THEME: 3.5/5 CONTENT: 3/5 WRITING STYLE: 3/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 3/5
While browsing on my Kindle, as I was looking for books to read on travel and places in the Kindle Unlimited catalogue, I came across a book that promised to acquaint me with the mesmerizing beauty of the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalayas. A book that promised me both adventure and spirituality. Intrigued by the idea of it, I quickly sat down to give it a read.
Continue reading to know more about my thoughts on the book Travel Diaries: The Pilgrimage by Shivani and my experience of reading it.
What to expect?
Expect a book that takes you on the various journeys that the author took to the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalayas. Expect a book that is short (just over 100 pages) and written in a simple beginner-friendly language. Expect travel writing that leans towards spirituality. So one can expect plenty of temple runs and religious travel.
Who can read?
Since the book is written in a simple language, and the author introduces the region just as she sees it, a beginner-level reader who has never been to the Himalayas can easily comprehend the book and enjoy it.
What is the book all about?
In Travel Diaries: The Pilgrimage, the author documents her many travels to the Kumaon and Garhwal region of the Himalayas, which she has explored over the course of several years. In the process, she maneuvers her way from darkness to light. In vivid detail, she talks about some of the most challenging periods of her life. She narrates how she overcame those strenuous times by undertaking these spiritually inclined journeys, during which she learned from the best spiritual teacher in the world – the great Himalayas itself.
The places that she explores
Shivani’s Travel Diaries are divided into four major sections – Kedarnath and Badrinath, Jageshwar and Almora, Tungnath and Kalpeshwar, and Gangotri and Yamunotri. Since she lives in Delhi, most of her travel itineraries start from and end back in Delhi. She mostly explores budget travel options, travelling by pocket-friendly buses and staying only in budget lodges and accommodations.
The writing style
This isn’t just a travel diary. It is much more. The journey that the author covers is not a mere physical one. The book juxtaposes the author’s travel experiences vis-à-vis her state of mind and her inner turmoils. Reading this book feels more like a conversation with a friend than a book on travel writing.
What did I like?
I enjoyed the way the author assumes a friendly and chatty voice in her narration. She contrasts her physical journeys with the spiritual ones and helps the reader witness her gradual but steady transformation. Though the information provided in the book is not exhaustive at all, and the reader would certainly need a lot more reading before embarking on the journey herself, what Shivani provides is a base. A sort of foundation to work upon, and that is something by itself.
Another bonus is the few illustrations and pictures that complement the text. The quality of these pictures may be mediocre, but they capture the essence of the writings quite well.
What could have been better?
I would have loved it if the book was a bit more elaborate. As stated above, most of it was like a personal journal albeit a brief and short one. I would have loved some more information about the places, people, and culture which the book covers.
In the end
Travel Diaries: The Pilgrimage is a short travel journal that documents the author’s many journeys to the majestic and inspiring temples and mountains of the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalayas. Written informally, the book is an effortless read.
Pick the book if
- You are looking for books in the travel writing category.
- You are looking for a short read.
- You enjoy a personal diary kind of book that documents spiritual and religious journeys.
- You are interested in the temples and sights of Uttarakhand.
Skip the book if
- You don’t enjoy travel writing.
- You are looking for a more elaborate and detailed read.
- You are looking for something less personal and more organized, systematic, and informative.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Travel Diaries: The Pilgrimage using the link below.
Check out other books on travel writing that you may enjoy.