During our staycation in the hills at a nature retreat surrounded by a mixed forest around Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, the verdant and sylvan surroundings were home to many different species of birds. And here, I was blessed to sight these beautiful creatures time and again in their various moods; about 35 different species of birds out of which 25 I managed to capture through my lens, a mere 300 mm. Here I share some of my birding encounters and experiences with pictures.Read more
Category Archives: India
The lure of Wayanad, in Western Ghats (Sahyadri) in northeast Kerala in India had been lingering in our consciousness for many years and we finally ended up here in March 2020. It was for us the kick off for a 2 week long road trip across Kerala and Karnataka and we were here just for a couple of days. We wanted experiences which would remain ingrained in our memories, unmarred by having been stuck at crowded tourist traps. For us less is always more!Read more
Crossing into Kerala, we chanced upon Ranipuram boasting of a thrilling trek to Ranipuram peak. Compelled by our strong desire for adventure we stayed overnight at a nondescript lodge. That’s what defines travel – opulent resorts or just a bed somewhere! An exhilarating 3.5 hours hike, at the summit we were rewarded with breathtaking views!Read more
As the Sun’s orange glow spreads,
The monsoon clouds stop still,
By its soft radiance.
They wait awhile before washing
The valley back a verdant green.
The sky acquiesces to Surya
And rich hues cover its canvas.
(A feeble attempt to atone for the devastation of nature by trying to appreciate its beauty and magic through free verse.)
It is truly romantic for a nature lover to be staying at a coffee plantation. Anyday! Certainly if it is like the Old Kent Estate in Coorg (Karnataka, India). A ruminative evening walk transforms into an indelible affair for us. Col W.R.Wright an officer in British India and also a poet and writer, created this plantation in 1864.Read more
The tale of our jeep safaris and sightings at Nagarhole National Park (Tiger Reserve) in Karnataka, South India. My impressions of the imperial beast were only from William Blake’s The Tyger, Maneaters of Kumaon, Life of Pi and Nat Geo Wild inspite of having visited many sanctuaries earlier! Did the much anticipated encounter with the regal predator happen?Read more
Bir is a picturesque village in Kangra. Popular as the paragliding capital of India it also houses a Tibetan settlement and is populated by tea gardens and monasteries. The nature lover can lose himself during hikes in breathtaking vistas amongst the rolling hills, quaint villages, meandering rivers, emerald meadows, swirling clouds with the sky a riot of colors.Read more
Jaisalmer – Beyond the Golden Fort, Havelis and Sand Dunes. We spotted the Great Indian Bustard, amongst the heaviest flying birds, the number having dwindled to 300, critically endangered now, amongst clumps of sewan grass and ker trees. The ‘Godawan’ is the state bird of Rajasthan, endemic to India. Also viewed vultures, eagles, chinkara, coursers, wheatears…Read more
Pabbar Valley Trail is an offbeat excursion in the apple belt of Himachal Pradesh (India). Lying in the lap of virgin nature below the breathtakingly beautiful Chanshal mountain range, Pabbar Valley ahead of Shimla and Narkanda, near Rohru is a haven for offbeat travelers. At 13926 feet, Chanshal Pass remains open from May to October.Read more
Sasan Gir near Junagadh in Gujarat (India) is home to the Asiatic Lions found only here in its natural habitat. Gir National Park is a declared sanctuary since 1965. Gir offers both the Gir Jungle Trail in the core forest area and the Devalia Park Safari which is more like an open zoo.Read more