Kinnaur and Sangla Valleys

The Kinnaur and Sangla valleys are so beautiful and unique, we decided the region merited a full pictorial. The Indian government is constructing an enormous hydro-electric power plant right in the center of this culturally fragile and environmentally sensitive region. While renewable power is commendable in the age of global warming, Kinnauri culture is being transformed at an astounding rate and will soon be unrecognizable. Click here to view the pictorial.

Big Bang Experiment Gone Wrong?

We’ve been following the news about the CERN particle collider and found this article in the Times of India. The article claims that a 16-year old girl died after swallowing insecticide because she was incredibly scared about what would happen to the world if the experiment went wrong.

Sounds like a cover-up to me. Every day there are articles in the news and newspapers about people killing themselves because of societal pressure – the cast differences, school problems, university exams, molestation in the workplace, and on and on and on.

It’s extremely sad that for many people this is the only way out of a hopeless situation. It’s all about not loosing face and not bringing shame over your family even if they, as in some cases, treat you like an animal.

Day Hikes

Thomas, Ariel, Amit, Yael and I are taking advantage of the spectacular surroundings to do a series of day hikes into the surrounding mountains. The views over the phenomenal Kinnaur Kailash (not to be confused with Mt. Kailash in Tibet) motivated us to hike up the very vertical trails behind Kalpa through the Kinnauri farmlands up past the tree line to find a high-altitude lake that several locals had mentioned but no travelers that we had met had apparently found. Continue…

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Thomas!!! Here’s to your second birthday on the road. No, you can’t have that dzo (cow-yak hybrid) for your birthday. 🙂

The People of Kinnaur

Just a few hundred kilometers northeast of Delhi , we’ve gone through a massive transformation. We’ve entered Sangla Valley and everything looks different: the architecture, the landscape, and the people. It’s difficult to believe, we are still in the same country.

The Kinnauris, recognizable by their green felt hats, are some of the nicest people we’ve ever encountered – anywhere. While exploring one traditional mountain village outside of Sangla, we stumbled upon a gathering of Kinnauri women in the market place. Excited to see visitors, many women Continue…

Rendezvous with Ariel and Amit

Two weeks of hanging out with Ariel and Amit in Rishikesh just wasn’t enough. When they left, we had nobody to practice our newly acquired Hebrew sentences on (actually I’m talking mainly about Tony – my vocabulary never went past the word “two” in Hebrew).

After a month of doing our own things, we decided to meet again in Sangla from where we are going to travel through the Kinnaur and Spiti Valleys together. As an added bonus, Ariel and Amit brought another good conversationalist along, Yael, a cookie-loving meydl who works with Amit in Tel Aviv.

Narrow Gauge to Shimla

After only one night in Delhi, we headed north to Kalka to take a narrow-gauge toy train to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, the starting point for our traveling through Northern India.

Follow along on our 6-hour journey (96 kilometers/60 miles) in the Himalayan Queen as we wind our way through 107 tunnels and over 864 bridges to the Raj-era hill station, a little piece of Britain in India.