Fujiyama, Japan
Showing posts with label Trek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trek. Show all posts

Monday, 10 April 2017

Shivpuri

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

Monday, 6 March 2017

Chail

Google Maps: Chail, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Visit during March-April for 3 days. Nights are cold but it is less crowded and more pleasant weather wise.
  • Stay at Chail Palace for a royal experience. Plan a visit to nearby market for lunch as the lazy morning and cold evening are mostly to be spent inside the resort.
  • Drive / trek to Kali Tibba, Cricket Ground and Wildlife Sanctuary. Chail is small town for a relaxing weekend. 

Taking a detour from Kandaghat, it takes one hour to reach Chail - a small hill town near Shimla. Being small works in favour for those seeking seclusion amid a decent infrastructure. We had booked two rooms in the Himneel Block of Chail Palace which is an actual palace converted into a hill resort by the Himachal Tourism. We were the only ones staying in this block and the sense of freedom this gave us was a very happy one.

Sunset from Chail Palace

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

    Sunday, 25 September 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

    Friday, 1 January 2016

    Everest House

    Google Maps: George Everest House, Uttarakhand , India
    • Road to Everest House is little tattered. Take left from Library End of Mussoorie as the road is better from this side compared to Company Bagh side.
    • Trek to the peak near Everest House is recommended although it takes upto couple hours uphill and down.
    • Snacks and beverages are available. Best time of day to visit is between breakfast and lunch in the morning half. 

    Everest House is one of the treasures that Mussoorie keeps for the travel worthy. You have to look for it to find it. A tortuous drive, digression to a broken path and a small trek will take you to the house of Sir George Everest and you will rejoice the moment as if you have found a treasure.

    Everest House

    Saturday, 27 December 2014

    Kovalam

    Google Maps: Kovalam, Kerala, India
    • Best time to visit Kovalam is Dec-Jan. Christmas and New Yr celebration here is grand and looks exotic given the number of foreigner tourists.
    • Beach is shallow and among the most playful in India. Hotels are numerous so a deal is possible on last minute booking.
    • Dont miss top view from lighthouse. It closes down early. Dont miss the Poovar Island trip. It adds to the charm of Kovalam.

    Last time I came to Kovalam was with college friends on the eve of new year of 2008. It was a short and not so sweet stay at this lovely beach town. The way foreigners, specially white people, are preferred by restaurants here will give you a pretty good feeling of how apartheid felt like in South Africa. This time around the plan was to stay longer and experience a little more. Kovalam is more of a landmark in the 5000 miles long sea shore that belongs to India.

    Sea View from Lighthouse @ Kovalam

    Friday, 18 April 2014

    Gwalior Fort

    Google Maps: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
    Trip: Delhi > Gwalior > Khajuraho > Raneh Falls & Delhi

    Gwalior was a quicky. We were on our train to Delhi from Khajuraho when we saw the fort palace and decided to pay it a tribute. We had to look for a hotel or take Shatabdi @ 7.

    View from right flank @ Gwalior Fort

    Saturday, 14 December 2013

    Om Beach, Gokarna

    Google Maps: Gokarna, Karnataka, India
    Trip: Bangalore > Jog Falls > Gokarna > Murudeshwara > Bangalore

    • The landlocked Om beach is the place to stay in Gokarna. Two more beaches are adjacent although less fun - Kudle beach & Gokarna main beach.
    • Namaste Cafe is famous for seafood and fresh juices although everything else is equally tasty. The place even has few rooms for stay although you need to book in advaance.
    • Murudeshwara and Jog Falls are a day trip from here. Both can be covered if one starts early. Mudureshwara holds the largest Mahadev statue while Jog is the tallest waterfall in India.

    The bright morning sun was blazing in front of us when we reached Namaste Cafe Hotel in Gokarna. Earlier we had booked SRS Travels Sleeper bus from Bangalore and the journey was not disappointing. Namaste Cafe is located right on the Om beach but to reach here either you have to trek 3 miles or pay 150 bucks to the autowala.

    Gokarna Main Beach

    Sunday, 15 September 2013

    Chikmagalur

    Google Maps: Chikmagalur, Karnataka, India
    Trip: Bangalore > Shravanbelgola > Chikmagalur > Belur > Halebidu > Bangalore

    This time we were more planned than last time. An advance booking at hotel and a bottle of scotch in the car was there before we started.

    5 points @ Chikmagalur Tourist Map

    Friday, 8 March 2013

    Shravanbelgola

    Google Maps: Shravanabelagula, Karnataka, India
    Trip: Bangalore > ShravanbelgolaChikmagalur > Belur > Halebidu > Bangalore

    Having just missed a visit to the giant Bahubali statue on my last trip to Chikmagalur, it was imperative we take digress to see this place of holy importance to Jains. We took the turn and reached the small and peaceful town of Shravanbelgola. Almost unexpectedly, the statue is at the top of a monolith that takes some climbing.



    Thursday, 27 December 2012

    Daulatabad Fort

    Google Maps: Daulatabad, Maharashtra, India
    Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora > Aurangabad

    • A full fledged 7 tiered fort, Daulatabad is worth studying on the defense systems of forts used by early rulers of India. At worse its a healthy trek to the top.
    • Dont miss the bat cave, a set of staircases to the top only few hundred metres long but full of squeaking bats. You need to cross it to reach the top.
    • Within few miles of Daulatabad are the grand Ellora Caves and Grishneshwar - one of the twelve jyotirlingas, both dedicated to Lord Shiva.

    Daulatabad Fort is impregnable by the look of it - a layer of seven increasingly difficult barriers from bottom to top. We arrived at the foot of this hill fort through a shared auto that runs frequently from Bawa Petrol Pump in Aurangabad City. The entrance is a massive wooden gate that opens to view of a high watch tower and the fort itself. The gate is not counted among the seven layers of defence.

    View from Bharat Mata Mandir

    Wednesday, 26 December 2012

    Lonar Crater

    Google Maps: Lonar, Maharashtra, India
    Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

    Imagine a mile wide and 150m deep pit. Worth watching? Naah. Now add the fact that a meteor created it some 60,000 yrs ago. Geeks would be interested. What if I tell you that this is the third largest impact crater in the world and right in the middle of our backyard? I hope you will go have a look.

    Lonar Crater, Lonar

    Monday, 24 December 2012

    Aurangabad

    Google Maps: Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
    Trip: AurangabadAjanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

    When we told friends that we will be in Aurangabad for Christmas the question we faced invariably was 'What's there in Aurangabad?' Any reply to that question would be an understatement. 

    Chand Bibi's Tomb, Aurangabad

    Wednesday, 7 November 2012

    Savandurga

    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.

    Thursday, 18 October 2012

    Mahabaleshwar

    Google Maps: Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India
    Trip: Mumbai > MahabaleshwarPanchgani > Bangalore

    The twelve of us had gathered from different part of country for a cool-down break. Mahabaleshwar was expected to be cold this time of year. We were prepared but our preparations were never tested thanks to the daily dose of alcohol and a milder than expected climate at this hill station.

    View on way to Sydney Point@Panchgani

    We stayed at Panchgani, our hotel window opening to a majestic view of Dhom Lake. Morning excursion included trek to Sydney Point for a panoramic view of the lake. Unfortunately I had to take this up alone as everyone was in lazy hangover state.

    Waterfall on way to Pratapgarh Fort@Mahabaleshwar

    We started for Pratapgarh fort late in the afternoon after brunch. Pratapgarh Fort was headquarters to none other than Shivaji. It has height and defense to suit the resume of great Shivaji's den. We took the nose-side view of this fort. The visibility was another proof why this fort stood tall under attack.

    Pratapgarh Fort@Mahabaleshwar

    On our way back we visited the Table Land - a large flat plateau in the middle of Panchgani. Sunset was beautiful from here. By the time we came back it was late evening. We refreshed ourselves for another round of merriment at a nearby roadside restaurant.

    Ravine Hotel@Panchgani

    Next day we had a brief business session before we started for Kate's Point. From here was a view to behold. I could pledge we were in some other world. It was the winner of this trip and the team really enjoyed watching the Balakwadi reservoir from as many different angles as possible.

    View from Kate's Point@Mahabaleshwar

    We spent a good hour here before returning to cosy hotel room. It was time to say goodbye to our little expedition of fun. The next morning we checked out early and took a flight from Pune to Bangalore.

    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Nainital

    Google Maps: Nainital, Uttarakhand, India
    Trip: DelhiNainital > Pithoragarh > Delhi

    We had an ideal start at 4 AM. By 6 we were half way on Moradabad Bypass and racing towards Nainital  Things took a u-turn at Tanda. The road was like a series of speed breakers.

    View of Naini Lake@Nainital

    It took us couple of hours to cross the bad patch to reach Bazpur after which the infrastructure improved. We entered Nainital through picturesque Kaladhungi route at 11 and were settled by noon.

    Tanda route@Nainital

    We quickly refreshed ourselves and walked out for a light brunch. Interrogating around for a good pub we were directed towards Manu Maharani. It has a beautiful wooden lounge. We ordered couple of pints and settled at the edge of this lounge from where Lake Naini was visible.

    Naini Lake@Nainital

    The view changed our plans. We took our car and drove to the lake area which was surprisingly crowded. We walked, shopped, chatted and ate. It was time to go back to our hotel which was offering complementary dinner. The dinner was supplemented with an exciting India-Pak T20 World Cup match which helped us relax.

    Main market@Nainital

    We slept a little longer than usual and woke up fresh. An uphill trek to Mall Rd warmed us. Later we checked out after a sumptuous breakfast. It was time to explore Nainital a little more and hence we started for the Himalaya Darshan point. It is on Mall Rd only but a little further.

    Natural caves@Nainital

    A tourist spot made of natural caves was on our way and we chose to visit it. It would have been magnificent  had it been left untouched. The commercialization has killed most of the charm this place had.

    Viewpoint@Nainital

    On the way, we stopped at a viewpoint which had a grand view of Naini Lake. We had Maggi & tea standing here. Himalaya Darshan was disappointing as clouds spoilt our view. We moved back quickly and started towards Kaladhungi. On the way we halted at Himalaya Botanical Garden.

    Himalaya Botanical Garden@Nainital

    Returning to Delhi via Haldwani was a bad idea as Haldwani-Rudrapur-Rampur road is worse and longer than Tanda route. Hence we were able to reach McDonalds @ Gajraula by 7 only. Thankfully we had an extra day to relax tomorrow and so we arrived home happily.

    Monday, 30 July 2012

    Kasauli

    Google Maps: Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India
    Trip: Delhi > Chandigarh > Kasauli > Shimla > Delhi

    A digression from Parwanoo lead us on a bumpy curvaceous drive towards Kasauli. Evidence of early Monsoon were everywhere as we passed through the lush green Lower Himalayan Range. As we moved up, the clouds would play hide and seek with us making it all the more difficult to drive on the lonely MDR.


    Kasauli is a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. We asked people walking by for a good accommodation. Some dwellers were surprised that we came from Parwanoo instead of Dharampur as the former was supposedly dangerous. With little guidance we managed to reach an HP Tourism Hotel and settled for a brunch.


    Post brunch plans were simple - trek around the town-market to burn some fat and cover few landmarks as part of the tickmark tourism. We had two days and Kasauli is not more than a mile from one end to another.


    The highest point in Kasauli is Manki Point. It is in the middle of an Air Force camp. Lord Hanuman had put his feet at this place before jumping towards Dronagiri mountain to fetch Sanjivani according to mythology. There are several restrictions to enter the area but it is worth the view from the top. Clouds turn kaleidoscopic here and the ever-changing landscape mesmerizes.


    Two days of leisure that was intermittently disturbed by small treks, trip to market to grab eatables and once a customary visit to nearby pub, completed an extended weekend escapade. We returned by the wider roads through Dharampur and managed to have our breakfast at a roadside McDonalds.


    Return to Delhi was quick through the newly made bypass expressway from Parwanoo to Pinjore. The roads are really good in this part of Himalayas - not to forget that it links two capital cities - Chandigarh and Shimla.

    Saturday, 12 February 2011

    Wayanad

    Google Maps: Wayanad, Kerala, India
    The 250 km drive to Wayanad was as pleasing to the eyes as was exploring this hill station of Kerala. We reached Wayanad early morning after a strenuous night drive which meant we needed a nap before beginning. A well spaced hotel right at the back of the bus stand at affordable price made us settle quickly.

    From Kuruva to Wayanad

    Monday, 10 January 2011

    Ramnagaram

    Google Maps: Ramanagara, Karnataka, India
    Trip: Bangalore > Ramnagaram > Srirangapatna >  Mysore >  Bandipur >  Mudumalai >  Ooty >  Coonoor >  Bangalore

    We were on our way to Mysore when we realized that the famous Ramnagaram is just 30 miles from Bangalore. For the uninitiated Ramnagaram holds the Sholay point where the immortal dialogues like "Ye haath humka dei de Thakur" and "Naach Basanti Naach" was spoken by Gabbar Singh.



    Wednesday, 24 November 2010

    Naples

    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