Story behind the Rewalsar cover shot for Spice Route Magazine

Cover Shot of Spice Route Magazine featuring Rewalsar by Himanshu Khagta
Cover Shot of Spice Route Magazine featuring Rewalsar

Spice Route, the inflight magazine of SpiceJet published a landscape I took at Rewalsar, a small town in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.

Ending this post with just one line would be a little boring, so I should add how I clicked this picture. It started when I was trying to read a book in Chandigarh.


It was back in those days, when I was doing my graduation in Political Science from DAV College, Chandigarh. Like many students studying away from their hometowns, I used to live in a small room in sector 18 of ‘the city beautiful’ . The temperature was around 45 Degree Celsius and the room had no Air Conditioning. I was trying to read a book  but the sound of the fan was a bit too disturbing. It was 5 am. I thought of an amazing idea. I packed my book and my camera in a small bag-pack. Locked the room, Unlocked the door of my blue maruti 800 and drove up the hills. The idea was to read the book in the mountains. I was thinking of  place between Dharampur and Solan, where I would be sitting under a fir tree, with the book in my hand, cold breeze flowing through my hair (I had comparatively long hair back then). So when I reached Dharampur, I kept looking for a decent place to read. While searching, I reached Shimla. Quickly I decided, not to enter the city and travel somewhere else. The first place that came in my mind was rewalsar. The place I recently heard about while in a conversation with someone. I refuelled the petrol tank and started driving towards my new destination. In just a few hours I was at rewalsar. The tank was almost empty and I only had Rs. 200 in cash. I was hoping for an ATM but there was none. Nevertheless, I had a nice brunch of Coffee and Choco Banana Cake at Emaho Cafe and drove further up to the caves. There are a number of natural caves that were used by Guru Padmasambhava to hide from the king of Mandi who later burned him alive. Every year the buddhist pilgrims visit this place and curse the King of Mandi with folk songs.

Buddhist Nuns praying with a monk in the cave of Guru Padmasambhava in Rewalsar, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India (Himanshu Khagta)
Buddhist Nuns praying with a monk in the cave of Guru Padmasambhava in Rewalsar, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India (Himanshu Khagta)

How I clicked the picture ?

After my cave visit I was strolling around the caves when I noticed a biker enjoying the beautiful view of the Great Himalayan Range. It was a picture perfect moment, but to get the right shot I had to be right behind the biker. I also didn’t want him to notice me as that might change the way he was sitting and would ruin the picture. I kept clicking as I silently moved towards him and when I got the shot I wanted, I greeted him. He was Tsering Dorje, a 54 year old resident of McLeodganj. After a long socio-political conversation he invited me to Dharamshala and I humbly accepted it.

A biker from Dharamshala enjoying the serene landscape from Rewalsar. (Himanshu Khagta)

– Link to the May 2013 Issue of Spice Route Magazine

Hope you like it!


  • its an amazing read. and thanks for adding a new location into my bucket list 🙂

  • vivek

    awesome khagta, your pics are always a treat to watch.

  • Himanshu Khagta

    Thanks a lot Vivek.

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