Northern India

Northern India is a region that encompasses the northern part of India, which includes the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Delhi. The region is characterized by its diverse geography, vibrant culture, and rich history.

The northern region of India is home to the Himalayan mountain range, which spans across several states in the region. This mountain range is known for its snow-capped peaks, beautiful valleys, and scenic landscapes. The region also includes the fertile plains of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, which are home to some of the most important cities in India such as Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi.

The region has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in its art, music, dance, and cuisine. Northern India is known for its iconic landmarks, such as the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red Fort and Jama Masjid in Delhi, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand.

The people of northern India are known for their warmth and hospitality. The region has a diverse population with a mix of different ethnicities and religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The languages spoken in the region are also diverse, with Hindi being the most widely spoken language.

Overall, Northern India is a fascinating region that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the diverse and vibrant culture of India.

Sim card warning!

It’s much more difficult to obtain sim card in India then it is in other countries. As a foreigner you can obtain only pre-paid one and if you get it outside Jammu and Kashmir/Ladakh, it won’t work there. Also once getting one from Vodafone in Delhi, it was required to provide personal details of a local person, luckily an Indian friend could help me out with it, no idea how it would be solved otherwise.

How to move around?

It’s very easy to move around Rajasthan and most parts within the states between Ladakh and Delhi, there are various bus services provided, both low budget and more comfortable options, lots of options are available online and there are usually many more available at the bus terminals, in many cases online platforms will not support foreign bank cards, therefore, try various sites in case you don’t have an Indian bank card.

Ladakh/Jammu and Kashmir

It’s important to note that the following experience is based on my travels during the summer season of 2022, as many roads in the region are closed during winter. While informal minivans between cities are readily available in Jammu and Kashmir, traveling in Ladakh is a different story. Navigating the region is more challenging than other parts of India, but it’s well worth the effort.

One way to reach the capital city of Leh is by bus from Manali in Himachal Pradesh, which takes an entire day but offers stunning scenery. In Leh, there is a main bus terminal with two timetables, but keep in mind that some rides may be cancelled if demand is low. Don’t rely on my attached photo as a reliable source of timetable information, as it may already be outdated!

Another more reliable way is shared cab, but it’s much more expensive than buses and you need other passengers. In my case round-trip from Leh to Pangong lake was almost 30USD, which is considered a very good price. Also I had to use it from Leh to Kargil (20USD) for a decent road and around 200km distance, public buses were out of service due to Muharram celebrations.

On another day, I took a bus from Leh to Hunder, which actually went further than my intended destination. I ended up getting off in the middle of nowhere next to Udmaru Bridge, with the goal of reaching Turtuk, the last place before Pakistan that foreigners are allowed to visit. Hitchhiking was my only option, but since only one or two cars pass by each hour, it was uncertain. Despite the uncertainty, everything worked out fine in the end, since most people are very welcoming and happy to help.