Winter in Ladakh : Revisiting Turtuk from Leh

Yesterday was a crazy day of hitchhiking that included visiting Saspol, Alchi, Likir, Basgo and finally reaching Leh to stay for the night. On the next leg of our journey we want to first head to Turtuk from Leh. Since this is winter time in Ladakh we don’t want to make too many fixed plans…

A Rendezvous with Bharmour, in Winter

We wake up at HPTDC’s Hotel Iravati in Chamba and decide to leave for Bharmour by an early morning bus. It is winter, we have celebrated Christmas the previous evening sipping wine over a bonfire in Chamba. The weather is already cold and promises to be much chillier in Bharmour. The distance from Chamba to…

Exploring Tirthan Valley in Snow – Bathad Village

We make our first stop before reaching Gushaini in Tirthan Valley at a dhaba and have food. It is still raining continuously on the Gushaini-Bathad road and someone tells us at the dhaba that even worse weather has been forecast for the entire week. We are excited, snow is exactly what we have come for!…

A Snowy Sojourn : Shangarh in January

The first snows in the mid-reaches of Kullu Valley were forecast around 15-18 January. I, along-with 3 of my friends had made a flexible plan to explore some villages and enjoy the fresh snow as we did so and Shangarh had turned out to be first on our wish-list of places to see shrouded in…

The Pristine Village of Sharchi in Tirthan Valley

After spending a peaceful couple of days in a remote paradise close to Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Sainj Valley and attending the Deori village festival, I along with a friend wanted to explore a Sharchi village (Pronounced Sharchi, although the post office denotes it as Sarchi) which had eluded me 2 times on…

Hitchhiking in Winter in Ladakh : Alchi, Likir, Basgo and Leh

It had been a cold and almost sleepless night at the Onpo House in Saspol. Inspite of the many warm blankets provided by the owners, the concrete walls of this annexe had allowed the cold to seep in. I had developed a slight fever overnight and the dim sunlight made matters worse in the morning….

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…