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I’ve always been passionate about travelling.¬† Travel has to be my only go to whenever i’m sad or happy.

Cheers:

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Fly high

Travelling can never set you wrong. It cheer up your mood no matter what. The best thing about travelling is the fact that it feels right to take a break form your busy schedule.

Family-fun:

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Fun with family

Also, hanging out with family and is a fun tip. It becomes important for people to get familiar with the outside world.

The idea that adds on to the fun is to go out with friends and travel around.

Travelling is the best medicine.

 

Queen of hills

Why best?

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Shimla, Queen of Hills

 

I feel lucky at times, especially when it comes to discussing my birthplace.  I was born in a place called Shimla, the capital of the states of Himachal Pradesh in India. 

Shimla is called the Queen of hills as it is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. The place has the most pleasant weather as compared to any other state in the country.

Attraction comes along:

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Hill station

The state is considered to be one of the best hill stations of all times. Shimla is also the widely visited tourist spot. Moreover,  the breeze from beautiful tall trees surrounding the town purifies the heart and mind. 

Land of Lords:

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Christ Chruch, Shimla

 

When it comes to the state’s cultural aspect, no one can let go the beauty that lies in temples and religious places around the city. There are quite a number of shrines in my hometown.¬†

  1. Jakhu temple
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Statue of Lord Hanuman, Jakhu temple

     2. Kalibari Temple 

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Kalibari Temple, Shimla

 

3. Tara Devi temple

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Tara Devi Temple, Shimla

 

Toy ride:

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Toy train, Kalka-Shimla

Apart from the temples, the state is known for its toy train ride. 

“The¬†Kalka‚ÄďShimla Railway¬†is a¬†2¬†ft¬†6¬†in¬†(762¬†mm)¬†narrow-gauge¬†railway¬†in¬†North India¬†which traverses a mostly-mountainous route from¬†Kalka¬†to¬†Shimla. It is known for dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages. The railway was built under the direction of Herbert Septimus Harington between 1898 and 1903 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the¬†British Raj, with the rest of the Indian rail system.

Its early locomotives were manufactured by Sharp, Stewart, and Company. Larger locomotives were introduced, which were manufactured by the Hunslet Engine Company. Diesel and diesel-hydraulic locomotives began operation in 1955 and 1970, respectively.

On 8 July 2008,¬†UNESCO¬†added the Kalka‚ÄďShimla railway to the¬†mountain railways of India¬†World Heritage Site”¬† (Wikipedia, 2018, para. 1).¬†

Worthy:

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Winters in Shimla

 

The climate of the capital is amazing. It is one such place where the weather remains pleasing throughout the year. The summers are not at all hot, but the winter gets chilly. 

The snow-covered mountains are cherries on the cake. The beauty of the place can’t be described in words although I tried to. No one would ever want to miss the chance of visiting the capital state- Shimla.¬†

 

 

 

 

Combo to offer

Experience speaks:

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Way to Lahaul-Spiti Valley

When it comes to travelling, there are a lot of things that run through my mind. Its been a while I have been trekking and going around different places and I believe travelling has so much to offer.

I still remember going on a trip with my parents to one of the most visited place in India that is Lahaul Spiti. It is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. These places form two diffferent districts but are named together.

Beauties:

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Photo Credits: Kriti Thakur

Spiti Valley is considered to be a cold desert mountain valley, located high in the Himalayas in the north-eastern part of the country.¬† Spiti means ‘The Middle Land’, as it is situated between Tibet and India.

Lahaul is however supposed to be driven from larch tree. The place is surrounded by beautiful tall trees. It can possess anybody around.

Getting there:

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View of the valley

The idea of driving to places is also the best. Considering the fact, not everyone likes trekking, but a dozen of them love travelling via various transportation systems.

A car is always a go to for people who love to drive, especially to charming places like Lahaul Spiti. There are some, who prefer going around on public vehicles.

Must visit list:

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Tabo Monastery

Tabo Monastery : “It¬†is an ancient monastery that was established in 996 CE in the Tibetan year of the Fire Ape . It is considered to be an important monastery and is often referred to as the Ajanta of the Himalayas. The complex has 9 temples and many stupas‚ÄĒall of which are made in mud and have been standing like this for more than 1000 years. The main temple is an assembly hall where monks used to pray together. This hall has all its walls painted with Buddhist stories” (Goyal, n.d, para. 1).

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Key Monastery

Key Monastery: It is literally located on the edge of the hill overlooking the spiti river, that flows in the valley. Visiting the place early morning; you can listen to the prayers. It is considered to be the most beautiful land of Kaza region.

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Chandra Tal lake

Chandra Tal: It is a lake located in Lahaul and Spiti valley. “It is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres (14,100¬†ft) in the¬†Himalayas. Mountains of¬†scree¬†overlook the lake on one side, and a¬†cirque¬†encloses it on the other” (Wikipedia, 2018, para. 1).

Always find ways to explore, it makes you happy and the memories gathered are forever. 

 

Height of beliefs

Never ending tales:

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Bijli Mahadev Temple 

My love for travelling is forever. It was back in¬† 2015, when I made an attempt to climb the mountain that leads to one of the sacred temples of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh known as ‘Bijli Mahadev’. It is one of the ancient temples in the country and is¬† located at an altitude of about 2,460 meters in the heavenly of Kullu.

High-above:

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Shiva lingam made of unsalted butter

The path that leads to the destination can be reached by completing a trek of about 4 kilometers and climbing 1,000 stairs . I remember starting the trek with a stick in my hand and a belt tied around my waist, as this was my first journey to the top. The excitement never left my side as there is an interesting and unbelievable story about the temple that I had heard back in the days.

Behind the House of God:

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Six feet tall pole, Bijli Mahadev

Bijli Mahadev is a temple, behind which lies the story that not many people are aware of.¬† Firstly, it is a temple where Lord Shiva resides in the form of Shiva lingam. The Shiva lingam is made of butter. However, right outside the shrine is a six feet tall pole that has an iron nail on its top. The flip to the story is that this wooden pole attracts lightning every year that travels inside the temple and is believed to hit the Shiva lingam (butter). Isn’t that unbelievable and mysterious at the same time? It was definitely surprising for me. The Shiv lingam breaks into pieces and the priest customarily puts it back, after collecting them from all over the valley. But after I was there, I talked to the priest of the temple and he said, whenever that happens they see where the pieces are right in their dreams the previous night. There are various beliefs behind breaking of the lingam. The locals believe that it happens because the deity wants to protect them from the evils. However, others believe that the lightning is itself a blessing as it is so powerful.

Beauty of the mountain:

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View of Kullu Valley (Beas river) from the top

The most pleasing aspect  for a person is not only the beauty of the temple and the surroundings, but also the fact that one is able to see the Kully valley at an angle of 360 degrees. Also, the breathtaking view of the Beas river that flows in the valley is unforgettable. As you approach towards the Mahadev temple, the essence that deodar and pine trees bring along has to be one of the pleasures that the trek offers.

 

 

Two Ts from Davinder Verma

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View from Shrikhand Mahadev

Take vacations and travel as many places as you can, have been the Mantra of my hero- My Father. No one could have been better than him for this spot, at least. He is my forever inspiration, especially when it comes to travelling. He has always taught me the ways in order to survive outside my comfort zone. My father is less like a father and more like a ‘partner in crime’ figure for me.

  A poet:

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Davinder Verma at Shrikhand Mahadev

The best part about daddy is that he narrates all the possible tales of his adventurous trips in a fascinating way. As a child, I grew up listening to all those stories; this is the reason why passion for travelling flows in the veins, and is an inherited trait. Therefore, the two Ts stand for Travelling – Traits, on the top.

When you possess a quality, you want people to possess it too. However, this plays true in my case. Being a traveller, my father always wanted his daughter to go out and grab it all. He has been my tutor, not in terms of flipping pages but in terms of making memories and penning them down on ‘pages’.

  Know him better:

Name of the interviewee: Davinder Verma

Relationship with the blogger: Father

Occupation: Government Employee

Hobbies: Travelling and reading books

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Davinder Verma in Shimla, India

  In conversation with DV:

Kriti: Why do you consider travelling as a part of your hobbies?

Davinder: I think the best way for me to invest my time is on travelling.

Kriti: How will you define travelling in one word?

Davinder: Life (by all means)

Kriti: Do you have a list of go to places?

Davinder: Definitely, I do. Considering my travel history, my go to destination has always been hilly areas. Although, I have travelled abroad and various other places extensively, I still prefer reaching out to mountains.

Kriti: How many places have you visited till now?

Davinder: Well, it is a long list, but I don’t mind mentioning few of them. I have completed almost all the treacherous treks in India.
Shrikhand Mahadev trek– 18,000 feet

Amarnath Trek – 13,000 feet

Bijli Mahadev trek– 8071 feet

I went to Kibber Village, Asia’s highest village, the third time with my daughter in 2015. I have also been to almost all the South Asian countries.

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Kibber Village , Lahaul Spiti, India   PC: Kriti Thakur

Kriti: When did the idea of travelling hit your mind?

Davinder: It has been there since I was a child. I still remember the times back in 1979, when I first went on a camp, since then travelling became a part of my life.

Kriti: Your inspiration?

Davinder: Shimla- my hometown was once the British capital of India, when the country was under the British rule. Later, when I started travelling, I met people from different nations, who visited the capital from all over the world and became my inspiration.

Kriti: Do you find time and money management easy before planning a trip?

Davinder: Management is the key for me. On one hand, I make it a point to list down the savings for the trip I plan, and on the other hand, I make sure that I spare enough time to visit each place out there, peacefully.

Kriti: It is obvious that people like to travel with a companion, but if given a chance would you travel alone?

Davinder: Absolutely, I will go for it, but if you have your vibes along, the trip turns out to be interesting and memorable.

Kriti: What all experiences have you gained after travelling almost half of the world?

Davinder: The best experience about every place I have visited has to be the peace and patience that Mother Nature holds on. As I kept on travelling different places, I realized that I became more knowledgeable and gained good amount experience.

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Glacier slides- a challenge

Kriti: Has language been a barrier while communicating with people from all around the world?

Davinder: Yes, it becomes a barrier while you are out there, but at times a smile works. If not words, expressions and actions are enough to get through.

Kriti: Travelling Tips you would like to share?

Davinder: I have a bunch of them-

  • Smaller the bag packs, better will be the journey of a traveller.
  • Never miss out on essentials like tents, sleeping bag, and a water bottle which might not be available at few places.
  • “Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter,” said Izaak Walton. Prefer travelling with limited number of people rather than going in large groups.
  • Always plan your trip keeping in mind time management. Equally distribute your time.

 Kriti: Your message to the people?

Davinder: Everyday is a journey, so get the best out of it and be a traveller.

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I regard my father as a genius. No one could have ever motivated me the way he has. He is not only my go-getter, but also a bundle of joyfulness, experiences and a person with positive attitude for almost everybody in the family and the vicinity.

Special thanks to Davinder Verma for sparing his time and sharing his experience with me.

Any father- daughter travellers ? Comment below to share your story. ūüôā

 

Confessions of a travelling freak

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Photo Courtesy: Sahil Chauhan

People have various choices and options when the term travelling comes into play. One thing that strikes my cords when it comes to travelling has to be trekking. The world has thousands of options to pick from. You can start your journey in a luxurious car, a public vehicle or an airplane. But for me, it has usually been and will be on foot. The amount of joy and excitement that comes your way is incredible. Mostly, people end up creating an outline of who, what, when, where and how. Honestly, the answers to all these questions are unimaginable. Dame Nature has a bucket full of experiences to offer.

   An unforgettable memory:

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Shrikhand Mahadev – Shivalingam (18,000ft.)

Shrikhand Mahadev is a pilgrimage trek in India that leads to 75 ft. tall Shivalingam, and has a special place in my heart. It was the first ever dangerous treks I attempted to go on. Why am I calling it dangerous? It is because every year the trek opens for only 15 to 20 days in the month of July, due to unfavorable weather conditions. However, the peak is situated at an altitude of 18,000 feet above the sea level.

 Dream come true:

The trek to Shrikhand Mahadev takes around 10 days to complete, but I completed it in just three days. It was not less than an achievement for me. I am sure everybody has a wish list typed either in a secret diary or stamped inside the brain. It would be hard to believe, but trust me my list only had this particular place on it.

  Journey Initiated:

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Wanderer  Photo Courtesy: Parth Sharma

I don‚Äôt think I can ever forget the evening of July 6, 2017. In middle of the conversation with my elder sister, we suddenly decided to leave for the trek. This had to be an exciting journey. Both of us packed our bags and left the house. Undoubtedly, we were on cloud nine, but deep inside we were worried about the fact that we are leading to the abodes of Lord Shiva, one of the ‘toughest’ treks. An interesting side to the trip was that it was a call from the mountains, especially from Lord Shiva.

The ascending trek started with beautiful green alpine meadows, where nature seemed at its best. As we kept climbing, we got to a point where the board read, “Last habitation point.” When you come across messages like this, you tend to freak out. All you have to do is keep your determination on point. This formula kept me going.

  Nights outside:

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Tent & Fire

The best part of trekking for me has to be the nights spend inside a tent that comes with no guarantee. The scenes changed as we moved ahead. We stayed in a tent, as repeated stops are a major requirement in order to adapt the changes in the climate and take rest. The sound of the flowing river is an amazing story till date. I call it- the best night out ever.

  On the top:

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Kriti Thakur, ride on a glacier

It is during the daylight when people start trekking so as to enjoy all the beautiful sites on the way to the peak. On the way to the final destination, we not only came across breathtaking waterfalls, but walking on huge glaciers was not less than a challenge. This amazing trek brings in front of you various colors of nature altogether. Once you reach at 13,000 feet, you are at Parvati Baag. It is considered to be the staircase to heaven on earth, Mahadev peak. Right after we reached 16,000 feet, was the most dreadful upright climb. There was no life beyond it. All that could be seen were the rocks and stones stacked that led to the heroic ‘Shivling’. The vibes on the top, absolutely, touched my soul.

  Nature at its best:

The terms trek and nature not only reminds me of Shrikhand Mahadev alone, but again adds up to my memories of my second most thrillful trek to Shikari Devi. How can I forget to mention it? It was a planned mission, but never thought of ending up walking for 22 kilometers straight.

  Exciting tales:

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Shikari Devi Temple     Photo Courtesy: Kriti Thakur

Shikari Devi Temple is located at the height of 10,768 feet from the sea-level in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The memory was captured on July 10, 2018. We started the trek exactly at 7 a.m. and made it around 10:30 at night. All we knew was the name of our destination; clueless about the path that was going to lead us to the temple. Regardless of the certainty that our phones will stop working after reaching a specific altitude, we never gave it a second thought. Once you have decided to head out, all that comes on plate afterwards is the end result of your decision. You have to have faith, but your willpower comes first.

A French poet, Victor Marie Hugo said, “People do not lack strength; they lack will.”

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Photo Courtesy : Kriti Thakur

It’s not only about the chills and thrills you gain from such adventures. But this escapade built a bridge that not only connects you to the Mother Nature but also helps you put together all the experiences you gain, while you are out there on your own.

Shout out to David Urmann, his site was of  great help.

Interested in knowing more about ‘Treks into Heaven’ ? Go ahead! Hit comment ūüôā