Pangong Tso (Lake) – Leh Ladakh

Pangong_Tso_2The best part of being to the northern most part of India , just few kilometers away from the International Borders, would be to witness the pristine beauty of the Pangong Tso (Lake). Its the highest lake situated at 4,350 meters (14,270 ft) in the Himalayas. Since its an endorheic lake , the water is salty thus making it the highest salt water lake in the world ! An endorheic lake would basically mean that the lake waters do not have any exit or drainage to the oceans or any other rivers.

The lake extends from India to China with almost 60% of its length being in China. It is about 134 kms by length, 5 km at its broadest point and covers a total area of around 604 square kilometers. Despite being a saline water lake, it completely freezes in winter. The 6-7 hours drive from main Leh city to this lake is completely worth it and a overnight stay adds to the worthiness.


Chanshal Pass – The highest Peak in Shimla District

IMG_1097Chanshal Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.800m (12,467ft) above the sea level, located in the Shimla district of  Himachal Pradesh.  It remains open from May till October and connects the small town of Rohru to the villages of Dodra and Kwar. Chanshal Pass is the highest peak in Shimla district and from the top; it offers enthralling view of the valley around. Chanshal top is quite scenic and a trip here is highly recommended for anyone with interest in travel, off-roading or photography.

IMG_1098OFFBEAT | Chanshal Pass | Dodra Kwar | Larot PABBAR VALLEY

If you look for a road less traveled, if you want to experience an indefinable blend of myth and reality, fact and fiction, if ancient and towering temples, legends, charming architecture and soaring mountains excite you, if fishing and trekking set your pulse racing, if you plan your vacation in the scrutiny of picturesque hamlets, fruit-laden orchards cradled by thick words and set by swift streams, and if you want to experience a place where man and nature live on – Experience the bewitching spell of Pabbar valley.

IMG_1102The Chanshal Pass and twin villages of Dodra and Kwar have a unique history. In the age of road revolution, this region was devoid of a motor able road till as recently as 2009. The local tribes didn’t support road development efforts by the Himachal government, as they believed their local deity didn’t permit of road building. The deity finally approved of a road and in 2006, the foundation of the 92 km Rohru-Kwar road across the mighty Chanshal Pass was laid. It took three long years to finally connect the landlocked Dodra-Kwar to the rest of Himachal Pradesh.

IMG_1105DODRA KWAR : The villages of Dodra and Kwar are separated by a few kilometers. Now connected by a motorable road, this pocket retains a pristine beauty. There are countless wild flowers and medicinal herbs, thick woods of flowering rhododendron, cedar and birch, waterfalls and fast-flowing streams. All this is set against a majestic backdrop of high peaks like the Sharangcha. The villages and their temples are remarkable examples of local wood work skill and come packed with fascinating legends.

Other places worth seeing from Rohru are Sudash (17 km), Larot (36 km), Sungri (32 km) and Dhanwari (26 km) which is famous for trout fishing.

d437b9c3c80b0f933adee377c448b5b1TREK TO CHANDERNAAN LAKE

Chandernaaan lake is situated in between beautiful snowy mountains at an elevation of 4,000 meters(approximately)from sea level in the Pabbar Valley. To reach Chandernahan lake you first need to reach Rohru which is at a distance of 120 Kms from Shimla. From Rohru there is a road which takes you to village Tangnu & village Janglikh. These villages are also good to see if you are interested in knowing the actual traditional culture of Himachal Pradesh. From the village Tangnu it is an eight hour trek Chandernaan lake with a stop at Litham Thach The word “Thach” means meadow. The river Pabbar originates from here,which cultivates a large area of Rohru. There is a waterfall of about 30 meters before it converts in to regular flowing water of river Pabbar. It is the birth place of Devta Shikru. The temple of Devta ji is situated in the Heart of Rohru.

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Shoja – Tiny Hamlet Nestled in the Seraj Valley


Shoja is a hamlet located in the Seraj Valley, which forms a link between the districts of Shimla and Kullu. A small village that offers the best that nature can give you (with tables and chairs made of tree trunks) is often ignored by the Kasol-loving crowd.  With sloping mountains covered in verdure, conifers and deodars stretching for miles around, and an incredible view of the snow-covered peaks, this is a breathtaking spot.

The village of Shoja is still hidden in most parts, which makes it all the more interesting to discover.  Shoja is a perfect weekend retreat.

Aut Tunnel

How to Reach

Shoja can be reached after driving a distance of approximately 38 km from Aut. A set of magical wonders unfold before your eyes as you put your foot into this land. The best months to go are April to June and September to October. It can be somewhat complicated to get here, unless you are driving yourself.

Places to Visit

Tirthan Valley means that if you are here for a long weekend, it is possible to head there. A sojourn to Shoja is more about rest and relaxation, with a few activities thrown in.

Waterfall Shoja

Waterfall Point

There’s many treks you can do from Shoja, make sure you check out the waterfall that has been made into a tourist spot with its small and slippery bridges and chairs and tables made from tree trunks. A good rum session there is a must!

Jalori Pass

Jalori Pass

The area of Jalori Pass is, quite simply put, a natural paradise. The pass is at a height of 3,125 m, and is located five km away from Shoja. The view from the top is simply heavenly and well worth the trip. From there, you can get a spectacular panoramic view of the Himalayas, a top-of-the-world feeling. Beyond Jalori Pass you can trek 6kms and reach Serolsar Lake a nice place to set camp or just have a day out with your mates.

serolsar lake

Trout Fishing in the Tirthan Valley

This activity can be done in Tirthan Valley, not far from Shoja. You can go on your own, but first timers may be better off with a guide who will arrange the required equipment and show you the best spots for trout fishing.

Trout Fishing

Once you have discovered Shoja, there are only a few other places you will like when planning a short getaway.