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273 Kms from Sattal
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The capital city of India is a glorious concoction of the old and the new. Temples that are centuries old, archaic Musli...
Two weeks before the New Year, I called my friends Sahil, Sourabh, Prince, Ayush and Keshav saying “You guys are coming to Delhi. I have a great plan for you for 31st December & I don’t want to hear any excuses. Now pack your bags, we are going on the Kedarkantha trek, Uttarakhand."So our journey started with us taking the bus from Delhi on 28th night. It dropped us at Dehradun next day early in the morning and from there we left for sankri via the cab we had hired. I remember sitting in the cab, excited to reach Sakri and planning how to spend the next few days, absolutely unaware of the fact that what was waiting for us, was going to be the best New Year of our lives.Our first destination was the Juda ka talab. Whenever you doubt the presence of god, take a trip to the Himalayas!” Juda ka talab is one such site in the Himalayas which will surely make you believe in the magic that only god can do. It is a picturesque lake in the Supin range of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. According to Mahabharata, Lord Shiva disguised as Nandi wandered to Kedarkantha in order to hide from the Pandavas. It is thought to be the first Kedarnath site chosen by Lord.
Rafting was what we did do on the last day and my cousin did finally understand why it was important to reach what we came for first. After a series of hardships that we went through, we finally made it back.
A company of 7,(excluding the driver) left for one of the hardest journeys all of us folks had undertaken.The concept of having successful long journeys is that you don't take stoppages on your way to your destination, you halt on your way back.My mother did understand the concept but my cousin didn't.
From delhi we boarded a train ‘AP Express’ till Visakhapatnam which took us around 2 days to reach our location. We enjoyed the train journey, it was the first time me and my classmates spent so much of time together in our entire college life and we got to know each other so well, we laughed and played pranks. We tried things we never had or never did before. At Vijaywada, we had our first serving of South Indian Idli Sambhar and Dosa as our lunch. We got high and trolled other passengers, this journey could have been very different if any of us travelled solo, and it would have been very tiring.
It all started from new delhi. This a one of the best place to spend a hot summer, far away from the noisy city to a chilling, calm town at the foothill of the Himalayas. Trip route : New Delhi -> Haldwani - > Nainital -> Bhimtal
The journey itself started with lot of adventures. From almost missing our bus to Manali to meeting unpleasant people in trip. This is the first time we were going for trek through India Hikes. We were informed to report at Nehru Park and India hikes seemed to be very much professional in terms of their list which was provided to us. As this was my 5th Himalayan trek I had a very casual attitude; so much casual that I ended up taking fancy reebok shoes which I can use regularly instead of taking huge trekking shoes which I might not use later on.
So, finally, 4th Nov, Friday night, we boarded HRTC bus from Kashmere gate from Delhi, per person fare was 1200. I would suggest, to book ticket at least 2 months prior because we were lucky to get seat else it is always full. It was 8 PM , when bus started from Delhi. On the way near Murthal, Bus stopped for dinner. There are couple of restra and small dhaba where one can have hearty meal for 100 bucks.We reached Mandi town next day (5th Nov) morning at around 8 am and checked into Rajmahal Palace Hotel. Rent was 1500 bucks per night which was quite alright for 2 people, with 2 bed, attached bathroom, and a TV. Very basic amenities available. But ambiance was quite surreal. Oh! forgot to tell you, we have booked this hotel in the last of Oct only, but again I would advise book at least 1 month prior. Luck was with us, so we have got the hotel room.We have got freshen up quickly as we didn't want to waste time because we had very short time for that trip. After talking to reception guy, got to know that it's better to head towards Prashar Lake as it was winter and hills become dark soon. We asked him to arrange for a taxi, and after 20 minutes taxi driver was at our service. It was November, so fare was quite less, it was 1500 to and fro (mandi-prashar-mandi). It took 1.50 hour to reach prashar lake.
295 Kms from Sattal
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Home to the grandiose Taj Mahal, Agra’s city echoes of its bygone Mughal era days. Located in Uttar Pradesh, tourists ...
Well, my childhood dream came true. I visited the Taj Mahal. My sister booked a cab for our whole trip - to Delhi and Agra. So we got in the vehicle, took the National Highway, took some breaks in between, and along with some mild argument with a police officer, we are on our way again. (Miraculously, that Police Officer showed us the hotel where we can stay just next to the Taj Mahal). In the morning everybody dressed up, bought a ticket and went in. To tell the truth, that way the very first time I have found my dreams actually come true. From reading about the Taj in the textbooks to seeing it face to face is one of the most amazing moments of my life.
I thought, only I am excited to see the Agra fort, but saw dad walking fast to secure us entry passes. As soon as you enter the monumental doors of Agra fort, you are going have a war with local guides. Once you succeed in the negotiations, the journey inside begins.
The most popular weekend getaway from Delhi would have to be Agra. Within 200kms from Delhi, it takes less than 3 hours to reach Agra via Yamuna Expressway. While it may be famous for the Taj Mahal, it is also a great weekend destination away from the bustling city. If you are a history buff, this city will definitely catch your fancy.
It was 14th August , the day of the week when most of the people are hit with Monday Morning blues (sometimes I do too) and the next day being 15th August was holiday .As usual , I had nothing to do other than to lie on bed lazily the whole day . Suddenly it occured to me that I should visit Agra . I never have had any chance to visit Agra previously . Agra is just 230 kms from Gurgaon and around 4 hours drive . I geared up and quickly booked an Activa online for 2 days . I cost me 650/- INR excluding fuel . I left the office early and picked up my ride from Wheelstreet (online bike renting plattform) . I reached my place , took a quick shower , packed the necessary items for two days and started my solo - road trip to Agra . If you go on a bike , road trip do not forget your powerbank , face mask , driving gloves , and arm sleeves . One thing to note here that if you are going to Agra on a road trip on 2-wheelers , do not take the Yamuna Expressway . Instead opt for the Palwal highway which is pretty good .In my case , I did the same opted for the latter , which is comparatively safer . I left Gurgaon at 7.30 pm after having some evening snacks .Google Map was of great help and the connectivity throughout the journey was good.I had a pit stop at one of the dhabhas along the way . The food was yum and the price reasonable . I passed through the famous towns such Gokul , Vrindavan and Mathura . Even at around 12 o'clock at night , these towns were lively and jubiliant as the next day was Janmashmi . The celebrations of this festival was in full swing and most of the relevant shops were open . At around 1 AM , I was on my bed at my Hotel Room . I had not booked it earlier , so I had to pay a little extra which I regretted . After 4 hours drive , I needed rest and I dozed off as soon as I hit the bed .So friends please , book your rooms beforehand or be ready to make a good bargain .
Sharp a 2 hour journey and at 8, we got off at the Agra Cantt Railway Station and headed towards the hotel in our pre-booked vehicle.A quick check-in, we drop our luggage and move further to have the first WOW experience, it's the Agra fort. Beautiful architecture and amazing history, we see, click, listen, learn and come out full of stories and pictures.
If you have visited Taj Mahal a thousand times and have come to believe that that there's nothing more to discover, wait till you see Mehtab Bagh on a moonlit night. Tourist guides and popular travel books will rarely tell you about this hidden treasure of Agra, simply because it's difficult to locate among the winding by-lanes of the city. But once you find it, you get a chance to enjoy a panoramic view of Shah Jehan's beloved Taj Mahal.'Wah Taj!', you will say to yourself.
The trend of backpacker's hostels has finally come to India. And who's complaining. Zostels are like the travel hostels we have all seen in the movie Queen. Clean, cheap, centrally located and secure.In addition you get to meet loads of new people waiting to be your friends. Zostel is expanding rapidly by the day. Presently, there are around 20 Zostels in India and one in Nepal.Currently, Zostel is offering a volunteer Programme where you can be at their front desk. In return they offer you free accommodation. Cool, Isn't it.Volunteer to Travel :I have been a huge fan of long trips. I barely plan 2 day trips. Short trips are for tourists, vacations are for travelers. Don't get me wrong here. But how can you capture the essence of a place, visit the offbeat places, do what the locals do in 3 days. You barely have time to rush to all the touristy places. Isliye, I volunteer. This provides you a change to contribute in your own little way during traveling and gives you an immense sense of satisfaction.Here are few of my favorite volunteer organisations:
328 Kms from Sattal
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Simla is the capital and the largest city of the northern India state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala being the other ca...
An unforgettable story of ‘three friends’ aka ‘3 Idiots’ is one of the reasons why Pangong lake in Ladakh is so famous today. The number of tourists visiting this lake has almost grown more than double after release of this movie. This lake is definitely not a thing to miss, but beware of the fragile ecosystem of this beautiful cold dessert and don’t litter around. And who can forget the beautiful ‘mall road’ and church of Shimla shown in this movie.
Read the Previous PartIt was time for moving ourselves to our next destination - Manali - the adobe of Manu. If Hindu mythology is believed - Manali is where Human Life was recreated after the great flood. Keeping the mythology aside, one great fact about Manali is that the most important fruit in humankind - Apple - was introduced to this country here by the British. The most delicious apple in the country is still cultivated here and supplied worldwide.
With a break for Manali and Rohtang in between, we stayed in Shimla for Three Days. Even though it was evening and the sun was down, we decided to go out and start our quest for Himachali Food. We took a quick shower, readied our son and went out. We decided to have dinner outside and return. We took the HPTDC lift which was within 500 meters from our hotel to reach the Mall Road. It is an excellent facility which takes the visitors straight up to the ridge and reduces the walking distance completely. It takes Rs. 10/- to go up and we were there on the Mall road in no time. The Evening was spent moving around the Upper Bazar and Lower Bazar. I had to buy a guide map and my wife went on to shop e few winterwear for the baby. We had our dinner at the Sher-e-Punjab (Regd.) Restaurant and had extremely delicious Punjabi delicacy.
Read the previous partFinally, we reached Shimla, the queen of Himalaya and the Capital of Himachal Pradesh, the Northern State of India. Even before the Narrow Guage train entered the station we were mesmerized by the fantastic view of the city spread on the slopes of the hill. The Huge Red coloured Idol of Hanuman, the Monkey God, at the highest point of the city was like a shining stone on the crown. The railway Station was neat and well organized.
Place 2: Chandigarh : Shimla : Day1I left for the place all alone on some work basis. I found myself a descent room to stay and lately went to Mehli Gaon. The Ridge: A place on top of Shimla hill. Its a market place, where you can find almost everything you want.
Shimla, the very name transports you into a dream where you're walking along the ridge with candy floss in your hand and the sun shining upon you through the icy cold breeze. I give you the perfect excuse to visit the city and live this reality as Shimla welcomes summer with the Shimla Summer Festival this June.
The driver arrived with the first rays of sun, if anyone wants to travel using public transport the options are available for that, you can get a direct bus from Delhi to Sangla or Delhi to Reckong Peo, if you don’t want to do the direct journey you can do it in breaks from Delhi to Shimla (Rs.420) and then Shimla to Reckong Peo (Rs.500).So I began the journey from Shimla, first stop was at Kufri for breakfast, the cascading of the mountains was penetrating the darkness with gleaming tops in orange shade. After briefly stopping at Kufri, the next destination was Narkanda, a quiet scenic town a perfect getaway from Delhi. The drive to Hatu peak from Narkanda was on a narrow road, with a steep ascent, after driving for another 30 minutes you reach the top, and the view is marvellous, endless mountains with a 360 degree snow-capped Himalayan view. I visited the temple at the top, a perfect example of the wooden architecture that is famous in this part of Himachal Pradesh.
Day 2I took the toy train from Kalka to Shimla. Even though this takes longer to reach than by road, this is probably the better way to reach Shimla, thanks to the experience. After reaching Shimla in the evening, I just took a walk to my hotel from the station and checked in.
283 Kms from Sattal
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July
Scenic and serene, Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh is perhaps one of the most unexplored places in Himachal. Passing through...
As summer hues creep over the cloudless skies of this town, the bright colours of Holi are prepared to paint the mountains red and the grass pink. Welcome to Kinnaur, a small district in Himachal Pradesh, where Holi is not just celebrated but revered.
Kara Lake Located in Kinnaur, Kara Lake is located in Bhaba valley. It takes almost two days to trek till Kara Lake and the route passes through beautiful meadows with Himalayan horses grazing around. The entire trek is filled with gorgeous views of Himalayan Peaks. Kara Lake is one of the few treks that will take you through glaciers even in the summer season. Basic Info – Kara Lake trek starts from a small village called Kafnu. There are a couple of guest houses that also provide guide for the trek.
With that we started from kaza to chandigarh via shimla and the journey just cannot be expressed in words. Roads in the cold desert are sometimes very disapponting especially when the drilling of the moutains take places the day you’re supposed to travel and you just keep waiting and the journey of 12 hrs is extended to 15-16 hrs. But still that's another good thing as you can explore more on the way! (I got a real bad reaction from my sister when i said that while we were stuck on the way. I'm still glad i came back alive from that trip and she didn’t kill me. :p )I would define kaza as one of the most picturesque destinations in Spiti valley. I heard from the locals that many Bollywood movies have been shot here. One can watch the Paap (a Bollywood movie) if they want to get a glimpse of what to expect when they reach Kaza.
The picturesque Sangla Valley in the Kinnaur with its bountiful Apple Orchards is known for rich tribal culture and traditions. There is a local tradition to welcome the guests with a garland of dry fruits and a round Kinnauri cap with green flap. It's also known for legally brewing two popular drinks, 'angoori' and 'ghanti'.Where to Stay:Rattan Cottage:A hidden-rural homestay in the picturesque Sangla Valley in Kinnaur district some 275 km from Shimla. The host also participates in the apple fest to showcase his orchard.Address: Village & P.O. Sangla, Tehsil Sangla ,District KinnaurPhone: 0-098052536
But one last visit will do!The road journey was super exciting. But I just wanted a little more scenery to enjoy! Thus next, we headed to the Himalayas again to uniquely end 2016! It was a perfect place to get away from the city for a while. So I decided to celebrate New Year's eve at Kinnaur, famous for sacred Kinner Kailash high range mountains which is home of the Lord Shiva.
The Hindustan-Tibet road or the NH5 to Chhitkul is precarious and can easily shake even the strongest of the hearts. The landslide prone roads are not smooth all the way as a national highway is supposed to be, mere 3m wide, and Satluj River by the side, the ride scared even our expert driver. Our driver had to drink a bit during the dinner time and only then he could drive fearlessly in the night at around 12 am and onwards.Now was our final battle with the roads.
Kinnaur has for centuries been a major trans-Himalayan corridor. Merchants travelling between China and the Punjabi plains passed through on the Hindustan–Tibet caravan route, stretches of which are still used by villagers and trekkers. The bulk of the traffic that lumbers east towards the frontier, however, uses the newer NH-22, which veers north into Spiti just short of the ascent to Shipki La pass, on the Chinese border, which remains closed.
A small video of our trip through Shimla-Narkanda-Sangla-Reckong Peo and Kalpa which we completed in under Rs 7000 for 10 days from Mumbai with food travel and Stay.
Their family was kind enough to let me know of the bus options and booked a bus to Reckong Peo ( head quarters of Kinnaur district).So, on sunday at 13.30 hours was the bus from Kullu to Reckong Peo( its about 16 hour journey so the bus tentatively reaches around 5.30am the next day ). Off course I was a bit scared because I was going to head out alone and this was supposed to be a group trip and I was heading out solo...Well..You gotta do what you gotta do ...the adventurous side in me overtook the fear and inhibitions in me and prayed to the Divine for guidance!
204 Kms from Sattal
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,August,September,October,November,December
A quick getaway destination for Delhi-NCR residents, Mussoorie or the 'Queen of Hills' is the most favoured place for an...
Day 5: Mussoorie - The queen of hillsBy night fall I boarded a bus to Mussoorie which in itself is a great task. The bus stand is near the railway station opposite to the pre-paid taxi stand. One has to wait for hours in the ticket line. Tickets are distributed only after the bus arrives at the stand. 30kms distance to Mussoorie easily takes 2 hours. During winter Mussoorie is bustling with tourists and finding any on spot accommodation is quite difficult. Wanting to stay away from the crowded areas I booked a hotel at the Landour bazar road.Along with the regular places to visit one can take a walk at the 2 km stretch of Mall road, watch the sun set behind the hills casting its hue on Mussoorie, witness the moon rise over the sparkling Dehradun, shop endlessly in Mall road, eat the famous aloo parantha from Funjabi Food, must gulp the masala orange juice and lay back on those benches and observe the city.Places to visit: Lal tibba, Kempty falls, Gun hill, Cloud's end, Camels back road, Jharipani falls, Bhatta falls, Company garden.
Clock Tower Cafe - Located uphill from Kulri Bazaar, located near the clock tower at Landour, the cafe-restaurant is colorfully decorated with posters, magazines and books as well as a live see-through kitchen. The momos here are a must-try. The place primarily serves Chinese though they do whip up pastas and pizzas as well.
After experiencing the tranquility of Nahan, we continued with our journey to Mussoorie. The scenery showed us the bright lemon yellow plains contrasting with the viridescent faces of bewitching hillocks.
6000ft | 9°CI happened to have travelled 2500kms from Bangalore, all the way to Dehradun. And, these last 220kms to Sankri was the most thrilling and at the same time appealing.
On 1st Jan. 2017, we reported at the YHAI Mussoorie Hostel in the evening. There we met the entire group of around 50 people. We were oriented about the trek and things to remember. On 2nd January, we travelled by bus to Sankri Village in Uttrakhand from Mussorie. The drive is a delightful one as the path takes you along the Yamuna and pine forests.
#TripotoTakeMeToHimalayasMussoorie is just 40 minutes away from Dehradun. It is a very popular travel destination and there are a lot of activities like paragliding. It also has many cafes and a beautiful mountain view all around it. When I think of Mussoorie, it is impossible to actually choose a place because there are so many mountains and so many different places to stay at. With AirBNB coming out, I guess AirBNB houses are the best to stay at because they are so well furnished with a lot of different amenities and are not even half as costly at hotels.
On day 2 we had planned to visit mussoorie particularly the Kempty fall.We left the hotel early morning and started our journey towards Kempty fall which is almost 40Km from Dehradun. After having some breakfast at the road side outlets we further resumed our journey to Kempty fall.On the way to Kempty the natural beauty was awesome and mindblowing.
163 Kms from Sattal
Best time to visit - March,April,September,October,November
Rishikesh is a small town in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India. Scenically located where the Ganges River comes...
We stayed in Rishikesh the next.
He wanted to go for white water river rafting, it was all that we heard as we approached Rishikesh. In the end, sanity prevailed.
India is the birthplace of yoga. From developing this art and making it global, India as a country has always been at the forefront. And in the entire country, Rishikesh is unarguably the yoga capital, of not only India but the world. It is one city in the world where multiple yoga ashrams exist in every corner and alley. The home of ancient yogis, sages and seers, Rishikesh has been spearheading the development and spread of yoga throughout the world. People from as far as South America, and from as close as Nepal, visit Rishikesh to learn this art form.
Day 2: Rishikesh - The yoga capital20 kms from Haridwar is the 'Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas'. One can take a local bus from Haridwar, it takes about one hour or less to Rishikesh. This is a place I want to live in and experience nevertheless when ever I can, I do visit the yoga land. One can live in hostels, attend yoga classes, practice meditation and do so much more. After experiencing Ganga Aarti in Haridwar, I wanted to witness the same in Rishikesh. Triveni ghat at dusk is mesmerizing, the setting sun across Ganges, pandits getting ready for the aarti, kids collecting coins thrown into the river by the devotees, families performing rituals are just some things one gets to notice as a bystander.Places to visit: Triveni Ghat, Jumpin Heights for bungee jumping, river rafting, Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula, the Beatles Ashram, Swarg Ashram, Shivpuri(famous for adventure sports).
It’s the little things after all which leave a dent in your mind. This cookie Maker guy- Gautam, has set up his own “Bakery On wheels”! Yes, and it’s not a food truck or Van with all modern baking amenities. He’s created a unique oven from tin and bakes “Wood fired Cookies” in those.Baking sumptuous Cookies in three flavors, the butter cookies won me over! Flaky, Melt in mouth, moderately sweet and buttery- Too perfect for a street delicacy! I got almost a pound packed as souvenirs for friends and I ended up eating it all during the week-long trip! :p
DAY 2 : We left for Rishikesh, apart from rafting and cliff jumping there is much to explore in peace and beauty.Place has its owned popularity for meditation and Yoga which is being followed since decades.The most popular band "The Beatles", king of rock and retro music in late and early 90's visited the place in search of peace which made the place a tourist spot for music lovers.In memory of the famous band, the natives had named their cafe's as "The Beatles Cafe" which, rather the only cafe which that band went to was a mystery to us. We spent two nights at some government quarters at Rishikesh, as my friend was working in Chief Minister office, Dehradun.Aanother day we went to "Little Buddha Cafe", a not so quiet but a decent place to sit and enjoy whole day with dope and music. The cafe is known to be as a second home for foreigners, where they dope and rest at peace in melancholic music. One might face discrimination here as an Indian, they don't entertain Indians the way they care for foreigners.
Rishikhesh is amongst my most preferred destinations for relaxation and my love for Yoga further adds to its charm.
You know how there is always that one person who's always planning a trip and almost always failing to gather enough people to go forward with it? Well this time around this dog finally had his day. By the way, this dog is not me. Moving on, nevertheless.ISBT, ISBT, ISBT! Kashmiri Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Kashmiri Gate! Bus, bus, bus! *sigh* now let's go and get ourselves a bottle of water for the ride (Isn't that how it always goes?)Fast-forwarding through the 7 hour over-night bus ride and the little insignificant dhaba stopover where everyone is groggy from not sleeping yet sleeping with their eyes open. And of course, their toilets. The only reason the driver really makes the pit-stop. Let's face it.Finally! We arrive at Rishikesh. And there lay, a few hundred metres in front of us, the river Ganga. Or Ganges as it's known. Making its way from Gangotri, pit-stopping (or rather waving at us and carrying on towards the Sundarban Delta) at Rishikesh where it fills its pockets with gold and diamond and ruby and all the tears that come with it. And on it goes. And it keeps going till that moment that its one with the ocean. Kinda like life if you think about it.Emerging from our near hangover like state we entered Amrit Ganga Cafe in hopes of finding some good food. And good food we got. Kafuli, Gahat ke paranthe and Kumaoni raita to top it off. It was the best cure to our sluggish morning and we could finally completely appreciate the freshness of the air, the enormity of the river Ganga and the daily worship that followed with it.After sifting through an endless line of cabs we came across one fairly reasonable. Onward we go, towards a supposed 'surprise'.On our way, every time I looked out of our cab all I saw were river banks and camp sites. River banks, camp sights, river banks, camp sights, river sights, camp banks. How I wished we could go camping.Going down a steep road we started steering towards a little camp site ourselves. Could this be? I've never been camping before but could this.."Oh boy!" Serendipitously, I found the little kid in me again.
So Next day we all woke up with our freaking dreams of Rope getting cut during Bunjee and all finally headed to nature walk which the camp had arranged us .Then finally we had breakfast packed our bags and got ready for bunjee .Bunjee timing -9.39am-4pm.Please plan early as it depends how many people are in queue for this activity.We had booked a cab this day as we had to visit bunjee and also we had to reach rishikesh .This cab we bargained for 2000 deal was to drop us at Railway station , also to cover any place on the way.We reached Jumping heights and twice we used restrooms .And since there was a queue we planned to do flying fox and did this .Flying fox 1800+bunjee 3500+750 for video .
167 Kms from Sattal
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
An ancient holy town and the starting point for pilgrimages to the Kedarnath Temple and the Badrinath Temple, Haridwar i...
Day 1 : Haridwar - The ancient cityFrom Haridwar railway station most of the places to visit is at a walkable distance. There are multiple budget hotels available in the vicinity. The life here revolves around the ever flowing Ganga. Take a walk along side the river and you will reach Har Ki Pauri, the famous ghat where Ganga Aarti is performed every evening. This spiritual ritual with bhajans and Vedic chants is a sight to behold. This enchanting ceremony takes place by 6.30 pm but the devotees start to gather as early as 4.00 pm. To get a decent view, find a good spot, buy a newspaper for 2 Rs to spread across the floor and wait patiently watching the preparations (Do not forget to pick up your paper and throw them in the bin, which many people seem to ignore). Haridwar still has the essence of mythology and divinity in every corner of the city.Places to visit: Har Ki Pauri, Bharat Mata Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Bara Bazaar, Bhimgoda Kund, Daksha Mahadev Temple, Mansa Devi Temple and Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary.
A day at this divine land of Haridwar will amaze you with how faith can be so mesmerizingly beautiful!! An overcrowded “Har ki Paudi” was such a clumsy and “non favorable” affair before the chants of the Ganga Aarti started. So much crowd, people pushing each other away and loud noises was a huge turn off, then came a voice on the loudspeaker “Har Har Gangey” and begins the famous Aarti. To my surprise, the entire crowd got still and quiet, all eyes on the Pujaris performing this glorious and riveting ritual! I somehow managed to sneak a few clicks of this sanctified act. You can’t really understand the greatness of this Maha-Aarti until you witness it live!
The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.The nearest railhead is Haridwar which is well connected with all the major cities of India. You can also reach Haridwar by Volvo buses from Delhi Kashmiri Gate ISBT.Badrinath is about 320 km from Haridwar. You can take early morning buses from haridwar to reach Badrinath. It will take about 11 to 12 hours to reach Badrinath. From Badrinath, you have to take a jeep to Mana village.Best Time to do Satopanth Lake Trek:The best time to do this trek is May and June and September and October. The Garhwal treks are best to be avoided in the monsoon.
Day 1: Haridwar to Joshimath 6700 ftThe trek starts from Joshimath in devbhoomi Uttarakhand. The easiest way to reach there is by taking a taxi from Rhishikesh or Haridwar. The total distance of 250 kms will take 12 hours of drive with breaks. For most part, the roads are well maintained except for the occasional maintenance by BRO(Border Road Organisation). You will get the views of Devprayag (confluence of Bhagirathi river and Alaknanda river), Rudrapryag (confluence of Mandakini river and Alaknanda river) and Karnprayag (confluence of Pindar river and Alaknanda river) on the way.
The Bus from kashmiri Gate left us at Haridwar at 5 in the morning. And the bus going to uttarkashi was at 6’o clock which left us with some spare time.‘How are you,’ I asked.Cold, Arjun said. Let’s have a hot cup of Tea.While having that tea it came to my mind if it is so chilling in Haridwar, what will happen to me on the trek? Then I thought never mind, it had been worse & it is not the first time we did something stupid. Well we got on the bus & wow what a journey it was, half of the people were puking on one side and other half on the other side, this is the best thing I find about roadways. In order to distract myself I covered my entire face with my muffler & slept for the entire journey. It almost took us 7 to 8 hours to reach uttarkashi & 1 extra hour to bhatwari from where we hired a jeep which took us to raithal where the trek starts.The sun was almost about to hide & we did not had much time left in our hands. Bending under the weights of our packs we started hiking and within half an hour found a place near water source to pitch our tents.‘You pitch the tent & I will prepare the dinner,’ Arjun said.Alright, I replied.It was already dark and very silent & I could hear every sound including my own heartbeat which becomes really creepy and terrifying sometimes, although the dinner was perfect & we slept.
Day 2: The Bus departed at 6:00 and after a long 8-9 hrs journey we were finally at Rudrapryag. Now I didn't had a clue on how to reach deorital, I asked some taxi drivers and I'm telling u don't even dare to ask em they were asking for ₹1500 to ₹3000. And then I found out that there was a bus at 14:30 hrs that cost us just ₹60. At 18:00 hrs we started the trek to Deorital. But the action was left to happen. At around 19:30 hrs it started to rain and and the visibility was near zero we all had our headlamps on, by 20:00 hrs it was raining heavily and we were yet to set the tent. By the time the tent was ready to take us in I was soaked now it's sleep time ... Atleast that's what I thought and expected.
I just bag packed and left from Delhi via Noida to Rishikesh at 11:30 AM. It was Friday, the first time I was driving all over from Delhi to Noida that is not more than 30 km and then suddenly Bang! I hit my swift to a divider. I managed to reach Noida and my friends joined and I handed over the driver seat to him.Now the Trip Starts from here Delhi-Noida-Haridwar-RishikeshOn the way we take some snacks-popcorn, chips and cold drink to munch. Since it was Friday the perfect weekend so there was too much traffic on the route. We reached Haridwar at 5:30 P.M and decided to reach Harki pauri as it was the time for Evening Aarti and we do not want to miss that. We reached Harki pauri and the place was teeming but the view was amazing. The flow of river Ganga, the evening sunset, the beautiful glittering diyas floating and the chanting of mantra to appease the god that embraces “Jai maa gange jai jai gange” in a recurring voice is a sight to behold. The tiny diyas bedecked by flowers appears as if thousands of lamps are set to float in the river. We stay there till the Aarti end.Since it was late in the evening we decided to stay in Haridwar only. We searched for hotel and finally decided to stay in Hotel Crystal Ganga Heights that was hardly 2km from the Harki Pauri. The Hotel was cosy and the rooms were comfortable. We had our dinner in the hotel and the food was wonderful. In the midnight we celebrated my birthday and that too was great.
Has it ever happened that you plan for a Trek and you end up completing some other Trek? Well, Pangarchulla was something like that. We had planned for a trek to Bagini glacier on 25th of April, we started for Haridwar via New Delhi. It was already late evening when we reached Haridwar-the city of gods. After checking into the hotel we decided to take a walk along the river bank, which i must say was clean these days.