Jammu & Kashmir

Rain and snow at Gulmarg, Kashmir 5

One of the most dos is the Gulmarg Gondola ride in Kashmir “Mumbai ka fashion and Kashmir ka mousam – donon ka koi barosa nahin,” says my driver Basheer, indicating that Kashmir’s weather is as fickle minded as Mumbai’s  fashion statements. Proving him right, the sun strode right on to the horizon with a flourish, pushing away all the damp grey clouds with a single stroke. It was my third day in Kashmir and I was happy to see the sun after two days of incessant rains, power cuts and an after effects of an earthquake that had rocked the […]

Gulmarg , Kashmir

Avantipur and its ruins in Kashmir 9

The ruins of Avantipur in Kashmir A holiday in Kashmir is always filled with sunrises. You feast your eyes on pristine landscapes, on bright and cheerful flowers rivalling the colours of a rainbow, meandering streams, never ending stretches of meadows and snow kissed peaks bordered by alpine forests. The tall bare trees stand like sentinels watching over the region as we drive past. I am on the road drinking in every bit of scenery, intoxicated by its sheer beauty. Birds sing, the breeze brings with it the far away notes of their songs. I stop at almost curve and admire […]

Four monasteries in Ladakh you must not miss 12

  As you drive around , you see several monasteries or Gompas hanging  silently from  a cliff or sloping down from a peak. They often look like fortresses with prayer wheels and mani walls built around them. Standing amidst the countless chortens that are scattered around the landscape, I look around and take a deep breath. It is not just the landscape that is breathtaking, but I pause to catch up with some air too, taking in the little oxygen around. There are so many monasteries in Ladakh but these are my favourites Alchi Lying in a village down the […]

Diskit, Nubra, Ladakh

Yousmarg or the Meadow of Jesus in Kashmir 15

Snow clad mountains laced with alpine forests greet us and the road takes us towards fresh pastures. The conifers stand as sentinels watching over every tourist entering the valley. And I stand there, drenched in rain,  surrounded by acres of lush meadows. After feasting on pristine white snow at Sonmarg and Gulmarg, my eyes are getting used to the fifty shades of green spanned out in front of me. I am in Yusmarg or Yousmarg, one of Kashmir’s less frequented tourist haunts, located barely a couple of hours from Srinagar in the Badgam District The pony wallahs gather around me […]

Special Sunrises and Sunsets from 2013 20

From a gorgeous sunrise at Nagin Lake, Srinagar Kashmir (Read – Dawn at Nagin Lake, Kashmir) To a sunset in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan (Read Kuldhara – A haunted village near Jaisalmer) A misty morning in Rustic Thailand, in Nakhon Nayok (Read Five Memories from Thailand) To a magical sunset in Redang island, Malaysia (Read Snorkelling in Redang Island) These are some of the most beautiful views of the skies that I have seen in 2013 in my travels. Read my travel story of 2013 here Hoping to see more dramatic skies in 2014. To see gorgeous skies around […]

Mistyt morning Thailand nakhon nayok


Dawn at Nagin Lake, Kashmir 16

Notes from a  houseboat in Kashmir It was the quintessential Kashmiri moment. On a placid lake floated a tiny boat brimming with delicate blooms, in vibrant hues. It seemed like the picture postcard had just come alive .Even the cliches here were refreshingly fresh. It might be an antithesis but sitting on the ornate wooden balcony of the houseboat in Kashmir on the Nagin lake, watching a shikara emerge out of the smoky mist, while the silver lined clouds floated past the mountains, throwing a reflection on the dark blue waters, I could not help but feel overwhelmed. I could […]