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The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

Sunset at Nainital

On my recent visit to Corbett as part of the Club Mahindra Bloggers Trip, we spent some time at Nainital. After roaming around the streets for a while, we took the ropeway to get a glimpse of the snow covered peaks of the Himalayas. The ropeway idea was just a lark, to spend some extra time at Nainital, but it turned out to be full of surprises - from the beautiful aerial view of the Naini Lake.....

To the snow capped mountains visible even to the naked eye!

A board announced the availability of "powerful binoculars" to get a better view of the snow clad peaks....

But the binocs turned out to be a pair of normal ones encased in an impressive - looking case, making them look much bigger, and I guess, more 'powerful'! And the long queue waiting for a peep proved their popularity!

The ropeway seemed to be quite popular, since we had to wait more than half an hour for our turn, and the whole place was filled with tourists having fun, which meant that there was quite a lot of noise! We moved away from the crowd, seeking some peace. Anyway, most of us had our own binoculars, certainly more 'powerful', and we were rewarded by the sight of many birds too - Verditer Flycatchers, Rufous Sibias, and Himalayan Whistling Thrush, among others.

As each of us got busy with our cameras, clicking away at either the landscape or the birds, time flew past, and it was time for us to resume our journey down the ropeway. As we began our downward journey in the cable car, the sun began its descent too……

A ropeway is no longer a novelty in India. There are many tourist spots which now boast of cable cars. But this journey reminded me of the simple thrills of a ropeway – the feeling of being high up and looking down at the ground through a new perspective. But above all, our ropeway ride served to help me filter out the noise and crowd and make the most of a beautiful place!

I decided to use this post for Sky Watch Friday instead of a single picture as usual. Hope you liked it! For more beautiful skies from around the world, visit the Sky Watch Page.


  1. I am envious. I will make it up some day.

  2. Nice post about a lovely post. Good one Anu.

  3. The shots are very lovely, Anu. The ropeway ride must have been awesome! :)

  4. Looks like you all had a good time and caught a lovely sunset too.

  5. had a wonderful time, mridula! and the sunset was much better than what i could capture!

  6. It was wonderful, Bindhu, but the views more than the ride itself!

  7. Those were stunning pictures. Loved the sunset series best of all and the birds.

    The font is better now. Thanks. :)

  8. Hey! It reminded me of my trip but I had not been on the ropeway! The next time I go I will get my own powerful binoculars :) :) :)

    The photos are extremely beautiful 

  9. wonderful and the powerful binoculars is a nice laugh :)
    and by the way, there is round dust spot visible in many of the photos, probably need to clean you camera once :)

  10. and the sunset photos are beautiful and you are an opportunistic birder :)

  11. Thanks Santosh! I realised that too, but still wondering how to clean my lens... tried it once,but doesnt seem to have made much of a difference!

  12. Now, thats a nice term.. opportunistic birder... and fits me perfectly!

  13. The first picture is simply breathtaking, Anu. May I use it as wallpaper for my laptop? Please, please ...

  14. Sure, Sudha! will send u the large image by mail. the one on the blog might be a smaller sized one...

  15. Wow' great photos kindly chk here also

  16. the is one of the best photo-descriptive way i have seen ever....great work...


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