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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Walking in Clouds: A Journey to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar by Kavitha Yaga Buggana - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Kavitha Yaga Buggana and her new book, “Walking in Clouds: A Journey to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Kavitha and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Walking in Clouds:
A Journey to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar
by Kavitha Yaga Buggana


GENRE: Travel Memoir, Non-Fiction



Will we make it?

That's the question Kavitha and her cousin, Pallu, ask themselves as they trek through Himalayan pine forests and unforgiving mountains in Nepal and Tibet. Their goal: to reach Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.

The two women walk to ancient monasteries, meditate on freezing slopes, dance on the foothills of Kailash, and confront death in the thin mountain air. In Kailash and Manasarovar, the holiest of Hindu and Buddhist sites, they struggle to reconcile their rationalist views with faith and the beloved myths of their upbringing. Remarkably, it is this journey that helps them discover the meaning of friendship.

Walking in Clouds is a beautifully crafted memoir of a journey to far-away places and a journey to the places within.



Reading 2: Beauty of Himalayas and Mountains – The Divine in Nature 
(about 1 minute)

Pages 109 - 110:

As if by unspoken agreement, the three of us each find a rock and sit in silence. I close my eyes and listen to the fierce roar of the wind. At my feet, the stream murmurs as it runs over mossy rocks. While I remain as still as the rock beneath me, I feel like a little child, barely able to restrain myself from jumping up and running around in elation. I feel a deep connection with the other two women, though we are sitting apart, immersed in our own ways of silence.

Amidst the cold wind and the moving clouds, a hush pervades the moment. I am filled with the silence in all things: the mountain, the flowing water, the iridescent snow, the cold pure air, the blue sky. There is a hymn for the god Rudra, an ancient form of Shiva, that celebrates the presence of the god in the world and in nature. Snippets of the hymn remind me of the peace of the moment.

Salutations to the one (Rudra),

Who lives in holy waters and on every shore,

Who is in the deepest lakes and in every drop of dew,

Who pervades the atoms and who lives in the dust.

Salutations to him,

Who is in the white clouds of autumn,

And who is in the heat of the sun.

Salutations to him:

Who is tender grass and foam,

Who is sand and water,

And sound and echo.

Unnamed poets composed these verses hundreds of years ago. They lived, immersed in nature. As they tilled the land or hunted for food or lay looking at the sky, they must have felt moments of stillness. Feeling the immensity of the world around them and the minuteness of their existence, they must have sensed the futility and pathos of this world of striving. Faced with the terrible, mysterious beauty of their world, would they have felt helpless or joyful? Peaceful or afraid? From these verses, it seems to me that they felt all these things, that they sensed the divine in nature.



Hi!  Thanks so much for hosting me on Fabulous and Brunette.

On this post, I would love to discuss the book cover.

The cover is the face of the book. For travel books the cover must also encapsulate the spirit of the journey. I started working on the cover even before I had a publisher.

“Kailash in Coffee and Ink by Faiza Hasan”
PC: @ Faiza Hasan

After draft 2 of my book, “Walking in Clouds”, I commissioned Faiza Hasan, a talented artist in my hometown of Hyderabad, India, to read the book and interpret the journey in two paintings. I wanted to keep one painting. The other, I wanted to give to Pallu, my cousin and travel companion. Either painting, I reasoned, could be the book’s cover. Both of Faiza’s resulting works had a dreamy quality, with clouds and sky hovering around the towering mass of Mount Kailash. Her watercolour captured the gentle, diffused quality of light and sun in the fresh mountain air while her coffee-and-ink composition had dark, sharp contrasts and captured the danger and awe-inspiring beauty of Mount Kailash. I was torn. Which painting should I use? Both were lovely and both captured different aspects of the journey.

After I signed with my publishers, the decision was made for me – we would use neither. The art team at HarperCollins India felt the paintings were too muted and generic for a book cover.

“Map of the Journey”
PC: @ Kavitha Yaga Buggana

The map of the journey was another cover option. Given the political sensitivities of the region (Tibet, Nepal, India), the publishers looked at using a cartographer to draw a map for my book. I realized that this process, logistically, was too time-consuming and decided to do it myself. I learnt Photoshop techniques and created an illustration of the journey using photos and images taken from our trip. I call it a “non-map”. Its borders aren’t geographically accurate and some details, proportions, etc. are not realistic; still, it is what a map cannot not be: a picture of my experiences, my journey. In the end I decided to use the non-map – not as the book cover, but as an insert illustrating our journey.

The art team at HarperCollins designed a cover that had cottony clouds, a blue sky of various shades and a range of mountains drawn in thin black lines with red splashes for snow. It was minimalist and modern and I thought it was really cool. Just before the book was sent to the printers, the senior HarperCollins team vetoed it. They felt the cover missed the main point of the book, Mount Kailash - one of the most iconic, sacred mountains of the world and instantly recognizable by millions in India.

With hardly any time left to make a 2018 release, we began looking at photographs.

“Jeff with Mt. Kailash in the Background”
PC: @ Jeff Murray

In our group of seven travelers, three – Jeff from Australia, Ying from New Jersey, and Sperello from Italy - were avid photographers. They lugged heavy, professional-level photo equipment up steep mountain slopes, interrupted their treks for those perfect shots, and uploaded and edited photos during breaks. Thanks to them, we had hundreds of beautiful photographs chronicling our journey (sixty of which are in the book).

The publishers and I finally agreed on a photograph of a local man in Tibetan dress, leaning on his horse at the foothills of Mount Kailash. The photo was taken by Jeff Murray. The Tibetan man is in the foreground, but the sacred mountain of black rock and white snow standing against a startlingly blue sky, dominates the picture.

The process of cover design took several weeks, but it was worth it. Jeff’s photo is stunning. The cover beautifully captures the main ideas of the book – the stark beauty of the Tibetan landscapes, the arduousness and danger of the journey, the local dress and culture, and the wonder we felt as we gazed at the magnificent mountain that we had journeyed hundreds of miles to see.



Kavitha Yaga Buggana lives in Hyderabad, India with her husband. They have two children and a very excitable golden retriever.

Her essays and short fiction have been published in The Hindu, River Teeth Journal, Tehelka, Out of Print Magazine, JaggeryLit, and Muse India Magazine. Her travel memoir, Walking in Clouds was released in December 2018 by HarperCollins, India.

In previous avatars, she was a software engineer in Chicago and a developmental economist doing field work in Angallu village, South India.









BookBub Book Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

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Amazon Author Page:



Amazon Kindle eBook:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook:

Kobo eBook:

Apple iBooks eBook:

Google Play eBook:

The Book Depository Paperback:

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:



Kavitha will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Kavitha ~ Good morning! Welcome to FAB! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)