In the wee hours of the morning, safari jeeps zip through the mist-covered forest. Foraging langurs, usually the first mammals in sight, and humans exchange curious glances. Sambars scurry into thickets at the sight of an approaching jeep. A pack of dholes tease each other in the distance. Jeeps trace their way, each taking a different route, from one water body to another where the animals come for a drink. Naturalists listen and observe intently for calls and sightings of animals and exchange information on their mobiles with other naturalists.
When I think of Sri Lanka, I think of incredible landscapes, pristine beaches, misty mountains, rich biodiversity, friendly locals and delicious food.
Muktinath temple Prayer flags flutter along the wall inside the Muktinath temple compound. Just outside the wall Buddhist monks air their blanket on a bed of jagged rocks. A Sadhu (holy man) of Tibetan origin, with his possessions, a bronze ewer, two hardbound books, makes a wooden bench at the main entrance his temporary home. With […]
I feel grateful and privileged beyond words to be part of such a beautiful planet, perhaps the best place in the universe. For enduring pain inflicted and yet being ever so kind and loving.
Durbar Square before earthquake reminded me of Florence, it had a tinge of red, yellow, orange, blue and green to it and the place came alive with tourists and locals alike. The temple domes with clear blue sky and snow-capped mountain for a backdrop was its specialty.
I always thought of Ooty as a place only fit for honeymooners: cold, hilly and romantic. “Ooty and me? no way,” used to be my usual response.
When we reached Ooty, I noticed horses thronged this place as much as the tourists. I was convinced that I was not going to regret the trip. I gave all the must visit tourist spots especially the suicide points a miss for another time I might feel suicidal and explored the not so touristy and suicidal side of Ooty.
When I talk about trekking in the Himalayas, sometimes people ask me, “What is the point in walking or climbing aimlessly from one point to another, in rugged climate and terrain at that.” I was never able to answer that question. In fact I gave into the idea that it was pointless. During my recent trip to the Himalayas I realized why I was lost for words. Even if I tried, it would be a futile exercise. To express what it feels like to be surrounded by the Himalayas is beyond language.
I say this at every opportunity, “not for nothing people associate The Himalayas with renunciation of the material world.” If you spend enough time in the mighty mountains, renunciation becomes a natural process. When you are up there, in the lyrics of Metallica, nothing else matters.
As a kid the very sound of market excited me, because of its association with the pleasant prospect of shopping, much to my father’s dismay. The sound of shopping still excites me and the reason remains the same. However, now that I have to pay my own bills, I reluctantly learnt to sidetrack myself by means of a camera. Hail street photography!
From one campsite to another, Annapurna Circuit is replete with tea houses. They are multi cuisine tea houses offering delectable array of menu choices. Best part of the menu and something I enjoyed the most during the trails is, a warm cup of lemon tea. For one I can thaw my hands while sipping on the tea. And for another, it was refreshing. Unlike the other trails, end of a grueling trek I retired to a cozy bed. I literally buried myself under layers of quilts and read a book, while the mighty glaciers, sometimes bordered by rustling streams, busied themselves providing a stunning view.