Visit Gulaba: The Snow Paradise in Kullu (2021)
Gulaba is a small village situated in the Kullu district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. Gulaba is situated a few kilometers from one of the most popular hill stations in India called Manali. Gulaba is located on the way from Manali to Rohtang Pass on the Leh-Manali Highway. Gulaba is named after the famous Raja Gulab Singh of Kashmir. It is a small village which is tucked in amidst picturesque snow-capped mountains all around. You will enjoy the beautiful greenery and meadows during your visit. The views of the beautiful Beas River adding beauty and serenity to the landscape. The view will make you feel like you are waking up in heaven. This place feels like a painting drawn by a painter. During the peak winter season when there is heavy snowfall in the surrounding area, tourists are only allowed to go to Gulaba. This is the time when the roads that lead to Rohtang pass is closed because of heavy snowfall or landslides in extreme weather conditions. However, there are times when Gulaba is also closed because of extreme weather conditions.
Gulaba is a very famous spot for adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies. This place attracts many adventure sports lovers to enjoy various activities all-round the year. Some of the major activities that can be enjoyed here include skiing, trekking, and hiking, as well as paragliding and snow-scooter riding, among others. Gulaba is also a famous middle point for people to stop and spend a night to go for the Bhrigu lake trek. This place is famous for more than one thing and there are many spots for people to spend their time in the quiet to get away from the hustle-bustle of the cities. This small town is famous for its locally produced fruits and fruit products like juices, pickles, jellies, and syrups. Chamba is also very famous for its handicrafts and textiles and people love to buy warm clothes, blankets, and especially woolen caps from the nearby market in Manali. A detailed guide to planning your next visit to Gulaba is given below:
Best Time to Visit Gulaba
You can visit Gulaba at any time of the year but the best time to visit this beautiful place and enjoy every bit of the adventure it has to offer is between the winter months of November and February. If you want to enjoy the greenery and stay in the quiet of the town, the best time for you to visit the place is between March and June which are the summer months, and the temperature does not drop below subzero degrees. It is a nice time for the tourists to get around and to enjoy the wilderness in the surrounding areas. During summers i.e., between March to June, the temperature does not drop below zero degrees at Gulaba. The weather is pleasant in summers and is considered a good time to spend in the lap of the Himalayas.
Summer in Gulaba starts in March and lasts up to May and June and this time is the most visited in the city as the temperature is pleasant compared to other parts of the country where it is brazenly hot.
Winters start in October and last up to February. Winter is also a recommended time to visit Gulaba. However, October and November are manageable for people who cannot bar to be in cold climates and snow. The road leading to Gulaba and Rohtang pass gets blocked sometimes when the temperatures drop below zero degrees and there is snow which can freeze your soul. Also, many of the places in the area are inaccessible during these winter months. At the end of February or at the beginning of March the snow starts melting. You can choose the best time for your visit to this heaven on earth once in a lifetime.
How to Reach Gulaba?
The are several means of transport for you to choose from to reach Gulaba. The distance between Gulaba and Manali City Centre is only around 12.5 kilometers. So, it takes some time between 30 minutes to an hour to reach Gulaba from Manali and vice versa. Although it depends on the conditions of the roads, the grace of weather gods, and the traffic.
Air Travel to Gulaba: The nearest domestic airport to Gulaba is Bhuntar airport which is approximately 50 km from Manali town. The major airline companies operating at this airport are Air India, IndiGo, and SpiceJet. The taxis majorly prepaid are available outside the airport and can be booked to get transferred to the main town of Manali from Bhuntar. The Chandigarh International Airport is also one of the closest international airports to Manali. You can hire a taxi to reach Gulaba from Chandigarh airport. It takes 6 to 9 hours to reach Gulaba from Chandigarh by taxi. You can hire a taxi from any of these airports to go to Gulaba or you can go to and take a bus that operates quite frequently on these routes from the major cities and their bus stations.
Rail Travel to Gulaba: The Nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar and it is well connected to the major cities in the country. You can easily choose to travel to Gulaba by train from Ambala or Chandigarh which are well connected to the railways from the Joginder Nagar station. You can take a train from Delhi to Chandigarh and then to Joginder Nagar. From Joginder Nagar, you can easily take a bus to a taxi to reach Gulaba. Kalka Railway Station which is a railway station at the foot of the Himalayas connects Manali to the major cities like New Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, etc. You will be able to enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas on your journey all through. It is one of the most scenic routes which will take you between the hills and lush green mountains.
Road Travel to Gulaba: There is a frequent bus service from Delhi to Manali directly. You can take a bus from the bus stations in major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, etc. You can take a taxi to reach Gulaba from the Manali city taxi stand. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi to travel to Gulaba directly which will be a little expensive but worth the money as you will be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the beautiful mountains and valleys on your way to Gulaba.
6 Top-Rated Sight-Seeing Destinations in Gulaba:
1. Rohtang Pass: Rohtang pass is located very close to Gulaba and is not to be missed by the tourists if it is open. Sometimes because of extreme weather conditions like snowfall or landslides etc., the rods from Gulaba to Rohtang Pass are closed. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the surrounding area. Because of the unimaginable beauty of this place, it is also a very famous spot for Bollywood film directors to choose Rohtang pass for movie shootings. Many famous movies have been shot here including Jab We Met, Ye Jawaani Hai Diwani, and many more.
You can enjoy various adventure sports at Rohtang pass and there are many hikes in the nearby area. You can enjoy a sled ride, mountain biking here. A trip during snowfall to Rohtang Pass is not complete without skiing. Some local businessmen and vendors rent this equipment for various sports. You can rent them at minimal process and enjoy sports here. People come here from faraway areas to enjoy skiing here. You can also get homestays here to stay with the locals which is the best way to enjoy the beauty of the place.
2. Solang Valley: Solang valley is one of the best places to visit near Gulaba and Manali for adventure sports. The best thing about Solang Valley is the place it is located. This valley lies between the famous Beas Kund and Solang Village and is a very beautiful place in the surrounding area. It is considered one of the most beautiful places to visit once in a lifetime in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This is also among the most popular places to visit near Manali. Solang valley is roughly about 6 km from Gulaba and is home to the most popular and vibrant local festivals. These festivals include the winter skiing festival that is held here every year. People of all age groups love to visit this place during winters to enjoy skiing and other adventure sports in Manali. The place is covered in snow during the winters and is a sight to behold. The entire place is covered with fluffy, milky white snow, the whole place appears like a themed Christmas movie setting. There are groves of emerald green pine trees in the milky white landscape amid mountains covered with snow and clear blue skies. This place looks like heaven in Winters and the evenings, you can spot the milky way in the sky in the missile of gazillions of stars that adorn this beautiful place.
3. Kothi: Kothi is a small village located at a distance of around 8 km from Gulaba and is known for its beautiful landscape. This is a quiet and hidden gem around Gulaba which is surrounded by thick pine forests and apple orchards. This place is especially famous for the landscape during the winter when the village is covered in snow and you can see the snow-capped mountains at a distance. This place looks straight out of fairy tales. Many art lovers like poets and painters come and time here as this place inspires them to create art. Do come to Kothi when you plan your vacation to Manali next. This place also offers adventure sports during the winter which can be enjoyed by the tourists between 6 am to 6 pm. This is especially a go-to place for nature lovers who want to stay and enjoy their time in the hills without getting disturbed in the wilderness.
4. Camping: Camping is the best way to enjoy your time in the lap of nature. Gulaba is a white paradise during snowfall and you would feel like you are dreaming while being here. Especially during nights when you are camping, you will see gazillions of stars and the milky way galaxy from your bare wyes which is a blissful moment for us humans. You will get to stay amidst the lush greenery if you are planning to camp here. Do not worry if you do not have any camping equipment with you to carry. Many tourist companies provide camping services at the best prices and you can make the most of it. They provide you with all the equipment like tents, sleeping bags, and other necessary equipment. They arrange a bonfire for you to stay warm and enjoy the outdoors as well. It is a one-of-a-kind experience. Do not miss camping while you are in Gulaba.
5. Adventure Sports: The most common reason for people to visit Gulaba, Manali, and Rohtang pass during snowfall is adventure sports. Many people and newcomers come here to try their hands on many sports including Skiing. An annual Skiing festival is also organized here which is famous among the tourists and is enjoyed by people of all ages. Make sure you go during the time this festival is organized if you are planning to visit Gulaba during snowfall. Other famous spots are snow sledding and mountain biking etc.
6. Horse or Yak Riding: Another interesting thing to do while in Gulaba is to enjoy horse and Yak riding. Horse or Yak riding can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Additionally, if someone is not able to walk in the snow, they can choose to ride on a horse to travel some distance. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the majestic mountains covered in snow while riding a horse or yak. Yak is a furry animal found in the mountains only. You will find many people clicking pictures with Yak while you are in the area.
Places to Stay in Gulaba
You will have many options to stay while you are in Gulaba. You can choose to stay at a beautiful luxury resort with all facilities at your disposal. There are properties available for all budget categories. You can also choose to stay at the homestays in the area. There are many people offering stays at their houses, and you can rent a room or the entire place depending on your requirement. The benefit of staying at a homestay is you get to eat the home-cooked food made by locals. They also tell you about the beautiful and less famous spots for you to visit. The famous places to stay in the area are The Cecil, The Tranquil Inn, and Solang Valley Resort.
Things to Eat in Gulaba
There are many famous restaurants are offering lip-smacking food in the area. You will find restaurants serving multi-cuisine food you can enjoy. Additionally, the resorts mentioned above have amazing in-house restaurants where you can enjoy scrumptious meals with a view of the valley. There are also many street vendors offering some of the best Tibetan food for you to enjoy. You will get the best local food from the street vendors. This place will not disappoint you. The most famous places to eat in the area are Ride Inn Café, La Plage, and Rose Garden Restaurant.