Hidden Eastern Himachal

  • Days: 12 Days

Day 1: Chandigarh - Mandi (Approx 220 km/6 hrs)

Arrival Chandigarh Airport. Upon arrival proceed towards the main exit gate. You will see a representative standing with a placard in your name. Board the waiting vehicle and drive via Ropar, Kiratpur & Bilaspur to reach Mandi by evening. Check into your hotel.

Overnight at Mandi.

Day 2: Mandi- Sojha (Approx 81 km/3 ½ hrs)

Leave after breakfast and drive via Aut & Banjara to reach your selected Hotel or Cottage around noon. Check into Cottage or Selected Rooms, freshen up & have a sumptuous meal. Early evening, go for a walk (you drive about a km to a spot and then walk about 1 ½ km/ about 1 hr each way) into the nearby forest to a waterfall point- an enchanting spot set deep in the forest.  Be back in time to enjoy late evening by a bonfire.

Overnight at Sojha.

Day 3: Sojha - Serolsar Lake Hike – Sonjha

Post breakfast we drive to Jalori pass in about 15-20 minutes. From here, a well-defined trail takes one to the lake. Few hundred meters on the trail and then you get in to the Oak forest. The sun rays filtering through the tree cover, the blue of the sky through the foliage, the up and down of the trail, an occasional sight of a bird, a clearing showing the huge green vistas cascading down to the Sutluj valley, all of this and more will keep you an enchanting company all the way to the lake.

The lake makes up in crystal clear clarity what it lacks in size. The local belief is that no one has ever found a leaf floating in the lake though leafy trees surround the lake itself. You will certainly not find a leaf floating in the lake.

Open your lunch hamper and enjoy an al fresco lunch on the banks of the lake. Walk back to Jalori, board the waiting vehicle and drive back to the cottage, in time for your evening cuppa! Enjoy late evening by a bonfire.

Overnight at Sojha.

Day 4: Sojha - Sangla (Approx 194 km/7 hrs)

Leave after breakfast on a thrilling drive over Jalori Pass and then down along the Tirthan River gorge to meet the NH 22 at Sainj. Carry on via Rampur to reach Jeori; here you take a detour of 17 km / 1 hr (each way) to see Sarahan- famous for an ancient Bhimakali Temple & great views of the Srikhand Mahadev peak.

Drive back to Jeori & then via Karcham to reach the Camp & Retreat at Sangla late in the evening. Check into Super Deluxe Rooms at the retreat.  Rest of the day at leisure. Spend late evening by a bonfire.

Overnight in the retreat.

Day 5: Sangla - Chitkul Drive & Nagasthi Hike – Sangla

There is not a better conception of a day picnic than a short drive to Chitkul, walk to Nagasthi and opening the lunch hamper under the pine trees next to a rivulet on green grass looking at the beautiful expanse of the valley. We start the day around nine after breakfast. It takes 45 minutes to reach Chitkul. The drive is a fascinating one through pine forest that slowly gives way to 'Bhojpatra'/Birch trees and then the tree line disappears. The valley opens up and you find yourself facing the snow capped Great Himalayas beyond which lies Tibet. Perched on the one side of the valley, below one of the ridges is the quaint Chitkul village. One look at it and image of 'Shangri- La' crosses the mind. Chitkul falls in what once used to be the 'Silk Route'.

Nagasthi is the last border outpost (bordering Tibet) and a short walk from Chitkul. Civilians are not allowed beyond this point. The walk is a level one and slightly going down the path through a pastureland and fields overlooking the freely flowing Baspa.  Walk back and open your lunch hamper at an idyllic spot.

Back in the retreat by late afternoon to rest and relax and be ready for the evening tea. Spend late evening by a bonfire. Overnight in the retreat.

Day 6: Sangla - Rakcham Walk - Sangla

A signature walk of the valley, this route was once used regularly by the villagers from Batseri to go to Rakcham. It is a fascinating walk through a wide variety of flora. If the trek is done before July, one also gets to cross two tails of glaciers coming from the top to meet the frisky Baspa.

We start as early as possible with a light breakfast and carry juice and sandwiches for the midpoint break! Arrive back at camp by noon for a hot shower and lunch. A level-cum-gradually climbing path first takes one to Batseri Village across the Baspa River. A 'dekko' at the temple and one is quickly out of the village into the forest. After about half an hour the path takes a sharp climb and goes on for thirty minutes where one hits the first 'glacier'. That can be the first 'chota' halt.

Across the glacier one quickly melts into the forest and here the path goes gradually up. Half an hour and many fascinating views later the path takes a sudden descent and opens out into the valley. Lo and behold! Another small glacier walk (only till early June) and a balance walking across a few streams later one comes to a plain flat ground. This is generally the mid way break point where we stop briefly for refreshments.

Resume the walk after a short break. A big tract of Poplar forest welcomes you as you walk on. The path from here takes a gradual ascent and goes on for 30-40 minutes to level in a forest which gives way to the fields of Rakcham village. The Valley opens up here revealing the snow-clad mountains across which lies Uttaranchal and Tibet depending on which direction one is looking at. Here one has the option to either take the vehicle back to the camp or else walk back on the road to the retreat (7 kms/1.5 hrs).

Day 7: Sangla - Kalpa (Approx 51 km/2 ½ hrs)

Leave after breakfast and drive via Reckong Peo to reach Kalpa around noon. Check into your comfortable hotel. Freshen up and have lunch. Early evening you could go for a walk of about 4 km on an almost level trail to Roghi Village & walk or drive back. Enjoy awe inspiring close-up views of the Kinner Kailash Massif from here at sunset- in fact at all times from anywhere in Kalpa. Overnight in Kalpa.

Day 8: Kalpa – Sarahan - Thanedar (Approx 187 km/7 ½ hr)

Leave after breakfast and drive towards Shimla. At Jeori take a detour of 17 km / 45 min each way to see Sarahan- a small hill town famous for an ancient Bhimakali Temple & great views of the Srikhand Mahadev Peak. Have lunch on your own at the HPTDC hotel here. Carry on to reach your selected Hotel in Thanedar by evening. Check into your Rooms. Check into Deluxe Rooms. Bonfire in the evening. Overnight at Thanedar.

Day 9: Thanedar- Early Morning Walk To Kotgarh - Saroga Forest Walk – Thanedar

Do an early morning walk of about 1 ½ hrs through Apple Orchards & quaint villages to Kotgarh. Drive back to the retreat for a sumptuous breakfast. Later (around 1100 hrs) we leave on the Saroga Forest walk- the trail through the forest introduces you to the rich flora of the inner Himalayas. The forest is full of Blue pine, Silver Spur, Christmas tree, Spruce, Oaks, Rhododendron and Taxus Himalayana (the tree from which Taxol is derived and used for curing cancer). Depending on the season one can pick Rhododendron flowers, Strawberries, Raspberries and wild Mushrooms. Fern lovers will be thrilled to see 'Himalayan Maiden Hair' and other fern varieties in abundance along this trail.

This soft trek takes about two and a half hours and requires a guide. A detour at the end of the trail and effort of another hour will take you to the mountain-top, from where you get a breathtaking view of the snow line. Have your packed lunch here. Later carry on to reach teh picturesque Tani Jubbar Lake, your vehicle would be waiting and you drive 6 km in about 20 mins to reach our retreat in time for evening Tea.

Bonfire in the evening. Overnight at Thanedar.

Day 10: Thanedar – Mashobra (Approx 3 hrs/80 kms)

Breakfast at Thanedar. Post Breakfast check out. Drive to Mashobra.

Situated at 8,250 feet in the magnificent Himalayas, Wildflower Hall is a fairytale luxury resort set in 22 acres of virgin woods of pine and cedar. The former residence of Lord Kitchener, rebuilt to a new magnificence, Wildflower Hall recreates the grand style of the colonial era. Wood panelling and original artwork create an aura of old world charm. Teak wood floors, hand knotted rugs and rich furnishings complemented by spectacular views make the rooms very special retreats.

For centuries, the Himalayas have inspired awe and awakened spirituality in the souls of all mortals who encounter their greatness. This fairytale resort offers a tranquil sanctuary in the mountains. The Oberoi spa at the resort offers holistic treatments based on Ayurveda, Oriental and Western traditions in private spa suites or pavilions that are ensconced in a dense cedar forest and offer spectacular vistas of the majestic snow peaks.

Enjoy beautiful views of mountains and valleys from the restaurants, outdoor Jacuzzi and the heated swimming pool. Take leisurely walks on the trails winding through the fragrant pine forests and enjoy Gourmet picnic hampers that accompany your explorations. For the adventurous the resort offers white river rafting, trekking, mountain biking, archery, billiards, ice skating (in winter) and golf.

Overnight stay at your Hotel.

Day 11: Mashobra

Enjoy this day at leisure. Overnight at Mashobra.

Day 12: Mashobra - Chandigarh (Approx 3 ½ hrs)

Breakfast at the hotel. Relax enjoy the property. Afternoon depart for Chandigarh Airport in time to board your return flight.

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