Friday, 9 December 2011

Hogennakal Waterfalls – Beyond Bliss...

This is one place that you should never miss… especially if you are on either side of the border… Across the Tamil Nadu / Karnataka Border, you can go and visit this place… Beautiful falls where many movies have shot their panoramic scenes, Roja for one… Remember Dil Hain Chotta Sa??
To get there I rose early in the morning and decided to head towards Hogennakal. The best way to reach there is to catch a direct bus from Salem Bus station; else you also have an option of going to Dharmapuri and from there to Hogennakalu.

P.S It’s also the place where Veerappan used to dwell somewhere in the deep jungles near the Karnataka & Tamil Nadu Border…
My early morning breakfast, where I ate a really amazing double dosa & some Malabari Parota with Kadala Curry :) Yes I was that hungry.

 Ramesh Anna, preparing hot Dosas...

While I was doing that, this guy 'Ramesh Anna' was like a ‘Masterchef’ dishing out some Malabari Parota… He was so quick in making them that you would just awe at the whole experience…

    Malabari Parota in the Making

                                        Malabari Parota & Kadala Curry

 First up was the visit to the Aquarium, right near the Bus Stand… This is quite a place before you get to the waterfalls. A must visit as soon as you reach Hogennakal,  after about a 3 hours ride on the bus from Salem which, by the way just costs Rs.  26, thanks to the truly inexpensive and amazing Tamil Nadu State Transportation :)
                                                                          Tiger Shark
                                            Gold Fish

Next up is the Crocodile Park & Rehabilitation centre. This is one thing you have got to visit… You can see the crocodiles up close and personal, is a completely different experience… A lot of them are severely injured… Of course, due to fights amongst themselves. But the real fear of this animal strikes you in the eye… even though they are lazy and slow, they are some creatures not to mess with… P.S Entry to this centre is Rs. 1. 1 Km from Bus stand…

Crocodile Park & Rehabilitation Centre
Once you are done with the crocodile park, head straight to the Main falls… On the way, you can take a few pics of scenic falls, but really, don’t bother as you will get great views when you go down and take a ride in the single oar boat… They also serve cold drinks and chips on other boats around you.. :)
                                             Hogennakal Waterfalls
                                                              The Waterfalls up-close & personal

All in all, this experience is certainly a must do if you want to relish the beautiful serene waterfalls along with some natural beauty around the waterfalls. If you are a nature lover then you will certainly enjoy this trip.

Srinivas Kulkarni

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Discount! Discount! Discount!

As a thank you to all you lovely people
a 5% discount 
at select destinations this holiday season
or call +91 9900 193 873

Monday, 28 November 2011

We are hiring!

We are looking for a Marketing & Sales Lead.

“Travel Another India is in the business of providing a unique experience to discerning clients exploring another India, rich in diversity, of cultures, cuisines and comforts, while enriching lives along roads less travelled.”

We promote Responsible Tourism with travellers and hosts through supporting village communities set up Responsible Tourism Ventures (RTV). We support on sensitising on Responsible Tourism, planning the experience, bringing in technical and financial resources, reaching out to guests, ensuring appropriate capacity building, facilitating learning across RTVs and identifying allied livelihoods that can be enhanced. (

Marketing & Sales Lead – Travel Another India

The position is based in one of the metros – Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai reporting to the CEO.

-          Understands Responsible Tourism
-          Two years experience in marketing of services
-          Good understanding and experience of online marketing
-          Has travelled extensively in India beyond home state
-          Willing to travel 15 days in a month (not always comfortably)
-          Fluent in reading, writing and speaking English and Hindi and speaking in one other Indian language
-          Willing to think out of the box
-          Not afraid to dirty one’s hands

Job Description
-       Finalise the Marketing Strategy for next three years (keeping in mind that TAI is a start-up company with a limited budget) and implement it
-       Prepare a marketing strategy for each destination as it is set up
-       Work with the Destinations Managers to implement these strategies
-       Put together a network of green tour operators, travel agents and holiday planners across India
-       Develop online presence
-       Getting each destination on to various websites and guide books
-       Preparing a profile of guests by analysing existing data on guests and keeping this profile updated
-       Ensuring the newsletter goes out every two months
-       Co-ordinate with travel writers

Outputs will be mutually agreed upon within a month of joining and will be very specific related to the room nights sold.

There will be a fixed gross salary of Rs.30,000 per month and an incentive related to performance that will bring in a maximum of Rs.20,000 per month.

If interested, please go through our website and write back to me with a one-page note on how you see yourself marketing TAI and its destinations over the next year and what resources you would need for that.

Short-listed candidates will be informed within a week of receiving the application and a mutually accepted interview date will be set over the next week.


We are looking for a Destinations Manager.
The work will be upto 6 days per Responsible Tourism Venture per month.
Provide support to the Responsible Tourism Venture
·         Ensure maintenance of standards in accommodation
o   in food
·         Ensure high hygiene standards
·         Identify need for training and organise it
·         Constantly update the “experience”
·         Work out and implement marketing strategy (both online and offline)
·         Go over the accounts during each visit
·         Maintain guest database
·         Obtain and share guest feedback
·         Ensure participation of the Tourism Committee or principal owners
·         Represent Travel Another India at Venture
·         Other activities as they arise
  • Understands Responsible Tourism
  • Passionate about travel in all seasons
  • Has travelled extensively in India beyond home state
  • Has at least six months experience working with a rural community
  • Willing to travel 15 days in a month (not always comfortably)
  • Fluent in reading, writing and speaking English and in one other Indian language (excluding Hindi)
  • Can write well in English
  • Ability to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Willing to think outside the box
  • Not afraid to dirty one’s hands

Outputs will be mutually agreed upon within two months of joining and will be very specific.

There will be a fixed gross salary of Rs.20,000 per month and an incentive related to performance that will bring in a maximum of Rs.10,000 per month.

If interested, please go through our website and write back to me with a one-page note on how you see yourself working with any one destination on the website over the next year and what resources you would need for that.

Short-listed candidates will be informed within a week of receiving the application and a mutually accepted interview date will be set over the next week.


Monday, 21 November 2011

Chanderi Ka Chand

For the coming full moon weekend, Travel Another India invites you to Pranpur, a beautiful village with clean cobbled streets and colourful houses. The"click-clack" music from the weavers' loom will welcome you as you enter the village. You'll be amazed at the intricacy of the art. You'll visit Babu Da's place - to make some pots. It looks easy until you give it a try, but it's great fun to say the least!

Stay with us at the Amraee guest house in Pranpur, set beautifully amidst a mango orchard. Amraee, which stands for Am (mangoes) and Raee (Bundelkhandi folk dance), is owned and managed by the residents of Pranpur village. The guest house is built in traditional Bundelkhandi architectural style, but with no compromise on comfort.

Did we tell you we'll be driving up to Chanderi fort to see the full moon?

Chanderi and the sari are synonymous till you get there. Then you discover history in a way no book ever taught you. You can explore Chanderi and all its history, wander in the village where time stands still, ride on a bullock cart and sit by one of the ponds nearby to relax all your taut muscles... or just unwind and relax at Amraee with a book :)

When: 10-11 December, 2011.
Where: Pranpur, Madhya Pradesh. Our trip is Ex-Lalitpur.
How much: Rs 2800 / person, inclusive of accommodation, food and travel for 2 days.
Booking: RSVP here with your contact details, email us at, or call us at +91 88602 23456 or +91 9900 193 873

Goa for Art Lovers!

Calling all art lovers! This November, artist Shan Re will exhibit recent paintings in the Goa beyond the beaches, set in an old, lovingly restored Portuguese house - Arco Iris. Will you be there? 

As always, email us at for more details :) 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Rann Utsav 2011 - Join us!

This December, Travel Another India & IndiaOffroads invite you to an incredibly Indian getaway at the White Rann of Kutch. Imagine a flat expanse of land, with nothing around as far as your eyes can see, covered with a solid layer of salt that you could easily mistake for snow. Imagine the colors, music and dances of Kutch come alive at the Rann Utsav, on a night that’s only lit by a full moon, reflected by the salt below, with more stars than you’ve ever seen. Kutch is perhaps India’s most ecologically and ethnically diverse regions, and at the Rann Utsav, we celebrate this diversity.

Rann Utsav. Photo credit: Chitra Shastry.
Stay with us at the Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort in Hodka, which taught and inspired our co-founder Gouthami to set up Travel Another India. Shaam-e-Sarhad, meaning Sunset at the Border, is completely owned and managed by the residents of Hodka Village in Northern Kutch. The resort is designed in local mud architectural style, as the twelfth hamlet of Hodka. You’ll be charmed by the Kutchi hospitality and impressed with their myriad forms of Kutchi crafts. The White Rann will be at your doorstep from here, and you’ll fall in love with another India, serenaded by the music of Hodka. 

Shaam-e-Sarhad Resort, Hodka.

When: 9-12 December, 2011.

Where: Gujarat. This trip is Ex-Ahmedabad.
How much: Rs 13,000 / person, inclusive of accommodation & food for 3 days.
Early Bird Special: 5% off on all bookings in October.
To reserve your spot or get more details, RSVP here with your contact details,
email us at
or call us at +91 9811 442 927 or +91 9900 193 873.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Scarecrow Festival 2011 - Oct 15-16

Ever fancied building a Scarecrow for a farmer’s field? 

As the crops start ripening this season, we invite you to gift something unique to our farmers – a Scarecrow! Let your creative juices flow, team up with your family, friends & kids, and participate in a one-of-a-kind Scarecrow Festival at Ecogrid this weekend.  

When: Saturday & Sunday, 15th - 16th October 2011.
Where: Ecogrid, a back-to-nature getaway located between Bombay & Pune.

How much: Rs. 3,000 per adult & Rs. 2,000 per child, inclusive of accommodation & food for the weekend.

We'll provide you with bamboo & coir rope to make the frame of your Scarecrow, while you can dig for artistic things in your storeroom to decorate it. The three most artistic and strong-standing Scarecrows will also win a prize. What better way to fill the lull between the Dussehra & Diwali festivities?
For more information or to reserve your place, please email us at

See you there :)

Pichavaram: Of Mangroves & Oysters.

Written by Guest Blogger, Kalyan Emandi.

Pichavaram has the only Mangroves which were untouched and undisturbed by the tsunami. I had never heard of this place before and it was never on my list to visit. A friend asked me to visit it as it was on the way. Till then, I had only seen Mangroves on Discovery or National Geographic channels, so on hearing this, I was delighted and made up my mind. 'Do not hire a motorboat hire a boat with oars' and 'do pay the guide a bit extra' were the two most important suggestions I got from him.

I reached Pichavaram at about 8:30 am and purchased a ticket and hired a boat. Within a few minutes, I saw two women in the water, they were moving gradually as if they were searching for something. On asking, the guide said they were catching shrimp/prawns by hand! The second surprise was that the water was only two-three feet deep.

The next 15 minutes I was just out of words as ours was the only boat and the entire area was absolutely serene. We moved into the denser parts of the Mangroves, where the passage turns to be pretty narrow and the boat is rowed by a single oar. This is the most beautiful part of the entire boat trip; 
you will be taken to a small cave like opening and through numerous man made and natural canals through mangroves. Crabs are visible almost everywhere and if you like Oysters, you could just pick them anywhere (please don't though)!

If I had hired a Motor boat I would have paid a larger sum and would never have been able to see the narrow canals, so remember, absolutely no motorboats. The place is quite humid, so I was sweating in no time. I did a bit of rowing myself and the entire trip took around two and a half hours. I was absolutely thrilled and content after the boat trip; I loaded my bike with luggage and headed towards Chidambaram to continue my journey to Kanyakumari.

Getting there: Pichavaram is a small village 60km from Pondicherry, towards Chidambaram; January would be an ideal time to visit as a lot of migratory birds would make it their home. The best way to reach there would be by a two wheeler from Pondi, you can hire a taxi as well. A decent bike is about 150-200 rupees/day. A minimum of 3-4 hours is required to complete the boat trip. Do remember to pay your guide an extra fee to get into the dense mangrove areas where the real excitement lies.

About the author: My name is Kalyan Emandi - a chef, traveler and biker. I'm a civil engineer from Visakhapatnam and a management graduate from Europe, currently working in the Middle East for a living. Recently, I concluded a 3300km bike trip from Visakhapatnam to Kanyakumari and back. I am obsessed with traveling in India and will continue to be thrilled by its beauty and chaos.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Varkala: The Cliff Over the Beach.

Written by Guest Blogger, Raj Niranjan Das. 

Varkala has been on my travel list for a long time, and a two day break was apt for me to head to the small fishing hamlet.

It being in the southern part of Kerala, traveling from Bangalore was indeed a long journey. 14 hours was quite a bit of time but the excitement grew as I got down at Kallambalam. It is a deviation of around 10 kms from this point off the NH 47 to Varkala. This is approximately 45 kms before you touch Kerala's capital, Thiruvananthapuram.

The auto rickshaws will drop you near the helipad from where you can see the clear blue sea. The south cliff is towards the left where you have a couple of resorts. However all "action" happens on the north cliff which is towards the right of the helipad. I would recommend that any tourist who wants to be in the middle of activities, should head for the north cliff rather than the south.

To be frank I have not seen so many foreign tourists at one single place as I saw in Varkala. You hardly find any Indians other than the locals who run the shops and the restaurants. Being February, I could feel the heat slowly catching up. The best time to visit Varkala, in fact, would be September to January.

The cliff is a long stretch of about a kilometer and a half with the sea on one side and the shops & restaurants on the other. The shopkeepers lure you with all sots of arts & crafts which you can carry back home. Everything from woodworks, bangles, chains to apparels can be purchased from here. I ended up entering almost all the shops before settling down on a small rudraksh for my wrist. 

Do not expect the markets to shut down with the sunset as the night life is simply amazing, and it goes on till midnight (Bengaluru needs to learn a thing or two from Varkala). All the shops remain open and the restaurants display their fresh catch for the day to tempt the tourists in the evenings. Drinking beer and having the sea breeze hit my face in the dark of the night, with some music in the background, gave me a high which no cocktail has ever given till date. The restaurants are quite expensive but never restrict yourself from exploring the delicious sea food. They do have live bands and they keep playing and dancing till midnight.

Rarely do you find a cliff next to a beach, but Varkala is where you can say, YES...its right here. From the top of the cliff, steps take you down to the clear blue waters. Must appreciate the authorities for the way they have maintained the beach. It is the most well kept beach that I have ever been to. The waters are not very deep for about 100 meters. However the tides are quite strong. The tourists frolic on the beach from the morning. I found people doing yoga, practicing karate, taking a sun bath, jogging etc. I actually found many just playing with the tides the whole day. With safe guards always roaming around, tourists found it all the more safe.

The sunset view from the top of the cliff is one of the best you can ever see.
This is one place you should go to if you want to just laze around. The feel of going back home would never be there. I just did not feel like leaving the clear blue waters & the fine sand. This is the best beach I have been to and for the sheer beauty of the place, I will go back again for a longer vacation. 

About the Author:
Raj Niranjan Das is passionate about travel. Be it long bike rides or treacherous trekking or leisure holidaying or backpacking through the countryside or an engrossing train journey, he loves to do anything and everything that involves travel. He dreams of setting foot on every single country on Planet Earth and meeting friendly strangers, learning new tongue twister languages, tasting mouth watering food, studying vibrant cultures and exploring exotic places. Visit his blog at

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pranpur: the India that rejoices in its crafts

As we drive into the heart of India, dubbed Madhya Pradesh, I awake my sleepy self to the sight of the Betwa River, a beautiful expanse of clear water vigorously flowing through a dam. I am suddenly kicked about venturing into an India that is far off the tourist circuit; Spiti & Hegdenagar feel like a long time ago.

My notion that this landlocked state will be devoid of much greenery is dispelled ten minutes past the Uttar Pradesh border. We cross large plots of land growing their own wilderness, and Pranpur, a little village just south of Jhansi, throws us a cozy green welcome. I immediately delight in the absence of crowds, and the pace of passers-by. Unlike other rural parts of India I’ve been to, however, the locals do not seem inquisitive about seeing us walk their streets. That is not to say that they are not welcoming; each time we try to peep inside a village hut, we get invited in and offered tea & food.
Read the rest of the article here:

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Discovering Koraput...again!

Kamakhya Das writes in about his experience in Koraput, Orissa along with the Travel Another India team. Read on and get tantalized about this slice of 'another' India...   

I am sure most of you who are reading this piece would be hearing about Koraput for the first time. Having grown up in this hilly town and its beautiful greens, there’s something magnetic which brings me back to Koraput again and again. Everytime I visit Koraput it looks more beautiful and fresh. Having lived the fast paced life of Mumbai for almost a decade now, no one can feel the contrast more than me. The pace of life is distinctly different and sometimes it feels like two different worlds.

I visited Koraput early June this year and I deliberately did it like a tourist rather than someone who is very much a part of it. I will try to remain as unbiased in sharing my experience as I can be, however if you wish to validate what I am saying… you need to plan a trip.. and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with what you will see and experience.

As you travel from Vishakhapatnam to Koraput, you can feel a distinct change in temperature. Once you hit Odisha border on your way from Vishakhapatnam to Koraput, you can see Deomali ranges of mountains along your way with beautiful greenery and landscape. The whole approach of looking at Koraput changed this time as I was travelling with Gouthami from Travel Another India, who with her loads of experience as a traveler made me look at things which I have been missing all these years.

Deomali ranges of mountains on my way from Vishakhapatnam to Koraput.

After resting overnight, I along with my brother, sister-in-law and Mr Sujay Pradhan who is a coffee estate owner and a close associate took Gouthami on a trail of a beautiful pine forest just two kilometers from Koraput. Apart from the serene environment with chirruping birds, the peace and tranquility was just overpowering, a real privilege when compared with the mad rush at Mumbai which is a part of my daily routine.

On a morning trail at the pine forest in Koraput.

A beautiful silver eucalyptus tree at with pine trees in the background at the pine forest in Koraput.

When early June is associated with mercury at its peak for most of India and rest of Odisha, the weather at Koraput as usual was a pleasure for me and a pleasant surprise for Gouthami. Without fail, it rained during the afternoon almost all the days we were in Koraput and the unexpected cool just kept all of us on to explore or re-explore as much of Koraput as we could.

It was then time for all of us as hosts to give Gouthami a flair and feel of Tribal Koraput, the real Koraput of which all of us are proud to be associated with. After a thirty minutes drive we reached the tribal village of Kindiriguda around 25 kms away from Koraput. Gouthami was welcomed by the villagers with the tribal dance “Dhemsa”. All of us spent sometime in the village, went to the coffee forest developed by the villagers, had a brief mango eating session and then started on our way to the coffee estate of Mr Pradhan.

Kindriguda tribals welcoming all of us with traditional tribal dance “Dhemsa”

It was then time for all of us to visit Mr Pradhan’s coffee estate and fruit orchard. It was a virtual discovery for all of us seeing the lush green coffee estate with spices grown between coffee plants. After all how often do we get an opportunity to see coffee, black pepper and other spices in their natural state on a plant. We also enjoyed our session of plucking and eating lychee, one of the sweetest lychees I have ever had.

A coffee estate in Koraput under the afternoon rain.

Lychee in the orchard of Mr Pradhan bringing out some smiles

Following a hectic day at a tribal village and Mr Pradhan’s coffee estate we all retired back to Koraput. The following day we went on a journey along the Kolab reservoir with some extraordinary and unforgettable scenery along the way. With the Odisha Government allowing motor boats to take tourists on this trail, this is one journey which will be there in my memory for long and I must say that this lake along with beautiful deomali range and the pleasant weather makes Koraput the perfect hill station to explore.

 The Kolab reservoir (Lake) in Koraput.

During the boat trail at Kolab reservoir we also hopped into a stretch of land along the lake where a beautiful Aurobindo ashram is being built. As we walked up one of the hillocks we could see some ancient Jain statues lying in abandon which local tribals have mistaken as gods and goddesses.

Statues of ancient Jain tirthankars mistaken as gods and goddesses by tribals

After returning from Kolab reservoir we went on short trip to the tribal museum at Koarput which beautifully captures the rich tribal culture and tradition of Koraput. It was time for Gouthami to leave Koraput with some beautiful memories and I could only thank her for visiting Koraput and showing me the way to rediscover this place blessed with some extraordinary natural beauty. The next few days were equally interesting for me as I had set on a trail to meet some artisans with rare artistic talent. My first trip was to a village near Kotpad where the entire village is engaged in terracotta work and you need to visit it to see their skill. 

Terra cotta work by tribals of Koraput.

I followed it up with a trip to Nabarangpur where there are only few families left who are into a rare lac work with hundreds of years of history which is on the verge of extinction due to financial non viability. These are among some of the most beautiful handicrafts I have come across and it would be shame if we can’t save it.

Kalash made up of lac by artisans of Nabarangpur near Koraput

Lac box made by artisans of Nabargpur near Koraput which can be used as a jewellery box or a sweet box

Koraput is a strong amalgamation of natural beauty, art and culture. You have to visit Koraput to know. 

Some information about Koraput: The town of Koraput is around 3000ft above sea level situated in the southern part of Odisha. Nearest airport from Koraput is Vishakhapatnam and it takes roughly 4.5 hours by road from Vishakhapatnam to Koraput connected directly by national highway (NH43). You can reach there by train directly from Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata.

Interested in visiting Koraput? You can reach the writer Kamakhya at or for more information visit:

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Spiti Valley: 10 experiences that’ll take your breath away

Climb with me to the mountains on the roof of the world. I’ll walk you by gushing rivers. I’ll show you curious summits staring starry skies. I’ll float you to the depths of ancient seas. I’ll take you to the world’s highest inhabited villages. I’ll enchant you with blue streams in deep gorges.
Won’t you come with me on a journey through Spiti, the most breathtaking valley in the north of India?
1. Mountain ropeway at Chichum.
This is literally breath-taking. As an alternative to the long uphill walk from the village of Kibber to Chichum, the locals built an ingenious ropeway between two mountain peaks, over a deep gorge. The small open box on the pulley is used to transport men, cattle and raw materials, has no weight limits, and can’t be kind to your shoulders, though if you’re lucky, you’ll find someone on the other end to pull your ropes. The ropeway was built 5 years ago, and it has never yet collapsed.
This local engineering feat is worth a ride for the stunning views of the gorge below and the intimidating aura of the surrounding peaks.
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the cable car to Chichum village.
2. Dhankar Lake.
The 1.5 hour uphill trek from Dhankar Monastery along the Spiti River to the Dhankar Lake, affords some gorgeous views of the village below and the monastery in the distance. Dhankar Lake is a picture of serenity, peace and calm, and could make anyone feel introspective. Expect a clear expanse of water dotted with fish-generated ripples, a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, and herds of yak or yaks-bred-with-cows.
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a rainbow makes a halo around the sun in the clear Dhankar sky.
3. Hike to Key gompa. 
It’s easy to rent a car or hitch-hike up to Key Monastery, but the real beauty is in hiking up from Key village, through the narrow, pebbly mountain path carved out by locals, and watching the monastery appear bit-by-bit, perched precariously atop a small hill.
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4. Birdwatching at Langhza
You don’t have to be a bird-watcher or a biology-enthusiast to fall in love with the little village ofLanghza. It’s easy to forget about civilization on its isolated slopes, and all you need to do is look up at the clear blue skies for thrilling glimpses of hawks, eagles and vultures. You could spot these elusive birds in other parts of Spiti too, but the landscape of Langhza ups that thrill by a few notches.
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a hawk flies high at Langhza.
5. Highest inhabited village in the Himalayas.
Imagine living at an altitude of 4,513 metres, in a neighborhood of 13 households, and a 6-hour hike away from the nearest signs of civilization. That’s life for you at Komic, the highest inhabited village of the Himalayas, and perhaps the world. Its landscape will leave you in awe.
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6. Full moon by the Spiti River. 
Ditch the bustling market of Kaza (Spiti’s capital), walk along the dry river bed that separates old Kaza from new Kaza, and make your way down to the Spiti River. You can feel its intensity only at its shore; mountain perspectives are such that from an altitude, water merely appears to trickle in the river. Sunset is not a specialty here, because the setting sun hides behind the mountains, leaving the sky a pink-red-orange color. A full moon at the shore, on the other hand, is bound to make your night and tease you with mountain shadows and water reflections. Concentrate on the sky, and you’ll see atleast a dozen shooting stars too.
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 7. Pin valley
Pin Valley is an oasis of green in the cold mountain desert region. After being surrounded by the brown bareness of the Himalayas in Spiti, Pin Valley is a breath of fresh air that you didn’t know you missed; think trees and waterfalls. And if you think Spitians are friendly, get ready to be blown away by the hospitality of the mountain folks living in Pin Valley. You’ll leave convinced that this was how we were intended to lead life on earth.
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8. The mummy of Giu.
Spiti is full of legends, and the mummy of Giu is perhaps the only one that you can testify to. It is said that during a drought in Tibet, several lamas were mummified. During the Chinese occupation of Tibet, most of these mummies were destroyed. However, in the earthquake of 1975, one of these mummies washed up in the Spiti River and was rescued by the Indian government. It was housed in Giu, where during a digging accident, a spade hit the mummy’s head and it started to bleed! You can still see hair growing on the mummy’s head, and spooky as it might sound, it is one of those things you have to see to believe.
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the new temple built for the mummy of Giu. Photo credit: Richard Weil.
9. The world’s highest post office & petrol pump.
It’s not easy to build a life at 4,000 metres. In fact, Spiti is recognized for having the world’s highest post office at Hikkim, and the world’s highest petrol pump at Kaza. Surely, using them is a worthwhile travel achievement to boast about!
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highest post office in the world, at Hikkim.
10) Fukchung, a nuns-only village.
Spiti is known for some of the oldest monasteries and schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Fukchung village is a collection of stone caves, where nuns from the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism go for long-term retreats. They typically spend 3 years in a stone cave, meditating from morning to night, and not seeing or speaking to a human soul. It’s an intense experience, to walk along the caves, imagining the conviction of the nuns meditating inside them.
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a stone cave at Fukchung, where a nun has been in retreat since November