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267 Kms from Haldwani
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The capital city of India is a glorious concoction of the old and the new. Temples that are centuries old, archaic Musli...
It all started from new delhi. This a one of the best place to spend a hot summer, far away from the noisy city to a chilling, calm town at the foothill of the Himalayas. Trip route : New Delhi -> Haldwani - > Nainital -> Bhimtal
The journey itself started with lot of adventures. From almost missing our bus to Manali to meeting unpleasant people in trip. This is the first time we were going for trek through India Hikes. We were informed to report at Nehru Park and India hikes seemed to be very much professional in terms of their list which was provided to us. As this was my 5th Himalayan trek I had a very casual attitude; so much casual that I ended up taking fancy reebok shoes which I can use regularly instead of taking huge trekking shoes which I might not use later on.
So, finally, 4th Nov, Friday night, we boarded HRTC bus from Kashmere gate from Delhi, per person fare was 1200. I would suggest, to book ticket at least 2 months prior because we were lucky to get seat else it is always full. It was 8 PM , when bus started from Delhi. On the way near Murthal, Bus stopped for dinner. There are couple of restra and small dhaba where one can have hearty meal for 100 bucks.We reached Mandi town next day (5th Nov) morning at around 8 am and checked into Rajmahal Palace Hotel. Rent was 1500 bucks per night which was quite alright for 2 people, with 2 bed, attached bathroom, and a TV. Very basic amenities available. But ambiance was quite surreal. Oh! forgot to tell you, we have booked this hotel in the last of Oct only, but again I would advise book at least 1 month prior. Luck was with us, so we have got the hotel room.We have got freshen up quickly as we didn't want to waste time because we had very short time for that trip. After talking to reception guy, got to know that it's better to head towards Prashar Lake as it was winter and hills become dark soon. We asked him to arrange for a taxi, and after 20 minutes taxi driver was at our service. It was November, so fare was quite less, it was 1500 to and fro (mandi-prashar-mandi). It took 1.50 hour to reach prashar lake.
Staying on the journey.So they asked me what and how should they pack stuff to travel and about the first time flying on a airplane.This was also my first Airplane journey.So the previous evening I picked them up from The New Delhi Railway station and their first words were asking me to trim the beard too as I have shaved the dreads and got completely bald , luckily they have accepted the piercing which is now almost a year old .So we checked in to Pre booked Ambika palace Hotel which contrary to the name was not good on services,though as travelling solo through years I have stayed at hostels which are way much affordable and good in terms of service.With my father watching some news on The Tv we finally resorted to an early sleep as we had early morning flight and had to pick up My sister from her Hostel.The Next morning we had Pre booked Uber from Ubergo but the driver bailed on us the last minute but luckily we got another cab fro Uber and picked up My sister and headed towards the I.G.I. Airport.I was pretty overwhelmed to see the terminal as contrary to the railway stations it was neat ,a site which seems rare In India. So after some security checks we finally boarded the Spice jet which incurred a technical difficulty before making a run to Take off and the Flight got delayed by 2 hours ,thus cancelling our First day of sightseeing Cochin.About the experience while cruising it was a ticklish feeling and my ears got blocked several times .Also I met a talkative kid who gave me some tips on calligraphy and boasted of his achievements to which his parents were proud but other than that I managed to draw a doodle in the journey of about three hours.At the Airport we were greeted by or host for the trip Mr Shah ji ,who was a jolly and optimistic Chap.
9. 'Rang De Basanti': Colors of North
1. 'Highway': plan a road trip from Delhi to Kashmir
283 Kms from Haldwani
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Home to the grandiose Taj Mahal, Agra’s city echoes of its bygone Mughal era days. Located in Uttar Pradesh, tourists ...
Well, my childhood dream came true. I visited the Taj Mahal. My sister booked a cab for our whole trip - to Delhi and Agra. So we got in the vehicle, took the National Highway, took some breaks in between, and along with some mild argument with a police officer, we are on our way again. (Miraculously, that Police Officer showed us the hotel where we can stay just next to the Taj Mahal). In the morning everybody dressed up, bought a ticket and went in. To tell the truth, that way the very first time I have found my dreams actually come true. From reading about the Taj in the textbooks to seeing it face to face is one of the most amazing moments of my life.
I thought, only I am excited to see the Agra fort, but saw dad walking fast to secure us entry passes. As soon as you enter the monumental doors of Agra fort, you are going have a war with local guides. Once you succeed in the negotiations, the journey inside begins.
The most popular weekend getaway from Delhi would have to be Agra. Within 200 kms from Delhi, it takes less than 3 hours to reach Agra via Yamuna Expressway. While it may be famous for the Taj Mahal, it is also a great weekend destination away from the bustling city. If you are a history buff, this city will definitely catch your fancy. It is home to some of the country’s best architectural marvels like Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort and Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb.
It was 14th August , the day of the week when most of the people are hit with Monday Morning blues (sometimes I do too) and the next day being 15th August was holiday .As usual , I had nothing to do other than to lie on bed lazily the whole day . Suddenly it occured to me that I should visit Agra . I never have had any chance to visit Agra previously . Agra is just 230 kms from Gurgaon and around 4 hours drive . I geared up and quickly booked an Activa online for 2 days . I cost me 650/- INR excluding fuel . I left the office early and picked up my ride from Wheelstreet (online bike renting plattform) . I reached my place , took a quick shower , packed the necessary items for two days and started my solo - road trip to Agra . If you go on a bike , road trip do not forget your powerbank , face mask , driving gloves , and arm sleeves . One thing to note here that if you are going to Agra on a road trip on 2-wheelers , do not take the Yamuna Expressway . Instead opt for the Palwal highway which is pretty good .In my case , I did the same opted for the latter , which is comparatively safer . I left Gurgaon at 7.30 pm after having some evening snacks .Google Map was of great help and the connectivity throughout the journey was good.I had a pit stop at one of the dhabhas along the way . The food was yum and the price reasonable . I passed through the famous towns such Gokul , Vrindavan and Mathura . Even at around 12 o'clock at night , these towns were lively and jubiliant as the next day was Janmashmi . The celebrations of this festival was in full swing and most of the relevant shops were open . At around 1 AM , I was on my bed at my Hotel Room . I had not booked it earlier , so I had to pay a little extra which I regretted . After 4 hours drive , I needed rest and I dozed off as soon as I hit the bed .So friends please , book your rooms beforehand or be ready to make a good bargain .
Sharp a 2 hour journey and at 8, we got off at the Agra Cantt Railway Station and headed towards the hotel in our pre-booked vehicle.A quick check-in, we drop our luggage and move further to have the first WOW experience, it's the Agra fort. Beautiful architecture and amazing history, we see, click, listen, learn and come out full of stories and pictures.
If you have visited Taj Mahal a thousand times and have come to believe that that there's nothing more to discover, wait till you see Mehtab Bagh on a moonlit night. Tourist guides and popular travel books will rarely tell you about this hidden treasure of Agra, simply because it's difficult to locate among the winding by-lanes of the city. But once you find it, you get a chance to enjoy a panoramic view of Shah Jehan's beloved Taj Mahal.'Wah Taj!', you will say to yourself.
The trend of backpacker's hostels has finally come to India. And who's complaining. Zostels are like the travel hostels we have all seen in the movie Queen. Clean, cheap, centrally located and secure.In addition you get to meet loads of new people waiting to be your friends. Zostel is expanding rapidly by the day. Presently, there are around 20 Zostels in India and one in Nepal.Currently, Zostel is offering a volunteer Programme where you can be at their front desk. In return they offer you free accommodation. Cool, Isn't it.Volunteer to Travel :I have been a huge fan of long trips. I barely plan 2 day trips. Short trips are for tourists, vacations are for travelers. Don't get me wrong here. But how can you capture the essence of a place, visit the offbeat places, do what the locals do in 3 days. You barely have time to rush to all the touristy places. Isliye, I volunteer. This provides you a change to contribute in your own little way during traveling and gives you an immense sense of satisfaction.Here are few of my favorite volunteer organisations:
306 Kms from Haldwani
Lucknow or the City of Nawabs sitting on the banks of the Gomti river, is regarded as North India’s cultural capital. ...
From Agra, leave for the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. A foodie's paradise, Lucknow is known for the world-renowned tunday kebabs. But there's much more to explore in this underrated city. Buildings reminiscent of the British Raj, mausoleums, and a bhool bhulaiya (maze) to get lost in this city, make it a fun place to visit.
The journey from Bhairahawa to Lucknow marked the final leg of TON 2017. After crossing the border (which happened surprisingly quick), we traversed 360 km of Indian highways through Gorakhpur and Faizabad to arrive at Lucknow. There was celebratory ceremony marking the conclusion of this epic journey. Receiving certificates of completion made the riders ecstatic and emotional which was evident in farewell addresses by fellow mates and crew members.
The Nepal journey began from Lucknow at the Golden Tulip Hotel. It felt like déjà vu entering the hotel lobby, seeing the riders wait with their riding gear and luggage with curiousity and high hopes in their eyes. Some of the people from the Bhutan team were back again for this one and I could completely understand the excitement in their hearts as we caught up and discussed old episodes.The highlight of the team this time were the 4 female riders who had joined us from Bangalore and Aurangabad. They seemed confident, experienced and ready for the challenging ride with all their charm.Day zero was First aid training by Tarun (Rashtriya Life Saving Society) followed by tour brief by Shawn Dsouza and Rohan Pimpley (RE team) with a thorough Q&A session breaking the ice and setting the tone right for the team to kickstart the journey next day.
We started from Lucknow, aka The City of Nawabs & reached Gaya Junction, the nearest railway station to Bodhgaya after a twelve-hour journey by train. Without any delay, we took an auto-rickshaw to Bodhgaya that is around 17 km away. You can find a number of transport facilities to go Bodhgaya from Gaya Junction.Where to Stay –
Lucknow, also known as the city of Nawabs has developed over the years but hasn't lost its rich cultural heritage. The city is divided into two parts the old city and the new city . The old city primarily consists of the Imambaras (shrines), the monuments, the very famous tundey kababs. The new city has the malls and the parks. There is a startling difference between the two, the new city is cleaner , better roads and it's easier to get a mode of transportation, whereas the old city is dusty and the main mode of transportation is cycle rickshaw, electric rickshaw and shared autos, however, it has most of the places that are worth seeing.
The flight reached Lucknow at 8:25 a.m. At the airport we took the taxi for 250 rs. At the prepaid counter it was told 300 rs. You can bargain for around 200. We reached the railway station to pick up our bikes by 9:30 a.m. but the counter at the railway station opens only by 10-10:30.We paid 550 to the guy as a bribe though the actual amount is 350 for 24 hours. Checklist: A swiss knife to remove packing from bikes else you will have to pay someone to remove the packing. 5 liter empty can as bikes won't have petrol while packed and transported and in case the petrol pump is far A good cloth actually multiple number of clothes to clean bikes. A right turn from the railway station and around 3-4 km you can find a petrol pump. Our route of 324 km which we planned for this day was Lucknow -> Faizabad -> Basti-> Bhairwah->Saunali Here we took the diversion to Naugarh instead of going to Gorakhpur. Unfortunately, this route was very deserted and roads were pretty bad. We kept riding till evening and late in the night at 12 a.m. #Stay Some people suggested us Sanju lodge but we were so tired that we took the first lodge we found named Niranjana.
295 Kms from Haldwani
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July
Scenic and serene, Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh is perhaps one of the most unexplored places in Himachal. Passing through...
Kara Lake Located in Kinnaur, Kara Lake is located in Bhaba valley. It takes almost two days to trek till Kara Lake and the route passes through beautiful meadows with Himalayan horses grazing around. The entire trek is filled with gorgeous views of Himalayan Peaks. Kara Lake is one of the few treks that will take you through glaciers even in the summer season. Basic Info – Kara Lake trek starts from a small village called Kafnu. There are a couple of guest houses that also provide guide for the trek.
With that we started from kaza to chandigarh via shimla and the journey just cannot be expressed in words. Roads in the cold desert are sometimes very disapponting especially when the drilling of the moutains take places the day you’re supposed to travel and you just keep waiting and the journey of 12 hrs is extended to 15-16 hrs. But still that's another good thing as you can explore more on the way! (I got a real bad reaction from my sister when i said that while we were stuck on the way. I'm still glad i came back alive from that trip and she didn’t kill me. :p )I would define kaza as one of the most picturesque destinations in Spiti valley. I heard from the locals that many Bollywood movies have been shot here. One can watch the Paap (a Bollywood movie) if they want to get a glimpse of what to expect when they reach Kaza.
The picturesque Sangla Valley in the Kinnaur with its bountiful Apple Orchards is known for rich tribal culture and traditions. There is a local tradition to welcome the guests with a garland of dry fruits and a round Kinnauri cap with green flap. It's also known for legally brewing two popular drinks, 'angoori' and 'ghanti'.Where to Stay:Rattan Cottage:A hidden-rural homestay in the picturesque Sangla Valley in Kinnaur district some 275 km from Shimla. The host also participates in the apple fest to showcase his orchard.Address: Village & P.O. Sangla, Tehsil Sangla ,District KinnaurPhone: 0-098052536
But one last visit will do!The road journey was super exciting. But I just wanted a little more scenery to enjoy! Thus next, we headed to the Himalayas again to uniquely end 2016! It was a perfect place to get away from the city for a while. So I decided to celebrate New Year's eve at Kinnaur, famous for sacred Kinner Kailash high range mountains which is home of the Lord Shiva.
The Hindustan-Tibet road or the NH5 to Chhitkul is precarious and can easily shake even the strongest of the hearts. The landslide prone roads are not smooth all the way as a national highway is supposed to be, mere 3m wide, and Satluj River by the side, the ride scared even our expert driver. Our driver had to drink a bit during the dinner time and only then he could drive fearlessly in the night at around 12 am and onwards.Now was our final battle with the roads.
Kinnaur has for centuries been a major trans-Himalayan corridor. Merchants travelling between China and the Punjabi plains passed through on the Hindustan–Tibet caravan route, stretches of which are still used by villagers and trekkers. The bulk of the traffic that lumbers east towards the frontier, however, uses the newer NH-22, which veers north into Spiti just short of the ascent to Shipki La pass, on the Chinese border, which remains closed.
A small video of our trip through Shimla-Narkanda-Sangla-Reckong Peo and Kalpa which we completed in under Rs 7000 for 10 days from Mumbai with food travel and Stay.
Their family was kind enough to let me know of the bus options and booked a bus to Reckong Peo ( head quarters of Kinnaur district).So, on sunday at 13.30 hours was the bus from Kullu to Reckong Peo( its about 16 hour journey so the bus tentatively reaches around 5.30am the next day ). Off course I was a bit scared because I was going to head out alone and this was supposed to be a group trip and I was heading out solo...Well..You gotta do what you gotta do ...the adventurous side in me overtook the fear and inhibitions in me and prayed to the Divine for guidance!
Mystery Door to Heaven, May be. These pretty things never fail to surprise you. You ask for Sunshine, they'll give you Rains. Isn't it? These clouds are like gift wraps for Himalayas. I will wrap you up and who make most effort to see you, I will open it for them. Probably ???? #meandmycrazythoughts----Well, I was quite fascinated with the name of these roads and I wanted to click each and every such passages on the road. But it wasn't as easy as I was travelling by bus. Still managed pretty well by peeping out from the window and clicking. Many more to come.
212 Kms from Haldwani
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,August,September,October,November,December
A quick getaway destination for Delhi-NCR residents, Mussoorie or the 'Queen of Hills' is the most favoured place for an...
Day 5: Mussoorie - The queen of hillsBy night fall I boarded a bus to Mussoorie which in itself is a great task. The bus stand is near the railway station opposite to the pre-paid taxi stand. One has to wait for hours in the ticket line. Tickets are distributed only after the bus arrives at the stand. 30kms distance to Mussoorie easily takes 2 hours. During winter Mussoorie is bustling with tourists and finding any on spot accommodation is quite difficult. Wanting to stay away from the crowded areas I booked a hotel at the Landour bazar road.Along with the regular places to visit one can take a walk at the 2 km stretch of Mall road, watch the sun set behind the hills casting its hue on Mussoorie, witness the moon rise over the sparkling Dehradun, shop endlessly in Mall road, eat the famous aloo parantha from Funjabi Food, must gulp the masala orange juice and lay back on those benches and observe the city.Places to visit: Lal tibba, Kempty falls, Gun hill, Cloud's end, Camels back road, Jharipani falls, Bhatta falls, Company garden.
Clock Tower Cafe - Located uphill from Kulri Bazaar, located near the clock tower at Landour, the cafe-restaurant is colorfully decorated with posters, magazines and books as well as a live see-through kitchen. The momos here are a must-try. The place primarily serves Chinese though they do whip up pastas and pizzas as well.
After experiencing the tranquility of Nahan, we continued with our journey to Mussoorie. The scenery showed us the bright lemon yellow plains contrasting with the viridescent faces of bewitching hillocks.
6000ft | 9°CI happened to have travelled 2500kms from Bangalore, all the way to Dehradun. And, these last 220kms to Sankri was the most thrilling and at the same time appealing.
On 1st Jan. 2017, we reported at the YHAI Mussoorie Hostel in the evening. There we met the entire group of around 50 people. We were oriented about the trek and things to remember. On 2nd January, we travelled by bus to Sankri Village in Uttrakhand from Mussorie. The drive is a delightful one as the path takes you along the Yamuna and pine forests.
#TripotoTakeMeToHimalayasMussoorie is just 40 minutes away from Dehradun. It is a very popular travel destination and there are a lot of activities like paragliding. It also has many cafes and a beautiful mountain view all around it. When I think of Mussoorie, it is impossible to actually choose a place because there are so many mountains and so many different places to stay at. With AirBNB coming out, I guess AirBNB houses are the best to stay at because they are so well furnished with a lot of different amenities and are not even half as costly at hotels.
On day 2 we had planned to visit mussoorie particularly the Kempty fall.We left the hotel early morning and started our journey towards Kempty fall which is almost 40Km from Dehradun. After having some breakfast at the road side outlets we further resumed our journey to Kempty fall.On the way to Kempty the natural beauty was awesome and mindblowing.
170 Kms from Haldwani
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...
India is the birthplace of yoga. From developing this art and making it global, India as a country has always been at the forefront. And in the entire country, Rishikesh is unarguably the yoga capital, of not only India but the world. It is one city in the world where multiple yoga ashrams exist in every corner and alley. The home of ancient yogis, sages and seers, Rishikesh has been spearheading the development and spread of yoga throughout the world. People from as far as South America, and from as close as Nepal, visit Rishikesh to learn this art form.
Day 2: Rishikesh - The yoga capital20 kms from Haridwar is the 'Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas'. One can take a local bus from Haridwar, it takes about one hour or less to Rishikesh. This is a place I want to live in and experience nevertheless when ever I can, I do visit the yoga land. One can live in hostels, attend yoga classes, practice meditation and do so much more. After experiencing Ganga Aarti in Haridwar, I wanted to witness the same in Rishikesh. Triveni ghat at dusk is mesmerizing, the setting sun across Ganges, pandits getting ready for the aarti, kids collecting coins thrown into the river by the devotees, families performing rituals are just some things one gets to notice as a bystander.Places to visit: Triveni Ghat, Jumpin Heights for bungee jumping, river rafting, Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula, the Beatles Ashram, Swarg Ashram, Shivpuri(famous for adventure sports).
It’s the little things after all which leave a dent in your mind. This cookie Maker guy- Gautam, has set up his own “Bakery On wheels”! Yes, and it’s not a food truck or Van with all modern baking amenities. He’s created a unique oven from tin and bakes “Wood fired Cookies” in those.Baking sumptuous Cookies in three flavors, the butter cookies won me over! Flaky, Melt in mouth, moderately sweet and buttery- Too perfect for a street delicacy! I got almost a pound packed as souvenirs for friends and I ended up eating it all during the week-long trip! :p
DAY 2 : We left for Rishikesh, apart from rafting and cliff jumping there is much to explore in peace and beauty.Place has its owned popularity for meditation and Yoga which is being followed since decades.The most popular band "The Beatles", king of rock and retro music in late and early 90's visited the place in search of peace which made the place a tourist spot for music lovers.In memory of the famous band, the natives had named their cafe's as "The Beatles Cafe" which, rather the only cafe which that band went to was a mystery to us. We spent two nights at some government quarters at Rishikesh, as my friend was working in Chief Minister office, Dehradun.Aanother day we went to "Little Buddha Cafe", a not so quiet but a decent place to sit and enjoy whole day with dope and music. The cafe is known to be as a second home for foreigners, where they dope and rest at peace in melancholic music. One might face discrimination here as an Indian, they don't entertain Indians the way they care for foreigners.
Rishikhesh is amongst my most preferred destinations for relaxation and my love for Yoga further adds to its charm.
You know how there is always that one person who's always planning a trip and almost always failing to gather enough people to go forward with it? Well this time around this dog finally had his day. By the way, this dog is not me. Moving on, nevertheless.ISBT, ISBT, ISBT! Kashmiri Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Kashmiri Gate! Bus, bus, bus! *sigh* now let's go and get ourselves a bottle of water for the ride (Isn't that how it always goes?)Fast-forwarding through the 7 hour over-night bus ride and the little insignificant dhaba stopover where everyone is groggy from not sleeping yet sleeping with their eyes open. And of course, their toilets. The only reason the driver really makes the pit-stop. Let's face it.Finally! We arrive at Rishikesh. And there lay, a few hundred metres in front of us, the river Ganga. Or Ganges as it's known. Making its way from Gangotri, pit-stopping (or rather waving at us and carrying on towards the Sundarban Delta) at Rishikesh where it fills its pockets with gold and diamond and ruby and all the tears that come with it. And on it goes. And it keeps going till that moment that its one with the ocean. Kinda like life if you think about it.Emerging from our near hangover like state we entered Amrit Ganga Cafe in hopes of finding some good food. And good food we got. Kafuli, Gahat ke paranthe and Kumaoni raita to top it off. It was the best cure to our sluggish morning and we could finally completely appreciate the freshness of the air, the enormity of the river Ganga and the daily worship that followed with it.After sifting through an endless line of cabs we came across one fairly reasonable. Onward we go, towards a supposed 'surprise'.On our way, every time I looked out of our cab all I saw were river banks and camp sites. River banks, camp sights, river banks, camp sights, river sights, camp banks. How I wished we could go camping.Going down a steep road we started steering towards a little camp site ourselves. Could this be? I've never been camping before but could this.."Oh boy!" Serendipitously, I found the little kid in me again.
So Next day we all woke up with our freaking dreams of Rope getting cut during Bunjee and all finally headed to nature walk which the camp had arranged us .Then finally we had breakfast packed our bags and got ready for bunjee .Bunjee timing -9.39am-4pm.Please plan early as it depends how many people are in queue for this activity.We had booked a cab this day as we had to visit bunjee and also we had to reach rishikesh .This cab we bargained for 2000 deal was to drop us at Railway station , also to cover any place on the way.We reached Jumping heights and twice we used restrooms .And since there was a queue we planned to do flying fox and did this .Flying fox 1800+bunjee 3500+750 for video .
Then we went to camp by two wheeler had our lunch and headed towards , Laxman and Ram Juhla .We also wanted to attend the Ganga Aarthi. The Jhula really shakes and there are two wheeler moving on this imagine. We got confused as many places Ganga aarthi is done , so finally went to Parmarth where actual Ganga Arthi is done .It was pretty divine to see this .Finally reached our camp .And we had done the bunjee booking for all [ irrespective of people freaking for height].
When we fell in water ill tell you i really thought am gone , as somehow all got in and I was the last one to get in .It was really freaky on top of that due to force of water even my pant was coming out .Luckily managed to hold it .And the experience was awesome .Then we rafted well in all the other rapids except in one of golf rapid there one of our friend mad second debut.There was body surfing for stretch of 1-2 km where we voluntarily jumped in water and were holding rope and could move with boat.Just before the rafting ends there is cliff jumping and break to eat maggie .Most of my frens jumped though i freaked out .But please try this its nice experience .Finally we reached the shore and took our video [instructor had gopro cam on his head ] after a bargain of 1500 we got it .
171 Kms from Haldwani
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 i...
Day 1 : Haridwar - The ancient cityFrom Haridwar railway station most of the places to visit is at a walkable distance. There are multiple budget hotels available in the vicinity. The life here revolves around the ever flowing Ganga. Take a walk along side the river and you will reach Har Ki Pauri, the famous ghat where Ganga Aarti is performed every evening. This spiritual ritual with bhajans and Vedic chants is a sight to behold. This enchanting ceremony takes place by 6.30 pm but the devotees start to gather as early as 4.00 pm. To get a decent view, find a good spot, buy a newspaper for 2 Rs to spread across the floor and wait patiently watching the preparations (Do not forget to pick up your paper and throw them in the bin, which many people seem to ignore). Haridwar still has the essence of mythology and divinity in every corner of the city.Places to visit: Har Ki Pauri, Bharat Mata Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Bara Bazaar, Bhimgoda Kund, Daksha Mahadev Temple, Mansa Devi Temple and Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary.
A day at this divine land of Haridwar will amaze you with how faith can be so mesmerizingly beautiful!! An overcrowded “Har ki Paudi” was such a clumsy and “non favorable” affair before the chants of the Ganga Aarti started. So much crowd, people pushing each other away and loud noises was a huge turn off, then came a voice on the loudspeaker “Har Har Gangey” and begins the famous Aarti. To my surprise, the entire crowd got still and quiet, all eyes on the Pujaris performing this glorious and riveting ritual! I somehow managed to sneak a few clicks of this sanctified act. You can’t really understand the greatness of this Maha-Aarti until you witness it live!
The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.The nearest railhead is Haridwar which is well connected with all the major cities of India. You can also reach Haridwar by Volvo buses from Delhi Kashmiri Gate ISBT.Badrinath is about 320 km from Haridwar. You can take early morning buses from haridwar to reach Badrinath. It will take about 11 to 12 hours to reach Badrinath. From Badrinath, you have to take a jeep to Mana village.Best Time to do Satopanth Lake Trek:The best time to do this trek is May and June and September and October. The Garhwal treks are best to be avoided in the monsoon.
Day 1: Haridwar to Joshimath 6700 ftThe trek starts from Joshimath in devbhoomi Uttarakhand. The easiest way to reach there is by taking a taxi from Rhishikesh or Haridwar. The total distance of 250 kms will take 12 hours of drive with breaks. For most part, the roads are well maintained except for the occasional maintenance by BRO(Border Road Organisation). You will get the views of Devprayag (confluence of Bhagirathi river and Alaknanda river), Rudrapryag (confluence of Mandakini river and Alaknanda river) and Karnprayag (confluence of Pindar river and Alaknanda river) on the way.
The Bus from kashmiri Gate left us at Haridwar at 5 in the morning. And the bus going to uttarkashi was at 6’o clock which left us with some spare time.‘How are you,’ I asked.Cold, Arjun said. Let’s have a hot cup of Tea.While having that tea it came to my mind if it is so chilling in Haridwar, what will happen to me on the trek? Then I thought never mind, it had been worse & it is not the first time we did something stupid. Well we got on the bus & wow what a journey it was, half of the people were puking on one side and other half on the other side, this is the best thing I find about roadways. In order to distract myself I covered my entire face with my muffler & slept for the entire journey. It almost took us 7 to 8 hours to reach uttarkashi & 1 extra hour to bhatwari from where we hired a jeep which took us to raithal where the trek starts.The sun was almost about to hide & we did not had much time left in our hands. Bending under the weights of our packs we started hiking and within half an hour found a place near water source to pitch our tents.‘You pitch the tent & I will prepare the dinner,’ Arjun said.Alright, I replied.It was already dark and very silent & I could hear every sound including my own heartbeat which becomes really creepy and terrifying sometimes, although the dinner was perfect & we slept.
Day 2: The Bus departed at 6:00 and after a long 8-9 hrs journey we were finally at Rudrapryag. Now I didn't had a clue on how to reach deorital, I asked some taxi drivers and I'm telling u don't even dare to ask em they were asking for ₹1500 to ₹3000. And then I found out that there was a bus at 14:30 hrs that cost us just ₹60. At 18:00 hrs we started the trek to Deorital. But the action was left to happen. At around 19:30 hrs it started to rain and and the visibility was near zero we all had our headlamps on, by 20:00 hrs it was raining heavily and we were yet to set the tent. By the time the tent was ready to take us in I was soaked now it's sleep time ... Atleast that's what I thought and expected.
I just bag packed and left from Delhi via Noida to Rishikesh at 11:30 AM. It was Friday, the first time I was driving all over from Delhi to Noida that is not more than 30 km and then suddenly Bang! I hit my swift to a divider. I managed to reach Noida and my friends joined and I handed over the driver seat to him.Now the Trip Starts from here Delhi-Noida-Haridwar-RishikeshOn the way we take some snacks-popcorn, chips and cold drink to munch. Since it was Friday the perfect weekend so there was too much traffic on the route. We reached Haridwar at 5:30 P.M and decided to reach Harki pauri as it was the time for Evening Aarti and we do not want to miss that. We reached Harki pauri and the place was teeming but the view was amazing. The flow of river Ganga, the evening sunset, the beautiful glittering diyas floating and the chanting of mantra to appease the god that embraces “Jai maa gange jai jai gange” in a recurring voice is a sight to behold. The tiny diyas bedecked by flowers appears as if thousands of lamps are set to float in the river. We stay there till the Aarti end.Since it was late in the evening we decided to stay in Haridwar only. We searched for hotel and finally decided to stay in Hotel Crystal Ganga Heights that was hardly 2km from the Harki Pauri. The Hotel was cosy and the rooms were comfortable. We had our dinner in the hotel and the food was wonderful. In the midnight we celebrated my birthday and that too was great.
Has it ever happened that you plan for a Trek and you end up completing some other Trek? Well, Pangarchulla was something like that. We had planned for a trek to Bagini glacier on 25th of April, we started for Haridwar via New Delhi. It was already late evening when we reached Haridwar-the city of gods. After checking into the hotel we decided to take a walk along the river bank, which i must say was clean these days.
The day didn't end yet since we arrived at the station at 02.00 am. Our so faithful driver was awaiting us to arrive. And accordingly we started our journey towards Kausani. It was a 6 hours journey within the mountains and the driver was amazing who helped us reach our destination. When we arrived it was actually 05.30 am and we didn't worry about not getting sleep. Because we had an amazing breath taking view to be explored early morning. I have shared the early morning mist view. A backpackers happy place and a writer's Dreamland, Kausani is one such village which is also enjoying it's stature as a quaint hill station. Cradled under the sheath of the crimson sun and the dark green hills, Kausani is known for offering a panoramic view of the massive Himalayan peaks such as Trishul, Nandadevi and the mighty Panchchuli peaks. The glory of the snow crowned Himalayan range reaches its pinnacle when the sun rays turn them into gold at morning and orange during the sunset. We spent the rest of the day relaxing it had been a very long journey. We had our Snack and Dinner outside where we could really make it much cheaper. There is a small time Canteen located 50 metres from the hotel where the locals cook the food and it tastes amazing.
Away from Chopta, Auli and Nainital is Haldwani, surrounded by dense forests and Gaula River. The rough terrain in and near Haldwani are ideal for trekking and hiking. The trails offer amazing views of the valley as well as the Himalayas. The scenic beauty of the mountains around Haldwani is gauranteed to please every photographer.
Comes Before Kathgodam
This was our first spot where we stopped after an eight hour bus drive from Delhi. Reached Haldwani in the morning. ( Amount spent is Rs.750); from Haldwani you can get taxis ranging from 100 INR to 250 INR ( maximum that you should pay for a shared taxi). Advice : always take taxis which already have some passengers else, the others make you wait very long. Haldwani is a small town with various connectivity with other cities in the Kumaon Region (Nainital, Jageshwar, Almora etc. ). The Bus Stand is huge and has plethora of buses to choose from for your destination.