Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Moonless Night - A five sentence Fiction.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

The Moonless Night - A five sentence Fiction.

There towards the end of the marriage party lawn Kavya stood in glistening blood red surrounded by friends, dancing, laughing , hugging and chanting, all so innocent yet enticing. 

Giggling from there she turned and ran towards the stairs for our eyes to meet leaving me with a pleasant ache and follow her to the dark terrace despite the fact that I had left her with the broken heart at the airport, and moved to US to pursue my MBA three years back and never tried to know about her further.

The sky glittered with the uncountable stars in the dark moonless night and so did the thumps in the heart as I stretched my hand and switched on the light - thud - oh! my heart sank and I shouted as I saw her jumping from across the terrace.

I ran towards her screaming incoherently stating what I saw  to the crowd that had gathered from the party lawn by now.

Kavya! , but she died three years ago exactly the way you narrated, her friend Archana said from the back. 

Aditya Sinha

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Reflections from Adi - A to Z Challenge.

Reflections from Adi - A to Z Challenge.

A to Z challenge - I had seen the badge on some fellow bloggers but was never excited to know more about it. Nor was I excited enough when Sweta posted her theme and decision to take the challenge. However, I clicked the link and went to the page. There were so many participants. But it was a tough month for me with almost 20 days travel plan. There were some more blogs on A to Z like those of Shashank and Amita and I couldn't keep myself away. On the first April itself and took to write - Write for the whole month. Then instantly came the thought of a theme and I took the theme of travel with focus on Himalayan states Himachal & Uttranchal where I had spent two years a part. Thus, started the journey and you would be surprised to know Himachal had so much to offer that I didn't even touch Uttaranchal throughout the month. Blogging really is infectious ... you stay in touch and you would love to get addicted.

Thus started the month, some commitment some planning lot of surfing, lot of research, lot of reading and plethora of writing. I can't believe I could write all through though I went off by couple of days at times. What I could write is one part of it which naturally gives one the satisfaction, more fulfilling were the constant visit by some fellow friends and their constant comments. For any writer comment is breather and I am indebted to all visitors for their time and motivating comments. I would love to bestow my special  thanks to Archana, Sweta,  Indrani, Abhijit, Selfdrive, Yogi and all those whose visit kept me motivated to write more and more. Thanks a lot.

It was not only one way - writing and writing - but more fulfilling as it was a learning experience. I was overwhelmed by the variety of blogs that were available throughout. It almost touched all one can think of. There were fiction, reflection, article, poetry, travelogues, technical suggestions everything. I had gone through some of them. But now is the time... I would love to read more and more of them to learn more, know more writers and connect with more bloggers.

In the last I would like to thank the host of this challenge who had been so devoted to constantly be in touch and make this a real interesting episode. 

Just to add pls find below the link to all the 26 posts of A to Z challenge.

Dhauladhar in Moonlit Night

Church at McLeod Ganj
D : D for Dham  
Eco Tourism 
Fish Farming
Dalai Lama Temple
Hidimba Temple
Jakhoo Temple
Lahaul Museum
Manimahesh Lake

Masroor Tempol
Chirri Tika

Bajreshwari Devi Temple

Jwala ji




Kullu Dussehra



Mani Mahesh Yatra

Manali - Rohtang - Leh


Aditya Sinha

For other participants in the challenge visit : A to Z Challenge

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

X for 'Xtra in Himachal

This post is written for A to Z Challenge.

X for 'Xtra in Himachal

All through the 25 posts on Himachal I have tried to touch all possible aspects that a tourist can choose from while visiting Himachal. I have tried to list important pilgrim places, the new way of tourism, the sports, the driveways, churches, religion, people, jewellery, monasteries, Tibetan government, weekend tourist spots, lakes, yatras..... perhaps everything. Yet I have missed one - as that was not natural but more of Man - made Lake i.e. Pong Lake - the reservoir created due to the pong dam. This is 'xtra.

Pong Dam Lake 

Maharana Pratap Sagar Dam on River Beas in Kangra is also known as Pong Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake  and was created in 1975, by building the highest earthfill dam in wetland zone of the Siwalik Hills of the  kangra district of HP.the reservoir or the lake is a well-known wildlife sanctuary and one of the 25 international wetland sites declared in India.
Migratory Birds at Pong

The Pong Reservoir and Gobind Sagar Reservoir are the two most important fishing reservoirs in the Himalayan foothills HP. These reservoirs are the leading sources of fish within the Himalayan states.

It stands in the border of Punjab and Himachal and can be easily reached from Pathankot (32km) or Mukerian (30km). It is about 55 kms from Dharamshala and can be reached through Nagrota Surian or Jwali in Kangra. It is well connected by roads in these areas.

View in the evening
It has been declared as a bird sanctuary in 1983. Lacs of Migratory birds come to this area during the winters. The national, as well as international, significance of the sanctuary is enhanced because of its waterfowl diversity, which was evidenced by the increase of water fowl species from 39 prior to the reservoir to 54 species at post-reservoir stage. The number of birds reported, particularly during the winter period of November to March, has steadily increased over the years and is over lacs now. The main bird species seen here during winters are the barheaded goose, Anser indicus, northern lapwing, rudd shell duck, northern pintail, common teal, Spot billed duck, Eurasian Coot, Red necked Greebe, Black headed gulls, Black stork, water-fowl, egrets, Wagtails, Sand Larks, Pipits etc.

Birds at Pong

Its a budding tourists destination. There is also a regional water sports centre established in the Pong Dam Reservoir, which offers focused activities such as canoeing, rowing, sailing, and water skiing, apart from swimming. Training programmes are organized in water safety and rescue measures with three-tier water-sports courses are provided here.

Water Sports

With this I complete the A to Z challenge taking theme of travel in Himachal.

For other posts on Himachal written as part of A to Z Challenge  check - List of post on Himachal Pradesh written as part of A to Z challenge.

Aditya Sinha

For other participants in the challenge visit : A to Z Challenge

Z for Zenith of all travel routes - Manali - Leh - Ladakh drive

This post is written for A to Z Challenge.

Z for Zenith of all travel routes - Manali - Leh - Ladakh drive

Standing at Rohtang for onward journey - Leh 479 km

Memories of life time travel - it has to be the Leh Ladakh road trip. The colourful monasteries, steep curves, snow-topped peaks, double humped camels, burning sun, freezing winds and a destination that comes straight out of the world of fantasies. Ladakh shares its border with Pakistan in north west, China in north and Tibet in east. Khardungla pass in J&K is the highest motor able road of the world. Leh can be reached both ways from Srinagar in J&K and Manali in HP. 

Views enroute

The most adventures route is the Manali - Leh road from where one can descend to Srinagar and thus enjoy the entire panorama at its best. Photographers around the world wait for the Rohtang pass to open up its jaws for the road trip, that takes one through the steep curves of Keylong, followed by riverside camps amidst mountains at Jispa, and the beautiful roads of Baralacha La that leaves one spell bound by its beauty. 

Once in Leh, one should relax and let your body acclimatize to this sudden change of altitude. One should spend time here to visit to Nurbha valley to feel the White sand dunes and double humped camel rides.Another well known place is the color changing Pangong Tso lake located next to China border through Changla pass which leaves one awfully smitten by its beauty. This is the “3 idiot’s” lake.

Pangong Tso Lake 

A small village in the valley enroute to Keylong


Manali -Leh route: is about 534 km long, out of which 350 km is void of civilization. For 365 km on this highway, there is no fuel pump or ATM as well. Thus, travelling on this highway needs proper amount of planning. On this route and one can plan for night halt at Sarchu ( if wants to cover in two days or Keylong and Sarchu if in three days one way.


The route will cover Manali – Rohtang – Gramphu – Koksar – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La  – Bharatpur – Sarchu – Gata Loops – NakeeLa – Lachulung La – Pang - Tanglang La – Gya - Upshi - Karu – Leh

I have already discussed of the route and places of interest in Manali and up to Rohtang and then to Keylong while writing about these places in detail. From Keylong, Leh is 414 kms. 

Vegetable fields around Keylong


Manali to Sarchu is 226 Kms and covers Rohtang Pass (13050 ft), Lahaul Valley, Tandi, Keylong, Jispa, Darcha and Sarchu through Baralacha Pass(16020 ft). 
The river at Sissu


The second day is Sarchu to Leh about 307 Km. which moves through Nakeela and Lachangla Pass (16,617 ft.) Pang, Skyangchu Thang (Biggest and Highest Plateau on Earth on Stretch of 42 Kms), Tanglang La Pass (17,585ft) and Indus Valley and reach Leh by evening. There are Hotels there for night stay. 

Streams on the road

If one has time one can stay there for one or two days and enjoy visiting 1.  Leh to Lamayuru to Ule (160 Kms) to see Liker Monastery and Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, the breathtaking Moon landscapes and the Lamayuru monastery (Oldest Monastery in Ladakh). 2. Leh to Pangong Lake (320 Kms) – (14,500 ft), through Changla Pass 17,350 ft., third highest motorable road in the world.  Pangong is also  highest salt water Lake in the World, shared by two countries India & China. 3. Leh to Nubra Valley(120 Kms) via Khardungla (Highest Motorable road in the World,18,380 ft). to explore Deskit and Hunder Villages and enjoy camel Safari in Sand Dunes between Deskit and Hunder Village. 

Gata Loop


Leh to Sri Nagar : Srinagar-Leh Highway, also known as National Highway – 1D (NH – 1D), is 434 kms long. It is a lifeline in terms of road connectivity between Leh – Ladakh and other parts of India, en-route Kashmir Valley. This, one of the two ways to reach Ladakh, is a more reliable one than other: Leh- Manali. Along the highway flows the river Indus. On your way to Leh, you come across a number of passes, in which three of the important ones are Zozi La (3528 m), Namki La (3815 m) and Fotu La (4108 m). As we have come through Manali Leh route we can descend through this route to Srinagar. 

The Khardung Pass and World's highest road

On the Leh to Srinagar trip, one will visit beautiful villages, war memorial, Himalayan valleys, a mountain top Gurudwara, monasteries and many more exciting facts of Ladakh.

The route from Leh to Srinagar will cover Leh - Saspol - Lamayaru - Mulbek - Kargil - Drass - Zozi La - Sonmarg and Srinagar in J&K.

That's with Z .  So its complete . ..... No I left X in the way. As X is for 'Xtra which can not come before the end. So next is X.

For other posts on Himachal written as part of A to Z Challenge : List of post on Himachal Pradesh written as part of A to Z challenge.

Aditya Sinha

For other participants in the challenge visit : A to Z Challenge