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Monday, 21 July 2014

Ladakh



Ladakh, situated in the lap of the mighty Himalayas is one of the best places in the world for mountaineering. It is truly a heaven for the mountaineers. With its lofty peaks, natural beauty and charisma, Ladakh attracts innumerable people from all around the world. One needs to have a brave heart and an unbending spirit in order to climb the mountains. In order to access the mountains, one needs to be exceedingly fit. There are many other factors that one needs to keep in mind before starting the thrill such as the climatic conditions and most importantly, one’s physical condition. The Zanskar and Karokaram ranges are an enthralling pleasure for the mountaineers.

The most popular and effortlessly reachable is the Stok Khangri cliff in Zangskar range.  Besides this, the Stok Khangri hovering over a splendid height of 6150m is the most popular trekking spot. It furnishes a stunning outlook of Indus valley and Karakoram Range. The Suru and Zanskar Valleys offers the most enchanting but tricky hiking in Ladakh. Mention should be made of the most regular mountaineering arena of the region, the Nun Kun Massif. It is the favourite spot of the enthusiasts and is reserved throughout the year by the mountaineers. Such is the magic of the place. 


One can easily access the twin ranges either from Tangole or Glumadong, however the Kargil-Paum Road is the main route. In order to access the base camp for Kun, one must definitely cross the Suru River. In addition to that, Mountaineers have also advanced from Parkutse adjacent to the Kangri Glacier. Elevating at an outstanding height of 7,077m exists the highest peak of Ladakh, the Nun Kun Massif. Some of the other peaks lying within the reach of Suru and Zanskar areas are Pinnacle, D41, Z1 and White Needle.

Permits required for climbing listed peaks:
It is mandatory for all mountaineers to procure acquiescence from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation for climbing all registered peaks. A reservation fee, based on the elevation and fame of the listed peak, is to be given by the mountaineers and in order to guide them; a Liaison Officer is always present. A considerable duration of approximately six months is essential for handing out applications. With respect to great concern, a rescue team is always witnessed in case of any mishap, accidents or infirmity.


Best time to visit:
The climatic conditions are a must in order to favour the expedition. Thus, the climbing period in Ladakh incorporates from mid - May to mid –October. However, the best time to encounter the mountains is when Ladakh is impervious by the monsoons, i.e. between June to September. 






Tips for Mountain Climbing:
In order to experience this thrilling adventure, one needs to keep certain things in mind.
One must definitely memorize the climbing course; Maps can also be carried for greater expanse of understanding.
A proper health check up is a must, so that one can know whether he/she is fit to set for the expedition.
Harness, ropes and other equipments need to be checked twice for better safety.
One must carry shoes with good sole and also suitable attire which can protect them from the callous climatic conditions (at times).
Last but not the least; Ladakh is one of the best places in the world for mountaineering. It is often frequented by visitors for mountaineering and trekking. If given a chance to visit the place, then one must never miss this golden opportunity. Henceforth, the Ladakh valley awaits your exploration.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Yousmarg Valley



Perched perfectly at the western part of the valley of Kashmir the fluorescent of Yousmarg is impeccable with its tranquillity and serenity. Located at a distance of around 47 km from the capital of Jammu and Kashmir the dale of Yousmarg is considered as the meadows of Jesus.

Mythology
As per the spiritual believes it is said that Lord Jesus travelled down to Kashmir and stayed here for some time and that’s the sole reason why valley is called as Yousmarg. The veil of alpine which is covered with snow clad mountains and above that vegetation of fir and pine assimilates the correspondent beauty of the pristine valley.

Tourism
From tourism perspective the site of Yousmarg is affiliated with adventure perks and its conventional tourism captivity measures entire expectation of traveller. Doodganga possibly the most fascinating flows around the site of Yousmarg compliments the valley with all its potential beside that its hue of alpine within Tosa maiden contributes in making the place exclusive.


Adventure Perks
As mentioned above the valley is lined up with amusement and adventures make sure to trek a distance of 4 km which would lead you to Nilnag where you will see the stands of pine trees. Another trekking route covers the distance of 10 km and it could be relatively commanding as compare to previous one but an endeavour of Sang-e-Safed valley would contemplate all your desire.

Things to Note
While trekking a long distance in search of serenity make sure to carry warm clothes, tents and map because the journey towards uphill would not be as simple as you would expect it to be. 

Government Measures
Government of state after understanding an importance of tourism and after evaluating an economic development decided to introduce an authority to boost an infrastructure of the valley. All the cafeterias, resting place, huts, pony tracks and subsidiary things you will witness are a kind initiative of government to support the cause of tourism.

Things to Do
Traveller must understand while coming here they have many splendid things to do to carry out your journey. Well they have already facilitated the provisions of trekking; Zorb Ball and Rock Climbing make sure you have many picnic spots around the dale of Yousmarg which means journey here is going to extensive and embracing.

Nearby Attraction
Nestled at an altitude of 7500 ft above sea level the pristine surroundings of Yousmarg is as affluent as the valley. Make sure to invest time to appreciate the brilliance of DoodGanga, Nilnag Lake, Mount Tatakuti, Drugdolen, Burga, Kalnag and Fresnag are some of the astounding places to visit around the site of Yousmarg.

Best Time to Visit
Being located at a quiet elevation Yousmarg experiences sub tropical climate which means the place would experience mild weather during summer and chilly weather during the call of winter. So understanding the weather aspect the most appropriate time to walk here would be during May to August and October March.

How to Reach





By air- nearest airport to Yousmarg is Srinagar airport and it is well connected with other cities of India.

By train-the nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi railway station.

By road- ample of local services like bus and taxi operates from the site of Srinagar.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Zanskar Valley an Offbeat Destination



Tourist information
Nestled in the Ladakh district of the state Jammu and Kashmir, Zanskar Valley is an enchanting tourist destination in the northern region of India. The valley is an offbeat destination but worth experiencing. The beautiful surroundings of the valley blessed by the enormous natural grandeur and scenic beauty fascinate tourists in no time. Zanskar Valley consists of two major valleys named Stod and Lunak. The valley is situated at an altitude of 13,154 feet high and is spread over 5,000 square kilometers. The cool refreshing air of the valley touches the depth of your heart which is a unique feeling for anyone. The moment in hilly regions truly gives you the feeling of being close to heaven. It is a fact that the valley remains inaccessible for about 7 months and remains open only 5 months in a year due to its high location. A visit to the Zanskar valley also can be an introduction to Buddhism and its culture and tradition. 


Tourist attractions 

Zangla: located in the northern region of Zanskar, Zangla is an old castle. The major attraction of the Castle is the small Chapel of a hill top from where tourists can explore the bird’s eye view of desert valley. The nearby village Tsa-Zar is also worth experiencing.

Zongkhul: Zongkhul Monastery is the most popular monastery in Zanskar. One can reach up to the monastery by trekking through Padum Kishtwar trail. The architecture of the monastery is eye catching. 

Stongdey monastery: Stongdey monastery is another important place of worship. The exterior architecture of the monastery reflects the Tibetan yogi and Marpa. It is the second largest monastery in Zanskar which houses about 60 Monks and abundant of majestic shrines. 

Panikhar: It is another major tourist attraction which is also a border of Suru Valley. Reach up to Panikhar and have an amazing view of the nearby places. It is a real retreat to your eyes. You can also explore the natural surroundings and Panikhar Fort built by Zorawar Singh from here. 

Penzella Pass: The Penzilla Pass is a heave for nature lovers as it offers the magnificent views of the Himalayas and the nearby countryside. The pass also divides the Suru Valley with the Zanskar.


Adventures in Zanskar
Being the hill destination, Zanskar is truly a thrilling and a hub of adventures. Some of the fantastic adventure activities done in here are Mountaineering, Camping, Trekking and Rafting. Being located at a high altitude the place consists of hilly and rugged surfaces for which is an ideal place for mountaineering. Another way to experience the wonderful moments in Zanskar is through camping. One must carry personal tents and few necessary things. During your camp stay enjoy the night time dinner and fix your eyes on the studded sky which is amazing. Trekking is also a major activity done in here through which you can enjoy the nature and it’s belongings at your best. The most interesting about the Zanskar trek is over the frozen Zanskar River during winters which is known as Chadar trek. River rafting is a thrilling experience done in Zanskar River. It is adventurous and challenging.

How to reach
Leh domestic airport is the nearest airport to Zanskar located at a distance of 153.5 kilometers and the nearest railway station is Jammu at a distance of 238 kilometers. Travelling through roadways, one has to first travel to Leh from Srinagar from where tourists can easily access to Zanskar. Various buses ply from Kargil to Zanskar.  


Best time to visit
The best time to visit is from the months of July to October.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Manasbal Lake the Sacred Hindu Lake on the Mount Kailash



Manasbal Lake an ancient lake as said by the locals is located about 30 km north of Srinagar, capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The lake was formerly known as Manasa or as Manasaras according to Sir Auriel Stein. The name Manasbal is derived from the Mansarovar the sacred Hindu lake on the Mount Kailash. The local person believes the lake to be bottomless yet the origin of the lake is still a mystery. The Manasbal Lake has caught up a lot of tourists’ attraction in the recent years.


 
The Hindus of the Kashmir region visits a pay to Manasbal Lake as of visiting the Mansoravar Lake which is a sacred shrine of the Hindus allover, because of travel difficulty being the main reason. It is the deepest and supreme gem of all Kashmir lakes with abundant of beautiful lotus. The Brahmans of Srinagar have also named a small spring, Sharad BAL as of the shrine of Sharada that is very far from Srinagar, up in the Northern Mountains. The water of the spring is drinkable and contains many medical benefits. 
  
The fort built in the 17th century by a Moghal king, to meet the needs of the caravans from Punjab to Srinagar is on the northern shore of the river. On the south is the mound-Ahtung mainly used for limestone extraction whereas it is mainly mountainous in the eastern part and in the north is an elevated plateau known as ‘Karewa’. The local people uses the water of the lake for many purposes such as a source of drinking water, for obtaining food and plants, fishing, and also for harvesting and marketing of lotus rootstocks.

One can also feel and see the beauty of the lake up-close doonga house-boat journey which takes about 6 hours. The journey starts from the Chattabal Weir, eyes wide open to the birds like wild vulture, kingfisher and crows hovering over their prey, the hum of the bees, the call of a fish-eagle and many more wonders. Moving forward downwards the breathtaking views of the mountains Mahadiv, Kotwal, and Harmoukh in the east also having a holy spot Prayag. About two miles away from here is the renowned king Lalitaditya built, remains of old temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Lord Buddha. The both are then towed at the mouth of the lake. Also there are two camping sites on the shore of the lake, one near the ruined Moghul Garden built by Nur Jahan, signifying a royal mansion. Another camping site is called Qozbagh planted by the Moghul judge. 


 

Flora
The flora within the lake water comprises of emerged macrophytes, submerged macrophytes, floating macrophytes and photo planktons.
Some of the emerged macrophytes are Nelumbo nucifera, Cyperus sp, and Phragmites australis.
Hydrilla verticillata, P. lucens, P crispus, Cerathophyllum demersum, Chara sp. are some of the submerged macrophytes.
Nymphoides peltata is a floating macrophyhtes.
The species of the phoyoplankton are Cyclotella comensis, Cymbella ventracosa, Navicola radiosa, Merismopedia elegans, Cosmorium constrictum, etc.

Fauna
The fauna that are found in the lake are benthos, zooplankton and fish.
Keratella quadrata, K. valga, Acanthodiaptomus denticornis, etc are the species of zooplankton found. Some of the economically important fishes include Cyprinus carpio specularis, S. esocinus, C. carpio communis, Schizothorax Niger and Neomacheilus latius.

Places of interest
Mughal Garden: Also spelt as Moghul garden and was built by Nur Jahan. It is also called Garoka, meaning bay window for its view.

Safapur: As an imitation of the Nasim Bagh in Srinagar, a forest of chinar trees was built on the village Safapur, which is also known as Badshah Boni. A canal built by Badshah in the 15th century irrigates Safapur taken from the Sindh River.

Khirbhawani: It is the famous spring that changes colour occasionally about six miles from Manasbal lake and is also sacred to the Hindus.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Top Five Destinations to Enjoy Snowfall in India



Almost every Indian has this mentality that the best way to enjoy the snow, is to visit the mesmerizing international destinations in Europe or Canada. But the problem is that every person cannot afford foreign tours. For those who cannot afford the international destinations to enjoy the snowfall, here is a list of top five destinations within India, where you can enjoy the snowfall and various other activities related to it. 


Kashmir: The state of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the top destinations for enjoying the snow. The state attracts a lot of honeymoon couples and families during the winter season, who come here to enjoy the snow covered landscapes. The months from December to March are the perfect time to enjoy the snowfall in this region. Srinagar, the capital of the state, which is also known as the winter capital, experiences snow during the month of January. Gulmarg is the most popular destination in the state to enjoy activities related to snow. The things that you can enjoy at this place during the winter season are skiing, paragliding and snow-flinging. Gulmarg is also facilitated with short ski lifts and cable car, which allows you to enjoy the beauty of the reason when covered with the thick layer of snow. 


Shimla: Shimla is another popular destination in India to visit during the winter season. The place experiences snowfall especially during the December month. Tourists visiting this place during this time can enjoy snow at the ice skating rink. One can also enjoy a pony ride to explore the snow covered areas of this place. Tourists can also take a pleasure of hot cup of coffee amidst the chilling weather, at the Indian Coffee House of this place. 

Manali: The winter season in Manali falls during the months of October to May, during which the snow fall occurs. Manali along with the close by Kullu valley makes an ideal destination to enjoy snow for the newlyweds and families. The region receives heavy snowfall during the month of January. Light amount of snowfall can also be experienced during December or early February. The things that you can enjoy during this time are the Winter Carnival, skiing, winter camping and trekking along the snow covered landscapes.


Ladakh: The place is one of the chilliest destinations in India during the winters. So, only the extreme adventure freaks who can endure the extreme low temperature and are in search of adventure along the snow covered areas of Ladakh, should visit the place. Some of the enjoyable activities that you can enjoy at this place when the snowfall occurs at this place are hiking, drinking a hot cup of coffee, visiting the monasteries and of course trekking, which allows you to explore the scenic beauty of this place when the region is covered with thick layers of snow. The region also experience heavy snowfall during the months of January and February.



Darjeeling: Darjeeling is not usually a snowy destination of India. But sometimes the region does experience a light amount of snowfall during the month of January. Trekking and playing with the snow balls are the most popular activities during this time of the year. Tourists can also try the globally renowned varieties of tea of this hilly region and also enjoy local foods like momo and thukpa, which are very much enjoyable during the chilling weather of winter in Darjeeling.