Himachal Pradesh

In the lap of the great Himalayan Ranges lies this mesmerising state of Himachal Pradesh. Possessing an enviable diversity of natural beauty, Himachal Pradesh cradles snow capped mountains, snow fed rivers, dense deodar forests, cultivated terraces and apple orchards within itself. Fondly called as Devbhumi or land of the Gods, this land welcomes visitors to enjoy the natural splendour of Rajgarh Valley, Chail, Great Himalayan National Park and Pin Valley National Park. For a peek into the past, there are historical sites like Sujanpur Tihra and Kangra Fort.
Bird watchers would love the Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake Sanctuary, which attracts multitudes of migratory ducks from the Siberian region during winter months. Himachal Pradesh has pleasant summers and cold winters with snowfall in some places. Many favoured destinations for those who wish to get away from the heat of the plains are the hill stations of Simla, Dalhousie, Kasauli, Manali and Chail.

Chandratal to Sarchu… a picturesque drive through Lahaul

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Just this morning I was overwhelmed to see the abundance that water has bestowed in the southern part of Lahaul. I thought that is glorious. And now I stand awestruck in this dry and desolate landscape where soaring mountains surround a vast high altitude rolling plain through which is a deep gorge and a river flowing through it… We are a little short of Sarchu and these are the Lingti plains where there is virtually no precipitation even in the winters…

And finally, Sarchu! There is virtually nothing in the place except a few tented camps during the summer months and a small army detachment year round. The wind howls making me burrow deeper into my jacket the minute I step out. We take a walk around the place and soak in its unique charm. But nature has been kind in all its adversity. Or maybe it is the stark unspoilt and unpolluted beauty that I am so taken with. Such places need no adornment, no embellishment. Just this raw, unadulterated nature is enough. This is a place one must travel to at least once in this lifetime!

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Tirthan Valley – Magical abode to nature

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This was the day we plan to start our journey for a long-awaited trip to Tirthan Valley (a lesser known place to enjoy the beauty of nature and peace of mind). After a lot of if and buts finally, we penned down the location as Tirthan Valley. Thanks to the Ghumakkar Family for suggesting this great place.

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Road to Leh!

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This July, I completed a motorcycle ride from Gurgaon to Ladakh, covering Spiti Valley, Leh, Kargil and Srinagar – one of my many trips to this part of the world. Despite having done these rides multiple times earlier, why do I keep riding to these crazy terrains, where unless someone has actually travelled on a motorcycle? They wouldn’t believe what one would experience. What’s the lure of Ladakh still, when everyone and their mothers-in-law are riding/driving/flying there these days? When

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Spiti valley, a caravan diary

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Woke up with a terrible headache and nausea on the Day 3 of the voyage to the once forbidden land, Spiti Valley. Outside it was just another dawn in Kaza, the snow is reflecting a tinge of orange in the early morning sun; the spotless blue sky in the background is arched over the town. The Gong inside the head continued meanwhile; I needed oxygen then.

It’s the primary state hospital of Kaza where I met Serine and the fellow patients. An ugly looking machine was pushing oxygen through my nostrils and I was trying hard to concentrate. Serine teaches english in a local private school, where tibetian is hardly taught seriously, she frowned. Her mother was lying sick on the bed adjacent; they have ultrasound machine here but nobody knows how to operate, looks like she will have to take her mother to Simla, a 500 kms and a strong determination away from Kaza. She had once travelled to Delhi though, her sister works as a hotel receptionist there. The Metro escalators are amongst worst inventions of the human kind; and she frowned again…it continued and the other patients joined in no time. Soon I was being invited to their homes; for tea, thukpa and country liquor ! Never felt more disappointed on leaving a hospital; was feeling better already. Affection works better than the oxygen may be…who knows !

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Solo Visit to Stoners’ Paradise- Kasol

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I decided to plan a solo trip to Kasol and Tosh. As this was my first solo trip, there was a hesitation. But then after some homework, I found out a Travel consultant, who was taking a group of 20-25 people to the same place, so I finally decided to give it a shot & finally booked my trip. It was the Christmas weekend last year & the winters were quite nippy. For Kasol, if you are opting for public conveyance,

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The Unplanned Travellers

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Harish and I was chatting over tea in office cafeteria and planning to go on a road trip somewhere in India in his car with friends. It started turning in to shape when one of our friend “Vikas” agreed to join us and finalized the destination to Goa “Mohali to Goa”. Next day he called up and cancelled his plan due to some work assignment and we were back to same stage of planning. Harish had a passion to cover Leh Ladakh on his bullet which he bought recently for this purpose only but could not plan the trip so far. Finally both of us agreed to go along on one bike 😊

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Solo Travel, Himachal Tribal Circuit – Kinnaur Valley

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After crossing Simla and its suburbs, the lush green mountains and apple orchards in the valleys were a treat for the eyes. We had a small stop over at Theog. Rain drenched Theog looked all the more beautiful during sunset. I had never been beyond Theog before, so I had a fascinating image of Narkanda, a winter sport hill station of Himachal Pradesh, in my mind. But frankly, seeing Narkanda for the first time was an anti-climax. It is a small non-descript town, with hardly any tourists during the monsoon season. After Narkanda, it was a steep downhill journey with never ending zigzag turns and U-turns.

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The deep forest behind Subhas bowli

Chamba and Mani Mahesh got replaced by Dalhousie

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While checking out from Hotel Asia, we were surprised when we were asked to pay the bill. We told that rooms were booked through Travelguru long back and we handed over printout of booking confirmation with my ID copy. But hotel authority told that they did not receive payment from Travelguru, so we must pay before we leave.

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The Barren Tribal Circuit

The Barren Tribal Circuit

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Tribal circuit is one of my best trip I had so far, more than 1000 KM X Chandigarh in 3 nights and 4 days, exploring through the whole of Himachal, passing through two major high altitude passes, exploring the changing vegetation and roving to places where you bound to feel “This is heaven and I am God”. You probably get hypnotized by the nature and feel need of nothing and feel a peace which only god can feel. All worries are left behind, in fact at that height when you look below from the edge of the cliff you will feel like there are my big worries looking so small from here!

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