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Old 8th December 2010, 15:05   #1
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Default 8 days in hand, where in HP?

I'm planning a vacation from 25 Dec'10 to 1 Jan'11. I had it all planned for Rajasthan, well by plan I meant visiting Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and may be one more place, that's all I could come up with. I've already been to Udaipur and Jaipur and after reading about some horror stories of Pushkar I couldn't really come up with anything else. The only reason Rajasthan was on the radar was because winters would be the best time to visit it.

However, I now thought that HP would also be a good place to spend these 8 days. I haven't been anywhere except Mcleodganj and Shimla in HP. I was in Shimla for 4 years but that was when I was only 6 months old to 4.5 years .

Other points to consider when suggesting:
1. I'd be travelling in my car (Swift Diesel - 12k on the odo) with my wife but just me being the driver throughout.
2. Can only afford budget hotels. (loved Mcleodganj for that) Staying anywhere is not an issue till the time its safe and an attached bathroom is offered.
3. Tour should be a relaxed one, not the typical touch-and-go kind of tour. I can stick with visiting just a few places provided they make this vacation a memorable one.
4. The tour is in new year's time so would want to avoid places where things go crazy during this period.
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Old 8th December 2010, 15:24   #2
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

Hi
I really dont know anything about RJ. I've just been to Jaipur when i was small.

I suggest you try out HP, go to shimla, kufri couple of nice places to stay there, you could may be try Dehradun, Rishikesh etc, pack a lot of woollens!

A small relaxing loop with a couple of stops should be good, long drive is not advisable especially in this weather.
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Old 8th December 2010, 15:33   #3
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

Why don't you visit Kinnaur Valley - will be very cold but places like Chitkul and Kalpa are charming nonetheless.
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Old 8th December 2010, 15:58   #4
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

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Originally Posted by unoczar View Post
I suggest you try out HP, go to shimla, kufri couple of nice places to stay there, you could may be try Dehradun, Rishikesh etc, pack a lot of woollens!
Shimla, Kufri, Dehradun aren't that appealing anymore. As for Rishikesh we've been there too and my wife wouldn't want to go there again.

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Why don't you visit Kinnaur Valley - will be very cold but places like Chitkul and Kalpa are charming nonetheless.
Would the roads leading to these places be open at that time? Also, can a car like Swift manage to get there in the same condition as I'd start from Delhi?
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Old 8th December 2010, 16:13   #5
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

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Would the roads leading to these places be open at that time? Also, can a car like Swift manage to get there in the same condition as I'd start from Delhi?
Both Chitkul and Kalpa are open during winter. However, if it snows heavily expect the Shimla-Kufri-Narkhanda and Sangla-Chitkul roads to face temporary disruptions. Please check out in advance the availability of hotel rooms since some hotels may be closed down. In Kalpa, HPTDC remains open throughout the year, but am not sure about Chitkul.

Yes, the Swift can do it without any trouble, roads are good most of the way (except some sections after Rampur, and maybe the Sangla-Chitkul road).
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Old 8th December 2010, 16:40   #6
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

HP will be very cold and HVK rightly said, there will be disruptions as well. Rajsathan is a better bet as this is the right season to visit. But the trouble is high hotel rates during christmas holidays. Why don't you look at Kumaon - i am assuming that you haven't been. It will be as cold as Delhi and there are nice places to see. It will be a good road trip. Other good option is Gwalior - Orcha - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh.
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Old 8th December 2010, 16:46   #7
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

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Other good option is Gwalior - Orcha - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh.
That is a great idea! Except for some minor prickles in Dhaolpur town and bad sections between Gwalior and Khansi, roads are great. Beware of heavy fog though and make your hotel bookings in places like Orcha and Bandhavgarh in advanace (Khajuraho has several hotels unlike the other two). Problem could be the influx of foreign tourists and the need to wrangle your way into the Gypsies inside Bandhavgarh (limited seats available).
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Old 8th December 2010, 17:30   #8
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

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HP will be very cold and HVK rightly said, there will be disruptions as well. Rajsathan is a better bet as this is the right season to visit. But the trouble is high hotel rates during christmas holidays. Why don't you look at Kumaon - i am assuming that you haven't been. It will be as cold as Delhi and there are nice places to see. It will be a good road trip. Other good option is Gwalior - Orcha - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh.
Very cold isn't a problem actually. I went to Mcleodganj last year during christmas time only and it one of the best vacations we had. As for disruptions, yes I wouldn't want any, specially with just two of us travelling but may be I could not go all the way up and settle for places (no clue though) where such disruptions aren't as likely. Weather permitting we can then decide to move up may be.
Rajasthan, as you said, would definitely have higher rates this time of season and specially the desert safaris can turn out to be way expensive than they usually are.

My wife really wanted to spend the 31st night as part of a safari under sky full of stars, even I wanted to but don't know how much it'd cost.

Kumaon, you are right, never been there. Checked out a few websites but not sure which places are worth visiting.

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That is a great idea! Except for some minor prickles in Dhaolpur town and bad sections between Gwalior and Khansi, roads are great. Beware of heavy fog though and make your hotel bookings in places like Orcha and Bandhavgarh in advanace (Khajuraho has several hotels unlike the other two). Problem could be the influx of foreign tourists and the need to wrangle your way into the Gypsies inside Bandhavgarh (limited seats available).
For people who've been to these places it might be a good idea based on what all these places offer but don't know why it doesn't excite me that much, sorry, may be because MP is doable in other seasons also. With so many travelogues full of Lahual/Spiti kind of places I was thinking its either got to be someplace like that or may be barren deserts. (both are scary to me to be honest ).

The confusion was that Rajasthan (specially western Rajasthan) is doable for me only in winters but extreme cold also isn't a problem (is rather enjoyable and very romantic, wiping off each other's running nose, yikes! I know, sorry) and that's how HP came in picture. Also because I feel comfortable travelling in Rajasthan (I've done maximum long road trips here and the roads are also great) and HP because I've read about how people aren't cunning and not looking to rip-off every other tourist.

So deep down its either great roads to drive upon, desert safaris in Rajasthan or chilling weather, beautiful landscape in HP. Hope I'm able to convey what I want, or not, its pretty confusing.

EDIT: Just read 3 small paragraphs about Kalpa and fell for it instantly. http://www.oktatabyebye.com/destinat...l-pradesh.html

Last edited by fine69 : 8th December 2010 at 17:33. Reason: more info added
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Old 8th December 2010, 18:39   #9
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

>>>
fine69,

The choice of holiday will be determined by your objective : that is, what do you want to do?

1. Rajasthan during the monsoons is also a good prospect - lesser number of tourists, possibility of discounted packages

2. The weathermen are predicting severe cold this winter and we have 'General Fog' in north India to contend with too; so if you drive northward ( Himachal, Uttarakhand) please prepare carefully in the matter of clothes, start and stop times and so on

3. Re. Kumaon, you can try Ranikhet, Chaukori, Kausani, Binsar, Mukteshwar and a lot of other places. I will be in Ranikhet from 26th evening till 28th morning; I have done Ranikhet many times and my visit to Ranikhet is not strictly sightseeing. Kumaon is relatively better developed as compared to Garhwal and Ranikhet is a quiet, neat and clean hill station with verdant greenery in the Cantonment and the Mall. You may also like to check out Naukuchiatal/Bhimtal/Ramgarh in Kumaon

4. MP will also be a good idea - either the Khajuraho circuit or the Mandu/Pachchmarhi circuit, or even the Sanchi/Vidisha/Bhimbhetka circuit

The only dampener is the rush of tourists everywhere as this is the holiday season!

If you require any assistance for accommodation in Ranikhet, do let me know.

Regards, drive safe
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Old 8th December 2010, 22:29   #10
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

8 Days, peak winter, forget HP and UK. Rajasthan it should be. Dont even consider anything else.
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Old 9th December 2010, 11:10   #11
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

@fine69: Rajasthan would be lovely during this time. Jaipur/Udaipur & Jodhpur are normal circuits and would have lot of tourist influx.

I would suggest Bikaner, Phalodi, Pokharan, Jaisamler. Pristine desert, dunes, amazing sunsets, clear starry nights & silence. You and your betrothed will enjoy immensely.

Alternatively, drive straight to Binsar above Almora. Stay near the Binsar Mahadev - http://www.bharatonline.com/uttarakh...r-mahadev.html. The view of the Himalayas, the chirping of brids, that fresh piney smell in the air would enhance & rejuvenate the romance...

Visit the Binsar Sanctuary - http://www.vacationsindia.com/uttara...sanctuary.html

This is a place that is less frequented. You will enjoy....
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Old 9th December 2010, 13:15   #12
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
The choice of holiday will be determined by your objective : that is, what do you want to do?
Nothing specifically. Just want to wander off somewhere.

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8 Days, peak winter, forget HP and UK. Rajasthan it should be. Dont even consider anything else.
I think you are right. HP & UK or even MP are doable any other time but for Rajasthan I think peak winters would be the time to go.

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@fine69: Rajasthan would be lovely during this time. Jaipur/Udaipur & Jodhpur are normal circuits and would have lot of tourist influx.

I would suggest Bikaner, Phalodi, Pokharan, Jaisamler. Pristine desert, dunes, amazing sunsets, clear starry nights & silence. You and your betrothed will enjoy immensely.
Ok so Rajasthan it is. Now need help in planning the route & places please.
I plan to spend the 31st night in Jaisalmer, rest everything is flexible.
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Old 9th December 2010, 13:24   #13
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

Suggest read this thread - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...r-gurgaon.html (Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon)

Check this out - http://maps.mapmyindia.com/?t=2&from=Delhi&to=bikaner

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I would suggest Bikaner, Phalodi, Pokharan, Jaisamler. Pristine desert, dunes, amazing sunsets, clear starry nights & silence. You and your betrothed will enjoy immensely.
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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Ok so Rajasthan it is. Now need help in planning the route & places please.
I plan to spend the 31st night in Jaisalmer, rest everything is flexible.

Last edited by gd1418 : 9th December 2010 at 13:26.
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Old 9th December 2010, 14:23   #14
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

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8 Days, peak winter, forget HP and UK.
Hey mate, can you please elaborate on the above statement. Other than the awesome cold, what other deterrents could be there? During peak winters I've experienced dense fog, during early mornings, in RJ too. Planning a 4-5 days trip either to HP (Kharapathar, Rohru) or UK (Binsar, Chaukori) over the first weekend of the coming new year myself.

Hey fine69, sorry for going off topic buddy.
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Old 9th December 2010, 15:11   #15
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Default re: 8 days in hand, where in HP?

@log no deterrents mate, am a mountain man myself, lol. Since he is looking for an idyllic place to spend some time and not fixated on hills, Rajasthan makes a perfect destination as it is best visited during winters. Moreover in the hills this time the road conditions have gone from bad to worse, plus this time around almost everyone is bracing for a biting cold. Higher reaches have already turned white this year. Plus unless like me you have a morbid fascination for hills, they are better being given a miss this winter atleast. Suggest go to Kharapathar, Rohru than Binsar for not only the things are better organised in HP but the roads are also comparatively better. Have you been into Pabbar valley? If not try Hathkothi, Rohru, Sandhanshu route. Try the PWD guesthouse at Sandhanshu by the river side, worth spending some idle time there.
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