Category: Mountains

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 …

Art & Culture, Mountains

Lakhudiyar and the languid…

Prehistory, one feels at times, deserves to be left alone… for we aren’t doing much with it, except maybe for emojis… there’s no cultures to revere or ancestries to venerate, and consequently, no opinions to subjugate… hardly any narratives soaked in drama… just a clutch of unembellished facts aloof to sensational revelations or discoveries… content …

Mountains, Nature

Crickets and their comforting chirps…

Crickets, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India

Crickets and their brethren are basslines of the songs that abound the outdoors, vocalizing canopies or anything damp with their chirps and twirps… while the birds bebop from one branch to another, they skittle around with the same restiveness, punctuated with those quantum leaps every now and then… The chirps of crickets and cicadas have …