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While Himachal Pradesh is home to a dozen different monasteries, this spectacular place is not just the biggest, but also the oldest one around. A must visit tourist place in Spiti Valley, the Key Gompa is encircled by picturesque mountains and soothing valleys.
A wonderful example of monastic architecture and decorated with beautiful paintings, murals, manuscripts, and wind instruments – the Kye attracts history and cultural buffs round the year. If you are seeking spiritual enlightenment, the monastery is home to a large number of nuns, monks, and lamas who receive their religious education here.
If you plan to visit during June-July, you’ll also get to witness the beautiful festival involving Chaam dancers, lamas and a devil made out of butter!
Location: Spiti Valley, Lahul.
Best time to visit: May to October.
The Roopkund Lake is situated high up in the Garhwal Mountains in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This lake is of much historical and religious importance. It was also called the Mystery or Skeletal Lake after a large number of human skeletons were found in it in 1942 by a Forest Officer.
Following this discovery, a number of scientists visited the lake to find out the reason for the skeletons being there and it was eventually concluded that the skeletons belonged to some pilgrims who were caught unawares in a flash hailstorm.
Due to the huge chunks of ice that came with the hailstorm, the pilgrims died due to injuries to their skulls. This story was aired in national and international media and since them the Roopkund Lake has become a popular tourist destination.
The trek to Roopkund Lake showcases the best of Himalayan beauty. The trek begins at Lohajung, which is situated at an elevation of 3200 metres and goes on for five days till you reach the lake, which is at an altitude of 5000 metres. The first couple of days will take you through beautiful villages, forests, rivers and Bugyals.
The air will get thinner and thinner as you ascend and gain altitude. So it is very important that you are in the best of health and fitness when you set out for this trek. Higher energy levels will allow you to adjust better with the changing environment and enjoy the views offered by the region. Your team leader will also offer you tips on how to cope with the changing levels of the atmosphere.
The trekking trail followed during the Roopkund trek coincides with that of the Raj Jay Yatra pilgrimage route. This is conducted during a festival dedicated to goddess Nanda Devi and the residents of nearby village participate in this festival dressed in their traditional attire.
Being a combination of the conventional and contemporary Tibetan architecture, the Tibetan Museum in Mcleodganj is very unique. Located inside the Tsuglagkhang complex, the museum walls have a gentle yellow and white colour scheme that adds on to its quaint beauty.
It is a platform where one can observe and be in awe of the Tibetan historical documents, manuscripts, Thangka images, pottery and other handicraft items. Besides that there are also photographs, interviews and video records that explain and file the Chinese intervention in Tibet and the consequent migration of Tibetans. If you are admirers of art and are also fascinated by history then you could purchase paintings, artefacts and handicrafts from the Museum shops as souvenirs.
Timings: - Open from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Milam Glacier is one of the major glaciers in the Kumaon region. It is situated in Munsiyari of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. The elevation of the glacier ranges from 5500 metres to 3870 metres and is located at a distance of 15 km from Nanda Devi. The glacier was closed for trekking in 1962, but was reopened in 1994.
The best time to visit the Milam glacier is before the monsoons i.e. from mid-March to May. The monsoons set in June, which triggers landslides and roadblocks, making the area dangerous for any expedition.
The trekking trail to the Milam glacier starts at Munsiyari. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the Kumaon region and pass through places such as Nanda Devi East Base, Gauri Ganga Lilam, Martoli, Railkot, etc. on your way to the glacier. The glacier originates from the eastern slope of Trishuli and the southern slope of Kohli. The village of Milam is situated near the snout of the glacier. The trek to the Milam glacier is one of the best trails for trekking in India.
The Milam glacier has an altitude of 4268 metres and is surrounded by 52 peaks. The Milam glacier serves as an axial point for high altitude treks in India. The entire distance is covered by walking along the banks of the River Gori Ganga. You will pass through dense forests with blooming rhododendrons, chestnut trees, lush green conifers etc.
The trekking trail takes you past the Nanda Devi and Hardeol peaks. You will also come across the Ragash Kund, a shepherd shelter and a pond. The trek is a slightly difficult and will test your physical fitness and strength as you gain altitude. The best part of the journey is that you get to view the best of Himalayan beauty amidst majestic mountains and gurgling waters.
Best Season: May - September
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Max. Elevation: 4268 m
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The Padam Darchcha Valley trek is an exhilarating experience. The trek involves a long trek from Darcha which is situated in the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh to Padam, located in the mystical land of Zansak. Besides the thrill and excitement of trekking in the snowy slopes of the Himalayas, the trekking trail allows you to enjoy the beauty of the initial trail from Manali to Leh.
You can visit interesting Hindu temples in Manali which speak volumes about the history, culture and traditions of the region. This trek is a beautiful combination of adventure and sight-seeing and hence can be called one of the most exciting experiences of trekking in India.
The trek begins at Chalang Tokpa, from where you will move on to Ramjak and Chumikanakpo. The trek from Ramjak to Chumikanakpo will give you a fabulous trekking experience by testing your strength and skills. From here you will move on to Lakong and pass through Kurgiak and Purne before reaching Padam, Leh. The most interesting change that you will notice on reaching the destination is the transformation of the landscape.
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