Tag Archives: Himalayas

Frames from Sikkim || 2017

Sikkim has always been on my travel diary but somehow it eluded me for years.

Finally, during the month of June 2017, I finally could visit this amazing state. And what I saw literally blew me away. Sikkim is green, clean and all organic (the first & only state in this country!). It is so easy to fall in love with the place that one can’t help but marvel at the amazing natural beauty and the lush sub-tropical woodlands. Words will never be able to do justice to the place.

So, I present a few frames from Sikkim. I hope this gives you the motivation to pack your bags and leave. Sikkim is love. Sikkim is pure magic.

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Ladakh – A Romantic Saga ||Episode 1 || Delhi – Sonmarg (Kashmir)

Day-1 (Delhi – Sonmarg) route details: Delhi – Sonipat-Panipat-Karnal-Ambala-Ludhiana-Phagwara-Jalandhar-Mukerian-Pathankot-Sujanpur-Kathua-Ghagwal-Samba-Jammu-Pulwara-Sringar-Ganderbal-Kullan-Sonmarg.
Total distance: 990kms.

The plan was pretty simple, really, or atleast so it seemed. Start driving late night and drive as far as we possibly could so that the 2nd day could be a relatively easy drive to Leh from wherever we would be at the end of 1st day’s drive. And since we were four guys and we all know how to drive, it pretty much should turn out to be an easy affair or atleast that’s how we thought it should be.

Now, the vehicle of choice was a SUV since we pretty much knew the terrains we would encounter woudn’t really be what you call ‘smooth’ in real sense. Yes, there would ofcourse be stretches where we would find some awesome tarmac to go “crazy” on, but then there would also be roads (or the lack thereof!), where we would pretty much crawl, to put it mildly. The stuff that we had packed for this 6-day long expedition to #Ladakh were:

  1. Camera gear (first & foremost, and for ME, most important)
  2. Warm clothes, although it turned out to be pretty much not needed (more on that later)
  3. Engine oil & a 5 litre extra jerry-can filled with diesel for the vehicle since finding diesel might just be an issue enroute
  4. Cash and bank ATM cards
  5. Snacks & chocolate bars for instant energy
  6. Miscellaneous knick-knacks.

We met at the now famous Taj CCD around 1am from where we were supposed to begin this journey. Now, driving on the straight stretches of highway is pretty much something which anyone with a sense of judgement and a patient and cool mind can easily do all night. Getting out of the Capital at that time of the night was a no-brainer and we were cruising happily on the National Highway-1 (or rather AH-1, as it is now officially known) in about 30 minutes time after leaving Delhi. Now, I am what everyone calls, a very patient driver and somebody who would NEVER take a risk while on the road, and since it was well past midnight, I decided to take it real easy and we took a couple of breaks here and there to pick up some energy drinks and just generally relieve ourselves and stuff.

The night was pretty much uneventful and with a driver change in between somewhere passed Chandigarh, we were in the hills by dawn. Now, once you cross into Jammu & Kashmir (at the Lakhanpur border), the prepaid mobile connections seize to work and that is because of the security concerns. Out of the four guys, two (me & another friend) had prepaid connections while the other two had postpaid ones. So, essentially, once we entered J&K after paying the toll-tax at the Lakhanpur border, the prepaid mobile networks were gone, and I pretty much switched off my mobile phone and kept it inside my camera bag, both, to conserve the battery (as if I’d need it in the next 6 days, except, perhaps, to surf the internet & check for emails/ whatsapp/ Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter over hotel wifi at different locations) and also, I just wanted to feel light. I wanted to feel free.

You see, mobile phones are good; I am not against them. But, there are days when you wish you wouldn’t have them but you cannot help it. So, Ladakh presented me an opportunity to be without my cell-phone for a period of 6 days at a stretch and somewhere deep down, I was pretty satisfied with this.

Nonetheless, this – the first day’s drive was pretty much uneventful, and although we had to drive constantly for more than 18 hours, we finally reached Sonmarg (which is about 990kms from Delhi) by night; if I remember, it was around 9:30pm or so that we checked into a nice, small, cozy hotel and relaxed for the night.

Kashmir Valley

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As tired as we were, while eating our dinner and even after going to bed, I constantly kept thinking and visualizing about the kind of high-passes & the terrains that we would encounter the next day. I had been to Ladakh on earlier occasions but the sheer excitement just doesn’t abate, no matter how many times you visit that magical place. I had also pretty much visualized the kind of shots that I wanted – both for my still album and for the film that I was there to shoot.

With all that excitement and adrenaline flowing through my veins, even at 2 in the night, I couldn’t really fall asleep while everyone else was fast asleep. Finally, after calming my nerves down, I went to sleep, for the next day had some amazing stories which were to unfold…

 

…to be continued.

Mukteshwar, Nainital – a short Himalayan travel video story

It’s been a week that I have started a new YouTube channel where I would be sharing weekly videos about travel, photography, automotive, and even a little bit of my daily life in the form of vlogs.

This week, I am sharing a small 3 minute video from a beautiful place in the Himalayas that I travelled to – Mukteshwar. I hope you guys like the video, and please do Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get regular updates regarding the same.

 

In the Jungle amidst Nature

I have been pondering about this for quite a while now, and perhaps I’ll take a step towards the positive direction.

Recently, on one of my travels to a distant and off beat place in the Himalayas, I discovered a beautiful cottage by the road-side which was abandoned, and nobody seemed to be around. The village itself is a very small one, with a population count on two digits. And then it stuck me; I have been wanting to go to the Himalayas and just stay there for an indefinite period of time and just…be there.

You know what I mean? Just do the stuff that I always have wanted to do. Be in the middle of nature, photograph, write, and just do nothing. I need to experience such “nothingness” for in this urban jungle, I have completely lost the sense of being alone. O lonely, I sure am, but being alone and all by yourself is an entirely different feeling altogether.

Below, I am sharing a few pictures from my recent travel, and just look at the kind of solitude that places like this provide. Rest assured, very soon, I shall be off to such a place up in the hills. Where, I don’t know, for I haven’t decided yet. I shall ofcourse let everyone know about my whereabouts through Facebook, Instagram & ofcourse this blog of mine. 🙂

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Nainital Uttarakhand

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Sigri Uttarakhand

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Sigri Jungle Trails

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Pangot Nainital


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Why I Love Travelling…

I am a photographer by profession and an explorer by heart & passion. I have loved travel for as long as I can remember. My parents instilled it in me without even really trying for it. Since, my father was in the defense forces, it meant constant shifting from one state to other in a span of 3 odd years or so. I am thankful to the transferable service that my father had, I could proudly boast of seeing sights that many of us do not even get to imagine.

But, if I seriously think about it, I think the proverbial travel bug bit me when I was in high-school. It was a school trip, and I cannot even begin to say the kind of fun I had in the trip, and the kind of high that it gave me. Was I in love with the places that I travel to? O absolutely! But more so, I am in love with the entire of experience of travelling itself. I just cannot get enough of it. I want to see as much as I possibly can in this one life that I have been given by the Almighty. This is, I think how true love feels. This is the kind of love that absolutely consumes you, that pains you to be away from. That kind of love that lasts for an eternity.

Since the first journey that I took, I have been just hooked onto it. And from there it has just grown. I have travelled to many different places, and in many different ways – I’ve taken buses, I have taken trains, air travel as well. And I have trekked to places where automobiles could not reach. I think, in this entire process, I have also discovered my preferences as far as travelling is concerned, since I have travelled solo (mostly), in a group, and even with family. But, what I love the most is travelling independently & solo. And to places that are rich in culture. Yes, my heart is completely biased when it comes to the Himalays, but I take pleasure in visiting other places as well.

As much as I can, I make it my priority to travel & see different places and experience different cultures & traditions. It not only makes me happy but I also feel it fulfills me in a different level altogether. Each of my travels has changed me, for good. It has not only shown me a lot of different landscapes, made me meet a lot of new people, but it has also taught me to be patient, to be calm & ofcourse how to actually enjoy my own company. Some-day, I would love to travel full-time, but for now the arrangement which I have works perfectly for me.

Like everything, I enjoy sharing my travel experiences with my friends & family and I hope through my stories, you would also motivate and inspire your own self to go out, discover places which are waiting to be discovered…


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What a winter Expedition I had!

What an amazing winter expedition I had, with two of my close buddies – snow capped mountains all around, and temperatures dipping to -10 degrees celsius. THIS is precisely what we had come here for. Read the entire story and see the pictures HERE.

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