'The mountains are calling and I must go'


When author John Muir says, ‘The mountains are calling and I must go’, many travellers and adventure lovers tend to get swayed. And with the chilly winters, the yearning to go to the mountains and experience the serenity touches the sky.

The holiday season is on and the bubble of excitement among Delhiites to plan their holiday trips and weekend getaways is growing bigger. While visiting Goa for New Years is the most common plan amongst the youngsters, many travel enthusiasts and travel groups are planning to head towards the hills and some parts of Rajasthan.

Baneet Chhabra, who travels at least thrice in a year, says, “I am definitely not going to Goa this time, it’s usually crowded and I want a peaceful end to the year. So I have planned a trip to Landour and Lansdowne in Uttarakhand and I hope they are not very crowded around New Year.”

According to Chhabra, winters are the time when he plans trips to most of his desired destinations. “The snowline is at a lower altitude and it is comparatively calmer to visit places in winters,” he tells Metrolife.

“Unlike summers, the snow that you find in winters is fresh and lovely. About the view is a little hazy in summers while in winters you will always find a very clear and scenic view in the mountains,” says Swati Chatrapathy.

Indiahikes, the travel group where Chatrapathy works, is planning to take travel
enthusiasts towards the Himalayas.

“We are planning to take people for trekking in the Himalayas which are fancied but are usually inaccessible in the later part of the year. Also, Kedarkantha and Har Ki Dun valley in Uttarakhand, the Sandakphu in West Bengal and the Chandrashila peak are some of the places where we will trek this year,” she adds.

On being asked as to why some parts of Uttarakhand are in people’s bucket list this time, she explains, “As compared to other common travel destinations like Sikkim, Uttarakhand lies on a lower altitude. With temperatures going down as low as five degrees during the season, 12,000 feet becomes inaccessible.”

Amongst other ideal destinations for the season, one can also visit Jaipur, Lonavla and Goa for some hot air ballooning, according to Naveen Gupta from Adventure Nation travel group. “A place like Jaipur is ideal for a weekend getaway for Delhiites. An activity like hot air ballooning lasts only for a few hours and one doesn’t necessarily have to stay for the night. Besides this, we have also organised trekking trips for Chadar and Snow Leopard in Ladakh. Paragliding in Birbilling, Himachal and in Kamshet in Maharashtra are also something to look out for this season,” says Gupta.

Taking trips with these travel groups is something a number of youngsters enjoy.
Vipul Mishra, a 27-year-old-travel buff takes most of his trips with these travel groups. He says, “I think one cannot be a good traveller unless one can take someone along to travel.”
His plans for the holiday season include a trip to Goa, “where people celebrate Christmas like Diwali”.

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