Motorcycle Diaries: The extraordinary Karst landscape of North Vietnam

Panoramic views of jagged green Karst Mountains jutting out endlessly till the horizon, winding roads lined with wildflowers passing through small towns & villages surrounded by terraced paddy and cornfields, it was an enchanting world floating in the mist, weathered by monsoons soaked in rain.

Uniquely Nepal!

Some unique and interesting things about Nepal that I learned on our first trip and scenes from my travels in watercolors & ink on paper.

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!

Riding through the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Before we set out on our road trip through the Central Highlands of Vietnam, I was nervous about riding for the first time in a new country. It took me a while to get comfortable on the motorbike and let my eyes off the road to enjoy the scenic views. But after riding more than 1300 km through half of the country, I am convinced there is no better way to travel in Vietnam than on a motorbike! And the freedom of exploring a place riding on my own adds to the depth of my travel experiences.

Kashmir: A piece of Paradise!

I remember being overwhelmed by the exquisite beauty & scale of the Himalayas after my first trip to Ladakh, a Ride of a lifetime! Waking up to stunning views of Pir Panjal mountains on the historic Mughal road and Aharbal with gorgeous landscapes of pine-covered Himalayas, rivers gushing through the mountains, orchards laden with fruit and heart warming people, this was my first time in Kashmir. Already in awe of its beauty I was looking forward to less explored Lolab valley.

Old Mughal Road: A night to remember!

If it weren’t for the downpour that evening, we would’ve had a different experience riding through the road probably, maybe a more comfortable one. But I will always cherish our memories of that adventurous night on the historic Mughal road, where we not only got to ride on it we even slept on it for a night! 😉

Rustic Kalaw, Myanmar

Surrounded by the misty blue Shan hills, Kalaw is a great place to relax, enjoy the view, other than cycling around exploring the town, to nearby monasteries, pagodas & the market. With beautiful views of the surrounding hills, it’s quite rewarding to spend time at the Buddhist monastery and see the daily life of young Buddhist monks who call it home.

Magical Myanmar – Instagrammed

Did you know the Burmese use tea leaves as a food ingredient? Other than  brewing a tea, the leaves are fermented to make a special Burmese tea-leaf salad and its yum! Myanmar offered a varied set of experiences from historic temples to nature hikes in the hills and boat rides exploring life on a lake, but it was the delicious Burmese food, readily available salads (and avocado!) and the people who stole my heart!

Charang Monastery: The most Holy temple of Kinnaur

Charang is a delightful little village near the Indo-Tibet border in Kinnaur – the less explored & non-touristy part of Himachal Pradesh in India. The Kinner Kailash Parikrama is considered incomplete without receiving blessings at the ancient 11th century Charang monastery also called the Rangrik Shungma – the most holy temple of Kinnaur.

Arunachal Pradesh: Land of the dawn-lit mountains

Two memorable weeks in the most remote parts of Arunachal Pradesh – Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains in North East India. Turquoise Lohit river flowing in all its glory, to the misty blue mountains of Walong in the Eastern Himalayas, wild jungles of Namdapha, tea gardens of Wakro, lush green rice fields of Miao, handmade bamboo houses on stilts, hanging bridges, cheerful happy people with a taste in music and the brilliant way locals sustain themselves on nature, liters of beer, bonfires and lots of memories…

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.

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…

Ladakh – Ride of a lifetime!

Ladakh is ‘the land of high passes’, breath-taking landscapes, pristine lakes and gorgeous monasteries in the Himalayas. Travelling through this idyllic beauty of the mountains, peace & tranquility, warm-hearted people and the hair-raising adventure was the most unique, out of this world experience I’ve had – a dream trip to the roof of the world! 🙂

Coorg: Nature trails and a home-stay experience

Coorg or Kodagu in Karnataka, is a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, South India. A lush plantation wonderland infused with the intoxicating fragrance of coffee and spices, it’s a perfect get away from city life into the lap of nature. Much of Coorg is used for agriculture with coffee and pepper as the…

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…

Kunzum La: A vantage point

Kunzum pass or Kunzum La, in Tibetan, at an altitude of 15,000 ft is one of India’s highest motor able mountain passes, in Himachal Pradesh. A mountain pass is a path connecting two mountains. It connects Lahaul to Spiti valley and has a 360-degree spectacular view of the Bara-Sigri glacier (the second longest glacier in…

Lahaul & Spiti : A sublime beauty

I’ve been mesmerised by the sublime beauty of the Himalayas since my first trip more than a decade ago! The sheer size of the gigantic mountains, the snake-like winding roads (sometimes just dirt-tracks) and the adventure of living in one of the most sparsely populated regions on earth is thrilling! Perspective gets skewed, as there…

Weekly photo challenge: The golden hour

The most positive & reflective moments that I’ve spent with myself have been watching the beautiful hues of the sky as the sun sets or the early morning light – the golden hour. Some of the pictures from this hour of the day, when the light is most dramatic & moody, for the Weekly photo challenge:…

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…