Posts Tagged With: India Travel

Best of Spiti – In Pictures

The inviting roads, the terrain, the landscapes and topography…….

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) were difficult to fathom. However, our zeal for road trips couldn’t keep us away for a very long time and after an occasional 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. Interestingly, we discovered our baby boy shares the love for Travel 🙂 This trip wasn’t his first though, he had been on few short trips already before Spiti.

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.

We covered the region via Shimla. It was thrilling as well as challenging to drive on these roads. We were bracing ourselves for the drive on one of the most treacherous and deadliest roads of the world. This time it was the thrill of NH-22 and Hindustan-Tibet road. The hairpin bends, the narrow dimensions, encountering natural waterfalls, close encounters with trucks and buses, the frequent bad patches made us  feel ecstatic and sometimes insane:). Take a virtual tour of the roads here.

The region is heaven for photography enthusiasts, to hone skills and experiment with different styles, today I’m sharing the essence of the ‘Spiti Valley’ captured in pictures, a random compilation of awe-inspiring sightings. This is going to be a series of posts and I hope you travel along 🙂

Road1

This is a landscape view of village – Dhankar. 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. The highlight of the monastery is the a statue of Vairochana or Dhayan Buddha with 4 figures seated back to back. The monastery is associated with Gelukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism and has around 150 lamas residing in it.

Dhankar - LandDhankar

Read more about Dhankar

Bridge-Spiti

The natural settings are so beautiful here that we were compelled to take breaks and soak in the beauty, this capture is a humble attempt to share the beauty with the world. Continue reading

Categories: Adventure, Family Travel, Himachal, India, Spiti Valley, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 73 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.

Continue reading

Categories: Discovery, Experience, Family Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 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.

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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

Coming back to Life

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Theme : Monochrome / Black and White Photography; DSLR Nikon D 3300

Categories: Photography, Udaipur, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Solitary Traveler

UR poster

Categories: Himachal | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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