The Delights of Kangra – A Travel Guide

Kangra had very pleasant weather, considering it was the fag end of December and it actually felt quite nice after coming back from the extreme cold of Kugti. We had acclimatised and gradually got used to the cold in Chamba & Bharmour before walking the final distance to reach frozen Kugti village. The bus meandered along…

My Favourite Eateries & Cafés in Goa

Goa came into being for me when I was in college; I was in Pune back in those days and Goa was hardly 10 hours away. Some of us friends made a pact to go to Goa as often as we could, and it is no surprise that I have had more than 10 trips…

The Goodness of Strangers : Curfew in Kashmir (Part 2)

Continuing the (seemingly) action hero type narration travelling in Kashmir in the Burhani Wani curfew, I had been lucky to reach the highway village of Saura from the Srinagar airport. Already pleasantly surprised with the kindness of strangers, I couldn’t afford to relax or take it easy. The danger was real and I wasn’t in…

Cenotaphs of Orchha : So Beautiful, You May Want to Die

It was as whimsical as one could be; Orchha had beckoned for years and I had chosen the middle of April to finally set foot in this land of riches and subsequent ruins. While the original plan was to see it over 2 days; I ended up spending close to a week. It was slow travel…

Diwali Celebrations in Jaipur, in Pictures

Diwali – A word that conjures up so many memories; when I let my mind wander. That last line also reminds me what a precious commodity time has become. In the quest of trying to do everything, humans seem to have lost the fine art of whiling away time. Oh, lest I digress – Diwali,…

The Goodness of Strangers : Curfew in Kashmir

I see no network on my phone and immediately alarm bells start ringing. There were hardly 50 people on the aircraft and none of them seemed to be tourists. I am greeted with curious looks after I alight with a backpack at the Srinagar airport. It was the early hour of 7 in the morning and the Tourist office was…

A Winter in Ladakh : Masked dances at Spituk Monastery

Spituk has been a place of historical importance for centuries in Ladakh; it was the transit point for the lucrative pashm (wool of Pashmina goats) trade from Tibet to Kashmir. It is also religiously significant – (a) The lama of Spituk Monastery is the Gelugpa head for all of Ladakh and (b) Kicking off the masked…

Street Photography from Varanasi

Although I am loath to go on media and organised FAM trips; a word of advice from a well wisher made me say yes to the invite from Uttar Pradesh Tourism Board. I like exploring places in my own carefree style and have realised that the whirlwind operations of cramming in and ticking off places…

Hitchhiking in a truck : Stories from Nakee La

It was close to 2 in the afternoon and hunger had kept knocking on the doors of the stomach but to no avail. And there wasn’t exactly a choice to stop as I liked; for I was hitchhiking in a truck from Darcha in Lahaul. We stopped at the check post in Sarchu and I…

The Tomb of Safdarjung in Delhi

It was a fine Sunday morning and I had just arrived from the mountains to the madness of Delhi. In retrospect, it was a day of good fortune for me to finally set my sights upon this grand monument that has been described as ‘The last flicker in the dying lamp of Mughal Architecture in…

Wanderings in Lahaul – Tayul Monastery

Although this wasn’t my first trip to Lahaul; this was turning out to be the first time I was really focused on exploring the ancient monasteries dotted on hilltops. Since the travel industry seems to have an affinity for numbers, it was my fourth or fifth trip to Lahaul in July 2015 (I have made one more after that)….

Autumn Colours in the Himalayas

I write this post after having had a glimpse of the beginning of autumn on a forest walk near Naldehra in Himachal Pradesh. Among tall pines, an unreal shade of red shined through. I was intrigued; it was also coincidental that very same day as I read Pico Iyer’s Four Seasons in Kyoto for him to…