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    Here is a guide to the Beaches in India

    Be it on the east or west coast, with pristine white sands, golden yellow sands and black sands, beaches in India are as diverse as our many states and languages. Some of the best beaches in India are regularly finding their way on the world map thanks to their pristine beauty and solitude, adventure, watersports and beautiful resorts that have sprung up.  Imagine walking along shores while the skies adorn a bouquet of multicolored hues. The coastlines of India indeed have some of the most scenic beaches in the world!

    Goa

    When you think of ‘Goa’, your mind automatically conjures up images of surfing, golden sands, mile-long beaches fringed by swaying palms and pristine waters. It is blessed with some of the most spectacular beaches of our country. The best time to visit is between October and January.

    However, Goa is at its beautiful best during the monsoons from June to September. Moreover, during this time hotels offer the best rates. Though the prices go up peak season, several places offer a decent off-season discount.

    1. Palolem Beach

    Photo credit: Andrew Miller - flickr

    If you are looking for the most picturesque beach in Goa, then head to Palolem Beach which is in South Goa. Beautifully enclosed with a thick forest of coconut palms, this mile long beach is as scenic as it gets and is located just 45 km from Margao and 76 kilometres from Panaji.

    [Enjoy racing with the waves while surfing in Arambol, Goa]

    Photo credit: Andrew Miller - flickr

    This semi-circle shaped beach with its pristine waters and golden sands attracts thousands of tourists who are looking for tranquillity away from the crowded parts of Goa. The closest railway station is Marago on the Konkan railway station and Canacona which is a 10 minute drive away. You can also take a flight to Goa’s Dabolim airport which is about one and a half hours away.

    2. Baga Beach

    Photo Credit : harikrish.h - flickr

    For years several tourists have thronged to Baga Beach in north Goa, undoubtedly one of the best beach holidays in India. The beach is filled with food shacks, tattoo shacks , flea markets and adventure sports that are hard to match, amongst beaches of India. There are several fine-dining restaurants along the coastline that are as famous as the beach itself and attracts foreigners and Indians by the hordes in all seasons.

    [Check out 10 most of the beautiful places in Goa]

    With a pulsating nightlife on offer, this is definitely where you will head for some great time. If water sports attract you, you can go for thrilling parasailing activities, wake boarding, kite surfing and even take a dolphin spotting trip. The Wednesday flea market at Anjuna Beach and Saturday night market at Arpora are popular destinations for shoppers too.

    You can reach here by train and get off at the Thivim station or land by air at Goa's Dabolim airport which is located 50 kilometers away and take a pre-paid taxi to Baga.

    3. Agonda Beach

    Photo credit: Magnus von Koeller - flickr

    If you are looking for a relatively secluded area then Angoda beach is the place for you. This beach is located in South Goa just north of Palolem Beach. It is located 43 kilometers from Margao and 76 kilometres from Panaji. Here, you can live in a hut right on the beach and get your dream vacation.

    [Witness and interact with adorable dolphins in Candolim, Goa]

    Being a turtle nesting and dolphin site, Angoda beach has an understated elegance about it. There are plenty of tourists and souvenir stalls along the way, adding to the charm of the place.

    4. Arambol Beach

    Photo credit: dwan - flickr

    Arambol beach in Goa is yet another alluring beach in these parts. Tourists who are looking for less crowded areas, seek out this beach that has to be approached by a 10 minute walk along a narrow path. All along the way, are small shops selling trinkets and food.

    [Get an adrenaline rush as you enjoy the water sports at Baina Beach]

    There is a freshwater pond a few metres from the beach, and the sand around it is said to have medicinal properties. If you wish to stay the night, the boutique resort, Rococco at Ashvem, is a great option. The beach also offers a refreshing ayurvedic spa and a vast array of Mediterranean, Indian and Japanese cuisines.

     Kerala

    5. Marari Beach

    Marari Beach

    Photo Credit : nborun - flickr

    Not far from the small town of Alleppey in Kerala, is Marari Beach which is a perfect for people looking for a peaceful time. You can also explore Kerala backwaters from here. You can also opt for some interesting day trips from here to add to the holiday mood. These include the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, traditional coir-making units, and the Kerala backwater canals.

    [Enjoy a relaxing beach holiday tour in Kerala, cruising down the backwaters and sightseeing]

    The snake boat races take place during August over here, and are a big draw for tourists. This is one of the top beaches of India that offers complete entertainment for the tourists. The luxury Marari beach resort is an eco-friendly resort and is hugely popular as it captures the soul of the beach and is inspired by local fishing villages, the ideal place to stay when you visit the beach. The nearest train station is in Alleppey or you can land at the nearest airport in Cochin.

    6. Muzhappilangad Beach

    Muzhappilangad Beach

    Photo credit: Goutham Mohandas - wikicommons

    If you are looking for an offbeat, lesser crowded location, while in Kerala, you can also visit the only drive-in beach in the country in Muzhappilangad which is located just seven kilometres from Thalassery in north Kerala.

    To get to this beach, you can use the airport in Kozhikode or the nearest railway station which is in Kannur. This particular beach attracts a lot of foreigners too.  You can stay at the Kairali Heritage at Kannur in air-conditioned cottages that face river Kattampally.

    7. Alappuzha Beach

    Alappuzha Beach

    Photo Credit : Ronald Tagra - flickr

    While in God’s own country, it makes sense to stop by at Alappuzha which is known as Venice of the East. The dock that extends into the sea here is almost 140 years old. A large picturesque set of lagoons, lakes and freshwater rivers along the Arabian Sea makes it mesmerising in its natural beauty and splendour.

    [Relax, slow down and unwind on the riveting backwaters of Kerala]

    Here, you will find several species of birds and animals in their natural habitat adding to the vivid beauty, making this a ‘must visit’ destination. This lovely beach location is also famous for its houseboats, boat races and coir industry.

    8. Varkala Beach

    Varkala Beach

    Photo Credit : Thejas Panarkandy - flickr

    A purely pristine and beautiful stretch of beach is the Varkala Beach that has a vibrant stretch of cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea. This beach is located just 51 km from Thiruvananthapuram, and is an hour’s drive away.  A beautiful paved footpath runs along the length of the cliff that is fringed with coconut palms and is a stunning sight to behold.

    [Appreciate and soak in the sights nature has to offer as you go on an eco tour in Kerala]

    There are several beautiful sights to see here and one of them is an ancient shrine of the Janardhana Swamy Temple that was built on a cliff, overlooking the beach. Another attraction is the Samadhi of the Guru, where devotees throng every year to pay their respects.

    A natural spring close by is said to have medicinal properties. With a range of good accommodation facilities for tourists, this beach is fast becoming popular with foreigners and local tourists. All along the beach, there are quaint shops selling wares and trinkets.

    9. Alleppey

    Alleppey

    Photo Credit : Christian Haugen - flickr

    A trip to the beaches of Kerala will be incomplete without a cruise on the famous Alleppey houseboats. The cheapest option would be to choose the Alleppey Tourism Development Corporation’s ferry between Alleppey and Kollam which is an eight hour ride. The ferries usually set out at 10.30 am from each town everyday. The rides usually include a scrumptious meal on board. Many of these trips also stop at the coir village, along the way.

    [Cruise along the emerald green backwaters of Kumarakom in a quaint houseboat]

    You can travel through the Alleppey backwaters to places such as Kumarakom, Kottayam, and Alumkadavu (near Kollam). The breathtaking scenery along the way with swaying palm trees and local fishermen and women dressed in colourful attire will make your ride memorable.

    Lakshadweep Islands

    Looking for a beach that is both mystical and magical?  Look no further than the Bangaram beach in Lakshadweep that has beaches characterised by white sands and pristine blue lagoons.  There are plenty of thrilling water sports and adventure activities for adventure-seekers that includes snorkelling, diving, deep-sea fishing and sailing to name a few. 

    Another alternative is the Radhanagar Beach in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Its pristine white sands, deep blue waters and serene surroundings make it breathtakingly beautiful. Located 12 km from Havelock’s ferry pier, this is one of the best beaches in India.

    10. Nagoa Beach

    Nagoa Beach

    The Nagoa Beach, Diu is located near the Nagoa hamlet of the Bucharwada village in the union territory of Daman and Diu, India. This lovely beach is shaped like a horseshoe.

    If you are the adventurous kind, this beach offers plenty of water sporting activities and is a great place for swimming. Also, on offer are various water sports like parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing and windsurfing, truly a fun-filled holiday for families. The drive is quite exhilarating as you drive through coconut groves and experience the cool breeze and serene atmosphere on the way.

    Chennai

    11. Pondicherry Beach

    Pondicherry

    Photo credit: Soham Banerjee - flickr

    Pondicherry is a beach lover’s paradise. Serenity Beach in Pondicherry is a pristine and peaceful beach. This union territory is well known for its long coastline and has several places that are ideal for sunbathing and strolling in the sands. Add to that the golden yellow sands and deep blue waters; and Pondicherry is a favourite beach holiday destination for most people in the country.

    [Appreciate aqautic nature while snorkling and kayaking in Lakshadweep]

    Serenity Beach is just a short 10-minute drive from the north of the city. The vast stretches of serene sea and sky is an alluring sight. For adventure seekers there are the usual water sport activities that keep you enthralled and rejuvenated.

    [Don't miss out the things to do in Pondicherry]

    12. Mahabalipuram Beach

    Mahabalipuram

    Photo Credit : Alexander Pfeiffenberger - flickr

    If you are looking for a serene beach with a lot of history thrown in and ideally located on India’s east coast, then Mahabalipuram beach (or Mamallapuram) is just where you need to go.  It is one of the best beaches in India as one can trek here as well as enjoy the lovely resorts that dot this beach. Located about 50 kilometres from Chennai, in Tamil Nadu, you can get here by local bus or by train.

    [Check out best weekend trips from Chennai]

    The nearest station is Chengalpattu (Chingleput) which is 29 kilometres away and just an hour’s drive if you take a taxi from here. This historic town is filled with temples and the Shore temple here is a huge attraction.

    Its stone sculpture industry and rock cut caves are also well known and some of the main attractions here is the ‘Five Rathas’ (sculptured temples in the shape of chariots) and ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ which has carvings of the Mahabharata depicted on rocks. The best time to visit will be from December to March.

    Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    14. Wandoor Beach

    Wandoor Beach

    Photo Credit : Christopher Angell - flickr

    Wandoor beach is located at the southern tip of Andaman. It is one of the best places to relax under the serene beauty of nature. Only 25 km from Port Blair, this beach is famous for its swimming destinations and spectacular coral life.

    A holiday in Wandoor beach is incomplete without visiting Jolly Bouy Island. Open to tourists alternate 6 months, Jolly Bouy Island is an ideal home to exotic marine life. Rare species of fish, corals and other marine life can be found in this island.

    Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is the nearest spot to this beach. The park is known for the exotic varieties of its red, blue and sponge coral.

    15. Corbyn’s Cove 

    Corbyns Cove

    Photo Credit : Sankara Subramanian - flickr

    Another exotic location by the sea is Corbyn’s Cove, Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Surrounded on one side by coconut trees and a calm sea on the other, this beach is popular for jet-skiing, scuba diving and swimming.

    [Go scuba diving and snorkelling in the azure waters of Andaman]

    If you just want to laze on the beach then sun bathing and going for a leisurely swim is also an ideal way to get some sun and water. The best way to get here is by road as it is located just 4 kilometres east of Port Blair airport and 7 kilometres from the main town area.  You can stay at Peerless Sarovar Portico, Port Blair which offers rooms with a view of the sea.

    Karnataka

    16. Devbagh Beach

    Devbagh Karnataka

    Photo credit: Abhijeet Rane - flickr

    The southern state of Karnataka in India, also offers some beaches near the coast and one of them is Devbagh, Karnataka. This is an island off the Karwar Coast where River Kali meets the sea. You can also land here from Dabolim Airport in Goa, which is 90 km away from Devbagh.

    It is located around 50 km from Gokarna. Primarily a secluded beach, it is filled with meandering backwaters and thick jungles. There are a wide variety of options for accommodation including fishermen’s huts, cottages, log huts and houseboats.

    17. Gokarna Beach

    Gokarna Beach

    Photo Credit : Sudharsan Narayanan - flickr

    This small town of Gokarna has some of India’s most secluded and beautiful beaches in its fold. The drive to this beach is as scenic as it gets with a winding path that leads to the beach, with the rocky mountains of the Western Ghats  consists the Arabian sea on either side. Gokarna primarily consists of the Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, Om beach, half moon beach and Paradise beach.

    [Revel in a speed boat experience on the trendy Om beach]

    In fact, you can even trek from beach to the other.  Om beach is literally in the shape of Om and is one considered to be one of nature’s spectacular creations. Since Gokarna is a holy city, it also attracts pilgrims and beach enthusiasts. Located in the state of Karnataka, it is an hour’s drive away from the south of Goa border and is a 450 km drive from Bangalore.

     

    [Check out for awesome Gokarna Resorts]

     West Bengal

    18. Digha Beach

    Digha Beach

    Photo credit: Rajarshi MITRA - flickr

    Situated at a distance of 187 km away from Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, Digha beach is the most popular in West Bengal. In Digha beach, Bay of Bengal exhibits its most pristine form and this enchanting beauty allures thousands of tourists every year. It is also one of the favourite getaways of Kolkattans.

    [Camp by the Chilika Lake and experience traditional pole-boat cruises in Orissa]

    Sunrise and sunset are the best times to get an outstanding view of this beach. Beguiling beauty of the sunrays, striking the sea and the crystal sands, creates a mesmerising atmosphere around the beach. Calmness of the sea, under the spell of the sunrays offers a magnificent view sure to be etched in yourmind forever. Shallow water and gentle waves of Digha beach make it a not-to-be-missed beach in West Bengal.

    Digha beach, originally known as ‘Beerkul’, was discovered during the eighteenth century. It has also been called ‘Brighton of the East’ during the British rule.

    19. Mandarmani Beach

    Mandarmani Beach

    Photo credit: Abhijit Kar Gupta  - flickr

    Mandarmani is another hotspot among beaches in West Bengal. Claimed to be the longest driveable beach in India, this mystical beach is 13 km long. It is located in the East Midnapore district of West Bengal and can be easily reached from all the major places of Kolkata.

    [Take a weekend break on the seas fishing off Bogmalo Beach]

    Crawling red crabs add more life to the crystal sands of Mandarmani beach. The appearance of these crabs looks familiar to ‘Mandar’ - a kind of red flower found in this region. Thus, the local people named this beach as ‘Mandarboni’, which later changed to Mandarmani.

    Calmness of the morning and serenity of the evening in Mandarmani beach is an extreme delight to the mind. It is the second most popular beach holidays in West Bengal.

    20. Bakkhali Beach

    Bakkhali Beach

    Photo credit: P.K.Niyogi - wikicommons

    This beach is located in ‘South 24 Parganas’ district of West Bengal. The location of this beach adds an extra flamboyance to it and casts a magical spell on its admirer. It is a perfect holiday destination for wildlife lovers. Located in one of the deltaic islands of the Sunderbans, Bakkhali beach is guarded by naturally growing Casuarina trees. 

    There is an interesting history about the accidental discovery of this place. Sir Andrew Fraser, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal (1903–1908) discovered this place during one his voyages in the sea, quite by chance.

     Odisha

    21. Puri Beach

    Puri Beach

    Photo credit: rjha94 - flickr

    One of the most sacred places of the Hindus, Puri also boasts of a magnificent beach lying along the coastline of Bay of Bengal. In this beach, the radiant sunrays mix elegantly with the roaring sea waves, creating a splendid view and a mesmerising atmosphere.

    Puri beach can be called as the abode of the sand artists; sand art is one of the main attractions of this beach. Every year, Puri beach hosts sand art festival where artists gather to displays their fascinating art skills. Several national and international artists take part in this festival with great enthusiasm. Sudarshan Pattnaik is one of the most popular sand artists of Odisha. His name and fame has reached several countries in the world.

    [Discover historical monuments and sacred temples with our rustic Puri tour]

    Puri beach can be easily reached from Puri railway station. While travelling by air, Bhubaneshwar airport will serve as the nearest airport to this beach.

    22. Chandipur Beach

    Chandipur Beach

    Photo credit: Subhashish Panigrahi - flickr

    Chandipur beach is located in Baleswar district of Odisha. This beach is popular for its uniqueness: water in this shore moves away 1-4 km when the tide ebbs, making the sea seem to disappear in this beach. This singular natural occurrence of Chandipur beach makes it one of the most visited beaches in India.

    In Chandipur beach, bio-diversity can be found in the best form. Horseshoe crabs; one of the rarest species of crabs, can be found on this beach. Swaying waves, sand dunes and peaceful atmosphere prevails on this beach. For food lovers, there is the addition of Chandipur beach serving extremely delicious seafoods.

    Chandipur is located at a distance of 200 km from Bhubaneswar and 10 km from Balasore. It is well connected to other nearby places and can easily be reached by following National Highway No. 5.

    23. Chandrabhaga Beach

    Chandrabhaga Beach

    Photo Credit : Vaibhav San - flickr

    Famous Sun Temple of Konark is the nearest attraction centre to Chandrabhaga beach. It lies only 3 km away from the Sun temple and 30 km from Puri. Chandrabhaga beach is related to many mythological tales. Lord Krishna’s son Shamba is believed to have worshipped the Sun God on the river mouth of Chandrabhaga. Shamba, who was a leper, got cured in this place. Since then, Chandrabhaga is considered as a sacred place for the treatment of lepers.

    [Experience the gems of India with the Orissa Golden Triangle tour]

    Other tales depict how the Sun God fell in love with Chandrabhag, daughter of a sage, and efforts of the latter in keeping herself away from the romantic overtures of the Sun God. In order to resist all the tricks of Sun God, Chandrabhag sacrificed her life in the river.

    Her sacrifice has been marked as a holy occasion and is celebrated on the seventh day of every full-moon fortnight of Magha month. Every year, thousands of devotees visit this beach and offer prayers. This beach is an ideal spot for relaxing and attaining mental peace.

    24. Ashtaranga Beach

    Among the various beaches in India, if anyone wants to see the magnificent glory of the sunset, they must visit the Astaranga Beach. Located at a mere distance of 91 km from Puri, this beach gets drenched in the glorious colours of the setting sun. While the crystal sands of this beach reflect the colour of the setting sun, the view is truly enticing and panoramic. From October to June is the best time period to visit this beach. 


Attractions

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Corbett National Park

Expanded over an area of 308 sq km, Jim Corbett National Park was established in the year 1936 and is one of the oldest national parks in the country. Situated at the base of the magnificent Himalayas, it is the first Tiger Reserve in the country and stands to be one of the most popular weekend getaways from Delhi. Though visitors are allowed to certain parts of the reserve, the park makes for a fun and exciting wildlife tour.

The national park is the perfect place for those wildlife species that seek refuge in its wonderfully green thickets. As the first national park to introduce and execute the ‘Project tiger’ campaign, Corbett national Park has been repeatedly termed as one of the best national parks in the country! So get your cameras and binoculars ready to go wildlife exploring soon!

Distance from Delhi: 254km

Best time to visit: November to June

Attractions: Bengal Tigers, Indian Elephant, Wild Buffaloes, Leopards, Crocodiles and Gharials

Activities: Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari, Wildlife Tours and nature photography

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Lal Tibba

In the local language, Lal Tibba means the Red Hill. This is said to be the oldest and the most populated place in Mussoorie. The place is known for its scenic beauty courtesy the pleasant sunrise and sunset that leave the visitors spell bound. Do carry woolens irrespective of the month of the visit.

Location: It is situated in the Landour area and lies at an altitude of 8000 metre above the sea level.

Highlights: Lal Tibba is even famous as the Depot Hill because of the presence of a depot here. Besides this there is camp of the Indian Military services, All India Radio and Doordarshan. Hills of the Lal Tibba are also popular amongst the shoppers as there are a number of markets in the nearby areas.


Best Time: The best and the most ideal time to visit Lal Tibba is the summer months of March and June. Avoid travel during the monsoon months as there maybe leeches here.
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Haridwar

Known as one of the most ancient and sacred cities in India, Haridwar is situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga River and is one of the few places near Delhi to visit at any time during the year, and if you are an ardent devotee, then there are specific times during the year that you can visit this place.

Revered by Hindus all over the country, Haridwar is one of the seven holiest cities of India and widely known as home to the Panch Tirth (five pilgrimage destinations) and three Siddha Peetha (a place where desires get fulfilled). A pious and holy place, Haridwar is a haven for photographers who can capture the deep beauty of the place and raw Indian culture.

Distance from Delhi: 208km

Best time to visit: February to March and August to October

Attractions: Har Ki Pauri, Holy Ganges, Shantikunj, Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi Temple

Activities: Rafting, Temple Visits, Cable Car Ride, Boat Rides and Ghat Visits 

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Valley of Flowers Trek

Amongst all the exhilarating trekking in Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand, the trek to the Valley of Flowers is known to be the most enchanting and mesmeric. Discovered in 1931 by Frank Smith, a vivid botanist, explorer and mountaineer, the locals still believes the valley to be the abode of the angels and fairies.

The mystical and heavenly appearance, mesmeric beauty and the splendid outlook of the valley make it such.
Originating from Ghangria; on the foothills of the Western Himalayas, this fascinating trek comprises of rugged terrains, narrow passages, enticing views of the nearby peaks and steep climbs.

 Ascending the strenuous terrains, it takes around a few hours to reach the main valley and upon reaching the flat land, one should spend enough time exploring and witnessing the wonders of the nature.

Best season:
 Mid July to Mid August

Duration:
 6 Days

Altitude:
 3,600 m
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Rishikesh

Visit the adventure capital of India, the marvelous and thrilling city of Rishikesh on your next vacation with your friends and family!  The 'Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas', Rishikesh is located at the base of the Himalayas and is blessed with the gorgeous, thundering river of Ganga, the popular trek friendly rugged terrains, challenging peaks, strenuous rapids and dense forests! If you are an ardent traveler, then Rishikesh makes for one of the most ideal weekend getaways near Delhi.

Being one of the holiest cities in India, Rishikesh is quite famous for its scenic landscape and serves as a gateway to other important religious centers such as Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The adventurer paradise is a happening hub of many ancient temples and attractions such as Gita Bhawan, Laxman Jhula, Bharat Mandir, Neelkanth Mahadev, Swarga Ashram, Triveni Ghat amongst others! Grab your cameras and adventure gear and head to Rishikesh for an adventure packed holiday!

Distance from Delhi: 228km

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Attractions: Triveni Ghat, Ram and Lakshman Jhula, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and Vashista Cave

Activities: River Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Camping, Rappelling, Rock Climbing and Trekking 

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Nainital

If lush green plains and misty clouds allure you to nestle in a hammock and read a good book, far away from the city life then you need to head to Nainital, a stellar getaway place near Delhi for trekkers and nature lovers alike! Situated in the Kumaon foothills of the Himalayan ranges, Nainital is also known as the 'Lake District' of India.

 It has also been termed as a pious place for Hindus and is one of the most popular hill stations near Delhi due to its fascinating hills, picturesque plains, enjoyable climate and stunning lakes.  Adventurers engage in trekking activities and hike to the top of the beautiful hills just to witness the beautiful view and the wispy sky.

Distance from Delhi: 278km

Best time to visit: March to June and October to February.

Attractions: Nainital Lake, Governor's House, Eco Cave Gardens, Naini Peak and Snow View Point

Activities: Lake Visits, Village and Wildlife tours, Cable Car Rides, Rock Climbing and Trekking

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Chopta-Tungnath Trek

Chopta Tungnath trek is a relatively unexplored trekking destination, which is known for its mesmerizing scenic beauty. The trek towards Tungnath, the 3 from Tungnath takes you to Chandrashila, which is situated at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level.

Chopta is blessed with rich flora and fauna as it is located in the midst of dense forests, with a beautiful floor of rhododendrons, interspersed by deodar and pine trees. During the first one and half kilometers, you will pass through a sea of brightly coloured rhododendrons and silver oak forests. Following this the vista opens to green alpine meadows which take you to the Tungnath temple.

According to folklore, the arms of Lord Shiva are believed to have emerged here. On trekking a kilometer further ahead, you will reach the Chandrashila peak from where you get spectacular views of the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas glistening in the sun rays. The grassy meadows of the region make it an ideal spot for camping too.

Chopta is well-connected by roadways connecting Guptakashi and Gopeshwar. The weather is lovely and the views are simply breathtaking.

Best season: May to June and August to September

Duration: 3 Days

Altitude: 3680 m

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Mussoorie

Known as the ‘Queen of the Hill Stations’, Mussoorie is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and was discovered by Captain Young in the 18th century. It serves as a perfect getaway to escape from the heat of Delhi summers and is located at an altitude of 2000m above sea level. Mussoorie has its emerald hills enveloped in thick, rich greenery and attracts tourists from all over the country!  You can explore the quaint marketplaces in Mussoorie and sightsee some of the popular landmarks in the area such as Landour Bazaar, Lal Tibba, Chaar Dukkan, Gun Hill, the Mussoorie Library and the Savoy Hotel.

Mussoorie is undoubtedly one of the best hill stations in the country. Home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in Uttarakhand, Mussoorie offers the most enchanting panoramic view of the Shivalik Ranges and the Doon Valley.

Distance from Delhi: 270km

Best time to visit: March to June and September to November

Attractions: Gun Hill, Waterfalls, Lakes, Benog Wildlife sanctuary, Tibetan Buddhist temple,  Sir George Everest's House and Nag Devta Temple

Activities: Trekking, Nature Walks, Bird Watching, Boating, Ropeway Rides and Temple Visits

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Nag Tibba

One of the most well-known treks near Delhi, the Nag Tibba peak stands in the Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. This trek over the weekend is witnessing growing footfalls, and offers splendid views of the Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Gangotri and Kedarnath mountain peaks en route.

What makes this an ideal first trek are the relatively easy routes etched along the mountain. Thick Deodar forests blanket the hill, and the best seasons to visit are between February and June, and September to December. The Nag Tibba trek route is circular in nature, and the differing starting and ending points ensure that there is no overlap at any point. The lush meadows hide patches behind them that act as serene camping sites.

Distance from Delhi: 347.4 Kilometers approximately

Nearest Railhead:
Dehradun Railway Station

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Har Ki Doon

A pristine hanging valley in the Garhwal range, Har Ki Doon is one of the simplest trekking places near Delhi—making it an ideal foray into Himalayan trekking for amateurs. Fulfilling scenes of nature’s majesty carry you through rampant alpine vegetation, glaciers and breath-taking views. For the hill folk, time has remained elusive and one gets to notice their lives from close quarters. The best season to visit is during the months from April to November, and is one of the closest places for trekking in Delhi.

Distance from Delhi: 299 Kilometres approximately

Nearest Railhead: Dehradun Railway Station

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Kedarkantha Trek

Close to another marvel of nature, Har Ki Doon, lies the Kedarkantha trek passing through windy trails of the Garhwal Himalayas. A classic winter trek unravelling untouched mountain-villages on its path, it’s the perfect trek to prepare for the other more arduous Himalayan treks. 

Abound with flora and fauna, the Kedarkantha treks passes around the rim of Govind National Park and is open throughout the year. This place for trekking near Delhi is flanked by the Swargarohini peak and a hanging valley, complete with views that’ll blow your mind away.

Distance from Delhi: 428.2 Kilometres approximately

Nearest Railhead: Dehradun Railway Station

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Pangong Lake

Rather, the most sought after tourist destination is Pangong Tso in Ladakh region. It is the highest among the high altitude lakes in India which is filled with saline water but provides some awe-struck moments to the visitors with the unbelievable phenomenon of changing colours quite a number of times a day.

The reflections of the towering Himalayan peaks in the water add more charm to the lake. Currently, Pangong Tso is the favorite location for tourists as the banks of the lake give soothing bed to relax and the nearby places are enhanced by the beauty of this particular lake. The quiet lake is 134 km in length and 5 km in width is situated at an altitude of 14270 meters. But the major share of the lake lies in the area of China. Now, its recognition is spread everywhere in the world because it is termed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The highly saline water does not accommodate any water species not even micro-organisms. But the banks of the lake give space for several birds and animals very rarely seen in the other parts of India. It is an important breeding ground for many migratory birds as well.

Height: The lake is located at an altitude of 4250 meters above the sea level.

Location: Pangong Tso is easily accessible as it can be reached after a five hour drive from Leh and the travel would be on a rough and dramatic mountain road. You will cross the villages of Shey and Gya during the tour and go through Chang La as well.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the ideal time to visit the lake as the other seasons may cause challenges due to the heavy snowfall.

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Nubra Valley

Something divine makes Nubra Valley close to heart and it is not an exaggeration but a fact that experienced and shared by the countless tourists visited the paradisiacal location in Jammu and Kashmir. Without touching the spectacular roads of Nubra Valley, a Ladakh tour will not be complete. The tri-armed valley has Diskit Village as its capital. Ldumra, a magnificent name is the original name of the valley as the local scholars insist. Ldumra means Valley of Flowers. The large valley is formed after the merging of Shyok River with Nubra or Siachen River causing the separation of the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The valley is located 10000 feet that is 3048 meters above mean sea level and those who cross the Khardung La Pass can easily come to Nubra Valley from Leh.

Except for the river beds, every other place in the valley shows scant vegetation and low precipitation levels. Most of the villages in the valley are occupied by Nubra skat speakers and in the villages, one can find lush greenery and farming which happen through the regular irrigation. Diskit is the place where native people are seen in abundance and Diskit Monastery is the centre of attraction as well. The Shyok River flowing on one side of Diskit has a captivating effect on the visitors. Nubra Valley unwinds a lot of surprising sights when you visit it and an unbelievable fact is that the valley was open to the public till Hunder until 2010. Beyond Hunder, it was the greener region in the lower altitude where the Turtuk village exists. Till 2010, the Government did not allow tourists to mesmerize themselves in the magnificent beauty of Turtuk where numerous apricot trees and other vegetation along with the tribal community were preserved as a virgin.

Height: 3048 meters above the sea level

Location: The paradisiacal Nubra Valley is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and the main road access to the valley is through Khardung La pass where you have to show the photocopies of your travel permit to the soldiers camping.

Best time to visit: The months from June to September is the perfect period to visit Nubra Valley

To see the pure, rugged face of nature, One must visit Ladakh once in their lifetime.

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Khardung La

Controversies regarding the proclamation that Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world is not yet diminished but Ladakh travelers still believe that it is the highest and most adventurous pass in the world. Despite the controversies, Khardung La keeps on attracting hundreds of adventure seekers every year, be it bikers, trekkers or visitors. Nestled amidst the most reverberating surrounding, the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is located at an altitude of 17582 feet. Near to the pass, the collection of awesome valleys will lure you and along with the natural extravaganzas, the Tibetan prayer flags are an additional charm.

The pass was constructed in the year of 1976 and later in 1988, it was opened to public and from then on, the pass was inviting uncountable bikers, trekkers and tourists. It is maintained by the Border roads Organization as the pass is highly significant and important to India because it was once used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Recently, Khardung La became the hot potato of the town with a happy news that a ten member team of visually impaired people is going to conquer the pass through cycling in 2017.

Height: Khardung La is located at an altitude of 5359 meters. But there is an incorrect proclamation on the signboards appear here saying that the height of the pass is 18379 feet.

Location: The highest motorable pass in Ladakh is lying about 39 kms away from Leh. By road, one can reach the pass. The first 24 kms of the road are paved and from there to the North Pullu check post, the 15 kms of the road are filled with loose rock, dirt and occasional rivulets formed after the melting of snow.

Best time to visit: The season between May to October is the best time to visit Khardung La.

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Tso Moriri Lake

It won’t be exceeding at all how much you describe the beauty of Tso Moriri in Ladakh, a highly protected lake in Changthang Region and a significant portion of Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.  It is the largest of all high altitude lakes in India especially in Ladakh and is located at an altitude of 4522 meters above the sea level. The length comes to 26 km north to south and 3 to 5 km is the width and the water is wholly brackish. 

The water to feed the lake comes from the springs and melted snow from the nearby mountains. There are two major stream systems to lead the water to the lake. One in the north part of the lake and the other comes in the southwest part. Huge, extensive marshes are seen at both the entrances of the lake. Rupshu Valley, a breathtaking area is the guardian of Tso Moriri along with an array of the lofty Himalayan Mountains in the surrounding.

The number of people come to witness the beauty of this splendid lake is lesser when compared to that of Pangong Lake. It is because of the secluded location of the lake. Hence, it is a favorite home town for many migratory birds. They come to breed here especially birds like great- crested grebe, the brown-headed gull and the Brahmin duck. The rare Himalayan hares are also abundantly seen near the lake. Thus, the declaration of the lake as a reserved area is a right option to protect these species from extinction. Less human interference would keep their lives strong.

Height: The lake is situated at an altitude of 4522 meters.

Location: You can reach Tso Moriri via road from Leh. It is 150 kms away from Leh Airport. Kalka Railway station is the nearest one to the lake. You will get buses and taxis from the station as well.

Best time to visit: May, June, July and August are the peak season when tourists come to Tso Moriri in large numbers and other months will be filled with snow and have extreme cold conditions.

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Shanti Stupa

The white dome of Shanti Stupa is clearly visible from a far distance when you are on a tour of Leh. Peace Pagoda got its name like that because of many reasons mainly the silence persists in and around the pagoda always. This Buddhist prayer center is the most beloved attraction in Jammu and Kashmir. At a height of 4267 meters, the two storied stupa stands holding its head high and overlooks the bustling Leh town. The uneven mountain terrains in the surrounding gives the pagoda a remarkable shining. It is at a location which is 5 km away from Leh town and one who visits the stupa has to climb five hundred steps. The exotic view of the Himalayan peaks turns the beauty of the stupa also, a peace lover would dedicate his life to have such overjoying moments.

History

The stupa was constructed by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists. The construction was started in 1983, many Buddhists and Indian Government officials have supervised the procedures throughout.

Structure of the stupa

Among the two structures of the pagoda, the first level depicts the central relief of Dharmachakra which has deer on each side and the turning wheel of Dharma also has a golden image of Buddha at the center. The second level displays images which show the birth of Budhha and the death as well. In addition, both the level have smaller images of Buddha meditating. The stupa came into existence in order to spread the word of peace and harmony among people and it came into establishment as a commemoration of the valuable 2500 years of Buddhism.

Location: Any one can reach the stupa via road from Leh, only 5 kms from the town, a walk of fifteen minutes would require.

Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm

Highlights: The sunset and sunrise views from the stupa are inevitably beautiful


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