Category: Mountains

Mountains, Nature

A Riverine Rote – Trekking in Sainj Valley

Trek to Raktisar, source of Sainj River, Great Himalayan National Park, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India

Mountains, Nature

On lichens…

There’s little that lichens can be likened to, for in the realms of science where order and categorization are the sanctified decrees, they tramp around like atheist in a papacy, a concoction of symbioses so abstruse that one is often flummoxed by the humility of their existence despite all the biological pomp beneath… Fungus, algae, …

Mountains, Nature

on mules…

One should stick to trails that aren’t suitable for mules, if a higher degree of isolation is what one seeks in the mountains… for where the beasts of burden can trudge, humanity eventually finds a way to carve out an abode, be it villages dotting valley floors or transhumance in the higher climes… while in …

Mountains, Nature

On blues of the blue sheep…

Himalayan Blue Sheep, Ladakh, J&K, India

Quite literally, the blue sheep lives on the edge… marvel many a folk at the sheer nonchalance of the caprid in the face of vertical walls… yet ‘tis a rather ironic quest for safety, for even the most exceptional climbing skills or large herd numbers fail to get them out of that twitchy demeanour – …

Mountains, Nature

on pine…

‘tis the season when pine burns, and we lament the colonial lumberjacks whose commercial legacies reverberate through the plumes of smoke afore the horizon, the natural transcends into the political and the tree is duly vilified… its canopy an invitation for the sun and cigarette butts to raise an inferno, its dry, acidic leaves a …

Art & Culture, History, Mountains

On royal animists… Sun Temple, Katarmal

Katarmal Sun Temple, Almora, Uttarakhand, India

A temple is a kernel around which settlements, permanent or temporary, are spun… across history and religions, they have laid the ground rules for civilizations, defined the contours of culture and cradled the arts… one might say it comes at a price though… an opacity of belief and conviction beyond which societies offer little incentive …

Art & Culture, Mountains

on water of the woods…

Naula, traditional water system, Uttarakhand, India

the way we mistreat water more or less defines the way we mistreat the gods, cleaving away the elements to deprive divinity of its roots and imprisoning it in a seclusion that can leave even the most devout stymied at times… yet one feels that this thought is more of an urban construct, as a …

Mountains, Nature

on gluttonous meadows…

Meadows of Devi ki Marhi in upper reaches of Kalihani River valley, Himachal Pradesh, India

come the cusp of rains receding into autumn, those mountain meadows are a sight to behold… while the rest of the senses are trying to figure out the nitty-gritty of navigating through the chaos beneath that seemingly innocent carpet of green… the outdoors from a macro perspective prefer dressing up conservatively for most part of …

Mountains, Nature

on avifauna and the mountain…

Common Hoopoe, the avifauna of Kumaun Himalayas, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India

what does the mountain seek from a bird?… music for one, since most of the other fauna seems too preoccupied with wrapping its mortality into complex layers of camouflage… the avifauna is smug, teasing the wayfarer into rummaging through the thickets for a glimpse of the song… simply on the dint of its ability to …