Raiding Mighty Himalayas – Himachal Pradesh

As you might have understood by far that I am a road trip person.

Before getting to the trip, let me introduce to a new member – A white Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi and the owner is none other than, my brother from another mother, Sandy. He has recently shifted to the capital city, New Delhi imparting me a chance to plan and RAID the Mighty Himalayas.The new family member Swift VDi

Coming back to the journey, I booked myself on late night flight to Delhi from Mumbai and landed to be received by Sandy at the Airport. Trust me I was more excited to see the car than seeing him. We reached Sandy’s place around 2am and tried to get some sleep before the Raid, but the butterflies of excitement in our stomach had planned the other way round.

We left early in the morning and our breakfast haul was at Sukhdev Dhaba in Moorthal just outside the national capital. The paranthas are to die for and you cannot afford to miss the white makkhan (butter) even if you are on diet. Filling out tummies and satisfying our souls we are all set to hit the road again.Sukhdev dhaba

We stopped at Ambala to meet an old friend from the university and continued our journey. After crossing Chandigarh bypass, we were welcomed by a board saying, “Welcome to great Himalayan Highways.” There we are, the commencement of uphill journey begins. After, a few KMs we could not control of emotions and urge to have Maggie noodles on one of the Maggie points (Any hill u go in India, Maggie points are omnipresent)

In about 10 hours we reached Kasauli (our would be basecamp) and wasting no time we booked Hotel Pine View located off Chandigarh – Shimla Highway, towards Kasauli. It was a budget hotel, which offered us a Room for two in Rs 1300/- (excluding Meals). Not a bad deal at all, being a long weekend.Hotel pinewood

Kufri:

We decided to rest that night and dozed off after having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant itself.

On the 2nd day, we left after having tea and breakfast to reach Kufri, on the journey we drove through Solan, Shoghi and Shimla (bypass) . The dist. Is about 100 kms but Kandaghat is not easy to drive on, the average speed was about 20 km/h. We obviously stopped at some Monsoon waterfalls and Maggie points to grab a hot tea and Maggie. Reached Kufri in around 6 hours and then our guide (avoid hiring one) told us to take a horse ride to see some sightseeing points (we came back half way disappointed by the ruthless way the horses are treated and made to walk in the mud slurry till knee height) We had to pay the full amt. about Rs. 350/- per horse. Nonetheless, we decided to visit, The Himalayan Nature Park. It is home to about 30 Himalayan wild animals and birds. Witnessing this was a true delight. We started our return journey at 4:30 pm from Kufri ( as we had decided to avoid driving after dusk ) we managed to reach our base camp by 8pm. We had dinner at very famous Giani Dhaba, but it turned out to be even worse than what we could have got at some other not so famous place. AVOID GIANI DHABA.

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Note: The area is a landslide prone, so be cautious while driving and follow sign boards strictly.

Shimla:

Next Morning was the most pleasant one, I have experienced in my lifetime. The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds and the fog was waiting to embrace us in its arms. Wasting no time we head started our journey to state capital – Shimla. Driving through Kandaghat was not as difficult as the weather was pretty clear.Fresh apple from the orchid

Do not forget to take an apple break at the magnificent apple mandi(market) in Solan.

Reached Shimla in about 5 hours and had to struggle a lot to find a Parking place. We headed straight to Mall Road, which is a must visit when you are in Shimla. Bought some Pashmina shawls and stoles for our loved ones, after a lot of bargaining. We were mesmerized to know about the history and importance of Gaity theater. This theater was constructed by British and is one of the six theater left on the planet to be built on Victorian Gothic Architecture. After wandering around and having luscious Chole bature and Chole Samose, in a local Stall, at Mall road. We decided to explore Shimla a little more and click some pictures.

We were back to Kasauli by 8:30 pm and decided to have dinner at Haveli, trust me the food was delicious and way better than what we had @Giani Dhaba last night.

It was an amazing journey with Sandy who got hitched recently. We enjoyed every bit of the mountains. Pure air, green mountains, warm hospitality, well maintained roads, lip smacking food and the most welcoming Pahadis. That’s Himachal for you.

This trip to Himachal Pradesh – The land of Gods will be relished till we leave the land to meet Gods in heaven.

Signing off with a song playing in my mind in loop,”maye ni meriye” by Mohit Chauhan. Here is the link

Trip Duration – 5 days

Expense – Approx. INR 9000 PP (Excluding Flight tickets)

— Abhimanyu@yatripandit

PS: Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel.     This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media. 

 

Bastar – The land of whispering Mountains – Chhattisgarh

My parents live in Raipur with my younger brother. I had quit my job in Parker and still had 18 days to join TACO in Pune and trust me the best time you have in your corporate life is the layover between two jobs. No phone calls to attend, no emails to check upon, no reports to publish. The best utilization of this blissful period is to go on a trip. It had been a long time since I went on a trip with my lovely family.

So, to en-cash this opportunity we decided to explore Bastar in our Ford Eco sport. Bags packed, camera charged, hotel booked and Pendrive loaded with good music.

Bastar is tribal and cultural capital of Chhattisgarh and a home to many waterfalls, mountains and dense evergreen forest. Jagdalpur is approximately 300kms from Raipur and Chhattisgarh government has done wonders in maintaining the highways.

After a couple of pit stops to recharge our appetite we reached Jagdalpur hotel by 4pm (8 hours). After rest and freshening up in a couple of hours we left to see the Massive Chitrakote Falls aka Niagra falls of India. The beautiful waterfall is about 40 kms from Jagdalpur city and is located on Indravati River. The height of the fall is about 30 meters and it is the widest waterfall of India. The lights made the falls look even more mesmerizing and it was truly a sight to watch.

Next morning, we left for Kanger Valley National Park – One of the densest forests of India. Spread over an area of approximately 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi) consisting mainly of hilly terrain, the park derives its name from the Kanger River, which flows throughout its length. Trust me I have never seen a forest so green in the month of May when it’s the peak time of summers in India.

My father works for Central Government and hence he could get us a booking in forest resort located right in the middle of Kanger Valley.

The major attractions are:

  • Tirathgarh waterfalls – Tirathgarh Waterfalls can be termed as “Milky Fall” because of the white colour of the water as it descends down the rocky slope giving an impression as if milk is falling. You can have a bath with small fishes around you in the clear water of this magnificent water fall. The water flowing through the various streams and crossing numerous paths along the way in a zigzag manner and finally ending up in the falls is a treat to watch. Besides the natural beauty associated with this place, Tirathgarh Falls is also an important religious place featuring a temple which is dedicated to Shiva Parvati.
  • Kotumsar caves – These Natural caves are about 35 meters below ground level and around 1371 meters long. You can witness the stalactite and stalagmite formations. There is lack of oxygen when going deep into the caves. In view of which, for safety reasons, entry beyond certain points has been restricted. The cave is closed from 15 June to 31 October during rainy season. The caves are pitch dark and the fishes found here are naturally adapted to be blind as they cannot see even if had eyes.

Baster is called the land of Whispering Mountains because when you are here you will continuously hear a whispering sound created by amalgamation of sounds made by bats, frogs, snakes, crickets, spiders.

Visit Credible Chhattisgarh and experience a divine connection with soil, soul and nature.

This post was shared on Chhattisgarh Tourism Board’s  FB Page

–Abhimanyu@yatripandit

PS: Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel.     This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media.