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

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.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Coorg

Google Maps: Madikeri, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bangalore > CoorgBangalore

Coorg happened at the end of a most entertaining team offsite at the Golden Palms. We gathered few more, booked an Innova and started off for a weekend at the hill station. The seven of us made sure the noise never die inside the vehicle.


We stopped at a crowded CCD on Bangalore Mysore Expressway for late dinner before taking a diversion from Srirangapatna for Hunsur Road (a radial road from Mysore  which would take us to Coorg  We slept for a couple of hours each. A Home Stay had been booked in advance. The host was prepared with a sumptuous home-made breakfast for the seven of us.


After a good long sleep which was followed by equally filling lunch, we started for Madikeri which is the central district of Coorg.  It had a view point and a toy train taking round a small hillock. We managed to find things of our requirement and started back to our Home Stay.


The arrangements for our night long party was done by our hosts in a fashion that exceeded our expectations. There was a variety of regular as well as regional snacks arranged around a bonfire that complemented our drinks perfectly. The Champions League Finals was due late in the night. It was already a perfect set-up for a highly entertaining weekend.


We woke up with a hangover and quickly settled for another round of awesome breakfast before starting back. Our next halt was Dubare which is famous for elephant rides. There was a shallow river to be crossed on foot which proved to be more than adventurous as many of us slipped and got wet.


It was not before 1 that we reached by that time the lunch-time had started. The several Dosas were to be blamed which we gulped down at the bank of Dubare. We were able to reach back at Bangalore at 10 in the night.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Patna

Google Maps: Patna, Bihar, India
A campus recruitment trip to my home town proved to be another opportunity to revisit the golden memories of  childhood. I started with a walk to the Zoo just to remind how I used to run or cycle to this place every morning with bhaiya.


The Zoo was crowded for Tuesday morning which was unexpected. Watching closely I realized most of the crowd was couples who found the controlled wildness more suited than polluted high streets. Moving out quickly, I took an auto that took me directly to Gol Ghar. It is as representative to Patna as Jantar Mantar or Hawa Mahal is to Jaipur.


The view from top of Gol Ghar is worth mentioning. The spread of city along the banks of river Ganges is clearly visible. After taking few pics I descended and walked to Gandhi Maidan area which has most of the cineplexes and eating joints. There I took a bus to my school, walked a bit around and then moved to Station area.


My plan was to visit Patna Sahib but it was thwarted by the short winter day which meant it was dark after 5. Instead I settled for samosas and chandrakalas at my favourite joints near the station.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Rajgir

Google Maps: Rajgir, Bihar, India

  • Rajgir has two major tourist spots apart from ruins of the great Magadh capital that Rajgir once was. One is the Peace Pagoda atop a hill and other is the famous hot water sulphur spring.
  • Rajgir is a one day trip from Patna. Gaya is even closer and with an early start one may cover Rajgir, Pavapuri and Bodh Gaya on the same day.
  • Take or rent your own vehicle. Go on a Monday if possible. Don't miss the ropeway. Don't miss to take a holy dip in the hot water spring.


Early morning drives in the fad end of November under the warmth of rising sun is a luxury that Bihar didn't know of until Nitish Kumar happened. So now the road between Gaya and Rajgir is wide & smooth and only an hour affair. We were in Gaya for a cousin's wedding and decided to take advantage of our location.

Four corners of Shanti Stupa@Rajgir


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Kolkata

Google Maps: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Trip: Delhi > Kolkata > Delhi

Kolkata was a brief official stay but that was never a stopper to explore its riches. From the roadside food to rumbling Howrah Bridge, anything and everything is recommended at Kolkata. More you explore more it intrigues you.

Tram system@Kolkata

The slow tram system, unique to India, fairly represent the casual approach of native Kolkataite. Travel fares are probably the cheapest in world.Our walk to and back from office brought us face to face with the college street area. Poor here are not very poor but their number is significantly more than other cities - an evidence of communist influence in their socio-political life.

Prices are dirt cheap@Kolkata

The other end of this spectrum was Victoria Memorial down south of Hoogly. Placed adjacent to a man-made lake adds to the charm of this massive marble structure. Our early morning expedition (which was an effort given we were around Park Street last night at 12 midnight) bestowed riches here.

Victoria Memorial@Kolkata

Next on list was of course Howrah Bridge and we made sure to cross the entire stretch end-to-end for some experience. The busy cantilever bridge was huge and even shaky. This engineering marvel has stayed the test of times and so we were not to worry.

Howrah Bridge@Kolkata

We were recommended Park Hotel area for dinner plans. Park Street is home to modern food joints and pubs in Kolkata while several areas like Esplanade and College Street have plenty of small restaurants serving local delicacies. We ended up at Barbecue for Chinese and it was worth the money.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Nandi Hills

Google Maps: Chikkaballapur, Karnataka, India
The last time we visited Nandi Hills, it was an impulsive decision. We were chit-chatting at around 3 AM when it was unanimously decided that we should go for some outing? But where? Nandi Hills was the closest we could think of so we started at around 4 AM for the spot.



Vivek, Sumeet and Shri sat comfortably on my car and we started with a google map to help us on the route. By the time we reached MG Road, we were lost and had to wake up auto drivers to find way to the airport road.



Nandi Hills is accessible through a diversion on this road at around 10 kilometers from airport. We reached Nandi Hills at 5.50 AM. It was critical since the sunrise is the most attractive proposition of Nandi Hills.


It took us no time to realize how wrong we were. Not only the sunrise was not visible but the mist was so dense that few steps here and there and we would have difficulty to retrace our own track. We started in a particular direction based on our instinct. The blowing winds were making scary noises.


Nandi Hills is actually a plateau. There is a restaurant besides a temple to which everyone reaches whichever direction he takes. We enjoyed a Manali weather in the vicinity of Bangalore that day and enjoyed hot cup of tea at the very top. By 9 AM we here back to our campus in time for breakfast and then a sleep which was bereaved from us last night.


This time our plans were clear and the weather was supportive but not Bangalore Police. There was a barrier waiting for us near the entrance to top which was supposed to open only at 5.45 AM. Thankfully we rushed as it opened and were finally able to see the famous Nandi Hills sunset.


We were back to hostel before 10 and realized that Nandi Hills never disappoints.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Fatehpur Sikri

Trip: Delhi > Agra >  Fatehpur Sikri > Delhi

A trip to Agra is not complete without visiting the capital of Mughal Empire during Emperor Akbar's reign - Fatehpur Sikri  The drive to this small fort town is partly rough partly smooth.


Monday, 14 February 2011

Kozhikode

If you want to go to Kozhikode, go through Wayanad. The tortuous road that starts from a few miles off Kalpetta will take you down the Western Ghat so quickly that you won't even have time to feel dizzy. We started on a whim for this beach town and in no time the gigantic wall of western ghat was looking at us from above.

The serpentine road, Kozhikode



Saturday, 1 January 2011

Yelagiri

Google Maps: Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu, India
1st Jan trips are becoming a ritual. We were boozing hard late night on 31st and slept for not more than 2 hours before starting for Yelagiri early morning on 1st. Yelagiri is a small hill station on the way to Chennai from Bangalore - some three hours drive. 


There was a YMCA establishment in the outskirts which we visited. Rooms were economical at 500-800 a day. 


A small lake and a botanical garden are the major attractions of Yelagiri.  We walked around in the pleasant warmth of January sun. As we were hungry since morning we settled at a restaurant near the lake and ordered a massive lunch.


We learned from the locals that there is a waterfall nearby - Jalagamparai Waterfall was five miles by trek or 50 miles by drive. We chose to drive. It proved to be worthy. We had a bath in fresh cold water and then settled near a temple for chit-chat. An hour or so passed by quickly before we decided to return. It was another memorable 1st Jan with friends.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Cannes

Google Maps: Cannes, France
Trip: ParisNice > Monte Carlo > AntibesCannes > Paris

Cannes is a beauty. No wonder some of the most beautiful people gather in this beach-town to celebrate the human creativity every year. The city has everything that French Riviera stands for. A crowded marketplace, long shore, a church with a view and the Cannes Film Festival.

Beach @ Cannes


Antibes

Google Maps: Antibes, France
Trip: Paris > Nice > Monte Carlo > Antibes > Cannes

Antibes was a quiet and lazy beach town. We took an early train from Nice to Antibes as the day was long and we had to cover Cannes the same day. The train dropped us at the periphery of the town and we had to walk half a mile or so to stand in front of the beach.

Railway Station, Antibes


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Monte Carlo

Google Maps: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Trip: Paris > Nice > Monte Carlo > Antibes > Cannes

We arrived Monte Carlo late in the evening. Descending from the train when we came out in the open taking a flight of steps we realized the dense constructions of this city. It reminded me of Minas Tirith. The roaring sea in front was adding to our amazement.

Dock View, Monte Carlo

Friday, 3 December 2010

Nice

Google Maps: Nice, France
Trip: Paris > Nice > Monte Carlo > Antibes > Cannes

The dipping mercury level at Copenhagen was enough reason for me to plan my next trip down south of Europe. Hence I was standing on the massive coast of Nice in French Riviera on the first weekend of December. The beach town is small and walkable.

Morning on the beach, Nice


Monday, 22 November 2010

Venice

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

Happy couples walking hand-in-hand or laying comfortably on long boats (gondolas) would consider this island a heaven. Venice is not for loners. Even the fascination of sauntering through congested alleys and artful bridges does not compensate for the loneliness a bachelor feels in this ancient city of romance. 

Waterbus system@Venice


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Vatican City

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

Next day we went straight for the Vatican the first thing in the morning. It is half an hour tram away from the central station of Rome. We were eager to see the smallest country that sat right in the middle of a bustling city.


In front of Basilica, Vatican



Monday, 8 November 2010

Rome

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

The original idea was to cover the five points of the cross decribed in Angels & Demons. However at 3PM the three of us were only checking into a hotel room. It was walking distance from Station. We now had exactly 24 hours in Rome  By 4 we had a definite plan which was bit different from the original one. Colosseum was the closest and hence we found ourselves walking towards the grand structure in no time.

The Colosseum@Rome


Monday, 1 November 2010

Paris

Google Maps: Paris, France
Trip: Paris > Nice > Monte Carlo > Antibes > Cannes > Paris

Paris has a charm that attracts wanderers and tourists alike. While the fashion capital of Europe may prove expensive, one has little choice considering the fact that Eurotrip without Paris is inconceivable.

The Eiffel Tower@Paris

Monday, 25 October 2010

Basel

Google Maps: Basel, Switzerland
Trip: Berlin > Grindelwald > Lucerne > Basel

The last two time I was in this city I was running around. The first one was when I ventured for Trination Point only to realize that I will miss my train if I don't rush. 

Tri Nation Point, Basel 


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Grindelwald

Google Maps: Grindelwald, Switzerland
Trip: Berlin > Grindelwald > Lucerne > Basel

A Harry Potter fan would expect something magical from a town that holds the name of Grindelwald. Hence when I was asked by a fellow passenger why I am going there I simply shrugged. I had to go.


A train from Interlaken took me to Grindelwald. The train route leads to the highest peak in Europe - Jungfrau. However the to-and-fro ticket to Jungfraujoch is too expensive at CHF 135 (INR 6000). A diversion on the same route will take you to Murren which is considered as a place of ethereal beauty during Swiss summers.


When I reached Grindelwald, the hilly town was covered with fog and small snow flakes were accompanying the rain drops. The youth hostel had closed for the season as were most of the other hostels. November onwards this area is close for about two months before opening up in the end of December for ski-lovers.


The surrounding sky high hills were mesmerizing - the most interesting part of the panorama were two peaks adjacent to each other overlooking the marketplace where I was standing. The Grindelwald village itself looked like coming directly from one of the JK Rowling's novels where wizards live.


There was a tourist information desk with an amusement centre near the station. Here for the first time in my life I saw a full length ice hockey field. Taking a walk around for a couple of hours I decided that I was there at the wrong time of year .


I took the train back to Interlaken at around 2 PM. From there I planned to go to Lucerne. The couple of hours were enough to leave a lasting impression about Grindelwald - definitely magical.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Berlin

Google Maps: Berlin, Germany

  • Berlin is more than the Berlin Wall. The city is big for an Indian on foot as I was so do take help of the tubes to cover the length and breadth.
  • Holocaust Memorial at the centre of the city is mostly around which things happen. The good thing is that it is walking distance from the station.
  • Reichstag Building and Brandenburg Gate are other major points near the station that I was able to cover by foot.


The entrance to capital of Germany was as grand as was expected - three floors of mall space was bustling with a cosmopolitan crowd - between two floors allocated to railway station.

Berlin