About the Book
Himalayas: Through Heaven and Hell in the Hills
The book is a photolog (photographs and travelogue) of a trip along one of the most dangerous, but, also one of the most scenic highways in India, from Manali to Leh.
It recounts the various events that unfold during the 5 day trip from my perspective; the sights, sounds and challenges that I encountered as my friends and I embarked on an epic road trip in the Himalayas.
The book takes the readers through the various facets involved in planning and executing a trip to Ladakh. The narrative covers the sights along the Delhi – Manali highway and then along the Manali – Leh highway (Manali – Rohtang – Keylong – Jispa – Sarchu – Pang – Upshi – Karu – Leh). It also covers some of the tourist spots in and around Leh.
The challenges experienced during a trip at such high altitudes, including Acute Mountain Sickness and unpredictable road conditions, add to the storyline.
It includes photographs taken during the trip, featuring some beautiful landscapes.
It is a short read, maybe an hour and a half, at most and is available on Kindle Unlimited.
It was September 2013. I got a phone call from my friend who is a Major in the Indian Army. He had been transferred from Pathankot to Leh. For the sake of confidentiality, I cannot use his real name. So, I will call him Abhay; Major Abhay.
Leh is the capital of Ladakh district in India’s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh: The land of passes; a high altitude cold desert in the rain shadow region of Himalayas that is home to some of the most stunning landscapes on the planet.
The first thing that came to my mind was “What a lucky guy to be able to work in such exotic locations!” Once Abhay was in Leh, I casually enquired whether he would host me if I were to tour Ladakh and he immediately agreed. I knew this was not a trip that I could do with my family, considering my daughter was just 2 years old. So, I called up few of my friends from college who were also my roommates during my college days. Gopu and Hari jumped right in while a couple of others were not entirely amused at the plan.
One thing led to another and before we knew it, we had arrived at a plan for our Ladakh “pilgrimage”. We decided to skip the peak tourist season (July-August) to avoid the crowds and also the early season (May – June) to avoid the bad roads and numerous water crossings caused by the melting snow. So, September 2014 was picked and we decided to do a Delhi – Srinagar – Kargil – Leh – Manali – Delhi round trip in two weeks. It took us eight months to read through numerous blogs and research various car rental options in Delhi before arriving at the final itinerary.
About the author
Praveen is a mechanical engineer by qualification, a software architect by profession and a sports-person, photographer and traveler at heart. He loves exploring his home country India and has also traveled to Europe and South East Asia.
He loves all types of sports, enjoys vegetarian food and lives in Thiruvananthapuram, India with his wife and three year old daughter.
His dream is to travel the world with his family someday. And, become a self-published author. 'Himalayas: Through Heaven and Hell in the Hills' is his first book.
Praveen can be reached at email@example.com
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