236 Kms from Pang
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Once known as Shyamala, synonymous with Goddess Kali, Shimla has been a summer retreat long before India even gained independence. This famous hill station similarly has a lot of places and things to see untouched by time. For instance, take a vintage joy ride from Kalka station to Shimla in a charming toy train that will take you through towering Deodars, hills and villages. Shimla truly comes alive during winters when a blanket of snow covers it all over making every nook and corner gleam and glisten. One such place is the ice skating rink (natural ice) near Lakkar Bazaar that opens from November to December. More winter sports include skiing, which can be enjoyed 21 km from Shimla in Kufri. Adventure activities such as rafting at Tattapani or a trek to Shali Tibba and Pabbar Valley are also worthwhile experiences. If you are fond of haunted stories and interested in having your own spooky adventure, you'll love Shimla. A lot of people including the renowned Rudyard Kippling (in 'My Own True Ghost Story) have written various eerie stories set around Shimla. A place known most for giving many people the jeepers-creepers is the Charleville Mansion. Another time travelling portal is the antique bookstore, Marina Brothers, located on Mall Road, which is truly a reader and collector's paradise. There are many luxury and budget hotels here, meaning you'll never fall short of options. Popular places to eat include Wake & Bake, Ashiana, Cecil and Minchy's that serve commendable Indian and multi-cuisine dishes and delicious gourmet food.Read More
sitting on the lap of mighty himalayan range, Shimla is a well known destination of northern India. It is easily accessible from national capital region and hence rest of India. It was the summer capital of british emperors which is quite easily visible in architecture at each and every corner of this hill city. Capital city of northern Indian state Himachal Pradesh, is a popular summer destination., however hills unveil different colors during different seasons. I visited the place in summer when it was crowded, hot and looked more brown than white or green. On the other hand in February, hills became animated. It was covered with sheets of snow, roads were deserted and air was mist and cold. It was an entirely different place, which was more themed and composed.
Day 2 (Shimla- Peo)•Got little confused on places to visit next. Decided to do “Shimla darshan” for the day and figure out the bus timings and best route meanwhile.•Visited the infamous Mall Road and did a small trek to Jakhu Temple with a huge Lord Hanuman's sculpture. On the way down, visited Christ Church and Kali Bari Temple. Trust me, we are not that much of god-believing persons, but Shimla didn’t have much to offer in terms of travel.•Being a tea lover, “Pahadi Chai” at “Café Under Tree” at the mountain top compensated for lack of travelling spots.•Went to “Central Perk” café (rings a bell?) super-excitedly, however, the excitement was short lived on finding out that “Central Perk” was just in the name, but nowhere in its theme. However, the food and service was good.•Took HP Ordinary bus to Reckong Peo. The Last Seats. Hell of a bumpy ride it was. Immediate fall in temperature after 5-6 hours of travel forced us to add layers of clothes on us. Two narrow bridges on the way made the journey far more exciting (as we survived :P).
Day 1 (Delhi to Simla)•AC Semi-Sleeper Volvo from Delhi to Simla. Kirti and I had a good chase for the bus (thanks to my laziness) and as usual, Chitraj was there for the rescue, holding the bus for us, updating us with smallest of its movement till the time we finally jumped our way into the bus.•Just 2 lines of a novel were sufficient for one of us to doze-off ;)•Had home-made food on the way•Reached Shimla New ISBT. Went to Old ISBT, as next day had to catch a bus from there to Peo•Started with hotel hunting and came across all the weird hotels, with shady appearance and surroundings. Finally, with much of uphill and downhill workout, found a decent last minute deal on goibibo for Hotel Sita Palace on Mall Road. A nice place but with weird water timings.
Begin your day with a stroll down the mall.The most visited and admired place is the Mall Road, the Ridge and the Christ Church which are all located in the vicinity. Though they offer a great view from the edges at all the times, it is recommended to spend sometime in the morning when it's less crowded and rather refreshing. It will help you in experiencing the prolific view from the ridge as the day begins.Take a guided tour in the splendid Viceregal Lodge
we had so much fun. we walked on the rail gauge. Shimla is famous for its Toy train. The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway in North India traveling along a mostly mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla. (Source: Wiki)
Shimla was built on top of a total of seven different hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft). Being the summer capital of British India, Shimla has some of the finest architectural heritage bestowed to it, and of course add to it the various splendors of nature, forests, waterfalls and glades.Our walk begins in the morning from The Christ church on the ridge and gradually progresses westwards, first towards The Gaiety Theatre and after the scandal point towards Bantony hill whose top is adorned by the Bantony castle built in 1880, while its lower slope houses the Catholic church. A little further ahead are the Grand hotel and the Kali Bari temple. Our walk continues past more architectural heritage structures like the unique railway board building, Gorton castle as we reach Inverarm hill which houses the State museum and a little ahead is the Observatory hill with the Viceregal Lodge, which housed the Viceroy in British times and now is established as The Indian institute of Advanced studies. Our walk finishes here.Distance 5kmsShimla Heritage Walk (Full Day) Shimla was built on top of a total of seven different hills namely: Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft). Being the summer capital of British India, Shimla has some of the finest architectural heritage bestowed to it, and of course add to it the various splendors of nature, forests, waterfalls and glades.Our walk begins in the morning from The Christ church on the ridge and gradually progresses westwards, first towards The Gaiety Theatre and after the scandal point towards Bantony hill whose top is adorned by the Bantony castle built in 1880, while its lower slope houses the Catholic church. A little further ahead are the Grand hotel and the Kali Bari temple. Our walk continues past more architectural heritage structures like the unique railway board building, Gorton castle as we reach Inverarm hill which houses the State museum and a little ahead is the Observatory hill with the Viceregal Lodge, which housed the Viceroy in British times and now is established as The Indian institute of Advanced studies. Our first half of the walk finishes here.Enjoy some tea and snacks at Viceregal lodge café and thereafter continue your walk through a thickly forested path to Summerhill which houses the Himachal University. We board our vehicle here and driving through meandering roads head for the Prospect hill, adorned with the temple of Kamna Devi on the top. After spending a while indulging in some Photography we board the vehicles again, and driving through Boileauganj, Cart road we make a dash for Annadale and visit the Army museum. Backtrack on the same road we drive through Victory tunnel and past Elesium hill which has The Auckland house school we reach Sanjauli from we drive uphill to Jakhoo hill which has a Hanuman temple dedicated to it at the top. From here we will descend, walking back to the ridge. Our walk finishes here.Distance Walking 7kms, Vehicle 30kmsTHE CATCHMENT SANCTUARY WALKCharabara in Shimla is surrounded on three sides by the magnificent Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary, a 125 year old sanctuary that was established by the British as a reserved forest. The sanctuary was the initial source of water for Shimla, the water pumped to Shimla town through a series of steam pumps, reputed to be the first of their kind in the country. Today this pristine and undisturbed forest stretches across an area of 12 square kilometres and is considered by many as one of the wealthiest storehouses of Himalayan flora. This extremely dense forest is also the habitat for a vast variety of fauna, the most prominent being the Leopard. Although a sighting of this extremely human-shy and nocturnal animal is very rare, regular reports of droppings prove the existence of a large population within the sanctuary. The Himalayan Black Bear and the Brown Bear, Barking Deer, Goral, Jackal, Indian Red Fox, Striped Hyena and the Yellow-Throated Martin are some of the species of wildlife that thrive in the undisturbed forests of the sanctuary. A wide variety of bird and pheasant species can also be spotted in the lower altitude belts of the sanctuary, some of the more prominent ones being the Cheer, Koklas and Khaleej pheasants, the Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, the Great Himalayan Barbet and some sparklingly colorful minivets. A bifurcation penetrates deep into the sanctuary along a prominent ridgeline. Descend down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, a hundred year old lathe and plaster (Dhajji) structure located in the midst of this silent forest. The narrow trail undulates for an hour or more through one of the best-preserved forests in Asia. Cedars, Firs, Pines and Oaks jostle each other for space and the canopy-density at places prevents even the sunlight from peeping through to the forest floor. Droppings and pugmarks of the fauna are regular sightings along this trail and if ones luck holds out, a perky Barking Deer too might flash past in gay abandon. As one would guess, this is an excellent site for some bird-watching too.Our walk starts in the morning at 9:30 when our expert picks you up from your hotel and we drive to Dhalli, and further up to Charabara. A bifurcation penetrates deep into the sanctuary along a prominent ridgeline. Descend down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, a hundred year old lathe and plaster (Dhajji) structure located in the midst of this silent forest. The narrow trail undulates for an hour or more through one of the best-preserved forests in Asia. Cedars, Firs, Pines and Oaks jostle each other for space and the canopy-density at places prevents even the sunlight from peeping through to the forest floor. Droppings and pugmarks of the fauna are regular sightings along this trail and if ones luck holds out, a perky Barking Deer too might flash past in gay abandon. A well-deserved picnic lunch (be sure not to litter) at the ancient rest house can be followed by a stroll down to the man-made reservoir that collects water from across the sanctuary before supplying it to Shimla town. As one would guess, this is an excellent site for some bird-watching too. Our walk continues deeper into the sanctuary through a network of trails and we end it just short of Kufri at around 2:00PM.Drive back to hotel.Distance Walking 9kms, Vehicle 30kmsTHE SHALI TIBBA HIKEThe Shali Tibba (2867m) is the highest peak in the vicinity of Shimla. It is a magnificent isolated pinnacle with a Kali temple on the top. The ascent up to Shali is an ancient trail through dense pine forests and rolling alpine pastures. It is a steep and steady climb to the often mist enveloped peak. The peak commands an unforgettable view of endless snow covered ranges along with the Sutlej valley and the densely forested hills of Shimla, Fagu and Narkanda. For the avid photographer and nature lover, this one-day trek offers the experience of a lifetime.DETAILED ITINERARY:1) SHIMLA (2205 m)- MASHOBRA - KHATNOL (1850 m)...45 km.Depart Shimla at 6 A.M. by jeep. Breakfast at Mashobra, noted for its apple Orchards and thick woods of oak and pine. Proceed via Baldhea along a fascinating dirt track to Gulshaini, a tiny hamlet (1250 m) situated at the base of the peak. From Gulshaini it is a steady climb along a rough road till Khatnol, an isolated village perched amidst rolling fields. Here we park the jeep to start the ascent.2) KHATNOL - SHALI TIBBA (2867m)...5 km.Halt at the Khatnol Forest Rest House for a well-deserved break along with a sumptuous lunch. Begin the climb to Shali after a short rest. The landscape changes dramatically as we follow the ancient trail towards the peak. It is a three-hour climb at a leisurely pace with ample time to stand and stare at the surrounding magnificence and the imposing peak looming ahead. The final climb is a tough one and is amply rewarded by the breathtaking view from the top.3) SHALI TIBBA - KHATNOL - SHIMLAAfter a visit to the historic temple and a frenzied session of photography, we start the surprisingly quick descent down to Khatnol. One is back in the jeep by sunset to start the drive back to Shimla. Reach Shimla by late evening for a well-deserved and satisfying sleep with the memories of climbing the highest peak of the Shimla hills.Distance Walking 10kms, Vehicle 100kmsTHE MASHOBRA to SIPUR HIKEEarly morning drive from Shimla to the picturesque Mashobra valley which is mirrored by the tall Shali Peak (3200m). The route holds thick woods where practically every tree of the region grows - Himalayan Cedar (the almost legendary ‘Deodar’), Spruce, Oak, Rhododendron, Horse-Chestnut, Birch and Pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. The trail crosses picture-perfect hamlets where the word ‘time’ seems to mean only the seasons and the passing years - and where life has followed a steady pace for centuries. Trace fast flowing streams, cross a ‘sacred grove’ whose majestic trees have stood undisturbed for centuries, watch village craftsmen at work, listen to legends that seem as old as the hills - and in a single day, take a lifetime’s memory of some of the marvels that the lower Himalayas hold.Through woods of Himalayan Cedar and Spruce, the path to Seepur takes a steady dip down the valley. Past fields and orchards and wood and slate houses one arrives at the glade of Seepur - which the vicerene Lady Lytton called a “tea-cup shaped valley” and was popular for midnight picnics in the days of the Raj. Several slim streams fed by fresh-water springs nurture the soft grass of Seepur. The glade is held sacred to the local deity, Seep who ‘visits’ the spot at select times of year. Shaded by colossal Cedars, a delightful little temple built in the local style with stone and wood, rests on an edge. Smaller shrines merging with the woods are also there. This is the site of an annual fair held over the second weekend of April - and is a time for local matchmaking.From Seepur the decline eases out to the tiny village of Shali, which holds a dozen charmingly rustic structures - and is probably named in honour of the facing peak. Here, the hike-path that snakes along the hill holds a bifurcation, and along a mild incline the route takes a right. This also marks the end of the descent. The view on the facing hill has terraced fields and age-old villages. Along the narrow path, the only sounds one is likely to hear are of one’s own breathing and the crunch of boots over scattered cones. The silence only punctuated by the song of a Himalayan Thrush or Barbet.After Shali comes the home of the deity Seep at Deothi. Local legend has it that the deity was brought with the erstwhile rulers of the Koti state - in whose former territories the hike lies - when they migrated here from Kutlehar, which lies north-west. The temple was first established in the village of Nehra. This tract was then ruled by mavis, local strongmen who wished to share in the worship of Seep. When this was refused, the mavis started desecrating the temple. ‘Speaking’ through his worshippers, Seep declared that he wanted to move from Nehra and a day would come when a long line of ants would march through the village and where they finally circled a mound, was where he wished to reside. The ants came and circled a mound in what is now the village of Deothi - and where Seep was ceremoniously installed. The identity of this local deity has steadily been merged with that of Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Hindu trinity. Styled as a tall gabled mushroom and belonging to an architectural genre unique to this part of the world, Seep’s temple rests at the edge of a small spur and is surrounded by other structures that ‘belong’ to him - a storehouse, a pavilion and a room for folk musicians.Cameo appearances of pomegranate trees and tumbling streams that come close to becoming waterfalls, fresh water springs embellished with utilitarian stonework and a little bridge mark the passage to Mulkoti. Walls of shale and quartzite, now reduced to rubble, hold the remains of the little fort of the Raja of Koti where, centuries ago, the Koti rulers first established themselves. Today only the wooden gate and its brass knockers evoke the memory of their stay. The temple harks back to those days and is held in veneration as the seat of several local deities.Half an hour’s climb from Mulkoti lies the village of Kanda and past this the path crosses the hamlets of Kanda, Ghayabo and Kaneer. The stretch is through terraced fields of assorted vegetables, corn and wheat. Blossom draped or fruit-laden orchards of apples, plums, apricots and peaches offset the fields. Every turn of the track exposes a fresh vista of the valley and the evergreen woods.The lunch stop is at Kanda, where one can take some time to see some local craftsmanship - and even supplement the meal with fresh fruits and salads selected from the fields and orchards.After Kaneer begins the sharp hour-long ascent to the century-old ‘Dak bungalow’, a rest house for travellers. The forests become more primeval and the Deodars, ferns and lichens seem to hold their secrets closer. With luck on ones side, one may encounter pheasants and several other birds and even deer, martens and flying squirrels. The area also has leopards, bears and snakes - but the possibility of sighting one is remote.The vehicle will be waiting to return one to the comfort of ones Hotel.Distance Walking 12kms,THE RETREAT HIKEThe hike begins from Charabara and ascends to the helipad located on an adjacent hillock. The initial path till the helipad is along a tarmac road that winds past the Punjab Raj Bhavan, a vestige from the days when Shimla was also the summer capital of Punjab. From the helipad, that commands a 360-degree view of Shimla and the Himalayan ranges, a footpath penetrates the surrounding forests and descends on to the Old Hindustan-Tibet Road, completed in 1853 by enterprising British engineers as an access route to Tibet. A short stroll along this ancient road, lined by apple orchards on one side, culminates at the school for handicapped children, a landmark from where the loop back towards the hotel begins. Here, in season, one can indulge in a frenzied apple-picking session that the various apple trees growing wild all around the school offer. The trail continues along a vintage cart track that once belonged to the Commissioner for the Hill States, a British officer whose residence was converted into the Presidential Retreat, the traditional summer vacation destination of the President of India. The path meanders till the Presidential Retreat through dense Oak groves that shade a rich undergrowth of ferns and a plethora of wild flowers. From the Retreat, a tarmac road leading back to Wildflower Hall offers magnificent views of the eternal snow-capped Great Himalayan Range and the Shali peak.Distance Walking 6kmsCYCLING THROUGH MASHOBRA AND RAFTING IN CHABBAShimla with its network of natural trails is a cyclist’s delight. Cycling through forests and small villages and quaint hamlets; make cycling in Shimla an unforgettable experience. Our one day adventure here is our testimony to this sweet route comprising the best of activities in Shimla.The adventure further continues after cycling when we go Rafting on the Sutlej, the fastest flowing river in India.Our expert meets you at your hotel in the morning at 8:00AM and we drive to Mashobra.1. MASHOBRA to CHABBA (32kms)The route holds thick woods where practically every tree of the region grows - Himalayan Cedar (the almost legendary ‘Deodar’), Spruce, Oak, Rhododendron, Horse-Chestnut, Birch and Pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. The trail crosses picture-perfect hamlets where the word ‘time’ seems to mean only the seasons and the passing years - and where life has followed a steady pace for centuries. Trace fast flowing streams, cross a ‘sacred grove’ whose majestic trees have stood undisturbed for centuries, watch village craftsmen at work, listen to legends that seem as old as the hills - and in a single day, take a lifetime’s memory of some of the marvels that the lower Himalayas hold. We cycle past Mashobra and descend 16 kms to Thaila and a further 6km to Gumma, a thrilling 22kms downhill ride, thereafrer the road flattens out till basantpur 7kms and we descend again to Chabba. We finish the ride here.2. RAFTING SHORT STRETCH LOTI to CHABBA (Ideal for first timers, families. 7kms-45 minutes)After the ride finishes at Chabba we are transported to Loti on the Sutlej to indulge in Rafting. This is the small stretch ideal for beginners and families, of around 45mins. We finish the rafting and drive back to the hotel.3. RAFTING LONG STRETCH MALGI to CHABBA (Ideal for enthusiasts, 25kms-2.5 hrs)After the ride finishes at Chabba we are transported to Malgi on the Sutlej to indulge in Rafting. This is the long stretch ideal enthusiasts, of around 2.5hrs. We finish the rafting and drive back to the hotel and reach by early evening.Distance Cycling 32kms, Vehicle 140kmsCYCLING THROUGH MASHOBRA AND CRAIGNANOShimla with its network of natural trails is a cyclist’s delight. Cycling through forests and small villages and quaint hamlets; make cycling in Shimla an unforgettable experience. Our day adventure here takes us past Shimla’s stunning mountainscapes and some heritage trails.Our expert meets you at 8:00AM at your hotel and we drive to Kufri at 2400mts affording a wide open vista of the Himalayas. Kufri is also a famous winter destination for skiing. Our ride begins here on national highway 22, on which we ride for about 4kms, before descending on an offroad to join the Mashobra Baikhalty road 6kms downhill. The trail flattens out here and we are riding in a wonderful forest where you would only hear the chirping of the birds and swish of your tyres and the screech of your brakes. Past the villages of Dak Bungalow, Purani Koti, Mashobra is 14kms from here. We reach Mashobra bazaar and start ascending towards Craignano, past the estate of the erstwhile Faridkot royalty and first we reach Talai, an open meadow amidst a thick cedar forest. We savour on our picnic hamper here and continue the ride further past Craignano and the horticulture centre which is worth a visit. Descend to Koti and take the woody trail to Baldeyan, continuing further to reach the Golf course at Naldehra, Asia’s highest and one of India’s oldest Golf courses. The place is so enchanting that Lord Curzon gave his daughter Alexandra “Naldehra” as her middle name. We feast ourselves to snacks at the HPTDC run café here and finish the ride. If one is up for it, we would prod you on to ride back to Shimla.Distance Cycling 42kmsTHE HATU PEAK HIKE IN NARKANDAThe Hatu peak is the highest peak in the 2 hour vicinity of Shimla perched at 3100mts. Between January and mid April each year the peak is out of bounds because of the blanket of heavy snow it receives. A 7kms narrow Jeep road, meandering through the forest brings us to the top; from Narkanda, the gateway to the apple country of Himachal.Our hiking adventure today will find us driving to Narkanda early morning at 7:00AM and arriving in Narkanda at nearly 9:00 AM. After breakfast we will drive a short while from where the road narrows down and begin our hike through the thick forest. The beginning is a well defined trail and we are ascending through thick foliage, and spruce and cedar pine. Depending on the time of year, a variety of wildflowers grace the hillsides - the rhododendrons flower a dark red in spring, summer has banks of roses, daises and buttercups, the monsoons speckle the luxuriant grass with lilies-of-the-valley and peonies. Through the year, flitting butterflies stab quick flashes of color. After an hour of walking we reach out to an open meadow of Jhamunda, from where the climb steepens. There is no marked trail on this stretch so trust your field expert and take his towline. These thick forests are infested with Himalayan black bears. Another two hours later we are at Hatu top. Muse around and treat yourself to the scenic grandeur of the Himalayas a grand 360degrees view, stretching as far as the Sutlej valley below and the Uttarakhand Himalayas to the east. Seek blessings at the Hateshwari temple, the local deity, to whom a temple is dedicated here. Walk further to the meadows at Jaubagh and walk back to drive down the road to the junction. Instead of heading to Narkanda we proceed to the small lake of Tani Jubbar. Musings thereafter we drive back to Shimla.Distance Walking 12kmsCYCLING TO CHAIL – THE ROYALTY OF THE PATIALA KINGDOMChail at 2400mts, a notch above Shimla in elevation, was established by The Maharaja of Patiala during the British times, to teach the British a lesson after he was banned from visiting Shimla. So the Maharaj took to building his palace in Chail, slightly above Shimla to look down upon the British. The palace built in about 200 acres has sprawling lawns and is now a heritage hotel. Chail also boasts of the highest cricket ground in the world. In terms of flora and fauna, Chail has much to offer, extremely dense forest, the habitat for a vast variety of fauna, the most prominent being the Leopard. Although a sighting of this extremely human-shy and nocturnal animal is very rare, regular reports of droppings prove the existence of a large population within the sanctuary. The Himalayan Black Bear and the Brown Bear, Barking Deer, Goral, Jackal, Indian Red Fox, Striped Hyena and the Yellow-Throated Martin are some of the species of wildlife that thrive in the undisturbed forests of the sanctuary. A wide variety of bird and pheasant species can also be spotted in the lower altitude belts of the sanctuary, some of the more prominent ones being the Cheer, Koklas and Khaleej pheasants, the Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, the Great Himalayan Barbet and some sparklingly colorful minivets.Our ride will begin early with our expert meeting you at the hotel at 8:00AM. We drive to Kufri 14kms, from where we begin our ride. Riding a downhill first thing in the morning can be a thrilling experience; as you will find out. From here we follow the connecting road to Mundaghat, a small village on the main Kufri – Chail road; it is here we turn right, following the Bridle path, a small diversion from Mundaghat. Riding on the dirt track through a middle of an oak and pine forest can be a rewarding experience. The ride brings us to the village of Koti, known for its modern tourist resorts, from where Chail is another one hour ride on the Mountain bikes. We go around Chail for a short trip and thereafter sample the lunch waiting for us at the Palace Hotel. Some musings and thereafter we resume our ride on the excellent road with great views bringing us to janedghat from where a winding downhill of 27kms will bring us to Ashwani khud where we finish the ride. Back in the vehicles we drive uphill to Camp redwoods for tea and snacks, before heading back to the hotel.Distance Cycling 62kmsTHE ANANDPUR SADHUPUL CYCLINGShimla built on seven hills, is well connected with a good network of roads. In fact through these seven hills are roads at different elevations; connecting various parts of the hill town. So if there is Mall road on the top, there is lover bazaar below it and then the cart road followed by the recently done Shimla bypass and then the latest which was converted from a bridle path to a road The Mehli to Shoghi byepass road. Our ride today explores the lesser known Shimla through this erstwhile bridle path, cycle through a thick forest, through an exhilarating downhill, challenge us to a grueling uphill and then finish the ride amidst some water revelry at Sadhupul.Our expert meets you at your hotel at 8:00 AM and we drive via the Shimla byepass road to Mehli. This is where we unload the bikes from the support vehicle and start our ride. The first 7 kms are a breeze of good downhill riding, followed by a medium grade uphill of 4 kms, approaching Tara Devi temple. Another seven kms and we enter a forest and ride through the off-road trail to hit the bottom at Ashwini khud after 7kms. This is followed by a grueling climb of 3kms, from where we descend to Sadhupul at 9kms. Once at Sadhupul we enjoy our lunch by the riverside and thereafter drive back to Shimla via Kandaghat.Distance Cycling 42kms
Beware of the monkeys here as they are known to snatch away any free hanging objects from people. Try not to carry anything in your hands, just follow the path and don't pay attention to the etc. It can be visited any day because it remains open seven days a week and entry here is free of cost. Overall it's a lovely hill around Shimla with some amazing views.This post was originally published on Travel With Jha.
It was almost 24 hours since we packed our bags and drove from Delhi. From Delhi to Sonipat, Panipat, Karnal, Ambala, Chandigarh, Anandpur Sahib, Nangal, Una where we had the tastiest 4 am tea, then Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Shimla, Thyog and Narkanda; From hot and humid to cold and dry. Shimla was crowded but eventually we were on our way towards Narkanda and onwards to Rampur, after being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for 2 hours, with every taxi or car aligned in a reclining position facing uphill. From the initiation of the NH5 itself, I started getting inexorable chills of thinking about the coming sceneries. The road was scooped out of giant Rocky Mountains, with hanging cliffs above.
349 Kms from Pang
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
JKTDC Cheshmashahi ResortThirty-second rundown: Located at one of the most picturesque destinations of India, the Cheshmashahi Resort in Srinagar offers a beautiful view of the mountains and a very homely experience. From the wonderful ambiance to the warm staff, this hotel will only make your Srinagar experience better.
It was a 9 day long trip.The best thing that happened to me was finding a homestay through AirBnb. It was cheap (700 INR for a day) and the house was clean. The house owner's name was Sabeel (young decent engineering guy). The moment we landed in Kashmir he took us for a free ride through the city and guided us about the place for the rest of our trip. To contact him, dial this no. (Mobile No.) I rented Sabeel's bike and roamed around Srinagar as I was running on a low budget and booking a cab might have left a huge dent on my pocket. Trust me Kashmir can be decently expensive trip.It was lunch time. I took the bike and went off to roam Lal Chowk and by the way I was staying near Dal Lake, at a place called Nawpura.Anyways, so I decided to dine in Mughal Darbar (quite famous at Lal Chowk) and did some shopping at Lal Chowk itself.By the evening I was roaming around Boulevard (Dal Lake), took a heartfelt view of Dal (it is beautiful indeed). The boulevard stretch goes by the shore of Dal Lake and you can visit famous Mughal Gardens while covering the shore.The first Mughal Garden you'll get to see along the banks of Dal Lake is Nishat Bagh. After a few kms you'll get to see Shalimar Bagh, then Chashme Shahi and Harvan at the end.You can cover all these locations in one day. Its going to leave you with decent no of days to explore Kashmir further.Tip: Get up early in the morning and visit all the gardens in a day. You'll probably cover all of them in a time span of 4-5 hours max. Visit Lal Chowk in the evening. Treat yourself with some Kashmir delicacies and roam around for shopping. There are some good North Indian restaurants at Boulevard as well.
It was a pleasant 3 hr ride from our hotel to pahalgam. I still remember it was raining that day, but it further beautified our journey.On your way, you'll find rich walnut laden trees, Pampore valley- air of which is laden by saffron growing all over, the redolent Apple valley - known for it's world famous kashmiri apples. The apples are rich in flavour.
The everlasting charm of the houseboats in Srinagar, the freshness of the mornings around Dal Lake and the awe-inspiring Pir Panjal ranges at the distant horizon bring a tangible paradise just so close to your field of vision that it's overwhelming. When I travelled there a year ago, the local opened up the doors to their hearts and homes so readily that Srinagar has become a city that I love to return to.And if the city of Srinagar is on your bucketlist as well, then so must be a stay at the dreamy houseboats docked on Dal Lake, Jhelum and Nageen Lake. For travellers planning a visit to this unique city, here is a complete guide to the Srinagar houseboat experience that can be your introduction to this paradise state.
It was still pitch dark and raining heavily in entire Srinagar when we reached Dal Lake. The dawn was just around the corner and we were asked to wait till the first light for a Shikara (small designed boats as called in local language) to be available to escort us to our houseboat. A long and patient wait it was. And then it was light, our first sunlight of Srinagar. Though it was very cloudy and the light was dim, it didn’t take long to get struck by the beauty of Dal Lake. It was huge and picturesque with snow clad mountain peaks in the background trying hard to come out of rain clouds. The houseboats were all lined up one after another waiting eagerly to welcome their guests. Shikaras were parked besides them, with no one available to take it for a ride at this hour. A sense of peace prevailed all over, and the pleasure of witnessing the beauty of a calm and crowd free Dal lake was all mine.As the wait became longer, life started to open up in Dal lake for the day. Locals sailed on their boats and started heading towards a common direction, few of them had some fully covered stuffs laden on them. Finally the Shikara was here and we boarded it. Sensing an opportunity I opened up my camera to capture some early morning snaps, and got few decent ones as well. Then after reaching the boat we just slept slept and slept, god knows for how many hours. After waking up, it was a different story altogether. The early mornings calm and peaceful Dal lake had transformed itself into a busy colony. It somewhat reminded me of Thailand’s floating market and the scene from the Hindi movie Kashmir Ki Kali, where Shammi Kapoor was seen romancing Sharlima Tagore in the song “Ye chand sa roshan chehera”. Simply because, of the vendors floating all over the lake trying to sell various stuffs to the guests of the houseboats. Flowers, jewellery, Kashmiri dresses, shawls, locally produced fruits and vegetables,etc all were available with them. Our houseboat was a small one and the owner of the boat was a humble man who was in his early fifty’s I guess. We called him Khan Chacha. He served us tea which had the flavors of some local spices and felt very different. He opened up with me and shared some of his experiences of his life in Sringar. It doesn’t take time to realize how hard their life is in this troublesome region of Kashmir. Tourists provide their daily bread but the ongoing unrest sometimes create survival challenges for these hard working localities. Impressed by his kind gestures and hospitality for us, I decided to capture some glimpse of this beautiful lake the the life of the locals around it. It was partly sunny and the lake was full of tourists and was at its colorful best. So I decided to get into action as the amateur photographer in me made me eager to explore and discover the secrets. Have a look at some of my captures during our short stay in this ever magnificent Dal Lake :
One of the perfect places to visit in May in India, Gulmarg is adorned with meadows of flowers in full bloom in the summers. Located in Jammu and Kashmir, this hill station is at a height of 2730 meters above mean sea level surrounded by the mighty Himalayas on all sides. The place has a rich cultural heritage, and has been a popular summer destination since as early as the Mughal era and some Colonial interference during the British Raj. Draped in virgin coniferous forests with rich fauna, glorious lakes and the greenest of pastures with also the world’s second highest golf course, Gulmarg has the most challenging yet the best trekking routes still very much undiscovered.How to get there: The best way to reach Gulmarg is by road. The nearest airport is Srinagar and the nearest railway station is Jammu.
291 Kms from Pang
Best time to visit - August,September,October,November
A perfect combination of ancient and urban, this city has been deemed the most futuristic in the country, while also having been occupied by the Harappan civilisation almost 8,000 years ago. In fact, BBC has named Chandigarh as a perfect city with regard to its cultural growth, modernisation and architecture. Nek Chand Rock Garden is a unique and fascinating site, built solely by a man (after whom the garden is named), who used remnants from various demolition sites (particularly the debris while Chandigarh itself was being built) and a whole lot of scrap to build 2000 sculptures, statues, all integrated on walled paths, wherein one can also see man-made interlinked waterfalls. A short walk away from there is the artificial Sukhna lake, a landmark for families to relax and walk around while enjoying street food and keeping kids busy with quaint toys bought from vendors all around. Pertaining to Le Corbusier's (chief architect of the city) vision of Chandigarh being a garden city, Rose Garden is home to over 1,500 varieties of rose and the Garden of Fragrance is perfect for those mind-refreshing walks. Popular places to visit for an insight into Chandigarh and the entire country's history through various artworks are the Government Museum & Art Gallery and the Chandigarh Architecture Museum. Being one of the top four metro cities of the country, Chandigarh has a bustling food scene, home to every cuisine you can think of right from Mediterranean (Kelong, Virgin Courtyard) to Thai (Tao- Bar & Lounge). Some popular places for Punjabi dishes are Punjab Grill and Sher-e- Punjab. Chandigarh is also close to many hill stations such as Solan, Kasauli, Shoghi and Naldehra.Read More
“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” ― Susan Cain.May be I was in search of the right lighting too. Amidst the chaos and hustle of everyday life. Jobs, studies, bills, loans, peer pressure- you just feel exhausted and suffocated. This, exactly is the time to DISCONNECT with everyone else and re-connect with your self. Perhaps, I decided to ring people who really are important to me and escape. I am a solo traveler but I have learned a big lesson in life while escaping alone- to appreciate the beautiful people in life. This was the time I wanted to elope with my BEST people. We took a night bus from Chandigarh around 11pm and reached Dharamshala at 6am next morning.
We took a flight from Mumbai to Chandigarh and then boarded a bus from Chandigarh at 10.00 pm which dropped us to Manali at 7.00 am. We stayed at Manali for one day and visited local tourist attractions like Hadimba temple, Beas river, Buddhist Monastery.
I took the 8 pm bus and reached Chandigarh at 10 pm with many events taking place in between. My plan to meet my friend fell into total disarray but it was not all bad news two of my batch mates whom I asked earlier decided that enough with the same person cancelling plans and decided to tag along with me.It was a two hour long wait for me for them to arrive and our journey to Mandi began by the 12:40 am bus.
We were off to Chandigarh in Adhiraj's car after a quick snack at Adhiraj's home.It had been six years since Aakash had left school but our friendship hadn't faced a dent. We were still going strong, unscathed. It was only a small conversation but it meant a lot. Amit hadn't visited Sukhna Lake before, so our next stop became Sukhna Lake.
We left early morning at about 6 and reached Chandigarh in about 1 hour 45 mins. After arriving in Chandigarh we parted our ways I was on my way to go meet my friend while my roommates boarded a bus to reach the location of their test.Sector 15 the place my friend was residing in, fairly close to Rock garden and Sukhna Lake, the main attractions in Chandigarh. So it definitely didn't come as a surprise to me when he put them in the check list to visit first.
We decided to explore one of its kind and smartly planned city “Chandigarh”. We visited the Rock Garden and Rose Garden. We came back to hotel, rested and the same night by 3am we headed back to Pune.The patriotic feel you get at the last defense line of INDIA to the feel of achievement on climbing the peaks of majestic Himalayas, experiencing the peace at golden temple to embracing the 1st ever snowfall of your life.Believe me not once you have travelled, met and learned new things, it’s very hard to stop. . .you will keep looking forward for many such adventures.A special thanks to Audrey Vyas who has helped me write this article.Somewhere between reminiscing about the past and basking in the hope future, I found my true BLISS . . .!!!
The Rock Garden of Chandigarh :You have been watching lot to DIY/CRAFTY ideas online but this place is the real example of converting waste materials make in to the good art. A huge area well maintained full of Artificial Falls, Rock Pyramids & designs made of broken bangles.Ticket price – INR 10-INR 20Elate mall :One of the biggest mall of Chandigarh cities has all the bug brands and a big food court and eating joints. You can spend some time here.Entry Fee: NASukhna Lake : Its one of the must see attraction, you can enjoy a boat ride, chirping of the birds will make this more amazing place for you. The perfect day out for kids with lot of rides and food joints. The shore of this lake is very long one side water and other side trees – you can have a long walk with you loved ones , Evenings make this place more romantic .Tickets chgs boating: INR 200Timber Trail :If you are staying in the main city – Timber Trail is around 30km toward chd north side. You can see the city from the top; it’s a great exposer for everyone.Ticket chgs: INR 750Japanese Garden :It’s very neat and clean place with Japanese shrines situated in sec 31. You can spend an hour’s time there. This is still under construction; I think they are planning to make a cave there, good picking spot.As soon as we finished all the spots we headed towards sec 17 for shopping and eating. If you are on a Girl’s trip do not miss this place, they have cool stuff the market is almost crowded will girls crowd mostly.
I decided to go to Mumbai because I wanted to surprise my nephew and niece the next day morning, I boarded the train to Mumbai and even now my tickets got confirmed :) I'm a lucky soul. So I spent the whole day traveling through Rajasthan and Gujarat. Had my lunch and dinner at pantry car. It is a good decision to have just 2 meals a day than 3.Remaining balance at the end of the day - Rs2000DAY-7 Mumbai-chembur
By 10 A.M. after breakfast we checked out from our Hotel and proceeded to Airport for our return journey to BangaloreOverall it was a memorable one with loads of excitement and the astounding nature's beauty, ever friendly people, Amazing hospitality and an unforgettable journey all together. Would love to visit this place again in the Future
186 Kms from Pang
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 and travellers every month to it, even when the mercury dips below sub-zero levels. This former capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh is chiefly dominated by the ruined Royal Palace of Leh and the eternally serene Pangong Tso, Tibetan for 'high grassland lake', which is spread for 134 km from India to China. If you're someone who loves travelling unconventionally and is interested in the lifestyle that thrives in this high altitude desert, you can stay with locals who have turned their homes into 'homestays' and are open to interacting with non-natives. For a more spiritual and mystical experience, one can also spend the night at monasteries such as Thiksey, Lamauru or the Hemis Monastery, where you will get a chance to interact with Lamas (Buddhist teachers) and learn all about their lives and what they preach. For more visual and audio insights and treats, one can attend the 6 day Ladakh festival, a multihued explosion of Ladakhi culture and tradition, celebrated annually in the month of September in Leh's villages. Leh can always keep you entertained, for instance, with trekking (frozen river trek to Chadar, Padam to Darcha trek), mountain biking, skiing, camel safari, paragliding and even having your car pulled uphill by the magnetic force at the Magnetic Hill. Foodies will get no better thrill than eating at the highest cafeteria in the world, Rinchen Cafeteria. Other popular cafes such as Gesmo, Nirvana Garden, Cafe Jeevan and Norlakh are a must to go to for their lip smacking Italian, Himalayan and local dishes.Read More
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!!
We found our first petrol bunk after nearly 400kms in LEH. After that we decided to head towards Pangong Tso lake, we were still carrying luggage on our bikes. After around 30kms there was some road repair which was going on so we had to take some diversion which was steep uphill with loose sand.
As it is recommended that one must spend atleast the first day travelling locally in Leh, so that your body adjusts to the low oxygen levels, it is extremely helpful that there is a lots to do in Leh. Leh Market: The-Go-To place for everything - Local [Delicious] Cuisine - Souvenirs - Adventure Sports Agencies - Stok Monastery - Shey Monastery - Thiksey Monastery - Magnetic Hill - Private tour through Tsemo Fort, with help of locals ATM, hospital, cheap and decent accommodation and all other necessities are easily available here. The mobile network connectivity is also good.
We reached our destination after a long journey. Leh is a beautiful place and it was like we are in a different world. People are so good and helpful. We reached here at 9 pm after braving the Tanglangla Pass and our heads were bumping so just ate and slept. Then in the morning we woke up early as we had to book motorbikes for 3 days to travel around leh and to Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake. It was a tough time getting bikes and we managed to get only 3 bikes till 1 pm. As we all got late to go to Nubra valley so we stayed at Leh and explored the city. Had some good food and went to some good places like King's Palace and a temple near our hotel. To compensate for not going to Nubra we went to magnetic hill next day which was not in our itinerary but it was a nice journey. We went to Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and to a place where two rivers were meeting ( sorry forgot its name ) explored around it stayed there for 2-3 hours and came back and started gearing up for trip to Pangong Lake as we could not afford to miss it. Next day started our journey to Pangong and it was a beautiful journey. Roads were awesome and the scenery around beautiful. Loved it. And when we reached pangong lake in the evening it was looking so much beautiful. We stayed in tents, had bonfire we had a nice time. Food though was not so good but there were very few hotels and none were vacant. Next day after exploring Pangong lake we came back to Leh, returned bikes and bought some stuff and booked a cab for Srinagar as we had a flight from there. Next day started our journey in the morning 6 am and when we crossed Leh we knew we were in Kashmir it was very beautiful,green and cloud studded mountains unlike Leh.
Winter - It is perfectly possible to go to Leh and Ladakh in the winter. Indeed, the Chadar trek – the trek over the frozen Zanskar river – is only possible in the winter! Yes, it will be very cold indeed, but you will find that even if you’re not a trekker who’s serious enough to take on the Chadar trek, you will still find treks that are open to you. You’ll have to get fleece and feather jackets along anyway. If you don’t want to buy a feather jacket, you can rent one in Leh. So it isn’t that different, really. You can also simply experience Leh by going to the monasteries, and maybe go on to Uley and try to spot a snow leopard. Why go with the crowd when the crowd just gets in the way?
120 Kms from Pang
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
August 16, 2014So next morning, we got ready for the much awaited journey. We gave our ID cards to the bike owner, loaded our luggage on the bikes and purchased hand gloves.Now the real journey started. Our basic requirement was the food for our bikes - petrol, so we went to the petrol pump, got the tanks full and took around 4 liters extra petrol in cans. We purchased the medicine to help prevent breathing problem which is likely to occur at high altitudes. Then we started proceeding towards Rohtang pass; during this journey we travelled through Kothi, Kodi, Marhi which were small but beautiful places. There was a minor halt at Rohtang Check-post as every tourist had to enter his/her personal details. There was a heavy traffic jam before finally arriving at Rohtang pass at 4 pm. It’s a beautiful place around 52 km from Manali. That time there was too much rush of tourists because of the weekend. But this was not our destination, so we did not stay there. Our journey had just begun and we had miles to go before we stop.We crossed Rohtang and the first place that we came across was a village called Gramphu.The next village is Khoksar. But the route was very bad between rohtang pass and khoksar. After Khoksar, the next village is Sissu i.e. 35Kms from Gramphu. Sisu is a very good place for camping. From Khoksar to Tandi the valley view is just superb.Consider moving slow enjoying the nature while passing this area. It is a heaven for landscape photographers. At Tandi, we saw confluence of rivers Chandra and Bhaga. The place is just gorgeous with the back drop of huge mountain line. At Tandi, take a right turn and Keylong is just 7Kms from there. One will be moving along with and opposite to the river Bhaga which flows beside Keylong. Before reaching Tandi our bike was making weird sounds so we stopped in an army station and asked for help. They took us at their workshop to check the problem while one of them made tea for us. During this time, there was a snow storm so we stayed there for some time, and drank the tea which seemed best at that time. They changed engine oil of our bike without any cost and advised us to get it checked by mechanic.Around 6 pm we reached Tandi village where we got petrol filled and reached Infield point, the bike repair shop.The traffic was at a standstill at that time and signals was coming so everyone contacted at his/her home. We saw a camp beside the road. We planned to stay there (The camp was 9km before Jispa).
After reaching Kullu we decided to spend some time on the river.We enjoyed the sound of water and relax near the river. Sitting nearby river, we clicked photos of the natural beauty all around us. It was almost evening, the breeze was cool and even the water was cold.We all were refreshed enjoying the mountains, rivers, and each other's company. Then as per plan, we decided to head towards Manali.
Enough of trekking and adventure, its for some family time. And nothing can beat manali when it comes to family holiday destination. I have been to Manali twice and it just made my love grow for the place. I went to Manali with my family, uncle and cousins both the times. The best time to visit Manali would be around winters as their will be plenty of snowfall and Manali is one place famous for snow.
The Buddhist Monastery at Manali has a guest house and provides accommodation for INR 800 per room. You may stay at the Monastery guest house and meditate in the Monastery on the upper floor (there is a separate section where where you can sit and meditate).At Manali, everyone (including HRTC bus staff) told us that the road from Manali to Kaza and Spiti are closed as the snow has not melted. We had read on blogs that the roads open in May and had planned our trip in June, however it is very difficult to find out whether the road has opened before you reach Manali. Hence, if you are planning to reach Spiti from Manali, plan your trip in mid-June to ensure that the roads are open.After inquiring at a lot of places we finally went to Kiran Travels who told us that small vehicles and tempo travelers are plying between Manali and Kaza. We luckily met a person from Spiti who was travelling from Manali to Spiti in Tempo traveler. He agreed to take us to Spiti for INR 1500 per person.
We took two cars Thar and an automatic fortuner, both were equipped with 4 wheel drive as we read in many blogs, the route we took required these kind of vehicles as the terrain was really rough. The route- Delhi- Manali- Rohtang- Koksar- Tandi - Keylong- Baralacha la pass- Sarchu -Lachungla pass- Pang- Moree plains- Leh-Khardungla- Nubra valley-Pangong- Karzok via chushul to tsomoriri - Sarchu - Jispa - Keylong - Manali-Delhi.
We visited the Vashisht Hot water spring and Hadimba Temple, in Manali 10km from Nagar. We booked our rooms in a hotel near the Hadimba temple and went shopping to the famous Manali MALL ROAD. we shopped for hours . . .
Day 6 - Manali is a Valley nestled in the mountains of the Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley Surrounded by majestic hills and woody forests, the quaint charm of Manali has captured the world's attention and has become one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. Manali is a popular hill station with attractions such as the Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley nearby.This is the ideal place for tourists looking to unwind and rejuvenate in the lap of nature, for there is no place in the country more vibrant and charming as Manali. This Town also has a adventurous activities like trekking, paragliding, skiing, zorbing, white water rafting etc. Manali also has a lot of temples which all tourists and devotees love to visit including the Raghunath temple and Jagannathi Devith Temple being one of the important ones. Hadimba Temple, a 14th-century temple is famous for its wooden architecture and for its religious values. Manali is also used as the base town for the Manali-Leh highway and Leh is around 479 km from here (which was Closed in March). we planned to stay 2 days in manali. Next day is holi festival day 7 we celebrate the holi with localite people the Manali people are some of the most incredible, kind and genuine people I have ever met. Just like human beings, a city gets more real when there are less eyes watching it. If you really wish to understand a place and its culture, off-season is the time to go. Off season in Manali generally lasts from 7th Jan to 31st March and from August to November. Almost all hotels and resorts in Manali offer Off-Season Discounts. These rates are anywhere between 10-50% cheaper than peak season rates for hotels and resorts in Manali. Apart from lower prices, you get lesser crowd at tourist spots, pool and sports club as well.
" I USED TO BE SNOW WHITE, BUT I DRIFTED". Himachal, India, was near & Dear to the British and the Maharajas. While the Europeans were reminded of the scenic beauties, Indian Maharajas would treat this as the NEW world. Cold and unpolluted as it was, Manali is still remains one of the most popular Honeymoon and Holiday destinations in India. Dominated by humongous sizes of hills, Manali is like a princess covered with White jewels and drapes of a wedding gown. Our stay was at the White Mist resorts of Sterling Group. Besides being outstanding, the resort was also comfortably near for us to visit most places. Our food, being outright Vegetarian, we chose the Byk Restaurant besides the Mahindra Country Resort, This place had some amazing food and very hospitable staff. The places we visited as a part of the sight seeing, were 1) Rohtang Pass 2) Sonang Valley 3) Vashishta Temple 4) Hidimba Temple 5) Club House 6) Gulaba Snow Point 7) Kulu 8) Naggar 9) Manu Temple 10) Mall Road. We are advised by the taxi drivers that Mall Road is very costly to shop about, and if your requirement is limited to Shawls / Woolen wear, please do visit Kullu for better prices.
Manali, a place which we generally hear from people going to as their honeymoon destination, is not only the place for couples but a hub for adventure seekers and a heaven for nature lovers. We fall in the last two categories ofcourse.Although we reached around three hours late as per our plan, we had ample time to cover up the locals in Manali for the rest of the day. We booked a cab driver on call for rest of the weekend who was known to one of our friends.
182 Kms from Pang
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 serpentine roads, refreshing, lush greenery, the district is a delight to explore. Though travellers looking to enjoy a luxurious holiday may not have a great time here. Kalpa is the first village that greets you when you enter Kinnaur. Reckong Peo, Nako and Sangla Valley are some of the villages and valleys that make up Kinnaur district. A journey to Kinnaur is marked with adventure and also an unpredictability that comes from travelling so high up in the mountains. The people in all the villages are very warm and welcoming and are open to sharing their way of life with travellers. Do plan a long trip here, since Kinnaur district can easily take up to 2 weeks and it's best not to hurry your way through this spellbinding valley.Read More
The picturesque Sangla Valley in the Kinnaur with its bountiful Apple Orchards is known for rich tribal culture and traditions. There is a local tradition to welcome the guests with a garland of dry fruits and a round Kinnauri cap with green flap. It's also known for legally brewing two popular drinks, 'angoori' and 'ghanti'.Where to Stay:Rattan Cottage:A hidden-rural homestay in the picturesque Sangla Valley in Kinnaur district some 275 km from Shimla. The host also participates in the apple fest to showcase his orchard.Address: Village & P.O. Sangla, Tehsil Sangla ,District KinnaurPhone: 0-098052536
But one last visit will do!The road journey was super exciting. But I just wanted a little more scenery to enjoy! Thus next, we headed to the Himalayas again to uniquely end 2016! It was a perfect place to get away from the city for a while. So I decided to celebrate New Year's eve at Kinnaur, famous for sacred Kinner Kailash high range mountains which is home of the Lord Shiva.
The Hindustan-Tibet road or the NH5 to Chhitkul is precarious and can easily shake even the strongest of the hearts. The landslide prone roads are not smooth all the way as a national highway is supposed to be, mere 3m wide, and Satluj River by the side, the ride scared even our expert driver. Our driver had to drink a bit during the dinner time and only then he could drive fearlessly in the night at around 12 am and onwards.Now was our final battle with the roads.
Kinnaur has for centuries been a major trans-Himalayan corridor. Merchants travelling between China and the Punjabi plains passed through on the Hindustan–Tibet caravan route, stretches of which are still used by villagers and trekkers. The bulk of the traffic that lumbers east towards the frontier, however, uses the newer NH-22, which veers north into Spiti just short of the ascent to Shipki La pass, on the Chinese border, which remains closed.
A small video of our trip through Shimla-Narkanda-Sangla-Reckong Peo and Kalpa which we completed in under Rs 7000 for 10 days from Mumbai with food travel and Stay.
Their family was kind enough to let me know of the bus options and booked a bus to Reckong Peo ( head quarters of Kinnaur district).So, on sunday at 13.30 hours was the bus from Kullu to Reckong Peo( its about 16 hour journey so the bus tentatively reaches around 5.30am the next day ). Off course I was a bit scared because I was going to head out alone and this was supposed to be a group trip and I was heading out solo...Well..You gotta do what you gotta do ...the adventurous side in me overtook the fear and inhibitions in me and prayed to the Divine for guidance!
Mystery Door to Heaven, May be. These pretty things never fail to surprise you. You ask for Sunshine, they'll give you Rains. Isn't it? These clouds are like gift wraps for Himalayas. I will wrap you up and who make most effort to see you, I will open it for them. Probably ???? #meandmycrazythoughts----Well, I was quite fascinated with the name of these roads and I wanted to click each and every such passages on the road. But it wasn't as easy as I was travelling by bus. Still managed pretty well by peeping out from the window and clicking. Many more to come.
There is a temple situated named Taranda Temple. Every vehicle crossing this route offers prayer before proceeding ahead. People here believe that if they do not follow this ritual they will get stuck in the route. And who wants to get stuck in the most deadliest of path with no network and people around. So do the necessary and proceed.
Kinnaur: This corner of Himachal Pradesh is not just known for the best apples in India but also for the hidden corners around the Kinnaur District that make for a great exploration hub. Visit the caves of Tabo, the quaint village of Nako and the nearby town of Kalpa.Kinnaur makes for a great road trip destination for travellers from Delhi reaching Kinnaur via Shimla. Buses and taxis are also available from Shimla and Rampur. You can also reach Kinnaur from Manali via Spiti.Read More: The Mystical Land, Kinnaur by Sachinder S. Rathore
Truly an amazing place to go.Full of natural beauty and less crowded,so this place is good to take a break from hectic city life. Although hotel are not available there,one can stay on lodges there.Roads will polish your driving skills,full of adventure and natural beauty.
300 Kms from Pang
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,August,September,October,November,December
A quick getaway destination for Delhi-NCR residents, Mussoorie or the 'Queen of Hills' is the most favoured place for anyone battling urban heat. It remains quite crowded from May to July, as popular hotels and hangouts such as Mall Road, Mussoorie Lake, Kempty Falls and Gun Hill remain pervaded with tourists no matter where or what you may set your eyes upon. But if you carry the spirit of an explorer within you, Mussoorie can surprise you in many ways. For instance, if you curious to check out where the man who Mt. Everest is named after, once lived, you can reach the house and laboratory through a picturesque 4 km walk from Library Bazaar or Gandhi Chowk. Ditch the customary visit to Kempty Falls and take an uplifting trek to the quiet, serene and crystal clear Jharipani Falls instead. Mussoorie, when mist free, provides frame-worthy views of the Himalayan ranges, which can be enjoyed at points such as Lal Tibba, Nag Tibba and Camel Back Road, all of which need to be trekked or walked to, with the effort being worthwhile. Devalsari, a village quietly burrowed 55 km away from Mussoorie, is the gateway to the Nag Tibba trek and a location perfect for seeing beautiful butterflies and birds in the heart of nature. For those curious to delve into Himalayan life, history, art, culture and spirituality, Soham Heritage and Art Centre gives exquisite displays of the former, through various artefacts. As for foodies, restaurants such as Neelam, Imperial Square, Meeting Point Cafe and Casa Mia bakery do justice to North Indian, European and Tibetan cuisines and also offer delicious cafe knick knacks and drinks. Read More
We reached Dehradun at 5:00AM in the morning, took a taxi from the railway station to our hotel for 1500 rupees. We stopped for Maggie, tea and omelette. Hot Maggie and tea in cold summer… that’s the kind of vacation I love!! We stayed in Dancing leaves by Sterling. The check-in was hassle free. The way down the slopes to the cottages partly by lift and partly by stairs -felt good but the thought of climbing back every time for a meal or city-visit was daunting. Day and Night both the views were mesmerizing all over, the hotel is on the top of a hill. The only problem was that there is no public transportation to the main city or I should say the famous Mall road from the hotel. It’s either hotel taxi (which is on the costlier side) or walk by foot which isn’t that tiring though. We chose to explore on our own pace and started walking. The city has a small downtown. Where you get good food and Super yummy Momos oh my god!!!! I’d go back to Mussoorie right now Just for Maggie, momos and the street soup. It was delicious!!We wandered around in the Mall road. There are plenty of street shops with variety of stuff. If somebody want to buy good woolen stuff or Pashmina. you are in for a treat!! Mall road is known as the shopping center of Mussoorie.
We decided on a rickshaw ride to the Company Garden. It is a half an hour ride by rickshaw and due to the up and down terrain, one of the riders have to get down very often and walk beside the rickshaw. I, being the girl, of course, didn’t walk. We reached the garden around 3 p.m. The garden was well maintained with beautiful flowers blooming all over the place. The place was swarming with tourists and it was difficult to take pictures. We spent an hour in the garden and happily clicked some pictures like tourists. There was still some time before darkness set in. So, we decided to cross off Camel’s Back Road from the list too. It was another half an hour rickshaw ride from Mall road. Having read so much about this place, I had great expectations but it turned out to be a hoax. On reaching the point, I was so disappointed to find only a telescope and a guide who was more than eager to show us two points on the top of the hill that looked like a camel ( Now who knows if it was real or if someone had arranged it to look like a camel) for 100 bucks. The rickshaw guy took 500 rupees from us for the whole trip. We paid and went to a vehicle rent shop where we booked a scooty for next day. There is only one such shop located near the HDFC bank on the mall road and it is run by a set of twins.We started our day early next day as we had only that day left. We took the scooty from the shop and went to Lal Tibba using GPS solely for directions. I must admit that the directions were not accurate and so we took help of locals. It is in Landour town within a distance of 5.5 km. It was part of the same hoax as the Camel’s Back Road. You reach a point where there is a telescope to look at a hill far away. The only thing I will recommend for the trip to the Lal Tibba was the scenery. I swear I saw a hillside blooming with different varieties of minuscule flowers like nature’s garden.
It was a spur of the moment decision. I had an extended holiday and needed a break desperately. So, I and my boyfriend googled the nearest places from Delhi one can visit. A number of options sprung up but we had to consider a couple of factors. The travelling time should be minimal as we wanted to spend as much time as possible in roaming and the availability of transport mode.The Planning: We zeroed in on Mussoorie as it is only a six to seven hours drive from Delhi. So, we booked the tickets through Paytm (around 700 INR) and hotel room through Oyo (around 1500 INR) and started for the trip day after. It was the month of October. We packed our stuff and went to R.K Ashram Metro station from where we were to board the bus. There were some girl groups too who booked tickets for the same bus. After reaching somewhere near Kashmere Gate, we were shifted to a smaller bus. The girls were not given the seats they booked and naturally, a hue and cry occurred. Luckily, us being a couple got seats together. We didn’t have dinner but we were so excited that we didn’t feel hungry. This was our third trip together but we were as excited as it were our first.The Journey: The journey took only six hours and we reached Mussoorie in the wee hours. A taxi took us from the bus stand to the mall road and dropped us just before no entry. We reached our hotel after ten minutes walk. It was hidden just behind the mall road and was as snug as I could have hoped for. The room was on the first floor and the view from the balcony was mesmerising. Exhausted from the overnight trip, we immediately fell asleep.We woke up around 11 and my boyfriend was already up and taking selfies. The quiet solitude seeped inside me and my mind was washed with a calmness that I hadn’t experienced for a long time. The breadth of fresh air can really upgrade your mood. We dressed and left the hotel to have breakfast.The Exploration: The mall road is full of cute cafes and bakeries. You can take your pick from Chinese, Tibetan, Indian to all sorts of cuisine. We went to a Tibetan restaurant that was just around the corner. The Momos Restaurant serves amazing Chinese and Tibetan food. We ordered hot and sour soup and chicken momos and the verdict is 4.5/5. The ambience was great as the interior was done in Tibetan relics and wall hangings. The washroom was on the second floor and when I went to use it, it turned out to be quite a surprise. Part of the wall was not brick and mortar but a large chunk of the hill.Having done a google research the previous day, we decided to cover at least two tourist spots. Mussoorie is at a height of 2006 m and you won’t probably believe me but the mall road is so narrow that you can literally feel being on the edge of the hill. Fog covered the road so much that we couldn’t see beyond 5 feet distance. The air was chilly and there was no sunlight. Some tourists were cycling on the narrow lanes and so we decided to enquire about a two-wheeler. If you want to hire a two wheeler, you should do it in the morning because apparently the vehicles are rented for a whole day.
Road To Mussoorie is Ruskin Bond's typical version of a hill station. He recalls many interesting incidents, writes down stories of various people he came across and his own fond memories of what is India's first famous hill station. His writing immediately takes you to the mountains. Today, Mussoorie has changed drastically from what it was before. It nonetheless continues to be a frequently-visited getaway destination.3. Our Trees Still Grow In Dehra
Mussoorie is a hill station and a municipal board in the Dehradun District of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is located about 35 km from the state capital of Dehradun. Being at an average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft), Mussoorie, with its green hills and varied flora and fauna, is a fascinating hill resort. (Source: Wiki) Since, we had no plan to stay in Mussoorie overnight, so we decided to head directly towards Kempty Waterfalls, which is most attractive tourists spot in Mussoorie. We reached there by 2 as far as remember and as soon as the driver showed us a faint site of falls, we all were excited to reach there. Then, we all girls jumped in ice chilled water. Ohh, the water was so so so cold and it was falling on our head with a great speed. but, it was real fun. We even had felt the ice pieces in the water too which were falling on us :P. It was not easy to stay in this cold water for a long time so, we came out soon and then changed the dress. This fall has been totally commercialized. There are lots of eating outlets, vendors who give tubes, changing rooms and cloths on rent.
Hey travellers & photographers,Hope you all are travelling to awesome places this year. Here are some photographs from my last trip which was completely unplanned. We left from Delhi to Roorkee for a wedding project and thought of this trip (doubtful).We packed our bags the next day after shoot, sat in the car and discussed for like 30 min, wether to return back to Delhi or continue our journey. One of my team guy couldn't make it so we helped him board the bus to Delhi :DForgot to mention, we did a toss, and believe me we lost tot he coin and we were supposed to then leave for Delhi. Thankfully steering was in my hand, it was my car, it was my choice :) We reached Mussoorie after a long drive and booked a room. It was very cheap as it's an off season. Transferred the data of our Roorkee project and charged the batteries. We left for George everest point. It was cold, I mean very cold. We didn't have clothes for that kind of weather. But somehow we enjoyed the sunset. Next day was Dhanaulti. While returning, our breaks failed and we took lift from some amazing people who helped us. No mechanic was agreeing to come uphills to help us. So we had to drive on 1st gear for 2 hours at 10kmph with the help of hand break. We got delayed by almost 5 hours. But yes we are alive right now :)
Day 2 was all full of fun and long beautiful journeys. Early morning start towards Kempty fall was on the cards. On our way to Kempty fall, we stopped at a restaurant named the lemon grass and it was a bit expensive but the food was good. It started raining mid-way and all the speculations of Kempty fall being shut started. But to our fortune, it was open and we enjoyed it to the fullest. But, like all other places, here also the water was immensely dirty and foul smelling. We couldn't enjoy it for more than 5minutes and came out of it. From Kempty falls, we went to Mussoorie and it was a treat. The famous mall road, stood to our expectations and the mystic clouds coming down with dusk were a treat for the mind. We travelled all the way from one corner to another, for trying the famous cheese omelette and, trust me guys, it was worth all the pain. The soup stalls and other food stalls throughout the mall road are amazing and delicious and are very much affordable. From here, we went back to our guest house and party began till dawn.
It was a sunday in Dehradun like no other. The heavy rainfall made everyone creep into their beds and the lazy sunday became more lazier. Now, you will agree with me if I say that such a weather is perfectly complimented by a cup of tea and a bowl of Maggie but if you live in a hostel you will never get what you want. So as random as a plan can get, we decided to quench our cravings for the cup of tea and visit Missouri. The entire state at the moment was in red alert due to the heavy rainfall yet with a little bit fear we decided to continue with the plan. Leaving Dehradun was looking like a mammoth task as everything was basically under water but by gods grace as soon as we stepped in Mussorie the rain stopped completely. Although the entire town was covered in a thick blanket of mist and everything around us covered with layers of water but it was all enjoyable. Without much ado we bought corn for us, which by the way is the best companion for such a weather. You must have seen a place thousand times but sometimes a small change gives it a different texture. This was the case with us too. Being so close to the place we have visited it a number of times but this time it was way different. It was not packed with the usual amount of tourist, like it always is, nor there were too many side stalls. Just us three friends, the perfect nature and the steaming hot tea in our hand. It started drizzling in between but at the end of the day it was all worth it.