All posts filed under: India

Fojal Valley: Exploring The Unexplored Himachal Pradesh

From its placement and appearance, the town of Fojal certainly looked like a place where tourists would want to spend a few relaxing nights, avoiding the crowded Kullu-Manali trail in Himachal Pradesh. And then, Fojal is a popular paragliding site in the entire Manali region. Yet there were no guesthouses, for I was searching for one for over two hours now. Those who visit Fojal Valley, do only a day trip, try paragliding, and head back to where they came from. So yea, after wandering confusingly and pleading a few random locals for a bed, when I had almost lost the will and decided to head back to Manali, my eyes beheld a sight totally unworldly. The shining snowcapped mountains were appearing golden at a distance. A few local Himachali houses were moreover adding to the charm. For a moment it felt as if I have time-transported myself into the golden age of 70s or 80s when people shared more green space around them, than concrete; when the chirping of birds echoed all day, from afar; …

How Sivananda Ashram, In Rishikesh, Changed Me

It has been three years since the events that are described here took place. Three years since I was a student at Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, learning about a divine lifestyle and how not be affected by little ups and downs in life, and yet I never mentioned anything about the place here. It is not that over the years I’ve lost touch with Sivananda Ashram (I think I’ve visited Rishikesh and stayed in the Ashram more times in the previous three years than any other place in the world) or that I didn’t want to talk about it; but the fact that I never found a compelling reason, was the reason. Sivananda Ashram, for me, is like a second home, a place that has nourished my roots and made me what I am today. And just like you don’t feel a need to write about your home and make it public to the world, I never felt it important to be writing about Sivananda Ashram either. But this time, as …

Hong Kong: In Pictures

When it comes to photography and pictures, Hong Kong can never disappoint. I mean you just Google search for Hong Kong Pictures and you will get the idea: there is just no end to scrolling down. From one of the world’s most congested concrete jungles to green spaces to an interesting street life, Hong Kong has everything a photographer may need. During my blog trip with Cathay Pacific Airlines, I ended up exploring Hong Kong for a few days, on my own, and never did I feel a desire to make friends or look for a company. The streets of Hong Kong and my camera were enough as companions. Also Read: My Suggested Hong Kong Travel Itinerary So out of a few days of directionless wandering, and an effort to capture Hong Kong and its essence in my lens, this is what I’ve produced. This is… Hong Kong, In Pictures Hong Kong, as a city is quite strategically located, with a cram-full of skyscrapers in the middle surrounded by lush green hills. Standing on top …

Why India’s Blue City Jodhpur Couldn’t Intrigue Me

Before you read ahead, please note that everything that’s written below about ‘Jodhpur not being able to impress or intrigue me’ is solely personal. I am sure there are people out there who loved Jodhpur but from the eyes of an Indian backpacker belonging to Delhi, who, more than anything, wanted Jodhpur to be something more than a confusing and muddled Indian neighborhood (as he grew up watching one in Delhi, every day) this is how Jodhpur appeared! As I alight at Jodhpur railway station, I was greeted by a confusing mob of a few hundred people — with some looking pretty familiar to the town, while others, seemingly hopeless and confusing as a  tourist, in a new city, would be. And I was no different either. As I exited the station, I got into the usual gamut of rejecting the constant soliciting of ‘Sir Auto’, ‘Sir Hotel’ requests until I walked a few steps away from anyone who could slyly put their touting Hat on me. Crowded, dusty and defiled, as Jodhpur appeared in the …

Manali Travel Guide

Where the Beas River chuckles merrily down the gorges, and the snowy peaks of the mountains reach their fingers to meet the sky: that’s what Manali is, in one sentence. Though of course, many would argue that Manali has lost its charm due to no control over tourism inflow (including me) for me, it is still one of the highlights in the Indian Himalayans. Manali is a go-to vacation spot for not only adventure seekers but leisure seekers, honeymooners, as well as budget travelers. It has temples, hot springs, one of world’s highest mountain passes, a rich culture and adventure sports like paragliding, skiing, and river rafting — all under a 50km radius. So if you’re planning a vacation, Manali can — no matter what your travel needs are — be your next holiday destination. Plan your holiday in Manali with this ideal Manali Travel Guide: Weather In Manali Although Manali is packed year-round with tourists, it is wise to get an idea of what to expect from the weather there, because at 2050m above the …

Visiting Chakradhar Samaroh In Raigarh

I fairly remember how when Chhattisgarh Tourism invited me to attend their annual cultural event of Chakradhar Samaroh I was bursting with excitement. Visiting Chhattisgarh was high in my list. I had heard about the mentions of its undiscovered beauty from a fellow traveller and an avid motorbiker, whom I happened to meet last year during a motorbiking expedition in Jammu. “Don’t leave any opportunity to visit Chhattisgarh,” he would repeatedly insist, supporting the statement with his personal adventures. A little Googling (upon his frequent requests, of course) then introduced me to a new world — the unbounded beauty of many natural caves, waterfalls and a rich culture that Chhattisgarh has to offer. So yea, when Chhattisgarh Tourism contacted me to attend their annual cultural event of Chakradhar Samaroh, I provided a quick yes. What moreover made the invitation better was every thought of visiting the unheard of town of Raigarh. This would mean that after landing in Raipur (for it had the nearest airport to Raigarh) I was in store for a 4-hour train ride passing through …

Hemkund Sahib And The Valley of Flowers Trek: An Ideal Travel Guide

In September, the peak tourist season for visiting the Valley of Flowers and the Hemkund Sahib was already far from over. I was told how the valley would have appeared totally different, draped in a blanket of colourful wildflowers, had I made it a month ago. But in the second week of September, the valley looked pretty much washed-out, just like any other ordinary valley in the Himalayas. At four in the evening, and on day four, I had already begun the last leg of my journey – the trek back to Govindghat. I was constantly praying for some sunshine and azure skies to compensate for the wet weather I had experienced in the previous few days. But as I progressed towards Govindghat and completed about a couple of kilometres, out of the remaining 8 km of the trek, the weather started worsening. Light showers had already begun. With only 3 hours of daylight now left with me, I picked a little more speed! I was disappointed for not being aware of the fact that September can be …

Valley Of Flowers Trek: All You Need To Know

“Unfortunately, you are not doing the trek to the Valley of Flowers the right time of the season. The flowers are generally found in full-bloom sometime between 15th July to 15th August,” provided the tour guide Shobhit, making me feel sorry for myself. On September 5th, the Valley had already started shedding the flowers, and with them, some of the leaves too. The monsoon was far from over too. In about one month from now, winter would hit the Himalayas hard, turning the Valley of Flowers into an ordinary and charmless landscape, with patches of white and (almost) no green. Disheartened, I realized how I had been planning to visit the place for the previous three years, and when I finally made it there, I made at the wrong time of the year – the abscission. It was clear that September is certainly not a good time to visit the Valley of Flowers. Though the valley was still looking gorgeous, with frequent waterfalls and water-crossings keeping me entertained, if I had made it in July or August, I would have …

How To Best Travel From Delhi To Leh, And Back

Leh has emerged as one of the top destinations in the Indian Himalayan region in the recent years. From backpackers to honeymooners to adventure bikers, everyone wants to visit Leh and other places in Ladakh, like Nubra Valley and Pangong. But one thing that curbs people from getting to Leh Ladakh is the accessibility. Though only a 1000 km away from New Delhi, travelling to Leh is time-consuming. And if one to book return flight tickets to save on time, they end up losing a big chunk of their budget. So what is the most economical and time-efficient way to travel from New Delhi to Leh, and back? Fly Only From Delhi To Leh For those who are not privy to the fact, should note that Leh has an army airport with daily connecting flights to and from New Delhi which remains under public hold with commercial flights using the airport until 12 in the afternoon. After 12, the airport is used for army movement. Now, since the airport taxes (as I was told) to …

Budget Travel Guide For Nubra Valley: Hitchhiking & Camping

Located along the northern border of India, with a tributary of Indus-Shyok as its lifeline, Nubra Valley is unlike any other valley in Ladakh. Home to contrasting cultures, beautiful landscapes, and above all — the world’s highest motorable road of KhardungLa Pass, Nubra Valley remains a popular highlight for travellers visiting Leh-Ladakh, particularly for motorbike enthusiasts. Also Read: How To Best Travel From Delhi To Leh I heard stories of Nubra Valley’s beauty too from other fellow travellers (99% of whom happen to rent and ride a motorbike) before finally planning an itinerary myself, but with a little distinction. I was hoping to camp and hitchhike all the way and thus conclude the entire journey (from Leh-Nubra valley-Leh) for a price less than what hiring a motorbike for just 2-days costs — forget about fuel, accommodation, food and other expenses. So if you too are planning something similar, read this ideal (Camping+Hitchhiking) Budget Travel Guide for Nubra Valley: But Before Anything, please note that I am not comparing the two experiences. Having your own motorbike (or …