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ShiviMay 25, 202015min2660

We as humans always get attracted to something which is unachievable or looks very difficult. I always keep on wondering how people in Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Northern Himalayas sustain in extreme conditions especially in winters. This thought always fascinates me and pulls me towards it that I want to experience something like this once in a lifetime. And here I am writing my blog after finishing my winter Spiti in the harsh weather that one can dream of. Travel to Spiti is a different experience all together especially when you have been to Spiti in Summers.

This blog will cover a lot of aspects as to what all one should carry to be safe in such weather, different ways and routes that one can take.

 

mall road shimla

If you are starting from Shimla

We took a flight from Mumbai to Delhi. You can also take a train as there are a lot of trains available for Delhi. Once we reach Delhi we took a train to Kalka, You can take a direct bus from Delhi to reach Shimla. If you want to give a different feel to your travel experience then don’t miss the Toy Train. Book tickets in advance for toy train from Kalka to Shimla as at the last moment you won’t get any tickets.

 

kalka toy road (1)

 

Suggestion – Please book your bus tickets in advance and only take the Govt. buses if you are planning to reach Shimla directly. Please avoid taking private buses to reach Shimla, first of all, private bus operators takes a lot of time and secondly, it’s risky as well.

Shimla to Kalpa (9712 ft)

We started from Shimla early morning around 8 AM since the distance between Shimla and Kalpa is 230 km and it takes approx 7 hrs to reach a destination. If you are taking a couple of stops that the same journey extends to 10-11 hrs considering climate is all favourable. I will suggest people start early if you can and keep some buffer time with you. In midway, we took a couple of stops one for breakfast where we had yummy aloo ka paratha with achar and curd. I don’t know how these locals made food but it really taste distinct, I would say something is there in the air and water which makes simple things wondrous.

My travel buddy and I then took the route via Kufri, Narkanda, Rampur and then finally to Kapla. Enroute you will find snow, on both sides of the roads, sometimes view is so mesmerizing that you want to forget everything and just feel the beauty of these hills. Kalpa is the capital of the Kinnaur region, I am not sure how many of you know this. We reached Kalpa around 8 PM in the night, it was all dark as in hills around 5-5:30 you will see that sunlight starts fading. By 8 you will feel it’s like 12 o clock in any city. From here the whole fight starts or I would say you start feeling the chill of the Spiti Valley. We were lucky to get beds that have heaters in it embedded. Nights are so cold that you can’t even think of taking your hand out of your gloves and don’t ask the layers of clothing that you need to wear. And not to forget in rooms you won’t get water in the toilet since all the pipelines get blocked or frozen due to ICE.

 

shimla kalpa (1)

 

We took our dinner and headed to the room since it was a long journey and tiring as well, though the beauty through which we pass through was giving us a glimpse that what all we will be seeing ahead. The night view was also imposing as there was no pollution and an only beautiful sky filled with a bunch of stars, it looks as if someone has started a DJ light.

Kalpa to Tabo (10761 ft)

Post healthy and fresh breakfast and we both started a little late since the distance between Kalpa and Tabo is only 160 km which can be covered easily in 4hrs. We were planning to cover Giu monastery in between which we were unable to as due to some unforeseen circumstances we keep on getting late like there was a landslide in between, then due to on-going road work at a lot of places blasts were begun due to which we need to stop till the road gets cleared. Considering all these its a fun ride as you keep on seeing sometimes half-frozen, sometimes full frozen Spiti river. This view is only in winters and you keep on wondering how come suddenly river started flowing where half a km before it was all frozen. And these mountains keeps on changing colors after every 4-5 km which you can only experience. Tabo is famous for Tabo Monastery. We reach Tabo around 8 PM and had a good sleep. Since next morning our destination was Kaza.

 

frozen river spiti valley (1)

Tabo to Kaza (12467 ft)

Distance between Tabo to Kaza is hardly 50 km which can be covered easily in 2 hrs. However, we decided to cover Pin valley which is almost frozen and would take your heart away when you pass from those routes where on both the sides you will find huge Ice blocks, sometimes their height is more than 10 ft and when you pass those you get an adrenaline rush. Pin valley is an abode to flora and fauna of Himalayas (National Park) but in winter you can only find one thing and that is snow. We reached Kaza and did a night halt there.

 

snowy road kaza kalpa (1)

Kaza to Langza-Komic-Hikkim – Chichum Bridge – Kaza

These are some of the famous places nearby Kaza which cannot be missed if you are here. Langza is a village that is famous for Buddhist monasteries and fossils. We were unable to reach Komic due to heavy snow in the region and roads were blocked. Hikkim is famous for its worlds highest post office. You can postcards to your near and dear ones from here.

 

hikkim post office (1)

 

Chichum Bridge is Asia’s highest suspension bridge. When we reached there it started snowing and what more you can ask for at such a beautiful place.  In midway, we have seen places where water is flowing from top but in middle, it has frozen, we were wondering how this can happen and we both was awe stuck witnessing that nature’s beauty which itself was surprising.

 

chichum bridge (1)

 

After covering all these places which in itself is an experience we came back to our homestay. A lot of memories were captured in photographs, some were captured in heart and some were there in our eyes which was just to stay for a very very long time.  We have our dinner and stayed in our rooms, the temperature was -20 degrees celsius and we were feeling that we all died as it was so cold out but when we saw the mountains and the sky it felt as if how can the world be so beautiful and so calm. Trust me that was the feeling.

Kaza to Kalpa

This is one of the longest journey that we took in the whole trip and in midway since it was 200 km that need to be covered and in hills covering 200 km might take approx 9-10 hr which is just a journey time excluding the halts that you take and how much time you spend on each halt. With each passing hour, we were feeling that why we are going back as the Himalayas and the hills that we spend time were most beautiful. We thought that our journey has come to an end but God and nature have a different plan for us. After we reach Kalpa and checked in to our rooms, around 11ish in the night it started snowing, I have never seen real live snow falling on me. Trust me guys feeling was out of the world. It was like cotton coming on you and that’s it and it goes away. Wow-what a thing to watch out for. Till morning it was continuous snow and we came to know that this fresh snow is in whole region and routes have started closing down due to this.

 

kaza snow (1)

Kalpa to Shimla

We started for Shimla and expecting to cover the distance in 9 hrs approx but due to snow routes were closed and we were forced to take a longer route and it took us 2 hrs more to reach to Shimla. We all were tired, happy, sad and what not as whatever we have experienced was in itself a journey that neither of us thought about.

The trip came to an end but the memories and the experience that we all got in itself was mind-boggling.

 

Things to Carry

  1. Rucksack
  2. Jacket for -15 degree celsius
  3. Sports/Trekking Socks
  4. Woolen Socks
  5. Gloves
  6. Fleece
  7. Neck Warmer
  8. Woolen Cap
  9. Thermal Inner Wear
  10. Sun – Screen – SPF 50
  11. Water bottle
  12. Litter bags

Place to Stay

Depending on your budget you get ample places to stay, however, we suggest to do bookings beforehand as in winters it becomes tricky to roam around and look for good options.  You will get a lot of budget hotels and home-stays, luxurious hotels are doubtful in Spiti Valley as it is still a secluded land and for past few years have gradually started becoming a travel spot.

If you like this blog or want to read more such blogs leave comments or you can reach us and let us know your feedback.


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ShiviApril 11, 20208min3324

Long-distance relationships in difficult times like these are what each of us is facing, is hard to sustain. These are such times when we are hearing a lot of things as to how to not get affected by what is going around. Most heard word these days is COVID and Be Positive. Trust me the most negative word these days is “Be Positive”. I am not going to say anything like that. Below are some of the things that can be done to keep the spark alive in your relationship.

1. Video calls – This is the best way in these times to get connected. Fix up a time and get on the call with each other. Talk about old things which bring a smile on both of your faces. May be while being on video call one person can make food and another person can suggest what all things to be put in it. Be experimental and try different things which you guys have never thought can try. This is your time guys.

 

Long distance relationship

2. Intimate Chats – This is one of the most important things which should not be missed. You should do sex or intimate chats and talk openly when we did last time what you like and what you don’t. Next time we will be doing it this way or these are the things that we should try out. Be open and try to take it to the next level when you are talking to each other by seducing the other person and whatever best you guys can do. But do talk about these things as well since this is very important in a relationship and especially in long-distance one.

 

intimate chats

 

3. Plan for Future when you meet what will you do – This something that you both can do i.e. to talk about what all things we will do when we met. May plan a future date or plan a vacation together. If date then what all things each of you would like to have. And if planning a vacation then make a bucket list and which all places you want to visit together and what all things to be done. You can get your homework done for multiple places and then when this lockdown is over you will be ready with everything and without wasting any time you can go on vacation. Sound Interesting huh!!!

4. Talk about things which are missed most – You both can create a list of things that you guys miss, it may be shopping together or going on a stroll with each other hand. Then share this list and see how many things come in common, in this way you both will come to know about each other more and can improve your relationship in the long run.

relationship hacks

 

5. Clarify differences – This is the best time to clarify your differences if due to some reason you guys fought with each other then get it clarified. Put your point and another person should listen to it calmly and quietly without reacting and then let other people speak in this way both will come to know that what and why that particular thing happened. If neither of you agrees with another person then come to a common point and take it a vow that we will try to avoid such things which can create differences and lead to fights.

 

talk about differences

 

6. Talk about things which you always want to say to each other – There were always times when you want to say something to your partner but was unable to, maybe due to time constraint or due to hitch. I would suggest open your heart and speak it out. It is always good to be open in relationships as that will improve trust on each other and couples can sustain uncertainty easily

7. Laugh Out Loud thinking and teasing each other that we are not together 24 hrs – This is just for fun but yes some people are stuck with each and don’t want to. Even if you guys don’t fall in that category still you can tease each other and make fun by saying this. Whether we say it or not but it is true that we all need our space and when we don’t get that space relationship started getting heavy or become a load.

 

love your partner

 

Guys these are some of the tips that I think if used can keep us alive and our love for our partner intact. If you have any suggestions or comments please let us know. To read more relationship blogs please click here!!!


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ShiviApril 11, 202012min2160

 

The hunger to travel never ends. This endless lust for travel is relatable with all the wanderlust out there. Yeah, well, even I’m not able to travel, thus what to do? 

There is a way to break this, read books, by reading books on travel we can satisfy our wanderlust in the tough corona times. Keep reading…

When you enter a search into Google on why we travel, it takes you to detailed articles of ‘Can travel make you more creative?’, ‘Can travel make you fall in love?’ and much more. While some of these may be completely clickjacking, I can’t help but admire the emphasis we all have on the act called travelling. 

Now as we all are chained to chair at work for a long time which does not seem to end soon, I pay my, condolences to my friends who are in dire need of a holiday and aren’t able to. When you have this kind of heartbreak, only a quick trip can fix it. But sadly not right now, in the times of Corona Pandemic. 

I feel sad to hear the stories of lockdown, with no pleasure of travel at all. And then I hear lockdown on the borders and travel ban imposed across the world. I can’t help but feel a sting of worry. Some of us have lovers self-isolating 8,000 miles away and that seems like an unreasonable situation to be in. But if I thought mine was a sad story too, but it’s hard not to think the world without travel writers, travel influencers, content writers, reporters, whose duties are connected with free movement and travel all over and now almost verbose in a worldwide lockdown.

Now that we are in isolation because of the pandemic-inflicted world, free movement is like a distant dream. The month of April is usually when people move out for travel as the exams get over, then Good Friday and other long weekends. Regrettably, for most of us, COVID-19 has assured the derailment of our travel plans. Nevertheless, when one inspiration runs dry, there are many others to keep yourself immerse into positive things. 

So whatever your reasons for travel may be, post-Corona you guys will have to wait for a longer time as the travel industry will be the worst hit. Small hotels, homestays, will have a hard time to recover. I would recommend you to get yourself your favourite cup of tea of a cup or coffee, then, find your much-loved corner or a place on the couch and let the travel stories take you to an exile, many miles away. 

 

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Pico Iyer’s Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells (2019)

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

 

In his most recent publication, Iyer snaps down his view on travel on answering to his longtime home in Japan. As a nation whose calendar is characterised by occasions to honour the dead, come autumn, he represents Japan from a new prospect and directs on the mundane routines that unite people’s lives. 

 

Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land (1992)

“But now, travelling down that road after so many years I felt no excitement at all, only an old, familiar sensation, one that had always accompanied me on my way back from Damanhour, no matter whether I’d been away an hour or a week: the lassitude of homecoming mixed with a quiet sense of dread.”

 

Known as one of his best works, Ghosh takes the reader on a journey from England to Egypt by this book. He goes in quest of a despicable slave from the 12th century, but during his travels, he meets the interaction of varied faiths, holy men, retailers and alchemists. His story is one that genres and ages and envelops the reader in a well-travelled past.

 

Shivya Nath’s The Shooting Star (2018)

“I remember the years I had been too afraid to dream of sitting on the ledge of a humble yellow house, chatting with a family that wasn’t my own, chatting in a language that wasn’t my own, in a part of the world so far away from the one I grew up in and yet not that different.”

 

Shivya Nath’s debut bestows her story from when she quit her 9-to-5 corporate job and travelled the world for seven years, the last two without a permanent address. Her goal to convert from an average girl to a free-movement soul is apparent throughout the book and she endeavours to create a new life and reinvent herself through this journey from the foothills of the Himalayas to the tropics of Ecuador. 

 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (2006)

“Traveling is the great true love of my life… I am loyal and constant in my love of travel. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby—I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.”

 

One of the bestsellers of 2006 and later a blockbuster on the big screen in 2010, Eat, Pray, Love is a must-read for readers viewing to hit the reset switch on their lives. Following her divorce, Gilbert travels to Italy, India and Indonesia, learns a new language, submerges herself in a new culture and along the way takes an inward journey into what it means to truly be happy with oneself.

 

books to read

 

These are some of the travel books which I loved and thought that can satisfy other people wanderlust as well. If you have any comments about this blog please leave on the comment section. In case you are interested in reading any specific blogs please let us know by clicking here and we will try to publish it soon.

 


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ShiviJanuary 13, 202015min2182

13 Snowfall Destinations In India Not To Be Missed In Winters

– Snowflakes, snowfall, mushy and powdery snow – wow, who doesn’t love to be in the snow. Who would not love to play in the snow? Age is no bar trust me for this fun in life. This blog is about your winter destinations in India. Read it to know it. The most preferred destinations for snowfall this winters in India where you would love to pack your woollens and scarfs to start your travel journey. Please note these are my personal favourites but there are many more to visit, if you wish to know about them please leave a comment at the end of the blog. Read about 13 Snowfall Destinations In India Not To Be Missed In Winters. 

Manali

The wonder of the wonders, the Rohtang Pass is amazing and is covered with snow all over in winters. You will find fresh snow and beautiful mountain scenery. The high mountains with the peaks covered in clouds, with snow-covered tops will amaze you. Thundering white waterfalls from high mountain and meandering roads leading high up to the destination makes you forget everything and it makes it worthwhile the visit. You can enjoy other activities as well like skiing, snow motorbike, and can just going crazy flickering and dancing around in the snow.

 

manali snow

 

Shimla

The capital city of Himachal Pradesh is white in winters. It is a beautiful hill station which experiences substantial snowfall in winters in India. Various tourists visit Shimla for snowfall and enjoy snow activities. Places like Kufri, Narkanda, Mashobra get heavy snowfall. 

 

shimla snowfall

 

Gangtok  

Gangtok is the capital of the mountainous northern Indian state of Sikkim. Founded as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840s, the city became capital of a self-governing monarchy after British rule ended, but joined India in 1975. Today, it persists as a Tibetan Buddhist centre and a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges. But what is more striking about Gangtok, is the snow all over in winters, which makes it a wonderful destination to visit in winters. Although you get occasional snowfall in Gangtok places like Tsomgo Lake, Kupup Lake, Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang and Zero Point witness heavy snowfall during winters. Consequently, winter is the best time to go to Sikkim if someone desires to see snow.

 

sikkim gangtok

 

Gulmarg

Average snowfall was observed in Gulmarg, where nearly six inches of snow has swelled, while snowfall was heavier in the higher mountain ranges at many places in the Valley. From December-end to mid-February, there is abundant snowfall for you to create your own snowman! Make sure you pack heavy woollens as the temperature can drop down till -4 degrees Celsius.

 

gulmarg snowfall

 

Ladakh (Leh)

The high mountain passes in Ladakh including both Khardung La and Chang La, are under mounds of snow and passing through them is quite an experience in itself. Succeeding accessories like shades/glares/goggles are highly advised at this time of the year. Travelling by both the road routes, the Manali-Leh Highway and Srinagar-Leh Highway, is not plausible since they are not open in the snowy winters of Ladakh.

 

ladakh leh snowfall

 

A warning—if you are someone who is not attached to the cold weather or cannot bear cold climates, please give up the idea of visiting Ladakh in winter. The biggest battle will be with the intense chill, and it is more a brain game than anything else. It is more beneficial to be adapted for extremely cold conditions before landing at 3300m above sea level.

 

zanskar valley

 

Mussoorie

The most favourite hill stations are Mussoorie and Chopta which also saw fresh snow, alluring travellers from around the country. Mussoorie’s Mall Road and Landour saw an expanded footfall of tourists, keen to revel in the winter fun. People could be seen nestled around bonfires all through the day as mercury dipped further.

 

mussoorie snowfall

 

McLoedganj

The normal McLeodganj snowfall time is between December and February when the temperature ranges from -1 to 7 degrees Celsius. With numerous tourist attractions and local cafes, McLeodganj can be a marvellous place to visit to watch the annual snowfall. Mcleodganj with its frigid temperatures is a Disneyland of snow, snowfalls and everything white.

 

fresh snow mcleodganj

 

Auli

The vacation months in this beautiful hill station stretches from April to June are great to endure pleasant weather. These months are also perfect for skiing, nevertheless, Auli is covered in snow throughout the year but the best time is from Nov mid till Feb end. Skiing can be relished at any time during this season. You can also enjoy skiing festival in the month of February. December to February is the best month to visit Auli to show love for the snow. The temperature during this season ranges between -1 degrees Celsius to 5 degrees Celsius. Though, many places to visit in Auli get a new life and start embracing tourists from far and wide.

 

auli winters

 

Dhanualti

One of the most astonishing places in Uttarakhand to play with snow or witness snowfall near Delhi in winters is the region around Chopta, Tunganath or Deoria Tal. A small town in Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand experiences good snow in months of December till February.

 

snow dhanualti

 

Kangra

Kangra is a gorgeous little town situated in Kangra valley at the foothills of majestic Dhauladhar range of Himalayas. And snowfall in Kangra makes this village a charming white-wonderland. In some parts of the Kangra valley, you can witness snowfall in January and February. November is the onset of full-fledged traveller season in Kangra. Sports and adventure aficionados can indulge in skiing down the snow-laden mountains during this time. January is the month that you can lay off quickly because of the unbearable cold temperatures dipping to sub-zero levels.

 

kangra valley snow

 

Chamba

The temperatures dip zero and minus Celsius in winters. Be ready for a fun-filled winter vacation to Chamba.  Chamba is a charming little delightful town in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Established near the banks of majestic Ravi river the town gets paradisiacal during winters. This heavenly hill station is situated at a height of 926 meters. Presume how wonderful it would be during snowfall in Chamba. It is a remarkably old town with a lot of cultural heritage- with its history linking back to 2nd century BC. The village is renowned for its rich artistic heritage, its majestic temples, and magnificent palaces. It is also home to some wondrous art and craftsmanship including the famous Pahari paintings. If you love winters and freezing snow – this is the destination that will give you goosebumps during your holiday here in winters.

 

chamba valley snow

 

Tawang

Tourists travelling to Tawang and Bum-La Pass in Arunachal Pradesh observed the first snowfall of the season. Snowfall in India can be seen by tourists in the Himalayan belt. The tourists along the Sino-India border at Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district experienced the blessings of nature, and quickly enough, the whole place was engulfed with white snow. Bum-La Pass in Arunachal Pradesh is located at a height of 15,200 ft and has great ancient importance, as this is the road into which China penetrated India during the War of 1962. Today it endures as a popular tourist destination, and Tawang is only about 37 km away from this pass. Tawang is essentially visited during the winter season, which is from October to December.

 sela pass snow tawang

 

Spiti Valley

Spiti in winter is the uniquely transformed version of Spiti that you saw in summer. The huge mountains, mysterious terrains, the extent of barren landforms, and spots of green are entirely shrouded in a seamless sheet of snow. It’s a sea of white as far as your eyes can view. Such is the mesmerizing exhibition that you would run out of battery and space in your camera’s memory card but you won’t run out of the will to click pictures. It’s fun when you don’t have enough to do during the winter in Spiti and you can blend with the locals, experience delightful Spitian cuisine, and learn to lead life the more intricate way.

 

 

spiti snow

 



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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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