An Experience Like Never Before 

The Chadar trek is a must for all those people who are living in cities and have been seeking an opportunity to have freedom from their hard-working lives for a short while. After completing it, one will realise the immense beauty of pristine nature and why it needs to be protected. The Chadar trek is a completely different trek as it involves walking on a frozen Zanskar river at an altitude of 13,000 ft for days in sub-zero temperatures at around -25 degree Celsius. The experience of trekking on an aqua blue ice trail between calm brown mountains along with cold breeze is an experience within itself. This trek has been categorised under the major difficulty level trek, as it requires a heavy amount of exertion. One is also required to have a proper guidance before beginning this trek. The trail of this trek is approximately 105 km and on an average, a trekker will be walking a distance of 15 to 17 km per day

During winter, this frozen lake route of Chadar is one and only route that connects Zanskar Valley and Ladakh.

Special Treats: MAJOR VILLAGES EN ROUTE
Villages falling in the trail of Chadar trek are Nerak and Lingshed. Trekkers will be coming across these two villages on different days during the trek.

NERAKIt is one of the two villages where the trekkers will be taking their stoppages. The views of the sunset from this point are worth witnessing. Travellers should definitely click some pictures from this point. Trekkers will be reaching towards this village after witnessing the captivating frozen waterfall and the massive Tibb Cave. This village serves as a major base camp of the Chadar trek. In order to reach Nerak Village, trekkers will be climbing a steep mountain trail. This village houses facilities such as a rudimentary health dispensary and a solar plant. There is also a residential school at this village where students study till the elementary level. All the basic essential goods including ration are bought for an entire year and are brought in this village from a small settlement of Wonla, which is located at a great distance and is situated across the Zing La pass. Only the Chadar trek trail connects the Nerak Village with the outside world. This village is home to around 30 families.

LINGSHEDTrekkers will be arriving at the village of Lingshed. Trekker arriving in Lingshed will be delighted to know that this village is known as one of the oldest villages in Ladakh. This village is filled with an ample amount of nature’s beauty. It is also home to the Lingshed Monastery, which is one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh. This monastery is a famous tourist attraction. By now, the trekkers would have visited popular tourist spots such as Gyalpo and Dibyokma. Gyalpo is an enchanting campsite which is located in a meadow in the Zanskar River. At this region, travelers will discover imposing peaks and large natural rocks which are naturally sculpted in abstract shapes. Dibyokma is another stoppage point during the Chadar trek. From this point, travelers can enjoy a breath-taking view of the Himalayas, it is also known as the most peaceful point of the trek.


Dreamlike Chadar Trek: Enjoy Camping Under Starlit Skies 

chadar
During the night, the travelers will also get the opportunity to see a vibrant sky full of stars. The Chadar trek is known for its rough camping conditions and fluctuating temperature, there will be several instances where trekkers would be required to manoeuvre through difficult terrain of the trek and climb cold boulders of ice and rock.    

chadarThe wide frozen aqua blue ice trail formed by Zanskar River in winters between massive, calm, golden brown mountains is the prime factor which makes Chadar Trek a special trek.

Lifesaver Tips: Exercising Precaution While Treading On The Frozen River 

  • It is suggested that one should share his or her schedule to go on Chadar Trek with at least one friend or family member. This will ensure that he or she has someone for help in case of an emergency.
  • It is advised to carry warm clothes as there is a high probability of temperature to drop extremely low.
  • Travelers are suggested to carry ample quantity of edible food and water with them, as there might be a shortage of food and water during the trek.
  • One should not forget to carry a first-aid kit and medicines, as the travellers will be involved in activities which will require a lot of exertion and will be often getting minor bruises and cuts during the trek.
  • One should ensure that the trail of the trek stays clean and they should not pollute the trail or dump anything during the trek. Travellers are also advised not to use shampoos and soaps at any of the waterfalls.
  • One should respect all religious faiths and the calmness of all the shrines that fall en route.
  • One should not disobey or disregard any of the instructions and tips given by the guide.
  • Avid skipping any of the meals during the trek as the intense terrain of Chadar trek will require trekkers to have a high amount of energy.

The best time to go on Chadar Trek is considered to be the winter season between the months of January and February. At this time, the Zanskar River is considered safe and is suitable for walking.

The pristine natural beauty of Kashmir has earned the title of “Paradise on Earth” for a reason. Featuring lush greenery and snow-capped mountains, the valley of Kashmir always captivates the mind and soul of travelers with its splendor. It is ornamented with alpine meadows, stunning rivers, gushing waterfalls, dense forests of pine and oak, and crystal-clear glaciers. Over the years, Kashmir has also grown popular for its trekking routes and destinations – most notably, the Tarsar Marsar Trek.

Fact Check: According to the locals, it was the ruler of Kashmir, Yusuf Shah Chak, who discovered these two stunning lakes. Tarsar Lake joins the River Lidder in Lidderwat and Marsar merges with a river in the Aru district.

With great trekking locations and scenic landscapes, Kashmir attracts lakhs of tourists throughout the year. It brings the trekkers and adventure lovers one step closer to the heaven on Earth. Sonamarg and Pahalgam are the two most famous hill stations in Kashmir and they serve as the base camp for various treks. The Tarsar Marsar trek is one of those expeditions where dreams of adventure seekers become true. While hiking in the mountains, trekkers will come across the lifestyle of rural people and get a glimpse of a pastoral-agricultural ethnic group called Gujjar. The Dachigam National Park is situated in the region of Marsar Lake.

Surrounded by the peaks of the Kolahi Mountain, the Tarsar Marsar trek takes you to a height of 4,100 m. It involves a beautiful journey to the most striking twin lakes i.e. Tarsar and Marsar, which are known for their almond like shape. And surprisingly, they flow in opposite directions too. The one thing that makes this trek special is its awe-inspiring exquisiteness and tranquillity.

Duration: 7 days
Max Altitude: 4,100 m
Distance Covered: 33 km
Level: Moderate
Maximum Age: 8 years
Base Camp: Srinagar
Start Point: Pahalgam
End Point: Sumbal

Best Time: Whether it’s summer, monsoon or winter, the beauty of Kashmir remains constant and unchallenged. Ardent trekkers undertake this trek all round the year. However, the suggested time to head for the Tarsar Marsar trek is from April to October as trekkers can enjoy magnificent mountains the most. Also, trekkers get to witness colorful birds and mountain animals like golden eagles, musk deer, bar-headed geese and brown bear. The average temperature ranges from 17°C to 20°C in the daytime and remains between 3°C and 4°C at night.

Near Sonmarg, Kashmir on the way in Tarsar Marsar Trek
Near Sonmarg, Kashmir

Walking On The Velvet Grassland
On every day of the trek, the contrasting views of lush green meadows against the gigantic mountains and sapphire blue sky will surprise you. The grassland also comprises exotic plants like gentian and poppy, which offer a sight similar to that of Delhi’s Mughal Garden. The dense forest and herders’ huts make the grassland even more beautiful.

Enjoy Staying At Stunning Campsites
The campsites are set amidst the green surrounding and striking mountains. The trek gives you an opportunity to spend nights at the most picturesque campsites of Shekiwas and Lidderwat that offer enchanting views of the snow-clad peaks and glittery sky.

The Base Camp: The village of Aru features a number of charming wooden cottages amidst the lofty trees of fir. The hamlet serves as the base camp of the Tarsar Marsar trek and on reaching Aru, you can experience its exquisiteness along with the river stream that flows aside the rustic hamlet. You can meet the locals to know more about their lifestyle and if you’re lucky enough then you might get to enjoy a few melodious folk songs.

Climbing On The Grassy Ridge
Have you ever thought of hiking the trail without the trekking shoes? No! During the Tarsar Marsar trekking expedition, upon reaching Shekiwas there is a grassy ridge where you can walk barefoot. From the top of this dazzling ridge, you can enjoy a sight of stunning sunrise. And this view is not only a great catch for your eyes but for your camera too!

Stroll Around The Striking Tarsar Lake
If you’re a nature lover or photography enthusiast then you must walk around Tarsar Lake. From the two opposite ends of the lake, you can enjoy distinct views of the lake. Undoubtedly, the lake even looks more stunning during the sunrise when sun rays paint the azure water of the lake in orange color.

Does the Trek Demand Physical Fitness? As most of the trekking trail goes through the lush green meadows, the Tarsar Marsar trek is a perfect one for beginners. Since it is a moderate trek, it doesn’t require much physical fitness. Any person above 8 years can undertake the trek to explore the beauty of Kashmir and the twin lakes.

Day 01: Srinagar to Aru Base Camp
After arriving at the airport in Srinagar, we first met a cab driver. He told us that he has come to receive us and he will take us to the base camp. We boarded the cab and reached Pahalgam in 3 hours, covering a distance of about 100 km. The driver stopped the cab near  a roadside restaurant where we had lunch. We reached Aru, located 12 km from Pahalgam, in one and a half hour. From the Aru road, we hiked towards the base camp.

The Bijbhera trail was dotted with scenic orchards of walnuts, apples and apricots. Our eyes glazed over with the astounding view of the base camp and Aru village. For that one moment, I felt like somebody has erased the memories that I have lived so far in my life and I have entered a world where I wanted everything to just halt right there.

Morning view of a town at Aru Valley near Pahalgam
Morning view of a town at Aru Valley near Pahalgam

Later, we met our guide and we were introduced to other fellow trekkers. He briefed us about the area, locals and trekking routes. We also found herders coming back from the hilltop with their cattle and children were playing games in the lush green area. In the evening, we relished Kashmiri tea, called kahwah, with a pan-shaped local bread, khambir. After dinner, we spent the night under the glazy sky amidst the gushing sounds of the stream.

Day 02: Aru to Lidderwat
We woke up with the sunrise and to the melodious chirping of birds, echoing in the valley and quickly got ready with our packed luggage. Our trekking expedition started after the breakfast. We gave our luggage to the porters so that we could easily climb in the mountains. While hiking through the scenic surroundings, consisting green pastureland and mountain animals like sheep and goats, we realized that why Kashmir is called the paradise on Earth. The climb was steep but easy and pleasant too. We hiked along the River Lidder and it took us around 4 hours to cover a distance of 9 km.

Lidder River Valley in Pahalgam, Kashmir
Lidder River Valley in Pahalgam, Kashmir

Post reaching the Lidderwat, we took a stroll around the valley and spent a night in a riverside camp.

Day 03: Lidderwat to Shekiwas
After capturing some wonderful pictures in my camera, I headed to Shekiwas with my friends and fellow trekkers. On the way to Shekiwas, we sang songs and shared our trekking experiences with each other. Initially, the trail was less rocky and it helped us in climbing faster. However, there was a point when we were surrounded by the cold winds which were hitting us very hard.

Thankfully, the trail took us to a dense forest of pine and that helped us escape the winds. We also sighted a deer and many exotic birds in the forest. Later, we crossed a river and suspension bridge. With that, we reached a valley which had several Gujjar huts. We enjoyed a cup of tea and snacks there. It gave us energy and helped us in climbing at a high altitude. Moving ahead, we reached Shekiwas in 4 hours. It is a lush meadow which offers perfect captures for the camera. Later, we had a bonfire night under the moon.

Day 04: Shekiwas to Tarsar
Next day, the trail took us through the lush green meadows, waterfalls and a river stream. Later, the path took us to a ridge on the stream that goes to Tarsar. We hiked to a stunning conical hilltop that offered astounding views of Tarsar Lake. The walk around the lake filled me with thrill and excitement. The overwhelming beauty of the place was so powerful that it kept us half-awake the entire night. Most of us kept looking at the sparkling water of the lake as it was offering a wonderful sight with the changing colors of the sky.

Day 05: Tarsar to Sundaresar
It was one of the most challenging days of the journey as we had to cross Tarsar Pass. We covered only 5 km in 6 hours and the ascent became even more strenuous as it rained for a few hours. Following a trail that goes through the dense forest, we reached Sundaresar. The shores of Sundaresar Lake welcomed us, and it was an ideal camping spot after the lovely trek from Tarsar.

Day 06: Sundaresar to Marsar and Back to Sonmasti
After breakfast, we started with a steady ascent to Marsar from Sundaresar. Our guide told us that we have to descend back to the base camp after visiting Marsar Lake. We reached a valley filled with vibrant flowers. Later, we sighted mountain sheep and goats that were grazing on the lush green pastureland. In 3 hours, we reached Marsar Lake and after capturing several group photos and selfies, we descended to the base camp via Sonmasti.

It took us around 7 hours to hit Sonmasti, which is a small village of Gujjars. The village was located amidst the pictorial surroundings, including a waterfall. We had fun with the Gujjars as they had some small get together, and luckily they asked us to join them. We danced to the tunes of Kashmiri folk songs that day. And, don’t ask me about the food, I can hardly describe you the taste of those lip-smacking traditional delicacies.

Day 07: Sonmasti to Sumbal; Drive to Srinagar
Last day, we arrived at Sumbal from Sonmasti in 3 hours and after bidding goodbye to our fellow trekkers, we drove back to Srinagar.

Not just a trek, it is an experience…
Trekking is not only a mere journey; it is also about discovering the different culture and natural beauty that the place offers. With smooth trails, alpine lakes and magnificent mountains, trekking in Kashmir always offers 5a unique pleasure and thrill that cannot be described in mere words.

The fascinating Tarsar Marsar trek allows you to find the real you. It gives you a chance to make some of the most beautiful memories of your life in the lap of nature. So, do not miss the chance and plan this wonderful venture in the ‘Paradise on Earth’.

Nestled in the peaceful abode of Jammu and Kashmir at a high altitude of 2,987 m, Ladakh is the most-scenic landscape in the north-west region of India. Said to be the coldest inhabited desert in the world, it is enclosed by the world’s highest mountain ranges, the great Himalayas and Karakoram. It is the raw beauty of nature that adds a mysterious, incredible and stunning charm to the beautiful landscape.

Completely isolated from the hustle-bustle of the city, the ‘Land of high passes’, Ladakh is well-known for its crystal-clear water lake, azure sky, magical clouds, freezing winds, extreme deserts, sand dunes and glaciers. In its serene demeanor, the land encompasses various ethnic groups, primarily Tibetans, Dards, Monpas and Muslims. It is a place where prayer flags flutter in the cool breeze and striking stupas covered with snow stand tall. Ladakh attracts several tourists from around the world as it gives a chance to reinvent thrill, excitement and adventure. 

Chang la pass, Ladakh
Chang la pass, Ladakh

Best Time to Visit Ladakh
Undoubtedly, anyone who visits Ladakh gets fascinated by its beauty and quaint charm. Witnessing the stunning views in the mountains along with trekking is one of its kind excitements.

You can visit Ladakh in the following three seasons:

Summers – April to July :  At this time, the passes are accessible, and pleasant weather and surroundings offer an impressive panorama. It is the best time to go on the trek, ride a bike and board a jeep. The temperature ranges between 15 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius.

Monsoon – July to September : Despite the irregular rainfalls, monsoon is also considered as an ideal time to visit Ladakh. A traveller can enjoy river rafting, challenging treks and masked dance performances during monsoons. Temperature ranges between 3 degrees Celsius and 17 degrees Celsius.

Winter – October to March : Ladakh is the winter destination for those adventure-seekers who are eager to experience the majesty of Himalayas. At this time, ardent bike riders undertake motorcycle expeditions to acclimatize with harsh weather conditions. One thing that gives an adrenaline rush is a panorama of jaw-dropping Himalayan landscapes, Buddhist monasteries, frozen lakes and rivers. The temperature ranges between 0 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius.

Indus zanskar Confluence Ladakh
Indus zanskar Confluence Ladakh

The Best Trekking Expeditions in Ladakh
To escape from mundane life and crowd, the Himalayas are the best place to please your heart and soul. If you’re heading to the Himalayas, then do not resist yourself from undertaking new adventure and thrill activities at higher altitudes. Hiking in the mountainous region requires a lot of courage, will and attention.

Here are the two most popular treks that one should add to the list of trekking while planning a trip to Ladakh.

Stok Kangri Trek

Duration: 10 days
Grade: Difficult
Max Altitude: 6120 m
Approx Trekking: 40 km
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Route: Leh>Changma>Mankorma>Spituk>Stok Kangri>Leh
Best Time to visit: June to September (-2 °C to 15 °C)

Stok Palace
Stok Palace

Situated in the Hemis National Park and the Stok Range of Himalayas, Stok Kangri is one of the highest mountain peaks in the world. On the way to the summit, the trail passes through the rustic hamlets built in traditional style, glacial pools, frozen streams and snowy landscape. Visiting vibrant small markets, meeting locals and peeking into their lifestyle is a unique experience in itself. The trail offers a 360-degrees view of grand Stok and Yissay peaks, and Zanskar and the Karakoram ranges, against the white dancing clouds. The trek is quite challenging, as it involves brook crossings, slippery slopes, long hour walks and sharp ascents and descents.

It is a place where one can experience an ideal amalgam of natural exquisiteness with cultural splendor. The sight of large moraines, crystal crests and the lofty peak of Mt. K2 is just breathtaking. Before starting the trek, there is a need to get acclimatized with the harsh weather conditions and surroundings of the place. In the initial days of trekking, explore Stok Palace, museums, forts, monasteries and local markets. The mission to reach Stok will be accomplished after crossing Chang Ma and Mankorma.

This trek is a must-try for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.  

Markha Valley Trek

Duration: 9 days
Grade: Moderate to difficult
Max Altitude: 5130 m
Approx Trekking: 75 km
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Route: Leh>Spituk >Zingchen>Yuruste>Ganda La>Skiu>Markha>Thachungtse>Nimalingmaling >Kongmaru La>Shang Sumdo>Leh
Best Time to visit: June to September (2 °C to 12 °C)

markha

Surrounded by the towering and snow-covered mountains, the Markha Valley trek is one of the most alluring regions and preferred treks in Ladakh. The tributary of the River Zanskar flows in the beautiful village called Markha. The 9-day trek passes through the unexplored beauty of Hemis National Park and Gandala La and Kongmaru La passes. This trek will take you to the last village of the region, and also gives you a chance to enjoy rare sights of wildlife, such as the bear and snow leopard. The trekking expedition starts with acclimatization that helps you in getting familiarized with the surroundings. Later, you will head for sightseeing in Leh to get a glimpse of Ladakhi culture and Buddhists tradition. 

Under the glittery sky and amidst the gushing river, camping in Yurutse is a delight for trekkers’ eyes and soul. One will come to a dazzling sight of Zanskar Range after reaching Ganda La. The sight of convergence of three rivers at Skiu and Kangyatze Peak is a feast to trekker’s eyes. On your way to Markha, which is 6 km from the Skiu, you will come across several stunning streams.

How to reach Ladakh?

Ladakh on a motorbike expedition is a fantastic idea!
Ladakh on a motorbike expedition is a fantastic idea!

Those who are planning to visit the Moonland called Ladakh can reach there by flight, bike, jeep, bus or train.

Travelling by Bike : It is well said that for a bike rider nothing could be better than chasing the roads of Ladakh! To enjoy the surroundings of the scenic environment of this cold desert, one should undertake this trip on a bike. Bike ride to Ladakh is something which you will cherish for a lifetime. Srinagar and Manali are the two spots from where the routes lead to Ladakh. To witness the true majesty of Mother Nature’s creation, the road trip is a must-try.

Train Journey : The closest railway station to Ladakh is Jammu Tawi, which is around 700 km from Ladakh. One can hire a taxi or bus from there to reach Ladakh.

By air : The nearest airport to reach Ladakh is Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. The airport is connected to and from Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh, etc.

By road : Ladakh is well-connected with Srinagar and Jammu by roads. There are two routes that lead to Ladakh – one is from Srinagar via Zoji La Pass, and the other is Manali via Rohtang Pass.

ladakh shutterstock_1873033_txzmh

Ladakh is a must for you if you want to write your own travel journey on the roads that take you to the doors of heaven.

Known for high-altitude trekking at 15250 ft, Rupin Pass trek offers absolute excitement and thrill to the adventure lovers. The picturesque trek begins and ends at the “Lands of Gods”, including Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. So, naturally, the pristine beauty of the scenic landscapes on this trek are pure bliss for the ones who love a rendezvous with nature.

On this venture, a trekker gets a chance to pass through rustic hamlets, lush green pasturelands, suspension bridges, dense forests, stunning rivers, and gushing streams and waterfalls. 

  • Pass through two stunning Himalayan villages, including Jhanka and Mori, which are positioned on the hilltop
  • Walking through the dense forests of oak, pine and rhododendron in the Govind National Park
  • Feast your eyes on the exotic sights of rare Himalayan flora and fauna
  • Explore the culture and tradition of hill people
  • Crossing suspension and snow bridges enhances excitement and trekkers can feel the adrenaline rush
  • Waterfalls at such a height would make you feel that the almighty is pouring down the holy water from the blue sky
  • Offer prayers at Kinnaur Temple and Pokhu Devta, situated at the confluence of the rivers Rupin and Supin
  • Get lost in the mesmerizing beauty of the lofty Kailash Peak and snow-capped mountains
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Trek through forests that are beginning to autumn in the post-monsoon season

Best Time to Head to Rupin Pass: The Rupin Pass trek can be undertaken in two seasons, one in summer, i.e., from May to June and another in the post-monsoon season, i.e., September and October. Notably, summer experiences heavy snowfall, while in the post-monsoon season the landscape turns green and the weather becomes clear. However, the grass starts turning golden from the end of October, referring to the arrival of winters. The average temperature in Rupin Pass ranges from 13°C to 18°C in daytime and from 0°C to 7°C at night.

Rupin Pass: A Glimpse of My Long Journey To The ‘Land of Gods’

Region – Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh
Duration – 8 Days
Grade – Moderate to Difficult
Max Altitude – 15250 ft
Distance – 52 km
Being one of the most adventurous and beautiful trails, the Rupin Pass trek is known for showcasing a breathtaking contrast in the green and snow-covered landscapes. The trail is admired for its awe-inspiring beauty and appealing charm. A walk through the valley, encompassing exquisite flora and fauna, is a unique experience in itself. A panoramic sight of the River Tons and the Kailash Peak makes this journey, the most memorable experience.

After a relaxing journey of 2 hours on a flight from Delhi to Dehradun, I reached Jolly Grant Airport at 8 am. I met my guide and trek mates outside the airport. We all introduced ourselves to each other. As we were a group of 15 people, our guide had arranged three Tata Sumos for us. After boarding our respective vehicles, the beautiful journey began on the hilly road with greenery all over.

We gorged on a glass of lassi (buttermilk) and aloo-pyaaz parathas (bread stuffed with mashed potatoes and chopped onions) with butter at a dhaba (roadside eatery). Then, our vehicles halted at Mori to offer prayers to Lord Pokhu (god of law and order) at Pokhu temple, which is a beautiful wooden temple in the village of Netwar. The temple is also known as the point of confluence of rivers Supin and Rupin, and the origin base of River Tons.

Moving ahead, the trail passed through some spectacular views of hills and it took us around 7 hours to reach Dhaula via Mussorie. Situated in the Uttarkashi district, Dhaula was the base camp of our trek. After relaxing for two hours at the base camp, our guide briefed us with the detailed itinerary and routes. He also handed over a map of the 8-day trek to every trekker. After dinner, we spent a night in the camp.

Next day, I woke up to a stunning sight of sunrise and after that, we all were asked to do warm up and some flexibility exercises. Later, the adventurous Rupin Pass trek from Dhaula to Seva began. The trail passed through rustic hamlets, fragrant apricot and apple orchards and suspension bridges over the River Rupin. On our way, we found a small shop ran by a Pahadi couple who were selling tea and biscuits. We could not resist and had a hot cup of tea along with some light snacks. Later, we walked through the dense forest and pastureland for about 3 hours and we also kept taking rest after every hour.

rupinsupin8

Meanwhile, the gushing sound of rivers and streams was falling as a well-composed melody on my ears. On reaching our destination, we came across a stunning temple known for its Kinnauri traditions. We hiked for 10 minutes and reached a bridge which connects Uttarakhand to Himachal Pradesh. We crossed that suspension bridge and arrived at Seva where we set up our camps aside the river stream.  

On day 3, we entered the thick rhododendron forest and after walking for around 2 hours, we crossed a wooden bridge called ‘No man’s Place’. Our guide told us that this is because the bridge does not belong to any state. We first arrived at Gosangu, and from there we continued walking to Kwar and reached Jiksun in the next two hours. We had energy drinks and bars on our way to Jiksun. We stayed at Jiksun for around 20 minutes and captured stunning views of the valley and snow-capped mountains in our cameras. Gradually, we reached Jhaka Village after a walk of 1 hour.

The picturesque Rupin Pass Trek
Enjoy the lushness of nature on the picturesque Rupin Pass Trek

Trekking became difficult as the trail towards a tributary of the main river turned steeper and demanding. The lush greenery of the forest and a beautiful sight of snowfields kept us motivated. We crossed the snow bridge that leads to a forest of rhododendron. Further, a walk of 1 hour took us to the campsite of Saruwas Thatch. From here, we enjoyed a stunning sight of the Rupin waterfall.

The next day, we began trekking after having breakfast. We went through pictorial and dense maple and blue pine forests. We walked for around 1 hour and then we descended towards a river to cross a bridge to reach the other side. The forest comprised of silver birch, rhododendrons and alpine meadows. Here, my eyes enjoyed a magnificent vista of the bright colors of the wildflowers including Himalayan daisy, lily and blue poppies. Further, we reached Dhanderas Thatch after 6 hours.

Next morning, we all hiked on the patches of snow to reach Upper Waterfall Camp. I captured the views of land filled with blooming marigold flowers. After an easy walk for 3 hours, we reached the campsite and relaxed there for the night.

As per my experience, day 7 was the most-challenging trail of this trekking journey as the path was less wide and had a high angle of ascent. Even the trail became narrow and slippery. And, it was hiking for a total of 10 hours. On reaching the summit, we enjoyed the impressive views of the Kinnaur Kailash Range. We clicked several group pictures and selfies here. We spent around 1 hour at the top and then descended towards alpine meadows and arrived at Ronti Gad for an overnight stay.

View of Rupin Pass towards Sangla Valley
View of Rupin Pass towards Sangla Valley

Next morning, we descended toward Sangla, and with a decline in elevation, the trail grew steeper. We maintained a good pace and were moving carefully.  It took us around 6 hours to reach Sangla. Here, we spoke to locals and tried to get an essence of their local festivities and culture. We also clicked several pictures with them. Around 5 pm on the same day, we came to Shimla in a taxi.

Here’s what you should definitely pack…

  • Trekking shoes/trekking pole
  • Warm clothes/mosquito repellent
  • LED flashlight/headlamp with extra batteries
  • Extra pair of woollen socks/raincoat/gloves
  • Sunscreen lotion/sunglasses/lip balm
  • Water bottles/energy drink and bars/emergency medical kit

ATM Facility and Mobile Connectivity: In case, a person is running short of cash on the way to Dhaula from Dehradun, there is a place called Purola which has an ATM. Mobile network of BSNL, Vodafone and Airtel are available only at three places namely Dhaula and Jiskun and Sangla.

Porter and Pony Facility: Pony and porter facilities are available at Dhaula and even at several other points that you will be crossing during your expedition. You can avail this service at a reasonable price and all your luggage would be carried by the porter and pony. Further, it would help you to maintain a good pace at high altitudes.

Must-carry Documents: A trekker is required to carry an identification proof, such as driving license or voter ID, passport along with a photo, and a medical certificate ensuring fitness for the trek. Moreover, a disclaimer certificate stating voluntary participation in the trekking expedition to Rupin Pass is a must.

Some Tips To Make Your Rupin Pass Trek A Success

  • Always pay heed to the advice given by the instructor
  • Avoid alcohol consumption and other intoxicants during the trek
  • Never take shortcuts and don’t start your trek after sunset
  • Don’t litter the beautiful site and respect nature
  • Capture as many pictures as you can
  • Value the culture and traditions of locals, greet them with a smile
  • Don’t try to compete with fellow trekkers, just set your own pace

This adventurous yet beautiful trek gave me a gamut of experiences from fear to courage and of course, a sense of achievement. It was truly a lifetime experience for me. I must say that this trek is mandatory for those whose eyes are looking to explore the mesmerising beauty of the great Himalayas.

Trekking is no less than a therapy, one that replenishes our body and mind from the routines we face while working so hard in the run for having a proper life. It teaches us a certain discipline, reminds us of how to live in the moment again as it throws us new adventures and risque routes in our faces. If you were to ever interact with an experienced trekker, you would find yourself at the receiving end of such time-honored wisdom; the adventure one seeks while lurking in the lap of nature must truly bring out one’s inner explorer, taking up a new path to ascend higher rather than taking a beaten up path must bring out one’s inner child eager to learn of new things, new places, new peoples. So, pack a bag because here are the best weekend treks from Delhi you can do today! 

  • Kasol to Kheerganga Trek
River Parvati in Kasol
River Parvati in Kasol

The Kasol to Kheerganga Trek is a two-day weekend trek in the serene Pin Paravati Valley. The trail of this trek is 12 km long, which comprises of numerous scenic viewpoints and mesmerizing waterfalls. During this trek, one will come across the sight of many waterfalls such as Rudra Nag. One will also get an opportunity to take a dip in the Kheereganga hot springs during the trek. At the height of 2960 m, trekkers will be experiencing great views. The best time to go on this trek is between the months of October – December and April – June. This is an easy grade trek.  

  • Triund Trek in Himachal Pradesh
Triund Top - weekend trek from Delhi
Triund Top

Known as one of the easiest weekend treks of all, Triund trek starts in McLeodganj near Dharamshala. Mcleodganj and Dharamshala are popular for its monasteries and trekkers can worship here before starting this trek. On reaching Triund after an easy trek of 7 to 9 kms, one will be captivated by the magical sight of the Dhauladhar Ranges. Triund is known to be accessible during all seasons of the year. In summers, the trekker will witness the greenery on the mountains at a complete scale. In winters, the trekker will witness white sheets of snow covering the whole terrain. However, the best time to go on the Triund trek is between the months September and October. With the total trekking path scaling to 18 km, the trekker will be reaching the maximum altitude of 2850 metres. 

  • Prashar Lake Trek
Prashar Lake trek in winter
Prashar Lake trek in winter

Of all the weekend treks, the two-day Prashar Lake Trek has one of the most beautiful locations. Located at a height of 2700 metres above the sea level, the Prashar Lake is a mighty pond in the shape of an oval. This dream-like lake is surrounded by green grasslands in summers and white snow sheets in the winters. Apart from the Prashar Lake, this trek offers a beautiful experience with its ridges, rivulets and mountain trees such as cedars, firs and spruces. Most of the surroundings including the lake will be frozen during winters. The trek starts and ends at the Jwalapur village.  It is also suggested that trekkers carry proper woollen clothes and trekking shoes with spikes. The total length of Prashar Lake Trek is 9 km and the best time to opt for this trek is winters.

  • Nag Tibba Trek Uttarakhand
Pantwari village, Nag Tibba trek
Pantwari village, Nag Tibba trek

The two-day Nag Tibba Trek in Uttarakhand is popularly known as a religious site by devotees of the Serpent God, who believe that the Nag Devta resides here. Located at the height of 3022 metres, this place is also a delight for the trekkers and mountaineers, who trek towards its peak. This trek offers a mesmerising view of the snow-capped Himalayan Range. The trek starts and ends at the Pantwari village. During the trek, one will get to witness the beautiful mountain forest and the view of famous mountain peaks such as Neelkanth, Black Peak and Swargarohini. This trek is a moderate grade trek and individuals facing any kind of health issues are required to consult a doctor before opting to go for this trek.

  • Tosh Valley Trek
Tosh village
Tosh village

The two-day Tosh Valley trek is one of the most amazing treks of all as it exposes the trekker to the deep mountain forests along the trail as well as the wide green meadows of the valley. Kasol is the starting and ending point of this trek located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, located at the height of 1640 metres. This trek offers great views of the snow-capped mountains. On reaching Tosh, located at the height of 2400 metres, one can witness the sweeping view of the Parvati Valley dam and the scenic convergence of Tosh and Parvati rivers. This is an easy grade trek and the best time to go on this trek is from the months April to June in summers and from September to October in winters. 

Trekking Gear Essentials For Your Weekend Treks 

  • Insulated travel flask
  • Waterproof socks
  • Woolen cap
  • Trekking shoes
  • Tool bag
  • LED Flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Extra pair of woolen socks
  • First aid box
  • Swiss army knife
  • Waterproof zip lock bags – 2 sets
  • Cell phone with powerbank
  • LED Flashlight/Headlamp – 2 with spare batteries*
  • Swiss army knife
  • 2 Sweatshirts
  • 2 Trekking pants
  • Windproof jacket with a Hood
  • Woolen sweater
  • 2 Sweatshirts
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 1 Jeans
  • Floaters
  • Woolen inner gloves
  • Micro-fiber quick-dry towel
  • 2 Handkerchief
  • Ready-2-Cook food of your choice
  • Dates, Dry fruits & Nuts
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolates or Energy bars
  • Milk powder
  • Tea Bags
  • Water bottles and/or Hydration pack

Pack a bag, pick a friend because your weekends are tied. It’s time to experience the best of nature’s bounty without missing out on much. Come back ten years younger from a trip to the faraway lands in the pristine lap of nature. 

Amidst the royal mountains of Himachal Pradesh, the Beas Kund Trek takes trekkers away from the hustle-bustle of the city, along the banks of River Beas. Passing through the lush green meadows and glaciers, the trek offers majestic views of snow-capped mountains of Pir Pinjal ranges. The grasslands of Bakartach and Dhundi are magnificent in their own beauty.

Origin of the Beas Kund
Situated at a high altitude of 3,800 m, the stunning lake of Beas Kund is fed by glaciers. The term Beas has been derived from the word Vyas (Sage), while Kund means a lake. It is believed that in this sapphire lake, Rishi Vyas, the author of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, took his daily bath. Visitors travelling here often take a dip in the icy cold lake.

As it is an easy trek with less curves, rough and slippery path, it doesn’t require any prior experience.

Base camp: Solang Valley, Manali
Duration: 3-4 days
Difficulty level: Moderate
Maximum altitude: 3800 m
Trekking distance: 32 km
Average hiking daily: 4-5 Hours

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Beas Kund Trek: Quick Itinerary
The trek starts from the mesmerizing valley of Solang and passes through lush green meadows, small streams, and waterfalls, before continuing towards stunning snow-covered mountains. The next stop is Dhundi, which is known as the birthplace of River Beas and is surrounded by dense forest of deodar and oak. Here, you will spend the night at the campsite, set by the striking stream.

After crossing a few bridges lies Bakartach, from where one can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Great Himalayas. Here, a trekker will be surrounded by the mighty peaks of Deo Tibba, Hanuman Tibba and Shitidhar. This is an ideal spot for photographers as it offers an opportunity to capture some lifetime memories in camera. You will reach the final destination in a matter of hours.

Right Time to Trek

A perfect time to explore the Beas Kund Trek is from mid-May to mid-October. During this period, the weather remains pleasant.

Summers are quite cool, with the maximum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and minimum of 10 degrees. In the winter season, between November and February, the place receives a good amount of snowfall, and temperature ranges from 12 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius.

So here are five reasons why Beas Kund Trek has become one of the most sought-after treks this summer:

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  1. Trekking along Alpine Glacial Lake:What can be more exciting than trekking along a serene high altitude alpine glacial lake! The trek offers an opportunity to cross mountains and witness the source of the Beas River with your own eyes. It is a rocky yet picturesque spot with the River Beas flowing through the forested hills. The campsite arranged by the river will give you real thrill and your ears will be pleased by the wonderful sound of gushing water. Here, you will realise that this was a moment you were looking for, away from the hustle-bustle of city life. The cool breeze and sight of maple, deodar, toss and oak trees on the way can make you feel rejuvenated.

    Beaskund Trekking

  2.  Stunning Views of Some Amazing Peaks:It is at Dhundi where you will witness the splendid sight of four major peaks of Himachal Pradesh – Friendship Peak, Hanuman Tibba, Deo Tibba, and Shitidhar. Standing at an altitude of 5289 m, Friendship Peak is a magnificent mountain, which is a part of the Pir Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu District. Also called White Mountain, Hanuman Tibba is the highest mountain in the Dhauladar Range of Himachal Pradesh.
  3. Capture the views of Solang Nullah and the Manu Temple:In the abode of Solang Valley, Solang Nullah is a stunning stream flowing through snow-capped mountain peaks, dense forest encompassing wild colourful flowers and lofty trees. It is the most serene place on the earth where nature remains in its purest and artistic form.

    One of the most-famed religious sites in Manali, Manu Temple, is named after the holy Sage Manu, who is believed to be a divine creator of the human race. According to Hindu mythology, he lived and meditated in Manali. Thus, the temple holds great significance for Hindu pilgrims.

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  4. Meeting the Locals: The trek gives you a chance to meet locals of Burua, Goshal and Sannag villages. Talk to them and try to know about their simple yet fascinating lifestyle. Himachalis are true devotees of nature, and they are quite reserved about their culture and traditions. However, they share a great bond of brotherhood and togetherness. Also, they are very helpful and if you’re lucky enough, they may offer you lip-smacking local delicacies. In village markets, don’t forget to buy uniquely designed handicrafts and paintings made by the locals. night-839807_1920
  5. Spend Night under the sapphire glazy sky: Your campsite will be arranged in the beautiful location at Dhundi from where you will be able to enjoy striking views. Celebrate the victory of completing the summit with bonfire and music. And last but not the least, spend a night under the sapphire sky amidst the scenic landscape and be the admirer of its magnificent beauty.

 

It might not be a trek that gives you a sudden adrenaline rush; however, its natural beauty will offer excitement and leave you in a state of awe. So, if you want to make some beautiful memories filled with the scenic beauty of green landscape, streams, waterfalls, and flora and fauna in the beautiful Himachal Pradesh, then there is nothing to wait for; pack your bag and say yes to Beas Kund Trek.

Undoubtedly, there are some beautiful chapters in our lives that cannot be described in words. A trek to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib was one such chapter for me! Located in the ‘Land of Gods’, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3,600 m, this stunning paradise was unknown for centuries. The site was explored by the British mountaineers in 1931 when they came to visit Uttarakhand and lost their way. And then they stepped in the magnificent valley brimming with wide varieties of flowers. Hence, the gorgeous dale was named ‘Valley of Flowers’.

In 1982, the Indian Government included it in the list of national parks and UNESCO gave it a title of ‘World Heritage Site’ in 2004. The course to the valley also goes toward Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib which is situated at an elevation of 4,320 m.

Valley of Flowers National Park
Valley of Flowers National Park

Here’s when to plan a getaway 
One can visit the valley from mid-May to September as it is the time when the site is splashed with thousands of bloomy colourful flowers. It is known for 600 different types of flowers including the Brahma Kamal, Snake Lily, Cobra Lily and Blue Poppy.

Valley of Flowers in Hindu Mythology 
The dazzling land is said to be the abode of various Hindu deities. Some say it was garden of Lord Indira, Nandan Kanan. A few others believe that Lord Rama‘s devotee Hanuman found Sanjeevani here, the magical herb that brought back unconscious Lakshmana to life. Whereas the locals believe that this place was home to fairies.

My ‘Flowery’ Tale: Exploring the flowery bed on a 3-day trek 
I’m the kind of a person who wants to travel to each and every corner of the world. But my plan to travel Valley of Flowers turned out to be an alternate to Kashmir. Each journey brings out a unique experience leaving its imprints on my heart and soul in the most special way. When I visited the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib I truly felt that ‘Dev Bhoomi’ is nonetheless a heavenly paradise.

My journey began from Delhi to Rishikesh. My journey through lush green fields was simply mesmerizing. I had breakfast at Gulshan Da Dhaba, Roorkee. And the next stop where I halted my car was Haridwar, I visited Triveni Ghat and took a dip in river Ganges. I spent around 2 hours at this divine land. It was interesting to witness the religious significance that influences the lifestyle of the people of Haridwar. After two hours of driving, I reached Rishikesh and a cup of chai at a tea stall. There, I heard news that a landslide occurred on a way to Govindghat on the same day. So, as advised by locals I decided to spend a night in Rishikesh only. I had a dinner at Choti Wala and an amazing night at the rooftop of my hotel that was located along the bank of Ganges.

I could only manage to reach Govindghat by noon, which in itself was like an adventure before the trek began. Seeing locals cleaning the rocks on the road after landslide, I found myself trapped in Govindghat. Thankfully! My trek leader reached right on time, the man-in-charge greeted all my confusion and apprehensions with a stoic smile and somehow managed to assuage my fears of reaching the base camp Ghangaria. He also briefed me about the trek plan and introduced me to two other persons who were ready to hike with us.

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Day 1: Govindghat to Ghangaria
We started our trek to Ghangaria after a langar in gurudwara. The delight of visiting gurudwara is always amazing as it gives peace to one’s soul and it is open for everyone – regardless of beliefs, caste or colour. After walking 1 km, our guide advised us to submit our luggage to the porter as he thought we could not carry it anymore! We enjoyed a cup of tea and pakodas at Barsati Wali Chai ki Dukan. The course to Ghangaria goes along the River Lakshman Ganga for most of the way. It was quite a smooth trek as I didn’t have to trek uphill.

It was not only us, as there were hundreds of people who were going up in palkis and horses. Moreover, beautiful streams, waterfalls and lush greenery on our way hypnotized us. While trekking to this sublime beauty, we came across isolated hamlets, oak forests and diverse species of flora and fauna. We covered around 13 km to reach Ghangaria, we spent a night at Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam.

Day 2: Ghangaria to VOF
We woke up to a stunning view of sunrise amidst the ravishing panorama of lush green mountains. After breakfast, we started our way to VOF. The striking mountains helped us to regain our energy. A trail was filled with beautiful flowers and we finally scaled to Valley of Flowers. My eyes were glazed by an incredible sight of different kinds of flowers I had never even dreamt of. I enjoyed a sight of majestic flowers such as Balsam, Dwarf Globe, Brahma Kamal and Marsh Marigold. These exotic flowers were spread like a flower bed sheet that was stretched over an expanse of 87.50 km. A quote that comes to my mind as I write this is, ‘Nature is never in a hurry, yet everything is accomplished’.

A unique blend of snow-capped mountains, green meadows, and white clouds made our trek a dreamlike adventure. After spending 2 hours at VOF, we descended to our base camp where our guide had arranged a bonfire night and dinner for us.

Day 3: Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib
We woke up early in the morning and started our trek to Hemkund Sahib, a revered site for Punjabis and Sikhs. It was a 7 km long expedition which began with a gradual incline through the Himalayas. On the way, we clicked several pictures of grazing cows and goats, stunning waterfall and lakes. It was like a tea house trek, as the course was lined with a number of tea plants. After two hours of trekking, we reached the point where the views of snow-capped mountains started getting better. Later, we reached a river gorge from where the oxygen levels started reducing. Somehow, we managed to reach the Hemkund Sahib gurdwara bang on time and the Hemkund Lake was just behind it. We paid homage at Laxman Mandir. We spent around 3 hours there and later descended back to Ghangaria.

Exquisite!

Spend some time in the serene lap of nature and visit this tranquil bed of flowers overlooked by towering Himalayan peaks. Don’t miss out on capturing some beautiful pictures when you do!

Everest is one of the most popular destinations in Nepal which is known for its majestic mountains and magnificent hills and peak. A trek to Everest Base Camp is a journey where dreams and expectations of an adventure lover turn into reality. Every step of the journey takes you to the most breathtaking mountain region and it also gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with the unique Himalayan culture and mountain climbers known as Sherpas. Moreover, while trekking to an altitude of 18,513 ft., you will be challenged by tricky slopes and curves, rough terrains and slippery path.

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My Meeting with Himalayas: A Journey That Changed Me Forever
There would hardly be anyone who doesn’t admire the stunning beauty of the mountains. The Himalayas have always intrigued me and I had never dreamt that it would ever be so accessible! While watching a video on YouTube, I learnt about the Everest Base Camp trek, and I was so fascinated by it that I decided to look more into it. After contacting a travel agent and planning a thorough itinerary of the trek, I began my prep in the rundown for this expedition and started working on my fitness level and physique.

Three weeks passed, and now it was time to board a flight to Kathmandu. I was welcomed by my guide at the airport and later we both headed towards our hotel. On Day 1, the guide held a pre-trek meeting where we were briefed about the trek and introduced to our fellow trekkers. Later, we visited world’s three UNESCO heritage sites i.e Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple.

Tenzing-Hillary Airport or Lukla Airport
Tenzing-Hillary Airport or Lukla Airport

Next day, we had an early morning flight from Kathmandu Airport to Tensing Hillary Airport at Lukla which is said to be the gateway to Everest. The landing at Lukla alone gave me an adrenaline rush as it is called the world’s most dangerous airport. Our porters were already waiting for us there. After breakfast and a brief stay in the tents, we descended towards Dudh Koshi River.

Dudh Kosi River
Dudh Kosi River

Our eyes were stunned by the beauty of the river. We clicked several pictures there and then moved towards Phakding. That day, the walking was quite easy and it took almost three hours to reach Phakding where the guide had arranged a night stay for us. We slept early that day as we were told that next day trek would be quite challenging.

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Our trek started at 8 am and we continued to walk along the bank of Dudh Koshi River. Crossing several suspension bridges, we entered Sagarmatha National Park which is a home to rare species like the snow leopard, musk deer and red panda. We met several Sherpas here and they shared their inspiring mountain climbing experiences with us.

everest From there, the trail climbs up steeply until we reached Namche Bazaar which is the largest village in the region. We were amazed to see quality restaurants, shops, hotels, bakeries and internet cafes at such height. Also, there were two banks and one ATM.

Namche Bazaar from the top
Namche Bazaar from the top

On Day 5, our guide told us that there were two acclimatization stops and after 5 hours of trekking, we reached Hotel Everest View, which is one of the highest perched hotels in the world. While sipping a coffee and gobbling a cup of Maggie, we enjoyed a beautiful sight of Himalayan ranges. On the way, we also visited Sherpa Museum where we saw photographs of mountain expedition of the greatest climbers i.e. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The trail to the hotel offered spectacular panoramic views and luckily the weather was clear that day so we got a chance to see a magnificent view of Mount Everest and Ama Dablam. Another morning, the trek continued along the glacial river of Dudh Koshi. After 4 hours of trek, we reached Tengboche and visited local monasteries. It is believed that Tenzing Norgay spotted this monastery from the summit of Everest. The trail continued for one more hour until we reached Mong La, where we had lunch.

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Next morning, we walked through dense rhododendron forests and steep slopes. From the forests, we reached meadows and small grasslands. From there, we saw Cho Oyu, which is said to be the world’s sixth highest mountain. The trail took us to Inja Khola and then climbed up to Pangboche where we had our lunch. We captured mesmerizing views of Mount Ama Dablam and after 2 hours of trek we reached Pheriche and proceeded to the Imja Valley. Here, we passed through River Lobuche and went on a steep hike to Dingboche for overnight stay.

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Day 7 was an acclimatization day. As we didn’t want to lose this opportunity, we walked to a Nankan Sa Peak situated at 4,900 m. From here we got to see the world’s top three mountain peaks – Mount Cho, Mount Lhotse and Mount Makalu.

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Next day, we went from Dingboche to Dughla, the trail offered some of the best views so far as we enjoyed the sight of magnificent mount Pumori (7,138 m) and a glacial lake.

On Day 9, we climbed to Lobuche which is positioned next to the Khumbu glacier. We crossed Dughla Pass/ Thukla Pass.

Day 10 was the moderate trek of around 6 hours. It was an absolute glacier course which took us to Gorakshep (5,170 m) and it eventually proceeded to the Everest Base Camp (5,364 m). This part of hiking made me feel like I’m stepping towards heaven amidst the glaciers. It was the most important and difficult day of the whole trip. We continued walking on the side of Kumbhu glacier; it took 3 hours to reach the base camp where we saw colorful tents of mountaineers who were attempting to climb the gigantic Mt. Everest. We stayed here for a brief period and celebrated our accomplishment like winners. We clicked as many pictures as we could. Two hours later we found ourselves in the lodge at Gorakshep where we spent the night.

Mt. Everest in all its glory
Mt. Everest in all its glory

Next morning, with the support of the headlight, we hiked to Kala Patthar at around 4 am where we saw the most magnificent view of Mt. Everest. After breakfast, we descended to Loubouche for lunch and finally Pheriche which was an end to the wide Himalayan valley. Next day, we climbed down to Namche Bazaar and there we bought souvenirs. On day 13, we hiked to Lukla and on day 14, we proceeded to Kathmandu.

Take a Note!
Maximum Height: 18,513 ft
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Nearest Airport: Kathmandu, Nepal
ATM: Namche Bazaar has two banks and one ATM point
Trek Time: 14 Days

Best Months to Visit
Except for January, July and August, all other months are suitable for the trek.

Trek Itinerary
Kathmandu – Lukla – Namche Bazar – Tengboche – Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp – Kala Patthar – Namche Bazaar – Lukla – Kathmandu

What level of fitness is required?
A trekker has to hike at altitudes higher than 12,000 ft and that too for 6-7 hours daily. Also, due to lack of oxygen,  breathing issues are a problem. Thus, both mental and physical fitness are required for this trek.

Believe me, a meeting with the jewels hidden in the snow-capped mountains of Everest gave me an array of experiences and memories that one should definitely experience at least once in a lifetime.

Located in the majestic Dauladhar Range of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, Triund trek (3,000 meters) is among the most popular treks in India. The main cause of popularity is its moderate climate, snow-capped mountains, natural grandeur, green-lush valleys and serene environment. The exhilarating views of Kangra Valley from the Triund top feel like some fantasy. One can experience the exquisiteness of nature at every step of the journey. While the tricky route and tiresome curves on the way bring difficulty for the first time trekkers, chilly breeze takes away all the weariness as soon as you reach Triund peak.

triund_trekkingIn Himachal Pradesh, places like Triund and Mcleod Ganj showcase the Tibetan culture with vivid monasteries, striking architecture, prayer flags, wheels, vibrant markets and Buddha’s stupas.

Night camping at Triund is an experience to die for!
It is true that stunning views of mountain ranges, green forest and water streams will make your trip memorable but what makes it a lifetime experience is night camping at Triund top. A beautiful campsite next to gushing streams and a night spent under the dark blanket of white glazy stars will turn out as the best camping experience ever!

Where do we start?
There are several starting points for the trek but McLeodganj or Dharamkot are among the most popular ones. From Dharamkot, a 7 km trial goes to Galu Temple. Here you will witness a beautiful sight of the valleys and Dharamsala cricket stadium. Triund is just a few metres away from here.

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The Best Time to Visit
Triund trek is available around the year, except from January to February. The best time to visit is from March to June and September to October as at this time, there is no snowfall and the weather is quite comfortable to enjoy clear views of the mountains.
March to June: The temperature ranges from 20 °C to 10 °C during the day time and 7 °C to 2 °C at night.
September to October: The temperature ranges from 10 °C to 7°C during the day time and 5 °C to -5 °C at night.

Pack a bag! 

  • Warm jackets, caps and gloves (in case of cold weather)
  • Trekking shoes, Trekking pole
  • Water bottles, energy drinks
  • A pair of sunglasses, camera
  • Basic toiletries, bed sheets
  • Power bank, Flash light (with spare batteries)
  • Insect repellent, First-aid kit

Attractions Nearby:
A day at Dharamsala Stadium: You don’t need to worry even if you’re not a cricket lover; a trip to Dharamsala offers an enriching experience. The stadium is situated 1,457m above sea level amidst the setting of the pictorial Dhauladhar Range. You may not know this but it is a favorite holiday destination of Aussie cricketer Mathew Hayden.

Offer prayers at St John’s Church:  Designed in neo-Gothic architecture and dedicated to John the Baptist, it is a perfect place to offer prayers and click pictures. The church which is surrounded by Deodars, has the Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin, wife of Lord Elgin.

Take bath at Bhagsunag Waterfall: Take an early morning stroll to the stunning Bhagsu Falls located just near to the Bhagsunath Temple. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Mcleodganj. A 20 m high waterfall offers a spectacular view and it holds the attention of its visitors in such a way that they want to get lost in its beauty.

Attention, Shopaholics: Don’t forget to take back some souvenirs!
Kotwali Bazaar in McLeodganj is an ideal destination for shopaholics. Tibetans sell beautifully handcrafted sculptures, accessories and utensils. Prayer Thangkas, Tibetan artifacts and dresses, rugs, carpets, bronze or silver statue can be purchased from here.

Triund

Triund Trek Tales 
For city dwellers, hills are the best place to get a break from noisy city life and mundane schedule. And what’s better than going on a long weekend trip in Himachal Pradesh. Taking the benefit of the opportunity, I decided to ask some of my friends to accompany me on a trip and our bags were packed immediately thereafter.

Home to Dalai Lama, Dharamsala is all about grand monasteries, colourful flags, rolling prayer wheels, ringing bells and an abundance of flora and fauna.

Our journey began from Delhi at around 10 pm. The thrill of going to our favorite holiday destination doubled this time as we had a plan to scale Triund. On that day, we hardly slept for an hour, most of our night was followed by researching about the Triund trek. Next morning, our Volvo dropped us at Dharamsala. It was around 7 am and we checked into our hotel.

Tip: Though the Best Western Indraprastha Spa Resort is quite costly, they offered us a good discount as we used to visit it at least five times a year.

After a warm welcome by the hotel staff, we went to our rooms. We had a scrumptious breakfast and some of my friends decided to sleep for a while. I was a bit impatient as I didn’t want to spend my precious time sleeping. Thus, I first visited Dal Lake that was located very close to our hotel. My family had warned me to not come back if I didn’t visit Bhagsu Nag Temple so I decided to go check it out. I had planned it in such a way that my friends were already at the waterfall (Bhagsu Nag Waterfall), I took a pleasing stroll from the temple to the decided destination. After spending a little while there, we decided to move ahead and pay a visit to Tsug Lhakhang together, it is the residence of Dalai Lama along with his private office and temple. As we reached that place, the weather changed and it all turned dark and breezy. The sudden change of weather is kind of usual here, don’t worry. The only thing that gave us a feel of heaven was the mesmerizing beauty of lush valleys surrounding us and a spectacular view of Tsug Lhakhang.

Next, we were hungry so our next two hours were devoted to a couple of cafés like Indique, German Bakery and Buddha Delight Café. You will find everything here to soothe your hunger pangs: maggi, momos, pancakes, thupkas, pizzas. The night was spent at the hotel. From there, we immediately rushed to Naddi View Point to capture the sunset in our respective DSLRs. The night was spent in our hotel.

The morning of Day 2 was quite a lazy one. After getting dressed, we moved to Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen where we gorged ourselves in white sauce pasta and smoky red wine sauce chicken. It was like offering you something just at half of what you get at Big Chill. It was hard to move with stuffed bellies but somehow we managed to reach shopper’s paradise i.e. the Kotwali Bazaar. I bought a variety of jewelry for my cousins and a Buddha sculpture for my father who is an ardent devotee. We shopped around for 2 hours and later we tried the traditional Himalayan momos filled with Pak Choi and Potato. The breathtaking view is worth the hike.

We spent a night at Dharamkot which is a small village next to Mcleodganj. Here, we enjoyed the wood-fired pizzas along with freshly made apple juice. We also ordered a plate of pita and hummus and I must say that an entire plateful of hummus is not meant for people with low-appetite.

Triund top view!
Triund top view!

The final day had arrived! It was a time to pave our way for some adventure. A 9 km trek to Triund from Mcleodganj provides breathtaking view of Kangra Valley and snow-capped mountains. The trial was getting steeper and the curves were making it difficult for us to continue the trek. We had Maggi and some snacks midway. Reaching the top was worth all the puffing and huffing. I headed further up, after consuming a cup of ginger tea. Another halt was ‘Magic View Mountain’ which offers panoramic scenes. The splendid views of Dhauladhar Range, and overlooking Kangra Valley and Dharamsala stadium from the top were way better than what I expected. Under the shadow of the glittery sky, we had a camp stay for the rest of night.

Landing at Bir Billing grounds
Landing at Bir Billing grounds

The last day was quite exciting, we moved to Bir Billing in Palampur, where we decided to jump off a mountain cliff with a paragliding chute, situated at an elevation of about 2,600 m. I felt like a free bird when I jumped from the top. While swaying under the sky, I enjoyed mesmerizing views of lush green tea gardens.

A closer look at the jewels hidden in the snow-capped mountains gave me a gamut of experiences that I would surely cherish until the next time I visit.

Situated at an altitude of 3,700 m, Beas Kund is an alpine lake which is said to be the original source of Beas River. Set in the backdrop of several peaks such as the Shitidhar Peak, Friendship Peak and others, Beas Kund has a unique way of making people fall in love with nature. Home to some of the most pictorial views of the region, it allows trekkers to embrace the beauty of fascinating lands, majestic peaks, hospitable locals and cascading waters. So, do not miss the chance to experience the respite and magnificence of the Himalayas with Beas Kund trek.

What draws the attention of the masses? 

There are several treks to enjoy your journey to the mighty Himalayas. However, Beas Kund trek is an ideal trek for those who have a desire to witness isolated miracles of nature away from the proximity of urban settlements. The natural splendor of Beas Kund that extends from the giant ski slopes of the Solang Valley to the meadows of Dhundi and Bakarthach is beyond comparison. Being a trek for everyone, it is convenient as well as easily accessible. Without any age restrictions and prior experience, it is a trek that appeals all equally.

Meadows and mountains on the Beas Kund Trek

A quick glimpse into my illuminating trekking expedition to Beas Kund: At times, it becomes difficult to deal with the curve balls that life throws. When the desire to do something new and different starts awakening, it’s time to paint it with colours of spirit. In my case, trekking to Beas Kund helped me to rekindle that fire.

Somebody has rightly said that it is better to see something than hear about it a thousand times. Many of my friends had been singing praises of their experiences, and I finally decided to embark on the journey. I packed my bags and left home with a desire to give voice to those unruly and wild screams which the din and noise of human settlements had pacified. With that welcoming hope in my heart, I reached the first leg of my trek, Dhundi. While driving with other group members from the Solang valley up to the Dhundi road, there were several views that left us awe-struck.

Following river Beas, witnessing the best skiing slopes of India and crossing the stream from one side to the other was a lifetime kind of experience. Surrounded by wildflowers and their scenic beauty, Dhundi served as a perfect site to set up camp for overnight stay.

Meadows of Beas Kund
Expansive meadows and exotic flora and fauna; let yourself loose!

The next day, we proceeded from the 9,000 ft tall quaint little mountain helmet, Dhundi, to Bakartach. Situated at 10, 800 ft, Bakartach is a high-altitude meadow which literally translates as ‘shepherd’s field’. The guide told us that these sun and windswept meadows are very popular pastures for a hardy nomadic tribe of shepherds, Gaddis. The sight of sheep grazing in this pastoral idyll gave us a pause, as we gazed upon the picture perfect scene.

The almost flat walk from Bakartach’s meadows gave gradual way to moraines and stray boulders that made the climb little steeper. It was little difficult to climb from boulder to boulder until we crossed the river that took us to the ridge which was marked by systematically placed cairns. At this point of time, we all were feeling tired and needed rest. To sleep in the lap of nature amidst its music and rhythm was a dream-like adventure. Our endless talks, excitement and the desire to explore more of the area kept us awake all night.

Beautiful verdant mountains as you make your way on the Beas Kund Trek

An early start the next day and a short climb up the ridge through Bhoj Patr got us to our final destination. When we reached here, the guide enlightened us about the historical and mythological importance of Beas Kund. He told us that it is believed that the author of the great epic of Mahabharata, Sage Vyas, had meditated here. Protected by an igloo-like stone structure, the Kund is a site of great religious importance to devotees across the country, especially Hindus. Besides being regarded as sacred, it is home to spectacular views of the nearby located Shitidhar, Ladakhi, Friendship and Hanuman Tibba peaks that can leave anyone numb for a while.

Beas Kund River Crossing
Waterfalls and rivulets galore; the trek is a retreat into nature

The best part of the journey was to locate the valley amidst the numerous streams and waterfalls. After discovering this lake nestled at an altitude of 3,700 metres, we decided to capture the splendid views that it offers. It was reflecting the pristine and untamed beauty of nature which was worth-experiencing after this long and tiresome journey. Before heading back, we decided to rest here for some time. 

Let not routes puzzle your mind: 

There are several modes of transportation to reach the first location of the trekking expedition to Beas Kund. People can travel by air, rail and road as per their own convenience. However, the most convenient way to reach Manali is by bus. The view offered by the window serves as a microcosm of the entire journey that you wish to undertake in the lap of nature and in a desire of adventure.

As there is no airport in Manali, Bhuntar airport serves as the nearest airport. It is located at a distance of 50km from Manali and 10km from Kullu. Chandigarh Airport is 300 km away from Manali and runs scheduled flights from major cities likes New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The nearest railway station to Manali is Joginder Nagar railway station. Situated at a distance of 166 km, it is known for connecting several important cities of the country. Chandigarh and Pathankot are the other convenient railheads.

Being well connected to major North Indian cities such as Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Shimla, Dharamsala and Chamba/Dalhousie, Manali provides regular bus service that makes it convenient to ply between these stations. 

Flowers on the trek to Beas Kund

Do not let the wrong time spoil the fun:

The best time for Beas Kund Trek is from mid-May to mid-October. During this period, the weather remains quite salubrious and is suitable to explore the beauty of the place. 

Beas Kund Trekking Tour Highlights: 

  • Witnessing the stunning views of Indrasan, Hanuman Tibba and Deo Tibba Peak
  • Enjoying the calm and solace offered by Solang Nallah and the Manu Temple
  • An opportunity to seek information about the simple yet fascinating life of the inhabitants of picturesque villages such as Goshal, Sannag and Burua
  • Camping under the open sky, amidst the scenic landscape and to recall your own childhood.

Load your bags with some essentials:

  • Trekking shoes
  • Trekking Pole
  • Warm clothes
  • Trekking pants
  • Moisturizer
  • Torch
  • Synthetic hand gloves
  • Emergency Medical Kit
  • Required Documentation:
  • Original and photocopy of identity card
  • Medical certificate 

To sum up – it is not under our control to live longer but we can make efforts to live deeper. It is important to rediscover those impulses that fill one’s life with fun, excitement, thrill and tonnes of happiness.

 

Lying in the magical Buddhist ex-kingdom Ladakh, Stok Kangri is among the most fascinating and adventurous trekking spots on the earth. Perched at an altitude of 6,000 m, Stok Kangri peak is located in Hemis National Park. The different shades of the expedition give you an opportunity to experience the absolute peace and swift breathtaking changes in the scenery. However, the blissful landscape attains an ideal splendour in winters as it provides you with the stunning sight of the Zanskar and the Indus Valley. The best part of the trek is that you would be back to the base camp of this high altitude peak, just after 2-3 days of tricky trekking. Moreover, the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) has declared the Stok Kangri, Ladhaki Peak and Friendship Peak as trekking peaks, keeping you safe from extra paperwork proceedings. While tramping to this awe-inspiring beauty, you will pass through many thrilling sights, such as abandoned areas, lofty mountains, trails with plenty of ridges and isolated hamlets which would surely be a dream-like journey to the hill admirers.

Stok Kangri Expedition
Let that sweet, sweet adrenaline course through you.

A Rendezvous with Stok Kangri

Wohoooooo! Yayyy! We finally did it. Oh, God! We accomplished it together. Yes, it feels exactly like this. This was me shouting at the top of my lungs after reaching the end point of Stok Kangri. Looking at me and a few of my crazy friends, our guide, Singpa Oeki too joined in. After few minutes, he directed us to avoid the edge of the peak as a slip would’ve caused a steep 1000 m fall. Just to express their joy and emotions, everyone was busy hugging and thanking each other, after all, we were almost higher than any mountain in five continents. The team members were appreciating and congratulating my brother who was the youngest member of this expedition, at only 20 years old. Even I was speechless, not because I made it to the top after 9 hours of continuous climbing in the harsh weather conditions but because I was freezing and exhausted. I wanted to go back to the base camp as soon as possible and suddenly some words rang in my ears –  ‘Life is a journey and not a destination’. It was my little brother who held my hand and asked me to think about the incredible journey that we had completed together.

The beginning of the journey: For me, this journey began around three years ago, when I first visited Ladakh and became aware of this amazing peak called Stok Kangri. Due to my tight schedule, I had no time to invest in this adventure, thus, I made a silent promise to the mountains that I would return one day. And I kept my promise. The nine day expedition started last month with a trek from Leh to the Stok base camp.

First two days:  As I landed in Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport from Delhi, along with my brother, I was welcomed with a familiar greeting, “Juley” (salutation in Ladakhi). From there we booked a taxi to reach Ladakh. On reaching the guest house, I met Rajesh and Tanya who were Everest Base Camp (EBC) veterans. They told us that there would be a  group of 18 people, including us, that were going to be trekking together for the next few days. I decided to rest in my room for a while, and in the evening, I went ahead to stroll through the town where I found the stunning Thiksey Monastery. On the next day, the other members of the group also reached the guest house in the early morning. After their arrival, we indulged in breakfast and dashed off for an acclimatization hike of 3-4 hours. We paid a visit to various Buddhist Stupas and even did some shopping for our family, before wrapping it up and going back to sleep at the guest house.

Stok Palace
Stok Palace

A drive to Stok Village (Day 3): It was a time to drive to the picturesque Stok village that was located in the south of Leh. We came across many captivating views of clouds, mountains and lush green trees. Our guide informed us that Stok village was the home to the former Ladakhi royal family and he took us to nearby Stok Palace Museum where we came across some belongings of the King’s family. It is an ideal place to witness rich Ladakhi culture. In the first stage of the trek, we tramped through the mountains to Chang Ma. On arrival, we saw our tents were set up on rocky slopes and we knew that it was a time for us to tighten our belts as it was not going to be as easy as we thought.  

Chang Ma to Mankorma and then Back to the base camp (Day 4 and Day 5): When we woke up in the morning, our guide told us to be ready for the rough yet pleasant trekking experience. It was a 3 hour trek where we passed through the barren grey landscape and small streams. After crossing the first brook, we noticed some extreme changes in the surroundings. Earlier, the mountains had looked grey, but now they all were turning purple with a heavy amount of sunlight. Gradually, we were realizing why Ladakh is known as the cold desert. After 3 hours, we reached Mankorma, that consisted of wide and flat terrain with typical scattered desert vegetation and thorny bushes. There was a narrow stream flowing just below our campsite. Moreover, we witnessed millions of twinkling stars in a white band late at night.

Next day, we started on our way back to the base camp. During the daytime, we enjoyed the views of some beautiful peaks like Parcha Kangri, Gulap Kangri and many others. Along the way, we took amazing pictures of several alpine lakes, mountainous meadows and sheep grazing on soft green grass.

Time to get trained (Day 6): Finally, the most important day of trekking had arrived. It was the time when our leader gave us a few tips on how to adapt to the weather and harsh conditions of Leh. He also briefed us about the challenges that we might face during climbing. Further, our guide handed over to us a trekking map with all the important guidelines mentioned on the back of a map.

Base Camp to Stok Kangri (Day 7): On day 7, we woke up around 5am and prepared our minds for the biggest climb. After breakfast, we took a group picture and then moved ahead following our guide. While travelling through a glacier we encountered slopes, rivers of ice and sharp and lengthy ascents. It was a point when many of us complained about breathing problem. To reach the top of Mount Stok Kangri, we climbed for about 3 hours towards the southern face of the mountain. The slope was inclined about 75 degrees, and the path was loaded with massive boulders and small rocks. In total, it took us around 9 hours to reach the destination.

Here, we got a clear view of the summit and colourful prayer flags decorating it. We felt that Zanskar Mountains in the South and the Karakoram Range in the North came closer to us. We stayed there for 45 minutes and then we descended back to our base camp.

Base Camp to Leh and Leh to home (Day 8 and 9)

The trek came to end when we reached Stok Village with memorable views of streams, glaciers, snow and mountain ranges. After packing our bags, it was time to drive to Leh. After exchanging numbers and gifts, all the members of our group returned back to their homes with the nostalgia of a superb expedition.

Stok Kangri in the Himalayas
Western Flank, Stok Kangri

Does it require experience?

A person should be both mentally and physically fit to scale this giant as it would challenge you emotionally, physically and psychologically. People with high blood pressure, anxiety issues, asthma, heart problems and epilepsy are not eligible for the mission. The difficulty begins at high altitudes when a person might face problems in breathing which might  leave you with nausea and headaches. Despite all these troubles, when you reach the end of this insuperable peak, it will surely be worth your efforts. You would be welcomed by blue sky and shining stars amidst purest shadow of the moon. Trust me, it would be a memory to treasure for a lifetime.

Best time to Trek Stok Kangri

June to mid September is considered as the best time for Stok Kangri trek. Notably, due to heavy snow June is said to be the most technical trek.

Where to Stay

You can stay in the guest house or hotel on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 8 in Leh. However, rest of the days you have to survive in the camps.

Mobile Network and Internet Services

While staying in Leh you would hardly get any network connectivity. The only service providers there would be Airtel and BSNL, with limited coverage. You won’t be getting any network connectivity in your initial stages of the trek or while staying in camps.

Trek essentials

The trek essentials that you shouldn’t leave behind include back and day pack with rain cover, walking stick or trekking pole, head torch, water bottle/hydration pack, one thermos flask, snacks, energy bars, dry fruits, ORS, personal medical kit and trekking shoes. One should not carry more than 15 kg of luggage for the expedition.

Ladakh is home to the most exotic valleys, glacial lakes glistening ice-solid in the sunlight, most splendid Himalayan peaks, breathtaking gorges and all of it is serene due to the sparse population. Stok Kangri Expedition is definitely something to write home about.

Vacation season is the most favourite season of all, especially for children. Excitement entraps and intrigues your mind whenever vacations knock on your door. And it seems that the interesting phase of getting excited has arrived with the two most favourable months to visit almost any place in India, February and March! So get ready to embark on a pan India journey, and to have the most exhilarating experience of visiting some of the most sought-after tourist attractions in the country.

 

Shoot that adrenaline through the roof!
Shoot that adrenaline through the roof!

Being one of the most visited tourist spots, Delhi offers a plethora of activities for the entertainment of the tourists. Among several activities to do near Delhi, skydiving is one of the most thrilling experiences that you can have. There are three kinds of sky jumps, and Tandem jump is the safest of them all. For those who have any second thoughts about the activity’s safety, there is no need to be worried. There will be experienced instructors to assist them and also, the equipment will be checked thoroughly before use. Being suspended in mid-air at 10,000 feet above ground level and looking down at the earth below will be an experience in itself. Challenge your inner fear and do not let the fun go by!

 

Paramotoring in Gurgaon
Paramotoring in Gurgaon

With a range of activities available to do in Gurgaon, there is no reason to compromise with the fun expected by every travel connoisseur. For all those adventure seekers, Paramotoring is a unique activity to try. The thrill of flying in the sky offers a sudden gush of blood that heightens up the energy and makes one scream for more. It is an excellent choice to quench the thirst and craze for flying and the skies.

 

Bungee Jumping at Rishikesh Image Credits: royaltripmaker.com
Bungee Jumping at Rishikesh

For those who wish to have some fun away from boring city life, there are many super exciting things to do in Rishikesh. The best adventure of all has to be bungee jumping in Rishikesh. With experienced instructors and well-maintained equipment, safety concerns should be kept at bay. So, get ready to experience a unique combination of fear, excitement, thrill and wonder. Tourists can also try camping in Rishikesh. Camping around thick Sal forest can surprise the tourists with a vast amount of greenery that its landscape beholds. In addition, it offers an exciting river rafting opportunity. With proper safety equipment and some training, grab the chance to embark on such an adventurous journey that allows you to marvel at the power that nature holds over man.

 

 

 

Hot Air Ballooning Rides in Rajasthan

Moving on from the Yoga Capital of the World to the Pink City, there is a range of things to do for travellers. A hot air balloon ride in Jaipur is one of the best ways to indulge in the beauty and historicity of the city. Apart from offering a bird’s eye view of the beautiful palaces and lakes of the Pink City, it also provides an opportunity to behold these fantastic sights and capture them in the camera to cherish later.

 

Rafting at Kundalika is an absolutely exhilarating experience!
Rafting at Kundalika is an absolutely exhilarating experience!

Maharashtra offers a multitude of activities that promises tourists a mesmerising experience. Kundalika River, one of the fastest flowing rivers in the state, offers thrill and excitement to adventure seekers, which is worth experiencing.

For those who have a fascination for flying, there is no better activity than paragliding. To imagine oneself flying with a pair of wings might sound unreal, but paragliding at Kamshet can provide a real-life experience of soaring high in the sky. With a set of certified pilots and flying enthusiasts, embark on an exciting experience and live the old dream of humankind, which is to fly like a bird without any age restrictions.

In addition, tourists can go for a hot balloon ride at Lonavala. Feel the freshness of the cool breeze and witness the picturesque beauty of the place, filled with mountains, waterfalls, forests and greenery, from a breath-taking height.

 

Magical underwater world!

Magical underwater world!

When it comes to tourism, Goa is one of the most preferred destinations by tourists from across the world. Known for its diverse and attractive water sports activities, it has a lot of exciting surprises to offer to the tourists. Scuba diving is an activity enjoyed by both elders and children equally.

For a quick glimpse of Goa, tourists can also try a hot air balloon ride. Apart from allowing you to experience an uplifting sensation, it also provides a great way to see more of the lush Goan countryside.

 

Gearing up for the microlight flight!
Gearing up for the microlight flight!

Give flight to your fantasy and experience the feeling of steering the plane across the limitless skies.
With an excellent mix of attractive sights and entertaining activities, Bangalore is an abode of dreamers. Among a plethora of things to do in the city, microlight flying in Bangalore is the most popular one. Soaring high above in the sky at around 4000 ft is a delightful experience. Irrespective of any age limit, the activity can be enjoyed by people
of all ages. Tourists can indulge in it anytime between 6:30 in the morning to 9.30 in the evening.

 

shutterstock_4014338_m2xpa

Multiple options for enjoyment and fun await the travelers heading from IT city to a great holiday adventure site, Port Blair. Water sports activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea diving and ocean walks are popular for offering an opportunity to dive deep into the water. Scuba diving is one of the most-sought- after activities to do in the area. Apart from admiring the rich coral diversity that adorns the waters, tourists can explore an underwater world full of fascinating formations of coral reefs, serenity and peace. With the help of the training given by certified instructors, enjoy this activity and let your fear vanish into thin air.

Enhance the excitement of your trip with a wide range of options available in the twin months of February and March and make your visit a memorable one.

Don’t know about you, but 2016 was amazing for me. I started the year with a bang, and that’s how it ended. Doesn’t it feel great when everything falls into place and all your dreams are realised just as you wanted them?! I hope it does not sound like I am bragging, but I get excited just thinking about it. Some moments that I had been longing for ever since I can remember, happened in the past few months. Here is an account of things that I checked off my bucket list this year:

Bestowed with dense forests and charming tea gardens, the town attracts thousands of tourists round the year, not just from parts of India but abroad as well. A place that promises a perfect escape from the hustle bustle of the city, the town of Bir offers numerous outdoor activities and thrilling sports; thus making it equally popular among tranquillity seekers, adventurous souls and nature lovers.

The beauty of the Himalayas lies not only in its majestic snow-clad peaks, but also in its indigenous people and wildlife…also in its rugged terrains, and breathtaking rivers and lakes. And to witness these facets of this region, nothing can better than a trekking expedition! So, if you are planning a trip to this part of the world, then be ready to indulge in some adrenaline-pumping trekking action.   

Ask any Indian if they like tea, and almost 90 per cent would answer in the affirmative. Every street corner you walk to, you will find a tea stall, and almost every time, they are literally crowded with connoisseurs and casual drinkers. Every morning, we wake up and have a cup or glass of tea. People from hilly areas, especially love their tea. Ask me, being from the hills, I can attest to the fact that for us, tea is one of the most prized things. Anyway, hill people or not, everybody loves tea here. There are so many local renditions of the drink in India: Karak Chai, Masala Chai and so forth. Unlike in England, where the 4:00 pm afternoon tea is like a whole culinary ritual with specially made finger food, tea time here is an occasion to take a break from whatever people are doing, and sit down together to chat and share some light moments.

It is not necessary to work for people; you could keep Mother Nature pure for the betterment of living beings. If you want to do something good for society and fulfil your duty as a responsible person, you do not need to be continuously attached to an NGO or make hefty donations. You could simply volunteer for a few days and help loads of people. Would you believe me if I said that you could do all this while on a vacation?!

Often, people ask me, “What activities can one try in November?”

November is coming, and I know most of us want an escape from our life since we have been working so hard lately. So, it’s not like we want a break, it is more like we deserve one, or rather need one. It’s been too long since I left work behind and went some place nice and interesting, and met new people who had amazing stories to share. While pondering the thrilling activities that can be undertaken to blow off the boredom in coming November, I came across the following options. Just read through to see if any of these catches your attention. Below, you will also find a few tips to prepare for the activities.

October is a truly magical time, when the long summer days begin their transition into long winter nights. The trees shed their leaves, almost as if they are getting rid of the old in order to welcome new life. You must remember those heart-warming images, pre-installed in our computers, of gardens, almost entirely covered by reddish-brown leaves, that’s the majestic autumn at its very best. This period is often referred to as post-monsoon in India. During this time, a continuous breeze blows, which may give us slight chills, but also bring pleasure to our soul.

Don’t you just hate it when it is September and raining continuously, and you cannot do anything, but sit stupidly at home? Well, I do and I am about to get really sick of it. I want to go out, damn it! And, I will. Who cares if it is raining and what if we get a little wet?! At least we will have some fun. So, here is the formula! Let’s just brave the rains and head out wherever our desire takes us. Now, for a long time, my mind has been fixed on trekking. Most people, I talked to on this front, told me that trekking should not be done in the monsoon. They said that the path will be slippery, there might be a danger of landslides and that the weather will be horribly humid. But, I have a habit of doing things, I know I am not supposed to. This is the whole point of adventure and thrill, isn’t it?

So, to satisfy my thirst for ‘insanity’, I sat on my laptop, searching for what all treks I could go for in September when the rains are at their heaviest. To my amazement, there were others like me, who had already done something like this and uploaded accounts of their experience. They had all written about how nature was at its prettiest during the wet season and how the grass was tall, dense and green everywhere they looked. What I liked the most, reading their accounts, was having clouds literally on one’s face and getting the chance to walk through them. There were numerous hikes I read about, but there were a few that really caught my attention.

The ones, I am detailing in the following sections, are all in the moderate-to-high altitude (11000-20000 feet) category. Places below 11000 feet altitude are your regular hill stations, and you don’t need September to visit them; these are essentially summer or winter destinations. At the above-mentioned altitude range, summers are characterised by snow, which has only started melting. It is only in the rainy season that it disappears and the real beauty of the place is unveiled. Keeping this in mind, I have specifically chosen the best treks in September. Read on.