Meet Kavyanjali Kaushik, an Indian photographer and journalist, currently bouncing around in Spain.

She wrote this piece for us in 2012, and we’ve treasured it since!

An offbeat Stay in the heart of the Zanskar

Not many travellers make it to the snowy, harsh and spectacular Zanskar; hidden away, almost abandoned due to roads that are made of gravel and lack of travel information. The few who do dare to take on the back-cracking journey to this part of Jammu & Kashmir, head to Zanskar’s capital Padum which is more likely to disappoint its visitors rather than invite them to dig deeper into the Zanskar valley.

However, if you have the stamina enough for dusty roads, bitter cold and erratic transport facilities, head to the unnoticed village of Phey, just a heartbeat away from Padum.

The nearly 10-hour taxi ride to Padum starts to culminate with an array of villages appearing on either side of the road. Just 30 kilometres before Padum is Phey, where you will experience the astounding beauty of Zanskar. The village has only four to five homes. The rest is simply beautiful nature. So, you’ll easily find the cosy Zanskari guest house run by the smiling Stenzing Dolma and her very hospitable family.

Catch a glimpse of the breathtaking sight of an angry-orange sun slowly making its way down the valley on the left, coinciding with the moonrise on the right in the backdrop of lofty Himalayas – all this on the canvas of the mighty Zanskar river, rows and rows of fields and a cold mist hanging in the air. Phey leaves you speechless, transfixed and deeply touched by nature.

Image maker, journalist and explorer Kavyanjali was born in Delhi but never really warmed up to the city until she began romancing it with her lens! She studied photography in London, and worked as a Business Correspondent with Reuters in Bangalore, till she realised she can click better than writing stock exchange stories.

Check out Kavyanjali’s beautiful blog.