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…

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…

Esbelli Evi – Stunning Cave Hotel in Cappadocia

After enjoying an introduction to Turkey in Istanbul, it was time to take a bus to Cappadocia. I was quite excited to be heading away from the main city having repeatedly heard of Cappadocia’s treasures! And moreover, we were staying in one of the oldest original Cave Hotels of Cappadocia, Esbelli Evi. Istanbul to Cappadocia…

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…

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…