Sethan Igloo Village & Hampta Pass :: Manali, Himachal

by - March 22, 2021


Sethan Village

                Sethan is a tiny Buddhist village located just 13 kilometers (45 minutes-1 hour by car) from Manali. This tiny hamlet, located at 2700 metres above sea level, is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Manali while still being easily accessible. It's a perfect destination for travelers looking for a relaxing and dreamlike experience, thanks to the scenic view of the Dhauladhar ranges and the consummating silence. Furthermore, as Sethan is a restricted area, there will be very few people on the road or at Sethan.

                The people of Sethan are descendants of Tibetan and Spiti Valley migrants. They are all Buddhists who used to come to Hamta Valley to trade as horse herders. The then-Government of India provided them with land in Hamta Valley. During the winter, the majority of them migrate to lower-altitude towns in the Kullu Valley, leaving Sethan a beautiful deserted town, before arriving in the summer and returning to their regular agricultural activities. However, with fewer families, it remains a lovely offbeat spot to relax and unwind.

                Sethan is an isolated small village in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu valley. Although it is best known for bouldering, it also has a lot of potential for sport, trad, and multi-pitch climbing, with only a few, bolted and trad routes. Sethan is located at the base of the well-known Hamta Pass trek, which connects Sethan and Chhatru, integrating two bouldering areas with high density.

Enjoyable Activities

            The village sits at an altitude of over 2700m above sea level (nearly 700m higher than Manali). It provides a mix of winter and summer adventure activities. It's comparable or maybe better to Solang Valley, but without the crowds.

            Hamta Valley receives a lot of snow between December and March, making its grassy terrain ideal for skiing, snowboarding, and snow hiking. And, because of its unusual location and lack of a chairlift, the chances of running into another skier are always slim. Though you could run into a bear if you're unlucky, you can rest assured that you'll enjoy the solitude of the location. The area is ideal for camping and hiking in the summer.

            One can either stay in an Igloo, which costs between five and six thousand rupees (5000-6000/-) per night or go on a regular visit. Igloo experiences are only available in the winter, and Sethan is also known as Igloo Village for this reason.

Best Time to Visit:

                It offers a mix of winter (December to March) and summer (Mid April to June) adventure opportunities. Hamta Valley gets a lot of snow between December and March, making its grassy terrain perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and snow hiking, and just enjoy the experience of Igloo (at Sethan Village). Because of its unusual location and lack of a chairlift, the chances of running into another skier are always slim. The area is ideal for camping and hiking in the summer.

How to Reach :

                The easiest way to get to Manali is by bus or on the road. Direct buses run from major cities such as Delhi and Chandigarh. Take a night bus from Delhi to Manali (preferably Govt. Service buses), and from Manali, easily available taxis can reach you from Manali to Sethan for around 1400/1500 Rupees per trip. However, the road (Manali-Sethan) is in poor condition, and for that only 13km journey takes nearly an hour by car. But Permit must be needed for that area, which can easily accessible from the SDM office, Mall Road, Manali or the driver can manage. 

 Hampta Pass, Manali


                 Hamta Pass lies in the Pir Panjal range in the Himalayas at a height of 4275 m (14039 ft). It is a narrow corridor between the Chandra Valley of Lahaul and the Himachal Pradesh valley of Kullu, India. As part of the trek path, the nomenclature of the trek was taken from Hamta Village, located below Sethan village. In the summer, when the dry-cold desert of Lahaul is barren, this pass is often used by shepherds of the lower Himalayan region, finding high altitude grasslands.

** Travelers who come here for a day first come straight to Hampta Pass and then on the way back stop at Sethan village and enjoy the igloo (during winter time).

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