Prohibition on leather goods in many Himalayan temples

Since many plucky travelers say their prayers in the temple before starting and after completing the Himalayan adventure, they should know that leather goods are banned in many Himalayan temples. For instance, you cannot carry leather items inside the Bhuvenshveri Temple in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh. It is thus better to read…

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6 Reasons to Avoid Top of Moving Bus

    Sitting on the top of the bus plying within the Indian Himalayan states is fatal and prohibited for the safety of travelers. So, avoid it at any cost. The bus top may give you short-term pleasure of gazing at the landscape. But, if you reach safely to your…

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Where to check Himalayan road status


Some of the Himalayan roads remain closed during winter due to thick snow cover. However, some of these are very popular among tourists. For instance, Manali-Leh, Srinagar-Leh, Manali-Keylong and Kaza-Keylong. Next time, when you plan to explore any of these routes, check the road status at the website of Lahaul Spiti and Leh districts, as the respective state governments regularly update the status of these roads. And, drive safely.

Do you like to travel by bus?

Do you like to travel by bus?


You can book bus tickets online like airline and rail tickets. Thanks to Internet savvy entrepreneurs! offers bus tickets for several Indian cities / towns, includingDelhi, Mumbai, Chennai,Bangalore, Kolkatta and Manali. Select the route and date of travel. Search result page will display bus operator’s name, bus type, departure and arrival time, total travel time, rating, mTicket option, fare and available seats. You can even view the seat arrangement of the selected bus and choose a seat as per your requirements.

redBus, headquartered inBangalore,India, boasts a database of more than 350 bus operators. The company has outlets in various Indian cities and a ticket-booking website. The largest Indian bus ticket company redBus allows you to book tickets in person, by phone or online. Tickets are delivered at passengers’ home. Alternatively, you can print online.

Next time try redBus to purchase Indian bus tickets to avoid queues and save time to travel to the bus stand.

How to Survive a Disaster

Today I read a useful article containing tips for travelers to survive natural calamities like the recent Haiti earthquake. Travelers having travel insurance policy should contact round-the-clock medical assistance service of their travel insurance company at the earliest for advice. Remaining tips are common sense but a timely update is good as fear and shock, offshoots of a disaster, may numb your nerves for a while.

Chavani rests in collectors’ lockers

25-paise coins (India)


Chavani, the 25-paisa coin (one fourth of the Indian Rupee), has become an artifact. The coin, unveiled in 1950, is not a legal tender anymore. Sad demise of the coin happened in June 2011. From July 1, 2011, 50- paisa coin “atthanni” became the lowest denomination of the Indian currency.

It is sad to know that value of money is declining. Three decades ago, I just paid one chavani to buy my favorite samosa during school recess. The samosa nowadays costs INR 6.50 at an ordinary sweet shop in Chandigarh. It costs more in big cities, shops and restaurants. However, you have one less coin to familiarize with and remember while traveling to India. If you are traveling to India, remember not to take 25-paisa coin from anyone.

Where can you find information about day hikes in Bhutan?


Poel Piet and Gruys Rogier (2002). Mild and Mad Day Hikes around Thimphu. The Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, Thimphu (Bhutan), the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO), the Department of Survey and Land Records (DSLR) and the Department of Tourism (DOT). 

This booklet offers useful hiking tips and details of about 100 hiking routes around Thimphuto make hiking easier. And, an avid hiker can cover all hikes in about two years at the rate of one hike on one weekend. Each hike is rated on a 1 to 10 scale that has seven levels: Peanuts, Piece of Cake (relaxed and sweet), Piece of Ema (moderate and spicy), Piece of Chugo (hard, but not very bad), Taxing, Exhausting and Madness. Estimated times are also given for completing each hike. You can download the complimentary text version of the booklet from in PDF format. The booklet has maps, which can be downloaded from

Plan, pack, prepare for Himalayan travels


Bhutan and Nepal are nestled in the lap of the Himalaya, whereas the mountain range forms the northern boundary ofIndia. Rugged topography of the range probably deters from laying the railway tracks in these regions. Train services are either absent (Bhutan) or very limited (India and Nepal).

For instance, toy trains run up to famous hill resorts in Himachal Pradesh (Kangra and Shimla) and West Bengal(Darjeeling) inIndia. If you are entering into Nepal from India, you can board narrow gauge train linking Jaynagar (Bihar, India) to Janakpur and Bijalpura (Nepal).  Principal means of intra transport within these three regions is thus still a network of roads throwing several driving challenges.  So, plan, pack and prepare for rough road journeys if you want to explore the Himalaya.