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…

Memories of a Utopia : Munlom Nature Resort in Dzongu, Sikkim

On my first visit to the tiny erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim, back in the early 2010s – I had stumbled upon this word called ‘Dzongu’. It sounded very mysterious and romantic. This first Sikkim trip was with the family and we had a sort-of fixed program for 10 days where we were going around…

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….

A Day in Misty Kurseong

Initially I was keen on travelling to Kurseong via the DHR (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway) and had even booked a ticket for the journey from Darjeeling to Kurseong on the Red Panda Express that departed from Darjeeling at a reasonable time. The fare for the same was a meagre 50-60 Rupees and made me book the…

Basar Confluence – An Authentic Tribal Festival in Arunachal Pradesh

First the sad part – I was distraught at not having been able to make it for Basar Confluence or BasCon 3.0 in 2018. Especially after coordinating with Doni and discussing the logistics for the trip to Basar, continuing onward for Mechuka Adventure Festival and possibly to Namdapha National Park. Now for the Happy part…

Istanbul – Top Backpacking Hacks for a Shoestring Budget

I was deeply fascinated by Istanbul after having read and re-read Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul – Memories And The City. Pamuk’s glorious anecdotes of his life in Istanbul and fine detailing of huzun (melancholy and nostalgia) in the timeless city had unknowingly resulted in a yearning for Istanbul for me. On this visit, I felt like…

Top Travel Memories from Thailand

‘Look, the ocean’s lit up’, said the guide in the boat. I was flabbergasted to see bioluminescence light up the water on a night boat ride. Thailand, as a country has been a favourite for Indian tourists over the years. It offers a mix of being a budget destination with pristine beaches, stunning temples, other cultural…