Trips and Itineraries for Diskit
Khardungla & Hunder - Kashmir Diary Day 2 - Sept 2016
The thought of eating more food here vanished. 30 minutes later, we were on our way to cover the last 30 km of our journey. 1500 hrs Reached Habib Guest House at Hunder via Diskit....
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The monastery was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the oldest and the second largest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh after Thiksey monastery. The monastery, with the support of ‘Tibet Support Group’, runs a school for the Tibetan children in the region.
The monastery was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the oldest and the second largest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh after Thiksey monastery. The monastery, with the support of ‘Tibet Support Group’, runs a school for the Tibetan children in the region.
We first visited the Diskit monastery which had a large statue of Buddha recently built and it looked lovely in the monsoon setting. Then we had a homestay at my driver Zigmit’s home in Hunder village. There we learnt that Hunder was called Sonetar and which meant ‘the first one’. They told us that this was believed to be the first village which was habituated in this part. His mother made a local dish called skew at our request. The next day morning we had a stroll in the village which was so lovely with streams running everywhere and huge mountains around. People had grown wheat and mustard. The colours of yellow and green blended so well. For breakfast Zigmit’s mother made ‘Khumani roti’ and we set off for our next destination of Hunder camel safari and left the beautiful Hunder village. Most of the local people were Buddhists with a minor portion of Muslims as well. People here looked very peace loving and soft spoken. Next we had a lovely time in sand among the camels and set off our journey back to Leh town with our driver Zigmit.
First town in the Nubra valley along the Shyok river. 32 meter statue of Maitreya Buddha near Diskit Monastery facing down the Shyok River towards Pakistan is the highlight of this city. Culturally it is the last point where Buddhist traces can be found.
A ROAD TO PAKISTAN BOARDER
After an hour long ride we reached to diskit monastery and stunned by the beauty of it and it's surrounding we stayed there for almost an hour. Pictures will tell you the rest of the story.
Diskit Monastery is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery of Nubra Valley. It belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of TIbetan Buddhism. it was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa, in the 14th century. It is a sub-gompa of the Thikse gompa. There is a 106ft statue of Maitreya Buddha near the monastery.
This monastery is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibetgompa in central Ladakh.A 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two storeys of the building is deified in the monastery.
Next morning, we visited the Diskit Monastry. It is a long walk uphill, I will suggest hitchike or ride till the vehicles are allowed and then start walking. After your prayers, visit the tea room which offers tea to all the visitors. This place encourages you to be silent and will bring you sense of peace. It did to me.
Later in the afternoon, visit the Diskit Monastery and the giant statue of Maitreya Buddha which is the tallest Buddha statue in Ladakh. Later, visit the white sand dunes at Hunder where you can enjoy the Double Humped Bactrian camel ride (ride on direct payment basis). Overnight in Nubra Valley. (B, L, D)You can stay at-Economy/Standard/Deluxe- Deluxe Camp / Huts / Cottages Or Similar
The Diskit Gompa, Nubra Valley's oldest and largest monastery should be an integral part of your Leh Ladakh Road Trip. It is also home to a gigantic statue of Maitreya Buddha which is absolutely stunning.
Another interesting one is the Diskit hilltop monastery, the oldest and largest gompa in the area. Close by, is a giant 32-meter statue of Maitreya Buddha, the tallest Buddha statue in Ladakh.
We saw the changing vistas of Nubra Valley. Few kms into the road leading to Diskit, the scenery changes from arid desert to a small oasis. The roads were almost deserted. It felt as we are the only people left in the world. So peaceful. So calm. We stopped at Diskit Gompa. The main attraction of the Gompa is the main Deity, which holds in its hand the mummified human forearm and head, which is believed to be of a Mongol warrior. Perched on top of a hill overlooking town of Diskit, it provides some breathtaking panoramic views.
Hotels and Homestays in Diskit 2 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Diskit
310 Kms from Diskit
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, Hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast. “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.” This is how the Sufi mystic Amir Khusrow has described the Kashmir Valley, and Srinagar is at the heart of the valley. Smack in the middle of the city is the mighty Dal Lake, its placid water reflecting the vivid kaleidoscope of innumerous houseboats, shikaras (taxi-boats), and the snow-capped Pir Panjal range: a sight that will make your heart skip a beat. The city is home to the state-of-the-art Mughal Gardens, Shalimar Bagh and Nishant Bagh being the most famous of them. The gardens exhibit the Mughal taste of nature and the philosophy of disciplining nature rather than imitating it: fountain pools and canals, meticulously manicured hedges, and motley flowerbeds. Also known as the Kashmiri Venice, Srinagar is a place not to be missed by those seeking a tranquil refuge in the lap of the Himalayas.Read More
Our last day was supposed to be more relaxed and slower paced then first one.We were actually supposed to visit Doodhpatri on our last day but there was a sudden change in plans To Manasbal lake and Kheer Bhawani TempleManasbal lake
Srinagar: As we all know its Summer Capital of Jammu and Kashmir. A beautiful and developed place in J&K.
From Tangmarg you are supposed to hire raincoats and gumboots because Gulmarg has the most unpredictable weather so you should be well armed with all the weapons for those changing weather conditions.( It will cost you around 300-400 for a raincoat + gumboots per person.)#AdviceDo take a government guide from Tangmarg to Gulmarg . This helps you to save a lot of money from horse owners as well as from the Gondola ride.( There are fixed prices for the government guides - about 900 - 1000 INR)Local sightseeing :-Firstly we decided to hire the horses which will take you to all the spots.
Day-9: Sonmarg - SrinagarA day well-spent exploring Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Pari Mahal at Srinagar. We shopped for authentic Kashmiri handicrafts at J&K tourism art emporium. You can shop at Lal Chowk especially for dry fruits and try walnut fudge at Hazratbal bakery.
Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India, often denoted by the acronym J&K. It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, and shares borders with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, and the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively. The state has special autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. A part of the erstwhile Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, the region is the subject of a territorial conflict among China, India and Pakistan. The western districts of the former princely state known as Azad Kashmir and the northern territories known as Gilgit-Baltistan have been under Pakistani control since 1947. The Aksai Chin region in the east, bordering Tibet, has been under Chinese control since 1962. Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India with a Muslim-majority population. The Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, and Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture. Srinagar Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the centre of the Kashmir Valley on the banks of the Jhelum River and is surrounded by five districts. In the north it is flanked by Kargil and Ganderbal in the South by Pulwama,in the north-west by Budgam. The capital city of Srinagar,is located 1585 metres above sea level. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dried fruits. Transport Roads : The city is served by many highways, including National Highway 1A and National Highway 1D Air : Srinagar Airport (IATA code SXR) has regular domestic flights to Leh, Jammu, Chandigarh and Delhi and occasional international flights. The International flights terminal was inaugurated on 14 February 2009 with an Air India flight from Dubai. Hajj flights also operate from this airport to Saudi Arabia. Railways : Srinagar is a station on the 119 km (74 mi) long Kashmir railway that started in October 2009 and connects Baramulla to Srinagar, Anantnag and Qazigund. The railway track also connects to Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through a newly constructed 11 km long Banihal tunnel, and subsequently to the Indian railway network after a few years. It takes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds for train to cross the tunnel. It is the longest rail tunnel in India. The train also runs during heavy snow. This railway system, proposed in 2001, is not expected to connect the Indian railway network until 2017 at the earliest, with a cost overrun of INR 5,500 crore. There are proposals to develop a metro system in the city. The feasibility report for the Srinagar Metro is planned to be carried out by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Cable car : In December 2013, the 594m cable car allowing people to travel to the shrine of the Sufi saint Hamza Makhdoom on Hari Parbat was unveiled. The project is run by the Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC), and has been envisioned for 25 years. An investment of INR 30cr was made, and it is the second cable car in Kashmir after the Gulmarg Gondola. Boat : Whilst popular since the 7th century, water transport is now mainly confined to Dal Lake, where shikaras (wooden boats) are used for local transport and tourism. There are efforts to revive transportation on the River Jhelum Climate Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position. The valley is surrounded by the Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with daytime a January average of 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and temperatures below freezing at night. Moderate to heavy snowfall occurs in winter and the only road that connects Srinagar with the rest of India may get blocked for a few days due to avalanches. Summers are warm with a July daytime average of 24.1 °C (75.4 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in). Spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. The highest temperature reliably recorded is 38.3 °C (100.9 °F) and the lowest is −20.0 °C (−4.0 °F) Places to visit Dal Lake Shankaracharya Hill Nigeen Lake Kheer Bhawani Temple Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden Mughal Gardens Shalimar Bagh Nishat Bagh Hazratbal Shrine Jamia Masjid and more...For more Please visithttps://www.facebook.com/TravelographybyPlabanBhattacharya
The next morning we had to leave around 4 to avoid the curfew in Srinagar and reach the airport to catch flight back to Mumbai. The journey had its ups and downs. Landed up being bruised but made memories and met few ppl to last a lifetime. *ONE REQUEST TO EVERY TRAVELER OR TOURIST IS THAT PLEASE PRESERVE MOTHER NATURE, AVOID USE OF PLASTIC OR TAKING IT TO THE BEAUTIFUL PARADISE. BIT BY BIT CONTRIBUTING WILL HELP A LOT TO PRESERVE "LADAKH"
SRINAGARMade from two Sanskrit words, sri - 'glory' and Nagar - 'city'City of Glory and prosperity.Dal lake which is the Crowning Glory and prosperity in terms of a distinct blend of culture and heritage.Local sightseeing in Srinagar :-
JKTDC Cheshmashahi ResortThirty-second rundown: Located at one of the most picturesque destinations of India, the Cheshmashahi Resort in Srinagar offers a beautiful view of the mountains and a very homely experience. From the wonderful ambiance to the warm staff, this hotel will only make your Srinagar experience better.
261 Kms from Diskit
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
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.
Finally our trip ended on a high note with snowfall. We reached Manali and checked into a hotel for couple of hours. We took a bus for Chandigarh and its over. I still cannot forget Spiti. For me it will always be an experience rather than a place and surely I will be visiting it soon just to find the piece of me which I left there.
Day 1: From Manali drive to Gulaba and trek to Gulaba Meadows campWe could Lake Trek starts from Manali I had to take the Delhi to Manali Volvo around 10 p.m. I was supposed to reach at Manali around 11 but a bus got delayed and I reached Manali by 3 p.m so it is advisable that to you take one of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism bus and not the private Volvo and please book your ticket in advance. so after reaching Manali and after having some lunch we left for Gulaba. it is a 2 hour drive from Manali. after reaching Gulaba it is approximately half an hour trek to Gulaba camp site. It is situated in a lush green meadows and wild boulders. I reached Gulaba camp site at around 8 p.m. fellow trekkers were all setup and playing antakshari. I missed our introduction .there was almost 40 people and at the end of the track I didn't knew names of the half of the people in the group. group shouldn't be more than 20 person as it prevents us from wanting to reach out to another person from the beginning. so I decided I won't do any other trek with Trek the Himalayas and this is my personal experience. IH is much better in my experience.Day 2: Gulaba to Rola KholiAltitude: 12,500 ft7 kms trek, approx. 5 hoursSo after a good night sleep in a perfect Meadows a perfect atmosphere and a sloping field I woke up at 6 A.M to see the most beautiful sunrise. we left for Gulaba to Rola kholi Camp site which was about 7km and 5 hour long trek. First 1.5 hours is steep ascent and then gradual ascent till campsite, via Kolang Nallah. The trail passes through virgin forests with views of Manali & Solang.8 kilometre walking made me worried but this time my legs weren't hurting anymore. I think it got of accustomed to the mountains. all it took was 4 treks . it was not a piece of cake but it wasn't as hard as I thought because I hadn't done any exercises or any preparations for the hike and I was worried that even if the trek itself is a easy track the height which we had to accomplish was 14000 which was more than any other trek i did in the past. it was a July the season of rain; thank god it didn't rain while we were walking during the day. I don't know what would have I done in that situation. So after 5 hours we reached campsite. The scenery in between the road was mesmerising .it was covered with soft grass. green carpet was covering all the walkway. After lunch I got severe headache. mountain was getting to me I knew it was a mountain sickness. I couldn't be bothered about the headache I am a doctor so I easily took time off cause I didn't want to avoid mighty Bhrigu lake. Two or three more people got a headache. I think for a 14000 feet height the track shouldn't be too short that is a rule and the first and foremost rule of Mountain.It started raining during the night. sound of raindrops on our head I couldn't even go out .I had never experienced a night in a tent with profuse rain falling over my head. thank heavens the tent wasn't leaking. I was in a sleeping bag so there was no questions that I would get wet for it but I was worried about my bag. in the morning the rain stopped by the grace of God.
Delhi to Manali usually takes around 14 hours (We covered in 17 hours) and Manali to Gulaba is just 22 KMs (We covered this in 4 hours thanks to the traffic). Total journey: ~21 hours!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.
Day 9 – Drive back to Manali en route Chandertal lakeWe left a little early to spend some time at Chandertal lake before we headed out to Manali.I would rather recommend stay at one of the camps near Chandertal lake and drive to Manali next day, to completely soak in the beauty and a hike to the nearby cliffs.
Day 1: Delhi – Chandigarh - Manali Overnight at Manali.
Manali is already spoiled , thanks to the huge crowd from Delhi and Chandigarh. There's nothing much to do here , costly food , costly accommodation and over populated places.There are lot of Volvo and ordinary buses plying between Manali to National Capital , it usually takes around 12-15 hrs depending on the traffic. An ordinary HRTC bus ticket is at Rs. 650 , deluxe bus at Rs. 720 and Volvo around Rs.1400. Sleep tight.Expenditure: Rs. 10,000 + Rs. 700(Trans) + Rs. 400 (Food) = Rs.11,100Day 10 : Back Home
292 Kms from Diskit
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,October,November
Barely 4 km away from Dharamshala by foot, the hill station of McLeod Ganj is home to many majestic monasteries, delicious smelling kitchen cafes, video rental shops, western food cafes, trekking companies and wall to wall stores selling Tibetan souvenirs and many more goodies. Also known as Little Lhasa and the abode of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual influence and its mystical green hills mark McLeod Ganj as a significant tourist destination and a major traveller hang-out in the Kangra Valley. A 5-minute walk south of this town will take one to the Tsuglagkhang Complex, which comprises the official residence of the 14th Dalai Lama, vibrant monasteries with beautiful murals and even a bookshop cafe that goes by the name of Namgyal Gompa. Tourist activity after monsoon picks up, after October, with February March being pleasant months to visit the hill station to witness the Losar Festival or the Tibetan New Year being celebrated. This compact sized town is best explored and enjoyed by walking or trekking. Intriguing short walks around Mcleod Ganj include one that goes 2km east to Bhagsu which leads one to a waterfall and a temple. The most well-known trek, 8 km starting from the town, is to Triund, a snow-flanked and serene camping spot from which one can also travel 5 km ahead to reach a charming little forest rest house. With many many hipster eateries, the food here is some of the best you"ll find at any mountain destination. Read More
McLeodganj is a small suburb in the city of Dharamshala. It is also the headquarters of the Tbetan - Government in exile and has plenty of monasteries if one wants to visit. Monks are a common sight in this small suburb. The peaceful McLeodganj is ideal as a last stop or destination as it provides the perfect atmosphere for calming the senses. McLeodganj is also called the 'Little Lhasa' or 'Dhasa' by the locals who reside over there. Various charitable organizations operate from McLeodganj for the Tibetan cause.
From Chandigarh, I had a full day of riding (on the roughest paved road I’ve ever seen) to get to Mcleodganj. What’s in Mcleodganj? The Dalai Lama and Mountains. I didn’t see the Dalai Lama, but I did go through the temple. Right before I had to give up my camera, they had this huge banner honoring Tibetans that had self-immolated…grim. Of course, I had to do a little hiking in the mountains. Back home, friends and I would often joke about how it’d be great to have a beer/food/etc. waiting at the end of a big hike or climb. To my surprise, this dream finally came true. At the top of this ridge line, there was a little shop where I warmed up with a nice cup of coffee.
The home of the Dalai Lama is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Lush green mountains, monasteries, western cafes. The place has a lot to offer. Weekends are packed, given its proximity to states of Punjab and Haryana, while weekdays are more calm and relaxed. We spent 2 days in the city, lazing around, exploring local cuisine and visiting the nearby monastries.
357 Kms from Diskit
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Gulmarg is synonymous with beauty so stunning that finding another place like it would be impossible. From its overwhelming ski-slopes, astounding meadows, numerous small streams to its hidden trekking trails, Gondola rides and Bollywood connection, Gulmarg is a must visit when you are visiting Kashmir. Gulmarg is visited by thousands of starstruck tourists every year and it's every bit worth the hype. Though at first glance it might seem like just another hilly resort, the serenity of the place will surprise you. Do try everything touristy here including the gondola and pony ride lest you miss out on a true Gulmarg experience. The route from Srinagar to Gulmarg is absolutely stunning and there are several places you can stop at including Baba Reshi Shrine and Tangmarg. There are quite a few resorts, cottages and hotels in Gulmarg so you'll be spoilt for choice though if you are visiting only for the day, the restaurants and dhabas here more than make up for a hearty meal. Do carry extra layers since it tends to get a little chilly here. Travelling here during winter is a little tricky so it's best to take a local taxi rather than driving yourself. And if you are lucky, you might just spot a snow leopard or two, though for that you'll need to go a little higher than Gulmarg. Another thing that stands out in Gulmarg is the effort to keep it clean, so if you happen to be there, do your bit.Read More
Gulmarg: One word come “Gondola Ride” there are 2 phase in gondola ride.1st Phase: It’s normal so anybody go there oxygen level is good and there you will enjoy some good food, Bike ride to the snow, there you also enjoy sledging.2nd Phase : The view around you is like heaven on earth because of low oxygen level infants are not allowed on top. There you will enjoy skiing and sledging and reach on the top.Over all gondola ride is most amazing experience. Its height 1400ft (2nd Phase) I recommend to stay in Gulmarg at least one night. I enjoyed rain there and that was awesome if you are lucky then might be you will also enjoy and feel the rain.
It was our second day in Gulmarg. We reserved this day for Gondola and local sight seeing.Gondola costs you 1600 INR per person for both the phases.You'll encounter many local guides who will ask you to accompany on your ride to Gondola. One such incident happened with me. An old man in his 60's-70's approached me and asked to serve as a guide for Gondola. I politely told him that I want to explore the place myself and don't need his assistance. He was extremely persuasive and denied to leave my back. In the end I had to give him 50 bucks just to leave me alone and let me go on my own.Note: You don't need a guide for Gondola. Take your passes from the counter and enjoy the ride. I would suggest you to cover Phase 1 and Phase 2 both.In the second phase you''ll be able to reach Apharwat peak. On your left, you'll find Sunshine peak and Shark peak on your right. You'll be able to see Indo- Pak border as well.Snowcapped mountains, cool breeze of air with skiing. This is what Apharwat is all about.As the sun went down, we started riding back to Srinagar from Gulmarg.While riding back, I felt that this was the best of Kashmir that I saw. It couldnt get better. Well, I was wrong.
We had 2 days reserved for Gulmarg and 2 days are more than enough for the place. Stay in Gulmarg is expensive and in the peak season time its difficult to find a hotel even at the highest price. We decided to stay at "Tangmarg". Tangmarg is 11 km before Gulmarg. It's a small village. We booked the hotel "Pine view Resort" through Goibibo at mere 750 INR for a night.The hotel room is clean and the restaurant serves delicious food. Do try their dosa.The moment I entered Gulmarg, some locals asked me to park my bike and told me that I might have to face penalty if I roam around on the bike. I decided not to hear them and continued to explore Gulmarg on my bike.Note: Some people might mislead you, I would suggest you not to throw away your money and get to know about the place. Kashmiri people can get a lot pushy while selling you something, so, keep that in mind.Day 1 in Gulmarg was amazing. Coming from Delhi it was surprising to watch huge green meadows, thousands of sheep, superb weather all at once. We roamed around for a while appreciating its aesthetics. It was around 4 pm when we decided that we were going to Khilanmarg enjoying the pony ride. Well, if you are a first timer, I must tell you that pony ride is not so interesting as it sounds. You'll get to know more once you'll do it.Gulmarg to Khilanmarg is around 5 km. Pony ride is going to cost you around 400 Rs.You'll cross deodar and pine forests on your route to reach Khilanmarg. Once you'll reach the place you can enjoy skiing and sledgingas well. Though its not quite famous for its adventure sports but a ride on sledge will do no harm.It was almost dark when we reached back to Gulmarg. We decided to leave for Tangmarg for our night stay. We had to come back to Gulmarg on the next day for Gondola. It was total dark on our way back. There was no other vehicle on the road except ours and it was horrifying.Later in the morning, locals told us that there have been some cases of the encounters with wild animals between the route of Gulmarg and Tangmarg. That was the day when I decided that it was the last time that I rode at night in the mountains.
This day we started off early and headed to Gulmarg. It was a day trip to Gulmarg and we went to Sonmarg for stay from there. Gulmarg was one beautiful place with lot of pine trees and valleys. Way to Gulmarg was fabulous.W e saw a valley flowing by road and stopped there for a while. After we reached Gulmarg , we had two options : Afarwat peak through gondola and khilanmarg through horse with several stops. We chose Khilanmarg as we experienced Gondola and snow a lot. And this was our best decision. We rented out jackets and we were on horses the next moment. In these places , the guide you get is as important as place. We got a very good guide here. The horses soon went into pine trees. We were seeing nature at its best. Our horse even crossed small water bodies and we felt like kings and queens. Then we were at a point where there were all snow capped mountains and the view was perfect. Next stop was view Reshi baba mandir/mosque from a mountain top. Then we headed to a childrens' park and this was magical. Park was green and there was water flowing through it with a small bridge across water. We were into water the next moment not even caring about how cold the water is. We spent a lot of time there. Then we headed to Khilanmarg. Khilanmarg had very murky ice. It was long time it snowed there as it was summer. We didnot do much there except for sledging in ice. Then we came down and started for Sonmarg. Our Sonmarg hotel was right in front of the mountain. We checked in to hotel, had dinner and relaxed for our next exciting day.
Around 56 km south west of Srinagar, the magical town of Gulmarg is home to some of the most stunning snow-clad slopes you can find in Kashmir. The town of Gulmarg is not just a centre for winter games but also boasts of a training centre that helps novices learn the nuances for many winter adventure sports, including skiing and snowboarding. Adhoc Sub Center Gulmarg is functional during winters every year and specialises in skiing courses.Read more: Ayandrali Dutta's trip to snow-covered Gulmarg.
The initial need that I had to reach the top had now being overtaken by the amusement of being on the track-path and sitting down at the cottages, having Nun chai (salt tea- Kashmiri tea). After a long journey up the mountain we finally reached. I could tell by the beams of sun that landed on my face, a reward for making it up so far. It was the most miraculous feeling I ever had, maybe it was the reason I was brought to India, to watch the blue skies kissing the mountain top, which was in the veils of white snow. I felt that I was on the peak of the world, and everything else is below my feet, and no one can reach me. I could see people climbing up below, like tiny dots. They would reach anytime soon. The feeling was so magical that I had not realized my palms turning red, with the unbearable cold that my body was exposed to for the first time in my life. Blood ran up to my top layer of paled skin to fight the strong breeze against me, but it was not powerful enough to kill the smile on my face out of the happiness. Surprisingly, Abid was not scolding me for not bringing proper winter clothes. Instead he was beaming, with a broad smile on his face that touched the corners of his ears as he watched me gradually picking my breath. He was equally happy as I was, to have been the pioneer to bring me to Kashmir, which till now has become a home than any other to me and will always be.
Gulmarg: February is an excellent time to get your gear on and go snow boarding and skiing in the the snow-clad meadows of Kashmir. Gulmarg not only becomes the hub of adventure activities in this season but also promises surreal landscapes and a clear night sky for those who want a peaceful vacation.The nearest airport is in Srinagar, 56 kms from Gulmarg. Taxis and buses are available from Srinagar to Gulmarg everyday at regular intervals.Read more: Snow-Covered Gulmarg In Photos by Ayandrali Dutta
God himself showers light upon this place. And the people there, they couldn't be any more generous in their attitude. Even in a state of curfew, they helped the tourists, the families to get to a safer place, and offered them all the help they could give selflessly.
This summer vacations, my family decided to land on the one place that hits every Indian Middle class family's vacation list, yes-Kashmir! It truly is the 'Heaven on Earth', with the green flowing all around,naturally growing flowers making it even more beautiful, those horses, the hills, and the clouds completing the image of a fairyland.
Gulmarg ("Meadow of Flowers") is a town, a hill station, a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is within the Himalayas and is within miles of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. ccording to CNN, Gulmarg is the "heartland of winter sports in India." Gulmarg was being mooted as a possible host for the 2010 Commonwealth Winter Games. As such, Gulmarg has been rated by CNN International as Asia's seventh best ski destination. This resort is famous because of its "Gulmarg Gondola," one of the highest cable car in the world, reaching 3,979 metres. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from the gondola main station in Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Apharwat Summit (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski.
274 Kms from Diskit
Best time to visit - N/A
This is as valley as well as a town in the Dustrict of Chamba. Situated on the banks of the Ravi River, Chamba is a beautiful place and a popular tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh. The town was founded in 920 AD by Raja Sahil Verma, after he moved his capital from Bharmour till here. The temple of the Chamba valley are also famous for theire beautiful wood carvings. The main influence is of Hindus here unlike most of the other hill valleys of Himachal. The Raghuvira Temple is the most famous temple here. The blooming flowers all around is a blissful sight. The Chowgan Field is the place for the traditional Minjal Festival of Chamba Region.Read More
CHAMBAIt was almost 1 pm by now, we headed to Chamba. It's almost 50 kms from Dalhousie, 90 mins to reach Chamba via Khajjiar. Chamba is one of the main city of Chamba distt situated at the "Bank of River Ravi" and is quite populated as compared to other nearby towns. It's situated in valley. The town looks spectacular from far away. The Houses are as colorful as 'Festival of Holi'.The main crop cultivate in this area is of Corn (Maize).One can see corns getting dry at locals house roof.As compared to Dalhousie, Chamba was quite hot. River ravi flows through the Chamba city. We wandered around the main market and visited the "Laxmi Narayan Temple- the Oldest Temple".One can buy Walnuts here, it's cheap as compared to other cities.
Sitting at the height of over 996 meters on the bank of the river Ravi, CHAMBA has become a destination of choice for many tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh. It's the valley of milk and honey, which is commonly known for its streams, temples, meadows, paintings and lakes.
I got ready to leave to Chamba. This is the northwestern district of HP. Chamba is the only district in northern India to preserve a well-documented history from 500 AD. Its high mountain ranges have given it a sheltered position and helped in preserving its centuries-old relics and numerous inscriptions. The temples erected by Chamba Rulers, more than a thousand years ago continue to be under worship. Got into the Volvo bus, which is from Delhi to Chamba via Dalhousie. Had a comfortable journey. I reached Chamba & took a walk to Hotel Iravati (of HP tourism), the best place to stay there. Once, I made a list of places to see, I visited Lakshmi Narayan mandir, Bhuri Singh museum, Hari rai mandir, Rangal Mahal which are the old preserved monuments at Chamba. Thanks to lonely Planet, my lunch was at Desa Chicken Corner - a small eatery joint in the market, where they make Dahi chicken, Roti in front of your eyes and serve it hot. Delicious.
Famous for its trekking routes, 100-year-old bungalows and the Chamunda temple, Chamba is an ideal holiday option in January in India. It will be cold, yet comfortable to travel to various places around it. If travelling to Chamba, you can also pay a visit to Manimahesh Lake, Kala Top National Park or the Khajjiar Lake in Khajjiar, which is popularly called mini Switzerland.How To Reach: The nearest railway station is Pathankot, which is 120km away from Chamba. Chamba is well connected by roads, so you can take a taxi from the railway station to reach Chamba.
The trek from Dalhousie to Chamba takes you through the valleys of Kangra and Chamba. This route is a beautiful way to enter the Chamba Valley on foot, and is best enjoyed during winters. The camping sites on the way are on comfortable terrains, making them ideal for families.The starting point or the first basecamp of the trek is in Dalhousie. From there you trek for five hours to reach Kalatop, a picturesque mountain peak, and then camp again at Khajjiar the next night. You will spend more than a day exploring the Mangla Village, and then head back via the same route.
Early next morning we woke up and got ready for the long Journey awaiting us .We had to reach Gangotri which is 300 km from Haridwar, by night Since there aren’t any straight buses to Gangotri from Haridwar, we were to go to Uttarkashi first and then take another bus to Gangotri. So we took a bus to Uttarkashi via Rishikesh around 5.30 am. We reached Chamba around 9 am where the bus stopped for quick refreshment for the passengers and driver. From there we saw the snow covered tops of theHimalayan peaks from the distance for the first time in our journey. The tallest mountain ranges in the world, the natural barrier of our great nation was shining so bright in the sunlight. But disappointingly that was the last time we saw that magnificent view till we reached Gangotri. The driver of the bus rushed through the narrow road which snaked across the valley. Soon after crossing Chamba you will get a companion up to the destination, it is none other than the mighty 'Ganga'. But at that point its name is Bhagirathi, the river which came to the earth from the heavens because of the prayers of King Bhagirath! It becomes Ganga after joining with Alakanandha at Devprayag which is not quite far from Chamba. Bhagirathi looked like a lake in those areas because of the Tehri dam which is constructed across the river at New Tehri, I thought. But as we passed a few kilometers we could see the real face of Bhagirathi. She is very thin but flowing really fast, cutting the mountains into two parts. One of the things that astonished me was that there are countless numbers of small streams joining Bhagirathi from its source in Gaumukh but still I felt the water level of the river is the same as its beginning. May be it is because she flows very fast! There are huge rocks in the river that got there probably because of landslides.
I reached Chamba as I planned. I booked a room nearby bus stand to leave for Bairagarh the next morning. It's 130kms and HPTDC runs only 2 buses in the morning. I interacted with locals and roamed the streets. There wasn't much to do.
18. The stunning mountains of ChambaThe Chamba Valley in Himachal is a mysterious place dotted with a number of temples dedicated to Lord Narayan. Considered to be a paradise for those who love to connect with nature, Chamba provides one with an awesome view of all the mountains around the valley.
295 Kms from Diskit
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July,September,October,November
A picturesque and quiet little town, Palampur is a panorama of stunning tea gardens, brooks, creeks, rice paddies and colonial era buildings all set against the backdrop of the breathtaking snow-peaked Dhauladhar ranges. It is perfect for those who seek a getaway from noisy cities and most importantly crowds. A not so popular tourist destination, Palampur is a town early to rise and early to sleep, whilst being a haven for to those who seek solitude, especially in the lap of nature. Places such as the Neogal Park is highly recommended for refreshing and soothing walks amidst the forest overlooking a river, which even consists of a small man-made lake for boating activities. For all tea lovers out there, visit the tea gardens and the Palampur Cooperative Tea Factory to understand the entire process behind tea manufacturing, which will be happily explained to you through a free tour by the people working there, wherein you can also purchase fresh Kangra tea leaves and many different types of tea. For handcraft enthusiasts, especially pottery, Andretta Artist's Village is the perfect place for one to not only purchase those clay crafted beauties but also to learn how to make them from scratch. Palampur is open to both Indian and Western cuisines, with a number of commendable and affordable restaurants to eat at. To try something more authentic or 'Pahari' for that matter, Sai Gardens is highly recommended for its versatility and prowess especially in the Himachali cuisine. Adventure seekers can enjoy paragliding and other activities in Bir, a place about an hour away from Palampur, guaranteed to give you a memorable time. Read More
The third tick was certainly a thrilling one. As I have mentioned before we were staying 18 Km away from Palampur, and it used to take around 45 minutes to go there. One day, as everyone was busy, I and my friend were asked to get some things from Palampur on a scooty. I used ride scooty a lot during my high school days, and it was my first time riding on the mountains. I have to admit I was pretty nervous as I had to take of someone else along with me but it wasn’t going to stop me. As we started it was difficult to ride with the beautiful view around you and within a few minutes we were almost there and suddenly it started to rain. I love riding during rains but this was a whole other experience as I was unaware about the roots, plus I had to be careful while riding in the narrow lanes. And pretty soon there was a huge hail storm and we had to take a break for a while. I started to think what a day I picked to ride. As soon as the hail storm stopped we started again and this time I thought to explore the city, we entered the lane where all the army folks stayed it was a beautiful road. There were trees all around, road covered with flowers and it was sparkling because of the reflection of the water. Within seconds the hail storms hit us again and this time I was lucky enough to stop at a spot where they served momos. The aunty was from Darjeeling and their small restaurant was called The Darjeeling momos, we asked for a plate of mutton momos. The rain and hot momos was a perfect combination. They were undoubtedly the best momos I have ever had. It was so difficult to say bye to that place and that moment. And while going back the view was very contrasting as it was completely dry on the other side of the mountain. You could see that rain clouds go behind and see the sunny side in front. And with that I got my third tick off the list. Fireflies and usWhen you travel with strangers, you always have a part of you that quite doesn’t want to open up. You tend to hide some parts that you are not sure if they will understand. But even after such insecurities you understand each and other, and try to make the journey more comfortable. I will share two such incidents that have a special place in my heart. One night the six of us were walking back to the place we shifted to in Nagri village. If I may, I would like to mention we under the influence of some questionable substance, but we were sharper than ever. While walking all us stopped at this one place where we could see the stars, even the galaxy, and when we stood there between the fields, we saw something even more pretty. We looked around and we were surrounded by fireflies, and when we saw that our faces were more lit than the flies. We stayed there for almost an hour soaking this view within our veins, to never let it go. What a beautiful moment the three of us shared that day, unforgettable!The moonlight and the mountain top
One day while working for the homestay, we did a lot of extreme hard labour. The boys were too tired by the end of the day and felt like drinking. We got drunk and only when we were about to get tipsy, one of them got an idea to go for a drive. So our project lead who was the only one who knew the way around decided to get adventurous. He drove us to this mountain top with a difficult terrain, we were both scared and excited. And finally he stopped at a location that I had only seen in the movies. The only guiding light was the moon there, and as it spread its light on the mountain top we finally saw the view on the other side. It was huge snowcapped mountains. Allow me to paint a picture, the moon right above us, bright and shiny, snow-capped mountains in front of us, and 6 of us on the mountain top. To top that perfect frame there was music in the background. We got a guitar, one played the others sang, and we lived through the night, just talking and singing. Our journey was full of unimaginable beautiful frames. And I don’t know how the 45 days in Palampur came to an end. With so many precious memories of people, places and locations.
We finally reached Palampur in the evening. It is small hill station in Kangra Valley also known as the Darjeeling of the north due to its Tea Gardens and Pine forests which merge with the Dhauladhar ranges. Due to plenty of water and mild climate, it is ideally suited for Tea. Palampur derives its name from the local word "palum", meaning a lot of water. Numerous streams of water rushing down from the mountains crisscrossing with the terrain, tea gardens and rice fields make it really beautiful.
Well that's lots of travel for a day, now it's time to return to Palampur, not because we get tired, because of shopping. Yes when you have girls in your group no matters where you go and how beautiful the place is, there is more powerful attraction force.., and that is shopping..! So we decided to return by 7 p.m. and yes it's time to shopping.
It's finally Palampur...., from Bombay picnic spot it just takes 3 hrs to reached Palampur. The first thing that instantly caught our attention was the peacefulness of the place. And yes we are finally in Palampur after a run of almost 175 km and 6 hrs, we reached to our destination, but it's not the end of our journey it's just the beginning of the endless fun and adventure we had planed to do. But first we moved to our hotel it's a run of 6 hrs and even we didn't slept last night we need some rest. Our hotel is Hotel Highland Regency it's near about new bus stand. We checked in and go to our rooms and Oh My God...! look at that view...., we just forget about everything the view of Dhauladhar mountains is can't be described in words. We ordered some snacks and decide to take some rest as we all get tired.
Palampur is famously known as the tea capital of north India and is located at a convenient distance of the Dhauladhar ranges in the Kangra valley. The best thing to do in Palampur during off season is to explore the tea gardens and indulge in paragliding. Palampur is considered as the best paragliding spot in India and we should completely make use of it! You can visit the Chamunda Devi Temple and the Bajinath temple. Palampur suits all those people looking for a pristine getaway, far off from the flocks of tourists.The nearest airport is the Kangra Airport, 40 km away from Palampur. You can also reach this destination by rail and road; the nearest railway station is in Pathankot.1. RajasthanWhy Rajasthan: Because the 'Land of Kings' is full of stunning palaces and royal hilltop forts outlined against an incredible countryside.Why During Off-season: When the rain comes down on the shining sandy desert, it’s not only the surface that turns green but also the joy on the face of the locals will fill you with awe. So, visit Rajasthan during July - September.
Palampur is famously known as the tea capital of north India and is located at a convenient distance of the Dhauladhar ranges in the Kangra valley. The best thing to do in Palampur during off season is to explore the tea gardens and indulge in paragliding. Palampur is considered as the best paragliding spot in India and we should completely make use of it! You can visit the Chamunda Devi Temple and the Bajinath temple. Palampur suits all those people looking for a pristine getaway, far off from the flocks of tourists.The nearest airport is the Kangra Airport, 40 km away from Palampur. You can also reach this destination by rail and road; the nearest railway station is in Pathankot.
Palampur, a small valley in Himachal Pradesh is a well known destination for those who are truly seeking a break from the chaos of the city!
Day 7 | 8th August 2015 We check-out from guest house in Hunder and head back towards Diskit. Pit stop at Diskit monastery which has the famous 32 metre tall statue of Maitreyi Buddha. From Diskit we head back to Leh, via Khardung La again.Overnight at Leh. Drive Distance – 120 km Drive Time – 6 hours Read More
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Day 7 | 8th August 2015 We check-out from guest house in Hunder and head back towards Diskit. Pit stop at Diskit monastery which has the famous 32 metre tall statue of Maitreyi Buddha. From Diskit we head back to Leh, via Khardung La again.Overnight at Leh. Drive Distance – 120 km Drive Time – 6 hours