‘Highs’ in life generally bring in a lot of hullabaloo in life. The environment offers tranquility in its highest highs. It exuberate a peace, not a pride. Today, we take a moment to appreciate the peace of these valleys offer, while we take a tour of the biggest continent of the world to see the highs of this colossal mass of land called Asia and appreciate the beauty it upholds and the peace it offers.
Nubra Valley, India
Height from Sea level – 3048 m
Amidst the Karakorum Range and the cold desert district of Ladakh is this beautiful valley of Nubra. It is known for the beautiful monasteries and one can see a Maitreya Buddha statue marking the start of this valley. The oldest monastery, Diskit Monastery (1420 AD) is still housing monks and one can hear the chants from the monastery echo in the valley.
Time to Visit – March to June, September and October.
Places to Visit – Old monasteries of Diskit and Sumur, Scenic villages, Hot springs in Panamik and Sand dunes in Hunder.
Other Attractions – 32 m Maitreya Buddha statue, Double hump camels.
Accommodation – Options range from homestays, budget hotels, 3 star hotels to luxurious cottages.
Food Options – Predominantly Tibetan Cuisine
Parvati Valley, India
Height from Sea level – 3029 m
River Parvati flows through this beautiful valley, making it lush green and a common tourist destination for music lovers. The place is swamped with performing artists throughout the year and has a backpacker culture. Trek to nearby mountains is a must if you want to experience uninterrupted peace with nature.
Time to Visit – Round the year.
Places to Visit – Hot springs in Manikaran and Kheerganga, Hindu and Sikh shrines in Manikaran, Trek to Pin – Parvati, Peaceful villages of Tulga, Kalga, Pulga Tosh, and Apple orchards of Katagla.
Other Attractions – Music festivals that are hosted round the year. One can find premium quality marijuana to smoke and eat some nice hash brownies if lucky.
Accommodation – Dominant Options are homestays and budget hotels.
Food Options – International Cuisine (Israeli, continental, Indian etc.)
Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan
Height from Sea level – 3000 m
This valley is alternately known as Gangteng Valley. This place is well known for the monasteries and some endangered species (13 approx.) that have found refuge here. The black necked crane is one of them and the residents here celebrate a special festival to appreciate its existence.
Time to Visit – March to August.
Places to Visit – Old monastery of Gangten, A 90 minutes Gangtey Nature trail trek.
Other Attractions– 13 endangered species supported by Royal Society of the Protection of Nature (NGO). Colorful festivals of Tsechu and Crane.
Accommodation – Homestays, budget hotels, and guest houses.
Food Options – Tibetan and Bhutanese cuisine.
Swat Valley, Afghanistan – Pakistan Border
Height from sea level – 2000 m
A serene valley with the influence of Islamic and Buddhist architecture, this place teaches us about ‘unity in diversity’. Other than the beauty of the valley tourists can visit the Swat museum, where one can see ancient stupas or one could pump in some adrenaline through adventure sports at Malam Jabba.
Time to visit – March to November.
Places to Visit – Ski resort Malam Jabba, Stupas (Harmarajika and Butkarha), Swat Museum, Bazars of Madyan.
Other Attractions – Embroidered Shawls, Carpets, crafted furniture, Panrae(old fashioned shoes) and Earthen pots with laborious art work.
Accommodation – Budget hotels to Luxurious 5 star resorts.
Food Options – International Cuisine
Kashmir Valley, India
Height from sea level – 1850 m
It is located in the top most state of India irrigated by the river Jhelum and is fondly referred to as the local Switzerland. The major tourist fascination is the houseboat experience and the stunning flower estates. The shrine of Hemkunt Sahib adds to the spirituality while The Valley of Flowers and the Daal Lake add to its tranquility.
Time to visit – March to August.
Places to Visit – Hike to Mount Haramukh (5,142 m), Kolhoi Peak (5,425 m), Machoi Peak (5,458 m), Sirbal Peak (5,236 m), Amarnath Peak (5,186 m), Sunset Peak (4,746 m), Tatakooti Peak (4,725 m), Mahadev (4,267 m).
Other Attractions – Houseboat stays on Daal Lake, Pashmina Shawls, Rugs and Carpets.
Accommodation – Homestays, houseboats, budget hotels, 3 star hotels and luxurious 5 star hotels.
Food Options – Wazwan, Kashmiri cuisine and International cuisine.