A lot of people have asked us for tips on how to stay safe when travelling Himachal Pradesh, so we decided to compile a list of the most important things for your safety. ‘Land of Gods’ or ‘Dev Bhumi’ as Himachal is popularly known, it still has its perils in the shape of dangerous places, people and situations that seem to be the work of the devil himself. The honest and safe image of Himachal Pradesh and Himachali people has been marred by some unfortunate incidents over the last few years. But we want to change that perception in your mind and want to tell you that Himachal Pradesh is still the safest tourist destination in India if you are careful about certain things. Without further ado, here are some insightful tips to stay safe when travelling Himachal Pradesh.
Tips to stay safe when travelling Himachal Pradesh
1. Don’t go near river beds for photo ops– To stay safe when travelling in Himachal Pradesh, stay away from river beds because when the hydroelectric dams release stored water into the river, you only have a few seconds to get out of there. An unimaginable amount of water comes rushing through and can sweep away anyone caught near the river bed. The infamous accident near Kol dam claimed the lives of dozens of students from Hyderabad who had come to Himachal on a college trip. They were clicking selfies near the river bed and were not aware how to stay safe when travelling in Himachal Pradesh near river beds. They ignored the warning signs near the river and even the siren that went off before millions of liters of water was released downstream from the dam, instantly drowning them in the cold water. This has now become a matter of great importance for the Government as well, and it has now taken several steps to ensure that people stay safe while travelling Himachal Pradesh and its numerous riverbeds.
2.Drive cautiously on the roads – Many tourists from Delhi and Chandigarh prefer to drive their own cars when travelling Himachal Pradesh. As amazing as the scenery around you may be, the treacherous roads of this beautiful state require careful driving to stay safe while travelling Himachal Pradesh. The narrow roads cutting through mountain sides with sharp hairpin bends can be difficult to manage if you are not cautious, especially for someone not used to driving in the mountains. If you are driving to remote places in Himachal Pradesh like Leh-Ladakh, Chamba or Khada Patthar, always make sure you are driving on your side of the road and not trying to overtake recklessly. Needless to say, never drink and drive if you want to stay safe while travelling Himachal Pradesh.
3.Be prepared for adverse weather conditions– To stay safe while traveling Himachal Pradesh, keeping a lookout for weather conditions is important. The weather can change rapidly and if you underestimate the cold conditions it can be not just uncomfortable but very dangerous too. Always carry plenty of woolens with you while travelling Himachal Pradesh for your safety in bad weather. When you go for trekking, go with trusted guides who provide you proper camping equipment with blankets, medical kits and arrangement for bonfires. If your fitness level is not good, do not go for difficult treks such as Shrikhand Mahadev peak or Hampta pass if you want to stay safe when travelling Himachal Pradesh. When you book your hotel rooms, confirm if you are getting a heater for your room because if not you can end up paying extra for these things or even , especially during peak winter season.
4.Don’t trust everyone you meet – Even though the people of Himachal Pradesh are renowned for their honest nature and helping attitude, there are always some black sheep who will try to rip you off. There are instances of people just disappearing from Himachal Pradesh, mostly from remote areas of Malana and Kasol, notoriously famous for its ‘black gold’ that attracts tourists from as far as Israel and Russia. Dozens of foreigners have gone missing over the last decade from these areas and it is believed that greedy opportunistic people rob the tourist after offering them a potent variety of ‘cream’. Some bodies have been recovered from rivers but most of the missing foreigners are still nowhere to be found. Knowing all this, it goes without saying that you should not go alone with unknown people if you want to stay safe when travelling Himachal Pradesh
5.Ensure your safety during adventure activities– Himachal Pradesh offers tourists a plethora of adventure activities to choose from, some of which can be dangerous if careful measures are not taken. If you are an adrenaline junkie and want to indulge in adventure activities like rock climbing, zip lining, skiing or paragliding, it is imperative to choose reliable and professional guides. Those who can ensure that you stay safe while enjoying these exhilarating adventure sports in Himachal Pradesh. Adventure sports can be risky for someone who is new to it, if it is not supervised there is a risk of fatal injuries. Also remember to hire or buy the best safety equipment when you go for demanding activities like rappelling, glacial trekking etc to stay safe while travelling in Himachal Pradesh.
Because of its stunning natural beauty that attracts lakhs of travellers every year, Himachal Pradesh is prone to certain safety issues just like any other popular destination. Some safety issues arise because of the naturally difficult terrain and weather conditions, while others due the actions of bad people. Himachali people pride themselves on their honesty and hospitality, they are simpletons who don’t know how to be manipulative. When some people try to become opportunistic and greedy with travellers, it deeply hurts the general population. The tourism industry suffers because of a few bad people and gives the state a bad reputation in terms of safety. Although we cannot do much about these people with bad intentions and the natural safety issues, the least we can do is give you relevant information about things to watch out for. Here’s hoping you have good travel memories when you visit next time and stay safe when travelling Himachal Pradesh.