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…

An insider’s guide to Cafés & Shopping in Shimla

Some of my favourite places to explore food while on holiday in Shimla  Also read : An expert guide to Shimla Cafe Sol at Hotel Combermere – Located at the end of the Mall Road is Shimla’s finest place for Italian food and continental dishes. The aroma of the fresh bakes wafting around is refreshing. Also, Cafe…

A Comprehensive Guide to Kinnaur

Kinner Kailash (6050m), the abode of Lord Shiva is in Kinnaur ‘Kinner Kailash Parikrama’ begins here.  The natives of this place, ‘Kinners’ are believed to be halfway between men and God. They can be distinguished by their very pretty green Kinnauri topi (hat.) Kinnaur valley was a part of the erstwhile Bushahr State which had its headquarters at…

The fairytale of Gushaini & GHNP

Cold, blustery winds blow as the bus drops me outside Aut tunnel on the Delhi-Manali highway. I haven’t envisaged May to be this cold. It is the unearthly hour of 6 in the morning and the HRTC Volvo is right on time after leaving Delhi ISBT at 7 last evening. The only souls around are two construction…

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…

Reminiscences from a two day snowfall

Much ado has been made about having a ‘bucket list.’ The moment you tell someone about a lovely experience you had on your unplanned holiday, it goes straight into their bucket list. Let me tell you very frankly, as human beings our greatest memories are not of places, but rather of the time we had, the happiness…

Why Triund could be the perfect first Himalayan trek?

My sister had been dreaming of going on a ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ kind of trek ever since the movie came out. I tried pepping her up for a solo trip to anywhere and gave her the usual tips for solo travel in India. In between someone who came home had this epic statement to make…

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…

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…

A lesser known ‘Himalayan toy train’

  Hitching rides to the Kangra Fort and Brajeshwari Devi temple on a scooter, we are quite pepped up about making it to the tranquil town of Bir. The famous adage of ‘The journey is more important than the destination’, is about to be realised. In this age of ‘all planned travel’ – courtesy of google…

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…