Discovery

Of Windows and Travel!

This week’s WPC theme is – Windows!!

I have been reminiscing about this for a long time and was about to do a post. So, I’m glad that it is the theme for the week 🙂 where I can share my pictures reflecting the world through windows, the world that keeps changing. The only constant in these pictures is the ‘Window’ 🙂

The first picture here was shot in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The beautiful city is a visual treat with it’s shimmering lakes against the backdrop of Aravali Hills, formidable palaces showcasing heritage and enticing structures with distinctive artwork. I believe my regular readers would also remember a post I recently did on the city.

Thursday

The Pink Evening at Sangla!

The second one captures the essence of ‘Sangla’, a quaint town located in Kinnaur in Himachal region of India. The sky that evening turned pink and looked beyond beautiful. This shot captures the calm mountains overlooking apple orchards.

Glimpse of Sangla

We covered ‘Sangla’ on our 11 days road trip to Spiti Valley, Read – An epic road trip to Spiti Valley , the Land of Lamas in India’

Feel the Royalty at Jaisalmer!

View from Window

This is a capture of the ‘Jaisalmer Fort’ from a restaurant’s dining area. We stayed here for two days and I would recommend to definitely cover Jaisalmer if you’re are exploring Rajasthan.

Jaisalmer is popularly known as the The Golden City, situated amidst Thar Desert, close to Pakistan border; over powered by the Jaisalmer Fort (Sonar Quila) the city with glorious past offers an action packed experience to travelers. Not just the architecture, the whole city oozes different feel tiny gallis (narrow lanes), all the houses constructed from golden bricks, puppet shows and people singing folk songs at all the unexpected locations, its awesome !!!

The Morning at Dal Lake!

Dal Lake - View from the Window.jpg

Dal Lake is fondly known as Srinagar’s jewel. Dal Lake is the second largest lake in the state; it is a major tourist attraction as well as source for commercial activities such as fishing and water plant harvesting.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir has always sustained the limelight mostly for infamous reasons. Srinagar, truly is paradise and treat for your soul. You can actually plan long vacation to Srinagar and surrounding areas.

For more pictures of Dal Lake read – Hues of Dal Lake

Windows – What do you see through yours?

‘I see beautiful surroundings, that create magic

lit up my eyes

and make me smile!!

Happy Exploring!!

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Categories: Discovery, Experience, Family Travel, India, Offbeat Travel, Road Trip, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

The Divine Abode of ‘Goddess Chindi’

A photo tour of the Chindi Mata Temple located in Chindi, Karsog Valley, Himachal !

‘Humanity is the only religion’, he always tells me. He doesn’t stop anyone from Idol worship though opines when sees people around following irrational traditions;  try and force him to be a part of something similar and you are in for a stimulating debate!

Ashish (my soul-mate) is a big inspiration in my life, of so many things that are purely impressive about him; one is that he believes ‘Good Karma is all you need to conquer the Evil’. And for him ‘God’ is another name for rediscovering the power of ‘Good’; And ‘God’ is omnipresent, not restricted to the premises of the Temples!

Then how did we end up in Temple one might think. There could be different reasons why people visit temples!

Well, the Temples in India are commendable work of art and the Architecture of Temples is very specific to the region. For instance, in Tamil Nadu one will find Dravidian styled Hindu Temples while on the other hand, in Himachal a combination of styles – Dome, Timber bonded or Flat roofed.

On our visit to Chindi in Karsog Valley, we discovered this archaic yet incredibly beautiful ‘Chindi Mata’ temple.

Temple 1

The entrance to the Chindi Mata Temple, the name Chindi name is derived from the place where it is located.

Temple 2

The timber wood structure and marvelous architecture catches one’s fancy at first sight!

Temple 3

This is the main temple where ‘Goddess Chindi’ resides

The artists’ impression of ‘Goddess’ (Mata in Hindi) is sensational, above you can see Goddess Durga and Kaali. Goddess Durga has nine different forms and each form (or Avatar) has a beautiful story. Kaali or Kalka is also one of her majestic forms.

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Categories: Discovery, Experience, Family Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Totally Tabo-ed!!!

Visiting the Ajanta of Himalayas -Tabo Village in Spiti Valley

Tabo (Ta- pho) is situated at a wobbly altitude of 3050 meters in the eastern region of Spiti Valley. Spiti is one awe-inspiring region that houses few of the greatest surviving monuments of Tibetan art and culture. Historically, Spiti Valley is believed to be part of the Kingdom of Western Tibet. The tiny divine village (Tabo) will catch your fancy for all the right reasons.

Visit to Tabo was part of our road trip to Spiti Valley. It seemed as if the incredible road trip had surprises in store for us at every corner. The vast expanse of land, flawless empty roads, and the Spiti River flowing by, filled us with happiness and wonder for nature. We were already in different world, albeit tired of all the driving throughout the day. Once we reached Tabo, the gigantic and colorful entrance re-energized us, the feel of this small settlement was so contagious!!!

Glimpse of Tabo

Glimpse of captivating Tabo village

That evening we settled in our rooms, gazing at the bright stars and stunning moon, excited about the next morning. Continue reading

Categories: Adventure, Discovery, Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Weekend Wisdom

Srinagar Quotes

On this beautiful note, wish all our fellow bloggers and readers – Happy Weekend 🙂

The picture in background was shot at Badamvaer in Srinagar, Kashmir. More stories on Kashmir here – A cuppa of story from Kashmir, Different hues of Dal Lake, A day at Srinagar.

Categories: Discovery, Experience, Houseboats, India, Inspiration, Travel Quotes, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A daycation to Key Monastery, Spiti Valley !!!

‘ Is this your first visit? ‘ A deep yet soothing voice distracted us.

A middle aged Monk clad in typical maroon colored attire was standing right besides us. His smiling eyes continued the conversation.

We were at the largest and one of the oldest monastery of Spiti region – ‘Key Monastery’, more commonly referred as Kye Gompa and it’s founded by Dromton around 1100 CE.

Key1

Placed on top, the Key Monastery as visible from a distance!!

 

As is with other monasteries in the region, this also had impressive murals, paintings, artifacts and above all an extremely warm and friendly Monk who was more than happy to share information.

You might wonder the oddly pleasing structure of the Monastery, well the credit goes to repetitive Mongol attacks that began in 14th century. Not just that later the Monastery also survived the wars in 1830s and 1840s but stood strong resulting in box like structure. The formidable structure at an altitude of 4166 mtrs still looks impressive.

Key3

Welcome to Key!! with Untraveled Routes

The monastery also serves as a training center.And close to 300 monks reside in the Monastery. And yes there is accommodation available for travelers, peace seekers and explorers alike.

Key6

Behind the scenes!! Preparation for prayers in progress…at Key Monastery

The encore is that you might witness young cute looking monks playing a football match.

The Surroundings

Right before one enters the Monastery, there is a small restaurant serving snacks, tea etc.

Suggestions

Do carry a good pair of Binoculars. We covered Kye Monastery during a day visit from Kaza (16 kms approx), we witnessed Golden Eagle, The Red Fox, Yaks and many such beautiful sights to remember. We also visited Kibber Village, the highest motorable village in the world but will cover that in separate post. This one is dedicated to ‘Key’!!!

Key5

Further Readings –

The 11 day road trip to Spiti with 11 months old baby boy!!

Super Seven Things about Spiti Valley you need to know!!

A virtual Road Trip to Spiti via Shimla!!

Categories: Adventure, Discovery, Experience, Himachal, Road Trip, Spiti Valley | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Totally Tabo-ed!!!

Visiting the Ajanta of Himalayas -Tabo Village

Tabo (Ta- pho) is situated at a wobbly altitude of 3050 meters in the eastern region of Spiti Valley. The tiny divine village will catch your fancy for all the right reasons.

Visit to Tabo was part of our road trip to Spiti Valley. Spiti is one awe-inspiring region that houses few of the greatest surviving monuments of Tibetan art and culture. Historically, Spiti Valley is believed to be part of the Kingdom of Western Tibet.

Glimpse of Tabo

Glimpse of captivating Tabo village

It seemed as if the incredible road trip had surprises in store for us at every corner. The vast expanse of land,  flawless empty roads, and the Spiti River flowing by, filled us with happiness and wonder for nature. We were already in different world, albeit tired of all the driving throughout the day. Once we reached Tabo, the gigantic and colorful entrance re-energized us, the feel of this small settlement was so contagious!!!

That evening we settled in our rooms, gazing at the bright stars and stunning moon, excited about the next morning.

We started our day early, 5 minutes brisk walk and we were standing right outside the majestic temple complex of ‘ Tabo Chos-khor Monastery’. We had no idea what to expect. Though we had visited monasteries earlier too in Mcleodganj and Manali this one felt so different. (Explore Mcleodganj)

Tabo Entrance.jpg

The premises were 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.

“For those who are tired from the long journey; and for all beings,
witnesses of misery
that have been abandoned by friends and relatives;
this beautiful temple has been constructed.”

(Inscription inside gTug-Lha-kang of Tabo Gompa, Source – Petervanham.com)

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.

Tabo-Premises.jpg

⇒ The Tabo Gompa is second in importance only to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet in the entire Himalayan region.

⇒ The monastery was founded by the king of western Himalayan Kingdom Guge.

⇒The monastery has preserved the Tibetan art, culture and artifacts over passages of time. It houses treasured collection of manuscripts, thangkas (Buddhist scroll paintings), statues in stuccos, frescos and murals depicting tales from the Mahayana Buddhist Pantheon.

⇒The walls are decorated with beautiful paintings. There are 36 huge clay statues adorning different mandalas.

The monastery also serves as one of the greatest establishments for Buddhist history studies and academic activities. This monastic complex is a national historic treasure of India.

Tabo - New Monastery.jpg

Construction of new monastery complex under progress at Tabo, Spiti Valley

 

The temple complex is a national historic treasure of India and protected as such by the Archaeological Survey of India. The monastery complex holds 9 temples, 23 chortens, a monk’s chamber and an extension that houses the nuns chamber. There is accommodation available for travelers as well.

 

The serenity and purity of the complex is indescribable.

You can read in detail about the temples inside complex here – Aarogya.com. You might like to read – Reaching Spiti Valley

Cheers, Untraveled Routes ♥♥

Categories: Adventure, Discovery, Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The road that leads to Spiti Valley (II)

Delhi – Shimla – Kinnaur – Spiti Valley in April 2016

This post is part of the series – The road that leads to Spiti Valley

Earlier I had shared stunning images of the roads via Shimla – Kinnaur (NH-22)  leading to Spiti Valley. Continuing from Tapri, the virtual tour is here, enjoy the ride 🙂 I had to limit the pictures till Nako, otherwise it was becoming a huge post.

Tapri onwards.jpg

Tapri to Karcham on the way to Spiti

A little walk.jpg

A little break and a quick walk 🙂 near Karcham

Kalpa onwards

Approaching Kalpa, the place with gorgeous views of Kinner Kailash Range

Shongtong Bridge.jpg

Shongtong Bridge: We observed the bridges on the way were adorned by several Tibetan Prayer Flags and looked so beautiful decorated with them.

Nako road.jpg

Near Nako :), after crossing Nako one enters into Spiti Valley via Sumdo

The luxuriant green Kinnaur changes to ice capped rocky mountains, you’ll fall in love with scenic beauty and the landscape views!! These sure will give you a feel of the road and help you plan your trip to Spiti, maybe even tempt you to experience the thrill of driving on these roads. I shall be sharing Nako – Tabo – Dhankar – Kaza soon 🙂 and those ones are really beautiful. Till then…..

Happy Exploring!!!

Categories: Adventure, Discovery, Himachal, Kalpa, Kinnaur, New Delhi, Photograpghy, Shimla, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A picturesque village in Spiti Valley

Spiti Village.jpg

Categories: Adventure, Discovery, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Lets Travel Together

“Surely the God lives here, this is no place for men” so said Rudyard Kipling for this insanely beautiful region. And you are bound to feel the same once you land here.

Spiti Nat Geo

This picture gives you a feel of some fictional movie location like Hogwarts in Harry Potter series. Isn’t it magical and resplendent? This is just a glimpse of the land of the Lamas

Lets Travel Together to the fascinating Spiti Valley

#Tour Spiti 🙂

Gorgeous mountains, flawless cold desert valley, captivating culture, contagious love and warmth, beauty exuding from every quarter… Welcome to Spiti….a treat for soul.

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Categories: Adventure, culture, Discovery, Himachal, Tour Spiti, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Guest Post: When the Kedarkantha Trek became too challenging

Recently I went to Kedarkantha trek which is considered as one of the easiest trek for the beginners. But with the level of snow (aound 7-8 ft.) out there, it became one of the most challenging trek. I share my story here; Happy reading 🙂

Day 1 (31st January): Started from Faridabad by my car at 2:00 AM. Picked up two of my friends from Dilshad garden at around 3:15 AM and reached Dehradun at around 7:30 AM. Picked up our guide Bachan (owner of Himalaya Shelter and one of the best guide I must say) from there and then headed to Sankri, base camp to start Har Ki Dun and Kedarkantha trek, where we reached at 5:00 PM

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Categories: Adventure, Discovery, India, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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