Moon Day 2021: Reach for the moon through these less explored uphill camping destinations in India
On July 20, 1961, Neil Armstrong became the first man in history to walk on the moon. Since then, the day is celebrated as Moon Day, as the humankind honours the greatest achievements of all time. While space travel is said to be the next big thing and it might take a while for a majority of us to travel to space and make a trip to the moon, we can certainly commemorate the 60th anniversary of the historic landing by enjoying some celestial-gazing of our own. And the best way to admire the view of the moon in the night sky is through camping.
To make it easier for everyone to experience the world, when it is safe to do so, Booking.com, the leading travel brand has curated a list of relatively unexplored and lesser known uphill camping destinations in India where you can pitch a tent and watch the moon, overlooking the star-studded sky and the various constellations in unobstructed skies. Once it’s safe to travel, pull out your rucksack, pack your snacks and gears, along with some extra face masks and gloves and flee away!
Margan Top (Kokernag, Kashmir)
Perched at an altitude of 14,000 ft, Margan Top is one of the most beautiful mountain tops in the Himalyan region of South Kashmir. A mountain pass connecting Warwan Valley in Kishtwar District with the main Kashmir Valley, Margan Top is surrounded by beautiful meadows and alpine lakes all around. Offering a 360 degree view of the Kashmir Valley on one side and Warwan Valley on the other, this high-altitude destination is the perfect place to pitch a tent and enjoy the moon and the stars. Offering a soul-soothing ambience at the top of the mountain, Margan Top is a must visit for all the moon lovers.
Nag Tibba (Uttrakhand)
Famously known as the ‘Serpent’s peak, Nag Tibba lies at an altitude of 9915 ft and is the highest peak in lower Himalayas of Garhwal region. Just 55kms from Missourie, Nag Tibba offers a majestic view of some stunning peaks like Bandarpoonch, Gangotri and Kedarnath. You can trek to the peak and spend the night at the Nag Tibba Base Camp. Once you get the feeling of staying amidst a perfect space, look at the sky and gaze at the twinkling stars and enjoy the mesmerizing view of the moon. You can also light up a bonfire at the campsite and enjoy a warm cozy night under the moon-lit sky. Nag Tibba is a perfect place for camping during spring and summers and one of the most suitable treks for winters, when most of the treks are closed due to heavy snow.
Anthargange is situated in the Kolar district of Karnataka, about 70 km from Bangalore. The mountains are nestled at an altitude of 1712 meters above sea level and surrounded by rocky boulders, small caves and dense plantations making it one of the best getaways for trekking, camping and sky-gazing enthusiasts. Once there, you can set up a camp, lie down on the grassy hilltop in pitch black darkness and stare into the sky studded with a million stars and the beautiful moon. And if you are looking for something more exciting you can go for a night trek, clutching torches in your hand as you explore the deepest secrets of hidden mountain caves and finally camp under the sky.
Situated at an altitude of 4925 feet above sea level in the Gajapati district, Mahendragiri is the second highest mountain peak of Odisha and is a popular spiritual and trekking destination. A natural wonderland surrounded by hills and thick forest growth, Makendragiri is perfect for those who enjoy camping and gazing into the moonlit sky. Once you complete the hill-top trek, you will be rewarded with a mesmerizing view of the surrounding area, as the hills look like huge waves amidst the clouds. The calming waters of the nearby Mahendratanaya River, the blue bay on the horizon and the mountain-top scenery make this destination even more pleasing for a relaxed moon gazing experience.
Vellagavi (Tamil Nadu)
Vellagavi, a small village located in Tamil Nadu at an elevation of 1300 m, makes for an ideal camping destination for travellers looking for a starry moon-lit night. The journey to Vellagavi is as beautiful as the destination itself, as travellers will have to trek through the dense forest of Kumbakarai giving them the opportunity to experience greenery at its best and also make the most of the waterfalls that they witness on their way. Once you reach your destination, you can set camp, enjoy the view with a great cup of filter coffee and immerse yourself in tranquility as you wait for the moon to rise. Spend the day with the hot sun and chill the night under the moon.
Sarchu, Leh-Manali Highway
If you’re on a road trip from Leh to Manali, an overnight stop-over at Sarchu will be the highlight of the trip. Perched at an altitude of 4,290 meters on the Manali-Leh highway, on the border of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, Sarchu is a popular place for camping. There are options of tented accommodations at Sarchu for you to spend the night admiring the moon from a height. The ideal time to visit Sarchu is between May to September when the snow melts and the Manali-Leh highway opens for travellers.