And so when we planned our first trip within India, we chose the Himalayas. My wife wanted to spend much longer there, but I was the one who limited it to two weeks. I wanted to start small.
The part of the Himalayas we visited (Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mussoorie, Yamunotri, Gangotri) is mostly in the Garhwal region in Uttarakhand. Not snow-clad peaks this time of the year, but very scenic. The Ganges (Bhagirathi) gushes right along the roads wherever we went. The food was hearty, accommodations decent. Some of the bus and jeep journeys were scary due to the narrow roads and the sheer drop.
We took two weeks to make the trip that others routinely finish in 5 days. We overnighted in villages that weren’t even marked in the tourist maps. I consciously stayed away from the Internet for the entire 2 weeks.
The Himalayas, to many who dream of heading there, is an idealized version of a place where you can shed all your worldly worries and get away from it all. Garhwal came close.