Trips and Itineraries for Kullu
Top Places To Visit in Kullu 20 Spots
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!!
Amazing Hot Water Spring.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
After a 14 km trek from Tosh, part of it being a walk in the park and part of it making me realise that getting my rucksack along for the trek was huge mistake. Kheerganga has panoramic skies and vast greenery, which is a much needed delight to the eyes and especially the tired legs. It's not just the destination though, en route to Kheerganga you will cross many waterfalls and bridges that might be your last step ever, the tremendous river flow and its thunderous sound do instil some fear into your heart about how strong mother nature really is. Once you get to the top though, there is nothing that feels better than a hot spring bath after walking 14 km, trust me, nothing. Take in everything that Kheerganga has to offer!Getting There:The Kheerganga trek starts from Barshaini and Tosh. You first need to get to Bhunter and then from the to Tosh Getting to Bhunter:From Delhi getting to Bhunter takes 14 hours approx. Start from the ISBT Kashmere Gate, you can reach the ISBT via metro, auto, bus or taxi from pretty much anywhere in Delhi.Getting to Tosh :From Bhuntar it is a 4 hour bumpy bus ride that shouldn't cost more that 100+ Rs or a Taxi that should take 1000 to 1200 Rs. Now when you take the bus it will only take you up to Barshaini (Bar-che-ni) from where you will have 2 options, take a cab that will cost 200 Rs or walk for around an hour across the hills to get to Tosh. Walk, trust me, walk. There is no better way to explore the Kheerganga trek. The trek:The kheerganga trek is 14-15 km long and is an easy walk in the park for the first 7 km but after you cross the first dhaba the Kheerganga trek can become a little more demanding especially if you are carrying a bag or if it rains, which in my case was both.One can finish the Kheerganga trek in 5-6 hours and there in no need for a porter or a guide on this trek. There's so many places on the way you'd want to just 'chill' for a while though and it might just take you a little more time if you stop at each one of those.Staying There:Kheerganga has plenty of places to stay and accommodation is rarely a problem.The rates may vary from 500 Rs a night to a mere 100 Rs a night at the 'Ashram' built on top.You can chose from brick or wooden houses to tents depending upon how much time you want to spend inside a room in beautiful valley and how comfortable you want to sleep at night.One can even carry there own tents and set them where ever they wish to which would save a lot on accommodation expenses, only if you're there for more than a week though.Food:As it is in most of Himachal, there's many foreign tourist in Kheerganga and one can find a variety of cuisines over there.Moderate price and alright taste would give the cafe's of Kheerganga 3 out of 5 stars.The one thing you'd love to do there is just sit and sip hot drinks, tea, coffee and other things people prefer consuming hot are the biggest sellers at all the cafes.Places to visit around:Many people travel to Kheerganga as it has a temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the hot water spring there is considered to have medicinal properties. The night sky that gives you a panoramic view of the outer milky way a treat you must not miss.
If you are looking for solitude out in the wilderness, this is where you need to be. The water can be bone chilling. This is a perfect spot for relaxation in the wild. The non-concrete paths and the forests around the valley makes it one of the most scenic wonders of India. The valley is known for trout fishing. Spend some time here and you might just get lucky with a brown or rainbow trout. A trek around this place and you may be greeted by some waterfall. This is truly a paradise.
If you are looking for solitude out in the wilderness, this is where you need to be. The water can be bone chilling. This is a perfect spot for relaxation in the wild. The non-concrete paths and the forests around the valley makes it one of the most scenic wonders of India. The valley is known for trout fishing. Spend some time here and you might just get lucky with a brown or rainbow trout. A trek around this place and you may be greeted by some waterfall. This is truly a paradise.
The First Ecotourism Camp of Himachal Pradesh is managed fully by trained and professional people belonging to the Ecozone of the GHNP. The camp has hosted a conference for over 110 delegates belonging to WMPA. It has full electricity backup serving food which is organically grown in the villages nearby. It is employing about 20 young men and women from the eco-zone after due training, giving indirect employment to about 200 people through various activities around the park. Serving as a base for soft adventure activities around the park like one day treks, multi-day treks, nature awareness camps, rock climbing, fishing, medicinal herbal treks etc. Other activities may include Woofing, (Working at Other peoples Farms), Organic gardening treks, volunteer guests etc. It’s having a handicraft center which will have small units for various NTFP’s and local handicrafts. It is also having a street theater team that entertains the guests around the campfire making them aware of the biodiversity and problems around. Even the campfire wood is from a dedicated plantation minimizing the impact on environment.
White-water rafting in India has nearly become synonymous with the town of Rishikesh, located at the foothills of the Himalayas and considered a convenient base for longer forays into the mountains. Nearly every turn of the Ganges for several kilometers up the river from Rishikesh is dotted with tents of aspiring rafters and groups to lead them. However, the town itself has been sapped of its interest value by an over-crowding of hotels and tour companies, all yelling at you about offering the best prices. As far as entries go, it is not the most appetizing way to start your Himalayan meal.Tucked into the Great Himalayan National Park, located in the district of Kullu, is the Tirthan Valley, a worthy alternative destination for river rafting enthusiasts but a fantastic travel destination even otherwise. The Tirthan river that gives the valley its name runs along a pristine landscape and offers some thrilling rapids. If you have had a fill of navigating frothy, rocky waters, you are in luck — the Great Himalayan National Park happens to be one of the most picturesque trekking destinations in all of the country. Take your pick. Or, like us, sit back next to your tent and marvel at the overwhelming beauty that surrounds you.
Arriving @ Tirthan ValleyTakes around an hour and a half to reach Tirthan from Kullu, but a lovely drive.The first time I visited had reached pretty late in the evening after dark and thus couldn’t experience the beauty of the valley.This time around in July we did make it earlier at around 5 in the evening ( Would have liked to reach even earlier around lunch time and visit the beautiful waterfall in the valley on day 1 itself.)Where we stayed...March 2016
Day 03March 2016Went for an early morning short trek to a breathtaking waterfall....its a steep climb...begins with 187 steep rocky steps (Counted them when I revisited in July :-) ), followed by a moderate climb. Takes around 30 minutes to reach.Walked through lush green fields through narrow winding paths with a couple of “Out of a story book” kind of little cottages on the way to finally reach the waterfall..........a tall beauty tucked away in the mountains like a secret. One could spend hours here doing nothing....enjoying the light spray of water droplets along with the cool breeze. Didn’t spend enough time there, and I guess that’s when somewhere my heart decided....”I have to come back here.”.....and so I did :-)!!
Must admit that the tall beauty looked much more beautiful in March, as in July it had lesser water, but perhaps that’s the reason we could dare to step under it................an experience nothing less than extraordinary as we screamed and laughed our hearts out at the same time as the water hit us like 1000 whips all at once.
Tirthan Valley, HimachalTirthan Valley is situated on the banks of River Tirthan, and if you are looking for the magical blend of adventure and seclusion, here’s where you need to be this summer. You can camp, trek, fish trout, bird watch and more. And once you are exhausted, you can go sit by the riverside and watch the sun set. Inviting, isn’t it?
"If you are looking for solitude out in the wilderness, this is where you need to be. The water can be bone chilling. This is a perfect spot for relaxation in the wild. The non-concrete paths and the forests around the valley makes it one of the most scenic wonders of India" – Riya PoojaryRead - A Secluded Heaven: Tirthan Valley, Himachal by Riya Poojary
Day 2 - 11th March - SaturdayThe plan was to get off at a small town called Aut, a few kms before the tunnel that takes you to Manali and then take a tempo traveler towards Tirthan Valley.We reached Aut at around 11 am and met Ryan, who as always was excited about seeing us and had a few beers handy. Tirthan valley, was another 2-3 hours from Aut. We finally met all the other travelers who would be staying with us; two couples and a few solo travelers. We introduced ourselves and had some interesting conversations around our passions and professions.Tirthan Valley is relatively unexplored and hopefully should stay the same. The valley has the beautiful Tirthan river flowing alongside. The Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site is a short hike away.Tirthan has decent camps to stay and quite a few home stays. We stayed at one of the camps. The people here are extremely courteous and hospitable. The camps have comfortable beds and hygienic washrooms. The food here is nutritious and homely. If you are looking for 5 star hotels and beds with white linen, I would suggest you avoid reading further.We had a relaxed evening exploring areas around the camp and the river below. One of us fell into the river and was almost swept away by the current. We managed to pull him back to safety. The day was turning out to be a bit too adventurous. A bit taken aback by the incident we decided to get back to the camps and spend the day trying to be less adventurous.Safety tip: Don't cross the river when the current is strong and if possible have a local person guide you through the river and the nearby areas. If lucky you get our guide.
Tirthan Valley is located right at the edge of The Great Himalayan National Park (Himachal Pradesh), and provide numerous trekking options into the park and not much commercialization. It’s perfect for people seeking for tranquil however it could be a good option for adventure lovers as well. Lush green valley some awesome views of snow covered mountains. Tirthan Valley is known as famous for river crossing, Trout Fishing and Trekking. Jaroli Pass and Serloskar Lake are the few trekking options.Not much food and accommodation options available here, mostly homestays are available and few hotel/resort options. There are almost no restaurants, to you have to eat at the place you are staying.550 Kms from Delhi, takes around 13-14 hours to cover the Distance. The HPTDC Bus journey to Aut is an overnight journey from Delhi and from it can be reached via taxi in one hour.Recommended Duration: 4 Days
Wow! Simply Wow!! The moment I read about Tirthan Valley I knew this is going to be my next destination. I was tired and bored from work, so I just packed my bags & headed straight to Tirthan.What makes this place really different is that it is still untouched. When you are thinking of travelling 500 kms from Delhi then this is the place instead of Kasol, Mcleodganj or Manali.This destination can be reasonably explored in less than Rs 15,000 for 2 people for 3 days 2 Nights; otherwise even 1 week would not be enough.
An 8-day trek crossing the two valleys of Sainj and Tirthan. You will come across the peaks of Neuli and Shakti and the Dhel meadow. This trek includes a day hike to Jogni, and then to the Guntarao Meadow. From Dhel, head to Shilt and then to Gushaini.
A) If you are driving yourself, take the route for Mandi-Aut-Manali. There is Aut tunnel. You should NOT enter the tunnel, before the tunnel take right turn. After crossing the hydro project you will reach Larjee. From Larjee you should take left towards Banjar (the other route will take you to Sainj valley). Before Banjar, the road bends towards left for Tirthan after the Khundan Bridge . I am sure you will pre book your hotels at Sairopa or Gushaini etc. since accommodations are limited. However if you are going off season, then you may go there as well and get a good bargain for your stay. There are few good resorts and many homestays. Check out www.tirthanvalley.com for more details B) If you are traveling by Volvo - book the Delhi-manali volvo and get down before the Aut tunnel. if you are traveling with your old parents, pls call the homestay people and ask them to send for a taxi for you there. They will charge 1000 for the ride. Local bus is also available for Banjar and then from Banjar to Bathahad, but the bus from Aut to Banjar is too crowded.Tirthan valley is a place if you enjoy silence, greenery and nature. The place helps you to rejuvenate your soul. The place is also good for some adventure sports - however, that may not be your target if you are travelling with your parents or senior citzens. You may do reading, writing, painting, yoga, meditation, fishing, walking, and last but not the least simply relax on a river side bolder and listen to nature.... and do nothing. If that's what you and your parents love, then Tirthan is a great choice.
Bird-watching at Tirthan Valley
When we reached Trishla Resort (at 1:30pm), my eyes couldn't believe, my mind couldn't settle. My eyes were stuffed with wonderment and that very moment I came to knew that I've come to my happy place. Trishla Resort is not just an ordinary resort. It is built exactly near the Beas river. So close that a part of the river is also a part of the resort. Aman (I'll further address him as Aman Bhayyia), is the owner of the resort. The resort has very limited rooms - 12 to be precise, but I believe that there is nothing like it in Tirthan Valley. Red painted huts, noisy brooke, lush greenery had painted the most beautiful picture. We were quite tired, so we rested for an hour. Since we selected the most isolated room, we were gifted with an amazing portico having a river-side view. Four of us were staying together (to quadruple the fun).Next, we had lunch and do believe me when I say this, Aman Bhayyia has to the best cooks! Simple lunch - dal, roti, rice, sabzi, raita and a nice plate of salad. We got ready and then headed for the first trek of this journey at around 4:30pm.
What to do around the guesthouseThere is a lot to do in Gurshaini and nearby. Find a list of them below:Hikes and treks
In September 2017, I finally found time to visit a friend's cafe in Bir. These glowing meadows of the Kangra district grow on you with every passing sunset you spend at the landing site where hundreds of parachutes glide down at sunset and joyful kids run in frenzy, as if to catch those beautiful things descending from the sky. You're, honestly, never prepared to leave these glistening hilltops of Kangra. I had to because two amazing hosts in Bandal had been kind enough to host me at their boutique homestay for two days. Little did I know, that a new destination ahead, Sarchi in Tirthan, would simply blow my mind.
Bijli Mahadev Temple
This is an interesting temple in the Kullu Valley and is surrounded by places such as the Buntur Valley. The reason behind the mysterious name is the fact that the shivalinga inside the temple breaks down with the effect of Lightening or bijli and is then again joined with a local adhesive on a special day. The charred pieces lying inside the temple are due to the fire that catches due to intensive lightening. Apart from the temple, the deodar forests and the rolling greenery are also mesmerizing views.
This is the jewel of the Kullu valley, surpassing Kasol anyday. Approached from Kullu a 12 km road will lead to Chansari village from where you climb stairs to reach this heaven. Also approached from Naggar, a jeepable road with some scary cliffs will get you to Bijli Mahadev, Motorcyclists and mountain bikers will love this road. A huge meadow with unsurpassed vistas of the Himalayas greets you upon arrival, and you wish to stay here forever. Its a sacred site and the temple located at the top has a very interesting legend attached to it. In this temple of lightning, it is said that the tall staff attracts the divine blessings in the form of lightning. It is believed that the priest of the temple has to restore the Shiva linga placed inside the temple using butter and sattoo after every lightning as it shatters to pieces with flash of lightning. Perched at 2480 mt the only option is to camp out in the open. Be Here for the light within yourself and see it lighting up.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year, except during the monsoon.How to reach: Take an overnight bus to Manali, from there take a local bus or taxi to Jana Village. The trek starts from there, which is a couple of hours from Manali. The trek can take 6 to 7 hours depending on your speed.Trail: The trail to Bijli Mahadev Temple starts from Jana Village. The first stop is Matikochar, after which you enter Kais Wildlife Sanctuary, which falls on the route to Naggar. On the way back you exit through the Chansari Village.Khar MyundariBest time to visit: March to September (excluding the monsoon months)How to reach: Take an overnight bus to Manali, from there take a local bus or taxi to Setan. The trek starts from there, which is an hour away from Manali. The trek can take 3 to 4 hours depending on your speed.Trail: The trail to Khar Myundari starts from Setan Village. A thick forest of Deodar and pine will keep you company as you follow the stream to the meadow. The trail is not very strenuous and climbers can either camp at the top or head back the same day.
At a distance of 26 km from Kullu, 3 km from Chansari Bus Stand and 60 km from Manali, Bijli Mahadev temple is one of the sacred temples of Himachal Pradesh state. It is located at an altitude of about 2,460 m in Kullu Valley… 6: Great Himalayan National Park (Near Kullu)
Bijli Mahadev:Travel to the famed temple of lightening, climbing the ancient stairs of Chansari. A 60 feet-long wand towers over the temple. The blessing of the gods, in the form of lightening bolts, shatters the Shiva ling during each thunder storm. As you stand on the abode of the gods, the valleys of Kullu and Parvati embrace you.
Hotels and Homestays in Kullu 15 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Kullu
96 Kms from Kullu
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Simla is the capital and the largest city of the northern India state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala being the other capital. Shimla is also a district which is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, and Solan and Sirmaur. Sitting majestically above the lush plains, the British designated the town as the summer capital of India. The higher terrains of the town reflect this British connection, embodied by its buildings, built in the Victorian style, while the lower slopes are occupied with Indian bazaars and restaurants. The nearest broad gauge head is at Kalka - a four- to seven-hour journey from Delhi. After that, take the mountain train from Kalka to Shimla. This railway track has recently been granted the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read More
Goodbyes are hard. In this case it was very hard. It was time to part ways with the fabulous Chapslee and we secretly wished for a cloud burst or a mini landslide so that we could avert our trip to Manali. Alas, we had to say bye to the most adorable resident dogs, the exemplary staff and this exclusive retreat and make way to the splendid Manali.
I settled for a short nap after whetting my appetite. I woke up to the sound of honking. I knew we had entered Shimla. Since Shimla was our halt before Manali, we decided to treat ourselves and stay in a heritage property, Chapslee Hotel. The lavish mansion where the Raja of Kapurthala's grandson still maintains a blue-blooded style of living, reeking of yore.
#coffeewithtripotoShimla (or Simla, as it was called by the British during the days of the Raj), once affectionately known as Chhota Vilayat or Little England. Today, is popular with the tourists for its historical buildings and monuments.The history of shimla is it`s biggest asset, helping it fetch endless numbers of tourists from all over the country and worldwide. Shimla was officially founded in 1864 and was built on top of seven hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill.Shimla was a paradise where most of the British officers and guests spent their summers, away from scorching sun in plains.It didn’t take much time before Shimla or Simla was declared centre of British colonial rule.The British were so charmed that they planned and built Shimla meticulously and adored it with historic buildings made in British architecture, like Town Hall, Christ Church, Gorton Castel, Viceregal Lodge (now Indian Institute of Advance Studies), the Willow Bank and so on.In 1906, to make Shimla easily accessible, British built what is known as an engineering marvel in the world- Kalka-Shimla Railway track, which consist of 102 tunnels (originally 107) and 806 bridges. It was also called the “British Jewel of the Orient”. The track was declared UNESCO world heritage site in 2008.Present day administration of Shimla is still scavenging on the infrastructure British had built. The government could not add much as marvellous as these structures.Now, Shimla is a congested and crowded place like other cities. Leaking sewerage and water supply pipes, garbage either spread all over Shimla city or being burnt in open, wrecked roads and blocked, stinking drains, deforestation for over-construction of luxury apartments, resorts or commercial buildings etc. have become trademarks of it.But, you can seek some relief by time travelling into imperial Shimla. And one such place to do so in the lovely Aira Holme Estate, situated in close proximity to the strawberry hill.The house is said to be build by the Britishers and their influence can be easily spotted the moment you step in.and a link to reach the place is as folllow:https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/19002767?checkin=&checkout=&guests=1&adults=1&children=0&infants=0&location=shimla&s=tSNl0-xRDisclaimer:I am in no way rewarded to promote this place, i just happened to stay there and had a wonderful experience hence wanted to share it here.I feel lucky to have come across this place. i was awestruck the moment i walked into this this beautiful house and fell in love with its authenticity.The house is decorated very tastefully while maintaining its original historical charm. Its has a vintage glamour to itself.There is a huge and bright and colourful living area when you first walk in ,which is full of light and a lovely place to just sit and look at the rain or sunset, or to just catch up on some reading while you sip on some coffee.The bedrooms are classy and in sync with the tone of the house. I fell in love with the age old working fire place in the rooms, would love to visit the place in winter time and spend a night sleeping on a mattress on the floor curled up in a blanket in the warmth of the burning wood.The whole vibe of the house makes you feel as if you have travelled back in the time to the colonial age of wooden houses with attics. In fact the house is claimed to have been build 150 years ago. I personally have a thing for beautiful creations of both man and mother nature,so this house gave me just about everything that i was looking for, from the vintage decors to the beautiful lush green surroundings, the sound of monkeys running on the rooftops, one of the best sunset views in the entire shimla and much more. All that while being in such a close proximity to the city and all the facilities and yet successfully delivering the feeling of seclusion and solitude that we all so often desire on our vacations.
Day 2Shimla to Manali (250 kms)Good roads, serpentine curves, ethnic dhabas alongside roads and the enchanting beauty of the mountains give you the thrills as you ride through them. The tranquillity of the mountains just mesmerises you.
143 Kms from Kullu
Best time to visit - August,September,October,November
Chandigarh is India's first planned city, quite distinct from the rest of the country and considerably better organized. It is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab, but the city itself is not part of either state, being a union territory, i.e. administered directly by the central government. It was one of the early planned cities in post-independence India and is internationally known for its architecture and urban design. Chandigarh has various visitor attractions including theme gardens within the city. Some notable sites are Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Parrot Bird Sanctuary Chandigarh, and Leisure Valley. Chandigarh as a perfect city with regards to its cultural growth, modernisation and architecture. Rose Garden is home to over 1,500 varieties of rose and the Garden of Fragrance is perfect for those mind-refreshing walks. Chandigarh has a bustling food scene, home to every cuisine you can think of right from Mediterranean (Kelong, Virgin Courtyard) to Thai (Tao- Bar & Lounge). Some popular places for Punjabi dishes are Punjab Grill and Sher-e-Punjab. Chandigarh is also close to many hill stations such as Solan, Kasauli, Shoghi and Naldehra.Read More
The first thought that strikes you about Spiti is that it is not for the average tourist. The land of surrealism promises amazing adventures -- but only for those who have an adventurous streak in them. After all, “the traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
Our night started off with dancing in the room and playing beer and wine pong. Yes, wine pong. Not a great idea indeed. For food we got some pizzas and pastas parcelled for our mini house party. Hyatt is a good property in general but with a not-so-good room service. We were locked out of one room for almost 2 hours and the staff didn’t bother helping us unless one of us went all the way down to the reception. Overall, it was a good refreshing start to the long journey we were on.
Reached chandigarh airport at 230 pm. Huge temperature transformation from cool to hot and humid!!!Had lunch at the airport canteen. It was a tiring day as we moved from 8 K ft to 0 ft || cool to hot-Humid. Chandigarh is a well-planned city , acting captial of both the states – Punjab and Haryana and an Union-Territory too!!Checked in, boarded at 6 pm for Mumbai. Reached Mumbai at 8:30 PM and finally the trip came to an end. Reached home at 1 AM.
We have started journey from Chandigarh to Delhi and heading heavy rainfall around 3 hours.heading up towards Delhi from Chandigarh, had been driving in heavy rainfall and blowing parking lights on the road and following the traffic rules, didn't over take any car.
So now, after dragging through Manali City till Mandi, we had light Dinner at around Midnight at a Dhaba of Day 8-Day 9, our Driver Virendra took some "Herbal Medicine" to stay awake all night so that he can drive, the reason we were going to Chandigarh was Virendra had to go to his home town in Jalandhar and Chandigarh would come in between so that is why, and then we marched there in our 4x4 Toyota Innova with speed not less than eighty at any point of time, in five hours we covered three hundred and fifty Kilometers and we were at Chandigarh, it was 6'O clock in the morning, we thanked Virendra for the awesome driving and his time, bid farewell to him, we weren't sleepy at all as we did slept for four hours in the cab, so we all decided to take a bus back to Delhi then and there, the ticket was of five-hundred and fifty rupees, and again in next four hours in the afternoon when we were in Delhi, we all were feeling the heat, we all were tanned, we all were full of contentment and emotions, we all smiled at each other saying this is not the end, we are again having this kind of adventure, and we four parted in our ways. it was heart throbbing. Finally i got back home Late Afternoon. :)
The A/C buses were all filled up for the night journey to Dharamshala from Chandigarh days before the trip. Fortunately we got the Non A/c Himachal roadways bus 11 pm time only because Pallav took a journey to the bus stand in the afternoon.Anyways we were off a company of six knowing so little about each other( two of them I had met just twice to discuss some things about the trip, one of them I had interacted with a little bit in the last year or so-tagged him along knowing he is a superlative trekker and he was showing enthusiasm to go on a trek, one of them I just met on the day-a friend of Pallav from school.We stopped in the middle of the night for the bus's arbitrary one stop and we didn't see Vishal(the superlative trekker) anymore that night. He had apparently taken the Volvo to Dharamshala. (one seat vacated)
Original postIt is 7 PM of a hazy Chandigarh evening. We have missed the last bus to Reckong Peo. Earlier, when we set out from Mumbai, the bus to Peo was the only part of our itinerary that we were sure of. Now, it felt like a round one knockout punch. The bus terminal meanwhile is frenetic, conductors are calling out loudly, empty buses roll in and leave the stand - overflowing with humans and all kinds of luggage. The confused noises and metallic smells are unmistakable.Meanwhile, I ask at the counter " Peo ke liye aur koi bus milegi? "" Nahi ji, subeh 4 baje ki sawari hai. Lekin 8 baje Rampur ke liye ek bus nikalti hai. Ya fir aap Shimla chale jao, 7:30 ki bus se "We stand besides the counter and implore - should we stay back in Chandigarh and wait till dawn? Or do we get started with our adventure and let the road take over our fates? On a trip, I always preferred getting on with it, not break the momentum, as if the greed of exploring took over, instinctively provoking me to wander off in search of new lands. And so I ask Swanand, my younger cousin and partner on this trip, to book two tickets to Shimla. It may happen that we will end up in Shimla, in dead of the night, looking out for a lodge to crash - but we shall manage. I feel bad for Swanand though, and a little concerned too for subjecting him to this ill planned itinerary in our first trip together.The evening sky glows in a shade of magenta. The pink light bounces off the concrete structure - making everything appear very beautiful. The dim yellows inside the bus provide a soothing contrast to the colours outside. The bus has now begun cruising along the streets of Chandigarh, passing through the towns of Panchkula, Pinjore and Kalka. It is all uphill now. We start to leave the plains behind heading towards the lights that we can see at the top, higher up in the hills. I can feel my excitement - the trip has finally begun, slowly entering into the realm of the Himalayan kingdom. But with this excitement is also a tinge of nervousness, because, unlike any other trips I have done before, there's no one waiting for us at the end of the road.We arrive in Shimla by 12:30 in the night, much like two stranded souls waiting to be pounced upon by the predator guides of the night, looking to make a quick buck. They offer us free rides to hotels nearby, in an Alto which clearly has seen better days. We go up, then come down swirling crazily, the driver knows the lanes and gullies at the back of his hand. Even the basic rooms shown were far too expensive. Perhaps, it was the commission of all the touts in between that drove the prices through the roof. At the end though, we give in, no point in finding a room that was cheaper, if we do not get a chance to sleep at all.-
The route from Delhi to Chandigarh was not new to us (Me and my best man ;)), as we had traveled a couple of times earlier on the same roads. The bus took us nearly 6 hours to reach Chandigarh, as we got stuck on the roads during the wee hours. It was 1130 IST we reached Chandigarh.TIP: If going by this itinerary, make sure to board a bus from Delhi late night to avoid the wee hours traffic.We had already made our bookings with Awerides, a bike rental service located in Chandigarh Sector 42. Royal Enfield, Classic 350 it was! One of the most comfortable bikes to ride on the mountains (That's what he says ;))
250 Kms from Kullu
Best time to visit - June to September
This beautiful town happens to be located in Jammu & Kashmir and is an abode for those who wish to pursue Buddhism. The place is surrounded by tall mountains, clear blue water, a white surrounding and many monasteries. The people here are warm and welcome tourists. Found midway between the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains, the beauty of Leh is beyond words, making it a hotspot with the tourists. Visiting the local markets here is a treat as one will get to browse through Tibetan jewelry, carpets, woolens and much more. Be sure to carry an extra bag to fit in all your purchases.Read More
Russians in LehConsider yourself lucky to find a hotel without pre-booking. Leh is crowded. It is the journey to Leh that is beautiful.
Let's start in Srinagar. Dusk was falling as coincidentally the music that played in our car was "Aao Na Aao Na, Jhelum Mein Beh Lenge, Waadi Ke Mausam Bhi Ik Din Toh Badlenge" Jhelum's placid and glittering water flowing by the side of the road pointed out that Srinagar was near now. There are several small streams flowing all around Srinagar, which all meet Jhelum I suppose. My camera was too poor to click a good picture at night, but the sight and the sound of water were mesmerizing. The next morning, my camera could capture the Dal Lake.
Location We love being in the centre of all tourist places for the sheer amount of convenience it adds to the stay. Hotel Auspicious is located right in the heart of Leh in a small lane opposite the famous Hotel Lamayuru. Because the hotel is in a small lane, the traffic and the hustle-bustle of the main street don't bother at all. Nevertheless, thanks to its location, some of the most famous restaurants in Leh like Gesmo- the German Bakery, Open House Café are all just a stone's throw away. The main shopping areas and Tibetan markets are also just a few minutes away on foot.
Woke up early at 7 am. Due to permit issues, we’d to opt out from River Rafting at Alchi River. We left for Leh, took our first halt at mulbek – a village near to kargil. There we met an elderly man – born & brought up in the same village. He explained one of theBuddhist mantra. “Om maane padme um.” – Famous Leh Flags.entered the first buddhist temple in Kashmir. Had breakfast and left for Lamayuru witnessing wonderful creation of the almighty – Vast Mountain ranges. Its varied colors just like youth – with variety in hisbehaviours. After that we reached lamayuru – one of the biggest monastery. Known formoonland , where we can go for star gazzing during full moon day . On the way , wevisited pathar sahib gurudwara, reached leh in the evening . Riders started their hunt for rented bikes. Had dinner at crossroads in leh market. We stayed overnight at Lings Hotel.
On this day, we went for local sight-seeing. We started at 9 AM around and went to The Hall of Fame. It is located near the Leh Airfiled, and is a museum constructed as well as maintained by the Indian Army in the memory of the soldiers who had lost their lives during the wars. Great place for history lovers.After this, we visited the Spituk Gompa. The view from the monastery is beautiful. One can see the mountains and the airport runway is also visible. We saw many flights land and takeoff.Magnetic hill is also an interesting place to Visit. Your vehicle will roll on the road like a downhill while it seems like an uphill. Go and explore the mystery yourself.We also visited Sangam point where Zanskar and Indus River merge together. Pathar Saheb Gurudwara, Shanti stupa and Leh market are few of the other places that one can visit.This day will give you a good feel of the culture and how life at Leh is so different from ours. I started appreciating the surrounding and the people there.Day 3:Changla Pass and Pangong Lake
We landed at Leh Airport at around 8:30 AM. It is a very small airport and the runway is clearly visible as you are landing. We could see ourselves approaching the beautiful mountains. It is one of the highest commercial airports in the world. I had a feeling already that this is not any usual trip and is full of wow elements.We had planned our trip with YHAI (Youth hostel association International) and thus we went to their hostel. As it was Day 1 for us, it was the acclimatization day and we just relaxed.Day 2
210 Kms from Kullu
Best time to visit - March,April,May,October,November
Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand, a state in the northern part of India. Located in the Garhwal region, Dehradun is in the Doon Valley perched the foothills of the Himalayas. Nestled between the river Ganges on the east and the river Yamuna on the west, it is well-connected and in proximity to the Himalayan tourist destinations of Mussoorie, Auli and the Hindu holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh along with the Himalayan pilgrimage circuit of Chota Char Dham. Dehradun is the base camp for undertaking trekking expeditions in the Garhwal Himalayas. High-quality trekking gear like rucksacks, gloves, boots, tents, etc can be bought from shops in the thriving Moti bazaar. All items are mostly made locally and the shops also supply material to the Indian army that has its primary training center in Dehradun. The city is a haven for foodies as Dehradun offers a lot of variety and affordability in its cuisine. Restaurants and cafes such as Doon Darbar, renowned for delectable Mughlai dishes. Dehradun tourism has also gained importance because of the trekking activities which are carried out in the Garhwal Himalayan range. Read More
156 Kms from Kullu
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July
Scenic and serene, Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh is perhaps one of the most unexplored places in Himachal. Passing through serpentine roads, refreshing, lush greenery, the district is a delight to explore. Though travellers looking to enjoy a luxurious holiday may not have a great time here. Kalpa is the first village that greets you when you enter Kinnaur. Reckong Peo, Nako and Sangla Valley are some of the villages and valleys that make up Kinnaur district. A journey to Kinnaur is marked with adventure and also an unpredictability that comes from travelling so high up in the mountains. The people in all the villages are very warm and welcoming and are open to sharing their way of life with travellers. Do plan a long trip here, since Kinnaur district can easily take up to 2 weeks and it's best not to hurry your way through this spellbinding valley.Read More
With that we started from kaza to chandigarh via shimla and the journey just cannot be expressed in words. Roads in the cold desert are sometimes very disapponting especially when the drilling of the moutains take places the day you’re supposed to travel and you just keep waiting and the journey of 12 hrs is extended to 15-16 hrs. But still that's another good thing as you can explore more on the way! (I got a real bad reaction from my sister when i said that while we were stuck on the way. I'm still glad i came back alive from that trip and she didn’t kill me. :p )I would define kaza as one of the most picturesque destinations in Spiti valley. I heard from the locals that many Bollywood movies have been shot here. One can watch the Paap (a Bollywood movie) if they want to get a glimpse of what to expect when they reach Kaza.
The picturesque Sangla Valley in the Kinnaur with its bountiful Apple Orchards is known for rich tribal culture and traditions. There is a local tradition to welcome the guests with a garland of dry fruits and a round Kinnauri cap with green flap. It's also known for legally brewing two popular drinks, 'angoori' and 'ghanti'.Where to Stay:Rattan Cottage:A hidden-rural homestay in the picturesque Sangla Valley in Kinnaur district some 275 km from Shimla. The host also participates in the apple fest to showcase his orchard.Address: Village & P.O. Sangla, Tehsil Sangla ,District KinnaurPhone: 0-098052536
But one last visit will do!The road journey was super exciting. But I just wanted a little more scenery to enjoy! Thus next, we headed to the Himalayas again to uniquely end 2016! It was a perfect place to get away from the city for a while. So I decided to celebrate New Year's eve at Kinnaur, famous for sacred Kinner Kailash high range mountains which is home of the Lord Shiva.
The Hindustan-Tibet road or the NH5 to Chhitkul is precarious and can easily shake even the strongest of the hearts. The landslide prone roads are not smooth all the way as a national highway is supposed to be, mere 3m wide, and Satluj River by the side, the ride scared even our expert driver. Our driver had to drink a bit during the dinner time and only then he could drive fearlessly in the night at around 12 am and onwards.Now was our final battle with the roads.
Kinnaur has for centuries been a major trans-Himalayan corridor. Merchants travelling between China and the Punjabi plains passed through on the Hindustan–Tibet caravan route, stretches of which are still used by villagers and trekkers. The bulk of the traffic that lumbers east towards the frontier, however, uses the newer NH-22, which veers north into Spiti just short of the ascent to Shipki La pass, on the Chinese border, which remains closed.
A small video of our trip through Shimla-Narkanda-Sangla-Reckong Peo and Kalpa which we completed in under Rs 7000 for 10 days from Mumbai with food travel and Stay.
Their family was kind enough to let me know of the bus options and booked a bus to Reckong Peo ( head quarters of Kinnaur district).So, on sunday at 13.30 hours was the bus from Kullu to Reckong Peo( its about 16 hour journey so the bus tentatively reaches around 5.30am the next day ). Off course I was a bit scared because I was going to head out alone and this was supposed to be a group trip and I was heading out solo...Well..You gotta do what you gotta do ...the adventurous side in me overtook the fear and inhibitions in me and prayed to the Divine for guidance!
Mystery Door to Heaven, May be. These pretty things never fail to surprise you. You ask for Sunshine, they'll give you Rains. Isn't it? These clouds are like gift wraps for Himalayas. I will wrap you up and who make most effort to see you, I will open it for them. Probably ???? #meandmycrazythoughts----Well, I was quite fascinated with the name of these roads and I wanted to click each and every such passages on the road. But it wasn't as easy as I was travelling by bus. Still managed pretty well by peeping out from the window and clicking. Many more to come.
There is a temple situated named Taranda Temple. Every vehicle crossing this route offers prayer before proceeding ahead. People here believe that if they do not follow this ritual they will get stuck in the route. And who wants to get stuck in the most deadliest of path with no network and people around. So do the necessary and proceed.
252 Kms from Kullu
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Amritsar has made a huge contribution to Indian history and is the holiest hub for Sikhs. The name of the city, which means the pool of nectar, is derived from the pool that surrounds the Golden Temple. Though the city is quite congested, it has an air of spirituality and a heart to it. The stunning complex of the Golden Temple, with the Central Sikh Museum, will surround you with a spiritual energy that is hard to shake off. The gurdwara is located at the nucleus of the lake, which glitters like gold after the sun goes down. At every corner you’ll find devotees who have volunteered for either cooking or cleaning the premise. Eat a free meal at the dining hall and make sure you don’t waste any food. The Jallianwala Bagh, from the pages of history, comes to life here. The complex, where around 1500 people were massacred, still has bullet marks all over it. A peek into the well, inside which hundreds jumped to save their lives, is sure to leave you feeling uncomfortable. An hour away from the city is the Wagah Border, where the gates divide Pakistan and India. An evening parade, held before sunset every day, is an experience worth savouring. Amritsar remains incomplete without the lassi with heaps of malai, available almost everywhere. There are endless options to stay in the city but if you want to splurge, consider the Green Acres Haveli and Country Inn Hotels and Resorts.Read More
Getting aroundThe gateways to the Buddhist Circuit are Varanasi and Lucknow. The quickest convenient cost effective way to travel on this circuit is in a private vehicle with a guide, and only travel Delhi to Varanasi or vice versa by flight or overnight train. However you can also do this journey using local bus and train services. The entire sector is well aligned to the needs of pilgrims and tourists from around the world. Most material and religious needs will be well served.What to see and do - The ItineraryDay to day descriptions provide some background of why we do what we do each day. However please do research in detail before taking this itinerary, one of the most fascinating journeys of India.
AmritsarAn important city of Punjab. It is also the centre of Sikhism and the site of the Sikh’s principal place of worshipHow to reachThe Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport, about 11 km. from town, is connected by domestic flights to Delhi, Srinagar and Chandigarh.Amritsar is connected by direct trains to major Indian cities like Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai, Nagpur, Calcutta and Chandigarh.Bus services also connect Amritsar with most north Indian towns, including Chandigarh (235 Kms), Delhi (450 Kms),What to do
From defining historical monuments to the streets of Amritsar, there is so much to do, love and experience in Punjab that every trip delayed to this state is a loss. Kick-start your journey through this city of religion and celebration with Cox & Kings.
5) Chandigarh - AmritsarMake a visit to India's one of the most well planned cities-Chandigarh. The city is beautiful and highly enjoyable. Everyone I ask says Chandigarh is a gem. Don't stop yourself here. Head over to Amritsar and visit the beautiful Golden Temple, India Pakistan border and feel the patriotism in your blood this Independence Day. Spend a day with soldiers and give them the respect they deserve.
Chandigarh to Amritsar is 230Kms and takes 4-5 Hours by car. You can start very early in the morning from Chandigarh to reach Amritsar by breakfast time and to have ample time to explore the city within a day.Apart from its famous Golden Temple, the city holds a rich history of Indian Independence.Start with Jallianwala Bagh, the iconic garden where the tragic Amritsar massacre took place in the British Era. The garden is very near to Golden Temple(almost within the same complex). So you can pay a visit to the famous Golden Temple consecutively.
We all have that travel bug inside us and most of the people I have come across, the one thing which is common- “travel more, spend less”. The pleasure of visiting a new place without spending much is second to none. The other thing which is common between my fellow citizens is that they don’t have enough leaves so the weekend breaks becomes the new found best friend.Amritsar can be easily visited on weekends. We (group of 5 friends) travelled to Amritsar from New Delhi. It’s an overnight journey. There are several trains and buses between the Capital city to Golden city. Trains are more convenient, of course for the most obvious reasons. In case you are visiting the city only for a day, make sure you book a train which reaches Amritsar early morning. (as early as possible)We had planned the trip only for a day. We went straight to the Golden temple by taking a shared auto.The auto dropped us right outside the temple and charged us Rs. 35 per person (30 mins from railway station). We walked inside the temple complex with our luggage and went to their bathing area (free of cost). There was separate bathing area for men and women and is clean and well maintained but crowded. Cleanliness is maintained by volunteers.If you are staying overnight in Amritsar, it is highly recommended to stay in hotels which are close to the Golden temple. The range of these hotels varies (from Rs. 500 to 3000) and it’s up to the individual’s choice. But make it a point to get refreshed quickly and leave for the Golden temple.We kept our luggage in the luggage room (free of cost) and footwear in jora ghar (shoe stands) and entered the temple complex. An artificial stream was flowing to wash one’s feet before entering. Make sure to cover your head properly before entering the holy complex. Anyone can take a dip in the holy sarovar but use of soap or shampoo is not allowed. It’s believed that one gets cured of the diseases by taking a bath in the sarovar. As soon as we entered, the grandness of the temple bowled us over. The temple has gold work done on major part of it including the dome. The carving work done on the walls is amazing.The katha and kirtan at the temple was melodious. It took us approx. 3 hours to get the darshan. There are separate queues for women with toddlers. Unlike other temples in India, the volunteers don't pester you to go out once you enter the Sanctum Sanctorum. The kadha Prasad is offered with cupped hands and it is touched with the tip of krippan before it is distributed.It was almost lunch time when we moved out of the temple complex and headed towards the langar hall. We were to astonished to see hundreds of volunteers working there. The food served was fresh and hot, excellent Kheer, and a special mention of the unique way of serving drinking water. Everything was systematic and neat and clean. If you are not having the lunch there, still it’s a must to go and see the Langar area because you will be amazed how common people are providing their services to do activities like cutting vegetables, making rotis, washing used plates. Everything is very systematic. A perfect example of team work. (CEOs/Managers go have a look).We then covered Jallianwala Bagh (India’s bloody past) which is mere 5 mins walk from the Golden temple. In the center there is a memorial tower. It is difficult to think how, from a lane where three people can’t walk side by side, one man managed to perpetrate a massacre. It infuses patriotism in andreminded us of sacrifices made by our ancestors to win Independence. Once we were out of Jallianwala bagh, we found lot of taxi and auto owners asking for Wagah border. They take you on a sharing basis for Rs. 120 per person to and fro. Try to take comfortable seats in auto as its almost an hour drive but the condition of the road is good. (No point of doing advance booking)Make it a point to reach Wagah Border by 2 pm or let’s say as early as possible but be ready to wait for approx. 3-4 hours before the ceremony starts. But it’s still advisable if you want to sit and watch the entire ceremony. The place was excessively crowded plus a big queue for security check. We didn’t carry anything and it was such a relief because nothing (Nothing means nothing- no chips, popcorn, ladies handbag, camera cover, etc. Only water, wallets, sunglasses, cameras are allowed) is allowed inside and then you have to keep your stuff in road side vendor locker for which again you have to stand in queue.We reached in nick of time and occupied seat which gave okay view but we still felt lucky because there was humongous crowd standing and forced to watch the border parade on the big screens installed there instead of live.The retreat ceremony is for 45 minutes which includes the closing of international gates and the lowering of the flag. The atmosphere was simply electric. The crowd modified into a hooting cheerleader. Passion and patriotism was at all-time high. The moment became so live and full of energy. People danced on some of the famous patriotic numbers. Children also get a chance to take the flag and run.The auto dropped us at the same place and we decided to do some shopping. We went to Hall market which lies in the way to the Golden temple. Patiala salwar and jootis were exceptionally beautiful and cheap. We found handicrafts like phulkari and shops of weaponry like swords and krippan and other souvenirs in abundance. Later, we went back to the Golden temple and collected our luggage and had our dinner at one of the local dhabas. (within city limits non-veg food isn’t available). Don’t miss out the famous Amritsari Kulcha and Punjabi lassi (a giant glass with malai on top). We missed on sarson ka saag as its mostly available in winters.
So it all started 3 years back when I planned a trip to explore the beauty of Amritsar.I was accompanied with one of my friend from South India (Malhar Ashrit) who always wanted to travel to this place, but had a budget constraint.So was that a big deal, NO.I booked the tickets in sleeper class coach of Indian railways for 280 bucks from Delhi to Amritsar. Train departed around 7:30 pm from Nizammudin, Delhi and reached Amritsar around 4 30 Am.There' s always a free bus service available to golden temple from Amritsar railway station. But, you need to stand in a big queue. Since, we wanted to save money, we waited for some 10-15 min for the bus to arrive and got a seat as well. The journey took us around 15 mins to reach Golden Temple (Free of cost service).The Golden temple provides you accommodation at a cheaper cost, but check-in time for it is 12 noon. We did not wanted to waste any time, took a lodge outside the Golden temple area to fresh-up and keeping the luggage, paid 200 bugs.( You can easily get cheap accommodation in-around the place).
4. Experience the Beating Retreat ceremony at Wagah BorderPlan a place to visit near Delhi on weekends to the Wagah Border to witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony. A local transport service from Amritsar will take you to Attari. Easy connectivity make Wagah Border one of the cheapest places to visit near Delhi. Avoid booking local taxis if you are on a strict budget. Remember to be seated not later than 3pm for the 4pm ceremony. Choose tourist guesthouses for the cheapest deal.
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