Srinagar Monsoon Magic

Pair flowers

In Srinagar, every season has it’s own charm. This one was captured in August monsoon. The valley looked luxurious with greens and all the flowers on full blossom!!! Srinagar, J&K is our one of the most memorable and romantic vacation  🙂

Read – Things to do in Srinagar

 

Rohtang Pass Tourism (Update)

Latest update on Rohtang Pass Tourism

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has now allowed to carry certain non-polluting tourism activities at Rohtang Pass thereby uplifting the imposed ban in May 2016 indicating following –

  • Non-polluting activities include renting of local dresses, photography, paragliding (at Solang and Marhi) and snow-scooters (at Beas Nala Sagu Fall and Gulaba)
  • Also, not more than 50 All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) shall be permitted to run in above mentioned areas subject to verification.

At an elevation of 13,059 feet (3978m), Rohtang Pass is a mountain peak near Manali. It enjoys unparalleled popularity amongst tourists. It lies on the eastern Pir Pinjal range of Himalayas and connects Kullu Valley to Lahaul Valley.

A four member bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar allowed activities like renting of local (Pahari) dresses and photography at Rohtang Pass. It allowed paragliding at Solang Nullah and Marhi and snow-scooters (four stroke) at Beas Nala Sagu Fall, and Gulaba.

In July 2015, NGT imposed a ban on tourism-related activities at Rohtang Pass and its adjoining areas to curtail the damage to ecosystem caused by movement of vehicles and large scale tourism activities, including horse riding, snow biking, paragliding, tyre-tube gaming and snow scooters at Rohtang, Solang and Marhi.

Recently, on May 17th 2016, the Deputy Commissioner, Kullu (Hans Raj Chauhan), formally launched online permit issuance system for Rohtang Pass. Only 1,200 vehicles are allowed to cross Rohtang on a daily basis as per the NGT order. The permits would be available to tourists three days in advance thus saving time and undue hassles.

Read – Online Permit for Rohtang Pass

It’s appreciable that Government is taking stringent actions to save environment and limit receding of the glaciers at Rohtang Pass, however it is equally important that we, individually travel responsibly and take care of every place that we visit.

If you want your kids to relish the beauty of Himalayas, then preserve and conserve today.

Dhankar Heights!! (I)

Dhankar Landscape

Landscape view of Dhankar – The vegetation belt can be observed with the Spiti river flowing in the background. This was capture in April 2016 and therefore the belt is not as green as it should be.

At an elevation of 12,774 feet (3894m); Dhankar is a scenic village that lies between Tabo and Kaza. The entry to the village is hard to miss!! The meaning of the word ‘Dhankar’ is fort on a cliff.

Dhankar was the traditional capital of Spiti Valley ruled by the Nonos in 17th century. The fort and the monastery has deteriorated over the years and mostly ruined. However the monastery is being built to replace the old one.

Will share more pictures of this beautiful place soon 🙂

Traveling to Hill Stations? Here’s a quick list of things ‘not to do’ !!!

Hills and Valleys in India enjoy the status of being quite popular vacation destinations throughout the year barring few months. Especially during the months of May and June, you will find people traveling to one or another hill station. Sure the hills provide the needed respite from heat and soothing break. Without a doubt you look forward to the most wonderful time with loved ones and friends and do not wish to ruin your happy mood because of trivial issues.

Hills Poster.jpg

So go on reading…we are sharing our experience highlighting what not to do while traveling and sightseeing high altitude region!!!

  • Stay away from the Horse rides: Most of the places in and around these hill stations are full of bhaiyas offering horse rides claiming to take you to some Switzerland point for bizarre amount. These points are very well approachable on foot as well, in fact you can enjoy the nature more while walking comfortably rather than sitting precariously on these horses. On few patches it is supremely risky to travel by horses. And you don’t want to spend without getting value. However, if you feel to treat this as an activity go ahead, it’s your discretion.
  • Do not travel empty stomach: The route to most of the hill stations goes in circles with lot of twists and turns resulting in motion sickness or some uneasiness (may be not for all) and increased duration of travel (because your vehicle will not be able to cross a particular speed). Most people develop some sickness and by the time you reach you are totally exhausted. Read how to tackle ‘Travel Sickness’. It is advisable to eat healthy, carry mint chewing gum or medicine to help you out in extreme situations. Take a break every 1.30 to 2 hours, treat yourself with pure oxygen, take deep breaths, and stretch your muscles.
  • Binging on unhealthy food stuff: We swear by health is equivalent to wealth. You most likely will find maggi (which is now banned even if it wasn’t it still counted under unhealthy food item) and chai walas (tea vendors) on the locations. Sometimes you will find stalls of Indian burgers; chana chaat etc but there is no surety about the hygiene and quality. The point is just as you prefer bottled mineral water, do make a point to avoid eating unhealthy food stuff; you don’t want to fall sick on vacation. Preferably carry bread and butter / jam, biscuits, tetra pack juices, chocolates to keep hunger at bay and eat only at superior food joints. Just as important as eating healthy, stay hydrated. Keep sipping water, juices, lemonade to avoid feeling queasy.
  • Travel light: Always keep your stuff as minimum as to fit in your backpack. Do carry a pair of comfortable shoes and first aid but avoid unnecessary clutter in your bag, Especially if you wish to do a road trip as well as part of your whole travel plan.
  • Littering the nature: Be responsible, do not leave the empty bottles, beer cans or throw packets / polythene at these places. You are not just spoiling the beauty but contributing to disaster waiting to happen. Take care of Mother Nature to the maximum extent possible.
  • Travel during monsoons: Kindly avoid traveling during monsoons until you are looking forward to extreme adventure; the weather can play havoc at these places. The landslides, cloud bursts, freezing temperatures, slippery roads can make it really tough. We once got stuck at Manali for over 48 hours. The river started overflowing and covered the highway, we were stranded on road and there were no hotels around. We had to request one of the local families to give us shelter. How we managed 24+ hours in a car; here is the full story – Hopes hanging by a thread!!!
  • Travel with the belly!!: Fitness, the most important factor, not just concerned with Travel but overall lifestyle and well-being. Not asking you to join gym but 30 minutes walk/ cycling / swimming or any activity of your choice. Keep yourself fit and work on your stamina to enjoy nature walks, treks, adventure sports at the destination. Also, the fit ones look great in photos 🙂

We’re sure these pointers will help; readers are most welcome to add on to the list:)

Another important thing while choosing vacation spot, try to go for less crowded and less exploited ones, for instance Shimla is one of those hill stations which has become extremely commercialized. There are other myriad other unexplored stations just do some research before planning your trip or just write to us 🙂

Happy tripping!!

The New Monastery at Tabo

Tabo - New Monastery

Glimpse of a new monastic complex at Tabo. The construction of new monastery is under progress.

Tabo Monastery was built in 996 AD (more than a millennium back!!) covering about 6,300 sq. m , it’s one of the oldest surviving monasteries in the world. We covered Tabo as part of our 10 days road trip from New Delhi – Spiti – New Delhi.

The premises are covered by mud structures crafted beautifully to form particular shape, as we entered the main temple, intrigued and curious , we just kept gazing at the temple!!! The main complex is manifestation of eternal Indo-Tibetan art and culture. Take a virtual tour of the oldest and divine monastic complex here – Totally Tabo -ed!!!

Happy Exploring!!!