Humayun's Tomb is one of the most important monuments of the city and a perfect example of wonderful Islamic architecture was made by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect. The initiative to make this monument was taken by Humayuns senior widow Bega Begum. The monument is considered as a precursor of the Taj Mahal in terms of beauty. It was built in 1565 AD and is located on the crossing of the Lodi Road and Mathura Road. The main features of this monument are the beautiful gardens, fountains and of course the double domed mausoleum. Apart from Humayuns tomb, there are many other Mughal rulers who have their mausoleums built in here.
The burial place of more than a hundred Mughal princes, and not just Humayun, the Tomb has surfaced in every important shift in the city’s history. The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was sheltering here when he was arrested by the British. In 1947, it served as a refugee camp during the Partition riots when almost all the lovely Sal wood doors in the arched recesses were burned.
Humayun’s Tomb: It might look like the Taj Mahal to everyone as it is inspired by the same design. It was built in 1570. The body of Humayun is kept inside the building. You should know that this is the first monument in India of its kind. It remains open from sunrise to sunset, but visit it in the late afternoon to get the best light.
On my way to Humayun’s tomb, I stopped for a bit at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. It is considered as the biggest Gurudwara in Delhi. I so totally loved this place. It is so very peaceful and it always feels good to see people volunteering to help others. I do not have a pic of this Gurudwara. Sometimes, it is more of you just want to feel the place and be part of it than anything else. Humayun’s tomb and Qutub Minar were on top of my list of must see places in Delhi. I’m still sad at the fact that I couldn’t get to Jama Masjid. But, I shall get there someday and explore. Humayun’s tomb is one masterpiece. Keep aside atleast one hour to witness the beauty of it. If the artisans were still here with us today, I so would have wanted their autographs ! Humayun’s tomb is the manifestation of love by Emperor Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum. She got this done in his memory.
6. Humayun Tomb: Red sandstone and the magnificent marble stone define this tomb. Pay a visit here and you will know what paradise is! This structure has a lush green garden and a clear river flowing –the sight of which is so breathtaking. Known to be a refugee camp in India, it now has many graves within it. Constructed by Bega Begum in memory of her husband Humayun, it is said to have been inspirational for Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. Just 5 kms off Humayun’s Tomb is the lesser known Agrasen ki Baoli, Baoli meaning ‘step well’. A unique architecture surrounds this 14th century well. A monument protected by the ASI or Archaeological Survey of India, it has over a hundred steps immersed in water. This hidden gem, though a difficult find, is worth spending at least half a day. Walk in and explore...
Humayun's Tomb: to be visited in the late afternoon in preference when the sun is blazing the old stones. Beautiful tomb built on the orders of the widow of Mughal emperor Humayun. Located in the heart of a huge park, only birds can afford to break the silence of this place (where to eat : Karim's Restaurant)
Must Visit, a breathtaking place.
Humayun tomb garden has beautiful garden squares with pathways, water channels, and is also a resting ground for Mughal rulers. It was from here that the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Jafar was captured by the British in 1857. The monument is well maintained .
To even start to suggest that there exists an alternative to the all-marble embodiment of Shah Jahan's love for his wife is a blasphemy, but before you pick up the rotten tomatoes hear us out. Sure, there is nothing that compares to the very first peek of the gorgeous structure, that first glimpse of the blindingly extravagant use of marble... but it will probably be quickly followed by a shove from the constant crowd pouring through the entrance, effectively breaking the spell. Add to that Agra's infamously aggressive touts and repulsive filth, and the Taj Mahal experience can become slightly fatiguing.Tucked away in the winding roads of the Nizammuddin area of Delhi, then, is one of our favorite sights in the world. Commissioned by his first wife to honor her husband, Humayun's Tomb may not be able to match the dazzle of the Taj and its endless milky marble, but its presence is no less awe-inspiring, its symmetry no less brilliant. The red sandstone structure laced with delicate touches of marble and other precious stones stands at the end of several gateways, dramatizing the unveiling of the first sight, adding to its undeniable allure. To add to everything, the lush gardens surrounding it are an excellent place to slow time down, to just lay there and take in the gorgeousness of the surroundings – a luxury the Taj can scarcely afford.
3. Chilla Nizamuddin Auliya
One of the most impressive structures located in Delhi is the Humayun's Tomb. This brilliant architectural splendor of the Mughal period testifies the craftsmanship of the Mughal architects. This mausoleum is a tomb of the great Mughal emperor Humayun. The building of Humayun's Tomb was encouraged from the tomb of the Persian Mongol ruler, Oljeytu, at Sultaniyya. It is complex structure but has its own charm and grandeur. Thousands of travelers from all over the world visit the Humayun's Tomb every year.You can see Humayun's Tomb in Nizamuddin East in Delhi. Located conveniently at the banks of Yamuna, this tomb is major attraction among the tourists. Counted among one of the must visit monuments Humayun's Tomb in Delhi was built by his beloved wife Hamida Banu Begam. Its construction work started in the year of 1569, which is 14 years after the death of Humayun. It took about eight long years for the tomb to be completed.This tomb is one of the most beautiful monuments in Delhi. Humayun's Tomb, Delhi depicts the true Mughal style of architecture, which was inspired from the Persian style of architecture. It was also recognized as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of the brilliant architectural beauty. It involved about 15 lakh rupees for the construction of the Humayun's Tomb in Delhi. Mirak Mirza Ghiyath was employed by the queen to construct this magnificent and grand edifice.The tomb is surrounded by beautiful lush Mughal garden. The garden is divided in to four parts by pathways. This is typical of all Mughal gardens. The various water channels for the fountains make this tomb a true architectural delight.Inside the Humayun's Tomb, you can find various architectural features, which makes this tomb a truly grand structure. You can find baradari (pavilion) and a hammam (bath chamber) inside the tomb. Built of red sandstone, the dome of the tomb is made up of sparkling white marble. The octagonal chamber within comprise the tomb of Humayun.
India,the country with divine temples,splendid monuments,glittering culture,worth a million heritage,mouth watering cuisines,magnetic tongue and eternal nature.In short a country must visit.It is like a dream come true for me to explore this exotic and fáscinating land.The sky was clear and blue was the colour when I went to explore the sovereignty of the Mughal Emperor “Humayun Tomb” .This masterpiece of Mughal era is located near the crossing of Mathura road and lodhi road ,New Delhi.Jawhar lal Nehru is the nearest metro station to reach this wonderful place.When I saw the tomb,the gigantic structure literally gave me ‘goose bumps’ .The tomb not only verbalize about the unmatched creativity of the Mughals but it is a symbol of love and affection as the mausoleum was built by the Humayun’s begum “Hamida Banu Begam after his death in 1565 AD.The Mausoleum is amalgam of Persian and Indian style of architecture and was engineered by” Mirak Mirza Ghyath” who was not only the master mind of Humayun’s Tomb but designed many structure across the country.“Humayun ka Makbara ( Humayun’s tomb) is the first building to use Persian concept of double dome as well as the first tomb of its kind surrounded by garden constructed to the end of time in Indian subcontinent.The Tomb stand in the centre of the beautifully styled ” Char Bagh” (as the whole garden is divided into four parts) connected with water channels, having its main entrance from the south and other from the west side as well.This was the first time when red sand stone was used in such a grand scale for its construction.Apart from Humayun the complex is the final resting place of his wife Hamida Bahu Begum,Shah Jahan’s son and many other prominent Mughals.What called the symbol of love “The Taj Mahal” was inspired from the Humayun’s TombThe tall Ashoka trees which embellishes the beautiful garden with their willowy outgrowth compliment the structure and clash with the magnificent complex to deadlock visitors attention.While exploring this mammoth complex I got drained and I sat down into the lavish garden which was superbly maintained and it was venerating the tomb,made me spell bound.But I could hardly stop my self from clicking the pics of such a mesmerizing views of the complex.
Built 20 years after the death of the second Mughal emperor Humayun, by his widow Bega Begum (Haji Begum), this monument exemplifies architectural achievement of the highest order. It is the first garden tomb in the Indian subcontinent, with a geometrical paradise garden, causeways and water channels. It is said to be one of the first mausoleums, being complete in all aspects. This UNESCO heritage site made up of mainly red sandstone, white marble and quartzite, is said to have cost 1.5 million rupees to Bega Begum at the time, and is home to more than 150 graves of people belonging to the royal family and some otherwise. The great-great grandson of Humayun, Dara Shikoh is also rested here. Humayun was an avid traveler of the Islamic world, including Persia and Central Asia, this has been quite evident in the mausoleum built by his widow, giving enormous attention to e finest details, a peculiarity of the Mughal architecture. There has been no political/religious interference, but only to keep the original form and purpose intact. Not many people realize that the magnificent Taj Mahal at Agra, built by Shah Jahan was inherently inspired by the Humayun's tomb itself. This exquisite piece of architectural excellence predates and inspires The Taj in respect of concept, design and architecture, both having built a century apart. For those, who have visited the Humayun's tomb before the Taj, will find the former more provoking and original, just the way I did. Image credits: Wikipedia.
Heritage sites and historic monuments has always been a fascination. A piece of art loved by every generation. Here I'm sharing my experience of exploring the Humayun Tomb. As the name suggests it was the tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun, who was buried there. The tomb was commissioned by Hamida Banu Begum, Akbar and Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a persian architect. It was the first garden tomb on Indian subcontinent, and the first structure to use red sandstone at such scale. The architecture is of Islamic Architecture, a mixture of Central Asian and Persian styles. Has greenery all around because of the Char Bagh garden. The history is evident and I need not to focus on it. The tomb according to me is a photographer's delight. One can find different and rare species of birds if looked closely, small animals like squirrels playing in the garden, and of course the amazing Mughal Architecture. For photographers I would suggest they should visit this tomb early in the morning between 5 am to 6 am. It might be evident in some of the pictures of how beautiful it looks when the sun rays strikes the tomb. To my visit I did encounter some strange species of birds. NOTE: Even if you're not tired, please do enter the lawns, sit under the trees and relax. Breath in the fresh air and for a moment try and observe your surroundings will help a lot. (specially early morning)ADDRESS: Mathura Road, Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India.
Humanyun's Tomb is one of the master piece of mughal architecture. Built in the 16-th century by Haji Begum, the persian born first wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun, the tomb is a perfect blend of persian and mughal architechture. It is the first garden tomb built on the Indian subcontinent. Recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1993, it has undergone extensive restoration work which completed in 2013.Humayun's tomb complex encompasses several other monuments besides main tomb. To the right as you enter the complex, Isa Khan’s tomb is a fine example of Lodi-era architecture, constructed in the 16th century. Further south is the monumental Khan-i-Khanan’s tomb, plundered in Mughal times to build Safdarjang’s tomb.
The last refuge of Mughal Emperor Humayun reminds rather of a luxurious palace, than a tomb. Located in the eastern part of Dehli, Humayun’s tomb is one of the best preserved Mughal monuments. This spellbinding mausoleum is the first example of Mughal architecture in India. After a century from its construction Humayun’s tomb inspired the construction of the more famous Taj Mahal. From the point of view of the history of architecture this building is the unique connecting link between the Gur Emir, where Humayun’s ancestor Tamerlane is buried, and the mausoleum of his grandson Shah Jahan, i.e. Taj Mahal. Humayun’s tomb was built thanks to the initiative of his widow Hamida Banu Begum, who commenced the construction of a mausoleum for her deceased husband in 1565, nine years after his death. The construction was finished in 1572. The architecture of the tomb is strongly influenced by Persian architecture. The architect of the building Mirak Mirza Ghiyas himself was of Persian origin. Ghiyas constructed the tomb in the center of a Persian-style chaharbagh garden with quadrilateral form. The garden, divided in four main parts by walkways or flowing water is created to resemble the paradise garden described in the Quran. These four main parts on their turn are separated by channels to 36 parts.
The monumental plinth is graced in red sandstone arches with multiple chambers. Humayun's tomb is an austere white marble sarcophagus, resting on a black and white marble podium. The grave, however, is no longer accessible. The dormitory of the House of Timur houses the graves of Humayun's wives, and Dara Shikoh - Shah Jahan’s scholarly son.There are two main entrances to this grandiose monument: the main entrance is from the south, and the other from the west. While Sikandar Lodi's tomb was the first ever garden-tomb to be constructed in India, it was Humayun ka maqbara which was setting up a new vogue. The Taj Mahal at Agra is a living proof of that crowning achievement.
Humayun's tomb is a fine example of Mughal style monuments inspired by the early Persian architecture. Avowed as 'Humayun ka maqbara', it was his widow - Hamida Banu Begum - who built Humayun's tomb seeking help from Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect. Legend has it that during his exile in Persia, Humanyu was so inspired by the Persian architecture that he desired to construct one himself for himself- though there is no authenticity to this effect.The tomb exemplifies the early Mughal architectural marvels with its worth noting double dome and char-bagh. Humayun ka maqbara proper stands in the center of four gardens(char-bagh), in octagonal layout with sky-high arches, pillared rotunda, and a double dome of Central Asian origin. While the tomb introduced Persian artistry in India, Humayun's tomb also depicts complementary mingling of Mughal and Hindu cultures - several Hindu motifs ornate the tomb.
So let us tell you something about the tomb now :· It has proved to be an inspiration for some other architectural monuments such as The Taj Mahal.· On opposition to Taj Mahal, which was built by a husband for his wife, Humanyun’s Tomb was built by a wife, Hamida Banu Begam for her husband in 1562 CE.· The Tomb was designed by a Persian architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyath.· The monument is all made with red and white marbles which looks very beautiful.· It took eight years to built the Humayun’s Tomb. Rs 1.5 million were invested in it.· The Tomb consists of green lush garden at its all sides.· One can see the image of the Tomb portrayed in the water(if it is not contaminated) seen from a good angle which looks stunning. AND last but not the least, an another tomb which is adjacent to Humayun’s tomb called Isa Khan’s tomb is also an eye catching monument made with white marbles, built within an enclosed octagonal garden which bears striking resemblance to other tombs in the lodhi garden. So, overall the tomb is worth exploring once. We found it very calm and pleasant place to be at and if you are somebody who loves spending time alone with music and books DON’T come here you’ll get bored like hell. Just kidding YOU CAN TRY LOVE. According to us this place is good for photography and yes come along with your partner sit, relax, click pictures and go back, haha !
Humayun's Tomb: After his death on 20 January 1556, Humayun's body was first buried in his palace in Purana Quila at Delhi. Thereafter it was taken to Sirhind, in Punjab by Khanjar Beg, because it was feared that Hindu king Hemu, who had defeated Mughal forces in Agra and Delhi in Oct. 1556 and captured Purana Quila, will damage the tomb. In 1558, it was seen by his son, the then Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Akbar subsequently visited the tomb when it was about to be completed in 1571.The tomb of Humayun was built by the orders of Akbar (3rd emperor of mughal empire), Humayun's first wife and chief consort, and begun in 1565, nine years after his death, and completed in 1572 AD at a cost of 1.5 million rupes at the time
We subsequently moved on to Humayun's Tomb, a site in which many future architectural creations, including the great Taj Mahal, find their origin. This elaborate tomb complex was constructed in 1565 by the Mughal Emperor Humayun's widow, Hamida Banu Begum, nine years after his death, and was the first garden style tomb to be constructed in India. The tomb stands in the centre of vast, Charbagh-style Persian gardens, split into perfectly symmetrical segments, and linked by channels. This deliberate geometrical scheme consisting of four identical parts separated by wide paths and flowing channels (representing the river of Paradise) served as a powerful metaphor for the Paradise Garden.The first of its kind, Humayun's Tomb went on to serve as the prototype for many other Mughal tombs, on which similar techniques were employed, such as the use of red sandstone, the central building's octagonal shape and its high central arch. The very idea of constructing a mausoleum in honour of a loved one is the central foundation stone behind the creation of the Taj Mahal.
This grandiose Delhi monument is actually inspired by one of the seven wonders of World, Taj Mahal. Built in 1570, Humayun’s Tomb is a burial chamber of the great Mughal King, Humayun. Set amid the beautiful garden, Humayun’s tomb was the beginning of changed Mughal architecture in India. With the overwhelming appreciation of this artistic monument, the Mughal rulers build such tombs all across the country.• Location: Nizamuddin East, New Delhi• Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset• How to Reach- Buses or Delhi Metro are frequently availableSourceKnown for its magnificent architecture, Jantar Mantar is another famous monument of Delhi which has gathered endless tourists across the world. Jantar Mantar is considered one of the most interesting Indian masterpieces. It was built in1712 A.D.by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Rajasthan. The complexity of its structure and maze-like constructions has made it a glorious attraction of India.• Location: Sansad Marg, Connaught Place,• Opening Hours: 6 am to 6 pm• How to Reach- Buses or Delhi Metro are frequently available6. Jama MasjidSourceThe Jama Masjid in Delhi is one of the biggest Mosques in India. The religious sentiments and the architectural splendor draw a lot of tourists to this place and made it a historical monument of Delhi. The Mosque is surrounded by three huge gates, four towers and two 40m high minarets constructed of strips of red stone and white marble.• Location: Opposite Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi• Opening Hours: Sunrise to Sunset. Closed during prayer hours from 12.15 p.m. to 1.45 p.m• How to Reach- Buses or Delhi Metro are frequently available7. Old Fort or Purana KilaSourceStood sturdy for long 5000 years, Old Fort or Purana kila is one among the oldest Delhi monuments. Purana Kila was built in 1538-45 by the ruler Sher Shah Suri. It is popular for its massive structure with three grand gateways namely Talaqi Darwaza, Bara Darwaza and Humayun Darwaza. The ambiance, the still lake, lush green beautiful lawns created to attract visitors has made it on top of the list of monuments in Delhi.• Location: Mathura Rd, New Delhi• Opening Hours: 7 am to 5 pm• How to Reach- Buses or Delhi Metro are frequently available8. Lodi TombSourceBuild inside the beautiful Lodi Garden, Lodi Tomb is one of the most famous monuments of Delhi which defines the majestic art of Mughal architecture. It is the memorial tomb for the great leader and king, Sikander Lodi. Lodi Garden is also popular as garden of tombs. Apart from the wonderful Lodi tomb, one can also behold Muhammad Shah tomb, Shish Gumbad, and Bara Gumbad.• Location: Lodi Road, not far from Humayun's Tomb.• Opening Hours: 6 am to 8 p.m Monday• How to Reach- Buses or Delhi Metro are frequently available9. Swaminarayan AkshardhamSourceAkshardham is an enormously build tomb-like structure with the bright white colored coating, is an incredible masterwork to witness in Delhi. It was built by a spiritual association, Swaminarayan Sanstha to showcase the tale of Swaminarayan. This huge and famed attractions is dedicated to exhibiting the stories and karma of Swaminarayan and to glorify the beauty of Indian culture. Witness some amazing sculptures, well-maintained garden, golden statues and so on at Akshardham.• Location: N. H. 24 | Near Noida Mor, New Delhi.• Opening Hours: 9.30 a.m to 6.30 p.m How to Reach- Buses or Delhi Metro are frequently available10. Lotus TempleSourceLotus Temple is one of the most eminent Delhi monuments, known for its beautiful flower-like structure. The best of Lotus Temple can be seen after the sunset when it is lit up with colored lights. Designed with crystal white marble, the lotus temple is associated with the Bahai Faith, which believes in the unity and harmony of all people irrespective of religions. The serene pond area and quiet garden encircling the temple is an attraction point of Lotus temple.• Location: Near Nehru Place, south New Delhi• How to Reach- Buses or Delhi Metro are frequently available• Opening Hours: 9.00 a.m. to 7pm
Amazing experience of our visit to the tomb of Emperor Humayun. Built of red sandstone, it depicts the future of Mughal Architecture which reached it's zenith under Shah Jahan. It has graves of 101 members of Humayun's family. The place is serene and away from the noise of the city.
After lotus temple we left for humayun's tomb. Mughal empire structure. Where we clicked alot of pictures. By late evening around 7, we had a bus from Majnu ka Tila .We left from Shahdra at around 5:30 for majnu ka tila. And sat in a bus with huge dreams and desire for the most awaited trip. We took a bus of Manali.
Growing up, I spent all my summers visiting my grandparents in Delhi, and each summer, my mom and I would talk about how we’d visit Humayun’s Tomb during that trip. Unfortunately, we never got around to doing it, and we mostly blamed it on the scorching summer sun. Although that excuse isn’t really valid because I lived in Delhi for three full years while in college and had plenty of time to go there. My nana (mom’s dad) always wanted to take us there too but somehow it never happened.Last month, I lost my nana to cancer. The whole family got together in Delhi for the funeral and a day after the funeral, my parents and I found ourselves at home without any plans for the day and just like that, we decided to go to Humayun’s Tomb. A part of me believes my nana made it happen and in a strange yet comforting way, I could feel his presence the entire time I was there.The Mughal era is my most favorite part of Indian history. Humayun’s Tomb, the tomb of the great Mughal Emperor Humayun, was built way back in 1572 by his widow Bega Begum, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. It’s said to be the first garden-tomb to be built in the Indian subcontinent and is the one of the first monuments to be made using the combination of red sandstone and white marble in India (and it is also said to have inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal). The tomb is set in 12 hectares of serene and beautiful gardens, and it is quite an experience to just take a stroll through them while marveling at the grandeur of Humayun’s Tomb.Having visited the place now, I can’t believe I’d never been there before. It’s amazing how such a magnificent structure is nestled in the middle of the city and transports you back in time, all while offering the most peaceful surrounding. I have a lot of great pictures from those few hours I spent at Humayun’s Tomb and thought it’d be a shame not to share them. So here goes!
Humayun's Tomb built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun's first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum, a symbol of a woman's love for her husband.
Delhi the capital city has a great historical importance. The city which was capital of the Mughal empire has many magnificent architectures which are the best example of the Indian architectural heritage. The tomb is built in Persian architectural style and has huge domes and built upon a high platform.During my short stay in Delhi, I have got chance to explore the city. Among many monuments the tomb of Humayu has its special place.The tomb is located in Nizamuddin East inside the Delhi city area. How to reach: One can easily reach there by taking an auto from connaught place.Nearest Metro staion is Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Metro Station in Violet Line - This is about 2 kms from Humayun's Tomb.The monument has a large area. The beautiful garden has a fountain in front of the main building. There are many trees planted in this large area, which add more beauty to the old monument.
After a bit of walk, I was bewildered to see the main tomb which was humongous and an excellent blend of Mughal and Indian architecture. As I inched closer I found it was made of white marble and red sandstone. With smaller cenotaphs on all sides, as I moved inside there is a stark contrast between the exterior and the interior. You would find the double layered dome – outside to give the dome appearance and inside fully decorated to withstand the volume. There is a cenotaph at the center but the actual burial place is far below it and it opens somewhere outside the tomb which is normally restricted for public visit. One can notice the small minarets surrounding the white marble central dome. The windows inside are exquisitely built like jalis and sunlight complements it that well.
Holding the Guiness World Record to be the World's largest comprehensive Hindu temple, the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple was built-in just 5 years. The nearest metro station is the Akshardham Metro Station. Mobiles and other electronic gadgets are not allowed. These are to be deposited in the cloakrooms. It's an example of the grandeur and beauty of all the ancient and traditional architectural and religious styles which have ever been present in India. Usually the one who took such a noble initiative was Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha along side more than a thousand talented artisans. The temple is mainly specialized in Swaminarayan and also includes a separate shrine for Lord Shiva. There are a number of halls amongst which the initial one is where you will find films and robotic shows going to spread the message of honesty, peace and unity. In the second hall you is likely to be presented with the story of a classic yogi named Nilkanth in an exceedingly attractive manner. Last however, not the smallest amount of the next hall is where you are able to find out about the discoveries and works of the saints- scientists and the art of Ajanta- Ellora. The musical fountain is an amusement after sunset, the Lotus temple is another bit of beauty and the Garden of India is just a memorial for all the famous men and women of our country.
We leave again to our last stop for the day – Akshardham Temple(no photos allowed, so I’ll make the description as detailed as I can). It was almost 5:30pm and that meant we’d miss the exhibition. Oh and before I forget, you are not allowed to carry anything into the temple. No mobiles, no cameras and not even a big handbag. So it’s better to leave your stuff in your car or hotel room or you’d have to waste another hour keeping and retrieving it from the cloak room. We didn’t have to waste that hour as we didn’t bring any such thing. As soon as we entered the temple complex, we rushed to the ticket counter and luckily made it in time for the last show. The first thing that strikes you when you go to an Akshardham temple is its beautiful architecture. With intricate patterns on marble and brilliant sculptures all around, it sure is a treat for the eyes. The exhibition starts off in a theatre where they show a short movie about Swaminarayan and how he gave up everything at 11 years of age and how he attained his spiritual excellence by 21 years. The movie ends and the entire crowd rushes into the exit to the next hall. This seems pretty funny as people are rushing to get the best seats. In the end, some people are left standing. As soon as this show ends, the people standing there rush and get the best seats. Rat race even here! :P But at least everyone is happy. Anyway, this room doesn’t exactly look like a room. This place has a huge tree with statues of many kids playing all around it. Some of them are on the tree and some are playing below it. There is a small lake and a set of seats in a semi-circle beyond it. There are a couple of statues of fishermen standing in the lake. Suddenly, the kid in the middle starts speaking. His hands move, so do his head, lips and everything else. He even blinks his eyes like a real kid. It is a robot which seems just like a real kid. Then the fishermen speak, move hands and even look at us. The whole scene is mesmerizing. It is a story of how the kid in the middle, Swaminarayan makes the fishermen give up fishing because it is a sin to take lives of creatures. Next we step into a corridor and see that it is raining there. Literally. There is even thunder rumbling and we see the front portion of a house. A small boy is walking out of the house and getting drenched in the rain. This one is a still statue but the scene is so real that if we move close to the house, we’ll also get drenched. We then walk through caves and the swami as a child walking through jungles and crossing rivers. The scenes are complete with trees and creepers and snakes. We cross a bridge over a stream and see the swami sitting on a rock in the flowing stream with snakes slithering next to him. Do not get unfazed – all that I’m describing are statues, not real snakes or people. These rooms depict the journey of Swaminarayan across India through the wilderness. After this we enter the open balcony of a village house. We see many life sized statues of people doing different activities. So basically, we have a bird’s eye view of the entire house from the top. Swaminarayan is teaching the inmates. He speaks, nods and blinks. As we look up, we see a blue sky painted. We really get the feel of being inside a village complete with people and everything. The next room is even more awesome. Swami is sitting on a chair and the whole village is sitting around listening to him speak. We can see the excitement on everyone’s faces. The statue next to Swami starts speaking and gesturing. Swami responds to him and gives everyone a few words of wisdom. And then he does something unpredictable. He stands up. He actually stands up! I was awestruck by the ingenious engineering that had gone behind all this. The scenes look so natural. You look to the left and see two women speaking in the village. You look to the right and see that a lady is closely watching the proceedings from behind a pillar. And then you feel that you are actually sitting in that village. After this, we enter a huge theatre. This place is filled with people – probably waiting for the hall to fill up. We happened to be last group, luckily, so the movie started as soon as we were in. It is a 40 minute documentary on the life of Swaminarayan. The kid in the movie acting as the Swami was really cute and innocent and felt apt for the role. After this was the boat ride. The boat is shaped like a giant paddle boat – without paddles. :P There is a chain and track along which the boat moves. This one is a still exhibition of the rich heritage of India and how India has contributed to the world. With this ended the 2 hour exhibition at Akshardham.
3. Akshardham Temple: Akshardham Temple is one of the most famous and talked about monuments situated at Noida, NCR at the banks of River Yamuna. Built in 2005 in a 100-acre land, it is the largest Hindu Temple in the world - not merely a structure of religious offerings, but a beautifully carved monument complete with its IMAX theatre, technological exhibitions, musical fountain, gardens and food court. It easily takes a day to cover every corner of the fabulous temple. Take a stroll along the Garden of India or Bharat Upavan, check out the bronze sculptures, intricate architecture, its sunken garden in the shape of a lotus, watch devotees take blessings with their offerings and rituals and more. You have to be there to believe it!
2. AkshardhamAkshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu mandir, and a spiritual-cultural campus in New Delhi. Designed in accordance with the standards of Maharishi Vastu Architecture, it features a blend of architectural styles across India. It is entirely constructed from Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble. Based on traditional Hindu architectural guidelines (Shilpa shastras) on maximum temple life span, it makes no use of ferrous metal. Thus, it has no support from steel or concrete.
Marine Drive may be a picturesque promenade in Kochi, Kerala, India. It engineered facing the backwaters, and may be a widespread resort for the native people. Ironic to its name, no vehicles area unit allowed on the walk. Marine Drive is additionally associate economically thriving a part of town of Kochi. With many searching malls it's as a crucial centre of searching activity in Kochi. Major alimentation joints, as well as Marrybrown, DiMark, coffee house area unit gift on the walk. The read of the setting and rising sun over the ocean mouth, and therefore the gentle wind from the Vembanad Lake has created Marine Drive a crucial holidaymaker destination in Kochi. Hundreds of individuals both natives and tourists throng the walk throughout the evenings. The walk starts from the tribunal Junction and continues till the Rajendra Maidan. There are many boat jetties on the walk. The walk has two contemporarily created bridges, the Rainbow bridge and the Chinese net Bridge.
As the sun sets over the Arabian Sea, the lights come up on Marine Drive (a.k.a. "the Queen's Necklace").The first thought that comes to my mind when someone says Mumbai is Marine Drive ( its a clash b/w Shahrukh Khan and Marine Drive for me ). The ambiance around this place is intoxicating and addictive. once you are hooked you will find it almost impossible to detach and move away. Marine Drive is a 4.3-kilometre-long boulevard in South Mumbai. It is a 'C'-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast. A perfect place for your evening stroll, sit and watch the tides go back and forth with a cup of coffee easily available on the promenade.
Drive by or sit on the ledge of Marine Drive, one of the popular hubs of Mumbai-kers. If you've had a long day, or just feel to lazy to roam around, Marine Drive is the perfect place to breathe in the salty ocean air, and just relax. The Queen's Necklace, or the city skyline, lights up like a thousand dazzling lights, as the city buzzes with life at night. Though it gets a bit crowded throughout the day, early morning is the best time to find some space.
Marine Drive and Nariman Point Sea is the most fascinating for Mumbai peoples and Marine Drive( also known as Queen’s Necklace) is the life blood of Mumbai.In the evening it is fully lighted and the view of the sea is breath taking. It will be crowded all the time. If you will walk from marine drive then at the end you will reach Nariman point. It is Mumbai’s premier and worlds 15th costliest business district. Some call it as “Manhattan of Mumbai”. Its a must visit place. Also, a prime location for shooting of Bollywood films. Entry fee: NIL Recommended length of Visit: Unlimited How to Reach: Get down at Church gate Station(Take the road which leads to Ambassador Hotel) Tips: After Sunset or Early Morning.(Spend the night here)
Marine Drive is the jewel of Bombay. You can experience the entire city in front of you by just sitting lazily at Marine drive enjoying the cool breeze and the sea. Sunset at Marine Drive is the most beautiful sunset you can witness in Mumbai. The skyline bursts with beautiful mauve, cream, orange and yellow shades.
The place that people identify Mumbai with. A really long stretch that welcomes everyone from lovers/ walkers/ sky gazers/ silence seekers. The place can fit any mood. It can liven up a happy day. Or the long stretch of water can make one think deep about one’s life.
2:30pm - Marine Drive (Chowpatty): THERE! I sit down by the edge and take several deep breaths. I've finally reached the planned final destination and I can't feel more blissful. I've finally walked for almost 65 km through the city, and finished what I had started 7 hours 45 minutes earlier.
Marine Drive is a 4.3-kilometre-long boulevard in South Mumbai in the city of Mumbai. It is a 'C'-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay. The road links Nariman Point to Babulnath and Malabar Hill. Marine Drive is situated over reclaimed land facing west-south-west. A promenade lies parallel to this road. Marine Drive is also known as the Queen's Necklace because, if viewed at night from an elevated point anywhere along the drive, the street lights resemble a string of pearls in a necklace. In 2012, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai announced that the entire road would be resurfaced, 72 years after it was originally laid.
Who doesn't know Marine Drive!?
After covering elephanta caves, i made my way back to marine drive to see sunset. And on my way there, i fulfilled my third wishlist for this trip. I got my VADA PAV. Now i can leave mumbai with inner peace. When i reached marine drive this time, it was completely different sight in terms of crowd. A stretch that long, and no place to sit facing sea. There were friends, families, couples, guy groups. I was just one girl, sure it won't ask for too much space to squeeze in ;)
2. Marine Drive Beach
There can be no fitting conclusion to your Mumbai sojourn than at this place, which defines the feeling of this city perfectly. The Queen's Necklace at the Marine Drive is where you should ideally end up on Sunday night with your friends by your side and unlimited conversations to tend to. This is the pinnacle of Mumbai.I promise you that if you follow this itinerary, you will go back with immense love for Mumbai in your heart. Do write about your Mumbai experiences, we'd love to hear from you!Cheers!
Our last stop of day 2 was Marine Drive, a 3.5km long boulevard in South Mumbai. A palm lined promenade lays next to a 6 lane concrete road which runs along the coast around anatural semi circle shaped bay. It links Nariman Point to Babulnath and Malabar Hill. At night when viewed from any elevated point along the drive the street lights give the illusion of a string of pearls. This is where it's alternative name, the ' Queens Necklace ' originates from. We enjoyed our early evening stroll here, it had a lovely atmosphere with people out walking, jogging and sitting on the promenade walls chatting and socialising. It seemed to be a favourite of young couples out for a romantic evening, there was lots of hand holding and canoodling going on. Following our rip off taxi tour the previous day we decided to find our own metered taxi's for the third days sightseeing of North Mumbai. We would have preferred to use a rickshaw but these are banned inside the Coloba area so a taxi was the only option. Elco Pani Puri Centre Much to our fellow diner's amusement Andy and I couldn't get the hang of punching the hole in the top without completely crushing the Puri's. We were making such a mess of it the waiter took pity of us and swiftly prepared each one for us. It was a fun and tasty food experience; I'd highly recommend not leaving Mumbai without giving it a try!
If you are visiting Mumbai then this is one hell of place to just grab a drink and have a chat with your buddy. It was already 9 by then. So we headed to Marine Drive. Spending the late evening time at Marine Drive was 1 of the "Things to Do" on my checklist. And this was it to mark it checked! Words are not enough to explain the beauty and peace that place has. Also the romantic feel of the place. Though this time it wasn't appropriate. We sat there for a while, facing the Arabian Sea, with the cool breeze caressing our tired faces. Soon we were refreshed and decided to stroll along the drive. We had a quite good time watching around, you know what I mean. After a series of quite giggles we decided to leave and headed back home. It was late by the time we reached home and went off to sleep. After the full day of tiredness we couldn't make it up for the next day roaming plan. We spent the whole day with Laxmi Kaki and family. And eve we left for Pune with a bunch of memories in our hearts and photos in our cameras
After I was done (not literally, just for the day :D ) with marine drive, I took a taxi (like how it is auto , they have sharing taxis) and went towards Gateway of India! Again, its not far.. Just some 15 minutes away. I stayed there for a while and clicked pictures. There is Taj hotel as well. Plus there is one Elephanta caves you may go if you want, they will charge 250 Rs. and will take you towards that through a ferry or kinda boat and you must dedicate 3-5 hours for that because it will take 1 hour to go and another 1 hour to comeback and now it depends on you how much time you wanna spend there also depends on for how much time the ferry wala wants you to be there! I dint go to elephanta caves because I dint hv that much time, but hey! here are some pics for Gateway of India:
To visit this lake which is the world’s highest brackish lake at 14,256 feet (above sea level), you’ll have to undertake a 160 kms journey from Leh. Starting from Thicksey village, you will start crossing large mountain ridges that just don’t seem to end. And by the way, once the mountains start, even crossing distance worth 10 minutes can take you hours. The topography is harsh but breathtaking. Once you finally arrive at the Pangong Lake, you will be lost in seeing the deep mesmerizing blue color. Don’t expect boating facilities here!
To visit this lake which is the world’s highest brackish lake at 14,256 feet (above sea level), you’ll have to undertake a 160 kms journey from Leh. Starting from Thicksey village, you will start crossing large mountain ridges that just don’t seem to end. And by the way, once the mountains start, even crossing distance worth 10 minutes can take you hours. The topography is harsh but breathtaking. Once you finally arrive at the Pangong Lake, you will be lost in seeing the deep mesmerizing blue color. Don’t expect boating facilities here!
Located in the border between India and Tibet, the Pangong Tso teases the traveler's heart with different hues and colors at different times of the day, depending on the sun's angle. This 140km long lake has a number of idyllic villages lines along it, mostly on the Tibetan side, and you can treat yourself to some nice local food while enjoying the panorama unfolding in front of your eyes.
The Pangong Tso is well known for changing its colors into different shades in a couple of minutes. So pray and hope it's a clear day on your trip to Pengong Tso. The blue of the lake will never let you leave the place. There is an arrangement of camping here too, and that might be a good experience, even though I went to the Pangong Tso lake and came back to Leh on the same day. Keep your eyes open throughout the Leh-Pangong Tso trip for wild horses, Pashmina goats and meadows.
The only place I have seen wherein the lake and the mountain has such a phenomenal relationship with each other.
Day 10, Bagful of pebbles & happy memories (3rd June, Pangong Tso); Distance Covered ~1970 kms As we woke up, found the sun shining bright and the lake appeared ever more glorious than yesterday. We wanted to freshen up fast but was unable to do so as water in the taps had frozen. So had to wait for hot water bucket to arrive & got ready quickly. The camp staff informed that the temperature had dipped below -3 degrees last night and it was quite normal around this time. We set off for the movie’s shooting site on the two bikes of Beauty (Tarun) & Anuj as it was 350 cc thunderbird which had enough fuel to reach Leh without refuelling. The shooting site was fascinating and scenic locale engrossed us with its beauty. I am at short of words to describe the splendid location which is the best location that I had visited till date. We were the crazy four on that secluded stretch giving our best shots & capturing memorable moments in our cameras. Memories that I will cherish for my entire life. The more time I spent there, the desire to stay there increased & I surely did not want to stay there just for a night but for more than that as this place had a seductive pull to keep every visitor hooked up to its beauty. We headed back to the Camp for the breakfast & tied our stuff on our bikes for heading back to Leh. There was no mobile connectivity in/around Pangong. Thus we were cut off from the world of FB, Whatsapp & other social media tools and thankfully so, as it allowed us to indulge in the serene beauty of Mother Nature, which very few fortunate people are able to experience. I wanted to call Papa from the lake front and inform them about this amazing place on earth & that they should visit here soon. I was glad that I did not accompany them to Australia as the road running parallel to the lake was thousand times more mesmerizing than the Great Ocean Road. One has to visit this amazingly beautiful place to witness how beautiful our country is & that we are unaware of such locales which can happily surprise us. In the words of Pico Iyer –‘We travel initially to loose ourselves and we travel, next to find ourselves.’ After losing myself here, I began my return journey & hoped come back soon with my beloved wife. We did not take many halts on our way back to compensate for the late start. Unfortunately, Maneesh met a freaky accident where a rock rolled down the hills to hit his bike and making him fall. Unfortunately we had just advanced ahead of him after the hydration break when this incident happened. Thankfully his bike wasn’t damaged much & he wasn’t hurt seriously either. As we waited for him around 2 kms ahead from that place, he came screaming at us for not being there when he was lying on the road. We felt sorry about the situation and tried to cool him down by joking about the incident. He was cool enough to take it sportingly and we moved ahead after a short break. En route we saw the dismantled parts of a bus which had fallen off the hill above. It was scary to visualise the fall into the valley from the road atop. We tried to ride safely and reached Leh around late afternoon & stopped at Karu to have our lunch at the road side dhaba. Some of the riders planned to visit the Hemis Monastery which was 10 kms away from Karu (45kms from Leh) and we four also agreed to join. We took a detour to visit the biggest & richest monastery in the region. This place also hosts the Annual Hemis festival which is one of the key festivals of the region. It also has a museum which houses a collection of ancient remnants like the statue of Buddha made of copper, stupas made of gold and silver & several sacred Thangkas, murals and various artifacts were preserved there. As we moved out of to continue our journey to Leh, found Rahul (‘missing’) stranded with his bike and waiting for help. We checked his bike to find a minor electrical problem and the fuse needed to be replaced. It was sad to know that the innocent rider was unaware about the location of fuse box which is a very elementary part that every rider should have known. We replaced the damaged fuse with a new one & his bike was ready to move. It seemed that he was still unhappy with his bike’s performance as it was on day 1 and also clueless about whom to hold responsible for it, perhaps needed to introspect his actions too. Each once of us had taken due care to ensure that our bikes were serviced by experienced mechanics, which perhaps he had failed to do & was facing issues frequently. On reaching Leh we four headed straight to the bike washing centre. Though I was reluctant to clean my machine because I felt that the dirt & mud stuck all over the bike narrated the ride story in its unique way. In the words of a rider, the dirt signifies your experience and should always be there to narrate the ride story. Still went ahead to clean it up to avoid any chance of break down which clould have been caused by the dirt. Another reason was that, I along with every other rider was hopeful to be able to cover the Manali route & wanted to have our bikes at its thumping best. After the wash I got waited for fellow bikers who were getting their bike checked from a famous local mechanic Mohan Sharma. Although I was sure that my bike was roaring at its best, still wanted to be doubly sure so asked him to scan through my machine & he reassured that all was fine. Since this stay at Leh was not planned in our itinerary, so our hotels were far away and we four had put up at Hotel Jorchung where our dinner was served. Over dinner, we came to know about the bad news that the Manali road wasn’t open for bikers & we had to take the same route (Srinagar) back to Delhi, which was less alluring now. We had our dinner at the hotel where an unpleasant heated discussion among some riders which was an unpleasant incident & felt pity for them who wasted their energies on fighting over smaller issues rather than making the most out of every moment. Perhaps this was also a test of its kind which every rider goes through in such long rides.
A 6 hour treacherous drive from Leh town and you reach this oh so magical place. Nestled between the mountains, the water changes its colour depending on the position of the sun. 25% of the water body lies in India and the rest in China. The water is so so freezing cold, it took me all my guts to get my hand in water. And guess what?! My hand turned RED due to the cold water. Seriously, don’t even try to do that. Ever. How much ever tempting it looks.
When we left Tangste, Change of guard had already happened between the dusk and the night. The road ahead was like a runway and we were cruising at a good speed to reach our Campsite until James had a brainwave. “Arrey hum log itni jaldi camp mein jakar kya karengey. Challo 3 Idiots point par jakar thodi der baithte hain” When Singhey and the gang tried to reason out with him saying its pitch dark and it’s not allowed to go that side at night, James had his argument ready. “Arrey mein pichle mahine hi yahan aaya tha. Mujhe raasta pata hai. Woh ekdum 3 Idiots ke point pe le kar jaayega.” And so his confidence won over our doubts. He claimed to know the way all the way down to the 3 Idiots point. But he forgot it was a pitch dark night, where we could only hear the whispers of the lake but couldn’t see the whispering lips. We tried to follow the trail going to the lake beach. But couldn’t reach. Got stuck in sand dune. Had to dhakka maro. Almost did an action scene of jumping off the cliff into the lake but got saved in the nick of the moment. After braving the cold for an hour, we decided to move into the warm confinement of our campsite – The nature’s Nest. The Camp owner was Jimmy’s friend, so were treated like kings. The bonfire and the booze added to the magic. Gujju boys from Mumbai, who were on their Ladakh trip, tried hard to impress through their singing and dancing. But I was too tired to oblige them. After a hearty dinner I called it a night. My tent had all what I needed – warm and comfortable bed. Next morning when I woke up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My eyes, mind, time and everything else froze. It was the most tantalizing sight I had ever seen. Flat, calm, unending it was so impossibly beautiful that I actually sat down by its water for some time to accept that it was not a dream. I was confused. How can reality be better than dream? How can so much beauty fit into one frame? How can there be so many shades of blue? Staring at Pangong Lake I drifted into a state of blissful delirium. Probably this is what ‘discovering life’ means. It is one of those places where nature gets to paint its own verse on its own canvas, words can never do justice to the beauty of this lake. Pangong Tso, literally means “enchanted lake”. It is a salt water lake which freezes over in winter but throughout summer and autumn, becomes a tapestry of blue. It usually reflects around 7 shades of blue, from violet, purple, cerulean, indigo, royal blue, navy blue, sea-foam green, turquoise and many more. Once 100% ours but after the Sino-Indian war, 60% of this lake is in Tibet. While I was gazing at God’s beautiful work of art, I saw Ladakhi nomads rearing their dzos (cross between cows and yaks). After marvelling at God’s painting, that he had left for drying, for couple of hours and getting the mandatory photo ops, we decided to start our backward journey to Leh. We left the camp at 12:30 pm. Our next stop was the 3 Idiots Point (yes, the same point that we could not find the night before). It was a point swarmed by hordes of tourists. Mostly domestic tourists Thanks to 3 idiots, Pangong Tso was put on the national must-see list and increased the GDP of Ladakh by 25%. And the proof of its influence is in your face. Every single café pays “tohfa Kabul karo jahanpanha” homage to 3 Idiots by using Rancho or 3 Idiots reference in their restaurants branding. We enjoyed our lunch at the Golden restaurant, facing the sparkling Pangong Tso View Point. The lady serving the lunch had a pretty face and a million dollar smile. She alone was serving all the guests. Incessant tourist demands didn’t bother her. Her freckles made her look even prettier. We had the customary Himalayan lunch – Maggi, Chowmein, Thukpa, Daal-Chawal, boiled egg and Omelette with a very sweet chai. One thing I didn’t miss at Pangong was the absence of chips and thank god for that. Else, we would be seeing a packet of Lays flying over Pangong Tso instead of Bar Headed Goose or Brahmini Duck. It was after noon when we could manage to peel ourselves away from there. Jimmy rode his bike and we drove back in our muscular boy – Bolero. Being the peak season, the road was completely covered with tourist vehicles. More bikes than SUVs. Per Jimmy, everyday 400 taxis were ferrying around Pangong Tso Lake. Add hundreds of personal cars and bikes to that number. On our way back, I saw few people standing in the wild grass. They were feeding and taking pictures of the Himalayan marmots, adorable giant squirrels of Ladakh. They were cute, cuddly and not afraid of humans.
Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
While the trip to Nubra was more of a feel of a huge desert in between the mountains, the drive to Pangong is spotted with tiny meadows, a view of yaks grazing the fields, adorable Marmots coming out of the burrows to take a peak, and little ponds and streams flowing past you. And when you finally arrive at pangong, well the view is just breath taking. Tons of shades of blue that just sparkle in the broad day light. Camping here again is widely recommended.
Day 7 – Leh to Pangong Tso The road to Pangong Tso is very scenic, and takes you through the mighty Chang La pass, the ride is a challenging one and will test your limits, Once you cross the village of Shakti, the climb to Chang la starts , the gradient is steep and the roads bad. At the summit, there’s a coffee shop, some hot Maggi and a coffee are a welcome break from the cold Chang La. At 17800 ft, Chang La is the second highest pass in Ladakh. The road after the pass takes you to Tangtse, once you cross Tangtse the road is very scenic and you can spot some wildlife here, on the banks of the lake is Lukung where we take a break for the evening.
Day 8 | 9th August 2015 Check-out from our hotel in Leh and drive to Pangong Tso - my personal favorite destination in India. Pit stop at Chang La, the third highest pass in the world. Overnight camping on the shores of this enchanting blue lake. Drive Distance – 160 km Drive Time – 5 hours Day 9 | 10th August 2015 We check-out from our camp at Pangong Tso after breakfast and drive back to Leh. This would be our last night in Leh, so feel free to do whatever you want, be it exploring around, shopping or joining your trip leader as she heads to her favorite cafe in Leh. Overnight at Leh. Drive Distance – 160 km Drive Time – 5 hours
It is one of the most beautiful places in India but the serene tranquil Pangong Lake is not just a tourist’s paradise. It is also a geologist’s domain. And also, from the political perspective, this place is a melting pot of confusion and for sure it in no fun for the army in the biting cold to take care of the strategic landscape.
Simply no words to describe this place. Its the most beautiful place i have ever visited in my life. Although people may find it difficult to reach there because you have to pass through Chang-la a pass which is situated at about 17,586 ft from the sea level and one may suffer from breathing trouble and headache. So it is advised to take medication or have plenty of water to avoid these kind of situations. This place is also known for the shooting of Amir Khan's famous blockbuster 3Idiots.
This place is heaven on earth, such calm place and since it was winter there was no crowd also. If someone is looking for serenity, I believe this is the place to be. In order to reach Pangong one has to pass from world's third highest motor able road situated at almost 18,000 ft above sea level. But once you cross the pass, it is a sight to watch, the picturesque Changthang wildlife sanctuary and the small streams which have made their way into the sanctuary is pleasure to eye. The undulating plains and plain road, it was just in explainable feeling for the one who reaches that place, it can only be feel.
No words needed to describe it!
A 6 hour treacherous drive from Leh town via Chang La(world's 2nd highest pass 16,788 ft) and you reach this magical place Pangong. Nestled between the mountains, the water changes its colour depending on the position of the sun. 25% of water body lies in India and the rest in China. The Indo-China broder is 28 kms far from there. The water is so freezing cold, in winters the whole lake turns into solid ice form.
04-Sep-15 Leh-Pangong-Leh 320 Kms As the roads were too bad we chose to visit Pangong Tso in a Tempo Traveller. The route is through Chang La pass (17688 ft). Here you are bound to get a snow without fail. The landscape of Pangong Tso Lake in the backdrop of mountains was just stunning. No adjective can describe that beauty. The colour of the water keeps changing every minute as different shades of blue sometimes yellowish... just awesome. After around 3 pm the winds disturb the water so it’s advisable to reach there around noon. There are campsites available for stay at Pangong but the temperatures drop drastically in the night and the facilities are not so good.
I don’t know if there’s a similar 'multi-coloured' lake in the world. It actually changes colour depending on the angle, the weather and the time of day. Sometimes even multiples layers of colour can be seen in the water, as we were lucky to see. The gulls only add to its beauty. It’s said that Pangong, like Tso Moriri, may be a remnant of the ancient Tethys Sea that was pushed up by the Indian subcontinent to form the Himalayas. That makes it all the more enigmatic.
We reached Pangong just before sun set. The aqua blue-green lake is massive and is surrounded by high mountains on all sides. The shades of blue and brown were absolutely marvellous. I stared into the limitless horizon but the end of the lake was nowhere near. This natural marvel is located at a height of 14,300 ft and is 134 km long. 60 % of the lake lies in China and at its broadest point, it is 5 km wide !! Woah .. That is VAST ..We left our luggage in the vehicle and came to the shore to enjoy the dance of colours and click some awesome frame-worthy pictures. We then drove all the way along the lake to reach our camp. By the time we dumped our luggage and came out, it was already a bit dark. So we walked to the nearest point of the lake from our camp about 2 minutes away. There are some things which cannot be discussed or described in words. I quietly sat there, staring into the vast nothingness of the lake and enjoying the cool breeze from the lake. At this point I reminded myself, I may never come to Ladakh again and I was already sad that the trip was nearing its end. After dinner we gathered again in one of the tents and thoroughly enjoyed Uno and Bluff. The next morning on Day 5 we started our return journey to Leh and reached around evening.
Behold, the lake in all its majesty. The enormity of this lake is evidence enough for you to dedicate an entire day to this place.
How can anyone forget the famous Pangong lake!! Well, for those who do not have any clue of what I am talking about, its the lake featured in Bollywood movie '3 Idiots' climax scene. Reaching Pangong lake was not easy for me. I was on the Hilltop and evening had kicked in. It is always recommended not to ride in the mountains after getting dark. We reached Pangong about 12 midnight, and somehow managed to get a tent for the night.
The pristine lake
The short stretch of land jutting out into the lake that you see in the photograph is now known as the 3 Idiot's Point. It's not a mere coincidence that most of the photographs of Pangong are taken at this particular spot.
Day 11 - This is the day. Very much excited to visit this beauty " Pangong Lake ".Started at 8 and reached pangong around 6. On our way we got World's third highest pass - Changla.We stayed at camps here very much near to the lake. The lake is beauty,Sky decides the way it looks and water is very clear.now comes the craziest thing we did.Took a Dip in the lake and it was WOW !! Was frozen for a sec :D. Day 12 - Started from Pangong at 9 to reach Leh. On our way went to three idiots point at pangong lake. Stay at pangong - Royal Camp ( loved it )
Day 5 :- We booked a sharing cab last night from Leh main market area near by "Leh Jama Masjid" for Pangong Lake which is 140kms from Leh. One can also reach Pangong by rental bike.So we started around morning 8am from Leh for Pangong via Leh-Manali Highway. We reached Changla Pass after 80kms. Changla Pass is the 03rd Highest Motor-able Pass in the World at 17,590 ft. We took some pics and done with our breakfast there at the highest point and again started our journey. We reached Pangong Lake by 13:00pm in the afternoon and we gone straight to the lake which is fully blue in colour due to crystal clear sky reflection above it. We took Yak ride over there. Remember that Yellow Scooter of Kareena Kapoor in the movie 3 Idiots with her Red Helmet. Yes it is there and we took many pics of Pangong. 30% of this lake situated in India rest 70% is in China. There are nothing much to see but one if want can do night halt over there but we came back to our Hotel at Leh on the same day near around 20:00pm.Expenditure-Sharing Cab for Pangong - 1700/persons (same day return).Yak Ride - 100/personKareena Kapoor Scooty Ride - 50/personHotel at Leh - 600/room for 02 persons per night
Known as the Moon Lake too, this is one which is at a height of 4300 metres and is also the origin of the Chandra River. The lake is about kilometres from Kunzum Pass and a popular place among devotees. This is because this is said to be the same place from where Lord Indra had picked up Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas to take him on a journey to heaven. The picturesque sceneries and beauty of this place is mind blowing. The waters of this lake are deep blue and is surrounded by lush green grass. What is even better is that the waters are extremely clean unlike other general lakes that we see. The peaks surrounding this lake are even of around 3000 metres to 6300 metres and are namely the Moulkila and Chandrabhaga. You can come here from most other places of Himachal Pradesh even for some adventure camping. This was also known to be the halting area of traders once upon a time when they stopped here before moving ahead to Kunzum and Sarchu.
Lake Chandra TaalAfter having a breakfast of bread toast and a cup of tea we were on our way again by 8:30 and walked all the way down to Batal and had some light food at Batal chacha again. We took a ride back to Manali in a local traveller bus. It was a whole family which was going from Spiti to Keylong on a marriage ceremony. The driver agreed to drop us in the midway from where we could get the other bus. We interacted with the local people and they were very cool singing and dancing all the way on the local songs which we didn't understand a word. They also offered us food and local beer(desi) called Chung. I didn't like the food but beer was awesome.
Our tent We started trekking to Chadra Taal early in the morning at around 5 am. At this time of the season, there is sufficient light at 5:30 in the morning, so no torches were required. We reached the lake in an hour or so. Finally we were on our destination. The journey to it was hard and tiresome but it was worth it. The calm and serene view of the lake made us forget all our tiredness. We stayed there for a good half an hour, clicked some photographs and then returned to the camp.
A glimpse of the kind of road After we reached Batal, we had our lunch at the Chandra Taal Dhaba run by Batal Chacha and Chachi. The food was delicious. The camp for Chandra Taal is around 8 km from here. We started our trekking at around 5. We were lucky that we got another cab ride which was going to the camping site itself. It was a joyous ride in an open jeep. We reached the camp and stayed there at the Tanzing camp. The guy is good and provided good service. The per head cost for stay as well as dinner and breakfast was Rs 1000.
On day 3, we started early morning to Batal. Batal is good 120 km from Manali. It is advised to leave Manali by 6 in the morning because there is heavy jam at Rohtang pass crossing. Once you cross the checkpoint, there is a smooth and scenic ride for the next 30 km. After that the treacherous as well as adventurous ride started which lasted for 4 hours. Literally there is no road and the car moves entirely on kutcha road which are made worse by the nallahs. So, amateur riders are not at all advised and even experienced rider should consider wearing all the guards. Raincoat is a must as the weather is quite unpredictable.
We took the Manali route. It is a long journey of 15-16 hours from Delhi. So, I would recommend to take a comfortable volvo for a smooth ride.We reached Manali by 2 pm on the next day. We had already booked a hotel at Vashisht which is 3km from the Bus stand. We chilled in Vashisht on that day exploring the famous Vashisht temple where hot spring is there.We booked a cab from Manali on per seat basis to Batal. The best way to explore Manali and nearby areas including Spiti valley is by bike, but the rentals here are not that good. So, a personal vehicle is highly recommended.Things to do-1. If you wish to go to Rohtang pass or Spiti or Leh, then get a permit online in advance.2. The rentals are costly as well as have various conditions such as they rent bike minimum for 4 days and minimum 3 bikes and other conditions varying from person to person.3. The best way for a budget trip is to take a HRTC bus to BATAL and do trekking from Batal. The bus leaves early in the morning around 5-6 am.4. If you miss your bus, then go to Hotel Kiran near SBI bank. You can get a seat in a cab. All other options will be costlier. One must visit place is old Manali. It is 2-3 kms walk from the mall road and calm and peaceful place to hangout with friends. There are awesome riverside cafes where you can enjoy your soup or drink.Cafe 1947
We started our journey on 25th June, 2017. One can go to Chandra Taal by two ways, either from Manali or from Shimla. The buses are easily available for both Shimla as well as Manali from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Also, one can book buses from HRTC online website as well as from Redbus or Paytm. However, I would recommend to go by HRTC as sometimes private buses get cancelled.
We spotted some tents on the way and assumed Lake Chandratal was nearby, so we stopped near one of the tents and asked the gentleman sitting outside for directions. As per tourism guidelines, camping was not allowed within the lake's perimeters. We had to ride two kilometers ahead cutting a small mountain where several tourist SUVs were parked. After parking our bikes, I approached the drivers to ask about the whereabouts of the Lake as we still could not see anything in our vicinity that resembled one. As expected, we were told to trek 1km cutting the next mountain to reach the Lake, so we started walking. It took us 10 minutes to walk 50 steps in total which showed us how inactive we were. Hari was feeling ill at this point and Bob was dehydrated. After taking a few sips of glucose we had packed, we made it to Lake Chandratal. There she was, beautiful and blue, surrounded by endless mountains and greenery. We slowly got down and crashed on to the shore to regain our breaths back from the breathtaking view. I had never seen such clean, clear and pristine water anywhere before. I put my palm ever so subtly in it and stared at my reflection for some time. A bunch of thoughts gathered in my head. All the time I was feeling depressed and worried in the past, everything felt insignificant as I thought about my present state. My mind and body was in a tranquil state, something I had never felt before. Sadly, a tourist threw a rock in the water that broke my tranquillity. I stood up immediately and saw Hari laying down and heard Bob vaguely talking about pot. I checked my watch, it was 11:30 and it was time to go. We took a different path that lay behind the mountain for ease and hopped on our bikes, rode for one and a half hour to get back to the intersection that led to Kaza.Roads were again dreadful with endless hairpin turns and loose mud. But none of us were bothered anymore. We were back from a paradise heading to another. We saw bright beautiful peaks snow white and glistening while riding ahead.Bob spotted a white Gompa surrounded by huge Buddhist flags with a path leading to it from afar. I assumed it was Kunzum Mata and as we closed in, my assumption became surety. Kunzum Mata is a holy shrine that lies in the midway of Batal and Losar. Legend states that the people travelling from either side are bound to make a full circle following the path around it for good luck. Failing to do so usually turns into a catastrophe. Us being three agnostics was one thing, but the roads we had seen so far instilled the need of faith in our mind. We made a full circle and spent some time feeling the strong winds circulating from the snowy mountain tops surrounding the place. Our next stop was Losar, and according to the hosts in Batal, the roads were to become way better beyond Losar heading towards Kaza.
6. Land of Spiti Valley- ChandrataalThere are a few of us for whom mountains are like second home. That's because we went there once, and left a part of ourselves behind. If you are anything like me, and are in love with the mountains, then there is one heavenly place you must visit: Spiti Valley. Spiti is situated at an altitude of 14,500 ft above sea level. The ever-changing hues of the barren mountains is a sight to behold.
Visit Chandratal via Kunzum Pass and enjoy the day thereCamps are about 2.5 KMs from the lake, either stay there or back to Battal where there is a PWD rest house now though without electricity. But, no point going back a painful ride to Losar over Kunzum Pass unless you want to stay in guest house with electricity. Better stay at Battal and save time as well as energy for next day.About 4 – 5 Hrs drive minimumOvernight at Battal or Chandratal CampsDay 9 | Battal / Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali
Finally we were at the Chandratal lake and I must say the lake looks much more sublime than in the photos. It is worth travelling on a dangerous road and experiencing the chilling waves, harsh sunlight and all the discomforts. We stayed at the lake for an hour and then started our backward journey to reach the camp since we had to reach Manali by the evening.We reached our camp, took our rucksacks and started walking to the Batal to catch the bus coming from Kaza. Since I already told there is only one bus from Kaza to Kullu and it reaches Batal between 1-2 pm, so we didn’t have much time to spend in other activities. We reached Batal at around 2 pm but the bad news was that the bus had left Batal half an hour ago. We had no option than to wait for hitchhiking. Luckily we found someone returning from Kaza and going to Manali with an empty Traveller coach. He allowed us to join him and our journey to Manali began.
Our trip’s greatest delight was an early morning trek to ChandraTal Lake. ChandraTal Lake is situated at an altitude of 14100 feet and is popularly known as the Moon lake. We stayed in the camp for a night and started from the camp base at morning 4 am to climb up towards the lake.
You can start very early next morning to either go back to Manali via the Kunzum and Rohtang passes, or you can take another detour to visit the enchanting Chandratal Lake, situated at almost 13500 ft. After Kunzum pass, which is the highest pass in this route, if you take the bifurcation from Batal you will soon find yourself in the camping site near Chandrataal. You can rest a bit and visit the lake in the late afternoon, which is around 3 km away. The car has to be parked in a place marked for that purpose, and from there the lake is a short and leisurely walk. Besides the main moon-shaped blue lake, which is the starting point of the famous Chandra river (that later becomes the ChandraBhaga also known as Chenab, after joining Bhaga river in Tandipule near Keylong), there are many other smaller water bodies. A camp stay in the camping site is a must in the Chandratal Lake, if you want to enjoy the tranquillity of the place and also want to view the lake in early morning light.
Day 5 : Kaza to Manali via Chandrataal (260 km) This has to be undoubtedly, the most thrilling day; handsdown!From the beginning of trip we were fed horror stories on Kunzum pass and pagal Nallah, about how they have overpowered travelers to succumb to their will often.But we were positive, as we had left on time, and the breathtaking views provided the fortitude to carry on steadfast:
Once we reached the camping spot, some locals approached us to know if we need any camping stuff or help in setting up the tents. We politely refused thinking we are well equipped. Little did we know that these are the guys we would need to approach once we realise our lack of preparedness and information that we managed for a trip like this. It was a bright cool day and since it was August, we never even thought that we need to get scared and respectful of the night at such towering heights.
The first thing was undoubtedly visiting Chandratal Lake, which is totally off the route for some 16 kms, 16 kms of pure serenity, including another big Nala which I was so anxious to cross. Fate stole it from us as the roads were blocked due to heavy snow and the only way was to trek for a good 7-8 kms which the majority wasn’t willing to. We made our next stop at Kunzum Pass 15,059 feet above sea level, did a Parikrana of the ‘temple’ there and moved on towards Losar. On our way we witnessed a beautiful meadow, which was off the way but we rode over it, parked our bikes and once again were amused by the beauty of everything we saw. All our fatigue vanished, ironically by jumping, shouting and rolling on the grass there! After all we were in Spiti Valley. We could see the landscapes painted by nature itself. In a while we started rolling again and stopped at Losar for security check and a brief lunch. That’s where the welcome board to Spiti Valley was put as the civilization starts from that village. There were proper constructed roads from there and what we witnessed while riding through the valley was something that could only be seen in dreams, in fact even better. Lush green grasslands, meandering streams, towering snow clad peaks, formidable mountains of different colours. The landscapes were such that for a moment I left my belief of the journey being bigger than the destination behind and got lost in the surroundings. The distance of 58 kms from Losar to Kaza could have been easily covered in an hour because of the beautiful roads but it took us over 3 hours as we couldn’t stop ourselves from stopping every few kms. And we can’t blame ourselves either. On our way a kid who was rearing sheep, stopped me and asked for the time and for chocolates if I had any. I did, and I gave him all of them. He spoke to me in English! We reached Kaza by evening and stayed there for the night.
It works like Ganga, washes all the pain(physical and mental) :) #ChandraTaal #Lake #Spiti #Himachal #LiveLife #Travel
The mesmerizing beauty of the landscape makes 12 km frantic walk to Chandratal from Kunzum pass, a pleasurable one. It gives you a feel of walking into wilderness and the glimpse of the blue lake makes it all the way more fascinating.PS: Can you spot people in this pic??
If you ever had a dream of going to a place which you can truly call being 'In the middle of nowhere', Chandratal lake trek is the place for you. It's a 12 km easy trek from Kunzum pass but it can give you a tough time because of its high altitude. Kunzum Pass is located at 15,060 feet while Chandratal Lake is at 14,100 feet. The trek starts from a gradual ascend and then number of ascends and decends. Just after 15-20 mins of trekking, you can have a first glimpse of the lake. It looks like a small blue water drop in the middle of desert mountains. The beauty of the landscape keeps you spell bound throughout the trek but the charm of the trek is in the mesmerising view of barren mountains and the glimpse of the blue lake which you keep on seeing throughout the trek. It makes you feel that the lake is pretty near to you but it actually takes 4-5 hours of trekking with normal speed to reach up to the lake. The first 3 hours of trek takes you through the barren mountains and then to rocky path. After crossing this, you see a stream which is going all the way to the lake.
3rd July :- At night I felt severe back pain & was not able to sleep. This was the first time I had back pain in my life, so I didn't know how to deal with it. I barely slept for 2-3 hours. In the morning the pain was less so I decided to continue my journey. The weather was fantastic with clouds moving in the mountains. I reached kunzum pass at around 11A.M. From there I had to go for a 12 kms solo trek. It was drizzling at that time & the beauty of the place cannot be described in words ( I think pictures can help). I completed the trek in 3 hours & it was an amazing experience. I could see big glaciers and river beds from the distance. I reached Chandratal at 2 P.M & there I met 3 locals who came there to enjoy the day. I joined them & roamed around the place for 4 hours. As it is on much higher altitude( 4300 m) than other places so it was getting very cold and windy in the evening. The lake guard was relative to one of the member, so we enjoyed tea at his camp near the lake. The campsite is 3 kms from the lake. One of the campsite owner was friend to the locals, we went there & enjoyed the meal & I also got a tent to sleep. The camp owner was going to Manali the next day in his pick up truck. So I decided to join him with couple of other people. The night was windy & chilly & we had to left for Manali at 5:30 A.M.
P.S. The lesser mortal in me chose to leave a part of myself there by making the eight -stone structure of small stones in the lake. The mini stone structures are a common sight in Spiti which was earlier used to mark ways for fellow trekkers to follow.Himachal Diaries is a series of some short and some long blogs from my recent 10-day trip to Himachal with four of my friends. The multiple blogs will cover places we saw, people we met, funny experiences and some instances which amuse us at a personal level. This is part three of the Himachal Diaries series, Hope you enjoy, feedback welcome!
There is a huge difference between a tourist and a traveller. A Tourist sees what he knows; a traveller sees what he wants.This was my first trip made solo as a traveller and not a mere tourist. Spiti was a place that I came to know about a year ago. It’s enchanting and breathtaking views clogged me to it. It developed a strong urge within to visit this untouched valley and explore it.Being an amateur, and my zeal of making that first solo trip; Spiti was my aimed destination. To begin with the geographical settings and forecast- Spiti is situated in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name "Spiti" means "The Middle Land", i.e. the land between Tibet and India. The Spiti Valley is also known as “Cold Desert” valley located high in the Himalaya Mountains.The valley and surrounding region is one of the least populated regions in India. The route starts from Keylong via the Rohtang Pass or Kunzum Pass respectively. The capital is Kaza Village which is situated along the Spiti River at an elevation of about 12,500 feet (3,800 m) above sea level.The Rohtang Pass, at 13,054 feet (3,979 m), separates Lahaul and Spiti from the Kullu Valley. Lahaul and Spiti are cut off from each other by the higher Kunzum Pass, at 15,059 feet (4,590 m). A road connects the two divisions, but is cut off frequently in winter and spring due to heavy snow.The climatic conditions, no doubt is very cold. The oxygen level up there gradually reduces as you go higher from 8,000- 10,000 ft. People tend to get high altitude sickness/ Mountain sickness due to this. Symptoms are high body temperature, severe headache, chest pain, vomiting, lack of sleep, fatigue and nausea. Do not ignore these signs and remedies are must for this.This basically happens due to body not receiving the actual amount of oxygen that it is used to. Hence for your body to adapt to this environmental change, we need to take care in following ways:Drink lots of water (As water is the source of oxygen, also use with Electral/ Glucon-D etc)Diamox (Medicine, highly used for acute mountain sickness/ Doctor prescribed is preferred)Do Not exhaust more, walk slowly, maintain your calmness, no fast breathing.Enough of the Specs and facts, but this was the information gathering that I did to know more about Spiti. But let me tell you, the actual experience was just so different than the Spiti I imagined. Be ready to get amazed because it is just so much more that you see in the usual pictures that you google for Spiti.I went for a 6day trip starting from Manali-Spiti-Manali. The group was so diverse, people from different professional background came together due to a similar interest. No one knowing each other till the day of the trip. Our trip started from 7th September. Moreover I was worried initially about the “No connectivity and network” issues and “rugged terrain”. Little was I to know that these were the only things that made the journey so worthwhile.From Manali via Rohtang Pass which took around 8 hours to reach Chandra Taal. We passed areas of Batal and Chatru, where we took a short break for tea at the only dhaba we found on the way.CHANDRA TAAL:We reached to a base camp which is around 3kms away from Chandra Taal. The night we spend camping and star gazing. And what a splendid view to just look above in the sky. A sky so clear. A sky just so clustered with stars. You can also recognize constellations and stars. Early morning wakeup was just so thrilling. We woke up to the view of snow cladded mountains from our tent and the sunrays getting stronger and brighter. Temperature was too low. We all turned purple just as we removed our gloves and caps. The camp provided tea and omelet bread which was highly needed. Thanks to the NOMADIC CAMP.From the camp we need to reach a motorable track, later we need to cover 1 km in foot to reach the lake. The first scenic view we visited was of the Chandra Taal Lake.This lake is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 meters (14,100 ft). Mountains overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque presents a view on the other. The lake is known for the Full Moon beauty that is reflected in this lake during the night. Also in the day time, the lake is known to change its color depending upon the sky color.At first even I was assuming that how is this possible, but when we were reaching the lake it was a little greyish in color. We all just spend some time there roaming around and clicking pics. Suddenly we just saw the lake and OMG the lake was blue in color. Later the border turned green. It was definitely the reflection of sky, but this is just the beauty of the nature that we can simply be amazed of.The lake can be visited only during (June- September) months. For the rest of the season, the lake remains cut off and frozen.KUNZUM PASS:Moving ahead from Chandra Taal, we visited the highest peak “Kunzum Pass” (4551 meters) where the locals believe to pray by performing a respectful circuit of the stupas strewn with fluttering prayer flags at the top before continuing down into Spiti.KAZA:From Kunzum we moved ahead for Kaza. The journey was of around 75kms. In Between we had a halt at Lossar to have something for lunch.Moving ahead from Lossar, you will come along very amazing and picturesque views of the Valley which seriously will keep you wondering. The most apt dialogue one guy in our group said was ”YAAR AB KYA HUM JAAN DE DE KYA YE NAZARE DEKH DEKH KE”. It’s the exact definition of the nature that you will witness. Speechless it was to look out of the window. Where ever you see, you will always be surprised. You will see the amazing mountain structures which will spellbound you.Along we just came along with a road so amazing in the valley base.Very beautiful view it was. And we just jumped of the car and just clicked pictured like crazy people giving crazy poses.Moving ahead we visited small habitants of Haal Village, Rangrik , Kyurik, Syurik Villages which had their own small monasteries. Here we finally got to see some greenery due to the vegetation the farmers do. But yet again the villages are just spread across 8-10 houses.We had a view of the very famous (KYE-Monastery) along the path. The setting sun rays just illuminated the view. But our next stop was Kaza Village. It is known to have the highest altitude situated post office and petrol pump in the World. Our stay was in Zostel. It was a very nice setup made for the travelers to have a pleasant stay in such environment. Good dormitory with common room to enjoy indoor games and some area to just chill out. Finally here you can have some varieties of food.KOMIC VILLAGEFinally having a sound sleep in Kaza , the next day we began our journey to visit Komic Village. This village is known as the highest village in the World with population around 114 people in area of 100kms. This village has a monastery about 1000 years old. Many fossils were found by the locals. This bears some civilisation history. Today we were not feeling any health issue as we were having lots of water. Also our body adapted to the climate.Lang Zha:Returning from Komic we visited Lang Zha village. This place we witnessed different kinds of birds. This place is known for amazing Buddha stupa located at the mountain top which is just so beautiful.Kye Monastery:Next stop was the Kye Gompa, the history of this monastery you can read at its entrance. This is the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist Monastery close to Spiti River. The structure is splendid as it is built across a mountain top. It is a religious training center for Lamas. It reportedly had 100 monks in 1855. The amazing thing is the travellers can stay in the monastery with the monks and also share their kitchen and have a chit chat chai with them.It was real divine experience to see the monks habitat and school etc. Also the peace that you receive there is priceless. It’s always that the one’s who has very less to give, only have their Big Heart. The people were that welcoming and always smiling. I can come now any number times and spend a part of my life in this great hidden valley which has so much amazed me.We left the place with all the beauty always remaining fresh in our memories. Though we cannot capture everything in camera because:Spiti for me is not just a place to visit. But an experience to be lived.Travel Courtesy:The Weeknders Group: Akanksha, NishantDriver: Sanju Bhaiya
We finally reached Chandratal. As per the latest government rules camping is not allowed near the lake. You can take your vehicle up to a certain point, from where its less than an hours trek to the lake. At this height due to lack of oxygen you tend to get exhausted very easily, so make sure you carry some water. The moment you get the first glimpse of the lake you will realize it was all worth it. Its just beautiful, its surreal and difficult to explain. I believe India is full of beautiful places but its sad we Indians don't preserve the beauty. Such places which are difficult to access are fortunately still preserved. The water in the lake is crystal clear and you will get to see shades of blue depending upon the sun light. As it was really cold there nobody dared to go in the water. Its not a crowded place at all but you will still manage to see few people around the lake. People who have been to Pangong lake in Leh ladakh, you would find this like its mini version. We sat there for around 1-2 hours had a nice time, clicked numerous pictures and started back.
The 6th day was for Chandratal, another blissful, Not at all, I would say “Dar ke aage Chandratal Hai”. The roads were so adventurous; it didn’t allow me to leave the rear grab handle of the car. After trekking of 1 KM, we reached our destination “Chandratal”. I was continuously taking short breaths; suddenly I glanced at Chandratal. The aerial view of Chandratal made me feel so composed. I would say, I was blessed by the nature. I had never seen something so magical.
Day 8: Losar To Chandratal (3 Hours; 38Kms)
One of the most beautiful lakes in the entire world.
Tread the treacherous road -- the road from Batal, the last inhabited point before Chandratal is nothing but lethal -- that leads to the Chandratal Lake and absorb the splendid view whilst taking deep breaths! Do remember to keep your jaw from falling off and hitting the ground! The view of the river bed and the glaciers on the far off mountains is breath-taking. Meditate, take a walk around the lake or pitch your tent - the lake is a spectacle to behold! If you have days in hand, then a trek from Sooraj Tal to Chandra Tal - or the other way round - could give you the adrenaline boost you had always been anticipating.
Stayed in Zamaica Camps , chilling again :-D
At an altitude of 4300 mts. Chandra Taal lake is an unclaimed lake in the Spiti valley. The open sky, the lake that freezes at night, temperatures dropping to -7 degrees in mid June and an unforgettable journey to the lake. It is a guaranteed life changing location. The water of the lake shines blue in the afternoon and translucent in the morning sky reflecting the whole surroundings like a mirror. The lake stretches upto about 2 kilometers. If you’re an adventurer you might want to visit before the roads are open to tourism. Tourism allows a lot of camps near the lake. Going there before any one will fill you with a sense of pride. You will be lost in the vastness of the mountains with complete ecstasy. You can choose to take a guide along with you to make the journey safer and simpler or leave the guide and the comfort behind to really explore and connect with yourself on a deeper level. The choice is yours to make! Some do’s and don’ts in and around the lake for your safety: DON'T: • Try to swim in the lake; There have been reported deaths of people who have tried to. • Litter; Let’s help preserve whatever’s left of our beautiful planet. • Trek under influence of alcohol. You need to have massive control over your body. DO: • Take a lot of food with you, it is most important. • Take all necessities from a knife to whatever you think will keep you safe, cowdung kerosene and matchboxes are a must, to cook and stay warm. • Carry the warmest jacket you have. • Have the proper gear to trek through snow, water and sludge. • Stargaze; The best view you can get of the infinite space! • Carry music; The silence really is deafening! Here is a list of things necessary for camping: Dried Cowdung+Kerosene+Lot of Matchboxes(Lighters don't work)+Dry twigs(Found near the lake-the dry bushes with purple flowers) Gloves+Cap+Windcheater(Basically everything of the warmest kind, but just the necessary ones, You want to keep your bags light) Torch+Knife A pan+A plate+forks+Maggi+Coffee/milk/sugar sachets+Chocolates(Lots of)+Anything else full of carbs+A lot of water+Local alcohol(Ignore the taste/Drink for keeping warm) Camera+Music+Two walking sticks(Helps for walking on snow and sluge) Tent+Sleeping bags(With mattresses)+Paper soap+Medicines
Mt CB 13 or Mt Chandrabhaga 13 is a magnificent peak on the Dhaka glacier that is visible from Chandertal. Oh that night, I can still recall the quiver of that chilled and breezy night. The day started very early with a lot of zeal and exhilaration for the journey ahead. As we started from Manali a lot of conjectures were ripping up in our minds as to what the valley would unfold. But nature had other plans for us; the route to the Chandrataal base camp was perhaps one of the most bumpy ride I had ever undertaken. At one point of time I was pondering if it was better for me to get an helmet before boarding the Sumo we took for the jaunt(Arpan surely will agree to it) . At last after a gruesome drive of near about eight hours were at the camp site. It was gloomy by the time we landed there. Wearied by the elongated and strenuous journey there was no vigor left in us to do any kind of activity; all we wanted was a hot meal to suppress our hunger and our tents to respite. Well as they say that “what we expect is not what we get and what we get always comes out of the blue. The open sky above was what made our day; it seemed to have eased our hunger and fatigue. It literally reminded me of the rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle little star, like a diamond in the sky” but a million diamonds were in the sky. To be precise it was one of the unblemished skies I had ever seen, something untouched by what we call effluence. Sometimes I feel that some places on this earth should be kept as they are virgin; without roads, without easy accessibility as their beauty is to be fostered that way and we humans living in th concrete jungle have elapsed what nature and mother earth has to offer. Standing beneath that sky and with the Mt CB13 in front it was imperative for us to capture that beauty; and the rest as we say is history.
The lake is situated at an altitude of 14,100 ft. in Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. It's an amazing destination for trekking and camping. We started our journey from Manali crossing Rohtang pass and entering into Lahaul and Spiti district. The offroading experience with Chandra river flowing along makes it a memorable journey. Once you reach Batal, you can trek for almost 14 kms to the lake. The magnificent view of lake and the crystal clear water and heavenly sky reflection in water vanishes all the tiredness of trek on barren mountains. Camping in the extreme cold gives a thrilling experience. It's a paradise on earth, totally Worth a visit...!!!
17th Aug: Gemur to Chandertaal (7 hours) Drive to Chandartaal lake. Surrounded by snows and acres of scree, this deep blue-water lake has a circumference of2.5 k.m. This is the source of the river Chandra. According to some believers, this is the spot from where the god Indra''s chariot took Yudhishtra to ''Swarga'' (Heaven) in his mortal form. Accomodation: Camping crew will pitch tents for overnight stay
1700 hrs: Have lunch near Dal Lake, proceed for Shikara Ride (Lunch @2500 for 6, two shikaras @ INR 600)
Those who are looking for a spot to refresh your senses and unwind in some fresh air away from the pollution, a shikara ride in Dal Lake of Srinagar would be an icing on the cake for them. Famed as the Jewel of Srinagar, Dal Lake is also one of the famous offbeat honeymoon destinations in India.Best Time To Visit: AugustOther Things To Do: Hari Parbat, Floating Garden and Kayaking. 18. The Ever-Beautiful Taj Mahal In Agra, Uttar Pradesh
When we think of Kashmir, the first thing that comes to our Mind is 'Houseboats'. Staying on a Houseboat means like living in Paradise, an experience one is not likely to find anywhere else on the surface of the earth. In the evening, enjoy a romantic Shikara ride on the Dal lake. Overnight in Srinagar. (L, D)You can stay at-
Dal LakeHave always heard about Kashmir’s Dal Lake – either, parents have always spoken about this one place or it has been made tremendously popular with the numerous movies & songs shot here. Truly scenic, Dal Lake could definitely do with some less crowd to preserve its natural beauty. Nevertheless, the lake surrounded by towering mountains on three sides is scattered with colourful & brightly painted shikaras all along it - the most unique feature of the lake being the floating market. There would be shikaras rowing all the way up to you giving you options of buying veggies & flowers, shawls & souvenirs or just wearing the already-worn-a-million-times traditional Kashmiri attire & pose for a snap. Don’t forget to grab some kulfi from a vendor sailing by!Mughal GardensShalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Chashme Shahi & Pari Mahal, together form the touristy Mughal Gardens in and around the Dal Lake. All of them are pretty botanical gardens built during the Mughal times, blooming with roses, the hundred odd years old traditional Chinar trees, refreshing fountains & natural springs, making it a perfect picnic spot for a bright Sunday afternoon. Kashmir for foodies!How can you travel to Kashmir & not taste the rich & regal Kashmiri kahwa – light liquor tea drenched with dry fruits – clearly tea for the rich, what with one small ‘paper’ cup costing some 30 bucks.For dinner, we zeroed in on ‘Mughal Darbar’. Mughal Darbar is to Kashmir what Peter Cat is to Kolkata, Britannia to Mumbai & Kareem’s to Delhi – old, traditional, authentic, oozing with culture & lots of food! Being thorough carnivours, we ordered the Kashmiri Wazwan – a state of the art dish with various kinds of meat preparations served on a heap of rice. Guests sit together & share this meal, out of a large plate. Apparently the original Wazwan is supposed to have around 36 courses – after this, all I could say was...burrrp!
Now the best at the end. Dal Lake might as well be a geological monument given its characteristics and location, making it the most important lake in India. Surviving the city of Srinagar, this lake has become a part of the culture, history and future of Kashmiris. With floating gardens that feed the population, to a circumference decorated with historical buildings such as Hari Parbat, Shankaracharya Mandir, Hazratbal Dargah and Chashme Shahi, the Dal Lake stands as the last surviving symbol of secularism in Kashmir. The lake also serves as a flood lung of the life-giving Jhelum river that flows through the entire Kashmir valley. During severe winter, this lake freezes, and delivers its ice surface as a field for sports such as ice hockey.
Dal Lake - a must visit place when u'r in Srinagar...its one of the most colorful sites you'll ever see...all these beautiful houseboats and Shikaras spread all around you in the middle of a beautiful green valley! Must see places in Dal Lake (yes you read it right - there are places to be seen within this hugeeeee lake) - Floating Gardens, Meena Bazar, Golden Lake area
Iconic exclusive of Kashmir---the Shikara ride, a blissful experience of floating on the waters of Dal Lake where pics can be taken wearing traditional costumes.You can get to see a number of house boats (of course from outside) and you can also stay in one :) . The ride includes Shopping at meena bazaar on Dal Lake where saffron to shawls,general provisions to medicines can be got and the catch is, all the shops are on water (shop boats).And the price is much cheaper when compared to any other place in the entire trip.
A NIGHT STAY IN THE HOUSEBOATS OF DAL LAKE AND EXPLORING THE FLOATING MARKETS IS A MUST DO IN SRINAGAR
I read somewhere that staying at a houseboat is not recommended due to filthy Dal Lake, mosquitoes around and dependency on shikara guys if you have to go and explore the city, but I chose to stay at a houseboat and it turned out to be brilliant experience. The vintage houseboats with hand carved designs, royal interiors and magnificent view of snow clad mountains and lake makes you forget all chaos of your metropolitan life and you wish to stay here forever. The cold breeze you feel while sitting outside the houseboat at night is so majestic, the view of Dal Lake and mountains in sunrise was just spellbound that I kept on looking at it jaw dropped and forgot to capture. *Oops..!!!* Shikara ride on Dal lake is a "must do" thing. Shikara guy shows the various spots in Dal lake including Floating market which was an unusual and pleasant site.
Topping my list of places to visit; we headed out straight for the Shikhara ride on the wee hours of the morning. Facing the twinkling yellow lights from wooden cottages, yawning my way up I saw a mesmerising sunrise- big and bright with a splash of purple and pink across the sky.
1. Dal Lake – I have not experienced anything as beautiful as the Dal Lake in my life. It is not just because of its splendor, but because of the amount of adventures I have had there. In my three years in Srinagar, I have made the most memories in the Dal Lake. It has so much life to it. Sitting in a Shikara, listening to the water splashing against the oar, and looking at the mountains visible at a distance, there is no better meditation than this. The experience is enhanced at night, under the moon, the darkness, and the quietness. The Shikara moves along the lined up houseboats – well decorated floating abodes – and moves towards the exquisite garden of Char Minar and further takes you through a floating garden of the lotus flower. After you have relished the peacefulness and natural beauty, the royal boat then takes you to the market and colony built on the lake waters. The whole experience is overwhelming and romantic. Spend a night in one of the extravagant houseboats. Watch the setting of sun as you enjoy a beer in peace or in company. Dal Lake also offers some water sports like water skiing and kayaking.
Another option for either the luxury or budget traveller is renting a houseboat on Srinigar’s Dal Lake. Sitting on the deck of a houseboat is an invitation to relax. For those inclined to watch birds, the lake offers some prime birding with swarms of eagles and multiple varieties of kingfishers and waterfowl to gaze at. For those who don’t care to watch birds, the enchanting and varied bird songs deliver a charming soundtrack that naturally invites peace and calm. The houseboats on Dal Lake are parked, but that isn’t much of a problem. For the adventurous, canoes are provided for those wanting to explore the labyrinthine maze of waterways that cut through islands of vegetation. And for the laidback traveller, there’s never a shikara (brightly coloured gondola-like passenger boat) far away to paddle you around the lake on a romantic “Venice in India” boat tour.
If coming to Kashmir, then a visit to Dal Lake is a must. As I drove to the lake, got down from the car and stood on the pavement bordering the lake, I took in the panoramic view. It left me awestruck. The huge lake with the countless shikaras in the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains created an enigmatic view. Quintessentially as I took a ride in the shikara, the cost of the boat ride depends on the type of boat we opt for. There are beautifully decorated manual boats called shikaras as well as motorized boats. The prices depend according to season from 300Rs to 800Rs. I found myself skirting through narrow lanes, as there were markets and restaurants, sprawling beside me in the lake. It was like a little town was floating on the lake which in turn created a Venetian experience.
Top of my list of places to visit had to be The Dal Lake, which can not be described in words, you have to see it for yourself to digest it's out of the world brilliance. Even world famous author Sir Walter Lawerence has written "Lake par-excellence" for Dal. After an enriching walk around the lake and a Shikara ride on the calm Dal waters, I decided to visit Hazratbal Shrine. Situated on the left bank of the lake in all it's 17th century architectural greatness, the white marble mosque looked enchanting up close. Right adjacent to the Hazratbal Mosque was the impressive Nishat Bagh which I went to next. The garden commands a magnificent view of the lake with a backdrop of the majestic Himalayas.
Dal Lake is 11 km from Dharamshala and surrounded by deodar trees. The lake fills a mountain bowl. The words don't do half the justice to the real beauty of the lake. Dal lake is an enchanting and serene picnic spot where an annual fair is held in September. Apart from being thronged by photography enthusiasts, it really provided the elders with a lot of calm and peace.
If you want to have a perfect view of the more than perfect landscape of Udaipur, then come to Lake Pichola. It gives you a perfect shot of the old Udaipur. The natural surroundings and the serenity of the place only adds to the experience that you will never forget. You can take a simple boat ride to explore the entire lake and the area around or hire a bike and take a round of the villages and places nearby. The lake is a man-made one with restaurants all around for visitors to take a break. The sunset from the lake only makes the scenic beauty more enthralling. The sunset also ensures that the palaces around look beautiful than ever.
Likewise, a visit to Udaipur is incomplete without a meal in a rooftop restaurant. If you are willing to shell out a few grands, then Ambrai is the one to go to. If not, a lot of restaurants in the vicinity of the Jagdish temple offer good views of the lake and are quite friendly on your pocket. We visited one of the restaurants (Sun and Moon) by night and the other (Millets of Mewar) by noon and were not disappointed by the food with a view!
Spend your next vacation at the floating pleasure palace on Lake Pichola. The Jiva Spa Boat at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur gives an unexpected twist to a classic spa experience. It takes you on a special boat designed to welcome you aboard to indulge in restorative treatments by skilled therapists and relax on the deck enjoying the views of the pristine blue waters.Must have experience: Vacationers must try the signature wellness treatments exclusively created by Jiva, borrowed from royal traditions of Rajasthan.
Pichola Lake is one of the first lakes of the city created in 14th century. The prime attraction is the view of city palace from the lake while boating. There are 2 islands called Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas. Lake Palace was built by Maharan Jagat Singh II in the island of Jag Niwas. This palace was taken over by Taj Group of Hotels to make into “Taj Lake Palace” in 1971.
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7. You will be back from Sajangarh around 7 pm. Next thing is the Exotic dinner you must take at the Pichola lakeside. City palace is lightened up every evening (until 10pm), which gives a breathtaking view of lake and reflection of monuments in water. Go to Ambrai Restaurant, it is the best among all. Other might offer you roof top but this restaurant has the best view and it is just adjacent to lake
3. Next thing take a Boat ride at Lake Pichola, second among the two famous lakes in Udaipur (There are seven lakes in Udaipur)
2) Lake Palace: Lies in the middle of Lake Pichola. Very serene and beautiful.
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Revel in romance on a boat-ride on Lake Pichola during sunset. An absolutely unmissable experience of all the things to do in Rajasthan.
This city as rightly said is the land of lakes and palaces, where kings reside and travelers rejoice. A Venice in India to make you experience what it is to cover distances in boats and explore the city in its purist form. The lake side restaurants are only to make your trips special and evenings memorable. A romantic getaway as it is correctly said is primarily for the ambience of these lake side cafe's and boat rides. This city has a history of kings and battles and some brave warriors...so a trip to this place is incomplete without a visit to the city palace & haldi ghati. Accommodation in this city is very traditionally designed with ethnic interiors in most of the hotels across all categories- you have palaces and city hotels across all prices. And when it comes to accommodation how can we forget the iconic properties here which are worth a watch even if it's beyond ur affordability- Udai Vilas, Taj palace, Lalit udaipur. So visit this place for the Rajasthani food, palaces and lakes and experience what it is to be in Rajasthan- Rajao ka sthan.
The Lake is in the heart of the city and provides some breath-taking views of the nearby heritage places and some hotels built around the shores – Udaivilas and Taj Palace tops the list. One should pleasure themselves with a dinner or lunch at the Jagmahal, surrounded by water on all sides. You can spot the Sajjangarh fort from this lake while boating and believe it me it’s worth a sigh.
Another man made wonder in the city dominated by nature, Lake Pichola was created in 1362 AD. Rana Udai Singh II extended the lake in 16th century. The picturesque lake is surrounded by huge hills, magnificent palaces, temples and bathing ghats. The islands in Lake Pichola offer various tourist attractions and hence by cruising in Lake Pichola, you are sure to have a whale of a time. Sunset views are stunning. Boat cruise offers lovely views of the town, particularly in the evenings as you watch the sun go down on your eyes, you will find the city lit up. The palaces look stunning with the lights on and it is a great view from the lake.
Next stop on my list after City Palace was the Pichola Lake. Pichola Lake is perhaps one of the best of the many lakes Udaipur has to offer. It is a lovely place to just walk about. The Lake palace is right at centre of the lake with beautiful terrace café at its banks. The view is simply splendid and the atmosphere just relaxing. A walk along the Pichola gardens is just what you would need to calm your mind. Also, the street side kiosks are worth exploring. They have a wide range of beautiful handicraft items, pretty ‘jhumkas’ (long earrings) and even fancy items like a mini smoke pipe. After a bit of shopping and debating with the vendor about whether the smoking pipe really functions (a fun debate, I must say), I left for my next destination.
Lake Pichola is situated in Udaipur, Rajasthan it is an artificial freshwater lake. It was built by "banjara" (gypsy) in 1362 AD. It is the most picturesque lake of Udaipur. The lake is surrounded by a beautiful City palace. offers a heavenly view to the onlooker. There's a beautiful lake palace of white marbles built in between the lake Pichola. Lake Palace was constructed by Maharana Jai Singh II in 1746. Originally, the Lake palace was known as Jag Niwas later it came to be known as Lake Palace. The wonderful architecture of the Lake Palace will send shivers down your spine. Its built with white marbles. It has a series of courtyards, terraces, beautiful fountains as well as gardens. In last few years this palace has been turned into a hotel.
An artificial fresh water lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. The lake’s surroundings and several islands within the lake have been developed over the centuries with palaces, marble temples, family mansions, and bathing ghats. The famous Lake Palace (now converted into a heritage hotel) is located in the middle of the lake. Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, are located within Pichola Lake. Local buses, auto rickshaws and taxis provide the needed transport.
If in Udaipur, Lake Pichola should not be missed. Yes, it is a very popular tourist place and is thronged by thousands of tourists from all over the world, which might make people wonder about the lost peace and serenity. But when the evening comes and you get to witness the beauty of the sunset, it leaves one stunned. One gets to know what the beauty of nature means, when you sit by the lake on the peripherals and feel calm and surreal as you feel the cool breeze from the lake in the backdrop of the sunset. As far as the historical backdrop is concerned, Maharana Udai Singh II extended the lake, by flooding Picholi village, which gave the lake its name. This shallow lake is 4km long and 3km wide. But, one thing to be wary of is that the lake is home to crocodiles, which makes it a bad option for swimming or wading. A simple boat ride is the very best way to enjoy the beauty of the lake. The lake also hosts many palaces on its shore and amidst it as well. The City Palace complex extends nearly 1km along the lake’s eastern shore. The best way to reach the complex is a simple boat ride from the shore costing anywhere between 25 Rs to 100 Rs, depending on the season. The world-famous Lake Palace Hotel island of Jagniwas, which is about 15,000 sq meters in size, built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1754, is also present on this lake. Once the royal summer palace, it was extended and converted into the Lake Palace hotel in the 1960s by Maharana Bhagwat Singh, and is now in the hands of the Indian-owned Taj hotel group. It forms the abode of VIP guests along with many film shootings taking place here.
There are places that lose their charm quickly and then there are places that stay with you long after you have left them, Pichola is definitely in the latter class. The hotel that I was staying at (Raj Niwas) was at the lake and I couldn't have chosen a better location to stay. Morning you have your scrambled eggs with Pichola and the green mountains surrounding it greeting you and you finish your day with Roof Top Drinks with Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Palace all lit up and mirroring themselves in the Pichola Waters. It's beautiful. It Truly is!
This is where we start experiencing the true ladakh region & its culture, Ladakh has its hidden lakes which is a world in itself
Day 9 – Rumtse to Tso Moriri Tso Moriri is at an altitude of 4,522 m (14,836 ft). It is the largest of the high altitude lakes entirely within India and entirely within Ladakh in this Trans-Himalayan bio geographic region. The official name of the land and water reserve here is the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. The road from Rumtse to Tso Moriri takes us through Chumathang. Tso Moriri is smaller than Pangong Tso and fewer people come here, it is more beautiful in some ways due to the fact that area surrounding Tso Moriri is a wild life reserve and one can see Tibetan wild ass (Kiang), marmots, red foxes and quite a few migratory birds.
Officially known as the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve, this part of Ladakh is known as the Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region. The unique variety of flora and fauna around the massive lake is now a reserve where the Indian Wildlife Association has set up base for research and study purposes. Tucked amidst the cold desert of Ladakh, this high altitude lake in India is a sheer spectacle to behold.
Pangong Tso to tso moririIn the early morning we had first look of such a beautiful lake. Water is so cleared that due to reflection of sky water gets different color during the day time. As sun rises above water starts turning blue, purple. You don’t get any network here and now onward on this route. Not even proper roads, humans, animals. You only find some horses, small grass, trail roads and you. Someplace you find small villages and greenery. At this kind of remote place best thing is to ask every local you see on the way about the road ahead. We passed the chusul, the nearest place to china boarder. From there you go through nyoma. From there if you want to go to hanley then take the nyoma bridge otherwise continue on same road. You can ask the person who is there at checkpost here. But generally they are not locals so they don’t know the roads here. We didn’t go to hanley as we were very tired and today was also ending. So we decided to go to tsomoriri lake via sumdho. Distance from pangong to tso moriri is not much but due to very rough road it took almost whole day to reach tsomoriri. We took the hotel for 1500 bucks. It was damp cold in night here.
Day 8: Leh – Tso Moriri (4th Aug 16)After yesterdays entertaining session which went unto 2 in the morning, became the cause for us to be delayed by at least 1.30 hours. Another fact added to this was, this being our last day in Leh we had to pack our stuff in a way that we won’t need our luggage to be taken out completely over the course of next two days.Finally we left around 9.30 AM. Since our trip to Thiksey Monastery on evening before, we came back quite late into Leh and main thing which many of wanted to buy, “Apricots” we couldn’t find anywhere since all the shops were closed. So we asked Rigzin if he knew of any place where we can buy some good quality of Apricots, being Rigzin he knew one such shop located in a corner of a market which would give us opportunity to make the purchase. We spent close to 30 mins there since there was so much variety of Dry Fruits and we were busy tasting them all :-P, breakfast before the actual breakfast :-D.We finally bid our goodbye to this beautiful town and many of us were already making plans for their next trip here. We started on Manali Leh Highway towards Tso Moriri, our next destination. There weren’t many places we had to visit enroute so our first stop was Karu where we took a halt for breakfast. It was already close to 11.30 AM so we decided to make it a combination of good amount of breakfast which included Various Paranthas, French toast, Bread Toast with Tea, Omelettes. We also had to make arrangements for the cash which would be needed over next 3 days inclusive of payment for Car that we were hiring. Thank god we weren’t looted somewhere, would have been a good bounty if we were. After this we took the Leh – Manali until Upshi where we had to take left road which heads to Chumathang, Chumur and the one on the right is Manali highway. The road initially was in excellent condition so we were excited that our this outing is going to be a good affair which proved to be delusion as BRO had just started the work on this stretch of road so it was nothing but rocks everywhere, one thing however I would like to note is that although the roads are not in best of shapes as of now but Indus flows right next to you and the region is beautiful, so even though the ride is slow one you enjoy every bit of it. Views are bit different than what you see while going to Khardung La or Chang La, the rock formation here is completely different. At certain point when we were stopping for nature breaks or photo breaks, we took some rocks in hand, these are as if you are taking a piece of wood which would break if you apply little extra pressure. The colours however were fantastic, different purplish tints could be clearly visible. At one point we could see a kind of Rainbow of colours on the mountain. The entire mountain was rainbow coloured.We continued till Kiari, once we had passed that there was blasting site which was being cleared by BRO guys. If anyone for whom I grew respect on this trip was BRO, absolutely mind boggling work that these men and women are doing. We had to stop there for 30 mins before we were allowed to move forward and you know no driver honked for them move aside. Imagine this happening in any other city, there would be chaos within 5 mins. But in this border region, I have come across almost all drivers waiting patiently for their turn to pass, giving way to other vehicles before making a try pass themselves. Commendable job guys. It was soon after this we reached Chumathang where we stopped to visit the Hot Water Springs, In cold climate outside the water in origin of springs was probably boiling at 70 to 80 degrees. We checked with others whether all wanted to take a break for lunch or head to Tso Moriri directly. We did have a good breakfast in the morning so no one was that hungry and also we wanted to make it to Tso Moriri in daylight so we could visit some places there. The road after Chumathand until Mahe Bridge is a visual treat, Black Tarmac with side stripes, a mountain on one side of the road and Indus flowing on the other side..wow simply superb.We soon reached Mahe bridge where we had to take right to go towards Tso Moriri and the road going straight heads to Nyoma and China boarder later. You are not allowed to take photographs at Mahe Bridge not sure why. We crossed it and started to Korzok. The Area after you cross Mahe Bridge comes under Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. Many times after you have crossed Mahe Bridge, a small vollage appears consisting about 15-20 households, fields, and white homes as we were haggling our way through the terrain. It took around 1.30 hours when we reached Kyagar Tso, which appeared out of nowhere. By then surroundings had started to change from barren land to more visible greener fields. Kyagar Tso itself is an emerald colours lake. After navigating for few more Kms we finally reached Tso Moriri. The first look at this lake was altogether a different experience. In Pangong Tso, only the Lake is beautiful and not so the area around it but here in Tso Moriri it’s a complete package with snow capped mountains right next to the lake, the whole area looks more beautiful than ever. By the time we reached Korzok, we were super hungry and the camp restaurant presented good option to fill our stomachs. Before that, our earlier planned place of stay Crane Guesthouse was full due to on-going Korzok festival. This lead me to another place about which I had read earlier, Goose Homestay. I had read very positive reviews about the place but I am afraid it is not the case anymore. I suppose the condition has deteriorated over course of last few years. We shared single bath room between us 6 and 3 other groups of foreigners which had 4 people each. But you know we didn’t have much to complain since we had planned to leave Tso Moriri by 4 AM next day in order to reach Manali on the same day instead of making a night stay at Jispa and move to Manali on 6th as per earlier plan. And another thing was, this is probably the remotest place one ever visits in normal travel plan so this was something to be expected.Anyways, we checked in there and went to Camp Restaurant to eat something. Again, Maggie, Yipee and some tea we had there. Rigzin asked us to get fresh and be out of again so that we can explore further. One thing we missed is going into the actual lake since we came pretty late here and now only option for us to go near the mountain to capture late evening views of the lake from above. Mighty mountains, snow capped peaks, lush green fields and the deep blue water stretching to the horizon, Tso Moriri offers it all. The wind picked speed as the sun set, Rigzin had already warned us about this so we were ready with jackets to negate the effects of cold winds. After spending about 30 minutes here we headed back to our homestay, had a not so great dinner and went to sleep around 9.30 so that we could get up early as 4 AM next day and leave for Manali. Here again I was not able to sleep. I probably slept for an hour at max combining all small naps.
Next, we visited Tso Moriri; it was a “masterpiece” to say the least – seemed as if the nature had come alive. Looked like it had been craftily designed by “God” himself and been designated the duty of being a mirror to the rustic mountains that stood in the background; the majestic mountains in turn optimally utilizing the gift bestowed upon it so as to look eternally “perfect” – the right amount of snow covering its head and perfectly shaped clouds hovering over it – just the right combination, always.We reached Tso Moriri around noon; did not have much time to spend here as we had to reach Tsokar the same evening. Unlike Pangong, there weren’t any camps close to the shore of the lake. The sun was shining bright with a gentle breeze blowing in the area - a combination that rendered the weather just “perfect”! As we went close to the lake, the splendid view left us all dumbstruck. The water was crystal clear – the small and large pebbles forming the bed of the lake were clearly visible, so were the tiny fish floating in the water. We sat on the banks of the lake gazing at the idyllic beauty; few of us throwing pebbles at it and watching as it responded back through multiple ripples on its otherwise pristine and still water.
Day 10 - Finally, it was the day when we said our goodbyes to Leh and its nipping warmth, as we were leaving for Tsomoriri Lake which was a 220 kms long journey towards the south-east of Leh. We left early in the morning at 7 and reached Tsomoriri by around 3 in the afternoon. Even though we reached a bit earlier in the day Tsomoriri was kind of a let-down due to all the government prohibitions of going near the lake due to the time period being good for the migratory birds to lay their eggs along the banks of the fresh water lake. The staying options in Tsomoriri are very less and we were lucky enough to find a very comfortable and warm home-stay in the little village above the lake. The evening became chillier than ever and that forced us to being inside the home-stay and sit down with the locals and enjoy their wonderful food and warmth.
Still reeling under the absolute pure beauty of Pangong, next morning we took off for Tso Moriri. On our way, Nawang ji narrated an interesting anecdote about why the lake was called so. Apparently, once upon a time, a shepherdess owned a yak named Mo, which got lost at the lake one day. She kept shouting ‘riri’ (a call to action for yaks, just like its ‘ch ch’ for dogs!), calling out to it, and hoping it would come back. Not too sure if it finally did, but it definitely gave the lake a name.Tso Moriri is the highest lake in the Himalayan region (15,075 feet) entirely belonging to India. While Pangong has become more popular in the last few years, because of its easy accessibility, it is Tso Moriri which is a rare combination of everything that you would want in a perfect scenery painting – blue skies, fluffy clouds, snow capped peaks, brown barren mountains, lush green fields, bright sunshine & unbelievably blue waters. The entire experience there was no less than the Swiss Alps. Due to its height, the conditions are harsher & therefore still untapped by commercialization.From our experiences at two camps already, we thought we were all prepared & knew exactly what to expect till the owner of the camp handed over hot water bags to each one of us & said ‘you will need this’! The place gets insanely cold at night with the temperatures falling & the rarified air making it even tougher to sustain.Back at the camp, dinner was served by 8pm & we were expected to be in bed soon as any kind of electricity was allowed only till 11pm. From our experiences at two camps already, we thought we were all prepared & knew exactly what to expect till the owner of the camp handed over hot water bags to each one of us & said ‘you will need this’! The place gets insanely cold at night with the temperatures falling & the rarified air making it even tougher to sustain. There we were, wrapped up under our very thick blankets trying to be as snug as possible relying totally on the hot water bag & praying it will keep us warm through the night.
Tso Moriri: My personal favorite! Tso Moriri is worth all the trouble you have to take to reach here! Nagging travel mates, dusty roads, travel sickness.. Tso Moriri is worth all of it and even more! The mighty, endless and mesmerizing blue waters surrounded by snow capped mountains compel you to fall in love with them! You would want to stay there forever and live the peaceful Tibetan life witnessing this visual marvel. Spending a night here is highly recommended! When at Tso Moriri.. Don’t bother clicking pictures or updating snap stories.. I urge you to soak in the Moriri! I still find myself surrounded by the pristine blue waters in my memories often. This place casts a spell on you! Let it do the magic, you are going to love it!
In the previous blog, I made you go through my journey till Kheerganga trek now we will look what happens in rest of the Manali trip.
Finally, we reached the top of Kheer Ganga trek and we had accomplished the alluring view of the Parvati Valley. The feeling was different and all the dialogues just came as a flash in the mind (main bhagna chahta hoon, main girna bhi chahta hu bas rukna ni chahta naina.....). The happiness was just relaxing and view just vanished all the fatigue of trekking. It was refreshing and enthusiasm was at its peak at that time.What happened next will be continued in next part......"Life is full of surprises , why not surprise life with such accomplishments.Doing things you want to do will always lead you to happiness and a better life."
Around 3:00 PM we started our trek and there was a sure chance of rain and we have to do trek in night which does not sound great. We were walking, resting for a while then again start walking. The roaring sound of a Parvati river can be easily heard through out the trek. And then Bridge over the river came and crossing that we are on another mountain. Crossing every milestone and walking on the correct path we reached Kheerganga in dark around 9:00 PM , tired, hungry , just want only sleep and food also chai….Night in Kheerganga was so different then we expected, it was surrounded by the snow-capped mountains and songs like “bum bum bhole” were the only sound in the valley, people were chilling, rolling joints, drinking… but we can`t enjoy our night due to our tiredness.
We started our trek with a hearty breakfast. The next stop we took was the Rudranag Waterfall. The beautiful waterfall was situated right next to a temple. After this the trek gets a tad bit difficult. We managed to reach the top with a good pace. On reaching, the view was incredible, we were surrounded by surreal mountains on all sides. With the help of our guides, we pitched our tents near the hot spring and took a relaxing bath. The water was amazing. I felt completely relaxed. My dad and I fell silent. The first dip in that boiling water was extremely peaceful. I roamed around, scouting for a location to take good photos of the night sky, and found that the place was completely packed. At least 50 people had no place to stay. They had to sleep in the restaurants and Cafes. As the sun went down right in between the mountains, creating different hues on the mountains that surrounded us, the real party started. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see the milky way but the Stars gave us a feeling that I can't possibly convert into words. But, our peace wasn't long-lived after a group of 'cool' 'men' decided to start a fire behind our tent. They were screaming and shouting at the top of their lungs. Alcohol made matters worse. I felt this weird rage inside myself which wanted to teach them a lesson but I decided otherwise. Kheer ganga is a HOLY place, a place of religious significance to many. Please do NOT disturb the sanctity of the place. It is not a lounge, not the best place to play loud music. But, the best part was the attitude of the locals. I talked to the locals and they too were hurt to see what was happening to their home. Ignoring those idiots, we sang prayers for a few hours and slepy in our tents.
Kheerganga is nature's dual personality, personified. On one hand the air is freezing cold. But getting half naked in that weather is worth it when what awaits is an oasis of perfectly, naturally heated water that flows out of the mountain into a pool of sorts, to slowly ease away the aches and pains you have to endure to get there. It’s easy to lose track of where you are when you’re in 5-star comfort like that. I even began to wonder why the girls were taking so long to join us until I realised we were in a holy place and not some friends farmhouse Jacuzzi. The girls section is separate (favourable since my summer body was on winter break). However, all good things have to end and unfortunately, this ended with going back to the biting cold air outside the cosy water.
The trek to Kheer Ganga is around 12 kilometeres from the base Barshaini. From the base, one way goes to Tosh and other to Kheer Ganga and Mantalai lake (the origin of Parvati river). There is a sweet shop (the only one), try Rasgullas of there, we just loved them.Also, a tip for the pros, just check out the trek of Mantalai lake, which is 82 kilometer from Barshaini each way, and that is definitely gonna be the next trek I would go on. Imagine trekking for 6 days straight, mostly alongside the river, or in the core jungle, sleeping in the tents, eating the minimal food available. This is my kind of trek I can say.Anyways back to the trek we actually went on. (:D)First 6 kilometers were easy. We had fun on the way, stopping wherever we wished to, clicking pictures and just laughing the hours away. After 6 kilometers, there were some cafes where we had our lunch. Try the daal and butter roti there, they serve it deliciously good. It was cold, but the day was sunny which I actually slept sunbathing in.
Where: Situated in the Kullu District of Himachal, the Kheerganga Trek begins from Barshaini or Tosh. To reach Barshaini, take an overnight bus or train from Delhi to Bhuntar and then a taxi or local bus to Barshaini or Tosh.Route: The total distance of the trek is 15km and it is fairly easy in the first half. After you cross the first dhaba on the route, the trail gets steeper. The mid-point of the trek is Nakthan Village, which also a great place to stop. Definitely carry a raincoat, but a tent and cooking items are not essential since there are enough options to eat and stay at Kheerganga. A few metres from where the trek ends is a Shiv Temple with a hot water spring, which is a great place to unwind.Duration: 5-6 hours
A little trekking through the dense forests of the Kullu District will lead you to the amazing Kheerganga hot springs. The temperature of the springs here is lower than at Manikaran, but this is exactly what makes it worthy of a natural Jacuzzi. Just what you need after a long trek, it’s a natural spa. It attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world. Maybe it will attract you too..
After an hour of a bumpy bus ride to the base point Barsheni and 4 hours of trek through the picturesque villages and some breathtaking views, we were finally at the Shiva's place i.e Kheerganga. After making our tent and having lunch we were set to go the most awaited place that would be taking our pain of the trek away, the hot water spring.After spending about 2 hours in the sulphur spring talking how heavenly it felt being there we came back to our tents. Campfire and cards below the million stars was the last thing we did before going to sleep.
Located in the Parvati Valley of Kullu district just 22kms away from Manikaran, is a beautiful place called Kheer Ganga. This is the place where ‘Kartik Ji’, the elder son of ‘Lord Shiva’ remained in ‘samadhi’ for thousands of years while they stayed on earth. Kheer Ganga is not only popular for its hot springs, but also for the holy River Parvati that surrounds the virgin forests of this place and gushes down mischievously through the verdant forests. The valley offers some amazing landscapes, forests, streams and complete solace. Definitely a must visit for any mountain lover.
It is an ideal destination for backpackers, trekkers, nature lover and adventure enthusiasts because of Kheerganga’s scenic beauty, untouched mountains and great climate. Moreover, the abstract blend of shade, greenery, activity and tranquility in Kheerganga can yield concrete advantages for people like convincing them to appreciate and preserve the old-grown forests for future generations.
Kheerganga is located at a height of 13,051 feet above sea-level (3978 m) and trekking starts from Barshaini. We took a cab early morning from Kasol to Barshaini (Fare Rs700). Had our breakfast in a small cafe run by two very amicable ladies and their paranthas prepared in kadhai are simply awesome. Best paranthas I had in Kasol.And finally we started trekking. Trek can be quite challenging as its full of steep climbs on narrow trails. It takes around 4 hrs to reach the top.There will be around 3-4 halts in the trek, which are nothing but small cafes setups serving tea, maggie, momos, water bottles and more.After reaching mid-way, there is a huge mighty waterfall alongside a hanging wooden bridge with no railings at all. Once you cross it, the rest of the trek is straight dead steep climb with no patches of down slopes. That’s the most challenging part of the trek. On reaching the top, its lush green somewhat plain terrain with ice scattered all around in the background. Trek was finally over, we breathed a sigh of relief.One can easily complete the trek without the need of guides and sherpas. During the trek, you will cross a couple of villages where you will come across kids selling wooden sticks for a comfortable trek. Also, horses carrying goods up and down the path. That’s how a water bottle cost goes up to 50 rupees at the top, which is justified actually.On the top, one can find accommodation in common big tents with multiple mattresses placed and also angethis to keep the enclosure warm. Here, multiple groups can be seen ordering meals and taking rest. Also available are few rooms in a guest house, private rooms built with wooden walls and tin roofs. But our experience was not very pleasant with the room here as during the nigh, cold weather made us realize what small gaps between the constructed wooden walls can do with 3-4 layers of blankets on. However, cost was just 200/person which includes dinner and morning tea. They served rajma rice of good standard in dinner and black tea in the morning, black tea surprisingly tasted good and perfect to start a cold morning. Night experience was good, caretaker himself would call out all the travelers staying to a common place in open where one can find utensils and then you stand in a short queue in front of kitchen. And then you see groups dining near bonfire, some playing instruments and singing. Dining this way felt more authentic and close to nature. This place fills up fast no wonder.
I woke up around 7:00 am and had a cup of tea. After freshen up,i went to hot water spring with other companions (which i met during trekking upside). Thats the one of the best thing happened to any traveler. Water is very hot and very relaxing . i sat over there for around 1 hour and then visited kartika cave . They have closed it as there are few incident happened .
Till now I have covered few places all of them though is a must visit but one most recent and memorable adventurous trip was to Kasol. Famously known as hippes paradise, heaven for few and many more names. Few people may feel like it does not have much places for sightseeing,but what it has is special, a serenity, a calmness, relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Not every place needs to have it all type , some just attract people through its simplicity. My travel to kasol was kind of relaxing and refreshing. I travelled with my friends. Kheerganga a very known place in kasol is famous for its rough and adventurous trek but what you experience when you reach the top is my friend what travel is about. Reaching top feels like an accomplishment , gives you happiness and to be honest the happiness cannot be much described in words.Camping, it was my first camping experience also, after a difficult trek we were a bit tired we went to pamper us a bit????. At the hill top there was this place for steam bath. We had a very relaxing time and then returned to our camps. We played cards had an amazing time singing laughing playing what else is needed. At night the place was even more amazing. It was raining not heavily but yes even the rain drops their gives a different experience . The more I stayed and enjoyed the weather the more I feel connected to the place.
October 24, 2015: On the second day, we had planned to go for the Kheerganga Trek (12km). This was my first ever trek. Being the most lazy person, this trek was a challenge. We geared up with all our essentials and headed to Barshaini, the starting point of the trek. We warmed up a little before starting our journey on foot. First 2-3km was not hard. After a while we entered to this view of lush green pines all around and I had my first encounter with the Himalayas. The view was breathtaking. Though my legs were tired of climbing, but something about the place kept me going. I forgot why I took this trip in the first place. Looking at the mountains and the beautiful trail ahead, I introspected and accepted the fact that while you're growing up you will make some friends and lose some. You can't keep blaming yourself for whatever happens. You just need to close that chapter and start a new one. And here I was, making new friends in the laps of The Himalayas.
Amazing Hot Water Spring.
Kheerganga, I fall short of words to describe the beauty, peace, serenity and tranquillity of the place, it’s around 15kms trek from Barsheni, beautiful meadow, surrounded by Snow clad mountains at approx 3000mts.Hot Spring and Star Gazing must do!!
The place was just spectacular, serene beauty. The lake was surrounded all around by snow from all sides but ours. It had a magnificent temple near it dedicated to Parashar Rishi.
The place was just spectacular, serene beauty. The lake was surrounded all around by snow from all sides but ours. It had a magnificent temple near it dedicated to Parashar Rishi.
Located near Mandi,Himachal Pradesh is this hidden beauty on the mountain top. Away from the bustling city life spend a night to experience the serene life by having gentle conversation with the twinkling stars and get lost in your inner soul...With a trek of approx. 5km and its steep slopes, reaching the mountain top takes a toll and could take you from 6-8 hrs to reach the destination.Afraid !!! Don't worry...There is car service also available on hire if you think you can't make it to the top...#Tobecontinued
Best time to visit: December to AprilHow to reach: Take an overnight bus to Mandi, from there take a local bus to Baggi. The trek starts from Baggi and can take 4-6 hours depending on your speed.Trail: The trail to Prashar Lake starts from a rocky road, from which you later diverge to join the forest trail. In winter, there are patches of ice, which can make walking a bit tricky. The trek is slightly strenuous but absolutely stunning.
The lake is slightly underwhelming but the wonderful architecture and position of the temple enhances the aesthetic of the place.
Named after the sage Prashar (father of Ved Vyas), Prashar Lake is said to be the place where the mighty sage meditated. In the 14th century, a pagoda was built by Raja Ban Sen, giving this isolated meditation spot religious and spiritual validation. Along with the beautiful lake, the specific area is also well known for the stunning panoramic view it gives of the entire valley.
Where: Situated in the Mandi District of Himachal, the trek to Parashar Lake begins from Baggi Village. To reach Baggi Village, take an overnight bus from Delhi to Mandi and then a taxi or local bus to Baggi Village.Trail: Start on the jeep trail from Baggi Village and stay on it for 40 minutes. Soon, you will come to a fork, from where you should take the route going right and start the steep ascent through the dense forest. The well-defined trail will guide you for four more hours, leading straight to Parashar Lake. The government guesthouse is temporarily closed, but there is enough space for you to pitch your own tent.Duration: 5-6 hours
From there, head back to the Mandi bus stop and take either a bus or taxi to Baggi village. The taxi fare for one way is Rs 600, and for a round trip, they will charge you Rs 2000. You can also trek to Prashar Lake from Baggi. There is a small guesthouse near the lake, but you can also camp the night and then head back on foot the next morning.
#TripotoTakeMeToDeoriatal . Prashar Lake is a half hour drive from Kamand in Mandi . How to reach here cheap ? Go to IIT MANDI during their fest (Exodia) . Get a room for yourself by registering for any event ( Cheap Ones) . So you will be having a shared room for 3-4 days with meals included for as cheap as 1000 bucks and yes you get to see battle of bands for free . You can hire a taxi(500 on sharing ) or trek to Prashar Lake for free .
The temple was built in the thirteenth century and legend has it was built by a baby from a single tree. The lake has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is, with a diver not being able to determine its depth. Mythology says that this lake was formed by Pandawas when they were on their way after Mahabharata with Deity Kamrunag (based on which this entire valley is known as Kamru Valley today) to find best place for their teacher, Dev Kamrunag and Deity love the isolation of this place so much that he decided to stay here for the rest of his life. On his request, Bheem one of the Pandava brothers formed the lake by pushing his elbow and forearm on the peak of the mountain. And that is the reason believed by locals after oval-shaped lake with depth unknown. Many a time in storms an almost 30-meter-tall cedar tree would fall into the lake to disappear.
Lake on the top of mountain , seems one of the best views of himachal . there are many stories about this place and one strange thing is that round set of grass which is in lake moves , in morning  it will be on other side of the lake and by the end of the day it will be on another side .
On our way back we visited one more special place known as Parashar lake, though it was not exactly planned but we thought the place need to be visited. The road leading to this lake trust me was not very easy, narrow roads with turns , unbuilt at some point but thrilling , adventurous. It is believed that the lake has its own mystical power and the sadhus or tapasvis go for their meditation in the depth of this lake. We also get to know from the locals that their original temple is within the same lake and nobody can guess the depth of that lake. Theweather of course was chilling we actually happen to walk among the clouds. The experience was simply amazing. The place not has to be some happing place ,even a small temple or a village can tell a great story and no ears can hear that story, no eyes can see that story without the zeal of a seeker, that's what I learned in this small yet beautiful place of Himachal.#TripotoTakeMeToHampta.
Overview:If a place untouched by a lot of tourists fascinates you & if you are an admirer of true natural beauty, then I would suggest you to visit Prashar Lake at least once. I had read a lot about this place, but was not really sure if I wanted to visit there or not. Finally we decided to visit the place in March 2016, which fortunately turned out to be one of our best & memorable trips so far, because of many reasons.Location Overview:Prashar Lake is situated 49 KM from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India, with a temple dedicated to the Sage Prashar. The lake is located at a height of 2730 meters above sea level & it is considered quite sacred to the Sage Prashar and he is regarded to have meditated there. The temple was built in the thirteenth century and legend says that, it was built by a baby from a single tree. Prashar Lake also has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is & divers were also not able to determine its depth.
The road from here is a dirt track, passes through thick, dark but beautiful forest. There are a number of water crossings. You should not be surprised if you don’t see any human or vehicle for many miles. Though there are some small villages en route. Temple is around half a mile walk up the hill on a autumn burnt dry grass. The lake and temple area is maintained by a trust and is fenced all around with barbed wire. There are small iron gates to enter the area. After walking half a mile, the first glimpse of the lake and pagoda shaped temple is a pretty sight. After paying my respect at the temple, walked around the lake and went up a nearby hill. At one point, the hike and angle of the climb was such that I felt like falling and rolling down the hill on my back. There are two approaches for Prashar Lake. One is from the town of Mandi, from where you can start your journey to Prashar lake either by your own personal vehicle or hired cabs.
Prashar Lake is approximately 45 kms from Mandi and 70 km from Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. The Lake is located at a height of 2730 m (9000 ft) above sea level. With deep blue waters, the lake is held sacred to the sage Prashar and he is supposed to have meditated there. There is a three storied pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar. The temple was built in the thirteenth century. The lake has a floating island in it. It is said to be unclear how deep the lake is.The lake has a total circumference of 1.5 km. Set in the midst of lush green valley, the Prashar Lake appears like a gem of the valley. The place is a real treat for the nature lovers. The valley which is covered in greenery throughout the year, turns into completely white during winter when it snows heavily. The place is flooded with the tourists all the year round.
Standing in the midst of mountains are an amazing lake and a beautiful temple. Many online resources have mentioned that the beauty of the lake has different phases in different weathers. Winter season provide a completely view from the one during summer season. I went during winter - 13th Dec 2015 when the area was covered in snow and the lake was alive in all the white fresh snow.One can reach here by two ways - either directly by an early morning bus ride to Prashar (the roads need to be clear of snow for this) or by a trek from Baggi village (buses available from Mandi bus station to Baggi village in morning).This is also possible to cover in one day if one leaves early and is able to do the trek quickly. In case you are not comfortable to do the trek, then pls buffer a day extra.There are options available to stay at the top - PWD rest house and some other constructed around the temple at Prashar lake. Camping is also possible during non winter weather.
Prashar Lake lies 49 km north of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India, with a three storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar. The lake is located at a height of 2730 m above sea level. With deep blue waters, the lake is held sacred to the sage Prashar and he is regarded to have meditated there. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and looking down on the fast flowing river Beas, the lake can be approached via Drang. The temple was built in the thirteenth century and legend has it was built by a baby from a single tree. The lake has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is, with a diver not being able to determine its depth.
Gurudongmar Lake, also noted as Gurudogmar Lake, the lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava, otherwise called Guru Rinpoche, originator of Tibetan Buddhism who went to the lake in the eighth century. It is one of the most noteworthy lakes on the planet, situated at a height of 17,800 ft in the Indian state of Sikkim. The lake can be reached by street from Lachen via Thangu. As indicated by a legend, when Padmasambhava went to the lake he saw a favorable phenomenon in the lake and after that he thought of it as a decent augury to enter the territory of Sikkim, then known as Demojong. It is currently said that the lake provides a shelter to any pregnant lady offering prayers to God at the lake. The lake looks small at the spot where devotees offer love, yet the bigger piece of the lake is not visible because of uneven geography impeding the complete perspective at this area.
Sikkim is a land of many waterfalls, fresh water streams, combination of great roads to off-roads, high altitude passes and innumerable lakes. You never know what awaits you at the next corner. Whatever it is, it will definitely surprise you!Excited to go on a motorcycle trip of Sikkim?We are riding to Sikkim! Join us. Click here for details.
Gurudongmar LakeAfter the last Army check post, both road conditions and scenic beauty changed drastically. While the roads were so smooth for last 14 Kms, the green Sikkim has vanished turning into a mountain dessert with different shades of colours.
Head Northwards towards Gurudongmar Lake and close the day at Lachung.
Gurudongmar lake,North Sikkim-Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,800 ft in the Northern district of Sikkim. It is a lake which is considered sacred by both Buddhists and Sikhs.If thought of visiting Heaven in your lifetime, its here,The Jewel among the lakes. You have to start early morning at 3:00 am from Lachen(the base town in North Sikkim).The natural beauty is a treat to the eyes and you'll also get to know the struglle of the Indian army who have been guarding us at this altitude.You cannot forget to mention the Indian Army personnel, who serve free Hot water & free Tea on the road ahead.The lake is considered as a hidden jewel of Sikkim as it i pretty tough to get there.If your body can take it, sit/walk a while and absorb the view next to the lake because such serenity is difficult to find in everyday life.A must do for those visiting Sikkim.
Named after Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, after he visited this lake in the 8th century AD, Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world. The lake is considered to be highly sacred, since it was also blessed by Guru Nanak when he had passed through Sikkim during his travels. Devotees throng to this place as praying here is believed to be followed by a childbirth in the family. It is very close to the Chinese border and remains frozen during winters.Must do while here: Visit the Thangu and Chopta valleys nearby.For more details, read this.
The next day we were woken up early to make our way to Thangu. Lachen was at 9000 feet, almost twice the height Gangtok is situated at and now we were going up to 14000 feet. The road from Lachen leads up to the famous Gurudongmar Lake which is one of the highest lakes in the world at 17000 feet. Permit to the lake is restricted to foreigners because the China border is a mere 5 km from there.
Sikkim is the second smallest state in India after Goa, but the list of places to visit in Sikkim is very long. We decided to cover the Gangtok city and the northern parts of Sikkim, covering Yumthang Valley and Gurudongmar Lake. While Yumthang valley is an ideal place to see the rhododendron flowers in full bloom during April, Zero point near Yumthang valley is a perfect place to get close to snow and the view of Gurudongmar Lake is so serene that keeping it out of our list was out of question. To save cost we needed a budget hotel without compromising cleanliness and a driver for the North Sikkim trip to avoid the travel agency commission. Searching of Internet for few days helped finding our hotel, Hotel Pandim. Thankfully we got reference of a very good driver from a friend who had already travelled with the driver before. Our whole journey became smooth and comfortable because of him.
Day 6: After a steaming cup of tea, we started at 3 AM for Gurudongmar lake (17100 Ft), One of the highest lakes in the world. After about 4 hours, what we could see, was the breathtaking view of the Gurudongmar Lake, surrounded by the snow clad hills and the blue sky.It is advised to carry medicines as the place is quite barren with very less or no vegetation, resulting in very less oxygen in the air.After returning from Gurudongmar, we left for Lachung. Reached Lachung by evening.
The rain continued to play hide and seek but we set out anyway, in the evening, to explore the famously well-maintained and unlittered M.G. Marg, probably Sikkim’s main shopping and eat-out Street. After having a thorough gander at it and filling our tummies with delicious junk we asked around a handful of local tour operators about Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley, and Nathula. The first two places instantly went out of the picture on partial account of mistiming the entire schedule and the rest because of the ominous weather, which, played a terrible killjoy and had a couple hundred stranded at Nathula.
Situated at an altitude of 17,800 ft, Gurudongmar Lake is officially the highest lake in India. It is said that Guru Padmasambava, Indian Buddhist master, came to a village nearby and saw its people troubled because of the lack of fresh drinking water. He went to the lake, which was completely frozen and struck the ground, thawing a large area of the lake. Gurudongmar is revered as one of the 108 "Tso-Chen" of Sikkim where holy deities reside.
If this article were written five years ago, Pangong Tso could well have been an alternative to some place, situated as it is in a difficult-to-access part of the barren cold desert of Ladakh. However, the multi-crore blockbuster movie 3 Idiots shot this placid, inaccessible lake to tourist stardom, and the serenity that it so beautifully courted gave way to loud, insensitive crowds. Most unusual travel destinations in north east India.While the Pangong lake itself remains one of the most breathtaking sights of its kind, in the Eastern Himalayas lies an even better preserved secret. In northern Sikkim, at the end of a two-day trek from Gangtok, lies the Gurudongmar Lake, its emerald waters situated at an impossible height of 17,100 feet. Set in the stunning backdrop of majestic snow-clad peaks and at the end of an arduous trek through a barren, cold landscape, this is a sight you will have earned. And how.
Gurudongmar Lake, located at an altitude of 17,600 feet above MSL, near the Indo-Chinese border in North Sikkim, is believed to be blessed by Guru Nanak himself and is also sacred for the Buddhists. The en-route landscapes are breathtaking and is mostly a cold desert.
After passing through barren landscape and seeing the signs of life vanish slowly, we reached the final spot. The first view of the holy lake id simply priceless and not explainable in words. I never felt so elated and stunned on reaching any place before. The place has a touch of divinity every where but with beauty comes hardship. The oxygen content is so low that you can feel it in every single step. I saw some people coming out of their car, felt dizzy and sick and went back into the car to leave. They were devoid of an up close and personal view of the lake (one needs to climb down the stairs to reach the lake). The lake is the source of one of the rivers that joins others to become Teesta. It is surrounded from all sides by picturesque mountains as if they were protecting something very special. This needs to be in the bucket list of every traveler. All through the route, there are Indian Army Camps with army men relentlessly rendering their services for the nation in inhuman conditions. Could not help but respect these brave souls. Indian Army operates a cafe on the way to Gurudongmar Lake which is supposedly the highest cafe in the world.
gurudomgnar lake at 17800 ft is one of the highest lakes in the world, and is frozen most of the year
The Jewel of Sikkim. Situated at an altitude of over 17000ft, this sacred lake is a treat for nature lovers. While cold deserts on one side and tall snow covered mountains on other, this lake is said to be blessed by Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th Century.
And then the lake was visible like a blue speck in the vast mountainous terrain. What a sight! Since it was already noon and the sun was high up, the lake was shimmering as if countless diamonds were strewn across it. It was so pristine. Since it was not windy , i for the first time realized what a pin drop silence actually means. Also it was pleasantly sunny except that when i stepped on the marble floor of the temple, it was like walking on ice. I literally hopped across. Crispy cloudless blue sky , snow draped mountain on one side and desert on the other side, it was simply spectacular to say the least.. It felt as if i was on top of the world cradled in the arms of the ever blissful nature .
The Gurudongmar lake is siuated at a height of 17800 feet. The lake is white in color and since the lake is frozen in all the seasons, it cannot be used for drinking purposes. However there is a story behind the lake. It is considered very sacred by Buddhists and the Hindus. The story is that when Guru Padmasambha was passing through Tibet the locals here requested him for water and a source through which they could have water supply. The guru then touched a part of a lake and from then, that portion of water in the lake did not freeze during the winter season. So this lake is considered to be very sacred and blessed. You will love the view of the entire surrounding and the water here is one of it's kind.
Next day morning, we quickly got ready as early as 5 o’clock, covered ourselves in multiple layers, put up all the clothes we had and set out for the lake. As the lake is situated on 18000 ft. altitude, it’s better to ride/drive slow and get acclimatized to avoid nausea, headache etc. After few kilometers from Lachen , there is a place which offers tasty maggi and tea. Here we also rented gum boots as our boots were wet. Though it was windy and cold but strong sun made the ride easier for us. After few more kilometers of riding, we reached the army check post where they again checked our permits. The ride after the check post can be confusing because we lost our way and reached at another Army post. This post was actually a no civilian zone and China border was just few meters from there. The army people were friendly and allowed us to click few pictures and we started back for Gurudongmar lake. And there we were at ‘Gurudongmar lake’. I was dumbstruck with the beauty of that place. The strong wind, snow covered mountains were on one side and deserted mountains on the other and in the middle reflecting beautiful sun rays was the blue clear water lake. It’s a must see if you are travelling to North Sikkim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurudongmar_Lake While coming back, the wind was much stronger so we had to hurry up.
this again is a place for those who take well to long car journeys. located in North Sikkim, this lake is situated on the Tibetan Plateau. Its crystal blue water in a surrounding of arid, flat but still snowy land will take your breath away. this is one of the few places where the journey is as good as the destination. it is about 150 kilometres away from Gangtok, hence making lodging arrangements at Lachen is advisable. also, this lake remains entirely frozen from November to mid-may, but catching the view of the lake either way will be breath taking.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sagar Lake is one of the many beautiful lakes located in Udaipur. It is a must visit not only for its natural beauty but also for the amazing water sports it has to offer. For a complete experience, there are a lot of fast food joints here as well to enhance the taste buds. The locals normally visit the place for a peaceful morning walk here in the clean and fresh air. The place is only a couple of kilometres from Lake Pichola and can be combined in the plan on the same day. The lake is clean and serene. The activities here include boating, cycling, water scooters and more. You can simply take a walk here to enjoy the moment as well.
Boating in the Fateh sagar and Pichola lake are most memorable! We did Fateh sagar under moonlight and Pichola during the late afternoon. The cool breeze that kisses your cheeks make you want to stay on the lake permanently. The views of the different islands are superb and the City Palace standing tall on the banks of the Pichola lake looks majestic indeed. While you are at it, visit the eateries along Fateh sagar. They have road side seating with excellent views of the lake and all stalls serve the same kind of street food. The pav bhaji and cold coffee were delicious.
Fateh Sagar Lake was built later in late 17th century by Maharana Fateh Singh. It is located north of Pichola Lake in the city. Within the lake, there are 3 islands which houses publica parks and a Solar Observatory. Swaroop Sagar lake is a smaller lake in the city which connects both Pichola and Fateh Sagar.
An artificial lake named after Maharana Fateh Singh which was constructed in 1680.Its unbelievable that a huge lake is been constructed and it is one of the four lake after Lake Pichola, Lake Udai Sagar & Lake Dhebar. There is an island Nehru park inside the lake which is a tourist attraction.     We  had a speed boat ride in lake followed by camel ride and then went to Shilpgram.
9. Before you say good night and good-bye to the city, grab a hot coffee at the lake Fatehsagar (Open until 11 pm). Lake Fatehsagar is flooded with youngsters, buzzing around the coffee shops and fast food restaurant on lakeside. Weather is pleasant in night and a hot coffee makes it even better.Note: There are few other lakes and places near city like Udaisagar Lake, Badi Lake, Ekling ji, you may go to these places only if you have a second day, else this itinerary itself will give you a high! :)
1. Start your day with a warm sunrise at Lake Fatehsagar; take a stroll or brisk walk along the lakeside. There are proper paved footpaths all around, go beyond them, along the road circumference the lake. Remember the night scene in Bollywood movie Yeh Jawani h Diwani, it was shot on this road. In fact, most of the movie shooting was in Udaipur, including the wedding venue Udai Vilas. You can have tea and Poha at the lakeside.
Then I headed for the Fateh sagar Lake. Surrounded by the Aravalli hills from the 3 sides, the lake span over a few kilometers.In between the lake is the Nehru Garden, a boat can take you there. One Solar Observatory was there on the lake like an island. I talked to one police man, how can I visit there. He replied with no one can visit that place but the officials. He was amazed to know that I came from Delhi all along on a bike and Alone :) The feeling that arise when people get amazed with your doings tells you that you are doing something different.
4) Fateh Sagar Lake: - Boating.
Next day morning we visited places like Fateh sagar lake, Rani ki Baori, Maharana pratap bagh and statue etc. The city palace fort and museum was the major attraction and was maintain at highest level.
Sight seeing at Udaipur includes visiting the lakes and also the major markets of the place which gives a hand to hand access the the local souvenirs of the city. The highlight of place remains the Maharana Pratap Samarak, situated right amidst Fateh Sagar Lake.
Fatehsagar Lake is one lively place. Just roaming alongside the lake, it is something like a little fair, with boat rides, camel rides and a lot of different food stalls. I walked around the Fatehsagar Lake, camera at ready. The hustle and bustle of the people around just fills you up with a different kind of energy. After a bit of roaming about aimlessly, I stopped by to get Rajasthan’s famous ‘matka kulfi’ (A kind of ice-cream) from a nearby vendor, who happily posed for the camera going along with my excitement to document every bit of my trip. While at the lake, I had a little chat with some of the locals, who then told me about the Sajjangadh fort and Biological Park that was carved out of a mountain. This whole ‘carved out of a mountain’ bit seemed quite fascinating to me. SO I decided to make Sajjangadh my next stop and off we went.
According to me, it’s the life blood of Udaipur. After watching this I felt that the city don’t even need the Beach. The almost incredible fact about it is – It’s an artificial, a man-made lake and built in a much planned way. It is embellished by three small Islands which can be reached by taking a boat ride in the lake. It takes in a Nehru park, a boat shaped restaurant and a small zoological garden for kids. The island is the famous picnic spot of Udaipur dwellers. Also round the lake you will find the awesome street food to consume. It’s a must Visit if you are in Udaipur.
We arrived at Udaipur at around 4 PM and most of the Forts and Palaces were supposed to be closed for tourist by 5 PM. We quickly checked in into a hotel surprisingly awesome hotel specifically meant for Firangs due to off season we got a good deal. We decided to relax a bit and then head toweards Fateh Sagar lake which is famous for its snacks shops and young crowd. It is quite remarkable spot for relaxing and a evening stroll. The light fountains looks superb and it gives the chance to look at other side of the coin. Udaipur gives the vibes of being an old city with forts and small streets but this lake and surrounded area narrates a different story altogether. After spending some time roaming around the lake and tasting the yummy street food We decided to head towards a famous Rajasthani Themed Restaurant for dinner
Fateh Sagar is one of the major lakes of the city, a big park – Nehru Vatika is present on an island in the lake. Boating in the lake was a pleasant experience considering the heat. In 1687, Maharana Jai Singh first constructed the lake but two hundred years later the earthen bund which formed the lake was washed away during floods, and thereafter Maharana Fatah Singh, the ruler of former Mewar State, reconstructed it in 1888.
Deoria Tal Lake
Also known as the Devariya or Deoriya, this is a lake at an altitude of over 2000 metres above the sea level. It is about 3 kilometres uphill from the villages of Mastura and Sari. Jeeps are available for a fantastic tour from Ukhimath to the Sari village via the village of Mastura. The surrounding sceneries of lush greenery and the backdrop of the snow covered mountain peaks including the Chaukhamba looks divine from here. You can also trek till this place and arrangements can be made for forest safaris and even overnight camping over here. The temples of Tungnath and Chandrasila, both dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva are visited together with the deoria Taal. There are also a few shops here which sell local and handmade stuffs but these close soon after dusk.
Next day we decided to reach Deoria tal lake which is 25 kms from Chopta so my friends went on bike and I hitchhiked a little and walked upto Saari hamlet. From Saari, it is 3 km uphill way to Deoria tal. We went up and it was really hot compared to Tungnath as during night it was around zero degree in Tungnath. The lake was so calm and the view from there was amazing. The area was rich with flora and fauna. I captured some birds and we enjoyed a lot there. The clouds surrounded us at night and it rained whole night. We stayed there for two days and explored some nearby areas too. It was so peaceful, the sunset was spectacular and after that we just laid down on the grass listening to 'sky full of stars' and gazing at them!
We heard some noises in the early morning about the snowfall. But when I opened out tent it was only drizzling. As we were aware of the rain forecast so this did not surprise us and we slept for some more time. After that when we opened, snowfall started. We hurriedly got out of the tent. It was looking like paradise as we came out of the tents. It was our first ever snowfall so were playing like kids in the snow. As the time passes it was getting heavier snowfall the entire area was full of snow.
6. Deoria TalIf you're a bird watcher this is a perfect location to pitch your tent. A short and very easy trek of 3 km will take you to this small lake. Deoriatal is perhaps the only place in this list that gives maximum returns for the effort you put. The lake is known for its wide 360° panorama. In the background, mountains like Chaukhambha, Nilkantha, Kedar range etc. add to the beauty of this place.Highest altitude: 2438 meters
Deoriatal is perhaps the only trek on our list that gives maximum returns for the effort put in. There are three things that are really stunning about the Deoriatal to Chandrashila peak trek.
So it started on 26th june night. We left from Delhi around 10pm. We were 6 people and we hired a car . It was the first ever trip with my school friends and i was more happy about the fact that next day was my birthday and the day after was my best friend's and trust me it was the best birthday ever for both of us!!!!!Our route was from New Delhi - Meerut - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Devprayag - Srinagar - Rudraprayg - Ukhimath - Sari Villiage - Chopta - Tugnath - Chandrashila . It was a trip full of adventures as we were all by ourself , No guide or any group tour .
Mountains like Chaukhamba, Nilkantha, Bandarpunch, Yellow Tooth, Kedar Range, Kalanag, etc. can be viewed from here.
This is a point in the Baralacha La Route just like many other milestones rather altutudes marked over here. This is a place which fills in you a magical sense of self- confidence and energy. It feels like if coming up this high can be enjoyable, then our life needs even more adventure like this. You will find trekkers and jeeps here on adventure trips. This place is also like a camping site for the ones who halt here before moving forward towards the evn more difficult points of Himachal Pradesh and then Ladakh. You can erect a tent and then sip on steaming coffee while you admire the beauty of the snow- capped surroundings and especially the white snow- covered mountain peaks.
2. BARALACHA LA MOUNTAIN PASS
Patseo - Baralacha La - Killing Sarai (45kms, 5-6hrs)We started early from patseo after having a relaxing breakfast near Deepak tal. The view here is absolutely mesmerizing. Uphill from patseo toward zing zing bar is a little steep and you will slow down as the ride isn't well constructed.
Making our way to BaralachLa we crossed Darcha and Zingzing Bar. Darcha is the last permanent settlement on this route, Once here you may have enthralling treks in this region, amongst all the Darcha-Padum trek is the most popular. Zingzing Bar isone of the highest roadside bars in the world- a resting ground of the army and the tourists.
We left the Zing Zing bar at around 7:30 am for the rustic and remarkable city of Leh. Enjoy the high mountain pass of Baralach la with the view of snow hugging the sides of the road. Get a mandatory click at Tanlang La Pass which is known (though incorrectly) for being the world’s second highest motorable pass.
Because I was travelling a lot, I started writing about my experiences & documenting my journeys on my GoPro. I started sharing them on social platforms and got fairly popular among my friends & fellow travellers. This is when I started my own website - http://www.roadshaman.com. I upload all my travel stories, pictures & videos here. So yeah, that was my story. Coming back to my passion; what really drives me to quit jobs, spend all my savings, fight with my parents/friends to go on these trips? The answer is simple - 1) The Zen: This is the obvious one. Almost all my life decisions have been taken while riding on an open road in the middle of nowhere. All my worries take a back seat & I am actually at peace with myself when I am on my motorcycle. The long rides give me ample time to think about everything that matters in a more relaxed state.
Baralacha La was the next hurdle. The treacherous pass was cloaked in a blanket of fog when we set out to conquer it. It was one of the scariest moments of our drive - inching forward against the rain and mist on a ramshackle path cut through snowy peaks. Often the road was only wide enough to accommodate one vehicle at a time. Once, we had to reverse our vehicle and park it on the edge of a canyon to allow an oncoming truck to pass. All the fear gave way to awe when we reached Jispa - an enchanting valley flushed to life in the recent downpour. And then came Tandi, the point where all the vehicles plying that route filled up their tanks because the next petrol bunk was a whopping 365 km away!
At 4 am we were up and ready to move ahead.. Everyone was ready with breakfast provided by guesthouse for journey. We started from there and came jispa.. A heavenly place on heaven.. A campers paradise,All around it was tents and tents only. Then I thought we must at least camp at least for 1-2 days on this trip. Which happened later on the trip. Bus was continuously moving to altitude, we were feeling the low oxygen, everyone was just sleeping, chewing chocolates and drinking water. Suddenly it was like cloudy all around. Then conductor told us that we are about to reach BaralachaLa paas and it may rain heavily. But wow we crossed 4-5 serpentine roads and were at much altitude that it was snowfall. For me it was 1st snowfall of my life. We couldn't resist to go out there. Stopped bus for 3-4 mins only as it was really getting tougher to walk in such a low oxygen. But it was awesome view altogether. After this paas descent started and we were seeing those icecaped mountains. All around snow was blowing with the wind but it looked like as cloudy. Just what we wanted on a memorable trip. After descending almost for 1000 feets we stopped at a small snacks center in the middle of nowhere. But there was snowfall, ice-cold wind blowing our minds out, sun shining, a river and a rainbow. We and everyone on our bus decided to just stop there only. I could never forget that place ever in my life. I have heard earlier and also read in blogs that weather changes every minute in that region. But it was all weather at a single place, I was just awestruck by the beauty of that place. We had some Maggie, parontha(parathe) and chai over there. And moved on for next paas.
At 16,540 ft, stood the mighty Baralacha La (La means Pass). The snow that covered road and lower reaches had all melted during summers. There was a slight disappointment in me for not being able to view the renowned “white valley” and frozen Suraj Taal (glacial lake at Baralacha La). As a customary gesture I stepped out to get myself photographed at the colorfully decorated Baralacha top. But the moment I came out of the car, I felt like being snap frozen for a couple of moments. At 6°C temperature and 12Km/hr wind speed. I was unable to move. I still wonder if it was 6°C or -6°C. Getting photographed at that moment was nothing less than some punishment. Just 5-6 minutes of movement, left both of us huffing and puffing. We immediately restored fluids and glucose in our body. And descended towards Bharatpur.
After a steep ascent we finally reached the second out of five mountain passes. Baralacha La pass at an elevation of 16,500 ft. connects Lahaul and Ladakh. There were a number of colourful prayer flags here (just like all other passes) and also many stacks of stones. On enquiring, our driver informed that this practice is done for good luck and fortune.
Almost perennially covered with snow, the Baralacha Pass is at an unearthly altitude of 4850 meters above sea level. It is just a few kilometers above Sooraj Tal, which is the origin of river Bhaga that meanders through the Lahaul valley. Visit Deepak Tal, a small lake, enroute to Sooraj Tal and Baralacha La from Keylong.
Bara-Lacha La:16040ft It is a high mountain pass at 16040ft above sea level in Zanskar range connecting Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, situated 75kms after Keylong. The best way to start the trip is to take a stopover at Jispa. The pass is open from June to November and for the rest of the year it is under heavy snow. The snowfall in the regions around Baralacha la is said to be round about 12-14m. So you can expect to see snow covered walls on the side of the pass . And in fact it’s a valley on snow since you will find snow as far as your eyes can see. Expect symptoms of AMS during the ride.
The road leading to Baralacha La is a wide, two-laned, extremely smooth highway. The boys took the opportunity to rip and were out of our sight until the next break. We ambled along, soaking in the beauty of the now deserted road, something that would not change all the way till Tanglang La. Deepak Tal was as green as ever, it even boasted of a dhaba now! The SASE post at Patseo is always a pretty sight with those colorful tents and so is the military base just ahead. The climb for Baralacha La began, and for a change it was a pleasure to begin a climb a high-altitude pass, unlike the dreaded Rohtang. The next scheduled break was just before the dreaded nallah for a cuppa.
Riding on smooth narrow roads in the middle of huge blocks of snow