South Asia Travel Articles, Photos and Panoramas

Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide

Ladakh

Every year we try to go on a big trek, one that takes us far far away and high into the mountains. For us, it's not only a way to exercise our bodies, but to clear and challenge our minds. It’s a way to disconnect from all that is part of our daily life — technology, social media, blogging — and reconnect with nature and ourselves.Last year’s trek of the Markha … [Read more...]

Thinking Cycles of Renewal: Sunset Puja in Udaipur, India [360-Degree Panorama]

Udaipur, India

The sun sets on another day in Udaipur, India. People gather at the lake's edge to watch the day wind to an end and to take part in evening puja (prayers). This ritual, a daily cycle, elegantly pays reverence and homage to one day while preparing for the next.As we move from reflecting on and closing out the past year to engaging in the new one, I thought of this … [Read more...]

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh: Hiking Through Canyons [360-Degree Panorama]

ladakh canyon

First day of our Markha Valley trek. We weren't quite certain what to expect for the remaining six days of trekking through the Himalayas, but we were sure the following day would be steep and uphill, to 4,950 meters/16,200 feet. So on our first day on the trail we were relieved to find relative flatness, to lose ourselves in the red rocks of the canyon around us and … [Read more...]

Ladakh: 9 Memories of Deep Himalayan India

Dan at Gongmaru La Pass, Layers and Layers of Mountains - Ladakh, India

Ladakh: a place we had dreamed about for well over a decade, a visit packed with expectations. What made this place remarkable wasn’t quite what we expected.Imagining Ladakh for all of those years, we focused on the landscape. Sure, Ladakh as a setting for just about anything did not disappoint. The physical beauty was more stunning – and more consistently so -- … [Read more...]

Buddhist Temple at Likir Monastery, Ladakh [360-Degree Panorama]

likir monastery

While traveling, we often find ourselves focused on the present. This is a good thing. Then, something helps us appreciate the history, the roots of where we happen to be. This too, is useful because it provides perspective.Likir Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh, at almost 1,000 years old, is one of those places.For much of our visit to Likir Monastery we were … [Read more...]

Crossing Gongmaru La Pass, Ladakh [360-Degree Panorama]

Ladakh pass

Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags greet us as we reach Ladakh's Gongmaru La pass. All the residual fatigue from climbing up to 16,800 feet/5,130 meters seems to evaporate once we've reached this place, our goal. It's been six days in the Markha Valley and we've been up and down -- and up again.We have to remind ourselves not to move around too quickly up here, not to … [Read more...]

Trekking Ladakh: On Top of the World in the Himalayas [360-Degree Panorama]

Ladakh lake

Five days into our Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh, India. We were on our way to Nimiling, a summer hangout for local shepherds (with their flocks of sheep, goats and cattle/yak hybrids called zos) and the overnight base camp for our final ascent to Gongmaru La Pass (5,130 meters/16,800 feet). That morning we endured and enjoyed our share of steep climbs, losing … [Read more...]

Flight 447: We Cannot Penetrate This Weather

Up in the Air Flight

This is a story about how when you hear penguins at 20,000 feet, there’s a good chance you’re in deep sh*t.“Ladies and gentlemen…the weather situation in Srinagar is very bad…flights are being diverted to Delhi…four flights just before us...we will try and see.”I'd absorbed only fragments of the pilot’s announcement as my head was buried in a book. We’d come … [Read more...]