Mussorie to Pabbar Valley: Need Help for this Uttarakhand-Himachal summer trip

#16 Apr 30th, 2017, 14:48
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  • Cinta Alam is offline
#16

Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilliwala View Post Right, so I didn't get that wrong. But them what does "trek to Chanshal top" mean?
On both this thread and the Trip to Pabbar Valley thread Amit has asked a few times if I trekked to Chansal and if I knew of some nice treks in Rohru area. I doubt he'd realised at that time that the road goes over Chansal. Although somewhere I saw or heard that you can walk up from Larot, obviously as there are sheep paths everywhere up to the pastures.

Actually, looking at his itinerary I doubt he'd have time for treks anyway.......Just short hikes. Unless he follows your advice and spends more nights at the same hotel and explores that area on day trips. I very rarely spend less than 3 nights in one place, once I'm in pleasant mountain surroundings.

Dilliwala, I enjoyed your Puh road mystery!

Amit, you've been very quiet. Still doing your homework or have you a final plan now?
Last edited by Cinta Alam; May 1st, 2017 at 01:21..
#17 May 1st, 2017, 02:12
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#17
Places and possible duration

Personally, I shall suggest the following squence of and days at the places:
Dhanaulti - 1
Mussoorie - 2
Chakrata - 2
What's in Tiuni? It isn't a place, I'd stay at. Either visit Hanol and the temples when commuting to Kharapathar OR else stay at Hanol (GMVN?) - 1.

Now either proceed from Hanol (or Chakrata) to Kharapathar OR else to Sankri.
Sankri and hiking nearby - 2 (Can extend this to 3-5 days in total, if the group likes the day hikes around.)

(Either reach Kharapathar from Sankri or directly from Chakrata.)
Kharapathar and nearby POIs - 1 or 1.5
Rohru and Chanshal - 2-3
Narkanda(!) if you're left with 1-2 days.

-----

Accommodation

Book in advance where the plans are fixed and no doubts remains. Typically, the initial part of the trip and the ending.
  • For Sankri accommodations, see euttaranchal.com.
  • For Kharapathar, prefer HPTDC. I see that some bookings (family suite) may be available. Book this first as it is good and cheap so goes fast.
  • Don't let Google Maps fool you when coming from Sankri to Rohru. The route suggested via Kwar and Dodra is a walking path and cannot accommodate even a bike. (Check my thread on DOW forums.)
  • Chakrata - Hotel Snow View is bad and not good value for money. Read my review somewhere here. I'd strongly advise Mehta hotel at Gwasa if it is open. Check here
  • Don't expect much from HPTDC Rohru, Hotel Chanshal. But in terms of value for money, it is OK. I stayed there for a night. I've reviewed it here against their second cheapest room.

-----

Transportation and logistics

I have a feeling that public transports, private cabs, changeovers, and checking in and out of hotels will all take a toll (financial and physical) on the group. How about hiring a self-drive car?

For this groupsize, get a Scorpio or Innova or similar. For Chanshal you can hire a local driver instead of the cab. Also, if you like it, drive yourselves and keep the driver as a buffer and for guidance only. There shouldn't even be much slush in June first week when you reach Chanshal.

It'll of course only work if the group likes to self drive and if you can some how drop off the vehicle at Chandigarh or Delhi. State toll taxes will be OK as you'll save big on driver-driven taxi. See the state taxes by Zoomcar here. One person can board the train from Delhi after dropping off the car. Keep buffer time. Note that minimum billing time is a few hours for any self-drive car rental services.


I have very little idea (mostly second- or third-hand) about public transport in this region. A few times I've been here, I've either driven or ridden on my own. I intend to keep going to Pabbar valley a few times in the future with my son and to trek, but I think I shall always prefer my car/bike. Local commute, flexibility to stop for photo/pee/food breaks etc., luxury of space, costing, etc. are all better in a personal/rented vehicle. Hence, my strong suggestion to hire a Zoomcar or at least a full-time taxi that remains with you.

-----

Misc points
  • I've seen photos of your kid and family trekking. If the other folks are equally adventurous, my vote is to definitely go for Chanshal and a small trek here or there. Take the vehicle along. Those who cannot can always back out and ride/wait in car. Don't let the hypotheticals stop you even before you start! Folks here are correct in suggesting restraint because that's playing safe when we don't know the group. But I am politically incorrect I say, let everyone define their own limits.
  • Nothing in Chirgaon. Shop for local clothes or caps. I got a good deal here of all places. Material was as good as Bhuttico's material from Kullu and Paonta Sahib shops.
  • I'd keep a 1 day buffer and if all goes as planned, can spend it sightseeing and shopping in Chandigarh. Good food, boating, malls, movies, and gardens should relax the group after these many days on the road.
  • If you do go to Narkanda, I believe the direct road from Rohru is OK and scenic. Let us know please.
  • Given how far (time-wise) the places are, changing hotels every second day is inevitable. Pack lite and pack-unpack well. If you were me, you'd waste 1-2 hours everyday in packing-unpacking Live with it!
  • I beg to differ with Dilliwala on HKD and Chanshal area in one trip. You also have the luxury of time. It'll be much but then you choose to cover all this in 13 days. I know you've traveled enough to know from distances and road conditions that combining such items will make it hectic/exhausting. Take a call. It is your trip!
  • Larot to Dodra is not possible on foot. Especially, with the family. Hence, the suggestion to ask locals (not in Rohru but beyond) for short hikes at Chanshal. I strongly suggest hitting the road in the valley before sunrise. At least I did so and it was a rewarding experience. The roads should be OK for a big SUV. Check my photos of the valley, of the hills, and the roads to understand road conditions in my Rohru/Chakrata albums.
  • When going to Chakrata, there are no petrol pumps beyond Kalsi Gate. Fill your tank at Vikasnagar. Similarly, fill your tank at Rohru or en-route Rohru. There are not many petrol pumps in remote regions.
  • If the group likes long drives and pleasant weather, use another day to do a day-long drive to and picnicking from Hanol to Sankri. Then use 2 days here to relax and take in the views. Kids can be taken on local day hikes or to HKD.

-----

Trek options

It'd be a waste to not do 2-3 good day hikes in a fortnight long vacation! I envy you from the bottom of my heart, for the length of time with family
Some possibilities are below. The no. of days I suggested above are keeping these possibilities in mind.
  • Budher Caves at Chakrata - 3-4 hours
  • Tiger Falls at Chakrata - 2-3 hours
  • Hanol - 1-3 hours. There are 5(?) temples including the uber famous Mahasu Devta. I remember reading that some of these temples are not directly on the road and may require a small walk. Ask the locals.
  • Hike around the Chanshal pass itself. Ask locals.
  • Hike to Rupin river in Dhaula from Sankri. Half the route can be covered by car.
  • Hatu peak if you choose to go to Narkanda.
  • Saru Lake at Chanshal Pass -- half day hike. (If you decide to do this, it'll help to stay in Chirgaon. There are a 1-2 hotels and some rest houses there.)
“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!”
Last edited by blackfog; May 1st, 2017 at 12:10..
#18 May 1st, 2017, 16:58
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#18
Phew! Epic post.

Rather long way to go to Vikasnagar to tank up for Chakrata, coming from Mussoorie.
Good point you make about pumps though. To be listed after amit finalises his plan. Connected to which -

It's possible to go Mussoorie-Chakrata via Lakhamandal. Somewhat longer route but a nice drive and worth a short stop at the temple. Tiger Fall and Gwasapul are further up this road.

The Mahasu temple at Hanol is just below the road. 20-25 m.

It's possible to drive to Dhaula by car. The road diverts at Naitwar. One can see the Rupin right there though, rushing down to join up with the Supin . Spectacular (well, I liked it). One of the better confluences I've seen - no crowds, no moneymakers, just a chaiwala/dhaba (that was 12 years ago).
Just as good for me as Devprayag, another place of confluence and name change.
#19 May 1st, 2017, 22:55
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#19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilliwala View Post Phew! Epic post.
Mine? This thread?
Quote:
Rather long way to go to Vikasnagar to tank up for Chakrata, coming from Mussoorie.
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest such a long detour. I meant tank up somewhere. Are there fuel stations in Mussoorie? That'd be ideal.
Quote:
It's possible to go Mussoorie-Chakrata via Lakhamandal. Somewhat longer route but a nice drive and worth a short stop at the temple. Tiger Fall and Gwasapul are further up this road.
Great! Thanks. I was wondering how to squeeze in Lakha Mandal. It is a must visit! The 2x distance is worth it. Lakhamandal before noon and Tiger Falls in late afternoon means Amit can reach Chakrata before 6 pm to enjoy the sunset from Chirmiri point! That leaves next day morning completely free to explore Deoban or trek to Budher.
Just that I don't find this drive nice in June -- traffic, narrow road at many places, construction and widening, small stream for a river, etc. Lakha Mandal is worth the small pain.

Quote:
The Mahasu temple at Hanol is just below the road. 20-25 m.
Set of 5 temples scattered in nearby villages? I have a vague doubt. I must have picked it from here.
#20 May 2nd, 2017, 01:54
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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfog View Post Mine? This thread?
Yours.This thread.

Quote:
Are there fuel stations in Mussoorie? That'd be ideal.
Not one, but two! Right next to each other.
But also at Siya, which is a few km short of Kempty Falls (which reminds me - get out of Mussoorie early, amit! Traffic!). And if going via Lakhamandal, then also at Nainbagh. Diesel can be bought at a premium in Chakrata from the only motor workshop there. Thereafter nothing till Rohru.

Quote:
Great! Thanks. I was wondering how to squeeze in Lakha Mandal. It is a must visit! The 2x distance is worth it.
Not quite 2x. 75 km on the short route, 137 via Lakhamandal.

Quote:
Just that I don't find this drive nice in June -- traffic, narrow road at many places, construction and widening, small stream for a river, etc. Lakha Mandal is worth the small pain.
Ok, I went in 2008. No traffic, no construction. Narrow spots were not a concern.

Quote:
Set of 5 temples scattered in nearby villages? I have a vague doubt. I must have picked it from here.
Right, scattered across villages. As I read in the wikipedia link. I'm not aware that Hanol has more than one.
There is a big mela at the Hanol one every year. People come in droves, including from Himachal.
#21 May 2nd, 2017, 13:56
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#21


Quote:
Ok, I went in 2008. No traffic, no construction. Narrow spots were not a concern.
Damn! You remember the past so well, as if you just visited. I envy your memory.

PS: There's a Rohru fair that happens in April. Read somewhere.
#22 May 3rd, 2017, 14:54
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#22

Thumbs up Thanks a ton Blackfog...

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfog View Post Places and possible duration

Personally, I shall suggest the following squence of and days at the places:
Dhanaulti - 1
Mussoorie - 2
Chakrata - 2
What's in Tiuni? It isn't a place, I'd stay at. Either visit Hanol and the temples when commuting to Kharapathar OR else stay at Hanol (GMVN?) - 1.

Now either proceed from Hanol (or Chakrata) to Kharapathar OR else to Sankri.
Sankri and hiking nearby - 2 (Can extend this to 3-5 days in total, if the group likes the day hikes around.)

(Either reach Kharapathar from Sankri or directly from Chakrata.)
Kharapathar and nearby POIs - 1 or 1.5
Rohru and Chanshal - 2-3
Narkanda(!) if you're left with 1-2 days.

-----

Accommodation

Book in advance where the plans are fixed and no doubts remains. Typically, the initial part of the trip and the ending.
  • For Sankri accommodations, see euttaranchal.com.
  • For Kharapathar, prefer HPTDC. I see that some bookings (family suite) may be available. Book this first as it is good and cheap so goes fast.
  • Don't let Google Maps fool you when coming from Sankri to Rohru. The route suggested via Kwar and Dodra is a walking path and cannot accommodate even a bike. (Check my thread on DOW forums.)
  • Chakrata - Hotel Snow View is bad and not good value for money. Read my review somewhere here. I'd strongly advise Mehta hotel at Gwasa if it is open. Check here
  • Don't expect much from HPTDC Rohru, Hotel Chanshal. But in terms of value for money, it is OK. I stayed there for a night. I've reviewed it here against their second cheapest room.

-----

Transportation and logistics

I have a feeling that public transports, private cabs, changeovers, and checking in and out of hotels will all take a toll (financial and physical) on the group. How about hiring a self-drive car?

For this groupsize, get a Scorpio or Innova or similar. For Chanshal you can hire a local driver instead of the cab. Also, if you like it, drive yourselves and keep the driver as a buffer and for guidance only. There shouldn't even be much slush in June first week when you reach Chanshal.

It'll of course only work if the group likes to self drive and if you can some how drop off the vehicle at Chandigarh or Delhi. State toll taxes will be OK as you'll save big on driver-driven taxi. See the state taxes by Zoomcar here. One person can board the train from Delhi after dropping off the car. Keep buffer time. Note that minimum billing time is a few hours for any self-drive car rental services.


I have very little idea (mostly second- or third-hand) about public transport in this region. A few times I've been here, I've either driven or ridden on my own. I intend to keep going to Pabbar valley a few times in the future with my son and to trek, but I think I shall always prefer my car/bike. Local commute, flexibility to stop for photo/pee/food breaks etc., luxury of space, costing, etc. are all better in a personal/rented vehicle. Hence, my strong suggestion to hire a Zoomcar or at least a full-time taxi that remains with you.

-----

Misc points
  • I've seen photos of your kid and family trekking. If the other folks are equally adventurous, my vote is to definitely go for Chanshal and a small trek here or there. Take the vehicle along. Those who cannot can always back out and ride/wait in car. Don't let the hypotheticals stop you even before you start! Folks here are correct in suggesting restraint because that's playing safe when we don't know the group. But I am politically incorrect I say, let everyone define their own limits.
  • Nothing in Chirgaon. Shop for local clothes or caps. I got a good deal here of all places. Material was as good as Bhuttico's material from Kullu and Paonta Sahib shops.
  • I'd keep a 1 day buffer and if all goes as planned, can spend it sightseeing and shopping in Chandigarh. Good food, boating, malls, movies, and gardens should relax the group after these many days on the road.
  • If you do go to Narkanda, I believe the direct road from Rohru is OK and scenic. Let us know please.
  • Given how far (time-wise) the places are, changing hotels every second day is inevitable. Pack lite and pack-unpack well. If you were me, you'd waste 1-2 hours everyday in packing-unpacking Live with it!
  • I beg to differ with Dilliwala on HKD and Chanshal area in one trip. You also have the luxury of time. It'll be much but then you choose to cover all this in 13 days. I know you've traveled enough to know from distances and road conditions that combining such items will make it hectic/exhausting. Take a call. It is your trip!
  • Larot to Dodra is not possible on foot. Especially, with the family. Hence, the suggestion to ask locals (not in Rohru but beyond) for short hikes at Chanshal. I strongly suggest hitting the road in the valley before sunrise. At least I did so and it was a rewarding experience. The roads should be OK for a big SUV. Check my photos of the valley, of the hills, and the roads to understand road conditions in my Rohru/Chakrata albums.
  • When going to Chakrata, there are no petrol pumps beyond Kalsi Gate. Fill your tank at Vikasnagar. Similarly, fill your tank at Rohru or en-route Rohru. There are not many petrol pumps in remote regions.
  • If the group likes long drives and pleasant weather, use another day to do a day-long drive to and picnicking from Hanol to Sankri. Then use 2 days here to relax and take in the views. Kids can be taken on local day hikes or to HKD.

-----

Trek options

It'd be a waste to not do 2-3 good day hikes in a fortnight long vacation! I envy you from the bottom of my heart, for the length of time with family
Some possibilities are below. The no. of days I suggested above are keeping these possibilities in mind.
  • Budher Caves at Chakrata - 3-4 hours
  • Tiger Falls at Chakrata - 2-3 hours
  • Hanol - 1-3 hours. There are 5(?) temples including the uber famous Mahasu Devta. I remember reading that some of these temples are not directly on the road and may require a small walk. Ask the locals.
  • Hike around the Chanshal pass itself. Ask locals.
  • Hike to Rupin river in Dhaula from Sankri. Half the route can be covered by car.
  • Hatu peak if you choose to go to Narkanda.
  • Saru Lake at Chanshal Pass -- half day hike. (If you decide to do this, it'll help to stay in Chirgaon. There are a 1-2 hotels and some rest houses there.)
Thanks a ton Blackfog for your detail suggestions.... Considering your suggestins I made two itineraries...Please check and give your advice.


Itinerary 1
If everybody in the group (including the ladies) is willing for HKD then,

30/5: Reach Delhi airport 9:30 Am ...DElhi to Dehradun AC bus @11:30 from Kashmere gate... Reach Dehradun @ 6pm Night stay in Mussorie/ Dehradun

31/5: Day trip to Dhanaulti or Local sightseeing of Mussorie

1/6 Mussorie to Chakrata via Lakhamandal and Tiger fall . Night stay in Chakrata.

2/6. Day trip to Deoban,Mundali or Hike to Budher caves.Night stay in Chakrata.

3/6 Chakrata to Taluka (via Hanol and Sankri )

4/6 Trek from Taluka to Seema (14 km).

5/6 Trek from Seema to Har-Ki-Dun (12 km).

6/6 Har-Ki-Dun

7/6 Har-Ki-Dun to Seema (12 km).

8/6 Seema to Taluka (14 km).

9/6 Taluka to Rohru via Hatkothi

10/6 Rohru to Chancal pass( Via Larot) & Dodra by car. Back to Rohru.

11/6 Rohru to Chandigarh via Kharapathar. Catch train @ midnight.

Itinerary2: If we do not do HKD

30/5: Reach Delhi airport 9:30 Am ...DElhi to Dehradun AC bus @11:30 from Kashmere gate... Reach Dehradun @ 6pm Night stay in Mussorie/ Dehradun

31/5: Local sightseeing of Mussorie , Night stay in Mussorie

1/6 move to Dhanulti . Night stay in Dhanulti

2/6 Dhanulti to Chakrata via Lakhamandal and Tiger fall. Night stay in Chakrata.

3/6. Day trip to Deoban,Mundali .Night stay in Chakrata.

4/6 Hike to Budher caves or visit Kanasar...or any other day hike. Night stay in Chakrata.

5/6 Chakrata to Hanol to Sankri

6/6 Any day trek from Sankri ( Hike to Rupin river)

7/6 Sankri to Rohru via Arakot & Hatkothi

8/6 Rohru to Chancal pass(Via Larot) & Dodra by car or trek

9/6 Spare day @ Rohru...

10/6 Rohru to Kharapathar

11/6 Kharapathar to Chandigarh. Catch train @ midnight.

Please give your detail suggestions and advice regarding the itinerary. Regarding accomodation, we will go without any prebookings and will try our luck... Regarding transport, since we will have treks in between, we will look for any service share zeep from point to point or just and hire and fire for the drop....
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun
#23 May 3rd, 2017, 15:43
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#23
Itinerary 2 - Your visit to Sankri for just one day would be too hectic. You could consider a trip to Mori and Netwar - Pokhu Devta temple at the formation of Tons river. (no one has darshan of the deity, not even the pujari, he is supposed to be very fierce!!). You will have to sort out your stay options here though. Rest houses are available.
The road for Sankri is pretty bad from Netwar onwards.
Sar Pass Trek , Rohtang, Munnar, Badrinath Kedarnath, Vaishnodevi, Goa
#24 May 3rd, 2017, 21:04
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#24
HKD to Taluka can be done in a day.

There's no hike to the Rupin from Sankri. You could actually go down to the Supin though, which is far below the village. You'd have to ask villagers about the way.

I like Itin 2 better.

It will be madness to wing it accom-wise at Mussoorie and Dhanolti in peak summer. Unless you don't mind tariffs of 5000 and above. I wouldn't take a chance with Chakrata either, considering the size of the group.
#25 May 3rd, 2017, 22:12
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#25
Good itineraries Amit. Seems like this is why you were missing for a few days!

Where am I coming from?
I'm not big on popular hill stations. Never during peak of summers. While I love Lal Tibba views but Mussoorie traffic jams and hotel tariffs irritate me. Rule of thumb is to not go any place that has a Mall Road OR is a destination for honeymooners.

Even if the kids or ladies in the group don't want to trek, relaxing at a remote natural place like Sankri/Hanol/Chakrata is better for me than slugging it out in Mussoorie.

Between the two options, my pick is Itinerary 1. It has more of nature and more of bonding time with family. I find Itinerary 2 as a bit thin. Pick this if you want to really relax and do nothing. As far as I can tell, the energy level is high in your group and you folks don't like to laze around for days. You seem to cover more activities/places in one go. You seem to be coverage and activity focused than the kind who like to just lying around in a 3-star hotel ordering room service, without leaving a resort for 2 days!


Suggested change
Dhanaulti is indeed relaxing. Just like Kasauli. Just like Lansdowne. Just like Mahabaleshwar. Just like Mount Abu.
No views. No activities. No ROI for me. It is a wet dream of a lazy man who is happy living inside the boundaries of a resort for 2-3 days. Now don't judge me for judging such people LOL

Typically, nothing much changes between typical hill stations. They all offer a mall road, may be a museum, a small pond/lake to boat in or a waterfront to sit in, a park for kids to play in, and a sunset point.
Mussoorie at least offers a hip live, some very very good eateries, and shopping avenues besides the usual hill station stuff. What if you drop Dhanaulti altogether in Itinerary 1?!

How to use this extra day or two? Each option below is better than Dhanaulti in my personal opinion.
  • Local hikes and outdoor adventure activities around Mussoorie. See here.
  • Spend 1.5 days and do Nag Tibba trek(!)
  • Spend 1 day extra to do Saru Lake.
  • Do more short hikes in Sankri area. I don't know any specific but there must be a few well-trodden trails.
  • Camp at Kanasar overnight. Enjoy bonfire and star gazing.
  • Do the trek to HKD in a more relaxed manner.
  • Visit Narkanda and trek/drive to Hatu Peak.
  • Enjoy a day at Chandigarh(!)


Perceived bottlenecks
In Itinerary1, "Taluka to Rohru via Hatkothi" sounds hectic. You'll sleep late and may not be able to enjoy Pabbar valley at dawn.
In I2, none.


Misc points
  • Whatever Dilliwala said about costs and just swinging it.
  • I forgot to mention that while it is summers, do pack in a jacket/sweater and some muffler if you intend to camp at Nag Tibba, Kanasar, sit around for an hour at Tiger Falls, walk to Budher at dawn, etc.
  • Brace for impact with the crowd. With it comes rude mannerisms of local service providers, hyped tariffs at hotels, lack of availability to just swing it.
  • If you are just swinging it, book an accommodation and check in by at max late afternoon.
  • Again, hire and fire cab services cost more money and inconvenience of dealing with a new drive everyday. Your call.

~Ashish
#26 May 4th, 2017, 01:16
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#26
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfog View Post While I love Lal Tibba views but Mussoorie traffic jams and hotel tariffs irritate me.
So you have been? How come you never noticed the petrol pumps?

Quote:
Rule of thumb is to not go any place that has a Mall Road
Sangla has a Mall Road . As does Sarahan .
Not forgetting Manali's - all of 300 metres.

Quote:
Dhanaulti is indeed relaxing. Just like Kasauli. Just like Lansdowne. Just like Mahabaleshwar. Just like Mount Abu.
No views.
In peak summer it's not even that.
There are views though, from the top of the Eco Park. If it's clear.
#27 May 4th, 2017, 01:32
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#27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilliwala View Post So you have been? How come you never noticed the petrol pumps?
Guess when on a bike, the world seems to pass by... I've been to Lal Tibba twice. Never figured the fuel station
Quote:
Sangla has a Mall Road . As does Sarahan .
Not forgetting Manali's - all of 300 metres.
C'mon, you know what I mean. There are Mall roads and then there are Mall roads Let's use a different rule of thumb. I tend to avoid places where red bangle donning honeymooners go. No offense to the newly wed. It is just that the crowds at such places are crazy and local administration doesn't help ease out the situation.

Quote:
In peak summer it's not even that.
There are views though, from the top of the Eco Park. If it's clear.
Summers aren't relaxing in the plains and in the hills. Go far and go wide seems to be the only mantra for loners :-|
Last edited by blackfog; May 4th, 2017 at 13:53..
#28 May 4th, 2017, 02:05
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#28
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfog View Post C'mon, you know what I mean.
I know what you mean . I was just taking a dig at our nation-wide copycat habits - naming a stretch of road 100 metres long (Sarahan) as a Mall Road without even knowing what it means ....

Quote:
I tend to avoid places where red bangle donning honeymooners go.
#29 May 4th, 2017, 13:51
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#29



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilliwala View Post I know what you mean . I was just taking a dig at our nation-wide copycat habits - naming a stretch of road 100 metres long (Sarahan) as a Mall Road without even knowing what it means ....
I know. I know It seems like a hobby of local administration. But they don't provide for the Mall Roads.

Here's Manali in March 2015. Notice the open drain, potholes, lack of barricading, haphazard parking allowed by local admin, irregular construction where some buildings protrude more on the road and some don't, not really any signboards for first-time tourists who just stroll around (many such comes to Manali), etc. All of this is on the local admin. On our part, notice the sizable crowd even when it was drizzling! When I reached there, it was too crowded to get in to.




The original photo is here.

And here's a capture of Almora city. Not a town anymore...
#30 May 4th, 2017, 15:03
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Originally Posted by blackfog View Post Good itineraries Amit. Seems like this is why you were missing for a few days!

Yes Asish, I am really looking for a concrete itinerary, something to go ahead....

Where am I coming from?
I'm not big on popular hill stations. Never during peak of summers. While I love Lal Tibba views but Mussoorie traffic jams and hotel tariffs irritate me. Rule of thumb is to not go any place that has a Mall Road OR is a destination for honeymooners.

Even if the kids or ladies in the group don't want to trek, relaxing at a remote natural place like Sankri/Hanol/Chakrata is better for me than slugging it out in Mussoorie.

Thats my opinion also... You really know me

Between the two options, my pick is Itinerary 1. It has more of nature and more of bonding time with family. I find Itinerary 2 as a bit thin. Pick this if you want to really relax and do nothing. As far as I can tell, the energy level is high in your group and you folks don't like to laze around for days. You seem to cover more activities/places in one go. You seem to be coverage and activity focused than the kind who like to just lying around in a 3-star hotel ordering room service, without leaving a resort for 2 days!

Exactly Asish...You are absolutely correct in judging me...100%... In fact my preference is also Itinerary 1 including HKD.... 4 out of 6 members are mentally ready to go for HKD.... need to convince the other 2


Suggested change
Dhanaulti is indeed relaxing. Just like Kasauli. Just like Lansdowne. Just like Mahabaleshwar. Just like Mount Abu.
No views. No activities. No ROI for me. It is a wet dream of a lazy man who is happy living inside the boundaries of a resort for 2-3 days. Now don't judge me for judging such people LOL

Typically, nothing much changes between typical hill stations. They all offer a mall road, may be a museum, a small pond/lake to boat in or a waterfront to sit in, a park for kids to play in, and a sunset point.
Mussoorie at least offers a hip live, some very very good eateries, and shopping avenues besides the usual hill station stuff. What if you drop Dhanaulti altogether in Itinerary 1?!

How to use this extra day or two? Each option below is better than Dhanaulti in my personal opinion.

If you say so, that Dhanaulti has no views, then I will drop it out....Better to stay in Mussorie for 2 nights( I mean 1st night we have to stay anyway either in Dehra or mussorie), if it doesn't cost much....say within 1600-1800 per night...
  • Local hikes and outdoor adventure activities around Mussoorie. See here.
  • Spend 1.5 days and do Nag Tibba trek(!) I think Nag Tibba will be better in Dec...i have thought of it separately as a winter trek
  • Spend 1 day extra to do Saru Lake. where is it?
  • Do more short hikes in Sankri area. I don't know any specific but there must be a few well-trodden trails.
  • Camp at Kanasar overnight. Enjoy bonfire and star gazing. Thats really interesting....Kanasar needs to be done from Chakrata...right?
  • Do the trek to HKD in a more relaxed manner. Isn't the HKD plan relaxed? I thought it was....please see it again
  • Visit Narkanda and trek/drive to Hatu Peak.
  • Enjoy a day at Chandigarh(!)


Perceived bottlenecks
In Itinerary1, "Taluka to Rohru via Hatkothi" sounds hectic. You'll sleep late and may not be able to enjoy Pabbar valley at dawn. What to do then?
In I2, none.


Misc points
  • Whatever Dilliwala said about costs and just swinging it. We cannot book right now... Actually, I have told you this whole trip plan is our plan B, if we cannot make Ladakh....then only we will do this...
  • I forgot to mention that while it is summers, do pack in a jacket/sweater and some muffler if you intend to camp at Nag Tibba, Kanasar, sit around for an hour at Tiger Falls, walk to Budher at dawn, etc.
  • Brace for impact with the crowd. With it comes rude mannerisms of local service providers, hyped tariffs at hotels, lack of availability to just swing it.
  • If you are just swinging it, book an accommodation and check in by at max late afternoon.
  • Again, hire and fire cab services cost more money and inconvenience of dealing with a new drive everyday. Your call. If we trek, its no use keeping a car for the whole trip...right?

~Ashish
Thanks again Asish, for detailing so nicely... I am really in short of words....

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