Friday, May 8, 2009

10 Days Himachal, India. Mar-Apr 2009

Morning at McLeod Ganj
Group at Golden Temple
I’ve not travel for quite a while. My last oversea trip was North Vietnam back in November 2007. Reason being both of us (my wife and me) are not in good health condition. Traveling not only requires time and money but more importantly health. Though not fully recovered, I managed to gather enough courage to try this 10 days trip with Yongo (Travel Operator). Celebrating our wedding silver jubilee and my birthday is the strongest motivation to join this trip.

Our 10 days adventure begins in New Delhi arriving late in the evening. Early next morning, took a fast train to Amritsar. In Amritsar, we witness the flag-off ceremony at Wagah boarder. It was a spectacular display of patriotism, tall soldiers in their massive turbans goose-stepping march and the cheering crowd is what we came looking for. Both Indian and Pakistani boarder soldiers do this daily and it has become a tradition for people from both sides gather and see. They synchronized their parade and the entire event is meant to create a patriotic feeling amongst the crowd. The Golden Temple is another must-see place in Amritsar. It’s the most important religious place to the Sikhs and always packed with pilgrims from all over India.

On the 3rd day we traveled north to Dharamsala. The weather becomes more cooling and view more scenic. Jagged snow mountain in the distant. We over night at McLeod Ganj, the upper district of Dharamsala and home of the Tibetan community. Dharamsala is a small Indian town and became popular in 1959 with the arrival of his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and his exiled Tibetan Government. McLeod Ganj is about 1800 meter above sea level and temperature in early April is still chilly. We had the whole day 4 to explore Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj.

On day 5 we traveled further north to the valley of Gods, the Kulli valley. We passed thru many orchards and visited a couple of temples. The air is scented with the blossom of apple and cherry trees from the orchards. We overnight at a beautiful place called Manali. Day 6 activity in Manali include hiking in the morning and fun time (paragliding and Zorbing) at Solang in the afternoon.
On day 7, we backtracked south to a hill town call Shimla, the capital of Himchal. In Shimla, we do shopping and took the heritage toy train ride. On day 8, we continue south to Chandigrarh before taking the fast train to Delhi on day 9 morning. We had the whole afternoon and evening at Delhi until our flight scheduled at midnight. We visited the biggest spice market on trishaw and tour the latest and most beautiful temple in Delhi, the Akshardham Temple. We end our 10 days trip arriving KLIA 7,00 am.

Apple blossom in Manali

Apple blossom in Manali

Cherry blossom in Manali

Church in Shimla

Colorful display at Wagah Boarder.

Golden Temple

Hiking in Manali

Golden temple at night


Yellow mustard flower and apple blossom

Relaxing in Manali