Guys Let’s have a look at the scintillating beauty of GOA in Monsoon ,before my detailed post comes across:)
Let’s refresh our thoughts ,minds & have a relaxing look !!
So just Wait for next post.. For some fauna’s ,hidden jewels of GOAn sea:)
An Excursion to Pangong:
PANGONG TSO lake , a synonym of pristine ,exquisite ,magnificent nature! & yes ,this is the last scene where 3 Idiots was shot. Getting curious?? Read on..
This day started as early as 6am to start off for Pangong & have a magnificent time there.
A bit of history:
Situated at approx. 4250mts ,far away in the barren terrain of Ladhak ,this gorgeous lake spread across 134 kms ,60% of which lies in China(Basically Tibet ,but the region is controlled by Chinese) & rest 40% in India. It falls under the Army & require special approvals to access the same (An Inner Line Permit is required to visit the lake as it lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control)
Travel from Leh to Pangong :
Approx. 155-160 Kms from Leh , it took us some 5 hours to reach Pangong lake via Changla Pass.
The scintillating route is something which keeps you binding & fall in love with this place even before reaching.
So the route took as –
Leh –Karu (45 Kms) ,this is the easiest Leh Manali stretch which makes your car run with great road maintenance
Karu –Chang La(35Kms) – Initially the roads are good but once Changla peak is touched which again gives you a cold chill in itself , slowly the roads begin to deteriorate. Hault at CHangla is a must to enjoy the chill waves & have some play in the snow spreaded across. At 17800 ft ,it is the 2nd highest pass & you can have a very warn handshake & pic with the saviours of our Nation…Our very own Army:) .On the top ,there is a Changla Baba temple with a little story & a cabin to protect oneself from the shrill of weather & enjoy some hot black tea & momo’s!!
Chang La -Tanskey (58Kms) – Next few Kms are a real adventure with dreaded roads in a very difficult terrain ,but the serene natural beauty is damn sure make you forget the tough time.. Although a rough patch ,but the amazing changing views & all shades of nature in a single stretch makes you feel stunned. Grasslands with little wild flowers in the mid ,rivulet flowing near to it ,huge rocky mountains on left & snowy caped in right? Isn’t it a miraculous place to be at? Horses running down the grasses just adds to the beauty of the passage. We did stop & took break for 15-20 minutes to capture these enticing scenes & imprison them in our eyes & minds for ever:)
Tangste (Tanskey) has few hotels & is a good place for a lunch stoppage!
Tanskey –Pangong Tso (32 Kms) – The similar views continue in this passage ,with sometimes water streams in the mid of the roads making a good splash & awakening you for a gala time . A mini crystal blue lake appears some 5-7 kms before the actual origin of Pangong ,which made a picnic spot for us.. Locating numerous fishes ,portraying the beauty & having Sandwiches made our 30-40 minutes fantastic one.
And yes in this stretch ,you will find numerous “Marmot” running here & there..Do keep an open eye to locate these beautiful creatures:) . You could also locate Ibex & beautiful horses post Chang La.
The air soars with freshness ,smiles crops ups widening slowly as some pristine ,huge ,very huge lake starts to appear .Simply breathtaking panorama ,every sight wants to be clasped ,embraced ..Such is the power of this location! The banks house Military camp & few Eco –huts as well. Drive on the rocky terrain until you reach close enough to the lake & appraise the tranquillity.
Here comes Pangong:
One of the brackish lakes in Asia ,the very first glimpse of this pristine Bluish –greenish lake made me fall in Love with itJ Winters leave this lake completely frozen ,despite it being completely saline lake(have even heard of few camps which allow walking on it& can be a superb adventure ,do browse if you wanna try something like this) . Sunrays coming amidst the mountains make the water change its shades so often that you feel magical here. Just don’t do anything ,sit & play on the beach ,walk in the lake near to shores , gaze at the beautiful birds as Brahmani Ducks ,Brown –headed gulls ,Black –necked cranes (if you are lucky enough to spot the specie) ,capture every scene ,as these few hours will make the best & an unforgettable moment for a lifetime. Due to salinity ,there is not much aquatic life or Fishes here except crustaceans.
You’ll never feel to go back to camp site or hotel or even the town you came from ..Such is the binding property of this paradise, serenity which allows you to feel bliss, forgetting all behind! It was this location which prompted me to visit at least once a year & it has been twice that I have been here in past 2 years!
By evening we had to bid adieu to this lake & happily returned back to the hotel.
Last day was a complete relaxation & a self-drive/walk mode for us .Never wishing to return back ,but this trip had come to an end ,but yes we vowed to love this place for life time & pledged to begin a living at some point of life to have the complete harmony amidst tranquillity of Ladhak!
To check out my “Nubra Diary” click on – https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/tranquil-zenith-leh-part-i/
Let’s also have brief on Leh City ,read on – https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/city-roamer-leh-part-iii/
Curious about Diskit ,Samstanling Monasteries ?Read on at –https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/meeting-with-serenity-nubra-leh-part-ii/
PART II : NUBRA To LEH via Diskit Monastery
A lovely cloudy morning welcomed us again, drizzling all through the greens of our cottage & we enjoying on the “sleep nets” tied across the trees, relaxing lazily in the morning drizzles. No work, no responsibility, only gazing at the mesmerizing nature was the work left to us;) .After having han interesting breakfast at the cottage of yummy aloo parantha’s ,sipping hot elaichi tea sitting amidst the trees gave a great encounter of the tranquillity. Post breakfast we had to head back to Leh via monastery visit as Diskit & Samstanling!
So, here we reach Diskit Monastry: We visited Leh , Diskit Gompa in the month of July & we were amazed by the incredible magnificence of nature lying in this region.
Diskit Monastery is situated in Nubra Valley, on top of a hill (close to 60-70 stairs), above the plains of river flowing close by from the huge rocky mountains (which can be heard gushing through the mountains) while climbing the hill for monastery.
It is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery (termed as gompa’s in Leh) & encompasses the statue of “Maitreya” Buddha in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities. Just opposite to the Buddha prayer hall, is another part of monastery, having huge statue of “Maa Durga” which is said to be worshiped only once a year.
Near Diskit monastery is a massive scintillating, 32 mt. Buddha Statue termed as “Future Buddha”& can be seen overhead the hill. View from this place gives heavenly peace & ensure that we fall in love with the nature once again!
Also ,Route to Nubra Valley gives you the most stupendous enjoyable & chilling feel ,while crossing “Khardung La” (18379 ft) &It can be acclaimed that this place is the heavenly abode & not to be missed in lifetime. En-route, we were lucky enough when God showered Snowflakes on us..For some 4-5 kms we experience light snow flakes, so pleasant, a complete merriment!!
Samstanling Monastery, located in one of the remotest villages ,Summor Village ,is a place amidst a picturesque valley. Home to some 50-60 Monks ,it’s a calm ,serene place , close to which flows waterfall & a stream from huge mountains in the back .Also un-crowded ,this place especially amidst waterfall gives you a gala time to chill out in the stream.
A travel of 5 hours brought us back to Leh, & after having yummy Lafa’s & Almond cakes at the local restraunt, we proceeded for the most awaited visit to Leh Market .With an amazing collection of art ,stones ,Leh Bazaar is an optimum place for antique lover with lots of souvenirs & some fabulous art available . Relaxed ,returned at our lovely stay to enjoy a fulfilling mean in the evening.
You would love to read of “My precious Pangong” ,click on –https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/living-on-the-edge-pangong-leh-part-iv/
To check out my “Nubra Diary” click on – https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/tranquil-zenith-leh-part-i/
Let’s also have brief on Leh City ,read on- https://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/city-roamer-leh-part-iii/
Travel Brief :
It had been approx. 6 months of going through the preeminent & simultaneously the most rigorous phase in life of any woman…Yes, I’m talking about Motherhood..A fascinating beginning, a significant optimism, a sparkling smile, is what this word ushers our lives with!
First time experience had to be adventurous, with bounty of new surprises day by day ,some snatching the leisure time ,compelling us to work more hard ,& some bringing a sense of joy & contentment within! But ,amongst all this ,I had waited that as soon as my kid turns 6m ,Me ,a “traveloholic” person would begin my travel diary again(after a break of approx.a year) & yes I had been frantically googling for a leisure trip nearby to Delhi.
Many places in Uttarakhand shortlisted, few rejected keeping in mind sudden changes of temperature for the 6m old, some rejected for long distances..A frenzied me…24 hours of hunt zeroed out the little pristine hill station of “Lansdowne”, a weekend Garhwali destination to rejuvenate & chill out!
Gusto set in me!!Well it was a well deserved break!! Bags packed & we (along with our travel friends) boarded our train direct to the Kotdwar, a perfect ride with kids enjoying their first train journey with ample eagerness! Gush of winds blowing past our faces , Little drizzling ,fragrance of wet trees @Kotdwar while climbing own the train itself enthralled me & I dreamt of a perfect 3 day weekend!
So easy to reach Lansdowne from Kotdwar, frequent 8-10 seaters available which drop to the destined hotel..Well, we had intentionally got a resort booked which was some 20 Kms before Lansdowne main city..S.B. Mount Resort —A perfect resort –
We reached our resort by 4pm, with hunger pangs reckoning our body systems…Within 5 minutes, we requested resort manager to arrange lunch tables for us..Wow, that seemed absolutely pleasant, table in lawn, stream flowing across, & we pouncing on nearly home-made food..Paneer lababdaar ,mix veg.,daal makhani ,raita ,kheer ,salad…& hot fulka’s..In just 5 minutes I felt myself so vivid, so overwhelmed being in vicinity to the nature. A stomach full lunch demands some rest …but don’t forget our 6 months old kids were with us..So had to make them take a nap for at least & hour which gave us also the chance to relax..
Weather was pleasant, drizzling had stopped, stomach was tight, all this called for a trek right ahead on the hillock opposite to the resort..But the question…KIDS?? C’mmon, for adventure loving parents, kids might have got those genes right at the birth.So, we decided to take them along with us..Harsh , narrow ,insignificant path throughout the trek..Didn’t knew where it would lead to…few steps & then anxiety of kids gripping us…but yes we did it…we reached the top ,which was a big plane ,with a spectacular scene of the surroundings !!Wow, it gave us a great sense of accomplishment! With sun-setting in the scene cannot be described..We just stayed & captured the beauty in our lenses for next 30-35 minutes..As the night was beginning to fall, we decided to climb down & reach back for a tempting Dinner .Day 1 passed chatting across the tables, mostly around these naughty boys, their tantrums & plan for next 2 days 🙂
It had to be special, very special, with clouds engulfing all night & experiencing good rains .Morning was stunning…Little sunshine peeking from the huge trees & drizzling simultaneously made a merry morning! Soon drizzling stopped & we decided to welcome dawn by having coffee besides the river stream, puling our chairs across it..So serene, so calm, it had been ages I had experienced this serenity (before this my last trip was to China, which didn’t got me into calm mode ;))
A rejuvenating hour …shook…wake up…my kid was wailing in search of me 😉 Yes, it was his breakfast time too & my coffee time was over !So an hour of cajoling & pampering, we all got ready to head towards Lansdowne..Well the manager had suggested..Book a cab for an easy ride…but we don’t understand easiness ;)Well, we planned to opt for local bus & have its ride..God, such an entertaining ride was it…Kids almost slept & we enjoying local music, with those sharp & steep twists & turns reached main town of Lansdowne..Well, it’s a pretty small town & requires just a day to enjoy the tourist places & rest dedicate all time to admire the beauty it entails within itself.
We covered 5 places in a span of 8-9 hours, although a bit hectic yet delightful…
With a day full of bliss, calmness, we returned back to our hotel by 8 in the night only to find an amazing night hosted with DJ & dance floor ready for us to rock with the nature!
A break of 30 minutes to stretch out & then we rocked the dance floor with other groups as well..That was absolutely astonishing & a memorable experience to make our lil kido dance in our arms .With no mood to stop ,rather bon fire in the midst of windy night elevated our moods & for next 2 hours there was no looking back from the dance floor (yes ,we took breaks to pacify ,feed kids ) ,but that was the perfect ending of the day ..Seeing hot gulab jamuns at the other end of the table, mouth watered us & finally we planned to break from the dance floor & grab the sumptuous hot dinner & yummy delicacies of halwa & Jamun’s
What a sparkling day it was!
Well Lansdowne has nothing more than this, but we had our train in after noon, so had a great chance to experience another captivating morning!
This morning gave me a chance to watch beautiful birds, although drizzling post 8 narrowed down my search, but still I was pleasantly surprised & glad to follow those colourful birds to capture them .
A relaxed breakfast made our start ecstatic & we decided to climb down into the stream to have some delightfully brilliant pic before returning back to the hustle bustle city of Delhi!
Very short but a blissful trip, a must visit place to experience serenity!!!
Do’s & don’t with kids as small as 6 months –
1. Plan a short trip of 2-3 days only as it does not hamper your kid’s routine
2. Try to make journey as comfortable as it can be ;Train is one of the most comfortable mode & kids too enjoy it
3. Check out the weather on Hill stations & do take along an extra inner wear for kids
4. Don’t plan travel/sightseeing at a stretch, take tours of some 4-5 hours & then break for relaxation with kids.
5. Prefer not to take kids on twisty routes as we took from Lansdowne to Tarkeshwar as kids are prone to motion sickness on those routes & vomit out frequently, also they become cranky on those routes.
6. Do take Gripe Water/Bonisan to avoid constipation to kids
Fun, Food & F1!!My Way to define Singapore! A definition from the mouth of hunger soul…A greedy look from the eyes of a food obsessed & a ravenous fragrance from Food lover!
“We are born to work & to work we need to eat” Do you understand my kid.. Oh No mom..I guess I’m born to eat & work later to digest it ;)”, Various countries have their own significant tastes which bring forward their cultures & I feel my utmost duty towards every nation by contributing to their food economy.” You hungry chap..Go roam around & eat up the delicacies…See, I convinced Mom to initiate my Hunger-o-holic travel to Asia post covering most of the India & relishing the utmost taste from Idli Sambhar & Payasam to Hyderabadi Biryani & Fish curry to Paneer Tikka Masala..
So here comes the Map of Asia, Korea…China…Thailand …Nah…Few destinations for Love birds, few for cultures ,but for me ,a hunger & F1 lover ,It has to be Singapore..Won’t it be a fun watching F1 from the Flyer, savoring on Laksa, Carrot Cake, topped with Ice Kacang? Not a bad Idea at all!
Guess ,nothing can be better than sizzling Singapore street food market or to land at Gluttons Bay to swoop on that delicious Laksa ,the sight of hanging long vermicelli getting filtered out of coconut milk ,Pok with Fish slices has already started giving me hunger pangs …
God ,all my hands are fighting with my tounge ,I want to Grab up that yummy ,thin ,sleek papery figure of “Popiah” & have it fully packed with delicious cooked carrot & beans ,filed with those lettuce leaves ,sausages…Thanks to Qi Ji,Miow Sin Popiah for giving a chance to praise the beauty & taste of it:)
Being a lover of Indian food & why to miss out the indianized version of our very own Roti –Prata? You Crispy Roti..Should I add Ice-cream to you or My red bean prata..You are so crispy, so thin, You have the redness of Beans oozing out of you…& Prata Benedict..Prata so saucy..With egg & Ham…Nothing could have been better than “Prata Place” offering these luscious, most scrumptious mouthwatering foods to my plate!
Why to miss on the desserts…Ice Kacang..You are so colorful..You make my life bright..an icy mountain with jellies,palm seeds,red beans ,drizzled with condensed milk ,rose syrups ,topped with Ice cream…Your look has made me fall in love with you just at first sight..
Thanks to http://discover.stayfareast.com/ ,with wide range of food hosted along with their availability..
Bags Packed from 17-19th Sep’2015, to pounce on a destination synonym for my amazing relishing food & many more can join in being Shop-a-holics or Architecture,Beach, adventure lovers, to a perfect gateway to South east Asia ..It’ll be me.My food, My F1 & my lifetime experience.
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Continuing from Part I —-Day 2 & day 3
To find solace amidst our professional lives drove us to picturesque spiritual place in the Himalayas “Rishikesh”.Although Haridwar- Rishikesh are more synonymous to Devotion & yogic sentiment, but we categorically chose it to sense our passion for Adventure & find solace amidst.To chill out ,our 2 friends drove from Jaipur & we started our Journey from delhi ,early morning @5am. Initial feelings viewing lush green paddies ,beautiful sunrise aroused a sense of pleasantness & a lively trip ahead.Our stay was per-determined @the Natural habitat of”tents” besides the bed of River Ganges.Post drive of 4 hrs ,chants of Mantras ,Bhajanas ,ringing Bells embarked the onset of Haridwar & all of a sudden religious feelings surrounded me. Crossing Haridwar& reaching our tents on the suburbs of Rishikesh took another 1hr but that route drove us crazy.Arrival @ “A-Star” tent was signaled by the hoarding aside the hill ,but we could no where find it.It wore a deserted look ,but as luck would have it ,we saw a Nepali man(our attendant) approaching us & sooner we realized that our Tents were deep down the hill & it took us 40-50 steps climbing down into a deep gorge sort to reach our place for hibernation for next 1 day.Wow! What an affectionate welcome! Our journey to adventure had already begun as soon as we entered the “green house shed as our Lunch & Dinner room” ; a huge sandy beach pertaining s our playground ;& Tents as our sole shelter (& not to forget natural rocky loos but yes with water facilities).Just a panoramic view sparkled my eyes & I exclaimed! Just 20 ft from our tent ,was river Ganges flowing gracefully. Fresh Sweet lemon water & a simple “home-made” lunch with wide variety was the next surprise awaiting us!We quickly immersed ourselves to get pampered by the compassionate management @the tents.Next adventure in line was tier 4 River Rafting, which took an hour for us to drive to the spot “Sangam” where our co-rafters hanged around. Post getting coached for the rafting ,with all preparation to avoid any untoward any incident ,we were all set to begin our 2nd Raft experience (post River Teesta@ gangtok).We dressed as Rafters & got ready full of energy for a bumpy ride lasting for 3.5 hrs .Initial 5-6 kms were simple sailing & more of a preparatory sessions for the forthcoming “tier 3-4 Rapids named as –Seven sisters,3 Blind Mice & bla bla). But within next 15 minutes, we encountered our first rapid ,2 huge tides roaring & moving hastily towards us, with all our strength ,we rowed in sync & got thru’ ,but soon realized that it got us completely wet through .It aroused a sense of exhilaration & more preparedness for the upcoming biggest “Seven sisters rapid”.
As we saw the raft ahead us approaching the Rapid ,& it vanished the very next moment ,left us with our hearts thumping hard ,but soon we saw the edges of raft getting pushed out of the tide post 30 sec , gave us a sigh of relief & encouraged us all the more.Hard rowing begun moving against the huge huge seven sisters (7 tides together)& OMG!! This was splendid,simply superb as the tide threw us harshly inside the tide & river ,then pushing us on the top ,then again deep inside & finally on emerged out of the tide ,took our breaths away .But that was not the stop to it ,as we saw the very next rapid (3 Blind mice) moving in agony towards us. With all our might to counter the mighty tide ,we somehow managed to prevent overturning of our raft (as the earlier raft had over turned ),nothing could have been more magnificent than this . Gosh! Our hearts pounding loud enough ,we screamed , yelled ,tears flowing down the eyes with a smile on the faces thanking “Ma Ganga” for giving us such a scintillating memories of all our lives.But this was not the end of our adventure ,as we soon saw an opportunity for Cliff JumpingI was the first one to announce to have this part of adventure (being non-swimmer) & it was confirmed by our guide who informed that this hillock was some 25-30 ft high & higher one was some 35-40 ft high, giving us an adrenaline rush.Tying our Raft to a rock ,we disembarked & started climbing the hill (pre-ordering Hot delicious Maggie on the side stall) & reached the lower cliff (30 ft)& my hubby on the higher one .But standing at this height for the first timer ,blew away all confidence out of me in nano seconds & gave me a realization –God! I cannot! Fight between my mind & heart started as usual , unnerving me ,sensation less feeling ,sudden shivering of my hands & legs, face turning pale & driving me Numb all through, standing at the edge of the hillock .But ,I had to encounter this ,& my Hubby’s (good swimmer)jump from higher cliff alarmed me & aroused 5% confidence ,which I felt was enough at that spurt of moment .Thinking & praying all the Gods & pardoning for all misdeeds ,I just wished GOD to be my savior & yes I did it .I plunged myself in the hands of Ma Ganga.
No words of Oxford could have ever described those flash of moments ,as soon as I bumped deep in the river & came out with loud thump & a sense of satisfaction aroused ,but none later I realized that i was all alone in the midst of the river (my hubby was far away taken by the water current) & a tide slowing moving towards me .Crying for help ,I realized that my guide had taken a dive post me ,ensuring that someone was close to me for my safety. With his initial help I crossed the tide & had a miraculous feeling on seeing my hubby moving swiftly towards me . His touch & sense gave me a sense of bliss & I relished inside the river for some more time & pounced on the hot Maggie coming out of my Brave Act;)We did encounter ,2 more huge rapids but those were noting in front of my Brave & Mighty jump.
Out ,post 3.5 hr Rafting ,pledging happiness ,we drifted slowly towards our “Natural habitat” .What a warm welcome to our delight, Bonfire ,light melodies of Kishore Kumar ,next to free flowing Ganges ,we savored to hot Kebabs, Paneer pakora’s & Adrak Tea ! It had a big big relaxing effect .As the moonlight spreadened, stars coming out from their shelters sparkling, provoked a sensation of tranquility & we soon decided that our sleep Bed’s would be on River bed & not inside the tents .So my next round of Jungle adventure started ,with deep silence , no noise ,all in deep sleep.Suddenly ,I woke up with trees whistling loudly ,river gushing with high tides (tides get on peak during nights) ,God that was unnerving ,finding all deep asleep & me alone was pondering with fear that night of horror. With a feeling of deep conjuring amidst the black night, hovered by huge trees ,I had actually lost my sleep for the next 4 hrs. I indulged in the thoughts of all spirit stories ( had spelt on me by our Nepali attendant last evening ) assuming & self deciding their factual. I just kept praying & really God must’v had pity on me,as soon as I heard Birds chirping ,bidding bye to black night & welcoming the beautiful “rays of life”.
One of the most scenic morning saluted us & we sipped our hot tea sitting on our beds, admiring the Nature & all discussing of the sound & gracious sleep they had last night (except me ,who just accepted their views of sound sleep ,with a panicky smile;)) .
At 6am ,we were ready from our beds & aroused a sportsman with us , equipped to start with Badminton on the beach ,followed by Beach Volley ball”.In the need of relaxation ,we practiced yoga & meditation (with sun bath) aside the river ,which did cast a spell of freshness in me.Post breakfast ,it was packing back to re-enter the busy hustle bustle life of Delhi ,but that could not get complete without taking a feel of River Ganga again! For an hour we played inside the river ,did lots & pots of “Chai chap chai” to bid final adieu to the amazing nature & realization of all over in Love again!
Distance from Delhi -Approx. 240 km to Haridwar & further 40 Km to Camp site.
Mode of Travel – We went by car ,frequent Trains & Buses available from Delhi.
Best time to visit- Anytime during the year except May-Aug (Summers(spl for Tent stay) & rainy season)
Best place to stay– Rule out luxury resorts & opt for some Jungle tents available at
What not to miss– Rafting ,Cliff jump ,Trekking,Evening Aarti at Ghat .