India’s Deadly “Hippie Haven!” Mysterious Disappearances Near A Himalayan Pilgrimage!


The Mystery Of A Deadly Spiritual Pilgrimage…

Here is a disturbing story about mysterious disappearances along what is known as “hippie haven”…a well known area where people go to seek enlightenment – but are finding something much more dangerous.

I like to post travel stories – there are so many incredible adventures in our world to explore…but some are more dangerous than others, and this disturbing story has emerged from India…



This remote area of India is known as a “hippie haven” – and draws like-minded people from around the world.

Here is the story from Newser – it all began with this picture posted by a hiker seeking solace and spiritualism in a legendary holistic place in the country:


This compelling story begins with the disappearance of Justin Shetler – someone seeking spirituality and enlightenment in these mountains, and who has not been seen since…

“Justin Shetler’s last blog post was in August of this year, detailing how he’d just been invited on a Himalayan pilgrimage by a local holy man, or “baba”; his last photo on Instagram (posted around the same time) noted he “should be back to the Internet world by mid to late September,” adding on his blog: “If I’m not back by then, don’t look for me.” Shetler never returned from that trek into the Northern India state of Himachal Pradesh, as detailed in a piece by Ariel Sophia Bardi for Roads and Kingdoms. Bardi also explores her own time on the region’s “hash trail” (also known as a “hippie haven”), which has claimed the disturbing disappearances of more than 20 foreigners in the area since 1998, most of them mysteries that haven’t been solved and which have led to a more menacing-sounding nickname: the Valley of Death.”


As Newser reports, the “Road And Kingdoms” story by Writer Ariel Sophia Bardi goes on to detail the sordid underbelly of this area in India, that is more than just a hippie nirvana:

“Bardi traveled to the village of Kheerganga to document some of Shetler’s baba’s history (with drastically different stories emerging), as well as the area’s heavy drug use that’s blamed for its “seedier elements.” She finds the region seems to draw people “on an incomprehensible, solitary quest,” a magnet for supposedly “thousands” of nomads who choose to live “with little more than basic necessities in a vast, harsh land.” As for Shetler, the baba who led him on the trek was detained by cops—but he killed himself in his jail cell.”


I have always cautioned friends who are traveling alone in unknown or remote areas: while the vast majority of people are friendly, you just don’t know what you may be heading into, and going anywhere alone always increases your risks…


This is a chilling story – for more, you can click here for the article on Newser, which links to the original piece:

As I said, I love to travel, but it is important to research the area, the culture and the dangers before you go…and I’ve posted stories about some other dangerous travels in the world as well:

God's Middle Finger book

Writer Richard Grant documented his trip to one of the most dangerous areas of the world – the “Sierra Madre” mountains of Mexico…this is a great book, as tension-filled as any work of fiction…read about his dangerous adventure here:

I hope that we find out what happened to Justin Shetler, and that he has simply gone “off the grid”, but as the story notes, there have been too many disappearances in that area…


Categories: Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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6 replies

  1. This is a worrying trend indeed. Lone travellers disappearing from remote parts, including Cambodia, and parts of South America, as well as India. This is sometimes seen as ‘flaunting wealth’, to people who earn maybe $100 a year. It is only to be considered very carefully. Their camera alone is generally worth a year’s wages, let alone a good watch, or an i-Pad. Sorry to read this story.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I am pretty adventurous, but I am reluctant to travel to remote locales mostly because it’s more fun to share the sights and sounds; I find it a hollow experience with me, myself, and I. That said, put me up for a month in a VRBO on the Portuguese coast line so I can complete my second novel, and I’m all for traveling alone.

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