Top 5 Luxury Camps and Resorts In Osian, near Jodhpur

Where is Osian located?

Osian (also spelt Osiyan) is an ancient town located in the Jodhpur District of Rajasthan state in western India. It is an oasis in the Thar Desert. Osian is located 60 Km from Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Osian Location Map

The best time to visit Osian is from October till March – during the winter months.

How to reach Osian?

By Air – Jodhpur is the nearest airport to Osian. From Airport, take a taxi and you will reach in about an Hours time.

BY TRAIN – Osian has its own railway station. However limited number of trains cross through Osian. Jodhpur Railway station is 60 Kms away and offers better connectivity.

BY ROAD – Traveling by own vehicle or private cab is a joy as the roads are smooth and a driver’s dream come true. Regular bus services connect Osian to nearest cities and towns.

Jodhpur Osian Route Map

What is Osian Famous For?

Osian is famous as home to the cluster of ruined Hindu and Jain temples dating from the 8th to 12th centuries. The city was a major religious centre of the kingdom of Marwar during the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty.

Osian Temples

Osian has not less than 100 temples belonging to the sect of Hindus and Jains, hence it is also known as Khajuraho of Rajasthan. The city of Osian is said to have founded by Utpaladeva, who was a Rajput Prince belonging to Pratihara Dynasty. It was an important silk route trading center till the Muslim invaders destroyed it forcing the locals to leave Osian.Time and faith brought the people back and the town was rebuilt again.

What to do in Osian?

Osian Desert Safari

Osian is situated at the edge of the great Thar Desert and has beautiful sand dunes which present a great opportunity for holiday makers who like camel and jeep safari and wish to stay in desert safari camps, experiencing a new way of live. There are luxury camps and resorts located around these dunes and they offer all the modern amenities and facilities for the travelers.

Osian Desert Camps Evening Program

The evenings are charmed by Rajasthani folk dance and music program where guests are entertained by tribal artisans. Watch the sunsets, go bird watching, meet the locals, click pics, enjoy the delicious rajasthani cuisine, experience the famous rajasthani hospitality and relax as you watch the star studded sky that will take you back to your childhood!

Top 5 Desert Safari Camps in Osian Jodhpur

The nearest Desert safari Camps near Jodhpur are situated in Osian, which is just 60kms away. Osian is known as the gateway to the thar desert. It is an ancient rustic town which is known for sand dunes, stunning temples and the luxury camps and resorts which offer overnight stay in desert camps, evening dance and music programs, camel and jeep safari, temple tours and trips to Khichan bird sanctuary. The best time to visit Osian is from October till March when the winter sun is pleasant enough.

Here is the list of Top 5 Desert Camps ard Resorts in Osian which offer desert camping and activities to create a rich memorable holiday experience. Visit their website or give them a call to book your perfect desert vacation.

Reggie’s Camel Camp

Reggie's Camel Camp Osian

Reggies Camel Camp is an easy 60 Km drive from Jodhpur. With expansive views of the mighty Thar desert on one side and the ancient 8th century temple town of Osian on the other, Reggie’s Camel Camp, the original luxury tented camp in India, offers an unappalled experience of rural Rajasthan.

Reggie's Camel Camp Osian

Venturing out on camel or jeep, one can meet the proud local tribes, the Bishnois and Bhils, potters and weavers and shepherds in their natural surroundings, not to mention the various varieties of desert wildlife such as blue bulls, gazelles, foxes, peacocks and partridges.

Reggie's Camel Camp Osian

Address: Khetasar – Osian Rd, Rajasthan 342303

Phone: 099280 09608

Website: https://www.reggiescamelcamposian.com/

Rohida Camp Osian

Rohida Camp Osian

Set on 40 acres of private sand dunes, the Rohida Camp Osian is an ideal destination for relaxing and adventurous, letting you seek solace in the desert, while also exposing you to with adrenaline-soaring activities like jeep safari, camel safari, long guided walks across the dunes and more.

Rohida Camp Osian

With the famed Rajput hospitality, the entire experience is designed to make your vacation nothing but extraordinary. The site features 13 Luxury Air-conditioned Tents, alongside an array of exciting activities that will keep you spell bound.

Rohida Camp Osian

Address: Rohida Camp, Pratap Nagar, Khetasar – Osian Rd, Osian, Rajasthan 342303

Phone: 094135 22188

Websitehttps://www.booking.com/hotel/in/rohida-camp-osian.html

Camp Thar Osian

Camp Thar Osian

Camp Thar is considered as one of the best resorts which offers Safari-style permanent tents & cottages in a desert resort with a restaurant & live entertainment. Experience the pleasure to view the dunes from the camp window and enjoy the accommodation with Maharaja style bedroom, attached with a modern washroom.

Camp Thar Osian

The Property features 35 Swiss Tent, 26 Luxury Tent Accommodation, 16 Royal Tents Accommodation, 5 Luxury Dhani Cottages, Conference Hall, Roof Top Canopy Bar, Leisure Room, Hygienic Open Kitchen for Traditional Food, Machan/Tree house, Indoor Dining Option.

Camp Thar Osian

Address: Pratap Nagar Road, Jodhpur District, Osian, Rajasthan 342303

Phone: 0291 264 7555

Website: https://www.goibibo.com/hotels/camp-thar-hotel-in-osian-2613175764249341703/

Safari Camp Osian

Safari Camp Osian

Safari Camp Osian is the largest camp and resort located on the finest dunes of the Thar Desert. Here you can enjoy the experience of Desert Camping, Camel /Jeep Safari, Folk Dance and Music Programs, Hot Air Ballooning in the Thar Desert. Furnished with all the modern amenities the camps are exquisitely designed to put forth an experience of a lifetime.

Safari Camp Osian

Safari Camp Osian offers the perfect dessert safari camp packages, which includes plenty of facilities and amenities for you to explore and choose. The camp is also ideal for pre-wedding shoots, destination weddings / parties and corporate events.

Safari Camp Osian

Address: Pratap negar khesra no 808, Osian, Rajasthan 342303

Phone: 070234 77221

Website: https://safaricamposian.in/

Rawla Osian Camps

Rawla Osian Camps

Rawla Osian Camps are located in the heart of the Thar desert near the ancient and picturesque desert town of the Osian on the Jodhpur – Jaisalmer Highway. Designed like an old desert fortress, located in a huge belt of Sand Dunes, Rawla Osian Camps offers guest a chance to spend time in the midst of the desert, away from all disturbances.

Rawla Osian Camps

Rawla Osian Camps also provide visitors a comfortable stay in Swiss tents and A/c Deluxe Rooms. The tents have permanent bathrooms with running hot and cold water.The restaurants offers a choice of Rajasthani and Indian Continental cuisines in a cosy rural ambience. The camp is also ideal for marriage / theme parties and Gala dinners.

Rawla Osian Camps

Address: Khetasar – Osian Rd, Pratapnagar, Osian, Rajasthan 342303

Phone: 063500 20768

Websitehttps://www.osianresortcamps.com/

The details for the camps can be checked on their respective websites.

Places to Visit in Osian

Katan Baori Stepwell

Katan Baori Stepwell – Katan Baori Stepwell at Osian is an ancient stepwell and probably the earliest symbol of woman empowerment in the world. The story goes that due to water shortage in Osian, the women folk were forced to travel a few kms on foot everyday to fetch water for home. They asked the men to get a well built, but the men refused, saying that it required a lot of money. The ladies then, decided to fund it themselves. They started weaving and sold merchandise to merchants on silk route. The work on Katan Baori started in this way, however, it could not be completed as the muslim armies invaded the region destroying much.

Mahavir Jain Temple

Mahavir Jain Temple – The Mahavira Temple is an important tirtha for Jains. According to an inscription found at Sachiya Mata Temple dating back to 956 A.D., it was built during the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty by King Vatsaraja in 783 AD, making it the oldest surviving Jain temple in Western India. Dedicated to Lord Mahavira (24th Jain Tirthankara), the temple is considered as an important pilgrimage of the Jains. The temple is celebrated for its stunning architecture. The main door is carved with an impression of young maidens on it.

Osian Mata (Shri Sachchiyay Mataji) Temple

Osian Mata (Shri Sachchiyay Mataji) Temple – This temple is believed to have been constructed by King Upendran during the 10th century AD. Ma Sachyee is also known as Shri Osiya Mataji. The goddess appears having ashtabhuja (eight arms) and is seated on a lion. Demon Mahisha’s face is seen near the goddess’s feet. An archaeological team found many samples, statues, and paintings there. Depictions included the ancient deity of Harihar (half Shiva and half Vishnu), Vasudeva with baby Krishna on his head, Krishna fighting with a horse, the killing of Putna, Kalidaman, Govardhan dharan, and butter stealing along with images of Balram which seem to represent him as the incarnation of Seshnaga.

Khichan Bird Sanctuary

Khichan Bird Sanctuary is located some 50 Kms from Osian. It is a place visited by thousands of migrating Demoiselle Cranes during winter months in India. Khichan is but a small village, made world famous because of this. It has an amazing story – how these birds first came there and how their numbers grew over time. It is a love story between a man and these birds. The prominent place here is the Chuga Ghar, where the birds visit early morning between 7am and 8 am for feeding. They fly in groups, waves upon waves as the sky is full of them. They circle, wait for their turn and come to feed. After feeding they fly of to lakes and water bodies nearby. Watching these birds – in thousands from just a few meters away is a spell binding experience.

PVC Major Shaitan Singh Memorial

PVC Major Shaitan Singh Memorial – This small monument is dedicated to Major Shaitan Singh (in rajasthani the name sounds – Haitan Hingh), who lead a small group of soldiers in 1962 indo china war and defended Indian post from scores of invading Chinese soldiers. Overwhelmingly outnumbered and with little ammunition to counter such a large attack, he displayed exceptional courage and valor by motivating his fellow soldiers who gave a huge toll to the chinese army, before getting killed in action. The shock they sent across chinese army halted their progress and kept India safe. He and his fellow soldiers received Param Vir Chakra for the ultimate sacrifice.

How to Plan a Tour of Osian?

Camel Safari Osian

Osian Day Tour Plan – Most people prefer a day tour to Osian from Jodhpur, which is great as you start in the morning from Jodhpur, reach Osian, enjoy camel or jeep safari, relax for lunch, explore the temples and then head for an evening music and dance program which ends with dinner. There after you drive back to Jodhpur.

Evening Music and Dance Program Osian

Osian 1N/2D Tour Plan – If you wish to experience life in desert and want to stay in Desert Camps or  a Resort then, you can have a relaxed schedule in which you can visit Khichan Bird Sanctuary early morning from Osian, have breakfast, visit Major Shaitan Singh Memorial, arrive back at Resort for Lunch, Relax, Enjoy the evening music and dance program, have dinner and go to sleep. Next day, go for camel and jeep safari after breakfast. You can check out and visit Katan Baori Stepwell and Explore the temples at leisure. Go Shopping handmade stuff in the local market, buy spices, pickles and chutneys. Have Lunch on your way back home.

Top 10 Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Mukteshwar Uttarakhand

Mukteshwar is a small hill town in Uttarakhand, known for its natural beauty, cool weather, and stunning views of the snow clad Himalayan ranges. It sits high in the Kumaon Hills at an altitude of 2171 meters, 51 km from Nainital, 72 km from Haldwani, and just 343 km from Delhi. Fruit orchards, coniferous forests, lush green trails and narrow lanes make Mukteshwar a special destination for nature lovers. If you are planning a luxurious family vacation where you can relax and rejuvenate in the natural abundance, then Mukteshwar is just the right destination for you.

Mukteshwar location map

How to reach Mukteshwar?

The closest airport is the Pantnagar Airport at a distance of around 91 km from the town. By Rail: Kathgodam Railway station is the nearest railhead to Mukteshwar situated at a distance of 62 kms. If you want to take a local bus then get down at Haldwani from where you can board a bus or taxi to reach Mukteshwar. By road, reach Hadlwani and continue to Ramgarh, via Bhowali and Bhimtal. If you are coming from Delhi and start early morning, you will reach Mukteshwar around lunch time.

Given below is the list of Top Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand.

Justa Mukteshwar Retreat and Spa

justa spa mukteshwar

Justa Mukteshwar Retreat and Spa is a good option for travellers looking out for a luxury hotel in Mukteshwar. It is located, away from hustle and bustle and little off beat exclusive location. It is a 5 star rated property with mesmerizing view of Himalayan Mountains. The rooms are are spacious and well appointed, and the views are an added plus.

justa spa mukteshwar

Justa Mukteshwar Retreat and Spa has a pool and jacuzzi facing mountains. Food is delicious in the beautiful setup of restaurant and the open air sitting areas. There are some amazing art pieces in the room walls, restaurant and lounge. Staff is very polite and courteous.

justa spa mukteshwar

The walks and trails allow you to explore the organic farms, view beautiful sunsets, visit the waterfall, relax by the clear water stream and lazy life around it. Outdoor treks and walks are a plenty and are highlight of the visit.

Address: Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand 263132

Website: https://www.justahotels.com/

Treehouse Resort, Mukteshwar

Treehouse Resort, Mukteshwar

The Treehouse Resort is located in a peaceful secluded area of Mukteshwar yet easily accessible and just 3 kilometers away from the market area. It is situated in peaceful and beautiful surrounding of Himalayan mountains. With forest on one side it is a bird watcher’s paradise.

Treehouse Resort, Mukteshwar

The rooms are built resembling nests. Perched between treesThe staff is very courteous and helpful. The cottages are made of wood with serene views from room and balcony itself. Mornings are perfect with a cup of hot tea, sitting in the balcony of the cottage, gazing at the mountains and feeling the cool breeze.

Treehouse Resort, Mukteshwar

The view from inside the room is amazing. You can arrange barbeque too. Food is tasty and freshly prepared and can be customised to suit your preference. However one has to walk quite a bit to reach the cottages, which is quite a challenge in monsoons and during the night.

Address: Gram Saliyakot, Kalapatal, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand 263132

Website: https://www.thetreehouse.co.in/

The Alpine Chalet Resort, Mukteshwar

The Alpine Chalet Resort, Mukteshwar

The Alpine Chalet Resort is a great choice for travellers looking for a 3 star hotel in Mukteshwar. It is located in Dhanachuli. This blue-coloured Alpine cottage is perched on one of Mukteshwar’s most scenic spots.

The Alpine Chalet Resort, Mukteshwar

Placed at a mere distance from Dhanachuli Temple, The Alpine Chalet provides comfortable accommodation in Mukteshwar offering Complimentary Wi-Fi to its guests. The rooms are extremely cozy, and well built, with amazing scenic views of Himalayas.

The Alpine Chalet Resort, Mukteshwar

Great place, excellent hospitality, comfortable rooms, mouth watering food, courteous staff, lot of open space for walking and relaxation.

Address: Dhanachuli Bend, Tehsil Dhari, Bhatelia-Dhanachuli-BhimtalRoad Dhanachuli, Mukteshwar, Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand 263132

Website: https://www.thealpinechaletresort.com/

Ojaswi Himalayan Resort, Mukteshwar

Ojaswi Himalayan Resort, Mukteshwar

Situated in Sitla, Mukteshwar, the Ojaswi Himalayan Resort is situated in embraced in enticing ambiance and bewildering charm. It is a 3-star property which offers a 180-degree view of the Himalayas, Nanda Devi, the second-highest mountain peak of India, and other ranges including Neelkantha (Blue-throated Shiva), Trishul (Shiva’s Trident), Nanadaghunti (the Veil of the Goddess), and the Panchuli Group, are also visible from the resort.

Ojaswi Himalayan Resort, Mukteshwar

Spread across 1.5 acres of greenery, the resort is speckled with dainty cottages that offer a scintillating view of the mountains. For your revitalizing stay, the resort also has an in-house restaurant and an exclusive spa facility. The resort also has well-maintained gardens and a kids activity area, adding to the pleasing experience of the guests.

Ojaswi Himalayan Resort, Mukteshwar

Ojaswi Himalayan Resort offers Jungle view and terrace view rooms, which are well maintained and spacious. If you are looking for good quality rooms, a great view, very hospitable staff and an exceedingly great food, then go for it.

Address: Gram,Chatola, Sitla, Shitla Road, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand 263138

Website: https://www.ojaswiresort.com/mukteshwar-nainital/

Casa Dream Luxury Resort, Mukteshwar

Casa Dream Luxury Resort, Mukteshwar

Nestled in the heart of Great Northern Himalayas, a magnificent natural setting, Casa Dream Luxury Resort offers a Peaceful, Eco-conscious setting, Amazing View, Awesome Hospitality and Food. All the rooms of the resort are Himalaya facing and offer unparalleled view of the Himalayas. The views from rooms and balconies are breathtaking.

Casa Dream Luxury Resort, Mukteshwar

The interior of the resort is absolutely calm and beautiful, like a lovely village. The staff is very polite and highly qualified. You can actually hear the chirping and see all the birds coming back to their nests in the evening. It also has a small temple in the premises which has been kept in it’s own form. Plenty of food options and super farm to table menu (available to people who opt for culinary experience)

Casa Dream Luxury Resort, Mukteshwar

Casa Dream Luxury Resort has a lift for all floors. Bonfire and snacks is a super nice activity available here everyday of the year. There is a good size parking lot and multiple lawns for gatherings and events you would like to host in the mountains.

 Address: Bhowali-Ramgarh-Mukteshwar Road, Satbunga, Uttarakhand 263132

Website: https://web.casadream.in/

Dyo The Organic Village Resort, Mukteshwar

Dyo The Organic Village Resort, Mukteshwar

The Dyo Resort is located amidst the fruits orchid on the hill top of Amravati estate, covering a vast landscape. It Provides Luxury Stay, Weekend Gateways & Farm Stay. Dyo Resort has a great location with 360 degrees view.

Dyo The Organic Village Resort, Mukteshwar

It features comfortable rooms with a huge flat lawn, probably the only one in Mukteshwar. The evening bonfire with lights twinkling in the hills all around will take away the tiredness of the day. They have a great Chef and offer a variety of menu.

Dyo The Organic Village Resort, Mukteshwar

Dyo Resort has a sunset point within the property, where they take you for short trek. Staff is very friendly and humble. The hotel might be average in terms of amenities but nothing less than a multistar hotel when it comes to the view from the balcony. Just majestic.

Address: Amravati Estate, Bhatelia-Mukteshwar Rd, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand 263132

Website: https://www.dyoorganicresort.com/

The Birdcage, Mukteshwar

The Birdcage, Mukteshwar

The Birdcage is located at Leti Bunga in Shasbani village in Mukteshwar area of Nainital district in Uttarakhand. It is a beautiful property that offers stunning views of the Himalayas. The rooms are well decorated and eye catching. The view from the rooms of the sunrise is sublime, and one can sit in the garden for the entire day to gaze at the Himalayas. The slope is easy to navigate even in the dark and the hotel has ample parking for cars.

The Birdcage, Mukteshwar

The Birdcage has a hands-on, efficient and friendly management. The restaurant has a good vibe. The interior is well-decorated. The staff is friendly and accommodating. It is a Pet friendly property.

The Birdcage, Mukteshwar

Enjoy the crisp winter sun in the garden and cosy cabin-like interiors in the cold evenings, while forgetting about city life and reflecting on the things that really matter.

Address: Leti Bunga, Shasbani, near Bhatelia, Market, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand 263137

Website: https://www.hotelbirdcagemukteshwar.com/

Chirping Orchard, Mukteshwar

Chirping Orchard, Mukteshwar

Located in Mukteshwar, The Chirping Orchard is perched on a ridge, amidst endless fruit garden, surrounded by valleys and guarded by the Himalayan peaks. It is a boutique property located in the Oak and Rhododendron belt of Kumaon Himalayas. Chirping Orchard is the right place to stay for a calm and peaceful vacation.

Chirping Orchard, Mukteshwar

Chirping Orchard rooms offer best views and light into the room. The hotel premises are open, sprawling, green, filled with apple, pear, plum trees, daisies, chamomile plants and strawberries on the way! The dining area is a glass-house, which keeps you warm, gives you reading corners, work space as well as magnificent views, no matter which direction you look towards!

Chirping Orchard, Mukteshwar

Chirping Orchard is also located at a spot which offers direct access to the farms for various walks, trails and picnic spots that you can hunt out by yourself

Address: Leti Bunga, Village Shashbani, Near Bhatelia, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand 263132

Website: https://www.thechirpingorchard.in/

Mystic Mukteshwar

Mystic Mukteshwar

Mystic Mukteshwar is a reasonable option for travelers looking out for cottage in Mukteshwar. It is located at Sargakhet, a very beautiful location which is surrounded by lush green Oak, Deodar & Pine forest.

Mystic Mukteshwar

Mystic Mukteshwar has a six-room-cozy-luxuriously furnished rooms which offer commanding views of green valley and villages along with snow capped mountains.

Mystic Mukteshwar

Rooms are good and washrooms are clean and newly done. Mystic Mukteshwar is a Good place to stay, neat & clean room, well behaved staff and excellent service.

Address: Sargakhet, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand 263137

Website: https://www.facebook.com/mysticmukteshwar/

Casa Sara Mukteshwar

Casa Sara Mukteshwar

Casa Sara is a private luxury homestay in Mukteshwar which offers a serene secure private & gated 3 luxurious bedroom villa set on a saddleback one acre forest ridge with double height ceiling living area, a bar and a fully furnished kitchen along with a variety of amenities like Barbeque grill ,Bonfire , Pizza oven & sports facilities , high-speed internet access to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible.

Casa Sara Mukteshwar

Address: chatolla road, Seetla, Uttarakhand 263138

Website: https://casasara.in/

What is Mukteshwar famous for?

Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Nandaghunti, Trishul and Panchachuli are the major peaks visible from Mukteshwar. One one side Mukteshwar is covered by dense forest and on the other side it offers splendid view of the enchanting valley and the Himalayas.

The lush green valleys, the serpentine tracks, the cool breezy air, fruit orchards, coniferous forests, rolling meadows, temples and of course the waterfalls is something you just can’t resist. Mukteshwar is definitely worth a visit. Ideally you should spend about 2-3 days here.

Chauli ki Jali

Chauli-ki-Jali – ‘Chauli ki Jali’ is a popular tourist spot among the adventurous and the trekkers lovers for its beautiful rock formation at around 45 degrees slanting position. Chauli ki Jali has a stone with a hole on it. This hole has several myths. One of the most prominent myths is that if one crosses this stone hole on the event of Shivratri then they would be definitely be successful in conceiving a child.

mukteshwar bhalu gad falls

Bhalu Garh WaterfallsBhalu Garh Waterfall Nestled around 7 Km away from Mukteshwar near Dhari village. The word Bhalu Gaad comes from two words Bhalu and Gaad where the word Bhalu means Bear and Gaad means stream in the Kumaoni language. The Bhalu Gaad fall is a 60 feet high fall from the undiscovered source. It is a mixture of horseshoe and plunge shaped waterfall.

mukteshwar mahadev temple

Mahadev Temple – The 350 year old Shiva temple is situated on top of a hill. The stone stairs lead you to the deity’s abode.. The Pandavas, during their 12 year-long exile, constructed this temple being Shiva followers, in the hope of getting Mukti or salvation from their troubled life. The temple houses idols of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma along with a white marble Shiva Linga with a Copper yoni. The Mukteshwar temple is believed to be one of the 18 most important Shiva temples in the world.

Kainchi Dham ashram

Kainchi Dham ashram – Neem Karoli Baba ashram is located 45 km away in Bhowali area from Mukteshwar and is well connected by motorable roads. Neem Karoli Baba or Neeb Karori Baba was a Yogi, Saintly being and a devotee of the Hindu deity Hanuman. Steve Jobs visited Kainchi Dham Ashram during the 1970s and he is believed to have got the vision at this place to create Apple. Zuckerberg also visited Neem Karoli baba’s ashram few years back and attributed his and Facebook’s success to ‘Aashirwaad’ (blessings) from Neeb karori Baba ‘s temple.

Places near Mukteshwar 

Nainital

Nainital – Distance between Mukteshwar to Nainital by Road is 50 Kms. Nainital is famous for the Naini Lake, the amazing view and the pleasant weather. Formerly a British hill station, it’s set around Nainital Lake, a popular boating site with Naina Devi Hindu Temple on its north shore, Nainital is a year-round destination, but the ideal time to visit is between the months of March to June.

Ranikhet

Ranikhet – The Distance between Mukteshwar to Ranikhet by road is 69KM. Ranikhet is known for its views of the Himalayas. Hundreds of bells adorn Jhula Devi Temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. Fruit trees grow on the terraced orchards of Chaubatia Gardens, with views of peaks including Nanda Devi. Mahatma Gandhi stayed in a hut, Gandhi Kuti, in nearby Tarikhet village during the independence struggle.

Life Lessons from Ladakh, India By Donnie Sexton

Leh Palace
Leh, the capital of Ladakh, sees a steady stream of locals on the main shopping street, dressed for colder temperatures in late March. Donnie Sexton photos.

A favorite discussion among passionate travelers is “where to next”?   My answer had always been Ladakh, to which most people would get a puzzled look and ask, “Where is that?”

I’m not sure why I felt the need to see this Buddhist region tucked into the Himalayas of northern India.

Maybe it was the remoteness to see a piece of the world unknown to most people. What I did know was the idea of exploring Ladakh had burned a desire into my mind that wasn’t going away.

Digging In My Heels

I had organized a photo workshop to India in March and decided to investigate the options for extending the trip to see Ladakh.  The ideal time to visit runs from April to October, when most of the high mountain passes are open, and the weather is pleasant.

I found considerable reluctance from most tour operators to help me.   Responses ranged from “it’s the wrong time of year,” “it will be too cold,” and “it’s still winter there, nothing will be open.” Really!

Somehow all the negativity made me dig my heels in deeper, determined to go. Indus Trips, who had made superb arrangements for our photo workshop, took pity on me and said they would help if I was determined to go.

I was leaving nothing to chance, spending hours on the internet researching all options for what I could see and experience in Ladakh.  I would use Leh, the capital city, as my base for three days.  I hoped to hear morning prayers at one of the monasteries, explore the local vibe of Leh, drive the Khardung La Pass, and stop by local sights to photograph.

The author and her guide Tensin take the mandatory selfie, proof they made it safely to the top of Khardung La Pass

I gave my laundry list to Indus Trips of what I hoped to accomplish and asked that they arrange a guide/driver.  I splurged on accommodations and booked my room at the luxurious Grand Dragon Ladakh.

Khardung La Pass, one of the highest motorable roads in the world at an altitude of 17,582 feet, was built in 1976 and opened to the public in 1988.

Getting to Ladakh

Getting to Ladakh involves a one-hour plane ride from Delhi.  Most of my fellow passengers were men, dressed in cold weather clothing and toting scruffy-looking carry-ons.

They bore the look of tired souls.   I learned these men worked on road-building crews and were returning after a holiday break.

With many eyes on me, I felt like a privileged white woman.  If only they knew how much empathy I felt for them, knowing how difficult their lives must be.  I sensed the scales of equality in life were tipped in my favor.

I had the dreaded middle seat and tried in vain to see if the local in the window seat would change.  I knew we would fly over the Himalayas, and I desperately wanted to shoot.  I gestured with my camera pointing to the window, but he wasn’t going to budge.

I thought to myself, “ok buddy, I hope you don’t mind having my elbow in your crotch, cause I’m gonna lean over big time to get my shots.” To clarify, I view myself as a very considerate traveler.  But Ladakh was my dream journey, I was going to make it all about me for once.

First Impressions

The views over the Himalayas were spectacular, with snow-covered peaks for as far as the eye could see. I got my shots, and my seatmate got a good dose of me in his lap.   After we landed and made it through customs, I found Tenzin, my driver and guide (who spoke very limited English) and we were off.

It was a blue-bird sky day, and the air was crisp, unlike the ever-present smog of Delhi.  The crowds, traffic, and constant horn honking that defines so much of India were absent.  A sense of unhurriedness and tranquility came over me.

At the top of the Khardung La Pass, the Border Roads Organization that maintains the road has living quarters, along with a souvenir shop and coffee shack.

Altitude Adjustments

My first order of business was checking into the Grand Dragon.  Leh sits at an altitude of 11,562 feet (a high desert area), so altitude sickness can be an issue.  All I had read about this country was to rest on the day of arrival, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol.

Leh Palace is a former royal palace and is currently under restoration. It’s possible to visit the palace, part of which is a museum that holds over 450 artifacts.

The hotel staff was adamant that I stay hunkered down in my room for the remainder of the day to make the altitude adjustment.  “No can do,” I said to myself.  I rested a few hours before Tenzin picked me up, and we were off to explore the capital city.

The Vibe of Leh

Vendors (mostly women) use the sidewalk in Leh for selling vegetables and handmade goods.

It appeared to be market day, and the sidewalks were lined with women sitting on the sidewalk, bundled up in mismatched winter clothing, and selling mostly root vegetables.

A vendor selling dried apricots reached up, and with a sweet smile, placed them in my hand.

When he refused to take any money, I was reminded that the goodness of humans can be found in the most unlikely of places. Older women with weathered faces passed by, some fingering prayer beads and others spinning prayer wheels.

There were several shops selling clothing, medicines, and Buddhist objects used for worship.  The neighboring country of Tibet, its Buddhist culture and ways of life had spilled over into Ladakh.

Morning Prayers in Ladakh

My second day in Ladakh focused on the monasteries (also known as gompas) and the local sites around Leh.

With Tensin at the wheel, we hit the road before sunrise for the drive to Thiksey Monastery, so that I could observe morning prayers.

Thiksey Monastery, the largest in central Ladakh, is home to the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its twelve stories cascade down the mountainside.

Thiksey Gompa is a 12-story complex clinging to a mountainside that resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa.  As we approached the prayer room, young novice monks were filing in, all wearing the traditional maroon robes.

Visitors are welcome at Thiksey Monastery to hear the morning prayers of the novice monks. After prayers, the boys receive their breakfast of rice and butter tea.

We were welcomed by an older monk who motioned us to some cushions on the perimeter of the room, and soon the chanting of young voices filled the air.

I had read that many Tibetan families in India send at least one child to a monastery to learn about the Buddhist way of life, although it’s a tradition that is dying out.

Full-Fledged Monks

These young boys were novices in training, with some going on to become full-fledged monks.

After the prayers, older kids came around with kettles of butter tea and rice, serving first the young novices, then the elders in the room.

To my surprise, they also offered Tensin and me a cup of butter tea, which we graciously accepted.  I admired the monastery for allowing outsiders to observe the sacred rituals. For me, the experience was very humbling.

We filled the remainder of this day of discovery with countryside drives, including stops at gompas, villages, and monuments for photos.

Khardung La Pass

The third day would be a drive on the Khardung La Pass (17,582 feet), one of the world’s highest motorable roads, and the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys.

The route started as a two-lane dry pavement, but narrowed to a single lane the higher we climbed.

Before long, we were driving on a gnarly, snow-covered, icy path to the top.   We were the only vehicle on the drive up until we reached the summit.
In a few spots, we encountered a handful of locals chipping away at the gigantic snowbanks with shovels.  Was this avalanche patrol?

Perched on a hilltop, the Shanti Stupa was built in 1991 by a Japanese Buddhist monk. It’s a popular stop for visitors due to the sweeping views it affords of the surrounding landscape.

Tensin didn’t have an answer, although he pointed out a section where an avalanche had come through two weeks prior and had killed some people.   I didn’t need to hear that!

Most of the road, devoid of any guardrails, had sheer drop-offs into the valley below.  Should some snow breakaway as we passed by, my life would be over.

Tents to Quonset Huts

The Border Road Organization maintains this highway.  Their military outpost at the summit was a hodgepodge ranging from tents to Quonset huts and a few military vehicles. A handful of soldiers were working on the road.  Strings of colorful prayer flags, hallmarks of the Buddhist culture, fluttered in the wind.

We headed back down after mandatory pictures at the summit, and a stop at a pitiful coffee shack for a cup of lukewarm java.  On the way, Tensin invited me to lunch at his family’s home.   Without hesitation, I said yes.

Breaking Bread With New Friends

Tensin lives with his sister and mother on a small plot of land outside of Leh.  As we pulled up, his mother, sister, and aunt rushed out to meet us and quickly ushered me into their simple dwelling.

Tensin’s mother and auntie stand in the kitchen/main room of their simple dwelling. Like most locals, they wear cold-weather clothing both indoors and outside.

Tensin motioned me to take a seat on the floor in front of a low table, then a cup of tea and some biscuits were offered.

The women stood at a small counter with a portable stovetop, preparing momos and soup, then joined me on the floor for a delicious lunch.

I felt honored to break bread with these strangers who subsist on so little yet willingly share.  The best thing to do with the kindness shown to me was to pay it forward.

Watching Tensin’s mom moved me to tears.  My mom had passed away unexpectedly two weeks earlier, just one day before boarding a plane for my photo workshop in India.

I knew I had to go on with the trip, so I stuffed my sorrow deep into my heart, and now, in this remote land, it was bubbled up.  As I tearfully shared about my mother’s death, Tensin’s mom wrapped her arms around me.

Ladakh’s Life Lessons

Looking back, I can’t say that the three days I spent in Ladakh provided clarity as to my obsession with this country.   Three days had reinforced my belief that our environment and the family we are born into shapes our path in life.

I headed home determined to appreciate those things I take for granted – something as simple as shopping inside a clean, well-lit supermarket.

The random acts of kindness shown to me were stark reminders that it doesn’t take much effort to brighten someone’s day by my thoughtfulness – a good life lesson to follow. I had but a small nibble of this Himalayan country.

The desire to see more, especially in a warmer season when all of this region of northern India is open to exploring, calls for a repeat visit.

If looking to explore Ladakh, I recommend Indus Trips (www.industrips.com) to help with arrangements. 

There is a $10US per person permit fee to visit Ladakh.

To read the original article please visit – https://www.gonomad.com/166354-ladakh-where-donnie-keeps-coming-back-to

Pushkar Rajasthan

Pushkar Lake

Pushkar is a town bordering the Thar Desert, in the northeastern Indian state of Rajasthan. Around 200,000 global travelers visit Pushkar every year.

Pushkar is also known as the “The Lotus flower” and is one of the oldest cities in India.  It’s set on Pushkar Lake, a sacred Hindu site with 52 ghats (stone staircases) where pilgrims bathe. Pushkar is one of the five sacred pilgrimage sites of Hindu devotees.

Pushkar Ghat

Pushkar Lake is a sacred lake of the Hindus. The Hindu scriptures describe it as “Tirtha-Raj” – the king of pilgrimage sites related to a water-body and relate it to the mythology of the creator-god Brahma, whose most prominent temple stands in Pushkar.

Pushkar Lake Video

By all accounts Pushkar is small. Besides the lake and the market around it, it is but a rural settlement. Tourism is the bread and butter for people living here. There are guest houses, hotels and resorts around the lake and in the nearby villages to cater to tourist needs.

Pushkar Market Video

Pushkar is surrounded on three sides by hills. One of the hill is known as Ratnagiri, the highest on the southwest which houses the Goddess Savitri, Wife Of Brahma.

Savitri Mata Temple Pushkar

The town has hundreds of temples, including 14th-century Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, dedicated to the god of creation, which has a distinctive red spire and walls inlaid with pilgrims’ silver coins.

Getting there: The nearest airport to Pushkar is in Jaipur, which is 140 kilometres away.The nearest Railway station is about 15 Kms away at Ajmer. Pushkar is well connected by roads, so travel is not a hassle.

 pushkar fair

Pushkar Cattle Fair: The Pushkar Mela also known as the Pushkar Camel Fair is a unique celebration of the beauty of their coveted “ship of the desert” – the camel. Held each November at the time of the Kartik Purnima full moon, Pushkar Camel Fair is one of India’s most highly-rated travel experiences.

pushkar fair

Most of the activities take place at the fairgrounds, located to the west of town near the intersection of Brahma Temple Road and National Highway 89. This Camel Fair attracts more than 350K visitors. Anyway, this fair is distinguished to be among the planet’s biggest cattle fairs where Men trade their livestock, which includes camels, horses, cows, sheep and goats.

pushkar fair Pushkar-Camel-Festival

Note – Beware of touts in the vicinity of Pushkar Lake. They target tourists with all sorts of rituals, flowers, aarti, etc, only to force donations from them. They often hurl abuses or even turn violent if refused. This is most frequent around ghats and around the sunset point.  If you come across such people, just say NO and keep your peace. Tourist reviews for Sunset Point Pushkar Lake on Google Maps.. https://goo.gl/maps/brFcrNq2tSMzhk9F7

Would you like a Private Tour of Pushkar Rajasthan?

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form

Udaipur

Udaipur

Udaipur is located in the southern region of Rajasthan, near the Gujarat border. The city lies 403 km (250 mi) southwest of the state capital, Jaipur and 250 km (155 mi) northeast from Ahmedabad. Udaipur with its lakes lies on the south slope of the Aravalli Range in Rajasthan.

According to legends, Maharana Udai Singh II of Mewar dynasty was on his way to hunt when he met a sage who advised him to build his city on this site and blessed him that it would be a safe place for him and his people. That’s how the city of Udaipur, which lies on the slopes of Aravalli Hills, came into being.

Udaipur

Udaipur was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559. Famous world over as the “Venice of the East” and “City of Lakes”,  Udaipur is is untouched by time and the outside world. No matter where you go, you will find structures from the past that still hold onto their roots.

Places to visit in Udaipur

Lake Pichola, situated in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is an artificial fresh water lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. It is one of the several contiguous lakes, and developed over the last few centuries in and around the famous Udaipur city.

Lake Pichola Udaipur

Lake Palace – Set in an 18th-century marble palace encompassing an island on Lake Pichola, this luxury hotel, which once featured in a James Bond movie, is less than 1 km by boat from the City Palace in Udaipur.

Taj-Palace-Hotel-Udaipur

The City Palace, overlooking Lake Pichola, is a monumental complex of 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens, famed for its intricate peacock mosaics.

City Palace udaipurcity palace udaipurcity palace udaipurcity palace udaipurcity palace udaipur

Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. It is also called the “Lake Garden Palace”. The palace is located in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Its construction is credited to three Maharanas of the Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar kingdom.

Jag Mandir

Bagore-ki-Haveli is a haveli in Udaipur in Rajasthan state in India. It is right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amar Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, built it in the eighteenth century. Bagore-ki-Haveli is famous for evening cultural performances and is a must visit while you are in Udaipur.

Bagore-ki-Haveli Bagore-ki-Haveli

Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur in Rajasthan, just outside the royal palace. It has been in continuous worship since 1651. A big tourist attraction, the temple was originally called the temple of Jagannath Rai but is now called Jagdish-ji. It is a major monument in Udaipur.

jagdish temple udaipur Jagdish Chowk Udaipur

Saheliyon-ki-Bari is a major garden and a popular tourist space in Udaipur in Indian state of Rajasthan. It lies in northern part of the city and has fountains and kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants. It was built by Rana Sangram Singh. There is also a small museum here.

Saheliyon-ki-Bari

Vintage and Classic Car Museum is a car museum in Udaipur in Rajasthan state in India, having some of the rarest classic and vintage car collection. This museum is owned by Arvind Singh Mewar.

Vintage Car Museum Udaipur Vintage Car Museum Udaipur Vintage Car Museum Udaipur

Other places of interest are:

 

  • Bapu BazarIt is also popular for its street food. Famous for: Bapu Bazar Udaipur is known for authentic handicrafts and Rajasthani souvenirs. The market is also famous for its variety of street food specialties, especially the mouthwatering gol gappas.
  • Bada BazarBada bazar is one area in Udaipur which is noted for its both big branded showrooms to the small shops. There is also a number of exhibitions which keep happening at Bada bazaar. The huge showrooms at Bada bazar deal with all the latest leading brands of the country.
  • Hathipole Hathipole stands among the most popular markets in the city for locals as well as tourists. Craft works, traditional clothing and designer footwear famously known as Mojadis or juttis are the soul of this market. You can also buy beautiful fabrics of Bandhej and Leheriya at reasonable prices here.
  • Chetak CircleChetak Circle is another important place in the city for shopping, particularly for authentic Rajasthani merchandise. It is home to Rajasthali, an emporium selling authentic local craft works.
  • Maldas StreetMaldas Street contains the best clothing stores in Udaipur. You can purchase all kinds of clothes from typical Rajasthani to traditional Indian clothes at an affordable price.
  • Shilpgram – Shilpgram is a rural arts and crafts complex, situated 3 km west of the city of Udaipur, India. The center is spread over an undulating terrain of about 70 acres of land, surrounded by the Aravali mountains. Shilpgram is an ethnographic museum that depicts the lifestyles of the folk and tribal people of the region.

 

Udaipur Picture Gallery

Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur Udaipur

Would you like to book a Private Tour of Udaipur City?

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form

Taj Mahal

taj mahal

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra.

Taj Mahal Map

It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died from postpartum hemorrhage in Burhanpur on 17 June 1631 while giving birth to her fourteenth child, after a prolonged labor of approximately 30 hours. She had been accompanying her husband while he was fighting a campaign in the Deccan Plateau.

Shah Jahan and Mumtaj Mahal
Shah Jahan and Mumtaj Mahal

The 17th century French doctor cum traveler, Francois Bernier, wrote that the Pyramids in Egypt are nothing but mountains of piled up stones, compared with the artistic eminence of the Taj Mahal.

It took more than 20,000 workers  and twenty two years to complete the construction of this monument. The architecture of the Taj Mahal is a combination of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles of architecture.

Taj Mahal Agra

Shah Jahan is said to have had his eyes put out on the Taj’s completion so nothing could ever be built to rival it. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would be approximately 52.8 billion rupees (U.S. $827 million).

Taj Mahal Agra

The French traveler, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, wrote that Emperor Shah Jahan looked upon his vassals with father-like eyes and was more generous than any other sovereigns, he was forsaken by even his most loyal followers late in his life. He was confined by his successor Aurangzeb (r. 1658-1707) in the Mussamman Burj (Jasmine tower) in the Agra Fort and spent the last period of his life regarding Mumtaz’s mausoleum in the distance that was still under construction.

taj mahal

It has been said that he was planning to erect his own mausoleum identical to his wife’s on the opposite side of the Yamuna River, but of black marble instead of white. However, by then the national treasure had almost run out, and so Emperor Aurangzeb only set his father’s coffin by the side of the queen’s in the underground tomb chamber of the Taj Mahal.

Some pics by our clients

Taj Mahal AgraTaj Mahal Agra Taj Mahal Agra Taj Mahal Agra

Looking for a Private Guided tour of Taj Mahal?

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur literally means the victorious land (Fateh means victory in Urdu). Myriad historical tales and legends are attached with Fatehpur Sikri.

The royal city at Fatehpur Sikri, situated 26 miles west of Agra, Uttar Pradesh was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire. The city that took 15 years to build was inhabited for just 14 years and abandoned due to scarcity of water.

fatehpur sikri

The Mughal Emperor Akbar built his palace-city complex at Fatehpur Sikri on the site of Shaikh Salim’s residence in honor of the saint’s prediction of the birth of Akbar’s heir, Prince Salim, who later became the emperor Jahangir.

Fatehpur Sikri is surrounded by wall on three sides and a lake on the fourth side. The architecture of the buildings was based on Mughal and Indian architecture.

The Tomb of Salim Chishti is famed as one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India. Emperor Akbar built the tomb of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti in 1580-81, after the saint died in 1572. The saint Salim Chisti was a successor of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer, and lived in a cavern on the ridge at Sikri.

The Buland Darwaza was built in honor of his successful campaign in Gujarat, when the city came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri – “The City of Victory”. It was named after the Sikri village which had existed on the spot before.

Best time to visit Fatehpur Sikri: October to March

fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri fatehpur sikri

If you are looking for a Private Tour of Fatehpur Sikri then contact us.

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form

Maral Village Rishikesh Uttarakhand

Maral Village Rishikesh Uttrakhand 2

The break neck speed of fast city life, pollution, stress are the biggest reasons in the favor of a peaceful and rejuvenating break in the abundance of nature. There is no better place than the Himalayas to experience serenity and tranquility.

Maral Village Rishikesh Uttrakhand 1

On my recent vacation, i found myself at Village Maral, which is located just about 7 Kms before Neelkanth Mahadev Temple on Neelkanth Road, Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, India.

This is a quiet hidden Himalayan village which is every photographers delight. I spent 2 days at this village and did this short recording on my mobile.

If you are looking for a weekend destination for nature photography, birding or just to experience the relaxed village life then head over to Maral Village in Uttrakhand.

Maral Village Rishikesh Uttrakhand 1

The locals are friendly hardworking and simple minded people who always greet strangers with a smile. Next time you are around rishikesh and want some rich experiences then visit Maral Village You won’t be disappointed.

Given below are some pics i took there.

Maral VillageVillage Maral Temple View Maral Village Rishikesh Uttrakhand 2

The place has a good variety of birds, insects, butterflies, spiders and it was a great time clicking these shot.

Flower spider web Grasshopper Flower Dragon Fly Dragon Fly Butterfly Butterfly Butterfly Dragon Fly Dragon Fly Dragon Fly Dragon Fly

Best Time to visit Maral Village: October till March ( Winter season)

How to reach Maral Village?

Village Maral is on Neelkanth Road some 20 Kms ahead of Rishikesh.

Till Haridwar you can come by train as it is most convenient. From there, take an auto or bus to Rishikesh. Take a one way shared cab from Neelkanth Taxi Stand behind Ram Jhula, Rishikesh. They charge Rs.100/- per person for one way. You can tell the driver and get off en route. While coming back from Maral, wait by the road side and you will get a shared cab on its way back to Rishikesh.

The best way is to arrive by own vehicle or cab. Park it by road side, explore the village, spend some time and go back to Rishikesh or Haridwar for stay.

Want to plan a tour of Rishikesh and Maral?

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form

Pragpur Heritage Village Himachal Pradesh

Pragpur Heritage Village Himachal Pradesh

History – The area of Garli – Pragpur came within the Jaswan kingdom whose rulers were the cadets of Katoch of the Kangra lineage. Around the 16th” –17th century, bands of marauders started laying waste the pretty and peaceful foothills of the Kangra Valley. Prag Dei, a princess of the royal house of Jaswan, successfully  organized resistance to these marauding bands. To commemorate this princess, an area was selected using ancient Indian shastras (texts) which, it was believed, received the good astral influences of prayers said for thousands of years at nearby shakti (primordial energy) temples of which three” Brajeshwari (Kangra), Chintpurni and Jwalamukhi are famous.

jwalamukhi temple kangra
jwalamukhi temple kangra

Here, Pragpur was founded and its lay- out carefully planned. Various clans and communities were allotted distinctive living spaces and by and large this continue to date.

Pragpur Map Himachal Pradesh

One of the important communities that settled at Garli-Pragpur and nearby hamlets such as Rakkar, Pir Salui etc. were some of the 52 clans of the hill Soods. Being enterprising, many made their  fortunes at other destinations, especially Shimla.  They, however, did not forget their root. At Pragpur and Garli, they built elegant havelis, mansions and Italianate buildings that are interspersed amongst lovely mud-plastered and slate-roofed houses which lie alongside streets paved with dressed cobbled stone. They also invested in schools, dharamshalas and water systems. In course of time, they settled where their economic interests lay.

Pragpur Haveli
Pragpur Haveli

Their magnificent buildings – some decaying and crumbling -have largely remained unspoiled, giving Garli-Pragpur a medieval ambience. Recognizing that this unspoiled traditional area could contribute to rural heritage tourism, in December 1997 the Government of Himachal Pradesh notified Pragpur as a Heritage Village and followed this up by making Garli – Pragpur Heritage Zone in 2002. This Heritage Zone has now been  brought under a Special Area Development Authority (SADA) and is integrated with the national wetland – Maharana Pratap Sagar (PongDam)Tourism Development Project.  Located at an elevation of 2000 feet above sea level, Heritage Village Pragpur is ideally suited to explore the Kangra Valley.

Pragpur Heritage Zone
Pragpur Heritage Zone

The area has several streams that drain into the river Beas -the mythological river Vipasa meaning release from bondage. Many places of historic, religious and cultural importance are within easy reach. In the distance, the Dhauladhar mountains make a stunning backdrop. With its equitable climate, easy access, safe passage and a rich flora and fauna, Pragpur and its surroundings offer an ideal location for Village Tourism.

Dhauladhar mountains
Dhauladhar mountains

Heritage Zone – The ambience of the Heritage Zone of Garli -Pragpur is zealously protected by the local residents. In their endeavor that Garli – Pragpur retains its unique character, panchayats preserve their heritage buildings and advise on new construction. Several heritage structures are now being restored using original techniques but with modern facilities to facilitate tourism.

Places of Interest in Pragpur village

Pragpur village Taal
Pragpur village Taal

The Taal – Dating before 1868, the Taal or pond forms the core of Pragpur village and serves as a recreational space for young and aged alike. It was constructed by the village brotherhood known as the Nehar Committee, which has records of its meetings since 1864. This body continues to be responsible for the maintenance of this ancient water system.  The Taal is surrounded by many heritage structures -the NEHAR BHAWAN (nearly 250 years old); NAUN (dated around 1864), a drinking water facility by the Nehar Committee; DHUNICHAND BHARDIAL SERAI (village inn) and RADHA KRISHNA MANDIR.

Pragpur Village Himachal Pradesh
Pragpur Village Himachal Pradesh

Butail Niwas – This is a unique building. Over a hundred years old, it was built by Lala Buta Mal, a scion of the Chaujjar Sood clan. It includes six identical apartments built for his six sons. These lie around a sunken courtyard. In warmer weather, this courtyard is flooded with water to provide cooling. The water for this has been brought by the Butails from the nearby Nalsuyah Khad and provides drinking water to several villages along the way.

pragpur village Himachal

Nakki – This is the one of the entrances to Heritage Village Pragpur. Since ancient times, the Rerumal family provided a water point for common use, the overflow of which falls into small tanks where the village people bathed and washed.

the judge's court pragpur
the judge’s court pragpur

The Judge’s Court – Completed in 1918, this is a splendid country manor designed in Indo- European tradition. The visionary behind this bold structure was Justice Sir Jai Lal. It stands in 12 acres of greens, and is just a short walk from the village core and the Taal. It is now run by the owning family as a heritage hotel.  Other places of interest within Heritage Village Pragpur are LALA RERUMAL HAVELI built in 1931 by a Rais of Pragpur which has a Mughal style garden, pleasure terrace and a large water reservoir; BUTAIL MANDIR; CHAUJJAR MANSION; COURTYARDS of the Sood Clans, an ancient SHAKTi MANDIR bearing inscriptions in the largely obsolete Tankry script; and ATIYALAS or public platforms. The area is inhabited by many crafts people -weavers, basket makers, silversmiths, painters, musicians and tailors etc. The residents of Garli -Pragpur are hospitable. There is always a warm welcome for tourists and the area provides a safe passage.

pragpur market

Around Pragpur, River Beas with its unspoiled beaches (6 kms). offers a possibility of boating, swimming and angling during season. SERI and Naleti (4 kms) are epitome of pastoral tranquillity. Natural underground seepage feeds both Garli and Pragpur.

pragpur nature walk
pragpur nature walk

Lovely country walks radiate from Garli and Pragpur. These include meandering country paths through rolling hills and valleys with gurgling brooks  and a meadow where mint grows wild. Rakkar (6 kms) and Pir , Salui (20 kms) are both old Sood settlements. Other places worth visiting are Kalesar ( 16 kms by road / 6 kms by walk) on the banks of river Beas. It is famous for its panchtirthi waters and parasmani (touchstone).

dada siba temple himachal pradesh
dada siba temple himachal pradesh

Dada Siba Temple – (22 kms) has beautiful wall paintings and is reached via CHINOR ( 17 kms) that has a temple and water mills. Dangra (2 kms) has an old temple.

Masroor himachal pradesh
Masroor himachal pradesh

Masroor – (57 kms) is known for its Ellora styled rock-cut temples. PONG DAM (8 kms) is a national wetland and is renowned for its bird life. More than 240 varieties have been identified.

McLeodgunj

Comfortable day excursions are possible to DHARAMSHALA (60 kms), McLEODGAN) (68 kms) – residence of his Holiness Dalai Lama and PALAMPUR (95 kms) with a vista of green tea estates and the artists’ complex of Andretta. HARIPUR GULER (27 kms), the cradle of Kangra school of paintings, is nearby.

kangra fort himachal pradesh
kangra fort himachal pradesh

The indomitable KANGRA FORT is easily achievable. For the spiritually inclined, Pragpur offers the ancient altars of worship of BRIJESHWARI (40kms), JWALAMUKHI (25 kms), CHINTPURNI (25 kms) and BAGULAMUKHI (35 kms).

baijnath temple himachal pradesh
baijnath temple himachal pradesh

The BAIJNATH TEMPLE beyond Palampur is amongst the oldest Shiva shrines. Kangra Valley is served by the beautiful narrow gauge train system that runs from Pathankot to Jogindernagar. GULER and RANITAL stations are nearest to Garli-Pragpur (30 kms).

Activities in Pragpur Village

Birding in Pragpur
Birding in Pragpur

The beautiful landscape of Pragpur region offers ample opportunities for cycling, trekking, nature walks, bird watching, fishing or simple relaxation.

Interested in visiting Pragpur Heritage Village in Himachal Pradesh?

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form

Rishikesh

Rishikesh Uttrakhand India (1)

Rishikesh Uttrakhand IndiaRishikesh is located at a comfortable travel distance of 258 km from Delhi. With a recent addition of a new bypass, travel by road has become that much easier. You can either hire a car, or take the morning Shatabdi Express train to Haridwar. From there Rishikesh is just 20 kms, and plenty of local cars and jeeps are available to ferry tourists and pilgrims between the two holy places.

Rishikesh Uttrakhand India

Of Vishnu’s 1008 names, one of the most interesting ones is the one that means ‘Lord of the Senses’ – Rishikesh. So if you are looking to rejuvenate your soul and senses, this pretty town in the Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand is your perfect destination.

Rishikesh Uttrakhand India

Rishikesh and Hardwar (an hour away) are home to a large number of sprawling Ashrams located besides the Ganges. For many decades now, these have been the go-to places for those seeking salvation from the crimes that modern men and women commit on their senses with over-indulgence of all kinds.

Rishikesh Uttrakhand India

If you are looking for a spot to revitalize your mind, body and soul, there are many Yoga and Ayurveda packages available here. We offer Yoga and Meditation Tour which might interest you. Depending on your schedule, you can spend from anywhere from as little as three days to months as you let the wisdom of ancient India work its magic on your senses and soul.

Rishikesh Uttrakhand India Rishikesh Uttrakhand India (1) Rishikesh Uttrakhand India (1) Rishikesh Uttrakhand India Rishikesh Uttrakhand India (1) Rishikesh Uttrakhand India Rishikesh Uttrakhand India

Call Now!