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14 Days Of Ananda In The Himalayas: How To Pick A Retreat
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All You Need to Know About the Most Adrenaline-Pumping Bicycle Race in India - Hero MTB Himalaya '16
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The Hero MTB Himalaya 2016 – Behind the Scenes on Asia's Toughest Bicycle Race
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Top Places To Visit in Himalayas 975 Spots
Valley of Flowers National Park
Earlier used as a cattle grazing ground, this was declared as a national park and then later an UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2005. This is in the Josimath Region of the Bhyundar Valley and is known for its outstanding scenic beauty. There is a little bit of everything here which makes this place magical. Starting from fresh air and snow clad mountain to colourful flowers and lush greenery, you get everything here. This place along with the Nanda Devi National Park make up the whole nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and is a place extremely rich in natural biodiversity. There is an abundance of alpine shrubs and other plants, it is also known that in the epic of Ramayana, Hanumana brought down the Sanjeevani herb to save the life of lakshmana from this same place. It is still believed that the Sanjeevani herb grows here. The Gauri Parbat is the highest peak here and more than 650 varieties of flowers grow here including rare ones such as cobra lily, Brahmakamal as well as blue poppy. Photographers and nature lovers find their ultimate food for the sould in such a place and tourists find immense bliss and peace out here.
We woke up at 5.am. Nobody wants to wake-up early unless they are getting up to see something very beautiful. It was a very delightful day for us. We were going to ‘Valley of Flowers’. We got ready and all gathered for our trek. We started our journey with our ‘YHAI’ lead Mr. Abhinav Agarwal and our adolescent guide Mr. Anshul Rawat. We commenced ascending the valley. At outset we were required to cross the river. Thereupon we stopped for registration for entry into the valley. The way towards valley is filled with briar, creeper, rocky stones, hedges and Roaring winds. Abhinav played soothing songs while ascending the valley which made our trek more interesting. The valley is about 8 km long and 2 km wide. This valley is found by British mountaineer Mr. Frank S. Smith in 1931. He wrote a book on the same. In 1939, Joan Margaret Legge, a botanist arrived at the valley to study flowers and while traversing some rocky slopes to collect flowers, she slipped off and lost her life. Her sister later visited the valley and erected a memorial near the spot. We witnessed many flowers like Vajaradanti, Saxifraga parnassifolia, Marigold, Pedicularis, Ligularia, Ban Ajwain, Bistorta Affinis, Morina Longifolia etc. and later on we went ahead with Anshul for river bed known as Pushpavati river. The area has tendency of bears appearing, so it was quite risky being there. But the view of the river just gave my eyes instant relaxation. The shore of river flooded in my body and cold wind felt like heaven. No wonder why sadhus (monks) choose Himalayas for meditation. We had lot of fun there. I must say million thanks to Mr Anshul for getting us there. Actually very few batches cover this point. Every one left from picnic spot itself. While returning we visited the memorial. View from the memorial was something like river of flowers. We almost covered the whole valley. While retracing at about 2 p.m. valley bloomed like anything, everywhere just flowers and flowers. We were just 7 people while returning and we enjoyed and freaked out a lot. We taught each other peculiar languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Gadhwali etc. Then Suddenly I and Priya realized that it's friendship day (wohoooo ????). We quickly gave each other a tight hug, danced and came down the whole way crooning songs (lallalalalalla). At about 5 p.m we finished our trek. We stopped at Anshul’s shop and had piquant Maggi. Thereafter we went ahead to our campsite. After freshening up Abhinav asked me for boiled eggs. It was so amazing to have boiled eggs after very long time. I quickly invited our group members. Caring uncle and Karthik joined us. We had masala boiled eggs (yummmm). I was desperate for boiled eggs because I tripped and hit my knee which pained alot. My knee got blocked I was not able to walk properly. I was very much tensed whether I should do Hemkund sahib trek the next day or not. We reached our hotel and Ajay uncle asked us whether we want to book khachchar for tomorrow's trek to which me and my friend denied. I was praying my knee injury improved. Vaibhav uncle gave us vitamin tonic and I got massage done from hotel which gave me little relief.
Again it had been raining all night and in the morning I was worried if we would be able to go to the valley or not. But by the time we got ready, the weather had cleared up a bit and we were all set to start for this beautiful and much anticipated walk/trek. The gates for the Valley of Flowers national park opens at 7 am in the morning and everyone needs to register at the check post with a entry fee of 150 before going inside. We are required to reach back to the check post before 5 pm. From the beginning of the trail, our guide started showing various flowers like the cobra lily, barking dog, forget me not and wild roses. The trail began in a forest route laden with pine trees and the blue skies peeking in between them. We spotted some blue poppy, wild mushrooms as well as silver fir on the way till we reached a stream with an Iron bridge to cross it. The gushing water and the tall cliffs seemed like to be in constant conflict with each other, but all the while coexisting for each other as well. None the less , it never stopped me from falling in love with them over and over again. Upon crossing the the bridge the spiral uphill climb along the mountain to reach the valley started. It was a steady uphill climb of around 3.5 kms.
As we did some research already, we knew that valley is starting after 4 kms from Ghangaria, and entry time in the valley is from 7:00 am.We started early at 5:00 am packed essentials which may require in our daytime into the Valley and head towards the valley.After half of km we found the entry counter to the valley, it was only 5:30 am and nobody was there who can give us the tickets. We were stuck there.So we thought that we should go back 100 meters where a small police chawki was there. They said the you people can go to the valley and we will tell the people of valley that 4 people were entered into the Valley early morning and you can take your tickets in return. The entry ticket to the valley is of Rs. 150 per person.We were happy because we were the first person to enter into the Valley of today. We were heading towards the Valley by singing songs and talking to each other about the today's journey.The trek was so beautiful that it can not be explained in words, please go and see it yourself. Luck was already in our side the there was no rain that day.Some views in between the trek before we entered into the valley.Day 4: July 11 2017, Hemkund sahib
Day3: Ghangaria to Valley of FlowerIt was a beautiful morning with clear sky. We were so excited to reach Valley of Flowers asap.We came to know that national park opens at 7 in the morning and of course we were there and did the first entry for entering National Park .This area comes under forest department. That's why spotlessly clean, with not a scrap of paper or plastic. People told us that valley is very huge and you won't be able to cover the full valley in a day. Keeping this in mind, we acted super-fast as per our itinerary one day was for VOF. Covered whole valley within a time, actually very fast, but it did not mean that we missed anything.We also hired a lady guide. She provided loads of information about all the flowers we crossed on our way. Different flowers bloom in different months. So you have to visit more than once! We also visited the grave of Joan Margaret Legge, the French lady, who died exploring the area in 1939.We carried packed lunch inside the park as there is absolutely no place within the park where you can get food! Do remember to bring back every scrape of plastic you took with you. Do not litter. And, if you find one that was thrown by someone else, bring it back with you.As per instructions you have to leave valley by 2'o clk afternoon for some safety reasons, but who wants to leave the place like this especially when in a bright sunny afternoon, you feel the chilled air blowing against your face .Finally around 2:30 we decided to go back to ghangaria and yes we were the last who came out of the national Park ;).This is the place where you can escape from the busy life and get some solitude.And no wonder why its in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Valley of Flowers Trek is one of the most sought-after monsoon treks in India. Located within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, this trek offers captivating vistas of snow-caped mountains and a rare coming-together of about 300 different species of endemic alpine flowers, including few rare ones such as geranium, potentilla, anemone, and the blue Himalayan poppy. It is believed that one week the flowers are red, and in the next week, they’re pink and later, yellow and so on.Region: Uttarakhand | Highest Altitude: 14,400 ft | Difficulty: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 6 daysRead more about the valley of flowers trek here.
Cradled within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, the Valley of Flowers is best known for its meadows of alpine flowers. A 14 km-hike from Govindghat takes you to the settlement of Ghangaria, from where another 3km trail takes you to the valley.
About the trek: The Valley of Flowers trek is one of the most sought-after monsoon treks in India. The core zone of this trek, located within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, offers wondrous vistas of snow-caped mountains and unparalleled natural beauty.There are about 300 different species of endemic alpine flowers, including few rare ones such as geranium, potentilla, anemone, and the blue Himalayan poppy. It is believed that one week the flowers are red, and in the next week, they’re pink and later, yellow and so on.Region: Uttarakhand | Highest Altitude: 14,400 ft | Difficulty: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 6 daysRead more about the valley of flowers trek here.
Day 4: From there excursion to valley of flower and again
Where: Situated in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, the trek to the Valley of Flowers begins from Govind Ghat, a popular pilgrimage town. To reach Govind Ghat, take an overnight bus or train from Delhi to Haridwar and then a taxi or local bus to Govind Ghat.Trail: The first day of the trek is a walk on a well-defined concrete trail that passes through the developed town of Govind Ghat. Backpackers don't need to carry food or cooking essentials on this trail. Govind Ghat to Ghangria is 13km and there are several dhabas there; rest and eat at any. There are several guesthouses in Ghangria, so you don't even have to carry a tent. Leave in the morning for the Valley of Flowers, which is only an hour or two from Ghangria. You cannot camp inside the national park, as it closes by 5pm.Duration: 9-10 hours
A meter-wide pebbled path running through sloping floral fields on either side. Towards the right lay a descent to the river and to our left, an ascent to the peaks. Far beyond the valley tower snow-capped peaks among which, Hathi Parvat and Mt. Nilgiri are the easiest to recognize. They appear briefly before evanescing into a curtain of clouds. July to August is the best time to visit the valley as it is usually in full bloom then. Honestly, it’s worth a visit year round owing to its stellar beauty and serenity. We venture deep into the valley, smelling flowers and tasting berries as we go. Keeping in mind that the deeper we ventured, the longer we’d have to walk back, we sat down for lunch by a silent stream overlooking the valley. My hunger was satiated, but my mind could not get enough.
It was one of the most beautiful places I have had the privilege of seeing and experiencing nature in all its glory. The beautiful weather, the majestic snow capped peaks, the colourful carpet of flowers, the divine experience at Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath, the quaintness of the cute little Mana village..one of the best experiences of my life.
-VALLEY OF FLOWERS -situated at Uttarkhand, this trekking trail, gives you full view of flowers and snow capped peaks. There is a huge variety of alpine flowers and rich flowers. It is a World Heritage Site too. A 6 day trek covers valley of flowers. The best time to visit this place is in the month of July-August. ESSENTIALS TO CARRY -Trek pants-rain coat-Cold cream and sun screen lotion.
14. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand – Strictly for trekkersThey were right when they said 'beauty can be a cruel mistress'. The Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is so beautiful that it attracts a lot of tourists, and that is the biggest threat to the region. There is a thin line between an ideal trekking destination and a burgeoning tourist hub and we seem to have crossed that when it comes to Valley of Flowers.
Valley Of Flowers: July is just the right time of the year to experience the wonders of nature at the Valley Of Flowers trek in Uttarakhand. 300 kms north of Rishikesh, the trek starts from a distant village in Uttarakhand, Govindghat. The trek through the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve promises the valley in full bloom during July, August and September.Valley of Flowers is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and the last motorable road will take you to Govindghat, 500 kms from New Delhi and almost 300kms from Haridwar.Read More: Witness Heaven in Nature’s Own Valley: The Valley of Flowers Trek, Uttarakhand by Tushar Chatterji
We stayed for the night on our base camp at Ghangaria and in the morning after having our hot breakfast we set for to the valley. The valley is 14 km long and 2 km wide, and is divided by the Pushpawati stream. During the trek, I could only see the landscape get more and more AWESOME. We spotted Himalayan Fragrant Orchid, Kumaon Iris, Haldya Phool, Rock Anemone, White-Leaf Hogweed, Milk Parsley and many more.Raincoats and jackets must be handy because you never know when it might rain and the temperature could drop.
The Valley of Flowers TrekThe Valley of Flowers is at 11,000 ft with trekking distance of 3 Km. It would take a good 3 hours of time after you register yourself at the ticketing desk. The entry price for Indians is 150 INR for the first three days and 50 INR per add on day after the first three days. For foreigners it is 600 INR and 250 INR, respectively.Mules can not take you to the Valley of Flowers so you are on your own, However, you may hire a person who carries you on his back or you may hire a palanquin that would cost around 800 and 1500 respectively.You have to start trekking down last by 3 pm so that you can reach back by 5-6 in the evening.TIPS* Raincoat* Trekking pole* Stay careful along the trek path
I started to trek for the valley at 10 and reached at the registration office after 1 Km. The police guard asked my details for ticketing and when I told him my name he taunted me as ''Ohh! So you are Mr. Nishesh'', I was totally unprepared for that sort of reaction or rather for any reaction at all. He told me that my family has made a missing complaint of me and his superior has been interrogating about me for 2 days now directly from Joshimath. I stood shocked and smiling as I knew my parents have been playing me out now just as I tried with them.The main valley entrance was 3 Km away which the guards told would take 3 hours approx.
Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
Alternative Destination: While the monsoons might sound like an unlikely time to visit the paradise that Uttarakhand is, the month is the best time of the year to visit the Valley of Flowers. This trek that starts from Ghagharia will take you through a breathtaking landscape which is also a UNESCO Heritage Site.Read more about Valley of Flowers here.
Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian national park, located at a height in West Himalaya. It is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora found there. It is located in Uttarakhand state. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east. Together they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya. The park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km². Both parks are encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (223,674 ha) which is further surrounded by a buffer zone (5,148.57 km²). The valley had always been known to the local people who avoided getting to this area for fear of fairies, who they believed, would take them away. It was in 1931 that Frank Smythe and Holdsworth stumbled into the valley while returning from their successful Kamet expedition and were “at once transported from a region of solemn austerity to a fairy land of dainty flowers, most of them dwarf but brilliant in colour”. Smythe wrote about the valley and its flowers – “their carpet is a celestial one, breathing innocence and joy to the world overburdened with sophistication and sorrow”. His writing invoked a great interest of the people in this valley, both at home and abroad. Legends associate this valley area with “Gandhamadan” from where Hanuman of Ramayana collected “Sanjeevani” herb to revive Laksmana. Hanuman had to visit far-flung areas in his search for the life-saving herb, some named after him. He visited Hanuman Chatti near Yamunotri, Hanuman Tibba near Gangotri, Hanuman peak near Nandadevi, Hanuman Chatti near Badrinath and ultimately the valley of flowers or Nanankanan as it is also known as.
This is one of the heavens that are present on earth. The nature's beauty will seize your eyes. Though the best time to visit this place is between June- August, I visited during October first week. I saw the autumn where flowers weren't there but the scenic beauty was immeasurable. 4 km trek from Ghangharia chilled my spine and it was once in a lifetime experience.
It is 5 km trek from Ghangaria. Series of breathtaking views and picturesque scenics would keep you spellbound by it's beauty.
Garden of the world. Entire valley is full of different flowers. Along the either side of the trail fully grown bushes lush greenery and snow capped mountains. From Ghangaria village pack your lunch and set out for valley early. Get your pass from the forest office. Through the dense forest trying to spot the wild life and enjoying the flora, crossing a couple of big streams you entire the valley. Flowers flowers flowers every where and the mountains by their side adds the beauty. Anyone can just sit on a rock and spend the entire evening looking towards the valley. You cannot camp inside the valley and forest personnel sweeps the park for wanders at the end of each day. Carry a whistle and don't blow it except you encounter any bears.
This vibrant and splendid national park nestled in Uttarakhand is famous for its charming meadows of alpine flowers. Absorb the view of how thousands of different flowers look together in full bloom. This lush region is also home to some rare and endangered animal species. It's a valley that will enchant you- maybe force the inside of you to romanticize with the colours of nature.
One of the most beautiful trek routes in entire Uttarakhand region, wiped by floods two years back this beautiful valley has come back to the way it used to be and trekkers are waiting to explore it. As the name suggests this picturesque setting is will make you fall in love with.
According to Hindu mythology this place is the Sanjeevni mountain that Lord Hanuman picked up to cure Laxman, according to local folklore its a place where fairies reside, I believe its a place that is probably been the abode of celestial being at some point. The hike to valley of flowers from Ghangharia can get a little difficult towards the end but every sore muscle is worth the panorama that awaits you.
This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard,musk deer, brown bear, red fox and blue sheep.
Trek to Valley of Flowers from Gangaria which is of 6 Kms will take 3 hrs. After such a laborious journey of 16 Kms Trek, you will forget all that once you witness majestic view of Valley and Himalayas. A World Heritage Site for its Unique Natural Scenic Views.
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.
Sari to Deoriatal (3 km)The village of Sari, as I have already mentioned, can be reached from Haridwar by car. Should take about 8 hrs via Deva Prayag. Deoriatal is another 3 km from the village of Sari. Should take about 1 hr owing to the easy gradient of the trail. Although not a metalled pathway, the trail from Sari to Deoriatal is a gradual climb through a rocky trail. Remember, there is no source of water in between. Deoriatal is also known as Devariyatal - a tal (lake), at an altitude of 7,841 ft, where devis (goddesses) came to take a bath. The gradual climb opens up to a steep climb from a local temple in the way. However, this trail offers one of the best views of the Chandrashila peak and the Tunganath temple, a 30 mins trek from the local temple leads to Hawa Ghar - a resting place for the trekkers. Followed by Hawa Ghar begins the dense forest of rhododendrons, oaks, maples and pines. This forest is at an altitude of 7,434 ft. 10 mins of trek and comes another resting place from where Ukimath can be clearly viewed. 20 mins of trek and next comes a dhaba. Deoriatal is a downhill trek of about 2 mins from here.
Surrounded with towering deodar and pine trees, the forest trek towards Deoria Lake is amazing. The trek is not that much difficult and fully recommended if you are a beginner. The 3 kms rugged trail will give you some breathtaking views of the mighty Himalayas. After hiking amidst woods & lush green meadows, we reached our campsite at Deoria Tal. The lake was so calm and the wide 360° panoramic view from there was simply mesmerizing. In the background, snow-capped peaks like Chaukhambha, Nilkantha, and Kedar range add to the beauty of this offbeat place. We had our lunch and spent some leisure time near the majestic Deoria Lake.The sky turned crimson as the sun was bidding goodbye. We were sitting on a chair in front of the bonfire with tea in our hands. We geared up for the bonfire and fun activities with soulful music, played few games, shared our funny travel experiences and much more. It was so peaceful, chilly and after dinner we just laid down on the grass, gazing at the glittering stars!Sunrise In The Himalayas
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
A fresh start of our journey we took shared taxi (mahindra max) from rudraprayag in the morning 6 am for ukhimath. But driver waiting for other co passenger we already 7 people in taxi but he wants to wait for 3 other passenger.. after a half hour wait taxi get full by passenger. We reached ukhimath 8:15 am and paid 300 rs (for 2) for ride. After reaching there a new quest waiting for us..there is no bus for chopta the only bus which is go chopta was gone in 7 am. After 2 hr we got taxi but he going to half way to chopta so we changed our plan and we decided to go deoria taal. After leaving taxi we trek almost 2.5 km from the main road to sari village. We got room basic room in 500 rs. We started our trek after lunch it was 3 km long and moderate trek. Deoratal is very nice place for camping and see view of chaukhambha peak (in April last u can't see because of smoke) if your lucky u can see the chaukhambha.
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.
It is located on the summit of Tungnath at 13000 ft and means when literally translated "Moon Rock", it is said to be the place where Lord Rama meditated after defeating the demon-king Ravana and also the place where the moon god spent his time in penance.
The trek was pretty tiring and though it was just 4 km, it felt like never ending walk towards Tungnath Temple which was at the base of Chandrashila. With every step we took forward the air got thinner, less oxygen, temperature dropped to -4 and even our sweat froze on our faces and yet we felt more alive than ever. The trek continued to be steep and difficult because we had to literally climb the snow covered mountain. There was a moment when I felt like a "white-walker" trying to reach the other side of the wall. After so many halts and slipping and falling on snow we reached Tungnath temple and this felt like an achievement. It was beautiful there but we couldn't take a long pause here as it was already 5.30 and we had to reach Chandrashila peak.
The trail to Chandrashila peak will tire you out, but the trek is planned as such that you will summit at the crack of dawn. This means the last night of 2016 will be spent looking forward to a day of ascend.
1. ChandrashilaChopta is one of the most beautiful and picturesque spots in the whole Garhwal. The breathtaking view of the Himalayas is treat to the eyes and soul. Waking up to a view of the mighty Chaukhambha peak just outside your tent is an experience of a lifetime. Lush green grasslands around this peak provide several spots for pitching your tent. Try to stay away from edges as wind speeds at night could be really high. Highest altitude: 4000 meters
The trek from Deoriatal Lake to Chandrashila Peak is considered the most beautiful winter trek in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. The gradual ascent on snow makes it ideal for beginners and the beautiful campsites are ideal for families wanting to step out to interact with nature. From the summit, you can even see the mighty Trishul peak.The first basecamp, also the starting point, is in Sari. From there you trek for one hour to reach Deoriatal, a beautiful lake, and camp at Rohini Bugyal the next night. On the final day, you summit the Chandrashila Peak, exit via Tungnath to Bhrujgali and then descend to Chopta.
Today, she is standing at the top of a mountain and appreciating the majestic panoramic view of mesmerizing Himalaya. As a kid, she used to look up in the sky and wish for wings to fly up to the mountains. And now after a long wait of many years, she is standing here and living her dream. It’s the moment when she can’t believe her eyes because what she always dreamed of has come alive. She looks with amazement as if she’s witnessing a miracle. It is the moment of her life. She just wants to feel it. There are beautiful clouds below her and there are snow clad mountain peaks emerging from those clouds. The white peaks shining in blue sky among white clouds look like glittering diamonds to her. The view of the large lush green meadow surrounded by mountains under blue sky with a rainbow circling the horizon has put her in a state of tranquility. As the sun starts drowning in the horizon, the sky begins to boast his mystical colours. The beautiful mix of pink, orange and red looks like creating a twilight saga. She opens her both arm and takes a deep breath to entwine with the nature. The glimmering rays of moon are paying tribute to her by kissing her warm cheeks and her eyes twinkle in bright moon light. She raises her face towards the moon and senses the flood of memories which she wants to unleash. The cool breeze lifts her ruffled hair and blows her skirt up. She closes her eyes and breathes deep as if she wants to let her know that she is finally here and then she opens her eyes and finds herself on the same wheelchair inside a room with an empty wall in front of her eye. Tears roll down from her eye but these are the tears of Joy because she is living her dreams today. The feelings come to her mind while waiting for her daughter who is coming back home today after her first expedition of a high range mountain.
India is incredible for so many reasons but among them of course is the opportunity to find yourself reveling in the site of ancient wonders. I’ll never forget the moment I stood at the top of Chadrishilah, 4,000 meters up in the sky. Sillouhettes of endless mountain tops in gradients of blue soft sky lining our 360 degree view of the Himalayas. It was around 7am as we laid down on the patches of green earth between the collection of rocks near the Shiva temple. The sun felt great on our bodies and our smiles were just as picture perfect. We couldn’t hide our happiness as we exchanged glances instead of words in hopes of preserving the sites calamity. You wouldn’t know by our glistening grins that we were all pretty exhausted.We had started climbing the day prior at around noon, hitting summit right before the sunset. Our legs were tired as we arrived at the last village before the tippy top. Shacks with tin roofs stood side by side as a few of the local mountain men sat in front next to the refreshments they had available to hikers. We took turns ringing a gratifying bell that symbolized our summit before taking a peek into an active temple, where we received blessings in exchange for a few rupees.Our plan all along was to camp outdoors but as quickly as the sun began to lower, so did the thermostat. In a semi-panicked frenzy we asked the monk at the temple where we could stay the night. He led us to a set of rooms in front of the temple and quoted us a hefty price. To my dismay, (I was already wrapped in the blankets when the boys told me) we would keep it moving to find a more affordable option. A few steps below us a mountain man offered his one room shack stuffed with 4 beds on one wall for the five of us at a cheaper price, we agreed unanimously asking him for blankets and closing the door behind him shutting out the breeze. The beds were wet having collected condensation from the varying temperatures at this altitude. We all shared a bottle of rum and whiskey and chattered the night away distracting each other from how inescapably frigid it was. Our host prepared us some dahl, aloo, rice and chapatis which were so delicious after having downed so many shots of warming liquor just before.In a fuzzy haze we fell asleep on our wall of beds, sharing our damp blankets and neccessary body warmth. As our limbs got cozy and we sniffled and sneezed into a comfortable position, I remember thinking, how lucky I was to have such awesome friends who despite being in the freezing cold on wet beds we knew that this was part of the journey to the top and that we would rough it out together without complaining one bit.Truth be told, I had only met these 4 guys that I was now having a bromantical sleepover with the day before. One of them, Bam, I had met through instagram a week prior. He’s an avid trekker and nature lover whose pictures of the Himalayas had me in awe. I left him a comment asking him where he shot a few of his pictures and the next thing I know, we’re hiking buddies. The trip had been a blast so far starting with driving the 6 hours from Rishikesh to our first camping spot at Tungarth jamming to their American oldies playlist as our car spiraled up the narrow curvy roads. There’s something about roadtrips, mountains and oldies music that brings light and joy to my soul.Fast forward to the next morning, we had no choice but to wake up at sunrise. There weren’t any buildings blocking the sun, only brightly lit white clouds all around and direct rays into our shanty room. The good news was, the sun’s warmth was back, the bad news – I was so hung-over. I never drink which is why I hadn’t thought about how much harder the final stretch of hiking would be with whisky and rum sitting in my stomach. Nonetheless, we strapped our shoes and went at it. I was by far the weakest link and at one point I even considered telling them I would wait for them there and let them go up. Thankfully, we stopped a few times to rest and take in the view while my womanhood kicked in and I got up the stamina to make it up the rest of the climb.I practically dropped to my knees when we finally made it. The atmosphere was sparse and stoic. Quiet in an epic way where you understood what was being said by the silence. I sat in meditation and felt the clarity of the space around me. No wonder monks would retreat to these heights of glory. When it was time to descend, I realized this was a memory I’d treasure for the rest of my life. I’ll never forget this trip. The day my romance and admiration with the Himalayas began. She’d kick my ass on the way up before letting me enjoy her beauty and elegance but without thinking twice, I’d keep want to come back for more.
Chandrashila peak is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Chopta serves as the starting point to reach Chandrashila which involves around 5 km of trekking. People mainly undertake this trek because of its moderate difficulty level, to visit the Tungnath temple which is the highest shrine of Lord Shiva and to gaze at the breathtaking view that the peak offers of the various snow-capped mountains in the Himalayan range. However, I won't be surprised if someone visited this place to wake up in the presence of sheer beauty and seeking to resolve inner conflicts in the Wordsworthian fashion.
This day was particularly not really good because of few reasons but we still enjoyed a lot .So we started around 8am . (Yeah we missed the sunrise) . But no regrets . Sunset was too great. So we walked upto the 13000ft chandrashila trek . Unfortunately, it was all foggy so we did see the 360· view but it was all foggy so no mountains or anything but it was still a grest feelings . We sat , experienced the feeling, click some photo and climbed back . Took our lugguage . Went down. Back to chopta . Had tea . Now we went all the way back to rishikesh But story mai twist hai . Our car was taken by police as some documents were not complete . We argued, fought  n cried for 2hrs . Nothing happened . Finally, booked a non ac car and started our journey from Rudraprayg at 8pm . It was terribly raining amd the route we all know is a bit dangerous to drive at night . We ate our last meal at 11am , so we all got really hungry . Finally after everything we have been through atlast We reached rishikesh at 12am.  Booked a hotel. And the foood came to us around 1.30 and finally at 2am night , we had our meal . After that , we partied till 4 or 5 . Slept like a baby till afternoon 12.
Chandrashila is at a distance of 1.5 kms from Tungnath and requires a steep climb from Tungnath..Bone chilling cold and wilderness all around this region makes it even more adventurous for travellers and tourists. It is one of the best places in the Himalayas in India to witness the Sunrise amidst of Peaks like Trishul,Nanda Devi,Chaukhamba and Bunderpunch..It is even possible for tourists to touch these clouds as they surround this place over all..These clouds looks like raw cotton being arranged in packs.
Tunganath-Chandrashils: 1.5 kms Early at 4 a.m. we started our trek through the edge of the hill. It was dark but the moon lit up the road for us. Reminds me of "Silver" by Walter de la Mare. It was just my mom, dad and me. The road was not clear ahead of us because it diverged into two paths. One goes to Guptkashi which goes downhill while the road to Chandrashila is uphill. We had to literally climb to avoid the snow blocking the road. Please do not try walk over the snow. You might slip and fall. Remember the road is steeper. You might have to take the support of the alpine moss. They are really strong and helped me find shortcuts. I was ahead of mom n dad, a complete new experience of understanding the way up to the summit where there was no one else to guide. Finally, after 1.5 hours we reached Chandrashila, the rising sun's rays fell on Chowkhamba and enlightened the entire valley alongside. The summit is a 360 degree view point flaunting the Himalayas on one 180 degrees side and their shadows on the hills on the other. The only thing present at the summit is a Ganga Devi temple, a small one. Feels joyous to that the days first bell was rang by me, day's first visitor; the first witness to ethereal beauty and grandeur of the majestic Himalayas. From here was trekked down to Tunganath, took our bags and trekked back to Chopta. We were lucky to experience a great sunny weather and hence the colours I saw while comming back was dynamic.
This is a very high altitude glacial lake in the middle of the Trishul Massif in the district of Chamoli in Uttarakhand. This place is mainly known for the large number of human skeletons which are found at the end of the lake. This lake is quite shallow and small too and is a part fo the route from Nanda Jat to Homkund. The lake is also known as the 'Mystery Lake' since the reason behind the death of so many animals and people are not yet clear. It is also strange to know that they had died about 500 years ago and some of these are so well preserved in the cold conditions that you can also see flesh attached when the snow clears a bit. According to local legendary tales it is said that ones the Kind Jasdal of Kanauj went for a tour of the nanda Jat region with his queen who was known as a goddess and also the princes of Garhwal. She was also known as Nanda Devi and she gave birth to a little baby girl over here. After this ecstatic moment, she decided to show her power and sent a hailstorm downhill which is said to have killed all the living beings there and we still find their skeletons at the end of this lake.
Day 7This is the main day of our trek. We woke at 3 am when it is still dark. We started with torches and headlights, everyone lined up properly, following what guides were saying. It was a 3 km ascent to Roopkund. There were few scary places, with newly frozen slippery sheet of ice and narrow edge of snow. They put crampons on our shoe from midway, when we got near thicker snow. Finally we reached Roopkund by 6 am after a little bit of climb through thick snow. Among 13 people 9 went for Joonargali. I didnt go there, as they said there would be some rock climbing. Joonargali Pass is actually a view point from where you can see Mount Trishul and Mount Nanda-Ghunti properly. Instead I took a walk around the Roopkund lake. There were few skulls and bones all around. The guide said that the bones are human bones but few are bigger than usual human bones and there are lots of story about their origin. One bone could be seen stuck in frozen lake, which was a bit reddish too. Lake was fully frozen, but we were told not to go much near it as it may break and it is very deep.
Today, is the big day. Today we trek to Roopkund. We woke up at around 3:15. It was extremely cold. I had never experienced this much cold. I usually the love the cold weather, but this was painfully cold. The reason we began trekking this early was the unpredictable weather conditions. The one thing locals knew for sure was that the weather is usually clear the whole night and in the early mornings ( hence the amazing stars ). But once it's 10 am, anything can happen. We begin our trek early so that we reach as soon as possible and return without experiencing bad weather. So we begin our trek at exactly 4 am. It is too cold and dark.
Day 5 : Summit day comes 100's of people at Bhagwasa waiting for this day, Trek leaders check our Blood pressure and oxygen level.We moved towards roopkund and suddenly i started feeling uneasy, My body is wants to give up and after conversation with my trek leader i started moving towards base camps.But somewhere I want to summit, every effort which i did in lasts 3-4 months is wasted and I feeling i have to do that at any cost. Thanks to Prakashji who motivate me and I said him 'Mujhe jana hai roopkund' then he Replied 'Aa jao main leke chalunga'.Again starting from very small small steps, i am able to see my friends somewhere in mountains, Only one thing in my mind is I have to do that and finally Reached ROOPKUND.No body in this world is write or explain the Beauty of Roopkund you have to go there and Feels the Beauty of this Place. Frozen roopkund and Skeletons all around. Half an Hour sitting besides roopkund and moved towards Patar nachni which is our todays basecamp. From now we have to descent around 8 kms.All with the Happy faces came back to patar nachni and end up our day.
Unravel the mystery of The Roopkund Lake.Roopkund Lake is one of many Himalayan lakes but its gorgeous and mysterious setting make it stand out. The mystical aura that the place emits is addictive and one trip there will leave you yearning for more.
Roopkund is a high altitude glacial lake in the Uttarakhand state of India
Just ! Don't Look DownRoopkund was situated beautifully between the mountain. The water in the lake had a thin sheet of ice. Some trekkers were able to locate some skeletons on the outskirts of the lake surrounded by snow. Junargali looked achievable but soon the entire atmosphere we covered by fog and mist. So the trek leader dropped the plan. At Roopkund, we were served with Porridge which was bland but tasted heavenly.After quick surreal view of the surrounding and lots of pictures, we started our descent. It was foggy and we are unable to see if our group lead is at the front or back. In this confusion, we made a quick descent and reached Baghwabasa quickly. Here I cheated a quick nap while waiting for others. The weather turned hostile as it started raining at the time of descending. After having lunch in the main tent we made the quick decent to Patharnacahuni in ponchos. We greeted good luck to the travellers on the route going for the trek. At Patharnachauni while coming down we witnessed the strongest of the mountain winds and it was sheer fun. We reached Patharnachauni at around 3.30 pm which was followed by some quick naps.Last few stepsTemple At the TopRoopkund First viewSkeletons at RoopkundDay 8: Patar Nachauni to Lohajung via Bedni and WanToday was the 15 km descent from Patar Nachauni to Wan Village. From wan Village Transport was arranged for back to Lohajung. It took us three days to reach Patharnachauni now we have to do it in one day. However, descending down is a piece of cake compared to ascending up, the quote goes for life as well. We reached Bedni Bugyal and the clear skies gave the astonishing views of Trishul in the backdrop. From Bedni is the steep descend to NeelGanga river. Without getting in the eyes of the group lead we took steep shortcuts from the forest. It was fun playing "I Spy" with the lead but its not safe. We reached Neelganga river and had our lunch. Here we did face dips in the icy cold water just to get more sunburned. It was worth it.From Bedni: Nanadaghunghti and TrishulCan't get enough of this viewNeelGanga riverFrom here there is around one kilometer ascend to the top ridge from where wan village is visible. We literally ran downwards as the cloud started forming above our heads and we were in no mood of putting the ponchos back. At around 3 pm we reached wan and it just started raining. We reached Lojarjung after an hour ride from wan. At Loharjung, almost everybody took a bath after 5-6 days which was indeed refreshing. Meanwhile, everyone was sharing their experiences as the trek leader distributed the certificates. After a small party and lots of storytelling, we went to sleep.Mules going BackThe DescendDay 9: Lohajung to KathgodamToday's journey back was tiring, boring and long as everyone was engrossed in the Himalayas. We reached Kathgodam and watched movies to pass the time. It was when I reached home I realised that I am seeing myself in a mirror after 8 days. My mum exclaimed, "Went to Africa or what" after seeing my tanned face.This expedition was a true test of self, both mental and physical. But the Himalayas keeps your motivation high, fine meadows, peaks of Nandaghunghti and Trishul keeps you inspired. The end destination might not be as awesome, but at the end it the journey that matters.Pictures : Me, Abhishek and Debjyoti sirThis blog was originally published on 'Tech/Travel/Life'
Next day, we had to ascend to the top, Roopkund and Junargali. We woke up at 4 am and with the temperature being below -5 degree Celsius. It was almost impossible to get out of our sleeping bags. We all joked about it saying that it was a bit more difficult than passing IPCC. But we did it! We started out with flashlights in our hand, blood almost frozen and our toes and fingers oh-so-numb. We took baby steps and reached the top at 10 AM. The sights and sensations on reaching the pinnacle left us speechless, to say the least. That feeling of accomplishment when you stand there at 16,500 feet, above the clouds, with an unknown family eating aloo paranthas in freezing cold- there isn’t a word in the dictionary that would describe it!
Beyond Bedni Bugyal only the hardy tag along with the procession that climbs to Pathar Nauchaniya and Baguwabasa and continues to the glacial lake of Roopkund; it then crosses the Jyura Gali, or alley of death, to camp at the meadows of Shila Samudra before it embarks on its final leg to Homekund and then returns to the village of Sutol. This journey of Nanda Devi to the Himalayas is particularly interesting because at its core it represents the bond that humans share with nature and which can be fully understood only when viewed through the prism of hardship and endurance. So for a few days every decade hill folk gather in the shadow of the Himalayas to acknowledge the very mountains they toil against, to forget the rugged life of the hills and rejoice in the glory of their patron Goddess. Thereafter they go back to their struggles but with fond memories of the mountains, of never-ending bugyals stretching to the horizon, of mist gyrating around snow-laden summits and the sound of bells breaking the monotony of rocky ridges - with a hope to return yet again and bid adieu to their beloved Nanda.
Roopkund Trek | Bhagwabasa (14,117 ft) - Roopkund Lake (16,000 ft) - Junargali Top ( 16,500 ft) | Summit Point | Day 06The D day was here. After a quick cup of tea our team assembled. The camp broke by 3:30 am and we began our march. In pitch darkness, with torches and headlamps we marched. Like my friend Abhishek said, the entire game is about the last 500mts. Because when you approach the last 500mts that is when you realize why they asked you to sign a Waiver Form in the beginning. Sub zero temperature, howling wind, steepest trail and several mental break points is what the trail throws at you today. Gripping fear of death and spikes of adrenaline is what it takes you to realize that Heaven is a myth but the Himalayas are for real.I almost fell three times thanks to the slippery patches on that glacier. During the last few meters you do face a breakdown point because those few steps are truly an embodiment of the phrase "stepping out of your comfort zone". After climbing for few hours we finally reached the Lake. We actually made it. Roopkund Lake has very different vibe to herself. There she sat, a huge water body in a perfectly circular form and completely frozen. The silence of that lake is almost deafening.
Skeleton Lake (Roopkund, Uttarakhand)
We reached Roopkund finally, contemplated over the bones and th beauty, and returned to the camp at 1230. It was believed that the bones belonged to warriors from a forgotten era, but scientists have now confirmed that they are those of the pilgrims who perished in a hailstorm in 850AD.
The mysterious lake of Roopkund is not an easy one to reach. A trek of two days takes you to this lake where you can find the bones of humans and animals at the bottom. It is believed that during the olden times the journey or yatra of a king and his consorts was hindered by the bad weather near Roopkund. Unable to find a shelter in the wilderness, they perished and the human bones at Roopkund are the only remaining traces of this narrative.
The next day we had to trek for around 18 kilomtres at a stretch as the weather had gone bad. The determined lot of people as we are, we trekked all our way to Roopkund to see the scandalized lake. The lake was frozen but you could still see the skeleton lying around the lake. It was a tad bit spooky but amazing at the same time. The breathtaking view, pitchy silence and tumultuous area, that's all a traveller can wish for. We stayed there for like an hour or so and then retraced our path back to Lohajung.
At 2:30 am calls rang out in our camp, waking us up from slumber. Today was the day! Reluctant to get out of our sleeping bags (despite the rocky surface our tent was pitched on) we groggily made our way out. Stepping out of the tent, the sky was free of clouds, and the entire Milkyway was visible, from on end to the other! I stood transfixed, regretting not having enough photography skills to capture this sight. Sigh! But like with all good things, the clouds moved in again, and everything turned into a hazy blur, with jabs of torch light to guide us to the dining tent, where maggi and tea awaited us. We all lined up dutifully, crampons on our feet, and trudged ahead in single file. The path was pitch dark as we started, all of us relying on our torches to guide us, walking in single file. However, in half an hour or so, the sky began to lighten, and the going got easier. We passed a lot of glaciers on the way and the path became steeper.A few members fell back, not wanting to hold up the group, but moving forward nonetheless. The path was steep and our energy levels were declining. But our lovely helpers , in this case a special mention to Surinder , who kept egging us on, kept calling out to us to take " one step at a time" and his hilarious discounts on Roopkund , which got more fantastic as we got closer. Finally, eventually - we trudged to the rim of Roopkund. The sun was just beginning to rise, and everything was brilliantly highlighted! We were greeted by the small temple, and the pile of fabled human bones stacked in front of it. Not wanting to waste our flimsy lead ahead of the other groups, we descended the short way down to the lake itself. It was frozen over, and our shouts to each other echoed back to us over and over again. I just sat on a rock, catching my breath, and realising I've accomplished what I had set out to do. The crowds descended soon, and the moment was gone. We made our way up to the rim, and looked hopefully to C.T to allow us to submit the Junargali peak.The weather was clear, and we had seen a couple of other trekkers making their way up.But C.T. refused, citing safety reasons.Ironically, that didn't stop him from making the trip up there himself. This left quite a few of us in a sour mood. A steaming bowl of daliya from our guides helped to restore the mood fractionally, and everyone got busy taking pictures in the limited time we had left. Sure enough, we were gathered together in a couple of minutes and ushered back, making our descent. The way down was quite uneventful, except, of course, where Shirley and me had to make a mad dash to a rocky outcrop to avoid our bladders bursting. Back at base camp, we had an hour or so to rest, but not much place to rest in, since our lovely C.T. had ordered our tents to be dismantled. Don't you love him yet?
A high altitude lake, also known or famous as Skeleton lake. as there are skeletons around the lake of both humans and animals
The trek to Roopkund - the skeleton lake was indeed an amazing expedition. Camping in the green, meeting trekkers from all walks of life, living in tents, campfires through the night, all of this has been quite an experience of a lifetime.
There are many theories and opinions, from purely spiritual to purely scientific ones, which explain the existence of these skeletons, which date back to 9th century CE. Because of these skeletons, the lake is also sometimes called as “skeleton lake” in recent times.
Considered to be the most popular of all the attractions in Rishikesh, the Laxman Jhula is a suspension bridge built across two banks of the Ganga River. This majestic structure was constructed in the year 1939 and has become a landmark in Rishikesh since then. Strong winds cause this bridge to sway a bit and it even vibrates when vehicles pass over it. The legend behind the bridge is that Laxmana of the Ramayana had crossed over the Ganges using ropes from the very same spot where the Laxman Jhula stands today. The view atop this bridge is stunning and one is bound to pose for a few clicks here.
We started out the next day on our way to Laxman Jhula. Legend has it that Laxman, the younger brother of Lord Ram, had built this bridge with jute ropes to cross Ganga.Laxman Jhula in its present shape is made of iron and steel and affords a breathtaking view of the majestic river. Ganga here is boundless, full of waves. Standing on Laxman Jhula, looking down at the roaring waters, dotted with colourful rafting crafts, with our hair blown by slightly salty wind, we started relishing our trip.
The journey came to an end at NIM Beach near Lakshman Jhula. Truly this sacred city of Uttarakhand is an amalgamation of devotion, peace and adventure.The camping & rafting expedition was curated by www.riverraftingrishikesh.com, check-out for similar trips & experiences.Read the entire story from Rishikesh on my travel blog Ghoomakad.in
Later in the morning, I sat by river side. Other follow travellers were busy playing with guitar and singing. I took a dip in the holy water of river Ganga and enjoyed the sunbathe. after having breakfast, we left the camp by 10AM. It was hard to find a return cab to city. So We took lift from daily supply vans.
Among the many surreal things to do in Rishikesh, watching the sunset from Lakshman Jhula is a MUST!It is believed that Lord Ram's younger brother Lakshmana, crossed the river Ganga, by using a jute rope bridge – where the present 'Lakshman Jhula' bridge stands today.There are several ancient temples around Lakshman Jhoola, which you can visit. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Temple are most popular.
As a child I have a profound memory of standing at Laksham Jhoola with my dad and a monkey teasing me. I was crying and hiding behind my dad and later after gaining senses we had visited Rishikesh on a holy trip from usual Haridwar tour and once again I had encountered a monkey at the same spot. This time around, he snatched my bottle from my hand and I felt a connection with him like he had been waiting for me since ages, like I had a history I was unsure of, like I am losing it while writing this blog. LOLAnyways, I got the chance to visit Rishikesh again twice in last two months and my 2 cent advice on holiness of the place is that its not so holy but its a lot of fun. Well, the temples and the holy river is still holy but the larger than life holy tourism of this place is a fad. If you want a weekend getaway from Delhi then please head to Rishikesh, stay at the camp side, do river rafting, go for bungee jumping, cliff diving and eat holistic fresh home cooked food. But if you are looking to stay at an Ashram and learn holistic meditation then do your research and then join as there are many fake holiness groups there my friends.However, I am sure you could find amazing ones too if you spend some time and get to know the place better. Now as for me, the first time I visited last month, I stayed at a river side camp and for the first time in my life went for river rafting. The water was icy cold as it was winter time and I was scared as shit to die with drowning in Ice water like Titanic's last scene.This time around, I stayed at a nicer place at Badrinathjee and I was extremely excited for my second attempt at river rafting. The water was still very cold but rapids were more exciting since this was the beginning of Summer and as expected the Himalayan ice had started to melt thus increasing water strength. In all it was FUN.
We changed and decided to go and check out the Local attractions like Lakshman Jhula, Market and off course we were hungry after our long journey, Chotiwala was the go to place for satisfying the hunger pangs. It was a 5-10 mins walk to Lakshman Jhula, we realised that Chotiwala was at the Ram Jhula which was a bit far from the place had reached, we got a share taxi an Mahindra MaXX which left us at Ram Jhula for a nominal charge.
While strolling around the Ghats and pleasing your eyes, don't forget to gratify your yelling stomach. On the bank of river Ganga at Lakshman Jhula, delight your taste buds with mouth smacking and finger licking Chinese, Indian, Italian Mexican & Israeli cuisine at a very affordable price along with a mesmerizing view of the Ganga. What else do you need? Of all the food joints, Little Buddha Cafe is undoubtedly the best. You can also drop into Madras Cafe, Tulsi Cafe, Devraaj Coffee Corner and The Pyramid Cafe at the Lakshman Jhula. Savour yourself with best-quality food.
Saw the sky turn golden, awesome experience
The trip started from Delhi with 2 Chai Stops and finally relaxing at Laxman Jhula. Laxman Jhula is famous because it's been told that Laxamana crossed the Ganges with a jute rope and hence the hanging jhula was made keeping in mind this story. During the evening, it's really crowded and you can expect bikes,motorcycles,scooty crossing from one end to another with the help of Laxman Jhula. There is Ram Jhula also located few metres below the Laxman Jhula. Also there is a provision of doing river rating, cliff jumping and trekking. You can contact the local shops nearby to get more information and yup it's budget friendly.
According to Ramayana, after Ravana was slaughtered, Ram & Lakshman, came to Rishikesh. They were believed to do penance for killing Ravana, who was a Brahmin. Legend has it, that years later, a bridge over the Ganga was later built to honour the memory of Lakshman, the ever loving brother of Lord Ram. Hence the name Lakshmanjhula (roughly translated as the bridge of Lakshman).
Also known as the Gurudwara Henkunt Sahib, this is the highest gurudwara in the world. It is on the shores of the Hemkund lake at an altitude of over 14000 ft above sea level. The water of this lake is always freezing and equally chilly is the wind here. this is a beautifully maintained gurudwara where they serve maggi and tea as part of the langar continuously. Also, the sweet halwa prasad of here is very tasty. The peaceful ambience has a magical effect on everyone. To reach this place you will have to keep trekking and then climb a number of stone stairs. The journey may seem to be tiresome but the fabulous experience will compensate for all the difficulty you have had taken to reach here.
Another great morning, it was 5 o clock and I was crawling on my bed and was hoping that my knee must have got fine. I got up from my bed. Nd surprisingly my knee was not hurting Me much. We had to left early as we super six planned to go by trek. We had our power packed breakfast and went to go on with some quick photos with Bharat bhai, Abhinav, Anshul and Amit. Our group members wished us and we stepped ahead for our journey. I was damn excited for Sri Hemkund Saheb. Upto chk post v six were together. But due to so many mules (Khachchar) going in all directions, we all were dispersed. Abhinav and Shrijal went ahead. Me and caring uncle were together. Priya and Chaitanya were far behind. We were enjoying nature’s walk with our past trek stories and it was so exciting that my knee pain was lost somewhere in those mountains. Route towards Hemkund sahib was little rocky, but steep and I must say it was Little exhausting for beginners, but level of difficulty was easy. After walking for about an hour, we found that our other group members were coming and within fraction of minutes they all went ahead of us….. How..??? They were conducting their trek on mules (They felt it quite difficult to trek). After that all of a sudden, I loosed my consciousness, Sunil uncle held me and taught me what to do when such situation arise, wen u r alone in mountain, when u feel unconscious, when u feel no energy, etc that I should put both my hands on back side of my head. nd put the head down while making position of lower squat. I had chocolate, I regained my energy (Phewwwww) and that’s the beauty of trek that you learn to survive in different kinds of environment. We once agan continued our journey onwards where we found a Hotel (Dhaba) where Ajay uncle was having snacks. He gave us chocolates , took a break and after five minutes we began our journey. As we were gaining altitude we started consuming more energy. We were walking through rain clouds, thin air all the way up, drizzling rains, freezing temperatures which could have made our journey difficult but as a matter of fact we all just enjoyed it. Suddenly the lost pain in mountains found me and started giving me a bearable pain. I thought of taking break. But Sunil uncle encouraged me to not cool my body temperature by taking a break which is many a times reason for body freezing. Hence we decided to lower our speed but no stopping. Then on the way we met Kaalden a hardcore Tibetan mountaineer, He gave his knee pad to me and helped me to sooth my pain. Then we slowly walk ahead and twice we took shortcuts. But I was not able to make higher climbs, so we just went ahead with normal route. Meanwhile we found it for which I was dying to come to Hemkund - Snow Filled Glaciers. (Yippppieeeee ) I was so amazed that I don’t have words to express my happiness . We both went ahead, saw the glacier for the first time in my life and that’s when I realized that trekking was part of my life and no matter what happens, where I am or where I will be, I will never stop to do treks in my life. We spent some quality time and then we went ahead to continue our journey. Our breaths got little heavier as we were gaining height. We decided not to talk. After crossing river we found 2 ways one by stairs and one by normal hiking route. As instructed by our director we were supposed to go by normal route even though it is longer one. We started ascending, Found very beautiful flowers on the way (Complete Refreshments) We found BrahmKamals (Flower) on the way which is only found at high altitude regions. I was feeling that chilling wind. And sound of gurbani from gurudwara. we asked from one sardarji how far it is he told us 2kms to go. After walking half hour we came to know from another sardarji that still 2kms is left. We kept our patience and went ahead. Finally we saw group of pilgrims who told us to finish as we had already reached near end point. Then we saw marking board showing Hemkund 0 km. We were on the 7th cloud of the 7th Sky when we saw that board (Sigh of Relief) We were at about 15,200 ft above sea levels. It took us 4 hours to reach Hemkund. Drizzling rain was there and We went towards langar and reunited with our group members. They welcomed us. We had a refreshing hot cup of tea which was very much needed at that point. It must be approx. two degrees freezing temperature. After having tea we went to take blessings in Sri Hemkund sahib gurudwara which is highest Gurudwara (known) all around the globe*. It is star shaped gurudwara and is made up of marbles situated at bank of crystal clear lake which is a source of Lakshman ganga. It is as cold as snow. Many of us jumped in there and as soon as I jumped, I understood that somethings are not to be done in such weather (Hahahhahhaha). I was freezing from top to bottom. (Not my cup of Tea) This gurudwara is open only for 5 months after that it is filled with snow. There is one Laxman mandir too. We cought with cold and then we went up at darbaar where we got blankets (kambal) and we stayed there for 15mins. At around 2 o clock we started getting down. Due to such cold temperatures my knee started paining badly. I again geared up my knee pad. As I was coming down, I could not stop thinking about the langar the khichdi, its delicious taste and started descending. The view was quite clear because Fog had gone and we could see the surrounding There were many waterfalls And there was a separate way towards brahmKamals. I did not followed that root due to my knee injury. I went down and waited for my co group members. It was fun moment when I saw Ajay uncle with umbrella cap. And together we started our journey. My knee pain worsened after half an hour of walking (I felt that every time I took a step, somebody was pinching my knee with knife but that pain was nothing as compared to the joy that the place was giving me). We all stopped at nearest dhaba. Thankfully Jaynish is a physio therapist who gave me quick treatment. And then psychologically handled me which led to increase in my speed. Finally we reached at base village.at about 6.30 p.m and another great journey ended (). I had my diiner and went straight to the bed at 10 o clock.
We woke up very early that day and got ready to start for Hemkund by 6.15 am. The weather was quite clear as well since morning. As we started our climb to Hemkund Sahib, we got a very clear view of the Neelkanth glacier. The climb was mostly uneventful as the whole concentration was to keep the breathing rhythm constant and keep climbing steadily. Halfway through we started hearing the gurbani from Hemkund Sahib and it encouraged us to keep going. We had a pretty good speed and reached Hemkund sahib around 10.30. Just a few meters before that we spotted the beautiful brahma kamals blooming on the way, as well as many other flowers . But the best view was yet to come. Since it was a clear weather when we reached, we were welcomed with a grand view of the Hemkund lake with all the 7 peaks. Now it was time to take a dip, Abhisek (my husband) went ahead and had a fun dip. After that we girls decided to try our luck, but found out that for girls the dip is in a closed area and when we went inside it was very dark and kind of felt like a dungeon, so decide not a take a full dip, but came outside and dipped our feet and washed out face and hands. Then went inside the Gurudwara for darshan. It was a very cosy place, and the Gurbani was food for the soul. After spending some time inside, we came out and went for the langar. The piping hot tea and khichdi was delicious. Once done with the food, we went to the Lokpal Lakshman temple, Beside the temple , the lake side was desolated. We sat there and enjoyed the view of the lake for about hour and half. The clouds had started playing hide and seek with the peaks. The atmosphere was very calm, soothing and serene, and it reflected within us as well. It was a beautiful experience.
Day 4: Ghangaria to Hemkund SahibThis was a day for Hemkund Sahib, important pilgrimage for Sikhs. Reaching Hemkunt sahib was little tough. The walk is all uphill for about 6km and can test your physical fitness. So,be patient and keep walking.On the route you get a faraway view of Ghangaria. The devotees offered us prasads, which the hungry we gladly accepted! We saw brahma kamal (rare flower )only on the route to Hemkund Sahib! So it is not that just the valley has flowers, flowers are everywhere. I must say It was differently very beautiful place. Full cloudy weather and hot Prasad made us feel like we were in heaven. No doubt why people visit this place every year. The beauty of the high altitude lake was stunning. There is a temple devoted to Lord Lakshman next to the gurudwara.
The next day I started the trek for Hemkund Sahib at 500 hours in the morning. The gurudwara closes around 1200 hours and it is 7 km uphill trek so one must start it before sunrise. It took me three hours to reach my destination. There is a lake and Gurudwara at the top and the views were amazing, the mountains covered with snow which I saw from down below were right in front of me. I had a hot cup of tea while enjoying the view. Some people who came early in the morning told me that the whole lake was covered with ice layer! The Hemkund sahib gurudwara is 4600 meters above sea level. After resting for some time and enjoying the view, I came down to Ghangaria and went for valley of flowers but sadly it was closed for some reason. I felt bad for not seeing it and I came back to Gurudwara.
I opted to trek, along with around 5 more people, while most of the team went for ponies. We started off earlier than the others, given that it would take us longer to get there on foot. The route was well marked out, and you could hear the kirtan from a long way down.The ponies caught up with us just a few feet away from the entry, and the whole group entered almost together.We were blessed with a stunning view of the Hemkund Sahib lake and the surrounding mountains, all starkly painted in black and white. The more adventurous of our group decided to take a dip in the lake, while I satisfied myself by wetting my toes.
Day 5: excursion to Hemkund on the next day.
Hemkund Sarovar is a glacial lake just beyond the Gurudwara, believed to have healing properties. And it lay placid and mist-kissed against a mountainous backdrop. It was customary to complete the journey by taking a dip in the freezing water. We were advised against it, but I’d been thinking about it all morning. Having come this far, it didn’t feel right to leave without it. Sweaty and hot from the climb, I stripped down to my boxers. The cold air clawed at my skin and chilled my bones. It was now or never. Holding on to the chain, I lowered myself into the water feet first. The water felt like stepping on nails. I held my breath and went under as I counted to three. I felt as though I was stabbed by a million knives all at once, forcing the air from my lungs. I pulled myself up out of the water and bolted to where my clothes lay. My feet were numb and I trembled from head to toe.
Situated at 4,300m elevation in Uttarakhand, Hemkund Sahib is a Sikh pilgrimage site. The 3 day trek to Hemkund Sahib starts from Govind Ghat, about 24Kms from the Gurdwara. It can be completed in a day as well, thanks to the Deccan helicopter service from Govind Ghat to Govind Dham which charges around Rs. 6000 for round trip. The remaining 6 Kms from Govind Dham to Hemkund Sahib can be covered on foot or on mules. It's a steep climb on foot from 9000ft to 15000ft in 6kms, so we took the mules on our way up and walked on our way back to Govind Dham.
You could see from the map that the roads to Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib diverge from the base camp. So we went Hemkund the nest day. Though the distance for that is merely 7 km, it took us 6 complete hours! A challenging Road!It was showering heavily for 2 days straight now. Heck, we couldn't use our cameras then! Although we were fortunate to witness the presence to the most wonderful flora I've ever seen, we couldn't snap'em! When you are trekking to Hemkund Sahib please note that you cannot stay at Hemkund Sahib after 2 PM because weather changes very rapidly here.
Sri Hemkunt Sahib TrekSri Hemkunt Sahib, is a 6 Km long trek from Ghangaria. In 6 Km only you incline from 10,000 ft to 15,000 ft. This is the most difficult trek here as you are always on an inclined path.Reaching Hemkunt Sahib from Ghangaria would take 4 hours on foot and 2.5 hours if you hire a mule. The mule would cost around 500 INR.Those who have trouble in breathing have to take extra precautions.The temperature at the Gurudwara gets very low so be properly covered all times.Trekking down back from Hemkunt Sahib is easy and if you wish to hire a mule pay not more than 400 INR on return.TIPS* Take camphor along just in case of heavy breathing.* Check the weather and wear suitable jackets or sweaters.* Carry a rainshield along.* Don't forget the trekking pole.
Day 3:Trekking from Ghaghariya to Hemkundh Sahib cumulative distance is 6Km but it will take 3-4 hrs due to steep ascend, on the way you will find Bharam Kamal about 14,000 feet elevation. Hemkund Sahib is at 15,200 feet, so keep hydrated on the way. Sri Hemkund sahib also called as Lokpal by local people, surrounded by seven mountains and a lake in the middle, adjacent to it is a Lakshman mandir which has historical importance. Whole place combined together give you give you harmony and peace in mind. Hemkund Sahib closes at 2:00 PM so be sure that you will reach before time. In Gurudwara you will get langar to eat, for descend back to Ghaghariya it will take 2 hours max.
I reached Sri Hemkunt Sahib by 11:30, and as I entered I saw people having hot cups of tea. I met the Ludhiana friends there and they asked me if I was going to take the dip. I had no clue what they were talking of, but as I moved around the place I saw the holy pond where other Sikhs were dipping in. I stood there for 10 minutes and watched them go in, everybody jumped out as soon as they entered.At 15,200 feet, in 8 degree cold, dipping in icy water was daunting but was luring too and I had unlimited free cups of tea to warm myself up waiting after the dip.So, I jumped in the pond, made three dips, came out, dressed again, rushed to the food hall, had a warm cup of tea and just kept it holding for 5 minutes and then had the first sip of ultimate satiation. Mixed feelings ran up my nerves, I was extremely cold but happy, tired but active and atheist but was feeling divine to be there.
Sikh pilgrimage at 14000 feet above sea level offers a whole lot experience of natural beauty complemented with the feeling of serene. It is a constant 6 km ascend from Ghangaria.
A Gurudwara at that height. Mind blowing amazing piece of work. The trek is bit steep but thrilling. The spirit of people on their pilgrimage keeps the adrenaline level high. The power for the temple is generated by generator and a small hydro plant from the waterfall. Look out for the might BhramaKamal. You will find a lot shops on the way to Hemkund, unlike VoF u find none.
Blend of Spirituality and Divine Beauty Set amidst towering snow-capped mountains and lying beside a lake of pristine blue water, the Sikh shrine of Sri Hemkunt Sahib looks, even to the not-particularly-pious, a place of almost unbelievable beauty and peace. Seven peaks - known as the Sapt Sring- surround the shrine, looming over lush green pastures. The lake’s rocky shores are covered with snow through most of the year, but when the snows melt, the almost mythical yellow-green flower known as the Brahma Kamal, the `Lotus of the Gods’, blooms amidst the rocks. It’s a place of a rather wild and untamed beauty- and one of Sikhism’s most important shrines. Sri Hemkunt Sahib is accessible only in the summer, between June and October. The rest of the year, heavy snows make passage impossible, and usually block off the trail leading up to the shrine.
Its one of the most sacred places of worship for the Sikhs. The distance is just 6 kilometres from the village of Ghangaria but its a very steep climb and the altitude changes drastically. The sarovar at the lake is also according to Hindu mythology where Laxman transformed homself into water and hence there is a Laxman temple also here.
Hotels and Homestays in Himalayas 1687 Hotels
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The capital city of India is a glorious concoction of the old and the new. Temples that are centuries old, archaic Muslim quarters, and modern residencies, all exist alongside each other. Home to over a crore people, Delhi’s tourism is a treasure trove of historic gems, gardens, museums and a thriving food culture. Travel to the metropolis for the vibrant bazaars of Chandni Chowk that give way to Lutyens’ New Delhi, that is the pulse of the city. Among the numerous places to visit in Delhi city, for an insight into the magnificent Mughal era, go to the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb, the towering sandstone mosque of Jama Masjid, and experience the sound and light show at Red Fort. Tourists can spend mornings at the extravagant Akshardham Temple and evenings at the Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Dargah (shrine) that boasts of sufi music and delicious kebabs. Another popular attraction of Delhi city is its pulsating markets that from baubles to handicrafts, sell everything you can possibly think of. Those who have travelled to Delhi for its particular brand of food, won’t be disappointed. From hole-in-the-wall eateries and local student cafes in North Delhi to lavish restaurants and bars in South Delhi, there is no dish or cuisine you won’t find here. A huge incentive for Delhi’s tourism is its variety of public transport, wherein the Delhi Metro is the cheapest and easiest way to get around the city. Read More
All that was left was to reach delhi in one piece & today after making few stops we made it.Fun Fact: I did this trip in 11kWhat is your excuse for not going to Ladakh?Tell me in the comments section below.Join me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more offbeat travel itineraries.
Delhi encompasses a major part of India’s history in its evergreen monuments. This one face of Delhi wants you to know more about the city’s past. But this capital city not only enshrines a remarkable history but also flourishes in the beauty of the present! While walking inside the majestic Red Fort, me and my friends could imagine how the paths that we were taking now would have been walked by the kings and their ministers in the remote past. While taking a stroll around the passage from Lahori Gate in Red Fort, small handicrafts shops seemed enticing to us and that was a reminder that we cannot miss the amazing local and wholesale markets in Delhi - a paradise for shopping in Delhi - which are a perfect amalgamation of a variety of people, authentic food and current fashion trends that too without a pinch in the pocket.So if you have travel plans for Delhi and you wish to savor the ‘beauty of its present’ then do squeeze in the five most amazing and ‘fairly cheap’ places to shop in Delhi.
(26th December, 2016): We decided to head from our respective destinations and meet up in Delhi, before taking a bus to Mcleodganj. His flight was delayed so, I decided I will head to the bus station and wait for him there. It was late evening so the bus station felt the safest. I was so excited to meet him that I kept looking at the entrance of the bus station. The moment he entered, all I could see was a big, fat guy, who had gained a ton of weight. I had my share of laughs. So, we greeted each other and had a cigarette (Smoking is injurious to health) each before heading onto the bus. The bus we had booked was a Volvo, so I was pretty chilled to travel overnight. But, my calmness turned to horror when I entered the bus. I will give you all a tip, in Himachal Volvo doesn’t mean the comfortable and posh Volvo that we are used to. It was like a city bus with zero level of comfort. This was the scenario in and around Himachal. So, if you are travelling in a Volvo in Himachal, make sure you are used to travelling in buses ;).
The mountains were calling, and I had to go.Maybe it was all the biking chronicles that had inspired me, if travelling from Delhi to any hill station it must be on two wheels. It was the 12th of August when we started our trip for the first ever trek of our lives. Being working professionals, we always bore in mind to save up time here and there. Hence, we decided to board a volvo from Delhi to Chandigarh in the morning hours (0530 IST), and thereafter rent a bike in Chandigarh for the further journey.
Our trip to Rishikesh began with confusion. I said, "We would have a gala girls' night out there. Sitting around the bonfire at the riverside camp; humming a soft tune; strumming the guitar with some new-found friend; grilling chicken legs in the bonfire ...". ''Ahem, non-veg is available nowhere in Rishikesh. So maybe a less grand plan will do," my friend reminded me sternly. Now, I am a foodie and an idle fellow and non-veg is my life. So even before we set out on our trip to Rishikesh, my heart sank not a little. But who would have thought that Rishikesh may have so much in store even for non-believers like us!
Delhi is a cultural hub that makes for a great vacation destination. However, surrounded with concrete buildings, highways and malls, one may foolishly wonder where Delhi's beauty lies. Let me tell you, Delhi's gems are its carefully decorated spaces whose artistry helps you escape its noisy traffic and chaos. So, next time you're heading to Delhi for work or a vacation, instead of a boring hotel, book a getaway! Add a splash of color to your stay and stay at the charming haven of peace, Scarlette Guest House located in the posh neighborhood of Safdarjung Enclave.
But this time I wanted to explore in style and Tripver as usual delivered. I chose to travel "Gold Class".
Beginning of the Bro-trip:Being a Saturday night, the radio was quite a thumping affair and helped us dance inside the car. After losing the frequency we switched to our own kinky collection and that was even too much fun. After the three tolls, we took right towards Manali from Ambala and we were into a sole car running for tranquility on the roads. At around 2, we found a halt and broke for some refreshment, for the roads ahead had be to a bit deserted and rarely one can find a better place to snack on. A crisp break of 30 minutes buoyed us up and we were again towards the hill. The valley started in a while and the drive was slow due the condition of the roads there.However, the roads are always an issue in the few initial kms but adding to the miseries, there was rain that just preceded us reaching there. Following some bad patches, the way ahead was smooth again. We broke the dawn amidst mountains and the beauty was surreal (Pic Below). We reached Mandi at around 9 in the morning and started enquiring about the way further. There were rumours that due to a massive landslide, the main highway has been closed down and debris is being cleared out. The so called incident was still rumoured to be some 30-40 kms from Mandi. Keeping our fingers crossed, we forged ahead. Some said that the landslide has happened in Hanogi which was particularly on the route of Jibhi and had nothing to do with Manali. We called up our college buddy who already reached there a day before. We asked him for the flow of traffic on the route and he signalled us green.
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#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.Read More
#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.
(1st Jan, 2017) : We got ready to head to our last and final destination, where we would spend the remaining days of the trip. My birthday was on the 2nd and what a better place to spend it in.I would not mention the bus ride this time. I think by this time, it had become routine. By the time we reached Shimla, the sun had set and we were getting ready to feel at home. The details of our accommodation are as follows:Accommodation: Hotel Chaman Palace (far from being a palace) https://www.hotelchamanpalaceshimla.com/Type – DescentFood – It is better to eat out, lot of places to explore.These few days were about exploring the best places to eat. Because that is all we did. I will be listing the best places to eat in order of quality.• Embassy Shimla – One of the best places to go to, if you are a fan of cakes. You’ll be relishing on some lip-smacking home-made cakes. The bakery-cum restaurant is managed sole by the members of the family; A mom – who bakes, A son – who manages the finances and is the face of the bakery and a father – who cooks and serves you at the restaurant. It will be a sin if you are in Shimla and do not try it. Please do go!
Our early morning bus moves on quaintly through the Shimla hills. The mood within the bus appears full of fatigue, with heads bobbing sideways rather than remaining straight upright. The conductor is sharp though, his hair has been well oiled, wearing a blue uniform and a navy blue scarf. It is not even 6 in the morning, but it is fairly bright, lifting the green hills around us. After getting some rest, the journey today has so much more optimism, conscious of the fact that we have survived our first day.The bus skips through the mountains, and with the morning progressing, more locals start boarding, dressed in woolen jackets and Pahari topis, bringing more liveliness with their friendly banter. The women were very fair with glowing red cheeks, but also possessed a slight gruffness in their manner of speaking. This is daily commute for most of them, heading towards apple orchards or fruit markets, which are dominant in this part of India. The apple trees that we see on the slopes have a covering of white nets to protect the small cherry-shaped young apples from hail, and possibly birds. I am told that these orchards are highly profitable - most money during demonetization in Himachal was collected not from the cities but from towns higher up, surrounding these apple orchards.
sitting on the lap of mighty himalayan range, Shimla is a well known destination of northern India. It is easily accessible from national capital region and hence rest of India. It was the summer capital of british emperors which is quite easily visible in architecture at each and every corner of this hill city. Capital city of northern Indian state Himachal Pradesh, is a popular summer destination., however hills unveil different colors during different seasons. I visited the place in summer when it was crowded, hot and looked more brown than white or green. On the other hand in February, hills became animated. It was covered with sheets of snow, roads were deserted and air was mist and cold. It was an entirely different place, which was more themed and composed.
Day 2 (Shimla- Peo)•Got little confused on places to visit next. Decided to do “Shimla darshan” for the day and figure out the bus timings and best route meanwhile.•Visited the infamous Mall Road and did a small trek to Jakhu Temple with a huge Lord Hanuman's sculpture. On the way down, visited Christ Church and Kali Bari Temple. Trust me, we are not that much of god-believing persons, but Shimla didn’t have much to offer in terms of travel.•Being a tea lover, “Pahadi Chai” at “Café Under Tree” at the mountain top compensated for lack of travelling spots.•Went to “Central Perk” café (rings a bell?) super-excitedly, however, the excitement was short lived on finding out that “Central Perk” was just in the name, but nowhere in its theme. However, the food and service was good.•Took HP Ordinary bus to Reckong Peo. The Last Seats. Hell of a bumpy ride it was. Immediate fall in temperature after 5-6 hours of travel forced us to add layers of clothes on us. Two narrow bridges on the way made the journey far more exciting (as we survived :P).
Day 1 (Delhi to Simla)•AC Semi-Sleeper Volvo from Delhi to Simla. Kirti and I had a good chase for the bus (thanks to my laziness) and as usual, Chitraj was there for the rescue, holding the bus for us, updating us with smallest of its movement till the time we finally jumped our way into the bus.•Just 2 lines of a novel were sufficient for one of us to doze-off ;)•Had home-made food on the way•Reached Shimla New ISBT. Went to Old ISBT, as next day had to catch a bus from there to Peo•Started with hotel hunting and came across all the weird hotels, with shady appearance and surroundings. Finally, with much of uphill and downhill workout, found a decent last minute deal on goibibo for Hotel Sita Palace on Mall Road. A nice place but with weird water timings.
Begin your day with a stroll down the mall.The most visited and admired place is the Mall Road, the Ridge and the Christ Church which are all located in the vicinity. Though they offer a great view from the edges at all the times, it is recommended to spend sometime in the morning when it's less crowded and rather refreshing. It will help you in experiencing the prolific view from the ridge as the day begins.Take a guided tour in the splendid Viceregal Lodge
we had so much fun. we walked on the rail gauge. Shimla is famous for its Toy train. The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway in North India traveling along a mostly mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla. (Source: Wiki)
Shimla was built on top of a total of seven different hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft). Being the summer capital of British India, Shimla has some of the finest architectural heritage bestowed to it, and of course add to it the various splendors of nature, forests, waterfalls and glades.Our walk begins in the morning from The Christ church on the ridge and gradually progresses westwards, first towards The Gaiety Theatre and after the scandal point towards Bantony hill whose top is adorned by the Bantony castle built in 1880, while its lower slope houses the Catholic church. A little further ahead are the Grand hotel and the Kali Bari temple. Our walk continues past more architectural heritage structures like the unique railway board building, Gorton castle as we reach Inverarm hill which houses the State museum and a little ahead is the Observatory hill with the Viceregal Lodge, which housed the Viceroy in British times and now is established as The Indian institute of Advanced studies. Our walk finishes here.Distance 5kmsShimla Heritage Walk (Full Day) Shimla was built on top of a total of seven different hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft). Being the summer capital of British India, Shimla has some of the finest architectural heritage bestowed to it, and of course add to it the various splendors of nature, forests, waterfalls and glades.Our walk begins in the morning from The Christ church on the ridge and gradually progresses westwards, first towards The Gaiety Theatre and after the scandal point towards Bantony hill whose top is adorned by the Bantony castle built in 1880, while its lower slope houses the Catholic church. A little further ahead are the Grand hotel and the Kali Bari temple. Our walk continues past more architectural heritage structures like the unique railway board building, Gorton castle as we reach Inverarm hill which houses the State museum and a little ahead is the Observatory hill with the Viceregal Lodge, which housed the Viceroy in British times and now is established as The Indian institute of Advanced studies. Our first half of the walk finishes here.Enjoy some tea and snacks at Viceregal lodge café and thereafter continue your walk through a thickly forested path to Summerhill which houses the Himachal University. We board our vehicle here and driving through meandering roads head for the Prospect hill, adorned with the temple of Kamna Devi on the top. After spending a while indulging in some Photography we board the vehicles again, and driving through Boileauganj, Cart road we make a dash for Annadale and visit the Army museum. Backtrack on the same road we drive through Victory tunnel and past Elesium hill which has The Auckland house school we reach Sanjauli from we drive uphill to Jakhoo hill which has a Hanuman temple dedicated to it at the top. From here we will descend, walking back to the ridge. Our walk finishes here.Distance Walking 7kms, Vehicle 30kmsTHE CATCHMENT SANCTUARY WALKCharabara in Shimla is surrounded on three sides by the magnificent Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary, a 125 year old sanctuary that was established by the British as a reserved forest. The sanctuary was the initial source of water for Shimla, the water pumped to Shimla town through a series of steam pumps, reputed to be the first of their kind in the country. Today this pristine and undisturbed forest stretches across an area of 12 square kilometres and is considered by many as one of the wealthiest storehouses of Himalayan flora. This extremely dense forest is also the habitat for a vast variety of fauna, the most prominent being the Leopard. Although a sighting of this extremely human-shy and nocturnal animal is very rare, regular reports of droppings prove the existence of a large population within the sanctuary. The Himalayan Black Bear and the Brown Bear, Barking Deer, Goral, Jackal, Indian Red Fox, Striped Hyena and the Yellow-Throated Martin are some of the species of wildlife that thrive in the undisturbed forests of the sanctuary. A wide variety of bird and pheasant species can also be spotted in the lower altitude belts of the sanctuary, some of the more prominent ones being the Cheer, Koklas and Khaleej pheasants, the Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, the Great Himalayan Barbet and some sparklingly colorful minivets. A bifurcation penetrates deep into the sanctuary along a prominent ridgeline. Descend down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, a hundred year old lathe and plaster (Dhajji) structure located in the midst of this silent forest. The narrow trail undulates for an hour or more through one of the best-preserved forests in Asia. Cedars, Firs, Pines and Oaks jostle each other for space and the canopy-density at places prevents even the sunlight from peeping through to the forest floor. Droppings and pugmarks of the fauna are regular sightings along this trail and if ones luck holds out, a perky Barking Deer too might flash past in gay abandon. As one would guess, this is an excellent site for some bird-watching too.Our walk starts in the morning at 9:30 when our expert picks you up from your hotel and we drive to Dhalli, and further up to Charabara. A bifurcation penetrates deep into the sanctuary along a prominent ridgeline. Descend down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, a hundred year old lathe and plaster (Dhajji) structure located in the midst of this silent forest. The narrow trail undulates for an hour or more through one of the best-preserved forests in Asia. Cedars, Firs, Pines and Oaks jostle each other for space and the canopy-density at places prevents even the sunlight from peeping through to the forest floor. Droppings and pugmarks of the fauna are regular sightings along this trail and if ones luck holds out, a perky Barking Deer too might flash past in gay abandon. A well-deserved picnic lunch (be sure not to litter) at the ancient rest house can be followed by a stroll down to the man-made reservoir that collects water from across the sanctuary before supplying it to Shimla town. As one would guess, this is an excellent site for some bird-watching too. Our walk continues deeper into the sanctuary through a network of trails and we end it just short of Kufri at around 2:00PM.Drive back to hotel.Distance Walking 9kms, Vehicle 30kmsTHE SHALI TIBBA HIKEThe Shali Tibba (2867m) is the highest peak in the vicinity of Shimla. It is a magnificent isolated pinnacle with a Kali temple on the top. The ascent up to Shali is an ancient trail through dense pine forests and rolling alpine pastures. It is a steep and steady climb to the often mist enveloped peak. The peak commands an unforgettable view of endless snow covered ranges along with the Sutlej valley and the densely forested hills of Shimla, Fagu and Narkanda. For the avid photographer and nature lover, this one-day trek offers the experience of a lifetime.DETAILED ITINERARY:1) SHIMLA (2205 m)- MASHOBRA - KHATNOL (1850 m)...45 km.Depart Shimla at 6 A.M. by jeep. Breakfast at Mashobra, noted for its apple Orchards and thick woods of oak and pine. Proceed via Baldhea along a fascinating dirt track to Gulshaini, a tiny hamlet (1250 m) situated at the base of the peak. From Gulshaini it is a steady climb along a rough road till Khatnol, an isolated village perched amidst rolling fields. Here we park the jeep to start the ascent.2) KHATNOL - SHALI TIBBA (2867m)...5 km.Halt at the Khatnol Forest Rest House for a well-deserved break along with a sumptuous lunch. Begin the climb to Shali after a short rest. The landscape changes dramatically as we follow the ancient trail towards the peak. It is a three-hour climb at a leisurely pace with ample time to stand and stare at the surrounding magnificence and the imposing peak looming ahead. The final climb is a tough one and is amply rewarded by the breathtaking view from the top.3) SHALI TIBBA - KHATNOL - SHIMLAAfter a visit to the historic temple and a frenzied session of photography, we start the surprisingly quick descent down to Khatnol. One is back in the jeep by sunset to start the drive back to Shimla. Reach Shimla by late evening for a well-deserved and satisfying sleep with the memories of climbing the highest peak of the Shimla hills.Distance Walking 10kms, Vehicle 100kmsTHE MASHOBRA to SIPUR HIKEEarly morning drive from Shimla to the picturesque Mashobra valley which is mirrored by the tall Shali Peak (3200m). The route holds thick woods where practically every tree of the region grows - Himalayan Cedar (the almost legendary ‘Deodar’), Spruce, Oak, Rhododendron, Horse-Chestnut, Birch and Pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. The trail crosses picture-perfect hamlets where the word ‘time’ seems to mean only the seasons and the passing years - and where life has followed a steady pace for centuries. Trace fast flowing streams, cross a ‘sacred grove’ whose majestic trees have stood undisturbed for centuries, watch village craftsmen at work, listen to legends that seem as old as the hills - and in a single day, take a lifetime’s memory of some of the marvels that the lower Himalayas hold.Through woods of Himalayan Cedar and Spruce, the path to Seepur takes a steady dip down the valley. Past fields and orchards and wood and slate houses one arrives at the glade of Seepur - which the vicerene Lady Lytton called a “tea-cup shaped valley” and was popular for midnight picnics in the days of the Raj. Several slim streams fed by fresh-water springs nurture the soft grass of Seepur. The glade is held sacred to the local deity, Seep who ‘visits’ the spot at select times of year. Shaded by colossal Cedars, a delightful little temple built in the local style with stone and wood, rests on an edge. Smaller shrines merging with the woods are also there. This is the site of an annual fair held over the second weekend of April - and is a time for local matchmaking.From Seepur the decline eases out to the tiny village of Shali, which holds a dozen charmingly rustic structures - and is probably named in honour of the facing peak. Here, the hike-path that snakes along the hill holds a bifurcation, and along a mild incline the route takes a right. This also marks the end of the descent. The view on the facing hill has terraced fields and age-old villages. Along the narrow path, the only sounds one is likely to hear are of one’s own breathing and the crunch of boots over scattered cones. The silence only punctuated by the song of a Himalayan Thrush or Barbet.After Shali comes the home of the deity Seep at Deothi. Local legend has it that the deity was brought with the erstwhile rulers of the Koti state - in whose former territories the hike lies - when they migrated here from Kutlehar, which lies north-west. The temple was first established in the village of Nehra. This tract was then ruled by mavis, local strongmen who wished to share in the worship of Seep. When this was refused, the mavis started desecrating the temple. ‘Speaking’ through his worshippers, Seep declared that he wanted to move from Nehra and a day would come when a long line of ants would march through the village and where they finally circled a mound, was where he wished to reside. The ants came and circled a mound in what is now the village of Deothi - and where Seep was ceremoniously installed. The identity of this local deity has steadily been merged with that of Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Hindu trinity. Styled as a tall gabled mushroom and belonging to an architectural genre unique to this part of the world, Seep’s temple rests at the edge of a small spur and is surrounded by other structures that ‘belong’ to him - a storehouse, a pavilion and a room for folk musicians.Cameo appearances of pomegranate trees and tumbling streams that come close to becoming waterfalls, fresh water springs embellished with utilitarian stonework and a little bridge mark the passage to Mulkoti. Walls of shale and quartzite, now reduced to rubble, hold the remains of the little fort of the Raja of Koti where, centuries ago, the Koti rulers first established themselves. Today only the wooden gate and its brass knockers evoke the memory of their stay. The temple harks back to those days and is held in veneration as the seat of several local deities.Half an hour’s climb from Mulkoti lies the village of Kanda and past this the path crosses the hamlets of Kanda, Ghayabo and Kaneer. The stretch is through terraced fields of assorted vegetables, corn and wheat. Blossom draped or fruit-laden orchards of apples, plums, apricots and peaches offset the fields. Every turn of the track exposes a fresh vista of the valley and the evergreen woods.The lunch stop is at Kanda, where one can take some time to see some local craftsmanship - and even supplement the meal with fresh fruits and salads selected from the fields and orchards.After Kaneer begins the sharp hour-long ascent to the century-old ‘Dak bungalow’, a rest house for travellers. The forests become more primeval and the Deodars, ferns and lichens seem to hold their secrets closer. With luck on ones side, one may encounter pheasants and several other birds and even deer, martens and flying squirrels. The area also has leopards, bears and snakes - but the possibility of sighting one is remote.The vehicle will be waiting to return one to the comfort of ones Hotel.Distance Walking 12kms,THE RETREAT HIKEThe hike begins from Charabara and ascends to the helipad located on an adjacent hillock. The initial path till the helipad is along a tarmac road that winds past the Punjab Raj Bhavan, a vestige from the days when Shimla was also the summer capital of Punjab. From the helipad, that commands a 360-degree view of Shimla and the Himalayan ranges, a footpath penetrates the surrounding forests and descends on to the Old Hindustan-Tibet Road, completed in 1853 by enterprising British engineers as an access route to Tibet. A short stroll along this ancient road, lined by apple orchards on one side, culminates at the school for handicapped children, a landmark from where the loop back towards the hotel begins. Here, in season, one can indulge in a frenzied apple-picking session that the various apple trees growing wild all around the school offer. The trail continues along a vintage cart track that once belonged to the Commissioner for the Hill States, a British officer whose residence was converted into the Presidential Retreat, the traditional summer vacation destination of the President of India. The path meanders till the Presidential Retreat through dense Oak groves that shade a rich undergrowth of ferns and a plethora of wild flowers. From the Retreat, a tarmac road leading back to Wildflower Hall offers magnificent views of the eternal snow-capped Great Himalayan Range and the Shali peak.Distance Walking 6kmsCYCLING THROUGH MASHOBRA AND RAFTING IN CHABBAShimla with its network of natural trails is a cyclist’s delight. Cycling through forests and small villages and quaint hamlets; make cycling in Shimla an unforgettable experience. Our one day adventure here is our testimony to this sweet route comprising the best of activities in Shimla.The adventure further continues after cycling when we go Rafting on the Sutlej, the fastest flowing river in India.Our expert meets you at your hotel in the morning at 8:00AM and we drive to Mashobra.1. MASHOBRA to CHABBA (32kms)The route holds thick woods where practically every tree of the region grows - Himalayan Cedar (the almost legendary ‘Deodar’), Spruce, Oak, Rhododendron, Horse-Chestnut, Birch and Pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. The trail crosses picture-perfect hamlets where the word ‘time’ seems to mean only the seasons and the passing years - and where life has followed a steady pace for centuries. Trace fast flowing streams, cross a ‘sacred grove’ whose majestic trees have stood undisturbed for centuries, watch village craftsmen at work, listen to legends that seem as old as the hills - and in a single day, take a lifetime’s memory of some of the marvels that the lower Himalayas hold. We cycle past Mashobra and descend 16 kms to Thaila and a further 6km to Gumma, a thrilling 22kms downhill ride, thereafrer the road flattens out till basantpur 7kms and we descend again to Chabba. We finish the ride here.2. RAFTING SHORT STRETCH LOTI to CHABBA (Ideal for first timers, families. 7kms-45 minutes)After the ride finishes at Chabba we are transported to Loti on the Sutlej to indulge in Rafting. This is the small stretch ideal for beginners and families, of around 45mins. We finish the rafting and drive back to the hotel.3. RAFTING LONG STRETCH MALGI to CHABBA (Ideal for enthusiasts, 25kms-2.5 hrs)After the ride finishes at Chabba we are transported to Malgi on the Sutlej to indulge in Rafting. This is the long stretch ideal enthusiasts, of around 2.5hrs. We finish the rafting and drive back to the hotel and reach by early evening.Distance Cycling 32kms, Vehicle 140kmsCYCLING THROUGH MASHOBRA AND CRAIGNANOShimla with its network of natural trails is a cyclist’s delight. Cycling through forests and small villages and quaint hamlets; make cycling in Shimla an unforgettable experience. Our day adventure here takes us past Shimla’s stunning mountainscapes and some heritage trails.Our expert meets you at 8:00AM at your hotel and we drive to Kufri at 2400mts affording a wide open vista of the Himalayas. Kufri is also a famous winter destination for skiing. Our ride begins here on national highway 22, on which we ride for about 4kms, before descending on an offroad to join the Mashobra Baikhalty road 6kms downhill. The trail flattens out here and we are riding in a wonderful forest where you would only hear the chirping of the birds and swish of your tyres and the screech of your brakes. Past the villages of Dak Bungalow, Purani Koti, Mashobra is 14kms from here. We reach Mashobra bazaar and start ascending towards Craignano, past the estate of the erstwhile Faridkot royalty and first we reach Talai, an open meadow amidst a thick cedar forest. We savour on our picnic hamper here and continue the ride further past Craignano and the horticulture centre which is worth a visit. Descend to Koti and take the woody trail to Baldeyan, continuing further to reach the Golf course at Naldehra, Asia’s highest and one of India’s oldest Golf courses. The place is so enchanting that Lord Curzon gave his daughter Alexandra “Naldehra” as her middle name. We feast ourselves to snacks at the HPTDC run café here and finish the ride. If one is up for it, we would prod you on to ride back to Shimla.Distance Cycling 42kmsTHE HATU PEAK HIKE IN NARKANDAThe Hatu peak is the highest peak in the 2 hour vicinity of Shimla perched at 3100mts. Between January and mid April each year the peak is out of bounds because of the blanket of heavy snow it receives. A 7kms narrow Jeep road, meandering through the forest brings us to the top; from Narkanda, the gateway to the apple country of Himachal.Our hiking adventure today will find us driving to Narkanda early morning at 7:00AM and arriving in Narkanda at nearly 9:00 AM. After breakfast we will drive a short while from where the road narrows down and begin our hike through the thick forest. The beginning is a well defined trail and we are ascending through thick foliage, and spruce and cedar pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. After an hour of walking we reach out to an open meadow of Jhamunda, from where the climb steepens. There is no marked trail on this stretch so trust your field expert and take his towline. These thick forests are infested with Himalayan black bears. Another two hours later we are at Hatu top. Muse around and treat yourself to the scenic grandeur of the Himalayas a grand 360degrees view, stretching as far as the Sutlej valley below and the Uttarakhand Himalayas to the east. Seek blessings at the Hateshwari temple, the local deity, to whom a temple is dedicated here. Walk further to the meadows at Jaubagh and walk back to drive down the road to the junction. Instead of heading to Narkanda we proceed to the small lake of Tani Jubbar. Musings thereafter we drive back to Shimla.Distance Walking 12kmsCYCLING TO CHAIL – THE ROYALTY OF THE PATIALA KINGDOMChail at 2400mts, a notch above Shimla in elevation, was established by The Maharaja of Patiala during the British times, to teach the British a lesson after he was banned from visiting Shimla. So the Maharaj took to building his palace in Chail, slightly above Shimla to look down upon the British. The palace built in about 200 acres has sprawling lawns and is now a heritage hotel. Chail also boasts of the highest cricket ground in the world. In terms of flora and fauna, Chail has much to offer, extremely dense forest, the habitat for a vast variety of fauna, the most prominent being the Leopard. Although a sighting of this extremely human-shy and nocturnal animal is very rare, regular reports of droppings prove the existence of a large population within the sanctuary. The Himalayan Black Bear and the Brown Bear, Barking Deer, Goral, Jackal, Indian Red Fox, Striped Hyena and the Yellow-Throated Martin are some of the species of wildlife that thrive in the undisturbed forests of the sanctuary. A wide variety of bird and pheasant species can also be spotted in the lower altitude belts of the sanctuary, some of the more prominent ones being the Cheer, Koklas and Khaleej pheasants, the Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, the Great Himalayan Barbet and some sparklingly colorful minivets.Our ride will begin early with our expert meeting you at the hotel at 8:00AM. We drive to Kufri 14kms, from where we begin our ride. Riding a downhill first thing in the morning can be a thrilling experience; as you will find out. From here we follow the connecting road to Mundaghat, a small village on the main Kufri – Chail road; it is here we turn right, following the Bridle path, a small diversion from Mundaghat. Riding on the dirt track through a middle of an oak and pine forest can be a rewarding experience. The ride brings us to the village of Koti, known for its modern tourist resorts, from where Chail is another one hour ride on the Mountain bikes. We go around Chail for a short trip and thereafter sample the lunch waiting for us at the Palace Hotel. Some musings and thereafter we resume our ride on the excellent road with great views bringing us to janedghat from where a winding downhill of 27kms will bring us to Ashwani khud where we finish the ride. Back in the vehicles we drive uphill to Camp redwoods for tea and snacks, before heading back to the hotel.Distance Cycling 62kmsTHE ANANDPUR SADHUPUL CYCLINGShimla built on seven hills, is well connected with a good network of roads. In fact through these seven hills are roads at different elevations; connecting various parts of the hill town. So if there is Mall road on the top, there is lover bazaar below it and then the cart road followed by the recently done Shimla bypass and then the latest which was converted from a bridle path to a road The Mehli to Shoghi byepass road. Our ride today explores the lesser known Shimla through this erstwhile bridle path, cycle through a thick forest, through an exhilarating downhill, challenge us to a grueling uphill and then finish the ride amidst some water revelry at Sadhupul.Our expert meets you at your hotel at 8:00 AM and we drive via the Shimla byepass road to Mehli. This is where we unload the bikes from the support vehicle and start our ride. The first 7 kms are a breeze of good downhill riding, followed by a medium grade uphill of 4 kms, approaching Tara Devi temple. Another seven kms and we enter a forest and ride through the off-road trail to hit the bottom at Ashwini khud after 7kms. This is followed by a grueling climb of 3kms, from where we descend to Sadhupul at 9kms. Once at Sadhupul we enjoy our lunch by the riverside and thereafter drive back to Shimla via Kandaghat.Distance Cycling 42kms
154 Kms from Himalayas
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
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 ;))
This small compact neat and clean union territory is shared by both Punjab and Haryana as their capital. Surrounded by lakes,gardens and greenery all around, this city was one of the early planned cities in post-independence India and is internationally known for its architecture and urban design.You can start your day with a sunrise by the Sukhna Lake followed by a visit to the Rock Garden and Parrot Sanctuary and Rose Garden. End it leisurely at the Leisure Valley.Sukhna Lake: Its a 3 km rain-fed lake with a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills.It is the venue for many festive celebrations with the Mango Festival held during the monsoons being the most popular one.
3-4 mths of research for planning a budgeted trip to Ladakh. This wouldn't have been possible without the help of a friend and owner of Skyriders Adventure. One can contact him on this number for any trip to the Himalayan range, Atul Jaiswal-9855085962. I will also like to add-on the cost reduced as we were 9 people.The journey started from Chandigarh. Mumbai to Chandigarh flight in the evening, touched down at 6.30 pm . As booked 3 mths prior it costed us Rs 6000. The same evening 10.30 pm HSRTC bus to Manali. Costing somewhere around Rs 800-900. The best mode of transport via roadways from Chandigarh.
“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” ― Susan Cain.May be I was in search of the right lighting too. Amidst the chaos and hustle of everyday life. Jobs, studies, bills, loans, peer pressure- you just feel exhausted and suffocated. This, exactly is the time to DISCONNECT with everyone else and re-connect with your self. Perhaps, I decided to ring people who really are important to me and escape. I am a solo traveler but I have learned a big lesson in life while escaping alone- to appreciate the beautiful people in life. This was the time I wanted to elope with my BEST people. We took a night bus from Chandigarh around 11pm and reached Dharamshala at 6am next morning.
We took a flight from Mumbai to Chandigarh and then boarded a bus from Chandigarh at 10.00 pm which dropped us to Manali at 7.00 am. We stayed at Manali for one day and visited local tourist attractions like Hadimba temple, Beas river, Buddhist Monastery.
96 Kms from Himalayas
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
155 Kms from Himalayas
Best time to visit - February,March,April,October
The land from where once an ancient trade route to China would be embarked on, Manali is an abode for modern creativity now as much as it for withdrawal and adventure in the majestic mountains. From offering hostels, hotels, co-working spaces to the cave where once Arjun, the Pandava king had supposedly meditated (Arjun Gufa), Manali is no less than a global village. The mighty Himalayas have inspired many foreign settlements here, giving rise to popular European and Israeli cafes, restaurants and hostels, providing one a consortium of around the world cultures. This town is a true haven for adventure junkies who can indulge in river rafting, paragliding, camping, rock climbing, rappelling, zorbing at Solang Valley and Aleo. Manali has an array of breathtaking treks and sights for its nature lovers, for instance the Patalsu Peak, the Deo Tibba basecamp, Jogini Falls and the Rahala Falls. For all the solo riders out there, cruise your way through the snowy alley of Rohtang Pass while those who wish to travel back in time, can indulge in the exquisite display of culture and heritage at the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. Restaurants and cafes such as the Khyber Pass, Johnson's Cafe, La Plage, Drifters' Inn, The Hangout attract foodies for their culinary justice to everything from Thai to European cuisines and even some live music. If all this is too over the top for you, then reconnect with simplicity at Naggar Village, which is home to waterfalls, a beautiful castle, an art gallery and locals which have many stories to share and a cultural heritage to take pride in. Read More
21st: Next day, we rode back to Manali through Rohtang pass. We reached late evening as we took it slow and had a number of scenic views that deserved a good time. It was absolutely an emotional moment on arriving Manali. The sights seen, the friendships made, the backs broken, the bullets fixed, the much needed breaks, riverside roads, and above all those, the bullet that carried us all throughout... It was definitely not ours but we certainly had a tough time saying Good bye to it. Some of us hugged, some of us kissed and some of us bowed down in front of their own bullets. :) The bullets were taken to the workshop for the next batch of riders.22nd: We got this day to sight see Manali and explore the markets. Hidimba temple (where the kidnapping scene film 'Roja' was shot) is one of the places you need to visit. You can also get clicked in the traditional 'Kashmiri' attire here. By evening we boarded the bus from Manali to Delhi. We reached Delhi in the morning and took the flight back to Bangalore by evening. Bangalore was kind enough to welcome us with a pleasant weather. :)
Day 2 - Reached ManaliAt around 10:30 a.m. we reached Manali. It was a long bus journey. We were comfortable in the bus, and were wearing thin layers. The bus driver had to drop us before the main bus stop, as the roads were blocked because of the snow.We got out of the bus, and I felt really cold instantly. We were standing in the middle of nowhere, it was snowing, our shoes were covered in water. I had to throw my bad to the ground and put on as many layers as I could.
(30th December): We reached Manali, the next morning and the bus ride was nothing but annoying. Anyway, we were excited to be at the new place. The details of the place we stayed are as follows:Accommodation: Bella Marina - https://www.makemytrip.com/hotels/marina_villa-details-manali.htmlFood – 4 starsView – 4 starsLocation – It is away from the city hence it is a less expensive and secluded. If you are someone who likes to surrounded by nature and in a calm environment. This is the place to be!Our plan was to celebrate New year in this amazing place. So, we had two good days in our hands. We decided that we would explore the town today and then go for the rafting tomorrow. There are amazing food hubs here. First, we decided to try out a place called the Johnson’s café. It a must try. Great environment and the best place to have some great conversation over a bottle of beer. The local food is good as well and great shops to buy handmade sweaters for yourself and if you’d like to gift someone. So, we spent the whole day chilling, having great food, drinks and watched the people passing by. In our busy lives, we hardly find time for ourselves and to just sit there doing nothing and gazing at people going by proved to be very soothing. Try it! After sundown, we decided to head back to our villa, where good food was awaiting us. The people at Bella Marina are very friendly and they do make you feel at home.
I started travelling a year back and it changed me completely from within. I was altogether a different person after I came back. My first destination was Manali. Although I am from Himachal and all my life I have lived in mountains but this time, it was different. Taking a break from the daily office routine of a metro city we went to Manali to attend a friend’s wedding, but I had no idea that this trip would entirely change my perspective towards life. I fell in love with the place. I fell in love with the mighty mountains. The road which takes you to Rohtang from Manali is very alluring. You will witness number of waterfalls on your way. Along with the right kind of music, you’ll be blown away by the astounding views that you’ll witness.I had so many queries in my mind when I went there but everything seemed sorted after I came back home. We all have problems in our life. And deep inside we all know the solution as well. It’s just that we don’t want to accept things. We run away from reality.I always ran away from the truth. I did not have the courage to accept what was going wrong in my life. But while I was wandering, all answers started to unfold. All you need to find is, your own happy place. In every journey, you will come across a place where you feel a sense of belongingness and tranquility, where you would want to sit for hours, silently and ponder about life. It’s in here, where you find the courage to do things that were always in your mind. It helps you to grow internally and bring about a change in your life.In Manali, I found mine in the streets of old Manali. I fell in love with Soma Café. It was not only the café to be particular, it was a voice, a soothing voice which pacified my soul. The aura of the place was magical. After coming back, I used to listen to the recorded videos for hours. I had promised myself that I would go back to that same place again. And I did. I fulfilled my promise. I went back almost after a year. But you know what, this time it was different. The reason for which I travelled for 530 km was not there. The singer whose voice I fell in love with, had moved to another city. And that point of time I realised where I was wrong.We must never attach ourselves with anyone or anything. True wanderers live in the present moment, they never fixate themselves with anyone. Life is simply meant be lived and not be entangled with emotions. So, just Keep travelling. Keep exploring.Travelling helps you connect to yourself which is paramount if you are seeking inner peace.Sometimes, sitting beside a lake, a mountain or a beach and introspecting yourself is all the therapy you need because no one will understand you better than yourself.Everyone has their own share of experiences in life. And sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay. You see the brighter day only after a dark night. I was never a wanderer. I was never a traveller. Infact, I never wanted to step out of my home. But when I did, I don’t want to stop now. I have found my happiness.I always like my bags packed and while unpacking them I think about the time I will go on another adventure. Be optimistic in life. This way you will attract good things. Have faith in the universe. It definitely has a plan for you. A plan which is in your favour. A plan that will set you free from all your agony. Never stop believing. Bad experiences might tear you apart and might force you to lose faith in yourself but give yourself a chance. Step out of your comfort zone and explore your surroundings.You are worth all good things that you dream of :)
Now it was the second last day where we had to go back to Manali via Rohtang Pass, and we had to start early morning before the sun comes out of the mountains, so we paid for the lodge, packed our bags for one final time and we bid goodbye to the adventure left behind us thinking someday we will think about it and will smile of how we survived the days, we started at seven in the morning and were heading back to Manali in good shape, but what does life says to you when everything is going great "Lol. One second, let me screw it up", just four kilometers from Rohtang Pass, there was this huge Boulder of rock which had come down on the road maybe because of rain the mud had gotten soft, and what else could be done, during the time i wished only if i had one superpower, scores of car were standing, people got out, some even laid sheets of cloth, stoves were out, tea was being made, bread and butter were served to people, Indians are the most amusing species, no matter how big the problem, there is always time for gossip and tea and bread. it was like a picnic spot now, well we all waited for the JMC to come and to remove that boulder but it wasn't able to even move it by an inch, what could be done now, Keep Calm Fellas, now is the time of some real Bollywood, "DYNAMITE", it was the last option and it was surreal, the 'mountain care takers' i would say came with dynamite and of course Police was present to back people off and the vehicles were on both sides, it was like a dream come true for most people to see a large rock being exploded using Tri-Nitro-Toulene, i was rather worried about the avalanche it will create and some more rocks might come falling down again and then it would be a massacre, the silver lining would be for vultures and eagles then, we had to wait until all the cars were backed off to a safe distance, people waited inside and outside their cars for that blow to visit their ears, the mountain care takers started blowing whistles to signal that explosion is going to take place any second now. KABOOM--KABOOM, two explosions as planned with one second interval, small rocks were flying and coming down and some of them even gave cracks to the windshields, it was rejoiceful and terrifying simultaneously, the path was clear, so now the cars going towards Rohtang were given preference in going first, six hours were wasted in that, precious six hours, it was late afternoon, when we had Lunch on the outskirt of Manali just before reaching Manali City, and as it was a Saturday, so Manali was jam packed and the thought of staying back in Manali was going down with our tiredness, so now what we decided was to not stay back there and head back straight to Chandigarh, we can stay there for one night and then next day, back to Delhi.
After exploring the local places of Manali we went back to our hotel to check out and pick our luggage. We boarded the bus for Delhi in evening and returned home with sweet memories. Atlast, my aim to visit this favourite hill retreat of India got completed!Manali is truly nature’s paradise! For me it’s the most vibrant and charming place in the lap of majestic Himalayas. Don’t wait, just plan your trip to this perfect Himalayan escapade now!The trip was curated by Travel Triangle, check-out www.traveltriangle.com for similar trips & experiences.Read the entire story from Manali on my travel blog Ghoomakad.in
Day 9 : We started from Kaza around 8 am and reached Manali at one shot . Time taken : 13hrs . We enjoyed our stay back at Manali and the next day we started for Parvati Valley .Must carry :Warm clothes ,Bike gears ,7-8 pairs of socks ,Caps ,Vaselin for body and lips ,Mask ,Suns-scream lotion ,Polythene s cover your foot while crossing waterfalls or rent boots on the way ,Waterproof luggage’s ,Tablets for headaches or any breathing problem ,Volini Sprays ,Gloves ,Enough food that will keep you hydrated .Please carry less clothes and make sure the luggage weight is equally distributed .Make sure you have a safe ride and do write to me if my post was of any help to reach your dreamland .
I set my footsteps to Manali, one of the most beautiful gems of Himachal Pradesh. A deep breath of fresh cold Himalayan breeze was enough to set me in the right mood. My first agenda once I landed there was to see snow ! I have never been around snow in my entire life. Although Rohtang pass was closed at that time , Solang valley invited us with it's snow filled arms. It was probably one of the most beautiful things I have seen.
Our guide (I forgot his name) was picked somewhere between Manali & Gulaba (I was snoring at the time). He was also our navigator and took us to the starting point of the trek. One might simply pass it by without even noticing !! Our ugly traveler stopped roadside, & we had to decide what to load on the porters and what to carry on our own. Our necks were stiff from the ride & we had back aches, but the trekking spirit was alive. And so we progressed through the lovely meadows. Daylight was burning as it was 7 PM already. In just about an hour or so we reached "Chaudah Mod", a beautiful Bugyal it was. The best patch of the flatland was occupied by tents of I guess, IndiaHikes (someone informed later). We pitched ours on a slope!! This was the first leg of the journey.
70 Kms from Himalayas
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
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.
Kinnaur: This corner of Himachal Pradesh is not just known for the best apples in India but also for the hidden corners around the Kinnaur District that make for a great exploration hub. Visit the caves of Tabo, the quaint village of Nako and the nearby town of Kalpa.Kinnaur makes for a great road trip destination for travellers from Delhi reaching Kinnaur via Shimla. Buses and taxis are also available from Shimla and Rampur. You can also reach Kinnaur from Manali via Spiti.Read More: The Mystical Land, Kinnaur by Sachinder S. Rathore
We reached Sewa by around 3pm. The gents would sleep in the homestay while the ladies will be in tents. Quickly all our trekking shoes were off. What a mighty relief! Anoop took out the tennis ball and Frisbee to play around. The moment the tennis ball was out cricket HAD to be played. And when its cricket there won't be any love lost. Even if it means playing at an altitude of 6,300 ft.! You have to give it to the love for cricket; everyone was so involved that they started to fight with each other. It was hilarious to see as me and Sourabha watched them play.It got dark, and along with it came some hot tomato soup and popcorns. Wheee! Now the problem in these kind of high altitude treks is that dinner gets served by 7-7:30, which we are not accustomed to. People go to bed by 8:30. We decided to stay put for a little longer.While Mahendra and Vishwa tried to capture star trails (I also tried but gave up pretty soon once I realised it ain't my cup of tea) me, Anoop, Harsha, and Sourabha just lay there on our backs staring at the starry sky and milky way, while the rest snuggled inside their sleeping bags. We sang in our donkey voices, joked and laughed to our content and counted shooting stars; all this under starry black night and a milky way. To good to be true!Day 3: A Long, Tiring, and Arduous DayThe start to a day on a trek starts pretty early. Everyone is normally up by 6am, and trek ready by 8am. Today also we carry packed lunch. Our destination today is Jiskun. Rick promised us that we will just love Jiskun. We'll have to wait.We started off and soon arrived at the Sewa temple. The temple has the design aspects of Kinnauri culture. It remains closed and opens only when God comes. Yes, only when God comes! Hmmm!The trail again enters pine forest with a gradual descent. Out of the forest and the Rupin river welcomes us once again. And we all were straight in the river! But wait, the water is freezing here. We came out of the river at twice the speed to what we entered! Brrrrr! But this was an absolute beauty of a spot.Quickly back on the trail and we reached a motor-able road; Gosangu. The road is rocky and the sun was right up on our head. It was no fun to be back on the road again. While we continued on our foot it only got hotter throughout the day, and we had to keep ourselves hydrated more often. For obvious reasons this part will be least liked during the entire trek.We had packed lunch in between much to our respite. My shoulders were hurting like crazy now. Moving on and we now have to ascend. Already out of energy we carried along. This was turning out to be a tiring day. We did ensure to keep refilling our bottles wherever we could find a water source/stream. We stopped for some refreshments. Hot tea and soft drinks arrived much to everyone's joy. Read More
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We reached Sewa by around 3pm. The gents would sleep in the homestay while the ladies will be in tents. Quickly all our trekking shoes were off. What a mighty relief! Anoop took out the tennis ball and Frisbee to play around. The moment the tennis ball was out cricket HAD to be played. And when its cricket there won't be any love lost. Even if it means playing at an altitude of 6,300 ft.! You have to give it to the love for cricket; everyone was so involved that they started to fight with each other. It was hilarious to see as me and Sourabha watched them play.It got dark, and along with it came some hot tomato soup and popcorns. Wheee! Now the problem in these kind of high altitude treks is that dinner gets served by 7-7:30, which we are not accustomed to. People go to bed by 8:30. We decided to stay put for a little longer.While Mahendra and Vishwa tried to capture star trails (I also tried but gave up pretty soon once I realised it ain't my cup of tea) me, Anoop, Harsha, and Sourabha just lay there on our backs staring at the starry sky and milky way, while the rest snuggled inside their sleeping bags. We sang in our donkey voices, joked and laughed to our content and counted shooting stars; all this under starry black night and a milky way. To good to be true!Day 3: A Long, Tiring, and Arduous DayThe start to a day on a trek starts pretty early. Everyone is normally up by 6am, and trek ready by 8am. Today also we carry packed lunch. Our destination today is Jiskun. Rick promised us that we will just love Jiskun. We'll have to wait.We started off and soon arrived at the Sewa temple. The temple has the design aspects of Kinnauri culture. It remains closed and opens only when God comes. Yes, only when God comes! Hmmm!The trail again enters pine forest with a gradual descent. Out of the forest and the Rupin river welcomes us once again. And we all were straight in the river! But wait, the water is freezing here. We came out of the river at twice the speed to what we entered! Brrrrr! But this was an absolute beauty of a spot.Quickly back on the trail and we reached a motor-able road; Gosangu. The road is rocky and the sun was right up on our head. It was no fun to be back on the road again. While we continued on our foot it only got hotter throughout the day, and we had to keep ourselves hydrated more often. For obvious reasons this part will be least liked during the entire trek.We had packed lunch in between much to our respite. My shoulders were hurting like crazy now. Moving on and we now have to ascend. Already out of energy we carried along. This was turning out to be a tiring day. We did ensure to keep refilling our bottles wherever we could find a water source/stream. We stopped for some refreshments. Hot tea and soft drinks arrived much to everyone's joy.