Trips and Itineraries for McLeod Ganj
Top Places To Visit in McLeod Ganj 69 Spots
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 “
Bhagsu Fall is a small yet beautiful waterfall located 2km away from Mcleodganj. It is a place where one can enjoy and relax in the soothing environment of the miraculous Himalayas. Around 0.5 km from the waterfall stands the Bhagsunath Temple. The waterfall is revered by devotees who throng the temple. Even though the fall is easily reachable by taxis or autos, I decided to trek to it so that I can enjoy the serene surroundings. It took me around 6 to 8 hours to explore the region.
Bhagsu Fall is a small yet beautiful waterfall located 2km away from Mcleodganj. It is a place where one can enjoy and relax in the soothing environment of the miraculous Himalayas. Around 0.5 km from the waterfall stands the Bhagsunath Temple. The waterfall is revered by devotees who throng the temple. Even though the fall is easily reachable by taxis or autos, I decided to trek to it so that I can enjoy the serene surroundings. It took me around 6 to 8 hours to explore the region.
Again on foot, we began our journey from McleoGanj main street to Bhagsu Naag waterfall. Along the way we came upon Bhagsunag Shiv Mandir, Radha Krishnan Hanuman & devi Mandir and Bhagsunag swimming pool. To reach the falls you can climb half a mountain with clearly marked pathway or the beautiful valley which outlines a river(souli Khad) that is now dried(being winter the stream was small). We decided to ditch the pathway and headed upstream on the stony riverbed to the fall. I advise to use your judgement based on weather conditions and stick to the clearly marked pathway if necessary. The clear cool waterfall was refreshing.
A 20 min walk from the Bhagsunag temple and a kilometre from Mcleod Ganj, this waterfall is a long stream that snakes through the green rolling hills of Dharamsala. While the short (or long depending on your health) but steep trek may leave you short of breath, the crisp water that awaits your weary body is well worth it. The base of this waterfall is a secluded region amidst the bustling tourist spot. Sleepy shopkeepers will sell you piping hot Maggi and crunchy pakodas after your cold bath.
A waterfall which is serene and yet rocky enough to be both challenging and welcoming. Do not trek if you have respiratory problems. Enjoy Maggi and pakodas in the nearby local shops.
Sit back and relax after hiking. This place is usually crowded, probably due to June being the Tourist month. You can also go to Shiva Cafe to enjoy the view. The route to Bhagsu from McLeaodGanj is usually jam packed. It's better if you can walk all the way to this place (approx 3.5km one way) by parking your car near St John's Church, otherwise be prepared to spend hours stuck in traffic jam. The surrounding areas can also be cleaned by the government as people just eat and litter around.
Just about a km walk from the bhagsu temple are the Bhagsu waterfalls. They are not the very huge ones but , very beautiful, makes you relax and chill and are considered to be among the top 20 must visit waterfalls in India. An evening stroll to this place before heading to the market would be a perfect end to a day at McLeod Ganj. You can cover this trek only on foot as there is no motorable road
Started with Bhagsunag waterfall. It was a kilometre from my hotel. It has a tall fall but hardly any water perhaps because of the season may be. But the view of Himalayas covered with Deodar Cedar trees and Dhauladhar peak covered with snow was ultimately mesmerizing having a slow audible rush of the waterfall. And the feeling of chilled water on your feet is just something amazing. As I went ahead I came across a small café called “No name Café “run by a local humble people. It’s a kind of hault for all the trekkers in middle of the hills beside the Bhagsu fall to take a break for refreshments. There were beautifully designed rock paintings hung all over the café.
Natural shower for the unbathed.
Bhagsu Waterfall: More than you can seeYes, it's one of the most crowded tourist spots but don't give up on it just yet. If you are lucky, you will be able to see another view of the waterfalls. Depending on the season you are visiting (avoid monsoons), there is a path leading down to the waterfall. There used to be a small restaurant there but I believe it doesn't exist any more. Walk down to the waterfall and when you reach the small pool of water, sit down for a moment and take in the sweet sound of water. A little ahead of the waterfall, navigate your way through the scattered rocks to reach the further end of the water pool (be careful since the rocks tend to get extremely slippery).The view of the mountain ranges from there is going to stay with you for a long time to come.
Next morning at 7am, I reached the Mcleodganj bus stop and after getting refreshed at the Bus stop itself, I straightaway headed to have a bath at Bhagsu falls. It was a steep 3km uphill trek and with a heavy bagpack, it got tiring. I finally reached there and discovered that there wasn't even a single person around. Me and only me. I removed my clothes and tried to feel the water through my legs. Damn, it was freezing. I got goosebumps already. I went back to my bag, took out the Old Monk quarter I was carrying, down in one shot and splash!, jumped into the waterfall. Firstly it felt like that my heartbeat skipped but after sometime, it felt good! I realised a family had came up to enjoy the falls. I did a dead body and asked the Uncle to click my picture through his mobile phone. Took his whatsapp no. and asked him to send it to me later. technology!I got to know about the Ind vs Nz ODI to be held in Dharamshala on the Sunday. Straightaway headed to get the tickets and after sometime, I was holding a ticket to my first ever live match in the stadium, that too at the most scenic stadium in India, HPCA Stadium.Got back to Mcleodganj and started trekking to Triund. Solo Trek and was bloody excited to meet people on the way. Just started it and met a Delhi group on the way. they were chill people taking each other's case and within minutes, it was "Bhai-bhai"!We continued the trek for sometime and then I carried on as they sat for resting. The next group was from Bhatinda. A group of college mates, it reminded me of my own college days and the colourful friendship. We shared good laughs and then again I took off alone.
Our first stop was the Bhagsunag temple, a 5,000-odd-year-old temple dedicated to Shiva. After visiting the temple and exploring the surrounding area, we commenced our slightly strenuous but absolutely beautiful climb up to the Bhagsu Falls. We decided to make a stop at the Venus Cafe, a beautiful spot located next to the waterfall, where we rejuvenated ourselves with a cup of hot steaming tea. There is something about hot tea in the mountains; hot tea and Maggi. And also bread omelette. Maybe aloo parantha even, but those are awesome no matter where you eat them. Anyway, I salivate and digress. We spent about an hour just relaxing and looking around, dipping our feet into the icy cold waters of the fall till they were numb. The only drawback was the litter. Packets of chips, plastic cups and cold drink cans, though not too many, were strewn around in the water, in spite of the very conspicuously located dustbin. I don't understand why we would think it's okay to trash such a beautiful place. Also, I don't know when Indian men will learn not to be creepy. While we were sitting by the fall, two random guys approached us, asking us if we could get a picture clicked with them. WHY!?!?! Climbing up and down the falls had made us significantly ravenous and we decided that this was a good time to begin our hunt for the legendary momos.
5. Shiva Cafe is also a must try for those who are visiting McLeod for the first time.It's a small cafe on the trek to Bhagsu waterfall.You can find small shops by the name of Cafes but trust me they are great for relaxation & maggi. Enjoy scenic pleasures of nature chilling in the cafe.This time I didn't visit the waterfall as we wasted too much time in shopping.
Set amidst lush greenery and dreamy sceneries in a pristine atmosphere, these falls have much grandeur and breathtaking beauty. While in McLeodGanj, they should not be missed. The Bhagsu Falls are situated 2 kms away from McLeodGanj. The place is spread over a vast expanse of land and one should take their time to explore the area and take in its majestic beauty. Trekking is also an enjoyable option here.There are also a few cafes near this region where tourists can find light refreshments, Shiva’s café being the most famous.
We leave for Bhagsunag waterfall. since it was mid of april, there was not much of water. So We left for Dharamkot. It's better to use cab to reach Gallu Devi Temple otherwise you would get tired before starting your trek. Our main Journey start from here (Shri Gallu Devi Temple). Don't forget to take essentials (fruits, water bottles, cold-drink, toilet paper, snacks etc.) with you.
As it was very early most of the shops were closed,one can witness the sun peaking from beyond the horizon & falling on the mountains covered with snow, on my way to Bhagsu fall to view of the town was mesmerizing very small houses covered with trees and mountain.I begun to follow the trail to bhagsu fall the trail was clearly visible, its a total track of 5km, you can find some local people on your way jogging arround.
Around 4pm we left for Bhagsu Naag Temple and Fall. Through the markets and paved roads of McLeod Ganj we reached Bhagsu Naag Temple. Mysterio and Naysayer decided to say their prayers inside. Superwoman and I waited outside. We decided to reach the apex of the fall rather than the nadir. It wasn't really a trek. Paved stone staircases were quite easy to climb. Mysterio and I were a little irritated by the crowd (we are not the ones who like people so much). I fired up my portable speaker and we moved on. Soon we were at the waterfall and there was a lot of rush. People were clicking pictures/selfies (we had to wait 15-20mins for our turn) while photo bombing other's frames. Even though it was quite crowded, the cold water felt nice. Naysayer was high on life and decided to get drenched and get a dip in the water. We let him be him. Superwoman, Mysterio and I decided to dip our feet and enjoy the moment and indeed we did.
This is a small region in the McLeod Ganj Region and is known for the effect of Buddhism as well as dalai Lama. The main activvity you can enjoy here is trekking and the climate is rough at times increasing the adventure quotient. This is mainly a monsoon prone area and thus you have to be very careful if you want to trek here.
A high point beyond the Dal Lake, Naddi village affords a magnificent view of Dhauladhar mountain range to the north and the vast expanse of lush Kangra valley to the south. It is situated far away from the hustle and bustle of the McLeodGanj market and provides complete peace of mind.
The waterfall here can take your heart away.The place is mindblowing and specially in the chilly nights when you can hear the flowing water amidst the stillness of the dark and you can listen to animals howling and the vastness of the mountains and forests!
As suggested and guided by the localites they wanted us to visit this place called Naddi. And I decided to follow that. Naddi is a small village located at the high point of Dal Lake. The first view from the Naddi top made me stunned for a moment. I couldn’t take my eyes of it. It has a view of Magnificent and snow-capped Mighty Dhauladhar and the vast lush of Kangra Valley. Damn, what a view! The only place in Dharamshala from you get the entire view of the mountains. After spending an hour at this location 1500 hours I decided to have my lunch at some local Himachali restaurant and take a power nap as I was bit exhausted.
My recent visit to Mcleodganj could have been a disappointment had it not been for the beautiful, colourful Naddi Village. Now, lots of people are going to advise you to visit all the touristy spots including Dharamkot, Triund and Dharamshala monastery and the Church of St. John. While all this should be a part of your itinerary, what should also be included are a day at Naddi Village, a walk till the beginning of the Triund Trek and should time permit, a day trip to Bir and Billing (even if you don't want to paraglide).Many people will discourage you from visiting Mcleodganj but if you have managed to evade all suggestions, you may as well discover a completely new town. Begin with Naddi Village. There are two options to reach here, you could either walk from Dharamkot (1 hour, 30 minutes) or you could take a quick cab. Once you reach Naddi, you maybe disheartened with the horde of people sitting around sipping chai and tch-tching at the boring village "yahan toh kuch ni hai, ghaas hi ghaas hai". And that my friend is your cue to disappear from their sight.Naddi is marked by a number of small houses and a single restaurant that will satiate all your hunger cravings. Just below the restaurant, there are crooked stone steps going down to the meadows - since it's a little inconvenient for the 'travellers' to explore, hardly anyone ventures beyond the restaurant boundary. But you should. As you make your way down to the hill, you will be met with colours you never thought existed and silence that will surprise you.If you are in the mood to spend the whole day at Naddi, take a small basket with your choice of grub and enjoy a traditional picnic. Yes, I said picnic. Avoid take alcohol to Naddi (simply because you won't feel the need to drink).Naddi is filled with scenic walking trails and if you are a photographer, it's going to be a blessing in disguise. Against the backdrop of snow peaked mountains and the playful sun, it really is more perfect than a postcard (no exaggeration).
I have always been told that if you want to see the real culture of the place, travel local. Not very far away from Mcleodganj, is a small village "Naddi" famous for the Sunset point. The breathtaking view of Himalayas with three most beautiful peaks - Moon Peak, Matrohorn Peak and Dromedary Peak will mesmerize you completely.
When we finally reached the river, my fatigued body caught second wind, and dipping my feet into that crystal clear water was a no-brainer. I climbed onto the rocks, shoes and glasses off and soaked my pains away in the numbingly cold water. Seeing Melvin looking a little dry, I decided to have some fun and splash him. Shame on me for not realising that I shouldn’t mess with him anymore. In an attempt to get-even, Melvin decides that throwing my shoe in the river was a good idea, but little did he know (or did he) that my glasses were tucked inside my right sneaker. Long story short, my shoe and glasses floated away down the river as my hands floated towards Melvin’s neck. Sidenote: There was also this North-Indian family at the river with us. I’m guessing they were North-Indian because they were loud AF and they were throwing their garbage beside a rock which had ‘Please don’t litter’ written across it. You either have to be very dense in the head to ignore a sign like that, or be illiterate. I went with the latter, and hence, determined they were North-Indian (Elementary, my dear Watson).Anyway, the remainder of my trip was spent squinting. However, the beauty of the mountains was not hindered in the slightest. I was in paradise!
Situated at a 10 minutes’ uphill drive from McleodGanj, Naddi is known for its attracts tourists for its sunset point. It’s true that the view from the point is breathtaking and very enjoyable especially with a piping hot cup of tea. However, this spot scarcely begins to cover the actual beauty of Naddi that lies deep beyond this sunset point. Unlike McleodGanj, Naddi is very quiet and secluded, making it an ideal place to stay. You can enjoy staying at Udichi Resort or the Dragon I Resort, which boast of a 180 degree view of the Dhauladhar Range at all times. There is no obstruction between the resorts and the ranges, and thus, one can even see the snow fall on the ranges and wash them clean white! Whenever you are ready to step into bustle, Mcleodganj is only a cab ride away.
About half an hour’s walk down from Naddi is a hidden waterfall, which you can reach by a beautiful trekking track. This track takes you through deeper woods of Naddi, which finally make way to a most pristine waterfall. It is the perfect early morning expedition! Don’t forget to take your camera along as this area is famous for its unique species of birds. You are bound to spot magnificent birds and lots of bird enthusiasts. Thankfully, the waterfall is yet to be disturbed by tourists, so enjoy the peace and take a dip into this icy cold fall that comes straight from the Dhauladhar Ranges. You can go ahead and explore a tiny village on that hill, or go up to a longer trek to Golu temple.
Situated away from the hustle & bustle of Mcleodganj town, Naddi is a small village in the upper Dharamsala which offers utmost tranquility. This Himalayan village is about 4 kms from Mcleodganj Main Square and can be reached by trekking or hiring a cab/auto-rickshaw. Naddi is still an untouched thus perfect place to unwind amidst nature. Let’s explore this quaint mountain village!Naddi View Point
St. John in the Wilderness
This is an anglic church in the McLeodganj. The church from the outside looks completely abandoned and covered with creepers all along. As you enter it you will find it extremely clean and maintained and thus fully active always. Made in the Gothic form of architecture, it was dedicated to st. John's the Baptist and is a widely visited area here.
Want a taste of spookiness with old British architecture and a date with dead celebrities? Well you can head off to this church. Just off the main road into McLeod, this brooding church (dating from 1852 is one of the few remaining traces of McLeod's days as a British hill station. It’s open on Sunday mornings for a weekly 10 a.m. service. The huge cemetery contains the graves of many victims of the 1905 earthquake, as well as the tomb of the Earl of Elgin, 23rd Viceroy of India.
Instead of taking a bus back from Dal Lake to McleodGanj, we decided to walk the route. That is when we stumbled upon this eerie site - tall trees, shrubs, cobbled stone pathway and in the middle of it all a Church of Gothic architecture (the evening sky made for a perfect scene for a horror movie). Church of St.John in the Wilderness is rightly named as it is surrounded by dense deodar forests. Looking at the structure it is hard to say that this Church survived a major earthquake in 1905.
In order to prevent causing a scene with my uncontrollable laughter, I decided to join the others as they headed to stop number three for the day, the church of St. John in the Wilderness. Like any old church, this one was spooky as hell. It looked like Dracula's mountain getaway. Also, it was one of the only structures in Dharamkot, Mcleodganj and Kangra to withstand the 1905 earthquake!
Another 1 km walk to reach St. John Church in wilderness. Before that there is small cemetery (Later I came to know that it contains the graves of many victims of the 1905 earthquake)Amid tall cedars, St. John in the wilderness is an Anglican Church, built in 1852. Constructed of hand cut local granite, its the one of only buildings in Dharamshala area known to survived the devastating 1905 earthquake.
Dal Lake also known as Manimahesh Lake is a spot, which tourists cannot afford to miss out on due to its picture-perfect scenery in Manimahesh Kailash Peak in Chamba district. On one side the Manimahesh Lake Lake is surrounded by a range of majestic mountains.
Dal Lake is small lake located around three km from McLeod Ganj, next one of the Tibetan Children's Villages schools. This site holds an annual fair in August or September, and is also a common site for short treks from the town. There is a small spring and an old temple near the lake.
A bus ride from McleodGanj bus stand, Dal Lake is surrounded by deodar trees, this greenish water lake is not very well kept. Considered to be sacred as it houses a Shiva shrine, the upkeep just depicts how much people(sadly most of them Indian tourists) value their motherland. A sad state.
The name is synonymous to Dal Lake, Kashmir but sadly the condition of lake is not. The lake water is muddy and the nearby area stinks. The beauty is in the surrounding Deodar Trees. There is small Shiva shrine on its bank. This lake definitely needs some attention and maintenance from the Government. The road from McLeodGanj to Dal Lake also needs to be repaired.I would recommend you to skip this place from your itinerary. It's a wasted asset , Overall a disappointing place!
Yes! You read it right. Everyone is familiar with the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir). But only few know there’s another lake by the same name in Himachal Pradesh. Situated in the foothills of Naddi village, Dal Lake is an ideal place to spend some leisure time.
The 14th Dalai Lama happens to have the Namgyal Monastery as his residence and is a considered as a centre of learning since its establishment either in 1564 or 1565. It was then called Phende Lekshe Ling and was renamed in 1751 to Namgyal Monastery by Lama Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso, the third Dalai Lama. This was done to honour the Goddess Namgyalama. The Tibetan Uprising of 1959 caused the place to be relocated to where it now stands. The Namgyal Monastery is home to 200 monks that are from the four main monastic lineages of Buddhism. The place takes care of an eldery home in Shimla and as well as a temple n Kushinagar.
The beauty and tranquility of the monastery stirred our minds out of the India-Tibet-China imbroglio. The main attraction here is the Buddha temple that houses a huge, magnificent golden statue of Buddha. The walls are adorned by beautiful paintings, which if I remember correctly, depict scenes from Buddha's life.
The interiors boasted the same bright colours along with a big Buddha statue similar to the one in Namgyal monastry. We were allowed photography here, so we made the most of it. Finally, it was time to leave, but not before packing some momos for the road, which we consumed within the first half and hour of our journey. There is lots more to do in this beautiful place that our two-day trip didn't permit. But we sure enjoyed every bit of our time spent here and hope to come back soon. Whenever I leave a place behind, I formulate 10,000 plans in my head on how I can move there permanently, and sweet ol' Mcleod was no different. So, until I find myself a teaching job or have enough money to start my own cafe in Dharamkot, so long Mcleodganj!
Stop two was the Namgyal Monastery. It was everything you would think it would be, with the exception of them all doing kung-fu in sync in a large hall.All was peaceful and quiet, but that is exactly when things get weird with me. I happened to look over at one of the monks. The uncanny resemblance to Mr. Miyagi messed with my head, and in an attempt to size him up, I glanced at him from head to toe. This is what I saw.
The Namgyal Monastery is situated within the Tsuglagkhang complex. This complex also is the proud home to the residence of Dalai Lama, among various other shrines, temples, bookstores, souvenir shops etc. This Buddhist stupa is a memorial to those Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for a free Tibet. A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha is enshrined in a small chamber at the top. The stupa is located in the heart of McLeod and surrounded by prayer wheels.
Our last place to see was Namgyal Monastery which is home to The Dalai Lama. It has various stupas and temples (beautiful statue of Lord Buddha as well as statues of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche) a museum, a library, a bookstore and a cafe. We found lot of devotees from across the world.
Hotels and Homestays in McLeod Ganj 129 Hotels
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159 Kms from McLeod Ganj
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#coffeewithtripotoShimla (or Simla, as it was called by the British during the days of the Raj), once affectionately known as Chhota Vilayat or Little England. Today, is popular with the tourists for its historical buildings and monuments.The history of shimla is it`s biggest asset, helping it fetch endless numbers of tourists from all over the country and worldwide. Shimla was officially founded in 1864 and was built on top of seven hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill.Shimla was a paradise where most of the British officers and guests spent their summers, away from scorching sun in plains.It didn’t take much time before Shimla or Simla was declared centre of British colonial rule.The British were so charmed that they planned and built Shimla meticulously and adored it with historic buildings made in British architecture, like Town Hall, Christ Church, Gorton Castel, Viceregal Lodge (now Indian Institute of Advance Studies), the Willow Bank and so on.In 1906, to make Shimla easily accessible, British built what is known as an engineering marvel in the world- Kalka-Shimla Railway track, which consist of 102 tunnels (originally 107) and 806 bridges. It was also called the “British Jewel of the Orient”. The track was declared UNESCO world heritage site in 2008.Present day administration of Shimla is still scavenging on the infrastructure British had built. The government could not add much as marvellous as these structures.Now, Shimla is a congested and crowded place like other cities. Leaking sewerage and water supply pipes, garbage either spread all over Shimla city or being burnt in open, wrecked roads and blocked, stinking drains, deforestation for over-construction of luxury apartments, resorts or commercial buildings etc. have become trademarks of it.But, you can seek some relief by time travelling into imperial Shimla. And one such place to do so in the lovely Aira Holme Estate, situated in close proximity to the strawberry hill.The house is said to be build by the Britishers and their influence can be easily spotted the moment you step in.and a link to reach the place is as folllow:https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/19002767?checkin=&checkout=&guests=1&adults=1&children=0&infants=0&location=shimla&s=tSNl0-xRDisclaimer:I am in no way rewarded to promote this place, i just happened to stay there and had a wonderful experience hence wanted to share it here.I feel lucky to have come across this place. i was awestruck the moment i walked into this this beautiful house and fell in love with its authenticity.The house is decorated very tastefully while maintaining its original historical charm. Its has a vintage glamour to itself.There is a huge and bright and colourful living area when you first walk in ,which is full of light and a lovely place to just sit and look at the rain or sunset, or to just catch up on some reading while you sip on some coffee.The bedrooms are classy and in sync with the tone of the house. I fell in love with the age old working fire place in the rooms, would love to visit the place in winter time and spend a night sleeping on a mattress on the floor curled up in a blanket in the warmth of the burning wood.The whole vibe of the house makes you feel as if you have travelled back in the time to the colonial age of wooden houses with attics. In fact the house is claimed to have been build 150 years ago. I personally have a thing for beautiful creations of both man and mother nature,so this house gave me just about everything that i was looking for, from the vintage decors to the beautiful lush green surroundings, the sound of monkeys running on the rooftops, one of the best sunset views in the entire shimla and much more. All that while being in such a close proximity to the city and all the facilities and yet successfully delivering the feeling of seclusion and solitude that we all so often desire on our vacations.Read More
#coffeewithtripotoShimla (or Simla, as it was called by the British during the days of the Raj), once affectionately known as Chhota Vilayat or Little England. Today, is popular with the tourists for its historical buildings and monuments.The history of shimla is it`s biggest asset, helping it fetch endless numbers of tourists from all over the country and worldwide. Shimla was officially founded in 1864 and was built on top of seven hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill.Shimla was a paradise where most of the British officers and guests spent their summers, away from scorching sun in plains.It didn’t take much time before Shimla or Simla was declared centre of British colonial rule.The British were so charmed that they planned and built Shimla meticulously and adored it with historic buildings made in British architecture, like Town Hall, Christ Church, Gorton Castel, Viceregal Lodge (now Indian Institute of Advance Studies), the Willow Bank and so on.In 1906, to make Shimla easily accessible, British built what is known as an engineering marvel in the world- Kalka-Shimla Railway track, which consist of 102 tunnels (originally 107) and 806 bridges. It was also called the “British Jewel of the Orient”. The track was declared UNESCO world heritage site in 2008.Present day administration of Shimla is still scavenging on the infrastructure British had built. The government could not add much as marvellous as these structures.Now, Shimla is a congested and crowded place like other cities. Leaking sewerage and water supply pipes, garbage either spread all over Shimla city or being burnt in open, wrecked roads and blocked, stinking drains, deforestation for over-construction of luxury apartments, resorts or commercial buildings etc. have become trademarks of it.But, you can seek some relief by time travelling into imperial Shimla. And one such place to do so in the lovely Aira Holme Estate, situated in close proximity to the strawberry hill.The house is said to be build by the Britishers and their influence can be easily spotted the moment you step in.and a link to reach the place is as folllow:https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/19002767?checkin=&checkout=&guests=1&adults=1&children=0&infants=0&location=shimla&s=tSNl0-xRDisclaimer:I am in no way rewarded to promote this place, i just happened to stay there and had a wonderful experience hence wanted to share it here.I feel lucky to have come across this place. i was awestruck the moment i walked into this this beautiful house and fell in love with its authenticity.The house is decorated very tastefully while maintaining its original historical charm. Its has a vintage glamour to itself.There is a huge and bright and colourful living area when you first walk in ,which is full of light and a lovely place to just sit and look at the rain or sunset, or to just catch up on some reading while you sip on some coffee.The bedrooms are classy and in sync with the tone of the house. I fell in love with the age old working fire place in the rooms, would love to visit the place in winter time and spend a night sleeping on a mattress on the floor curled up in a blanket in the warmth of the burning wood.The whole vibe of the house makes you feel as if you have travelled back in the time to the colonial age of wooden houses with attics. In fact the house is claimed to have been build 150 years ago. I personally have a thing for beautiful creations of both man and mother nature,so this house gave me just about everything that i was looking for, from the vintage decors to the beautiful lush green surroundings, the sound of monkeys running on the rooftops, one of the best sunset views in the entire shimla and much more. All that while being in such a close proximity to the city and all the facilities and yet successfully delivering the feeling of seclusion and solitude that we all so often desire on our vacations.
Day 2Shimla to Manali (250 kms)Good roads, serpentine curves, ethnic dhabas alongside roads and the enchanting beauty of the mountains give you the thrills as you ride through them. The tranquillity of the mountains just mesmerises you.
(1st Jan, 2017) : We got ready to head to our last and final destination, where we would spend the remaining days of the trip. My birthday was on the 2nd and what a better place to spend it in.I would not mention the bus ride this time. I think by this time, it had become routine. By the time we reached Shimla, the sun had set and we were getting ready to feel at home. The details of our accommodation are as follows:Accommodation: Hotel Chaman Palace (far from being a palace) https://www.hotelchamanpalaceshimla.com/Type – DescentFood – It is better to eat out, lot of places to explore.These few days were about exploring the best places to eat. Because that is all we did. I will be listing the best places to eat in order of quality.• Embassy Shimla – One of the best places to go to, if you are a fan of cakes. You’ll be relishing on some lip-smacking home-made cakes. The bakery-cum restaurant is managed sole by the members of the family; A mom – who bakes, A son – who manages the finances and is the face of the bakery and a father – who cooks and serves you at the restaurant. It will be a sin if you are in Shimla and do not try it. Please do go!
Our early morning bus moves on quaintly through the Shimla hills. The mood within the bus appears full of fatigue, with heads bobbing sideways rather than remaining straight upright. The conductor is sharp though, his hair has been well oiled, wearing a blue uniform and a navy blue scarf. It is not even 6 in the morning, but it is fairly bright, lifting the green hills around us. After getting some rest, the journey today has so much more optimism, conscious of the fact that we have survived our first day.The bus skips through the mountains, and with the morning progressing, more locals start boarding, dressed in woolen jackets and Pahari topis, bringing more liveliness with their friendly banter. The women were very fair with glowing red cheeks, but also possessed a slight gruffness in their manner of speaking. This is daily commute for most of them, heading towards apple orchards or fruit markets, which are dominant in this part of India. The apple trees that we see on the slopes have a covering of white nets to protect the small cherry-shaped young apples from hail, and possibly birds. I am told that these orchards are highly profitable - most money during demonetization in Himachal was collected not from the cities but from towns higher up, surrounding these apple orchards.
sitting on the lap of mighty himalayan range, Shimla is a well known destination of northern India. It is easily accessible from national capital region and hence rest of India. It was the summer capital of british emperors which is quite easily visible in architecture at each and every corner of this hill city. Capital city of northern Indian state Himachal Pradesh, is a popular summer destination., however hills unveil different colors during different seasons. I visited the place in summer when it was crowded, hot and looked more brown than white or green. On the other hand in February, hills became animated. It was covered with sheets of snow, roads were deserted and air was mist and cold. It was an entirely different place, which was more themed and composed.
Day 2 (Shimla- Peo)•Got little confused on places to visit next. Decided to do “Shimla darshan” for the day and figure out the bus timings and best route meanwhile.•Visited the infamous Mall Road and did a small trek to Jakhu Temple with a huge Lord Hanuman's sculpture. On the way down, visited Christ Church and Kali Bari Temple. Trust me, we are not that much of god-believing persons, but Shimla didn’t have much to offer in terms of travel.•Being a tea lover, “Pahadi Chai” at “Café Under Tree” at the mountain top compensated for lack of travelling spots.•Went to “Central Perk” café (rings a bell?) super-excitedly, however, the excitement was short lived on finding out that “Central Perk” was just in the name, but nowhere in its theme. However, the food and service was good.•Took HP Ordinary bus to Reckong Peo. The Last Seats. Hell of a bumpy ride it was. Immediate fall in temperature after 5-6 hours of travel forced us to add layers of clothes on us. Two narrow bridges on the way made the journey far more exciting (as we survived :P).
Day 1 (Delhi to Simla)•AC Semi-Sleeper Volvo from Delhi to Simla. Kirti and I had a good chase for the bus (thanks to my laziness) and as usual, Chitraj was there for the rescue, holding the bus for us, updating us with smallest of its movement till the time we finally jumped our way into the bus.•Just 2 lines of a novel were sufficient for one of us to doze-off ;)•Had home-made food on the way•Reached Shimla New ISBT. Went to Old ISBT, as next day had to catch a bus from there to Peo•Started with hotel hunting and came across all the weird hotels, with shady appearance and surroundings. Finally, with much of uphill and downhill workout, found a decent last minute deal on goibibo for Hotel Sita Palace on Mall Road. A nice place but with weird water timings.
Begin your day with a stroll down the mall.The most visited and admired place is the Mall Road, the Ridge and the Christ Church which are all located in the vicinity. Though they offer a great view from the edges at all the times, it is recommended to spend sometime in the morning when it's less crowded and rather refreshing. It will help you in experiencing the prolific view from the ridge as the day begins.Take a guided tour in the splendid Viceregal Lodge
we had so much fun. we walked on the rail gauge. Shimla is famous for its Toy train. The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway in North India traveling along a mostly mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla. (Source: Wiki)
Shimla was built on top of a total of seven different hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft). Being the summer capital of British India, Shimla has some of the finest architectural heritage bestowed to it, and of course add to it the various splendors of nature, forests, waterfalls and glades.Our walk begins in the morning from The Christ church on the ridge and gradually progresses westwards, first towards The Gaiety Theatre and after the scandal point towards Bantony hill whose top is adorned by the Bantony castle built in 1880, while its lower slope houses the Catholic church. A little further ahead are the Grand hotel and the Kali Bari temple. Our walk continues past more architectural heritage structures like the unique railway board building, Gorton castle as we reach Inverarm hill which houses the State museum and a little ahead is the Observatory hill with the Viceregal Lodge, which housed the Viceroy in British times and now is established as The Indian institute of Advanced studies. Our walk finishes here.Distance 5kmsShimla Heritage Walk (Full Day) Shimla was built on top of a total of seven different hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft). Being the summer capital of British India, Shimla has some of the finest architectural heritage bestowed to it, and of course add to it the various splendors of nature, forests, waterfalls and glades.Our walk begins in the morning from The Christ church on the ridge and gradually progresses westwards, first towards The Gaiety Theatre and after the scandal point towards Bantony hill whose top is adorned by the Bantony castle built in 1880, while its lower slope houses the Catholic church. A little further ahead are the Grand hotel and the Kali Bari temple. Our walk continues past more architectural heritage structures like the unique railway board building, Gorton castle as we reach Inverarm hill which houses the State museum and a little ahead is the Observatory hill with the Viceregal Lodge, which housed the Viceroy in British times and now is established as The Indian institute of Advanced studies. Our first half of the walk finishes here.Enjoy some tea and snacks at Viceregal lodge café and thereafter continue your walk through a thickly forested path to Summerhill which houses the Himachal University. We board our vehicle here and driving through meandering roads head for the Prospect hill, adorned with the temple of Kamna Devi on the top. After spending a while indulging in some Photography we board the vehicles again, and driving through Boileauganj, Cart road we make a dash for Annadale and visit the Army museum. Backtrack on the same road we drive through Victory tunnel and past Elesium hill which has The Auckland house school we reach Sanjauli from we drive uphill to Jakhoo hill which has a Hanuman temple dedicated to it at the top. From here we will descend, walking back to the ridge. Our walk finishes here.Distance Walking 7kms, Vehicle 30kmsTHE CATCHMENT SANCTUARY WALKCharabara in Shimla is surrounded on three sides by the magnificent Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary, a 125 year old sanctuary that was established by the British as a reserved forest. The sanctuary was the initial source of water for Shimla, the water pumped to Shimla town through a series of steam pumps, reputed to be the first of their kind in the country. Today this pristine and undisturbed forest stretches across an area of 12 square kilometres and is considered by many as one of the wealthiest storehouses of Himalayan flora. This extremely dense forest is also the habitat for a vast variety of fauna, the most prominent being the Leopard. Although a sighting of this extremely human-shy and nocturnal animal is very rare, regular reports of droppings prove the existence of a large population within the sanctuary. The Himalayan Black Bear and the Brown Bear, Barking Deer, Goral, Jackal, Indian Red Fox, Striped Hyena and the Yellow-Throated Martin are some of the species of wildlife that thrive in the undisturbed forests of the sanctuary. A wide variety of bird and pheasant species can also be spotted in the lower altitude belts of the sanctuary, some of the more prominent ones being the Cheer, Koklas and Khaleej pheasants, the Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, the Great Himalayan Barbet and some sparklingly colorful minivets. A bifurcation penetrates deep into the sanctuary along a prominent ridgeline. Descend down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, a hundred year old lathe and plaster (Dhajji) structure located in the midst of this silent forest. The narrow trail undulates for an hour or more through one of the best-preserved forests in Asia. Cedars, Firs, Pines and Oaks jostle each other for space and the canopy-density at places prevents even the sunlight from peeping through to the forest floor. Droppings and pugmarks of the fauna are regular sightings along this trail and if ones luck holds out, a perky Barking Deer too might flash past in gay abandon. As one would guess, this is an excellent site for some bird-watching too.Our walk starts in the morning at 9:30 when our expert picks you up from your hotel and we drive to Dhalli, and further up to Charabara. A bifurcation penetrates deep into the sanctuary along a prominent ridgeline. Descend down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, a hundred year old lathe and plaster (Dhajji) structure located in the midst of this silent forest. The narrow trail undulates for an hour or more through one of the best-preserved forests in Asia. Cedars, Firs, Pines and Oaks jostle each other for space and the canopy-density at places prevents even the sunlight from peeping through to the forest floor. Droppings and pugmarks of the fauna are regular sightings along this trail and if ones luck holds out, a perky Barking Deer too might flash past in gay abandon. A well-deserved picnic lunch (be sure not to litter) at the ancient rest house can be followed by a stroll down to the man-made reservoir that collects water from across the sanctuary before supplying it to Shimla town. As one would guess, this is an excellent site for some bird-watching too. Our walk continues deeper into the sanctuary through a network of trails and we end it just short of Kufri at around 2:00PM.Drive back to hotel.Distance Walking 9kms, Vehicle 30kmsTHE SHALI TIBBA HIKEThe Shali Tibba (2867m) is the highest peak in the vicinity of Shimla. It is a magnificent isolated pinnacle with a Kali temple on the top. The ascent up to Shali is an ancient trail through dense pine forests and rolling alpine pastures. It is a steep and steady climb to the often mist enveloped peak. The peak commands an unforgettable view of endless snow covered ranges along with the Sutlej valley and the densely forested hills of Shimla, Fagu and Narkanda. For the avid photographer and nature lover, this one-day trek offers the experience of a lifetime.DETAILED ITINERARY:1) SHIMLA (2205 m)- MASHOBRA - KHATNOL (1850 m)...45 km.Depart Shimla at 6 A.M. by jeep. Breakfast at Mashobra, noted for its apple Orchards and thick woods of oak and pine. Proceed via Baldhea along a fascinating dirt track to Gulshaini, a tiny hamlet (1250 m) situated at the base of the peak. From Gulshaini it is a steady climb along a rough road till Khatnol, an isolated village perched amidst rolling fields. Here we park the jeep to start the ascent.2) KHATNOL - SHALI TIBBA (2867m)...5 km.Halt at the Khatnol Forest Rest House for a well-deserved break along with a sumptuous lunch. Begin the climb to Shali after a short rest. The landscape changes dramatically as we follow the ancient trail towards the peak. It is a three-hour climb at a leisurely pace with ample time to stand and stare at the surrounding magnificence and the imposing peak looming ahead. The final climb is a tough one and is amply rewarded by the breathtaking view from the top.3) SHALI TIBBA - KHATNOL - SHIMLAAfter a visit to the historic temple and a frenzied session of photography, we start the surprisingly quick descent down to Khatnol. One is back in the jeep by sunset to start the drive back to Shimla. Reach Shimla by late evening for a well-deserved and satisfying sleep with the memories of climbing the highest peak of the Shimla hills.Distance Walking 10kms, Vehicle 100kmsTHE MASHOBRA to SIPUR HIKEEarly morning drive from Shimla to the picturesque Mashobra valley which is mirrored by the tall Shali Peak (3200m). The route holds thick woods where practically every tree of the region grows - Himalayan Cedar (the almost legendary ‘Deodar’), Spruce, Oak, Rhododendron, Horse-Chestnut, Birch and Pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. The trail crosses picture-perfect hamlets where the word ‘time’ seems to mean only the seasons and the passing years - and where life has followed a steady pace for centuries. Trace fast flowing streams, cross a ‘sacred grove’ whose majestic trees have stood undisturbed for centuries, watch village craftsmen at work, listen to legends that seem as old as the hills - and in a single day, take a lifetime’s memory of some of the marvels that the lower Himalayas hold.Through woods of Himalayan Cedar and Spruce, the path to Seepur takes a steady dip down the valley. Past fields and orchards and wood and slate houses one arrives at the glade of Seepur - which the vicerene Lady Lytton called a “tea-cup shaped valley” and was popular for midnight picnics in the days of the Raj. Several slim streams fed by fresh-water springs nurture the soft grass of Seepur. The glade is held sacred to the local deity, Seep who ‘visits’ the spot at select times of year. Shaded by colossal Cedars, a delightful little temple built in the local style with stone and wood, rests on an edge. Smaller shrines merging with the woods are also there. This is the site of an annual fair held over the second weekend of April - and is a time for local matchmaking.From Seepur the decline eases out to the tiny village of Shali, which holds a dozen charmingly rustic structures - and is probably named in honour of the facing peak. Here, the hike-path that snakes along the hill holds a bifurcation, and along a mild incline the route takes a right. This also marks the end of the descent. The view on the facing hill has terraced fields and age-old villages. Along the narrow path, the only sounds one is likely to hear are of one’s own breathing and the crunch of boots over scattered cones. The silence only punctuated by the song of a Himalayan Thrush or Barbet.After Shali comes the home of the deity Seep at Deothi. Local legend has it that the deity was brought with the erstwhile rulers of the Koti state - in whose former territories the hike lies - when they migrated here from Kutlehar, which lies north-west. The temple was first established in the village of Nehra. This tract was then ruled by mavis, local strongmen who wished to share in the worship of Seep. When this was refused, the mavis started desecrating the temple. ‘Speaking’ through his worshippers, Seep declared that he wanted to move from Nehra and a day would come when a long line of ants would march through the village and where they finally circled a mound, was where he wished to reside. The ants came and circled a mound in what is now the village of Deothi - and where Seep was ceremoniously installed. The identity of this local deity has steadily been merged with that of Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Hindu trinity. Styled as a tall gabled mushroom and belonging to an architectural genre unique to this part of the world, Seep’s temple rests at the edge of a small spur and is surrounded by other structures that ‘belong’ to him - a storehouse, a pavilion and a room for folk musicians.Cameo appearances of pomegranate trees and tumbling streams that come close to becoming waterfalls, fresh water springs embellished with utilitarian stonework and a little bridge mark the passage to Mulkoti. Walls of shale and quartzite, now reduced to rubble, hold the remains of the little fort of the Raja of Koti where, centuries ago, the Koti rulers first established themselves. Today only the wooden gate and its brass knockers evoke the memory of their stay. The temple harks back to those days and is held in veneration as the seat of several local deities.Half an hour’s climb from Mulkoti lies the village of Kanda and past this the path crosses the hamlets of Kanda, Ghayabo and Kaneer. The stretch is through terraced fields of assorted vegetables, corn and wheat. Blossom draped or fruit-laden orchards of apples, plums, apricots and peaches offset the fields. Every turn of the track exposes a fresh vista of the valley and the evergreen woods.The lunch stop is at Kanda, where one can take some time to see some local craftsmanship - and even supplement the meal with fresh fruits and salads selected from the fields and orchards.After Kaneer begins the sharp hour-long ascent to the century-old ‘Dak bungalow’, a rest house for travellers. The forests become more primeval and the Deodars, ferns and lichens seem to hold their secrets closer. With luck on ones side, one may encounter pheasants and several other birds and even deer, martens and flying squirrels. The area also has leopards, bears and snakes - but the possibility of sighting one is remote.The vehicle will be waiting to return one to the comfort of ones Hotel.Distance Walking 12kms,THE RETREAT HIKEThe hike begins from Charabara and ascends to the helipad located on an adjacent hillock. The initial path till the helipad is along a tarmac road that winds past the Punjab Raj Bhavan, a vestige from the days when Shimla was also the summer capital of Punjab. From the helipad, that commands a 360-degree view of Shimla and the Himalayan ranges, a footpath penetrates the surrounding forests and descends on to the Old Hindustan-Tibet Road, completed in 1853 by enterprising British engineers as an access route to Tibet. A short stroll along this ancient road, lined by apple orchards on one side, culminates at the school for handicapped children, a landmark from where the loop back towards the hotel begins. Here, in season, one can indulge in a frenzied apple-picking session that the various apple trees growing wild all around the school offer. The trail continues along a vintage cart track that once belonged to the Commissioner for the Hill States, a British officer whose residence was converted into the Presidential Retreat, the traditional summer vacation destination of the President of India. The path meanders till the Presidential Retreat through dense Oak groves that shade a rich undergrowth of ferns and a plethora of wild flowers. From the Retreat, a tarmac road leading back to Wildflower Hall offers magnificent views of the eternal snow-capped Great Himalayan Range and the Shali peak.Distance Walking 6kmsCYCLING THROUGH MASHOBRA AND RAFTING IN CHABBAShimla with its network of natural trails is a cyclist’s delight. Cycling through forests and small villages and quaint hamlets; make cycling in Shimla an unforgettable experience. Our one day adventure here is our testimony to this sweet route comprising the best of activities in Shimla.The adventure further continues after cycling when we go Rafting on the Sutlej, the fastest flowing river in India.Our expert meets you at your hotel in the morning at 8:00AM and we drive to Mashobra.1. MASHOBRA to CHABBA (32kms)The route holds thick woods where practically every tree of the region grows - Himalayan Cedar (the almost legendary ‘Deodar’), Spruce, Oak, Rhododendron, Horse-Chestnut, Birch and Pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. The trail crosses picture-perfect hamlets where the word ‘time’ seems to mean only the seasons and the passing years - and where life has followed a steady pace for centuries. Trace fast flowing streams, cross a ‘sacred grove’ whose majestic trees have stood undisturbed for centuries, watch village craftsmen at work, listen to legends that seem as old as the hills - and in a single day, take a lifetime’s memory of some of the marvels that the lower Himalayas hold. We cycle past Mashobra and descend 16 kms to Thaila and a further 6km to Gumma, a thrilling 22kms downhill ride, thereafrer the road flattens out till basantpur 7kms and we descend again to Chabba. We finish the ride here.2. RAFTING SHORT STRETCH LOTI to CHABBA (Ideal for first timers, families. 7kms-45 minutes)After the ride finishes at Chabba we are transported to Loti on the Sutlej to indulge in Rafting. This is the small stretch ideal for beginners and families, of around 45mins. We finish the rafting and drive back to the hotel.3. RAFTING LONG STRETCH MALGI to CHABBA (Ideal for enthusiasts, 25kms-2.5 hrs)After the ride finishes at Chabba we are transported to Malgi on the Sutlej to indulge in Rafting. This is the long stretch ideal enthusiasts, of around 2.5hrs. We finish the rafting and drive back to the hotel and reach by early evening.Distance Cycling 32kms, Vehicle 140kmsCYCLING THROUGH MASHOBRA AND CRAIGNANOShimla with its network of natural trails is a cyclist’s delight. Cycling through forests and small villages and quaint hamlets; make cycling in Shimla an unforgettable experience. Our day adventure here takes us past Shimla’s stunning mountainscapes and some heritage trails.Our expert meets you at 8:00AM at your hotel and we drive to Kufri at 2400mts affording a wide open vista of the Himalayas. Kufri is also a famous winter destination for skiing. Our ride begins here on national highway 22, on which we ride for about 4kms, before descending on an offroad to join the Mashobra Baikhalty road 6kms downhill. The trail flattens out here and we are riding in a wonderful forest where you would only hear the chirping of the birds and swish of your tyres and the screech of your brakes. Past the villages of Dak Bungalow, Purani Koti, Mashobra is 14kms from here. We reach Mashobra bazaar and start ascending towards Craignano, past the estate of the erstwhile Faridkot royalty and first we reach Talai, an open meadow amidst a thick cedar forest. We savour on our picnic hamper here and continue the ride further past Craignano and the horticulture centre which is worth a visit. Descend to Koti and take the woody trail to Baldeyan, continuing further to reach the Golf course at Naldehra, Asia’s highest and one of India’s oldest Golf courses. The place is so enchanting that Lord Curzon gave his daughter Alexandra “Naldehra” as her middle name. We feast ourselves to snacks at the HPTDC run café here and finish the ride. If one is up for it, we would prod you on to ride back to Shimla.Distance Cycling 42kmsTHE HATU PEAK HIKE IN NARKANDAThe Hatu peak is the highest peak in the 2 hour vicinity of Shimla perched at 3100mts. Between January and mid April each year the peak is out of bounds because of the blanket of heavy snow it receives. A 7kms narrow Jeep road, meandering through the forest brings us to the top; from Narkanda, the gateway to the apple country of Himachal.Our hiking adventure today will find us driving to Narkanda early morning at 7:00AM and arriving in Narkanda at nearly 9:00 AM. After breakfast we will drive a short while from where the road narrows down and begin our hike through the thick forest. The beginning is a well defined trail and we are ascending through thick foliage, and spruce and cedar pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. After an hour of walking we reach out to an open meadow of Jhamunda, from where the climb steepens. There is no marked trail on this stretch so trust your field expert and take his towline. These thick forests are infested with Himalayan black bears. Another two hours later we are at Hatu top. Muse around and treat yourself to the scenic grandeur of the Himalayas a grand 360degrees view, stretching as far as the Sutlej valley below and the Uttarakhand Himalayas to the east. Seek blessings at the Hateshwari temple, the local deity, to whom a temple is dedicated here. Walk further to the meadows at Jaubagh and walk back to drive down the road to the junction. Instead of heading to Narkanda we proceed to the small lake of Tani Jubbar. Musings thereafter we drive back to Shimla.Distance Walking 12kmsCYCLING TO CHAIL – THE ROYALTY OF THE PATIALA KINGDOMChail at 2400mts, a notch above Shimla in elevation, was established by The Maharaja of Patiala during the British times, to teach the British a lesson after he was banned from visiting Shimla. So the Maharaj took to building his palace in Chail, slightly above Shimla to look down upon the British. The palace built in about 200 acres has sprawling lawns and is now a heritage hotel. Chail also boasts of the highest cricket ground in the world. In terms of flora and fauna, Chail has much to offer, extremely dense forest, the habitat for a vast variety of fauna, the most prominent being the Leopard. Although a sighting of this extremely human-shy and nocturnal animal is very rare, regular reports of droppings prove the existence of a large population within the sanctuary. The Himalayan Black Bear and the Brown Bear, Barking Deer, Goral, Jackal, Indian Red Fox, Striped Hyena and the Yellow-Throated Martin are some of the species of wildlife that thrive in the undisturbed forests of the sanctuary. A wide variety of bird and pheasant species can also be spotted in the lower altitude belts of the sanctuary, some of the more prominent ones being the Cheer, Koklas and Khaleej pheasants, the Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, the Great Himalayan Barbet and some sparklingly colorful minivets.Our ride will begin early with our expert meeting you at the hotel at 8:00AM. We drive to Kufri 14kms, from where we begin our ride. Riding a downhill first thing in the morning can be a thrilling experience; as you will find out. From here we follow the connecting road to Mundaghat, a small village on the main Kufri – Chail road; it is here we turn right, following the Bridle path, a small diversion from Mundaghat. Riding on the dirt track through a middle of an oak and pine forest can be a rewarding experience. The ride brings us to the village of Koti, known for its modern tourist resorts, from where Chail is another one hour ride on the Mountain bikes. We go around Chail for a short trip and thereafter sample the lunch waiting for us at the Palace Hotel. Some musings and thereafter we resume our ride on the excellent road with great views bringing us to janedghat from where a winding downhill of 27kms will bring us to Ashwani khud where we finish the ride. Back in the vehicles we drive uphill to Camp redwoods for tea and snacks, before heading back to the hotel.Distance Cycling 62kmsTHE ANANDPUR SADHUPUL CYCLINGShimla built on seven hills, is well connected with a good network of roads. In fact through these seven hills are roads at different elevations; connecting various parts of the hill town. So if there is Mall road on the top, there is lover bazaar below it and then the cart road followed by the recently done Shimla bypass and then the latest which was converted from a bridle path to a road The Mehli to Shoghi byepass road. Our ride today explores the lesser known Shimla through this erstwhile bridle path, cycle through a thick forest, through an exhilarating downhill, challenge us to a grueling uphill and then finish the ride amidst some water revelry at Sadhupul.Our expert meets you at your hotel at 8:00 AM and we drive via the Shimla byepass road to Mehli. This is where we unload the bikes from the support vehicle and start our ride. The first 7 kms are a breeze of good downhill riding, followed by a medium grade uphill of 4 kms, approaching Tara Devi temple. Another seven kms and we enter a forest and ride through the off-road trail to hit the bottom at Ashwini khud after 7kms. This is followed by a grueling climb of 3kms, from where we descend to Sadhupul at 9kms. Once at Sadhupul we enjoy our lunch by the riverside and thereafter drive back to Shimla via Kandaghat.Distance Cycling 42kms
267 Kms from McLeod Ganj
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
177 Kms from McLeod Ganj
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.
255 Kms from McLeod Ganj
Best time to visit - June to September
This beautiful town happens to be located in Jammu & Kashmir and is an abode for those who wish to pursue Buddhism. The place is surrounded by tall mountains, clear blue water, a white surrounding and many monasteries. The people here are warm and welcome tourists. Found midway between the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains, the beauty of Leh is beyond words, making it a hotspot with the tourists. Visiting the local markets here is a treat as one will get to browse through Tibetan jewelry, carpets, woolens and much more. Be sure to carry an extra bag to fit in all your purchases.Read More
The last week had seen us arriving in this quaint little hill town in the middle of the night. At first glance it looked like a rustic old city with yellow-brown buildings, archaic windows and colourful prayer flags in every direction with a monastery or stupa set on the edge of a cliff in the middle of a valley with snow covered peaks all around it. As we would discover over the coming days, this halt on the ancient Silk Route is full of historic stories and cultural ties.
Today we woke up with a very relaxed body and started treating our punjabi taste buds with punjabi breakfast of all time. After getting ready, we went straight to DC office to get an inner line permit; a permit is required to go to Nubra/ Pangong/ Tso Moriri/ basically everywhere which isn't Leh city. We left Leh for Nubra but who could have guessed what awaited us. We reached South Pullu checkpoint where people are supposed to submit inner line permit to go further. There we came to know that we cannot go further as there was a blizzard yesterday and around 400 vehicles are stuck near Khardungla Top. The officer informed us that nobody is going any further till those vehicles reach back safely. The sun started kissing our faces as we waited for the safe return of those vehicles.Everyone started leaving around 6 pm as the day was about to end but somewhere deep inside I knew if I miss K-Top today, I will not be able to go there in the near future.Many people asked us to leave since the officer at South Pullu checkpoint had made it extremely clear that nobody will be allowed to go to K-Top today at any cost. But there was still hope. I checked with an army truck which was waiting there with us and they were not sure whether they will be going further or not. Two of the fellow bikers who were waiting with us for the past 6 hrs, now made up their minds that it was getting dark and they should head back to Leh. But I insisted on staying and went to the officer for one last try. I asked him and he said that he knows that I had been waiting for past 6-7 hours but it wasn't feasible. He said that if I want to go, I can, but at my own risk. I was thrilled hearing that.We left South Pullu around 6:30pm and it took us around 45 minutes to reach K-Top. So this was it, the day when I felt the happiness of achieving something. The Happiness of making it because I believed in myself. That day I understood the value of hope.
#CoffeeWithTripotoSkerrrrttt! The car screeched to a halt and we all turned to a far corner to spot the animal that was probably annoyed by our presence. Kiang also known as the Tibetan wild ass turned it's pretty back towards us and continued grazing the field. Native to the Tibetan Plateau, the herbivorous animal is the largest of the wild asses. We also spotted a pair of green eyes which we thought was a Fox. The Red Fox (also known as Watse in the local language) along with Tibetan Sand Fox are among the few smaller animals you can sometimes see from the road. This was the 6 th day of our trip. Our daredevil meter went a notch higher when we took a sudden turn and for the next 20 minutes or so drove on the meadows. It was 11pm...we had left from Leh a little after noon. In the morning, we had left for KhardungLa after a scrumptious and authentic Ladakhi breakfast (Ladakhi bread, bhurji, white bread with butter, tea/coffee) at our guesthouse, Dream Ladakh. Our host ensured that we are taken care of in the best way possible. Her husband (Mr. Tundup) is an Ice Hockey player and the medals displayed in the living room told us that he was pretty good at it! At an elevation of 18,379 ft, KhardungLa is the world's highest motorable road. The road till South Pullu check-post was good but post that is when the ordeal began! And the traffic jam added to our woes. When we reached the top, we were in a lil bit of a shock! There were people everywhere! And the photoshoots just won't stop! With great difficulty, we managed to click the pic of the milestone and decided to make a move. Back in Leh town, we had lunch at Chopsticks. This place is indeed the best in town! We had Mutton Briyani, Japnese Chicken Teriyaki, Pad Thai Noodles, Garlic Schezwan Noodles and Pineapple Chicken Rice and it was finger licking good! Considering the weather and the logistics, Ram unfortunately had to keep his JK bike at Leh and travel in Gypsy with us till Sarchu. The weather was changing by the minute and it had started pouring already.The river gave us company...the majestic landscape slowly revealing itself... I could faintly hear the song..."Khule Hain Jo Pal, Kahe Yeh Nazar... Lagta Hai Ab Hai Jaage Hum... Fikrein Jo Thi, Peeche Reh Gayi... Nikle Unse Aage Hum... Hua Hai Yun Ke Dil Pighal Gaye... Bas Ek Pal Mein Hum Badal Gaye..."On the way, we spotted a Yogi-like mountain! It was trippy! We still had a long way to go. We had stopped for Tea on our way and the locals had their hearts in their mouth when we told them about our destination. We were headed towards TsoMoriri and in the entire stretch from Leh, it was just us! One of the reasons for it was because we had started late from Leh and also, TsoMoriri is still less explored in comparison to Leh-Ladakh. We reached our destination post an Army check-post around midnight. We were staying the night at Yak Camp in Karzok village. The tents were extremely comfortable and warm. We slept like a log! In the morning, we were greeted by friendly pahadi faces. One of the staff members was a college student who was doing his summer internship. Karzok village is located in the Rupshu region on the shore of TsoMoriri and it also has a reasonable nomadic population. TsoMoriri which literally means 'Mountain Lake' left us speechless. Just like Pangong, it changed colours...it was mighty, beautiful and simply magical. We spotted Brahminy Ducks and Black Necked Cranes here. Marshes of Ladakh is a good breeding ground for other migratory birds as well. After spending an hour or so at peace near the lake, we decided to make a move. On our way back, we saw a kid running with full speed towards us...we thought maybe he needs a lift...we stopped a lil further and saw an old man walking towards us...we had thought about all the emergency situations these guys could be in - maybe they need water or food or maybe somebody is dying and needs to be taken to the hospital... but to our surprise, all that the old man needed was a few cigarettes! For the next couple of minutes, all of us broke into a laughter riot! He was one of the nomads...out there in the field to herd the cattle. At 14,836 ft, with no soul around, all that the old man needed the moment he saw humans was few cigarettes! Damn!Well, fulfilling the old man's wishes, introspecting, we were on the road once again. We stopped for Tea near Tsokar Lake, another salt lake located in Rupshu region. One of the tent's thread was hanging in the air. We could smell the melting butter...the aura alone filled the body with warmth...the Pink Ladakhi Butter Tea did its magic with the first sip itself. The lake however wasn't in its full glory. But the rain gods had taken it upon themselves to make it up for it. The grass was turning green with every drop of rain. From where we were sitting, it looked like the gods were leading an orchestra and nature with its innumerable shades of blue and green arranged themselves, happily!We crossed More Plains, Pang, LachungLa and reached Sarchu at 10:30pm.Sarchu is known for its harsh and cruel weather! It was damn windy and it sure felt like near-freezing aka nearing-death Celsius! But, thankfully we had Vat69 and freshly made dinner (specially for us) to help us survive! The valley was soon filled with our laughter as Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds did rounds on the table. Bantu and Manu had taught us a new game called Jhanp (also known as Bhabhi). Bluffs being caught...sly looks being exchanged...the spirit warming up the body and the games and jokes warming our hearts... All of this being done with the help of an emergency light as these places function with the help of solar panels and they switch off the main power post 11pm. A lil more chit-chat and Avinash dramatically pulling-off few stunts, we called it a night! The tents were super comfortable. A sound sleep of 7 hours and we were fresh like a flower in the morning!
From my very first night at high altitude, 14,000 feet at Sarchu, en route Leh, I knew AMS and me would be BFF. For the uninitiated, AMS is ‘Acute Mountain Sickness’ and BFF stands for ‘Best Friends Forever’. Trust me, at no point do you want to have a BFF like AMS. But as luck would have it, here I was again at 17,500 feet and -10 degrees, AMS struck, in the middle of the night, staring at the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.
Day 6Leh – Pangong Lake (160 Kms)The distance can be covered in 6-7 hrs due to bad road conditions. This journey will surely make you tire, but the excitement to hit Pangong Lake will give you much needed respite.
On Wednesday, we went to the airport that was packed with stranded passengers. The airport had been closed for the past few days because of the snowfall and the slippery runway, and luckily, it reopened on the very day of our scheduled departure. On Thursday, I was in my office planning my next adventure.
Reached Leh on 5th August morning by flight and headed straight to hotel provided by trekking company. Most of the day was spent relaxing and meeting other participants. In evening we had an introduction with our trek leaders and all the participants. From initial conversation we got an idea that our trek leaders were carrying a bad attitude and they were not the best suited leaders for such an expedition. We were a strong team of 18 participants from around the globe all of which carried a good trekking experience with me being the least experienced of all at trekking. We then headed for a team dinner at one of the restaurants in Leh market and were off to sleep early. Next morning we left at 7am for an easy acclimatization trek to Namgyal Tsemo monastery and Leh palace. Some relaxed for the rest of the day while others ran for shopping the gear they had missed out. Leh market is a great place to buy all sorts of trekking and mountaineering equipment with huge variety to choose from. In the evening we left for another acclimatization walk to Shanti Stupa.
Day 6: Sight Seeing in LehHall of Fame: Don't forget to visit this Museum.The Hall of Fame, situated close to the Leh Airfiled, is an exhibition hall developed and kept up by the Indian Army in the memory of the warriors who had lost their lives amid the Indo-Pak wars.It is additionally named as a remembrance for the war saints. This building comprises of two stories. There are relics of different wars for the most part Kargil war, like the weapons utilized amid the war and some imperative archives, identified with the same.Gurudwara Pathar Sahib: Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is located 25 miles from Leh in Ladakh area in Jammu and Kashmir. This manage by Army only. The best part is, Langar is very tastySangam Point: The meeting point of the Indus and Zanskar is known as the Sangam Point. As the water of the Indus River is very warm and the Zanskar is frozen, this becomes an amazing sight for the onlookers. The two rivers meet at this point and then flows to Pakistan. The conevergence of these rivers takes place at a distance of 30 km west of Leh.Leh Market: Leh market is small but very beautiful. you can have coffee/Food etc and its good for shopping.Day 7: Back to DelhiReached Delhi, but don't want to leave beautiful Place Ladakh.I have great experience withthis trip. The trip was awesome.
287 Kms from McLeod Ganj
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
97 Kms from McLeod Ganj
Best time to visit - February,March,April,October
The land from where once an ancient trade route to China would be embarked on, Manali is an abode for modern creativity now as much as it for withdrawal and adventure in the majestic mountains. From offering hostels, hotels, co-working spaces to the cave where once Arjun, the Pandava king had supposedly meditated (Arjun Gufa), Manali is no less than a global village. The mighty Himalayas have inspired many foreign settlements here, giving rise to popular European and Israeli cafes, restaurants and hostels, providing one a consortium of around the world cultures. This town is a true haven for adventure junkies who can indulge in river rafting, paragliding, camping, rock climbing, rappelling, zorbing at Solang Valley and Aleo. Manali has an array of breathtaking treks and sights for its nature lovers, for instance the Patalsu Peak, the Deo Tibba basecamp, Jogini Falls and the Rahala Falls. For all the solo riders out there, cruise your way through the snowy alley of Rohtang Pass while those who wish to travel back in time, can indulge in the exquisite display of culture and heritage at the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. Restaurants and cafes such as the Khyber Pass, Johnson's Cafe, La Plage, Drifters' Inn, The Hangout attract foodies for their culinary justice to everything from Thai to European cuisines and even some live music. If all this is too over the top for you, then reconnect with simplicity at Naggar Village, which is home to waterfalls, a beautiful castle, an art gallery and locals which have many stories to share and a cultural heritage to take pride in. Read More
21st: Next day, we rode back to Manali through Rohtang pass. We reached late evening as we took it slow and had a number of scenic views that deserved a good time. It was absolutely an emotional moment on arriving Manali. The sights seen, the friendships made, the backs broken, the bullets fixed, the much needed breaks, riverside roads, and above all those, the bullet that carried us all throughout... It was definitely not ours but we certainly had a tough time saying Good bye to it. Some of us hugged, some of us kissed and some of us bowed down in front of their own bullets. :) The bullets were taken to the workshop for the next batch of riders.22nd: We got this day to sight see Manali and explore the markets. Hidimba temple (where the kidnapping scene film 'Roja' was shot) is one of the places you need to visit. You can also get clicked in the traditional 'Kashmiri' attire here. By evening we boarded the bus from Manali to Delhi. We reached Delhi in the morning and took the flight back to Bangalore by evening. Bangalore was kind enough to welcome us with a pleasant weather. :)
Day 2 - Reached ManaliAt around 10:30 a.m. we reached Manali. It was a long bus journey. We were comfortable in the bus, and were wearing thin layers. The bus driver had to drop us before the main bus stop, as the roads were blocked because of the snow.We got out of the bus, and I felt really cold instantly. We were standing in the middle of nowhere, it was snowing, our shoes were covered in water. I had to throw my bad to the ground and put on as many layers as I could.
(30th December): We reached Manali, the next morning and the bus ride was nothing but annoying. Anyway, we were excited to be at the new place. The details of the place we stayed are as follows:Accommodation: Bella Marina - https://www.makemytrip.com/hotels/marina_villa-details-manali.htmlFood – 4 starsView – 4 starsLocation – It is away from the city hence it is a less expensive and secluded. If you are someone who likes to surrounded by nature and in a calm environment. This is the place to be!Our plan was to celebrate New year in this amazing place. So, we had two good days in our hands. We decided that we would explore the town today and then go for the rafting tomorrow. There are amazing food hubs here. First, we decided to try out a place called the Johnson’s café. It a must try. Great environment and the best place to have some great conversation over a bottle of beer. The local food is good as well and great shops to buy handmade sweaters for yourself and if you’d like to gift someone. So, we spent the whole day chilling, having great food, drinks and watched the people passing by. In our busy lives, we hardly find time for ourselves and to just sit there doing nothing and gazing at people going by proved to be very soothing. Try it! After sundown, we decided to head back to our villa, where good food was awaiting us. The people at Bella Marina are very friendly and they do make you feel at home.
I started travelling a year back and it changed me completely from within. I was altogether a different person after I came back. My first destination was Manali. Although I am from Himachal and all my life I have lived in mountains but this time, it was different. Taking a break from the daily office routine of a metro city we went to Manali to attend a friend’s wedding, but I had no idea that this trip would entirely change my perspective towards life. I fell in love with the place. I fell in love with the mighty mountains. The road which takes you to Rohtang from Manali is very alluring. You will witness number of waterfalls on your way. Along with the right kind of music, you’ll be blown away by the astounding views that you’ll witness.I had so many queries in my mind when I went there but everything seemed sorted after I came back home. We all have problems in our life. And deep inside we all know the solution as well. It’s just that we don’t want to accept things. We run away from reality.I always ran away from the truth. I did not have the courage to accept what was going wrong in my life. But while I was wandering, all answers started to unfold. All you need to find is, your own happy place. In every journey, you will come across a place where you feel a sense of belongingness and tranquility, where you would want to sit for hours, silently and ponder about life. It’s in here, where you find the courage to do things that were always in your mind. It helps you to grow internally and bring about a change in your life.In Manali, I found mine in the streets of old Manali. I fell in love with Soma Café. It was not only the café to be particular, it was a voice, a soothing voice which pacified my soul. The aura of the place was magical. After coming back, I used to listen to the recorded videos for hours. I had promised myself that I would go back to that same place again. And I did. I fulfilled my promise. I went back almost after a year. But you know what, this time it was different. The reason for which I travelled for 530 km was not there. The singer whose voice I fell in love with, had moved to another city. And that point of time I realised where I was wrong.We must never attach ourselves with anyone or anything. True wanderers live in the present moment, they never fixate themselves with anyone. Life is simply meant be lived and not be entangled with emotions. So, just Keep travelling. Keep exploring.Travelling helps you connect to yourself which is paramount if you are seeking inner peace.Sometimes, sitting beside a lake, a mountain or a beach and introspecting yourself is all the therapy you need because no one will understand you better than yourself.Everyone has their own share of experiences in life. And sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay. You see the brighter day only after a dark night. I was never a wanderer. I was never a traveller. Infact, I never wanted to step out of my home. But when I did, I don’t want to stop now. I have found my happiness.I always like my bags packed and while unpacking them I think about the time I will go on another adventure. Be optimistic in life. This way you will attract good things. Have faith in the universe. It definitely has a plan for you. A plan which is in your favour. A plan that will set you free from all your agony. Never stop believing. Bad experiences might tear you apart and might force you to lose faith in yourself but give yourself a chance. Step out of your comfort zone and explore your surroundings.You are worth all good things that you dream of :)
Now it was the second last day where we had to go back to Manali via Rohtang Pass, and we had to start early morning before the sun comes out of the mountains, so we paid for the lodge, packed our bags for one final time and we bid goodbye to the adventure left behind us thinking someday we will think about it and will smile of how we survived the days, we started at seven in the morning and were heading back to Manali in good shape, but what does life says to you when everything is going great "Lol. One second, let me screw it up", just four kilometers from Rohtang Pass, there was this huge Boulder of rock which had come down on the road maybe because of rain the mud had gotten soft, and what else could be done, during the time i wished only if i had one superpower, scores of car were standing, people got out, some even laid sheets of cloth, stoves were out, tea was being made, bread and butter were served to people, Indians are the most amusing species, no matter how big the problem, there is always time for gossip and tea and bread. it was like a picnic spot now, well we all waited for the JMC to come and to remove that boulder but it wasn't able to even move it by an inch, what could be done now, Keep Calm Fellas, now is the time of some real Bollywood, "DYNAMITE", it was the last option and it was surreal, the 'mountain care takers' i would say came with dynamite and of course Police was present to back people off and the vehicles were on both sides, it was like a dream come true for most people to see a large rock being exploded using Tri-Nitro-Toulene, i was rather worried about the avalanche it will create and some more rocks might come falling down again and then it would be a massacre, the silver lining would be for vultures and eagles then, we had to wait until all the cars were backed off to a safe distance, people waited inside and outside their cars for that blow to visit their ears, the mountain care takers started blowing whistles to signal that explosion is going to take place any second now. KABOOM--KABOOM, two explosions as planned with one second interval, small rocks were flying and coming down and some of them even gave cracks to the windshields, it was rejoiceful and terrifying simultaneously, the path was clear, so now the cars going towards Rohtang were given preference in going first, six hours were wasted in that, precious six hours, it was late afternoon, when we had Lunch on the outskirt of Manali just before reaching Manali City, and as it was a Saturday, so Manali was jam packed and the thought of staying back in Manali was going down with our tiredness, so now what we decided was to not stay back there and head back straight to Chandigarh, we can stay there for one night and then next day, back to Delhi.
After exploring the local places of Manali we went back to our hotel to check out and pick our luggage. We boarded the bus for Delhi in evening and returned home with sweet memories. Atlast, my aim to visit this favourite hill retreat of India got completed!Manali is truly nature’s paradise! For me it’s the most vibrant and charming place in the lap of majestic Himalayas. Don’t wait, just plan your trip to this perfect Himalayan escapade now!The trip was curated by Travel Triangle, check-out www.traveltriangle.com for similar trips & experiences.Read the entire story from Manali on my travel blog Ghoomakad.in
Day 9 : We started from Kaza around 8 am and reached Manali at one shot . Time taken : 13hrs . We enjoyed our stay back at Manali and the next day we started for Parvati Valley .Must carry :Warm clothes ,Bike gears ,7-8 pairs of socks ,Caps ,Vaselin for body and lips ,Mask ,Suns-scream lotion ,Polythene s cover your foot while crossing waterfalls or rent boots on the way ,Waterproof luggage’s ,Tablets for headaches or any breathing problem ,Volini Sprays ,Gloves ,Enough food that will keep you hydrated .Please carry less clothes and make sure the luggage weight is equally distributed .Make sure you have a safe ride and do write to me if my post was of any help to reach your dreamland .
I set my footsteps to Manali, one of the most beautiful gems of Himachal Pradesh. A deep breath of fresh cold Himalayan breeze was enough to set me in the right mood. My first agenda once I landed there was to see snow ! I have never been around snow in my entire life. Although Rohtang pass was closed at that time , Solang valley invited us with it's snow filled arms. It was probably one of the most beautiful things I have seen.
Our guide (I forgot his name) was picked somewhere between Manali & Gulaba (I was snoring at the time). He was also our navigator and took us to the starting point of the trek. One might simply pass it by without even noticing !! Our ugly traveler stopped roadside, & we had to decide what to load on the porters and what to carry on our own. Our necks were stiff from the ride & we had back aches, but the trekking spirit was alive. And so we progressed through the lovely meadows. Daylight was burning as it was 7 PM already. In just about an hour or so we reached "Chaudah Mod", a beautiful Bugyal it was. The best patch of the flatland was occupied by tents of I guess, IndiaHikes (someone informed later). We pitched ours on a slope!! This was the first leg of the journey.
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