Padhar village is located about 3 km away from Manali town in Manali taluka of Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh. This Middle Himalayan region is at an altitude of 1850 m and experiences heavy snowfall with sub-zero temperature in the winter months.
A steeply sloping conifer forest surrounds the village with tree species like deodar, khanor, akhrot, bhojpatra or birch, rakhal, rai or spruce, tosh and chir. The legal status of the forest is Demarcated Protected Forest. The Manali Sanctuary falls within 10 km of the conserved area.
The main communities residing in Padhar are the rajputs (higher caste) and the lohars (scheduled castes). The total population of the village is 250, living in 40 households. Horticulture, tourism and service are the main areas of income generation. The total livestock population numbers 52. All the requirements of biomass and about 30 per cent requirement of leaf fodder is met from the forest. The forest has been divided among adjoining villages during the forest settlement done by the government. The rights of all 40 households have been legally codified, thus eliminating any possibilities of conflict amongst neighbours.