Encounters at the end of the world in Himachal Pradesh

It was an impossible task to reach even Bharmour. The three hour bus journey from Chamba had proved to be a topsy turvy ride, especially when the broad track gave way to a serpentine mountainous road. Some of it had been swept away in the rain. This was the land of the Gaddis and Bharmour was…

Tarsar Marsar Trek in Kashmir, in pictures – Part I

While spending time in Srinagar I am always jittery. My idea of a holiday doesn’t mean being worried all day with the military presence. Therefore escaping to the countryside in relatively unexplored Kashmir is my perfect idea of connecting with nature without spotting any tourists and knowing the local way of life. And thats perfectly where…

First impressions of Sikkim

Sikkim is the second smallest state of our country and arguably the most visited on the Eastern side of India. From one of the highest mountain peaks in the world, the towering Kanchendzonga (Kanchenjunga), to virgin tropical forests and sanctuaries, from alpine meadows to rushing streams, rivers and waterfalls – Sikkim had me hooked at first…

Winds of change in Malana

‘Go away if you aren’t going to buy any charas,’ said the guesthouse owner and frowned upon us. We were quite stunned to hear that in this 2000 year old hamlet.  For years I had read about the famous (or infamous) Parvati Valley and had never ventured there alone. This time in October-November 2014 I…

A photo journey of trekking to Dudhsagar Waterfalls in the monsoon

The road to Dudhsagar is flooded in the bountiful monsoons and the train track is the only accessible alternate route to see the waterfalls. Dudhsagar literally means a ‘sea of milk’. The waters fall from a great height; Dudhsagar is also one of the 100 highest waterfalls in the world. It lies in the Southern Part…

Bir, Himachal’s latest beauty. Go now

‘Bir’, we said. “Beed?’ they asked. We were at the bus stand in the holy town of Baijnath marvelling at the ancient carvings in the Baidyanath Temple and the tranquil town of Bir was only thirty minutes away, we were told. We hopped into the already full bus and the uphill climb began. How to reach…

Goa in the monsoons – Top 5 experiences

Goa was the first destination that made me realise my penchant for slow travel. On my second trip, I was privy to the dying hippie culture in 2002. We had stealthily found out the whereabouts of a rave party and were in for a culture shock for days to come. It was as Bob Marley said…

Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh – What to expect

There were signs pointing to the ‘Beatles Ashram’ as I kept walking on the sandy stretch after the clutter of buildings ended on the right side of Ram Jhula in Rishikesh. The building seemed to be consumed by the forest. There was a baba sitting with a disciple smoking a chillum. I was told that…

Ten foodie delights of Manali

Since most of my Himalayan journeys to Lahaul, Ladakh or Spiti begin or end in Manali; it is one place that I’ve slow travelled for years together. Read : Finding the offbeat in Manali Johnson’s & Chopsticks are my long term favourites among the well known restaurants, here is a collection of ten hand-picked places to eat in Manali. Yun…

7 roadtrips for adventure junkies in India

  Upon reading Kerouac’s On the Road for the second time; I have a sudden need to be on a road trip. Somewhere wild and free, without a care in the world. We only live once, right? Life is either a great daring adventure or nothing. A road trip might be the only time in…

Life in a secret hideaway in Himachal

On a cold winter morning, I woke up to the cries of ‘chai, chai’ with incessant knocking on my door. I was in the most blissful state of mind, having slept whilst looking at the stars and a faint outline of the milky way that was visible in the absence of light pollution. It was the…

5 must eat places in Jaipur

Jaipur has been a temporary base for me for the past two years, while I have traipsed around the Himalayas for extended periods of time. I used to be pretty exhausted after my journeys and preferred the comforts of home rather than exploring the cafés and eateries. The Jaipur Literature Fest this year was reason for me to…