Photo Stories from Himalayas

Room No 101 in GMVN Rahi Motel, Haridwar

On September 8, 2014, when I checked in previously booked economy room (INR 660 per person, per night) in Rahi Motel by GMVN in Haridwar, I was disappointed. So I upgraded to the next level of room by paying INR 521 more. Room However, the upgraded room (no 101) was another space in disrepair. The window mesh partly protected against mosquitos but it was wrapped in soot. Lower part of

Hotel Welcome, Chamba

On August 16, 2014, I spent a night in Hotel Welcome (Chamba), located on Mussoorie-Dhanolty-Chamba road, and ate meals at a nearby dhaba. Although both were busy, quality standards were non-existent. Here are more details: Hotel Welcome I walked in Hotel Welcome around 9:00 pm after checking rooms in a few other budget hotels or I say shabby hotels. The tariff of a small room with bright pink and white

Tradition of Nanda Raj Jat: A Timeline

The Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayas relived the tradition of Nanda Raj Jat just ten times during 1820-2014, six years less than two centuries. But two consecutive jats were never organized after 12 years gap, the interval mentioned in the jat folklores. Watch the complete timeline:   Help: For rich experience, watch the timeline full screen. Hit fullscreen button appearing in top right corner of the timeline.

The second socket for device charging in economy room, GMVN Bharat Bhoomi Tourist Complex in Rishikesh

Today I am sharing my impression of the economy room where I spent less than 24 hours on August 15-16, 2014. Costing INR 620 per person, per night, the room in GMVN Bharat Bhoomi Tourist Complex is located on main road in Rishikesh. The Room The clean spacious room featured white tiled floor. The walls were white except the part of the wall behind the headboard of the double bed

Pilgrims walk from Sem to Koti.

She followed unabridged faith in the pilgrimage. She lived with the bare essentials, and walked barefoot, and left the head uncovered. A small colorful shoulder bag complacently set on her head through the entire pilgrimage barring a few occasions when I saw her without the bag. The bag sometimes also doubled as a shade. The salt and pepper hairs flowing from her head to her chest protected her from the

Food from Karn Shila Restaurant, Karnprayag. (L to R) Veg Raita, Tawa Chapati, and Dum Aloo

I spent four nights in the eco room (No 102) of the hotel run by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) in Karnprayag from September 4, 2014. It was truly a budget accommodation costing INR 440 per person, per day. However, rooms required more maintenance and cleaning. The Washroom Bottom rows of tiles in the bright spacious washroom were dirty. However, the washroom was equipped with all basics: a bucket, cold

Logo of Nanda Raj Jat 2014

End of Reliving the Tradition September 7, 2014 Sunday Despite a weekend, the temple suddenly lost its charm. The crowd thinned out. Puja dominated the weak trances. Energy levels of the people who went into trances in the beginning of the pilgrimage fell drastically. Enthusiasm dried up and sadness creeped in subtly.  The number of pilgrims was small. Local people who could not join the pilgrimage were more in number.

The drummers lead the women carrying offerings on their heads to the temple.

Missing Momentum of the First Day September 6, 2014 Saturday Poor presence of pilgrims produced emptiness that highlighted the lush landscape of Nauti and other aspects of the event. The sky was the same and was a sport like the first day of the pilgrimage. But on the penultimate day of the pilgrimage, Shri Sidhpeeth Nanda Devi Temple in Nauti received a small size of visitors. The number of professional

The dance drama continues on the 20th day of Nanda Raj Jat 2014.

September 5, 2014 Friday Friendly weather favored us once more. But jeep drivers did not. They successfully demanded INR 200 per person for a short shared jeep ride of thirty minutes from Sutol to Ghat. Deities and all the pilgrims continued their return journeys to respective homes. But I could not experience deities’ return journeys for mismanagement by YJ. My scheduled visit to and a halt at Ghat became a

The folk artists dressed as five Pandav brothers, characters from Mahabharata, present the dance drama on the 19th day of Nanda Raj Jat 2014.

Enthusiasm and Trail Go Downhill September 4, 2014 Thursday The 10-kilometer-long trail connecting Lata Khopadi and Sutol was still miry. But it was bright and the sky was blue. The pilgrims’ mood was a mix of cheer and despair. The thought of going back home safely created cheerful vibes. Separation from the dear daughter cast a shadow over successful completion of the pilgrimage. A number of steep ascents and mire