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So, the #60DaysOfSummer in Himachal are technically over. I did it slowly, taking ample breaks in between more intense activities and staying for several days at different places. I stayed at budget hotels (INR 300-600), and on a couple of occasions at INR 100 dromitories.
I have yet to complete all the travelogues and it will take some time. Nevertheless, here is a quick roundup through 10 observations.
1. While spring is the season of rhododendrons and apricot blossoms, summers are not a bad time for spotting wildflowers either, nor are the monsoons.
Bed of summer blossoms on the banks if river Uhl #Barot #instatravel #instatrekking #flowerporn @instahimachal #traveldiaries #travelogy #himachalpradesh #bns_nature #_soi #indiaclicks #theindianroute #traveltodaytv #lonelyplanetindia #pastoral http://travellingslacker.com/2016/05/barot-simple-joys/
2. Avoid the Kullu-Manali region, and even Parvati Valley like plague during the summer vacation season.
3. The Jalori Pass area remains a great delight but the road is being turned into a highway. So, in the near future, it will lose most of its charm. Visit it before it happens.
4. Everybody is familiar with Spiti already, but it never ceases to amaze. The combination of arid, high altitude landscapes, and the whole play of lights and shadows never disappoint.
5. Small places like Udaipur, and even Killer have decent bus stands. The worst HRTC bus stand was in Kaza. It does not even have a time table. It is highly surprising because it is probably visited by most number of people. Nevertheless, I can’t thank HRTC enough for having the bus services on some of the most dangerous roads in the world.
6. Wildflowers do have their appeal but a well-maintained agricultural plot on a fecund land is no less appealing.
7. Spiti has a lot of places that promise to provide Wi-Fi. But due to the sheer location, the networks hardly work. On the other hand in Keylong I found good budget hotels with functioning Wi-Fi.
8. People going to Ladakh through the Manali route spend a night at Keylong but never really explore the region. Lahaul looks exquisite, especially in this season. Also, there are half a dozen historic monasteries around the town. I barely managed to see a couple of them. Should have allotted more time.
9. Sooner or later, a tunnel through Rohtang is being to be completed. I hear of another one connecting Pangi with Chamba. I guess, these places will not remain as peaceful as they are now. Some more visits will have to be done before that happens
10. So, based on last two month’s visits, here is my impulsive personal rating in terms of sheer natural splendor.
1. Miyar Valley
2. Pangi Valley
4. Rest of Lahaul
6. Jibhi-Shoja-Jalori Pass
Unfortunately I spent the least amount of time in Miyar due to wrong planning and logistical issues. It remains an unfulfilled dream but I’ll return there soon. Till then, I leave you with the image of this goat, for no particular reason.