Monday, December 19, 2011

Random Photographical Memories from the Himalayas: Dhabas, Sadhus, Garhwali caps and more...

After photographic memories of Waterfalls, Snow, Trees, Faith, Roads and River Ganga; here are some more that I can remember sorted a bit randomly this time.

1. Dhabas

While traveling in the hilly himalayan regions, over-stuffing yourself with food is a big no-no but skipping meals altogether is never an alternative either. This is where small shacks like these sprayed intermittently all across the routes are a boon, providing a lot of relief to the hungry traveler.

A dhaba in Chaurangikhal town enroute to Gangotri

A dhaba in Nagaur town enroute to Srinagar

A local dhaba in Badrinath town
@Badrinath town a stone's throw from GMVN's Hotel Devlok

A dhaba in Chaurangikhal town enroute to Gangotri

Devoid of any names or luxuries, these kinky roadside shacks or dhabas serve you with fresh and tasty food at real cheap prices. And the best part of it all, is that you can actually peep into their kitchens and watch all the cooking live while pampering your taste buds at the same time; and believe me this really does spice up the entire experience!

2. Haathi Pahad

Not as mythical as the Nar Narayan mountains, but equally fascinating nevertheless.

Hathi Pahad in the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand
Hathi Pahad - The Elephant shaped mountain!

I wonder what tales it’s got to tell…?

3. Over Steaming Tea/Coffee

Sipped on a lot of them throughout the journey wherever I found them.

Cofee and hot milk in Gangotri
Hot cups of coffee and milk @the lane leading to the Gangotri temple

If you are my kind, who is not very accepting to shivers and quivers, then don’t miss your cuppa whenever you spot one. Will surely leave your tongue warm and prepare your body to take on the icy chills!

4. Sadhus and Sages

Orange clad, saffron robed men are everywhere, not only in the pilgrim towns of the Char Dham circuit but also enroute, on the highways and on the roadways! Many of the sages walk the entire way up to the hills from the plains on foot, basically doing the entire pilgrimage as a ‘padyatra’ meaning ‘pilgrimage on foot’.

A sage on a Char Dham padyatra in Garhwal Himalayas, Uttaranchal
A sadhu on a Char Dham padyatra in Uttaranchal
A sage on a Char Dham padyatra in Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand
@At various points enroute to the Char Dhams

These ascetics leave the plains, making their way forward by camping over several days probably even months, to reach their destination. After completion of their padyatra, some of them decide to stay put for meditation in the upper reaches of the Himalayas while the rest of the pilgrim town is shutting down activity for 6 months of the year!

5. Local Takeaways

Handmade woolies, caps, sweaters and shawls – the town people have great dexterity in their hands and they weave magic with it! Have a look...

Woolen hand made sweaters and shawls in Gangotri, Uttarakhand
Woolen hand made himachal caps in Gangotri, Uttarakhand
Garhwali caps and other woolies @the lane leading to the Gangotri temple

Woolen sweaters in Badrinath, Uttarakhand
Sweaters and jackets @the market in the Badrinath town

Hand made woolies in Mana Village in Badrinath, Uttarakhand
Local woolen souvenirs @The Mana Village

The most amazing aspect of all these articles is that not only are they available for cheap, after some amount of bargaining of course, but they also come with a promise –

A promise to keep you warm with memories of the place long after you are gone…

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  1. Arti, do these Indian shopkeepers speak English? I think I would be lost without a tour guide, especially since the signs are not in English... Lovely photos, as usual.

  2. a good compilation of the things u came across ur journey... gave a nice idea of how a journey in himalayas will be like...

  3. आपके ब्लॉग पर आकर मन खुश हो जाता है,आरती

    Your presentation is so nice and great.One feels to be physically
    present there by reading your post and watching the beautiful pictures.

    Thanks, Arti.

    You are welcome on my new post.

  4. Wonderful promise. Wow! Again, I was reading your entry with so much interest. It's very inspiring knowing all these. What a wonderful world we live in. I hope I can walk here soon.

  5. What a wonderful, colorful and interesting trip through your world, Arti! Your photos are superb as always! Thank you for sharing these aspects of your world with us! Hope you have a wonderful week!


  6. Nice post!! Feel like munching that hot paratha from dhaba.. :)

  7. Remembering the T.V.program 'Highway on my Plate' as I read this. The food experiences during travel in India are such a happy part of it and the Crafts as well!!

  8. Loving those woolen souvenirs, the colours are so beautiful. And you right about seeing the kitchens, it all adds to the experience.

  9. oh god, arti, i so want to go there.

  10. Would love to eat and nibble at one of these Himajaya takeaways, and buy local souvenirs one day!

  11. wonderful shots buddy... it speaks a lot...

  12. amazing picture
    m missing that place, i visit here last time in july 2011

  13. Hi there,
    A beautiful souvenir I must say.

    The great thing about eating at Dhabas, interacting with Sadhus, and being out there in the real world is that you get so much time to reflect.

    Through my travels I've learned that common people have better tales to tell. They really provide you the feel of the place, and at times also inspire you.


  14. beautiful pics arti,...seems like a wonderful place to visit..

  15. thanks for letting us peep into the kitchens of the road-side food shacks. I can almost smell the fragrances! it's all so charming. I'm just amazed at this journey of yours, and how enlightening it must have been. in many ways. I'm so happy you shared it with us Arti. happy day to you.

  16. I love the road side dhabas, the atmosphere, the food and of course the adrakwali chai :-)

    Loved those woolies.

    Have a lovely week ahead, dear Arti :-)

  17. i love the woolen souvenirs. they evoke joy and happiness.

    have a great week, arti. :)

  18. Altitude affects me a bit, so I cannot imagine your travels here. I would have to stop at all of the food shacks to sustain me! Wonderful weaving and the hats are quite interesting.

  19. As and when I consider having a trip to Himalayas, I know what I should search on Google. It wont be "Himalayas trip details". It will be "My Yatra Diary Himalayas blog".. :)

  20. Excellent views. Let your yatras continue for our benefit. I found dhabas to be very satisfying.

  21. I am happy to nominate you for a blogger award. Please visit the link to know more

  22. Must've been a wonderful experience for you?? I guess u culd've aded a bit more about the journey. Pics are beautiful..

  23. @gigihawaii Though the shopkeepers and the locals are not very well conversant in English, but you never really know. Some of them do pick terms from travelers and many of these shops also put up signboards in English.

    I believe, the best tour guide in such places is your car driver. He knows everything, choose him wisely while planning your trip. He is one person who can convert a good trip to a great one!

    @Travellenz Thank you very much for the honor.

    @All Thank you very much for your visits, thoughts and appreciations :)

  24. Arti you must be having large collection of Himalayan Pics.
    I also love eating at Road Side Dhabas.
    Your post always brings back nice memories to me.

  25. You have a lovely travel blog. Keep travelling.

  26. I like these articles because they aren't luxuary and just simple. They are made for living simply.

  27. Is this the last part or anything else left of the himalayas to show us ? :p (just kidding)

    The souvenirs are too good to be missed and with them are memories of those places!

  28. Arti, reading your posts always makes me long to go visit the places you talk about. This one is again a very well compiled post and lives up to the dreamy reputation built up by its predecessors. Awesomeness!

  29. Another marvellous series of shots.

  30. The Foodie in me was stuck at 1 n 3. Thanks for sharing such beautiful memories with us:)

  31. Beautiful pictures, Arti! Loved the kinky take outs. Yes, they are immensely helpful in cold areas. And the woolen souvenirs are always a blessing and a memory:)

  32. lovved th pics! u tempt me to pack a bag and go north! never been there and its reaaallly a wish!

  33. Loved this post...wonderful images too...

  34. This is an interesting read and like how you incorporate the pictures, makes us know what you are doing on your way. Is that one picture you climbing among the rocks?

  35. Pictures are so real. Lovely. I have never visited The Himalayas but I know its so beautiful, I would love to see it. :)

  36. Well you certainly have left us with memories of a cold trip but kept warm by all your descriptions. I would love these travels in such small villages in the mountains. I am just not a real city person. Thank you for always coming for a visit into my world. I haven't been blogging as much or visiting as I have just been enjoying walks outside everyday in the snow. May you have a very Merry Christmas filled with lots of love from the snow covered mountains of British Columbia Hugs Carrie

  37. Love your photography. You have eye for even small details..Good work Arti.

  38. Enjoyable post.When you are ravenously hungry these Dhabas give mouthwatering & delicious stuff.
    Beware of the saffron robed men - many are genuine fakirs others are out to con you!

  39. awesome clicks!!!

    hey i envy you Arti .. how do you manage to see so many places and also get time to write about them .. :P


  40. Your photos are very rich in tradition and history. Thank you for sharing with us, Arti. :)

  41. Hi, it is an excellent post incorporating beautiful description about the Himalayas with lovely pictures. Fantastic work.

  42. Hi, this is an excellent post incorporating beautiful description of the Himalayas coupled with lovely photos. Fantastic work.

  43. Even in the Himalayan foothills, the saints don't need sweaters. That's marvellous. Nice observation!!!

  44. Yes, saw many sages and sannyasi-s but I've never took any photos of them.
    There must be a lot more shops now than 20 years ago. Even coffee is modern now. :)

  45. Interesting writeup on the lovely things you expereince on your roadtrip in the himalayas

  46. It has to be an adventurous trip when you have so much to explore. Wonderful pics :-)

  47. i have nominated u for the versatile blogger award.. have a look :)

  48. Arti -- I enjoyed the tour of the "practical" parts of your journey -- the food (and those stands sound like our favorite kind of place to eat!), the coffee (couldn't live without it), the clothing and shops, and especially the photos you took of those amazing people you met.

    Thank you for sharing (and at this time in our culture which includes gift giving, thank you for the ongoing gift of learning that yo give us through your blogposts!)

  49. wonderful recap of your lovely memories...very interesting pics Arti..:)
    thanks for sharing..
    Tasty Appetite

  50. Hi Arti,

    It was great to once again see your travel diary and photographs.
    The handmade clothing and goods look amazing and would be so lovely to wander around and see all the beautiful merchandise.

    Have a lovely weekend

  51. The roadside restaurants sound so delicious.
    Thank you for your comment...I started law school, so I was busy and trying to adjusting. Getting back to blogging now....

  52. These are pleasures during the travels even if the road condition is tough. It’s nice to have hot coffee while warming up your shivering hands with the warmth of the cup. “Fresh and tasty food at real cheap prices” is always welcome.

    Let me thank you, Arti, that I’ve enjoyed visiting this interesting blog as well as reading your impressions and thoughts on my posts throughout the year. Wish you all the best and great adventures again for 2012.


  53. I virtually traveled the place through your pics and write-up...I had visited mussorie once and relived the same experience.

  54. I am so much excited after reading your blog. Your blog is very much innovative and much helpful.

  55. Thank you for sharing these aspects of your journey. Now I really want to go there too :)

  56. I love the look of the dhabas photos, those are the types of places that serve the best tasting food! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Arti!

  57. People who are wearing white clothes pilgrim 88temples in Shikoku district in Japan. They are called "ohenro-san"
    Thank you for sharing Indian culture and nature. I am also looking forward to your writing next year.
    I wish you a Happy New Year!

  58. Lovely pictures, narration, making me want to visit.

  59. Amazing... Can't say anything more which hasn't already been said above...


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