A stellar road trip and a science lesson, high up in the Himalayas!

I remember the first time I saw Jupiter and its moons through a telescope that could fit in my backpack, I was spellbound! So when I got the opportunity to visit one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world that too in Ladakh, I was ecstatic and I wondered if we could see planets, stars or distant galaxies through the telescope at the observatory!

Motorcycle Diaries: Cold desert of Hanle, Ladakh

To reach a place as isolated in the Himalayas on motorbikes requires a heart full of courage and a spirit of adventure, other than a map of course or you could end up in China! Crossing some of the highest mountains passes in the world on broken, sometimes non-existing roads or mere dirt tracks to lead the way, it’s a challenging bone-chilling ride.

Breathless Himalayas: Crossing Chang La

As we climbed higher it became cooler passing through breathtaking Himalayan scenery. Pristine white snow-covered mountain roads are a sight to behold but they’re a tough climb. Riding in thin cold air through wet & slushy ice on the road was a challenge and the potholes added to the bumpy ride. Adding to the excitement one of our motorbikes broke down on the slippery road a few meters from Chang La pass!

Kumortuli: Where Goddesses are made

On the banks of Hooghly, in North Kolkata is a labyrinth of narrow lanes, older than the city and full of vibrant color and art, Kumortuli – the potter’s colony, where idols of Gods and Goddesses are made from scratch for the Hindu festival of Durga Puja. Various artists work on different stages of sculpting, painting & decorating the idol of Goddess Durga in the workshops here. Deeply engrossed in the making of the Goddess, they look meditative.

Blue Magic: Butterfly Pea flower Kheer

This post is to celebrate a decade of travelling and blogging; a visual treat for your eyes and taste buds, a creation inspired by my love for travel, food and photography – Blue Kheer – a sweet rice pudding from India! The beautiful blue color is from the petals of a Southeast Asian – Butterfly Pea Flower.

Ladakh Blues – Enchanting Lakes of Ladakh

Countless shades of blue change with the falling light, turquoise blue waters merge into cobalt blue cloudless skies, reflecting in the ripples of water with a mosaic of colorful stones shining underneath; the Ladakh Blues!

Hidden treasure of Ladakh

Ladakh is famous for it’s stunning landscapes, peaceful & heartwarming people, dangerous mountain passes, extreme weather conditions, pristine high-altitude mountain lakes, unique wildlife and gorgeous ancient monasteries, but in this remote land there lies another hidden treasure thousands of years old…the prehistoric Rock Art paintings – some of the earliest expressions of our species, our artistic and cultural beginnings!

Delightful Charang

Kinnaur is the most beautiful and least explored part of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. Surrounded by harsh mountains, Charang Khas, a pretty little village at an altitude of 3500 meters in Morang, Kinnaur, is accessible only by foot, a trek through Thangi and Lambar.

Eternal Varanasi

River Ganges is the soul of Varanasi. The Ganges rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and is the longest river of India as well as the second greatest river in the world by water discharge. In Hinduism, river Ganges is considered sacred and personified as goddess Ganga. A boat ride over river Ganges at sunrise is the best way to experience the ghats.

The Ramgarh Bungalows – Simple joys of Life

With a stunning view of the layered silhouetted mountains, fragrance of fresh flowers in the air, birds chirping, morning dew, a cup of chai and dreams still lingering in my mind, I wake up to a beautiful morning! A holiday in the hills is bliss, but a one at Ramgarh Bungalows is just short of…

Smiling faces of Ladakh

Mountains, monasteries, monks, memories…the magic of Ladakh! It’s difficult to take a bad photograph in a place like Ladakh. The light is so ethereal like in some dreams, and it’s not just the landscapes that are so hauntingly beautiful, but also the people of Ladakh who are always smiling 🙂 The smiles that tell the…

Kinner Kailash Parikrama Trek

Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama is one of the toughest treks in Himachal, around the holy Mount Kailash, also called Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur. It’s a 60 Km trek, which starts in Thangi through Charang, Lalan Ti, crossing Charang La pass (17,194 ft) and ends in Chitkul village – the last inhabited village accessible by road, near…

Go-Aaah! : Sunsets and Conversations

GOA is one of the most popular and peaceful states in India. Ranked on top for the best quality of life in India, Goa is renowned for beaches, parties, shopping, water sports, nature, history and food – a perfect travel destination for anyone! For me, it’s a place to relax and chill out with friends,…

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

A landscape looks great in a ‘landscape’ or Horizontal format but sometimes looks much more interesting in a vertical or ‘portrait’ format. Here are a series of landscapes of River Yamuna shot from the new Naini bridge in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, in horizontal and vertical format for the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways. And some useful…

Coorg: Berry Coffee!

Coorg is a beautiful hilly town in Karnataka, known for coffee plantations, beautiful views of the hills, and awesome Coorgi food – Pandi curry or pork curry with Kadambuttu or rice balls. Other than coffee and spices, honey from Coorg is one of the best. It’s a peaceful weekend destination a few hours away from Bangalore…

Heavenly Chitkul: The road ends here…

Chitkul is the last inhabited village near the Indo-Tibet border in Baspa valley of Kinnaur, Himachal. The Indian road ends here. At an altitude of 3450 meters on the banks of Baspa River in the Himalayas, about 24 kms from Sangla is the remote and heavenly village of Chitkul. Heavenly not just for the breath-taking…

Untouched Kinnaur: Rusklang village, Ropa valley, Himachal

Kinnaur in northeast Himachal, surrounded by Tibet in the east, is the least explored and the second least populous district, after Lahaul & Spiti, in Himachal Pradesh, India. The old Hindustan-Tibet road, the ancient Silk Route, passes through Kinnaur along the banks of Sutlej River. Kinnaur Kailash is a peak (6500 meters) in Kinnaur, considered the…

Pushkar Fair Part 2: World’s largest camel fair

The Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Mela is an annual five-day camel and livestock fair held in the small town of Pushkar. It’s a spectacle on an epic scale, where traditions and spirituality meet and one can experience the culture and grandeur of Rajasthan. Pushkar fair runs for five days and is one of the largest in…

Enchanting streets of Pushkar

There is nothing like a walk on the street to experience the mood, culture and lifestyle of a place. And Pushkar is a town which is best seen on foot. It’s quite small and can be covered with in a few hours. The colorful little shops & cafes look fascinating against the backdrop of old buildings decorated with street art. The fresh…

Faces of India

“I would rather that my life remain a tear and a smile. A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence. “ From A tear and a smile by Khalil Gibran. Life is beautiful because of the deep and intense emotions we feel,…