Tuesday, 13 November 2018

My Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj | Places to Visit, Transport, Cafes and More

In my earlier post, I mentioned that I travelled a lot in past few months...this one is another walk down the memory lane. I travelled to Dharamshala and McLeodganj knowing nothing of it and with friends who share the same love for mountains as I do.

Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj-Naddi View Point

Transport:

As most of my trips so far, this one also was through public transport, we took a bus from Delhi to Dharamshala, an overnight journey and by the morning we were at Dharamshala bus stop. If you are going as a tourist, you will be taken aback as you enter Dharamshala because by the first look of it, places are far and transport during morning hour is less. Don't be dis-heartened, switch on your GPS and walk towards Dharamshala City, just few minutes away from the bus stop. There you will see hotels, lanes full of shops and accommodation.
my trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala

In transport we opted for bus(to reach Dharamshala), taxi (to reach McLeodganj), rented bike (to commute around town) and on foot while exploring cafes.

Funds:

For this trip thanks to my friend as it was funded mostly.

Places to Visit:

We stayed one day in Dharamshala mostly because of the heavy rainfall, then moved up to McLeodganj from there we rented a bike for 2 days and visited:
  • Bhagsunag Waterfall
  • Church
  • Tea Garden
  • HPCA Stadium
  • War Memorial
  • Naddi and Dal Lake
  • Chinmaya Tapovan
  • Karmapa Gyuto Monastery
I would suggest to make plans for Triund as well, ours was ruined due to rainfall and mostly we were bound to sit in our rooms.
Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Gyuto Monastery

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- War Memorial Museum
Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala-HPCA Stadium
Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Church McLeodganj

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Gyuto Monastery


Places to Eat:

Dolma Chowk in McLeodganj offers some of the best restaurants and cafes serving some of the best cuisines I have ever eaten. The 2, I am listing here are my best experience plus momos from the small shop in front of café Anonymous (I didn't like Anonymous that much) and fish fry plus bhuna chicken as street food from the same lane

Hotels and Accommodations:

We stayed in hotels, lodging is not that cheap in Dharamshala but in McLeoganj you get fair options and good deals. I am giving out the number of hotel we stayed in McLeodganj as it was nice and at considerable price with the cutest café on the ground floor(try their chocolate or banana desserts and don't try lemon-curd pie).

Plus I am attaching the visiting cards of taxi service we hired(he was a friendly guy) and cafes, make sure to try those as they serve really nice food plus Tibet Kitchen is doing good deed serving free of cost to ones in need and offers the best Tibetan food plus generous servings is another ad-on.

My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj and placed to eat at and visit

My Experience:

My experience of Dharamshala and McLeodganj was full of rainfall, dessert in cafes, sitting for hours at some cosy location, enjoying lemon tea at Dolma Chowk(you should try it, it's a small counter shop which only serves tea and you will see monks sitting on the seat infront sipping on their tea, that's what inspired this chai lover) and near death experience with our confidence of bike riding. This place has so much scenic beauty to offer along the roads, I would suggest you to rent a bike(if you are pro as riding on mountains is a risky business and bikes on rents are really roughly used so it would take quite a skill to safely ride along the roads, we switched from Bullet to Scooty in a jiffy after almost escaping the fall into the valley) and then from McLeodganj come downhill to Dharamshala exploring places and uphill enjoy the scenery in every nook and corner. People here are friendly to talk to, mind your business and they will mind theirs.

Even though rainfall was really taking our case but whatever we explored, I enjoyed every bit of it. I could sit at Bhagsu Falls for ages(it was a feeling that clock stopped ticking and take every ounce of the location in), Church was a serene place as the route to it builds up the expectation wild and the church doesn't disappoint, Karmapa Gyuto Monastery was also a calming experience, so was scenic beauty of the location of War Memorial and Naddi.


Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- Bhagsu Falls

Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- War Memorial Location

My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- a Chai Lover



I sat by the roads for the longest time enjoying the scenery, rains, watching clouds doing all kinds of crazy things, riding along the green mountains and this place didn't disappoint me at all.


My Suggestions:

There are many hotels available near Bhagsunag in McLeodganj but I would suggest you stay near Dolma Chowk as nice joints to eat are accessible and shops are open till late. For the roads if you are not a rider full time, avoid renting a bike as roads are steeper and curves are dangerous but if you are get your hands on the bike you are comfortable with and roam the hill station. If you are on the money crunch, spend most of it exploring eating joints as they really are worth it. Plan a hike to Triund and night camp there, have heard it's an amazing experience of which I was devoid due to heavy rainfall. Check for the weather reports prior to your plans as in McLeodganj, it pours crazy (I went in July end). If you are visiting in rain or snow season, you can buy those plastic overalls you get in shops there, its cheap and if worn/handled carefully lasts long. Mine saved me through my Agra trip and is still kept folded for the next season.


My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- Temple

Don't underestimate the power of mountains, rest if you are going with friends and family or solo, this place will be worth in every aspect. McLeodganj has so much to offer, don't go for the norms but go for the extraordinary as it offers that if you know where to look. Enjoy nature in it's full glory.

Share you trip stories in the comment or have any query regarding trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj, ask me. I will try to solve it or provide you with the alternatives.




Monday, 5 November 2018

Trip to Lesser Known Peaceful Champawat

During all this break I took from blogging, I travelled. I travelled quite a lot, attended events, went on trip/s, visited home and much more. This post is dedicated to one such travel trip because this place and this journey etched it's mark on my memory. Champawat was not very well known to me but my cousin got married and is living nearby so after her grand wedding in my hometown, I went to attend her wedding reception. By the time I was there, plans to visit Kumaoni region was in making.

Trip to lesser know Champawat-Kumaoni Region

It's really amazing that India has so many beautiful scenic places and even if we travel each day of our lives, I feel there would still be some place left at the end. I never knew through out these years of my existence that there are these beautiful mountains few hours away from my place though I have heard of the places nearby. I am a mountain lover (though my stamina disagrees) and if there is one peaceful mountain I can cover then YES, I am all geared up.

Trip to lesser know peaceful Champawat-Kumaoni Region


Before starting with my experience of this place, I wish to tell you that so far I have travelled and relied mostly through/on public transport but if you are planning your visit to Champawat and further, public transport is not an option(or if it is. it's going to be really a hard one).

Road Trip From Sitapur to Tanakpur:

Trip to attend the reception was a sudden one and we were already so tired from the marriage but in the name of travel, I was all charged up. It hardly took 5-6 hours to reach the hotel venue in Tanakpur, there we got ready and headed straight to the wedding reception. Who knew the plans for next day would change for a trip to heaven?

Tanakpur to Champawat:

In past year or two, I have been to many mountains but let me assure you that the ones you see from Tanakpur are different ball game all together. As you go up the mountains it's a steep curvy ride to the first stop Champawat. This place is low on tourists and lowest on population, nothing like any other hill station. I would rather stay clear of the busy tourist places and spend most amount of time here, though the places to visit as a tourist spot are less but if you are one who enjoys nature more than anything then you are at the right place. Local cuisines are served at every corner and mela(fair) was the part of our one day stay here.

Trip to peaceful Champawat-Kumaoni Region

Champavat to Mayawati Ashram:

Another attraction of visiting Champawat is this ashram. This one is on the route to Lohaghat. Scenic beauty, serenity, calmness, cleanliness, garden and the view gives you positive vibes. If at all you plan to visit, go with free mind and enjoy some quality time away from the hustle and bustle of busy city. As I have mentioned earlier, public transport in this area are equal to none so make sure you are by your means.
My trip to Champawat, Mayawati Ashram- Kumaoni Region

Kumaon Region Champawat Mayawati Ashram

Mayawati Ashram to  Abbott Mount:

We moved further ahead to Abbott Mount, our initial plan before night was to see sunrise from the mountains but as we slept really late I only got to see an awesome sunrise from my room window(Yes I managed to get up that early). We visited the well made and curated cottages in Abbott Mount. This place for some reason unknown to me is vacant and without a soul nearby, even the caretaker was missing when we went. Himalayan ranges are visible from here but the weather wasn't clear to see them through clearly. Cottages are awesome experience in themselves and the place surrounding is quiet.

Cottages on Abbott Mount- Champawat-Kumaoni Region


My trip to Champawat- Kumaon Region- Abbott Mount Cottages

Every minute I spent in Champawat has been one awesome memory, from morning walk to the mela, from road ahead to up the hill, from huge tree to tiny flower, I enjoyed every bit of this beauty. I really wish that roses are that red everywhere else too and vines are greener(Yes roses there were huge and popping red).

My trip to Champawat- Kumaon Region- Sunrise

My trip to Champawat- Kumaon Region
My trip to Champawat-Kumaon Region


This journey was really short and the sweetest.

Plan a trip to lesser known areas, that ways you will enjoy the beauty of nature in its full glory and you might be the only one to do so at that moment. Share your best trip moments in the comments below, I would love to read your experiences. 😊





Thursday, 1 November 2018

Get Festival Ready

We sure are entering the festival season, one day celebration at a time and there is much more fun and festivities to come. In this post I will be covering all the nitty gritty of making sure that we are festival ready.

Getting Festival Ready this season

My advise for this festival season is to plan things in advance so by the time festival comes, you are all set to have fun and worry about nothing else. I am organised in most part of my life but this, my trips are sorted but everything else regarding it is un-planned though to my belief it's never too late to start anything. Am I  right or am I right?

Get festival Ready for this season

So without blabbering much I will get right to the business and you make a little check list along this read:

1). Book your Tickets:

In India, with Diwali season right upon us it's hard to get tickets for any transport medium at this point of time and any sorted individual would have already made sure that they have their tickets booked and in place but still if you haven't then get going with it. If you are asking the question that 'Why do we need tickets?' then my friends you are out of the few lucky ones who live with their family and you need not to worry about this struggle.

2). Manage your TIME in advance:

With festivals, we all plan our leaves in advance so it's really important to finish our work beforehand so that we are not troubled with work related queries during the holidays. Be supportive towards your sub-ordinates and be considerate as they are planning their work in advance too. With finally entering the Pre-Diwali weekend list down your tasks to perform and make sure to finish them before leaving for the final off.

3). Manage Finances:

Festivals do make you spend quite a lot than usual days, so make sure to keep your finances in check. Plan a small budget of what you have to buy for the house and family, put aside some money for it in advance so that while things go over the budget you are aware of it. Happy is the man who takes care of finances in advance than to cry over it later.

Now when the calculative points are taken care of let's come to less heavier ones:

4). Cleaning, De-Cluttering and Re-Organising Spree:

Don't procrastinate the cleaning routine anymore because if you keep everything for the last moment than there will be lot on your plate to finish by the time festival arrives. Get going with your de-cluttering routine by the weekend prior to the occasion because for deep-cleaning it takes more than the estimated time and while you are at it, re-organise your house for which you were planning for long. If in case whitewash is long due, than there is no better time for some germ kill and clean air.

5). Get your Mind and Body pampered:

Festivals are time to recreate, enjoy and have fun...what's the point of it all if your body and mind is involved elsewhere or tensed. Book yourself a salon appointment and treat your body with some calming massage or cleanse. This one is really needed after all the organising and managing you have been doing around the work and house.

6). Get your Wardrobe prepped:

This one is a biggest selling point of any festival season, we get our best attires out of our closet or best buy the new ones. Get your festival outfits sorted beforehand so that by the time festival comes, you are all prepped up for some glammed or muted festival look. Plan your makeup along the way as festivals are time for some great camera shots and selfies, you got to look your best for them and have some quality family time together.

7). Prepare Snacks and Food:

Festivals are time to chill with family so don't get busy with the kitchen whole day long, plan and prepare items for snacks beforehand so that by the day Diwali comes you have some leisure time. All my good festival memories consist of getting ready, making Rangoli, doing pooja and then hogging on some great homemade meal. Meal on festivals take the most of time as it's a special one so think and organise prior to the festival of what you are going to prepare and offer.

8). Gift and Packing:

There is lot you do on Diwali, you give gifts to your loved ones and give something to your domestic help too. I have made a list of some awesome Gift Ideas in my previous post. Plan all this prior to the festival as it's for everyone, if you give gifts and money in advance to your domestic help then they also will have something to look forward to this Diwali season. Plan and pack gifts for your loved ones in advance too as things kept for the last moment will already be too many.

Getting festival ready this season

Most of my post previous and coming are mostly festival related because I slowly am gearing myself up for the festival of lights so why not impart some wisdom along the way. Wishing you all the blissful festival in advance and try staying away from the crackers(burn but few. Stay alert and safe during this season, keep an eye on kids during cracker burning and be thoughtful towards any living being, your enjoyment might be hurting someone.

Getting festival ready this season

Be considerate and enjoy a ton with your loved ones, comment below your best festival stories and share this idea around. Show some LOVE this Diwali 😃.



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