Shangarh Sainj Valley: Visit This Remote Village Before It Gets Crowded

Are you always searching for pristine and secluded locations to sit for hours and just gaze at the beauty in front of your eyes? If yes, you’ll love Shangarh in Sainj Valley, Himachal Pradesh.

Imagine sitting on a large green meadow, Himachali kids playing nearby, sweet sun rays hitting your skin, and the backdrop of snow-clad and pine-covered mountains. You’ll get all of this in Shangarh.

So, where is this place?

Shangarh is a secluded village, untouched by crowds, in the Himachal Pradesh state of India.

I recently went on a solo trip, and the place helped me disconnect from myself and calm my worries.

This blog post is for the ones who have decided to go to this dazzling village. You’ll learn what to expect, the easiest ways to reach, the best time to visit, and more. In other words, you’ll have all your doubts cleared and experience Shangarh fully and immersively.

Read on.

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What You Can Expect in Shangarh?

Before I let you know what you’ll experience, I want you to know what you’ll see here. See these pics:

Shangarh meadow surrounded by pine trees, with majestic mountains in the background
View of Shangarh Village and the Meadow
The Village Nearby The Meadows in Shangarh

If these pics aren’t clearly conveying you – let me tell you what you’ll experience in Shangarh: 

  • A peaceful village with welcoming locals, far away from the crowded tourist destinations.
  • A vast green and sacred meadow surrounded by pine trees and beautiful mountains in the backdrop.
  • Clear night sky with twinkling stars — how about sitting with your loved ones near a bonfire?
  • A few accommodation options for the youths (hostels) and a few homestays.
  • Options to engage in adventure activities include hiking trails, trekking, and camping.

I visited Shangarh Sainj Valley in the first week of December. The weather was chilly and dry.

Life was slow and peaceful — one of the most secluded places. It was the weather where you craved more of the sunlight, warm food, and a cozy bed. Fortunately, the place offers you all this.

The purpose of my visit? Disconnect with myself and figure out the solutions to my work-life problems. Did I get what I wanted? I don’t know. 

But one thing is sure: I got the clarity. And if we are honest with ourselves, isn’t that all we want in our lives?

How To Reach Shangarh Sainj Valley?

The easiest way to reach Shangarh for most people is via Delhi. You can also take Chandigarh if that makes sense for you. 

The nearest airport to Shangarh Sainj Valley is Bhuntar or Kullu Manali Airport (KUU), lying at 53 km. There are cheap flights to KUU airport on Skyscanner from your location.

You can also board a flight to Chandigarh Airport (IXC), approximately 240 km from Shangarh.

Regarding the railway station, the nearest railway station to Shangarh is Chandigarh (CDG), approximately 240 km.

If you’re going by the road by yourself, remember the distance of Shangarh from Delhi and Chandigarh is around 500 km (10-12 hours) and 240 km (5-6 hours ride) respectively.

The two primary routes to reach Shangarh look like this:

  • Delhi to Aut > Aut to Sainj > Sainj to Shangarh 
  • Chandigarh > Aut to Sainj > Sainj to Shangarh

On some websites, you’ll see that people have recommended de-boarding before the Aut tunnel starts to get a cab or bus for Sainj.

However, I recommend you go through the tunnel and deboard in the Aut market. The reason? Before the Aut tunnel, the place is eerie.

Besides, you may face difficulty getting a private taxi or, worse, paying extra charges. 

Bus to Sainj

Take a bus going towards Sainj from the Aut market. Once you reach Sainj, you can wait for the only HRTC bus that shows up around 4 pm to reach Shangarh (your final destination) or hire a private taxi from here.

Note that you won’t get any direct bus from Aut to Shangarh but private cabs and taxis.

What To Explore in Shangarh

You might be disappointed to visit Shangarh if you want something happening. This place is for you if you want a relaxing stay amidst nature.

Lush green valley, tall pine forest, friendly Himachali villagers, and backdrop of majestic mountain views. This is what Shangarh is in a nutshell.

The Meadows

The Meadows are the main attraction of Shangarh Sainj Valley. It is a vast divine land with pine trees and a village around its circumference.

Shangarh Meadows - Vipin standing wearing a black jacket on the meadows

But that’s not it: the land has an interesting connection with Pandava’s exile. 

As per the legend, Pandavas settled here during their exile and planted rice in this meadow.

Locals consider this land holy and have a separate committee for its maintenance. You should be aware of some strict rules before entering this. Let me show you:

The Meadows Rules at Shangarh

In my experience, it can be an excellent place for some reflection. Imagine sitting on a vast piece of land with a beautiful view.

There’s nothing but nature all around. Kids playing nearby, locals chatting with each other, furry dogs roaming around, and cattle grazing on the grass.

Shangchul Mahadev Temple

Shangchul Mahadev Temple is actually a group of two temples. One temple is in the meadows, and the other is situated in the village.

The meadow Shangchul Mahadev Temple’s architecture is of wooden craftsmanship and looks so beautiful, sitting alone in the meadows.

Shangchul Mahadev Temple in The Meadows
Shangchul Mahadev Temple in the Meadows

There’s a fascinating legend that goes for the place. According to it, when Pandavas were here during exile, Kauravas searched for them. However, Lord Shiva intervened in between, declaring the land belonged to Him and no one could harm. And Kauravas had to retreat.

Shangchul Mahadev Temple inside the village
Shangchul Mahadev Temple in the Village

This incident led to the belief that couples who have eloped or are being mistreated by society are safeguarded here by the blessings of Lord Shangchul Mahadev.

Barshangarh Waterfall

Do you fancy sitting near a waterfall?

Good news. There’s a beautiful and milky white waterfall approximately a 3.5 km hike from the Shangarh village — Barshangarh.

Your hostel or homestay would be able to arrange a guided trek to this waterfall, so be sure to ask them. 

I haven’t personally been to this waterfall. However, when I was there at my hostel, there were regular treks organized to this waterfall.

Important Things to Know Before You Pack Your Bags

Shangarh in Sainj Valley, Himachal, is a remote village. It’s not a densely populated village and gives the perfect vibes for a peaceful and relaxing stay amidst nature.

Not so fast, though. Being situated at a challenging location, you must do certain essential things before packing your bags for Shangarh.

I am sharing a few tips here, which I gathered from my own personal experience plus the advice of locals while I was there:

  • There are no proper restaurants or eateries in Shangarh that have staple food. You’ll have to rely on the food provided by your accommodation.
  • Since there are few options for accommodation in the village, the price may go up during the peak season. In a nutshell: book your accommodation in advance.
  • Go with proper gear like a trekking pole, comfortable backpack, trekking shoes, and winter jackets if you wish to do adventure activities there.
  • Mobile networks Airtel and Jio work fine up there, with Jio even giving a 5G network.
  • There’s no ATM to withdraw cash in the village. However, most businesses accept online payments through UPI. 
  • The meadows in Shangarh (Devta Maidan as locally referred) are sacred and have their own rules developed by the local authority. Even police and forest officials aren’t allowed to wear their belts and caps. You can’t drink alcohol, litter, play loud music, or bring a vehicle, chairs, or table.

Are There Any Accommodations in Shangarh?

Shangarh primarily offers two accommodation options: homestays and youth hostels.

For example, you’ll find local homestays and famous hostels such as Zostel Shangarh and The Hosteller Shangarh.

Being a secluded place, you won’t find any luxury hotels here. If you’re coming with family, you should stay in homestays and prefer to stay in hostels if you’re with friends.

I stayed in Zostel, and the view from it was just amazing. See these pics to get an idea:

View from Zostel Shangarh - A snow cald mountain behind thick pine forest
Zostel Shangarh - An accommodation option for the youths (hostel)

Best Time to Visit Shangarh Himachal

The best time to visit Shangarh Sainj Valley is from December to March. It’s the time of winter, and the chances of snowfall are high in January and February. The meadows turn white, and the village looks like a scene from the movie Narnia.

However, if you want to see the meadow in lush green attire, you should visit from April to June in summer.

But remember: during heavy snowfall, the valley disconnects from the population. So, you might have to spend more than usual on transport, food, and stay.

In a talk with my taxi driver, Meharchand, I learned that only 4×4 vehicles go up there to Shangarh from Sainj and can charge up to INR 3000 for a one-way trip. The usual price is INR 800.

And oh, if you need a taxi from Sainj Valley to Shangarh (and vice-versa), you may call Meharchand.

Rent of Various Places from Zostel Shangarh

I visited in December when the weather was chilly during the night and sunny during the daytime.

It was that time of year when you love sunbathing for hours while enjoying the beautiful Himalayan views. Guess what? That’s precisely what I did most of the time.


Let’s recap: Shangarh Sainj Valley is a peaceful and beautiful hidden gem in Himachal Pradesh, India.

You should visit this remote village if you want to relax amidst nature and spectacular mountain views, away from crowds. 

With friendly locals, opportunities for hiking and camping, and cheap accommodation options, your time in Shangarh will re-energize your spirit. 

Just be sure to book in advance, bring cash and winter clothing, and respect local customs on the sacred meadows. 

Think about it: Disconnecting from technology for a few days in this Himalayan paradise will give you the clarity and rejuvenation you need.

An appeal: Please do not throw litter around. Use a dustbin. If you can’t find one, take the trash with you and throw it when you find one. Your small steps like this one can make the world clean and green.

Vipin Gaur
Vipin Gaur

Vipin is a techie, traveler, and entrepreneur. He has done engineering in computer science and is an Apple Fan Boy. He is behind all the tech and content management of this website. Often, he shares his entrepreneurial learnings and thoughts on his Twitter.

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