Snowy ShojaRoad trip to Chandigarh Mandi Shoja from DelhiTotal No of days - 4Dated - Dec 2015
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Behind the wheel & ContributorVinod Kumar...know more about me
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This Christmas our trip was to the less explored part of Himachal, SHOJA. Shoja at just 5 kms from Jalori Pass, that links the Shimla and Kullu districts provides breathtaking sceneries and walks to nearby lakes and forts. The whole region is a part of the Great Himalayan National Park.
This trip was the All India Meet organised by HVK. We were a group of around 160, in convoys making it to this secluded, chilly interiors of Himalayas. Our stay was in Banjara Retreat and scattered in small accommodations in the surrounding places of Ghibi.
Day 1 - Drive to Chandigarh(279kms/6hrs)
First halt at Chandigarh, here we were put up in Hotel City Paradise for the night. Then groups of 5-10 cars headed by a team leader make our way to Shoja the next morning at 7am. The whole trip was adventurous for any road trip enthusiast. Rest let the pictures speak......
Hotel City Paradise
The convoy moving to Mandi
By 1:30 we reach Mandi. Had lunch at Hotel Shingaar, here we meet other members, come in from all over India. The teams are re-grouped and further we head to Shoja....More pics of the drive
Tea break at Hotel Hill top Swarghat
Drive to Banjara Retreat
It had snowed the earlier night, so it was bone chilly. The climb to Banjara was slushy and slippery. We reached by 6:15, but had to wait for all the cars to climb. Later we were escorted to Hotel Cedar View in Ghibi after dinner.
Hotel Cedar view
The night was too cold around -4 degrees. The beds, blankets everything was chilly, the heater was hardly able to provide some respite, I guess voltage is less here. Anyways, got to bed.
The next morning was beautiful, the valleys and mountains around began to shine in the rising sun, the lovely stream flowing by was gurgling, the sun rays were still to beat the wind chill, after a quick breakfast we visit the Tirthan valley. The Great Himalayan National park was to be covered by foot, so we were not to keen to walk, the last village till the vehicle can go is Kushaini, and so from there we returned back.
The evening was a intro session of all members followed by dinner.
View from Cedar view hotel
Morning view of Jibhi
Breakfast at Jalori springs Guest house in Jhibi
Drive to Tirthan valley
Tirthan valley presents the local life, the small villages, the farmer fields and school children walking to school are all beautiful scenes of everyday life. People are friendly and they lean out of their windows to greet you.
The Tirthan river has been declared an angling reserve and no hydro power projects are allowed on this river or its tributaries There are no big hotels, just small rest houses, lodges or home stays. The localities can help you with flies and organise ghillies to show where you can fish. They also arrange picnic lunches if you want to spent the whole day out fishing. You can also have your days catch cooked or freezed take it back home. Fishing permit is necessary as the local fisheries people keep regular checks to prevent over fishing in the Tirthan river.
The last village before Himalayan National Park - Kushaini
Enroute Tirthan valley
A sheet of ice
Great Himalayan National Park.
The park can be visited only by foot and there are numerous habitats for explorations from bush forest of Oak, Conifer and Bamboo, to gentle alpine meadows; from swift flowing rivers to high alpine glaciers.
From April to October it is pleasant in the day and slightly cold at night. Additionally, in July and August there is always a possibility of rain. November, Dec and March is a great time to experience the magic of wintertime in the hills with snowfall being a strong possibility and minimum temperatures around zero degrees centigrade.
Best time to visit
Near Aut tunnel
Gobind Sagar lake
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