Renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, nestled by the mighty and majestic snow-clad peaks of PirPanjal and the Dhauladhar Ranges, Himachal Pradesh is referred as dev bhoomi or 'Land of God'. The steep mountain slopes, deep valleys, meandering rivers, enchanting and picturesque hill-stations, apple orchards, sometime words fall short and our eyes are the only witness penning the essence of ethereal beauty of Himachal Pradesh.
The long scenic drives, the Beas river, the sun, filtered by clouds sliding over the looming mountains, can be your simplest and most enduring memory - welcome to the mystique and mesmerizing Himachal with 50+ Voyagers Travel and Adventure Club !
Serenity and a city are two diametrically opposite concepts, which however, get belied in the 'City Beautiful' – Chandigarh, a rare epitome of modernization co-existing with nature's preservation. In Chandigarh, trees and plants are as much a part of the construction plans as the buildings and the roads.
Arrive Chandigarh by train/flight by noon and check-in to the hotel. Spend afternoon/evening at your leisure visiting famous shopping malls and highstreets of Chandigarh.
Post breakfast, proceed to Sukhna Lake which is a reservoir at the foothills of the Himalayas. This rain fed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. Proceed to Rock garden. Creator of the Rock garden, Nek Chand was a Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Capital Project. He roamed the Shivalik foothills, picked up stones resembling bird, animal, human and with a collection of a staggering twenty thousand rock form of amazing beauty, he built the Rock Garden from this improvised hut which was located by the side of a stream.
We shall begin a lovely drive towards Shimla. On the way, we shall stop for lunch and upon reaching Shimla, check-in to the hotel. Snow-capped Shivalik Mountains and green pastures make Shimla one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. The nature has blessed this magical place with countless gifts - the pine deodar, oak and rhododendron forests, the majestic range of himalaya, valleys with whispering streams and swaying fields. In the afternoon, go for a leisure stroll to the Shimla Mall. The Mall of Shimla is the prime attraction due to large number of shops, restaurants, a heritage theatre and above all a hub of merriment. Admire astoundingly beautiful evening. Watch sunset - the vast blue skies marked with delicate hues of subdued orange, flamingo pink and crimson violet, all the colours eventually melts into a blue so dark and then you see a thousand stars at night.
If you love shopping take a stroll to Tibetian and the Lakkad bazaar, adjacent to the Mall of Shimla. Return back to hotel for dinner.
As the sweet morning glory and clear blue sky wish you good morning, prepare yourself to meet the "Queen of Hills" - Shimla. Within the town are host of splendid colonial edifices, quaint cottages and charming walks. Shimla offers a variety of shopping, sport and entertainment activities. In the morning hours, visit Viceregal Lodge, Shimla's most historically significant and architectural impressive architecture.
The official summer residence of the British viceroys was designed by Henry Irwin who is also known for having designed the Mysore Palace. The huge mansion made of grey sandstone resembles a cross between Harry Potter's Hogwarts and a Scottish baronial castle. The lodge witnessed many historically significant meetings related to independence movement during British Raj - Shimla Conference, Partition discussion. Post independence, till 1960, it was used as summer retreat of President of India - Rashtrapati Nilayam. The second President of India, Dr S Radhakrishnan handed this mansion over to the Ministry of education to set up Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, one of the most premier educational institutes in India.Spend afternoon at leisure at Shimla Ridge and admire spectacular views of the green mountain peaks of the land around you. Visit Christ Church, an icon of Shimla at the Ridge and visible from far distance. The Church is the second oldest church in northern India constructed in 1846-1857 and is designed by Colonel J. T. Boileau. You can see beautiful stained glass windows, the clock tower and the frescos inside the church. The clock on the church tower was put up in 1860. Return back to the hotel and have dinner at the hotel before retiring for a good night's sleep.
As morning sunrays greet you with a smile, get ready for an exciting day. After breakfast, we will check-out from the hotel and proceed to Kullu. En-route visit Pandoh Lake. Pandoh Lake, 1,360 m high with deep blue water, is on the Mandi-Kullu road (National Highway 21) and is 25 km from Mandi. It is a long and narrow lake and is the result of Pandoh Dam, which is across the Beas River and whose main purpose is to divert the river for power generation.
En-route we will cherish the beauty of Kullu Valley, lavishly gifted with superb scenic wealth. Kullu also known as 'Valley of Gods', has numerous temples and offers a scenic charm of peaceful wooded glades and rivers through the rocks. The Dashehra of Kullu is world famous. We will stop over at some view points for a spectacle of snow-covered mountains, almost within touching distance. Upon reaching Kullu by afternoon, check in to the hotel and have a delightful dinner.
Enjoy the breathtaking morning of Kullu and post breakfast proceed to an unforgettable drive to Manikaran. Before we step in the aura of the Parvati Valley, it is difficult to presume the tranquility and peace that can waft through the air. Well, the Parvati Valley is the perfect brew to calm an agitated soul. Set on the banks of the Parvati River and amidst picturesque mountains and the Parvati valley, Kasol is the little paradise. After a stopover at Kasol, as we proceed further, immerse yourself in the spirituality in Manikaran. The sacred town is famous all over for Manikaran Sahib (Gurudwara), Shiva temple and its hot sulphur springs, perched on the right bank of the roaring river 'Parvati'.
Manikaran is a retreat to feel peaceful and spiritually rejuvenated. The hot springs are hot enough to boil rice, and locals claim that is powerful enough to treat diseases of the nasal tract like rheumatism and bronchitis. You can take a deep into the hot water spring and then we will have delicious langar which is cooked in the hot water pool, at the Gurudwara. In the afternoon, we shall continue to Manali, the most magical and picturesque part of the road trip. Shortly river Beas will join us. Once we reach Manali, check in to the hotel and enjoy your dinner.
Look out for a misty morning in Manali from the window of your room. See how the white foggy curtain draped over the valley slowly disappears, giving way to astonishing range of snow clad and ever green mountains. Go for a morning walk and then enjoy your breakfast in serene atmosphere. Today we will go Hidimba Devi Temple which is surrounded by thick deodar forests and was built in 1553. The temple is dedicated to the Rakshasa Hidimba who was also the wife of the Pandava Bhima. The structure is made primarily of wood and 70 meters from the temple also lays the temple dedicated to Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhima and Hidimba and a hero of the Mahabharatha war. After Hidimba Devi Temple we will visit to Tibetan monasteries.
Manali houses three Tibetan monasteries famous for Tibetan Handicrafts and Carpets. Two of these Monasteries are located in the main down-town of Manali and one Monastery in Aleo. After lunch we will proceed to Club House and Van Vihar. Van Vihar is famous for deodar trees, on the bank of river Beas. Here you can try some exciting adventure activities. Remember Age is no bar when you travel with 50+ Voyagers. So dont worry and try some of the safest adventure activities like river rope crossing on Beas, an exprience you will never forget.
Discover yourself in the misty morning of Manali. Today we have a relaxing morning with a hearty breakfast. We will proceed for full day sightseeing of Rohtang Pass (Till Gulabo) and Kothi. Rohtang Pass is located in the eastern hills of the Pir Panjal Range and is gateway to the districts of Lahaul and Spiti. From Gulabo, you can either walk or take horse to climb further up on the hills to get spectacular panoramic view of glaciers, snowcapped mountains, green valleys and hidden waterfalls.
Note: Vehicles are allowed till Gulabo only and subject to weather condition/Govt rule, further approach towards Rohtant Pass miight be restricted.
Kothi is situated at the foothill of Rohtang pass at an altitude of 2500 m. It offers a magnificent view of snowcapped mountains and glaciers, the Beas river flows through a very deep and narrow gorge at this point. Kothi used to be a camping site when Rohtang pass had to be climbed on foot. After lunch we will proceed to Manu Temple in Old Manali. This magnificent temple is dedicated to the sage Manu, who is said to be the creator of the world and the writer of Manusmriti. By Afternoon, return back to Manali. You may Spend time at Manali bazaar and buy local arts-crafts, seasonal fruits strawberry, pears, blackberry and dry fruits. Return to hotel for a delightful dinner.
When morning rays bring new happiness to you, gear up for a spectacular drive back to Chandigarh. On the way buy fruits strawberry, pears, blackberry and dry fruits. Upon reaching Chandigarh, we shall check in to hotel.
Note: You may also take a flight from Kullu - Bhuntar Airport to your home town via Delhi.
Post early breakfast, proceed to Chandigarh Airport for your return flight back home. Bid goodbye and take home wonderful memories of Himachal Pradesh.
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