Category: Travel

6 Off Beat Travel Destinations of India

Gurudongmar Lake North Sikkim

6 Offbeat Travel Destinations in India

The idea of travelling in India draws up many images, lush greenery, deserts, snow-capped peaks, beaches… the country definitely has it all and for a lack of a better word, the Indian landscape is diverse. Practically you find something or the other to do in some destination across the country… and yet, traveller after traveller haunt the beaten path. If you are looking for something that is different from a prescribed list… you might as well check out the new list of off-beaten destinations.

1- The Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

The Little Rann, located close to the Great Rann is a definite must visit for those who are looking to experience the colour and raw plethora of desert colour and culture. While it lacks the tourism appeal that Jaisalmer in Rajasthan has, Little Rann has this raw flair that is completely charming and disarming at the same time. A quaint salt marsh desert, the Little Rann is famous as the world’s last refuge of the Khur or the Indian Wild Ass.  A stark landscape with rich biodiversity, the Little Rann is an ecologically important zone and is the home to several water birds like pelicans, flamingos and ducks and other birds like the Indian Bustard, Sandgrouse and francolins. The perfect destination for nature lovers.

Little Rann of Kutch
Little Rann of Kutch

The region is pretty popular for it’s surreal natural beauty that it has been featured in multiple movies in India such as Magadheera, refugee, Goriyon ki Raasleela, Sarainodu, and many other superhit movies. This wonderful holiday destination in Gujarat has also been mentioned in numerous books like Midnight Children written by Salman Rushdie. If you are also looking for a holiday destination for this winter vacation then check out different Gujarat holiday packages and plan accordingly.

2- Gurudongmar Lake – Sikkim

Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim

There is something about high altitude lakes… nestled amongst high mountain peaks that inevitably bring in a sense of complete peace and serenity.  While the Pangong Tso shot to reluctant fame with the famous 3 Idiots scene, there is another beautiful high altitude hidden at a height of 17100 feet in the Eastern Himalayas. Emerald Waters, set deep in the backdrop of majestic snow-clad peaks, the Gurudongmar Lake is Sikkim’s well-kept secret.

3- Bandhavgarh National Park – Madhya Pradesh

While the Jim Corbett National Park is a popular destination for all those who want to get a glimpse of the elusive predator, there is another destination where you can get a peek at this royal cat – the Bandhavgarh National Park. While the Jim Corbett National Park is known for its dense jungles and the different variety of flora and fauna; catching a glimpse of the tiger with several safaris can be quite a task.

Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park

In Bandhavgarh, however, the chances of sighting this regal striped cat are quite high. Smaller in size when compared with the Jim Corbett National Park, it is much easier to navigate along Bandhavgarh, and rest assured, this National Park too is filled with a plethora of flora and fauna.

4- Syalsaur, Uttarakhand

Syalsaur, Uttarakhand
Syalsaur, Uttarakhand

The Himalayas are filled with several wonders, which are simply understated and hidden from the prying tourist eye. One such destination that lies hidden along the bend of the mighty mountains is Syalsaur. With the Mandakini gurgling alongside the perfect contrast of lush green trees cloaking majestic peaks, Syalsaur in Uttarakhand is the perfect destination to experience the quiet and majestic splendour of the Himalayas.

5- Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

The last major site before hitting the China Border, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, is probably North-East’s best kept secrets. Possibly because of its political and geographically location, Tawang is rarely flocked by dozen tourists. Nevertheless, Tawang is worth each and every bureaucratic effort, tucked in the high mountains, the region boasts of over a 109 high altitude lakes! If lake hopping at over 12000 is your thing, then Tawang is a definite must visit!

6- Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

If the Indian history, particularly the Mughal Era, has enthralled you and the idea of reliving that magnificent time through the exquisite Persian architecture has excited you – then apart from a visit to the ever-famous Taj Mahal, a peep at the Humayun’ tomb is a must.

Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi

Commissioned by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum, the tomb of Humayun or popularly known as Humayun ka makbara, was designed by the Persian architect Mirza Ghiyas.  The tomb is believed to be the first garden tomb of the Indian subcontinent. The tomb is also the very first structure to use red sandstone in such a large scale.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Humayun ka Makbara is tucked deep in the winding ‘Galis’ of the Nizamuddin area of Delhi. Known for its brilliant symmetry, this imposing structure has delicate touches of marble and other precious stones at the end of several gateways. Adding to these lush gardens that surround the area make it a beautiful spot to rewind time.

10 best churches to visit in France

eiffel tower

Are you planning on visiting France for a peaceful and serene vacation? After you tour the whole city, there are many ancient churches in France for you to visit. Every city has at least one traditional church that symbolises the authenticity of the place. So, here is an ultimate list of the 10 best churches to visit on your vacation in France. 


10 Best churches to visit in France on your vacation

  1. Mont Saint Michel Abbey
  2. Notre Dame de la Garde
  3. Sacre-Coeur
  4. Rouen Cathedral
  5. Monolithic Church of Saint-Jean
  6. Chartres Cathedral
  7. Notre Dame de Paris
  8. Strasbourg Cathedral
  9. Bourges Cathedral
  10. Reims Cathedral
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Top 10 snow Treks in India

purebred dog running before hikers in woods

Top 10 snow Treks in India- Trekking trails for both novice and experienced Trekkers

Mountain trails in the Himalayas witness inanimate beauty during the winter months. Passing through the snow-capped mountain peaks, frozen streams, and the wintry grasses is an experience that can never be expressed in words. Winter is the time when nature showcases its playful side and you get to see the colorful side of nature in the spring season. If walking on the snow walls is something you are looking for this upcoming winter then here is a detailed rundown of the top 10 snow treks in Indian Himalayas that are the complete package of adventure, excitement, and wonderful memories.

1-

Kedar Kantha Trek                       

Nothing less than a fairyland for an adventurer, Kedar Kantha Trek is one of the most favorite winter treks in the Himalayas blessed with nature’s unkempt secrets. This thrilling trek commences from Sankri and takes you through Juda ka Talab, a glimmering lake nestled amidst thick dense forests of maple and alpine trees. On reaching this lake site, the trekkers spend some relaxing moments for the day and start trekking towards Kedar Kantha Peak on the next day. While descending the hill, you get to visit an apple garden at Hargaon Pass.

Weather– The temperature of the region drops down to sub-zero level and reaches up to -15 degrees Celsius in the winter months.

2-

Kuari Pass Winter Trek

Also known as the Lord Curzon trail, Kuari Pass Winter Trek happens to be one of the most exhilarating trails amidst the Himalayas. The trek commences from Joshimath, the winter abode of Lord Badrinath, and then takes you through the lesser-known passes and eventually to Kuari Pass, the highest point of the trek. On reaching the top of this trekking trail, the trekkers are awarded with mesmerizing views of the surrounding peaks including Hathi- Ghodi Parvat, Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, etc.

While walking on the downward hill, adventure lovers can visit Auli, another impressive winter destination in Uttarakhand. This amazing skiing destination in India is flocked by thousands of trekkers every year.

Weather– The temperature of the region ranges between -2 and -8 Degree Celsius hence, the region gets entirely covered with thick sheets of snow.

3-

Dayara Bugyal Trek

If you have never done trekking so far and want to enjoy this adventure activity for the very first time then you shall plan an adventure trip to Dayara Bugyal Trek. It happens to be one of the easiest trekking sites in India. Being established at a great height, the region receives huge snowfall during the winter months. This snow trek nestled amidst the Himalayas sprawls over a huge area of almost 28 sq. km. and is believed to be a perfect ski slope during the winter months.

Weather– One needs to be both physically and mentally ready to bear the bone-tearing cold weather as the temperature of the region ranges between -4 and -10 Degree Celsius.

4-

Dodital Winter Trek

Another perfect choice for those who are trekking for the very first time, Dodital Winter Trek is however an easy trail but it becomes pretty challenging during the winter months when gets covered with snow blankets. Commencing from Sangamchatti, the Dodital trek takes you through a thick forest area where you can spot several Himalayan birds. While walking upwards the hill, stop at the Agoda Village from where you can capture the awe-inspiring views of the summits of the Eastern and Western Himalayas.

Weather– Like other winter destinations, Dodital also receives huge snowfall, and the temperature ranges around the sub-zero level.

5-

Chopta Chandrashila Winter Trek

One of the most astonishing and the easiest winter treks in India, Chopta Chandrashila Trek passes through the remote villages, the highest Shiva Temple, and the pristine lake. The trekking trail commences from Ukhimath and then takes you through Deoria Tal via Sari Village. On reaching a certain altitude of this trekking trail, visit the magnificent Shiva Temple and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva, the supreme deity of Hindus.

After visiting the Shiva shrine, proceed towards Chandrashila, the summit of moon rock at 4000 meters above sea level. Enjoy capturing the soul-soothing views of the surrounding mountain areas including Trishul, Chaukhamba, and Nanda Devi.

Weather– The temperature of the region ranges between zero and -10 degrees Celsius and this is why one needs to carry heavy woolens to stay fit and fine.

6- Sham Valley Winter Trek

Established beautifully in the Ladakh region, Sham Valley Trek is nationwide famous for its plantation of apricot flowers. During the winter months, the entire valley gets adorned with apricot flowers. Popularly called ‘Baby Trek’, this destination is a perfect place for those who are trekking for the first time and have no prior experience. One can explore a multitude of travel attractions such as Likir Monastery, Indus Valley, and the primordial Sham Kingdom.

Weather– This hugely elevated destination receives a huge amount of snowfall during the winter months and the temperature ranges between -5 and -15 degrees Celsius.

7-

Chadar Trek

One of the most exciting and enthralling trekking trails in India, Chadar Trek is all about strength, survival, and persistence. The adventures covering this difficult trekking train get an opportunity to learn about surviving in the harsh regions at sub-zero temperature levels. This frozen river trek is established in one of the most inhabitable regions in the world where you don’t find any hotel or resort to stay. Despite being so challenging, covering the Chadar trek is a lifetime experience of the trekkers and they consider it as a ‘Do before you die’ activity.

Weather– One of the coldest trekking trails in India witnessing an extreme temperature level that reaches -35 degrees Celsius during the winter months.

8-

Auli Gorson Winter Trek

Commencing from Rishikesh and then passing through Joshimath, Auli, and Gurson Bugyal, the Auli Gorson Winter Trek is considered the first step towards trekking for a novice trekker. Apart from enjoying the challenges of the trekking trail, the mesmerizing beauty of the thick dense forests of alpine trees and the eye-catching views of the surrounding peaks are like icing on the cake. Do not forget to enjoy skiing at this world-known skiing destination.

Weather– The temperature of Auli hardly comes up to zero level during the winter months.

9-

Har Ki Dun Trek

One of the oldest trekking trails in the country, the Har Ki Dun winter trek is believed to be the most alluring trek of the Winter Himalayas. Commencing from Dehradun, the trekking trail leads you towards Sankri, Taluka Village, Gangar Village, and other exciting places en-route. This easy-level snow trek is a heaven for adventure lovers and draws a huge footfall of trekkers from all around the country.

Weather– Unlike other destinations mentioned above, Har Ki Dun doesn’t witness such extreme climatic conditions.

10-

Brahmatal Trek

A moderate-level trekking trail in Uttarakhand, Brahmatal offers you an opportunity to witness the surreal beauty of nature as the trek passes through the thick dense forests of rhododendrons and oak trees. The soul-soothing views of the magnificent mountains falling en-route and the visible glimpses of the Roopkund trek seem like icing on the cake. The trek to this snowy destination is also reckoned for its beautiful campsites near the Brahmatal and the Bekaltal.

Weather– One needs to pack heavy woolens and other essentials in their bags as the region witnesses extreme temperature during the winter months.

12 Best Places to Visit Leh Ladakh

snow light city road

Ladakh, a newly created Union and territory in India happens to be one of the most favorite holiday destinations for adventure seekers and nature lovers. The beauty of this freezing cold destination can’t be expressed in words as the landscape here changes drastically. Bedecked with the gorgeous mountains,  Ladakh is home to numerous high altitude passes like Chang La, Khardung La, and Marsimik La.

Leh Palace

Built by the Buddhist kings of Ladakh, the palace has lost much of its original grandeur, but still offers some magnificent views from the top. Find your way down the winding passages and hidden stairways to emerge at the roof top and enjoy great views of the city.

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa

Built in 1430, this Buddhist temple has a rich collection of Buddhist art, ancient manuscripts, scrolls, wall paintings, and the gilded image of Buddha, almost 3-stories high.

Hemis Monastery

Situated 45kms from Leh, Hemis is the largest monastery in Ladakh. Its walls are adorned with beautiful frescoes and the largest Thangka painting in the world. Built by the Red Hat sect of Buddhists, the monastery houses a statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha made of precious stones. Over a 100 lamas reside here at any given time.

Shanti Stupa

Built by a Japanese Buddhist organization to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism, the Shanti Stupa is a pristine white structure, and a change from the other Stupas of the region.

Stok Palace

The official residence of the royal family, the Stok Palace stands four storeys tall and has 77 rooms. One wing has been made open to the public as a museum and displays collections of Buddhist art, weapons, jewelry, artifacts and thangkas. There are great views from here, overlooking barley terraces on the mountains.

Shey Monastery

Earlier the summer palace of the Ladakhi kings, the Shey Gompa is situated on a hillock. It houses a 12m tall gold-plated copper statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Shey is a beautiful green area, dotted with ponds.

Magnetic Hill

It defies all the laws of nature, and is something you have to experience for yourself. As your vehicle rolls up the steep hill, turn off the ignition. No, you won’t roll backwards and crash down the mountainside. Instead, the car will continue to move upwards at a decent speed to 20km/hr, even with the ignition off! The magnetic properties of this hill, located around 30km from Leh, ensure that you’re always moving up.

Thiksey Monastery

This monastery is located a little away from the Shey Monastery and has several Buddha statues, a pillar inscribed with Buddhist teachings, a 15m high seated Maitreya Buddha statue and a vast collection of Buddhist art.

Khardung La Pass and Nubra Valley

The Khardung La (Pass), at more than 17,000 feet, is the highest motorable road in the world. The scenery here is worth your time, always crusted in white, and with excellent views of Ladakh and the Karakoram ranges on either side. Beyond the pass is the wide, flat Nubra Valley, criss-crossed by the winding Shyok and Nubra Rivers. Bactrian Camels (double hump camels) are one of the main attractions of the region. The valley is dotted with ancient gompas, ruined palaces and quaint villages, providing many a photo-op. The Diskit Gompa, built in the 17th century, is worth a visit while you’re here.

Pangong Tso

Take a day trip to the pristine Pangong Tso, a lake situated at a height of approximately 14000 ft. Set amidst the vast Himalayas, the stark brown mountains contrast sharply with the clear blue of the lake, providing a most panoramic setting. The Pangong is considered to be the longest lake in Ladakh and is a saltwater lake formed by the remnants of ice from the ice age. The international border between India and Tibet runs through the lake.

Tso Moriri Lake

This is a saltwater lake located at about 14,000 feet above sea level. Bounded by mountains, this lake has Ladakh to the north, Tibet to the east and Zanskar to the west. Migratory birds, marmots and Tibetan wolves are abundant in this region.

Zanskar Valley

If you’re looking for a real getaway, cut off from all civilization, head to Zanskar for complete isolation. The valley is closed for a major part of the year, from November to May, due to snow. Padum is the headquarters of this region, and is located on the side of a hillock with ruins of the palace and fort. Ancient rock carvings can also be seen on the bank of the river Suru. Karsha is the largest monastery here, housing ancient pieces of Buddhist art. Stongdey Monastery is home to the Gon Khang or the temple of guardian deities. Many challenging treks are possible in this region, and rafting on the Zanskar river is a thrilling experience for the adventure loving.

If you are also looking for a vacation in Ladakh then check out some of the most customized travel packages to Ladakh and select the one that suits your travel desire and falls under your budget.

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