Hill Station

Chindi – A little piece of Heaven

His eyes lit with excitement as he pointed to a tree where the tiny pomegranates were hanging and dangling and swinging beautifully with gust.

We had been to Orchards before, like on Spiti Valley road trip, the accommodation we stayed in at Kalpa, was located right in the middle of Apple Orchard and we could actually touch the Apples from our room’s balcony! But Aayansh was just 11 months old then so that explains the recent enthusiasm he is now 2 :).

 

It was not just Pomegranates; we crossed variety of trees and were as excited as ever – Pears, Plums, Apricots, and Apples. What a blessed place this was!

And the picturesque views of the hills from that altitude were something else! We had spent a lot of time in Himachal over the last five years, and still on our every following road trip we discover some place special casting a magic spell that lingers on in our hearts.

This is Chindi!

Chindi - Cover

A beautiful drive of about 95 kms from Shimla and you are in ‘Chindi’, a serene charming place in Karsog Valley. The mountains are mighty but so luxuriant with greens and the supple fog that it feels divine. Throughout our road trip we followed Google Maps and decided to take the not so popular route and it turned out amazing as it required us to drive via these quaint villages, orchards and incredible views.

Chindi 2

The misty mighty mountains as viewed from Chindi in Karsog Valley

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Categories: Experience, Family Travel, Hill Station, Himachal, India, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

The Deadly Trio

The best thing about ‘Travel’ is that you can’t always predict what you are going to encounter during the journey. The road trips, the bike rides, the train, buses, cycles and sometimes on foot, the experience is different every time and that’s what makes it special.

While we were away in the rocky mountains of Spiti Valley, close to Key Monastery, Ashish spotted this beautiful sight. From distance it looked ordinary but thanks to DSLR zooming capability, when we closely observed it actually looked oddly pleasing.

Presenting the King, Queen and assuming the Knight!!!

The Deadly Trio

How I wished someone could actually tell me the story behind it, like how & why of it!! But nevertheless we captured the shot, it seemed like a great find and feels happy to share it with the world here 🙂

Honestly, of all the places we have covered so far, Spiti has been the most enchanting one considering the history, gorgeous landscapes and particularly because it’s not hoarded by tourists!!

Take a closer look at the trio –

Keep traveling to creating cherishable experiences …

Cheers, Untraveled Routes

Categories: Adventure, Hill Station, Himachal, Tour Spiti, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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!!

Categories: Adventure, Hill Station, Himachal | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Doorway to Heaven

This beautiful temple door really seems to be the entry to the heavenly mighty Himalayas. We captured this shot at Kalpa, Kinnaur. Kalpa, is few kms from Reckong Peo, the drive itself will make you fall in love with this place. The place could be perfect summer destination !!! Go for a nature walk, relish the Apple orchards and magical views of Kinner Kailash range. We covered Kalpa on our recent road trip to Spiti Valley (April 2016) but you can easily make journey plans only around this place if you have less time and wish to stay in the lap of nature:)Evening at Kalpa

Categories: Hill Station, Himachal, India, Inspiration, Kalpa, Kinnaur, Photography, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Light up your stay at Sarahan

Sarahan is a beautiful peaceful place nestled in Himachal Pradesh and adorned by majestic Shrikhand Peak views and impressive Bhimakali Temple. Take a virtual tour here.

Temple in Moonlight.jpg

Visit to Sarahan was part of our recent 10-day tour to Spiti Valley. There are several decent stay options at Sarahan including a PWD Circuit House, the popular Hotel Shrikhand (managed by HPDTC), other hotels and home stays as well.

The PWD guest house in Sarahan is located atop hill which offers gorgeous views of the mountains particularly during sunset. But you need to book rooms in the guest house in advance, you can all the caretaker at least two days in advance to see if the rooms are available. Check out the list with contact details, the budget is around INR 600 – 1000.

  1. Rest Houses / Circuit Houses in Shimla District
  2. Rest Houses / Circuit Houses in Kinnaur District

Hotel Shrikhand is located in proximity to the Bhimakali temple itself. The budget begins from INR 1600.

Untraveled Routes Recommends – Stay at the Bhimakali Temple premises

Yes!! There are rooms available within the premises of the temple. The experience of staying in the temple complex is indescribable!!! The best part – the rooms are available at ground and first floor. The ones on ground floor cost only INR 350 for night; the ones on first floor cost INR 650 / –

Rooms at Temple

These rooms are pretty clean, have basic amenities and huge washroom (with fitted geyser). There are limited rooms though, in case you wish to stay here and traveling between June to September, just give a call for confirmation / advance booking. There is a canteen right besides the rooms where fresh food is cooked and served.

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Categories: Hill Station, Himachal, Homestays, India, Offbeat Travel, Sarahan, Kinnaur, Tour Spiti, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Postcard from Mcleodganj

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Intrigued by the legendary history of McLeodganj & spellbinding beauty of Himachal Pradesh, we (me and my soulmate) planned a trip to this town.

McLeodganj is also popularly known as the Little Lhasa in India, it’s the residence of HH Dalai Lama & majority of Tibetans.

Nestled in the lap of Dhauladhar Range (a branch of the southern outer Himalayas), McLeodganj is a village in the suburbs of Dharamshala, in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The legend says that village is named after its founder, Lord David McLeod, the English lieutenant governor of Punjab. McLeodganj’s population is a combination of local Indians, Nepalese, exile Tibetans and foreign expats.

https://untraveledroutes.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/a-rendezvous-with-history-and-the-hills-at-mcleodganj-himachal-pradesh-india/

Categories: Adventure, Hill Station, Himachal | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

And the Sun went down the Hills…

That Sunset in Lonavla…..

We settled in New Delhi, India post wedding while my parents continued to stay in Mumbai. For me visiting my parents has always been an overwhelming experience. (Anyways In India, a girl’s visit to her parents home after marriage is more of a ceremonial event).

I’m emotionally extremely attached to ma & pa, after all have been sharing every little event and issues with them since childhood & they have been such staunch supporters throughout. I remember how I used to sob when I first started staying at the hostel.

This story is from those days when I had a small vacation in Mumbai after my wedding. I have stayed in Mumbai for over 8 years; I could never develop fondness for the city as it’s over crowded and rough on eyes, I mean everywhere you go, you will only find people, chawls, filth barring few areas (remember the movie – Slumdog Millionaire!!!) .

This was really a brief visit & hence we had to zero in on a location that had to be covered within a day. After extremely involving discussion spanning over at least an hour we decided to go for a long drive to Lonavla.

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Lonavla is insanely popular hill-station on the Mumbai-Pune expressway.

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Categories: Expeience, Hill Station, India, Interests, Journey, Photography, Travel | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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