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Showing posts from September, 2015

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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Birds From my Window - Purple Rumped Sunbird

Starting the week with this gorgeous bird I see from my window every single morning when I send Samhith off to school....

Taking the train to a journey back in time

“Aap itni door aayi hain is train mein safar karne?” (You have come this far just to travel by this train) exclaimed my driver, when I informed him that I had come from Mumbai to travel by the local meter gauge train from Mhow to Patalpani, Kalakund and back. “Yes” I replied. The century old train is part of our disappearing history, and I wanted to experience at least some of it before it faded into oblivion. It took him a while to digest that logic, and when he did, he came up with another question “Main bhi aapke saath aa sakta hoon? (Can I come along with you?) Amused at the turn around, I agreed, and he went on to tell me that though he had driven tourists across the country, he had never even heard of this little train which passed so close to his hometown!

Skywatch Friday - Sunrise in the Forest

Now that I have written about Rishikesh, it is time for me to take a break... and write about random stuff for a while, before getting back to my #summertrip. To begin with, let me share with you, as part of Skywatch Friday, a beautiful sunrise at Tadoba.... We were awaiting our turn to enter the buffer zone of Tadoba, when the sun appeared, over the rim of the trees.

Rishikesh - The Pahadi House Experience

A lantern hung on the branch of a tree , its pale glow just enough to find our way around. Our host rushed to light the fire, and details emerged from the darkness – the neatly whitewashed house, with a pretty garden around, a water pump, the kind I hadn’t seen in years, wickerwork chairs that reminded me of my grandparents’ house,  and a pair of care-takers, busy whipping up dinner for us. However, there was just one thing that Samhith noticed – the old fashioned charpoy (wooden bed) on the lawn! He needed no invitation to make himself comfortable, and declare that he loved the place! This was to be our last halt at Rishikesh before making our way back home, and I couldn’t have chosen a better place!

Rishikesh with Ravers

Driving through the mountains , I looked out eagerly for my first glimpse of the river. A sharp turn, and the bluish green waters came into sight. I asked the driver to stop, and he did, a little later, at a convenient spot. I just had to get off, and stare at her. Unbidden, tears sprang into my eyes, and I brushed them away hastily. It was an emotional moment, after all, I was setting eyes on the Ganges in Rishikesh, after a gap of over 25 years!

Moving on... from Dharamsala to Amritsar to Rishikesh

Amritsar wasn’t on the original itinerary for our #SummerTrip. The city was added to our plan simply because we were delayed in booking Shankar’s return flight, and the only convenient one available was from Amritsar! It was then that realization dawned – that Shankar had never visited the Golden Temple! Plans were at once re-modified, tickets booked, and I began to look forward to my third visit to the city! Somewhere on the way to Amritsar...

Discovering heritage in ruins - the Nurpur Fort

“Amma, you missed a fort!” cried Samhith. We were on our way from Pathankot to Dharamsala, and I had somehow fallen into a deep sleep. I was still groggy, but the word ‘fort’ was enough to wake me up. Or maybe it was the enthusiasm in his voice. He went on, describing how big it looked, and how it stood atop a hill, and all I thought was – I didn’t know there was a fort here! “Had you heard of the Nurpur Fort?” added Shankar, intruding into my thoughts, and I shook my head. For the first time, I kicked myself mentally for not being prepared enough, and decided we would stop on our way back.

The Kangra Fort

The steep walls of the fort tower over us, and we strain our necks to get a better view. The car winds its way steadily upwards, and we walk into the imposing gates. Our stop at the Kangra Fort is meant to be a short one, tired as we are. As it turns out, the fort and its stories have us enthralled, and we lose track of time!  The Kangra Fort, as seen from the road, with a temple on the hill behind