You can ask any adventurous person about his dream road trip, the answer will be Leh Ladakh. People get really crazy with the thought of exploring Ladakh on two wheels. The cold desert, barren lands, rugged roadways, mammoth lakes, picturesque monasteries, and less number of residents. No doubt all these things make Ladakh an iconic destination that needs to be check-off from the bucket list. However, if you have already visited this place or Ladakh seems too far, then you must visit Spiti Valley, the split image of Ladakh. Nestled in the northeast of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti means Middle Land – the land lying between India and Tibet. Here are few reasons for taking a trip to Spiti Valley this year instead of Leh Ladakh:

The journey is just as spectacular as Ladakh

You and your bike - Spiti Valley!
You and your bike – Spiti Valley!

You will find the roads of Spiti and Ladakh quite similar, however, Spiti is much rugged in terms of experience. Ladakh roads are much wider and better connected while Spiti route is adventurous and challenging for the riders. The surroundings and the picturesque villages of Spiti are in still intact and in pristine conditions. The journey is filled with mind-blowing vistas of ever-changing landscapes. Especially for those who love adventure and rough, Spiti is a wonderland still unexplored.

Monasteries Treasure on both the grounds


Whether it’s Ladakh or Spiti, both these destinations share similar cultures and religious ethos. The land is mostly dominated by people of Buddhists religion, hence monasteries are important to the locals. If Ladakh has Diksit monastery and Hemis Monastery, Spiti has Key monastery, which is also the biggest monastery of Spiti region. Dhankar Gompa also garners a lot of attention from the tourists. It is 1000 years old and is still running fine. Another intriguing fact that there resides a 500-year-old Mummy preserved in the Giu Village of Spiti Valley. It is called Lama Mummy and is believed to be the mummy of a Tibetan Monk, Sangha Tezin. The locals believe that the mummy protects them from all the evil.

Fascinating Lakes


If Ladakh has Pangong Lake, Spiti has its own Pangong called Chandra Taal Lake. With a circumference of 4km and altitude of 14,000 ft, Lake Chandra Taal has crystal-clear blue water with no visible water source. It has a distinct water outlet. Called as the Moon Lake, Chandra Taal is one of the must-visit destinations for Spiti Enthusiasts. Other lakes of Spiti Valley are Suraj Tal (Lake of the Sun) and Dhankar Lake. You can do camping here, and enjoy the scenic views. You can’t take your car to the lake, however, two-wheelers are allowed.

The night and the stars

Spiti Jeep Safari (edit)

You might have seen a lot of pictures of Ladakh night photography. The sparkling stars shining so bright as if the entire region is wrapped in a blanket of stars. Well, let us tell you, Spiti also has a million star-studded sky. The city is free from any pollution, hence, the clear sky is a great opportunity for night photographers and stargazers to fly to this place asap! Dhankar Lake makes for a perfect destination for Astro-Photography at night time.

The Highland Passes

Gateway to Lahaul and Spiti Valley
Gateway to Lahaul and Spiti Valley

Certainly, Ladakh has Khardung La Pass, the world highest motorable road, but Spiti is also no less. Spiti has Kunzum La and Rohtang Pass which among the favourite of the riders. Since Ladakh has better roads and overall great connectivity, it is populated and one does not feel remote while riding. However, in Spiti Valley, the roads are rugged, the population is less and the feeling of driving with just your friends is divine. One needs to be cautious while riding in Spiti as it takes a lot from the riders. Although it is strenuous, the feeling of riding your bike without any rules will be enticing.

The Flavorsome Food


Speaking of enticing, food dishes look really tantalizing both in Spiti and Ladakh. In the Land of Passes, one gets a lot of food options as the city has well-connectivity with the world. However, since Spiti Valley is a remote location, you will be served with rural and simple wonders on your plate. The food is really distinct and is cooked with a lot of love from the people of Spiti Village. Variety of momos, thukpa, goat sausages, yak meat, Pava, Sku are some of the local assortment you might get to taste. In drinks, try the famous Butter Tea, local alcohol and flavoured teas.

When you need a break from the noisy bustling world, all you need is the scenery of the sky-piercing mountains, with a radiant sun shining in the backdrop. That will definitely soothe your soul! Take an adventure in the quaint Spiti Valley and experience peace like never before! Only when you take a trip to Spiti Valley you will realize, the magic is for real! The enchanting baked mountains, high altitude villages and the intriguing culture will leave you awestruck!

Plan a trip to the enticing valley and feel the magic.

We all want to be able to enjoy the pristine beauty of the wilderness around in the world throughout our lifetimes and also for generations to come. Each of us plays a vital role in protecting the beauty. As we travel, it’s important for all of us to be conscious of the impact we have on the environment.

During my last back-packing hike to Triund, Mcleodganj, I hiked upwards with a heavy bag full of things to eat. And on my way down, I ended up with a much lighter bag. Some of the stuff from my bag did end up in my tummy, but the rest ended up scattered in the environment. That’s when I realized I’m doing it all wrong.

While I didn’t intend to harm my natural surroundings, I was not mindful of the reverberations of my actions in the environment, at that point of time.

While mulling further over it, I realized it’s important for all outdoor enthusiasts to minimize the impact of their visits. It’s cardinal for the wild in the wilderness to be kept alive.

Adhering to the seven principles of the ‘Leave No Trace’ Policy will ensure that the generations to come can witness and cherish the beauty of the untouched wild.

leave no trace

Plan Ahead and Prepare

What- Research weather conditions, trail diversions, alternate routes, campsite locations, local territory guidelines/rules/regulations/bans before your hike.

Why- The more prepared you are, the less impact you will have by making unplanned decisions out in the wild.

How- Check weather beforehand, read about the trail route in advance, carry a map, and check local regulations. Set appropriate goals, plan your meals in advance, and repackage your food.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces


What – It is important to hike on hard surfaces and established trails. It includes dry grass, rocks, gravel and snow.

Why – Soft surfaces are too fragile to withstand impact and vegetation once impacted can take months or years to recover.

How – Avoid deviating from set trails and campsites. Use dedicated campsites and receive well ahead of dusk for proper and safe installation of camps. Camp at least 100 meters away from a water source to avoid trampling plantation and scaring animals away or obstructing their water path.

Dispose of Waste Properly


What- Pack it in, Pack it out. Take home the garbage back with you.

Why – Animals may end up eating up garbage causing them to be sick. Also, garbage, poop and soap can pollute water, making it unsafe to drink for humans or killing animals, plants and fish. Plus garbage and poop on the trails looks quite displeasing!

How – Take out all the wrappers from your food items even before you travel. Pack all fruit and vegetable peels in a zip-lock bag and get it back with you. If left in the soil, it takes months or even years to decompose.  Do not wash out food particles from your utensil in the water stream. Do not burn food or trash. For human waste, dig a cat hole which is 6-8 inches deep and cover up the hole with the dirt that you dug out. Do not discard human waste in the water. Try and keep water sources as unpolluted as possible.

Leave What You Find


What -Admire what you like, don’t get it back home with you. You don’t need souvenirs.

Why – All outdoor enthusiasts deserve to witness immaculate trails as much as you do.

How- Do not get back that beautiful rock or feather you saw on the way. It is meant to stay where you found it, not in your bag pack.

Minimize Campfire Impacts


What- Use lightweight stoves to cook instead of building a campfire. A campfire can affect the environment in more ways than you can imagine.

Why – Campfires can have immense negative effects on the soil.How – Carry a backpack stove for cooking and use candles for light. If necessary, build small fires on an existing fir pit to reduce damage to an area. Also, check fire regulations in the area. Use dead wood instead of plucking it from trees. Light out the campfire completely & carefully at the end to avoid any fire spreads. Aside from this, the after-effects of a campfire is displeasing as we end up with ash, burned logs, and rocks covered in soot.

Respect Wildlife


What – Wild is home to animals and birds. Let them enjoy their space and do not invade their privacy.

Why – Animals may get scared from human interaction and may also attack if they feel provoked or unsafe.

How- Observe animals from a distance. Keep the noise levels to a minimum. Avoid loud music. Do not feed wild animals. Keep your food locked away and stored safely. Avoid interacting or disturbing with animals during their mating sessions.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors


What- Leave trails & campsites cleaner than how you found them.

Why – Every traveler deserves to experience wilderness in their natural form.

How- Don’t litter, don’t pluck out that beautiful flower you saw, don’t carve out your name in the woods, don’t take back home that marvelous feather, don’t leave that beer bottle behind. Respect other group’s privacy. Give way to uphill travelers. Do not speak loudly or shout. Be a courteous and an affable traveler.

These simple tips will allow nature to be natural and untouched, for everyone to experience it the way we would ourselves want to. With minimal efforts, we all can ensure that wilderness remains pristine for generations to come.

In the far west of the Tibet rests a divine mountain known as Mt. Kailash. Although full of challenges, the holy Kailash Mansarovar yatra attracts millions of worshippers from all around the world. Considered as the most striking mountain of China, Kailash stands tall like a gigantic Egyptian Pyramid surrounded by barren landscapes. The rumours are, the sacred mountain was created by a superior civilization in the ancient age. However, as of now, it is a revered site for pilgrims who wish to cleanse their sins of past and present lives.

Pilgrimages have always been a keen aspect of every culture’s spiritual essence. Considered as the centre of spiritual existence in Hinduism, the Kailash Yatra holds importance for other religions as well like Buddhism, Jainism, Tibetan Bonpo. Drinking and bathing in Lake Mansarovar, and a parikrama of Mount Kailash tends to bring good fortune to the worshippers.

In earlier times, Indians could easily visit the revered site. However, nowadays one has to apply for the holy visit with various documents and other formalities. Still, only a lucky few can complete the entire Kailash journey due to its harsh temperature, altitude and miles of walking. Although the trek is daunting and strenuous. It will be worth-every-penny and time if you can endure its harshness and challenges.


Religions Associated with Mt. Kailash

Amazingly, Kailash Yatra is a prime pilgrimage to the four separate religions – Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bon.

  • Hindus believe Lord Shiva, one of their three main deities, meditates and lives at the top of Mount Kailash. The holy centre of the Earth!
  • Jains believe the first Tirthankara (a teacher of God) named Rishabhanatha attained nirvana or freedom from rebirths.
  • Tantric Buddhists believe the mountain is the home of the Buddha Cakrasamvara (literally, “supreme bliss”).
  • The Tibetan Bon believe the mountain is the spiritual seat of power.
Mt Kailash
Mt Kailash

Amazing Facts and Folk tales

  1. Various folklores revolve around this place. Did you know Kailash was termed as Mount Meru in Buddhist Texts before the word Kailash came into existence? Also, there’s a theory that suggests the perfectly-shaped Kailash cannot be a natural occurrence. The mountain was placed and then carved out in symmetry triangular form by the superhumans.
  2. As per the ancient text, no mortals can set their foot on the top of the sacred Mount Kailash. It is holy ground and also the abode of the Gods. He who dares to scale the mountain will be put to death. Many mountaineers tried to ascend the mountain, however, no one could summit it. The unfavourable and strange weather conditions forced the climbers to descent back.
  3. The shape of the lakes is a matter of discussion since the antique ages. Lake Mansarovar, the sacred and the highest freshwater lake in the world have a perfectly round shape which resembles the sun. On the other hand, Rakshas Tal Lake takes the shape of the crescent moon. Both of these lakes represent negative and positive energies. Moreover, Lake Mansarovar is freshwater and always placid even during stronger winds. And the Rakshas Tal have salty water and is always stormy and rough.
  4. Most of the times, Kailash top is fringed with a lot of clouds. It is said, if you can see the summit, you are lucky and blessed. Mount Kailash has four faces, which directly point to the four directions of the compass. In addition to this, according to the ancient text, the mountain is said to be the link between heaven and earth. The followers of Kailash believe that the peak is the gateway to heaven. Mahabharatha legends, the Pandavas along with Draupadi attained moksha whilst trekking up the peak, though one of them slipped from the mountain.

What are the challenges the pilgrims face?

Lake Mansarovar--- glistening and glowing
Lake Mansarovar— glistening and glowing

Having said that, the Kailash is a supreme pilgrimage destination, not all pilgrims get the entry permits, or can complete the entire trek. Only a lucky few people get the opportunity and the strength to finish the majestic journey of Kailash.

There are a plethora of huddles a Yatri has to go through. Approval of Visa from China Embassy, medical check-up, entry permits, documents verification and more. After getting a green signal from all of these, one has to endure the weather conditions of the Kailash region. Some people were returned due to countless reasons such as mountain sickness, injury, etc. The journey of Kailash is supremely remarkable if one can endure the tough climb and adjust with the bare minimum amenities given on the trek by the China authorities.

The most challenging part is when you will have walk 53 km in three days to finish the Parikrama (the most sacred part of the yatra) or circumambulation of the sacred Mt. Kailash. It might sound a piece of cake, but it is not. The high-altitude pressure along with bare minimum oxygen tends to discourage the Yatris. It’s best if you daily undertake a 30 to 60 min workout session to walk extensive kilometres. And if you can complete it, congratulations in advance, you are the lucky few chosen to be blessed by the Supreme God.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Kailash Mansarovar is from May to October, which is usually during the summer and Monsoon months. As most of the year, the sacred mountain is roofed with clouds. During these months, you will get clear and arresting views of the Kailash. And if you are planning to visit Kailash Mansarovar during the winters, carry heavy woollens as you are bound to encounter bitter cold.

Let this be filled with the blessing from the sacred mountain. Choose from a minimum of 9 days via helicopter and a maximum of 16 days overland tour for your visit to Mt Kailash. With our four Kailash Mansarovar Yatra packages you can make your spiritual journey to Mt. Kailash come true.

  • Kailash Mansarovar Tour- 14 Days
  • Kailash Mansarovar Tour via Helicopter Ex Lucknow – 9 Days
  • Kailash Mansarovar Tour via Helicopter Ex Kathmandu – 11 Days
  • Kailash Mansarovar Tour Overland Tour Ex Lhasa – 16 Days
Mt. Kailash in all its might and divinity
Mt. Kailash in all its might and divinity

Lastly, Mount Kailash is a pilgrimage and not a trek. Those of you who are thinking about it as a trek, mind you, it’s meaningless if you are not able to feel the spiritual energies while you take a parikrama of the sacred Kailash. When you go there as a pilgrim and not as a trekker, you will be awestruck with the vibes you will feel there and it will awaken you to be a more wonderful you.

In a world filled with materialistic pleasures, we forget to connect with our spiritual self. There are days when we tend to introspect our prospects, past decisions or seek healing and forgiveness. However, we are so busy in our daily life that our feelings do not last long. But what if you can feel more deeply and can connect with your spiritual being? Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a journey of forgiveness, a journey of healing, a journey of self-proclamation and more. Encapsulated by immense beauty, Kailash Yatra boasts of a journey that connects with your soul.

Get inspired with these popular stories on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra:

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra trek: A Spiritual Journey to the Himalayas

Full Moon Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: What to Expect

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Trek: Experience A Unique Combination of Adventure and Spiritual Ecstasy!

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Offers Tranquility and Soul-stirring Natural Charm

In the northern region of India, this year the winters have gone wild. Be it Delhi-NCR or the mountain settlements, the lord of winter is showering cold waves in full-throttle. But does it stop us from exploring the winter treks in India? No, with proper planning, and just the right clothes, we are going to make your winter trek, a fabulous one.

As said by Aristotle “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” True! But first, you need to stop thinking that it is so cold, and I can’t go out of the goddamn blanket. Even a harsh winter is bearable with proper warm attire, and if you are planning to do a snow trek, it is a must. On a snow trek, it is necessary to always follow an onion layering clothing, wear comfortable hiking boots, and carry a lightweight backpack.

Most of the winter treks in India happen during January and February in either Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand. Both of these states are chock-full of places to explore and experience winter in its best form. These two states also go through minimum temperatures that can be as low as -1 to -5 degree Celsius, hence it is important for anyone to prepare themselves before heading out for the amazing yet daunting snow trek.

Prepare Beforehand


Preparation is the ultimate way to get ready for a trek, especially a winter one. This season gloats of myriad challenges such as cold weather and short daylight hours, which is not faced during the summer months. So it’s important to plan ahead of time, to be able to face any circumstances.

  • Do thorough research of the treks. Choose a trek that can match up to your fitness level. If not, plan 2-3 months before so that you have time to prepare your body fitness for the ultimate adventure. Either work out in a gym or do 30-60 mins work-out sessions each day till your departure date. Trekking during winter months is far tougher than in summer, as the body has to endure winter winds, miles of walking, slippery paths, and a heavier bag that aids 2 x loss of energy (which is bad). Work hard! Play hard!
  • Know your trip plan well in advance. Ask your trip operator to provide you with a detailed itinerary, trek essentials, and other information such as where you’ll be, how long you’ll be, when will you return, where to reach and more. You need to be in the loop of every information needed for the journey.
  • Novice trekkers, please do not try winter trekking alone. There’s a lot of technicalities that one needs to adhere to. Always experience these kinds of treks with a legitimate guide or with a high-altitude experienced trekker. If you go alone, any casualty can occur. You might slip from a boulder, AMS can hit you, or you might simply get an injury. Having said that, the knowledge of a guide will give you peace of mind while trekking.
  • Prepare yourself for the unexpected. It’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund like extra cash, first-aid kit, extra food, and extra clothes. We are not recommending to pile up your bag and make it heavy. All we want to convey is if you are carrying one pair of anything make that two. What if you lose your socks, or your jacket gets wet. Extras are awesome!
  • Dehydration is common on a winter trek. And if you’re someone who drinks less water, you can be a victim of dehydration on the trek. So before dehydration becomes a possibility, make sure you drink sip-sip water in 15-20 mins while trekking. The early symptoms such as sweating are hard to recognize at first due to cold weather and layered clothing. So follow the sip-sip mantra!
  • Lastly but not least! Food is the major source of energy on the winter treks. Do not shy away, eat adequate food amount because one loses a lot of energy and calories while traversing the mountains on the jagged and rugged paths. You can carry protein bars, dry fruits, instant hot water meals, and snacks that will provide you with instant energy to keep you moving.

Winter clothes Layering Techniques


Layers! Layers! Layers! When it comes to preparation on what to wear and pack for a winter trek, it’s important to note, layering is the basic funda to select clothes for the base, middle and outer layer. Hence, taking the time to research will benefit you in the long run. With just the right clothes your body will thank you for keeping it warm and not freezing.

  • Start with your base layer. This one sits against your skin. The best material that works great as the base layer is synthetic or merino wool. It will keep your body dry from all the sweat as it wicks away perspiration from your skin. If you’re trekking in winter, wear two base layers for warmness. Stay away from cotton, it retains moisture and takes longer to dry.
  • For your middle layer, it’s time to add an insulated material. This layer is meant to protect you from cold. You can research well on this. However, we recommend a fleece jacket or goose down jacket works best for middle layer as it is warm and retains heat.
  • For your outer layer, make sure you have something breathable, windproof, waterproof. You will keep adjusting and shredding this layer as you walk from different terrains and climatic zones. The temperature fluctuates a lot during the winters. Make sure you are loaded with all the needed layers.
  • Socks are another important piece of cloth you must-have for winter trekking. It’s best to wear a thin pair of socks under a bulky pair of merino wool or synthetic socks. It will keep your feet dry and warm. Don’t forget to carry an extra pair of socks in case one gets wet. Strictly no cotton!
  • Hiking BOOTS is EXTREMELY important while on a trek. Buy winter hiking or mountaineering boots. They are better than average hiking boots for their insulation and waterproof quality. You can even buy gaiters and crampons if you want.

Apart from all this, you must carry gloves, sunscreen, lip balm, hats, sunglasses and more. Find detailed clothes guide here.

Sar Pass

Insights on Hypothermia

Since we are talking about winter planning, one should have knowledge about Hypothermia as well. Opposite of heatstroke, when hypothermia occurs it does not allow your body to produce adequate heat in order to keep the body core at a safe temperature. A life-threatening condition that requires an immediate response. It can happen in a high-altitude region like mountain hiking or in freezing cold water (underwater). If you are not wearing proper attire to keep your body warm, hypothermia can become a threat to your life.

Keep your eye on some symptoms like shivering, apathy, cold-pale skin, poor judgment, unsteadiness, slurred speech, numb hands or feet. Advanced symptoms include stiffness, slow pulse, shallow breathing, sleepiness, weakness, unconsciousness.

Hypothermia Treatment 
The first aid is to restore core body temperature. Immediately warm the victim body core in a dry place, preferably indoors. Use warm blankets, hot water bottles, body warmth to warm them up. Don’t stay outdoors, go into a tent or building.

Preparation for a winter trek is quite easier than you might think. If you’re organized and follow these basic tips, we promise you will be insulated and also enjoy winters like never before.

“An adventure has no bounds; it can go as wild as you want it to be.” A few years back, I was just a run-of-the-mill kind of a person, who just talked about wild travel but never dared to live one. And honestly, there’re many people like me and all they need is just a push to move out of their comfort zone. So this winter, don’t just cuddle up in a blanket but make it adventurous by trekking to some of the most awesome places in India. One such place is Hampta Valley nestled in the vicinity of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. What a marvellous trek! You will be completely in awe of the charming aspects of the winter season this place depicts.

However, it is best explained in a series of photos. After all, a photo is worth a thousand words.

So without further ado, here’s what’s so special about Hampta snow Trek and why it should be on your travel wish-list for 2020:


The trek will commence from Prini. You will come across the beautiful terrain of forest and relaxing fresh air will around to take you to the oblivion. You will be thrilled to see the massive Dhauladhar ranges and the gushing river Beas flowing adjacent to it. Crossing rivers and little streams will be an absolute delight on this trek! Enjoy the sounds of water thrashing against the rocks.hampta pass As you keeping ascending, you will soon come across snow-patches. Further upward, the entire route will be drenched in snow. On Day 3, you will leave for the pristine snow trek to Chika, nestled in Hampta Valley. Make sure you have carried all the essentials as today will be a snow trek. You must carry your cameras as you will be passing through the lush green Kullu valley on one side and the stark opposite desert valley of Lahaul on the other.hampta pass

dsc_3523Don’t forget to carry your cameras as the fascinating views of the snow drenched trail will be drop-dead gorgeous for your Instagram travel feed.pic17_u3g9gp-1 After the amazing trek, one tends to get all tired with legs paining inconsolably. And at this point of time, one just wishes to reach the campsite and relax by nature to rejuvenate oneself. The stunning camping scenes of the trek lured us so much that it ensnared us at one glance. Moreover, the night sky was so beautifully bejewelled with billions of stars, that by midnight we all were mesmerized by the little diamonds. If star-gazing is in your bucket list, you can check-off it here.

ashmit-5The best part about the entire trek was the colourful campsites. If you are someone who loves living outdoors and has an admiration for nature’s galore, you must visit this place. I personally have a thing for picturesque campsites, it makes me feel alive and close to nature.pic24

In picture, Hampta Pass

Nestled near Old Manali, this trek can be easily completed in four days, meaning it can be categorized as a long weekend trek.
-Ideal for beginners
-Altitude 14,000 ft
-Dhauladhar Mountain ranges in view
-Locations covered: Old Manali, Sethan, Prini, Chika, Hampta
-Nestled between Kullu and Lahaul Valley
-Prettiest Campsites

Since it is a snow trek, please follow a trek essentials guide for a better trekking experience.

What are you waiting for?

Pack your bags and set out for this dreamland! Hampta snow trek can be undertaken by experienced and inexperienced trekkers each January-February-March. This is a perfect trek for your travel goal list.