Tag Archives: Ladakh

Top 5 Summer Getaways in India

To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.

                                                                                                            Philip Andrew Adams

For those who stay near the national capital region in and around Delhi, between May to September, brings months of torture with regards to heat and humidity. Thankfully the northern region has some getaways that you could think of to rejuvenate yourself and get back to action that your work so demands in the daily life. We bring out 5 places that could get your body; mind and soul back to sanity through the sheer climate and locales of the place.

shimla

Shimla: Nothing beats Shimla during the heat. The “Queen of Hill Stations” as it is so famously called is choc-a-bloc with people from all parts of the country during summers. If that makes you feel apprehensive you can rest assured that there are least 15 places around the town which will give you the peace you need away from the hustle and bustle. The place got its fame first time when the Brits made it their retreat and also their winter capital. The remains of those times can still be seen. The place is also a huge honeymoon destination because of its serene, quite and romantic environment.

Major Attractions: The Ridge and the Mall, Christ Church and the Tara Devi Temple.

leh ladakh

Leh-Ladakh: If you are an adventure freak and also have a largish holiday window, Ladakh is the place to visit during the summers. It needs time though and if you are travelling air, the duration could be 7 days and if you are travelling road you need at least 10 days to figure out the entire place. Because of the climate it actually needs acclimatization of a day or two to settle down. Ladakh is the highest plateau in the state of Kashmir and most of it is a minimum 3000 feet above sea level. The distance and the extremeness of the location has made sure the rest of the country is still far away and the beautiful place is sparsely populated.

Major Attraction: Leh, Drass Valley, Nubra Valley, Pangong, Tso Moriri, Zangla and many Buddhist Monasteries.

manali

Manali: “Valley of Gods” or “India’s Switzerland” as its known as, Manali is a wonderful place to be during the summers. The great climate, the scenic surrounding, Himalayas by the Beas river make it a perfect getaway from the hectic city life we so awfully lead. Trekking, skiing, river rafting and mountaineering make it a destination to explore for the adventure nutties as well.

Major Attractions: Snow capped Himalayan peaks, Beas river, adventure sports and fruit orchards.

munnar

Munnar: When we talk of holiday destinations, “God’s Own Country” Kerala cannot lag behind and Munnar is definitely one of India’s best summer holiday destinations. Tea Gardens, dense vegetation, awesome surroundings and magnificent weather mean Munnar has people flocking from all over the World. It is also very popular amongst honeymooners.

Major Attractions: Tea plantations, National Park, Walk in the clouds, lakes, waterfalls, vegetation, Bird Sanctuary etc.

Nainital

Nainital: For those looking for a break from the dust and the heat, Nainital comes across as a great solution. One of India’s biggest summer destinations, Nainital is a favorite amongst tourists during summers. The high mountains and the vast stretches of green across the horizon add to the pictorial beauty. The name as believed by the locals has been taken from the Goddess Naina. There is also a temple dedicated to this goddess, present in Nainital that you can visit.

Major Attractions: high mountains, Naina Devi temple, fabulous resorts, greenery

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Indo-China Bhai Bhai

Kushal Sakunia writes on how the Chinese Premiere’s visit to India could be seen as one to improve relations between the two countries.

india-china-heads

For the first time, future shared interests are taking over the past differences in the relations between the countries on the two sides of the McMohan line. In light of the Chinese incursion in Ladakh last month, the gesture of choosing India as his first official visit by Premier Li, hint at a possible positivism in Sino-Indian relations.

Both leaders spoke of the territorial disputes, trans-border rivers, peace and stability as well as improving economic ties by looking at investment opportunities in each other’s countries. However, despite the gestures and the words, the path for Beijing & New Delhi to come closer is still long, complex and with a lot of hurdles.

When the new leadership took over in China early this year, resolving border dispute was the first point in the list of Chinese President’s five point agenda on relations with India. In the talks between the two leaders, India voiced serious concern over the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh and communicated that in the absence of peace and tranquility along the border, bilateral ties will suffer.  The boundary may remain disputed in coming years. China’s boundary dispute settlements with 12 of its 14 land neighbors show a pattern and also serve as useful indicators of what India can expect in future negotiations. In a majority of these settlements, China has insisted on demilitarization of the border areas and the urge of a “Quick Settlement” of the border dispute with India may also lead to a Chinese offer of a demilitarized zone across the LAC.

The last few years, China’s relations have deteriorated with Japan and South-east Asian countries. Relations with some ASEAN countries deteriorated in 2009 after Beijing identified the disputed South China Sea islands as a “core interest.” Previously, China had identified Tibet and Taiwan as core interests. China-Japan relations have been to new low with disputes over the Senkaku Islands and energy fields in the East China Sea. Philippines has started stapling Chinese visas and Vietnam is red-eyed over the South China Sea. With the growing presence of USA in this region, China certainly cannot afford creating another highly hostile neighbor on the south-western frontier.

china-indiaThough we raised our concerns over the contentious Brahmaputra water dispute and the trade imbalance issue and not to forget that, the joint declaration did not mention support to One-China policy, India was not effective in raising concerns over growing Chinese presence in the POK and the Chinese visa policy for Kashmiris (China for the first time is taking sides by issuing stapled visas to Indian Kashmiris while normal visas to residents of POK).

With China showing positive signs, India should demand Chinese reciprocity on all strategic issues. It is in India’s immediate interest to put other strategic concerns on the negotiating table as well – starting with China’s failure to endorse India’s bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council and hugely growing Chinese military involvement in POK. The past experiences with China have not been good for India and as we come closer, we should not forget the contentious & thorny issues with the Dragon.