• Karnala Fort and bird sanctuary near Mumbai (Maharashtra) monsoon trek

    Karnala fort is built around a 125 feet basalt pillar called Pandu’s pillar. This lone basalt pillar sticks out from a ridge, resembles a person making a rude gesture with his finger when viewed from a distance. Karnala bird sanctuary, 13.6 kilometres from Panvel town on NH66 encloses the fort.

  • Irshalgad near Mumbai (Maharashtra) monsoon trek

    No road link, a secluded village, beautiful vista and a less often used trail makes trekking to Irshalgad feel like rediscovering a long lost civilisation. Irshalgad is an oft ignored pinnacle located on a plateau that towers over Chowk town on the Panvel – Karjat National Highway NH4.

  • Solan to Pandava Gufa and Karol Ka Tibba (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    A 5.6 kilometre day trek leads you through fir groves, sprawling grasslands, dense forests, small ponds, a mysterious cave and panoramic views. The beauty of “Karol ka Tibba” trek is that it fits this immense natural bounty in a short day trek.

  • Review: Decathlon Quechua Forclaz 500 boot

    I am, as most of regular reader will agree, unashamed fan of lightweight trail running shoes for trekking. Yet, as prudent trekker I concede that certain situations do need the extra protection and comfort offered by heavier and stiffer trekking boots. e.g.

  • Monsoon trekking tips for Sahyadri or Western Ghats

    Monsoon trekking, especially in the Ghats require a skill set and gear that is different from trekking in the Himalayas. While the basics and skill sets like physical fitness and being mindful of your surroundings remain the same, monsoon trekking offers a different set of challenges for the aspiring trekker. This article is a compilation of 10 trekking tips. Tips we have compiled after a few months of monsoon trekking in the Sahyadri and Western Ghats.

  • Khandas to Bhimashankar via Ganesh Ghat (Maharashtra) trek

    Gazing at Bhimashankar’s walls is the most compelling reason to visit Bhimashankar during the monsoons. Bhimashankar temple is located 50 kilometres northwest of Khed near Pune in the heart of the Western Ghats. The temple sits on a plateau that towers 850 metres over the surrounding countryside. The formidable rocky sides of this towering plateau are known as Bhimashankar’s walls. During the monsoons, this rock face is covered in lush green vegetation and is home to numerous thundering waterfalls. The best place to view these majestic walls and waterfalls lies along a trekking trail that connects Bhimashankar to the sleepy hamlet of Khandas.

  • Chowari Jot to Chamba (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    The day trek from Chowari Jot to Chamba is a moderately difficult and novel route, just under 19 kilometres long. This route follows a ridge along a series of saddles and peaks from Chowari Jot. It ends with a steep, two vertical kilometre descent over scree and rock-cut steps that left me with wobbly knees at the end of the trek.

  • Ambivali to Peth Kothaligad fort (Maharashtra) monsoon trek

    Kothaligad is a small funnel fort near Karjat (Maharashtra). The fort is also called “Peth Fort” because of its vicinity to Peth village. Unlike other funnel hill forts, the pinnacle or the funnel is carved from the inside, forming a circular staircase that reaches the top. The superlative view from the top of the pinnacle combined with this unique and awe-inspiring engineering feat definitely deserves a visit.

  • All about trekking stoves - India perspective

    With today’s technology and lightweight materials, a trekking stove doesn’t have to be bulky and heavy. Yet with all the different styles of stoves and types of fuel that they burn, making the right choice is not an easy decision. Each type of stove has its advantages and disadvantages. In these series of articles we analyse different kinds of stoves and their pros and cons. Our focus in this article is especially on what kind of stove works or doesn’t work in the Indian Himalayas. Armed with this information, you can make a purchase that’s right for your climate and trekking style.

  • Overnight winter trek to Triund (Himachal Pradesh). What to wear and pack?

    In this article we list what we wore and packed on our overnight winter trek to Triund. We trekked thrice to Triund and beyond in January 2016. On our treks, this gear provided us with adequate protection through a light snowfall and a night temperature that went as low as -5 degrees C. However, do keep in mind that this is only an indicative guide.  Your final clothing and gear selection shall depend on what you already own and the weather. Therefore, research the weather for your trek days and dress accordingly.

  • Lifestraw review. From a hiking and trekking perspective.

    4 Steps to Trekking stove safety

  • Decathlon Kalenji Kapteren 200 shoes review

    It is no secret that we prefer lightweight trail running shoes over boots for three season hiking and trekking. As you may recall, last summer our go-to trekking shoes were Kalenji’s Kapteren Crossover trail running shoes.

  • Sensible retreat is no disgrace

    I am getting a lot of messages about whether trek “x” is doable in winters and my reply often is – it depends on your skill level. But irrespective of whther you are a novice or a hardcore hiker there will come a moment when you will be contend with the dilemma – to push ahead or beat a hasty retreat.

  • Wear two socks to prevent blisters

    Hiking blisters are caused by friction. A single sock is more likely to stay with your shoe than with your foot. This leaves the sock moving against your skin, which causes friction. With two socks, especially a thin inner wicking liner and a thick outer hiking sock, the outer sock moves against the inner sock instead of against your foot and less friction is created.

  • Blogging light–working remotely with just a smartphone

    This Macbook Pro is the last computer I will use for inditramp.

  • Lydia Bradley – Starting from the Bottom

    Lydia Bradey is not a name you may be familiar with. Yet, Lydia is a celebrated New Zealand mountaineer. She became the first woman to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1988.

  • Benog Hill Sanctuary (Uttarakhand) Nature’s Trail trek

    There’s always tranquillity to be found, even in the most crowded places if you’re willing to look for it. Benog Hill and Sanctuary are as far away from Mussoorie’s madding crowd and bad traffic as you can get. This is a quiet walk among age-old Buransh and Deodar trees. A place where fowl runs free and the only noise you will hear is the chirping of birds and monkeys

  • All about Fleece

    Every winter when I’m putting together a piece on recommended winter gear , a pair of fleece invariably slips into the mix. While I am a little obsessed ( Ed: Didn’t I see you caressing merino wool T-shirts last month at Decathlon? ) with Merino wool, fleece is merino wool’s beer-drinking, hard-hitting, blue-collared cousin with an interesting backstory.

  • Decathlon your Quechua Trek 500 gaiters are crap

    “Which gaiters should I get for my winter trek,” Reuben asks me on the phone? My response, that which I often give to occasional trekkers was “Buy whatever Decathlon is selling.” “But they already gave up on me at Dayara Bugyal” replies Reuben. Eager to defend Decathlon Sports I say “you must have got that one lemon”

  • 21 Questions for Andrew Skurka by GearJunkie

    Most underrated piece of gear?
    That would be the thing between your ears…your brain. - Andrew Skurka

  • Gear for Gear’s Sake

    An important corollary to yesterday’s question about getting started with trekking is

  • Photos: Snowfields At Dayara Bugyal (Uttrakhand)

    Snowfields at Dayara Bugyal (Uttrakhand)

  • How to start trekking?

    As inditramp near its 5 anniversary, it is time to address a question that I’m asked often.

  • 4 components that make an e-bike

    In this video we explain the 4 components that make a bicycle an E-Bicycle. These components are –

  • 12 reasons to ditch that scooter for an e-bike

    Do you own a two-wheeler in the city? A scooter perhaps? Something that can effortlessly cart you to work, get groceries when needed or drop kids to school…

  • Failures, mistakes and lessons learnt while trekking in the Himalayas

    Last time we discussed the oft overlooked art of orienteering and navigation. In this follow up article we dig deep into our past and introspect on our mistakes and blunders made while trekking in the Indian Himalayas.

  • Decathlon Quechua Forclaz 70 backpack video review

    Decathlon Quechua Forclaz 70 backpack review

  • Bergamont Sweep 4 (2018) bicycle review

    Published 11/08/2018 by Bharat Singh Bhadwal

  • Kindle Paperwhite (2015 update) review

    “One never travels alone, with a book for a companion.”

  • Making a fire with wet wood

    All of us have struggled to get a fire going using wet wood. Well no more. Watch the video and douse those fears. This fail-proof method starts a fire, every-time anytime.

  • DIY inexpensive & long-lasting fire starter

    An inexpensive and sure fast fire starter that will work flawlessly in wet and windy hiking conditions. The perfect way to get a fire going? Find out in our monsoon trekking tip video.

  • Bicycle Touring In India. FAQs from 100 Beach Ride

    Published 08/03/2018 by Bharat Singh Bhadwal

  • Drop that Book and Get a Kindle? Explore this weighty issue with me

    I was staring at my biggest dilemma of the century. My bags were packed and I was looking forward to a month-long sojourn to Darjeeling – home, hearth and hikes. I walked over to my bookshelves and wondered which book to carry with me. And then I realised I’d  have to carry more than one book to last me through the trip.

  • What does an expensive bicycle mean?

    Mirza Saaib Beg shares an interesting and educational piece on what makes an expensive bicycle – expensive. If you’ve ever wondered why some bicycles cost more than a premium sedan in India – this is the answer.

  • Introduce your children to trekking

    China with 15.3 million and India with 14.4 million had the highest numbers of obese children - The New England Journal of Medicine

  • Make your own Peanut Brittle Bars – Desi Moongphali Chikki in 10 easy steps

    We are always on the lookout for trail snacks that tickle our taste buds and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Besides, these outdoor trail snacks need to be dense in calories as we will carry them on a bicycle or in a rucksack.

  • Gallu Temple To Snowline Cafe – The Unexplored Route, The Dark Woods

    “Explore & Evolve,
    Before you Dissolve”

  • The best of 2017

    01 – Most Scenic Trek - Har Ki Dun (HKD) in March 2017

  • FitTrip Bikes’ fatbike Marine bicycle Review: The Heart of an Adventurer

    A niche idea, yet fatbikes are poised today to become a legitimate market segment. A growing number of Indian niche and (now) mainstream companies are catering to riders who enjoy the comfort, traction and sense of adventure that come with tyres with a width of 3.8 inches or more.

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 11 of 11 - it ends in Goa

    “Don’t stop believin’
    Hold on to that feelin’
    Streetlight, people, oh oh oh Don’t stop believin’
    Hold on to that feelin’” — Journey

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 10 of 11 - drunk on fame and palm wine

    “Oh my I’m a restless guy
    Got a home everywhere I go
    I’m-a trouble on the run
    Heartbreakin’ son of a gun
    Oh yeah I’m a rambunctious boy” — John Fogerty

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 9 of 11 - the best Konkan beach

    “A Pisces lady loves romance
    Her movements tell you at a glance
    Why they say Pisces rules the dance” — Beach Boys

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 8 of 11 - Ahoy fisherwomen!

    Walking on the beaches looking at the peaches — The Stranglers

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 7 of 11 - immersion and dehydration

    Bicycle bicycle bicycle
    I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
    I want to ride my bicycle
    I want to ride my bike — Queen

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 6 of 11 - deluge and some more

    “So I just did me some talking to the sun
    And I said I didn’t like the way he got things done
    Sleeping on the job
    Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep fallin’” — Burt Bacharach, B. J. Thomas

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 5 of 11 - setting forth

    “Be it no concern
    Point of no return
    Go foward in reverse
    Setting forth in the universe” — Eddie Vedder

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 4 of 11 - in & around Mumbai

    “Traffic in the streets of Bombay is chaotic at best. Riding a bicycle is a dangerous occupation. However, there are hundreds of them on the streets competing with the cars and buses and lorries because it is the poor man’s mode of transport.” — Rohinton Mistry

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 3 of 11 - gear selection and bicycle modifications

    I have just recovered from a bout of fever ( don’t know this? Read part 2 ) and still not feeling a 100% fit. However, the thing thats been haunting me is not the weakness but my lack of bicycle touring experience in India.

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 2 of 11 - setbacks before the tour

    If you haven’t already, I recommend going through Part 1 first. It’s August 1st and I am in Mumbai. Unable to find a last minute train ticket, I am forced to take a Chair Car for over 16 hours. Sleepy and dishevelled, I step off in Bandra Terminus with an armada of luggage –

  • Mumbai to Goa on a fatbike. Part 1 of 11 - #100BeachRide the inception

    It’s August 2015 and I am on a 4-day road trip along Maharashtra’s “Samundri Rajmarj” (coastal highway) MSH4. There are four of us – me, two friends and the prettiest Labrador in Mumbai. One of my friends is pretending to be sick at work to get days off and thus, we have only 4 days to complete this Mumbai – Malvan – Mumbai road trip. The Konkan coastline is the prettiest I’ve seen in India and I am completely besotted –  the green plateaus, sylvan beaches, the seafood, Sol Kadi(!). I tell myself that I will return to this place and explore this bit of paradise at my own pace.

  • Oft-forgotten landscape photography items

    “ The little things you forget, kill me. ” — pleasefindthis, I Wrote This For You

    What kills a really good photograph? Not being at the right place at the right time with the right gear.

  • Decathlon Arpenaz 500 shoe review

    Introduction

  • There and back again (to Osla) (Uttrakhand). Har Ki Dun trek diary part 3 of 3

    “Such ventures required a more hairbreadth creativity: a finer balance between hazard and endurance; talent and vision; a willingness to accept that control may only be an illusion, that success is determined not by the summit, but by the means alone and that at times your survival, may be the only reward. ” — Voytek Kurtyka (Wojciech Kurtyka)

  • Taluka to Osla (Uttrakhand) & beyond. Har Ki Dun trek diary part 2 of 3

    “ You guys going up? Yes, yes, we go up. You may be going a lot higher than you think! ” — Don Whillans, to a Japanese party, while retreating off the north face of Eiger in a storm

  • Nainbagh to Taluka (Uttrakhand) Har Ki Dun trek diary part 1 of 3

    “The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.” — John C. Maxwell

    Mistakes. We all make them. A lot of you may think that an experienced trekker is immune to making mistakes, but you would be wrong.

  • What is the actual capacity of a power bank?

    I recently posted an article on electronic gadgets that I carry in my backpack. In the article, I recommended that trekkers carry a high capacity power bank on the trail. Since that day I’ve had many emails from readers with tales on how their power bank has failed on the trail and which brand would I recommend? So if you intend to carry a power bank when out trekking – this article is for you!

  • Alone in the Wilderness

    “In wildness is the preservation of the world” — Thoreau

  • 5 essential electronic gadgets for a trek

  • Janki Chatti to Yamunotri (Uttarakhand) Trek

    Yamunotri Temple lies in Uttarkashi district (Western Garhwal Himalaya) at an altitude of 3,201 metres (wrongly attributed as 3291 metres), Uttarakhand. According to Hindu belief, Yamuna is considered pure and bathing in its waters is believed to absolve you of your sins and grant immortality.

  • Janki Chatti to Yamunotri (Uttarakhand) trek diary

    “You are the first outsider to make it to Yamunotri Dham this year”

  • Pantwari to Nag Tibba(Uttarakhand) and more trek

    Nag Tibba has a beautiful and unparalleled view of the Garhwal Himalaya which makes it a popular trekking destination. With this popularity comes the bane of commercialisation and the loss of solitude. Still, you would be wrong to discard Nag Tibba as one for dilettante trekkers.

  • Nag Tibba (Uttarakand) trek diary part 3 of 3

    This is the third and final part of the Nag Tibba trek journal. Part 1 and P art 2  of the trek journal can be found here. In the last part we (Amit & I) had just reached Nag Tibba and settled in for the night with a Gaddi Dera.

  • Keeping your sleeping bag clean with a sleeping bag liner

    Sleeping bags are notoriously hard to clean. But there’s a simple way to keep your sleeping bag clean and hygienic while keeping yourself warm – Use a sleeping bag liner.

  • What is independent trekking?

    We at inditramp are unashamed proponents of independent trekking. However, at inditramp HQ we do receive a lot of emails from commercial trekking operators, guides and trekkers that claim independent trekking is a foolhardy endeavour and it is irresponsible to promote it via our magazine.

  • An eulogy to Ueli Steck

    “One thing Ueli Steck wasn’t and that’s a machine. Warm and at times surprisingly fragile. But not a machine.” — writer and climber Ed Douglas on Twitter

  • Meru film review – Of Giants and Men

    “So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.” — George Leigh Mallory

  • Nag Tibba (Uttarakand) trek diary part 2 of 3

    This is the second part to our Nag Tibba Trek Log. You can find the first part here .

  • Nag Tibba (Uttarakand) trek diary part 1 of 3

    “As with all stories, let us start from the beginning…on the road to Pantwari”

  • All my outdoor photography gear

    A lot of readers have asked us to share our photo gear and what we carry in our camera bags. So we decided to throw open our camera bag to our readers and explain why we own, what we own.

  • George Everest House to Tibetan Hill (Uttarakhand) trek

    “To me there are few things more beautiful than colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind- sometimes waving gently, sometimes raging; a dance of shadow and light.” — Timothy Clark

    This short 1-kilometre walk brings you to not one but two viewpoints – over the Garhwal Himalaya and over the Doon valley. If you thought Lal Tibba near Mussoorie has the best Himalayan views, you’ve probably never been here at sunrise. The Greater Himalayan peaks are best seen from sunup to noon, especially on a clear day after rains. If you are in Mussoorie especially after a rain shower, you owe it to yourself to walk to this knoll at sunrise. George Everest House or Park House has an interesting history, just like its owner.

  • Decathlon Forclaz 50 vs 200 fleece. Which one to buy?

    Before we get started let’s meet our contenders. In the blue corner with the high collar and 100% eco-friendly design is the Quechua Forclaz 50. In the red corner featuring two zippered pockets and a full frontal zipper is Quechua’s Forclaz 200.

  • Landour to Kolti village (Uttarakhand) trek

    It’s nice to do those treks where you have panoramic views over huge Himalayan massifs, snow covered peaks and massive glaciers. Nevertheless, with these small trails, you’re looking at the details, the flora, the fauna…

    “It’s not the immensity of the landscape that impresses you but the detail”

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival & interview with The Himalayan Club

    It was a balmy Sunday evening in Mumbai when we walked into the BN Vaidya Auditorium to attend the film screening of The Banff Mountain Film Festival (World Tour).

  • Landour Clock Tower to Mossy Fall (Uttarakhand) trek

    Mossy Fall is a natural waterfall followed by a few man-made drops near Barlowganj (Mussoorie). There are many routes that can get you from Landour to Barlowganj. The route that we post here is not the shortest, but we believe is the most scenic. This route takes you along Wynberg-Allen school grounds and gives you many opportunities to peek over Doon Valley.

  • The Road To A Better Outdoor Photographer

    The road to becoming a better outdoor photographer is fraught with diversions. Many who trudge this road get distracted by the latest and greatest camera gear and marketing hyperbole. This leads to dissatisfaction with the gear that they own and promotes what we call “magical” thinking.

  • Our very own homemade, healthy and yummy Granola

    “Move over packaged granola, we will make our own, thank you.”

    Granola is the perfect trail mix to carry, handy and healthy and yummy (yes healthy and yummy together in one sentence) and an energy boost — the perfect snack on an arduous trek or during any form of intense physical activity.

  • Dehradun to Santala Devi Temple trek

    Dehradun is a long way gone from Ruskin Bond’s excerpts. Forest Research Institute FRI , Dehradun stands as a bastion of solace in the cacophony of car horns. The FRI has much to offer, yet it lacks a proper sunset vista. It was the librarian at FRI who suggested that we visit the Santala Devi Temple for a good sunset view.

  • Walking Mile... Mile & A Half through the John Muir Trail

    “ Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ”

    — John Muir

    I had to pull myself away from pressing play for the 4th time – such is the endearing quality of this documentary. Stunning, beautiful, breathtaking, remarkable – the litany of praise from viewers of this well-documented piece of art grows, as more and more people partake of this breathtaking voyage.

  • Two essential camera filters for landscape photography

    There are two filters that are essential to landscape photography.

    1. Circular Polarising Filter (CPL)
    2. Graduated Neutral Density filter (GND)

    Why do we call these filters essential? Well simply because the effect of a polarising filter cannot be replicated in post-processing. On the other hand, a Graduated Neutral Density filter helps give your photograph the extra oomph. Let us discuss these filters and the need for them in more detail.

  • 3 warm drinks for winter trek in the Himalaya

    A trekker needs to drink liquids frequently and deliberately to avoid dehydration in winter. Water is required by your body to metabolise food, and thus to keep you warm and energetic.

  • Watch out for dislodged stones!

    This is a short yet important tip that I have received many a time from “ Gaddis” (nomadic shepherds) traversing the Indian Himalaya.

  • Mani Mahesh to Kalah Pass (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    The short 2.3-kilometre trail between Mani Mahesh and Kalah Pass is the best place to watch the sunset over Chamba Kailash. In the south, the landscape stretches endlessly till the Dhauladhars. A huge glacier and Kuja peak welcome the weary traveller in the east.

  • The Way movie review

    “You don’t choose a life. You live one.”

    When Daniel Avery asserts his belief right at the beginning of the film, one is ensnared by the tone of the film, right there at that precise moment. This simple truth behind the statement is pivotal to the entire journey of the film.

  • Hadsar to Mani Mahesh (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    Hadsar town has two distinct seasons, the pilgrimage season and the other season. During the pilgrimage season, a host of hotels, restaurants and shops spring up in town. It’s only a month after the Mani Mahesh pilgrimage that the town settles back to normal; the town slips back to its couple of tea shops and three times a day HRTC bus connection to Bharmour.

  • Hadsar to Mani Mahesh (Himachal Pradesh) trek diary

    “What happens when you put a few lakh people for 15 days near a pristine mountain lake… A clusterfuck of immense proportions.”

    Organised pilgrimage and cleanliness are hardly synonymous and this is evident on the Hadsar – Dhanchoo – Mani Mahesh trail. Plastic, human excrement and other odds and ends clog the Mani Mahesh trail and stream.

  • Surviving a lightning storm in the Himalaya

    These set of facts and tips are compiled from various websites on the internet. They were then discussed with employees of Indian Meteorological Service, New Delhi to validate their correctness. The purpose of this article is to educate a trekker about the dangers of a lightning storm in the Himalayas.

  • The best trekking GPS - Garmin Etrex 20x review

    Etrex is Garmin’s range of small, inexpensive, handheld GPS that run on AA batteries. The Etrex 20x sits between the monochrome Etrex10 and the Etrex 30x, which comes with more sensors. Launched in 2015, the Garmin ETrex 20x is an incremental update to Garmin’s acclaimed Etrex 20. The ‘x’ retains its predecessor’s form factor and size while improving aspects such as the display, available storage and GPS receiver. Is this the perfect GPS for the intrepid Indian hiker? Find out in the review below.

  • Modify a torch to a headlamp

    Published 03/12/2016 by Bharat Singh Bhadwal

    In our review of the Fenix LD09  we wrote

    You can install the provided belt clip backwards and use it as a headlamp by clipping it to your cap.

    We got a lot of emails demanding an explanation. So here’s how to convert your Fenix LD09 into a cap headlamp.

  • Fenix LD09 torch review

    As an outdoorsman, I’ve always been fascinated by knives and flashlights. When it comes to flashlights, I have owned a Maglite in the Pre-LED era. After LEDs arrived on the scene, my brand of choice has been Nightcore’s Tiny Monster or TM series.

  • Kangra to Chamba valley via Jalsu Pass (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    Jalsu pass is an outlier in the Dhauladhar mountain range . Most mountain passes in the Dhauladhars are craggy, slate covered with a steep and difficult approach. Jalsu Pass, on the other hand, is a lush green meadow with a gentle approach. Jalsu is also the westernmost pass in the Dhauladhars that connects Kangra with Chamba valley.

  • Jalsu Pass (Himachal Pradesh) Panorama Video

    Jalsu Pass Panorama

  • Jalsu Gothe to Laake Wali Mata (Himachal Pradesh) trek log part 3 of 3

    “When you wake up to see a goat taking a dump on the floor right next to your sleeping bag, the realisation sets in that probably this was not the best place to sleep.”

    Unfortunately, this was the sight I woke up to at Joginder’s shop in Jalsu Gothe.

  • Bakluddu to Jalsu Gothe over Jalsu Pass (Himachal Pradesh) trek log part 2 of 3

    This is part two of Jalsu Pass Trek Log. Read part 1 here.

    After yesterday’s night of revelry, I woke up to the sound of heavy thunder and lightning strikes rending the night skies. I thanked my stars I had a solid roof over my head as I ducked my head under my warm blankets in Krishan’s shop.

  • Utrala to Bakluddu trek log part 1 of 3

    It started to drizzle the moment I got off the bus at Utrala . The drizzle quickly turned into a lively torrent and I ducked furtively under a dhaba roof. Standing under the roof it occurred to me that “crossing Jalsu pass without being caught in rains is just next to impossible”.

  • Foot care tips for monsoon treks

    Most people don’t associate monsoons with appropriate trekking weather. Yet, fog and mist provide an enchanting interplay between clouds and mountains that makes even the most mundane trek that much more special. Yet, wet weather conditions take a heavy toll on your feet.

  • Kareri Lake Trek frequently asked questions

    For those interested in Kareri lake trek here’s a short Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) compilation. This FAQ sums up all questions that we received over email on this popular Dhauladhar trek.

  • Kareri village to Lake (Himachal Pradesh) Trek

    Kareri lake is elusive. I tried to reach Kareri lake in January last year, but I was forced to turn back at the first water crossing. It wasn’t the cold, snow or the trail difficulty that fazed me. It was a leopard.

  • Gallu temple to Guna Devi temple trek

    Guna temple is believed to have been built by Gaddis. Gaddis in Kangra District have immense faith in Goddess Kali and this is a temple they often visit before a trip over the Dhauladhars.

  • Two routes between Dharamkot & Gallu Temple (Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh)

    Gallu temple is the starting point for Triund , Guna temple and Durga temple (the best viewpoint over Mcleodganj) treks. Most people choose to use the motor-able road to walk up to Gallu temple. However, there is a shorter mule track that you can follow which cuts this distance by half.

  • A case for Decathlon Quechua Arpenaz 15 ultra-compact, waterproof backpack

    The recently launched 10 and 15 litre Quechua packs have been quickly dismissed by trekkers. Most of them feel that a 10 or 15-litre pack is so small that it has no real world application. Some trekkers even feel that these launches highlight Decathlon’s attempt to pander to the casual camper and hiker.

  • The best viewpoint in Mcleodganj (Himachal Pradesh). Durga Temple perched atop Gallu Temple ridge.

    Last week we visited what we reckon is the second best viewpoint over Mcleodganj . Today we share the best viewpoint over Mcleodganj with our readers. It is a moderate 1.2 km / 1.5-hour trek to this viewpoint but the views along this trail are dazzling.

  • Hi-Tec Alpha Trail Mid WP boot review

    Hi-Tec is not a brand most Indian trekkers are familiar with. Founded in 1974, Hi-Tec is a privately held company based in Netherlands with a presence in over 85 countries. They make shoes and boots for many sports disciplines including squash, golf, trekking and mountaineering.

  • The best viewpoints in Mcleodganj Runners up – Durga Temple and Tibetan prayer flags near Gallu Temple.

    “Are there places other than Triund with an equally good or perhaps a better view over Mcleodganj?”

    Mcleodganj plays its cards close to its chest and yet, our exploration and persistence paid off this summer. We discovered two spots which have the best view over the city, Kangra hills and the Dhauladhars. These are spots no-one will tell you about, yet they are a must visit if you’re in the neighbourhood.

  • Waterfall Cafe trek – A quiet and serene hike near Mcleodganj (Himachal Pradesh)

    “When I was walking in the mountains with the Japanese man and began to hear the water, he said, ‘What is the sound of the waterfall?’ ‘Silence,’ he finally told me” — Jack Gilbert, Collected Poems

    If you find Triund to be loud and boisterous this summer, we recommend taking a quiet trek to Waterfall Cafe. The Waterfall Cafe trek is a 2.5-kilometre / 1-hour easy trek with a waterfall and a tea shop at its terminus. You may extend the length and difficulty of this trek by following the waterfall rivulet, upstream.

  • Don’t turn a difficult situation into a survival situation

    Newspapers and social media are abuzz with the news of a 72-year-old woman (Ann Charon Rodgers) and her dog (Queenie) surviving in the Gila County wilderness for nine days before being rescued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety on Saturday (April 9th, 2016).

  • Predict weather patterns using clouds in the Himalaya

    Being able to forecast mountain weather is a crucial skill when travelling or living in mountainous terrain. Checking online weather forecasts before leaving shelter and carrying a portable radio on longer treks is always a good idea. Nevertheless, it is crucial to pay attention to clouds and rapid changes in air pressure while on the trail.

  • Infographic: Minimising trail impact while trekking in the Indian Himalaya

    Leave No Trace is my resolution for January 2016 . In this set of four short infographics, there are simple ways to minimise human impact on trekking trails. We owe cleaner trekking trails and nature to our fellow trekkers and the next generation.

  • 12 new year resolutions to be a better trekker

    Every new year I embark on a self improvement program that is promptly forgotten a month later. To get over this procrastination and ennui this year I’ve broken down my trekking resolutions into small monthly chunks. One month, one simple resolution feels like a right sized morsel for a fulfilling trek year ahead. You are welcome to follow these resolutions with me.

  • Chowari Jot to Dainkund (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    The Dainkund–Chowari Jot trek is an easy yet scenic day trek near Dalhousie and Chamba (H.P.). This trek follows a mule trail that links Chowari Jot near Chamba with Pholani Devi Temple at Dainkund.

  • Dainkund to Khajjiar (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    Dainkund to Khajjiar is an easy 3.5-kilometre walk. The trek starts from the Pholani Devi Temple at Dainkund and it ends at a road head 6 kilometres from Khajjiar on the Dalhousie-Khajjiar Road.

  • Dalhousie to Dainkund (Himachal Pradesh) trek

    An easy 4.5-kilometre day trek. Climb through a fir and deodar forest and walk along the Dainkund ridge. The mountain range to the North is exceptionally photogenic.

  • Failures, mistakes and lessons learnt while trekking in the Indian Himalayas

    “ There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them. ” — Tom Krause

  • Trekking trails in India need our help

    I am passionate about keeping our outdoors and trails litter-free. Studies show that people will pick up litter is if they witness someone else picking up litter. That is because peer group norms are a more powerful motivator than any other incentive. When reinforced constantly, peer group norms can result in behavioral changes.

  • Stair climbing to remain trek fit this winter

    With winter almost upon us, our repertoire of exercises shrivels up to a few choices. In North India winter is often accompanied with fog. This makes cycling or even driving to the gym a dangerous expedition. However, hope is still at hand. There is one simple exercise that will help you maintain your fitness around the year, especially though the lean winter months. This exercise does not require any training equipment, systems, and fad diets which is mostly the result of marketing rather than a genuine effort to reach higher levels of fitness and well-being.

  • An emergency kit for Himalayan treks

    It is imperative to prepare and carry an emergency kit when spending any amount of time, hiking or trekking in the Himalaya. However, it is important to remember that this kit works only in conjunction with the presence of mind. Remember! That your brain was and shall aways be the best survival tool.

  • Jia to Aadi Himani Chamunda Temple (Himachal Pradesh) Trek

    The Jia – Aadi Himani Chamunda is an easy 7.4-kilometre trek near Chamunda (H.P.). This trek involves a moderate yet relentless climb from Jia to the temple. Shelters, shops and solar lamps dot the trail. The trail itself is partially paved and it is clearly defined. The relatively gentle and clear trail does not involve any technical skills or any precarious drops; the temple complex provides a dormitory and bedding for an overnight stay. All these factors make this an extremely attractive trek to complete with children.

  • Foraged Himalayan rose hip tea

    The Girl Outdoor  recently shared a recipe for rose hip tea and I have been agog to try it out in the Indian Himalayas. Rose hips are the fruit of a rose tree and they grow wild in the Lower Indian Himalayas. After the rose flower has bloomed and all its petals fallen off, the fruit can be picked off. They ripen in autumn and are abundant between an altitude of 1700 to 2100 metres (5500 to 7000 feet).

  • Understanding hypothermia and avoiding it in the Himalaya

    “They considered their options and decided to follow the apparently less difficult trail, which obviously meant crossing the bone-chilling waters of the waist deep stream ahead. It was not before 1530 Hours that they crossed the river. The sky was overcast, the summit just within the reach but Pandit Ji just couldn’t wal…He tried to move out of the tent but his legs were frozen like wood. He felt exhausted and he just couldn’t get on his feet once he sank in his sleeping bag. Rijul prepared tea for him and massaged his legs mercilessly but that just wouldn’t work.”  Tarun Goel – What happened at Omasi La?

  • Chattargala pass to Sonbain Glacier (near Bhaderwah, J&K) trek

    Sonbain (elevation 3130 metres) is a glacier near Bhaderwah (Jammu & Kashmir). Whereas the approach to most glaciers is usually devoid of any vegetation; Sonbain glacier is a bit of an anomaly. The slope below the glacier is a natural flowerbed.

  • Clothes for a Himalayan trek

    Trekking is a simple and delightful activity. Trekking clothes, however, is a different story. The vast array of trekking clothing choices can be bewildering for a beginner. You don’t need to buy a new wardrobe before you hit the trail in the Himalayas, but you’ll need a few basics to stay safe and comfortable.

  • Bhaderwah Sarthal Bani Basohli (J&K) - India's best road-trip?

    Want a shot at one of the most beautiful road trips in India? The Bhaderwah-Bani-Basohli Road circuit is a “must do” for every avid trekker, motorcyclist, landscape photographer or nature lover.

  • Patnitop (J&K) to Sudh Mahadev temple trek

    Colossal vultures, a tiger decked temple, majestic peaks and mesmerising views. The trek from Patnitop to Sudh Mahadev is firmly etched in my memory for all these reasons. This moderately difficult trek connects Patnitop with a historical temple at Sudh Mahadev.

  • Patnitop (J&K) to Shivgarh Ridge Trek

    Have an urge to expend some pent-up energy or perhaps challenge yourself of a difficult trek around Patnitop? If yes, then look no further than this trek along Shivgarh ridge overlooking Patnitop. This ridge connects Patnitop woods with a meadow that lies on the Patnitop-Gaurikund trek route.

  • Boots or shoes for trekking in India?

    For most trekkers, it has been drilled into our heads that - “trekkers wear boots”. That’s just what you do. You require toughness, ankle support and water protection. Right? Let us dig deep into these reasons to try and find out if they still hold.

  • Patnitop (J&K) to Chorgala trek photos

    Shantigala and Chorgala (near Patnitop, J&K) trek photo gallery.

  • Patnitop (J&K) to Chorgala trek

    Chorgala and Shantigala are two lush green meadows and they are the best-kept secret on the Patnitop – Sanasar Road (J&K). Easily accessible via a short trek from Nathatop air force station, they make an ideal getaway for the entire family.

  • Patnitop (J&K) to Shankhpal temple trek

    Shankh Pal is the spiritual deity of the Lander region. A temple dedicated to this deity is located at the highest point on the Shankh Pal ridge. Situated at an altitude of 2,897 metres, the temple is a short trek from Sanasar.

  • Climbing Billo ki Powri near Patnitop (J&K)

    “Billo ki Powri” is a staircase of 270 steps carved in mountain stone. Towering over Kud town, these stairs bear an uncanny resemblance to the straight stair over Cirith Ungol that Tolkien writes about in his book, The Lord of the Rings.

  • Water filter for hiking - Lifestraw review

    A portable water filter is a self-contained unit that may be used by recreational enthusiasts, military personnel, survivalists, and others who must obtain drinking water from untreated sources (e.g., rivers, lakes, groundwater etc.).

  • Decathlon Quechua Forclaz 900 trekking trouser review

    Decathlon’s Quechua Forclaz 900 are a pair of lightweight trekking trousers for men. At Rs. 3,999 they may seem expensive, but these trousers will last a casual hiker over five years. Their durability makes them exceptional value for money.

  • How to attach an ice axe to a backpack

    On my winter treks, I have seen trekkers and even some guides carry their ice axe incorrectly. If packed incorrectly, an ice axe may puncture your hip with its sharp pick if you fall. This video shows the correct way to attach an ice axe to a backpack.

  • Decathlon Quechua Forclaz 50 speed backpack review

    Backpack manufacturers often seek to find a balance between durability and weight. Yet most Indian trekkers prefer durability over shaving weight, and the trekking gear that is available in India reflects this buying attitude.

  • Decathlon Kalenji Kapteren Crossover shoes review

    Decathlon’s Kapteren Crossover is a low cut, lightweight trail running shoe. Although similar to other trail-running shoes, these shoes are ruggedised - at the toe and sides.

  • Janjehli to Shikari Mata Temple (Himachal Pradesh) winter trek

    At 3342 metres, Shikari Mata is a roofless temple, dedicated to a hunting goddess. Legend has it, hunters used to worship the Goddess on the mountain for success in their hunt.

  • 8 winter trekking tips for the Indian Himalaya

    Despite its extra challenges winter trekking can be fun. For starters, the air is crisp and the visibility is better in winters. With fewer people out trekking, there is a far greater onus on serenity and self-reliance.

  • Kullu to Bijli Mahadev Temple (Himachal Pradesh) winter trek

    Bijli Mahadev is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. At an elevation of 2452 metres, the temple overlooks Parvati valley. This temple is unique because the ‘Shiva-Lingam’ in the temple is occasionally struck by lightning and it shatters into pieces. The acting priest then uses butter as an adhesive to put the lingam together.

  • Baagi village to Prashar Lake (Himachal Pradesh) winter trek

    Prashar Lake lies 50 km north of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India. Along the lake is a three-storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to sage Prashar. Built-in the thirteenth century, legend has it that the temple was built by a baby from a single tree.

  • Triund to Snowline Cafe (Himachal Pradesh) winter trek

    Snowline café is a small tea shop, 3 kilometres from Triund on the Triund – Indrahar Pass trail. Nestled on a ridge it has a panoramic view of Indrahar pass and the Dhauladhars. A well-marked yet narrow trail with a sheer drop leads to the café.

  • Mcleodganj to Triund (Himachal Pradesh) winter trek

    A winter trek to Triund is can be an easy or moderately difficult endeavour depending on the amount of snow that season. Triund is a 6-kilometre trek over a wide and well-marked trail. Nevertheless, a winter ascent comes with its share of challenges.