Road Trip

Sutlej- The Flowing Beauty

A morning date with the longest river in Himachal running 1500 kms…

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The longest river (in km) in Himachal Pradesh originates from Lake Rakshastal in Tibet, lying near Lake Mansarovar and south of Mount Kailash. The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, according to this treaty, India can utilize only 20 per cent of its total discharge of water.

On our recent road trip, we had this beautiful opportunity of spending sometime basking in the charm of Sutlej.

As the light began to touch Earth’s surface, the deceptive cover of fog came into light, it seemed as if the ‘Sutlej’ was asleep under the covers of fog, and the gradual rays were making an attempt to wake her up, slowly and beautifully….

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Keeps flowing, continues it’s journey, what come may.

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Just like Life, it goes on, just like the waves, you’ll never experience the same time again, enjoy every moment! Continue reading

Categories: Photography, Road Trip, Travel Experience, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 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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Categories: Road Trip, Sarahan, Kinnaur, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Roghi, a beautiful village near Kalpa

Wonders on the the Trans Himalayan voyage through Shimla – Kinnaur – Spiti Valley

It’s not the destination but the journey what makes life so interesting. A road trip to Spiti Valley is sort of like that only. The travel treasures that you get to witness to reach Spiti valley are fascinating. And one such place that we instantly fell in love with was ‘Kalpa’.

Kalpa, is an alluring village of Kinnaur. Situated at an altitude of 2758m, Kalpa offers unbelievable views of the majestic Kinner Kailash range. The sunrise and sunset are mind blowing here. When the clouds play hide and seek with the mountains during the day, it’s a sight to watch!!!

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A captivating capture of Kinner Kailash Range during Sunrise at Kalpa, Kinnaur.

Reaching Kalpa was the most difficult part of our journey due to bad road conditions. We were enjoying the monster faces and scenic beauty until the bad patches began disturbing us. Once we crossed Sungra the patches transformed into a fully fledged pebbly road. It was a stretch of good 40 kms starting from Wangtu and continuing till Karcham. Once you reach Karcham, the roads are divided into two – the one going straight leads to Rekong Peo and the other one to Sangla. We purposely took the one going to Kalpa.

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A view of Kinner Kailash range adorned by Tibetan Flags

Get a little more cozy at Roghi

Situated  just 3 kms away from Kalpa, is this beautiful scenic village called Roghi. You would love to explore the treacherous road, the famous suicide point and serene views.

Roghi Village

Suicide Point

You don’t want to fall from here!! Suicide Point at Roghi Village

Happy Exploring!! with Untraveled Routes

Categories: Adventure, Kalpa, Kinnaur, Nature, Offbeat Travel, Photography, Road Trip, Tour Spiti, Travel, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Give your child the gift of ‘Travel’

It may positively impact brain development!!

Who doesn’t like vacations? We all do!! But how many times we put it off because of other priorities? How many times the ‘quality time’ is substituted by the coolest toy available in the market?

Well, you might want to rethink your family vacations after considering Dr.Jaak Panksepp’s findings.

Go for a Road Trip!!

What is the best way of learning in life? Experience, right? Then why should we deny our kids to have that.  I was intrigued by this research and found it interesting to share.

When you travel with your family or in simpler terms go on a Family Vacation, the time spent together is invaluable to kids as it lays down the base for positive affective memory process.

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Us, right in front of entrance of Tabo village in Spiti Valley. This is a capture shared from our 11 days long road trip from New Delhi to Spiti Valley and back, Aayansh was just about 11 months old at that time.

As a matter of fact, in most regions of the brain, no new neurons are formed after birth. Instead, brain development consists of an ongoing process of wiring and re-wiring the connections among neurons. New synapses between cells are constantly being formed, broken or pruned away. In early childhood the brain is genetically programmed to produce more synapses. For instance, a child’s brain (from 0 to 3 years of age)—produces 700 new neural connections every second

According to the Panksepp’s research, the PLAY system and the SEEKING system are areas of the brain that are exercised best when kids are exposed to new surroundings. Kids, have strong urges for physical play (running, chasing, pouncing and wrestling); these aggressive assertive actions rarely get triggered when kids are at home or left alone with their toys.

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Categories: Adventure, Beach Vacation, Road Trip, Travel Experience, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , | 36 Comments

Spiti, Revisited.

Spiti Valley Quotes 2017The road trip that I will never forget about, well for the good reasons but also for not so good ones. Reaching Spiti Valley is tough, the brutal journey might leave you exhausted but it’s all worth it!! The region exudes beauty, I could never get enough of the sightseeing and almost all the time I was peeking from the window (I vividly remember!!). Sharing a memory from our Spiti road trip…the beautiful landscape shot was captured while returning from Kibber Village. Hope you guys relish it 🙂

For further readings on Spiti –

The road trip from Delhi to Spiti and back!

Dhankar Heights !!This will make your heart go boom…

Totally Tabo-ed

Cheers,

Untraveled Routes

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’!!!

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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: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Hello beautiful!!

A beautiful morning at tiny hamlet ‘Sarahan’; Nestled in Kinnaur adorned by historic Bhimkali Temple and gorgeous Shrikhand Peak. Photo story is right here – https://untraveledroutes.wordpress.com/traveling/himachal/sarahan/

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Categories: Road Trip, Sarahan, Kinnaur, Spiti Valley, Travel Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A cuppa of story from McLeodGanj

In conversation with the smiling eyes from Tibet over a cup of tea!! 

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We were hurrying to finish the packing & leave hotel. We were quite exhausted from the bike ride (Mcleodganj – Dainkund – Mcleodganj) but the excitement kept us going. We had to catch 6.00 pm bus to New Delhi and had approximately 2 hours at our disposal which we wanted to spend wandering around the streets of Mcleodganj and do a little shopping too !!

The hunger pangs made us stop at the food stall, this one was right in front of the Dalai Lama Temple. We quickly ordered bread – omelette and tea, it was drizzling so we were waiting under this little hutment. Ashish was busy exploring his camera and stepped outside.

As I sat there, two smiling eyes greeted me. I couldn’t refrain but smiled back. It’s tough not to smile back, smile is so contagious!! Isn’t it?

She was clad in beautiful chuba and a cute cap 🙂

Her face narrated stories and instantly intrigued me. She came closer and started talking, I could hardly decipher a word but when I focused I realized she was speaking Hindi words in between in order to communicate with me.

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Jampa (JAHM – pah) came to India more than two decades back with a group of 7 others from Tibet. They were 16 when embarked on the arduous journey of survival from Tibet to India, only 7 survived.

Just a little background about ‘Free Tibet’ movement – In 1950, China invaded Tibet resulting in countless Tibetans deaths, followed by imprisonment and torture of several Tibetans.

On March 31, 1959, Tibet’s political and spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, reached India after a 15-day journey on foot from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, over the Himalayas.

HH Dalai Lama was followed by about one hundred thousand Tibetans seeking refuge in India. Tibetans moved in groups from Tibet to reach a safer second home – India.

The Indian government extended full support & immediately set up refugee camps for Tibetans at Misamari in Assam and Buxa Duar in Bengal.

Later, these Tibetan settlements were extended to parts of Himachal Pradesh including Dharamshala, McLeodganj, Dalhousie and Manali. Refuge in India gave Tibetans an opportunity to preserve their religion, culture and identity.

HH Dalai Lama has expressed his profound experience of over 50 years of exile in India in his autobiography – Freedom in Exile. He considers India his spiritual home.

Jampa also arrived in India as a refugee but now she considers ‘India’ her second home. She told me the Indian Government has been so considerate and benevolent to Tibetan community. The community has been able to conserve everything while continuing the struggle for Tibet’s Independence. The struggle of Tibetans is not concealed from the world.

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Categories: Road Trip, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

At Peace, Nako Village

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This absorbing shot was captured near a monastery in Nako Village, Kinnaur while returning from a 10 days road trip to Spiti Valley.

Categories: Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Travel Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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 🙂

Categories: Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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