A walk with the wildflowers at Kaas

Come September, the Kaas plateau comes to life. Tiny blooms, shrubs, orchids, even carnivorous plants blossom on the plateau, which is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Most of it is a reserved forest, but a few sections are open to visitors during the monsoon. For this is when the UNESCO natural heritage siteContinue reading “A walk with the wildflowers at Kaas”

Rock fusion

In the winding lanes of Panchgani, animals and birds take on a different sheen. The peacock by the tiny lotus pond is easily spotted, but the frogs not so much. Neither the eagle awaiting flight at the back. At Devrai, in fact, exploration leads you to Iron Man. The bust replica, jutting out of theContinue reading “Rock fusion”

Books and Berries

The sprawling villas on both sides don’t point to a village. I’m about to double-back when the signboard declares that I’m still a kilometre away. The signs are all over the place – a book and strawberry, over the red type declaring Bhilar as India’s first “books village”. Located between the popular hill towns of PanchganiContinue reading “Books and Berries”

Red velvet

After six days of trekking in the Kanchenjunga National Park, we returned to Yuksam with leaden feet and plenty of food cravings. A sleepy little village in West Sikkim, it’s the base for Dzongri and Goechala mountain pass. Come April and October, there are more trekkers milling about here than locals. The road to the park isContinue reading “Red velvet”

When the jungle calls

“Don’t grab the crabs!” the major said, laughing. “Just gently pass the branches behind.” We looked at each other, the ten of us, wondering if we had heard correctly.¬†We had been in the waters for fifteen minutes, gazing at the star-lit sky when she quipped again, “Next time ensure you come on a moonless night,Continue reading “When the jungle calls”