Every author works best in a setting of his or her choosing. Stephen King may prefer a windowless basement where he can transport himself to his own make-believe world--but many an author would rather be someplace more inspiring (and airy).
So what makes for a good location to write your book? Beautiful landscapes, with no maddening din to clutter the mind. Fresh air, comfortable habitat, clean surroundings, and availability of essentials. All writers need to get life flowing through limbs gone sedentary after writing for hours--tracks where one can walk or jog are a must. While connectivity could be important, it often helps not to be able to plug into the Internet and emails for a while. You may want such a place as a permanent one, or only to go visiting when you seek a burst of creativity and a rush of blood to punch in those priceless words.
Do such places exist? Of course they do--all over the planet. You just have to go out and seek. Here are seven in India for authors to churn out that next bestseller.
1. Ladakh: At the top of the world
You could find dozens of spots within Ladakh itself--located at the highest points of the Indian Himalayas. Sit along its beautiful lakes (Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri), lose yourself in the chants of monks in the Buddhist monasteries, camp along the Indus river, bask in the glow of the setting sun or reflect under the rising full moon--the options are endless. Take your pick. Best to go in the summers.
2. Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh: Mostly untouched
A four-hour mountainous drive from state capital Itanagar takes you to Ziro valley, the most picturesque and culturally rich region of Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India. It is also home to the Apatani tribe, a society in transition where the traditional lives in harmony with the modern. With limited transport access, Ziro will retain its tranquility for a long time to come. Best to go between November and March.
3. Ken River, Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh: Tranquil and wild
I have a soft corner for tranquil rivers--like the Ken River cutting through Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh in central India. Full of exotic bird life in the winters, one can sit for hours along its banks or even go for a row boat ride. The landscapes will mesmerize you, the wildlife and birds will enchant you and the calm will captivate you. Best to go between November and March.
4. Mokokchung, Nagaland: Living in misty mountains
The Ao tribe could not have picked a better setting than Mokokchung in Nagaland in north-eastern India to make their home and cultural hub. Located about 4,347 feet (1,325 m) above sea level, it is truly the land of the misty mountains with its perfect climate; the maximum temperature hovers in the mid-20s degrees Celsius for much of the year. Take your notes to the nearby villages of Longkhum, Mopungchuket and Ungma and feel the words flowing. Can visit all year round.
5. Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat: Look into the horizon
Driving through the endless saline desert of the Little Rann in the western Indian state of Gujarat allows you to look into the horizon--and adjust your vision for all that you do in life. For miles on end, you see flatlands with mirages tempting you to take that plunge--literally and figuratively. And before you assume it is as lifeless as the Dead Sea, you will be surprised at its rich offering of bird and animal life. Best to go between November and March.
6. Gokarna, Karnataka: The beach for you
Land in Goa, but drive out a few hours southward down the Arabian Sea coastline till you reach Gokarna in Karnataka. Virgin beaches, shack fun, great places to stay and a mix of natural and spiritual energy--it is all here. Hike on the ghats, laze on the beaches, meditate, practice yoga, seek a dose of wellness, or go for day excursions to Yana and Jog Falls--Gokarna is for you. Weather is warm and a bit humid all year round--monsoons can be severe though.
7. Wayanad, Kerala: God's Own Country has this too
Wayanad is the lesser (talked about) cousin of the beaches and backwaters of Kerala, but the region merits its own place under God's sun. Rolling hills, tea estates, wildlife parks, stunning landscapes, water bodies, festivals, culture--it all waits for you in Wayanad. You may not want to come back with just one book.
So, are you inviting us to the launch of your next book--written in India?