Bike Trip to Nubra Valley 

I have been lucky to get a chance to travel to Leh many times and being an explorer I have always been visiting new places. While I visited Manali earlier, I used to be curious to know how would things look after crossing Rohtang and this curiosity led to visiting Leh by crossing Rohtang. I got into similar state when I visited Leh and used to think how would things look after crossing Khardung La and the result of this was Nubra Valley.

I spent lot of time online trying to see things virtually and found two major things which helped me make my mind to visit Nubra. The first being below time-lapse of Diskit Monastery and second being the last Indian village named Turtuk which we took back from Pakistan in 1971. Per wikipedia It is the last major village where tourist activity is allowed before the Line of Control (LOC). This already sounds thrilling and thus the plan was made. The only challenge remaining was to convince by fellow hiking pals to add this to our schedule which they always agree to. 😛

Due to overwhelming tourism, it is no more difficult to find anything in Leh now-a-days and people are very supportive. Bike rentals are available everywhere however there are few Bike rental places which are well known. Also it is important to make a note that every bike rental place will quote a standard price per day but you can surely negotiate and bargain for better. Continue reading

Why backpacking is life changing!

Right from the moment we are born, we go through various phases in our life. Our parents start enriching our brain with basic things like brushing the teeth, using the toilet properly, greeting other when you meet. These things become part of our daily life, initially it may sound exciting to do these things but our mind is a beast and it needs to be fed with new things every now and then else it becomes useless. when you wake up at night to take a pee, even though you are half asleep still you already know which direction to walk to reach the toilet and back to bed. That is something which your brain can do without troubling itself. You may find this example as very basic.

Lets take a bigger example. When you start going to school in first grade, you already know that if you pass, you will be promoted to second grade and if you fail you will remain where you are. What this means precisely is your mind does not want to go through the same teaching for another year and eventually forces you to move on to the next level of new things which you may learn as you reach next grade and this cycle continues. Not to neglect that you are learning new things and becoming smart but still this whole exercise is again a monotonous cycle which you go through and you already know what will happen if pass or fail. If you pass you will be gifted with a bicycle and if you fail you will be cursed and made to feel miserable. Continue reading

How I Failed to reach Stok Kangri Summit!

As you go on reading this post, you will realize that there is nothing different which I am writing. Basic thumb rule of mountaineering is, “STICK TO THE BASICS” unless you are a gifted personality.

Below is my journey of not making till the Stok Kangri Summit and trust me it has boosted my confidence even more.

The dream to summit Stok Kangri (6153m) was seeded after my last years trek to SarPass. When I think about why I chose Stok Kangri, it was somewhere mentioned as “India’s Highest non technical trekkable Destination”. That was enough to boost the morale to dream big about reaching new heights.

Most of my earlier treks have been in Himachal region and I was completely unaware of Leh and Laddakh. Indeed its a beauty which is near to heaven and no one can take away the pride that its part of my country. Scenic panorama and barren mountains laden with snow.

Generally this trek is around 5-7 days of an expedition. In case if you are flying in to Leh then it is mandatory that you acclimatize with the terrain for two days so that your mind and body gets used to cold, thin air and frequent headaches. In case if you had a frostbite anytime in the past which you may have forgotten, this is the place where it will remind you of that. If you are reaching Leh by road then one day of acclimatization is enough since you have gradually gained the height however the above mentioned symptoms still remain and may affect you slowly.
**Note: The above is applicable only for individuals with decent level of fitness and I assume when you think about Stok Kangri, you already know it is for tough guns!
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Mountaineering Expedition to SarPass, a journey of Lifetime – Part I

It all started in late June 2013 while coming back from the Mountain Biking Expedition to Jalori Pass when Prashant,Shiv and myself were discussing about going for some tough treks organized by YHAI and we had few option like Sarkundi,SarPass and Chandrakhani, we finalized on SarPass due to snow factor. Soon after reaching home a WhatsApp group was created as “MB-21 Jalori Pass” which later I changed to “SarPass-2014” to get the ball rolling and create interest in people.

The discussion started on and chunk of us agreed to be a part of it. As the booking period started, the realistic figure came down to five of us namely Ananth,Ankit,Ranjith,Vishal and Me. 😦
We decided to carefully choose the right dates and plan the expedition which was going to be of 11 days so that we can utilize 2 working weeks. We chose the batch which started from Monday the 5th May 2014 and would end on 11th May. Also the other benefit was that it was only 29 People Batch hence less clutter more fun. We had few days buffer hence we further planned for Bungee Jumping and river rafting @ Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.
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Bannerghatta National Park – Bangalore (Review)

I was looking out for a small getaway on the weekend and after lot of hunting on the web realized that I have covered most of the nearby places. Finally I gave up and cancelled the plan.

Later on Saturday morning realized how boring it was to be at home doing nothing and that’s when I decided to go for a small trip to Bannerghatta National Park. The reason for avoiding this was coz the place is fairly small to be called as “National Park”.

Checked the directions and distance (Approx 20KM’s from City) on Google map and also their official website for any important information. (The website has been down most of the times, one of the reasons for avoiding to visit the place). They Operate from 09:30 AM to 05:30PM Daily except Tuesday. If you want to avoid long queues and scotching sun then better reach early in the morning and things move really fast.
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Mountain Biking expedition to Jalori Pass

Sometimes even in our so-called very busy schedule, a small tickle of change which you let in can make a lot of difference. For me it was one of my friends asking me to join him for a cycling expedition. My first reaction to him for the moment was, “Dude let me check my leave balance and upcoming schedule”. As the saying goes when its right, ITS RIGHT!!!

PS: This is a long travelogue of sort and I hope you will enjoy it as I try to pour my heart and mind in it. 🙂

Being an IT professional and to the best of my so-called googling skills, I started exploring the expedition through Google which showed be beautiful pictures of great Himalayan ranges and tall trees surrounded all over. In reality I had never visited such place and I was completely amazed with the virtual tour already.
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