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 Six (and last)
The place we inhabit as much as the present is the memory of it, and it is in the nature of memory to beget the making of more.
Chopta Birding in an Asthmatic Ertiga – Part Five
You don’t walk in the Himalaya as much as you straddle an edge between extreme elation and potential despair. And you can’t take your foot off the edge, because the edge is all there is.
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.
Chopta Birding in an Asthmatic Ertiga – Part One
In the March of 2020 I had this brilliant idea of a self-drive trip to Chopta, Uttarakhand, for bird photography, in an unknown car. This is part one of how it went – or failed to go.