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…

Lessons of Life at Pangong in Winter

I had woken up breathless in the middle of the night. And then I saw out of the window, the lake shined in glorious moonlight. I dare not go out to pee, we had all been advised by the gentle homestay owners to stay indoors and clear of the cold, at least till the morning…

Solo travelling to the last frontier of Saach 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…

Romancing the monsoon in Corbett

The air was heavy in anticipation of the much awaited monsoon that was supposed to be knocking on our doors. I was in the foothills of the Himalayas in the the quaint village of Dhikuli. We waited with bated breath for some respite from the balmy, almost unbearable weather. The mountains were shrouded in a cloak…

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…

Top Ten Spiti Experiences

If you are the sort that doesn’t ‘do’ destinations but believes in leaving a piece of you behind in every place you visit – then let me take you on a journey of life-changing experiences in the high altitude wonderland of Spiti Valley. 1. Drink chhang (local barley beer) in a mug in the remote village of…

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…

A glimpse of Spiti in winter

‘You will die in the cold’, say my friends. With temperatures falling to -40 degrees celsius, winter travel to Spiti is unheard of! There are no flights and hence no escape route, in case something goes wrong. It is hard enough in the summers; I know after my various long sojourns to this ‘middle land.’…

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…

Tiger spotting in Ranthambore

‘Shhhh’, screamed the guide. Everyone looked stupefied and slowly gossiped among themselves. The canter that we had booked at the last minute for the afternoon safari was filled with young college goers. Ganpat, our driver was smart and fast while the guide was a mellow guy, Vivek. It was the beginning of January and afternoons were…

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…