Top choice in Himachal Pradesh

On a clear November day, it's hard to imagine a more perfectly framed view than that of Bahu's remarkably preserved village core, perched on a ridgetop and backed by dreamy views across the valley to a backdrop of snowcapped peaks.

But hurry to visit before collapse or new construction mars the integrity of the tightly huddled three-storey tower-houses with their slate roofs and wraparound upper balconies. Some are said to be 800 years old. Bahu is 9km up a ladder of hairpins that starts with a river bridge 600m south of Jibhi village. Buses run five times daily. From Banjar (₹30, 1¼ hours) via Jibhi (₹20, 45 minutes), departures are at 10am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4.30pm, returning 8am, 8.30am, 9.15pm, 3pm and 4.30pm. From the bus stop the old village is a 10-minute walk north past a pond and small traditional shrine.

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