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Himalayan Villages Every Mountain Lover Should Travel to

Whether you are a traveler looking to visit India or just a lover of the mountains, you should take the time to explore some of the best Himalayan villages. These villages are some of the most beautiful in the world, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

Kotkhai

Located in Himachal Pradesh, Kotkhai is a scenic hill town. It is a small and peaceful hill station with apple orchards. A popular destination among tourists, Kotkhai is best visited in winter.

In Kotkhai, visitors can find two temples. The Madhyamaheshwar temple is a beautiful temple with a picturesque backdrop. This temple is the 4th of the Panch Kedar Group of Temples. The temple also offers views of the Garhwal Himalayas.

Another important place in the village is the Laksmi Narayan temple. This temple is the gateway to the Deodar trees. In addition, the area is dotted with waterfalls and pristine streams.

The area is also famous for its apple orchards. These orchards cover about 23000 hectares and are exported to various parts of India and abroad. During summer, the climate of Kotkhai is pleasant.

The city is also known for its annual fairs. These fairs are referred to as “BISHU” in the local language. These fairs usually begin with cultural programs. They are also an excellent way to see the locals’ lifestyle.

The village also has a public bus service. There are direct buses from Chandigarh and Delhi. Several taxis are also available for those interested in traveling to this destination.

Ravangla

Located on the foothill of Tendong Hill, Ravangla is a small, charming town popular among travelers. Lush green forests and pine trees surround the city. It is also home to several rare birds and flowers.

The city is also known for its old monasteries. It is a beautiful place to spend a quiet weekend with family or friends. There are several expensive hotels and cozy homestays to choose from. The city is a good base for trekking in the surrounding mountains.

The city is also home to several endangered and rare species of birds. A few common ones include the blue whistling thrush, white-backed fantail, and the verditer flycatcher. It is also possible to spot the rare satyr tragopan and dark-throated thrush.

The city is also famous for its hot springs. Along Hot Spring is a natural bathing place near the holy caves. The sulfurous-rich water in the hot springs has healing properties. It is recommended to visit this place on your trip to Ravangla.

The Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is also located in the vicinity of Ravangla. This sanctuary is a great place to view a wide variety of animals, including Himalayan birds.

Karsog

Located in the Pir Panjal mountain range, Karsog is a beautiful and picturesque town. It is the perfect place for travelers who want to get away from the city bustle and spend quality time in peace.

There is much to see and do at Karsog. For instance, you can visit Kamrunag temple, a pilgrim site in the Mandi district. You can also visit the Mamleshwar Mahadev temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Another fun activity you can do is organic fruit picking. There are farms in the area which specialize in this activity. These farms teach you plant-rearing techniques and harvesting methods. You can pick fruits such as plums, apples, kiwis, and prunes.

During the winter, Karsog is covered with a thick blanket of snow. For this reason, visitors should pack warm and light woolen for the trip.

Another fun activity you can try in Karsog is mountain biking. It is fun to explore the area and experience the local culture.

If you are planning to travel to Karsog, it is best to do so in the summer. This is when the valley is at its best. You can also see various birds and wildlife in the Karsog valley.

Thai

In Mandi District, Thachi is a small, quaint, and beautiful village in the Himalayas. The town is surrounded by lush green deodar and pine forests. It is also dotted with waterfalls and pristine streams. The area is also home to several temples.

The village is home to one hotel. The primary source of income for the town is farming. The village is well known for its traditional customs, music, flora, and fauna. The city is also the base for many treks.

There are no souvenir shops in the village. However, the town does have a wooden Lord Ganesh Temple. The temple is pagoda shaped and built in the traditional style of Himachal Pradesh. The shrine is a popular attraction in Thachi. It is also the site of a seven-day event called the Fagli festival.

Another popular attraction in Thachi is the Spain top. It is a vantage point that offers spectacular views of the Himalayas. It remains covered in snow during winter. It is the best way to see the mountains.

The Bithu Narayan Temple and Lord Vishnu Temple are other places of interest in the valley. The temple is known for its annual fair held in October. The temple is close to the local bus stand. It is also famous for its Hanuman Tibba. The temple is built in a pagoda style and is surrounded by lush green forests.

Chaukori

Located in the heart of the Himalayas, Chaukori is an exotic hill station in Uttarakhand. The picturesque town has scenic beauty, rich flora, and pleasant temperatures. The village is a perfect getaway from bustling city life.

One of the many things that make the town of Chaukori so unique is the star-filled night sky. This is the best time to catch a glimpse of the heavens. The city is located over two thousand meters above sea level. The night sky is filled with stars and the moon. It is a treat to watch the sun disappear behind the mountains.

Another reason to visit this quaint town is the temples. These temples are considered holy by locals. They are simple in their architectural design. They are carved out of stone. These temples are a great way to learn more about the region’s history and culture.

Beautiful tea gardens surround Chaukori. The tea garden has been in existence since British rule. It offers a serene atmosphere and a variety of tea flavors. The gardens are also a source of refreshing air.

The temple of Arjuneshwar is also worth a visit. It is a well-preserved temple. It is considered to be a wonder in itself. This temple is situated at the height of six thousand feet.

Harsil

Located in the Himalayas, Harsil is a village with beautiful surroundings and a peaceful atmosphere. It is the perfect location for nature lovers and is recommended for families and foreign tourists. Besides its scenic beauty, it also offers plenty of trekking options.

The Bhagirathi River flows through the town of Harsil. The city’s upper reaches are connected to the Baspa Valley and the Lamkhaga Pass. It is also connected to the Nelang Valley.

Its climate is chilly, but it receives snowfall throughout the year. Winters are considered auspicious in the region.

It is a part of the Gangotri National Park. The region is spread over 1,553 square kilometers. Numerous trails and unexplored routes lead to scenic views of nature.

It is an offbeat place in Uttarakhand. The Bhotiya tribe who live here have a unique way of living. They speak a dialect similar to Tibetan. The village is also known for its apple orchards. They are trendy all over the country.

Several bus services are available to Harsil from the nearby towns. It is also convenient for people traveling from other states. However, it is not easy to find accommodation here.

Khirsu

In the Pauri district, Khirsu is a charming village surrounded by thick forests. It offers a fantastic view of the Himalayan range. It is home to several ancient temples like Jwalpa Devi and Ulka Garhi.

Khirsu is a perfect place for nature lovers and bird watchers. It is home to over 300 bird species. It is also an excellent place for sightseeing tours. The best time to visit is during April and September. The weather in Khirsu is pleasant most of the year. However, the monsoon season is best avoided.

The main occupation of the villagers is step farming. It is a labor-intensive activity and helps in water conservation. This method of agriculture dates back to 2000 years. It is also used in mountain regions all over the world.

The forests of Khirsu are a blend of dense oak, pine, and Deodar trees. The forest area is home to exclusive flora and fauna.

Aside from hiking and bird watching, visitors can take village tours. This gives them a chance to get acquainted with the local people. They can also learn how the villagers grow their crops.

The village is also known for its apple orchards. Various homestays and hotels are available in Khirsu. The town is a perfect destination for backpackers.

8 Best Lounges in Mumbai

Whether you are looking for a quiet place to hang out or an expensive place to watch the latest Bollywood flick, there is a lounge for everyone in Mumbai. But which are the best?

Aer Four Seasons Worli

Located on the 34th floor of the Four Seasons hotel in Worli, Mumbai, Aer is a classy-looking rooftop bar and lounge that is sure to impress. Guests can enjoy unrivaled views of the city.

Aer is a stylish place to get a drink, and you can bet that the staff will serve up some delectable hors d’oeuvres. You’ll be pleased to know that you can try some of the best cocktails in town. Also, if you’re planning a visit to the swanky new hotel, you’ll be glad to know that you can enjoy free vouchers from Jean Claude Biguine India.

Aer’s open-air, sundowner-style bar is a great way to while away an afternoon. The menu at Aer is impressive, and you can choose from a selection of European and Asian delicacies. Among its most exciting offerings are Japanese green pods and chic gourmet teasers.

Aer also has a pool and a snack bar. As with all Four Seasons hotels, you can enjoy the services of the resort’s dabbawalas. Besides a rooftop bar, the hotel has a spa that combines ancient ayurvedic therapies with contemporary sensibilities.

Gadda Da Vida Juhu

Located at the Novotel hotel at Juhu Beach, Gadda Da Vida is a sea-facing lounge. Guests can watch the sun go down while enjoying delicious food and beverages. The bar offers a wide variety of drinks and cocktails.

The lounge offers sea-view seating with a small bar. An indoor area is also a quiet place to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

The bar serves a wide selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. There is also a special IPL menu which includes competitively priced appetizers. This is the perfect date spot.

The food at Gadda Da Vida is tasty and fresh. The seafood is cooked well. There are a few choices on the menu, including Garlic and Lemon Prawns, Chicken Satay, and Lamb Kibbeh.

The lounge is named after a popular song by Iron Butterfly. Its ambiance is chic and romantic. It features black walls and red suede chairs. The music is techno, club, and jazz house.

It is part of the Novotel hotel, with world-class rooms and facilities. It is close to shopping centers and landmarks.

China House Lounge Grand Hyatt Santacruz

Located at the western end of the grand Hyatt hotel on the glitzy Santacruz corridor, China House is the flagship restaurant of the hotel’s signature dining group. This high-end sexy enclave is home to four award-winning signature restaurants: the Chinese, Italian, and Northwest-Frontier cuisines. There’s also the more laid-back Gourmet Store, where diners can pick up a bottle of vino or a plate of fresh produce from the kitchens of a striking, sexy enclave.

The China House boasts a high-end dining experience, a high-tech bar, and a posh lounge. One of the more expensive places to drink, the China House spruces up the night with the most up-to-date sound and visual entertainment in the form of state-of-the-art LED lighting and audiophile-grade sound systems. The wealthy is more of a social affair than a formal dining experience, as is the sexy enclave on the top floor. The China House enclave is where the real fun lies. The grand enclave is where guests can indulge in the finest that the city has to offer.

Wink Vivanta Cuffe Parade

Located in the posh Cuffe Parade in South Mumbai, the Wink is an Asian-themed bar. Designed by the mighty Japanese scion Noriyoshi Muramatsu, it is not surprising that this high-octane joint isn’t exactly cheap. A ten-minute taxi ride from Churchgate will get you to the fanciest fancy. For those who prefer to lounge about, the marbled enclaves offer many amenities, including power showers, marble bathrooms, and the like. If the thought of a night on the town with your honey is on your agenda, the Wink can accommodate you in style. The drinks may be a tad pricey, but it is well worth the hefty bill.

Not surprisingly, the Wink has an impressive list of accolades. Not only is it the sexiest club in the city, but it is also one of the most remarkable hotels in Mumbai. The hotel boasts many world-class restaurants, from the glitzy sexiest to the more laid-back slash sexiest. The best part is you can enjoy a full breakfast at this illustrious establishment without a hitch.

One Too many Regenza Vashi

Located in the newly built Hotel Regenza in Vashi, One Too Many is a multi-cuisine eatery with a flair for the flamboyant. Their menu boasts a wide range of options, from Indian and Asian cuisine to classic French fries and burgers. They also boast of a few fine beverages and cocktails aplenty. Considering that they are located in a bustling area, they are well-equipped to handle the traffic rush. Moreover, their service staff is courteous and efficient.

The menu is no slouch, but the best part of the experience is their impressively designed premises. The restaurant is well-lit and comfortable to boot. They even have complimentary valet parking available onsite. The one-of-a-kind suite of facilities is on par with those at the best hotels in Mumbai. They have a posh business center to boot. They are the first five-star hotel in Navi Mumbai. Their motto is customer service. Their signature red carpets are a sight to behold.

In short, they do it all. They even have a nightclub with an a la carte bar. They even offer a roundtrip airport shuttle for a small fee.

Blue Frog Lower Parel

Among Mumbai’s most trendy nightlife destinations, Blue Frog Lower Parel is a must-visit for live music enthusiasts. The venue offers excellent food and signature cocktails. It is also an ideal location for birthday celebrations.

The cafe has a recording studio, a small art gallery, and a corporate office. The menu is creative and varied. It offers a variety of signature dishes such as pan-seared mutton chops, pork ribs, crumb-fried mushrooms, Thai spiced chicken satay, chocolate mousse cake, and baked cheesecake. The drinks are imaginative and innovative.

The bar has an extensive list of classic and local cocktails. It also serves exotic wines and burgers. The restaurant has a relaxed ambiance. The booths are earthy and stylish.

The venue also features a VIP lounge, a dance floor, and a party table. It is one of the most popular clubs in Mumbai. It is located on Elphinstone Road in Lower Parel.

The blueFROG has been a leading player in the live music circuit in Mumbai for years. It is a homegrown Indian brand that focuses on promoting and discovering fresh talent.

Asilo Lower Parel

Whether you’re going out with friends or on a date, Asilo Lower Parel is one of the best lounges in Mumbai. The bar has some of the city’s most spectacular views, and it’s known for its cocktail menu. The restaurant is also known for its cabana-style seating. It is on the 38th floor of the St. Regis Hotel in Lower Parel. It is the highest rooftop restaurant in the city. It offers some of the city’s most amazing views, including the Mahalaxmi Race Course and the ocean.

The menu at Asilo features signature cocktails, molecular gastronomy, and fine dining. The food menu includes some great Jain-friendly options. The salad at Asilo was delicious. However, it didn’t have enough seasoning. The Philadelphia cheese rolls were also tasty.

The lounge also has a DJ playing retro music and jazz. Happy hours are offered till 8 pm. The prices are high, but the view is well worth it. The drink collection is decent.

The bar at the far end of the lounge is very well-stocked. The menu is organized well. The cocktails are also interesting.

Arola Restaurant and Bar JW Marriott Juhu

Located at JW Marriott Mumbai in Juhu, Arola Restaurant and Bar is a Spanish restaurant with a Michelin-star chef. This bar and restaurant offer traditional Spanish food with an urban vibe. There is a variety of tapas and finger foods. Arola also hosts a weekly fusion music event.

The restaurant has three private dining rooms. It also has an outer deck extension which provides additional lounge space. The staff is friendly and attentive.

Arola offers a cocktail menu designed by the in-house mixologist, Benson. These cocktails have a unique flavor profile. They are a fun way to add to the culinary experience.

In addition to the cocktail menu, Arola’s tapas-style dishes are prepared by the restaurant’s two-Michelin star chef. Arola’s tapas are popular in Barcelona and Paris. These are perfect for an after-work drink or a girls’ night out. The new tapas menu includes Potage de Guisantes, Quinoa and Salmon Ahuma, and Esparragos Blancos.

The menu at Arola includes signature items for Mumbai, along with various dishes from Arola restaurants worldwide. This menu aims to surprise the Indian market with eclectic European cuisine.

Are you heading to Venice, Italy, soon? Or do you only have one to two days in Venice and want to get to the main sights? Then a Venice walking tour might be right up your alley!

My husband and I have always been interested in learning the history behind a city we travel to, especially one like Venice. Venice has such rich history and culture that sometimes it is impossible to see all of it on your own, especially with just a guidebook. The Hidden Venice Express tour with The Roman Guy was one of the highlights of our time in Venice. It allowed us to see some of the main sights of Venice, all while learning so many neat historical facts about each spot we visited.

The tour started at 9:30 AM in St. Marks square facing the canal, and ended with a gondola ride! It was the best and most exciting way to end a tour, not to mention a real bucket list moment. I enjoyed an early tour start before the summer heat of Venice set in. The time lasted about 2 hours in total, ending right before lunch. Our tour guide, Claire, was also a great help in recommending the best lunch spots near St. Marks square and the Rialto bridge.

Before I go over all of the stops and highlights of the tour, I wanted to mention how knowledgeable and enthusiastic our guide, Claire, was. She provided us with exciting and essential information on each monument we visited. I feel like, through Claire; I learned much more about Venice than I ever could have. She did an excellent job of keeping the tour exciting and providing humor along the way.

All of the Stops:

St. Marks Square and Cathedral

Our first stop started with St. Marks Square and the St. Marks Cathedral. Did you know that the St. Marks Cathedral was built in the 10th century? Also, did you know St. Marks is one of the world’s unique Roman Catholic Cathedrals? Unlike other Roman Catholic Cathedrals, St. Marks has many Byzantine and Middle Eastern influences as far as architecture is concerned. The name St. Marks stems from the Apostle St. Mark, allegedly buried in the Cathedral. I say allegedly because there is a lot more to that story, but if you take a tour with the Roman Guy, you will learn the exciting history of this central Basilica in Venice. The time also includes going inside the Cathedral, where the guide explains the stunning architectural achievements.

Rialto Bridge and Surrounding Areas

Our second stop included the Rialto bridge and the Grand Canal. What I loved about this Hidden Venice tour was how we casually walked through the hidden alleys and streets in Venice, all while learning exciting components of the street names and house numbers. We stopped through each main square along the way, discussing the significance of the statues in the center. We even stopped by a quaint store that sold the famous Venetian face masks, and we learned the importance of certain acts. The owner of the store was actually in the process of making masks and painting them as we were standing outside.

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. It is also home to the fish market and where the original Venice was first settled. The view from the Rialto bridge over the Grand Canal is my favorite, even if it is such a bustling area of Venice. Claire took us around the Rialto bridge and showed us the best spots to take a photo of the bridge, all while explaining the area’s history.

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Our third stop took us to the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, hidden near St. Marks square and the Rialto bridge. There are a lot of tourists who have never heard of this tower since it is hidden away through some narrow streets. It is a hidden gem that I am so glad our guide took us to. The Scala Contarini del Bovolo was built by a noble family in the 15th century and is known for its “snail” like appearance. The view from the top of the tower is just beautiful as Venice; you can even see St. Marks Cathedral! The tour does not include going up to the top of the building, but my husband and I came right back after the time ended and made our way up!

Gondola Ride

After we walked to the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, we made our way to our gondola ride. I have been dreaming of a gondola ride for as long as I can remember, so I jumped for joy when we made our way for our wonderful treat. The gondola ride lasted about 30 minutes and took us through several small canals and to the Grand Canal, which was my favorite portion of the ride.

Overall we had a wonderful time on the tour, especially since it was a small group with just seven other members. I felt that the small group experience was much more fulfilling as we got our guide’s full attention. As mentioned before, our guide, Claire, shared beneficial and enjoyable information with us each step of the way.

If you are in Venice and looking to learn a little more about this stunning Italian city, find some hidden treasures, or check off a gondola ride from your bucket list, this is the tour for you. Make sure and check out The Roman Guy for a wonderful tour experience.