A Travel Guide to Pondicherry’s Attractions

Over the past few years of my travelling days, I had barely explored South India beyond the obvious and in 2017 I set about correcting it. It was the last week of September and I arrived at Chennai airport at the stroke of noon. I wanted to head straight to Pondicherry from the airport itself….

A Day in Ajmer – What to see?

Located around the very funnily named ‘Nag Pahad’ or Snake Mountain in the Aravali Hills, Ajmer is an otherwise unattractive town and most travellers prefer to make a pit-stop on the way to Pushkar. Ajmer is said to have been founded in the 7th Century. Ajmer is home to the most sacred Islamic shrine in India, and for…

Khardung La in Winter : Part 2

I had never known North Pullu to be like this : The entire landscape was shrouded in a pall of white and a deathly silence prevailed. Maybe the army wouldn’t have let me ago if only they had seen me. The gentleman giving me the ride stopped for a breather, after all even the snowfall Gods…

Wanderings in Lahaul : Kardang Monastery

Most travellers just pass through Lahaul as an overnight stop at either Keylong or Jispa on their journey on the famous Manali – Leh highway. I had done so too, on my first trip on this magical road. Over the years I have kept returning and explored Lahaul in bits and pieces; it is too huge…

20 Stunning Images from Shekhawati – In Monochrome

You may think I am out of my mind by even thinking of something like this, turning this colourful region into black and white images. I am on my umpteenth trip to this region (This is home!) and this idea has taken root in my head. It is indeed very surprising to see that the details got pronounced…

A lost treasure – The biggest home in Kumaon

I had been roaming pretty much everywhere in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand. It was sheer delight coming across pretty windows and doors embellished with intricate carvings in remote towns. Houses in the mountains have traditionally been constructed from mud and stone because of easy availability of the same. I kept asking people about traditional houses wherever…

Solo travelling to the last frontier of Sach Pass

July has the distinction of being one of my favourite months. Even when I worked in the family business, the arrival of rains in July signalled that I could head out for long solo sojourns. In the last week of June, I randomly booked tickets from Jaipur to Pathankot in Pooja Express. I was hoping to…

Nature’s delights, from a secret village in Parvati Valley

Thundering clouds and ominous skies had greeted us as soon as we had started walking on the bridge that separates Kasol from Chalal. My two travel partners were already becoming fidgety about the ‘trek’ to Rashol or Rasol. We had spent two marvellous days in the serene setting of a wooden cottage right beside the Parvati River….

Top Ten Spiti Experiences

If you are the sort that doesn’t ‘do’ destinations but believes in leaving a piece of you behind in every place you visit – then let me take you on a journey of life-changing experiences in the high altitude wonderland of Spiti Valley. 1. Drink chhang (local barley beer) in a mug in the remote village of…

Do yourself a favour! Go to Landour

It felt like a wild goose chase; the bus to Dehradun was supposed to leave at 9 pm and I was unable to reach on time. Sometimes Indian Standard Time is a good thing, you realise when the bus driver is courteous enough to wait for you till 930 because you have pre-booked the ticket. We…

Tranquility in the hippie land of Kasol

While coming back from Malana, I was given a small preview when I hitched a ride to Kasol. Curiously I asked him if he kept any charas with him? And out came a black soap, I was stunned. Read : Winds of Change in Malana This was the land of Bob Marley and free love, I had…

Walking into the past along the frozen Indus in Ladakh

I had read passing references about the Brokpa community, most of them were rumours of German women coming in search of pure Aryan men. The people living in ‘four Aryan villages’ had remained culturally secluded and were different from the rest of the Ladakhis. Huff Post interviewed me about this, here. Read : Into Unknown Ladakh I…