All posts tagged: India

Delhi. First Impressions.

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~Aldous Huxley. Delhi has a reputation of being a nightmare for single women. So when I made the ‘bold’ transition from one of the safest cities in the world, Singapore, to perhaps one of the most unsafe, I was filled with curiosity, and to be honest, a little intimidated. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram

ladakh, leh, himalaya on wheels, travel another india, india, offbeat travel, responsible travel

4 Offbeat Ecotourism Experiences in India.

In a country of 28 states, each with its signature culture, food, language, history & landscape, it’s not easy for a traveler to scratch the tourism surface of India beyond the golden triangle. The need of the hour, as recognized by Indian Tourism, UNDP and a string of social entrepreneurs, is to develop sustainable, responsible travel initiatives in high-potential regions of rural India. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram

A New Beginning.

No butterflies in my stomach, no goose bumps, no insomniac nights, no cold sweats; just 3 suitcases filled with life in Singapore and 6 years of travel memories from Southeast Asia. That marked my move last week. That has made Delhi my home atleast for the next one year. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram

Traveling Alone in India: Am I Crazy?

As I awake from my slumber and look out the bus window, I’m transported back into a dream. Clusters of pine trees arise from amid the clouds and reach out to the Himachal sky. I instinctively turn left, but there isn’t anyone to soak in that view with. In my long battle with my parents on traveling alone, I forgot to think it might be intimidating. And intimidating it is. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram

Life in Spiti: A Chance Encounter With Kaza’s Garden Lady.

Over a month long trip, I realized that there’s more to life in Spiti than initially meets the eye. Slow down, and find out for yourself. I sit by a Stupa on an elevation above the shore of the Spiti River, shielding myself from the sun. It’ll be a good fifteen minutes before the ball of fire sinks behind the mountain range and relieves human skins. Such penetrating sun rays would make a great premise for a sunscreen advert, I muse. In the shade of my Stupa, the strong wind feels icy cold and forces me to wear the cowl of my sweatshirt. Life in Spiti is baffling that way. You can be melting under the sun and shivering in the shade, simultaneously. To distract myself from my hot-cold battle, I look towards the only part of Kaza (Spiti’s administrative capital) that is soothingly green. The only crops that can survive the harsh desert climate are barley and peas. Since it’s spring turning into summer, the shores are filled with green grass and yellow barley. Occasionally …

The Legend of Komic Monastery in Spiti.

While in Spiti, I discovered a fascinating legend about the spectacular Komic Monastery and why it is located in the village of Komic. Spiti is a land of legends. Every mountain peak and rock formation has a story lurking behind it, handed down by generations of Spitians. The most fascinating of them is one I heard from a local friend, of a mountain peak which changes colors a few times a day, reflecting the mood of the deity that inhabits it. It takes 3 days to walk to the base of this peak from his village in Linkti, camping at nightfall along the Spiti River… But I digress. The mystery mountain is a story for another day. I’m currently at 4587 metres at Komic, and literally high at what is said to be the highest inhabited village in the Himalayas. As I count the 13 houses in this small village, I try to imagine how people lead such isolated lives. Perhaps a consolation is the Buddhist Monastery at Komic, where lamas (monks) pray and meditate …

Mount Kailash, Kinnaur kailash, kalpa, himalayas, shimla to kalpa

An Incredible Journey from Shimla via Reckong Peo to Kaza.

The drive from Shimla to Reckong Peo to Kaza is exhilarating but not for the faint-hearted. A once-in-a-lifetime experience! I’m en route to Spiti and going through a “sometimes the journey is as beautiful as the destination” moment. The drive from Shimla to Reckong Peo to Kaza – with a stopover at Kalpa – easily claims Himachal Pradesh to be the most beautiful state in India for a mountain lover. I watch the mighty Himalayas blanketed in Cedar trees for the first quarter of the journey. The landscape transforms to pine trees, until the mountains gradually become bare. I catch a glimpse of the River Satluj flowing below in a stream of clear white water. It gradually reduces to a blue-green trickle in the mountains. Then it meets the dam under construction in the Rampur district and changes to a disheartening brown. The winding road from Rampur to Kinnaur has been dug from the base of the mountains, leaving their rocky protrusions untouched. I’m stunned as I drive under these protrusions. It’s as though the Himalayas …

Incredible India: A social experiment in travel.

Update: Thanks everyone for getting in touch. Keep up the enthusiasm! I’m working with a small bunch of you to refine the idea. If you’ve indicated your interest, I’ll keep you in the loop of developments. If you’re interested to join the initiative, feel free to drop me an email or a comment 🙂 India is a beautiful country. It’s richness of culture, natural wonders, people, traditions, festivals, landscapes, history, art, food, languages and wildlife, is as stunning as it is overwhelming. Even for an Indian, it’s impossible to explain in detail the diversity of India’s travel offerings or the riches in its every nook and corner. So here I am, excited at the thought of a social experiment, aching to make my contribution to India’s economy, with an idea to facilitate tourism in India through social & social media collaboration. Here I am, inviting you to join me in this social experiment, because I know you’re aching to be that spark for India too. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called …

The Renaissance of Mercedes in India!

This is the story behind the story. Few people in Germany (and the world over) must’ve heard of the quaint city-town of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, before it became a gold mine for Mercedes. You heard it right, and here’s how I hear it happened. It started with a group of doctors with flourishing businesses in Aurangabad, consulting each other on which car to buy. Like most Indian households, the consideration set comprised Tata and Honda, until someone upped the notch a little and proposed buying a Mercedes. The closest Mercedes showroom was in Bombay, and as the docs prepped for their trip, word spread among their network of professionals. By the time the trip materialized, 75 doctors, lawyers & businessmen from Aurangabad had decided that it was time to buy a car! Can you imagine how the sales folks at the Mercedes showroom in Bombay must’ve reacted on hearing of a bulk purchase of 75 cars? Or better still, their headquarters in Germany, especially given that BMW lures a large majority of the elite car …

India Has Arrived, Indeed.

The Common Wealth Games 2010 have been an emotional journey for Indians – we’ve been anxious, enraged, desperate, doubtful, optimistic, surprised, awed, thankful, excited, nervous, exhilarated, proud, very proud. Just before the Games started, many of us were hanging on with dear life to the hope and fact that we wait until the very last minute to execute things, but with all the media bashing and the pessimism it created the world over, it was a long shot. Some of us logged out of Facebook, stopped buying newspapers, unplugged the TV and refused to talk about ‘it’ (think Gandhiji’s 3 monkeys)! Then the day came, and like a pre-mature baby, a tad too soon. We went to the newly-built stadium to cheer the Opening Ceremony, praying to all our gods that nothing will collapse. We tuned in to our TV broadcast, our nails bitten right up to the skin. We opened our Twitter streams, ready to defend our honor. We felt like we feel on a Monday morning. But none of it lasted. We were awed by the …