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Dharamshala for the views

india Updated: Jul 05, 2011 00:44 IST
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I’ve planned my travel from Delhi to Vaishno Devi temple. I plan to spend two-three days somewhere nearby. How about Dalhousie? Could I visit any other place?
Gopa
If you have two-three days available with you and you want to spend in the vicinity of Vaishno Devi, then, I suggest Patnitop, Dalhousie and Dharamshala. Patnitop is about 110-120 km from Jammu and 70-odd km from Katra. It is a nice laidback hill station with thickly wooded forests. It can be easily accessed by JK Tourism buses from Katra bus stop. Cabs can be rented from the bus stand area. Or visit Dalhousie, which is famous for lovely wooded forests and walks, remnants of the Raj era, lovely churches, and views of the magnificent Dhauladhar ranges of Himalayas. You could also go to Dharamshala/ McLeodganj for stunning views, monasteries, touches of Colonial lifestyle. The sightseeing here ranges from temples, churches, monasteries to museums, ancient towns and places of natural beauty. Regarding the transportation, there are many buses and there are cabs on rent from Pathankot to both Dalhousie and Dharamshala, which you can hire for the to-and-fro trip, making it a comfortable trip.

When is the best time to visit Alleppey? I want to have a relaxing week. While there, I need to rent a houseboat. How should I book or should I book it in advance? Will I find any travel guide or any agents to help me?
Raju
Onam is the best time to visit Alleppey, but the costs are high. On the houseboat front, you better research and select online. Even though you may get a little inexpensive one while you visit there, chances of falling prey to touts/middlemen will be more. If your stay in the houseboat is only for a night, then your choice is limited to the links the hotel people have. We suggest you go for smaller boats (you haven’t mentioned how many people you are), as they have more manoeuvrability. More than two nights is not worth and if you really want more time, you can try some more days in Kumarakom.