Summer vacations are here and the heat is getting unbearable! Whether you’re from Mumbai, Rajasthan, Bangalore or Chennai, we’re sure you can’t deal with the how hot it’s getting. Summer vacations are here and the heat is getting unbearable! Whether you’re from Mumbai, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, Bangalore or Chennai, we’re sure you can’t deal with the how hot it’s getting. It is one of the best times to take a break from your busy schedules and hectic work life. In fact, it is probably the only time of the year when you and your kids and go on a vacation and enjoy yourselves to the fullest. Summer vacations are the time of the year when kids are ready to make some memories and you on the other hand must grab this opportunity before they grow up and start planning trips with their peers instead! Here are five of the best hill stations in India that never disappoint you. It is one of the best times to take a break from your busy schedules and hectic work life. In fact, it is probably the only time of the year when you and your kids and go on a vacation and enjoy yourselves to the fullest. Summer vacations are the time of the year when kids are ready to make some memories and you on the other hand must grab this opportunity before they grow up and start planning trips with their peers instead! Here are five of the best hill stations in India that never disappoint you.
Places to Visit in Srinagar (Kashmir) for Summer Vacation With Family
visit to Srinagar wouldn’t be complete without taking a few side trips out into the glorious Kashmiri countryside (after all, Kashmir isn’t called the “Switzerland of India” for nothing!). It’s filled with flowers in spring and snow in winter. Pretty Kashmiri villages with traditional wooden houses and colorful rooftops can be seen along the way. These popular tourist places in Kashmir are good starting points.
5 Best Places to Visit in Kashmir
1. Sonamarg : Sonmarg gives rise to The Three Sisters (Kashmir). In
its vicinity lies the great Himalayan glaciers of Kashmir Valley namely Kolhoi Glacier and Machoi Glacier with some peaks of above 5000 meters: Sirbal Peak, Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Machoi Peak. Sonmarg an alpine valley is situated at the bank of Nallah Sindh, 87 km north-east from Srinagar, it is a popular tourist destination, nestled within the imposing Himalayan peaks. It lies at an altitude of 2800 metres above sea level. The drive to Sonmarg passes Nallah Sindh, a major tributary of the Jehlum River in the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and village-dotted slopes.
2. Gulmarg : Gulmarg is a town, a hill station, a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in the Baramula district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is situated in the Pir Panjal Range in the western Himalayas. “The Shiva temple of Gulmarg was previously the royal temple of Dogra kings”
Gulmarg is the “heartland of winter sports in India” and was rated as Asia’s seventh best ski destination. The town is accessible from Srinagar by road via Tangmarg. The road climbs uphill in the last 12 kilometres to Gulmarg passing through forests of pine and fir. Winter sports like skiing, tobogganing, snowboarding and heli-skiing take place on the slopes of Mount Apharwat reachable by a Gondola lift.
3. Pahalgam : Pahalgam is a tourist town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is a popular tourist destination and hill station. It is located 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Anantnag on the banks of Lidder River at an altitude of 7,200 feet (2,200 m). Pahalgam is the headquarters of one of the five tehsils of Anantnag district. Pahalgam is associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari, located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Pahalgam is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the months of July–August
4. Zanskar : Zanskar or Zangskar (Ladakhi: zangs dkar་) is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, which lies in the eastern half of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The administrative centre is Padum. Zanskar, together with the neighbouring region of Ladakh, was briefly a part of the kingdom of Guge in Western Tibet.
The Zanskar Range is a mountain range in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that separates Zanskar from Ladakh. Geologically, the Zanskar Range is part of the Tethys Himalaya, an approximately 100-km-wide synclinorium formed by strongly folded and imbricated, weakly metamorphosed sedimentary series. The average height of the Zanskar Range is about 6,000 m (19,700 ft). Its eastern part is known as Rupshu.
Tourism is probably the major disruption that Zanskar has experienced during recent times. The opening of this region to foreigners has brought benefits such as the financing of schools and the restoration of monasteries and roads, but has also taken its toll on this fragile mountain environment and its population.
5. Leh: Leh is a town in the Leh district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh district, with an area of 45,110 km2, is the second most expansive district in the country, after Kutch in Gujarat. It was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, seat of which was in the Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace-the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamshala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Leh is at an altitude of 3,524 metres (11,562 ft), and is connected via National Highway 1 to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via the Leh-Manali Highway. In 2010, Leh was heavily damaged by the sudden floods caused by a cloud burst.
The Ladakh capital city of Leh lies near the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir, on the crossroads of the historic “Silk Route” from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. The humbling monasteries of Shey, Hemis, Alchi, Thikse and Lamayuru will nurture your spiritual needs, and the landscape of Leh provides for a number of adventure activities including mountaineering, white-water rafting and trekking along the Markha Valley.
2. Manali (Himachal Pradesh) for Summer Vacation With Family
Manali is a land of contrasts. On one hand are the enduring high peaks that surround this beauty. Add to this the spice of adventure sports, crystal clear falls, crisp weather, peaceful temples and you begin to appreciate the mysterious music of this year long magnet. In winters, snow paints the village white. This summer, plan an escape to the heavenly abode.
Best time to visit Manali
Though Manali invites tourists all the year round, however, April to June are ideal months to explore the beautiful destination. Those who wish to enjoy the snow should visit from December to February.
How to reach Manali
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, located approximately 50 kilometres away
By Road: Manali is very well-connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by means of a network of state-run buses.
Let’s jump straight to the list of 10 exciting & unique things to do in Manali in summer for an amazing holiday.
1. Beas Kund: Beas Kund trek is one of the most popular trails that one can do in a longer weekend in Manali. The trek takes you away from the hustle and bustle of Manali. Following the banks of Beas River expect great views of Pir Pinjal ranges. The meadows of Dhundi & Bakarthach are spectacular in its beauty. As you climb higher you reach the origin of River Beas. A small glacial lake is feeded by the melting snow of the higher peaks of the region. This trek is suitable for all age groups and no trekking experience is required to do it.
Some people prefer mountains and some ocean. And then there are some who have a soft spot in their heart for rivers, meadows, flora or fauna, and would travel endless hours just to witness such isolated miracles of nature rarely witnessed in the proximity of any human settlements. Similarly, I have always had a fascination with high altitude alpine lakes. The contrasting sight of a peaceful water body nestled between jagged mountain peaks has always managed to get my pulses racing. Already in Manali on Friday evening and with the weekend in hand to do a trek, the urge to visit such a lake and camp next to its shores helped me zero in on the Beas Kund trek in Kullu valley.
2. Solang Valley : Solang Valley is a beautiful and picturesque valley at the top of the Kullu Manali valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is just 14 km northwest of the resort town Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass, and is known for its summer and winter sports destination. The sports most commonly offered are paragliding, Solang Valley Rappelling in winter and Trekking, Zorbing in summer.
Giant slopes of lawn comprise Solang Valley and provide it its reputation as a popular ski resort. A few ski agencies offering courses and equipment reside here and operate only during winters.
Snow melts during the summer months and skiing is then replaced by zorbing (a giant ball with room for 2 people which is rolled down a 200 meter hill), paragliding, parachuting and horse riding. A ropeway was recently opened to take the tourist further up on the mountain that gives more options for about 15 minutes paragliding flight.
Solang Valley Manali Adventure Package has one night camping stay with evening adventure activities. Stay and sleep amid nature. Explore the Solang valley for other things like Paraglidling while coming back.
3. Hidimba Devi Temple, Manali : Hadimba Temple mostly called as the Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region. This Temple of four wooden storeys is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. The temple derives its name from the forest parkland near the temple.
The temple was erected in 1553 and is dedicated to Goddess Halima. Hadimba Devi Temple has a 24 m high tower and has three tiers of its square roofs are covered with timber tiles, while the conical roof is clad in metal.
The unadorned walls of mud are covered with stonework in contrast with the wooden doorway, it which is elaborately decorated with miniature depictions of Goddess, attendants, animals and stylized foliation. On the beams above the doorway appears the Navagrahas, female dancers an isolated scene from the Krishna story,etc.
4.Jogini waterfall : Jogini Falls is a waterfall with a stream running down to join the river Beas in the Kullu Valley below. It is sacred to the village goddess Jogini & is therefore a place of female power, known as a Shakti Peeth. One can enjoy an energizing dip under these cascading falls while admiring the towering snow clad mountains all around.
Below the falls there is a small shrine and below that is a Main Shrine (small temple). Villagers go to Jogini Devi to make offerings & to ask for her intercession. As it is such a peaceful, even soporific, sacred place, villagers also go there occasionally to sleep. Special occasions are marked by the cooking of food & the performance of rituals.
5. Manikaran : Manikaran, perched on the right bank of the roaring Parvati River, is situated at an altitude of 1760 m and is located about 45 kms, from Kullu, via Bhuntar, in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. Manikaran, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Sikhs, has many temples and a gurdwara. It has perfect examples of the historic temples of Lord Rama, Krishna, Vishnu (Raghunath) and goddess Bhagwati.
The Ram Temple was built in pyramidal style by Raja Jagat Singh in the 17th century when the idol of Lord Rama was brought from Ayodhya. The idol was later shifted to Kullu. The temple was renovated by Raja Dilip Singh in 1889 AD. A trust is looking after the temple since 1981. The temple complex has three halls and forty rooms for the devotees to stay in. A ‘Langar’ (free communal food) is also served here.
Gurdwara Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is an historical sikh shrine present there which was discovered by Baba Narayan Hari, the history of the gurdwara sahib is mentioned in Bhai Bala Janamsakhi and Twarikh Guru Khalsa.
Gurdwara Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is located where Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji was with his Sikhs in the Himalaya mountains of India. His sikhs were hungry and there was no food. Guru Nanak sent his Good Friend Bhai Mardana to collect food for langar (the Community Kitchen). Many people donated rice and flour (atta) to make parsadas (bread). The one problem was that there was no fire to cook the food.
Guru Nanak than lifted a rock and a hot spring (hot water) appeared. The Sikhs were able to make rice and beans. Bhai Mardana was having trouble making parasadas (chapatis) because they kept sinking. Bhai Mardana said, “I am going to donate my life in the name of God”. The parsada amazingly floated. Guru Nanak Dev Ji said that anyone who donates his life in the name of God, All his (or her) drowned items will float. This was a miracle.
6.Hampta Pass : Himachal Pradesh is one of the most toured states in India. The state has beautiful pristine snow clad mountains which are a major source of tourist attraction. Tourists from all over the world come to this glorious, unpolluted and serene place to nurture their mind and soul and cherish an unfathomable nature’s beauty. The word ‘Hima’ means snow in Sanskrit and hence the name Himachal Pradesh which means ‘In the lap of Himalayas’. The mountains of the state are used for many adventure sports. One among them that is considerably being carried out here is trekking.
With more than 200 defined trekking trails some of the famous trekking spots of Himachal Mountains are; Hampta Pass trek, Dhaulandhar (Triund Glacier)trek, Parvati valley trek, Bhabha pass trek, Sari Pass trek, Beas Kund trek, trek to Chamba and Pin Parvati, Kakeri lake trek etc.
Hampta pass trek is considered the easiest and convenient of all treks in H.P. It might not be the most adrenalin rush giving or the most sought after trek, but definitely it is a trek that will leave you in awe of this beautiful place. The variation in the trails is enormous; scenic landscapes, open green pastures and meadows, glacial valleys, easy access and an exceptional, adventurous and hair raising crossing of the pass makes this trekking expedition to Hampta pass an exciting one.
Generally, it takes 4 days to complete the Hampta pass trek, but one more day is further added to the itinerary so as to visit the well-known and striking Chandrataal, a high altitude alpine lake few hours from Chatru. The best months to trek are May and June and August through October. The reason why Hampta pass is famous trekking zone is snow; the pass has lump sum snow which draws more tourists.
The nearest station is Manali. Therefore, the trip starts from Manali to Chika via Jobra. From Jobra the trek is undertaken by walk. This route comprises the first day. Balu ka Ghera is reached on the second day. You would cross amazing boulders, Gendrame and Rani Nallah on this day. The third day destination is Shea Goru from Balu ka Ghera via Hampta Pass. You will come across mind boggling and stupendous glaciers, cornice formation and snows all the way along. The maximum altitude will be reached on this day i.e. 14, 100 ft. Day four will start from Shea Goru and end up in Chatru. It is a steady descent on this day. You will witness the valleys of Lahual and Spiti and also the mountain ranges of Pir panjal and Spiti. On the same day you can also head to Chandra tal camp site and camp there for the night. The final day of the trek’s route is from Chandra tal to Manali. From Chandra tal campsite you can visit the infamous chandratal lake, deepest amongst blue shades.
One must carry necessary trekking gears like ankle support shoes and trekking poles which will make snow climbing easier.
7. Beas River : Beas also spelled Bias, ancient Greek Hyphasis, Sanskrit Vipasha, river in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab states, northwestern India. It is one of the five rivers that give the Punjab (“Five Rivers”) its name.
The Beas rises at an elevation of 14,308 feet (4,361 metres) at Rohtang Pass in the western (Punjab) Himalayas (a section of the vast Himalayas mountain range), in central Himachal Pradesh. From there it flows south through the Kullu Valley, receiving tributaries from the flanking mountains, and then turns west to flow past Mandi into the Kangra Valley. After crossing the valley, the Beas enters Punjab state and veers south and then southwest to its confluence with the Sutlej River at Harike after a course of about 290 miles (470 km). The Beas River was the approximate eastern limit of Alexander the Great’s invasion of India in 326 bce.
The place is famous for its hot boiling sulphur springs, which are revered by lakhs who come here for a dip in the curing waters. It is believed that the hot springs can cure skin diseases or even ease the swelling caused by gout. A huge Gurdwara has been erected in the memory of Guru Nanak who is believed to have visited this place. A number of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims visit the Gurdwara every year. The Ram Temple mentioned above, built in the 16th century, is situated near the Gurdwara.
8. Solang-Nullah : Set at a distance of 13 km from Manali city, Solang Valley lies between Solang village and Beas Kund. Offering stunning views of the snow capped mountain peaks and alluring glaciers. The Solang valley is popular for his fine ski slopes which makes it’s a perfect skiing destination of Himachal Pradesh. During summers, Solang Valley turns into best paragliding, Zorbing, and horse riding destination of Himachal Pradesh. In winters, the valley becomes a skiing paradise for all as it offers everyone to ski over fresh white snow.
There is a guest house, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports that offer skiing training to the tourists. On the hilltop of the valley, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is also major tourist attraction in Solang Valley. Most of families plan their trip to Solang valley in summer vacation because it is best destination to chill out in Himachal Pradesh during summer season.
9.Zorbing and Paragliding : Manali is a blissful little hill station located around 2050 meters above the sea level. It is a well-crafted temptress with snow-capped mountains in the backdrop and restless river. Famous for its natural beauty and activities, zorbing and paragliding are the two most sought after activities in Manali.
Zorbing is a recreational sport wherein the person rolls downhill while paced inside an orb. The person can experience 360-degree view of Manali while being placed inside that orb. Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders. “Solang Valley” is the most sought after place for these recreational activity. This place is quite well-known for ious activities like paragliding, skiing and zorbing. Unfortunately, Zorbing activity may stop if the mountains are covered by snow.
Paragliding on the other hand give you an exceptional experience. One cannot just describe the view that paragliding offers in words. It’s a totally out of the world experience. There are expert paragliders available for your support so you need not worry about being hurt! Best time for paragliding in Manali is from April to December. Unlike other activities these two activities are the most sought or the main reason for visiting.
10.Rohtang Pass: Manali is the gateway to Rohtang pass beyond which lie the twin valley of Lahaul and Spiti. In winter the mountain slopes are snow clad and they turn into perfect skiing slopes. This point is one of the main attraction for tourists coming to Manali. The Rohtang pass is 51 KM north of Manali and it is located on Manali Keylong Highway at an altitude of 4111 meters ( 13,400 ft ). This pass opens for tourist from April end to October end of the year. The permission to travel on this highway is given by Indian army after they clear the snow and inspect the road for it’s fitness and safety for movement of person and the vehicles. The same road connects to Leh Ladakh ( State of Jammu & Kashmir ) from Manali ( state of Himachal Pradesh). Sonapani Glacier and a small lake (Dashahr) are located opposite and left to Rohtang respectively.
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