Thursday, April 15, 2010

Korzok Village- Remote Ladakh

Korzok Village


Changthang district plateau, Lakdah , Himalayan India 

The lady of my guesthouse was dressing up as I left the house in the morning for a walkabout. I photographed her dressing up and helped her with her costumes and jewellery. I had unbashingly invited myself into her bedroom and she welcomed me quite openly although she was a little amused how excited I was seeing her dressing up. Her head gear lined with precious turquoise was incredibly heavy and it was amazing how she could wear that for the whole day. The whole setup was heavy and took quite awhile to dress. You could tell how precious every gear and every jewellery were to her as she unwrapped them after taking them out from a wooden chest. Obviously these were her only possessions from her dowry as often female were only given these passed down from their mothers as their only financial property. We couldn’t really communicate as I couldn’t speak Ladakhi and know only little Hindi, and she, spoke only little Hindi and no English. I came to know that she was going to meet the High Lama who was coming for the blessings and she motioned that she was also going to dance for the festival. Really did wish I could have communicated with her and perhaps asked her more about her life in this remote little village. Along the only street out of Korzok, I came upon this bunch of women all dressed in their finest costumes, they gathered and then quickly disappeared back down to the mud lined houses. Curious and wondered what they were up to, I was walking around from house to house, took me quite a while before I found them hidden away at one of the ladies’ houses. They were rehearsing for their folk dance in preparation of the upcoming festival. Couldn’t really understand what they were doing, it was a form of line dancing where they held their hands and walked front and then back while singing one of the village songs. They often stopped and discussed what they would do next then continued on with their humming. It got kinda repetitive after that. The head gear lined with turquoise stones was usually their only prized finanical possesions and the women usually were given very little property, except for those costumes and jewellery. Their silk cape lined with pashima sheep wool which was their main live stock in their village.

Origional Work: Travellust

About The Author:

My Aim for the travels?

I want my life to be shaped by this travel lust. To capture the world as seen through my eyes and to remember it when I was there. I’m an introverted quiet person hardly sociable, don’t really like to talk or chatter much, but as I travelled, I have changed a little, traveling has forced me to be a little more open to people and to life, it reallly does shape you whether you realise it or not.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Heat in plains of North India - Himalayas is hot destination.

Dramatic rise is heat in plains of North India has forced either people to remain indoors or to run for himalayas which is getting busier each day by thousands of vehicles running into it.

Char dham yatra has started and Srinagar and Manali are HOT destinations.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Owners of two trekking agencies held

Owners of two trekking agencies have been arrested for allegedly sending the trekkers to high altitudes of the Garhwal Himalayas despite inclement weather that led to the death of five porters in September.

The five porters died on the way to Kalindi Badrinath trek after they were caught in a blizzard prompting the Uttarakhand government to order a probe in this regard.

Police sources said efforts are on to arrest the owner of New Delhi based third trekking agency, which was booked in the case.

The arrests were made on Saturday after investigations found these three trekking agencies guilty of the crime, the case for which was registered by Sub Divisional Magistrate of Bhatwari on September 24, they said.

Dharmendra Panwar of Uttarkashi-based Himalayan Adventure and Kapil Singh of Dehra Dun-based Mount Shepherd have been arrested while a police team has been sent to New Delhi to arrest the owner of Grand Adventure agency, which has its office at Shakarpur area.

Police investigations found out that they facilitated the trekkers of the two teams, including one from Australia, obtaining the inner line permit to go on adventure tour to Badrinath -Kalindi trek from September 10-15 despite knowing well that the weather conditions in the higher Himalayas might be adverse during the period.

An 11-member team of trekkers and porters from home and another 35-member team from Australia were trapped in a blizzard in September. While all the trekkers were rescued safely, five porters were killed in the incident.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

High altitude trekking closed- Tribal village treks for winters.

With Himalayas getting cooller every coming day and reports of closer of high passes and stranded trekkers coming on our TV screens - I think this is time when we should change our plans to visit high altitudes. Even calculative risk can go beyond control. We see what happens in Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti in September is somewhat shock to all those who realized that they are on mercy of clouds, Sun and people who will come for rescue.

Himadventures is suggesting treks of Central India [ Sahyadr Mountain Range ] to all clients and inquiries and more and more people are showing interest in exploring this vast horizon of tribal region which is situated in dense jungles.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Malana - Himachal Pradesh.

* Do not touch people, some rocks & stones in this village. They are sacred and heavy fine from village head have to be paid instantly.

BACKGROUND: Situated in Kullu Distt. of Himachal Pradesh. Malana is famous for its unique history. Tribal people here find their roots with Alexandria. It is widely believed that people of Malana are direct descendant of Greeks,which visited India during one of their campaigns under Alexander the Great. The very features, language, religion and socioeconomic structure resembles with ancient Greek civilization. This is quite true that they manage their own judicial, social and religious lives- which is unique in its own way-and that's major attraction for people to visit and witness a life style where certain stones are also sacred and in case someone touches them-have to be heavily fined. Malana is unique village where a tourist is told very clearly about his limits and its penelty.One can not touch certain stones and neither touching the residents is accepted.Accidents do happen and they draw very heavy penalty from trekkers/tourists. Although Indian Govt. knew very well about activities and drug culture going on,but strangely there have been no steps taken till date. Hence Malana is still considered one of the great mines of "high quality " of Charas.And many locals have become millionaires within couple of years.

PHASE1 One can reach Bhuntar by air also,otherwise it is well connected by road and heavy traffic of buses and taxis is there to accommodate every one.Bhuntar is situated on Kullu-Manali highway.From Bhuntar one has to turn for Manikaran which is a religious place for Sikhs. Kasol is just on way to Manikaran,just a 45 min. drive from Bhuntar.One can smell the very air filled with western music and small eating joints serving different different dishes.I have seen many "Hippies" spending good time here,before starting climbing for Rashol.

PHASE2 Trek is very easy in first leg and well defined.One encounters many people from different countries ,enroute.So ,no confusion.Rashol is bit higher and last leg of the day may leave you bit tired.There are now well equipped eating joints which are also offering night stays,for very nominal prices.

PHASE3 Start early and within three Hrs., Malana shows its beautiful fields. Now they do not cultivate "smoking stuff" this side of the trek (Media attention) There is INSTRUCTION BOARD Rt. at it very carefully. No police is going to come for your help in any case.They make and rule their own laws.This is Malana. Inquire before photography..there are certain stones/rocks/temples which are not allowed to be photographed.You can eat at many eating joints and boarding is also provided by them.Have a nice time.

NOTE: Our personal experience is that this region is not safe for solo trekkers and please do not go alone.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Major Highways Opened

After landslides caused by heavy rains- traffic was stopped on major highwaysof uttaranchal. Thousands of vehicles were stranded but now traffic had been restored besides heavy rains.