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…

Romancing the monsoon in Corbett

The air was heavy in anticipation of the much awaited monsoon that was supposed to be knocking on our doors. I was in the foothills of the Himalayas in the the quaint village of Dhikuli. We waited with bated breath for some respite from the balmy, almost unbearable weather. The mountains were shrouded in a cloak…

An insider’s guide to Cafés & Shopping in Shimla

Some of my favourite places to explore food while on holiday in Shimla  Also read : An expert guide to Shimla Cafe Sol at Hotel Combermere – Located at the end of the Mall Road is Shimla’s finest place for Italian food and continental dishes. The aroma of the fresh bakes wafting around is refreshing. Also, Cafe…

A Comprehensive Guide to Kinnaur

Kinner Kailash (6050m), the abode of Lord Shiva is in Kinnaur ‘Kinner Kailash Parikrama’ begins here.  The natives of this place, ‘Kinners’ are believed to be halfway between men and God. They can be distinguished by their very pretty green Kinnauri topi (hat.) Kinnaur valley was a part of the erstwhile Bushahr State which had its headquarters at…

Top Cafés and Restaurants in Leh

After the rigours of high altitude and utter disbelief at the sight of the lakes and valleys, it is time to take it easy and relish these delights. After all, for most people – A trip to Ladakh is a once in a lifetime trip. La Piazzetta  This lovely garden place with candles and lanterns…

Himalayan boy goes to the islands of Thailand

After the luxurious stay at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, it was time to head to Krabi in Thailand. And the beach lover in me was glowing with delight. It was a joy to dine beneath the stars and wake up to see the water change colours and show me pristine shades of green and blue….

Can you help me ‘do’ Ladakh in 6 days?

Although I am not a travel agent, people apparently try to think I am and want to get Leh’d. Excerpts from a conversation that might seem humorous to some of us : Q. Hi Shubham. Randomly saw your ladakh pic n ur website Can u guide me for ladakh? We r a group of 3-4…

Nature’s delights, from a secret village in Parvati Valley

Thundering clouds and ominous skies had greeted us as soon as we had started walking on the bridge that separates Kasol from Chalal. My two travel partners were already becoming fidgety about the ‘trek’ to Rashol or Rasol. We had spent two marvellous days in the serene setting of a wooden cottage right beside the Parvati River….

Portraits that speak, from Turtuk

Read : Into Unknown Ladakh And I’ve saved my favourite for the last. On my various interactions with the villagers, they tell me how happy they are after years of turmoil to become a part of India. It hurts me that the borders I am so fascinated by are important precisely because of how easily their drawing untold…

Top Ten Spiti Experiences

If you are the sort that doesn’t ‘do’ destinations but believes in leaving a piece of you behind in every place you visit – then let me take you on a journey of life-changing experiences in the high altitude wonderland of Spiti Valley. 1. Drink chhang (local barley beer) in a mug in the remote village of…

The fairytale of Gushaini & GHNP

Cold, blustery winds blow as the bus drops me outside Aut tunnel on the Delhi-Manali highway. I haven’t envisaged May to be this cold. It is the unearthly hour of 6 in the morning and the HRTC Volvo is right on time after leaving Delhi ISBT at 7 last evening. The only souls around are two construction…

Doing the unthinkable – Solo Trekking to Zanskar

My Lahauli friends chide me for being too upbeat about trekking to Zanskar, all by myself. ‘Even we locals don’t go alone’, they say. The trek path begins from Darcha on the Manali-Leh route, just an hour’s drive away from the district headquarters of Keylong. Cloudy weather has caused the atm machine to not work for…