Category: Mountains

Mountains

Mountains, and ends Gregorian…

Himalayan panorama from Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India

Mountains make their own weather… they also, perhaps less acknowledged, make their own time… where durations are defined by degrees of experience rather than dances of gravity… there, more often than not, time is intensity, be it physical or sensory… mountains make their own time, I’m pretty sure, whether plodding through fresh snows or getting …

History, Mountains

Through nights Abrahamic…

Saint Catherine's Monastery, Egypt

For a country holding one of the world’s oldest civilizations, and mummies, within its bosom, ‘twas a rather cruel irony to be holed up in a swanky resort town… freshly paved sidewalks, functional fountains and free shuttles… busy doling out rhetoric in another quintessentially exasperating environmental conference proclaiming to be humanity’s (and the planet’s) last …

Mountains

Mountains – mosaics, and mirrors…

Mountains - Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand, India

In a sense, mountains are essentially ruins… tectonic crash and bangs that leave undulations big and small in their wake… lofty spires, breathing ice and snow… rock and water locked in a tussle, one trying to remain in stasis, the other insistent on making everything flow… tucked in between these geological forces are millennia… of …

Mountains

Pangi – notes from a hidden hinterland

Pangi valley, Himachal Pradesh

…When it rains, it pours… …Raindrops keep falling on my head… …Rain on your parade… …Why does it always rain on me… There we were, all primed up for Panpatia Col in the third week of September, supposedly having given the monsoons a wide berth… but then came a spell of rain that battered most …

Mountains

Come September…

Bhyundar Khal Trek, September 2022

September – a time of astronomical transitions and a last chance to take a long sojourn in the high mountains… for winters, save some initial sighs on never ending carpets of snow, make up for rather dull trudges… with the monsoons retreating – albeit with lesser and lesser predictability in the Anthropocene – one can …

Mountains

Ice stupa and its summer farewell

Ice stupa in Ladakh, India

Ice stupa, a progeny of the climate crisis… perhaps nothing is as adaptive as traditional wisdom when it comes to making the most of limited natural resources, but then this cul-de-sac called the Anthropocene comes about, leaving communities flummoxed, and livelihoods in peril… ‘Tis always enlightening to see subsistence farming in Ladakh, mushrooms of green …

Mountains

Where ice turns to water…

Nichnai glacier covered in ice, Kashmir, India

There’s a distinctive dynamic to these places, where ice turns to water up in the high mountains… as if the elements take a deep breath and all is still, a burble here and there, an avalanche or a rockfall in the distance… the elements go about their business in an eerie silence, and every small …

Mountains, Nature

On those romancing cold rocks…

lichen

Cold, is all that they are, rocks in the high mountains, some basking in stasis, others churning in that slow glacial procession… concoctions of pressure in myriad forms, sharp volcanic outbursts or a gradual buildup of sediment… flaky or smooth, jagged or rounded, monoliths or pebbles, blunt prose or poetic allegories, they’re cold, all cold… …

Art & Culture, Mountains

Temples of busy bee valleys…

Temples of Uttarakhand

Temples, those that have been wizened by the meanders of civilization since medieval times, are more often than not draped in a bemused solemnity… been there, seen that… the tomes of religion remain the same, but their interpretations are forever in a state of flux… the monuments lie somewhere in the middle… tangible testimonies of …

Mountains, Ruminations

Graves and their lilting lichens…

Graves are as much annals of natural history as that of civilization, one muses, looking at lichens creeping over the tombstones… myriad shades of green go exploring the cracks and crevices to burst forth and fulfill their seemingly imperialistic ambitions through spores or isidia… from the vestiges of those deceased, life emanates as an intriguing …