Blogs from Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia - page 5

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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu October 17th 2013

These days are slipping right through my hands These days turn out nothing like I had planned Powderfinger “These Days” Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in Leonard Cohen “Anthem” I am living in a beautiful space (a house) on the outskirts of a village called Solahnu (population 123), an hour by walking track (no road) up a steep mountainside from the town of Jibhi in Bangar Valley Kullu (Himachal Pradesh India). How I got to be offered this opportunity is a long story, but suffice to say this is my fourth time in this valley since 2009 and my mind's eye has fancied being able to do just this kind of thing since that fist visit. I am doing nothing and everything. My days are empty ... read more
"My place" for sitting meditation
View from my verandah 6.45am
Another view from verandah

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu October 8th 2013

There's nothing quite so sad as a pub with no beer Slim Dust Practice non-attachment to money.... Buddhist teaching I had been to the Money Temple (also known as an ATM) in Bangar the day before and been blessed with 10,000 rupees: 9 x 1,000 rupee notes and 2 x 500 rupee notes. I was moving up to the house in Solahnu later today – 2 hours by walking track only, straight up the mountainside. No shops there and no need for money except to give the local kids 50 or 60 rupees if I were to ask them to deliver bundles of wood for my tandoor (an early prototype of the New Zealand Massport Pot Belly Stove). And being late Autumn it was about to get cold at night. I needed to stock up ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu October 2nd 2013

Manikaran - Parvati Valley Hills of forest green where the mountains touch the sky A dream come true, I'll live there till I die Don McLean – Castles in the Air 'You are a bit crazy Paul', I said to myself for not the first time as I scrambled on all fours through yet anther dense thicket of seemingly impenetrable scrub of bracken, grasses, stinging nettle and 'farmers friend' weeds (to mention just a few). I was staying at Manikaran in Parvati Valley, and had woken up early (around 4.30am) and already been to the temple hot spring bath. It was now turning out to be a perfectly clear blue sky morning. It was like being landlocked (only this was valley-locked), being down in the valley knowing that the peaks are just 'there' – up and ... read more
house on wrong side of gully
Stinging nettled arm!
A glimpse of the prize

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu September 15th 2013

Ragupur Fort – Jalori Pass, Banjar Valley And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence “I'll wake you up early if the sky is clear” was my parting message to the two guys staying in the next cottage. I had suggested that getting up to Jalori Pass (3,223 m above sea level) on a clear morning would be spectacular for views of the Himalayas in the distance. But when I knocked on their door at 5.30am the response from somewhere in the dark room was not positive. “We might come up later” said one. So I set off alone – naturally! On the climb out of the valley, it was fresh and crisp on Gladys (my Enfield wonder bike) and I had to pull my beanie down over ... read more
Magical path on the way to the fort
Ragupur Fort
Ragupur Fort wall

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu September 13th 2013

“If your life isn't holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned” Leonard Cohen, The Sisters of Mercy Its 4 am and I am awake. I go outside and take a look at the night sky and its dark (the new moon has already set here in the mountains), crystal clear and cloudless – so the stars are amazingly bright. I go back to bed and lay there to see if I can get back to sleep. Yer nai sacta he, so I get up and go about my morning routine: meditation, chai, catch up on some emails, and then think about yoga and breakfast and washing. But I look outside again and the sky is blue and cloudless, so I decide on a trip up the mountain to Bahu to catch possible glimpses of the distant ... read more
Puran Chand
Temple door and workshop
Puran's work

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu September 11th 2013

The Balo Panjo “Ox fight tomorrow 6.30am” said Naryan as we finished a delicious meal prepared by Ms Cinamon (Simone – an American cook who has set up house in the Kullu mountains). We all raised our eyebrows and tried to get our heads around he was on about. Not much gained except that there was some kind of mella happening up the road in the morning involving bull fights. We were interested and left things that night with the deal that if the weather was good in the morning, I would ring Simone to both wake her and her friend Cassie, and confirm that David (a friend who had come up for the day and was sleeping in my cottage that night) and I would pick them up en route to attend the event. As ... read more
Bring it on!
Festival stalls
Away from the maddening crowd

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Kullu September 7th 2013

Bright the Hawk's Flight on Empty Sky I was again a little reluctant to actually take off (leave Varanasi) but on the other hand it was getting far too flooded for comfort due to the still rising Ganga, and I was itching to get to the mountains. The weather forecast seemed good but once I hit the road, it rained on and off for about 3 hours. Many little stops on the way. The memorable one was pulling into a small father and son carpentry shop (me and Gladys taking up most of their covered work-area – at their invitation) to get out of a heavy downpour. It was a cosy little scene – and within a space as big as the back of stamp was their shop next to a small grocery shop on their ... read more
Mystery man turns out to be THE post office!
What happened to the National Highway
Through a gumtree forest near Haridwar

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali August 12th 2013

No sooner than I'd arrived in Manali, I was leaving. I was off to Leh. Off to see the one place I knew little about but was and had always been so positive I'd visit. Leh, the name on everyone's lips. Things already felt different the day I left. I felt 'alive' again, ready for a new adventure, and my luck was definitely changing. Now, I didn't get into it, because its all been documented in my journal, but for whatever reason, (as with every travelling adventure, you have your ups and downs) I'd just had a really big down. My time in Dharamsala was good, but not great, it wasn't adventurous enough, it just was what it was, and that's ok. I was having a travel rutt after Nepal, and I was just about to ... read more
mules on the road!
epic!!
apple view guest house

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj July 4th 2013

Dharamsala. Home of the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately I missed hearing the His Holiness speak by one day and so I by-passed Dharamsala, the city, and went a little further up to the tourist haunt that is Mcleod Ganj, or upper Dharamsala. It is swarming with tourists, but it doesn't necessarily feel that way. The beautiful Tibetan people ensure it keeps a certain calm and tranquility about the place, amidst the chaos. For such a small place, there is a lot going on. There are as many 'tourist' bus operating companies and trekking companies as you would find in any bigger city and they're all crammed into three narrow 'main' streets, in amongst the Tibetan traders, small restaurants and clothing stores (there is surprisingly a lot of these too). You share the small narrow streets with buses ... read more
another misty day in dharamsala
Typical
my epic Cafe Budan hot chocolate :)

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali June 14th 2013

Alarm ar 5 am. We were ready by 6 am. We packed breakfast, banana, frooti and sandwich. Driver tied the luggage on the top rack ans bid adieu to our rooms with beautiful views. I can compare these views to those that we had in the Terrace hotel in Switzerland. There only the hotel lobby had this view.Here our balcony itself had this view. We were all set for this long van ride to Chandigarh. Time is critical here since we had to get to the train station before 6 PM. We got out of the Manali area very quickly to our surprise. This had taken only 30 minutes compared previous 2 hours. After this the ride was so smooth that we reached the 'lunch' place for the breakfast itself (around 9:30 PM). We ordered methi ... read more




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