comments

  1. granvel says

    could you call me or message me on 7021562237, me and wifey planning a 8 day trip to manali and near, could u accommodate or suggest us something dates are may 18 to 26 may

    • Yes Haritha, the entire month of December is good for skiing/snowboarding. I am going to Sethan too with my snowboard on Frida (30th Nov).

  2. Dear Dev,

    Is it fine to visit Sehtan on Novembewr end? Is snow around?

    Cheers,
    Raj

    • Yes Raj, November is a good time though I cannot predict snow. The best time for snow, however is between mid-december until mid-february. that’s when the probability is high and any snowfall stays on ground for longer because of lower temperature. However, november is good too, very chilly and clear skies 🙂

  3. somya says

    April end , what can I expect in Sethan Village?
    are the hills still snow covered?

    • The tops are covered with snow, not the village. We didnt get much snow this year. You can camp and trek in April. I’ve started a campsite too if you want to do that: footloosecamps.com

    • About 5 hours. Tirthan to Kullu, Kullu to Prini (next town from Manali) and Prini to Sethan (45 min drive). So 2+2+45min=nearly 5 hours.

  4. Raghav says

    Hi Dev,

    Me and my friend were looking to visit a place the coming week, 23-26 November, and were unable to find any suitable place to go.

    I asked one of my friend and he suggested me to see this blog.

    I did and the pics and everything looks fantastic. So wanted to know a few things, if possible, can you give me your number so that I can get some details regarding Sethan, since we are on a very limited budget and will be coming from Delhi.

    There are two main things I wanted to know, whether we would get to see snow the next week in Sethan, and secondly, is there any trek around there as you mentioned, keeping in mind we only have 4 days and have to return to Delhi Sunday night or early Monday morning.

    Any suggestions would be weclomed 🙂

    • Sure Raghav. I’m afraid the guy who ran the guest house previously is no longer running it full time. I am organising a guided tour to Sethan from New Delhi (leaving on 24th, returning 27th morning) let me know if you want to be a part of it. If you will already be in Manali perhaps you can join from Manali. I’m however yet to find a running guest house there. (PS: since Sethan covers in snow in winter, locals leave the town and move to Prini, which is on Kullu Manali Highway)

    • Raghav says

      So basically you are saying that there would be snow there the next weekend?

      If possible, give me your number so that there is ease regarding the information I seek, as it would take a lot of time texting and gathering information over here..lol

  5. Eva Jyrwa says

    I stayed in Sethan in May this year, on my way to Hampta Pass, made friends with a couple of locals and fell in love with the place. I plan to go back there in February, when its all white and snowed under! The pics on your blog are a delight. Thanks!

    • That’s so great. I’ll be helping someone run a guest house between Jan-Feb, hopefully when you’re planning to revisit. Write me again when you arrive. Sethan is beautiful!

  6. Lydia@LifeUntraveled says

    The furthest North I went was to Dharamsala but I would love to visit this little-known region and town. Though I can’t stand the cold….lol (and I’m Canadian)!

  7. Tom @ Adventurous Travels says

    So beautiful – staying in an igloo in India? That is something! Although the price may be discouraging. After seeing your posts about the north of India – I can see now how underrated it is. I must visit the north too now 🙂

    • North is underrated beacuse the government never promotes it. You should totally visit it sometime. Himalayas are BEAUTY!

  8. Clive says

    this is a great post. Himalayas will definitely be among the top destinations to skip the chaos of big cities and go find some peace

    • yea it was totally offbeat. recommended to those who want to have some Me-Time with nature

  9. Divya Rai says

    Hi Dev,
    I chanced upon your blogpost while looking for offbeat places in Himachal Pradesh, and I must say that I have figured out my next destination. Thank you for the details. This place looks interesting.

    • Thanks Divya. It’s a lovely place. In fact so lovely that after exploring much of India, it was in Sethan that I decided to start my own campsite. Check footloosecamps.com I’ve started it in Sethan just this month in April 2018 🙂

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