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175 Kms from Madhubani
Langtang Valley trek is one of the lesser known treks of Nepal. It is also called the valley of glaciers treks. Infact, ...
Langtang Valley trek is one of the lesser known treks of Nepal. It is also called the valley of glaciers treks. Infact, Langtang is the place from here you can get the majestic snow-capped mountains and the beautiful glaciers at close quarters. Langtang is only 8 hours drive towards the north of Kathmandu. This trek route was discovered by the famous British mountaineer and travel writer Bill Tilman.
Kathmandu stayOn 5th April , i reached Kathmandu . As soon we reached , people rushed into this shop at the airport to buy an NCELL SIM card . I bought an NCELL Sim Card and called my driver who was arranged by SNOWYODA . SNOWYODA EXPEDITIONS was the company who was responsible for our accomodations throughout the expedition . They took care of our rooms , trek guides , sherpas . I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to trek in the Nepal Region .Our ten member expedition team were accommodated in the streets of Thamel , main town of Kathmandu in a hotel called lemon tree. Its an amazing hotel with good wifi and free breakfast as a part of stay . Thamel is a busy shopping street with many shops for second hand trekking . Thamel Marg is the main place to visit . You will find exquisite restaurants and bars . The place is very economical for everyone . But do not forget to bargain .Few of places to visit in Kathmandu are Durbar square , Pashupatinath temple and Thamel Marg. Make sure to have masks in Kathmandu as dust pollution is one of its specialities .
My love for the Himalayas is unbound. To be precise, it borders on obsessiveness. Believe me, even spending months there like a hermit didn't help me a bit. I would trade living there with all the luxuries this life has to offer, and it is only a matter of time. Well that's a story for another time...Speaking of the Himalayan regions, Nepal, being our neighbour wasn't on my radar to be honest, despite being home to the world's largest mountains. But a press trip took me there, and something unexpected happened.I discovered that I was in a shopper's heaven in Kathmandu! Like a kid that drops its jaw at the sight of candies, I was blown away by all the things displayed in shops, that looked endless!I am not a shopaholic as such, but I do end up going on a shopping spree when I find something chic & cool. Happens with everyone, right?So I thought I'll share the details of things to shop in Nepal so that you could shop like a Pro!Without much ado, read ahead to find out what are things to look for in Nepal.
Once on a flight from Paro to Kathmandu, I had a chance to view Everest from the top. Since then I have always dreamt about going to the Everest Base Camp. But in those dreams, I was always walking with a load on my back, panting at every breath and finally standing in front of the World’s Highest peak.#bucketlist #dreams #TrektoEBC. *sigh…*But seemed like God had other plans for me, a relatively easier one.
Digambar Jha, chairman of the state-run Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), said in Kathmandu on Wednesday that once the services are successfully established in the Everest region, they will expand to other areas such as Annapurna Base Camp as well.The availability of free internet at Mount Everest might seem like a move in the wrong direction to some, but in the age where information means sharing every breath and step with the world, this progression seems to be in the right direction, as it will save lives if not get you enough likes.
Kathmandu is a world unlike any other you've ever been to. A riot of sounds, sights and smells engulfs you and you emerge utterly besotted. Imagine alleyways jammed with cows and rickshaw-pullers, temples dotting the entire city with chants of prayers reverberating in the air and mix it up with hawkers selling everything from flowers to food, on the streets – that's Kathmandu for you. It is a city that lives with the motto of 'Atithi Devo Bhav' or 'guest is equal to God' and that is how tourists are treated.
Day 6, going Back to Kathmandu-ThamelHeading to the Bus Terminal in the early morning and going back to Kathmandu city with again 7 hour ride on the Bus..reach the Hotel at Thamel distric, this time I booked the hotel near the garden you should visit if you reach Kathmandu City.. it is Garden Of DreamsGarden of Dream , it was created in 1920, with 6 pavilions, fountain landscape,its design with europeans Gardens, really enjoying the view, you can sitting there relaxing with doing some activity like reading books, or taking some pictures ,you can visit the Museum ,and also you can sitting in the restourant inside enjoyig the coffee or some meals.
256 Kms from Madhubani
Best time to visit - October- April
Often called as the "Queen of all Hill Stations", this is one of the most popular in the whole world. This place is wrap...
I think this one of the most talked about hill stations on every travel list. I am not going to dive into the details and the places you should visit. Moreover, I have already listed my trip to Darjeeling last December in another blog. Here it is!Darjeeling is 70kms or 2 hours away from Siliguri by car. Other transport options include the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or government and private buses from Tenzing Norgay bus stand.Kanchenjunga at sunrise as seen from Tiger Hill in Darjeeling.The Mall Road, among the most popular spots there, offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas.Breakfast at Keventers with Kanchenjunga behind us.Know more about Darjeeling here.Kalimpong:
The average height of the Singtom Tea estate is about 4500 ft. The resort and the tea factory are both located inside the garden. The tea estate produces some of the finest organic teas of Darjeeling. The quality of the tea depends on the altitude of the place. The more the altitude, the better the quality of the tea. The Singtom Tea Estate, being at a higher altitude produces fine quality of Darjeeling Tea – black, green and white representing different flavours and grades.The Resort and RoomsAs soon as you enter through the gate of the estate, you will see a beautiful, old British styled bungalow in the middle of an equally beautiful garden. The bungalow was originally built in 1862. Wherever your eyes will see, you will see endless stretches of tea gardens. While you sit at the lawn sipping a cup of fresh Darjeeling Tea, you can see the Darjeeling town just in front of you. From the backside, you will get great views of the Kanchenjunga ranges. It is such a place where you will get the natural beauty and the luxury of a planters bungalow in a single place.
Located at a height of 2185 metres above the sea level, Darjeeling, also known as the ‘Queen of Hills’ is a quaint little hill station that consists of Mt. Kanchenjunga’s summit as the backdrop. Established in the mid-19th century, this town offers palatial greenery and a champagne of tea estates. The sumptuous aroma all around and the sound of chanting of the Buddhist mantra give you the much-required peace of mind. We were often told that Darjeeling has been commercialized to such an extent that it has lost its charm. But we would definitely argue the toss, for Darjeeling possesses such opulent landscapes that are a treat for sore eyes.
The tea town of India awaits you with its freshness, unspoilt beauty and ofcourse, the much talked about toy train. Spend quality time with your mother as you both take the joyride humming Kasto mazza hai lelaima and enjoy the scenic vistas. The train takes you for a round trip from Darjeeling to Ghum and back in about 2 hours. Keep your cameras ready as you stop at Batasia Loop on the way, which offers incredible views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga.
Last but not the least, enjoying Darjeeling is depends upto one as there is almost no scope to enjoy this place . One can even enjoy the view of majestic Kanchenjunga from the room.
Darjeeling--A popular destination for all tourists across the world. Views of Kangchenjunga, ride in toy train, essence of Darjeeling tea, sunrise at tiger hill --altogether gives a nostalgic feel of childhood. Irrespective of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Darjeeling almost faved by most of us. This place got featured in many movies in different languages. For example who will not remember the scenes of Satyajit Ray's Film Kanchanjungha. During your visit , you may also unknowingly humming, mere sapno ki rani kab ayegi tu/neele gagn ki tale/Yeh hawayen puchta hai/ala ala matwala barfi.
(Oct 8)Darjeeling was sort of an impromptu plan when in Siliguri I learnt that transport had resumed which was earlier disrupted due to Dokhlam and Gorkhaland issues, the reason my Goechala got cancelled. Anyhow, with a spare half day, I went with it. The bus ride took almost three hours, winding through misty verdant hills, a refreshing sight, eventually coming to a halt at the highest altitude railway station, Ghum (7300ft). Sporadic but intense rain called for some tea. I then paid a visit to “Guru Sakya" and “Yiga Chholing” monasteries; so serene just to be in the sanctity of these places. A monk shared some insights to the recent state affairs, how demands for a separate Gorkha state was creating unrest, etc. Thankfully things have returned to normalcy that made this visit possible. Darjeeling was rather nippy, toy trains and the quaint hills making for a picture postcard. Ethereal views of valley, by the window made lunch all the more satiating. In the evening, I left for New Jalpaiguri to catch my train to Guwahati.
304 Kms from Madhubani
Best time to visit - September to December
Gangtok is the capital city of the north Indian state of Sikkim. Built up as a Buddhist journey site in the 1840s, the c...
Do Drul Chorten, Gangtok This huge Buddhist complex is located near the research institute of Tibetology. This beautiful structure is Biggest Buddhist stupa in the North East India.
GangTok:In morning at Jalpaiguri we had booked a package with a travel agent located nearby to railway station.
Gangtok is bustling town and capital of Sikkim. It is one the cleanest cities you would come across in India. This place would give you a mix of city vibes and mountain innocence. Gives a perfect view of Himalayan range. There are many places nearby which you can explore as well like, Yumthang, Lachung, Baba Mandir, Zuluk, Tsomgo / Changu Lake and Rishikola.How to reach:Same as North Bengal. From Kolkata you have overnight trains to New Jalpaiguri .From Jalpaiguri you have options of taking shared cabs or book a personal cab to any of the above mentioned places.
When you head to Gangtok everyone tries out their momos and Thukpa. And of course visit the monasteries, view points, shop and chill.So here are a list of places worth adding to your list, which I discovered during my stay in Gangtok.PLACES TO VISIT:Tsuklakhang Palace:This monastery/ Palace is located at walking distance from the main city center. It houses a school along with the monastery and during festival season, like during Pang Lhabsol it even hosts the traditional masked dance.
Almost everyone comes to Sikkim to enjoy being in the midst of the mighty Kanchenjunga while visiting monasteries and eating momos. Of course, when compared to the lives we live in most cities breathing the polluted air this itself is refreshing but hidden away from the hustle bustle of the main city of Gangtok is a little heaven called Tinjure.
Drive from Lachen to Gangtok.Duration - 5 hours
New Jalpaiguri to GangtokStay at Gangtok for a day and enjoy the different things to see around. One of the best places to visit the Enchey Monastery and to party at Cafe Live n Loud.Duration (NJP to Gangtok) - 5 hours
Day 9The morning started with a disaster! I found that my phone was completely formatted and all my pictures, videos and data were lost. For convenience sake, I had clicked all the pictures and the videos of this ride on my phone but it was lost forever, including the proposal video. It was heart shattering news.We somehow managed to pull ourselves together and decided to seek some peace at the Rumtek monastery. Within a few minutes we were our cheery selves as there was nothing which we could do about the lost video. We consoled ourselves by saying that the video is sure to be in our hearts till the rest of our lives. Thanks to Facebook and WhatsApp we managed to at least salvage the pictures we had uploaded and shared.
Day 8There is a term in Bengali called "Lyadh-Khawa" which basically translates to lazing around. That is exactly what we did on this day and we deserved every bit of it. We woke up at noon, had brunch on our beds, shopped at the M.G. Marg in the evening, saw the whole city from the ropeway and went to a place called "Cafe Live and Loud" at night. Now I have visited the famous Someplace Else in Kolkata and the Hard Rock Cafe in Delhi but the whole feel of this cafe was different. The local band which was playing was extraordinarily good; the food was lip smacking and they best part was that they had got their LIITs right. We let our hair down and simply had a blast!
317 Kms from Madhubani
5. In Pokhara? Lakeside road is the place to be!
Day 4, PokharaHeading to Pokhara with 7 hours Journey in the afternoon from Nagarkot, it was really long journey but also worth to see the sight seeing along the road way to Pokhara, we reach there in the evening, our Hotel near the Phewa Lake.. Cant see to much in evening...but we really exciting to wake up very early morning as we are planning to discover Phokara and the lake...And... this is what we saw in the early 5.30 am from outside our the Hotel after 15 minutes walk heading to the street..
The following morning we headed back to Pokhara taking the same route. Morning showers turned the route slushy making the descent more challenging than initially thought. Moving ahead, the riders literally stopped and kissed the road as we hit leveled tarmac after 3 days. It had been quite a spell.
After a hail storm the previous night, we woke up to a rainy morning all set to ride out to Pokhara. After a quick briefing about risky terrains, we rode in moderate showers through extremely slushy roads out of Kathmandu. The condition of roads improved as the skies cleared. Munching miles through the twists and turns, we rode through the serene valley along the Trishuli River.
Day 5 was my day of facing my fear. My fear of heights. It had rained very hard the whole of last night so we received a message from the paragliding company that they might have to cancel the flight. Secretly I was very happy about it. I registered but it didn't come through because of the weather. Yes, no one could blame me now for being a wimp but then things panned out differently. We went to the paragliding office at the designated time and they said the weather condition has improved so the flight is on. Damn! My heart drowned. I put up a brave face and hopped on to the car with a few other passengers and the pilots. Once we reached atop the valley (from where we had to take off) we were informed that we will be given enough time to prepare ourselves mentally however my pilot (Patrick from France) decided that we will be the first ones to jump as the wind was strong and the weather could get worse so he didn't want to waste any time and started preparing for the jump. I froze. Patrick started harnessing me and asked me to run as fast as possible when we hit the edge of the valley. I literally froze at the edge but it was too late by then. I was pushed by my pilot and within the next five seconds I was flying with the birds in the middle of that ravishingly green valley. I felt liberated. I felt happy. I was so numb with happiness that I couldn't react. I just surrendered myself to that moment of unbelievable happiness.
Day 4 we headed to Pokhara, almost six hours bus ride from Kathmandu. This place boasts of laid-back charm but it turned out to be a haven of adventures and misadventures for us. First of all, we got lost while locating our tiny hotel. Post that we headed out for a walk, lots of shopping and of course some dinner and drinks. We were doing good so far but some live music in a corner took us to a pub nearby and we walked there, ordered a few drinks but soon realised that the pop music was not our scene. Oh by the way, I registered myself for paragliding (yes, that was the big surprise). So yes, we exited the pub and started walking back to our hotel but soon the weather threw a big shock. It started pouring, so heavily that we had to take shelter. No restaurant visibly open at that hour, we started running faster but the rain was so heavy we could barely manage to walk. We had to pause. We looked around and found a small restaurant that was still open however we didn't know how to get there so we hopped from one balcony to the other to reach their balcony. We knocked on their door and were greeted by rather surprised but very welcoming restaurant helpers who were on the verge of shutting down the restaurant. We were literally shivering from that rain water exposure and they were kind enough to offer us a drink. They even decided to escort us to our hotel under the huge umbrella (the one that we see outside a hotel balcony).
We felt relief after taking the bags off, freshen up and went for the walk around lakeside. We enjoyed lakeside music along with the tasty food including Thakali rice as dinner. As we were to move to Dhampus early tomorrow, we returned back to the hotel on time and it was already the bed time. I wished ' good night' with the silent desire of getting beautiful window view of Mount Fishtail, tomorrow morning.RAIN, RAIN AND RAINAs I woke up in the morning at around 7:00 with the sound of thunderstorm, my wish to see the mountains went in vain. All I can see was clouds and rain. We waited for few hours but there were no symptoms of minimizing it rather it was going heavy. As Bikash had some work in the Internet, we left the hotel room and went to the nearby cyber café. He took some time to finish his work, as we stayed there watching the rain. We had no chance to move as planned, we didn't even have raincoats to cover us as well as our backpacks. And another bad thing - similar weather was on the forecast at least till the afternoon. It was frustrating time till. Despite all frustrations we had lunch on time, came back to room and slept more.
The bike ride to Pokhara is somewhat easy one during the daytime but it's quite challenging during night. Because of the varying terrain, the road condition also varied in different sections. Our ride was pleasant except for few places. During the ride we once stopped in the roadside café to have tea and few times in the middle of nowhere due to the insects over the highway, which loves to come closer to the eyes and once it enter to the eyes, you have to stop everything, relax and remove it.
After darshan at the temple we took lunch and done little shopping as a sovereign and get back to the hotel by trolly. We pick our luggage and leave for Pokhra- a city famous for it's night life. On the way to Pokhra we took some stops in between like Davis Fall-a Swiss couple Davi went swimming but the woman drowned in a pit because of the overflow. Her body was recovered 3 days later in river Phusre with great effort. Her father wished to name it "Davi's falls" after her. After that we move to Mahendra's cave. This deep cave includes Shivling, Ganpati idol etc etc then go to Phewa lake . Here we took boat ride . This lake is 20 Mtrs deep and we all scared when there was totally black all around but it was thrilling as well as amazing boat ride. After that we reached Pokhra city nearly 9 PM and took the room in the hotel for overnight stay. Then we explore the market and took dinner in the restaurant & met with some foreigners & back to the hotel for overnight stay.
133 Kms from Madhubani
Kesaria Stupa, Champaran
I reached Patna around 1:00 pm and got down at the Mithapur bus stand. From there I took an auto to the railway station and from there another auto to Patna Sahib. By the way, if you want to know how I found out about the right autos and buses, I did what every clueless person would do; ASK. I asked my fellow bus travelers, auto drivers, locals as well as the supreme ‘Google’ and they were all happy to guide me.I had to rush as my train, although expected to be late, was set to arrive at 6:00 pm on the Patna Junction and I was yet to retrieve my suitcase from my friend’s house. It was simply a race against time. From Patna Sahib, one can either walk to the gurdwara or take another auto. The final road resembles any crowded old city such as Sadar bazar in my home town of Meerut or Chawri Bazaar in Delhi. There are all kind of shops and a great many tea stalls.Takht Shree Harmandir Sahib ji is one of the five holiest sites in Sikhism, as it is here that the tenth sikh guru Gobind Singh was born. It isn’t as majestic as Golden temple in Amritsar but is worth visiting once. It is undergoing a major makeover and once that is finished, it will be able to match upto the golden temple in its grandeur. Still, the white main building is beautifully constructed and the inside sanctum was open to devotees to pray.
The plan was to reach Patna on the afternoon of Dec 8 and attend my friend’s wedding on Dec 9. This was supposed to be followed by a one day exploration of Patna on Dec 10. After Patna, I had planned a tour of Buddhist towns of Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda till Dec 13, when I had to be back to catch the same notorious Magadh Express from Patna Junction in the evening. As happens in most travel journeys, not everything went according to the plan. I entered Patna not on the afternoon but on the midnight of Dec 8 and made my way to the venue where my friend was set to be married next day.Anyone’s first impressions of Patna are mostly similar. It is a crowded city, full of traffic jams and chaos. The city has no inner public transportation system and shared autos is the only medium to commute. While autos do a decent job of connecting different parts of the city, the autorickshaw pilots (sarcasm intended) cram as many humans as possible to make an extra buck. So, until and unless one is okay to squeeze himself/herself in a corner of a crowded open auto, it’s better to take a cab. I took the auto.Bihar, however, has a dignified resilience behind all the decadence and one can feel it while traveling around. The people are hospitable and can laugh away all their troubles with a nice sense of humor. I had a great time at my friend’s wedding and as she departed with her husband next morning, it seemed strange that my arrival in Patna should coincide with someone’s departure.I was too tired from the wedding to venture outside on the Dec 10, the day after wedding. The whole day was spent resting at my friend’s house and feasting on some delicious home cooked food.
My base camp for most part. Interestingly more chaotic that any other part of Bihar I'd been to
169 Kms from Madhubani
3. Looking for Nepali handicrafts? Head to Patan
I liked the Patan Durban Square cultural heritage.
210 Kms from Madhubani
However, next day I packed my backpack and leaving my suitcase and comfort behind, boarded the bus to Bodhgaya from the Mithapur bus stand in Patna at 8:15 in the morning. I enjoy bus rides as it gives a chance to look at the inner cities and towns of new states and absorb the land as a whole instead of looking at some isolated sites.
3 Bodh GayaSet amidst verdant lawns is the magnificent fifty two meter tall Mahabodhi Temple. A chamber on top houses a figure of Mayadevi, the Buddha’s mother. Outside in the sunken courtyard stands the fifth generation Bodhi Tree. Seven spots within the temple are sacred because it was at each of these spots the Buddha stayed a week meditating after attaining Enlightenment. Bodh Gaya is quite an international town with monasteries, guesthouses, meditation centers and Buddhist temples from different countries. The Archaeological Survey of India has a small museum located nearby which houses antiquities evacuated in and around Bodh Gaya. The Tibetan, Thai Japanese, Korean and Chinese built temples in recent times.
2 Varanasi – Bodh Gaya (7 hours)Leave this morning for Bodh Gaya and on arrival check-in to the Hotel. Bodh Gaya is the most important place of pilgrimage of Buddhism. Bodh Gaya lies in fertile lands watered by the Nairanjana (Phalgu) river. Across the river more than 2500 years ago, the young ascetic Siddhartha, gazed at the serene landscape of the Uruvela village (modern Bodh Gaya). The tree under which Buddha attained wisdom is called the Bodhi Tree.
Scientists and saints have bickered over centuries. Given existentialist spectrums (the bondage by cause and effect (karma) or astrology (your life designed by you from the cave of creation or your karma or both or whatever); to freedom (through ascended masters and the law of attraction, etc. etc.), why a pilgrimage?The reason is Dharma, the nature, of what the mind contains. Buddha’s greatest gift to humanity is the re-discovery and teaching of the practice of Vipassana. Vipassana, purifies the mind and keeps it pure through practice.Purity is the absence of contamination. The truth is to be known, to be lived, to be given your own form and expression. And the truth is, the nature, of what the mind contains.
The city of Gaya is home to four major religions of India; Buddhism, Jain, Hinduism and Islam. Gaya's origins date back several thousand years when the epic of Ramayana was written. The Buddhist relevance of the city is for being the place where Siddhartha achieved enlightenment and became Buddha, the Enlightened One. Just 11km from the city is the exact tree under which enlightenment was attained. Travellers, especially Buddhists, from all over the world visit this particular place to pay respect to the place that gave birth to the religion of Buddhism.Where to eat: Hari Om International Café on the Bodh Gaya Road is known to serve the best ginger tea and coffee in Gaya. For European offerings and Italian dishes, head to Be Happy Café.Where to stay: Check out Hotel Buddha and Maha Bodhi Resort, which are both at a convenient distance to the Bodh Gaya Temple.How to reach: It is very easy to reach Gaya from the major cities of India. The Gaya Junction railway station is the main station for Gaya. The nearest airport is Gaya Airport, situated between Gaya and Bodh Gaya. Buses from Patna, Varanasi, Bhagalpur and Nalanda go to Gaya several times in a day.
While Bodh Gaya is infamously known for the birth of Buddhism, what remains relatively unknown is that the place to Hindus is almost nearly what Mecca is to Muslims. The story goes that, Gaya (from whom, the place derives its name), was a demon whose body was pious after immense penance and blessings from Lord Vishnu. Gaya- the asura was so pious, that he could absolve others of their sins by merely touching them or looking at them.No wonder, that Hindus all over the world today, come to perform “shraddha” or last rites of their progeny in order to absolve them of their sins. While the place itself is serene and offers picturesque landscapes, it is this faith that people around you walk with, wants to make you believe – “Bodh Gaya is the doorway to heaven.”