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…

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…

My Escapades in Bihar : Places to Visit in Patna

Like most Indians, I had grown up with a hackneyed old view of Bihar as a state of chaos, lawlessness and gross mismanagement. And my growing up years did nothing to change this view; even the Bihari labours at my family establishment were a funny lot but managing them reaffirmed my thoughts that Bihar must…

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…