Browsing Tag

Himachal Pradesh

City Tours Historical Places Travel Tips

7 Things you can do on your trip to Andretta

Andretta

Wonder and bewilderment are quite natural when you chance upon the lovely hamlet of Andretta in Himachal Pradesh. This area is literally artistic as you will soon discover on your trip and there are plenty of fun things to do here on your next vacation!

Andretta is an artist’s colony in and was established in 1920s by Irish theatre artist and environmentalist Norah Richards. Andretta is an artist’s hub and has attracted several famous theatre practitioners, potters, painters since the time its foundation was laid.  It is located near Palampur in the Kangra district and the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas covers this place as a blanket, making it a place straight out of a postcard stamp.

Find Best Hotels In Palampur

How to reach

By road: Andretta is just a 20-30 minutes drives from Palampur which is located only 13 km away. By road is the quickest way to reach Andretta.

By rail: The nearest major railway station from Andretta is Pathankot which is almost 90 km away. There is another tiny station called Panchkruchi located 2 km away, though it is better to opt for Pathankot.

By flight: The nearest airport is Dharamsala’s Gaggal airport, 40 km away from Andretta.

The Essence of Andretta

Andretta, a quaint village which occupies a large place in the artists’ heart is filled with fun activities you can indulge in to take in the essence of the place. Here is a list of some of the

Things to do in Andretta

  1. Get in touch with your artsy side in Sobha Singh Art Gallery
  2. Find your inner peace at Bundlamata Temple
  3. Plan a picnic to the Neugal Khad
  4. Visit Norah Richard’s house in Andretta village
  5. Why Andretta is called Himachal’s hidden pot? Find out!
  6. Have an excursion to the Panchrukhi village market
  7. Go trekking through the Thampsar trek

1. Get in touch with your artsy side in Sobha Singh Art Gallery

Sobha Singh Art Gallery

This art gallery in Andretta is a museum which displays the original creations of the famous artist Sobha Singh. Other than this, sculptures, posters and canvas prints are also showcased here. The main studio is also opened to the visitors. Various photographs related to the life of the legend are present here, which are sure to stir the artsy side of yours. There is also a very engaging souvenir shop here known as Parampara in the gallery premises, where mugs, books and local handicrafts are available for sale.

2. Find your inner peace at Bundlamata Temple

The Bundlamata temple is one of the ancient places to visit in Palampur dating back to the 14th or 15th century. The Bundla stream which flows by the temple, is where it gets its name from. It is the shrine of Goddess Bundlamata who is worshipped sincerely by the locals. The cascading stream and the surrounding tea gardens enveloping the temple is a sight to behold. There is no better place to do some self reflection than the Bundlamata Temple of Palampur!

3. Plan a picnic to the Neugal Khad

Neugal Khad

 Neugal Khad, popularly known as the Bundla Chasm, is a broad water stream which flows close to Palampur. It is a very popular picnic spot and is situated about 4 km from Palampur. Sip into some tea and bite into your picnic sandwiches with your close ones for company as you soak in the breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayan Dhauladhar Range from here. And do not forget to carry your camera along, as this is a scene you will want to capture and carry with you for the rest of your life.

4. Visit Norah Richard’s house in Andretta village

Norah Richards house

 What better way to understand what Andretta village is, than visiting its founder’s house? Norah Richards, an exceptional Irishwoman and theatre artist established this village. Her house is still located here, which is built in the old English style. There is a small outdoor theatre located outside the house where she used to teach students how to perform plays. The Punjabi University of Patiala has recently renovated her abode and now every October 29th, which is Norah’s birthday, is celebrated by theatrical performances here, which you cannot afford to miss.

5. Why Andretta is called Himachal’s hidden pot? Find out!

 One of the main attractions of the Andretta village, for tourists and artists alike is the Andretta Pottery and Craft Society. It is a lively potters’ community with pottery workshops and galleries scattered all around. This colorful small spot is enhanced by the attractive earthenware with rangoli art and the sparkly eyed talented potters who breathe life into this place. This is also a very interactive space where you can try your hand at pottery and learn from the artists while you are there.

6. Have an excursion to the Panchrukhi village market

 This village market is closest to Andretta and is famous for the Jogindernagar narrow Gauge train line. This gorgeous market place has everything which you will need during your village stay starting from fruits, vegetables and provisions to even beverages. It is also a food hub with plenty of amazing eateries. So if you are in Andretta, shopping in Panchrukhi market is a must!

7. Go trekking through the Thampsar trek

A breathtaking hill station like this calls for some trekking. The Thampsar pass, an alluring pass of the Dhauladhar range, provides you with this opportunity. This trail is a road less travelled and deserves to be explored more. It is not that far away from Andretta so there is absolutely no reason for you to miss this opportunity. The mystic forest of Chhota Bangal is a perfect place to wander around here, if you are an explorer at heart. You will pass through different beautiful villages during this trail like Barot Badagram, Rajjgundha and Kukkargandha. The lush meadows of Plachak and Panhartu that you will tread on in your way are bound to stay with you throughout the trek, through their enticing fragrance. You will also get a sneak peak of the local Gaddi tribe’s lifestyle which is fascinating to say the least. To find out the rest you have to participate in this mesmerizing trek while in Andretta.

Andretta: A journey to remember

Andretta is one of the few places where the journey is as beautiful as the destination. The exhaustive list given above showcases just that. Andretta is not only an amazing place in itself , but has other amazing places surrounding it which will make you long for the cool Himachal weather, even when you are in hustling in your own city.

City Tours Travel Tips

Discover the Hidden Beauty of Barot: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the hidden beauty of Barot A comprehensive guide

Do you want to get away from the daily mundane life and just feel close to nature? Forget all worries and just enjoy yourself in the middle of lush green fields? Then go and experience Barot in Himachal Pradesh. Barot is a very pretty village in the north of Himachal Pradesh. Located in the district of Mandi, this village is filled with beautiful landscapes which will surely help you detox from the busy and polluted city life. This village is still unexplored as not many people are acquainted with its picturesque views and greenery. No doubt that makes Barot one of the beautiful place among all thebest places in Himachal.

Find Best Hotels In Mandi

How and When to Visit

How to visit Barot

Barot is a small village and it’s full of forests, it is both suitable to be visited in summer and winter months. Due to its close proximity to the mountains, the temperatures remain relatively cool. Still the best time to visit Barot would be April, June, November and February, as you can easily go around sightseeing and exploring the breathtaking valley.

The small village is located in the valley of Uhl. This valley is situated at a distance of 40 and 66 kilometres from the towns of Jogindernagar and Mandi respectively. There are frequent buses from these towns upto Barot. Even availing the train upto Jogindernagar and then taking a public transport can be helpful. Renting cabs can get a little too pricey, but if you take a flight and get down at the Kullu Manali airport then that is the best thing for you to do. Otherwise economically taking public transport seems feasible.

Adventure Trove in Barot

  1. Rock Climbing
  2. Trekking
  3. River Uhl
  4. Picnic
  5. Camping
  6. Paragliding
  7. Accommodation and food

1. Rock Climbing

 If you are an adventure junkie, then pull up your socks and get ready to be surprised. This village may seem place and quite but it has great treasures to offer to the adventure lover in you. Go rock climbing in any of the surrounding hills. Rock climbing is such a good sport and you’ll feel amazing when you finally reach the top of the hills. The view is breathtaking, with so much greenery and beauty around at all the hill stations in Himachal Pradesh.

2. Trekking

 all those trekkers out there, this hilly area can be an amazing trekking trail. From professionals going for advanced level to people who just love the sport all can go for this. The trails all around the valley attracts many trekkers for snow trekking. The most famous trail over here is the Barot Himri trek, and you will know why it is so famous only when you complete the trail. 

3. River Uhl

 Well if you always wanted to sit quietly and get the feel of fishing, but never got the chance to, then here’s your opportunity. Sit by the River and try fishing for fresh trout’s that are breed in this river.

4. Picnic

 If nature calls you and you absolutely love being around various plants and animals, then Barot even has a wildlife sanctuary for you. Just cross the river Uhl and you will come across the Nargu Wildlife sanctuary. If you go deeper into the sanctuary, you might come across wild animals which can be dangerous, hence do not try doing so without a professional guide. This place is also an amazing spot for picnics.

5. Camping

 camping reminds me of school days and I always wanted to experience it again when I grew up. Barot gave me that opportunity. The banks of Uhl are a great spot for camping. When night falls, the stars shine so brightly in the blue sky; it is hard to get over how pretty it looks. It seems as if the stars above the world so high outshine the city lights. Camping with friends, family and even colleagues along the banks of River Uhl can be a great experience indeed.

6. Paragliding

 just two hours away from the beautiful valley lays Bir Biling which is a really popular place for paragliding along the great Himalayan valleys. This is one of the places to visit in barot. All necessary precautions and safety measures are taken. It is very common among people to trek all the way up to the hill and then go paragliding from there. The whole experience of flying lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you do not have fear of heights, just go for this. Feel the cool Himalayan air kiss your cheeks and breathe the fresh forest air, this would be one hell of an experience; gliding through the beautiful valleys filled with lush green trees is indeed a sight to watch out for.

7. Accommodation and food

The whole valley of Mandi is filled with small restaurants and beautiful cafes. These eateries serve all kinds of multi cuisine food. Other than that the local eateries also offer lip smacking local food, which definitely do not disappoint when it comes to taste. The small cafes will definitely help you make your Instagram feed look even more aesthetic with their cute interiors.  Other than that it is always better to carry some kind of dry food items with you in case of emergencies.  Also, a pro tip is to stay hydrated as the high altitude might end up causing some health issues.

There are a number of hotels in this area which provide great hospitality. Book ahead of time, before coming here and you are good to go. But if you are up for trekking and camping, make sure you carry your sleeping bags and other camping essentials so that you are well prepared and have an amazing experience.

Why Barot?

Why visit Barot

Why not? Give yourself a break and go out in the great valleys of Mandi to experience the beauty of nature. Inhale the fresh air, swim along the river uhl and do everything else you ever wanted to do. This small adventure packed village is great for both a solo and group trip. There are so many things to do at Barot that you will want to come back again. So do not waste more time, pack some warm clothes in your backpack and head out to explore the hidden beauty of Barot!

City Tours Travel Tips

8 Things About Bijli Mahadev Trek No One Told You About

8 Things about Bijli Mahadev Trek no one told you about

Bijli Mahadev Trek is named after the Bijli Mahadev Mandir which is a temple of Lord Shiva. Located at a height of 2452 meters, the place lies at a distance of 24 kilometers east of Kullu in the district of Himachal Pradesh. Not being much of an intense traveler, I choose this particular trek in North among all the trekking destinations in India because even though the trekking route comprises of a stiff climb for the first kilometer, it then eases out into a more gentle and comfortable ascent for beginners. In spite of being in Himachal Pradesh many times, I hadn’t visited this part of the state and I must say it was really worth it.

The view from the Bijli Mahadev temple is spectacular and left me spellbound. It looks out at the famous Parvati valley. I was lucky enough to experience the place on a clear morning when the entire valley lit up in shades of blue. After I got out of my trance and could finally take my eyes away from the spectacular view outside the window, I was mesmerized once again by the beautiful interiors of the temple. It is decorated with gorgeous carvings depicting mythological figures and natural scenes. Hand-painted temple doors are also a beautiful site, and sense of vibrancy and charisma to the wood carvings.

Find Best Hotels In Manali

All You Need To Know About Bijli Mahadev Trek

1. How To Reach

Bijli Mahadev 1

Reaching the Bijli Mahadev Trek was fairly easy. Bijli Mahadev village is among the best places to visit in Kullu. The hill station is easily accessible from any of the major cities in India. I took a flight to the nearby Bhunter airport. From Bhunter airport I boarded a bus to Kullu. If you choose to travel by train the nearest railway station is the Summer Hill located at a distance of 94 kilometers from Kullu. From Kullu, I came to Ramshilla lying close by at a distance of 1 kilometer. After crossing a bridge over the Beas River I took the road on the left to reach the base of the hill.

2. Best Time to Visit

Like most trekking routes in the northern part of the country, the Bijli Mahadev Trek remains closed in the winter months. Due to extreme weather conditions and immense snowfall, the road remains un-travelable and unfit for tracking. Also, the area is prone to violent thunderstorms. Therefore the best time to visit the place is during the summer months, it is also the best time to visit Manali & nearby places. I planned my trip in the month of March and was not disappointed.

3. Weather

The weather in Bijli Mahadev temple is pleasant for most of the year. The days are mild while the nights are extremely cold. The region enjoys summer monsoon and winter each year. The summer season lasts between the month of March and June when the temperature ranges between 25 and 37-degree Celsius. From July to September the region experiences the rainy season. Heavy downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning are common in the region. Landslides also happen frequently (I was lucky enough to not get stuck in any). The winter months in the region lasts from September to February when the temperature falls below zero degrees. This season is characterized by chilly winds and plenty of snowfall.

4. Trek Difficulty

The trek is a relatively easy one and is most suitable for beginners. I found it a bit difficult for the first 1 kilometer as the climb was a bit steep. However, after the first 100 steps, the journey eased up and was a comfortable one. During the winter season, the path might be slippery because of the black ice. The entire trek is about 2.92 kilometers long. I took a total of one and a half hours to climb up and an hour to climb down the hill.

5. Places of Attraction

The trekking route overlooks the beautiful Parvati valley, Bhunter and Kullu. Naturally, it offers a gorgeous view near the end which mesmerized all the tourists. The breathtaking sceneries alongside the track acted as a boost for me as it was rejuvenating the energy that was exhausted due to the long Trek. The entire trekking path is lined with Fir and Deodar trees.

6. The Temple Story

Bijli Mahadev

The temple consists of a Shiva lingam which is frequently struck by lightning and shattered into pieces. The priest of the temple then uses butter as aggressive to put the pieces back together. This is why the temple is so named as Bijli, which translates to lightning while Mahadev is another name for Lord Shiva.

7. Visit the Shiva Temple

The Bijli Mahadev temple is a famous shrine of Lord Shiva and is one of the most sacred sites for Hindus. It is also one of the most well-known Shiva temples of the country. Therefore on Mahashivratri- the auspicious night devoted to Lord Shiva, the temple is beautifully decorated. I wasn’t fortunate enough to witness this but heard the accounts of the locals and fellow travelers who have visited the place during the Mahashivratri – it is an experience of a lifetime. The temple lights up amidst the beautiful backdrop of the Himalayas and the ceremonial prayer offerings called Aarti takes place in a grand and pompous manner.

8. Comfortable Trek

Bijli Mahadev 4

The Bijli Mahadev Trek is ideal for beginners and for people with health problems. Since the track does not involve steep climbing or reaching higher altitude it can be pursued by anyone. The trek is relatively safe and hardly records any deaths or accidents. In spite of being prone to thunder and lightning, the region is considered without risks, as compared to the other Himalayan treks. I myself I am not quite athletic physically, do not go on a lot of treks and should be considered a rookie in this matter. However, the trek felt easy to me and I did not have any problem in completing it.

After coming back from my trip to Bijli Mahadev I was energized and freshened up. The site is a Paradise for travel enthusiasts. The scenic beauty of the Himalayan Mountains is known by all. Bijli Mahadev Trek offers an authentic experience of trekking in Himachal without going through a lot of struggle. It is also easy to reach and is well connected to the major cities of the country. So don’t wait up and start packing for your trip to this wonderful place.

City Tours Travel Tips

Get mesmerized by India’s enchanting valleys

Araku Valley

India is a tourist’s paradise. It is endowed with ample natural beauty including magnificent mountains, vast deserts, lush green valleys, sparkling rivers and long coastlines. The valleys in India require a special mention in this respect as they are immensely beautiful and are a treat to behold by all means. The photogenic valleys of North India in the lap of the Himalayas are famous all around the world because of their ecstatic visual appeal. Down south, beautiful valleys amid the hills of the Eastern and Western Ghats are a colourful retreat from monotonous city life.

Top 10 Valleys In India

  1. Araku Valley
  2. Kangra valley
  3. Lidder Valley
  4. Nubra Valley
  5. Sharavathi Valley
  6. Silent Valley
  7. Spiti Valley
  8. Valley of Flowers
  9. Yumthang Valley
  10. Ziro Valley

1. Araku Valley

Araku valley is located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and is one of the most photogenic valleys of the country. The place is mostly visited during the winter season from the months of December to February. The location is ideal for adventure enthusiasts and lovers of nature. The valley is surrounded by the scenic Eastern Ghats. There are many tourist attractions in the valley which include the Araku Tribal Museum, Borra caves, Padmapuram Botanical garden and the Ananthagiri hills.

2. Kangra valley

Also called the ‘Land of Gods’, Kangra valley is located in Himachal Pradesh. The valley is drained by the mighty Beas River which makes it a beautiful lush green abode. The Kangra fort is the oldest fort in the country and is about a thousand years old. The Kareri Lake in the region is also a mesmerizing water body lying in the middle of the Dhauladhar ranges. Bir Billing is one of the best destinations in the country for paragliding. Other places to visit in the region include the Chamunda Devi temple, Indrahar pass and Palampur tea estates.

3. Lidder Valley

The Lidder River which flows through it, gives the Lidder Valley its name. The river makes the already beautiful valley more serene and gorgeous. The lush green meadows with the sparkling river and the mighty Himalayas in the background make for an extremely photogenic valley. The perfect time to visit the valley is between the months of March and June. Tourists can experience snowfall in the winter months between November to February. Other places in the area worth visiting are Pahalgam, Chandanwari and Akad.

4. Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley
Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley is located in Jammu and Kashmir and is one of the lesser visited places of the state. The best time to visit the valley is during the months of July to September when the temperature is pleasant and the beautiful valley is in full bloom. The excursion to Diskit from the valley is an unforgettable experience. The people of the region are very hospitable and they welcome tourists with open arms indeed!

Find Best Hotels In Kashmir

5. Sharavathi Valley

Sharavathi valley is located in the Shimoga district of the state of Karnataka. The valley is endowed with streams, waterfalls and long lines of deciduous trees. Visitors can experience diverse wildlife including Sloth Bears, Tigers, Jackals, Spotted Deer and the endangered Lion Tailed Macaque. The Sharavathi River forms the great Jog falls in the valley. The best time to visit the valley is between the months of October and February.

6. Silent Valley

Silent Valley is located in the North-eastern part of the Palakkad district in Kerala. There is an eerie silence surrounding the valley from where it gets its name. The valley houses many exotic plants including 110 species of orchids, 1000 species of flowers, 200 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths. All this makes the valley a dreamlike experience for tourists. The weather in the region is pleasant throughout the year.

7. Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley
Spiti Valley

Spiti valley is a cold desert on the mountains in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The region is heavily influenced by Buddhist culture and is dotted with several monasteries and Buddhist temples. The nearby Kibber village is the base for many high altitude trekking tours. The Chandra Taal Lake is a scenic water body in the mountains which is shaped like a crescent moon. Other tourist attractions in the area include the Kungri Monastery, Pin valley, Kee Monastery and Langza.

8. Valley of Flowers

Valley Of Flowers
Valley Of Flowers

The valley of flowers in Uttarakhand lies in the Chamoli district and has a beautiful backdrop in the form of the mighty Zanskar ranges. The valley remains covered in snow during the winter months. However, in summer, it blooms into a scenic paradise with its variety of flowers. The valley is covered with small streams, flowery meadows with blooming flowers and cascading waterfalls, offering a spectacular view for the visitors. The best time to visit the valley is during the months of March to October.

9. Yumthang Valley

The Yumthang valley in Sikkim is also known as the Valley of Flowers as the rhododendron sanctuary in the valley grows over 24 species of the flower from April to May. Yumthang valley is located in the state of Sikkim at an altitude of 11800 feet. There is a hot spring on the right side of the Yumthang River from where the valley gets its name which is a popular tourist attraction.

10. Ziro Valley

Declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh is a popular tourist attraction for its spectacular natural beauty. The weather is not very harsh in the region and it can be visited throughout the year. The key attractions here include the Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Meghna Cave Temple, Kile Pakho, Midey and Ziro Puto.

Thus, the valleys in India from the north to the south, are extremely attractive for tourists because of their diverse attractions Other than visual beauty, these places offer scope for adventure sports like paragliding, bungee jumping and river rafting to name a few. The warmth of people in these regions is bound to captivate tourists and keep them coming back.