That time of the year when the colours around you are vibrant, and the weather is just perfect for everything you wish to do, you know it’s Autumn. Autumn is indeed the perfect weather for trekking.  The tree leaves turn orange, and the views are splendid in November. So if you plan on going trekking in November, fret not! We have amassed the perfect curation of treks for you.

10 Best Himalayan Treks in November

1. Everest Base Camp Trek


If you love challenges and are looking for breathtaking views of the highest peak in the world Mount Everest, then this trek is perfect for you! You will be trekking in the trails of the footsteps of legendary adventurers like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Everest Base Camp Trek entails trekking at extremely high altitudes and tough terrains. Mesmerizing views of snow-capped mountain peaks is an icing on the cake. You will pass beautiful quaint villages, scenic glaciers and gorgeous valleys. You can start your trek from Lukla in Nepal and trek all the way to Kala Patthar at 18192 feet which is above South Base Camp.

Explore Everest Base Camp Trek

2. Annapurna Base Camp Trek


Annapurna is one of the most difficult mountains to scale, so trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp is also quite an achievement. The Himalayas is a collection of more than 14 mountains that are more than 8000 ft high, which are also known as eight-thousanders. Annapurna was the first mountain of eight-thousanders to be scaled. On this trek you can glance at the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and also get a close-up look at the massive mystic peaks of the eight-thousanders (Machapuchare, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli). You can start your trek from Pokhara, following which you will encounter lush forests filled with oak, pine, rhododendron, fern, bamboo trees and rice fields. The trails are long and tricky, but the sights are unimaginable. You will be crossing beautiful small villages like Sinuwa, Chomrung, Dovan. Nepalese culture is quite warm, you are sure to take back many pictures and memories.

Explore Annapurna Base Camp Trek

3. Har Ki Dun Trek


A part of the Garwah Himalayas, Har ki Dun lies closer to the border between Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The trek is beginner-friendly, so if you are new at trekking, this could be perfect for you. Enroute, you get an opportunity to soak in the beauty of Sankri, Taluka, Osla and Jaundhar Glacier. Enjoy splendid sights of snow-capped mountains at Jaundhar Glacier, witness exotic flora and fauna at Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, and right vegetation at Osla with Himalayan backdrops. Har ki Dun is a trek popular among many trekkers, for its moderate level of difficulty and scenic vistas.

Explore Har Ki Dun Trek

4. Kedarkantha Trek


Explore the beauty of Uttarakhand on the Kedarkantha Trek. The trek starts from Dehradun and takes you to the beautiful quaint village of Sankri, which is inside Govind Wildlife Sanctuary and boasts of exotic flora and fauna. You will then cross Saud Village, where the people live without any modern equipment and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Continue your trek to reach the beautiful Juda Ka Talab, a splendid pond surrounded by lush pastures, maple, oak and Morinda trees. Kedarkantha is considered o be one of the best summits for beginners and has a mesmerizing view during the month of November. Snow-Capped mountain peaks, splendid meadows and beautiful forests are a treat to the eyes. Enjoy gorgeous views of sunsets with your family.

Explore Kedarkantha Trek

5. Sandakphu Trek


Sandakphu Trek is situated in the northern part of West Bengal. The trek starts from the beautiful village of Chitrey, from where you can glance at Kanchenjunga before starting your expedition. As you continue you’re to reach Tumling, you wish cross forests full of oak, pindrow firs and morinda spruces, followed by an alpine meadow with splendid views. This trek is perfect for beginners and is moderate difficulty. It is one of the easiest treks one could take in this region. The views are mesmerizing and the feeling is beyond description. You will also enter Nepal and come back to India on the winding trail, while on the trek.

Explore Sandakphu Trek

6. Buran Ghati Trek


Buran Ghati Trek is a thrilling pass that lies at a high altitude of 15,000 feet in Himachal Pradesh. Experience lush green meadows, apple orchards, snow-clad mountain peaks, gushing streams, and warm Himachali localities. The trek tarts from the ancient village of Janglik, which is untouched by modernization. As you proceed further, you will cross a forest and reach Dayara meadows which is a sight to behold. You can spot sheeps grazing and enjoy marvelous beauty all around you. Further on, you will catch a glimpse of the mystic Dhauladhar range. Explore the beautiful and calm Chandranahan Lake and breath taking views of Buran Ghati at Dunda. In case of snow, you will also get a chance to rappel which is exciting, thrilling and challenging. This trek will surely not disappoint you.

7. Brahmatal Trek


Brahmatal Trek is one of the most perfect treks for the month of November. It offers the most splendid views of Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti. This is a snowy trek, with views of lush forests full of ancient oaks and rhododendrons, two beautiful lakes and one meadow. On your way, you will come across a white wall of the Trishul massif. As you reach Jhandi top, you will have the massive Mt Trishul on your right and Mt Nanda Ghunti to your left. At the highest point of the Brahmatal trek, you will also catch a glimpse of Mt Chaukhamba, Mt Neelkanth, and Mt Hathi Ghoda. You can also camp beside the frozen shore of Bekaltal and take back a lifetime of memories.

Explore Brahmatal Trek

8. Dayara Bugyal Trek


Dayara Bugyal is a perfect trek for beginners and has the best views to offer. You can experience beautiful alpine meadows and lush green forests. The trek starts from the beautiful village of Raithal, which takes you to a lush forest followed by the splendid Dayara meadows. You can also see striking views of the Gangotri range with Bandarpoonch. The entire trail is a pleasant walk with meadows, villages, temples and majestic views. This trek is definitely one to be added to your bucket list.

Explore Dayara Bugyal Trek

9. Nag Tibba Trek


Want to go on a trek over the weekend and experience a summit climb like a trek with splendid views? Nag Tibba Trek is the perfect one for you. The trail will take you through dense forests, ridge walks and mesmerizing views. Resting at 9,915 ft., you can catch the view of snow-capped Himalayan ranges such as Srikantha, Kala Nag, Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch and Gangotri. A short weekend trek from Mussoorie, this trek is great for beginners and trekkers looking for a short weekend trip.

Explore Nag Tibba Trek

10. Kareri Lake Trek


Kareri Lake Trek is situated at an elevation of about 2,950 meters in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.On your trail, experience lush green forests filled with chir and chilgoza pines and great views. The trek starts from Dharamkot which is close to Mcleodganj. You will also get a chance to cross the Liund stream by boulders and temporary bridges, which is quite thrilling. It is a short and beginner-friendly trek.

Explore Kareri Lake Trek

We hope you’ve added some of the above treks to your bucket list for this autumn.

Happy Exploring!

The unexplored, mysterious & gorgeous states of North-east India are worth venturing to. The Seven Sisters, i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and one brother state of Sikkim are the least explored, most mysterious and arguably the most beautiful region of India. They are connected to the rest of the country by a narrow stretch of land between Bhutan and Bangladesh. They are arguably the least visited destinations in India due to remoteness, permit requirements, and the ethnic tension.

Must Read: 7 Travel Experiences in Northeast India

History of North-East India


Until the 1960s, the entire north east comprised of two parts – The north east frontier agency which is now known as Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. But later on, it was further divided into 7 states and now officially Sikkim as well which makes a total of 8 states.

Must Read: Northeast India– A True Explorers’ Delight

About the 7 Sisters & 1 Brother

1. Assam


Assam is famous for its tea plantations, rich flora & fauna, and one of the greatest UNESCO World Heritage Sites- Kaziranga National Park. Encountering the one-horned rhino is most popular among the tourists, along with boating in the splendid Dawki River near the Indo-Bangladesh border. Majuli in Assam is the largest river island in the world. Nestled on the banks of Brahmaputra, the place offers a rich blend of soothing landscapes, tea gardens, mystic mountain ranges paddy fields, rustic countryside, wooden boats & houses, and vibrant plus colourful culture & traditions.

Capital City: Guwahati

Must visit: Kamakhya Temple, Manas National Park, Assam State Zoo & Botanical Garden, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Molai forest, Phatobihu, Faato Bihu – Mohghuli Chapori

Must do: Brahmaputra river cruise, shopping at Jorhat, Wildlife safari at Manas National Park, experience the ecotourism of Majuli, Kamalabari Satra, and Dakhinpat Satra, Tengapania.

Must Read: 9 Reasons that Make Assam a Great Travel Destination


2. Meghalaya


Known as the Scotland of East India, Meghalaya boasts of extreme beauty. It is famous for being home to Asia’s cleanest village It is also well known for one of the wettest places on earth, i.e. Cherrapunjee. The living root bridges, beautiful waterfalls, and some of the longest caves in India make Meghalaya an extremely alluring destination.

Capital City: Shillong

Must Visit: Mawlynnong, Laitlum Canyon, Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Balpakram National Park, Umiam Lake

Must Do: Trekking on David Scott trail, rafting in Barapani Lake, kayaking on Kynshi River, camp on Khasi hills


3. Arunachal Pradesh


One of the most remote states, the people of Arunachal Pradesh are mainly of Tibetan origin. The Buddhist monastery of Tawang, Perched at 10,000 feet above sea level, overlooks the Tawang valley near Bhutan is the most popular attraction in Arunachal Pradesh. It has a great collection of Thangkas (Tibetan Paintings). Festivals namely Torgya festival, Dree Festival, Myoko, Ziro, or Tawang festival bring the place to life.

Capital City: Itanagar

Must Visit: Tawang Monastery, Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Namdapha National Park, Dirang, Parasuram Kund, Daporijo

Must Do: Enjoy the Ziro Music Festival, trek to Ziro, Trek to Sella Pass, Check out Thangkas at Tawang Monastery, visit scenic and exotic Mechuka.

Explore Tawang Motorbike Trip


4. Nagaland


Home to 14 different tribal groups, Nagaland is probably one of the liveliest of the seven sisters. Tourists also prefer visiting the heritage village of Longwa to see the famous skull exhibits. You can view Burmese territory from this village.

Capital City: Kohima

Must Visit: Mon, Longwa, Veda Peak, The war cemetery, Kohima Museum, Triple Falls, Tuphema Village, Kachari Ruins.

Must Do: Trekking in Dzoukou valley, soaking in peace at Khonoma, wildlife safari at Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary, hiking at Japfu Peak.

Explore Hornbill Festival Nagaland with Dzukou Valley Trek


5. Mizoram


Mizoram has the highest literacy rates in India and is predominantly Christian. The landscape of this location is quite scenic with lush paddy fields, bamboo trees, and deep jungles. The Chapchar Kut festival is one of the most popular festivals of Mizoram. The Blue Mountain National Park in Mizoram is famous for orchids and rhododendrons overlooking the Chhimtuipui River. Mizoram is situated Eleven thousand feet above sea level and the view is spectacular.

Capital City: Aizawl

Must Visit: Phawngpui Hills, Murlen National Park, Dampa Tiger Reserve, Vantawng Falls.

Must Do: Trekking in the Blue Mountain National Park, Visiting the Palak Lake, mountain biking in the Hmuifang Hills.

6. Manipur


Probably one of the least visited places in north-east India, it is known as the Jewel of the east because of its splendid landscapes. Lemon Festival which is held every January in Kachai and the Kang Chingba Festival are quite popular and vibrant.

Capital City: Imphal

Must Visit: Shri Govindajee Temple, Keibul Lamjao National Park, War cemetery, Sendra Island.

Must Do: Boating in Loktak Lake, explore the ancient Andro village, chariot ride in Moreh near the border.

7. Tripura


Tripura is known for its majestic temples and beautiful palaces. The Ujjayanta place is quite popular among tourists for its rich history.

Capital City: Agartala

Must Visit: Neermahal, Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary, Unakoti, Jagannath Bari, Tripura Government Museum, Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary.

Must Do: Visit Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Hike to Jampui Hills, shop the popular bamboo and cane artifacts, enjoy boating in Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary.

8. Sikkim


Known as the brother to the seven sisters, Sikkim is home to the popular Pemayangtse Monastery and the highest motorable roads of Nathula Pass. Sikkim offers great adventure activities along with leisure activities.

Capital City: Gangtok

Must Visit: Lake Tsomgo, Gurudongmar Lake, Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Zemu Glacier.

Must Do: Backpacking through the Yumthang Valley of Flowers, Check out the Singalila National Park, camp at Goecha La Pass.

Explore: Sikkim Motorbike Expedition

Food of North-East India


The food in the entire North-east is fairly mild, due to lack of spices or masalas growing in the area. An exception to this fact is the bhut jolokia also known as the king chilli, which is among the hottest in the world, which is used liberally in most of the states. Some other popular dishes of the north-east are Tibetan momos, Thupkas, Rice which is their staple food, xaag (leaf vegetables), fish tenga (a souring agent), pitika (a vegetable mash) khorika (meat on a skewer), doh neiiong (pork with black sesame seeds), jadoh (rice cooked in meat stock with pork), churpi (fermented rock-hard yak’s cheese), lai patta (mustard spinach) dried river fish, anishi (dry yam leaves) akhuni (fermented soybean), singju (raw papaya and chickpea salad) iromba (fish and veg chutney) and many more interesting dishes.

Must Read: North-East India’s Most Scenic Villages

The north-east is diverse and vibrant in many ways. It is one of the must-visit locations for everyone! So add it to your bucket list and thank us later for such great info!

Happy Exploring!

Do you believe that God is an artist, and earth is his canvas? If you don’t, then this post will definitely make you believe so. The man-made creations are indeed beautiful, but the natural landscapes that you will stumble upon are unbelievably splendid. Take a list at the below natural beauties that you must add to your bucket list.

Most Beautiful Natural Landscapes in India

1. Valley of flowers


Valley of Flowers, located in a national park in Uttarakhand is well known for its splendid variety of blooming flora. The scent of the entire valley is heavily floral. The flowers bloom as per seasons, and you can come across some beautiful flowers like Meadow Geranium, Snake Foil, Hooked Stick Seed, Himalayan Rose, Blue Poppy, River Anemone, White Leaf Hog Foot and Dog Flower. The snow-clad mountain peaks, Pushpvati River flowing through the middle of the valley, and the vibrant flowers make the entire location a scenic place.

Explore Valley of Flowers Trek in Uttarakhand

2. Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh


Located near Kurnool, Belum caves are the second-longest caves in India. Remains from prehistoric times of 4500 BC have been found here, and also relics from the time when the Jain and Buddhist monks meditated in this cave, along with the vessels used by them. Discovered in the 1880s but unmapped and unexplored till the 1980s, this cave has a very interesting formation of tunnels that will intrigue you for sure.

3. St Mary’s Island, Karnataka


St. Mary’s Islands, also known as Coconut Island, North Island, Darya Bahadurgarh Island and South Island are a set of four beautiful small islands in the Arabian Sea in Udupi, Karnataka. It is listed as one of the geological monuments of Karnataka and India. This is the land where Vasco De Gama set his first foot. The shoreline is full of crystalline rocks that were created at the time Madagascar Island got separated from India, which is some million years ago. According to scientific records, rock formations in St.Mary’s Island are similar to the rock formations at Madagascar in Africa. The separation occurred due to sub-volcanic activity. Standing at these rocks and viewing the sunset is indeed a mind-blowing experience.

4. Borra Guhalu


An architectural marvel, Borra Caves are considered to be one of the longest caves in India, extending up to 80m. Water penetrates from the roof of the caves and reacts with minerals in the rocks forming unique structures on the ground called stalagmites and hanging from the roof called stalactites. A natural Shivling is also formed inside the cave, which tribal and locals worship. Remains from more than 50,000 years ago have been found in this cave.

5. Barren Island


Barren Island situated in the Andaman Sea, northeast of Port Blair. It is the only active volcano in India, and it erupted recently in 2018. People from around the world are coming to Andaman to witness this phenomenon. The waters surrounding Barren Island are one of the world’s top scuba diving Apart from that, the area around Barren island is famous for crystal clear water, Manta Rays, splendid basalt formations, the topography of past lava flows and beautiful coral gardens. This dive destination is remote but can be accessed by ship from Havelock Island.

6. Reverse Waterfall at Sinhagad

Also known as Maharashtra’s Grand Canyon, only during the monsoons, due to high wind pressure, the water starts to flow back upwards. You can stand on the top of the waterfall behind the railing and enjoy the splash of cold water on yourself. The view is splendid, and you can enjoy this gravity-defying phenomenon with hot Chai and Bhajjis.

7. Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Cherrapunji


Living root bridges are situated in one of the world’s wettest places, Cherrapunji in Meghalaya. They are certainly awe-inspiring and mysterious. The bridges are living and ever-growing, as they are made of roots of Ficus Elastic, which make them extremely strong and sturdy. They take nearly 15 years to develop fully. Some of the bridges are more than 500 years old. Isn’t this truly marvelous?

Explore Cherrapunji Living Root Bridge Trek

8. Yana Rocks, Karnataka


Yana Rocks, of Yana village, lie in the jungles and majestic hills of Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district. They are made of crystalline Karst limestone. The formation has two peculiar rock shapes (known as Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and Mohini Shikhara). A temple inside a cave also lies at the bottom of these rocks, which hosts a splendid festival during Maha Shivratri.

9. Magnetic Hill, Ladakh


Magnetic Hill is one of the most popular destinations in Ladakh. It is situated near Leh and here illusion seems to defy the rules of gravity. Commonly known as the ‘Gravity Hill’, this place pulls vehicles in an upward direction, creating an optical illusion. The layout of the area and the surroundings, create an illusion of a hill. The road is actually a downhill road, but it appears like vehicles are rolling upwards in defiance of gravity. Truly splendid.

Explore Leh Ladakh Motorcycle Trip

10. Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat


3kms in length and situated on the Narmada river, Marble rocks of Bhedaghat in Jabalpur and truly a mesmerizing sight. The gushing Dhuandhar waterfalls along with the Marble rocks is a gorgeous creation of nature. The entire scenery will make you fall in love with nature.

11. Lonar Lake


Lonar Lake is situated outside the Lonar town in Maharashtra. It was formed when a meteor crashed on Earth more than 50,000 years ago. It is also known as the world’s third-largest crater. The water of this lake is both saline and alkaline in nature and looks green in colour from afar. This lake is mentioned in ancient scripts like Skanda Puran, the Padma Puran, and Aaina-i-Akbari.

Explore Lonar Crater Lake Trip

So we are sure you are already in awe of these gorgeous natural sights. Ensure to check them out all and strike them off your bucket list. Happy Exploring!

So what happens when you’ve been to Leh numerous times? Bored with the Taj? Stayed in a house boat on the Dal Lake and explored the backwaters of Kerala? Then the quote ‘Been there, done that’ comes to mind. But Wait! This is not all India has to offer. We bet you’ve not even heard of some exquisite places that you could travel to and explore. India is a massive land, and there is more to explore than you could dream of. Read on to explore a little about offbeat destinations in India that could surely tickle your fancy. Here the crowds are less, but the beauty is in no term less than the popular over hyped spots.

7 Offbeat Locations in India

1. Gokarna


Literally translated as ‘cow’s ear’, Gokarna is a small temple town on the western coast of India in the Kumtataluk of Uttara Kannada district of the state of Karnataka. It is considered to be one of the pilgrimage sites in India. As per mythology, Lord Shiva emerged from the incarnation of Mother Earth in the form of a cow in Gokarna. The white pristine beaches, waterfalls, and the rustic vibe will make you fall in love with the place. Some popular beaches, named after their appearances are the Om beach, Half moon beach & the Paradise beach. Hippies have discovered the beauty of Gokarna and now are preferring visit here instead of the usual beaches of Goa or Kerala.

Explore Gokarna Beach Trek

2. Meghalaya


When it comes to the ‘Seven sisters’ Meghalaya is perhaps the most intriguing. Also known as the wettest place on earth, the hills of Meghalaya are full of colorful quaint little tribal villages. The bridges in this place are said to be living as they are made of roots of jungle trees. You would find localities in tartan shawls and banana piths which are turtle-shaped, to protect themselves from the rains. Explore the living bridges, gushing mystic waterfalls & limestone caves of Cherrapunji, also known as the ‘Jewel Crest Of India’.

3. Kannur


Also known as the land of looms and lores, and also Cannanore is a beautiful city on the northern side of Kerala. Kannur is also called the Manchester of India. Kannur is extremely popular for handlooms, cashews, theyyam rituals, temple festivals, and golden clean beaches unswamped by tourists.

4. Majuli Island, Assam


Majuli island also known as Majoli, is the first island to be considered a district. It lies in the Brahmaputra River, and is considered to be the world’s largest river island as per the Guinness book of world’s records. It is a rich blend of soothing landscapes, tea gardens, mystic mountain ranges paddy fields, rustic countryside, wooden boats & houses and vibrant plus colourful culture & traditions. Majuli the cultural and art hotspot of Assamese Vaishnavite philosophy. The spiritual vibe, untouched by humankind natural beauty, and warm local people make this place quite alluring. Unfortunately, due to soil erosion and floods, the island land is reducing drastically. It is said that the island will be completely lost to water in the next 15-20 years. Ensure to visit this beauty before then.

5. Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh


Mechuka considered to be the hidden gem of Arunachal Pradesh, is situated in the west Siang district. This place which is quickly gaining popularity among the tourists is famous for its hanging bridges, wild berries which can be plucked from the grass & eaten, herds of beautiful stray horses, wooden houses, Tibetan culture, Butter Tea, Millet Beer & the hike to Mechuka La Hill. The beauty of this place will not disappoint you.

6. Bijapur & Bidar, Karnataka


Bijapur also is known as Vijaypura is famous for Islamic style architecture. Gol Gumbaz which is the largest dome in India, and the second-largest in the world is situated in Bijapur. Bidar which is a hill top city in the north-east of Karnataka is popular for its ancient ruins & monuments and is the least westernized parts of Karnataka. You can explore the real rich culture around you. The place is full of niqab-wearing women and turbaned Sikhs. It is also considered as the coldest and wettest place of north Karnataka. It doesn’t draw much tourists, which makes it more alluring and natural.

7. Kalna, West Bengal


Kalna, the terracotta town, also known as the town of temples lies towards the north of Kolkata along the western bank of River Bhagirathi Hooghly. Kalna boasts of the most beautiful temples with terracotta ornamentations. The splendour and artistic excellence is worth appreciating. Episodes from the Ramayana,the Mahabharata, erotica and hunting scenes are depicted on the walls of the temples. Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja and Durga Puja are the three festivals you must attend at Kalna. The city bursts of colour sound and fun during these festivals.

So if you are now seeking a location which is not swamped by tourists and is at its natural untouched beauty, pick one from the list above. Go explore them before they turn into popular spots drawing large crowds.

Happy Adventuring Off the beaten path!

Routine can get too boring at times. And when it does, you must just pack a few essentials and set out to explore! This is what the hippies did in the 1950s and 1960s and travelled on a path that many ended up vagabonding on in the future. That path came to be known as the ‘Hippie Trail’. Subsequently, the Gringo trail followed in Latin America and now the ‘Banana Pancake Trail’ is the modern rendition of the same.

Banana Pancake trail is more of a fuzzy idea in the head of the travellers than an official route. It is particularly popular routes the backpackers end up visiting. The aim of these wanderers is to explore the local culture, traditions, meet new people, enjoy the local music & food, get adventurous, all on a budget. Travelers don’t follow the same route, but most of them end up meeting each other at some place or the other.

Why the name Banana Pancake Trail?

Tourism reign in the places frequented by foreigners. The local entrepreneurs were smart to sense the demand and started offering what the nomads were looking for – i.e. clean affordable bedding, local themed cafes, and good breakfast. Sensing banana pancakes was a popular breakfast in the west, local hotels and streetside vendors started offering Banana Pancakes to cater to the travellers. Hence the name came to be!

The Beginning

Bangkok’s Khao San Road, Kuta in Bali, and Chiang Mai in Thailand were three of the earliest and the most popular stops on the trail.  Back then when there was no internet, word of mouth was the only way that tourists could gather info on places of their interests. Right then, Lonely Planet published two books Across Asia on the Cheap (1973) and Southeast Asia on a Shoestring (1975) and both became classics. The stops mentioned in these books became a part of the trail. Since then the trail has grown wider due to the Internet, and travellers keep adding and talking about their newly discovered stops.

Let’s read on to find some of the places in India on the ‘Banana Pancake Trail’. Most of these spots are also on the ‘Hummus Trail’, which is a popular trail that Israelis follow post their military service.

1. Malana


Malana is an ancient village to the north-east of Kullu valley. Malana has stayed secluded for many years, due to its geographic location. It is a formidable task to reach the location in the winters due to snow, slush, rock falls, and loose boulders. It is not a secret that it grows the finest quality of weed in India, and is insanely popular for ‘Malana cream’ which is the most expensive hashish in an Amsterdam Cafe Menu. Tourists flock here for the Kath Kuni buildings, temples, and a hip-hop vibe.

Explore Malana Village Trek

2. Old Manali


Just across the Manalsu river, starts Old Manali. It is a charming and laid-back place with lots of themed cafes, apple orchards, beautiful mountain trails, and tons of backpackers seeking tranquility.

Explore Scenic Treks in Manali

3. Mcleodganj


A hill station near Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, it is popular for its scenic views, lush greenery, Tibetan culture, British-era structures, and Dalai Lama monastery. The place has a spiritual feel to it, which makes it all the more charming. The trek to Triund is very popular here and offers majestic landscape views.

Explore Popular Treks in Dharamshala

4. Kasol



Also known as Mini Israel, Kasol is a hamlet in the Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh. Also commonly known as ‘the Amsterdam of India’, this quaint little village is based on the banks of Parvati River has the best of views to offer. It is a popular destination for backpackers, nature lovers and trekkers.

Explore Kasol to Kheerganga Trek

5. Rishikesh


Did you know that the Beatles spent the late 1960’s writing 48 songs, mostly on the White Album in Rishikesh? Rishikesh has two parts, one which is flocked with families and couples who come here with a spiritual motive, and the other which is a hippie land. Both the sections are on either side of Laksham Jhula. Travellers immerse themselves here in meditation, yoga, good food & music, and lots of self-pampering which include crystal therapy, reflexology, light-healing therapy, and massages.

Explore River Rafting in Rishikesh

6. Goa


One of the most popular stops for vagabonds. At the end of the 60th century, tourists from the west started visiting Goa and stayed on the beaches of Anjuna, vagator & baga. Goa is the ultimate party haven for fun lovers. It offers a mix of noise & serenity/tranquility. Arambol is one of the most popular stops on the Banana Pancake Trail.

7. Kalga, Tulga & Pulga


Probably not as commercialized as Kasol or other similar places, the trio village Kalga, Tulga & Pulga lie in the Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh. The houses here are small & old, giving the place a charming ancient look. Nomads visit here to explore the Himalachi themed cafes, gigantic pine trees in the Fairy Forest, charming waterfalls & the warm localites.

The Future

While some argue that the original culture is lost on the trail as the entrepreneurs have adapted too much to suit the western traveller’s comforts, some say that it is a safe way to meet new people in a new country, and visit places that have been vetted and approved of by numerous other nomads.


As the internet grows and so does tourism, these travellers do help the economy of these places by generating revenue but the entire process also results in culture mutation. Whatever your stance, you must give the Banana Pancake Trail a shot to know for yourself!

Happy Exploring!

If you are an avid biker, and can’t wait for the lockdown to get over to ride your bike again, we feel you. We can’t take out our bikes right now, but we can read about beautiful biking routes in India & dream about crossing them off our lists after COVID-19 is over. For wanderers and dreamers, India has the most perfect routes. The joy of experiencing new cultures, new mystic lands on your two wheels is unparalleled with any other joy in this world. The prospect of biking on an endless road entices the kid in you to just to set forth on a journey of self-exploration.

We Ride- To Love, To Heal, To Communicate, To Touch, To Feel, To Breathe, To Live, To Fly.

While you may have seen endless bikers chose Leh Ladakh as their biking destination, it indeed is spectacular, but there are many more mesmerizing motorbiking trips in India worth exploring.

Take a look at the most loved and most scenic motorbiking routes in India, in no particular order-

1. Delhi To Leh Through Manali – Leh And Leh – Srinagar Highway


Hands down, the most popular route in India. This is the dream ride of many, the views in this route will leave you speechless. You will come across cobalt blue skies, bright rainbows and glistening lakes as pure as magic, this route entirely is magical and will leave you spellbound. Beauty & More Beauty. You will cross Chandigarh, Manali and reach the beautiful Jispa. This route will throw everything one can wish in a motorbiking adventure tour, from long plain highways to tricky mountain passes to river crossings. You get to cross the mighty passes like Rohtang La, Baralacha La, Tanglang La, Chang La, Zoji La and the mighty Khardung La which is considered to be the highest motorable pass in the world along with many other low and high passes of interest. This exceptional motorbiking adventure will take you through some dream locations like Manali, Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley, Leh, Kargil, Dras and Srinagar. Your entire journey will be filled with beauty every single minute of it.

Explore Leh Ladakh Motorbiking Expedition

2. Cliffhanger Route-Sach Pass


If you love extreme adventure, then this one is for you! Sach Pass is a high altitude pass in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It’s located at an altitude of 4,420 meters and connects Chamba valley to Pangi valley. The pass is open from June or early July to mid-October. The roads are narrow and unmetalled. The terrain is pretty rough, the road is quite uneven and the weather is quite unpredictable. It is the gateway to the Pangi Valley. You can enter this route either from Kishtwar in Kashmir, Chamba or Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Due to the extreme riding conditions and scary cliffs, the route is fondly known as the “Cliffhanger Route”. If you want to travel the off-beaten route, with a majority of the ride being dirt and mud track then Sach is a great choice.

Explore Cliffhanger Route-Sach Pass Motorbike Expedition

3. Spiti And Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh


Spiti is a desert mountain valley that lies in the north-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh in India. This mountainous cold desert with mesmerizing valleys, beautiful landscapes, wide snowfields, the sun-kissed snow peaks, and gorgeous glaciers is often compared with Ladakh. The entire route will leave you spellbound, the access to the valley is usually from Shimla via Rampur and Pooh or from Manali crossing the Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass. The Shimla access is open throughout the year and is a favourite route for extreme snow rides. The access from Manali is closed in winters due to the heavy snowfall on the high passes. It has fewer travellers than Leh and is relatively less crowded, which is a plus. The scattered villages in Spiti come along in your way while the pristine stream of the Spiti River is your near-constant companion. The entire route is scenically spectacular.

Explore Spiti Valley Motorbike Trip

4. Guwahati in Assam to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh


Tawang also is known as Dawang, will flatter you with utmost natural beauty wrapped in spirituality. The ride from Guwahati to Tawang will expose you to breathtaking views, the ride in Assam until entering Arunachal Pradesh is scenic plain farmlands and forests. Winding mountainous roads with hairpin bends start marks the entry into India’s northeastern-most state. 80 % of Arunachal Pradesh is covered with forest and mountains, which will give you a raw and untouched by humankind feel.Connected to the rest of India via the Sela Pass, Tawang, also known as the ‘land of Monpas’, is a historically well-known town, forming an important part of the Silk Route and also a reminder of the sacrifices of the men guarding our nation in the borders. The natural beauty and solitude of Gudpi and Chong-Chugmi ranges, Tawang chu River and Tawang valley are spectacular.

Explore Tawang Motorbike Trip

5. Sikkim


Super clean, full of greenery and ‘all organic’ since 2016, Sikkim entails plunging, super-steep valleys loaded with lush trees, rising in the north to the spectacular snow-laden eastern Himalayan peaks. Sikkim is also home to the world’s third-highest mountain, Khangchendzonga (8598m).

Feel the cool mountain breeze on your face as you head towards scenic Gangtok and then to the North Sikkim Plateau where you will be left speechless to see Gurudongmar Tso Lake. Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world and in India, located at an altitude of 5,425 m (17,800 ft). Unveil hidden gems as you ride towards Yumthang Zero Point, where you will come across lots of snow, crooked pathways and probably a frozen river. The entire route is scenic and consists of Emerald alpine valleys and mystic waterfalls. The entire place is bursting of colours, from the monasteries, temples, to the sky and also the warm-hearted people.

Explore Sikkim Motorbike Trip

6. Bhutan


Bhutan is no ordinary place. Also known as Druk Yul, meaning “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. Bhutan is home to the pristine eastern Himalayan landscape, where snow-capped peaks sit tall above lush forests and lovely small villages. The villages are full of majestic dream-like fortress-like dzongs and monasteries, many of which host spectacular tsechus (dance festivals). Ride along Bhutan’s west-east highway which is as challenging and thrilling. The entire road trip is dotted with winding roads that go up and down thousands of feet, which will keep your adrenaline rushing. Some of the dream locations a rider can’t miss riding through in Bhutan are Phuentsholing, followed by Paro, Thimpu, Punakha, the beautiful Phobijkha Valley. You will come across spectacular valleys, ridges and quaint villages. The chanting of monks and clinking of chimes in the monasteries will surely put you in a trance-like a state!

Explore Bhutan Motorbike Tour

7. Bangalore To Kerala & Tamil Nadu


This road trip will be full of different flavours. Start with your ride to the city of beautiful and clean beaches, Pondicherry. Explore the beautiful French colonies and its architecture. Head towards Thanjavur, which is famous for art, painting, and architecture. Then ride to Rameshwaram, which is famous for beaches, temples and is known as a revered site for Hindus in India; a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. Then ride out to Madurai, Munnar, and The beautiful Ooty. Savour all the different flavours that come across in your route. Enjoy the lush green trees with tea plantations and the backwaters and paddy fields. The entire route will leave you mesmerised. Kerala is rightly known as God’s own country.

Explore Bangalore to Kerala Motorcycle Tour

9. Rajasthan Circuit


Rajasthan Motorbike Tour is the perfect dose of adventure. Start your riding trip from Mandawa – a quaint 18th-century town which is popular for its spectacular haveli architecture. Explore the magnificent view of the “Blue City” from the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.  You will also come across the stunning City of Lakes – Udaipur. The sunsets here are truly mesmerizing. Ride to the sacred land of Pushkar which is famous for its Brahma Temple. End your trip in the colourful city of Jaipur, also known as the “Pink City”. Your trip will be full of royal forts, castles, palaces, vibrant markets, desert villages and warm people.

Explore Rajasthan Motorcycle Tour

10. Uttarakhand


For travel lovers, nothing could be better than exploring the Himalayas from your two wheels. Devbhoomi, meaning Land of Gods encompasses raw nature and the scenic Himalayas. It is also home to several glaciers including the Ganges. In this route, you will ride from Delhi to the beautiful land of Rishikesh, followed by Chopta, where you can undertake the Chopta Chandrashila trek. You can then proceed towards Joshimath and Auli which is a Himalayan ski resort and hill station. You will come across coniferous and oak forests, along with the Nanda Devi and Nar Parvat mountains. HEad towards Kausani and soak in the panoramic view of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Panchchuli peaks. When you reach Binsar, wildlife will truly amaze you. You can then ride to Jim Corbett with your cameras ready (not while riding) and then back to Delhi with beautiful memories.

Explore Uttarakhand Motorcycle Tour

So, while you are locked in and reading this on your couch probably, feel free to wander off to one of your favourite routes in your thoughts.

Four wheels move the body, and two wheels move the soul.

Manali situated in the northern end of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill station with snow-capped mountain peaks, cool weather, and eye-pleasing surroundings. It is situated at a height of 2050 m in the Himalayas and is nestled in the scenic Beas valley. It is a very popular destination for adventure sport lovers. Manali is a perfect mix of tranquility & fun activities. A lot of tourists engage in activities like paragliding, river rafting, trekking & mountain biking. The localites in colourful puttoos, Tibetan ladies donning ankle-length multi-colour striped pinafores, Buddhist monks, and men in woolen gonchas make Manali a lively place.

Explore Popular Treks in Manali & Manali Leh Manali Motorbike Trip

Read on to know the top 5 destinations one must not miss while visiting Manali:

1. Hidimba Devi Temple


Also known as Dhungari temple, or Hadimba Temple is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima, a popular figure in the Indian epic Mahābhārata. The temple is enclosed by a cedar forest called Dhungiri Van Vihar at the foot of the Himālayas. There is an interesting story behind this temple. The temple is built around a cave where Devi Hidimba performed meditation. Hidimbi supposedly lived there with her sibling Hidimb, who was said to be quite brave and fearless. Born into a Rakshasa family, Hidimba wished to marry the one who would defeat her brother Hidimb. During the Pandava’s exile, Bhima, one of the five Pandavas, defeated Hidimb while in Manali. Subsequently, Hidimba married Bhima and gave birth to their son Ghatotkacha. Nestled away in the snow-capped mountains, this temple has a unique exterior with wooden doors and attracts tourists from all of the place for its history and beauty of the surroundings.

Explore Skiing in Manali

2. Naggar Village & Castle


The splendid village of Naggar is situated at stone throw distance from Manali, along the left bank of river Beas. It is an ancient town in the Kullu district and was once the capital of the Kullu kingdom. This place has a charm of its own. It is usually not swamped by tourists which makes it all the more alluring. Naggar Castle (now a heritage hotel) is the most popular attraction of Naggar. This castle was built by Raja Bhosal more than 500 years ago. The castle survived the earthquake of 1905. While most of the houses in the surrounding were completely ruined, the castle’s use of earthquake-proof techniques helped it sustain despite the calamity. In 1978, the castle was converted into a rest house and subsequently a heritage hotel run by HPTDC. The castle is an extremely scenic property. There is a sacred slab of stone called Jagti Patt in the castle. Being the only surviving castle in Kullu district, it is believed by the localites that this Jagti Patt stone protects everyone against the ill eye. The museum in this castle is also quite popular among the tourists.

Expolre Naggar to Manali Snow Trek

3. Solang Valley


Situated 14 km to the northwest of Manali, Solang valley is one of the most loved destinations. A favourite among adventure lovers, there are options to paraglide, horse-ride, and drive open jeeps in the beautiful mesmerizing valley. In winter, when it is covered with snow, skiing is the trend. Once the snow begins to melt, zorbing comes into the picture. You can see people in huge transparent balls rolling up and down inside the ball shrieking with joy and excitement. If you are new to skiing, you can also avail of the classes from ski institutes at this location. Solang Valley is also quite popular for its tea and many tourists like to carry back tea leaves with them. You could also hop onto the rope-way cable car and soak in the splendid view of glaciers and snowy mountains.

4. Jogini Waterfall

Jogini falls also known as Jogni, is one of the most popular trekking destinations. Situated near the Vashishth Village, the Falls are merged into the Beas River. You can start the trek from Vashishth Temple, where you can enjoy the hot springs known for its therapeutic effects. At the base of the fall, you can plunge into the small pool of cold water and make lifetime memories. Post that, you can also visit Jogini Mata Temple. Overall, the trek is a beginner-friendly trek and has scenic views with apple orchards and pine trees. If you love mild adventure and nature, then this is the perfect destination for you.

Explore Beas Kund Trek in Manali

5. Old Manali


Ever heard of the ‘Banana Pancake Trail’? It is the name given to growing routes around Southeast Asia travelled by backpackers and other tourists. The Trail has no clear geographical definition but is used as a metaphor for places that are popular among Western tourists. Old Manali is a part of the Banana Pancake Trail. To enter this hippie land, just cross over to the Manalsu River. If you don’t like huge crowds, then this is for you. Lined up with great restaurants & themed cafes, fresh pure air, drinking water that comes from waterfalls, foreigners all around, amazing trekking trails, old Manali has a lot to offer. There are great music festivals organized in this place. Not the ideal location for families or honeymooners, old Manali is preferred by younger people for its hip vibe. Some of the places will give you a retro feel. Visit old Manali and soak in the majestic views with lesser crowds around.

So these 5 spots were difficult for us to shortlist, but if you are pressed on time make sure to visit these 5 for sure. With something for everyone, Manali will definitely please you!

You’ve often heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a photographer, it’s your job to convey those words through your picture! It’s important to use emotion and freeze moments to click great pictures! When you summit the top of the mountain and click that incredible view, the photo should be great enough to gush back all the memories even when you look at the picture years later. Not just that beautiful view you captured, but probably the snowy rocks you crossed on the way, the cold wind splashing water on your face from a nearby waterfall, the gorgeous pine trees, the memories you had with your squad. The photo is powerful enough to tell a story.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it’ –  Ansel Adams

So read on to know some basic tips to capture great pictures!

1. The early bird gets the worm


Yes, you read that right! If you want to capture that amazing unique shot, you better get there before the place is swamped by tourists. The best pictures are captured early in the morning and around sunset. The light is just right to give your pictures the right glow and warmth. Sunsets are also great for photography as the lights are quite eye-pleasing, and the lights around are beginning to turn on. Shooting pictures at noon on a bright sunny day is an absolute NO. Take that time to trek, rest, explore. Leave travel photography for mornings & evenings.

2. Rule of Thirds

This is probably one of the most important tips in mastering travel Photography. This can be easily done by using the grid feature on your camera. Once you turn that on, your screen will break up into thirds, horizontally & vertically. It is important to place the focused object on the grid lines, instead of the plain old boring centre. This will bring life to the image & make the photo interesting. Also, always remember to keep the horizons straight. Never click pictures while you are moving.

3. Lightweight Travel Tripod

This is more important than you can imagine! A Tripod is perfect for those sunrise/sunset shots, low light photography, gushing waterfalls, and panoramic landscapes. With the tripod, you can easily shoot slower shutter speeds and concentrate on the composition of the image rather than worrying about the handshake & blurry images.

4. Experiment with Composition

Never be satisfied with your first idea of a click. Experiment in various ways and then settle with the best output. Try shooting from different angles, but also from different distances. Take that shot standing and the second one may be lying down. Wherever possible, try to include a powerful foreground, midground, and background elements. This gives the viewer a 3D experience.

Take a look at the below picture:

Photo Credit – @arindam_10 (Instagram)

Your attention will be first drawn to the rocks (foreground), the river then (the midground), and then the distant mountain (the background). This makes a normal image exceptional.

5. Human Element is powerful

Do you remember how viral were Murad Osman’s Follow Me Pictures? Reason? Human element. A human element always makes a picture personal. The viewer should be able to relate to that element and think of it as himself. How do you do that? Show the back of the human element, or maybe a silhouette. Or just have the face looking somewhere else. How to make a picture powerful depends on your decisions while clicking.

6. Patience, patience & patience


Dear photographer, always remembers that the secret to great photography is patience. Have you seen the pictures of the northern lights? You can’t even imagine how much the photographer waited to capture that mesmerizing shot. Wait and think before you click that shutter. Are the clouds really in the eye-pleasing position? Will this shot look better if someone passes the road? Will the sunset look better in the next 10 minutes? Photography requires dedication and waiting for the right moment to capture.

7. Use of Colour

Colours opposite on the wheels generally looks amazing together. Thinks sunflowers and blue skies, arid brown mountains and azure water. The combination is important. Colours don’t need to be balanced. Great shots mainly have one colour in the majority and the other supporting colour in minority.

8. Use the manual mode

Modern cameras may be great, but the manual mode is always better. If you adjust aperture manually, you have more control over the depth of field of your picture. When you manually control shutter speed, you are able to capture motion in better and creative ways. When you manually control ISO, you can reduce the noise of your pictures and also handle low lights or tricky lighting situations.

9. Get lost on purpose

You may capture the sunset like everyone else usually does! But that’s not what makes an exceptional picture. Discover new places only if you make an effort to take the route less travelled. Chances are you will stumble upon a splendid view. Always carry a camera with you! Even if you are just stepping out of your hotel for lunch!

10. Location Scouting


Always do your research before you go to the location. You may discover so many hidden places by Instagram photos or your basic google search. Find out all the iconic locations beforehand. You should know what time does a particular attraction opens, what time is the best time to avoid tourists, how to get to a vantage point, and what time is the best view. You can maximize your time by doing some basic research about your location in advance.

Start practicing today to hone your photography skills so your pictures can be powerful & speak a story.

Don’t shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like!

Leh needs no introduction. Its utmost soundlessness, glistening azure skies, pristine snow-capped mountain peaks, shining lakes and the entire panoramic landscape will leave you at a loss for words.

Leh lies between Xinjiang, Pakistan, Kashmir and Tibet – more than 3,000 metres high at its lowest point. It is also called as “land of high passes”. Leh is encircled with the Himalayas, the Zanskar, the Ladakh and the Karakoram ranges. Three untamed and sparkling rivers, the Shyok, the Indus and the Zanskar flow between these ranges.

Explore Exciting Leh Ladakh Bike Trip


There is so much to do in Leh. You can soak in the majestic beauty while hearing the birds chirping and admiring the colorful flags, go camping, experience the breathtaking sights from the top of the Khardungla Pass, defy earth’s gravity at the magnetic hill, find peace within yourself at Shanti Stupa, enjoy the freezing cold at Drass, or pray for the war heroes at Kargil.

If you are pressed for time, read on to know the Top 5 Must Visit Places in Leh:

1. Zanskar & Suru Valley

Zanskar Valley

These valleys are named after Zanskar & Suru Rivers, which are two powerful tributaries of the Indus River. Suru valley lies in Kargil and is full of mesmerising beauty. It is famous for the Nun and Kun peaks. Suru Valley includes Sanku, Panikhar, Rangdum and all three are beautiful in their own ways. The entire place is a mix of Turkish and Tibetan architecture and the quaint houses are reminiscent of that. Panikhar is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts. Zanskar Valley is as enchanting as Suru valley, but probably a little more well heard of. It is known for its awe-inspiring views, snow-capped mountain peaks, rugged terrain, daunting trails, cave monasteries and azure waters gushing down the valleys. It is also famous for trekking, paragliding and water rafting. Some popular treks are Lamayuru to Darcha, Lamayuru – Padum trek. This valleyis inaccessible for more than 9 months in a year because of heavy snowfall in the region, which makes it all the more luring to tourists. Trekking in this region can be nerve racking experience, hence one needs to be fit, physically as well as mentally to undertake a trek. Overall, it is a magical place with splendid views.

Explore Chadar Trek over the frozen river of Zanskar

2. Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley

The Nubra Valley was once on the trading route that connected eastern Tibet with Turkistan via the famous Karakoram Pass. It has been recently opened for tourists. Nubra lies north of Leh, cradeled by rugged terrains & mighty mountains. Since Nubra valley is quite near the LOC, you require an Inner Line Permit to visit Nubra Valley, both as an Indian and foreigner. One of the most popular attarctions in Nubra is the Khardung La Pass.  It has been considered the highest motorable pass in the world, however it is a debatable topic. It is situated at an altitude of 18,379 ft. above the sea level. In Nubra valley, you can explore the Diskit district which is an oasis of tranquility. Enjoy a warm ladakhi meal with the amazing hospitality of the localites and soak in the splendid view.

Must Read: Offbeat Places in Ladakh You Probably Haven’t Heard About

3. Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong Tso Lake

This lake needs no introduction. If you have seen the movie 3 Idiots, you probably remember this picturesque lake. The Word Pangong is derived from a Tibetan word Banggong Co which means “long, narrow, enchanted lake”. It is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). Pangong Tso is geographically situated in a disputed territory, claimed both by India and China. The colour of the lake is bluest of blue. It looks magnificent against the arid mountains. The lake is however said to change colours throughout the day. It could be blue, green or even red. Words or even picture don’t do justice to this place. Visit it yourself and absorb in the splendour.

Must Read: Pangong Tso – Things You Probably Didn’t Know!

4. Tso Moriri Lake

Tso Moriri Lake

Tso Moriri, also known as Lake Moriri or Mountain Lake, is at an altitude of 4,522 m (14,836 ft). It is the largest of the high altitude lakes in India. The blue pure river is about 7 km wide at its broadest point and about 19 km long. It is a part of the wetland reserve under the Ramsar site, and that prohibits you from camping or staying anywhere near the lake. This scenic lake attracts a range of wildlife, including migratory birds, marmots and even the Tibetan wolves once in a while. The landscape offers a splendid view with multi shades of blue color. This place can be extremely harsh in winters to visit. In January to March, the lake remains mostly frozen, extremely cold conditions with no options to stay around the lake. Around April, the snow starts to melt and starts transforming into the beautiful multi shades of blue colors.

Must Read: The Great Himalayan Lakes

5. Shey, Thiksay & Hemis Monasteries

Thiksey Monastery

Monasteries are an integral part of Leh. They are all around you, but if you are short on time, you must definitely visit Shey, Thiksay & Hemis. Shey monastery was built in 16th Century AD on a hillock in Shey, 15 kms to the south of Leh. In the past, Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh. The monastery enshrines the Du-Khang with an almost 10 meter high copper statue of Lord Buddha. Thiksey Monastery was built in 1430 AD and it belongs to the Gelukpa Order of Buddhism. A very popular sacred mask dance ritual festival is organised at Thiksey Monsatery from 17-19 Spetember. The Maitreya Buddha statue here is probably the most photographed statue of the Buddha. The 15 m (49 ft) splendid high statue took over 4 years to craft. The Hemis Monastery is the biggest and quite richly endowed monastery of Ladakh. It was built in 1630. It is different from the other important monasteries of Ladakh and is decorated all around by colourful prayer flags which flutter in the breeze and send prayers to Lord Buddha. One of the largest Thangkas (Tibetan Buddhist Painting) is displayed every 12 years during the Hemis Festival, which is held for two days in June-July. The annual festival, celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava makes the monastery burst with life & colours. The festival, where good triumphs over evil in a colourful pageant, also holds a ‘bazaar’ where localities buy and sell wares. Various rituals and mask dances are performed during this time.

Must Read: I found my road to happiness on the way to Ladakh! and Ladakh – The Land of High Passes

Shanti Stupa
Shanti Stupa

These 5 spots were very difficult to pick for us, as Leh is full of splendid places. So bookmark this page and take note of these locations to make your next trip remarkable.

Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me the truth

The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.

When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines on you.

These are some of my favourite quotes from the very powerful movie ‘ Into the Wild’. I could watch this move over and over again. The power of a good movie is that it inspires you to bring our the best in you and also takes you to beautiful places around the world from the comfort of your couch.

Must Read: 12 Books to Give you some serious Wanderlust

Below is a curation of great travel/adventure movies that will get you googling the locations and make you want to visit that place after COVID is over.

  1. Into the Wild (2007):


If you watch only one movie from this list, make it this one. Christopher McCandless, a young graduate, decides to renounce all his possessions and hitchhike across America. During his journey, he encounters several situations that change him as a person.

IMDB Rating – 8.1/10


  1. Everest 2015 ––JVXk4


On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers (Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin) from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.

IMDB Rating – 7.1/10


  1. Meru 2015 –


Three elite climbers fight through feelings of obsession and loss as they struggle to climb Mount Meru.

IMDB Rating – 7.7/10


  1. Maiden Trip 2014 –


Laura Dekker, a 14-year-old sailor, sets out on a two-year voyage to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

IMDB Rating – 7.5/10


  1. Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara 2011 –


Friends Kabir, Imran and Arjun take a vacation in Spain before Kabir’s marriage. The trip turns into an opportunity to mend fences, heal wounds, fall in love with life and combat their worst fears.

IMDB Rating – 8.1/10


  1. Wild 2016 –


After an encounter with a wolf, a young woman (Lilith Stangenberg) casts off societal conventions to live a life free of hypocrisy.

IMDB Rating – 6.5/10


  1. Touching The Void 2013-


The movie concerns Joe Simpson and Simon Yates’s disastrous and near-fatal climb of Siula Grande in the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes, in 1985. It is based on Simpson’s 1988 book of the same name.

IMDB Rating – 8/10


  1. The Motorcycle Diaries 2004 –


Ernesto ‘Fuser’ Guevara, a medical student, finds his calling in life when he sets out on a motorcycle road trip across South America with his friend, Alberto Granado, a biochemist.

IMDB Rating – 7.8/10


  1. The Darjeeling Limited 2007-


After the death of their father, three brothers set out on a train journey across India, in an attempt to rediscover their lost bond. The experiences that they have to force them to introspect.

IMDB Rating – 7.2/10


  1. Captain Fantastic 2016 –


Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), his wife Leslie and their six children live deep in the wilderness of Washington state. Isolated from society, Ben and Leslie devote their existence to raising their kids — educating them to think critically, training them to be physically fit and athletic, guiding them in the wild without technology and demonstrating the beauty of co-existing with nature. When Leslie dies suddenly, Ben must take his sheltered offspring into the outside world for the first time.

IMDB Rating – 7.9/10

So go ahead and watch these inspirational movies this quarantine season and give yourself some great wanderlust.

‘Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find our treasure’ – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

This is one of my ever favourite quotes from one of my all-time reads- The Alchemist. While I was re-reading this book for the umpteenth time, I realized I should collate all my favourite travel/adventure books. When would be a better time if not now to tickle the bookworm in you? Let’s all come out of this quarantine season a reader. Reading travel or an adventure book can be as transformative as the journey itself.

If you’re looking for some inspirational reads, here is my current list of the best travel books to inspire you to travel far-off lands after the COVID is over:

  1. Wind Sand and Stars by Antoine De Saint – Exupery (1939)

Wind, Sand and Stars is a memoir by the French aristocrat aviator-writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and a winner of several literary awards. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying. It deals with themes such as friendship, death, heroism, and solidarity among colleagues, and illustrates the author’s opinions of what makes life worth living.

Originally published: February 1939
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Original language: French
Genres: Biography, Memoir
Good Reads Rating – 4.2/5


  1. Endurance – An Epic of Polar Adventure by Frank Worsley (1931)

The legendary tale of Ernest Shackleton’s grueling Antarctic expedition recounted in riveting first-person detail by the captain of HMS Endurance. Endurance tells the full story of that doomed expedition and incredible rescue, as well as relating Frank Worsley’s further adventures fighting U-boats in the Great War, sailing the equally treacherous waters of the Arctic, and making one final (and successful) assault on the South Role with Shackleton. It is a tale of unrelenting high adventure and a tribute to one of the most inspiring and courageous leaders of men in the entire history of exploration

Originally published: 1931
Author: Frank Worsley
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5


  1. The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen (1978)

The Snow Leopard is a 1978 book by Peter Matthiessen. It give a detailed account about the conditions of Himalayas from the rugged terrain to the unpredictable weather, in his two-month search for the snow leopard with naturalist George Schaller in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas. Mathiessen sees the trip as one of the personal and religious enlightenment which is very well captured in the book.

Originally published: 1978
Author: Peter Matthiessen
Publisher: Viking Press
Country: Nepal
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5


  1. The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas by Thor Heyerdahl (1948)


The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas is a 1948 book by the Norwegian writer Thor Heyerdahl. It recounts Heyerdahl’s experiences with the Kon-Tiki expedition, where he sailed across the Pacific Ocean with his five companions on a balsa tree raft for 101days over 6900km.

Originally published: 1948
Author: Thor Heyerdahl
Original title: Kon-Tiki Ekspedisjone
Country: Norway
Genres: Biography, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5


  1. The Grass Beyond the Mountains by Richmond P Hobson Jr. (1951)


The author describes how in the 1930s he and two other cowhands crossed the mountains to start a huge cattle empire in Northern British Columbia. It is a story of endurance and discovery of three cowboys, described with cowboy humor.

Originally published: 1951
Author: Richmond P. Hobson Jr.
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5


  1. Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum (1900)


Sailing Alone Around the World is a sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum in 1900 about his single-handed global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray. Slocum was the first person to sail around the world alone. The book was an immediate success and highly influential in inspiring later travelers.

Originally published: 1900
Author: Joshua Slocum
Editor: Joshua Slocum
Genres: Biography, Autobiography, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5


  1. The World Beneath Their Feet by Scott Ellsworth (2020)


A saga of survival, technological innovation, and breathtaking human physical achievement — all set against the backdrop of a world headed toward war — that became one of the most compelling international dramas of the 20th century. It talks about the mountaineering, madness and the deadly race to summit the Himalayas.

Originally published: 18 February 2020
Author: Scott Ellsworth
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating – 4.4/5


  1. Wild: From Lost To Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (2012)


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a 2012 memoir by American author Cheryl Strayed, describing her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery.

Originally published: 20 March 2012

Author: Cheryl Strayed
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Adaptations: Wild (2014)
Genres: Biography, Autobiography, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating: 4/5


  1. The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle (2019)


No running water, no car, no electricity or any of the things it powers: the internet, phone, washing machine, radio or light bulb. Just a wooden cabin, on a smallholding, by the edge of a stand of spruce.

In this honest and lyrical account of a remarkable life without modern technology, Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Man, explores the hard-won joys of building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, collecting water from the stream, foraging, and fishing.

Originally published: 4 April 2019
Author: Mark Boyle
Genres: Biography, Nature writing
Goodreads Rating: 4/5


  1. Running The Amazon by Joe Kane (1989)


In 1986 a party of 12 explorers attempted to travel the full length of the Amazon. Joe Kane’s original role was as a writer and observer but he ended up as one of the only two members of the original group to complete the entire journey, the first people to travel the Amazon from source to sea.

Originally published: 1989
Author: Joe Kane
Genres: Guidebook, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating – 3.9/5


  1. The Call of the Wild By Jack London (1903)


The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck.

Originally published: 1903
Author: Jack London
Goodreads Rating – 3.9/5


  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988)


This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids.

Originally published: 1988
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genres: Novel, Drama, Fantasy, Quest, Fantasy Fiction, Adventure fiction
Goodreads Rating – 3.9/5

As I finish off this list, I’ll look for some more inspirational travel books. As we are all locked inside and cannot travel, there is no restriction of travelling in your dreams to far away places.

‘Keep reading! It’s one of the most marvelous adventure one can have’ – Llyod Alexandar

Have you dreamt of trekking in the Himalayas? Want to scale those mystic peaks of the Kedarkantha trek? Want to set foot on Mt. Kilimanjaro or the Everest Base Camp? High Altitude trekking is more than just an experience. The wonderful feeling of being surrounded by majestic mountains on great heights, trekking some of the most inaccessible places in the world, discovering the mysteries hidden in the snowy capped peaks of some of the most formidable mountains is not just an expedition.

A high-altitude trek is a spectacular experience — and, for many of us, the chance of a lifetime to see some of the world’s most awe-inspiring peaks. It has its own charm, but is equally demanding. Preparation for a high altitude trek is very crucial. It is important to understand the terrain, extreme conditions and medical hazards which you will face at high altitude. You need to prepare well physically and mentally before you venture into the high altitude.

You ask what really is a high altitude trek?

8000 ft – 12000 ft: High Altitude
12000 ft – 18000 ft: Very High Altitude
18000 ft and above: Extremely High Altitude
26000 ft and above: Death Zone


Above 8000 feet of elevation, atmospheric pressure decreases and the number of oxygen molecules in the air becomes less. For people who are used to living at sea levels or at an altitude less than 8000 feet this becomes a problem because the vital organs are now getting less oxygen than they are used to. So the body starts responding to that change in the environment by increasing the breathing and the heart rate. After a while the body starts producing more red blood cells so as to have more oxygen in the blood. But this does not happen in the blink of an eye. It takes quite a lot of time, which can literally translate to days and weeks, for the body to get adapted to the new environment. Ignoring to acclimatize yourself could end up with a medical condition called Altitude Sickness also known as Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS. AMS could also towards HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema) or HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Oedema) which is fatal.

On a high altitude trek the chances of a medical facility being in proximity are quite slim. So it is really important to understand acclimatization and help your body to adapt with the changes in the environment in high altitudes.

You also need to prepare yourself months before your dream trek. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself for a high altitude trek.


1. Amp up your willpower

Amp up your willpower

 Mental Toughness & Stamina is a quality of the mind that is shattered by fatigue – Len Smith

Your mental endurance is a part of your ‘self-motivation’ system and conscious mental training. Speak to experienced trekker to gain more insights and knowledge about high altitude trekking. It is all about how mentally prepared and strong you are before taking this trek. Do not underestimate the power of your mental endurance as compared to physical endurance. It is equally important as being physically fit. Remember, winners and champions arent made in the gym. They are made by what’s deep inside them.

2. Amp up yourself physically

It takes both Physical & Mental Stamina to reach new heights – Michael Dauelerio

You can enhance your physical endurance by training yourself before heading to the high altitude for trek. This training program should start way ahead of your scheduled trek departure. The earlier the better. You may start your preparation by below mentioned guidelines and take it forward by intensifying keeping your goal in mind. You must focus on your cardio-vascular health and strength training. Start by planning out your exercise regime. Long walks are ideal, but be sure to increase the time every day. If you have a desk job, ensure to take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk around the office often. This will help you build your cardiovascular strength. It is also important to have an ideal body weight. If you are overweight, try eating healthy by cutting sugar in your diet and introducing lot of proteins. This will help with your stamina.

Physical Fitness

Interval training is one crucial part of getting physically fit. It entails getting the heart to beater really fast and then slowing down a little. For example, you may run to push your heart rate, then walk to allow it to calm down before starting to sprint again. Do not overload, but try to increase the intensity every day. Always remember to warm up your muscles before exercising and cooling it down with stretches post training. 

The correct way of breathing will also help you reach that height easily. It will make your trek simpler. Practice taking deep breaths and holding it.  If you go to the gym, then try walking on a treadmill on the incline elevated mode. You can also prepare yourself by climbing stairs with some weight, doing squats, training your calves, doing push-ups and planks to increase your core muscle strength. Increase the intensity every day.

3. Prepare for the unexpected

Prepare yourself for extreme cold and weather conditions. You need to be prepared mentally and physically in terms on things to carry with you. Also, you need to check the altitude of the area you are trekking through, so you are aware of the terrain and the challenges of hiking there. You must also check that your insurance policy covers high-altitude trekking because many standard policies treat it as an exclusion. A specialist insurance policy may be required.

4. Book an appointment to see your doctor

It is important to get a checkup before you leave. This includes a check of your blood pressure and general fitness. Females should get their hemoglobin checked as it may be low from menstruation. People with existing medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes should get checked out to ensure the medication is controlling the disorder effectively; a certification of fitness to travel might be required for some treks. You can also check with a doctor if you need to carry some medicines to cope with high altitude sickness (HAS).

5. Staying hydrated is key


The thin air at high altitude causes a high loss of fluids through breathing and sweating. It is crucial to stay hydrated while exercising and walking at high altitude. Ensure to drink water often when exercising. Dehydration can lead to lethargy, accidents, and even death at higher elevations, so keep your fluids up when exercising. When trekking at altitude, keeping your hands clean and avoiding illness is vital because illness will dehydrate you further and weaken you when walking. This is particularly important if you are camping, so wash your hands and use hand gel frequently.

6. Acclimate as much as you can


This is the most important step to prevent high altitude sickness. The rate of ascent is the most crucial factor in deciding who gets sick and who doesn’t. Acclimating to the oxygen levels slowly is important. Avoid climbing more than 1,000 feet per day and keep yourself hydrated. When traveling from low to high altitude, prepare to drive or go on foot rather than fly — the longer trip will give your body time to acclimate. If you must fly, spend at least 24 hours doing absolutely nothing — sleep a lot and don’t tire yourself out.

Read: What are the important steps to take to Acclimatize better?

7. Invest in the right gear

Right Gear

While you might not think this directly contributes to the effects of altitude sickness, but being comfortable and having the right gear is extremely important. The stress of not having the proper equipment will stress you out.

Hiking boots are the first thing you must buy when you decide to go on a high altitude trek and they must be broken in before you go to avoid blisters and sores.

Because you will be so close to the sun at great heights, you need good UV Sunglasses and good quality sunscreen to avoid burning yourself out.

A good sturdy water bottle, a basic medical kit, and the correct clothing. Carry a lot of layers, fleeces, and waterproof gear.

8. Read about altitude sickness and prepare to combat it

Everyone with altitude sickness will behave differently, but there are a few symptoms that are pretty much common. It’s crucial to recognise the signs of altitude sickness.

9. Prepare to stay unconnected

You will not have any kind of internet or phone connection with the outside world. Inform your loved ones in advance about your expedition so they don’t worry. You could take this time to meditate and think more clearly which is usually not possible back at home with many distractions around us.

Go ahead do your research, and prepare well for your high altitude trek. The feeling when you reach the top is undefinable. Work hard for it, it will be worth it.

 ‘The best view comes after the hardest climb’.


Bhutanese call their homeland “Druk Yul” which translates to the Land of the dragons due to the mighty storms in the Himalayas and can be heard in Bhutan. The Kingdom Of Bhutan is a landlocked country located in Eastern Himalayas in Southeast Asia. Bhutan is a hidden jewel, with some mind-blowing facts. When I read about them, I was intrigued to know more and pay the visit a place. I bet you wouldn’t know these amazing facts about Bhutan-

  1. Bhutan is the only Carbon Negative Country in the World.
  2. Bhutan was isolated from the World until the 1970s
  3. There are no Traffic Lights in Bhutan
  4. The King Abdicated the Throne for Democracy
  5. Happiness Prevails Over GDP
  6. Bhutan Says NO To Plastic
  7. Only few Pilots are qualified to fly to Paro Airport
  8. No Smoking in Public Places is permitted in Bhutan.
  9. Birthdays are celebrated on New Year. No one will ever forget anyone’s birthday in Bhutan!
  10. Bhutan has the Highest Unclimbed Peak in the World.
  11. Bhutan Was the Last Country to Introduce TV in 1999.
  12. Education and Healthcare is Free for All Citizens
  13. The National Sport is Archery in Bhutan.
  14. Bhutanese Still Believe in the Existence of Yeti
  15. Women are the higher authority in Bhutan. Men move to women’s houses after marriage.
  16. Marriage Laws are Unique in Bhutan. Polygamy is allowed in Bhutan.
  17. It is Mandatory to Wear the National Dress, it is their way of preserving tradition.

These facts are sure to intrigue anyone to visit Bhutan. So I decided to check out the place for myself.

Explore this amazing Bhutan Bike Trip.

Getting there:

Bagdogra (Siliguri), West Bengal is the nearest airport where you can fly to if you intend to take a road entry to Bhutan. Siliguri to Border town of Jaigaon / Phuentsholing is about 150 Kms or so and takes about 4-5 hours of leisurely drive. If you choose to fly to Bhutan, then you can do so from Delhi / Calcutta to Paro International airport. Paro is 55 Kms from capital Thimphu and an hour’s drive. Paro is also an important tourist destination in Bhutan.

You don’t need a permit to travel inside Phuentsholing from the Indian side. The Passage is free and no hindrance or checking or stoppage. You can even stay at Phuentsholing if you feel like instead of Jaigaon. Bhutan time is 30 minutes ahead of Indian time. So it is prudent to reset your watch 30 minutes ahead as you enter phuentsholing so as to keep yourself in Bhutan time.


Bhutanese currency is Ngultrum which is equivalent in value to Indian Rupee. That is 100 Ngultrum is equal to Indian Rs. 100.

Hindi is spoken widely in Bhutan and Indian currency is accepted everywhere. So currency and transaction there are no issues.

Important Names:

Llakhang: Temple or place of worship.

Dzong: Fort like structures which are seat of power (Govt offices) or monasteries where children are taught the Buddhist way of life. Festivals are held here at regular intervals.

Chorten: These are Stupas or small rectangular colorful religious structures that you find everywhere including highways, hilltops, valleys and even remote areas. Chorten or Stupas are the oldest Buddhist religious monuments. There are 8 different kinds of Chortens in Buddhism each referring to major events in the life of Buddha. It is rare to see all the 8 Chortens together. One is in Wangduephodrong near the bridge. 8 Different types of Stupas or Chortens are The Lotus Blossom Chorten, The Chorten of enlightenment, Chorten of many doors, Chorten of descent from God Realm, Chorten of miracles, Chorten of reconciliation, Chorten of Victory, and Chorten of Nirvana.

Read: Bhutan Bike Tour – What to Know Before you Go

Places to Visit in Bhutan

  1. Buddha Point (largest Buddha statue in the world known as Kuensel Phodrang or Buddha Dordenma is about 8 kms from Thimphu City on a hill. The large 160+ feet (52 Mtrs) tall Buddha statue is visible from Thimphu city.shutterstock_1117306004_bhutan-buddha-temple
  2. Taikin Reserve – The Bhutan National animal is Ta-Kin, a goat antelope. It is a protected animal.
  3. Changanga Llakhang close to the Takin Preserve. Llakhang means Temple in Bhutanese.
  4. Thimpu Dzong – It is a magnificent 350 year old structure also known as Tashichho Dzong. It’s near the seat of power (King’s palace) and is open only from.5:30 to 6:30 pm in the evening. Dzongs are seat of festivals in Bhutan and these festivals are area wise and seasonal. Check out if any festival is happening during your time of visit and plan accordingly. These festivals are absolutely magnificent to watch.
  5. Norzim Lam: The main road of Thimphu with many hotels, important government buildings, and some interesting shops for shopping and exploring the Bhutanese culture.
  6. The Clock Tower: At the beginning of the Norzim Lam (Lam means road) on your right side is an Old Classic Clock Tower with an open amphitheater-like space for strolling and relaxing. The clock tower is an important landmark of Thimphu city. There is a beautiful Llakhang (temple) near the clock tower and colorful prayer wheels too.
  7. National Memorial Chorten (Stupa): it is extremely popular and is located about 1 km from Thimphu Bus
  8. Coronation Park: it is a huge park about 6 acres on Chhogyal Lam (road) on the bank of river Thimphu Chu (Chu means river). There is a huge Buddha statue in the centre of the park it is a Govt park and entry is free.
  9. Changlimithang statium: It is the only stadium in Thimphu and located near bus stand and the coronation park.
  10. Weekly market / Centenary Market: It is located on Chhogyel Lam and half a km from the coronation park.
  11. Dechencholing Palace: It is in the far north of Thimphu city and about 4 kms from Tashichcho Dzong and was the King’s former palace. Entry is not allowed and it is strictly guarded property. The present King stays at another palace known as Samteling Palace or Royal Cottage close to the Tashichcho Dzong. The present palace is not visible to visitors and is camouflaged by a thick bush of trees and is heavily guarded and off-limits to tourists.
  12. Dechen Phodrang Llakhang: it is a beautiful monastery situated at the end of Gaden Lam (road). This is at a height on a mountain but approachable by road. It is about 4 kms from city centre.
  13. Zilukha Nunnery (Thangtong Dewachen Dupthop Nunnery): There is a beautiful Llakhang here and it is a school for girls who are studying to be nuns. It is usually busy with prayers and religious activities and studies.

Bhutanese Food

Bhutanese Cuisine is different from India. Their staple food is Red rice which is different from our rice and a must try.


Their daily home food is National Dish – Ema Datshi (Tomato, Cheese, Chillies), Keva Datshi (Potato, cheese, Chilies), Sumo Datshi (Mushroom, Cheese, chillies), Jasha Maru (Chicken spicy), Fish Maru and Fish Paa to name a few. Momos are also common here. Local Drink Ara (arag) is also something to try. Also don’t fail to try the local drink SUJA, made of Yak milk and tastes salty.

Read: Happiness and Joy in the Bhutan Himalayas

Best Time to Visit Bhutan
I rode to Bhutan in July, which was a rainy season. Rains are not heavy and it’s more of drizzle for a few minutes.

However, the best time to visit Bhutan is from September to December. Bhoomthang is said to be the most beautiful place in Bhutan and between September to December, it is virtually a replica of Switzerland with lush meadows and flowers blooming all over. March to May is a bit sunny. Hotels are relatively cheaper in the monsoon season though.

Also please remember, Men need to wear full sleeve shirt to enter a Dzong and women have to dress conservatively. The authorities can deny you entry into dzong if you are wearing a short-sleeve shirt.


Bhutan is a country like no other. It will surprise you in ways more than you will anticipate. It must be surely explored once in a lifetime.

Any individual suspected of having coronavirus (COVID-19) can be tested in over 50 laboratories in India, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research

All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)

Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur
Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Mumbai

Sawai Man Singh, Jaipur
Dr. S.N Medical College, Jodhpur
Jhalawar Medical College, Jhalawar
SP Med. College, Bikaner

King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine & Research, Chennai
Government Medical College, Theni

King’s George Medical University, Lucknow
Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh

Government Medical College, Haldwani

National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata
IPGMER, Kolkata

All India Institute Medical Sciences, Bhopal
National Institute of Research in Tribal Health (NIRTH), Jabalpur

National Institute of Virology Field Unit
Govt. Medical College, Thriuvananthapuram
Govt. Medical College, Kozhikhode

Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute, Bangalore
National Institute of Virology Field Unit Bangalore
Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, Mysore
Hassan Inst. of Med. Sciences, Hassan
Shimoga Inst. of Med. Sciences, Shivamogga

BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad
M.P.Shah Government Medical College, Jamnagar

BPS Govt Medical College, Sonipat
Pt. B.D. Sharma Post Graduate Inst. of Med. Sciences, Rohtak

Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Govt. Med. College, Kangra, Tanda

Sher-e- Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar
Government Medical College, Jammu

MGM Medical College, Jamshedpur

NEIGRI of Health and Medical Sciences, Shillong

J N Inst. of Med. Sciences Hospital, Imphal-East, Manipur

Regional Medical Research Center, Bhubaneswar

Government Medical College, Patiala
Government Medical College, Amritsar

Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry

Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad

Government Medical College, Agartala

Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna

Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh

All India Institute Medical Sciences, Raipur

Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar

Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati
Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam
GMC, Anantapur

Gauhati Medical College, Guwahati
Regional Medical Research Center, Dibrugarh

You might have trekked a lot of times or you are thinking of attempting a Himalayan trek, whatever might be the case, every hiker should clear the cobwebs on acclimatization. First of all, what is acclimatization? Basically, it is the body’s process to change and adjust itself with the change in environment at high altitudes. Which means, if you’re above 8000 feet of elevation, the atmospheric pressure will decrease and the number of oxygen molecules in the air will be less.

Now this becomes a little risky for people who live near coastal areas as the vital organs are now getting less oxygen than they are used to. However, if acclimatization is done properly, after a while the body starts producing more red blood cells so as to have more oxygen in the blood. But this does not happen in the blink of an eye. It takes quite a lot of time, which can translate to days, for the body to get adapted to the new environment.


Ignoring to acclimatize yourself could end up with a medical condition called Altitude Sickness also known as Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS. The higher version of AMS is HAPE ( High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema) or HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Oedema) which is quite fatal to health. On a high altitude trek the chances of a medical facility being in proximity are quite slim. So it is really important to understand acclimatization and help your body to adapt with the changes in the environment at high altitudes. Train your sights for some tips to acclimatize yourself with ease.

Ascend slowly


Treat your trek purely as a “me time with nature” not as a target to be achieved. Or a race to be won. Even if you can walk fast go slow on the days you start the trek. That gives your body ample time to adjust to the change in environment.

Keep yourself hydrated

For better acclimatization start hydrating yourself well before leaving home. Drink as much water/fluid as you can while in the mountains. Though no two hikers will need the exact amount of fluid to keep themselves hydrated but 4 to 6 liters is considered to be a good amount. Also add electrolytes (Electral, ORS) to your drinking water from time to time because you lose them from your body when you sweat. The best way to find out whether you are well hydrated or not is by looking at your urine. It should be a pale white or a clear colour and not yellow. 

Eat well

It is mandatory to consume sufficient calories and nutrients to keep your body energised. Trekking/ hiking in high altitudes can be quite energy consuming and draining. Five to six small meals spread over the day is the appropriate way to keep yourself charged up. Also, carbs replace depleted muscle glycogen and require less oxygen for metabolism. So in a nutshell, carbs are easier to digest and the preferred energy source at altitudes. The higher you go , the more you will need to consume carbs. Avoid spicy, oily and sugary food. 

Sleep well

Want to stay up late with your clan over beers? Sounds like a great idea. Or maybe not! Proper sleep is very necessary for the body to recuperate well before the next days of hike or altitude gain. Lack of oxygen may make sleep fitful and disturbed. Additionally if you are sleeping in tents, the ground may not be smooth and leveled everywhere, making lying down inside the tent a little uncomfortable for you, even if you are using camping mattresses. There are certain tricks to help your body get some rest at the end of the day.  Early dinners are perfect for the mountains. Use your backpack or a few extra clothes as a backrest so that your upper body is slightly elevated when you lie down. Avoid using any kind of technology, which will interfere with your body system, making it difficult for you to wind down for a peaceful sleep.

Keep your heads covered but ears open

Backpack, anti-glare glasses, trekking poles! Pack it all!

The human body has areas through which heat is released to regulate our body temperature. These areas are skull, groin, armpits and extremities like fingers and toes. A lot of blood flows around these areas and they flow close to the surface of the skin allowing a good loss of body heat. So in altitudes you need to protect these areas of the body and keep them warmest. Now the layers of clothes we wear take care of the groin and the armpits. Socks and shoes take care of your toes. It’s the head and the palm and fingers that need attention. Ears are considered to be good sensors of atmospheric conditions to the brain. So until and unless there is a blizzard, leave them open during hikes.

Regulating body temperature

Keep yourself dry and retain your body heat. You will perspire during the daytime as you walk on the trails. Change into dry undergarments and clothes as soon as you reach camp. Wet clothes tend to give you a cold as soon as the temperature drops. Do not forget to pack in a lightweight, two piece rain suit or a poncho wherever you go. Weather Gods are exceptionally moody in most of the Himalayan trails. Try to avoid cotton clothes during hikes because cotton holds on to your sweat and takes forever to dry. Choose your trekking apparel which are synthetic.

Climb high sleep low

Camping in Ladakh

Essentially it means sleeping at a lower elevation to that which you have ascended during the day. This way our bodies are triggered in acclimatizing to high altitude but we can rest better at slightly lower heights. Though this is the thumb rule, in many places it may not be possible to follow it. What do we do then? Wander around even after you have reached camp, explore the surroundings and help your body to acclimatize better. Do not sleep the minute you reach your destination.

Don’t sleep during the daytime

After you reach the campsite, ease out a bit. Do not get inside your sleeping bags or tents, rather take a walk around or do other interesting activities. This is also the time to follow “climb high and sleep low”, if you already have not done that in the course of the trek. If you are too exhausted or dizzy, take a rest and let your trek mates and trek leader know about your physical condition.

Do not consume Diamox without a consultation with your doctor


Diamox is a preventive measure against AMS. and there it is not a sure shot way of keeping AMS at bay. Moreover these pills are diuretic , so will make you pee even more. Diamox has a certain dosage which has to be started two days before the trek starts. It is best to have a discussion with your doctor regarding the use of this medication.

A little about smoking and drinking caffeine and alcohol in the altitudes

Smoking directly targets your lungs. The air already has less oxygen and smoke has now reduced the capacity of your lungs. Caffeine is again a diuretic so it’s best to take it in moderation. Alcohol in whatever form and even in small amounts causes vasodilation. Vasodilation is a state where your blood vessels dilate. This dilation causes the blood to flow towards the surface of the skin which essentially means the blood is pulling your core body temperature away to the skin surface resulting in heat loss. Hypothermia which again is a medical condition that can turn fatal, is as bad as AMS or perhaps even worse and along with the loss of body temperature you also lose fluids from your body. .

So if you are breathing heavily after a little exertion or feeling uncomfortable while sleeping, high altitude is getting to you and you need to acclimatize better. With the above simple tips, you can make your trek highly enjoyable and easy without worrying about your health. Remember, not acclimatizing can be fatal. So pay heed to it, and trek happily!

We all want to be able to enjoy the pristine beauty of the wilderness around in the world throughout our lifetimes and also for generations to come. Each of us plays a vital role in protecting the beauty. As we travel, it’s important for all of us to be conscious of the impact we have on the environment.

During my last back-packing hike to Triund, Mcleodganj, I hiked upwards with a heavy bag full of things to eat. And on my way down, I ended up with a much lighter bag. Some of the stuff from my bag did end up in my tummy, but the rest ended up scattered in the environment. That’s when I realized I’m doing it all wrong.

While I didn’t intend to harm my natural surroundings, I was not mindful of the reverberations of my actions in the environment, at that point of time.

While mulling further over it, I realized it’s important for all outdoor enthusiasts to minimize the impact of their visits. It’s cardinal for the wild in the wilderness to be kept alive.

Adhering to the seven principles of the ‘Leave No Trace’ Policy will ensure that the generations to come can witness and cherish the beauty of the untouched wild.

leave no trace

Plan Ahead and Prepare

What- Research weather conditions, trail diversions, alternate routes, campsite locations, local territory guidelines/rules/regulations/bans before your hike.

Why- The more prepared you are, the less impact you will have by making unplanned decisions out in the wild.

How- Check weather beforehand, read about the trail route in advance, carry a map, and check local regulations. Set appropriate goals, plan your meals in advance, and repackage your food.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces


What – It is important to hike on hard surfaces and established trails. It includes dry grass, rocks, gravel and snow.

Why – Soft surfaces are too fragile to withstand impact and vegetation once impacted can take months or years to recover.

How – Avoid deviating from set trails and campsites. Use dedicated campsites and receive well ahead of dusk for proper and safe installation of camps. Camp at least 100 meters away from a water source to avoid trampling plantation and scaring animals away or obstructing their water path.

Dispose of Waste Properly


What- Pack it in, Pack it out. Take home the garbage back with you.

Why – Animals may end up eating up garbage causing them to be sick. Also, garbage, poop and soap can pollute water, making it unsafe to drink for humans or killing animals, plants and fish. Plus garbage and poop on the trails looks quite displeasing!

How – Take out all the wrappers from your food items even before you travel. Pack all fruit and vegetable peels in a zip-lock bag and get it back with you. If left in the soil, it takes months or even years to decompose.  Do not wash out food particles from your utensil in the water stream. Do not burn food or trash. For human waste, dig a cat hole which is 6-8 inches deep and cover up the hole with the dirt that you dug out. Do not discard human waste in the water. Try and keep water sources as unpolluted as possible.

Leave What You Find


What -Admire what you like, don’t get it back home with you. You don’t need souvenirs.

Why – All outdoor enthusiasts deserve to witness immaculate trails as much as you do.

How- Do not get back that beautiful rock or feather you saw on the way. It is meant to stay where you found it, not in your bag pack.

Minimize Campfire Impacts


What- Use lightweight stoves to cook instead of building a campfire. A campfire can affect the environment in more ways than you can imagine.

Why – Campfires can have immense negative effects on the soil.How – Carry a backpack stove for cooking and use candles for light. If necessary, build small fires on an existing fir pit to reduce damage to an area. Also, check fire regulations in the area. Use dead wood instead of plucking it from trees. Light out the campfire completely & carefully at the end to avoid any fire spreads. Aside from this, the after-effects of a campfire is displeasing as we end up with ash, burned logs, and rocks covered in soot.

Respect Wildlife


What – Wild is home to animals and birds. Let them enjoy their space and do not invade their privacy.

Why – Animals may get scared from human interaction and may also attack if they feel provoked or unsafe.

How- Observe animals from a distance. Keep the noise levels to a minimum. Avoid loud music. Do not feed wild animals. Keep your food locked away and stored safely. Avoid interacting or disturbing with animals during their mating sessions.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors


What- Leave trails & campsites cleaner than how you found them.

Why – Every traveler deserves to experience wilderness in their natural form.

How- Don’t litter, don’t pluck out that beautiful flower you saw, don’t carve out your name in the woods, don’t take back home that marvelous feather, don’t leave that beer bottle behind. Respect other group’s privacy. Give way to uphill travelers. Do not speak loudly or shout. Be a courteous and an affable traveler.

These simple tips will allow nature to be natural and untouched, for everyone to experience it the way we would ourselves want to. With minimal efforts, we all can ensure that wilderness remains pristine for generations to come.