Category: Mountains

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 …

Mountains

on mountains and seclusion…

Cloudy sunset from mountains near Asurbag Top, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India

mountains make their own weather, goes the old adage… what it forgets to mention is that they keep it too… only letting the last vestiges of moisture tumble downstream… in a fiefdom determined by relief, the environs are pristine and breathtaking… yet they exact a price, these pinnacles, for bestowing one with the true liberation …

Art & Culture, Mountains

on dilemmas of divinity — the prayer flag

prayer flag enroute Stok Kangri peak (~6,100 mts), Jammu & Kashmir, India

surprisingly ubiquitous — that’d be how one could sum up the modern day prayer flag, an instrument of purification turned into a static, decorative artefact by the forces of internet and the travel it has induced over the past couple of decades… a codification of beliefs residing in animism mass retailing on Alibaba for half …

Mountains

on undefined yearns…

Moraine filled mountains near Pangarchulla (~4,400 mts), Uttarakhand, India

the sense of expansiveness brings about a longing… a desire to partake in all but not knowing what in… one yearns for a past built upon the corrected plinths of the present… the mountain becomes more a curtain than a barrier, never refusing a passage but strongly suggestive of moving on…  the elements become a …

Mountains

the man in mist…

afternoon mist at the base of Thamsar Pass, Bada Bhangal Trek, Himachal Pradesh, India

A feeling of sadness and longing that is not akin to pain, and resembles sorrow only as the mist resembles the rain. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow it starts with a feeling of vacuum, this vicissitude, as the valleys fill up with mist… the vapour dances on the grass and bounces off the rocks as a …

Mountains

the woods o’ winter…

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again’. -Lewis Carroll the woods of winter are an exercise in a patient build …

Mountains

on befuddled trudges…

Trek to Rakhundi top, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India

the pull of snow is a bemusing affair to say the least… while ‘tis a charmingly uniform perspective on a canvas that is generally a palette of myriad contrasts, looks tend to be deceiving when it comes to the actual traverse… not surprising considering that ‘tis a progeny of the winter where the sun shines brighter …