Sunrise @ Kanatal

Sunrise @ Kanatal
Sunrise @ Kanatal

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Golkonda Fort

Google Maps: Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, India
  • Golconda Fort is a major attraction of Hyderabad. Trek to the top on an October morning is heavenly. The whole city is visible.
  • Take as little baggage as possible. Take water and some food. The top of fort is a huge terrace where one can sit and relax for hours.
  • A digression from main path will take you to one of the edges from where view of the city is uninterrupted. Steep fall below and chill air with the landscape in front is a view to behold.

We visited Golkonda Fort first thing in the morning. Still it was 11. Thanks to the incessant rainfall for last four days, the air will chilly and there was ample greenry around. In front of us was the grand Golkonda, famous for its sound system.

Golkonda Fort

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Google Maps: Charminar, Hyderabad, India
  • Hyderabad is a crowded city. Most important roads lead to Charminar and are perennially congested. Most of the good hotels are in Banjara Hills area.
  • Charminar, Chowmahalla Palace, Mecca Masjid and central market are all stone throw to each other. One can spend full day exploring these and trying hyderabadi delicacies around.
  • Paradise Hotel famous for the Hyderabadi Biryani is nearby. So is Karachi Bakery, famous for the fruit cookies.

Charminar is a charming relic of rich old Hyderabad. The imposing tower sits at the centre of city at a cross-road that is perennially crowded. We reached simultaneously at around 4 PM, one coming from periphery of the city, other from the airport. It was the most apt place to meet in Hyderabad. Quickly we submitted our heavy bags at a nearby cloak room as bags are not allowed inside Charminar. It made movement easy.

Charminar, Hyderabad

Friday, June 17, 2016


Google Maps: Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
  • You need to walk a lot given the traffic situation in Darjeeling. Tea estate will take a good half day. Toy train will take another half. Carry an umbrella for sure.
  • Glenary's is a complete food destination. A restaurant at the top and a bar at the bottom complement the bakery at the ground floor. Sit at the balcony and enjoy a pastry.
  • Avoid Tiger Hill. The itinerary is too tiresome - waking up at 3 and counting on a clear sky is too much for a cloudy Darjeeling.
Darjeeling was once the queen of hill stations. The world heritage toy train was a marvel. The tea estates were part of many a travel wishlists. No more. Old buildings, dirty narrow walkways and congested roads support a crowd of tourist who come to see the glorious town of old but leave disappointed.

Happy Valley Tea Estate

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Google Maps: Namchi, Sikkim, India
  • Take a cab to cover Samdruptse and Char Dham. They are in opposite directions so it will take couple hours each to cover them. We paid 10$ for this.
  • Stay in Namchi although its a small city. A better plan is to move to Darjeeling or Gangtok and spend the evening there. Both are three hours away from Namchi.
  • Start early if you are not staying at Namchi. Late in the evening the availability of transport options to move out of the city simply dry up.
Namchi came up on tripadvisor as one of the top five destinations within Sikkim. It was roughly on our way from Gangtok to Darjeeling so we went for it. How wrong we were. Not that Namchi disappointed us, but the road from Namchi to Darjeeling is so much in tatters that we were jittery all the way.

Shiva Statue, Namchi

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Google Maps: Tsomgo, Sikkim, India
  • Nathula is closed on Monday and documents are to be submitted (including passport size photographs) one day in advance so plan accordingly.
  • Better come with warm clothes else you will have to take reused ones on rent. The trip goes to a height of 14k feet. At this altitude even oxygen is thin.
  • Go for the bunker of Baba Harbhajan Singh beyond Kupup. There is shrine much before the bunker where most people go but thats not real.
A trip to Nathu La is expected when you visit Gangtok. We didn't take it. In fact we crossed Nathu La from a mile and didn't take it. We were told its overhyped - being one of the three motorable roads to China from India does not mean you will see something out of the world. Instead we went for the farthest village called Kupup beyond which lies the shrine of soldier Harbhajan Singh.

Tsomgo Lake