Things to Do in Losar - Itineraries

Ladakhi Losar
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Ladakhi Losar

Ladakhi Losar: The Cultural Extravaganza of Ladakh Ladakh is one of the must visit destinations ...

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Night spent at Losar #tripototakemetosandakphu

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Solo Bike Expedition To Spiti Valley - An Ideal Itinerary

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The Himalayan Diaries: NH 505 – Stairway "through" heaven!!!

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Spiti Valley, Himachal (Tabo - Kaza - Key/Kye - Kibber - Komic-Kaza-Kunzum Pass-Rohtang Pass-Manali)

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The treasured moon lake of India: Chandra Taal

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Wandering post-its


Shimla
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Once known as Shyamala, synonymous with Goddess Kali, Shimla has been a summer retreat long before India even gained independence. This famous hill station similarly has a lot of places and things to see untouched by time. For instance, take a vintage joy ride from Kalka station to Shimla in a charming toy train that will take you through towering Deodars, hills and villages. Shimla truly comes alive during winters when a blanket of snow covers it all over making every nook and corner gleam and glisten. One such place is the ice skating rink (natural ice) near Lakkar Bazaar that opens from November to December. More winter sports include skiing, which can be enjoyed 21 km from Shimla in Kufri. Adventure activities such as rafting at Tattapani or a trek to Shali Tibba and Pabbar Valley are also worthwhile experiences. If you are fond of haunted stories and interested in having your own spooky adventure, you'll love Shimla. A lot of people including the renowned Rudyard Kippling (in 'My Own True Ghost Story) have written various eerie stories set around Shimla. A place known most for giving many people the jeepers-creepers is the Charleville Mansion. Another time travelling portal is the antique bookstore, Marina Brothers, located on Mall Road, which is truly a reader and collector's paradise. There are many luxury and budget hotels here, meaning you'll never fall short of options. Popular places to eat include Wake & Bake, Ashiana, Cecil and Minchy's that serve commendable Indian and multi-cuisine dishes and delicious gourmet food.
Chandigarh
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.
Leh
Best time to visit - June to September
This beautiful town happens to be located in Jammu & Kashmir and is an abode for those who wish to pursue Buddhism. The place is surrounded by tall mountains, clear blue water, a white surrounding and many monasteries. The people here are warm and welcome tourists. Found midway between the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains, the beauty of Leh is beyond words, making it a hotspot with the tourists. Visiting the local markets here is a treat as one will get to browse through Tibetan jewelry, carpets, woolens and much more. Be sure to carry an extra bag to fit in all your purchases.
Dehradun
Best time to visit - March,April,May,October,November
Dehradun is easily one of the most popular hill stations in India. Though easily accessible by all modes of transportation, taking the road would be the best way to experience this heaven. The drive will take you through dense forests on the hilly road and if you're lucky, you might even see a wild elephant or leopard pass you by. The fresh and dewy hill air will infiltrate your lungs and put you in a great mood right away. In terms of things to see, there is Robber's Cave, a river cave formation and Sahashtradhara, which is also a stunning sight of nature consisting of sulphur springs. But more than its sights, Dehradun is the perfect place for a family getaway. After all it has everything that you could need for a relaxing holiday. The town has many vintage bookshops (Natraj Publishers, The English Book Depot), college campuses with hilly backdrops, architectural marvels (such as the Forest Research Institute), alleys filled with quaint restaurants, adventure sports gear shops and forest resorts and hotels to fit every budget. Vishranti, a resort tucked away discreetly in the Sal forests of the Doon valley, deserves a special mention for its beauty and luxury. 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 devour-worthy Mughlai dishes and The Buffet for its mouthwatering burgers, cutlets and coffee, are popular options.
Manali
Best time to visit - February,March,April,October
The land from where once an ancient trade route to China would be embarked on, Manali is an abode for modern creativity now as much as it for withdrawal and adventure in the majestic mountains. From offering hostels, hotels, co-working spaces to the cave where once Arjun, the Pandava king had supposedly meditated (Arjun Gufa), Manali is no less than a global village. The mighty Himalayas have inspired many foreign settlements here, giving rise to popular European and Israeli cafes, restaurants and hostels, providing one a consortium of around the world cultures. This town is a true haven for adventure junkies who can indulge in river rafting, paragliding, camping, rock climbing, rappelling, zorbing at Solang Valley and Aleo. Manali has an array of breathtaking treks and sights for its nature lovers, for instance the Patalsu Peak, the Deo Tibba basecamp, Jogini Falls and the Rahala Falls. For all the solo riders out there, cruise your way through the snowy alley of Rohtang Pass while those who wish to travel back in time, can indulge in the exquisite display of culture and heritage at the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. Restaurants and cafes such as the Khyber Pass, Johnson's Cafe, La Plage, Drifters' Inn, The Hangout attract foodies for their culinary justice to everything from Thai to European cuisines and even some live music. If all this is too over the top for you, then reconnect with simplicity at Naggar Village, which is home to waterfalls, a beautiful castle, an art gallery and locals which have many stories to share and a cultural heritage to take pride in.
Kinnaur
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.

About Losar

Making it to Losar was a great feeling altogether. Right before the entrance, there was a huge arch painted forest green with traditional floral patterns that read "Welcome to Spiti Valley" that made us all thank the God we never had and cheer in excitement. Losar was a small village with bright blue mountains, red trees, green meadows and brightly painted yellow houses. It was the perfect picture that looked like something Sargent would have painted. We passed several restaurants and wandered into the village that was down below looking for more beauty and some tea. Sadly, the homestay there did not have a steward so we headed back on to the commercial area for refreshments. It was 2PM and we had roughly 60kms ahead of us. The roads did not look much better so far but we had big expectations. We ordered some noodles and tea while I borrowed a phone from the shop owner. There was full cell reception in the area for BSNL(A government run telecommunications company) which you wouldn't opt for in cities where we had Vodafone, Airtel etc. But Spiti Valley only had BSNL and nothing else so borrowing phones from locality was the only option. We spoke to our families one by one as we finished our lunch and decided to take a quick 20 minute nap sitting there. Bob couldn't sleep so he woke me up and told me how he would like to head back immediately. I stared at him for some time without showing any immediate shock. He had mentioned going back since we left Chandratal one or two times on the bike but I did not take it seriously. He told me that his back hurts due to the poor suspension of the bike and suspected that he is falling sick due to the cold and the elevation. I wanted to say so much to him but all that came out of my mouth was :"Okay"We prepped again to hit the road at 3PM. I tried my best to go as slow as possible to keep Bob from slipping a disc or two as I watched Hari fly ahead. Soon the roads started getting better, so did our speeds. We watched the mountains flatten down as we crossed a number of small villages on the way. It looked like we were heading back to the civilisation, although different from anything we had ever seen. The paths were clean and soon our bikes started gripping themselves on the small patches of tarmac that were becoming apparent by now. I must have yelled out in excitement whenever I hit a good patch because I could feel Damini revving about in joy with me. It took us a couple more kms to finally shift to the third gear. Bob and his back were beyond happy, maybe more than me and Damini at this point. Soon the roads turned into perfectly laid tarmac and the plain spread out like a playground. We could see the the stretch of the path for kilometers. We pumped our throttle and flew through another 40kms until we reached a small bridge where the path split. We took the one with a signboard pointing towards Kaza near it.
Losar

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