Begin your journey with “Untraveled Routes”

“We Travel not to escape Life, but for Life not to escape US”

Journeys are meant to stay with you forever; to inspire, to discover, to enlighten and set free; they make memories and give you moments to relish for life. Travel is not limited to the places you visit but the experiences you create, lives you touch and the depth you discover. Your travel experience is unique because it’s yours 🙂

We truly believe Life is about what you make of it. Make every second count & worth dying for as the time wont last but your life well led will !!!

We have been exploring the world around us since the travel bug caught us !!! Read how it all began here – Our special Journey ♥

We love everything about travel, photography, music, adventure, exploring and much more.So, you will find loads of assorted personal travel stories here focusing on diverse elements.

Untraveled Routes signifies our avant-garde ideas, discoveries, experiences creating every travel and crafting a life at large an odyssey to remember!!!

Let your journey roll with Untraveled Routes 🙂
 
Categories: Discovery, Inspiration, Journey, Travel | Tags: , , , | 76 Comments

An epic road trip to Spiti Valley, the Land of Lamas in India

For the last three weeks I have receiving lot of queries regarding travel to ‘Spiti Valley’. More so as we did the circuit with our 11 months old little baby ∞ The road trip that entails more than just planning your days, test of patience and display of mettle!!

So, I decided to share our story, experience and details again for the benefit of the fellow travelers. I have attempted to make this post as comprehensive as possible to serve like a helpful Travel Guide to Spiti. This post has actually been one of the most popular one on Untraveled Routes so far, it received 1000+ views within two days of posting 🙂 Finally here it is –

The Trans Himalayan voyage through Shimla – Kinnaur – Spiti Valley

We have done road trips before (Dainkund Peak, Betaab Valley, Mandhavgarh) but the one we were planning this time was totally different. We were bracing ourselves for the drive on one of the most treacherous and deadliest roads of the world. This time it was the thrill of NH-22 and Hindustan-Tibet road. This time we were going to be away in the majestic rocky deserted mountains, rugged terrains, vertical cliffs and cold desert valley.

And somehow our instincts convinced us that this was totally worth it.

Spiti was on our minds for a long time, an incessant zeal for travel gave us all the courage required to do this trip with our 11 months old baby boy – Aayansh. So we did it in April 2016!!! Gorgeous mountains, flawless cold desert valley, captivating culture, contagious love and warmth, beauty exuding from every quarter… Spiti Valley is a treat for soul.

Day 6 – The Ajanta of the Himalayas – TABO!!!

The changing landscape from luxurious green Kinnaur into white desert of Spiti valley will mesmerize you and leave impressions that will stay with you forever. Gradually, the tall green trees are substituted by gigantic rocks and tall mud structures; with the backdrop of Himalayas, it’s a sight to watch!!!

 

For hours we did not observe a single soul, it felt like we were on a different planet and landed there in our car for exploration. Though we crossed Himachal Tourism buses and almost every time it increased my heartbeat as the roads were so narrrow!!!

The rocky mountains were striking beautiful, carved aesthetically by nature. Huge expanse of land adorned only by nature was so appealing that you would want it to never end. The roads are mostly well maintained with bad patches here and there. For us, it was very crucial to sustain a particular speed for two big reasons – with the baby we could not drive for a long time, it was just tough for Aayansh and secondly since Ashish himself was driving throughout, our objective was to reach some place safe before 5.00 pm. So that we could select a hotel, enjoy the stay and get prepared for the next day. From Kalpa to Tabo in one single stretch was something!!!

Glimpse of Tabo

Read – Totally Tabo-ed!!

Day 7 – Finally Kaza

The distance from Tabo to Kaza is not much plus the roads are awesome!!! You are going to fall in love with the scenic beauty. Kaza is presently the headquarters of Spiti sub division. You will not find a lot to enjoy in Kaza itself but there’s a lot to cover around Kaza including:

  • Dhankar Monastery and Kungri Monastery
  • The largest monastery in Spiti Valley – Ki Gompa (1008 CE)
  • Kibber village and Gete, one of the most highest inhabited village
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These vibrant colors represent the Tangyud Monastery at Kaza

Read – The Sakya Tangyud Monastery at Kaza

Day 8 – Nako

Now we were on our way back, reluctantly though!!! Our next stop was Nako, we covered Kaza to Nako in a day. Nako is a tiny village, there’s not much to this place but the village is strategically located and therefore becomes a halting point. I remember vividly that when we were heading to Nako (while going to Spiti) the gigantic rocky mountains seemed unending and it was so windy that our car was literally shaking!!! And yeah while heading for Tabo we also spotted a Red Fox:) we tried to capture in the camera but couldn’t.

Buddha Nako Village

An idol of Buddha right outside the Monastery at Nako

Day 9 – Sangla

Nako to Sangla was again a tough journey; we had to encounter the dreadful bad patches again. While you are driving straight for some time at lower altitude till Karcham, to reach Sangla one again starts moving in circles, also the road is rock-strewn at few patches with blind turns. Sangla is located at an altitude of 2680 meters.

Sangla

The Pink Sky at Sangla 🙂

Day 10 – Chandigarh

This was the longest stretch. We covered Sangla to Shimla and then Shimla to Chandigarh in one single day. It was a drive of 10 – 12 hours, hats off to Ashish!!!

The bridge that connects to Rampur was closed because a truck broke down right on the bridge, this caused detour and slowed us down for at least by an hour. The next bottleneck was at Shimla city, it took us a long time to clear the traffic snarls.

Day 11 – Delhi

And we are back – Home Sweet Home!!!

We have more to share!!!

The story from this road trip does not end here:) We have so many amazing stories and wonderful pictures to share, so hope to see you again soon.

For 10 days we were in a life unimaginable in a metro!!! Away from all worldly affairs it seemed like different planet. It was intrepid and we are delighted to have done it.

Happy Exploring!!!

Suggested Reading

Categories: Adventure, Tour Spiti, Traveling with a Baby, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Thoughtful Tuesday.

The beauty of Travel !♥

You visit a place and come back to routine life but your heart yearns… for more moments, more memories, more nature walks, may be more pictures too 🙂 You Travel once to particular destination and the experience alters you forever. So, physically you are not traveling though but your brain is!! As they say, ‘ Once a Traveler, Always a Traveler’.

Some destinations are so beautifully blessed that the sights find a special place in your heart and every time a discussion comes up about that place, your eyes sparkle and a positive smile runs across uninhibited.

Today, I’m sharing few of my favorites – pictures as well as quotes, made me introspect , retrospect and HAPPY!!

Thursday

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Udaipur Tree Quote

All of these were clicked at Udaipur.

Udaipur city stands as a testimony to the living heritage and eternal legacy of the Sisodiya dynasty. Sisodiyas ruled the city for over 1200 years. The origin of Udaipur dates back to 1559 A.D when Maharana Udai Singh met a sage who blessed the Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favorably located spot.

Udaipur is a visual treat, it’s shimmering lakes against the backdrop of Aravali Hills, formidable palaces, enticing structures,  fascinating ambience makes the city a captivating destination for domestic as well as international tourists.

Happy Exploring 🙂

Just wanted to share one happy news, our Facebook page is now 1100 members strong, so if you would like to connect on FB as well, we will be glad to reciprocate. Charu ♥≈° Ashish

Categories: Experience, History, India, Inspiration, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Wednesday Wisdom :)

Wednesday Wisdom

Read this beautiful saying by Dalai Lama and felt like sharing 🙂 Captured this picture near Kaza during our Road trip to Spiti Valley in April 2016.

Categories: Adventure, Experience, Tour Spiti, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

A Walk to Remember!!

The surreal peaceful charm of Sarahan will devour you as you enter the village. It’s a beautiful village, just 17 kms off the main road (from Jeori) in Himachal Pradesh. We covered Sarahan as part of our 11 days road trip to Spiti Valley.

Sarahan Quote

A landscape view of the village

Sarahan is adorned by impressive Bhimkali Temple that is over 800 years old. The archaic architecture of the temple is intriguing. Take look at pretty pictures!!

Another factor that makes Sarahan so gorgeous is the Shrikand Mahadev peak. The views that surround the village from every angle will make you fall in love with Nature every hour.

The ‘Hawa-Ghar’ at Sarahan!!

It’s not a touristy spot, let me clarify that and no wonder we were the only ones at the location! We spoke to some locals there (as we mostly prefer) and found out about  ‘Hawa-Ghar’. As we approached the location, we were stunned to witness how gorgeous it was.ζ♥ Felt like in the lap of Nature ♥

Beautiful Trails

The super pretty trail luxuriant with greens

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That’s Ashish and Aayansh! I just love love love this picture :)And thank almighty everyday for blessing me!

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Mesmerizing views of the mountains, this was in afternoon, I’m sure during sunset and sunrise these views will get more picturesque 🙂

If you would like to know more about the place, here are the links –  Abode of Bhimakali,  Where to Stay at Sarahan,§

Happy Travels 🙂

Categories: Road Trip, Sarahan, Kinnaur, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Experimenting with the ‘White Balance’!

Hello there!!

Today, I’m sharing two gorgeous pictures taken at one of the most beautiful cities in India  – Udaipur! These ones are special, both of them were clicked with DSLR (Nikon D3300) and in the evening, the only major difference being the ‘White Balance’. The ISO, Exposure etc. vary for both the pictures but the vital one is White Balance.

White Balance as defined on Nikon’s website – ‘White balance is used to adjust colors to match the color of the light source so that white objects appear white. Subjects may be lit by a number of different light sources, including sunlight, incandescent bulbs, and fluorescent lighting.’

So, which one do you like better? I’m so confused I like both of them 🙂 it’s hard to decide but one thing for sure is – ‘ Just like colors can make a picture appear discrete, in Life a new perspective can infuse new energy and positivity ‘.

Wish to read more on Udaipur and sightseeing here you go – A day at City of Lakes…

Categories: Udaipur, Udaipur, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

The Formidable Heritage!

The word ‘Heritage’ makes me relive our travel in Rajasthan. Rajasthan’s diversity is beyond capture in words – rich heritage, vibrant culture, majestic monuments with appealing history,  artistically sound, vast sand dunes, colorful villages, warm people and much more. Rajasthan is famous for showcasing the royal heritage of palaces, forts, havelis & desert safaris, offering a glimpse of it’s spirited culture.

For this week’s photo challenge I’m sharing pictures of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. Founded in 1459, by Rao Jodha, Jodhpur (formerly known as Marwar) is the second largest city of Rajasthan.

Jodhpur 1

The fort was named Mehrangarh, meaning ‘fort of the sun’ – a reference to the Rathore clan’s mythical descent from the sun god Surya. The fort has seven gates commemorating victories of various rulers over Jaipur, Bikaner and Mughals. The museum inside the fort houses exquisite royal collection. It’s also called the ‘Citadel of the Sun’.!!

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Jodhpur 8

Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage

Categories: Photography, Rajasthan, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

The ‘Sakya Tangyud Monastery’ at Kaza

Kaza / Kaze is the largest township of Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Kaza is the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti Valley, making it an important administrative and commercial center.In fact, Kaza was the only place in whole of Spiti Valley which had the hustle bustle of a town unlike Tabo, Dhankar or Komic and felt totally different from other places in the region. Kaza has strategic importance attached to it, primarily because of location. In you are entering Spiti via Rohtang Pass, Kaza is the first town of Spiti you will witness. There are myriad stay options at Kaza to suit one’s pockets. Mostly the travelers, prefer staying at Kaza and exploring the area around on a day tour. There is not much to see as such but the place has it’s own charm and known for the Tangyud Monastery.

The Colorful Monastery at Kaza!!

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If you would like to read more about Spiti and it’s villages, feel free to explore the first section on our blog.

To give you a glimpse of Spiti region, sharing a ‘A photo tour of Gue village in Spiti Valley’

Categories: Adventure, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Reflecting Reality or Creating a New One!

This week’s theme has no boundaries, the reflections mirror what we want to see 🙂 I’m sharing beautiful interpretations from our travels here

Floating Market

This one captured on Dal Lake while enjoying our Shikara Ride, the reflection seems to have created two shops 🙂

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Republic Day (2017) celebrations at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi

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The Golden wires in water culminating in a beautiful shape, seems like those colors were used to paint a picture 🙂 This one was captured at Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting

Categories: Travel, Travel Experience, Udaipur, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

PINK sways my heart!!

Feels like smile,

Feels like Joy,

Feels alive, it’s PINK!!

Daily Prompt – Pink

Categories: Srinagar, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

Betaab Valley Memories

Agog heart at ‘Betaab Valley’

Betaab Valley, lies few kilometers ahead of Pahalgam in Srinagar. The bike ride to Betaab Valley was part of our 5 days trip to Srinagar. The flawless green mountains, pristine Lidder river, archaic houses and rustic villages made such a impression on our hearts!!

I have shared details of Betaab Valley earlier too, this post is dedicated to fond memories of this fascinating and picturesque valley.

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We began our bike ride from Srinagar in the morning, the roads were still quite and clouds serene. There was some checking at few points, the army is stationed at almost every place in Srinagar but they don’t trouble tourists. The road is breathtaking as the Srinagar is located in the valley, fortunately there’s straight road & hence it saves time 🙂 Lidder river keeps moving along as if it’s leading the way, we crossed many hamlets on route & stopped at few points to interact with the locals & have the legendary ‘Kahwa’.

Read A cuppa of story from Kashmir, India

We discovered lot of beautiful gardens and interesting points, took beautiful shots, rested a bit & kept on moving. We touched Pahalgam in about 2.5 hours (~96 kms from Srinagar) kept moving & found some solace at Betaab Valley.

The valley is so engaging that one could spend whole day here looking at myriad things happening around and basking in the nature.

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Happy Exploring with Untraveled Routes ♥♥

Categories: Srinagar, Travel Experience, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

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