Trips and Itineraries for Punjab
Kila Raipur Sports Festival – A Visual Treat of Rural Punjab
Kila Raipur gives you a glimpse of rural and rustic Punjab....
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Also known as Gurmukhi, this is a village and also the border where India and Pakistan was once divided to become two different countries. On this side of the border, the region is more popularly known as Attari and falls in Amritsar. On the other side, it falls in the Lahore city of Punjab of Pakistan and is known as Wahgah. On both sides the flags of the respective countries are raised up everyday and again lowered 2 hours before sunset. There is also the famous Wagah Rail line over here which forms a part of the Grand Trunk Road which continues in Pakistan as well. The Wagah Border Ceremony is worth seeing and is carried on by the Indian Army and the Pakistan Rangers on the respective sides of the border gate.
Make it a point to reach Wagah Border by 2 pm or let’s say as early as possible but be ready to wait for approx. 3-4 hours before the ceremony starts. But it’s still advisable if you want to sit and watch the entire ceremony. The place was excessively crowded plus a big queue for security check. We didn’t carry anything and it was such a relief because nothing (Nothing means nothing- no chips, popcorn, ladies handbag, camera cover, etc. Only water, wallets, sunglasses, cameras are allowed) is allowed inside and then you have to keep your stuff in road side vendor locker for which again you have to stand in queue.We reached in nick of time and occupied seat which gave okay view but we still felt lucky because there was humongous crowd standing and forced to watch the border parade on the big screens installed there instead of live.The retreat ceremony is for 45 minutes which includes the closing of international gates and the lowering of the flag. The atmosphere was simply electric. The crowd modified into a hooting cheerleader. Passion and patriotism was at all-time high. The moment became so live and full of energy. People danced on some of the famous patriotic numbers. Children also get a chance to take the flag and run.
Wagah border our next stop, the border which separates the two countries(India and Pakistan) which were once the same land and have been at war ever since its separation.The weather turned wild just like last time but trust me wagah border is more enjoyable in stormy weather. It was not before 6 that the parade started the atmosphere was electric and so was the wind and the dirt that came along with it still nobody left. My brother tried to save himself from the stormy weather by slipping into a shallow low region but tragedy was awaiting him only to be avoided by a foot as the shed fell apart. Tragedy avoided we thanked the stars and enjoyed the parade.
Another star experience which Amritsar boasts of is the "Lowering of the Flags" ceremony at the Wagah Border. It is a daily martial custom followed by the security forces of India as well as Pakistan. This custom has been in force since 1959. The queues to witness this grandeur are really long and if you have taken a normal pass, I would suggest to reach early enough by 4 pm so you can get a good seat at the stands. The minute you get in, you will be welcomed by loud cheering of "Jai Hind" "Hindustan Zindaabaad" "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" among the many other slogans. The aura of patriotism that runs in the wind is an experience in itself. The entire ceremony lasts for about an hour where soldiers from both the countries would perform the closing ceremony.
The lowering of the flags ceremony at the Wagah border is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959. The drill is characterized by elaborate and rapid dance-like maneuvers, which has been described as "colorful". It is alternatively a symbol of the two countries' rivalry, as well as brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations. Similar parades are being organized at Mahavir/Sadiq border near Fazilka and Hussainiwala/Gandasinghwala border near Firozpur.
By 3:00pm we left for Wagha border by shared auto. (Charges: 100 per person for a to and fro journey). Oh boy this place gives you just an idea of what every army officer serving our country might be feeling on each day of their life. A true feeling of patriotism, the feeling of you being a proud Indian, just rushes through every nerve of your body looking at the culture followed their EVERYDAY and not just on independence and republic day.The music, the roar, the enthusiasm, the AURA just makes you feel so proud of being a citizen of such a beautiful country “India”.The marching ceremony started around 4:30pm and ended by 6:00pm. Reach as early as possible so that you get a good seat to experience the ceremony.
The next day saw us prepping up for the Jallianwala Bagh and Wagah border. Jallianwala Bagh closes down at 6 PM and therefore it had to be visited in the morning itself. While entering the gates of this historic garden, you can smell patriotism in the air. From the martyr’s well to garden walls, there were gun shots that had pierced through our freedom fighters. It is horrifying to see how brutally they were killed in this massacre. You will find united aggression and be a part of it yourself.
Wagha Border stands on the highway between India and Pakistan that is Lahore and Amritsar. The Wagah Border Ceremony is a must watch while on a visit to Amritsar. A sense of patriotism takes over while watching our men perform. We got a VVIP pass to watch the program at the border. This made things much easier for us. By car it would consume about 45 mins to travel to the place. The pass allowed us to take our car up to the end of the road where the ceremony would take place.We got seated right in-front of the arrangement. The ceremony usually starts around 4 and continues till sunset for about an hour.Before it commences, one may run bearing the flag of India on the highway. Many citizens took pride and participated heartily.
An ironic flag ceremony that reflects the cut-throat rivalry but ends with a mild handshake between the Indian Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers, the Beating Retreat Ceremony takes place everyday with same stride and pride. Thousands of people gather together in the evening only to watch the ceremony that celebrates rivalry moulded in full patriotism on both the sides. Checking this off the list is a must!Best Time To Visit: MarchOther Things To Do: The Golden Temple. 14. The Incredible Flower Show In Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Since both the sites were quite near we completed within 2 hours and were back to the hotel only to leave post lunch for Wagah Border. It was a public holiday then and the crowd was 4 times than it can accommodate at the venue. Remember to be here by 3 PM or max by 4 PM so that you can get an entry. From the auto stand it will take more 20-30 minute walk till you reach the site. We somehow gate crashed and got ourselves seated. The site, the energy, the voices, the dance, the ceremony and the ambiance is to be felt, no words can describe it and you better visit it asap, before it is shut for any reason.
3. Wagah Border: Next you travel to Attari, a village of Amritsar District 3 km from the Indo-Pakistani border at Wagah for the India -Pakistan 'lowering of the flag' ceremony. It's a 45 minutes ride from the Golden temple and there are ample vehicles that would take you there, wait for you for the entire duration of the ceremony, typically around an hour, and drop you back to the city. This ceremony itself is unlike anything that you have seen or imagined before. And its a real spectacle, I must say. I have been here twice and the galleries are always jam-packed on the Indian side of the Indo-Pak border. I have no idea who these people are, and where they come from everyday. But everyone takes part in the collective frenzy of the drama that entails at the border during sunset.
Now that I was satiated and refreshed, I decided to visit the Attari station, Kanjiri Pull and the Wahga Border. Attari station is about 30 minutes from the old city and only about 3.5 kms from the Wahga Border. The Samjhauta Express or the Attari Express leaves the Old Delhi railway station, and then travels to Attari, where the Attari Express changes formally into the Samjhauta Express. After the customs and immigration clearances at Attari, the passengers start their journey to Lahore in Pakistan through the Wagah border. This quaint station is a must visit, being the oldest train link between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947.From the Attari Station, before visiting the Wagah border, I visited Pul Kanjiri, a historical site that hasn’t been given it’s due share of publicity that it deserves. This fascinating and charming site is based on one of the numerous legends from Mahraja Ranjit Singh’s time. The legend states that a young Muslim dancer (Punjabi word Kanjiri for concubine) Moran, hailing from Lahore, once was on her way to dance at the Maharaja’s Baradari, her sandal fell into the water channel on the way. The piqued dancer refused to dance until a pul (bridge) was built, hence the place became popular as Paul Kanjri. In fact, what is interesting about this site is that the Pakistan border is less than 2 acres away, with absolutely no hoards of people swarming the area, unlike the Wagah Border, which is where I went next.Wagah Border, the only open border crossing India and Pakistan and which is officially accessible by both the nations hosts a closing ceremony as 'lowering of the flags' ceremony. It is a daily martial custom that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Sutlej Rangers) have mutually followed since 1959. This interesting ceremony takes place every evening before sunset around 5:30 pm. I had a VIP pass and hence access to the gates was much faster where I also got seated in the area closest to the ceremony. If you are not planning to acquire a VIP pass, then you must make sure you reach way ahead of time by at least 3:30 pm to grab a seat and stand in the long, almost never-ending queues.As I sat in the stands, I could hear thousands of people screaming and cheering right before during the beating the retreat ceremony. Crowds screamed ‘Jai Hind’ and Vandematram with an incredible energy and a nationalist fervor. On the other side, there were hoards of Pakistani nationals screaming ‘ Pakistan Zindabad’ with as much energy and zeal. It was here that I realized that these lines are political because there was absolutely no difference between the people on either sides. This 45 minute ceremony ends with an aura of celebrations along with loud shouts of patriotism. During the ceremony, however, one could sense silence as the soldiers marched, so clinically that I could hear their boots tap on the ground with each step they took.
Waga borderThere is a lot of share taxi to reach at wagah border, which is just 28 kms away from the main city. That taxi was parked roughly one kilometre before the spot. I got one friend in taxi one who from Germany. From there we started walking towards the site. Thousands of people come to see this evening parade at Wagah every single day. On reaching the spot, we climbed up a stadium like place. The men and women were seated in different zones. In front of stadium stairs was a clean wide road for parade . You will listen to the patriotic songs and your feelings will rise after seeing Pakistani people dancing from the other end. The parade conducted by our jawans will leave you mesmerized and awe struck. Towards our left was the enormous gate that separated land as India and Pakistan. After the ceremony, I took some photos with indian soldiers. It's very hard to get clicked with the soldiers. Then We back to Golden temple to see in night. My friend said that Golden Temple looks gorgeous at night. That night we left together to Chandigarh.
People might be well aware of the potential effects of cycling on the body. But what about the mind? It’s a question that has puzzled psychologists, neurologists and anyone who has wondered how riding a bike can induce what feels close to a state of meditation.For me personally, I get lost into a wonderland while I’m cycling listening to my favourite music. The hour or hour and a half of cycling goes by in a fraction of a second. Even Scientists are confirming what most cyclists instinctively know – that riding a bike has extraordinary effects on our brain chemistry.Hailing from Rajasthan, I've became Rajasthan’s first “Super Randonneur” after his amazing 600km cycle ride. For all those not aware, Randonneuring is long-distance, unsupported, non-competitive cycling within prescribed time limits are organized from France. The events, called brevets, are: 200km (13.5 hour time cut-off), 300km (20 hours), 400km (27 hours) and 600km (40 hours). Grand Randonnées are 1200km and riders must finish in 90 hours or less. My expedition was from India Gate in Delhi to Wagah Border. I was instantly attracted to this event as the route includes some breathtaking landscapes of emerald green fields alongside the serene roads of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.For me, it was more than that. It was a once in a lifetime experience to travel through different states in India, different cultures and meet different people. An experience that I would not want to miss. When I finished his ride in 37.5 hours at the entrance of Amritsar, I had the feeling of sheer joy of fulfilment.For me especially, cycle expeditions and solo road trips are something that does not exhaust me, but something that calms me.
It is a shame to leave Amritsar without witnessing the flag lowering ceremony at Wagah border. Azal managed to get VIP seats through a close friend from college, whose father retired as a BSF officer. After checking into Hotel Grand Galaxy at Crystal Chowk, we rushed to the border to watch this extraordinary feat. The ritual is performed daily before sunset, yet hundreds of locals and tourists gather here to watch the show. Songs glorifying the nation and its freedom fighters blared through the loudspeakers fitted on both sides of the massive gate separating the sister countries. We waited patiently on the sun-baked parapet as the soldiers prepared themselves for the drill. And it began. Indian and Pakistani soldiers marched in tandem, displaying perfectly coordinated maneuvers symbolizing the rivalry and one-upmanship that has prevailed between the two nations since independence. At sunset, the iron gates were opened and the flags lowered on either side. The soldiers shook hands and retreated to their respective sides. The flags were folded and the gates were closed again. The air was shaken with nationalist slogans bordering on jingoism. Jai Hind! Alhamdulillah!! And once again it was written in blood that we can never think beyond boundaries if we hold onto our fanatic nationalism.
The parade was mindblowing. There a huge crowd gathered as it was a weekend. As my friend's father was an IAF officer, we got into VIP Gallery. We reached there before half an hour of the ceremony.There were indian commandos guarding the border gate. The parade started at 6 pm. It was fantastic show by our BSF. As many as 10 BSF officersto part in it.The show was so patriotic. The show lasted for more than 45 mins. We were there till the flags of both India and Pakistan being taken from the post. Then we went to our hotel. We had our food from a local Dhaba.We went back to Ambala, the next morning. The whole was superbbblllyyy awesome.After two days of staying in Ambala, we next went to Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Started at 0900 hours from Mcleodganj and reached Amritsar 1400 hours. Was a hectic and tiring journey. Checked in Hotel Sarovar which is just 2 minutes’ walk to Golden Temple. Got fresh as I had to rush to reach Wagah Border (30 kms from Amritsar) to watch the famous parade and ceremony. This ceremony is held every evening before 1800 hours. It starts with energetic parade of soldiers from both the sides and ends with Flag lowering of both the nations. It was way too crowded which resulted disturbance in watching. Best part of it was I experiencing an unexpected mini adventure running with the Flag till India-Pakistan Border gate left me a huge smile on my face. Ceremony came to an end around 1830 hours.
Evening parade...not to be missed activity in Amritsar.. A simple Flag-lowering exercise on the road through the joint border, the parade, which lasts for round 45 minutes, manages to be ferocious, ludicrous and of course entertaining. Large crowds gather on either side of the gate, clap and cheer for their country... It gives the full feel of patriotism..
The term ‘border’ in my mind is extremely negative. It stops people – from meeting each other, from moving freely across lands, and from letting people reach their fullest potential. But from a geo-political vantage point it is a much needed decision for each country. Especially when the countries involved are India and Pakistan. So here we were, watching the beautiful Golden Temple in Amritsar getting washed in rain, when our cab driver suggested we check out the Wagah Border before it gets crowded. As an Indian, obviously we have all fantasized about Wagah – to see our men in uniform standing in full glory. And secretly enough, to see if we really are better than the other side. Without much ado we started on the two hour long journey, picking up a friend who could guide us through. Through the journey our friend explained to us about one tiny miscalculation – we weren’t heading to Wagah at all! Wagah, where the border actually gets its name from, is a town in Pakistan – on their side of the border. However, the village on our side is called Attari. Ironically, in Pakistan probably they call the border Attari border – both countries taking the names of the land we cannot touch. A kilometer before the border one needs to park his vehicle, for security reasons of course. Thankfully, for once the security does not seem a farce as each and every soldier scans you with his eyes. You find place to sit in the big gallery if you are lucky, and if you are especially blessed, then you get a seat in the VIP section towards the border. Once everyone was seated, patriotic songs came blasting through the microphones and the audience suddenly became the participant. Old men in dhoti, women with kids in their lap, young boys and girls, school students on a day out – everyone took turns to hoist the flag of our country on their shoulders and ran from one end to the other. Probably it gave them a good photo op or a probable conversation starter (Imagine sitting at a bar and saying, “Oh yesterday you were at the movies? I was at Wagah border, making the country proud”). Or maybe people actually became more patriotic once they saw the armed men, standing by and knowing full well that they are responsible for the whole lot in the ground and within the country as well. The music and some dancing follows for an hour or so till the proper ceremony is announced and silence falls among the crowd. While an announcer asked us to call out ‘Jai Hind’, we could hear the other side cheering for Pakistan. We shouted louder, stronger. They followed suit. We boo-ed, they clapped. We screamed, they shouted. Both sides by then had packed quite an audience – though the Indian side had people waiting outside as well and the Pakistani galleries were half vacant (this may be due to the fact that it is a paid visit in Pakistan but free in India). It was also surprising that men and women sat separately, resulting in only a handful of Burqa-clad women being present for the celebration while more than triple the number sat on the men’s side. The announcer’s job through-out the ceremony was to keep up the cheering – almost like a cheerleader co-ordinator. Soldiers – at least a good six and half feet in height – came marching down, kicking their feet high up and raising their fists in an ‘act’ of aggression and warning. The Pakistani side also choreographed it such that it seemed like we were certainly making sure that neither came in from the other side. What was also pleasing was the fact that female soldiers did their bit in the march as well, breaking myths that women in India sit in their house and stay away from showing any strength and aggression. The ceremony culminates with the flag-lowering performance (in accordance with the rule that flags must be taken down after sunset every-day). And once that is done, the gates are closed once again, the countries and their futures sealed within the limits of each of their lands. The Wagah or Attari Border was divided in 1947. It has a capacity of around 2,000 people on the Indian side which is watched over by the BSF – or Border Security Force, while Pakistan is guarded by the black-pathani suit clad Sutlej Rangers. During summers the ceremony starts by 5.30 PM while in winters the same happens an hour earlier. It is advisable to reach well in advance to get a nice seat – the closer to the gate you are, the better the view.
Wagah Border which is famous as INDO-PAK Border
Amritsar trip is incomplete without the ‘Lowering of the Flags’ ceremony at Wagah-Attari Border (India-Pakistan Border). This is where you can get closest to Pakistan if you haven’t visited the place. Soldiers from both countries make all the efforts to outperform their counterparts. My expectation was that of the crowd cheering for our National Anthem and National Song, but instead to my surprise there were Bollywood songs and audience were shouting, singing and dancing making it an electric atmosphere. P.S:- It’s better to start from Amritsar by 1:30-2pm to Wagah Border to find a place to sit and enjoy the show (especially on weekends).
The most Famous Border Town to cross to our neighboring country Pakistan. Even if crossing the border requires lots of paper work and running around, its worth visiting the border to watch the Flag Off Parade. It brings the patriotism back in you when you see the BSF Jawans doing the traditional parade along side the Pakistan rangers.
This is basically a border gate between India and Pakistan and there is a closing and opening of gate ceremony done here by the border forces of both the countries. The whole ceremony seems a little theatrical but that does nothing to the whole environment of the place that is charged with patriotic emotions. Its something that cannot be described you have to be there among hundreds of people on both sides of the border to experience it.
Wagah, is around 32 kms away from Amristar and is located on the international highway to Lahore, Pakistan. It is particularly famous for the aggressive march by the Border Security Force of either country during its flag lowering ceremony every evening at 5pm. Before the ceremony begins each country belts out its patriotic songs one decibel louder than the other’s. The BSF hand out flags for the spectators to carry and run in a fit of patriotic fervour. While most people tear up when Vande Matarm is played, the PT instructor with a whistle hung around his neck asks all the spectators to stretch their arms in unison. When Chak De India begins playing, most women run down their seats into the common ground and begin dancing. The ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony includes stiff marching, exchange of threatening looks and fierce postures. The end of the ceremony is marked by the awed silence of the audience, the neatly folded flag being carried away and a firm handshake followed by a loud slam of the border gate.
This is a real surprise. And a real spectacle, I must say. I have been here twice and the galleries are always jam-packed on the Indian side of the Indo-Pak border. I have no idea who these people are, and where they come from. But everyone takes part in the collective frenzy of the drama that entails at the border during sunset.
Wagah, on the Indo-Pakistan border, is 28 km from Amritsar and visiting it was a moment of pride. Numerous visitors come to see the ceremonial change of guards and the flag hoisting and lowering activities done skillfully and with precision by the border security forces of both the countries. It is interesting to note that border security forces of both India and Pakistan undergo the elaborate ceremony jointly. It is a moment that generates patriotic fervor for any Indian.
Made in the style of the Golden Temple of Amritsar, this is another temple dedicated to Lord Laxmi- Narayan in the same city of Amritsar. One of the main pilgrim places in Punjab, this temple is also known as the Durgiana Tirath or the Sitla Mandir. The construction of the temple was done by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor and is often known as the Silver Temple. This is mainly due to the beautiful carved silver doors of this temple. Both Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna are worshipped here along with Goddess Durga. This temple houses a number of historical shrines of Sita Mata and The Bara Hanuman. The main festivals celebrated here are the Dusshera, Janmastami, Ram Navami and Diwali. The Temple features include a beautiful dome and pillars and the dome is illuminated with glittering lights during the evenings.
Kesar Da Dhaba
The pride of the Amritsar Cantonment, this small dhaba serves delicious Punjabi food at low costs. The dhaba is inside a small lane and so it is better that you park your vehicle outside the lane. The servings are huge and one plate is enough for two people even if you are starving. Their authentic spicy, Punjabi taste with the sweetness of the thick, creamy lassi is just superb. Their specialties are their stuffed parantha thali and lassi. Desi Ghee is what they put in most of their food and so be prepared to let your diet regime go for a toss and eat here to enjoy real Indian food.
I ended my last lunch at Amritsar at the extremely popular Kesar Da Dhaba, which is perhaps the most popular food joint in Amritsar. And, boy they are right. I would suggest to try one of their famous thaali's and gulab jaamun, which is mouth watering. Nothing short of perfect to end my Amritsar trip.
This place is every bit as good as Zomato says. The food menu is limited but again, that ceases to be an issue after you've taken a bite of the lachha parantha which is oozing with ghee. Try the dal fry and cholas and for dessert, definitely order the Phirni. It'll be worth it.
4. Amritsari Thali Order a special thali comprising of laccha parantha, Dal Makahni, Chhole, and Dahi Bhalla, and you will not be disappointed. The paranthas dripping in desi ghee are sure to send your dietitian's warning alarm ticking, but this meal deserves a cheat day. Bhravan Da Dhaba near Golden Temple, Kesar Ka Dhaba in Katra Jaimal Singh (old city) and Inderpuri on Cooper road (near the pull) are the best places to have this meal. Finish your meal with a delicious Firni (crushed rice pudding).
Don’t give up on the dabah as you squeeze past a cycle rickshaw and get lost for the nth time trying to find its location. The heavens will sing to you when you finally find it and the air-conditioned yet frugal dabah will provide some respite from the summer heat. A burly man will walk to you without a menu and demand that you place an order. Expecting you to have researched what to order for, like the other nervous tourists who sit beside you. When he places that cold lassi in front of you, you will pray that your already full stomach does not fail you. The legendary kulcha with enough ghee to run an Indian household for a month will arrive and that burly man will crush it right before your eyes with his man-hands to prepare it for the mortals. After the meal, feeling like you can’t move and have to be airlifted is a perfectly normal reaction.
The parade ended and we made our way to Golden Temple, the Last spot in our travel chronicles of Amritsar . This place is the holiest in all of Sikhism built by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh guru. It took twenty years to build construction beginning in 1585 and completing in 1604. There were a few shops added which gave it a new look but it was as magnificent as before. The best of the lot was the Langar that they served, with the courtesy they served us with showed us what Sikhism is all about.
Where: AmritsarThe holiest gurudwara of Sikhism, the Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar was founded by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das in 1577. The construction was expanded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in later years, who was an avid visitor of the gurudwara all his life. To visit Sri Harmandir Sahib, just reach Amritsar and take an auto to the gurudwara.
When I visited the Golden temple, I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace and serene. I did not want to come back. I wanted to take a holy dip in the water. I wanted to sit and sing bhajans the entire day. I wanted to watch the long line of people patiently waiting for their turn to get inside the main temple. No one was in a hurry. Tip: Keep your head covered all the time - men, women, and children. If you don't have anything, you will find something to buy outside the temple.
I was amazed by it even after being a Delhiite. Elante Mall is the second largest mall in North India and the third largest in India. The mall has a range of stuff you could do from shopping to watching movies to enjoy video games to bowling and other stuff. The mall also has a large food court to enjoy food at its fullest.We were enjoying ourselves and soaking in the environment when an earthquake struck which saw havoc being created and panicked people leaving the mall. We also made an exit from the mall.
I was amazed by it even after being a Delhiite. Elante Mall is the second largest mall in North India and the third largest in India. The mall has a range of stuff you could do from shopping to watching movies to enjoy video games to bowling and other stuff. The mall also has a large food court to enjoy food at its fullest.We were enjoying ourselves and soaking in the environment when an earthquake struck which saw havoc being created and panicked people leaving the mall. We also made an exit from the mall.
13. Elante Mall, Industrial Area Phase I -Type - Shopping MallFamous For - Branded Clothing Store, Luxury Restaurants, Gaming Outlets, Movie TheaterLocation - 178-178A, Purv Marg, Industrial Area Phase I, Chandigarh, 160002Timings - 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM (All Days Open)Contact Number - 0172-5005000Web - www.lntrealty.com/elante.aspx
ISKCON Amritsar, Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple
The Golden Temple also known as Harmandir Sahib is the holiest Gurdwara situated in Amritsar. A Sikh guru named Guru Arjan designed the golden temple and installed the Adi Granth (Holy Scripture of Sikhism) in the temple. In 19th Century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh took over Punjab and defended it from the attacks of the neighbouring regions. This was when he covered the top floors of the Gurdwara with Gold which helped the temple to make a distinct place in itself, and also it got the English name. The Gurdwara is surrounded by a lake, which consists the Holy Water and three Holy trees. Many memorial slab and plaques are placed inside the Gurdwara, which commemorates the past events.
Hotels and Homestays in Punjab 320 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Punjab
264 Kms from Punjab
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Delhi to Narkanda (420 kms)Everyone was itching to escape the dreadful heat of Delhi and get some respite in the sedative ambiance of the hills. And hey presto, as soon as we entered the ghats, the weather turned misty and greeted us with incredible spectacle:Read More
Goodbyes are hard. In this case it was very hard. It was time to part ways with the fabulous Chapslee and we secretly wished for a cloud burst or a mini landslide so that we could avert our trip to Manali. Alas, we had to say bye to the most adorable resident dogs, the exemplary staff and this exclusive retreat and make way to the splendid Manali.
I settled for a short nap after whetting my appetite. I woke up to the sound of honking. I knew we had entered Shimla. Since Shimla was our halt before Manali, we decided to treat ourselves and stay in a heritage property, Chapslee Hotel. The lavish mansion where the Raja of Kapurthala's grandson still maintains a blue-blooded style of living, reeking of yore.
#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).
274 Kms from Punjab
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
Head back home from Srinagar.
→ Gulmarg:If you are tired of the conventional places like Manali or Shimla; Gulmarg, Kashmir is perfect. The tranquil settings, the skiing slopes, the pine forests of Gulmarg make for the perfect place to holiday! The top skiing destination in India, Gulmarg surely offers a lot for the adventure enthusiasts! Kashmir offers an experience & scenic setting that remains etched in the memory of tourists for a very long time.
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.
237 Kms from Punjab
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
We have started journey from Chandigarh to Delhi and heading heavy rainfall around 3 hours.heading up towards Delhi from Chandigarh, had been driving in heavy rainfall and blowing parking lights on the road and following the traffic rules, didn't over take any car.
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.
267 Kms from Punjab
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
Kaza to Manali via Chandrataal (260 km) This has to be undoubtedly, the most thrilling day; handsdown!From the beginning of trip we were fed horror stories on Kunzum pass and pagal Nallah, about how they have overpowered travelers to succumb to their will often.But we were positive, as we had left on time, and the breathtaking views provided the fortitude to carry on steadfast:
I have a big problem (well I consider it to be a big problem) of checking my mails and messages the moment I open my eyes in the morning but if there is anything that can help me easily break up with my phone-obsession then this view has to be it. Manali's ravishing landscape demands a break from technology. The stunning snow peaked mountains look as delicious as marshmallows immersed in sinful hot chocolate and this view looks better with a steaming cup of coffee for company.
With physical fitness, mental resolve and a truckload of excitement, I started my journey. The overnight bus journey from Delhi to Manali is comfortable, safe and takes 14 hours to reach the destination. I disembarked at Patli Kuhl from where I was whisked away to the camp at Larankelo, about 25 km from Manali. At the camp I met the rest of the group, consisting of nine people of varying ages (including a couple who had a daughter my age!) from Mysore and two college boys from Akola, and the organisers. All the inhibitions I might have had about having come alone vanished. They were all very warm and friendly. Moreover, the times that we were to face together invariably brings out the best in people. After settling down in the camp, we were all introduced to our most important allies for the journey- the cycles. We went for a 20 km practice ride to get a feel of the cycles and of the mountains. The slopes around Larankelo are a bit steep and I was relieved when we were told that the slopes on the Manali-Leh highway are more gradual. That night, we sat together making small talk. We were all excited about the journey that we had long been preparing for.
The next morning, I was in for a surprise with views that I had NEVER seen before! I was so close to the clouds! It was beyond amazing! The rocky roads, the gushing rivers, clouds that you could almost touch and rain that you could almost taste, Manali was making my dream come true in more ways than I could imagine.
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 :)
257 Kms from Punjab
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October
A kingdom that has risen above disasters like the 2010 cloudburst and is still able to magnetise a plethora of tourists and travellers every month to it, even when the mercury dips below sub-zero levels. This former capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh is chiefly dominated by the ruined Royal Palace of Leh and the eternally serene Pangong Tso, Tibetan for 'high grassland lake', which is spread for 134 km from India to China. If you're someone who loves travelling unconventionally and is interested in the lifestyle that thrives in this high altitude desert, you can stay with locals who have turned their homes into 'homestays' and are open to interacting with non-natives. For a more spiritual and mystical experience, one can also spend the night at monasteries such as Thiksey, Lamauru or the Hemis Monastery, where you will get a chance to interact with Lamas (Buddhist teachers) and learn all about their lives and what they preach. For more visual and audio insights and treats, one can attend the 6 day Ladakh festival, a multihued explosion of Ladakhi culture and tradition, celebrated annually in the month of September in Leh's villages. Leh can always keep you entertained, for instance, with trekking (frozen river trek to Chadar, Padam to Darcha trek), mountain biking, skiing, camel safari, paragliding and even having your car pulled uphill by the magnetic force at the Magnetic Hill. Foodies will get no better thrill than eating at the highest cafeteria in the world, Rinchen Cafeteria. Other popular cafes such as Gesmo, Nirvana Garden, Cafe Jeevan and Norlakh are a must to go to for their lip smacking Italian, Himalayan and local dishes.Read More
2. For majestic landscapes, head to Ladakh
One of the longest drive in the whole 15 days. The excitement to reach The Moon Land was too high yet a slight fear lingered in the mind as we had to cross 3 passes in one day. Will we be able to keep up with nature or not was a question. Starting from Zingzing Bar then Barlacha-La pass considered to be one of the dangerous pass on the way. Close to the pass is Suraj tal (lake). It falls before Sarchu. The panoramic view what starts at Jispa stays with one till Leh. Once you take a break at Sarchu to digest the view and the climatic change for your body.Next two high passes awaits Namkila and Lachalang -La pass. After this one reaches Pang. A tea time halt. Then the last pass one needs to pass through is Tanglang-La pass to reach Leh. The highest pass and second motor able in the world on the way. In Leh, we were put up in #Zaltak Homestay. Where we could relish on the farm food. Strategically placed, close to Leh market 10 mins walk. The cost is Rs 1200 per room. For booking please contact Mr Atul Jaiswal -9855085962
No matter where I go, Leh will be close to me and I would take it along with me everywhere craving for a experience similar. There was so much I missed to write. If you really call yourself a traveler, do visit Leh and your for Nature and Traveling will go stronger.
335kms …but it took 11 hours to reach leh because it’s the toughest road in the world! Or one can say not road…as no tar road is there…we left Jispa at 8 am out tempo traveller got some serious issue at 9 am so we had to change the car …2 hours got wasted there And we reached 10pm…almost all were not feeling well !Day 5,6,7- leh local sightseeing
Beautiful scenery is augmented by…Childhood dreams. Those locations that you have always admired as a young soul should be visited. Nothing feels better than heading to a place that is beautiful, and that reminds you of your past serenity. Next destination was something I always wanted in my life since my young days. That would that's gorgeous, adventurous thrilling Leh Ladakh. The trip unfolded so many amazing landscapes. I got to see sand dunes, rivers, forest, and high mountains at the same place. It was glorious and heavenly. We rode to the top of the world, having the highest motorable Road, Khardungla Pass and getting there isn't easy. However, #Travloncards made it possible for all of us, many thanks to the team!
Leh city has become a bit more commercialized than I'd have liked it to be, but hey that comes with the popularity I guess. It's a quaint little place situated amidst snow clad mountains and winding roads, straight out of a movie. Shanti Stupa, Thikse monastery and Leh market are the places to go to. Shanti Stupa is a white dome shaped monastery atop a small hill. The soothing sound of the drums coupled with the chiming of the bells and the view from the monastery grounds, provides unparalleled peace. The white stupa shines brilliantly at night, across the black horizon dotted with a million twinkling stars. Thikse monastery has a lot of drum shaped structures lined up along the stairs leading to the meaning prayer hall above. Buddhist culture involves rotating those drums in a particular direction for inner peace. There is a two floor big Buddha statue inside. The peace and tranquility that these places offer is what I love about this culture. Leh market is like any tourist market, nothing special. There is one place in particular that I love, Gizmo, it is a cute multi cuisine restaurant in the center of the market. The food there is mouth watering, especially the mint flavored mock tails, yak cheese sandwich and the chocolate cake. Yummm!!
We found our first petrol bunk after nearly 400kms in LEH. After that we decided to head towards Pangong Tso lake, we were still carrying luggage on our bikes. After around 30kms there was some road repair which was going on so we had to take some diversion which was steep uphill with loose sand.
176 Kms from Punjab
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,October,November
Located in Himachal Pradesh, what most people refer to as Dharamsala is actually Lower Dharamsala. This is where the bus drops you, and from here you can make your way to Mcleodganj, or Upper Dharamsala, which is also where the Dalai Lama lives. The two Dharamsalas have a strong Tibetan presence with monasteries, meditation centres and a big library of Tibetan history. This is owing to the Tibetan refugees who have made this place home after fleeing the oppression of China in their homeland. There is a lot to explore at these destinations, which are popular both with Indian and foreign tourists. For tourism in Dharamsala, there is the Norbulingka Institute, where you can see artisans making thangka paintings, embroidering and carving food. Further up in Mcleodganj, you can visit the Namgyal Monastery, say a prayer at the St John in the Wilderness, take a dip in the gushing Bhagsu Falls, trek up to Triund or just enjoy the surrounding pine forest from its many fabulous rooftop cafes and restaurants. Some resorts provide opportunities for paragliding, flying fox, rock climbing, zip lining, rappelling and even night camping. Treks through the magical hills and forests are always invaluable, the most cherished one being, the trek to the snowy peaks of Triund. Dharamshala's vast Tibetan population gives way to charming little kitchen cafes serving the most lip smacking Tibetan dishes, that too at very affordable prices (below Rs 500 for two). Dishes such as thenthuk, thukpa, chocolate and meat medallions are a huge hit with most travellers that have visited and sought refuge in this city's mystical spread. Close Read More
McLeodganj is a small suburb in the city of Dharamshala. It is also the headquarters of the Tbetan - Government in exile and has plenty of monasteries if one wants to visit. Monks are a common sight in this small suburb. The peaceful McLeodganj is ideal as a last stop or destination as it provides the perfect atmosphere for calming the senses. McLeodganj is also called the 'Little Lhasa' or 'Dhasa' by the locals who reside over there. Various charitable organizations operate from McLeodganj for the Tibetan cause.
From Chandigarh, I had a full day of riding (on the roughest paved road I’ve ever seen) to get to Mcleodganj. What’s in Mcleodganj? The Dalai Lama and Mountains. I didn’t see the Dalai Lama, but I did go through the temple. Right before I had to give up my camera, they had this huge banner honoring Tibetans that had self-immolated…grim. Of course, I had to do a little hiking in the mountains. Back home, friends and I would often joke about how it’d be great to have a beer/food/etc. waiting at the end of a big hike or climb. To my surprise, this dream finally came true. At the top of this ridge line, there was a little shop where I warmed up with a nice cup of coffee.
The home of the Dalai Lama is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Lush green mountains, monasteries, western cafes. The place has a lot to offer. Weekends are packed, given its proximity to states of Punjab and Haryana, while weekdays are more calm and relaxed. We spent 2 days in the city, lazing around, exploring local cuisine and visiting the nearby monastries.
Punjab- the Land of Gurus, the Land of Pirs and Fakirs -Can be your perfect Getaway for 3 to 4 days.Punjab - 'panj' means 'five' and 'aab' mean 'water'.So Punjab is a land where five Holy rivers enroute - the Ravi, the Beas, the Chenab, the Jhelum,and the Satluj.But after partition, the part of Punjab in India has only three of them.Punjab - a land where the seeds of Sikhism were sown and they florished so rapidly and vastly, such that we can't imagine Punjab without that.The roots of spirituality, sacrifice are so strong - something which binds Punjab all together.So a trip Punjab is a must one:- Read More
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Punjab- the Land of Gurus, the Land of Pirs and Fakirs -Can be your perfect Getaway for 3 to 4 days.Punjab - 'panj' means 'five' and 'aab' mean 'water'.So Punjab is a land where five Holy rivers enroute - the Ravi, the Beas, the Chenab, the Jhelum,and the Satluj.But after partition, the part of Punjab in India has only three of them.Punjab - a land where the seeds of Sikhism were sown and they florished so rapidly and vastly, such that we can't imagine Punjab without that.The roots of spirituality, sacrifice are so strong - something which binds Punjab all together.So a trip Punjab is a must one:-
Enjoy Powerful Warrior Holi in Punjab.Instead of throwing colours, witness horses running down a corridor of jostling spectators, carrying fierce-looking Sikhs armed to the teeth with scimitars, spears and hatchets. The Hola Mohalla is an annual fair that dates all the way back to 1701. In an extraordinary coda to three days of worship and festivity, the Mohalla celebrations conclude with displays of traditional Sikh martial prowess on a grassy plain by the Charan Ganga River.
• What to buy: Phulkari dupatta
We've all seen (or are at least familiar with) Udta Punjab and how it portrayed the entire state of Punjab to be in. Speaking entirely on an apolitical perspective, Punjab is a heavenly destination for anyone who loves historical and religious significance in his journeys. This is the land of the great warriors and the confluence of the five rivers; not drugs.Reasons for notoriety: DrugsWhat it should be really known for: The Akal Takht (the throne of the timeless one) at Golden Temple in Amritsar, the memorial flame at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, the Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple near Pathankot, and the delicious food everywhere.
We reached Punjab around noon. As we have already booked a hotel for staying, we checked in there. We refreshed and had a little sleep. By evening 5 pm, we went to jallianwala bagh memorial. As it was closed, we went to Golden temple nearby that memorial.
1. Punjab - Amritsari Jalebi