Himalaya travel

This category contains 13 posts

Dharamshala International Film Festival Mark IV

The Dharamshala International Film Festival is back and we look forward to seeing you there for coffee and more in November. Do check out their site http://www.diff.co.in for details. Advertisements

Seven Ways of Looking at Birds

I was first attracted to birds when I moved to Dharamshala in 1997. I remember being woken up every morning by the song of a blue whistling thrush (I didn’t identify it then). Slowly, as I settled in, I started recognising a few of the most common species of birds such as magpies, barbets, woodpeckers, … Continue reading

Ladakh’s turquoise jewels

Once the preserve of the military, the lakes of eastern Ladakh are places of hallucinatory beauty. Just don’t expect a good night’s sleep. We’ve all seen it. Whenever Time magazine or one of its competitors brings out a story on the region and includes a map, a legion of unfortunate peons somewhere in the bowels … Continue reading

The Kangra Valley Railway

Running 163 kilometres from Pathankot in Punjab to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh, the Kangra Valley Railway is one of the last of its kind: a narrow gauge railway in original working condition that still serves a local community. In other parts of the world, these railways have either been torn up or turned into tourist … Continue reading

Holy smoke

Weird stuff in an ancient Himalayan village It’s easy to describe the trek to Malana. The first half is horizontal, the second half vertical — a gentle walk through a pine-forested valley, followed by a breathless struggle up a sheer mountainside in the glaring sun. You crest at the village, a collection of castle-like stone … Continue reading

The wonderful world of McLeodganj

Whether you’re after phosphorescent cakes, a bulk order of Maggi noodles, monkeys walking the high wire, a porter, a prayer flag, a quick chant over a butter lamp, a climb of a mountain or a cup of chai, you know it’s never more than ten minutes away in McLeodganj. All this, and so much more. … Continue reading

A cosy day walk from Bhagsu Nag

Four of us trekked up above Bhagsu Nag on Sunday and crossed a ridge below Triund for spectacular views of McLeodganj, Dharamshala and Khaniara. The trek, which begins at the Shiva Café just above the Bhagsu waterfall, makes a pleasant – and shorter – alternative to the Triund trek, which can get a bit overcrowded these days. … Continue reading

Photography course: field trip to Church of St. John in the Wilderness

Photography course: field trip to the temple and the Lingkor

As part of Moonpeak’s first photography course, the group met at the entrance to the Dalai Lama’s temple and photographed snack sellers, monks, nuns, pilgrims and passersby. We then walked the Lingkor, the sacred path that circles the temple and residence, photographing the shrines, prayer wheels and prayer flags that line the route. These are … Continue reading

First time paragliding? Try the Himalayas

“Cross wind,” said the boy beside me as he sniffed the breeze. “Cross wind not good. We want straight wind.” Five minutes later, Ravi muttered the same words as he untangled the thin threads linking his harness to the expanse of colourful nylon lying on the grass. “Cross wind.” Another five minutes passed as the … Continue reading