A forgotten valley – Trekking to Milam Glacier

My curiosity levels had been stoked after visiting the wonderful private museum of Mr. Pangti in Munsyari in the first week of May. There were a number of pictures of Milam village and Johar Valley, bifurcated before/after 1962. I was dumbfounded to hear stories of the rapid decline of one of the oldest and most important…

Chandrataal Lake and a Night at Chandra Dhaba, Batal

Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) had already resulted in me being alone after just having entered Spiti from Kinnaur. A stroll in Chitkul at 3450m had caused breathlessness to my co-travellers and the short walk to Nako Lake had proven disastrous. The check post officer in Sumdo complicated matters further by asking them ‘Why have you…

Lost and found in Munsyari

This is a story of serendipity working its magic for me to explore Munsyari without any specific plan for the same. I had woken up in dire circumstances in a dingy hotel room in the shabby town of Bageshwar. A trip to the loo drained me of any remaining energy. The shared taxi from Almora…

Binsar through my eyes

I had finally mustered enough courage to set out alone; after the fraças in Garhwal. Read My own episode of ‘Jailed Abroad’ in Garhwal Himalaya Although Uttarakhand hadn’t been particularly kind to me, this time I chose to explore Kumaon. A day in Dehradun and another in Nainital was spent getting used to the idea of…

All you need to know about Mukteshwar

Jim Corbett, the world renowned hunter and nature lover came to shoot a tiger here and fell in love with the natural beauty of Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand. He saved the local people and has described the incident in ‘The man-eaters of Kumaon.’ I didn’t kill a tiger, but was absolutely enchanted by this tranquil hill station….

Finding the offbeat in Manali

Manali has well and truly captured Indian hearts and has turned into an adventure gateway in the last decade, owing to its proximity to Ladakh, Lahaul & Spiti. Apart from the usual touristy attractions, over the years my explorations have enabled me to experience the offbeat delights in Manali. Here’s presenting a few relatively unknown and…

Trekking in Kashmir : The twin lakes of Tarsar Marsar

‘Miles and miles of unhindered grasslands and forests’, said someone and I was excited from the moment a basic internet search had revealed Tarsar Marsar to be the most beautiful trek in Kashmir. I had just returned from a path-breaking solo effort arriving in Zanskar by Darcha – Padum crossing the 5080m Shingo La. Everyone…

Frozen in Markha Valley

Markha Valley in Ladakh had been beckoning to me for years and I had to oblige, and HOW! In the harsh winters, serendipity had worked its charm to bring me to the snow leopard territory into the Hemis High Altitude National Park. This story appeared in The Hindu’s Sunday Magazine edition. I would love to…

Heaven in Parvati Valley : The Himalayan Village, Kasol

From the moment I first stepped into the warm reception area of The Himalayan Village at Doonkhara (just before Kasol) in Parvati Valley, I was hooked. The resort, resembling a fort had bewitched me ever since my eyes had set sight on it, almost a year ago. I had just dropped in to say hi…

Into Unknown Ladakh – Turtuk

My original version of the story which was published in HT Brunch Magazine. Tell me which one’s better? Turtuk had been planted in my mind on a random conversation at the Spituk Gustor (Annual Masked dance). I toyed with the idea while on a stroll coupled with icy winter winds blowing in the markets of…

Finding Paradise in The Misty Mountains of Jhaltola in Uttarakhand

After a breathtaking drive from Munsyari I had arrived in Berinag set on the periphery of tea gardens. A smooth connection with shared sumos ensured that I reached The Misty Mountains, Jhaltola located deep into the mountains of Kumaon Himalaya. There were abundant flowers of all colours growing everywhere, my nature loving eyes were in for…