The ‘Sakya Tangyud Monastery’ at Kaza

Kaza / Kaze is the largest township of Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Kaza is the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti Valley, making it an important administrative and commercial center.In fact, Kaza was the only place in whole of Spiti Valley which had the hustle bustle of a town unlike Tabo, Dhankar or Komic and felt totally different from other places in the region. Kaza has strategic importance attached to it, primarily because of location. In you are entering Spiti via Rohtang Pass, Kaza is the first town of Spiti you will witness. There are myriad stay options at Kaza to suit one’s pockets. Mostly the travelers, prefer staying at Kaza and exploring the area around on a day tour. There is not much to see as such but the place has it’s own charm and known for the Tangyud Monastery.

The Colorful Monastery at Kaza!!

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If you would like to read more about Spiti and it’s villages, feel free to explore the first section on our blog.

To give you a glimpse of Spiti region, sharing a ‘A photo tour of Gue village in Spiti Valley’

Categories: Adventure, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Reflecting Reality or Creating a New One!

This week’s theme has no boundaries, the reflections mirror what we want to see 🙂 I’m sharing beautiful interpretations from our travels here

Floating Market

This one captured on Dal Lake while enjoying our Shikara Ride, the reflection seems to have created two shops 🙂

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Republic Day (2017) celebrations at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi

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The Golden wires in water culminating in a beautiful shape, seems like those colors were used to paint a picture 🙂 This one was captured at Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting

Categories: Travel, Travel Experience, Udaipur, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

PINK sways my heart!!

Feels like smile,

Feels like Joy,

Feels alive, it’s PINK!!

Daily Prompt – Pink

Categories: Srinagar, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

Betaab Valley Memories

Agog heart at ‘Betaab Valley’

Betaab Valley, lies few kilometers ahead of Pahalgam in Srinagar. The bike ride to Betaab Valley was part of our 5 days trip to Srinagar. The flawless green mountains, pristine Lidder river, archaic houses and rustic villages made such a impression on our hearts!!

I have shared details of Betaab Valley earlier too, this post is dedicated to fond memories of this fascinating and picturesque valley.

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We began our bike ride from Srinagar in the morning, the roads were still quite and clouds serene. There was some checking at few points, the army is stationed at almost every place in Srinagar but they don’t trouble tourists. The road is breathtaking as the Srinagar is located in the valley, fortunately there’s straight road & hence it saves time 🙂 Lidder river keeps moving along as if it’s leading the way, we crossed many hamlets on route & stopped at few points to interact with the locals & have the legendary ‘Kahwa’.

Read A cuppa of story from Kashmir, India

We discovered lot of beautiful gardens and interesting points, took beautiful shots, rested a bit & kept on moving. We touched Pahalgam in about 2.5 hours (~96 kms from Srinagar) kept moving & found some solace at Betaab Valley.

The valley is so engaging that one could spend whole day here looking at myriad things happening around and basking in the nature.

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Happy Exploring with Untraveled Routes ♥♥

Categories: Srinagar, Travel Experience, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Surprises on the road in Himachal, India

Our fondness for backpacking has taken us on lots of road trips in past five years and maximum of them have been to some location in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal is like assorted bouquet of exotic flowers, you just can’t have enough and can’t get over it, the more you explore, the hungrier you become 🙂

So, in all the road trips we did, primarily Mcleodganj – Dainkund, New Delhi – Spiti, New Delhi – Shimla / Manali / Rohtang, there were few things absolutely common!!

  • The School Gang – You are going to witness pure happiness when you’ll run into little kids going to school in blue uniform. So cute they all look !! They have to walk really long distances on a daily basis.

Kids Dainkund

  • Be prepared to meet unexpected companions on the road – You are going to find the roads inundated with pashima goats, yaks, cows and sometimes monkeys too 🙂 (though at regular intervals).  A must watch short clip here from our Dainkund trip when our bike waded through the goats covered route!!

Goats in Spiti

  • The Natural Springs and StreamsHimachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The perennial rivers of the region are the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. The road trip in this region will get you to witness beautiful streams at unexpected places and do they look beautiful!!

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So people ‘Travel more to find your surprise’ 🙂

Marcel

Categories: Adventure, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 40 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

The Artisan from Udaipur!!

The scorching heat of Rajasthan can drain you like anything!! We were so exhausted of the heat the other day that we made ourselves comfortable right outside the administrative office. I’m glad we did. 🙂

We couldn’t help but observe this talented painter. We met him right outside the City Palace where he was refurbishing the walls with new art. The most amazing fact is that he does the whole part in one go, the symmetry is flawless; RESPECT!!!

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That is one intriguing capture, kudos to Ashish for creativity!!

More on Udaipur here – A day in Udaipur, The New You, Night Glory at Ambrai Ghat

Categories: Udaipur, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , | 10 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

7 reasons why road trip to Spiti will leave you spoiled !!!

One road trip to Spiti, and all you want to do is ‘Let’s go again!!’

Making up our minds for doing the 11 days road trip with a little baby was not easy at all. It was the first time ever that we were so anxious about our ‘Travel’ plans!! Post baby, the lifestyle changed every bit and traveling together (particularly the adventure trips) became like dream in a glass bottle. However, our zeal for road trips couldn’t keep us away for a very long time and after a break of a year we decided to pack our bags and set out on a road trip along with our 11 months old little love to the revered Spiti Valley, the Land of Lamas in India. Spiti is as stunning as it name sounds!! Lahaul–Spiti lies in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti is predominantly occupied by Tibetan refugees and hence the region has pretty much feel of Tibet. Read a deep conversation with a Tibetan Refugee ‘Jampa’!!

Spiti is a cold desert mountain valley – the middle land between Tibet and India. Itinerary – 11 days from New Delhi – Spiti Valley – New Delhi

We had no idea that we had signed up for the most challenging, surprising and oddly pleasing odyssey. The road trip to this wonderland was an unforgettable journey, the memories are still fresh and though it was freaking difficult we would love to do it again!!

The resplendent Spiti will leave you spoiled, and here is why –

  • Exigent Roads – There are two ways to reach Spiti – one via Manali and the other one that lets you through the Trans Himalayas via Shimla – Kinnaur – Spiti. We covered the region via scenic Kinnaur route, the National Highway 22 (NH -22) and the Hindustan Tibet Road.  It was thrilling as well as challenging to drive on these roads. The transcendent roads are something you would have never seen or experienced before. These roads are touted as one of the most treacherous and dangerous in the world. The NH 22 will drive you insane for lot of reasons but you’ll love the adrenaline rush and thrill.

The hairpin bends of NH – 22, the narrow dimensions, encountering natural waterfalls, close encounters with trucks and buses, the frequent bad patches will make you feel ecstatic and sometimes insane too.   Take a virtual tour of the roads here.

  • Insane Landscapes –The gigantic rustic brown mountains, sometimes chocolate dipped and sometimes covered with snow with extra effect of pristine blue waters flowing. The jaw dropping views of sunset and sunrise will begin around Kalpa. As you keep moving forward the lush green hills will gradually transform to dusty and big sand like mountains. You are going to miss the greens!! But you will be able to embrace the change too.  
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View of Dhankar village from a distance!!

Spiti Valley Quotes 2017

  • Get High! –The high altitude is not just high is really quite high to handle. Once you cross Sarahan and approach Kalpa, the excitement begins. All the villages in Spiti Valley feel like perched on top to name a few – Totally Tabo (3050 m), Dhankar Heights (3894 m), Key(4166m)!! All wobbly and super windy. Interestingly the route till Tabo is challenging but the one from Tabo to Kaza and Kaza to surrounding villages is not bumpy. You will fall in love with the views from such altitude. However, the wind at such height is strong enough to hurl your car to wobble. We experienced it so many times, while approaching Dhankar, again while visiting Key Monastery and then Gue village.

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  • Intriguing History – The place is inundated with attention-grabbing stories and they will govern you mind space for long as you will keep thinking about it while you drive on empty roads wondering are you the only soul loitering around.

Continue reading

Categories: Adventure, Tour Spiti, Travel, Traveling with a Baby, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Feeling ‘Dense’ in Rajasthan, India

The weekly photo challenge theme this week – ‘Dense’ is quite interesting. There could be so many interpretations and perspectives that can define ‘Dense’ from a photographer’s lens. I decided to focus on elements that elucidate a particular region, hence sharing beautiful pictures from one of the favorite destinations – ‘Rajasthan, India’.

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This is a capture from ‘Jodhpur’, the blue jewel in Rajasthan’s crown. The houses look as if sticking together tightly!!

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Being embraced by lot of Camels while on our way to Jaisalmer, the Golden City, a moment that I will never forget. Read more about the road trip to Jaisalmer here – The Desert Safari

Pristine morning at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur with UR mark

Beautiful Taj Palace against the backdrop of luscious hills in Udaipur, the city of Lakes!!

Hope you enjoy the photos!!

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Cheers 🙂

Categories: Photography, Travel Experience, Udaipur | Tags: , , | 31 Comments

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