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…

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…

Sariska & Alwar : Unsung Historical Delights

It was a cold January morning and I was on an assignment to unearth the seen and not so seen attractions around Sariska and Alwar. By the end of the trip, I couldn’t help but wonder how come this region retains its offbeat charm despite being so close to Delhi?! And I couldn’t help but…

Serendipity and Adventures on the Chamba-Bhaderwah Road

‘There is no bus on the Chamba – Bhaderwah road after Langera. How will you go after that?’; remarked the HRTC guy on the phone. Even the daily bus from Pathankot to Langera had come as a pleasant surprise, and had made me feel confident about travelling on this hitherto forbidden route! While I knew it…

Stunning Beauty of Umngot River in Dawki & Shnongpdeng

It was already 3 in the afternoon. The days end early in the north-east. Not one vehicle stopped for what seemed like an eternity. Then a cab slowly came to a halt; I ran toward the driver. I asked him ‘Dawki’; he didn’t understand it. Turned out that he knew neither hindi or english; but…

Wanderings in Lahaul : Trilokinath Temple

It was turning out to be an epic trip of sorts. On this sojourn, I had entered Pangi Valley across Saach Pass and after exploring this forbidden region had reached Udaipur in Pattan Valley (Lahaul). In more unforgettable adventures, I had totally fallen for Miyar Valley and after missing the only bus of the day;…

Khangsar, Kwaring, Sarang, Kolong – Exploring Lahaul Valley

Yonten asks, ‘Shubham; Lahaul chalega?’, and I take no time to nod my head and say yes! It is already chilly in Manali as we are in the middle of November. I have long suspected that while the Rohtang Pass officially closes on October 15th, it is kept open for much longer for the locals…

A Monsoon Getaway – Roadtrip from Pune to Amboli

I should have been posting this from Mizoram. Instead, prolonged recovery from a minor surgery means I am in Jaipur and spending much needed time at home! In the meanwhile, I remembered to put out this story here which was originally published in Mint Lounge. The experience of this drive is from 2010 when we…

Danish Delight in India – Tranquebar (Tharangambadi)

I franctically tried to explain to the conductor and driver that we had come past the turn of Tharangambadi and that it was better that they drop me on the highway itself. I told them I will hitch a ride with some local and get to Tharangambadi (local Tamil name for Tranquebar). Even with the…

Offbeat Places Around Dharamshala – McLeodganj : Part 2

In the first post on Offbeat Places Around Dharamshala, I noticed that the list was getting bigger and hence decided to break it into two parts. Here’s part 2 of Offbeat Places around Dharamsala  War Memorial in Kangra The war memorial in Kangra is located around 7 kms from Dharamshala and it is locally known…