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…

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…

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 II

While Tarsar Marsar Trek in Kashmir, in Pictures – Part I focused on the grasslands and valleys in remote Kashmir; Part II will focus mainly on the pristine lakes and high altitude landscapes carpeted with wildflowers. Photographs in this post are from reaching Tarsar Lake and continue to Marsar Lake till the end of the trek.  The…

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…

Musings from the one home village of Yurutse at 4200m

Yurutse: A ‘one home’ Ladakhi village in Markha Valley A local has been kind enough to walk with me to Rumbak, I have been warned against venturing out alone. It is January cold and a woman has recently been mauled by dogs on the same trail. The cloudy skies give way and it is snowing…

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…

Trekking from Purne to Phugtal Monastery, in Pictures

  Read : Stunning experiences from the most remote monastery in the world   Read : Leh-Ladakh : Amalgamation of Cultures     Read : Wanderings in Lahaul – Tayul Monastery     Read : Wanderings in Lahaul : Kardang Monastery       Read : Lamas at Phuktal Monastery     Chortens, monks, a monastery guesthouse and the greatest…