First Tryst with Pangi Valley : Sural Bhatori

Folklores and legends state that Pangi valley was so remote that the Raja of Chamba paid ‘funeral expenses’ to the officials proceeding on their way for duties here. The reason for the same was that there was no surety of their return, whether they will return dead or alive. It is also said that criminals…

Top Experiences and Places to Visit in Barot Valley

Normally I take my own sweet time to pen down memories from various journeys. Sometimes a post that I share now may stretch back even to a few years! After all the fun lies in sharing secrets hitherto safely confined to memory. And yet, there comes a experience, out of the blue – that has…

A Fruit Holiday in Ramgarh, Uttarakhand

It was the epic summer of 2015 and I had come to Haldwani for the third time, trying to return to Jaipur. I had slow travelled to almost all parts of Kumaon over the last two months and predictably the heat of Haldwani had resulted in me turning back to cooler climes the first two…

The Shimla of Old : Life at Chapslee

While I backpack on most of my journeys, I enjoy experiential luxury once in a while, and when it is the home of the grandson of the erstwhile ‘Raja of Kapurthala’; you say yes! Chapslee has an evocative air to it and is one of the oldest houses in Shimla. The Kalka – Shimla Toy Train …

A Detailed Travel Guide for Chopta, Tungnath, Chandrashila Trek

While the internet is awash with travel blogs about popular trekking destinations, a careful perusal results in finding out that most of them are similar and may sometimes not have proper information. After the many thankful emails and comments that I have received after the trekking guide to Kheerganga, I make this travel guide to Chopta,…

Walking in the Snow from Jalori Pass to Shoja

After a not so satisfactory solo winter trip to Spiti, I had to make a sort of hurried escape from Kaza. The sole bus during winter – Kaza to Reckong Peo hadn’t made the journey on the previous day because of the extreme cold. Bad weather was forecast for the next few days and I was in no mood…

‘Dolce Far Niente’ in Tirthan Valley

While I had promised myself that I would return to Tirthan in the snowy winters, it was not to be. After going for brief treks in Great Himalayan National Park, I was convinced that this was one of the most pristine areas in Himachal Pradesh. It had already started getting unbearably hot in the plains…

Amarnath Yatra from Baltal – A Travelogue

While I’ve always held a fascination with natural beauty on my journeys, religious sites proved to be a necessary accompaniment. A visit to them also provides important insight into our history and the perceived thought process of India – at large. It was the difficult time of July’s curfew in Kashmir and I had somehow…

Cloud Watching at Bairagarh enroute Saach Pass

Normally the weather gets milder once you are in the region of 1500m to 2000m in the Himalayas, even if it is summer. That was not to be on that particular day, the morning that had began with a sharp drizzle in Pathankot progressed to a balmy day in Churah valley at Bhanjraru. When I…

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, in Pictures

At first I set about writing a travelogue; but then quickly realised I could do that later and instead share the photographs which had created quite a storm on social media, particularly instagram. All the captions are heartfelt memories 🙂 When I went on this trek, in July-August 2016 I was a bit skeptical especially…

Top Memories of Nainital

It sure must have been a good omen when I reached Kathgodam in the wee hours of the morning. After all I was aiming to spend a long summer exploring all parts of Kumaon. The station was spic and span and the green mountains in the distance seemed happy to receive me. As soon as I walked…

The Fairytale Villages of Sangla Valley, Kinnaur

Having heard so much about the beauty of the Baspa river and Sangla Valley, I had made sure to venture this side on my first trip to Spiti, back in 2011 or 2012 and again in the subsequent years. After having visited Ladakh & Spiti in the winters, I think 2017 will be the year…