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Old 1st February 2009, 23:37   #1
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Default The front range in Himachal Pradesh

You come up out of the flats of the Punjab and climb into a cluster of low badlands. The road corkscrews over and around, up and down tortured ravines full of sandstone, scrub trees and bushes. Steep walls of cobbled rocks and soil that will come down in the next monsoon now line the sides of the road. About 40 minutes of this and you notice that the air has cooled a bit and has a sweet smell to it. You come around a curve and gaze into a vast panorama now opening up to the north. And, bang! You see them for the first time but only their snow covered tops low on the horizon. Their dark mass below the snow line blends into the blue atmosphere of the crystal clear day. But you are still 110K away and you can already see them. Your heart skips a beat as you approach this land of stupendous proportion both natural and human, this high place that spawns bears, yaks, snow leopards, great Hindu sadhus and soaring Tibetan mystics.

Below are pictures of some places stretching from Dharamsala in the west to Billing and Bir in the east. The front range in Himachal Pradesh.

1. Kangra still 30k away from the mountains.
2. Tapovan Temple near Dharamsala.
3. After sunset. Sun just catching the highest peaks.
4. A beautiful mountain village, Gia, near Palampur.
5. Utrala near Baijnath. A high mountain peeking over the ridge.
6. A hamlet on the slopes of Utrala.
7. Billing near Bir. Paraglide canopy catches the breeze.
8. Billing takeoff.
9. The Tibetan monestary at Bir. Spectacular archetecture.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 00:11   #2
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Some stunning pictures and some missing pictures too..... Where is the Tapovan temple..

The monastery looks so serene...
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Old 2nd February 2009, 06:44   #3
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apparently, the global warming effect can be felt by the reduction of snowfall over the last few years. Not sure how true that is though.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 10:04   #4
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Waiting for more, Dan ... do keep it coming
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Old 2nd February 2009, 11:47   #5
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This range is called as the Dhauladhar Range. Dhar means range in the local dialect.And I have had the opportunity to roam in these ranges for 3 years.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 12:19   #6
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Lovely. But for that distance, i'd much rather go to manali each time.

That said, i might come in aug-sep for the sach pass - on bike

You spend all your time in India?
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Old 2nd February 2009, 15:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Lovely. But for that distance, i'd much rather go to manali each time.

That said, i might come in aug-sep for the sach pass - on bike

You spend all your time in India?
Manali and what lies beyond attracts me, too. Yeah, I stay in India now. Haven't been south of Chandigarh in 3.5 years.
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Old 3rd February 2009, 11:31   #8
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Dan, nice to see examples of your photography skills too

Keep em coming mate
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Old 3rd February 2009, 11:47   #9
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Lovely. Evokes memories of trip done in that region circa 1985 in a M800. That was the first or second year of para-gliding competition held at Bir. All drove up in 4x4 Jeeps only to find us camping there with our M800. "Aap is mein yahan aye hain?" was typical jeep drivers query.

Yep...need to do this area again sometime soon.
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Old 3rd February 2009, 18:30   #10
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Bachpan ke din bhula na dena!!

Beautiful pictures, reminds me of my childhood days there!

We used to go to Mcleodgunj via short route from Kotwali Bazar on bikes/ LML vespas,Neogal Khad almost every weekend & what an enjoyable drive from Joginder Nagar (Chountra) to Baijnath - A great feast for the eyes all around - mildy sloping valleys, train crossings, mighty Dhauladhars in background ....
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Old 22nd February 2009, 19:47   #11
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Default More from the Dhauladhars

He lays his canopy out on the ground and makes sure the lines are not crossed. When he is ready and a breeze comes up he lifts the lines, yanks them and the canopy fills with air. The he turns around and takes a few quick steps off the slope which is almost a cliff.
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The front range in Himachal Pradesh-billing-1-canopy.jpg  

The front range in Himachal Pradesh-billing-2-lift-off.jpg  

The front range in Himachal Pradesh-billing-5-down.jpg  

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Old 22nd February 2009, 22:29   #12
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@DD: Nice pics especially the first 5 pics and parachute (paragliding) pics. Do post some more pics of sceneries.

Last edited by snaronikar : 22nd February 2009 at 22:30.
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Old 16th November 2009, 21:41   #13
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Beautiful. Do post some more. Especially parasailing ones. I am looking to learn it soon in the western ghats.
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Old 18th December 2009, 23:59   #14
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I'm planning to spend two days in Bir over the Christmas weekend. I will have an extra day to spend seeing nearby places. So, am trying to formulate an itinerary. Your pictures have helped.

Btw, how's the road from Mandi to Bir? Anybody has any idea?
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Old 19th December 2009, 00:26   #15
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Hey Dan,
A very nice travelogue. I visit the Himachal every year. It is magical up there.
Btw, on which vehicle did you do this travel?
OT: Am i right that you've finally purchased an Invader? If not, excuse me. Seeing a brand new Invader posted by you a couple of weeks back, i assumed that you've bought it.
Keep the pics rolling. Thanks for sharing them here.
Cheers,
Deepak
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