Fujiyama, Japan
Showing posts with label Road trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Road trip. Show all posts

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Devprayag

Google Maps: Devaprayag, Uttarakhand, India
  • Devprayag is a half day trip from Rishikesh although to be fair, it needs a full day to appreciate the drive and the point. 
  • Roads are in perfect condition and well managed. There are very few good restaurants and no petrol pump before Devprayag so plan accordingly. 
  • The river Ganges flow to your right all the way to Devprayag which throws multiple viewpoints to saviour. Take a break now and then and appreciate the work of mother nature on these hills.
Devprayag is one of those gems that are not hidden but surrounded by bigger gems and hence ignored. In itself it is worthy of a day trip as we figured while standing at the merging point of two distinctly coloured rivers. The holy incantations and energetic crowd only help create a captivating zone around this point which is in a shape of cake slice.

View of Devprayag from top

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Top 5 travel circuits from Delhi

Google Maps: New Delhi, India
  • Delhi-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Bharatpur-Mathura-Vrindavan-Delhi
  • Delhi-Sariska-Jaipur-Ajmer-Neemrana-Delhi
    • Delhi-Haridwar-Mussoorie-Kanatal-Tehri-Rishikesh-Delhi
    • Delhi-Jim Corbett-Nainital-Mukteshwar-Delhi
    • Delhi-Chandigarh-Kasauli-Shimla-Kufri-Chail-Delhi

    Delhi-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Bharatpur-Mathura-Vrindavan-Delhi
    • Can be covered in 2 days flat 
    • Includes 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites 
    • Stay overnight at Bharatpur, near the gates of Keoladeo National Park

    Bharatpur Bird Sactuary

    Tuesday, 14 June 2016

    Namchi

    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, 12 June 2016

    Tsomgo

    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

    Saturday, 2 January 2016

    Tehri

    Google Maps: Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India
    • Tehri is only fifty miles from Rishikesh through a spectacularly tortuous road. We happened to be in Mussoorie which is equidistant but uphill.
    • The relocated town of New Tehri is unique  and on the way. It is reminiscent of the historic town that had to be flooded to provide for the reservoir dam.
    • Tehri is growing into a water-sport hub at Koti. Don't miss the speed boating at Tehri reservoir among the high hills.

    The road to Tehri is among the most tortuous one. A whole living city was dismantled and rehabilitated to accommodate a man made reservoir. New Tehri in that sense is a rare specimen of human ingenuity. It was close to noon when we passed the strikingly uniform houses of this city. Our destination, however, was a place called Panch Koti at the banks of Tehri dam.

    Expanse of Tehri Reservoir

    Friday, 1 January 2016

    Kanatal

    Google Maps: Kanatal, Uttarakhand, India
    • Kanatal is less than 30 miles from Mussoorie via Dhanaulti. Start from Mussoorie after lunch so you don't miss the sunset.
    • Its good for an overnight stay with and a short trek in the morning, covering both sunrise and sunset.
    • Tehri dam is another 30 miles and is a must visit. Stay at Rishikesh on the way or take a holy dip in Haridwar if you are returning to Delhi.

    It was dusk when we reached Kanatal. The setting sun was throwing vibrant colors across the horizon and to add to that beautiful hue were snow capped mountains on one side and deep valley on the other side. One can come to Kanatal just to spend the evening.

    A view from Kanatal

    Sunday, 23 August 2015

    Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur)

    Google Maps: Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India
    • The best time to visit is in October. However from August to November, migratory birds keep flocking the sanctuary.
    • Stay overnight in one of the nearby hotels and start as early as 5.30AM for best experience. By 7 it gets hot and little less pleasent.
    • Bicycles are available on first come first serve from the reception. It the best medium of transport. Battery driven vans are also available but they are so boring.

    We reached Bharatpur, the host city to Keoladeo National Park (KNP), late in the evening. We had covered two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, and had just brushed the third, Fatehpur Sikri, before settling at the edge of our fourth that day.

    Inside KNP, Bharatpur

    Saturday, 22 August 2015

    Agra Fort

    Google Maps: Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India
    • Visit before Taj Mahal as its bigger and takes time to complete a round. It is closer to the Express Highway as you enter Agra.
    • A weekday trip is recommended given the crowd on weekends. On Monday both Agra Fort and Taj are closed.
    • Guides are good to have given the expanse of Agra Fort although it sometimes get intrusive to have them.

    Agra Fort is the automatic next destination to Taj Mahal, both being UNESCO World Heritage Sites and as rare as it is with heritage sites, they are only couple of miles from each other. Spread wide across the banks of Yamuna, the fort boasts of being home to five generation of Mughal Emperors.

    Huge motes, Agra Fort

    Monday, 27 April 2015

    Mathura

    Google Maps: Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India
    Trip: Delhi > AgraVrindavan > Mathura > Delhi

    Mathura was calm and bustling at the same time, as expected. The birthplace of Lord Krishna is one of the oldest cities and hence narrow lanes were crowded when we hit the city on a Monday. We parked our car near Holi Gate and entered the realm. Our first destination was Dwarkadheesh Temple. It is on the bank of river Yamuna and draws hundreds of worshippers every morning. We sat there for some time and admired the old structure.

    Dwarkadheesh Temple, Mathura

    Sunday, 26 April 2015

    Vrindavan

    Google Maps: Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
    Trip: Delhi > Agra > Vrindavan > Mathura > Delhi

    Vrindavan is the city of temples. While Mathura is birth place of Lord Krishna, it is Vrindavan which has the mythological advantage of hosting the childhood of Vishnu avatar. We reached the city through Yamuna Expressway and quickly settled in a subsidized Jain dharamshala (a religious establishment). Since it was early noon, we decided to first visit something little far and chose Pagal Baba Temple.

    Pagal Baba Temple, Vrindavan

    Monday, 29 December 2014

    Rameswaram

    Google Maps: Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India
    Trip: Bangalore > Kanyakumari > Kovalam > Trivandrum > Rameswaram > Bangalore

    Rameswaram was long awaited and frankly it didn't disappoint us. In fact the trip that started from Kanyakumari to this pilgrimage via Kovalam had an almost perfect ending in Dhanushkoti. We arrived at this island by train early morning. Crossing Pamban bridge created enough excitement in fellow travellers that we woke up with the noise.

    Main Entrance @ Rameswaram Pilgrimage

    Tuesday, 24 June 2014

    Ajmer Sharif

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

    It was a whirlwind drive that took us out of the labyrinthine roads of Udaipur to the expansive hill fort of Chittorgarh, to the crowded Ajmer Sharif and finally halted at a modest accommodation in Jaipur all in one day. We drove close to 200 miles, spent decent time in each of the four cities and still managed a breakfast and a dinner.

    Way to Ajmer Sharif

    Wednesday, 18 June 2014

    Gandhinagar

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

    Gandhinagar was an unplanned stopover. We explored couple of hotels and settled in one that was on the far side. Actually nothing is far in this small diplomatic setup of a city twined to Ahmedabad.


    Akshardham Temple @ Gandhinagar

    Sunday, 15 June 2014

    Lonavala

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

    Last whole day we were driving from Bangalore to Pune and it had taken its toll. We wanted to relax today but fate had other plans. By the time we entered Lonavala, it was 2.

    Lion Point @ Lonavala


    Thursday, 1 May 2014

    Madurai

    Google Maps: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Trip: Bangalore > MaduraiKodaikanal > Bangalore

    We started for Madurai early morning at 7 and as has been the ritual, we broke our fast at McDonalds Krishnagiri. Road from Bangalore to Krishnagiri is under construction. The slow pace was covered up by the fantastic stretch from Salem to Madurai. The 300 miles were covered in 7 hours. Heritage Madurai proved to be an excellent choice for hotel, thanks to Manish who booked in on cleartrip. The stay was royal. We unpacked and refreshed ourselves.

    Highway to Madurai

    Monday, 10 February 2014

    Hampi

    Google Maps: Hampi, Karnataka, India
    Trip: Bangalore > Chitradurga > HampiBangalore

    Hampi offers such bizarre backgrounds in such quantity that it can easily be declared a photographer's haven.  From flowing river to ruined city,  from ancient temples to high hills it has everything a remarkable photoshoot demands.WereachedHyatt Hampi from Chitradurga by taking a diversion from Kudligi. This proved to be a big mistake as the 35 miles stretch can hardly be called a road. By the time we checked in we were good for nothing. Hungry and tired, we settled at the restaurant and ate a mouthful.

    Stone Chariot @ Vitthala Temple Hampi

    Sunday, 26 January 2014

    Kanchipuram

    Google Maps: Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
    Trip: Bangalore > Tiruvannamalai > Pondicherry > Mahabalipuram > KanchipuramBangalore

    Kanchipuram was a bonus and a surprise on our way to Mahabalipuram.  We decided to cover it on our way back. It was a decision I rue since the architectural richness of this city begs for more than a day to spare - not to forget the market of famous silk sarees which has developed its own brand.

    Sri Ekambereswarar Temple @ Kanchipuram

    Saturday, 25 January 2014

    Mahabalipuram

    Google Maps: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
    Trip: Bangalore > Tiruvannamalai > Pondicherry > Mahabalipuram > Kanchipuram > Bangalore

    Mahabalipuram offers an interesting combination - archeological monuments beside a beach. Hence on a bright Saturday morning we were on  Bangalore - Kanyakumari highway. The road has one of the most picturesque settings in south India.

    Carved pillars @ Five Rathas Temple

    Saturday, 10 August 2013

    Jog Falls

    Google Maps: Jog Falls, Karnataka
    • Best time to visit Jog Falls is during monsoon but on a weekday. Weekends are generally crowded and security around the fall is enhanced.
    • There are very few options of accommodation around. Best way is to cover Jog Falls during a circuit of Gokarna and make a day trip to this place, Shimoga is nearest city with few hotels.
    • Visiting the Jog Falls from other direction is unofficially possible, We didn't explore it. Going down the fall is strictly prohibited.


    We started our trip to Jog Falls without much planning.  It was a mistake. Although we had a blast in the eventful way this trip turned up, not to forget the super lush greenery of Konkan region, we did  learn few hard lessons on the way. To begin with the only good stopover on way is a CCD some hundred miles from Bangalore.

    Behind a veil of clouds@Jog Falls

    Friday, 1 February 2013

    Sariska Tiger Reserve

    Google Maps: Sirska, Rajasthan, India
    Trip: Sariska > Jaipur

    Sariska fell in the first leg of our team outing. We started at 8 AM ans settled at Haldiram@Manesar at 9 for a quick breakfast. At 10 we had crossed Dharuhera and were racing towards Alwar on SH25. It is a newly constructed toll road hence we were able to hit Alwar at 12 Noon. The Sariska Tiger Reserve Booking Office is another 20 miles from here.


    Two safaris were booked and we entered the realms of Sariska. There was a placid lake with crocs right in the beginning. We were told that seeing a tiger was rarity but I was surprised by the abundance of wildlife in the form of Nilgai, Peacocks, Deers, Barahsingas, Wild Boers and Sambhars.


    We settled at the end of the road at Pandupole Temple. Legends says here Bhim was tested by Lord Hanuman for strength and humility. The place draws hundreds of worshipers on Tuesday hence the reserve is open for personal vehicles twice a week (Tue, Sat).


    While returning on the same track we saw a freshly wounded deer. The tiger that did this must have been around. We waited but to our disappointment, nothing came. It was getting dark and we had to figure out where we will stay for the night.


    There is an RTDC Resort (Tiger's Den) right at the gate of Sariska but it was looking dull. We wanted to sit around bonfire and sing and booze. Thankfully we got that in Jaipur which is hardly a 3 hour drive from here.