The capital of the
states of Punjab & Haryana, this showpiece of modern architecture is the start of this
circuit. Chandigarh is well serviced by Air, Road and Rail links. It already has variety
Swarghat (88 Kms from Chandigarh)
This is the entry
point of the route to Leh through Himachal Pradesh. Recently, the HP TDC complex.
Bilaspur (40 Kms from Swarghat)
The historic city of
Bilaspur was submerged by the waters of the Gobind Sagar. Subsequently a new city took
shape by the shores of this large man made lake. The city has water and
aero sports already
available but there is considerable scope for expansion. The importance of the place lies
in the fact that it lies mid way between Chandigarh & Manali.
Mandi (60 Kms from Bilaspur)
Mandi is often called
'Kashi of the Himalaya' and is famous for its finely crafted temples. It is also a
Rewalsar (22 Kms from Mandi)
Legend has it that
this was the place from where Padmasambhava left to spread the word of the Buddha in the
eight century. This has three monasteries built around a small lake. Now rebuilt, the
oldest one belongs to the Nyingma-pa order. Adorned with tiny prayer flags, the lake has
tiny clusters of floating reed, which are regarded to embody the spirit of Padmasambhava.
Kullu (70 Kms from Mandi)-Manali (45 Kms from
destinations, Kullu and Manali have four recently built Buddhist monasteries. The main one
is located in the city centre. Manali is the melting pot in which the Buddhists from
Lahaul, Kinnaur, Spiti, Nepal and Tibet live side by side with the local Hindu population.
Rohtang (50 Kms from Manali)
The once dreaded
Rohtang Pass is the only land link between the Kullu valley and Trans Himalaya Lahaul. It
is the gateway to the route to Leh.
Koksar (15 kms from Rohtang)
Koksar is the
junction of the roads that lead to Lahaul and Leh on one hand, and to Spiti & Kinnaur
on the other.
Keylong (35 Kms from Koksar)
Keyong is the
district headquarter of Lahaul & Spiti. It is perfectly sited for visiting for several
Buddhist monasteries and the ones that can be conveniently visited from Keylong are - Guru
Ghantal (8 Km), associated with both Padmasmbhava and the Great Teacher and Translator,
'Lotsaba' Rinchensang-po: this is regarded to be the oldest one in Lahaul. Kardang (5 km),
is one of the most revered places of the Drug-pa sect. Tayul (6km) and Gemur (18 km) are
other important monasteries near Keylong. The monasteries of
Shashur, Guru Ghantal and Triloknath
are other famous ones to visit.
Shashur Gompa near Keylong
Jispa is a new
tourism centre coming up with the monasteries of Yarji and Photang where his Holiness the
Dalai Lama gave the Kal Chakra sermon a few days back to the Buddhists all over the world.
The mountaineering Institute of Manali has a sub centre here for adventure tourism.
Sarchu (114 Kms from Keylong)
Sarchu is the last
inhabited point in Himachal Pradesh on the Manali-Leh route- which is regarded as one of
the highest highways in the world. Presently, it has tented and limited built
Leh (246 Kms from Sarchu)
Leh lies in the head
of a triangular plateau in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is renowned for its unique
architecture, rich culture and its monasteries.