The gorgeous landscapes of Himachal Pradesh hide a lot of charm. It has been a favourite destination of many because of its pristine attractions and roads that lead to unique surprises.
Himachal Pradesh is diverse state, worth exploring. But sadly, the plight of over-tourism has affected it a lot. With several travel agencies, resorts, trekking companies, adventure camps operating in the state, it is obvious that the region will be overrun with tourism in the coming 5 years.
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Waste Warriors recently shared some pictures for my an article I am working on. While people were writing amazing Earth Day posts yesterday, the reality has been something different. . Makes me feel sad and trust me, this is only going to get worse now that summers have arrived. . #travel #UntamedJourneys #instahiamchal #Dharamshala #Mcleodganj #_oye #india #storiesofindia#indiagram #desi_diaries #indianstories #Cntgiveitashot#indiaclicks #_indiasb #incredibleindia#lonelyplanetindia #featuremyframe #everydayindia #mysimpleclick #indianphotography #ifoundawesome #_PJI #click_point
With mass tourism, the epidemic of plastic and garbage has also arrived in the state. The need to make Himachal clean and green has brought many individuals and NGOs together to keep the ecological balance the way it should be.
Often we end up facing confusions about the need to travel responsibly. If a certain way is more harmful or a certain way will end up exploiting locals despite being more Eco-friendly.
As a traveller, you too should try a better sustainable way to travel in Himachal Pradesh. I am sharing a few tips which you can ensure that the state doesn’t become a victim of pollution and global warming in the coming years.
Prefer public transport
Travelling in car is comfortable but it brings pollution and traffic jam to these tiny roads. If the idea of your travel is to make the life of locals inconvenient then you can totally go to Himachal with personal cars. But the buses that travel to various regions of Himachal Pradesh are a better and cheap way to ensure that you become part of minimal carbon footprint in the region. The tiny roads of Manali, Shimla, Mcleodganj, Kasol and Chamba are not made to accumulate so many personal vehicles. The sooner you move to private taxis and buses, the faster you’ll assure that Himachal regains its ecology to some extent.
Avoid mineral water, use thermo flask
The biggest troublemaker behind the pollution in Himachal, are the plastic mineral water bottles. The rivers provide fresh and clean water and most of the locals use them for their daily needs. You can also use the portable water purifier if you are not really interested in drinking tap water. Shops around Manali, Kasol, Mcleodganj offer water refilling in 20 rs, this way you can save a lot of money by avoiding mineral water bottles.
Choose local stay homes over resorts
Resorts and super luxury hotels have contributed a lot in growing pains of Himachal Pradesh. These establishments are owned by the outsiders who don’t contribute to the local economy. By staying in local stay homes, you’ll get a chance to observe local Himachali life, up-close. At the same time, you’ll find a chance to speak with locals on ways to avoid plastic consumption in their area.
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Part 3 of 3 The host went in kitchen and returned with a huge knife. He tells the teacher, 'yahan intzar karo, abhi hum aapko maar dalenge' (wait here, we are going to kill you, atlesast what the teacher assumed). The host went outside and returned to the living room with large chunk of butter dripping from his knife but his guest was nowhere to be seen. The teacher had snuck out while the child's father was looking for butter in the store room. Butter or as Ladakhis call it 'Maar'. The teacher thought that the child must have lied to his parents and as a result they are going to kill him, but the Ladakhi just wanted to give him a taste of the village's hospitality. So when you trek in Ladakh and end up in a homestay, don't say no to their butter tea. Wo aapko bhi maar denge. . This story was narrated by Dr. Jigmet Dadul, the most experienced Snow Leopard Tracker in the world. When you are working with him, his stories are there to keep you company in a world cut from Whatsapp and Facebook. . #Travel #ladakh #LehLadakh #Kashmir #untamedjourneys#IncredibleIndia #ig_captures #IAmNikon #lonelyplanetindia#natgeoindia #everydayindia #cntgiveitashot #inspiroindia #WanderSol #iiframe #shotoniphone#ifoundawesome #creativemagazineindia #moodygrams#indiaphotoproject #artofvisuals #agameoftones #rantyourartout #portboxstories #theuncommonbox #HalfArtist
Hostels in Himachal Pradesh are also a great way to assure ecological travel. You share common room, washrooms, and electricity points so there is less consumption of resources compared to hotels.
Don’t camp everywhere
Camping should be done responsibly. It should be your duty to make sure that the place where you are planning to pitch your tent is not a protected or ecologically sensitive zone. Also, you can ask a local to let you pitch a tent in their farm or outer compound outside their home.
Try bringing bottles from higher altitudes
I understand that this is next to impossible, but if you want to try then all you need to do is pick up two or three bottles and fill them in your rucksack. Imagine if every teammate does the same, and those who follow you copy your actions, the higher altitudes of Himachal Pradesh will be free of plastic pollution in no time.
Volunteer for a weekend
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Now that summers are here, you people will be heading to the mountains for weekends, long weekends, extra-long weekends and some weekdays too. This year, when you are here, be a little kind on the mountains. Even if you are one of those people who bring back their plastic bottles, avoid chips and walk instead of driving, even then you need to do more. Instead of staying in hotels, try to book a home stay and interact with the locals. Support the local economy and educate them about the value of conservation of environment. Stop other tourists from littering and try discussing with your driver, porter, guides about the problems which prove obstacles in this cause. . Do your bit and do so much that everyone learns and follows. And let’s not limit it to the mountains. Continue this on the beaches, the cities and the forests. A small part played by an individual can bring a huge change in future. . #travel #UntamedJourneys #HimachalPradesh #InstaHimachal #Jibhi #_oye #india#storiesofindia#indiagram #desi_diaries#indianstories #Cntgiveitashot#indiaclicks#_indiasb #incredibleindia#lonelyplanetindia#featuremyframe #everydayindia#dpeg#inspiroindia #indiaphotosociety#indiaig#traveldesi #mysimpleclick#indianphotography #ifoundawesome #click_point #theworldshotz
I understand that your idea of travelling is exploring and enjoying with your friend. But volunteering at an NGO that works in maintaining ecological balance and cleaning the garbage off the trails can be something worth enjoying too. NGOs like Waste Warriors, Healing Himalayas and many similar ones need volunteers and you can contact them for their next cleaning program.
Why should you care about Himachal Pradesh’s sustainability
Small steps can lead to a big change. Your contribution in Himachal Pradesh’s sustainability will help both, the people from the mountains as well as the plains. If Himachal Pradesh comes under the plight of global warming, issues like irregular rainfall, less or no snow and lack of water in rivers will arise more frequently. Recently Shimla saw similar issue when the city ran out of water.
Once the hills run out of water, the plains will be the next to suffer. Temperature rise will be uncontrollable and lack of rain will make things worse.
If Himachal Pradesh doesn’t remain the way it is till today, where will you go to escape the heat of the plains? It is a better idea to change your travel preferences and start travelling in a much more responsible way.