Top Places To Visit in Panamik
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Weekend Getaways from Panamik
Nothing much, last point where you can stand and view the mountains and the road that lead to the highest battle field on earth- The Siachin Glacier. You can visit natural hot spring here and have few roadside restau. While returing you will find a small group of cliff to your right after passing Trisha village. Between those cliff has a beautiful Yarub TSO least exploited. I was there alone for 1 hour totally cut off from the out side world. Calm peace... You have to cross a dry river bed to get into this. Read More
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312 Kms from Panamik
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, Hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast. “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.” This is how the Sufi mystic Amir Khusrow has described the Kashmir Valley, and Srinagar is at the heart of the valley. Smack in the middle of the city is the mighty Dal Lake, its placid water reflecting the vivid kaleidoscope of innumerous houseboats, shikaras (taxi-boats), and the snow-capped Pir Panjal range: a sight that will make your heart skip a beat. The city is home to the state-of-the-art Mughal Gardens, Shalimar Bagh and Nishant Bagh being the most famous of them. The gardens exhibit the Mughal taste of nature and the philosophy of disciplining nature rather than imitating it: fountain pools and canals, meticulously manicured hedges, and motley flowerbeds. Also known as the Kashmiri Venice, Srinagar is a place not to be missed by those seeking a tranquil refuge in the lap of the Himalayas.Read More
Bidding adieu to Leh was hard. We had to force our minds to leave now because our target destination was Srinagar and so it was going to be a long day. Everyone suggested us to stay in Sonmarg if we reached Drass on time as reaching Srinagar on time in a day was next to impossible. But we knew we have to reach Srinagar to see the beauty of Dal. People advised me not to interact with people in Srinagar. Listening to people was one of the things I am born not to do. We managed to reach Srinagar by 5:30 after taking a break in Kargil for a quick brunch. We took a wrong turn and we were lost in the streets of Srinagar. We asked someone the way to cross Srinagar and he said, "You looked tired. You should take some rest." Since we was looking scared, He continued, "If you're uncomfortable staying somewhere out, you can stay at my place and have a meal. Roaming Srinagar after sunset is not advisable." Such a generous act by someone who doesn't even know us made my heart melt and we promised our self that we will visit Kashmir soon. With this hope, we left Srinagar because next day we were supposed to reach delhi.
Things to do: Take an early morning shikara ride at the Dal Lake to see the floating vegetable market of Srinagar; attend a prayer meet at the Khanqah Shah-i-Hamadan; sip on noon-chai as you watch the sun set by the Dal Lake; climb 400-stairs to reach the iconic Shankaracharya Temple; walk on the path of Mughal emperors at Nishat Bagh.
Our last day was supposed to be more relaxed and slower paced then first one.We were actually supposed to visit Doodhpatri on our last day but there was a sudden change in plans To Manasbal lake and Kheer Bhawani TempleManasbal lake
Srinagar: As we all know its Summer Capital of Jammu and Kashmir. A beautiful and developed place in J&K.
From Tangmarg you are supposed to hire raincoats and gumboots because Gulmarg has the most unpredictable weather so you should be well armed with all the weapons for those changing weather conditions.( It will cost you around 300-400 for a raincoat + gumboots per person.)#AdviceDo take a government guide from Tangmarg to Gulmarg . This helps you to save a lot of money from horse owners as well as from the Gondola ride.( There are fixed prices for the government guides - about 900 - 1000 INR)Local sightseeing :-Firstly we decided to hire the horses which will take you to all the spots.
Day-9: Sonmarg - SrinagarA day well-spent exploring Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Pari Mahal at Srinagar. We shopped for authentic Kashmiri handicrafts at J&K tourism art emporium. You can shop at Lal Chowk especially for dry fruits and try walnut fudge at Hazratbal bakery.
Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India, often denoted by the acronym J&K. It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, and shares borders with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, and the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively. The state has special autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. A part of the erstwhile Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, the region is the subject of a territorial conflict among China, India and Pakistan. The western districts of the former princely state known as Azad Kashmir and the northern territories known as Gilgit-Baltistan have been under Pakistani control since 1947. The Aksai Chin region in the east, bordering Tibet, has been under Chinese control since 1962. Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India with a Muslim-majority population. The Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, and Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture. Srinagar Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the centre of the Kashmir Valley on the banks of the Jhelum River and is surrounded by five districts. In the north it is flanked by Kargil and Ganderbal in the South by Pulwama,in the north-west by Budgam. The capital city of Srinagar,is located 1585 metres above sea level. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dried fruits. Transport Roads : The city is served by many highways, including National Highway 1A and National Highway 1D Air : Srinagar Airport (IATA code SXR) has regular domestic flights to Leh, Jammu, Chandigarh and Delhi and occasional international flights. The International flights terminal was inaugurated on 14 February 2009 with an Air India flight from Dubai. Hajj flights also operate from this airport to Saudi Arabia. Railways : Srinagar is a station on the 119 km (74 mi) long Kashmir railway that started in October 2009 and connects Baramulla to Srinagar, Anantnag and Qazigund. The railway track also connects to Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through a newly constructed 11 km long Banihal tunnel, and subsequently to the Indian railway network after a few years. It takes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds for train to cross the tunnel. It is the longest rail tunnel in India. The train also runs during heavy snow. This railway system, proposed in 2001, is not expected to connect the Indian railway network until 2017 at the earliest, with a cost overrun of INR 5,500 crore. There are proposals to develop a metro system in the city. The feasibility report for the Srinagar Metro is planned to be carried out by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Cable car : In December 2013, the 594m cable car allowing people to travel to the shrine of the Sufi saint Hamza Makhdoom on Hari Parbat was unveiled. The project is run by the Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC), and has been envisioned for 25 years. An investment of INR 30cr was made, and it is the second cable car in Kashmir after the Gulmarg Gondola. Boat : Whilst popular since the 7th century, water transport is now mainly confined to Dal Lake, where shikaras (wooden boats) are used for local transport and tourism. There are efforts to revive transportation on the River Jhelum Climate Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position. The valley is surrounded by the Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with daytime a January average of 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and temperatures below freezing at night. Moderate to heavy snowfall occurs in winter and the only road that connects Srinagar with the rest of India may get blocked for a few days due to avalanches. Summers are warm with a July daytime average of 24.1 °C (75.4 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in). Spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. The highest temperature reliably recorded is 38.3 °C (100.9 °F) and the lowest is −20.0 °C (−4.0 °F) Places to visit Dal Lake Shankaracharya Hill Nigeen Lake Kheer Bhawani Temple Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden Mughal Gardens Shalimar Bagh Nishat Bagh Hazratbal Shrine Jamia Masjid and more...For more Please visithttps://www.facebook.com/TravelographybyPlabanBhattacharya
73 Kms from Panamik
Best time to visit - June to September
This beautiful town happens to be located in Jammu & Kashmir and is an abode for those who wish to pursue Buddhism. The place is surrounded by tall mountains, clear blue water, a white surrounding and many monasteries. The people here are warm and welcome tourists. Found midway between the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains, the beauty of Leh is beyond words, making it a hotspot with the tourists. Visiting the local markets here is a treat as one will get to browse through Tibetan jewelry, carpets, woolens and much more. Be sure to carry an extra bag to fit in all your purchases.Read More
The last week had seen us arriving in this quaint little hill town in the middle of the night. At first glance it looked like a rustic old city with yellow-brown buildings, archaic windows and colourful prayer flags in every direction with a monastery or stupa set on the edge of a cliff in the middle of a valley with snow covered peaks all around it. As we would discover over the coming days, this halt on the ancient Silk Route is full of historic stories and cultural ties.
Today we woke up with a very relaxed body and started treating our punjabi taste buds with punjabi breakfast of all time. After getting ready, we went straight to DC office to get an inner line permit; a permit is required to go to Nubra/ Pangong/ Tso Moriri/ basically everywhere which isn't Leh city. We left Leh for Nubra but who could have guessed what awaited us. We reached South Pullu checkpoint where people are supposed to submit inner line permit to go further. There we came to know that we cannot go further as there was a blizzard yesterday and around 400 vehicles are stuck near Khardungla Top. The officer informed us that nobody is going any further till those vehicles reach back safely. The sun started kissing our faces as we waited for the safe return of those vehicles.Everyone started leaving around 6 pm as the day was about to end but somewhere deep inside I knew if I miss K-Top today, I will not be able to go there in the near future.Many people asked us to leave since the officer at South Pullu checkpoint had made it extremely clear that nobody will be allowed to go to K-Top today at any cost. But there was still hope. I checked with an army truck which was waiting there with us and they were not sure whether they will be going further or not. Two of the fellow bikers who were waiting with us for the past 6 hrs, now made up their minds that it was getting dark and they should head back to Leh. But I insisted on staying and went to the officer for one last try. I asked him and he said that he knows that I had been waiting for past 6-7 hours but it wasn't feasible. He said that if I want to go, I can, but at my own risk. I was thrilled hearing that.We left South Pullu around 6:30pm and it took us around 45 minutes to reach K-Top. So this was it, the day when I felt the happiness of achieving something. The Happiness of making it because I believed in myself. That day I understood the value of hope.
#CoffeeWithTripotoSkerrrrttt! The car screeched to a halt and we all turned to a far corner to spot the animal that was probably annoyed by our presence. Kiang also known as the Tibetan wild ass turned it's pretty back towards us and continued grazing the field. Native to the Tibetan Plateau, the herbivorous animal is the largest of the wild asses. We also spotted a pair of green eyes which we thought was a Fox. The Red Fox (also known as Watse in the local language) along with Tibetan Sand Fox are among the few smaller animals you can sometimes see from the road. This was the 6 th day of our trip. Our daredevil meter went a notch higher when we took a sudden turn and for the next 20 minutes or so drove on the meadows. It was 11pm...we had left from Leh a little after noon. In the morning, we had left for KhardungLa after a scrumptious and authentic Ladakhi breakfast (Ladakhi bread, bhurji, white bread with butter, tea/coffee) at our guesthouse, Dream Ladakh. Our host ensured that we are taken care of in the best way possible. Her husband (Mr. Tundup) is an Ice Hockey player and the medals displayed in the living room told us that he was pretty good at it! At an elevation of 18,379 ft, KhardungLa is the world's highest motorable road. The road till South Pullu check-post was good but post that is when the ordeal began! And the traffic jam added to our woes. When we reached the top, we were in a lil bit of a shock! There were people everywhere! And the photoshoots just won't stop! With great difficulty, we managed to click the pic of the milestone and decided to make a move. Back in Leh town, we had lunch at Chopsticks. This place is indeed the best in town! We had Mutton Briyani, Japnese Chicken Teriyaki, Pad Thai Noodles, Garlic Schezwan Noodles and Pineapple Chicken Rice and it was finger licking good! Considering the weather and the logistics, Ram unfortunately had to keep his JK bike at Leh and travel in Gypsy with us till Sarchu. The weather was changing by the minute and it had started pouring already.The river gave us company...the majestic landscape slowly revealing itself... I could faintly hear the song..."Khule Hain Jo Pal, Kahe Yeh Nazar... Lagta Hai Ab Hai Jaage Hum... Fikrein Jo Thi, Peeche Reh Gayi... Nikle Unse Aage Hum... Hua Hai Yun Ke Dil Pighal Gaye... Bas Ek Pal Mein Hum Badal Gaye..."On the way, we spotted a Yogi-like mountain! It was trippy! We still had a long way to go. We had stopped for Tea on our way and the locals had their hearts in their mouth when we told them about our destination. We were headed towards TsoMoriri and in the entire stretch from Leh, it was just us! One of the reasons for it was because we had started late from Leh and also, TsoMoriri is still less explored in comparison to Leh-Ladakh. We reached our destination post an Army check-post around midnight. We were staying the night at Yak Camp in Karzok village. The tents were extremely comfortable and warm. We slept like a log! In the morning, we were greeted by friendly pahadi faces. One of the staff members was a college student who was doing his summer internship. Karzok village is located in the Rupshu region on the shore of TsoMoriri and it also has a reasonable nomadic population. TsoMoriri which literally means 'Mountain Lake' left us speechless. Just like Pangong, it changed colours...it was mighty, beautiful and simply magical. We spotted Brahminy Ducks and Black Necked Cranes here. Marshes of Ladakh is a good breeding ground for other migratory birds as well. After spending an hour or so at peace near the lake, we decided to make a move. On our way back, we saw a kid running with full speed towards us...we thought maybe he needs a lift...we stopped a lil further and saw an old man walking towards us...we had thought about all the emergency situations these guys could be in - maybe they need water or food or maybe somebody is dying and needs to be taken to the hospital... but to our surprise, all that the old man needed was a few cigarettes! For the next couple of minutes, all of us broke into a laughter riot! He was one of the nomads...out there in the field to herd the cattle. At 14,836 ft, with no soul around, all that the old man needed the moment he saw humans was few cigarettes! Damn!Well, fulfilling the old man's wishes, introspecting, we were on the road once again. We stopped for Tea near Tsokar Lake, another salt lake located in Rupshu region. One of the tent's thread was hanging in the air. We could smell the melting butter...the aura alone filled the body with warmth...the Pink Ladakhi Butter Tea did its magic with the first sip itself. The lake however wasn't in its full glory. But the rain gods had taken it upon themselves to make it up for it. The grass was turning green with every drop of rain. From where we were sitting, it looked like the gods were leading an orchestra and nature with its innumerable shades of blue and green arranged themselves, happily!We crossed More Plains, Pang, LachungLa and reached Sarchu at 10:30pm.Sarchu is known for its harsh and cruel weather! It was damn windy and it sure felt like near-freezing aka nearing-death Celsius! But, thankfully we had Vat69 and freshly made dinner (specially for us) to help us survive! The valley was soon filled with our laughter as Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds did rounds on the table. Bantu and Manu had taught us a new game called Jhanp (also known as Bhabhi). Bluffs being caught...sly looks being exchanged...the spirit warming up the body and the games and jokes warming our hearts... All of this being done with the help of an emergency light as these places function with the help of solar panels and they switch off the main power post 11pm. A lil more chit-chat and Avinash dramatically pulling-off few stunts, we called it a night! The tents were super comfortable. A sound sleep of 7 hours and we were fresh like a flower in the morning!
From my very first night at high altitude, 14,000 feet at Sarchu, en route Leh, I knew AMS and me would be BFF. For the uninitiated, AMS is ‘Acute Mountain Sickness’ and BFF stands for ‘Best Friends Forever’. Trust me, at no point do you want to have a BFF like AMS. But as luck would have it, here I was again at 17,500 feet and -10 degrees, AMS struck, in the middle of the night, staring at the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.
Day 6Leh – Pangong Lake (160 Kms)The distance can be covered in 6-7 hrs due to bad road conditions. This journey will surely make you tire, but the excitement to hit Pangong Lake will give you much needed respite.
On Wednesday, we went to the airport that was packed with stranded passengers. The airport had been closed for the past few days because of the snowfall and the slippery runway, and luckily, it reopened on the very day of our scheduled departure. On Thursday, I was in my office planning my next adventure.
Reached Leh on 5th August morning by flight and headed straight to hotel provided by trekking company. Most of the day was spent relaxing and meeting other participants. In evening we had an introduction with our trek leaders and all the participants. From initial conversation we got an idea that our trek leaders were carrying a bad attitude and they were not the best suited leaders for such an expedition. We were a strong team of 18 participants from around the globe all of which carried a good trekking experience with me being the least experienced of all at trekking. We then headed for a team dinner at one of the restaurants in Leh market and were off to sleep early. Next morning we left at 7am for an easy acclimatization trek to Namgyal Tsemo monastery and Leh palace. Some relaxed for the rest of the day while others ran for shopping the gear they had missed out. Leh market is a great place to buy all sorts of trekking and mountaineering equipment with huge variety to choose from. In the evening we left for another acclimatization walk to Shanti Stupa.
Day 6: Sight Seeing in LehHall of Fame: Don't forget to visit this Museum.The Hall of Fame, situated close to the Leh Airfiled, is an exhibition hall developed and kept up by the Indian Army in the memory of the warriors who had lost their lives amid the Indo-Pak wars.It is additionally named as a remembrance for the war saints. This building comprises of two stories. There are relics of different wars for the most part Kargil war, like the weapons utilized amid the war and some imperative archives, identified with the same.Gurudwara Pathar Sahib: Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is located 25 miles from Leh in Ladakh area in Jammu and Kashmir. This manage by Army only. The best part is, Langar is very tastySangam Point: The meeting point of the Indus and Zanskar is known as the Sangam Point. As the water of the Indus River is very warm and the Zanskar is frozen, this becomes an amazing sight for the onlookers. The two rivers meet at this point and then flows to Pakistan. The conevergence of these rivers takes place at a distance of 30 km west of Leh.Leh Market: Leh market is small but very beautiful. you can have coffee/Food etc and its good for shopping.Day 7: Back to DelhiReached Delhi, but don't want to leave beautiful Place Ladakh.I have great experience withthis trip. The trip was awesome.
288 Kms from Panamik
Best time to visit - February,March,April,October
The land from where once an ancient trade route to China would be embarked on, Manali is an abode for modern creativity now as much as it for withdrawal and adventure in the majestic mountains. From offering hostels, hotels, co-working spaces to the cave where once Arjun, the Pandava king had supposedly meditated (Arjun Gufa), Manali is no less than a global village. The mighty Himalayas have inspired many foreign settlements here, giving rise to popular European and Israeli cafes, restaurants and hostels, providing one a consortium of around the world cultures. This town is a true haven for adventure junkies who can indulge in river rafting, paragliding, camping, rock climbing, rappelling, zorbing at Solang Valley and Aleo. Manali has an array of breathtaking treks and sights for its nature lovers, for instance the Patalsu Peak, the Deo Tibba basecamp, Jogini Falls and the Rahala Falls. For all the solo riders out there, cruise your way through the snowy alley of Rohtang Pass while those who wish to travel back in time, can indulge in the exquisite display of culture and heritage at the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. Restaurants and cafes such as the Khyber Pass, Johnson's Cafe, La Plage, Drifters' Inn, The Hangout attract foodies for their culinary justice to everything from Thai to European cuisines and even some live music. If all this is too over the top for you, then reconnect with simplicity at Naggar Village, which is home to waterfalls, a beautiful castle, an art gallery and locals which have many stories to share and a cultural heritage to take pride in. Read More
21st: Next day, we rode back to Manali through Rohtang pass. We reached late evening as we took it slow and had a number of scenic views that deserved a good time. It was absolutely an emotional moment on arriving Manali. The sights seen, the friendships made, the backs broken, the bullets fixed, the much needed breaks, riverside roads, and above all those, the bullet that carried us all throughout... It was definitely not ours but we certainly had a tough time saying Good bye to it. Some of us hugged, some of us kissed and some of us bowed down in front of their own bullets. :) The bullets were taken to the workshop for the next batch of riders.22nd: We got this day to sight see Manali and explore the markets. Hidimba temple (where the kidnapping scene film 'Roja' was shot) is one of the places you need to visit. You can also get clicked in the traditional 'Kashmiri' attire here. By evening we boarded the bus from Manali to Delhi. We reached Delhi in the morning and took the flight back to Bangalore by evening. Bangalore was kind enough to welcome us with a pleasant weather. :)
Day 2 - Reached ManaliAt around 10:30 a.m. we reached Manali. It was a long bus journey. We were comfortable in the bus, and were wearing thin layers. The bus driver had to drop us before the main bus stop, as the roads were blocked because of the snow.We got out of the bus, and I felt really cold instantly. We were standing in the middle of nowhere, it was snowing, our shoes were covered in water. I had to throw my bad to the ground and put on as many layers as I could.
(30th December): We reached Manali, the next morning and the bus ride was nothing but annoying. Anyway, we were excited to be at the new place. The details of the place we stayed are as follows:Accommodation: Bella Marina - https://www.makemytrip.com/hotels/marina_villa-details-manali.htmlFood – 4 starsView – 4 starsLocation – It is away from the city hence it is a less expensive and secluded. If you are someone who likes to surrounded by nature and in a calm environment. This is the place to be!Our plan was to celebrate New year in this amazing place. So, we had two good days in our hands. We decided that we would explore the town today and then go for the rafting tomorrow. There are amazing food hubs here. First, we decided to try out a place called the Johnson’s café. It a must try. Great environment and the best place to have some great conversation over a bottle of beer. The local food is good as well and great shops to buy handmade sweaters for yourself and if you’d like to gift someone. So, we spent the whole day chilling, having great food, drinks and watched the people passing by. In our busy lives, we hardly find time for ourselves and to just sit there doing nothing and gazing at people going by proved to be very soothing. Try it! After sundown, we decided to head back to our villa, where good food was awaiting us. The people at Bella Marina are very friendly and they do make you feel at home.
I started travelling a year back and it changed me completely from within. I was altogether a different person after I came back. My first destination was Manali. Although I am from Himachal and all my life I have lived in mountains but this time, it was different. Taking a break from the daily office routine of a metro city we went to Manali to attend a friend’s wedding, but I had no idea that this trip would entirely change my perspective towards life. I fell in love with the place. I fell in love with the mighty mountains. The road which takes you to Rohtang from Manali is very alluring. You will witness number of waterfalls on your way. Along with the right kind of music, you’ll be blown away by the astounding views that you’ll witness.I had so many queries in my mind when I went there but everything seemed sorted after I came back home. We all have problems in our life. And deep inside we all know the solution as well. It’s just that we don’t want to accept things. We run away from reality.I always ran away from the truth. I did not have the courage to accept what was going wrong in my life. But while I was wandering, all answers started to unfold. All you need to find is, your own happy place. In every journey, you will come across a place where you feel a sense of belongingness and tranquility, where you would want to sit for hours, silently and ponder about life. It’s in here, where you find the courage to do things that were always in your mind. It helps you to grow internally and bring about a change in your life.In Manali, I found mine in the streets of old Manali. I fell in love with Soma Café. It was not only the café to be particular, it was a voice, a soothing voice which pacified my soul. The aura of the place was magical. After coming back, I used to listen to the recorded videos for hours. I had promised myself that I would go back to that same place again. And I did. I fulfilled my promise. I went back almost after a year. But you know what, this time it was different. The reason for which I travelled for 530 km was not there. The singer whose voice I fell in love with, had moved to another city. And that point of time I realised where I was wrong.We must never attach ourselves with anyone or anything. True wanderers live in the present moment, they never fixate themselves with anyone. Life is simply meant be lived and not be entangled with emotions. So, just Keep travelling. Keep exploring.Travelling helps you connect to yourself which is paramount if you are seeking inner peace.Sometimes, sitting beside a lake, a mountain or a beach and introspecting yourself is all the therapy you need because no one will understand you better than yourself.Everyone has their own share of experiences in life. And sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay. You see the brighter day only after a dark night. I was never a wanderer. I was never a traveller. Infact, I never wanted to step out of my home. But when I did, I don’t want to stop now. I have found my happiness.I always like my bags packed and while unpacking them I think about the time I will go on another adventure. Be optimistic in life. This way you will attract good things. Have faith in the universe. It definitely has a plan for you. A plan which is in your favour. A plan that will set you free from all your agony. Never stop believing. Bad experiences might tear you apart and might force you to lose faith in yourself but give yourself a chance. Step out of your comfort zone and explore your surroundings.You are worth all good things that you dream of :)
Now it was the second last day where we had to go back to Manali via Rohtang Pass, and we had to start early morning before the sun comes out of the mountains, so we paid for the lodge, packed our bags for one final time and we bid goodbye to the adventure left behind us thinking someday we will think about it and will smile of how we survived the days, we started at seven in the morning and were heading back to Manali in good shape, but what does life says to you when everything is going great "Lol. One second, let me screw it up", just four kilometers from Rohtang Pass, there was this huge Boulder of rock which had come down on the road maybe because of rain the mud had gotten soft, and what else could be done, during the time i wished only if i had one superpower, scores of car were standing, people got out, some even laid sheets of cloth, stoves were out, tea was being made, bread and butter were served to people, Indians are the most amusing species, no matter how big the problem, there is always time for gossip and tea and bread. it was like a picnic spot now, well we all waited for the JMC to come and to remove that boulder but it wasn't able to even move it by an inch, what could be done now, Keep Calm Fellas, now is the time of some real Bollywood, "DYNAMITE", it was the last option and it was surreal, the 'mountain care takers' i would say came with dynamite and of course Police was present to back people off and the vehicles were on both sides, it was like a dream come true for most people to see a large rock being exploded using Tri-Nitro-Toulene, i was rather worried about the avalanche it will create and some more rocks might come falling down again and then it would be a massacre, the silver lining would be for vultures and eagles then, we had to wait until all the cars were backed off to a safe distance, people waited inside and outside their cars for that blow to visit their ears, the mountain care takers started blowing whistles to signal that explosion is going to take place any second now. KABOOM--KABOOM, two explosions as planned with one second interval, small rocks were flying and coming down and some of them even gave cracks to the windshields, it was rejoiceful and terrifying simultaneously, the path was clear, so now the cars going towards Rohtang were given preference in going first, six hours were wasted in that, precious six hours, it was late afternoon, when we had Lunch on the outskirt of Manali just before reaching Manali City, and as it was a Saturday, so Manali was jam packed and the thought of staying back in Manali was going down with our tiredness, so now what we decided was to not stay back there and head back straight to Chandigarh, we can stay there for one night and then next day, back to Delhi.
After exploring the local places of Manali we went back to our hotel to check out and pick our luggage. We boarded the bus for Delhi in evening and returned home with sweet memories. Atlast, my aim to visit this favourite hill retreat of India got completed!Manali is truly nature’s paradise! For me it’s the most vibrant and charming place in the lap of majestic Himalayas. Don’t wait, just plan your trip to this perfect Himalayan escapade now!The trip was curated by Travel Triangle, check-out www.traveltriangle.com for similar trips & experiences.Read the entire story from Manali on my travel blog Ghoomakad.in
Day 9 : We started from Kaza around 8 am and reached Manali at one shot . Time taken : 13hrs . We enjoyed our stay back at Manali and the next day we started for Parvati Valley .Must carry :Warm clothes ,Bike gears ,7-8 pairs of socks ,Caps ,Vaselin for body and lips ,Mask ,Suns-scream lotion ,Polythene s cover your foot while crossing waterfalls or rent boots on the way ,Waterproof luggage’s ,Tablets for headaches or any breathing problem ,Volini Sprays ,Gloves ,Enough food that will keep you hydrated .Please carry less clothes and make sure the luggage weight is equally distributed .Make sure you have a safe ride and do write to me if my post was of any help to reach your dreamland .
I set my footsteps to Manali, one of the most beautiful gems of Himachal Pradesh. A deep breath of fresh cold Himalayan breeze was enough to set me in the right mood. My first agenda once I landed there was to see snow ! I have never been around snow in my entire life. Although Rohtang pass was closed at that time , Solang valley invited us with it's snow filled arms. It was probably one of the most beautiful things I have seen.
Our guide (I forgot his name) was picked somewhere between Manali & Gulaba (I was snoring at the time). He was also our navigator and took us to the starting point of the trek. One might simply pass it by without even noticing !! Our ugly traveler stopped roadside, & we had to decide what to load on the porters and what to carry on our own. Our necks were stiff from the ride & we had back aches, but the trekking spirit was alive. And so we progressed through the lovely meadows. Daylight was burning as it was 7 PM already. In just about an hour or so we reached "Chaudah Mod", a beautiful Bugyal it was. The best patch of the flatland was occupied by tents of I guess, IndiaHikes (someone informed later). We pitched ours on a slope!! This was the first leg of the journey.
359 Kms from Panamik
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Gulmarg is synonymous with beauty so stunning that finding another place like it would be impossible. From its overwhelming ski-slopes, astounding meadows, numerous small streams to its hidden trekking trails, Gondola rides and Bollywood connection, Gulmarg is a must visit when you are visiting Kashmir. Gulmarg is visited by thousands of starstruck tourists every year and it's every bit worth the hype. Though at first glance it might seem like just another hilly resort, the serenity of the place will surprise you. Do try everything touristy here including the gondola and pony ride lest you miss out on a true Gulmarg experience. The route from Srinagar to Gulmarg is absolutely stunning and there are several places you can stop at including Baba Reshi Shrine and Tangmarg. There are quite a few resorts, cottages and hotels in Gulmarg so you'll be spoilt for choice though if you are visiting only for the day, the restaurants and dhabas here more than make up for a hearty meal. Do carry extra layers since it tends to get a little chilly here. Travelling here during winter is a little tricky so it's best to take a local taxi rather than driving yourself. And if you are lucky, you might just spot a snow leopard or two, though for that you'll need to go a little higher than Gulmarg. Another thing that stands out in Gulmarg is the effort to keep it clean, so if you happen to be there, do your bit.Read More
Gulmarg: One word come “Gondola Ride” there are 2 phase in gondola ride.1st Phase: It’s normal so anybody go there oxygen level is good and there you will enjoy some good food, Bike ride to the snow, there you also enjoy sledging.2nd Phase : The view around you is like heaven on earth because of low oxygen level infants are not allowed on top. There you will enjoy skiing and sledging and reach on the top.Over all gondola ride is most amazing experience. Its height 1400ft (2nd Phase) I recommend to stay in Gulmarg at least one night. I enjoyed rain there and that was awesome if you are lucky then might be you will also enjoy and feel the rain.
It was our second day in Gulmarg. We reserved this day for Gondola and local sight seeing.Gondola costs you 1600 INR per person for both the phases.You'll encounter many local guides who will ask you to accompany on your ride to Gondola. One such incident happened with me. An old man in his 60's-70's approached me and asked to serve as a guide for Gondola. I politely told him that I want to explore the place myself and don't need his assistance. He was extremely persuasive and denied to leave my back. In the end I had to give him 50 bucks just to leave me alone and let me go on my own.Note: You don't need a guide for Gondola. Take your passes from the counter and enjoy the ride. I would suggest you to cover Phase 1 and Phase 2 both.In the second phase you''ll be able to reach Apharwat peak. On your left, you'll find Sunshine peak and Shark peak on your right. You'll be able to see Indo- Pak border as well.Snowcapped mountains, cool breeze of air with skiing. This is what Apharwat is all about.As the sun went down, we started riding back to Srinagar from Gulmarg.While riding back, I felt that this was the best of Kashmir that I saw. It couldnt get better. Well, I was wrong.
We had 2 days reserved for Gulmarg and 2 days are more than enough for the place. Stay in Gulmarg is expensive and in the peak season time its difficult to find a hotel even at the highest price. We decided to stay at "Tangmarg". Tangmarg is 11 km before Gulmarg. It's a small village. We booked the hotel "Pine view Resort" through Goibibo at mere 750 INR for a night.The hotel room is clean and the restaurant serves delicious food. Do try their dosa.The moment I entered Gulmarg, some locals asked me to park my bike and told me that I might have to face penalty if I roam around on the bike. I decided not to hear them and continued to explore Gulmarg on my bike.Note: Some people might mislead you, I would suggest you not to throw away your money and get to know about the place. Kashmiri people can get a lot pushy while selling you something, so, keep that in mind.Day 1 in Gulmarg was amazing. Coming from Delhi it was surprising to watch huge green meadows, thousands of sheep, superb weather all at once. We roamed around for a while appreciating its aesthetics. It was around 4 pm when we decided that we were going to Khilanmarg enjoying the pony ride. Well, if you are a first timer, I must tell you that pony ride is not so interesting as it sounds. You'll get to know more once you'll do it.Gulmarg to Khilanmarg is around 5 km. Pony ride is going to cost you around 400 Rs.You'll cross deodar and pine forests on your route to reach Khilanmarg. Once you'll reach the place you can enjoy skiing and sledgingas well. Though its not quite famous for its adventure sports but a ride on sledge will do no harm.It was almost dark when we reached back to Gulmarg. We decided to leave for Tangmarg for our night stay. We had to come back to Gulmarg on the next day for Gondola. It was total dark on our way back. There was no other vehicle on the road except ours and it was horrifying.Later in the morning, locals told us that there have been some cases of the encounters with wild animals between the route of Gulmarg and Tangmarg. That was the day when I decided that it was the last time that I rode at night in the mountains.
This day we started off early and headed to Gulmarg. It was a day trip to Gulmarg and we went to Sonmarg for stay from there. Gulmarg was one beautiful place with lot of pine trees and valleys. Way to Gulmarg was fabulous.W e saw a valley flowing by road and stopped there for a while. After we reached Gulmarg , we had two options : Afarwat peak through gondola and khilanmarg through horse with several stops. We chose Khilanmarg as we experienced Gondola and snow a lot. And this was our best decision. We rented out jackets and we were on horses the next moment. In these places , the guide you get is as important as place. We got a very good guide here. The horses soon went into pine trees. We were seeing nature at its best. Our horse even crossed small water bodies and we felt like kings and queens. Then we were at a point where there were all snow capped mountains and the view was perfect. Next stop was view Reshi baba mandir/mosque from a mountain top. Then we headed to a childrens' park and this was magical. Park was green and there was water flowing through it with a small bridge across water. We were into water the next moment not even caring about how cold the water is. We spent a lot of time there. Then we headed to Khilanmarg. Khilanmarg had very murky ice. It was long time it snowed there as it was summer. We didnot do much there except for sledging in ice. Then we came down and started for Sonmarg. Our Sonmarg hotel was right in front of the mountain. We checked in to hotel, had dinner and relaxed for our next exciting day.
The initial need that I had to reach the top had now being overtaken by the amusement of being on the track-path and sitting down at the cottages, having Nun chai (salt tea- Kashmiri tea). After a long journey up the mountain we finally reached. I could tell by the beams of sun that landed on my face, a reward for making it up so far. It was the most miraculous feeling I ever had, maybe it was the reason I was brought to India, to watch the blue skies kissing the mountain top, which was in the veils of white snow. I felt that I was on the peak of the world, and everything else is below my feet, and no one can reach me. I could see people climbing up below, like tiny dots. They would reach anytime soon. The feeling was so magical that I had not realized my palms turning red, with the unbearable cold that my body was exposed to for the first time in my life. Blood ran up to my top layer of paled skin to fight the strong breeze against me, but it was not powerful enough to kill the smile on my face out of the happiness. Surprisingly, Abid was not scolding me for not bringing proper winter clothes. Instead he was beaming, with a broad smile on his face that touched the corners of his ears as he watched me gradually picking my breath. He was equally happy as I was, to have been the pioneer to bring me to Kashmir, which till now has become a home than any other to me and will always be.
Gulmarg: February is an excellent time to get your gear on and go snow boarding and skiing in the the snow-clad meadows of Kashmir. Gulmarg not only becomes the hub of adventure activities in this season but also promises surreal landscapes and a clear night sky for those who want a peaceful vacation.The nearest airport is in Srinagar, 56 kms from Gulmarg. Taxis and buses are available from Srinagar to Gulmarg everyday at regular intervals.Read more: Snow-Covered Gulmarg In Photos by Ayandrali Dutta
God himself showers light upon this place. And the people there, they couldn't be any more generous in their attitude. Even in a state of curfew, they helped the tourists, the families to get to a safer place, and offered them all the help they could give selflessly.
This summer vacations, my family decided to land on the one place that hits every Indian Middle class family's vacation list, yes-Kashmir! It truly is the 'Heaven on Earth', with the green flowing all around,naturally growing flowers making it even more beautiful, those horses, the hills, and the clouds completing the image of a fairyland.
Gulmarg ("Meadow of Flowers") is a town, a hill station, a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is within the Himalayas and is within miles of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. ccording to CNN, Gulmarg is the "heartland of winter sports in India." Gulmarg was being mooted as a possible host for the 2010 Commonwealth Winter Games. As such, Gulmarg has been rated by CNN International as Asia's seventh best ski destination. This resort is famous because of its "Gulmarg Gondola," one of the highest cable car in the world, reaching 3,979 metres. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from the gondola main station in Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Apharwat Summit (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski.
295 Kms from Panamik
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 beautiful place and a popular tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh. The town was founded in 920 AD by Raja Sahil Verma, after he moved his capital from Bharmour till here. The temple of the Chamba valley are also famous for theire beautiful wood carvings. The main influence is of Hindus here unlike most of the other hill valleys of Himachal. The Raghuvira Temple is the most famous temple here. The blooming flowers all around is a blissful sight. The Chowgan Field is the place for the traditional Minjal Festival of Chamba Region.Read More
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.
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.
305 Kms from Panamik
Best time to visit - March,April,May
Himachal is the throne of a number of 'mini-Switzerlands' and Dalhousie is widely known to be one of them. Named after the British Governor-General of India (1848), Lord Dalhousie, this place remains a popular summer retreat mainly for the charming walks it offers around the pine-sheathed valleys with views of distant mountains. There are a few British-era architectural sights here worth visiting. For instance, St. John's Church, or the Rang Mahal, an 18th century monument of British and Mughal style architecture with paintings dating back to the very same era with a souvenir shop. One can delve into Dalhousie's Deodar-enveloped natural habitat in the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, home to many animal species such as the leopard, deer, bear, serow, barking goral and jackal and many streams flowing into the river Ravi. Nature and adventure enthusiasts should also try boating in the calm waters of Chamera lake or try the easy-level Dainkund trek. Tourists must visit the Tibetan Market to buy exquisite Himalayan handloom. Some popular restaurants for North Indian, Mughlai, Chinese and other multi-cuisine dishes are Moti Mahal, Kwality Restaurant and Hotel Mount View. Dalhousie is well connected by road and train, the nearest station being Pathankot, which is 80km away.Read More
Dalhousie is a popular Hill station in the Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. It is about 2000 meters above the sea level. The place is well known for its natural beauty and wide landscapes. What's attracting tourism here is the recently known place Khajjiar near Dalhouise. Dalhousie is perfect for a vocation with family away from the busy city life.Road or Railway is the best way to reach Dalhouise. If you wish to visit this place through flight, the nearest airport is in Pathankot. The airport is also 75 Km away from Dalhouise and the only connected airport is Delhi Airport. The bus route would be much better despite the fact its 590 km from Delhi. However Train will be the most cost effective and comfortable way to travel. The nearest Railway Station is Chakki Bank railhead which is approximately 75km and you can hire a taxi to reach there.
We started our trip from Mumbai, 3 friends directly mumbai to pathankhot it was 2 day ride, from there we got a bus till dalhousie. 1 day 24 dec we stayed in dalhousie and there was 1 st snow fall of the season an awesome welcome and start for our trip. Whole night there was thunder storm and snow fall. Next day we did some local sightseeing and enquiry for best places, our hotel manager helped us and booked us a cab which took us to khajjiar, as the primary route was blocked due to snow fall we took a detour and went to khajjiar from chamba region the cab ride was bit more but it was worth it.
Dalhousie is a hill station in Chamba district, in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated on 5 hills and is located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Dalhousie is situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level. The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September (#Wikipedia). It is famous for its scenic landscape, fun loaded adventurous activities. Mostly people visit Dalhousie with there family and friends.How to reach there?By Train - Easiest and the most comfortable way to ride. There are many trains available from Delhi. Old Delhi Railway Station (in Chandni Chowk), New Delhi Railway Station & Hazrat Nizamuddin Station. It was a weekend journey so we booked our seats in a train (Cost is around INR 400 for sleeper class & INR 700 - 900 for AC class) on trains which departure on friday night.The nearest station to Dalhousie is Pathankot Junction. From there you can hire a cab or a traveller ( as in a Tempo Traveller or Tata Winger). It will take around 2 to 3 hrs to reach and cost is around INR 300/person.By Bus - Himachal Tourism and other private bus owners offer transportation services. (https://m.redbus.in/bus-tickets/delhi-to-dalhousie).The cheapest fares can go to as low as INR 600. The time which it takes is between 12 to 14 hours.By Private transport - You can take your own vehicle if you are feeling kind of adventurous or hire a self drive rental car from Zoom Car, Voler, or Myles, etc.So plan accordingly in advance as a minimum of 2 days are required if you want to explore most of the places.What to visit?
DAY 3The third and last day was time to relax and to explore local. The day started with ease; late breakfast. With few steps ahead of our hotel we walked to "Bakrota Hills" to enjoy the great views of Dalhousie and also explored "Ahla Village famous for Potato Farming".
We raise and shine early to see the sunrise, nothing less than a "MAGICAL" moment….. golden rays peeking through the mountains……simply spectacular. As compared to the previous day, the present day was bright and sunny.Got ready and opt not to have breakfast at hotel, instead we headed to Kapoor Food Point (local dhaba) just adjacent to our hotel. This guy served us yummy yummy Parathas, Omelette with hot tea/coffee. Right after our breakfast we headed to Dainkund Peak (we hired a local taxi for all site-seeing , for all days).
Dalhousie will transport you to another world. Located at Kalatope, the spread of cedar and pine paint a different picture. The magic of the forest coupled with the wide expanse of the grasslands will make you feel isolated from the world on this tourist places near Delhi within 200 km. You can skip the more touristy places in the area and instead, you can choose to stay at the forest rest house situated in Kalatope. You will find a golf course, a temple and a lake surrounding the area. What more can you hope for when you are in a mood for an escape?
Blessed with abundance of picturesque landscapes and snow dripping mountains, DALHOUSIE is one of the recommended tourist destinations. It is situated at an altitude of 1828 meters that extends even higher.
Here we opted for a half day excursion to KhajjiarKhajjiar is a hill station located approximately 24 km from Dalhousie. Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests. It is about 6,500 feet (2,000 m) above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas and snowy peaks can be seen in the distance. It is also well known as Mini Switzerland (Mini Swiss).After Half day tour of Khajjiar we started back to Chandigarh for our return journey and checked into Hotel Skylark on Zirakpur Highway
157 Kms from Panamik
Best time to visit - May,June,July,August
This beautiful district in Ladakh has been part of many significant moments in India. Its close proximity to Pakistan makes Kargil an integral part of India's geographical dominance and its awe-inspiring beauty makes it a must visit for travellers. If you are making your way from Sringar to Leh, Kargil is a definitely stopover. The Sani monastery here is one of the oldest monasteries in the world and is home to a 20 feet tall Stupa and a Buddhist shrine. Other notable monasteries here are Mulkbeh Monastery, home to a laughing Buddha sculpture; Phugthal Monastery, Zongkhul Monastery, Stongday Monastery and Karsha Monastery. If you are here for a day or two, do walk around the villages to experience life in one of India's coldest regions. The people are warm and welcoming with myriad intriguing stories to share.Read More
Leaving for Kargil and finally telling leh adiós was a bit difficult. Though driving on NH1 had its own excitement. Kargil has importance because of the war. It turned out to be pretty crowded area. Drass is much better and recommended where the war memorial is built. We stayed in Hotel Green Land(Kargil). The cost was Rs 900 per person (dinner + bkfst)
Kargil is frequently visited by lot of travelers who take the Srinagar Leh highway. However, even though people stick around here for a day or two to acclimatize for the long road ahead, Kargil is in itself a delightful town. With its bazaar always busy with the newest fashion items that come from Srinagar, it is just like a hill town in Himachal Pradesh with its own stories and tales. Kargil remains an area of strategic importance due to its close proximity to the LoC. Before you reach Kargil you must cross Drass, which is the world’s second coldest place in the world after Antarctica. Even though the terrain seeming inhospitable and ruthless, life goes on in the villages and people have found a way to survive the worst. Drass has extreme climatic conditions but also is a personal favorite if I ever chose to wander!
The excitement was real, we were off to Leh, the most famous place in Ladakh. Having done my homework, I was well aware off the excellent roads we would travel on (apart from the small patch near Mulbekh), unlike most others in the Himalayas. This made me feel that, that tad bit of adventure was cut down, but that was to be a welcome respite from the terrible roads that we had, and would encounter. We were to take the more common route through Lamayuru, since we did not have the permits for the Batalik route, which can be procured in Leh, and maybe Kargil! Our list included a whole lot of things to see, two passes, a few monasteries, a gurudwara and much more. Early breakfast meant that we were on the roads by 7 AM. Initially the roads were a little rough, up until Mulbekh after which no one could have any complaints.
2. Kargil to Srinagar via Drass
Leaving Mulbekh, we directly drove to Kargil. We were startled to witness how the barren desert-like mountains slowly transformed to greenish ones and how Buddhism gave way to Islam. Kargil is a district and is the second largest town of Ladakh division after Leh and is situated along the banks of the Suru River (Indus). The town lies near the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan to its north.
We reached Kargil shortly and first visited Kargil memorial. My husband was wearing a shawl and behaving like he worked in army. It was Kargil diwas few days later and all preparations were going on. We were happy to see whole army preparing for the event. We saw Vijay path, we were shown tiger hill where attack took place. Then a shop for souvenirs where we picked two. There was a museum which displayed all things used in war and all paper cuttings after victory. Then we came to our hotel.
Kargil & the story of warThe Kargil memorial built in the memory of all those who lost their lives during the 1999 war, is a vast space in front of the Tololing range. Vijaypath, a long walk way, leads up to the lit up torch, under an Indian flag. A wall with the names of the Shaheed from various gentries stands right behind. In the vicinity, you will notice an MiG that was extensively used during the war, captured Pakistani bunkers & possibly a 100 grave stones of the buried soldiers.There is a small museum built exhibiting details of the war, including photographs of the soldiers, scenes from the war, weapons used, a salutation poem by Harivansh Rai Bachhan & a wall for people to leave messages onMore than the museum, it were the stories from local people that kept us mesmerized for hours when we halted for the night at a hotel in Kargil, overlooking the valley with the Batalik range around it and the LOC just 20kms from it. Clearly, the locals took pride in the fact that it was because of them that the war was won...”koi Madrasi army mein pahaad kabhi chadh payega?”Kargil is a story of valour & heroism. One fine summer morning, a shepherd while walking his sheep, noticed some strange looking faces – ‘alag’ as the locals called them, comfortably staying in the bunkers up on Tololing Range. When he reported this suspicious activity to the army, little did he know that this information would be the start of a war that will go down in history as one of the first conventional warfare between 2 nuclear nations at a high altitude in mountainous terrain?The Pakistan army had infiltrated into the LOC & had occupied the Indian bunkers in the peak of winters, when the Indian army had receded back to the base camp owing to severely cold conditions. What ensued was Operation Vijay, which lasted almost 3 months - surely leading to some wins - recapture of 4 mountain peaks, but many losses – of lives.While there were these heroic tales at one end, on the other, the locals gave us their version of the story of war. Lots of locals had volunteered to help during the war – some carried ammunition & food for the army as they could climb mountains easily, some worked for them in the kitchens & bunkers, some even agreed to fight against the army risking their lives – all in the hope that once the war was over, the government or army would appreciate their effort & provide them an opportunity to serve in the army, ensuring a sustained profession. However, it was disheartening to hear, how none of them were even recognized leave alone any kind of appreciation or a permanent job! This left some bitterness among the locals who therefore weren’t ever as over-awed as us, by the great effort that the army put in for our tomorrow.What if the shepherd hadn’t noticed anything suspicious, what if the Pakistani army had moved closer, what if they had bombed & captured NH 1D, oh what if there was no partition at all – would we have saved thousands of lives, would we have had more harmony, would the Indian map have changed completely & would we have ever been able to travel to Ladakh today – with a million questions cropping in our minds, we silently sat in the car, staring outside the window as the landscape changed gradually – the lush green valleys of Kashmir, giving way to the barren, rugged, desolate, yet colourful rocky mountains of Ladakh.
Not too many people are aware that Ladakh forms the third region of J&K after Jammu & Kashmir – wonder why the state isn’t called J, K & L? Despite, Ladakh being over-shadowed by its more popular cousin Kashmir, it’s still been in the to-do list of travellers from all over the world. Indians however, began to throng this place, only after it was made famous by the Kargil war in 1999 & of course Aamir Khan’s ‘3 Idiots’.
255 Kms from Panamik
Best time to visit - May,June,July,August,September,October
Fondly called the 'meadow of gold', Sonamarg is situated on the banks of a tributary of river Jhelum in Kashmir. A spellbinding valley 80 km from Srinagar, en-route to Ladakh, it is on every traveller's list for its colourful views, serenity and charm. Much has been said about the beauty of Kashmir and one may wonder what the hullabaloo is about. But a visit to Sonamarg is all you need to understand the ways of nature! From Sonamarg, you can trek towards Krishnasar Lake and Vishnasar Lake, amongst others. A perfect place to camp and also to enjoy leisurely afternoon picnics, it would be best if you have a local showing you around. Though there are no well-defined touristy spots within Sonamarg, there are umpteen spots around it. Depending on what you'd like to explore, do gather information and then plan your day here. Read More
Day 2, headed to Sonamarg. August is summers of Kashmir, it was pretty hot. Sonamarg is such a beautiful place, should have spent overnight there with river flowing next to cottages and snow capped mountains all around. However, had booking in Srinagar so had to go back. Here you can visit Thajivas glacier where snow is very less during this time of the year. Need to hire a pony to go ahead. They would lure you in to 5 points site seeing which is basically Zojila pass nothing more, best thing about it is its terrain completely different from Sonamarg.
Sonmarg: It’s famous for Thajiwas Glacier you have to hire a pony from Sonmarg . It’s beautiful place where you can find clean snow and beautiful scenery.If you want to see more snow and wanna play with snow ball with crystal clean ice then you have to defiantly go “0 POINT”
Srinagar-Sonmarg-Drass-KargilWe left Srinagar by 6:00 am as a curfew was declared in the city. Thanks to our driver who informed us last night. Thanks to our houseboat manager, who rowed the shikara himself and dropped us at the bank. We were lucky to leave the city without any disturbance. The beauty will leave you thrilled. We stopped at few places to click pictures (we just couldn’t resist getting ourselves clicked) and once at a local dhabha for a light breakfast.We reached Sonmarg by 9:00 am. We now had to take another cab to go to Thajwas Glacier. (Entire J&K has this issue; you have to use local vehicle to explore. Outside vehicles are strictly not allowed). We bargained with a taxi driver to take us up for Rs. 1000. We skipped ice skating as our driver suggested that its more beautiful at Zero Point (en-route to Kargil, after Zozila Paas). Lot of pestering by pony riders though. We did trekking for some 2 hours before coming down.
Day 8: Leh – Nimmu – Lamayuru – Khaltse – Kargil – Drass – Zoji La – Sonamarg Confluence of Zanskar and Indus at Nimmu, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, and Kargil War Memorial (Vijaypath) are must see places in this route.Enjoy the beautiful landscapes en route.Night Stay at Sonmarg.
It rained all night in Sonmarg. The moment we came out of our hotel room, it was a different world altogether. We reserved this day for "Zero Point". Zero Point lies approx. 10 - 15 km before "Dras". Dras is the world's second inhabited coldest place. You can continue from Dras to reach Kargil and then Leh. Road from Sonmarg to Zero Point goes through "Zozilla Pass".It was one eventful ride through Zozilla Pass. I would rate it in one of my most difficult and adventurous rides. Note: The road condition is not good. It is narrow and might be muddy at times. The scenic beauty on this route is unbeatable. Huge mountains covered with snow, piles of snow stocked on both sides of the road. It is a treat to the eye.Zero Point is a happening place. It is one of the pitstops for the riders to Leh. You'll see a heap of people playing around the moment you enter the place.You can enjoy skiing, sledging, snow biking here. Maggi is definitely a treat, though a little expensive from the usual rates. Don't rent the snow boots or clothes. I don't think it's a requirement.We enjoyed for a while and had some chit chat sessions with other tourists from Delhi.Stayed there for almost 2 hours and started riding back to Srinagar as the sun was falling.We had a 110 - 120 km ride in front of us (Zero Point - Sonmarg - Srinagar). It started raining on our way and we reached Srinagar by night.
The last leg of the journey was to head to Sonmarg. And without a blink NH1 was smooth road with magnificent view. A view you can't close your eyes on. Sonmarg is a quaint town. It looked right out from a movie scene. We had booked ourselves in international youth hostel. Its close to the Thajwas Glacier. But due to Amarnath Yatra were shifted to Apple tree resort i.e yatri niwas in a dormitory. Must say it was well kept and clean. The person to get in touch for IYH is Mr. Mohammed Yusuf. Extremely soft spoken and can guide you well. The cost was Rs 350 per person.
I researched 100s of itineraries to plan my Kashmir travel. Almost every itinerary suggested 1 day stay in Sonmarg and kept Sonmarg as an optional destination.To my surprise, Sonmarg is one place you can't miss on your trip to Kashmir.We stayed for 2 days in Sonmarg. You can cover the important destinations in one day if you leave from Srinagar early and reach Sonmarg early in the morning.Route: Srinagar to Sonmarg route offers you a picturesque view of huge mountains and flowing streams at one of your end. The road is superbly built. Biking is going to be a treat on these roads.Distance: 80 km. 90- 120 minutes ride. We took a pitstop on "Kangan" for some refreshments.Altitude: 2800 metresYou'll spot loads of riders in Sonmarg traveling to Leh. Sonamarg is one route every biker has to travel to reach Ladakh. Another route passes through Rohtang Pass (Manali).The main attraction point in Sonmarg is "Thajiwas Glacier"We rode our bike as far as we could have gone on bike to reach Thajiwas Glacier.From that point there is just 1-2 km trek to Thajiwas Glacier.Note: Local guides asked us to take a pony. Trust me, you don't need one. It's an extremely small and easy trek.It is so difficult to get these local guides off of your back. They almost follow me for a km instead of my constant denial.I decided that I'll not speak anything to any guide who is going to approach me next in a hope that it might work and they're going to leave me alone eventually.So, this man came to me and said "Seth, sledge karega?" I said nothing, tilted my head low towards the ground and kept walking. Again "Ghoda, kar lo. Bohot door jana hai." I greeted him with my silence again. He stopped and said to his partner "Lagta hai saab behra (dumb) hai".So, trust me, if you're going to ask them to leave. They will not leave you. If you are going to argue with them. Thats not going to work at all. Try to remain silent and stop responding. Keep walking. You might get lucky this way.There are high chances that you'll get to see snow covered mountains. We visited in the month of June and it was fully covered in snow.Thajiwas will offer you a perfect place for Skiing and Sledging. Rate depends on season and your bargaining skills everywhere in Kashmir.I did skiing for 150 INR/person and Sledging 100 INR/person.Thajiwas is beautiful indeed. We trek further up from the base of Thajiwas Glacier.We came back to Sonmarg by the evening and booked our hotel. It rained for the whole night. Sonmarg is famous for its heavy rainfall throughout the year and the mornings of Sonmarg are priceless.
This meadow of gold at an easefully adventurous altitude of 2800 meters promises a comfortable Himalayan lap to rest. With the Kolhoi and Machoi Glacier at the vicinity of this campside more adventures await the bravehearts. The river Nallah Sindh meandering through the location, gives you ample fishing opportunities and manage a mahseer for dinner. Sonamarg is Best time for camping: Mid-April till October
Nothing much, last point where you can stand and view the mountains and the road that lead to the highest battle field on earth- The Siachin Glacier. You can visit natural hot spring here and have few roadside restau. While returing you will find a small group of cliff to your right after passing Trisha village. Between those cliff has a beautiful Yarub TSO least exploited. I was there alone for 1 hour totally cut off from the out side world. Calm peace... You have to cross a dry river bed to get into this.