India

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 Grandeur Celebration :)

Team Untraveled Routes’ (that’s Ashish & Charu) wishes all the fellow bloggers and avid readers a great year ahead.

Honestly I firmly believe every single day should be welcomed with much fervor and excitement. Every single day is a ‘Happy New Day’!!!

Well, this is officially the first post on the blog for 2017 and really long due, my last post was in November 2016 and other major events kept me away from blogging. But here I am 🙂

After much deliberation I zeroed on sharing the experience of witnessing grandeur decorations of the most significant event in India – August 15th, the Independence Day celebrated in 2016 commemorating the 70th Independence Day.

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Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the ‘President of India’. The incredible architecture that one witnesses is the culmination of imagination of Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. The mansion has a total of 340 rooms spread over four floors, 2.5 kms of corridors and 190 acres of garden area!! Isn’t that amazing? It is the

However I thought of sharing these pictures earlier but you know how it goes!!

August 15, is observed as the Independence Day by India. On this day, India attained independence from the British Empire in 1947. The ‘First War of Independence’ was led in 1857, since then for decades the struggle and battle to assert freedom from the British Raj continued claiming life of countless freedom fighters.

Every year this day is observed as National Holiday, glad to share some magnificent pictures captured by Ashish when the ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’ looked every inch captivating.

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This one is my favorite, I get little biased with reflections and the lights!!

 

Categories: India, New Delhi, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Udaipur Dairies!!

UdaipurDairies.jpgUdaipur never fails to mesmerize!! A beautiful capture from the heritage city to tickle the travel bug. 🙂 

Categories: India, Photography, Travel Quotes, Udaipur, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dhankar, Spiti – the Heights that will make your heart go boom!!!

Tickling the travel bug with an offbeat treasure between Tabo and Kaza, Spiti Valley

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Also featured in “Tangy Picks” on Blogadda

Our visit to Tabo village had left us excited and yearning for more. After visiting the Tabo Gompa and taking a short walk in Tabo village we were ready to continue our 11 days Trans Himalayan voyage.

We began driving towards Kaza around 11 am (though our next stop was Dhankar); thankfully the road was straight and real smooth. The sun out there was bright enough to give us serious tan however the wind was chilly. And it was super windy!!!

Road to Tabo1

Take me wherever these roads go!!

Beautiful! Beautiful! Journey

Spiti River was accompanying us religiously; it looked so pristine and blue. We couldn’t hold back our excitement and decided to go closer and feel the water. We really wanted to stay more but the ruthless Sun and our restless Baby boy pushed us to drive further.

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Pristine waters of Spiti River glorified by bright blue sky!!

The Entrance

It’s hard to miss the road to Dhankar; it’s beautiful and quite evident.

The Ascend

This is the ‘BEST’ part of visiting Dhankar. The magnificent views that your eyes witness will fill your heart with excitement beyond ordinary. There are many turns on this road and the views keep changing with every turn leaving one with great expectations.

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Ashish taking a quick break and enjoying the wind!! He deserved all the breaks after all he was the one driving throughout. The challenging and strenuous roads are nothing less than tight rope walk more so when there is a 11 months old little baby in a tow!!

As an encore the car keeps shaking most of the time owing to strong wind.

Road to Dhankar

There it is!! The picturesque Dhankar Village

Places to be visited

One peculiar thing about Spiti Valley is that it’s not really about sightseeing but more about enjoying the journey, adrenaline rush and spectacular nature.

Mostly at all the destinations you will find a Monastery (Gompa) and/or a Fort accompanied by amazing history and legends.

Dhankar- The Intriguing History!!

Dhankar stands tall at an altitude of 12,774 feet. Dhang/dang means cliff, and kar/khar means fort. Hence, the fort on a cliff is popularly known as ‘Dhankar’. The confluence of Spiti & Pin Rivers from this height is incredible!!!

Dhankar houses a 16th century old fort monastery; however one can see the new monastery now in the tiny village of Shichilling. The old monastery complex is also known as Lha-O-pa Gompa; it has five different halls and includes a number of multi-storied buildings. Don’t miss out on the Lhakhang Gompa – the Monastery of the followers of Lha-O, famous lama who was born in 1121. The highlight of the monastery is the a statue of Vairochana or Dhayan Buddha with 4 figures seated back to back.

Dhankar served as the ancient capital of the Spiti Valley Kingdom in the 17th century. The Nonos, the former rulers of Spiti, chose this strategic high altitude village for competent control. The legends say that the monastery has also served as a prison in the former era.

The monastery is associated with Gelukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism and has around 150 lamas residing in it.

Dhankar Landscape

What a gorgeous combination of chocolate dipped descending terrains and ice capped mountains!!! @Dhankar, Spiti Valley

The monasteries in Spiti Valley are mostly locked (at least in April they most certainly are) but the Monk usually opens it up on request for the visit. And sometimes the Monk will happily give you a tour explaining all the details about idols, scriptures, artifacts. We were not so lucky at Dhankar but at Tabo Gompa we met a super friendly Monk who spent so much time clarifying our doubts about Buddhism and Tibetan religion and culture.

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Landscape view of Dhankar, Spiti Valley

Dhankar Gompa / Monastery is declared as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world by World Monuments Fund in 2006. The ceilings and walls mostly made of wood are in dilapidated condition yet the beauty is eternal.

If you liked reading about Dhankar, then this might interest you too –

The Epic Road Trip to Spiti Valley

Totally Tabo-ed!!!

Sarahan – Abode of Goddess Bhimalkali

Majestic Mountain Range at Kalpa!!!

Happy Exploring!!

Cheers, Untraveled Routes
Categories: India, Offbeat Travel, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Photography theme – Monasteries

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“Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs” – Ansel Adams

This image was captured in Ki village, Spiti Valley near Key Gompa / Monastery in India.

Suggested Reading – Reaching Spiti, Road trip to Spiti

Categories: India, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Glorious Mountains

Vibrant Spiti

With colors so vivid and views so breathtaking, Spiti Valley will find a place in your heart forever 🙂

We captured this incredible image on the way to Tabo – The Ajanta of Himalayas on our recent road trip to Spiti Valley

We have never seen something like this, the combination of colors adorned by this place naturally is incredible!!! If you are planning to visit Spiti Valley this summer this surely will help – Reaching Spiti Valley, The road that leads to Spiti Valley.

Happy Exploring!!!

Categories: Adventure, Himachal, History, India, Photography, Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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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.

Continue reading

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

The road that leads to Spiti Valley (I)

“Spiti Valley is the land defined as God’s abode”, this place is as unique and spectacular as it’s name. Spiti is a desert mountain valley – the middle land between Tibet and India.

We did a road trip to this magical place  in April 2016 with our 11 months old little love in tow. We covered the region in 10 – 11 days by our i10 Sportz 🙂

We took Shimla route (Firstly to keep ‘Acute Mountain Sickness’ at bay and secondly the Manali route was closed). Actually Shimla route helps the human body to acclimatize to the high altitudes in Spiti region. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can really disturb your vacation, no body likes falling sick on a holiday!!!  Read ‘How to reach Spiti‘.

We have captured shots of roads till Spiti Valley, these awe-inspiring and formidable views will give our readers and fellow travelers a fair idea of scenic route via Kinnaur route; the National Highway 22 (NH -22) and the Hindustan Tibet Road.

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The road that leads to Spiti Valley – Shot while crossing Rampur

Road Cond1

The road that leads to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur and National Highway – 22

Road Cond

And the thrill continues with hairpin bends, broken fences and narrow dimensions on NH-22. We also came across a lot of monster faces carved naturally in the mountains.

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Encountered natural waterfalls at so many places, it felt great as the weather was otherwise very dry and harsh.

Post Tapri

The road right after crossing Tapri, the stretch becomes worst during rains.The patch becomes even riskier ahead but we could not capture that while driving.  It was drizzling the day we crossed this patch and it was slippery with all the mud on the narrow lane!!! Thankfully it’s a small stretch 🙂

The roads are known to have frequent landslides and patches with shooting stones. There are sign boards to inform the travelers at every dangerous place.These are managed by Border Roads Organization (BRO), hats off to BRO for doing a tremendous job. All the roads are two way roads it gets really scary when truck or huge bus crosses your vehicle. However, all the roads are mostly well maintained.

This series will continue to include more pictures of this amazing route from our recent Road Trip to Wonderland.

Happy Exploring!!!

The Road that leads to Spiti Valley (II)

The Road that leads to Spiti Valley (III)

 

 

 

Categories: Adventure, India, Offbeat Travel, Photography, Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Color me Fuchsia!!!

Flowers from Srinagar

We spotted this radiant flower at Shalimar Bagh, one of the beautiful Mughal gardens in Srinagar. It was raining that day and all the flowers and trees were exuding beauty. Srinagar is one destination which has so much to offer all the seasons.

A day visit could be planned like this – https://untraveledroutes.wordpress.com/traveling/srinagar/. We started our day at 5.00 am in the morning and were on exploration and sightseeing spree till evening. Check out the given link for more details and pictures. You will find more interesting stories on Srinagar on Untraveled Routes.

Happy Exploring 🙂 Have a colorful weekend

Categories: Houseboats, India, Jammu & Kashmir, Kashmir, Photography | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

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