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

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Kyoto

Google Maps: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Kyoto is beautiful. At the heart of Japan, nestled with temples, spotted with shrines and bifurcated by a river, the city is duly called the spiritual capital of Japan. We reached Kyoto through a super fast train from Osaka early morning and immediately started moving towards the Kinkaku-ji Temple. It is one of the showstoppers among the famous temples of Kyoto. Known for the gold-leaf structure and located at the centre of a placid lake, the temple was indeed teeming with selfie lovers as we arrived.

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima

Google Maps: Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
A grim reminder of human ineptitude to be the dominant species on this planet, the Atomic Bomb Dome of Hiroshima was nothing but graceful in its presence. We were in Hiroshima on a sunny Sunday afternoon without much fuss or spend. A distance of more than 200 miles was covered in a bullet train in less than two hours and then a loop bus took us to the Imperial Palace for free thanks to our JR Pass.

Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan)

Google Maps: Kaiyukan, Osaka
Coming soon

Shark Whale, Kaiyukan

Friday, 23 June 2017

Diabutsu, Kamakura

Google Maps: Daibutsu, Kamakura
It always makes sense to visit the nearest beach-town on a sunny weekend and that is what we planned during our stay at Tokyo. Yuigahama Beach is an hour away from Tokyo. There was a direct train from close to our hotel to Kamakura and a 15 min walk from Kamakura station to Yuigahama. On the way we got feedback from a friendly lady on how wonderful the walk is from Kita-Kamakura to Kamakura. It was a good idea. The series of temples and a garden dedicated to the hydrangeas were delightful.

Daibutsu, Kamakura

Thursday, 22 June 2017

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

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tokyo

Google Maps: Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is among the most sorted capital cities that you will find on this planet. You land at Haneda or Narita and you will start finding visual aids to help you in right direction. Displayed on floors, walls or electronic boards, you just need to have eyes and a mind to find these instructions and you can cover entire city. Google Maps is handy in a broader way. There are information centres at almost every busy node to help you out in case. We landed at Narita and took a Skyliner to Nippori. Another train to Kanda from Nippori and we were checking in at our hotel room within three hours of landing - which included immigration checks, baggage checks, collecting data sim & pocket wifi, getting our JR Pass and collecting our pre-booked Skyliner tickets from airport.

Tokyo from Metropolitan Building

Friday, 17 June 2016

Darjeeling

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

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Bhopal

Google Maps: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Trip: Bhopal > Sanchi > BhimbetkaBhopal

  • Most of the spots are around the lake, be it the museums, the mosques or the magnificent Van Vihar. So better stay somewhere near the lake.
  • Weekends are crowded specially near the lake and at Sanchi so plan for a hectic Friday and an easy Saturday before leaving on Sunday.
  • Bhopal can be hub for visiting Sanchi, Bhimbetka and Panchgani. Bhimbetka and Panchgani are in same direction but not possible to visit in one day.

We reached Bhopal early morning and quickly settled for breakfast at the Shahnama restaurant of our grand stay - Jehan Numa Palace Hotel. By the time we finished, our plan had been formulated to cover both Sanchi and Bhimbetka the same day.

Upper Lake,  Bhopal

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

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

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Kanyakumari

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

Kanyakumari is like one of those beautiful Russian spies. Allow them to nudge you and you will bleed dry. Stay game and you will be allowed to play a little. Fate let us arrive at this southern most tip of peninsular India on a Christmas morning.

Vivekananda Rock & Thiruvalluvar Statue

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Baijnath

Google Maps: Baijnath, Uttarakhand, India
Trip: Delhi > Nainital > Kausani > Baijnath > Delhi

We reached Baijnath at around 10 from Kausani. Breakfast on the way was complimented with a breathtaking morning view of Nanda Devi range from our table and that made our day. Baijnath was the bonus.

Fishes in the flowing river @ Baijnath Temple


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

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Raneh Falls

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

We reached Khajuraho by overnight train and booked a comfortable room in Ramada Hotel. The day had begun well but temperature was soaring. We were told about a majestic waterfall and we quickly went for it. Although the choice was simple, the route was deserted. We were in MP for the first time and it did scare us. The last part of road is dark into a jungle.

Raneh Waterfall near Khajuraho

Khajuraho

Google Maps: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

  • Khajuraho can be planned as a weekend getaway from Delhi. Overnight trains at convenient time run but travel need to be planned at least a month given limited seats.
  • Temples should be visited early morning or in evening. Noon is hot unless its winter. Be ready for couple of miles walk around the complex.
  • Raneh Waterfalls and Pandav Cave are nearby attractions that one may cover. Hotels are aplenty and affordable. There is an airport also under construction.


Khajuraho happened to us so quickly that we were neither ready with appropriate duration nor with a camera fitting for the occasion. One fine morning we were just there. We reached this legendary temple city by train one morning. Hotels are in abundance near main temple complex. We settled in Ramada Khajuraho and freshened up quickly. Plan was to have a brunch near main temple and then start off.

Poses, Khajuraho

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, 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

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Pondicherry

Google Maps: Pondicherry, India

  • Pondicherry can be covered as part of circuit that starts from Bangalore and goes through Kanchipuram & Mahabalipuram.
  • Stay near the beach and enjoy the French architecture that is reminiscent of the alien occupation of this beautiful beach town.
  • Beach near the main area is stony. Go for nearby Paradise beach or sit near Gandhi statue with a pint of beer. Pondicherry University area also has a beautiful sandy beach.
The decision was so whimsical that I was typing my leave application in the middle of journey sitting at a McD some 40 miles before Krishnagiri. Road between Krishnagiri and Tindivanam is in tatters. Hence we reached Pondicherry by 2 only.

Sand Coast near Senghazunir Temple, Pondicherry