Charanag – Just Another Town, Across The Mountains

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 – a small village in Himachal, secluded from 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.


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. In studying locals, and following their cultural routine to each day on end – while being amazed, almost incessantly, at their overall lifestyle altogether.

beautiful girl

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


And as I write these words while overlooking at Charanag, 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. 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. Since Charanag has no tourist infrastructure, come here for not just for its fantastic views and fresh air but for a 100 percent local experience, and experience being the only tourist/or a group of tourists around.

Further Reading about Charanag & surrounding, here: Hallan Valley In Himachal Pradesh

himachal-architecture supernatural-house


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!

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. Arundhti

    Lovely pictures.

  4. 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. 🙂

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