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Snow Trek To Nag Tibba
Whenever I hear the word “winter”, the first word that strikes my mind is “Snow”.
Feb 2017
Kodaikanal Munnar Winter Trekking Expedition
As we all know that North India is famous for trekking. Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand provides best and tough trekking routes
June 2015
Har Ki Dun Trekking Expedition
The state Uttarakhand has a long list of trekking trails. Some are easy, some are moderate, some are difficult and some are strenuous.
August 2015
Ilaqa Pass Trekking Expedition
We were planning this trip since February 2016 and every time our plan got cancelled due to reasons such as college placements, project presentations, sessionals, etc.
August 2016

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

5 Cool Xoxoday things to do this Summer season

Manu Khandelwal

"The best memories comes from the best experiences"

Everyday people work, people celebrate, people travel, and do whatever they want to. Everything passes with time. The only thing that remains till last is the memories that can be cherished or that can make one feel nostalgic. So we can say that "Life is all about making memories" and memories comes from experiences. Hence, all we need is a good experience and this is what Xoxoday trying to provide. Yeah! Unforgettable experiences that one can have or one can gift to its closed ones. Here are some of the activities that one can experience this summer season.

1. Overnight River Rafting

Overnight river rafting in Kolad, Maharashtra
Nowadays white water river rafting has become too mainstream. Every second person on every second day upload its photo while doing rafting on social media. But what isn't common is Overnight River rafting. Imagine you are riding your raft through rapids during a dark night with full of stars. This thrilling activity can be experienced at Kolad in Maharashtra. There are two sensational rides up to 400 m long that one can take and it provides a unique adventurous experience. The overnight river rafting is done in Kundalika River, which flows from the Kolad village. One can also enjoy the surreal views of the Kolad and Kundalika and the mighty river Raighad while rafting through it.

2. Sandhan valley camping trek

Sandhan Valley Trek
India is often considered a paradise for trekkers due to its vast variety of terrains available. In India, one can trek through mighty snow covered passes, peaks, dense forest, frozen river and etc. Apart from Himalayan terrains, one can also trek in the western ghats of Maharashtra. Sandhan valley trek is a perfect trek for people seeking solitude with nature's touch. The valley is a 200 feet water-carved valley, which is situated near the scenic region of Bhandardara. It takes around 5-6 hours in completing the trek, which also includes rappelling and crossing the pool of water and deep gorges. 

3. Safari in Corbett national park

Jungle Safari in Jim Corbett National Park
In spite of being a common destination, the charm of this place is still the same. No doubt, it is a perfect place for wildlife and forest lovers. A safari in one of the oldest national parks of India can feed your wildlife bug. There are several resorts in the vicinity of the National park that provide a tranquil ambience to stay. Jeep safari, Canter safari, Elephant ride, Nature walks, Fishing, Bird watching are some of the activities that one can try out there.

4. Bungee Jump, Flying Fox and Giant Swing

Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh
This ain't no touristy stuff! These activities will surely give you an unforgettable adrenaline rush. One can try these activities at Rishikesh, also called as Yoga capital of India. Either your soul is seeking solitude or an unlimited adventure, Rishikesh is indeed the best place to visit. Just try out once and you will vouch for the experience you get.

5. Adventure at Mashobra

Mashobra near Shimla
Mashobra, a tiny and picturesque hill station settled in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. The place is composed of lush green hills, dense forest having trees of pine, cedar, deodar and oak, apple orchards, and a stream that gushes through the valley. The place recharges one’s mind, body and soul by connecting with the rich and fresh surroundings. Mashobra is known as the ‘Quieter Shimla’ and it is also one of the popular offbeat locations in Himachal Pradesh. Apart from its serene environment, the place also offers adventure activities such as rafting, paragliding, rock climbing, trekking and etc., and all this make Mashobra a must visit getaway for travelers.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tips to Save Money while Planning a Honeymoon in India

Manu Khandelwal

India is often incomparable with any other honeymoon destination around the globe. Besides the friendliness of its people, India has various forms of rich architecture and magnificent art on offer. If you’re seeking a thrilling and romantic adventure, this land is an ideal place of visit. You may opt for travel packages that include participating in colorful activities and local festivals.

India is known for the food specialties and customs of all its geographical regions. While seeking wilderness, you might achieve a taste of wines collected from regions like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka or may set your foot on the beaches of Goa which is noted for seafood and secret adventures. To add to this, you may even pay a visit to the islands of Andaman and Nicobar which are always filled with romance.

A lovely Land

The land of love, as India is often recognized as turns out to be a place of fortune for young honeymooners who’re often wished a long life and good luck by one and all. Being one of the most sophisticated lands in Asia, it is famous all over the globe for its architecture and art. 

It is quite natural for a couple to plan their honeymoon alongside planning their wedding. It is often a better idea to pay for a package trip. Alongside a few additional benefits, the packages may include trips, hotel, and transportation. In case your honeymoon destination is a tourist hotspot, then it will be easier for you to visit places of historical interest, artwork developed by the most notable artists, and a visit to the Qutub Minar.

A romantic ride on a boat

Srinagar is a city that has a beautiful backdrop created with hills surrounding lakes. So, when you choose Srinagar as your honeymoon destination, you might chance upon the idea of taking a gondolier ride through these canals. It might turn out to be another romantic experience. You may choose to listen to romantic Kashmiri scores while riding past the row of colorful buildings beside the waterway. You might place an order for some quality cheese or take a sip of any famous Indian wine at a nearby cafΓ© near the end of your trip.

Your honeymoon package may also include surfing high-end designs at the Indian fashion industry, checking out the Mughal artwork alongside visiting the Himalayas. You may spend all nights partying at night clubs that make the entire country famous for its nightlife. Those of you, who’re into dancing, may choose between the ballroom and the Disco.

India is often described as the sweet life by many foreigners. You’ll get the proof upon your visit to this beautiful land for a vacation like a honeymoon. India as a honeymoon destination is quite an ideal place with quality accommodations, friendly people, and delicious food. The warmth of the beautiful beaches would invite couples to swim, sunbathe or walk. 

The honeymoon packages in India are designed keeping in mind the dreams of newly-weds and can be booked from almost any place. Hotel coupons in India are playing a major role in planning a honeymoon. A newly-married life is the beginning of a new journey, and so you’ll need to start amid plush surroundings, great service, and excellent accommodations. 

The honeymoon package that you choose will decide the various amenities that you can access, your tour, regular breakfast and the experience of spending nights at multiple hotels. Under circumstances when you don’t wish to include airfare, you may opt for travel coupons. This enables you to save for other purposes.

Author Bio: 

Rajshree Das is a prolific blogger whose presence has been felt around a few online communities. She has contributed much towards reviewing some upcoming digital industries of late. Rajshree's strength lies in her clear vision and choice of words that make it easier for you to distinguish her from other contemporary web writers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Snow Trek To Nag Tibba - Part 2

Manu Khandelwal

Day 2: 

Reached Pantwari at around 0700 hrs. The weather was chilling and the sky was cloudy. While freshening up, our hands got numbed due to chilled water. To make our hands normal, we did a small bonfire session. After freshening up, we had our breakfast of Poori Sabji cooked at Parmar Sweet Shop. Really,  mountain folks are really good cooks. The best thing about mountains is the pure water available in that vicinity. Eat whatever and how much you want, one can digest almost everything (talking about food) with the help of that water. I don't think that mountain folks have ever had constipation problem πŸ˜›. 

Pantwari village seen from the trek
Scenic Pantwari Village
After having our breakfast, I decided to give some tips to all because I was the most experienced trekker in the whole group. So I gave a short learning session to my fellow trekkers on how to ascend and descend on a trek and then we started our trek. The initial trek was through the village. The trail was made up of stones and was covered with goat and cow shit. Soon we came out of the village and reached the trek route. The terrain was mild steep and it was an uneven surface. 

Starting the trek from Pantwari village in the morning
Starting the trek
Ascending an uneven path to reach the Nag Tibba base camp
On our way to Nag Tibba base camp
There is also a road that gets connected to the trek route. If one doesn't want to start the trek from Pantwari itself then he/she can opt for that motorable road. However, we didn't choose that route. We did the whole trek. The whole trail was easy and mild steep except the last two stretches. Those last two stretches made us tired. We took some small breaks during the trek and reached the basecamp at around 1600 hrs. After reaching the base camp, we relaxed a bit and had piping hot Maggi. As the weather was quite cold, we started a bonfire and spent a good time with the gang. We had a discussion for about 2 hours which included some ghost stories, college/hostel stories and discussion about next day trek. We all were wishing for snowfall because we wanted to experience the snow trek. Later we played a game called “bluff” with the playing cards and after having dinner we all went inside into our tents to sleep. As late night arrived, the storm started with rain. The storm was terrible. We were scared of collapsing our tent but with the god’s grace, our tent remained intact. Somehow we got able to sleep.

After a continuous trek of 2 km, we were taking a short break of around 10 minutes.
Taking a short break

After a trek of around  km, we gave our trekking poles a break to relax
Let our trekking poles relax

The other camps seen from Nag Tibba base camp.
View from Nag Tibba base camp

Day 3: 

Woke up early at 0600 hrs, came out from our tents and it started snowing. It was seeming like the weather was waiting for us to wake up. We all started shouting and thanking the weather. Then we got ready and had our breakfast of delicious Aloo Parantha. Aloo Paranthas in snowfall, it was really fun. 

Getting ready for the further trek to summit. Put on ponchos due to snowfall.
In ponchos
After all this, we put on our ponchos and then started our further trek to Nag Tibba summit. Today’s trek distance was 12 km (3 km up and 9 km down). Now the weather and landscape got completely changed. We were trekking in the snowfall. All the vegetation turned white as it got covered with the white blanket of snow. We were really enjoying the trek during snowfall. It was an amazing experience. It took us around 1 hour to reach the Nag Tibba temple. The temple was girded by 3-4 feet of snow. We quickly explored the place and checked out the condition of the further trail to the summit. 

Trekking during snowfall
On our way to Nag Tibba temple

Trail of a snow trek
Trail covered with snow

trees covered with snow
Trees covered with snow

A hut situated near Nag Tibba temple
A hut near Nag Tibba temple

Other trekkers enjoying snowfall
Other trekkers enjoying snowfall

Nag Tibba Temple
Nag Tibba Temple

Me and Manish - giving the pose
Me and Manish giving the pose

trying to jump
An unsuccessful attempt of jump πŸ˜›

A shelter near Nag Tibba temple
Shelter near Nag Tibba temple

Getting ready for a snow fight
Getting ready for a snow fight

A perfect view of a snow trek
A perfect view of a snow trek
The further trail was brimmed with heavy snow and we did not have equipment such as gaiters, crampons, etc. to trek in that much snow. So, unfortunately, we had to drop our plan of our further trek to the summit and decided to spend our remaining time at the temple. We had a ball at the temple. It was great fun to play with snow and build the snowman. We did everything that we could do with the snow. 

Photo session with snow man
With snow man
Going back to Nag Tibba base camp
Going back to Nag Tibba base camp
Later we started descending towards the base camp. We had our lunch there and then descended back to village Pantwari. While descending, some of us got fallen several times due to wet mud but it was also a part of our fun. The good thing was that no one got injured during the trek. After reaching the village, we relaxed and enjoyed the dawn. We had our dinner and slept in the guest house.

Scenic dawn
Scenic Dawn

Day 3

Woke up at 0800 hrs, got ready and departed for Delhi. As the day was Sunday, we decided to take the Vikasnagar road instead of Mussoorie so that we could pass through less traffic. Our decision came out to be correct. The road was almost empty. We enjoyed the whole journey and also explored a roadside waterfall. We reached Delhi at 2000 hrs. The overall trip was a great fun and a memorable one.  

Route to Vikasnagar
Route to Dakpathar, Vikasnagar

A roadside waterfall
A roadside waterfall

Our whole group including driver bhaiya at the back
Our whole group including Driver bhaiya at the back.
This was my second trek to Nag Tibba and I couldn't reach the summit this time also. The first one due to hailstorm and the second one due to heavy snow. Still no regrets. I will plan for 3rd time and reach the summit. 😊

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Snow Trek To Nag Tibba - Part 1

Manu Khandelwal

Whenever I hear the word “winter”, the first word that strikes my mind is “Snow”. I love snow and places which receive plenty of snow. India is home to several scenic destinations where one can experience an ample amount of snow. I had experienced snow for only once when I was on a trip to Nainital and Mukhteshwar. After that trip, I never got any opportunity to witness snow or snowfall. As I am an adventure freak person, I always look for adventure in each situation or in my each travel plan. So I decided to go on a snow trek.

According to Indian geographical conditions, Uttarakhand receives less snowfall than Himachal Pradesh. So there are more treks in Uttarakhand than Himachal Pradesh which remain accessible during the winter season. These treks are Har Ki Dun, Dayara Bugyal, Brahmatal, Nag Tibba, Dodital, Kedarkantha, Panwali kantha and Deoriatal-Chandrashila. Out of all, Nag Tibba is the nearest trek to Delhi which can be done in 2 days. I had a short time slot to explore that is why I chose Nag Tibba for my snow trekking trip. This was my 2nd trek to Nag Tibba. The first one I went in 2014 during my college days (Nag Tibba Trek - 2014). At that time I couldn’t reach the summit due to hailstorm so this time I wanted to complete the trek. 

You may like to read: 6 Must Do Himalayan Treks

Day 1: 

Packed up my bags and reported at Akshardham metro station as per the schedule. I reached there on time as I never get late in case of travel. I wait there for some time and then met my trek mates. We were a group of 9 including me, Rohan, Manish, Karan, Anmol, Akashdeep, Raj, Anchit and Saurav.  As we were stangers, we started with the introduction and soon the atmosphere became quiet friendly. After waiting for sometime, our vehicle arrived and we all got into it. At 2130 hrs, we left the polluted Delhi and departed for Pantwari, which is the starting point of the trek. 

Just waiting to get inside into the vehicle and begin our road trip
Getting ready for the road trip.

Our first group photo in Delhi
Our whole gang for Nag Tibba trek.
Pantwari is a small village situated 56 km from Mussoorie in the Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. We drove through Ghaziabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee, Dehradun and Mussoorie. We had our dinner of Paneer Parantha on a roadside Dhaba. While we were traveling, it started raining like cats and dogs. The driver wasn’t able to see the road properly so he pushed the brakes and we took a halt for 10 minutes. After slowing down of rain, we continued our journey to Pantwari. We reached Mussoorie at 0500 hrs and stopped at Library chowk. There we did a small photo session and enquired about the route to Pantwari. As usual, Doon valley was looking scenic from Mussoorie. We could see the lights of Dehradun from there. After all this, we got into our tempo traveler and resumed our journey. From Mussoorie, we took the Yamunotri road. We crossed the Yamuna Bridge and took the road to Pantwari from Nainbagh.  Amidst the way, we witnessed a house and it was exactly looking like a haunted house. One can imagine a scene on mountains with a dark night and an only house with creepy yellow lights in that vicinity. We wanted to explore that house but after seeing the name of that place we changed our mind. The name of that house was “Mukti Dwar – way to god”.πŸ˜› We continued our drive until we reach Pantwari.

Delhi to Pantwari route:

Delhi → Ghaziabad → Meerut → Muzaffarnagar → Roorkee → Dehradun → Mussoorie → Kempty → Yamuna Bridge → Nainbagh → Pantwari

A photo of Mahatma Gandhi statue located at Mussoorie Library Chowk, Mussoorie
Gandhi statue at Mussoorie Library Chowk

Monday, January 23, 2017

Why mental fitness is much important on a trek?

Manu Khandelwal
trekking from Odari to Bali Pass base camp
On our way to Basecamp of Bali Pass
We all have heard several times from different people that if you are going to attempt any adventure activity then make sure your mental fitness is much better than your physical one. Especially in trekking, on each trek there comes a moment where we have two options that is either we give up or we continue with our full confidence. Only that moment decides that you are going to conquer it or not.

On 5th day of Bali Pass trek, there comes a campsite called Basecamp, situated at an altitude of 4678 meters above the sea level. To reach the campsite, one has to cross some strenuous ridges of about 65-degree incline. The ridges are 3.25 km long in distance. The terrain is full of scree and moraine and both sides having a downfall of about 400 ft. While I was crossing this ridge, I got completely drained out. Instead of walking on the ridge, I was crawling because the terrain was too steep. And the scree present on the ridge was making it more difficult to cross. At that time there were several thoughts coming into my mind i.e., would I be able to cross it or not and blah blah! The trek leader was just behind me and was continuously forcing me to walk. I kept saying “yes! Just give me two minutes”, but I was not moving. Self-motivation is a quite tough thing and it often remains in short supply. Every person has its own source of motivation. Mine is motivational songs. So I requested my trek leader to play some songs. It really helped me. After listening songs such as Zinda (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag), Lakshya, etc. the negative vibes that I was getting got converted into positive ones. Ultimately I crossed that ridge and reached the base camp. It was one of the most thrilling experiences that I have ever had in my life.

Descending down from Bali Pass through a rocky terrain
Descending down from Bali Pass
While descending down from the Bali Pass, I faced several challenges. There were stretches (like you can see in the above picture) on which we had to climb down through a rocky terrain full of scree and loose stones. All the stones were moving down with us and making it difficult and risky at the same time. Then we crossed a section which was a straight descent down the hill. After this, we came across a path which was a goat path. Only goats can walk on it. The path was narrow like hell. It was just 6 inches wide and on one side there was a valley 200 ft down from here and on the other there was a mountain wall having loose plants and bushes. All the moments were really scary but I didn't even think about giving up. I had just one thing in my mind, i.e., I have to complete this trek and reach the final destination, Yamunotri. All these moments taught me one thing that "come what may we should never give up" 😊😊

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Agra Excursion

Manu Khandelwal
Agra Excursion

The Taj Mahal, one of the modern seven wonders and one of the exquisite monuments in the world. Each day the monument is visited by thousands of people from all over the world and on some days this number gets escalated up to lakhs. People come and get overwhelmed by its magnificence.

In India, if you live in a tourist city like Agra then there is a 100% chance that you become a guide for your relatives and take them to places/monuments such as Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, etc. Neither you can say no nor you can make excuses to them. Hence all these circumstances make you less attracted towards these places. 

Being a resident of Agra a.k.a Tajnagri since birth, it was like no more extraordinary thing for me to see the Taj Mahal. I could get a glimpse of it from my house terrace (during clear weather). All the visits to Taj Mahal that I paid were during my teenage. Due to less maturity, I could not understand the beauty of this masterpiece. There was a time when I had frequent visits to Taj Mahal with my relatives and slowly it became a usual thing for me. 

Now it had been more than 5 years that I visited Taj Mahal. After such long duration, I was wishing to revive my memories of Taj, so I planned to visit it again and wanted to experience it fully. Visiting Taj Mahal solo was seeming a little boring thing for me. So I was waiting for someone who could be my travel mate. My wish got fulfilled when my colleague (Vibhor Bhaiya) told me about his plan of coming to Agra to see and explore the place. After he arrived, we made our plan for the next day morning. Our plan consisted of visiting 3 notable historical destinations of Agra, i.e., Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. 

We started our day with the delicious breakfast that my mother cooked. Kicked on my bike and began our journey at 9 AM. Fatehpur Sikri is around 40 km from Agra main city. As I ride fast, it took around 40 minutes to reach there. I had seen Fatehpur Sikri for only once and that too during my school picnic in 4th standard. After that picnic, I never got any opportunity to visit this monument so this was the reason that I was more eager to see Fatehpur Sikri than the Taj Mahal. The monument is situated near the border of Uttar Pradesh & Rajasthan in the Fatehpur district. It is a monument built by Mughal emperor Akbar. He shifted his capital from Agra to there when he blessed with a son due to blessings of Salim Chishti.

Fatehpur Sikri

Tomb of Salim Chisti

The weather was scorching hot there, but it was tolerable due to continuous breeze. I parked my bike and bought tickets for two. We hired a guide and started exploring the monument. First, we saw the shrine of Salim Chisti and then explored the main mahal. The monument was clean and tranquil as there were quite less visitors. We saw Diwan-i-Aam, Ibadat Khana, Naubat Khana & Panch Mahal. After spending some time, we came back to Agra and had our lunch in the Hotel Solitaire, located at MG Road. The food was good and cheap.

Panch Mahal
Later, we continued our journey and visited our next destination, viz, Agra Fort. We reached there at 2:30 pm and started exploring without any pause because we were short of time and we had to visit Taj Mahal also on the same day. It took around 2 hours to explore the fort. We explored Diwan-i-aam, Diwan-i-khaas, gardens, etc. Also got our first view of Taj Mahal through a window. We got tired & completely exhausted after exploring the fort. Our legs started paining. To turn up the energy level, we drank coconut water from outside the fort and then moved to Taj Mahal.

Entrance of Agra Fort

View of Taj Mahal from Agra Fort
Reached Taj Mahal at around 5 PM and as usual, it was filled with its lovers. In the evening the weather turned little cool. Now it wasn’t warmer. We started enjoying in roaming around the monument. As usual, it was looking splendid and due to ideal weather our experience became better. After roaming for some time, we relaxed there and enjoyed the back side view of river Yamuna during sunset. Later we had our dinner at Sadar Bazaar and got back to our home.

Taj Mahal

River Yamuna behind Taj Mahal

Me & Vibhor Bhaiya


If you are visiting Taj Mahal in the summer season (not in monsoon) then try to visit it in the evening. It gets more beautiful in the evening and the marble floor gets cooled. So you won't feel uncomfortable in moving around.

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