Hills

गढ़वाल घुमक्कडी: कर्णप्रयाग – विष्णुप्रयाग – बद्रीनाथ

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चूँकि आज हमे सिर्फ़ बद्रीनाथ ही पहुँचना था (जो की यहाँ से मात्र 125 किमी ही है), इसलिए हम संगम पर काफ़ी देर बैठे मस्ती करते रहे. संगम का आनंद लेकर और दोनो नदियों के जल से विशुद्धि व उर्जा पाकर हम लोग आगे की यात्रा पर निकलने को तैय्यार थे. ढाबे पर नाश्ता करने के बाद, हम लोग सीधे बद्रीनाथ की बस लेने आ पहुँचे. थोड़ी देर इंतेज़ार के बाद, एकाध बसें आई पर सब खचाखच भारी हुई, पाँव रखने तक की जगह नही थी, यात्रा सीज़न मे ये एक आम नज़ारा है.

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Chandratal to Sarchu… a picturesque drive through Lahaul

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Just this morning I was overwhelmed to see the abundance that water has bestowed in the southern part of Lahaul. I thought that is glorious. And now I stand awestruck in this dry and desolate landscape where soaring mountains surround a vast high altitude rolling plain through which is a deep gorge and a river flowing through it… We are a little short of Sarchu and these are the Lingti plains where there is virtually no precipitation even in the winters…

And finally, Sarchu! There is virtually nothing in the place except a few tented camps during the summer months and a small army detachment year round. The wind howls making me burrow deeper into my jacket the minute I step out. We take a walk around the place and soak in its unique charm. But nature has been kind in all its adversity. Or maybe it is the stark unspoilt and unpolluted beauty that I am so taken with. Such places need no adornment, no embellishment. Just this raw, unadulterated nature is enough. This is a place one must travel to at least once in this lifetime!

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Spiti valley, a caravan diary

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Woke up with a terrible headache and nausea on the Day 3 of the voyage to the once forbidden land, Spiti Valley. Outside it was just another dawn in Kaza, the snow is reflecting a tinge of orange in the early morning sun; the spotless blue sky in the background is arched over the town. The Gong inside the head continued meanwhile; I needed oxygen then.

It’s the primary state hospital of Kaza where I met Serine and the fellow patients. An ugly looking machine was pushing oxygen through my nostrils and I was trying hard to concentrate. Serine teaches english in a local private school, where tibetian is hardly taught seriously, she frowned. Her mother was lying sick on the bed adjacent; they have ultrasound machine here but nobody knows how to operate, looks like she will have to take her mother to Simla, a 500 kms and a strong determination away from Kaza. She had once travelled to Delhi though, her sister works as a hotel receptionist there. The Metro escalators are amongst worst inventions of the human kind; and she frowned again…it continued and the other patients joined in no time. Soon I was being invited to their homes; for tea, thukpa and country liquor ! Never felt more disappointed on leaving a hospital; was feeling better already. Affection works better than the oxygen may be…who knows !

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Romancing the rain in Wayanad

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The Chembra Peak which at 2100 meters above sea level is the loftiest peak in Wayanad forms the backdrop to Annapara. For those who have a head for heights, it makes for some exhilarating trekking. Almost half way up, you will come across a heart-shaped lake- what a romantic spot to get down on one knee and propose to her!!!

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Amarnath Yatra :: A Journey of Faith :: Pahalgam to Pishutop

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We were climbing the steep ascent through the muddy, rocky and narrow route. Those on foot were making their path upwards according to their own convenience. Every step on such steep ascent of initial trek is the first test of one’s mind and faith. To strengthen devotees’ faith the Military Personnel are there and their presences are felt throughout the route.

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नाथुला पास का यात्रा वृत्तांत

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ऐसी विषम परिस्थितियों में भी सीमा के प्रहरियों को मुस्तैदी से डंटा देख उन्हें सलाम करने का मन हुआ  और हमारी खुशकिस्मती थी कि उनके प्रति आभार और सम्मान व्यक्त करने का अवसर भी मिला। हमारे जाँबाज़ सिपाही जान पे खेल के ना सिर्फ सीमा की सुरक्षा करते हैं, बल्कि हम जैसे यात्रियों की सुविधा का भी ख्याल रखते हैं।

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Padarn Country Park: Wales

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The slate cutting factory with the old rusty machinery al around. Slates were used for roofing, fencing etc. and was big business then. The factory was eventually closed down in the 1969 and now serves as a National Slate Museum.

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Solo Travel, Himachal Tribal Circuit – Kinnaur Valley

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After crossing Simla and its suburbs, the lush green mountains and apple orchards in the valleys were a treat for the eyes. We had a small stop over at Theog. Rain drenched Theog looked all the more beautiful during sunset. I had never been beyond Theog before, so I had a fascinating image of Narkanda, a winter sport hill station of Himachal Pradesh, in my mind. But frankly, seeing Narkanda for the first time was an anti-climax. It is a small non-descript town, with hardly any tourists during the monsoon season. After Narkanda, it was a steep downhill journey with never ending zigzag turns and U-turns.

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