Explore the best-kept secrets of North India

by Kirti Kabra
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With spectacular snowy peaks and plunging river valleys beckoning from all directions, the northern half of India has been a year-round magnet for all sorts of thrills and romance. Every road crossing into a new valley brings you into a different world, with its own culture, food, and language. Picture yourself waking up to a gorgeous view of snowclad mountain tops, dense pine forests, peaceful lakes, and fruit-laden orchards – Welcome to India’s dreamy and adventure-packed playground. A trip to North India is nothing less than bucket list-worthy!

Home to arguably the mightiest mountain ranges of the world, you’ll find plenty of picturesque, popular, and off-the-wall hill stations nestled here that make for beautiful holiday destinations. A convoluted topography of interconnecting mountain chains also makes the northern half of India an incredible place to explore, by car, bus, motorbike, jeep or foot. Truth be told, it is a vast region to cover, but if you plan it right, you can expect it to be one of the most memorable trips of your life. 

Prepare yourself to enter a land of ridge-villages, orchards separated by plunging gorges,  magnificent mountain and valley scenery along with a distinctive cultural and ethnic mix. We’ve found you a perfect artsy nook in the hills of Shimla to start your North journey in a true pahadi way. Spirits Unplugged is a two-bedroom villa in Karyali where you can unwind in one of the many cosy corners of the house after a morning trek. 

When travellers talk of staying close to the hills, we cannot refrain from mentioning the beautiful Kang Estate in Naggar that overlooks the most gorgeous landscapes of the Deodar forests. It is the best place to camp out in the open and enjoy a hearty barbecue spread of Himachali cuisine as the Jana falls make a calming background score. 

As you cross the foothills that herald the grand Himalayas further north, you will reach one of your dreamiest getaways of this trip. Make a stop at the four-bedroom Chalet Windflower in Manali to watch the snowflakes drift to the ground. And while you’re at it, take a quick soak in a hot bath as you adore the incredible panoramic views of snowy peaks through the glass facades. If you wish to slow down a little towards the end of your trip, make a laid-back getaway to the spectacular Sanjwat Villa in Bhimtal. It is one of the cosiest, charming homes that can instantly make you reminisce vintage times. 

In hundreds of mountain villages across the North, life still goes on in a traditional way. If you have the option to experience that pace of life away from the city’s chaos amid a gorgeous landscape, then it is an opportunity that should not be missed!

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