All posts tagged: Offbeat Places

Staying In A Tree House Near Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Want to experience staying in a tree-house in Himachal Pradesh? Try this place near Shimla! Out of all the experiences that I’ve had during my previous 4 years of nomadic life – from experiencing luxury train in India to volunteering in Germany – if there was one experience that was missing, it was, staying in a treehouse. A place tucked away in between branches, far away from the real world; a place for shelter or just to see the earth from another perspective. And this time, as I planned a (nearly) one-month motorcycle ride across the Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh, I succeeded to tick off that wish from my bucket list. But before I go ahead and tell you how and where it happened, I want to disclose that this isn’t a sponsored post. I know it’s rare for me to talk about a hotel, and so far I’ve written only one more article on my blog where I openly and dedicatedly promoted a place (this village homestay in Uttarakhand) sometimes, when I find …

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 …

Getting Local Village Experience In Kumaon Region In Uttarakhand

Want to experience local Kumao culture and explore village life in Uttarakhand? Visit Naikana village, near Jageshwar Dham… because I have found you a place! Not very high in the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, I happened to hike through dreamy villages, deodar forest, and secret rhododendron trails, where locals would wake up at 4 am to chop wood across daunting terrain, climbing up and down a steep mountain face while I carefully place one foot in front of the other. My two-day stay in this sleepy village called Naikana, that, in fact, was located only 20 minutes away from a well-trodden road, was, in fact, lost deep inside a forest. It remained the most beautiful highlight of the many journeys that I have previously had across in Uttarakhand, for it took me to a world where iPhones, drones, and Instagram still held no value. While planning for my 20-day road trip across Uttarakhand (and on Delhi-Munsiyari trail to be particular) I decided that for one night, at least, I was to going to have some real …

Fojal Valley: Exploring The Unexplored Himachal Pradesh

From its placement and appearance, the town of Fojal certainly looked like a place where tourists would want to spend a few relaxing nights, avoiding the crowded Kullu-Manali trail in Himachal Pradesh. And then, Fojal is a popular paragliding site in the entire Manali region. Yet there were no guesthouses, for I was searching for one for over two hours now. Those who visit Fojal Valley, do only a day trip, try paragliding, and head back to where they came from. So yea, after wandering confusingly and pleading a few random locals for a bed, when I had almost lost the will and decided to head back to Manali, my eyes beheld a sight totally unworldly. The shining snowcapped mountains were appearing golden at a distance. A few local Himachali houses were moreover adding to the charm. For a moment it felt as if I have time-transported myself into the golden age of 70s or 80s when people shared more green space around them, than concrete; when the chirping of birds echoed all day, from afar; …

beas river manali

Offbeat Destinations Near Manali For A Peaceful Holiday

The town of Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, is one of the top tourist destinations in Indian Himalayas. Its close proximity to New Delhi and Chandigarh is moreover continuously making it easier for the crowds to break away from the usual city-madness and experience the peaceful Himalayas. And with the upcoming 4-way highway, all the way from Chandigarh to Manali (with New Delhi to Chandigarh already having one) it is going to be easier than ever for people to reach Manali — meaning, Manali is going to get more crowded, more smokey and bustling with life in the coming years. Recently while travelling to Manali (long story short: I visit Manali and surrounding a few dozen times a year, while staying for a few dozen weeks. I know the place better than my home New Delhi) I realised that Manali isn’t a place I would want to travel to. And it also isn’t a place I would write a Travel Guide for — Things To See And Do In Manali! Not anymore! The idea of having a …

5 Beautiful And Very Distinct Places In India Everyone Must Visit

Ever thought of taking that much-deserved break and losing yourself in a place virtually free from all sorts of communication? If yes, then this is a perfect place to start from. The places mentioned below aren’t your standard honeymoon destination, these are those places which can take your breath away and leave you shell-shocked with the beauty that these places in India has to offer. These are the 5 Must Visit Places In India: Pangong Lake, Ladakh Restricting Ladakh tourism to just Pangong lake would be an extreme injustice, but if you ask me to pinpoint the most beautiful place in the region, then Pangong would definitely top my list. Pangong Lake doesn’t have heavy traffic or inflow of tourists, so if you want to scream at the top your voices unabashedly, come here. The sight of the lake can instantly instill a sense of peacefulness in your mind. The lake located at a height of about 4350m is around 124km long and is also home to various migrating birds. Ladakh is definitely a travellers …

Sethan Village In Himachal: A Place To Relax, Unwind And Just Be!

After a few lazy nights in Charanag, in Hallan Valley — a small town tucked away from the crowd of Manali, in Himachal Pradesh — it was time to relax, and lose myself in oblivion, yet once again. And Sethan sounded like a perfect name. Located approximately at a 45-minute drive from Manali, Sethan is a place for slow travellers – particularly during winters, when snow claims its ground and any movement beyond this tiny Buddhist town, becomes impossible! In the month of March, and with mercury still falling beyond zero for most of the hours in a day, the valley was draped in white. Little flakes of happiness were everywhere! From Sethan, one can see the towering Dhauladhar ranges surrounding the village, and the river Beas flowing right next to it – perhaps a few thousand feet down. The inhabitants of Sethan are the original migrants from Tibet and Spiti Valley, representing a Buddhist community who share their roots being horse herders in their past. They were given land in the surrounding areas by the then …

Hot Air Ballooning In Goa: What It Feels Like

After groggily waking up at 5:15 in the morning – before even the birds woke up – I was ready to leave and reach our Hot Air Balloon flight station, some 30 kilometers away from the place where I was staying, at Agonda beach, in South Goa. I’d barely slept the night before because I was so excited. After all, the idea of flying in a basket, led by a 10-meter giant balloon – the first-ever method of flight created by man, was quite a celebration. Flustered and windswept, I reached the location – a long empty ground, almost in the middle of nowhere. I had nearly considered it a bad start of the day, and then my eyes fell on a massive, oval-shaped balloon. I’d never seen a Hot Air Balloon from so close, in my life before – and as I remember, it looked beautiful! Under the safe and knowledgeable direction of Rita, our flying pilot, who has been flying this thing for the past 16 years (yes, you read that correctly, 16 years …

A Photojourney To Sangla Valley And Chitkul

During my solo bike trip to Spiti Valley, I ended up in a town called Chitkul. It was more than 40 kilometres off the route, on either side of the journey, yet I could not stop myself from bifurcating. After all, it was “The Must See Camping Place, in the Himalayas” as many people, whom I met on the road, recommended. “Don’t forget to go to Chitkul man, Sangla Valley is so beautiful that you won’t believe your eyes,” said a guy from Bangalore, as he threw another mug of water on his over-pampered Bullet 350 “Classic”, as he always pointed out, with a pause. Situated around 40 km from Karcham, Chitkul comes under Sangla Valley, which is spread over a tiny land of 20 km. And when it comes to the Himalayas, 20 km seem even tinier. But if you speak about its beauty, each sight is a magnificent sight to behold. Snow clad mountains surround you and welcome you with a spectacular view of The Kinner Kailash. No wonder, Chitkul is any photography lover’s …

Charanag – Just Another Town, Across The Mountains

When you’ve been travelling for long enough, you start calculating the benefits. You wonder whether your travels have made you a better person and whether all these journeys, that you’ve so far taken, have given you a deeper understanding of yourself – from within, and without I found myself pondering over such infinite and boundless thoughts too as I decided to stay yet another day in Charanag – a small village in Himachal, secluded from the-road-much-taken towards Manali – where I ended up being the (only) tourist in the entire town. Though in my mind I’ve always been a drifter, it’s places like these, that slow down my movement. As I wandered through its small, cosy alleys it struck me that going slow, and sometimes going nowhere at all, and just sitting still – killing every minute as it approaches you, with a new challenge – is the best of all joys. And here, in places like these, you find that joy. The joy in sitting still. In studying locals, and following their cultural routine to each …