offbeat tourist destinations in Manali

Charanag – Just Another Town, Across The Mountains

Want to visit a less visited, offbeat place in Manali? Visit Charanag in Hallan Valley.

When you’ve been travelling for long enough, you start calculating the benefits. You wonder whether your travels have made you a better person and whether all these journeys, that you’ve so far taken, have given you a deeper understanding of yourself – from within, and without

I found myself pondering over such infinite and boundless thoughts too as I decided to stay yet another day in Charanag, in Hallan Valley – a small village in Himachal, secluded from the the-road-much-taken towards Manali – where I ended up being the (only) tourist in the entire town.

Though in my mind I’ve always been a drifter, it’s places like these, that slow down my movement.

Charanag, and the entire Hallan Valley, was one of the least visited places in Manali, and I was happy that I found it. No wonder, it was one of the most peaceful places to visit near Delhi.

Charanag, Hallan Valley

hallan valley

As I wandered through its small, cosy alleys it struck me that going slow, and sometimes going nowhere at all, and just sitting still – killing every minute as it approaches you, with a new challenge – is the best of all joys.

And here, in places like these, you find that joy. The joy in sitting still. I studied locals and followed their cultural routine to each day for end – while being amazed, almost incessantly, at their overall lifestyle altogether.

himachal girl

“Life here, is good,” said a voice inside me, as I found it escaping me, no more. I have no plans, as I go about my every day here. Talking to locals, and sometimes, going on long and exciting walks with them were the only few tasks.

I feel as far from the bustling life in Delhi as I geographically am.

In fact, I feel like I’m here and now. I’m this moment. I’m this thought. I refuse to dwell on what has been or what might be. And that’s what my travels, and places like these, have taught me – to live free.

charanag hallan valley

And as I write these words while overlooking Charanag, in Hallan Valley, and a few other neighbouring villages, I only remember the words of Robert Frost…

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by”

Charanag is a small town situated 30 km away from Manali, in Hallan Valley. To me, it appeared as an offbeat and very less visited place in Manali. The entire Hallan Valley also made for a great place to experience camping in Manali.

Home to a few dozen houses, the town offers a perfect tranquil atmosphere to those looking for a rural respite in the beauty of Himachal Pradesh.

Since Charanag, and the entire Hallan Valley, has no tourist infrastructure, come here not just for its fantastic views and fresh air but for a 100 percent local experience. When you will be in Charanag you will be the only tourist/or a group of tourists around. It is one of the most offbeat Manali places.

Further Reading about Charanag and Hallan Valley & surrounding, here: Hallan Valley.

charanag hallan valley
himachal-architecture hallan valley

If you are interested in staying in one such original Himachali House during your visit to Manali, I can recommend Footloose Camps in Hamta Valley, 7km from Manali Mall Road. Check out the video below, and connect with them on Instagram. You can also send them an enquiry on whatsapp: 8285695030.

Also, read Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide for more such offbeat places. 

If you have been to Hallan Valley or Charanag before, please leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Categories India


I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

  1. yudhister bhardwaj

    There is a glacier up somewhere in hallan, once I visited there, but on a hired Jeep, don’t know exact name , location. It’s worth going found snow in peak summer time!

  2. Hey Dev, great article! I hadn’t heard of this place until now. Thank you for finding it for wandering souls like us.

    • Thanks for your comment Swati. If you ever decide to visit the place the name of the homestay is ‘Chandrakhani Home Stay’, named after the popular Chandrakhani Pass Trek… Happy Travels!

  3. Ashirbad Raha

    Hi Dev,
    Possibile to know how one plan a similiar trip as in where to stay and all. Are tehre homestays around?

    • Hi Ashirbad, Charanag is about 20-30 kms away from Manali. If you take the main highway that goes from Manali towards Kullu you will come across the popular Heritage Village Resort (on the main highway, you can also google this). As soon as you cross the Heritage Village Resort, you’ll find a small diversion and the road which goes towards ‘Hallan’ (they also call this the Hallan Road) .. just drive about 10 kms on this road and you’ll come to ‘Charanag’ — the town has a Homestay (just one) where you can stay.
      *I know I am bad at giving directions, but I read this message twice and it does make some sense* haha!

  4. Arundhti

    Lovely pictures.

  5. Beautiful places

    I read your website properly. I come to know about Beautiful Places in Kullu and Manali by reading your article. I am very happy to read your article. I earn some knowledge about Kullu and Manali. So many thanks for your article. I thought that it help any other peoples to traveling this Kullu and Manali. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment. I hope other people find it useful too. Keep reading 🙂

      • yudhister bhardwaj

        There is a glacier up somewhere in hallan, once I visited there, but on a hired Jeep, don’t know exact name , location. It’s worth going found snow in peak summer time!

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