Dainkund & Jot Valley Trek

My friend and I knew that we had to do at least one trek while at Dalhousie, didn’t want a place that would be packed with other people or one that would be a bit too difficult for us. (We never pretended that we were expert hikers)

When the people at the hostel we were staying at suggested Dainkund Jot Valley trek my interest peaked, especially when they convinced us that it was a beautiful but ‘easy’ trek.

What they didn’t do was over sell it. Cause what I saw was so beautiful that it filled me with this really positive and happy energy.

IMG_2627

At a point I remember standing away from my small group of 6 people and take a long breath and think nothing. My mind blank in a good way. Cause all I was doing was soaking in the moment.

The Dhauladhar range looked at me closely as I started walking, with the thick forests all around me, but my path was clear ahead promising me an easy enough trail. Our friendly guide started explaining how Dainkund got it’s name. Something about how this hill was a place for witches who used to sing but then one day all of a sudden a ‘Devi’ (goddess) appeared and saved the village from these ‘Dayans’ (witches) – the temple dedicated to this Devi is on top of Dainkund peak.

But of course why it’s called ‘The Singing Hill’ is also because of the breeze that passes through the trees and echoes a musical when it passes your ears. I felt like Julie Andrews and almost even sang ‘The Hills are Alive’ till I notices my fellow trekkers looking at me like I’ve gone mad.

IMG_2658

This walk from Dainkund through Jot valley was the most beautiful 4.5 hours of this trip. I walked and took photos and sat and then walked again. Got hit my hailstones at a point and sang out loud old bollywood songs because I was in my happy place. It felt like it was us and nobody else in the world (the beauty of a trail uncrowded with rowdy manner less tourists)

IMG_2672

The Dainkund – Jot was a little more than a half day trek, approximately 15 odd kilometers and truly offered some breathtaking landscape of the ‘Peer Panjal’ range and the ‘Chowari Jot’ Valley. It felt pure. And it filled us with that pure energy that at least I desperately needed. It reminded me why I feel the need to escape and travel. It assured me that no matter how lonesome I get or what life brings to me, if I have a new place to explore I will be okay.

IMG_2695

 

Advertisements

Another birthday trip! Dalhousie first impressions…

Turning 25 was no joke. We all have a plan that we try to follow through but life doesn’t wait. I was not excited about another birthday. Especially one that was supposed to be a landmark! Last year I traveled for the first time on my birthday to a place as wonderful as Bali and it was an incredible experience. An experience, that got me to make a vow to myself; to travel somewhere for all the other birthdays I have left.

I badly wanted to go somewhere this year with my best friend. She and I had never really gone beyond our little neighborhood in our hometown and this I wanted for us. Both of us have changed so much in the whole ‘growing up’ process that this was almost like a ‘Fre-naissance’ like Phoebe Buffay called it.

After a lot of back and forth on which place to visit, we finally settled on Himachal Pradesh. A cooler climate in the peak of Indian summer was indeed tempting. Dalhousie was a hill station I had heard a lot about and had always wanted to visit. So we booked those tickets. I’ll be honest, after booking those tickets and the hostel I started having doubts about the hill station. No pictures that I saw on Instagram from what others were posting looked appealing enough. But you know what’s good when you visit a place without having too many expectations? You are pleasantly surprised and taken aback by the beauty it has to offer.

IMG_2569

When we reached our hostel in Dalhousie it was like we were surrounded by a Microsoft wallpaper – as my friend called it. Deodar trees all around and snow capped mountains in the distant view. The weather was perfect, with a little chill to it and sunny enough for us to get some nice photos out.

IMG_2529

That day all we did was walk from our hostel to the city centre, Gandhi Chowk, which was about 4km away. The Chowk itself took us not more than 20 minutes to explore. It’s a tiny circle. That’s when we decided to walk another 5km to a waterfall called ‘Panchpula’.

The road and the walk was pleasant and didn’t feel tiring at that point. Once we reached ‘Panchpula’ and climbed the stairs the fatigue (at least for me) started to set in. After that little hike I did hope to see some gushing water. Now, I wasn’t expecting Niagara falls but what we saw was like someone forgot to turn off the knob of a tap in a washroom.

Of course since we did take effort to reach here we decided to sit there with a cup of coffee and a plate or two of Maggi. (Maggi is an instant noodle brand that is synonymous with every hill station in India. It’s there to rescue you even when there is nothing else around.)

It was a good start.

As I snuck into my bed that night I was finally feeling the excited about the trip. About the next few days, the trek we were going on the next day and even that 25th birthday.

IMG_2625

Mercado Madness! Our first #Madrid Market Experience

KHAANA & COCKTAILS

Upon arriving in Madrid, I found myself reading a lot about the various markets the city had to offer. Our first morning, we ventured out to find Mercado de San Antón for some lunch. The market’s three levels include mainly food to take away and cook at home, a food court-type area with some fresh meals, and a bar and a terrace on top for finer dining.

While some of the options on the lower floors were tempting (and I ended up getting a slice of Bailey’s cheesecake at one of the stalls for later, which was delicious), I wanted to sit down with a full meal and relax before venturing out and exploring as much as we could see of Madrid in a day. We arrived right around noon and the terrace was lovely, but nearly empty. It slowly started to fill up a bit as we dined, perhaps…

View original post 515 more words

Finding something within a crowd

This is going to be a few random paragraphs. I want to be a real writer but right now all I do is jot down what I feel. Travel blog or not. Today I feel an urge of emotions. So I choose to jot them down here.

Have i changed or just the way I look at people and relationships? Something I ask myself every other minute of the day. I don’t know whether it’s that phase in life where you start to feel lonely and unsure or just PMS.

I think it’s the earlier one.

 

Lonely despite having people in your life, yes. Cause the way relationships alter and change; nothing else does. A friend who you have always turned to for support may not actually care as much as you thin they do. A parent who you keep going back to despite multiple fights may love you more than anything else in the world, but will still not understand what you are trying to tell them.

People either surprise you or move on with their lives. In this scenario you are just stuck in the big crowd trying to find something that will make you feel better and reassure you.

The truth is, you will share a friendship and a relationship with those who are in the same boat as you, who understand what you are feeling cause they feel it too. It’s empathy that bonds. But when the tide of life takes them forward and you stay in the same place anchored, it almost feels like you have ended back on the shore again. Right where you started. Not knowing where you belong. It lasts for a while till you manage to move forward yourself.

What I mean is maybe people only really empathize with similar situations and never with the person. Maybe that’s why you feel everything and everyone around you change.

Sometimes when you find yourself on the shore, feeling like you’re the only one who isn’t moving, it fills you with different types of emotions. The hopeless romantic turns into a cynic. And sometimes struggles with themselves cause they feel like they are a bit of both.

Whether it’s a perception, a belief, an opinion, people will not understand you. Not even those who are supposed to know you the best. Because the tide has taken them elsewhere.

So I guess all we need to do to survive is find people who can empathize with you in the moment – who can be in the same boat as you at least for a while till you find the person you can actually build a house on the shore with.

Until then day dream.

 

23 Things I Learnt About Myself – Part 2/5

2 years down the line and still feel like things haven’t changed much

My Travels : Memories and Moments

I know this blog is a year old now technically, but I still think of myself as a writer who mainly writes for herself. I don’t yet have the time and investments to make this blog commercial and join the bigger ‘ blogger universe’, but still when I see someone liking the post, I know there are at least a handful of people somewhere out there who read what I write.

The last post on this ’23’ series I have decided to do had a comment saying that I wrote was relatable. And that’s just it. These are 23 things I know about myself and my life, but there are so many out there who probably feel the same way about their lives and personalities. It’s a very connecting to people experience too, when you read and write something like this.

So continuing –

6.A people person?

I am talkative…

View original post 500 more words

Glimpses of India’s Blue City – Jodhpur

Jodhpur.

It’s been ‘THE’ city on my bucket list when it comes to places I want to visit in India, and by chance, thanks to my parents planning a Christmas getaway I ended up spending a weekend in this city.

What do I feel about it?

Honestly, I am not sure.

The Mehrangargh fort is one of the best in the state of Rajasthan, which is saying a lot considering it’s one of India’s most ‘royal states’. The palaces and the tombs and the many havelis have their charms and will make you fall in love with the culture and vibe. But the city itself needs work. Jaipur for example is a city that is maintained and is live able. Jodhpur on the other hand I felt had parts like the bazaar which were last built by the kings that lived here 400 years ago. It’s easy to escape these things while sitting in a luxury villa or hotel but when you really step out in the city, the dust and traffic gets to you.

But having said that, I want to share the things I loved about Jodhpur.

Like the blue walls in the ‘purani sheher’ which is the most iconic bits of the city. Whether romanticized in cinema (both Indian and International) or just the flood on Instagram by travel bloggers who seem to know how to capture the most tempting travel photos.

2.3

I loved how photogenic every detail of the fort was. Not kidding. Every detail. From the jharokas to the birds nesting in every corner, to the ‘balconies’ to even the famous opium man. It’s the like Mehrangargh was born to tell stories for an eternity. I like to think of myself to be an imaginative person. And boy did I imagine. I imagined how the palaces inside would look in its prime. I imagined the costumes and the people inside the halls 500 years back. It’s charming, vintage, royal and very elite.

6.3

3.3

IMG_2236

I loved how the city looked from the fortress walls…

IMG_2244

I loved how beautiful I felt while in such a beautiful place…

(might just be that imagination again)

4.2

I loved that I walked through the bazaar and the old market just to find the ‘Toorji Ka Jhalara’ a popular step well in the city that once upon a time must have been a beautiful sight and loved that now even in it’s ‘not so great’ days it stood out.

IMG_2316

I loved visiting Raas Haveli at night for dinner with my family just because it was one of the most beautiful places to be. Foothills of a lit up Mehrangargh, small fires glowing in the candles all around. It was stunning.

IMG_2097

IMG_2095

I loved that it was a weekend where I got to know a bit about a city I really wanted to get to know for a long time. I loved that it was another place that I got to visit. I loved that I got to spend some time with my family. Most of all I loved Jodhpur showed me more than the ‘blue’ to it… It showed me a bit of reality as well.