Category Archives: Himachal

Best Places for StarGazing in India

Have you ever slept under an open sky? In my childhood days, we used to sleep on the terrace & I would keep my eyes open for a long time counting the zillions of twinkling stars in the pitch dark sky. When tired, I would stop counting marking the hypothetical spot, thinking to restart back from the same point tomorrow. In between sometimes could spot a shooting star which in the morning we would claim ourselves lucky to see “Tutta Tara” (breaking star). The innocent thought was that one day I will be able to count all of these stars. Crazy! Right! I am still crazy about stargazing. Indeed, now we both are. We love the vastness and grandeur of night sky & have multiple apps like Night Sky lite in our phones for stargazing in India! But why we city dwellers are crazy & can’t see them every day just like before? Where have those days gone now?

The pollution, light spill, clouds, city noise have changed the nature of the skies in cities. Now to have that insignificant feeling of standing or lying under the starry shimmery night i.e. for stargazing in India, we need to get away from our dreary life, we need to travel to the remote places where there are no concrete jungles, where nature is still protected, where there is no pollution, where dark spaces still exist and where the materialism is still far away.

Stars Sites in India

 Gyalwang Drukpa once said “Each of us is connected through the heart to the entire universe – and so if you get into the mind, you will see the universe”.

In this post, we have clubbed some of the best stargazing sites of India as suggested by some of India’s top Travel Bloggers & Photographers.

Best StarGazing sites in India

Starry Nights at Meghalaya


By – Agni & Amrita from Tale of 2 Backpackers

Kongthong in Meghalaya is located about 60km from Shillong in the pristine east Khasi Hills. It is a small village consisting of merely 700 people. The place is extremely peaceful and pleasing to the eyes and is all about nature and gorgeous vistas. Interestingly, the village is also known as the whistling village as each people have a tune to call them apart from their names.

The day ends early for the villagers and they dwell inside their homes, leaving the place dark against the lush landscapes.  The skies are just like a canvas here as it opens up to the vistas of shining stars and constellations at their best.

Kongthong Meghalaya - Star Gazing in India
Kongthong Meghalaya – Star Gazing in India

How to reach: From Shillong, hire sumo to Kongthong. But remember only one sumo runs during the day and it is better to book it in advance. Otherwise, you can hire a car from Shillong or Cherrapunjee to reach Kongthong.

Best Time to visit: From October to April

Places to stay: The only place to stay at Kongthong as of now is Kongthong Travellers Nest.

Galaxy at Karnataka

Stargazing at Kabini

– By Abhishek & Neha from A Revolving Compass.

Kabini, a small village is located by the banks of the River Kabini, just 60 km from Mysore, Karnataka. The place is a forest reserve area and is abundantly rich in wildlife, flora & fauna. It is famous among tourists and travelers not only for wildlife sighting and relaxing holiday but for stargazing too. When the lights are turned off you can see absolutely sky filled with millions of stars, twinkling and smiling at you.

Stargazing in India - Kabini, Karnataka
Stargazing in India – Kabini, Karnataka

How to reach: Kabini can be best reached through self-drive cars or hired taxis from Bangalore, Mysore and other nearby towns.

Best Time to visit: Kabini can be visited throughout the year. For stargazing, summer and winter months are idle, as the sky is clear. For wildlife, observation summer is considered as the best time as due to the low level of waters, animals tend to flock to the river bank for satisfying their thirst.

Places to stay: There are several eco-lodges and resorts around the river bank to stay. We recommend staying with the Peepal Tree Boutique Homestay, which too is located by the banks of the river backwaters. Its vast farmlands are the best places to observe, the beautiful night sky filled with stars.

Shooting Stars at Maharashtra

Lonar Crater Lake

By Tanushree and Yaswanth from UnboundOutbond

Lonar Crater Lake, a National Geo Heritage Monument, is located in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra. Around 52,000 years ago, a hyper-velocity meteor struck the land here, creating a 150 meters deep and nearly 2 kilometers wide crater. And over centuries, a lake (both saline and alkaline) too, is formed here which by itself is a mystery. The dense forest surrounds the crater and is dotted with temples that have a mention in the Ramayana too.

The place has left both the scientists of NASA and Geographical Survey of India intrigued. Also, the Earth’s Magnetic Field seems to be nonfunctional here. Such is the mystery of the Lonar Crater. Lonar Lake sits on a white facade of land. During the day Lake is filled with geologists who wish to study the surface of Mars and at night the stars, the reflection of the moon in the lake is pure bliss and leaves the stargazers completely amazed.

Stargazing at Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra
Stargazing at Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra

How to reach: Lonar Lake can be reached by private cars and hired taxis or by buses from Aurangabad (4 hours’ drive) via Jalna. Aurangabad is also the nearest airport and has daily flights flying from Delhi and Mumbai. Overnight buses also ply from Mumbai and Pune to Aurangabad. Another option is via rail with plenty of trains plying to Aurangabad from different parts of Maharashtra.

Best Time to visit: Lonar is extremely hot from March to May, which is the summer season in Maharashtra. Rains begin from June on and last till September, which would not be the best time for stargazing as the skies are likely to be filled with clouds. We’d recommend sometime between October to February when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear.

Places to stay: The MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) Holiday Resort is the best choice for stay as it is budget-friendly, is located near to the crater serves decent meals, and has pleasant service.

Stargazing at Thar Desert Rajasthan


By Tanayesh form Shoestringtravel & Soujanya Rai from TheSpicyJourney

Jaisalmer, popularly known as the “Golden City” of Rajasthan, is crowned by the ancient Jaisalmer Fort, also known as Sonar Quila. The town is a heart of Thar desert and is the most accessible spot for desert camping, jeep safari, camel safari, and stargazing.

Just imagine, lying down on the mattress in the world’s 17 largest deserts, with eyes pointing towards the sky and suddenly spotting multiple shooting stars. Wow!  Interestingly, the vast alluring sand dunes around Jaisalmer, are an ideal spot for Astrophotography and gives the ultimate pictures too.

Star Trails in Jodhpur
Star Trails in Jodhpur

How to reach: The place is well connected by rail, road, and air. There are trains directly from Delhi and other prime places in India. Bus and car facility is also available from Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur directly. However, there is no direct flight to Jaisalmer so the nearest airport is Jodhpur.

Best Time to visit: Ideal time for stargazing is during winters i.e. from October to March, when the temperature lies between 7-8 degrees. We recommending spending at least 2 days in Jaisalmer.

Places to stay: Jaisalmer has beautiful economic hostels, hotels & homestays. My recommendation is Zostel Jaisalmer, located just a kilometer walk from the Jaisalmer Railway station which has a relaxed rooftop café showing the panoramic city view. Another one is Moustache Jaisalmer, a wonderful hostel with all modern facilities available. The Hotel Tokyo Palace Jaisalmer is quite famous for its rooftop restaurant as you get the views of the fort too.

Astrophotography at Jodhpur

-By Mainak Biswas from Places in Pixel

Jodhpur, too set in the stark landscapes of Thar desert is known as the Blue City of India because of the blue-painted houses around Mehrangarh. The city is a cultural treat and has unending charms. It is one of the best places to savor the colors & flavors of Rajasthan and experience camel’s safari .

The nights at Jodhpur are no less than those in Jaisalmer. When you look up, you can see a silver-white sky and if you are lucky you too can capture a star trail with the Mehrangarh Fort as a background.

Star Trails in Jodhpur, India
Stargazing in Jodhpur, India

How to Reach: Jodhpur is well connected by road and rail to all the major cities of India. The city has its own railway station & domestic airport with flights from Delhi, Mumbai, and a few other cities. 

Best Time to visit: The best time to visit Jodhpur is from October to March when the state enjoys pleasant weather and also you get a clear sky for stargazing and astrophotography. In fact, you should plan your Rajasthan trip in a way that you can get the best of the state while keeping the heat aside -the winters.


By Kunjal from Unpluggedmoments

Sariska or Sariska Tiger Reserve being a restricted area too falls in the category of best-stargazing sites. Indeed, the reserve zone has India’s first astronomy and adventure camp – Astoport Sariska. This astronomy & camping site is surrounded by Aravalli hills and welcomes stargazers for an incredible experience.

Astroport Sariska is situated barely 5km from Sariska National Park is one of the darkest regions of India far from the bustling city lights. Every night the trained educators along with their telescopes, sky charts, and other special equipment help you navigate the gazillion stars. Sessions on astrophotography are also part of the experience. The place is popular amongst astronomy lovers especially kids as there are other adventure activities like trekking, cycling, sun gazing too available in the day time.

How to Reach: Sarika lies 11o Kilometres from Jaipur city & 220 km from Delhi. It can be reached via train, bus, flight till Jaipur, and from there hire a vehicle to reach Sariska. 

Best Time to visit: The best time to visit is Winter months i.e. September to March)as the sky is clear and the weather is cold/pleasant. 

Stargazing in Ladakh

Ladakh is considered as the most incredible place for stargazing due to its high altitude & pollution-free skies, especially when all the mindless, loud music playing tourists goes off to sleep.


By Divyakshi Gupta from Quirkywanderer

Hanle, a tiny village at 4500-meter altitude in the Changthang region of Ladakh, close to the Indo-China border is well known for an Indian Astronomical Observatory. It is the world’s highest observatory & is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru. The observatory has an installed telescope of about 2.01 meters (6.5 feet) diameter. 

After what seemed like an endless drive from Pangong Lake, we reached Hanle. We were surprised to see how tiny the village was. A few of my friends even wondered if it was worth spending the night here after that bumpy ride. But the homestay owner told us how epic Hanle is for stargazing and I was all ready to stay up at night. It was freezing cold when we climbed up a ladder to go up to the terrace and then, in the silence of the night, all of us were left spellbound. There were shooting stars every five minutes in the sky and we could see the Milky way from our eyes, without any equipment.

How to reach: Hanle can be reached from Leh as well as Pangong in almost 9 hours by shared cabs or personal vehicle

Best Time to visit: May to September

Places to stay: Multiple Homestays but my recommendation is Padma Homestay

Stok Kangri

-By Umang Trivedi from Travelmax

Stok Kangri, located near the village of Stok can be reached only by trekking. The trek is extremely beautiful, challenging making one really appreciate the beauty of the region. The expedition to the Stok Kangri peak takes you to a height of 20,000 feet if the peak is scaled successfully.

At night, while camping in the open, the sky becomes clear sailcloth with the twinkling stars and enchanting galaxies. Of course, not as clear as the camera can capture! I wish our eyes also had flexible settings of exposure and shutter speed to see this just like a shot.

Star show on Stok Kangri Trek, India
Stargazing on Stok Kangri Trek, India

How to reach: The Stok Kangri trek starts from village Stok. Trek is for 5-7 days depending on how well the trekkers are acclimatizing. In our case, it went on for 6 days. The entire trek is not really around permanent establishments and during winters, nobody treks this route.

Best Time to visit: The best time to go is around June-August. Due to the altitude, the snow accumulates throughout winters and takes a couple of more months to melt. So, by May mid the trek opens up for trekkers to embark on an enthralling journey to Stok Kangri peak.

Places to stay: Throughout the trek, one needs to stay in tents at various campsites.

Shooting Stars at Zanskar Valley

– By Shubham from travelshoebum

Zanskar, a little kingdom in Ladakh lies at an altitude above 3500 meters. It is an extremely remote valley, where the road leading to it is closed for more than 7 months in a year.  Along with the natural beauty, dark nights and minimal pollution makes the place ideal for stargazing.

Shooting stars in Zanskar Valley, India
Shooting stars in Zanskar Valley, India

How to reach: Padum is the district headquarters of Zanskar and can be reached by shared taxis or personal vehicles. The alternate way is via trekking through Lahaul or Ladakh.

Best Time to visit: July to October is considered as the best time to go, when Pensi La road is open and one can travel via Srinagar to Kargil to Padum.

Places to stay: Homestays are available in almost every village in Zanskar. Padum has few guesthouses and hotels too.

Starry Nights in West Bengal

Mousuni Island

-By Ruma Dey from Theholidaystory

Mousuni is a small island near Bakkhali and GangaSagar Island in West Bengal. The beauty of the place lies in the confluence of the Bay of Bengal with the River Bhagirathi and its white beach. The golden sunshine on the sands makes it glisten extremely during the day and on full moon night.

Electricity has not reached the Island yet. So, one can enjoy a stay in the tents just beside the sea beach, laze and do stargazing in the pitch dark sky for hours.

Mousuni Island, West Bengal - Star Gazing site in India
Mousuni Island, West Bengal – Star Gazing site in India

How to reach: For Mousuni island you have to first reach Namkhana railway station from Sealdah. It is 3 hours of a local train journey. After getting down to the Sashmol bus stop only 7 km from Namkhana station. From there cross the Chinai river and take a Toto car to reach Mousuni island. The bus service is available from Dharmatala / Espnalade Kolkata area.

Best Time to visit:  October to March is the best time to visit Mousuni island.

Places to stay: There are multiple Eco tourism camps and mud houses on the Island


By Trijit Mallick from BudgetTravelBuff

Buxa Jayanti is located in the eastern part of Dooars in West Bengal. Buxa is famous for the Buxa Tiger Reserve where Jayanti is a forest village inside the reserve, blessed with a lush green tea garden, beautiful hills, and mountain rivers. It is located along the Jayanti River, forming a natural border with the Bhutan hills. So, being a completely reserved area, it is pollution-free and makes up for an ideal destination for stargazing in India.

How to reach: Alipurduar Junction railway station is the closest station to Jayanti. Kanchankanya Express is the best option to reach Alipurduar if you come from Kolkata, else you have to board on a train that goes to New Jalpaiguri (NJP). NJP is well connected with Jayanti by road.

Best Time to visit:  November to March is the best time to visit Buxa-Jayanti. Especially in December month, this place is perfect for wildlife photography and jungle safari. The average temperature remains between 10 to 22 degrees centigrade during this time.

Places to stay: There are several private and government-run lodges in the area. I will recommend you to stay in Jayanti River View Homestay which is situated just beside the Jayanti river. It is quite reasonable (INR 1100/-) & also offers stunning views of the Jayanti river bed with Jayanti hills in the background.

Shooting Stars & Meteor Show in Himachal


By Sundeep Bedabrata from Delhifundos

Chail, an offbeat spot in Himachal Pradesh is known for its salubrious beauty and virgin Pine Deodar forests. It is an ideal place to relax, engulf in nature, take long walks, and enjoy slow travel.

At night, the sky here can leave one spellbound. It just looks like a dark blue sequined fabric in which one could identify a couple of popular constellations. The place is perfect for night walks, camping & stargazing in India. Along with it one can also witness, thousands of fireflies in the night when all the lights are turned off.

Night at Chail, Himachal India
Stargazing in India – at Chail, Himachal

How to reach: Chail lies 106 Kilometers from Chandigarh and 336 Kilometres from Delhi. It can be reached via public bus, shared cabs or personal cars from Chandigarh.

Best Time to visit:  Chail can be visited throughout the year but for best stargazing experience visit it during summers or winters, when the sky is clear.

Places to stay: The HPTDC hotel is the most sought after accommodation here but because one needs prior booking. Another option is Sunrise Homestay which too is quite cozy and affordable. Apart from all this, for a wonderful stargazing experience in India, one can opt for camping too.

Stargazing at Spiti Valley

-By Samantha from Intentionaldetours

Just like Ladakh, Spiti Valley too is known as one of the best places for stargazing in India.  The high-altitude, desert-scape of Spiti, Himachal Pradesh has very little pollution and plenty of elevation, making its skies light up with stars on clear nights. Though stars are visible in all of Spiti, the villages of Dhankar, Nako, Tabo, Langza, Hikkim, Chicham Khas, Komic, Tashi Gang tend to offer exceptional views.

How to reach: To get to the Valley, one can take a self-drive Spiti valley road trip (beware of narrow scary mountain roads!) or take public transport, the latter of which gets crowded during peak season. Though the valley can be entered from either the Manali side or the Reckong Peo side, it’s easier to acclimate to the altitude if you enter from Reckong Peo. Buses are very easy to catch from either New Delhi or Chandigarh

Best Time to visit: If you want to be somewhat comfortable, plan your Spiti Valley itinerary in either May-June or  September. July and August tend to see more rain and the rest of the year is way too cold to even enjoy what you’re seeing!

Places to stay: In Dhankar, the Bendurya Hotel is a super comfy yet affordable stay with an epic view of both the sky and the village. Dhankar is also home to a beautiful lake with a great camping spot- perfect for stargazing. For Langza & Tashigang, you can stay at homestays in the villages itself or in Kaza.

Stargazing at Andamans and Nicobar Island

Neil Island

-By Debjani Lahiri from thevagabong

Many of us like to count on the famous mountainous regions of Ladakh, Spiti, or somewhere isolated regions of Uttarakhand for stargazing because of high altitude & the idea of pollution-free clearer skies. But, the idea of stargazing by a peaceful beach beside the vast ocean could be one of the most exhilarating experiences too. And, for it there is no other place better than Neil Island in Andamans and Nicobar regions.

Andaman and Nicobar are blessed with pristine beaches, azure blue waters, and unadulterated clear skies, which gives a brilliant opportunity to stargaze at night. Neil Island is one of the famous and the most popular ones and has got three beaches mainly Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, and Lakshmanpur Beach. Out of which, Lakshmanpur beach is the most secluded one and has a long secluded shoreline. Hence, on a clear night, imagine a scene of countless stars shimmering in the sky with dozens of hermit crabs crawling underneath with sounds of waves crashing on the shores. The view and the feeling both are beyond mystical.

Stargazing in India – Andaman Nicobar

How to Reach: Port Blair (capital of Andaman and Nicobar Island) is well connected with major airports of India. From Port Blair, daily private and government ferries run between the islands. Just one has to check the exact timings.

Best Time to visit: Between Nov-Feb (Winter season have clearer sky)

Places to stay: There are a couple of luxury and as well as budget stay options in the Neil Islands. Sea Shell Samsara (Luxury) hotel, Coconhuts Beach Resort (Budget category)

Starry Nights at Gujarat

Rann of Kutch

-By Bhushavali from TravelBhushavali

Dholavira, located on the Tropic of Cancer in Kutch District of Gujarat is locally known as Kotada Timba. The site contains the ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. Just 40km from Dholavira, on the other side of the Rann of Kutch is Pakistan.

While the whole of Rann of Kutch itself is an amazing place to stargaze but Dholavira is just the perfect destination. The night sky is just excellent here. It is the sky, I saw years back when I was a little kid, along with my grandfather; when The Hindu, newspaper had the monthly Night Sky section which we would cut out and figure-out the constellations using it! We could see the gazillion stars of the night sky

Galaxy in Kutch , India
Stargazing in India – At Kutch

How to reach: Dholavira is well connected to the rest of India by roadways. Regular bus services ply to and fro the city of Dholavira. From Radhanpur the distance to Dholavira is about 200km, which goes across the incredible white sands of the Rann of Kutch. There is no direct flight or rail connectivity to Dholavira. Nearest airport and railway station at Bhuj.

Best Time to Visit: Winter season is the ideal season i.e. from October – March. Monsoon is not an ideal time for stargazing.  Summers are hot and are the least advisable time for a visit.

Places to stay: The best place to stay in Dholavira is the Govt guesthouses of either the tourism department or the forest department. In either case it is in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely no light or air or sound pollution which makes the sky crystal clear. In fact, Dholavira is a tiny island surrounded by the Rann of Kutch.

Shooting Stars in Uttarakhand


Binsar, a small scenic valley, sits on the top of Jhandi Dhar Hills, at an altitude 2412 meters in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas. In 1988 Binsar became a Binsar wildlife sanctuary, to conserve and preserve the shrinking broad oak leaf forests of the Himalayan region. Today, it is spread over 46km2 and is highly rich in flora and fauna. From here, the complete 300 km stretch of famous peaks like Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchchuli are visible on clear days and nights are dark, clear and make up an ideal destination for stargazing.

Being a reserved area, lights are turned off by 9:00 pm and the pitch dark sky is just illuminated with the shimmering stars. After adjusting your eyes, you get to witness some of the shooting stars and constellations too. The sky amidst the tall conifer and oak trees is a sight to admire for.

Stars in Uttarakhand, India

How to reach: Binsar lies 23 Kilometers from Almora, 88 kilometers from Nainital in Uttarakhand. It is well connected by road, rail or by air. The nearest airport to Binsar is at Pantnagar (140 km from Binsar) whereas the nearest railway station is at Kathgodam (105 km from Binsar). The further journey from both Pantnagar and Kathgodam stations can be covered by bus or cabs.

Best Time to visit: Summer & winter is an ideal time to enjoy stargazing. In monsoons it’s mostly cloudy.

Places to stay: There are plenty of resorts, hotels, and guest houses in Almora, Kasar Devi, and outside the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. But within the sanctuary, there are limited options, which varies from heritage luxury homestays to resorts to Government guest house i.e. KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam). Our recommendation is KMVN, which has a huge terrace and is a perfect spot for stargazing in India.

All you need to know about Rohtang Pass Permit

Treacherous, continuously ascending, bottleneck roads with mountains on one side and valley with the slithering river on other, where mountains keep on increasing height and changing colors, where landscape changes from lush green to barren, where weather changes from sunny to cloudy to even snowy, where temples give way to Buddhist Stupas, where Pagal Nallahs (water streams) abrupt out of nowhere and make you go weak on the way itself, where there is no permanent habitation for almost 30 Kilometers is what describes the path to majestic or mysterious Rohtang Pass from Manali / Old Manali. Lakhs of People visit Manali every year and the majority of them have Rohtang Pass on their list. Years before anyone could go to Rohtang top but in 2016 rules changed and the Himachal Pradesh state government started issuing Rohtang Pass Permit to limit the vehicles and to prevent pollution.

All you need to know about Rohtang Pass Permit

In this post, we will be discussing all the details about how, when to travel to Rohtang Pass and from where to take the Rohtang Pass Permit.

About Rohtang Pass

Rohtang the Ladakhi word is formed from a combination of two words “Ruh” and “Tang” means a pile of dead bodies. Yes, you read it right – The pass was known as a pass of dead corpses as many people lost their lives while crossing and working on the pass due to unpredictable weather conditions, frequent snowstorms, and landslides.

Rohtang Top
Rohtang Top

Rohtang Pass is also known as Rohtam Pass and lies at a grueling altitude of 13000 feet and 51 Kilometers from Manali on the Manali Leh Highway (also check the story of Gata Loops on Manali –Leh Highway). It is considered as an ancient trade route between the people on either side of the Pir Panjal range. The pass has strategic importance for India as it connects the landlocked Lahaul & Spiti Valley to Manali and is also a gateway to Pangi Valley and Leh Ladakh

Rohtang Pass in October
Rohtang Pass in October

The Pass is accessible only for a limited time in summers usually from May – June to October and during the rest of the months, it is completely snow-covered. Indeed, every year road diggers struggle with GPS to clear snow and find road buried under piles of snow. During these limited months, the pass can be visited as a day trip or while heading towards Spiti Valley or Leh Ladakh from Manali side via your own private car, HTPDC bus or shared cabs.

Route to Rohtang La (51 Kilometers)

Manali- Vashisht- Palchan- Gulabha- Marhi- Rohtang La

Conditions of Roads

Single lane and continuously ascending narrow roads are not at all for the novice drivers. For few kilometers expect a slushy and muddy road. In between, you too can encounter a huge or multiple small landslides. Sometimes the landslide is that worst that they can result in an 8-10 hours’ traffic jam.

Treacherous Ascending Roads to Rohtang La
Treacherous Ascending Roads to Rohtang La

Expected Time to Reach

Usually it takes almost 3 hours, rest completely depends on the landslides and traffic volume. In season time there are long queues and the time can go up to 6-7 hours or even more!

What is Rohtang Pass Permit?

Years ago, everyone was free to travel to Rohtang Pass but this led to a lot of Pollution and littering in this environmental-sensitive zone. So, to counter and stop this abuse, NGT (National Green Tribunal) restricted the daily vehicular and tourist movement to Rohtang Pass and started issuing a Rohtang Pass Permit for a visit or cross over.

Along with this tribunal also restricted other activities like horse riding, snow biking, paragliding, plying of snow scooters and setup of eateries at Rohtang. Although there are some temporary eateries and moving hawkers at Rohtam Pass. At Marhi there are around 10- 15 temporary setup shops and eateries which serve food and sell woolens to the tourists.

Temporary Shops set up at Village Marhi on way to Rohtang
Temporary Shops set up at Village Marhi on way to Rohtang

In 2019, only 1300 vehicles per day (i.e. 860 Petrol & 440 Diesel vehicles) were permitted to ply from Manali to Rohtang Pass, in order to maintain the ecology and prevent more environmental damage.

Types of Rohtang Pass Permit

Basically there are two categories of Rohtang Permits – Permit for Tourism Purpose & Permit for Travel Purpose.

Permit for Tourism Purpose

The Permit for Tourism Purpose is issued on a daily basis to the vehicles going to Rohtang top from Manali and returning back on the same day. This permit is further divided into two types i.e. Rohtang Pass Permit and Special Rohtang Pass Permit.  

Rohtang Pass Permit

This pass is applicable for both commercial and Taxi registered vehicles and under this type 1200 passes are issued i.e. 800 for petrol and 400 for diesel vehicles.

Special Rohtang Pass Permit

This pass is applicable for private 4 wheelers only and under this type only 100 passes are issued, which breaks down to 60 for petrol and 40 for diesel.

Permit for Travel Purpose

This permit is issued to the travelers who will be crossing the Rohtang Pass to go further to Leh Ladakh or Spiti Valley and there is no fixed daily quota for this category.

Note: One doesn’t need a permit while coming from Keylong side.

Rohtang Pass Permit Cost

Vehicles applying under permit for tourism purpose (Rohtang & Special Rohtang Pass will have to pay

  • Permit Fee (Car, Jeep, Buses, MUV, HMV) – Rs.500/- per day
  • Congestion Charges – Rs. 50/ day for Cars, Jeeps and MUV’s & Rs. 100/day for Buses & HMV

And vehicles (bike and 4 wheelers) applying under permit for travel purpose will just have to pay congestion charges Rs. 50/day, whereas goods vehicles will have to pay congestion charges Rs. 100/day.

Documents for Applying for Rohtang Pass Permit

The documents include :

  • Valid Identity Proof (Aadhar Card, Driving License, etc.)
  • Vehicle Registration Rate (Vehicle should not be more than 10 years old)
  • Valid Pollution Under Check (PUC) certificate

How to apply for Rohtang Permit?

Just like Leh Ladakh Inner Line Permit, Rohtang Pass Permit also can be applied both online and offline. Online it can be applied only through the web portal. In 2018 authorities too had launched a dedicated Rohtang Permit mobile app (available both for android and IOS users) but till the day it is not functional for booking and helps only to check the Permit availability, validity and also helps to download the booked permit.

Rohtang Permit Mobile App (IOS & Android Users)
Rohtang Permit -Mobile App (IOS & Android Users)

While offline it can be booked through travel agents or in person at SDM office or Tourist Information Center in Manali.

Online Procedure for Rohtang Pass & Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit

  • Login to Rohtang Permit website
  • On the top, there are four options – Rohtang Pass, Special Rohtang Pass, Beyond Rohtang & Green Tax (Manali Tax)
  • Commercial & Taxi Registered Vehicle, click on Rohtang Pass whereas the Private 4 wheelers click on Special Rohtang Pass, for to and fro to Rohtang Top from Manali
  • Vehicles going ahead to Ladakh and Spiti Valley, click on beyond Rohtang option
  • Green Tax/ Manali Tax is the one which is charged at the entry of Manali and this doesn’t give the permission to visit Rohtang Pass. We suggest you not to pay this online as you still have to show the receipt at Manali entry and is not much time-consuming project.
  • After selecting the option, fill all the required tourist details (driver name, phone no, email id, purpose); vehicle details (like type & category of vehicle, fuel type, vehicle no, vehicle registration no, seating capacity), no. of travelers, ID Proof, Pollution under check (PUC) no and proceed to submit the form. After submission, you will receive an OTP. Fill the OTP and it will take you to payment gateway. Make the online payment and you will be directed to print permit window
  • Print the Permit issued, as it is compulsory. Forgoing ahead Rohtang we suggest you take multiple print outs. Also, take a screenshot and keep a copy of same in your phone
Rohtang Pass Permit MIS
Rohtang Pass Permit MIS

Offline Procedure for Rohtang Pass & Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit

The Offline Permit can be taken from the SDM office or Tourist Information Center which is open on all 7 days including Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. The process of application is really simple but time-consuming. Fill up the form and submit the above-mentioned documents between 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. During the season the permit is not issued at the same time but you will be asked to collect it between 3:00 – 5:00 pm.

The other option is to get it booked by travel agent offices in the Manali market just opposite to SDM office. They too use the online portal to book but hand over the permit in 5 -10 minutes. They charge 550 +150Rs. for booking.

Our Experience with Rohtang Permit

During our recent visit to Rohtang Pass in October 2019, we tried booking the Permit online but failed at the payment gateway because of the slow internet. Ultimately rushed to the travel agent sitting in the Manali market, paid him Rs.700/- and got the permit in next 5 minutes.  But during our travel to Spiti in August 2018, we submitted the documents at the SDM office itself and got the permit in the next 15 minutes itself.

Rohtang Pass Permit
Rohtang Pass Permit

Some Important Points to Remember

  • Rohtang Permit is issued in two-time frames i.e. at 10:00 am (600 vehicles) and 4:00 pm (600 vehicles) and in a week i.e. from Tuesday to Monday – only 3 Rohtang Pass Permits can be obtained for each vehicle
  • Special Rohtang Permit (100 vehicles) window is open throughout the day and the permit is issued only once to one vehicle during the entire season
  • Beyond Rohtang Pass can be booked between 12:00 pm to 12:00 am and in a week i.e. from Tuesday to Monday – only 2 Rohtang Pass Permits can be obtained for each vehicle
  • Also, NO Vehicle is allowed on or can cross Rohtang on Tuesday from Manali side, as it is closed for maintenance whereas the vehicle coming from Leh and Spiti are allowed entry
  • Vehicles having wrong information on the permits as compared to valid proofs are not allowed to cross the barrier. So be really careful while submitting your details.
  • Importantly, your vehicle age shouldn’t be more than 10 years

Who all Needs Rohtang Pass Permit

Everyone traveling to Rohtang Pass or beyond Rohtang Pass from Manali by cabs, commercial or private vehicle needs a permit. But the people planning to travel by HRTC or HPTDC buses and cycle till Rohtang Top don’t need a Rohtang Permit.


HRTC/ HPTDC bus service starts at 5:30 am from the main Manali bus stand and the next bus goes after every 15-20 minutes. Also, 9 Electric buses with a passenger capacity 25, fare Rs.600/-   do to and fro every day (i.e. from Wednesday to Monday) to Rohtang top in season and takes almost 4 hours to reach. The bus service for the same can be booked here.

What if I apply for Beyond Rohtang Permit and comes back from Rohtang only?

Many have attempted booking Beyond Rohtang Permit and coming back from Rohtang Pass itself on the same day. And the consequences they have faced because of this is either they had to shell heavy fine of Rs. 5000/- from their pockets, as environmental compensation and some vehicles even have got blacklisted.

Remember, the authorities have put up a barrier system on both sides of Rohtang Pass i.e at Gulaba, (which is 20 kilometers from Manali and 31 kilometers from Rohtang Pass) and Khoksar (which is 19 kilometers ahead from Rohtang Pass on to Keylong road). So, the vehicles having Beyond Rohtang Permit Pass gets verified at Khoskar Barrier too along with Gulaba. At the day end, data between these two barriers helps to find the misuse of the permits. 

So, make sure to have the correct permit and if in case you have the wrong permit, then go ahead and don’t come back on the same day.

What are the Timing & Validity of Permit for Rohtang Pass?

Vehicles going to Rohtang Top and beyond are not allowed to cross the Gulaba check post before 5:30 am. The issued Rohtang Pass & Special Rohtang Pass Permit is valid only for 6 hours. And all vehicle has to leave from Rohtang Pass maximum by 4:00 pm.

What is the best time to visit Rohtang Pass?

Rohtang pass opens up in May end or June first week and closes down in October end or November first week. So, may – June is considered as a peak season, July –  Mid September is monsoon time, and October is the season end time when you can see the fresh snow.

Stupa at Rohtang Pass in August
Stupa at Rohtang Pass in August

We have visited Rohtang Pass in July – august i.e. during monsoons as well in mid-October and trust us the landscapes, roads, panoramic vistas, the weather looked extremely different each time. During monsoons the pass was under the clouds, mist, and rain, landscapes were lush green and there were landslides in patches whereas in October we experienced fresh snow and very fewer tourists. So, according to us these both are the good times to explore Rohtang Pass.

How is the weather at Rohtang Top?

From May – September the temperature can go as high as 25 degrees Celsius and low to 10 degrees Celsius whereas in October – November expects the high temperature between 18 -20 degrees Celsius and low to 4-5 degrees Celsius. In October – November, expect snowflakes too.

Some more FAQ’s

  • Do we need a permit for a rented vehicle, which already has All India Permit?

Yes, you still need to take a Rohtang Pass or Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit according to the destination.

  • Do we need a permit while coming from Leh, Keylong, Chandartal or Spiti to Manali?

No, Permit is required for traveling to Manali from Leh, Kaza, Keylong, Chandartal and Spiti Valley.

  • Do I need permit for Motorcycles and cycles?

Yes, you need a Rohtang Pass/ Beyond Rohtang Pass permit for Motorcycles but cyclists don’t need any permit.

  • How many days before I need to apply online for Permit?

The online permits (Rohtang Pass, Special Rohtang Pass & Beyond Rohtang Pass) can be applied for the next 6 days from the current day.

  • Can I cancel the booked Permit?

No, you cannot cancel the booked permit. Please be sure of your travel and then only book, as only 1300 Permits are issued per day.

  • Where to contact in case of some queries related to Permit issuance?

For any other Permit issues, you can write a mail at [email protected]

  • How many permits can I apply from my own mobile/ IP address?

Only 2 permits can be applied in a week from a single IP address or mobile unit.

  • Any email id where I can send my queries?

You can send your queries at [email protected]

  • My name spelling/ vehicle reg. no/ vehicle no./ license no isn’t the same as the issued Permit. Will it matter?

Yes, it matters a lot. You will not be allowed to cross the Gualaba Checkpost. So make sure to check the spellings, reg. no twice before submitting the form.

  •  Can I book a permit through Rohtang Permit App?

No, you cannot book Rohtang Pass Permit through their app. You can just check the Permit availability and validity. Also, you can download the booked permit from here.

  • Should I visit Rohtang pass without woolens?

We don’t recommend you to visit Rohtang Pass without woolens in any seasons. Weather changes here drastically. If one moment it’s sunny, another moment it may cloud and start raining. Please do carry windcheaters, a jacket, a cap, and gloves. If you are not carrying or have forgotten them, you can rent or buy them from Marhi shops. We too made a purchase for woolens at Marhi.

  • Do I get anything to eat at Rohtang Pass?

Yes, there are temporary shacks and some moving hawkers at Rohtang Pass. They serve you bun – omelets, Maggi, soups, tea, coffee, corn, and chana chaat and everything is almost priced at Rs. 50/- per plate. They have bins placed near their tents, so remember to put your trash in the same or get it back.

Munching over Chana Chaat at Rohtang Pass
Munching over Chana Chaat at Rohtang Pass
  • Do I get anything to eat on the way to Rohtang Pass?

Yes, there are around 10-15 shacks in Marhi, serving you lunch, tea, coffee and various types of snacks.

  • Is there any chance of facing AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) at Rohtang Pass?

Yes, you may feel headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, vomiting, or shortness of breath at Rohtang Pass due to high altitude and thin air. Please descend back if you feel the symptoms are getting worse. The advice is to keep having liquids and munchings at short intervals to stay fit.

  • How far I can go with the Rohtang Pass Permit?

You can go ahead for few kilometers to enjoy the views but cannot cross the Khoskar check post.

All you need to know about Rohtang Pass Permit

If you have any more questions, do leave them in the comment section. We will be happy to answer them.

10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel India

India the land of 1.3 Billion inhabitants is a cacophony of contrasts, sound, colors, smell, and taste. Mother India as we Indians say it, has a rich history, heritage, traditions, unbelievable landscapes, lush beauty and exotic architecture to overload your senses. It is the Birthplace of Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and other religions. Guests are treated as Gods and each Indian live by the saying “Atithi Devo Bhava”. Not only this, but the variety of lavish cuisines of every state of India is also unique and completely mouthwatering. So, in the post, we will be quoting reasons, that why everyone should travel India, at least once in their lifetime. Also, we will brief the Indian visa and its application process.

10 Reasons Why Travel India

Why Travel India?

History & Architecture

India, also known as Bharat is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It has a history dating back to the Neothilic period. The land has been ruled by several rulers, dynasties and has gone through several wars and conquers. Each of these rulers during its era built unique massive forts, palaces, mosques, temples, etc. So there is a lot of history behind each of these structures along with unique architecture and an interesting story. Apart from this India is also known as the land of epics and legends. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata belong to this nation.

Haunted Bhangarh fort
Bhangarh fort in Rajasthan

Today, 38 ancient sites (cultural and natural) of the nation are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, making it a treasure trove for history buffs and design enthusiasts.

Culture and Traditions

The country is known throughout the world for its diverse cultures. And the same manifest well in its religions, traditions, languages, festivals, fairs, values, dresses, art and craft. India is dominantly a Hindu state but has a lot of Muslim population too, making it to one of the largest Muslim nations in the world.

Pushkar in Rajasthan- Travel India

The country has multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious society i.e. the total 29 states of country have its own communities, culture, traditions, festivals, dressing style and food. People speak different languages and have diverse lingual tones. The traditional culture and lifestyle in Indian villages symbolizes the true essence of India. But overall, it is an amalgamation of various cultures influenced from thousands of year’s old history. The phrase Unity in Diversity sums up the true India.


The word “Himalayas” means a house of snow or snow abode in Sanskrit. The Indian Himalayas spread over the northern frontiers and the north of it is known as roof the world. The Himalayas span Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Bay of Bengal in India.

View of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from Fossil Village Langza
View of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from Fossil Village Langza Spiti Valley

The Himalayas have some of the highest peaks like Kanchenjunga, which is the third-highest peak in the world. Many of these peaks are considered sacred by Hindus and Buddhists. The Himalayas too are rich in extensive flora, fauna, and medicinal herbs. The mighty rivers like Ganges, Indus, Satluj, Brahmaputra have their origin from the Himalayas. The River Ganga is sacred of all rivers and runs for 2500 Kilometers from Northern Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. It is a source of fishing, agriculture and many other activities. Hindus also believed that the River transports the prayers of believers to heaven and a dip in the river purifies your soul.

Devprayag - Confluence of River Bhagirathi and River Alaknanda
Devprayag – Confluence of River Bhagirathi and River Alaknanda

Another thing, not to miss in the Himalayas is Himalayan Toy Train of Shimla, Darjeeling, Ooty. These colonial trains are a part of UNESCO Heritage sites and they provide a mesmerizing experience. The scenic beauty around the lush green landscapes and blue sky from the speeding train looks just out of the world.

Darjeeling Toy Train Steam Engine- Darjeeling Sikkim Tour
Darjeeling Toy Train Steam Engine


If you are an adventure lover and like an instant adrenaline rush, then travel India. In India, adventure follows everywhere – be it while hiking or driving in the Himalayas in Leh Ladakh and Spiti Valley, riding around the beaches of Goa; while doing a safari in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore National Park or checking the haunted Bhangarh fort of Rajasthan, while checking the wildlife in the Himalayas or jungle, while passing the highest motorable passes in Ladakh or ridging the double-humped camels in Nubra valley or moving endlessly in the chaotic streets of Old Delhi, while hitchhiking or boarding the public transport. In every nook and corner, you will find an endless adventure and it is extremely fun.

View of Khajjiar Meadows form Hotel Devdar - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
View of Khajjiar Meadows form Hotel Devdar

High Altitude Lakes

Indian Himalayas are home to plenty of high altitude lakes, out of which many are still undiscovered. These high altitude turquoise blue water Lakes nestled between the snow covered mountain peaks looks completely ethereal and surreal in summers whereas remain completely frozen in winters.

Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim - Darjeeling Sikkim Tour
Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim

The Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim, located at 5430 meters i.e. 17,800 feet is the highest lake in India. Its changing colors with the daylight can leave anyone spellbound. The other high altitude lakes which one should check are – Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, and Suraj Tal in Jammu and Kashmir. Foreign Nationals need a special PAP (Protected Area Permit) and Indians need an Inner line permit to visit many of these.

Religious and Spiritual Tour to Temples & Monasteries

Religion and spirituality are intertwined in the daily lives of Indians. India is a birthplace of various religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and others. Visiting temples (Badrinath, Kedarnath Temple, etc), Buddhist monasteries like Hemis Monastery, and looking into their relics and stories gives one a better picture of Indian culture. Witnessing the people worshipping and praying in their own ways is not less than a treat to eyes. Spirituality here is not just about praying but it’s about finding one’s inner peace and spiritual self.

Thiksey Monastery in Ladakh- Travel India
Thiksey Monastery in Ladakh – Travel India

The Buddhist Gompas in the North India, exemplify the rich traditions and simplistic life Monks lead, the Ashrams spread throughout the country gives you an idea of slow peaceful life with the consumption of organic food whereas the ancient Temples of South gives you the insight of wealth of the country. Apart these, there are some amusing and unique temples too, set up on the beliefs, likelihood or on the fan following For e.g. – motorcycle temple in Rajasthan, Amitabh Bachhan Temple in Kolkata, Dog Temple in Karnataka, Visa Temple in Jalandhar Punjab, Narender Modi Temple in Gujarat and Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi.  


Indians have diverse culinary habits throughout and their food style is influenced by Mughlai, Persian and many others. Most importantly Indians take their food quite seriously.

Pao Bhaji at Orange Festival Dambuk
Pao Bhaji – Indian Street food

The diverse variety of lip-smacking delicacies range from the Thukpa in North to the Idly-Sambar in the South, including the Dal Baati Churma in the West and the various dishes of pork in the East. Chapatti with the thick curries also makes to the staple food in North India whereas rice with the seafood, prepared in coconut curry, is for South. Apart this there is no end to the street food here. So, overall India is a gastronomical paradise and the aroma of food can easily trigger up your taste buds.

Festivals & Fairs

India the largest democratic country with diversity in religion, culture, and topography is diverse with its festivals and fairs too. Each month there is some or other festival or fair and it is celebrated on a large scale. Some of these festivals have a religious affair whereas others are celebrated for fun and seasonal change. The main motto of each is to bring people of all religions together for bonding and humanity and unite the whole of India to a single bunch. For the month-wise details of Indian festivals of India check Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Holi Festival Travel India
Holi Festival – Travel India

The festival of Lights Diwali, where the whole sky gets illuminated by fireworks and the festival of Colors are the two most important festivals of India. Apart from festivals, the endless fairs or melas celebrated across the country, highlights the local culture of the land in most colorful and expressive ways, emphasizing the prevailing folklore and history of the region. The must-visit fairs while travelling to India include the Pushkar Camel fair, Khumb Mela, Rann Utsav, Goa Carnival, Khajuraho Dance Festival, Elephant festival of Jaipur, Dambuk Orange festival, etc.

4-4 Fury adventure at Dambuk Orange Festival - Travel India
4-4 Fury adventure at Dambuk Orange Festival – Travel India

Yoga & Ayurveda Treatment

Yoga and Meditation originated in India and today it is practiced throughout the world for stress relief, physical fitness, and relaxation. So, Yoga might belong to the world but its Home is India only. Therefore, to learn or practice yoga, travel India and it’s the best place to lean it. Yoga is not just about physical fitness and being flexible, it is a repository. It means to connect- Connect to yourself and maintain harmony with nature. It is a way to recognize self, increase self-consciousness and coordination, to open yourself to new things and ideas. The best places to learn Yoga are Rishikesh, Dharamshala, Haridwar, Mysore, etc.

View from Ayurvedic Spa Room of Chariot Beach Resort Mahabalipuram
View from Ayurvedic Spa Room of Chariot Beach Resort Mahabalipuram

Ayurveda, the 5000 years old natural medicine system, too has its origin in India and today its variants are used everywhere in the world as alternative medicine. The traditional system focuses on treating and eradicating the problem right from the root cause of it, by taking the account of diet, lifestyle, routine, exercise and circumstances of a patient. Ayurveda purifies the mind, body and soul. Indian forests being rich in herbs and flora, have multiple medical concoctions. So, India is an ideal place for availing Ayurveda Treatment. The best place to experience Ayurveda treatment, spas and massages in India is Kerala.


Last but not the least is always smiling, and hospitable people. Be it the extreme village of Spiti Valley or the desert, people are kind enough to invite you to your home for a cup of tea with local bread. Even if they have one room and you are in shortage of space, they will be more than happy to accommodate you. Still in the remote villages, you can see the innocent children playing in the puddles or climbing the trees, much away from the facts of internet and technology.

Children playing cricket on the way to chanshal pass
Children playing cricket on the way to Chanshal Pass

How to get Indian Visa

All tourists need to apply for Indian visa before traveling. The visa can be applied through Indian Post or via the most convenient option i.e. e- visa. The e- visas should be applied at least four days before the travel date and the traveler can enter the country within a period of 120 days from the issue date. For Example: If you are applying on 1st Sept then the applicant can select the arrival date from 5th Sept to 2nd Jan.

From 2019, the newly issued tourist and business e-visas for India are valid for 365 days. Within this period, the tourist can make an unlimited number of trips to India. However, this does not mean that you can stay in India for one consecutive year. UK, USA, Canada or Japan passport holders can stay for max. 180 days whereas other nationalities can only stay for a maximum of 90 consecutive days.

From the web browser open the site for applying for an India visa. Fill all the required details like contact information, place of residence, travel dates, passport information, and passport photo, and wait for 4 days to get the approval. In case of emergency, visas get approved within 24 hrs.

10 Reasons Why Travel India
10 Reasons Why Travel India

Important Points to Remember before traveling to India

  • Give yourself enough time to enjoy every location in India
  • Prepare a rough itinerary encompassing accommodation and transport, to avoid unavoidable Indian mishaps and adventurous detours
  • Hindi is India’s mother tongue still it isn’t spoken by everyone and everywhere in India. In fact, there are more than 20 languages spoken throughout the country and English tends to serve as a common lingo
  • Learn few Hindi phrases to break the ice with locals like “Namaskar” (hello), “Dhanyawaad” (thank you), “Aap Kaise hai” (how are you), “Kitna Dena hai” (how much to pay) and “Naam kya hai” (what’s your name)
  • Credit cards, Debit cards, and money wallets are accepted throughout the country. But still carry some cash while traveling in the remote areas and in the Himalayas
  • There are plenty of street food options in India but consume it from a good food joint only to avoid food poisoning
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Wear comfortable clothing and dress appropriately according to the location. In mountains, it is usually cold even in summers so always remember to carry windcheaters and a light jacket
  • Toilets are still a big-time challenge in many remote parts of India. So, carry Pee safe with you always to avoid infection
  • Public transport as well as cab service is good in the country but make sure to take complete information about the route before traveling
  • Inform the concerned person about your travel plans and locations in India for safety and security
  • Bargaining is possible in the street and flea markets of India, so remember to do it before making a purchase

Chasing Rains at offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

Since 7:00 am, we both are glued to our chairs in the hotel’s room Balcony with tea mugs in our hand. You know why? Because it has been raining since early morning and we can’t miss gazing at the formation of the raindrops, swaying trees, moving clouds, dancing flowers and that cool misty breeze on the face. You might think, we are crazy. Yes! We are because we love seeing, getting wet and jumping in rains at different places. So, as soon as monsoon set it foot, we start planning a trip to one of the offbeat monsoon destinations in India. Till now, we have covered many monsoon destinations in India and in this post, we will be covering our favorite ones.

Chasing Rains - Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

With the onset of the rainy season, mother earth wakes up from hibernation and starts rejuvenating. The downpour provides relief to everyone and everything from the scorching heat and the whole nature just turns magical. In hills, the clouds engulf the mountains and landscapes, the dried-up patches turn lush green, waterfalls soar up, and the silent rivers turn ferocious. Not only this the rhythmic rain sound, earthy smell, and misty fragrance further adds fuel to the soul. So, it’s our favorite time of year for traveling.

Vagator Beach - Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India
Vagator Beach – Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

And, if you too are someone like us who wants to enjoy these perils of nature in its purest form, then you must travel in monsoons. So, pack your bag and get ready to explore these offbeat monsoon destinations in India.

Chakrata, Uttarakhand

Chakrata, the cantonment area at an elevation of 7500 feet, in the Garhwal Himalayas in Dehradun district, is a hidden gem of Uttarakhand. The hill station was developed by British rulers as a summer retreat for the high executives, exactly like all other cantonments of India.

Chakrata in Monsoons
Chakrata – Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

In monsoons, Chakrata looks extremely dramatic. The roaring, hanging clouds in seconds descend down on the ground, reducing the visibility to zero. You can’t predict when downpour will begin here and if it starts it won’t stop that easily. Rains make the landscapes look crystal clear and lush green. Waterfall howl in full volume during monsoon season and there is a fragrance of fresh air throughout.

Must Visit – Tiger Fall, Deoban, Chilmiri Point, Kanasar and Budher Caves

How to reach Chakrata

Chakrata lies 89 kilometers from Dehradun city and 323 kilometers from Delhi. From Delhi it can be reached by car, bus, train or cab. The nearest airport and railway station is at Dehradun. From there one can hire cab or take a bus to reach Chakrata.

According. to AllGudThings, the best way is to take a self-drive road trip. There are two routes and we opted for route 1 because it is a highway and to avoid heavy traffic at Meerut and Saharanpur.

Route 1: Delhi – Panipat –Karnal – Yamunagar – Ponta Sahib – Chakrata

Route 2: Delhi – Ghaziabad – Meerut – Saharanpur –Dakpathar – Chakrata

Condition of Roads: Excellent, fully graveled highway roads. The steep roads start only after Ponta Sahib

Binsar, Uttarakhand

Binsar, located at 7913 feet is a hidden sleepy place in the Kumaon Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Indeed, it is a less traveled forest, encircled by a vast wildlife sanctuary spreading up to 46km2. And today it is home to many rare animals, birds, and wildflowers.

As soon one enters the Binsar wildlife sanctuary the blanket of green hangs all around. The rocks are covered with unusual moss and ferns, and flowers and shrubs foliage is seen sprouting out of every conceivable nook and corner of the hillside. The entire place looks from a different era. It seems time never touched this place and it has been similar since years. In monsoons, Binsar becomes too exiting. If one moment, there is a heavy rainfall followed by pitter – patter of raindrops than other moment it will be misty with floating clouds in the valley.  Overall the place is adorable throughout and looks super green, fresh, foggy and smells earthy.

Must Visit –  Zero Point, Bineshwar Mahadev Temple, Kasar Devi Temple,

Binsar in Monsoons
Binsar in Monsoons

How to reach Binsar

Binsar lies 95 Kilometers from Nainital, 35 kilometers form Almora, and 423 kilometers from Delhi. It can be reached via air, road or rail. The nearest airport is Pantnagar airport and the nearest railway station is at Kathgodam. Further from both the stations, distance to Binsar can be covered by taxis or buses.

Route to Binsar from Delhi – Delhi- Ghaziabad- Hapur- Moradabad- Kaladungi- Nainital- Almora – Binsar

Condition of Roads- Gaveled single lane tortuous roads and at places expect detours due to landslides

Registration Fee for Binsar Wildlife SanctuaryRs 150 per person and Rs 250 for vehicle

Thanedar, Himachal Pradesh – Offbeat Monsoon Destination in India

Thanedar, a small offbeat town in Himachal Pradesh is located at 7700 feet, near Narkanda. It is well known as the home to the first apple plantations of the country. Along with apple, the fertile land and good climate conditions too helps in cultivation of plums and apricots and today this belt is referred as a Food Bowl of Himachal.

In monsoons, Thanedar and its surroundings look completely heavenly. The whole of the valley is lush green and submerged in clouds. There is pin-drop silence except the chirping of birds and roaring clouds. And when the clouds clear or valley lifts up its veil, one can see the apple trees in full bloom, laden with clusters of pink-tinged white flowers. So, overall this place is enough for a sensory explosion and we time.

Narkanda Thanedar in Monsoons
On the way Narkanda Thanedar – Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

Must Visit – Tani Jubber Lake, St. Mary’s Church, Apple Orchards, Sutlej River, Harmony Hall also known as The Samuel Stokes stone house, dedicated to the man who started apple cultivation in this belt and later who changed his name to Satyanand, Stokes Farm and Narkanda

How to reach Thanedar

Thanedar lies at a distance of 445 kilometers from Delhi, 80 kilometers from Shimla and about 15 kilometers from Narkanda. It can be reached via air, road or rail. The nearest airport is the Shimla airport located in Jubbarhatti and the nearest railway station is at Shimla. Further from both the stations, distance to Thanedar can be covered by taxis or buses.

Route to Thanedar from Delhi – Delhi – Karnal- Kurukshetra- Zirakpur- Shimla- Narkanda- Thanedar

Condition of Roads- Highway with fully gavelled roads except few bad places. Also expect jams due to work in progress


Sikkim, is the least populous and second smallest mountainous state in North East India. The state is further divided into North, South, East and West Sikkim. The state has around 28 mountain peaks and also host the highest peak of India i.e. Kanchenjunga. Around 35% part of the entire state is covered by Kanchenjunga National Park & its capital is Gangtok.

Sikkim in Monsoons
Sikkim – Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

Sikkim in Monsoons won’t be on anyone’s radar because of the incessant rains area receives. But believe us, if you want to see the beauty of the real nature, then this is the best time. Paths get lined up with ginormous ferns and wildflowers, forests turn green & dense and fog in between make it look mysterious. The river starts flowing in full swing, the waterfalls become exuberant, the blanket of clouds continuously hover over the landscapes and the whole nature smells earthy. Everything looks extremely dreamy and just imagine having that lone house standing grand in the middle of the glistening field, swathed with the layers of mist. Isnt that the best feeling. Also, the place turns to a chirpy heaven and one can even spot the rarest species of the birds at this time.

Must Visit – Gangtok, North Sikkim (Gurudongmar Lake, Lachen, Lachung, Katao), Rumtek Monastery, Zuluk, Pelling, Yuksom, Ravangla, Rabdentse Palace Ruins, Kanchenjunga National Park and waterfall, Khecheopalri Lake

How to reach Sikkim

Sikkim (Gangtok) lies at a distance of 1601 kilometers from Delhi, 671 kilometers from Kolkata, 123 Kilometers from Bagdogra and 30 kilometers from Pakyong. It can be reached via air, road or rail. The nearest airport till 2018 was Bagdogra Airport but now the nearest is Pakyong Airport. The nearest railway station is at Siliguri. Further from here, the distance to Gangtok can be covered by shared or private cabs or buses.

Condition of Roads from Bagdogra Airport- Highway with fully gaveled roads except for a few bad patches.


Goa, the smallest state of India is well known nationally and Internationally for its beaches, parties, sunsets and liberal culture. Just like Old Manali it too is listed under the Banana Pancake trail and is famous not only among the hippies and backpackers but also among the honeymoon couple.

Goa in Monsoons
Goa in Monsoons

During Monsoons, Goa looks extremely different and special. There is a feeling of romance, refreshment and magic. The whole place turns lush green, Palm trees dance and sway to the tune of the winds, the quaint lanes get clean and cleared by the continuous rains, thick grey clouds rule the sky, colorful houses shine bright among the landscapes and waves swirl and bash hard at the shore of the beaches.

Most of the Shacks in Goa gets packed up during Monsoons. Only the permanent structures survive the harsh downpour. So, to enjoy the action and party scenes during monsoons, prefer staying in North Goa over South Goa as most of the Shacks are operational here.

Views of Vagator Beach from Shalai The Cliff resort
Views of Vagator Beach from Shalai The Cliff resort

Must VisitDudhsagar waterfall, North Goa Beaches (Candolim, Calangute, Vagator, Baga. Anjuna, Morjim), Chapora Fort, Old Goa Tour, Divar Island, Spice Plantations around Ponda, Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, Mollem National Park, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Panjim and Casinos. Also, check for the local Monsoon festivals like Soao Jao (celebrated in June) and Bonderam flag festival (celebrated in August).

How to reach Goa

Goa lie at a distance of 1902 kilometers from Delhi, 603 kilometers from Mumbai, 572Kilometers from Bangalore and 44 kilometers from Dabolim. It can be reached via air, road or rail. The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport whereas the nearest railway station is at Madgaon and Vasco – Da- Gama. Further from here, the distance to Panjim can be covered by shared or private cabs or local buses.

Condition of Roads from Dabolim Airport- Fully gaveled roads with potholes. Also, expect slow traffic due to work in progress.

Tips for Traveling in Monsoons

Remember the itinerary you planned cannot be completely followed during monsoons. Half of the time you will be just sitting in your room balcony, sipping tea, enjoying the rain or you might get stuck at a place for hours. So, keep a buffer day or two in your itinerary. Also, remember to be slow and go with the flow during the rainy season.

  • Rain-proof your entire luggage and your electronic devices
  • Carry an umbrella, raincoat, first aid box, extra pair of clothes, non-slippery floaters and slippers with you
  • Do keep windcheater, light jacket and a pair of socks as the weather gets cool after rains at all these places except Goa
  • Carry torch, mosquito repellants and some packaged food
  • Keep your ID proofs and photographs with you for the permits and a visit to North and East Sikkim
  • Make sure to keep your power banks charged as there are high chances of power failure or cut in monsoons
  • Travel safely as there are chances of landslides in hilly areas
  • Don’t go out if there is an alert by Metrological Department
  • Avoid going to the waterlogged areas
  • Stop if there are a heavy downpour and thunderstorm
  • Keep yourself hydrated and avoid exposing yourself to direct winds
  • In Goa, don’t go into the beach, as the high tides are really dangerous and can push you down hard
  • Don’t run in the hills as monsoons make the trails highly slippery and there are high chances of getting slipped and injured
  • Don’t opt for water activities, although you will see companies advertising and selling them in Goa
Chasing Rains - Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

Tips for Road Trips to Offbeat Monsoon Destinations in India

  • Get your car wipers, headlights, brakes and tires inspected before you leave. Prefer having the anti-skid suspension tires
  • Avoid taking unknown routes and prefer the highways. Also be prepared for the detours because of the landslides
  • Start early and take the break when showers are over powering and visibility is highly reduced
  • Watch your speed and be really gentle on the curves