When we were on our way back from Ladakh after Stok Kangri’s successful summit, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and this beautiful old woman was the owner. She reminds me of Mother Teresa although I have never seen her. After our lunch we sat with her for almost half an hour and had discussion about her looks, family and when we were leaving asked to pose for this photograph.
Tag Archives: Photography
The eagerly anticipated second edition of Mahindra Adventure will take place in June 2012
India’s leading SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra’s second season of Mahindra Adventure will be held in June. This series that showcases the off-roading potential of Mahindra vehicles includes categories like Great Escape, challenges, Monastery Escape, Royal New Year Escape, besides three new adventures, viz, the 14-day Tri-Nation Escape that traverses Bhutan, India and Nepal, and the six-day Authentic Goa Escape and Wildlife Escape. Primarily designed for Mahindra vehicle owners, those who do not own one can also participate by paying a nominal fee.
The Great Escape participants can participate in an ‘Off-Roading Trophy’ later in the year.
“After the successful run of Mahindra Adventure Season 1, we are all geared to unveil the new season that promises even more thrills for the adventure seeker. The ‘Off-roading Trophy’ and international events make season 2 even more exciting and will go a long way in showcasing the tough and rugged capability of our range of vehicles,” said Vivek Nayer, Vice President, Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Mahindra Adventure has also featured in the motorsport arena. After roping in drivers Gaurav Gill and Lohitt Urs, it has also got 2012 Dakshin Dare Rally winner Sunny Sidhu on board. The team will compete in India’s most popular motorsport events including Mughal Rally, Raid de Himalaya and Desert Storm.
The company also unveiled ‘Get Lost’, India’s first online adventure magazine.
|July||Monsoon Challenge||South to West||July 19 – July 22|
|July – August||Monastery Escape Classic||North||July 26 – August 5|
North to East
|Sept 7 – Sept 9
Sept 15 – Sept 29
|November||Wild Escape||Central||Nov 16 – Nov 21|
|December – January||Royal Escape Classic||North||Dec 27 – Jan 1|
Great Escape Calendar
|June||Kottayam – GE 90||South||June 23|
|July||Mumbai – GE 91||West||July 7|
|August||Goa – GE 92
Chandigarh – GE 93
Saklespur – GE 94
|October||Kohima – GE 95||East||October 20|
|November||Jaipur – GE 96||North||November 24|
|December||Off Road Championship||Mumbai||December 7 to December 9|
|January||Kolkatta Challenge – GE 97
Hyderabad Challenge – GE 98
|February||Coimbatore Challenge – GE 99||South||February 3|
Pune 2012 Everest Team sets up the Everest Basecamp.
Himalayas are the youngest and tallest mountains on earth. Indian Himalayas spread from northern most part of India i.e. Jammu and Kashmir to Eastern most part Assam. The design or spread of Indian Himalayas makes them home to variety of flora and fauna. Northern most part is barren land and known as cold desert while eastern Himalayas receives highest rainfall and are kind of humid subtropical. The lower Himalayas called Shivaliks fall in the category of subtropical climatic zone.
Valley of Flowers trek is located in Chamoli Garhwal in the state of Uttarakhand, in NDBR region (Nanda Devi Bioshpere reserve). About 595 kilometres from Delhi, the altitude of valley of flowers Uttaranchal varies from 3,200 m to 6,600 m.
The stunning landscape of The Valley of Flowers National Park in northern India’s state of Uttarakhand, bordered by Nepal and Tibet, comes alive with the monsoon rain. This high-altitude Himalayan valley has around 300 different varieties of alpine flowers, which appear as a bright carpet of color against a mountainous snow capped background.
Here are the pictures from my last visit.
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Ladakh a barren, virtually rainless area is the most remote region of India. The defiance of its barren landscape, unique flora and fauna, birds, culture, clear blue skies and clean air has much more to offer than just a good holiday. Ladakh is also known as “The Moonland” and romantically as “the last Shangri La” where as Ladakh in Tibetan language means “The Land of Passes”
Ladakh is surrounded by world’s biggest mountain ranges, the Himalayan range and the Karakoram. These lay crossways two others Zanskar and Ladakh range. The main watercourse of Ladakh is Indus which penetrates India from Tibet at Demchok. The highest altitude you will find here is 7637 m. At this height, the air is thin and the heat of the sun is intensely felt. That is why it is said Ladakh is the only place on earth where you can get sunburn as well as frostbite at the same time.
Ladakh has a distinct alpine, floral and faunal variety. Several flowering plants, a dozen important mammals and over a hundred species of birds are found here in this rugged terrain. You are likely to spot marmots, mouse hares, stone martens, red foxes, wolves, ibex, bharal, chiru (Tibetan antelope famous for Shahtoosh), goa (Tibetan gazelle), lynx, pallas cat, kyamg and shapu.
The avid bird watcher can spend fruitful hours by observing Bactrian magpies, grey tits, chough, raven, sparrow, kite, kestrel, Turkoman rock pigeon, chukor, finches, buntings, larks, desert wheat eaters, a many more varieties of birds. Black necked crane, bar-headed geese, ducks and several other water birds breed near the lakes in thousands. The highest realm belongs to the birds of prey and carrion eaters. These include choughs, griffon vultures, ravens and lammergeiers (bearded vultures).
During the safari we cross through two famous high altitude passes i.e. Baralacha and Tag Lang La, which is also the second highest motorable road in the world. Crossing through various tiny villages and monasteries we stop at a few and explore. We visit the famous Tsokar lake which is also known as the “White Lake” because of the salt deposited around it. The local nomads collect this salt and sell it in Ladakh and Kashmir.
Nubra Valley is about 150 km north of Leh, the capital town of Ladakh, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La from Leh. Non-locals require an Inner Line Permit (obtainable in Leh town) to enter Nubra.
Pangong Tso: is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet.
The brackish water of the lake has very low micro-vegetation. Guides report that there are no fish or other aquatic life in the lake, except for some small crustaceans. On the other hand, visitors see numerous ducks and gulls over and on the lake surface. There are some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake.
The lake acts as an important breeding ground for a variety of birds including a number of migratory birds. During summer, the Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks are commonly seen here. The region around the lake supports a number of species of wildlife including the kiang and the Marmot.
Day 01: Manali to Sarchu
Today we start our journey to Leh stopping at Sarchu for a night. We cross Rohtang Pass (3978 m), Keylong (3350 m), Baralacha Pass (4890m) with overnight stopover at Sarchu (4253 m), border of the states of Himachal Pradesh (Lahaul) and Jammu & Kashmir (Ladakh). Photography workshop “Stop Shooting Auto” on basics of photography and how to do photography in high altitude areas. Upon arrival in Sarchu we will set up our camp for overnight stay.
Day 02: Sarchu to Leh
Leave for Leh by early morning, through Nakeela and Lachangla Pass 16,617 ft. Lunch at Pang. After Lunch drive to Leh passing through Skyangchu Thang (Biggest and Highest Plateau on Earth on Stretch of 42 Kms), Tanglang La Pass 17,585ft and Indus Valley. Upon arrival in leh you will be greeted by our CEOs (chief Experience Officers) meet our representative and check in at our Hotel.
Day 03: Leh to Pangong Lake
After an early breakfast we leave for Pangong Lake through Changla pass 5486 Mtrs. Pangong Lake, situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 m). A long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly six to seven kilometer at its widest point and over 130km long, it is bisected by the international border between India and China. Enjoy the landscape in the back drop of the Lake. Evening at leisure and overnight stay on the shore of Lake.
Day 04: Pangong Lake to Leh
Morning at leisure to explore the beauty of lake and later we drive back to leh enroute visiting Hemis Gompa, the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism, Thiksey an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village, Shey Palace, The ancient capital of Ladakh & Stok Palace Museum. Drive further to Leh and check in at our hotel for Overnight
Day 05: Drive to Nubra Valley
After an early breakfast we drive to Nubra Valley leads through Khardungla- Pass (the highest motorable road in the world) at 18,390 ft, around 39kms from Leh. Nubra Valley is popularly known as Ldorma or the valley of flowers. It is situated to the North of Ladakh between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of the Himalayas. Arrive Sumur or Hunder by afternoon and rest of the day at leisure to explore beautiful village of Sumur & Hunder with a Visit to Diskit Monastery. Overnight stay at Camp.
Day 06: Nubra Valley – Leh
After your breakfast at the camp, visit the Sand Dunes to enjoy a camel safari. Later we drive to Leh over Khardung La. Afternoon rest and relax or take a walk to the local market. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Leh
Post breakfast we drive towards Kargil road and start our sightseeing with Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by Indian army, Kali Mata Temple, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib Nestled deep in the Himalayas, which was built by the Lamas of Leh in 1517 to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak Dev. A drive of another 4 km took us to Magnetic Hill which defies the law of gravity. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up & further Driving through a picturesque landscape we reached the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar River 4 km before Nimmu village. And Visit to Basgo a certainly the most impressive of Ladakhi citadels despite its ruined state. After visiting above places we drive back to Hotel for Overnight Stay.
Day 8: Leh Depart Leh
Transfer to domestic airport to catch the flight for your onward destination, safari concludes.
Dates: 2nd June 2012 to 9th June 2012
Cost: INR 14,500 inclusive of taxes, no hidden charges, price is for Manali to Leh includes all breakfast, lunch and dinner.It does not include any sort of tips, personal drinks etc
Book your adventure by paying 70% amount in advance, remaining to be paid once you reach Manali. If for some reason you wish to cancel your trek before 30days full amount will be refunded no refunds after that.
Jai Govind Meena
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Escape to the natural wonders of Great Himalayas, just south of Manali, for an unforgettable experience. Hampta Passtrek is the beginners delight in every way easy access, dense pine forest, beautiful meadows, adrenaline pumping river crossings and a high altitude mountain pass called Hampta. It got its name from the Hampta village and shepherds and villagers used this pass to enter in Lahaul Spiti valley of Himachal. This was traditional alternative route between Lahaul and Kullu Valley before the road was made over Rohtang Pass.
Hampta Pass is a moderate trek with a scope of mixing lot of other adventure activities to suit varying duration and interest of trekkers. It start from the Prini village and takes us to the majestic foothills of The Great Hiamalayas, the Pir Panjal Range which is the largest range of the lower Himalayas. Over this trek one will see different hues of nature as you gain altitude from thick green pine forest to awe inspiring view of Mt. Deo Tibba and Mt.Indrasan and their snaking down glaciers to the barren landscape of Lahaul and Spiti valley.
The trail for the trek begins after you cross the hydel power project buildings, it takes you into the pine forest with occasional bunch of other trees like Maple, Walnut, Oak and Alder. After walking for sometime with a mild gradient you have to cross a beautiful nala over a wooden bridge can stop here for water and a photography break.
This trail leads to a open meadow with river Hampta flowing on one side, here you will get the first view of Deo Tibba and Indrasan. On the other side of river you will see beautiful rock faces and above those there lies the manali lake.
This meadow is called Chikka and is the Camp for the day. Chikka has lush green grass so you will find some sheeps or grazing there, nestled in between of rocky mountain face and pine and maple trees. On one side Rani River is flowing and few small ponds and nice and flat camping places. On top of that majestic views of snow clad mountains and evening might see the twinkling lights of Manali town from some spots.
You can do campfire here for that team work is required go into the forest and collect dry logs of wood in further camps no wood is available. After having pitched your tent, traverse the meadow, climb the hill for height gain and have bonfire with the hot fantastic dinner.
After the excellent quality sleep, be ready for the next destination Balu Ka Gera which is about 4-5 hours gradual ascent from Chikka. Have a heavy breakfast start your day with a small walk and then crossing the river over the huge logs put by shepherds.
Keep watching the Gendarme (mountaineering term which is a pinnacle of rock on a mountain ridge) right infront of you, keep walking on left bank of river. This entire walk will be through the rocks and boulders. On the way you will get some superb boulders to try your hands and hone your skills on bouldering. After few hours of walk you take a right turn and here come the thrill and chill the crossing of nullah. Take of your shoes and just take the plunge…no only knee depth only. The water is icy cold so don’t stay in water for too long. Now you are just halfway from your destination.
On one side you have superb rock face and river flowing beneath them and right in front of you valley full of snow and trees are left behind only small bushes. Walk along the river through boulder you will reach Balu ka Gera which means Heaps of Sand. This is flat ground with river flowing one side and a nice water stream just near the campsite. Its water will be used for drinking and for food. In the night from here you can try your hands on night photography of stars with snow clad mountains.
Next desination is Shea Goru after crossing the highest point of trekHamptaPass.
Todays trek would be moderately steep and then steep descent from the Hampta pass. While approaching the Hampta pass you can see some the wonders of mountains like Cornice formation, Glaciers and their snouts and of course snow along the way. Stay at Hampta for your lunch at an altitude of 14500ft and be ready to careful steep descent and wear your backpack in case you fall your backpack will save your back.
From top you will be able to see your campsite, it seems very near but it takes good two hours to reach there. Tall snow clad mountains surround you from three sides and the open side leads you to Sheagoru. Again you have the river flowing to your right. Choose a nice camp site close to the river and retire happily for the day after crossing HamptaPass.
The states in the North Eastern Region offer tremendous potential for various outdoor adventure activities viz. Mountaineering, Trekking and camping, Rock climbing and Rappelling, Jeep Safaris, Cultural Tours, Village Home stay, community tourism, Bird watching, Angling, water skiing, White Water Rafting, Canoeing, kayaking, etc.
Keeping this in mind a pilot project namedYouth to the Edge was launched on Monday 30 January, 2012 in a function held at Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi, by Paban Singh Ghatowar, Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).
The project is aimed to promote adventure activities in the remote areas of North East Region (NER). The volunteers from National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will participate in the adventure activities under the project.
Taking advantage of this potential, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, under the pilot project Youth to the Edge, proposes to promote adventure activities in the remote areas of North East Region, in which around 3000 youth (1500 from North Eastern Region + 1500 from other States) will participate in adventure and cultural activities.
On a trial basis, 03 trekking trails (02 in Arunachal & 01 in Nagaland) have been planned for the volunteers from National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The pilot scheme is being launched with the Motto Adventure to the Paradise Unexplored.
Under the Capacity Building of NER youth, they will be trained through the National Mountaineering Institutes and other adventure training organizations. After completion of the courses, they will get opportunity to work as escorts and guides on their own.
Following are the Trekking Trails details that will be covered under the pilot project:
Three Trekking Trails to be established in NER – Arunachal Pradesh–2, Nagaland-1
1500 Students from Rest of India to participate in 45 Camps of 6 days each.
250 Students from NER to participate with youth from Rest of India.
220 Students from NER to visit rest of India to participate in adventure camps.
22 Students from NER to undergo Skill Development Training at National Mountaineering Institutes.
Adventure Camps will channelize Youth Energy in positive direction, develop overall personality, enhance self confidence, endurance and team spirit, improve leadership qualities and promote National Integration.
The project involves an expenditure of Rs.2.87 crore. It will be funded by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region through North Eastern Council (NEC) and executed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports through National Service Scheme (NSS).