“Missing trekker from Delhi found dead in Malana village of Himachal” or “Man disappeared in Parvati Valley”, or “Engineer from Gurgaon gone missing in Kullu-Parvati Valley”.

The list of missing and dead trekkers in Himachal Pradesh is quite long, and that’s the saddest thing that has eclipsed the thrill of travelling to the hills of Himachal. So, the next obvious question is – what could be the reason behind these deaths? And, how can we still visit the beautiful region without any fear? Here go the answers.

The possible reasons behind the mysterious disappearance of tourists have been given below:

Weather and uneven terrain wreaked havoc for some hikers
Hiring a professional trek guide is mandatory for exploring the Parvati Valley or for that matter any valley in Himachal, unless you are a local. Most of the tourists who have dared to venture into the valley have lost their path and landed up in deep gorges. The trails of the valley puzzle even a trained guide at times, let alone a newbie trekker.

Some fell for the beautiful valley
Parvati Valley is so beautiful that it is natural for anyone to love it at first sight! However, there have been tourists who visited the region, loved it, and decided to settle down there. While, some have busied themselves in social causes, there are others who got into drug trade, as reported.

Others could have become prey to thieves and murderers

There could have been cases wherein the missing lone trekkers were robbed of their belongings, and then killed by some miscreants. Their dead body was either buried in the forest or thrown in the valley. It has been reported that two trekkers from Austria camping near Manikaran in 2001, were attacked by unknown people. While, one died due to gunshot, another managed to run for his life. Similar other incidents have been reported in the valley.

Others were too drugged
Besides, Manali and Goa, Kasol has turned into a favourite haunt of narcotic dealers from Nigeria, Israel, and other nations. Trekkers usually buy drugs from these ‘traders’ to get high and end up compromising their safety while treading the dangerous paths of the valley.

So, once you know the causes, knowing the precautions to avert any disaster is also a must. Below, some tips to stay safe in Parvati Valley –

Hire the services of an expert tourist guide if you plan a trek in Tosh valley and other less-commercialised areas.

Stay away from druggists and refrain from buying drugs of any kind in Parvati Valley.

Do not adventure outdoors at night just to be on a safer side. Instead, explore the valley during day time.

Try avoiding travelling during the monsoon season as landslides might occur at such time. Plus, the soil gets slippery due to the rains, and the forests gets infested with snakes and other harmful creatures.

All in all, stay sane and make use of your common sense while travelling in the hills for a vacation.