Travel

Hiking in Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh | Story of a day hike

“The adventure is not in getting somewhere, it’s the on-the-way experience. It is not the expected: it’s the surprise.” ~ Ruskin Bond. 

Hiking is one of my favorite outdoor activities and most probably I got inspired by reading Ruskin Bond's beautiful anecdotes of his life in the mountains; the visually inspiring descriptions of pretty walks in the valleys, hikes in the mountains, flowers and trees. So when I was in Tirthan valley on a long weekend getaway at Tirthan Anglers' Retreat (in Himachal Pradesh, India), hiking in the villages was my choice of activity. While most of my fellow travelers in the group took a day tour to Jalori Pass, I went off on a leisurely hike with Tirthan resident & travel blogger Medhavi. 

[caption id="attachment_5130" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Walking in Banjar, Tirthan Valley[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Long Weekend Getaway to Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat in Himachal Pradesh | Summer Travel Escapes to Himalayas

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever since I visited Tirthan and Gushaini valleys in Himachal Pradesh a decade back, I have wanted to go back here. Many things did not work out over the years, but this year, somehow my heart decided upon visiting this spectacular bio-diverse region of Tirthan & Gushaini valleys n Himachal Pradesh, which also includes Great Himalayan National Park. Universe conspired and I went on a most enjoyable long weekend getaway to Tirthan Angler’s Retreat in Himachal Pradesh, in a series of developments, which I can only term as the ‘Mystic Law’ of the Universe.

[caption id="attachment_5123" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Views from my room at Tirthan Anglers' Retreat[/caption]

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Delhi to Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) Road Trip | Driving Guide

I had travelled with fellow bloggers & photographers on a road trip to Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) from Delhi some time back on invite from Himachal Heritage Village. While our experience of Palampur was pleasant, the drive from delhi to palampur and back was a nightmare. It was because of a bad driver mostly, but also due to some mistakes we made while understanding the directions on google map. So I am sharing my guide on DelhJi to Palampur road trip by self driving or hired car.

[caption id="attachment_5114" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Google Map Direction - Delh to Palampur[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Shri Nathji Temple in Nathdwara Visit | Driving Holidays in India

Faith in God includes Faith in his timing ~ Neal A. Maxwell

I vaguely knew about Shri Nath ji  - the 7 year old ‘infant’  incarnation of Hindu god Krishna , from many years (as I am Hindu myself). However, it was through the stunning Pichwai paintings that I came to see during the Textile Trail in Delhi, that I really got interested in the religious history of Shri Nath ji at Nathdwara, which was as fascinating as it was about faith.  While on the family road trip through Rajasthan this winter, we realised that we could visit Nathdwara if we just  got our timing right. We decided that if we did get our timing right, while driving from Mount Abu to Chittorgarh, when we reached the highway point which takes a detour to Nathdwara town, we will definitely visit the Shri Nath ji Temple. In my heart, I kept praying that everything goes fine and for me it was a journey into the power of faith to visit and seek blessings of Shri Nath ji in Nathdwara.

[caption id="attachment_5040" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Narrow lanes of Nathdwara[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Mount Abu in Rajasthan, India | Driving Holidays in India

The desert state of Rajasthan, among its many forts, palaces, aravalli mountains, sand dunes and havelis also has the lone ‘hill station’ of Mount Abu. Reading about Mount Abu in the geography textbooks in school, I was fascinated by the idea of a hill station in the dry desert state of Rajasthan and wondered how it would look like. I so wanted to visit it and on our 8 day family road trip through Rajasthan this winter, I finally visited Mount Abu. It was a bittersweet experience and I came away with mixed feelings.

[caption id="attachment_5035" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Views from Guru Shikhar[/caption]

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan | Driving Holidays in India

Kumbhalgarh Fort’s claim to fame is its majestic Fort Rampart Walls, which is said to be second longest wall after the ‘Great Wall of China’. We visiting Kumbhalgarh on a cloudy afternoon, driving in from Ranakpur, on our 8 day long family road trip through Mewar region of Rajasthan. The Fort did not impress me; however, the Fort rampart walls certainly, lived up to their fame.

[caption id="attachment_5016" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Main Entrance Gate of Kumbhalgarh Fort[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar