Khardung La in Winter : Part 2

I had never known North Pullu to be like this : The entire landscape was shrouded in a pall of white and a deathly silence prevailed. Maybe the army wouldn’t have let me ago if only they had seen me. The gentleman giving me the ride stopped for a breather, after all even the snowfall Gods…

Khardung La in Winter : Part 1

Although the lure of becoming the first official tourist to explore the other side of Nubra Valley was immense, murky skies had necessitated that I take a logical decision and go back to Leh. We were only allowed till Ensa Gompa earlier on the Panamik and Sumur side, the district administration in Diskit informed me that…

Wanderings in Lahaul : Kardang Monastery

Most travellers just pass through Lahaul as an overnight stop at either Keylong or Jispa on their journey on the famous Manali – Leh highway. I had done so too, on my first trip on this magical road. Over the years I have kept returning and explored Lahaul in bits and pieces; it is too huge…

20 Stunning Images from Shekhawati – In Monochrome

You may think I am out of my mind by even thinking of something like this, turning this colourful region into black and white images. I am on my umpteenth trip to this region (This is home!) and this idea has taken root in my head. It is indeed very surprising to see that the details got pronounced…

Lessons of Life at Pangong in Winter

I had woken up breathless in the middle of the night. And then I saw out of the window, the lake shined in glorious moonlight. I dare not go out to pee, we had all been advised by the gentle homestay owners to stay indoors and clear of the cold, at least till the morning…

A long weekend in Mussoorie – Explorations & Walks

The road looks like it has tried to recover from a deluge and given up. Dense fog covers the entirety of my view and fog lamps of cars are on at 8 in the morning. It is quite a welcome, and being a sucker for cloudy weather I am loving it. The one hour drive from Dehradun was akin to unravelling…

Experimenting with Luxury at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

I was at a point that comes in everyone’s life, after slow travel in the high Himalayas of Ladakh, Spiti, Lahaul and other offbeat destinations (offbeat at that time), my family had began to feel slightly worried about my solo sojourns. I was making a lot of money, and yet wasn’t spending anything that could…

A lost treasure – The biggest home in Kumaon

I had been roaming pretty much everywhere in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand. It was sheer delight coming across pretty windows and doors embellished with intricate carvings in remote towns. Houses in the mountains have traditionally been constructed from mud and stone because of easy availability of the same. I kept asking people about traditional houses wherever…

Waltzing to Happiness on a Houseboat in Srinagar

I had spent the night gazing at the framed views of Nun-Kun peaks from a little village in Suru Valley called Parkachik. While hitchhiking in a truck from Padum to Rangdum, the lunch break had enabled me to speak to a lady from New Zealand who promptly offered me a seat in the cab that she was…

Being a tourist in my own city – Inside Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal

Jaipur’s most iconic landmark, Hawa Mahal literally translates to ‘Palace of the Winds’ and is perhaps the most photographed monument in the historical pink city. It is situated bang in the middle of the Old City or Walled City of Jaipur and is akin to a fairytale come true. It was constructed in 1799 as…

Solo travelling to the last frontier of Saach Pass

July has the distinction of being one of my favourite months. Even when I worked in the family business, the arrival of rains in July signalled that I could head out for long solo sojourns. In the last week of June, I randomly booked tickets from Jaipur to Pathankot in Pooja Express. I was hoping to…

Lamas at Phuktal Monastery

Last year in Keylong, on a whim I had decided to trek all by myself to Zanskar. Upon reaching Purne, my tattered state was realised and I decided to take it slow and explore the remote cave monastery of Phuktal. The path was treacherous and a swaying bridge had almost blown me away.  Read : Stunning…