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Don’t want to splurge? – These pocket friendly treks are perfect to satisfy your wanderlust on a budget

The notion of traveling is expensive or a good holiday costs a lot is firmly ingrained in our minds – so much so that we often cancel our travel plans or wait for a time when we can save money to travel. To  rescue are a couple of trekking & camping sites that offer great 2-3 day trips on a budget which will not only satisfy your wanderlust but also make your wallet love you some more. Here are couple of suggestions to get your wanderlust kick-started:

International Youth Club

Founded by an ex-advertising professional, Laviral Kalra decided to quit his corporate career in Delhi to start International Youth Club, a membership based wanderlust site that offers short and long trips in Northern India. Some of the short – budget trips by International Youth Club include:

Internationa Youth Club : Trek to Triund

International Youth Club : Trek to Triund

Every day trek to Triund (ex-McLeodganj, Dharmshala) – 1 night/ 2 Days for Rs 1,500/- (Rs 1800/- for non-members).  Trip is ex-McLeodganj and includes two meals, stay on twin basis in tents & guide. Triund is situated at 9432 feet, is an easy 4 – 5 hours 9 Kms of trek and the summit offers stunning 180 degree views of the mighty Dhauladhar Himalayas , Pir Panjal range, Indrahar Pass, Lahesh Caves and the entire Kangra Valley.

Every day Kheerganga trek (ex- Kasol) – 1 Night/ 2 Days for Rs 1,999/- (Rs 2,499 for non-members). Trip is ex-Kasol and is inclusive of meals and stay. The short but popular trek to Kheerganga through the waterfalls and bridges by the tremendous river flow of Parvati will make you see the panoramic skies, vast greenery & dense forest.

Indrahar Pass Snowline trek (McLeodganj – Triund – Dharamshala) for Rs 5,999/- (Rs 7,999 for non-members). Trek is ex- McLeodganj and includes all meals, tea, snacks and stay on twin sharing basis. The trek is a beautiful walk through mixed forests of the deodar, oak and rhododendron. Triund is situated on a ridge with a beautiful view of whole Kangra valley on one side and Dhauladhar mountain range on the other side.

International Youth Club website: www.internationalyouthclub.org

Contact number: +91-8010224422 / info@internationalyouthclub.org

International Youth Club also organises transhimalyan Jeep Safari and Sustainability rides across Ladakh for longer duration trips and details are available on their website.

 

Woodrose Camp

Located within The Great Himalayan National Park, Woodrose Forest Camp offers guests  great location, including the best bird and wildlife viewing in the forest area. The camp also organises quick treks on a budget for avid trekkers:

Woodrose Camp - Pin Parvati Trek

Woodrose Camp – Pin Parvati Trek

Jalori Pass Sarloyskar Lake Trek – 1 night and 2 days package for Rs 2250/-. Trip is ex- Delhi and includes stay on shared tent basis and meals.  Located at a distance of approximately 75 km from the Kullu district, the famous Jalori Pass is seen as a gateway to the attractive Tirthan valley. Another attraction of the Jalori Pass is the Saryolsar Lake. From this lake tourist can witness an amazing view of the inner as well as outer Seraj.

Kasol & Kheerganga – Pin Parvati Trek – 2 nights and 3 days trip for Rs 3,999/-. Trip is ex- Delhi and includes stay and meals. A very popular trek, the hot springs at Kheer Ganga are extremely important for Hindu and Sikh pilgrims as well as many others who believe the waters have sacred healing properties. From Kheer Ganga to the site of Tunda Bhuj village (3285m), the Parvati Valley cuts a steep-sided gorge through the mountains and as the altitude increases, the thick, coniferous forest gradually makes way for patches of meadowland scattered with boulders.

 Kullu Rafting and Bijli Mahadev Trek – 1 night and 2 days package for Rs 2999/-. Trip is ex-Delhi (perfect for weekend) and includes night stay on shared basis, meals and Kullu to Kullu transfer, which means Delhi to Kullu could be your expense (please check website for details). The highlight of the trip is river-rafting with intermediate level trek.

Website: www.woodrosecamp.com

Contact details: + 91 8988493818 / 011-47354739

 

Triphippie

Triphippe is a unique platform connecting global adventure seeker with remote local organisers. The company organises international and domestic trips including quick weekend trips:

Triphippe : Chanderkhani Pass Trek (pic courtesy internet)

Triphippe : Chanderkhani Pass Trek (pic courtesy internet)

Kasol Camping and Backpacking Trip – 1 night and 2 day trip for Rs 1,750/-. Trip is ex-Kasol and includes stay in tents on twin/triple sharing basis and two meals (breakfast and dinner). Kasol is a heaven for backpackers with its pristine, unadulterated natural Himalayan beauty. Itinerary also includes backpacking to Manikaran and leisurely stroll through the Kasol market which is a major tourist attraction.

Malana Chanderkhani Pass Trek – 3 nights and 4 days trip for Rs 5,500/-.  Trip is ex-Kasol and includes guide, stay in tents on sharing basis and all meals. Trip is of ‘challenging grade’ and recommended from April to November months. Chanderkhani Pass is one of the most beautiful and serene pass, at an altitude of 3660 m located in the Kullu valley. Chanderkhani Pass offers fabulous views of the Deo Tibba peak, Pir Panjal and Parbati range of mountains. The trek begins from Kasol, located about 21 km from the town of Manali. The popular trek route of Chandrakhani Pass involves a route from Kasol to Chanderkhani Pass and back to Manali via Malana
Malana Trek & Camping from Kasol – 1 night and 2 day trip for Rs 1900/- Trip is ex-Kasol and includes homestay at Malana, two meals in a day and transportation from Kasol to Malana and back. Kasol is famous for its hippie culture and presence of Israeli population. It is the most attractive place in Manali to the traveler who loves to explore hidden jewels of Himalaya. Malana is a quint and heavenly beautiful village near kasol which is a perfect weekend trek destination.

Website: www.triphippie.com

Contact details: support@triphippie.com/ +91 9819891996

 

Blogger note: I travelled to Ladakh with International Youth Club this year and can add confidently that being a part of such trips is quite fun, you get to meet new people and see some great landscapes, so time to leave the ifs and buts behind this year and kick-start 2017 on a happy traveling note with quick-budget trips! PS: I will also do a sequel to this post so please keep visiting the blog! Cheers

 

 

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Ladakh : No Country for Women?!

I know, I am being harsh with the headline. After all, I had the most memorable roadtrip across Ladakh last week but the one aspect that left me sore about the trip was the lack of facilities for women.
Considering the huge flow of tourists visiting Ladakh between May to September each year, including families and solo female travelers, this is one let down area for female travelers transversing this terrain.
Things are okay if you are at your hotel or guest house in Leh city but you go beyond the city and you are in a spot. I traveled from Manali to Jispa to Nubra and beyond and the plight remains the same. Wether you want to go to a proper loo or if you have chums coming up, you are on your own.
So how does one survive or how did I manage through the journey?
Basically by depending on the not so great toilet facilities managed by shopkeepers in each small town you cross. Once you are in the outer regions of Ladakh, you will come to these small towns with handful of shops for tea, food etc. Next to each shop or behind it, you will see a small, square tin structure – that is the toilet. It’s managed by the respective shop owner and you can ask them for keys (they’ve built these toilets for their customers, so its okay to ask). They don’t keep the toilets open, so you will have to ask for the key.
Eg toilet picture below:
Makeshift toilet in one of the small towns

Makeshift toilet in one of the small towns

The toilets prepared by the administration are in such poor shape, that you might faint from a distance. Take the Khardungla Pass toilet facilities for example – best not to use it. Disappointing.
The second best option is to go behind the rocks but highly avoidable unless you gotto go. You will rarely find hotels in outer regions of Ladakh, so the toilets in small towns are your worst and best options. Or you can wait to get back to your hotel. If you are crossing Deepak Taal (lake), there is a nice makeshift toilet there, so do make a note of it :-)
There are some areas which are managed by the Indian Army eg Nubra. You can request them to let you use their services and they wont decline.
Finally, should you need to buy personal women hygiene stuff, sanitary napkins, tissue rolls and medicines, do it at Leh (there are quite a few good chemists at Fort road and Leh main market). You can also buy from Manali and keep them handy in your purse or rucksack. If you suffer from any medical condition, buy your medicines from Leh but keep all these handy because shuffling through your luggage last minute can be an issue.
Overall, this is a definite issue and I am not sure why the Tourism Ministry or Ladakh Development Authority done anything about it. Meanwhile, my advice is to be prepared and hope something will be done about it soon!
Cheers
Megha
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