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Regions: Chandigarh, Manali, Lahul & Ladakh
Season: June to September
Duration: 9 Nights and 10 Days
Max. Altitude: Tanglang La 5360 Mts
Arrival Chandigarh; continue drive to Shimla 2213 mts. From Chandigarh that takes almost 04 Hrs, Shimla was the former summer residence of the British Raj to escape the heat of the plains with stunning views of the foothills of the Himalayas. In the evening, stroll through the bazaar. A stop in an Indian coffee house popular followed by dinner at a local restaurant ends the evening. Overnight Hotel
SHIMLA:- Shimla (2205 mts) has its border with the state of Uttaranchal and the districts of Sirmour, Mandi, and Kullu & Kinnaur. Shimla, the state capital, which had been once summer capital of British rulers, previously known as Mahasu Distt. It offers to the visitors, the mall, Jakhu Hill, with Hanuman Temple, old historical buildings of colonial Raj,. The Distt is famous for its Lavi fair, which is celebrated in the month of November in Rampur (A town on the way to Sarahan). Apples of Kotgarh, in Shimla Distt are World famous.
Certain places of interest
The Mall – All visitors to Shimla inevitably walk down the Mall, the main promenade that runs along the top of the Ridge – a busy shopping area with old colonial buildings, souvenir shops and restaurants. At the top end of the Mall is Scandal point, a large open square with a view of the town- a favorite rendezvous for visitors and the local people. Overlooking it is the Christ Church with its fine stained glass windows. The labyrinth of Shimla’s bazaars spill over the edge of the mall.
Viceregal Lodge – Housed in the Gothic splendor of the Vice regal Lodge is the Indian Institute of advanced Studies, India’s premier academy for higher research. set in spacious lawns, is the museum. It has collections of Pahari miniatures, stone sculpture, local handicrafts, textiles and embroidery.
Himachal State Museum – Very close to the institute, in colonial building
At Naggar there is an old Castle, which once belonged to the ruling dynasty of Kullu, but now has been renovated and converted into a heritage hotel. One can also visit some ancient hallowed temples that are located all around the village and possess a definite mystical quality. There is also an art gallery which houses beautiful oil and vegetable color paintings of the famous Russian painter, writer and philosopher, Sir Nicholas Roerich.
The area offers some of the most magnificent views in the region as here the upper Kullu valley is at its widest and one can see the whole mountain panorama from Rohtang to the southern edge of the valley, as well as the long serpentine Beas River making its way down. This area also offers some interesting walks and day picnics through old villages and coniferous forests and vast paddy fields, which are a delight to the eye and drive to Manali. Overnight hotel
Himachal’s main tourist resort, Manali stands at the head of the Kullu Valley. Majestic Mountain scenery and the areas seemingly limitless supply of inexpensive charm makes the place very popular among the tourists. Though it has gone a very fast change last 10 years but still the old charm does remain in Old Manali and nearby villages.
Resting on the stone platform in a dense stand of Old Deodar, Hadimba Temple is Manali’s oldest shrine (built in 1553) . It is a fine example of Pagoda architecture.
Old Manali, the village from which the modern Town takes its name, lies 3 Km. from the main mall. Unlike its offspring, the settlement retains an unhurried and traditional feel. There is a Temple of Sage Manu here out of which the name Manali has originated.
Naggar offers a very beautiful landscape comprising of vast cultivation fields dotted by chalets in the middle takes one to the Naggar the ancient capital of Kullu. There is a castle, which now have been renovated and converted in to a hotel also there in an art gallery of the famous Russian painter, writer and philosopher Sir Nicholas Roerich. O/n in a Hotel
As we start our journey, leaving the lush green countryside of Manali towards Rohtang pass (3,978 Mts.). Rohtang Pass – Few places on the Earth can mark so dramatic a change in landscape as the Rohtang Pass. To one side, the lush green head of Kullu Valley; to the other, an awesome vista of bare, chocolate – colored mountains, hanging glaciers and snowfields that shine in the dazzlingly crisp fight. On the Valley floor, we drive through the field of potato and peas, dotted by Lahauli Villages, and we encounter the local inhabitants working in the fields. After crossing a bridge at Tandi, the meeting point of Chandra and Bhaga Rivers, which later becomes Chenab, These Rivers originate from Baralacha Pass, and flows all the way into the plains of Punjab. O/n hotel
Today we enter the Chandra Bhaga valley, and then further drive towards Udaypur , along the way we see the beautiful villages nestled by the River and many glaciers and moraines, from which emerge the numerous head waters and streams joining the Chandra-bhaga river. Camp at the beautiful campsite of Tindi.
UDAYPUR:- In ancient time Udaypur was known as Markhula and so the name of the local goddess is Markhula Devi. It is an unique and very famous for wooden carving on its roof and ceiling. Raja Uday Singh of Chamba changed its name.
TRILOKINATH:- Trilokinath means Shiva. Guru Padmasambhava gave this Shiva temple the look of a Buddhist monastery by installing six-armed image Avalokishwar. So it has become sacred for both Hindus and Buddhist and attracts many pilgrims from both communities. In the month of August a big festival named Pori is held here for three day. O/N Hotel
Today’s journey as we move further towards Jispa, we see along the River many villages with Buddhist prayer flags and Stupa’s and the landscape also embodies more desert look. In a way this is the beginning of, what we are going to experience and see for the next few days. We eventually reach Jispa, Situated in the middle of an open valley beside the Bhaga River. There are quite a few villages around. Further the route takes you first to Darcha, commencing point for trekking to Zanskar, the road now climbs up to Patseo, Army encampment, leaving behind the greenery. The landscape now turns more alpine with snowcapped mountains all around up to Baralacha-la (4800 mt), high pass that stands as a barrier between the great Himalayas and the middle Himalayas. From here we enter in to a totally different landscape that is almost barren. Chocolate colored mountains surround you through the way.
This is one of the most amazing journeys in the world as we traverse through the high mountain desert of western Himalaya. We pass through many unique formations of rock as a result of centuries of erosion. Different shades of brown mixed with infinite blue sky are visible all the way. From pang the drive takes you on a 60 km straight drive on the MORE PLAINS (Locally called Kyangsuthang). One can come across Changpa nomads with their livestock along the road.
Hemis, the biggest monastery in Ladakh was founded in 16th century by Senge Namgyal popularly known as the lion king. He entrusted the monastery to his Prime Minister Tatsang Repa, who played a significant role during his reign. The monastery has three floors with terraces, which cover the whole building. The above offer an excellent view over the Indus and the northern chains. The most interesting of all the chambers, The Tsokhang, has the large statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha in the centre of the room the statue of Tara (popularly known as Dolma in Tibetan) with chhortens (stupas) plated with precious metals in the Kashmiri style. There are also other statues of Bodhisattva’s and one of the Padmasambhava, the most flamboyant personality in Tibetan Buddhism and other deities such as Kali, Senge Namgyal (the founder). Several ancient Thangkhas complete the ensemble.
Nineteen Kilometers East of Leh to the right bank of Indus, lies the Tikse Monastery. Their foundation was due to one of Tsongkhapa prophecies: “ on the right bank of River Si-ta, my teachings will flourish” .One of his disciples’ nephew founded the Monastery in the middle of the 15th Century. The huge pile of the Monastery dominates the fields and the houses of the Village. The entire East-facing slope is covered with buildings. Generally speaking, the interest lies in the majesty of the architectural merits rather than in the temples, their paintings and the sculptures. Tikse is one of the largest and the most impressive monastery in Central Ladakh. Around 80 monks of the Gelugpa persuasion stay here and there are also some nuns.
Shey (Shell) in the olden times also remained one of the capitals of the Eastern Kingdom of Ladakh. On the main road up the Indus, about fourteen kilometers From Leh, was the ancient Capital of Ladakh. The fortress, which tops the Promontory seems to have been the oldst established building. There is an Ancient engraved rock at the foot of the hill, on which the monastery has been Erected. Tradition has it that Shey was the capital of the pre – Tibetan kings of Upper Ladakh, supposedly the descendants of Kesar. The remains, which are fairly Extensive, have been reduced by weather and time to bare walls
What to bring for the tour
Good Warm internal clothing (woolen and fleece, thermals), water proof and wind proof clothing, Comfortable hiking boots with good resistance against the snow and water with a good grip, haversack, sandals, walking sticks, gaiters, woolen/tennis socks (quite a few pairs) and stocking, gloves, cap, sunglasses (very important), Sunscreen lotion, day sack, camera and binocular (OPTIONAL), water bottle, torch and batteries
Day temperature in the sun is pleasant but windy but nights are cold. The temp at night in rain and snow can really go down; sometimes below zero so you have to be well prepared.
It is also possible that a route change may become necessary due to weather, inaccessibility through the mountain passes due to heavy snow, condition of the trail and physical fitness of the clients.