To travel, one should not need an excuse. But time is a constraint for many of us caught up in the treachery of daily lives. But, with an extended weekend in view from March 24 to 27, here are some places that you can visit in the northern region. Beware: Spending four days in any of these places may leave you so relaxed that your frustrations levels may rise. But that’s no excuse to not go; is it?
This relatively less popular destination is in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, about 100 km from Chandigarh. Housing a cantonment, it is an ideal spot for nature lovers, photographers, trekkers, and people seeking some peac and quiet. Outlook Traveller terms it “a veritable treasure of abundant conifers, red rhododendrons, and tall oak trees, interspersed with the views of the snow-capped Himalayas and patches of dazzling blue skies”.
Below: Tiger Fall near Chakrata, as filmed by an Instagram user.
Below: Even something as usual as a house sparrow can look unusually pretty in places like Chakrata.
#house #sparrow on a #rocky #outcrop near #chakrata. This #picture was #taken from the #car as i happened to come upon a #flock of them #foraging for their #midday #snack. #nature #incredibleuttarakhand #uttarakhand #himalayas #wildlife #getoutstayout #ig_birdwatchers #ontheroad #spotted #worldsparrowday on 20th March
If you do not turn towards Chakrata, then you drive ahead for Lal Tibba. Literally translated to ‘Red hill’ for the play of the morning and evening light, and some other, unknown reasons, it is the name of quiet settlement on a hill in the Mussoorie hill station region, about 35 km from the Uttarakhand state capital of Dehradun, and 200km from Chandigarh. It is next to Landour, which houses a military cantonment too, and is a walk away from Char Dukan (literally, ‘four shops’) area that’s considered a writers’ haunt. Legendary children’s writer Ruskin Bond lives in Landour while poet-writer Gulzar and filmmaker-musician Vishal Bhardwaj are frequent visitors; so is cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. Despite the celebrity, it is a contrast to the main Mussories town that’s become a victim of, well, too much tourist interest. It offers majestic view of the Garhwal ranges of the Himalayas but do carry windcheaters — the breeze can go from pleasantly cool to ice-cold pretty quickly. Connectivity is by road as well as trains to Dehradun, and you could stay in lodges here, or in hotels in Mussorie that’s around 10km downhill.
Below: That’s how it looks from up there on Lal Tibba.
Lal Tibba ( red hill) - highest point in Mussorie, India... Breathtaking scenery pic.twitter.com/diCwf6aRC1— TravelJunkee (@traveljunkee_) February 16, 2016
Below: It’s a delight for photographers, as you could point the camera in any direction from Lal Tibba and be assured of a great shot!
This, too, is in Uttarakhand, though a longer drive from Chandigarh at about 480km. But, if all you want is to feel close to Mother Nature, then the trip is worth it. Or, the trip is actually the treasure. You can also go trekking as there are various climbable mountains and trails.
Below: It is a rather long drive from Chandigarh, but the fact that it’s relatively lesser-known makes it even more charming.
This is yet another one of my shots from my trip to #kausani. One of the panchchuli mountains. Taken with the 50-200 mm kit lens. ISO- 100 || f/5.6 || 1/800 #perfocal #pentax #pentaxks2 #pentaxian #pentaxindia #travel #mountains #wanderlust #peaks #snow #winter #lfl #likeforlike #like4like #l4l #india #delhi #lightroom #edited #clouds #cloudscape #cloudporn #cloud #mist #mountain #mountainview #cloudy #bnw
Then, of course, there is the much-loved Parvati valley in Himachal. Even as Kasol remains a central point, the last village in the valley is Tosh. You need a sturdy vehicle and a good driver. It is, not for nothing, the land of the hippies. Marijuana, technically illegal, is just a breath away. It is about 300km from Chandigarh.
Below: A river that hums, and views like that lend Tosh its beauty.
If you don’t want to go to the hills — why not, though — then Punjab has an option that covers several points. Take a bus or train to Amritsar from Chandigarh, about 230km away, explore the holy city, pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, experience some patriotism at the Attari-Wagah checkpost on the India-Pakistan border, and, of course, enjoy some delicious Amritsari cuisine. Then you can take a cab or bus to ferozeour, near which you can visit Hussainiwala, at which is situated a memorial to mark the cremation place of martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, near the banks of the Sutlej river. A more intimate evening retreat ceremony is conducted by the armed forces here too. You can fit the Harike wetland into the trip too. A wildlife sanctuary, it houses rich biodiversity with species of turtles, snakes, birds, and much more.
Below: The retreat ceremony at Hussainiwala border.
Below: A border sign at Hussainiwala