Suhana Safar

A Journal of Treks & Travels in the Himalayas of India and Nepal

by Kothanda Srinivasan (KS)

Intro (2004):

I have always dreamed of travelling all over India, to see every remote village, river and mountain in this vast country. To meet people everywhere and experience their diverse cultures, gods & food.

In 2003, I was already 55 years old. When am I going to fulfill my dreams? I knew, I had to do this soon while I was still able to travel and use my legs to trek in the mountains. So, in Sept 2003, I decided to retire from work and take up travel, more or less full time! It took me 6 months, to handover all work responsibilities .... and finally, I 'retired' on 31st March 2004!

I bought a copy of Lonely Planet's "India" Guide and started reading that, state by state. Later (after a few trips) I realized how practical and accurate this Guide was! Though LP is written for foreigners visiting India, I found it perfect for my purpose. Any place LP said was worth visiting and seeing was really so! In fact, Even Better!!

The Tours listed below lead you to pages that describe my travels & treks in "diary" format. The narratives are brief; as I have relied more on pictures from my digital-camera to tell the full story. Your feedback & comments are welcome by email at: ks_bluechip@yahoo.com

Me ... then

2004

2020

Update (Mar-2009): This blog is a diary of my personal experiences. It is not a travel-trek guide. I don't have the expertise to advise anyone on such treks or tours. At most, I can provide some tips. Anybody with determination and normal fitness can do these treks & tours. However, if you are trekking to higher altitudes (above 3000M / 10,000 ft.) do read the "trekking advise" chapters in any Trekking Guide. I found the first few chapters of Lonely Planet's "Trekking in the Indian Himalaya" very useful. On a trek it is best to have a local guide-porter to show you the way and carry your bag, so you can enjoy the walk without a load on your back. I have often taken Debu as a Guide for my treks in Kumaon and Sonu in Garhwal.

Update (Mar-2010): This blog was started in 2005 using Google-Pages. In 2009, migrated it to Google Sites. Have retained the blog's old style and looks; but taken this opportunity to link Hi-Res pictures from Flickr; so now a picture can be "clicked" to see a large image. This will mean initial page loading will be slower, but I hope faster broad-band speeds will compensate.

Update (March-2020): In last 10+ years I have done more treks in Nepal than in India! The main attraction of Nepal for me is the wonderful "Teahouse Trekking" you can do there. Most trek routes in Nepal, have Tea Houses & Homestays run by local Villagers which serve Hot fresh cooked food and have Guest Rooms furnished with cots, mattresses and comforters. For my treks in Nepal I hire a porter-guide to carry my main bag from a Trekking Agency; Asian Hiking Team in Thamel, Kathmandu. Suman Neupane is the friendly and helpful proprietor of the Agency (email: info@asianhikingteam.com).

Update (21-April-2021) : After surviving a year of Corona Quarantine, with hardly any activities, Google has announced that I must migrate my blog from their "Classic Sites" to a modern "New Sites" latest by 1st Sept 2021. So I have started that process now, with their 'auto-migration' tool. Though the auto-migration has worked well I now have some fine-tuning and alignment work to be done. But it is a 'welcome work' as I can be busy for a few weeks, while the Corona Wave-2 rages outside. And enjoy the dopamine releases while reliving old memories and pictures.

Update (22-May-2021): After moving this blog to Google New Sites, I have resolved most of the Text-Image alignment issues that came with Auto-Migration. Some finishing work is still pending that I will be doing over next few months.

My Tours & Treks : Most recent on top in below table ... (or select from Menu on left margin)

Tour#, Type*, Mth/Year and Description of places visited (Click on a Tour to see the details) > > > > > > >

74. Trek Nov-2021: Mardi Himal Trek in Annapurna Region of Nepal

73. Trek Sep-2021: Durinaar Lakes trek from Kullan, Sonamarg in Kashmir

72. SUV Aug-2021: Driving the scenic new 4WD-Route through Zanskar Valley in Ladakh via Purne, Padam

71. Trek Oct-2019 : Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo-Ri Trek in Nepal

70. Trek Apr-2019: Trek to Danda-Kharka on the Makalu-Base Camp Trail in Nepal

69. Trek Mar-2019: Winter Rambling in Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand, India

68. Trek Nov-2018 Tamang Heritage & Ruby Valley Treks in Nepal

67. Trek May-2018: Tumlingtar to Lukla in the Makalu Barun National Park region in Nepal

66. Trek Nov-2017: Kalapathar via Kongma-La in Everest Khumbu region of Nepal

65. Trek Sep-2017: Satopanth Lake Trek (in Pandavas' footsteps) near Badrinath, in Uttarakhand

64. Trek Dec-2017: Annapurna South area treks: Mohara, Khopra, Muldhai, MBC and ABC in Nepal

63. Trek Oct-2016 Milam Glacier Trek via the new higher route in Uttarakhand

62. Car Sep-2016: Sikkim Meghalaya and Assam - a post-monsoon tour in India (blog not started yet)

61. Trek Oct-2015: Kanchenjunga South & North Base Camps in Eastern Nepal

60. Trek May-2015: Dodital, Darwa Pass, Dayera Bugyal Treks in Uttarakhand, India

59. Bus Feb-2015: Snow-bound and spell-bound in Kalpa, Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh

58. Trek Sep-2014: Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley treks in Nepal

57. Trek Jul-2014: Great Lakes Trek - Sonamarg to Naranag in Kashmir, J&K

56. Trek Apr-2014: Jiri to Namche and back by Heli to KTM in Nepal

55. Jeeps Mar-2014: Backpacking in East Kumaon - Pithoragarh, Lohaghat, Pancheswar

54. Car Oct-2013: Tiger's Nest, Bumthang Festival and more in Bhutan, India

53. Walk Oct-2013: Nostalgic Pandal hopping in Kolkata during Durga Puja

52. Trek Aug-2013: Monsoon trek to Tulsi Lake and Yewoor Hill Ridge of SGNP in Mumbai

51. Trek May-2013: Langtang, Gosainkund and Helambu (LGH) treks in Nepal

50. Car Nov-2012: Pushkar, Camel Fair & Mela , Ajmer Dargha in Rajasthan, India

49. Car Nov-2012: Shekawati Painted Havelis in Fatehpur, Mandawa, Nawalgarh in Rajasthan

48. Trek May-2012: Exploring Kugti & Holi Valleys near Bharmour in Himachal Pradesh

47. Jeeps Dec-2011: Hornbill Fest, Nagaland, Cachar, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya

46. Bus Jul-2011: Backpacking in HP: Jalori-Pass, Rohtang-La, Pangi-Valley & Sach-Pass

45. Trek Jun-2011: Bagini Glacier and Changbang Base Camp Trek in Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuary

44. Jeeps May-2011: Collarwaali Tigress and her 5 cubs in Pench Tiger Reserve, MP

43. Train Mar-2011: Grand Circular Indian Railway Challenge (GCIRC) to the 4 corners of India

42. Trek Feb-2011: Snow Trek in Dakhuri, Chilta, Bajling Passes of Kumaon

41. Car Sep-2010: Wildflowers of Kaas Plateau near Satara in Maharashtra

40. Trek Jun-2010: Twin-trek to Kuari Pass & Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuary

39. Car Apr-2010: A summer vacation in 5 Hill-Stations of Kumaon, Uttarakhand

38. Car Mar-2010: Bijapur, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole in North Karnataka

37. Trek Jan-2010: Treks in Sanjay Gandhi Park (SGNP) from Tikuji-ni-Wadi, Thane

36. Trek Dec-2009: Kumaon to Garhwal - Trekking the local Villagers' trails

35. SUV Sep-2009: Grand Himalayan Road Tour-2 (GHIRT-2) Srinagar, Kargil, Zanskar, Padum, Leh

34. Trek Jul-2009: Monsoon Trek in the Darma Valley in Eastern Kumaon

33. SUV Apr-2009: Grand Himalayan Road Tour-1: Sikkim, Bhutan, Arunachal

32. Trek Dec-2008: Kumaon High-Altitude Villages Trek - Loharkhet to Birthi Falls

31. Trek Sep-2008: Pabbar Valley Chandranahan-Lake Trek in Kinnaur, HP

30. Trek Jun-2008: The Roopkund Trek in Garhwal, Uttarakhand

29. Bus May-2008: Botanical and Rose Gardens of Ooty, Tamilnadu

28. Bus Apr-2008: Hoysala Temples of Belur, Halebid and Kemmangundi

27. Trek Apr-2008: Sandakphu and Phalut Trek on the Singalila Ridge in Nepal & WB

26. Car Feb-2008: Kumbalgarh Fort and Ranakpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan

25. Car Dec-2007: Grand India Road Tour - GQ+, 33-Days, 9388KMs

24. Trek Oct-2007: Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar Trek in Nepal

23. Trek Sep-2007: Jiri to Namche Bazaar - The Classic Trek in Nepal

22. Trek Jul-2007: Har-Ki-Dun, Yamunotri, Gangotri-Gaumukh, V-of-Flower

21. Jeep May-2007: Corbett Tiger Park in Uttarakhand

20. Trek May-2007: Milam Glacier Trek from Munsiary in Kumaon

19. Trek May-2007: Gwaldam to Debal Trek in Garhwal, Uttarakhand

18. Car Dec-2006: Hampi - The Vijayanagar Ruins in Central Karanataka

17. Car Dec-2006: Konkan & Goa Beaches and Coastal scenery

16. Trek Oct-2006: A 200+KM Trek - Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

15. Bus May-2006: Zanskar, Lamayuru, Leh, Nubra, Pangong-Tso, Keylang

14. Jeep Feb-2006: Bomdilla, Sela, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh

13. Bus Feb-2006: Namdapha WLS, Bramhaputra, Pasighat, Alang in Arunachal Pradesh

12. Jeep Jan-2006: Kaziranga (Rhinos) National Park, Assam

11. Car Dec-2005: MP by Car - Mandu, Ujjain, Sanchi, Kanha, Khajuraho, Orchaa

10. Bus Oct-2005: Bus Tour - Joshimath, Auli, Badrinath, Mana, Ranikhet

09. Trek Oct-2005: Sundardunga Trek in Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand

08. Car Aug-2005: Saurashtra Coastal Drive - Bhavnagar to Dwarka - in Gujerat

07. Trek Apr-2005: Triund Trek In Dauladhar Range in Himachal Pradesh

06. Jeep Apr-2005: Dharamsala, McLeod Ganj, Khajjiar, Kalatope, Chamba in Himachal Pradesh

05.Bus Apr-2005: Sarahan, Kinnaur and Spiti Valleys in Eastern Himachal

04. Trek Nov-2004: Yuksom to Dzongri-La - Kanchenjunga Trek in W. Sikkim

03.Bus Nov-2004: Gangtok, Yuksom in Sikkim and Darjeeling in WB

02. Bus Oct-2004: Kausani, Choukori, Munsiary - Hill Stations of Kumaon

01. Trek Sep-2004: Pindari Glacier Trek in Kumaon, Uttarakhand

*Type: TREK=Hikes, CAR=Self-Driving Tours, BUS=Backpacking Rides in Buses, JEEP=Share-Jeep Rides, SUV=SUV Road Tours, TRAIN=by Indian Railways.

A few pictures from the Tours (lots more inside):

The frozen Tsamgo Lake in Sikkim on 13th April 2009

Flowers in KMVN-Kausani's front garden .... and the Trishul & Mrigthuni snow peaks in the distance (5th Oct 2004)

Blue-Green hills & misty valleys ... from the Mizo Tourist GH at Champai near Mizoram's Eastern border with Burma (Myanmar) on 11th Dec 2011

Mithoo and me at Thorang-La pass top (5416M) during the Annapurna Circuit Trek on 25th Oct 2006

A family drinking morning tea at Kalapokhari Village on the Sandakphu-Phalut Trek in Nepal-Sikkim border on 5th April 2008

Me at Larkhe-La Pass on the Manaslu Circuit Trek on 6th October 2014

ks_bluechip - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver