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The Call of Bagpipes

Tales from the Mountains
Expectations. Sometimes the lesser, the better. And so despite it being my first trek experience, I decide not to get over excited, lest I be disappointed. The ascent to the Valley of Flowers begins a day after what seemed like a never-ending trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria. Ghangaria is the last human habitation settlement on the way to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Gentle and intermittent drizzles along...
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बारोंमासा को अविस्मरणीय यात्रा कराने और कुमाऊँ के अनदेखे रंग और अनजाने स्वाद का अनुभव कराने के लिये आभार । ऐसे अनुभव हुए कि लखनऊ आते ही एक कुमाँऊनी मित्र ने ऐसे गले लगाया जैसे मैं अपने अंदर पूरा कुमाऊँ समेट लायी हूँ, उसी मित्र के अहसासों को कविता में पिरोने की कोशिश की है जिसका श्रेय निश्चय ही बारोंमासा को जाता है : आओ तुम्हें मैं गले लगा लूँ...
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An offshoot of the motor able road from Almora to Kafadkhan,DSCF5787 is a narrow tarred path which marks the entrance to the Binsar Wildlife Reserve. This path, like a persistent vine, clings to the oak covered hill side and climbs in curvy hair-pin bends to the settlement of Binsar. The hallmarks of civilization have a meager presence here and nature, with all its care and indifference, reigns at will. To...
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During my last trip to Kumaon in Uttarakhand, I came across an old father narrating an anecdote involving his son who had landed a job in the far south. The mother, reluctantly, packed her love in pickle jars and ghee dabbas and bade goodbye to her son arming him with an assortment of spices and eatables native to Uttarakhand. When the lad was going through the security check at the...
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The end of summer is nigh; the parched valleys are shrouded in a white haze and the merciless sun whips up dust storms which rage through sleepy towns and dress them in brown cloaks. Weary eyed pilgrims crouch beside the road, searching for the elusive shade and water to soak their hearts. The hills anxiously await the arrival of the grey clouds rolling past the plains of India; they pine...
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The Call of Bagpipes

A collection of stories from the hills narrated by lofty mountains and meandering rivers, scented with the fragrance of blooming rhododendron flowers, spiced with adventures of gallivanting leopards and mythical sages surviving on magical herbs and blessed by benevolent and vengeful deities. Tales of courage, passion, resilience, determination and a history spanning thousands of years!

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