Leh in Winters : A Snapshot

When I had first booked a flight to Leh in the winter of 2013, it was really uncharted territory. Everyone said that all hotels in Leh are closed in the winters and I will freeze to death. By then I had travelled to remote areas on my own and known that most things are hearsay…

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…

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…

Walking into the past along the frozen Indus in Ladakh

I had read passing references about the Brokpa community, most of them were rumours of German women coming in search of pure Aryan men. The people living in ‘four Aryan villages’ had remained culturally secluded and were different from the rest of the Ladakhis. Huff Post interviewed me about this, here. Read : Into Unknown Ladakh I…

Kids of Markha Valley

Schools across Ladakh are closed from December to March. Kids are inconspicuously absent from homes in the summers, they are all busy studying. Memories of an unforgettable trip have come alive while selecting these pictures. Someday I shall return to the families with presents. Till that time, let me share this wonderful time I had, with…

Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh – What to expect

There were signs pointing to the ‘Beatles Ashram’ as I kept walking on the sandy stretch after the clutter of buildings ended on the right side of Ram Jhula in Rishikesh. The building seemed to be consumed by the forest. There was a baba sitting with a disciple smoking a chillum. I was told that…

Top solo travel tips

So, you think about travel all the time. Nothing seems so exciting as the lure of the road. The feeling of being free among unknown lands. Dreaming about travel destinations and how it would be in person. You have googled innumerable destinations and have a bucket list that runs into pages. You are the one…

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…

Travel memories of 2015

Basking in the glorious winter sun at my new home in Jaipur just after having come from the Punjab and before leaving for the land of Gaddi shepherds of Bharmour in Himachal Pradesh, my mind wanders back to the thrills of the year gone by. It began with an epic winter trip to Ladakh, which in…

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…

My own episode of ‘Jailed Abroad’ in Garhwal Himalaya

After a 3-4 day assignment in Shimla, it was found that Garhwal in Uttarakhand could be reached via a beautiful winding route. I had always been a light packer until this trip, now I intended to travel & write while traipsing around for an extended period and hence carried 2 bags weighing 20 odd kilos….

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…