Month: June 2014

Jullay from Leh!

I groggily board the flight to Leh at an unearthly hour. Waking up irritably to the flight attendant’s announcement, the view outside my window quickly changes my mood. We are flying precariously close to the snow-covered Himalayas, and would soon land in the cold mountain desert of Ladakh. Three years after my first solo trip to Spiti, I am back in the trans-Himalayas, still dreamy and wide-eyed, a little nervous, and hoping to find solitude in the mountains. It feels like life has come a full circle.

Travel Contest: Win a Trip for Two to Singapore!

Three years after I moved out of Singapore, there is something about this little island state  that still lingers in my mind. Most of us travel to find solitude in nature or to relive parts of ancient history. But Singapore, with its manmade beaches, solar-powered gardens and city lights glittering almost more magically than stars, is a glimpse of what travel might become in the future. When the world has culturally assimilated and technology surpasses even the wonders of nature, won’t we travel to witness progress?

Unearthing Kinnaur’s Secrets in Rakcham Village and Chitkul.

Travelling to Kinnaur? A glimpse of my adventure in Rakcham village and Chitkul – the last village of India before Tibet. For centuries, the valley remained cut off from the rest of India. Legend has it that when a road was finally built and the first car drove up, the locals weren’t sure what to feed it. The driver playfully declared that the car likes chicken and whisky. The locals innocently obliged, and the driver had a feast. They also say that when an elderly woman boarded a bus for the first time, she left her shoes on the road as a sign of respect to the bus. Getting off at her destination, she was shocked that her shoes were gone, no longer outside the bus where she had taken them off. Such are the legends of Kinnaur, whose wild beauty I was lucky enough to witness in monsoon. Also read: A Visual Journey Through Sangla Valley The Happy Baba of Kinnaur Winding along the Himalayas several hours from Shimla, our car screeches to a halt beside the jagged mountain rocks. The steep bend ahead …

6 Offbeat Experiences Near Hampi.

After my soulful sojourns in the North-eastern and Garhwal Himalayas, I descended to Mumbai for some personal work. Three weeks of sweltering heat has left me craving the rains, and made me nostalgic of my monsoon adventures last year, when I chased the rains from Rajasthan to Hampi. Over two trips to Hampi, I’ve discovered experiences that go beyond the majestic ruins of the ancient Vijaynagara kingdom. Take my list, stay with the locals, meet the dwindling gypsy community, cycle amid dramatic landscapes, and indulge a little:

Sikkim blogs, west Sikkim, Sikkim himalayas

Sikkim Travel Adventures: Secret Treasures in a Lost Kingdom.

My Sikkim travel adventures in North and West Sikkim, exploring secret treasures in the last kingdom to be annexed to India in 1975. On a late evening, we sat on a steep cliff, drinking the local Sikkimese Beer. Sparse villages and farms lay scattered in the valley below. The River Teesta roared along intensely. The mountains echoed with hypnotic chants from a nearby monastery. We were lost in our thoughts, when the mist slowly rose, and revealed to us in all its snow-capped glory, the mighty Mount Kanchendzonga. Also read: Eat, Pray, Love in Gangtok Places like these can’t be found on a map in Sikkim. Trying to find my footing down a path of lose pebbles, I had asked two school kids where our path would take us. They enthusiastically decided to lead the way in a direction where the coarse mountain paths turned into a bed of flowers, with bright red rhododendrons blooming along the slopes.  The path culminated in a cliff, from where we would get our first glimpse in two weeks, of the spectacular snow-clad Himalayas! Also read: Hiking from Darjeeling to Sikkim We spent …