I associate May, especially the May of North India (non-Himalayan regions) with searing heat, dryness and perpetual sweating. But, as they say, “Every cloud has a silver lining”, May is also the time when most schools close for vacations and you finally have the time to go someplace. Most of us visit our grandparents and sit in their house, often doing nothing. I personally never liked going to Lucknow and staying there for 1-1.5 months. We hardly ever went out because it was hot; even after the sun set, there was little respite. The only silver lining there was that I had a cousin, with whom I would run around the house or play cricket in the backyard, but we grow up after a while and feel no excitement in such things.

What goes in your mind, when you read about someone else’s adventurous trekking expedition, especially in the Himalayas? Do you hear an inner calling? Does your heart and mind tell you that someday, you too should do this? Then, what is stopping you? Every year, thousands of amateur trekkers go on their first expedition into the Himalayas. All that one requires is a basic physical fitness level, necessary trekking equipment, a bit of mental strength and loads of zeal. We have listed down a few trekking trails in the Himalayas that are perfect for beginners like you. Read on to know about them so that you can start planning your impending desire to trek in the Himalayas.

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” – Lord Buddha

We would probably have to read Buddhist scriptures to know exactly what the deity meant with the quote, but one thing is for sure, the sight of flowers has the power to bring an instant smile to our face. You gift somebody even a single flower, and their mood changes at once. Imagine what seeing millions of flowers would do to you. It would not only lift your spirit, but also fill you with love and respect for nature. Flowers make even the bleakest of places colourful, vibrant and great to look at. And, the scent they radiate stimulates our senses like nothing else. Imagining standing in a vast field of flowers has made me want to go to such a place; hence, I have come up with a bucket list of such destinations around the world.

The Everest is undeniably majestic! The world’s highest mountain overlooks the world from an altitude of more than 29000 feet above sea level. This is the highest you can get without your feet leaving the ground. I have been fascinated by it, ever since I saw it first in my general knowledge book, when I was in school. At that time, I didn’t really know the true magnificence of the giant, but over the years, as I have learnt about Everest and the Everest region, I have become more and more intrigued by it.

Southeast Asia is one of the most toured destinations in the world owing to its gorgeous beaches, tropical climate, historical buildings, sacred temples and delicious street food. Another reason for its popularity is its budget friendliness as well as tourist safety. Each of the countries in Southeast Asia has its own charm, which is worth exploring and admiring.

India is an incredible land in more ways than one and this can be experienced by travelling throughout the country. Right from the Himalayas in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south, it is a kaleidoscope of beauty that encompasses several different worlds within itself. Everyone born on the face of this earth should visit this magnificent land once in their lifetimes, just to see the sheer diversity that exists. India sees a huge influx of tourists throughout the year and a large number of them come from all around the world. Though the modern-day transportation network in the country is highly advanced and most places can be reached by air,taking a train journey is a must for any tourist. Connecting all parts of the country, Indian Railways is the heartbeat of India’s transportation system. While the railway journey can be hard sometimes, due to the crowd or high temperatures, if things are arranged properly, and at an appropriate time, it gives unprecedented joy to a traveller. There are plenty of specific train journeys in India that are breathtakingly beautiful, stunning and picturesque. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones that everyone must undertake.

“Islands are metaphors of the heart, no matter what poet says otherwise.” – Jeanette Winterson

The famous English writer gets it. She understands that more than poetry, what makes a soul sing is the sense of serenity one can only find on islands. Living on a piece of land, bounded by water, is inherently blissful in its own way. This might not sound very appealing to those who do not like the sound of water crashing against rocks or the sublime climate of an island. However, I, for one, am convinced that the possibility of anyone disliking these two things is extremely low. Islands are heaven in disguise after all! From honeymoons to get away with friends, a visit to Indian islands is always memorable. For the lone wolves out there, who want to explore on their own, these islands serve as great opportunities to indulge in unforgettable experiences. If your thoughts about escaping to islands echo my evident bias towards them, you have found just the right page. Read on to find out more about the mesmerising islands, which are situated in different parts of India.

I admit that I possess a certain bias towards north-eastern states of India; however, do not let that take away from the fact that Assam is a traveller’s paradise. Not me, but Assam’s umpteen qualities speak for itself. An entire day might not be enough to list all the reasons behind Assam being an incredible travel destination! Consider it a bold endeavour on my part to be trying to encompass the mesmerising charm of the state in a few words. From the vibrant culture to enchanting vistas, this state is an amalgamation of everything that a discerning globetrotter could ever want. Here I give you the top nine reasons that will make you visit this realm of beauty and magic as soon as possible.

Reading has always been my most favourite thing to do. I remember reading with a torch inside the sheet, way past my bedtime as a kid. Even today, no matter how busy I am in life, I never go to sleep without a book. And when someone reads as much as I do, it becomes impossible for them to not want to travel. In my experience, all my bookworm friends, (that is quite literally all my friends) are fond of travelling. The inverse might not be true; all travellers may not be readers, but trust me when I say that almost all readers are travellers and backpackers. When we read something, our mind creates images of those things side by side and therefore all these years of reading about faraway places has awakened a side of me that craves adventures in unknown places. Though I have not travelled as much as I would like to, owing to demands of school and work, whenever I can squeeze out a break of a few days, I totally go for it. And when I do get to travel, I almost always find myself planning a trip to the mountains.

One of my very first getaways to the mountains was in Manali. It was the second year of my college, and I was just getting used to my new-found freedom! So three of my buddies and I decided to spend a few days of our semester-end break doing nothing, but travelling. It is important to mention that since we were quite young and inexperienced, we chose a destination closer to home and Himachal Pradesh was as far as we could have gone from Delhi at that time. Nonetheless, it was a dream-come-true for all of us as this was our first vacation ever without the constant restrictions imposed by our parents! Upon reaching Manali and spending two days in sightseeing and clicking thousands of pictures, we started to look for something else, something more adventurous to do. And when you are in the mountains for the first time, there is nothing better than trekking to give you that sweet taste of adrenaline. Dev Roopa trek’s surreal beauty helped us zero in on the destination and what came then is still etched in my memory.

Read on to know more about this trek on which nature presents itself clad in its finest of attires.

With the advent of the monsoon season, adventure travel in India somehow takes a back seat. No one wants to brave the torrential downpours, let alone go on an adventure expedition; at least not me. But as they say nothing is permanent, I too had to let go off this idea of mine. And this was only made possible by the continuous cajoling of my friends for a week! They wanted me to join a group along with them that was planning its first expedition in the Western Ghats or Sahyadris, right in the middle of the monsoon season. The thought of trekking through the deep forests of the Western Ghats in the rainy season, with every chance of encountering slithering snakes and other wild animals gave me a few scares, but then I decided to ditch my fears and go on this exciting adventurous trip. The expedition was planned in the second week of September. I did not know then, that the journey to the Mysterious Glowing Forests of Sahyadris will be a life changing experience!

Read on to find out how my adventure of trekking in the Western Ghats unfolded, and how I became a witness to one of the most incredible sights of nature!

The Himalayas is one wonder of nature that has intrigued us since time immemorial. Its high snow-clad mountains, rich flora and fauna, and scenic beauty have enchanted one and all. But in all this, we have somehow missed another wonderful aspect of it – its people. So, read on and find out more about the people living in the Himalayas, their history, faith, occupations and living conditions.

The Great Himalayan Story
The mighty Himalayas rise beyond the Indo-Gangetic plain of Northern India, extending through the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to Northeast India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. This entire range of the Himalayan Mountains serves as home to more than 50 million people, with another 450 million settled at the base of it. And this entire population flourishes on the resources that flow from the Himalayas.

Today, the Himalayan population can be classified into three ethnic types, namely Aryans, Mongoloids and Negroids. But the truth about its original inhabitants is still a point of debate. There is a belief that the first settlement in the Himalayas began in 1500 BC when a warrior tribe called Khasa migrated to its western range. This was followed by the migration of Tibeto-Burman people from Southeast Asia to the eastern and central Himalayas in the early part of the millennia. These people were called the Kiratas. However, if one takes into account the Hindu epics and Puranas, then it is deduced that the native inhabitants of the Himalayan region were the Kinnars, Kiratas, Kulinds and Kilinds, with later migration of the Darads and Khasas.

Some memories are etched in our minds so deep that they remain with us for the lifetime! And one such wonderful memory of mine is that of my journey along the Hindustan Tibet Road with my favourite group of friends. It was my friend’s idea to take this road trip. Initially, we all were a bit apprehensive, but finally all of us agreed; glad that we did!

Constructed in 1850, the Hindustan-Tibet road or National Highway 22 is probably one of the most impressive feats of human endeavour, and one needs to drive through it to actually understand it. This road starts from Ambala in Haryana and passes through Chandigarh, Shimla and Spiti Valley, before finally winding down at the village of Khab on the border with Tibet. This road, especially as one drives high into the mountains, is probably one of the most treacherous ones in the world.