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ShiviFebruary 11, 20209min670

Travel Blog Winter Spiti

 

hikkim kibber spiti valley

 

As the name is unique so does the place. Spiti Valley is a mesmerizing place for nomads and travel enthusiasts all across the globe. As unique as its name, a trip to Spiti Valley is an experience of the ultimate abandoned beauty! Separated from breeding Lahaul by the soaring 4551m Kunzum La, the Himalayan region of Spiti is another piece of Tibet marooned in India. While this region stays cut off from the rest of the world in October to February, you can visit Spiti from March to May to enjoy the snow-clad mountains of this sumptuous cold desert. That is precisely what this blog is about – Yes Winter Spiti- White Spiti. what our Winter Edition

 

snow-leopard spiti valley

 

Moonscapes to Marvels of Spiti Valley

Diverged villages in a saw-toothed moon land appear like mirages on the road to Spiti valley. Roads like these will make you overlook any other scenery you’ve ever seen. The whitewashed and snow-covered, mud-brick houses dwell into the local heritage. These houses look marvellous from the viewpoint of Key Monastery. And when they all covered with snow it is like a white wonderland.

 

kaza langza spiti valley

 

Rediscovering The Ancient Spiti

Spiti Valley is the place to rejoice the love for long lost things. This could be sending a postcard from the highest post office in the World, or go fossil hunting in the villages of Spiti. One such fossil village-Langza embraces you with a life-size golden statue of Buddha. The sedimentary rocks of this village cover the remains of plants & marine life which are millions of years old. Go see for yourself if you’re lucky enough to spot one! I was lucky to have found one.

 

Kibber spiti valley

 

Variation in Beauty

Contrary to all shades of grey and white, a turquoise ribbon of the Spiti River will coincide you as your near-constant escort, speeding along a deep valley before turning south at Sumdo into the craggy gorges of the Hangrang Valley. Spiti fascinates many travellers, including a huge bunch of Indian motorcyclists, as a kind of ‘mini-Ladakh without tourist crowds’. This title is justified until its serene nature (a high-altitude desert) and culture (Tibetan Buddhist) are still intact. For this, we all need to be a responsible traveller and whoever visits Spiti Valley, please take care of littler, carbon footprints and strictly no plastics.

kaza spiti valley

 

Things to Remember

Who all planning to travel Spiti Valley in winters, please have a look at the tips below and the temperature as certain areas can be nerve crunching.

It gets very cold here in winters i.e. December through February with temperatures hitting – 30C to -35C. You will need to be mentally and physically fit and must have done some high altitude travel to be able to manage travelling through this high altitude region.

Majorly you will get only homestays in winters and the hotels and guest houses will be shut. These homestays will have dry eco-friendly squatting toilets. You will need to equip with this system as due to water freezing and water lines freezing wet toilets are not available.

Because of the water lines freezing, the locals have a hard time carrying water for utilities from a close water source and therefore having a bath while you are in Spiti will not be possible.

 

spiti valley

 

In peak winter i.e. January and early February, all the places might not be open due to unfavourable weather conditions. Thus, whatever you are able to visit take it as an opportunity to explore the place. 

Wintertime is actually not a season time to visit Spiti Valley thus you will not get a variety of activities and things to do in cold weather. at times you will not be able to move around much and will have to end up in the homestay. That is why I would recommend travellers to be prepared and make the most of the destination whilst enjoying snow everywhere.

Being in a homestay you can make most of the time talking to locals, knowing the Spitian culture, food and much more. You can be with the host and can understand the local food culture.

Be prepared to be empathetic and adaptable, as due to weather last minutes’ plan changes can happen or you can be forced to change your plans due to safety measures.

 

spiti valley white wonder

 

Things To Carry

  • Shirts / T-shirts, Trousers / Track Pants
  • Windproof jacket, Raincoat / Poncho
  • Thermal inner wear (upper and lower)
  • Woollen cap, Woolen gloves, Woolen socks along with extra pairs
  • Scarf\muflers
  • Comfortable Riding\sports shoes 
  • Towel\napkins
  • Water bottle
  • Cap / Hat, Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen Lotion, Lip Balm
  • Torch / Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Personal medication
  • Personal toiletries

 

Let’s connect for more travel writing and blogging… #keeptravelling 


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ShiviNovember 14, 20199min28618

Is Leh-Ladakh only for bikers? Most of us have this question in mind whenever we think of travelling to this terrain. Can Laid Back travellers or those people who are not fond of biking can travel to Leh-Ladakh? Just to answer these quick and genuine questions, here is the Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh. In this blog, I am going to talk about that and also going to cover what all places can be covered in short period since travellers usually want to cover a lot of places in a short period, who are on a leisure trip. 

 

hunder camps

4 Nights 5 Days Trip To Leh-Ladakh

I know most of the people think that cramming a lot of places in a short period is not ideal. It can be the most tiring travel as well. I agree with most of you all and even I have experienced this during my travel journeys when I have a time crunch. Nevermind this Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh will help you to plan an adventurous yet appealing trip to this beautiful destination in India, Leh-Ladakh. 

 

hunder sand dunes

 

Day 1 of Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh – Take a direct flight from Mumbai or Delhi to Leh. In this way, you can save a minimum of two days since taking a bus from Delhi to Manali and then Manali to Leh takes 2 days. Once you reach Leh take full day rest, sleep as much as you can and drink a lot of water since water will keep you hydrated and rest will help you in getting acclimatized. In the evening you can visit the local market and the Hall of Fame. There’s a light & sound show that happens in Hall of Fame which is must watch. It will give you a feeling of how our soldiers fight in one of the most difficult situations which are out of our imagination.

 

Pangong lake route from leh

 

Day 2 – Leh to Pangong Tso Lake

You can hire a cab from Leh for which rates may vary from cab to cab. You can even opt for Self drive car, though I won’t suggest that as routes are not that easy for someone to drive in these terrains. While going to Pangong Tso Lake you can cover Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries en route.

 

pangong lake

 

Its 5-6 hour journey which is tiresome but once you reach the lake, the beauty of that place mesmerises you and you feel cherished. You can stay over in the camps which ranges from 1500-2000 inclusive of meals per person depending on the season when you are going. Stay overnight in Pangong and then head back to Leh. Stay Overnight at Leh.

 

Diskit leh

Day 3 – Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder

Start early and feed your stomach with a little food since you will be passing from the highest motorable road in the world – Khardung La, you might feel dizzy. Keep yourself hydrated and keep on having candies as oxygen can be an issue here. If you feel a headache or breathing problem there are army camps and Dr is available to help you out. Have some tea/coffee and get yourself clicked at the world’s highest motorable road.

 

khardungla leh

 

Once you pass Khardung La you can see monasteries in Dikshit. These monasteries are very very old monasteries and worth watching. After spending some time here you can continue your journey towards Hunder which are dunes. In Hunder you can find camels of 2 humps which is only available in Dubai. You will be surprised and keep on wondering where this white sand has come to such a place. Stay over in Hunder as you can find a lot of beautiful camps and price is negotiable.

 

double hump camels hunder

Day 4 – Hunder – Sumur – Panamik – Leh

After having breakfast you can go to Sumur which has a famous monastery. From Sumur you can head towards Panamik which is famous for hot springs. Start your journey from Panamik to Leh. By evening you will be back in Leh. Do some local shopping in Leh as Leh is famous for dry fruits and some other local hand made stuff. This ends your journey here, but Day 5 can be a buffer for local Leh market, amazing food to relish, roam and shop in Tibetian refugee market. There’s a lot to do in Leh and around as well. Thus Day 5 can be utilised like this way. If not you can take a return flight the same day. 

 

Leh local market

 

 

Head back to your destination the next day with beautiful memories.

Final wrap on Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh

Though Leh-Ladakh is considered as Mecca for bikers and you will find a lot of bikers en-route, but this place is also something which can be visited by those who don’t love bike riding. This very simple itinerary can help you in planning and executing your vacation plan and you can enjoy it to the core keeping small things in mind.

 

Happy Travelling!


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ShiviAugust 28, 20198min1840

A hidden gem…Grand Canyon Of India

 

Gandikota: The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

 

Well, you may be surprised by what the title is all about, but trust me you will be amazed to know that a grand canyon also exists in India. Gandikota is the place, (Grand Canyon Of India) a beautiful and stunning paradise in the heartland of Bangalore. It is a weekend getaway from Bangalore. Just right on the spot, it is a destination which you would be awe-struck to visit.

In India we do not witness gorge formations, thus it is also called as the Indian version of the grand canyon or desi grand canyon. As an avid traveller, I shall refrain myself of not comparing the two as it will not be a justice to these different destinations in the world.

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

So, let us know more about Gandikota Gorge formations or Gandikota Canyon:

It is a quaint and very simple village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its panoramic gorge formed by river Pennar that pierces through the Erramala hills. This impressive piece of Nature’s design has come to be known as the Hidden Grand Canyon of India by the tourists and travellers who visit this place and get beguiled by its beauty. Thus they tend to compare the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

 

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

What to do when in Gandikota

Sitting on the banks of Pennar river and enjoying breathtaking views you can’t even think how the river must have broken the cuts and formed this stunning gorge. It is believed that the river has cut the slabs over centuries now. This is beautiful to imagine how the flow of water got intruded by the river and has formed the gorge. The entire area is covered with deep dense valleys and huge granite boulders.

Going back to history – Geologists says that it has an important role to play in the history of Andhra Pradesh. Geologist P.D. Sabale studies and explains how it was formed. The River Pennar cuts the pink granite and makes abed rock here. Cutting the ingenious, acidic and hard compact mass of granite the natural decomposition of the rock took place.

 

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

 

Adjoining the formations is the medieval fort which speaks history in itself. The fort Gandikota is named from a Telugu word Gandi which means gorge. This fort holds a fort and a temple. Once you visit you will get mesmerized with the ancient architecture. You may find the debris scattered of the ruins of temples and mosque dating back from the Qutub Shahi and Vijayanagara periods.

Other spots to visit in Gandikota are – Madhavaraya temple and Raghunathaswamy temple, Jamia Masjid of Gandikota fort, Rayalacheruvu Lake, enthralling interiors of Belum Caves, you can also do camping and other water activities.

 

Gandikota fort Travel Blog

 

How to reach: Get a train from Gooty Junction. The nearest airport is at Kadapa 77 km. Nearest town by road is Jammalamadugu.

Lodging: APTDC Complex – it is spread at 12 acres, you can book a cottage and has an area for kids to play. For more hotels click here

Best Time: between September to February as the weather is suitable and enjoyable, else the summers are like 45-50 degrees.

Tip: there are not many food joints near the fort and temples, thus either take some munching with you or keep your stomach fill before you start your day. Carry some candies and lots of water.

 

Gandikota fort travel blog

There are numerous other attractions in and near the village that charm visitors. The most special being the antiquated, radiant Gandikota fort that sits wonderfully on top of the gorge. Apart from the unmatched majesty of the gorge, the mystical appeal of this fort makes a visit to this village all the more compelling for history lovers and adventure seekers. For more such travel blogs and stories, head on here – Facebook, Instagram, or just scroll more…

 


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ShiviDecember 18, 201813min17327

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

Wander with me in the most stunning and breathtaking landscapes of India which is incomparable with anything in the world. Well, I have not travelled the world but I would definitely say that Spiti Valley is one of the gorgeous valleys of the Himalayas. As I discovered the dazzling sceneries, deep-blue lakes, barren terrain, sun-kissed white peaks, and wildlife with some of the remotest villages of India. I have been touched by the magic of Spiti, and I know you will be too. For knowing more about Spiti and the places to see read my blog here…

And for the exploration in its true sense and warming and cosy homestay and accommodation in Spiti valley, keep reading below.

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

If you want to travel around Spiti in the real sense, then staying with a local family in their house, eating and cooking with them whilst enjoying the local food like what they eat and how they cook is one of the best ways to go about it. Homestays in Spiti are a very common concept today and a different way of lodging. It gives you acumen into how punitive life is at such altitudes where people have to scuffle every day in extreme climatic conditions and terrain. Thus, staying in a homestay will offer you a sense of serenity and delight like no other. In fact, you can move out with a local to their fields, and help them cook food, sitting next to the ‘tandoor’ – which is a local heater. Enjoying the grazing lands of their cattle is a sight not to miss when in Spiti.

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

Here are the best Homestays to stay when you are in Spiti Valley and do consider them as my personal review and recommendation as well:

Solo Yolo – Kaza

Incredible Spiti, amazing Kaza – though Kaza has numerous homestays and hostels to stay and relive the homely feeling amidst clouds and mountains, my favourite is Solo Yolo. Many foreigners and Indian travellers love to stay here. It is situated in Kaza near to a cricket playground which makes it an ideal place for stargazing in the night and view of the mountains and snow from the windows. The rooms are cosy and comfortable. The dining place is yet another spot not to miss. What about the caretakers – man, they are superbly friendly and happy going. They would help you with everything you need for your stay and roaming around in Kaza.

Solo Yolo - Kaza - Spirited Blogger Travel Blog

 

SoloYolo Kaza Homestay - Spiti Valley - SpiritedBlogger
SoloYolo Kaza Homestay – Spiti Valley – SpiritedBlogger

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul

India’s last village on the border of Indo-china – it is in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. While my trip to Spiti valley I happen to stay one night in Chitkul. The view of Bapsa River, Mathi temple to get a glimpse of the ancestors, and the population of around 700 people who live here since ages – are worthy to pay a visit. You may find cheap hotels and affordable homestays and zostels in Chitkul. Where I stayed was the Sunny Mountain View which is owned by Mr Chetram Ji – an old man but young at heart. The rooms are clean with subtle wooden work. You get the balcony and the view from every window of the room – just be there once and rekindle your love for mountains and India’s last village where our road ends.

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

Tabo is a small town in the Lahaul and Spiti district that lies on the banks of the Spiti River. This place has a charm of Tibetan and Buddhism culture and you may see it influential enough in the entire terrain and breeze. Tabo is an absolute gem and the homestay where I stayed is Kesang Homestay – it is just on the road of Gompa Bus stand and what a beautiful and peaceful place to live in. The rooms are pretty spacious, clean and comfortable. The super friendly owner with her gracious smile will make you feel rejuvenated. I happen to get the opportunity to taste local Tibetan food too. She helped me to get plenty of local knowledge and places to see in Tabo. With this friendliness and warmth, it is a great place to stay.

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

 

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

Other than this in Chandrataal was the Camping Tents

This lake is at the surface level of 4250m; it is in the middle of the Himalayas and falls under Spiti Valley. This moon lake is wedged deep within the mighty Himalayan ranges which gives you spectacular views and positive aura to be there. For staying options – you only have tents there as the human population is not allowed to make hotels and also it remain closed for three months from October to January end, until the snow descends. I too stayed in a tent there – a very clean and undisturbed tent with attached bathroom. It has extra blankets for the dipping temperature which goes to even -8 to -10 degree Celsius in October and a bed in good condition. You are served with fantastic ginger lemon honey tea clubbed with breakfast and dinner with local flavour. Anything at that altitude where survival is tough is just a divine feeling.

Chandra Taal – The Moon Lake in Spiti Valley

Keep reading, Keep travelling.. the world awaits you!

Be Happy "</p


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ShiviDecember 11, 20189min1400

International Mountain Day – 11th December 

International Mountain Day – Himalayas – Spirited Blogger

Who doesn’t love mountains – we all do, isn’t it – and if you don’t, I’m sure the moment you get a chance to visit them, travel through them, hike them – you would fall for them forever.

 

International Mountain Day – Himalayas – Spirited Blogger

This international mountain day – here’s my view and some options or thoughts which I would like to share as a solo traveller.

Mountains are early gauges of climate change and as we witness a global climate change that continues to get warm, the mountain people and some of the world’s hungriest and poorest they face even more struggles to survive. The rising temperatures, of course, mean that mountain glaciers are melting at unmatched rates, heartrending freshwater supplies which are downstream for millions of people who live in mountains and otherwise.

International Mountain Day – Himalayas – Spirited Blogger

Do you know that almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half the human population is dependent on mountains for food, water, and clean energy? Yet we humans are playing around them and our mountains are under threat from land degradation, climate change, natural disasters, and overexploitation, in fact, there some far-reaching and devastating consequences. On the other hand, the Mountain communities have an affluence of knowledge and approaches that are accumulated over generations, on how to acclimatise to this climate variability – yet the life is now tough. 

International Mountain Day – Himalayas – Spirited Blogger

Not going on the deeper threatening mode I would like to highlight India’s oldest and the youngest mountains.

To your surprise, India is the country who has the oldest and the youngest mountains in the entire world. Woah! On this international mountain day – have a look at some of the facts about the Himalayas…. 

The Himalayas is still growing at a speed of 20 millimetres per year. Due to which landslides and tremors are frequent in the region.

The Aravalli Ranges in India is considered to be the oldest in the old step category on mountains. These types of mountains are formed from continuous and longing natural erosion of steep mountains. Earlier the height of Aravalli was at par with the Himalayas.

The Aravalli ranges are the oldest mining fields as well in the world and the archaeologists have actually found traces of copper mining dating back to the 5th century BC.

The Himalayan mountain range has nine highest peaks in the world and the highest being is Mount Everest – 8848 meters.

The highest peak of Aravalli is Guru Shikhar which is 5650 feet at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. The peak is named after Lord Dattatreya, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

International Mountain Day – Himalayas – Spirited Blogger

If you go north India – beyond this there lays the most hostile natural environment on earth – that is the Siberian winds. In fact, it is only because of the Himalayan range that the country does not face severe cold breeze and windy air from the north.

You should know that Himalayan mountains are the ones who are responsible to create one of the hardest deserts on earth to its north – that is Taklamakan Desert –  China also called as Sea of Death.

The Himalayan holds the third largest ice mass in the world after the artic and Antarctica. The range of the Himalayan Mountains consists of over 15000 glaciers that store almost 12000 cubic kilometres of fresh water.

International Mountain Day – Himalayas – Spirited Blogger

These are the facts about the Himalayas which show how rich they are and what all India is known for in the entire world. Other than this the exotic wildlife, flora and fauna are unbeatable. But all these are in danger too, thus, maybe we travellers can take a pledge to keep our Himalayas clean, safe and preserved by doing our bit in our own way so that our generations can witness the grandness of the Himalayas and our mountains.  

International Mountain Day – Himalayas – Spirited Blogger

Keep Travelling 🙂

Be Happy 🙂

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ShiviMay 30, 201813min1210

“I don’t understand what fun do people get in hiking mountains,” asked
a friend from my office, seeing my excitement for my first trek. “Oh,
it’s serene. Surrounded by mountains, you just forget all your stress
and hustle bustle of your daily routine life,” I replied.

For me Travel in itself is exciting. Travel – that one word that can
make my world go round. The one thing that I never want to lose an
opportunity on irrespective of it being a leisure trip or an adventurous
one. The thought of exploring something new is enough for me to pack
my bags and start hunting for some beautiful memories.

So when my friend from Travel Freaks asked me to join them on a trek,
I didn’t want to say no to him. Another reason for it is that I have
never been on Treks before. So after a little thought, analyzing my
budget and effort into getting my leaves approved….I WAS ON FOR THIS
TRIP.

My checklist was with me and seeing that when my office friend
expressed her doubt over hiking, I had a very casual reply. But when I
went for it, I realized it’s more than just being surrounded by nature. A
lot more than just being in nature’s lap. You discover yourself, your
strengths and that’s what this trip did to me. Though I have been on a
solo trip before, with this trip, I discovered some new facets
about myself.

Being my first trek experience, and given the schedule I live, I won’t
say I hardly get time for my fitness. In fact, I don’t get time at
all. So before starting the trek, I had my doubts about if I will be
able to complete my first trek if my friends around me who are
regular trekkers will get hassled because of me? A part of me had its
own doubts, but the adventure junkie in me overshadowed all those and
decided…that I HAVE TO DO IT. So, this was the first thing I learnt
about myself, never give up before trying.

1

We started for Kheerganga trek in the middle of the afternoon. Four of us
and two guides. And yes, I had my hurdles. I was too slow
compared to my friends. But I was given the benefit of doubt.
Moreover, I was not even in hurry. I just wanted to enjoy my trek
rather than competing it. With all those bumpy ways, I learnt a second
thing, that no matter where you are, you do find your way. There is a
way out in every situation. It may seem tough but there will be a way
out.

2

So, with all my enjoyment of finding my way out, I finally reached
Kheerganga. And it was beautiful. The view around, the beautiful
sunset…it took away all my tiredness. The beautiful sunset, a cup of
chai and friends around who were smiling and laughing along with you.
It could not get perfect than this.

6

The next day once again we were ON with our trekking shoes, ready to
go down our way to Barshaini. So, we start walking back again and this
time I was too slow considering I was feeling a little dizziness. My
friends obviously concerned about me slowed down and got me some
energy drink. I didn’t like it, them getting bothered because of me.
They gave my bag to the guide. I felt so weak, mentally. Because as an
independent person, I always liked to do things on my own and hated
to depend on somebody. And as a rule for me, I never allow anyone to
carry my bags. But I had to give in to my friend’s order. Jokingly my
friend also teased me, that if he didn’t have to walk with me he would
have been much faster. And this didn’t go down well with my
egotistical streak, and next thing I started walking with all my
energy and walking way ahead, not looking back and there I realised
the third point, the confidence of going all by yourself. A solo trek
which I might not have done solo.

4

In between, we came across this beautiful village and beautiful
people, celebrating Baisakhi. Those innocent faces with a welcoming
smile, I joined them in their local dance and tried few steps with
them. Yes, that’s another part of a journey that every travel freak
love to, i.e, explore the local culture.

My friends caught up with me soon and from there on we walked along,
laughing, joking, poking fun at each other and finding our way out.

3

Dinesh, Neha and Himanshu, Thank You So much
for making my first trek so special and memorable for me. It would not
have been same without you guys. Love you all. Hugs.

5

She is traveller friend, she is a sweetheart .. to read more about her travel stories go to https://soniadiariesblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/discovering-me-with-first-trek/

And to know who the #SpiritedBlogger is – click here – https://www.facebook.com/SpiritedBlogger/

 



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There is a piece in me that like to tenderly imagine my maverick and seditious soul. But, precisely, I love to have a picky and cosy relationship with my soul that can rub up against a little bit, putting me alive.


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