An off beat village near the town of Keylong: Khardang, Himachal Pradesh
A good off beat village to visit while in Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh in northern India is the tiny village of Khardang. This high altitude Trans-Himalayan village is located at an altitude of around 11, 347 feet above sea-level (3459 m).
Khardang is located across the River Bhaga that flows below the valley and is only accessible from the town of Keylong by a taxi ride. The taxi ride takes around 30 minutes to reach this village and the drive takes one through the rugged trans-Himalayan roads of Lahaul.
The main attraction in this remote village of Khardang is the village monastery which is situated opposite the village primary school. The gompa is open for prayers in the morning and evening and is locked for the rest of the day. The gompa is opened for tourist if one manages to find the Lama around the village.
The monastery is very beautiful from inside and has a big statue of Buddha at the center and there is a small room in the monastery which has over 100 small bronze statues of Buddha and other deities. There are plenty of old trunks stacked up in the corner and also a room full of prayer flags.
The villagers from Khardang live a very simple life and this is evident from the moment one steps into the village. The women from the village still dress in their traditional attire which is a black or brown long-sleeved robe. Most of the people from the village of Khardang are engaged in animal husbandry and a few of them have apple fields and are honey collectors.
Khardang village has houses that are made of mud walls and flat roofs. The houses are built in such a way so as to keep them warm during the winters. The houses look more like make-shift abrupt construction which were either left incomplete or the work went horribly wrong. Each house has an animal pen and fencing made of wooden longs which are also used as fire wood. Most of the houses have steps to enter the house this is done to avoid the snow from entering the house.
This village of Khardang has no accommodation facilities and hence, the only option that travellers have is to request villagers for a home stay. These home stays are not very difficult to find and are very basic. Khardang also does not have any eateries, but does have a village shop that stocks only basic provisions.
The best time to visit this village of Khardang is during the months from June to September when the weather is pleasant and favorable for travel. Light woolens are recommended even during summers. Khardang is a village that will attract people who love off beat travel. This village is an ideal stopover for backpackers and wilderness freaks.