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Mural Danda Trek

Mural danda trek

Mural Danda Trek
This is one of the most amazing short treks in the Himachal Himalayas. The trans himalayan Baspa ranges start from these mountains. The trek a dense frorest and open meadows and when you eventually reach the 14000 feet top you get an amazing 360 degrees  view of the snow clad mountain summits contrasting with the dense green forests below. Being in the mountains is the purest form of exploration, as this area has not been ventured into commercially. Every mountain and every trek look and feel different as is this region which is renouned  world wide for its exotic plants and Herbs. There are various routes to climb this mountain, but the most beautiful and approachable is from Sungri. Sungri is a small village situated at a La which connects the Satlej and the Pabbar valleys.

mural danda trek

Day 1. Chandigarh to Sungri ( 200 kms).
You drive along the Himalayan express highway and then cross the stations of Solan and Shimla. After Shimla the road goes through dense green forests and apple plantations with wonderful views of the snow clad peaks in the background. The small town of Narkanda falls on the way, after which we enter a more denser forest of Rhododendron, Oak and Pine. In the evening we reach the tranquil Hill station of Sungri. Overnight stay and dinner will be at a Camp/ Homestay/ Rest House at Sungri.

Day 2. Sungri to Ropra ( 7 Kms)
Get up to a wonderful morning in Sungri. After breakfast, we start our trek through a forest of Cedar and Oak trees. There will be many clearings in the forest, which resemble small meadows. There is a big grazing ground known as Gujjar Channi. This place is also used as a Camping ground. The gradient towards Ropra gets a bit steep. Ropra is a small clearing in a forest with a water source and is a ideal camping ground. Overnight stay in Tents.

Day 3. Ropra to Mural Top and back to Ropra (2 Kms up and 2 kms Back)
After breakfast the last walk up the mountain starts. You are treated to wonderful views of the Basra range and the Satlej Valley. It’s about two and half hours walk to the top. The top is a wide area which is green and has a 360 view of the adjoining mountains. The entire Mural Mountain is known for its herbs and exotic wild species. You will be able to see them on the way. Its a one and half hour walk to the top, and at initially though a jungle, and then the tree line diminishes to give way to a greener open space. The final climb is a moderate one. The is relatively flatter and wide. There are two temples dedicated to local deites here. Spend some time on the top and return back to Ropra for Lunch.

Day 4. Ropra to Sungri and drive to Dutt Nagar 

We have to descend to Sungri today. It takes about 5 hours to descend to Sungri. From Sungri, we drive towards Dutt Nagar, where we check into a Hotel. Stay and Dinner at the Hotel.

Day 5. Dutt Nagar to Chandigarh (200 Kms)
After Breakfast drive back to Chandigarh.

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Lamayuru
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Srinagar ladakh Manali 2016

Srinagar Ladakh 2016

Day 1. Chandigarh

Day 2. Chandigarh to Jammu. (370 Kms)
Drive on the highway to Pathankot, and then reach Lakhanpur, where we officially enter the state of J and K. Reach Jammu in the evening and check into a comfortable hotel.

Day 3. Jammu to Srinagar ( 340 Kms)
Driving on the Highway 1D, we cross the hill station of Batot and Patni top. We drive along the river for some time and reach Banihal. After Banihal we have to cross a 2.85 Kms long tunnel known as Jawar tunnel. This tunnel is at an elevation of 2194 metres. This tunnel is guarded by military round the clock, photography or videography inside or nearby the tunnel is strictly prohibited. Once the vehicle enters the tunnel, it has to maintain the same speed throughout the tunnel. CCTVs are installed in the tunnel for continuous monitoring. We are in Kashmir valley now, and the first village on this side is Quazikund. You are treated to breath taking landscapes on the way. There is place called Sangam, which is a Willow bat paradise. You can see a long line of shops on both sides which are manufacturing cricket bats. This place makes one of the finest cricketing bats in the world. We reach Srinagar in the evening. This night will be spent in a house boat at the Dal lake.

Day 4 Srinagar to Kargil (220 kms ,7 hrs)
the day early. You will cross the beautiful meadows of Sonmarg today. After this we cross the 12000 m high Zojilla Pass. Zojilla can be tough sometimes with the road conditions and traffic jams. so It is important to leave Srinagar early. After Zojilla, We enter the Dras valley. You will be able to feel the contrast in the landscape as you move further. The lush green Kasmir valley will give way to the more desolate and barren Ladakh Landscape. Dras has a war memorial dedicated to the martyrs of the 1999 War. Then you driving though beautiful alluring landscapes and reach the town of Kargil. this is going to be your halt for the night. Overnight stay in a Hotel.

Day 5 Kargil to Leh ( 215 Kms, 7 Hrs)
You cross over the river at Kargil and then you get your first feeling of landscape transition. The greenery starts to lessen, and you are into the cold desert zone. The landscape is strewn with wonderful coloured barren mountain, which is a sight to behold for ever. You cross the famous 4018 m Fotu La pass on the way, which is the highest point on the highway. The Fotu La Pass at the beginning of a descending road that leads past the Lamayuru Monastery down to the Indus River. This winding road descends almost 4,000 ft or 1,219 m from the pass to the river. has a very beautiful monastery with a backdrop of a wonderful moon like landscape. After crossing the village of Lamayuru you drive along the Indus once gain. You will be able to see the great confluence of the zanskar and indus river at Nimmo. You will reach Leh by evening. Overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 6 Tour of Hemis, Thiksey, Shey Monastery, 3 Idiots School Campus ( Around Leh)
After a leisurely breakfast, we drive to visit Hemis Monastery situated 45 km west of Leh. Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. From Hemis, we drive back on the same route to visit Thiksey Monastery, located on a hilllock with formidable views of the Indus Valley. Thiksey is especially noteworthy for its gigantic seated statue of the Maitreya and its Dukhang assembly hall, which houses hundreds of rectangular prayer books stacked between wooden covers and bound in silk. After that, we continue to drive through series of chortens to visit Shey Palace – the former summer palace of the King of Ladakh, and 3 Idiots school campus. Overnight stay at a hotel in Leh.

Day 7 Leh to Pangong (150 km)
After early breakfast, we leave for Pangong Lake (14,500 ft), through Changla Pass 17,350 ft. which is the 3rd highest motor able road in the world. Pangong Tso is the highest land locked lake and the highest salt water lake in the world, shared by two countries: India and China. The lake is one beautiful sight to behold in your memories for life time. The colour of the lake goes dark blue in the evening and has a wonderful contrast with the adjoining mountains that give a golden yellow tinge.You will appreciate the changing colors as the evening progresses. Enjoy this moment as you are going to miss it for life.Overnight stay at camp.

Day 8 Pangong Lake to Leh (150 Kms)
Next morning, we drive back to Leh and spend evening exploring Leh market. Overnight stay at a hotel in Leh.

Day 9 Leh to Khardung La (18832 ft), Nubra Valley, Hundur Sand Dunes ( 130 Kms)
After Breakfast, we drive for 120 km (4/5 hrs) to reach Nubra Valley via Khardung La, the highest motorable road in the world at 18,380 ft. The journey to Khardung La is an amazing experince with amazing views of Stok mountains as we reach great elevation while driving on a gradual gradient. After reaching the top, we sip a cup of hot tea at the army canteen and quickly visit the sovereign shop.
Then the road descends toward Khardung village. We are in Nubra Valley now. Hereon, we drive along the Shyok River to reach Diskit, which is the headquarters of Nubra. We cover another 8 km to reach Hundur famous for sand dunes and rare bactrian camels. Overnight stay in a guesthouse/hotel.

Day 10 Diskit- Monastery-Leh (130 Kms)
After breakfast, we visit 515-year-old Diskit Monastery and drive back to Leh on the same route, crossing Khardung La. We reach Leh by evening and spend some time to explore Leh market. Overnight stay at a hotel here.

Day 11 Leh to Keylong

Day 12 Keylong to Manali

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Stok Kangri summit

First it was a trek at -20, now join me at 20,000 feet.

Region: Ladakh

Duration: 9 Days

Grade: Moderate+

Time: July-September

Departure Dates

July 16, 2016 – July 24, 2016
July 23, 2016 – July 31, 2016
Aug 01, 2016 – Aug 06, 2016
Aug 13, 2016 – Aug 21, 2016

Overview

It has been a wish of every mountaineer and trekker to climb a summit of 6000 plus meters. Stok Kangri is the most accessible peak in this elite club in the Himalayas. This majestic peak can be seen towards the southern sky from the town of Leh.

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Spiti Road journey

A journey though the apple heartland, along the valleys of Sutlej and Spiti into the land of monasteries and spirituality, crossing high passes and a pristine lake to behold in your memories for ever. join me this summer for one amazing journey in the Himachal Himalayas and experience  life like never before.

Day 1. Chandigarh to Kotgarh ( 210 kms, 7 Hrs)

kotgarh

Start your journey from Chandigarh in the morning. We will take you on a joyride through the Himalayan Express Highway and NH 22 into the heart of the Himalayas. Initially we drive along the low hills and eventually gain an altitude of 6500 feet. Beautiful road snaking through forests of pine, deodar and oak trees offers glimpses of small beautiful villages on the way. We reach Kotgarh by evening, which is our halt for the night. Overnight stay at an homestay amidst an orchard of apple and cherries.

Day 2. Kotgarh to Rakchum ( 160 Kms, 6 Hrs)

rakchum

After breakfast, we take a narrow road descending though orchards of apples and cherries, until we reach the right bank of Sutlej River. We drive along the Sutlej for 80 km. The journey is full of excitement and thrill as gushing water paints the muddy river white. The Mother Nature reveals its first marvel as soon as we reach a deep gorge at a place called Taranda. The road roofed by multiple rock tunnels ushers you into Kinnaur valley. Rakcham is a beautiful village at an altitude of 3050 m. This place has a charm of its own. Green forested mountain beautifies the landscape on either side of blue waters of the Baspa River.

Day 3. Rakchum to Chitkul and then drive to Kalpa. ( 70 Kms, 5 Hrs)Kalpa Village

After breakfast we drive to the last village of India along the Tibetan border. We continue our journey for another 20 minutes to reach the last inhabited village near Indo-Tibet border called Chitkul – 13 km from Rakcham. This place is at an elevation of 3450 m. So don’t be surprised to see big snowflakes falling from the sky in the month of May as soon as you raise your head to look up. This place is the starting point for some popular treks leading to Rupin and Lamkhaga Pass. We spend the morning hiking along the river and enjoying a blissful day in solitude. After Lunch drive toward the village of Kalpa. Kalpa is more famous for the views it offers of the Snow covered Kinner Kailash ranges. Overnight stay in a Hotel at Kalpa.

Day 4. Kalpa to Tabo ( 150 Kms, 6 Hrs)

Road to Tabo

Today drive along the Sutlej till a place called Khab. Khab is the place where Sutlej and river Spiti meet. From here the road ascends till you reach an elevation of 12000 feet to a place called Nako. Nako is a picturesque village with amazing views of snow covered Manerang ranges. There is also a lake in the centre of the village. This place is a road head camp for climbing the highest peak in Himachal Rio Purgyal. We then proceed towards Tabo Village for the evening. Over night stay in a home stay/guest house.

Day 5.  Tabo, Dhankar Monastery, Kaza.

dankar monestry june

Tabo has a monastery which is a 1000 years old. Then from a place called Schiling, a road ascends towards Dhankar. Dhankar monastery is perched on a edge of a mountain and the landscape looks just out of a fairy tale setting. We reach Kaza by evening. The stay at Kaza will be in a hotel/ Home Stay.

Day 6. Kaza – Ki Monastery – Kibber  – Chicham. (3-4 hours 38 KM)

spiti

We start in the morning by visiting the famous Kye monastery. After an enchanting session interacting with the monks at Kye, we drive to the villages of Tashigang, Gette, Chicham and Kibber which is one of the highest inhabited villages in the world. Overnight stay at Kaza at a Guest house or home stay.

Day 7. Kaza  – Langza – Hikkim- Komic -Kaza. (/ 50 Kms, 3 Hrs)

langza spiti

Today we drive though the 4400 metres high Langza Village. the village has a wonderful view of the snow clad mountains and the open valley on the other side. The Chow Chow gun peak stands prominentaly in the backdrop. There is also a huge statue of Lord Buddha above the village. After Langza, we head further to the village  of  Hikkim. Hikkim has the highest Post office in the world. The road continues further and we reach the village of Komic. While following the route there are palces which enable mesmerizing view of handful peaks (all above 6000 meters. Komic is situated at an elevation of 4513 meters is one of the highest villages in the world, and yes the highest village connected by a motorable road,  and literally means the eye of a snow cock.

Day 8. Kaza Kunzum pass Chandrataal.

Chander taal

We start the day early as it’s a journey across the 4550 metres Kunzum pass. Kunzum pass connects the Spiti Valley with Lahaul. Kunzum pass has amazing views of the Chandrabhaga ranges. It has a Hindu temple and a buddhist Chorten dedicated to there same Goddess Kunzum Mata. After a short descend from the pass, we take a narrow road which goes to Chandra Taal Lake. Chandrataal lake also known as the Moon Lake is a beautiful lake at an altitude of 14100 feet nested between mountain ranges of Chandra Bhagha and Kunzum top. This is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Himalayas. Overnight stay in tents at Chandra Taal.

Day 9. Chandrataal to Manali.

Rohtang

Experience the nature at it’s best in the morning at Chandra Taal. Then we drive towards Batal. Here after a short rest we drive along the Chandra River till a place called Gramphoo. Then we drive up though lots of hairpin bends till Rohtang pass. You are treated with some amazing visuals of the snow covered Lahaul ranges on the way. Rohtang pass is 3990 metres high. Manali is 49 Kms from here. We reach Manali by evening. Overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 10. Manali Delhi.

Time to bid farewell. Drive though Chandigarh to Delhi.

INCLUSIONS:

Transport Chandigarh to Manali

Accommodation

Meals (breakfast and Dinner).

Qualified tour leader

Transport will be Innova jeep or equalent vehicle.

Please read our terms and conditions for full details.

EXCLUSIONS

Any thing not mentioned in inclusions.

for further queries call 9817018485 or e mail at [email protected]

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Journey to Chitkul Valley

Region: Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Duration: 3N/4D

Season: March to November

A journey through lush green forests and apple orchards along the banks of River Sutlej and Baspa to the place where habitation virtually ends on the Indian side of Indo-Tibet border.

Chitkul, the village with snow-capped mountain ranges overlooking green forests, beautiful waterfalls seeping out of its chest, and thrilling curvy roads leading to the destination every traveler must aspire to be.

Day 1: Chandigarh to Kotgarh (190 km, 6 hrs)

wererw

Our person will be there to pick you up at Chandigarh in the morning who will take you on a joyride through the Himalayan Express Highway and NH 22 into the heart of the Himalayas. Initially we drive along the low hills and eventually gain an altitude of 6500 feet. Beautiful road snaking through forests of pine, deodar and oak trees offers glimpses of small beautiful villages on the way. We reach Kotgarh by evening, which is our halt for the night.

Day 2: Kotgarh to Rakcham (160 km, 6 hrs)

rakchum

After breakfast, we take a narrow road descending though orchards of apples and cherries, until we reach the right bank of Sutlej River. We drive along the Sutlej for 80 km. The journey is full of excitement and thrill as gushing water paints the muddy river white. The Mother Nature reveals its first marvel as soon as we reach a deep gorge at a place called Taranda. The road roofed by multiple rock tunnels ushers you into Kinnaur valley.

Taranda 3 sided tunnel

We cross a bridge and leave the Sutlej River at a place called Karcham – gateway to the Baspa valley. Now we start chasing the Baspa River upward and reach a beautiful village called Sangla – a place to feel transition in rich and vibrant culture of Kinnaur. Sangla is a broad valley on the left bank of Baspa River. It is surrounded by forest of pine, deodar and Himalayan birch. Cliffy golden mountains toward the north guard the village and its inhabitants. They are so steep that even snow refuses to cling onto them.

To south, snow-capped mountain range overlooking green forests and beautiful waterfalls seeping out of its chest makes your stay an ideal getaway for landscaping under the clear blue sky in the Baspa valley. You will enjoy listening to the story Mother Nature wants to whisper in your ears.

We continue our journey 10 km uphill and reach the picturesque village of Rakcham. This is our halt for the night.

Day 3: Rakcham to Chitkul to Sarahan (108 km, 6 hrs)

Rakcham is a beautiful village at an altitude of 3050 m. This place has a charm of its own. Green forested mountain beautifies the landscape on either side of blue waters of the Baspa River. We continue our journey for another 20 minutes to reach the last inhabited village near Indo-Tibet border called Chitkul – 13 km from Rakcham. This place is at an elevation of 3450 m. So don’t be surprised to see big snowflakes falling from the sky in the month of May as soon as you raise your head to look up. This place is the starting point for some popular treks leading to Rupin and Lamkhaga Pass.

We spend morning hiking along the river and enjoying a blissful day in the solitude. We start our journey back on the same route in the afternoon until we reach a place called Jeori, where we leave NH 22 to take another connecting road leading to Saharan. This place is our halt for the evening.

Day 4: Sarahan to Chandigarh (268 km, 8 hrs)

At an elevation of 2313 m, Sarahan is a small village with a breathtaking view of snow-capped Baspa ranges. The place is famous for a beautiful wooden temple dedicated to goddess Bhimakali. We will make an early morning visit to the temple, have breakfast, and then say goodbye to the mighty Himalayas with a promise to visit them again.

Time to bid farewell!

COST : Rs 14500 per pax.
INCLUSIONS:
Transport
Accommodation on twin sharing basis.
Meals (breakfast and Dinner).
Qualified tour leader
Transport will be Innova jeep or equalent vehicle, and the maximum members in a vehicle will be 4
Please read our terms and conditions for full details.
EXCLUSIONS:
Any thing not mentioned in inclusions.

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MANALI LADAKH JEEP JOURNEY 2016

 

MANALI LADAKH JEEP JOURNEY
Destination: Himachal +Ladakh
Type: Culture
Duration: 8N/9D
Best Time: June-Sep
Grade: Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 5602m (18380ft)
Requisite group size: Minimum 04 Pax | Maximum 08 Pax

Overview
It’s not just a typical tour, it’s a real journey for wandering in the Himalayas and exploring in its true style. Youthful experience for adventure travelers who like to explore the inside of region’s remote and breathtaking high altitude landscapes, Ladakh remains an ideal getaway for them. The forces of nature have conspired to render a magical realist landscape of extremes, desert and blue waters, burning sun and freezing winds, glaciers and sand dunes across the valley. Tibetan-style traditions and culture remain apparent.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Manali
On arrival day at Manali you will be checked in to a Hotel. Relax, check your bag if you have missed on any item for the tour, you will have ample time to buy it in the local market. You can also explore Manali Bazzar and go on an evening walk around the mall road, and come back for an overnight stay at the Hotel. In the evening we will have a brief Introduction and briefing session.

Day 02: Manali-Rohtang Pass-Koksar-Keylong (120 Kms)
Next morning, we will depart from Manali early in the morning. Our first halt is at Marhi. Green slopes, beautiful landscape offering extensive views of the valley and snow-capped mountains await us. We proceed to Rohtang Pass, situated at an altitude of 3790 m. Being one of the highest road points and gateway to Lahaul and Spiti Valley, the pass is very popular with visitors. Pass remains closed during winter due to heavy snow from November to May end. Just like Rohtang, visitors can see similar high altitude topography, forest of Birch, Fir and Spurce. Once we cross the Rohtang Pass, we drive into the barren Himalayas with completely different landscape. Khoksar is the first village and gateway into Lahaul. We reach Keylong for an overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 03: Keylong- Jispa-Sarchu-Leh (350 Kms)
We start early in the morning from Keylong and reach Jispa in half an hour. This beautiful spot is 22 km away from Keylong and 4 km ahead of Ghemur. The village is situated at the junction of two nullahs with the main river Bhaga. Jispa has a very large dry river-bed, a rarity in Lahaul. Jispa is a new tourism centre coming up with the monasteries of Yarji and Photang, where his Holiness the Dalai Lama gave the Kal Chakra sermon a few years back to the Buddhists all over the world. The mountaineering Institute of Manali has a sub-centre here for adventure tourism.
Darcha is situated at the junction of Yotche Nullah and the Zangskar chhu which takes off from the Shinkun La. Both the nullahs meet with the main river Bhaga at this place. The valley broadens out from Darcha. The altitude of Darcha is about 3500 m, which makes it an ideal basecamp for acclimatization. Darcha is the jumping-off point for treks to Padum over three mountian passes Shinkun La, Baralacha La and Phirtse La, and mountaineering expeditions to Leh and peaks of Chandra Bhaga series. However, no tourist bungalow or rest house facilities are available on either side of the nullahs. A police checkpost is also there.
Darcha is the last village where one can see sparse growth of trees. You will see not even a single tree on either side of the highway beyond Darcha. Landscapes start looking desolate and absolutely barren.
Sarchu is the last inhabited point in Himachal Pradesh on the Manali-Leh route, which is regarded as one of the highest highways in the world. The journey goes through Nakeela and Lachung La at 16,617 ft and you reach Pang by afternoon. Lunch break at Pang. After crossing More Plains, stretched across 42 km between moutains on both sides, and Tanglang La – the second highest motorable road in the world at a height of 17,585 ft – we reach Upshi. From here, we drive upstream on the Indus River on the road passing through villages with terraced fields and neat whitewashed houses to reach Leh.Overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 04: Tour of Hemis, Thiksey, Shey Monastery, 3 Idiots School Campus ( Around Leh)
After a leisurely breakfast, we drive to visit Hemis Monastery situated 45 km west of Leh. Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. From Hemis, we drive back on the same route to visit Thiksey Monastery, located on a hilllock with formidable views of the Indus Valley. Thiksey is especially noteworthy for its gigantic seated statue of the Maitreya and its Dukhang assembly hall, which houses hundreds of rectangular prayer books stacked between wooden covers and bound in silk. After that, we continue to drive through series of chortens to visit Shey Palace – the former summer palace of the King of Ladakh, and 3 Idiots school campus. Overnight stay at a hotel in Leh.

Day 05: Tour of Khardung La (18832 ft), Nubra Valley, Hundur Sand Dunes ( 130 Kms)
After Breakfast, we drive for 120 km (4/5 hrs) to reach Nubra Valley via Khardung La, the highest motorable road in the world at 18,380 ft. The journey to Khardung La is an amazing experince with amazing views of Stok mountains as we reach great elevation while driving on a gradual gradient. After reaching the top, we sip a cup of hot tea at the army canteen and quickly visit the sovereign shop.
Then the road descends toward Khardung village. We are in Nubra Valley now. Hereon, we drive along the Shyok River to reach Diskit, which is the headquarters of Nubra. We cover another 8 km to reach Hundur famous for sand dunes and rare bactrian camels. Overnight stay in a guesthouse/hotel.

Day 06: Diskit- Monastery-Leh (130 Kms)
After breakfast, we visit 515-year-old Diskit Monastery and drive back to Leh on the same route, crossing Khardung La. We reach Leh by evening and spend some time to explore Leh market. Overnight stay at a hotel here.

Day 07: Tour of Pangong Lake (150 km)
After early breakfast, we leave for Pangong Lake (14,500 ft), through Changla Pass 17,350 ft. which is the 3rd highest motor able road in the world. Pangong Tso is the highest land locked lake and the highest salt water lake in the world, shared by two countries: India and China. The lake is one beautiful sight to behold in your memories for life time. The colour of the lake goes dark blue in the evening and has a wonderful contrast with the adjoining mountains that give a golden yellow tinge.You will appreciate the changing colors as the evening progresses. Enjoy this moment as you are going to miss it for life.Overnight stay at camp.

Day 08: Pangong Lake to Leh (150 Kms)
Next morning, we drive back to Leh and spend evening exploring Leh market. Overnight stay at a hotel in Leh. Time to bid farewell.

Day 09: Depart From Leh
You can depart from Leh by flight to Delhi, or by road though Srinagar or back to Manali. We can help you in arranging the transport and stay.

Cost 43,000 per pax.

Inclusion
Assistance upon arrival and departure
Accommodation on twin sharing basis as per itinerary listed above or similar
Daily breakfast,Lunch, Dinner ( packed lunch will be provided during long day trips)
Return airport transfer along with all sightseeing in non-AC Innova Xylo or equivalent jeep.
Inner line permits to restricted areas
Environmental fee
All taxes
Exclusion
Airfares, items of any personal nature such as drinks etc.
Extra hotel nights due to flight cancellations, extra expenses incurred due to mishandled luggage,
Insurance
Personal expenses or optional tours/extra meals ordered
Tips
Laundry
Phone Calls

Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of due to bad weather,ill health,roadblocks &/or any factors beyond control.

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BEAS KUND TREK

This is one beautiful trek, which follows a beautiful trail along the Beas valley, into the mountains of the Dhauladar ranges. It takes you through lush green shephards meadows, and forests of Himalayan Birches and Junipers to a place  from where the river Beas eventually originates. Beas kund is the name given to a small pond where Sage Beas used to meditate. This lake is considered sacred as it is believed that Sage Beas use to bathe here.The lake is fed by melts of snow from the mountains above.

DHUNDI

Day 1. Manali to Dhundi (3150 mts)
Dhundi is 18 kms from Manali. On the way is Solang . Solang is famous for its long slanty meadow, which makes it a ideal  sking ground. Its also famous for paragliding as there is a flat grass patch for landing. There is a road till Dhundi, but it’s a restricted to go beyond Solang. The route between Solang and Dhundi has to be trekked. Dhundi is a tranquil place , distant from the main tourist hustle bustle of the valley. The first night’s camp is here.

beas-kund-trek

Day 2. Dhundi to Bakharthach.(3300 Mtrs)
The trek gradually starts taking ascend now. There are lots of lush green pastures on the way. Bakharthach is a small meadow on a small hillock. Bakherthach as the name suggest is a sheep’s grazing ground. From Bakherthach , one can view the seven sister peaks, Priyadarshani peak being the highest. This place is a base camp for most expeditions to the peaks above like the Mt Friendship and Mt. Shetidhar. The Mountaineering Institute at Manali also sets its camp here to impart Snow and Ice training. Camp for the evening here.

Day 3. Bakharthach to Beas kund (3650 Mtrs) and back to bakharthach.
Start the trek early morning . There is a gradual short climb and we reach a small moraine  area.Then there is a  long walk on a flat land. There are many small stream to be crossed. You can jump over them at places , or you walk over a bridge of stones. This place is paradise as you are surrounded by high mountains and snow covered peaks on thee sides. The flat land ends and you reach the  Beas kund lake. This is a small lake fed by the melting waters of the snow mountains above. The river Beas originates here.

As this lake is considered holy, it is mandatory to take your shoes off at a marked territory before the lake.

Day 4. Trek back to Solang nala.
Next morning enjoy the wonderful view of the mountains around Bakharthach. Then trek back to Solang valley.Reach Manali by evening.

 

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Ladakh

The first thing which comes to your mind is Fluttering prayer flags, barren yellow golden landscape, and huge blue lakes.This region is referred as the land of high  mountain passes. There is an old saying in Ladakhi “who comes to Ladakh is either the best of friends or the worst of enemies”.

Ladakh is located in the eastern part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is mostly barren, because it falls in the rain shadow area. This makes it a popular travel destination, because you have longer climbing and trekking seasons. The barren mountains have different colours varying from tingy purple to golden yellow. The well maintained roads across high passes and though broad valleys makes it a ideal  destination for leisure road journies as well. The vibes and the exorbitant charm this place has cannot be explained in words, you simply have to be there to feel it.

The elevation of the region varies from 2760 metres in Kargil to 7672 metres on the summit of Saser Kangri. The average elevation of most destinations on the road is 3500 to 4500 metres. The passes are much higher with the highest being at Khardungla at 5359 metres being the highest.

It’s huge blue water lakes, enchanting landscapes, long tranquil treks, and high challenging mountain summits makes Ladakh a great paradise for travellers around the world. The clean dry air, magnificent scenery and the warm hospitality of the people makes Ladakh a truly special place.

Ladakh is assessable by air route from Delhi only. There are daily 3 flights of Go, Jet and Air India. There are two routes by road to reach Ladakh.
. Manali to Leh via keylong and Sarchu, which is 475 kms.
.Srinagar to Leh via Drass and Kargil, which is 434 kms.

Status of the roads as on for now,  May 4th 2017, Srinagar Leh is closed via Jozilla pass, and Rohtang pass is also closed if you want to take the Manali- leh highway. All flights to Leh are operating.

IMPORTANT DESTINATIONS

SHEY.( 3415 Mtrs)

View from Shey Palace

On the Manali Leh highway 15 kilometres from Leh is the Shey Palace and Monastery. The Palace is in ruins now, but the archaeological survey of India has started preserving this site. The palace has many large room, the windows of which offer excellent views of the Ladakh landscape. The protruding balconies and windows are excellent for taking photographs, as you can see the entire valley upto the Stok mountains. There is also a small hillock which is joined to the palace. Climbing up this hillock can be a lot of fun. The area near Shey is full of many small and big Chortens, making it Ladakhs biggest Chortens field.

The monastery at Shey has the main Shakyamuni Buddha covering 3 floors and is 39 feet tall. Every wall is painted with one image or the other, the most prominent being of the 16 saints who attained nirvana. The top of the monastery commands panoramic view of the surrounding areas.

THIKSEY.( 3600 Mtrs)

The Thiksey monastery lies 20 kilometres east of Leh, and is famous because of it’s resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. This monastery is one of the most photographed monastery in Ladakh, as it can be seen from the main highway. It is the largest Gompa in central Ladakh. It is a 12 storey complex and has many statues, thanktas and stupas. There is also a 49 feet high statue of of the future Buddha “Maitra”.

This monastery is also famous for it’s morning prayers which has a gathering of more than 50 monks. Visitors are welcomed to be a part of this ceremony . There is a hotel by the name of “Chamba” run by the monastery, and a restaurant here. The monastery also has a few guest rooms.

LEH. (3500 Metres).

View of Leh Town/Pic : Rajat Jamwal View of Leh Town/Pic : Rajat Jamwal

Leh is 475 kms from Manali, and 434 kms from Srinagar. This is a base for mostly all journeys, treks, and expeditions across Ladakh. it is the biggest market centre in all ladakh. There are shops catering to all things a traveller requires. There are numerous hotels, guest houses and restaurants here. This is a travellers paradise.

Leh is located on the right bank of the river Indus. On the south are the Stok mountains, and towards the north fall the ladakh ranges.

You can see travellers of all kinds, some getting ready for climbing expeditions, some cyclist and bikers, or some trekkers packing their last bag of essentials, before venturing into the inhabited mountains. Leh has all types of hotels from luxury to budget, guest houses, and govt. guest houses. it has all kinds of restaurants, and travel cafes catering to all kinds of people from different countries. The market in Leh is also famous for Buddhist artefacts and handwoven rugs, carpets and shawls.

The main places to visit once in Leh are.

Shanti Stupa (4200 mtrs)

Shanti Stupa, Leh

It’s a 15 minute climb from Changspa to the top of a high rocky ridge. There is a stunningly beautiful view of Leh town and the Stok mountains from here. This has become the primary reason for Shanti stupa to become a popular travellers destination, apart from it’s religious significance. There is also a drivable road to the stupa. it was built in 1991 by a Japanese monk to promote world peace.

Leh palace

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The palace commands a imposing view from the Leh town. This structure is built of stones, wood and mud. It was the royal residence of the king Singe Namgyal, and was built in the 17th century. It is abandoned and desolate now, as the royal family shifted to the nearby village of Stok. it still posesses it’s mystical and grand old charm. You can have a wonderful view of the Leh town and the snow covered Stok mountains from here. There is also a museum in the palace , which showcases some of the jewellery, ornaments, thanks, crowns, and ceremonial dresses.

The timings to visit the palace is from 7.00 A.M to 10.00 A.M
4.00 P.M to 6.00 P.M
When visiting the palace, it is advisable to carry a torchlight, because there are holes in the floor and the staircases are dark.

War museum

The war museum or the hall of fame is a stupa shaped structure constructed and maintained by the Indian Army. It is dedicated to the brave soldiers who lost their lives during Indo Pak wars. it has two storeys, the first having names and photographs of the soldiers who lost their lives. The second floor has war artefacts and enemy captured weapons.

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa

This is one magnificent landmark, one cannot miss in the Leh landscape especially in the sunset hours. It is situated on a hillock just near to the Leh Palace. The monastery offers a breathtaking view of the Leh town and the snow capped Stok and Zanskar ranges. The monastery was built by king Tashi Namgyal in 1430 AD, who was a vivid follower of Buddhism. He built the monastery above his palace as a mark of respect. There is a gold idol of Maitra Buddha( Future Buddha), which is 3 storeys high. There is also a statue of Avalokitesvara and Manjushi which are one storey high.

The monastery is a favourite with photographers, as the light changes, you get different colours on the hillock, which gets to deep golden yellow as the sun sets.

Changspa

Chamgspa Road. Pic. Rajat Jamwal

This place has an exuberant charm. This place has that traveller vibes which gives a feeling of youth and freshness, that makes it a complete travellers corner in Leh. It has lots of travel offices,Internet cafes, Garden cafes, travel cafes catering to menus for people from all over the world. You will find lots of budget hotels offering clean accommodation here. During summers months this place is flooded with travellers from various countries. During these months a lots of meditation and yoga camps and classes keep happening here. It is in these cafes that plans for expeditions or for a trek across the Markha valley is made. It’s a world of it’s own. It is exotic to the locals and foreigners alike. There is something here for Indians and foreigners both. You have cafes which cater to foreign menus, and there are shops which have Indian things ,so there is a nice blend of cultures. Behind Chanspa you can go for short walks as there is less of traffic. There is an Ice skating ring here, which is bustling with activity once the ice forms during winter months. There is an Ice hockey tournament held here annually.

 

Magnetic Hill

Call it optical illusion or something else. Imagine the movement of your vehicle uphill with the ignition turned off and the gear at neutral. This magic can be experienced on the highway connecting Srinagar with Leh at a place called magnetic hill which is 30 kilometres away from Leh. The elevation of the place is approx 14000 feet. There is also a big yellow coloured billboard which helps the travellers to recognise the site. There is also a marking on the road where you park your vehicle and then turn off the ignition. You can experience your vehicle moving up the slope. at the speed of 20 kms/hr.

Zorawar Fort

A short drive away from the Leh bazar, or you can even walk this short distance. Unlike many forts which were constructed on steep hillocks, Zorawar fort is located on flat land. This fort was constructed by the famous High altitude warrior Gen. Zorawar singh in 1936. It was built for his brave Dogra soldiers who stood by him during his conquest. The fort is made up of local material like dried mud and wood. It has a area of about 27 acre. Each corners of he fort have towers which were used for observation.
There is a mosque, and a temple inside the fort.

STOK

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Stok is beautiful village situated 14 kilometres southwest of Leh across the Indus River at the base of the Stok mountains. Stok is visible from almost all parts of Leh. Stok village is popular among travellers as it serves as a gateway for several famous treks and trails like the Stok Kangri expedition and the Markha valley trek. There are also various day hikes towards the Stok mountains from here.

Stok was also the erstwhile seat of the Ladakhi royal family. Descendants of the royal family still reside in this palace. The palace was built in the year 1825 by the king Tsespal Tondup Namgyal, who was the most recent ruler of Ladakh. The view from the palace is fabulous, as you can see the surrounding barley fields and white washed farm houses.There is also a Museum here. The museum has artefacts from the royal households, and ancient copper currency. There are also costumes, seals, prayer material, turquoise, old jewellery and traditional attires of the Royal family.
There are also thankhas that portray the life story and teachings of lord Buddha.

Timings for visiting Stok Palace
8.00 A.M to 1.00 P.M
2.00 P.M to 6.00 P.M.
Rooms are also available in the palace for guests.

SPITUK

This place is famous for it’s monastery. It is situated 18 kilometres from Leh on the Srinagar highway. The spituk gompa was founded in the 11th century by a monk Od-De. The gompa was named Spituk which means exemplary. The monastery is known for it’s 21 exquisite statues of Tara, the consort of Avlokitesvara all representing her different manifestations. There is a Mahakaal temple on the hill top containing the shrine of Vajrabhairava. It is only in January, that the face of Vajrabhairava is unveiled during the annual festival.
The famous Spituk festival called Gustor is held every year on the 17th and 19th day of the 11th month of the Bodhi calendar.

HEMIS

It is mostly pronounced as Hamis in Ladakh. It is located 40 kms south east of the Leh town. In 1672 AD, the king Singhe Nampur Gyalva established the famous Hemis monastery. A colourful festival called Hemis Tsechu festival is celebrated here in july. Hemis has very limited pucca accomodation, most of the accomodation is tented. Some houses offer home stays.

HEMIS NATIONAL PARK

It is the biggest national parks in India covering an area of over 4400 sq kms. It was founded in the year 1981 in the catchment areas of Rumbak and Markha. This area has the highest snow leopard concentration in the world. The park has about 200 snow leopards. There are also many varieties of himalayan wild sheep and deers like Argali( Great Himalayan sheep), Bharal( Blue Sheep), and Shapu( ladakhi Urial). All these are in the food chain of the snow leopard. It is also home to the Asiatic Ibex, Tibetian Wolf and the red Himalayan fox. It is also a bird watcher’s dream destination. You can spot the Golden eagle, Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon, Tibetian Snowfinch, Himalayan Snowcock, Robin Accentor and many more high altitude birds.

This region falls in the rain shadow region of the Himalayas, so it has very less precipitation. It can get very cold in winters and the temperatures can go as low as -25.

In the months of October and March snow leopard treks are organised so that people can get a chance to spot this magnificent creature in it’s natural habitat.

In the National park no hotels are available. There are 6 villages which come under the National Park.
Rumbak
Kaya
Sku
Shingo
Urutse
Chilling
These villages offer humble Homestay facilities. The monastery at Hemis also has some rooms for visitors.

Entry Fee and Permit.
The permit is available at the office of the Wildlife warden or the D.C Office at Leh. The fee is Rs. 20 for domestic and Rs 100 for Foreign nationals.

LAMAYURU

Lamaruru

While driving towards Leh on the NH 1 highway, 107 kilometres from Kargil and 127 kms short of Leh is a picturesque village of Lamaruyu. The very first sight of a monastery perched on top of a golden yellow hillock, with the snow clad mountain backdrop is breathtaking. It is one of the most ancient monastery of Ladakh. it is said to have been built in the 10th century.

The monastery has Dukhang, a big assembly hall, Gonkhang, the temple and a residential area for monks. Walls of the monastery are painted with colourful images of buddhist deities. There is an annual festival by the name of Yuru Kabgyat is a major attraction for travellers. The major highlight of the festival is the mask dance by the monks. There is also a ritual in which effigies are burnt, which symbolises the destruction of ego in every individual. Lamayuru is also called “Tharpa Ling” which means the “Place of freedom.

Lamayuru is also famous for its moon like landscape. The best view is from the window of the monastery towards the East, and from the road 1/2 kilometres towards Kargil.

Lamayuru has a few budget type hotels, and a few home stays inside the village. The accommodation is humble, and you have the meals with the family in the dining area. There are a few small eating house which offer simple Indian meals and tibetan food.

KHARDUNGLA

Elevation 18380 feet

Imagine what it feels to hear your engine roar at 18000 feet. It’s a like a fantasy for bikers and motorist alike. Khardungla is 39 kms from the town of Leh, on the road which connects the Indus valley with the Shyok or the Nubra valley. The first 24 kilometres of the road till the South Pullu checkpoint are paved. From here till the North Pullu which lies 15 kms across Khardungla is primarily loose rock, mud and small patches of snow melts. You can encounter snow on the road once you are on top of the pass. Due to strategic importance of the road, this is mostly clear of any snow almost all through the year.

Khardungla has a billboard which claims it to be the highest motorable road in the world. This place has a cafeteria and a Souvenir shop run by the Indian army. You can have Tea, coffee,biscuits and instant noodles at reasonable prices. The Souvenir shop has T Shirts, cups, Key Chains, Plates etc which have “The world’s highest motor able road “ embedded on them.

If you feel some kind of nausea or mild sickness here, it’s because of the altitude. In such case please descend quickly. There is a Medical infirmary here run by the Army, which has all first aid facilities including Supplementary oxygen.

NUBRA VALLEY

The land which is known for it’s white sand dunes, flowers, orchards, and double humped Bactrian camel. It was originally called Ldumra which means valley of flowers.

Nubra lies North east across the Khardungla pass from the town of Leh. The road is open through out the year. There is also another route over the Wari La from Sakti connecting the road to Nubra via Agham. The main town of Nubra valley named Diskit is 150 kilometres from Leh.

The view of the valley is picturesque and breathtaking. Nubra valley is high altitude cold desert which has very rare precipitation and scanty vegetation except along the river beds. The main river of the valley is Shyok. The Shyok river meets the Siachen River to form a broad valley on whose one side are the Ladakh ranges and other sides are the Karakoram mountains.

A journey across the high Khardungla, and then a descend towards North Pullu and ultimately into the wide valley makes your heart pound with excitement and thrill. The drive goes along the Shyok River and then you reach Diskit. Diskit is the headquarters of Nubra, so it more like an overgrown village which has a lot of government offices. There are ample hotels, guest houses, Home stays and tented campsites here.

Hundar sand dunes, Nubra Valley, Ladakh                                                                                                              

Hunder is located 7 kilometres from Diskit. Till 2010 tourists were allowed to come as far as this place. The areas beyond this place was closed for tourism. Hunder is a quite little village with small houses, which are scattered. There is also ample amount of greenery near the village, because of the water of the streams. The thing which is interesting is the area huge area of white sand, which gives an impression of a desert. The formation of ripples on the small dunes with snow capped mountains in the horizon is amazing. On one side steep cliffy mountains, then white sand area, and a river flowing nearby just takes your breath away. Here you can find the rare double humped bactrian camel. You can take a ride on it for a decent sum.

Sumur is a quite and peaceful village in the Nubra valley. It has wonderful green and yellow mustard fields. It has the famous Samstemling Gompa, which was founded by Lama Tsultrin Nima about 150 years ago. Sumar also has it’s own sand dunes and camel rides. The road to Sumur bifurcates just before Diskit. It is 23 kilometres off the main road. There is also the village of Tegar near Sumur.

If you continue on the road ahead you will reach Panamik, which is surrounded by snow capped mountains. The scenic beauty and it’s hot sulphur springs attracts lots of visitors every year. Panamik is 22 kilometres from Sumur.

Turtuk is a tiny hamlet at the end of the road before the Line of control. It is the extreme corner of the Indian border, so it is a challenge reaching here. The road is treacherous at places after Hunder , and there are a lot of landslide areas. There are a lot of sensitive army bases here so permits were not issued before 2010. Now you get permits from the D.C. office in Leh to go there. The drive is along the River Shyok, and there are views of snow capped mountains all along the way. But once you reach Turtuk, you will forget the fatigue and you will know why this place is termed as heaven on earth. Turtuk is basically a muslim dominated village unlike buddhist dominated Ladakh. This village is also known for its wonderful, and welcoming people. It is also at a lower elevation than most habited Nubra. Unlike the barren landscape of Ladakh, Turtuk is full of green pastures. Apples, Apricots, Tomatoes, Cauliflowers and cabbages are grown in plenty. This place has a few humble home stays. Turtuk is still culturally intact and there are still very few visitors. In all Turtuk is a travellers paradise, here the smiles of the people are more sweeter than the apricots.

KARU
Karu is a place you cannot miss while on your journeys in Ladakh. While driving from Manali you get the first signs of habited Ladakh once you reach Karu. Karu is 430 kms from Manali, and 45 kms from Leh. From here a road bifurcates towards pangong lake across the mighty Changla pass. Karu has a petrol station now. There are a few dhabas and guest houses here. There is a check post here enroute Changla, where your passes are verified.

CHANG LA

Changla

A view of Changla top with the Chang La baba temple.

Changla is 75 kilometres from Leh. At an elevation of 5360 metres ,it is the third highest motor able road assessable to ordinary civilians. The Changla is the gateway to the Changthang Eco zone, which is home to variety of flora and fauna. The road to Changla cuts from Karu. The road is of special significance to travellers because it comes enroute Pang gong tso. As you get on to of the pass you can hear the prayer flags fluttering in the cold air. There is a temple dedicated to Changla baba here. There is a cafeteria, which is run by the indian army, which offer a wonderful cup of free black tea. You can get a plate of hot steaming momos for a decent sum. There is also a souvenir shop here which sells mementos like T shirts, coffee cups, key chains etc. There is also a Medical centre which offers first aid and has supplementary oxygen. Chang La has a good amount of snow in winters, but the road remains clear although the year.

PANG GONG TSO

pangong tso

Pang gong is a beautiful lake located 150 kilometres from Leh across the Chang La. It is one of the most beautiful of places in the Himalayas, that will give you a experience of a life time. It is indeed bliss to be here. At an elevation of 4350 metres above sea level it is one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world.

It is 134 kilometres long and 5 kilometres at it’s widest. It’s total area is 604 sq kms. The lakes carries on for about 45 kilometres inside the Indian territory before it turns to the left. after that its chinese territory. The Line of control passes through this lake. It is an amazing fact that this lake is land locked. The dark blue waters, with the backdrop of golden yellow mountains reflecting in it, makes one of the most picturesque sites on the planet. The water is clear, but salty and cannot be used for drinking purposes. The villages that are on the banks of the lake are
Lukung
Spangmik
Maan
Merek
Spangmik has more staying options than Lukang. There are quite a few home stay options, and a few luxury lodges. There are ample tented camps resorts. Maan has a luxury camping site along with a few budget camping sites. Maan is 9 kilometres from Spangmik. Merek has a few homestay comparatively. There are many camping and tented accommodation available at Pang gong lake from Lukung village (first settlement at the lake) till Spangmik ranging from Rs 500 to Rs. 3500 depending upon services like attached toilets, hot water, meals, and luxury inside the camp or tent. Man and Merek have limited accommodation. Merek has a green grassy belt next to the lake and is sparsely habited making it a popular destination for traveller who want to spend some time by themselves.

The sunset at the lake is more beautiful than the sunrise, but that does not stop you from having a morning walk along the lake. The Lake acts as a breeding ground for a variety of birds including a number of migratory birds. During summers the Bar headed goose and ducks are commonly seen here. The region around the lake supports a number of wild life species mainly the Kiang and Marmot.

There are a lot of spots where you can sit and relax near the lake. The ones till spangmik draw lots of visitors during summers, but as you go towards Merek, you get more solitary places. There is also a place where waves are formed like in the sea which is near Merek.

In winters the Pang gong lake freezes. It is a bliss to see this lake in frozen state. You can even walk on the lake. The temperatures can drop to -30 in winters making camping here very difficult near the lake, so you have to return to Leh or stay at Tangste.

CHUSHUL

Chushul is a viilage located between Nyoma and Pangong Tso at an elevation of 4360 metres in the Changthang province. This area is relatively less travelled. There is a vast stretch of dry barren valley before one reaches Chushul. One comes across this village, while taking the road journey from Tso Moriri towards Panggong Tso. You need a special permit to take this route and you can by stopped anytime by the Indian Army. This is because Chushul is one of the 4 official BPM (Border Personnel Meeting ) points between the Indian and the chinese army, when ever tension arises on the border. Regular interactions take place here to defuse face off situations.
Chushul has a Govt rest house.

Chushul is also remembered for its significance during the Indo China war of 1962. Nearby is the Famous Rezang La, famous for it’s War memorial of the 114 brave soldiers of the C Company of 13th Kumaon regiment , who fought till their last on November. 18,1962. The Company was headed by Maj. Shaitan Singh, whose supreme courage, leadership, and exemplary devotion to duty inspired his company to fight almost to the last man. On the memorial there are the words, which reads :

“How can a man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his Fathers and the temple of his Gods,
To the sacred memory of the Heroes of Rezang La,
114 Martyrs of 13 Kumaon who fought to the last man.
Last round, Against Hordes of Chinese on 18 November 1962.
Built by All Ranks of 13th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment”

NYOMA

Nyoma is a beautiful village on the banks of River Indus in the Changthang region at an elevation of 4235 metres. . It is 23 kilometres from Mahe bridge. The village has a forest rest house and a few home stays. Nyoma is a destination popular with traveller going to Hanle or Tso Moriri.

HANLE

Hanle.

Hanle 150 kilometres from Mahe bridge. It is approx. 275 kms from leh. You have to cross Nyoma and then take the bridge to the right from Loma. You can reach Hanle from Panggong Lake via Tsage La. Hanle does not fall in a first time traveller’s priority list. How ever for travellers searching for solitude, and quietness and for those who want to explore into the scenic landscape and have ample time, this is the place. Changthang valley has some amazing landscapes, which one can experience while travelling from Mahe bridge towards Hanle.

Hanle also as an Astronomical Observatory, which at an elevation of 4500 metres is one of the highest in the world. The valley is ideally suited for astronomy. The Valley is wide and there is very less precipitation. The diameter of the telescope is about 2 metres. The observatory is operated from Bengaluru by the Indian institute of Astrophysics.
Hanle has a monastery which has it’s own unique charm. The monastery dates back to the 16th century. It belongs to the “Red Hat” Tibetan Drukpa Kagyu branch of Tibetan Buddhism.

The small hamlets of Khuldo and Punguk are located near Hanle. Due to it’s proximity to the sensitive border with China, You have to take special Inner line permits for visiting this place. The permits are available at D.C office, Leh.

TSO MORIRI

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This is nature’s one of the most exquisite creation in the western Himalayas. . Tso moriri is a beautiful high altitude lake in the changtang area of eastern Ladakh. It is secluded in the Rushpu valley about 245 kilometres from Leh. At an altitude of 4522 mtrs above sea level , it is approx. 23 kilometres long and 4 to 7.5 Kilometres wide. The heritage village of Korzok overlooks the lake. The thing that makes this lake special, is that this lake is a High altitude wetland conservation site, which is governed by the Ramsay convention held in Iran. This means that  this is a protected site  e.i. you cannot camp and pitch your tents near the lake.  This has helped in maintaining the 🙂 natural beauty around this picturesque lake . Infact before Korzok the area near to the lake is fenced ,because there are many migratory bird here. Once you cross Korzok you can go anywhere near the lake.

It’s a delight to be here.There are lesser amount of tourists here as compared to Pangong lake. This place has more to explore. One can just leave his car behind at Korzok and go for a long stroll towards the lake or up the small hillocks , from where you can have a mesmerising view of the ink blue waters. The lake has a back drop of barren mountains which rise up to 6000 metres,the summits of which are covered with snow.

This place has lots of camps which have tent accommodation. There are a few guest houses and home stays. Make sure to select one which gives you a clear view of the lake. Get up early in the morning and take a walk or just be near the lake. It’s just living the moment. You have to be there to feel it. Tso Moriri is open from Arpil till late October. The entire lake freezes in winters.

There are various routes to reach Tso moriri. The most prominent being from Leh towards Karu, then taking the road to Mahe bridge and eventually reaching Korzok.This is 245 kms. There is a another route which bifercates from the more plains through the villages of Tsokar and Puga. This takes around 5 hrs.There is another exiting route which starts from the village of Merek beside the Pangong lake through Chushul. This one is the road less taken. It passes through desolate places ,close to the Indo Chinese border. The famous Renzengla falls on this route. This route requires special Inner Line Permit, which can be had from the D.C Office Leh.

MAHE BRIDGE

Elevation 4100 mtrs.

This location is of strategic importance for travellers venturing into the Changthang region . Mahe bridge is 140 kms from Leh, and 100 kms from Karu. Tso morari is 80 kms from here. From here if you cross over the bridge , you will reach Sumdo, 12 kms from here, which is enroute Tso Moriri . If you go straight , the road goes to Hanle. Hanle is about 150 KMs from Mahe and the road runs through Nyoma and then Loma, where you need to pass the bridge on right that takes you to Hanle further 50 Kms ahead of Loma. Permits are checked and your names and vehicle no is entered here.

KARGIL

Kargil is located at an elevation of 2676 metres, on the banks of the Indus River. It is the second biggest town in Ladakh after Leh. It is 205 Km from Srinagar on NH 1D. It is 246 Km from Leh. Kargil fascinates you with its purple to yellow golden mountains surrounding it. The town is relatively greener than the otherwise barren Ladakh terrain. If you have to travel the 434 Km Srinagar Leh route, Kargil is an ideal place to take a nights halt before taking the second leg of the journey. It is a quite little town with a market which caters to all types of requirements. It is also a base station if you want to venture into the beautiful Suru Valley for trekking and mountaineering activities.

People in Kargil are of mixed Dard and Tibetan descent. Most are Baltis. The inhabitants of Kargil were adherents of Tibetan Buddhism until the 14th-15th centuries when Muslim missionaries began to proselytise to the local people. Today, 90% of Kargil’s population are Shia Muslim, 5% Sunni and 5% Tibetan Buddhist. The architecture of older mosques in Kargil combines Tibetan and Mughal styles.

SURU VALLEY

Suru Valley is situated at an average elevation of 3000 metres. It is one of the most scenic and beautiful valleys in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas. This valley is on every adventure seekers travel list, because of the road journey it offers along the breathtaking valley, and the expeditions to the 7000 sister peaks of Nun and Kun. The River Suru, which is a tributary of the River Indus flows through this valley.
The Suru valley is the gateway to Zanskar from Kargil Side. The road which goes through the Suru valley, continues into the Zanskar region across the Penzi La(14000 feet) pass till Padum.
The area is is habited by the Tibetian Dard community, who are Muslims. They converted into Islam during the 15th century. The people are extremely hard working and agriculture is the primary occupation of the people.

The main Hamlets in the valley are

Sankoo is located at an altitude of 9524 feet, 42 kilometres from Kargil.It is one of the most developed village in the Suru valley. The village has lots of greenery in and around it. There is a dense plantation of Mycarea, Willows and Poplars. The Valley is bowl shaped, and the greenery actually looks like clustered in one place. The vegetation is primarily because of a steam tributary of the Suru River flowing through this village. You will get very basic accommodation in Sankoo in the form of simple Home stays and guest houses. There is a JK Tourism Bunglow. There are a few eating houses which offer simple indian and tibetan dishes.

Panikhar is 68 kilometers from Kargil. Panikhar is also a lush green valley. It is a scenic village with breathtaking views of snow covered mountain peaks and glaciers. The Road crosses Suru River over a bridge and after passing a few villages again crosses the river. Immediately after crossing the river one can see the Nun Kun Massif in the distance. All the activity connected with climbing Nun and Kun take place in Panikhar. The traditional route to Nun and Kun is from a place called Tangole, which is just beyond Panikhar. The road is paved till Panikar. The next major Village is Rangdum which is 62 Kilometre from here. The condition of the road starts to worsen and the paved road becomes a dirt track. Panikar has a J.K tourism bungalow, and a few guest houses.

Rangdum is located at an elevation of 3657 metres, 120 kilometres from kargil in the Suru valley. It is surrounded by snow capped mountains on one side, and rocky cliffs on the other side. It is a small Hamlet with barely a dozen houses. There are a few home stays and guest houses here. There is also a J.K Tourism Bungalow and a P.W.D rest house here. If you want to visit Padam across the Penzi La, this is the perfect place for a night halt. Rangdum is also famous for it’s 18th century Random Monastery.

PENZI LA
Penzi La is the 14000 feet high mountain pass, which connects the Suru valley with the Zanskar Valley. There is a dirt and rock filled road up to the pass. The ascend is moderate. Two small lakes called Statso-lang and tso Kartse Khar is just before Penzi La. Penzi La is open from June to October. Padam lies 00 kilometres from here. Padam is the main town of Zanskar region. Padam is more famous for being the last destination of the world famous Chadar trek.

 

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kinnaur
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Kinnaur

KINNAUR

The mystical land of beautiful picturesque valleys and vibrant culture. Known for its lush green pine nut forests, vast apple plantations, thrill creating roads and high snow capped mountains, Kinnaur is like a fairy tale destination for travellers from all over the world. The contrast in landscape varies as you travel along , from the lush green Sangla valley to the desolate yellow golden Hangrang Valley. The altitude here ranges from 2200 metres to 6800 metres. Due to this elevation this place has a pleasant climate when rest of the country has soaring temperatures. It has very cold winter months especially from October end till last weeks of April. The lower part comprising of the Sutlej and the Baspa valleys receive monsoon rains. The upper region is mostly in the rain shadow and is arid like the neighbouring Spiti and Tibet.

Kinnaur is famous for its Handicrafts and Handlooms especially Pasmina products. There is trademark Kinnaur shawl, which is famous worldwide. The place has ample amount of dry fruits like Chulli (Dried Apricots), Chilgoza( Pine nuts), Kagazi Almond and walnuts to name a few. Make sure to try some of these exotic varieties on your stay here.


There are many activities for a true adventure seeker here. This region has some amazing mountaineering and trekking routes. There are a few 6000 metres plus peaks for climbing like Manerang and Leo Purgyal. There are numerous treks here which go as far as the valleys of Uttrakhand. you can make some amazing road trips here which go along the Baspa, Sutlej and Spiti valleys. 

The people are simple hardworking and friendly. The men and women wear a green Bushari cap, which can be seen everywhere. Kinnaur has very rich and vibrant culture and traditions. You mostly will find people in their traditional attires. If you ever get lucky to witness any Kinnauri ceremony you are one lucky person. If you can handle it try a few glasses of Angoori a local drink made out of grapes.

PERMITS FOR FORIEGNERS

Foreign nationals need a permit to visit this place.

Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley are required to get the inner line permits or ILP. Domestic (Indian) tourist do not require any permits. If you are Indian, then just carry a valid photo ID proof of your nationality to be on safe side.The permit is valid for a period of 2 weeks. After you get the permits, make 5-6 copies of it as you will be required to submit them at police checkposts mainly at Jangi and Sumdo.There are check points at Akpa and Sumdoo.

The permits are available at
M.H.A. Govt of Himachal Pradesh
Commissioner Tourism, Himachal Pradesh
S.D.M. Recong Peo.

KALPA (2580 m)

Kalpa Village

Situated at an elevation of 2759 metres, 260 kms from Shimla. It is famous for the majestic view it offers of the snow clad mountains, the most prominent of them being the famous kinner kailash peak.This peak is said to be the winter abode of Lord Shiva. It is a spectacular view early in the morning as the sun touches the snowy peaks with crimson and gold light. As the day progresses the light of the sun falls on the peak from different angles and the colour of the peak keeps changing. Kalpa has a landscape full of apple plantations surrounded by forest of Pine, Deodar and Pine Nuts. This place is a perfect destination for travellers looking for spending some time in wilderness and solitude. There are a lot of short hikes and walks here going though apple trees and lush green forests.

RECONG PEO ( 2670 m)

Altitude 2670 mts. Situated 245 kms from Shimla, 15 kms short of Kalpa. This is the District Headquaters  of Kinnaur. There is always a hustle bustle of visitors here, because this place has ample accommodation catering to different budget groups. Reckong Peo has a big market which is a main shopping point for the nearby villages. There is a  circuit house, A P.W.D Rest house, and a forest Rest house here.   Permits for foreigners can be arranged here at the D.C. Office. . This palce also acts as a base for further journeys up the Sutlej and spiti valleys.

Kothi

This is an ancient village in kalpa tehsil. It is also known as Koshtampi. There is Chandika temple here dedicated to Goddess Shuwang. There is a big ark, where there is a image in gold.

SANGLA ( 2621 m)

Altitude 2621 mts. Sangla is 220 kms from Shimla. From a place Karcham ,you have to follow the Baspa valley. It is 17 kms from Karcham. It is situated on the right bank of Baspa. There is a view of the village Kamru, and Raldang peaks from here. The forest scenery all around and eternal snow peaks are picturesque. Sangla is the first and the biggest of the villages in the Baspa valley. Hotel and tented accommodation is available here.

RAKCHUM ( 3050 m)

Rakchum

One of those villages which just comes out from a fairy tale. It is indeed a place where heaven meets earth. It has enchanting landscapes which cast a mersmerising spell on you. Raksham is 10 kms ahead of Sangla. Sangla has over the years become more commercialised and overcrowded. Rackchum offers a traveler with the element of ultimate vibrant charm of the mountains. The village is located on the base of the majestic Shoshilla peak. The mountains above the village are rocky and steep and are mostly have  a cover  of snow and mist. The mountains across the river are covered with lush green forests, and there are snow feild areas in between. the tops of the mountains are snow covered almost all through the year. There are varoius escapades from Rakchum into the mountains and the forests, the best being a short walk across the river toward Chitkul. The landscape at Rakchum is different from all Kinnaur, as it is a perfect combination of Huge white boulders blending with the lush green forests. In the recent yeras this place has become a popular destination for mountaineers, trekkers, movie makers and leisure seekers from all over the world. There is something for every one here, you can just venture into the forests for short walks along the river or relax at a hotel gazing at the wonderful mountains.

Rakchum has a few staying options, and there’s one hotel near the gate when you are about to enter the village, with athe view of the river by the name of Rupin view. The primary occupation of the people here is apple cultivation. There are also trees of Apricots and Almonds. The valley is also known for its cultivation of Organic Buck wheat locally known as Ogra. If you happen to find some  can get some in the market, do carry it home with you, as it has exellent nutritional and medicinal qualities.

 

CHITKUL (3450 m)

view from Chitkul

 

A village where the Road virtually ends. Located at an altitude of 3450 metres on the right bank of the Baspa valley. This is the last inhabited village on the Indo Tibetan border. This place is 25 km uphill from Sangla, and 10 kms from Rackchum. Chitkul is a place out of a fairy tale. There are fields of peas and potatoes, a blue gushing river nearby, The hills towards the left bank have lush green forest, with their tops being white with snow cover. The Village is clustered and small. Mostly the houses are made of locally sourced material like mud, wood and stones and have their roofs made of slate. Above the village lie high cliffy mountains with steep gradient.

The landscape beyond the village spreads far and wide. You can gaze into the high mountain summits, which are always covered with snow. The melts of these mountains are the source of River Baspa. You have to walk beyond the village as there is no road. The walk along the River is an amazing experience. The bluish white Baspa flows in its full fury and makes a roaring sound. Nagasti is a 1.5 Km walk from Chitkul and is the last point till where a civilian can go towards the Border. The area is manned by the ITBP.

The people are simple, kind and hardworking. The hard terrain and long snowy winters have made them hard and tough over the years. There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Mathi Devi in the centre of the village.This temple is a perfect example of the Sutlej style of temple architecture. The temple is built of wood and stones and is believed to be about 500 years old. According to a legend the Devi settled here after a long and arduous journey. The people of the village prospered a great deal after she settled here. There is also a temple dedicated to a deity which is related to Badrinath in Uttrakhand. Every year the deity is taken on foot across the high passes to Badrinath.

The place is still left out as far as basic infrastructure is concerned. There are no medical facilities available here. The nearest emergency and medical facilities are at Sangla. There is no ATM. There is a P.W.D rest house, and a few hotels here.

There are various trekking routes from here across to Uttarakhand like Lamkhaga pass trek which finishes in Harshil, and Borosu Pass trek which ends up in Har Ki Dun Valley. The Kinner Kailash Parikrama Yatra across the 4950 mtrs high Charang pass ends here.

You can spend a day at Chitkul strolling down the Baspa, or going across the river to venture into the forest. In all, it’s a wonderful place to spend a few days in solitude and serenity.

 

Moorang

Altitude 3591mts.
The village is surrounded by high mountains on three sides. The valley opens towards the Satluj river. Threre is a old fort there, believed to have been built by the Pandavas. The Fort has a square structure , on a small hill overlooking the river.

Nichar

Altitude (3150 MTS).
A road cuts between Taranda and Wangtoo, on the left bank of Rriver Satluj.The scenery is enchanting, and the climate is pleasant during the summers.There are thick forest and rocky slopes. Wonderful place for short walks and hikes.

NAKO (3663 m)
It is the highest village in the Hangrang valley of Kinnaur. Behind it are the two huge mountains Leo and Rio Purgyal. It has one of the most breath taking views from everywhere. A lake is formed from the waters of the high mountains. It is the road head base for The Pargyal mountain expeditions. It is also the starting of the trek to Tashigang village, where an image is said to grow hair.

Namgia

Altitude (3048 mts)

It Is the last viilage towards Tibet, from the side where Satluj enters India. It offers a magnificient view of the Rio Purgyal mountain, the highest peak of Himachal.

Chango

Altitude (3058 mts)
Lies on the bank of spiti river. More famous for its delicious apples. Home to the temles of the deities Gyablo, Dabla, and Yulsa.

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Kullu/Manali

KULLU and MANALI

This land is  known as the Valley of the Gods. This beautiful valley is located in the Beas river basin and is bestowed with a rich  and vibrant culture.This is a  favorite hill stations with traveler from all over the world, because of the  amazing landscapes and escapades. Scenic meadows and snow-clad mountains, towering Deodar jungles, rivers and apple orchards have attracted several feature filmmakers too. Most of the trekking trails  and great road journies are start  beyond the Rohtang Pass in the valleys of Spiti, Lahaul, Zanskar and Ladakh. The hospitality of its people, their distinctive lifestyle and rich culture have enthralled travelers for aeons. The pleasent weather during the summer months, and the ambience provided by the glacial melting waters of the Beas makes it a perfect summer sojourn in the Himalayas.The Dev Sanskriti of the valley blends faith, mythology and history to create and sustain a unique bond between the mundane and the divine.

kullu

IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

The weather is cold in winters and you have have definite snow in December. The months of January and Februrary are cold. The temperature  sets to warm up by spring. Spring is a welcome sight here becuase of the flowers in the numerous Apple orchards in the valley. Summers are warm and pleasant. In late June the monsoons set in and by late august you again have a pleasant climate here. the Autums are pleasant during the day but the evening go cold. Its always  handy to keep a warm garment ready, you never know when yu need it.

Almost all cell phones funtion in the main Valley. Across the Rohtang pass only BSNL functions that too in major stations. In the Parvati valley its also all BSNL.

Please don’t venture into the high mountains or go on a trekking route without a proper guide. Don’t go near the rivers or streams for photographs. Alway hire a guide who has been certified by the mountaineering institute.

The passes and permits for going across the Rohtang pass are available at the S.D.M office at Manali. Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Lahaul areas are required to get the inner line permits or ILP.  Indians need a permit to go across Rohtang Pass. The permit is valid for a period of 2 weeks. After you get the permits, make 5-6 copies of it as you will be required to submit them at  various police checkposts .

Manali has a few Petrol pumps, and the next pump is at Tandi after crossing the Rohtang pass  which is 120 Kms away.

The Road till Manali is open though out the year. Beyond Manali The Road across the Rohtang pass is closed for traffic after October till June. Presently as on 28th April 2016, Rohtang is closed for vehicular traffic.

Kullu Culture

 

KULLU TOWN ( 1279 m)  

The town of Kullu is located on the Right bank of the river Beas. It is the district Head Quarters for the District, which makes It is the commercial and cultural centre of the area. It is 263 km from Chandigarh and 235 km from Shimla. Kullu is famous for its handicrafts especially Shawls and Woollens. Kullu gains international importance during the days of Dussehra, as this festival is celebrated here bigger then any where else. Around 350 deites gather here on the Dussehra ground to take part in this huge festival.

RAGHUNATH TEMPLE

Raghunath temple was built in 1650, and is dedicated to lord Raghunath. This temple comes into focus during the world famous Dussera festival of Kullu. The chariot of lord Raghunath is taken out amid hundreds of local deities.The chief deity of Kullu is Raghunath Ji. Dussehra festival is held in its name. The idol is same which was used by Lord Rama himself at the time of Ashwamegh Yagya and was brought from Tretnath temple of Ayodhya. The temple was constructed i with a mixed look of Pahari and Pyramidal style. Everyday puja (aarti) is held for five times. Round the year, 45 festivals are held.

BIJLI MAHADEV TEMPLE (2450 m)

Bijli Mahadev temple is located near the town of kullu  at a hilltop, above the  town.  It is 3 kms walk, amid a forest of pine and cedar. The temple is located at an elevation of 2450 m. The name of the hill where Bijli Mahadev temple is situated is called Mathan and is surrounded by Parbati, Garsa, Bhunter and Kullu valleys.  There is a small village just down below the temple, and the name of the village is also called Bijli Mahadev. People in this village take care of the maintenance aspects of the temple. The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. Legend has it, that the linga in the temple was broken up into pieces when lightning struck it. The priest joins all the peices together again. According to locals this phenomenon occurs once every year.The Shiva ling (Mahadev) will be joined together and installed in a special occasion using a locally made adhesive using butter etc. One can witness the charred part (especially on the walls) inside the temple which is due to the flames resulted during lightning. Devotees can give offerings in the Hundi only kept inside the temple. view from the top is breathtaking. In winters, the surrounding slopes are used for snowboarding and skiing.

To go to Bijli Mahadev, from kullu, you first have to reach  Ramshilla, which is very nearby (approx. 1Kms) and cross the bridge which is for crossing Beas river to go towards Bhunter or Manikaran. Just after crossing the bridge, One  road goes towards Bhuntar and you have  to take the road to the  left  (instead of going straight which goes towards Bhuntar) and then you will find a walking trail which  climbs up the hill. There is also from  Ramshilla a motorable road is which goes  till about 20 Kms till Chansari village. . From this place 3-4 Kms trekking to be done to reach Bijli Mahadev.

RAFTING AT BEAS RIVER

Beas Rafting

There is something for sending your adreniline rushing up your spine. The River Beas offers one of the best basic level rafting.  Veas does not have very big rapids, but you can be sure that this place is safe. The best spot for rafting is Bawali. Bawali is 8 km from Kullu. The best stretch is the 8 kms between Bawali and Kullu. The blue  gushing waters of the Beas, and the enchanting green  valley view make a wonderful combination as you venture down the river.

NAGGAR ( 1851 m)

Naggar kullu

Nagar is situated on the left bank of river Beas at an altitude of 1851m, Naggar – an ancient town commands extensive views, especially to the North West of the valley. Naggar was the former capital of Kullu. It was founded by Raja Visudhpal and continued as a headquarters of the State until the capital was transferred to Sultanpur (Kullu) by Jagat Singh in 1460 A.D. Today this ancient and beautiful Palace is a popular tourist spot. There is also an Art gallery here which was home to a Russian artist Roerich.
No other place givesyou such a  long clear view of the Beas valley. The road to Naggar bifurcates from Patlikhul. The road goes curving through a lush green coniferous forest. Naggar is 35 km from Bhuntar, 25 km from 
Kullu, and 20 km from Manali.

ROERICH ART GALLERY

Roerich Art Gallery

The reputed Russian artist Nicholas Roerich decided to make Naggar his home, after he came to India. The house he resided in, is now transformed into a museum to showcase his art work. There are many rare paintings and works of art here. The house has a magnificent view of the Kullu valley. It is open to visitors.

NAGGAR CASTLE

This medieval castle is now converted into a HPTDC Hotel. The castle overlooks the Kullu valley. The castle is made in the western Himalayas pahari style. It is a unique stone and wood mansion, which was once the abode of the Raja of Kullu.

 

GREAT HIMALAYAN NATIONAL PARK

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Looking at the increasing importance of bio-diversity conservation across the globe and due to presence of a rich biodiversity in these parts of the  Himalayas the GHNP, which has been accredited with the status of the prestigious, UNESCOs World Heritage Site has an area of 1200 sq km, and altitude ranging from 1500 m to 6000 m, the Great Himalayan National Park lies in the Kullu region. The area comprising the watershed areas of Tirthan, Jiwa and Sainj makes the GHNP. The area is characterized by high alpine peaks, alpine meadows and riverine forests. The park includes the upper mountain glacial and snow meltwater sources of several rivers, and the catchments of water supplies that are vital to millions of downstream users. The GHNP protects the monsoon-affected forests and alpine meadows of the Himalayan front ranges. It is part of the Himalaya biodiversity hotspot and includes twenty-five forest types along with a rich assemblage of fauna species, several of which are threatened. This gives the park outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation. coniferous forests, emerald meadows, strewn with exotic fauna, soaring snow peaks, and pristine glaciers, make up the great park.

This park is  home to about 215 species of birds with pheasants like the Western Tragopan, Cheer, Monal, Koklash and Kaleej along with other birds like the white throated tit & the Lammergeyer. GHNP is home to the elusive snow leopard along with other mammals like the Himalayan brown & black bears, Common Leopard, blue sheep, musk and barking deer, ghoral , serrow & the omnipresent red fox. It’s also a repository of rare medicinal herb like Jatamansi, Kadoo, Patish and the recently found Nag Chatri along with hundreds more which continue to be the main source of income for local population.

MANALI ( 2050 M)

manali.grande.02

It has become of of the most popular holiday destinations in the Himalayas. Manali is a beautiful town located on the banks of river Beas. The greenish blue waters of the river, the valley dotted with apple and deodar trees with snow covered mountain tops at the backdrop makes this a wonderful sight to behold. This place offers great escapades into the mountains, and is the gateway to the valleys of  Lahaul, Spiti and Ladakh. Due to this it has become a backpackers delight. There are so many trekking routes from here. Many peaks climbing expeditions are flagged of from here. All those going across the Rohtang into Lahaul Spiti or Ladakh, gather here, for  logistic support. Bike riders come over from all parts of the country to take the enduring Road route from Manali to Leh. The town has its own charm and it keeps giving your amazing vibes. even if you are not a great adventure seeker there is so much for you here. you can just spend the day lazing around in a cafe of take a short walk around the town.

Manali gets its name from the great sage Manu. The original name of Manali was Manualya, the abode of the sage Manu. There is a temple in Manali dedicated to the great sage. Manali is 270 km from Shimla, and 308 km from Chandigarh.

HADIMBA MATA TEMPLE

Hadimba mata temple

This is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hadimbi devi, sister of Hadimba. The structurewas built in the year 1553. The temple is surrounded by a thick and beautiful cedar forest.An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple. The image which represents the Goddess Hadimba is 3 inches tall. The doors of the temple are wooden and wonderfully carved. Just a while away from the temple is the shrine dedicated to Lord Ghatothkach, who was born, when goddess Hadimba married Bhima.

MANU TEMPLE

At about 3 km from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of Manu Rishi. It is believed that it is the only temple dedicated to the great sage. Manu is believed to be the creator of mankind, the law maker to the world. There is a stone path to the temple, from old Manali. This is the place where God Manu is believed to have meditated after stepping on the Earth.

VASHIST

Vashisht temple is 6 km from Manali by road. If you walk through short paths, it is a half hour walk from Manali. Vashist is a town of mixed cultures. You will find the most modern day cafes, alongside with ancient houses with a verandahs and cows tied outside. One can see interesting traditional wood and stone houses with amazing carvings in the village. The temple complex has hot water springs. There is also an enclosed hot water bath near the temple.

Vashisht village is a slightly quieter and more compact version of Old Manali and a popular travellers’ hang-out. There are mainly two reasons for an  Indian tourists  coming to Vashisht, one is to  bathe in the hot springs and secondly seeking the blessings in the various the temples, while foreign travellers largely come for the cheap accommodation, chilled atmosphere and Joints. Vashisth also has some amazing trails into the forests.

JOGNI WATERFALLS

This is nearly 3 KM trek from Vashisht temple.  The trek route passes through narrow lanes by the side of  the temple and you have to cross  apple orchards, majestic  pine trees  and numerous water streams to reach there. On the way few local cafes and guest houses are also available.

A gentle walk will take 30 minutes to reach the base of the waterfall. While travelling you can see the Beas river and  also view the snow clad peaks of Rohtang at your left side. Jogini mata temple is at the base of the waterfall. You can  even climb up and  reach the top point of the waterfall. The stiff climb will take 20 minutes more to reach at top. If you don’t want to climb up then  you can reach the base of the waterfall towards your right side through a narrow path. Here there is small pool formed by the falling water and here you can take a dip in the cold waters and spend some time just playing around. The best thing is sit  near temple and watch the waterfall. Walking along this trail  is the best way to enjoy local scenic beauty and vibrant Manali Village culture.

You can cover Vashisht temple ( hot spring bath ) and Jogini water fall in a half day program. Take your packed lunch and enjoy the food at the base of the water fall.

Afternoon is better for photography as sunlight directly falls on the water droplets.

 

SOLANG VALLEY

Solang Valley

Solang valley is 14 km from Manali by road. This is like one fairy tale ride which takes you to a place which provides you with umpteem escapades. If you want to go by the less travel route, there is a trekking trail along the left bank of the River Beas, which takes 2 hours to reach Solang. Solang valley is place from where the mighty mountains start. This is the road head point for many expeditions and treks. Rohtang slopes are used for skiing in the winters. In the summers skiing is replaced by zorbing, paragliding and horse riding.

VAN VIHAR

Close to the river Beas, surrounded by tall pine trees is the Van Vihar. It is kind of a magical place, you can hear the sound of the river below and the birds humming in the trees above you. There are plenty of swings for children here. There are plenty of solitary places around having wooden benches, where one can enjoy quite/peaceful moments. There is also a small pool where one can go boating.

MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE

One of the three prominent mountaineering institutes in India, the mountaineering institute in Manali is spread over 20 acres of land. It has wonderful campus, which is nestled between a huge cedar forests. It has a huge hostel, a museum, a huge auditorium and an exotic lodge. The institute’s alumni comprise of many great mountaineers like Dicky Dolma,Rajeev Sharma, Col. Prem Chand, Radha Sharma, and many more.

JAGATSUKH

This small village is located on the opposite bank of Manali, 6 kms towards Kullu. Jagatsukh is more popularly known as the start of trekking points for peaks of Indrasan and Deo Tibba. There is a very famous Shiva temple here. There are many nice spots around Jagatsukh where one can spend time in solitude.

CLUB HOUSE

The club house is run by the Himachal tourism department. It is situated at the banks of a stream. There is a nominal entry fee. There are several indoor and outdoor games like, billiards, table tennis, roller skating etc that one can enjoy here. There is also a library here. The main building houses a bar and a restaurant.

ROHTANG PASS (3990 m )

Road to Rohtang

The main element of any journey you take across the  3990 metres high Rohtang is the element of contrast the landscapes offer you. From the greens of the Beas Valley to the desolate barren mountains of Lahaul and Spiti, it is a journey of great experiences. The land beyond is a vast canvas of inhabited mountain chains with a few small distant villages.  Rohtang Pass is 51 km by road from Manali. Rohtang pass is the first of the many passes on the Manali-Leh Highway. Rohtang means “bed of corpses”, as many people have perished trying to cross it in yesteryears. Now a days the road is better and the B.R.O has been doing a great job in maintaining the road.

There is a temple dedicated to the great sage Beas here. One of the streams which meets the river Beas originates here. While climbing up to Rohtang, Mahri is the last village and while descending toward keylong, Koksar is the first village. Rohtang is open for a brief period from May to November, rest of the time it is covered in snow.

KASOL

Kasol, Himachal pradesh

Spread out along the lovely Parvati River and with mountain views to the northeast, Kasol is the main traveler hang-out in the valley. It’s a small village, but overrun with reggae bars, bakeries, internet cafes and cheap guesthouses catering to a largely hippie/Israeli crowd. You’ll either love it or just feel the vibes getting you the hang of this place  It’s an easy base which is well connected with road, from which to explore the forested valley or just chill out. The village is divided into Old Kasol on the Bhuntar side of the bridge, and new Kasol towards Manikaran.

The best thing to do here is take a walk along the side of the Parvati river. With the  river on one side and majestic pine trees on the other and smooth  grey boulders separate the lush green grass from the gushing blue-green water of the river. Every bend in the river opens up to an exciting vista of pine trees, cliffs and waterfalls. All this is framed with snow capped peaks piercing the happy blue sky at the horizon. Please dont try to cross the river by getting into it. the Flow is faster than it looks. The water is gushing and cold. There is an old bridge, by which you can go on the opposite bank. The memories of spending a few days here in this tranquil atmosphere will remain in your hearts till eternity.

MANIKARAN

Manikaran is located about 4 km from Kasol, and 45 km from the town of Kullu, on the banks of the Parvati river at an altitude of 1760 m. The town is famous for its hot sulphur springs. The place is sacred to both Hindus and the Sikhs. There is a Gurudwara and many temples here.  The Gurudwara is run privately by some family. Manikaran also acts as a halt for trekkers who climb the Pin Parvati pass or trek into the mountains further up.

BARSHAINI

TOSH (2400 m)

Tosh Village in Kasol is quite popular with travellers who are looking for a peaceful escape, and want to feel the pure inner feeling which you do not get in crowded hill towns. The travelers who come to Tosh are inbound from europe especially from Germany, UK and italy. You will see a lot of Isrealies here. These people are ones who do not interfere in other peoples business and for them traveling is a way of life. Its about just being in a place, and letting in the natural vibes the palce has to offer. A lot of domestic travelers have staring venturing into this valley. some of them get exited and land up doing stupid things. But things are changing and getting better.

When you enter the village there is a beautiful wooden bridge. A walk through the village is a pleasant trail through apple fields and green pastures. Since, Tosh is fast becoming a hub for backpackers, lot of camps are opening deep inside the woods. There have been talks of trance and psychedelic parties being organised here, but they are totally personal affairs, so  dont expect to be a part of one just by reaching here. Yes there is a sniff of marijauna in the air, but I as a traveler never recommend this. You do not need to have this to attain trance. I know only one addiction is the best, that is Traveling and Adventure, and here at Tosh there are ample opputunities for this.  Trekking uphill through the forest is a shorter route to reach this place. you can get a cab till here, but then you miss the lovely uphill walk.The village is located on a hillside overlooking the river and a waterfall. It is ideal to undertake long walks into the forest and explore the area.

KHEERGANGA (2960 m)

The trek to Kheer Ganga is a nine kilometer from Barshaini, four hour steep climb on narrow and tricky trails. The village of Pulga falls on this route at 3 kilometres from Barshaini.  Some distance from here is  the Temple of Rudranaag, which is located at a very beautiful place.  This trek can get challenging at times, but it not so tough. Kheerganga is a lush green meadow with a few wooden houses. It is more famous for its geo-thermal hot water springs. The hot water spring has separate bathing areas for males and females. A hot water bath  in these springs will give you relaxation from the fatigue after the trek.The place is surrounded by majestic  mountains and  the climate is pleasant in the summer months. There is lush green landscape all around. Pay a visit to  the nearby temple for customary blessings from the local deity there. This place is important as as it is part of the camps for the world famous Pin Parvati Trek.