Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Dhauldhar Circuit & beautiful Himachal Pradesh

'Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.' In line with the above saying and also keeping up a date with my travel itinerary, I thought it was time to take a much needed break . 2013 , so far has been a bit busy for reasons known to me and God.

Dhauladhar range

So , we decided that we should skip the so called ‘summer’ places and go to a place or circuit ( a cluster of places ) which have winters , just like Delhi or may be a snow flake more . And the circuit chosen was the - DHAULADHAR CIRCUIT in my home state of Himachal Pradesh 

This trip was indeed one of the best one I was a part of and also one of the few which were a bit long.

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The Dhauladhar Circuit derives its name from the Dhauladhar peaks of Western Himalaya. It passes in the shadow of the mighty and majestic snow clad Dhauldhar ranges, which dominates the beautiful Kangra valley ( hence sometimes called as the Kangra circuit )  dotted by flower filled meadows, temples, tea gardens and flocks of sheep.

This circuit covers  - Chintpurni - Jwalamukhi - Kangra - Dalhousie - Khajjiar - Chamba - Dharamsala - Chamunda . We added to this – Bharmour as well .

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Thanks to the AAI we have a beautiful airport at Dharamsala which will actually take your breath away . Surrounded by the Dhauladhar peaks around and neatly maintained by only two carriers – SpiceJet and Air India, servicing the same the journey indeed is under 2 hours from Delhi.

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Dharamsala & Mcleodganj

One is called as the lower Dharamsala and the other one is called as the upper Dharamsala ( about 9kms from Dharamsala ) . A nice neat place ( given it was winters and hence an off season with minimalist tourists , vehicles and noise ) the entire area was pristine . One can hop on to the Kotwali Bazar by the evening and see the entire narrow lanes bustling with activities on both sides .  

Key must visit places are –

Temples

1.       Chamunda Devi temple
2.      Kunal Pathri temple
3.      Brajeshwari Devi Temple
4.      Masrur rock-cut temple
5.       Bhagsunag Temple & waterfall
6.      Dal lake


Other places

1.       Kangra Museum
2.      Dharamshala Cricket Stadium


Mcleodganj is also the home of Tibetan exile community and hence you will find a lot of Tibetan monks with handheld beads chanting prayers . The star studded sky will surely make you feel that ‘life in a city ‘ is really not worth it. The entire place has a host of eateries both big and small that serve delicacies from all across the globe to both the tourists and the foreigners who keep flocking this place in search of peace and a ‘ good time out’.


Tibetan prayer wheels


It is built on and around five hills, Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora & is a gateway to the ancient Chamba Hill State . Major places to see are:

1.       Dainkund Peak
2.      Bakrota Hills
3.      Bakrota Hills
4.      Dalhousie Cantonment
5.       Sadar Bazar
6.      Tibetan Market
7.      Panchpula


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Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle surrounded by green meadows and dense forests. Also called as the Mini Switzerland of India .This place has only two key things to be seen - Khajjinag temple & the Khajjiar lake.  Make sure you stay at this place and enjoy the calmness surrounding the entire Khajjiar. 


Khajjiar



The town is situated on the banks of the Ravi River (a major tributary of the Trans-Himalayan Indus River), at its confluence with the Sal River.The town has a large number of temples and palaces and hosts two popular jatras (fairs), the "Suhi Mata Mela" and the "Minjar Mela".The Lakshmi Narayan temples complex, devoted to the Vaishnavite sect, includes the main Lakshmi Narayan temple, built in the 10th century by Raja Sahil Verman which is "the place" to visit. 


The Chaugan (a Sanskrit word meaning: “four sided”) is the nucleus of all activity in Chamba, surrounded by impressive administrative buildings and a shopping arcade built during the British period and today it is commonly used for cricket matches, picnics and promenades during the mid summer months.


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