India: Vacations with Spiritual Experience

Sara Thopson - Jul 11, 2016
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The Himalayas are one of the natural wonders of the world and a must-see destination for many tourists. The problem with this popularity is that some of the more attractive, seemingly tranquil places in the area are now buzzing tourist hotspots that cannot provide the sense of calm and serenity that many travelers need on their vacations.

Thankfully, there is still a number of lesser-known areas and villages in India that can provide tourists with a place to stop, chill out and reflect on life without the hassle of too many visitors. The following destinations all share a more tranquil vibe and offer some overlooked gems to keen trekkers in the Himalayas.

Mayodia Arunachal

Many travelers trek to the Himalayas because of the vast expanses of snow-covered mountains and the humbling feeling that is generated by standing on their slopes and gazing out over the wilderness. The joy of Mayodia Arunachal, located near the Indo-China border, is that it provides these fantastic views and crisp snow, but not before you have also had the privilege of journeying to Mayodia from Roing through the green forests below. A week here is one of peace but also multiple activities – from bird-watching in the lush canopies to biking on the trails. This is no longer just a place for the adventurous traveler as all guests seeking some tranquility amongst the snow are welcome here.

Zanskar Valley

A trip to Ladakh is often seen as a very spiritual vacations as there are so many incredible Buddhist Monasteries in the region – such as Hemis, Rangdum and Thiksey – and plenty of places to sit, gaze over the beautiful landscape and find yourself more at one with the world. While many travelers will stick with the lake shores of Pangong Tso and Tsomorin, it is worth taking the less-traveled route through Zanskar Valley. This area retains the beauty of the mountains and the refreshing air, but takes visitors through areas where few others have traveled, and ever fewer live. It is remote, tranquil and the ideal place to find some introspection on a long trek.

Malana Himachal

There are some areas of the Himalayas that are still something of a mystery to tourists because they have only been recently discovered. While the village of Malana Himachal in the Parvati Valley near Kullu, Malana is definitely appealing to anyone that want to seek peace in an authentic settlement, all travelers must remember to do so respectfully. You can travel there to take in the views and discover the local customs and goods, but remember that there are restrictions on touching their houses, temples and even their property. Be sure to stay at the guesthouses on the outskirts of the village and respect the boundaries in order to enjoy a more hospitable welcome.

Chopta Valley

Another interesting village where travelers can find some peace and an alternative way of life is Chopta Valley in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Some will come here for the mountain views, as this site has the distinct benefit of looking over the Trishul, Nanda Devi, Neelkanth, Kedarnath and Chaukhamba peaks of the Himalayas range. The location of the village means that tourists really do need to trek to get there, but they are rewarded for their efforts with the stunning landscape, cultural highlights, rich vegetation and the choice in accommodation. The area is home to the Tungnath Temple and unlike Malana Himachal, there are a few budget hotels and private lodges available for perfect vacations.

Ramgarh and Mukteshwar

The final location on this list of must-see tranquil locations in the Himalayas is actually a joint entry. There are two hill stations in the region of Uttarakhand that tend to be overlooked by travelers – Ramgarh and Mukteshwar. Like most of the areas that are mentioned here, there are some fantastic views to enjoy for a moment of reflection and some important temples to add some spirituality to the journey. What makes the area really stand out, however, is that there is such a great opportunity to engage with the natural landscape. Both sites are a must for nature lovers with all the fruit and flowers of the orchards and trails and the amount of bird life that can be found.

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