Top 100 Offbeat Summer Experiences Of India

1. Watch Bhutanese folk dance during Thimpu Tshechu Place: Thimpu – Bhutan Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Heritage tour of Thimpu, Thimpu tour on a mountain flight Best Time:Sept-Nov Thimphu Details :Thimpu Tshechu honors the 7th century guru of tantrik Buddhism Padmasambhava or Rinpoche. Different dance forms are performed by lamas and common people for four days during this festival. Pacham dance is performed in the first day of this festival where performers move to the beats Drilbu (small bells) and Damaru (drums). The second day sees the ‘Shana Nga Cham’ performed by the mystical black hat dancers. Beauty of these almost ritualistic and sacred performances is enhanced by the colourful skirts, masks, boots and brocade dresses worn by the dancers. The traditionalism of these acts coupled with the beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers makes Thimpu Tshechu an indelible experience. 2. Go on a heritage tour of Thimpu Place: Thimpu – Bhutan Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Thimpu tour on a mountain flight, Visit Punakha Best Time:March-May & Oct-Nov Thimphu
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Details :The national capital of Bhutan boasts a fair number of historical monuments, museums and handicraft bazaars. The Tashichho Dzong was built in the 15th century, housing the throne room of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan and is still being used as the summer home by the monk body headed by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo. The prayer wheels and flags of Changangkha temple higher up in the ridge create a dream like environment. The enormous thongdrels (large tapestries) showcase the expertise of the Bhutanese weavers. Across a beautiful, covered bridge on Wang Chu River stands the Cheri Monastery built in 15th century. The bustling weekend market is an ideal place to experience Bhutanese culture. Thimpu is like a window that peeps in to the past, present and the future of Bhutan. 3. Hike up to Taktsang Monastery built on a 900m high cliff at Paro Place: Paro – Bhutan Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, Visit Drukgyel Dzong Best Time:March-May & Oct-Nov Taktsang Monastery_Thimphu
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Details :The seat of the famous Taktsang Monastery is a 900m cliff. The climb is very steep but the sights along the way are breath taking. Alpine flora and fauna surround the hiking trail. While the path may be shrouded in clouds you can hear the monastery bells ringing intermittently. You will have to cross a 200m tall water fall on your way. According to legend Guru Rinpoche meditated in one of the caves near the monastery after reaching here on the back of a tigress. That’s why this monastery is also known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The difficulty to reach the place, the view it offers and the spirituality it commands make Taktsang Monastery (3120m from sea level) the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. 4. Admire the frescos in Khamsum Yuley Chorten, Punakha Place: Punakha – Bhutan Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit the Punakha Dzong, Visit Paro Best Time:March-May & Oct-Nov Punakha Details :Quite a recent addition to Bhutan’s heritage bag, the Khamsum Yuley Chorten was built in 1990 to promote world peace. There’s a river flowing by the lush green hillock on which the temple is situated. The pleasant one hour hike from the parking lot to the chorten offers best views of the surrounding idyllic and isolated countryside. It is considered to be one of the most elaborately built temples in Bhutan. The inner walls of the temple bear intricately painted frescos which are high on symbolism. The peace and spirituality of the place is engulfing as well as enriching. 5. Watch Bhutanese games and folk performances during haa festival Place: Haa – Bhutan Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Yading village for a rural experience, Visit Paro Best Time:July Haa Valley_bhutan Details :The region of Haa is synonymous with glittering massifs, crystal clear lakes and ancient nomadic culture. The Haa Summer festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the unique lifestyle of the Haaps, the indigenous people of this region. During the festival you can try your hand in archery, the national game of Bhutan or watch other traditional Bhutaneese games like Khuru and Soksum. Dance to the tune of folk music or watch a tent being made of yak wool from scratch. Gorge on Haapi Hoentoe dumplings or bargain on handicrafts. Two days of pure extravaganza waits for you this summer. 6. Go on a cultural trek in the beautiful Bumthang valley Place: Bumthang – Bhutan Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Jampey Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong and Mebar Tsho Best Time:Summer Bumthang_valley
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Details :The cold, windswept Bumthang valley lies at elevation ranging from 2600m to 4000m. With a thick forest cover this is considered to be the most beautiful valley in Bhutan. Bumthang also has most of the oldest dzongs, monasteries and other Buddhists sites in the country prompting many to term it as the ‘spiritual heartland of Bhutan’. Jakar a small town in Bumthang is famous for ‘yethra’ woolen items. You can spend weeks hiking and exploring the area. On your way you will encounter sleepy villages and friendly locals. Extensive tourism has not yet taken away the charm of this piece of heaven on earth and that’s why it is a ‘must visit’ place. 7. Go on birding tours in the unexplored valleys near Dochula pass Place: Dochula pass – Bhutan Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Experience wild life and rural culture, Thimpu city tour Best Time:March-May & Oct-Nov Dochula_pass
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Details :70% of Bhutan’s land area is forest covered with varied vegetation which makes the country a treasure house of avifauna. You don’t even have to venture deep into the forest for bird watching. Many rare and exotic birds can be spotted at the outskirts of cities as well. You can start the birding tour at Thimpu and go to Punakha across Dochula pass (3050m). In winters flocks of rare Black necked cranes can be seen in Phobjikha valley. You can watch endless species of birds while driving or hiking in this nature’s paradise. 8. Crossing the Indrahar pass along with gaddi shepherds, McLeodganj Place: McLeod Ganj – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Rejuvenate through Tibetan medicines ‘Amchi’, Learn yoga or cooking Best Time:Summer McLeodganj Details :Visiting McLeodganj is a must to get a prominent view of Southern Himalayan range known as Dhauladhar. Mighty Dhauladhar can be crossed at the Indrahar pass that connects McLeodganj in Kangra valley to Lamu in Ravi valley. This trail with a maximum height of 4342 m has been used by the nomadic shepherds known as ‘Gaddi’. Gaddi is a welcoming community which offers food, shelter and many Himalayan stories from yore to many a trekker on this route. And spending time with them and their herd on this trail is definitely an experience of a lifetime! 9. Celebrating Buddha Purnima with monks at McLeodganj Place: McLeod Ganj – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts during Shoton Festival in August Best Time:May McLeodganj Details :Namgyal Gompa is situated in the Tsuglagkhang Complex in McLeodganj, the nerve centre of the Tibetan government in exile. Apart from the gompa the complex also houses Dalai Lama’s residence, the Kalachakra temple, and a number of stupas. On the Buddha Purnima the celebrations starts with the chants and prayers of the monks at midnight. The ambience and feel takes the onlooker on a journey of spirituality and philosophy. Not to be missed. 10. Satisfy the adventurer within you Do paragliding at Bir and Billing Place: Bir & Billing – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit gompas in the Bir village, Experience Tibetan life Best Time:Summer/May Bir_&_Billing_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :Hidden in the tea gardens and hills, these two villages offer one of the best aero sport facilities in the whole world especially paragliding. Billing (2290m) is 14km farther up in the mountains from where the gliders take off and land in Bir (1400m), nestled in the Dhauladhar range of mountains. The Himalayan Griffin Vultures may give you company during the flight. You can get a chance to compete with the best gliders in the world during May and October when the annual Himalayan Hang Gliding Rally and International Paragliding Championship are being held. 11. Go for trout fishing in the lap of Himalayas Place: Barot – Himachal Pradesh Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Trek in to Nargu wildlife sanctuary, Spend a night in the forest rest house Best Time:Summer Barot_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :If you are an angling aficionado then Barot (1830m) is the place you would like to be this season. A small hamlet besieged by tall deodar forest, Barot provides an excellent opportunity for trekking and angling as fishes are released into Uhl River from the nearby trout breeding center. Pick an ideal spot along the river and catch a rainbow or a brown trout. 12. Admire colonial and Rajasthani architecture in the heritage village Pragpur Place: Pragpur – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Garli and Viceroy’s pool Best Time:Summer Pragpur_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :Probably established during the 16th century, in honor of Princess Prag of the Jaswan royal family, Pragpur is very unique as the entire village has been announced as a heritage village. The interesting mix of Rajasthani and British colonial architecture of the mansions, temples and sarais built by the Soods evokes awe from the onlookers. The ‘Soods” were wealthy traders with impeccable taste in architecture. The ‘Judges court’, ‘Chaujjad Haveli’ and ‘Butail Niwas’, to name a few, stand as the testimonials of the grandeur of a bygone era. 13. Unwind among pines at Palampur Place: Palampur – Himachal Pradesh Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:Visit Baijnath temple, Hike up to Bundla chasm and Neogal Park, Kangra valley toy train ride is a must Best Time:Summer Palampur_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :Locally ‘pulum’ means abundance of water. As the name suggests Palampur (1219m) has many springs hidden in the lush green foliage. Present at the confluence of land and the rising slopes of Kangra, Palampur offers complementing scenes of the planes as well as the stunning Dhauladhar peaks. This sleepy town is synonymous with hill paddy fields, tea gardens and pine forests. The weather being mild and air filled with pine scent this is an ideal place to relax and recharge. 14. Dance with the locals during Jukaru in Pangi valley Place: Pangi valley – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Relax at Killar,Dare to drive through Saach pass at 4400m Best Time:Feb Pangi valley_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :Surrounded by Peer Panjal & Zanskar ranges it is the most remote and the most beautiful valley in the entire Chamba region. This unexplored and virgin land is inhabited by the Buddhists ‘Bhot’ and Hindu ‘Pangwal’ tribes. Though hardworking and robust these people have a very strong tradition of folk dance and song which can be experienced during the ‘Jukaru’ festival in February. Jukaru celebrates the end of winter among feasting, dancing and lots of merrymaking. 15. Celebrate the famous ‘Jatra’ in the shadow of virgin Manimahesh Kailash peak Place: Manimahesh – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Bharmour and Shakti Devi temple Best Time:Aug-Sept Manimahesh_Himachal Pradesh Details :This Lake on the foothills of Manimahesh Kailash peak (5653m) has a great significance for worshipper of Lord Siva especially during the ‘Manimahesh Jatra’. Thousands of devotees brave the terrain and unpleasant weather to take a dip in this sacred lake. The procession of the ‘chelas’ dressed in traditional Gaddi attire into the ice cold water of the lake is a momentous sight. Local legends claim that the Manimahesh Kailash peak is unconquerable as anybody who tries to do so turn into stone midway. Go figure out the puzzle for yourself!! 16. Camp on the banks of Chandratal Lake, Lahaul Place: Lahaul – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Go biking around Keylong, Take village walks Best Time:June-August Chandratal_Lahaul_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :With acres of grass land and overlooking mountain peaks the banks of Chandratal Lake (4300m) provides ideal opportunity for camping. This was a resting place even for the ancient traders traveling between Tibet and Kullu valley. Watching the reflections of the mountains in the lake water or making campfire beside the turquoise blue waters of the lake with friends and family….recipe for a perfect holiday. 17. Marvel at the 16th century fort monastery, the Dhankar Gompa Place: Dhankar – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Walk to reach the beautiful Dhankar lake, Kibber village walk Best Time:June-Oct Dhankar_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :At an elevation of 3894m this 1000yrs old gompa is built on a ‘dhang’ meaning cliff, a spectacular perch for any building. At some point in distant past it was also used as a prison for its inapproachability. Here one can have a glimpse of the austere life lead by the Buddhists monks. With walls covered with murals, this gompa houses a collection of Bhotia Buddhist scriptures and the unique statute of Vairochana or Dhyan Buddha consisting of 4 figures seated back to back. 18. Roam in the lanes of the highest inhabited village, Kibber Place: Kibber – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Dhankar gompa and Key monastery Best Time:June-Oct Kibber_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :Kibber at the height 4270m claims to be the highest village in the world with motor able road and power. It has less than 100 houses and a single community TV set. A walk along the dusty road in this village unfolds lush green fields and stone houses just next to the saint like snowcapped mountain peaks. The brown of the arid hills and the green of the village farmlands create a pleasant view. And if you are feeling a bit more adventurous then take a walk along the edge of the gorge to discover more remote and road less villages with unique Tibetan culture, lifestyle and architecture. 19. Watch the reflections of snowbound peaks in the still waters of Nako Lake Place: Nako – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Tabo monastery and Nako village Best Time:June-Oct Nako_Himachal Pradesh
Photo Courtesy:Travel India
Details :The saying ‘Big surprises come in small packages’ is completely applicably to Nako Lake (3662m). Bounded by poplar and willow trees it is a small yet one of the most alluring lakes in Himachal Pradesh. Especially in a windless morning you can see the reflections of Nako village and the surrounding peaks in the glassy water of the lake. While you are still immersed in this otherworldly sight chattering of birds will bring you back to earth. The beauty of the lake is only matched by its exquisite surroundings that will certainly tempt you to go on a long walk. 20. Angling of Brown and Rainbow Trout in the Baspa River, Sangla Valley Place: Sangla Valley – Himachal Pradesh Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:River crossing, Rock climbing or village tours Best Time:April-Oct Sangla Valley_Himachal_Pradesh
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Details :Due to its proximity to a trout hatchery, Baspa River boasts of a healthy number of trout. Many secluded and unexplored fishing spots dot the river bank in this untouched, unpolluted and pristine valley. The only disturbing noises will be the chirping of bird and the gurgling of Baspa. And once you have caught yourself the biggest fish in your life, don’t forget to get it cooked…Taste the sweet fruit of labor. 21. Travel to Chitkul, the last village on the ancient Indo Tibet trade route Place: Chitkul – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit the supposedly 500yrs old temples of goddess Mathi, Do angling in Baspa River Best Time:April-Oct Chitkul_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :In the one hour drive from Sangla to Chitkul you will encounter the magnanimous sights of nature ranging from thick forest to alpine meadows along with rugged hillside. The view from your car window changes like a motion picture. At the end awaits Chitkul at an altitude of 3621m. The distinct Tibetan touch in lifestyle and features of the locals will make you wonder about the ancient traders who must have taken this route to Tibet with yaks loaded with valuable goods. 22. See Himachal in a new light in Nicholas Roerich’s paintings at Naggar Place: Naggar – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Village walk, Naggar Fort tour Best Time:April-Oct Naggar_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :Nicholas Roerich, a Russian scientist, philosopher, traveler and imaginative painter came to India on December 2, 1923 on a scientific and anthropological quest. He discovered new mountain peaks, passes and drew illustrious pictures of these places thus starting his series of more than 2000 paintings called ‘Himalayas’. With vivid colours, these paintings have captured the essence of Himalaya. So glorious were these pictures that art critics called him “Master of mountains”. Even if you are not an art connoisseur you can not but admire his creations on display in Roriech Art Gallery in Naggar. 23. Experience an unparallel culture at Malana Place: Malana – Himachal Pradesh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Kullu, Go on trekking in Kullu valley Best Time:April-Oct Malana_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :If you want to witness an ancient culture then Malana (3029m) is the place for you. It is a small tribal village in Kullu, inhabited by the European looking Malana tribe with unique social, cultural, linguistic and religious trends that have no parallel in the adjacent areas. According to a local legend they are descendents of the Greek soldiers who had came to India with Alexander. The Malanis even have their own oral constitution which is strictly followed. In this tiny hamlet time seems to have stopped. 24. Trout fishing in Parvati river, Kasol Place: Kasol – Himachal Pradesh Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Trek to Chandrakhani Pass, Visit Malana Best Time:April-Oct Kasol_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :A noted place for trout fishing, Parvati River valley brags a vast expanse of white sandy beach and greenery. You can go on small expeditions in the mornings whereas the lazy afternoon can be spent catching fishes. It is a great place to unwind and to do some serious angling. 25. Ride a bike to picture perfect Jalori pass at Sojha Place: Sojha – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Trekking in Tirthan valley, Visit Malana and Kasol Best Time:Sept-June Sojha_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :The expedition starts at Narkanda and going through winding mountain roads ends at Jalori pass (3120m) in just about 4 hr, an easy undertaking for the first timers. But the view that you encounter in the journey is breathtaking like green rolling down valley, magnificent birds and untamed river. While you enjoy the splendid nature the cold mountain wind bellows on your face. What else can one ask for? An excellent vantage point, Jalori pass offers an unbeatable view of the Dhauladhar range. You may take a small detour through Sarolsar Lake on your way back. 26. Trekking in the Himalayan National Park at Gushaini Place: Gushaini – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Angling of tasty trout in Tirthan,Visit the pagoda style Shinga Rishi Temple Best Time:April-May Gushaini_Himachal Pradesh
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/kkoshy
Details :Trekking among the bountiful natural beauty of the Himalayan national park in Kullu has a great charm. There are varied opportunities for trekking lovers as the highest peak within the Park approaches almost 5,800 meters. Other lucrative possibilities are rare bird sightings and camping in the green moorland with the silhouettes of giant peaks. On your trek to Rakti Sar (6210m), the origin of Sainj River or to Tirath, the origin of Tirthan River you may be visited by a few other wild animals like musk deer or brown bears. 27. Go on the most spectacular journey on a bike from Manali to Leh Place: Manali – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Sight seeing at Manali, Indulge in adventure sports Best Time:Summer Manali_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :The 473 km long journey is not for the faint hearted. Starting at Manali at an altitude of 1950m and going up to Leh at 3524m through arduous mountain roads is a big challenge. The route crosses five mountain passes of which Tanglang La at 5325m is the highest. But the reward comes in the form of majestic views and a sense of achievement. Bad patches of road crisscrossed by streams make the journey even more interesting. Night stay in tents at Sarchu amidst friendly locals is highly recommended. 28. Trek to Beas kund in one of the most enchanting trails Place: Beas kund – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Try climbing Shitidhar, Friendship, Ladakhi or Hanuman Tibba peaks. Best Time:April-Oct Beas kund_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :Beas kund (3690m) is a small glacial lake that is the source of River Beas. A trek to the kund passes through the picturesque Sangla valley, the austere hamlet Dhundi and the lush meadows of Bakarthatch. You get accompanied by local shepherds and their huge herds of sheep. Skiing is possible in Sangla in winters whereas in summer you can enjoy paragliding and zorbbing. On a clear day Dhundhi offers the first view of the beautiful Hanuman Tibba (5932m). Being an easy trek a must for first timers. 29. Trek to Hatu Peak with family Place: Narkanda – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Trek to Jalori pass, Relax at Seolsar Lake, Visit Shimla Best Time:May-Oct Narkanda_Himachal Pradesh
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Details :At an elevation of 3400m and only 7km from Narkanda town, Hatu peak offers 360 degree view of the snowcapped Himalayan massifs. Though you can drive till the peak, trekking through the pine, spruce and rhododendron forest is enchanting. You will also come across verdant meadows and a gujjar hut in the banks of a beautiful pond during your trek. The meadows are perfect for camping. At the peak the view of the snow bound mountains and rolling green hills will certainly make you forget the rest of the world. It’s an easy trail and can be enjoyed with family. 30. Trek up to Tani Jubbar Lake at Thanedar Place: Thanedar – Himachal Pradesh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Shimla and Narkanda Best Time:Summer Thanedar - Himachal Pradesh Details :A short drive from Thanedar and a little hiking you can reach this small yet gorgeous lake. The route coils around apple orchards and cherry blossoms in Saroga forest. Hiking starts at 2225m and goes up to Shilla Jan Ridge (about 3000m) and then up to Tani Jubbar Lake. An ancient wooden temple of Naag Devta stands on the banks of the lake though not open for outsiders. You can enjoy this trekking activity with your family. Take along a picnic basket and spend a few hours of quality time with your kids. 31. Picnic in the unspoiled meadows while fishing trout in Pahalgam Place: Pahalgam – Kashmir Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:Cross a 243m high bridge to reach Mansar lake, Visit Amarnath cave Best Time:Summer Pahalgam_Kashmir
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Details :The vast expanse of green meadows, hilly terrain, pine forests and splashing mountain rivers define Pahalgam (2130m). It has many options of recreational activities. The banks of Lidder River has many perfect picnic spots where you can play a game of ball with your family or simply bask in the mountain sun and read a book. You can go horse riding in the open meadows or fishing in the river. The trekking trails around Pahalgam are exciting and challenging. A perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and spend some quality time with family. 32. Visit the ‘Roza Bal Shrine’ to solve the mystery of Jesus’ death at Srinagar Place: Srinagar – Kashmir Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Houseboat stay, Water skiing at Dal lake, Visit Shalimar Bagh Best Time:Summer Srinagar_Kashmir
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Details :Roza Bal Shrine in Khanyar District of Srinagar presents one of the most intriguing mysteries of our times. It is the burial tomb of a saint Yuz Asaf who came from abroad. It is claimed that this saint was non other than Jesus himself who escaped from crucifixion and spent his remaining years in Kashmir. The tomb itself is an unpretentious small building with arches and railings. There are foot prints with marks of crucifixion inside the building. The grave is supposed to contain the remains of Jesus. A number of recent documentaries and books have shrouded this place with fame and controversy. Roza Bal Shrine has a great mystery buried in its core which when solved may impact many religions at once. 33. Drive from Srinagar to Kargil Place: Srinagar – Kashmir Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Shalimar Bagh, Houseboat stay, Water skiing at Dal lake Best Time:Summer Srinagar_Kashmir
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Details :The distance from Srinagar to Kargil is 204km and it takes around 7 hours to complete the journey on a jeep or SUV. The road has been carved from the hills. You can not but marvel at the expertise which must have been needed to accomplish such a task. The Indus River flows beside the road. On the way stands Sonamarg with lush green grass lands and snowy peaks. When you cross Zoji La (3528m) the surroundings become barren but beautiful in its own way. Just beyond Zoji La is Drass (3280m), the only permanently inhabited place in the world with such cold climate after Siberia. Drass also brings back the memories of Kargil war. This journey is a must for a firsthand experience of life in the Himalayas. 34. Relish the beauty of saffron flowers dancing in the wind Place: Pampore – Kashmir Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:Visit Srinagar, Participate in colourful cultural festival in November Best Time:Autumn Pampore_Kashmir
Photo Courtesy:Fria
Details :Pampore is a small town known for saffron farming. Locals claim that this place produces the best saffron in the world. The right time to visit Pampore is autumn, the blooming season for saffron. It looks like a huge purple carpet has been spread over the farmlands during this time. According to a local legend these saffron fields were the source of inspiration for the famous poetess Habba Khatoon. 35. Trek to Thajiwas glacier Place: Sonamarg – Kashmir Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Trekking, Angling, Sledging Best Time:All year Sonamarg_Kashmir
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/19429110@N00
Details :The foot of Thajiwas glacier is around 4km from Sonamarg (3000m). Here you can find enough snow for sleighing and snow fighting. But if you are feeling a bit more adventurous then hire a guide and trek across the glacier. The blinding white snow and blue sky tempt you to walk a little longer. The further up you go the better becomes the views of the snow bound Himalayan peaks. On the way there are waterfalls which are created in the warmer seasons only due to the melting snow. This is an easy, one day trek that offers all the excitements of trekking in the Himalayas without the flipsides. 36. Trek to the frozen Alpather Lake Place: Gulmarg – Kashmir Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Hike in meadows of wild flowers, Indulge in Heliskiing Best Time:All year Gulmarg_Kashmir
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Details :13km from Gulmarg, this triangular lake is situated at the base of the Apharwat peak (4200m). It remains frozen for the better part of the year. There is a well trodden trail from Gulmarg going up to the Apharwat ridge at 3810m height from the sea level. A little further from the ridge, the lake is nestled in the valley at an elevation of 3843m. For nature lovers it can be one of the most exciting experiences of their lives. The beauty of the moorland, pine forest, snowy peaks and the faint fragrance of the spring air add to the charms of the nature walk. At the end of the trail lies the magnificent view of the lake guarded by the Apharwat peaks. A ‘must have ‘experience for all the nature enthusiasts. 37. Have a photo stop while traveling in the Suru valley at Panikhar Place: Panikhar – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Biking in the Rangdum plains, Visit Rangdum Gompa, Trek to Parkachik glacier in the Nun Kun slopes Best Time:Summer Panikhar_Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:TrekEarth
Details :Suru valley is undoubtedly the most beautiful and the greenest valley in the whole of Ladakh. Watered by melting snow this valley is also the most cultivated area in Ladakh. The flowing grassy slopes of the mountains, the serpentine Suru River and the clearly visible yet distant white peaks make this place completely picture perfect. In June and July the landscape around Panikhar becomes the cradle for rainbow coloured blossoms. The bright summer sun glistening on the seemingly touchable Nun (7135 m) and Kun (7077 m) massifs enhances the charm of this place manifold. Whether you are a photographer, traveler or a nature lover a trip to this piece of heaven at least once in your life time is a must. 38. Ride your bike along with wild horses in the Rangdum plains Place: Rangdum – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Rangdum Gompa, Trek to Parkachik glacier in the Nun Kun slopes Best Time:Summer Rangdum_Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:BharatDarshan
Details :The Rangdum plain at a height of 3657m from the sea level is one of the most remote and yet most enchanting places in Ladakh. On the way from Kargil to Padum this valley is in the middle of a 245km biking trail. The most striking feature of this place is wild horses. You can spot many of these horses grazing languidly in the vast grassland or roaming on the road itself. This is a rare sight in India. The presence of these magnificent wild beasts along with the begirding mountains in varied colours gives this place a surreal feeling that must be experienced to be believed. 39. Be transported to a land of isolated beauty at Zanskar valley Place: Zanskar – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Phuktal Monastery, Experience the unique Muslim-Budhhist culture, Go on Chadar trek on frozen Zanskar river Best Time:July-Oct Zanskar_Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:EvilSunday
Details :Zanskar valley (3500m to 7000m height) has a prestigious position in the trekking map of India. This place is very isolated and scantily habited. There are many trekking trails in this valley like the ‘Chadar trail’ where you have to trek on the frozen Zanskar River in winters. Then there is the ‘Padum Lamayuru Trek’ that goes through high passes and vast expanse of rocky plains dotted with monasteries precariously perched on hillocks and ridges with multi coloured prayer flags. The little, quaint villages in the middle of nowhere make you wonder about the lifestyle of the Zanskari people. This high altitude, arid and rocky landscape is a heaven for adventure seekers. 40. Tap to the beats of Ladakhi masked dancers during Hemis Festival Place: Leh – Ladakh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Heritage walks around Leh, Mountaineering, Visit Shey and Thiksey Gompas Best Time:June-July Leh_Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:MahindraHomeStays
Details :Hemis Gompa is the biggest monastery in Ladakh. Courtyard of this otherwise silent and peaceful monastery becomes an open air theater and buzzes with the sounds of cymbals, drums and gigantic wind pipes during Hemis festival. This festival is celebrated to venerate the birth of Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Buddhism in this region. The lamas perform the mystical ‘chaam dance’ wearing colourful attire and masks depicting varied emotions. This festival carries on for two days. Once in every twelve years in the Tibetan year of monkey the bejeweled, two storey ‘thangka’ of Guru Rinpoche is unfurled during this festival. The experience gained during these two days is almost beautiful like a dream and is to be treasured for ever. 41. Camp in an apricot orchard on the banks of Indus River at Uleytokpo Place: Uleytokpo – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Ridzong, Likir, Phyang Monasteries Best Time:Summer Uleytokpo_Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:GreenCarpetClub
Details :Situated more than 3000m above the sea level, the small Uleytokpo village is famous for its apricot orchards. During spring and summer you can see bunches of apricot swinging from the feeble branches of the trees. While the Indus River twists and turns in this cold desert, the barren landscape of the place enchants and amazes you. As not many tourists visit this area you get the feeling of being the only one charting the dirt roads of this Nubra valley. 42. Follow the silk route on a bicycle across Khardung La Place: Khardung La – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Heritage walk around Leh, Trekking Best Time:Summer Khardung La_Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:AdventureAdda
Details :Many people have crossed the Khardung La on motorbikes and SUVs, but how many can claim to have done that on a cycle? Cycling in the highest motorable road in the world has its own challenges and charms. You may go on a cycling expedition which starts at Srinagar or Manali and cycle your way up to Leh. Alternately you can cycle downhill from Khardung La to Leh which will take only few hours. Both ways great views and surreal landscape accompany you in the journey. It is a treacherous task. But once completed gives you immense satisfaction and a precious experience that you can treasure for life. 43. Witness the rare dual between sand dunes and snow peaks Place: Hundar & Diskit – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Bactrian camel safari in Nubra valley, Visit Lamayuru Best Time:Summer Hundar & Diskit - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:Wikipedia
Details :Nubra valley in Ladakh has an average elevation of around 3000m. Because of very little rain fall the land here is barren and desert like. Hundar and Diskit are two villages in this valley. Between these two villages there are several kilometers of sand dunes. Here you can see sand dunes and tall snowy massifs at the same time. This is one of the rarest of rare natural wonders. You can also find double humped Bactrian camels in this area as if to complete the surreal picture. While trekking in this region you will feel like being transported to another world in another time. 44. Admire the ‘perak’ head dress in Stok palace Place: Stok – Ladakh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Go on a heritage walk, Visit Stok gompa, Visit Leh Best Time:Summer Stok - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:ColumbusMagzine
Details :Built in the early 1800s Stok Palace is 17km away from Leh. It is also a museum that houses a big collection of thangkas, old weapons, coins, seals, antique items used in religious rituals and royal ornaments. In this collection the main objects of attraction are the ‘peraks’ or the queen’s head dresses studded with turquoise, emerald and other semi precious stones. The queen still uses some of these ornaments during various ceremonies. As this palace is still being used by the royal family of Leh, only a portion of it is open to the general public. But it does manage to give the onlooker a feel of the regal lifestyle in Ladakh. 45. Meet the Drokpas lost descendents of Alexander at Dha and Hanu Place: Dha Hanu – Ladakh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Lamayuru, Trekking in Nubra valley Best Time:Summer Dha Hanu - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:UsFotoNews
Details :The Drokpa community of Ladakh is considered to be of Aryan lineage. There are five villages of this community around 165km northwest of Leh, but only two villages, Dha and Hanu are open to tourists. It is said that their forefathers came to India with Alexander and settled in this valley. Their distinctive Indo-Aryan physical features, cultural and religious practices are different from those of the surrounding Ladakhi people. When you meet these people the first thing that catches your imagination is the elaborate head dress of Drokpa women made from fresh flower. Till now they have managed to uphold their cultural identity due to the remoteness of this region. 46. Wander in the alien landscape of Lamayuru Place: Lamayuru – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Dha Hanu, Trekking in Zanskar valley Best Time:Summer Lamayuru - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Lamayuru is a small village situated in western Ladakh at an altitude of 3500m. The distinguishing feature of the village is the landscape of the valley. There are sediment rock formations in different shapes which give a cratered look to the land here and hence this place is also called ‘moon land’. According to a local legend there used to be a lake in the valley. A Buddhist yogi Mahasiddha Naropa dried up the lake and these sediment rock formations became visible. Geologists may want to differ. But whatever may be the reason of formation, this strange landscape invokes the feeling of being on another planet. 47. Admire rare paintings in one of the world’s oldest monastery Place: Alchi – Ladakh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Trek in Nubra valley, Visit Leh Best Time:Summer Alchi - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:IndiaTourismPortal
Details :Alchi monastery was built in the 10th century. There is a very identifiable Indian touch in the frescos and murals of this monastery as artists from the Kashmir valley were employed for the work. The exquisitely painted ‘Green Tara’ and ‘Wheel of Life’ are surprisingly well preserved even after so many centuries. Dukhang is the oldest temple in the monastery having an elaborate wooden gateway with tiny Bodhisattvas. It is an interesting monument for archeologists as well as tourists. 48. Experience the nomadic lifestyle of Changpas at Rupshu Place: Rupshu – Ladakh Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Camp beside Lake Tso Moriri in nomadic tents, Trek in Hemis high altitude national park Best Time:Summer Rupshu - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/mckaysavage
Details :Rupshu region at an elevation of around 4200m is a part of the Changthang high altitude plateau that extends from southeastern Ladakh to northern Tibet. The nomadic Changpa tribe roams in this exotic land of giant peaks, placid lakes and verdant meadows. These are hardy people with very little earthly possessions like their yak wool tent called ‘rebu’ and their livestock mainly constituting of pashmina goats. With rich cultural and religious traditions these people still retain their unique primordial qualities. You can camp under the starry sky alongside the Changpa tents and experience their pastoral life style. 49. Camp beside the crystal clear water of Tso Moriri Place: Tso Moriri – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Village tour of Karzog, Trek in the Rupshu valley Best Time:Summer Tso Moriri - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Tso Moriri is a brackish water lake around 250km from Leh at an altitude of 4595m. It can be reached by vehicles as well as on foot. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh. Its crystal clear water ripples in the sunlight while the distant mountain peaks gaze down curiously. The small waves created by wind crash at the shore. The glamour of the lake increases manifold by the orange light of the setting sun. Camping at the shore of the lake can be easily termed as one of the best holiday experience in one’s life. 50. Experience the surreal beauty of Pangong Tso at Ladakh Place: Pangong Tso – Ladakh Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Camping by the lake, Trekking in Indus valley, Visit Leh Best Time:Summer Pangong Tso - Ladakh
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Pangong Tso is situated in the high altitude plateau of Ladakh. It is a brackish water lake at a height of 4350m from the sea level. It takes around 5 hrs to drive up to the lake from Leh. This place has recently become a popular tourist destination after the movie ‘Three idiots’ was shot here. You can go on a daytrip or camp along the banks of the lake in the night. On a clear day the water reflects the images of the surrounding peaks like a photograph. This vastness of blue amazes the viewer. Many tourists claim that the water shows different hues of blue at different time of the day. Go and find out for yourself. 51. Have a bird’s eye view of the highest peak on earth in a mountain flight Place: Kathmandu – Nepal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Pay homage at Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhu Stupa and roam about Durbar Square Best Time:March-May & Sept-Oct Kathmandu - Nepal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :When someone talks about seeing Mt Everest from a very close range then the first thing that comes to our mind is trekking in a tough terrain in unpredictable weather. But you can get up close and personal with the highest peak on earth without trekking. Daily flights fly from Kathmandu airport which offers you that ‘once in a lifetime’ views of Mt Everest. Leaving early in the morning these 18 to 35 seated aircrafts zoom through clouds and your window becomes a TV screen which shows pictures of the valley below. Soon smaller snow covered mountains appear making you spellbound. And while you are waiting with bated breath Mt Everest appears in your window .You will stop blinking so as not to miss any finer details in its features. In this one hour flight you will be able to fly above 8 of the highest peaks on earth. This is the easiest and cheapest way to run up against the mighty Himalayas. 52. Celebrate Bisket Jatra in the medieval town, Bhaktapur Place: Bhaktapur – Nepal Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Admire the ancient monuments, Visit Kathmandu Best Time:April-May Bhaktapur - Nepal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Though it is just 13km away from Kathmandu, the temple town of Bhaktapur has not changed in centuries. The stone paved narrow lanes, the town square surrounded by old temples and houses with intricately carved wooden windows give this town a very medieval feeling. And equally old is the celebration of ‘Bisket Jatra’ that rejoices the victory of good over evil and also Nepali New Year. You can see people carrying palanquins of Hindu god and goddesses in processions and dancing to the beats of drums and cymbals. The festival culminates with the pulling of a three storey wooden cart in the town square. The devotees throw vermillion on each other. When they pull the cart the air fills with rhythmic chants and shouts. The crowd gathered at the terraces of the surrounding buildings cheers when the cart starts running downhill. The surreal environment of Bhaktapur coupled with this effervescent celebration makes this experience one of the best holiday experiences. Not to be missed. 53. Explore Mahendra Gupha with glittering stalagmites and stalactites Place: Pokhara – Nepal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Boating in the Phewa and Begnas lake, Relax for few days along side the Annapurna massif Best Time:Summer Pokhara - Nepal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Mahendra Gupha also known as ‘Chamero Odhaar’ meaning house of bats is 10km away from Pokhara. It is a large limestone cave. This ancient cave system was discovered by some shepherd boys in 1950. As the name suggests you can see many bats hanging from the cave ceiling. There are beautiful stalagmites and stalactites protruding from the cave surface. These rock formations glitter when illuminated. The depth of these caves is yet to be ascertained. These caves can be aptly described as mysterious and magnificent. 54. Trek to Kalapathar for the picture perfect view of Mt Everest Place: Lukla – Nepal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:The spectacular views at Gokyo Lake and Chukung valleys, Trekking in Sagarmatha NP Best Time:Summer Lukla - Nepal
Photo Courtesy:Sherpasanchar
Details :Lukla (2800m) is the starting point of the trek. On your way you will come across many quaint hamlets and witness authentic Nepali lifestyle. The lively Sherpa heartland Namche Bazaar is a day’s hike from Lukla along the milky blue Dudh Koshi River. The milestones that you must cross are the water driven prayer wheels at Phunki Thanga, the nunnery at Deboche and the tiny frozen lake at Gorak Shep. At the end of the trail along the Khumbu glacier awaits Kalapathar (5545m) with the rewarding view of Mt Everest flanked by other peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse and Changtse. The towering peak makes you feel little and insignificant but you can still keep on watching it for the entire eternity; such is the magnetism of Mt Everest. 55. Trek in the least discovered Ilam district of Nepal Place: Ilam – Nepal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Kathmandu, Nagarkot Best Time:Summer Ilam - Nepal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Ilam (3,636m), a border district between Nepal and India is famous for rolling tea estate and cardamom plantations. But not many people know about the beautiful trekking trails in this region. The views of the eastern Himalayas at different vantage points are mesmerizing. Shree Antu(2328m), Maipokhari (2121m), Siddhi Thumka (1800m) and Chhintapu (3353m) offer engrossing sunsets and sunrises. If you want you may experience Nepali hospitality in a home stay at Shree Antu. And Chhintapu is particularly well known for great sights of Mt Kanchenjunga. If you are looking for least explored destinations then this land of exotic animals like musk deer and red pandas is perfect for you. 56. Watch sunrise with worlds highest mountains peaks at Nagarkot Place: Nagarkot – Nepal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Kathmandu, Trekking in Ilam district Best Time:Summer Nagarkot - Nepal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :After a journey of 32km from Kathmandu and an over night stay you can witness the best spectacle in your life. Awe inspiring, sunbathed view of Dhaulagiri in the west, Everest in the middle and Kanchenjunga in the east can be witnessed only at Nagarkot. Sun slowly rises from behind the tallest, snow blanketed massifs. It seems as if the peaks are waiting patiently for their turn to be touched by the stream of sun rays. A magnificent play of shadow and light is unfurled. You will want the moment to freeze. Trip to Nepal is never complete without a “sunrise at Nagarkot”. 57. Go on the Annapurna Base Camp trek Place: Annapurn Trek – Nepal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Mahendra Gupha, Boating in Phewa lake Best Time:Spring & autumn Annapurn Trek - Nepal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :The Annapurna base camp trail (maximum height 4170m) is one of the best trails in the world with tea houses. ‘Tea house trekking’ means evenings and nights are spent in lodges called ‘tea houses’ present all along your trekking trail. The trekking starts from Pokhara and passes along side world’s deepest gorges and tallest peaks. After each day’s trekking you can rest in comfortable tea houses and so there is no need to camp outside. In the evenings you can explore the villages you are staying at and mingle with the locals who are mostly Gurungs and Magars. The trail ends at the Annapurna base camp which offers magnificent views of Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Annapurna south, Himchuli, tent peak, Gangapurna, fluted fishtail. 58. Witness Tibetan history in Potala palace at Lhasa (3612m) Place: Lhasa – Tibet Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Jokhand shrine, Shop at Barkor street Best Time:Summer Lhasa - Tibet
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/archer10
Details :The 13-story and 117m high Potala palace has 1000 rooms and was the economic, political and cultural nerve centre of Tibet till recently. A treasure house of ancient sculptures, murals, scripture, Buddha figures and religious jewellery, this palace gives an amazing insight into Tibetan history. The red and white building in the backdrop of blue sky creates a formidable picture. The five massive bejeweled golden stupas of the western chapel contain bodies of Dalai Lamas of yester years. Your imagination will travel back in time on visiting this magnificent palace. 59. Enjoy Tibetan opera during ‘Shoton festival’ at Norbu Linka, Lhasa Place: Norbu linka – Tibet Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Potala palace, Jokhand shrine, Shop at Barkhor street Best Time:August Norbu linka - Tibet
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :When Lamas return from their rigorous training as a monk their families welcome them with cream, song and dance during the ‘Shoton or yogurt banquet’ festival. Norbu Linka or the ‘treasure garden’ palace has been the site of Tibetan opera performances during Shoton festival since the 17th century. Traditional Tibetan opera groups from across the country compete with each other. To watch these epic performances in an open air theater while gorging on Tibetan yogurt is like having a glimpse of the bygone era. 60. Trek from Rongbuk Monastery to Mt. Everest base camp Place: Shigatse – Tibet Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, seat of the panchen lamas Best Time:Summer Shigatse - Tibet
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :The highest monstsery in the world Rongbuk (4980m) is just 8km away from Mt Everest base camp (5545m). From the monastery the view of the northern side of Mt Everest is like a mirage as if you can reach out and touch it. Mt Everest sits there like a white clad saint and beckons you. Even if you can not reach the peak you may try to reach the base camp while trekking through the majestic Himalayas. The snow carved peaks give you company throughout your journey. Spend a night in a tent at the base camp. The place and the experience heighten your senses so much that even a simple omelette will taste like gourmet food. And you can not ask for more if it’s a moonlit night. The view of Everest in the bluish moonlight is unparallel to any experience in your life. Next morning you will feel like as if you can sit and watch the yellow-orange peak forever. 61. Visit the mysterious and holy Nam Co Lake Place: Nam Co – Tibet Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Lhasa and Shigatse Best Time:Summer Nam Co - Tibet
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/35322527@N08
Details :The Nam Co Lake is the largest salt lake in Tibet. It is situated at a height of 4718m at the foot of Nyainqentanglha Mountain and is sprawled across 1920 square kilometer. It is one of the four holy lakes for Buddhists. It is hugely auspicious to go around the lake in clockwise direction at a particular time of the year. So you can see a path worn out in the lakeshore because of this ritual walk. There are many islands in the lake. The Zhaxiduo Island is especially enchanting with its forest of strange rocks and ancient cave hermitages. The serene, austere beauty of the lake increases manifold by the grazing yaks and the colourful Buddhist flags fluttering in the wind. If you are tempted you may camp beside the lake for overnight and be welcomed by the ethereal beauty of the lake during sunrise. 62. 4Be drawn in to the floral splendors of Valley of flowers Place: Ghangria – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Take the tough trek to Hemkund Sahib, Skiing at Auli Best Time:Summer Ghangria - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Docstoc
Details :At a height of around 3259-6750 meters, Valley of flowers is a part of the Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve. More than 300 varieties of endemic alpine flowers create a splash of colours that must be seen to be believed. Spanning in an area of 88 sq km the valley with sublime waterfalls, green meadows and enchanting landscapes transport you to paradise. Orchids, poppies, marigold, daisies, rhododendron and primula dot the view of the onlooker. Sightings of huge varieties of butterflies, griffon vulture, eagles, snow pigeons, sparrow hawk, Himalayan black bears, red fox and musk deer are the ancillary perks of the trip. 63. Must watch Ganga Aarti at the ghats of Rishikesh Place: Rishikesh – Uttarakhand Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:White water rafting, Rejuvenate with Yoga Best Time:Summer Rishikesh - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:TrekEarth
Details :The name ‘Rishikesh’ is equivalent to spirituality. And the feeling of otherworldliness is at its peak at the Ganga ghats during dusk. Every evening a small group of people which also consists of saffron clad children gather at the Triveni ghat for ‘Ganga Aarti’. Triveni ghat is the confluence of the three most sacred rivers in the Hindu mythology Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati. Amidst chanting of the Vedas and singing of prayers the evening aarti proceeds. Waters of Ganga gets lit up by the small lamps floated by devotees. Smell of camphor and ghee fills the air. By the time the ritual is over a life time seems to have passed. A must watch even if you are an atheist. 64. Trekking in the land of rhododendron and snow leopards in Nanda Devi NP Place: Nanda Devi NP – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Village tour and stay at idyllic ‘Tolma’ , Watching high altitude birds Best Time:Summer Nanda Devi NP - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Situated around Nanda Devi peak (7816m) this national park is an ideal destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Encompassed by tall peaks and watered by Rishi Ganga it is full of exotic flora and fauna. The trekking route passes through forests of rhododendron, juniper and birch. Flowers in the Valley of flowers create a riot in all the colours of rainbow. Also glimpses of Himalayan brown bear, leopard, musk deer and many endangered Himalayan bird species are also not uncommon. A truly unforgettable experience awaits you at Nanda Devi National Park. 65. Bump into cherubic Ruskin Bond at Cambridge Bookstore, Mussoorie Place: Mussoorie – Uttarakhand Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Take a walk around the Kempty falls, Visit Dhanaulti away from the hustle and bustle of main town Best Time:Summer Mussoorie - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :He is aptly described as ‘the living monument of Mussoorie’. Gentle, unassuming and a great magician of words, Ruskin Bond has been living in Mussoorie since 1963. And you will not find a person in the whole town who can not point the way to his house, Ivy Cottage. His novels and short stories appeal to everybody beyond age, gender, nationality and status. His love for Himalayan hillsides as well as human emotions shows in his writings. At the age of 77, Ruskin Bond thinks “I’m a little more successful than I thought I would be”. You can plan a rendezvous with this disarmingly charming yet hugely talented writer as he visits the Cambridge Bookstore on Mussoorie’s Mall Road to sign books and meet his admirers. You will take back a memory to be cherished for the rest of the life. 66. Overnight stays at the ‘Van Gujjar’ huts while trekking up to Naagtibba Place: Naagtibba – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Mussoorie, Kempty falls and Dhanaulti Best Time:Feb-June & Sept-Nov Naagtibba - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/Paulhami
Details :The trek to Naagtibba (3022m), the tallest peak in the Tehri Garhwal district of the Uttarakhand twists through thick, enigmatic and isolated forests of rhododendron, oak and deodar. These forests have been duly romanticized in Heinrich Harrer’s bestseller “Seven years in Tibet”. Abandoned huts of nomadic van gujjars near the Devta ridge during autumn and winter seasons are ideal for night stay. As you rest in the hut you can listen to the sounds of nature. A good population of black bears, leopard, wild boars and musk deer in the surrounding area increases the adventure many fold. Next morning watch the unparallel view of sunrise from the summit. 67. Trek up to 4000m for the prodigious view of the Himalayas at Tungnath Place: Tungnath – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Trek to Chandrashila peak, Visit Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary, Go on nature walk in Chopta valley Best Time:Summer Tungnath  - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/VarunShiv
Details :The trek starts from Chopta (2680m). First stop is Tunganath, the highest temple in the world located at an altitude of 3680m. Next morning an easy trek leads you to Chandrashila peak at a height of 4130mt. The flattened summit offers the breathtaking view of snowy Banderpoonch, Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Panch Chuli and Neelkanth on one hand and the arresting view of the Garhwal valley on the other. Legend has it that Chandrama and Shri Ram had used this summit to meditate. You can spend some time there to completely assimilate the spectacle and immerse yourself in the beauty of this paradisiacal locale. 68. Take the moderate ‘Har ki Dun’ (3566m) trek Place: Har ki Dun – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Mussoorie, Kempty falls and Dhanaulti Best Time:May-June & Sept-Oct Har ki Dun - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:HimalayaHeightsTravels
Details :A perfect trek for the first timers, it challenges the trekkers but only mildly. You come across many picturesque, remote hamlets like Taluka and Seema on you way. Believe it or not, Duryodhana is worshipped here in an archaic yet beautifully built temple in Seema. The open meadows in the middle of the forest teeming with wild animals and birds are excellent camping sites. Crossing a few wooden bridges over the wild mountain streams takes you to Har ki Dun. And if you are still up for some strenuous and technically difficult trekking then go up to Jaundar glacier (4300m). 69. Trek with family in the shadows of the Himalayas at Harsil Place: Harsil – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Uttarkashi, Rafting in Bhagirathi Best Time:Summer Harsil - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Harsil (2620m) a quaint little town in the banks of river Bhagirathi provides trekking opportunities for the entire family to enjoy together. The treks coil among grassy meadows, dancing waterfalls, fruit laden apple orchards and deep valleys. The effortless trek from Dharali village to saat tal becomes endearing by the sights of wild flowers in the back drop of green. Other excursions around Harsil lead to Brahmi Tal, Nachiketa Tal and Kush Kalyan. Harsil is not a typical, crowded hill station as most tourists move on further to Gangotri. This makes Harsil one of the best ‘off the beaten path’ holiday destination. 70. Unwind in style in the lap of luxury at 360 Leti Place: 360° Leti – Uttarakhand Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:Guided village and temple tours, Visit Almora Best Time:Summer 360° Leti - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:TheTravelLattache
Details :In the middle of Himalayan wilderness the experience of ultimate comfort and luxury is provided by 360° Leti (2230m), perched on a remote ridge with stupendous view from all direction. But it’s not easy to reach this extravagant abode. From Almora a journey of 4hr drive and a 30 minutes hike will take you to this unique resort. Built from finest quality local material it exudes splendid simplicity, traditionalism and is in sync with the surroundings. Gourmet food, finest wine and 5 star services are the norm. Watch sunrise from a four poster bed or read a book by the fire pit on the private terrace. With only four cottages, 360° Leti makes its guests feel exclusive. 71. Go on a four day rafting expedition down the Alaknanda at Rudraprayag Place: Rudraprayag – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Camping at Venturi Beach, Temple tour at Rudraprayag Best Time:Summer Rudraprayag - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:AdventureIndiaGroup
Details :You might have gone on one or two day rafting expeditions. It’s time to stretch the limit. The 150km run on the doughty Alaknanda from Rudraprayag to Rishikesh which takes four days to complete is the next challenge. The rapids are mostly of grade 3 though you have to tackle grade 4 rapids as well as calmer water at places. Thrashing waves, freezing water and indomitable whirlpools for four days raise the extreme challenge for physical and mental toughness. But the rewards of completion of the voyage are also equally valuable…immense satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. 72. Follow the tough trail to Gomukh for a sight of primordial Bhagirathi Place: Gangotri – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Short trek up to Nandanvan, Play snow sports at Dayara or Bathe in the hot water spring Gangnani Best Time:May-Nov Gangotri - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/Gbsk
Details :One of the largest glaciers in the world, Gomukh (8km by 24km) at a height of 3892m feeds the perennial Ganga known as Bhagirathi at its source. A 19km trail from Gangotri (3049m) goes up to Gomukh. It passes through barren land, dense forests and alpine meadows under the shadows of the sky scraping mountain peaks. At the mouth of the glacier, Bhagirathi is only a trickle. A little higher up from Gangotri, Tapovan (4463m) provides a pleasant surprise in the form of a beautiful meadow occasionally visited by herds of blue mountain goats. Sharing the simple abodes of sadhus at the feet of the mighty Shivling peak is a humbling experience. It is a daunting and as well as alluring task to trek in this terrain. 73. Enjoy trekking in nature’s paradise with family to Dodital (3024m) Place: Dodital – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Camping, angling and boating at Dodital, Trek further to Darwa pass Best Time:May-June & Sept-Oct Dodital  - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Trevelation
Details :Dodital Lake, named after the fish found in abundance in it is a sight of serenity and beauty. The trek to this high altitude lake is equally enchanting. You can take your kids along in this trail which will double the fun. Camping with kids in the tranquil surroundings of the lake with views of Darwa bugyal and snowy jagged peaks in the light of bonfire is an unforgettable experience. This trip will create an enriching and enjoyable memory for the kids to be cherished for a lifetime. 74. Learn about Kumaoni culture during the Corbett Village Ecotour Place: Corbett – Uttarakhand Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Camp in the forest, Naturalistic camps for kids, Go on a jeep or elephant safari Best Time:Winters & Autumn Corbett - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:SunAdventures
Details :Nestled in the foothills of Kumaon Mountains, surrounded by thick forest infested by tigers, elephants and deer ‘Chhoti Haldwani’ has a perfect set up to experience the Himalayan rural lifestyle, culture and community based ecotourism. Home stay options give the traveler a chance to live with the villagers in their house. Learn cooking, go on trekking or go on nature trails. Fill your days with activity or simply watch birds while resting on a ‘charpoy’. You can also volunteer in projects run by the Corbett Gram Vikas Samiti (CGVS) if you wish. 75. Enjoy pristine nature in a village stay at Binsar Place: Binsar – Uttarakhand Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:The view of four majestic peaks at ‘Zero point’, Visit the 16th century Bineshwar Temple Visit Almora, Shop for handicrafts Best Time:Summer Binsar - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/73109955@N00
Details :Gonap, Kathdhara, Dalar, Risal and Satri are the five villages situated within the limits of Binsar Sanctuary showing a blazing example of how man and nature can coexist without conflict. These hamlets are connected by short walking trails passing through dense forests and terraced fields. You can follow these trails and explore the villages. After the day’s walk spend the night as a guest in a rural household and be a part of their daily routine. Away from the hustle and bustle of crowded cities, Binsar provides silence and peace in a natural manner. 76. Follow the old trade route to Tibet starting at Munsiyari Place: Munsiyari – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit the Birthi Falls, Visit the ghost settlements abandoned by traders, Camp at Ragashkund Best Time:June-Oct Munsiyari - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/MahindraHomeStays
Details :27 km long Milam glacier is the biggest glacier in the Kumaon region and is situated in the south flank of the Himalayan Mountain Range. Trekking to this crevassed glacier is strenuous and takes at least 10 days. The maximum height of the trail is 4150m. On the trek you will come across deserted Bhotia settlements over grown with weeds. This trail was used by traders till 1962 to go over to the Tibetan side. The gushing Goriganga River leads you while the snowcapped Panch Chuli and Nanda Devi peaks stand as beacons on you way. Tents and shepherds’ caves are used as night shelters. Nature at its magnificent best humbles the trekker. A must for the seasoned trekker!! 77. Trek in Darma Valley for a memorable sight of Panch Chuli peaks, Dharchula Place: Dharchula – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Visit Pithorgarh, Trek to Milam glacier Best Time:May-June & Sept-Oct Dharchula - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/73109955@N00
Details :The majestic view of the Panch Chuli peaks from Darma Valley is a remarkable sight and for this you have to do a little bit of hard trekking. The trail starts at Dharchula at Indo-Nepal border and goes up to an altitude of 3600m at Panch Chuli Base Camp. On the way you will cross picturesque hamlets, seasonal glaciers, vast bugyals with wild blossoms and forests of silver oak, rhododendron, pines and birch trees. Dhauliganga River rushes along with the trekking path. The twin villages of Duktu and Dantu at an elevation of 3048m are the last inhabited village in this route. Camping in the huge meadow on the outskirts of Duktu under the watchful gaze of Panch Chuli peaks leaves a soulful impression on one’s memory. 78. Stay in a heritage estate with a friendly German family at Bhimtal Place: Bhimtal – Uttarakhand Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:Boating, angling, Temple visits Best Time:Summer Bhimtal - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:TripAdvisor
Details :A colonial room with a view of deodar forest and a German family as your hosts can transport you back to the British period. This beautiful estate built before India’s independence is run by Mike, Paddy and their children with lots of love and care. The place exudes old world charm with pebbled porch and brick coloured exterior. You can spend your days lazing around or trekking to the various lakes in the vicinity or listening to the host family’s stories of the bygone era over hot cups of tea. 79. Enjoy camping and fishing at Marchula Place: Marchula – Uttarakhand Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Nature walks, Go on a jeep safari in Jim Corbett National Park Best Time:April-June & Oct-Nov Marchula - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Kootation
Details :Fishing Mahseer has loads of charms for its reputation of being a tough catch. Known as the tiger of the river it puts up a good fight once caught. Combine the adventures of camping with Mahseer fishing and you have a never–to-forget vacation. The crocodile infested waters of Ramganga River near Marchula, Uttarkhand has a healthy population of Mahseer. Days can be spent on the river banks fishing and evenings around the bonfire sharing the days’ stories. Dip your feet in the cold, clear waters and simply watch rare birds going on in their business or hike around the village for a sneak peak in to the Kumaoni culture and life style. There is so much to do and yet ample time is left to bum around. 80. Catch a big golden mahseer at Abbot Mount Place: Abbot Mount – Uttarakhand Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Bird watching, Trekking and Photography Best Time:Summer Abbot Mount - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Wikipedia
Details :At an elevation of 2133m, Abbot Mount is a heaven for anglers for its salubrious weather and mahseer fishing opportunities on Kali River. Golden Mahseer is the strongest freshwater fish in the world growing up to nine feet and weighing up to 60 kg. It takes the bait quite readily as well which makes it a good sport fish. Anglers from all over the world throng to this place for the excitement of catching a mahseer. Fishing in the scenic environment of the Himalayas with a light breeze blowing and birds making noises is the best angling experience one can have. 81. Relax by the lake while watching birds at Sattal Place: Sattal – Uttarakhand Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Angling, Rock climbing, Mountain biking Best Time:Summer Sattal - Uttarakhand
Photo Courtesy:Paolamagni
Details :Untouched by modernization and away from the crowds, Sattal (1370m) offers an unique chance for bird watching. Encircled by the Himalayas and Shivalik mountain range Sattal has a varied bird population. More than 230 bird species have been sighted in this region including some rare ones. All you have to do is walk around the lakes and wait patiently. You can spot babblers, tits, bulbuls, warblers, minivets, woodpeckers, pigeon, myna and the colourful barbets. The ever elusive cheer pheasant may also give you a visit if it likes. Just don’t forget to take along a good pair of binoculars. 82. Watch Mt Kanchenjunga in the fist rays of sun at Mirik Place: Mirik – West Bengal Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:Visit Darjeeling, Hike in the land of sprawling tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations Best Time:Summer Mirik - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:WalkEcoTrek
Details :Mirik is a yet to be famous hill station at an altitude of 1495m in West Bengal. Surrounded by undulating tea estates, pine forests, orange orchards, cardamom grooves and the eastern Himalayan peaks it is a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. And if you are a morning person then go up to one of the nearby hilltops to see the sun rise from behind the majestic Himalayas. The view of snow covered Kanchenjunga (8586m) bathed in orange sunlight is breathtaking. Mirik is one of the few hill stations in India which are still not spoiled by excessive tourism. It is worth a visit before this changes for ever. 83. Learn mountaineering at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling Place: Darjeeling – West Bengal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:The toy train ride, Visiting gompas and Pagodas, Shop for the legendry Darjeeling Tea Best Time:Oct-May Darjeeling - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:BorderLessTravels
Details :The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute or HMI is not a regular tourist destination. But it is Mecca for mountaineering enthusiasts. Various training courses with duration starting from 3 days up to 28 days are conducted here. Anyone between the ages of 12 to 40 without any serious ailment can train here. You can enroll in these courses along with your kids and enjoy few days of quality time with them. Such courses enhance physical stamina and mental strength in a person and are an absolute must for youngsters for character building. 84. Immerse yourself in the scenic natural beauty of Lepchaghat Place: Lepchaghat – West Bengal Category: Rejuvenation Experiences Nearby:Visit Darjeeling and Mirik Best Time:Summer Lepchaghat - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/43546466@N00
Details :If ‘doing nothing’ is your holiday motto then Lepchaghat (2123m) is the ideal destination for you. Just 19 km from the over popularized Darjeeling this place is completely different. The skyscraping trees, clean mountain air and unpretentious natural beauty of Lepchaghat mesmerize the onlooker. There is a government run forest guest house in the middle of a sea of green foliage perfect for few days’ stay away from the chaotic city life. The view of Kanchenjunga turning red during sunrise is unforgettable. The meaningless wandering in the village nestled in fog and mist also leaves a mark on one’s memory forever. 85. Reside in a cottage deep inside orchid forest at Kalimpong Place: Kalimpong – West Bengal Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Visit nurseries of exotic flowers, Take a leisurely walk through the ethnic villages Best Time:Oct-May Kalimpong - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Kalimpong district in West Bengal is a relatively new entrant in the tourism map of India. Big resorts and hotels are yet to come up in this place. But there are many family run small hotels and home stays that provide basic amenities and genuine feel of the place. A nice warm room by a gurgling stream, a bamboo bridge to cross the stream, a great view and home cooked food are the few things that can make you forget the rest of the world. Quite, serene beauty of Kalimpong can engage your interest for quite some time. 86. Trek up to Sandakphu for the panoramic view of 4 highest peaks of the world Place: Singalila NP – West Bengal Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Camping in the shadows of Everest, Bird watching, Exploring the land of red panda and barking deers Best Time:Spring & Sept-Oct Singalila NP - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Singalila ridge trekking trail is one of the most endearing trails in the Greater Himalayan region as this does not involve steep climbing. The trail passes through forests of silver fir, pine and chestnut trees. In early summer season the rhododendron, magnolia, rare orchids and primula blooms paint the forest with hues of rainbow. Smoke floating out of the distant huts hanging from the ridge makes the whole experience even more enchanting. And if this is not enough at Sandakphu (3636m) you are greeted with the most arresting view of your life. Mt Everest (8848m), Mt Kanchenjunga (8586m), Mt Lhotse (8516m) and Mt Makalu (8481m), four of the five highest peaks of the world are all visible together in one panoramic picture. You will certainly try to memorize the picture so as never to forget it. 87. Enjoy the pollution free air in eco friendly home stays at Chatakpur Place: Chatakpur – West Bengal Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Trekking to Tiger hill for a scenic sunrise, Visit Ghoom monastery Best Time:Oct-June Chatakpur - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Form being a notorious village infamous for illegal felling to a hot spot for ecotourism, Chatakpur (2400m) has come a long way. The Senchal Wild Life Sanctuary where the village is situated has a wide variety of flora and fauna. This land of red panda is a heaven for bird watchers as many rare and exotic birds are also found here. There are well furnished cottages in the village where you can enjoy your days literally nestled in the lap of nature. Wake up to mesmerizing sun rises with Mt Kanchenjunga. Spend the day hiking around in the forest with chirping birds as guides. And in the evening watch dance performance by the villagers. Itinerary for a perfect holiday!! 88. Go on a river cruise at Sunderbans National Park Place: Sunderbans NP – West Bengal Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Bird watching, wildlife and mangrove exploration Best Time:Oct-May Sunderbans NP - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:Sundarbantourism
Details :Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal is situated on the largest delta in the world created by River Ganga, River Brahmaputra and River Meghna. The marshy land of the park is home to mangrove and the Royal Bengal Tiger apart from monkeys, deer, lizards, pythons, Ridley turtles and a varied population of birds. The tributaries crisscross the park and make a net of water ways which provides excellent opportunity to explore the reserve by boat. You can go on a daylong river cruise and visit the watering holes along the banks of the river that increases the chances of sighting of wild animals and if you are lucky the Royal Bengal Tiger may pay you a visit. 89. Live in sync with nature Place: Basudha Farm – West Bengal Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Bishnupur, Go on village walks Best Time:Oct-April Basudha Farm - West Bengal
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/Cilicchio
Details :Centre for Inter-disciplinary Studies (CIS), Basudha or simply the Basudha farm is a small farm spreading over 1.7acres of land in the plains of West Bengal. The main aim of this enterprise is to sustain and cultivate indigenous rice verities. Set amidst lush green paddy fields, this place is truly eco friendly with water harvesting system, solar power and organic food. With basic but comfortable accommodation here you can taste the real village life. You can take a bath in the village pond or learn cooking from the local women. In Basudha farm, life is not in clash but in sync with nature, the way it should be. 90. Witness the scenic beauty of Tsomgo Lake, Gangtok Place: Gangtok – Sikkim Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:City tour, Visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Enchey gompa, Banjhakri Falls and Nathu La Best Time:Sept-Nov & May-June Gangtok - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/MahindraHomeStays
Details :Located on the old silk route between India and China, just 35km from Gangtok (1437m) and perched at a height of 3780m Tsomgo Lake is a picture of serenity and tranquility. Fed by the glaciers from the engulfing Shivalik Hills it’s a sacred lake for the locals and a stunning beauty for the tourists. Catch the reflections of the peaks in the still, blue water of the lake or go on a one of its kind ‘yak ride’. You can experience the changing moods of Tsomgo with every change in the weather which happens quite a lot because of such high altitude. The beauty of this placid lake is enhanced by the wild blossoms of rhododendron, poppy, iris and primula. 91. Watch warrior dance during Pang Lhabsol festival at Ravangla Place: Ravangla – Sikkim Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Visit Ralong Monastery, Bonn Monastery and Rayong Sunrise View Point Best Time:Sept Ravangla - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/Jmhullot
Details :Pang Lhabsol celebrates nature’s power and the guardian deity Mount Kanchenjunga is worshipped during the festival. The high point of the festival is the staging of masked dance with war like movements and costumes. Kanchenjunga is represented by a performer wearing an angry mask and red paint. The dancers move lithely to the beats of the music that requires a lot of energy. That’s why these dancers follow strict seclusion of 15 days prior to the festival. This is unlike any other Buddhist ‘Chaam dance’. Pang Lhabsol can be described in two words as mystical and unique. Though it is celebrated through out Sikkim, Ravangla has the distinction of holding the festival for more than 34 years. 92. Watch Lhamo during Drupchen festival at Rumtek Monastery Place: Rumtek – Sikkim Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Hike to the nearby hilltops in dawn, Visit the Lingdum Gompa Best Time:May-June Rumtek - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Lhamo is a Tibetan folk opera started in the 14th century which is still being performed during various Buddhist festivals. It is performed during Drupchen (group meditation) in May/June at Rumtek monastery. Performers play their parts, dance and sing to the music of cymbals and drums. While their masks express the unspoken emotions their silk costumes sway in the Himalayan breeze. To experience such an art form in the backdrop of an ancient monastery set in the middle of nature’s lap is truly memorable. 93. Connect with the almost extinct Lepcha community at Dzongu Place: Dzongu – Sikkim Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Tholung Monastery, Lingzya waterfall, Visit Lingthem Village for a spectacular view of Kanchenjunga Range Best Time:April-May & Oct-Jan Dzongu - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :The Lepcha people consider themselves to be the descendants of Mt Kanchenjunga. But their culture and traditions are dying due to the popularity of Buddhism. The Dzongu valley in Sikkim is their last bastion. You can spend a few days in a Lepcha house as a guest and witness their lifestyle in an ethnic Lepcha village. Share millet beer with ‘boongthing’, the local priest or appreciate the unique, earthquake resistant Lepcha houses. The simplicity of the people and the gorgeous, isolated landscape will surely mesmerize you. 94. Take the green lake trek to see trekkers favorite Mt. Siniolchu Place: Lachen – Sikkim Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Camping by the Green lake, Explore Yumthang valley, Visit Gurudongmar Lake. Best Time:April-May & Oct-Nov Lachen - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :This is one of the least explored trails and yet offers most magnificent views and experiences. The trek starts from Lachen (2750m) and goes through rhododendron forests of different hues and colours. You have to wade your way through bushes and moraines along the Zemu glacier. At the end of the trail lies Green Lake (4954m) with commanding views of Mount Siniolchu, Mount Simvo, Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Kabru and Mount Chomolhar. According to many trekkers Mt. Siniolchu is the most beautiful of them all. The smooth outline of the mountain visible from a distance looks jagged like snow cones when you get closer. 95. Accept holy water from the lamas during ‘Bumchu’ festival near Pelling Place: Pelling – Sikkim Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Darap village tour, Pemayangtse Gompa, Jeep safari to Yuksom, Visit Khecheopalri lake and Rimbi falls Best Time:Feb-March Pelling - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/74089637@N00
Details :‘Bumchu’ literally means pot of water. There is a sacred pot of water in the Tashiding Monastery which is kept locked. The level of water in this pot is considered to be an indicator of prosperity in the coming year. On the 14th and 15th day of Tibetan first month which falls around February or March after long prayers and chanting, this pot is taken out and the water level is checked. Then the holy water is distributed among devotees and again filled with fresh water and locked away for a year. This is one of the most important festivals in Sikkim. People come from far off places to participate in this festival. They camp outside the monastery and wait for hours for their turn to be blessed patiently. The unfaltering faith and undying devotion have to be seen to be believed. The surreal sacredness of the monastery increases during the festival. It is a must to celebrate ‘Bumchu’ to experience the real of Sikkimese lifestyle. 96. Stay with the Limbu people in Darap village Place: Pelling – Sikkim Category: Culture Experiences Nearby:Pemayangtse Gompa, Jeep safari to Yuksom and picnic at Rimbi falls Best Time:March-June & Sept-Dec Pelling - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:CheeryVillageHomeStayResort
Details :While traveling in Sikkim you must live in a Limbu home stay in Darap village. Situated at a distance of just 8km from Pelling, Darap will transport you decades back in time. You can try your hand in weaving carpets, milking a cow or in making momos. Enjoy the tasty traditional food served by friendly hosts. Explore the village. Learn about matrilineal Limbu traditions. Listen to folklore and legends over dinner and glasses of ‘tongba’. A perfect holiday in a perfect environment! 97. Rafting in tumultuous Teesta River at Rangpo Place: Rangpo – Sikkim Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Bonfires and camping in the sandy beaches, City tour of Gangtok Best Time:March-May & Oct-Dec Rangpo - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Originating at the glacial Cholamu Lake, Teesta rushes down to the plains of West Bengal dividing Sikkim mostly in the middle. The slapping, frothing waters of Teesta are perfect for rafting. The icy cold Teesta rapids are graded 3 and 4 in difficulty rating with placid patches in between. There are shorter runs for the beginners and longer, more grueling runs for the experienced rafters. But fun is guarantied irrespective of your choice. Thick green forests and sandy beaches rushing past you and smoke bellowing from riverside huts waving good byes to you are just few of the experiences. 98. Hang out in a trekkers hut amidst rhododendrons in Barsey Place: Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary – Sikkim Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Trekking and bird watching Best Time:April-May Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary (2200 to 4100m elevation) can be termed as Sikkim’s own valley of flower. From the quaint hamlet Hilley you will have to trek for an hour to reach the huts situated inside the sanctuary. During the blooming season of March-May the path becomes a riot of colours as rhododendrons, primulas and orchids dot the view. The hut itself is in the middle of nowhere. Mornings offer scintillating sunrise in the back drop of clear blue sky. On a cloudless day giants like Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Siniolchu can be seen from the verandah. And nights offer glittering moonlight over snowbound peaks. This place can easily be considered as one of the least explored and most endearing tourist places in India. 99. Behold rhododendron and primula blooms at Yumthang valley Place: Yumthang Valley – Sikkim Category: Wildlife Experiences Nearby:Visit Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Gurudongmar Lake Best Time:April-May Yumthang Valley - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:WikiMedia
Details :Yumthang valley at a height of 3575 meters is high altitude grassland dotted with numerous alpine flowers in summer. The road from the nearest village Lachung to the valley goes through rhododendron forests of different colours. Misty mountain air bears the fragrance of wild blossoms. After a light trek and crossing of a mountain river you come face to face with Sikkim Blushwort, Himalayan Yellow Poppy, Griffith’s Cobra Lily, Pedicularis, Cinqefoils and primula blooms. Besieged by snow clad mountain peaks that are lost in the clouds, this valley is one of the desolate and exotic places that can leave a lasting impression on your memory. 100. See Indias highest lake at an elevation of 5210m Cholamu Lake Place: Cholamu Lake – Sikkim Category: Adventure Experiences Nearby:Trek in Thangu Valley, Visit Lachen Best Time:Sept-Dec Cholamu Lake - Sikkim
Photo Courtesy:AllIndia
Details :With emerald green water and reflections of besieging mountain peaks Cholamu or Tso Lhamo Lake is not only the highest but also one of the most beautiful lakes in India. Flocks of migratory birds fly over head while herds of yaks graze peacefully in the vicinity. The mighty Teesta River starts as a foot wide stream from the lake. Reaching the lake is not that difficult. So take along your family for an unforgettable voyage in this unexplored territory.