Written by Drishti Nagdeo
A hidden paradise located just 15 kms from Manali, Sethan Valley is also recognised as the ‘igloo village’ of India. A small Buddhist village, Sethan Manali offers a flock of panoramic views. The plus point is that it’s away from the hustle of congested alleys. Thus, providing you with the perfect blend of peace along with equally enchanting experiences. Among the places to visit in Manali, Sethan is considered an offbeat hamlet situated in the Hampta Valley.
Although it is comparatively less popular than the Solang valley, Sethan is also increasingly gaining recognition. The igloo village Sethan is set to become the next hotspot in Himachal Pradesh. In this blog, you will find out about the things to do in Manali and the best places to visit. In addition, the read also highlights the ideal timings of visit and options for different hostels in Manali. Read below before planning your itineraries!
About Sethan’s Culture
The first inhabitants of Sethan were the nomadic shepherds of Spiti and Kinnaur. Now, the Khampa tribe or the Buddhist farmers predominantly live there as locals. The Buddhists are immigrants from the Spiti valley and the neighbouring regions of Tibet. The state government allotted the land to the community, back when Himachal was still a part of Punjab.
In peak winters, Sethan usually lies abandoned as the locals relocate to Kullu for some respite from the harsh cold. Overall, it is a small hamlet with just a few houses, keeping its culture intact. However, owing to its heavenly beauty, it has become one of the hotspots for Manali sightseeing.
Things To Do
The serene Sethan Valley is rich in dreamy views, calming waters, and spectacular mountain peaks. It is home to several marvellous Manali tourist places. And, thus, has a lot to offer to every kind of traveller. You can dive in adventures, get lost on a hike, or drown yourself in the local culture of the place. Still, there’d be more for you to see and do!
Witness the Dhauladhar Ranges
Witnessing the mountainous summits in all their glory is one of the top things to do in Manali. The valley offers a mystical view of the towering Dhauladhar Ranges surrounding the Sethan Village. An added charm to the landscape is the river Beas flowing some thousand feet under it. The river cuts the Dhauladhar with the rich Pir Panjal range, located in the Hampta Valley. Oh, and if you’re lucky enough, your visit will fall somewhere in the winters. Prepare to experience a magical snowy fairytale unfolding ahead of you!
Sethan Manali derives its religious significance from this place. ‘Pandu Ropa’ essentially means rice fields of the Pandavas. The popular belief claims that the Pandavas stayed, meditated, and grew crops here, before the period of Mahabharata. Easily accessible from the hostels in Manali, the locals of the village worship the place to this day. Hence, this is among the must-visit places to visit in Manali for travellers who love to learn about historical relevance.
If you move further from Pandu Ropa, you will come across the Indrasana Peak. This 6000-metre high peak derives its name from the belief that considers it the throne of Indra, the Rain God. Professionals label this trek a moderate one and advise to travel in a group. This is because the peak is one of the hardest to climb among the treks in Manali. The Indrasana trek is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Manali!
Hampta Pass Trek
Sethan is a prominent stop for the famous Hampta trek. It is again one of the most adventurous places to visit in Manali. Along with trekking for an average of four days, you can also dive in snow sports. Snowboarding, skiing, snow-hiking and other snow-related adventures are best done in winters when there is ample snowfall. In case you have some more time, go beyond Hampta Pass. Entering into the unreal land of Spiti and make that dream come true!
Where to stay in Manali?
If you’re looking for pocket-friendly accommodations because staying in an igloo is too expensive, don’t worry. Your stay in Manali need not be a matter of stress! There are multiple cheap and comfortable options available. To list a few, Zostel Manali, Whoopers Sethan, Moustache Hostel Manali etc are some reliable and worthy options. You can also choose to stay in Sethan valley rather than putting up in old Manali. In that case, Whoopers and Sethan Bouldering Hostel should you be your go-to!
Best Time to Visit Manali and Sethan Valley
Sethan Manali fully unfolds its raw and expansive sceneries during winters. Visit around the onset of summers when you just don’t want to bid goodbye to the cold. February and March are the ideal months to visit Sethan if you have an interest in the igloo stay and snow activities. In March, snow drapes the entire valley, be sure to pack enough to protect yourself from the negative temperatures.
The bigger window for the ideal time for snowboarding activities, trekking, and skiing in Sethan is February to May. However, June to November is also considered the best time to visit Manali for people who can’t face the cold. Plus, in the case that you want to get away from the summers of metropolitan cities. You can go for summer hikes, stroll around the sparkling valley, or simply camp in the wild!
Let Us Know
We hope the read is helpful for you. You’re now ready to stuff your items and board that bus!
We'd be happy if you finalise any of the aforementioned places to visit in Manali. Or, even if you pick one from our options of hostels in Manali. Don’t forget to let us know about your experiences!