East Himalayan ‘Dream’ trip
One of my dreams is to travel all the beautiful places in Himalayas. I got the pleasure to visit Shimla, Kullu & Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh. All of these completely beautiful. With Himalayas stretching over as many as five countries, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Pakistan, I wonder will that take a lifetime?
I love the mountains, specially The Himalayas, however contrary it may sound, but I love to plan the itinerary. So when Skyscanner in collaboration with Blogadda came up with this amusing contest of planning a trip with a kitty of Rs. 1 lakh, I jumped at the prospect. Even though it would be just an itinerary with an imaginary trip, it sounded so tempting.
If I have this credit of Rs. 1 lakh, I would take a step towards my Travel Himalaya dream. My plan would be to travel part of Eastern Himalaya. That is travelling to Nepal & Sikkim starting from Sikkim.
The itinerary will look like following -
|1||04-11-2015||Rs. 3,043||Mumbai to Bagdogra Flight|
|2||04-11-2015||Rs. 3,000||Bagdogra to Gangtok Helicopter|
|3||04-11-2015||Rs. 3,000||Travel Gangtok to Singhik||Rs. 2,000||Singhik Tourist Lodge|
|4||04-12-2015||Rs. 3,000||Visit Gurudongmar lake & return to Singhik||Rs. 2,000||Singhik Tourist Lodge|
|5||04-13-2015||Rs. 3,000||Return to Gangtok||Rs. 3,600||Netuk House Gangtok|
|6||04-14-2015||Rs. 3,000||Gangtok to Ravangla||Rs. 1,800||Queens Regency|
|7||04-15-2015||Rs. 3,000||Ravangla to Pelling / Yuksom / Uttarey||Rs. 1,000||hotel garuda|
|8||04-16-2015||Rs. 3,000||Uttarey to Gangtok||Rs. 3,600||Netuk House Gangtok|
|9||04-17-2015||Rs. 3,000||Gangtok to Bagdogra by Helicopter|
|10||04-17-2015||Rs. 3,905||Fly to Katmandu. Visit Patan||Rs. 2,900||Marcopolo|
|11||04-18-2015||Rs. 7,200||Fly to Pokhara by Buddha Air||Rs. 800||Hotel Diplomat|
|12||04-19-2015||Rs. 5,088||Fly to Pomsom to Muktinath||Rs. 1,000|
|13||04-19-2015||Rs. 5,088||Muktinath to Pokhara||Rs. 800||Hotel Diplomat|
|15||04-20-2015||Rs. 7,200||Pokhara to Katmandu||Rs. 2,900||Marcopolo|
|16||04-21-2015||Rs. 7,380||Katmandu. Enjoy Mountain flight||Rs. 2,900||Marcopolo|
|17||04-23-2015||Rs. 10,257||Return to Mumbai|
|Rs. 73,161||Rs. 25,300||Total: Rs. 98, 461.|
The deal was to plan for trip of Rs 1 lakh. I have it in Rs.98,461. A little change in the pocket wouldn’t sounds bad.
Now the above itinerary may look simple and plain, let me assure you that it took days and lots and lots of effort. Visiting forums, wikitravel, took lot of my mind peace. In the chaos, simplest was to plan the transport and hotel bookings which took 10% of the entire effort. Thanks to Skyscanner. The Itinerary now completed, I am happy with outcome. I hope it would turn to a real trip some day.
I am tempted to give some of the highlights of the trip :-
Bagdogra to Gangtok helicopter service: Fly from Bagdogra, West Bengal to Gangtok in just 30 minutes and guess what, fly in helicopter. Now I have never been into a helicopter (I bet most of us haven't) and with such a terrific start, the trip cannot be better.
Catch beautiful view of ever beautiful Kanchenjunga mountain range. A small and picturesque hamlet, Singhik is located around four kms away from Mangan. The popular Singhik View Point offers the most magnificent view of Mt. Khangchenjunga & Mt. Siniolchu . Surrounded by lush green hills, with the Teesta River flowing below it. With the surrounding pitchursque mountain ranges, I bet the sunrise and sunset will be a lifetime experience.
Situated at a height of 17,800 feet, it is a fresh-water lake is located northeast of the Kangchenjunga range in a high plateau area connected with the Tibetan Plateau.
It is considered one the most sacred lakes by the Buddhists and Hindus alike.
The beautiful and awe inspiring lake (190 kms from Gangtok) remains milky in colour throughout the year.
Ravngla is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Sikkim. At an altitude of 7000 ft, located on a ridge between Maenam and Tendong Hill, Ravangla offers unmatched views of the Greater Himalayas.
Ralang Monastery, a Buddhist monastery of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism is located six kilometres from Ravangla. Ravangla attracts a lot of Himlayan birds and is a bird watcher's paradise.
Pokhara is the starting point for most of the treks in the Annapurna area.
One of Nepal's most beautiful spots, Phewa Tal is surrounded by a combination of monkey-filled forests and the high white peaks. The reflections in the mirror-like water in the early mornings are something you must see at least once before you die. Hire a boat and row yourself across the lake (or hire a local to do it for you - there are some fine times to be had on this lake, even in the middle of the night!)
Patan is also known as Manigal. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue.
The city was initially designed in the shape of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness). The four thurs or mounds on the perimeter of Patan are ascribed around, one at each corner of its cardinal points, which are popularly known as Asoka Stupas.
Katmandu Mountain flight:
And the most amazing experience would be the Mountain flight. The captain will fly you at eye level for the perfect viewing experience. Everyone gets their very own window seat.
The plane visits all the nine major peaks that every Himalayan trekker better be able to pronounce, within the span of a Nepali hour.
Well, above were just few of the gems of the trip. As I waded through the photos and forums, sometimes mesmerising and sometimes overwhelming, planning an itinerary was getting tougher. More than deciding the destinations, the selection of Hotels and travel routes & flights can be very consuming. But a perfect companion to me in helping in this bigger task was Skyscanner.
Also one major plus with this site is that there are no multiple popups or screens opening on your laptop when you enter your search which is so very irritating.
The user interface is very easy and helped me in planning the flights and hotels very conveniently!
There are other options like car hire & buses on the site which I bet would also be very helpful and handy for travel.A hands-on on the site and you will find much of your interest and help.
This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com