The Touristy Trip to Himachal, Punjab and Chandigarh

It was the first time that I was going on a 12 day long family trip. I am usually an informed traveler, where I know if I am visiting some place I have all the basic details about the best things to do in that place. However, this was a completely different experience. It wasn't that I had not traveled with my family but this surely was the first leisure trip we made, where I left it to my brother to close the deal with the travel company. We looked up for the tour packages offered by local travel companies to understand what destination could fit our budget. For the first time ever, I did not look up for the explicit details of each destination that we were considering because I knew this being a family trip all would have various suggestions.

Casual Abstractions, Mumbai Airport, Boarding Pass
After many discussions on which place to visit, we finally came to a decision to visit few places of Himachal, explore a bit of Amritsar and eventually end the trip in Chandigarh to head back home. We booked our tour where our breakfast and dinner was going to be included at the hotels we stayed. It was going to be an epic road trip from Delhi to Chandigarh with pit-stops on various locations in between. Our flights were booked from Mumbai to Delhi for departure and Chandigarh to Mumbai for journey back home.

All excited, we packed the essentials looking at the weather, considering we were going to get to see the snow as well and headed off to the Mumbai Airport to embark on our first ever leisure fam trip. Our travel was going to be Mumbai - Delhi - Shimla - Manali - Dharamshala - Dalhousie - Amritsar - Chandigarh - Mumbai. 

Road Trip, Delhi, Highway, Casual Abstractions

Here are my moments from each destination as I walked into every experience with a blank slate in my head and with no idea how it is going to feel. I am planning to write a detailed version of each destination soonest, but lets see how easily I can pen down my memories of this trip.


Shimla, Kufri Hill Station, Vacation, Things to do in shimla

In some places, horses still happen to be the only mode of transport to reach the destination that is above a certain altitude. I am usually scared of trying new adrenaline inducing experiences. There was no choice apart from the horse ride but to walk up to Kufri Hill Station which happens to be 11,500 ft above sea level. It was the first day of the trip, I was in no mood to walk all the way up and hence we decided to take the horse ride up. A bumpy ride to the top but the locals were very helpful. 


Hidamba Temple, Manali, Himachal, Things to do in ManaliGulaba Pass, Manali, Things to do in Manali, Himachal

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a film very close to my heart and at Manali I had my YJHD moment. The Hidamba Temple at Manali happens to be a part of the movie sequence and as a Bollywood enthusiast it is a very different feeling to be able to see something in real, which you have always seen in the movies. The snow capped mountains only reminded of the dialogue from YJHD, "Woha uss pahad ki hawa mein ek nasha sa tha, aur woh nasha ishq tha". 


Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamshala, Himachal

I am not much of a cricket fan, but I have enjoyed the India-Pakistan matches because that was more about the feeling than just the sport. I was visiting a stadium for the very first time in Dharamshala, and may be now I know what the madness in the stands feels like. It was surreal to soak the feeling of being in the stadium and enjoy the view of the snow capped Himalayan mountains in the background.  


Khajjiar, Mini Switzerland, Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

I was quite overwhelmed as we reached Khajjiar as I am a person fond of nature. Khajjiar is also called the Mini Switzerland due to its topographical resemblance. It was green as far beyond as I could see. There were locals who were having these cute little rabbits that you could take in your arms to take a picture and dress up in the local traditional attires. 


Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, Casual Abstractions

The Golden Temple is a must when you are visiting Amritsar and so was our plan. The Jallianwala Bagh, Golden Temple and the Wagah Border were on our list for our day in Amritsar. I have no words to describe the peace I felt while at the temple. Though we were short on our time, we still ensured to have food at the langar because we didn't know when would we get to visit again. 


Rock Garden, Chandigarh, India Travel

Last leg of the trip and we had the Rock Garden and the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden to explore in Chandigarh. I must say, the Rock Garden is literally like a never ending maze with so many different settings and art works inside it. Though the entry and the exit were on two ends of the same wall, the journey inside was absolutely majestic. 

That summarizes my 12 day journey and my wow moments. The drive through the mountains and then coming back to the city life was a transition which took me some days to adjust. It was indeed a fantastic trip for me because it had nature, history, architecture and mythological stories... what more could I have asked for as a writer and photographer!


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