Backpacking to Tosh Village is the best way to start if you have never backpacked before. Trust me, it would change your perspective towards travelling.
Budget accommodation, ease of reaching, a plethora of trekking trails, and hiking routes are primary reasons why backpackers throng to Tosh village. Weather remains comfortable almost throughout the year except for cold winters. However, winter has its own charm when everything turns white and Tosh becomes a perfect winter wonderland.
Through my current blog, I intend to share with you my travel story. I will and help you plan your Tosh village trip by providing you with an estimate of the costs of the trip, outline the itinerary and advance some tips.
Backpacking to Tosh Village
Travellers from all around the world visit the region to experience its beauty. I backpacked to Tosh Village in winters and was completely awestruck by the winter landscapes around it. Never in my life, I had experienced such snowfall and such beauty.
Situated in Parvati Valley, this picturesque village is one of the most frequented places in North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The entire region is a haven for backpackers and adventure junkies. Tosh village is also the last motorable village in the Parvati Valley. Surrounded by lush green mountains with pine, deodar, oak trees, it offers a magnificent view of these mountains.
I love the Himalayas and I am always on the lookout for newer Himalayan destinations. Backpacking to Tosh village was one of the best decisions I took. What made my trip to Tosh village even, more fascinating as that I visited the village in February. Although the region is beautiful throughout the year, the winters make it even more serene and beautiful.
Cost Breakdown of 4 Days Backpacking Trip to Tosh
A 3-4 days trip to Tosh can be completed well under a budget of 7000 INR (100 USD). Here are some of the main cost components.
|Cost of Reaching & returning from Tosh
I have taken as my base city since I travelled to Tosh from Delhi. In case you are travelling to Tosh from outside Delhi you need to add the cost of reaching Delhi as well.
|Accommodation Costs for 3 days
You can stay in a hostel, guesthouse or budget hotel in Tosh. I am assuming you stay for at least 3 nights in a budget property.
|Cost of Internal Transport
You don’t need a taxi or cab to explore around Tosh village. On foot is the best way to explore this small village.
|Cost of Activities – Hiking & Trekking
While in Tosh, explore the village and trek to the nearby village like Kutla or Kheerganga. This is completely free.
|Cost of Food
You will spend around 500 INR per day on food in Tosh.
|Total Cost of the Trip = 6000 INR|
How to Reach Tosh Village on a budget?
On the way to Tosh, you will cross some other popular destinations such as Kasol and Manikaran. Another interesting destination off this route is Malana village- the oldest democracy in the world. You can read all about visiting Malana village in this blog.
The cheapest way of travelling to Tosh village is to travel via bus. Here are the options you can take while travelling on a bus from Chandigarh or Delhi:
Option 1: Chandigarh/ Delhi – Bhuntar- Barshaini- Tosh
If you are travelling Tosh village from Delhi, you can book one of HRTC Volvo or normal buses. These buses that ply from Delhi and Chandigarh towards Manali throughout the day.
If you want to save more money, you can opt for Ordinary HRTC buses which has a significantly less fare when compared to Volvo buses. However, ordinary buses tend to be a little bit uncomfortable.
|To reach Tosh, first and foremost you would need to reach Bhuntar in Kullu district. Tosh is around 55kms from Bhuntar and 80 km from Manali.|
Get down at down Bhuntar. From Bhuntar road diverges to Parvati Valley. At Buntar you need to take a bus to Barshaini (Tosh is Just 3km from Barshaini).
Local buses are available every hour which will take you to Barshaini from Bhuntar. Barshaini is at a distance of 50 km from the Bhuntar. Once you reach Barshaini you can take shared cabs that charge around 100 INR or just hike on the motorable road from Barshaini to Tosh which is just 3kms.
Option 2: Delhi – Manikaran- Barshaini- Tosh
There are a couple of HRTC buses that leave for Manikaran from ISBT Kashmere Gate late in the evening between 7.00 pm and 8.30 pm which would directly take you to Manikaran in Parvati Valley.
This would cut down your travel time as you wouldn’t have to get down at Bhuntar and wait for local buses at Bhuntar. Tosh is just around 15 km from Manikaran and once you reach there you can just go by shared cabs or wait for the bus to Barshaini and then hike to Tosh.
Reaching Tosh Village by Air- Is it cost-effective?
Bhuntar is the nearest Airport to Tosh village. But the flights here are quite infrequent so flying directly what be an expensive affair. Once you reach Bhuntar you can either Local board buses going towards Barshaini, or you can hire a cab directly to Tosh. Barshaini is around 57kms from Bhuntar.
How to Reach Tosh Village in Winters?
Although buses do go all the way to Barshaini, in winter that is highly improbable due to landslides. If the road to Barshaini is closed in winters, you need to reach Manikaran. From Manikaran shared cabs are available. You might have to wait for an hour to get one of the shared cabs. Sometimes, shared cabs are not available and in that case, you can book the entire cab at 500 INR. Don’t even try to negotiate the price with the cab drivers, they don’t do it at all.
Once you are at Barshaini, you’ll have to hike on the motorable road to Tosh since every winter the road to Tosh gets closed due to landslides and opens up only once all the snow melts completely.
Finding Budget Accommodations in Tosh
Finding budget accommodation is quite easy in Tosh. There are plenty of Budget options in terms of Hotels, Guesthouses, Camps and even Backpackers Hostels. One can find a decent place to stay without having to pay too much which is the reason why Backpacking to tosh is preferred by so many Backpackers around the Globe.
|You can easily get a room from anywhere between 500-800 INR (except for peak seasons like summer months and Christmas and New year, I have heard the prices are exorbitantly high during these time) depending on the facilities provided.|
I stayed in Boom Shiva Cafe which has very basic rooms only for Rs 400 INR which turns out to be only 200 INR per person if you have a person to share the room with which is quite decent. Boom Shiva Café is located a bit further in the Village from the main Bridge so the views from here quite exquisite.
Pink Floyd Hotel is also a good place to stay in Tosh.
For backpackers, I suggest staying in backpacker hostels. Hostels are quite convenient for backpackers who want to interact with people all over the world, Tosh has a couple of them. I would recommend these two hostels:
|11: 11 bunker house is one such hostel which is secluded and a little bit far off from other Hotels and Guesthouses which is exactly what makes it great. It takes around 40 mins to reach here and once you reach here you can pretty much get the Bird’s eye view of Entire Tosh Village and the entire Valley.|
|Whoopers Hostel is another Backpackers hostel offering decent Dorm Beds for Rs 350.|
Backpacking to Tosh Village – 3 Day Itinerary
Backpacking to Tosh Village can a be little over weekend affair if you are Staying in Delhi, Chandigarh or nearby regions. Here is the itinerary if you have around 3-4 days. I am assuming that your journey starts from Delhi/Chandigarh
Board Volvo buses from Delhi or Chandigarh going towards Manali. There are a lot of buses which leave in the evening from ISBT Kashmere Gate.
Reach early morning and get down at Bhuntar, reach Tosh by afternoon find accommodation (if you haven’t booked already) and then relax for the rest of the day.
Now there are two options you can either go to Kutla or head to Kheerganga, If you don’t love a lot of trekking then heading to Kutla is the best option as it takes only around 2 hours to reach here.
So, start early and head to Kutla or Kheerganga and stay there for the night. If you don’t want to hike at all then you can enjoy the walk around Tosh and head back to Delhi, there is a bus at 6 pm from Manikaran which reaches Delhi in the morning.
Come down to Tosh if you are at Kutla or reach Barshaini if you are coming back from Kheerganga. There is a bus at 6 pm from Manikaran which reaches Delhi in the morning, or you can board an overnight Volvo bus according to your preference.
What to do in Tosh Village?
The best thing to do in Tosh is to just relax. The Village itself is so beautiful and tranquil that all you would want is just to sit back enjoy the views in and around. There are plenty of trekking trails in and around Tosh so if you are a trekking enthusiast then you can hike and trek in and around Tosh a bit. This is the very reason why both national and international backpackers come here.
Walk around the Village
The best thing about the backpacking to Tosh Village is there are no roads in the village itself, so you have to walk on the narrow trails. I believe that this is the best way to explore any village is on foot. If you have never a seen traditional Himachali house, then you can walk around the Village and see the traditional house.
Most of the traditional houses in Himachal are made from wood and have a tandoor (heater) which is basically how they survive the cold winters in pretty much the entire Himachal Pradesh. Interact with locals with the locals have a talk about their daily lives you might even get invited to have a cup of tea with them. Himachali’s are known for their hospitality.
Trek to Tosh from Barshaini
Though there is a motorable road to reach Tosh, there exists a trail from Barshaini from which tosh can be reached by foot. So, for all you trekking enthusiasts and backpackers you should definitely give this a try.
But do keep in mind that the route is very steep and takes around 3-4 hours to reach. First-time trekkers only attempt this if you have decent fitness levels and taking a guide would also be advisable which would be easily available in Barshaini.
Trek to Kutla Village
This is one of the most offbeat villages near Tosh not many people visit this village. This is perfect for backpackers and travellers who are looking to escape the crowd as Tosh can get too cramped sometimes with travellers. Kutla is just around 2 hours hike from Tosh
The trail is marked but sometimes Himalayan trails can be confusing, it’s better to take a guide if you don’t have much trekking experience or if you are on your own then ask locals all the time so that you remain on the correct trail. Unfortunately, I visited Tosh in winter due to which the trail was buried under deep snow so hike to Kutla was not a possibility.
Trek to Kheerganga
Situated at an altitude of around 10,000 ft., Kheerganga trek is one of the main attractions and one of the easiest treks to do in Himachal. Another easy trek for beginners in Himachal is the Triund trek in Dharamshala. You can read all about it in this blog. Just like Triund, Kheerganga can be perfect as your first trek.
|Kheerganga is famous for its Natural Hot Water Springs. While most of the people start the trek from Barshaini, this trek can also be undertaken from Tosh itself. Eventually, the trail starting from Tosh will meet the main trail near Nakthan Village.|
The trail to Kheerganga is very beautiful you would encounter plenty of surreal Waterfalls as well as Gorgeous Pine and Deodhar forest on the trail. The route is very well marked from the main trail from Barshaini.
So the solo travellers and Backpackers can easily complete this trek on their own and there are a lot of people doing this trek during the peak season so chances of getting lost are slim. Incase if someone requires a guide then you can get one from Barshaini and travelling with a guide is always an added advantage.
Kheerganga is around 12-15 km from the Barshaini Route Via Nakthan Village and can be completed in 5-8 hours depending on the speed of the person.
Travel Tips for Backpacking to Tosh Village
Here are some travel tips that will not only help you save money on your backpacking trip to Tosh village but will help get the most of the trip.
|Save money, visit offseason
If you are on a tight budget, then visit try to visit Tosh in the off-season as I did in February. In winters around January, February March and then from September to November is when the crowd is a lot less. Avoid in Summers months where people usually throng to Tosh in Large Numbers to escape the Harsh Summer heat. If you Backpack in Offseason, you’re bound to find cheap accommodation. For example, avoid Summer months, Christmas and New year Period as the prices for accommodation will be ridiculously high.
|Pack light for the hike
This is one of the most essential things as you might need to hike with your Backpack and if you have unnecessarily stuffed a lot of things then you will have to Hike with it which may tire you out.
|Look for Shared Cabs
if you are travelling to Tosh in Winter as buses might not go all the way to Barshaini. If there are no Shared Cabs, then find people to share the cab with.
|AVOID shortcuts while trekking
Do not Take shortcuts while trekking and Hiking unless and until you are accompanied by a professional guide who knows the area pretty well. Most of the trails are well marked in case of any confusion please keep asking locals frequently. A small mistake can turn fatal. There have been many instances where people have disappeared while trekking.
|Stay in Hostels
if you are Backpacking there are two reasons why you should stay at a hostel. One, you don’t have to pay for the whole room if you stay in Hotel or Guesthouse as they are Dorm Beds available in Hostels, Two, you get to meet the people from across the globe.
|Be a Responsible Traveller
It is quite sad to see the current state of Parvati Valley there is plastic on the roads, on the trails, literally everywhere. Please travel responsibly do not litter around and if possible do not buy plastic water bottles. Just get your own bottle and refill your water bottle wherever you stay and from the springs.
|Pack Warm Clothes even in summers
Tosh can be cold pretty much throughout the year. Even in summers, the nights can be cold, and temperatures can drop below 10 Degrees. So, it’s good to carry warm clothes. In winter the temperature hardly goes above freezing point, so a good winter jacket is mandatory for winters.
What to eat in Tosh?
Since this region is frequented by a lot of Israeli travellers you will find a lot of Israeli delicacies in an around this area. Apart from Israeli cuisine, Italian cuisine is prominent here as well.
Apart from these cuisines normal North Indian cuisine is pretty much available everywhere here. Israeli Delicacies like Hummus, Falafel platter etc. are a must-try here. Boom Shiva Cafe, Pink Floyd Café, Stoned Age Café are among the popular ones in Tosh.
Food served at Boom Shiva Café was quite tasty but only a few things were available when I visited in winters. In winter they most probably don’t serve the entire menu. They basically served just items like parantha’s, Roti Sabzi, Daal Rice etc. It is quite difficult to get the required items to prepare the Italian or Israeli cuisine in winters since the roads are all blocked.
The food here is a little bit on the expensive side so do keep that in mind. But the food here is amazing in most of the Café’s be it Italian, Israeli, North Indian cuisine.
Best time to Visit Tosh
This is very subjective as this would depend on what kind of colours and landscapes one wants to see. But one thing is for sure the weather remains very comfortable throughout the year except for cold winters which start from late November to early March.
- If you want to experience snowfall winter is the best time to visit but the only downside is that most of the trails would be buried under deep snow once its snows heavily.
- Spring season can be one of the best times to visit as its not too cold as compared to winter but there is lots of snow in the mountains.
- Summers months are usually the best time for hiking and trekking as the snow melts completely in the upper reaches.
- Monsoon is when everything seems to be lush green due to rains but be careful while trekking trails become slippery and sometimes Landslides can block a lot of roads in Himachal. September is when the monsoon withdraws and makes way for beautiful clear skies and blooming flowers.
- Autumn is also a wonderful time to be around, as the landscapes would start turning in to golden brown as the winter approaches.
According to me, Backpacking to Tosh Village can be perfect during off-season months like January, February, March in winters, or in September, October, November during Autumn. There would be no crazy tourist rush when compared to Summer months or the period of Christmas and new year, there would be no problems whatsoever for backpackers and budget travellers as the accommodation prices would not be exorbitantly high.
How many days are enough for Tosh?
It depends what exactly you want to do in Tosh. There are a lot of hiking trails and trekking routes in and around Tosh so if you are someone who loves hiking and trekking then you would require a few more days. But if you are someone who just wants to relax and seek some quietude, then 3-4 days are more than enough.
So, in my opinion, 4 days would be sufficient if you want to relax and even hike a little around Tosh. If you have more days, then you can cover many other beautiful places in Parvati Valley.
Is it Safe to Visit Tosh Village?
It’s very safe for Backpackers, solo travellers to visit Tosh. The entire Himachal is pretty much safe for everyone irrespective of gender and lots of people do travel, solo.
Though one needs to be cautious while venturing out in the forest area deep in Parvati Valley as there have been instances when the people have spotted bears and other wild animals in the forests near Kheerganga especially after the dark.
People around here are extremely helpful and known for their hospitality, so it is very safe to backpack to Tosh Village which is the primary reason why a lot of backpackers and solo travellers prefer Tosh.
To conclude, I would like to say if you haven’t backpacked in the Himalayas before, then backpacking to Tosh Village would be the perfect place to start your backpacking journey. The same thing happened with me, Parvati Valley was the first time that I had backpacked in the Himalayas, and this mesmerizing experience I had, surely changed the way I travel now.
Even if you have backpacked before Backpacking to Tosh Village can be one of the best experiences you would have ever due to the abundance of natural beauty and the tranquil vibes that you would get in and around Tosh. So, don’t hesitate to pack your bags and head to Tosh. I hope that this guide about backpacking to Tosh Village would help you to plan your trip successfully.
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