Finding Shangri-La in Singalila – Part Five (and Last)

Read part four here. Day 5: Sandakphu to Siliguri (140 m). Wait, where? The road doesn’t go where man wants it to; man goes where the road takes him, and sometimes it’s not where he wishes to delve. And this is especially true in the Himalayan realms.  Elsewhere it might be true that “man proposes;…

Finding Shangri-La in Singalila – Part Four

Read part three here. Day 4: Kalipokhri to Sandakphu (3636 m) As per the plan, we embarked the Bolero a few minutes after the appointed time (for Pooja reported being slightly under the weather) and began our descent back towards Kaiyakata to reach the said haunt. It was still dark when we set sail. A…

Finding Shangri-La in Singalila – Part Three

Read part two here. Day 3: Tumling to Kalipokhri (3186 m) via Garibans (2621 m) From the depths of my beddings I forced away the hot-water pack that had kept me warm and cosy all night, and extricated myself out of bed. Bleary-eyed, I parted the curtains anxiously, hoping for the best but prepared for…

Finding Shangri-La in Singalila – Part Two

Read part one here. Day 2: Tumling The first thing I did when the alarm went off was to part the curtain to take a peek outside. And a large “nothing to see here” sign met me. I couldn’t tell whether it was foggy or just dark, for the human eyes, so effective at discrimination…

Finding Shangri-La in Singalila – Part One

“There! Is that it?” I asked, craning over Sourabha’s shoulder, hoping I had just seen Mount Everest. A nebulous snowy spike rose far over the aerial horizon, piercing the endless expanse of cloud: like an iceberg over an Arctic mirage 12 kilometres above the sea.  “Are you sure that’s even a mountain and not just…

Chopta Birding in an Asthmatic Ertiga – Part Four

Then it was time to go to the riverside, and bird from the bridge, where a female kalij pheasant was perched interestingly. Then, on the honeyguide path, I managed to snap up a streaked laughingthrush. Witnessing a dip in activity, we decided to drive back towards Ukhimath, and found a Himalayan bulbul perched beautifully.

Chopta Birding in an Asthmatic Ertiga – Part Three

This marvel of the rhododendron bloom and all sorts of pretty birds on the spectacular flowers, was the speciality of Chopta in the spring (March and April), and if the initial signs were anything to go by, my timing of the trip was being entirely vindicated.

A question-provoking encounter in Kabini

We understood that the tiger had earlier that morning been seen next to the carcass, and was presently resting in the lantana undergrowth. It was only when I saw a video captured by a lucky witness to the incident (below) that I realised, stunned, what had happened.

Bandhavgarh Trip Report: Safari 5

Sourabha’s first male tiger and first leopard, Kamta’s brilliance and a revival in the belief of beginner’s luck. All this in safari five.