Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Mumbai-Bangalore Road trip

The return trip from Mumbai proved to be more than an experience. I started early on 11th June. The deadline was 14th when I had to attend a class at 10. The first stop was yet not decided. It took so much time exiting Mumbai that I was in Pune at 1. It was a bad sign. 

I was planning to stop at Kolhapur although decided otherwise when I saw the Mahabaleshwar road sign. Deciding to digress, I reached Panchgani at 4 and checked in to a hotel.

Within an hour it started raining and I was hotel bound. It rained the entire night. I woke up early at 5 and started at 6. The first stop was Parsi Point. At 6, the view of the valley below was calming. 

The next point was a plateau large enough to take a hour to cover in entirety. I was alone with my car. As the sun rays broke through the cloud I felt like a proud eyewitness to the beautiful act of nature.

It took some effort to convince myself to leave the place and I reached Kolhapur at 10. The McD at highway was not to be missed. I intended to drive non-stop to Davangere hence rested for an extra half an hour at McD before beginning at 11. 

The journey to Davangere was uneventful except that I stopped at Ranebennur to buy the famous Dharwad Pedas for all my friends at college. The next day I started late for Bangalore and reached my hostel at night with a few rests in between.

Saturday, 5 June 2010


  • Private vehicles are not allowed. Park at the army barricade and walk the scenic mile to the pristine Kalatop.
  • Kalatop is a halt on the way of the famous Dalhousie - Chamba trek in case you are a trekking enthusiast. The other halt on this trek is Khajjiar.
  • There is no staying facility. Either go back to Dalhousie or drive ahead to Chamba town via Khajjiar. There is a canteen which serves delicious parathas.

We were staying in Dalhousie Club, courtesy Piyush, and decided to go for Kalatop as a one day excursion. It proved to be a helluva trip beyond what we were expecting. An egress on way from Dalhousie to Khajjiar goes to Kalatop. The name is because of barren black rock of hilltop which opens up a windy window to the Himalayas.

A view from Kalatop

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Old Mussoorie

Google Maps: Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India
Trip: Rishikesh > Mussoorie > Old Mussoorie

Landour - the crown of the queen - thats what they call the older part of Mussoorie  While most of the urban tourists to this Queen of hill station indulge themselves to casual walks of The Mall Road or an extensive trip to Kempty Fall via Company Bagh, they actually miss the real charm of Mussoorie.

Night view of Mussoorie@Landour

To explore the Old Mussoorie  we took the Kulri End and walked all the way up to the Ghanta Ghar. There is a series of valley facing hotels the view from where is never disturbed by the wires. We chose the one right at the end of a ridge. It was a one day stay hence we refreshed ourselves quickly and found our way through a trecherous path to a rock cliff near the edge of the ridge.

View of Dehra Valley@Landour

A full view of Dehra was visible and it was like a fantastic secret being shared by the two of us. Bhaiya's school was visible and we took pictures and discussed about life.

Wynberg Boarding School

As evening approached we started on the more difficult walk to Laltibba. It is the highest point in Mussoorie.  The play of sunlight on the horizon at dusk is amazing at Laltibba. We ate our evening snacks and came back to our room to have our dinner. 

Horizon at Laltibba@Landour

The next day we started early for the Ropeway. It was a Monday morning, the ideal time to visit the Gun Hill through a ropeway. At the top, the view is hardly restricted in any direction. We had our Maggi and tea in mild sunlight and a beautiful view of The Mall. After half an hour we decided to walk back through stairs and to have another round of beverages at Cafe Coffee Day near Camel's Back.