Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Friday, 13 June 2008

Jim Corbett

Google Maps: Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand 244715, India
The seven of us started on a midsummer night for Ramnagar. Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve has several entrances, the most accessible among them is Ramnagar. With few hiccups we reached there by 5 AM. It was critical. The booking for rooms/dormitories within the jungle start at 6 and one has to be among first few in the queue to get them. Manas took care of that. As a temporary arrangement, a circuit house was booked for us to rest and relieve ourself in the morning. By lunch we finally entered the gates of reserve and were settled in a large dormitory in the middle of the jungle.

The evening was spent in a jungle safari which proved more adventurous that expected thanks to a female elephant which started running towards us. Those were few scary moments. We were not expecting to see tigers. It is a rare sight even in Jim Corbett.

Later in the night we were surprised to be served delicious homely dinner by the servants. The seven of us then fell asleep after some chit chat and bantering. I woke up at around 4 AM with some noise that was coming from outside. It was still dark. As I came out I realized that two of my friends were already standing outside. It was raining hard. The entire area was almost flooded.

That delayed our exit till 9 AM. Just before we were leaving, two jeep full of girls alighted and the look on our faces was worth a mention. We couldn't believe we were leaving with a worst possible timing. Later we went to Gharzia Temple and had a dip in the flowing river while it was still raining. We were back to Delhi before 9 and a compact weekend holiday was well spent.

Saturday, 29 December 2007


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

We reached Alappuzha by afternoon through a road which flaunted large green fields on both sides. Alappuzha or Alleppey is famous for backwaters. As a city that runs on tourism, Alappuzha is a decent place to stay for a couple of days. We stayed in. The evening was dedicated to a boat-ride to the lovely backwaters. The boat spends some 2-3 hours completing a round. The houseboats were extremely costly, priced at close to 10k per night, as December was the peak tourist season.

Backwaters Ride, Alleppey

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Google Maps: Periyar, Kerala, India

  • Periyar is famous for swimming elephants and that is what you should aim for as there is nothing else.
  • The river safari is difficult to book during peak season in a communist state where price is low and everyone is equal.
  • Night safari is overhyped and nothing is exciting about it. Classic dancing events are organized which may be worth watching.

We reached Periyar in the noon and could feel the heat and humidity even at the end of December. The cool weather of Munnar and Kodaikanal had seeped in. We stayed in a hotel which was close to the Bus Stand and hence could move around at ease. We first went to Periyar Wildlife Reserve to ask if a safari was possible. There was one night petrol being offered and we booked for three. A part of the evening was spent at Hotel Ambadi which is at the centre. The hotel served beer with food which was more than we expected.

Periyar River