An Unforgettable 2 Week Travel Itinerary for Northern India

Discovering the Natural beauty of Northern India
Discovering the Natural beauty of Northern India | Source

Anamika, a fellow hubber from Mumbai India, asked me a question at Facebook: I am planning to take a 2-week long trip along with a friend from abroad. Can you suggest me some natural beauty places in India we can cover in 2 weeks or max 3 weeks?

My answer: If you both are adventurous type and love visiting beautiful natural places, then covering the Northern Parts of India, especially Shimla, Manali, Leh, and Srinagar in two weeks is the best option. I bet you will never forget this vacation in your lifetime and you will enjoy every part of your journey, but before starting I would like to tell you that this trip is not meant for small kids, pregnant women, and old people. This is just for die‑hard adventure and nature lovers.

Important Point: If you are starting your travel from Mumbai, then first of all book your tickets for Mumbai to Chandigarh for day 1 of your trip and from Srinagar to Mumbai for day 14 of your trip. All other days will be covered by road.

Now fly to Chandigarh. In Chandigarh, you will find a lot of tour operators but I have found a trustable site for you and that is Grand Travel Planners in Chandigarh, India (http://www.grandtravelplanners.com/). Just call them first and ask them to arrange a package tour for you, first ask for two pax and if you have more friends, then ask for more pax and get more discounts for the trip. Remember to travel via road for maximum enjoyment, and do not forget to carry one or two good digital camera with extra memory cards as you will find loads of opportunities to click pictures. Ifthe tour operator has made a package tour for you, then it is fine but if he wants to only give you a car and driver on hire, then remember to hire vehicles on a per km basis. You can hire a Tata Indica for two people but for more people like 4 to 8, you can hire a Sumo, Safari, Innova, or Qualis. As a general idea for Indica, they can charge you anywhere between 7 to 8 Indian rupees per km and Innova, they can charge you 11 to 12 INR per km. Also, you will need to pay approximately 200 to 300 INR to the driver on a daily basis. Do some bargain for the INR per km. Bargaining is prevalent in India and if you are a woman that’s a plus point. This is an option for people who want to save money on travel or looking for a budget vacation. For people who want to be convenient and don’t have any problems in paying any amount can go for a package tour. If the company cannot give a package tour, you can arrange others. Just search for “tour operators in Chandigarh” or wherever you want in google search.

Now here is your Northern India travel itinerary

Day 1: Chandigarh to Shimla will be little fun, just like experience for beginners. It will take 4 to 5 hours for covering 117 kilometers. After you reach Parmanu, you will start enjoying natural beauty. Take one-day rest in Shimla and enjoy walking on the mall road of Shimla and buy some items for your family or friends.

Beautiful mountains of Shimla.
Beautiful mountains of Shimla. | Source

Day 2: Wake up in the morning and start your travel from Shimla to Manali. The route is approximately 260 kilometers and it will take you approximately 7 to 8 hours to complete this route. The views on the way will be breathtaking as you can see in the photographs. Take a break for two days in Manali and enjoy local sightseeing on the first day including Van Vihar, Vashist Hot Springs, Hadimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple to name a few.

Shimla to Manali - fly in the clouds.
Shimla to Manali - fly in the clouds. | Source

Day 3: A visit to Manikaran Gurudrwara (located on white waters of River Parvati) from Manali (85 kms). On the way coming back from Manikaran to Manali, you can do river rafting in Beas River in Kullu and then get back to your accommodation in Manali.

Picture of Manikaran Gurudwara - white waters of River Parvati and green hot springs water - what a magic
Picture of Manikaran Gurudwara - white waters of River Parvati and green hot springs water - what a magic | Source

Day 4: Wakeup early and start your travel from Manali to Leh. Read this hub where I have written most things about traveling from Manali to Leh: Tips For Travelers to Leh: Leh via Manali Budget | Sightseeing Package

Amazing lush green part of Leh Ladakh
Amazing lush green part of Leh Ladakh | Source

Day 5: Though everything regarding visiting places in Leh is mentioned in the above hub, still I am writing a few things for your information to complete the 2 week itinerary here. Manali to Leh distance is approximately 260 kilometers but on day 5 you will not reach Leh but will reach Sarchu in 10 hours.

Incredible Leh Ladakh - Incredible India
Incredible Leh Ladakh - Incredible India | Source

Day 6: You will reach Leh,give yourself a break, and take rest in your hotel. You need to give your body one day to acclimatize to the weather of Leh. You need to leave your hired car here and do all the visits in Leh on cars having Leh License Plate. Most people forget to share these things but these are very important. If you have taken a package tour and this part is included, that is totally fine. If not and you are going by kilometers, take the reading of km before moving ahead.

Ladakh will be the most unforgettable part of your journey.
Ladakh will be the most unforgettable part of your journey. | Source

Day 7: Wake upearly and do local sightseeing in Leh including Stakna, Matho, and Stok.

Day 8: Take a trip to Khardung La Pass - here you will encounter ultimate views of nature and mountains, all waiting for you to show their beauty and love.

Day 9: On this day, enjoy your visit to Leh Palace, Shankar, and Shanti Stupa. Do some river rafting in Leh if you want. Don’t forget to click pictures which will serve as your long-lasting memories of this beautiful and scenic place.

Natural beauty of mountains at its best in Leh Ladakh.
Natural beauty of mountains at its best in Leh Ladakh. | Source

Day 10: Start your journey to visit Srinagar, heaven on earth. Confirm with your driver that he has filled extra cans of fuel, as there are only two petrol pumps in between. Actually this route is meant for people with strong hearts who want to have fun and adventure. You will need to drive from Leh to Srinagar for approximately 440 kilometers and it will take you around one and a half days to reach Srinagar, it’s a bumpy ride at a few places only. On this day, you will find places like Lumayaru, Kargil, Dras.

Way to Srinagar from Leh - you will find extraordinary never seen before views on your way back.
Way to Srinagar from Leh - you will find extraordinary never seen before views on your way back. | Source
Barlachala snow capped mountains and lake. What a wonderful coincidence?
Barlachala snow capped mountains and lake. What a wonderful coincidence? | Source

Day 11: Next day, you will go through Zoji La Pass, Sonamarg, and then finally Srinagar. Now coming to Srinagar city, drive towards Dal Lake. Over there, you will find loads of houseboats and surrounding them, you will find hotels and restaurants. If your tour operator at Chandigarh has not booked a hotel room for you in Srinagar, then you can book a hotel or houseboat according to your wishes. I have stayed in Ahdoos Hotel in Srinagar and it is a good option for travelers but as it is far from Dal Lake and other centers of attraction, I will not recommend it to you. Now after finding your accommodation, take complete rest.

Awesome and beautiful Dal Lake in Srinagar - I spend my honeymoon in Srinagar - lovely experience
Awesome and beautiful Dal Lake in Srinagar - I spend my honeymoon in Srinagar - lovely experience | Source

Day 12: Wake up early and plan you journey to visit the famous hill resort of JK Pahalgam. It will take you approximately 3 hours to cover this distance of 96 kilometers. Honestly speaking, I missed this place on my visit to Srinagar but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy the actual beauty of Kashmir.

A picture of Pahalgam - borrowed from my friend - I have not been to this place.
A picture of Pahalgam - borrowed from my friend - I have not been to this place. | Source

Day 13: Leave Sonamarg and plan to visit Yusmarg. Sonamarg is full of ice and you have already covered plenty of these scenes in Leh, also you have come directly from this place when coming from Leh. Also, I have been to Sonamarg. It is good but it is not a good as Yusmarg as told by several of my friends who have visited this beautiful place. The most interesting part is that this place is just one- to two-hour drive from Srinagar city. This place is a local picnic spot and is popular for the famous Doodh Ganga River. If you get free early from here and you have time, you can also visit Sonamarg, but do it with caution.

This is Yusmarg. Sorry for the quality of this image - it was taken back in 2006.
This is Yusmarg. Sorry for the quality of this image - it was taken back in 2006. | Source

Day 14: This is the last day of your 2-week long tour of Northern India. You can now fly from Srinagar Airport directly to Mumbai.

The above was a 2 week travel itinerary for visiting Northern India. I hope you will enjoy this unforgettable and beautiful vacation. Next time, I will cover some natural places of Southern India presenting again a two week long vacation tour of Southern India.

From Srinagar Airport fly towards your destination. Okay Tata Bye By - It has been 2 AM still I am uploading old pics.
From Srinagar Airport fly towards your destination. Okay Tata Bye By - It has been 2 AM still I am uploading old pics. | Source

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15 comments

Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 5 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

My! This is Fantastic and exactly what I am looking for. As a fact I have been to Shimla, Manali and Srinagar. But it was a long time back. Yes, we both are natural and adventure lovers and The places look awesome from the pictures. Thank you so much for writing this Hub for me.


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia

Wonderful and very useful details. Nice way to share information.


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 5 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thank you so much Anamika and Jaspals. I am really glad that I was able to give an answer to Anamika's query regarding a 2-week long trip to natural beauty places in India.


flinpeterson profile image

flinpeterson 5 years ago from India

Nice pics soni, Really i admire your hubs. Good one.


jannthomassen profile image

jannthomassen 5 years ago from Norway

Very nice hub, thanks so much for sharing


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 5 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

@flinperterson and jannthomassen, thank you so much friends for having a look at this hub that I created in two days answering Anamika's question that she asked at Facebook. I believe that people who are looking out for a fun and adventurous 2-week vacation to India will definitely find this useful.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub which I am bookmarking into @Armchair travelling'.

I really enjoyed this one and the beautiful photos.

Awesome/beautiful/useful/up for this one.

Take care

Eiddwen.


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 5 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thank you so much Eiddwen. I promise to write more engaging hubs like this one.


kafsoa profile image

kafsoa 5 years ago

I love India, and loved it more after reading your hub. I wish if I can visited someday:)


megha 5 years ago

thank u so much for writing this hub this is very much useful ....but 1 question i want 2 ask as u said in ur hub dat this is not for pregnant womens and kids i want 2 know why ...we have already booked tickets for leh and im 4months pregnant and already have 4 yrs old boy....can u plz tell me wat problem i can face during our trip...we r going leh ladak only as or hotel is also 2kms from leh airport...can u suggest some things 2 carry with us during this june trip for me as well as for 4 yr kid...i will be really obliged


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 5 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Dear Megha, actually the above hub talks about a road trip from Chandigarh to Shimla to Manali to Leh to Srinagar. As you know, the roads in hilly areas are very steep and the overall ride will be bumpy so it is not good for a pregnant women as this can cause some problems but in your case, you are just flying to Leh Ladakh directly and as you have told your hotel is just 2 kms away from the Leh Airport so you don't need to worry as far as you are coming back again via airlines to your home city, but as you are pregnant and you have a 4 year old baby, you need to consult your gynecologist and your kid's pediatrician before moving ahead.

Regarding general tips for your Leh visit including clothing, weather, accommodation, you can collect some vital information from this hub:

http://hubpages.com/travel/Best-Season-to-Visit-La...


SHREELA SEN 4 years ago

SUCH A BEAUTIFUL READY MADE PLAN! YOU ARE A GREAT FRIEND!

I wish I could have gone on this trail! I'm adventurous & love isolated places too! But now I have a completely different need - please help me out too!

In late Nov, I'd be visiting Chandigarh, & we want to go to "some hill station" for a 4 day holiday (including to & fro travel).

Now, my baby will be little more than a yr old then. So, instead of avoiding crowds, I have to keep close to habitation (& doctors) (Everyone else will be bachelors, & will panick if baby pukes 2 drops ...)

Since you are so well-acquainted with these places, please suggest us some safe but not-so-boring plan!

Thanks a lot!


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 4 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Hello Shreela, you can visit Manali which is just a five hour drive from Chandigarh on National Highway 21 - approximately 290 kms. The weather is pleasant over here in the month of June and for your informatiom, as you have a small child, I visited this place in June 2010 with my 2 year old daughter and wife and there were no problems at all. Plus take a hotel on the Manali Mall road and you will near to the doctors and chemists. Your kid will definitely enjoy each and every moment there. You can also read my Manali travel hub for more details (it also includes my pics of me and my daughter), http://hubpages.com/travel/Adventure-Tourism-in-Ma...


rekha anand profile image

rekha anand 3 years ago

Wow..I too belong to India and have visited most of the places u have mentioned. Your hub has made me re-cherish my memories of those beautiful heaven like places. My journey could have been systematic if I could have found your hub earlier..


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 3 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Enjoy Rekha. I am glad you like my hub. Thanks.

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