Bhrigu Lake Trek

A long weekend always comes with some new opportunities. And I always try to make most out of it. An escape from the hubbub of urbanisation, same office schedule, and pollution; is a must if one wishes to see the beauty of nature in all its glory.

Located at an elevation of 14,100 ft above sea level, Bhrigu Lake is one of the offbeat treks in Himalayas. Situated in the scenic beauty of Manali, the trek offers an ultimate experience at such a high altitude. The Himalayan lake is named after the very famous sage in Hindu mythology i.e. Maharishi Bhrigu. He was the author of ‘Bhrigu Samhita’ and also one of the seven great sages also known as Saptarishis.

Old Manali Trail

We boarded the Volvo bus from Vidhan Sabha (Delhi) and after an overnight journey reached Manali in afternoon. Though the journey was very tiring but the scenic beauty of Manali gave us a relief. Beautiful and verdant valleys, breathtaking views of mountains all around and the Beas river flowing down. We checked in at D County Villa, a holiday homestay in Old Manali, situated in utmost tranquility. After getting freshen up, I met my co-travellers at the homestay. Everybody introduced themselves and it was really great to meet some new people.

Old Manali is a quaint little settlement in the Kullu District. There are various famous and less known places in and around Old Manali that one must visit. The holy shrine of Hidimba Devi and Manu Temple are first on the list. Both the temples are ancient and revered by the locals with utmost faith. This beautiful hill retreat of is named after Maharishi Manu itself. A small and easy trek to Jogni waterfall is a good option if you love adventure and going for a high altitude trek. It helps you to acclimatize for your next day’s expedition.

What about spending some leisure time along the banks of pristine Manaslu River? The evenings are the best time to enjoy in Old Manali. We headed towards the famous cafes and restaurants in this quaint hamlet. These cosy cafes serve various cuisines such as Indian, Italian, Chinese, Continental and more. We enjoyed some delicious food with live music in the background and this experience cannot be described in words. The cool breeze was so refreshing with the sound of Manaslu River flowing along. It was far better than sitting in a cafe or a bar at Gurgaon or Hauz Khas. Some of the best cafes in Old Manali are Cafe 1947, Lazy Dog, Drifter’s Cafe, Garman Bakery, and Shesh Besh to name a few.

Later on we returned to our homestay and packed our bags for next day’s trek to Bhrigu lake.

Trek To Bhrigu Lake

We woke up early and did our breakfast. Later we met our trek guide who gave us all the necessary instructions for trekking. As per the itinerary, we headed towards 14 mod near Gulaba in a cab. The route from Manali to Gulaba is adorned with numerous captivating vistas of snow-clad Himalayan peaks, lush green forests and deep valleys.

The sun was shining brightly and we were all geared up for the trek to Bhrigu Lake. Situated near Gulaba, the level of this high altitude trek is moderate but can be done by a beginner also. The trail passes through forests and over green meadows. While trekking we got mesmerized by the enchanting views of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. The Solang Valley can also be seen from here. The journey became even more beautiful with like-minded people.

With portable speakers in one hand, playing various soundtracks; we set out on this exciting trail to Bhrigu Lake. Initially, the trail is a steep ascent and then gradual ascent till campsite passing through two freshwater streams.

Camping At Rohla Kholi

In evening we reached our campsite at Rohla Kholi, situated at an altitude of 12,500 ft. Located at 7 kms from Gulaba, the Rohla Kholi camp site offers some of the great vistas of majestic Himalayas. We relished upon a plate of Maggi and hot tea. It was a treat to our stomach in such a cold weather. Nearby there was a stream of freshwater suitable for washing dishes and drinking. As the day came to an end, we went for the bonfire where we were joined by other travellers as well.

After having dinner, I went to the cooks at the campsite and thanked them for the scrumptious meal they cooked for everyone in such a challenging environment. We went back to our camps as we had to wake up early for the Bhrigu Lake trek.

Trek To Bhrigu Lake

We woke up at 5 am and it was so cold. We did our breakfast and quickly left for Bhrigu Lake by 6.30 am. This sacred lake is situated at a distance of 4 kms from Rohla Kholi campsite. There are few places with some steep ascend but it’s easy. We cheered up each other which made the climb possible. The last half of the trail was completely rugged and thus challenging. But thanks to our trek guide who helped us out in completing this amazing trek.

At last we reached Bhrigu Lake, situated an elevation of 14,100 ft above sea level. This oval shaped lake is considered very pious especially by the natives of Kullu. One can see few beautiful lotuses along the lake. The panoramic vistas of mighty Himalayas were treat to the eyes. We took blessings from the holy lake, captured some amazing moments and returned to our campsite at Rohla Kholi.

After relaxing for an hour, we did our lunch and left for Manali with unforgettable moments. Truly, this trek was a complete package of adventure and some great memories with the people I met on this trip. Experience the beauty of nature in utmost tranquility and feel rejuvenated. Thank you Hippy Traveller for giving me moments to cherish for lifetime.

If you are also looking for a perfect getaway, then check out www.hippytraveller.com for exciting & memorable trips.

Contributed by Sahil Singh (Travel Blogger)

7 Most Exciting Road Trip Near Delhi

Being the capital city of India, Delhi is a place where modernity mingles with contemporary culture. Living in and around this metropolitan city gives Delhiites enormous options to travel and especially for those who want to escape the madness of city life. We have listed some amazing road trips around Delhi where you can visit with your closed ones or even solo.Being the capital city of India, Delhi is a place where modernity mingles with contemporary culture. Living in and around this metropolitan city gives Delhiites enormous options to travel and especially for those who want to escape the madness of city life. We have listed some amazing road trips around Delhi where you can visit with your closed ones or even solo.

Here are 7 exciting road trips from Delhi you just can’t miss:

1. Mukteshwar – Situated relatively nearest to Delhi, Mukteshwar derive its name from Lord Shiva. The drive from Kathgodam to Mukteshwar is very scenic with captivating views of verdant valleys. Nestled in the Nainital district, Mukteshwar is known for adventure sports and breathtaking view of Nanda Devi Peak. this hill retreat of Uttarakhand is adorned with vividly colored trees and beautiful fruit orchards. Mukteshwar is a great option for an exciting road trip from Delhi.

2. Mcleodganj – Popularly known as the home to His Holiness Dalai Lama, Mcleodganj is a picturesque hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Situated in Dharamsala, this place is highly influenced by Tibetan community. The hill retreat was named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, a Lieutenant Governor of Punjab and thus a little British effect can also bee seen here. Mcleodganj is the starting point for various adventurous trekking trails and camping expeditions in Himalayas such as Triund, Kareri Lake, etc.

3. Bhangarh – Do you love watching horror movies and TV shows? The spooky havelis and forts shown in that can be experienced in real at Bhangarh. Bhangarh is a small village famous for its historical Bhangarh Fort and regarded as the most haunted place in India. The Archaeological Survey of India has banned the entry into the ruined-haunted fort after Dark. Plan a thrilling road trip from Delhi to Bhangarh with your friends.

4. Barog – Situated in the beautiful Solan district, Barog is a small hill station in Himachal Pradesh. This little but peaceful place is gaining popularity due to its closeness from Delhi. Nestled in the lap of Shivalik Himalayas, Barog is a perfect option for road trip from Delhi with your someone special in utmost tranquility.

5. Kanatal – Situated on the Chamba-Mussoorie highway, Kanatal is a less travelled and offbeat destination in Uttarakhand which offers peace. A series of narrow and serpentine roads surrounded by beautiful deodar, pine and rhododendron trees leads you to this little hamlet. If you’re a wildlife and photography lover head to the nearby Rani Chauri Forest. Choose Kanatal for an unforgettable road trip from Delhi.

6. Vrindavan – Vrindavan is a place that is popularly known for its association with the blue God i.e. Lord Krishna. It is a holy place in Uttar Pradesh, situated on the banks of Yamuna River. Among several temples, the beauty and divinity at Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan can be described in words. Plan a small road trip from Delhi to the holy place where Lord Krishna grew up.

7. Amer – Located in Jaipur, Amer showcases the magnificent of Rajput culture mainly through the Amer fort (Amber Fort). This heritage structure is a perfect blend of Rajput, Hindu and a bit of Muslim style as well. Regarded as UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amer Palace is nearly seven centuries old. Experience the rich heritage of Rajasthan by planning a road trip from Delhi.

Looking for some more weekend getaways? Checkout the budgeted trips offered by Hippy Traveller.

Contributed by Sahil Singh (Travel Blogger)

Diwali Festival Around the Country

It’s that time of the year when our surroundings are adorned with glittering lights and joy. A week long celebrations, donning new clothes, eating delicious food and praying to the Goddess of wealth. This is what the festival of lights – Diwali is all about.

The best time to travel to a place is during a festival or any other regional celebration. It gives you a close insight into the culture and lifestyle of that place. Celebrated widely across India with utmost happiness, each city adds a unique feature to Diwali and makes it their own.

For those who are looking to make use of the long Diwali weekend to travel, here are a few places you can visit with your family or friends:

Kolkata – The city of joy lights up into a dazzling place during Diwali. The markets and homes are decorated, new clothes are bought and greetings are exchanged. On Diwali night Kolkata worships Goddess Kali and offers sweets, rice and hibiscus flowers to their most beloved deity. People go for pandal hopping during Kali Puja in West Bengal. It is one of the best time to enjoy the street culture of Kolkata and taste traditional Bengali cuisines with festive vibes all around.

Varanasi – Being one of the ancient cities in the world, Varanasi celebrates the festival of lights in complete traditional manner. Start your day in Varanasi with a holy dip in River Ganga followed by exploring the bustling streets of the city. Pay homage at the famous temples in Varanasi such as Kashi Vishwanath. In evening, don’t forget to visit the Ganga Ghat for special Diwali Aarti. The shores of the river illuminated by numerous floating diyas is a sight to behold. So get mesmerized by the spiritual aura of Varanasi during Diwali.

Amritsar – The city of the sacred Golden Temple is a treat to visit especially at the time of Diwali. Sikh community celebrates this day as Bandi Chhor Divas which marks the return of Guru Hargobind Ji from Mughal imprisonment. The Golden Temple in Amritsar is decorated with lights and devotees are served with delightful langar. Beautifully lit up with candles and earthen diyas, the sight is simply magical. Club the festive mood with the famous Amritsari Kulcha near Golden Temple.

Jaipur – With Diwali, comes delectable food and in that case Jaipur will never disappoint you. Diwali celebrations in Jaipur starts on Dhanteras, the first day of five day long festivities. The pink city offers some great toothsome sweets and Rajasthani thalis to make your festivities memorable. How you can you miss the tasty dal baati churma, besan burfi, mawa kachori and sohan papdi. As the day comes to an end, experience the enchanting beauty of illuminated walled city at Nahargarh Fort.

Purushwadi – Away from the chaos of city and firecrackers, celebrate a quiet Diwali at Purushwadi. It is a small village located on Mumbai-Nashik highway. Families in this small village light a bonfire on Diwali night, females decorate their courtyards with colorful rangolis and children move from door to door, inviting each household of Purushwadi to pour oil into their diyas. Isn’t it something different?

If you are looking for other favourable places to travel in India during Diwali weekend, checkout the available trips and itineraries here.

So here’s the team of Hippy Traveller wishing you a very Happy Diwali.

Pocket Guide for Pondicherry Trip

Best places to visit in Pondicherry

1. Paradise Beach: A Perfect Place to Observe the Beauty and Vivacity of Puducherry

Around 8 kms from the city of Puducherry lays a beach named Paradise. It’s a place you surely wouldn’t want to miss, in fact, the place make an important part of Puducherry tourism, and thus, is definitely a must see. The shoreline, horizon, food are simply aesthetic at Paradise, and an enthralling. Ferry ride is the major means of transportation to reach here. The water is very clear and there is no litter in or around the coast because the travelers are not allowed to bring eatables to the beach. Swimming is permitted close to the shore only and one can also enjoy a game of volleyball on this beach. So, in a nutshell, you can count on this place in making your vacations fabulous.

2. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: An Exemplary Epitome of French Architecture

Situated in Subbiah Salai; Puducherry, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of its kind. This church is a perfect example of Neo-Gothical architecture which was built by the French missionaries back in 1908. This structure has a very healthy history. Moreover, the visitors find peace in the premises of this tranquil and beautiful church in Puducherry.

3. Auroville: A Place to Search Your Soul and Then Purify it With Golden Ideals

Auroville is an experimental township and a popular tourist place, which is situated in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. Some part of this is also located in Puducherry. It was made with a purpose of human harmony. Roger Anger built this place so that men and women from any part of the world could come here and live peacefully. If you are on a family tour to Puducherry do not skip visiting this beauty. People many times come here to devote themselves in serving others. For this they disconnect themselves from all the worldly and personal desires. People do meditation to strengthen themselves from inner self inside the famed Matri Mandir. This gives them a positive approach in life. They even volunteer to keep the place clean, prepare meals and guide the tourists.

4. Promenade Beach: An Amazing Place to Spend Quality Time With Family

Now when your travel guide takes you to the Promenade Beach, we cannot justify its beauty in words, the place is inexplicable. The view and the landmarks will speak it all to you. Stretching for approximately 1.5 kms between Puducherry turf and Bay of Bengal, this beach is humongous in area. War memorial and statue of Joan of Arc are some of the magnificent landmarks here. Promenade Beach is also amongst the most kid-friendly attractions in Puducherry, so expect your children to have a gala time here. One can enjoy sports activities like volleyball and swimming during the evening at this beach.

5. Gingee Fort: Offering a Walk Back in the Glorious Times

Located in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu on a hilltop and 71kms from the city of Puducherry, Gingee Fort is one the most magnificent architecture in that place. It is commonly called as Senji fort but the British gave it the name as “Troy of East”. Due to its ancient art, this fort has become a popular tourist attraction.

6. Goubert Avenue: Perfect for Encountering Vividness and an Incredible Sunset

Goubert Avenue is one of the sightseeing places which have heavily attracted the tourists recently. People come here to soothe their eyes, experience the pleasant breeze and view the beautiful sunset in the horizon. The traffic is stopped and the road is closed in the early hours of the day and then later in the afternoon. This is done to provide a free passage to the tourists, so that they can enjoy the walk.

Now let’s talk about the things to do in Puducherry

1. Witness Villianur Temple Car Festival

If you are still thinking of the best time to visit Puducherry, then choose the month of May. There is a festival named as Villianur Temple Car Festival, which is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. On the day of full moon, the deity of famous god Thirukamemswara Kukilambal is taken out of the temple for a procession in a decorated chariot. People from around the world come here and attend this occasion.

2. Try Hands or Let us Just Say Feet at Surfing at Serenity Beach

A water sport with which almost everybody is familiar. In the region of Villupuram there is a surf school named as Kallialay surf school. They give you quick classes on how to surf, post this training; people are allowed to surf at the Serenity Beach. The beach makes Puducherry best holiday place to enjoy.

3. Enjoy the Best Bird Watching Experience

Approximately 10 kms from Puducherry is the Ousteri Lake. People come here for mostly bird watching. It has a stunning picturesque as well as vital freshwater artificial lake. A minor part of this lake is in the Tamil Nadu region. Due to the travel experiences of the tourists, this place has turned out to be one of the reasons to visit Puducherry.

4. Plunge in the Crystal Clear Water for Scuba Diving

There are many thrilling activities to do in Puducherry. One of them is Scuba Diving. People enjoy the depth of water with scuba diving. The eastern coast of Puducherry is the scuba spot. The locals also take diving classes here so that they know what to do at time of emergency. PADI centre is a well known place to take scuba diving classes in Puducherry.

5. Enjoy the nightlife

Being a small place, people often underrate the nightlife of the Puducherry. But trust me! This is not true. Puducherry offers amazing nightlife for those who are in hunt for cheap liquor and lively dance and music scenario under one roof. People can enjoy the night in pubs and lounges. Bamboo bar, Paradise Lounge is some of the well known places that amaze people at nights. They also provide accommodation options.

6. Bonfire, Romantic walks and Sunrise at beaches

Talking about a beach and leaving behind romance is not a good thought. The couples can have a night with bonfire and a long walk and romantic talks in Paradise Beach. It is always a good idea to stay beside your partner and see the setting sun. So, don’t forget to use the paradise if you are on a honeymoon trip.

7. Feel the Adrenaline While Canoeing and Kayaking

Puducherry has other thrilling activities up its sleeve. They are the ones especially popular amongst those who have a lot of love for the water sports. The Karaikal Beach provides canoeing and kayaking sport. The currents rapidness and roughness will determine the fun and thrill you will experience. So, stop thinking and plan your holiday in Puducherry.

8. Shop to Your Heart’s Content

When you are in one of the finest honeymoon destinations, your beloved will always want to go out for shopping with you. So, you should just listen to her and try out the retail therapy. Some of the places that you can go are geetanjali store, La boutique d’ Auroville, when you go out for shopping in Puducherry city. Apart from this, Saram China market is also a place where you can go. You can buy some eye catching decorative items and A-grade Chinese goods here. The market has some products that are used in daily life frequently but at very reasonable prices. Just brush up your bargaining skills before you go out for shopping in Puducherry.

9. Relish Cycling on the Well-Maintained Paths

One of the greatest attractions of small place is cycling. No need of hiring any automobile, you can rent cycles and go out for sightseeing tour. There are companies who have taken up initiatives to promote cycling in Puducherry, and the name of their campaign is Pondy Cycle Tour. My vintage Bicyclette is a store from where you can hire your cycle.

10. Volunteer at Auroville

To experience something unique, a lot of people volunteer to serve in Auroville, which is indeed an important point of tourist interest in Puducherry. Without even thinking of where to stay, what to eat, they just serve. Not only is this, apart from Auroville, there are many NGO’s where people serve. They teach, cook, mop and do many household activities for their own pleasure and happiness.

Truly, Puducherry is an experience that can make a lasting impression on its visitors. We hope you liked our blog; it will be nice if you give us a big thumbs up and share the blog with your friends and family. However, if you are thinking on how to plan your Puducherry trip, then Hippy Traveller has an answer to it as well. Call us at +91-9999098154 or email us at mayank@hippytraveller.com, and we ensure to offer you the best travel packages at the budget of your choice.

 

Nature’s Land (Coorg)

Coorg is a lovely hill station in Karnataka and is a great choice to spend a vacation. You can check out some of the places below on a holiday here:

Abbey Falls:

The Kaveri River falling over huge rocks as Abbey Falls is an admirable sight especially after the monsoons. Surrounded by coffee and spice plantations and miles of green lands, the Abbey Falls caters to the nature lover in you.

Brahmagiri Hills:

Perfectly cut out for a trek, the Brahmagiri Hills beckon with their lush landscape and heady mountain air. As you trek up you pass by sparkling waters and rich flora. If you are lucky you may spot wild life like NilgiriLangur, Giant Flying Squirrel and Spotted Deer.

Dubare Elephant Camp:

At Dubare Elephant Camp, get a chance to see elephants in their natural habitat. You can treat yourself further by watching them being fed, trained and being given baths. There are plenty of other wildlife too at the park like peacocks, wild dog, crocodiles and sloth bear.

Iruppu Falls:

The Iruppu waterfalls are formed by River LakshmanaThirtha and fall from a height of 60 feet. As the water gushes down, the spray creates a magical atmosphere. The trek up the beautiful green hills to the falls adds to the magical experience.

Chettalli:

A village set in the middle of Madikeri and Siddapur, Chettalli is a good cultural tourism spot. Enjoy a tryst with the native culture of Coorg at this peaceful retreat.

Nagarhole National Park:

A visit to the Nagarhole National Park brings you closer to the wildlife that is already rampant in the natural surroundings of Coorg. With over 270 species of birds and other animals present, the moments get exciting as you spot one exotic creature after another.

Tibetian Settlement, Bylakuppe:

Bylakuppe has the Namdroling Monastery which is the second biggest Tibetian settlement in India. Especially festive during the Tibetan New Year celebrations called Losar, tourists can have a peek into the rich Tibetan culture and architecture at the monastery.

Raja’s Seat:

The best among several sunset view-points in Coorg, The Raja’s Seat offers unmatched views of the hills and valley of the place. Additionally there is a musical fountain and an exquisite garden at the point that tourists will enjoy.

When you look at the sprawling green landscapes, hilly terrains, cloudy mountain tops and the expanse of beautiful flora and fauna, you may as well ask yourself the question, ‘Shouldn’t Scotland be called as the Coorg of UK?’

 

A Must Visit “Mela” – Pushkar Mela

The famous Pushkar camel fair-2017

The famous Pushkar camel fair describes the rich culture of Rajasthan. The enchantment of Pushkar fair cannot be compared with any other festivals in India. The drowsy tiny parish, Pushkar in Rajasthan becomes alive with a fusion of colors and energetic burst of activity at the time of the fair.

Pushkar, a small town in Rajasthan is a great place to visit for spiritually inclined people to have a glimpse of colorful mythology of the Hindu religion. It is surrounded by hills on three sides and sand dunes on the other; this sacred town of the Hindus is blessed with over 400 temples and 52 bathing ghats.

The Pushkar Camel Fair is celebrated for five days from Kartik Ekadasi to Kartik Poornima (usually between late October and November). In 2017, the official dates for the Pushkar Fair are October 23 to November 04. It is the time when Rajasthani farmers gather to buy and sell their camels, cattle and horses.

According to the hindu mythology, it is the time when the Hindu god Brahma sprung up the Pushkar Lake, On this day devotees take a bath in the Pushkar lake.

It is a majestic occurrence in which more than 400,000 people and 50,000 animals such as camels, horses, cows, goats, and sheep participate and millions of exhibitors come to enjoy in delight from all over the world. Pushkar Fair is the largest cattle fair in the country; especially meant for enjoyment and merry-making.

This annual Pushkar Camel fair brings together farmers, livestock, traders and villagers from all over Rajasthan. This huge gathering contains a Technicolor parade of dancers, musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats, snake charmers and carousel rides to entertain the crowd. Men in huge dazzling turbans, women in pleated Ghagaras and colorful bangles give the fair an utmost charm of a festival.

Here you can take part in some fun activities, such as a game of tug of war, a cricket match, a competition for the longest moustache, a camel beauty-pageant and a turban-tying contest purely for foreign visitors.

The main highlight of the Fair is the beauty completion of decorated Camels. The camels are dressed up like a groom, they washed spanky clean, shaved and decorated with the jewelry like Silver bells and bangles, after that they entered into beauty contests. Best camel wins the Prize.

Beautifully decorated camels perform parade, race and dance to attract the buyers. In another completion the camel accommodate the maximum number of peoples on his back.

This fair would be incomplete without different stalls and arts, crafts bazaar. The stalls and sellers exhibited the picture of colorful Rajasthan in front of the curious tourists. You can also get a taste of Rajasthani food at stalls. Tourists can enjoy some delicious vegetarian food like daal baati choorama, Mirchi ke pakode, Dal Ki Kachori, Malpue etc.

Another highlight of this fair is the International Hot Air Balloon Festival. This is also held during the fair. You can witness this huge Camel fair from the sky in a Hot Air Balloon.

Body painting is also an attraction of the fair. The experts offer various designed tattoos to the peoples. The bright colored tents, traditional costumes and the sand dunes are a complete treat.

So come and enjoy this grand Camel Mela in Rajasthan.

For Enquiry visit https://www.hippytraveller.com/contact-us/

Rajasthan Weekend Getaway

Rajasthan is not merely a state – it is an experience. And if you live anywhere close, this place will offer you more weekend destinations than you can handle!

We present 5 wonderful weekend destinations in Rajasthan that will make you want to travel right away. Read on to lose yourself in this heavenly land where the old meets the new.

Jaipur

Mere words cannot do justice to the countless hues of this singularly historic city. Be it art, architecture, literature, handiwork, nature or even raw, powerful spirit—Jaipur has it all. The breathtaking Jal Mahal, the scintillating Jantar Mantar, the extraordinary Pink City and the grandiose Hawa Mahal are a few of the endless gems in the city’s treasure chest. As for cuisine, it is common knowledge that Rajasthani food is on the spicier side. Take your taste-buds on a roller-coaster ride with the spectrum of dishes this place offers.

Distance from Delhi: 269 km | Time taken: 4h 26m

Amer Fort, Jaipur

Jal Mahal, Jaipur

Ranthambore

Cross your fingers and a tiger might just decide to honour you with its glorious presence! The Ranthambore National Park, with its silvery rivers and dreamy terrain, will leave you speechless with its equally magnificent flora and fauna. A playful deer fight, a curious mongoose, cackling hyenas—Ranthambore is throbbing with wildlife. As you stand on the crumbling ruins of the ancient Ranthambore Fort, take a deep breath and let the jungle vibes embrace your very being.

Distance from Delhi: 369 km | Time taken: 6h 45m

Ranthambore Fort

The Tigers of Ranthambore

Bharatpur

Get your cameras and binoculars ready, as you voyage from Delhi to Bharatpur, and land right  in bird paradise. With over 230 different species of birds adorning the bright-blue skies, the Keoladeo National Park is also a coveted winter home for the endangered Siberian Crane.  Declared a World Heritage Sight by UNESCO, the park offers the unique beauty of a wetland, with a plethora of amphibians and reptiles crawling around merrily. Try to catch the splendid Brij Festival, organized every year before Holi.

Distance from Delhi: 199 km | Time taken: 3h 5m.

A Road In The Woods, Bharatpur

Exotic Birds, Bharatpur

Alwar

Nestled among the mighty Aravalis, Alwar echoes with the majestic tales of the chivalrous Maharana Pratap. The Bala Quila Fort and the mysterious Bhangarh Fort are two of Alwar’s famous strongholds. Visit any of the colourful markets (the Churi Bazaar is a favourite) dotting the old town and you’ll be surprised at the sheer, gorgeous variety of jewellery and handicraft. Lastly, one does not simply leave Alwar without sampling the pride of town—Alwar ka mawa (milkcake) and Kalakand.

Distance from Delhi: 155 km | Time taken: 2h 53m

Alwar Palace

City Palace, Alwar

Mandawa

Known as one of the ‘painted towns of Shekhawati’, Mandawa is an embodiment of pure, unadulterated art. The overwhelming display of gaily painted havelis, with their explosion of intricate frescos, will leave your senses craving for more. As you explore the back alleys of this castle town, listen close, and you might just hear the whispered legends of its long-lost regal past. It’s no wonder that the entire town is said to be one big open-air art gallery.

Distance from Delhi: 245 km | Time taken: 4h 52m

Colorful painted Haveli in the city of Mandawa, Rajasthan

Frescoed Havelis in Mandawa village, traditional ornately decorated residence, India. Rajasthan

Convinced? Go, convince your squad, grab the bare essentials and make the next weekend unforgettable, with a little help from Rajasthan.

Complete Guide for Chadar Trek

 

CHADAR FROZEN RIVER TREK

“Chadar” refers to the sheet of ice that from over the Zanskar river as it transforms itself from a rapid flowing river into a white blanket of ice during winter. It ecomes a frozen spectacle of glass ice ranging from a bluish tinge to golden yellow that is seen during the few hours that sunlight reaches directly into the gorge to the milky whitish on a moonlit night – as said a trek journey like no other.

Chadar connects villages in the Zanskar valley (deep in the mountains) with Chilling (on the road to Leh) along the frozen Zanskar River. This route has been used for centuries for trade and transportation, and is most reliable in February when the ice is most stable.

Suggestive Things for Carry Chadar Trek 2018:
• Carry 2 pair of synthetic track pants. Track pants are light and when things get cold you can wear one over the other.
• Carry 2 Full sleeve tees with collar.
• Fleece jacket – sweaters are highly discouraged.
A full sleeve thick jacket.
• Carry 4 pairs of undergarments.
• Get 2 pairs of thermal inners.
• Carry 2 pairs of sports socks. 2 pairs of woolen socks.
• Woolen monkey cap/balaclava that cover the ear.
• Woolen hand gloves + synthetic glove (water proof). If you dont have Synthetic gloves, get two pairs of woolen gloves and a surgical glove.
• Hot water bottle/Bag – available at any medical store.
• Sun glasses, branded company with 100% UV protection. Curved ones will cover your eyes well.
• Sunglasses prevent snow blindness. Sunglasses are mandatory for this trek.
• Gumboot, if not purchased from Leh.
• Backpack (55 – 65 L) with sturdy straps and supporting frame. Daypack (20 L) is required only if you wish to offload your backpack to our support team. If you don’t want to carry your backpack you can give it to porter, but you have to inform us in advance and charges would be Rs. 700/- extra per day per bag. Please also do inform us about this at least 15 days in advance.
• Trekking shoes: Good standard trekking shoes are sufficient for the trek. On Chadar, which is solid ice or a slight cover of snow on slippery ice, trekkers have found to their amazement that a simple gumboot finally is the best for Chadar. Most of the outside agencies in order to impress tell about crampons. In my years of experience in Ladakh and on Chadar too, I can absolutely say that crampons are quite dicey – quite a few trekkers have injured themselves or worse broken their ankle while a crampon get stuck on the fine cracks in the ice. Gumboot is available in Leh hardware shop and can be purchased here itself. If your shoe size is 9-10, getting a pair might be tough..so start searching as soon as you land in Leh. Sports shoes are not allowed. You need traction on snow and sport shoes with their PVC soles are hardly the choice. Ensure the shoes are well broken in before the trek. Trekkers will soon learn and modify their trek to the “penguin walk” style on seeing from the porters and guide! It is a kind of dragging your foot and not lifting much.
People who wear spectacles, choose one of these: i. Use contact lenses. ii. Photochromatic glasses. ii. If either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.
• A woolen head-scarf or muffler.
• Trekking pole is mandatory.
• Light towel (should be thin, quick drying kind).
• Chapstick or lip balm.
• Cold cream and sun screen lotion (SPF 40+). While sun screen help prevent sun burns, a better option is to stay covered.
• 2 Water bottles (1 L each). The insulated water bottles are good but even normal water bottles will suffice.
• Personal medicine kit containing: Crocin – 6 tablets/Avomine – 4 tablets/Avil 25mg – 4 tablets/Combiflam -5 tablets/Disprin – 10 tablets/Norflox – 10 tablets/Crepe Bandage – 3 to 5 meters/Band aid – 10 strips/Digene – 10 tablets/Gauze cloth – 1 small role/Leukoplast – 1 small roll/Cotton – 1 small roll/ORS – 5 packets/Betadine or any antiseptic cream/Volini or Moov or Relispray/Diamox – 10 tablets (to be taken only if required and but not as preventive medicine/Any other medicine that you take.
• Personal toilet kit (minimal) and toilet paper.
• LED Torch with extra set of cells (head lamps are much more preferable).
Small repair kit consisting of safety pins, needle, thread and string (mandatory).
• Camera, memory-cards, batteries etc (carry enough spare batteries. Electricity is not available)
• While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes

The Big NO
X Denim or jeans – not suited for this trek.
• Snacks, colas, alcohol and personal food – No need to overburden yourself with food. Do not carry any disposable plastic bottles like (Bisleri, Aquafina), plastic wrapped/packaged items.
• Do not bring any non bio degradable material.
• After packing, weigh your gear. It should be in the range of 8-10 kg – preferably on the lighter side. Anything heavier, you will need to iterate and remove what is not essential.
• Carry light and what is essential. As an example, toothpaste should be bought in small size (that can last you 10 days).
• Some general advice about clothing: To protect yourself from cold, dressing in layers is the mantra. Two T-shirts worn one over the other is warmer than a T-shirt that is thick. 3 T-shirts worn one over the other is as good as a full sweater. This is just a guideline. If you are prone to cold carry extra warm clothing.

Along with the above list, please ensure you also carry the following documents:
An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.
A passport size photo.
A medical certificate Format will be sent after confirmation.
Disclaimer certificate. Format will be sent after confirmation.

The documents are mandatory. Without them you will not be allowed to trek.

Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Available dates for Chadar Trek
13, 14, 20, 21, 26, 27,28 January’2018 and 3,4, 10,11 February’2018

2. Pricing and Variants
+ Airport transfers one way @ Rs.1000/- Per Taxi
+ Permits @ Rs.2, 300/- Per Person for Indians and Rs.2, 800/- Per Person for Foreigners(ALTOA, LAHDC,
Etc.)
+ Additional Night at Hotel in Leh with Central Heating and Hot running water @ Rs.1800 Per Person/Night on Twin Sharing Basis without meals to be reserved in advance.
+ Sight seeing/Taxi can be arranged from our travel desk at the Base Camp Leh on actual as per the rate of Leh Transport & Taxi Union.

3. Booking and Cancellation
All the booking cancelled before 15-December’2017 are eligible for 50% refund. There will not be any refund applicable for new bookings and existing bookings after 15th-December’2017.

4. What if someone booked the tour but the trek didn’t happen? (Refunds and operations)
In case the Chadar is not formed we will offer the alternate trek for same duration.

5. What if some natural calamities happen in between the treks?
Hippy Traveller takes utmost care to ensure safety of its members during the trekking expeditions. However in the case of any unforeseen mishaps, International Youth Club will not be liable for any injuries caused or for loss of life. All disputes rising due to the above are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in New Delhi/Delhi only. All participants would be required to sign an Indemnity Form before the start of the program, without which they would not be allowed to take part
in the trekking and expeditions.

6. If any kind of permission required entering in some certain areas?
Any other charge that the local authority (LAHDC, ALTOA or any other) may charge development fee during the trek (which may range anywhere between 500- 3000 INR per head). All of these kind of charges are to be paid by trekkers in advance before starting the trek and not included in the package. Currently the Fee is Rs.2, 300 for Indians and Rs.2, 800 for Foreigners.

7. To and Fro transportation details?
Transportation from Base Camp Leh to Leh is included in the package as per the itinerary.
Airport transfers pick up or drop may be arranged at an additional cost of Rs.1000/- Per Taxi

8.Stay during the trip?
Stay will be in Hotels with heating and hot water facility while in Leh City.
Tented accommodation will be provided on twin/triple sharing basis while on the trek.
+ Single Supplement @ Rs.8500/- Extra (1 Person 1 Room and 1 Tent)

9. Food: What and how will it be provided?
Meals will be provided while on trek. Our cooks will be serving the simple vegetarian nutritious veg hot meals for breakfast and dinner during the camping. Pack lunch will be provided during the trek. (Rice pulao, potato, dal, local dishes, hot soups, eggs, breads, poha, sweet, tea, milk, high energy bars, dry fruits, juices etc. is the regular menu)

10. Medication
Oxygen cylinders and first aid will be there during the trek. Rescue and medical team will be available on call in case of any exigencies.

Parashar Lake (Himachal Pradesh)

I wanted to do Parashar Lake trek since a long time but I was unable as my “Friends” were not ready for this trek. Then I heard about Hippy Traveller who oragnizes Group treks every weekend and I decided to join this group. Our trip started from Majnu Ka Tila from where we have boarded the Volvo for Mandi. Volvo was really comfortable and distance got shorten with amazing group chit chats. We Reached Mandi early in the morning and checked in to hotel for fresh n up and breakfast. Hotel is budget hotel but enough to fulfill our requirements. After Breakfast we boarded taxi to reach Baggi Village from where we need to start our trek to Parashar Lake.

Parashar Lake lies 49 km north of MandiHimachal PradeshIndia, with a three storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage Parashar. The lake is located at a height of 2730 m above sea level. With deep blue waters, the lake is held sacred to the sage Parashar and he is regarded to have meditated there. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and looking down on the fast flowing river Beas, the lake can be approached via Drang.

The temple was built in the thirteenth century and legend has it was built by a baby from a single tree. The lake has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is, with a diver not being able to determine its depth.

Let The Trek Begin

We started our trek at 11AM with one bottle of water and lots of energy. The trek  goes from Baggi village through lush green step farms into dense forest crisscrossed by mountain riverine the elevation rises regularly and at some places its steep climb to give you a great adventure taste.

 

Finally we reached Parashar Lake at 04PM after taking short breaks in midway. Our Maggie & Tea was waiting at the top which really refreshed us after this tiring trek. Parashar Lake view is amazing and it give you picture perfect views of Himalayan Range if you like to do photography. After sunset, we enjoyed light music and bonfire in evening. Later on a delicious food prepared by our trekking guide and over night stay in our sweet little camp.

 

Morning view of Parashar Lake is amazing and it’s a must visit place for every travellers.

After breakfast, we started trekking down to Baggi Village from there we transferred to Mandi by Taxi. We got fresh N up in same hotel and spend our evening in exploring Mandi by our own. We boarded the Volvo in night and reached Delhi next day.

I started this trip as Solo Traveller but ended this trip as group trip. I loved to trekking with Hippy Traveller and I recommend you also to go for this trek.

Blog written by Archit Ratan. Follow him now

 

Camping Under The Stars at Deoria Tal Lake

A long weekend always comes with some new things. And I always try to make most out of it. An escape from the monotones of chaotic roads, concrete structures, work, and vehicles is a must if one wishes to see Mother Nature in all her grandeur like me.

Uttarakhand is full of natural resources and the views are just captivating. Nestled amidst nature’s beauty, this Himalayan state offers numerous travel destinations to break the monotony. Situated at an elevation of 2438 m, Deoria Tal is one such destination that gives maximum returns for the effort put in. This offbeat place in Uttarakhand is just stunning.

Trip Booked On HippyTraveller.com

Hippy Traveller is a community of enthusiasts travellers and specialist who creates a journey that will surpass your expectations. It is one stop destination for all your travel needs. Since I was looking for an offbeat destination in the Himalayas, and Hippy Traveller offers trips to unique destinations. So, I booked my trip to Deoria Tal with them and the process of booking was very seamless. Thank you for solving all my queries regarding this trip.

Travelling With Like-Minded People

It was friday, and I was really excited for my trip with Hippy Travellers. I reached the boarding point at Kashmere Gate Metro Station (Delhi), met my trip captain and other co-travellers. Travelling is that beautiful journey in which we connect with different like-minded people. A good company always lead into a memorable trip. After an overnight journey from Delhi we reached Sari Village at around 7am. Sari is a small village, quiet and “untouristy”. This quaint Himalayan village is still untouched from other commercialized cities & towns.We got freshen up, ate our yummilicious breakfast and prepared for the trek to Deoria Tal.

Camping At Deoria Tal

Surrounded with towering deodar and pine trees, the forest trek towards Deoria Lake is amazing. The trek is not that much difficult and fully recommended if you are a beginner. The 3 kms rugged trail will give you some breathtaking views of the mighty Himalayas. After hiking amidst woods & lush green meadows, we reached our campsite at Deoria Tal. The lake was so calm and the wide 360° panoramic view from there was simply mesmerizing. In the background, snow-capped peaks like Chaukhambha, Nilkantha, and Kedar range add to the beauty of this offbeat place. We had our lunch and spent some leisure time near the majestic Deoria Lake.

The sky turned crimson as the sun was bidding goodbye. We were sitting on a chair in front of the bonfire with tea in our hands. We geared up for the bonfire and fun activities with soulful music, played few games, shared our funny travel experiences and much more. It was so peaceful, chilly and after dinner we just laid down on the grass, gazing at the glittering stars!

Sunrise In The Himalayas

Though we slept late at night, but still woke up early just to see the blissful sunrise. Deoria Tal is a paradise for bird lovers. There are so many varieties of birds that If there was a birders’ trail, then it has got to be Deoriatal. There are hundreds of birds to see and photograph especially at early morning. We had our hot breakfast and packed our bags to trek down.

Before descending back to Sari Village, we clicked some group photographs and candid shots. It was a wonderful experience with everyone, and I will definitely gonna miss every moment I had on this trip to Deoriatal. We started our journey back to Sari Village with lots of memories to cherish for lifetime. Since, the village is non-touristy, therefore you will not find much options for food. We had our lunch finally headed out to Delhi in evening.

If you are a beginner and looking for an easy trek in the Himalayas, then head to Deoria Tal for a perfect getaway away from the chaos of city life. Experience the beauty of nature in utmost tranquility and feel rejuvenated. Thank you Hippy Traveller for curating this sweet little trip to Deoria Tal.

If you are also looking for a perfect getaway, then check out www.hippytraveller.com for exciting & memorable trips.

Contributed by Sahil Singh (Travel Blogger)