Trips and Itineraries for Lahaul And Spiti
Being my second trip to Lahaul-Spiti, I wanted my girlfriend of many years and wife of 3 months to see why i kept talking about Lahaul the way i never did about any other place I have ever been to (ladakh included)....
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Triund is the name of a crest in the Dhauladhar ranges in The Himalayas. It is a 9 km trek from Mcleod Ganj. The place gives a breathtaking view of the moon peak - Indera Pass. Triund was ideal for camping with its unpolluted air and the unspoiled environment making the place an eco-friendly tourist spot. It offered green forests and undulated hilly areas in the Himalayan Ranges. From Triund, we trekked a bit further up to Laka Got. The trek to Triund took around 4 hours from Mcleod Ganj and was totally worth every step that I climbed.
Triund is the name of a crest in the Dhauladhar ranges in The Himalayas. It is a 9 km trek from Mcleod Ganj. The place gives a breathtaking view of the moon peak - Indera Pass. Triund was ideal for camping with its unpolluted air and the unspoiled environment making the place an eco-friendly tourist spot. It offered green forests and undulated hilly areas in the Himalayan Ranges. From Triund, we trekked a bit further up to Laka Got. The trek to Triund took around 4 hours from Mcleod Ganj and was totally worth every step that I climbed.
A 13 km trek to 'Triund hill' amidst rain and thunder was an experience of a lifetime. 13 kms seemed like one hell of a climb for us 'corporate junkies' used to daily luxuries of life. But it all seems worth the effort when you reach at the top and witness stretches of snow-capped mountains and a bed of lush green grass with dozens of colorful tents. For company, you have some cattle, fellow trekkers and small shops selling basic stuff. The scenic beauty coupled with Chai and Maggie makes one fall in love with life! As the night falls one can see the city lights from up from the mountains, the entire existence seems dwarfed against the magnaminity of nature!!
Right from 29 May to 31 May we stayed at Triund in tents. We trekked all the way from Mcleodgunj to Triund and had the time of our lives up there. This place has bountiful nature to explore. With the Lakka glacier, small places nestled within the peaks, exploration doesn't have any boundaries.
The beautiful valley of Triund is a 4 hrs trek from Galu Devi Temple, the starting point for the triund trek. Galu Devi is 30 mins away from Bhagsu. The trek to Triund gives amazing views of the Kullu valley. Once you reach Triund, you will be awestruck by sudden occurence of the valley, as you can see the Dhauladhar Range, right in front of you (as if you can touch it).
This might not exactly be a perfect start for any travelogue, but it exactly show cases my feeling even before the trip started! It’s been a while I have stepped in my travelling shoes and decided to take a break from a routine life. Bunch of folks from office also felt the same way. As usual, all it took was a call for Triund, a beautiful place and we had the plans rolling on, greased by the enthusiasm like never before. The challenge was to complete the Triund trek roughly 2875 meter above sea level. The prize was spectacular view of the snow covered peaks of Dhauladhar one side and Kangra valley on the other. The preparations were in full swing, everybody geared up for the trek and packing all the necessary stuff. Coming back to the day of the journey, we left Chandigarh and hit NH1 in early hours high on adventure and thrill, preparing ourselves for the trek as office folks hardly indulge in physical activities. We reached Mcleodganj around 7 in the morning, checked in a hotel, freshened up and were ready to take the activity head on. We had a light breakfast and seemed worried with the intensity of the sun in early hours but we had very little idea that nature had different plans for us. Our guide was a guy named Vinod who seemed quite an experienced guy, very though rely explained about all the Do’s and Don’ts. We started our long journey of 9 km. The way was getting steeper step by step, hardly after 500 meters, started breathing heavily and we all sat for a little break. We had Gatorade and started again and we realized the sky getting darker and darker. Few minutes later it started pouring down, a slight drizzle accompanied by cold breeze we were happy with this sudden change of weather. We thought it was a passing shower which is quite usual in hilly areas. We continued our journey and after a while it started raining cats and dogs, we all were drenched from head to toe. The muddy water was running down the path making it difficult to acquire a strong grip on the stones which were getting slippery. We finally reached Sh. Gallu Devi temple, it’s basically the first checkpoint. We had tea and reassessed the situation shall we continue or return back to the hotel and decided to continue. We bought raincoats from the shop tea stall there and started our journey to the top. The trek after the first checkpoint gets a bit tough, with steep curves and moderate trails. Owing to the heavy down pour during the previous couple of hours, the air was damp and laden with moisture. We continued making our way through the Rhododendron forest and came across a tea stall after few kilometers. We came across some splendid views from the top, down the valley, took few snaps and continued on our way. We had a little snack break and were under pressure to complete the trek before it gets dark. The temperature started falling drastically, we made our way to the last part of the trail. A cold breeze was blowing across the valley, and it gave a bone chilling feeling. Finally we reached at the top and were mesmerized seeing a rainbow, along with an amazing view of the valley. It gave a feeling of accomplishment after looking at the Mcleodganj and Dharamsala from the top. We had tea to make ourselves more comfortable, in the meanwhile our guide setup the tents for the night. We were heartbroken on realizing the fact that, whole of the forest was wet because of rains which in turn diminishes the chances for any bonfire. It was need of the hour as we wanted to dry ourselves around the fire but our guide came to our rescue and he did managed some dry woods from the tea stall at the top. It was a spectacular view up in the sky, as the sky was very clear after the rains and swear to god have never seen so many stars at a time. It was such a lovely feeling away from city traffic, pollution and normal routine life. One could really feel the inner peace and achieve that calmness missing from our busy lives. After dinner we slept early as we were tired from the journey. Next day we woke up early in the morning and very eagerly waited for the sunrise. The first orange hued rays of sunrise kissed the mountain peaks and the green colour grass started glowing. The sun rays with the same loving care as the Mother Nature ascended and covered the whole valley upfront. These soft rays that should have brought warmth to a new day only acted to solidify the greatness of nature. We sat back down on the stones and become witness to this resplendent moment. After few minutes the sun rays became strong and we felt bad, but you can't argue with the sun. We started our journey back to Mcleodganj and after 4 hours of trek reached our hotel back where we rested for a while and head back to Chandigarh. Please do not litter or throw garbage on the treks or down in the valley, Contribute and Help in keeping Nature Clean. Happy Trekking!
Triund is a ridge overlooking the Dhauladhars, the ridge elevation being 2,875 metres. It is a 10 kilometre trek (one way) from McLeod Ganj bus stand. The trail is rocky and cut in steps at some places. From Galu temple the trail starts as a gentle ascend till Magic View café. After the café, the ascent is a tad steeper, finally cumulating in a steep final one kilometre stretch through a forest of Deodars and Rhododendron. This final stretch through the woods is known as 22-curves, because of the 22 switchbacks that one has to walk through to get to Triund. It is advised to carry your own potable water as bottled water costs 50 Rs / bottle at tea shops in Triund. The place has got facility for night camping where you can rent a tent for around Rs.1000 for two people. Only one shop to buy your food and stuff is available serving only one dish per day. So it is advisable to carry your own food.
And we have no words to measure the specificity of this place.A large valley girdled with big grey coloured rocks.You can easily find sheeps and ponies all around sitting and spending their leisure time like us.I always thought trekking would be a difficult job for a person like me, who is very lethargic and lazy.But as soon as i tightened my shoe laces and backpacks, i went all bonkers and i just wanted to touch that god-damned mountain!
The Crown Jewel of Dharamshala as they say ,,, witnessed exactly the same from my eyes.
Triund is one of the most popular trekking/hiking get away mountain around the Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala. It stands at 2825 m and its only 9 kms from Mcleod Ganj and gives the town a beautiful Snow-Clad Mountain backdrop. Different seasons brings variety of colors, moods, flora and fauna and attention to the adventure seeking travelers/hikers/trekkers.
These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.”
for a beginner like me, trekking to triund was one hell of an experience. it was snowing like cats and dogs and all the cafes were shut due to 5 ft of snow. still we managed to reach the top somehow. a trek to triund is recommended if u are heading to Mcleodganj
If there is just one thing you can do while at Mcleodganj, let it be the trek to Triund and/or upto the snowline! A moderately difficult trek that can be completed in 4-6 hours, its doable by everybody. To make things slightly easier, you could arrange a drop off either to Dharamkot or further upto Galludevi temple. Highly recommend camping overnight. Being under the blanket of a starry sky with the Dhauladhars shimmering alongside for company is an experience pretty difficult to beat! You also get to enjoy the Himalayas at sunset, at midnight and sunrise, and believe me, each of these is so different and magical in its own way. Also, because the weather changes rather quickly, it might be so, that there is thick mist when you reach the top, meaning no views, which can be quite a sad thing after all that effort getting to the top! A bowl of Maggi never tasted as delicious. You can carry your own booze and enjoy it.
Most admired and popular trekking path in Dharamshala is Triund. Triund is in the lap of beautiful Dhauladhar range, it has the perfect view of the dhauladhar mountains on one side and kangra valley on the other. Located about ten kilometres from the hustling city centre of McLeodganj. Triund trek can be known as a tranquil trek which can be easily accomplished by almost all age groups.
Triund is a ridge that overlooks the Dhauladhars. The ridge elevation is between 2,810 and 2,875 metres. It is a one-day trek 10 kilometres (one way) from McLeod Ganj bus stand and under 6 kilometres (one way) from Galu temple near Dharamkot. The trail is rocky and cut in steps at some places. This stretch through the woods is known as 22 Curves, because of the 22 switchbacks one has to walk through to reach Triund.
After 12 hours journey, we reached our little Tibet - Mcleodganj. We booked a guesthouse near Dharamkot, unloaded our bags in our room and hit to the bathroom to get ready for our trek. After a light breakfast we slowly moved towards our destination. The trekking distance from Dharamkot to Triund Top is approximately 8km but there is a motorable road till the Galu Devi temple which could reduce your trekking distance by 3km. We on the other hand started our trek from Dharamot. Bad idea, I must say. Anyhooo... Slowly and steadily we took the ascent. Initially the 8 of us started the trek together but after a while, our group got divided in pairs so that those who reach the top first could book the camps. Few hours later, while resting at the Magic View café we met this guy who was also from Delhi. We started having a conversation with him and he told us that he had a severe muscle tear and that his doctor had advised him not to play basketball (his first love, as he exclaimed) or do anything that could strain his muscles. Inspite of that, he was still here trekking in these mountains. Moreover, this wasn't his first, it was his fourth time in Triund. I asked him "Why this place again and that too with a muscle tear?" to which he replied, "There is something about Triund which makes me come here time and again. It is worth all the pain. You will believe me only when you reach the top (pointing at the end point of our trek)." Those words worked like a booster for us. We moved forward and this time our new found friend and his best friend tagged along. Those guys made the trek even more fun and filled with laughter and kept on motivating us to keep moving. As we moved on further, the track became a little slippery because the iced dew on the rocks started melting. We had trekked for 4 hours and the last 1km was the steepest ascent. The moment we reached the top, we witnessed the snow capped Dhauladhar range turning from white to orange in sunset. At that moment, I realized why he kept on coming here. It was absolutely breathtaking!!If you're a beginner and want to witness the mountains closely, this place should surely be on your bucket list.
Keep your third day entirely devoted to Triund. Triund is considered as one of India's best trekking destinations and cannot be missed at all. It has quite a scenic view with a range of Dhauladhar Ranges on one side and the Kangra Valley on the other. A tranquil trek which can be accomplished by people from almost all age groups. The starting point of triund is Galu, it is suggested that if you can, you must hike all the way up; you won't regret it. The trek takes roughly about 2-3 hours to complete.
Day No: 2 TRIUND TO LAKA GOT / LAHESH CAVES (5 KMS / 4 HOURS): We trek from Triund to Lahesh Caves (3500 mtrs.) in the morning. We pass through Snowline Cafe (1 Hour from Triund) and Laka Got at another one hour. We camp inside the caves (outside if no place available). We cannot move beyond Lahesh Caves after afternoon as weather and terrain may get risky.
My bucket list starts with taking me around beautiful places not very far away from Dharamshala. The first on the list is Dharamkot. How about an adventurous start ? Trek Triund ? This four hour continuous trek is worth the destination. Also, this trek proves why they say, it is so much about the journey and not the destination. The beautiful stony ways covered with red leaves and steep slopes which give you an oomph moment every time you cross a slant curve will make you fall in love with every bit of this place. Imagine yourself sitting on the highest peek with your feet hanging out in air, looking at the most beautiful view you have always wished to see, shouting in your highest pitch to get the feel of one of those Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani moments , the peaceful mind, no connection with the outer world, the surroundings, the voices, for a moment everything seems so sorted and fine, everything, every single thing takes you to a new world from where you'd never want to return. Camping at night, looking at those countless starts and Milky way Galaxy adds up the final touch to your almost completed masterpiece. If you have time, you can trek Illaka glacier, Lahesh Caves and kareri lake further.
I woke up early in the morning, the sun was shining brightly and here I was standing opposite a high mountain range with snow covered on it. There were sheep all over, tripping over just anything and making all sorts of noises. There were cows who stood stoned looking into nothingness or probably they planned to eat those tents. All of this was interesting enough for some photography and I took my camera and spent a good hour clicking the place.I woke Ramana who indulged into narcissistic photography through selfies and began posing vigorously at suitable picturesque locations. Shikha woke up later and we were happy to have survived the night and the place did feel worthy enough for the toil. We had some light snacks, found out that most of our stuff were still soggy and had no choice but to pack them again. Our shoes weren't dry and we had to continue our down trek in them.The cricket ground at Dharamshala was visible as we began our trek. And, it was as we had wanted it to be- the path was totally dry and we could trek down fast. We took stoppages at the shacks, which wasn't required as such but we were fast enough to not avoid them. We were at the base of the trek in 3 hrs and laughed at ourselves for abusing the people who told us that we hadn't covered much, when we had asked them that the last day, as we realized that we were hardly able to cover 300-400 meters during the hailstorm, though it felt like a huge distance.We reached Guna temple much before we had expected ourselves to make it to the place. This time we took a cab to the Mcleod market sharing it with another traveler who planned to travel to Ajmer from the place.In the Mcleod market, our first requirement was to find a place to poop, which we hadn't done for a long while now as there were no such facilities at Triund. And CCD came to the rescue. Then, we finally had our lunch at Jimmy's which was worth the hype. And now, we were ready to move back to Delhi.We took a taxi to Dharamshala bus stand and got a direct bus to Delhi from there. All of us got window seats and slept. We woke up later in the night, when our heads hit the iron bar in front of our seats as the bumpy bus hit the brakes. In the middle of nowhere, there was this Dhaba and there were other buses coming on the highway in a speed to kill, we were zoned out enough to not be able to figure out anything and slept back again.
2) The People: We live in a terrible world. You hear about people killing each other and destroying the planet on a daily basis. Traveling has put me in touch with the good side of humanity. I have been astounded by the friendliness and compassion shown to me by people who didn't know me and had no reason to help me. I think one needs to experience this 'niceness' to stay positive & restore their faith in this mad world.
I would say, stop restricting Himachal only till Shimla – Manali. There are so many beautiful mountains, rivers, villages & paths around Himachal..Being a traveler, for me every place has its own special spark & beauty. I feel extremely low when people only relate Shimla-Manali with Himachal Pradesh. When I told my friends that I am planning for Mcleodganj and parvati valley. many of them asked where is it ????.Please get rid of Shimla-Manali as Himachal Pradesh has much to offer. sufficiently heard and recent crazy instagram posts from my traveler friends about Spiti. And now it is becoming hard to keeping these places untraveled. Yes, so much tempted now and definitely I will add Spiti and chadar on my coming trips and Dharamsala over & over again for my kind of a road trip in the coming years, because These places are yet an unknown paradise for many of us. .
After spending a full day in McLeodganj we left next day morning for our Triund hill trek, one of the best parts of our McLeodganj trip. Though we slept long and were late for the trek, it is best if you start your trek early morning by 7. Before visiting McLeaod never pre-book your Triund trekking online paying more money. While you are in McLeodganj you will find so many travel agencies offering you a guide or camping package. Though, we didn't spend money on guide and decided to trek on our own. Gallu Devi Temple is the starting point for the trek from McLeod. Usually you don't need a guide as the way is marked and moderate. When we visited there wasn't snow. But in the case of snow or extreme rainfall you might consider taking a guide unless you are a regular trekker. The trek is easy or may be moderate for some but it is definitely NOT difficult. The duration of trekking is usually 4 hours depending on your stamina and weather. Once you reach the triund hill top the view from there is just beautiful. We got a camp for Rs. 800 and spent a night on hill top. At night, it gets very cold so bring warm clothes accordingly. The sky looks actually full of stars from the hill top. There are small stalls for food and drinks on hill top and through entire trek. There is no washroom facility on the hill top. After spending a beautiful day at Triund, we climbed down to Mcleod next morning."There, the seasons hastened, exhorting you to count and treasure the moments. Amidst the concerns of capricious summer breeze, the sun never seemed to be shining so bright; the freezing cold nights could not cease the spirit of warmth and solace; and the heart somehow managed to remain stable in those unanticipated rainstorms. There again, in between this never ending cycle of tranquility and chaos, something whispered - can we still freeze these moments? We are travelers on a cosmic journey. And those precious moments were little parenthesis in eternity. :) "
4. TriundThis is a well-known trek near the town of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. A very popular camping spot, this place is gifted with a perfect view of the Dhauladhar ranges on one side and the Kangra valley on the other. Triund attracts a lot of tourists every year from India and all over the world. Luxuries like hot maggi, dal chawal and warm tents are available on top.Highest altitude: 2825 meters
The bus arrived 3 hours after the scheduled arrival at 11:00 AM so I decided to move quickly. Broke my overnight fast with Thupka then took a dump at the public rest room just couple of building from the main square towards the right, bought some supplies chocolates(Snickers) and liquor(Old Monk) and started the trek right from the main square at 12:30PM.I didn't plan on socialising along the way but the 80 litre backpack stuffed with my tent, sleeping bag, mattress and other survival gear caught attention of several travelers which mostly ended in casual discussion about place of origin, destination, my backpack.But some discussions went far and I met my camping buddy, Abhinav from Delhi, for the day just when I was about to reach Triund top by 4:30PM. I usually trek in timed intervals of walking and resting. As this was an easy trek I decided on 45 minutes walking and 10 minutes complete rest with backpack on the ground, chocolate and water.We roamed around Triund top to find some place from where night sky and sunrise will be visible and pitched our tent on behind the second shop towards the right. Rest of the evening was filled with songs, stories and enquiring about things to do at Triund this is where I came to know about Snow Line Cafe camping site and Indrahar Pass.Note :- The trek is mostly rocky steps which will be easier to traverse with high ankle boots and require moderate fitness levels but there are plenty of cafes along the trail to Triund top. Also, getting an accommodation on the top can be a hassle in bad weather conditions like snowfall because area to pitch tents decreases.
The day began with getting rid of a dog playing with my tent, packing the camp and admiring the beauty of sunrise. We started moving towards the other camping site through steep slopes and boulders and met Harsh and Shubham from Gurgaon. The boulders started getting difficult to climb to the extent to motivating and extending help for Harsh and Abhinav to climb and keep moving forward.We ended up facing a 40-50 feet high rock face and concluding that we are lost, we started to climb down and reached Triund after our trip to the jungle.After enquiring about the correct trail and parting ways with rest of the guys as they decided to stay back, I reached Snow Line cafe by late noon, pitched my tent and decided to visit a temple at the summit of that mountain on advice of cafe owner.Trail to summit was short and beautiful, this was the best part of my journey. "Thank you this place" Vasily Kharitonov, I found written at the temple and enjoyed the sunset at that place. Zoom in on the picture captioned "Triund - down there".Upon returning and collecting firewood on the way, I meet ;Ben from Australia determined to summit Indrahar pass, Suraj and Deepanshi from Noida besides the bonfire. Sharing stories and appetisers we witnessed the beauty of moon rise and the valley lit up from darkness.When I shared my experience of BMC, Ben and the local guide Ben had hired, compelled me to join them in their venture to Indrahar Pass and we decided to leave early morning at 4:30AM.Note :- Just ask for the trail to snow line cafe, don't get lost like we did. If you end up facing boulders which seems difficult to climb, turn back because the boulders will get much difficult and soon you will end up in front of a rock face, climbing it should only be attempted with proper mountaineering equipment using pitch climbing technique. Keep at least 2 litres of water for the trek as it gets remote onwards.
On our way, we quickly enquired about the Triund trek, which I remember from my childhood as very tiring but extremely snowy, thus completely worth it. One of the locals told us that there is still snow at Triund, which is about 12-14 km from Mcleodganj. We were super excited to hear that and decided to wake up early next morning and begin our trek. After a quick stop at our guest house, we walked down the Dharamkot Road towards the marketplace and chanced upon the cutest little cafe I'd seen so far in the town. The name, 'Momo Cafe', was enough for us to decide that this is where we shall sample our first of the many rounds of momos. The moment we stepped in, we knew we were at the right place. The cafe was pretty much the size of a small kitchen, dimly lit and crammed with four sets of tables and chairs, with tourists and locals happily mingling over tea and momos. The place seemed to really hit the spot with tourists especially. The table tops had glass slabs covering a display of currencies from all over the world, with little notes of appreciation scribbled across them. Doubly excited by Momo Cafe's ambience, we pored (and drooled) over the menu, completely baffled by the tongue-twisting names of dishes we'd never heard before. We decided to seek the assistance of the owner, a Tibetan lady who was happily chatting away with two foreigner guys sitting on the table next to ours. When we asked her to help us decide what to order, she had this completely zapped look on her face that we thought meant she didn't understand Hindi. We tried English as we had seen her converse comfortably in the language with our neighbours. Sadly we got the same response from her, only this time she looked more irritated than zapped. Finally, the guys sitting next to us answered our question and we placed our order with the smug owner lady. It ticked us off a bit as it felt like she was being rude to us on purpose, even though we were extremely polite and patient with her and had even profusely complimented how lovely we thought her cafe looked.
I would say I was lucky to go ahead with this trek because I witnessed the beautiful snowclad mountains and even though unprepared, we trekked in snow!It was three of us and we took a night bus from Delhi to McLeodganj and the bus journey was no fun as we got the last seat and I was literally sitting right in the middle with nothing for support. We reached there early morning and without wasting anytime, we went to a guest house, changed our clothes and prepped ourselves for the trek. Hired a cab to reach the starting point. Oh, by the way, our plan was to go up till Indrahar pass so we were carrying our own tent and sleeping bags with us. Usually the trek takes about 3-4 hours but we were in no hurry so we took about 6-7 hours to reach the top and the first view of the dhauladhar range took my breath away. I sat right there in awe as how could nature be so beautiful and how we humans are so determined at ruining it all. All the way, people could not stop praising us and wanted to help by carrying our bags but we wanted to take care of our own burden. Once, I had a full of the beauty we were surrounded by, we started looking for a place to pitch our tent and chose a nice spot towards one side of the valley.
Where: Situated in the Kangra District of Himachal, the trek to Triund Hill begins from McLeod Ganj. To reach McLeod Ganj, take an overnight bus from Delhi to Dharamshala and then a taxi or local bus to Mcleod Ganj.Trail: To start your trek to Triund, head to Dharamkot first. You can either walk or take an autorickshaw for Rs 60 to Dharamkot Primary School. Start walking on the jungle trail. The first landmark on your way will be Gallu Devi Temple. Continue on the protected trail for the next 3-4 hours. You can spend the night at the Forest Department's Guesthouse (bookings can be done at the Forest Complex near Dharamsala Police Station) or rent a camp at any of the fixed camps at the top.Duration: 3-4 hours
We were four college friends walking towards Triund with a local Himachali driver. A while earlier, he had offered to be our guide for the day and he drove us to the last motorable spot of the trail and then offered to guide us to the very top, which we then happily agreed was a good idea.For 2 hours we walked uphill with him, but suddenly we were beginning to notice that he had started speeding forward. My friend, who was walking with him, was having a difficult time trying to make him understand that we need not hurry because we had enough time to reach the top before sunset.I decided to walk at my own pace clicking photographs and avoiding the drama, when suddenly I noticed the driver charging towards me. He ran past all of us towards the car, pushing us aside one after the other. We were stunned and a friend even twisted her ankle. While we were consoling her, a realisation struck. Our bags were still inside his car!The next half and hour was dramatic, to say the least. We decided to split up – two of us ran downhill and one stayed behind with the friend with the injured ankle. We were huffing and puffing and angry. I reached the car in the next 45 minutes after running back on the same trail trying to reach the car before the driver.To my surprise, we reached the car and I stood there looking at my bags, still inside the car. My other friends were still out of sight. I had enough time to contemplate all the possible ways to get my bags out of the car and in a flash of anger, I hurled a brick at the glass window.Bags out, we left Mcleodganj without ever reaching Triund.
The temperature was freezing cool . There was nothing to do at that time so we all decided to move towards the bhagsu falls . The path was quite dark as there were no street lights on the way. On reaching we admired the beautiful sunrise it looked as if it was heaven. The air was quite moist and the temp was 1 on the negative side. We had our breakfast and started to gather food and water from the local market as the food on the hill top was quite expensive. By 9 am we started our trek and by 11 am we were at Dharamkot,the place where the trek actually started. Our destination was around 8 km away. After an hour we reached the famous Gallu temple. The triund top was approx 6 km from there . We had our lunch there and continued to move. When we covered half of our journey the amount of oxygen was not sufficient so we took some rest and continued. But then journey became much harder as very frequent stops were needed for rest. Finally, we reached the mountain top at 3:30pm and the scenery above was incredible the mountain in front was covered with fresh snow and there were some snow traces on the triund top . We rested a while and then hired a tent for a very reasonable rate. After couple of hours it was time for the sunset. Before that we got some dry wood for bonfire. We admired the amazing sunset. After the departure of the sunlight the temperature fell as fast as the lightning strikes the ground. We rested in our tent for half an hour and lit the wood. The temperature at 11 pm was -3 degrees. It was a difficult task to sleep in a sleeping bag in that temp we all were not able to sleep properly . The least temp at that night was -5 . Oh so cold it was and the day ended
In the morning as the sun rose up in the sky we freed ourselves from the shackles of our tent cum concentration cell and basked in the glory of daytime. After an intricate tour of our surroundings and some successive rounds of photo session we began to prepare for our descent that took us around 4 to 5 hrs to reach back to Gullu devi temple, from where we took a cab that dropped us at the main square.
Best time to visit: March to September (excluding the monsoon months)How to reach: Take an overnight bus to Dharamshala, from there take a local bus or taxi to McLeod Ganj. The trek starts from Dharamkot, which is a Rs 60 auto ride away from McLeod Ganj. The trek can take 4 to 5 hours depending on your speed.Trail: The trail to Triund starts from Dharamkot. The first stop is the Gallu Devi Temple. After the Magic View Cafe, stay on the well-marked forest trail to reach the top in a few hours. The trail is beautiful and offers a panoramic view of the Kangra Valley. There are a few steep patches, but it's mostly comfortable.
Triund is the crown jewel of dharamshala , situated in the laps of dhauladhar mountains, it has the perfect view of the dhauladhar mountains on one side and kangra valley on the other. Triund is a very popular trekking spot . Triund attracts a lot of tourist every year from India and all over the world .
I had always loved the mountains but after visiting Triund I realized how strong this love was. I guess someday I will fulfill my dream of settling in the mountains. A small cottage from where I would gaze at the mountains every morning and fall in love with them all over again. Well, that will take time but for now, will embark on more such trips to my beloved mountains.
There is no better way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life other than feeling close to nature and adventurous in Triund. Home to scenic views, lush greens and awesome climate, Triund is the perfect place to enjoy trekking at its best and escape into the mighty Himalayas.Best Time To Visit: AprilOther Things To Do: Dharamshala, Mcleodganj and Camping at Dharamkot. 12. Explore Auroville, Puducherry
Triund trek is an 8 km trek with a steep ascent of 1100 meters. It can be started from Dharamkot village which is around 2 km from Galu Devta which is the last place accessible to vehicles. With no specific plans for staying on the top and being double minded about it, we headed for triund top at 6 in the morning. We took a cab till Dharamkot village and started walking from there to Galu Devta. One can also take a cab from the market till Galu Devta which would cost Rs. 400. Well, we preferred walking and enjoying the surroundings. The walk till Galu Devta is not steep. Its an easy walk with Deodar on the sides. There is a very tasty tea serving shop just before the turn at Galu Devta. One must not miss having tea there because we were not lucky when it comes to tea in Himachal.
You will never feel more closer to God & Nature. It's an 8 hour trek. You must take your warm cloths with you because the air right on top there. Will freeze you to death. I went up there in December. And i couldn't wash my face not because of water unavailability but because if I had washed my face, it would have turned into blue color.. It's that freezing. #mountainsrock
Here comes the another add on to my life “ Triund “
Situated on the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, the Rohtang Pass acts as the gateway to the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. It also connects them to the Kullu Valley thus making the access of the districts easier with Leh. The meaning of 'Rohtang' is the 'Land of Corpses'. This is because, in this place died a number of people who has tried to cross this place and move ahead towards more difficult places like Zanskar. The Rohtang Pass also serves as the gateway to Zojila and Leh on other sides of it. The natural beauty and serenity of this place makes it a favourite of photographers and nature lovers. The sight of lovely glaciers, twin peaks of Geypan, the Lahaul Valley and the Chandra River make this place even more beautiful. The Rohtang Pass is also situated on the watershed basin of the Chenab and the Beas Rivers and the main activities to be enjoyed here are skiing and sledge rides.
Day 3Manali - Rohtang - Keylong - Jispa (140 kms)The real fun, excitement and adventure starts today.It was raining heavily, but I had to keep going to reach my destination (Jispa) on time.
We were back to our rooms with much excitement for the actual expedition. We started off next day(14th Aug) by 9:00a.m(Plan was 7:00a.m but certain bikes required mechanic's blessings and hug!) Through Rohtang through Tandi(where we filled the petrol tanks because the next petrol bunk was 365kms away!! - yes that's right!), we reached Jispa that was our first camp site. This site couldn't hold all of us, so some of us were moved to another site even closer to the river - It was a fairytale location and loved every bit of it. This was my first camp experience too!
A road trip to the picturesque Rotang pass can be a sight if you travel in the correct time of the year. snow walls and plenty of white snow all around shall set your mood into a playful one. The beautiful landscape that accompanies you during the trip is something one should look forward to. As you drive by one can play the most soothing songs or any beat and enjoy the trip as you climb towards the snow capped mountains and feel the rains of snow and the crystal clear sky. As you pass by, the mesmerizing view has the healing power to relax all the worries of ones life and retreat your senses with the touch of nature.The high mountain pass of Rohtang lies at a high altitude of 3,978 meters above sea level and located in the eastern hills of the Pir Panjal Range. The pass lies at a picturesque location with the rivers Beas and Chenab that lies to the southern and northern side of Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass is famous for its picturesque views of the valley and various hidden waterfalls. Rohtang Pass is a must visit on your trip Kullu-Manali.Best time to visit the pass is in the month of May once the pass is open by the government for visits.
Day 3 : We started around 10 am which was quite late to reach Kaza keeping the time frame in head . So we took a pleasant ride to Rohtang Pass which is like 51 kms from Manali . It was bone shivering so dont forget to put on warm clothes and gloves to avoid cramps .Spending couple of hours in Rohtang Pass we headed down and reached Koskar , a small and beautiful village which comes on the way to Keylong and Leh Ladakh . This is a diversion of around 5 Kms from the road you need to take for Chatru .
Bike Rent : 500cc can range upto 1200 – 1500 INR/day with a security deposit of 10k-12k (refundable) . Don’t compromise on bike conditions . As your bike would be your GOD for your entire trip . You need road permit to cross Rohtang Pass which is only valid for a day . You can arrange the same from http://admis.hp.nic.in/ngtkullu or you can ask the bike renter to arrange the same for you .
August 23,2014Next day early morning we moved for Manali. We crossed Darcha (police checkpoint), Jispa , Keylog, Rohtanga pass.Near Rohtanga, Marhi location we have done paragliding. It was amazing experience of my life. We finally reached Manali before 4 PM. We booked our returning tickets in valvo same day. Around 5 pm we left Manali.
Rohtang Pass, its name is enough to define its beauty. One of the famous tourist attractions near Manali. It is Located at a height of 3979 metres and at a distance of 51 km from Manali.Rohtang Pass is on the highway to Keylong/Leh. In winters, the pass remains closed but is open from June to October for motor vehicles.
Then we moved forward in our journey to Rohtang Pass. We faced a lot of traffic jams on the way but it also helped us to get down in every road corner and click the serene landscapes from every possible angle. The so called Suicide point is a treat to the eyes. We also found the Rahala Falls on the way. After a 5 hour journey (actually takes 2.5 hours), we reached a small village with a few shops which is the last place to have some refreshments. We had our lunch and quickly moved upwards to our destination. With roads covered with snow on one side and receding greenery on the other, we careened forward to our destination. Remember to click selfies in the slab marked 13058 ft, Rohtang Pass. WE are lucky enough to have snowfall at that very moment but it also made it very cold (close to 0 degress) and I have to rent a fur coat for INR 200. We trekked upwards for around 2 hours and we reached almost the top of it where I found some nice clicks. I would suggest to keep track of the road you are moving forward because the clouds can challenge your visibility there. You can also hear the fluttering of flags around. As soon it started getting a bit dark, our driver asked us to move away as he claim it would soon become unbearable cold there.
One can spend an hour or two sitting in peace here. There's a Maggie point also. Many people visit Rohtang to enjoy the snow in winters. I had also played with snow when I had visited Rohtang years ago with my parents.I left Rohtang Pass for my trip to Spiti. This time the sound of river travelled with me.
Exhilarating activities such as skiing and mountain biking are synonymous with the Rohtang Pass. A trip to this celestial passage is therefore imperative before you proceed with your Ladakh Bike Trip.
The high mountain pass of Rohtang lies at an altitude of 3,978 meters above sea level and located in the eastern hills of the Pir Panjal Range. If you can overlook the chaotic traffic on the way, the pass itself is beautiful with views of mountains all round and a feeling of being on top of the world. It’s usually crowded at all times and as there is a permit that is required to be taken in advance. Roads are not great but the pass is worth the drive. Whole area is just surrounded by the snow clad Great Himalayas and beautiful breathtaking views. Closed for half of the year and gets open at the mid/end of May. It's better to travel in the beginning (Opening days) as the day passes on, it will be full of crowd and there won't be much peace & fun. Try to leave in early morning by 06.00 AM to avoid long queue at Gulaba check post as sometimes it takes hours to get rid of it. Be there once in your lifetime at least. Wind, Snow and Serenity...Awesomeness of life.
The day is at leisure to explore this picturesque town. Or you can opt for Rohtang Pass (Closed on Tuesday's). Rohtang Pass offers magnificent views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. It was the medieval trading route to Lahaul and Spiti. If roads to Rohtang Pass are closed, then visit Snow Point where ponies / horses can be hired (On direct payment). Request A Call BackNote: (Only local vehicles are allowed for Rohtang Pass / Snow point visit). Overnight in Manali (B, D)You can stay at-
The day is at leisure to explore this picturesque town. Or you can opt for Rohtang Pass (Closed on Tuesday's). Rohtang Pass offers magnificent views of the himalayan mountain ranges. It was the medieval trading route to Lahaul and Spiti. If roads to Rohtang Pass are closed, then visit Snow Point where ponies / horses can be hired (On direct payment). Note: (Only local vehicles are allowed for Rohtang Pass / Snow point visit). Overnight in Manali (B, D)You can stay at-
The Rohtang pass is a high mountain pass and is elevated to approx 4000 metres above the sea level, situated in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas which connects two valleys i.e Kullu & Lahaul and Spiti. The pass watersheds the basins of Chenab (Chandra river is a tributary of Chenab) and Beas river. It offers beautiful sights of Lahaul valley and different glaciers and peaks.
But finally, we made it to Rohtang Pass and the clouds didn't make it easy on us, we were completely drenched and the hot cup of tea and maggi on the roadside eatery was a saviour. We then reached Manali, returned our bike and the smiles on our faces even after the toughest ride of the whole trip made up for the body aches we were then starting to realise. Also, the next day was my B'day and the sound sleep i got that night almost made up as the perfect gift one could have wished for after 10 days of pillion riding.
I could not ever have imagined how it actually felt like sitting on my bike and smiling for the picture with the board that says 'Rohtang Pass'. And it was more than I thought it would feel like to be there in that moment- being 'in' the clouds, shivering from cold all over, that feeling of immense satisfaction, thrill, excitement and happiness I will never be able to forget. There, I wanted to shout my heart out, I wanted to laugh, I wanted to be silent and just let that feeling sink in, and you know what I did everything I wanted to. I really felt alive that day and this feeling was what I crave for all the time.
I had no plans for trekking this time as few others weren't interested, but, after reaching Rohtang pass, of the road, water streams, lakes, mountains, valleys, horses, birds and so on, all I could see were the mountain peaks. What a view I could get after reaching the summit!
Speaking about Rohtang, I wasn't ever been to Rohtang but I always had wanted to. So this was my chance. We took all the required approvals and five of us left for Rohtang. Man! the view and the drive was beyond words. There was complete shed and then there was complete sunny. It continued as we kept on crossing each mountain. On the way to Rohtang
Rohtang Pass can be counted as one of the most accessible skiing spots in India, making it the perfect spot for a family getaway. You can get skiing gear on the spot and ski slowly down the slopes covered with snow.
At Rohtang the traffic came to a standstill, and we witnessed something the other four had never before – snowfall. It was bliss. It soon changed into misery when the gentle snowfall changed into a rather hailstorm. We were stuck with no shelter. We tried to hide behind cars which didn’t help much as the temperature was freezing. We saw our feet getting covered with snow every now and then. Our feet and hands were frozen and we could barely move them. It was so fierce that we couldn’t even remove our helmets. It was quite an effort to unpack stuff from one bike to take out a Rum bottle which seemed like our best friend then and our only saving grace. Traffic started moving rather crawling again after almost 3 hours, luckily for us, army trucks were on our side and it was made to move first. Riding had gotten even tougher. We couldn’t see the road with visors down and couldn’t remove them due to the storm. Almost 2 feet snow had accumulated on the roads by then. The only way we could ride was by riding behind a heavy vehicle and moving along its tyre impressions. We covered the next 7-8 kms in over an hour and that’s when the road condition got a little better, but it was raining there and the roads, especially the curves were really slippery. Slowly we made it to Gramphoo and had the first meal of the day there.
Day 2 (10th July): Manali - Jam - Rohtang - Jispa (140 kms, 14 hrs)We re-evaluated our plan, and decided to stay the night at Jispa. The plan was to reach Leh in 3 days from Manali and somethings would have to go off our itinerary in order to make up for the lost 8 hours. Well, that’s the Manali-Leh highway for you, even the best laid plans have to be changed at the last moment. And I guess that’s the beauty of it all. We somehow made it to the top by 2:30 pm, after having crossed the final slushy stretch in one go, all thanks to the 4L mode that Safari offers. What was surprising though was that even with a 205 mm GC, some stones did hit the underbelly of our car. After a quick stop at the pass to check for leakages beneath the vehicle, we proceeded towards Jispa. Rohtang’s descent was much better than its ascent. The road was not good, and was ridden with potholes, but at least it was not slushy. A fabulous lunch of meat curry and rice happened at Koksar, the lovely, windy village after Gramphoo, known to be the coldest place in Lahaul. Thereafter, the road was like a runway, and even the fifth gear saw light of day! A few kilometers after Koksar, just before Sissu, we saw the mouth of the Rohtang tunnel on the other side of the Chandra river, the sight of which, after the 8 hour ordeal we’d been through earlier in the day, was very pleasing. Aarti promised God that she would distribute sweets and also come to Manali the very day the tunnel opens. For the first time, I agreed that Rohtang was not worth all that pain. After ogling at the tunnel for a bit, we went on. After a quick refuelling stop at Tandi, we moved on towards Keylong. We tried to log on to the net and also call a few people to update them about our freedom from the horrible jam, but the network was patchy, and we couldn’t. We finally reached Jispa around 6:30 pm, and headed straight for the Padma Lodge, where we’d stayed way back in 2008 when it was still under construction. After checking in, we went down till the river, and were totally floored by its beauty. The way the beautiful Bhaga spreads out at Jispa is stunning. The icing on the cake was the early moonrise, which captured the attention of our cameras for quite sometime. The Padma Lodge is a lovely place with nice and clean rooms, and a charming dining room on the first floor. And guess what, it does serve beer for those who are interested . The Lodge has two buildings, and both are almost equally priced. We got to know later that Rahul Gandhi had done the Manali - Leh highway last year, and stayed at the same lodge.
Manali-Solang-Rothang LaThe ascent upwards to Rohtang(13,497 ft); a pass no driver dares to cross in the night due to frequent mudslides-unfolded before us a lot of surprises. The streams gently flow down the mountains amidst the greens clinging onto the slopes creating numerous waterfalls, the clouds gently seem to caress the snow capped peaks, glaciers melting down into the Beas river. Covered in fog the valley climbs up the Pir Panjal range- a visual treat to extremes. The only sound that prevails is the air rushing against the mountains, tip-tap of the melting snow, screech of the tyres on the road and ‘Thumping Sound’ of the ‘Bullet ride’.Rothang La - Keylong – Jispa - Darcha - Zingzing Bar- BaralachLa
We reached Manali early in the morning by 8am.. What a wonderful and breathtaking view along side river Vyas. And the cold winds just making us feel like it's already December. It's was 9.30am bus to Keylong from manali, same bus will continue to Ladakh next morning. But we have a stay at guest house in Keylong.. Nearby place jispa is also wonderful for stay and camping. Enroute came Rohtang paas(13058 feets) , it was so cold and windy on top. Also this was the first time we were on such an altitude in our lives... We started feeling low oxygen, And from rohtangLa started our real view. By evening at 7pm we reached Keylong.
Next day morning we got ready and left our hotel by 6. Hotel staff was very courteous and packed few sandwiches for our lunch. Make sure you leave early else you can get stuck in the famous Rohtang pass traffic. I have been to Manali/Rohtang pass at least 4-5 times before but this was the first time I saw Rohtang pass 'green' and not 'white'. There was no snow at all, infact all the plants and tress were glowing in the sun, giving it a very different nice look. After crossing Rohtang pass around 20 km further there is a small right turn which goes to Lahaul Spiti valley. Please note its very easy to miss that turn, so make sure you are attentive. Once you manage to take that right then the only thing is you have to go straight. The road till this point was fantastic, we enjoyed it. But now was the time when the real journey started. So gradually the charcoal road turned into a kacha road and after some time it was just stones/boulders on our way with water flowing at many points. Ashok was brilliant behind the wheels but there was not much he could do at that stretch. Kudos to his patience. From Rohtang pass to Chandratal: there were at least 4-5 times when all of us had to get out of the vehicle and put/remove big stones in front of the tyres and then push the car (as the tyres were just slipping on pebles/stones). Delhi to Manali is around 550 km which took us around 13 hours and Rohtang paas to Chandratal is around 80 km which we covered in around 10 hours so you can imagine what a "smooth" ride it was. :-) It was kind of an off-roading experience. This was the journey which made me realize the true difference between a MUV & a SUV. Having said that, the journey was amazing and beautiful. You would see different colors of hills : green, red, brown, black . The beautiful terrain and colorful plants around you would definitely make you stop and click pictures at many places. We did manage to reach Batal.
Rohtang Pass in Himachal PradeshIt is a high mountain pass providing a natural divide between the valley of Kullu and the arid high-altitude Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The word ‘Rohtang’ means ‘a pile of corpses’ due to a large number of people dying while crossing the pass due to bad weather. This pass has also been featured on the famous TV show Top Gear: India Special.
Leh- Manali has the Most beautiful terrain with lush green peaks and snow clad mountains. The lush green mountains with pits of grass and soil mixed in raw form. The best part about this journey is you start from leh drive through the soil desert and go towards the lush green mountains with beas stream flowing on the other side. You drive further go low then rise above towards manali where you side lush green mountains snow clad. The freshly settled creamy white snow clad mountains over lush green meadows is a treat for the eye of the beholder. Once you cross Rohtang Pass, You would have then seen true bliss. The mist settled over these mountains is one view my eyes can never forget. Truly thankful to the creator and his creations and giving me the opportunity to enjoy the nature in its true form. Lush and beautiful.
At 13,050 ft Rohtang Pass stood silent and somewhat dull. I was taken aback due to complete absence of snow. I remembered this place for its out sized vastness of snow, tea stalls, horses, rabbits, yaks and over enthusiastic tourists (read Me and my younger sister) ten years back. For a second I was not ready to believe I am at Rohtang top till I saw the sign board above.
The unforgettable scenic beauty of snow, with a well-deserved reputation. The heartbeat of travelers, your journey to Manali can never be complete if you miss Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass, the place you can’t feel without experience it. Have the courage to follow the traveler in your heart.
Pretty good roads with a superb view of the valley and one can enjoy this to the utmost level with his cycle!! La aka pass are snowy passes through mountain ranges,but this one is highly influenced by tourists and by lots of them, with dirty snow, traffic.. :(
After a heavy breakfast we started around 11 AM. We were informed by our driver that we would need to cover about 140 km on taht day to reach Jispa and must therefore control our emotions and resist the growing temptation to stop at every other nook and corner of this scenic journey. We crossed Solang Valley to reach Rohtang Pass which is about 50 km away from the town of Manali and is at an elevation of 13,060 ft. I have read accounts of people getting stuck in crazy traffic jams (lasting days) and sleeping in their cars while crossing Rohtang Pass in June or July. We crossed Rohtang Pass without any trouble and that is precisely why I love off-season. This was the first of five high mountain passes that we crossed on the Manali-Leh highway
The Rohtang Pass connects the Kullu valley with the Lahaul and Spiti district. This pass is open to public only from May till mid November. Coming from Manali side, crossing the pass and descending into the Lahaul-Spiti region, you'd witness a change that knows no bounds - from all hues of green in the Kullu Valley to the barren and brutal browns of Lahaul.
This is another high mountain pass in the Himalayas, located at an altitude of more than 13000 ft. Rohtang pass is at a distance of about 50 kms from Manali towards Ladakh on the Leh-Manali highway. One can get some heavenly views of the Pir-Panjal range of the Himalayas here.
Next day, we headed towards Rohtang la pass. We stopped at Rohtang pass to relax our body after a few hours of continuous driving. It is the first pass that comes between Manali and Lahaul & Spiti at the height of 14050 feet. After Rohtang we headed towards our destination.
That's my crazy moment. High altitude 15000ft'!!! Icing cold and i was about to Freeze. But still manage to get a picture clicked. I should say it was a Breathtaking moment. The place was too crowded with lots of tourists. People used to hire warm cloths and come to this place. But i was none of them.
Rohtaaaaaang ! My by far the best encounter with SNOW ! This pass is like a getaway to heaven, all you see is snow, snow and snow. I've visited Rohtang Pass twice and both my experiences have been amazing. This place never disappoints me. Snow clad mountains all around, with low oxygen level and it brings chills. The temperature drops quickly. People with altitude sickness have to be cautious. Lots of snow sport activities goes on here. Maggie and Tea are a must for everyone here, it provides relief to the body.
Rohtang Pass, is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India. the valley is the main attraction and key destination to visit during your stay at Manali. the main attraction in the valley is its multitude of adventure sports available. one can try out skiing, paragliding which is a must as i feel. if you reach there early can enjoy the adventure sports and also play in the snow with family and friends. its a must destination an ideal romantic place and a adventure area for groups. one can enjoy special maggi made in that area which is a delight.
Rohatang La: 13051 Ft The pass provides a natural divide between the Kullu Valley and Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The pass is open from May to November. It is not particularly high or difficult to cross by Himalayan standards, but it has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards. Mostly crowded with visitors from Manali to whom it’s the most beautiful spots in the vicinity. The spot promises an exquisite view of the surrounding mountain ranges, glaciers, peaks and Chandra River flows down in the Lahaul valley. At 13051 feet above sea level it’s the gateway to Lahul Spiti & it tests the endurance of riders for the very first time. It also gives you a heads up for the Passes to come after Keylong. Leave before 5am to avoid the tourist traffic.
Next day , we headed towards Rohtang pass from Manali. We stopped at Rohtang pass to relax our butts and backbone after few ours of continuous riding. It was not such a big spot but just like a pass where you could get some food and see some more adventure lovers like yourself. After Rohtang while we were heading towards Key long and Jispa, we took a nap at a small place called Kuksar, and this was the place where an undiscovered beauty, a magic of nature was witnessed by us. An unnamed Waterfall- too big yet too tranquil .
The ascent upwards to Rohtang(13,497 ft); a pass no driver dares to cross in the night due to frequent mudslides-unfolded before us a lot of surprises. The streams gently flow down the mountains amidst the greens clinging onto the slopes creating numerous waterfalls, the clouds gently seem to caress the snow capped peaks, glaciers melting down into the Beas river.
Caution! It is not particularly high or difficult to cross on foot by Himalayan standards, but it has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh. There are a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer(mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh. Rohtang Pass is best visitable between May/June to October/November. In May, Rohtang becomes a place for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The snow-covered mountains provide the perfect opportunity to go skiing and snow scooter riding. Take your family to this wonderful place and enjoy some quality time together.
To be honest, what we saw was pretty unexpected. Rohtang could not have been better behaved. As people at Marhi had told us, the pass had seen a bout of dry weather over the past week, drying out most of the slush, barring a few stretches. With overnight rains, it had deteriorated a bit, but it had no resemblance to the monster we had all seen at almost the same time last year.
I loved the maggi here:D
Known as the Moon Lake too, this is one which is at a height of 4300 metres and is also the origin of the Chandra River. The lake is about kilometres from Kunzum Pass and a popular place among devotees. This is because this is said to be the same place from where Lord Indra had picked up Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas to take him on a journey to heaven. The picturesque sceneries and beauty of this place is mind blowing. The waters of this lake are deep blue and is surrounded by lush green grass. What is even better is that the waters are extremely clean unlike other general lakes that we see. The peaks surrounding this lake are even of around 3000 metres to 6300 metres and are namely the Moulkila and Chandrabhaga. You can come here from most other places of Himachal Pradesh even for some adventure camping. This was also known to be the halting area of traders once upon a time when they stopped here before moving ahead to Kunzum and Sarchu.
It was 5:00 in the morning when we felt the cool breeze and the chirps of the birds, Shobhit and Ashish were already up setting up things and packing stuff, we had the chance to take a bath but winter was already on the way, so we neglected it.we had booked a Taxi from Manali to Manali over a period of seven days, which was for 28k(everything included), the Driver was one hell of man, now let me tell you the difference between drivers who drive fast and drivers who fast drive, the former ones drive fast neglecting the comfort one feels inside the car and also don't care about their vehicle, he was the latter.
Chandra Taal (meaning the Lake of the Moon), or Chandra Tal is situated in the Spiti part of the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh (India). The name of the lake originates from its crescent shape. It is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) in the Himalayas. Mountains of scree overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque presents a view on the other. Chandra Taal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers. The lake is accessible on foot from Batal as well as from Kunzum Pass from late May to early October. There is also a motorable road available till a parking made 2km before the lake. Stay options are available 5km before the lake on prebooking. The road from Kunzum Pass is accessible only on foot, and it is about 8 km (5.0 mi) from Chandra Taal.DISTANCE INFO-●Manali to Chandratal Distance: 124 Kilometers●Shimla to Chandratal Distance: 530 Kilometers via Reckong Peo, Puh, Kaza ●BatalKeylong to Chandratal Distance: 120 kilometers●Gramphoo to Chandratal Distance: 70 kilometersThe route which I took was :- Manali to ChandratalIMP NOTE- take a early drive from manali. And you will a bus to kaza early in the morning around 4.30am or 5amThe distance from Manali to Chandratal is not really that much, only 124 kilometers which leads some people like me too, to believe that they can quickly cover this trip but Make no mistake however, this small distance takes almost 7-8 hours to complete because the route is full of mud and and steepy turns and it will be a nightmare to be honest. But after reaching there you will not feel any kind of stress and you will surely have a good time.Suraj Tal is also accessible Chandra Taal, 30 km (19 mi) away. Vast meadows on the banks of the lake are the camping sites. During springtime, these meadows are carpeted with hundreds of kinds of wildflowers.The lake is one of two high-altitude wetlands of India which have been designated as Ramsar sites.
The roads gets better ( metal roads ) only before 20 kms from reaching Kaza .
Stay: Chandratal campsDay 8: Chandratal - Rohtang la - Manali Distance & Duration: nearly 140 Kms ( 6 hrs)
In the last 3-4 kms of the trek you can see the Chandrataal Lake , Camping Sites from above , so it actually acts as a constant source of motivation. The trails directly takes you to Chandrataal - the turquoise blue lake. Words aren't enough to appreciate the beauty of Chandrataal , that's one of the most beautiful lakes in India. The circumference of the lake is around 2.4 kms , you can take a walk around if you wish. You can stay at the lake upto 7:30 PM , after that get ready to be hounded by the local police.
Lake Chandra TaalAfter having a breakfast of bread toast and a cup of tea we were on our way again by 8:30 and walked all the way down to Batal and had some light food at Batal chacha again. We took a ride back to Manali in a local traveller bus. It was a whole family which was going from Spiti to Keylong on a marriage ceremony. The driver agreed to drop us in the midway from where we could get the other bus. We interacted with the local people and they were very cool singing and dancing all the way on the local songs which we didn't understand a word. They also offered us food and local beer(desi) called Chung. I didn't like the food but beer was awesome.
Our tent We started trekking to Chadra Taal early in the morning at around 5 am. At this time of the season, there is sufficient light at 5:30 in the morning, so no torches were required. We reached the lake in an hour or so. Finally we were on our destination. The journey to it was hard and tiresome but it was worth it. The calm and serene view of the lake made us forget all our tiredness. We stayed there for a good half an hour, clicked some photographs and then returned to the camp.
A glimpse of the kind of road After we reached Batal, we had our lunch at the Chandra Taal Dhaba run by Batal Chacha and Chachi. The food was delicious. The camp for Chandra Taal is around 8 km from here. We started our trekking at around 5. We were lucky that we got another cab ride which was going to the camping site itself. It was a joyous ride in an open jeep. We reached the camp and stayed there at the Tanzing camp. The guy is good and provided good service. The per head cost for stay as well as dinner and breakfast was Rs 1000.
On day 3, we started early morning to Batal. Batal is good 120 km from Manali. It is advised to leave Manali by 6 in the morning because there is heavy jam at Rohtang pass crossing. Once you cross the checkpoint, there is a smooth and scenic ride for the next 30 km. After that the treacherous as well as adventurous ride started which lasted for 4 hours. Literally there is no road and the car moves entirely on kutcha road which are made worse by the nallahs. So, amateur riders are not at all advised and even experienced rider should consider wearing all the guards. Raincoat is a must as the weather is quite unpredictable.
We took the Manali route. It is a long journey of 15-16 hours from Delhi. So, I would recommend to take a comfortable volvo for a smooth ride.We reached Manali by 2 pm on the next day. We had already booked a hotel at Vashisht which is 3km from the Bus stand. We chilled in Vashisht on that day exploring the famous Vashisht temple where hot spring is there.We booked a cab from Manali on per seat basis to Batal. The best way to explore Manali and nearby areas including Spiti valley is by bike, but the rentals here are not that good. So, a personal vehicle is highly recommended.Things to do-1. If you wish to go to Rohtang pass or Spiti or Leh, then get a permit online in advance.2. The rentals are costly as well as have various conditions such as they rent bike minimum for 4 days and minimum 3 bikes and other conditions varying from person to person.3. The best way for a budget trip is to take a HRTC bus to BATAL and do trekking from Batal. The bus leaves early in the morning around 5-6 am.4. If you miss your bus, then go to Hotel Kiran near SBI bank. You can get a seat in a cab. All other options will be costlier. One must visit place is old Manali. It is 2-3 kms walk from the mall road and calm and peaceful place to hangout with friends. There are awesome riverside cafes where you can enjoy your soup or drink.Cafe 1947
We started our journey on 25th June, 2017. One can go to Chandra Taal by two ways, either from Manali or from Shimla. The buses are easily available for both Shimla as well as Manali from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Also, one can book buses from HRTC online website as well as from Redbus or Paytm. However, I would recommend to go by HRTC as sometimes private buses get cancelled.
We spotted some tents on the way and assumed Lake Chandratal was nearby, so we stopped near one of the tents and asked the gentleman sitting outside for directions. As per tourism guidelines, camping was not allowed within the lake's perimeters. We had to ride two kilometers ahead cutting a small mountain where several tourist SUVs were parked. After parking our bikes, I approached the drivers to ask about the whereabouts of the Lake as we still could not see anything in our vicinity that resembled one. As expected, we were told to trek 1km cutting the next mountain to reach the Lake, so we started walking. It took us 10 minutes to walk 50 steps in total which showed us how inactive we were. Hari was feeling ill at this point and Bob was dehydrated. After taking a few sips of glucose we had packed, we made it to Lake Chandratal. There she was, beautiful and blue, surrounded by endless mountains and greenery. We slowly got down and crashed on to the shore to regain our breaths back from the breathtaking view. I had never seen such clean, clear and pristine water anywhere before. I put my palm ever so subtly in it and stared at my reflection for some time. A bunch of thoughts gathered in my head. All the time I was feeling depressed and worried in the past, everything felt insignificant as I thought about my present state. My mind and body was in a tranquil state, something I had never felt before. Sadly, a tourist threw a rock in the water that broke my tranquillity. I stood up immediately and saw Hari laying down and heard Bob vaguely talking about pot. I checked my watch, it was 11:30 and it was time to go. We took a different path that lay behind the mountain for ease and hopped on our bikes, rode for one and a half hour to get back to the intersection that led to Kaza.Roads were again dreadful with endless hairpin turns and loose mud. But none of us were bothered anymore. We were back from a paradise heading to another. We saw bright beautiful peaks snow white and glistening while riding ahead.Bob spotted a white Gompa surrounded by huge Buddhist flags with a path leading to it from afar. I assumed it was Kunzum Mata and as we closed in, my assumption became surety. Kunzum Mata is a holy shrine that lies in the midway of Batal and Losar. Legend states that the people travelling from either side are bound to make a full circle following the path around it for good luck. Failing to do so usually turns into a catastrophe. Us being three agnostics was one thing, but the roads we had seen so far instilled the need of faith in our mind. We made a full circle and spent some time feeling the strong winds circulating from the snowy mountain tops surrounding the place. Our next stop was Losar, and according to the hosts in Batal, the roads were to become way better beyond Losar heading towards Kaza.
6. Land of Spiti Valley- ChandrataalThere are a few of us for whom mountains are like second home. That's because we went there once, and left a part of ourselves behind. If you are anything like me, and are in love with the mountains, then there is one heavenly place you must visit: Spiti Valley. Spiti is situated at an altitude of 14,500 ft above sea level. The ever-changing hues of the barren mountains is a sight to behold.
Visit Chandratal via Kunzum Pass and enjoy the day thereCamps are about 2.5 KMs from the lake, either stay there or back to Battal where there is a PWD rest house now though without electricity. But, no point going back a painful ride to Losar over Kunzum Pass unless you want to stay in guest house with electricity. Better stay at Battal and save time as well as energy for next day.About 4 – 5 Hrs drive minimumOvernight at Battal or Chandratal CampsDay 9 | Battal / Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali
Finally we were at the Chandratal lake and I must say the lake looks much more sublime than in the photos. It is worth travelling on a dangerous road and experiencing the chilling waves, harsh sunlight and all the discomforts. We stayed at the lake for an hour and then started our backward journey to reach the camp since we had to reach Manali by the evening.We reached our camp, took our rucksacks and started walking to the Batal to catch the bus coming from Kaza. Since I already told there is only one bus from Kaza to Kullu and it reaches Batal between 1-2 pm, so we didn’t have much time to spend in other activities. We reached Batal at around 2 pm but the bad news was that the bus had left Batal half an hour ago. We had no option than to wait for hitchhiking. Luckily we found someone returning from Kaza and going to Manali with an empty Traveller coach. He allowed us to join him and our journey to Manali began.
Our trip’s greatest delight was an early morning trek to ChandraTal Lake. ChandraTal Lake is situated at an altitude of 14100 feet and is popularly known as the Moon lake. We stayed in the camp for a night and started from the camp base at morning 4 am to climb up towards the lake.
You can start very early next morning to either go back to Manali via the Kunzum and Rohtang passes, or you can take another detour to visit the enchanting Chandratal Lake, situated at almost 13500 ft. After Kunzum pass, which is the highest pass in this route, if you take the bifurcation from Batal you will soon find yourself in the camping site near Chandrataal. You can rest a bit and visit the lake in the late afternoon, which is around 3 km away. The car has to be parked in a place marked for that purpose, and from there the lake is a short and leisurely walk. Besides the main moon-shaped blue lake, which is the starting point of the famous Chandra river (that later becomes the ChandraBhaga also known as Chenab, after joining Bhaga river in Tandipule near Keylong), there are many other smaller water bodies. A camp stay in the camping site is a must in the Chandratal Lake, if you want to enjoy the tranquillity of the place and also want to view the lake in early morning light.
Day 5 : Kaza to Manali via Chandrataal (260 km) This has to be undoubtedly, the most thrilling day; handsdown!From the beginning of trip we were fed horror stories on Kunzum pass and pagal Nallah, about how they have overpowered travelers to succumb to their will often.But we were positive, as we had left on time, and the breathtaking views provided the fortitude to carry on steadfast:
Once we reached the camping spot, some locals approached us to know if we need any camping stuff or help in setting up the tents. We politely refused thinking we are well equipped. Little did we know that these are the guys we would need to approach once we realise our lack of preparedness and information that we managed for a trip like this. It was a bright cool day and since it was August, we never even thought that we need to get scared and respectful of the night at such towering heights.
The first thing was undoubtedly visiting Chandratal Lake, which is totally off the route for some 16 kms, 16 kms of pure serenity, including another big Nala which I was so anxious to cross. Fate stole it from us as the roads were blocked due to heavy snow and the only way was to trek for a good 7-8 kms which the majority wasn’t willing to. We made our next stop at Kunzum Pass 15,059 feet above sea level, did a Parikrana of the ‘temple’ there and moved on towards Losar. On our way we witnessed a beautiful meadow, which was off the way but we rode over it, parked our bikes and once again were amused by the beauty of everything we saw. All our fatigue vanished, ironically by jumping, shouting and rolling on the grass there! After all we were in Spiti Valley. We could see the landscapes painted by nature itself. In a while we started rolling again and stopped at Losar for security check and a brief lunch. That’s where the welcome board to Spiti Valley was put as the civilization starts from that village. There were proper constructed roads from there and what we witnessed while riding through the valley was something that could only be seen in dreams, in fact even better. Lush green grasslands, meandering streams, towering snow clad peaks, formidable mountains of different colours. The landscapes were such that for a moment I left my belief of the journey being bigger than the destination behind and got lost in the surroundings. The distance of 58 kms from Losar to Kaza could have been easily covered in an hour because of the beautiful roads but it took us over 3 hours as we couldn’t stop ourselves from stopping every few kms. And we can’t blame ourselves either. On our way a kid who was rearing sheep, stopped me and asked for the time and for chocolates if I had any. I did, and I gave him all of them. He spoke to me in English! We reached Kaza by evening and stayed there for the night.
It works like Ganga, washes all the pain(physical and mental) :) #ChandraTaal #Lake #Spiti #Himachal #LiveLife #Travel
The mesmerizing beauty of the landscape makes 12 km frantic walk to Chandratal from Kunzum pass, a pleasurable one. It gives you a feel of walking into wilderness and the glimpse of the blue lake makes it all the way more fascinating.PS: Can you spot people in this pic??
If you ever had a dream of going to a place which you can truly call being 'In the middle of nowhere', Chandratal lake trek is the place for you. It's a 12 km easy trek from Kunzum pass but it can give you a tough time because of its high altitude. Kunzum Pass is located at 15,060 feet while Chandratal Lake is at 14,100 feet. The trek starts from a gradual ascend and then number of ascends and decends. Just after 15-20 mins of trekking, you can have a first glimpse of the lake. It looks like a small blue water drop in the middle of desert mountains. The beauty of the landscape keeps you spell bound throughout the trek but the charm of the trek is in the mesmerising view of barren mountains and the glimpse of the blue lake which you keep on seeing throughout the trek. It makes you feel that the lake is pretty near to you but it actually takes 4-5 hours of trekking with normal speed to reach up to the lake. The first 3 hours of trek takes you through the barren mountains and then to rocky path. After crossing this, you see a stream which is going all the way to the lake.
3rd July :- At night I felt severe back pain & was not able to sleep. This was the first time I had back pain in my life, so I didn't know how to deal with it. I barely slept for 2-3 hours. In the morning the pain was less so I decided to continue my journey. The weather was fantastic with clouds moving in the mountains. I reached kunzum pass at around 11A.M. From there I had to go for a 12 kms solo trek. It was drizzling at that time & the beauty of the place cannot be described in words ( I think pictures can help). I completed the trek in 3 hours & it was an amazing experience. I could see big glaciers and river beds from the distance. I reached Chandratal at 2 P.M & there I met 3 locals who came there to enjoy the day. I joined them & roamed around the place for 4 hours. As it is on much higher altitude( 4300 m) than other places so it was getting very cold and windy in the evening. The lake guard was relative to one of the member, so we enjoyed tea at his camp near the lake. The campsite is 3 kms from the lake. One of the campsite owner was friend to the locals, we went there & enjoyed the meal & I also got a tent to sleep. The camp owner was going to Manali the next day in his pick up truck. So I decided to join him with couple of other people. The night was windy & chilly & we had to left for Manali at 5:30 A.M.
P.S. The lesser mortal in me chose to leave a part of myself there by making the eight -stone structure of small stones in the lake. The mini stone structures are a common sight in Spiti which was earlier used to mark ways for fellow trekkers to follow.Himachal Diaries is a series of some short and some long blogs from my recent 10-day trip to Himachal with four of my friends. The multiple blogs will cover places we saw, people we met, funny experiences and some instances which amuse us at a personal level. This is part three of the Himachal Diaries series, Hope you enjoy, feedback welcome!
There is a huge difference between a tourist and a traveller. A Tourist sees what he knows; a traveller sees what he wants.This was my first trip made solo as a traveller and not a mere tourist. Spiti was a place that I came to know about a year ago. It’s enchanting and breathtaking views clogged me to it. It developed a strong urge within to visit this untouched valley and explore it.Being an amateur, and my zeal of making that first solo trip; Spiti was my aimed destination. To begin with the geographical settings and forecast- Spiti is situated in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name "Spiti" means "The Middle Land", i.e. the land between Tibet and India. The Spiti Valley is also known as “Cold Desert” valley located high in the Himalaya Mountains.The valley and surrounding region is one of the least populated regions in India. The route starts from Keylong via the Rohtang Pass or Kunzum Pass respectively. The capital is Kaza Village which is situated along the Spiti River at an elevation of about 12,500 feet (3,800 m) above sea level.The Rohtang Pass, at 13,054 feet (3,979 m), separates Lahaul and Spiti from the Kullu Valley. Lahaul and Spiti are cut off from each other by the higher Kunzum Pass, at 15,059 feet (4,590 m). A road connects the two divisions, but is cut off frequently in winter and spring due to heavy snow.The climatic conditions, no doubt is very cold. The oxygen level up there gradually reduces as you go higher from 8,000- 10,000 ft. People tend to get high altitude sickness/ Mountain sickness due to this. Symptoms are high body temperature, severe headache, chest pain, vomiting, lack of sleep, fatigue and nausea. Do not ignore these signs and remedies are must for this.This basically happens due to body not receiving the actual amount of oxygen that it is used to. Hence for your body to adapt to this environmental change, we need to take care in following ways:Drink lots of water (As water is the source of oxygen, also use with Electral/ Glucon-D etc)Diamox (Medicine, highly used for acute mountain sickness/ Doctor prescribed is preferred)Do Not exhaust more, walk slowly, maintain your calmness, no fast breathing.Enough of the Specs and facts, but this was the information gathering that I did to know more about Spiti. But let me tell you, the actual experience was just so different than the Spiti I imagined. Be ready to get amazed because it is just so much more that you see in the usual pictures that you google for Spiti.I went for a 6day trip starting from Manali-Spiti-Manali. The group was so diverse, people from different professional background came together due to a similar interest. No one knowing each other till the day of the trip. Our trip started from 7th September. Moreover I was worried initially about the “No connectivity and network” issues and “rugged terrain”. Little was I to know that these were the only things that made the journey so worthwhile.From Manali via Rohtang Pass which took around 8 hours to reach Chandra Taal. We passed areas of Batal and Chatru, where we took a short break for tea at the only dhaba we found on the way.CHANDRA TAAL:We reached to a base camp which is around 3kms away from Chandra Taal. The night we spend camping and star gazing. And what a splendid view to just look above in the sky. A sky so clear. A sky just so clustered with stars. You can also recognize constellations and stars. Early morning wakeup was just so thrilling. We woke up to the view of snow cladded mountains from our tent and the sunrays getting stronger and brighter. Temperature was too low. We all turned purple just as we removed our gloves and caps. The camp provided tea and omelet bread which was highly needed. Thanks to the NOMADIC CAMP.From the camp we need to reach a motorable track, later we need to cover 1 km in foot to reach the lake. The first scenic view we visited was of the Chandra Taal Lake.This lake is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 meters (14,100 ft). Mountains overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque presents a view on the other. The lake is known for the Full Moon beauty that is reflected in this lake during the night. Also in the day time, the lake is known to change its color depending upon the sky color.At first even I was assuming that how is this possible, but when we were reaching the lake it was a little greyish in color. We all just spend some time there roaming around and clicking pics. Suddenly we just saw the lake and OMG the lake was blue in color. Later the border turned green. It was definitely the reflection of sky, but this is just the beauty of the nature that we can simply be amazed of.The lake can be visited only during (June- September) months. For the rest of the season, the lake remains cut off and frozen.KUNZUM PASS:Moving ahead from Chandra Taal, we visited the highest peak “Kunzum Pass” (4551 meters) where the locals believe to pray by performing a respectful circuit of the stupas strewn with fluttering prayer flags at the top before continuing down into Spiti.KAZA:From Kunzum we moved ahead for Kaza. The journey was of around 75kms. In Between we had a halt at Lossar to have something for lunch.Moving ahead from Lossar, you will come along very amazing and picturesque views of the Valley which seriously will keep you wondering. The most apt dialogue one guy in our group said was ”YAAR AB KYA HUM JAAN DE DE KYA YE NAZARE DEKH DEKH KE”. It’s the exact definition of the nature that you will witness. Speechless it was to look out of the window. Where ever you see, you will always be surprised. You will see the amazing mountain structures which will spellbound you.Along we just came along with a road so amazing in the valley base.Very beautiful view it was. And we just jumped of the car and just clicked pictured like crazy people giving crazy poses.Moving ahead we visited small habitants of Haal Village, Rangrik , Kyurik, Syurik Villages which had their own small monasteries. Here we finally got to see some greenery due to the vegetation the farmers do. But yet again the villages are just spread across 8-10 houses.We had a view of the very famous (KYE-Monastery) along the path. The setting sun rays just illuminated the view. But our next stop was Kaza Village. It is known to have the highest altitude situated post office and petrol pump in the World. Our stay was in Zostel. It was a very nice setup made for the travelers to have a pleasant stay in such environment. Good dormitory with common room to enjoy indoor games and some area to just chill out. Finally here you can have some varieties of food.KOMIC VILLAGEFinally having a sound sleep in Kaza , the next day we began our journey to visit Komic Village. This village is known as the highest village in the World with population around 114 people in area of 100kms. This village has a monastery about 1000 years old. Many fossils were found by the locals. This bears some civilisation history. Today we were not feeling any health issue as we were having lots of water. Also our body adapted to the climate.Lang Zha:Returning from Komic we visited Lang Zha village. This place we witnessed different kinds of birds. This place is known for amazing Buddha stupa located at the mountain top which is just so beautiful.Kye Monastery:Next stop was the Kye Gompa, the history of this monastery you can read at its entrance. This is the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist Monastery close to Spiti River. The structure is splendid as it is built across a mountain top. It is a religious training center for Lamas. It reportedly had 100 monks in 1855. The amazing thing is the travellers can stay in the monastery with the monks and also share their kitchen and have a chit chat chai with them.It was real divine experience to see the monks habitat and school etc. Also the peace that you receive there is priceless. It’s always that the one’s who has very less to give, only have their Big Heart. The people were that welcoming and always smiling. I can come now any number times and spend a part of my life in this great hidden valley which has so much amazed me.We left the place with all the beauty always remaining fresh in our memories. Though we cannot capture everything in camera because:Spiti for me is not just a place to visit. But an experience to be lived.Travel Courtesy:The Weeknders Group: Akanksha, NishantDriver: Sanju Bhaiya
We finally reached Chandratal. As per the latest government rules camping is not allowed near the lake. You can take your vehicle up to a certain point, from where its less than an hours trek to the lake. At this height due to lack of oxygen you tend to get exhausted very easily, so make sure you carry some water. The moment you get the first glimpse of the lake you will realize it was all worth it. Its just beautiful, its surreal and difficult to explain. I believe India is full of beautiful places but its sad we Indians don't preserve the beauty. Such places which are difficult to access are fortunately still preserved. The water in the lake is crystal clear and you will get to see shades of blue depending upon the sun light. As it was really cold there nobody dared to go in the water. Its not a crowded place at all but you will still manage to see few people around the lake. People who have been to Pangong lake in Leh ladakh, you would find this like its mini version. We sat there for around 1-2 hours had a nice time, clicked numerous pictures and started back.
The 6th day was for Chandratal, another blissful, Not at all, I would say “Dar ke aage Chandratal Hai”. The roads were so adventurous; it didn’t allow me to leave the rear grab handle of the car. After trekking of 1 KM, we reached our destination “Chandratal”. I was continuously taking short breaths; suddenly I glanced at Chandratal. The aerial view of Chandratal made me feel so composed. I would say, I was blessed by the nature. I had never seen something so magical.
Day 8: Losar To Chandratal (3 Hours; 38Kms)
One of the most beautiful lakes in the entire world.
Tread the treacherous road -- the road from Batal, the last inhabited point before Chandratal is nothing but lethal -- that leads to the Chandratal Lake and absorb the splendid view whilst taking deep breaths! Do remember to keep your jaw from falling off and hitting the ground! The view of the river bed and the glaciers on the far off mountains is breath-taking. Meditate, take a walk around the lake or pitch your tent - the lake is a spectacle to behold! If you have days in hand, then a trek from Sooraj Tal to Chandra Tal - or the other way round - could give you the adrenaline boost you had always been anticipating.
Stayed in Zamaica Camps , chilling again :-D
At an altitude of 4300 mts. Chandra Taal lake is an unclaimed lake in the Spiti valley. The open sky, the lake that freezes at night, temperatures dropping to -7 degrees in mid June and an unforgettable journey to the lake. It is a guaranteed life changing location. The water of the lake shines blue in the afternoon and translucent in the morning sky reflecting the whole surroundings like a mirror. The lake stretches upto about 2 kilometers. If you’re an adventurer you might want to visit before the roads are open to tourism. Tourism allows a lot of camps near the lake. Going there before any one will fill you with a sense of pride. You will be lost in the vastness of the mountains with complete ecstasy. You can choose to take a guide along with you to make the journey safer and simpler or leave the guide and the comfort behind to really explore and connect with yourself on a deeper level. The choice is yours to make! Some do’s and don’ts in and around the lake for your safety: DON'T: • Try to swim in the lake; There have been reported deaths of people who have tried to. • Litter; Let’s help preserve whatever’s left of our beautiful planet. • Trek under influence of alcohol. You need to have massive control over your body. DO: • Take a lot of food with you, it is most important. • Take all necessities from a knife to whatever you think will keep you safe, cowdung kerosene and matchboxes are a must, to cook and stay warm. • Carry the warmest jacket you have. • Have the proper gear to trek through snow, water and sludge. • Stargaze; The best view you can get of the infinite space! • Carry music; The silence really is deafening! Here is a list of things necessary for camping: Dried Cowdung+Kerosene+Lot of Matchboxes(Lighters don't work)+Dry twigs(Found near the lake-the dry bushes with purple flowers) Gloves+Cap+Windcheater(Basically everything of the warmest kind, but just the necessary ones, You want to keep your bags light) Torch+Knife A pan+A plate+forks+Maggi+Coffee/milk/sugar sachets+Chocolates(Lots of)+Anything else full of carbs+A lot of water+Local alcohol(Ignore the taste/Drink for keeping warm) Camera+Music+Two walking sticks(Helps for walking on snow and sluge) Tent+Sleeping bags(With mattresses)+Paper soap+Medicines
Mt CB 13 or Mt Chandrabhaga 13 is a magnificent peak on the Dhaka glacier that is visible from Chandertal. Oh that night, I can still recall the quiver of that chilled and breezy night. The day started very early with a lot of zeal and exhilaration for the journey ahead. As we started from Manali a lot of conjectures were ripping up in our minds as to what the valley would unfold. But nature had other plans for us; the route to the Chandrataal base camp was perhaps one of the most bumpy ride I had ever undertaken. At one point of time I was pondering if it was better for me to get an helmet before boarding the Sumo we took for the jaunt(Arpan surely will agree to it) . At last after a gruesome drive of near about eight hours were at the camp site. It was gloomy by the time we landed there. Wearied by the elongated and strenuous journey there was no vigor left in us to do any kind of activity; all we wanted was a hot meal to suppress our hunger and our tents to respite. Well as they say that “what we expect is not what we get and what we get always comes out of the blue. The open sky above was what made our day; it seemed to have eased our hunger and fatigue. It literally reminded me of the rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle little star, like a diamond in the sky” but a million diamonds were in the sky. To be precise it was one of the unblemished skies I had ever seen, something untouched by what we call effluence. Sometimes I feel that some places on this earth should be kept as they are virgin; without roads, without easy accessibility as their beauty is to be fostered that way and we humans living in th concrete jungle have elapsed what nature and mother earth has to offer. Standing beneath that sky and with the Mt CB13 in front it was imperative for us to capture that beauty; and the rest as we say is history.
The lake is situated at an altitude of 14,100 ft. in Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. It's an amazing destination for trekking and camping. We started our journey from Manali crossing Rohtang pass and entering into Lahaul and Spiti district. The offroading experience with Chandra river flowing along makes it a memorable journey. Once you reach Batal, you can trek for almost 14 kms to the lake. The magnificent view of lake and the crystal clear water and heavenly sky reflection in water vanishes all the tiredness of trek on barren mountains. Camping in the extreme cold gives a thrilling experience. It's a paradise on earth, totally Worth a visit...!!!
17th Aug: Gemur to Chandertaal (7 hours) Drive to Chandartaal lake. Surrounded by snows and acres of scree, this deep blue-water lake has a circumference of2.5 k.m. This is the source of the river Chandra. According to some believers, this is the spot from where the god Indra''s chariot took Yudhishtra to ''Swarga'' (Heaven) in his mortal form. Accomodation: Camping crew will pitch tents for overnight stay
Solang should always make it to the top of your places to visit when in Manali list. The valley presents one with some stunning views of snow covered mountains, glaciers and dense forests. If you are game for some adventure sports then please try paragliding or skiing when you are here. If you decide to bring along the kids, they can indulge in horse riding or zorbing to keep themselves busy here. The place is filled with spots that are ideal for picnics, so one should pack a basket and go on one. Solang is dotted with shops that sell delicious local food to satiate the hunger pangs.
Known as snow point, for its surrounding view of snow capped mountains and glaciers. The destination in Himachal Pradesh for paragliding, zorbing, skiing or taking a ride on the 300m ski lift. If your hungry do not expect anything other than maggi and eggs/tea or coffee, with the other option of buying the retail chips and aerated drink bottles.
Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. Sking and Paragliding are two main activities are organised here. Apart from this many other adventure sports are available like Zorbing, Horse riding & Snow Motor Bikes riding etc.
You’ll grab on to your dear life as the cold wind attempts to freeze your face off on the rickety ATV that carries you to the Solang Valley. You’ll step onto that fresh layer of snow leave the first muddy footprints of the day if you are early enough. You’ll forget to feel cold and feel humbled and exhilarated as the mountains tower over you. Women adorned in Pattu (traditional dress of Manali) will huddle around you and ask you to pose like Madhuri Dixit in Dil To Pagal Hain while they photograph you. Donkeys carrying huffing tourists are fed carrots by curious foreigners and first time skiers attempt to not embarrass themselves in Solang Valley. Honeymooners ask passers-by to take photographs of them and thrill-seeking adventurers scream themselves hoarse while paragliding. Solang Valley is the biggest tourist attraction in Manali and it has its reasons.
This place was probably the best in the whole trip.For someone whose not seen snow,me this place was heaven. The place is easily accessible and the only activities here are skiing and cable car. Either of em are over rated. What we did is we trekked towards the snow here towards the tree cover. There is a small stream passing through the valley and it makes for a good 3-4 trek.
Solang Valley is a small town in itself, crafted especially for the adventure-seeker. From its Gondolas to its ski slopes and the fast flowing rapids, there's no reason to not indulge. The adventure begins here!
Solang valley was scheduled on the second day with great enthusiast to enjoy the ice, to slide on Snow and to enjoy the adventures it holds. Beauty with adventure always makes me speechless, and Solang valley is the same. I know this is the thing made Solang Valley is one among biggest tourist attraction in Manali. Nothing to say about those giant slopes, they are to enjoy, not to explain.
Once the bike was hired, we headed for Solang Valley, keeping in view the time and distance. The uphill ride was quite an experience and the surroundings were spectacular. Even though it is famous for winter sports, summers too are equally captivating in this small but attractive resort town.
Being the Gentleman he was, he booked the day’s drive in a cab and we went all the way to Solang valley. The views were so picturesque, no amount of time seemed enough there. Since I was short on budget, I did not feel up for any adventure sports but he convinced me. I distinctly remember how he told me that what I’m really gonna remember about this trip is the things I do and the fun I experience, not the food, not the clothes, and not anything else. He also asked me to try and overcome my fear of heights. So we both agreed to try paragliding for which we first took a cable car up the hill and waited for our turn.
Almost after 4 days, she received a call from one of her nomad friends who insisted her to explore Solang valley and try doing snow trek to Anjani Mahadev. Upon insistence, she decided to get information about the place. With the help of few blogs, she learnt that Anjani Mahadev, famous for its natural icy formation of shivling also locally known as mini-Amarnath.
Paragliding in Solang Valley is an experience you absolutely cannot miss as you will literally be on cloud nine.
The day was half past, and we had to move to the adventurers' pilgrimage, The Solang Valley. Popularly known as The Adventure Valley, Solang provides numerous adventure activities like Paragliding, Skiing, Skate Boarding etc. However there is no snow in the month of April, so we were left only with Paragliding and Cable Car Ropeway.
Day 8 we wake up early in the morning had breakfast in hotel and headed to solang valley. (Note: Private vehicle is not Allowed you have to Hire Vehicle). A day before we already hired cab for solang valley cab driver is very nice and friendly his Name is Amit is localite. You can also hire him he's mobile no +919817186330. we Leave the manali in early morning for Solang valley. It is a side valley at the top of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India 14 km northwest of the resort town Manali . its favorite for adventure enthusiasts, Parachuting to paragliding, horse riding, fancy photography are the other attractions that keeps a tourist engaged and maintains a fair like atmosphere in the valley throughout the day. The best part about Solang Valley is that it is an all season place. Visiting Solang, hence depends on your purpose. (I Recommended when u go to solang valley u can rent Gears like Jackets, gloves and Ice skating Shoes) There is many shops on the route between Manali and Solang valley after lots of enjoyment we back to the town. After 2 hours of rest we headed Manu temple This magnificent temple is dedicated to the sage Manu, who is said to be the creator of the world and the writer of Manusmriti. The Manu Temple is located in old Manali, at a distance of three kilometers from the main market. Though this area is quite congested, the presence of the River Beas adds to its attraction. The temple is one of the prime attractions in Manali and is believed to be the same place where sage Manu meditated after stepping on earth. Than we are back to mall road and had a dinner after that back to hotel because next day we have to leave.
With the sky painted in cerulean blue and colourful paragliders joyfully gliding all around, this is a valley of absolute bliss. 14kms from Manali, away from the touristy chaos, on the western bank of Beas River, it’s a perfect spot to roll down the hill in an orb. Tents are available on rent during the summers, a perfect time to set your eyes at the apple orchards or view the valley 8500 ft above sea level from the ropeway.Best time to visit: December to February
I woke up to 7 degrees. The snow white mountains were turning golden and the view was just rejuvenating. The next in the list was Solang valley. We headed there and found out that it was tourist favorite spot. Too crowded. Not my place. Again we started hiking somewhere on the mountains to discover new valleys and we were successful in finding some.
The trek commenced from the silent village and it saw me fall down gathering energy supplement (which I dropped) within the first forty minutes. I was bruised a little bit but was seen by nobody by chance even in the group of seventeen as I landed in the middle of the lead group and the lag group. I hid my bruises and with firm determination continued the trek.
19th: We started our journey back from Leh. Tso Moriri was our destination on this day. We reached Tso Moriri by evening and this place being far and less visited, had its own charm. The sunset and the moon light fell on the lake which we could see from our rooms - we thought we can never have enough of it.
19th: We started our journey back from Leh. Tso Moriri was our destination on this day. We reached Tso Moriri by evening and this place being far and less visited, had its own charm. The sunset and the moon light fell on the lake which we could see from our rooms - we thought we can never have enough of it.
We drove for approx. 6 hours before we reached our camps (Tso-Morriri Resorts and camps). This lake is totally a gem to visit. Beautiful…Beautiful…Beautiful. The journey is surely tiresome but once you see the lake, everything is worth. The panoramic view of the Lake is amazing with Turquoise colored water.
Next day, we had plans for Tso moriri Lake. Tso moriri is a lake in the Changthang area in Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is at an altitude of 4,595 m (15,075 ft), it is the largest of the high altitude lakes in the Trans-Himalayan biogeography region, entirely within India. The lake sits between Ladakh, India to the North, Tibet to the east and Zanskar in the west. The lake is oligotrophic in nature, and its waters are alkaline. The lake is located to the southeast of Leh at a road distance of 240 kilometers. We reached Tso moriri directly from Leh via Upshi and it was a journey that we never forget. After Leh and Karu there are no petrol pumps in the area so carrying enough fuel is necessary. In that route we faced lots of challenges. The route especially when one is near to the lake is quite challenging but the lake is simply very beautiful it has one more specialty that a very beautiful bird known as Rajhans which is only seen there and Kailash Mansarovar china out of whole world . There was also another beautiful lake on the route. We reached there around 7.30 PM. We stayed there for a night at KORZOK. It was completely a home stay and the hospitality was inexpressible.I do not know how can I express my feelings about the beauty but I will request to all try to visit at least once in a life.August 22,2014
Tso Moriri: My personal favorite! Tso Moriri is worth all the trouble you have to take to reach here! Nagging travel mates, dusty roads, travel sickness.. Tso Moriri is worth all of it and even more! The mighty, endless and mesmerizing blue waters surrounded by snow capped mountains compel you to fall in love with them! You would want to stay there forever and live the peaceful Tibetan life witnessing this visual marvel. Spending a night here is highly recommended! When at Tso Moriri.. Don’t bother clicking pictures or updating snap stories.. I urge you to soak in the Moriri! I still find myself surrounded by the pristine blue waters in my memories often. This place casts a spell on you! Let it do the magic, you are going to love it!
Still reeling under the absolute pure beauty of Pangong, next morning we took off for Tso Moriri. On our way, Nawang ji narrated an interesting anecdote about why the lake was called so. Apparently, once upon a time, a shepherdess owned a yak named Mo, which got lost at the lake one day. She kept shouting ‘riri’ (a call to action for yaks, just like its ‘ch ch’ for dogs!), calling out to it, and hoping it would come back. Not too sure if it finally did, but it definitely gave the lake a name.Tso Moriri is the highest lake in the Himalayan region (15,075 feet) entirely belonging to India. While Pangong has become more popular in the last few years, because of its easy accessibility, it is Tso Moriri which is a rare combination of everything that you would want in a perfect scenery painting – blue skies, fluffy clouds, snow capped peaks, brown barren mountains, lush green fields, bright sunshine & unbelievably blue waters. The entire experience there was no less than the Swiss Alps. Due to its height, the conditions are harsher & therefore still untapped by commercialization.From our experiences at two camps already, we thought we were all prepared & knew exactly what to expect till the owner of the camp handed over hot water bags to each one of us & said ‘you will need this’! The place gets insanely cold at night with the temperatures falling & the rarified air making it even tougher to sustain.Back at the camp, dinner was served by 8pm & we were expected to be in bed soon as any kind of electricity was allowed only till 11pm. From our experiences at two camps already, we thought we were all prepared & knew exactly what to expect till the owner of the camp handed over hot water bags to each one of us & said ‘you will need this’! The place gets insanely cold at night with the temperatures falling & the rarified air making it even tougher to sustain. There we were, wrapped up under our very thick blankets trying to be as snug as possible relying totally on the hot water bag & praying it will keep us warm through the night.
Day 10 - Finally, it was the day when we said our goodbyes to Leh and its nipping warmth, as we were leaving for Tsomoriri Lake which was a 220 kms long journey towards the south-east of Leh. We left early in the morning at 7 and reached Tsomoriri by around 3 in the afternoon. Even though we reached a bit earlier in the day Tsomoriri was kind of a let-down due to all the government prohibitions of going near the lake due to the time period being good for the migratory birds to lay their eggs along the banks of the fresh water lake. The staying options in Tsomoriri are very less and we were lucky enough to find a very comfortable and warm home-stay in the little village above the lake. The evening became chillier than ever and that forced us to being inside the home-stay and sit down with the locals and enjoy their wonderful food and warmth.
Next, we visited Tso Moriri; it was a “masterpiece” to say the least – seemed as if the nature had come alive. Looked like it had been craftily designed by “God” himself and been designated the duty of being a mirror to the rustic mountains that stood in the background; the majestic mountains in turn optimally utilizing the gift bestowed upon it so as to look eternally “perfect” – the right amount of snow covering its head and perfectly shaped clouds hovering over it – just the right combination, always.We reached Tso Moriri around noon; did not have much time to spend here as we had to reach Tsokar the same evening. Unlike Pangong, there weren’t any camps close to the shore of the lake. The sun was shining bright with a gentle breeze blowing in the area - a combination that rendered the weather just “perfect”! As we went close to the lake, the splendid view left us all dumbstruck. The water was crystal clear – the small and large pebbles forming the bed of the lake were clearly visible, so were the tiny fish floating in the water. We sat on the banks of the lake gazing at the idyllic beauty; few of us throwing pebbles at it and watching as it responded back through multiple ripples on its otherwise pristine and still water.
Day 8: Leh – Tso Moriri (4th Aug 16)After yesterdays entertaining session which went unto 2 in the morning, became the cause for us to be delayed by at least 1.30 hours. Another fact added to this was, this being our last day in Leh we had to pack our stuff in a way that we won’t need our luggage to be taken out completely over the course of next two days.Finally we left around 9.30 AM. Since our trip to Thiksey Monastery on evening before, we came back quite late into Leh and main thing which many of wanted to buy, “Apricots” we couldn’t find anywhere since all the shops were closed. So we asked Rigzin if he knew of any place where we can buy some good quality of Apricots, being Rigzin he knew one such shop located in a corner of a market which would give us opportunity to make the purchase. We spent close to 30 mins there since there was so much variety of Dry Fruits and we were busy tasting them all :-P, breakfast before the actual breakfast :-D.We finally bid our goodbye to this beautiful town and many of us were already making plans for their next trip here. We started on Manali Leh Highway towards Tso Moriri, our next destination. There weren’t many places we had to visit enroute so our first stop was Karu where we took a halt for breakfast. It was already close to 11.30 AM so we decided to make it a combination of good amount of breakfast which included Various Paranthas, French toast, Bread Toast with Tea, Omelettes. We also had to make arrangements for the cash which would be needed over next 3 days inclusive of payment for Car that we were hiring. Thank god we weren’t looted somewhere, would have been a good bounty if we were. After this we took the Leh – Manali until Upshi where we had to take left road which heads to Chumathang, Chumur and the one on the right is Manali highway. The road initially was in excellent condition so we were excited that our this outing is going to be a good affair which proved to be delusion as BRO had just started the work on this stretch of road so it was nothing but rocks everywhere, one thing however I would like to note is that although the roads are not in best of shapes as of now but Indus flows right next to you and the region is beautiful, so even though the ride is slow one you enjoy every bit of it. Views are bit different than what you see while going to Khardung La or Chang La, the rock formation here is completely different. At certain point when we were stopping for nature breaks or photo breaks, we took some rocks in hand, these are as if you are taking a piece of wood which would break if you apply little extra pressure. The colours however were fantastic, different purplish tints could be clearly visible. At one point we could see a kind of Rainbow of colours on the mountain. The entire mountain was rainbow coloured.We continued till Kiari, once we had passed that there was blasting site which was being cleared by BRO guys. If anyone for whom I grew respect on this trip was BRO, absolutely mind boggling work that these men and women are doing. We had to stop there for 30 mins before we were allowed to move forward and you know no driver honked for them move aside. Imagine this happening in any other city, there would be chaos within 5 mins. But in this border region, I have come across almost all drivers waiting patiently for their turn to pass, giving way to other vehicles before making a try pass themselves. Commendable job guys. It was soon after this we reached Chumathang where we stopped to visit the Hot Water Springs, In cold climate outside the water in origin of springs was probably boiling at 70 to 80 degrees. We checked with others whether all wanted to take a break for lunch or head to Tso Moriri directly. We did have a good breakfast in the morning so no one was that hungry and also we wanted to make it to Tso Moriri in daylight so we could visit some places there. The road after Chumathand until Mahe Bridge is a visual treat, Black Tarmac with side stripes, a mountain on one side of the road and Indus flowing on the other side..wow simply superb.We soon reached Mahe bridge where we had to take right to go towards Tso Moriri and the road going straight heads to Nyoma and China boarder later. You are not allowed to take photographs at Mahe Bridge not sure why. We crossed it and started to Korzok. The Area after you cross Mahe Bridge comes under Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. Many times after you have crossed Mahe Bridge, a small vollage appears consisting about 15-20 households, fields, and white homes as we were haggling our way through the terrain. It took around 1.30 hours when we reached Kyagar Tso, which appeared out of nowhere. By then surroundings had started to change from barren land to more visible greener fields. Kyagar Tso itself is an emerald colours lake. After navigating for few more Kms we finally reached Tso Moriri. The first look at this lake was altogether a different experience. In Pangong Tso, only the Lake is beautiful and not so the area around it but here in Tso Moriri it’s a complete package with snow capped mountains right next to the lake, the whole area looks more beautiful than ever. By the time we reached Korzok, we were super hungry and the camp restaurant presented good option to fill our stomachs. Before that, our earlier planned place of stay Crane Guesthouse was full due to on-going Korzok festival. This lead me to another place about which I had read earlier, Goose Homestay. I had read very positive reviews about the place but I am afraid it is not the case anymore. I suppose the condition has deteriorated over course of last few years. We shared single bath room between us 6 and 3 other groups of foreigners which had 4 people each. But you know we didn’t have much to complain since we had planned to leave Tso Moriri by 4 AM next day in order to reach Manali on the same day instead of making a night stay at Jispa and move to Manali on 6th as per earlier plan. And another thing was, this is probably the remotest place one ever visits in normal travel plan so this was something to be expected.Anyways, we checked in there and went to Camp Restaurant to eat something. Again, Maggie, Yipee and some tea we had there. Rigzin asked us to get fresh and be out of again so that we can explore further. One thing we missed is going into the actual lake since we came pretty late here and now only option for us to go near the mountain to capture late evening views of the lake from above. Mighty mountains, snow capped peaks, lush green fields and the deep blue water stretching to the horizon, Tso Moriri offers it all. The wind picked speed as the sun set, Rigzin had already warned us about this so we were ready with jackets to negate the effects of cold winds. After spending about 30 minutes here we headed back to our homestay, had a not so great dinner and went to sleep around 9.30 so that we could get up early as 4 AM next day and leave for Manali. Here again I was not able to sleep. I probably slept for an hour at max combining all small naps.
Pangong Tso to tso moririIn the early morning we had first look of such a beautiful lake. Water is so cleared that due to reflection of sky water gets different color during the day time. As sun rises above water starts turning blue, purple. You don’t get any network here and now onward on this route. Not even proper roads, humans, animals. You only find some horses, small grass, trail roads and you. Someplace you find small villages and greenery. At this kind of remote place best thing is to ask every local you see on the way about the road ahead. We passed the chusul, the nearest place to china boarder. From there you go through nyoma. From there if you want to go to hanley then take the nyoma bridge otherwise continue on same road. You can ask the person who is there at checkpost here. But generally they are not locals so they don’t know the roads here. We didn’t go to hanley as we were very tired and today was also ending. So we decided to go to tsomoriri lake via sumdho. Distance from pangong to tso moriri is not much but due to very rough road it took almost whole day to reach tsomoriri. We took the hotel for 1500 bucks. It was damp cold in night here.
Officially known as the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve, this part of Ladakh is known as the Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region. The unique variety of flora and fauna around the massive lake is now a reserve where the Indian Wildlife Association has set up base for research and study purposes. Tucked amidst the cold desert of Ladakh, this high altitude lake in India is a sheer spectacle to behold.
Day 9 – Rumtse to Tso Moriri Tso Moriri is at an altitude of 4,522 m (14,836 ft). It is the largest of the high altitude lakes entirely within India and entirely within Ladakh in this Trans-Himalayan bio geographic region. The official name of the land and water reserve here is the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. The road from Rumtse to Tso Moriri takes us through Chumathang. Tso Moriri is smaller than Pangong Tso and fewer people come here, it is more beautiful in some ways due to the fact that area surrounding Tso Moriri is a wild life reserve and one can see Tibetan wild ass (Kiang), marmots, red foxes and quite a few migratory birds.
Kheerganga, I fall short of words to describe the beauty, peace, serenity and tranquillity of the place, it’s around 15kms trek from Barsheni, beautiful meadow, surrounded by Snow clad mountains at approx 3000mts.Hot Spring and Star Gazing must do!!
Amazing Hot Water Spring.
October 24, 2015: On the second day, we had planned to go for the Kheerganga Trek (12km). This was my first ever trek. Being the most lazy person, this trek was a challenge. We geared up with all our essentials and headed to Barshaini, the starting point of the trek. We warmed up a little before starting our journey on foot. First 2-3km was not hard. After a while we entered to this view of lush green pines all around and I had my first encounter with the Himalayas. The view was breathtaking. Though my legs were tired of climbing, but something about the place kept me going. I forgot why I took this trip in the first place. Looking at the mountains and the beautiful trail ahead, I introspected and accepted the fact that while you're growing up you will make some friends and lose some. You can't keep blaming yourself for whatever happens. You just need to close that chapter and start a new one. And here I was, making new friends in the laps of The Himalayas.
Till now I have covered few places all of them though is a must visit but one most recent and memorable adventurous trip was to Kasol. Famously known as hippes paradise, heaven for few and many more names. Few people may feel like it does not have much places for sightseeing,but what it has is special, a serenity, a calmness, relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Not every place needs to have it all type , some just attract people through its simplicity. My travel to kasol was kind of relaxing and refreshing. I travelled with my friends. Kheerganga a very known place in kasol is famous for its rough and adventurous trek but what you experience when you reach the top is my friend what travel is about. Reaching top feels like an accomplishment , gives you happiness and to be honest the happiness cannot be much described in words.Camping, it was my first camping experience also, after a difficult trek we were a bit tired we went to pamper us a bit????. At the hill top there was this place for steam bath. We had a very relaxing time and then returned to our camps. We played cards had an amazing time singing laughing playing what else is needed. At night the place was even more amazing. It was raining not heavily but yes even the rain drops their gives a different experience . The more I stayed and enjoyed the weather the more I feel connected to the place.
I woke up around 7:00 am and had a cup of tea. After freshen up,i went to hot water spring with other companions (which i met during trekking upside). Thats the one of the best thing happened to any traveler. Water is very hot and very relaxing . i sat over there for around 1 hour and then visited kartika cave . They have closed it as there are few incident happened .
Kheerganga is located at a height of 13,051 feet above sea-level (3978 m) and trekking starts from Barshaini. We took a cab early morning from Kasol to Barshaini (Fare Rs700). Had our breakfast in a small cafe run by two very amicable ladies and their paranthas prepared in kadhai are simply awesome. Best paranthas I had in Kasol.And finally we started trekking. Trek can be quite challenging as its full of steep climbs on narrow trails. It takes around 4 hrs to reach the top.There will be around 3-4 halts in the trek, which are nothing but small cafes setups serving tea, maggie, momos, water bottles and more.After reaching mid-way, there is a huge mighty waterfall alongside a hanging wooden bridge with no railings at all. Once you cross it, the rest of the trek is straight dead steep climb with no patches of down slopes. That’s the most challenging part of the trek. On reaching the top, its lush green somewhat plain terrain with ice scattered all around in the background. Trek was finally over, we breathed a sigh of relief.One can easily complete the trek without the need of guides and sherpas. During the trek, you will cross a couple of villages where you will come across kids selling wooden sticks for a comfortable trek. Also, horses carrying goods up and down the path. That’s how a water bottle cost goes up to 50 rupees at the top, which is justified actually.On the top, one can find accommodation in common big tents with multiple mattresses placed and also angethis to keep the enclosure warm. Here, multiple groups can be seen ordering meals and taking rest. Also available are few rooms in a guest house, private rooms built with wooden walls and tin roofs. But our experience was not very pleasant with the room here as during the nigh, cold weather made us realize what small gaps between the constructed wooden walls can do with 3-4 layers of blankets on. However, cost was just 200/person which includes dinner and morning tea. They served rajma rice of good standard in dinner and black tea in the morning, black tea surprisingly tasted good and perfect to start a cold morning. Night experience was good, caretaker himself would call out all the travelers staying to a common place in open where one can find utensils and then you stand in a short queue in front of kitchen. And then you see groups dining near bonfire, some playing instruments and singing. Dining this way felt more authentic and close to nature. This place fills up fast no wonder.
It is an ideal destination for backpackers, trekkers, nature lover and adventure enthusiasts because of Kheerganga’s scenic beauty, untouched mountains and great climate. Moreover, the abstract blend of shade, greenery, activity and tranquility in Kheerganga can yield concrete advantages for people like convincing them to appreciate and preserve the old-grown forests for future generations.
Located in the Parvati Valley of Kullu district just 22kms away from Manikaran, is a beautiful place called Kheer Ganga. This is the place where ‘Kartik Ji’, the elder son of ‘Lord Shiva’ remained in ‘samadhi’ for thousands of years while they stayed on earth. Kheer Ganga is not only popular for its hot springs, but also for the holy River Parvati that surrounds the virgin forests of this place and gushes down mischievously through the verdant forests. The valley offers some amazing landscapes, forests, streams and complete solace. Definitely a must visit for any mountain lover.
After an hour of a bumpy bus ride to the base point Barsheni and 4 hours of trek through the picturesque villages and some breathtaking views, we were finally at the Shiva's place i.e Kheerganga. After making our tent and having lunch we were set to go the most awaited place that would be taking our pain of the trek away, the hot water spring.After spending about 2 hours in the sulphur spring talking how heavenly it felt being there we came back to our tents. Campfire and cards below the million stars was the last thing we did before going to sleep.
A little trekking through the dense forests of the Kullu District will lead you to the amazing Kheerganga hot springs. The temperature of the springs here is lower than at Manikaran, but this is exactly what makes it worthy of a natural Jacuzzi. Just what you need after a long trek, it’s a natural spa. It attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world. Maybe it will attract you too..
Where: Situated in the Kullu District of Himachal, the Kheerganga Trek begins from Barshaini or Tosh. To reach Barshaini, take an overnight bus or train from Delhi to Bhuntar and then a taxi or local bus to Barshaini or Tosh.Route: The total distance of the trek is 15km and it is fairly easy in the first half. After you cross the first dhaba on the route, the trail gets steeper. The mid-point of the trek is Nakthan Village, which also a great place to stop. Definitely carry a raincoat, but a tent and cooking items are not essential since there are enough options to eat and stay at Kheerganga. A few metres from where the trek ends is a Shiv Temple with a hot water spring, which is a great place to unwind.Duration: 5-6 hours
The trek to Kheer Ganga is around 12 kilometeres from the base Barshaini. From the base, one way goes to Tosh and other to Kheer Ganga and Mantalai lake (the origin of Parvati river). There is a sweet shop (the only one), try Rasgullas of there, we just loved them.Also, a tip for the pros, just check out the trek of Mantalai lake, which is 82 kilometer from Barshaini each way, and that is definitely gonna be the next trek I would go on. Imagine trekking for 6 days straight, mostly alongside the river, or in the core jungle, sleeping in the tents, eating the minimal food available. This is my kind of trek I can say.Anyways back to the trek we actually went on. (:D)First 6 kilometers were easy. We had fun on the way, stopping wherever we wished to, clicking pictures and just laughing the hours away. After 6 kilometers, there were some cafes where we had our lunch. Try the daal and butter roti there, they serve it deliciously good. It was cold, but the day was sunny which I actually slept sunbathing in.
Kheerganga is nature's dual personality, personified. On one hand the air is freezing cold. But getting half naked in that weather is worth it when what awaits is an oasis of perfectly, naturally heated water that flows out of the mountain into a pool of sorts, to slowly ease away the aches and pains you have to endure to get there. It’s easy to lose track of where you are when you’re in 5-star comfort like that. I even began to wonder why the girls were taking so long to join us until I realised we were in a holy place and not some friends farmhouse Jacuzzi. The girls section is separate (favourable since my summer body was on winter break). However, all good things have to end and unfortunately, this ended with going back to the biting cold air outside the cosy water.
We started our trek with a hearty breakfast. The next stop we took was the Rudranag Waterfall. The beautiful waterfall was situated right next to a temple. After this the trek gets a tad bit difficult. We managed to reach the top with a good pace. On reaching, the view was incredible, we were surrounded by surreal mountains on all sides. With the help of our guides, we pitched our tents near the hot spring and took a relaxing bath. The water was amazing. I felt completely relaxed. My dad and I fell silent. The first dip in that boiling water was extremely peaceful. I roamed around, scouting for a location to take good photos of the night sky, and found that the place was completely packed. At least 50 people had no place to stay. They had to sleep in the restaurants and Cafes. As the sun went down right in between the mountains, creating different hues on the mountains that surrounded us, the real party started. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see the milky way but the Stars gave us a feeling that I can't possibly convert into words. But, our peace wasn't long-lived after a group of 'cool' 'men' decided to start a fire behind our tent. They were screaming and shouting at the top of their lungs. Alcohol made matters worse. I felt this weird rage inside myself which wanted to teach them a lesson but I decided otherwise. Kheer ganga is a HOLY place, a place of religious significance to many. Please do NOT disturb the sanctity of the place. It is not a lounge, not the best place to play loud music. But, the best part was the attitude of the locals. I talked to the locals and they too were hurt to see what was happening to their home. Ignoring those idiots, we sang prayers for a few hours and slepy in our tents.
Around 3:00 PM we started our trek and there was a sure chance of rain and we have to do trek in night which does not sound great. We were walking, resting for a while then again start walking. The roaring sound of a Parvati river can be easily heard through out the trek. And then Bridge over the river came and crossing that we are on another mountain. Crossing every milestone and walking on the correct path we reached Kheerganga in dark around 9:00 PM , tired, hungry , just want only sleep and food also chai….Night in Kheerganga was so different then we expected, it was surrounded by the snow-capped mountains and songs like “bum bum bhole” were the only sound in the valley, people were chilling, rolling joints, drinking… but we can`t enjoy our night due to our tiredness.
Finally, we reached the top of Kheer Ganga trek and we had accomplished the alluring view of the Parvati Valley. The feeling was different and all the dialogues just came as a flash in the mind (main bhagna chahta hoon, main girna bhi chahta hu bas rukna ni chahta naina.....). The happiness was just relaxing and view just vanished all the fatigue of trekking. It was refreshing and enthusiasm was at its peak at that time.What happened next will be continued in next part......"Life is full of surprises , why not surprise life with such accomplishments.Doing things you want to do will always lead you to happiness and a better life."
After a 14 km trek from Tosh, part of it being a walk in the park and part of it making me realise that getting my rucksack along for the trek was huge mistake. Kheerganga has panoramic skies and vast greenery, which is a much needed delight to the eyes and especially the tired legs. It's not just the destination though, en route to Kheerganga you will cross many waterfalls and bridges that might be your last step ever, the tremendous river flow and its thunderous sound do instil some fear into your heart about how strong mother nature really is. Once you get to the top though, there is nothing that feels better than a hot spring bath after walking 14 km, trust me, nothing. Take in everything that Kheerganga has to offer!Getting There:The Kheerganga trek starts from Barshaini and Tosh. You first need to get to Bhunter and then from the to Tosh Getting to Bhunter:From Delhi getting to Bhunter takes 14 hours approx. Start from the ISBT Kashmere Gate, you can reach the ISBT via metro, auto, bus or taxi from pretty much anywhere in Delhi.Getting to Tosh :From Bhuntar it is a 4 hour bumpy bus ride that shouldn't cost more that 100+ Rs or a Taxi that should take 1000 to 1200 Rs. Now when you take the bus it will only take you up to Barshaini (Bar-che-ni) from where you will have 2 options, take a cab that will cost 200 Rs or walk for around an hour across the hills to get to Tosh. Walk, trust me, walk. There is no better way to explore the Kheerganga trek. The trek:The kheerganga trek is 14-15 km long and is an easy walk in the park for the first 7 km but after you cross the first dhaba the Kheerganga trek can become a little more demanding especially if you are carrying a bag or if it rains, which in my case was both.One can finish the Kheerganga trek in 5-6 hours and there in no need for a porter or a guide on this trek. There's so many places on the way you'd want to just 'chill' for a while though and it might just take you a little more time if you stop at each one of those.Staying There:Kheerganga has plenty of places to stay and accommodation is rarely a problem.The rates may vary from 500 Rs a night to a mere 100 Rs a night at the 'Ashram' built on top.You can chose from brick or wooden houses to tents depending upon how much time you want to spend inside a room in beautiful valley and how comfortable you want to sleep at night.One can even carry there own tents and set them where ever they wish to which would save a lot on accommodation expenses, only if you're there for more than a week though.Food:As it is in most of Himachal, there's many foreign tourist in Kheerganga and one can find a variety of cuisines over there.Moderate price and alright taste would give the cafe's of Kheerganga 3 out of 5 stars.The one thing you'd love to do there is just sit and sip hot drinks, tea, coffee and other things people prefer consuming hot are the biggest sellers at all the cafes.Places to visit around:Many people travel to Kheerganga as it has a temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the hot water spring there is considered to have medicinal properties. The night sky that gives you a panoramic view of the outer milky way a treat you must not miss.
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Simla is the capital and the largest city of the northern India state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala being the other capital. Shimla is also a district which is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, and Solan and Sirmaur. Sitting majestically above the lush plains, the British designated the town as the summer capital of India. The higher terrains of the town reflect this British connection, embodied by its buildings, built in the Victorian style, while the lower slopes are occupied with Indian bazaars and restaurants. The nearest broad gauge head is at Kalka - a four- to seven-hour journey from Delhi. After that, take the mountain train from Kalka to Shimla. This railway track has recently been granted the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read More
#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
330 Kms from Lahaul And Spiti
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
Bidding adieu to Leh was hard. We had to force our minds to leave now because our target destination was Srinagar and so it was going to be a long day. Everyone suggested us to stay in Sonmarg if we reached Drass on time as reaching Srinagar on time in a day was next to impossible. But we knew we have to reach Srinagar to see the beauty of Dal. People advised me not to interact with people in Srinagar. Listening to people was one of the things I am born not to do. We managed to reach Srinagar by 5:30 after taking a break in Kargil for a quick brunch. We took a wrong turn and we were lost in the streets of Srinagar. We asked someone the way to cross Srinagar and he said, "You looked tired. You should take some rest." Since we was looking scared, He continued, "If you're uncomfortable staying somewhere out, you can stay at my place and have a meal. Roaming Srinagar after sunset is not advisable." Such a generous act by someone who doesn't even know us made my heart melt and we promised our self that we will visit Kashmir soon. With this hope, we left Srinagar because next day we were supposed to reach delhi.
Things to do: Take an early morning shikara ride at the Dal Lake to see the floating vegetable market of Srinagar; attend a prayer meet at the Khanqah Shah-i-Hamadan; sip on noon-chai as you watch the sun set by the Dal Lake; climb 400-stairs to reach the iconic Shankaracharya Temple; walk on the path of Mughal emperors at Nishat Bagh.
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
222 Kms from Lahaul And Spiti
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.
119 Kms from Lahaul And Spiti
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October
A kingdom that has risen above disasters like the 2010 cloudburst and is still able to magnetise a plethora of tourists and travellers every month to it, even when the mercury dips below sub-zero levels. This former capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh is chiefly dominated by the ruined Royal Palace of Leh and the eternally serene Pangong Tso, Tibetan for 'high grassland lake', which is spread for 134 km from India to China. If you're someone who loves travelling unconventionally and is interested in the lifestyle that thrives in this high altitude desert, you can stay with locals who have turned their homes into 'homestays' and are open to interacting with non-natives. For a more spiritual and mystical experience, one can also spend the night at monasteries such as Thiksey, Lamauru or the Hemis Monastery, where you will get a chance to interact with Lamas (Buddhist teachers) and learn all about their lives and what they preach. For more visual and audio insights and treats, one can attend the 6 day Ladakh festival, a multihued explosion of Ladakhi culture and tradition, celebrated annually in the month of September in Leh's villages. Leh can always keep you entertained, for instance, with trekking (frozen river trek to Chadar, Padam to Darcha trek), mountain biking, skiing, camel safari, paragliding and even having your car pulled uphill by the magnetic force at the Magnetic Hill. Foodies will get no better thrill than eating at the highest cafeteria in the world, Rinchen Cafeteria. Other popular cafes such as Gesmo, Nirvana Garden, Cafe Jeevan and Norlakh are a must to go to for their lip smacking Italian, Himalayan and local dishes.Read More
One of the longest drive in the whole 15 days. The excitement to reach The Moon Land was too high yet a slight fear lingered in the mind as we had to cross 3 passes in one day. Will we be able to keep up with nature or not was a question. Starting from Zingzing Bar then Barlacha-La pass considered to be one of the dangerous pass on the way. Close to the pass is Suraj tal (lake). It falls before Sarchu. The panoramic view what starts at Jispa stays with one till Leh. Once you take a break at Sarchu to digest the view and the climatic change for your body.Next two high passes awaits Namkila and Lachalang -La pass. After this one reaches Pang. A tea time halt. Then the last pass one needs to pass through is Tanglang-La pass to reach Leh. The highest pass and second motor able in the world on the way. In Leh, we were put up in #Zaltak Homestay. Where we could relish on the farm food. Strategically placed, close to Leh market 10 mins walk. The cost is Rs 1200 per room. For booking please contact Mr Atul Jaiswal -9855085962
No matter where I go, Leh will be close to me and I would take it along with me everywhere craving for a experience similar. There was so much I missed to write. If you really call yourself a traveler, do visit Leh and your for Nature and Traveling will go stronger.
335kms …but it took 11 hours to reach leh because it’s the toughest road in the world! Or one can say not road…as no tar road is there…we left Jispa at 8 am out tempo traveller got some serious issue at 9 am so we had to change the car …2 hours got wasted there And we reached 10pm…almost all were not feeling well !Day 5,6,7- leh local sightseeing
Beautiful scenery is augmented by…Childhood dreams. Those locations that you have always admired as a young soul should be visited. Nothing feels better than heading to a place that is beautiful, and that reminds you of your past serenity. Next destination was something I always wanted in my life since my young days. That would that's gorgeous, adventurous thrilling Leh Ladakh. The trip unfolded so many amazing landscapes. I got to see sand dunes, rivers, forest, and high mountains at the same place. It was glorious and heavenly. We rode to the top of the world, having the highest motorable Road, Khardungla Pass and getting there isn't easy. However, #Travloncards made it possible for all of us, many thanks to the team!
Leh city has become a bit more commercialized than I'd have liked it to be, but hey that comes with the popularity I guess. It's a quaint little place situated amidst snow clad mountains and winding roads, straight out of a movie. Shanti Stupa, Thikse monastery and Leh market are the places to go to. Shanti Stupa is a white dome shaped monastery atop a small hill. The soothing sound of the drums coupled with the chiming of the bells and the view from the monastery grounds, provides unparalleled peace. The white stupa shines brilliantly at night, across the black horizon dotted with a million twinkling stars. Thikse monastery has a lot of drum shaped structures lined up along the stairs leading to the meaning prayer hall above. Buddhist culture involves rotating those drums in a particular direction for inner peace. There is a two floor big Buddha statue inside. The peace and tranquility that these places offer is what I love about this culture. Leh market is like any tourist market, nothing special. There is one place in particular that I love, Gizmo, it is a cute multi cuisine restaurant in the center of the market. The food there is mouth watering, especially the mint flavored mock tails, yak cheese sandwich and the chocolate cake. Yummm!!
We found our first petrol bunk after nearly 400kms in LEH. After that we decided to head towards Pangong Tso lake, we were still carrying luggage on our bikes. After around 30kms there was some road repair which was going on so we had to take some diversion which was steep uphill with loose sand.
As it is recommended that one must spend atleast the first day travelling locally in Leh, so that your body adjusts to the low oxygen levels, it is extremely helpful that there is a lots to do in Leh. Leh Market: The-Go-To place for everything - Local [Delicious] Cuisine - Souvenirs - Adventure Sports Agencies - Stok Monastery - Shey Monastery - Thiksey Monastery - Magnetic Hill - Private tour through Tsemo Fort, with help of locals ATM, hospital, cheap and decent accommodation and all other necessities are easily available here. The mobile network connectivity is also good.
267 Kms from Lahaul And Spiti
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
163 Kms from Lahaul And Spiti
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
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