All posts tagged: Himachal Pradesh

Visiting Chanshal Pass, In Pabbar Valley

“Shimla district’s highest motorable pass? Are you sure? Where is it? I’ve never heard of this name Chanshal Pass before.” I remember fairly well how my friend responded as I told him about our plan of spending a few days together in Pabbar Valley, and visit Chanshal Pass. I was on a (nearly) 1-month solo road trip across the Shimla district, in Himachal Pradesh, the last few days of which I carefully planned with an old school friend. I started my (solo) trip from Shimla and wandered across the Shimla district, visiting places like Chail, Mashobra, Neldehra, Cheog, Kotkhai, and a few more, before meeting my friend and concluding the trip at the highest motorable pass in Shimla district – the Chanshal Pass. To be honest, when I left home, even I didn’t know about Chanshal. In fact, the name was only introduced to me a couple of days before I visited Chanshal. I was having dinner with my host in Kotkhai and told him how I am meeting an old friend over the next …

Looking For Village Experience Near Shimla? Visit Cheog

Want to spend a holiday in a village in Himachal Pradesh and get real local experience? Try village Cheog in Shimla district! For a traveler like me, understanding local culture and getting a feel of the local way of life is just as much a part of the travel experience as visiting new places or meeting new people is. If I didn’t have any local interaction in a journey, the journey feels incomplete. This is perhaps the reason why I prefer homestays over hotels, and that I, every now and then, try volunteering while travelling. If I talk about my previous motorcycle trip, for example, that took me around places in the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand for about 20 days, the most memorable experiences I had was eating in someone’s house in a small village called Naikana, and not when I camped in the wilderness one of the nights, or when I first saw the Panchachuli peaks in Munisyari. Similarly, this time as well, as I motorcycled across the Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh, for …

Chail Or Shimla: Which Is Better?

Struggling with the idea of whether you should visit Chail or Shimla on your next holiday? Wondering which one is better among the two? Well, this blog is for you! During my recent 1-month monsoon ride across Himachal Pradesh, I happened to visit both Chail and Shimla. And it was my second visit to both the places. Where I loved Shimla for it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded (for a change) as I never hit anyone’s shoulder despite wandering around on its mall road for about an hour, I adored Chail for an even more peaceful experience. During the months of monsoon, Shimla and Chail felt (almost) equally enjoyable. But, for a different reason! The First Visit The first time I visited Shimla, it was during the peak tourist months of May and June. I had just returned from the UK (after living there for 3 years) and wanted to see what Britishers have left behind in India. It was a solo backpacking trip – the kind that starts with exploring a place in the morning and …

backcountry snowboarding india

Where To Backcountry Snowboard In The Himalayas

Before anything, let me be clear… I am not a snowboard or a ski expert. I haven’t cleared any professional certifications, and neither have I been practising the sport since years. I am, in fact, so new to snowboarding that anyone would only call me a beginner. But mastering a sport is one thing, and knowing where to best do it, is the other — and speaking of backcountry snowboarding in the Himalayas, the Pir Panjal range near Sethan is perhaps one of the best options. I first visited Sethan, during the winter of 2017 where I met a group of North Americans who just wouldn’t stop bragging about the nearby ski-slopes. It was their third consecutive winter there. During the entire week I stayed in Sethan, and between all those chilling winter nights conversations, I found them constantly boasting about how exciting the slopes in Pir Panjal can be. “The thrill in snowboarding in the wilderness of the Himalayas is unparalleled, and this place is just so perfect,” one would repeat every two hours. …

snowboarding india

Backcountry Snowboarding In The Himalayas

Located only 25 km from the town of Manali, in the Himalayan Pir Panjal range, Sethan offers some of the best slopes in the world for backcountry snowboarding/skiing. According to an Australia based ski expert and the author of many books, C.R. Spooner, Pir Panjal is the Mecca backcountry skiing/boarding locale in the Indian Himalayas. I happened to visit Sethan during the winter months of 2017 and was flabbergasted by seeing how much it actually snowed there. Always wanting to return, as winter hit in 2018, I bought my own snowboard from Delhi and made my way to Manali, and further to Sethan. Bringing to you my week-long backcountry snowboarding adventure in Sethan, here’s a quick 3-minute video: You can also read more about My First Snowboarding Experience In Sethan last year.

Hallan Valley

Hallan Valley: Himachal Pradesh’s Another Best Kept Secret

There are some places in the world that keep a piece of you, places that time and again feel irresistible, regardless of your frequent visits there. Hallan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one such place for me. And its tranquil locale, a friendly atmosphere, and an away-from-the-tourist-trail charm are in fact, the reasons. The first time I happened to visit Hallan Valley, it was a year and a half ago. I was returning from a solo motorbiking trip in Spiti Valley. But as I left Manali for Delhi, and rode about ten or twelve kilometres, towards Kullu (on old Manali-Kullu highway) I came across a dull looking signboard on the left. “Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna“ it read, and pointed toward uphill, with a bit more information about the road length and other mechanical gibberish. I can’t remember what else it said, but the term “Gram Sadak”, that translates to ‘village road’ in English, felt quite assuring. At 10 in the morning, the weather looked perfect to be riding on the Hallan Road (Google for where …