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…

A Day in Patnitop : Memories & Photographs

Keeping the long weekend in mind, we had pre-booked our train from Jammu to Delhi. I was travelling with a friend and hence Patnitop seemed like a convenient option to spend a day. Even though I wondered with the availability of accommodation options, we still took a chance and randomly arrived in Patnitop around 1…

Sustainable Rural Tourism in Garhwal, Uttarakhand

For the uninitiated, Uttarakhand is divided into two regions; Kumaon & Garhwal. As some of you might know, Garhwal has been grappling with a problem of migration to the cities. So much so that it is not surprising to come across entire villages that have been abandoned in search of livelihood. And this is where…

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…

Jibhi & Chehni Kothi : A Travelogue

This post has taken a long time coming. From seeing Jibhi as an unspoiled paradise and a secret that I wanted to keep to myself in 2014; to seeing a monstrous orange building come up near Jibhi bridge one afternoon in 2017. Jibhi lies in Banjar Valley on a popular route connecting Manali to Shimla…

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…

Food Heaven : Cafés & Restaurants in Auroville

After wandering the streets of Pondicherry for a day or two, I wondered if I should go to Auroville on a day trip or stay for a week. The recommended cafés and eateries in the White Town Area of Pondicherry had turned out to be duds and I was happier to go to small restaurants…

An Offbeat Guide to Udaipur

By dint of being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rajasthan and entire India, Udaipur has no dearth of interesting experiences for the traveller. So, when I arrived in Udaipur from Jaipur, there were no fixed plans as to how many days I wanted to stay in the ‘city of lakes.’ As always,…

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…

A Collection of Memorable Photographs from Kasauli

Sometimes a place occupies a sweet space in our hearts, courtesy of the happy memories it has created. And it becomes even better when you have no expectations from the holiday, and yet it turns out to be a moment etched in time. It was one such weekend and I wasn’t looking for anything in…

A Jeep Safari in Sariska Tiger Reserve

It was a fine January afternoon and I was lazing around in the swimming pool, without a care in the world. I was staying close to the entrance gate of the Sariska Tiger Reserve, mildly surprised that a place in such close proximity to both Delhi & Jaipur was bereft of tourists! I was in…