GoechaLa birding diaries – The Quest for Khangchendzonga

Kanchendzonga

It was 2:30 am on the morning of 6th Nov 2015 and we were walking on the Prek Chu valley surrounded by gigantic mountains of the Greater Himalayas lit up dimly by a star studded sky. Mt. Pandim (6691 m) rose high above to our right as our torch lights guided us through the darkness on the land and up the flimsy trail that could barely be separated from the rest of the valley. Up ahead, at quite a distance, a chain of headlamps of fellow trekkers snaked its way towards Goecha La. Read more

Markha Valley – The silk route of Ladakh

A trail report of an exploration leader from Markha Valley trek.

Kang Yetse base camp – Markha Valley Trek Diary

DAY 1

Leh City. Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. Modeled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
The construction of the palace on the Tsemo Hill was initiated by Tsewang Namgyal, the founder of the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh in 1553 and was completed by his nephew Sengge Namgyal.It is nine storied high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms.
Panoramic views of city Leh floats into huge Indus valley guarded by the Zanskar mountain range to the south and the Ladakh mountain range rising behind the palace to the north.Also, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa sparks like the brightest stone into Ladakh range. This was founded in 1430 by King Tashi Namgyal. It has a three-storied high gold statue of Maitreya Buddha know as future Buddha, also as the laughing Buddha.
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Save the Iconic Golden Mahseer (India’s ‘Goldfish’) Again!

Golden Mahseers (Tor sp.) have been a legendary sports fish of India with a very high table value. Mahseer is acclaimed as a world famous, outstanding game and food fish of India. As a sports fish, it provides unparalleled recreation to anglers from all over the world, even better than salmon. The Mahseer is known as a tiger in waters, because of the fight it musters to wriggle off the hook. In the past, Mahseer formed a substantial natural fishery in the major riverine and lacustrine ecosystems of India. In commercial fisheries, it occupies an important position for its good quality. For fishermen, Mahseer is of considerable importance because of its large size. As a food fish, it is highly esteemed and fetches the highest market price in north and northeast of India. Read more

Kudremukh trek – 3rd highest peak of Karnataka

Kudremukh way up

Kudremukh Trek Diary

Kudremukh National Park is my most favorite forest range and one of best treks of Western Ghats.

Kudremukh is a mountain range and name of a peak located in Chikkamagaluru district, in Karnataka, India. The name Kuduremukha literally means ‘horse-face’ (in the Kannada language) and refers to a particular picturesque view of a side of the mountain that resembles a horse’s face. Kuduremukh (1892 m) is Karnataka’s 3rd highest peak. Read more

Hangin’ on To My Bones: Tales from Ombattu Gudda

Its been 10 hours since we started from Gundya and at this point I’ve got my index and ring finger dug in to a vertical crack to my right and my feet are flat on a 100 ft, nearly vertical(70-80 degree), rock wall. There’s no room for my toes to hold me up so I’m relying completely on my good ol’ boots and some good ol’ friction. I glance below through my arms and legs to see how bad the situation really is. One wrong move and I would fall through atleast a hundred meters before I even come close to anything to break my fall. 

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A volcanic walk -Reserva Provincial La Payunia

Volcanic ashes

The Reserva Provincial La Payunia also known as Payún or Payén is a natural reserve located in the Malargüe Department in the southern part of Mendoza Province,Argentina, about 160 km away from Malargüe city. It was declared as nature preserve in 1988 and has an area of 4,500 km². La Payunia is home to the many volcanic cones. Read more

Birding diaries | Singalila National Park | Sandakphu & Phalut

Birding diaries| Singalila National Park | Sandakphu & Phalut

We were walking through mystique clouds at 12000 feet altitude, with a visibility of 10 feet in every direction around us when a spotted brownish crow flew past in a flash. There was no mistaking the ID of the bird. It was a Spotted Nutcracker, a rare highlander. We (Me and two friends of mine) were walking from Sandakphu to Phalut through the Singalila National Park, on mountain trails criss-crossing the Nepal and Bengal borders.

The weather had failed us in the last couple of days. We had started from Chitrey, set for Tonglu on a clear morning, 3 days back. Beyond Meghma though, the clouds had started making their presence felt. Occasionally over the next 3 days we found magic windows through which entire Mountains covered with pink Rhododendrons smiled upon us. We crossed foggy jungle trails carpeted with fallen Rhododendron petals and walked past dazzling Himalayan birds, most of who were out harvesting nectar from this spring bonanza.

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Holy in Hampi

Whatever I had heard of Hampi apparently was not enough to prepare me for what I saw. Me and my 8 friends went there one fateful day looking for the famed ruins; as for me I was looking for a piece of history and some of me. And there I was, looking down at a place that has a Goa feel in the air. I saw places and relics I have never seen before, I saw frames I had never seen before, I breathed in air I had never breathed before. Hampi is great to see from a set of wheels, slower the better, which in my case turned bicycle. Day starts eventful, as always is in my case. One of our friends while trying to test ride a moped went and rammed into a rickshaw, and that was the start of the exploration with a bang, literally. After some payment, some hurt ego and a bleeding leg, we took to cycles and rickshaws instead, and moved about to explore the place on our own.

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Goecha La – A Green Interview with trekker, Shaunak Kar

Goecha La – A Green Interview with trekker, Shaunak Kar


The trek to Goecha La started in mid-October with the primary objective of exploring the region while observing the effect that the multitudes of fellow trekkers have had on the flora, fauna and the general environment of this trail. In other words, to answer a simple question- Have we succeeded to conserve one of the most beautiful treks that the Himalayas have to offer?
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Goecha La Diaries A Walk on The Wild Side

Levitation as a simple noun has the weight behind it to describe what most people hope to achieve at some point of their life.Of ‘course there are herbs and chemicals that’ll get you to it but my more “real” tryst with levitation is what I felt as I followed the pristine trail to Goecha La ,the doorstep of Yeti land, the temple of the Mighty ‘Dzonga.

I’m not a cliched romantic, I only casually believe in destiny and my inclination towards any sort of religion inches towards Zero. Surprisingly, this was before I tread on this journey, this walk, that has touched me right at the very core of things. It makes you laugh because you build a shield around you for the numerous years of your scattered life and that comes crumbling down first when you fall in love and as if that is not humbling enough you are showered by the inexplicable beauty of nature again.

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Romancing the Indus

The idea of a romance has always appealed to me in a way I have seldom managed to define. It holds a special fascination for me, fills me up with a strange longing that nothing else can. So when I dreamt of Ladakh, I did not envisage that it could hold something for me that would take me away to that faraway place that this wanderer’s heart had always imagined. But, to my sweet surprise, it did, and then a bit more. Read more

Gokarna beach trek & Yana cave

Gokarna, a small temple town on the western coast of India in the Kumta taluk of North Kannada district of the state of Karnataka, is changing. From well known, one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centers of south India is now counted for it’s unspoiled beaches near the estuary of the river Aghanashini. Many of western travelers  started preferring Gokarna as less crowded, peaceful and lost cost backpacking destination over Goa. The realm of   deeply rooted Hindu mythology  and culture make it distinct too from Portuguese influenced Goa. And the common factors between them might be the same laid-back life style and unique coastal Western Ghats landscape beside the peaceful Arabian Sea.

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Beauty of Andes -Argentina

Pozos de las Ánimas - The Well of Soul
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Roads in Andes

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Cañon de Atuel

A Mighty Glacier Gangotri & Vasuki Taal trek: An eye-opener

Gangotri & Vasuki Taal trek

A buzzing city, glitzy shopping malls, air-conditioned comforts, high risers and two misfits with lot of ideals of freedom and a fading belief of socialism , a perfect Molotov cocktail of alienation. That’s when Bangalore based software engineer Anindya and his Hyderabadi counterpart and long-time co-wanderer Arnab decided to take mountaineering and high-altitude trekking seriously; that was the only escape-route known to them.

Himalaya was not totally unknown to them. These two had traversed the eastern Himalayan state of Sikkim like their backyard. As Anindya chips in: “Given a chance I would rather marry a Sikkimese gal and settle down in a high-altitude village”.

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Van – City of Lake Monsters

They say the journey is more beautiful than the destination. A good traveller knows this over-used proverb BUT always believes in the redemption at the end of the road. We walk this earth for some illusionary redemption that casts a shadow even when we walk this journey called ‘life’.

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Accelerated Free Fall

Young generation of sports are appearing fast, opening the horizon for adventure. Gravity and acceleration are one of biggest truth of this planet & we are not shy anymore to explore this new frontier. With micro light parachutes and high safety features gravity sports have arrived.

Around 90 miles from the capital city of Dublin, Ireland, lies the small village of Edenderry, home to the Irish Parachute Club. Read more

Wildlife of Karnataka

Karnataka is a South Indian State with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It has a forest area of 43,356.95 sq. kms. Still Many parts of Karnataka are remaining unexplored. The mountains of Western Ghats are a biodiversity hotspot. Wildlife Protection Act was enacted during 1972 by Government of India to protect wild animals, birds and plants and with a view to ensuring the ecological and environmental security of the country. Animals like Tigers, Bears, Leopard, Elephant, Dhole, Giant squirrel, Gaur, wild boars are majorly found here. Read more

How to grade a trek?

How to grade a trek?

It’s important to make an accurate assessment of the level of difficulty of a route in advance, to ensure that it is within your current capabilities and be equipped. The grade of a trek can tell about it in brief .But “Easy” and “Difficult” are relative terms. These quality measures, to grade trekking trails, need to take quantitative approach to standardize our information. So that, all of us remain on same page, when we say ‘Easy’ or ‘Strenuous’.

It is also important to convey précised information when it’s going to be used by others and results can reach till death. Read more

SUNDARBAN: A struggle between man & wild

Sundarban ! Sundarban ! What comes first to your mind when you read that word ? The largest halophyte mangrove forest of the World! The land of magnificent yet ferocious Bengal Tigers! The land of Honey!

Well, all of them are correct but yet fail to describe Sundarban completely. Sundarban is more than this. It is a struggle between humanity and animality where each other respect each other but never mind to venture into other’s territory. Read more

Rajgarh to Torna, the guerrilla warrior trails

This unplanned 2day trek in the Pune district turned out to be one of the most fascinating experiences ever to all of us. Reaching the grandeur of the Shivaji forts and blending with the amazing history of the Maratha warrior literally took our breath away.

Before I go to the actual description of our trek I want to share some interesting  facts about the two Maratha forts. Read more

outdoor Manners and Best Practices for a Responsible Eco-Tourist

Many of us visit mountains, forests and other natural areas for trekking, hiking, and mountaineering. There are certain essential practices or outdoor ethics that travelers should take care while visiting these places. These include certain basic outdoor manners and best practices which are documented as follows. Read more

Viking Journal

I always wanted to go Sweden, the land of the Viking, moose, elk, wolves and untamed European wilderness. The last foothold of nature in Europe.

Why Sweden?

The seventh richest country in the world is a model of social and gender equality, high industrial productivity and international reputation. The Swedish Economic and social model is a case study for lesser developed countries.

With pioneering inventions, progressive thinking, social / political & economic reforms built a country like Sweden.

Home to the last surviving European wilderness, comprising of rare species of plants and animals, Sweden is worth for spending some time.

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There Is Something About Paris

“He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.

Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.

Nothing is more sublime.”

                                                     ― Victor Hugo

I hope I won’t be caught exaggerating when I say that the one city I wish I was born would be Paris. Read more

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