Travel – ScrollDroll http://www.scrolldroll.com When you Scroll, We Droll Mon, 05 Nov 2018 08:38:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://www.scrolldroll.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/cropped-logo-16x16-32x32.png Travel – ScrollDroll http://www.scrolldroll.com 32 32 Mahabaleshwar – A Mountainous Tryst http://www.scrolldroll.com/mahabaleshwar-a-mountainous-tryst/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 11:42:56 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=16470

We turned on the keys to the journey from Pune, and a three-hour long drive led us to our destination for the weekend, Mahabaleshwar. A quaint, lush hill-station at the heart of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Located in the Sahyadri mountain range, Mahabaleshwar served as the summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay province. On […]

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We turned on the keys to the journey from Pune, and a three-hour long drive led us to our destination for the weekend, Mahabaleshwar. A quaint, lush hill-station at the heart of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Located in the Sahyadri mountain range, Mahabaleshwar served as the summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay province. On the way to Mahabaleshwar, we stopped at The Lingmala waterfalls in Panchagani. It was one of the most beautiful places in the entire stretch of the road journey. The water was crystal clear and almost as cold as a chilly winter morning breeze. Spending time at the waterfall washed away all the fatigue from the drive and the cold water refreshed us for the rest of the journey up to Mahabaleshwar.

Lingmala waterfalls, Panchgani

Upon reaching Mahabaleshwar, we revelled in the deliciousness of authentic Maharashtrian cuisine. The food was wholesome, tasted very different from the usual Indian food. The exotic spices in the food added to its deliciousness, taking our taste buds on a roller coaster ride.

On our way to Mahabaleshwar, we drove to Mapro Gardens. The garden park was set up by Mapro and is used to cultivate strawberries. They also produce chocolates there, along with different kinds of jams, squashes, and candies. I could not stop myself from cheating on my diet plan and munched on all the sweetmeats. It was totally worth it.

Mapro garden

Lodwick and Elephant Head Points were the two main attractions that we covered around Mahabaleshwar. Lodwick Point is about 5 km to the west of Mahabaleshwar and the unique landscape of the place provides an exquisite view of the Pratapgarh Fort and Elphinstone Point. Elephant Head Point is a little further ahead of Lodwick Point and it gets its name from the rock formations that resemble the head of elephants. Visitors flock to these places all year round and it is an excellent spot for photography and witness nature’s scenic beauty.

Lodwick point, Mahabaleshwar
Elephant head, Mahabaleshwar

One of most splendorous experiences I went through at Mahabaleshwar was boating on the Venna Lake. A chill in the wind hit the mist covered lake, making it all the more romantic and jaw-droppingly beautiful.
The smart backpack that I had with me on this journey, is one hell of an invention by The Carriall Co. The anti-theft system is the most important feature of the bag. It comes with a Bluetooth device that you place in the bag, which can then be tracked using a smartphone through the Carriall app; so you’ll always know where your bag is. Another cool thing about the bag is that it has multi pockets to stuff everything that you need. The pockets make it is easy to organise your things and I had no problem fitting my camera, lenses, stabiliser, chargers and travel essentials into the backpack. Even though I had so many things, the backpack still had some space to spare. There was a continuous light drizzle at Mahabaleshwar and I was not carrying an umbrella; this was not an issue as the backpack is completely waterproof. Not a single droplet of water made it past the waterproof outer layer of the backpack. This is such a blessing for a place like Mahabaleshwar, where it can rain at any time of the day. As we hiked around clicking photos and shooting videos, my phone’s battery started to drain a lot of juice, but the Carriall Backpack came to my rescue. It has a USB port that can be connected to your power bank and you can charge your phone on the go. You get to carry everything you need along with an access port for your power-bank in this amazing backpack. It is a definite must-have for all travel enthusiasts who love carrying multiple types of equipment and essentials on their journey.

The journey was fruitful and relaxing, it was a calming experience smack in the middle of the year. The lush hills of the Western Ghats and the continuous drizzle made this getaway a very special one. India is truly incredible and a place like Mahabaleshwar just shows how incredible India really is. Hope you like the place as much as I did.

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#UnseenUttarakhand with Panasonic Lumix G85 http://www.scrolldroll.com/panasonic-lumix-g85-review/ Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:06:45 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=15471

During our recent #UnseenUttarakhand road trip, we had the privilege of having some hands-on experience with the Panasonic Lumix G85 camera. The road trip was designed to explore the lesser known and unexplored reaches of the Rudraprayag district in the state of Uttarakhand. We set out from Delhi on our Bullets and were headed to […]

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During our recent #UnseenUttarakhand road trip, we had the privilege of having some hands-on experience with the Panasonic Lumix G85 camera. The road trip was designed to explore the lesser known and unexplored reaches of the Rudraprayag district in the state of Uttarakhand. We set out from Delhi on our Bullets and were headed to the first destination on the list, Chopta. The base of the trek to the Chandrashila peak, via Tungnath.

Upon reaching, we could not resist photographing the serene landscapes on the mirrorless G85. The camera is compact and it is ideal for travelling especially on a bike. We used the camera to take some breathtaking shots of the Himalayan landscape. G85 is a mirror-less camera and that makes it stand out from the rest of the mid-range mirrored cameras like the Canon 80D which I was using earlier. Its size makes it an ideal option for bikers, trekkers, and travellers.

We were not lucky enough and the trip was marred by bad weather conditions and heavy cloud cover. This is where the G85’s Intelligent Auto Mode came in handy. The continually changing conditions made it difficult for us to adjust the setting manually and we had to rely on the Intelligent Auto Mode. The mode works surprisingly very well and produces stunning results.

With the camera, you can take some very beautiful high-resolution timelapses. To shoot a timelapse you can adjust the settings and manually set the number of shots over time. The video also gets compiled in the camera itself and you don’t need any external software to carry out the same.

 

The G85’s image resolution is very sharp and extremely clear when you shoot landscapes in natural light, and with it, you can also shoot amazing 4K videos. The Weather Sealing ensures the camera’s optimum performance in all kinds of weather. We can vouch for the camera during the monsoons as we had no issue at all.

 

The Panasonic Image App connects the camera to your smartphone and lets you transfer your photos and videos over WiFi. Another cool feature of this camera is the touchscreen control panel. It also has its own battery grip accessory — the first non-GH-series Lumix camera to sport a battery grip. Matching the rugged durability of the G85’s construction, the accessory grip is also fully weather sealed.

Image Source 

One thing that you must remember when you travel with a camera capable of shooting 4K videos – carry a large memory card. You will be needing a lot of space for the 4K videos, and also because you will be clicking literally everything you see with the awesome Lumix G85.

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Paragliding across the skies in Bir Billing http://www.scrolldroll.com/paragliding-in-bir-billing/ Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:53:04 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=15448

Himachal Pradesh is synonymous to adventure sports, in India. The hub of road trippers, trekkers and all other adrenaline junkies. We too had one of the one such experience at Himachal, Paragliding at India’s First and Highest Paragliding Site, Bir Billing. On 22nd June, we boarded a flight to Dharamshala for an experience of a […]

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Himachal Pradesh is synonymous to adventure sports, in India. The hub of road trippers, trekkers and all other adrenaline junkies. We too had one of the one such experience at Himachal, Paragliding at India’s First and Highest Paragliding Site, Bir Billing. On 22nd June, we boarded a flight to Dharamshala for an experience of a lifetime. Paragliding over the Himalayas and capturing it on Panasonic’s Lumix cameras. After de-boarding the flight at the beautiful hilltop airport in Dharamshala, we headed to the campsite which was our home for the trip. On our way up-hill, we stopped for lunch at Sarovar Portico in Palampur. The revolving restaurant there Cloud 7, was a delight and food was amazing too.

View from Sarovar Portico, Palampur
Lunch at Sarovar Portico, Palampur
 

We quickly covered the rest of the road journey and reached the campsite before the day ended. In the evening we had a leisurely walk up to the take-off point, I was stunned. Literally stunned. A vast open meadow, a nerve chilling slope and clouds swaying across a deep crimson sky. It was more than perfect.
We returned to our luxury tents at the campsite before nightfall to relax, snooze and refresh. It was then that we attended the orientation workshop to guide us with the features of the Panasonic Lumix G7, GH5, GH5S, G85, cameras. The awesomeness of the evening was beautifully complemented by drink, dance, bonfire, barbecue and a  lavish dinner.

We woke up to a breathtaking view the next day, magestic mountains, beautiful sky, greenery all around… As soon as we gobbled down the breakfast provided at the campsite, we were pumped up and headed up to the take-off point. Soon, the gear was set up and the first professional pilot took off towards the horizon. A loud cheer roared and within moments we are airborne. Strong winds fluttered loose ends of our clothes, and I could feel the gust in my hair through the protective helmet. My camera was set up but I lost track and forgot to shoot my take off. Who wouldn’t? 20 minutes of pure bliss and 20 minutes behind the camera, but completely in the moment. The worries of the world escaped me, and the rush of hormonal amines took over everything that I am, I was and I will be. The Himalayas had me swaying in oblivion. It was an experience like no other. 

After I landed, I started shooting each paraglider that followed. The entire scene looked theatrical, and we captured some splendid photos and videos.
We said goodbye to the pilots and hiked to the Land of Waterfalls, Gunehar River Pool & Waterfalls. The place had earned this moniker due to its unique landscape and numerous waterfalls. We had to cover a beautiful and serene trek of about an hour from the landing point. With the great Panasonic Lumix cameras in our hands we captured stunning photographs and awesome 4K, cinemagraph and timelapse videos. It was an amazing learning experience, like no other that I have ever had.

Tsering Jong Monastery, Bir

Post this we were taken to some of the most tranquil monasteries and it was there that our bellies rejoiced over a scintillating hot lunch. We then headed to check out some of the local sightseeing areas. The best part about this was the fact that we explored the area on mountain bikes. We visited some of the most tranquil monasteries and quaint villages. The roads between vast verdant meadows were extremely marvellous. It was a great warming-down experience for all the rush that had us pumped. The places were picture perfect and I got tonnes of display photos for my social media handles. Just saying’ guys!

Nyingma Monastery

With traditional dance and a soul-warming bonfire, we let sleep take us to the past and in the air, under the paraglider, all over again. In the morning that followed, after breakfast, we headed out to check out the fabled city of Dharamshala. The city needs no description, we all know how beautiful it is and most of us have explored its obscure secrets too. Soon, our trip’s itinerary signalled its curtain call and we knew we had to head home.


Here’s my quick guide to Bir Billing 

Why Visit?

Soar between the majestic Himalayan landscape. Explore the heart of nature on foot and visit tranquil monasteries scattered around the area.

 

How to Reach? 

Bir Billing is 50 km from Dharamshala and you can cover it in about 2 hours. Fly to Dharamshala or take an overnight bus from ISBT in New Delhi.

What to do? 

It is a perfect place for long weekends and adventure trips. A hiker’s paradise, the area can also be explored on bikes and bicycles.

Special Tips 

– Maintain physical fitness

– Wear light shoes, and make sure they are tied secure

– Make sure the shoes have a good grip for landing and takeoffs

– Wear a light wind-sheeter and heavy-duty types of denim

– Sunscreen and rad looking shades for all those DPs you’ll be clicking.

– Lastly, DO NOT forget to enjoy. 🙂

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Unseen Uttarakhand’s Most Beautiful Landscapes http://www.scrolldroll.com/uttarakhandlandscapes/ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 15:19:14 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=15365

The parts of Uttarakhand we generally hear about are  places like Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Nainital and Jim Corbett. But Uttarakhand is also a home to several hidden treasures. One such region that caught our attention lately was the Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand. This district nestles some of the most pristine valleys and picturesque treks in […]

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The parts of Uttarakhand we generally hear about are  places like Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Nainital and Jim Corbett. But Uttarakhand is also a home to several hidden treasures. One such region that caught our attention lately was the Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand.

This district nestles some of the most pristine valleys and picturesque treks in the Himalayan region. Most of the destinations in this region is a 14-15 hours journey from the capital city of Delhi. This time we decided to experience the untouched natural beauty of this region. We carried a Panasonic Lumix G85 camera with us – a camera that good help us shoot the beautiful landscapes as well as create amazing 4k videos and time lapses.

Here are a few of the best landscapes we shot during this trip and how we captured it.

Deorial Tal Trek & The Lake

Deoria Tal is one of the high altitude lakes located in Uttarakhand. This lake is reachable by a 2.3 km  trek from Sari Village – 55 km from the city of Rudraprayag. The trek route to this lake gave us some of the most beautiful frames of the mountains around this region. We used the Intelligent auto feature of the Panasonic Lumix G85 to capture these images. It produced good results adjusting the camera settings to capture the landscape quite well.

Mountains and Clouds Enroute (Shot On Panasonic Lumix G85)

Deoria Tal Lake (Shot On Panasonic Lumix G85)

Deoria Tal lake is surrounded by beautiful and lush green meadows. We used the time lapse feature of our Lumix to create a 4k video of this landscape. We clicked around 300 images in a span of 15-20 minutes which the camera compiled for this video.


Time Lapse Near The Deoria Tal Lake (Shot On Panasonic Lumix G85)

Chopta

Chopta is a small hamlet in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, around 450 km from Delhi. This place is more popular as the base of the treks of Tungnath and Chandrashila. We were lucky to get a few amazing shots of this place.

To get better detail in the photos we clicked here, we lowered the aperture size and delayed the shutter speed in the manual mode of the camera.

The landscape in Chopta (Shot On Panasonic LumixG85)

With the clouds moving swiftly from one mountain peak to another at Chopta, it was the perfect setting for a time lapse. This time we placed the Lumix on a small rock where the frame seemed perfect. We managed to capture two-time lapses at Chopta. We were delighted with the end result we finally got.

 


Time Lapse Shot at Chopta (
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G85)

Chandrashila Trek

A 6 km trek from Chopta leads you to the Chandrashila peak, at an altitude of 4000m. The trek is one of the most picturesque routes when it comes to beginner treks. Vast meadows, blue skies, evergreen forests and views of Himalayan peaks make it a lensman’s delight. 4 km into the trek, you reach the Tungnath temple – the World’s highest Shiva temple and 2 km from Tungnath lies the Chandrashila peak.

We captured several photos and shots during this trek. We preferred using the Intelligent Auto mode to take photos here because we did not want to waste our time in adjusting our camera settings. We had tested this feature earlier and it had produced good results.

The landscapes enroute the Chandrashila trek (Shot On Panasonic LumixG85)

We reached Chandrashila – one of the most picturesque mountains peaks and were met with some disappointment. The weather was cloudy and bad. The majestic views from the mountains were missing and a complete cloud cover left us with little light for photos.

We however adjusted the camera setting to capture two-time lapses at Chandrashila.


Time Lapse At An Altitude of 4000M – The Chandrashila Peak

Step Farms In Rudraprayag District

One of the most prominent things in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand is the vast step farms spread all over the mountains. We came across several landscapes of this kind throughout our journey. We captured most of the shots using the Intelligent Auto feature of the Lumix as we were constantly on the move and it was the best way to click photos without worrying about adjusting you camera settings every time.

Here are a few good shots we captured.

Step-farms at Rudraprayag (Shot On Panasonic Lumix G85)

At the end of the trip, we barely had space on our memory cards  to shoot more videos. It was a divine experience in its totality and to be honest I cannot wait to get back to explore deeper into the Rudraprayag district.

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Romancing The Mountains: Chandrashila Trek http://www.scrolldroll.com/chandrashila-trek-travelogue/ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:40:46 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=15323

The Chandrashila trek is one of the best Himalayan treks for beginners. The base of the trek Chopta is about 450 km from Delhi on the Badrinath highway making it easily accessible. The entire region is rich in natural splendour with meadows, evergreen forests, and views of Himalayan peaks. The rich natural beauty along with the […]

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The Chandrashila trek is one of the best Himalayan treks for beginners. The base of the trek Chopta is about 450 km from Delhi on the Badrinath highway making it easily accessible. The entire region is rich in natural splendour with meadows, evergreen forests, and views of Himalayan peaks. The rich natural beauty along with the easy trek route makes it one of the most preferred treks and suitable for people of all ages.

In 2013, I had visited the Chandrashila peak for the first time. Since then I have been to the peak on four separate occasions. This was my fifth journey to the beautiful peak perched at an altitude of 4000 metres. A paradise for nature lovers with the very little crowd and exhilarating views, this was a place that makes me feel like a second home.

When I was on a trip to Uttarakhand to explore some of the lesser known destinations, I decided to go for the Chopta-Tungnath-Chandrashila trek again. What made this decision more luring was the fact that I was carrying a Panasonic Lumix G85 – a great device to capture time lapses and landscapes. I was hoping to get some great shots during the trek.

We started our trek from Chopta, a small hamlet located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand about 450 km from Delhi. At an altitude of 2680 m, Chopta is itself a very beautiful off-beat destination in Uttarakhand and serves as the base for the Tungnath and the Chandrashila treks.

 

Chopta
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G-85

We also managed to shoot a time-lapse of Chopta with our Lumix we were quite delighted with. It took us a number of shots and 15-20 minutes to finally create this time lapse.

Time Lapse Of Chopta
Shot On Panasonic G-85

We started our trek at about 10 am in the morning. The trek route is paved with stones and well marked. Hence, this is not a trek where you need a guide to accompany you. There are a number of dhabas, run by the locals along the trek route. Hence, it is advisable to not carry too much food and water with you.

The trek takes you through stunning landscapes with exhilarating views. After a kilometre of the trek, you reach the Bugyals – meadows in the local language. These Bugyals with the backdrop of tall evergreen trees and peaks is a treat to the eyes. As you gain altitude, the views become more and more beautiful. Though the cloud cover had restricted the views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks yet the views were amazing. We stopped at a few places to click photos of the beautiful landscape. However, it started raining and we had to pack our cameras in our bags. The best thing about a mirrorless and compact camera like the Panasonic Lumix G85 is that is its light weight and small size that easily fits in your trekking bags.

Chopta Tungnath Trek Route
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G-85

We decided to halt our trek at Tungnath – the world’s highest Shiva temple at an altitude of 3680m. This temple is reachable after a 4 km trek from Chopta. It took us around 2.5 hours to reach Chopta including our breaks to have tea and click photographs. Basic accommodation facilities are available near this Temple. There are a number of small dhabas at Tungnath which serve simple yet delicious food.

At this point, it started raining heavily and we decided to stay overnight at Tungnath and go to Chandrashila the next morning. We visited the Tungnath temple, and the aarti performed here with the sounds of bells and drums echoing from the nearby mountains makes it really magical.

Tungnath – The World’s Highest Shiva temple
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G-85

The next morning we resumed the trek after the rains stopped. The route to Chandrashila from Tungnath was much more beautiful than the route we had covered. It appeared like we were walking between the clouds.

Tungnath Chandrashila Trek Route
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G-85

It took us around 1 hour to finally reach the Chandrashila peak perched at 4000m. The beautiful views I had witnessed during my previous visits here had disappeared with the white clouds. Nevertheless, the time you spend at such an altitude is always special.

The Ganga Maa temple at Chandrashila Peak
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G-85

We also captured a time lapse of the temple at Chandrasila with our Lumix.

Time Lapse Of The Ganga Maa Temple at Chandrashila Peak
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G-85

We spend about an hour here before we were threatened by rains again and we left for Tungnath. It took us around 40 mins to descend down to Tungnath and another 1.5 hours to reach Chopta that completed our trek.

 

Here’s a quick summary of this trek.

Trek Base: Chopta (250 km from Rishikesh and 450 km from Delhi)
Altitude: 2680 m

Total Trek Distance: 6 km
Final trek point: Chandrashila peak
Altitude: 4000 m

Where to stay/camp? 

Tungnath Temple
Altitude: 3680 m
Trek Distance to Tungnath from Chopta: 4 km
Trek Distance from Tungnath to Chandrashila peak: 6 km

Uttarakhand is a treasure trove for all sorts of explorers, it has something or the other to offer to everyone. If Kashmir is the crown jewel of India’s landscape then Uttarakhand is the grand necklace embedded with countless precious gems. Chandrashila-Tungnath trek is just one of the many gems in the Unseen Uttarakhand, but it’s a destination that deserves your absolute attention and time. Go ahead and plan your next weekend getaway to this amazing destination.

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A Heavenly Trek To Deoria Tal In Uttarakhand http://www.scrolldroll.com/deoria-tal-travelogue/ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 12:17:53 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=15288

I had heard about the beautiful landscapes and picturesque Himalayan valleys in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Also called ‘Dev Bhoomi’, the mountains in Uttarakhand nestle some of the most revered shrines in the most picturesque landscapes. One such place in Uttarakhand with several mythological legends and stories is the Deoria Tal. Deoria Tal is […]

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I had heard about the beautiful landscapes and picturesque Himalayan valleys in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Also called ‘Dev Bhoomi’, the mountains in Uttarakhand nestle some of the most revered shrines in the most picturesque landscapes. One such place in Uttarakhand with several mythological legends and stories is the Deoria Tal.

Deoria Tal is a high altitude lake perched at an altitude of 2348 metres. It is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Sari Village, located around 420 km from Delhi and 55 km from Rudraprayag city serves as the base camp of this trek. The total trek distance from Sari Village to Deoria Tal is 2.3 km.

I visited Deoria Tal recently during my Unseen Uttarakhand trip with three other friends. This place was not in our plans initially and we had moved to Chopta – the base of the Tungnath and Chandrashila trek where one of my friends who had been to Deoria Tal earlier suggested we also visit this place.

Sari Village is around 20 km away from Chopta towards Rudraprayag. We were welcomed by beautiful views of the blue skies, step farms on the mountains and lush green landscape as we approached Sari. We were carrying a Panasonic Lumix G85 to click the landscapes here. Being a compact camera that easily fitted in our bags, it was a good change from the bulky DSLRs I used to carry in my earlier trips.

The landscape around Sari Village – The base of the Deoria Tal Trek
Shot on Panasonic Lumix G-85

The trek that starts from the Sari Village, takes you through dense forests. The entire trek route is paved with stones thus making sure that you can go ahead for this trek and complete it without a guide. As you go up higher, the forests get denser. The trek is easy and has a gradual ascent, it offers spectacular views of the neighboring mountain ranges. We turned on the Intelligent Auto mode of the Lumix to capture the photos here.

View of the mountains peaks from the trek route
Shot on Panasonic Lumix G-85

The 2.3 hours trek took us close to 1.5 hours to complete and we arrived at Deoria Tal.

 

First view of the Deoria Tal Lake
Shot on Panasonic Lumix G-85

It is believed that the Gods (Devas) used to bathe in this lake and hence the name Deoria Tal. This lake is also believed to be the place where Yaksha (a nature spirit) asked Pandavas to answer his questions before trying to drink water from this lake. Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava was the only one who could answer the questions and saved the lives of his brothers.

The landscape around the lake is lush green with sprawling meadows, rich in flora and fauna. It is the perfect place to relax and rest on the green grass after the trek.

 

Meadows around Deoria Tal
Shot on Panasonic Lumix G-85

We then spent some time to capture a time lapse of the scenery around the Deoria Tal lake. After moving round the perimeter of this lake, we found a perfect place to position the Lumix with a view of the clear blue sky. In around 20-25 mins, the time lapse was finally created.

Time Lapse at Deoria Tal

On a clear day, one can see the views of high altitude snow-capped Himalayan peaks from this lake. The reflection of these peaks in the waters of Deoria Tal makes it the perfect setting for great photographs. We were unlucky to find that the weather was not in our favour. Though the Himalayan peaks were covered in a blanket of clouds, we did shoot the reflections of the clear blue sky on the Deoria Tal waters here.

It was some hard-work going around the lake to find the perfect spot where the reflections of the sky was appearing clearly in the water. We then switched to the manual mode of the Lumix85 and increased the depth of field to capture the reflections.

Reflections of the Blue Sky on Deoria Tal
Shot On Panasonic Lumix G-85

It was soon turning dark and though there were camping options here, we preferred to descend down and get back to Sari village. The descend here was a cake-walk and was complete in barely 45 minutes.We were happy to have completed the trek easily and had some good shots from our Lumix.

This tranquil lake reeks of natural spirituality and the cool breeze takes away all the fatigue that you might have gathered on the hike up-hill. It is a picture-perfect spot and a haven for nature and wildlife photographers. Deoria Tal is relatively less crowded compared to the other destinations in Uttarakhand and you should definitely pay the Lake of the Gods a visit soon.

 

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Walking the Roads Less Travelled to Enjoy Good Old Nainital like a Local http://www.scrolldroll.com/walking-the-roads-less-travelled-to-enjoy-good-old-nainital-like-a-local/ Sun, 01 Jul 2018 06:12:14 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=14840

Rowing through the Naini Lake, riding the ropeway and admiring the scenic Tals—that’s pretty much how a tourist would plan out their trip to Nainital. However, what’s missing in this mainstream itinerary is enjoying the roads less travelled and being at places that are not explored much by the tourists in Nainital. But, why give […]

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Rowing through the Naini Lake, riding the ropeway and admiring the scenic Tals—that’s pretty much how a tourist would plan out their trip to Nainital. However, what’s missing in this mainstream itinerary is enjoying the roads less travelled and being at places that are not explored much by the tourists in Nainital. But, why give the conventional travel plan a second thought, you may ask? The answer lies in the unperturbed beauty of Nainital that can only be witnessed when you trot the town like a local.
Out of all the innumerable trips that we Delhites take to Nainital, it was just this one time I and my small group of friends decided to explore Nainital in the most uncommon way possible over a weekend. And, that is how it became the most memorable trip to Nainital.
So, here’s how we traversed Nainital like a local.

Visiting Thandi Sadak

What the Mall Road of Nainital is to tourists, Thandi Sadak is to locals. A casual stroll on Thandi Sadak in the evening gives a spectacular view of the surrounding hills and the cool breeze originating from Naini lake makes you feel one with nature. Bonus: Since the entry to Thandi Sadak is not known to most tourists, it is much less crowded than the Mall Road.


Exploring Higher Altitude Areas on Foot
Taking a return ropeway ride from Mallital to snow viewpoint is a customary activity for all tourists in Nainital. However, what added a pinch of twist to the regular ride for us was not opting for the ropeway to return from snow viewpoint. Instead, we decided to walk up to Mallital from snow viewpoint. This was an opportunity to explore the higher altitudes of Nainital and come across places that no cab driver in Nainital would take you to. It’s indeed a long walk down the hills but coming across the never-before-seen places and views of Nainital make every bit of it worthwhile. You also don’t have to worry about the unpredicted hunger pangs which you might get during the long walk. A small Maggi and tea joint on the way will help you refuel the body.

Eating Like a Local

Cafes and restaurants located on the mall road are bustling with tourists for obvious reasons. However, to eat like a local in Nainital and to make the most of your eating time, head to the Flats instead. The small tea stalls here sell bun mask with tea and that is one of the most loved food combinations amongst the locals. And what’s more to it? Your evening snacking session at the Flats won’t cost you more than Rs. 50 per person and you can also enjoy the kids showing off their football skills in the playground nearby along with the mesmerizing view.

Getting the ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ Feels

One of my friends on the trip being alumni of St Joseph’s College, a visit to the school was a must. Exploring the vastness of the school and the serenity that students must feel studying in a hill station, Koi Mil Gaya being shot here was not a surprise!

Horse-riding along the Hillock

While a lot of tourists take cabs or use their own vehicle for commuting and sightseeing, the two best ways of experiencing the town is walking and horse-riding. One can take a horse from Bara Pathar to Tiffin Top, a route which is fascinating and adventurous at the same time.

Like I mentioned earlier, I had the company of a local to make me experience Nainital like I’d never visited before, though I had been to the town several times as a kid. True, sometimes it just takes a fresh perspective to visit the same place and experience a new one!

The post Walking the Roads Less Travelled to Enjoy Good Old Nainital like a Local appeared first on ScrollDroll.

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24 Off-Beat Places In Uttarakhand Where Nature Is At Its Best http://www.scrolldroll.com/off-beat-places-uttarakhand/ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:26:28 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=14281

The Land of Gods, also known as Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand was declared as a state and separated from Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000. With the Chaar Dham pilgrimage at the helm of all the religious sites in the state, Uttarakhand is also home to the Gangotri and Yamunotri glaciers. The state offers astounding views of […]

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The Land of Gods, also known as Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand was declared as a state and separated from Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000. With the Chaar Dham pilgrimage at the helm of all the religious sites in the state, Uttarakhand is also home to the Gangotri and Yamunotri glaciers. The state offers astounding views of the Himalayas and serene valleys with unparalleled beauty and scenery. One of the most unique natural phenomenon the Winter Line occurs in the hills of Mussoorie and Dehradun. It is the only place in the world to observe this phenomenon, apart for certain parts of the Swiss Alps. We’ve compiled a list of 22 off-beat laces in Uttarakhand where nature is at its best, read on to find out more.

Weekend Getaways from Delhi

1. Chakrata

Situated in the Dehradun district, Chakrata is a cantonment town which lies between the Tons and Yamuna rivers. It is about 100 km from the capital city of Dehradoon. The route to Chakrata from Dehradoon passes through lush coniferous forests along with an abundance of rhododendrons and oaks. The Tiger Falls is one of the most frequently visited destinations in Chakrata. It is one of the highest waterfalls in the country. The picturesque Chilmark plateau is visited by nature lovers for the placid sunsets that are seen from here.

Chakrata to Tiger Falls trek: 5 kms
Chakrata Altitude: 2,118 m

 

Image Source – Ashwini_Bhat (Flickr)

2. Nag Tibba Trek

A relatively unexplored trek route near Mussoorie, Nag Tibba Trek is a trekkers dream come true. Perfect for a weekend getaway, this trek route will take through enchanting forests and offer stunning views of Bandarpoonch peak, along with the Gangotri and Kedarnath ranges. One of the advantages of Nag Tibba trek is the fact that you can access the base camp on a vehicle which makes it doable over a weekend.

Nag Tibba Trek Base camp: Panthwari Village
Panthwari Village to Nag Tibba trek: Approx 10 kms
Nag Tibba Altitude: 3,022 m

Image Source – Madhava Reddy (Flickr)

 

Off-Beat Hill Stations

1. Bageshwar 

Bageshwar in Kumaon is situated at the confluence of the rivers Gomti and Saju. It is located at around 470 kms from Delhi and 134 kms from Nainital. Bageshwar used to be an important trade center between Tibet and Kumaun. The city has been one of the most important religious, political and historically significant sites. It also finds mention in some of the religious texts like the Puranas and is associated with Lord Shiva.

The many temples in and around Bageshwar are frequented by Hindu pilgrims around the year. The most prominent among these are the Bairav Temple, Dattatreya Maharaj, Ganga Mai temple, Hanuman temple, Durga temple, Kalika temple, Thingal Bhirav temple, Panchnam Junakhara and the Vaneshwar temple.

Altitude: 1,004 m

Image Source: Sriparna Ghosh (Flickr)

2. Chaukori

This serene hill station located in the Pithoragarh district is a sublime town among the soaring snow capped Himalayan peaks. Tibet lies to the north of Chaukori and to its south lies the Terai, and the Mahakali River runs along the eastern end of the town, which also forms the border between Nepal and India. The place also offers some of the most staggering views of the Himalayan peaks and ranges. At dawn and dusk, the golden yellow rays of the sun paint a tranquil picture on the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and it is at these times that the Chaukori resonates beauty and gorgeousness in all its glory.

Altitude: 2,010 m

Image Source – Nityananda Mukherjee (Flickr)

View of the Nanda Devi from Chaukhori
Image Source – siddhartha das (Flickr)

 

3. Harshil 

Popularly know as the Mini Switzerland of India, Harshil is a quaint valley town located along the banks of the Bhagirathi river. It was the setting for the Raj Kapoor blockbuster Ram Teri Ganga Maili, and the locals still take pride of this fact. The town lies on the old caravan trial between Tibet and India. The valley town is known for the alluring apple orchards, winding roads and the roaring Bhagirathi which adds a dash of magic to the natural beauty of this place. Harshil lies at the head of the Baspa valley and is well connected through roads. It falls on the route to Gangotri an is about 95 km from the district headquarters, Uttarkashi. Harshil is where you should head to if you are looking for a typical leisure holiday in the lap of nature.

Altitude: 2,620 m

Image Source –

4. Lohaghat

Located along the banks of Lohawati River in Champawat district, a few kilometers beyond Pithoragarh. This ancient town attracts visitors around the year; pilgrims and devotees drop by to pay their respects to the ancient Shiva temples scattered around the town. It is one of the least explored Himalayan retreats, which has retained its charm and grandeur over the different eras of time. The historical and mythological tales of Lohaghat unravel themselves to the visitors and these narratives continue to fascinate people visiting this place.

Altitude: 1,754 m

Image Source – Gopi Verma (Flickr)

5. Madhyameshwar

Image Source – Don’t just “click” pictures; Shoot Stories!

6. Johar Valley

The Johar valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Uttarakhand. It is located along the river, Gori Ganga. It is a popular valley and tourist destination which is visited by people from all across the world. This valley has attained immense significance due to its tourism. It also served as one of the main trade routes between Tibet and erstwhile India. Munsiyari and Milam are the most popular villages in the valley. 

Image Source – Lopamudra Barman (Flickr)

7. Khirsu 

Khirsu is a quaint village nestled between oak, deodar forests and apple orchards. It falls in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The place offers some of the most picturesque panoramic views of the Himalayan landscape. It is a relatively unexplored place with an ancient temple dedicated to the Ghandiyal Devi. This placid hill town embodies the most typical aspects of being a Himalayan village. If you wish to rejuvenate your soul and energy, then this is the destination that you should blindly choose to visit.

Altitude: 1,700 m

Image Source – Joe Athialy (Flickr)

8. Dharchula, Uttarakhand 

Image Source – Uttarakhand Tourism

 

9. Neolong Valley

This picturesque valley had been closed to tourists and visitors after the 1962 conflict between India and China. Recently it has been reopened for visitors and nature enthusiasts. The Neolong Valley is part of the Gangotri National pass and the entry is still restricted, with about three dozen people being permitted to visit the valley.

Altitude: 3,352 m

Image Source – Amar Ujala

 

10. Barkot 

Located in the Uttarkashi district, Barkot lies on the banks of the river Yamuna. It is located at a distance of around 135 km from Dehradun and 370 km from Delhi. This snoozy hill town is tucked away among the magnificent Himalayas and offers some of the most stunning views of the Banderpoonch Peak and other Himalayan peaks. This hill town has not been yet been tainted by the skid marks of commercialisation and urbanisation. It is an ideal holiday destination where one can relax and rejuvenate one’s peace of mind, also you can visit this place to de-stress and chill with your loved ones.

The place offers of the most picturesque trek routes of the area, through dense forests along the hills and across smothered hamlets sparsely spread around Barkot. It also offers nature and adventure activities like rock climbing, mountain climbing, and rappelling.  At Barkot you will find yourself in the very lap of nature right from waking up to the songs of the Himalayan birds to friendly mountain dogs accompanying you on the various trek routes.

Altitude: 1,220 m

Image Source – Wikipedia

11. Munsiyari 

Nestled in the snow-capped and lush hills of the Himalayas, Munsiyari is the base of many treks into the interiors areas of the Himalaya ranges around the area. The treks to Milam Glacier and Ralam Glacier are the most famous treks that begin here. One of the key attractions at Munsiyari is the Birth Waterfall, a gurgling and gorging white spray of water that adds a sense of magic and enchantment to that area. The sunsets at Munsiyari are some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, to try and express the beauty of the sunsets with words would be in vain, as our mortal words are not strong enough to capture the everlasting beauty of this place.

Altitude: 2,200 m

Image Source – Krisnendu Sar (Flickr)

Image Source – siddhartha das (Flickr)

Easy Treks

1. Hari Ki Doon Valley

This is one the most preferred summer trek routes which will take you through some of the most serene forests and lush meadows. Lined with orchids and rhododendrons the trek route is one of the most colorful routes in the entire world. This moderate trek can be attempted by beginners too, and it is one of those regions which is still untainted by urbanization.

Base camp: Sankri village
Sankari to Hari Ki Doon Valley trek: 54 kms
Hari Ki Doon Valley Altitude: 3,566 m

Image Source – Vrinda Ramanan (Flickr)

 

2. Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila Trek 

This is one of the most interesting trek routes in the entire state and one of the best for beginners. This 6 km trek but takes you through beautiful landscapes with breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges. The trek route is paved with stones and needs no guide.

Chopta, a hamlet located on the Rudraprayag – Gopeshwar road in Garhwal around 450 kms from Delhi serves as the base of this trek. Chopta is often referred to as the “Mini Switzerland Of India” owing its exquisite natural beauty. There are small local eateries here to have your meal, keep excess baggage and park your vehicles. Basic accommodation options are available here for a few hundred rupees.

Chopta – The Base Of The Trek
Image Source: Anuj Malik (Flickr)

A 3.5 km trek takes you to Tungnath, the world’s highest Shiva Temple which is perched on the hills at a height of 3600 m. The Tungnath temple is set amidst lush green hills with Himalayan peaks in the background. The trek is easy and takes around 2-3 hours. A number of small dhabas on the trek routes are perfect to rest and have food. There is a guest house at Tungnath managed by the temple and a few accommodation options by the locals.

Tungnath – World’s Highest Shiva Temple 
Image Source: Sunrider007 (Flickr)

View of the meadows from Tungnath
Image Source: Chopta-Tungnath Destination Article

Another 2.5 km of trekking from Tungnath takes you the 4000-meter high Chandrashila peak. The views from the peak are probably the highlight of the trek. There’s a small temple devoted to Ganga Maa on the peak. It is best advised to visit the peak early in the morning during sunrise.

Base camp: Sari Village
Sari Village to Chandrashila trek: 23 km
Chandrashila Altitude: 4,000 m

Chandrashila peak located at an altitude of over 4000 meters
Image Source: Praveen Purohit (Flickr)

3. Kuari Pass 

This historic trail dates back to the 1880’s and is one of the more moderate treks that is friendly towards beginners. From the base camp of the trek to Kuari Pass, one is greeted by staggering views of Mt Nanda Devi peak. As you go further into this trek, traversing the meadows of Gorson Bugyal, forests of Chitrakantha the peaks of Garhwal.

Base camp: Lata
Kuari Pass Altitude: 2,316 m

Image Source – Niels Hendriks (Flickr)

Image Source – Carolina & Nathan Hale (Flickr)

4. Valley Of Flowers

The Valley of Flowers National Park is located in the Western Himalayas in the Chamoli district.  The trek to the valley is about 17 km and it is not a difficult trek either. It is known for the endemic vegetation and alpine flowers. The rich biodiversity of this spot attracts thousands of visitors annually. The Valley of Flowers is a high-altitude Himalayan valley that has long been acknowledged by renowned mountaineers, botanists, and in literature.

Basecamp: Ghangaria
Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers trek: 17 km
Valley of Flowers Altitude: 3,250-6,750 m

Image Source – Rohit . (Flickr)

 

5. Saryu Valley – Sahastradhara Valley

Tucked away from the noise and commotion of civilization, Saryu Valley lies in the heart of the Kumaon Hills near the border between Tibet, Nepal, and India. The astounding valley, with verdant meadows and abounding in rhododendrons, alpine vegetation, waterfalls, and snow-capped Himalayan peaks. The Saryu Valley trek is a moderate trek and can be attempted by beginners.

Base camp: Supi Village
Saryu Valley Altitude: 3.048 m

Image Source – Chinmaya K (Flickr)

 

Image Source – Matthew Stuttard (Flickr)

Difficult Treks

1. Dayara Bugyal  – Dodital Trek

The trek between Dayara Bugyal and Dodital is one of the most fabled treks in the entire state. The trek starts at the Barsu village and ascends through ravishing alpine forests to reach Dayara meadows, which is one of the most gorgeous places on this trek. Walking on the meadows, one feels like one is walking on royal silk carpets. The trek then leads you to the next campsite which is Lambi Dhar, a valley that is covered in dense forests of bamboo and oak. Beyond Lambi Dhar campsite, falls the Dodital lake is a placid and gorgeous lake which makes you fall in love with it in the very first glance. The lake harbors many rare species of fish and the Himalayan golden trout. This trek is one which will keep calling you back with is enchanting and mesmerizing nature. It is here, where nature becomes synonymous with beauty and tranquility.

Base camp: Barsu village
Dayara Bugyal – Dodital trek: 74 km
Dodital Altitude: 4,150

Image Source – Scott S (Flickr)

 

Image Source – Shandy Banerjee (Flickr)

2. Hemkund Sahib 

Located in the Garhwal hills, at the border between Tibet and Nepal, Hemkund Sahib is a Sikh shrine, associated with the 10th Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh. The name  Hemkund literally translates to ‘Lake of Snow’. This pilgrimage site is perched at a height of 4329 m above sea level, and you can reach the shrine on a wonderful trek across waterfalls, dense forests and staggering views of the might Himalayas. The gurudwara at Hemkund is the highest gurudwara in the world. The trek route is accessible only between the months of May and October. 

Basecamp: Govind Ghat
Govind Ghat to Hemkund Sahib trek: 15 km
Hemkund Sahib Altitude: 4,329 m

Image Source – Niladri Adhikary(Flickr)

 

Image Source – deeltijdgod (Flickr)

3. Satopanth Taal & Trek 

This high altitude trek is located at an elevation of 4600 m above sea level. This onerous trek promises an experience of a lifetime. It is situated at the base of the Nilkantha peak and the Narayan Parbat Peak. The climb is steep and difficult but also breathtaking at the same time. The pristine landscape around the Satopanth Taal offers unbridled views of the majestic Himalayan peaks around the area.

Base camp: Laxmivan
Laxmivan to Satopanth Taal trek: 25 km
Satopanth Taal Altitude: 4,600 m

Satopanth Taal Lake

Image Source – Shawn DeGroot (Flickr)

Vasudhara Falls

Image Source – Chinmaya K (Flickr)

4. Vasuki Taal 

The trek to Vasuki Taal begins at Gaurikund, near a hot water sulfur spring. As one approaches the temple at Kedarnath, one passes through stately forests and gurgling waterfalls. The trek is a continuous ascent which offers majestic views of the Himalayan peaks and valleys.

Base camp: Nandanvan
Nandanvan to Vasuki Tal trek: 6 km
Vasuki Tal Altitude: 4,880 m

Image Source – Steven House (Flickr)

5. Rudranath

One of the most revered temples of Lord Shiva lies at Rudranath, the trek route offers awe-inspiring and magnificent views of the deep gorges and valleys. It is one of the most difficult treks in the region but the hardships faced on the arduous journey is worth the effort as you are enchanted by the mystical Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, and Trishul peaks. The trail takes one through undulating meadows, dense woodlands and offers some of the most scenic views of the Himalayas in all its glory.

Base camp: Panar
Panar to Rudranath trek: 10 km
Rudranath Altitude: 3,596 m

Rudranath Temple

Image Source – Arun Singh Bisht (Flickr)

 

View at Rudranath

Image Source –

 

Enroute Rudranath Trek

Image Source – Himanshu Dutt (Flickr)

 

6. Roopkund Trek & Bugyals Enroute

The trek to Roopkund is one of the most renowned trek routes in India. From lush meadows and dense forests to breathtaking campsites you will never run out of things to see and immerse yourself in. The trek to Roopkund is a rigorous 6-day long hike. But it is worth the effort, and all your fatigue will be washed away at the mysterious Roopkund lake where the trek culminates.

Base camp: Lohajung
Lohajung to Roopkund trek: 35 km
Roopkund Altitude: 5,029 m

Roopkund Lake

Image Source – Soham Sarkar (Flickr)

 

Ali Bugyal

Image Source – Madhujith Venkatakrishna (Flickr)

 

Bedni Bugyal

Image Source –

These are some of the more offbeat destinations in the state, where you can get closer to the heart of nature. If you cant decide where to start exploring, list down the places in the list above and throw a dart at it. Pack your bags and head to wherever the dart lands Tell us what you think in the comments below.

The post 24 Off-Beat Places In Uttarakhand Where Nature Is At Its Best appeared first on ScrollDroll.

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12 Must Have Travel Experiences In India http://www.scrolldroll.com/must-have-travel-experiences-in-india/ Thu, 14 Jun 2018 14:49:27 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=14420

India is a traveler’s dream come true. Our vast country has it all – from lush forests to arid deserts, from majestic mountains to tranquil beaches, from natural wonders to man-made marvels. To be honest, even a lifetime is not enough to cover the entire length and breadth of our glorious nation. And that’s why, we’ve […]

The post 12 Must Have Travel Experiences In India appeared first on ScrollDroll.

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India is a traveler’s dream come true. Our vast country has it all – from lush forests to arid deserts, from majestic mountains to tranquil beaches, from natural wonders to man-made marvels. To be honest, even a lifetime is not enough to cover the entire length and breadth of our glorious nation. And that’s why, we’ve decided to compile a list of 12 must have travel experiences in India every wanderlust must indulge in. Add them to your travel bucket list and we are certain that you’d cherish visiting each one of these destinations.

 

1. A vacation on the pristine beaches of Andaman & Nicobar

If you are looking for an international beach holiday but on a budget and without the VISA hassle, Andaman and Nicobar islands are for you. No short of a picturesque postcard, these exotic beaches blessed with clear blue aquamarine waters, white sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs and a plethora of marine life. Head here to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life, and unwind. And if you’re seeking a bit of adventure, adrenaline-inducing water sports await you.

 

Radhanagar Beach, Andaman
Image Source – Sharad Medhavi (Flickr)

Swimming Elephants at Andaman
Image Source: James Scott (Flickr)

2. A Bachelor’s Only Trip To Goa

India’s beach party capital, Goa is the perfect destination to let loose with your squad and live out all your fantasies. There is so much to do, we don’t know where to begin. Beaches in North and Central Goa are buzzing with activity – from exhilarating water sports in the morning to wild parties that go on till dusk. If you are feeling lucky, head on down to one of the many casinos. And once you are tired of all the revelry, drive to South Goa to escape the bustle and find that much need solitude.

Cola Beach
Image Source: Pavel Volkov (Flickr) 

Ashwem Beach
Image Source: Ankur P (Flickr)

3. A Road Trip To Ladakh 

Whether you are an avid biker or a driving enthusiast, road tripping to Ladakh will be one of the best and most memorable experiences of your life. Topping the list of the most coveted road trips in India (and rightfully so), driving down the Ladakh is a sensory delight. You will be crossing jaw dropping sights at literally every few kilometers and the experiences you will have will be forever etched in your brain. Whether you are doing it solo or with your gang, a road trip to Ladakh will bring you closer to nature and leave you mesmerized.

Magnetic Hill
Image Source – Amit Rawat (Flickr)

Stakna Monastery
Image Source – reurinkjan (Flickr)

Tso Moriri
Image Source – Tanay Kibe (Flickr)

4. A Trek To Valley Of Flowers

Nestled in the West Himalayas in the mountainous state of Uttarakhand, Valley of Flowers lives up to its name and is home to over 500 species of blossoms (and that’s a conservative estimate). You’d be surprised to know that it was discovered in 1931 by three British mountaineers and is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The alpine flowers dot the valley in a riot of spectacular colours between the months of June and October and are a sight to behold. A trek to the valley is of moderate difficulty and a must for every nature lover.

Image Source: Rohit (Flickr)

5. Sail Through Kerala’s Scenic Backwaters

God’s Own Country has so much to offer, but the one thing you shouldn’t miss is an overnight stay on a houseboat as you sail through the languid murky backwaters.  Comprising serene and serpentine stretches of lakes, canals and lagoons running parallel to the coast of the Arabian Sea, the backwater regions of Kerala are amongst the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Alappuzha, popularly known as the ‘Venice of the East’, is a sight to behold and one of the most mesmerizing trips you’d ever experience.

Ashtamudi Lake
Image Source – preze (Flickr)

 

Alleppey
Image Source:  Well-Bred Kannan (Flickr)

6. A Desert Safari In Rajasthan 

The vast endless stretches of sand may seem intimidating at first, but soon enough you’d recognize the beauty of Rajasthan’s Thar Desert. There is something for everyone – adventure sports for the thrill seekers. Camel rides for those who want to take it slow and easy. You can also spend time with the locals, enjoying their colorful culture, partaking in their exuberant folk music and dances, and relishing their traditional delicacies. Top it all off with a night under the starlit sky and marvel at nature’s wonders.

Jaisalmer
Image Source: hurricanepower (Instagram)

Same Dunes
Image Source: Ramaseshan Ramachandran (Flickr) 

 

Thar Desert near Khuri
Image Source: Nabarun Bhattacharya (Flickr)

 

7. Witness Nature At Its Best  In The Valleys Of Kashmir 

“If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here” – these words aptly describe the other worldly beauty of Kashmir. With snow capped mountains, scenic valleys, serene lakes and lush greenery everywhere your eyes go, you are bound to be awestruck by Kashmir’s natural beauty. There isn’t one destination in this glorious state that is any less than a scene straight out of a fairytale. Roam Kashmir’s breathtaking valleys and get lost in their marvelous beauty.

Gangabal Lake
Image Source: Avijit Nandy (Flickr)

Sonmarg
Image Source: Mayoor Patel (Flickr)

Dal Lake
Image Source: pallab seth (Flickr)

8.  A Monsoon Trip To The Waterfalls Of Western Ghats

The glorious Western Ghats situated in the state of Karnataka stretch from Dandeli in the north to Mangalore in the south, and from the edge of the western coastline they are spread as far as Coorg and Madikeri. During the months of monsoon, innumerable streams and rivers —fed by ceaseless rain—plunge off the rocky mountains leading to spectacular waterfalls along this entire region. With lush flora and fauna, the sights and sounds of Western Ghats will delight your senses.

Jog Falls  
Image Source: Hemant G (Flickr) 

Dudhsagar Falls
Image Source: Jayasankar Madhavadas (Flickr) 

Athirapally Falls
Image Source: Athirapally Falls (Flickr)

 

9. Spotting Tigers At Ranthambore National Park

If you are a wildlife enthusiast, a trip through the forests and trails of Ranthambore National Park will be a dream come true. With a wide variety of animals and birds to spot, you’ll have loads to do and see. But the main attraction is of course the majestic Bengal Tiger. Recognised as one of the best places in the country to spot tigers, you will be taken aback to see this stately animal roam about in its natural habitat. During your visit, do make time for a visit to the Ranthambore Fort which is located at the heart of the Ranthambore National Park and is among one of the oldest forts in India.

Image Source: Simon and Karen Spavin (Flickr)

 

10. A Walk Down The Ghats Of Varanasi 

Whether you are seeking solitude, religion or simply want to take a closer look at history, Varanasi is the place to be for you. Home to a plethora of temples, the ancient city has almost 100 ghats, majority of which were built after 1700 AD, when the city was part of the glorious Maratha Empire. With holy waters of the Ganges flowing by them, these ghats witness incredible revelry during religious ceremonies and daily pujas. Take a boat ride at the break of dawn along the river from Dasaswamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat or indulge in a walking tour along the Varanasi ghats to deep dive into this ancient city’s history and spiritual significance.

Image Source – LoriQoPB (Flickr)

 

Image Source: Joao Eduardo Figueiredo (Flickr) 

11. A Rendezvous With The Taj Mahal 

The city of Agra needs no introduction. Famous world over for the transfixing beauty of Taj Mahal, Agra is paradise on earth for a history buff and architecture enthusiast. From British royalty to the biggest celebrities and politicos, everyone is drawn to the mesmerizingly beautiful Taj Mahal. But don’t be fooled, there is plenty to see and do. The city is strewn with architectural wonders – including forts, mausoleums and tombs. Make time to wander through its numerous bustling marketplaces and take home a piece of Agra with you.

Source: Wikipedia 

12. Visit The Heart Of India – Delhi 

Literally the heart of our glorious nation, Delhi is where history meets the future. You can time travel from the era bygone – visiting forts, palaces, tombs, temples and more built centuries ago and then ride on your silver chariot (also known as the Delhi Metro) to experience the city’s bustling nightlife than can give any international cosmopolitan a run for its money. Visiting Delhi is like visiting a new country altogether – there is so much to do and so much to see.

Qutub Minar
Image Source – Matt Wicks (Flickr)

Jama Masjid
Image Source – Nimit Nigam (Flickr)

India Gate
Image Source – Swaran Singh (Flickr)

And there you have it. 12 unique travel experiences that will satisfy the wanderlust in you. They may not cover the entirety of our beautiful country, but they do capture the spirit of what makes India so great.

Which are some of the other travel experiences that you feel should have been a part of this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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3 nights 4 days trip to a detox getaway to Balipara, Assam http://www.scrolldroll.com/3-nights-4-days-trip-to-a-detox-getaway-to-balipara-assam/ Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.scrolldroll.com/?p=14229

Balipara in Assam’s Sonitpur district is a pristine gem masked by the lush greenery and tucked deep in the heart of the Assamese countryside. Recently, I had the pleasure of staying at the Wild Mahseer discovered through Plushescapes, but my words would never be able to capture the essence of this North-eastern paradise. I boarded a […]

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Balipara in Assam’s Sonitpur district is a pristine gem masked by the lush greenery and tucked deep in the heart of the Assamese countryside. Recently, I had the pleasure of staying at the Wild Mahseer discovered through Plushescapes, but my words would never be able to capture the essence of this North-eastern paradise. I boarded a Guwahati-bound flight from the IGI Airport in Delhi, 2 and a half hours later, the flight touched down at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati. A beautiful 4 hours’ drive through the undulating landscape of Assam’s lush green tea estates and dense forests led me to the heart of Balipara, where the resort stands, and it effortlessly blends in the wilderness.

On my first trip to Assam, the Wild Mahseer hosted me for 3 nights and 4 days. It was an other-worldly experience, which took me out of our dimension, space and time.

The folks at Wild Masheer welcomed us very warmly. The first cup of tea was magic, the Assamese tea that I was served was an experience like no other.
After a couple of hours of resting and chilling in the bungalow, we were served dinner at the dining area called The First Flush. The food was one of the best things here, and I could not help but cheat my diet regime, during all meals. I regret nothing, and I can have an extra workout session to shed the extra weight that I might have gained here.

The following day, we were taken to Nameri National Park after a nice and heavy breakfast.Nameri lies in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas. It’s about 35km away from the town of Tezpur and shares a border with Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary of Arunachal Pradesh. The vegetation at Nameri is semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests. Along with cane and bamboo groves, narrow strips of open grassland along rivers abound in Nameri.

At Nameri, we signed up for rafting the Loi Bhoroli River, it was more of a calming experience rather than the usual adventurous rafting in rapids.The pygmy hog foundation was next in the itinerary, a great initiative to protect and conserve the innocent animals from being hunted. The heavens blessed us with a massive rain. It rained cats and dogs, literally; drenched but excited and screaming internally we also explored the fisheries division. This was followed by lunch where almost everyone over ate like starving wild animals.

Post which we had an amazing tea tasting session and also got acquainted with the different processes involved in the manufacture of different varieties of tea. The day ended with a scrumptious dinner.

Next day began with a leisure walk through nature in Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark. It hosts different varieties of endemic fauna, including bamboo and other trees.There is also a beautiful nursery that has some of the most beautiful flowers that I have seen in all of my conscious life. We spent our time at the ark doing some yoga, Shirin Yoku (forest bathing) and tree hugging.

Lunch followed this walk, which was followed by a tour of the resort. It’s surrounded by dense forests with countless birds chirping and chirruping all day long, literally from dawn to dusk. Flowers with animated natural beauty and hues of happiness and freshness abound in the resort and surrounding areas. The bungalows, at Wild Masheer were quite impressive. They are deeply rooted in history with some of them being over a hundred years. They are ornamented and lavish, yet humble and simple.

On the final day, we visited this village called Mishing, for a peek at the daily routine of the countryside. The forest is actually man-made and the tribe that inhabits the place has been fighting poachers and encroachers to protect it. The rustic setting of the village was not just impressive and simple, it was also very practical. The houses are elevated to protect them from the frequent floods and are completely made of bamboo. The people were engaged in their chores, some were weaving baskets, some were fixing things in their huts. This place captures the essence of Assamese countryside. 

Soon it was time for me to leave – and bid adieu to this ecological paradise. With a heavy heart, we said goodbye to the place and headed home. Hoping to visit the place again, very soon.

Here’s my quick guide to explore the Balipara and Nameri National Park

Why Visit?
Nestled snugly, on the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, Balipara is a biodiversity hotspot which will take you extremely close to the lush heart of nature. It will take you away from the mechanized city clatter and the dearth of fresh air in urban settlements.

Best Way to making Bookings
Plushescapes is the best way to book your stay at this picturesque resort. You can check out the website for more travel experiences.

How to Reach?
Balipara lies in the far eastern side of Assam. You can fly down to either Guwahati or Tezpur and then hire a cab (or train from Guwahati) to Balipara. If you have time, you can choose to cover the journey up to Guwahati by train, followed by a cab or bus ride to Balipara.

What to do?
It is a perfect place for long weekends and leisure trips. Nature enthusiasts will find countless interests in the Nameri National park and spend their entire day exploring the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark. Visiting Mishing is a must for everyone, the village will definitely inspire you to start living sustainably and reduce the wasteful practices of city life.

Special Tips
– Carry insect repellents to protect yourself from the insects in the forest
– Wear dark with dull clothes like brown, beige, and darker shades of green
– Do not use deodorant and perfumes when you explore the forests
– Keep the noise levels as low as possible, human noise scares animals and you might miss out on many majestic birds and animal
– Lastly, DO NOT forget to enjoy. 🙂

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