The festive season is here. Bright lights are shimmering all over town, the crackle of crackers and rain of multicolored fire embellish the skies. But we have all done that so many times, haven't we? At GypsyShack, we are keen on doing something new every time and this season we are heading out into the Great Indian Outdoors to savour a smoke-free, pollution-free, stress-free festival. Are you following?
Agree neon lights and blinding fireworks are glitzy but can they compare to the glamour of the star-studded night sky? Far away from the city, the sky assumes a different quality: the darkness is darker, the stars are starrier. And over the tops of mountains and trees, you can see the soft glow of the Milky Way. Besides, the Leonids meteor shower is expected to blaze the skies on November 17. Festival of lights, isn't it?
Meteor Shower (Image Courtesy: pcwallart.com)
Nobody can deny the stench of burnt crackers that permeate the atmosphere during Diwali. Puffs of acrid smoke curtain everything. But in the great outdoors, the air is sparklingly clean and cold. In these times of blighted air pollution, the countryside is a respite. Give your lungs the gift of clean air.
The Har ki Dun Valley
It is November and winter has already made an appearance in the high mountains. From soft icing-sugar like veils to thick, creamy snow: the landscape is pristine. Trekking over thick snow underneath tall, dark conifers, leaving imprints and puffs of snow-dust behind can be magical.
Enroute to Dayara Bughyal
Imagine the orange-gold glow of a bonfire in the midst of wilderness, and someone strumming an old song that reverberates in the emptiness. Bonding over bonfires is wonderful. Share stories, songs, memories, observations. Make friends, celebrate life. No party can compare to the joy and bliss that a bonfire on a winter's night can. The warmth will bring you closer to your dearest ones.
Bonfire night with friends (Image Courtesy: Flickr Commons)
Crackers and bombs can be annoying and not everyone prefers celebrating with such a humongous amount of noise. So forget the crowd and take the trail untrodden. The quiet serenity of the great outdoors is sweeter than anything you have ever heard. And if perfect quiet disturbs you, there are always the cicadas, bird calls and the slow dripping of mist upon tin roofs.
A little bird puffs up its plume
Festivities these days are nowhere close to relaxation. There is the constant need to outdo ourselves, rushing to buy this and that, do this and that- the stress can be immense. Alternately, you can turn into a non-conformist, renounce the herd, and spend your holidays cocooned in the beauty of nature. Instead of running to the market, trek to turquoise lakes and sip from the urn of slow life.
Experiencing the mountains
We are not going to delve into the science of this but trust us. Sparkling air, sparkling atmosphere, sparkling water bodies - what else do ya city dwellers seek? Pitch tents on open grassland speckled with snow or in a forest turned gold by the kiss of fall or just about anywhere in the mountainside. The unpolluted air is extremely refreshing.
The stark beauty of Lahaul-Spiti
The festive season is all making new friends and what better opportunities than embarking on a group tour! Not only will you get to travel and experience the overwhelming beauty of nature but you will also get to share them with new friends and fellow travellers who share your passion.
Making new friends on a trek
Share your festive memories with us.