Hello, travelers! Namaste from Nepal. We have been having an epic experience the past few days in the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal never ceases to amaze me - the warmth of the people are just a small part of what makes this Himalayan country so inviting. Kathmandu is a short flight from Delhi or Varanasi, making it an ideal excursion from India. (It is also easily accessible from Paro, Bhutan.) Here are a few highlights from the journey that I highly recommend to all of our Sodha Travelers:
Imagine spending 14 days on a jeep adventure through the most spectacular mountain passes in the world. Sodha Travel's Himalayan Jeep Safari takes travelers on a journey across the Himalayas. In between elevated passes and spectacular gorges, traverse the legendary Moore plains and the steppes of Sarchu. Also, drive over Khardung La, the highest motor able road pass in the world, and view the second highest mountain peak in the world - K2.
Nepal is an enticing Kingdom, a destination filled with religious, historical, and natural treasures. Nepal is also home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The World Heritage List is currently comprised of 962 properties that have superior universal value - 745 cultural, 188 natural, and 29 mixed. The four UNESCO sites in Nepal are Kathmandu Valley (cultural), Chitwan National Park (natural), Sagarmatha National Park (natural), and Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha (cultural).
Tso Moriri, or Lake Moriri, is a high-altitude lake located in Ladakh, India. At 15,075 ft, it is the largest lake in the Trans-Himalayan region. In the local language, Tsokar translates to Salty Lake. Until 1959, salt was extracted from the lake for consumption by the locals. Because of recent threats to Tso Moriri, including road construction and the absence of garbage disposal, many conservation efforts have been initiated. It is an area rich in wildlife, vegetation, and natural beauty.
I received an interesting phone call the other day from a woman who was considering traveling to India. She asked me only one question: "Allison, why should I travel to India?" Usually, travelers have already decided on India as their next destination, or they inquire about specific elements of traveling to the region. I appreciated the simple and direct question, though I had to find a way to summarize why I believe India is a travel-worthy destination. (Really, I could spend hours on the topic!) Here was my abridged response:
Last post, I was excited to announce our newest women-only tour: Colors of India. Just a few days ago, we also added a new Featured Tour: Legacy of Leh/Ladakh. Ladakh is a remote region in Northern India, located between the Himalayan and Kunlin mountain ranges. Historically a Buddhist kingdom, Ladakh was strategically placed at the crossroads of major trading routes. The region is commonly called "Little Tibet" and many travelers have discovered this destination as an alternative to visiting the disputed territory of Tibet.
Our June Featured Tour is the popular Ganges River Rafting and Elephant Safari! Spend 9 days/8 nights on an adventure itinerary that also incorporates bonfires, cliff jumping, and hiking an ancient pilgrim route to Badrinath.
On November 11, 2011 at 11:11 am, a field of Bhutanese and international runners will participate in the inaugural Bhutan Himalayan Marathon. This event offers athletes a unique opportunity to experience the Kingdom of Bhutan on a 26.2 mile course in the shadows of the highest mountains in the world. The country fiercely regulates inbound tourism in an effort to protect its culture and environment, and international registration is only open to 150 runners.
Recently, Trip Advisor posted the Traveler's Choice Awards Top 25 Destinations in India. I particularly love reviewing an award list when selected by everyday travelers. Admittedly, I expected to see a few of the destinations, including #2 Varanasi, #9 Jaipur, #12 Udaipur, and #16 Goa. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see #3 Manali, #11 Hampi, #15 Shimla, and #25 Kodaikanal.
Only one week remains to reserve our Ananda Ayurvedic Spa package and save $300 per couple!