Tag Archives: Uttarkashi

The 2017 Travel Stories: Flashback

The year 2018 has already begun and our travel tales and road trips too. But we can’t start the new tales without reviewing the tales of the year 2017.  So, this post is all about the 2017 travel stories, just as we have the travel book for the year 2016.

We started our travel and lifestyle blog AllGudThings in September 2016 without thinking how the things will move for us and will we actually survive in this blogging race. And look today we are surviving and have come this far, writing 2017 travel stories, and are much positive for the year 2018.

2017 Travel Stories

The year 2017 was like a roller coaster for us. We bought our house, reached our dream destinations, did several trips both personal and professional, learned so much new in blogging and on the other side fought with medical issues and lost our dear ones in between. So, it was a year where we saw both highs and lows. But as Lord Buddha quotes “Without rain, nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms of your life”; so we accepted every up and down graciously and kept on moving.

In the year 2017, we never targeted where we wanted to see ALLGUDTHINGS but now we are clearer. We have set up our targets for 2018 to write more strategically, be more social and learn to monetize the blog in a better way. And the travel stories of 2017 are epic, so let’s have a look at them.

January 2017

Snow Trip with Parents to Shimla

Just after welcoming 2017 and shifting to our own place, we took a break and did a personal road trip to beautiful Shimla. The colonial town was painted in white by nature and we saw our parents living their childhood. The rich heritage & culture of Shimla introduced us to a Himachali scarf known as Dhatu or Rahide. Check about Dhatu here: Shimla Trip in style with Dhatu as a fashion accessory.

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February – March 2017

Visit to the Highest Dam in India – Tehri Dam

In the last week of February, we visited Koteshwar and Tehri Dam for professional work. The holiday started after work and it continued until the first week of March. From Tehri, we took a detour to visit Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, which proved to be a lot more than the entrance to the Char Dhams of India. Further, the trip continued to Harsil, Gangotri and ending at Mussorie.

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The whole trip was an experience in itself as we visited one of the Char Dhams, saw second time snowfall in a row, learned about Mani stones and for the first time stayed in the hostel. You must check the Backpackers must carry essentials for a Hostel stay here.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRK5cweBQmB/?taken-by=suruchimittal

April 2017

An hour of Patriotism at Hussainiwala Border

In April 2017 we visited our home in Punjab and for the first time we, saw the flag retreat ceremony at Hussainiwala Border, Firozpur. It was an hour of Patriotism, filled with deep emotions where just a white line and gate demarcated our country India from Pakistan.

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May 2017

Road Trip to Badrinath Dhams and the Last Indian Mana Village

In May 2017, our parents were with us, so we planned another personal road trip to the sacred temple Badrinath Dham. From here itself we further visited the last village near Indo China border Mana Village and checked out the lush green skiing slopes of Auli in summers.

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This was another remarkable and memorable trip of the year.

June 2017

June was the one month when we were actually at home and were fiddling with the ups and downs around.

July – August 2017

Dream Trip to Leh Ladakh

After a lot of stress, we really needed a long break. So, we did a 13 day long Leh Ladakh road trip from Delhi. Ladakh is also known as the land of high Passes. We took the circuit road trip at our own pace without rushing to the destinations. We checked the attractions on Srinagar Leh highway, explored hidden Leh Ladakh palaces, walked and talked with the soldier at Kargil War Memorial, got lost in the Leh Palace and tranquilized in the serenity of Hemis Monastery.

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We saw Bactrian Camels and reflection of the Himalayas in the Nubra valley, did off-roading and slept in tents near high altitude lakes like Tso Kar, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri.

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Do remember, you need Inner Line Permit for entering the sensitive zones in Leh Ladakh.

September 2017

Heritage Walk in the Historical Town, Mahabalipuram

After a year of blogging, we did our first FAM trip to Chariot Beach resort and explored Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu to its best. The UNESCO monuments, monolithic structures, and caves, shore temple left us completely stunned with its beauty.

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October 2017

October the month of festivals in India, we decided to take a break from travels and celebrate each one of them at our new place, with our parents.

November 2017

Road trip to the colonial town: Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand

In November 2017, we did another FAM trip with Club Ten Pine Lodge to the colonial Mukteshwar town in Uttarakhand. We got lost in the beauty of Himalayan peaks during sunrise and sunsets; & trekked to explore the hidden gem – Bhalu Gaad waterfall.

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December 2017

Road Trip to Kasauli & Rajasthan

The last month of the year is always special as it is Tashi‘s birthday and we celebrated it in the hills of Kasauli. The last month also put us into the thoughts of our activities and achievements for the previous year. But simultaneously we also start deciding the place to celebrate the coming New Year. And, this year we decided to end 2017 and welcome 2018, in Rajasthan exploring the Sariska Tiger Reserve and one of the most haunted places in India – Bhangarh Fort. The stories are yet to come, so tuned.

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Conclusion: 2017 Travel Stories

That was our 2017 travel stories. It seems like a year was dedicated to the road trips especially to the hills traversing Himachal, Uttarakhand and Leh Ladakh. Overall, we did 9 trips, including personal, professional and FAM trips extending from 4 days to 15 days covering multiple destinations. We are really grateful as we got good health & the opportunity to make these trips and write 2017 travel stories. We wish to travel more and continue the travel stories in 2018.

Thanks for taking out the time to read our travel stories. Have the wonderful year 2018 ahead…
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Review of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

I and my husband love road trips and we just hit the roads by deciding route but never the location. That means no prior bookings for a stay. This is because we have a strong belief that “unplanned trips are the best ones” and we can actually stop anywhere on the way or worst sleep in our car. Anyways, during our last trip to  Tehri in Uttarakhand, we planned to visit Uttarkashi. Now the question was where to stay. So here my Google Baba, I mean Google  Maps (search by area option) helped and it searched out Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi nearest to us.

Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

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Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

The Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi derives its name from the colorful bird Monal, which is a state bird of Uttrakhand. It is a double storey, handcrafted guest house by a mountain lover and trekking enthusiast Mr. Deependar Panwar.

Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

The Monal guest house is located at Kot Bungalow Road, on the Uttarkashi-Gangotri Highway. It is almost 2 km away from the Uttarkashi town. The place is amidst by spouting River Ganges on one side and lush green fields on others. The whole environment is peaceful, green, clean and at a walking distance from the Uttarkashi town. The blue color of the sky here shows how this place is unpolluted and is a true nature’s paradise. It truly deserves the title of Land of Gods.

Little History of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi (MTH)

Mr. Deependar, after graduating from NIM (National Institute of Mountaineering, In Uttarkashi), was working as a porter, instructor and guide with a renowned trekking company. While working in a job he was determined enough to build up his career further in Tourism. Seeing that enthusiasm at such a young age, a father motivated his son to convert their present home to a guest home and here was the result – the beginning of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi and from there the place never looked back.

Rooms at Monal Tourist Home

There are total 8 rooms; which are divided further into wings A & B. Wing A only houses rooms whereas wing B apart from rooms, also comprises of a restaurant, library, and sitting area.  The 4 rooms have double beds, 2 have 3 beds and other 2 have 4 beds.

During our visit, most of Uttarkashi hotels were without tourist and closed due to off season. So,we were the only guests (should I say masters) in this home stay and had the option to choose our room. We opted for the room in wing B in front of garden and restaurant. Check out the room and the morning view from the window. Isn’t that worth admiring?

View from my room at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

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The rooms of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi are not big luxurious rooms. They are small, cozy, clean budgeted rooms with a balcony. The room has a double bed, side table to work and attached washroom with hot water facility. They are equipped with all the basic amenities including geyser, tea and coffee maker which one needs for a comfortable stay and Yes! This actually needs a special mention – There are No Televisions and Intercom services for the room and this is done intentionally, as they consider these as a distraction during a holiday.  The prime aim here is to make the guests feel the pristine peace, coolness, and beauty of Uttarkashi.

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On the top of the rooms, there is a wide terrace where you can sit, relax and spend some time soaking your eyes with the wonderful views of snow-capped mountains, Ganges, and surrounding fields. Tariff for all the rooms varies between INR 700 – INR 2000 and for our room it was around Rs. 1600/-.

On the top of the rooms, there is a wide terrace where you can sit, relax and spend some time soaking your eyes with the wonderful views of snow-capped mountains, Ganges, and surrounding fields. Tariff for all the rooms varies between INR 700 – INR 2000 and for our room it was around Rs. 1600/-.

View from Terrace at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

Food at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

The Monal guest house serves really delicious food, but only on prior requests. Timings for the breakfast are from 7 am -10 am and for dinner are 8 pm -9 pm. In seasons you may not face the problem of the prior request, but in off season make sure to inform them for all the meals. They serve meals only in the restaurants and do provide tea and snacks in the rooms.

Restaurant at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

Activities 

As the owner himself is an advanced trekker so a small talk with him can supplement you with all the hiking and trekking trails nearby. He also helps in organizing various walks, treks, hikes, mountain cycling, biking and angling tours. Additionally, you can try your hands on some traditional cookery and mud work art classes.

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Conclusion

I didn’t get the chance to explore the trails and do activities with Monal Tourist Home but yes the property is surely worth staying and relaxing. In short, it is more than Value for money. Comfort is one, but the views you get from Monal Tourist home, Uttarkashi are incomparable. They are just like tranquilizers which make you long for more and you realize the power and beauty of nature.

Rating:

I personally rate this Monal Tourist home,  Uttarkashi (4.5 out of 5). The number is really high because of its location; away from the city rush and mind blowing views from its terrace and garden.

Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

Some Additional Info about Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi:

  1. They provide pick and drop service to Uttarkashi town, but only on prior requests.
  2. One needs to climb few stairs to reach the guest house.
  3. Laundry and Lunch services are only available on request.
  4. For prior information and bookings you can speak to Mr. Deependar on these numbers 91-9412984183, or 91-1374-222270 and their email id is monaluttarkashi@gmail.com. Mr. Deependar prefers pre-booking for Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi because he likes meetings his guests personally and treating them with the best hospitality services. I was really impressed by his attitude; he waited for us till 11 pm, just to meet and greet us.
  5. From Uttarkashi town, you get the sharing cabs till guest house and nearby tourist spots.

This is not a sponsored post and it is written purely based on my own views, stay and after a talk with Mr. Deependar. I didn’t  mention to him that I will be talking about  Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi on my blog postFor more details, you can refer to their website here.

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Review of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand – a lot more than the entrance to Char Dhams of Uttarakhand

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand is a holy town located at an altitude of 3800 feet on the banks of sacred River Gangotri. It is the entrance for spiritual Char Dham Yatra (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri)  and is also known as the Kashi of North India (just like Varanasi). Apart from this, it is a home to multiple Ghats, shrines, ashrams and Nehru Mountaineering Institute. Many people/ tourists/travelers come and stay here in Ashrams and Dharamshalas for several days to learn mountaineering and climbing. Others make it home for exploration, meditation and some in search of Nirvana.

Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: www.wikimapia.com

The small town Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand is not only picturesque but serene too. It has mountains, lakes, rivers, dense forests, glaciers, green meadows. Did I miss something? So the single sentence for this place will be; it has everything that a traveler or tourist wish to see while traveling. It is painted by Pine and Deodar trees on one side whereas the gushing, clear, greenish blue Ganges flows on the other side.

Ghats of Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: eUttaranchal

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand was a well-flourished town till 20122013. But a havoc of one cloudburst after another and floods in the region changed the whole picture. The wreck and destruction were so massive that people of Uttarkashi migrated to the nearby safer locations. But now once again with the prevailing years; conditions in the town have improved and it is flourishing.

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Route to Uttarkashi from Delhi: Delhi – Ghaziabad – Meerut – Muzaffarnagar- Roorkee- Haridwar- Rishikesh – Chamba – New Tehri – Dharasu – Uttrakashi

Distance from Delhi to Uttarkashi – 411 km

Time from Delhi: 10-11 hrs

Stops in between – I stopped at Tehri in between, the other options can be Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Chamba

Season– April to October

Offseason (Best time to visit) – November – March

Temperature during wintersMin: 1-5 degree Celsius; Max: 21 degree Celsius and Summers- Min: 15 degree Celsius; Max: 30 degree Celsius

Things to do in & around Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand is the entrance to famous four Hindu Dhams (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath) but beyond these, there are certain more attractions in and around Uttarkashi which are worth exploring and can rush your adrenaline.

1. Uttarkashi town:

The first and foremost attraction is Uttarkashi town itself. There are more than 30 temples in the town and the must visit one is:

Kashi Vishwanath temple: This is an ancient temple built by Sage Parshuram in 1857. Here, in this temple, there is Syambhu Linga i.e. a self-manifested image and not set up by human hands.  This Shiv Linga is 56 cm in height and 90 cm in circumference and is tilted towards the south.

Kashi Vishawnath Temple at Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand

Shakti Temple: Just opposite to Kashi Vishwanath temple is Shakti temple, dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The main attraction of this temple is a huge metal Trishul which is 1500 years old, 6 meters high, 90 cm in circumference and is made up of metal Iron from top and Copper from the bottom.

Trishul at Shakti temple of Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: Tripadvisor

The Amazing fact about Trishul- Believe it or not: It doesn’t move when you apply the entire body force but it will vibrate as soon you apply the finger pressure. (Honestly, I failed to understand the logic behind it. It was some Magic for me).

Some other Temples which we didn’t visit but one can visit are: Kandar Devta Temple, Parshuram Temple, Kuteti Devi Temple, Ekadash Rudra Temple etc.

2. Dodital Trek

The Legends believe that Lord Ganesha choose Dodital situated at a height of 3024 meters, as his abode. So, there is a fresh water lake and temple here. To see this Lake one needs to ride by Car/ jeep till Sangamchatti and then trek between pine trees, snow covered slopes and Himalayas for 21 Kms. According to the locals and trekkers, this trek is really a gentle one. This trek is done with one night halt at Agora and Bebra village. At Dodital too, the option for stay is forest rest houses or one can do camping.

Dodital lake from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: www.tourmyindia.com

From Dodital, One can continue trek till Dayara Bugyal.

Dodital to Dayara Bugyal Trek from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: Moderate Trek

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3. Nachiketa Tal

Nachiketa Tal situated at an altitude of 2453 meters is just like a lake in fairy land after passing through Rhododendron and dense forests. The lake is elliptical shaped and there is no know-how of its inlet and outlet. This Nachiketa Tal is believed to be named after 10 years old Nachiketa who found the gateway to hell and the truth behind life and death. Nachiketa Tal is around 33 Kms from Uttarkashi, out of which 30 Kms are motorable and 3 km trek from Chaurangi Khal.

Nachiketa Tal from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: www.highwaycabs.com

4. Maneri Dam

The Maneri Dam is located at a distance of 8-9 Kms from Uttarkashi on the river Bhagirathi. This is the stage 1 of Maneri Bhali Hydroelectric Project and the unique part is water is fed through 8 kilometers long tunnel to the turbines. The Maneri River around this dam has emerged as a tourists attraction and they host several water sports like boating, kayaking, etc.

Maneri lake near Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: Tripadvisor

5. Dayara Bugyal Trek

The Dayara Bugyal trek is again considered as easy and one of the breathtaking treks of this regions. It is nestled amidst snow peaked towering mountains. It brings you to widespread lush green meadows spread over 28 km at an altitude of 10,000 -12,000 feet. In winters this diverse grassland turns to wonderful skiing slopes. The Dayara Bugyal trek is 29 Kms and it starts from small village Barsu, which is located 32 km from Uttarkashi.

Dayara Bugyal Trek from Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand

6. Gangnani Hot Water Springs

The Gangnani hot water spring is also known as Rishikund tirth. It lies at a distance of 46 Kms from Uttarkashi and is an ideal retreat for the people who want to meditate or get mesmerized in nature. There are wildflowers, giant rhododendron trees and clinging peaks on the sides and at some point glistening in the Ganges.

The hot water kund at Gangnani near Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand
Source: My Yatra Diary

In the ancient era, when it was tough for devotees to reach Gomukh (the source of origin of River Gangotri), they used to bath here in hot water spring and say Ganga Yahi Nahani hai – So, now its short form is Gangnani.  There are separate Kunds (Bathing areas) for men and women. 12 Kms ahead, to Gangnani, lies another place called Bhatwari, dedicated to sage Parasara, the father of Veda vyas.

Some tips for traveling to Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand 

  • Check weather conditions before leaving for this route.
  • Always carry some woolens with you, as sudden rain can lower down the temperature.
  • Don’t expect to get phone or internet signals everywhere. The only network which works in some areas is BSNL.
  • There will be many people on the way asking for lifts. It is good to help, but be careful.
  • The rooms/ hotels/tents to stay have all basic amenities and don’t expect much.
  • Don’t fall into the traps of fake Sadhus and Saints.
  • Always carry some snacks with you, as on some routes you won’t even find small tea and Maggi stalls.
  • Book your hotels/ homestays/ guest houses beforehand; as in season majority of them are fully occupied and in off season majority of them are closed.
  • In offseason, don’t expect to get a wide variety of food options.

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Uttarkashi in Uttrakhand - A lot more than entrance to Char Dhams of India