Category Archives: Trekking in Himalayas

The Unaltered Flavours of the Himalayas

Recently, a good friend of mine, Yog Dutt, invited me to join him for trekking in Himalayas scheduled this summer.  

“Trekking… and me! Are you serious?” was my first response when he explained his plan for summer vacation.

“But dude… Himachali food is simply out of the world!” he replied with a playful smile.


Now, this man knows exactly how to pull my strings! How can a foodie let go the quest for flavour and a chance to savour?!

A nature lover simply can’t refuse a chance to visit the “Land of Gods”! It’s not that I don’t have it for nature; instead it is one of the reasons why I chose to stay back at Bhopal, sidelining some better career opportunities in metros. But I certainly am not the adventurous type; not even in my wildest dream did I fantasize about paying a visit to the majestic Himalayas. Valleys in Himalayas, indeed, are blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. But because of their difficult terrain, they are largely untouched by external customs, and so is their food.

At first, I thought Yog was playing with me. But as they say “you can’t start the new chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”. So the first thing I did was to check with Mishi, a close friend and also a Himachal frequenter. What she told me simply left me open-mouthed. She informed me that India’s finest quality of Rajma is grown in Himachal Pradesh, and more precisely in Mandli region, where the camp was planned.

“What? Did you just say Rajma?” this was sort of a shock for me.

Being a Punjabi, my heart always had a special place for Rajma-chawal, but I never made the effort to know its genesis. This further elevated my enthusiasm to know more about flavours of Himachali cuisines.

Google further heightened my excitement level by digging out pages after pages  detailing mouth watering dishes of Mandli region. Their cuisines mainly comprise of Rajma, sepu vadi (which are lentil dumplings in spinach gravy; this is something which otherwise I have never heard of!), maa ki dal cooked in certain spices and generous amounts of ghee, kadhi, rice, kale chane ka khatta (chickpea soup) with gravy, and kaddu ka meetha. I am not particularly fond of kaddu (pumpkin), but well, the latter definitely got my nerves!

Apart from these, they have quite a special vegetable known as3fecaf24-1053-45b6-9d1f-d720e06d7cdf Lungdoo. This vegetable will leave you both surprised and curious when you’ll see it. It is green and long like drumsticks by figure, but looks more like a snail at its ends! The interesting thing is that it grows in jungles, beside the rocks and is not easy to find. This fact makes it a not so common vegetable, and hence only typical pahari people know how to actually cook it. So now I am seriously excited to tickle my taste buds with this rare pahari herb.

Apart from this, Himachali people are known for their love for non-vegetarian cuisines; especially Gaddi tribe, which inhabit the valleys blognear Kugti pass and are known as the real paharis. The reason for their peculiar taste is simple, yet interesting – the topography of their region, which permits farming only in summers. And for the rest, they have some appetizing recipes of chicken, lamb, and goat.

Exploring new places is exciting; but for me, going somewhere new and trying the food that is unique and I’ve never tasted before, doubles the thrill. I never knew that Himachal Pradesh could be a paradise even for food lovers! And now I am looking forward with all fervor to soothe my senses with unaltered pahari flavours.

I am coming Himachal, the foodie me has been unleashed!

Join JT2 Trek to Padhar Got, Kugti Valley in May 2016 to experience it all!


Savneet is big-time adventurer and ardent food blogger from Bhopal whose dream is to travel on his Enfield, tickling his taste buds with the flavours of India! Visit to check out his latest exploits in the culinary world.

Tyrannous Himachal – Once in Lifetime



Himachal Pradesh is one of the undisputed destinations in India. It is home of tremendous landscapes and superbly situated hill stations to pull wanderlust from all over the globe. I would have never thought to come to this place like this in my life. Clubbed with this fantastic group called Junoon Adventures, I started my journey to this tranquil place of Himachal Pradesh. The trek of six days encompassed the trails to Mc.Lodganj, Dharamshala, Triund and Valley of Himalayas including Kangra valley and Dhauladhar Ranges.


The fantastic journey starts with train journey till Pathankot Railway Station heading towards the hill station Dharamkot for the night stay. The 2 hour and 30 minutes journey was fantastic with cool breeze and picturesque landscapes. We crossed Jassur a small town; later Nupur which imbibes a beautiful and gigantic fortress. Besides featuring the Kangra valley glimpse of amazing highway NH20 was also covered.




The wonderful trekking point, Indrahaar Pass Trek, in Himachal is not a simple trekking. In any case, the staggering perspectives of the Indian fields in the South and snow topped mountain ranges and in the North the crest of extreme climbing. The ceaseless move over mountains takes one on a not well characterized trail of Hindu religious spots, and the panaromas of stunning Kangra Valley.


The Indrahar pass trek begins from McLeodganj (Dharamsala) in the Kangra valley, close the eyes to the noteworthy snowbound Dhauladhar range and cease. This trek tenders an opportunity to have a nearby perspective of wonderful Dhauladhar and Kangra mountain ranges. Appraised as moderate way, this trek will take you through green fields, thick Deodar and Rhododendron backwoods. This experience visit gives you a chance to stroll on the old trail of Gaddi Shepherds who utilizes this trek to take their gown to summer nibbling knolls in the stuffed snow layered ranges of Triund.


Trekking to Indrahaar pass trek will repay numerous amazing perspectives to the trekkers. You will get tremendous perspectives of sacrosanct peaks and amazing flora and fauna toward the north while toward the south you can see the stunning Indian fields till the far skyline. Pushing forward over the trek, you will locate some feeble characterized trail that will go you through the Hindu sanctuaries and towns in the upper Kangra valley. Trekking on this course will offer an extreme audacious ordeal as this trek involves consistent climbing regularly over stones.


At first, this trek starts with a consistent move through the Himalayan locale and transforms into a precarious trip. You will experience strolling through rich untamed life ranges and witness wild goats, panther, sloth bear, vultures, eagles and other feathered creature. The best season to visit this trek is between mid May to June and September to mid October.



Season: May – June & Sept – Oct
Average Walking Time: 5 – 6 hours per day
Location: Distt – Kangra
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

 The sight is full of landscapes!

7 things about Triund and Indrahaar Pass trail to make your heart sing!

They call it the Himalayan KEEDA..

An insatiable lust that will burn in your heart for the rest of your life – to go back to the wild, powerful and enchanting land of the mountains again and again and again..

And if you are lucky enough to start this Himalayan love affair with a trek to Triund and Indrahaar pass trail, yours will have been a story written in heaven..LITERALLY

One of the most popular trekking routes in the country, this place has borne witness to many trekkers and nature lovers coming out of their shells. There is something so mesmerizing about this place that you just cannot resist being inspired.

And if you need more reasons to try this Himalayan trek yourself, here are some of the things that you will be carrying with you back home as amazing memories..

#1  The Magic View Cafe

Junoon Adventure - Magic View Cafe - Triund Hill

(Oldest Chai Shop – Since that is definitely an achievement worth boasting about..)

*for more pictures, click here

#2  The Dogs of Triund

Junoon Adventure - Dogs of Triund Indrahaar Pass

(Moti.. Sheru and their friends will keep you company all the way to the top)

*for more pictures, click here

#3  The Culture Cocktail

Junoon Adventure - a mix of cultures at Triund, Mcleodganj

(the entire world congregates on the top of that hill and becomes BFFs.. All we need for world peace and human solidarity is a Trek to Triund)

*for more pictures, click here

#4  A Backpacker’s Fine Dining

Junoon Adventure - Maggi at Triund Indrahaar Pass

(Maggi, Marley and a Mug full of Chai… Food as God intended it to be)

*for more pictures, click here

#5  Constantly Changing Views

Junoon Adventure - Photography at Triund Indrahaar Pass

(the photographer inside you will scream like an ecstatic teenager at a pop concert.. time to whip out those DSLR Lenses guys!)

*for more pictures, click here

#6  The Clouds

Junoon Adventure - Triund Clouds

(you will actually be in heaven..)

*for more pictures, click here

#7  The Trek Itself

Junoon Adventure - Trek to Triund Indrahaar Pass

(the best way to get a taste of undiluted Himalayan awesomeness)

*for more pictures, click here

Want to be there and see for yourself? Just block the dates between 2nd to 6th October 2015 in your Calendar for the

JT2 – Trek to Indrahaar Pass Trail..

Click here to know more!

Trekking to Himalayas? Learn to Pack your Backpack Right!

Planning a trekking expedition to the Himalayas?

We can bet our 15 years of existence in the industry that you MUST be day dreaming about the trip already, with images floating around your work-numbed brain while it works on this dull Monday. And we are very sure that the images look somewhat like THIS..

Backpacking Daydreams
Ok.. Not exactly Kangana and Ranbeer but you get the picture..

But while actually trekking, the experience becomes something like THIS..

Backpacking comes crashing down to reality
Aaahhhh… meri kamar!!

And if you hire a porter, the poor guy will be feeling like THIS..

download (2)


Follow this Infographic and learn how to get your backpack ready for a long and happy trek..

How to pack for a Himalayan Trek

What to pack for a Himalaya trekking expedition


Himalaya Trekking – Altitude Sickness Can Be A Real Spoil – Sport

altitude_sicknessLack of proper acclimatization can spoil your entire experience when you trek the Himalayas. This is one ailment that every trekker will have to deal with, no matter how experienced they are or how many treks they have undertaken in the past. And just to burst your bubble, no matter what your fitness level and strength might be, the symptoms of altitude sickness WILL start to show themselves in some or the other magnitude as soon as you move past the height of 1500 mts. And Beware, if not managed properly, these symptoms can even bring your Himalaya trekking experience to a full stop!

Understand what you are up against here.. This will give you a fair warning about your condition, help you get better acclimatized and take preventive action before you are out of help’s reach!

Normal symptoms
When you cross the 1500mts mark, it is time to be alert. On an average, most people start to show certain milder symptoms of altitude sickness around this height. These signs may include lack of sleep, occasional breathlessness, slight nausea, loss of appetite, runny nose and an increased urge to urinate. Some Himalayan hikers also report vivid, wild dreams at around 2500-3800m in altitude. Keep a watch on the occurrence of any of these in your body or in the bodies of your fellow trekkers. This discomfort is the most common form of altitude sickness and will manifest itself in every individual.

Mild symptoms
If you start to notice any of these symptoms then become alert as things are beginning to get serious. Headaches are some of the mostgeolino01 common signs on this category. And you will often find that these aches will begin around evening time and will almost always get worse as the night progresses. People also report feeling nauseated and dizzy. Lack of appetite or generally feeling bad and a painful raspy cough also starts to develop as you continue to gain height. If these signs start to show themselves, it is always better to take an extra acclimatization day before moving forward. Never go higher with these symptoms and these should not be taken lightly.

Serious symptoms
Persistence of a severe headache, vomiting and cough, loss of consciousness, marked blueness of face and lips, extreme difficulty in breathing, severe lethargy and drowsiness are the more severe category of effects of altitude sickness. In such cases the milder symptoms start to get worse at a really fast rate. One of the best markers of severe altitude sickness is Ataxia or loss of co-ordination, inability to walk in a straight line or else walking like a drunk person. If any of this happens, abort the Himalaya trek there and then and descend immediately. Continuing to trek can even put your life at risk!
Hope this helps you be safe while on your trek this summer!

Yeh Jawani He Deewani… And what not to do while trekking in the mountains

Yeah yeah.. the movie has been out for months now but with the Himalayan trekking season upon us, we just thought of setting the record straight..

Well this here was a movie that sort of put mountain trekking on the map.images It got people up and down the country (especially the younger kind.. 😉 ) googling for trips to the glorious mountains that we have up north. It got people to consider taking a different kind of vacation –  one that is closer to nature and with a touch of adventure. It gave Deepika Padukone and Ranbeer Kapoor’s career a big time boost too! But it also did set a few false standards and I thought I should just clear the air of them before you plan your trekking adventure for the coming summers..

So here goes..

Ladies and gentlemen.. with the blockbuster “Yeh Jawani He Deewani” in the backdrop, here is what you should not be doing while you trek in the mountains.

Clothing like this movie? NO!
The slightest touch with it can give you serious boils on your skin and the pesky  plant grows all over the place here!
The slightest touch with it can give you serious boils on your skin and the pesky plant grows all over the place here!

Don’t get me wrong now.. I have nothing against fashionable wear but whether you are a guy or a girl.. in the land of the ‘Bichoo Booti’, you DO NOT go about dressed like that. Reason why? You could seriously hurt yourself! Then there are insects and bugs and small little critters and other poisonous animals and plants that can harm your body in more ways than one!


Then whether you are an experienced trekker or an amateur, Evelyn-Sharma-with-Ranbir-Kapoor-in-Yeh-Jawaani-Hai-Deewani.-Pic-2the chances of getting cuts and scrapes in the wild is pretty high. Imagine trying to navigate your way through thorny bushes wearing something like THAT! You get the picture I guess.. Being out in the wild needs some precautions to be followed quite strictly on your part and ensuring comfortable and protective clothing is an important one (but hey… if you have Ranbeer or Deepika trekking in your group, I guess you  are allowed to make at least one exception. 😉 )

Taking off on your own like Ranbeer and Deepika did? Absolutely NO!

yeh-jawaani8See my point is, I accept you are a strong and experienced trekker who of course can manage a solo trek. And you might be sensible enough to find your way in the woods too. And then, you HAVE managed to complete several solo treks in the the plainer regions of the country…

But no matter how much it catches your fancy, solo trekking is a strict NO-NO in the mountains! You see, here the conditions are different – the trails are a lot more treacherous, the air is thin which means less oxygen and even more stress for your body, the flora and fauna is new and unknown for most people and finally the nearest speck of civilization and help is miles away. So if, God forbid, you injure yourself or get incapacitated for any reason, it would be days before anybody finds your location. And who knows what would happen by then…

No.. when in the mountains you do not go off on your own solo adventure, away from the group, like Ranbeer and Deepika did.

Boozing? HELL NO!!!

I hate to be a spoil sport people, but no matter what, you do NOT consume alcohol while trekking in the mountains. Now I know what you will say – it would be cold and a bit of rum will be good for warmth… But if you have boozed before, you must be aware that it can seriously dehydrate your body. And a dehydrated body at THOSE altitudes with the thin air, scarce oxygen and altitude sickness –  not a good combination at all. And you can think that the nearest help is going to miles away from you.

So the mantra to follow is –

DON’T DRIVE under the influence of alcohol and DON’T TREK under the influence of  alcohol. Period!

And if it is warmth you are seeking, why don’t you put on some woollens 🙂

The chance to discover a new side of life – H.E.A.T.

H.E.A.T. has been that one getaway that allows me to be myself completely, to do what I love most and get a chance to know some amazing people along the way. Every year, I embark upon this expedition with the mind to experience some amazing moments and H.E.A.T. has never failed me in this regard. Ever since my first one way back in 2002, this trip thrown surprise upon surprise my way. And the best part is, this trip means a chance to explore the mighty Himalayas in a way that is totally untried!

Just imagine..

trekking on a trail that will take you into the heart of the mountains, away from civilization and human impact, into the midst of nature. Every step you take in this gorgeous setting unveils a new surprise, a new gift from Mother Nature waiting to amaze you. Every sight you see, every sound you hear and every breath you take is a delight to the senses, making you feel alive like never before!

Then the people on the journey always make the experience even more exciting. Its a new mix of people every time, all hailing from different walks of life and all adding a new color to the whole expedition. In fact, I have trekked with a 3 year old kid and even a 60 year old couple.. together discovering the hidden treasures of these amazing mountains.

I have witnessed the Himalayas taking their toll on these trekkers, challenging them in unexpected ways and getting them to push their limits.I have seen people failing, giving up half way. And I have witnessed people emerging triumphant, that look of satisfaction and pride dawning on their faces as they set foot in the trek’s destination for the first time.

Where once I used to be a sole trekker, I am now a Trek Group Leader.. and I am proud to say that on each of my expeditions, no hiker has failed to reach to the top! Whether they are confident to complete the challenge or are apprehensive about their abilities, I make sure that they complete the journey, no matter what it takes!

Why do I do it?

Well it is the look in their eyes that amazes me, the expression that their faces exhibit   when they finally get to see that great Himalayan treasure for the first time. That satisfaction, the amazement and the awe that they feel when they set their eyes on those amazing views is humbling as well as gratifying for me, all at the same time. If I could play my small part in getting these people to discover their adventurous side, getting them to test themselves beyond their limits and giving them a chance to witness some of the most breathtaking sights on Planet Earth, I consider my life’s purpose fulfilled.

And as I am making my way back home, the anticipation for the next H.E.A.T. is already rushing through my veins. I cant help but imagine what the next expedition will be like and what the surprises will the Himalayas have in store for me this time. So I am asking you, will you join me for this ultimate adventure next time?!!