A 16 Days Trip to Paradise : Kashmir – Ladakh – Manali

People ask me (quite often these days) is it safe to travel solo or with your gang of girls in Kashmir and Ladakh. So I would say yes, no different from anywhere else in India but don’t walk around by yourself at night and try not to wear tight cloths otherwise guys stare at the girl wearing western in Srinagar.

Way back in 2015 when I made my first visit to this enchanted land, I think I understood what they meant by paradise. But I also thought I had seen better places. Until it hit me in the face, I didn’t realize my ignorance.
There cannot be another paradise and there cannot be another place that can compare to the beauty of Kashmir and valleys of Ladakh.

So here is my itinerary,I hope this will help

Day 1: Srinagar

On your arrival at the Srinagar International Airport, you will be taken for a 35 minutes drive through the heart of New Srinagar city, passing the Abdullah bridge which connects the banks of the Jhelum river. Visit the famous Mughal gardens of Nishat and Shalimar. Later drive for an hour of Shikara ride in the lake have lunch try some local dishes and proceed to “Badamwari”.If you happen to be here in the month of April you can
visit the Indira Gandhi memorial Tulip Garden, that remains open only for a few days during this time, before going to Chesham-e-Shahi.

Day 2: Gulmarg

On the second day, early in the morning at around 7 AM, leave for Gulmarg. It will take you a maximum of 1.5 hours to reach this beautiful hill station where you can enjoy a number of activities apart from sightseeing. Gulmarg is an enchantingly beautiful place with snow-covered slopes and splendid landscapes.The gondola ride up to the second phase was out of the world. Be sure to take it to the second phase for otherwise it is a waste. I could see the LOC from there and it was amazing. The snow-clad slopes were out of the  world.Return to Srinagar in the evening and enjoy a comfortable overnight stay at Hotel.

For online ticket : gulmarggondola.com/gondola_tickets.php

Day 3: Pahalgam

Early in the morning leave for Pahalgam the ‘valley of shepherds’ which is situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from river Lidder and Sheeshnag lake. En route to Pahalgam visit the Awantipura ruins, an 1100-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. On arrival into Pahalgam, we took the horse ride up to Baisaran which went through a valley full of Pine trees. The top with a large amount of flat green land & surrounded by mountains with snow top you will feel like you are in Mini-Switzerland. And then drive to Aru itself is about 40 minutes or so. The taxi driver normally gives you two hours to look around. That’s plenty. Once you get there, hire horses. The costs are fixed and they have a board displaying the amounts. Make sure you wear comfy clothes and shoes. Next, proceed to Betaab Valley. Once again, the driver will park the cab and give you an hour to look around.This is more for family outings because people take picnics there. Night stay in Srinagar.

Day 4: Srinagar

The first thing on your agenda should be the alluring Mughal Gardens.The Mughal gardens include Cheshm-E-Shahi, Shalimar Bagh, and the Nishat Bagh. All of these gardens are located in the boulevard road in Srinagar. Start with Nishat Bagh going ahead with Shalimar Bagh and then Chesham-e-Shahi.Located close to the Chesham-e-Shahi garden is the famous Pari Mahal you can spend few beautiful moments here after the
‘Srinagar garden visiting spree’.

In the afternoon you can head for the famous religious attractions in the city that will include the Shankaracharya temple, Jama masjid, dargah of Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph
and Hazratbal shrine.
By evening you can go on a shopping spree in Lal Chowk and the Polo View market are great shopping stops. Buy something for back home that will remind you of this wonderful day spent.

Day 5: Sonamarg to Kargil

On the Fifth day, After breakfast, proceed to Kargil via Srinagar-Leh Highway. Enjoy a short halt at Sonmarg (Known as the gateway to Ladakh & the Meadow of Gold) to admire the views. One can enjoy a pony ride to Thajiwas glacier. Notice the gradual change in the colours of the mountains as you travel to Kargil. Cross the Zozilla pass & Drass region. Visit the Zozilla War memorial & Kargil War memorial on the way to pay tribute to the Indian Army. It was in this very region in which the Indian Army fought and won the famous war of Kargil. Overnight stay in Kargil.

Day 6: Kargil to Leh

On the six days, En route, visit Mulbek (known for its huge Buddha Statue) and Lamayuru monastery (The oldest monastery in Ladakh). Admire the confluence of Indus – Zanskar Rivers and the effects of Magnetic Hill (Defiance of the law of gravity). Visit Gurudwara Patthar Sahib and Kali Mata temple and reach Leh in the evening. Overnight stay in Leh.

Day 7 : Leh

Leh local sightseeing Hemis, thiksey, Stok royal residence, SOS kids town, shey monastery and Druk White Lotus School (Rancho School). Explore the Leh market or just relax and unwind. Night stay in Leh

Day 8: Leh to Nubra

After breakfast leave for Nubra Valley, driving through Khardong-la (altitude: 18,380 ft), and then visit Sumur village, Hunder village and Samstaling Gompa(monastery) in Sumur. Later check in to your camp(in Deskit/ Hunder village) and enjoy in-house activities like dance, bonfire, barbeque.

Day 9: Nubra to Leh

On the Ninth day, visit Deskit monastery and the Sand Dunes where you can enjoy a short camel safari using the double-humped camel found there and then explore Panamic, known for its hot water spring enriched with a high amount of Sulphur.Night stay in Leh

Day 10: Leh to Pangong

Full day excursion to Pangong Lake on approx. 300 km round trip, located on the Indo-China Border, en route crossing the Chang-la pass (altitude 17370 ft.). After sightseeing around the lake, drive back to Leh.

Day 10: Leh Local SightSeeing

After breakfast, visit Shanti Stupa,Spituk, Sankar Gompa & Leh Palace and after visiting one is free to walk around in the Leh market .

NOTE:

“Because of cloud burst we were not able to explore turtuk and hans village so we pick the night bus 9:30pm to Manali.

Perhaps if you are traveling alone or with one or two friends, you can buy or book tickets of Manali – Leh bus service of HPTDC. I will take two days to reach and halt in Keylong.”

Day 11: Manali

Rest for a while and do nothing just enjoy the surroundings and natural beauty of Manali.

Day 12: Solang Valley and Rohtang la

Visit Solang Valley and Rohtang la, picturesque valley and very good for the nature lover and photographer. You can also enjoy paragliding, Zorbing, Mountaineering, Trekking.

Day 13: Local Sightseeing in Manali

You can visit Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Vashist Village, Tibetan monastery, Museum, Mall road.

Day 14: Kullu

Kullu area is known for apple orchards and trout fishing beside a range of adventure activities such as walking, trekking, and rafting. You can also visit Beas river, Nigger castle, boat club, and The Roerichs heritage.

Day 15: Delhi

Explore Delhi and Dilli food.

Day 16: Shopping and Flight back to Home.

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LADAKH CALLING!!!

All way lead to Pangong!

Well with Ladakh, once is insufficient, twice is insufficient, a whole lifetime is insufficient. Ladakh is the stuff dreams are made of. Street excursions can never be the same again, after a tryst with this stunning land parcel set in high sky!

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Feel Good to paint one of the most Beautiful scanrios- Pangong Lake

The greater part of us who have been sufficiently blessed to go to Ladakh would’ve gone to the fantasy like yet absolutely genuine Pangong Lake. We would’ve crossed the quite often snow clad strong Chang La and would’ve savored that some tea and the warm welcome from the Indian Army on. We would’ve step by step slid into the Changthang just to have our heart skirt a beat at the primary sight of an electric blue strip and would’ve said a noiseless supplication trusting Pagal Nallah wouldn’t turn insane before the day’s over.

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My new painting… Scenic beauty of Kashmir

A daytime, dusk or moonlight ride, taking in the cool air scented with the aroma of blossoms, seeing sprouting lotus blooms akin sparkling diamonds, passing floating gardens of vegetables and pausing at idyllic gardens, is essentially mystical. No outing in Srinagar is finished without a Shikara ride.

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Scenic beauty of Kashmir valley through acrylic colours.