Dhangadi is a simple town, fairly crowded for its size. We stayed at Hotel Rubus which gave us a royal traditional welcome with flowers and strolls on arrival. The appeal still felt Indian as elements of both cultures reflected in transitioning territories. We also arranged local sim cards to get back on the grid. The riders geared up next morning all set for Bardiya National park.
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207 Kms from Dhangadhi
Lucknow or the City of Nawabs sitting on the banks of the Gomti river, is regarded as North India’s cultural capital. Uttar Pradesh’s capital, Lucknow is replete with historical elements dating back to the colonial era that are known over the world for their Awadhi-style architecture. But Lucknow’s ethos lies in its delectable cuisine and its unique Chikankaari (shadow-work embroidery) garments that are must-buys if you are in the city. Lucknow is also known for its sweeping gardens and pure Kathak dance-forms that are showcased in numerous events held across the city. The city is also thriving with a lovely Urdu poetry scene. The ginormous tomb complex of Bara Imambara is home to a stunning labyrinth and neighboured by the equally popular mausoleum of Chhota Imambara, the Husainabad clock tower and a fantastic art gallery. And while in Lucknow, feast on its delightful assortment of Awadhi and Mughlai food that comprises of everything from kebabs to the makhan malai (a saffron-flavoured local ice-cream).
149 Kms from Dhangadhi
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,October,November
Located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Northern India. The stunning Nainital lake is bang in the middle of the city and offers tourists stunning sunsets and enchanting sunrises. One legend says that Nainital derives its name from the Goddess Naina, whereas another legend claims that once when the Goddess Sati was being carried by Lord Shiva, her eye fell in the area. The lovely hill station promises a rejuvenating weekend break for those who are coming from the capital city and is definitely worth a visit. Like most hill stations, Nainital has a bustling mall road, warm cafes and a very busy Tibet market. The mall road houses shops selling candles with intricate designs, wooden knick knacks and colourful woollens. Do bring back some souvenirs as keepsakes! If you have time, do visit Sattal, Naukuchiatal (for paragliding and kayaking) as well as Ranikhet for its surreal beauty. If you are looking for a quiet, carefree holiday, visit between the months of January and April. It'll be cold, but there won't be any crowd.
304 Kms from Dhangadhi
Best time to visit - March,April,September,October,November
Rishikesh is a small town in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India. Scenically located where the Ganges River comes down from the Himalayas, Rishikesh catapulted to Western fame when the Beatles dropped by for a visit to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram (now closed), and the town is still known as the World Capital of Yoga. Rishikesh is also the Gateway to the Himalayas. The Char Dham Yatra (Four Shrines Sacred Journey) ideally begins from Rishikesh. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of spirituality. White Water Rafting Rishikesh is very popular for its rafting on the River Ganga (Ganges). The months from September to December and March to June are considered as the best periods for the ultimate water rafting experience. There are a lot of easy treks available around Rishikesh. Some of them take you to beautiful and hidden waterfalls. These stunning natural wonders are 2-6 kms from Laxman Jhula and are hidden in neighbouring forests. One also has the option to trek to nearby Neelkanth Mandir.
306 Kms from Dhangadhi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
An ancient holy town and the starting point for pilgrimages to the Kedarnath Temple and the Badrinath Temple, Haridwar is the first recipient of the mighty rapid and revered Ganges, originating from the Gangotri Glacier. Its vast mythological background, beautiful temples (Shanti Kunj Gayatri Parivar), spectacular festival celebrations and the world famous Kumbh Mela (hosted every 12 years) make it a popular destination to be visited from around the world. Haridwar comes alive during sunset, when the evening aarti (ritual of worship) starts at Har Ki Pauri, a ghat (steps leading to a river) and the main attraction of the town where both the Ganga banks are lit up with floating claypot candles and chants of devotees and priests resonate musically throughout the town. The religious city serves no alcohol anywhere and restaurants are strictly vegetarian too, some well known ones being, Big Ben Restaurant, Chotiwala and the Haveli Hari Ganga Restaurant.
308 Kms from Dhangadhi
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Hilly deodars, gaddi dogs, buzzing markets, temples, rosy-cheeked Himachalis and a plethora of charming cottages and guest houses summarize what the once princely state Chamba is about. For a glimpse into Chamba's rich history, Bhuri Singh Museum is a must visit where one can see murals, stone carvings, copper plates, costumes, paintings and regal doorways. Adventurous spirits can take a trek to the treacherous but beautifully rewarding Manimahesh Lake and Chobia Pass. Other activities include rafting, trekking, mountain climbing and rafting over the Ravi river. One can also drive to the picturesque Khajjiar Lake and enjoy horse riding amidst the panoramic valley of Chamba or take a short but scenic trek to the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. Chamba's centre of attraction is Chowgan, a boundless green field that hosts everything from sports, festivals and picnics. The valley truly buzzes with life during the week-long Minjar Festival, celebrated in the month of August, with folk dance, music, processions and an enormous flea market, all hosted at Chowgan itself. Local food can be enjoyed at Chowgan restaurant while Cafe Ravi View and Desa Chicken Corner serve good Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
250 Kms from Dhangadhi
Our first stop.
147 Kms from Dhangadhi
Best time to visit - March,April,May,August,September,October,November
A small cantonment town in the scenic Kumaon Valley, a visit here will not leave any history buff disappointed. Its renowned and ancient Katermal Sun Temple and Jageshwar Temples, including the Archaeological Museum, offer an insight into its quaint scriptures. Spots such as Zero Point here are perfect for enjoying a splendid view of the Himalayas. Catering to every adventure seeker's interests, many resorts and travel companies also organise treks to Pindari and Milam glaciers and also mountain-bike trips around the hills of Almora. Another attraction here is the Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum, dedicated to military mementos weapons, especially the decorated Indian Infantry regiment, Kumaon Regiment. One can also visit Lal Bazaar, adorned with sophisticatedly-carved traditional wooden shops from where one can shop for a variety of things. Places such as Kasar Rainbow Cafe, Baba Cake, Glory Restaurant and Bansal Cafe are known non-vegetarian, vegetarian and bistro dishes. Don't forget to try the various kinds of milk sweets here – bal mithai, choklate (not chocolate) with a fudge-like consistency and singauri, a sweet wrapped in a green Malu leaf.
137 Kms from Dhangadhi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Mukteshwar is a hill station in Uttarakhand that is popular for its wide assortment of adventure sports such as rock climbing and rappelling. Overlooking the peaks of Nanda Devi, Mukteshwar is also a celebrated scenic spot that is perfect for long walks and some quiet time in the closeness of nature. The Mukteshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a revered shrine of the region. Located near this temple is the Chauthi Jaali, which is a picturesque precipice of lattice rocks. These rocks present an enchanting view of the green grasslands down below. The Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow, which is located near the temple, offers a perfect place to relax and unwind while enjoying the scenery around. The charming landscape of the Sitla Estate here is beautiful and offers seasonal fruits such as apples, peaches and plums. Mukteshwar has limited options in terms of food, but most places offer both North Indian and Kumaoni cuisine. Popular eateries include the Nirvana Organic Kitchen and The Hideout Crimson Hills. Government tourist hotels and PWD circuit houses provide accommodation facilities.