With the metros becoming crowded, travellers are now looking at offbeat destinations to enjoy some serenity with peace and more importantly, avoid crowds. With the demands rising over the last few years, the inclination towards the wilds of Himalayas has increased multifold. The natural beauty at Ladakh, Spiti, Uttarakhand and Kashmir with a perfect mix of greenery and rocky mountains has witnessed footfalls going up rapidly.
Destinations fast gaining popularity among tourists:
If one has not much time to take leaves for holidays, Chopta is an ideal out-of-the-box destination to unwind your soul in four days. Around 450 km from Delhi, Chopta is located around 3,500 m with a wild panoramic view of the Himalayas. One can trek up to Tungnath where stands the world’s highest Shiva Temple, at 3,600 m. From Tungnath, one can further trek up to Chandrashila Top and can enjoy a 360 degree view of the ranges of the Himalayas.
PANGI VALLEY Himachal Pradesh
Pangi Valley is located in northern Himachal, one can reach Pangi Valley in three days, travelling through Pathankot, Chamba Valley and Sach Pass, one of the most dangerous passes in Asia. Pangi Valley is yet not much commercialised and people have visited the region to research on herbs. But the best part is the ride from Bairagarh in Chamba Valley to Kilar is Pangi through the Sach Pass. One can experience what off-roading truly means — an 80 km drive at an altitude of 4,500 m.
NARKANDA Himachal Pradesh
Narkanda in Himachal is a must-tick in a traveller’s checklist if they can’t afford extended holidays. The road from Shimla to Narkanda is well maintained and the drive pleasing. Around 400 km from Delhi and well-known for apples and cherry orchards, one can drive through Shimla, Theog enjoying the mesmerising views while cruising through.
If you have the heart to drive through riverbeds and waterfalls, this route is for you. Take the challenge and drive from Kargil to Zanskar to enjoy serenity beyond explanation. Located in Ladakh, Zanskar is around 250 km from Kargil. One needs to start by six in the morning or even before to reach Padum by evening as one can drive hardly at 20 km/hour on this route. Once there, one can enjoy perfect Buddhist culture for a day before heading back to Kargil and carrying on the journey to Ladakh.
Located around 500 km from Delhi, Auli is the perfect destination if one is fond of skiing. Auli is a great place for travellers who love winter snowfall. One can drive through Rishikesh, Devprayag, Karnprayag, Srinagar and break the journey into five days for the 1,000 km round trip.
The writer is a travel curator and founder, Journey Weavers