Ghumakkars of the year – 2011

There is no greater delight than preparing for and presenting the top Ghumakkars of 2011; to be able to spend endless hours debating with the jury and the editor and debating the criteria every few hours. Each time one gets into a new round of discussion, promising not to sound opinionated, biased and passionate about someone in particular and in the end is found doing precisely the same. Pitching lone battles and often losing, giving a twist to the data with a difference in visualization and feeling good (rather high). And although this sound glamorous enough, it does involve a lot of work, re-work and un-work. So before I turn this post into my sermon of the day, let me share the broad framework we exercised to choose the ‘Ghumakkar of the Year 2011’.

Ghumakkar of the year is the greatest and biggest recognition that you can ever get, at least that is the way I have been motivating myself (for my own stories, and failing each of last two years) when we announced it. For this year, the list is yet to go out. So first things first. Here is the link of the ‘Ghumakkar of the Year 2009’ and ‘Ghumakkar of the Year 2010’. I am not giving you the names, so please go ahead and read those stories.

Coming back to 2011, the ‘Editorial Team’ selected top 16 contenders for ‘Ghumakkar of the Year 2011’ and circulated the list in November. They were, in reverse alphabetical order (and you tell me that I am not opinionated):

Vishal Rathore

Vinay Rajpur


Sandeep Panwar

Sahil Sethi

Roopesh Kohad

Nikhil Chandra

Mukesh Bhalse

Manish Kumar

Mahesh Semwal

Mahesh N



Archana Sundra

Amit Kumar

Astro Aditya

These 16 represented, in our most humble opinion, the top 16 Ghumakkars. Congratulations to each one!

At the next level, we looked at some of the data around the number of destinations that each of these took us to, number of comments and their overall contribution and agreed on Top 10 and they were, in alphabetical order (I change my mind often):

1. Aditya Khandelwal
2. Amit Kumar
3. Archana Sundra
4. Aurojit
5. Devasmita
6. Mahesh Semwal
7. Mukesh Bhalse
8. Nikhil Chandra
9. Sahil Sethi
10.Sandeep Panwar

These were all the great Ghumakkars and if it was unto me, I would have loved to have each one of you as ‘Ghumakkar of the Year 2011’. But controlling our over-enthusiasm, we formed a jury who were given thick reams of details of above authors.

The jury comprised of:

1. Ram Dhall
2. Nisha Jha
3. The Khamesras (Manish and Jaishree)

These are our well-known and popular names and once they agreed (actually they agreed very readily) , we requested them to give us their Top 5. There were not set rules (for example total number of posts) but the overall guideline was around story writing (creativity, language, flow, narration), destination covered (variety, novelty, utility), presentation (photos, information, experience) and most importantly the ‘appeal’ they brought to our jury.

Thank you Ram, Nisha, Manish and Jaishree for readily agreeing and for your detailed write-up on your selections. Thank you.

Yet, as expected, we did not get the same names so we did a little bit of union and intersection and arrived at top 6 Ghumakkars. Each of these 6 had at least one vote on each parameter and most of them had more than one vote while one person had all three. I will hold the excitement here.

So we did some slice-n-dice of data, looked at relative rankings from the jury and in the end fell back on our own judgment to arrive at the final 3. So far so good. After we arrived on final 3, we incubated the decision for some more time. This was to ensure that we are indeed fully convinced or not and once that went past, it was time to raise the curtain.

So with much ado, I take pride in announcing the winners of ‘Ghumakkar of the Year 2011’ award and the names are (in no particular order)

Devasmita Chakraverty , Aditya Khandelwal And Sandeep Panwar



Sandeep Panwar

(Clap! Clap!! Clap!!!) – Applause track please.

Devasmita makes the appearance for two consecutive years and was a natural choice. She was there in 2010 as well and it is a great feat to consistently be the ‘Ghumakkar of the Year’ for two consecutive years. As someone said, “she is Ghumakkar’s international face”. She took us to brilliant landscapes in 2011 and has written in excess of 25 stories, that is more than 2 stories every month! Her story on Portugal, went viral , attracted more than 500 Facebook shares. She was the ‘Featured Author’ for December 2011 and what better way to consummate the year than to being christened the ‘Ghumakkar of the Year 2011’. Congratulations DC! A throughly deserved recognition for your excellent work!

Astro Aditya is an uninterrupted Ghumakkar. Starting the year with his visit to Khirsu right on the very first day of the year, he then took us to the ever-inspiring bike ride to Yamunotri. And if that was not enough, he polished the year with a visit to Kinnaur. He started with Ghumakkar in the mid of 2010 and has written 20 stories in 2011 alone. Though enough good words & drools have been expressed on the quality his photography, I would still want to mention. Aditya was the ‘Featured Author’ for March 2011. Congratulations Aditya! We look forward to read and see more of your stuff. Enjoy!

Sandeep ‘Jatdevta’ Panwar. बस नाम ही काफी है! (Just the name is enough!) Sandeep’s tales read like urban legends. Someone commented that his logs are honest, how true! Sandeep is one Ghumakkar who leads the pack with utmost simplicity and extreme focus – a ghumakkar with minimum ‘baggage’ indeed. His series on Leh, Gomukh and the most recent on Har Ki Doon are the ones that call for ‘fan following’, almost close to creating a cult of its own. He represents a new genre of travelers who are brave, unfailing and can surpass any barrier. Sandeep was the ‘Featured Author‘ for November 2011. Congratulations Jatdevta!

So, how does it feel to be on this ride of the last one year? (sigh!) Let me jump on the train of comments…


  • Silentsoul says:

    My congrats & Good wishes to all !!

  • Nandan says:

    Congratulations DC, Aditya and Sandeep and all the Ghumakkars !! :-) On to 2012.

  • Smita says:

    Congratulations to DC, Aditya and Jatdevta! And to every ghumakkar who visits this site, reads their posts and manages to comment on them – it is a feat! Time to celebrate now :)

  • ??? ???! ???? ???? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?? ?????, ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ?????? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ??????? ????? ?? ?? ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ??? ????, ??? ???? ???????? ?? ? ?? ???? ??? ?? ?????

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    With a little heavy heart for self and with immense pleasure for co finalists, many many congratulations to Devasmita, Sandeep Bhai, and Aditya for getting selected for the Ghumakkar of the year 2011.


  • Archana says:

    Congrats to the three of you!!

    I am sure that this title adds a feather to your cap! No doubt that you all truly deserve this title since I have always felt that your postings are tremendously catchy and mandates every reader to go till the end of the post and then continue to scroll down to see if there is more content!!

    The variety, the language and the pics that you guys have on your posts have got you all till here.. and are sure to take u to places (literally :))!!
    Great job guys.. Am immensely satisfied with the Jury’s unbiased judgement!


  • Manish Kumar says:

    Congrats to all the winners ! They have done a wonderful job of taking us to far & distant places.

  • Amit Kumar says:

    Congrats to all three winners :-)

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    how about some voting for the next year?

  • Roopesh says:

    Congrats to all the three winners. Three cheers !!

  • Vibha says:

    Congratulations DC, Aditya and Sandeep! A very well-deserved win for all three. And yes, thanks once again to the jury. We couldn’t have done this without your thoughtful feedback.

    Also, thanks Nandan for the much-awaited and nicely written post.


  • ram dhall says:

    Heartiest congratulations Devasmita, Aditya and Sandeep on being the “Ghumakkar of the year”, the biggest recognition.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Congrats DS, Aditya & Sandeep !!!!!!

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Dear Ghumakkars

    Congratulations to Devasmita, Aditya and Sandeep. Congratulations to the top 16 authors. Thanks to all the contributors, all the visitors and special thanks to all the members of ghumakkar family that goes an extra mile to provide their feedback. In my opinion, for every author they are the biggest reason and motivation to write. Believe me, without your feedback, be it criticism or appreciation, there is no fun in writing.

    I know there are some worthy omissions in the lists, there are always some personal favourites, there are some one-post wonders reading them you only wonder why they don’t travel and write more often. So I personally consider ‘the award’ a little trivial. Important is that the spirit of ghumakkari remain intact in the family or rather spread like epidemic.

    Keep travelling, keep writing, keep sharing and keep commenting.
    I wish all a very happy new year.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Congratulations to the three Ghumakkars of 2011.

    Congratulations too to the jury for what must have been a really tough job.

    As Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the Olympic movement said, the important thing is not in winning but in taking part. Everyone whose posts and photographs have been published are winners.

  • Nisha says:

    Congratulations Devasmita, Aditya and Sandeep and all the Ghumakkars !! Glad to be a part of the selection process and to see the result. The wait is over. It was really a tough job to select just 5 ! In my opinion all are winners.

    Special thanks to Ghumakkar & its ever growing family. It provides a platform where we all can share, learn and enjoy the places and knowledge, sometimes even without visiting! As Manish Khamesra has said, it is important to remain a Ghumakkari at heart.

    Right now I am sitting here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia but believe me, whenever I have internet access, the first thing I do is to read posts from Ghumakkar. It motivates me to travel more. There is so much to see, explore & experience that a lifetime is not enough.

    Okay, I think I am digressing from the topic. :)

    Happy new year to all of you there sitting cosily at home or roughing it out on the roads. :)

    • Devasmita says:

      Thank you …. and you are right … special thanks to Ghumakkar for giving us this platform, and being so encouraging !!

  • Nandan says:

    @ Jatdevta Sandeep – ??? ??? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?? ? ??? :-)

    @ Mukesh – You were there till very end. I can not disclose any more. You have started the year with a bang as a ‘Featured Author’ for January. 2012 looks up to you.

    @ Onil – Would need to invest in logistics. Lets see. Thanks for your suggestion.

    @ Vibha – Thanks. It was a rush job to put it all up, was as excited to see it in print as everyone else. Thanks for bearing with me for last two weeks on this :-)

    @ Manish, @ Ram , @ Nisha – Big Thanks again. Best Wishes.

  • Neeraj Jat says:

    ???????, ???????, ???????
    ?????????, ?????? ?? ??????; ??? ????

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    ??? ???? ??? Devasmita Chakraverty, Aditya Khandelwal And Sandeep Panwar ?? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ??????? ?????????? !

  • Chandra81 says:

    I don’t wanna comment |sulk| But I just did :-) Congrats Ghumakkars

  • Well sorry for commenting late, but i was out travelling in junagadh …………………..

    Congrats Devasmita, Aditya and Jatdevta jee on becoming ghumakkar of the year………………..

    Repeat the same thing from you next year as well……………………………..

  • Congrats to all three winners !
    Well deserved , Indeed…

  • Stone says:

    Congratulations guys!!
    Always a pleasure to read you all.

    Keep traveling!

  • Naveena Israni says:

    Congratulations DC, Aditya and Sandeep for this well-deserved honour!

  • venkatt says:

    My congratulations to the three winners,Devasmita, Sandeep and Aditya and also to other nominated authors. You all are an inspiration to newbie ghumakkars like myself. Hoping someday to be amidst your esteemed group.

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