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286 Kms from Nyoma
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Simla is the capital and the largest city of the northern India state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala being the other ca...
An unforgettable story of ‘three friends’ aka ‘3 Idiots’ is one of the reasons why Pangong lake in Ladakh is so famous today. The number of tourists visiting this lake has almost grown more than double after release of this movie. This lake is definitely not a thing to miss, but beware of the fragile ecosystem of this beautiful cold dessert and don’t litter around. And who can forget the beautiful ‘mall road’ and church of Shimla shown in this movie.
Read the Previous PartIt was time for moving ourselves to our next destination - Manali - the adobe of Manu. If Hindu mythology is believed - Manali is where Human Life was recreated after the great flood. Keeping the mythology aside, one great fact about Manali is that the most important fruit in humankind - Apple - was introduced to this country here by the British. The most delicious apple in the country is still cultivated here and supplied worldwide.
With a break for Manali and Rohtang in between, we stayed in Shimla for Three Days. Even though it was evening and the sun was down, we decided to go out and start our quest for Himachali Food. We took a quick shower, readied our son and went out. We decided to have dinner outside and return. We took the HPTDC lift which was within 500 meters from our hotel to reach the Mall Road. It is an excellent facility which takes the visitors straight up to the ridge and reduces the walking distance completely. It takes Rs. 10/- to go up and we were there on the Mall road in no time. The Evening was spent moving around the Upper Bazar and Lower Bazar. I had to buy a guide map and my wife went on to shop e few winterwear for the baby. We had our dinner at the Sher-e-Punjab (Regd.) Restaurant and had extremely delicious Punjabi delicacy.
Read the previous partFinally, we reached Shimla, the queen of Himalaya and the Capital of Himachal Pradesh, the Northern State of India. Even before the Narrow Guage train entered the station we were mesmerized by the fantastic view of the city spread on the slopes of the hill. The Huge Red coloured Idol of Hanuman, the Monkey God, at the highest point of the city was like a shining stone on the crown. The railway Station was neat and well organized.
Place 2: Chandigarh : Shimla : Day1I left for the place all alone on some work basis. I found myself a descent room to stay and lately went to Mehli Gaon. The Ridge: A place on top of Shimla hill. Its a market place, where you can find almost everything you want.
Shimla, the very name transports you into a dream where you're walking along the ridge with candy floss in your hand and the sun shining upon you through the icy cold breeze. I give you the perfect excuse to visit the city and live this reality as Shimla welcomes summer with the Shimla Summer Festival this June.
The driver arrived with the first rays of sun, if anyone wants to travel using public transport the options are available for that, you can get a direct bus from Delhi to Sangla or Delhi to Reckong Peo, if you don’t want to do the direct journey you can do it in breaks from Delhi to Shimla (Rs.420) and then Shimla to Reckong Peo (Rs.500).So I began the journey from Shimla, first stop was at Kufri for breakfast, the cascading of the mountains was penetrating the darkness with gleaming tops in orange shade. After briefly stopping at Kufri, the next destination was Narkanda, a quiet scenic town a perfect getaway from Delhi. The drive to Hatu peak from Narkanda was on a narrow road, with a steep ascent, after driving for another 30 minutes you reach the top, and the view is marvellous, endless mountains with a 360 degree snow-capped Himalayan view. I visited the temple at the top, a perfect example of the wooden architecture that is famous in this part of Himachal Pradesh.
Day 2I took the toy train from Kalka to Shimla. Even though this takes longer to reach than by road, this is probably the better way to reach Shimla, thanks to the experience. After reaching Shimla in the evening, I just took a walk to my hotel from the station and checked in.
245 Kms from Nyoma
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 ...
Arrive in LehArrive in Leh, enjoy the sight of magnificent mountains greeting you and check in to your homestay. The beauty of the place will really astound you, but don't rush it! You will have ample time to explore this snow-laden heaven. Take it slow, as it is necessary to acclimatise yourself to the high altitude, freezing climate and gusty winds. Enjoy a warm bowl of thukpa and interact with locals.
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!!
195 Kms from Nyoma
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 ...
The drive to the first campsite, Jobra, lasts just over an hour taking you up the valley, with numerous hairpin bends (some really steep) with some occasionally sightings of apple orchards, right on the road.The campsite at Jobra is a short hike through a thick pine forest. As the trees cast their shadow over the trails, the weather remains pleasant even in bright sunshine. With the thundering Rani river right on your trail, it seems just the perfect setting.
The trek goes a full circle, starting from the green locales of Manali, to the cold barren Spiti and back to square one.
Manali is another ultimate destination for the adventure enthusiasts. The magnificent snow covered peaks and the pine fringed trails along with the endless orchards and pleasing views of Manali has always attracted tourists and adventure seekers. The terrains of Deo Tibba, Chanderkhani Pass, Hanuman Tibba and Rohtang Pass are the best places for heli-skiing at Manali. With the slopes as high as 6000 m, you will definitely be thrilled and have the adventure of your lifetime while heli-skiing at Manali.Auli is a beautiful place with virgin locales and breathtaking views. Auli is also getting noticed as a skiing destination. You will definitely gain the pleasure of heli-skiing at Auli as you fly upto 3000 m and then ski down the pleasant slopes of Auli.
Then, we took a taxi from Barsheni till Manali via Manikaran. We reached Manali at around 11 PM. Next day we covered few of the tourist spots of Manali like Hidimba temple, Vashishta temple etc. The best thing we discovered about Manali was that the city was alive till 2 AM. On ‘Maal Road’ we could see families and children having fun at such an hour while we were discussing our lives and future with a cup of icecream in our hands. That was our last night of that trip and we wanted to enjoy it the most so we were awake for the whole night until we got on board at the last bus and came back into reality from that dreamy place. That adventure will always be missed that time will always be cherished.
So here my journey to Gulaba Base Camp started from Manali. Manali has become overcrowded place these days. It took 2.5 hrs for us to reach Gulaba were one should take hardly 30 mins. So from here we are supposed to reach our first base camp which was 20 mins trail...hold on not the normal trail. We were supposed to climb a 70-degree steep mountain. And during that trail I realised why it is important to do warm up and to work out before going any of the trek. For 20 mins trail we took an hour. What is the difference in India hikes and YHA from my perspective? I did 4 Himalayan treks through YHA and there we used to warm up for 3 days in base camp so that our body gets acclimated for the higher treks. On the other hand, India hikes will directly take you to higher camps as they expect you to be completely fit for the treks. You are supposed to walk daily and send them screenshots on daily basis which is good idea. So finally we reached our Day 1 location at Gulaba (10,370 ft.). We had our refreshments ,then introduction and later on we were told about Medication, Go green Campaign and Overall trek info. Fortunately, we had very good trek leaders with us. We proceeded for dinner then to our tent. The tents were little small and we were told to keep our bags outside the tent still under coverage of tent but not really inside as there were two coverings of the tent. Around 2 at night it started raining heavily, I just popped out of the tent quickly kept our shoes under coverage and then slipped inside my sleeping bag. So here our day one ends ... Our Group at Gulaba Camp Day 2:
3. 'Jab We Met': I love mountains!!!
The weather of the valley didnt allow us to go, as the rain was approaching and we had to climb steep up to the mountain for 4 kms. We were upset but accepted the situation and made a plan to move old Manali. I was visiting Manali after long 3 years, There are many places to visit in Manali. The Hadimba temple, Vashisth hot springs, The mall road, Solang valley and many more. We hunted some good cafes there at the mall road it was snowing there. The sad part was my both the battery of the camera got discharged and was not able to click good picture. After the day out we checked into the beautiful Pinakine cottage, near Nehru kund bridge, Shanag Village. I recommend all the readers who are planning to visit Manali, book their stay in this cottage it has marvelous view and is situated in a very good location the services are best in a very minimal cost. And if you are in a big group and want some discounts then let me know . The next morning i had to catch the bus and was the time to go back to the pavilion .it was a perfect meet with my friend and was nice spent new year . and Time to say good bye to the mountains with a promise to see you soon .
Manali-DelhiToday was a free day in Manali and we had a bus booked for Delhi in the evening. We went to explore places like Hidimba Temple, and some cafés in Old Manali. Old Manali is a beautiful place with a lot of cafes and figure licking taste. We went to Café Bella Vista and Café 1947 both are superb cafés and food and atmosphere is overwhelming. We reached Manali Private bus stand at 6pm and said goodbye to the beautiful Himachal.It is always the same with mountains, once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. THERE IS NO ESCAPE.
Manali-Solang- Gulaba PassToday we decided to take a bullet for a drive on Manali roads. We rented bikes at Rs 1200 each and left for Solang valley. There are two options for snow points near Manali 1.) Rohtang Pass 2.) Solang Valley. Due to heavy snowfall few days back road to Rohtang was closed. We went to solang and it was full of people. People mostly come there to enjoy adventure activities like Paragliding, snow skiing, rope way etc. We didnt enjoy anything due to traffic and we left Solang in search of a better place. We drove on the road which leads to Rohtang/Leh in search of a place where we can enjoy the snow. In search of it we came across Gulaba pass which is the highest point which is operational during winters. Gulaba pass was on hell of a experience we enjoyed playing in snow, making snowman , snow slides and what not. We left gulaba pass and reached back to manali at night.
175 Kms from Nyoma
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...
As summer hues creep over the cloudless skies of this town, the bright colours of Holi are prepared to paint the mountains red and the grass pink. Welcome to Kinnaur, a small district in Himachal Pradesh, where Holi is not just celebrated but revered.
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!
281 Kms from Nyoma
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...
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.
291 Kms from Nyoma
Best time to visit - N/A
This is as valley as well as a town in the Dustrict of Chamba. Situated on the banks of the Ravi River, Chamba is a beau...
Khajund Lake – In the hinterlands of Chamba, a pristine lake is hidden in the shadows of the Panch Ungal peak (five fingers peak). The Saho village of Chamba is the home to ancient copper mines and the lake is located in its proximity. Khajund Lake is considered the home of Khajli Nag, the ancient serpent god who later moved to Khajiyar Lake. Its trek starts from Bhala Village which is again 3 hours away by a four wheeler. This trek is not advisable for solo travellers as it passes through a thick forest and chances of a Black Bear encounter are very high.Basic info – Stay options are present in Chamba and you can find simple stay homes in nearby villages.
4. 'Taal': A beautiful Himalayan Hamlet
CHAMBAIt was almost 1 pm by now, we headed to Chamba. It's almost 50 kms from Dalhousie, 90 mins to reach Chamba via Khajjiar. Chamba is one of the main city of Chamba distt situated at the "Bank of River Ravi" and is quite populated as compared to other nearby towns. It's situated in valley. The town looks spectacular from far away. The Houses are as colorful as 'Festival of Holi'.The main crop cultivate in this area is of Corn (Maize).One can see corns getting dry at locals house roof.As compared to Dalhousie, Chamba was quite hot. River ravi flows through the Chamba city. We wandered around the main market and visited the "Laxmi Narayan Temple- the Oldest Temple".One can buy Walnuts here, it's cheap as compared to other cities.
Sitting at the height of over 996 meters on the bank of the river Ravi, CHAMBA has become a destination of choice for many tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh. It's the valley of milk and honey, which is commonly known for its streams, temples, meadows, paintings and lakes.
I got ready to leave to Chamba. This is the northwestern district of HP. Chamba is the only district in northern India to preserve a well-documented history from 500 AD. Its high mountain ranges have given it a sheltered position and helped in preserving its centuries-old relics and numerous inscriptions. The temples erected by Chamba Rulers, more than a thousand years ago continue to be under worship. Got into the Volvo bus, which is from Delhi to Chamba via Dalhousie. Had a comfortable journey. I reached Chamba & took a walk to Hotel Iravati (of HP tourism), the best place to stay there. Once, I made a list of places to see, I visited Lakshmi Narayan mandir, Bhuri Singh museum, Hari rai mandir, Rangal Mahal which are the old preserved monuments at Chamba. Thanks to lonely Planet, my lunch was at Desa Chicken Corner - a small eatery joint in the market, where they make Dahi chicken, Roti in front of your eyes and serve it hot. Delicious.
Famous for its trekking routes, 100-year-old bungalows and the Chamunda temple, Chamba is an ideal holiday option in January in India. It will be cold, yet comfortable to travel to various places around it. If travelling to Chamba, you can also pay a visit to Manimahesh Lake, Kala Top National Park or the Khajjiar Lake in Khajjiar, which is popularly called mini Switzerland.How To Reach: The nearest railway station is Pathankot, which is 120km away from Chamba. Chamba is well connected by roads, so you can take a taxi from the railway station to reach Chamba.Stunning Places to Visit in July in India
The trek from Dalhousie to Chamba takes you through the valleys of Kangra and Chamba. This route is a beautiful way to enter the Chamba Valley on foot, and is best enjoyed during winters. The camping sites on the way are on comfortable terrains, making them ideal for families.The starting point or the first basecamp of the trek is in Dalhousie. From there you trek for five hours to reach Kalatop, a picturesque mountain peak, and then camp again at Khajjiar the next night. You will spend more than a day exploring the Mangla Village, and then head back via the same route.
Early next morning we woke up and got ready for the long Journey awaiting us .We had to reach Gangotri which is 300 km from Haridwar, by night Since there aren’t any straight buses to Gangotri from Haridwar, we were to go to Uttarkashi first and then take another bus to Gangotri. So we took a bus to Uttarkashi via Rishikesh around 5.30 am. We reached Chamba around 9 am where the bus stopped for quick refreshment for the passengers and driver. From there we saw the snow covered tops of theHimalayan peaks from the distance for the first time in our journey. The tallest mountain ranges in the world, the natural barrier of our great nation was shining so bright in the sunlight. But disappointingly that was the last time we saw that magnificent view till we reached Gangotri. The driver of the bus rushed through the narrow road which snaked across the valley. Soon after crossing Chamba you will get a companion up to the destination, it is none other than the mighty 'Ganga'. But at that point its name is Bhagirathi, the river which came to the earth from the heavens because of the prayers of King Bhagirath! It becomes Ganga after joining with Alakanandha at Devprayag which is not quite far from Chamba. Bhagirathi looked like a lake in those areas because of the Tehri dam which is constructed across the river at New Tehri, I thought. But as we passed a few kilometers we could see the real face of Bhagirathi. She is very thin but flowing really fast, cutting the mountains into two parts. One of the things that astonished me was that there are countless numbers of small streams joining Bhagirathi from its source in Gaumukh but still I felt the water level of the river is the same as its beginning. May be it is because she flows very fast! There are huge rocks in the river that got there probably because of landslides.
I reached Chamba as I planned. I booked a room nearby bus stand to leave for Bairagarh the next morning. It's 130kms and HPTDC runs only 2 buses in the morning. I interacted with locals and roamed the streets. There wasn't much to do.
18. The stunning mountains of ChambaThe Chamba Valley in Himachal is a mysterious place dotted with a number of temples dedicated to Lord Narayan. Considered to be a paradise for those who love to connect with nature, Chamba provides one with an awesome view of all the mountains around the valley.
254 Kms from Nyoma
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Now one wouldn't consider Mandi to be a touristy spot. Lying between Manali and Punjab, this small halt is actually quit...
Next day we woke up at 8.00 am, and packed our bag as our check out time was 10.00 am and our bus from Mandi to Delhi was at 5.30 pm. So we made sure to pack everything before we went out. We had a small chat with manager and convinced him to allow us to stay for few more hours till 5 so that we could get fresh before boarding bus. He was a gentleman and agreed with us, in fact didn't charge a single penny :).
Malana : Mandi : Day 3We stayed at Mandi the next day and spent that night at Gurudwara Sahib as we got very late to ride the same day and eventually left for Chandigarh the next day.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Himachal Pradesh is a slice of Heaven on earth. A fact, that can be witnessed on the way to the Kashi of the hills aka Mandi. We left from Patiala early afternoon, and reached late in the evening. But the journey was worth the wait.
This was nice but adventurous day for all 4 of us. Started from our Hotel in Ner Chowk around 10.00 am. Looking for a smoke break one of our friend carrying all the IDs, Wallets, in a bag, forgot at a small shop near to the Hotel and we continued our journey till Mandi City. After Reaching Mandi Bus Stand, one of the bike has to return the same shop to pick up the Bag. Started off from Mandi City around 11.00 am with some photo sessions. Crossed IIT Mandi situated in picturesque valley altogether. Reached Parasher in the evening around 05.00 pm, with multiple tea stops and rain stops. The last 14 kms there was no road only the gravel and slush due to rain. At last around 06.00 pm in the eve tented our accommodation and called it a day after ordering Rajma(Kidney Beans Gravy) and Rice. Had a bornfire and some old Monk Sessions as well.Day 03 - Parashar Lake to Delhi NCR
So by 12pm, we checked-out of Hyatt and continued with our road trip, aiming at reaching kasol by night. A little too ambitious, we later realised. Took a couple of stops for refreshment and lunch in between and by 7pm, we were by this beautiful lake a kilometre away from Mandi, witnessing another breathtaking sunset. Realising it wasn’t a good idea to be on the road post 9pm, we decided to stay the night at Mandi – a small but lively village 4 hours away from Kasol.Checked-in at Munish Resorts paying 1500 a night for 2 people. We didn’t bother bringing the luggage in and left it in the car since we had to leave early morning the next day. Went to this stunning resort – Visco for dinner. With a wide variety of seating areas, we chose the garden by the river – beautiful and less crowded. The food was decent and affordable and if you’re carrying your own Hukka pot, you might as well bring it along. Dining here gives you a feel of vacationing at a family farm house! I’m not a fan of Hukka but my friends are, which is how I know Visco lets you bring your own Hukka pot inside. After all, I don’t know a single Delhi-ite who hates Hukka. Do you?
1. Took a bus from Delhi to Mandi2. Took a local bus from Mandi to Katola (always wait for the local bus, don't pay thousands of rupees to the taxi drivers)3. Started walking towards the starting point of the trek4. Hitchhiked with a local goods carrier (he was kind enough to adjust his huge baggage in the back of his truck to make room for the 3 of us)5. He dropped us as the starting point of the trekNow here is where it gets interesting. Parashar is a RAW trek. There is absolutely NO trail, no markings, no indications. If it hadn't been for the local, we wouldn't even know where to start the trek from.He dropped us off at a point on the road, and told us only one thing 'Don't go left, don't do right - keep going towards the top' We did not realise how important this advice was until we reached halfway.I would emphasise again, there is no trail. No markings, not even a single human being on the trek.We began our ascent into what would be a 4 and half hour trek. I was pretty fit at the time (had been working out) so I was able to carry my 8kg rucksack with me without reaching peak exhaustion. The trek itself is not very hard or extremely steep, it is a nice even gradual slope. All we knew along the way was to keep going towards the top, and not changing direction.
Reaching Parashar LakeTime in Kheerganga was amazing, now it was time to leave. But the question was where i should go now as i was exhausting my cash limit. I had two options, either go to Manali or Dharamshala via Mandi. So, decided on the latter one as i wanted to visit Parshar Lake and Triund hills. So, i trekked back from Kheerganga to reach Varseni, then i took a bus for Bhuntar and another one from Bhuntar for Mandi. It took me around 11 hours to reach Mandi from Kheerganga. It was really tiresome as i traveled in the locals only. When i reached Mandi, i decided on visiting Gurudwara, i had dinner there in Langar. Then, i started searching for accommodation which was hard to find, i finally found a place for 350 bucks which was not that great but i was tired and desperately needed a good night sleep. So, i stayed there for a night and next morning at 6.30, i left that place.
We arrived at 6 in the morning to find out that there is just one bus running the whole day to Parashar Lake at 8 am.
Our first day started by reaching Mandi at 9am and having a light breakfast right opposite the bus station.Extremely relevant tip number 1: Two buses leave from Mandi to Baggi (pronounced Baa-gi); first one leaves at around 9am and the second one from anywhere between 9:30 to 10am. Buses in Himachal Pradesh run EXACTLY on time, so don't underestimate their punctuality.
We had to drive with this tyre only, for another 40 kms to Mandi where we got to change the tyre, replace it with a new one. Another Rs.3000 bill. Its funny how can a unskilled mechanic can fuck you up so bad, and thats where I decided never to get my bike serviced at a mechanic no matter how trustworthy they say he is. Anyway, we left from Mandi by around 6 pm for Chandigarh. It was already late but Zeeshan had a train for Jaipur from Ambala at 1am, and hence we had to rush. Fortunately by then we were quite comfortable with the roads and besides being the night, we did not have any problem until we started getting late. Last bus for Ambala was at 12.10 am and we got there at 12.12 am. But to our luck, he got the bus... ...and that ends the most beautiful trip we had ever been to. Although there is more to the trip that involved me and Raman riding from Chandigarh to Delhi and then to Varanasi which in itself was a long story, but that i am leaving for sometime else.This post was originally published on A Public Diary.