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I have been getting some interesting comments and feedback from the readers of my Blog. Some of those emails are copied below (with their permission):

Sunday, March 15, 2009 12:31 AM
From:  "Arnab Chaudhuri"
Sub: A treat for eyes...

Respected Sir,

'Trishul from Almora KMVN lawn - Yes!  It did look like an "OM" to me now, on zoomed closer look, as a nearby Bengali tourist said to me!! ' goes the tag that you have presented the last of the masterpieces that you have in your collection titled "Kumaon High-Villages Trek (Loharkhet to Birthi Falls)". And I am so very happy to inform you that actually that Bengali tourist happened to be one of our tour mates in that trip to Kumaon. I was so very happy to see the same picture of Trishul and I remember you clicking the shutter button when I was also doing the same. Hats off to your collection Sir. It is midnight 15th March. At 10 am the results of the Gate Exam will be announced and I couldn't concentrate on any damn thing the whole day brooding over the consequences of an undesirable poor performance. And suddenly my dad gave me the information about your blog over the phone, I went through it, and suddenly all my tensions were being melted away by the warmth of the panorama that your site has. Those were marvelous. I am not a wizard of words. May be Tagore or Keats would have done a far better job. If you feel sleepy going through my long monotony, please forgive me. But I cannot restrain myself from writing you, when I realized you were the same person who was present there at Almora. Thanks for creating such a wonderful media to pacify our ever busy minds so that we can find a respite going through your sorcery with the shutter. There after we went to Munshiyari and Chowkari. I have some good snaps of those. Due to the size, am just sending you five of my very best to you as I cannot send them to any better person than you.

With Regards
Arnab Chaudhuri
Arnab Chaudhuri
Master of Science
Department of Physics
Indian Institute of Technology
Guwahati- 781039  India

Mon, 9 Jun 2008

Radha Nair wrote:

Late last night, those beautiful pictures in your blogspot of Lamdhuray, Tonglu, Himchuli Lodge, Srikhola GH kept flashing in my mind, again and again . Even the very names have a musical resonance. The more I think about the vast areas you have covered in your trekking expeditions, the more I feel you have been singled out for a definite purpose.
The usual back packers and the regular tourists, who gain only a blinkered perspective from their packaged travels, hardly get a feel of the place, in the same way that you must have experienced.
Trekking across unexplored terrain, itself is the most wonderful way of unwinding. You can discover so many things, which would otherwise be missed in the course of the whirlwind trips organized by travel agents.
I was spell bound by the quaintness of Lamdhuray, Tonglu. Himchuli Lodge, peeping out of the wispy mist, or the vibrant colours of Srikhola Lodge.
More than that, I was  mesmerized by the variety of flowers you have photographed.  I had only read about rhododendrons in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, but had not a clue what the flowers looked like. From your pics now I know now how they look.
Thrilling as your adventures are, I think you should give serious thought to documenting, the rare flowers and herbs that you will come across in your trekking experiences. You might even stumble upon folk stories, which the grandmas of the hills tell their little ones. They I am sure would have greater appeal than the Harry Potter series, any day.
The scale of your travels in the Himalayas, which still remain blissfully untouched by civilization, has still not sunk in. How lucky you are to see all these places in all their natural state.
Known as the abode of the Gods, these remote places, have yielded from time immemorial, valuable medicinal plants, which you can never find elsewhere in the world. Even our epics bear testimony to the fact, of how Hanuman carried a whole mountain from the Himalayas to Lanka , in his quest for Sanjeevani, the extracts of which helped Laxman to recover from a grievous wound.
I have a humble suggestion. The next time you go on another fascinating expedition, please take along with you a fat notebook, and please write down as many details as you can gather about the flowers and herbs. You might discover, as you talk with the locals, that even common wayside plants which might be overlooked by us, have great significance to them, as the rustic folk put them to beneficial uses in the making of traditional healing potions, pastes, and magical cures.
Bhanbu Tamang and his tribe serve not just as porters. Dig a little deeper and I am sure they will come out with nuggets of information which I feel should be recorded .You are singularly lucky to travel so widely, something lesser mortals like me can only dream about.
How lucky you are to taste their food! If there is some dish which you might eat during your travels, and you specially like, be sure to take down the recipe. Please find out what wood they have used as fuel, because the infusion of wood smoke, while the food is being cooked, proves to be an interesting flavouring agent. These little details are what bring a place and its people alive!
How blessed you are to hear the unforgettable music of the mountain folk! If only you would tape it, there would be many, like me, who would be the richer listening to it. Some of the best music in our films has originated from the North East. No better proof of it, than Sachin Dev Burman's rich musical legacy.
Please excuse me for holding forth in this manner. But I only wish you well.
Radha Nair

Date:Sat, 15 Sep 2007 10:04:58 +0530
From:"Nagendra Sharma" <>
Subject:Suhana Safar ... definitely.
Dear Sri,
Flipping thru the net came across your blog, indeed an interesting site you're maintaining. It was encouraging to read that after your retirement, finally you are satisfying your appetite for travel.
Enjoyed your travelogues especially those of himachal and uttranchal, as  i'm also a die-hard fan of himalayas, but don't get enough time (family/office) pressures take precedence, or do i say the passion is not strong enough. 
However,  reading all this,  i'll ensure that i don't wait for my retirement (which is  20 yrs away) to taste the fruits of travels.
Keep it up, at least for us ... armchair travellers.

Subject:Travel Blog - Very Useful
Date:Sun, 24 Jun 2007 14:25:17 +0300
From:"Romel Espejo Ferido" <>


Been reading your travel blogs and these have been very useful not only in planning my trip to the Himalayas (India portion) but more so on the encouragement that it gives me.  Why is that?  Your age is near our age and being first time trekkers there is  the question on the physical demand of trekking – whether we are up to it.  Me and my wife are nearing our 50s and we wish to visit India for 3 weeks in May 2007 mainly for Rajasthan and the Himalayas (either HP or Uttaranchal).  The 3 weeks will be divided into 1 week in Rajasthah and 2 weeks in Himalayas. Physically, we are healthy with regular exercise after our office hours.  My routine is 1-hour jog 3 times a week and my wife walks 3x a week too. 

Our questions (hope you don't mind):

1.  How strong physically were you when you started trekking, i.e., did you have regular exercise routine while holding your regular job, and kept a well-toned body.

2.   What were the greatest physical demands/challenges while doing your initial treks and were they easy to overcome them?

3.  Are trekking clothes (sweaters, waterproofs, warmers, sleeping bags) and gears that are sufficient for May treks in either Kinnaur/Spiti (HP) or Har Ki Dun or Pindari(Uttaranchal) available in New Delhi or in HP or Uttaranchal? We would like to bring just light clothing because of the expected heat in Rajasthan during May and just buy clothes and gears while passing New Delhi before proceeding to the Himalayas.  Better still, can these be rented in towns/cities nearest to the trail head.  We plan to bring our trekking shoes already well broken in.

4.  Considering our age and trekking experience (none) which of the mentioned treks will best suit us physically (we are ready for some physical challenge but of course as 1st time trekkies) within the 2 weeks time frame and experience the best that the Himalayas can offer.

Greatly appreciate all guidance and insights you can provide on the above and it is a pleasure reading your travel diaries.


(Filipino National)


Date:Sat, 23 Jun 2007 07:14:34 -0700
From:"Bill Richmond" <>
Subject:Hello - noticed your comments and blog link on India Mike
Thank you for taking the time to post your experiences. I really enjoy your write ups and photos. 
Nice job. By the way what was your profession?

I've been reading India Mike on a regular basis and contemplating my return to India after I'm able 
to retire in a few years. I first visited India traveling overland from London in my youth back in 1974. 
Stories of India always fascinated me since childhood mainly because of my fathers experiences and 
stories of working in Ceylon back in the 1940's

However, I am somewhat taken aback by what seems the modern day India that people report on IndiaMike. 
Among other concerns, I am wondering what realistically would be the cost for traveling the regions 
you've visited ,if there would be the two scale costs, one for Indians and a higher one for western 
foreigners such as myself. I am somewhat comfortable with budget travel and don't expect all the
luxuries of fancy travel. I am somewhat physically fit despite the fact that my work is mostly office 
related. I can not deny that I'm approaching 60 years old.

My home state of Idaho is located in the American Rocky Mtns., so moutain life is something that feels 
at home with me. For better employment opportunites I moved to Southern California along the coast many 
years ago and where I remain working as a public servant until I retire.

Respectively yours,

Bill Richmond

My VT travel site

Date:Sun, 3 Jun 2007 10:47:33 EDT
Subject:Thank you very much for a great travellog
Hello ks_bluechip,
Thank you very much for your great website. I really enjoyed being "on the road / on the trek with you".
I hope you will have plenty more adventures to share with all of us. I myself will go to Leh next Sunday and trek Sham Trek and Markha Valley Trek. I can't wait to see the great Himalayan Mountains again. I only had a brief visit to the Himalayans last year on my first trip to India and fell in love with the great view at Rothang Pass. I tiold myself back in October that some day I have to come back to this area and only 7 month later I come back. Well I can't get much better I guess.
I hope to be able a see some more of the areas you have already been.
Take care of yourself and enjoy your trips.
Many greetings from Germany