Blogs from Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia


Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala April 16th 2019

Warning: long blog ahead. Make your tea now. I started to write this before I got sick and never sent it. Now it feels unfinished to send without being updated first. So here goes: March: This past year has been filled predominantly with joy, watching my baby become a boy. Considering I left the decision of my motherhood up to fate, I never counted on having a son. So I’m beyond grateful everyday that he came to me. But once the sadness of the situation surrounding his arrival subsided, I was still left with wonder and questions, many questions and worry of our future. Much of this was surrounded by finances of course. But with no clear path for me and the unusually large amount of hours of sleep I’ve needed since Taylor’s birth, I often ... read more
Taylor drinking his chai at the local chai shop
Taylor with Kuku
Getting his haircut

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kangra Valley March 17th 2019

I’m facing a stupa, with the Dhauladar mountain range hovering behind it. Snow still resting on the top peaks, with one mountain falling into the next. It’s a pretty incredible place to write a blog! Taylor and I have sat here in meditation everyday since we arrived (I think only 4 days ago but its so far removed from Goa that it feels like its been months). He seems to feel the same contentment that I do here…he calls it “my nunnery”. He doesn’t ask to leave, ask for new toys, he doesn’t ask for anything here. The entire 5 weeks we stayed in Goa, a place he loved, he called our apartment by his friend’s name…the friend who lived on the bottom level of the house. He never referred to it as his. Yet here, ... read more
My best travel companion so far
Batman made in to a nunnery
Our large nunnery room

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj December 1st 2018

The day starts with only one thing in mind to go for a strip. I went home for Diwali and before even being to home I had only one thing will surely make a trip there were certain options Pahalgam, Mcloedganj, Patnitop even Vashno Devi (at that point it was also trip). So here’s how it all start and went. We were 4 friends of whom 2 reside in Jammu (my hometown) and me & the 3rd were arriving from delhi. The day I arrived at hometown we started making plans from Kashmir to pahalgam, Himachal and other places but couldn’t fixed any of them. As I was uncertain even though I was the one who initiated this because deep inside I always wanted to have solo trip. Since we were making plans for it and ... read more
Day 2
Trek n Dine
Iliterati Cafe

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala September 18th 2018

A long day’s drive with chai stop to a place I have always wanted to visit because of the Dalai Lama. The actual town is juse an ordinary town and you drive on to McCleod Ganj which although only 15km takes over an hour. We were unlucky with our hotel which was so damp nothing dried including the floor and one morning my hair was damp! But great German Bakery nearby for brekkie. The highlight of this trip was to see the temple complex and the Dalai Lama’s house. He was not there and the temple was small with a line of wonderful prayer wheels. However the Tibet Museum reduced us to tears telling the horrific story of the Chinese invasion with photographic exhibits. Very subdued after that especially when the realisation that it is still ... read more
Temple in the grounds
Handpainting traditional thangkas
Prayer wheel in the temple complex at McCleod Ganj

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Shimla September 17th 2018

Spending a day on trains was fascinating. The first regular train had a breakfast service of excellent logistics. The team of boys gave us chai,water, omelette, more chai, cleared up and all so efficiently. Then into the Toy Train to Shimla which the Brits had built to escape the heat of Delhi. Quite different experience. Small, plastic seats, all the luggage around you. I nearly got left behind when I got off to buy chai and had to run along to jump on! Shimla is a great place (at 2200ft) to slow down and be more attentive. The gentle walk along The Mall where everyone walks is great for people watching. The cost to the Viceregals Lodge was interesting. It looks like Scottish being built of grey granite. The viceregal was from Scotland so obviously wanted ... read more
10hrs travelling! Here at last
The Mall
Gorgeous weather despite the altitude

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kinnaur June 24th 2018

Kalpa Kinnaud District, Himachal Pradesh, India June 2018 “Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha” The Great Tibetan Mantra “Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?” Reflective meditation … Stephen Batchelor in 'Buddhism Without Beliefs. A contemporary guide to awakening' Definition of the word 'Kalpa': “An immense period of time (over 4,000 million years) considered to be the length of a single cycle of the cosmos (or 'day of Brahma') from creation to dissolution” Kalpa is a small town sitting high above the Sutlej river valley, requiring a 20 km ride up from the main road that heads north towards Spiti Valley. The local Kinnauri people practice a mix of Hinduism and Buddhism... read more
Anshwin's place in the main square
Old buildings falling in disrepair
Oranate house carving

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Shimla June 24th 2018

The 10-hour bus from Manali wasn't too bad- the driver only had to slam on the brakes causing luggage to fall 6-8 times and we only passed one overturned van (see photo). THE CITY Shimla is an attractive city that seems to hang off the hills. It reminds me of Valparaiso, Chile. Roads stretch along the slopes horizontally, switchbacking on the edges, while staircases and lifts cross vertically. 7K, pedestrian-only Mall Road is a nice escape from dodging vehicles (though they give too many VIP exceptions, if you ask me), and the Lower Bazaar that runs parallel is an entertaining scene to stroll through. Almost all the tourists in Shimla are Indian, so the town offers more chain stores and expensive, formal restaurants, rather than craft markets, cafes, or bars, like in Manali. The first night ... read more
Almost Left Behind
Overturned Van
Biggest Waste of Money Ever

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh June 21st 2018

Peggy and I completed the 4-day Hampta Pass trek (and then another day for the Lake Chandratal extension, all with Himalayan Trails (; The total cost, including transport, guide, tents and sleeping bags, mules to carry the gear, entrance fees, 3 cooks, and food, was just under $200 per person. There were four others in our group - a British couple and two Indian women. I assume most come to this blog to either browse photos or to get travel information, so I'll spare everyone an exhaustive narrative. Rather than going through our itinerary day by day, which can be found on any tour company's website, here are 10 observations and opinions about the Hampta Pass trek that we couldn't find information about before our trip. 1. Scenery The alpine scenery is impressive and some ... read more
The Perfect Mountain
Meal Prep
At the Pass

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali June 13th 2018

GETTING THERE FROM KULLU AIRPORT We could have taken an 8-hour death bus from Chandigarh on one of the most dangerous roads in the world, but we opted for a semi-sketchy, 30-minute flight to Kullu, and then an hour and a half taxi to Manali. The landing at Kullu Airport is apparently a challenging one, but the weather cooperated. Kullu itself seemed like an interesting town that wouldn't be terrible to get stuck in for a night, but it was easy to prepay a taxi to Manali with set prices from the taxi union. The pre-monsoon road construction and general traffic turned the trip from an hour and a half to two, then three, then four hours. At this point, traffic had been at a standstill for an hour, so we got out and walked the ... read more
The Manali Waterworks
Caption contest?

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu April 28th 2018

On 21-04-2018,it was very fine sunny weather at Keylong.I with my trekker friend from Kullu were on Lahul visit.We reached at Keylong on 18-04-2018.We spent our day on 19-04-2018 in SDM office Keylong regarding renewal of my driving license.When we got free at 3:30 PM,we first decided to go to Trilokinath temple for darshan.Weather was quite inclement and it was about to rain r snowfall.We did not bother for weather condition.I took the key of my brother's Santro Car and rushed to Petrol Pump,Tandi. We reached back at Keylong at 8:00 PM after having darshan of Trilokinath ji. On 20-04-2018,it was heavy snowy day at Keylong.We did not go out from home for walking and wandering due to heavy snowfall. Next day on 21-04-2018,it was very fine and sunny day.We took some shots of Keylong village ... read more

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