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Our Experience with Zoomcar – Siliguri to Sikkim

For us, Traveling and Road Trips are synonyms. We love exploring each place by driving through it and think that’s what makes up the real Travel Experience. If roads are a fantasy land then road trip are an injection of adrenaline. Honestly, they make us go high. It is like one moment you are passing through the lush green forests; other time you will be holding your car’s steering tight to cross a waterfall or snailing through the continuous ascent/ descent among the barren landscapes. They let us make pit stops to enjoy the drizzle, click various landscapes and take the off roads. The dream was to drive through Sikkim and this came true because of the cool Self Drive concept by Zoomcar.

Experience With Zoomcar - Siliguri to Sikkim

After exploring  Spiti Valley, Leh Ladakh, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan from Delhi by road trips, we have become habitual of  the real thrill. But Sikkim was really far and we had limited days. So, we broke the journey into two i.e.– By Air and Road. The first leg; i.e. Delhi to Siliguri (By air) was covered early morning to have the real fun later.

So, before we take you on to the journey of Sikkim, in this post we will describe our Experience with Zoomcar from booking to drop up.

Booking Zoomcar

The Booking process for Zoomcar is quite simple and just 4 step away

  1. Download the app and sign up
  2. Choose the start and end time
  3. Select Pick up and drop location
  4. Choose a vehicle and the kilometer plan

Zoomcar app, will calculate the fare depending upon the number of days, chosen car and kilometers. Further, there are additional filters like with or without fuel. For example, we choose Scorpio Zoomcar with fuel for 9 days and paid around 20,000 for first 965 Kilometers, and 5,000 Rs. refundable security. Above this the additional Kilometers will be charged at Rs. 15 per kilometer.

Zoomcar Booked from Siliguri to Sikkim

After all the selection process and chosen package, proceed to pay and also upload a picture of your driving license. Within next 5 minutes, you will receive a confirmation mail and message, stating that your car has been booked. If in any case, your driving license is rejected, try clicking and uploading again, focusing on your picture.

Important Points

  • We booked the Zoomcar same day we had our flight and got our favorite Scorpio. But luck always doesn’t favor. So, if you have any preference for car do book yours in advance. Otherwise you will get whichever is available that time in the fleet.
  • Also, look for the discount coupons or offers. We realized after booking that there were certain offers on Couponzguru and Coupondunia.

Pick up & Drop up of Zoomcar

Pickup

Till day, Zoomcar service is not available in Gangtok. So, we were asked to pick up our car directly from Siliguri Zoomcar Parking lot, which lies 15 kilometers from the Bagdogra airport.

Zoomcar Parking Lot at Siliguri

As we reached the Parking lot, our Red Scorpio and the customer care executive was waiting for us. He checked our license on arrival and handed us the documents bag, which had car RC, insurance and other important documents in it. Further he asked us to make a quick inspection of the car and make a note of the scratches, dents or issues car had.  To be on the safer side, we made a quick short video and took pictures of the car .

Further the customer representative logged into the app, showed us the checklist explaining all the modules, made us sign, handed us the keys and we were all set to go.

 Zoomcar at Darjeeling
Zoomcar at Darjeeling

Zoomcar, gave us one tank full diesel. Rest we had to add on our own which could be claimed back on producing the bills while drop off.

Drop up

We were explained while pickup to bring back the vehicle at designated time and spot. Rest the app and messages kept on alerting us about the time left to deposit the vehicle.

Zoomcar among the Tea Estates of Darjeeling, West Bengal
Zoomcar among the Tea Estates of Darjeeling, West Bengal

Drop up was quite quick. We reached exactly 10 minutes before the time. Their customer representative made a quick inspection of the vehicle to check the car condition. He noted the kilometers driven, and took the car papers and fuel bills from us. Upon finding everything in the good condition he signed off in the app. As soon as he signed off, the car got locked automatically and the process was over.

Our Experience with Zoomcar

Zoomcar proved to be the perfect companion during our Sikkim road trip. We were extremely comfortable, without our own Black Scorpio. The car was absolutely clean and had everything (stereo, charger etc) in functional state. There was full privacy as well as freedom. The company’s policies and procedures were clear and their pickup and drop facility too was quite prompt.

Zoomcar at Hanuman Tok in Gangtok
Zoomcar at Hanuman Tok in Gangtok

We got our security and fuel charges refunded within 5 days, after all adjustments. The best thing is there was no cribbing or hustle from pickup to drop. So, if you are like us who like doing things at your own pace, then Zoomcar is a great option for you too.

Additional Information

  • They have late fee charges, so try to reach back at the designated time
  • Make a proper note of dents or other issues in the car. If there are any additional damages or dents, the charges can go high till Rs. 10,000
  • Zoomcar app is quite helpful and have all comprehensive checklists. It provides you all the minute detail from registration to insurance papers, spares and tools.
  • Their all cars are GPS enabled. So, there is no need to worry as they can track down your vehicle in case of emergency or breakdown. They too keep a check on the vehicle speed. In case of over speeding i.e. more than 125 kmph, you get a quick alert. Zoomcar may add fine for the same in your bill
  • Zoomcar also give you a quick update on the interstate road tax by message. Pay it to be on the safer side and remember these charges are not reimbursable. We got one message while entering Sikkim state from West Bengal and we paid around 700 Rs for 9 days.
  • Make a note that you cannot drive in Zoomcar to North/East Sikkim because the permits for same are given to the Travel agents only

Note: We paid complete amount for this trip and the views are our own. You too can experience the same by booking here.

Experience with Zoomcar

Best attractions of Abu Dhabi, that makes you forget Dubai

Which city comes immediately to mind when you consider a trip to the UAE? Dubai! Yes, it happens almost by default. Have you been to Abu Dhabi yet? You’ll be surprised at just how many fabulous attractions are there in Abu Dhabi; that rival what Dubai has and more. Have you seen the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque yet, or been to Ferrari Island? Yes, Abu Dhabi is chock full of surprises, even for those who’ve visited this wonderful travel destination before. So,  journey with us to find the wonderful attractions of Abu Dhabi.

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Best Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Capital Gate

When you first look at the Capital Gate Tower, Abu Dhabi, you’ll feel some concern as to the building’s safety. Don’t worry, it’s meant to look like that. The building leans westwards to an astonishing 18-degrees. The Capital Gate Tower is located at Khaleej Al Arabi Street. The structure is meant to be a modern day challenger to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Capital Gate’s lean is more than four times that of Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. The tower is 160 meters (524.9 ft.) high and has 35 levels. In fact, the Capital Gate has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower.

Capital Gate Abu Dhabi- Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

Al Ain

Not far from the busy city of Abu Dhabi is the pristine, peaceful and lush oasis of Al Ain. It is dubbed as Abu Dhabi’s garden city. This golden world is empty apart from 100 feet dunes, the odd oil well or power pylon. It’s a lush paradise filled with palm trees and greenery far beyond your imagination of desert greenery. While at Al Ain, don’t miss a visit to the Al Jahili Fort, which is a permanent exhibition memento to the great British travel writer and explorer Wilfred Thesiger. Al Ain is one of the topmost tourist attractions of Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain Abu Dhabi -Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

 The Hidden Gold Souk

There’s a fabulous Gold Souk hidden in the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre. The hidden gold market has so much gold it puts any Dubai market to shame. The quality and selection of the gold jewelry are undeniable. Watch in awestruck admiration as wall after wall of shelving is uncovered, all bearing the most fabulous 24, 22 and 18-carat jewelry. The Madinat Zayed Gold Souk is a real find for people looking for gold bargains.

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Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre - Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

The Corniche

The Corniche is a grand four-mile waterfront promenade that offers a number of places for families to picnic in verdant grassy alcoves. There are many pristine, fully-guarded beaches for people to enjoy as well. Pay homage to the Emirate’s flag, as big as a bus set on top of a 360ft pole and the 18-degree westward-learning Capital Gate Tower as you stroll along. Check out the Avenue Mall at Etihad Towers and the Qasr al Hosn Fort, Abu Dhabi’s oldest building a few blocks down the Corniche.

Abu Dhabi Corniche- Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Yas – The Island Of Adventure

Yas Island is an adrenaline-rich, red-hot arena full of the most energy-filled rides. Watch your knuckles turn white as you go adventuring on Yas Waterworld’s incredibly spectacular water slides. It is said to be the world’s biggest water park, Yas Waterworld will keep you on edge with a dizzying array of slides, endless wave machines and raft rides that pass through terrifying ravines, caves, and tunnels.

Yas Island - Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi
Yas Island – Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Ferrari World

Ferrari World is the first theme park in the world dedicated to the famous racing car, the Ferrari. The outstanding ride in Ferrari World is Formula Rossa, dubbed the world’s fastest rollercoaster, touching 150mph at its fastest. The city’s Formula 1 tracks await adventurous souls to take to the wheel of a true-blue racing car and zoom along. You can bike or even run on the Formula 1 racing track every Tuesday for free. Don’t miss the Du Arena, which draws great performers like Sting for star-filled music and drama performances.  

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Ferrari World- Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s most ambitious project so far, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, is finally open. The Louvre Abu Dhabi presents the grandest and greatest of the world’s treasure trove of art borrowed from various European museums including the Louvre, Paris. It brings great culture and advancement to Abu Dhabi, at its cultural district on Saadiyat Island. The Louvre in Abu Dhabi is the only franchise of the Paris Louvre in the world, and as such is a unique must-visit destination in Abu Dhabi.

Louvre Abu Dhabi- Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

One of the world’s largest mosques, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque can hold an incredible 40,000 worshippers at the same time. Feast your eyes on the unbelievable 82 domes, 1,000+ columns, the world’s largest hand-knotted Iranian carpet, and 24 carat-gold-gilded chandeliers. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the biggest chandeliers in the world; it measures 15 meters in height and 10 meters in diameter and weighs an astonishing twelve tonnes. The mosque is surrounded by reflective pools which amplify its ethereal beauty. Don’t miss watching the mosque’s striking white and gold colors that create their own reflected tapestry during sunset.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Futuristic Zero-Carbon City

Abu Dhabi is the first city to pioneer a zero-carbon footprint city, where cars are not allowed. Masdar City, located near the airport, is completely off the grid; it’s powered entirely by solar power and the hot, strong winds that blow off the desert sands. Driverless pods run all around the city, for transport. The layout of the city is similar to ancient Arabian streets, with narrow alleys. When complete, Masdar City will be the most eco-friendly Arabian town in the world.

Masdar City- Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Arabian Wildlife Park

The Arabian Wildlife Park is located on Sir Bani Yas Island. This park houses more than 10,000 free-roaming animals. The entire park takes up more than half the island’s space. There are purpose-built viewing platforms for visitors to get an eyeful of wild animals. From these platforms, it’s possible to get up close the island’s giraffes as they crop leaves. Each platform is made out of recycled materials. The park holds many Arabian Oryx, cheetahs, hyenas, gazelles, and giraffes, apart from other wild animals. The Arabian Wildlife Park is one of the tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi that you mustn’t miss.

Arabian Wildlife Park -Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

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Conclusion – Best Attractions of Abu Dhabi

As you can see, Abu Dhabi has an array of wonderful attractions that Dubai cannot match. Each one is unique and must-see if you’re in the UAE. Dubai has much to offer; however, don’t discount attractions of Abu Dhabi in comparison. Abu Dhabi is slowly but surely shaping into a grand competition for Dubai. Make your travel arrangements today and check out the attractions of Abu Dhabi we’ve listed for you!

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Best Attractions of Abu Dhabi that make you forget Dubai

[stextbox id=’custom’ caption=’Guest-Post Author Bio’]
Neha Singh is a postgraduate in Mass Communications, who loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing came to her naturally. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering. She loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”.[/stextbox]

Also, Check:

Malaysia Travel Guide – where to stay, eat and travel

Spiti Valley in winters: Self Drive Road Trip guide

Do you want to come along for the winter Spiti Valley expedition? We asked our friends before planning the trip. With the popped eyes and open mouth, they replied – Are you guys crazy? Spiti valley in winters– the roads will be snow-covered, temperatures fall down to -40 degrees Celsius, pipes and water get frozen, people come down to the lower hills for survival and you want to do a road trip there. It is India’s remotest & inaccessible area. Crazy people, go in summers! All this surely led to the second thought but who could stop the adventurous wanderlust of ALLGUDTHINGS, after seeing the beautiful cold desert, Spiti valley in summers.

Spiti Valley In Winters: Self Drive Road Trip Guide

So, in January, we took a planned self-drive road trip from Delhi to Spiti Valley. We took the first halt at Shoghi and spent 2 good memorable days at Aamod Resort Shoghi. Further, from there, we continued our trip to reach and explore the snow sheeted middle land i.e. winter Spiti .

Tip: Never do an unplanned trip to Spiti Valley in winters i.e. offseason, as it can land you in serious trouble.


Spiti Valley in winters

Just like our friends, the majority of people think the Spiti valley is inaccessible in winters. But it is not so. Some parts of Spiti valley are open especially the Shimla – Kaza road. Also, it is a perfect time to see winter Spiti life.

Spiti valley in winter is entirely the transformed version of Spiti we had seen earlier in summers. The semi-arid mountains, deep terrains, a stretch of barren landform and green oasis, all were supposed to be completely shrouded by a blanket of snow in the month of January. But nature had some other plans for us.

The Kaza in winter was snow sheeted whereas the rest Spiti Valley looked just replenished by wind and nature. Spiti River looked like a sea of snow or white cotton candies floating in the turquoise blue water. The mesmerizing spectacle of the whole valley left us just go on clicking and clicking.

Spiti Valley in Winters: Self Drive road trip travel guide

The winter Spiti Valley is really different and unique as there are only a few visitors and you feel the whole valley belongs to you. You get ample time to talk, stay, and interact with the Spitian’s. They make you taste the most wonderful delectable local cuisines.

Kaza Village in a blanket of snow: Spiti Valley in Winters

So, a winter Spiti trip, to this picture postcard land is a must for adventure enthusiasts and road trip lovers. And here is a self-drive road trip guide for Spiti Valley in winters.


Route/ How to Reach Spiti Valley in Winter?

Ideally, there are two routes to enter Spiti Valley from Delhi. One from Shimla and other from Manali. But in winters, Rohtang La and Kunzum La both get covered with heavy snow, so you can’t travel from Manali to Kaza in winters. The only viable option is to enter and exit Spiti Valley in winters is through Shimla.

Delhi – Shimla – Rampur – Rekong Peo – Tabo – Kaza

And remember the routes beyond Kaza are closed too. So, the farthest one can reach is Kaza and the villages around it i.e Kibber, Komic, Langza, Hikkim, Tashigong, Chicham Khas.

Also read: 10 days itinerary for Lahaul Spiti Road Trip


Condition of Roads to Spiti in winters

During winter Spiti trip, expect to find snow patches on roads beyond Shimla. So, be really slow and cautious while driving on snow. And strictly avoid driving on black ice, as it is too slippery and can be dangerous. To avoid skidding, keep some luggage or stones in the boot space of the vehicle. Also, one can deflate the tires for better grip on snow.

Tip: If your car loses control, don’t push the brakes. Just, leave the accelerator and let it go in the intended direction.

  • Delhi to Chandigarh: Multi-lane highway
  • Chandigarh to Shimla: Few bad patches because of the road widening process.
  • Shimla to Rampur: Highway. Expect snow at Kufri, Narkanda
  • Rampur to Kalpa: A good road with few bad patches because of road widening and expect to face roadblocks due to some landslides.
  • Kalpa to Tabo : Narrow road with continuous incline and decline. Expect few bad patches because of landslides and shooting stone sights. And on this day, One also has to cross frozen Malling Nala, beyond Nako village.
  • Tabo to Kaza: A good scenic narrow road with continuous incline and decline. Expect few bad patches because of landslides.
Narrow Steep Roads around Kaza: Spiti Valley in Winters

Expected Spiti Valley Temperatures

As you move ahead from Shimla, with every increasing altitude, the temperature in Spiti Valley decreases and the air gets thinner. So, expect to feel breathlessness while walking and climbing stairs. The expected temperatures in winters in Spiti valley are subzero:

  • Shimla: Sunny chilly days and cold nights. Temperature ranging from 15 degree Celsius to -3 degree in night
  • Rampur: Is warmer than Shimla. Day temperature goes till 14 degree Celsius and night temperature dips till 1  to 2 degree Celsius
  • Kalpa: Sunny cold days and extremely cold chilly nights. Day temperature range from -2 to -3 degree Celsius and night temperatures goes to -13 degree Celsius.
  • Tabo: Expect sunny chilly days and very cold nights. Day temperature ranges from – 2 to – 3 degree Celsius and it goes to – 19 degree in night
  • Kaza temperature in winters: Days are sunny with extreme chill and nights are extremely cold and chilly too. The day temperature ranges from -6 to -9 degree Celsius and night temperatures go to -25 degree Celsius

Also Check: Bridges of Kinnaur and Spiti


Halts & Accommodation in Spiti in Winters

The total distance from Delhi to Spiti Valley i.e. Kaza is just 765 kilometers. Google maps show the journey of 19 hours. That means one stop and you will reach Kaza. But in actuality, it is really impossible. We covered the first 300 kilometers in 6-7 hrs but the rest 465 kilometers in the mountains were equivalent to 800 kilometers. So, one needs to take proper halts at proper locations, to get acclimatized before hitting Kaza.

Landscapes of Spiti Valley in winters: Self Drive road trip guide

The life of winters in Spiti Valley is completely different & is almost standstill due to the extremely low temperatures in December, January, and February. So, don’t have high expectations for stay and food. Most of the hotels, homestays are closed during winters in spiti. Only 2 -3 homestays are operational everywhere and locals can guide you best on the same.

After Shimla, we took halts at Rampur, Kalpa, and Tabo, before hitting Kaza.

Rampur: There are multiple hotels in and around Rampur bus station. We stayed at Nau Nabh heritage hotel, one of the luxurious heritage properties. 

Kalpa: One can choose to stay at homestays or at HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Cooperation), Kalpa. We opted for HTPDC to be on the safer side. Apart from Kalpa, you can also opt to stay at Sangla valley in Kinnaur, where few homestays are operational

Nako: Forget about homestays or hotel accommodation in Nako. The whole village was under hibernation except a Maggi shack opened near bus stan. Even the Nako monastery rooms are closed in winters.

Tabo: At Tabo, 2-3 homestays were operational. We stayed at Baba’s / Phunstok’s Homestay, one of the generous family who was already waiting for us. You can contact them at 94185-76181; 01906-223452 and they charge Rs 1000 per person/night including meals.

Cozy Kitchen in Baba's Homestay at Tabo: Spiti Valley in winters

Kaza: Similar is the case with Kaza. Most of the hotels and homestays are closed. Only 4 -5 home stay’s run during offseason. We stayed with Mr & Mrs. Tandup at Pema Homestay, another super helpful family who can go beyond limits to give comforts to the guests. You can connect with them at 9459252699, 8988231033 and they charge Rs 1500 per night. People say that if Mr. Chering  (relative of Mr. Tandup) knows about your existence or arrival in Spiti, you are completely safe. He will go extra miles to search you out if you missing or have not turned back by the expected timings.

Fresh Thupka in Kaza - Spiti Valley in Winters
Fresh Thupka in Kaza

Apart from this, we met a girl Tanya Roy from Delhi, who runs a Wanderer’s Nest Homestay and amazing cafe in Kaza. You can connect with her at 9459357754. Rest, you can enquire about the open homestays at Kaza Bus stand.


Food Joints on the way to Spiti Valley in Winter

There are multiple eating options till Shimla. The real fight starts after Rampur.

Pappu Ka Dhabha at Tapri - Spiti Valley in Winters
Pappu Ka Dhabha at Tapri

Between Rampur to Kalpa: Have Thali (food) at Pappu ka dhabha, Tapri – The food quality is surely more than value for money.

Kalpa to Tabo: You will find tea and food stalls only in Spillow and a single shack open at Nako.

Tabo to Kaza: No food joints

Tip: Carry a lot of eatables, nuts, and water with you on the way.


Must carry accessories for Winter Spiti Valley Road Trip

  • Do carry snow chains if your vehicle is not 4*4.
  • Carry shovel along, in case you need to clear snow on the way
  • Add Antifreeze to avoid freezing of diesel
  • Keep some camphor and cotton handy to lit fire, if required
  • Always keep a towing cable in your carSelf Drive Road trip to Spiti Valley in Winters

Problems you can face during Winter Spiti Valley Trip

Spiti Valley in winters tests all your survival instincts and body endurance. You go as prepared as you can, but still, this land will make you realize that you are unprepared i.e. the nature and topography of this valley.

But Open your mind to the following before going:

  1. Bathing is not possible because of frozen water tanks. So, be prepared for the wet towel scrub only.
  2. Be prepared to use dry toilets, as the water pipes will be frozen and there is no water in the taps. Dry toilets are traditional toilets with a hole in the ground and avoid taking your phones in the toilet.
  3. A year back I say in 2017, electricity used to be there for fixed hours, but now there is full-time electricity. The voltage is less, so your batteries, cameras, phone will take much longer to get charged
  4. There are chances of AMS (Altitude motion sickness) hitting you at that high altitude. So, be prepared. If you see any of such symptoms i.e. a headache, nausea, breathlessness, take help. Otherwise, give yourself some time to get acclimatized and keep sipping a lot of hot water. The alternative is you can start a DIAMOX course prior to the trip after the doctor’s consultation.
  5. Only BSNL network works here
  6. Temperatures are subzero and it is bone-biting cold. So, be in proper winter clothing. Wear layers, cover your head, and do include warm shoes. Also, do carry your sunglasses. Suruchi Tashi; AllGudThings -Spiti Valley in winters
  7. Expect road closure for several days, if snowfall occurs in between. BRO works here throughout the year to keep road operational till Kaza
  8. Be prepared, that despite adding antifreeze your car fuel will freeze. In such a case wait for the sun rays to melt it down or use a cylinder with the local’s help. For this, we have expert advice from Mr. Shibhu Varghese of 4*4 India adventure which we will be sharing soon with you.Scorpio sun bathing in Kaza to melt down the frozen Diesel - Spiti Valley in winters
  9. Expect bare minimum medical help. Carry first aid kit and some basic medicines with you.
  10. Carry enough cash with you. ATMs are available at Kalpa, Tabo as well as Kaza but don’t expect them to have enough cash as well as in working conditions.
  11. Fuel station at Kaza, opens between 10 am to 5 pm. So, get your tank fuelled timely.World's Highest Petrol pump at Kaza - Spiti Valley in Winters


The kitchen is the warmest place in Spiti houses, as there is a burning Angithi throughout the day.  So, if you feel excess of cold, rush there to normalize your body temperature. Don’t touch any metal with bare hands, as there are chances of your skin sticking to the metal. If in any case, that happens, don’t pull your hand away. Pour hot water to detach your hand.

Spiti Valley in winters checks your endurance and patience but you surely are bound to leave your soul in God’s own land. It looks completely magnanimous in winters and engulfs you in its beauty.

If you have any more question or need any more information, feel free to type in the comments. We will be happy to answer all about Spiti Valley in winter. Till then, please share it with your friends and family.

Spiti Valley In Winters: Self Drive Road Trip Guide

Aamod Resort Shoghi: Unwind in the lap of nature

Waking up to the birds chirping, in the private cottage dotted with pine and oak trees, sipping morning tea & handcrafted cookies with sunrise at the cliff, strolling aimlessly among the tranquil trails, spotting Kalka Shimla toy train from various tunnels, mountain climbing, rappelling and endless conversation with staff of Aamod Resort Shoghi are some of the beautiful memories that have etched in our heart forever.

Entrance to Aamod Resort Shoghi

About Aamod Resort Shoghi

The Aamod Resort Shoghi is a Luxurious eco-friendly retreat tucked in between several feet tall pine and oak trees on NH 22. The resort is 16 kilometers before the hustle bustle of Shimla, completely amidst nature.

Aamod Resort Shoghi

We did this trip, along with our winter expedition to Spiti Valley in January 2018. We were invited by escape Route and hosted by the Aamod Shoghi Resort.

Welcome

As we crossed Dharampur in Himachal, we saw the valley view’s getting widened, the fresh air opening our blocked senses and the roads getting dotted with pine and oak trees. The sky was deep blue with some haze on the mountains, but the sun was ready to say goodbye in an hour or two. After an hour’s drive, we reached the resort and were greeted “Namaste” with folded hands by the staff at the parking.

The staff unloaded our luggage into their private vehicle and took us through the narrow lanes to the resort entrance.

Aamod Resort Shoghi, Entrance

As soon as we stepped down, the first impression was: nicely blended work in the woods, mud layering from outside and dark paneling from inside giving a perfectly traditional and modern feel. The hanging pots outside the open cafe and the use of local elements added a charm to the whole place. The big glass windows inside the restaurant – Colonial were beautifully framed to get the complete view of the jungle around and to bring enough light to the dark furnishings.

Inside Colonial Restaurant: Aamod Resort Shoghi

The check-in formalities were done in seconds while sharing a hot cup of Kahwa with Mr. Harish (General Manager) and from there promptly we were guided to our super deluxe cottage 101.

Aamod Resort

The resort has in total 20 cottages spread on the mountain slopes and tops, without disturbing the forest land. They are categorized into deluxe (11), super deluxe (6), family (2) and family deluxe cottage (1).

The narrow, jungle trails shaded by several feet tall trees, curl up and down in the whole property taking you to the adventure zone, spa, private couple Jacuzzi, Glade (the conference room) and open terrace.

The Cottage

The cottages have been handcrafted well; keeping in mind the comfort, luxury and perfect synchronization with nature. We were put in deluxe cottage 101. It was quite spacious with bespoke furniture and a large patio that overlooked the valley, mountains and a running toy train track underneath.

Super Deluxe Cottage nestled in the woods - Aamod Resort Shoghi

As soon as you enter the cottage, there is a foldable recliner on one end, a king sized bed on other and a wooden closet leading you to the separate toilet and bathroom.

Luxurious Super Deluxe Room at Aamod Resort Shoghi
Super Deluxe Room at Aamod Resort Shoghi

The room is perfectly equipped with all the modern amenities ranging from the bar, hot water kettle, heater, workstation and electric bed warmers etc.

Food

If food is something that keeps your wanderlust awake, then Aamod Resort Shoghi will prove to be the delectable treat for you. They offer lavish buffets in the breakfast, lunch, and dinner or one can order ala-carte too. The buffets specialize from continental, oriental, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese & traditional Himachali cuisines.

Live Kitchen at Aamod Resort Shoghi

We believe that when in Himachal one must feast on the local cuisines. So, do try their Himachali cuisines – in particular, the Mal puddas with Khatti kadu Chatni and Siddus. The aroma of freshly used spices and ingredients, in the cuisines, is enough to tickle your taste buds and further aggravate your hunger.

Mal Purra with Khatti Kadu Chutney: Aamod Resort Shoghi

Aamod Shoghi has a separate bakery section and we loved their Variety. The kiwi crush, marble and chocolate cake goes to our favorite list. The Jam donuts too is another recommendation and a must try too.

Before Dinner Scenes - Aamod Resort Shoghi

Dining & Bar

The food and drinks can be enjoyed in the indoor and outdoor dining area “Colonial” with a bonfire. They serve the variety of spirits and handcrafted cocktails. We recommend you to try their newly introduced: Gin based Lodge cocktails.

The Colonial; open restaurant at Aamod Resort Shoghi
The Colonial Restaurant

Apart from this, if you wish to enjoy food with valley views from your balcony then you can order ala- carte. The kitchen is open till 11 pm.

Activities at Aamod Resort Shoghi

If there is a widespread patio in front of cottages to unwind, relax and enjoy nature, then there are a plethora of activities to get some adrenaline rush, sweat and detoxify you.

There is a recreational room, adventure activity zone, mountain cycling, nature walks and spa to cool down, & rejuvenate. The private Jacuzzi at the cliff followed by some romantic dinner is for some romantic moments together.

Recreation Room:

The recreation room lies next to the reception area and has a variety of indoor games like monopoly, scrabble, Ludo, Carrom, Table Tennis etc. There is a collection of books and DVD’s to enjoy some classics.

Recreation Room- Aamod Resort Shoghi
Recreation Room

Adventurous Zone:

There is a 9 step extensive rope course in the adventure zone of Aamod Resort Shoghi. The activities involve from Burma Bridge crossing to fox flying, rope bridge walk, commando net, tire riding and many more.

And if you want to have some more thrills like us, try mountain climbing and rappelling from a 40 feet high mountain rock face.  It is rarely scary if you look down but it’s equally fun, after taking the first step. Imagine, I did it twice after the horror of the first one.

All these adventurous activities are carried only after making one wear safety wear with belay and under the supervision of a trained supervisor. So, it’s really safe for adults as well kids.

Tyre Crossing - Adventure activities at Aamod resort Shoghi
Tyre Crossing

Nature Walks:

If you like walking aimlessly with your spouse in the jungle or want to give a wood experience to your family and children while listening to the birds chirping, then do plan a nature walk with Aamod Resort Shoghi. There are several walking trails near the property for nature walk which lasts from 1 hour to half day.

One of the walks we did was along the UNESCO world heritage Kalka Shimla railway track. It was purely a heritage walk taking us back to the Britishers time, history was all around and the cool breeze from the valleys and mountains was enough to dry our sweat.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeKwP8zHH3P/?taken-by=suruchimittal

While spotting toy train we too experienced the rich flora and fauna. We tried Baboon and Tung Datoon (Datton is a substitute of toothbrush & toothpaste which locals use for cleaning teeth) during our walk and the staff surprised us with hot tea and cookies on the midway of the hike. We must say it was an experience to cherish for!

Spa & Open air Jacuzzi: Sublime Area

The Sublime area on the mountain cliff houses both spa rooms and Jacuzzi for individuals as well couples. The rooms overlook the mountains and have huge glass windows to be well lit and warm during the sessions. We recommend taking Spa and Jacuzzi session during sunrise and sunset. At that time, the sky is lit in hues ranging from blue to orange and the whole place looks totally serene.

Couple Spa Rooms at Aamod Resort Shoghi
Couple Spa Rooms

We opted for evening Spa and Jacuzzi session. It started with the Ayurvedic massage with hot oil. The total kneading and pressuring continued for 1 hour from toe to head, leaving us completely relaxed. Further, at the end, we were handed the bathrobes and directed to the hot water couple Jacuzzi. We were stunned to see the sun was already at the climax and had painted the sky well.

Couple Jacuzzi with Sunset view at Aamod Resort Shoghi

Spa Sessions can vary from 30 to 90 minutes whereas Jacuzzi sessions are for 35 minutes.

Toy Train Ride & Train Spotting

The other activity to enjoy here is Kalka Shimla toy train ride. But, instead of taking a ride we opted for catching the train at various tunnels and stations. It was pure fun and adventure. Train Spotting needs a separate post. For timings, please enjoy this video.

Private Romantic Dinner on the Ridge

The private romantic dinner set up on the cliff left us completely in awe. The sky was glowing and the cutlery, candles, flowers, wine glasses everything was perfectly arranged for us to go on a romantic date. Steward was on our table end to make us special throughout. I wish there was some romantic music to side bye to make it look like a movie scene.

Watch Sunrise & Sunset from the ridge

The Sunrise & Sunset in mountains is every photographer’s delight and the Aamod resort Shoghi provides a true spot to capture glittering sky. While clicking, staff can serve you tea/ coffee with cookies at the ridge.

Morning tea with sunrise at ridge: Aamod Resort Shoghi
Morning tea with sunrise at Ridge

Sunset from The ridge at Aamod Resort Shoghi
Pic Credits: Ankur Gupta

Camping

For camp lovers, there is an ideal spot at the ridge to camp overnight and learn about the jungle survival. Aamod resort charges a minimum amount for this experience.

Camping At Aamod Resort Shoghi

In addition to all the activities mentioned above, the Aamod resort Shoghi also arranges for yoga, meditation sessions, village tours, mountain cycling, storytelling by locals and team building activities; but only on prior information.

Sight-Seeing

Shimla lies just 16 kilometers from the resort. So, one can go & explore the colonial town and other nearby towns like Fagu, Mashobra, Chail, Barog etc.

Overall

The Aamod Resort Shoghi truly lives to the name of being an eco-tourism resort. They have impeccable services, nature love, scrumptious food, spa and Jacuzzi with valley views and one of the best adventure services. In short, if you are looking some good time in the woods, away from city jungle, then this is the place for you.

Aamod Resort Shoghi

Additional Information

Route: Delhi – Ambala – Zirakpur – Dharampur – Shoghi

Total time to Reach: 7-8 hours

Roads: Excellent graveled roads, Highway but few bad patches after Jabli because of the road widening project.

How to Reach: The eco-friendly Aamod resort at Shoghi can be reached by car, train or by air.

Train: There are no direct trains between Delhi & Shoghi. So, one can reach by taking Shatabadi Express till Kalka and further Kalka Shimla Himalayan Toy Train till Sanklaghat (on the way to Shimla). From there, call up Mr. Kamal to pick you up.

Air: Take a flight from Delhi to Shimla. From Shimla, you can either hire a private cab or ride by Himalayan toy train till Sanklaghat.

We thank Mr. Sumit for arranging and Mr. Harish and Mr. Kamal for giving us wonderful, handcrafted, memorable experiences here.