Old World Charm of Landour, with Rokeby Manor

On the circular path of Landour, a board hanging on a tree announces ‘If we liked noise we wouldn’t live here, if you like noise you shouldn’t be here.’ Immediately, an inexplicable rush of happiness courses through my veins. I’m no stranger to Landour; having spent multiple lazy vacations in this tiny fairytale town (if…

The Goodness of Strangers : Travails & Joy in Gada Gushaini

Names of some places strike the mind as mirages. Not because they might be difficult to reach physically, but rather due to the fact that hardly anyone from the mortal world has been there. And hence when unplanned wanderers like me happen to inadvertently land in obscure and little known hamlets like Gada Gushaini, it…

Himachal’s Newest Offbeat Secret : Thachi Valley

It must have been 2 years ago, in 2016 when I had first heard (or read) the word Thachi. I’d reached Balichowki on my way to Gushaini and was having paranthas at a small eatery when I saw a bus with Thachi written on it. I asked the dhaba uncle and he said the road…

Winter in Ladakh : The Goodness of Strangers from Hordass to Saspol

Woke up after a relaxed sleep in Garkon. We were staying at Master Sonam’s Homestay and our chief reason of being in the ‘Aryan Valley’ region was for the wine! Our breakfast consisted of shalgam leaves (turnip leaves) and rotis to be washed down with milk tea. It was very tasty and fresh and we…

A Second Winter Trip to Ladakh – Reaching Wanla from Leh Airport

On a cold December morning in 2016, it was time for my second winter trip to Ladakh. We boarded an early morning flight from Delhi and arrived at Leh airport at around 9 am. Even though I highly advise taking it easy and acclimatising to the rarified, thin altitude air of Ladakh especially during the…

Slow Travel in Corbett, with V Resorts Kotabagh

The map showed it would take around 6 hours to cover the 300 km distance to reach Kotabagh from Delhi. It was a forgettable drive through dusty and lawless Uttar Pradesh, which made me reiterate in my mind that if Uttarakhand has to really progress – they must have a different road to themselves that…

In Lake Country : Tawang to Bumla & Shungatser Lake

It was a freezing cold morning in Tawang; and we were supposed to go to Bumla. We had a reasonably late night at the Tawang Festival. It was the end of October and night temperatures in Tawang were already hovering in the negative. On top of the cold, the local alcohol that we all had…

The Charms of Ranikhet : A Handy Travel Guide

It had been an uncharacteristically indecisive day on the road. I was somewhere in the middle of my long summer in Kumaon and had randomly landed in Ranikhet. After wandering to an ancient temple and water source in Someshwar, I’d hopped into a shared taxi to Ranikhet with no plan at all. It was that…

Alternative Living in Kasar Devi, Almora

In hindsight, I can say it must have been a fortuitous moment when I revisited Kasar Devi near Almora. It was the long Holi weekend in March 2018 and the trip had began with great difficulty from Delhi. It is a well known fact that migrating workers from across India go back home for celebrating…

Mateura Jari : Timeless Village in Parvati Valley

It had been a strange sort of a day in Parvati Valley. After having enjoyed solitude in Grahan, we had made our way to far away Kutla. The descent from Kutla and the subsequent arrival in Tosh, waiting in the rain in Barshaini and then wasting time in Kasol (in the dust and diesel fumes) had left…

Darcha to Padum Trek : Diary Entry of Day 1 & Day 2

There are some incidents that are life changing, and the extent of their magnitude may not be known at the moment when you are actually in the midst of it. But the memories keep surfacing long after the deed is done. And the Darcha to Padum trek (Lahaul to Zanskar) has been a monumental journey…