Nestled between the Himalayas and the Shivalik range, Dehradun is a place like no other. Dew-kissed mornings, nights on terraces watching the lights twinkle in Mussorie, breezy drives and big lawns in every house characterize this valley. No wonder then that one of India’s most beloved authors chose to make it his home. Ruskin Bond’s fascination with Dehradun stemmed from his trips to the famous Paltan Bazar, the lush litchi gardens in every backyard, panoramic tea estates and walks through Rajpur Road, which is now full of swanky malls.
Gangtok should not be dismissed as just another hill station. For one, it is more relaxed than most hill stations its size and also, spotlessly clean. No overflowing garbage cans and no spitting on roads, rules that locals swear by. Monasteries stand in perfect harmony with the cafe culture of Gangtok and the cheerful vibe eventually rubs off on you. Gangtok is blessed with a handful of sights and doubles up as a base to many other excursions, but you should probably extend your stay here to soak in the charm of this easy and happy blend of tradition and modernity.
My love affair with the mountains continues with Kausani, a tiny hamlet perched high on a forest-covered ridge.
The mist lifts to reveal panoramic views of multiple snow-capped peaks and teaches me about the joy of missing out. (more…)
We got off at the Haldwani bus stand at 3.30 in the morning to be welcomed by a harsh and cold wind and a multitude of taxi drivers. After some negotiating and waiting of about 30 minutes for other passengers, we hopped inside a cramped Alto to begin our 3-hour drive to Ranikhet. A network of tar roads that snakes through the mountains and soaring pine trees calmed our weary souls.
Under a million stars in the pitch-black sky, I let the chilly breeze play with my hair. Surrounding me were the coniferous foliage and the sound of the noisy torrents.
Himachal is like God’s gift for those who seek to escape the stress of mundane lives and nestled in these mountains is the small and charming village of Kasol. Stunning scenery and crystal-clear mountain streams more than make up for the sweaty and treacherous journey to this place. Kasol is an easy base for numerous treks and also a summertime venue for trance parties.