Manikaran Sahib: A confluence of faith and ideas

Everyone has a reason to come to Manikaran Sahib. Often it depends on what religion one follows. For me, it was about finding a town by the river, in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, and a confluence of faiths, customs, and ideas. The history of Manikaran dictates that the town was touched by both…

Oh my gosh!! Tosh

I feel I am getting more immersed and intense at my ‘do nothing’ philosophy of holidaying. I have started to hate too much activity in my holidays, and settle in someplace where I can lounge in the tranquility, soak myself with the local lifestyle, and breathe in the moments. The holidaying period would only include…

The orchard of charm in Nubra Valley

Every turn is a new picture in Ladakh. And it is amazing how landscapes and cultures can change in a few hundred kilometers in this cold desert. The walls of dramatic mountains that hem in Ladakh make for an unforgettable landscape. And up North-West the landscape changes dramatically to an austerely beautiful enclave cradled by…

A Stok of tranquility in Ladakh

It is tough to find a corner not to like in Ladakh. Whether you are coursing through some popular routes, taking a detour to join the mountain shepherds, or hiking through some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery, there remain two constant feelings of tranquillity and serendipity. And while the existence of best preserved…

Spiti: The hill of temples

This was my fourth day in Spiti valley, and with every turn, I was getting more acclimatized and acquainted with this middle land. I didn’t have to spend hours to learn that this cold desert, a heady mix of barren mountains, unexpected bursts of green fields, and deep gorges formed by the fierce Spiti River,…

Dhankar: Somewhere perched high

The 1000-year-old Dhankar, perched precariously on jutting rocks on a mountaintop. The Dhankar monastery is listed among the 100 most endangered monuments in the world by the World Monuments Fund. The old monastery is on a constant fight with the elements of nature. While it’s still in good terms with snow, and an unimaginable amount of it, it is losing battle against increasing and disturbing patterns of rainfall, a fall-out of global reality of climate change.

Tabo: About a life untouched

An eight hour journey, on the world’s most dangerous roads, can be both tiring and exhilarating. But the views of the craggy peaks whooshing past the window, the spectacle of a turquoise ribbon of river cutting through the valley, hundreds of falls and streams merging into the river, and the bends taking you from one…

Kalpa: A cultural osmosis

Below flows the roaring Satluj river, snaking its way through the valley, above stands the mighty Kinnaur Kailash as a royal guard, and tucked between these two forces of nature, is the small hamlet of Kalpa. No sooner the bus brakes mooned, wheels screeched, and I got down and framed the first frame of this…