Friday, March 20, 2009

Journey to the Himalayas - 2009

Dear reader,
Greetings from Himalayas!
Year 2009 for adventure seekers has started, the calender will be soon updated but I have tried to capture some moments from the first Jeep Safari of the season(7th -12th march 2009).

As I mentioned this year is going to be amazing for adventure lovers along with trekking, Himalayas in this season is going to offer you Mountain Biking rallies over the Himalayan ranges & River Rafting form the source of the rivers.

Please be mild on my curves.
(The gateway to Kinnaur valley)

Baspa valley, where else to go now......!

An areal view of Chitkul village.

A slate roofed village house at Chitkul

An old temple in Chitkul village

A newly built monastery in Sangla village

Sunrise, Kinner Kailash range

Morning at Kalpa village

Kalpa also known for its beautiful temples

Kinner Kailash changes seven colors during the day.

An interior view of a Tibetan monastery

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The legacy of Indian Armed Forces.

Army Heritage Museum, Annadale Shimla.

The legacy of Indian army is well known around the world, Indian soldiers have proudly gone into battle in every part of the world. The spirit of Indian soldiers cuts across barriers of caste, creed and religion. The Indian Army’s rich tradition is more than 5000 years old. A glimpse of this can be observed at the heritage museum, Annadale, Shimla.

Shimla Annadale

Packed with history, heritage and immense natural beauty, is the small town of Shimla. The town has been a host for whole of the world since ages. No other landmark in Shimla can revive more pleasant memories than the famous ground by the name of Annadale, located in a deep wide valley.

Captain Charles Pratt Kennedy was so impressed with the beauty of the place, that he name it after a young lady with whom he was deeply attached in his boyhood days. Her name was Anna and he combined it with the word ‘dale’, meaning a valley, thus calling the valley as Annadale.

Since its inception in the 1830s, Annadale has been a favorite place for picnic parties, fetes and fancy-fairs, birthday balls, flower and dog shows, races and gymkhanas, polo and football matches and other tournaments hosted on this historical ground.

The Army continues to utilize it for training, disaster management, promote environment awareness and for operational use. To commemorate the Army’s close link with Shimla an Army heritage Museum has been set up at Annadale.

Museum Hangout

Along with the aroma of sweet smelling pines, the ambience of the place creates a perfect environment for a visitor revive the glorious past of the Indian armed forces along with the feeling being in the lap of nature.
Army Heritage Museum is a 20 minutes drive from The Oberoi Cecil at Shimla town. The entrance is marked with an anti-aircraft gun and two artillery guns respectively. Further whole of the area is being divided in different sections along with well maintained grounds. The different sections are as follows:

Army Ethos
Arm and Armor
Peace keeping

Infantry Hall
Shimla Corner

Band Stand


Glass House

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One of the few Sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh free from habitations, this area has been preserved since the last century as the Catchments area providing water to the Shimla town. Earlier the property of the former Rana of Koti, the catchments area came under the state control in 1947-48 and was notified as protected forest in 1952. Its terrain is very steep and precipitous at places and the whole area is criss-crossed with nallahs and streams. It has perhaps the highest density of Koklas pheasant among the states national parks and sanctuaries. The sanctuary is connected by a forest corridor to Chail sanctuary in the south.

LEGAL STATUS: First notifies a sanctuary on July 29, 1958, for a period of 20 years. Re-notified on December 14, 1982. Since no rights exist in the area, the other legal steps do not seem to have been considered necessary. The area was under the control of Shimla Municipal Corporation for more than three decades and now it has been taken over by the Forest department.

AREA AND ZONING: 1025.3ha. ( No zoning.

LOCATION: District Shimla; Latitudinal range 31º 05´12" to 31º07´11"N; longitudinal range 77º 12´54" to 77º 16´04"E.

TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE: Altitude 1900mtr to 2620mtr; Maximum temperature 23º C; Minimum temperature -5.4°C; an annual rainfall 1600mm.

Take nothing but Photographs.......!

The vegetation consists predominately of temperate coniferous forest, dominated by Himalayan Cedar (Deodar), and mixed at lower elevation with White Oak and patches of Chill Pine, and at higher elevation with blue pine, average about 50% cover ground vegetation is predominately grasses, but includes a variety of ferns and vascular herbs.

Dandelion Wild Strawberry

Crimson Cinquifoil
Cat mint

The Himalayan Dog Rose

Forest type include Himalayan Subtropical Pine Forest; Lower Western Himalayan Temperate forest, Ban Oak Forest, moist Cedar Forest, which cover the major portion of the sanctuary.


Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Barking Deer, Pine Martin, Musk Deer, Himalayan Yellow Throated Porcupine, Goral, Indian Sambar, Kashmir flying Squirrel and common Langur.

Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus), Chir Pheasant (Catreus Wallichii) and Khlij Pheasant (Lophura Leucomelana)