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Morning Light
Four of the five Panchachuli peaks lighted up with morning light.

Most people only get a view of Panchachuli from the western side i.e. Munsyari/Kausani/Choukori and similar hill stations. The eastern side, i.e., Darma Valley is untouched territory mostly for hiking parties. Till recently there was no road and it required a multi day trek from Tawaghat to get there.

This picture was taken during a bike ride I did in 2019 to Darma valley and spent two night at Dantu Village. On the first morning, the sky was cloudy and I was quite disappointed at missing out on the sunrise. I decided to stay another night and was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise on the next day.

Technical details: Pen-F + 12-40mm | F/4 | 1/160s | ISO200
Date: Oct 19, 2019 | 0615


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Lamp is Lit
The tallest peak of the Panchachuli lighting up like the wick of a lamp at sunrise.

Didihat is a somewhat of an unknown place in the tourist map of Uttarakhand. It is a small town with a KMVN guest house, a market with few other places to stay. I ended up there on my way to Dharchula and Darma Valley. The small market did have a couple of good Chaat shops.

I was expecting a grand view of the Panchachuli mountains, similar to the one from Munsyari, as the town directly faces the mountains. Unfortunately it was not as great as expected, partially because of the light cloud cover during the evening I stayed there. I am told that the view is much better from the Sirakot Temple just outside the town.

This picture was taken early in the morning from above the market through an opening between the houses. The first rays if sun were just hitting the top of Panchachuli peaks. The valley in-between was dark and deep in shadows.

Link: Lamp is Lit

Technical details: Pen-F + 12-40mm | F/5.6 | 1/125s | ISO200
Date: Oct 17, 2019 | 0613

Some more pictures from the same ride: Wandering the Kumaon Valleys – Selected Pictures


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I miss the posts on this thread from Yogesh.

A village house at Dantu under the patronage of Panchachuli Peaks in Darma valley Uttarakhand.

There are a few small villages in Darma Valley. Most are alike with a cluster of two storied huts with fields surrounding the village. The massive peaks of Panchachuli arise above all in the west, shadowing everything in the vicinity.

This picture was taken during a bike ride I did in 2019 to Darma valley and spent two night at Dantu Village. On the day after I arrived, I idled around the village, taking in the serenity and watching the few people of the village go about their daily work. The rest had gone down to Jauljibi for voting in panchayat elections.

This picture shows the hut I slept in. The door face east and get bright morning sun. Sitting on the verandah one feels the massiveness and aura of the Panchachuli peaks towering above.

Technical details: Pen-F + 12-40mm | F/14 | 1/125s | ISO200
Date: Oct 18, 2019 | 0910


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An abandoned hut at the village of Julidok in Zanskar Valley of Kargil.

Julidok is a village in the Rangdum valley halfway between Kargil and Padum, a town in Zanskar. I did an impromptu stop here for two days next to Suru River. The small village is located at the foot of a small hillock hosting the Rangdum Monastery.

This picture was taken while I was walking towards the Suru river on the outskirts of the village. It had been a cloudy day with intermittent rain. Towards the evening the skies started clearing up. The sun setting behind the peaks had lit up the valley in diffused light even though it was late in the evening.
I wanted to take a picture of the entire village along with the dirt road and mountains at the back. The scene was too wide to be captured by widest 24mm on my camera. So I took a set of 9 images to be stitched as panorama. The above is a crop from the 99 mega pixel panorama.

Technical details: G1XMk2 | F/8 | 1/180s | ISO100
Date: July 10, 2015 | 1910

Link: Abandoned
Large Panorama:


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Blooming Jacaranda tree in the Someshwar Valley of Uttarakhand

Several Km before Someshwar the road coming from Almora starts tracking the Kosi River, mostly along the valley bed. Between the road and the river is an extremely fertile land dotted with houses and terraced fields. The road itself is fenced with trees of various kinds, many of those being the Jacaranda trees. Late spring these trees are in full bloom creating a purple canopy in the sky.

This picture was taken two years ago, on a short day bike ride from Nainital to Someshwar Valley. I had taken a small break to photograph the fallen Jacaranda flowers and admire the beauty of the surrounding.

Technical details: Olympus E-M10ii + 9-18mm | F/5 | 1/640s | ISO200
Date: July 29, 2018 | 0845

Link: Purple


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Komic @ Spiti
Panoramic view of the Tangyud monastery at the Komic Village in Spiti

I happened to arrive at the Tangyud monastery by chance. Having taken the alternate route from Dhankar to Kaza, I followed a narrow motorable trail high above the Spiti river. The road eventually descended to Komic, world’s highest village with a road.

This picture was taken after an hour or so of seemingly going nowhere. I crossed a small pass, lo and behold the Tangyud monastery showed up far below.

The vistas were beautiful and I enjoyed riding that trail. Far ahead there was a bit of snow on the peaks. From high above on the pass, other than a few vehicles, the place seemed isolated.

Technical details: Olympus E-M10ii + 14-42mm | F/9 | 1/320s | ISO200
Date: Sep 08, 2017 | 1430

The Spiti Ride: 2400Km of Solo Spiti Sauntering – Compendium/


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To the good old when we could roam freely.

Sunrise on the Kolar Highway
Lockdown has had its toll on my riding – more psychological than actual. I did do a long ride in March and then a moderate one in May.
This picture was taken which watching sunrise over Narsapura lake on an early morning ride. Beautiful hues in the sky.

Technical details: Pen-F + 15mm bodycap | F/8 | 1/125s | ISO200
Date: May 26, 2019 | 0544


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Hazy Morning
Sun rising though the morning haze on the highway to Almora.

Going towards Almora from Garampani, the highway follows the narrow gorge of Kosi river. If you ignore the landslide risks, it is a beautiful stretch of road climbing along with the river till Kakrighat. Across the river is a dense jungle which is quite colorful in the fall season.

This picture was taken on a ride towards Someshar/Garechhina from Nainital, taking some of the beautiful backroads of Kumaon.

Technical details: E-M10ii+9-18/F4.0-5.6 | F/5.6 | 1/1000s | ISO200
Date: May 29, 2018 | 0618

Link: Hazy Morning


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Golden Morning
Sun rising amidst the fog on the outskirts of Lohaghat in Uttarakhand.

While not so famous, the hills in the eastern Kumaon are as pretty as rest of Kumaon. The area around Lohaghat and Champawat if quite pretty. Though the hills are not as steep as the ones at higher altitudes, the rolling hilles with their terraced fields are captivating.

This picture was taken on the way back from Darma Valley. Having spent the night at Lohaghat, I was on my way back to Nainital. The valley on my left was full of fog. With the sun rising on my back, it filled the entire landscape with a golden glow.

Technical details: Pen-F + 12-40/F4.0 | F/2.8 | 1/1600s | ISO80
Date: Oct 21, 2019 | 0710

Link: Golden Morning