Secret Garden

Dharansi. A hanging valley. I savour those two words. What a delicious idea! I close my eyes and try to remember if I’ve seen one before. There was that small hanging plateau on the northern marches of the Indrahar pass in the Dhauladhar. But this was massive. I was sitting in the middle of a... Continue Reading →

Where the Creatures Meet

“Camel ride sir? Great camel” “Nahi ji” “Why nahi ji sir?” What could I say? There’s only so much camel I can take, and I’d been catching myself staring at these strange, disdainful beasts all day. I can’t think of any other animal that carries off such studied insouciance, even when doing nothing more demonstrative... Continue Reading →

In the Shadow of Royalty

It was 1 in the morning and I was suffering. I was in the throes of an allergic reaction, probably from the dust of the train, sneezing and coughing all over the place. I took an anti-allergic and as the medicines took hold, I slowly drifted into that state between waking and sleep, where the... Continue Reading →

Into the Deep

The one thing you must learn before you dive is how to ‘equalise’. This novel way of neutralising the increasing water pressure on your body as you go deeper needs some getting used to. When you’re on land, just a yawn can do the trick, but when you’re underwater and with a breathing device in... Continue Reading →

A Walk in the Clouds

I was on a mountain road in Mussoorie when it rained. The clouds crept up slowly and engulfed me, caressing my skin with cool softness. The ghostly whiteness closed in until I felt as though I was walking through water. I couldn’t see more than two feet ahead of me. And then it started pouring.... Continue Reading →

Down to the Waterline

When you're idling bang in the middle of India's longest lake, you may drift off to sleep in the middle of a conversation. As a gentle breeze plays over the placid watery expanse, your eyes droop, your words slur, and before you know it, you're snoring gently. At over 250 sq km, Vembanad Kayal is... Continue Reading →

Sheer Bliss

The Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal is an important man. His kingdom is not necessarily one of great riches or political significance; but one more profound—a regency of stories,  culture and myth. The Maharaja’s palace is spectacularly located at Narendra Nagar, about 18 km above Rishikesh, overlooking the Ganga and the lush spread of the Doon valley.... Continue Reading →

Free as a Bird

Winding down the twisting roads through the highlands of the Kangra valley, the sight that greets you about an hour before Kangra town is breathtaking. Up north, the gentle swell of the rolling uplands suddenly come up smack against an incredibly high jagged wall that dominates the horizon. The wall it seems, goes on forever,... Continue Reading →

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