Cloud Watching at Bairagarh enroute Sach Pass

Normally the weather gets milder once you are in the region of 1500m to 2000m in the Himalayas, even if it is summer. That was not to be on that particular day, the morning that had began with a sharp drizzle in Pathankot progressed to a balmy day in Churah valley at Bhanjraru. When I…

Waltzing to Happiness on a Houseboat in Srinagar

I had spent the night gazing at the framed views of Nun-Kun peaks from a little village in Suru Valley called Parkachik. While hitchhiking in a truck from Padum to Rangdum, the lunch break had enabled me to speak to a lady from New Zealand who promptly offered me a seat in the cab that she was…

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…

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…

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…

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…

6 cool tips for seeing the Taj Mahal

Like most people on earth, I was pretty excited to finally see the Taj Mahal in flesh. Despite all the hype, it’s every bit as good as you have might have heard. Alas, my joy was short lived upon being a part of the great crowd that had gathered around the entrance of the East Gate. It was…

Spotting art in the by-lanes of Hoshiarpur

When I was a kid, I had a great penchant for learning Punjabi and once even tried learning it using a language guidebook. That fascination never went away, even though the state eluded me for long as I kept heading to the Himalayas. This time I was thrust right into the countryside; and visited Anandpur Sahib…

The Havelis of Shekhawati

Since a lot has already been written about the painted frescoes in ‘The largest open air art gallery in the world’, I will skip the introductions to Shekhawati and let my pictures do the talking. Havelis are huge mansions built by wealthy marwari merchants around 100-150 years ago. Did you know? : More than seventy-five…

7 Days in Little Tibet – McLeodganj

I felt better doing yoga & hiking around Rishikesh, recuperating from asthma in the last week of January, 2014. The backpackers at the ashram were gung-ho about their exploration of India, soaking in the spirituality in low season. They were travellers who had been around the world and spoke about ‘India being the country that…