a small village on the road which connects the kullu valley to the kinnaur valley via the jalori pass.
on the mandi-manali road you reach a place called aut. from there instead of proceeding straight on towards manali you turn off towards banjar and onwards to jalori pass.
jibbhi gaon is 10 kms before jalori pass.

the valley there is the jalori-jyot valley.

a very nice place to stay in the village is the doli guest home.
run by mr. rana and his son guddu (who does the goa in the winters, himachal in the summers thing)
mr. rana used to be with the ITBP and since his retirement runs a trekking setup and an environmental ngo form jibbhi. they conduct treks in the area. wonderful trekking there.. week long, day long.. some lovely walks from jalori pass...the works.

the walk we did was from jalori pass to serolsar lake .. which is a 10km hike .. you can reach the lake by a walk from the pass along the ridge. the walk along the ridge is a treat since there is point where you get a 360deg view as well. from the lake you can walk back on the trail

doli has internet.. the fare is good, quite basic.
and there's a river just next to it.

mr. b.s.rana
doli guest home
+91 1903 227034
+91 94184 42122


this is a nice easy trek inside the karnala bird sanctuary.
the sanctuary is 60kms from midtown bombay (meaning my house) and around 6 kms from the start of the bombay-goa highway NH17 at panvel.
perfect for a day's outing from bombay, riders can also combine it with a short ride. if u are on your way further south (south konkan or goa) and not in a hurry its worth stopping over for a few hours as well.
i left home at 0800, reached the sanctuary and started climbing at 0930 and reached the fort at 1100. spent a few hours up there, left at 1430 after a post-prandial snooze and was back home having a shower at 1700.
carry your own food and water, there's really nothing inside the sanctuary.... i didnt even see any birds. they claim to have a guesthouse but i couldnt figure out how to make bookings.

lovely trek, great views, you're high enough (439m) to see the choppers flying below you.


motu came back from calcutta with 2 interesting walking books:

1. Ten Walks in Calcutta by Prosenjit Das Gupta, Pub. Hermes Inc.
2. A Jaywalker's Guide to Calcutta by Soumitra Das, Pub. Eminence Designs


lots of walking in the town itself.
from the town centre
1. down bhagsu road to bhagsu
2. down the temple road past the tsuglagkhang temple to lagheri temple
3. down the post office road ... this circles around and meets the temple road and comes back to tsuglagkhang.
4. past the taxi stand to dal lake and on to naddi or to strawberry hills : this is a nice long one
5. up past the mountaineering institute up to dharamkot.. this road circles around, connects to the TIPA road and comes back to the town centre.
6. the trek to triund.. which i didn't do this time but have done earlier.

transport/car rental:
s.k.thapa has a tata sumo... can call him directly at 09805299406

place to stay :
takhyil guest house: clean, quiet, well run place. raju the manager has been running the place for the owners (who live on the 3rd floor, the first 2 floors are the rooms for the guests) for the last 18 years. one of the few places which will do advance bookings. great terrace. 500 per day in may.

places to eat:
lung-ta : the veg. japanese restaurant above the gu-chu-sum office. its a non profit restaurant which runs as part of the gu-chu-sum initiative. excellent food! different specials everyday.

boom-boom cafe : run by an aussie woman who calls herself boom-boom. her visiting card proclaims: "theatrical food and delicious entertainment"

carpe diem : one of the few places that stays open past 9pm. nice pizzas from the oven

tea o'clock: at the bus stand, excellent deserts

the only wifi-ed internet cafe is the one at green hotel and restaurant on bhagsu road. the food here is not so great.

places i missed going to:
jji cafe: run by the mum of the 3 brothers (j,j&i) who have a rock band, i heard some mellow blues playing when i passed it once
the korean restaurant
(both of these on bhagsu road)
momo cafe: on the start of tipa road.

for vipassanics: the centre is up at dharamkot. its a 15min uphill trudge from the busstand (30mins if you're out of shape). they have group meditations from 8-9am
and 6-7pm.


i discovered this because it's a nice stopover if you're driving or riding down to goa. you can leave bombay in the morning, reach tarkarli by afternoon, spend the rest of the day and half of the next there and in malvan, and hit goa by day 2 evening.

turn off NH17 at kasal. take the SH to malvan. tarkarli is 7km south of malvan.
like most of konkan, the SH is a lovely ride.

there's a long stretch of undeveloped beachfront (very clean too) stretching from malvan in the north, passing thru tarkarli and upto deobagh in the south. if you're looking for the buzz which you find on the goa beaches this is NOT the place to go to. its truly quiet with very few tourists. you'll only find village dogs to keep you company on the walk, fisherfolk doing what fisherfolk do and village kids playing cricket (all of them are notorious chuckers... i didn't see a single proper overarm delivery).

once it's dark the only comforting light in the distance is from the MTDC tourist resort which is also the place to stay. it's online here.
they have double rooms and 5 bed dorms for 1100 per night.

central goa. NH17 or trains to madgaon. head west.
superb and unending stretch of beach.

i usually stay at benaulim because :
it's in the middle
it's close to madgaon
it's less crowded and much quieter
i've been there so many times i'm familiar with it.

from benaulim beach you can walk either northwards (to colva, betalbatim and onwards) or south (to varca, cavelossim).

a nice bookshop in madgaon called Confidant Book Shop, Confidant House, behind the Lawrence & Mayo shop, very close to the central garden. tel 2732450,2725208

there's tons of goa resources for info so i won't bother.


we did this one two years ago with a guide.. a 4 hour eat-walk starting from byculla station and ending at suleiman usman mithaiwalla on mohammed ali road. our guide, zenab, knew the area quite well so apart from the food a lot of interesting architecture and local history was pointed out to us.

this year we didn't have zenab so the proportion of experience was skewed towards the food.
nonetheless :
starting point : hotel sarvi opposite nagpada police station... the kebabs are amongst the best i've had in bombay, the dabba gosht and rotis are good too. so is the chai if the chai drinkers are to be believed.
exit sarvi on the side oppo the police station and start walking south.
next pit stop : around 300m down on the right, there's a halisa (halim/khichda) setup. not to miss. excellent. i saw several of these further on as well.
next pit stop : bori mohallah : several kebab and tandoor places here. you will come back here for the dessert. we didn't eat here this time... age has caught up with us and we were saving our appetites for ...
next pit stop : surti handi , next to zenaibi hall .. just ask your way there, its right next to bor.mol. very nice barah (12) handi here. also nalli nihari (mutton not beef and not a patch on the delhi stuff but nonetheless) and paya.
back to : bori mohalla for malpua and firni at tawakkal sweets (the mango firni was surprisingly nice) and sitaphal icecream at the shop next door.


pics here.


a rather negelected hill station 1 km from the gujarat-maharashtra border on the gujarat side.
plenty of hill walks.
not to miss the one to sunset/sunrise point and onwards to the clifftop NE of the point.

262km from bombay by the shortest road. the straightforward route is to nashik along NH3 and onwards but a stunning ride is :
otar-malshej ghat-kalyan-mumbai (700km)
this is especially fantastic in the monsoons.. you'll o.d. on the green. also expect much mist on the ghats. and if its raining it'll be a trip and a half.

bewarned : saputara is full of dirty, noisy g*jjus on weekends (i know i'm a bigot, so sue me).

very cheap accomodation at the dormitory at Toran (GTDC hotel) - Rs. 50/- a head on weekdays, Rs.100/- on weekends. in the dorm section of the hotel there are 10 large rooms, some with 6 some with 15 beds. so if there is not much of a crowd you can sweettalk the receptionist into giving you one room to you and your group and put up any other guests in the other rooms. The only drawback being you'll have to share the loo. which is none to clean.

quite a few hotels otherwise but i didn't do any research.

another attraction in saputara is a cable car ride from one hilltop to another. (i missed it but it promised to be good).


many city walks here.
the ones i did this time were :

park street to esplanade via all the small lanes then come out onto the main road and do a round of the maidan to end up at victoria memorial

lake gardens and southern avenue: there's a beautiful mosque in the middle of the lake

kalabagan : next to navina cinema on prince anwar shah road. its a very pretty locality and makes for a wonderful short walk

2 bookshops worth a visit
seagull books in bhowanipore 033-2476 5865/69
earthcare books on middleton street 033-2229 6551


Department of Mountaineering and Allied Sports
Govt. of Himachal Pradesh

they have a bunch of (very reasonably priced and well organised) courses peppered throughout the year... from high altitude trekking to advanced mountaineering
website : http://www.adventurehimalaya.org


93 kms from mumbai by road, turn left at chowk on the old bombay-pune highway NH4
trains upto neral on the bombay-karjat line

plenty of walks around matheran
good easy trek from neral to matheran

some nice places to stay:
Lord's Hotel
prop. Shiavax Lord, 022-26106978/32968614, 02148-230228
closed for the monsoons

Cecil Hotel
prop. Yezdi Irani, 09821148428, 02148-230216
closed for the monsoons

Hope Hall Hotel
prop. Nancy/Maria/Joseph Vaz, 02148-230253/230193
by far the most quirky of the hotels, there's a plethora of pets and large rooms with fairly basic facilities here. open in the monsoons but the sheets get damp and musty.


2 treks here
solang nalla - patalsu peak : a day trek
solang nalla - beas kund : can be done as a day trek or you can trek to the beas kund base camp on day one, climb up to beas kund and head back on day two. solang-beaskund-solang is approx 30kms

delhi to manali : overnight hptdc buses and a bunch of private ones.
chanderlok bldg, 36 janpath,
oppo imperial hotel, new delhi
011 23324764

manali to solang nalla: s.t. buses thrice a day OR

solang nalla : raju paying guest house
prop. nandlal a.k.a. neenu