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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Dalhousie: The mini Switzerland

December 31, 2019 0
 DALHOUSIE 



 ABOUT

Dalhousie is situated at an elevation of 1970 m in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It named after 'Lord Dalhousie', who was the British Governor General of India. It is also known as 'The Mini Switzerland of India'. 

Dalhousie is one of the famous places among tourist, and its known for its beautiful landscapes, magnificent mountains, pine tree valley and natural beauty. Its a high point during summers.


 CLIMATE 

Dalhousie is pleasant during summers and its chilly during winters while monsoons are mild.
Summers are from March to May while winters are from October to February. Monsoons last from June to August. The average temperature during summers are 25 degree Celsius and the average temperature during winters are 1 degree Celsius.




 TRANSPORT 

Dalhousie is easily accessible. It is 80 km from Pathankot and 560 km from Delhi.   

Air: Gaggal airport in Kangra district is the nearest airport and it is 108 km from Dalhousie. Taxi services are easily available. Gaggal airport is a domestic airport and directly connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. The other nearby airports are Chandigarh (255 km), Amrtisar (208 km) and Jammu (200 km).

Train: The nearest railway station is Pathankot which is 80 km from Dalhousie. Pathankot is well connected by other cities through rail such as Delhi, Jaipur and Ahemdabad. Taxi and bus services are available from Pathankot.

Road: Dalhousie is well-connected by road. State bus services and luxury coaches connect the towns in and around Dalhousie. Overnight luxury buses are also available from Delhi. Taxis and private vehicles also frequently ply on the route.

 ITINERARY 

This itinerary is considering Delhi as a hub. Take a direct bus or train to Pathankot and reach Dalhousie.

Day 1: Visit the Punchpula which is one of the most popular place in the town.
Panchpula means five bridges. 
There is a waterfall named Satdhara which is named after the seven spring in the region.
Also visit the St. John Church. Its beautiful Church which will remind you of Victorian period.
You can also visit Ganji Pahadi, Garam Sadak and Subhash Bauli.

Day 2: Visit Kalatop which is around 15 km from Dalhousie. Kalatop is a wild life reserve.
You can also go to Dainkund Peak. It is a trek of 2 km and the view from the peak is mind blowing. (don't miss this).
Visit Khajjiar while returning. It is because of this place Dalhousie is known as 'the mini Switzerland of Inida'

Day 3: Visit the Chamba district and return to Delhi.

 BUDGET 

The budget always depends on individual preference. An estimate price for 3 days 2 night trip would cost around ₹6500 per head in a group of two. These cost mainly depends upon Hotels, Food, and Transportation. 





Friday, December 27, 2019

Mcleodganj

December 27, 2019 0

 McLEODGANJ






 ABOUT 


McLeodganj is named after Donald McLeod, the Lieutenant General of Punjab.
In 1960s Dalai Lama established his base in Mcleoadganj. Since then, McLeod has become a vibrant center of Tibetan culture and Buddhism.





McLeod Ganj is near 
Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
Its a beautiful hill station which is famous for Monastery and lush green mountains. 
There are many attractions in Mcleodganj such as the Tea garden, Cricket stadium, Triund trek, St. John Church, Dal Lake and Bhagshu waterfall.




 CLIMATE 

The temperature during summers are bobbing near to 25 degree Celsius. And during winters it varies from -1 to 9 degree Celsius. Mcleodganj receive heavy rainfall during monsoon so its not recommended to go in monsoon season that is from July to August. The weather is pleasant in summers and chilly in winters.



 TRANSPORT 

Flight: The nearest airport is Kangra airport. It is 15 km from Dharamshala.

Train: The nearest railway station is Pathankot which is 88 km from Mcleodganj.
Narrow-gauge train runs between Kangra Valley Station and Nagrota.

Bus: There are direct buses from Delhi (480 km), Chandigarh (248 km) and Pathankot (88 km) to Mcleodganj.
Buses are the most common means of transport used by people.


 ITINERARY

This itinerary is considering Delhi as a hub. Mcleodganj can be covered in extended weekends i.e. 3 days are enough.
Day 1: Take an overnight bus from Delhi to Mcleodganj. Many buses are available including HRTC and private services.
Day 2: Explore the city, this will take a complete day.
Day 3: Trek to Triund Trek, stay at Triund in camp. 
Day 4: Return to Delhi.


 BUDGET 

Hotels are at nominal rates and one can get hotels starting from ₹800  to ₹3000 per night.
Tibetan food is very delicious and definitely should be included in your plan.
 Food price is also vary from ₹150 per meal to ₹500 per meal depending on restaurant.
Total cost including hotel, bus fare, food and camp will cost around ₹4000 per head for two people. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Kedarnath

December 20, 2019 0

KEDARNATH


 About 

Kedarnath is a holy Hindu town located in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in India. It is one of the Char Dhams located in the Himalayas. Kedarnath is situated at an astonishing height of 3584 meters above sea level near the head of Mandakini River.
Kedar means power, also refers to Lord Shiva the creator, protector and the destroyer of this world. The place is very peaceful and quiet, one of the best place to do meditation.

History 

Theologically Lord Shiva agreed to live in Kedarnath on request of Nara-Narayan. But after Kurukshetra war the Pandavas came to meet Shiva to ask forgiveness for the killings during war. Shiva did not want to forgive for the sin they have committed. So he turned himself in a bull and roam in Garhwal Himalayas. On being found by the Pandavas, Shiva tried to sink him in the ground (head first). Bheem got his tail in hand and forced him to appear before them and forgive them. Other parts of Shiva in the form of bull showed up at different places.

The Pandavas then build the first temple Kedarnath.

The hump of the bull was found in Kedarnath, the navel emerged in Madhya-Maheshwar, two forelegs appeared in Tunganath, the face in Rudranath, and the hair in Kalpeshwar. These are collectively called the Panch Kedar - the five sacred places.

The temple is said to be more than 5000 years old and one among the 12 jyotirlingas in India. The majestic Kedarnath peak (6,940 metres) stands behind the temple along with other peaks and adds to the scenery of the area. Built from large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, the structure is a masterpiece. The conical Shiva lingam is worshipped as the Lord in his Sadashiva form. It adds a unique feature to the temple among all Shiva shrines.

 Climate 

 Kedarnath has three main seasons.


→ Summer (May to June) when the weather is cool and pleasant. Summers are the ideal time for all sightseeing, temple visit and also for adventure activities. The average temperature is around 17°C. 

→ In Monsoons (July to August) there are occasional rains and the temperature drops till 12°C. Landslides are common during this time. 

→ The winter season (November to April) sees heavy snowfall, causing the locals to leave town and the temple stays shut. For these six months the idol of Lord Kedarnath is moved to Ukhimath, a place near Guptakashi and is transferred back to Kedarnath, in the month of May.

 How to Reach   

Kedarnath is well connected from many cities like Chandigarh (387 km), Delhi (458 km) and Rishikesh (189 km). Nearest Railway Station is Rishikesh (215 km) and Haridwar (241 km)  The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun (257 km). There are direct buses from Delhi to Haridwar.

Gaurikund is accessible from Haridwar. Buses start from Haridwar every morning. Bookings can be also made in advance by GMOA (Garhwal Mandal owners Associations). It takes nearly a full day. 
Route
Rishikesh → Devaprayag (70 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (34 kms) → Tilwara (9kms) → Agastamuni (10 kms) → Kund (15 kms) → Guptkashi (5 kms) → Phata (11 kms) → Rampur (9 kms) → SonPrayag (3 kms) → Gaurikund (5 kms) → Rambara (7 kms) → Linchauli (4 Kms) → Kedarnath (3 Kms).

Helicopter service is also available from various parts of Uttarakhand, like Dehradun, Guptkashi, Sirsi and Phata.



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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Auli

December 17, 2019 0

 AULI 


 About 

Auli, is a beautiful tourist destination in Chamoli district of Uttrakhand, India and is situated at an elevation of 2500 m from sea level. It is also known as 'Auli Bugyal' which means meadows. This place is popular for its beautiful landscape and skiing. During summer the place is full of greens and in winters its loaded with snow which is perfect for skiers. 

 Why to Visit 

 Auli is a beautiful destination in the state of Uttrakhand which is famous for skiing and hiking. Every year thousands of skiing loves come here to for the love of this adventurous sport. Auli offers slope for both professional skiers as well as for beginners. The Uttrakhand Tourism Department conduct skiing competition every year. 
It has by panoramic views of  Himalayas  surrounded by oak trees and beautiful meadows.

 How to Reach 

If you search Auli it will show wrong location on google maps. It is near Joshimath in Uttrakhand. It is not directly connected with flights, trains or buses from Delhi. However there are options available to each Auli.
Flight: There is a daily flight from Indra Gandhi International Airport Delhi to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is 300 km from Joshimath. From there taxi and bus services are available.
Train: There are no direct trains to Auli. Haridwar is the nearest railway station which 250 km from Joshimath. And taxi services are easily available.
Auli is 16 km from  Joshimath which can be covered either by cable cart or trek.

 Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi- Dehradun/ Haridwar- Joshimath. (Start your journey at night and reach Dehradun/ Haridwar in the morning. it will take nearly 5 to Joshimath)
Its advised to book a hotel in Joshimath as hotels in Auli are little costlier.

Day 2: Reach Auli from a cable cart service which is 4.5 km and 22 min journey with beautiful views.

Day 3: Explore the near by places which include
Chenab Lake- It is a small crystalline lake near Joshimath. Untouched and unexplored beauty attracts many tourists.
Gorson Bugyal- It's 4 km trek from Auli. It is a large land of green pastures surrounded by a coniferous for and oak trees.

Day 4 (Optional):Trishul peak- Three Himalayan peaks combine to form a Trishul which is 7120 m in height.
Nanda Devi National Park- Its the second highest national park of India. The elevation is about 3500 m from sea level and is 52 km from Joshimath.

Day 4/5: Joshimath to Dehradun/ Haridwar to Delhi.

Happy Journey

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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Jaisalmer: The Golden City

December 14, 2019 0

JAISALMER: The Golden City


About 

Jaisalmer is situated in the heart of Thar Desert, in the western part of Rajasthan
Located 575 km from its capital city Jaipur and 790 km from Delhi.
Forts and houses are completely made of yellow sand stones which shine as gold during day time and hence this city is also known as 'The Golden City'.
It has wide verity of things to offer like forts, temples, lake, museums and sand dunes. Folk music, cultural programs, and various other activities are bonus treat.

Climate 

Located in the desert the temperature varies to extreme ends. The average summer temperature during day is around 49 degree Celsius while at night it may fall to 5 degree Celsius.  While in winters the average temperature during day can be 23 degree Celsius which can fall to -5 degree Celsius during night.

Places to visit 

Jaisalmer is enriched by its beautiful forts, temples and museums.   

Jaisalmer Fort 
Built by Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal in 1156, the Jaisalmer Fort is situated on Meru Hills named as Trikoot Grah.  It is the only living fort of India where people are still living. Its walls are made from yellow sand stone which looks as it is made of gold.
Temples

Jaisalmer fort has very beautiful temples inside. There are total seven Jain temples dedicated to the Tirthankaras, including Chandraprabhu templeRishabdev TempleParaswanath Temple, Shitalnath TempleKunthunath Temple, and Shantinath Temple. Among them the Parsawnath Temple is the biggest.

Museums

  • Desert Culture Centre & Museum
  • Jaisalmer Folk & Culture Museum
  • Government Museum
  • Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum
  • Jaisalmer War Museum
  • Tanot Museum

Near by Places

Sam Sand Dunes: Here one can enjoy living actully in the desert as its situated in the heart of desert. One can spend a night in middle of Thar Desert living in camps and also get  to enjoy folk music and dance accompanied by mouth watering traditional food. There are different kinds of activities like camel ride, jeep safari and paragliding.
• Bada Bagh: It mean big garden which is situated on a small hill 6 km to the north of               Jaisalmer on the way to Ramgarh
• Lodhruva: Its
 is a village in Jaisalmer district which is 15 km to the north-west of                   Jaisalmer. Lodrawa was the ancient capital of the Bhatti dynasty until Rawal Jaisal founded the Jaisalmer state and shifted the capital to Jaisalmer in 1156 AD.
Battel of Longewala point: This is the plIndo-Pak war of 1971 fought between assaulting Pakistani forces and Indian defenders at the Indian border post               of Longewala, in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan

Connectivity & Itinerary  

Jaisalmer is situated in the western part of Rajasthan which is connected by buses, trains and flights. In this Delhi is considered as the hub and the itinerary is according to Delhi-Jaisalmer-Delhi
Bus: There are no direct buses from Delhi to Jaisalmer. however one can easily get a bus from Jaipur, Bikaner and Jodhpur.
Train: There are only two direct trains leaving from Delhi to Jaisalmer taking around 18-20 hours of journey.
Flight: Direct flights are available from Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat and Jodhpur.

Day 1: Reach Jaisalmer ,Visit the Jaisalmer fort, Temples and museums.
Day 2: Take a city tour, Bada Bagh and reach sand dunes by 4 pm (stay in dunes)
Day 3: Tanot Mandir, Longewala and return by evening

Budget 

Although its not easy to comment on budget, as it depends on many factors like number of persons, choice of hotel, food. But still I will try to make a rough estimate taking in a medium budget range.
Train Fare 3rd AC ₹1300 x Return = 2600
Flight Fare  5000 x Return = 10000
Hotel  1500 + Camp  2000 =   ₹3500
Food  ₹2000
Traveling  ₹1000
Tickets And Safari 1000
Total about  10000
Still this trip could be managed in less than this budget depending upon choice of hotel, food, train booking.




Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Spiti Valley

December 12, 2019 2

         Spiti Valley Complete Guide               


Spiti means "the middle land" its a land between India and Tibet.
It's a cold desert mountain valley located high in the Himalayas in the north-eastern part of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

Mostly people follow Buddhism as Tibet and Ladakh. This valley is least populated.
The sub-divisional headquarters (capital) is Kaza, Himachal Pradesh which is situated along the Spiti River at an elevation of about 12,500 feet (3,800 m) above mean sea level.

 Why to visit Spiti  Valley 

Spiti Valley is famous for its beautiful and scenic views, breadth taking cold desert mountains, monasteries and night sky.
This valley is totally different from every other mountain. To experience this valley it self is a treat. There are lots of different types of scenes which is a complete package to see. The mountains changes from green forest to barren or desert mountains. And there can be nothing comparable. And its famous for people who love adventures.

Weather

Its still one of the coldest place to visit in summers where as winters are very cold and the temperature may fall to -25 degree Celsius. This is the reason its a main tourist spot in summers. 

 How to Reach 

Spiti Valley can be reached by following ways.

Bus: There are various private bus services which can be booked by travel agents. The price may vary from around ₹16000/- to 30000/- depending on the booking agents and their services.
There is only one HRTC bus service from Reckong Peo to Kaza which leaves early in the morning near about 5:30 A.M. And it charges around 500/- The bus reaches Nako at 11:30 A.M. generally for lunch.

Bike: If going by own bike then its recommended to have a proper service of the bike. As its a long and tiring journey and there are plenty of challenging patches of tough roads its always better to be ready to face such challenges.
There are many bike renting shops in Delhi, Shimla or Manali (depending from where you are planing to go) and the rent per day may vary from 600/- to 2000/- depending on the bike.

Car: If going by own car its again recommended to have a proper service of the car.
There are car renting shops like Car Rentals or Zoom Car.

Roads and transport

Spiti Valley can be reached from Shimla as well as Manali. As its a circuit one can enter from Shimla and exit from Manali or vice versa. However roads from Manali are blocked in winters from late October. Still Spiti valley is accessible throughout year via Kinnaur from Shimla route on a difficult 428-kilometre-long (266 mi) road.
Although Spiti Valley could be reached by both Shimla and Manali side, its advice to go from Shimla. And its avoided from Manali side because of its high elevation and high altitude sickness.
There are high altitude passes which include 
Rohtang Pass (3978m) Rohtng Pass is worlds Deadliest pass and its meaning is " Pile of Dead bodies"
Kunzum Pass (4590m). 

 Itinerary  


This itinerary is from Delhi to Delhi. One can add number of days reaching Delhi from their cities. There are two ways to reach Spiti Valley i.e. Shimla and Manali.
Lets see both of them.

Route 1

Day 1: Delhi to Rampur or Narkanda
Start the ride in early morning and one can easily reach to Rampur or Narkanda.
               Delhi to Rampur 470 km.
               Delhi to Narkanda 402 km.

Day 2: Narkanda/ Rampur to Chitkul
Chitkul is the last village of India and Tibet. Its a very beautiful village with lots of beautiful scenic views. Stay in Chitkul.

Day 3: Chitkul to Nako/ Tabo.

Day 4: Nako/ Tabo to Kaza (Can add 1 more day to visit Near by Places or can save this day as a buffer day)

Day 5: Kaza to Chandratal via Kunzum Pass

Day 6: Chandratal to Manali via Rohtang Pass

Day 7: Manali to Delhi

Route 2

Day 1: Delhi to Manali 540 km.

Day 2: Manali to Chandratal 

Day 3: Chandratal to Kaza

Day 4: Kaza to Tabo/Nako (Can add 1 more day to visit Near by Places or can save this day as a buffer day)

Day 5: Tabo/Nako to Chitkul

Day 6: Chitkul to Rampur/Narkanda

Day 7: Rampur/Narkanda to Delhi



 Budget 

Well, budget can vary according to one's personal choices. Still Sipti Valley is not very costly but not too cheap at the same time. One can get a hotel room at a price of 800 per night to ₹7000 per night.
A minimum full plate of delicious meal will cost around ₹100. Still it depends on the choice of the food one chooses to eat depending upon the restaurant.
Another addition charge is the fuel of the vehicle, which again may vary drastically.
For bikes cost would be somewhere around ₹4000 to ₹7000. The fuel price of cars will be around ₹10000 to ₹15000 depending upon the average of car.
It also depends on the number of persons going as hotel prices will be distributed among everyone.
Still ₹10000 would be a decent amount to complete this trip but always carry extra cash in case of emergency like bike breakdown (its very common in such places).
For  those who are travelling by car the over all budget will be around ₹15000 to ₹20000. Carry some extra money as an emergency fund. Again no one can tell exact amount for the budget.

 Places to visit in Spiti Valley 

  • Kaza
  • Chandra Tal Lake
  • Key Monastery
  • Hikim Village
  • Komic Village
  • Langza Village
  • Lhalung Monastery
  • Tabo Caves
  • Tabo Monastery
  • Kunzum Pass
  • Rohtang Pass
  • Chicham Bridge
  • Gue

 Things to Carry 

Things one must carry can be divided into 4 major categories.

Valid id and paper work
Driving licence
RC
Pollution 
Passport size photograph x 2
Aadhar Card

Electronics
Mobile phones
Mobile charger
Camera
Camera charger
Power banks
Extra batteries for camera
Tripod
Extension wire
Laptop (if making videos)

Clothing and Riding Gears
Helmet
Riding Jacket
Knee and Elbow Guard
Riding boots
Riding Gloves
Winter Clothes and Jackets
2-3 Pair of jeans
Rain Coat
Bungee ropes
Shoes
Socks
Gum boots
Sun Glasses
Hanky

Grooming and medicines
Sun's screen more than SPF 20
Moisturizer
Face wash
High altitude sickness medicine
Stomach ache medicine
Head ache medicine
First Aid