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Himachal tourism Homestays draw tourists to Chambas Pangi valley

23 new homestays registered under state government scheme to boost tourism, provide jobs to local residents

A view of the picturesque Kumar Bhatori village in Pangi valley of Chamba district. The isolated valley with a beautiful landscape is known for its tribal culture and tradition. 

The Himachal Pradesh government is promoting homestay tourism in the remote Pangi valley of Chamba district to generate self-employment opportunities for local youngsters.

A team of the state tourism department recently undertook a five-day visit to the isolated Pangi valley that is home to picturesque landscapes and dense forests rich in wildlife. It told local residents about the government-run homestay scheme.

The remote Pangi valley borders Jammu and Kashmir and is home to the Pangwala tribe. The valley runs parallel to the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas with the Chenab river meandering through a deep and narrow gorge. The valley is gaining popularity among backpackers and adventure tourists, but its potential is yet to be tapped due to poor infrastructure.

Homestays registered in 12 villages

Chamba district tourism development officer (DTDO) Vijay Kumar said that the team registered 23 new homestay units in over a dozen villages during its visit.Residents of remote villages such as Findru, Findpar, Sach, Sechu, Chask Bhatori, Sahali, Kumar Bhatori, Shaur, Ajog, Purthi, Thamoh and Killar were linked to the scheme that aims to woo tourists to the scenic valley.

The number of homestays has gone up to 38 from just one about two-and-a-half years ago.

Besides, there are three hotels at the sub-divisional headquarters of Killar, including a newly registered 18-room unit.

“We organised a camp at Sechu village to motivate local people to join the homestay scheme,” said the tourism officer.

Youngsters being trained at 10-day camp

A 10-day camp is on in the valley in which 60 local youngsters are being trained in housekeeping besides food and beverages through the Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam (Skill Development Corporation).By October-end, the tourism department and the Pangi administration will provide training to more than 20 youngsters in managing homestays.

Pangi valley is spread over 1,601 sq km and has a population of about 20,000.

The valley is accessible from Kishtwar in the Jammu region, Udaipur from Lahaul-Spiti and the 4,400-metre Sach Pass from Chamba. It remains cut off from the world for a considerable part of winter due to heavy snowfall.

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