Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Showing posts with label Adventure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adventure. Show all posts

Monday, 26 June 2017

Universal Studios Japan (USJ)

Google Maps: Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan
First thing first. You cannot cover all at Universal Studios Japan (USJ) without a plan. So here is step by step guide to help you.

1. Reach USJ by 8.30AM. Based on inbound crowd, the entry time changes between 8AM and 9AM. Avoid weekends & holidays because they attract both tourists and locals. Best days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Buy tickets in advance through www.usj.co.jp or in worse case counter. There are two tickets. One is the Studio Pass for entry, the other is Express Pass (optional but strongly recommended) for selective rides.

Universal Studios Japan Map

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Disneyland, Tokyo

Google Maps: Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan
Disneyland was a dream destination. Since our JR Pass was not getting activated till next day and this was a top attraction in Tokyo we went for it. It didn't go too well. Firstly Disneyland is for kids and secondly it rained. Although some of the rides like the roller coaster became more fun, the whole experience was a bummer.

Disneyland, Tokyo

Monday, 10 April 2017


Google Maps: Shivpuri, Uttarakhand, India
  • Shivpuri is home to rafting. White sand river-side used to be perfect for camping as well although recently that has been prohibited by Green Tribunal.
  • Stay at a nearby resort or makeshift camps close to Ganges. It is better than Rishikesh for those who come to avoid the hustle of city.
  • Rishikesh is 20 minutes drive from here. You can plan for evening aarti and dinner at chotiwala and comfortably come back by 9.

We reached Rishikesh at 2 and immediately hit traffic. The way Rishikesh has developed, a bypass merges into the city right at the middle of the busiest road. We crawled and reached Shivpuri at 3. To our utter disappointment, the riverside camps were moved sideways away from the Ganges. Now it attracted mostly bachelors. We decided to go back to Rishikesh but found a good resort called Bull's Retreat close by.

View from near Bull's Retreat Resort

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Google Maps: Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Trip: Bangalore > Pune > Lonavala > Mumbai > Gandhinagar > Udaipur > Ranakpur > Chittorgarh > Ajmer > Jaipur > Delhi

We reached Udaipur by noon and started searching for a suitable hotel. It was serendipitous for us to find Hotel Lake Pichola at such short notice. It is one of the hundreds of hotel adjacent to Pichola Lake but also has a view of palatial complex across the lake. Our room was modest in a royal fashion.

City Palace across Hotel Lake Pichola @ Udaipur

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Google Maps: Savandurga, Karnataka
I managed to pull out a team outing. Savandurga was perfect because of its proximity. The four of us managed to reach the top after quite a series of discussions but when we did it was triumph. The reservoir view was waiting for us with a luxuriant slope of a place to enjoy. 

We had brought ample beer and snacks to spend a peaceful couple of hours facing a scenic view. A cloudy sky, cool breeze and absence of anyone else was helping the cause. It proved once again that high-point views never disappoint. Last time I had missed something.

We were lucky that day last time to have a holiday and a vehicle at our disposal on the same day. The opportunity was too good to leave. Hence on the Republic Day we were climbing the hill of Savandurga, a fort not more than 30 miles from the periphery of Bangalore.

We had just crossed the beautiful Manchanabele reservoir and my motivation was to have a look at this lake from top of Savandurga. The climb started with the most pleasant weather that is trademark of Bangalore region.

The climb was steep and I regretted why I was not up for regular exercise. We had ample food supplies to take breaks and move again. However the late start meant we were not going to reach the top. It was a tough decision to make.

A fellow trekker returning from top suggested us to go for another 20 minutes where we will find caves to settle, take a break and return. It proved to be a good advice.

Our last settlement was just after the caves ended. We opened the last of resources which included a bottle of mazaa, cashew nuts, chips, snickers and few jokes to be cracked on Manoj. Another round of gossiping followed before we decided to leave for the day. The return was equally hectic because of the steep.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Google Maps: Naples, Italy
Trip: Copenhagen > Venice > Naples > Copenhagen

On a magical morning I was walking through narrow alleys that went up and up somewhere near the centre of the city of Naples. A fort like structure was visible now and then at the top of this city and all I wanted was to be there. Although it was foggy, I should have anticipated what I was going to witness after passing through the station of Pompei earlier that morning.

The ancient city of Pompei@Naples

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Google Maps: Zugspitze, Germany
Trip: Zugspitze > Pisa > Rome > Vatican City

The highest point of Germany was just a stop in my journey to Rome. An early train from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then a semi-expensive Zugspitzebahn (Cog Wheel + Ropeway: Round Trip = EUR 35; no discounts) brought me in 3 hours on top of this beautiful peak.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

Wonder La

Google Maps: Wonderla, Karnataka, India

  • Buses run from Central Bus Stand to Wonder La although most convenient would be driving own car. Reach before 10.30 AM to enjoy it all.
  • Going for wet rides first is advisable. They are more fun and clean water is specialty of Wonder La. Keep your camera safe. Most popular wet rides are Wave Pool and Lazy River.
  • End the trip visiting the giant Sky Wheel at the top of tower. View is amazing, worth taking few clicks.

The five of us started at 9.30 AM from our campus for Wonder La - an amusement park located on Mysore Road. Another ten miles and we could have hit Ramnagaram where shooting of movie Sholay was completed. The ideal time to reach Wonder La is 10 AM as the park remains open till 6 PM and eight hours are by no mean enough to complete a round.

Play Pool 1@Wonder La, Bangalore

We started late at 11 AM on our adventure. The first one was a play pool with tubs floating just to relax and warm up for the later rides. We moved further to twisters which were ducts twisting from third floor to bottom. Water Pendulum was on the same building and was one of the top rides in terms of thrill.

Twisters@Wonder La, Bangalore

Now and then we would run back to wave pool. Here artificial waves were created. The slot was every hour for 20 minutes and hence we had to time ourselves accordingly. It was fun.

View from Sky Wheel@Wonder La, Bangalore

Then came the fun racers. The vertical fall adjacent to it proved to be a teeth-crunching exercise and was actually not so much fun as thrill. Boomerang was the most liked ride and was enjoyed more than once.

Sky Wheel@Wonder La, Bangalore

After having a decent meal we again started for the other themes we had left. The best of them was lazy river. We spent almost an hour just meandering through the stream and watching the sky.

Entrance@Wonder La, Bangalore

By 6 we were ready to leave. We missed on the sky wheel which is knd of a landmark for Wonder La. Overall it was one of those days which reminded us that we are child at heart.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Trip: Delhi > Jaipur > Udaipur > Ranakpur > Ahmedabad > Mumbai > Davangere > Chitradurga > Bangalore

We started early from Davangere. A delectable bene-dosa (butter dosa) at a famous restaurant gave us the right kick and we drove the 40 odd miles to Chitradurga in an hour. Although I was here twice before, the agenda for this time was very clear - we had to reach the top.

We reached the foot of the hill we targeted to climb. Small steps were carved on the rocks to help us although the hill was steep enough to generate fear as to how we will climb down without tumbling. We reached the top after three rests and were welcomed by the city entirely visible from there. The ground of fort was chequered with grey rocks and green grass. It was richness in abundance - a treat for eyes.

We decided the climb down from the other side. It turned into an adventure after we realized midway there was no route further. It took some jumping, skidding and falling before we saw the ground. It was time for a break. Unfortunately the bottle of drink we bought was picked by one of the monkeys and we satisfied ourselves with water.

Walking to the other side of the fort we realized that there is a staircase made to the top of another hill which was still higher that the one we were on. We decided to take that one. The nature started conspiring in accordance with our plans.

As we reached the top of the Chitradurga Fort it started drizzling. We were tired with the climb and hence welcomed the rain and the wind with open arms. Standing at the top of the fort in rain and enveloped by clouds was really special. I don't remember many occasions such as this one.

Saturday, 5 June 2010


  • Private vehicles are not allowed. Park at the army barricade and walk the scenic mile to the pristine Kalatop.
  • Kalatop is a halt on the way of the famous Dalhousie - Chamba trek in case you are a trekking enthusiast. The other halt on this trek is Khajjiar.
  • There is no staying facility. Either go back to Dalhousie or drive ahead to Chamba town via Khajjiar. There is a canteen which serves delicious parathas.

We were staying in Dalhousie Club, courtesy Piyush, and decided to go for Kalatop as a one day excursion. It proved to be a helluva trip beyond what we were expecting. An egress on way from Dalhousie to Khajjiar goes to Kalatop. The name is because of barren black rock of hilltop which opens up a windy window to the Himalayas.

A view from Kalatop

Thursday, 28 May 2009


Google Maps: Rohtang La, Himachal Pradesh
  • Rohtang is the most visited pass in India, only people don't actually pass it unless they are going to Keylong, Leh or Key. Its more beautiful beyond.
  • Maggi and a hot cup of tea are a must at Rohtang. Do take a picture while eating. It's a ritual.
  • Away from the crowd, the ice capped pass does expand further that an adventurous traveler may explore. Nobody stops you.

Rohtang, possibly the most famous pass in India, was on our way to Lahaul Spiti. Rohtang is the gateway to Leh via Keylong and also to the pristine natural beauty of Chandrataal region.

Beautiful Rohtang

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Google Maps: Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India
Trip: Manali > Rohtang > Keylong

It was the regular group - me, Piyush and Prateek. This time we decided to go for a long one. Our last trip of Pithoragarh was fun. We wanted to continue from that experience. It was the night of 27th May, 2009 when the three of us started. We chose this time of the month because we wanted to go beyond Manali to Lahaul Spiti which opens up during the peak of summers only.

The last few miles before Manali are remarkable when the road moves along the river. Manali is not a very large town, most of the hotels and residential area being located in one side of Beas river. Fortunately we found an accomodation in Hotel Beas (an HPTDC hotel) which was just on the bank of the river. In fact our room was on the ground floor and we could distinctly hear the flowing water. In the afternoon, we paid a holy visit to Hidimba Temple.

We spent the evening roaming around the bazaar area. We packed some snacks and came back to our room as it got darker. After some drinks and all it was time for dinner. The restaurant named Chadrabhaga was impressive with old woodwork and a decent food.

Friday, 26 December 2008


Google Maps: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
Trip: Rishikesh > Mussoorie > Old Mussoorie

It was the first long drive from my car. I was excited. Piyush and Animesh agreed to share the risk and hence we started on the weekend of the Christmas of 2008. Disaster struck within 2 hours of our departure. Thanks to low visibility, my car was hit by a Santro and all of us were down - the fun was supposedly gone.

We reached Rishikesh by 1 and realized that the damage was not much. That somehow lifted our spirit. We booked for a riverside camp and ate our lunch there. By 4 we were flowing on a raft in the Ganges. 

There were several rapids and most of them were able to push us flat on the floor of the raft however we tried to balance ourselves. That was hair-raising fun.

We came back by 7 and dried ourselves in our respective camps. A bonfire was prepared at the centre of the camp and delicious snacks were being served. That it was a cold December made the arrangement perfect. Later we had a tasty dinner far superior to our expectations. We slept hard as the day was exhausting.

Next morning we woke up in the middle of hills and a river. We left the camp by 8 and reached the Rishikesh city for breakfast by 9 AM. it was planned at the famous Chotiwala. The servings were average. We tried Gita Bhavan for some sweets and became instant admirers of the place. 

Post some photo-shoots on Ram Jhula we started back for Delhi and were back to our respective homes by 5 in the evening.

Monday, 24 December 2007


Google Maps: Munnar, Kerala, India
Trip: Kodaikanal > Munnar > Periyar > Alappuzha > Kovalam

We moved to Munnar after a day stay in Kodaikanal. To reach Munnar in itself is an unforgettable experience. Atleast 20 Km before the place, large estates of tea, coffee and cardamom are visible and as the road meanders through these lush gardens, one has a feeling of sailing in an endless green sea. We stayed in Munnar for three days.

Tea Estates @ Munnar