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Amidst Stone Temples and Deodar Forests in Jageshwar, Uttarakhand

19 Nov

Jageshwar, a beautiful temple town amidst dense deodar forests in Uttarakhand, was a last-minute by-chance addition to our itinerary. We had earlier planned to drive directly from Kathgodham to Pithoragarh and stay there for the night. But this drive would have been very long and late into the night (it is not advisable to drive in the hills in the dark), so our cab service advised that we stay at Jageshwar instead. We reached Kathgodham by train, found our car for the trip and after slightly unwanted issues with car quality commenced our long , winding and beautiful drive in the hills. The entire drive in the Himalayas is mystical, with winding roads and blind turns, pine and deodar forests, a river racing along and paying hide and seek, small villages making occasional appearances, beautiful green terrace farms donning the mountain sides and numerous birds either flying solo or in beautiful symmetry.

Views on the drive to Jageshwar, Uttarakhand, India

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My Itinerary for a week long trip in Uttarakhand, India

29 Oct

Nostalgia is a good reason to travel; nostalgia coupled with Himalayas is a mighty combination. In this instance the nostalgia was of my parents for a place called Pithoragarh in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand. Both my grandparents worked in Uttar Pradesh (then included Uttarakhand) and at different points in time were posted in Pithoragarh for a brief period. Amongst all of their postings, this was my parents’ favorite place growing up. As kids we too had heard numerous stories from my parents about the place and have always wanted to visit it and see it for ourselves. My mom achieved a significant milestone in age this year and as part of the celebrations we decided to travel to Pithoragarh to revisit a favorite piece from my parent’s childhood.

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The Panchuli Range, Kumaon Hills, Himalayas, Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India

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Photo Essay – A drive across 3 states in North India

7 Jul

Earlier this year we had to travel to Dehra Dun in Uttarakhand for some personal work. But instead of directly flying there from Mumbai, we decided to take a train to Delhi and then drive down from there to Dehra Dun. The entire drive takes about 5 – 6 hours, depending upon the traffic in some small towns etc but we didn’t take the main highway. Instead we drove through Uttar Pradesh via some old village ways (narrow bumpy meandering roads) amidst canals and fields and towards the end in the mountains. These rustic views had a beauty of their own and made me realize that there are numerous beautiful sights even during a seemingly non-descript village drive, all I had to do was pay attention 🙂

I have put together this short photo essay post to share some of these amazing sights via pics, that I had taken with my iphone camera through the day. These were taken in a moving vehicle hence the errors 🙂

Love the light bursting through the dark clouds –

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Stree Shakti (Women Power) in Purkal

7 Apr

“There are some people you meet who inspire you to do something meaningful in your lives; and then there are some people you meet who just inspire you to make your life more meaningful”.

On a recent trip to Dehra Doon I happened to meet someone who inspires you to make your life more meaningful and I just had to write about her and Purkal Stree Shakti Samiti. I happened to discover this place through my friend Archana’s blog – Talking Qalam ‘s blog post One Thing Leads to Another. This got me interested in this place and as I was planning to be in Dehra Doon for a work related trip, I added this to my visit list.

Nestled amongst beautiful hills, Stree Shakti is a women empowerment scheme based in a small village called Purkal near Dehra Doon where they teach local village women the skill sets to create hand-made quilts and patch work handicrafts. They have an entire complex in Purkal where they have a learning and production centre for women, a small display centre that retails their creations and an early childhood development centre for their kids.

The display centre, Shtree Shakti, Purkal

The display centre, Shtree Shakti, Purkal

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