Welcome to this travel blog which is inspired by the wandering clouds effortlessly gliding through distant lands. Sometimes almost still as if watching the beauty of the earth below and at times rushing to some place far away – as if on an endless travel mission. This is where I share my observations, experiences and thoughts gathered during my travels

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Desi Flavours at Mt.Titlis

Located in central Switzerland and considered to be the highest excursion peak offering the best 360 degree view of snow clad mountain ranges, Mt. Titlis is one of the most popular destinations among Indians visiting Switzerland. This was amply clear to us when we were there last October.  We took a train up to Engelberg, a picturesque village from where one can take a cable car to reach Mt. Titlis. The huge hoarding meant for welcoming guests just outside the cable car station included ‘Swagatam’ on one side and ‘Alvida’ on the other side along with other languages. The first cable car we took was a small one that could accommodate four persons. When we started the ascent, we could barely see the peak as it was covered with thick low lying clouds but within a minute the car took us high above the clouds from where we got a great view of Engelberg. Amidst the absolute stillness we could clearly hear the non-stop ringing of the cow bells from the meadows below.

After reaching Trubsee, we got into a larger rotating cable car called Rotair which took us all the way up to Mt. Titlis, which is located over 3000 metres above sea level. Inside the walls of the Rotair, we found information provided in Hindi along with other languages. Just shows that they are catering to the needs of tourists from India, we thought. 

When we reached Mt. Titlis, we were surprised to see a huge cut-out of Shahrukh Khan and Kajol from DDLJ right next to a cutout of faceless skiers meant for visitors to peep through, pose and take pictures. We had no clue what the display of Bollywood stars in their Bhangra pose was meant to serve on top of Mt Titlis. But there it was, amusing all visiting Indians and puzzling others who had no clue about the characters on display. 

DDLJ on Mt. Titlis
The summit was covered with thick snow. From the top, we could see the Alp ranges, glacier caves and an interesting structure that resembled a sitting Buddha. This was discovered by a Chinese gymnast just before he won an Olympic medal in 1996. After taking loads of pictures and trying all stunts in the snow, we went indoors to see a film about Mt. Titlis and eat the local Mövenpick chocolate ice-cream. We got into the Rotair, then again in the small cable car, descending through the clouds, hearing the cow bells and finally landing back at Engelberg. 

We were in for another desi jolt. This time a mobile food joint serving vada pav, pav-bhaji, samosa, idli-chutney, gajar halwa and masala chai! As the only food joint serving hot food at the foothills of Mt.Titlis, it was doing good business and we were really impressed. The weather was just right to indulge in the spicy chaats and top it up with masala chai.

Hot desi snacks at foothills of Mt. Titlis

Our trip to Mt Titlis had given us a taste of Indianisation of Swiss tourism and we were really tickled by it. A few months ago, we read that the Swiss are trying to increase inflow of Indian tourists by 25% this year. What more can they offer to make Indians feel at home – an autorickshaw ride around Engelberg or ice-gola as an addition to the Mövenpick range?


  1. Good to know that Indian tourists are being wooed by Swiss tourism

  2. I think Yash Chopra single handedly made Switzerland the most sought after holiday destination for the Indians... but still I was surprised to see the extent they are going to woo the Indians...
    the idea of having that kind of food in that sort of climate is definitely enticing...

  3. You are right. Until a few years ago when Switzerland issued their own visa (not the Schengen visa) they had separate instructions for visa applicants seeking entry for film-making and also for honey-mooners.

  4. hi, would like to use one of these pics in a feature we are working in Dubai's Gulf News. Could you please contact me at sseth@gulfnews.com?