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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.

A tea plantation walk in Dharamsala - a Photo Post for Skywatch Friday

This weekend promises to be a hectic one for me, and I am sure you have plans too. Therefore, instead of something for you to read, I have a photo post for you... These were clicked when we went for a walk in a Tea Estate in Dharamsala. The sight of greenery against the backdrop of the mountains, birds, butterflies and flowers never fails to inspire me, and I hope they will inspire you too! 

It was supposed to be a Tea Plantation walk, but the first thing we saw were roses!!! lots of them! 

And here is the Tea Plantation.

The play of light and shadows early in the morning is always a beautiful sight!

The tea plantations merge with the natural groves, and create a fascinating sight against the backdrop of the Dhauladhar Ranges

A Male Asian Paradise Flycatcher poses for us, pausing in its play with another male. 

This is a sight I can never have enough of.. and we were the only ones here, so we had it all to ourselves!

A pair of female Plum Headed Parakeets

A pair of Grey Hornbills were hard to spot, so well camouflaged were they,
but once we did, they kept us entertained for quite a while. 

These were just a pair of many hornbills around, but these were the only ones I managed to capture with any clarity

The tea plantation gave way to a wheat field and the golden sheaves were a pretty sight 

Among all the sheaves of wheat were these pretty butterflies, flying everywhere

And there were lots of flowers!

And of course, more birds, like this barn swallow

Our walk brought us to a river, a mountain stream, flowing from the snow clad Dhauladhars

and the clear, cold water glimmered in the morning light

a Black Drongo watched as we wound our way homewards, tired but exhilarated after our morning jaunt!

I hope the photos have been inspiring enough to have you smiling. If you need any more inspiration, head over to the Skywatch Page for more inspiring images from across the world! Have a great weekend, everyone!

This post is part of my series on my #summertrip 2015, and I hope to take you along with me as I recount stories from my month long trip, which took me across the country. To get an idea of all the places I visited, and what you can hope to read about, click here.  

Related Posts:
  • The Himachal Series- 


  1. I love the birds and butterflies you've captured!

  2. I enjoyed my walk around the tea plantation with you. Thank you! :)
    I love all the shots with the mountain range in the background, also the stones in the stream and the lovely one of the butterfly on the white thistle are beautiful.

  3. nice. Looks like you did a lot of exploration in Dharmashala..

    1. Thanks Shrinidhi! we did manage to get around a bit... and since we skipped the temples, we had lots of time to explore other places...

  4. Nice Captured of the natural wonder i like it.

  5. So beautiful. One usually does not associate Himachal with tea estates

    1. Yes, The Untourists.. thats true. we dont usually associate Himachal with tea estates, which s why this was a real surprise for us too.

  6. Beautiful clicks! That blue flycatcher is gorgeous!

  7. Sounds like a good mountain day :)

  8. Anuradha, thanks for visiting our tea estates. Dharmsala Tea Company ( owns the tea estates that you visited - Hoodle Tea Estate, Towa Tea Estate and Mann Tea Estate. Thanks for the lovely photos you've taken - and we're glad that you enjoyed bird watching as much as we do! Kangra is really well known for its bird watching - and also for its teas:) We look forward to hosting you again - you can come visit our tea factory as well. For more details about us, you can visit our website,


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