Solo Trip To The Last Indian Village – Chitkul

It was a lovely Sunday morning and it took me a change of 3 roadways (Haryana Roadways, Punjab Roadways and Himachal Roadways) and 12 hours to reach my first destination. From Yamunanagar to Chandigarh to Shimla to Rampur, the Sunday was turning out to be every bit of legendary. I had planned a solo trip to Chitkul, the last inhabited village near the Indo-Tibetan border. I was earlier planning to take a cab but decided against it. It is always better to experience things a little raw and a little real. And this decision definitely makes it into my got-them-right list. So, here’s a quick account of what I did and where I stayed. Feel free to connect with me on Instagram if you want to plan a trip on this route or if you want to know more about safe solo travelling. My Instagram handle is @trippytravelette. Day 1 My first stop to…

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Survived Monday? Plan For The Weekend!

“Monday: where you spend the first part of the day trying to find the responsible adult you lost Friday at 5 o’ clock.” “I so can’t wait to got to work tomorrow! Mondays are my favourite day of the week!” said no one ever.” “Dear Monday, I want to break up. I’m seeing Tuesday and dreaming about Friday. Sincerely, it’s not me, it’s you.” These and many more I-Hate-Monday memes must have hit you real hard this morning! Well, to be honest, after a fabulous extended Diwali celebration anybody and everybody is allowed to hate the bloody Monday! But that’s not what this blog is about. This blog is about your next weekend trip! After the traumatic Monday, you do deserve a beautiful chill weekend. And I have got the best destination for the same – Tosh in Parvati Valley. Located at about 7,900 ft near Kasol, Tosh is one…

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Travel Outfit Ideas: The Andamans Lookbook

Located at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands will win your heart with its exotic beaches, unique tropical rainforest and pristine beauty. We had decided to go the Island for Amma’s 60th Birthday in September. While I was super excited for the trip, I knew I had a long list of to-dos! And needless to say shopping topped that list! I wanted something light and breezy and at the same time Insta-worthy! 🙂 I went to the local markets in search of the right dresses, browsed through numerous online portals and mall-hopped! My search finally ended with a whole lot of combination of all those trips and places – Dressberry, FabAlley, Rare, Max Lifestyle, Lakme (I loved their 9 to 5 matte collection, especially Rosy Sunday and Red Chaos and their 9 to 5 primer matte collection – maroon mix) and the local shops.…

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A Mountain Girl On An Island

Travel for me has always been a simple act – pack a bag and leave! And the first choice has always been hills. I am a complete mountain baby and I run to the hills at the very first chance that I get. But this one was different. It was Amma’s 60th birthday and we had to plan something special for her. After a lot of brainstorming, we finalized on Andamans. I was extremely apprehensive – this was my first exotic trip to the beaches and also, what are beaches in comparison to mountains, right?! But all this and many other doubts and worries were about to be shattered in this 5 day trip. Here is one such trippy account – A Mountain Girl On An Island. We started our journey at 3:30am on a Saturday morning. Our (Go Air) flight was at 5:30am, a connecting one – with a…

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Scuba Diving In Andamans

It was day 3 of our Andamans trip. We were staying at Symphony Palms. It seemed like a perfect morning to do something legendary! And the last I checked, Scuba Dive totally qualifies for that! I don’t know to swim and to top that I am a hydrophobic. My partner in crime, my sister, is claustrophobic and the idea of having a mask tied around her face with all the other oxygen tank jingbang was probably killing her! But we still decided to go for it. We were at ocean dive center in Havelock – we filled out an extensive form (that kept saying IF YOU DIE, IT WON’T BE OUR RESPONSIBILITY a multiple times) and watched a short informative video that walked us through the actions for communication under water. Our instructor, Mr. Sajan walked us through the actions again and other members of the team helped us get…

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 8 | Sarchu to Manali

This was a happy day for Ram as he was to get his HP bike back! So, no more Gypsy travel for him. Pooja and I were happier as any one of us sitting in the back seat could now sit like a boss! After a good breakfast of Bread-Omelette and Kadak Chai, we were on the road once again. We stopped at a Dhaba in New Bharatpur for a quick Tea break. It was still windy and the weather chilly! “A cup of Tea is all you need at times… In my opinion, it helps restore normality…at such remote places with the harsh weather, somebody saying, “take some more Tea”, is music to ears! Ram was way ahead of us…he will have to wait for us at one of the blind turns while we sip Tea here… I am reminded of these lines from City of Bones – “I…

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 6 & 7 | Leh to KhardungLa To Tsomoriri to Sarchu

Skerrrrttt! The car screeched to a halt and we all turned to a far corner to spot the animal that was probably annoyed by our presence. Kiang also known as the Tibetan wild ass turned it’s pretty back towards us and continued grazing the field. Native to the Tibetan Plateau, the herbivorous animal is the largest of the wild asses. We also spotted a pair of green eyes which we thought was a Fox. The Red Fox (also known as Watse in the local language) along with Tibetan Sand Fox are among the few smaller animals you can sometimes see from the road. This was the 6th day of our trip. Our daredevil meter went a notch higher when we took a sudden turn and for the next 20 minutes or so drove on the meadows. It was 11pm…we had left from Leh a little after noon. In the morning,…

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 5 | Pangong to Leh

Next morning, after breakfast we headed to Pangong Sarai once again. The Lake which literally means ‘high grassland lake’ is 134 kms long and extends from India to China. The Lake changes colours – from brown to green to blue, it looks like a work of fiction. The point where the last scene of 3 Idiots was shot has been completely commercialized. From 3 Idiots café to the Yellow Scooty, this place looks like a movie studio set. We did not spend much time here. One last look at the Lake and we decided to leave for Leh. This was day 5 of our trip. On our way back, while we were sipping Tea at Chang La, we spotted a fresh Avalanche – it wasn’t that big and had stopped mid-way. Treading on narrow, snow-laden and bumpy roads, we reached Leh in the night. We were staying at Dream Ladakh…

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 4 | Leh to Pangong

Day 4 of our trip and we were off to Pangong! It was also Mohit’s birthday – the reason why this trip was planned at the very first place! And what a way to celebrate! At an altitude of 14,270 ft… no network… no traffic… few wandering souls… under a blanket of stars! On the route to Pangong, we crossed Chang La (17,590 ft) which is the third highest motorable road in the world. The name literally means ‘Pass towards the South’ or ‘Pass in the South’. It is the main gateway for Changthang Plateau and also has the world’s highest functional research station, established by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). We stopped here for Tea and Maggi. A little farther from the pass, there were 3 Army trucks swept away and brutally crushed by an Avalanche that had hit the area few months back. Rescue efforts were…

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 3 | Sarchu to Leh

Day 3 of our trip was a mix of good and bad. A little after Sarchu, Ram’s Bike had an issue. The axle that holds the tyre together broke. Bantu had not kept its spare as in his lifetime he had never heard of the axle breaking off! We stopped almost all bikers to ask if they had a spare part, but unfortunately, none of them did. Few of them didn’t even know that such a part even exists. It was heartbreaking for Ram as he had to leave his Bike here and travel in Gypsy till Leh. Between Sarchu and Leh lies two remarkable stretches of land – the Gata Loops and the More Plains. It is a series of twenty-one hairpin bends that takes you to Nakeela Top. On one of the turns, you will see a pile of water bottles. The story goes like this – several…

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