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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Holiday to Shimla | Sangla | Narkhanda | Mussorrie - June 2011

Had been planning a holiday for sometime and finally after a lot of mis-adventures finally managed to freeze on Shimla, Sangla, Narkhanda and Mussorrie. Bookings at Shimla and Mussorrie were done at the Club Mahindra Resorts and so the search started to a place to stay at Sangla and Narkhanda.

A quick search on the net revealed 2 places, Banjara Camps and Kinner Camps both of which looked really interesting. Though Banjara seemed more popular it was frightfully expensive compared to Kinner Camps where Mr. Pradeep Negi and Gauri really gave us a good deal. Gauri also helped us with booking for Narkhanda, at a place called Agyat Vas. This was a real "Agyat Vasa" (unknown / hidden place), but more of that later. So finally we were all set for our annual vacation.


We took the early morning flight to Delhi and an Innova (again booked through Gauri at Kinner Camps) was ready to pick us up. The drive to Shimla was a rather long one and we reached Whispering Pines the Club Mahindra resort at Mashorba, on the outskirts of Shimla, late in the afternoon.
Whispering Pines
Whispering Pines






We spent the next 2 days exploring Shimla and visiting the "must see" places there.

To be honest Shimla did not really catch my fancy. Its crowded and teaming with people.
This is a common site in Shimla city
Queen of the hills ?? Where are the hills ??
 The highlight of our visit was a trip to the Vice Regal Lodge of Shimla. The Viceregal Lodge of Shimla is a heritage building that is situated on the Observatory Hill of Shimla. This building originally used to be the dwelling hub of the then Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin. The building is also termed as the 'Rashtrapati Niwas'. It has a really beautiful garden and one can spend hours there just looking at the flower and butterflies.

Vice Regal Lodge
Flower in the garden of the Vice Regal Lodge


The other place I really loved with Annadale. Developed as the playground of Shimla, Annandale is 2–4 km from the Ridge at a height of 6,117 ft. It is a favourite spot for cricket, picnics and polo. There is a wonderful military museum there which is located in such picturesque surroundings that it is a must visit for tourist who go to Shimla.
Central Hall / Conference Room at Annadale
Military Museum
There is a beautiful golf course at Annadale, though I am not sure if it is open to the general public.
Golf Course at Annadale

Over the 2 days in Shimla, we witnessed some spectacular skies, especially in the evening.


For more images from Shimla visit my Picasa web album Pics from Shimla .

Our next stop was Sangla around 215 Kms from Shimla.  This leg of the trip really put the time required to travel in perspective. Normally 215Kms would take around 4-5 hours, but with the narrow curvy roads it took us more than 7 hours to reach Kinner Camps. So inspite of leaving Shimla at 9:00, it was nearly 16:00 hours when we reached Kinner Camps.

Kinner Camps Sangla is the only camp in the valley to be run by local professionals it is nestled amidst apple orchards on the banks of the Baspa river.  It provides 20 Swiss style luxury tents furnished with attached bath and all amenities, multi cuisine restaurant serving Indian,  Chinese and Continental food.

The location is really amazing ... the camp is situated a little more than half way down a hill with the flowing Baspa River a few yards below. The location was just perfect with a huge mountain at the back which protected us from the direct sun and snow clad mountains and the river in front. In hindsight I liked the location more than that of Banjara camps, which was situated on the rocky bank of the river.

Mere pictures can not do justice to the beauty of the place and one has to be there to really soak in the beauty and atmosphere of the place.
Tents at Kinner Camps
Snow Clad mountains - view from tent
River Baspa - Kinner Camps




Snow clad mountains above Kinner Camps
Mountains from Kinner Camps
Snow clad mountains from Kinner Camps

Another view of Kinner Camps

There are quite a few places to visit and a must visit place is Chitkul. Chittkul is the last inhabited village near the Indo-Tibet border; the Indian road ends here. During winters the place remains covered with the snow mostly & these people move to the lower areas of Himachal. Chittkulis the first village of the Baspa Valley and the last village on the old Hindustan-Tibet trade route. It is also the last point in India one can travel to without a permit. Of particular interest at Chitkul are its houses with either slate or wooden plank roofs, a Buddhist temple and a small tower. However, there has been an increased use of tin-roofs, especially the high school and the army/ITBP barracks.


Chikul - last village in India
Typical House in Chitkul
Chitkul Village

For those who wish to have a leisurely treck, there is a quaint little village across the river from Kinner Camps. Its a beautiful village having nice roads, apple orchards and a wonderful temple. The village is a 45 minute walk from the camp and is really worth visiting.
Walking into the village
This dog adopted us and followed us all around


Carving on temple

 Even now when I look at the pictures from Kinner, I just wish I could have spent more time there
Baspa River
Baspa River from Kinner Camps
Under the pines
Snow clad mountains from Kinner


We really had a wonderful time at Kinner and desperately wanted to spend some more time there. Mr Vijay Negi and his team really made us feel at home. The tents were nice and clean, the home cooked food amazing and the service impeccable.  I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who goes to Sangla.

For more images from Kinner Camps visit my album Awesome Kinner.

From Kinner we were off to Narkhanda to a place called Agyaat Vas. ....

More from my trip in the next post ..... 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Umang,

Amazing photographs of Kashmir... or is it Himachal. I still have not seen these places.

best wishes

Jayadev

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