Sunday, 15 May 2016

Adventure trek to Kheerganga and Manthalai Lake

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Traveling and exploring go hand in hand. For experiencing a startling trip, you must have some adventure during your vacation by including venturesome activities such as trekking, hill climbing, some kind of campaign, cliff jumping or perhaps, it could be bungee jumping. But not to forget that these activities include a great risk and must be practiced only under an expert's guidance and with all the life jackets and stuff.

Almost all the adventure lovers prefer going to hilly areas that have a lot more ventures to offer than the other tourist spots. The Himalayan Range, in India is a great place for the wanderlusts who long to experience the reckless campaigns. There's no doubt that there are a plenty of treks to venture in the Himalayas. However, I'd prefer to drift in the Kheerganga and Manthalai lake trek because I found it quite amusing and thrilling in pictures and from the experiences of the people who have traveled there.

As the word adventure explains it all, this trip should definitely include driving all the way to the hills. After all, road trips are the best ones for the explorers. As you travel independently and could stop by anywhere in between, there are no boundaries of time or places you travel. You can easily change plans according to your mood without worrying about anything else such as plane ticket booking or reaching railway station on time, etc.


Trek to Kheerganga is not an easy one. You have to find like minded daredevils who are ready to take this kind of journey. Kheerganga is situated in Parvati Valley near Manikaran. It is known for its natural Hot water Springs and has enthralling views of hill tops and valleys. However, this place is open for only 6-7 months in an year because the weather turns really cold around the winters. Whereas, Manthalai Lake is in the origin of river Parvati and is one of the most beautiful lakes in the foothills of Himalayas surrounded by the glaciers.

Before, starting this valiant trip, the most important thing to do is to prepare a bagpack of all the necessary things that you may require during the trip which must contain a torch, food, water bottle, a map of your trek and other basic requirements that you'll need. Following is how I've planned to take this exhilarating venture.

First of all, I will start this trip from Chandigarh followed by Kharar, Ropar, Kiratpur, Sundarnagar, Bilaspur, Mandi and finally Kullu, from where the path separates into two different stations, one towards Manali and other towards Kasol that is to be followed. Kasol is a winsome village of Kullu that is known for its amazing and delightful cafes and restaurants such as Evergreen cafe, Rainbow cafe, Moon dance cafe and many more. These cafes let you have an experience of Israeli cuisine. You can see a lot of Israeli and European youth in this place who are living on their own without having any modern Lifestyle. It is full of impressive spots and views and is always checked on the list of explorers.

Then proceeding to another scenic village Tosh that is 18km from Kasol after covering Manikaran and Barshani. These regions have a different kind of tradition, since it's a rural place. Inhabitants of Kasol or Tosh do not let people enter into temples or touch any holy place. They follow the rules of Malana. Following Tosh, comes the trek of 3 hours to Kheerganga. Then, a visit to the beautiful Rainbow point which is reached in half an hour trek further from Kheerganga. This place is known to create picturesque rainbows on all the sides right after the Rainfall. It is full of  camps of hippie Israeli people. They don't let people click photos of the place and always keep the surroundings clean and tidy.

Then after Kheerganga there's an 18 km trek to Tunda Bhuj followed by 16 km trek to Thakar Kaun, and further 12 km trek to Pandu Bridge. After Pandu Bridge, there is a 15 km trek to the final destination that is Manthalai lake. This whole trip takes around 10-12 days according to your efficiency of trekking and hiking. You get to live in tents and eat different cuisines, meet various kinds of people and getting across unique cultures and lifestyles. This trek could be really tiresome but at same time is very stimulating and electrifying.

**All the photos belong to Abhinav Chawla, taken by him during his hike.
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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Free Spirit

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Source
 Boho chic playing her guitar

Unconventional and bizarre

As brilliant as a shooting star

Got everyone airy and tipsy

When she moves like a gypsy

Grooving until she gets dizzy

Some call her hippie, some call her freak

But she sustains, without getting weak

Discerning she's eccentric and unique

Since that's all what matters

Let your nemesis chatter

Leave them speechless later..!

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Seasons

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Source

Engaging affair of the blooming buds,

A pleasant present from dawning spring,

Elevates the yearning of foliage,

As bright as sun, as pretty as angels.


Radiant rays of the golden sun,

Spearing through the thick canopy,

Directed in the eyes of a dreary soul,

As straight as an arrow, As warm as a cuddle.


Refreshing droplets from the clouded sky,

Some gushing down in the lush greenery,

Some irrigating the shriveled lands,

As lively as a smile, as large as life.


Transition of the seasons,

Shades of the splendid fall,

From greenish yellow to reddish brown,

As light as a feather, as lovely as ever.


Brisky breeze in the ice cold weather,

With surreal snowflakes unfurling all around,

Creates the illusion of fantasy,

As pure as faith, as dazzling as stars.
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My Ideal Yatra

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Experiences and memories are all that matter to us as humans. Money, people and things will come and go but memories stay with you forever. Everyone needs a perfect vacation in their lives from time to time to sit back, relax and realize the beauty of life and nature. It's a freedom from all the baggage and worries that you fight through in your everyday routine, it's a present that you must gift yourself with. 

For me, an ideal vacation should be very peaceful but at the same time very enjoyable and fascinating. I always love to go to places with people speaking an alien language and having different cultures so that I could experience a new way of living that is completely different from mine. Since, India is a very versatile country as far as cultures are concerned so we are lucky enough to travel in different regions of India and still have a new experience every time. As I live in north India so I have almost traveled the north side of the country but for me what would really be exciting is to travel the south side. 

I love to travel by any means be it air, water or land. Traveling in trains in really thrilling, sleeping on the topmost rows and waking up on listening to the vendors selling tea and breakfast, sitting near the window seat and feeling the cool breeze along with the wonderful view of outside, what more could one ask for? But at the same time it takes a lot of time to reach at your destination and could be tiresome and difficult to live in there for few days until you reach your station. For me, I would prefer going by train and coming back via airways since you're quite energetic and active, full with spirit of excitement to go to a vacation in the beginning. And there's no harm in keeping patience and enjoying the experience of traveling in train. On the other hand, when the vacation is done, you are quite worn out and jaded. So, I'd personally prefer traveling by a means that is quite comfortable and would take lesser time to reach. Traveling by airplane can save a lot of time and is much comfortable than going via train or bus. Since, taking air route is much costlier than taking a train so in this way it could actually balance your budget and also your time.

A vacation must be long enough so that you enjoy to utmost but limited enough so that it doesn't create any problem with your work routine or budget. So, for me ideal vacation must last for one or two weeks not more than that. Following is my plan of how I'd like my vacation to be.

Day 1: Departure from Bathinda railway station early in the morning for New Delhi to further board a train for Kerala. Delhi Intercity express departs around 5:00 AM and reaches around 1:00 in the afternoon. And then on reaching New Delhi, boarding the train for Trivandrum that departs around 3:00 PM.  

Day 2-3: Staying in train and playing cards with friends and family.

Day 4: Reaching Kerala in the mid evening and checking in at a nice, comfortable and luxury hotel that I would book in advance using the Yatra.com App installed in my phone. Then in the late evening going for the Kovalam Beach in Trivandrum and having fun along with clicking a lot of selfies.

Day 5: Early in the morning, after having breakfast, leaving for the Zoo in Trivandrum and then depart for Ooty taking a Bus. Ooty, the name itself is like heaven to ears, I always think of Ooty as a green, clean and hilly place to visit. Nevertheless, there's a lot more to Ooty.
After reaching Ooty, checking-in at another Hotel that again I would book on my App. Visiting the Ooty Lake and boating is a must. Horse-back riding would also be quite fun.
After boating going to the Tea factory and having a look at freshly processed leaves and finally in the evening going to the Restaurant/Hotel.

Day -6: Early morning leaving for Doddabeta peak that is the highest peak in Ooty and I'm sure it would have amazing views to offer. Then in the late morning leaving for Mysore. The major attractions of Mysore is the Mysore palace that would be the first place to visit. Then visiting Mysore Zoo and see some wildlife. After the Zoo, in the evening proceeding to the famous Vrindavan Garden that also has a Musical fountain and a beautiful light show in the evening. Afterwards staying in a hotel at Mysore and having dinner.

Day-7: Leaving for Bengaluru after having breakfast. Visiting Tipu Sultan's summer Palace and then going to a mall for some shopping for loved ones. In the evening, going to the Hebbal Lake and enjoying the arresting views and yet again taking a lot of selfies.

Day-8: Going to the Bengaluru International Airport and taking a flight to New Delhi via Indigo Airlines that's I think the cheapest of all and at the same time very comfortable, so it suits me the best. I will book this again using the same Yatra.com App(totally a Savior) prior to coming on this Vacation. 

I'd also like to mention that I'm a big time foodie, so I would definitely try experimenting with having all kinds of South-Indian food that also adds a big part to my ideal Yatra.
So, this was my 8 Day long ideal Yatra. I hope you found it interesting. Cheers!
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